Monday, May 25, 2009
Also, click here to hear Rachel Maddow calling Obama out on this....but come back and let me know what you think :-). And if you are a YouTuber, leave a video comment to this video on YouTube as well.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
...My latest video is concerning the atheist bus ads placed last week on the city of Chicago's buses. As many of you may remember, I think it was last year, there were similar ads placed on buses in Europe saying something like, "There's Probably No God, So Stop Worrying And Enjoy Your Life", and in Indiana recently, adspace was purchased to display a similar message on city buses there, which was never allowed to go up......
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
This is a recent post from PZ Meyers blog, Pharyngula, entitled "Modern Day Isaacs"....I wanted to post it here in my blog because i think that he put it extremely well, and I would like to share with you all what he wrote. I completely agree with his take on the matter. So everyone check out pharyngula some time, there is also a link to it at the beginning of this paragraph and also in the left hand column here under the title "My Blog List"....
Colleen Hauser has flown the coop. She has defied a court order to bring her sick son, Daniel Hauser, to a qualified doctor for essential medical care. The boy has Hodgkins lymphoma, a disease with a very good prognosis if treated soon, but is a painful death sentence within a few years if neglected. His mother, though, is fervently religious, and no doubt smug in her righteousness, has bundled her son into a car and is devoutly driving to Mt. Moriah. I hope she's not expecting an angel of the lord to appear and spare her son.
What she has done has gone even deeper. Daniel is 13 years old; he has been tested for his competency, and has been found to be completely illiterate. He was homeschooled. Colleen Hauser has been wielding the sacrificial dagger of her faith on her son for years, crippling his brain and rendering him unable to evaluate the real-world consequences of their decisions. I wonder how many Daniel Hausers there are in this country, living lives of quiet ignorance, unexposed by the trauma of a physical disease?
And here's the real tragedy: Colleen Hauser almost certainly loves her son and believes she is doing what is best for him, every step of the way. I can identify with her in that regard — I can understand that deep, gut-wrenching love a parent can have for her children, the kind that can put you to your knees with agony at every little hurt they suffer…and Daniel Hauser faces deeper pain and an imminent threat of death that my kids have never had. But Colleen Hauser is so afflicted with the poison of religion that she has lost sight of reality, and is going to kill her son with her ignorance.
Here's another case: Leilani Neumann watched her daughter Madeline die of diabetes.
A mother accused of homicide for only praying while her 11-year-old daughter died of untreated diabetes knew the girl was gravely ill at least a day before she died, her sister-in-law testified Monday.
Susan Neumann of rural Merrill was the first witness to testify in the trial of Leilani Neumann, 41, who is charged with second-degree reckless homicide in her daughter Madeline's March 23, 2008, death.
Susan Neumann said Leilani Neumann told her that she came home from work at the family's coffee shop on March 22 and "felt the spirit of death" when she reached for the knob to open the door to the house.
"She was afraid," the sister-in-law said. "She ran upstairs to Kara (Madeline's nickname) and felt her and was relieved to feel warmth in her arm. Then she said they started praying and praying and praying and didn't stop praying until supper time."
Prosecutors contend any reasonable parent would have known something was wrong and Neumann, who believes healing comes from God, recklessly killed her daughter by praying instead of rushing her to a doctor as the girl became so weak she couldn't walk or talk.
I read that story, and it's heartbreaking. These were not uncaring parents, and you can tell that they are wracked with grief and loss — their little girl is dead. That pain is real.
But then look what they have done. Juvenile onset diabetes is easily treatable; I know healthy, successful 70 year olds who have lived with it for most of their lives, who have gone on to worthy careers and raised happy families, all things denied to Kara Neumann because her family was infected with the deadly taint of dogmatic superstition. Her parents killed her as certainly as if they had put a knife to her neck on the altar of their faith. Religion turned love into a death sentence.
And they haven't learned from this tragedy.
Before the start of the trial Monday, Leilani Neumann read from her Bible and circled the defense and prosecution tables several times in prayer.
That, I confess, hardened my heart. I hope her prayers in the courtroom are as effective as the prayers by her dying daughter's bedside.
These are cases of religion gone pathological, of belief so absurd and so deep that it denies truth and has overt negative consequences. Moderate Christian believers will read about this and dismiss it as irrelevant to their faith; sure, they'd pray, but they'd also get their children in to legitimate doctors who would give them effective treatment.
