Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Guns Are Magic!

Sometimes a fallacy becomes accepted if enough people repeat it:

Guns deter crime.

How exactly do guns deter crime? Are people who own guns putting signs on their lawn, like people with security systems? “Warning: this home is protected by a trigger happy conservative who has a large backyard and shovel.”

I’m sure someone has done that, but I don’t see signs like that around. Yet, I know a lot of people own guns. Clearly there must be some other mechanism by which guns keep people feeling safe.

Maybe guns have an anti-bad-guy force field built into them. Maybe guns are to criminals what crosses and garlic are to vampires. Better buy a gun in the shape of a cross, just to be safe. The news sells us an image of a terrifying world out to get you, one which only a gun can protect you from, and this paranoia drives gun sales.

But how are people imagining they’ll get to their gun in the event of a break-in? Are people sleeping with their guns? That can’t be safe for them or their innocent neighbors. And if they aren’t sleeping with a loaded gun nearby, how are they getting to their gun in time to prevent them from being tied up and forced to watch as their wife is repeatedly sodomized in front of them by a huge black cock?

[It all derives from this weird, paranoid nightmare/fantasy, and don’t even try to pretend it doesn’t.]

It’s almost as if owning a gun… has no benefit to security. Either you leave a loaded gun lying around, which is not safe (regardless of how many weekend seminars one attends), or you have it locked out of easy reach, where it cannot be accessed in the kind of split-second danger it was bought for.

Just owning a gun to “exercise your rights” is tantamount to standing outside your house and shouting at every soldier who passes by, “Hey, you can’t stay here you son of a bitch! I’m exercising my third amendment rights here!” Yeah, you can do it, but why? No one will stop you, but we all think you’re retarded for doing it.

Owning a gun isn’t harmless. It doesn’t prevent you from being the victim of a crime. If anything, it ensures that if you are ever robbed, you will probably have the gun stolen, and it will now be in the possession of a criminal. Congratulations conservative homeowners of America, you are arming our thugs.

The only reason to ever buy a gun is to use it. Most guns are never used outside of target practice, which is a good thing. A gun is nothing but a tool used for a specific purpose. If you don’t hunt or shoot as a hobby, you should probably find some other way of expressing to the world how small your penis is.

Top Ten: Songs About Sex

September is ending, and since I have a lot of rejects left over from the innuendo list, I thought what better way to close Sextember than with this top ten songs about sex. Later today, I'll post the answers to Children's Story or Porno Movie #5. For all previous installments, check out the September posts in my blog archive.

Without further ado, the top ten songs about sex:

10. Buckcherry – Crazy Bitch
9. Nirvana – Moist Vagina
8. Sublime – Wrong Way
7. Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy
6. Nine Inch Nails – Closer
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Aeroplane
4. Marcy Playground – Sex and Candy
3. Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing
2. Beck – Sexx Laws
1. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Primary Problems With Religion

I think I have boiled down my primary problems with religion as a whole. The incidence of religion intruding upon my life can be summed up in three simple categories: superstition, misallocation of resources, and phony arguments from authority

Superstition is often the most visible sign of religion, and usually the most harmless. However, superstition usually stifles science when it enters the realm of public policy. Superstition is why the government refuses to fund “controversial” research.

We’re not talking about research where people are hurt, we’re talking about research with non-sentient cell cultures which contain human genetic material. It’s tantamount to playing with sperm, and we can’t do it because some religious folk are offended by the very notion of it.

Then there’s the dire lack of organ donations. This stems directly from either a superstition or a desire for traditional funerary services (i.e. open-casket burial). Or maybe it’s some paranoid fear that hospitals are killing people who are donors in order to harvest the organs. Whatever it is, it’s stupid superstition and myth which is forcing millions to die on waiting lists across our country.

In fact, resource allocation itself is a major problem with religion. Donations to religious organizations have very little oversight, and corruption is rampant. Just think of all the money and hours wasted on churches, temples, cathedrals, mosques, statues, pamphlets, murals, stained glass, sexual harassment settlements, etc. It’s staggering how much overhead religion has.

Then there’s the time wasted learning religion. I don’t believe the human mind has a capacity like a computer, but I believe we have a finite time on this planet, and every second spent studying religion is a second spent not studying something relevant. Even the time of people like myself is wasted trying to combat religion. What else could I be doing with my time if religion were not here to rant about? [I’d like to think I could have cured brain-freeze by now, but the world will never know…]

But perhaps the worst part of religion is the authority is inherently craves. Organized religion really needs to impose itself. It is never happy just being, it has to make sure everyone is behaving just so...

Organized religion is a growth industry. They want more babies and more converts, and anything that stands in the way of that has got to go. Condoms, science, higher education and career opportunities for women, all have no place in organized religion. And inevitably, there’s some guy at the top who everyone has to listen to…

…Unless there isn’t. While religions like Catholicism have their Pope, some religions look inward. This is sometimes the most dangerous authority of all. Many protestant faiths (and anyone who actually reads the New Testament closely) preach about an inner, personal God.

There’s quite a danger in believing that your inner most impulses originate from God. This belief in a personal God is tantamount to a cult of the ego. This is the primary flaw in religious doctrine, for the religious are told (and often believe) that they are submitting or abandoning themselves to something outside themselves, but it is all internal. There is no humility in believing you act according to God’s will. Instead, it is the ultimate egotism.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Smells Like Teen Smoking

I am what is called a “political smoker.” I don’t buy cigarettes, and I sometimes actively try to move away from people who smoke. However, I do not infringe on anyone’s right to smoke, nor would I ask someone who smokes to move away from me. I tolerate smoking.

Intolerant, douchebag Democrats can’t pass a healthcare bill, they can’t provide rights for gay people, and don’t even get me fucking starting on the wars in the Middle East… but they can slyly pass a ban on all flavored cigarettes? What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Well, it took effect on September 22nd. What’s hilarious to me is that the only people I know of who were affected were hippies – who probably voted Democrat. Just as trailer-park dwelling whites who vote Republican are not acting in their own economic interest, smokers who vote Democrat are just oppressing themselves. My clove-smoking hippie brethren were probably smoking too much of another herb to realize they voted into power a bunch of smoke haters.

Since I am an asthmatic non-smoker, I remain largely unaware of new cigarette legislation. However, I vaguely remember something about a ban on flavored cigarettes months ago. Something about how they appeal to children. This is a shame, because I think they should ban non-flavored cigarettes. As a non-smoker, I’d much rather smell cherries, vanilla, cloves, mint, or whatever.

This is really indicative of how Democrats operate. The first rule of Democratic policy is to never mess with anything people are talking about. Go for the forgotten issues people are comfortable with, something everyone thinks is settled, then stir the pot. But most importantly, don’t just outright ban something; instead, take awkwardly-worded legislative baby steps.

The ban affects flavored cigarettes – excluding menthol (I guess so Obama can keep smoking Kools). It also does not cover cigars. Look for mini, flavored cigars to be hitting shelves in the coming weeks.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


It’s easy to see why people love pandas. In fact, it’s all about appearances. They look adorable. Never mind that pandas can be quite vicious.

Before I proceed, I want to point out I really favor conservation. I think it’s a severe loss whenever the planet loses a species, not only from an ecological perspective, but also for the loss of a several millions of years evolutionary development – which we as humans can steal and use for ourselves. It’s really a loss for humanity when we wipe out the genetic record of a species.

That being said, I concur with one Chris Packham’s call to put the panda out of its misery. I think samples should be preserved for later study, and that we should redirect the millions of dollars spent on their protection and breeding to other, more hearty species.

It’s not that I don’t like the panda. I think there is something to be learned from panda anatomy and physiology, but why not direct our resources towards immortalizing the panda through exhaustive research? There’s just no future for a bear that eats wood.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Professional wrestling is often called “fake.” When I was growing up, that was what my parents always told me. That’s what the rich kids used to say when they mocked the poor kids who lived in trailers.

Of course, it’s not really “fake.” Fake is watching Hollywood movies where actors run in front of blue- or green-screens with terrified looks on their face, and then monsters are added in later by computers. Wrestling is not “fake.” People get hurt doing it. They bleed real blood. They are flesh and bone flying through the air, under the influence of all the real forces of physics. It’s certainly more “real” than any action movie.

When people say wrestling is “fake,” what they really mean is that it’s “rigged,” or “scripted.” This is more to the point. Of course, this is also what allows it to be so exciting, and even one of the primary reasons fans tune in week after week.

Wrestling is ballet for rednecks. It is opera for the unsophisticated. It’s a stage show with a production scale greater than most Broadway performances.

I’m not personally a fan of wrestling, but I get it. It’s not difficult to see the appeal in watching men over two hundred pounds throw each other around in highly choreographed maneuvers designed for the sole purpose of creating an amazing spectacle. I find it far more entertaining than dance.

Wrestling is only half about the action. What makes wrestling such a mythological event is that there is a story, or the fact that it’s “rigged.” There is always a morality play being enacted before the actual action begins. Someone has insulted someone else, someone has been betrayed, or maybe someone just wants their chance at glory.

Whatever the setup, the dramatic prelude is vital to the actual match itself. The struggle within the ring is weighted all the more by the consequences that may play out if one side should defeat the other.

The themes chosen are staples of the wrestling public: relationships, respect, societal norms and roles, etc. The theme that panders to American fans the most is probably nationalism.

Big events often feature an American icon squaring off against an archetypal foreign enemy or traitor from within. This type of rivalry was showcased in the brilliant movie “The Wrestler,” and was also played out often by Hulk Hogan.

Here we see the self-perpetuating cycle of the persistence of mythology:

1. A theme is popular
2. Art aggrandizes the theme
3. Return to #1, amplified

The cycle would continue forever, but eventually the tide shifts.

