Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Don’t Support Our Troops

But you see, anyone who works for the government is special, and we must all join together in sorrow when they pass on. And we must always show the greatest respect for them.

Take war veterans, for example. Thanks to movies like Saving Private Ryan, together with the barrage of government propaganda, I feel like I’m supposed to salute and sing “God Bless America” every time I see a f*cking veteran. If I’m in line in the bank, I’m supposed to get a rush of patriotic fervor and let him get ahead of me. If I’m driving and a guy with a veteran license plate cuts me off, I’m not supposed to flip him the bird. And why, you might ask? Because they (ready the drums and dramatic music)… Fought For My Freedom.

Maybe someone can clue me in. How exactly did killing Koreans and Vietnamese make me more free? Were there slanty-eyed Communists hanging outside my house preparing to ambush me, and just in the nick of time G.I. Schmoe swoops in and cuts him down with a few .223 rounds?

Vic Rattlehead

Airy Gator In The Sewer

Taking a shower is supposed to be a somewhat pleasant experience, even when that shower is taken in the wee hours of the morning on a weekday where you know you'll soon be on your way to work. I could stay in the shower for a long time (or at least until the hot water runs out) but when I'll be late to work if I don't hurry it up, I make it as quick as possible (that's quick for me, not necessarily quick for you). As I was lathering up my beautiful brown hair (don't hate me because I've got great hair, after all, not all of you can have thick, luscious hair all over your body like I do) I noticed something seemingly strange (and I'm not talking about my hair!). Water was spraying against the glass of the shower door. Not unusual, you'll say. Normally I'd agree, but this water was coming from OUTSIDE the shower. What the hell?, I thought, did a pipe burst or something?

I peeked out and it was coming from the toilet bowl! It was spraying up and going everywhere. I jumped from the shower and closed the lid of the toilet seat. The water was still coming out and running onto the carpet of the bathroom. I turned the water at the toilet off, thinking that would stop it (of course it didn't, considering the source, but I was in a slight panic) ; a few minutes later it began to slow and finally stopped. I noticed fecal matter dotting the wall, and my new dress shirt, the one hanging on the hook on the bathroom door, and that I was planning on wearing to work, soaked and dripping water. Leaving the mess for another member of the household to deal with (I was running late) I finished getting ready for another day in the salt mines.

When I stepped outside the front door I saw some water and sewer trucks. I asked one of the workers what was up. He said they were cleaning out the sewers and when I told him what happened he said it was probably the air pressure from the cleaning. The city did send, after a phone call, a crew to clean up the bathroom (and as it turned out, the kitchen also, as the water had backed up and sprayed through the drain in the kitchen sink as well). It was an unpleasant start to what otherwise would have been quite a good day.


"This is Matt Anchor."

"And this Tonya Newsreader."


"Good afternoon/evening. Today, just minutes after getting soaked with disgusting toilet water, a local man went bizerk and proclaimed himself Sewerman. Dressing in a Superman costume, including cape, and wearing a toilet seat around his neck, he ran through the neighborhood and according to eyewitlesses interviewed by Channel 5, shouted repeatedly that he was stinkier than an open septic tank and able to leap over dirty water in a single bound. Police later arrested the man as he was in the act of assaulting two sewer workers, a toilet brush in his hands."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tom and Helen: Tom and the Weekend

A Music Moment: Crosby, Swings and Stars

Swinging on a Star was recorded in 1944 by Bing Crosby for the movie Going My Way. The story of the song's origin supposedly goes like this: song writer Jimmy Van Heusen was at Bing's house for dinner one night to discuss songs for the upcoming motion picture.

During the meal, one of the children began complaining about how he didn’t want to go to school the next day. The singer turned to his son and said to him, “If you don’t go to school, you might grow up to be a mule. Do you wanna do that?” Van Heusen thought that this clever rebuke would make a good song for the movie. He pictured Bing, playing a priest, talking to a group of children acting much the same way that his own child acted that night. When he took his idea to his partner, Johnny Burke, Johnny was quick to approve, and they wrote the song.

Child singer Lena Zavaroni sings Swinging On A Star on Junior Showtime, a British variety show for children that aired between 1969 and 1974.

Here is a short interview with Zavaroni from 1989 (she died in 1999, age 35):

Here she appears on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at age ten singing End of the World:

Website dedicated to Lena's memory

I want to be like mommy!

A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment.

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Harris,

I want to be very clear on my child’s illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Davis

The above is not original to me (oh yeah, I did change the names of the Ms. and Mrs., that's my contribution to this post ). However, since I just saw it for the first time and liked it, I thought I'd post it. The version that introduced me to it you'll find here. The blog author there expands it slightly (and for the better, I think), including a change of locale from Home Depot to Wal-Mart.

The Donut Study Stimulus

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Doughnut Who?
Doughnut forget to close the door!

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Doughnut who?
Do not ask me again!

Why donuts? Why not? I've been thinking about the economic stimulus proposal of Obama and the Democrats in Congress. As long as trillions are going to be spent, I propose a study (to be carried out by me, of course) examining the influence of the seemingly humble donut on the human mind. Perhaps we can start in the workplace, offering free donuts every morning to millions of stressed out employees. Worried about getting laid off? Down a few donuts with your morning coffee and see if you don't have a brighter outlook on things.

Plus, thousands of donut shops and their workers will no longer have to rely on the police to guarantee their profits and jobs.

Millions more will consume the floury, sugary treats daily. We'll be able to test the power of donuts to overcome the will-power of those who attempt to eat something "healthy" and low-carb for breakfast.