I have to say something that is heartfelt, and is also meant to offend. I do not absolve you mealy-mouthed moderates, I do not regard your beliefs as harmless. If Colleen Hauser or Leilani Neumann were in your church, you'd tell them to get medical care, but you'd also validate their belief in prayers. You would provide the soothing background muzak that says prayer is good, prayer is virtuous, prayer will connect you to the great lord who can do anything, prayer will give you solace in your time of worry. You would not raise your voice to say that prayer is useless, prayer is self-defeating, that while prayer might make you feel better while your child is suffering, that is no virtue. You pray yourselves. You think it is a noble and generous act for your representatives to prowl the corridors of hospitals, preying on the desperation of the sick. You abase yourselves before false hopes, and sacrifice human dignity on an altar built from the bones of the dead. You would spread the poison, piously excusing yourselves because you only want to administer sub-lethal doses.
You are Abraham's enablers. I hope you all feel a small tremor of guilt when you sit your own children down at bedtime to beg a nonexistent being for aid, when you plant the seed of futile supplication and surrender to delusions in their trusting minds. Damn you all.
Again...just to give credit where credit is due...this post was originally written and posted on PZ Meyers Blog "Pharyngula", which I also have a link to in the left hand column....I just thought it was well written, and wanted to share it with those of you who may not be regular readers of Pharyngula
Also....Click here for a link to a CNN special about this case, talking about this Daniel Hauser case with the mother and son on the run, as well as the father who is asking for them to come home.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I know that the video quality is not up to par yet and as good as I would like it to be, however I am still learning and it will get better with time. Also, I know that my speaking needs work, which I will try to work on improving and planning the content of these posts a little better as I go...so, bear with me, and please leave comments with your thoughts.............
Well shit! I made a new video, then had to wait like an hour for YouTube to process it, then got the message that it was removed because it was too long (over ten minutes). So, I'm rather annoyed right now....I found out that I can upload longer videos to YouTube, but I have to change to a "Directors" account, and when I do that all of my fucking data will be removed and I will have to re-upload my videos....incedently, that means that I will have to edit my posts on this blog and in other places to insert the re loaded videos from my new status account! So...I plan on doing that, but not tonight. It's 4am, and I'm tired!
I will take care of all of this tomorrow, laters.............
Monday, May 18, 2009
Danial Choi is a Westpoint graduate, with a degree in ARABIC! Arabic translators being something we desperately need right now, considering the situation in the middle east. As stated on the Rachel Maddow show (linked above), This week, after coming out earlier this spring, he has received a letter from the U.S. Army informing him that he is being dismissed, it says, in part, quote, "this is to inform you that sufficient basis exists to initiate action for withdrawal of federal recognition in the Army National Guard for moral or professional dereliction. Specifically, you admitted publicly that you are a homosexual, which constitutes homosexual conduct. Your actions negatively affected the good order and discipline of the New York Army National Guard".
I don't know about you but, at a time when we desperately need Arabic translators and tensions are so high, as well as desperately needing good soldiers to lead our military units, this kind of action is just downright f**king retarded!! If they want to be such biggots as to who can risk his life for this country, they might as well go back to not allowing African Americans to serve in the military as well whoever else these homophobic, biggoted assholes making these types of decions think is not good enough to protect, serve, and die for me, you, and this country.
It's just f**ked up that, in this day and age, we still have this kind of s**t going on in this supposedly free country. We need to seperate church and state, stop using the buybull to dictate the laws in this culturally diverse country, and make this country a place for the persuit of life, liberty, and happiness that it is intended to be for ALL AMERICANS, not just white, christian, a**holes that dislike anyone different different than themselves. We've spent the last 8 years going through hell, lets not continue it!
Here is the clip from the Rachel Maddow show that explains it all, as well as containing the interview with Daniel Choi immediately following his dismissal letter:
As for what's been going on lately...one thing I'm curious about is the healthcare situation. I know it was a hot topic on the campaign trail, and leading up to election day for President Obama. And now they're going over what to do. One topic (and arguably the ideal topic that many of us bleeding heart liberals would love to see) is Single Payer, which is basically the ultimate idea of universal healthcare, of which I myself would love to see some variant of this type of plan in effect. A recent article in Democracy Now covered a resident of New Mexico asking President Obama:
My question is, so many people go bankrupt using their credit cards to pay for healthcare. Why have they taken single payer off the plate?And President Obama's answer was:
If I were starting a system from scratch, then I think that the idea of moving towards a single-payer system could very well make sense. That’s the kind of system that you have in most industrialized countries around the world. The only problem is that we’re not starting from scratch. We have historically a tradition of employer-based healthcare. And although there are a lot of people who are not satisfied with their healthcare, the truth is, is that the vast majority of people currently get healthcare from their employers, and you’ve got this system that’s already in place. We don’t want a huge disruption as we go into healthcare reform, where suddenly we’re trying to completely reinvent one-sixth of the economy.I don't know where many others stand on this issue, but I for one am saddened to see Single Payer brushed aside so quickly. And even though I can understand why President Obama answered in the way he did, I would really like to see this issue discussed more, or at least left on the table for a while longer....
