Archive for the ‘In the News’ Category

My buddy Garvin had a post concerning his viewpoint on newspapers going non-profit.  He raises interesting points, especially by changing the point of view between the ‘commoner’ (I’m assuming he’s referring to the landed gentry in the middle ages) and a journalism major.  He brings up each side and their points very well, pointing out that from the ‘commoner’s’ standpoint, they get unbiased news (something I disagree with, but that’s for later); however, the journalism major inside him (frosted mini-wheats commercial) disagrees, because it basically forces them to prevent any and all kinds of bias, due to their non-profit tax status.

But, what he doesn’t bring up is the fact that not every ‘commoner’ reads the newspaper.  I don’t.  The last time I bought a newspaper was 3 copies last weekend to use as packing material.  I just have no interest in paying for an item that’s cumbersome, leaves my finger tips black, and has only 3-4 sections I’m actually interested in.  I don’t care about 90% of  what happens in Cleveland; I don’t live there, none of my work is affected by it, and the sports team ‘insights’ are no better than what’s found online/on the radio.  The editorials are a joke, and the political coverage is incredibly lacking.  The front page stories can easily be found at Cleveland.com, and I don’t have to wait for tomorrow morning to read about something that happened 10 minutes ago.

So, I really don’t have any use for the newspaper, and thusly, don’t read it.  No big deal, honestly.  What they provide is a service I don’t need from them, or can get elsewhere for easier/cheaper.  If enough people agree with me, and their business starts to suffer, then they’re forced to either adapt to the growing needs of their consumer base, or fall by the wayside.

For example, anyone go to a silent movie recently?  How about riding a horse to work?  What about ordering donuts online?  Exactly.  These were all services that were offered that, for a time, there was enough of a consumer base to justify their existence.  But, the people that make up that consumer base didn’t need or want their service anymore, and they fell by the wayside.

So, I ask, why should newspapers be different?  Why do they get to be especially coddled?  Why should a circle be arbitrarily drawn around them and then others say, ‘well, they’re different.’  Why should they be different from pets.com, drive-in theaters, and pet rocks?  If they provide a service that no one wants, why should they be set apart from the rest?

And if they do decide to go non-profit (I have my own issues with government rules and non-profits), and you strip away all bias in their reporting, how effective can they really be?  What are facts without context, and how can you provide that context without any kind of bias whatsoever?  And who decides what is and isn’t biased?  How will we know that a particular person’s gauge of what is ‘biased’ is the same as everyone else’s?  How do you make something as wishy-washy and personal as a point-of-view rational and concrete?

Isn’t it just easier to leave them as for-profit enterprises, and strip away any strange notion they have of remaining non-biased observers of the world?  Why not have The Plain Dealer read; “Your source for all things conservative” and let someone else provide a paper that’s a counter-point to that to the need of those who want their news from newspapers, but don’t like the point-of-view of the PD?  Why not let the competition between the two, and the need to retain an audience allow them to figure out a way to remain relevant?

What alot of people don’t know is that when the internet was young – and I mean, 14.4 baud modems young, there was essentially only one real service available; and that was newspapers.  The AP and Reuters were providing raw news wires that could be picked up by anyone, and since text was low-weight for the young modems available at the time (pictures were rare, and videos were impossible), it made newspapers incredibly valuable – some of the first websites were online editions of newspapers.  Porn may have made the internet what it is today, but newspapers made it what it was when porn took over.

If they were such pioneers in the realm of this new and soon to be powerful medium; what happened?  I really don’t know.  And I have the feeling that many people in the newspaper industry don’t know either.


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A while ago, Bill Donahue was on the O’Reilley Factor screaming about how the evil atheists were waging a war on Christmas.  He then wondered why the American Humanist Association bought ads on D.C. buses that said, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sakes” during Christmas, and not during a Muslim holiday like Ramadan.  Personally, I don’t see a difference between Christianity and Islam; both are nothing more than outmoded cultural memes that really have no purpose in society; but I can narrow down 2 reasons why the AHA chose Christmas (I’m assuming, of course – I wasn’t in the room when this was decided).


Well, one reason is the last line ‘be good for goodness sakes’; it’s a lyric from ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’.  A timely choice of words, considering many people had probably heard that song in the store/on the radio prior to boarding the bus.


