Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Astrology and Tarot Card Con-artistry

So earlier today I was on Facebook (yeah still using it) and I notice a friend of mine (Joel) in a debate, of sorts, with a friend of his (I will call her Jen) who subsequently de-friended him over the argument. Jen had made a post, which I wish I had screen captured, about how she was wanting to offer a friend referral discounted of 50% to do Astrology and Numerology reading for them. Now, I usually don't get involved in these sorts of "threads" that show up in my feed, as I did not know her except through his Facebook link. You know the one that is in the upper right that says Joel has posted a comment...

Anyway it peaked my interest as his comment was stating something along the lines of:
"You realize the astrology/numerology has 0 lines of evidence for actually working. "
Again, I am paraphrasing as the post has been hidden and Joel was de-friended so I lost access. Anyway, something I haven't mentioned AT ALL, to anyone - as I am sort of embarrassed by it, is that I used to be a reader. That is to say, I used to ascribe to Astrology readings and charts as well as Tarot readings. Yeah, that's right, I was one of those guys. Now, I never charged money, though people were ready and willing to pay, I always felt it was not right to charge for these things; however, I knew many others that would charge for the readings.

So back to this debate: I see her attack Joel telling him to leave her post as it was meant for friends, yet here I see it and I am not her friend; therefore, she posted it openly to drum up business, a logical conclusion. So I had to post being as at one time I used to be a reader. I stated that:
As someone who used to do readings, I know for a fact these things are fake. That people will take from these reading things that only support what they believe in and support their ideas, and in many cases, they will blatantly reinterpret the readings to fit the results they want.

First and foremost, I know from the numerous readings I did throughout those years that they are vague, and I mean seriously vague. You can lay out a card and read it multiple ways and while you are interpreting it you get out of it what ever you want to. The person reading, will tell you that the meaning of the card is dependent on the surrounding cards and the nature of the question asked, or the reason for the reading in the first place. But truthfully, it is dependent on the reader and the person being read, ESPECIALLY if there is money involved.

There was this one reading I did for a friend of mine. She was seriously upset about a boyfriend, and how he was treating her. As I read the cards for her, she kept seeing positive results EVEN when the cards were in negative positions. I would read them as interpreted but she would say, "...maybe it is in reference to this situation or that situation." But ultimately she personally interpreted the reading in a positive direction and felt that things were going to be fine. Two months later they broke up and it was a BAD breakup. He assaulted her, went to jail, and she went into hiding for a little while. Then on top of that she blamed ME for her staying in the relationship. That was also the last reading I ever did...

I use to watch friends as they did readings for money and learned how they interpreted the cards. Understand, that as your reading the cards you're watching the person and how they are reacting to what your "interpreting" from the cards. The more favorable the reaction, the better they felt about the reading in general, the more likely they would pay for it. I also watched how they would twist and changed by "guiding" the subject into the interpretation, they would ask feeler questions.

See, when you're doing a reading your are NOT supposed to know the question as a reader, but ultimately the subject gives away the answer while doing the reading. The reader pulls it out of them through two things, interpretation, and feeler questions.

First, interpretation:
While reading the cards, they know you don't know the question, so you as the reader are having to try to "work for the interpretation" meaning, you lay out a card, and say:
"In this spot, this card represents your past influence, in respect to the question. "
What happens then is you have to "read" your subject to see if the card you are "interpreting" is applicable and fits. When you initially mention what the different meanings of the card are- in its orientation - the subject gives facial cues and ticks that lets you know you are or are not on the right path. As you read each card you get a sense of where it is heading. Once you get a good feel for that you go to the second part, "feeler questions".

Second, the feeler questions:
Feeler questions are sometimes subtle, sometimes blatant, but always used. Let's go back to the example I had about the card as a past influence: After you lay the card out and you have a sense of where it is going, you then imply it as a statement, for example:
"This card represents past influence TO THE QUESTION"
This sets the stage. You have already tied it to the question, to the past, now you use what the card can represent. Remember I said these things are vague? Well, this is how it works for the reader: Lets say you lay down a card that represents "struggle", and in that you can place statements and questions like this,
This card CAN represent struggle
(Subject perks up)
The seriousness based on the other cards is high. Like a big fight you had recently? (watch for reaction)
(Subject nods. eyes widen, hand moves to chest)
OK, you have just established that they had a recent altercation and it was personal. How big or influential it was depends on other body cues, for example: how big or small the person opens their eyes, if they hold their breath, the hand moves to their chest, a small vocal noise is made, etc. All of these reactions and more are cues that tell the "reader" the path they are on.

It is all based on conning your subject into giving you the answers you need to give them the reading they want. Plain and simple. It works JUST the same for bad news too - you give them bad news but you read from them and their reactions, the level of news they will accept.

This is accepted buy the subject as I mentioned before because it reinforces their beliefs and ideas. This very same reinforcement and reinterpretation happens in religion and in 'spirituality' circles. If you know where and what to look for you can see it in every "true believer".

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, This is YOUR Revolution

Right now in New York City, in a little park on Wall Street there are hundreds, and sometimes peaking at thousands of people protesting. What are they protesting?

Well according to some news sources, and people talking in general, lots of different things. One person I was speaking to this last weekend they are "calling for an end to capitalism" and true that SOME protestors are carrying signs saying this, BUT it is not the goal of the protest itself. They have a purpose which you can see video of Keith Olbermann reading here. They have a list of demands that can bee seen here.

So why Occupy Wall Street? Basically this is about Corporations and the control they have over us the citizens. To stop corporate influence on government and by extension on us.  To put the control BACK into the hands of the people. But this is NOT just occurring on wall street, its just where is started, right so the media has mentioned Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and a few other large cities, but it is happening everywhere. In My State Missouri, it is happening in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Joplin, and Springfield. To get a better Idea look at this map.

Looking at it you see a lot of cities nation wide, but it is not JUST an American movement, as you can also see this is an international movement, there are cities in Europe, Asia, and Australia, One or to locations have been reported in Africa as well, but unconfirmed at this point.

To get involved I will tell you it is a bit confusing at first, it is a leaderless movement, which means you voice matter, your voice counts, get involved. Go Look at that map, find a city near you and help out, look for them on Facebook, join the sight and offer help, or just see what is needed and help donate. But this is not just some fly by night occurrence, this is a movement that will just keep growing until we get our country back.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Today is Blaspheme Day, Hell everyday is Blaspheme Day for Me

Today, September 30th 2011 marks the 6th anniversary of the publishing of cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. As a reaction to these cartoons, riots broke out among Muslims who considered those cartoons to be “Blasphemous.”

Then,  in 2009, the Center For Inquiry introduced Blasphemy Day to support the rights of people to criticize and satirize all ideas and beliefs. Religious ideas and beliefs should not be above criticism or beyond satire. Blaspheme is an act punishable by death in several nations. In America, blasphemy laws remain on the books in six states, though supposedly largely arcane and not really enforced, try to tell that to atheists that have run for office.

Well I agree with JT Eberhard, on his post this morning:
"Today is Blasphemy Day? Yes. So was yesterday and the day before. Tomorrow will be Blasphemy Day as well. Every day we should be dismissive of silly ideas no matter how deeply people cherish them. (...)"

Goddamn right, everyday should be blasphemy day. Everyday we need to challenge the "norms " that a christian society has imposed on us. We should go out there and question the logic of a ethereal being's existence and control over a natural world. We need to shake people up and make them think. There is no god. And people should be able to say so without losing their jobs, homes, families, safety, and lives.

I remember as a devout little catholic I was so terrified of god's wrath that when I heard people say goddamn, I was literally sure they would be struck down. I pictured lighting and thunder and "BAM - BOOM - POW" dude got nailed into a jiggly pile of goo. Imagine my surprise when I started questioning my faith the first time I decide to Blaspheme I stood in my backyard, and screamed GOD DAMN to the world and nothing happened. It was much like Jenna Malone's character in Saved! when she stood before the Cross at a church and with a fear in her eyes said it to the crucifix. It made me think a little harder about the furious wrathful god, and all the evil shit he did to people for being ungodly.

