Monday, June 29, 2009

An Atheist’s Teleology: A Progression

This will be a long post, and for that I apologize in advance. It is a reaction to one of the most common dilemmas faced by any self-aware atheist/agnostic.

What is the meaning of life? A cliché question, indeed, one which many atheist thinkers brush off as meaningless. However, I feel anyone who wishes to live their life well ought to have some philosophy, and one of the primary fields of philosophy is teleology: the study of purpose.

Below, I wish to highlight a few possible answers to the question of life’s meaning. The first is nihilism, which I believe to be perfectly acceptable, but which will invariably leave one with a bare foundation on which something is usually built. Nihilism finds itself as a stage in one’s philosophical growth, though sometimes it is the destination. This is an essay I wrote in high school which I think sums up the concept.



When people look around them, they see the world the way they imagine it to be. The problem is: the world is not what we make it. The world is what it is, and we can see what we want to see, but in the end we are powerless in our attempt to reconcile the two. This causes quite a bit of pain in the world; people don’t understand why things happen “all wrong.” They get anxious because they’re so confused. They even make the wrong choices because they ignore how things really work.

The truth is: there is no hope. This is a very positive outlook on things once one gets over the initial shock of the concept. People are inclined to change the world around them because it’s in our genetics. It’s why we developed a thumb. It’s why we came up with religion, science, and government. We yearn to explain.

And so, in our pursuit of knowledge, sometimes we take short cuts or fib a little. We hate not having the answers. But the truth is, we know nothing at all. All one needs to do is look back on history and see how absolutely certain people have been, only to turn out to be wrong.

Not long ago, we knew nothing of cells or genetics. The idea of germs, bacteria and viruses is only about a hundred years old. But our ignorance only begins there. We made Galileo recant his belief of the Earth revolving around the sun. If Christians took the time to actually read the Bible, they would notice many superstitions we have abandoned and find silly now [of course, because their faith instructs them to read the Bible, we can be assured none of them actually are].

Every belief we hold dear will be mocked by school children as they are taught about it in history class, if it’s even entertaining enough to remember. Even contemporary religions are in fact very new ideas with very old titles. Christianity has had so many different moral leanings it has splintered off into hundreds of different sects. People can be so certain of their beliefs, but in just fifty years people will look back on them and laugh, wondering how people could be so foolish.

Within this fact lies the key to happiness. We think of hopelessness as a negative, when in fact it is the ultimate good. It is not that we are powerless to improve the world around us. We are, in fact, empowered with the inability to screw things up. We are indeed part of something greater than ourselves, and we are completely and utterly hopeless in ever attempting to understand or explain it, let alone change it.
With no hope comes no responsibility, which has always been the brick of ignorance we have carried with us through history. We feel so compelled to change the inconsequential things in life, often making things harder on ourselves.
In the end, people are not bad or good, they are simply another organism inhabiting a wet rock flying through space at over a thousand miles per hour around a hydrogen fueled nuclear reactor. In the scope of the universe, we are a germ, a virus infecting a cell. Our existence represents a blink in time.
Relax, nothing matters.


There are massive flaws in this logic. For one, it is dangerous to believe human beings are “powerless to screw things up.” There is no reason to assume that humanity, or even our planet, is eternal.

Saying that we cannot change things is to reject the very idea of progress (which, though not assured, I believe can occur). We are advancing our knowledge in many ways, and it is seen most clearly through medical science (though not always medical practice, especially in the US of Ache).

This was the mindset of a child who was unaware of the monumental work being done behind the scenes of his life—and even before he existed. Giving up on improvement is not only sad, it is against the very notion of critical thought. Even skepticism acknowledges value judgments are applicable when making comparisons. If nothing matters, then every idea and result should be the same; this is not the case.

For other views of purpose, it might help to look to various sciences and schools of thought. From a biological standpoint, the winners are those who have children (or even the most children). This is not only an individual goal, but one for the entire species: perpetuation.

In art, one might say the purpose is to be remembered. Art and writing can be boiled down to nothing more than simple “I was here” graffiti, which represents nothing more than a more permanent form of urine marking. Indeed, to be remembered is a purpose acknowledged in many schools of thought. To be immortalized in memory may be a comforting thought to those contemplating the finite fate of the flesh.

These are all valid life goals, but it is ultimately up to each individual to determine what it is that will make them happy. Through the pleasure-seeking principle innate in all of us, we gravitate towards the things that make us happy, and usually leave purpose as an afterthought. Most people seem to unconsciously migrate towards the child-bearing route (perhaps through no forethought beyond getting laid, which is yet another reason for living). To say this is the ultimate purpose would be unfair and even rude—especially to those unable to do so.

In the end, there can be as many reasons for living as there are lives that have been lived, and even having no reason at all is a passive answer which may bring comfort to those who achieve nothing.

What Little We Share In Common

People have very little in common anymore. There are hundreds of channels, and people don't watch the same shows (and for the assholes who assume we all watch something like 24 or American Idol, fuck you). However, one thing we all have in common is the commercials.

I don’t like advertising, but I like a guy who can pitch a cleaning product in a way that entertains me. If I have to watch an ad for something boring, I appreciate someone taking the effort to not bore me. And no, cartoon scrubbing bubbles don’t count.

So Billy, I’m sure your death will get lost in the shuffle of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, but we loud, bearded men honor our own. I’ll miss your blue shirts.

The saddest thing about all of this is we’ll never see a pitch-off between Billy Mays and Vince Offer.

From The Outside

I lived in a town,
Not that long ago,
That surrounded itself with a wall.
They all walked around
And held up their nose
As they listlessly walked through the mall.
Of people outside,
Quite little was said;
The thrill was too much for them all.
Yet one day I tried
To just go ahead
And escape, even though I was small.
The going was rough
As I climbed to the top.
The bulwark was perilously tall.
The height was enough
That if I should drop
I surely would die from the fall.

I climbed to the ground
And that’s when I found
This freedom, a feeling of bliss.
Euphoric repose,
Insiders should know:
If you’re looking for something, it’s this.
And though I may praise
These uncivil ways
There’s something I must reassert:
There are fewer rules,
Yet only the fools
Act as though they can never be hurt.
Sometimes it is hard;
You will end up scarred,
But feelings of angst will subside.
For soon you will see,
And you can’t disagree,
That few try to go back inside.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Evangelism: Christian vs. Atheism

As inspired by this post, I began to wonder how Atheist missionaries would conduct themselves. I decided to highlight the differences between how Christians and Atheists would go about recruiting people. Remember, the missionaries are always the most extreme among our ranks.

Christians hand out tracts.
Atheists hand out condoms and porn (Why do people in relationships get all the fun?).

Christians make awkward conversation with you in public places before springing the trap.
Atheists make snide remarks when they overhear anything vaguely religious.

Christians take church funded mission trips to foreign lands (see also: self-righteous vacations).
Atheists take acid trips (equally as self-righteous).

Christians build churches.
Atheists build abortion clinics, gay bars, and democracy.

Christians pass out Bibles so fast they don’t have time to read it themselves.
Atheists pass out, drunk. [Hitchens, lay off a little before public appearances.]