The other reason is what I think Mr. Donahue would be able to readily recognize – marketing.  After all, his strange obsession with the ‘sanctity of Christmas’ is deeply rooted in his religion’s ability to market themselves when their particular sect was first starting out.


A first example, and probably the best is the choice of December 25 as the time of celebration.  If Christianity’s Jesus was to have been born on that day, why would his parents have fled the Roman census by going to Galilee – an event that happens in March?  It was chosen because it was the day of the Pagan Winter Solstice among many winter festivals that other religions in the area had been celebrating for generations.  It’s a fantastic example of early Catholic marketing – as are many Catholic and later Christian traditions and beliefs (Easter, anyone?).  After all, it’s easier to get someone to believe in your religion if you tell them they can keep the traditions they have and merely change the name and target.  Or just bludgeon them until they relent.  But the first way is less messy.


Even the use of the Christmas Tree – a tradition dating back to Germanic Paganism where an evergreen tree would be brought into the house and decorated with lights to celebrate ‘Lichtfest’ or Light-Fest, on the shortest day of the year (Dec 21).  Other pagan traditions brought in an evergreen tree to promote the idea of life in a season where so many trees look ‘dead’.


Mistletoe, and subsequently the tradition of kissing underneath it; is a Scandinavian tradition rooted in the Norse gods, and the death of a character in Norse mythology named Balder.  The meaning behind kissing underneath it is due to the fact that the plant is seen as a plant of peace starting with the tradition of, “If enemies met by chance beneath it in a forest, they laid down their arms and maintained a truce until the next day.”  Which evolved into kissing beneath it.


Caroling, is something that many people view as a traditional Christmas pastime; although few would know it’s original term known as Wassailing; an Anglo-Saxon tradition of singing to apple orchards to promote a better harvest the following year.  It eventually became a tradition of going from door-to-door to your neighbors wishing them a good year.  Even so far as to enter your neighbors house in New England and make demands trick-or-treat style (‘now bring us some figgy pudding’ and ‘we won’t leave until we get some’)


Even Santa Claus; a modern mythological figure that is a first (I think, anyway) because it’s based on a real person – has many features that are borrowed from the Norse god Odin (not the least of which is his looks).  During the festival of Yule, Odin would lead a great hunting party in the sky, being pulled by an 8-legged horse named Sleipnir (8 reindeer?), who could leap great distances.  Children would leave their boots filled with straw, carrots, or sugar for Sleipnir to eat, and Odin would reward the children by leaving gifts.  Much like hanging stocking above a fireplace, leaving cookies for Santa, and opening the gifts that he leaves.


And even my favorite tradition; Christmas Ham.  Which started in Germany as a tribute to Freyr, the god of boars.  Although, many historians think that it started in England.  Regardless, it’s delicious.


So when I hear about the ‘War on Christmas’, I can’t help but shake my head and sigh.  Can you really get so upset over people redefining your traditions after you started your ‘traditions’ by doing the same?

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Presidential Nominees

Above all else, I think you should have the right to make the absolute worst decisions for yourself imaginable.  I will stand before an audience of my peers and demand with the loudest voice I can muster that you be allowed to do the unthinkable – drive a car without a seat belt, eat what and where you want, even do something so egregious as to choose the manner of your demise – and the reason I would do this is because of one simple axiom;  You can only measure the freedom in a society not by what it allows, but by what it doesn’t.


This year is an election year, and once again, we have to choose someone to have a job in this swanky pad in D.C.  I believe in personal freedom above all else, and in the past, that has led me to mostly vote Libertarian.  Some, myself included (usually out of jest), believe that this is akin to throwing away your vote.  Which isn’t entirely true – it’s good for a candidate and his cause to see if he’s rallying people behind him.  Even if I don’t get what I want this year, by continually showing my support and rallying others behind it, I may get it next year.  Or the year after.  Such is Democracy.


The nominee for the Libertarian ticket is Bob Barr congressman and one of the leaders of Bill Clinton’s impeachment fiasco.  When I look for a candidate for President, I look for just two things; how he/she handles hits they’ve taken, and how have they acted in a previous government position.  The second has more weight than the former.


Given this, I’m not going to vote for the guy.  He calls himself a Libertarian, fair enough.  But we can’t let someone define who they are in name alone; in other words, actions speak louder than words.