Steve Austin appeared on the scene in the 90’s, marking a change in wrestling’s image. Previously, most faces (or good guys) were quiet gentlemen who defended what was good. Men like Jerry Lawler were famous for being the soft-spoken, polite guy who fought against the likes of the misogynist Andy Kaufman.

Steve Austin was introduced to the wrestling world as a heel (bad guy). He was a rude, trash talking, beer drinking, woman-hitting, leather-clad tough guy. He was everything the wrestling fans prior to that era hated. Even though his actions were scripted to be more “evil” week after week, the fans loved and cheered for him.

People had simply changed, and the old mythology no longer applied. This was not a phenomenon among only wrestling fans, however. Movies like “Interview With a Vampire” and books like “American Psycho” are popular around this time. There is a general shift towards taking the antagonist’s point of view, or even idolizing it.

There are only two reasons to idolize: identification and aspiration. Why is it we began to relate to, or even strive to be, the antagonist? Can we pinpoint through our art when we became the bad guy?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some of Your Own Medicine

A census worker was found hanging with the word “fed” written on his chest. It really doesn’t take a genius to imagine what kind of person did this. I bet they frequent, own a gun because they think it is patriotic and deters criminal tyrants, and they think the government is evil.

There’s a general undercurrent of hatred for the US government. I am not going to get into a long thing, because I think blaming the rambling Right for their bad apples isn’t entirely fair. Even though Fox News has been stirring up suspicion for months about the census, I know it’s not that every Right Winger is a homicidal maniac, it’s just that if you’re a homicidal maniac, you’re probably a Right Winger.

I don’t want to wax philosophical about it, but I seem to remember a phrase I heard a lot during the Bush years. It went something like…

If you don’t like it, you can get the fuck out.

If you think America is so wrong, if you think the government is so corrupt and that we need violent overthrow, get the fuck out. Go to the Middle East or South America, I hear that’s how they solve shit there – and boy do they have it together.

If you love America and democracy, you’ll accept that even if your guy loses, it’s part of the system. If you don’t like the system, try to change it. But if you’re just trying to pick fights and sow chaos in an attempt to send the US back into the 1700s, go someplace else for your political experiment.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More Gore

Since even my wife is hollering for more gory pictures of my finger, here is a photo diary of my finger over the last couple days.

This is a picture from the 18th, 4 days after spilling bacon grease on my fingers:

Here's me giving the camera the finger, so to speak:

This is a picture from the 19th, as the blister is approaching its largest size:

Below is the largest the blister became. I could barely move the finger due to the pressure.

Below, some of the fluid seems to have been absorbed back into my body by the 22nd, because I can bend my finger enough to straighten it all the way.

Today, I went to a hand surgeon to have the blister "deroofed." I guess my finger has a skylight now.

The skin underneath is raw, but it's reminiscent of newborn baby skin. It's strong enough to be washed with soap and water, and I can start taking showers without a bag on my hand again. Woo hoo!

Children's Story or Porno Movie #5

1. Blondage
2. Big Words for Little People
3. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
4. Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes
5. The Giving Tree
6. Sleeping Booty
7. Slippery When Wet
8. Good Night, Gorilla
9. Going Off the DP End
10. More Precious Than Gold
The answers to #4:

1. Maid in Sweden - Porn
2. Open the Barn Door - Story
3. My Little Pink Secret - Porn
4. Curious George Goes Camping - Story
5. Harold and the Purple Crayon - Story
6. What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? - Story
7. Peek-a-who? - Story
8. I Like To Watch - Porn
9. Blame it on Ginger - Porn
10. Hole Sweet Hole - Porn

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Fight Against Hate Speech (And Other Useless Liberal Crusades)

Language is a tool. I believe very few tools are inherently evil, but that every tool can be used for both good and bad purposes. It is only logical to condemn the one who wields a tool improperly – unless a tool is designed specifically for hurting people. Last time I checked, language was not created to hurt people, but maybe the first words were derision.

Since the 90s, there has been a lot of talk about “hate speech.” I’m not sure I’ve ever heard or read a definition that wasn’t ambiguous and selective in its application – and certainly not one that is Constitutional. Webster’s New World Law Dictionary defines hate speech as:
Speech not protected by the First Amendment, because it is intended to foster hatred against individuals or groups based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, place of national origin, or other improper classification.
I’m not sure under what circumstances, if any, this definition has authority. However, I find it quite characteristic of most definitions for hate speech. I’m afraid this definition would make the entire Republican platform grounds for hate speech prosecution. Clearly a Democrat wrote this.

What was the liberal agenda behind legislating “hate speech?” It all began with the good intentions of “misunderstood” skirts, fags and n…erds. It doesn’t take a history scholar to know that people say some hurtful things.

I believe hate speech legislation originates in the joining of three liberal movements: feminism, gay equality, and black equality. You could throw in Atheists and immigrants, but these two had little sway at the time of this legislation. When liberal groups emerged from the post-Reagan political wasteland, they went crazy trying to get Congress to change many things at once, and few of them went well. [Does not bode well for Obama]

The first amendment protects a citizen’s right to free speech, and even to assemble and shout angrily together. Democrats back in the 90s had the balls to ignore little details like the Constitution, so they tried to write laws that said it wasn’t covered by the first amendment “because…”

Laws can’t contravene the Constitution, even if they come up with a good reason. No laws at the Federal level were passed because of this, but it didn’t stop liberals from trying, and succeeding (i.e. in schools and government institutions).

Let’s look at the definition and try to figure out why it’s full of shit. Right off the bat, “intended to foster hatred” is a loaded statement that doesn’t apply. If someone calls someone else a name, it is not “intended to foster hatred,” except maybe hatred for the name-caller and his jackassery. Once someone is calling someone else a name, it’s not intended to do anything but hurt their feelings. Hate was a “pre-existing condition,” as they say.

This is a basic problem with liberals: because they are not bullies themselves, they struggle to understand the psychology of the bully. A liberal tells their child s/he is bullied because the bully has issues of some nature, usually self-esteem or problems at home. [LOL]

On the political level, liberals tell themselves people use hate speech to foster some sort of conspiracy against them and their censorship club. Of course, it’s not a conspiracy, because conspiracies entail an element of secrecy. Republicans make no secret of being out to get Democrats.

The truth is: it’s just fun to mock someone and see them get really angry. Finding that one thing they’re sensitive about and just hammering at it can be quite rewarding when the other person has been pissing you off. Politically, this is very distracting. And the better you know what they hate hearing, the better you can mock them.

Which brings me to this piece of advice for liberals: quit giving Conservatives a road map to your nerves. Hate speech legislation not only points out all the things liberals hate being mocked about, it empowers banished words.

There shouldn’t be words that are so powerful they can cause jaws to drop. Though the power to use a word can be wielded by anyone, everyone is also imbued with the power to see through the imaginary associations and not react shocked.

You know how to stop a bully? After he trips you, later… much later… kick him in the crotch when the teachers aren’t looking. If he calls you a Nazi, you call him a white cracker who’s so fat he hasn’t seen his dick since his coke days back in the 80s. You don’t run to mommy and daddy to tell them what the mean Republican said; you spar with him.

It’s just not worth convincing yourself there’s any honor in censorship. “Abusive language” is a merely symbolic battle, and to let it spill over into legislation is irresponsible escalation. Worse, it is an acknowledgement of your opponents’ successful tactics – and a refusal to adopt them yourself. Just do what works.

It is best to legislate justice and equality in action, not in speech or thought. Words alone never held anyone down. After all, very few speak well of politicians, lawyers, or bankers, but they’re doing just fine.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Five Simple Things Obama Should Do

1. Pull the troops out – Both Iraq and Afghanistan are lost causes. We don’t need a warning to leave, either. We marched in, we can march out. Let the private contractors deal with leaving or staying; they’re free to do whatever they want. They have more than enough government money to compensate them for their time. Leave things behind, I don’t care. It cannot possibly be more expensive than running the wars for another day.

2. Veto something – So far, the only thing Obama has even threatened to veto is further financial bailout funding. Basically, his strongest stance has been on giving money to failed businesses. Instead, veto the horrible health bill, veto any budget that is not balanced, and veto all funds for the wealthy and their failures.

3. Fight for victims – Gays have gotten snubbed more than once now, and the poor continue to get help on a laughably lower scale than the wealthy. Obama needs to end “top down” economic philosophy and start rebuilding the foundations of this country: its lower- and middle-class workers.

4. Universal health care – There should not be a single person within our borders who won’t be treated. I don’t care if they’re “illegal” immigrants, either. They’re only illegal because conservatives closed the valve on immigration and made it impossible to become legal. Even criminals in jail can see a doctor. Our prisoners are treated better than tens of millions of uninsured Americans. If it’s so hard to come up with something new, just put every uninsured person on the prisoner plan and let out that many drug offenders.

5. Smack a bitch – My first impulse was Sarah Palin, but Michele Bachmann would look absolutely beautiful with a huge, red handprint across her face. And don’t feel like it has to be a woman; plenty of conservative men are bitches. John Boehner and Rush Limbaugh would be excellent targets if Obama wants to avoid hitting a woman (but I can’t imagine Republicans would raise a stink about their oldest tradition).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Barack Obama: Business As Usual

Barack Obama is no liberal, something I sensed very early on. I didn’t vote for him and I would never vote for him, and frankly it doesn’t matter one bit whether I would “like” the guy personally. This is how conservatives elected Bush, based on whether or not they would have a beer with him (note: Bush is a dry drunk who doesn’t drink, but I guess it was a metaphor).

Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan, his decision to do nothing about the banking system, and now this, have all proven Obama is nothing but a traditionalist moderate who will work to keep the country’s status quo. About the only thing liberal about him is his stance on fixing health care: sans-testicles.

At what point will Obama act in the interests of those all-too-adorable liberals who elected him? Extending federal benefits to gay couples would just be too big of a victory for those homos who voted for him, I guess.

Of course, even if he seemed to be on their side, you’d have to wait for the actual results. Obama claimed to have ended the war on drugs, but people are still being arrested and filling prison cells for drug use. There’s really nothing about Obama I respect anymore, because he stands for nothing (which explains why he can’t stand up to Republicans).

The worst part has been trying to defend him against the insane ramblings of those who would bury this country in a mountain of guns and debt. Conservatives are running around with their hair on fire like the Red Army is marching on Washington, meanwhile Obama is doing absolutely nothing to rally those who he actually has a chance of impressing.

Barack Obama: you’re an ineffectual child. Grow a pair, you fucking faggot-hater. Or have they just not dropped yet?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Top Ten: Burning Songs

Since all pain is hilarious, especially my own, this top ten list will be songs that are burning hot.

10. Bob Segar – The Fire Down Below
9. The Bloodhound Gang – Fire, Water, Burn
8. Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start The Fire
7. Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire
6. Bruce Springsteen – I’m On Fire
5. Jimi Hendrix – Fire
4. Franz Ferdinand – This Fire
3. Talking Heads – Burning Down The House
2. Meat Puppets/Nirvana – Lake of Fire
1. Blue Oyster Cult – I’m Burnin’ For You

The top song for my recovery: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Scar Tissue

Wishing vs. Believing

I’m not much of a believer, but I am a wisher. Some people might call it praying or hoping or wanting, but it’s basically the same thing: even though something is probably not true, sometimes we all cling to a comfortable fallacy.

I remember during the Bush years being swayed for about two weeks by the idea that 9/11 was a conspiracy organized by the US government. I sometimes feel every charity has an agenda and every volunteer is trying to make up for a dark sin in their past. I sometimes feel that pharmaceutical and food conglomerates are poisoning us to sell us an expensive cure later.

These are all things I would like to believe, not because I wish they were true, but because it would so succinctly explain reality while simultaneously validating my worldview. I am able to divorce myself from my desired model of reality, but I get the feeling most people are incapable.

Take the Iranian “president” (who “won” in much the same manner Bush did). Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent statements are nothing new. He’s been making the same claims for years, echoing a very prominent, though hushed, opinion among many anti-Semitic groups.

The Holocaust was a lie. Yep, turns out the millions of eye witness accounts, bodies, charred remains, missing people, and even records kept by the Nazis themselves were all lies. Who knew it was all a pretense to form the nation of Israel? Those sneaky Jews.

I oppose the formation of the nation of Israel. I find it to be a racist policy both against the Jews and against the Palestinians. However, I also believe we have long passed the point where we can expect every Jewish person in Israel to just pick up and leave. It’s really the only sensible stance because at least two generations have been born and raised in Israel, and they are innocent of the sins of the original settlers.

Of course, if the whole formation of Israel was a massive conspiracy organized by the Jews, predicated on lies and international sympathy… well maybe we CAN make them leave! Or so thinks the Iranian President.

I don’t know if Ahmadinejad believes the Holocaust didn’t happen, or if he just wishes it hadn’t. I know he doesn’t wish it hadn’t happened in the same way victims and survivors of the Holocaust do.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Eat Bacon

I broke the commandment to not eat bacon, and boy did I pay for it. While pouring the bacon grease into a jar so that it wouldn’t clog up the plumbing, I spilled boiling hot bacon grease on my hand.

This all happened Tuesday night. When it occurred, I quickly ran it under cold water, but the damage had clearly already been done.

I spent the next two hours soaking my hand in cold water, adding in ice cubes when the old ones melted. I elected not to seek medical help. The blisters didn’t form until much later that night, and I only noticed them because the bandage had become very tight.

The incident has helped me redefine pain. I now have a new reference point from which to measure how much something hurts, and this was a ten. It felt fine when under cold running water and in an ice water bath and even in front of the A/C vent, but once I removed it, wow.

I contorted in spasms on the couch and in my bed, I paced up and down the hallway, and I even sometimes just fell to my knees and cried. Eventually once I left it out of cooling agents long enough, the pain became dull enough that I could focus on something like watching TV or reading.

This morning my wife was determined to call the health center at the college she works/attends and schedule me to go in. They gave me silver sulfadiazine, some gauze and tape, and it’s been healing nicely all day.

Luckily my fingertips were pressed against the jar when this all happened, so I can type and use a mouse! More gory pictures later tonight when I change the dressing.


One of the chief advantages of polytheism is that there are several gods which represent all the many aspects of our complex world. There are gods of land masses and bodies of water. Gods were said to control supernatural forces like destiny, weather, and the heavens.

Perhaps the most interesting were the gods who represented concepts which we still believe today. Take Aphrodite, the goddess of love. A monotheist or atheist would say that Aphrodite is not real, but most would claim that love exists.

Yet, love is no more real than Aphrodite. You cannot measure or detect love. Love is not a liquid, solid or gas. It cannot be isolated in any lab. One may be able to classify and name chemicals in the blood which trigger feelings we associate with love, but most would agree that love is something more than hormones.

By some, it is little more than a euphemism for the inter-dependency (or to a cynic, co-dependency) between two people predicated on sexual attraction. Another person may see it as the solid bond between two people who have shared the bulk of their lives together. For another, it is a night of fun. And still others struggle to feel it at all.

The definition is not even static within an individual. It often grows over time in reaction to events experienced by the individual, almost as if love were alive.

I think a person’s attitudes toward concepts like love, justice, freedom, and responsibility are a far more important thing than our feelings on gods. Love is not real, but like the gods, the consequences of human belief in it is experienced by all. And yet, love is not truly related to gods any more than the rivers, mountains, sun, moon or stars who had gods dedicated to them. This is great for us atheists, as disbelief in gods does not prevent us from feeling love, even if though it is as mystical as Aphrodite.

Love is an abstract concept. There is a power in the non-existence of love. For one thing, it is many different things to many different people, and none of them are wrong in their use of the term. Love cannot be something certain, and it is this gamble which keeps people coming back – even after losing their shorts the last time they played.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Flaming Atheism

I’m not gay, but I’ve always identified with gay people. We share a sort of bond in that we are both part of a fringe group – though gays got more persecution in the last century.

Long ago, I came across the term “flaming atheist.” I really like the distinction. For those who aren’t aware of the nuance of the word “flaming,” it implies obvious.

A flaming homosexual (especially a self-styled one) is someone who embodies the stereotypes we expect. They are also not shy about revealing their sexuality, and may even volunteer it for no apparent reason.

It was this characteristic of the term I liked. There’re many degrees to which an atheist is “out of the closet.” Some are quiet about it, especially in certain circles of people like co-workers and family. However, there’s a difference between being “out” upon request and being “out” without prompting.

I have been a flaming atheist since high school. I can’t even hide the fact that I’m an atheist in most situations – it’s like I have heathen Tourette’s. Maybe I’m lucky, but I have never experienced anything I would consider persecution (outside of my mother’s insistence I be Confirmed in the Catholic Church, oh the horror). Then again, I never lived in the South – although Indiana is pretty close.

Being a flaming atheist does not necessarily mean being a recruiter. I think actively trying to change someone’s mind is ineffective unless they are looking for something new, especially among strangers and casual acquaintances. Having some connection to the person helps, but why subject your friends and family to something as annoying as proselytizing, even if it “works?”

People just want to be happy, and if forcing your worldview on someone makes them unhappy, what are the chances they will embrace it? The best way to “convert” people is to simply live your chosen ethic successfully and happily.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Good Atheist

“…and never let the liberal media tell you otherwise,” barks the radio. George nods in agreement. Damn straight.

Red light. I hate these fucking things. As soon as you build up enough speed to really-

A boy jumps on the hood of his car. Standing akimbo with the glare of the early morning sun silhouetting his baggy clothing and wiry frame, the boy makes a hand gesture at him. It’s the kind of gesture George translates as, “I need to be taught a lesson.”

George puts the car in park and opens the car door. He does not see the man walk up behind him with a baseball bat. George manages to say “I bet you think you’re pretty-” before all two-hundred and forty pounds of him slump to the pavement.

When he comes to, he slowly tries to sit up, but fails. He succeeds in laying himself out in the snow-angel position. He turns his head to the left. His watch is gone. He turns his head to the right. He sees blood splattered on the concrete. He rolls onto his side and curls into the fetal position. He’s naked.

This isn’t happening.

He hears giggling. He cranes his neck back and sees five black children, three boys and two girls, looking at him. He can’t tell how far away they are, but they are hunched over to get a closer look. “Man, you got fucked up,” says one of the boys. He looks about the same age as George’s eight year old son. After some growls and coughs, they scream in mock terror which fades into laughter as they scatter.

He slowly climbs to one knee, then his bare feet. One hand cups his genitals, the other steadies himself on a telephone poll.

Where am I?

It’s not the best neighborhood. He is at least a fifteen minute drive away from his home. He doesn’t have a stitch of clothing, and his car is gone.

Panicked, George runs in front of the first vehicle that passes: a black Cadillac with a cross hanging from the rearview mirror. The ashen haired man behind the wheel stops just in time. It’s the priest from his local parish. Using both hands to shield his privates, George walks to the passenger side of the vehicle. The window cracks slightly, barely an inch.

“Sir, you got to help me. I was carjacked and they stole my clothes. I gotta get out of here.”