Christians wear a cross around their neck.
Atheists cross out “God” from the back of their money.

The Christian missionary position:

The Atheist missionary positions:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Dead


What do you even say? Thanks for the memories... even the weird ones.

Clarence Thomas: Supreme Douchebag

In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme court today determined a girl's school violated her rights when they strip-searched her in search of... *drumroll*... ibuprofen (Advil). Zero tolerance = zero intelligence.

As anyone can probably guess from the title of my post, which Supreme Douchebag was the lone dissenter? Clarence Thomas[!], who has a record of sexual harrassment. I'd like to thank you, Honorable Justice Thomas, for showing us that douchebaggery knows no color.

What a year for black people: Obama becomes president, the most authoritarian voice comes from Thomas... well, that's about it.

The Virtue of Libertarianism

I have aimed accusation after accusation at Libertarians for several posts now, and I want to temper it by showing that I understand where they’re coming from. I do see their point of view… I just can’t help also seeing through most of it.

Libertarians have some of the most valid arguments against Marxist governments as they have been applied in reality. They defend the right to private property (such as in opposition to eminent domain), and their opposition to the cumbersome notion of a command economy is spot on. Most importantly, their vigilance against corrupt deals between politicians and businesses is invaluable. These are concepts necessary for the application of any meaningful regulation.

Not all regulation is good regulation. In fact, I personally believe the US has some of the worst regulatory agencies and policies in the world. A good start would be to cap campaign contributions, which means electing people who will vote to end corruption through self-regulation (since this would be government regulating itself). Sounds pretty Libertarian, and maybe it will be they who performs this monumental step in the right direction. I know it is an issue many of them espouse.

They’re heads (though not their hearts) are also in the right place when it comes to personal liberties. While I see things like drug-legalization as a step towards bringing the problems of many out into the open, where treatment is more acceptable and available, they tend to see a revenue stream. Sometimes a situation is just win-win. I just hope they’re willing to regulate it to ensure a modicum of safety.

Libertarians are also leading the fight against the two-party system. Perhaps the most appalling thing about our democracy is the tyrannical hold the Democrats and Republicans have upon the election process. It is to a point that election after election, there simply is no choice for most Americans. The two-party system has driven many to not bother voting. Until additional parties are encouraged—and not just “allowed”—to participate, our elections will continue to be shams that elect people who do not represent the population.

Then again, perhaps having more than two parties is too complex for a nation with five-hundred TV channels to keep track of. Perhaps Libertarians will replace Republicans, which would be a windfall for those looking for real political debate. I have long said that Democrats are roughly 50% right, while Republicans are 100% wrong. With Libertarians being about half right themselves, perhaps they can form the much-needed other part to the political debate that has been retarded by obstinate Republicans.

I could never do a post like this for Republicanism.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tyranny Begins in You and Me

Those who victimize others often fear they will be victimized. Thieves are careful to lock their doors, and liars trust no one. The Libertarian, on the other hand, casts the shadowy moniker of “tyrant” upon any who would disagree with their vision of “freedom.”

Screw the rules, many Libertarians say. The good do not need them and the bad do not follow them, of what use are they?

Libertarians will talk at great length about freedom, and not let you get a word in edgewise. This is a perfect metaphor for their ideology: a stifling freedom. They believe private individuals should be free to oppress one another, without interference from that pesky government. This is the same mentality of the Southerners during the Civil War: they need the freedom to oppress others privately without the federal government sticking its big nose in. Tyrants can’t talk enough about “freedom,” just look at Bush.

There is a wonderful example of a double-standard in the results of the polls I took:

Do you believe it is acceptable to kill an intruder you catch in your home?
Yes 7 (41%)
No 10 (58%)

Should the government execute criminals convicted of breaking and entering?
Yes 0 (0%)
No 20 (100%)

Now, the specific numbers are unimportant. What matters is that no participants in the second poll believed that breaking and entering was worthy of capital punishment—which I feel is an accurate representation of the general consensus (outside fundamentalist Muslim nations). However, in the first poll (which was conducted first, and closed before the second poll opened), seven participants thought it was acceptable for private citizens to make the decision for themselves.

In fact, a significant minority thought it was acceptable to “kill an intruder” caught in your home. States like Florida have even enshrined this mentality into law.

Before I proceed, let me address a few things. One, I see no problem with self-defense—assuming the other person has the means and intent to harm. “Is it acceptable to use force against an armed intruder in your home?” would garner a nearly 100% favorable vote.

However, this was not the question I asked. I asked if it was acceptable to kill someone for the simple act of breaking and entering. I didn’t say he was breathing heavily over you as you slept. I didn’t say he killed your dog. I didn’t say you found him raping your daughter. I didn’t even suggest using non-lethal force; seven out of seventeen people think it is okay to just simply kill an intruder. Is the only option killing them? Really?

What makes someone vote yes on a question like this? Blood lust? Blind rage? Poor reading comprehension? Movies and news stories about panic rooms, kidnappings, and gang rape?

I think it is fear. I think those who buy guns feel powerless in a world out to get them. They are usually weak willed and even weaker minded, and their only source of empowerment is in convincing themselves they possess the raw force necessary to feel secure. Once you have the power in hand, it’s almost too convenient to be presented a “free pass” to use it. Shoot first, ask questions later. Let God sort them out.

This is wrong on so many levels. In a society where the individuals feel this way, it is only a matter of time until the government acts in kind. The government doesn’t come from a crop of people grown on a farm in the Midwest, away from all the citizens (even if they seem to appear this way). They come from within, and we are damaged goods.

Our government is corrupt because we are corrupt, and we elect them because they tell us we’re the greatest people in the world. We accept their verbal hand-job while handing over our vote to con-artists out to get rich through political kick-backs. If you think we have a government of tyrants, it’s only because we are a population of little tyrants, and this was the best we could come up with.

Libertarians are no different. They throw out the possibility of oppression by the government in favor of assured oppression by corporations. Too much power in any sector is wrong, and we must balance the power by spreading it out, not through consolidation.

The government is supposed to protect and serve the people, not step back and do nothing. If you hate government so much, stop voting. I have. Send the message that there are people looking for something else.
You don’t earn democracy brownie points every time you go to vote, you only gain if you help elect someone who represents you and your interests. If you identify with the swindlers we have to choose from, don’t let me stop you. But if you’re giving your vote away to a tyrant or, more often, a crook, that makes you implicitly guilty of their actions.

If people cared, we could change our government. In every presidential election of my lifetime, more eligible voters have not voted than have voted for the winner. If this is not a call for something radically new, I don’t know what is.

But Libertarianism is not new; it is recycled ideas from pre-Reagan Republicanism and Classical Liberalism. Think of it as philosophy gone “green;” we reuse even the worst ideas so that we don’t have to think or try anything different. Libertarianism is nothing but American Conservatism without the overpowering influence of the Religious Right.
We need something new, and we certainly deserve something better.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Getting Political

I made a post after the 2008 elections about why I hate talking about politics. Frankly, at that point I had been burned out from working in a college setting where lots of educated people had tons of free time; all we did was discuss politics.