Defense of Marriage Act

I can only think of a few things (subsidies, education) that put a burr in my ass more than the government telling me who I can and cannot live with.  The idea that the government has to take a stance at all makes so much little sense it’s bordering on the absurd.  The government’s stance on marriage should be simple: A binding, contractual agreement between one or more parties in which the signers can now jointly interact with the government and the law.  That’s it.  No mention of man, no mention of woman.


Bob Barr was one of the legislators who took the lead on that ridiculous piece of garbage that said that marriages involving a man and woman are federally recognized and must be recognized in all 50 states, but same-sex marriages are up to the states.  He then apologized for it at the 2008 Libertarian convention.  Fine, but why did you start it in the first place?  Why did you make a law that dealt with it at all?


Banning the practice of Wicca in the military

On May 13, 1999, Bob Barr issued a press release:


He lists as one of the causes of youth violence the practice by the U.S. military to permit Wiccan personnel to observe their religious faith. Wicca is a benign, earth-centered religion, which is somewhat similar to Native American Spirituality. A second source of youth violence that he cites is the increasing acceptance by university students of humanism, a secular, non-theistic philosophy with a strong ethical component. (ReligiousTolerance.org)


Forget that this is completely against the 1st Amendment.  Forget that Wicca is a recognized religion with hundreds of thousands of followers.  Forget that he’s accusing Wiccans and Atheists for the downfall of youths today.  I’m bothered by that, but not to the extent that I’m bothered by this: He’s letting his personal opinion supersede another’s simply because he can.  He thinks that Wicca is silly, and to be honest, I agree with him – of course, I don’t pick and choose between religions, but hey, he can’t be perfect – but I wouldn’t dare tell another person that they can’t freely believe in that because I think it’s silly.  The idea that he would use his position to give preferential treatment to someone else because they believe in his particular flavor of invisible friend just pisses me off.


That’s not a mistaken vote on an Executive order.  That’s a personal view of superiority regarding the private actions of another person.  He had the ability to wrongly persecute someone based on how they feel regarding life, and he took it.  He exercised the historic arrogance of those in his position and did what they always do – suppress those who don’t agree with him.  That’s not a one-time thing, something that can be flittered away with an apology on CNN.  That’s a major problem that he has, and one reason why he not only doesn’t get my vote, but something far, far, deeper.  He loses respect from me as a human being.


To everyone who wishes to deny another the right to do something personal and private; be it marry, practice a religion, raise a child – to everyone standing at pulpit and screaming at the top of their lungs how this should be stopped, I want to ask you something.  Something that I want you to think long and hard about.  Has a single one of those people, those people you are railing against, people who you look down upon, people who you want to be treated differently than you – has a single member of that group done the same to you?  Have they showed up at your doorstep telling you, ‘you can’t marry that woman’, ‘it’s an abomination that you want to raise children’, ‘you can’t worship that god’?


I find it very interesting that those who are persecuted don’t persecute others.

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Freemasons – that evil group of men who know where the arc of the covenant and a large cadre of gold is hidden – have an interesting rule regarding membership and symbols of such.  Every group, large and small, has their own rites of initiation and membership, but there’s this particular one from the Masons that I thought was rather strange; You can only wear a Freemason’s ring if you are a Freemason.  Sure, it sounds fair.  But the really ironic thing about it is, unless you are a Freemason, that rule does not apply to you.  So a non-Mason can wear a Masonic ring, and there’s really nothing they can do about it.  But if you’re a Mason, then you have the ring…it’s just a weird little rule.


But it’s really not that weird.  Groups all over the world have the same premise, they think that because they chose a set of rules for themselves, that it then applies to those who do not belong.  Take this example.  A U.S. soldier used a Quran for target practice.  Not exactly the smartest thing in the world to do in that region of the world – especially when you’re a part of a peacekeeping operation, but he did it nonetheless.  The local religious fanatics got all up in arms about it – christian, muslim or jew, these whack-jobs have a cushy job; ‘we’re pissed, placate us’ – and wanted the ‘severest of punishments’ imposed upon the guy.  Now, there’s only one real fact that matters when it comes to this; was the soldier Muslim.


1.  If he was, then he deserves to have whatever punishment is visited upon him by his Islamic cohorts.  He took the vows, drank the kool-aid, and deserves to live by the rules.

