Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Occasionally I wish there were a God

So I could flip the fucker off. 

It would be so easy.  Blame all of this shit on God.  Everything in my life that's going wrong, wrong job, wrong wife, God's fault.  Losing my son to the fringe fundamentalists; watching him heading down a path that will waste all the talent and brains he has until it's too late… so much like me… why would God do this to me?  To him?

Spent the best years of my life trying to be somebody I'm not.  Spent my few healthy years living somebody else's dream while my own slipped away… why God why?  Why would you let this happen to me? 

But alas, the answer is all too clear.  I did it to myself.  My rage and anger is properly placed on myself.  I saw the direction things were going at work over a year ago.  I did nothing.  I saw my wife's penchant for fringe fundamentalists over a decade ago when she involved me in a cult.  I let it go.  I saw the increasing insanity of her new fringe religion over a year ago, maybe more.  I've done nothing.  I objected to homeschooling five years ago but she did it anyway.  I let it happen. 

I've completely and utterly failed myself and my children.  The crushing weight of this guilt would be so easy to schluff off on an imaginary supernatural being who was supposed to watch out for me.

Oh how easy it would be to weasel out of my guilt that way.  I suppose that's the last of the God Virus in me, like that cough you have for a week or so after a bad cold.  I find myself wanting to blame somebody else for my own failures, and a God would be such an easy target.  After all, he wouldn't fight back now, would he?

So I sigh and resign myself to the fact if anybody is to blame, it's myself.  I take a deep breath and set about fixing all the things I've let fall to shit.  Here we go.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Going offline

Dear readers,

I regret to inform you that due to personal reasons, Another Idiot with a Blog will need to become unavailable for a while.  I do not intend to delete it, but I will need to make it unavailable to the causal reader, just in case.  I'm not sure how long this will be for, but given the normal speed of the legal system, it could be a while.  I promise to bring it back as soon as I can.  Thanks for sticking with me, and The Cowboy will return.  I'll leave the blog up until Sunday night, at which time it will become unavailable for the foreseeable future. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How would you draw God?

I found this link on the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

http://www.venganza.org/2010/10/columbus-museum-evangelism/

It looks like this: museum11

I thought about it and decided I would like to make my own rendering of God.

God

Friday, November 12, 2010

This made my day

I'm still working on my first science post.  It's hard to do.  This stuff is difficult to understand, and even more difficult to put into layman's terms, especially when you don't understand it much better than in layman's terms.  Be patient.

Every once in a while I look at the stats for my blog, just to see if anything interesting is going on traffic-wise.  Usually there's not, but today I saw something which made me laugh: the first two results for keyword searches which have led to a page on my blog:

Capture

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Evolution of the Cowboy

As I write this, I’m sitting here watching Cosmos on Netflix on my XBox.  Coolest XBox feature EVAR.  I’m reminded of this video I watched the other night.

I know what he’s talking about.  It’s the oddest feeling when you’ve learned enough science that suddenly everything starts to fit together.  I’m reminded of the common Christian claim that Atheism or Science is a religion.  The stupidity of that claim aside, I’ve realized something: These kinds of moments are not unique to religion.  Religion has these kinds of epiphany moments.  So does music.  I remember my first musical “Moment” during a performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.  It was amazing.  I think I’d like to call it a Musicgasm.  You simply can’t imagine it until you’ve had one, it’s unreal.  They’re far too few and far between. 

Religion can have the same kind of moments.  I had one in the cult.  A Godgasm, if you will.  I know the allure of it.  People believe they’re feeling the presence of God.   It can be very hard to reason with someone who has had a Godgasm.

This is a Sciencegasm.  It’s totally unique, yet familiar.  I’ve had one.  Apparently that’s all you get.  It’s that moment when you realize that the Universe is glorious and amazing, awe inspiring if you will.  Everything clicks, and you realize just how awesome it is to be a part of the Universe and to understand it as we do, and it doesn’t require a supernatural being to appreciate it. 

What’s cool is that it only gets better.  We actually understand very little about our Universe, but we learn more every day.  A hundred, a thousand years from now, we’ll know so much more, but still not everything.  There’s always another amazing, awe-inspiring discovery to make. 

I can’t explain the unbelievable feeling of understanding how the pieces fit together, how we fit into our world, our Universe, and how even though we’re a small seemingly insignificant part of it, we’re still a part of it.  Atheism is just as, no, more gratifying than Religion.  I wish everybody could see this, but Atheists don’t proselytize.  I’m not recruiting for the Atheist cause.  None of us do.  The only reason we’re in a fight with Religion is frankly because they started it.  At some point teaching science became blasphemy.  At some point realizing that we don’t need a god to be good became a threat.   At some point no longer needing an imaginary Master became an affront.  When we fight back we have reason and science on our side, but facts are meaningless to people who have already made up their minds. 

It seems every Fall I undergo some kind of mental change.  I evolve into a newer, better being.  Well, sometimes it’s better.  This blog has chronicled my evolution over the past few years.  It’s time for another change. 

On this blog I’ve made some friends.  I’ve realized that conservatives, or at least Republicans, do not represent my values as a human being.  I’ve advocated Henry Rollins for President.  I’ve argued against voting party lines, and I’ve voted straight Democratic tickets.  I’ve espoused the virtues of Taoism, and I’ve abandoned it because of the value it places on ignorance.  I’ve ranted.  A lot.  I’ve geeked out.  I’ve complained about religious intolerance, I’ve been intolerant of religion, and I’ve abandoned religion altogether, although I’m pretty sure that actually happened a very long time ago.  I’ve really only just recently admitted it to myself.  I’ve cussed, and blasphemed, I’ve hoped, and I’ve wondered.  I’ve deleted the whole thing in a moment of anger, and I’ve painstakingly restored it after regretting my actions.  I’ve had spiritual epiphanies, and I’ve despaired for the entire human race.  I’ve grown as a human being, and it wasn’t always pretty.

I’ve discovered a lot about myself over the past few years.  Anybody who reads this blog regularly probably has too. 

