Sunday, April 18, 2010
I don't usually blog about politics because it is less about objective evidence and more about opinions and priorities, but the "Ultimate Warrior" has reiterated common Tea Party idiocy that I simply can no longer ignore.
I am all about intellectual honesty and open debate, but when one very public group continues to lie and spread fear through dishonest claims and discourse, it goes against everything that politics and political endeavors SHOULD be about.
I am not talking about misrepresentation, I am talking about abject hatred and lying. I am talking about claims that wrongly strike at the heart of all Americans in our current climate of terror and paranoia.
People who will inflame the nation (shame on your Fox news) with lies just to get their hateful point across. (Shame on you Glenn Beck)
This is an open letter of education for the self appointed "founding father of ring intensity" and legally named "Warrior", and a dissertation for those who are affected by his (and those like him...I am talking to you Chuck Norris) drivel.
A free lesson in the importance of evidence and support for your claims.
First I will address two often repeated and wholly unsupported claims that will example the sort of thing that the Warrior espouses.
Obama is NOT a Muslim. -It shouldn't matter as long as he doesn't involve his religion in politics, but the truth is that he is NOT. They lie to garner the fear of the misinformed masses. Obama's father was raised a Muslim but LONG before Obama was born he rejected his faith and became an avowed atheist. Obama himself has attended a Christian church for 20 years and often spoken of his personal relationship with Jesus. None of this should matter but you should know the truth.
Obama IS American- It is another lie to say that he is not. A misrepresentation of the constitution regarding landed immigrants that they apply (in part and out of context) so that they can garner the indignation of those too lazy to learn the truth for themselves.
He has presented his Certificate of birth and the government has verified his original Birth certificate is on file. Hawaii was part of the US when he was born so, no matter what anyone claims, he is a US citizen by default.
In any case, lets get to the letter. I will post the link to the letter that the Warrior posted and then we can get to his formal education....
I hope that you are as honest as you claim, because I am about to give you the lessons that will aid you in lending your political opinions some credence.
Here we go....
You have fallen victim to the fear mongering and ill informed tea party republicans I am afraid, Mr Warrior.
Lets see where you failed in your support of your own country by spreading lies and immorally pandering to fears through intellectual terrorism, instead of political opinion supported by real evidence.
Lets start by revealing the ignorance in your many claims.
Telling kids to work hard and to succeed is no different than Reagan's message of not doing drugs or Bush Sr's education message to the country. Your accusation of thievery is simply false. VERY high salaries are being taxed SLIGHTLY more so that lower income people can feel the freedom of having instead of constantly giving what they can't afford to. Why is it so terrible that high income people give a bit back to the country that helped be so high income?
Did you know that Czars have been around since the mid 80's under Reagan and were expanded under Bush? They have no executive power and are used as advisers in their particular area of expertise. They are NOT a creation of Obama so blaming him is simply an act of ignorance or a lie and to call them unconstitutional is merely hijacking the term to bolster your point, as there is nothing unconstitutional about having advisers.
Obama is socialist-
What is socialist about Obama? I assume that you are refering to health care?
First I would ask, why ensuring that 41 million uninsured people can live healthy lives is bad? What do you have against those people that they can't have some level of health care too? Or is your beef that it will force the insurance to lower its prices and save everyone money? You don't like lowered deficit?
Why was it not un-american when BUSH suggested guaranteed health care for all children?
Or socialist when Bush promised to help the working poor get the tax credits they deserve?
Why didn't you attack Bush as unconstitutional when he promised to make welfare more accessible for the poor?
Or when he promised to Aid cities with social programs where the poor were more concentrated?
Or when he promised better education funding for low income families?
Why is this? Why didn't you call HIM socialist? He had FAR more plans for social programs than Obama has ever said.
Why not call HIM unconstitutional for expanding the Czar program?
Why not call HIM un-American for doing the very things that you deride Obama for?
While we are at it, how about for lying to the American public about the reasons for entering Iraq?
Do you attack him because he said that American needed change after it had been in the hands of your evangelical president?