No everyday we should be out there deny the holy spirit (the unforgivable sin) and blaspheming in full view of those around us. Make even more people question their faiths, bring to light the illogical claims their dogma makes and engage them (confront them) when asked how we can so blatantly disregard god. Because simply put no god or gods exist and we need to stop putting so much effort to irrational beliefs and concentrate on thing that exist here and now. Things that ARE affecting our daily lives like global warming and wall street.

Please take the time today to remember that the draw Mohammad movement, moved us to where we have this day, thats great. But also remember, that we need to blaspheme everyday to wake those dogmatic zombies up from irrationality and bring them to the light (as it were).

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Right Wing is Just Incredibly Sickening to Me

During the September 7th Republican debate, the right wing crowd cheered Perry for Prisoner executions in Texas, which you can see here, youtube. Cheering for the death of others, seriously? But that's not all.

During the September 12th Republican debate, the right wing crowd cheered and yelled 'YEAH!' when Wolf Blitzer, while asking Ron Paul a question about healthcare states, 'So are you saying we should let him die?', which can be seen here, youtube. So cheer for the deaths of others, not once, but twice? This is deplorable, and inhumane. I mean the most absolutely dispicable sort of reaction in both cases. But wait that's still not all.

During the September 22nd Republican debate, some right wing crowd members Booed a Gay soldiers question that if any of the candidates would change or reverse to progress made for BGLT. Which can be seen here, youtube again (don't you just love youtube?). Booed? WTF??? The same people that scream we MUST support our troops. The same people that we profess we are to put these men and women on pedestals. These people jeered the question of a gay service member? The double standard hypocrisy of the right wing knows no bounds.

NONE of the candidates on stage commented or chastised any of these actions from on stage... NOT ONE!!! Save for the next day, when it was nice and safe, from their offices, statements were released. Like in the case of the latest incident with the booing of the serviceman, some of them released statements condemning the action. Rick Santorum claimed he didn't hear the boo's, however, he apparently has a hearing problem. Former New Mexico governor Garry Johnson, who said he heard the boos from the stage and condemned their intolerance, though again not from the stage. Also, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who thought the first response to a soldier in uniform should be to thank him or her for their service. Just watch the video yourself the boo's are as plain and loud as Rick Santorum himself when he starts to speak.

These are not fringe of society nut bags, hiding in the woods stocking up weapons. These are out in the open, right next door, or next to you on the bus, nutbags. These asses live in society with us and make their Idiocy know far and wide. These people with their uneducated stances and ill informed views, are not only open about it, but they think they are right! These same people are professed Christians by a LARGE margin and yet ignore the teachings of their own believed messiah of love thy neighbor (Mathew 19:19) and even love your enemies, do good to those who hate you (Luke 6:27).

These people Believe in a magic sky being, who is watching and judging them, for their actions. This is what is supposed to be "keeping them moral" and yet here they are being immoral and DENYING Christ by ignoring his teachings. These people who time and time again claim the moral high ground especially over atheists, also turn and show their true colors, in just how immoral they can be, time and time again. yet another HUGE example of the failure of religion. The point where the score keeper is supposed to keep everyone honest totally FAILS!!!

This is the true legacy of religion the failure to be a true means of social control, as it has been shown throughout history, the Dark ages, the Crusades,the Inquisition, the 'Manifest destiny' of American settlement, boarding schools, the Holocaust. These examples and many many more that can be cited for the failure of religion in society are are one of the biggest indicators of the lack of an actual existing god. For if there were a benevolent, all seeing, all powerful being, he would have, a long time ago, spoken to all and said:

The entire religious right culture, It's just incredibly sickening to me....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stop with the "it's just a theory bullshit"

Darwin never proposed Evolution, he proposed survival of the fittest or natural selection... Huge difference, so try to keep it straight... but If your not going to read the facts about it you'll never keep it straight.... Also before you claim you have, I know most of you haven't otherwise you would have know he never proposed evolution and thus would not keep referring to him as the one who did... Oh and his (Darwin's) "THEORIES" have already been proven, Natural Selection happens, we have seen it all around us and witnessed it occurring....

Also if most of you had read and were even rudimentary versed in science, you would know the difference between hypothesis and theory but you don't. Because you people sling around "theory" like its some 4 letter word when in fact a theory has already been proven, which it why it is called a theory...

Part of the problem today come from the generalization use of the word theory in the English language in common conversation. For example when one individual looks at another individual and says something like:
"I have a theory why this object might not be working... "
it in fact, is a hypothesis, as it is unproven until said individual tests it.. But in modern Language theory has come to mean something completely different from what it actually means.

A nice explanation of Theory Vs Law, which is of course your next argument is as follows.
The origin of this confusion has it's roots in the history of the development of science. When we speak of early, classical physics, we talk about laws, Newton's laws of motion for instance, the ideas have the weight of veracity. After all, the word "law" has a serious and strictly defined meaning in our culture. Back when Newton declared his laws, he believed them to be absolute descriptions of how the universe worked. At the time, they were irrefutable. We now know that his laws are in fact approximations, rules that work when describing motion on the macroscopic scale but which break at the quantum scale.

Since that time, science has gotten warier about describing anything as being absolute. Science, and physics in particular, is a tool to root out the true nature of reality. It can describe only what it observes which may or may not be true in every case. In order to say if something is absolutely true, every single possible case of a particular phenomena must be observed. In a universe as vast as ours, that's completely impractical. Science can say if something is probably true all the time if observations of a phenomena are the same in many cases. This tiny bit of waffling bothers many people who are not familiar with the inner workings of science. Shouldn't something be always true if it is true at all? Science just can't commit all the way to absolute - otherwise it wouldn't be science, it would be faith.

So science has tossed the use of "law" in favor of "theory". This "theory" does not mean "hypothesis" which is a speculation. In this case, think of music theory - definitely not a hypothesis, but a working set of rules that define a body of knowledge.

The line between theory and hypothesis can become blurry when it comes to very active and new areas of science. For instance, M-theory, an extension of string theory, is a body of knowledge that attempts to define how everything in the universe works, explaining quantum phenomena along with cosmological and everything in between. Unfortunately, M-theory is largely unproven. It makes a lot of sense (as far as descriptions of the quantum world make sense), but hasn't really been tested yet. M-theory can be more precisely be described as a hypothetical theory.

Read more:
"Theory vs. Hypothesis vs. Law: Unraveling the Confusion of Important Terminology"

Problem is though Most of you will never get it straight because you take and recycle the arguments of those before you believing the horse crap they spout and re-spout it yourself...

The Theory of Gravity
The Theory of the Principal of Super-Position
The Theory of Special Relativity
The Theory of Atomic Structure
The Theory of Nuclear Fusion

All of those are known just like:
The Theory of Evolution

That's why it isn't called
The Hypothesis of Evolution

Monday, September 19, 2011

Why are atheists suddenly attacking religion (christians)

I have seen this reference in many poll, poll responses, and blogs spots... Thing is yeah it is fairly new but there is a reason why Atheists are suddenly so vocal, and just because we are becoming more vocal it is NOT necessarily an attack...

For many centuries it was a punishable offense to be an atheist in the world, In fact it still causes prejudice, in many cases people are ostracized for being openly atheist... People have been fired from jobs, kicked out of organization refused admittance to job and organizations for having the atheist stance... And example 15% of the US is now estimated to be atheist, how come there is only ONE atheist in government open about it? because simply put the is no way in hell an open atheist would get elected in this country... that one atheist came out after he had been elected to office...

Recently well known people (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, etc.) have stood up and said we are tired of it and fighting back against this continued oppression (YES Oppression). the atheists of the world have been and are still oppressed in many areas. In some communities around the world you are still open to be KILLED because of an atheist stance...

