Sunday, July 28, 2013

Religion: Saving Humanity from Itself

I want to preface this little number by saying that my intent is, in no way, meant to suggest that those
who have faith in a particular set of religious values are somehow less intelligent for said faith.  The ideas I am proposing may sound elitist on the surface, but I ask that my readers keep an open mind.

For all of its faults--for all of the innocent blood that has been spilled on the battlefield of the lord, or in the torture chambers of the most ardent inquisitor--religion has actually been a good thing for humanity.

Humanity, as a whole, has not always possessed the capability to engage in complex philosophical abstractions.  In the state of nature, where early humans violently fought over scarce resources, someone had to stand up and ask the most burning question that is still hard to answer to this day: what makes an action "wrong"?  And one can only imagine the lone philosopher, standing amongst the stinking heaps of his fallen comrades, asking such a question in the midst of battle.  One has to wonder if anyone gave pause.

They probably didn't in the heat of the moment, but if that philosopher made it out alive, we have to imagine that he posed the question again in a more suitable setting.  Sitting arby the fire with his fellow cohorts, caring for their wounds and enjoying a victory meal, the philosopher had to ask again with a harsh frustration in his voice: isn't all of this wrong?  But what makes an action wrong?

No one had an answer.  What does it even mean to be moral?  Who gets to decide on morality?  How can we say that one action is "moral" while another is "immoral?"  Why do we have a right to be indignant?  This is where religion comes in.

Because they couldn't develop a concept of morality based on logic and reason--and because no one could bring themselves to trust the logic and reason of another man--they had to construct a universally agreed upon raison d'etre for morality, existence, and everything else: it is so because the gods say it's so.

Getting the masses to believe in such a thing is quite powerful as it provides an easy basis for law that is not arbitrary.  Why is it against the law to murder another human being?  Because God says that murder is wrong.

But what about actions that are immoral but cannot are not against the law?  It's not unlawful to lie to someone.  If the purpose of law is to establish punishments for breaking the social contract, what could they do to stop people from committing wrongs against each other that fell outside the purview of the law?  That is where divine punishment came in.

Go ahead, be an asshole to each other.  If the law doesn't get you, then God will send you to Hell where you will spend an eternity painfully atoning for your sins.  For a lot of people, that is enough to coerce them into moral compliance.

Many humans lack the capacity to reason the efficacy of moral goodness beyond the notion that the gods decide morality, but what about those who simply don't care or don't believe in divine judgment?  There are people who will murder, steal, and rape without pause, and those types generally drive down the morale of the people and their overall satisfaction with the justice system.  If a poeple feels as though its government is not regularly serving justice, they become restless.  No one likes a riot, but it's impossible to prevent evil actions and, let's face it, not everyone gets caught.

Enter divine reward.

If you stick to the moral precepts of your god, then you are rewarded in the afterlife with eternal bliss.  This actually turned out to be a dangerous concept, because it essentially gave the ruling classes license to do whatever they please.  Have you ever noticed that the more you suffer, the greater the reward?  That is the key to quelling the chaos, and it is essential to keep people working.

In my personal experience, when you determine that the traditional God probably does not exist, and when you face the very real possibility that there may not be an afterlife at all, you are at first filled with an intense sense of hopelessness.  The only way to overcome that is to realize that time is precious, and one should live his life to the fullest.  Few people are able to move beyond the hopelessness.  The hopeless don't work as hard.  They don't care about spending money, or getting married and having children, and some of them decide that living is altogether pointless.

"If an unexamined life is not worth living, then I patiently await the mass suicides."  Religion exists to keep moral order and to prevent mass suicides.  It gives people hope because they look forward to the reward due to those who suffer, and they also feel comforted by the promised punishment to those who sin.  It's not so much an "opiate for the masses," as it is a security blanket for those who rule and those who are ruled.

If tomorrow we discovered that God does not exist and that there is no afterlife, the world would fall into chaos.  There would be mass suicides because many people would not be able to bear the absurdity of life, and crime would assuredly rise since many people are only good because they fear punishment.  It has nothing to do with the absence of God's grace: it is because humanity has not yet evolved to sustain itself on intellect alone.

Humanity still requires superstition to hold itself together.  Religion saved us from self-extinction.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Movie News: Brawl of the Century

It was announced at Comicon the other day that there will, indeed, be a sequel to this Summer's Man of Steel, but there is a twist . . .