Can you tell us what Marxist, Socialist, and Communist even means? I ask this because you use the terms to describe Obama. This is where we get back to your education, pay attention Warrior...
Lets see if you are correct in using these terms, or if you are just being hateful and using terms even though you know they are wrong merely because they will invoke the negative image that you want.
Obamas platform doesn't include anything that addresses the inequities in the labour theory of value, or even any way of reducing the surplus value of the working class exploitation, nor does it say anything about the working class taking governmental power, so I would say that you are using that term out of ignorance of its real meaning, or out of hatefulness to exploit a negative image that the term will evoke.
Either way, you fail on that count.
Obama does not advocate public or direct worker ownership nor does he have any interest in minimizing exchange-values or maximizing use-values nor does he ever speak about transcending (or abolishing) dependence on wage labour and commodity production. Nor has he ever spoken about power being distributed according to amount of work expended in production. Again, clearly you have no idea what socialism means, and you are using the term in a dishonest attempt to garner support against Obama.
Communist? Lets see;
Classes gone? Clearly not as Obama wants the higher tax brackets to pay slightly more taxes, and the lower ones to get a break. Sounds like a pretty clear class delineation to me. As far as an oppression free society is concerned, I suppose that Obama ended the don't ask don't tell oppression of homosexuals in the military so you could make a case there if you really wanted. But do you really want to say that ending discrimination is a bad thing Warrior? Really?
I don't think so. I am sure that you are above that sort of hatred. I suppose that by virtue of him smashing the glass ceiling for African-Americans he has, to a degree, put an end to racial division but again I am sure that you aren't against that. Or at least I hope.
The last one on your list came later....Nazi.
"Literally" national socialism you said.
Is this another cheap attempt at negative imagery to support your cause?
In the interest of intellectual honesty, lets look.
The most important tenets of National Socialism (as published by the Nazi party itself in 1920) were anti-parliamentarianism, pan-Germanism, racism, anti-Semitism, collectivism, social Darwinism, eugenics, anti-communism, totalitarianism, and opposition to economic and political liberalism.
Since the US is not a parliamentary system and your Leader is an elected official that is not an issue.
Pan Americanism? That could be argued to have been a Bush policy, as his brand of international activity has been likened to dominionism as he tries to spread US democracy in countries where it serves his interests best. I wouldn't argue that though because while it is true, it isn't really in the spirit of what the Nazi's meant. It is a moot point though, because Obama has never expressed any dominionist rhetoric.
Racism? His very presence in the white house has minimized racism in the country.
Collectivism? There has never been any mention of group rights taking precedence over individual rights. As a matter of fact, his record shows that he is a crusader for individual rights.
Social Darwinism? Never in the history of ANY American administration have their been presidents who have expressed desires to diminish entire races through these means. What a terrible thing to imply. Dishonest and hateful.
SHAME on you Warrior.
You can't be serious. Do you even know what this is??
Just before you called him a communist, and now you say that he espouses ANTI communism?? Ugh, so much to teach you warrior.
Totalitarianism? Dominating every aspect of even private lives? Sounds more like Bushes home phone invasion policies, but no Obama here.
Really you should look words up in the dictionary before posting them.
Opposition to economic and political liberalism?
ummmmm this is actually the opposite of what Obama has campaigned for. He is liberal.
You are a strange man Warrior, I don't think that you research ANYTHING before you put it out there. Your blog appears to be of the "cut and paste, someone else said it so I will believe it 100%" type.
SO, no Nazi here.
There IS however a dishonest man who is trying to manipulate images and feelings from a racial apocalypse in order to serve his own political leanings.
Immoral, and hateful. Can you at least engage us using facts and not hatred?
"Hitler said, “The intellect has grown autocratic, and has become a disease of life.” He also said, “at a mass meeting thought is eliminated. And because this is the state of mind I require, because it secures to me the best sounding-board for my speeches, i order everyone to attend the meetings, where they become part of the mass whether they like it or not…I speak to them only as the mass.”"