I’ve been thinking about a new direction for several days now, and I think I’m going to do it.  Hopefully I don’t lose what little audience I may have acquired spewing vitriol over the interwebs for the past few years.  I’m absolutely in love with science right now, and I think I’m going to begin posting about this.  For one, just so that I’m not just bitching all the time.  For two, hopefully somebody will begin to see just what is so amazing about all of this.  For three, it’s a nice convenient place to keep track of the things I’ve learned.  Crap I wish I’d paid more attention in school!

With any luck the tone here will change.  With any luck I’ll open a few minds.  Mostly, I just don’t want to forget this stuff.  I would love nothing more than to return to college right now and rack up several doctorate degrees in various fields of science, but that’s simply not reality given the cost of living and the cost of college.  I’m also desperately trying to save for my children’s college, and sending myself back to school doesn’t help that cause. 

Well, here we go…

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Help! My Wife is a Religious Nutjob and She's Teaching my Children Creationism

This'll be a short one.  I just found the Google results for that sentence entertaining. 

Help! my wife is a religious nutjob and she's teaching my children creationism

Results 1, 2, 3, and 5 pertain to Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell.  If you vote Tea Party, this is what you're voting for.  Welcome to the new America.

Monday, October 25, 2010

No, Hitler was NOT an Atheist

I think if I hear this one more time, I'm going to scream.  I know I'm really beating the dead horse today, but goddammit, people should know better. 

FOR THE LAST AND FINAL TIME:

"Gott Mit Uns" translates to "God with us" or "God is on our side" (as it's used today)

Hitler was a Christian, in fact a Catholic.  He has never beenwwii-buckle  excommunicated from the Catholic church, so he's still a Catholic today.  The Pope is lying when he says Nazis were Atheists.  He was there, he was in the Hitler Youth, he should know.  He was most likely required to chant the slogan.

It doesn't take a lot of research to realize that there is an anti-Semitic slant to much of the New Testament.  Passion plays (see The Passion of the Christ) were popular in Germany prior to World War II, and they helped the anti-Semitic message of the Nazis, one they validated with scripture! After all, didn't Judas betray Jesus?  Didn't the Jews shout "Crucify Him!" when Pilate wanted to let him go? 

I'm sorry if you are religious and offended by this, but it's true.  It is not correct to blame Nazi atrocities on Atheism, it is very much part of the colorful Christian history

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This is what I mean!

The insanity is never-ending

.atheism_leads_to_civil_war

It almost looks like a logical proof, except for the fact that each line of it contains at least one unique fallacy.  The mind reels. 

atheism1

I'm sorry, but I don't even understand whatever stupidity it is they're trying to say.  Is this an abortion thing?  What.  The.  Fuck.

If the lunacy here is not apparent, stop reading my blog.  You're not smart enough.

Dr. Cowboy

I'm official now!

 

Cowboy Doctor of Atheism 2009

Friday, October 22, 2010

All Atheists hate God

It occurred to me a little bit ago how ridiculous this statement is.  Atheists all seem to instinctively realize this, but for you theists out there, let's run through the logic.

I'm an Atheist.  Your claim "All Atheists hate God", if taken as true, means I hate God.  In order to hate God, by definition I have to believe God exists.  If I believe God exists, I'm not an Atheist.  Whoops, we've reached a paradox. 

The follow up claim is that Atheists hate religion.  Well, I can't speak for others, only for myself, and unlike you I can't speak for any supernatural beings either.  In my case, you might be able to make a case here, but the truth is that it wouldn't be accurate.  I don't hate religion par se, I hate the evil done in the name of religion.  Religion almost invariably leads to regressive behaviors and in some cases outright evil.  I don't believe religion can be fixed.  The only way you could solve the problem would be to bring all world religions under the control of a single moral person who could dictate sanity to his/her followers.  This plan, though, is inherently flawed.  You need look no further than Catholicism to see the problem.  Not to mention the temptation to abuse this extreme concentration of power would eventually overwhelm either the leader or one of his/her successors.  It would inevitably turn to evil.  Therefore, I think the world would be better off without religion.

On a semi-related note, I just recently found out an interesting fact.  The crux of the argument against science in general is that Genesis must be taken literally, not figuratively.  It took another blogger writing about the observations of his six year old son to get me to realize something.  According to Genesis, God created light on the first day, but he didn't create the Sun until the fourth day.  Um…. whoops.  Apparently the goat herders of 6,000 years ago hadn't figured out that the light comes from the sun.  Oh, and God put all the water in one place.  One.  Just let that sink in for a few minutes. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I wonder if this is how homosexuals feel

I hate labels.  I hate labeling myself, but it’s usually the easiest way for people to get pretty close to my views, so for the sake of argument, we’ll call me a liberal atheist.  This is, for all practical purposes, my current location on a long road I started down about ten years ago.  I doubt this journey is done yet.  The truth is, I’m pretty sure I’ve always been this way, I just didn’t admit it to myself for a long time.  Being liberal or atheist is somewhat of a frowned upon thing here in the middle of Jesus central. 

So it’s a little lonely out here.  My wife is a bit of an over-zealous Christian (it’s the source of most of my daily drama), all my friends, most of whom are smart people, deny the fact of evolution, worship a non-existent god, and vote Republican. 

After years of denying who I really am, I did a lot of soul searching over the past 2-3 years, and finally just admitted it. 

Now I don’t seem to have a lot of friends.  Just today, the one friend who seemed to more or less share my views told me that she found Jesus.  In fairness, she’s had some rather harsh personal problems lately, and skepticism doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort during times of emotional distress. 

I suppose if the opposite were true, if I were a Christian in a land of Atheists, I could spend this time pretending God was here with me and telling him all my problems.  I suppose I could just construct an invisible friend too.

So I started wondering, when somebody realizes they’re gay, they probably have a hard time finding someone to share this with.  Parents and friends aren’t usually very receptive to that kind of news.  It’s probably pretty lonely.  I find it hard to believe that anybody chooses to be gay.  Seriously, who would consciously choose the pain that comes along with it?  The only choice is the one to stop lying to yourself and be honest about who you are.

