Month: July 2011

And they call themselves Christians

Two articles I’ve run across while perusing the web gave me great pause.

The first is vandals targeting the cars of professors who accept evolution as the true method for tracing the evolution of life.

Where do I start with this? That these fundamentalist Christians (Aka Shit Stains) think it is within their right to vandalize the personal property of another makes me nearly apoplectic.

If you have ever read their biblical texts, the most violent event that their Christ ever did was turning over the tables of the money changers. Yeah, Christ isn’t a bankers best friend. So I have to wonder where this image of the warrior Jesus, the vandal Jesus, came from?

In essence what they are practicing is hooliganism, not Christianity. Putting spikes in peoples tires is something that Christians just shouldn’t do. Instead they should turn the other cheek. Remember that one? Good.

The next is an article about the harassment of doctors who perform abortions.

They do something I’ve advocated for the bigots, but I just want to get the message across that we’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. But to take it to the extremes the anti-abortion crowd has makes even me a little leery about it.

They just won’t ever stop, but do they ever take a moment to reflect a bit and realize that in order to save those ‘unborn’ they are taking the life of another human being?

Of course they don’t. It’s just like this video where the anti-abortion protesters are asked what penalty should be applied to a woman having an abortion if said abortion was illegal. Note the deer in the headlights looks of most of them.

That’s right – they never think about the WOMAN having the abortion but instead focus on what is essentially a clump of cells.

It’s really quite shocking how they’ve put on blinders to the plight of the women seeking abortions. Instead they make it look like it’s the doctors pushing the women to have the abortion which is the complete opposite of reality.

What all of the above demonstrates is what lead to my atheism in the first place. When there are so many different interpretations of one book, who is right in the first place? Were I a deity I’d be certain to write in such a fashion as to make it abundantly clear how I’d one my alleged creation to behave toward each other and toward me. None of this beating around the bush with parables, etc. Say it loud and say it proud!

Then of course there are the versions of the Bible currently in circulation. I have read the entire KJV, but now there are the NIV and other versions that change language and flow.

Instead it demonstrated to me that the Bible is the word of men, not of a God but men with an agenda. By agenda, you only have to go back seven or eight hundred years to the 13th century, and then a little further back to the 1st century to see the obvious tampering by certain figures.

I guess what I want to say is what I’ve always said: Read ALL of it. Every page, every sentence, every word. And ask questions, lots of questions. Because there is a hell of a lot in the text that makes absolutely zero sense without a little guidance.

Those who would wave the prohibitions found in the Old Testament against women, LGBT, and the others, are guilty of taking things so far out of context that they likely will go over the edge, as many have already done.

If I were the Leader of the Free World

I must first tell you that we do not live in a free world. There are limits placed upon us by taxation, by policing, by inequality that make this a non-free world.

But here’s what I want to see for the future:

I want to see a land where the needs of all are met. Yes I know, it sounds communistic but it really goes back to what the Christ allegedly said, you know about it, those least of us need to be taken care of, those elderly, those infirm, those too young to fend for themselves.

But even those who can fend for themselves who have been dealt a raw hand, layoffs, injuries, thing of that nature. We should be taking care of those people too.

Whether it means more training, or maybe penalties on the export of jobs from this land, something has to be done.

On training, I want to see National Universities established in the United States. Make them places where all can be educated at low to no cost to the individual. Because it is education that will move us toward a progressive future.

But I do understand that for some, a vocational education would be more appropriate. So fund those schools too because we’ll always need electrician, plumbers and mechanics at a very minimum.

In essence, get us to full employment. We’re all familiar with it, we had it in the 1990’s. But companies abhorred that and so in the first decade of the 21st century those corporations did everything they could to destroy that full employment.

Health care is another big issue for me. I want to see a completely Universal single payer system in the United States. Model it after any other Western country that has done it so far, and you cannot go wrong. I find it appalling that the United States for all our advanced medical care has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the western world.

Labor is another of my hot button issues. I want to see fair labor practices, in essence strong federal law that protects workers. I alluded to it above in a single sentence and I want to expand.

Make it so the tax benefits of keeping employees in the United States is more of an incentive to the bottom line than to ship those jobs to India, China and beyond.
Make it so discrimination against older workers is a thing of the past.

Make it national policy that all companies must offer a minimum of six weeks of vacation time to all employees. Not vacation, sick, etc. but vacation, regardless of full or part time employment.

The more I look at what I’ve just written the more I realize I’m just taking the best parts of policies from other parts of the world and grafting them onto the United States.

But it is my contention that we would be a better society, a better country, and more productive if we did all the above.