2.  If he wasn’t, then he should apologize to anyone he may have offended, and be redeployed to a location where his attitude won’t be more of a detriment than his presence.  Basically, if it hurts more than helps to have him there – put him somewhere else.


This incident I read about on CNN got me thinking about that Mason ring; I find it odd that groups want their rules pressed on other people despite the fact that they aren’t members of that group.


Another great example is this latest crop of laws trying to be snaked through state congresses.  They usually go under the guise of “Academic Freedom” laws, or some crap like that.  The language varies from place to place, and there’s some finite details concerning each, but they usually boil down to this:  You’re a student in science class.  You are given a test.  On it says;

The Earth is ______ years old.

A) 15 minutes, give or take

B) 4.54 billion

C) 6,000, as stated in the sacred texts of the Holy Bible

D) What the voices tell me


Now, it’s been a while since I was in a science classroom, but I know what it’s not.  It’s definitely not A, because I remember getting up this morning.  It’s not D, because I’ve started taking my medication, and it’s definitely not C…


(Needle scratch across a record)


According to ‘Academic Freedom’ bills that have been brought forth, 6,000 years ago is perfectly acceptable.  What creationists are trying to do is get their myths pushed forward into places they don’t belong.  They believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old; no shred of evidence for that belief, but fine, they want to imagine that the world is that young, let them.  They want to require their members to believe that, no complaints there, it’s their little club, they can put all the rules and restrictions on it that they want.


But what they can’t do is then push those rules onto others that don’t accept their viewpoints.  What they want with ‘Academic Freedom’ bills is nothing but – they want to sequester any academic dignity for the sake of appearing that they are right.  They want to feel that their nonsense has traction in the world, and that it’s on par with established fact.  The problem for them is, it isn’t.  We know the world is older than 6,000 years.  In order to show that’s not the case, we just have to find something on it that’s older than that.



Wow.  That was difficult.  (He looks hungry).


You cannot take your rules for your clubs and try to push them on society when they haven’t accepted the membership.  The biggest reason this isn’t fair is this – I pay tax dollars to Avon Lake schools.  My kid goes to that school.  I pay my taxes so my child has an education that is on par with others in the area, and will come out the other side on the merit of his/her hard work and grades.  This ‘Academic Freedom’ bill erodes that at the very core.  It elevates children who believe in creationism to a level above all the other children.  They don’t need to study, they don’t need to understand course material – they don’t even have to have a base knowledge about the giant rock they are standing on!  They just have to parrot out an answer and the teacher is required to give them a passing grade.


My taxes would be paying for that.  Money that I am not voluntarily giving would be putting my child at a disadvantage because this kid’s parents can’t understand that if I point them to the sky and say, “It’s blue” and they say, “But my book here says it’s red” it doesn’t mean they’re right.


Drawings of Muhammed.  Prayer in public schools.  Public officials having to swear on the Bible.  Non-muslim women being accosted in a nation of predominant muslim people for not adhering to their muslim laws.  It’s just one example after another of a group of people thinking their rules are the right ones, and wanting them pressed on others even though they’re not members.


But the saddest thing to me is something that happened to me a while ago.  I wanted Emily to get a shirt for me.  It simply said, “Smile, you’ve met an Atheist today!” with a really cool-looking smiley face on it.  I showed it to Emily and she laughed and said, “Sure, why not?”  I got really excited.  Then she asked me something I had never thought of;
“You’re not going to wear that in public, are you?”


It took me a second.  I hadn’t considered the ramifications about it, and I thought about all the stories other atheists had told me about times people asked them if they ‘how can you wear that around my child’, or ‘do you want to get hurt’ wearing things like these.  So I responded, “Yeah.  I am.  They can wear a corpse nailed to a board around their neck, I can wear a shirt.”  She listened to me, and we discussed it, and we finally decided that it would be a bad idea.  Words like ‘confrontational’ and ‘arguments’ came up.  Things that she and I couldn’t believe but knew would happen if I wore a stupid shirt like that around.  So, we decided against it.  Decided against buying a goofy-looking shirt.  And why?


“Harry, I don’t think a lot of people are mature enough to handle that.”


It’s so sad that she’s right.

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We had a plan.  And it was a good one.  It involved maps, timed intervals, optimized routes, and pocket change.  It was a beautiful conception of two men with one singular and glorious passion:


Cheap.  Food.