The Last Son of Krypton will not be battling Doomsday, Darkseid, or even his old arch nemesis Lex Luthor.  He'll be squaring off against Batman.

Yes!  You've heard correctly!  The Man of Steel will be going toe-to-toe with the Dark Knight himself in the next movie installment.  I don't really know how the rest of you might feel about this, but I am thoroughly psyched about this.

The easy thing to do would have been to have Lex Luthor be the featured villain in the next film, so this seems like an excellent turn of events.  To have the greatest heroes of comic legend actually fight each other in their first movie match-up is unexpected and exhiliarating.  It's a genius move because now DC will be able to milk the whole rivalry thing:  Team Superman or Team Batman.

Personally, I think Batman would have this match-up on lockdown.  I know, Superman is essentially a god amongst men, but he doesn't have something that Batman has: tactical genius.

You can bet your ass that although kryptonite wasn't featured in the first film, the second film will see that Bruce Wayne--with his near limitless resources--will have discovered the existence of kryptonite and will use that to bring down Kal-El.  Near kyrptonite, Superman is just as frail as any normal human and unfortunately for Kal, Batman is no ordinary human.

So what say you?  Superman vs. Batman: who wins?  Cast your votes in the upper right hand corner!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Adventures in Profiling: Racism or Common Sense?

What I find hilarious is that race baiters like to make the contention that profiling is racial.  I'm sure there are some people out there who will look at a person of color and automatically suspect that he/she is up to no good, simply on the basis of skin color, but I highly doubt that this is the case for a vast majority of white Americans, at least in generation X and beyond.

The real issue that race baiters refuse to acknowledge that profiling someone as being a criminal or "up to no good," goes way beyond skin color, and it has more to do with how a person presents him or herself.  So what I'm going to do is put up a series of pictures to help illustrate what I'm trying to say.  The purpose is to allow everyone to acknowledge their automatic assumptions about the character of the following people.

If you claim you don't have automatic assumptions, then you're lying.  Everyone does.  Even me.

Brace yourselves!

Which one of these men most likely has a business degree?

Which of these young men do you think were voted "most likely to
succeed," in high school?
Now for a real challenge . . . one of these men belongs to a gang and
would make you nervous if you saw him walking around at night?

To prevent anyone from bitching, I placed the "stereotypes" of the same race/ethnicity next to each other.  Again, the whole point is that people actually do fit into stereotypes, because if they didn't then the stereotypes wouldn't exist.

I want to leave you all with one final picture.  Out of the two people presented, based solely on statistics, which one would you single out for an extra pat-down in an airport security check?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another Gary Busey Parable

Gary Busey walks into a bar and sits down to have a drink.  The bar tender comes up to him and asks,
"what'll you have, sir?"

With a wry smile, Gary replies "actually, I'm going to give you something, fine sir."

The bar tender gives Gary a quizzical look, unsure whether to be afraid or intrigued.  Giving in to the mystery of the moment, the bar tender works up the courage to say "what do you have for me?"

"A question," Gary answers, "one, simple question.  Today I went to Krogers and I spent $15.00.  What did I buy?"

The bar tender, puzzled, can only think to ask Gary questions in the hopes that Gary will give him some sort of hint.  "Well," he says after a brief pause, "was there a sale that day?"

Gary smiles and replies, "that's irrelevant, friend.  Just answer the question.  I spent $15.00 at Kroger . . . what did I buy?"

The bar tender was a little annoyed.  "Well Gary, it's a little unfair to ask me such a random question and then expect me to just pull out an answer without having any further information.  Couldn't you give me some sort of hint?"

"No," Gary replies, his grin widening.  "I don't understand why you can't just give me an answer.  Why do you have to ask so many questions?  Just go with your gut."

Aggitated, the bar tender replies, "okay, smart guy, I have a question for you.  Yesterday, at 12:00 noon exactly, I had something very specific to drink.  What was it?"

Almost immediately, Gary replies, "a coca-cola."

The bar tender laughed, sensing that he had cornered his patron.  "Wrong, I had a glass of milk."

"That's where you're wrong, my friend," said Gary.  "You clearly had a coca-cola."

The bar tender's jaw dropped in disbelief.  "How the hell would you know, Gary?  You weren't even there!"

