Monday, December 8, 2008
Such swift justice from Pakistan, a nation that has been openly hostile towards India for decades, speaks volumes about the competence of the Bush administration in the war on terror. Since Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda's most important people have been hiding in Pakistan, the Pakistani government has not really done much in helping the US find them and bring them to justice, and we are supposedly their allies. Yet they seemed to bend over backwards for their arch-rival India, and swiftly staged a successful raid on a group that by all accounts were some of the best trained terrorists ever encountered.
Did the Bush administration even care about finding Bin Laden and the remaining Al Qaeda officers, or did Pakistan conduct the raid against the Mumbai attackers because they feared nuclear retaliation from India if they did nothing? If the Bush administration was serious about Al Qaeda, they could easily have gotten Pakistan to do what they did for India, and they could have done it years ago. The fact that India got such a quick favor after their attack by terrorists, and the Bush administration could only get lip service for 7 years, speaks volumes about how poorly the Bush administration has dealt with our foreign allies. Our allies seem to give their enemies better treatment than they give us.
Perhaps the arrangement with Al Qaeda and the Bush administration is similar to the arrangement that the Guild of Calamitous Intent has with Dr. Venture in the fictional cartoon series, The Venture Brothers. It's explained that the guild limits what super-villains are allowed to do to protagonists, to allow them to co-exist and allow both protagonist and villain to do their own thing without actually killing each other. Perhaps George Bush solicited Al Qaeda's help in becoming our nemesis, mainly so George could get the status he sought. In the Venture Brothers universe, super-scientists and other protagonists often solicit villains to gain status. Their managed conflicts keep each other alive while developing new super-weapons and gaining fame.
That may explain why the Bush administration hasn't managed to get Bin Laden or other Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan for the last 7 years. Al Qaeda is engaging in "controlled costumed aggression" with Bush, and both are bound by the guild's honor code. That way, both sides get the prestige and notoriety they seek, without actually killing each other. Henchmen are occaisionally killed, but the arch villains and protagonists, and their immediate family members stay protected.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This is a real ad from the American Family Association's web-shop. The ad, for the cross in this picture, reads:
Let Your "Light" Shine For Christ This Christmas Season!
Looking for an effective way to express your Christian faith this Christmas season to honor our Lord Jesus? Now you can.... with the "Original Christmas Cross" yard decoration.
Light up your front yard, porch, patio, driveway, business, organization or church this holiday season with a stunning Christmas cross. This beautiful Christmas Cross is 5.5 feet tall, with 210 individual ultra bright lights. SHIPPING IS INCLUDED!
Assembles in just minutes! Includes simple instructions and requires only a screwdriver. The cross is compact when not in use. And of course, it's weather-proof.
Decorate this holiday season with the Original Christmas Cross to remind your friends, family, neighbors, and all who drive by your home, office, or church of the real meaning of Christmas. You won't find the Original Christmas Cross in stores, so order online today!
PLEASE NOTE: This product ships directly from the distributor. If you wish to order other products at this time from the AFA Online Store, please make a seperate order.
I honestly don't need to add anything more to this, except to say that the irony nearly made me shit my pants.
Well, I went to the AFA store, and this is the picture that now accompanies the ad! I guess they got enough complaints! Hahahahahahaha!!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I don't believe that my concept of civil rights, however, includes the "right to openly hate and advocate the elimination of, or disenfranchisement of certain groups of people", or "the right to abuse people". I am all for allowing Christians and Muslims to practice their faith, and for political groups to promote their beliefs, but when that "faith" includes bombing abortion clinics, sequestering a congregation in a "compound" so as to cut them off from society and control all information, or the "political beliefs" involve advocating the taking up of arms to shoot and kill other citizens, racism, disenfranchisement of others, or other patently antisocial activity, it's not about rights.
It's often said that people have a right "to be an asshole" if they choose to be -- Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Andrew Schlafly are all perfect examples of people practicing their right to be an asshole, and advocate ideas that are idiotic, mean-spirited, fraudulent, or just plain dumb. The problem is that all of these people are like modern day Joseph Goebbels. They are straddling the thin line of propaganda, balancing between mere political speech and hate. Behind everything they say is thinly veiled racism, sexism, fascism, but most importantly, a disdain for education, civil rights and constitutional freedoms. If enough people follow them, it could lead to the kind of fascist state where mob rule wins over constitutional democracy -- where the vigilantism of the Wild West replaces the rule of law and fair trials.
I do not believe that we can allow them to go unopposed, without putting back into place the laws which used to govern news and information programs -- The old fairness and accuracy doctrine that was made impotent when Fox News won a case by claiming that their news broadcasts were "entertainment" and not subject to any guidelines of journalistic integrity. All any media propagandist needs to do is proclaim their show to be "entertainment", and they instantly have no responsibility to separate opinion from fact, be objective or even report facts at all. They can just proclaim whatever they want their viewers to think is the truth, but say "we're entertainment" to a judge, and they have no responsibility for what they say. They can tell their reporters WHAT to say in a report, even if it's not true. They can craft intricate hate-pieces that slander anyone. They can reach millions with messages of hate, and there is no recourse.
So when we see a preacher preaching hate, or a pundit preaching hate, I believe it is dangerous. The typically mean-spirited nature of such speech has no legitimate place in society -- it's intentionally destructive, intentionally harmful. That's never good for society. Protect free speech, but when it comes to people who advocate hate, and mean-spirited treatment of others, I say fine them, make them criminals, and let them suffer for their hate.
How far should we go with allowing free speech? I have always been an advocate of completely unlimited free speech. I have always considered that if someone is offended by my speech, or someone else's, that they're just sissies who can't handle dealing with opinions that are different from their own. After considering the discussion over how people in Canada can no longer preach what the Bible says about homosexuality, because it's hate-speech against gays (I mean, think about it, Leviticus advocates that homosexuals be executed), I thought about why that was good, and why it could be bad. I realized that the good aspects of hate-speech laws sounded a lot more convincing to me than the "total free speech" I advocated.
