Monday, December 31, 2007

End of Year Summary

2007. The year I embraced atheism. *hugs* And discovered the land of the Aussies.

The moments can drag on with infinite slowness but the months positively fly by.

It is hard for me to believe that I've been blogging for 9 months now. And what a roller coaster ride it has been. So much has changed in that time. And pretty much all of it for the better I'd say.

I've written "yay blogging!" posts before so will not reiterate what I have said so often in the past. Let me just say this... new friends, new family, new people to love make all the frustrations and tears of the past year drift away as eminently unimportant....

My Wish for You in 2008

May peace break into your house and may thieves come to steal your debts.

May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.

May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!

May your clothes smell of success like smoking tires !

May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy.

May the problems you had forget your home address!

In simple words .........
May 2008 be the best year of your life!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! And thanks for reading! I'll be seeing you round the blogosphere.


16 November 1968

No matter my personal beliefs on the "war on terror" those are still American citizens across the sea, far from home, fighting for my country. Papa Ewok sent this to me, and it seemed appropriate for this time of year when I'm sure there is not one among the soldiers who doesn't wish he was home, safe in the U.S, planning what to do for New Years Eve.

The following was found among my maternal grandmother's personal effects. It appears to be a story/letter written by one of her eldest son's friends. But who wrote it, or who it was written to, I do not know.

Here I am huddled in this dreary, cold trench thousands of miles from home. Home, where it is cold in the winter sometimes, but a different kind of cold. A nippy wind, that makes a man hustle to get his work done and into the house for a cup of hot coffee and maybe some fresh, hot cinnamon rolls, dripping with butter and caramel sauce. Or if a fellow is lucky, a piece of apple pie hot and steaming from the oven.

But here I am instead, crouching, cramped and stiff with a freezing wind blowing into my face. I have to keep facing this blood chilling breeze because out there, somewhere in the dark, death is waiting for me and for thousands of my countrymen. Death dealt out by Communists’ guns. Death, waiting, waiting, waiting to strike on this day.

Fifty years ago, in 1918, men ended a great war. Twenty-three years later in 1945, men ended another great war, a war to end all wars, so all men thought; or hoped then. November 16th, 1968, fifty years after the first big war of our time we are still waiting to kill or be killed. This is the cold that freezes the blood. The cold fear of unexpected death, on a cold unfriendly night.

Ten years ago today I was home for a visit. A peaceful, happy time visiting with the boys. Who are the boys? The fellows with whom I went to school all through the grades and high school. The boys! How well I remember the Halloween night when 14 of us went to the stockyards, on the edge of town, with our shotguns and fired them into the air. We fired them one at a time in quick succession. I stood in front like a drill sargent and called off the names, Earl, Tom, Jerry, Art and so on down the line. As their name was called, they fired. We went through the line twice. Twenty-eight shots rang out in quick succession. What a beautiful noise we thought at the time. But now when we hear a shot we remember maybe the next will have our name written on it.

Now the boys do not fire into the air. They shoot straight and it is not a beautiful noise. They drop and lie still. Soon they are cold.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Help Wanted: Exorcist, call today

Vatican to train more exorcists

What sounds like a bad JayLeno-esque Headline to be made the butt of jokes, is unfortunately a genuine news story.

The Catholic Church has vowed to "fight the Devil head-on" by training hundreds of priests as exorcists.


Unfortunately... true.... In between ogling altar boy bums and diddling catholic school girls, there will be a new line of priest- the Exorcist.
*insert creepy music*

Would you like to know WHY the Catholic church has decided the world needs more demon hunters????

Me either.

Unfortunately there actually is an answer in the article.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 82, the Exorcist in Chief, announced the initiative amid church concerns about growing worldwide interest in Satanism and the occult.

1st item of note... "growing worldwide interest in Satanism and the occult." Is this a Harry Potter thing again? Or is it the rising voice of atheism breaking through the murky waters of the faith deluded?

2nd item of note... the Catholic church has an Exorcist in Chief. AN EXORCIST IN CHIEF??????? You have GOT to be joking. Please, oh please tell me there is no such person as Father Gabriele Amorth, EiC.

