The Mind’s Signs; You’ve Got to Have a Membership Card to Get Inside

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In the mind of all human beings you will find etched virtually unbreakable, arcane incantations. Amidst stray rituals, smells evocative of meaningful moments from life, and a variable number of intense emotional memories swept under mental furniture to prevent their being included in the ‘files‘. That is where they are found, shining out like neon signs along an oft traveled, drab neighborhood lane strung with bars and the occasional restaurant; engraved on the walls of the soul may be found a human’s personal, subjective, and mostly inviolable, ‘n Commandments’:

I MUST ONLY POOP WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO!!!

 

NO ONE MUST DETECT BAD SMELLS FROM ME!

 

[Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here] IS DISGUSTING!

 

SEX IS…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

SEX MUST BE…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

SEX MUST NEVER BE…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

To Be Seen NAKED is…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

To See Someone Else NAKED is…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

Stealing is [Worse than or the Same As] stealing when you never [are/were] caught [variable intensity of punctuation]

 

I AM BAD IF I…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

I AM GOOD IF I…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

An attentive student cannot help but begin to get the picture; though only comprised of “software” modeled during our lifetimes on our psyche’s we are rarely even aware that they exist; let alone that we can change them with understanding and will.

Do you know what bars line your mental street of unforgettably forgotten habits, rituals and automatic, “natural” reactions? If you do have a mental map of your life’s ‘programming’, what are you doing with this understanding?

How are you treating Life anyway?

–       Be Prepared to Appreciate What You Meet. (Taoist proverb)

Dumbest (uncorrected) Choices in American History: Shortlist

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My list of REALLY STUPID CHOICES made in American history; just a short-list I am afraid:

Diet Food” that is more chemicals than food

Having the Soviet Union an “ally” in WWII – better to have let them go it alone; email for full argument

The Electoral College in the Age of Communication; direct election of all offices should be the norm; Political Parties are OBSOLETE and COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE

Public Sector Unions

Adding “under God” to the Pledge making it a point of division instead of unity

Lotus and Apple’s Patent-the-Universe Syndrome making the courts accept patents on things never meant for patent

Failing to live up to Dr. King’s vision and refusing to stop being prejudiced regarding race

Private campaign donations of any kind other than labor

Campaign donations by businesses

Supreme Court deciding that money= a right to a louder voice for YOUR ‘free speech

Dropping the no-partisanship requirements for radio talk-shows and ‘interview’ programs

Letting Lawyers advertise

Supreme Court declaring that nothing of value is earned by the recipient of a military award or decoration

Women’s, Chicano, Black “Studies” propping up people selected, distorted and lionized with blatant prejudice; taking away self-respect while pretending to help by ‘giving the poor things a hand’, and White Studies designed to rip on Western Culture for the same purpose – removing its self-respect – it seems non-whites are too dumb or clueless to run their own lives or stand up to whites and that whites are just intrinsically demonic – welcome to the enlightened world of PC education

Failing to settle on the point in a pregnancy where a woman’s choice is MADE and she must be held responsible for an infant rather than a piece of owned tissue. (6 month preemies regularly survive today and the Radical Right’s agenda on abortion would make women all but chattel)

Worrying more about which consenting adults, what age, color or how many may legally get ‘married’; ignoring the concept of duty, honor and responsibility anyone brings to their marriages

Bilingual Education as a policy

Helmets, knee and elbow-pads for tricycle riders

Peer promotion in school

Affirmative Action after 1990 – where was the transition to color-blind government?

Worrying more about what actual people have DONE with their guns than trying to get law-abiding folk to not have any at all

Electing Andrew Jackson, Jimmy Carter, George W., and Obama

Forgetting that ALL countries do best with immigrants if they pick from the TOP of the pile instead of the bottom

Paying a private group to print/coin money like a product to be bought forgetting that money has no ‘intrinsic’ value’; dollars are just counters for the economic game; increasing or decreasing the supply by fiat to ACCURATELY reflect the production/wealth of a nation is the ONLY reason when deciding when or if to print more money, or let the cash pool contract

Deciding that political consensus and no working model or scientific theory that has been tested is sufficient when making decisions in haste that could wreck the world’s entire economy/infrastructure; in the 70’s it was the next Ice Age that was imminent… no models then either

Making an “eco-friendly” light-bulb containing hazardous amounts of mercury

Adults stealing Halloween from the children and making it another grown-ups party holiday

