The Audacity of Stupidity!

It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and eliminate any doubt.

These are words that Joe Biden ought to live by:

“Part of what a leader does is to instill confidence, is demonstrate that he or she knows what they’re talking about and communicates to people, “if you listen to me and follow what I’m suggesting, we can fix this.

When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘look, here’s what happened.’”

Pathetic! Given that Herbert Hoover was president in 1929. Roosevelt was actually the Govenor of New York State the year the stock market crashed and wasn’t sworn in as President until 1933. Television wasn’t commercially available until around 1939 so it might have been difficult for Roosevelt to make the television speech Biden suggested.

By his own words Biden ought not expect to instill much confidence given that he has little idea what he’s talking about. This is the guy who just spent an hour attacking McCain and eluding to an audience that if McCain gets elected that terrorists will attack America! I resent the Democrats infringing on the Republican’s fear mongering. How can you accuse the oposition of playing the fear card and then play it yourself? I don’t know.

September 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

God Really Hates You

I have often heard the phrase “God (Jesus, etc.) loves you”. You have to ask yourself: If this is true why does humanity suffer? Each of us suffers at a different level but if you ask most of us will agree that suffer we do. For some the suffering is mild, like a long line at Starbucks or heavy traffic when we’re in a hurry, for others it’s the horrors of disease, famine and natural disaster. Suffering is personal and relative, hence all of the depression and anxiety rampant in our society. “Thank God” for Xanax and Zoloft; or is that: “Thank Pfizer”?

A friend of mine told me, and I’ve done nothing to confirm this, when something bad happens the Buddhists say “Buda looked away.” I like that. It seems to me that if there is a God that he spends most of his time looking away, or perhaps God just hates us!

People of faith, something I am admittedly not, might explain in various ways, that God does not meddle with the everyday dealing of man. I find this is in direct conflict with the idea that God loves us. A loving parent watches their children carefully and would never drop a building on, starve, or teach their children to kill each other, would they? This supports the idea that God hates man. Perhaps the reason that God hates man is that men are inherently bad. We do not listen or obey. Left to our own devices without fear of a fate worse than death, which is one thing that religion tells us awaits those who disobey God, we would be a bunch of lawless deviants having sex with anything we could hold down and killing anything that got in our way. I am not arguing that God doesn’t have reason to hate humans, But if God handles disobedience this harshly why does society get so whip up over corporal punishment of children? Ask yourself: What would God do? “Billy, you didn’t listen again, well this crippling disease will teach you a lesson!” I’ll bet Billy won’t do that again.

I have observed and found particularly annoying many sports figures thanking God for their victory. Maybe if God weren’t so concerned with who wins sporting events he could concentrate on more pressing issues like famine and disease. Oh that’s right God created famine and disease. It’s kind of like congress worrying about steroids in baseball while the economy of our country takes a nose dive. Why is that sports figures never blame God when they loose? If he’s responsible for your victory then why isn’t he responsible for your defeat? “We lost because God hates us!” Please just once? Let’s face it sports fans; if we’re pretty much on our own when it comes to disasters, famine and disease, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t give a crap about who wins the Super Bowl.

As kids my friends and I had a much better grasp on God’s frivolity. When one of us got hurt doing something stupid or bad we would say “See? God punished you!” We knew then that God was vengeful and prone to cause injury. I like that idea better than the idea of a nice and benevolent God. Naturally this idea was imparted to us by some adult who, after living a life of misery, had concluded, that God punished us all for the slightest infractions and sometimes for no good reason at all.

Now you might think that I come from a Godless atheist background and you would be wrong. I was baptized Catholic and although my father was a non practicing Catholic and my mother a non practicing Lutheran, as a youngster in Brooklyn I would go to church on Sunday with our neighbor who we referred lovingly to as Aunt Catherine. She was a sweet lady who was a school teacher and the only man in her life was her gray poodle Chipper. I remember she drank tea and occasionally would tip a Harvey’s Bristol Cream with my mom. At the age of eight we moved from Brooklyn to the Northern Catskills and I started going to Church at Sacred Heart. I made my First Communion and Confirmation and was an Altar Boy. I never had a bad experience with the priest although years later there was some talk that one of my friends had though I’ve never confirmed it with him. Why dig up bad memories? In my teens my father had friends who became Pentecostals and were “born again”. I attended the free form gathering and was amazed by the love and devotion of these folks and was taken with it for a time, but I discovered girls and sex and found that, much to my detriment, more interesting. There have been times when I wonder why I didn’t stick with religion. I later revisited my Christianity for a short time while serving in the Marine Corps. I have even been married in the Catholic Church. I’ve also been married in a bakery; I like cake better than God. People of faith have told me that I have lost my faith. Actually I didn’t loose my faith; I abandoned it to reason once I discovered the history of religion. I saw folly in having faith in some unseen entity that governed all existence. I know this flies in the face of the majority of people world wide who believe in God. I’m not saying that they’re wrong and I’m right. Actually there is no clear evidence either way; I simply choose not to believe in God. Guess I’ll find out when I die.