And do you know what specifically has Papa Gabe's shorts in a bundle? The Vatican is concerned that young people are being exposed to Satanism through the media, rock music and the Internet.

The old movies, music, and Internet whinge. AARRGGHH!!!!! Do you know that way back in the late 18th century the waltz was considered the devil's playground? Too lewd, too sensual, too provocative. THE WALTZ!!!!!

Do you suppose these new exorcist specialists (did I really just type that, me a sane, rational person, actually attempting to take this subject seriously????).... *sigh* Do you suppose these new exorcist specialists will have a SWAT team they assemble to rush to the scene, lights flashing, sirens blaring. "Step aside folks! We've got a category 13 possession in progress!"

Ten minutes later..."Oh wait. Never mind. Back to the Mystery Machine boys. It's just an atheist. Nothing to see here folks, move it along, these atheist types don't respond to gestures and prayers to invoke the power of God and stop the "demon" influencing its victim".

Help Wanted:.......Exorcist
Job Description:...You will be specially trained in exorcism and on hand to take action against "extreme Godlessness".

I wonder if those suffering from "extreme Godlessness" get to choose whether or not to be exorcised? Or if it is compulsory? I wonder if people will sue others for being forced to submit to involuntary exorcism?

I said it on the Forum and I'll say it again here...Being a christian is ultimately a weird experience, because there IS nothing there. So... a christian is either faking it or delusional. Period.

And these whack jobs have brought faking it to a whole new level.

'Ware the Exorcist! Coming soon to a diocese near you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

the lesson

This was told to me as a humorous story. I laughed politely to mask my horror.

The crux of the bible passage is thus...

King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that at the sound of the royal gong everyone face plant themselves in front of the golden statue. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said, "Yeeeaaaaah, ummmm.... NOT!" And King Nebby gave them a choice, "Worship the statue or burn in a fiery furnace". The three said, "we choose god, so pass the BBQ Sauce" and hopped in. Nebby's advisor said, "Dude! There's four in there and one looks like Jeebus!"

For the full NKJ version click here.

A lovely story to share with any Sunday school classroom of 10-12 year old children. Stick with god, remain inflammable.

It's all well and good to read of others choosing god, but that doesn't help a child with real world application does it?

So the Sunday school teacher draws a picture of a fiery furnace and a little stick figure labeled "you" and shows it to the young lad, and says... "Which would you chose? Would you stick with god and go into the furnace or would you stay safe?" The child thinks about it a long time and says, "I'd stick with god." So the teacher draws the stick figure inside the furnace.

Then the teacher says, "Alright, now what if there's a second furance..." and draws more stick figures saying, "Here is your Mother, your Father, and your Sister. If you choose god, then they will be thrown into the furnace." The child thinks for many long minutes and is really torn, not sure which answer to give. Thinking to help him the teacher says, "This is just one furnace, but there's another even bigger, hotter furnace". The child looks up disgusted, "Is the universe full of furnaces?????" [Insert polite laugh here. But the story didn't end with the punchline. Oh noooooo, it continued....]

The Mother, upon hearing the story after church, talks with her son on the way home. "Do you know which one I would want you to pick?" He sighed and said, "You'd want me to stick with god." She said "Do you know why? Because god would be there with us in the furnace." "Would he keep you from burning?" "Well not necessarily, but he'd be there with us."

indoctrinate to teach to accept a system of thought without careful evaluation or judgment.

Forcing a child to make the choice between god and his family is a hideous moral dilemma. But if you harp on it young enough and long enough it becomes automatized and not something that requires thought anymore, just a knee jerk reaction. Choose god and avoid eternal damnation and the hell with the consequences for anyone else.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

following orders

Enemy Combatant

Do you know what bothers me about this picture?

It's not just that this poor bastard is about to have his testicles torn off by dogs.
It's not just the abject fear you can read in his semi-crouched posture.
It is that those are American soldiers standing there doing that to him.
Soldiers who will one day come home and have to reintegrate into our society.
What are we turning our boys into that they have become capable of that?

Oh of course, how silly of me! Nobody wants to do that. I'm sure not even one of them enjoy doing that. None of them get hopped up on the power tripping nature of absolute authority. Oh no. Surely not. They're just following orders.