In the break room one recent morning I encountered co-worker Nicholas. He was heating soup in a paper cup (microwave eating at its finest) but was ignoring the boxes of bagels invitingly open on the tables. There was quite a variety, including what appeared to be some sort of sun-dried tomato bagel. Bagels are a fringe benefit where we work, brought in one Friday a month for all to enjoy on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also several kinds of cream cheese offered for enhancing your bagel of choice, including plain and fruit versions such as strawberry. I asked old Nick what kind of bagels he liked.

"I'm not a bagel guy," came the reply.

"Oh, well they sure look pretty good to me," I answered. "What kind of a guy are you?"

"I'm a donut guy," he replied.

Now we, at least in our department, also get donuts on the occasional weekend. This is not company policy, but just something done by a manager or even sometimes one of the peons. They'll bring a box or two of a dozen donuts in on their own to share with everyone working that day. On one recent weekend morning I again encountered a co-worker in the break room (this time it was Elizabeth) and she too was heating something in the microwave.

"Smells good" I noticed.

"It's the filling from last night's tacos. My mom made them. I'm trying to lose weight so I'm not having tortillas with it."

I too have decided it's time to get rid of a few pounds, so that same morning I brought with me one cheese stick and two whole wheat saltine crackers. That was to be my entire breakfast and possibly lunch as well. And then Cathy showed up with two big pink boxes in her arms.

"Donuts everyone!" she announced loudly.

I tried, I really did. Believe me, I wouldn't lie about something like that. But the thought kept entering my head, one little donut can't hurt, and besides, you can start getting serious about your diet tomorrow. I went to the two pink boxes, their lids now removed, on the table at the back of the room. I picked the largest donut I could find (free food, may as well take advantage, you know) and walked the precious edible back to my desk. On the way I happened to pass Elizabeth's desk and noticed something sitting right beside her taco filling, an enormous maple frosting covered donut! Tortillas no, donuts yes, was that her motto? I guess if this guy's experience is any lesson, maybe that is the way to go. 

I think it deserves study. Congress, here I come.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Work to Live or Live to Work?

Do Americans work to live or are they workaholics who live to work? We all seem to know someone whose life revolves around their work. It takes (or appears to) priority over everything else in their life, including their spouse and family. I once saw a segment on the news (or one of those news "shows" like 20/20 or Dateline) about foolish workaholics who are frighteningly addicted to their jobs or business. One woman even had a setup so that she wouldn't miss a call while she was showering! Sure, America was supposedly built on the work ethic, and there is no doubt that it's sorely lacking in some, but there are other values people. After all, life is short, and with the limited time we all have, we should seek balance in our lives, including plenty of leisure.

I once worked in sales for a company selling computer software. I had met a young, very sweet woman there from Germany. She was in the US living here and staying with relatives. We had several long conversations, but something that came up again and again was her impression that in the United States you are basically on your own. She expressed a strong desire to return to Germany where she wouldn't have to be afraid all the time of losing a job and then feeling completely on her own and possibly forced to live in her car or on the street (as a side note, at a couple of places I've worked, I've known co-workers who were living out of their cars and sleeping in them because they could no longer afford to rent an apartment). Barak Obama has also mentioned what he called the "you're on your own" society.

Europeans also apparently take many more vacations then Americans do, as discussed here.

It seems unfair to me that this way of thinking doesn't appear to exist over in the U.S. It's not just a case of being wealthy, as holidays abroad seem to apply to almost everyone in Europe, whether a cleaning lady or a lawyer.

And from some of the comments:

Definitely a difference. One reason must be the complete lack of paid holidays poor US citizens get!
Here in Sweden I get 30 PAID holidays a year - plus a lot of other days off like Christmas Eve, Easter and so on...

Having lived in Denmark and experienced their 6 weeks of vacation a year and family-friendly work policies, I agree with you that the American corporate culture is terrible. Here in the US people are lucky to get 2 weeks of vacation a year, and God forbid if they get sick.

Well...US is a capitalist country where people are hungry to make money. Also, they don't have a national regulation like Denmark, where one has to take 5 weeks of holidays. It's mandatory!
That's why I'm looking forward to move to DK, to experience a more relaxing life with tons of fun.

My husband says it's a difference of values--we value money and things, Europeans value expierences and memories.

So, is it true? Do Americans work too much?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Relations Between God and Spatial Entities

In this article I attack the standard classical theist position that God continuously creates the universe. My arguments also attack the position that God only created the Big Bang or the beginning of the universe. I give a novel argument in section 2 that shows that God’s (alleged) causal relation(s) to the universe, and to any objects in the universe (that he may be alleged to create or have created), are impossible. If my reasoning is correct, it further leads to the conclusion that God does not exist, for reasons I will discuss.

God’s Spatial Unlocatedness Prevents Him from Being the Creator of the Universe

Thursday, January 22, 2009

He really was dying inside

In my interview with George, I mentioned a little incident regarding an acquaintance who thought he had something wrong with him. I told him everyone had pains (and I think they do) but he went to the doctor anyway. Turns out he wasn't in the best shape. He had an infection and high blood pressure and was told by his doctor to stop smoking and drinking. He did stop and is now on the patch. Someone nearby mentioned that they also had stopped smoking (this is a young man, just in his twenties) and felt, after a couple of weeks of coughing up black stuff, as if he now had a third lung and was able to run and climb stairs like someone his age. The dangers of second (and now in the news, even third) hand smoke came up, but the first guy, Mr. Patch, said he still favors smokers' rights. In other words, just because he himself has stopped, he hasn't suddenly become an anti-smoking Nazi.