In the whole department, I was the most liberal by far. Let’s put it this way: I’m so liberal, I support abortion up until the 11th trimester. After all, infanticide is a practice enshrined in many cultures, from the Greeks and Romans to the modern Chinese. Why does no one care about tradition when I try to use it as justification? [Please refrain from killing your children until it is legal, which will be never.]

The claim that professors are largely liberal is such a lie. Even in the English department where I worked, half of them were hard-line conservatives (with most publicly identifying as Libertarian, because it’s too embarrassing to admit you vote Republican). It’s funny, because if most Libertarians took their class and had to read “Atlas Shrugged,” they'd rebel against that and become Marxists. Funny how things turn out.

What was most frustrating about our debates was that the election acted as an anchor that kept dragging the conversation to pointless realms of discussion. Palin/Obama bashing from their respective opponents dominated, and I had no will to defend either one.

I don’t like Obama. Yes, yes, isn’t it wonderful that America elected a black person for president. But to be honest, Obama is black-lite: he can play basketball, but he still walks with a Caucasian rod up his ass. I’ve always said, “I don’t trust his white half,” and I certainly don’t trust his slick suits. Suits are imperialist military fashion. Nothing says, “I’m ready to exploit an indigenous people,” like a suit and tie.

Obama is no socialist, which is a shame. As things stand, I have cautious indifference for him, but if he demands Americans do community service in order to receive college funding, or requires health insurance under penalty of fine, my feelings towards him will turn sour very quickly. It would also be nice if he grew a pair and stood up for actual change... gay rights, economic regulation, public school funding, ending the wars, anything...

So now that the election is over, it’s okay to talk about things other than why Barack Obama is or isn’t a communist fascist or why Sarah Palin is or isn’t the future of the Republican party. These straw men and women do not help me in my goal of understanding political ideology. As far as I’m concerned, both sides have simultaneously achieved their goals: I hate all politicians.

I am fast approaching a point where I believe people should be forced to run anonymously. All debate and public address can be conducted through writing. I am curious if we might actually elect better leaders, as ugly and uncharismatic as they may be.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Read It and Weep

This is why capitalism, the blind pursuit of money, is a horrible system when left unchecked:

The claim of deregulators that companies will regulate themselves is proven to be a lie time and again. It is simply more profitable to treat you like shit and still charge you for it. You won't necessarily get what you pay for, but you will pay for everything you get.

Which is why we pay the most per person out of any nation for healthcare, and yet we're ranked 37th in the world in health. We're behind such first-world giants as Monaco, Morocco, Cyprus, and Costa Rica, and we just beat out Slovenia at 38.

Why are we in this mess? It's greed, plain and simple. According to the original linked article, "All three executives politely and firmly refused, when asked by lawmakers to stop canceling coverage[.]" This is called rescission, and is standard industry practice.

I feel like we would rise up in protest, if we weren't so sickly.

Divine Gender

What I’m about to say may surprise some of you. Maybe not the women, but it will shock the guys. I have come to find out that God is, in fact, a female.

Think about it. God created life by birthing the universe. God raised man and taught him the rules to live by. God protects and nurtures us. Man was made in God’s image, and before woman. Therefore, when woman was created, God clearly already had practice. Eve is more closely related to God, as she was a second attempt, and more apt to be done right.

Also, God always needs reassurance. The Christian God is an insecure God, and She must be praised often in order for Her to be reminded of just how wonderful of a God She is. She does an often thankless job: cooking up the universe, raising Her billions of children, all while fighting with Satan (clearly the scorned ex-husband). All She asks in return is a little gratitude… and money.

God always needs money. This clearly indicates that She doesn’t hold a job while raising the universe. I’m not judging her decision to be a stay-at-home God; I’m glad She’s keeping an eye on things rather than wearing a loud colored blazer and showing houses. However, let’s face it: God can never get enough alms, donations or tithes. I can only imagine the size of Her shoe collection.

God is also very jealous. “Don’t you dare look at that golden calf over there! Oh I know you didn’t just say something about Me under your breath, mister. That’s blasphemy!”

God also clearly has a menstrual cycle. God will be extremely kind one minute… then the hormones kick in. The next thing you know, an earthquake knocks your house down. The mood swings of God help account for the staggering number of inconsistencies in the Bible regarding God’s personality. She was bitter during the Old Testament because of the whole break-up with Satan. Notice how God got the house in the divorce, once again proving She’s female. The whole Noah’s ark flood thing? Talk about a heavy flow. That was one nasty case of cosmic PMS.

Other personality traits of God can be more easily explained once one realizes God is female. God knows EVERYTHING and is ALWAYS right. If you upset God, She makes you sleep in the dog house… for eternity. Of course, if you admit you’re wrong and say how sorry you are, She will forgive you, ‘cause that’s just the kind of girl She is. No matter how much you abuse Her, She keeps taking us back. God is a co-dependent housewife. She sticks by Her man: Mankind.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Libertarianism: A Study in History

In all recorded history there has not been one economist who has had to worry
about where the next meal would come from.
- Peter Drucker

Economics is not my strongest field, but lucky for me it is a discipline created and dominated by self-serving fools (a very predictable group, not all that dissimilar from 5 year olds). Approaching economics as I do all irrational fields of study (religion is a good example), I should have no problem finding inconsistencies in reality by citing historical evidence.

Libertarianism is a rebranding of old ideas. It is American conservatism, far more so than Republicanism since Reagan onward (perhaps going back even as far as Nixon). One notable addition which dominates their ideology is borrowed from Liberalism (of the Jeffersonian variety): laissez-faire capitalism.

We are perhaps doomed as a nation to constantly have to deal with resurgences of this infantile ideology. Thomas Jefferson was fascinated by it and actively practiced it during his presidency; he had a taste for French ideas. It is forever ensconced in the writings of Jefferson. Of course, so is slavery and racial bigotry, and we seem to better off without the one and striving towards an absence of the other.

Laissez-faire capitalism is a doctrine under which the government does nothing to alter and affect private industry; it is a “hands off” approach. The phrase translates from French as literally as “let them do,” though has come to more accurately be applied in English as “leave them be.” I could go off on a pathos based tirade against French people, but frankly [pun intended?] I like the French. This is just one of their mistakes; they have many other endearing qualities.

There has never been a laissez-faire economy. There has always been a modicum of government intervention in the form of protectionist tariffs, subsidies, and regulation. The government handled licensing for barbers and doctors alike going back prior to the Revolutionary War. Basically, laissez-faire capitalism is a pipe dream never realized (unlike Communism, which is a pipe dream grossly mismanaged several times throughout history, but that is another blog post).

Worse, capitalism is a system that relies upon exploitation. Being rich is not a victimless crime, and some (often many) must to be without in order for some to have so much. It functioned on slave labor during the beginning of this nation’s history, and moved to near-slave labor after the Civil War. The poor—white and minority alike—were underpaid and set to work in horrendous conditions, from railraods to coal mines to factories to cotton fields. When regulations were put into place in the US during the early to mid 20th century, America flourished like never before. (Ever wonder why we think of the 1950’s, post-New Deal America, as so ideal? It was when we were the most Socialist!)