"Well, I can't possibly think of a reason why you would have a glass of milk instead of a coca-cola.  Only a moron would drink anything other than an ice cold coke for lunch.  Are you telling me that you're an idiot?"  Gary mockingly lowered his head, staring somewhat upwardly at the fuming bar tender.

The bar tender sensed that Gary must have been playing a trick on him to get a rise, so the bar tender decided to take the high ground.  "Gary," he said in a collected tone, "since you're so convinced that I had a soda, then prove it."  Knowing that Gary had no evidence to prove him wrong, the bar tender was sure he had Gary cornered.  He wasn't even there, he thought to himself, so how can he make such an assumption?

Gary stood up slowly, still smiling, and slightly leaned forward over the bar, his hands planted firmly.  He gazed directly into the bar tender's eyes and said, "That's just the way it is, friend."  At that, Gary gave a single, short nod, turned, and slowly walked out of the bar.

The bar tender's incredulity quickly turned into sadness as he realized Gary was not playing a trick.  Gary was being serious.


So, readers, what does the parable mean to you?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

American Justice: If at first you don't convict . . . try, try again

Anyone who has half a brain (this excludes Jersey) should be extremely upset at the DoJ's decision to
investigate George Zimmerman on civil rights charges.  Generally, I try not to insult my readers, but sometimes I can't help myself.  So I'm sorry Jersey, but you, and everyone who agrees that George Zimmerman is racist, are all completely and utterly hopeless.

This situation should be turning the collective stomach of America.  Not long after the news of George Zimmeran's acquittal hit the presses, detractors were calling out for more charges to be levied against GZ.  Why?  Because they're morons.

And now, bowing to the pressure of people who enjoy ignoring facts and completely fabricating ideas about a man they've never met, the grand court jester himself, Eric Holder, has decided to open an investigation into George Zimmerman to determine whether or not he committed a hate crime.

Yes, you heard it right.  The Department of Justice is going to determine whether or not a man is racist.

This is so wrong on so many levels that I hardly even know where to begin.  First of all, this is clearly a revenge move because the race baiters weren't given the revenge they so hungrily sought.  And let's make this perfectly clear: this is not about justice, this is about revenge.

Justice is everyone getting what they deserve.  George Zimmerman got what he deserved: an acquittal, because the prosecution could not prove beyond a shadow of a double that Zimmerman committed murder, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.  THAT is justice.

Travyon Martin already received justice because he thought it'd be a bright idea to jump an armed man.  I'm sorry, but if you mount a guy and proceed to bash his head in on the pavement, you deserve to be retaliated against.  It's called self-defense you morons.  And unless any of the GZ haters can actually PROVE that it wasn't self-defense, then you all need to shut the fuck up and accept reality.  (Since an actual team of lawyers couldn't even prove it, my bet is that none of you can, so give up before you make yourselves look even more intellectually handicapped).

To anyone who believes that George Zimmerman is a racist, I pose a few important questions.  Answer them, or please excuse yourself from the conversation and go sit at the kiddie table.

What evidence do you have to suspect that George Zimmerman is racist?  Is it because George Zimmerman is not black, and Trayvon Martin is black?

Does this mean that every white man who ever kills a black man should be investigated on civil rights violations?

Should black men who kill white men be investigated on civil rights charges?

How can any human determine whether or not someone is genuinely racist?

How can you prove that George Zimmerman would not have followed Trayvon Martin if he was white?  How can you honestly prove a hypothetical situation?

And one more time:  Beyond the fact that a white man killed a black man, what evidence do you have that George Zimmerman is racist?

Here is exactly what will happen with the investigation.  The DoJ will have to interview people that know GZ or have at least met him.  These people will say the same thing that they have been saying all along "I have never known him to be racist."  Will the DoJ stop with that?  Probably not.  I'm willing to keep an open mind--but so far there is absolutely no basis for this investigation other than the fact that a half-white man shot a black teen.

And what if the investigation yields nothing?  What if the DoJ determines that George Zimmerman isn't racist and didn't commit a hate crime?  Will everyone stop?  Will the American people finally come to the realization that they were functionally retarded for believing GZ to be racist even though they've never met the guy?

This is a sad day for America.  The government has been demanded to judge the heart of a man even though a legal trial determined that George Zimmerman, in effect, did not have evil or malicious intent.  And now, because the court of public opinion hasn't been satisfied, the government is going to continue to try Zimmerman on loads of trumped up charges until they find SOMETHING he's guilty of.