There certainly are some types of speech or advocacy that people consider dangerous. For example, it is currently illegal to issue written or verbal death threats. People who have openly advocated assassination and killing of others have been charged and put on trial for it. There is good reason why death threats are illegal and not "protected free speech". It is because a death threat victimizes a person by creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear, or in constitutional language, it "attacks domestic tranquility", which the preamble of the United States Constitution purports to ensure for all. Imagine a family living in a neighborhood, and having several neighbors tell them "We'll kill you". The family is forced to live in fear, incurring mental and physical stress. It's not just that one family -- its any people living in the neighborhood or surrounding areas who hear of these threats. If you can imagine the family being Jewish or African-American, and the threats coming from neo-Nazis, it becomes even worse of a situation. It is unacceptable to make death threats for that reason -- it disrupts domestic tranquility, creating fear and hostility in a community. We have laws against disturbing the peace. You cannot set off explosives in the middle of the night, play extremely loud music that wakes your neighbors up, use heavy construction equipment early in the morning when people are still sleeping, and such, for the same reason -- it disrupts domestic tranquility.
Rather than issue a death threat, some people thought it was clever to avoid making a direct death threat against someone, by suggesting that someone else do it. For example, on a Christian radio program in Denver, Colorado, back in 1993, Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, said a prayer over the air where he asked that someone please assassinate Dr. Warren Hern, a Colorado abortion provider. The authorities didn't think that was free speech, and promptly arrested him. Members of his organization were found guilty of harassing the family members of various doctors who provided abortions, when they followed doctors' children home from school, or followed the families when they drove around town. Again, legally speaking, such activities are not protected free speech because they disrupt domestic tranquility, and force the victims to live in fear of hostilities or attacks. At a time when many abortion providers were being assassinated by anti-abortion activists, this became all the more frightening for these victims.
So on the issue of punditry, and the writers of trash-talking political diatribes, as well as so-called "entertainment" broadcasts of Fox News, and other conservative hate-filled language against so-called liberals, I believe that the same situation applies. When a Rush Limbaugh, an Ann Coulter, or a Sean Hannity goes on the air, and incites hatred against various groups considered "liberal" or "un-American", they are doing the same thing that a Neo-Nazi does when they spray-paint a swastika on a wall in a neighborhood. They are inciting people with propaganda, to hate other citizens. They don't actually come out and say "these people should be hated, treated with suspicion, killed, etc..." but they certainly incite animosity and hatred against certain people in society. After 9-11, the cry of "Treason" was heard a lot from far-right pundits. Treason often is punished by the death sentence (and the pundits made sure to mention that when they accused people of it), which is sort of a roundabout way of suggesting that so-called liberals or critics of the Bush administration should be killed. If you were a liberal or a Bush critic, you certainly felt a little bit of your domestic tranquility threatened by hearing such rhetoric.
There is a difference between being politically incorrect, and the type of speech that Joseph Goebbels delivered in Nazi Germany. One is simple criticism, occasionally crude, profane or awkward, without suggestion of violence or action that would scare the target of your criticism into thinking that they were in any danger. The other suggests that the target of the criticism is not worthy of their constitutional protections or freedoms, that they deserve to suffer, and that people who take it upon themselves to punish them would or should be considered to be doing a patriotic duty of some kind. It is one thing to suggest that a president, or a politician, or a religious leader, is wrong about their actions or opinions; that is totally reasonable, protected speech. It is entirely a different story, however, to call the same people devils, traitors, and suggest that they be intimidated, harassed, or held in suspicion, or treated unpleasantly for it.
When a Christian Minister or politician quotes the Bible, and reads the verse from Leviticus that orders homosexuals to be stoned to death, he is merely presenting an objective fact about what his faith says. When he suggests to his followers that they need to follow this law of God to the letter, and use votes or direct action to achieve it, he is victimizing gay people -- creating unease and spoiling domestic tranquility. All you have to do is change the references from Homosexuals to Jews, and the book from the Bible to Mein Kampf, and it brings the hate-speech to life quite vividly.
The disruption of other citizens' domestic tranquility is a crime; it is a violation of a person's constitutional protection. Disturbing the peace is a crime on most laws of our states. I say we police it. Thinly veiled threats against other citizens, no matter how cleverly worded they are, have an effect on their intended targets. They create unease, fear, and tension in society. People who make use this hate-mongering speech are sociopaths, plain and simple. They do not care about the constitutional rights of the people that they victimize, and in fact, many of them advocate the idea that those people have no constitutional rights, or that their constitutional rights should be taken away. Such ideas, are, ultimately un-American, because the spirit of the constitution is that all people, regardless of who they are or what they believe, have the same rights and protections. For most of the purveyors of hate-speech, the idea that someone they despise can be their equal, and have every right to disagree with them, is an inconvenient thing to live with. Ultimately, hate speech is about advocacy of inequality and non-protection of citizens. You can't get any less American than that.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
During the last few months, I noticed that a lot of Fundamentalist Christians have been not just writing posts against Barack Obama, they've been predicting that if elected, he would either turn out to be the Antichrist, or that it would usher in the end times, and that Armageddon would be coming. I'm serious. Here are a few more examples of what I read.
The best example was a recent McCain commercial titled "The One", which overtly suggested that Obama was indeed the Antichrist. Rush Limbaugh, on a recent show, said:
"We'll find out in less than 30 hours how many people want to give up their freedom for what they think is going to be some version of a carefree utopia. We'll find out, and we'll deal with the result after it happens."
My old pal Ray "I am not a looney" Comfort, over at his blog, sort of had similar ideas about Barack Obama, but instead used the old tried-and-true "Some of my best friends are black... no wait, really..." method of using a black man to speak out against Obama for him. How often have Ray's posts consisted of an entire article of someone else's opinion on his blog before? Almost never, going back about a year.
So here is my prediction. I predict that either Ray Comfort or another well-known lunatic Fundamentalist, will post something this week proclaiming that America is now doomed, doomed, doomed, doomed. Someone is going to proclaim that the economic crisis was predicted by the Bible, and that Obama being elected is another fulfillment of prophecy, and that more terrible things are yet to come, all of which will be right out of the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation.
This kind of thing is only inevitable, and is not really surprising to anyone who has watched this happening for the last 30 years. It's really all just part of the usual election cycle. Every time we elect, a group of religious nuts somewhere proclaims the newly elected president to be the Antichrist. Remember how "Ronald Wilson Reagan" was the Antichrist, because each part of his name has 6 letters in it, which come out to 666?