The Writer’s Strike

ANY serious university or college that “emphasized” sports to make money and enabled ‘tails’ that can wag Great Danes with ease

Guy DeWhitney on Government by Heretics Crusaders

My ideal of government:
Un-self-consciously, individual humans that are raised to feel a profound duty to protect all aspects of seldom/individuality that neither “picks someone’s pocket nor breaks someone’s leg” and a profound respect for the notion that we are all one and what goes around not only comes around, it DIRECTLY affects us; i.e. “successful” assholery damages a psyche’s ability to make ‘good’ choices in the future.Guy DeWhitneys Heretics Crusade

Forget Faith in Jesus or Mohammad – I Believe in Bugs Bunny

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One thing seems to be consistent about religions all through human history; faith in the literal truth of the religion’s doctrines and dogmas is strongest in the least educated and least widely experienced, while the “elite” tend to range from religious beliefs with agnostic admissions to full-blown, cynical atheism.  This aspect of societal religion tends to favor the more partisan of each camp; the “masses” are peer-pressured to “show faith” and not think too much, while the “elite” are pressured in the same way to deny ALL aspects of deity and belief and God(s).  For those of us to who seeking understanding of God in a REAL sense, as opposed to a political or emotional/security sense, this is a bit of a hindrance.

To try to avoid the almost inevitable miscommunication that occurs when attempting to discuss God let me define my own terms; belief is not the same as faith; faith is something that causes grief and only causes good by accident; belief is what built civilization as we know it.

Faith is defined in Western culture as belief in something unseen, unproven, un-EVIDENCED other than by conflicting scriptural testimonies; this is a fool’s game at best!

Pseudo-religion has taken over much of the world’s “Faithful” by taking advantage of the tendency of the masses to desire a simple creed with an un-questioned authority to follow – just so that they do not have to ponder things that they do not have the experience or education to ponder with any confidence.

It is not enough, their preachers say, to believe in the bridge over the canyon, you must have and prove absolute faith that it is there…

The next sound you hear is the sound of crunching bones at the bottom of the canyon; and if the snake-oiled social-system-from-perdition that they are selling fails the test in the real world they have an escape clause; it is the fault of the poor soul who failed to “show enough faith”; you know who I mean, they are most likely a victim of the situation for which they are receiving (divine sanctioned) blame!

As you can see Virginia, I have never completely gotten over my desire to seek God, and lead others to know God better! Mea culpa; I still care. But, at some point I recognized that all the “Organized Religions” have long since been co-opted by pirates, parasites and reactionaries – who are their own enemies as well as everyone else’s; never thinking, believing then acting – just fighting the others while stealing as much power over people’s souls as possible.

Oh, let me point out that yes, Atheism is a faith; it takes a lot of ego-based, un-founded faith to KNOW that “our reality contains no form of anything that might be called God, period, debate closed; it is not even possible you know, why even bring it up in ‘intelligent’ company?”

Belief on the other hand is based on facts and experience and even intuition, if that intuition has a good track record; if every time you had something very bad happen in your life, and you had ignored a strong, distinct feeling to avoid the situation, eventually you would “believe” enough to listen; even though for years you might not have the “faith” to gamble on your premonitions being something other than a coincidental case of indigestion!

I have beliefs, I have very little faith; I like it that way.

Faith has to be blind; the blind tend to step on things, including other people’s toes, property, pets and even bridges that are NOT over canyons.

Of course many of the things that can fall under either label are good, or useful!

In a documentary film about the life and death of comedian Andy Kaufman (Man on the Moon) there is a scene where he is waiting to undergo a faith healing in India with full belief, from things he has seen and read and experienced, that he would find healing given by an honest healer. But instead, he sees from where his stretcher is laid that the “healer” is faking the procedure, and his belief dies.

Of course, the proponents of “faith” will tell us that if he had continued to ‘have FAITH ™’, instead of merely believing, the placebo effect would have worked with a holy head-start, and he might have found healing; I do not disagree but, I find that level of blind faith an evil, black magic; one that is less a slippery slope than a swift escalator to horrific abuses ( ones that we have seen over and over again in history when people forget the reality of their fellow man, and treat them solely according to their “faith.” Q.E.D. Virginia, Q.E.D.!

The bottom line is that true lover’s of God are recognized despite their religion, not because of it; mostly everyone stays for their entire life in the religion that they were born into; in some religions it can be fatal to become an Agnostic let alone change your religion; so much for an honest quest for God.