We thought we had an advantage.  Both of us work from home.  Both of us have the ambition (stupidity?) and temerity to execute our scheme.  We nursed it, secretly, like a mysterious carapace in a decrepit cave.  Palpitating with promise of feasts undreamed by even the most maddened of men, we cared for it, fed it, let it drink of our hope.  Our success was imminent, it’s glory slating our palates with triumph and melted cheese.  We would tell our children of it.  They would look upon us with glowing eyes of amazement as we spun tales of this day.  The story would pass to their children, and on down the line of our blood until we became legends.


Instead we cleaned up a dead opossum.


Papa John’s offers their pizza for 23 cents, and we felt we were unique.  Garvin and I looked at eachother and realized that we held the secret key to unlock the chastity belt of this adventure.  Both of us worked from home.  We had flexible enough schedules that we could visit not just one, but two locations.  We had access to a car.  We both had 46 cents.


Our arrogance deceived us.  It blinded us to the truth.  That not only were many of the locations we planned to invade and pillage closed, but the ones that were open were busy.  Maybe busy isn’t the proper term.  They were being gang-raped.  I think the hyphen helps.  It took Garvin, in his vehicle which I know for a fact goes faster than 3 miles in an hour, over 40 minutes to drive over a road that normally takes 3.  The crowd outside was consuming the parking lot.  There were police directing traffic.  Snipers were posted on the roofs.  The National Guard had set up concrete dividers and a steel-reenforced gateway.  There may have been german shepherds on patrol – I’m not entire sure, once he said ‘It’s really fuckin’ busy’ my mind may have wandered.


But I had a desire to leave my home during the day, and I was going to.  Garvin had an opportunity for us to do some minor disposal work, and thusly a meeting was formed.  An opossum was laying dead and rotting in the area behind his stone grill.  Having been there for a few days, it had a certain aroma that I would not wish upon my worst enemies.  So, armed with a spade and a snow shovel, we heaved the festering carcass into a blue bag, which was then tied and thrown into the garbage.  Garvin’s dog Steve cheered us on.  And then ate some grass.  In victory.


Given a choice between waiting two hours for a 23-cent pizza, or shoveling a dead marsupial into a plastic bag.  I’m going to be honest, I’d rather shovel the dead animal.  Because afterwards Garvin and I discussed insane neighbors, the economics of slaughtering your own barnyard animals for food, and whether or not accidental use of the name ‘Paco’ can be offensive to those of Latin-American decent.  (We determined it was, and thusly should avoid smoothing things over by offering them a chance to ‘do some minor landscaping work’).


Yesterday was a good day.

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According to CNN, this guy is killing Obama at the polls.  But if there’s one thing I know when it comes to politics, it’s that you can’t win the big race without pandering to the nut-job evangelical god-crowd.  So with this huge flap over Wright and Obama, I knew that both Clinton and McCain had to have some ridiculous religious pandering going on.  And they do.  And it’s some scary shit.


First, Clinton.  Clinton was rather silent during the whole Rev. Wright fiasco, preferring to dodge the question or answer it with a benign comment and leave it at that.  You have to think about it, why would you pull a punch when your opponent is dealing with something that could be very devastating?  She’s a Clinton – they didn’t get to where they are by not seizing opportunity.  Sean Hannity called Obama’s church a cult, how could she not try and use that?


Unless she was a member of something called ‘The Fellowship’ (aka, The Family); a super-secret religious organization organized into what they call ‘cells’ that operates sex-segregated group homes in northern Virginia.  Jeff Sharlet, who’s written an article on this I can’t find, joined this organization – using his own name – and “forswearing sex, drugs and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power”.  He admitted to being a writer and “wasn’t completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners–alone”.  Fun stuff.