Obama has actually made a policy of taking the questions of individuals (remember Joe the plumber?), no matter their question. So again, you are being false, and this time, because you are using such terrible and manipulative imagery in doing so, you reveal yourself to be sneaky and immoral as well.
"What greater mass of minds to gather than the mushy, undeveloped ones of little children."- Hitler
You actually think that this is what he was doing in addressing the nations children??
What a terrible message to send to them.
Think for themselves, work hard, and to achieve.
Complete their education and make the most of themselves.
You are a good parent for keeping THOSE words from him, that is for sure. (sarcasm) ESPECIALLY considering the fact that Bush Sr gave almost the exact same speech 15 years ago.
Obama is not welcome in your household, in person or through the TV but not for the reasons that you state. It is because he is has said that the US needs change. You didn't think so, you loved your evangelist and warmongering and dominionist president.
The very one who said that he would love to be the "dictator".
Obama brings renewed international respect to the states, and stands for rights of the downtrodden (health care), and the oppressed (abolishing the don't ask don't tell embarrassment)
Hmmm, downtrodden and oppressed? Sound familiar?
Sounds pretty American to me.
Now, don't get me wrong warrior, I am not saying that I am fully supportive of everything that Obama has done, or that I think that he is far better than McCain would have been (although Palin certainly hurt his credibility) but I AM saying that you should research claims for yourself before you form political ideologies around them. Ensure that you are spreading truth with the power of your celebrity.
You have that responsibility, and thus far you have failed.
So go ahead, be conservative, fight against the establishment, hate Obama as a president for his policies, but do so on the basis of truth, and use the power of words for positive conversation.
Your words have power Warrior so, now that you know better..
Bring facts, and not hate.
Now you have no excuse.
Go, learn, form your opinions and get back to us.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Found in the 4th book of Kings (2:23-24)
Perhaps there is no better time in history to revisit this particular lesson and talk about respect, especially with regards to children respecting their elders. They seem to have no respect for anyone in positions of authority. Games, TV, and even songs refer to the strength of youth as being rebellious to authority. Gang violence, video games depicting and celebrating policemen being murdered, and TV constantly showing us how kids are better off doing as they feel and not as they are told. (DAMN IT, STEWIE, DO AS LOIS TELLS YOU!)
But is this the smart way to travel through life?
There is no better place to look for an answer to this than the Bible as our moral compass. There are many places that we could look for examples of how to discipline sassy young children.
Perhaps we could look to Jesus and his advice to the pharaohs, when he sounded off about in surprise when the king did not murder his children for their smart mouths.
BUT, that was only a side comment and nothing was done. Hardly anything to learn there.
How about when God himself orders sassy youths slain?
Nah, that is only ever read as brutal (and of course objectively moral) allegory.
The REAL story to teach children about respect lies with the History of Elijah.
Now this was dedicated prophet, I mean his very NAME meant "My lord is Jehovah" and his every day seemed to be filled with epic battles against Baal and his prophets, raising the dead, ending famine, calling down fireballs.
He was Batman, the littlest hobo, and an evangelist prophet all rolled up into one manly package. Like some sort of bad-ass Jewish Steve Irwin wandering the land telling people to stop believing in Baal by handing out all the holy killin's that he could muster.
He didn't even have to bring food or drink on his journeys because he had his own staff of butler angels who fed and tended to him.
He was so awesome that at one point he even made Baal’s prophets, through relentless mocking, stab themselves, then he called massive fireballs down from the sky killing the false prophets (as if making them stab themselves wasn't enough), brought a crazy rain storm in for dramatic effect AND cured the famine that the area had been experiencing….ALL AT ONCE!
So needless to say, Elijah was the world’s first real manly-man holy bad-ass.
This was the very definition of someone that you might want to respect, right?
"Not so", says a group of wandering youths. "He is like, totally bald, and we have stayed up for days discussing how we can insult this stupid, umm....baldy"
Elijah was traveling up to the city of Eliseus after being called to use his godly badassery to solve a bit of a water problem in this shining city.