The discussion turned to the news that California, broke and out of money, will issue IOUs soon to those it owes money, including taxpayers due income tax refunds.

"Well," said Patch, "then I guess I'll issue them a promise to file my return later."

We talked of the money the state is wasting, and how if we as citizens fail to pay our tax on time, the state comes after us, often with a vengeance. California doesn't except IOUs when it's your turn to pay them, not even if you're broke and out of money. The subject of cans and bottles and California's CRV tax came up next. I don't buy my bottled water in California anymore for the simple reason that I'm now charged $1.20 extra per case of 24 (used to be about $1.00). In Arizona there isn't such a politically correct tax on cans and bottles, so I buy them in AZ. Everyone agreed the CRV fee was evil.

These young men (no women in this conversation, though from hearing some of their opinions previously, the females nearby lean toward busybody totalitarianism) all supported Obama in the recent election, mostly because of the Iraq war and the erosion of civil liberties under Bush, and yet they have an instinct for liberty and personal freedom deep within. Too bad the Republican party doesn't even pretend to stand for such values anymore. A lot more of such young people might have found a reason to support them if they did.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Amerika's Emperor

Obama is a closet totalitarian. Bush was more open about his. If he does not move to become Amerika's first Emperor, he will still make efforts in that direction. He will spring a political surprise or two in the direction of augmenting presidential power or using the power that Bush has laid up in waiting for any president to use. Truman seized the steel mills. Kennedy spoke against the steel executives. Obama will come up with something on that order at a minimum. His nice guy exterior is a ruse. The unity talk is soft soap so that he can get his way. But the trigger need not be hidden personality traits. It can be the very bad economy.

I fear and distrust this administration as much as I did the previous one, even more because the previous one built a basis of extended powers for this one to use. Also, Obama has mob adulation behind him and that is dangerous.

Predictions about the Obama administration

What If I Don't Want A Leader?

You're Not Free

(strong language)



The Antidote

Obama's Inauguration - The Antidote

Has there ever, in the history of the American people, been a more blind, conformist, passive and incurious mass than those who have deified Barack Obama? Have you met a single Barack Obama supporter who has an original thought in his or her head about the man?

...I dissent against those who believe the state -- the collective unified as one -- and not the individual acting in freedom, is the basis of the American constitution. I dissent against the new master/plantation mentality already evident in the new regime -- that the master will provide jobs, stimulus, safety, ease -- if we all just comply, if we all just pick our cotton and stop our partisan bickering -- and give the fruits of our slavish labors back to the master to redistribute fairly among those who are "less fortunate." I dissent against a state that seeks to enslave and indebt its citizens to itself. And I dissent against the Ponzi scheme that is the Obama regime's economic plan.

Contratimes: No We Aren't

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

See Whiskers Go

The Gift

Toilet Training

Blog of the Moment: Electric Monkey Pants

Why Electric Monkey Pants? Maybe it's this:

The robberbarons in charge of this economy aren't stupid. They know that their inflationary, fiat monetary system creates boom and bust cycles so they simply manipulate those cycles to their favor and crater the system at a time of their choosing.

It's time to change. We need to switch to a gold-backed system wherein people can feel safe and plan for the future without the economic rollercoasters juiced by Big Media's propaganda system, creating fear at the opportune moments.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kill Them All, Let The Big Cat Sort Them Out

There is a local radio station here in town that constantly shills for government (this is true of most mainstream media, whether national or local, which is why they are all losing the eyes and ears of the public in massive numbers and are in need of a bailout) and on the recent morning "community" show (never about the community as such, but always an outlet for local government hacks to propagandize for more spending and taxes) they had a discussion about a local feral cat "problem". Seems some people are complaining about too many stray (that's what we used to call them) cats running around, depleting the supply of tiny lizards, I suppose. So the government has contracted with the local branch of the Humane Society to round 'em up and kill them ("humanely", of course). Well, one old man, one of those cranky curmudgeonly characters, said why not just go out and shoot them. He was told you can't just go out and starting shooting cats. He then called the Humane Society a government agency, but he was scolded by the shill host, who informed the old guy that the Humane Society is not part of government but is a private organization (failing to point out, being the despicable shill that he is, that few other "private" organizations have police powers allowing them to execute search warrants, raid homes and seize private property, i.e., pets and other animals). The curmudgeon then said if that's the case he should be able to start up his own group and compete with them. "Oh, absolutely" said the shill. Curmudgeon perked up a bit at this, "Okay, then I can go out with my own van and starting shootin' cats in the head!". The shill wasn't pleased, though he tried to remain pleasant. "The city wouldn't be able to do that, the public wouldn't like a contract with someone who killed the cats by shooting them." "In the head"!, reminded curmudgeon, "it's just as humane as lethal injection or gassing them." The conversion ended shortly thereafter; have to move on ya know, got a radio show to do here, and a bunch more government propaganda to spread. Can't have crazy old men sowing doubts about the state and its practices.

The woman spokesman for the local fascist gang (the city council) then said that people shouldn't be feeding these feral cats, that they have no right to do so without consulting their neighbors. Sorry, liar, but anyone can put food out on their property without permission from you, your little Nazi gang of despots, or anyone else. If a cat eats it, too bad!

And on the issue of the lizards (some are concerned they are one form of wildlife endangered by stray cats) I once had an outdoor cat who loved to hunt them. She would spend hours in the yard waiting to pounce on one, and once she had one dangling from her mouth you'd better not get anywhere near her. I would later see a lizard body lying on a rock, tooth marks clearly visible on its belly. Nevertheless, in spite of this feline hobby, the lizard population remained plentiful.