The reason it appears "the 'in' thing to do" is because millions of atheists who, until recently, have been afraid to speak openly, are now coming out, like the previously mentioned people, because of this oppression are saying "NO, we arent taking it any longer"... They are arguing back for once strongly and openly... they are feeling empowered and able to do so without fear of overt retribution...

As for the whole "attacking christianity all of a sudden", that is not the case. We are vocal against all religion, even peace loving Buddhist, As religion leads to illogical conclusions, conformity to authoritarian rule, and well closed mindedness in general. I could list a whole slew of other things as well but it would be redundant. The reason it appears to be christianity is the simple fact, really...

We live in a country (countries) dominated by christians, it is who we deal with on a daily basis and what cult/sects we are most familiar with. Many of us are Ex-christians, though many believers try to play that off. SO it would stand to reason that we would talk about christianity the most.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Come From a Position of the Informed, NOT Ignorance, PLEASE

I am so tired of correcting people on my blogs or facebook, hell, really anywhere in the internet where they make their statements and, to some degree appear, completely ignorant of what they hell they are talking about.

For instance, I posted a link to an article today on facebook, about Ron Paul making a statement he "will ban funding for planned parenthood". Upon posting the link and making my statement about Planned Parenthood being a LOT more than just abortions. One of my Libertarian friends makes the statement:
  • "Show me where in the constitution this is authorized spending, its unconstitutional just as all these other programs AND our undeclared illegal wars."

Really? I mean because, this just shows how ignorant these types are. Not Libertarians in general, though I am sure they have their fair share, just people like my friend who made the statement in the first place. Now you may be asking, why is this ignorant? Quite simply because he is claiming with this statement, like he KNOWS, or has access to some fount of knowledge, that this law (and apparently many others) are unconstitutional. Which if he knew anything about constitutional law he would know there are means and guidelines which have to be followed in order to make laws.

I am by NO MEANS a constitutional Law expert, but it isn't hard to research some things and I know a few things to from my required Political science class in college for instance. Like, for instance, if you have a law, that you question as constitutional, what recourse do you have? It's this amazing thing called the Judicial Branch of the American government, guaranteed us by the CONSTITUTION. WHOA AMAZING REALLY WE HAVE THAT? That's right you just take it to court Like atheists are doing here!!! Which of course in the case of Planned Parenthood it has been taken to court several times. Which also means that it is very much constitutionally legal to be funding it.

Now, I am sure he THINKS he is right, and has a source (maybe more) showing his argument is valid. But here is the next question, how much critical analysis has he applied to his source to validate that it is a good source and not some biased tripe just waiting to be cited as legitimate. I am willing to bet, not much.

To many people in our country, didn't pay attention in school, to know how to critically analyze anything. Many don't really even know what critical analysis or critical thinking is. Most just think that if the cited site looks good and makes sense, or just supports their argument in a smart sounding way, well that's enough. Well that's just stupendously STUPID on their parts.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't air your Opinion, hell that's garanteed by the constitution. No what I am saying is that you should really, before making yourself look ignorant, research your position carefully THEN state your Opinion. And be ready to call down the idiots who argue their point as fact of knowledge, because your going to have to.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Anger Issues of a Strict Upbrining

So I have blogged some about my upbringing and the physical punishment I grew up in. What I have been avoiding is talking about my issues as an adult. I am still not sure if I want to blog about them or not. Its not like I am hiding it, all of my friends know I have aggression, and a few also know I have anger issues.

I know that keeping a journal would be good, and I also know that sharing my experiences with others helps, a lot. I have always been a sharing type person. When my father killed himself, it caused a problem in the family as I posted it and shared it with friends of mine that I was dealing with it. My sister-in-law got so mad at me she defriended me on Facebook.

I worry that if I share though, being as I am an outspoken atheist, some will try to turn my anger into my stance of anti-theism, when really that is mostly based in reason and logic. Though at the same time I feel that if I share my process and why I am the way I am and what I am doing to fix it, then it may full well show that I am firmly grounded in reality and doing this to FIX the issues. to make sure my kids don't get messed up from my influences too.

Well friends this is my latest quandary. Do I share with you, the things I am doing (counseling and such) to work through my issues on the same blog that I use to bitch about Theism, or do I create a new journal/blog for that and keep it to myself? A really trusted friend of mine Jt Eberhard, said "do what makes you feel comfortable". I know I need to share sometimes to help me deal with and understand my emotions, that's who I am. I also know that this can muddy up my position with some people, as I know they will look for any excuse to discredit that position.

On the other hand does that even matter in the end?

Throw me your 2 cents worth, here, on Facebook, or e-mail, I would be interested in some Input...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Latest NATURAL disaster another call by god.... REALLY?

Over years there has been a rash of statements by the religious right that various natural disasters are "god's wake up" call to the US to stop sinning against god. You know the Classic "Katrina happened because god is mad that we are placating to the homosexuals", I belief that was Fred Phelps Go figure every bad thing according to him is because of homosexuals. I would look this up to link it but I am at work and don't really have the time to rummage for a link atm.

So what is wrong with these (bullshit) claims?

First and foremost, there is absolutely no shred of evidence these things aren't anything that naturally occurs already. its Hurricane season and we normally get hit, or they drift close by, with a number of them throughout the season. nothing unusual there. When I did some research a long time back there was no indication that the number was more or less what was typically expected, and with global warming, to some degree, factored in there is an expectation of more hurricanes as time goes on, go figure.

Now show me a hurricane in the middle of the time frame when we DON'T expect hurricanes, then I might bye the whole hand of god drivel being spouted... I said MIGHT, because you would still need to show me how it Miraculously appeared and supernatural not natural forces put it there.

Second this is a little over kill for an all powerful and LOVING god isn't it? I mean this is like catching your child in a lie and throwing his entire class at school in front of a firing squad of cross-eyed soldiers and then saying "THAT WHAT YOU GET"!!! After all, isn't a natural disaster, according to the fundamentalists, god's equivalent of "STOP SINNING YOU FUCKERS". No that's not over reacting at all.

When are people going to realize that just because they believe doesnt make it so> I mean really what does it take to have realization set in.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

Political scientist Dr. Lawrence Britt wrote an article about fascism (“Fascism Anyone?,” Free Inquiry, Spring 2003, page 20). Studying the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile), Dr. Britt found they all had 14 elements in common. He calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The excerpt is in accordance with the magazine’s policy. 

I have added to it some recent examples and how it looks for us...

These 14 characteristics are (with my fill in of connectors):
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottoes, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

This is constantly seen on the conservative front, granted liberals do wave the flag but they dont present it as a must follow or get the hell out scenario. This connects to the discriminatory nature of Conservatives as well as the nationalist ideology of 'anything against must be destroyed or put out' (see below).

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

Overwhelmingly seen in the conservative movement. Denying racism (or sexism) is occurring, saying there are no race issues or they are over with, so get over it. As well as denying things are happening or pointing the other way to divert attention away (calling the white spot anything BUT chicken shit). Anti-gay rhetoric can just as easily be connected here as a denial of basic human rights (Don't Ask Don't Tell, Anti-Gay Marriage) and open discrimination.
Remember torture was justified and used by the Bush administration and people defending the use argued the U.S. is no longer bound by the Geneva Convention,  the human rights agreement the U.S. was fervently behind in its creation, and a standard we have consistently held others to. People argued that suddenly "waterboarding" is not torture although it has been considered torture by the U.S. and the world since the technique was used during the Spanish Inquisition.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

In the religious right they point toward Atheist (religious Minorities) and science (generally) as a common enemy undermining the "values of the country" and making connecting claims of socialist and communist agendas (nationalism). Constantly attacking any liberalism as Socialism/Communism without a full or
even rudimentary understanding of what either of them really are. Openly pointing at various representatives as Socialist/Communist and in some rare cases outright calling individuals terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

Historically the most spending for military budget has mostly been conservative movement/elements, excluding times of war. Conservatives overwhelmingly support strong defense spending. You will hear from them constantly how mighty we are, how vastly superior our military is, and at the same time prop military personnel or actions on a pedestal glorifying the person or deed. Don't get me wrong some individuals deserve the prop up, but not all, not in the sense of glamorizing them. There is no doubt of the sacrifice these men and women give in order to maintain our freedoms, but isn't that what they signed up for? Take care of them, provide them the much needed care they need during and after the conflict, but to glamorize and centralize war through the warrior, is despicable.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

Notice he says tend to be dominated, not exclusive. But women in conservative circles tend to be downplayed. Current the hot button topics are, abortion (pro-life and redefining life), Anti-Gay Marriage (rights) which is inextricably linked to homophobia, I have heard many a conservative state "gays should be tagged" with something to "identify them" (akin to the Jews in Germany during WWII) make it easier to "find the degenerates" or even in extreme cases deported or shot.