Minimum wage laws, child labor laws, the progressive tax scale, food and drug safety… all of these are absent in a true laissez-faire government. People tend to forget that there was a time when poor children’s peak learning period was occupied working in sweat shops and dangerous factories because everyone in the family had to work in order to earn enough money to subsist.

In fact, this continues in third world nations so that we may have cheap, lead-painted toys (no wonder they think nothing of giving it to our kids, their kids are making them). At the turn of the 20th century, people were falling into meat grinders that just kept right on operating while shysters went from town to town selling concentrated cocaine in syrup form as a cure-all.

This is reality. This is history. This is how human beings treat each other when the level-headed do not step in and correct them.

Libertarians give people too much credit. You can see it in their policy towards guns. They assume everyone is a responsible owner, or if they don’t, they sure don’t seem to care. They assume the world would be safer if everyone owned a gun, despite history’s lessons of the pervasive violence in the oft-romanticized Wild West. In the end, even their policy on drug legalization boils down to being identical to their stance on guns: we can profit, so it’s good. Drugs should be legalized because they’re safer legalized and regulated than they are on the black market, unregulated (which is anti-laissez-faire). They should also be taxed heavily to pay for the cost to public health, much the same way cigarettes are (another measure Libertarians ignorantly oppose).

Perhaps the biggest travesty is the privatization movement, whereby Libertarians hope to one day have us all pay privately for police, fire, water, and who knows, maybe oxygen. This is all an affront to circumvent equality for all on basic services by ensuring the poor receive less (or none, what do Libertarians care?). If anything, more services need to be moved under the control of our democratically elected government and away from the royalist, aristrocratic tyrants of industry who tell us to take what they give us and like it.

In short, Libertarianism is nothing but a scam touted by capitalist pigs who have or are amassing billions, and by frat boys who wish to one day do the same… but after this bong hit.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I have a lot to write about, but I have been a little ill. I'm uninsured, so my insurance plan is Dr. Pepper and Nyquil. Although being sick actually increased my time to write, it is now hindering me because my flu has been supplemented with a nice case of pink-eye, which is keeping me from focusing on the screen for long.

I have primarily been thinking about how to address the two polls I took most recently (which I have moved to the top right). The results don't surprise me much, but maybe someone sees my point and wants to leave a comment on what they think. Do citizens think they have better judgement than our courts? Is it because in a moment of panic, we have more understanding for injustice? Clearly we don't think the punishment for B&E should be death (since we don't live in the nation of our good allies, the Saudis), but why do so many people (and some states, like Florida) condone a shoot-first mentality?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Injustice or How to Be a Pirate

Imagine going into a store and stealing two CDs. As you leave the store, you get caught. Rather than just take you to the back, humiliatingly strip search you, scare you with threats of litigation, and letting you loose, they take you do trial.

So far, seems fair. Somehow it ends up in federal court. Strange… The jury finds you guilty, because let’s face it: you did it. The penalty: $1.9 million.

That’s essentially what happened to Jammie Thomas-Rasset, except she never even went into a store. On Thursday, a federal jury fined Jammie $80,000 for each of the 24 songs she downloaded (equivalent to two CD’s of music).

What the hell is wrong with our copyright law? This is not only a blatantly absurd penalty on a $20-30 dollar theft (each song can be downloaded for roughly 99 cents), it’s un-American. The eighth amendment clearly states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” If ever there was an excessive fine, this is it.

Of course, this country is run by rich douchebags who stand to gain the most by forcing people to pay for every song download (whether they own the CD or previously downloaded it or not), so it’s not surprising the law is designed not only to protect them, but also to strike authoritarian fear in the hearts of citizens.

My reaction to such vulgar abuse of power is predictable. Below, I explain in four simple steps how to download music (or anything) illegally. Having done this for years, I can assure you nothing bad will happen. SWAT teams won’t come bursting through your window, I promise... Of course, you could just Google any of this, as it’s already ubiquitous.

Step 1. Download and install BitTorrent. You can Google BitTorrent, you can go to, you can even go to (cause they’re non-profit!) and learn more about it and how it works.

Step 2. Go to a torrent site. My favorite is, but you can get nostalgic and use the much maligned of Swedish legal fame.

Step 3. Search for something. It can be a musician or song name, or even movie title. Hell, you can even download whole seasons of TV shows.

Step 4. When you find what you want, click the link. On the new page, click “Download Torrent.”

You now have yourself some fresh pirate booty. Avast, me hearties, plunder 'til ye heart's content. And if you're anything like me, you’ll not only buy the CD or movie if you loved it, you might even make the effort to see them live (or a movie in the theatre), which actually profits the artist (and Ticketmaster...) more than sales of CDs and DVDs.

Quick Laugh Over a Tragedy

It seems our good buddy who shot up the Holocaust museum was also into youngsters.
However, the part that made me laugh out loud (and actually wake up my wife) was at the bottom of the article:

"Earlier this week investigators filed papers saying among the items discovered
in von Brunn's apartment was a painting that appeared to depict Hitler and

It's very satisfying to be right. It's a shame an innocent man died over this guy's stereotypical white-whackiness.

Groups that Need to Go

Groups form for a reason. Sometimes, that reason disappears, either by action of the group or otherwise. However, groups don’t always disappear once their mission is gone.

Take PETA, for example. There was a time when people treated animals even worse than they do today. Of course now, even a beloved public figure like Michael Vick is instantly demonized for crimes against dogs (perhaps rightly so). So, PETA has been reduced to public campaigns against fly swatting. PETA defending annoying pests... actually sounds like self-interest to me. Of course, they have a crappy product to push on Obama: the Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher. I love how the news is often just an ad for consumer goods; talk about journalistic integrity.

A group we never needed is the NRA. Yes, I’m a big, scary, “disarm the populace” person. Our guns are being used to fuel street battles in neighboring Mexico and help propel America’s gun violence statistics to third-world, Somali levels. Guns do not make you patriotic, free, or a bad ass. They do, however, mark you as afraid and compelled by feelings of inadequacy (seriously, is it that small?).

The whole image of gun-ownership is a sales pitch by gun manufacturers because most people who own guns have absolutely no use for them (legal or illegal). The more we have floating around, the more are stolen or stockpiled. Nothing good comes from guns, and you aren’t going to challenge a modern tank/plane military with your arsenal and buried school bus. We don’t need more guns than we issue hunting licenses, and we certainly have no need for automatic weapons.

“But Ginx, blah blah blah 2nd Amendment!” Yeah, and the constitution also talks about how to counts slaves for voting, but that doesn’t sanctify slavery. The founders weren’t perfect, and they only ever saw muskets. [Does anyone support private citizens owning tanks, rockets, RPGs, fighter planes, nuclear weapons, etc.? Where’s the line?]

The AMA is a group that seems pretty harmless. Most people would need me to point out it stands for the American Medical Association. The AMA’s primary goal is to benefit doctors, which is a group of people I think have it good already... instant warning sign for obsolescence. The AMA has worked to create artificial doctor shortages by quietly limiting the number of doctors who graduate per year, ensuring fewer are allowed in than are needed. This artificial shortage increases demand, allowing doctors to be paid more. They also publicly smear non-physician care (alternative medicine, pharmacist/patient care, midwives, etc.), thereby eliminating competition in the marketplace. Who cares that Americans are getting some of the worst care in the developed world...