Pet Defense

Friday, January 16, 2009

Shut up, Bush!

America liked Ike, but as it turned out the World War II hero was not so fond of the military establishment. When he spoke to the nation from the Oval Office on the evening of January 17, 1961, Eisenhower had presided over the early years of the Cold War and the growth of the US-Soviet arms race—and the defense contractors who built those arms. His worries about those companies' growing power is what made his farewell address famous. "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience," he said. "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex …. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." The following year, the international construction firm Brown & Root, which would win contracts with the US government during the Vietnam and Iraq wars, would be acquired by Halliburton.

Presidential Goodbyes

Fear is the Key

President-elect Obama is talking about relief on a Rooseveltian scale. He wants to spread unemployment and Medicare benefits around more freely, for example. But he knows he can’t just toss out a few dimes to bums on the street corners; he needs a stimulus plan that knocks peoples’ socks off.

"Economists from all across the political spectrum agree that if you don’t act swiftly and boldly we could see a deepening economic downturn," he said recently.

We must be somewhere on the political spectrum. But he didn’t ask us. If he had, we would have explained that every penny spent on a bailout has to be taken out of the spending of the person who earned it. We’d add that there is no economic problem at all. The markets are doing what they’re supposed to do...clearing away the mistakes of the Bubble Epoch.

It’s a political problem, not an economic one. People don’t like to have to pay for their mistakes. So, they whine to politicians. And then the politicians make things trying to prevent the correction from taking place.

How High Will the Dead Cat Bounce?

Economic chains well-forged make literal chains unnecessary

As we clamor to be led to safety, The Powers That Be are forging new chains. To this point in our history, they have been economic chains — confiscatory taxation, debts, rules and regulations — and it seems a matter of time before they become literal chains, but those won't be necessary if we let them succeed.

Resist any solution that steals more freedom or independence from you or your business or your property. Ask why. "Why is this hobgoblin such a menace that the only solution you propose is to restrict our freedom and take our liberty away?" Shine a light and the rodents may scurry away — even if they don't, the things they tell you to fear won't seem near as big and terrifying shining in the sun as they do now, hiding in the midnight darkness.

Refuse to be afraid

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two of Hayek's Greatest Essays

Here are two of Hayek's greatest essays in one small and beautiful volume at a very low price. It is a perfect way to introduce yourself and others to this giant of the 20th century.

The book begins with Hayek's most excellent essay on money. It is also his most radical. He plainly says that central banks cannot be reformed. There can never be sound money so long as they are in charge. He calls for their complete abolition, no compromises accepted. He wants the market in charge of money from top to bottom.

His words predicting crisis followed by wild swings in valuation are up to the minute. He also relates the quality of money with the recurrence of crisis, showing an excellent application of Austrian theory.

Hayek was deeply influenced by Mises, and this shows here in the area of money.

The second essay is "The Pretense of Knowledge," his shocking Nobel speech that explained why the very idea of government in our times is unintellectual, presumptuous, and untenable. He is as critical of socialism as he is of interventionism. He shows that the state is not capable of doing all that it is charged with doing, and why conceding it any role in social and economic management is dangerous to liberty.

It was not the speech everyone expected. But it lived up to Hayek's lifelong commitment to telling truth to power.

This small book is really a first in the Hayekian literature: small form, powerful words, and by the great man himself.

A Free Market Monetary System and The Pretense of Knowledge

Jammed Trunks and Frozen Doors

I ruined one of my car keys trying to open my trunk, it was so full of stuff that some of the junk inside was up against the lock mechanism inside. I finally forced it open, but I damaged the key so much in the process that it will no longer work. Good thing I have a spare I keep in my wallet (in case I ever lock my keys inside, which I have on occasion).

My dad recently related the story of his car door not opening one morning (he lives in a colder climate), it seems the temperature had dropped low enough to freeze the car doors so they wouldn't open.

This little post may not seem to have much point, but then, maybe that is my point.

Balloons Do It All


Jesus Gets Some Help

Video via You Made Me Say It

Modern-day Christians know Jesus so well, that this one decided to travel back in time to help Jesus get his message across right from the start. Those people back in Jesus' time might have mistaken Jesus' own words as actually containing what he really meant! And we wouldn't want that!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rantings of a Young Fool

I suppose some may assume that the title of this post refers to myself, though I'm not so young anymore, and the days when I would still get carded for alcoholic beverage purchases seems to be long past. I have recently been called a fool repeatedly by a Christian at another blog, but by his own definition, he's the fool and intellectually dishonest (one of his favorite labels for anyone who doubts the veracity of the Christian fairy tale).

But no, the title is inspired by this young man, a sincere believer, no doubt. He is appalled by the news of a Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life report that let's us know that 52% of American Christians and 37% of self-described evangelicals, believe you don't need Jesus to get to heaven. Sounds like progress to me. I wonder if our young Christian has seen this. If so, he must truly be dismayed. A survey conducted by The Barna Group shows that of those that consider themselves Christians

-Almost half believe that Satan does not exist.

-One-third say that Jesus sinned when he was on earth.

-Two-thirds say they do not have a responsibility to share the Gospel with others.

-One-quarter dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.

Again, just more progress in my book!

I once encountered a young fool on the issue of Antony Flew, and I've resurrected an old post from my archives below detailing some of that exchange.