But that’s one thing the Nation article continually points at – an almost cult-like hard-on for power.  In the 40’s, they “reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolf Hitler, has continued…”  But since then they have befriended or formed ties with the following:


  • General Suharto – on of the century’s most murderous dictators with several hundred thousand “communists” killed
  •  Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova – convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands
  • Gustavo Alvarez Martinez – linked to both the CIA and death squads before his death
  • General Costa e Silva – took control of Brazil in a military coup, dismissed congress, imposed news censorship, and accused of widespread torture of dissidents
The second most frightening thing about this whole organization is how it’s structured.  Clinton was promoted to the ‘most elite cell’ after she was elected to Senate.  Indeed, many of the other members of the organization tend to have their placement inside it depend entirely on how powerful they are politically.\
The first most frightening thing?
They believe that, in mass societies, it’s only the elites who matter, the political leaders who can build God’s “dominion” on earth. Insofar as The Family has a consistent philosophy, it’s all about power–cultivating it, building it and networking it together into ever-stronger units, or “cells.” “We work with power where we can,” Doug Coe has said, and “build new power where we can’t.”
John McCain has gleefully accepted endorsements from both Pastor John Hagee and Pastor Rod Parsley.  If Jeremiah Wright represents all that is wrong with this country, then Hagee and Parsley are everything that’s wrong with humanity.  These two dregs spend nearly all of their time using their position and power to spread the most vile sort of religious doctrine that one can create.  Nearly every Christian I know says that their faith is based in a desire to do good and help people (strange I’m capable of it without this trait, but that’s beside the point), a truly admirable thing.  But what these two examples humanity’s slime do in the name of their all-loving, and all-forgiving god is inexcusable.
  • “Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.” – Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)
  • “The Quran teaches that [all Muslims have a mandate to kill Christians and Jews]. Yes, it teaches that very clearly.”  -Pastor John Hagee
  • “I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans…I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are — were recipients of the judgment of God for that…There was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other Gay Pride parades…. The Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the day of judgment.” -Pastor John Hagee
  • “The military will have difficultly recruiting healthy and strong heterosexuals for combat purposes. Why? Fighting in combat with a man in your fox hole that has AIDS or is HIV positive is double jeopardy.” – Pastor John Hagee on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
  • “[Gay marriage] will open the door to incest, to polygamy, and every conceivable marriage arrangement demented minds can possibly conceive. If God does not then punish America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” – Pastor John Hagee
  •  “It is impossible to call yourself a Christian and defend homosexuality. There is no justification or acceptance of homosexuality…. Homosexuality means the death of society because homosexuals can recruit, but they cannot reproduce.” – Pastor John Hagee
  • “Only a Spirit-filled woman can submit to her husband’s lead. It is the natural desire of a woman to lead through feminine manipulation of the man…Fallen women will try to dominate the marriage. The man has the God-given role to be the loving leader of the home.” – Pastor John Hagee in his book What Every Man Wants in a Woman (Charisma House, 2005)
  • “I cannot tell you how important it is that we understand the true nature of Islam, that we see it for what it really is. In fact, I will tell you this: I do not believe our country can truly fulfill its divine purpose until we understand our historical conflict with Islam. I know that this statement sounds extreme, but I do not shrink from its implications. The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed, and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore.” – Rod Parsley in Silent No More (Charisma House, 2005)
  • “Gay sexuality inevitably involves brutal physical abusiveness and the unnatural imposition of alien substances into internal organs, orally and anally, that inevitably suppress the immune system and heighten susceptibility to disease.” – Rod Parsley
  • “Only 1 percent of the homosexual population in America will die of old age. The average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States of America is 43 years of age. A lesbian can only expect to live to be 45 years of age. Homosexuals represent 2 percent of the population, yet today they’re carrying 60 percent of the known cases of syphilis.” – Rod Parsley
From Open Left.  (I know…Liberals….ewwww)
This is just a tip of the iceberg of the insanity that Religion can infect.  You want to see unfair and injustice?  Clinton, Obama, and McCain can’t get into the White House without mentioning Jesus and the Bible every other week.  These are the same Jesus and the same Bible that those two morons Hagee and Parsley use to scream their sermons of hate.  Yet someone like me, who realizes the lunacy and rejects the exact same Jesus and the exact same Bible, is shunned by society.   37% of Americans say that they would vote for an atheist – even if every other feature about him made him a good candidate.  Plus, there’s this fun fact: when asked “What religious or nonreligious group doesn’t share your vision of American society” 54% – and the number one answer – of people said Atheists.  
Black, Muslim or Gay?  No problem.  Reject the idiocy that comes inherent with a mental dogma that discriminates heavily against those three?  Not going to happen.

Then again, there’s always this:

National Academy of Sciences – 93% are atheists.
United States Prison Population – .2% are atheists.
I guess it’s okay, because we got it where it counts.