Yet there are good, godly, devout people wherever you find human hearts and human tears.  You can’t avoid that simple, obvious truth; unless you cling to “faith” in the notion that God made a special effort to make sure that you were born in the faith that you “happen” to believe in – all just so you could be “saved“! Of course, anyone not so favored was chosen by the ‘Infinite Power and Mercy of Deity’ to be born in an “un-Godly cult” that destines them to almost certain “damnation”!

If you do believe that this is true, then there is a quote from the Christians’ Bible that I believe is appropriate: “Jesus Wept“!

If this Koran gets burnt it could only be because – You Made Me Do It!

…Mohammad, the pedophile warlord with submissive and transvestite tendencies, met up with Jesus, the gay, black, communist right-man-in-the-wrong-place to engage in illicit sex with unclean animals… I pause here to look around; no-one seems to be bleeding, nothing seems to be burning, nobody’s pocket has been picked nor has their leg been broken; all that happened was that I wrote a sophomoric and idiotic series of statements about two religious figures, neither of whom has sent me any kind of complaint for my actions. My question to the blasphemy law proponents is this: What is WRONG with you guys?

 Human religious history reads like the development of a self-aware and , mostly, responsible young adult from a completely ignorant and self-centered infant. It is a story of tribes of humanity moving from stage to stage in our comprehension of just WHAT reality IS and WHO the hell WE are, and how do we relate to all the rest of it. IT is a story full of amazing examples of how primitive peoples can have grasped truths while too ignorant to even know why what they have written can still be said, even by science to be, on some level at least, true. We have also seen horrific examples of human wishes for things to be the “way they are SUPPOSED to be” ignoring all trace of the voice of God from within and causing misery upon misery in the name of “the Love of God“; it’s been a long, strange trip indeed.

In normal times and places people would describe me as a bit of a character and definitely of liberal views.In the areas of racial equality, sexual equality and the freedom of speech and religion I have always been on the quote ‘Liberal’ side of things. But as for the extremes of the leaders and their sheep – don’t put their words in my mouth, I am quite capable of putting my own foot there should the occasion arise!

My response to the latest assault on free speech by so-called Muslim people who have never had it, are uninterested in understanding it (which culd be said as equally about them regarding Islam as about free speech (religion for humans is supposed to be like the Pirate Code, less a set of rules than… guidlines) is simple. Let me wipe my feet on this book that used to be a Qur’an until you defiled it with your idolatry and then toss it on the fire to toast my kosher hot dogs.

Normally I would have no reason on the Earth to think of doing such a thing; it is the Islamist rioter’s idolatry that demands it to remind them that Allah has proscribed treating anything as though it is “the same” as Allah. To the beloved of God (Allah by your calling) it is not your holy book I spurn here, I “offend” against a stack of paper made trash by the actions of men who call themselves your fellow Muslims.

I have a policy of always being polite, except to those who demand it. The people who are easily offended and use their offense as a means to control others are usually the ones most in need of being “offended“, that they might have a chance to grow up and control their inner two year old. Especially since those are inner two-year old adults capable of building, and using, all sorts of weapons in order to “get their way“!

The Islamst rioters around the world are behaving like pre-Reformation Christians did but, without the built-in “leash” of Christianity’s  central text, narrative and central figure being all about love, peace and the humility and brotherhood of all humans before God… and about staying OUT of the unholy games of money and politics. Instead Islam has allowed itself to replace any feeling of human love and justice with the simple formula that what is commanded by Allah is mandatory if you wish to avoid committing a crime against God at the same time anything that is seen by the authoritative scholars (all long dead) to have be forbidden by the Islamic texts is forbidden. It is forbidden at any time, in any place and regardless of the humanly defined “moral” situation – unless, in some branches of Islam, the forbidden thing is done with a sincere desire in the heart of the otherwise, sinning Muslim to promote or protect Islam, Allah or the name of Mohammad. This holy principal was used to great effect by the atheistic Communists for their redefinition of the meaning of Pravda (truth) to “that which promotes the world Communist revolution.”

Islam is a rather un-unique religion in that it has been its heretics who have ‘enlightened‘ Islam over the course of the years, while Islamic fundamentalism has only acted to destroy the unity and harmony of societies of humans with differeing views in favor of primitive superstitions about God that have been abandoned long ago by virtually the rest of the religious world, barring a cult here and there.