As liberal as I am, I hate unions. They are extra-governmental power, and I oppose that. Unions should be irrelevant, as the government ought to be working to keep conditions safe and wages fair. I would support the abolition of unions if the conditions were in place to ensure workers were better represented in government. Maybe this is impossible and unions are a natural part of the market, but I find them cumbersome and often an unnecessary barrier of entry into an occupation. The fact that they tax you with “dues” is just further evidence this is misplaced government.

The final group that has lost all meaning is the Republican Party. I know it is inevitable, and I question if a name change will even occur, but within my lifetime it will morph into the Libertarian Party (perhaps in values alone). I would love this, especially if it is dominated by atheist Libertarians (of which there are many). It would mean that even when Democrats lost, the party in power would have SOMETHING, at least ONE SINGLE THING, in common with me.

As it stands, Republicans are the most worthless people to walk the face of the Earth. They’re like society’s big, loud, annoying id. While most parties rally around ideas, Republicans have an attitude: “Gimme that, mine!” They’re a lead anchor tied to testicles of America (yes, America is a man, how do you think it fucks everyone over?). There is not a single iota of worth in the ideology of Republicans; even when they set out to do something right (invading Afghanistan, “smaller government,” cursing on the Senate floor), it’s for the wrong reasons and it fails miserably.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why I Don’t Shop At Wal-Mart

Short and sweet: censorship.

I realize they mistreat their workers, but they aren’t slaves chained to the job. They can go out and sell meth like anyone else if they want.

I also realize they misuse overseas labor, but my jury is still out on how to handle the “sweatshops or prostitution” dilemma many of the women - and children - in third world nations are faced with. This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if our capitalist system didn’t create super-wealthy douchebags who could afford to fly out to third-world nations for sex with underaged children.

Also, I like that they destroy main-street America. I hate small towns and hope they all dry up and die so the slovenly, truck-driving drunks have to close their racism-factories and move to metropolitan areas where their kids will meet (not just be served food by) a black person before the age of 18.

In fact, I like large companies more than mom & pop places. Mom & pop don’t know shit about what I want to buy. They always have the worst selection, and I have to go to a chain store or online to get what I wanted in the first place (cheaper, too). Besides, Wal-Mart is a family run, mom & pop business; family members who run or worked for the company are just billionaire moms and pops. This might actually be another reason I don’t like them...

What’s irritating about Wal-Mart is that, by being a private company, they can circumvent the First Amendment. This is one of the many reasons I support socialism; I think companies have no right to discriminate or censor. Wal-Mart, by virtue of being the largest retailer, has pressured some artists to alter their work to meet decency standards. Others must sell edited versions. Some CD’s and books are not sold at all.

I’m not starting a campaign. I don’t care if you shop at Wal-Mart. I mostly wanted to vent about the stupid reasons most people had for not shopping there.

*Note: from a legal standpoint, I think Wal-Mart should treat its workers better. I just know that if this were the criteria by which one boycotted a company, one would be able to purchase nothing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Religion in the News

There's lots of religion in the news today.

The first thing I noticed was former president Jimmy Carter's comments regarding his visit with the Palestinians and Israelis. I applaud Mr. Carter for his efforts, as there are times (like now) that he has been more active in the Middle East than the whole of America. I also respect him for listening to both sides. Then again, he's not taking huge campaign contributions from Israeli interest groups (AIPAC, CoP, WINEP, IPF, etc.), so he's not as tainted as active politicians.

Mr. Carter pointed out the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are "treated more like animals than human beings." He notes that items like paper, crayons, and children's toys are included among items being denied through a trade blockade. In Carter's words, "I sought an explanation of this when I met with Israeli officials and I received none, because there is no explanation."

He also remarked at the complete lack of reconstruction in the war-torn region. "Never before in history has a large community [1.5 million Palestinians] like this been savaged by bombs and missiles and then been deprived of the means to repair itself," Carter said. Another story here outlines more about his visit.

Our ally is also breaching the freedom of speech of non-Israeli reporters and making threats towards Iran. But is it really this bad?

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel (who did not receive the most votes and weaseled his way into power by technicality), has backed down from his hardline stance against a Palestinian state. While he appears to be asking the impossible, he has accepted (in theory) the formation of a completely demilitarized Palestinian state.

My final sigh of relief comes from a poll which finds that only 1 in 5 Israelis believe Iran would attack Israel with nuclear weapons. I am positive those numbers would be higher if the poll had been done in the US, so it says to me that Israeli citizens have a level head, and hopefully their government will take notice and chill out.

On a lighter note, Scientology could take a huge blow from the French. A fraud trial in Paris has escalated to the point where Scientology may be dissolved as a religion within the country. It currently is not registered as a religion, and therefore receives no tax-exemption (unlike in the US, where we fell for it). The implications are that Scientology auditing and "tech" (see also: overpriced books) will not be allowed to be sold in France. If your religion can't even stand up to the French, you should just give up.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I never write about myself, usually just about my views (which I guess is equally narcissistic). Blogs are supposed to be personal, right?

So in an effort to explain a few things about me, I thought I’d post about where I got my online nickname, Ginx, and what my user picture means.

I chose the word Ginx because Jinx13 was taken as an AOL account when I was 12. I remember I was 12, because everything required you to be 13 to participate. I figured a 13 in my name would be sufficient proof. I guess I also liked cultish stuff back then.

I changed the first letter because I saw no pronunciation dilemma, thinking, “‘g’ as in ‘George,’ not ‘g’ as in ‘gorge.’” Because I occasionally play video games that allow voice chat, I hear Ginx mispronounced a lot, but frankly I don’t care. I let a professor call me “Brad” for a whole semester once. I even thought about putting “Brad” on my papers.

Which reminds me, my name is Brett. My wife doesn’t want our names online, but I think it’d be cool to be martyred for your beliefs. It’s so much less effort to die young than to grow old. More than being lazy, I’m intrigued by the possible impact; if someone killed me because of my atheist blog, my writing would have far more of an impact than it does with a readership composed mostly of people who would read this and feel very depressed and sorry for me (rather than the appropriate response of strangers, which is to laugh at my naiveté and wish I’d move on to something funny or dramatic… not melodramatic).

The name Ginx stuck this whole time (I’m 25 now). In fact, I’ve had the moniker longer than I have not. Since adopting it, I researched it as thoroughly as I have all my other names (Brett is a demonym meaning “from Britain”). A man by the name of Edward Jenkins wrote an amazing book called “Ginx’s Baby. His Birth and other Misfortunes: A Satire.” Ginx is the last name, so the child also share’s this name. The entire book can be read online here, as the copyright expired decades ago.

In high school, I formulated the “GINX Maxim,” which states, “God Is Not X.” It is an expression of my frustration at liberal Christians whose concept of God has far transcended anything actually described in the Bible. There are some who say that God is simply the unknown, but this view is in no way supported by the Bible.

God is the One, the Prime Mover, the beginning and the end. Nowhere in the Bible can one infer that God merely occupies the gaps in human knowledge. I see no appeal in this view, from a theistic perspective, as this would mean God’s realm and influence in shrinking daily, as we learn more and more.