The priest scans him sidelong, mouth slightly agape. After an uncomfortable few seconds of silence, the priest replies: “I really would, but I’m already late for services and, well, frankly, the car is brand new and I… um… couldn’t help but notice that you soiled yourself.”

George hadn’t even realized the thick, brown feces caked between his thighs.

“I’ll pray for you, son. Maybe you should lay off the booze.”

The priest doesn’t even wait for George to step away before accelerating down the road.

Going the other way, he sees a silver SUV. He recognizes the man as someone from his church. He saw him at the fish fry last week, and he plays softball in the same league. The SUV doesn’t even slow down.

Not long after, a red pick-up truck playing Lynyrd Skynyrd approaches and stops. The driver has aviator sunglasses and sports a wicked mullet.

“What in the hell do we have here?” he shouts out the passenger window.

“Some kids, they took my car-”


“Huh?” replies George, shocked.

“I said: niggers take your car?”

“Um, I didn’t really get a good look at them. The kid who jumped on my car was black, but the person who hit me from behind-”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” says the driver in the truck. “I ain’t talkin’ to no faggot with no clothes on, covered in shit, who gets hit from behind for the viewing pleasure of nigglets.”

“Wait, what? No, see, I never saw the guy’s face-”

“Look queer, I just pulled over to find out what gay-ass, butt-fucker quarrel you got into to be in this situation. I heard you pillow biters were into playing with shit, but goddamn! You don’t believe it ‘til you see it.”

The truck peels out, leaving black skids on the pavement. The truck has two bumper stickers: “Abortion stops a beating heart” and “Bush/Cheney ’04.”

Standing alone in the street, George is torn between screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs and bursting out into tears. Before he has to decide, a white Prius drives up. It stops, and the driver gets out of the car. He has several ear piercings and tattoos scattered along his arms. His Pearl Jam t-shirt is torn and stained.

“Hey man, you need some help?” the driver calls out.

George licks his lips and seems to genuinely ponder the question, “Yeah, my car and clothes were stolen.”

“Do you want to go to the police? Or home, to get dressed or something?”

“Home,” says George. “I want to go home.”

“Okay.” The driver looks the man up and down, squinting. He walks to his trunk, opens it, and pulls out some towels. “Here,” he says. “You can cover up and maybe wipe yourself off a bit.”

George takes them and promptly wraps one around his waist, and drapes the other over his shoulders like a shawl. The driver gets back into his car and motions George to the passenger seat.

“Yeah,” the driver says as he buckles up. “I keep those towels back there just in case. Shit happens when you party hard.”

“I wasn’t partying, I was carjacked,” George says. The driver pushes a button and the car turns on.

“Yeah, you mentioned that. That’s a bummer, dude.”

Great, he’s a fucking moron…

They sit in silence for a minute before the driver turns to George and says, “So, where’s home?”

“Oh right,” George says. “It’s just twelve blocks up this street, then a couple turns and you’re there.”

“Cool,” says the driver, putting the car into drive with a little joystick near the power button. “Just tell me when to turns.”

They drive in silence until another light.

“So, what’s your name?” asks the driver.

“George,” he replies.

“My name’s Sam,” says the driver after a pregnant pause.

George chuckles. “Sam… Sam the good Samaritan.”

“I guess you could say that,” Same replies with a smile on his face. “Did you have trouble getting help?”

“A little,” George says.

“Then I guess this is like the parable of the good Samaritan,” Sam says.

George turns to Sam and really looks at him for the first time. “You read the Bible?”

“Sure I have. I’ve read it from Genesis to the Revelation a couple times. Every thou, every beget, every vengeful word. That’s why I know better than to believe it.”

“Then, why pick me up?” says George. “Why be a good Samaritan if you don’t believe it? In fact, aren’t you proving my belief is right?”

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day,” Sam replies. “Just because the Bible correctly suggests a few admirable moral lessons doesn’t mean every word is valuable. The Bible models the world as flat and the sky as a solid dome that holds back the water that falls down as rain. It says everything was made in seven days.”

“It was.”

“Maybe your world. But the world I live in isn’t even done yet. Besides, if God makes everything, why did God stop creating cool animals like the platypus and giraffe, but he still has time to make stuff like AIDS, SARS, and a new cold virus every year?”

“AIDS is God’s way of punishing homosexuals and heroin addicts.”

“And haemophiliacs?” Sam asks.

“The weak should be culled from the flock.”

Sam laughs. “So… you believe in survival of the fittest, but not evolution?”

“I suppose I do,” says George.

“What about women raped by men infected with AIDS? What about innocent children born with it? Does your God punish children for the sins of their parents?”

“That’s just collateral damage,” says George.

Sam sighs. “I didn’t realize we were at war with the divine.”

They sit quietly for a while.

Sam decides to break the silence. “You know what the lesson of the Good Samaritan parable is about?”

“Be ever watchful for naked people who need a ride home?”

Sam laughs. “Maybe. But consider the context. Samaritans were a group that the Judeans were hostile with for centuries. Jesus was, as you may know, from Judea. He expected that using a Samaritan as the example of a good acting neighbor would shock those who heard the story. It loses some of its meaning with a modern audience. If you wanted to modernize it, it would be someone like, say, a Muslim or Buddhist or maybe even atheist who helps the man.”

“I can you tell without a doubt that Jesus didn’t mean that an atheist who did good works would get into heaven.”

The tires screech.

Sam stares daggers at George. “Get out of the fucking car.”

“What? Why?”

“I said get out of the fucking car. Leave the towels.”

“Please, you can’t just leave me out here naked.”

“I let you into my car and offered to drive you home. Then, you told me in so many words to go to hell. You know why your faith believes in forgiveness? Because people like you would have nothing in this world if it weren’t for all the second chances you get. My mother is dying of a disease that relies on stem-cell research for advances. I bet you voted for Bush, you Christ kissing douchebag. Get out of my fucking car.”

“But… you can’t leave me here naked,” George says, clutching the towels.

“I can,” Sam says. “There’s nothing stopping me. But you know what? I was raised to believe that even a wretch deserves mercy. Keep the towels.” Sam shifts some coins in a cup holder between the seats. “Here’s two quarters to make a pay phone call. Get the fuck out of my car.”

George takes the quarters and slowly gets out of the car, hoping Sam will change his mind. He stands outside with the door open for a few seconds. Sam sits silently staring forward. George closes the door. The white Prius hums as it drives away.

Top Ten: Songs Containing Innuendo

This list is in honor of the “Children’s Story or Porno Movie” posts. These are the top ten songs which use double entendre, euphemisms, and/or innuendo.

10. The Doors – Alabama Song
9. Deadeye Dick – New Age Girl
8. The Clash – Rock the Casbah
7. ZZ Top – Pearl Necklace
6. Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side
5. Blur – Girls and Boys
4. Aerosmith – Ten Inch Record
3. AC/DC – Big Balls
2. Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady
1. Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch

PS: I stopped posting links because it took almost as much time to do them as the list itself. All I was doing was copying and pasting into YouTube anyway for the links.

Children's Story or Porno Movie #4

1. Maid in Sweden
2. Open the Barn Door
3. My Little Pink Secret
4. Curious George Goes Camping
5. Harold and the Purple Crayon
6. What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?
7. Peek-a-who?
8. I Like To Watch
9. Blame it on Ginger
10. Hole Sweet Hole

Answers to #3

1. Bad Little School Girl - Porn
2. Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder - Story
3. The Mistletoe Mystery - Story
4. The Return Of Tori Welles - Porn
5. Out of Sight, Out of Mind - Story
6. The Magic Escape - Story
7. Tangled Web - Porn
8. Please, Baby, Please - Story
9. Tiabella - Porn
10. Fancy Nancy - Story

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 12th Protest

It’s the day after, and it’s time to have a look back and put it all in perspective.

First, what am I talking about? Chances are good you might not have even heard, but there was a “Tax payer” rally in Washington on Saturday, September 12th. The goal was to protest Obama’s “tax and spend” policy (in stark contrast to the Republican “spend and spend” policy). Considering there are over a hundred million tax payers, surely millions showed up.

Before we analyze the numbers, here are some statistics for marches and rallies in the Washington area over the past century:

Aug 28 1963: “I have a dream” march = 250,000 people
Oct 15 1969: Vietnam War protest = 200,000 people
Nov 15 1969: Vietnam War protest = 600,000 people
Apr 24 1971: Vietnam War protest = 500,000 people
Sept 19 1981: Reagan protest = 260,000 people
Apr 25 1993: Gay Rights march = 300,000 people
Oct 16 1995: Million Man March (black rights) = 400,000 people [FALSE ADVERTISING!]
Apr 25 2004: Pro-choice rally = 800,000 – 1,100,000 people

This should help give some perspective when analyzing the attendance. So how did the September 12th protest go?

There’s quite a difference between conservative estimates and estimates by Conservatives. Right wing sources put the crowd size at a ballooning 450,000 on some sites, 1.2 million on others, and 2 million is a nice round, popular answer.

However, news agencies all reported “thousands” or “tens of thousands.” ABC News quoted the highest figure, estimating 70,000 at the busiest point.

Let’s see… protests with that few people… well we got this one:

Aug 8 1925: KKK march = 35,000

That’s comparable.

In fact, this site has a picture which shows the difference between the estimates by Right Wingers versus the estimates by unbiased, neutral sources.

And don’t try pulling any of this “liberal media” garbage; the media wanted this to be a huge story. They showed up expecting enormous crowds, and hyped it significantly. More coverage was given to it than any anti-war protest under Bush. People just didn’t show up because there isn’t that much support for this cause.