Just wait. It's bound to happen. I'm hoping that Ray is the first to do it. I have everything planned for the occaision... but it will work fine on anyone else who is first to predict Obama's Satanic birthright! So let's see what happens! Just watch out for crazy posts by insane Fundy bloggers advising people to head for the hills, dig some bunkers, and stock up on canned goods and bullets.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
We all need to vote. I don't care who you vote for, either. Just do it. I can't stand the people who are not voting because "there's really no difference who wins; things will just be as they always have been..." That's no excuse not to vote. You don't vote under the delusion that the candidate you pick will magically transform the world. If you do, then you're just dumb.
For me, voting is about selecting the people whose track records and stated beliefs most closely match those of your own. It's not easy. There's never a candidate whose track record is perfect, and I always have disagreements with candidates on at least a few issues. For example, I disagree with Barack Obama's Religious views. I disagree with his Health care proposal (I am more for universal Health care that does not have a for-profit component). I also disagree with his support for NAFTA (I think we should abolish the act). When I vote, it about which candidate and which party you feel best has served the American public. It's about give and take.
Let me tell you why I voted the way I did. I actually thought about it, unlike a lot of people. I voted for Obama. Throughout the entire campaign, he shined, and he didn't resort to getting dirty and dishonest. I checked FactCheck.org every day, and also read online newspapers, and saw clearly that if there was any fault in Obama's literature, speeches, or commercials, the fault was that they were overly optimistic. Every fault in the McCain/Palin campaign was either deception, or an outright lie. McCain used fearmongering and told outright lies about Obama's platform and record, then he tried to smear him as a pal with so-called "terrorists".
Every time I checked the facts, McCain came up the loser.
Then I watched the debates. McCain performed sadly and acted like a frightened animal during the debates. His arguments were lame, and his responses to questions were nothing more than official campaign talking points. Palin's performance during her debate with Joe Biden was just plain retarded -- and we sure don't need another retard in the white house; we've had a retard there for the last 8 years, and he screwed up badly.
What's worse is the manner in which the Republican party and the McCain campaign staff acted during the entire campaign. They seem to want to appeal only to morons who can be motivated by the kind of rhetoric you hear from teenagers arguing in a grammar school playground. First, I couldn't help but see a traditional White double-standard, also called "White Privilege", at play during the last year. Then I saw familiar reports about Republican attempts at voter caging. Right wing pundits have always made me vomit, but Sean Hannity's attempt to smear Obama by using patently false and misleading information supplied by a white supremacist, probably gave me the trots, as well! But when republicans all across the board recently talked about how they represent "real Americans", it made me ooze a lot of unmentionable stuff, including disgust, outrage, and vitreol.
It's a pretty clear choice. You either go with the party of racism, McCarthyism, and Jesus, which started a completely unneccesary war and equates happiness with money, or you go with the party of diversity, liberalism, and social justice, which is in favor of living in peace with the rest of the world, helping people in need, and trying to secure a better future for all, and not just some.
In short, I'm voting for the guy who didn't have to lie his way through the election season, who I think has the better chance of fixing the idiotic mess that George W. Bush has made of the country, and the world.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The zombie of Senator Joe McCarthy crawled out of his grave, with his mouth drooling for some fresh brains to munch on. Unfortunately, he seems to have munched on the brains of leading republican thugs.
Apparently, Colin Powell and others who don't want to vote for John McCain are part of a different America, according to several Republicans (the ones who apparently had their Brains eaten by Joe McCarthy's Zombie). There are "REAL AMERICANS" (I.E. rural Republicans who love JEE-ZUS and don't have college educations), and those other (apparently not real) Americans (College educated, liberal, tolerant of diversity). Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, whose lack of a brain probably left Joe McCarthy's Zombie unsatisfied, and hungry for more brains, recently said:
"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom."
Her devisive propaganda, implies that people who don't agree with McCain and the Republican Party are all not really Americans. Yeah, this is the kind of rhetoric that we always hear from Fascists and Communists -- "Those who are not with us are against us." Apparently, if you're not from a small town, not living in poverty, and not voting Republican, you're not really pro-American. But perhaps because this is a horror movie, Palin really means that there's been an Invasion of The Body Snatchers, and the pod-people are turning "real Americans" into Democrats! It could very well be, but Zombie movies have more potential for fun, so let's stick to our theme.
On the trail of the Zombie McCarthy, we followed some chunks of brain from Sarah Palin's campaign stop to Minnesota. There, Zombie McCarthy took a large bite out of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann". Bachmann recently echoed the sentiments of McCarthy when she said:
"What I would say — what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that."
This has the classic mark of McCarthy written all over it. Yeah, we're about 50 years too late for that. We tried that back in the 50's, and we called it a Witch Hunt. You can tell that zombie McCarthy was the one that ate her brain, because the sentiment is the same -- the belief that we have enemies within America, and we need to seek them out and expose them. Having grown up in Salem, Massachusetts, I'm quite familiar with how witch hunts get conducted. When you run out of actual witches, historically, the next targets of suspicion are Communists, Jews, atheists, liberals, and so on... Ah, Witches... Another Halloween theme! But let's get back to tracing the path of Zombie McCarthy's feeding frenzy...
So from the gaping hole in Bachmann's head, we did not find any brain dripings. Apparently there just wasn't enough there to leave behind any clues. But we got a hot tip from McCain's campaign. We heard that McCain Campaign advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer was speaking on behalf of the McCain campaign, when she said:
"The Democrats have just come in from the District of Columbia. The rest of the state, the real Virginia, if you will, will be very responsive to Senator McCain's message."
The unmistakable divisive speech. Yes, another case of "Real Americans" versus "fake Americans". Clearly this is the mark of Zombie McCarthy, or another warning about the pod-people! Unfortunately, I wasn't able to confirm any zombie tooth-marks on her skull, but if she's been wearing hats in public lately, you can be sure that's the reason. The trail of Zombie McCarthy went dry after that, and I think that he may have either been re-killed, or that he isn't hungry for brains anymore. But I did notice that the rotting corpse of George Lincoln Rockwell made an appearance.
Rush Limbaugh, in a clear sign that the Zombie of George Rockwell had a taste of the fowl contents of Rush's skull, recently said, about Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama.