That’s what I did.  Yea me!  The rewards of being true to myself are a little underwhelming.  Thanks for listening, my five or so readers.  I appreciate the sympathetic ear.

Friday, October 8, 2010

War

I watched a movie the other night that had some interesting facts.  Here’s a breakdown of the percentage of casualties of war that were civilians by war:

World War I: 10%
World War II: 50%
Vietnam: 70%
Iraq: 90%

That’s right.  despite 100 years of advancement in military technology, supposedly “frighteningly” accurate weapons, and the goal of “winning the hearts and minds” of the Iraqi people, 90% of all deaths related to the war were civilians.  The Iraq war killed many many times the number of Iraqi civilians than the number of American civilians killed on September 11, 2001.  Just for reference, Iraq was not involved in 9/11, they did not harbor any 9/11 terrorists, and didn’t even turn out to have the weapons of mass destruction we “were sure” they had. 

Now we’re still in a war with Afghanistan.  The death toll is not as severe as Iraq’s, but it’s still unconscionably high.  It’s entering it’s tenth year, and has officially become America’s longest war.  By military estimate, there are less than 100 Al-Queda left in Afghanistan, and less than 25,000 Taliban.  For reference, the Taliban did not attack us on 9/11.  We are there to find Osama Bin Laden, who apparently fled the country in 2002.  He’s not there, very few terrorists are there, the people don’t trust us, and over 97% of the country is still loyal to the Taliban.  They don’t want what we’re trying to give them. 

We don’t need this war, we were never supposed to be at war with Afghanistan.  We were never supposed to be at war with Iraq.  We were supposed to catch the bad guy who blew up New York.  We failed, he’s gone, and we’re mired in a senseless war.  Credit to Obama to finally ending the other senseless war (or did he?), but it’s time to end this one too.

Perhaps it’s time to say “Let’s fight terrorism by not fucking with the middle east anymore so they stop being pissed off at us for killing their civilians wholesale”. 

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/senseless-war-begins-its-10th-year-address-nation-president-barack-obama-reported-michael-moore

It’s time for peace.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jerry Falwell was Gay

I’ve realized something lately: there’s a lot of hatred towards homosexuals emanating from organized religion.  What usually seems to happen, based on recent events, is that some religious anti-gay crusader gets caught being gay.  Seems some anti-gay senator or another was recently caught with a rent-a-boy. 

I also remember some anti-gay comics on the same site with the racist tea-party comics.  i apologize for the lack of a link, I’m just too damn lazy to look it up.  Google “comics with problems”.  The dude that wrote it knew an awful lot about homosexual orgies, and he was quite graphic about it.  If you spend that much time thinking about gay orgies, you’re gay.

So here it is.  If you’re in a religion that teaches homosexuality is wrong, and you happen to be homosexual (sorry, it’s not a choice), you feel drawn towards homosexuality and conclude that it’s some kind of evil seductive force trying to make you “sin”.  So you go on a crusade to eradicate this evil from the world.  You have to believe that people choose to be homosexual, because if they just simply are, that sort of invalidates your whole religion. 

The truth is, we heterosexuals are not drawn to what you call the “gay lifestyle”.  I’m just simply not attracted to men.  It’s not a “sin” that’s out there tempting me.  If I was, I would say so.  I would almost certainly be a better dresser too.

In short, if you’re religious, and you hate homosexuals and crusade against the “gay lifestyle”, you’re gay.  Just admit it and save a whole lot of people a whole lot of trouble.  It’s not exactly a picnic for us heterosexuals who happen to think gay people are just simply gay and should be allowed to be so.  I imagine it pretty much sucks for them though.

I mean, really.  Jerry Falwell claimed Tinky Winky (of the Teletubbies) was gay and trying to seduce children to the “gay lifestyle”.  A) it was a magic bag, not a purse and B) gay people aren’t trying to make other people gay.  They really just want to be allowed to be gay themselves.  There’s no secret agenda to turn the nation’s children gay.  Sorry. 

Then he followed up with Spongebob.  Apparently his nose looked like a dildo to him.  Yeah, I suppose it might, if you’re obsessed with dildos.  I’m sorry, but if all you can see there is a dildo and its tempting you to have sex with other men, you’re gay. 

Then we get this guy, some district attorney who is harassing a high school class president who is gay because he’s gay.  Sorry, but so are you dude.  Get over it.

Then I saw another link from a guy claiming all the recent teen suicides over bullying was brought on by themselves.  So these kids chose to have a lifestyle that brought on that level of bullying?  Right.  Dude, you’re gay. Stop making life hell for those poor kids who, unlike you, are at least honest with themselves.

Just remember, next time you see a religious homophobe, he’s gay.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Stupid is the new smart

I'm going to say this once: Evolution is FACT.
Yes, fact.  Darwin's theory was not evolution, it was the theory of natural selection.  It's a theory about how evolution works, not whether or not it happened. 
It happened.  There's overwhelming evidence for it.  It's not a theory, it's not a myth.  It's fact.  Go to a museum.
But a frightening number of people continue to refuse scientific evidence.  We glory in being stupid.  I truly fear for the direction we're heading in when creationism is considered valid science and evolution is considered a myth.  People I work with, people whose intelligence I respect, refuse evolution.  It's the intellectual equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and going "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA".
But look at who we revere these days.  We revere stupidity.  Glenn Beck.  Sarah Palin.  Christine O'Donnell.  
Christine O'Donnell with Bill Maher from 1998
O'DONNELL: You know what, evolution is a myth. And even Darwin himself -
MAHER: Evolution is a myth? Have you ever looked at a monkey?
O'DONNELL: Well then, why they -- why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/25/christine-odonnell-evolution-monkeys_n_739131.html
I really don't understand how we can be this technologically advanced and still hold on to dark ages thinking so strongly. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dear Idiots

You attempted to turn a day of remembrance into a day of hate, bigotry and fear. 

You failed.

You took a course of action that might have increased international hate of America. 

You failed.  Your chosen political leaders have already done that years ago.

Perhaps you wanted to bring more people to Jesus.