As the old saying goes, if you don't succeed, try, try again.  Welcome to Oceania everyone.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Roderick Scott

Thanks to the Anonymous Howard Beale, an interesting story has been brought to light, that of an African-American man named Roderick Scott.

All I will do is post the link to the article.

This happened four years ago, and I never heard a damn thing about it.

What say you, liberals?

What did the Zimmerman trial teach us? - by AHB‏

The Anonymous Howard Beale
First and foremost, I would like to extend my sympathies to the Martin's for the loss of their son under these circumstances. I would also like to extend my sympathies to the Zimmerman's for being in the crosshairs of a witch hunt spearheaded by the media. There are so many factors in this that from the start things were never going to turn out "OK."  So I am going to touch on each and where I think the whole system failed both Martin and Zimmerman. Then I am going to launch into my retaliation against the media for all the SHIT that they stirred.

The Martins- Honestly... I believe the best approach they could have asked for is "the truth."  "Justice for Trayvon" seemed to me a thinly veiled euphemism for "Vengeance for Trayvon." From the start of this, they were dealt one of the absolute shittiest hands you could fathom: a loss of a child. I believe with the way the media ignited this up, that they have portrayed the Martin family as never being satisfied until Zimmerman was stuck with the needle. I feel that is unfair to them, and that their loss was transformed into an opportunity to beat the fucking war drums of the race war. They were portrayed as hellbent on revenge... never once in the hours upon hours I listened to their comments did they say anything along the lines of "Well, Zimmerman could be telling the truth."  I am sorry, but there is just something way fucking off about that.  It shows a lack of open-mindedness that is going to keep us divided forever. I would like some sort of acknowledgement on their behalf that this is not about revenge. What they are essentially advocating is Trayvon had every right to go up and start shit with Zimmerman, even if he was "up to no good." Trayvon's record is not spotless, nor is Zimmerman's . . . but even if you think the worst about Trayvon, the penalty for burglary shouldn't be *death*. I don't give a fuck if Trayvon Martin had a bag of diamonds with him. What ultimately sealed his fate was picking a fight he had little hope of actually winning. If you don't believe Trayvon started the actual shit that led to his death, then you quite frankly are a blind racist. Yes, it's possible to be racist against "whiteness," too.

The Zimmermans- Drug through the fucking mud and the muck, shot at and missed then shit at and hit.  Then they were slung back and forth through the Shawshank shitter pipe like Andy Dufresne. Everyone just knew this guy was guilty way before any evidence.  Way before any actual examination, it was a countrywide shotgun verdict of "hang the prick", "Child Killer", "Liar." Not for one fucking moment did the hive-mind give credence to the fact that this guy could have been telling the truth. This is almost as grave an injury as to what the Martin's went through, because in a very real sense, George Zimmerman's life is over. He will never be truly free to do as he likes without watching his back. I don't think enough attention has been given to Zimmerman in terms of "well fuck, this dude's story jives."  I guarantee you that George Zimmerman, if he could re-live that day over again with the knowledge he has now, would have just curled up in the fetal position and lay in bed all day--even knowing the verdict is not-guilty. That says a lot about shit right there. It says a lot about how our modern society, with its news and it's agendas, could destroy anybody.

The State Attorney/Prosecutors- SHODDY. The actual courtroom skill of the prosecution attorneys isn't in question, it was clearly obvious that at times they were making an impact even with dick all for proof. That being said, why the fuck even risk a Brady violation let alone several? Why PUSH this to gain political clout? WHY WHY WHY did you listen to the fucking unwashed masses and go forward with murder 2? You fucked this up hardcore when you withheld evidence from the grand jury. You just wanted to be the big shot heroes, but like so many fucking people who find themselves lacking and want a shortcut to the top, you just roped the biggest pity party in town and said "Evidence be damned, we gotta win this" (I am looking at you Angela Corey) you got one of the most biased judges ever to help you out, you got one of the most bogus fucking arrest warrants possible. You assholes. Murder 2? What the fucking hell. Any fair judge would throw that bullshit out immediately. The only saving grace the prosecuting team had was John Guy. Without John Guy you have fucking nothing. Without John Guy, even the biased ass fucking judge who was torpedoing the defense at every turn would be forced to dismiss the case. John Guy was your Barry Sanders... worst fucking assisting O-line in the universe, best dude with the football. A case wholly built around manslaughter would have been SO MUCH easier to seal up. But no, you had to drag racial shit into it, outright fucking wild conjecture swinging for the fences and trying to transmute a Yugo into a McLaren F1. You had no evidence to support murder. You let George Zimmerman's voice be heard without him taking the stand. Oh btw judge, add manslaughter to this . . . oh btw judge, add 3rd degree murder. Your job was to attempt to put Zimmerman in prison, and I think all you ended up doing was helping Zimmerman get exonerated by your buffoonery. Zimmerman could easily turn the tables on you fucking vampires and put all your asses in the hot seat. If they truly thought about it for even a moment, their whole god damn approach should have been involuntary manslaughter from jump street. Forget Murder 2 or 3--not possible. Their arguments should have been limited to manslaughter, shaped around that charge, and hinting toward that charge. Instead they fucking gave in to the racebaiting fools and tried to convince us that Zimmerman came out of the shadows, shot Martin, then bashed his own self in.