It’s an interesting idea, and I support their decision to start a brand new religion based on this view, but why perpetuate the lies of the Bible? The Bible should not be religious doctrine, but rather a scholarly text akin to the works of Homer. There is far more psychology within the Bible than ethics or morality.

So about my profile picture... Again, my wife doesn’t want our identities to be known (though I think she has since posted wedding photos with us in them). While I joke about it, I would prefer to live to see my children grow up and resent me, so a picture of me is not an option. Instead, I Photoshopped a picture of a Penrose triangle over a background I made.

The Penrose triangle is an interesting concept. It is an example of what is called “an impossible object.” It can be drawn, but it cannot be constructed in real life. I find this to be a metaphor for most philosophies and religions: it seems possible on paper, but it has no anchor in reality. It is a constant reminder that everything I think and write is merely mental masturbation unless it can be enacted in real life.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Why Did We Draw This Line?

It’s strange that belief and disbelief in gods is used to categorize people. I find it to be a highly biased view. For one thing, monotheists love the debate because it legitimizes their claim of a lone god. The debate has boiled down to Him or nothing, which is much easier for them than when they had to compete with various pantheons of divinities, with various cult temples scattered all about.

Theism versus Atheism is only an important distinction to monotheists who hold the Ten Commandments to be meaningful. After all, the first couple commandments are solely premised on the existence of gods. I put emphasis on the plural; how else could you have other gods before Yahweh?

I think three other concepts are more important to the human condition than the belief and worship of deities: belief in souls, belief in an afterlife, and belief in cosmic justice.

Every religion believes in some form of these three concepts. In addition, some atheists and agnostics also subscribe to one or more of these tenets. These three concepts play a direct role in our worldview; within religion, gods are usually secondary arbiters or defenders of the order associated with the immortal souls, the afterlife, and divine justice (with Buddhism being one exception).

Why are there no words for those who believe in souls, the afterlife, or cosmic justice? As far as I know, there is no individual or collective term for them, nor is there a name for the lack of such beliefs. Perhaps we bicker over the frivolous nature of the divine because we lack the vocabulary to discuss the concepts that truly matter on a personal level.

Sometimes it seems like the language of our eternal destiny eludes us beneath a sea of dogma that promises impersonal, universal salvation. Does the parlance of religion prevent us from having a logical discussion of metaphysical phenomenon without sounding like hokey mystics? Has religion hijacked spirituality, or are the absence of gods proof that our existence is anchored solely in the physical realm of matter?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Atheist Footprints In The Sand

I found myself dreaming of a beach.
I was with God, don’t ask how I recognized Him.
Footprints in the sand represented my life.
Oh God, you are so mysterious and vague.

There were mostly two sets: mine and God’s.
However, when I went through hard times,
When it seemed like my life couldn’t get worse,
I saw only one lonely set of footprints.

I asked God why this was, and he replied,
“I didn’t leave you during the rough times.
No, my dearest child, it was then that I
Jumped on your back and rode your ass!”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Resume I Wish I Could Submit

Forgive the formatting, I have no desire to make it all line up the way it ought to. You'll get the general idea.

Bret Alan
Contact Info: [As If You’ll Ever Call or Email Me Back]

What You Want To Hear:
  • Demonstrated brown-noser with exceptional knowledge of when to say nothing, when to agree, and when to shamelessly take the blame.
  • Strong background in faking it, combined with fluency in several languages, including Advanced Level Bullshitting and certification in corporate double-talk.
  • Like most members of my species, I am skilled at learning new concepts quickly and I possess all the necessary tools (tongue, lungs, voice box, etc) to communicate ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Extensive computer training, including knowledge of how to quickly alt+tab so you won’t see me browsing the internet at work.
Education: BS in… what does it matter, the BS says it all.
Professional History:
Writing Tutor, The College At Which I Earned My Degree: 2007-present
  • Worked directly under several of the top intolerable douchebags in my field, taking flack for things I had nothing to do with and assuming responsibility for even when my multiple bosses instructed me to act improperly.
  • Researched thousands of news articles which had no bearing whatsoever to my job, but kept me looking busy.
  • Wasted hundreds of paid hours copying, collating, and filing forms in triplicate that will never be looked at by anyone again, ever.
  • Listened to ESL (and sometimes even native English speaking) students struggle to read a paper they copy-and-pasted from an essay-writing service the night before.
IT Technician, The Company My Dad Works For: hurray nepotism
  • Sat dutifully for hours on end playing flash games while waiting for calls from people who can’t figure out why their computer won’t work, when in fact their monitor had been unplugged by the maintenance people the night before.
  • Served as interpreter and translator for stupid corporate policies, including the pathetic attempt to prevent the morons they hire from downloading viruses by restricting everyone’s computer use to the point of not being able to even open their mail.
  • Initiated multiple practical jokes using the security software that allowed us to control a person’s computer remotely.
  • Designed and constructed a fully-fuctional crossbow from common, everyday office supplies.

I wonder why I'm unemployed...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Holocaust Museum Shooting

I was all set to have a bunch of Jew-critical stuff to say today, then I heard about this.

First off, white supremacy is the dumbest idea I've ever heard. Most of the people I know are white, and I know this: we aren't the best race. If we are, the human race has a lot of problems.

Second, Jewish people are white. Which brings me to my third point.

He was not a "white supremacist." Very few people, if anyone, self-identify as that. "White supremacist" is a title like "infidel" or "heathen" that is flung around as a misinformative exonym (a name used by outsiders to refer to a group, but not the name used by the group to describe itself). Most "white supremacists" are Neo-Nazis. This is not Godwin's Law, this is just the way it is.

So this Neo-Nazi rolls up to the Holocaust museum with a gun. He shoots a security guard, then is taken down by other guards. Early reports (as this is being written as it is still going on) show no other injuries.

Here's why white people are inferior. Look at the numbers: he shot one other person, and a security guard at that. They don't even count, honestly. You have to kill innocent bystanders for it to count, and double points for women and children. By this scoring system, white people score horribly. Not only did this guy barely break even in his shot/hit ratio, no white person can touch Seung-Hui Cho's high score of 32 kills, 17 wounded before turning the gun on himself (so technically, he should get the kill). Anyone who's played online shooting games can attest: Asian people can twitch, what can I say?

Now that I got the "sad" stuff out of the way, I'll just briefly mention the Jewish hilarity I read this morning. Apparently, a woman bought her mother a new mattress, replaced it, and threw out the old one. Turns out the mom was stashing a million dollars in cash within the mattress, which was taken by the garbage men before it could be retrieved. It's funny, cause she's Jewish and she stashes money in her mattress.
Now that's some anti-semitism we can all laugh at, why do Neo-Nazis have to ruin the fun? Give it up, YOU LOST! Neo-Nazis and southerners who can't get over the Civil War should start a support group for failed ideologies. Make room, Republicans will need it soon enough.

American Terrorism

Republicans, conservatives, right wingers... they have more titles than they have principles. Case in point: Scott Roeder has openly admitted there is additional violence planned against abortion providers. Mr. Roeder is a textbook terrorist. He has also presented Republicans with the Holy Grail of torture: a ticking time bomb.