My opinion? The only true prophet is the voice of God in your own heart; how well you are listeing in your life shows in your life and in your fruits. Not because you are “rewarded:” for “obedience” but because your understanding from God changes you into someone who does not need to ask what is right and what is wrong when they know the facts, it comes from within, not from the memory of a priest or Imam’s sermon.

Oh, Virginia, you will like this bit; In the pre-70 CE Judaism you would have still found a tendency toward the same sort of Shari’ah type system that the modern Islamsts seem to be clamouring for; but by 70 CE that tendency had already mellowed considerably; to the point where Pilate chided the Sadducee dominated alternate Sanhedrin for being lax in the enforcement in their world-famously harsh code of law. The Jews, LIke the Christians later and the Muslims soon (we all hope),  had mellowed over 4 thousand years or so as gloss after gloss, commentary after commentary and, yes, interpolation and insertion after interpolation and insertion changed their tribal superstition into a reflection of the shape of God within us all; they followed the trail of their central tenet: God IS Love/Love of God is All.

It started with Abraham and his using a wonderfully bald-faced baloney about rams and bushes and the ‘Voice of God ™‘ to explain his realization that to kill his son HOPING it MIGHT please God was simply not a ‘Godly‘ thing to do; but as he supposedly smashed the idols of his father’s shop, not because they were “evil things” but because they had come to be seen by the people as BEING the Gods instead of merely being a focus for a person’s attention on Godly thoughts. Idolatry is to act as though an idol IS a God in all ways. Surely it is a small step from there to see that this attitude obliterates the view of GOD from the “idolator’s” path? The Jews, the first ‘Judaic‘ Christians, Protestants (what do you think one of the main things they were ‘protesting‘ was?) Christians all have no argument with the basic idea that to place too much reverence in an image of a person (even Jesus) is ‘religiously-unhealthy’. At the same time all of these religions and sects have engaged in idolatry freely on one level or another, time after time.

In fundamentalist Islam we see a completely theocratic and intolerant, indeed by any other World Religion’s standard’s, a primitive tribal faith; structured not around a seaking of the Will of God but instead based around an almost pathological defense of Islam’s freedom from every other human religions’ burden: to constantly question and test its own faiths; to SHUT UP long enough for the small voice of God within us to tell their clergy what is faithful to the God of their worship, the one of their soul instead of the one that only lives in their scripture, and what is only their human failing to be more true to their own selfish desire than to what is right!

However, it is not all bad Virginia, all religions have the strength, as well as the weakness, of being the product of the human mind and soul; science has found that truth is not a possession you can keep to yourself, anyone with a sincere heart and mind can find it if they search with passion and humility.

It is all about how we use it. One of my earliest quibbles with the Christian Bible regarded the notion that a so called ‘perfect being’ was even capable of making a “wrong” choice (unless they were error about their actual data and the very trustworthyness of the source of that data; since Adam and Eve are also described as totally ‘innocent’ this would mean that they lacked all capacity for what we would call judgement and unable to label anything as “willfull mis-information provided by a source not sanctioned by authority as trustwrothy or untrustworthy.” Eve simply accepted the Serpent’s correction of Adam’s recollection of God’s warning, Adam could not judge between the two data sets and was going to fall back on procedure; why would a ‘perfect being’ of human intelligence accept the authority of the Serpent unless it were through mere ignorance that ANY voiced being that spoke to them might fail to speak the truth. It follows that God had either not warned them about the Serpent’s influence or, that they were at that time already “imperfect“. Either way I failed to see how they could have been ‘guilty‘ of anything!

What is the meaning of perfect if a perfect being cannot see that she should not be arguing the side of some random critter with a voice that has been hanging around, regardless of whether or not God had specificallly told her not to trust it; and a ‘perfect‘ Adam would know better than to let his mate’s opinion be the deciding factor when he himself rememberered God’s warnings; it should be noted though that God lied about the effects of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil since as the rest of the text makes clear that it is the SERPENT’s version that actually occurs (or is feared to be about to occur) by… but, oh my… this is another article in itself. It seems that it seems that the effect of Adam and Eve eating not only the Fruit of Knowlege of Good and Evil but also the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, by which Holy Combo-Smoothie they might live forever and Be As “WE” Are.