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

This is tricky on the conservative part, I think to draw attention away from the fascism roots inherent in the nature of the movement, but they label the media as liberal. This is laughable as MOST media sources tend to be RIGHT of center in this country, NPR is the Most centrist and the Conservatives have attacked it on three separate occasions now as too Liberal. CNN is a bit left of center and constantly under fire from the conservatives. But truth be told most sources are right of center and the biggest mouth box for the conservatives is conservative owned and calling itself news, which tends mostly to be opinion.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

No brainier here. Conservatives like their war and warfare, anything that can be taken as a threat to national security will be met with open hostility and attacks. Even if the likely hood of such a thing is remote. The conservative movement pushes for things like HR-1528 (2005), which is STILL tied up in subcommittee. This bill would REQUIRE you to spy on your neighbor and if you witness suspicious behavior and fail to report it, and you will go to jail. This is fascism at it finest, do this or else face consequences (jail, deportation, torture, death).

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

There is no doubt religion is intertwined within our government, and the is no way an openly atheist person can get elected to any post in this country, NONE, you openly admit as such and you are
essentially blackballed. In at least 4 state your legally blocked by their constitutions from being able to hold office. you will hear from especially the conservatives how important religion is to them and openly.
Not only is religion parroted by elected officials as buzz words for the church going community, but it goes much deeper than that. There is a dichotomy in America between our constitution, which provides equal rights for all, and the religious perspective of a totalitarian god. The two will not work together and we see this confusion in America today. How can the average Christian resolve the contradiction between the bible and the constitution. Love your neighbor, homosexuality is an abomination to god, everyone is created equal. These all seem to say contradictory things. It's apparent that the bible is unconstitutional, so what does the Christian do? They seek to change or reinterpret the constitution which usually takes the form of a denial of reason to those unfettered by religious dogma. Is it any wonder that we look at religious conservatives as mental? They are the most confused people in the land.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

The Conservative party in this country receives most of its money, support, and friendship from, Corporates ties. the largest financial supporter by far is big money like oil, manufacturing, banks, financial corporations, and brokers. So much so that the average voter feels there is no power in the government of the people, that it all centers on special interests.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed .

It is well know and well documented that Conservative don't support labor. Oh, they claim to be for the working man but constantly denounce unions and labor organizations. If they could revert to just the recent past where unions could be strong armed they would in a heartbeat. Constantly belittling unions and attacking them in ads, but secondary mentioning or connecting them to liberal affiliations, during election races. In everyday conversations with Conservative Unions are counted as the number one reason for economic problems in the country, never the corporations themselves. Suppressing labor is an ultimate goal of the conservatives.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

This is a without saying issue, "the LIBERAL colleges are brainwashing our children from true values in the country", "liberal institutions are forcing god our of the class room (recall religion and government)", "The communist liberal control the higher education institutions".Constantly see this from the Conservatives.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

Conservatives are staunch death penalty supporters, and strongly advocate punishment over rehabilitation. In their eyes you do a crime you are less than worthless, until you serve your time. Oh wait, even after you time is served, as Conservative owned and operated businesses are habitually the lowest to hire offenders in the system. Civil liberties are definitely secondary to rule of law in the conservative wing. Examples of such have been recorded throughout history in the US, look at the civil rights marches in the 60's. Many of today's conservative deny this period and point out it was Democrat ruled governments doing the deeds, but in fact the Southern Democrats were notorious conservatives (and the later Dixiecrats) in the day.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

Ah The Good ole Boy system, outlawed after the Teapot Dome scandal, but still very much in effect today. Both parties are notorious for this however, simply because you want supportive members working with you and behind you in government. I don't know if there has been research as to either side having more or less of this occurring, but I would be willing to bet its strong on the religious based conservative network, it is definitely prevalent in their churches, organizations, and groups.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

Gerrymandering , district redrawing accepted practice by both parties though commonly downplayed by conservatives and definitely berated by liberals, smear campaigns of both parties (commonplace these days). Media manipulation is clear and seen in the prior mas media control issue. Assassination? possibly but hard to prove, many conspiracy theories are abound and definitely circulate about such occurrences.

So in conclusion, all in all, both sides are in this to some degree but overwhelmingly the conservative moment has the most presence in the whole of the 14 points. they by far exhibit the strongest characteristics for fascism in the whole of the country, its no wonder the likes of the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, Aryan Nation, Nationalist Socialist Party, and various other right wing militant fringe groups, have aligned themselves with the conservative elements in our country. By far, no one embodies more the ideas of fascism then the conservatives here in the US. How long until this rises up and bites up in the ass? Who knows for sure? But one thing is for sure unless we get this under control soon we are facing a civil war in the future as these elements get more and more out of control and more radical.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rigth Wing Equals Violence.

I have been saying this for years now. The right should be synonymous with violence. Growing up in hard-core right wing circles I have seen the typical reaction of the believer and it is a want to do violence against anything that disagrees with their stance. One of the most recent cases? Death threats against atheists.

At the end of July they had to shut down the comments after, American Atheist Communications Direct, Blair Scott, did an interview. The Faceboomk Page came alive with some 8,000 recorded hits of DEATH THREATS Against atheists. Fox again shut down commenting and then edited many of the threats OFF their site, but no before another bloggers, One Man's Blog, was able to screen shot and save some of them. here are a few to look at.:


What amazes me is how people are shocked by this. We have known for a long time that people on the right are violent. Not only are they violent they are quick to it angry diatribe, almost immediately threatening violence and bragging about how tough they are. Lots of Fuck you"s, "eat shit's", etc. The MOST watched groups for violence against the people and the state in the country is, BY FAR, the right wing groups. Yet we tolerate this under freedom of speech and tolerance. The most tolerant groups by in large are the left wing groups. these are statistic facts.

yet we acted shocked when seeing these people openly spout the hate filled garbage. Why is that?

Monday, August 8, 2011

People and Their Bad Logic (OR) WHAT CRITICAL THINKING???

So a Facebook friend of mine posted and article from that talks about the National Health system in the UK, and how it is the most cost effective in the developed world. Which many of us have know the UK system is pretty good.

So Then someone posts:
"No its not, I am speaking from 20years ago when I used it and worked for it"

This type of arguement is used quite often. The whole "I am speaking from a position of authoity as I have worked with, in, on this object before... 20 years ago." Its like time has stopped since they interacted with the system because it couldn't possibly be any different now. In spite of the fact that e4vidence to the contrary is dealt with on a daily basis by EVERYONE in the world. But no I am comming from knowing first hand how this works.

This would be exactly like if my father, who, 25years ago supplied insurance for a family of four, on a single income, looking at me and saying,
"Why can't you pay for insurance for your family today?
When I am making comparable income to his with a four person family to support.

Of course I then have to respond asking for clarification if this was actually the position present was this person actually idiotic enough to really present this as an argument? Then the reply comes back
"your coming off as a dick, My argument still stands, sorry if you are confused by it"

What gets me is how these people actually believe their position is still valid in the light of their information being outdated (20years in this case). Not to long ago I got directed to a website maintain by a Daivd or dave, something like "atheism: is it real?" One of the arguments that I immediately caught was about some archaeology where Angiosperms where fround in a layer of sediment WAY predating know evolution of angiosperm development. Upon further inspection this bad archaeology work was detected and PUBLISHED  in 1960!!!