Many Christians are very pleased these days by the "conversion" of Antony Flew, a noted, if not "notorious," atheist. The good gentleman who writes the blog on which I posted the comments from which this post is derived asked why, in light of Flew's new opinion, Many atheists look to Flew's work and admire him for it. I asked "why not?" Any opinion that Flew has now does not alter the force of his previous arguments. No theist has ever adequately answered his Theology & Falsification for example. And of course there are many questions about the validity of the Varghese/Flew book that records what Mr. Flew supposedly now believes.

This individual concludes, however, that atheists are simply stubborn and refuse to believe, stating that it is funny that so many atheists look to his [Flew's] work and admire his work as an atheist, but completely reject the conclusion of that work. I suppose it doesn't occur to our theistic writer that Flew was not the lone atheist philosopher on the planet, for the point he makes would only make sense if suddenly the majority of professional philosophers who have an atheist perspective changed their minds in mass. Then any atheist would indeed have to look at the question of God and examine it again to find why so many informed thinkers have switched positions. It still would not prove God's existence, but it would make any honest person consider the possibility. But of course no such thing has happened, and I shall not hold my breath waiting for such a miracle. If Flew is the best that Christians can produce after all the paper they've wasted on their worthless (sorry, but try reading some Lee Strobel if you think this too harsh a judgment) apologetic arguments, and he is still not a Christian, then I don't think it is "funny" at all that anyone continues to reject god-belief in spite of Flew's change of mind.

This old time religionist then makes the following stunning claim. He writes: They [atheists] make up a battle between science vs. God and yet, as Flew brilliantly points out, science points to God. Science proves that there must be a creator, an intelligent designer, a God!

I didn't know Flew was now also a scientist, though it is nice to know one can change careers so late in life. This person needs to do a little more reading before he does any more writing. Has he never learned of the case of Galileo, or the affair of Franklin's lightning rod and the clergy's reaction to it, or the opposition of Christian leaders to the findings of science on the age of the earth or the evolution of life? Did atheists "make up" such incidents? You'll notice he doesn't even make the more humble claim that there might be evidence of a creator (not that there is any) but that science has proven God exists! We all know Christians are given to hyperbole, but really, this is just embarrassing. Then again, maybe I speak too soon, as I will hopefully soon be receiving from our Christian friend the peer reviewed scientific papers that reveal this "proof."

Our Christian blogger then goes on to say that atheists have no answer for the problem of evil. But the problem of evil arises from the postulated Tri-Omni (Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnibenevolent) nature of God, and so is not in any way a problem that atheism needs to solve. The world is exactly the mixture of good and evil we should expect if an all-good god did not create it. In other words, no god, no problem. But perhaps he meant the problem of death, or ultimate justice, or cosmic purpose or some such. The problem with the Christian is that he also has no solution to any of those, he only thinks he does.

But Flew is not even a Christian (at least, not yet) so what exactly is he? The most precise label would probably be that of deist. Flew has stated he still does not believe in any afterlife, and seems to believe God does not actively intervene in our world. Most atheists primarily argue against the Tri-Omni God of traditional theism. Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnibenevolent gods are contrary to the evidence and Flew's current "theism" is compatible with a rejection of all three attributes of the God of mainstream religion. This view does not, therefore, differ much from that of most atheists. Of course, Christians don't want to make explicit what they truly believe, for if Mr. Flew does not accept Jesus before he dies, then he will go to Hell, in spite of his conversion to a weak form of god-belief. On the atheist view, Antony Flew has nothing to fear from death itself, and so atheism is ultimately superior to the fear-based Christian vision of eternal suffering for all non-Christians.

Our blogger takes issue with my view and says that I do not understand the Christian faith, despite the fact that I was an evangelical Bible-believing Christian for over ten years. He also says that The message of Christianity is not follow Jesus or burn in hell forever. The message is that God is perfect and holy and we humans are sinful, which is obvious... Because of our sinfulness we deserve to pay the price for our sin. However, I think a straightforward reading of the following verse clearly indicates that the choice of believe or burn is exactly what the Christian message states: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

He says God is perfect and holy. How does he know this? Because the bible tells him so? How does he decide what constitutes good and holy? Atrocities such as those found in Numbers chapter 31 indicate that the God of scripture does not meet a high moral standard. Even apologist William Lane Craig has said here : "Since God doesn't issue commands to Himself, He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are."

How then is God a moral being at all? The truth is that a being that has no needs or wants, that exists independently of any external reality and has no necessity to take action in order to survive and continue existing, and that cannot die, cannot possibly be the source for any values at all. For where would these values come from? Values arise in the context of life's contingency and the fact that we have needs and goals to fulfill.

Our Christian states that According to Atheism there is no purpose or meaning, for anything. How can a hopeless, meaningless, lack of purpose belief be superior to anything? He here capitalizes the word atheism as if it is as much a religion as his Bible Baloney, a common Christian theme. Atheism is, of course, simply a lack of god-belief, and not a philosophy of life or world-view in and of itself. But no matter, getting facts right is something Christians have difficulty doing, so I won't make an issue of something our God deluded friend probably can't help. As to "purpose," the computer I'm using as I write these words has a purpose, but not one of its own choosing, so I don't see how getting my purpose from an imagined creator should be something to celebrate. The purpose of life is to survive and continue to live and within that, of course, are many other purposes. To love, to have and raise children (if one wants them), to do whatever makes one happy and fulfilled, and so on. No gods are needed for life to have meaning.

He says 90% of the world believes in God, as if (even if true) that would mean anything. There was a time when the majority believed the earth was the center of the universe, but that didn't make it so. This is a classic (and very common) example of the fallacy of appealing to said majority, so we can safely ignore it.