Of course, those evil left wing causes have huge lobby groups organizing them. This protest had none of that… except Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks Foundation, the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. Yep, just people spontaneously organizing for a cause...

What’s especially strange is the crowd. They aren’t really all Republicans. Many are Libertarian or simply hate Obama. The signs are particularly idiotic. Many mention things like “trading liberty for security,” which has nothing to do with anything Obama is doing. It was relevant for Bush. The same goes for government spending.

In fact, many slogans used were just recycled stuff the liberal shouted at conservatives for the past eight years. Even the Right Wingers are going green when it comes to signs. Other signs at the rally include:

“Jesus is the Messiah – Not Obama”
“Just Say No to Chicago Style Politics” with Obama Photoshopped as a pistol-wielding gangster
“Czars Get Out”
“Traitors Terrorists Run Our Government”
“"Don't blame me. I voted for The 'American.'” [birther alert!]
“You Can’t Fix Stupid But You Can Vote It Out” [really? Obama is stupid?]
“Hey Obamacare, Hands Off My Body” [Nice ironic use of pro-choice slogan]
“Save Freedom, Stop Obama”
“The Greatest Communist President We Ever Had”
“We Want Our Freedom Back”

And if you’re looking for Nazi references, look no further.

Also, can anyone tell me what freedoms we lost under Obama?

The problem is, all of this nonsense is just a small, fringe group of fools who the media have become convinced are deserving of “equal coverage.” Why do we need to balance our coverage? Why does justice need the counter balance of injustice? Tolerance with intolerance? Intelligence with stupidity?

The media is wrapped up in creating a debate. They construct a false dichotomy, whereby everything is either liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, and no one is wrong, just different. Now that is liberal bullshit.

Republicans are trying to capitalize on a largely independent and Libertarian crowd and cause, one which has absolutely nothing to do with Republican politics as practiced in the last eight years. However, I’m not sure why they would want to be associated with a protest that can only draw NAMBLA sized crowds.

It was also the whitest crowd I have ever seen on TV. It looked like a NASCAR event was going to break out at any minute. You could have made a fortune selling SPF 80 sunscreen at this event.

The Republicans are burying themselves. They are quickly becoming the party who cried wolf. They are raising the alarm bells and shouting tyranny while Obama is providing reasonable compromise that doesn’t infringe upon any core Republican values.

If this is how Republicans act when confronted by a civil opponent, I think it’s time to show them what real oppression is. Who do I vote for to institute ideological gulags?

How Things Have Changed

Raef ....................................Elder priestess of the tribe
Nam ...................................The tribe’s chieftain
Oge .....................................The tribe’s top hunter, advisor to Nam

The Time: 1,001,494 BCE
The Place: 50 kilometers northwest of modern Johannesburg, South Africa

(RAEF runs up to NAM and OGE, who are both leaning against the entrance to a limestone cave)

RAEF: (out of breath from a long sprint) Nam, I demand that we stop using fire immediately.

NAM: (sigh) What is it now?

RAEF: Another hut burned to the ground today. That’s seven this season. Four people have died.

OGE: Did any die this time?

RAEF: No, but three are homeless!

NAM: I’ll consider your proposal, Raef.

RAEF: You don’t have time; the gods are punishing us already.

OGE: There are no gods.

RAEF: (gasp)

NAM: (to OGE) Please, let me handle this.

RAEF: Blasphemy! Throw him into the river!

NAM: No one’s being thrown in the river.

RAEF: Look, fire is unnatural. It spits in the eye of the Sun God.

OGE: And yet the sun still rises.

RAEF: (annoyed) It is the responsibility of the Sun to provide light and warmth. Fire is beyond the control of man. Look at all the trouble it brings.

NAM: I’m aware there are dangers. I trust the tribe to practice responsible use.

RAEF: The tribe is too stupid! They can’t be trusted with anything! Even the eldest cooks in the tribe still burn themselves occasionally. And need I mention what might happen if we start a fire so big it burns the entire world?

NAM: I am concerned, I assure you. I want the best for the tribe.

RAEF: The gods command it, Nam. It’s not what I want. You know I enjoy my meat cooked, but the gods are very clear. The weather has been worsening and –

OGE: Of course it’s worsening, winter is almost here.

RAEF: This has been a particularly harsh fall, even you know that.

OGE: The leaves changed and the birds flew off. It seems like a perfectly normal autumn to me.

RAEF: Nam, surely you won’t sit idly by as the tribe descends from the grace of the gods?

NAM: What if fire is a gift from the gods?

RAEF: Outrageous! The gods provide, and they need no help from human tampering.

OGE: They just need our offerings in front of the prayer cave?

RAEF: Those are sacrifices to honor gods. They are a sign of respect, something you wouldn’t know anything about.

OGE: How do the gods enjoy our choicest meats, grains, berries and nuts?

NAM: Enough. We will continue to use fire.

RAEF: You have placed a death sentence on the tribe!

NAM: Maybe, but I believe the gods gave us the ability to make fire, and we honor the gods by making the most of what we have been given.

RAEF: And what would you say to countless hundreds who will be injured by fire?

OGE: Be more careful.

RAEF: But we can’t expect the tribe to be responsible; we should at least restrict the use of fire.

NAM: I’ll think about it.

RAEF: (walks away) What next? The wheel?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Generation Too Late

America used to be a decent place. The rich were taxed about half their income, and our government funneled the money into public works like highways, schools, universities, etc. After World War II, America took an unquestioning seat at the head of the table, and the rest of the world looked to us for innovation.

Then the Hippies failed. They drugged themselves numb until they died off or lost their spirit to do good. By the end of the 70’s, all that survived were the Yuppies: Generation Mine.

They elected Saint Ronald Reagan. They bought the garbage religion that the rich drive the economy with their wealth. They stopped taxing the rich so much, allowing an ever-widening pay gap to balloon out of control. Meanwhile, social institutions and safety nets began falling apart without money to fund them.

My generation gets nothing. We get awful education by underfunded schools using computers older than we are. We get crumbling roads and bridges. We get student loan debt that buries us in interest payments. We get part-time jobs with no benefits. We get rented apartments because no one in their right mind would loan money now. There are no jobs, because the Yuppies gambled away their future and have to work past retirement.

My generation showed up to a party at 3am, when the kegs were tapped and nearly everyone had gone home. They got their fill, and we've been left to clean up.

The problem is, the Yuppies don’t realize how my generation parties. When the keg is tapped, we don’t go home and sleep. No.

We take to the streets. We break things. We spray paint your store fronts, piss in the tanks of your luxury cars, and smash your fancy lawn ornaments. This is not the Woodstock ’69 generation, this is the Woodstock ’99 generation. We want something to burn.

This is a generation of frustrated, angry young people. Until we have jobs, all we have is free time to watch, wait, and plan. If we can’t earn what we need, we will take what we want. The question is: what will be left when we’re through?

Children's Story or Porno Movie #3

1. Bad Little School Girl
2. Junie B., First Grader: Toothless Wonder
3. The Mistletoe Mystery
4. The Return Of Tori Welles
5. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
6. The Magic Escape
7. Tangled Web
8. Please, Baby, Please
9. Tiabella
10. Fancy Nancy

The answers to the last installment:

1. Sweet As They Come - Porn
2. Bubble Butts - Porn
3. Gettin' Lucky - Porn
4. Vanilla Pie - Porn
5. Eloise Takes a Bath - Story
6. Where The Boy's Aren't - Porn
7. I'm Gonna Like Me - Story
8. Everybody Loves Raylene - Porn
9. Coming Of Age - Porn
10. Daddy's Little Boy - Story

Friday, September 11, 2009

You Lie! No, You Lie!

I took a nap through most of the Obama speech, but I woke up during parts of it. I actually did see the part where Obama said they would not cover illegal immigrants, but I didn’t take much notice of the jeers. For one thing, I would expect no less from the Republicans, so I was honestly not surprised in the least.

Apparently everyone afterwards took notice of one Joe Wilson, who was singled out as the Republican scapegoat because you could hear him over everyone else. Also, he pointed his finger, which is rude (in 3rd grade).

To me, it’s not about Obama being right or wrong, truthful or a liar. I disagree with him on many things. It’s about politely waiting for the other person to finish. You know what Democrats learned to do? Watch them when a Republican is talking: they take notes. They don’t do it because they cherish every word, but because actually addressing what someone says with a full explaination is what civilized adults do. Shouting at someone in a room full of people while they are giving a prepared speech just makes you, well, a Republican.

The truth is, all the Republican elected officials ought to be strapped to a chair, have their eye lids held open and made to watch every speech Bush made to Congress in the last eight years, over and over and over again.

Then, if their minds haven’t completely turned into American cheese, strip them down and make them run naked through a gauntlet of the Democrats holding paddles. Maybe let the Republican aides get a few licks in, as well. It’s really nothing these frat boys haven’t done before.

That is your place. You are meaningless, sniveling rats. You lost. Get over it. Democrats put up with your shit for eight years, twelve in Congress. You had your chance, and you fucked it up big time. If your ideas didn’t suck, you wouldn’t be in this situation.

Real adults accept that you can’t win them all. Real adults acknowledge defeat. Real adults admit when they have been wrong. Real adults apologize. Joe Wilson impressed me; he’s the first Republican in a long time who has apologized. [Of course, some conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, wish he had not apologized.]

Relax, take it easy, and stop acting like whiney children. The world didn’t end when Bush was President, I’m positive Obama will do fine. Go back to your yachts, have some martinis, fuck your mistresses, and go home to your families. Sleep in late tomorrow, who cares. You aren’t in power anymore. Stop acting like you are the will of the people.