But they continue to cite the article as if it is some mysterious error that has caught science with its perverbial pants down... 

BULLSHIT... After some SIMPLE research one can find a rebuttal of the work showing it most likely transient deposits REFORMED into the layer by TIME!!!

Yet we are expected to respect their opinions and arguments without sarcasm and cynicism? Really? Seriously? Why the hell should I? Especially, AMAZINGLY, when you know the evidence which is vetted and thus supported, when presented to these individuals is FLAT OUT DENIED as legitimate evidence, OR just completely ignored. How the hell can any of these people be taken seriously by anyone. Yet they are, and some of these people are our congress people making decisions for us every day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

God did his Best

The really odd thing to me is how this is a piece of building that was the center of so much death, washed in the blood of innocence and yet they want to make something out of it like it was some miracle that cross shaped beams survived the destruction... Wait... Um...

How many cross shaped beams survived?

Better question, How many cross sections were in the WHOLE TOWER(S) to begin with?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Confrontation Versus Accomodation (Re-posted)

I wrote this about 8 months ago but Felt it needed to be re-posted as this is STILL an argument being presented...

The following begins with a comparison between the Civil Rights movement and the current Atheist-Secularist movement, and the resulting social effects mustered in by confrontation. Using the Civil Rights movement as a model for comparison, I hope to illustrate the resounding effects of social change, heralded by the brave individuals who risk everything in order to bring about positive and intellectual changes in society. Next I focus on the issues surrounding Accommodation vs. Confrontation by using current day examples of the same bigoted hatred experienced by pre-Civil Rights minorities. I speak on behalf of atheists who are at those very same uncertain cross-roads today. Using science as a tool of measurement, I stand firm in my arguments that the only way to win our own civil rights and liberties, which are granted to every citizen of this country, is to confront those who attempt to oppress our way of life.

On December 1st 2010, we celebrated the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ defiant action of refusing to relinquish her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in 1955. This, along with racial tensions that had been building all throughout the south. Sparked by events such as the murder of Emmett Till (Aug 1955) and the government’s inaction in taking steps to desegregate schools after the landmark Supreme Court ruling on the Brown vs. Board helped shape the future of our country.
In January and February of 1957, Martin Luther King and others set up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In September of that year, nine black students, who were issued death threats, marched into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, effectively ending the segregation of that school system. On February 1st 1960, four black students from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina, began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Although allowed to sit, they were refused service. This event was then repeated throughout the South at parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities. Six months later, those first four students (The Greensboro Four) were served lunch at the same Woolworth’s counter.

This string of confrontations, and the many others to come after, bucked the norm of southern white society and pushed the government into realizing the harmful effects of marginalization. Finally legislation to guarantee the rights of minorities in this country was enacted. After decades of bowing to (accommodation) to laws like Jim Crow, African American communities fought for social change – the move toward equality had finally begun. Accommodation does nothing but allow the norm to persist without change because it goes unchallenged. Without upheaval, societies continue their status quo, the ruling class sees no need for change, and continues living with blinders on.

For many generations, atheists have accommodated society’s pious by remaining silently hidden away, afraid to openly admit their disbelief for fear of reprisal, attack, of being belittled, defamed, and punished for their points of view. Then, on September 11th, 2001 religious extremism attacked our country, and fear of remaining quiet outweighed the fear of being openly atheist. The drive to challenge irrational faith-based ideas came to the forefront due to people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and many others. Today atheists in this country are making a stand and saying “enough” no more accommodation for these irrationalities!

The concept of Confrontation vs. Accommodation is one of many issues at the very heart of this current social debate. Given what we know from historical precedence, one must ask “Why is this even an issue”? Well, where would the Civil Rights movement be if Rosa Parks had continued the practice of accommodating white privilege? Where would we be today if The Greensboro Four had not sat down at the Woolworth’s lunch counter? Where would this country be today if the founding fathers (and most of the country) had instead caved in and accommodated King George’s new taxes on the colonies?

Major changes do not happen with accommodation. Let’s face it, what is being asked for by the atheist community is a MAJOR change of the norms in this country. This is not a country built on Christian values, but some religious values ARE present in institutional structures, such as some court houses and town halls. Why? Because it was the dominant worldview of the early colonial Americans, and thus was socially accepted. Our forefathers recognized this, and that is why they granted us the ability to challenge and amend the Constitution in order to allow the document to evolve with our society while still maintaining the secular state they demanded and ultimately created.

The First Amendment was a stroke of genius for its time. No other country in the world HAD this type of doctrinal and political protection. However, our forefathers, enlightened men that they were, saw into the future. They knew full well that the prosecution of individuals for publically questioning the meaning of the Bible would land someone in jail for blasphemy. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts vs. Abner Kneeland in 1838, cited the last American case of blasphemy prosecuted in court. He was found guilty and sentenced to sixty days in jail, which he served in spite of calls for pardon on the merits of free speech rights. Our forefathers, being prominent freethinkers, knew this was a future concern, and they granted us the means to have legal grounds for confrontation.

Citizens have the right to have religious views separate from those of everyone else, even if that view is non-belief. This means that religion is protected from government sanction or dissolution. It also means that the government is protected from religious laws interfering on a secular society, or forcing us to follow ideas that aren’t ours demanded by someone else’s religious belief. That is the beauty of the First Amendment; its dual purpose statement works both ways. You have the right to your religious views and you have the right not to be coerced by someone else’s religious views. However, every day our rights are trampled on, and atheists have had enough!

For two hundred years, in the united states, it has been about accommodation, and in all that time atheists have feared persecution of their non-belief. There was some hope and inspiration when Darwin published his Origin of Species, but when rational secular schools tried to teach evolution, what happened instead was the famed Scopes Monkey Trial (poorly named as our nearest ancestors were apes, not monkeys!). The hope and inspiration that had blossomed faded after the court ruling. The teacher was found guilty, for Violating the Butler Act (1925-1967) for teaching evolution in the classroom, and fined for his crime. Not all was lost however, and in spite of accommodating the dominant religion, evolution has made its way into classrooms and centers for intellectual inquiry. Yet today, religion continues its attempts at devaluing evolution and secular society in order to push creationism in the classroom.

Why not confrontation? The fact that atheist exists is a simple enough cause for confrontation, so say the pious. The fact that we do not believe in what the religious whole-heartedly do believe in, is a major setting for conflict, and who draws the line in the sand? Our manner of thinking dare, to challenge the pious, who immediately begin a childish mantra of name calling and pointing of fingers. They claiming absolute truth, and declare their authoritative righteousness over others, asserting that any other manner of thinking is completely wrong, not to mention heretical.

Religious attacks upon atheists occur every day on internet sites and blogs. The religious presume atheists to be immoral and even evil, since atheists have no god to teach them morals, or perpetuate fears of everlasting punishment for misbehavior here on earth. Wait, did the religious moral ground stop the likes of Hitler or the crusaders of Middle Age Europe from slaughtering millions of people? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, their precious holy texts justify slaughter, not to mention dozens of other activities that – by US judicial standards – would land someone in prison.

I have witnessed confrontation from the religious in other public arenas, not just the web. The 2005 Kansas State School Board voted to redefine “science” against the recommendations of a panel of scientists, with their ultimate goal of inserting Intelligent Design (ID) into the curriculum. The Dover, Pennsylvania trial in 2005, was ruled as an attempt by creationist to sneak creationism (a.k.a. Intelligent Design) into the science classroom disguised as legitimate science.