The point is that the God portrayed in the earliest parts of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim traditions is either a liar or, far from the omnipotent, oniscient, omnibenevolent being humans conceived of 2,000 years ago; nor the individualized “entity” called the “creator” of the universe Who is also immanent and omnipresent that most faiths ascribe so form of to the word “Deity” today. The worst news though is for non-Monist religions: Quantum physics points to proof that All is One. Yes Virginia, people in white coats with huge intelects and no social lives have proven in repeatable experiments that …

“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together“! – John Lennon

The nature of time as well defeats those who see God, or Allah or whomever as ‘outside‘ the universe; affecting but unaffected, indeed the very source of effect. If this were so then they would be unable to intervene, change, react or in anyway interact with their created universe for its entire internal “existence.” A God that is within the universe is therefore of the universe and so, if you believe in a God the can relate to you in any way then in the universe you belive in all that is, is inextricably part of God!

When you start to let this all sink in the very ideas of “blasphemy” or “heresy” become ludicrsrous. It hardly takes the wise observation of the ancients that if the Gods exist then it is for Them to decide what is blasphemy, and what fails to make the grade; it is also traditional in such religion’s for the Deity to identify the guilty, and to assign their punishement/retribution. It certainly is not the usual scriptural practice for it to to be the job of any random fool who calls themselves “faithful” to make God responsible for the “working out” of said un-annointed human being’s most personal, and often twisted, inner “issues” in the guise of “protecting” God’s honor!

If my actions offend God then I am sure that God will be fully capable of making my own life, and after-life, conform to God’s, not my own, idea of ‘justice’; anyone else can stay out of my face unless I get up in their’s!

If your relationship with God is threatened by someone else not holding your faith then you have no relationship with God, or Allah, or anything, you have put God in a box and attempted to control your Deity like a pair of shoes. If you think that God (or Allah) is somehow harmed by my words or actions, or that my words or actions could hinder God’s (or Allah’s) plan for humanity and the Earth one jot or tittle (biblical language: sorry but, confidentially Virginia, I am hoping it addds a sage-like air to this piece that might even survive my irreverent sarcasm) then it is they who are the ones commiting blasphemy by putting their own judgement before their Lord’s will for each moment of Creation!

Causing harm to property, people and livelighoods because you think Allah (or God), or Marx for that matter, is hurt and wants you to act like a spoiled two-year old with a machinegun is not a return to fundamentalism, nor is it an expression of the radical fringe of a religion. It is nothing more or less than a social/cultural version of having a disease like rabies in the family dogs.

When are the civilized Muslims in America and around the world going to stop waiting for a new scripture  (forbidden by Islam for anyone ever to write and that most Muslims do not even want) to come along and reform the social diseases within their religion and do it themselves? Can we be sure they want to? If they did then the Ahmadiyya, Sihk and Ba’hai would be thriving and growing faiths all across the Muslim world. In the real world all of them are subject to persecutions and pogroms in many Muslim nations, and are attacked secpond only to Jews by Muslims in the West (Christian are attacked too, just not as frequently or consistently).

A book is a book; holy books should be treated with great respect but, reacting with ANY kind of retaliation on the part of God blashphemes against any ‘holiness‘ you felt the book held if you take that path. If I burn a Qur’an or put dung on a Crucifix or use a statuue of Kali as a coatrack it will be because I used an object in a maner I saw fit that harmed no-one; in I say things about your God or Allah or Mohammed or Jesus or Hitler or any other deity that yo do not like then yo take that rage and give it to God, or Allah etc… You stole it from them to begin with, it is only fitting that you give it back and get on with demonstrating the positive aspects of yor fiaith to those, we might assume, you as a faithful son or daughter of whom you bloody well hope to CHOOSE to change to join your faith.

…so, as I was saying Mohammed and Jesus got out of the third bathhouse and met up with Rama and a few Clears. But I am telling you, the party didn’t get rolling until Lucifer started doing card tricks by pulling puppies out of Mohammed’s houri’s… umm, Virginia, isn’t it past your bed time?

Huffington Post’s Reverend Kimball Bears False Witness Against Christianity and Judaism

 Who would Jesus behead?

This, Virginia, is why I do not put any great weight on my own ordination; any fool can be ordained and seeking God has nothing to do with it; witness the blatant bearing of false witness to further a political agenda exercised by this so-called minister. Here a so called minister of God is even bearing false witness against his own religion, if you can believe it!