You failed.  Portraying Jesus as a petty hateful asswipe does not help your cause, unless you want to recruit more petty hateful asswipes.

September 11 is a day to remember what makes us American.  To remember what makes America great. 

It is not hate.  It is not fear.  It is not narrow minded religious fundamentalism.  It is not our overwhelming military might.  It is not the terrible things we do overseas.

It is our freedoms.  The very freedoms that allow me to write things like this blog post without going to Gitmo.

It is our Constitution.  Or what's left of it.  May it be restored soon.

It is our tolerance.  We began as a nation of immigrants who sought freedom from racial and religious persecution. Unless you're full Native American, you are descended from immigrants, or are one yourself. 

It is our ability to see America's faults and to work to change them. 

September 11th is a day to remember that we can be better than we are, and on that day nine years ago we were.

No political posturing today.  No religious hate speech today.  Just remember those who answered the call in our darkest hour, and strive to emulate them, for they are the very best of us.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dear Dumbass Christian F*ckhead

Yes you, dumbass Koran burning preacher.  I'm talking to you.  Fuck you.  Burn Korans, don't burn Korans, doesn't matter now, the damage is done.  The goddamn President of the United States HIMSELF asked you to back down, but apparently God put it on your heart to act like a moron racist fuckhead redneck fuck up.  Interesting God you have there. 

Yes, the damage is already done.  The bad guys have taken your words and are using them to recruit more bad guys.  They're convincing people a half a world away that America is in a holy war against Islam.  Hm, they sound kindof like you, ya know.

So thanks.  For the increased danger to our troops abroad (including one of my oldest friends), for the deaths that will occur from the elongation of the Afghanistan conflict (already our longest war EVER), for your superior skills in portraying America as a bunch of dumbass racist bigoted religious extremists to the rest of the world, FUCKIN' THANKS, DICKHEAD. 

If there was ANY doubt in my mind prior to this about the existence of God, you've finally convinced me.  There couldn't possibly be a supreme being out there watching over us all who would allow your kind of bullshit to go on in his name.  If he did, what a piss poor lame ass excuse for a god. 

Or perhaps there is a god and you really do speak for him, which explains why he hasn't reduced you to a pile of smoldering ash. Worship a narrow minded hateful childish racist bigot of a god?  I'll pass.

I'll take my chances with Atheism, thanks.

P.S. FUCK YOU DICKHEAD!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

God is on our side

People throughout history have said that.  Usually as a prelude to war. 

  • George Bush said it.
  • Sarah Palin said it.
  • Glenn Beck said it.
  • Adolf Hitler said it.
  • Osama Bin Laden said it.
  • The list goes on…

To those who are sure God is on your side, I quote Abraham Lincoln:

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right.

"God is on our side" is a justification for atrocities.  An easy out for the horrible crimes of war, or worse.  A way to turn wars into holy wars, alleviating the need to justify the pain, suffering, and death you're about to inflict on your fellow human beings. 

I'm sick of it.

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag an carrying a cross.

--Sinclair Lewis

For a long time now, I've disagreed with Richard Dawkins on the dangers of religion.  Sure, I've always known that religious extremism leads to atrocities, but "normal" religion, I've always believed, can be a moral compass for those that don't inherently have one.  A guide for being a better person.  A rulebook for being decent. 

But it never works out that way, does it?  Very few of the religious use their beliefs for the betterment of mankind.  The main uses of religion in modern times seems to be 1) Condemning others, 2) Justification of irrational actions and 3) an easy explanation for anything, framed in an "us vs. them" manner.  From this we get 9/11, the Iraq War, the fight against science (Evolution), the crusades, the inquisition, witch burnings, female mutilation, oppression of women, oppression of minorities, the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy, the burning of a Mosque in Tennessee, Church burnings, lynchings, Fred Phelps, the fight against social justice, child rape, FOR FUCK'S SAKE WHERE DOES IT END?

If this is what religion means then take your God and shove him up your ass, I want no part of it.  I would be just fine if I never heard another religious dickhead in my life. 

It's crap.  It's a fairy tale for grown ups, and they believe it.  And they fuck up everything for the rest of us in the name of God/Allah/Jehovah/Whatever the fuck else we want to wank ourselves off over. 

Religion is dangerous.  Richard Dawkins was right all along, and I should've listened.  I know a little bit about the Christian Bible, and if anybody who calls themselves a Christian actually bothered to read the fucking thing, we might not be so badly off.  But no such luck. 

Religion is a tool, and it's being leveraged by scumbags and assholes to fuck up things for the rest of us.  Glenn Beck is just the latest in a long line of assholes to fuck up America in the name of God.  Is he dangerous?  Yes.  But so were the rest. 

Some religious fuckhead is going to read this and say "He's just angry at God".  Ya think?  No, dickhead, I'm angry at YOU AND ALL THE OTHER DUMBASS RELIGIOUS FUCKNUTS you fucking moron.  I can only be angry at God if there fucking IS ONE!!!  Tell you what, you pray for God to strike me down.  If he doesn't do it in one week, go shoot yourself.  Get yourself some afterlife virgins or some stupid bullshit like that.  Leave us heathen bastards alone.

I'm sick of this crap and I'm not putting up with it anymore.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Dark Lonely Path

First they came for the Mexicans
And I said something this time, but nobody listened

Then they came for the Muslims
I said something again, but nobody listened.

Then they came for the progressive thinkers.
As they took me away I thought “Perhaps I shouldn’t have said anything”

The civil rights movement is so much easier without all the black people

Today Glenn Beck hijacked Dr. Martin Luther King's legacy.  Assisting him were Dr. Alveda King (it's an honorary doctorate), Dr. King's right-wing niece whose claim on Dr. King's legacy more or less begins and ends with shared DNA, and Sarah Palin, right-wing shill, dumbfuck extraordinaire and half-term governor of Alaska who was nearly our vice president. 

I haven't seen anything from it yet.  I'm sure I will, but I know Glenn BeckHe's compared himself to Dr. King, Jesus, and Ghandi.  Anybody who buys that Beck has anything in common with any of those people needs their brain examined.  These people stood for love, understanding and unity.  Beck stands for divisive politics, fear-mongering, and bizarre conspiracy theories (much like modern Christians).