Zimmerman Defense- Jesus, compared to most of the prosecutors, you guys get an A+ for rational thinking. Not only did the defense outright prove George Zimmerman was innocent, but I feel that toward the end of it, they were actually just on cruise control, by the time Robert Zimmerman took the stand they had to have known this was practically over. Even if by some praise-be-miracle that their *evidence* based defense fell through, they still had the so called "stand your ground" in their back pocket which instantly exonerates Zimmerman, and then on top of that, they could have appealed and been granted it pointing out the Judge's bias at nearly every turn. I would hope that if this goes to federal that you keep all the same people in place. All the defense had to really do is muddy up the waters, but they actually did more proving and more fact-checking than the actual prosecution did! The fuck? Don West deserved to eat his ice cream. O'mara was a stud and he didn't even have to be. The defense had a few major pitfalls they fell into, but by the end of it, there wasn't really much wrong with their presentation of the facts.

People- The reaction of people in general was completely shitty. From the racebaiters to the fucking president. Even people like Jersey and the people on Kooks and Criers who think Obama is an infallible political deity had to be appalled at that one.  Bill Clinton "If I had another daughter, she would look like Nicole Brown Simpson." The fuck? GWB "If I had another daughter, she would be Channon Christian" show me that fucking shit, somewhere, anywhere, please.

THE MEDIA... my biggest bitch of them all. George Zimmerman's first move should be sue the pants off all these fucking news outlets for slander and libel, and when he wins those slam dunk cases he should take his millions and then file for wrongful prosecution and bury Angela Corey in her own bile, then take his now unfathomable millions and move his whole family to Grand Cayman. The entire narrative, EVEN NOW after innocence, has been "race race race race race race race race". Watching CNN, HLN, MSNBC, and even FOX was nothing but one unfounded fabrication of racebaiting after another, day after day after day. "Black kids shouldn't be hunted."  No . . . they shouldn't.  But there is zero, I repeat, ZERO actual tangible proof to that line of thought and overwhelming proof to the opposite. The proof and evidence shows Trayvon waited around, didn't run away, and then he started the fight. So the unsaid message really is "White people, even people who have a bit of whiteness, should just let black people beat the shit out of them, because resisting them is racist." The media was quick to show Zimmerman's mugshot, and Trayvon 6 years ago. From the start this has been a fucking witch hunt, and even today after watching the "reactions" they had a "jury" and "expert panel" that is overwhelmingly black people screaming the race card. The white pundits on TV have one hand tied behind their back, and every black person from Don Lemon to Sunny Hostin was dodging the facts and saying absolute biased opinions and calling him murderer. Just now "He got away with murder" what the fucking hell?!?!?!?!?!?!??!? They overtly tried to suggest to Zimmerman's brother that George's story was laced with inaccuracies. Trayvon Martin was POSSIBLY a victim of unlawful death, George Zimmerman and his family have been victimized countless times, yet not one, not ONE fucking media mouthpiece would ever acknowledge that other than to say "well maybe he will be a target now." He has been a target for a year and a half thanks to your god damn unconscionable and unapologetic self-appointed crusadership in the name of "equality" but secretly in the name of "inequality and ratings"

George Zimmerman: 0 Trayvon Martin: 0 Racebaiters: -124,720,690,481 Media: incalculable negative score, possible heat death of the universe or vacuum metastability event pending.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

George Zimmerman Haters: An Exercise in Sheer Irrationality

Humanity's curse is that a human being can rationalize anything.  A professor of mine once said, "the
danger of education is that it provides us the tools to rationalize even the most unspeakably horrifying behavior."  I believe that my professor was right, but given the "rationalization" I've seen from other people since I started blogging about two years ago, I'm convinced that someone doesn't need education in order completely to set their minds at ease, and at the forefront of this are the George Zimmerman (GZ) haters.