"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race. OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."
Remember folks, Uncle Rush says that Black people can't endorse black candidates without being called racist, themselves. Apparently, we need to check everyone whom a black person has ever endorsed or associated with to ensure a lack of racism. That is what Mr. Limbaugh is saying. Proof that George Rockwell is back? Or is Limbaugh suffering from an attack of the zombie Joseph Goebbels? There could be a sequel to this horror story, as it is traditional for horror movies to have multiple sequels, no matter how bad they are. I'll admit that my horror movie plot is lacking, but look at the characters I had to deal with here, folks...
Friday, October 10, 2008
"When I interview, when I interview -- hang on, I'm going to answer your question. When I interviewed Malik Shabazz, when I interviewed Al Sharpton, when I interviewed all these controversial figures -- you see, on Fox, we actually interview people of all points of view, whether we agree or disagree.
Yeah, Sean, whatever you say. You're the one wearing his ass for a hat, so you must be speaking the truth.
Hannity did not just interview Andy Martin on the his program. He actually presented him as a credible, legitimate journalist, and actually had an introduction where Hannity himself narrated Martin's claims, uncritically. Hannity never questioned Martin's claims, nor did he present any opposing views and ask Martin to respond to them. Hannity essentially crafted a program that literally promoted Martin's views, as legitimate investigative journalism.
Now who is Andy Martin, anyway? Here's a few facts. Andrew Martin has been a long time anti-semite who has been crusading against Jews for decades now. He's run for public office, unsuccessfully, in various states, since the 1970s. His 1996 run for the Florida State Senate came unraveled when it was revealed that he'd named his campaign committee for his 1986 congressional run "The Anthony R. Martin-Trigona Congressional Campaign to Exterminate Jew Power in America." Of course, none of this stuff gets mentioned on his website, but his actual record is recorded for posterity elsewhere.
Okay, so some of you might be thinking that this is a one-time occurence, or something. Some might be tempted to think that one little interview can't hurt. Well, there's more. Sorry.
Hannity is a long time fan and associate of Bob Grant. Hannity said, himself, in his own book:
"I'd grown up listening to Bob Grant...one of the most entertaining hosts I'd ever heard," (Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism, Reagan books, 2002)
He not only grew up admiring him, he got a job taking over his radio spot!
Grant, for those not in the know, is a long time racist, who has made plenty of contraversial comments over the years. Hannity has had the guy appear on his own show from time to time, as well. As with Martin, Hannity never questioned Grant's views on the air, or presented other people's opinions of grant in order to get a response; it's always been friendly promotion.
Hal Turner is another problem dogging Hannity's past. Turner is yet another antisemitic ultra-conservative whack-tard. Turner is an outspoken white nationalist -- yeah, the guy is a freaking Nazi retard! He developed a long term friendship with Bob Grant, and later with Hannity, and appeared on both Grant's and Hannity's radio programs a number of times. Hannity tried to deny it, but was later forced to admit it. Read the idiot's Racist Blog for yourself.
On December 6, 2006, Turner announced on his website:
We may have to ASSASSINATE some of the people you elect on Nov. 7! This could be your LAST ELECTION CHANCE, to save this Republic... Sorry to have to be so blunt, but the country is in mortal danger from our present government and our liberty is already near dead because of this government. If you are too stupid to turn things around with your vote, there are people out here like me who are willing to turn things around with guns, force and violence. We hope our method does not become necessary.
There's plenty more on Turner and his connection to Hannity, though, in The Nation. Oh, of course, because the author's last name is Blumenthal, Turner supporters can just say he's part of the Jewish-Liberal conspiracy, as they reach for their tin-foil helmets and lock their bomb shelters...
Lastly, because he's such a minor figure, but this is important because of what happened, Duane "Dog" Chapman, Fox TV's famous "Dog, the Bounty Hunter", himself a former felon, and not known for being a political or intellectual bright light by any means, had a little problem. He was caught making a few extremely racist remarks about his son's African American girlfriend, and his show was temporarily taken off the air because of complaints.
Hannity rushed to Dog's defense. On November 6, 2007, Hannity flew to Los Angeles and even cut short his radio show, in order to devote the full hour of his Hannity & Colmes to rehabilitating Dog’s image. This is not unusual. Hannity also rushed to defend the racist slurs of Mel Gibson, in a similar manner, devoting a whole show to trying to explain that he was just under stress, and abusing alcohol, so he wasn't himself. Actually, from what many people close to Gibson say, he was himself. Mel Gibson has a long history of behavior that can best be described as mental illness.
So there we have it. Not only was Hannity mentored by a racist anti-semite radio host, but several long-time friends of his, who are antisemites and racists, were given uncritical segments on his program, and Hannity himself rushed to do shows to rehab the images of famous conservative friends who had unfortunate slips of the tongue. Guilt by association? Or substantial evidence of where his loyalties lie?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Okay, I thought I'd compile a sort of FAQ file for all the people who ask the same questions about atheism all the time. I took the questions from a variety of Christians who posted their "questions for atheists" in various forums, blogs, and newsgroups.
- If you were in a hospital and knew you were going to die, would you consider asking Jesus to save you? Would you really have anything to lose?
No. I would have nothing to lose, and nothing to gain, since I know from the best scientific research that the afterlife is a myth.
- What is the point of being moral if God does not exist?
There is no point in being moral at all. There is a point in being ethical, however. Morality is not the same as ethics. Morality usually has religious overtones attached to it, where ethics are more secular and concern society and an individual's relationship with the rest of society. The point in being ethical is that everyone else in your society is watching you, and that if you behave in an ethical manner, people will trust you, and you will have friends. If you are unethical, it is more difficult for you to form relationships with people that last, because eventually, they will find out that you are not someone they can trust. essentially, it's in your best personal "selfish" interest to behave in an ethical manner, because friends are an advantage, and enemies are a risk. Essentially, your life, and indeed, your society, is a better place to live in when people are ethical.
- If there is no God, and no moral authority from him, Why not steal, kill, rape, do drugs, get rich, and have lots of sex?
Because doing so would likely anger people in society, who would then come after you for revenge, and they would hurt you, or at least imprison you and make your life less enjoyable. Also, It seems that anyone who lives that kind of life will likely not have any friends, and not be very happy...except for the having lots of sex part...