Yes, the terrorist scenario every liberal in America has said would never happen HAS happened. We have a man in custody who claims to be part of an organization threatening future acts of violence. As they should, liberals have treated Mr. Roeder like any other murderer. Would Republicans have the same grace if someone shot Rush Limbaugh and claimed Karl Rove was next?

Incidents like this highlight why we need to show restraint towards other nations. Could you imagine blaming Pro-Life organizations he was a part of, or everyone in Mr. Roeder's church? Why do we blame entire nations for the actions of a few of their extremists? We expect everyone to control their people, even as America continues to slip into dissaray.

I want to point out that I agree whole-heartedly with Mr. Roeder on one thing: the conditions in prison are unacceptable. It is most unfortunate that he has been denied access to his sleep apnea machine. America has a general attitude of not only indifference, but venomous hatred for those in jail. They are human beings and should be treated as such (especially since many will be released in their lifetime and will live among us again, though probably not Mr.Roeder).

This all got me thinking about terrorism in general, and I realized: terrorism is just extreme advertising.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Walker

The streets have become a tarnished parody of our dreams of progress. They are littered with reminders of the disposable culture we find ourselves in. Everywhere, we see reminders that our lives are filled with use-once-and-discard items: an empty bag of Fritos, a tampon applicator, condom wrappers, little ziplock bags the size of a Tic-tac container, homeless people. When times are hard, people harden. The worst among us become worse, but the best become something more, something new.

It seems that unemployment has inspired some to become superheroes. It got me thinking about what superhero I would be. In fact, I realized I may have been a superhero for months now.

I am: The Walker. I prowl the streets with my trusty sidekick, Barkley the dog. I am always looking to help those I see. I’ll share with you the fruits of my 5 months as a superhero/dog owner (in order from least important to most substantial).

First, I am asked on a nearly weekly basis for directions. I am now great at giving directions. I have it down to a system. First, you have to ask yourself: do you know where they’re trying to go? If you have no clue, do both of yourselves a favor and say, “Sorry, I have no idea.” If you know, then direct them. If you use your arm, MAINTAIN EYE-CONTACT. I can’t stress this enough. No one can hear you on a busy street (especially from their car) if you’re talking away from them.

Walking my dog has enabled me to become better at giving directions. I have actually been asked twice now where a certain dance studio is in our neighborhood, and I would never have known its location if I didn’t walk by it nearly every day. In fact, it is this walking around that enables me to even be outside to help people.

I was once walking my dog and some children at the school near my house lost a football over the fence. It rolled into the street, where a car grazed it. The ball was sent under a parked car near where I stood, across the street from the playground. I managed to lay down flat and reach the ball under the car to return it to them. In a similar vein, I saw a man across an intersection drop his sunglasses, so I went to pick them up, ran after him, and returned them.

My final act as a superhero was actually one of the first I performed. I found a set of keys while walking my dog, and it had a keyless entry clicker. So, I walked around clicking it, looking for the car. When I found it (a silver Matrix), I wrote a note with my phone number and placed it under the car’s wipers. We met up and they got their keys back. The man was an old, gray-haired fellow who said he worked in psychology. He had no questions for me about why I returned them, maybe because he lived in a time when this was expected behavior.

Which makes me wonder: is there really anything good about acting this way? Is this what being a “superhero” is about? Isn’t this just the way we should be expected to act? Have our expectations dropped so far that common courtesy is a rare virtue? I hope not.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Last Scattered Thoughts (For A While)

Perhaps religion persists through each member’s shared desire to feel whatever everyone else claims to feel. Perhaps it is through Stockholm Syndrome.

Enthusiomosis – excitement that permeates to others

If every banker, lawyer, and preacher was thrown into the Grand Canyon, it would still not be filled, but the world would be infinitely happier for it.

Speak the truth quietly, or be prepared for the consequences.

History has taught me that we do not learn from history.

I hate flattery, and have successfully avoided it by remaining completely unimportant.

Having to listen to someone ramble for years on end is usually one of two things. If you get a piece of paper afterwards, it’s called an “education.” If you get a piece of paper before it started, it’s called a “marriage.”

Those afraid of heights should not stand on the shoulders of giants and look down.

Waterboarding: aka “the terrorist baptism”

No hero’s path is easy, but not every difficult path is heroic.

I think a woman coined the term “spooning,” because a man probably would have called it “forking.” It had to be a man who coined “doggy-style,” because most animals do it in that position, yet we chose dogs. Women would have called it something like “kitten-style” or “pony-style.”

The only questions a man ever asks a woman: Are you angry at me? Does that feel good?

Republican chant:
We’re straight
We hate
Get used to it!

It’s funny how the words, “We’re at war,” can negate all logic and wisdom.

Orientated – not the same as oriented. Oriented means “to be directed or instructed,” whereas orientated means “the process of becoming Oriental.” [It actually means “to face east.”]

Religion tells its followers not only what they should do, but also what others ought to be doing. It attempts to infect others, be they family and close friends, or even the entire society.

Philosophers, bioethicists, and priests amuse themselves in debate over genetic engineering as if their noise will slow, or even stop, technological inevitability. However, there is no debate, only a race to perfect and implement it properly. Our moral posturing serves only to determine in which country the advances will be utilized first.

There is an exciting opportunity in genetic engineering to redefine what it means to be human. I am very optimistic about the whole idea, as I see my species as having no place to go but up.

If the path you take is behind a popular master, you will find yourself walking not in his footsteps, but in those of his followers.

Who achieved more: you, a real person who will be forgotten, or Zeus, who is remembered despite never having existed? It’s depressing to think that imaginary characters are the subject of paintings and have statues erected to them, while most of us will be forgotten in just centuries.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Even More Scattered Thoughts

Little known facts about the blogger:
- World-renowned expert on weekends
- Allergic to ignorance
- Passionate supporter of anything with pasta
- Has never eaten horse meat
- Has a deep-rooted fear of long walks on the beach
- Is considered by some indigenous people to bring good luck

This morning, I ate a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream for breakfast. I figured it counts as both a glass of milk and brushing my teeth.

I put great effort into being funny, because funny guys don’t have to learn to dance.

The Joke That Technology Killed: “I hate phone numbers with a lot of 8’s and 9’s. It takes so long to dial them, am I right?” See, cause they actually had these dials… never mind.

Dehydrophobia – the fear of being thirsty

A republican’s idea of choice: heaven or hell.

Claiming a band’s music is good on drugs is like saying someone is attractive if you’re drunk.

Stress is a whetstone: it sharpens those who know how to handle it, and dulls those who don’t.

I can speak to animals, but it turns out to be a useless skill. They’re all compulsive liars.

A kid is like a tattoo: one drunken night, and you’re stuck with it forever.

Our errors never seem so right as when we are blindly defending them. This is why we fools love to bicker.

Christianity’s biggest problem is its simultaneous adherence to two concepts: the golden rule and self-sacrifice. How can you do unto others as you would have done unto you if you’re also willing to sacrifice yourself? It is merely a complex scheme of justifying the sacrifice of others. Those who deny themselves of certain rights and pleasures think nothing of denying it for others.