New York Gay Marriage now a reality

It’s now July 24th, 2011. New York now has the full measure of marriage equality.

Congratulations to all of my gay brothers and sisters who are planning to marry in New York. You fought long and hard for it and you now have full rights as citizens of the State of New York.

Hopefully RI will join you soon.

My Thoughts on the Heatwave

So with the temps scraping 100F around here past few days I thought it would be appropriate to center music on the theme of Heatwave, be it part of the title or the group name. And I actually enjoy the heat, it is rather Hades like around here and I can just imagine if there is a hell and I’m destined for it, I’ll be taking over post haste.

To kick it off, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’s, my favorite:

Another one by the above group that I love:

The 7th Avenue with Miami Heatwave:

Heatwave – The Groove Line:

A Phil Collins remake of Heatwave:

We’re surviving the heatwave. Fans, AC, the whole nine. I’ve resisted buying an AC unit for the living room because I don’t want to pay to run the damned thing. The fan is enough.

This week in LGBT News

First and foremost, we have the final certification of the abolishing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. About damned time if you ask me since most of the military groups of the Western world have started allowing openly gay soldiers, airmen, etc. to no detriment.

But what befuddles me is the 60 day wait until the act becomes official. What’s up with that? The military branches have already done all the training, etc. Is this just a move to allow the Christian Fascists time to re-enact the ban? What gives?

In other news it has been found that there is a strong correlation between gay marriage bans and an increase in rates of HIV infection.

The bigots out there would have us all believe that their words and actions aren’t in any way detrimental to LGBT people. But I’m happy to see science proving once again that the bigots are dead wrong.

By denigrating the LGBT community the bigots instill a sense of second class citizenship, a sense of severe limits on who we can profess our love of, and a sense of hopelessness that leads in some cases to promiscuity, the down low syndrome, etc. It’s no wonder that there is an uptick in HIV rates in states with marriage bans.

Brings up another thought. In states where their sex education was swapped with abstinence only education, they saw a sharp rise in all sexually transmitted diseases.

As one who believes that the next generation and those to come should be educated about sexuality at age appropriate levels. None of this pseudo-science, or religious claptrap. When you have a 13 year old with hormones running rampant, I’d much prefer to have them educated about sex than to be blindly ignorant and trying to adhere to a promise of abstinence.

But the education part, I’m glad that California law now requires acknowledging that some of our greatest thinkers, movers and politicians were LGBT people. Of course the bigots are foaming at the mouth over this because once again, it portrays LGBT people as a normal part of human existence. And the bigots simply cannot work this into their world view.

Finally we have President Obama himself coming on board for the Respect for Marriage bill. This would scrap that horribly unconstitutional law known as the Defense of Marriage Act. The Act should have never seen the light of day in 1996. It was a knee jerk reaction to the potential for marriage equality in Hawaii that propelled the Republicans to give us that awful law.

But I doubt the Act will get through the House. The Orange Goblin himself won’t let it happen. With letters to the editor like this one, is it any wonder? The letter accuses President Obama for violating his oath of office due to his support for the Respect for Marriage Act.

Something that will make everyones head explode

I’ve long known that the Federal Reserve of the U.S. was nothing but a cartel of the biggest banks.

So the recent audit of the Fed should really make your head explode. Why? Here are some of the more choice findings:

The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study.

My thanks and appreciation to Senator Bernie Sanders. You rock! I so wish you were one of my Senators but alas, I have two good ones in Sheldon Whithouse and Jack Reed.

Another ire inducing paragraph:

For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed’s emergency lending programs.

Have they never heard of the term “Conflict of Interest”?

But get ready because the more egregious crap is about to hit the fan:

The investigation also revealed that the Fed outsourced most of its emergency lending programs to private contractors, many of which also were recipients of extremely low-interest and then-secret loans.

The Fed outsourced virtually all of the operations of their emergency lending programs to private contractors like JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. The same firms also received trillions of dollars in Fed loans at near-zero interest rates. Altogether some two-thirds of the contracts that the Fed awarded to manage its emergency lending programs were no-bid contracts. Morgan Stanley was given the largest no-bid contract worth $108.4 million to help manage the Fed bailout of AIG.

So tell me, how is this not a looting of the American public? And why hasn’t this been all over the mainstream media? I’ll explain why.

The mainstream media, their board members are probably also board members at the banks too. It is a cozy, very connected world in corporate boardrooms.

But thankfully we have the blogsphere.

Cox Auto Power Down finally fixed

After three, wait, four phone calls, two emails and a general public shaming I finally got a voicemail from Cox this evening.