GZ was acquitted of all charges yesterday.  Before delving into the depths of bizzarroland, I want to first say: thank God!  A few weeks ago, I began a three part series titled "Why George Zimmerman is Not-Guilty" in which I outlined the myriad of reasons that I believed he would be acquitted of all charges based on the evidence at hand.  And that final clause is the key to all of my thinking: based on the evidence at hand.

You see, unlike the GZ haters, I actually formulated my opinion from evidence, that nagging little thing that many people like to ignore when rationalizing their feelings.  Given that there was a mountain of evidence to support the veracity of GZ's testimony, it is more than a little baffling that there were people who still called him a racist and maintained the claim that he "stalked Trayvon Martin to his death and shot him in cold blood."

A meeting between GZ haters.
There is so much reality one must ignore in order to hold such ridiculous claims that one would find
more rationality at an imaginary tea part with a little girl.

There are two things one must do in his mind to ride on the GZ hater wagon.  First, you have to make some fairly wild-ass guesses about GZ's character (WAGs, as we were fond of calling them in my days as a cryptologist).  There is absolutely zero evidence, zero indication, that George Zimmerman is racist.  The people that know him say that he's not a racist, yet somehow we have a bunch of yahoos--who have never even met the man--who claim to know what is in his heart.

The only basis they have for calling him a racist is because he is not black and he killed a black person.  And to rationalize this, they tell themselves that if GZ had spotted a white kid skulking around between houses in a gated community to which he did not belong, GZ would not have "stalked him to his death."  And of course, any rational person can see that such a musing holds no real weight because it is pure speculation based on an unverifiable "what if."

Secondly, one has to ignore the mountain of evidence that supported GZ's testimony, and make some more WAGs about "what really happened," that night.  One would have to ignore the evidence that heavily suggests GZ had been attacked forcefully enough to sustain injuries to his face and head.  If you listen to the 911 call, GZ got out of his car before the 911 dispatched asked "are you following him?"  When GZ said "yes," the 911 dispatcher said--and I quote--"we don't need you to do that."  That's all the dispatcher said.  And GZ's response to that was "okay."

Immediately after affirming the 911 dispatcher's "instruction," GZ then proceeded to give the dispatcher his exact location and the call ended.  There is absolutely zero evidence that supports the notion that GZ continued to follow TM, so one must deny the veracity of GZ's testimony that after the call, he went back to his car.

One must also ignore the fact that one witness claimed to have seen TM on top (only to later claim
that he wasn't sure).  Then we have to ignore the fact that when put under the pressure test of police interrogation, the investigator believed that GZ was telling the truth.  Just as well, we would have to ignore the facts that show that TM was far from the "angel" his mother purported him to be.  We have to forget that TM was into drugs and was serving a 10 day school suspension for posession of a bag that had marijuana residue on it.

We also have to pretend we don't know that TM's second school suspension was imposed because he was thought to have marked grafiti on a school locker, and when his bag was searched, the security officer found women's jewelry and a screwdriver.  When asked how he got the jewelry, TM claimed that "a friend gave it to [him]."  And we also have to forget that the reason he was suspected in the grafiti incident at his school is because a "school police investigator said he spotted Martin on a surveillance camera "hiding and being suspicious" in an unauthorized area."  Sound familiar?

It is mind-blowing to me that anyone can look at all of that information and still arrive at the conclusion that GZ was a racist who "stalked TM to his death," and that TM was some harmless little kid who was just innocently walking home from a gas station.  Pure irrationality: that is the only way anyone could possibly arrive at such a conclusion.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

War on Women?

Uncle Sam fucking COMMANDS you to read
the article!
A good friend of mine is pursuing a nursing degree (at least I think it's nursing) and right now she's
going through the gen. ed. courses.  She has to write a reasearch paper, and she chose the topic of spousal abuse.

I've decided to bump her article because she came to a surprising conclusion in the research she has done, and I think that many of my readers would appreciate the very refreshing approach she is taking.  She, herself, is a victim of spousal abuse, so the subject hits very close to home for her.