Liars trust no one, and thieves always lock their doors.

A kind man changes himself to better suit the world; a jerk changes the world to better suit himself. This is why the world is run by jerks.

The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Hate is the product of ignorance, confusion, and frustration; its opposite is enlightened patience.

Some would have you believe that you can only be moral if you are also noticeably miserable.

I have seen hell. It is a mall, and it is always Christmas Eve.

If you envision wisdom to be an opiate that makes life bearable, give up books and start drugging yourself now.

Scientists are wrong quite often; priests, always.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Scattered Thoughts

Does breakfast the next morning count as a second date?

Every event has a cause; some have a reason; very few have a purpose.

How do the elderly have the balls to criticize modern music when oldies such as “Sixteen Candles” and “Sweet Little Sixteen” are overtly pedophilic? And just what is the Beach Boy’s song “Two Girls for Every Boy” trying to say: California is for threesomes, or in California you can treat your girlfriend like crap because you can replace her? That generation thinks it has a right to censor us, but in the poignant vernacular of my generation, all I have to say is “Move, bitch, get out da way!

If you’d die for atheism, you missed the point.

Children’s book idea: “Everybody Screws.”

“Bottom line” sounds like a euphemism for “asscrack.”

My kids will be half Jewish, but I hear they round up.

Jesus may have been able to turn water into wine, but I can turn water into tea OR hot chocolate.

I’m thinking of getting into real estate. Not in the traditional sense. Are you familiar with “squatter’s rights?”

I yearn to work in a factory while machines take orders from customers. There is far more satisfaction from making something than from having to deal with jackasses all day. We gave the wrong jobs to the machines.

I sometimes break the monotony of my day by being friendly. It really throws people off.

Viagra is a pretty popular commercial these days. So is that other stuff that you don’t need a prescription for… what’s it called… oh yeah, Girls Gone Wild.

Science becomes religion when theories outpace experimentation and data.

Bad drug combos
- Acid and pot: you risk having a life changing experience and forgetting it.
- Sleeping pills and laxatives: obvious
- Cocaine and Dave Matthew Band: recipe for instant douchebag
- This one is more of an equation: Alcohol + Ex = Abortion

I’m not gay, but Jesus is hot. He has a wicked six-pack. I’d nail him… wait, that came out wrong.

I owe my wonderful education to my luck of having horrible teachers who encouraged me to ignore school.

Dogs lick everything: your face, trash, their own ass, though usually in reverse order.

We should be able to sue MTV for false advertising. Change your name or change your programming. Can you imagine walking into Pizza Hut and trying to order pizza, and they tell you “Sorry, we sell electronics. If you want pizza, go to Bed, Bath and Beyond.”

The term “sixty-nine” doesn’t seem anatomically correct to me. Sure, two gay guys can do 69, but wouldn’t a guy and girl be 68? Lesbians would do 88. I dunno, maybe I’m picturing the numbers wrong. I don’t remember math being this fun in school.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Scattered Thoughts

I have some random, disparate ideas I have been pondering for a while. Some are open questions, some are statements of observation, some are meant to be funny, some are meant to sound pseudo-wise. I just want to get them off my chest.

I have yet to hear anyone define the words "good" or "bad" to my satisfaction, yet is doesn't seem to stop any of us from frequently using them with mutual understanding.

American politics are to democracy what professional wrestling is to sports: a lot of talk, very little action, and completely rigged.

Politicians on both sides go on and on about "family values," when what they really support is childhood naivete. The family isn't just children, it's also young and fully grown adults.

GOP: Gang Of Puritans, Gadflies Of Progress, Greed Over Prosperity, Gamble Our Pensions, Gag Order Politics, Greasey Old Perverts

It is strange to me that those who speak of "destroying the self" spend so much time alone in their own thoughts, "meditating."

Why do we only consider a man sane when he remains part of an insane system?

I think medical science is a rodent conspiracy. We have treatments for every disease that could ever be contracted by rats and mice.

If over half the population was depressed, would they diagnose happiness as a disorder? I'm sure they would if they found a pill that prevented it. What would they call it? Miserol? No, you need letters from the end of the alphabet for new medication... something like Sadizine or Depressix.

I don't know which teaches you more: words of wisdom or the follies of fools. I do know which is more entertaining.

My wedding went off without a hitch, although we got hitched.

Maybe everything has to die to ensure that nothing awful remains forever.

If I had followed half of the advice I've given, I'd be twice the man I am today.

Regarding God's omnipotence, I do know this: the Christian God DOES have limits. He failed and had to flood the world once, and Jesus was frequently frustrated by people's lack of comprehension. If there's one thing out of God's control, it's clearly us... and He can't believe how stupid we are.

Republicans know that once they can marry the same sex, they are one step closer to their darkest fantasy: marrying their pet. Sick people.

If someone asks you if you're wearing boxers or briefs, and you're going commando, they don't try to argue that being underwearless is a style of underwear. So why do people think atheism is a religion?

I know Jesus loves me, but I think He's rushing things. I barely know Him, I mean He hasn't even friended me on Facebook. In fact, I never even thought of Him as anything more than a fuck buddy. It's not Him, it's me. I just think we should see other deities.

Christians only talk about being like Jesus. If they actually did act like him, they might not be so annoying, and the world would be a better place. Just imagine, every Christian hanging on a cross... truly heaven on Earth.

It is time for white people to take some heat. We've been on the top shelf so long we're not even good anymore. No one likes stale crackers.

A Chain Of Violence

The lengths people will go to in order to prove a point has never ceased to amaze me, though it's no longer surprising. We have become a culture of social digression; the same things happen over and over, until we no longer take notice and they seem normal.

Dozens of husbands kill their families and then turn the gun on themselves. The predatory practices of lending institutions drive thousands into debt and homelessness. Our healthcare industry is the most profitable in the world, yet only third world nations have higher infant mortality and lower life expectancy than the US.

Now, another "pro-life" nut job killed an abortion doctor. The term "pro-life" has completely lost any semblance of relevance in the current political climate, as voting Republican means you support capital punishment. Apparently, it also means being able to kill people who disagree with you.

This is what is wrong at the core of all religious belief. Religion masquerades as morality, but it has nothing to do with making someone a better (or worse) person. Instead, it is a façade put on by most to appear acceptable, despite the complete lack of any implications. Religion didn't make this murderer kill a doctor, but it clearly didn't stop him. It seems to me that we would have the same results without any faith at all... assuming he had such a violently strong emotional attachment to his issue in the absence of religion.

In the end, the only way to end any of this is to stop reacting. Our reactionary tactics of answering violence with more violence, often in escalation, is unacceptable. We can see it in the way we wage war. We can see it in the way police handle their suspects. We can see it in our attitude towards anyone we deem "other."

I hope the man who killed that doctor receives the help he deserves. Simply executing him (or even throwing him in jail) is not going to help anyone. Dr. Tiller won't be brought back by any action taken against his killer. Maybe, with a little effort, the one who killed him may be shown the full extent of what he's done and be allowed to speak out against it. However, I doubt our society has the guts to try.

At some point, someone has to be the weak link in the chain of violence that keeps us tethered to our ignorance.
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