- What truth does the atheist have that Christians don’t?
All except "there is a God," I guess. See, if you believe in objective facts, objective truths, and objective reality, then the truth I have shoud be the same as yours. The only truths I do not hold are the speculative ones that are not reasonably proven. If we all agree that observing the world we live in gives most people the exact same truth -- that the sky is blue, that water is wet, that rocks are solid, that trees grow, and that getting cut hurts, the only truth that I would not have in common with you is the one about God.
- When you say, “I’m an atheist” what does that mean?
I just means that I do not beleive in gods, or any of the stories and myths associated with them. I do not believe in gods, angels, devils, magic spells, love potions, curses, ghosts, or any of tens of thousands of other things associated with the religions of the world. It certainly appears that none of those things exist, and until someone provides irrefutable proof of any of them, I'll continue to not believe in them.
- Why are you an atheist?
Because I have found nothing valid in any religions that merits belief in them.
- Why do you think a belief in deity has permeated almost every society and culture since the dawn of mankind?
Because people are superstitious, and the less educated and experienced in the world a person is, the more superstitious they tend to be. People have a strong tendency to assign mythical supernatural powers to things that they do not understand. People worshipped mountains, the sun, the moon, the Sea, bears, elephants, lions, and other things, merely because those objects seemed to have power or strength beyond human comprehension. Now that we've conquered or learned about them, they are not frightening or mysterious to us any more. I believe that all of man's gods have their origin in the minds of men.
- Have you ever, even for a moment, believed in a God(s)?
Yes. When I was young, I believed in God, and was given religious instruction. Now I am older and wiser, and I do not believe in gods.
- Why, if you are an atheist, do you spend so much time speaking about religion (especially the christian faith?)
Probably because mentioning atheistic points of view in public attracts religious fundamentalists like flies to dogshit. Also, many times in my life, I've seen religious people attempt to pass legislation that infringes on religious liberties, such as blue-laws, laws that attempt to persecute gays, force kids to say Christian prayers and receive Christian indoctrination in public schools, or laws that attempt to shove religion into science classes. I feel compelled to speak out against these things not just because they are unethical, but because they are idiotic, as well.
- Am I correct in my assumption that Atheists believe that there is nothing other than the physical measurable realm?
Well, no. That is materialism. Atheists can be materialists, but not all materialists are neccesarily atheists. I happen to be a materialist, however. I believe that everything in the universe is a property of matter or energy, or directly relates to them.
- If materialism is correct, how does an Atheist prove thinking? I mean, you can’t see it or touch it or measure it, so how do you know it exists?
The only thinking we can examine is our own. However, consider the following facts:
- Thinking is something that a brain does.
- Brains are made of matter.
- Brains need to be alive, have a blood supply, and nutrients, in order to think.
- Thinking is a neurochemical process described by neurophysiology as communication between groups of neurons in the brain.
- Neurons, and the chemicals that they use to communicate with, are all made of matter.
- Neurophysiologists have mapped out most of the brain's specific parts which perform certain tasks in responding to stimuli and making logical decisions. All of these parts are physical.
- Therefore, thought requires matter in order to exist.
If you think I'm wrong, find one scientifically verified instance of thought existing without a brain to think it.
- Thinking is something that a brain does.
- Do atheists believe that all of life, mankind, animals, trees, etc, are purely accidents with no purpose to their existence?
No. The idea that evolution is an accidental process is a completely wrong and bogus interpretation of the facts. Evolution is not random, but it is not guided by a mysterious being's invisible hand, either. Nothing in nature happens at random, or by accident. Everything is the result of cause and effect. This is the basic principle behind science. For someone to claim that evolution is random is to ignore one of the basic tenets of Science.
- How would you define “atheism”?
Lack of belief in gods and/or the supernatural.
- How would you describe “Intelligent Design”, using only one word?
Bullshit. Well, you did only ask for one word...
- What scientific endeavour really excites you?
Space Exploration, Aerospace, Information Technology, Archaeology, subatomic particle research.
- If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why??
Have there be more atheists where I live, and have us be as organized as various political groups are.
- If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?
I'd ask them how they came to their decision.
- What’s your favorite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?
I don't know if I have a favorite or not. There are "the most frequent", and for me, the most frequent is "how do you explain how everything in the universe got here?" I of course point out that saying "God Did it" is not an explanation, and is really just a cop-out answer. Then, I go on to point out what the world's physicists and cosmologists have said on the subject, and that essentially we still don't have enough information to anything about the origins of the universe with certainty. What we are certain about is the Big Bang, that matter and energy are interchangable, and that matter cannot move faster than light.
- What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?
Well, it's not one that is uniquely mine, but I generally agree with Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens that Religions tend to cause more harm for mankind than good, and that they do so by fostering and promoting ancient superstitions, prejudices, anti-science, anti-intellectualism, and dogmatism. I also beleive that the US government should end tax examptions for religious organizations unless they can actually prove that they perform some sort of community service that helps people. I believe that churches should pay taxes on their property.
- Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?
I like Dawkins because he performs well in discussions, and I thought he made an excellent host of the programs he's done for the BBC and ITV, such as this, that, and this.
- If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who would it be?
I would think that any of the extremely high-profile evangelical ministers, with megachurch and telecommunication empires, such as Pat Robertson, Billy or Frank Graham, Paul Crouch, or Don Wildmon. These high-profile people have a lot of influence, and if convinced that they were wrong, it would likely be sensationalistic, and they'd write books and do TV interviews detailing unpleasant things about their religious organization's past, and dirty secrets about their former colleagues in the evangelical megachurch/multimedia empire community. This would sour a lot of evangelicals and make them seek new churches or at least question their faith. Questioning one's own faith is simply introspection -- and introspection is good.
Well, that's all the questions I found today. The following links are where I got most of them. I eliminated duplicate questions from the lists on these pages when compiling, and re-worded some of the questions into better English.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Now, if people wanted a REAL juicy story about shady conenctions to a terrorist, why not go after John McCain's self-described "Old Friend", G. Gordon Liddy? Remember him? People's memories are a bit foggy, so let me give you some simple facts about Liddy, in my usual heavily-hyper-linked research.