As to atheism being superior, I was of course referring to Flew and his eternal fate under Christianity's doctrine of salvation. Does he really propose that the Christian view is more comforting to those who, because they died without Jesus, now have no hope of heaven? Is Mr. Flew, assuming he does not accept Christ as savior before he passes away, better off suffering the torments of hell forever, instead of simply passing into an eternal, dreamless sleep? What comfort can Mr. Christian give to someone whose loved one has departed this life as a Mormon, or Muslim or Buddhist or atheist? Atheism is certainly superior in the sense that it takes away all fear of the infamous greeting "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Surely all those otherwise condemned to hell for eternity by the Christian God are better off if atheism is true.

Mr. Christian responds that we all "deserve" hell. Well, he can speak for himself. Only those blinded by religious dogma could seriously believe that such an assertion makes any logical or moral sense. But again, please don't judge him too severely. After all, Christians are burdened 24/7 with the impossible task of defending nonsense, and such a duty must come with a price, in this case an impairment of the reasoning faculty.

Now if only Christianity at least gave people the hope (however unfounded) of a life of future happiness unencumbered by eternal torture chambers where billions scream in agony forever, well, then maybe it might really be a comforting, if nevertheless imaginary, world-view.

Awesome With A Dogwood Slingshot

Video via Dave and Thomas

He makes his own slingshots, but he doesn't carve them, he finds dogwood in the natural shape of a sling shot. There doesn't seem to be much this guy can't hit with a slingshot in his hands.

Trash Bag Terror

Wouldn't want to run into her on a dark night.

Picasso of the Moment

Image via Theo's Sanctuary

I guess I'm just in the mood for love.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Obama Screws His Supporters

Perhaps it is all a gigantic head fake. Maybe President-elect Obama is going to dash Left as soon as he utters the words “So help me God” next week. But so far, there seems to be the most astounding and sweeping repudiation of a president’s own base of support in the offing since … well, since forever.

No Change

The Democratic Party is totally bankrupt. In 2006, the American public repudiated the President by electing a Democratic majority to both house of congress. In 2008, unable to stand any more of Bush and the neocon nuts running the show, they elected Obama and returned larger majorities of Democrats to congress. Will the will of the people be obeyed, i.e., will we bring the troops home from Iraq? Don't count on it.

The Same Old Change

Atheist vs. Christian

click image to enlarge

Is There a God?

John Loftus v. David Wood on the Problem of Evil (You can find the rest of the debate at Google Video)

The problem of evil is not a problem for the atheist. It only arises when trying to reconcile a tri-omni god with suffering and evil. This is not to say that the existence of evil necessarily disproves the existence of a god, even a tri-omni one, but it does put the burden of proof on the theist.

A further word on the tri-omni God idea and all the assumptions that lay behind it. I don't begin my own search for truth with the notion of a tri-omni God, but simply with an admission of lack of knowldge. But concerning such a God one should note there are "open" theologians who cite the Bible to argue that God is not necessarily revealed as being tri-omni, but who consider that God might not know everything. If so that might make the problem of evil less of a problem.

The "free will" defense seems less convincing as a possible solution, because nature presumably got along without human "free will" for hundreds of millions of years, i.e., long before humanity showed up, God was perfecting the ways and means of nature, including carnivorism, diseases, natural disasters, along with the inevitability of death of every individual living thing. Moreover, the presumed attributes/definitions of a tri-omni God that combine "absolute freewill" with "absolute goodness" is a mind boggler. (Doesn't sound like any definition of "freewill" that human beings know about, since for us it is defined as involving a genuine choice between "good" and "evil." Neither has anyone proven that the "will" of human beings is "free" in a libertarian philosophical sense, but the tri-omni God philosophers have zipped past that unanswered question and already claim to be devising "proofs" regarding matters pertaining to things about "God's will." How imaginative of them!)

Question of Evil

Monday, January 12, 2009

What Is Theism?

Post-It Blog of the Moment

this blog was originally dedicated to documenting the post-its i doodled while at work. however, this blog has grown beyond it's original intent to encompass the post-its drawn by me and any post-it compatriots who deem to grace it's halls with their own artfull pictographs.

The Post-It Project

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Deism vs. Atheism and Christianity

Revelation, or revealed religion, is defined in Webster's New World Dictionary as: "God's disclosure to man of Himself." This should read, "God's alleged disclosure to man of himself."


Since I was down to about a quarter tank the other evening, I decided to head to the corner ARCO station in the neighborhood instead of heading straight home. I do sometimes avoid ARCO because they don't accept credit cards (they do take debit cards but they charge you a .45 cent fee for using one) and I sometimes prefer to use my American Express card to buy gas; it makes it easier to fill the tank all the way because you don't have to guess how much it will take. When you use cash you never can be quite sure. Of course, I could use my dad's method, which is to go inside and give the attendant a large bill and then go back for the change after pumping. Dad always goes inside, which is what you normally have to do at most stations; ARCO makes it easier with their cash machines, you just insert the cash at the terminal and then go to your pump (you still have to go inside to get your change). So, when I want to use cash I usually go to ARCO.

I pulled in at pump #5, got out my wallet and inserted a ten dollar bill. I noticed a recently made notice taped near all the pumps. It said to please use exact change as they were all out of fives and ones. Oh, well, that's okay, I knew it would take at least ten. When I attempted to pump some 87, nothing happened. I tried again, still nothing. Becoming increasingly frustrated I was about to go inside when a guy near me said "They're all out of 87, all they have left is 91". I didn't want to pay for premium, so I went inside to get my money back. A long line awaited me as a young, stupid looking girl (the only employee who seemed to be in the place) struggled with two cash registers trying to get change for the person at the front of the line. Finally a second, very obese older woman attendant showed up from somewhere in the back of the AM/PM. I soon made it to the front of the line and informed her of my pump 5 disappointment. "Yeah," she said in a very lacksidaisy way, "we only have 91" and gave me my ten.