How about something more recent? The American Atheist Inc. billboard in New Jersey, which immediately got a response billboard attempting to counter the message…now that’s definitely confrontational on behalf of religion. Or how about the atheist ads on city buses in Dallas, Texas? They state, “Millions of Americans Are Good Without God”, and are countered by *confrontational* local churches, who scream, ‘It’s an attack!’ and threatening a bus boycott if the ads go up. In both cases, the billboards that the atheist groups promote are backed by statements saying that they are educating and getting the word out to people who self-identity as atheist, to reassure them that, they aren’t alone, and to get a hold of the local skeptic group or organization.

From Dallas, Texas

From Sacramento, California

How do you interpret these two billboards?

So who are the ones attacking here? How is a billboard advertising an opposite point of view for religion any different than a general religious billboard? Well, in the above example, it’s pretty obvious. To be fair, some Christian billboards are less offensive, passing along a friendly message – somewhat like the atheist billboard from Dallas.

Yet religion claims the oppressed position, saying that they are the ones being attacked, yet they are the ones calling atheists aggressive and or militant. How is being called militant an attack? You see, by tagging “militant” on, this is a psychological ploy to compare atheism with for example militant Muslim fundamentalists. Consider the centuries of oppression the atheists had to live under (and still do in some countries where you can be put to death for being openly atheistic).

The conformity of religious doctrines can be seen in numerous presentations by believers where they parrot (repeat) the supportive arguments that have been dis-proven, by recognized experts and scientists depending on the claim, or have no merit whatsoever, conjecture, or even outright lies. However atheists/skeptics tend to stick with what has merit in the form of evidence or supportive theories verified by science, and recognized experts. The religious, however, prefer to redefine things to fit their arguments. Take the word ‘theory’ for example: the religious are more than happy to apply this to hypothesis such as Intelligent Design, even though there isn’t a shred of evidence supporting it. “But it’s a Theory!!!” Nope, there is not one single peer reviewed paper presented to the scientific community showing evidence. Thus, Intelligent Design is only a HYPOTHESIS, not a theory. Believers are, however, happy to spin this as a valid ‘theory’ while at the same time spitting out the word “theory” as if it were a four letter word in reference to evolution as if it means nothing at this point.

We need confrontation if there is ever going to be another change in this society. We have to stop the encroachment of religion on science, and the law, to truly be free from religion, as granted to us by the First Amendment. We need to stop this delusion from affecting everyone outside the church, where promulgation of religious ideas subverts society with the message of ultimate rule. Great scientists have proven, decade after decade, they have the best answers to the natural world – religion does not have these answers – and rightfully so, because we are all the better for it. The confrontationists know that religious systems have not worked and thus are fighting against the perpetuation of such systems. Not to mention defending that which does work – namely science and free thinking logic – and it is exactly this which has propelled us into the 21st century. Science and logic has moved us further within the last four hundred years, than faith has within the past thousand years.

We are tired of being marginalized. We are tired of being labeled as immoral, and evil for not having faith. We are tired of the self-hate tactics used by the pious which leads to opinions of unworthiness. We are tired of public defamation, like when George Bush Sr. said, “I don’t think atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”  We are tired of having to deal with religion being shoved at us from every angle and afraid of religious extremism taking control of the world.  Today, the numbers of publicly open atheists are growing daily. Today is the time for change and confrontation is our only avenue to affect that change.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

So I had a sudden realization of something serious

Last night my daughter and I had an argument after she threw a bit of a fit when asked to do something. I wanted to know why she was acting this way what thought she had while throwing the fit. I was asking her if she was mad at me.

Let me back track here a bit.

I came from an abusive home my father, typical to to some strict religious followers (the whole spare the rod crowd), firmly believed in capital punishment, and then some. He totally controlled our (my brother and I) lives and was very hard on us. One time, for example, when I was about 8, I received a spanking that was so severe it bruised my kidneys and caused me to have blood in my urine. So I was determined NOT to do this to my children.

Well unfortunately, I didn't know how to be any different really, so when my daughter was born I spanked lightly at first, but as she got older, my punishments got a little more severe, and one day I went to spank her and realized I hit her ENTIRELY to hard. that was the LAST time I spanked her. but unfortunately it caused her to be a little frightened of me AND caused her to have some resentment toward me. We are in counseling for this so she can deal with it, and I have FULL out apologized to her and trying to make up for it.

So here we are and we come to the fit she threw. I wanted to know why and asked her if she was mad at me and thus acting out. She couldn't answer. In the course of the conversation I was letting her know that she has something I dont have. the person who abused her willing to make up for it and fix things. I am taking responsibility for doing what I did and she can have peace. I can't because my father is dead.

See, I confronted my dad and he NEVER saw the wrong in it. But even worse came the realization.

On July 14th 2009, my father killed himself, two years earlier on July 21st 2007, my mom died of Pancreatic cancer, and he could never adjust to being without her. BUT on top of that the support mechanism of family was broken to some degree. OH sure my brother worked tirelessly to talk to dad everyday. The relationship between my father and I, however, remained severly strained. In his suicide note he said flat out:

"I don't understand why Stephen is not son he should be, why he hates me so much. You be careful with him he will fight you for this"

At the end there he left everything to my brother and expected me to fight for possession of his things. This is linked to an earlier argument between my father and I after mom died. He thought I was wanting some of her possessions which was a complete misunderstanding on his part. I wanted nothing from them of her stuff OR his.

But what I Realized last night was the first part. My father actually blamed me for not being there for him and as such PART of the reason he killed himself. Holy shit, He blamed ME!!!!

I know flat out it was NOT my fault we could never get peace between us. But it has left two major issues.

1. OF course I will never have closure to my issues with my father

2. My brother blames me too.

I know My brother blames me as he has done almost nothing to keep in contact with me since dads death. I call him most of the time to initiate the conversation.  our relationship, however, remains strained to this day. But I hadn't known it, not for sure, until last night. I tried calling my brother today but so far no reply. I wonder if it will ever be fixed with us.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I am a terrible Writer

Seriously I am. I convey thought much more clearer verbally and tend to be better at it. So my partner and many other have told me. I really suck at writing but I do it anyway. I have been reading blogs of several people I follow and it makes the point even clearer.

First I am not very good at putting together my thought in written form. I tend to jump around or make statements without much clarity. I tend also when writing to make blanket statements without thinking about it, which my partner, Kris, tends to edit for me or catch later.

The next thing about others bloggers I have noticed is Proliferation. Seriously, they are prolific in their writings. I tend to think long and hard about something I am writing before writing it and usually takes me all day to write something, and it is usually long at that point too. So in many ways I feel inadequate in my writings to others.

I have thought about Video Blogging but Kris is really against it for some reason, I haven't talked to her about it, but the time I did mention it to her in the past she was instantly negative about it.

Well this is more of a journal entry than it is a blog but what ever... If you have read my stuff before or have input please feel free to tell me what you think.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So I have been OBVIOUSLY Absent

Sorry I have been away I went through a period of not wanting to write anything. and then I got side tracked beta testing a game that goes live today called World of Tanks. A LOT of fun!!!! If you like games like Mech-Warrior, you would like this game too check it out...

So not much has been happening. The economy sucks and I took a voluntary 3 week break from work, as we had NO work to do. Welcome to the AWESOME lows of capitalism!!!

IT really sucks you know, I have a good job really, but when your job is dependent on an economy of buy/sell and supply/demand well you just can't maintain an existence reliably, as your life is dependent on the whims of others, seriously. This is what I hate about capitalism in order to provide a stable life for ones family you have to depend on other spending their hard earned cash and when things become, well shitty, your dependency becomes blatantly obvious.

Growing up with tribal values has been what has saved us in this bad recession. Because we are giving people, when we needed our friends came and gave to us, to help keep us going while I wasn't working. That's one of the main aspects of what's called COMMUNISM and it does work. because my kids didn't go hungry, we still have utilities, and I am here NOT depressed over trivial things that normally would occur in this country.