Let me address this from a different angle.

What if Hitler had won the war? Would the Nuremberg Trials still have taken place? When does "following an order" become a war crime? When does the willful harming of an unarmed individual become morally acceptable? How long does said willful harming of an unarmed individual remain morally acceptable?

That person standing there could be you or one you love. It could be your next door neighbor Rahzim who delivers pizza at night and goes to the community college during the day, who wouldn't harm a fly, but who was picked up for suspicion of being an enemy combatant.

Who are those people standing around him? Do you want your brother, spouse or son to be capable of doing that? What kind of psychological damage does it do to a person to be turned into an instrument of torture? When does a person stop being an enemy combatant and start being a person again?

Monday, December 17, 2007

7 Weird Things about Me

My big brother,Protium, whom I love dearly *hugs*, wants me to reveal 7 weird facts about myself and then spread the joy around.

1. I like the taste of water- two hydrogen molecules + 1 oxygen that's it. I hate the taste of mineral water, spring water, sparkling water, tap water, well water, etc... Hold the chlorine, hold the fluoride. Just H20. You give me a good old jug of room temperature distilled water and I can drink it in one sitting. I know a lot of people flipped because Aquafina is ultra filtered tap water and I say good on 'em. Let the city filter the water, then Pepsi bottling company strips the fluoride and chlorine from it and I'm all on board with that as long as it tastes like 2hydrogen + 1 oxygen. YAY WATER!!!!!

2. I love long hot showers. The longer the better and I keep edging up the heat as my body adjusts to it. BUT.... they make me thirsty. So I keep a bottle of Aquafina in the shower and usually end up drinking half of it by the end.

3. I love school, am a good student, I test well, and I despise sitting in the front of the classroom. 1/3rd of the way back on the instructor's left side, preferably on an aisle seat is my preferred location.

4. I was 17 years old when I got my first kiss. I got pregnant at 19. My parents never talked to me about sex, how wonderful it is, how easy it is to get caught up in the moment, or birth control. I won't make the same mistake.

5. My favorite part of my day is reading Anne McAffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series to my two children.

6. I have more in common with and communicate more with people I met through the AFA Forum and on this blog than I do with my own siblings, and I am thrilled with that.

7. The head of my bed is under a window that gets really cold in the winter. Because I couldn't figure out a way to rearrange the room with the furniture that is in it, I rearranged the sheets and sleep with my head at the foot of the bed.

I'd like to know 7 weird things about....
Book Are you still out there?
Xavier Onassis

Those who are blogless are more than welcome to post them here. :D

Saturday, December 15, 2007

taser = torture without judge or jury

The use of the taser is a disgusting "innovation" of modern law enforcement.

A simple google search for "police taser child" which should have come up with a big fat honking NO RESULTS MATCHED YOUR QUERY instead revealed the following links:

6th Grader Tasered at Middle School
Second Child Shocked by Police Taser Gun
Police Taser Child (Again)
Now police are told they can use taser guns on children
Police Used Taser Gun to Subdue 6-Year-Old Student...
Police Taser Pregnant Woman in Ohio
Taser on Children OK, Police Say

What really sickens me is the abuse that goes hand in hand with such an easily accessible torture device. There is no judge or jury that sentenced the above individuals to be zapped with enough electricity to immobilize them. The officer behind the taser passed that verdict immediately and carried out the sentence personally. Police officers that are comfortable with torturing people need to have their consciences examined.

RCMP apologize to Tasered B.C. senior

Awwwww isn't that sweet. Gee sir, we're sorry we tasered you, TWICE!!!! We acknowledge that the first tasering took place while you were still seated IN YOUR CAR! And that after you recovered enough to get out of your car we zapped you again. Whooops. Sorry about that. But don't worry, sir, we've slapped the officer's wrist and will do it again if we deem it is necessary.

Richard wrote the following letter to the editor in response to the situation.

Dear Editor,

Worse than the tasering of a Kelowna , B.C. senior citizen is the RCMP’s public view of it.