In the hopes of minimizing the right-wing usurping of the anniversary of what may have been the greatest speech of the 20th century, I would like to remind everybody of what exactly Dr. Martin Luther King stood for.  I'll let him do it himself.  Please, watch this, not Beck, when deciding what Martin Luther King's legacy is.

"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."

Glenn, THAT is why you don't get to claim his legacy.

And just for fun:

Bush1

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lindsey Lohan Nude Pictures!

Just curious how many hits I get for that title ;)

Dear Dr. Laura

What the fuck is wrong with you?  I am so sick of you right-wing crybabies.  You spew the n-word 11 times on the air, then you quit over the fact that it pissed people off?  What… the… FUCK!?!?

The reason is, I want to regain my First Amendment rights," she said. "I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that."

Your first amendment rights?  The right to free speech?  Have you been arrested?  Has the government somehow suppressed your right to spew idiocy all over American airwaves?  No.  Calling you a dumb-ass racist bitch because you spewed racial profanity over the air IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH!   How stupid are you?  That's how it works.  You say stupid shit then we call you a racist bitch for doing it and we're all free to do so! 

Advertisers pulling out?  They have that right.  The First Amendment has nothing to do with that and does not protect you from your own stupidity.

People angry at your racist rant?  How would you silence that without infringing their first amendment rights?  You can't.

You idiots need to stop crying wolf on the First Amendment.  Personally, I think you're trying to use the First Amendment to suppress the First Amendment rights of your detractors.  Oooh, the irony.  Too bad!  Our First Amendment rights are safe for at least two more years! Nyah nyah!

Piss off.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Rule the World

Fear is possibly the most powerful human emotion.  It causes decent human beings to do things they would not normally do.

I had been thinking about this post all day, and idly this evening I began watching The End of America.  When she began listing off the steps required to “close an open society”, I got chills.  I realized this was exactly what I had been planning as a blog post, a satirical list of things one would need to do to became a dictator of a powerful nation and possibly conquer the world.  Then I would go on to take a few jabs at the Bush administration and probably the Obama administration as well for failing to fix the damage. You should watch this movie.  It’s creepy to review what happened in hindsight and realize how the path we were on from 2001-2008 paralleled Nazi Germany.  I mean eerie.  And it may not be over.  Obama has not walked us back from the brink, and in some cases has consciously decided to continue Bush policies we explicitly elected him to repeal.

  1. Invoke An Internal and External Threat
    The obvious threat here is terrorism.  On September 11, 2001 terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center.  We were shocked, we were hurt, and we were angry.  And most of all, we were afraid.  After an attack in Germany, they passed a law that allowed the government to invade citizens privacy in the name of national security.  In America, we called it the Patriot Act.
  2. Secret Prisons where Torture takes place.
    These places always operate outside the law.  They are unaccountable.  People designated enemies disappear to these places and may or may not be heard from again.  Duration and sentence is discretionary.  There is no appeal.  Torture always occurs.  Germany called them concentration camps.  In America, we called it Guantanamo Bay.  In Germany they used what they called “Versharfte Vernehmung”, which translates to Enhanced Interrogation.
  3. Develop a Paramilitary Force
    Germany: The Brownshirts
    America: Blackwater
  4. Surveil Ordinary Citizens
    Closing societies keep lists of potential enemies for quick round-up.  Germany had a list of Jews.  America has a high-security risk list (the no-fly list).  Take Drew Griffin, CNN journalist, who did an investigative report on the TSA only to find himself on the no-fly list. 
  5. Infiltrate Citizens’ Groups
    Well documented.
  6. Detain and Release Ordinary Citizens
    In America James Yee.  Maher Arar.  Countless Others.
  7. Target Key Individuals
    The Dixie Chicks.  Dan Rather.  Valerie Plame. 
  8. Restrict the Press
    N.Y. Times.  Izvestia.  Wikileaks.  Josh Wolf.
  9. Recast Criticism as Espionage and Dissent as Treason
  10. Subvert the Rule of Law.

Civil Liberties are a special commodity, and once lost, they are difficult to get back.

A patriot must be ready to defend his country against his government.

If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier… just so long as I’m the dictator 
–George W. Bush

Watch this movie, or read the book.  It’s frightening to realize that what happened in Germany in the 1930s could so easily happen here.  It still could.  The laws passed by the Bush administration which enable these abuses have not been repealed.  Perhaps we can trust Obama not to abuse them, perhaps not.  Can we trust the next guy?  Or the next?  It’s time to undo the damage.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Give Up

I saw this video today about the 9/11 responders bill.  In case you were wondering, it was a bill to cover the health care of people who were ill because they were there on 9/11 and risked their lives to save others.  They ran into the giant building with an airplane stuck in in while everybody else was running out.  Something I doubt ANY single fucking politician in Washington would have the balls to do.  And we just told them, “Nice job, now go fuck off.”  Woohoo!  Go America.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Give Up - 9/11 Responders Bill
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

I think this sums up quite nicely how I feel.  I’m totally disillusioned.  This—GODDMAN FUCKING THIS—is how we treat our nation’s heroes.  “Thanks for saving our asses, but if it’s between you and our offshore tax shelters, fuck off.”  Our system is totally broken.  I’m no longer sure it can be saved.  I mean seriously, we can’t even PASS A GODDAMN FUCKING BILL TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE WHO SHOWED THE REST OF THE WORLD THE BEST OF AMERICA ON OUR WORST DAY EVER!?!?!? 

This shows the absolute worst of America, and that’s really saying something these days.  This is pathetic.  This is sick.  Fuck you Washington.  Fuck you Republicans.  Fuck you Democrats.  Fuck all of you.  Just…. Fuck You All.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Darkness and Light

Six billion people look up at the moon and see six billion different things.  What do you see?  I cannot say, but I see hope.  I see a beacon of light in the darkness that represents a future for our species beyond the petty bickering, political maneuvering, wars, hate, anger and bigotry of our age.  I see the chance that we might become better than we are.  That we can be something commendable to another intelligence we might someday encounter.  Mostly, that we might actually just survive who we are.