To be honest, I would rather live a fairly good life, die, meet God and say “Well isn’t my face red?” than live like most religious hypocrites, who don’t really believe yet are just going through the motions to hedge their bet. You people know who you are and if there is a hell for “sinners”, you phonies will probably be a level deeper than me.

I do believe in Religion. I know it exists and that it governs the behavior of men. Unfortunately men are given to interpreting religion to suit their own agenda, much the way politicians interpret politics. When you mix religion with politics you are just asking for trouble. As a youngster during the Great Depression my father asked a priest why he wasn’t using the money he collected to feed poor and hungry people in the neighborhood. The priest slapped him and promptly banned him from the church. My father did not turn the other cheek; he just never went back to the Catholic Church. My father later was kind to the Franciscan priests at Sacred Heart Church and would regularly invite them to dinner at our home. He only talked politics with them and never religion.

As I approach the middle of my uncertain life I find myself rejecting the idea of a benevolent God. I feel if God exists at all, it is indifferent at best; observing us much the way we might observe an ant colony; exhibiting many of the same qualities we humans do; curiosity, cruelty and indifference. In fact I think he occasionally sprinkles us with cosmic pesticide, collapses our burrows or pulls out the divine looking glass to roast a few of us. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians worshiped gods who possessed human qualities. Those gods acted out the same drama we humans experienced but on a cosmic scale. There was no defined set of religious laws; the actions of the gods were unpredictable, sometimes petty and often arbitrary. Occasionally the gods would turn a favorable eye on mankind, but often their actions were punishing and cruel. So enter monotheism. One God: omnipotent and all seeing. This deity doesn’t change much from the previous landlords. He kills us for sinning, casts us into hell, besets us with plague, famine, floods and wars without so much as a “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.” He does all of this in the name of righteousness, but where’s the love?

If you read the Old Testament you see that God is a vengeful and punishing deity. He gives Adam and Eve free choice and then gets pissed when Satan, another supernatural power, talks them into doing eating from the tree of life. What kind of a game is this? This is what you call love? God screws with us and must laugh like hell at the confusion and chaos he creates. One might argue that God inflicts the harshness of disaster upon us because this is when man exhibits his noblest virtues. It is in time of great distress that man comes to the aid of his fellow humans, right? Some do, some just seek to exploit the situation for personal, political or financial gain. Again, God screws with man!

One big contradiction to me is: Thou Shall Not Kill. Then the God of the Old Testament shows favor with David who slays Goliath with a stone. Maybe his commandment was: Thou Shall Not Kill any of your own tribe but everyone else is fair game. God, if you’re reading this could you clarify? You know it would make things much easier if God would speak directly to mankind in mass and clear up all the confusion. If he is all powerful, why does he send mixed messages through men; hasn’t he witnessed a game of telephone. Men just get the message all twisted.
NOTE 7/29/08: Further review on this topic indicates that a more accurate translation for the sixth commandment is: Thou shall not commit Murder. This allowed for accidental killing, war and the killing of animals (non humans) for food and clothing. The Old Testament God did however allow intentional killing other human beings in special circumstances, such as allowing the killing of murderers and adulterers. Kind of makes you long for the old days doesn’t it?

Somewhere along the line, according to Christians, the God of the Old Testament turns benign and sacrifices his only son for the sins of man and then butts out of the affairs of humanity. His M.O. doesn’t change though and actually the problems get worse. More religions spring up in his name and now man starts killing each other over who properly worships God. Excellent plan! Who’s right? Well that’s anybodies guess because god has stopped talking with us except, allegedly, through a few crazy religious fundamentalists and he’s apparently telling each of them something different just to keep spiritual existence interesting.

Every time I hear someone say that “God loves us (you)”, I want to punch them square in the mouth for saying something so stupid. Actually I hope God punishes them for presuming to know the mind of God. If God actually made man in his own image, then God must possess the same flaws as man and might be a petty self centered, depressed, mass murdering, egomaniacal deity! Or maybe someone just made up the part about man being made in God’s image; maybe man made God in his own image. Either way it really doesn’t matter.

From this essay, you might think that I have a bone to pick with religion, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. We need religion to control anti societal and aberrant behavior; its rules insure the continuation of the species and promote social order much the way secular law does. Religion and faith also keeps some folks very happy and can be therapeutic and comforting in many respects. Who wants to believe that we face a meaningless and solitary death? I mean aside from me. However religion can also be toxic and fuel intolerance and zealotry; but that is not the fault of religion; it is the fault of men. Ultimately the only thing we humans have control over, unless you are mentally ill, is our own behavior.