Here we have an analysis of the ranting’s of one Charles Kimball, the director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a Baptist minister regarding the culpability of Christians and Christianity for the Oslo massacre and bombing by mass murderer (alleged, I think we are supposed to say Virginia) Anders Breivik.

The horrific events in Norway this past weekend provide yet another powerful teachable moment in the ongoing and increasingly dangerous saga of religion becoming lethal.

I can’t imagine how. Unless the good reverend’s point is somehow that the actions of non-Christian religious folk caused Breivik to snap I don’t see the point.  Breivik very pointedly explained that he was not, would not be, and did not recommend being a religious Christian; to him “Christian” seems to be no more than a catch-all term for non-Muslim of European culture! He also never used Christian theology in his writings to base his actions upon.

Indeed it would be hard to find any Christian “church” today, anywhere, that would be able to propound a theology based in the teachings of Jesus that would support the killing of anyone merely to make a point, let alone try to justify the slaughter of children to make said point. Even Fred Phelps and his sad band of haters do not promote violence, other than making decent people wish for an excuse to righteously kick their asses. Sadly, Phelps and Co. have been too clever so far to give the rest of us an excuse to use our laws to put them away… This is the price you pay for freedom.

Reality aside, facts aside, respect for his own religion and co-religionists aside, the good Rev. wants to use this as a teaching moment. Such aggressive compassion surely must be a good thing, right, Virginia? Right?

The murderous rampage by Anders Behring Breivik brings several important lessons more clearly into view.

Indeed, it does, but not in the way you seem to feel, Sir!

First, religion is an extraordinarily powerful and pervasive force in human society. Throughout history, people within various religions have been motivated to their highest and noblest best actions. At the same time, some of the worst things human beings have done to one another have been done in the name of or justified by religion. Religion is a powerful force inspiring constructive and destructive behavior among believers.

Right, but what does this have to do with a man, Breivik, who justified his evil with secular arguments, and did not use any religion’s message or theology to base his horror upon?

Second, we live in a world with many weapons of mass destruction. Quite apart from the horrors associated with chemical, nuclear or biological weapons, we now know that a devious plan can utilize automatic weapons, fertilizer, box knives and commercial airplanes as weapons of mass destruction. Attacking a summer camp for youth vividly reminds us that there are many ways people bent on doing great harm can accomplish their goal.

As far as I can tell that last paragraph was no more than background music for an ongoing apologia for the “free speech is good, but it can go too far” crowd who equate free speech with inoffensive (to them) speech.

Third, we now know with certainty that it doesn’t take many people to wreak havoc on a wide scale. Breivik may have acted alone or within a small circle of cohorts, as did Timothy McVeigh. Nineteen men carried out the attacks of Sept. 11. Small numbers of zealots who are convinced they know what God wants for them and for everyone else are capable of almost anything.

Notice how the oh, so honest Revd. throws in McVeigh, another secular terrorist who explicitly rejected any theological grounds for his crimes against humanity to balance the unarguably theocratic 9/11 terrorists, among others too numerous to count. What this compulsion he shares with other Leftists, to beat his breast and declare “We are just as bad!” instead of solving the problems, is all about is simply beyond me.

I can’t think of any modern religious terror committed by other than lone madmen at all except for the Islamic kind… Even the Irish terrorists who divided on religious lines never used Christianity to justify what they did, nor did the clergy in any way justify or support them, in fact for the most part they were Marxists whom the local Catholic clergy would not trust any more than they would Protestants!! The same can be said about abortion clinic bombers, they are lone wolves and, are not backed up by mainstream theology or communities in any way.

Not surprisingly, many preachers and pundits who have spewed hateful rhetoric and fanned the flames of Islamophobia are now scrambling to disassociate themselves, their published statements about Islam and Muslims, and what some call “true” Christianity from the actions of Breivik.

No my dear wolf in minister’s clothing, you are the one who is scrambling to tar innocent people with the taint of Breivik’s evil in order to further your own agenda  That is the very epitome of bearing false witness against your neighbor! I highly doubt even one of the people you seek to demonize ever called for violence against Muslims in any way; certainly none of the “influential” ones have; they certainly did not promote violence against the enablers of Islamism, which seems to be what Breivik thought he was doing in the dark buzzing cloud pretending to be his soul. At the same time, others quoted by Breivik have promoted violent and totalitarian schemes… but they are never mentioned by the oh, so righteous Reverend.