Saturday, May 16, 2009
pharyngula, that has been sent tyo people all around the internet, especially around the blogosphere, titled "A Call to Conscious Evolution".And, even though PZ Meyers already typed up a good response to this "woo" and "fluff", spiritual divinity nonsense, crap that groups like this peddle.
I guess that one of the things that piss me off so much about groups like this is how they take superstitious nonsense, and try to make it sound like science. For example, I think that PZ Meyers said it best, when he said "these loons seem to like the word "evolution" an awful lot, abusing the term to the point where I want to just slap it out of their hands and tell them "NO! Not until you learn what it actually means".
These people are just peddling new age crap disguised as science as a way to sell their books which really have nothing to do with anything. It's just a fucking business, and they are no better than a chruch when they peddle their fluff about "prayer" and "elevating consciousness". Things like this just slow down our ability to fix real problems in this world. Here is an example of what these retard fluff peddlers push to the masses:
We now realize that we are affecting our own evolution by everything we do. This knowledge awakens in us the aspiration to become more conscious through subjective practices including meditation, reflection, prayer, intuition, creativity, and conscious choice making that accelerate our evolution in the direction of unity consciousness and inspire us to deeply align our collective vision.
These are nothing but "new age priests", peddling their superstitious nonsense packaged to appear to be in some way related to actual science (of which none of it really is), and it's an insult to anyone who actually gives a damn about really fixing the problems we face in reality.
In closing, I think that PZ Meyers said it best in his answer to their nonsence, where they asf for your recommendations for what they can do to promote "consciousness evolution":
Teach critical thinking. Laugh at woo-meisters who push vapid idiocy like meditation and prayer and spirituality. Turn away from the lies of religion. Point out the bullshit in the empty noises of people like Deepak Chopra. Learn something about evolution, which has nothing to do with the fuzzy, sloppy, lazy goo these so-called "evolutionary leaders" are babbling about.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Here the topics are introducing my pets and also the recent court rulings in the case of 13 year old Daniel Hauser, where his mother refused medical care for his cancer on the basis of their religious beliefs. Click here to see the first story that I read about the subject sometime last week
I decided to start a video blog, which I'll be posting to my blog here....forgive me at the beginning, as I am learning how to do this and how to use my new webcam. This is my first webcam, so I have a lot to learn. Thanks for watching.......
Friday, March 20, 2009
I had one hell of a day today.
I won’t say that it was an unusual day. I won’t say that it was an interesting day
Today was just one of those days. One of those days when I wish I just didn’t exist. Not because I don’t want to live, no…nothing like that, but because I woke up this morning with a feeling of utter emptiness deep inside. Not just emptiness, but a feeling of complete nothing…an unexplainable nothing. I say unexplainable because there was no reason for this feeling. Nothing happened to cause it.
An unexplainable emptiness is so much worse than one that I can pinpoint the reason for. I think it is worse because, along with the anxiety of dealing with a strong feeling of depression, the anxiety is tenfold when the anxiety of depression is accompanied by the bewilderment of having no explanation for those feelings.
I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s how I’ve felt today. I wish I didn’t get out of bed this morning. I did not want to go outside the door for anything. I’ve been trying to concentrate on all types of things today, to get my mind in a happy place. However, no matter what I was doing, I felt nothing….no interest in anything. Just one big emptiness that encompassed everything. Even music gave me no feeling today. Reading, music, video games, various internet shit, talking to friends, tv…..everything just felt empty, and not just empty, I’ve felt horrible all day today. I don’t even feel anything while writing this. It’s the weirdest thing. I’ve had absolutely no desire for anything today, and on top of all that I have experienced a feeling of utter depression.
Emptiness sucks, his is a horrible way to feel……I sure hope I don’t feel this way tomorrow. I need the desire to get out of bed and actually do something tomorrow. I actually have at least 2 things that I HAVE to do tomorrow.
I don’t know what else to say. I’ve had this unexplainable feeling of depression and emptiness today, so I thought that I’d write about it. Maybe telling you guys about it will help, maybe not, but I’d do anything to get rid of this feeling.