- Liddy served four and a half years in prison in connection with his conviction for his role in the Watergate break-in and the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers.
- Liddy has acknowledged preparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in "if necessary".
- At CRP (The Committee to Re-Elect the President, appropriately nicknamed "CReeP"), Liddy concocted several plots, some far-fetched, intended to embarrass the Democratic opposition. These included firebombing the Brookings Institution in Washingon, D.C., where classified documents leaked by Daniel Ellsberg were being stored.
- He plotted to murder journalist Jack Anderson.
- He plotted with a "gangland figure" to murder E. Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators.
- He plotted to kidnap anti-Vietnam war protestors at the 1972 Republican National Convention -- a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis.
- During the 1990s, Liddy reportedly instructed his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents and also reportedly said he had named his shooting targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton.
- Liddy has donated $5,000 to McCain's campaigns since 1998, including $1,000 in February 2008.
- In addition, McCain has appeared on Liddy's radio show during the presidential campaign, including as recently as May.
- An online video labeled "John McCain On The G. Gordon Liddy Show 11/8/07" includes a discussion between Liddy and McCain, whom Liddy described as an "old friend."
- During the segment, McCain praised Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great," said he was "proud" of Liddy, and said that "it's always a pleasure for me to come on your program."
- Additionally, in 1998, Liddy reportedly held a fundraiser at his home for McCain. Liddy was reportedly scheduled to speak at another fundraiser for McCain in 2000.
- The Charlotte Observer reported on January 23, 2000, that McCain's campaign vouched for Liddy's "character":
His [McCain's] campaign officials said Liddy's character will appeal to many voters because he was following orders from President Nixon and kept silent afterward.
"His (Liddy's) judgment might be in question, but I don't think his character is," said Ed Walker, the York County chairman of McCain's campaign. "He was following orders just like any good soldier, and he didn't tell on anybody. He felt like he was on a mission and kept his silence."
I think that McCain's connection to a creep like Liddy should be far more of a concern for Americans than a pretty much non-existant connection to a former terrorist. Remember, Liddy was plotting terrorist actions as a part of secret government responses to critics and a blatant attempt by Richard Nixon to supress voters and steal the election. This is a guy we're asked to be proud of, and to honor as a good soldier who did his job. Sorry -- McCain is a soldier who did his job. Liddy was just a hired thug working to help a president break laws and undermine the constitution.
Here is a text version of what the usual claims are:
In the end times, there will be...
(1) people Claiming to be spiritual leaders
(2) Persecution of Christians
(3) Wars and Unrest
(5) Rise in Law-breaking
(8) lack of sincere Love
(9) Sun and Moon darkened
(10) Stars falling
(11) Gospel preached around the world
(12) Jesus returns...
So I have some questione for all the Evangelicals out there who trully believe that the current time is the end times. These are all easy questions, but I'm willing to bet that nobody can answer them. Here goes:
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when people haven't claimed to be great spiritual leaders?
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there was no perceived persecution of Christians.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were no Wars and Unrest.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were no Earthquakes.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were no people perceiving a rise in Law-breaking.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were no Famines.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were no Diseases.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when people were not perceiving a lack of sincere Love on the part of other people.
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when the Sun and Moon were darkened (I'm assuming this is about eclipses, which happen nearly every year).
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were no Stars falling (Meteorites, novae, comets, etc)
- Can you name one single year or decade in the last 2000 years when there were the Gospel was not preached around the world.
- Finally, is there one single year or decade in the last 2000 years, when any one of the above 11 conditions was not happening?
I can prove to all of you, by simple historical facts that anyone can look up on the web, that all of the above questions must be answered with "No." in order for you to be honest and consistant with history. Anyone who claims any answer other than "no" is cordially invited to prove me wrong. If anyone can prove me wrong, I will post a mesage to that effect, proclaiming that I was wrong, and acknowledging that you beat me.
The only rule will be that you can't win by listing a year for which not much was written about. In other words, if you pick a year, and there literally is almost no history written about that year, it doesn't count. You will need to establish your claim as a searchable historical fact, such as on Wikipedia or another reliable source, and you must post the link.
Friday, October 3, 2008
The only thing that had me laughing was her yokel way of speaking, like I was watching Margie Gunderson from the Cohen Brothers movie, Fargo. All the "Yah. You Betcha" and "gosh darn" was so quaint that it made her appear to completely lack any sense of modernity. She was like June Cleaver on prosac, only without brains (June Cleaver was actually a well-educated, smart character).
What I was disappointed about was on so many levels that I can't pick just one. I mean, I wanted to see her either have a mental meltdown and look like a dumbass, or I wanted to see her suddenly, and uncharacteristicly actually be sharp and incisive, but what we got was less than either extreme. I could feel Biden's frustration as she just kept saying what sounded like the same 3 or 4 paragraphs over and over again, never actually answering any questions, as though she was oblivious to what was being asked. I kept wanting him to jump out of his character and say "Are you going to answer any of these questions, or what? I kept wanting to see him pulling his hair out, like I was about to do, every time I heard her piercing voice saying "Maverick... Maverick... Maverick".
After the debate was hilarious. Right wing bloggers, media pundits, and others, proclaimed that "she held her own", and actually said that her debating skills were great, "because she successfully avoided answering the questions she didn't want to answer." Since when is not answering the questions you're asked in a debate a sign of strength?! Pat Buchanan, sexist as ever, on Keith Oberman's show, commented that she won because of her good looks and smile. Yeah, that's pretty much what he said. It's hard to believe that American political debates have become so vapid, provincial, and just plain dumb. It was embarrasing watcing a debate between a college educated long-time US Senator, who is respected by many world leaders whom he has met, and a college drop-out who has been hastily groomed and propped up like a new Barbie doll, completely unprepared, completely outclassed, and completely incompetent. Who would even consider pairing such an uneven match? Oh, yeah... I just remembered. Most viewers are dumber than Palin, and wouldn't know that she evaded any questions if they had it pointed out to them. Oh, well... I doubt that Palin has helped McCain's campaign at all. He will lose. Perhaps he wants to lose, because he can't bear the pressure from his party anymore, and he's just sick of it all. Perhaps he chose Palin because he knew she'd prevent him from winning. Let's wait and see!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
- They preach the end of the world is nigh.