But words matter. Examine the path taken by violent extremists claiming inspiration from Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism and you can trace connections with the fiery rhetoric of influential, sometimes self-appointed leaders in madrasas, in books, at religious rallies, on websites and the like. There are consequences when cocksure Christians or Muslim militants proclaim God’s truth while stoking fear of the “other” in the minds of their would-be followers.

Here “Rev.” Kimball is bending over backwards until his spine snaps to attempt to “level the playing field” between Islam and other religions when it comes to directly inspiring violence. He fails to make his case.  Show me the violent Christian, Jewish or Buddhist movement, in the lifetime of this nation, that was encouraged by “fiery rhetoric” from “influential” books, churches, synagogues and leaders? Can you think of any in the last two hundred years? I can’t, just a handful of nutjobs who are universally excoriated by their own co-religionists.  No-one complained about what kind of burial Jim Jones got, no Christian thought it important how a lunatic mass murderer should be buried!

Meanwhile, the good reverend goes back to his “free speech is bad in the wrong hands” theme. The wrong hands here of course being hands that are possessed by someone who disagrees with the enlightened view of Revd. Kimball.

While there are no easy answers or simple solutions, there are constructive ways to move forward in our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world community. It begins with education.

Study programs in schools and colleges, churches, mosques and synagogues are essential. Interfaith dialogue and engagement with people of different religious and cultural backgrounds are invaluable ways to dispel generic fears and help humanize the “other.” All across the U.S., Christians, Muslims and Jews are working together to build Habitat for Humanity houses and work on common problems such as crime and drug abuse within their communities. These kinds of intentional efforts at education and cooperation are vital at the local, national and international level. We need more and more such endeavors in the U.S., not only for the well-being of our communities, but also as a way to model the kind of healthy religious pluralism our future requires.

The truly sad part about Kimball’s misguided view is that the above actions are not being done, and never will be done by the kinds of religious extremists he worries about; not the handful of Christian ones and, not the thousands upon thousands of Muslim ones. At most they will use such activities as a smokescreen while they pursue their theocratic agenda’s unmolested.  I can only assume that either Mr. Kimball’s seminary did not offer a real course in history or, that he flunked it.

He also seems to be guilty of the sin of Liberal Racism. To that mindset the “underclasses” of past racist philosophies have not vanished, they are poor, helpless children that must take under protection, for their own good.

Because they are “of the oppressed”, a state of permanent victimhood, their actions do not make a difference compared to the actions of the evil, dominant White Man from Europe and America that is Kimball’s real devil, and God.

He will never compare the fruit of Muslim and Christian fairly, because then he would be forced to speak of Islam (from the perspective of any devout Christian clergyman) as a religion that might stem from God but, that has been mired for most of its existence in a theo/political system of worldly evil.

The path to a more hopeful and healthy future also requires people of faith and goodwill to speak out clearly and directly against extremists of all stripes.

I can’t argue with that. That is what the Heretics Crusade is.

Although most of us were taught by our parents not to talk about religion or politics in public, the stakes today are far too high for deferential silence or casual indifference. Ignorance is not bliss; silence is proving deadly.

Once again, I agree, I don’t think anyone reasonable would try. But, that is not the pitch, that is just the windup with a lean to the left to imply a slider, this next bit is the pitch; a spitball, knuckleball covered in tar.

Just as many people continue to call on Muslims to speak out forcefully and unambiguously against violence and extremism, so too must Christians and Jews openly challenge those who advocate extremism and foster hatred in the name of religion. This means, for example, naming names and identifying the theological and political positions of Jewish fundamentalists and Muslim extremists who block potential paths to peace in Israel/Palestine.

The problem with this little gem is that the Jewish and Christian communities in this country as a whole have always stood against anyone who used violence and extremism to advance or defend their faiths! It has been held a virtual truth that to do so is to abrogate that faith entirely!

Just what more is it that they are supposed to do when the mainstream Islamic community complains about how Osama Bin Laden was buried after assuring us for years that he was not a “real Muslim”?

For me, as a follower of Jesus and a Christian minister, it means strongly disagreeing with TV preachers with political clout such as John Hagee and Rod Parsley. They have every right to espouse their religious and political worldviews. But their ill-informed and hateful rhetoric about Islam and Muslims, as well as their certainty that Jesus will be arriving in the next couple of weeks, has very real consequences.