Personally I have no need for religion. I am satisfied believing that this tiny planet on the edge of a vast galaxy in an endless universe exists for reasons beyond my explanation. We live here on borrowed time for as long as conditions allow, and as long as our nearest star continues to burn and no longer than that. Life and existence are uncertain and we can blame God or just accept that it is as it is. A close friend once said to me: “We spend the coin of life from a purse which cannot be replenished.” To that I add that the quantity of coin in that purse unknown. I accept that if (and for me that’s a big IF) there is a God he hates me at worst, is indifferent to me at best, but most likely doesn’t exist. Regardless, I will take pleasure in spending whatever “coin of life” I have left and share as much of that pleasure with others as I can.

September 17, 2008 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment

The politics of Hope – Who is really more of the same?

Joe Biden’s speech today reinforced my belief. The Obama/Biden ticket is more of the same. Biden’s speech is more of the typical, finger pointing, fear mongering, lying politics. Problems are pointed out, blame is placed, but no real solutions are offered other than “it’s the other guys fault!” Fear mongering has become the buzz of the Democrat party. The old and constant implication by Democrats that “Republicans will starve children and eat the old people!” has again reared its head; I nearly vomited. This is nothing less than a desperate attempt by the Democrats as they slip in the polls to inject fear and partisan politics into the mix. While Governor Palin speaks of reform and change in Washington, Senator Biden attacks McCain and speculates on how his administration would be the next George Bush administration.

Joe Biden gave a derisive speech that did nothing but attack and blame the Bush administration for the current financial crisis and attempt to say that McCain is the next George Bush. He outright implied that the mortgage collapse was the fault of George Bush, when the facts are that William Jefferson Clinton signed into law the bill that created this mortgage debacle. Granted, it was a Republican majority in the Senate that passed the bill and Biden did vote NAY, but it was the sweetheart of the Democrat party, Bill Clinton that failed to veto this bill, yet Biden fails to bring that up and only focuses on the proximity of the Bush administration to the collapse that bill created.

This is a stark contrast to the McCain speech which invites Obama to come and debate in Town Hall meetings. Why doesn’t Obama accept the opportunity? It’s because he is afraid to face the hard questions. While Obama/Biden cast blame on the Bush administration, McCain/Palin addressed the needed changes in banking regulations. Let’s also point out that for two years the Democrat majority Congress also failed to do anything about the problem; but of course it was all George Bush’s fault! Sigh.

So much for Democrat rising above the fray and addressing issues, it just never happened nor will it. As usual they are machine politicians and empty shirts. Hope and change indeed.

September 15, 2008 at 7:49 pm Leave a comment

MY audacity of hope

America: a nation of ideals, a place where anyone willing to work can work and earn a living for their family; a place where those who strive for excellence are rewarded for their efforts; A place of laws that treat men and women equally regardless of race, color, creed or religion; A place where the is no free lunch and everyone is expected to pull their weight; A place where you get what you pay for; A place where government respects it’s citizens a lets them excel without being taxed for excellence; A nation that rewards companies that created and keep jobs in America and that make products for America and the rest of the world; A country that puts the interests of working Americans above greed and power; A country that taxes foreign imports and companies that export jobs outside America because of corporate greed; A country that protects it’s working citizens from corporate greed and abuse while still rewarding those corporations that “do the right thing.”; A country that is energy independent and strong because of that independence; A place where the rights granted by our constitution are respected and held to be truths and not just given lip service; A country that honors military service and those who sacrifice for the cause of freedom and democracy; A country that protects it’s citizens from the parasitic financial ravages of illegal foreign immigration and welfare fraud; A country where English is spoken; A country that provides education to those who deserve and want it and removes those that would disrupt and interfere with the process of learning; A country that rewards the service of excellent teachers, police, nurses and doctors above sports figures; A country where the legal system isn’t a lottery or financial benefactor to the detriment of our healthcare; A country where child molesters are punished by permanent imprisonment along with politicians who violate their office and public trust through criminal activity.

Yes America, this is my audacity of hope. This is my vision for America.