- They tell you that just thinking about sin is just as bad as committing it.
- They preach that creationism is science while evolution isn't
- They preach that women shouldn't have leadership positions over men.
- They tell you to home school your kids
- They tell you that you may need to move to a safer town, usually in another state, to avoid the next war.
- They tell you who you should vote for.
- They speak in tongues.
- They handle poisonous snakes, drink poison, etc.
- Your Pastor proclaims that he's the second coming of Christ.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
One way Black voters were prevented from voting was the POll Tax, which denied votes to people who payed no income tax (as many black people had no income). The most famous way black voters were kept from voting in some parts of the south, were laws mandating that all voters must pass a reading test prior to voting. White voters would rarely, in fact, almost never, be challenged at the polls to take these tests. Only black people were given them. The Black voters would arrive and be given a book to read a passage from. The book would be written in a foreign language like Greek or Classical Latin, and of course, inevitably, the black voter could not read it, so they would not be allowed to vote.
Nowadays, however, more modern, computerized ways of voter supression are being used, and almost exclusively by the Republican party. The practice is called Voter Caging, and is traced to the telemarketer term used to describe how mass marketing firms send out junk mail to addresses on their databases, and erase the entries of people whose mail comes back as "undeliverable".
This is exactly what happened in the 2004 election. But the story is a little more complicated than that. Republicans have been challenging black people's votes, and districts which vote mostly democrat, all throughout the 20th century. They in fact, are the only political party that regularly makes accusations of voting fraud, and which seeks court orders challenging whole districts and individuals.
According to BBC reporter Greg Palast, best-selling journalist, and accused terrorist, the GOP has offices all over the country which work in advance of elections to challenge votes in every state.
According to Slate magazine:
The Bush-Cheney operatives sent hundreds of thousands of letters marked "Do not forward" to voters' homes. Letters returned ("caged") were used as evidence to block these voters' right to cast a ballot on grounds they were registered at phony addresses. Who were the evil fakers? Homeless men, students on vacation and—you got to love this—American soldiers. Oh yeah: most of them are Black voters.
Why weren't these African-American voters home when the Republican letters arrived? The homeless men were on park benches, the students were on vacation—and the soldiers were overseas.
In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'
Back in 2004, many of the Republican's challenges were routinely denied action by the courts, which had come to see the annual voter challenges for what they were.
New targets for the Republicans now include people whose homes were foreclosed on during the recent mortgage crisis. Apparently, if you've lost your house, you stand a good chance of losing your vote, as well.
The whole process by which the Republicans perform this voter supression, is outlined in this report, which explains the whole chain of discoveries that led reporters to figure this all out.
But perhaps the biggest eye-opener in this is the fact that many of the Judges that the Bush administration fired amid great contraversy, were judges who declined to investigate Republican challenges to votes during the 2004 elections. Apparently the republicans are punishing them for not helping them prevent more people from voting against them.
Friday, September 19, 2008
This is Your Nation on White Privilege
by Tim Wise
For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it,perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while if you're black and believe in reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school, requires it), you are a dangerous and mushy liberal who isn't fit to safeguard American institutions.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto is “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do -- like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college and the fact that she lives close to Russia -- you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because suddenly your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
White privilege is when you can take nearly twenty-four hours to get to a hospital after beginning to leak amniotic fluid, and still be viewed as a great mom whose commitment to her children is unquestionable, and whose "next door neighbor" qualities make her ready to be VP, while if you're a black candidate for president and you let your children be interviewed for a few seconds on TV, you're irresponsibly exploiting them.
White privilege is being able to give a 36 minute speech in which you talk about lipstick and make fun of your opponent, while laying out no substantive policy positions on any issue at all, and still manage to be considered a legitimate candidate, while a black person who gives an hour speech the week before, in which he lays out specific policy proposals on several issues, is still criticized for being too vague about what he would do if elected.
White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.
White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.
White privilege is being able to go to a prestigious prep school, then to Yale and then Harvard Business school, and yet, still be seen as just an average guy (George W. Bush) while being black, going to a prestigious prep school, then Occidental College, then Columbia, and then to Harvard Law, makes you "uppity," and a snob who probably looks down on regular folks.
White privilege is being able to graduate near the bottom of your college class (McCain), or graduate with a C average from Yale (W.) and that's OK, and you're cut out to be president, but if you're black and you graduate near the top of your class from Harvard Law, you can't be trusted to make good decisions in office.
White privilege is being able to dump your first wife after she's disfigured in a car crash so you can take up with a multi-millionaire beauty queen (who you go on to call the c-word in public) and still be thought of as a man of strong family values, while if you're black and married for nearly twenty years to the same woman, your family is viewed as un-American and your gestures of affection for each other are called "terrorist fist bumps."
White privilege is when you can develop a pain-killer addiction, having obtained your drug of choice illegally like Cindy McCain, go on to beat that addiction, and everyone praises you for being so strong, while being a black guy who smoked pot a few times in college and never became an addict means people will wonder if perhaps you still get high, and even ask whether or not you ever sold drugs.
White privilege is being able to sing a song about bombing Iran and still be viewed as a sober and rational statesman, with the maturity to be president, while being black and suggesting that the U.S. should speak with other nations, even when we have disagreements with them, makes you "dangerously naive and immature."
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism and an absent father is apparently among the "lesser adversities" faced by other politicians, as Sarah Palin explained in her convention speech.
And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because a lot of white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.
White privilege is, in short, the problem.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
When asked her opinion of the recent government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Palin ignorantly stated that the two had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers,” which shows a basic ignorance of what were not government programs, but private corporations!
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are privately owned banks that were no burden at all to taxpayers. As the federal government takes them over, they will now become our burden. This basic ignorance of these two well-known institutions, and Palin's ignorant comments about them should concern anyone who votes for McCain. Do we want someone in the white house who is so ignorant that they don't even know the basic facts of a currently in-the-news organization?
Of course, what happened to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is not unlike what happened in the Savings and Loan crisis in the late 1980s. Guess who was receiving bribe money from Charles Keating during that scandal, and publicly rebuked by the senate back then? You guessed it -- John McCain! Can we really trust this guy, who helped bring about one of the costliest financial scandals in US history, and who willingly accepted bribe money and attempted to obstruct justice? Because of people like McCain accepting bribes to lobby on behalf of financial criminals, US taxpayers had to shell out 160 billion dollars. Neil Bush, son of former president George H. Bush, alone, cost taxpayers 1.6 billion dollars!