The CBC reports an officer sought to ticket 68 yr old John Peters for double parking. Peters started to drive off, but thought better of it & stopped. No doubt Peters was verbally abusive, but he was still sitting in his car (!) when the officer tasered him. Such treatment would infuriate anybody! But it gets worse.

According to Superintendent Bill McKinnon, Peters got out of his car, and was “combative and resisting arrest”. (No wonder there!) Since Peters had already driven off a bit, surely the officer had told him to get out of his car. Yet the officer tasered Peters again! A 68 year old man, whom any fit officer could easily pin to the ground, had to be tasered? Peters could have died!

McKinnon said the officer "will likely receive a written reprimand on his record." Reprimand? No such officer should be a policeman! But like the tasering, it gets worse. McKinnon says the second tasering was justified!

In a responsible justice system the officer should be expelled from the Force, while McKinnon should be demoted so as to eliminate his administrative influence. It is ‘apologists’ like McKinnon who allow such officers on the streets.

Considering the recent tasering fiascos, the light sentences for violent crime and heavy sentences for victimless crime it is clear our justice system is in severe need of a genuine moral compass.


Friday, December 14, 2007

House Resolution 847: Importance of Christmas

H. Res. 847
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,
December 11, 2007.

Whereas Christmas, a holiday of great significance to Americans and many other cultures and nationalities, is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and the world;
The great significance of Christmas is school holidays. Otherwise it is really nothing more than a way to wring more money out of the lower and middle classes who generally can't afford the gifts they often feel compelled to give.

Whereas there are approximately 225,000,000 Christians in the United States, making Christianity the religion of over three-fourths of the American population;
The glorious tyranny of the majority, where sheer volume means that it must be the right choice. What of the other 25% of Americans?

Whereas there are approximately 2,000,000,000 Christians throughout the world, making Christianity the largest religion in the world and the religion of about one-third of the world population;
Lumping them all together into one big 2 billion strong mass rather overstates the case I think. I wonder how many of these Christians would willingly rub shoulders with each other or if they wouldn't turn on each other like a pack of rabid dogs. Their doctrinal differences far exceeding importance in their eyes than the similarities that they share.

Whereas Christians and Christianity have contributed greatly to the development of western civilization;
Nearly every single "Christian" contribution to western civilization was done against the express wishes of the church with threat of purgatory or hellfire to those who dared to defy the church's authority. Strange how that no longer matters, what matters only is that those people were baptized and went to church regularly. Of course NOT doing so would have meant certain death. Yay inquisition!

Whereas the United States, being founded as a constitutional republic in the traditions of western civilization, finds much in its history that points observers back to its Judeo-Christian roots;
Constitutional Republic????? I thought we were a Democracy! Isn't that what Dubya has been harping about since 9/11???? As to the roots... try Ancient Greece not Medieval Europe.

Whereas on December 25 of each calendar year, American Christians observe Christmas, the holiday celebrating the birth of their savior, Jesus Christ;
I wonder what the other 25% of the population is celebrating on that day?

Whereas for Christians, Christmas is celebrated as a recognition of God's redemption, mercy, and Grace; and
Oh do let's talk about the necessity of being saved from hell that god created for sin that he allowed into the world.

Whereas many Christians and non-Christians throughout the United States and the rest of the world, celebrate Christmas as a time to serve others: Now, therefore, be it
NOT!!! How many Christians walk by the soup kitchens without volunteering? How many avoid eye contact with the Salvation Army bell ringers? How many do anything other than provide gifts to immediately family members, friends, and co-workers? "Serving others" my hiney! Maybe they didn't get the memo.

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;
What makes it great its number of adherents? Or the enormous impact it has had in repressing progress at every turn?

(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;
I shudder at what kind of precedent this is setting.

(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;

(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
Amazing how they know didly squat about history. Probably because they were all public schooled and grew up thinking that "In God We Trust" has always been the US motto. For the record Deist is not equal to Christian. A deist thinks a force called god created the universe and then tippy-toed away leaving it to its own devices.

(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and
Oh yes, the poor persecuted Christians. Are the 25% of the population who don't toe the line picking on you? Making you feel uncertain and insecure in a world where there is 2 billion of you? Poor things. Gather together under one roof and pray about it.