September 6, 2008 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

My Vote goes to McCain/Palin

My mind is made up. I’m voting McCain/Palin. Why? I cannot support the left. I just can’t do it. I am socially liberal (in the actual definition, not the political Liberal which a nice way to say socialist), I support gay rights, women’s rights, reproductive rights and racial equality. I believe we need health care reform; we need to protect the elderly, gain independence from foreign oil and find alternative energy sources. I hate the current administration and believe that George Bush sold America out. But I’m smart enough to realize that we don’t live in Monarchy, that we have a Legislature that is complicit in the woes of this nation.
The problems in the banking industry are the direct result of deregulation of the banking industry which occurred during the Clinton Administration. Don’t get me wrong, the Republicans were right there with them in fact the bill, S. 900 [106th]: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was sponsored by Senator Phil Gramm (R) TX. John McCain was present but didn’t vote on the final bill which was passed by 44 Republicans 34 Democrats and 2 Independents. Only 8 voted against it 7 Democrats and 1 Republican. My point? Well, we have a disaster in the mortgage market which is a direct result of the deregulation that this bill created. So who is to blame? Well check the record. As John Adams said “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
So the facts are that both parties have screwed the American public. Obama is a machine Democrat; at least McCain has fought the waste and corruption in Washington and bucked the system which cost him the party nod in 2000 and put him on the end of a dirty smear campaign by the Bush campaign which was led by Carl Rove.
I believe that McCain IS the real candidate for change and that Obama is the candidate for politics as usual. He tows the party line and will be a “Liberal” puppet. While I disagree with some of the ideological positions of the McCain/Palin ticket, I believe that it is still the best overall choice for the country, for America. Am I right? History will tell.

September 5, 2008 at 11:07 pm Leave a comment

More of the same – Liberal smears

It is a few days after the announcement by Senator John McCain that Alaska Governor Sara Palin will be the Republican candidate for Vice President.

Liberals again not being so liberal:

Popular liberal culture has already began it’s dissection of Mrs. Palin’s family. She has come under attack for having a pregnant teenage daughter. Having had a teenage daughter myself, knowing many people that have teenage daughters, I can say pretty frankly that one has very little control over what teenage girls will or will not do. Sure you can advise them, but in the end they will make up their own mind on the course they will steer.

Most of the people that seem to be attacking the issue are those that view themselves as liberal. Once again the double standard of the political side that rewards young welfare mothers with more income for more children has reared its head. The “judgmental” conservatives are embracing this candidate not because her daughter has made a life altering error but because Mrs. Palin has asked her daughter to take responsibility for this and has pledged her own support for her daughter and the impending child. Mrs. Palin hasn’t placed the responsibility for her daughters mistake (becoming pregnant as an unmarried teen) at the feet of the tax-paying public. She has accepted personal and familial responsibility.

The issues are being ignored:

She’s a woman with children, her daughter’s pregnant, he’s black, his brother lives in a tent, and he has no executive experience, he’s old, he’s old, he was a prisoner of war…

No one is addressing the issues at hand or where the players in this political game stand on the real problems America faces. It amazes me that we are more concerned with the private lives and personal behavior of candidates then we are about their politics, views and solutions to the issues at hand.

Trade deficits, foreign debt to China, dependence on foreign oil, Welfare, unemployment, immigration, have all taken a back seat to Mrs. Palin’s pregnant 17 year old daughter. Holy Shit! This just shows how leftist the mainstream press has become. We can see who they’re behind.

John Adams, one of the driving forces behind the American Revolution had a son who was an alcoholic! Did that diminish his statesmanship? Many sacrifices are made in the cause of public office and sometimes the personal lives of those dedicated to public service have suffered and the fact is that public service doesn’t change the fact that people are people and personal life doesn’t disappear just because you become a public servant.

September 5, 2008 at 9:48 pm Leave a comment

“Freedom of speech for me, but not for thee” – The Liberal version of Liberty

I consider myself an independent thinker. I take an issue study both sides of the issue, look at the history of similar issues and then I try to come to an intelligent conclusion. There are times when an intelligent or decisive conclusion cannot be reached and that’s okay too.

Sometimes I don’t like what people say. I have no interest in hearing them say the things they say. Keith Olberman is an example. I think he’s hateful, inaccurate and even anti-American at times. MSNBC airs his show, so I don’t watch MSNBC and I don’t watch Keith Olberman. My choice, right? While I disagree with nearly everything Mr. Olberman says and find him viciously annoying, Mr. Olberman has the right to speak his mind and voice his opinions. I will not call for his firing for his hateful and nasty left wing commentary and personal attacks on people. “Why?” you might ask. Well, I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of the press. These are fundamental rights granted by our Constitution.

Now the definition of “liberal” is: open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc. It seems that political “Liberals” lack, by definition, the very values of the word that defines their political position. How often do we see “Liberals” attempting to stifle thought and discussion that differs from their own? Let me answer: Constantly. Now “Conservatives” are no better, but they don’t claim to be tolerant. “Conservatives” often stand strictly for or against an issue, but oddly enough they often welcome debate if for no other reason it gives them the opportunity to voice their positions. “Liberals” however hate opposition and will do nearly anything to shout down, shut-up and or stifle ideas that oppose their agenda.

August 15, 2008 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

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