Anyways, It’s gonna be 2am soon and whether I want to or not, I have to get up and do a couple things tomorrow. So, I guess that I’ll end this. Maybe some sleep will do me some good.
Monday, March 16, 2009
The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent. Given the estimated growth of the American adult population since the last census from 207 million to 228 million, that reflects an additional 4.7 million "Nones." Northern New England has now taken over from the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country, with Vermont, at 34 percent "Nones," leading all other states by a full 9 points.
Now, I don't know about you, but I am happy to hear this kind of news because what it tells me is that more and more Americans are thinking rationally, instead of through the filter of superstition, when they make their decisions in everything from their personal life to their voting agendas.
"Many people thought our 2001 finding was an anomaly," [Ariela] Keysar said. We now know it wasn't. The 'Nones' are the only group to have grown in every state of the Union."
It is my belief that once we can become a more secular society, we can be closer to being a truly free society instead of allowing our ideology and belief in something like a book that we think was written by an all knowing man in the sky who, if he had his way, would have you stone your own children just because they talk back to you and treat women as your property (among many other inhumane actions that the "bible" instructs).
So, all I can say is...good for you America. And, I hope that Barack Obama will be able to get his plans to push more advancement in science and research going in full speed as soon as possible. After our country's advancements in science and technology have been pushed into virtual non-existence in the previous eight years of the Bush Presidency.
The only thing to think about is the fact that, although this large and steady growth of a very secular society in America is a good thing and a triumph for reason and logical, peaceful thinking in this country, there is also a sector of the far right, evangelical crowd in America that is feeling it's hold on this country slipping away. This is causing a gap in the middle to grow between non-religious and extremely-religious, which is causing a rather large culture clash to grow between the two sides. Furthermore, in my own opinion, it seems that the religious evangelical side is one that will respond with much more brutality in it's fight (they will see this growing rift as a fight, or battle, and that it is their duty to win this imaginary battle for their invisible friend in the sky by whatever means necessary). Just look at the battle that the Mormons and other powerful religions waged in California to put a stop to the laws allowing homosexual individuals to get married, as an example of how they will go nuts over limiting anyone's personal freedoms just because they think that their invisible friend doesn't like it.
Well, I've gotten off point. Initially I read this article, and just felt that it had some really good news for those of us who are tired of so much religious dogma controlling the decisions of many of the ruling powers in this country. I just hope that this trend of rational thinking continues.......
Sunday, March 15, 2009
It seemed almost like a freak accident too...I was at work...and, for those of you who don't know, I've been working at Pizza Hut for the last three weeks. I live three blocks from the Texas A&M University campus, so I ride my bike to my classes everyday (it's a HUGE campus, but the bike riding every day is also good exercise). And Pizza Hut is only a block and a half from my house, so I can walk to work. That's why I took the job, it's only $8/hour, but not having to put gas in my truck is very nice.
Well, anyway...I was on my knees getting a stack of pizzas from a cabinet at floor level and, as I was standing up with the stack of pizzas in hand, I felt an instant, horrible pain in my knee (kind of like an icepick got jammed right to the center of the joint). When I got up I discovered that I couldn't straighten out my leg without horrible pain, and putting any weight on my heel was impossible (felt like the icepick in my knee when I tried).
I went to the ER, and the doctor (after looking at x-rays) told me that the bones were ok, and I probably chipped, or injured, the cartlidge in some way....I'd like to claim workman's comp. for the injury, but I really need the job and my bosses would be pissed and make my life at work there hell if I did that. So, I don't think that I'll go to the Occupational Health Clinic that the ER doctor sent me too (I can't afford that, much less the ER bills from last night, which are already going to just be more unpaid medical bills on my credit record). I'm just gonna take off of work for this week, take the pain pills that the ER Doc prescribed me to rest, and hope that it heals up enough to work with a brace on it next week.
Ha ha ha, it's funny...with all the other shit that has happened to my life recently, this is all that I needed....Oh well, life will go on, and I'll eventually get over this too.
What do you guys think? Do any of my blog readers out there think that I'm doing the wrong thing???
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I wish I could sleep....even bad dreams are better than this. I want to sleep, but I lay there for hours with my eyes closed and the sleep never comes...just wheels spinning in my head, focusing on anything and everything...I dunno, maybe I am keeping the wheels in my head bouncing around on anything and everything just to keep them from spinning on certain things. Maybe I know that if the wheels in my head spin on the wrong things, that they will leave tracks, ruts that I will have to continue to deal with when I wake up. Ruts that will rob me of any worthwhile rest while I sleep. Maybe that's what I'm doing and I don't even realize it.