(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.
Respect? Respect! Respect for what? Believing in a being they are afraid will send them to hell if they sin too deeply or don't pray sincerely enough for forgiveness? Smell the fire and brimstone of the hell you will roast in for all eternity, now do you love me? Oh yes. I love you!

* * *

Only the following Representatives had the courage, audacity, temerity, and intelligence to vote NAY on this piece of trash.
Vote State-District Last Name, First Name
Nay NY-5 Ackerman, Gary [D]
Nay NY-11 Clarke, Yvette [D]
Nay CO-1 DeGette, Diana [D]
Nay FL-23 Hastings, Alcee [D]
Nay CA-9 Lee, Barbara [D]
Nay WA-7 McDermott, James [D]
Nay VA-3 Scott, Robert [D]
Nay CA-13 Stark, Fortney [D]
Nay CA-6 Woolsey, Lynn [D]

Hat Tip to T&A for his post on the idiot who wrote this piece of tripe.

quick question for you

I was talking to my brother last night (which is about the coolest thing ever since he lives in Perth) and he was wondering, which got me to thinking, (something I delight in)...

What is the religious equivalent of racism???

If you see a person you've never personally met before, say an African American, and immediately assign all kinds of negative traits to them because of their skin color, that is racist.

So.... if you see someone you've never personally met before, wearing a cross, driving around with an "I heart Jesus" bumper sticker, and St. Francis of Assisi dangling from their rear view mirror, and immediately assign all kinds of negatives traits to them, that is... what?

Aside from being correct, insightful, spot on, and a safe assumption, what exactly is that called?

Bigot is a possibility. But bigot is a bit all encompassing.

Bigot-A person who is intolerant, especially in matters of religion, race, or politics. (Politics? Weird. If a person says "Only an idiot is a Republican" that makes them a bigot?????)

Anyway.... What is the correct term for a person who is prejudiced against the religious, whether it is specific to one religion or all religions in general?????

Thursday, December 13, 2007

paranormal... atheists ???

Sean has tagged me to do a Twilight Zone Moment thread.

I have been thinking of this off and on for the last 2 days now, trying to come up with something "paranormal".

And I think the challenge I face with this thread is right there in the definition of umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of reported anomalous phenomena that are beyond normal experience or scientific explanation.

Nothing inexplicable has ever happened to me. No prayers miraculously answered. No teddy's shifting position on their own, no visions of dead people or living people for that matter. Nothing beyond my normal experiences.

Oh wait. Wait wait wait!! That's just not true! There was a prayer that got miraculousy answered, and it was definitely beyond my normal experience. Way beyond. Way way WAY beyond. My first kiss. OMG. The stars wheeled, the heavens rejoiced and the earth spun round more than once that night. Fortunately Mumsy & Daddykins were far away in Montana so he could spend those few hours teaching me what a tongue is best used for. Wow. *shivers* One of the best nights of my entire life up to that point. Pity it took until I was 17, but hey- better late then never kissed.

Ok... so except for that one night, that one glorious mind altering, never the same before or since night, nothing out of the ordinary or beyond science has ever happened to me.

Oh sure, I've creeped myself out at night, letting my imagination get the best of me, even scaring myself rather thoroughly. But it was always me, and my imagination, it is for that very reason that I avoid suspense/horror movies.

There is just nothing out there that exists beyond science's ability to find a rational explanation for it. It may take us awhile, but we humans are a clever bunch of individuals, someone will figure it out.

So... there it is Sean and here is the rest...

The Rules

1. You should post these rules
2. Recall and relate a time when you experienced a "paranormal event"
3. Explain it rationally if you can
4. Inflict this thread on 5 other people

What is it with the number five???

Let's see...
Xavier Onassis

Any paranormal experiences? I'm rather anticipating each of you coming back with an "uhmmmmm, nope!" but that is just me and I am curious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

If you give a mouse a cookie

My first year at college in Fargo, 1991 (aka a lifetime ago), I was startled beyond measure at the absolute orange sherbet colored night sky that greeted my eyes. There was so much "cloud" cover that the street lights would reflect off of it, creating the most bizaare orange haze.