In the Savings and loan Scandal, McCain was cleared of impropriety, but publicly condemned for exercising poor judgement. What does this speak of his character, even now? He makes poor judgements, apparently, and his running mate is clueless. What a great combination!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
But first, let's go back a few months and see what happened in the press when someone commented about Barack Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. As you will remember, Wright made a few statements that can be considered highly charged and inflamatory rhetoric. Wright said things that a lot of people think, and which he presented as opinions, as opposed to what God was telling him to say. In fact, he pretty much never claimed to be God's mouthpiece when making these statements. For example:
"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people... God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
In it's context, there really isn't anything insane about this rhetoric. He's merely stating a political opinion, and using facts and opinions. This is not something that we can really point out as evidence of insanity on Wright's part, or Obama's part, for attending his church. The plight of Americans of african heritage is pretty well documented and lived by millions of people. Wright, and many other Americans of African ancestry are pretty well justified in their anger, and are entitled to these opinions.
As we remember, the media took this story and essentially condemned Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright, to the extent that Obama had to publicly denounce him. Well, let's hope the media is fair to Obama, and takes an honest look at Sarah Palin, because old video of her at her church reveals something that should be considered far more contraversial, and perhaps reveals that her beliefs are quite insane. The videos come from the official Wasilla Assembly Of God Church website, and when they showed up on You Tube, the church took them down. A direct link to their online video library is here.
You can watch some of the video of Palin addressing her church over at the Huffington Post. I mean, she literally tells these people that getting an oil pipeline built is God's will, and that the Alaskan government can only do good when the people are "right with God". Okay, maybe that's not too contraversial. Lots of reasonable people in America talk that way. Hold on, there's more.
Her church holds weekly prophecy sessions, and in this video, Palin learns that we're living in the final days, before the end times, and that the Iraq war is God's will. Scary stuff. Lots of fundamentalist nut-jobs believe this stuff. Do we really want to have this person one heartbeat away from the presidency? I mean, we just spent 8 years having George W. Bush, who believes many of the same idiotic things, ruin this nation's economy, world alliances, and cheapen the constitution.
Oh, so you don't think that's so bad? OKay, watch this video of Palin's church, as these people act like lunatics running amock in an insane asylum.
Think Palin has normal beliefs now? Think this church, which she is still a proud member of, is a normal church, full of normal average folks? Want to see a future vice president or potentially a president roll around on the floor, mumbling gibberish, and foaming at the mouth? Better yet -- think foreign diplomats would be amused by it if she did it for them while they were visiting her in the White House?
Let's get real, folks. Palin is a fundamentalist whack-tard, as are all people whose churches teach this end-days prophecy shit, and who do the Jesus-boogie on the floor while speaking in tongues. It is insane behavior, period. No sane individuals do this kind of stuff, or believe that kind of prophecy crap. The press needs to air these videos, to be fair to Obama, because of the lynching he got for what Rev. Wright said. Rev. Wright may have pissed off some white people when he made his remarks, but at least he didn't jiggle around on the floor like someone getting holy shock-treatments from the lord. Be fair. Show Palin's church to the world so everyone can be fully informed about McCain's Vice Presidential pick.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Ray comfort drooled:
It’s interesting to note that one definition of religion is:
"A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion."
He just stops right there with the definition. You will note that this is only one of the many definitions of religion. Here is the rest of the dictionary entry for "religion":
- 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
- 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
- 3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
- 4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
- 5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
- 6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.
- 7. religions, Archaic. religious rites.
- 8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow.
This is very typical of religious people who insist that anything that they are opposed to is just another religion, as though everyone's religious views are equally valid when it's just one religion against another.
Of course, it also completely ignores what people usually understand when they read or speak the word "religion" in conversation. Most people in real life associate "religion" with robes, silly hats, candles, prayers, ceremony, clergy-collars, churches, holy books, priests, nuns, and clergy.
That rightly describes the ardent atheist cause. Despite protests to the contrary by its faithful adherents, atheism is a form of religion.
Despite being educated in an English speaking country, Ray continues to have trouble thinking his thoughs over and proofreading.
"A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion." does not describe "the ardent atheist cause" at all. It doesn't even tell us anything about atheism. Ray's selective word definition can describe anything from being a sports fan, a Ford automobile enthusiast, a political activist, a collector, Soccer-moms, musicians or music fans, and a whole spectrum of different activities that people "pursue with zeal or conscientious devotion."
Being possibly one of the dumbest people in the English Speaking world, Ray, like all the idiots who echoe his statement (he's not the first person to make this argument by far) doesn't realize that not only is he pretty much calling any activity that is pursued with zeal and devotion, a religion, he's completely devaluing the concept of "religion" by equating himself and what he does with those guys who paint their faces blue and shout slogans in the stands at football games (which you have to admit is kind of close to what I equate religious people with).
Though their numbers are small—-only 2 percent of the world’s 6.5 billion inhabitants—atheists are an ever-growing group of people with a "belief" system. Although many flinch at the thought that they have faith in anything, they believe that there’s no God, and even have "works" to confirm it.
Atheism is apparently a "belief system". Of course, whenever hard pressed to list the basic tennants of this belief system, most religious people will either pooh-pooh it and make a joke answer up, or they will try to conflate "atheism" with liberalism, evolution, communism, abortion, homosexuality, and other topics.
Their lifestyle is fruit of their belief system.
This implies that there is automatically something unpleasant or negative about the lifestyle of the average atheist. Of course, no details are ever given about what, in the lifestyle of an atheist, is not acceptable or pleasant. This is because like most of the brain damaged preachers out there who crusade against their "enemy of the week", Ray has no idea what the "atheist lifestyle" is, because he's never asked. In fact, if he did ask, he wouldn't find much commonality between atheists in their lifestyles that differs from that of the average Christian, beyond not going to church and not believing in gods. Atheists have lifestyles that are representative of a cross-section of society. There are certainly a lot fewer atheists in our prisons, which I can't interpret as saying anything bad about our lifestyle.