Now if we could just get the Democrats to grow some adult teeth…

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Top Ten: Songs About Flying

In honor of the Mexican airplane hijacking, here are my top ten favorite songs vaguely related to flying:

10. Buffalo Springfield – Expecting To Fly
9. Steve Miller Band – Fly Like An Eagle
8. Curtis Mayfield – Superfly
7. Lenny Kravitz – Fly Away
6. Foo Fighters – Learn To Fly
5. Jimi Hendrix – Night Bird Flying
4. The Beatles – Black Bird
3. Pink Floyd – Learning To Fly
2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Learning To Fly
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird

Relief from Oppression or Violation of Freedom?

It appears the French are literally playing fashion police, again. There is already a ban in French schools of Muslim headscarves, Jewish kippahs, and Christian crosses (no word on whether teachers can drive Saturn or Mercury cars).

I have teetered back and forth on how I feel about this issue. The fact that a Muslim women’s group supports the ban does not sway me; people of different levels of religiosity try to oppress each other all the time, and it’s not right to play into their games.

Of course there are women who oppose the wearing of full body burqas; I bet most do. However, there are undoubtedly women who would freely choose to wear them. Even if one woman wanted to wear a burqa but was restricted by her government based solely on the possibility – even the certainty – that someone would be victimized… I don’t know. It’s hard to weigh.

Of course, what will banning burqas even do? Does that really change how a woman is treated? Are there not a multitude of ways in which her husband and the community will beat her down? Should her government, which has failed to protect her in these more important matters, be butting into her life in a completely useless way?

I want to say that people should be responsible and wear them if they wish. I want to say that men shouldn’t force their wives to wear them. I want to believe that would be enough. I want to believe they aren’t hiding bruises from being beaten. Yet, I have trouble believing things; I need proof.

I have always viewed the family as something that can victimize you. I have a good family, and nearly everyone I have ever known has had nothing but good things to say about their family. However, the saddest stories I ever hear are always about trouble with family. There’s usually no recourse, no higher authority to appeal. Instead, the relationship is strained, or they are completely cut off, optionless (which is where government support is most needed, but sorely lacking).

Sometimes the government needs to “butt in” to stop bad things from happening. Are clothes worth all the fuss? Apparently to the French, they are.

Which Came First: Religion or Crazy

I have heard the point argued many times by atheists that religion makes people crazy. There are countless examples of people who are religious doing crazy things, and there’s even proportionally more believers than atheists among the incarcerated when compared to the general population.

However, I find it unlikely that religion can spread mental illness. Instead, I think mentally ill people find something they can relate to in religion. What that says about religion is up to the observer, I suppose.

Case in point, Mr. Jose Mar Flores Pereira hijacked a Mexican plane yesterday. It’s significant because of why he did it. For one thing, the date was September 9th, 2009, or 9-9-9. If you flip that upside down (because crazy people have no problem making those kinds of leaps in logic), you get 6-6-6, the mark of the beast.

Since Pereira, who is also a Protestant priest, is the only one who could decipher this convoluted message from God, he does the only sensible thing. He hijacks a plane leaving Cancun, orders the pilot to circle the Mexico City airport seven times (I love this guy’s use of numerology), and demands to speak to Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderon, in order to warn him.

The best part is that the President shows up! They land the plane without incident, most of the passengers don’t even know what’s going on, and they apprehend the guy without violence. They even pose him for the media:

Now, this guy was a former drug addict and singer (I don’t know which is worse), so my guess is he was crazy before he found religion.

But wait… maybe crazy people aren’t finding religion. In fact, it stands to reason that crazy people would not collectively do something similarly because they are a diverse group who share only one thing in common: not being “normal” enough. Instead, religion seems to find crazy people.

Religion claims to serve the function of charity. However, I contend that it cannot be charity if they are doing good things with the ulterior motive of shoving their ideology up your ass.

Religion, here’s some advice: stop telling crazy people there are voices in your head who might be God. You’re only making yourselves look bad.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Children's Story or Porno Movie #2

1. Sweet As They Come
2. Bubble Butts
3. Gettin’ Lucky
4. Vanilla Pie
5. Eloise Takes a Bath
6. Where The Boy’s Aren’t
7. I’m Gonna Like Me
8. Everybody Loves Raylene
9. Coming Of Age
10. Daddy’s Little Boy

The answers to the last game (the easy round) are:

1. Suck And Blow Rodeo - Porn
2. The Polar Express - Story
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Story
4. The Wrong Snatch - Porn
5. The 12 Days of Christmas: A Pop-Up Celebration - Story
6. Hairy Twatter - Porn
7. Goodnight Moon - Story
8. Nikki Loves Rocco - Porn
9. Where the Wild Things Are - Story
10. Raggedy Ann Bedtime Stories - Story

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It Cuts Both Ways

A woman in Kentucky is pissed off that her son was taken by his high school football coach to a Baptist revival, where he was baptized. He was not kidnapped, so that isn’t the issue. I don’t know if he was misled, but let’s analyze all possible scenarios and explore why Michelle Ammons should not be upset over her son, Robert Coffey.

Let’s suppose he didn’t want to be there. Let’s suppose he was lured by the “steak dinner” and “motivational speech.” I once went on a ski trip through a group at my public middle school where some minister made us pray, but experiences like this only serve to cement my dislike for religion. A forced baptism would not traumatize someone, unless you wanted them to be religious… in that case, they’re probably turned off by your cause. A forced exorcism, I can see getting worked up about. This, not so much.

However, let’s suppose he wanted to be there. I know, it’s impossible to imagine this. The poor boy is just sixteen, he couldn’t possibly know any better!

Except… I was perfectly capable of making many adult decisions at sixteen. So are many people. We let people that age take the lives of others in their hands by driving. Frankly, I support lowering all age restrictions to fifteen. So in my eyes, this guy was perfectly capable of making a decision for himself.

Suppose he wanted to be there and his mom is making this huge, embarrassing scene. His mom, who has a different last name than him (either divorced or a feminist; oh the Christian shame of it!). His mom, who is the same person who has probably collectively given him more shit in his life than any other person. His mom, the crazy lady who calls lawyers because her son got dunked in magic water.

The behavior of the mother is what we should be seeking to eradicate, rather than religion in name alone. Fanatical desires to control others while aggressively attacking those who pose you no real threat are the things that make religion worth criticizing.

Perhap sometimes we get so wrapped up in hating everything that we don't notice how wretched we have become.


Since writing this, more has been added to the story. The only detail I find upsetting is that the coach may have taken the whole team; the story implied when I first read it that only some student had gone (so I envisioned it as an invitation event). I want no part in telling adults what they can do in their free time.

However, even if the team was required to go, one should not legitimize the event with legal action. Further, making a Christian suffer publicly in a court room doesn't exactly hurt the religion. The Jews probably thought, "Well, that's the last we'll be hearing of that guy," as Jesus hung on the cross.

Besides, what actually happened? Were these children mind-raped by religion? What really changed between when they woke up that morning and when they went to bed that night? As an atheist, I believe nothing besides memories of boredom will remain of the event. I'm not saying this is something I want anyone to have to do, nor that I support people doing it, but does this open the door for teachers who take kids to natural history museums being sued by creationists who claim they're trying to force evolution on their kids?

Besides, if you hate religion so much, get the fuck out of Kentucky.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Game: Children’s Story or Porno Movie

The game is simple: each of the items listed below is the title of either a children’s story or a porno movie. As far as I know, none are both. Have fun, and feel free to post answers to your favorite guesses (because yes, some are obvious... I’m looking at you, #6):

1. Suck And Blow Rodeo
2. The Polar Express
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
4. The Wrong Snatch
5. The 12 Days of Christmas: A Pop-Up Celebration
6. Hairy Twatter
7. Goodnight Moon
8. Nikki Loves Rocco
9. Where the Wild Things Are
10. Raggedy Ann Bedtime Stories

I have cut the list down to 10, and will be doing 3 installments, rather than have a daunting 30 question homework assignment.

Hippies & Why They Failed

The term “hippie” derives from the 1940’s slang term “hipster.” Oddly enough, the 1940’s usage of the word “hipster” is not all that dissimilar from modern usage, only it wasn’t as trendy or popular in the 40’s. The common thread between original hipsters, hippies, and modern hipster-douchebags are the hallmarks of drug use, sarcasm, and self-imposed poverty.

The Hippies took the counterculture inherited by the Beatniks and, quite frankly, fucked it up in ways completely unimaginable. Largely urban and suburban white kids believed they could get close to nature and become farmers while on acid. They ruined the idea of socialism for everyone by organizing into failed economic units they called “communes,” which served only to facilitate group sex.

My wife is a self-styled Hippie. She even listens to awful Hippie bands that just drone on forever like elevator music. I went to a Hippie festival a couple weeks back, where I spent the majority of the time silently observing the scene.

The most trivial comment I can make is that the music is far too loud. The genre is not one which lends itself to very loud amplification; it is merely jazz with too many effects pedals and crappy lyrics about loving one another. The amplifiers should be turned down and the drums should be unamplified. This would create a more “mellow vibe.” It would also allow for people to actually have conversations.

I went to an event called {name withheld at the request of my wife}. If one looks at the website, one can see something strange:

“We grew tired of the over-priced tickets from companies who keep treating patrons with less and less respect. So, in the ever changing face of the music industry, we started our festival by live music phans for live music phans.”

[The use of “ph” is in reference to the jamband Phish, a central figure in the scene that developed during the tours of the Grateful Dead.]

This festival (or phestival…*barf*) is a sub-subculture. The Hippie jamband scene became so big that small, offshoot festivals are economically viable. The guy running this festival organized the first one a couple years ago to cover rent (how I imagine 90% of the businesses in America start). Not only is this counterculture an economic windfall for the enterprising, they have taken on the role of “the man” with startling swiftness.