I would invite all of you to read, because she says some things that truly need to be said.


Monday, July 8, 2013

WTF Egypt?

As much as I hate to bring down the cute 4th of July pin-up, we must move on.  Let's talk about

First, I think that the overthrow of Morsi was a good thing, but of course it is a terrible double-edged sword.  On one hand, the Muslim Brotherhood puppet needed to go, but on the other hand, what is to stop the military from throwing out anyone that they deem unworthy?

Should the military of a nation ever take it upon itself to be the ultimate judge of who gets to stay in political office?  Here in America, I think most of us would answer "no," but that's because we have the luxury of knowing that our elections will happen and that generally, the people's choice will be in office.

We also know that here in America, a small minority will never hold absolute power over the majority as was the case with much of the Brotherhood being elected to key offices in the new Egyptian government.  Considering that there were millions in protest against Morsi, and only a few thousand in protest to Morsi's ousting, that leads me to believe that those who support a hard-line Islamic state in Egypt are very much in the minority.

These scenarios are especially uncomfortable, because I can't think of many military overthrows that ended well, i.e. the military leaders acting out of pure altruistic benevolence and handing over power through real, democratic elections.  Generally, once there is a military overthrow, you can count on the leaders installing themselves as dictators, and there is plenty of historical precedent for that.

From what we've seen, however, the Egyptian military leaders seem to genuinely want a democratic government, and they are giving every indication that they intend to transfer power appropriately.  I think many of us will believe it only when we see it.  It's hard to imagine a military overthrow that doesn't end in dictatorship in any nation of the world, but it's even more difficult to imagine such a thing in a Middle Eastern/North African country with a history of civil unrest and turmoil.

We'll just have to wait and see.  My hope against hope is that the Egyptian military surprises us all and becomes the first military overthrow in the 21st century that doesn't end up in dictatorship.  I also hope that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't find another way to sink its claws into their government so that Egypt can be led into an era of secular government.  Secular government is something that is sorely needed in the ME/NA region.

Please share your thoughts.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day! (NSFJ)

May your barbeques be tasty, and your beers be cold!
Live Free or Die!!!

Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

For the Last Time: It's not a Choice!

As expected, the anti-gay marriage folks are in full force as of late as a result of the recent Supreme
Court rulings on California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  If I were to believe what I read, then I should be stocking up on guns, ammunition, and food soon, because allowing homosexuals to marry is apparently the first sign of the end-times.

There has been some fairly fierce debate, and in my opinion, the anti-gay marriage crowd appears to be on-the-ropes most of the time.  What do I mean by that?  Well, the debate usually goes like this:

Dude:  Gay marriage should be legalized everywhere.

Bro:  No it shouldn't, gay marriage is immoral because it says so in the bible.  That's the word of God.

Dude:  Don't you think that's a bit harsh for a God that's supposedly all about love and mercy?  I mean, should homosexuals feel like they are permanently screwed because their very nature is "sinful"?

Bro:  That's their fault for being gay.  Homosexuality is a choice.

Dude:  What?

Bro:  Yeah man, like, sometimes I have the urge to steal stuff, but I don't steal stuff because it's wrong.

Dude:  So, you're in love with your wife, right?

Bro:  Yeah.

Dude:  Could you stop loving her, like, right now?  Could you just stop being physically attracted to her for no reason?

Bro:  Of course not!  I could never stop loving her!  I fell in love with her the moment I saw her.  She's my soulmate.

Dude:  But when a man is attracted to another man, that's a choice . . . right?

Bro:  Yes!  Didn't I already say that?

Hopefully you get the picture.  Here is the deal, friends.  Physical attraction is not a choice.  I know that some hard core religious people like to think that homosexuality is a choice, but being attracted to someone of the same sex is no more a choice than being attracted to someone of the opposite sex.  I hate to break it to the fundamentalist Christian crowd, but physical attraction is based on brain chemistry that simply cannot be altered.

No one simply "makes a choice" whether to be gay or straight.  I don't seem to recall a time in my life where I woke up one morning and said to myself, "well, it's time to decide whether I like dudes or chicks!"  If you think being gay is a choice, and if you think that what I just said sounds ridiculous, well guess what: it is ridiculous.

If sexual orientation is a choice, then that would mean that every single person can, at any moment, choose whether to be straight or gay.  So all of you straight Christian men out there: this means that you all have the potential to choose to be attracted to other men.