The youths watched as he simply pulled some salt from his pouch of awesomeness and spread it on the waters, saying "STOP BEING DEAD" to the waters. The water considered its options, but then realized that it was Elijah and promptly stopped being dead, and promised to NEVER be dead again if Elijah would just stop putting salt into it. (He didn't really get the whole concept of fresh water, but ignorance can't stand in the way of 2 quarts of pure awesome, so our story continues)
The youths saw this and proclaimed "Pffft, we could have done THAT, he's not so tough." and followed him while he began his hobo-esque trip the the next town who needed help.
They caught up to him just as he was starting the short climb up a hill before the town, and rejoiced at knowing their chance had come. Elijah would now be victim to the sort of self-stabby mocking that is usually reserved for people who didn't agree with HIM.
The boys prodded their leader-youth to unleash the terrible insults they had been working on for so many days.
"GO AHEAD BALDY, GO CLIMB THAT HILL......um........BALDY!"
Now I know that you are saying, that isn't right.
You are saying that Elijah mocked people too, so why should we feel bad?
Elijahonly ever mocked for good reason...he didn't like the way they thought. These kids were only doing it because they didn't like how Elijah looked.
Elijah was a good and moral man, and knew that these children needed a lesson, AND since their parents weren't around, he figured that he could stand in their stead by offering some meager punishment as a lesson to these children to be more respectful.
"AGH!!" he yelled "My baldness is not your concern, sassy youths!"
"It is a good thing that there are no she-bears here, because then I would teach you lot a lesson you would never forget."
"BALDY, BALDY GO ON UP, CLIMB THAT HILL!"
Fortuitously, a couple of she-bears rounded the corner and saw Elijah being harassed and trying to cover his achilles head
"Did you want us mighty Elijah?" They asked "We overheard you talking about She bears"
"Thank Yahweh, can you please go teach those kids a lesson? You know....in God's holy name of course."
Now understand that the bears didn't really have this as part of their plans for the day, but this was ELIJAH, and there was no way that they wanted to end the day with a not so healthy self stabbing, so they did as he asked......
and mauled all 42 children to death screaming;
"WHO'S BALD NOW, LITTLE BITCHES?"
Elijah looked upon their remorseful bodies and was pleased.
"Who’s bald now indeed!" he muttered to himself
He thought back on the incident as he walked away...
"He he" he thought "Bears are funny"
Content that his lesson had been passed on, he continued on his trip to Mount Carmel where we can only assume that he learned the lesson that a well placed letter "A" can be all the difference between a fantastic treat filled trip and heart breaking and sugar deprived disappointment.
Moral of the story; Show respect to your elders and agree with everything that your holy men say or your fate will involve lots of self stabbing and mauling by she-bears.
(note-I know the moral sounds like indoctrination, but it totally isn't! It is self preservation.)
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
After having thought about it for a long time, and having no respect for the biblical 10 commandments I am going to post 10 for a secular society that have far more relevance and meaning than the bibles ever did.
10. Determine what is moral by using your own brain and this simple tenet. Does this action cause harm?
9. Do not buy into any dogmatic belief. Dogma keeps you from making morality decisions.
8. Question everything. Have a healthy respect for evidence and always keep an open mind about your beliefs in case they are wrong.
7. Seek knowledge and recognize that education is the key to understanding. Do not ignore contrary evidence, to the contrary, you should explore it.
6. Do not do to others as you would not want them to do to you.
5. Live each day with joy and wonder.
4. Exercise, and stay healthy.
3. Never be silent in the face of wrong doing. Evil requires nothing but that good men stay silent.
2. Be truthful, even if it is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
1. Do not take these commandments as authoritarian.
It all boils down to "Don't be an ass"
Maybe we should call them 10 Secular suggestions for good and moral living.
Certainly better than the bibles, and less open to harmful interpretation.
What do YOU think?
"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.-Riddle of Epicurus
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"
David Hume first posed these questions, in reference to an Epicurus citation (which may have been wrongly attributed to him in the first place), and it has become known as the Riddle of Epicurus. It is just as true today as in the times of Epicurus and in some might claim that today's world examples this argument against god even more so.