The gentleman left his phone number and I will call and thank him. Why? Because he told me the secret code to turn off auto power down.

It goes like this: Hit power, then menu, then menu again. And lo and behold the settings pop up, for things like what resolution to feed the tv, and way at the bottom above factory default is a little thing called Auto Power Down. Click select to disable then hit power twice.

No more APD-1-Alert.

What I’m more peeved about is the fact that NONE of their first line people had the knowledge of this menu. But more to the point what peeved me was that they tried to pin it on me, saying it was my television doing it which I refuted when I told them the TV was fed via component and that the behavior didn’t manifest until I hooked the cable box to it.

So thank you Cox for fixing this, but you still get dinged for trying to pin it on me you bastards.

Hate Crimes statistics that sicken me

These are statistics that make me absolutely sick to my stomach and very angry.

I despise the objectification of people. I despise the religious bigots fanning the flames couched as love and compassion. We are all people first, our sexuality is an immutable trait that should not be the basis of the war waged against us.

For reference see everything said by Maggie Gallagher, or more locally Bishop Tobin. They have this two faced “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” attitude in which they extol the virtues of heterosexuality, while downplaying homosexual relationship to make them appear contrived or sub-standard, sub-normal.

And what message do they think they’re telegraphing to people out there? The message tries to assert that we LGBT people are sub-human.

If there’s anyone who truly deserves the label of being sub-human it’s the ilk like Gallagher and her tiny little legion of bigots.

Not only do I want to see the perpetrators of those heinous acts against the LGBT community pay dearly for their crime, I want to see the anti-LGBT bigots out there charged for inciting hate crimes. Yes, you heard me, prosecute them! Make them understand their incendiary words have consequences. We could start with civil penalties gradually moving up to criminal penalties.

If my proposal were in place the likes of Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Peter Sprigg, Tony Perkins, et al would be cooling their heels in a jail cell for a few years. As is, the outright refusal of groups like NOM to expose their donor lists would be enough for some serious jail time had the law any teeth.

And Cox STILL doesn’t get it

Here we go.

I got a voicemail from Cox New England. They asked that I call them so I did.

The first annoyance is that stupid interactive response system. I just screamed “AGENT” at it.

When I was finally connected the representative tried the line that it was my television though she did clam up when I told her the following:

1) We’ve had the television for some time and it hadn’t exhibited the behavior shown below.

Motorola DCX3200-M (Cox Communications New England)
Motorola DCX3200-M (Cox Communications New England)

2) I mentioned to the representative that the indicator clearly has the phrase ‘on cable box remote’

3) I also mentioned the cable box feeds its signal via component. So the how would the TV have any knowledge that it was a cable signal?

The end result, I’m going to trade the box for another one. In fact I may just leave the box disconnected and plug the coax directly into the television to see if the behavior still manifests itself. If it doesn’t then guess what, it’s the god damned cable box!

It isn’t a total disruption of service, instead it’s an annoyance. And I have far too many of those in my life to let Cox get away with this. As I’ve said before the cable box is pretty much a cable modem with a video codec, and it’s probably got a Linux based OS. So it’s not all that complex.

My rights trump your religion

That is correct. My rights mean I do not have to be subject to your religious dogma or edicts.

This all started when I read the post titled “Phony victimization ruining American Christianity” on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.

This whole thing with Michele Bachmann and her husband’s sham psych practice are really starting to irritate the shit out of me.

Why? Because the more I hear about it the more I come to the conclusion that the phrase “Religion is a force for good.” is completely and totally incorrect. Religion is a force against good is more accurate, or religion is a force against rights, I like that one better.

We’re being bludgeoned to death because of fundamentalist religionistas who think that their world view is to be imposed on the rest of us.

No it is NOT! You can practice your religion, but when it infringes upon my civil rights I start getting angry. And right now I’m really angry. From the murder of a four year old perceived to be gay, to the 13% increase in crimes against the LGBT community in 2010, I’m sick and tired of it.

Those acts I quote in the prior paragraph, they’re more than just infringements. They are an affront to the person, be they young or old.

How dare people act on their twisted interpretations of biblical texts. I encourage people to read the ENTIRE Bible. Because once you do so you start to see several inconsistencies. If you’d like I can highly recommend the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, or perhaps a couple of YouTube channels that highlight the contradictions in the Bible.

Videos by DarkMatter2525 are pretty good at pointing out the contradictions.

And TaylorX04 does a good job too.

So read, watch and come back and tell me if it doesn’t shake your faith a bit. It shouldn’t just shake it but tear it to pieces.

As I often say, Keep your God out of my Government and I will keep my Government out of your God.