Alas, I have to make this short, I am at work on a break ATM, and break is almost over, but I wanted to drop something to think about.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Religious Politician Proclaims Discriminatory Nature by His Own Words.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a Church crowd this last Monday, literally moments into his new administration, that
"Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother"
The Birmingham News

On his inauguration day! He flat out said he discriminates. Now of course afterward he said he didn't mean to insult anyone. Well what the hell did he think it would mean to those who aren't christian. Its obvious he is either an idiot, or he slipped. Slipped by in letting it known that his christian biased discrimination exists. There are many implications which reaches out to touch many different people.

Bill Nigut, regional director for the Anti-Defamation League said this
"His comments are not only offensive, but also raise serious questions as to whether non-Christians can expect to receive equal treatment during his tenure as governor"
The Birmingham News

This problem is exactly the kind of attitude that non-believers have had to face for centuries from religion. This "you aren't a believer therefore you are not my equal" stance has been the catalyst for many religious atrocities throughout history, like the Crusades, the Holocaust, 9/11 and many others. This is the exact reason MOST atheists are anti-religious, it screams of anti-social behavior, and sets a precedence in followers for a discriminatory nature in this case toward non-Christians.

When are we going to be able to elect people who have humanism as their moral compass not a mystic being of indeterminate nature or some holy book of fables? When are we going to be free of religious discrimination being in control in this country. When are we going to be free of the BLATANT ignorance of these blind followers?

We live in a country where 48% of the population say they will NOT vote for a non-believer because of the discriminatory nature of religion as a whole. Openly atheist people in this country flat out have no chance to gain elected office in this country to affect change for humanistic values, NONE. When presented this argument every christian I have ever talked to ultimately says its because they,
"cannot in good conscious vote for someone they feel has no moral compass and ultimately has no one to answer for abiding their decisions"

When I point out that we do have a moral compass, and that we have to answer to our fellow human being they state the,
"institutions of man are fallible and therefore cannot be trusted to mediate justice"

They then point toward the history of corrupt politicians and how they have avoided prosecution, because these are mans institution but they will answer to god in the end. What a cope out, you have negated the fact that these instutions were/are instituted, run and perpetuated by? The Religious, faithful believers that in the end THEY had to face judgment of a court much higher than man's. Where is the religious moral imperative in these current cases? Fallible.

Religion is not the be all end all truth is proclaims to be because plain and simply,

Because it is an ancient institute of MAN and therefore fallible.

Why is there Religion? Is it Necessary?

First I am going to come at this from several different angles, Tribal, Religious studies, Anthropological and Scientific. This is very generalized to try to make it easier to read for laymen so it may seem a bit simplistic, but it is factual and does apply as is.

I am American Indian and was raised with tribal values which was and is in conflict with American ideology, it is also basis for my humanistic philosophy. In the tribal society I have my upbringing but also have anthropological study of tribal societies to add into this. Early man would have questioned the natural world. Why it was the way it was? What caused it to be this way? Why are we here? Which led to mysticism (spirits) and these spirits then became more powerful beings as the mysticism broadened over time a natural evolution as animism and ancestral worship (spirits) evolve into polytheism (gods). This is how this evolution has been seen to occur.

These natural world questions were unanswerable to early man, until the creation of a mystical world outside our ability to see. This is logical when you put yourself into this situation, as I was myself. Now Originally I was raised Catholic but taught at home Native values of community, family then self this is ultimately the core of who we as Native peoples are humanistically and religiously. Religion follows the evolution of the society it is practiced in, and leaves a pattern easily follow with that evolution.

At first tribes are small, less than 50 people, because they are dependent on food gathering and scarcity of sources, moving constantly is harder on individual members,  also Skirmishes (not war) over the food sources, and thus higher mortality rates. There would have been spirits helping the tribe as a whole, praying to individual spirits by the tribe for rain when needed, OR to all the spirits at once. This follows the egalitarian base ideas all members pull together, to work together, and survive AKA egalitarianism or primitive Communism. When the tribe was experiencing hardship the "spirits" were then interpreted by the spiritist (male or female) as being angry. This is the earliest accounts of the spirits demanding atonement for broken agreements (or rules) with the spirits, or between humans, but not necessarily the main rule over these laws, just on occasions.

Soon when the tribe turns toward sedentary society, first with pastoralist (in most cases but sometimes skipped), then to Agrarianism. The spirits would evolve into individual spirits for everything, rain, hunting, etc. How does that happen? The tribe grows larger segmenting into bands then into clans (agrarian), between 50 -150 people in pastoralist societies and greater than 150 people for Agrarian societies. This due to a more stable food sources and roots taking in an area or region. Also because of territorial invasion in these claimed lands (areas/regions) more organized warrior societies develop and war becomes a major issue, by default other societies develop as well thus leading clans and by extension new and more developed laws. This is where the spirits begin to be set as the principal rulers of social laws and rules.

 The separation in the tribe for various duties develops, women for gathering as a whole, men for hunting, there was cross over though too, some men gathered, and some women hunted, but groups were assigned specific duties forming Clans thus leading to specific leaders chosen for the various clans or group. Then specific spirits or animals for guides in those clans. Example of clan specificity, would be the clan that took care of the dead and prepared them for their burials, In some North American tribes this was represented by the Owl in the physical realm but a spirit in the incorporeal realm, often referred to as the owl spirit, but this is a mistranslation, that has carried over. Things like this followed a logical path, owls spoke in the night and whispered, death happened most often in the night, and soon became attributed to owl song. THUS Owl became the messenger of death and the physical embodiment of the spirit of the clan (totem) that worked with the dead. Now, when the tribe experiences hardship, at this point, it was based on what hardship specifically, say for example drought. Then one or more "spirits" were angry, the rain spirits  and/or the spirit of farming (growing crops), etc.

The next phase in the next stage of  evolution of religion is deities. As the specialization is applied more stringently in the various societies, it reflects a higher structure on the religion. Specialization develops in the tribes, one person excels at bow making, one excels arrow making, one excels at arrowhead making, hunting, leather making, etc. etc. Specific leaders are chosen, but over all there is a greater leader or ruler. Following suit the spirits excel and become the principals to their disciplines such as  rain and storms (fertility), hunting and war, love and relationships, etc. This can be seen most prevalently in the development of state over agrarian clan societies. Examples of this are Mayan, and Aztec Cultures developing separate empire states in the New World, and in the Old World, ancient Egyptian, ancient Greece thus leading to ancient Rome. Along with this more developed centralized government a more developed and centralized religion follows. The early hierarchy in the religious master with apprentices, become titled positions exactly like their state counterparts in government, high priest(ess), priest(ess), and monks or devotees.  The deities are the final word on laws as when it comes to rules, man now sets and creates most of them but they are still based traditionally off the original rules of the gods. Any laws set by man is trumped by the original laws of the gods (spirits)

This is not conjecture, but clear facts, from the various American Indian and world tribal cultures, with traceable heritages, and is easy to understand for one as PART of a tribe as well as one who studies the tribes.

 The evolution of monotheism does have several separate occurrences but principally are exactly the same because a choice is made. But ultimately it still comes down to a POLYTHEISTIC religion evolving into a MONOTHEISTIC religion. There are two examples I will give before going to the Abrahamic faith.

One of the earliest credited monotheistic faiths was Zoroastrianism from Iran sometime before the 6th century BCE. Based off of the teachings of one man who become the prevalent religious leader of his time. He created, taught, and preached, from the position of leadership of one (himself) and lead to the teaching of one creator. In Zoroastrianism the creator was good and not evil came from him (god). Evil comes as a force bend on destroying creation (devil) and a force trying to maintain it (god). this is the earliest diagram laid out for monotheism in the middle east and many parallels from Zoroastrianism appear in the Abrahamic faith including the clear parallel to god and its status (creator, maintainer, good fighting evil). So One man creates the religion and  one god rules over creation.