Shortly after that, they passed a city ordinance against wood burning stoves. You could still use fireplaces, but not the stoves- too much polution. Strangely enough the winter sky is still orange.

I remember in junior high, the mid 1980's (aka two lifetimes ago), that vehicles were causing too much polution in California so they forced car manufacturers to place catalytic converters on all the new automobiles. I remember for the next several cars the first thing Dad would do with them when he got home was remove the converter.

I know they have been whingeing about burning fossil fuels and peak oil, demanding that scientists develop cleaner energy sources.

At the same time they insist that nuclear energy does not count because of the waste product left behind.

Well what about wind? You can't get much cleaner than wind.

Irvine, CA--King Ranch and the environmentalist coalition Coastal Habitat Alliance are suing Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in an attempt to stop the creation of a windmill farm along the Gulf Coast in Kenedy County. According to the suit, the wind farm could kill migrating birds and damage the bay.

BBBZZZZZZTTTTTT They don't want wind farms either.

Wait a minute! Wait just a damn minute!!!! Because a wind farm might kill migratory birds??? MIGHT?????

Anyone else under the impression that they think the world would be a better place if mankind just did everything else a favor and went extinct? If only they could reduce the population by say...80%... the world would just be a garden paradise for all the rats and the hyenas. And as long as they're happy, well....

Sunday, December 9, 2007

prayer = laziness

Ya know what shits me?

People who say, "I'll pray for you."

I appreciate part of the sentiment behind that particularly odious phrase. The part that translates as, "I wish I could do somthing."

And to that sentiment I think "awww gee, isn't that swell, they wish they could help." And then I think, "Hold on! Their wishing to help stops when they hit their knees because they feel like they already have helped!"

I understand the feeling of helplessness in a situation where you really have no direct control and where there might not be anything you can personally do to fix what the personn is going through.

My problem with people who say, "I'll pray for you." is because they can't immediately think of something to do, some way to get involved, they offer to pray and actually believe they've made a difference.

The thing is, there is always something you can do. It just depends on the actual situation and your own imagination.

Get off your knees, unfold your hands, roll up your sleeves and do something meaningful with that time. Use that brain and the imagination that you think your god gave you and actually do something constructive for the other person.

And if that person who is worth your prayers isn't worth your time and effort, then how contemptible is it that you will turn them over to your god just so you don't have to deal with them at all?

Thanks for the pic Joe!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

global warming: cyclical or critical???

(Guest Blogger- Richard)

For 100s of millions of years the Earth's temperature has fluctuated through a range of about five degrees Celsius. The fluctuations are a function of Sol's varying output, our planet's orbital and axial relationship to the sun, cosmic radiation (alters our cloud cover) and shifting ocean currents. At present the Earth is on the crest of one of these cycles.

In the past (early dinosaur era) the atmosphere has had CO2 levels exceeding 5%. CO2 has presently recently risen from 0.027% to almost 0.04%, which is nothing. 98% of the greenhouse gases (mainly water vapour) are not man-made, so environmentalists would have us all suffer economically and even die. (This is because cars are so light --to save gas and CO2 emissions-- that the occupants are more likely to die in accidents --over 20,000 deaths/yr and 200,000 more serious injuries/yr in the USA alone).

I believe more CO2 would cause a greening of our planet on a grand scale. Even at 0.04% CO2 most plants are struggling to get CO2 for photosynthesis. A doubling of CO2 is known to double fruit crop output, and would likely do similar wonders for most other plant species.

Plants would even survive better in dry regions because they could close their stomata (leaf pores) to conserve water and get enough CO2 to continue photosynthesizing.

As for humans the changes in environment would be so gradual that lifetimes would come and go, so no one will drown or dramatically lose property. In most cases, if someone finds the regional climate to be too hot or wet, they can do what people already do for all sorts of reasons: move a few hundred miles to a place they prefer.

In many ways Environmentalism is a religion (incl. the present anthropogenic global warming furor). It is a belief system that uses snippets of (scientific) fact but only if it suits Environmentalist beliefs*. It even has its goddess, "Gaia", that many believe in either implicitly (revering Nature, over Mankind) or explicitly.