Each of us carries within us a darkness and a light.  I can remember today the horror and revulsion I felt when as a young man I discovered within myself the capacity for great evil.  Each and every one of us carries this, but we make a choice.  I chose not to embrace the darkness, but to strive for the light.  Yet, as a whole, we still have so much darkness.  Evil spreads and we don’t fight it, we cheer it on.  One among us speaks against our lesser selves, and we jeer and mock them. 

It might be that this, much like adolescence, is just a phase that our species must simply pass through.  That there’s no cure for our rampant stupidity but to just simply grow up.  We have to wait until we’ve achieved the wisdom that only comes with age.  What worries me is just how many teenagers don’t survive to adulthood.  I was nearly one of them.  let’s hope the humans make it to adulthood. 

The coming darkness might simply be inevitable.  It might be something we can’t avoid.  It can’t, and won’t last.  We’ll either destroy ourselves or dispose of the evil we are yet to do. 

For those of us who are not cheering on our lesser nature, we’ll continue to hold a light.  It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.  I forget who said that.  Be a light.  Even if all the world is against you, be a light. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

WTF?

I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not…

Capture

Friday, July 23, 2010

Racism

A couple of days ago I created a fake twitter account for the purpose of poking fun at the Tea Party.  I think I may have to stop.  In just a couple of days of poking around for links I found evidence of the most extreme racism I've ever seen.  I mean, stuff you might expect from the 50s (or more likely the 1850s), but it's all recent.  Here's the most extreme example I've found yet (warning, not for the faint at heart):

 http://www.ep.tc/tea-party-comix/

I actually started to feel sick.  Pretending to be a stupid racist Teabagger while mocking them is taking it's toll on me after just a day or two.  What I've found, the evidence of such extreme racism from the Tea Party, from Fox News, from bungholes like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, I can't handle it.  It's too much.  Maybe I've grown up sheltered, but I didn't know people were still like that.  Sure, I knew some people were still racist, but not like THAT.  They're intentionally stoking a fear of black people in white people in exchange for political capital.  It's sick.

I'm profoundly disturbed by this.  I do what I do because I know the human race can be better than we are.  We can evolve into something better.  We can do it sooner rather than later.  We can be a world of wonderful people, and we can do it within my lifetime.  We can, but we won't.  Perhaps I'm naive. 

I have moments like this where I just want to give up.  Just go back to my white middle class home in the suburbs good paying job with a wife and two kids life and forget about all of this, just like everybody else.  But that's how they win.  When those of us who would oppose these things, when those of us who would stand up for what's right, when those of us who would strive to see the human species become worth saving just give up and shut up.  They're wearing us down.  I heard it in Michael Moore's voice at the end of his most recent movie, he's wearing down.  So am I.  So is Obama.  So are a lot of people.  

Perhaps we'll mature someday.  Perhaps we'll become a species that we can be proud of.  Perhaps we'll get past all the stupidity, small-mindedness and pettiness of our current age.  But not today.  Maybe tomorrow.

I'm going to bed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Capitalism vs. Socialism

There's been a lot of throwing around of the "S" word over the past year.  I thought it might be time for a refresher about what that word actually means.  I'm not going to go into the other "ism"s being thrown around (Fascism, Communism, etc etc.).  The truth is that the ones hurling the –isms around don't really know what any of them mean.  Perhaps I'll delve into them in a future post.  I think that a detailed analysis of the word "Fascism" combined with an in-depth look at the security policies of the Bush II administration would be very entertaining. 

It works like this.  Imagine you're at a party.  There are ten people, including you.  A pie is served and cut into ten pieces.  One This is what your share looks like. man comes up and takes nine pieces.  The other nine guests begin to divvy up the last remaining piece.  This is what we call "Capitalism".  Note that I said this is what we call "Capitalism".   Perhaps your sliver of the last piece is slightly larger than some of the others.  You want to protect what you've Yum, pie!got.  Somebody comes along and suggests that perhaps we could re-divide the pie so that that sorry fellow on the left who got the smallest sliver (it's so thin that it's translucent) might get a slightly larger piece.  You immediately become afraid that that person's portion is going to come out of your own, and you didn't have all that much to start with.  You become angry.  You begin arguing about how you've worked hard for your slice, and it's not fair for that lazy sod to startPlease sir, I'm a poor lazy bastard who just wants to live off your "hard earned" money taking your pie.  Lost in all of this name-calling and anger is the fact that what was really being suggested was that the guy with nine pieces perhaps only take eight.  With two whole pieces of pie to divvy up between the other nine guests, they just might all get a little more.  This is what we call "Socialism".  Again, emphasis on the "call" part. 

This is the state of modern politics.  We've convinced the guy who  has a slightly larger sliver of that last piece of pie to defend the right of the guy who took nine pieces to take nine pieces because he believes it's in his own best interest. 

Now, let's paint a slightly different picture.  The pie comes out, and Fear the evil black man! Fear! Fear! Fear!each guest takes one piece of pie.  Everybody's satisfied, because one piece of pie is really all you need.  That is what Socialism really is, and for nine people out of ten, it works out pretty well.  It sucks for the first dude, because he's forced to get by on what everyone else does, but again, the part we forget is that everybody's getting a pretty good deal of pie.

Ok, if you're a Republican or (gasp!) a Teabagger you probably haven't made it this far, because you already dismissed me as a Socialist and stopped reading lest I poison your mind.  I've noticed Teabaggers aren't really interested in hearing alternative points of Why yes, I am a giant asshole continuously crapping on the nation.  Why?view.  They're more interested in being right.  Glenn Beck even put  out a "book" that, based on the title (I haven't actually read it, nor do I intend to.  The title tells me all I need to know), suggests that it will teach you how to win arguments with people who have left leaning tendencies (A.K.A. Liberal Commie Socialist Scum Bastards who Hate America and Want the Terrorists to Win).  What it does not promise, however, is to teach you how to listen.  It does not promise to teach you how to understand what your opponents want.  It only promises to teach you how to shut them up with clever catch-phrases so that you don't have to actually hear ideas that conflict with your own and perhaps judge their arguments on their merits using your own mind.  Glenn Beck is quite popular.