The earliest monotheism is solidly recorded monotheism in Egypt was the Aten cult under the pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) . He abandoned the traditional polytheistic religion of Egypt for a monotheistic. His principal goal was to centralize his rule and familial control over Egypt, by proclaiming one creator over all Aten (the Sun) and aspect of Ra, but ultimately a combination of Ra, Horus, and Aten.  Then he proclaimed the he and his descendants were the embodiment of Aten on earth. It failed in the end as one because of Ahkenatens tyrannical rule made the faith unpopular and he died leaving a young heir who changed the religion BACK to the original polytheism.  Coincidentally the sun in Zoroastrianism was gods eye. Again one man creates the religion and one god rules over creation.

Abrahamic faith, is different in that one man did NOT create the faith. The Hebrew tribes had become sedentary (Recall the explanation of sedentary tribes above) and with this new society came war. the Hebrew were constantly t war in the area they settle as at the time it was a narrow region of land that could be settled with a huge diversity of culture and tribal life, we have seen similar examples of this diversity in a small region in the California coastal areas. As the Hebrew people were constantly bombarded with raids and warfare they congregated together for more solid protection under a unified banner and thus the great tribe of the Hebrew people were formed. During this time they were a polytheistic faith and many gods were prayed to, but they were constantly losing battles, it was decided by the leaders that one of the gods needed to be chosen as their main god. They chose not the strongest war like god, but the one god that was known as a protector of the people. The choosers, chose their god, thus becoming the chosen people of that god, Yahweh. So we have the birth of the monotheistic Abrahamic faith, from a polytheistic one, this is well documented.

So far I have mentioned tribal and anthropological, touching on religious studies. Now I go to the scientific, touching on religious studies and biological anthropology aspects. Biologically, we have developed, a region of the brain, that is highly active in religious settings and scenarios. This region of the brain has been mapped and studied and proven to be hyper active during, prayer, meditation, vision questing, and many other various religious related ceremonies and practices. When speaking in tongues or  feeling the presence of spirits, or god. When seeing visions or hearing the word of god/spirits speaking to them. All can be attributed to the same region of the brain. It has also been mapped as the SAME region that allows for artist and writers to create internalized imagery of the world or worlds they are creating on canvas when painting or on paper (drawing or writing). There is a drawback however in that it is also the same region that allows for  the mental disorders of delusion and schizophrenia. (Research Neurotheology for more detail)

This is the path for how and why religion exists as it stands today, the meanings and development ultimately leading to why it persisted to its present forms. But there was a second question.

 The answer is simple once you take into account the evolution of religion. That SINCE religion is an aspect of human creation, coinciding with the evolution of human society, to a point. Then NO religion is no longer necessary, in that as society has evolved, religion was becoming more marginalized with humans creating their own laws and depending on their own moral values learned through humanistic means. Religion adapted as society adapted mainly to keep itself relevant to society, but ultimately, humans created it to answer the questions that at one time could NOT be answered. Which over time have been slowly answered. Leaving the one question still debated by many "Why are we here?" Which this debate is now totally dependent on ones position. Creationists argue, we are here because of god. Scientists argue we are here because the universe moves towards constructs of higher orders of complexity and we are here to further that complexity. To seek out the meaning to life, the universe, and everything.

42 BTW.

Hello From My New Home Here on Blogspot

Hello all,

I just moved here from Xanga. I was only over there for about 7 months and got tired of the whole feel over there... and so few people actually being around. This way I am totally blind to a community and thus don't feel so depressed by the lack of visits. Yeah ok how pitiful.

I was Born in Kansas City But live nearly all my life in Springfield Missouri, AND I am a fifth generation Springfield resident. In fact I am in the house that my Great Grandparents had built for my Grandparents. That WILL be changing soon however as we will be moving from springfield this next year (2012), so that my mate Kris can go to grad school.

My Father was a mix of Lakota Sioux (American Indian) and Irish. My Mother was Norwegian, Irish and Mni Wakan (American Indian). I was raised white American society obviously being in Springfield (2nd whitest city in the US as of 2010), but with American Indian values at home. This means I put a lot of emphasis on community (friends, family, neighbors, and so forth) then most people. American Indians traditionally prioritize differently from the average American, what I mean by that is, we put Community first, family second, our selves last. In White America it is exactly opposite, worry about yourself first, your family second. Your community? Well, If you really think about it then sure, most don't really think about it though.

I was also raised Catholic, to believe in god and worship and fear him. I did so whole heartedly believe at one time that I was an alter boy, and I even thought about the priest hood. Thankfully I was cured of that. Through a series of faith questioning moments in life, I left the faith, and went to native spirituality and through a series of faith questioning moments in life, left that too.

So my series of faith questioning moments in life, what s that about? Lets see the very first thing that caused me to question my faith was a lie. Yep a lie, I lied to a nun at school. Holy Hannah a nun, you say? Yep a nun, the most respected females of god, married to Christ and the surrogate mother (sort of) of all children in catholic school. I lied bold face straight out and lied, and she accepted it. I waited, and waited.... And Waited, But god didn't smite me. Wow I thought, if I could lie to a nun, who was next to a priest , who was so much closer to god than I. Well I wondered... WHAT ELSE CAN I GET AWAY WITH!!! Well obviously this vexed me on some level as Lying is a COMMANDMENT that you CANT break. You know <Big Booming Voice>
Well I went to confession got that sucker right off my chest, I didnt tell the priest who I lied to but just that I had. I was absolved and BOOM Get out of jail free, (Whew) that's over, I thankfully said my penance and went on.

But it still itched in the back of my mind, and I thought a lot about it it. I mean this was a major Commandment for Pete's sake, and to a NUN!!! it wasn't for some time that i had another serious issue hit but it came. In the summer of 1983 ( I was 12), My cousin came to visit, NOT just any cousin, my most favoritist cousin in the whole world, we were like peas in a pod growing up. But NOT this time, No. He came to my house with the Devil's Music.... ACDC (***SHRIEK*** OMG). He was Blasting out of a boom box (yeah total 80's reference).

Hell Bells starts
(Christian Faints from the Blasphemy).

OK so I didn't Faint BUT, My heart pounded and my head grew light, my vision blurred, how could my god fearing cousin be listening to this, this, SATAN WORSHIP JUNK???? Well needless to say when my cousin left at the end of the summer, I to was a Satan worship music listener. I had discovered the important issue about it. Well, the important issue about heavy metal music is... ITS MUSIC... its not Satan trying to dig his ever so share and vile claws into your head its music. But it did make me question my faith, NOT because of the ominous words subliminally repeating Kill your Father, Kill your father... No it was the sheer fact that the Priests and Nuns had LIED to me!!! Whoa, yeah that was the realization they lied, and god didn't turn the whole church into a burned out crater of DOOM... So this led me back to my lie to the nun and then wondering...

"What Else did they lie about"

The next thing was my Grandfathers death. Now you have to understand, My grandfather had adopted my mother, because he and grandma could not have kids. I don't know why never asked, never really cared. But my grandfather was to me the GREATEST man on the face of the earth. I tried to model myself after him, and FAILED miserably, but nonetheless he was awesome. He spent EVERY Sunday in church, and even in retirement maintain his tithe to the church. Every Sunday he had an envelop for the collection plate, and one for the prayer box. He never to my knowledge said a curse word, least not in my presence. He was the epitome of Christendom to me.

Then he got sick... Not just sick, He got Cancer, BAD CANCER.

I saw whim the night he died, he was riddle with open ulcerated sores all over his body, he was breathing on like half a lung, and ashen, Oh man was he ashen. I started to cry, but he stopped me. Even then he thought of others, he told me he didn't want me to cry, that my mom was going to need my strength and to promise him I wouldn't cry. I did, and I didn't, not till many many days later. So how did this make me question god?

Well I should think it obvious, but... Why? Why would god, a loving god, a caring and thoughtful god, take such and amazing man, in such a HORRIBLE way? The nun I talked to at school said "Maybe your grandfather had something he had to atone for from earlier in his life"

That was it within a year I was no longer going to catholic school or church. I was seeking and wondering how to find god. I never did. I thought I had a couple times and tried real hard to believe. But just could not do it.

This is how I came to be here a Mid-West Atheist...