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Time for some more insanity.


Today, May 1st, is the third-annual Immigration Day.  Groups will be demonstrating all over the country either in favor of, or in opposition to, this ‘hot-button issue’.  CNN and FoxNews will probably spend most of today going back and forth between one side to another, not really showing any solutions, but rather showing the conflict.


Personally, I don’t see why we keep them out at all.  The only real reason I’ve seen that people are opposing immigration is due to them using government programs (Welfare, Unemployment, Social Security) for free.  But, if we didn’t have those programs run by the government, then it wouldn’t matter if they came or not.  If the only benefit concerning citizenship from the government is that the police will listen to you, I’m pretty sure ‘illegal’ immigration would be a thing of the past.


Think about it.  If private companies and charities handled public schooling (Green Dot), Social Security (Wachovia) and many other social programs, they could discriminate on the basis of whatever they want.  Just because you crossed an imaginary line in the ground doesn’t mean that you should be able to become a member of these organizations.  And since they’re not paying into it, they’re not receiving the benefits, and the detractors really don’t have a leg to stand on.


Besides, removing the ‘black market’ of illegal immigration gives them more incentive become citizens and allows for better enforcement of crimes.  If the one and only benefit of citizenship was that your crimes were going to be prosecuted, do you really think that they would stay underground for very long?
But the shining example to lead the charge against closing borders is that we are then shutting out the most important resource on the planet – people.  People, with their ingenuity and problem-solving abilities are the greatest thing that we have going for ourselves.  We are the greatest country on the planet, and arguably the most important one to exist since the height of Rome, and we got that way because of its citizens, not coal, not steel, not oil, and definitely not the government.


Norman Borlaug, probably the most important person in recent times was not a law.  He wasn’t an amendment.  He wasn’t a congressional agreement.  He was a U.S. citizen, and he saved the lives of a billion people.  And he did so because he was brought up in an American environment, in American schools, and learned the American Ideal – that you can do anything.


But alas, having the citizens – the true resources of this country – in charge of the most important things this country needs (education, healthcare, jobs) is apparently too much to ask for some people.  So we hand these things off to an organization with no oversight, massive inefficiencies, and little impetus for change.  Instead of solving these problems ourselves, we create a nanny to take care of us.  And when that obviously makes more problems that it fixes, we just give the nanny more say, and then more when that doesn’t work.


Ah well, at least I still have the ability to say batshit insane things like above.




Today also commemorates National Prayer Day.


Personally, I have no problem with it in name only.  If a bunch of people want to get together and talk to their invisible friend, I’m all for it.  I find it odd that their ‘solution’ has been shown scientifically to never work, but hey – it’s their time, they can spend it however they want.  Our Governor, Ted Strickland, sent out a proclamation reminding everyone that congress sanctioned this activity and that we should all remember that great men asked citizens in the past to pray.  According to the proclamation:


Through prayer we may seek the strength and gain comfort in the face of challenge.  Through prayer we may give thanks and seek guidance in the face of opportunity.  As we observe the National Day of Prayer, I encourage Ohioans to let their faith guide them as they open their hearts and minds for reflection and prayer.


I’ll do you one better.  I’ll actually do something.  While all these christians are busy beseeching their invisible friend for help in times of crisis, I’m going to donate blood.  While they’re busy on their knees, I’ll be on my feet, actually doing something that’s been shown to help humanity.


But I’m not going to do it out of spite.  I’m going to do it for them.  If they aren’t going to actually solve any problems, and instead hide behind their clasped hands as they look up for solutions, then I’ll do it.  I’ll take the responsibility for my fortune and attempt to help others in this planet.  And for those of you who are say, “Well, that’s god’s will that you would do that”; you have to be really deluding yourself there.  Millions in this country are going to do essentially nothing, while I go out and accomplish some good.  If that’s where their religion stands, and that’s how their god operates, then he is a moron.  Plain and simple.


If my country wants to spend the time and energy to officially pander to this section of kooks in our nation, then fine.  I’m going to willfully and without the sanctity of their lord do something charitable.  I think this says it all from AtheistVolunteers.org:


For those of you who may think that silently doing nothing is a good idea, please, visit the good guys at NationalDayOfReason.org


Please, do more for humanity than ask some non-existent guy to solve your problems for you.  We are so much stronger than that.

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