That brings to mind the basic concepts that Freud started, the Id Constantly bubbling under the surface of the Ego, but the Superego keeping it all in check. Id, those subconscious desires and instincts that we sometimes can't even decipher ourselves, with our own rational thought. It fools us sometimes, fools us into thinking that our rational mind is in control.
In fact, in simpler terms, our rational, thinking, mind can be a bit conceited and self righteous sometimes, always thinking that it is in control and making the decisions....Truth is that when we don't want to face ourselves (something that even our rational mind does not want to admit), we sometimes go into "autopilot". It's sort of the time when you say "I give up, I don't want to deal with it for a while", and your brain goes into safe mode (and, at times, even defense mode). Then, once you get into that zone, it's hard to even realize that you are there, and even harder to get out.
The problem is, that we can't always control where that zone takes us (sort of like running through the forrest with your eyes closed because you don't want to see the dangerous creatures, all the while you forget that you may hit a tree at any moment). Sometimes, it will protect us, keep us safe, until we can experience happier times once again. Sometimes it can lead us into deep depression (which is dangerous, because it will fuel your desire to keep running on "autopilot", so you don't have to feel the pain, but at the same time it leads you further and further down the hole). And then, there are other times where we eventually open our eyes and realize that we never moved, that we are still exactly where we started when we started ignoring our mind, and even worse, we've wasted a LOT of time with our proverbial "eyes closed". And then, there are sometimes (the worst case senario, which is more rare) where we are so scared of what we might find if we open our eyes, that we never come out of our "autopilot", that is when, one day when you are old and grey, you realize that you wasted and ruined your life by poisoning it with indifference and numbness, and by then everyone and everything that you wish you would have cared about is gone. And you are left with ultimate regret, ultimate sadness, and THAT is something that no one should have to go through.
I guess that it is all contingent upon how aware we can be of our own thoughts and feelings...the more that we are aware of them, the more that we understand and study them with a critical eye, the more that we can see our minds and individual thoughts as tools and machines that we can control.
Our own emotions don't have to hit us like a ton of bricks, or as a wave from the sea, with us just along for the ride. The more self aware that we can become of exactly what our thoughts and emotions are doing (and not just how they are making us feel), and how we are alowing ourselves to percieve them, the more in control of our own response to those thoughts and emotions we can become. That is the key, it would seem. Most of the time we take our thoughts and emotions for granted, as if they are a seperate entity that we just have to live with. But, in reality, we create (and percieve them the way that we want to) every thought and emotion that seemingly passes through our head. And, respectively, we should have the ability to cognitively shape our perceptions, as well as the emotions themselves, into any form that we want to.
The thing is that, we don't perforn this cognitive feat of self control and perception. It is more of a skill that must be learned and perfected, sometimes on our own, sometimes with the guidance of a counselor or professional. But it is all based on guided self examination of those very thoughts and feelings that scare us so damn much sometimes, and can hurt us horribly if we let them.
Hey, whadaya know...it looks like I gave myself something to think about that I might be able to get to sleep on....it's 5am, and I have to be up at 9am (and I've only been getting 2 - 4 hours of sleep a night all week), so I better try again to get some sleep.
Friday, December 5, 2008
I consider myself a free thinking individual. I would probably be viewed by many as a "Godless Liberal" by many people in my country, and I love a good debate, but above all I believe in equality of all people reguardless of their differences. And although I may sound condecending at times toward some religious belief, I don't dislike anyone personally simply because of their beliefs.....That being said, I have a strong dislike for many religious doctrines because I feel that they not only encourage the acceptance of ideas that have no logical grounding or proof, but they breed disunity between anyone who does not live (or does not even wish to live) by their dogmaticism. I think that religion plays a huge roll in all of the distrust and dislike between many different cultures in this world so much to the point that I feel that religion has even kindled many of the wars throughout the history of mankind.
Anyways, religion and theology will not be the only topic discussed here, but I did want to give fair warning so that no felings get hurt. As for this blog...any topic is fair game. WHatever I find interesting I will post about and I welcome all opinions and thoughts, whether they be in agreement or disagreement, friendly or not. I like to discuss, and am not out to make any ememies, so feel free to say whatever you want....I am not into censorship, and would not delete a comment unless there was outright trolling involved. I look forward to interesting discussions, and welcome any emails with whatever anyone may feel the need to say. And any suggestions of topics or other ways to improve things here are welcome as well......
This blog is still under construction, but I plan to have it up and running soon.......