What if, just imagine for a moment, that the first dude only took four pieces of pie.  The remaining nine guests now have six whole pieces of pie to fight over.  One of them might even get an entire piece all to himself.  This is what Capitalism really is, and it doesn't sound all that bad either.  It's not what we have though.  We claim to love Seen outside Fox News. Capitalism, but we don't really know what it is, because none of us living have ever seen it.  We fight for our little sliver of pie and fight for the first dude because we hope someday we might be the dude getting all the pie.  Our world view, though, is distorted from reality.  We think he's only got three or four pieces of pie, and someday we might get that too.  We think we've got a much bigger piece than we really do.  The richest 1% of the nation has more money than the remaining 99% (that's you).  We all think someday we'll become part of that 1%, because we think it's really more like 30%.  But it's not, and you won't.  The vast majority of the uber-rich today were born rich, and that's how it's done.  Very few new billionaires get made, they're born.  Bill Gates is an anomaly.

So I'll conclude with a sort of anti-thesis to Glenn Beck's book, butThis is what we're up against. much shorter and a hell of a lot cheaper.  Now you understand what the Teabaggers believe and why they fight for it.  All you need to do to win an argument is to get them to understand what they believe and why they believe it.  Good luck.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ray Comfort is at it… Again

I recently found out about this: http://www.livingwaters.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=383

About anything I could say about it is here: http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2009/06/dont-read-this-version-of-origin-of-species/

Centuries after the dark ages we still have religion attacking science.  Why?  Why is it necessary to discredit science?  Can't you just simply have your beliefs and leave the rest of us alone to learn about things based in fact? If we had listened to you lot we would still be in the dark ages. 

Why the deception Ray?  Why is it necessary to distribute a scientific work with a 50-page rant against it at the beginning?  I've never heard of such a thing before.  It's despicable.  If I hadn't already left Christianity long ago, that would be enough to convince me that you lot are absolutely beyond any shadow of a doubt FUCKED IN THE HEAD!  Thousands of college kids will remember this later in life.  This will ultimately work against what you're trying to achieve.  Take some advice: Believe in God all you want, share whatever stories you want, convert as many people as you want, but stop being a fucking prick.  Leave science alone.  If you don't believe it, that's your right.  Nobody is forcing you to be an intelligent human being (obviously).  But make your point without having to attack known science with half truths, outright lies and logic fallacies.  Stop preying on the young.  In other words, stop behaving like Republicans.  Stop proving Richard Dawkins right.

Ray Comfort: you, sir, are an asshole.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Retaliation

On September 11, 2001 nineteen terrorists took control of four commercial airplanes.  Two of them were flown into the World Trade center, collapsing both towers.  One was flown into the Pentagon.  On crashed in Pennsylvania, as the passengers decided to fight back.

The total number of confirmed deaths for this atrocious act was 2,973 (not including the nineteen perpetrators).  When men come to our country and murder our civilians, we call it terrorism.

This act, the senseless killing of nearly 3,000 American lives so enraged this nation that we went to war.  President George W. Bush sent the troops to Afghanistan, where the mastermind of the attack was alleged to be cowering, and went after his ass. 

For a while.

Then we went to Iraq because Saddam Hussein may or may not have weapons of mass destruction that he may or may not intend to use on American Soil and he may or may not have some terrorists there too.  So we pre-emptively kicked the crap out of his country (that means we struck first.  We weren't provoked).  We found and captured the man who hadn't actually attacked us but probably was maybe going to.  We turned him over to the new government we installed there and they executed him promptly.  Scratch one bad guy. 

Meanwhile we're not really focused on finding the guy who killed nearly 3,000 American civilians anymore.  Iraq was far more important.  The cost of the war in Iraq is well documented.  We paid for our invasion of Iraq with over 4,000 American Soldiers.  When we send our young men and women to another country and they get killed then, we call this patriotism.

Meanwhile, as a result of our invasion and conquer of the sovereign nation of Iraq, since 2003 100,971 of their civilians have died.  When we send men to another country and their civilians die, we call this collateral damage.

Just to recap:

American civilian deaths: 2,973 as a result of a terrorist attack.
American soldier deaths: 4,287* as a result of our invasion.
Iraqi civilian deaths: 100,971* as a result of our invasion.
*Afghanistan statistics not included. 

And we're completely baffled as to why people in the Middle East don't like us.

In Dalton Trumbo's classic book "Johnny got his gun", he added an additional introduction in 1971 responding to the then current Vietnam War.  To avoid possible copyright issues, I'll paraphrase as much as possible, but I would much rather type it in verbatim. 

He says that 40,000 dead young men (the number of dead American soldiers at the time) was equal to 3000 tons of bone and flesh.  124,000 pounds of brain matter.  50,000 gallons of blood.  1,840,000 years of potential life lost.  With 4,000 dead, you can easily adjust these numbers for Iraq.

300 tons of flesh and bone.
12,400 pounds of brain matter.
5,000 gallons of blood.
184,000 years of lost potential life.

The math is a slightly harder for the Iraqi citizens.

7500 tons of flesh and bone.
310,000 pounds of brain matter.

You get the point.  These numbers should make you vomit.  If they don't, you need to ask yourself why.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fascism

I recently pointed out somewhat facetiously that the number of death threats towards President Obama is 400% higher than the number of death threats towards President Bush (II) during his term. 

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/10/new-report-find-secret-service-overwhelmed-by-increased-threats.php

While there's a subtle understated fact that the irrational anger against him is reaching a frightening level, I put it somewhat ironically, stating that of course fewer people threatened Bush.  He was the only thing standing between us and Cheney as president!

It was in somewhat bad taste I admit, and I completely glossed over the fact that this completely debunks the right's claims that the anger against Bush was just as extreme.  As an aside, Bush gave us some very good reasons for being angry at him, but I've been through that before. 