These festivals are drug bazaars. Cannabis is everywhere, sold and used openly, and several venders sell pipes, bongs, one-hitters, grinders, vaporizers, and scales. A walk through shakedown alley will usually net one or two offers for mushrooms or acid. Cocaine even floats around between old friends.

However, if you should be so unlucky as to have a hankering for some nitrous oxide, you can expect to be thrown out of events like this.

For those unaware of nitrous oxide, it is a gas that is inhaled to experience a high. It is also called laughing gas. Its chemical symbol is N2O, but most uneducated morons think it’s NO2 and even call it “nos” for this reason [NO2 is nitrogen dioxide, a toxic pollutant]. Nitrous oxide is commonly used in dentistry and is found to be very safe in moderate usage under supervised conditions.

The primary cause of injury from nitrous oxide use is due to falling, so doing the drug while sitting eliminates the majority of harm. There are also long-term side-effects that are associated with the lack of oxygen during prolonged inhalation sessions over months of chronic use. So basically, as with most things, occasional responsible use isn’t a problem.

If I had to rank the drugs I saw present at the festival from least harmless to most harmful, I would have ranked them cannabis, nitrous oxide, acid, mushrooms, alcohol, “Molly” (pure MDMA), cocaine. However, the festival organizers came down hard on the nitrous venders. Why?

There is quite a history to this. At some point, myths of the evils of nitrous became public. Festivals began issuing strange, cryptic warnings in their rules: “No illicit drugs, ESPECIALLY NITROUS!!” Seems redundant, but the “no drugs” rule is an insurance technicality, and the all-caps warning about nitrous was a way of selectively targeting nitrous.

So what happened? Did nitrous disappear from the scene? Prohibition policies have taught us one thing: banning something does not make it disappear; it makes it cooler and more profitable.

The creative nitrous purveyors (probably in a scheme to pay for rent) went to the camp grounds weeks before a festival would open. They would bury tanks so that when their car was checked upon entering, the tanks would not be confiscated. When the festival started, they would retrieve the tanks, whip out a bag of balloons, and start selling.

A balloon full of nitrous ran about two or three dollars a few years ago. Today, one can expect to pay roughly fifteen dollars for a few minute high and irreparable brain damage. What’s worse, “nitrous mafias” have formed. They violently oppose rival sellers who attempt to undercut them in price. Tanks have been thrown through car windshields. People have been beaten up. They’re hippies, though, so no one has died yet.

What made festival organizers initially ban nitrous? Stories… baseless stories… tales of tanks exploding, for which there is no evidence. That and the toothless grin of the nitrous user, having lost them in falls because he is too stupid to sit in a chair before sucking down a drug that makes one pass out.

Hippies are nothing special. They aren’t revolutionaries; they are digressionists. They wish to devolve society to a point where they can comprehend it, then they wish to complicate it with their own misconceptions and ignorance. Every single one of the people at this event could have talked your ear off about why marijuana should be legalized, but where was their tolerance for another equally harmless drug?

The Hippies failed because they are culture and society builders in a world where we have more than enough culture and society. The Hippies tried to re-invent the wheel. They saw a system that was indeed inefficient and wrong, and they traced it back to its origins to attempt to restart it. The problem is, they went back a little too far, to a time before baths, and the plans they have for the future are worse than what we have.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Christianity and Persecution

What does a religion do once it achieves dominance if its mythology is one of persecution and victimization at the hands of an evil majority? If you’re Christianity, you splinter into many sects and claim everyone is out to get you – even with the reins of power in your hands.

The above chart is humorous, but inaccurate given the fact that Christianity is not a homogenous, monolithic entity. They bicker amongst themselves over petty details of interpretation.

Which brings up an interesting point: most of the persecution of Christians was committed by fellow Christians. There has been only two documented periods of persecution under Roman rule: under Nero in the 60’s AD; under Diocletian and Galerius in the 300’s, just before Constantine. All of this certainly came to an end once Christianity came to power after the conversion of Constantine I. Or did it?

Christianity has a rich history of self-directed violence. It has not been enough to believe in Jesus, but also to agree with what degree he is divine or human. It’s not always about reading the Bible; one must have the right Bible. The banality of the things for which Christians have killed each other for does help explain their reaction to those of completely different faiths.

Gnostics, Arians, Valentinians, and nontrinitarians are just a few lines of philosophy quashed by Christianity in their infancy. Not only were most of the texts about them destroyed, but the followers were often killed if they did not convert in a satisfactory way. This is a theme that continues for centuries, and explodes into a large split in the form of the Reformation, which sets the stage for even more Christian-on-Christian violence.

How is it Christianity can play the victim so well while the whip is in its hand? Would Christianity be a less hypocritical belief if it was as feeble and impotent as Buddhism? If so, how can we help them on this path?

Friday, September 4, 2009

On Gideons and Conspiracies

Anyone who has been bored in a hotel has seen the Bible. Many may have noticed (or simply heard) that it was placed there by a “Gideon.”

Before I proceed, yes I know there is often also a Book of Mormon. However, as an Atheist, I bash religions, not cults. You have to draw the line somewhere, or else I would be on here 24/7 trying to debunk the Flat Earth Society.

Now there is no Church of Gideon, nor are they from Gidea (as Bill Hicks has suggested). Instead, they are a group that was founded in Wisconsin by Evangelicals with the express purpose of spreading the “word of God” (see also: the Bible).

Since being founded in 1899, the group Gideon International has distributed approximately 1.5 billion Bibles in over 80 languages to more than 175 countries. Any Christian can join, except of course Catholics, Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Orthodox Christians, Unitarians, and Mormons.

The Bibles distributed are in the King James Version, the most common Protestant format and translation. Besides hotels, they also distribute Bibles to hospitals, the military, nursing homes, prisons, schools, and colleges.

I have heard Christians speak of conspiracies against Christianity. I have heard Christians speak of conspiracies about one type of Christianity trying to destroy the real, true Christianity (always the brand of the speaker). I have heard of conspiracy theories that say Christianity is being attacked by atheists and Satan worshippers (usually interchangeable within the same rant, despite the logical fallacy of their incompatibility).

Really, Christians just love to believe they are Jesus, and that Judas is going to betray them and they will get nailed to their cross, so they can finally live forever. The closest thing to an anti-Christian plot is probably radical Islamic extremism, which is itself concerned with all non-Muslims, be they Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist, not just Christians.

Christians are looking for a plot, and so they see a plot. What I wonder is, does all this paranoia make Christianity a threat to those of us who would live peacefully with them? Moreover, why are Christians distributing their propaganda through a tax-free organization while accusing the world of corrupting them?

Besides being better than the people I’m criticizing (no small task here), there’s no sense in turning it around and accusing Christianity of a conspiracy. A conspiracy, as defined by the dictionary, is a plot made in secret.

It is no secret that Christians try to infect people with their way of thinking; anyone who takes the time to read their material sees that a major component of their faith is based around convincing other people to join. The very word “evangelize” means “convert.” It’s in their name: they’re out to get us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happiness Beyond Belief

I have heard the faithful express a disbelief that someone can have a fulfilling or happy life without Jesus/God/L. Ron Hubbard (although usually Jesus). Why do some Christians have it in their heads that a life without the divine is a life without bliss?

The most elementary model of Hell is a place of fire. However, most people who have a college degree (sadly only about 25% of the US population) can tell you that Hell is probably not a literal place, more of a metaphor.

One of the most common descriptions of Hell among the more developed believers is an absence of God. To them, Hell is literally the place shut off from God’s love, so to be sent there is a horrible existence because they lack God.

In a previous post, I tried to explain that myth helps dictate how we perceive reality. It is the lens which distorts – or corrects – our perception of reality. The myth of Christianity has the believer perceiving an absence of God as agonizing, so the choice of the atheist appears to be an illogical, masochistic one.

If one digs deeper into the mindset of the believer, one encounters another strange connection. Sunsets, babies, flowers, talent, victory, food, health, and all kinds of great things seem to all be “gifts from God.” I’m sure some imagine that either an atheist cannot enjoy, or even possess, such things or they do not enjoy them to the fullest. Perhaps we atheists even hate these things because they’re God’s gifts!

Are atheists happy? It clearly depends on the atheist, but I would imagine they are as happy as religious people. Besides, what is happy? Is it a continuous feeling which never goes away? Happiness to me has always been a series of little joys experienced over time, with large periods of neutrality punctuated by moments of sadness and despair.

I often hear from believers that one cannot be happy all the time, which is a sentiment I tend to agree with. However, aren’t these the same people who conceive of a place called Heaven where happiness is constant and eternal? Is happiness of this sort possible, or is some degree of suffering required against which enjoyment can be measured?

So what makes an atheist happy? Reading a book about science? Denouncing other people’s beliefs? Child sacrifice? Serotonin?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random (European) Thoughts

These are some random thoughts from my trip to Europe. I’ll probably expand on some of them later for blog posts, but for now the raw notes will do.

A lifetime spent in ignorance, regardless of how long, is no recipe for wisdom.

Might cannot make right; might merely gets its way. The threat of violence is a display of frustration at being unable, or unwilling, to debate through logic.

As far as Gods go, Mercury is way better than Jesus. Mercury has a line of cars, a planet, and an element on the periodic table named after him. What does Jesus have? Christmas? His name used in anger? A bunch of buildings people can’t wait to get out of so they can enjoy the rest of their weekend?

How can we overcome our primeval programming to distrust what is slightly different now that we are faced with overwhelming evidence that diversity, not uniformity, is beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint?