If you responded "no way, Jack!  That's gross," then you just proved my point.  Because of your brain chemistry, there is probably nothing on this earth that will ever cause you to be sexually attracted to other men.  And if you responded "I would never be gay, because being gay is a sin," well then that answer is much more fun because it means that if you wanted, you could totally be gay.  But you don't want to because God says its wrong.  So either sexual orientation is a part of brain chemistry that you can't overcome, or every one of us has the potential to be gay given that we don't give a shit about what the bible says.

Honestly, it's no different than any preference you may have.  For example, I love chicks with tattoos and some piercings, but I don't like a chick that's completely covered in ugly tattoos, and I don't like chicks who look like pincushions.  I am totally into red heads.  I prefer pale skin to tanned.  And I find that, for me, well-shaped breasts proportional to a woman's body are more important than the actual size.  I didn't decide on any of that.  All I know is what gets me going, and that has to do with how my brain chemistry reacts to particular stimuli.

So no, being gay is not a choice.  Two gay men can love each other and be just as dedicated to each other as a man and a woman.  So why would we want to deny them the chance to spend their lives together?  Why do some people want to deny them happiness and status?  Just because I'm not attracted to 600 lb. women doesn't mean that there should be a law against marrying them (sorry if any of my readers are that big).

A professor of mine, devoutly Catholic, once said that marriage is God's way of demonstrating the magnitude of his love for us.  He asked "do you really think that God only meant for married heterosexual couples to experience his love?"

Well, do you?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Why George Zimmerman is Not-Guilty Part III

The sheer ridiculous nature of the assertions of Zimmerman's guilt are so outrageous that, in my mind, it's a wonder that this case even went to trial.

We are told to believe that George Zimmerman is racist and that because Trayvon Martin is black, Zimmerman chased him down, confronted him, pinned him to the ground, and then shot Trayvon in cold blood--because Trayvon is black.  To prove my point, I'm going to ask a series of questions that everyone should answer for themselves.

1.  If GZ intended to kill TM, why did GZ call the police?  If you intend to commit a crime, would you call the police right before you are about to do it?

2.  What evidence is there to prove that GZ is, in fact, racist?

3.  If you believe that GZ is racist, then do you believe that GZ would not have called the police if he saw a white kid wearing a dark gray hoodie walking around between houses at night?

4.  If you listen to the 911 audio tape, at 2:06 GZ reported "he's running."  Immediately after that, you can clearly hear Zimmerman open his car door and get out of his car to follow Martin before the 911 dispatcher asks if he's following TM.  When GZ answers "yes," the dispatcher says "we don't need you to do that."  GZ replied "okay."  Why are people saying that GZ ignored instructions to stay in his car?

5.  When GZ says "these assholes, they always get away," why do people assume that GZ is talking about black people?  At the beginning of the call, GZ mentions that there had been break-ins recently.  Why wouldn't you assume that he's talking about people he believed were responsible for the break-ins?

6.  TM called GZ a "creepy ass cracker," over the phone.  How is that not racist?

7.  If TM was truly afraid for his life and had no ill intent, why didn't TM call the police to report a "creepy-ass cracker" following him?

8.  Why was TM walking among the houses and not on the side-walk?

9.  Rachel Jeantel deposed that on the phone, she told TM to hurry home and that he was "almost there."  If TM was so close to home, why didn't he just run straight home?

10.  If TM didn't return to GZ to confront him, then are we to assume that GZ somehow caught up to TM?  TM was a football player.

11.  Why are we not allowed to consider the facts that TM was a pot smoker, was a 17 year old kid with a tattoo, and was serving his third school suspension at the time of the incident in terms of character reference?

12.  Why didn't Rachel Jeantel call the police after she allegedly heard TM getting into a physical altercation?

13.  Why did many of the witnesses' stories change?

14.  And finally, are we to believe that GZ pinned down TM and then shot him in cold blood in an open area in plain view of other people who he would have realized could serve as witnesses to his nefarious deed?

So far, I have yet to see any evidence that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that GZ killed TM for any reason other than self-defense.  The prosecution's case is based on highly suspect witness testimonies, and it hinges on something that is actually impossible to prove: whether or not George Zimmerman is racist.

That's why I say he's not guilty.  But of course, in America any time someone who sort of looks like a white guy kills a black guy, it's always racist.