Now, in a time of no apparent gasoline shortages, how did they run out of everything but premium and at the same time run out of change in the form of small bills? Who is the manager and what the hell are they doing? Just asking. All the other gas stations nearby seemed to have no problems at all, including the one I eventually went to as an alternative (with regular selling for the same price as the ARCO). If you have to be that incompetent to run a station, I'm going to apply (and recommend some of my current co-workers).

I wonder, is what I witnessed that night a sign, or was I in a time warp, seeing the future of the post-collapse USA? No gas, supermarket shelves empty, riots in the streets, revolution...It all fit, except for the obese woman. If there was no food, why was she so fat?

Fatter and Fatter

Free Corporate Logos

Would You?

On an airplane you are talking pleasantly to a person of average appearance. Unexpectedly, the person offers you $100,000 for one night of sex. Knowing there is no danger and that payment is certain, would you accept the offer?


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Raccoon of the Moment

Why did I post this? I think it was the reaction of the cat.

As usual, there is always at least one comment that is better than all the others:

for fuck sake whats with the laughing, these programmes as this is from a programme would be so much better without the laughing for no reason parts. If it was real it would be ok lol they are laughing at everything! why do it.

What the !@%$#%@ Do You Mean?

Standardized curse symbols

Unexcused Absence

Just an alert, you have five unexcused absences in the past six months, a sixth would place you in disciplinary action resulting in a verbal warning; once you receive a warning, any additional unexcused absence will result in a written warning; warnings take 6 months to go away, in other words, you cannot have an unexcused absence for six months after receiving a warning; if you have any questions let me know.

Thank you.

All I can say to this unwarranted threat is @#%#@&! But I'll say more anyway. The entire office has been sick this cold and flu season, some of us several times. It's gone around and around and even hit the managers (boo-hoo) but of course it's the peons who are punished, the poor slobs working full-time for slave wages. So the above went out as an email to more than a few. One poor shaken woman, clearly concerned (there have been several layoffs already) rushed to explain that she had used her sick days for the absences, so why was she receiving the warning. It didn't matter though, sick days or no, if you didn't go to the doctor and get a note it is considered "unexcused". Excuse me? They pay you for the day, but it's "unexcused"?

And what's all this gotta go to the doctor crap? No wonder medical costs in this country are so high, with idiotic rules like this. Must we go to the doctor every time we're too sick to go to work? I was sick and it cleared up on its own. Dana was sick and she went to the doctor, but the second time she didn't, same recovery time, though, in both cases. Thanks, corporate assholes, for clogging our waiting rooms because of your evil nonsense.

I was too sick to work one day, voice gone, couldn't talk anyway without coughing, was given another job that day by the manager, who could see clearly I couldn't talk that day. And yet, when I called in the next day, barely able to speak, it was reported as an "unexcused absence" because I didn't go to the goddamned doctor! They all knew I was sick, I didn't call out to go to the beach. I was so sick I actually wanted to go to work rather than stay home.

And even if you have doctor's notes for every absence, as a very sick friend of mine did, they'll still fire your ass if you miss too many days. It happened to her, and they had no mercy on her. Being sick was no excuse, they said.

Final word to the little prick who sent the email: Shove your unexcused absence up your rotten smelly capitalist ass, you lying lackey for the man!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Depression Era Americans in the Gulag

No one knows exactly how many Soviet citizens met unnatural deaths during the quarter-century that Stalin wielded absolute power, but adding together those who were sentenced to death and shot, died in manmade famines, or were worked to death in gulag camps like these, authoritative estimates put the total at approximately 20 million. Like the other great horror show unfolding in German-occupied Europe in the same period, the Soviet story was one of mass deaths on an almost unimaginable scale. But, unlike the Nazis, the Soviets, in their first two decades in power, were partly sustained by great idealism on the part of people all over the world who were fervently hoping for a more just society. The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis is a poignant reminder of this. For his account of the Stalin years and their aftermath is seen through an unusual prism: the experience of tens of thousands of Americans who emigrated to the Soviet Union in the 1930s. Many of them, like the Russians they lived among, fell victim. Bits and pieces of this story have been told before, mainly in survivors’ memoirs. But to my knowledge this is the first comprehensive history, and a sad and fascinating one it is.

The little-known story of US citizens trying to escape the Depression

The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia

Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

The implications of some of the ideas in this article may seem immoral, contrary to our ideals, or offensive. We state them because they are true, supported by documented scientific evidence. Like it or not, human nature is simply not politically correct.

Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive.


"Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature" Gets Midlife Crisis Wrong

Morality Poll

Are individuals naturally good or evil?
A. On the whole, individuals are naturally good.
B. On the whole, individuals are naturally evil/corrupt.
C. I believe in blank slate: humans are not naturally anything.
D. Neither of these choices.


I think D should actually be "none of these choices", but then I don't make polls as often as Francois Tremblay.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Greatest Con-Man in Recent History

What was evident from even a cursory analysis of his key campaign advisers and public commitments to Wall Street speculators, civilian militarists, zealous Zionists and corporate lawyers was hidden from the electorate, by Obama’s people friendly imagery and smooth, eloquent deliverance of a message of ‘hope’. He effectively gained the confidence, dollars and votes of tens of millions of voters by promising ‘change’ (implying higher taxes for the rich, ending the Iraq war and national health care reform) when in fact his campaign advisers (and subsequent strategic appointments) pointed to a continuation of the economic and military policies of the Bush Administration.