I prefer to eat animals over plants, out of respect. All animals live on other life forms, and I find this justifies their death. Plants, on the other hand, live off of the sun and nutrients in the soil, completely blameless of murder. Sure, there’s Venus Fly Traps, but they’re the exception. So I guess a salad of Venus Fly Traps or other carnivorous plants would be alright.

If one wishes to kill no life, one must consume milk, honey, and eggs (if pro-coice). Cheese and yogurt have bacterial cultures in them, so they aren’t allowed. Nuts, fruits and seeds are probably allowed if they naturally fall off the plant. Animals that die of natural causes may be morally acceptable, though not necessarily safe.

All movies are in 3D. Some are just in 4D. You see, a still image would be two dimensional. A moving image is three dimensional: it exhibits length, width, and time. With special glasses, one can experience a fourth dimension, one normally not experienced: depth.

Technology relieves mankind of the drudgery of manual labor, but not of the drudges themselves.

The armies of the world are not true enemies, but are instead codependent allies who rely upon each other to justify their own existence. There is no war between the US and Al Qaeda; they are allies in the battle against a civil existence. It is the violent forces of the world competing for funds against those of us who are peaceful and have real jobs. Let the animals play GI Joe on their own dime.

Peace must always be the goal of war, just as leisure is the goal of work. Those who work without leisure are slaves, and those who fight without peace are slaves to the labor of war.

I can’t wait to be an old man, then I’ll finally have an excuse.

When those who have been told all their lives that they are weak and powerless finally pick up their torches and hammers, I hope to have a good view.

Much scorn is heaped upon leaders who treat their citizens harshly, but it is my opinion that they are better than those who allow their citizens complete freedom, while allowing tyranny to be the nation’s chief export. At least the tyrant at home harms only those who have created him.

No one of wealth ought to feel safe in a healthy democracy.

Studying the Bible will make one educated. Believing it will make one a fool.

The lesson of Jesus is played out in much of history, from Kennedy to MLK to Gandhi: to kill the body is to immortalize their image and message.

One must do better than to destroy one’s enemies; one must correct them.

At places where rich people congregate, all kinds of free things are given out. It is a travesty that we live in a system where those with the most are freely given more, while those with very little must fight to the death for everything they get.

I don’t know for certain the importance of love, but I do know that I have never heard of a dying person saying, “I wish I had told more people I hated them.”

Sometimes the most direct path forward requires a step to the side, or even backwards.

Our first impulse is to trust our first impulse, but consider the source. What a tricky instinct our first impulse can be.

It is an odd fact of human nature that we are moderate when we believe the state to be at peace, and fanatical when we believe the state to be at war.

There’s at least one guy out there who owns a Segway and a treadmill, and I bet he doesn’t even see the irony in it.

It has always been a battle between the interests of the many and the interests of the few who have become accustomed to wealth.

Those who are politically unaffiliated in America are not considered neutral, but are instead attacked from both sides.

The greatest sin of Socrates and Jesus was their complete lack of written exposition. As far as we know, neither one wrote a single word. They both left their legacies in the hands of their fans; what a dangerous thought.

Do not fear death, for it is a simple process. It is easy. Anyone from a newborn to the feeble elderly can do it, and billions before you have experienced it without returning to complain.

The conservative paranoid delusion of liberalism:
The liberals will gouge out our eyes at birth so we cannot see our differences. They will puncture our ear drums so we cannot hear lies. They will chop off our hands so we cannot make more than we are given. They will cripple our legs so we cannot explore or escape. They fear greatness, stifling its development at every turn, because it would disprove the grand ideal of equality. They will not be satisfied until we are all prisoners in broken bodies, sharing the same universal experience of misery.

A political party always enacts the opposite of their rhetoric. The liberal preaches diversity while seeking to make sure everyone is treated the same. The conservative preaches fiscal and moral responsibility while assuming neither.

Everyone has these ribbons now, and breast cancer is one of the most funded diseases at the moment. However, prostate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women. So, I suggest October become Proctober for Brown Ribbon Month. Give a shit about prostate cancer! And there won’t be any 5k walks, maybe a 5 hour sit-on-your-butt-athon. Maybe a NASCAR event would be appropriate; those people seem to have something up their ass.

Women appear more intelligent in many relationships because they usually wait to speak second.

Are there any Christians who won’t wear Nike shoes because its named after a heathen goddess? Or that won’t drive Saturn or Mercury cars?

Display your power and wealth through art, for wars only inspire awe in the lifetime of those who fought them.

Anarchists are like political cleaners who wash away the scum, or wrecking balls that break down the walls, all in an effort to start fresh.

Some will try to tell you painting is art and graffiti is vandalism, but I fail to see the difference.

Everyone is sick and tired of being told what the word Islam means; it is potentially as violent as every other religion.

The time for barbaric rivalries is coming to an end. We must turn to civilized cooperation over savage competition.

It is funny that so many Americans scoff at Europe for being largely Socialized. Americans believe Europeans do not partake in the same self-destructive displays of excess that so many Americans recklessly flaunt as “success.” However, the truth is there are still plenty of selfish assholes in Europe. They didn’t ship them all to America, but they did a good job getting rid of most of them.

Some would like us to believe the romantic lie that competition breeds progress, but I have yet to see this supposed competition. I see only a system of power and control which masquerades as a free market, the reins of which are handed down between a few families.

Economic free markets are not competition in the same sense as in sports. If a team like the Yankees, which has been around a long time, was allowed to have 20 men on the field, while a new expansion team was allowed 9, this would more closely resemble the supposed competition within the marketplace. Competition only occurs when a market is new, and then dies quickly into a coercive oligopoly.

If greatness were genetic or taught, there should be endless lineages of great people. Instead, if we look at history, we see only a transmission of wealth through inheritance, with spoiled brats being the most common spawn of randomly occurring greatness.

Small talk is for small minds. The ignorant take offense at the mere existence of differing opinions on matters such as religion or politics. Intellectuals revel in discussion and debate, even though they may (and often do) disagree. This is the easiest way to distinguish between people based on the power of their mind: willingness to confront and discuss different ideas.

We are all called to be heroes. But what is a hero? I would say a hero is one who ignores the possibility of failure while doing what they feel is right, and who scoffs at everything that stands in their way – especially death.

The only substantial decision made by most CEO’s is how many zeros will be on their own pay check.

We should replace the heads of every company in the nation. I am not suggesting the decapitation of every corporation, merely the trimming of unruly hair.

The myth of the entrepreneur is a sales pitch for capitalism made by ambitious shysters in an attempt to justify their wealth. I do not believe in the greatness of a person, only the greatness of the people, for theirs are the giant shoulders upon which these “elite” con men have dubiously perched. Why are these few who stand atop the others valued more? Would those at the bottom or in the middle not bring the whole thing lower without their presence? How can we weigh the influence of every person who has affected these “great” individuals, from crib to grave? No one makes their journey to the top alone, like a solitary mystic on a mountain top receiving revelations. This is a myth; a lie meant to blind us to what the wealthy withhold from the whole.

The possibility of change for the worse must be an accepted risk, so that change for the better remains possible. We must never insist on stasis.

A Christian from one century would not approve the Christian doctrine of any other, and it is this constant evolution which has allowed it to persist.

He with the most toys is most distracted.

Someone must reconcile Jesus and Marx if we are to ever progress in America. They really were very similar people, despite Marx’s complete dismissal of Jesus. Both are champions for the poor against the wealthy powers of the world, and both had beards. Never underestimate the beards.

The moral values of most Americans are trapped in the 20th Century. Perhaps this is an attempt to hold onto our lost glory. Maybe we believe if we keep acting as we did back then, greatness will return. However, this is not how evolution works. We must adapt, change, and improve, or die.

Conservative economists are quick to point out that economics is not zero sum. They stress this idea, and it is true, in an attempt to prove that the rich cannot possibly be guilty of withholding from the poor. However, if I owned an apple tree, every year apples would grow. I would gain far more than I put in, much like an economy. The apples are not zero-sum, but are instead a steady and nearly endless supply of apples over the long run. However, if every year I only give some of my apples to my friends, denying apples to others, I am still withholding the fruits of my work. If I colluded with other apple tree owners, we could ensure entire generations of people never tasted an apple. This is the model of our current economy. The principle is the same with all renewable commodities, and even more apparent in industries like mining and drilling, where resources are much tighter.

How convenient to the rebel that what takes generations to build can be burned in a day.

I am a citizen of civilization, and all good people are my fellow nationals. Only the brutes and savages in suits are foreign to me.

There is a reason so many of our best and brightest go insane.

I attribute my intelligence to never wearing a tie. More blood to the brain.

As for my intelligence, I am smart enough to recognize when I have made a mistake, but not smart enough to prevent me from making it.

I fear getting a job, especially a job doing something awful, because I have always excelled at everything I attempted.

Men get women to wear heels so they can’t run away.

Has anyone ever seen or even heard of a Church of Gideon?

Consumer culture has convinced the average person to willingly pay a premium to be a billboard.

It is clearly within the capacity of the religious to exhibit skepticism. Just listen to their feelings on “cults.” A religious person will tell you all about how they brainwash good, innocent people and then get them to do dirty work for an evil organization bent only on gaining more members and money. If only there was such a thing as a mirror for criticism…

A revolution is best run by both the young and the elderly together on one side, as both are disenfranchised by the middle. The young can out-fight the middle, and the elderly and out-think them.

It requires not benevolence, but either naivety or cruelty to treat your friends the same as your enemies.

Intellect is like gold; it can flow freely through the stream of the mind, but for most it must be arduously mined.

I can’t stand people who know where everything ought to be, but not where anything is.

I really value self-sacrifice, but only in other people.
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