*While Al Gore tells us about melting glaciers, neither he nor the media tell you that Antarctica's Ice Cap is the thickest it has ever been. The breaking off of the Ross Ice Shelf was more likely caused by increased flow of glacier ice off the continent, than by any melting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Richard- guest blogger 2

I was raised a Christian, I did the Sunday School thing from the ages of four to fifteen. I was an altar boy until I was 16. I read any number of religious stories, and was totally awed. Often I read by flashlight under the covers until 2 and 3 am. Two books stand out in my memory.

At thirteen I read "The Robe" by Lloyd C. Douglass and it brought me to tears. Jesus and God were so amazing for their positive impact on human happiness and security. Still, the biblical and Sunday-go-to-Meetin' stuff smelled of B.S. Then I read "The Source" by Roland Michener. I was bed ridden by mononucleosis at the time, so I read it in about two days. My abstract thinking was already getting pretty good (because reading makes a world of difference in that respect), and I saw the implications for religion.

As a result, I became a Deist of sorts, and saw that the Son of God story was an overblown legend. A story promoted by the greatest orator of the early centuries A.D., St. Paul. The story was written and re-written by early medieval men who thought writing itself was primarily an exalted duty to God. No doubt St.Paul did a lot of the rewriting, to make it more and more captivating for his audiences.

Did the these re-writers read and think? No. They were more interested in the wealth their sheeple could provide.

They embellished the stories a little here and a little there, so it would 'go over' better and better. The illiterates will would accept the authority of the 'educated' and 'literate' men, and believe the embellishments.

It was not until I was in my thirties that I fully grasped that religion, and the morality it espouses, is the biggest con ever perpetrated on the minds of Man. Priests and Witch Doctors are all the same... Liars, Liars, Pants all Fires!

Getting rid of God was very emotional for me. For some months I felt torn in half. Then one sunny morning, walking my dog across fields sparkling with dew, I was still pondering what a Universe without God meant, and I finally understood! I felt a weight lift off me. The Universe and everything in it was mine to explore, and my life was mine to make happy. I imagine I had the same sense of Joy that those who are born again experience, except I knew I was being intellectually honest.

No longer was there any 'super thing' tallying my pros and cons. Since then I have been an enormously more moral and honest person. Why? Pride! Pride as respect and caring for my own character, the same way a craftsman takes prideful care to produce an excellent end result. Pride, in the religious morality is one of the worst sins. Morality by fear & or obedience is a subtle hell, sharply contrasting with the rational pursuit of happiness and self valuing.

If you actually understood Christianity, you would not be a Christian. You too would be an atheist, and be happier for it.

God, and the supernatural cannot possibly exist.

the pink lady at Fiery's house

My favorite part of our house is the beautiful tree in our front yard. Perhaps there are some tree enthusiasts who know what kind it is. It produces the most gorgeous pink blossoms in the spring, the petals drift life snowflakes in the summmer, and in the fall it puts out little red berries. I call them squirrel bombs for the squirrels seem to love them. When they fall to the ground, the black birds come in the spring to eat them. The other birds seem relatively indifferent.

The picture in the side bar of the branch with the red berries is taken from the front bay window of the pink tree in the picture at the top of the post.

Blogger has stopped telling me when people post to my blog. The last comment I was informed of was Richard's in open forum 8 on 4 December 6:18p.m. I will have to go back and manually check the more recent posts for comments. Hopefully they will get it sorted. *sigh*

Sunday, December 2, 2007

XO's Christmas Wish

Ask and you shall receive.
Merry Christmas XO. :-)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

open forum 8

Is November really over? Good grief where did the month go? Who let my mother on my computer? Mama Ewok is always decrying the speed with which her life is going by.

For me, November was a month of stabilization. Changes have settled somewhat, the dust is clearing, and life is proceeding again. It can't really be high drama all the time, humans are not...well... I am not capable of sustaining that for long periods of time.

It has now become a tradition here on my blog that on the first of each month I put up an open forum. Long time readers know the drill... OMG!!!! How cool is it that I have long time readers!!!! HOORAY for you!!!!!!!!!

So- This post is the opportunity for you to broach a subject, ask a personal question, bring up a topic, talk about whatever...

It is after all an open forum, I want to know what's on your mind.