Within 3 weeks of his election he appointed all the political dregs who brought on the unending wars of the past two decades, the economic policy makers responsible for the financial crash and the deepening recession castigating tens of millions of Americans today and for the foreseeable future. We can affirm that the election of Obama does indeed mark a historic moment in American history: The victory of the greatest con man and his accomplices and backers in recent history.

Obama, the Militarist, Outdoes His Predecessor

What makes Obama a much more audacious militarist and Wall Streeter than Bush is that he intends to pursue military policies, which have already greatly harmed the US people with appointed officials who have already been discredited in the context of failed imperial wars and with a domestic economy in collapse. While Bush launched his wars after the US public had their accustomed peace shattered by an orchestrated fear-mongering after 9/11, Obama intends to launch his escalation of military spending in the context of a generalized public disenchantment with the ongoing wars, with monumental fiscal deficits, bloated military budgets and after 100,000 US soldiers have been killed, wounded or psychologically destroyed.

Obama’s appointments of Clinton, General Jim Jones, dual Israeli citizen Rahm Emanuel and super-Zionist Dennis Ross, among others, fit perfectly with his imperial-militarist agenda of escalating military aggression. His short list of intelligence candidates, likewise, fits perfectly with his all-out effort to “regain US world leadership” (reconstruct US imperial networks). All the media blather about Obama’s efforts at ‘bipartisanship’, ‘experience’ and ‘competence’ obscures the most fundamental questions: The specific nominees chosen from both parties are totally committed to military-driven empire-building. All are in favor of “a new effort to renew America’s standing in the world” (read ‘America’s imperial dominance in the world’), as Obama’s Secretary of State-to-be, Hillary Clinton, declared. General James Jones, Obama’s choice for National Security Advisor, presided over US military operations during the entire Abu Ghraib/Guantanemo period. He was a fervent supporter of the ‘troop surge’ in Iraq and is a powerful advocate for a huge increase in military spending, the expansion of the military by over 100,000 troops and the expanded militarization of American domestic society (not to mention his personal financial ties to the military industrial complex). Robert Gates, continuing as Obama’s Secretary of Defense, is a staunch supporter of unilateral, unlimited and universal imperial warfare. As the number of US-allied countries with troops in Iraq declines from 35 to only 5 by January 1, 2009 and even the Iraqi puppet regime calls for a withdrawal of all US troops by 2012, Gates, the intransigent, insists on a permanent military presence.

The issue of ‘experience’ revolves around two questions: (a) experience related to what past political practices? (b) experience relevant to pursue what future policies? All the nominees’ past experiences are related to imperial wars, colonial conquests and the construction of client states. Hiliary Clinton’s ‘experience’ was through her support for the bombing of Yugoslavia and the Nato invasion of Kosova, her promotion of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an internationally recognized terrorist-criminal organization as well as the unrelenting bombings of Iraq in the 1990s, Bush’s criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003, Israel’s murderous bombing of civilian centers in Lebanon…and now full-throated calls for the ‘total obliteration of Iran’. Clinton, Gates and Jones have never in their mature political careers proposed the peaceful settlement of disputes with any adversary of the US or Israel. In other words, their vaunted ‘experience’ is based solely on their one-dimensional militarist approach to foreign relations.

Nothing speaks to Obama’s deep and abiding commitment to become the savior of the US empire as clearly as his willingness to appoint to the highest position of policy making the most mediocre failed politicians and generals merely because of their demonstrated willingness to pursue the course of military-driven empire building even in the midst of a collapsing domestic economy and ever more impoverished and drained citizenry.

The Election of the Greatest Con-Man

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Religious Right Still Loves Him

No matter what Bush did: no matter how egregiously unconstitutional, no matter how utterly stupid, no matter how blatantly evil his actions were, Christian conservatives (almost universally) either robotically accepted and approved what he did, or blindly looked the other way. It was maddening!

It was as if Christian conservatives lost all ability to reason; it was as if they lost all discernment and discretion. Because George W. Bush claimed to be a Christian, and because he was a Republican, he could do no wrong. To this very day, the only group of people who yet approves of Bush's Presidency is the Religious Right. Everyone else on the planet realizes that George W. Bush's Presidency will go down in history has one of the all-time worst.

George Bush took a prosperous and robust economy, and led America to the verge of a second Great Depression. He has taken a (relatively) free and independent republic to the brink of becoming a globalist Police State. He has pushed the envelope of executive power; he has trampled individual liberty; he has made a mockery of justice; and he has made America the laughingstock of the world. In addition, Bush has misused and abused our nation's bravest and finest by his illegal and inexcusable invasion of Iraq. No matter. The Religious Right still loves him. Why? Because he is a "Christian" Republican.

Chuck Baldwin

Blog of the Moment Part 2

I didn't know you had so many words within you that belonged to someone else.

I Wrote This For You

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Blog of the Moment

I don’t know why we all hang on to something we know we’re better off letting go. It’s like we’re scared to lose what we don’t even really have. Some of us say we’d rather have that something than absolutely nothing, But the truth is, to have it halfway is harder than not having it at all.


The Stainless Steel Car

History of the Stainless Steel Car

HT to the Silverbacks

Happy New Depression!

Part One

Part Two

The Trends Research Institute
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