Someone pointed out the 2007 movie "Death of a President" as evidence of how much more extreme it was against Bush. I've never seen this movie, but I have to say now that I'm aware of it, I'm intrigued.  It obviously has some moral undertones to it, but the plot sounds fascinating.  What if Cheney really had become president?  How much worse might it have been?  And this hardly seems like a Bush hate movie.  It actually looks quite thought provoking.

The movie synopsis, though, reminded me about the Patriot Act of 2001.  There were so many contemptuous acts committed by the Bush administration, that it's sometimes hard to remember all of them, but this one is important.  This was the point at which our civil rights began to be eroded.  If you don't remember, go read up on it.  Right now.  I'll wait.

Seriously now, how is that NOT a big step towards fascism?

And this is the part that confuses me.  The Tea Party marches and shouts "Obama is a Fascist", he's "destroying the Constitution" and "eroding our civil rights".  These claims were all made over health care reform. 

Can some right-winger please explain to me how health care reform is more fascist, more unconstitutional, and violates our rights more than the Patriot Act?  If you can't (and you won't, just admit it), then where were you when this happened?  Why no marches then?

Have we all really gone THAT mad?

… what's that?  Do I hear crickets?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another Isolated Incident

I've cited examples of right-wing failures to conservative friends before.  The response is always the same.  "That's an isolated incident".  "Those are isolated incidents".  How many isolated incidents does it take to make a pattern?

How about when it's our military?

Engagement

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Republican record so far…

The Republicans make it hard to not side with the Democrats.  I'm NOT a Democrat and I have serious issues with them, including Obama, but I have to side with them because my only other choice is to side with the party that stands for everything I'm against.

The Republican Progress Report.

  • Label an attempt to fix a broken health care system that is resulting in as many as 44,000 deaths per year as Socialist/Communist/Fascist/some-other-ist: Succeeded.
  • Get the Democrats to pass 161 Republican-sponsored amendments to Health Care Reform that weakens the bill in an attempt to get bi-partisan support, then don't vote for it: Succeeded.
  • Employ Dick Armey and FreedomWorks to manufacture the "Tea Party", an angry "grass roots movement" that calls everything that doesn't benefit multi-billion dollar companies Communist/Socialist/etc. etc.: Succeeded.
  • Get Fox News to promote the "Tea Party" as a legitimate movement instead of a corporate designed opposition to legislation that helps Americans and is detrimental to multi-billion dollar companies profit margins: Succeeded.
  • Stop Health Care Reform legislation that will help 30 million Americans get health coverage and possibly not die: Failed.
  • Oppose Financial Reform that restricts multi-billion dollar banks from becoming "too big to fail" and prevents them from engaging in the risky but lucrative practices which previously led to the economy imploding: In Progress.
  • Pass a law requiring all people who "look like illegal immigrants" (e.g. Mexicans) to carry papers while in the state of Arizona in an attempt to look "tough on immigration" while labeling opponents of this obvious civil rights violation as "weak on immigration": Succeeded
  • Oppose Obama on EVERYTHING: In Progress.

Good job guys.  At this rate you just might get another maniacal war monger in the white house by 2012.  You do know that if you guys stopped being buttholes for five minutes, there would actually be time to level plenty of fair criticisms against President Obama.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dear God…

Dear God,

First of all, let's be honest.  I don't believe you're there.  Every type of logic I apply to the question indicates that it's unlikely that there's any kind of supernatural deity controlling everything.  I'm pretty sure the Christian Coalition is proof positive of that.  It also makes it much easier to answer the "How could God allow that to happen" question.  That said….

On the off chance that I'm wrong and you actually are there, I'd like to discuss your followers with you.  There's a bit of a problem there.  Could you please make them smart?  While it's not universally true, the vast majority of them seem to use religion as an excuse for staying stupid.  For instance, I live in Kansas, the one state in the union convinced that science isn't important to teach to young growing minds.  It's a little odd to be combating dark ages mentalities and beliefs in what should otherwise be a rather enlightened age.  For instance, I've considered calling the state in an attempt to force my wife to send my children to school so that they can learn science rather than some kind of absurd belief about how the world was created that has absolutely nothing to do with the core of what Christianity is about, but since that state is Kansas and Kansas doesn't see the importance of science, that's not likely to work.  Do you seriously want your followers to combat intelligence and science instead of concentrating on being good people?  Do you seriously want your followers to deny assistance to the poor rather than saving lives?  When did greed and stupidity become Christian values?  Why are your followers so concerned with the obscure or unimportant parts of the bible rather than the parts that tell them what kind of lives they should be leading like Matthew 25?  Why do they only seem to learn the parts of the bible they can use to condemn others rather than the parts that would make them better people?  You know, like Taoists do.

I saw a sticker on the back of a giant-ass truck the other day that read "I'll take God and guns, you can keep Obama."  Guns?  Seriously God?  Guns are a Christian value?  I kind of though Christians were supposed to be a peaceful lot, Bush/Cheney's warmongering notwithstanding.  A gun in the hands of the stupid redneck driving that truck just sounds like a really really bad idea to me.  On the other hand, when he manages to shoot himself, perhaps people will believe Darwin after all.  Let's just hope he doesn't kill too many intelligent people first.

Some say religion is a crutch.  I say it's not a crutch, it's a tool, and it's being wielded with great skill by douchebags like Pat Robertson, who uses the power of Christian beliefs to condemn the poor and unfortunate and those with liberal political values while making himself obscenely rich.  Didn't you say something about the likelihood of rich people getting into heaven?  Seems like I recall something there.  I also seem to recall a phrase that read something like "demonizing the poor" is bad, but what do I know?  Surely Robertson has actually read the thing, right?

Oh, and one last request, would you mind please smiting Ray Comfort, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity from the face of the earth?  Pat Robertson really ought to go too for being a complete and total douchebag.  Also, if you don't mind a few non-Christian (AFAICT) requests, the world would be better off without Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman, and pretty much the entire staff of Fox News. I suppose if smiting isn't how you do things these days, perhaps you could at least give them some kind of revelation that makes them less of a group of complete assholes?

Thanks,

The Cowboy.