The evils of today stand out against our everyday society like black on white, and yet (and perhaps as a result) faith continues to grow. (At least the hateful and intolerant parts of it seem to) Against the backdrop of our day to day lives, evil exists on a level that many can't comprehend. On a level that riddles the mind with its ferociousness and tenacity for inflicting suffering on those who oppose it.
So how do we reconcile the concept of an all loving god, with the presence of vile and disgusting evils that should be far below his ability to stop?
Maybe it seem less convincing in David Hume's words, so lets break these words down ourselves.
Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to.
If this is true, then he is either evil, impotent, or non-existent.
There is no other answer.
Many theists will claim that he is trying to teach us life lessons with the worlds evil, or that evil is OUR creation, but if it is a life lesson then he falls well below any moral standard that has ever been set by any culture in history. NO one would allow genocides, infanticide, genital mutilations, and senseless murder just to teach us a lesson.
What about the claim that evil is OUR creation made possible by the gift of free will? That still doesn't explain why he would create us with that ability. He knew what we would do in the world that he created from the moment he thought of creating us, but he did it anyway. So if he created us knowing that we would be this way, and did it anyway, then he did it purposefully. By purposefully I mean that since he designed us, and he knew that design would make us this way, that he actually designed us to be this way and to create the world we have now.
Making him evil once more.
This leaves only the last part...
If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?
Thursday, April 1, 2010
10. You vigorously deride belief in the existence of other gods (Thor, Osiris, Ganesha, etc...) as foolish, and archaic, but feel persecuted if someone derides belief in your god.
9. You are insulted and incredulous when scientists state that people evolved from "lower" life forms, but have no problem with your bible stating that we were created from dirt.
8. You think polytheism is archaic, and silly but have no problem with a "trinity"god.
7. You go crazy when you hear how the Quran commands beating women, or killing atheists and Jews, but you think it is a moral allegory when the bible commands genocide, or when god orders the slaughter of all the babies in Egypt, or even when he orders the "untouched" women to be raped as spoils of war.
6. You think that evidence for god is merely a question for which you don't know the answer. IE-"Where did beauty come from? God did it" or "Why are things so complex? God did it."
5. You think that the burden of proof lies with Atheists to disprove your claim, instead of on you to provide evidence for your own.
4. You think that there is a place that God sends people who don't believe as you do, to suffer in pain, torment and torture. Not only are you OK with this, but you still consider your religion "tolerant" and your god "loving".
3. Geology conclusively proving that the flood didn't happen, or history proving that the bible was written by man, or science proving that the earth is 5 billion years old doesn't convince you, but one idiot rolling around speaking gibberish and calling it tongues is all the evidence that you need.
2. You laugh at the claim that Greek gods slept with women, but don't blink an eye when recounting the story of the holy spirit impregnating Mary (without her permission), giving birth to a man/god who was sent by himself, as a blood sacrifice to himself, to appease himself, to convince himself to forgive his creations of things that he himself knew they would do, then to raise himself from
the dead to ascend and be with himself again.
1. You think that the story of a man who lied to his son, brought him to an altar under false pretenses, tied him up in terror, and raised a knife with the intent to look into his eyes and slaughter him, is a good and moral story. You think that it was good that he proved his loyalty to his lord, you are OK with the evil concept of blood sacrifice and even more than OK that a supposedly moral God would command such a thing.
Runner up- You think that it is a mythological story to hear about Icarus flying too close to the sun, but Jonah surviving for 3 days inside a whale is perfectly reasonable.
Runner up #2- You think that a 0.01% success rate for prayer is proof of god, or that things that might have happened anyway, happened merely because YOU wanted them to and you prayed for it. You think that the other 99.99% is just an example of Gods mysterious ways.
(#2A- You would rather convince yourself that you are helping by sitting alone and thinking about someone, and call it prayer, then actually getting up off your ass and DOING something.)
Here is a message to Christians everywhere;
If you can identify with any of these things, you need to seriously rethink your beliefs, your morality, and your parental skills and....
READ A BOOK!