Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Rumsfeld Makes a PointI just watched this: http://thinkprogress.org/2006/08/30/rumsfeld-war-critics-2/ I actually went to this news article, knowing what was there. I expected to react one way, but surprised myself by partially agreeing with what Rumsfeld is saying. At first I thought, "Feh! He's comparing war critics to those who mollified the Nazi regime! Feh!" And yeah ... feh ... that's bullshit on one level. I will get to that. But on another level, what he is actually warning against is something that many of us Liberals should probably listen to. The destructive capacity and intent of Militant Islamic regimes should not be underestimated. They hate us, they hate our way of life, and their own leaders are instructing their sheep to destroy us. Given the chance, they will. This calls for drastic measures, to be sure. And this warning should be heeded, and Liberals should make sure we have a plan on what to do. However ... the approach that Rumsfeld has taken was to attack a nation that was NOT part of this problem. His argument is rendered totally sterile because it assumes that the current course of action has been taken to address the problem he is describing. Earth to Rumsfeld: Occupying Iraq is not addressing the problem with terrorism.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
More from the ProphetHere is another quote from "Al Ahkenseh" Oh yea, Oh yea, and in the last days, men will not speak as men. Instead, each man will speak into a tube, and yea, on the other end of the tube shall be an automaton with the voice of a woman. The woman can speak, but the men can only push buttons. And yea, the woman will offer the men particular options for topics that the men can speak about, like payment amounts and account information, but these options will never represent what the man *really* wants to speak about. Oh yea, and the man will push random buttons hoping to speak to a real person, but she shall not flinch. She will say, "You have pressed an incorrect option." And yea, the man will shout obscenities at the woman, and she shall say, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that." Eventually the men will hang up, dejected and afraid.
Techo-TyrannyReporters Without Borders has learned that a British company, Silver Bullet, and a US company, Verint Systems (a subsidiary of Comverse Technology), sold equipment for intercepting mobile phone calls to the Vietnamese intelligence services. RWB: "... telecommunications companies must be forced to respect certain rules of ethical conduct. In particular, they should be banned from selling surveillance equipment to repressive governments." There was a day when America set an example of liberty for the world. But alas, we are no longer in a position (as a country) to condemn such behavior. We can only condemn those companies by not doing business with them.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
CorrectionI'm ashamed to admit it, but I fell for a good one. I quoted George Bush in an earlier post, claiming that he said this: "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." —George W. Bush. Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001 Jason pointed out in the comments that this quote never happened. I did some research and to the best of my knowledge, I believe he is right. Lesson learned. Liberal websites can spread lies just as easily as their NeoCon counterparts. So George Bush never flip-flopped on this issue. Finding Osama Bin Laden was never a stated priority.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Ben TrippWhenever I do "research" I'm always surprised. This time, I ran across an article written by an old buddy of mine, Ben Tripp. Ben and I used to work together at Disney. He has reached a state of quasi-celebrity, while I am languishing in my role of abject non-celebrity. Anyway, I found his article here. The funniest quote of all: "Jesus did not have to worry about weapons of mass destruction--there were none, unless you count the incident wherein Samson "found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith" (Judges 15:15,16), which I think we can discount as hyperbole. If anybody is going to slay 10,000 with the jawbone of an ass, it's George Bush II." WTG Ben!
Custodians of chaosI just found the following excerpt by Kurt Vonnegut. I identified with it so much, I am posting it here. _________________________________________________________________________________ 06/17/06 -- "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." A lot of people think Jesus said that, because it is so much the sort of thing Jesus liked to say. But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, five hundred years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ. The Chinese also gave us, via Marco Polo, pasta and the formula for gunpowder. The Chinese were so dumb they only used gunpowder for fireworks. And everybody was so dumb back then that nobody in either hemisphere even knew that there was another one. We've sure come a long way since then. Sometimes I wish we hadn't. I hate H-bombs and the Jerry Springer Show But back to people like Confucius and Jesus and my son the doctor, Mark, each of whom have said in their own way how we could behave more humanely and maybe make the world a less painful place. One of my favourite humans is Eugene Debs, from Terre Haute in my native state of Indiana. Get a load of this. Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning: "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. "As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. "As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all? When you get out of bed each morning, with the roosters crowing, wouldn't you like to say. "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free." How about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes? Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. And so on. Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly George W Bush, Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld stuff. For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. "Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break! It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the US Constitution. But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'état imaginable. I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale". George W Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr Hervey Cleckley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia, published in 1941. Read it! Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything. PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? And they are waging a war that is making billionaires out of millionaires, and trillionaires out of billionaires, and they own television, and they bankroll George Bush, and not because he's against gay marriage. So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilise the reserves! Privatise the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: only nut cases want to be president. This was true even in high school. Only clearly disturbed people ran for class president. The title of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is a parody of the title of Ray Bradbury's great science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451. Four hundred and fifty-one degrees Fahrenheit is the combustion point, incidentally, of paper, of which books are composed. The hero of Bradbury's novel is a municipal worker whose job is burning books. While on the subject of burning books, I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and destroyed records rather than have to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House of Representatives, or the media. The America I loved still exists at the front desks of our public libraries. And still on the subject of books: our daily news sources, newspapers and TV, are now so craven, so unvigilant on behalf of the American people, so uninformative, that only in books do we learn what's really going on. I will cite an example: House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, published in early 2004, that humiliating, shameful, blood-soaked year. In case you haven't noticed, as the result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African-Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war-lovers with appallingly powerful weaponry - who stand unopposed. In case you haven't noticed, we are now as feared and hated all over the world as Nazis once were. And with good reason. In case you haven't noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanised millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound 'em and kill 'em and torture 'em and imprison 'em all we want. Piece of cake. In case you haven't noticed, we also dehumanised our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class. Send 'em anywhere. Make 'em do anything. Piece of cake. The O'Reilly Factor. So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and a Chicago paper called In These Times. Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic New York Times guaranteed there were weapons of mass destruction there. Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn't even seen the first world war. War is now a form of TV entertainment, and what made the first world war so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun. Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don't you wish you could have something named after you? Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now give up on people, too. I am a veteran of the second world war and I have to say this is not the first time I have surrendered to a pitiless war machine. My last words? "Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse." Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own? © 2005 Kurt Vonnegut Extracted from A Man Without a Country: : A Memoir of Life in George W Bush's America. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13659.htm
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Two Quotes1. "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him." —George W. Bush. Washington, D.C., Sept. 13, 2001 2. "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." —George W. Bush. Washington, D.C., March 13, 2002
Monday, August 14, 2006
End Times ProphesiesMy earlier posting led me to yet some more research, which led to more interesting findings. I discovered a fellow named "Al Ahkenseh" lived in the Nepal around 1200 AD. He was, in his day, probably considered an insane person, as he wrote down prophesies which would have seemed hallucinatory. Today, however, when translated from his original sanskrit to English, his words ring strangely true. Here are a few snippets from one of the chapters. I may post a few more intersting ones later. "... and they shall mount upon metal beasts with round legs, moving to and fro with great swiftness. Great distances shall become small, and every man will see the entire world." "... and when the beasts stop at the marketplace, each within his own place, the men will walk past many places wherein no beasts are placed. These places are blue, and shall be reserved only for him who have no ears to hear, or no legs to walk. But verily, these blue spaces, which lie closer to the marketplace due to a King's writ, shall always be empty." "... and there shall be great beasts and small beasts. And great places to park the great beasts, and small places to park the small beasts. Small beasts can go ahead and park in the big spaces. But yea, the small places shall bear a sign warning great beasts that only small beasts may park there. But verily, the great beasts shall park there anyway." "... and in these times, the beastmakers shall equip each beast with a siren's call, so that if the beast be stolen, passers by can stop the thief. But alas, these siren's shall sound their alarum far too often, and passers by will merely plug their ears, and the alarum shall only make people wish it would stop."
Sunday, August 13, 2006
God is AngryProof.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
What to Do in Case You Miss the RaptureI stumbled upon the following whilst doing some research. It can be found here, but it's the same exact text. Please note that I used to believe ever word of this tripe when I was a boy. Reading it now shows me how truly separated from reality I was. So too are the many Christians today actually do believe this. My comments are in bold. Author: Unknown RAPTURE - OCTOBER 28, 1992 I. STAY CALM AND DO NOT PANIC Your natural reaction once you realize what has just occurred is to panic. But to do so is absolutely useless now. If you had wanted to get right with god before the rapture, you could have, but you chose to wait. Now your only chance is to stay on this earth and to endure to the end of the Tribulation. "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." - Matthew 24:13 II. REALIZE YOU ARE NOW LIVING DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION The Great Tribulation is a seven year period starting from the time of the rapture until Jesus' second coming. Also know as "the time of Jacob's (Israel's) trouble" (Jere 30:7) and "Daniel's Seventieth Week" (Dan 9), this period will be unparalleled in trouble and horror. III. GATHER AS MANY BIBLES AS YOU CAN AND HIDE THEM (ed. This is good advice now, in fact. Soon after the Antichrist becomes the leader of the European Community (the revived Roman Empire [i.e. the Jews])(ed. Huh? the revived Roman Empire will be Jewish? Is that some sort of Karmic retribution thing? Wrong religion, if so!), Bibles will be confiscated and owning a Bible will be tantamount to treason. The Bible, however, will be your most valuable possession during the Tribulation. IV. READ THE BIBLE LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER READ IT BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE (ed. For example, read it while singing "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" in the shower) Since all of your Bibles may be confiscated, even if you are careful, it is imperative that you read the word until you memorize whole passages and can quote them. It is especially important to read Daniel, Luke 21, Matthew 24, Revelation, and Amos, for these books describe the events you can expect to unfold before you. V. PRAY LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER PRAYED BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE (ed. For example, pray to Fanta Girls.) Pray until the power of god comes strongly upon you - pray and pray and pray. Only by reading the word and praying will you gain the spiritual strength to be able to withstand the torture you may have to endure for the sake of Jesus. VI. DO NOT TAKE THE MARK AT ANY COST - EVEN IN FIT MEANS YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES DIE AS MARTYRS After the Antichrist becomes the leader of the European Community, he will institute a world economic system, designed so that you cannot buy, sell, or eat unless you take his mark or the number of his name. Money will be useless. "And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666" - Revelation 13:16-18. The Antichrist will implement the greatest slaughter in all of humanity. Think of the various ways people have been tortured and killed in the past, such as the Holocaust. (ed. Blah blah ... I've cut a bit out here) VII. SET A PLAN IN MOTION FOR SURVIVAL Although you may not be able to hide from the Antichrist's government until the end of the Tribulation, all of the time you gain in hiding is important for your spiritual growth and strengthening, since only those who are extremely strong in Jesus can suffer and die for his sake. (ed. There's some motivation!) The first thing to do is move out of the city and into a rural or mountainous area, for the Antichrist's control will come last to the least populated areas. Take a good radio or TV with you so that you can stay attuned to events and discern the time schedule of the Tribulation. Store water and food, because you will not be able to purchase anything without the mark. Water in lakes and streams will be polluted by radioactive waste from nuclear warfare and will eventually turn into blood. (ed. And if you hold out long enough, the lakes in this non-causal universe will turn into Jack Daniels.) Bring different types of clothing for all seasons, as well as flashlights, batteries, generators, and First Aid supplies, (antique porn). In short, learn how to survive and live off the land as the pioneers did. VIII. TRUST NO ONE There will be secret agents everywhere, spying for the Antichrist's government. Be on the lookout. (ed. Sorry, I can't make this any funnier.) IX. WATCH FOR THE ANTICHRIST It is important to realize who the Antichrist is and what he is up to, for he will deceive many into thinking that he is a great world leader who will bring peace and prosperity to a world hungry for it.(ed. Uh oh ... this is starting to sound like someone I know ... ) We can infer from Daniel 11 certain characteristics of this man. Popular during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation, he will dominate the airwaves. (ed. Uh oh, this is REALLY starting to scare me!) He will be physically appealing, highly intelligent, (ed. Whew!) with christ-like charisma and personality. An international politician, military tactician and economic expert, his word will be peace; he will make a treaty with the Jews, which he will break after three and a half years. He will have such supernatural power that a mortal wound to his head will be healed. Even the very elect will be deceived. If you do not pray and read the Bible, you too will be deceived. The antichrist will have a companion, the False Prohphet [sic], who will make an image in the likeness of the Antichrist and cause it to speak. All who refuse to worhsip [sic] the image will be killed. The final three and a half years will be absolutely insane, with demonized spirits everywhere. (ed. Dogs and cats, living together!) X. DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE! The seven years of Tribulation will end with the triumphant return of Jesus. The Antichrist will be defeated. Be steadfast and endure, and you will be rewarded greatly in Heaven. Etc. etc.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Stealth Marketing and Global WarmingIn the marketplace of ideas, no avenue is sacred. Not even YouTube. Exxon has hired a PR firm to fake an "amateur" video that made fun of Al Gore's Global Warming education campaign. See the news here. In the meantime, Tommy Masterson has posted his thoughts on Global Warming, which I heartily agree with. History shows us that every scientific theory that: 1. Is espoused by the masses, 2. Produces hysteria, and 3. Predicts doom. hasn't been manifested yet. So if the earth is warming up--and it looks like it might be--I am really not sure that it's due to carbon dioxide emissions. If it is--no problem! Carbon Dioxide emissions will end pretty soon, because we are running out of gas. I would much more easily accept global warming to be a natural outcome of the Earth's normal cycle. We see the earth's changes from the perspective of a human lifespan, but geological time is much slower. The earth has a 33,000 year cycle, that is actually impacted by even larger universal effects. After all, global warming will most likely lead to an ice age. There have been many ice ages in Earth's history, and all of them occured long before we had hairspray.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
A Good ChristianToday at lunch I was musing over the difference between the foreign policy of our current administration--who continuously calls upon fundamentalist Christian "sensibilities" to guide its policies--and the policies that Jesus would have actually espoused while he was on Earth. After all, Jesus came to a nation that was being horribly repressed by another nation at the time. Rather than talk about that nation's right to defend itself, arm itself, make pre-emptive strikes, etc., he instructed the Israelites to look inward, feed the poor, help the sick, and become better people. I case could so easily be made that this administrations policies are blatant opposites from the characteristics Jesus called "blessed" during his sermon from the Mount. So, to do a little research, I decided to look up what else has been said. I did a search for "Christ's foreign policy" and found this link and, I must confess, since it appeared to be a typical Christian website, I assumed it would have mediocre pablum that would be, at best, confusing and contradictory. But I was wrong. The writer of this article is still a clear-thinking individual who has not been drinking Bush's Kool-aid. Props to Harlan Simantel. I don't agree 100% with his opinion, but to me it seems like what a Christian foreign policy truly should be.