That is nice Chuck, when are you going to do it? This whole piece reads like it is aimed against free speech and, to me, seems to be intended to gently brush Oslo/Breivik tar on anti-Jihadist bloggers and writers who have never propounded, or invoked, an ideology of violence; yet gives a pass to Breivik “inspiring” figures and writers (in his own words) who happen to be on your side of the war in your mind. You haven’t even given us a clear idea of just what they say that you oppose! If that last paragraph was really the point of your post then, I have to say I think your point fell flat.

The mind-boggling terrorism manifest in Norway will continue to provide hard but important lessons about the dangers all around us and the need to find more constructive ways to move forward in the 21st century. It is a stark reminder that we share a fragile planet where ignorance, hate and fear can link easily with religious worldviews and produce horrific consequences.

Yes Virginia, the world is a dangerous place, especially if you equate the evil acts of lone scumbags with the evil acts of organized and ideologically driven scumbags who are numerous and active instead of isolated and sporadic.

How to Reform Politics: What Your Politician Will Never Tell You

Guy DeWhitney's Heretics Crusade: Defendng Western Civilization

You hear it on the Left, you hear it on the Right, you hear it from the Third Parties – Reform Campaign Finance; Reform Congressional Lobbying, Reform Labor Relations and Unions! But, you never hear solutions, at least not solutions that amount to more than “things would be wonderful if those people over there (labor, management, government, you and me, etc. ad nauseum) were not allowed to participate in the process at all!!!“.

And the sad part Virginia, is that the solutions are so damn simple anyone can see it the moment they drop their “but, we have to win”/zero sum perspectives.

How do we reform campaign finance? We can’t, so we don’t.

That is, we don’t reform it, we eliminate it! It is nothing but a source of potential corruption and cannot be “fixed” by any means available to man, so let’s drop it. All election campaigns should be financed from a pool of government funds; if politician A gets X number of signatures qualifying for a place on the ballot for the office of Y he/she would get the same exact amount as every other andidate who qualified for that ballot.

I eagerly await anyone who can show me that this is a bad idea, except for the fact that their side, the good guys, can’t use it against the evil bad guys, their opposition, whoever they may be at the moment.

That takes care of a huge part of the inefficiency and corruption of modern politics at one fell swoop; how about we go after most of the rest with our backhand?

Congressional lobbying, bending the ear of Senators and Representatives, is quite arguably inseparable from a meaningful freedom of speech or a responsive government, so how do we reform what we cannot eliminate? We pass a law making it illegal to pay (in goods or services as well as money) someone to do it for you, that’s all.

Both of these ideas put central the concept that money is not equal to speech;a nonsensical conclusion to anyone who is not desiring to benefit from corruption before it is shut down if I ever eard one!

Think about it Virginia, if Citizen A has 10 dollars his political voice is only ten dollars “loud” but, if Citizen Y, or worse, Corporation M and foreign national R, with ten million dollars have voices that make Citizen A virtually invisible on the political stage; surely this is not what any of our founders
envisioned!

Which brings us to the unions! SO much has changed since the heyday of the teens and twenties of the last century. Remind me again, in this day and age just what purpose do Union Leaders serve… other than their own?

My proposal once again is very simple, organic and even elegant: when a union ends a despite and signs a new contract they immediately disband.

That’s it. If a new issue arises and the workers vote to form a new union to deal with it all is well and good. And when a new contract is signed the leaders go back to work instead of sinking their fangs into the real worker’s necks and riding them until they die, or their industry is killed instead.

Now, take those three, simple changes, all of them unassailable on Constitutional grounds, and project the country past two presidential election cycles; does your mind boggle at the possibilities for real improvement? Does a shiver run down your leg?

Then take it and run with it! The beauty of our system is that no matter how much a pol does not want to do something, if enough people get an idea in their heads the pols have to go along and pray to survive the next election.

All of these changes have one thing in common, reality, they make the government deal with facts and voters, not special interests and corporate funds; and that Virginia, is really all this country needs to be a strong and beautiful as it can be.

Economics 001 a Remedial Course for Modern Monetary Morons

Economics is more than just money

Today there seem to be few people, let alone economists, who actually seem to grasp the basic  ideas of monetary theory upon which they build their roads to whatever fantasy land their prejudices predispose them to believe in. Economists pronounce, politicians spout and pundits pund but, how many of them really grasp, and apply, a basic understanding of what money is; how many have a clue how far everyone has strayed from reality?

Come Virginia, let us begin at the beginning; what is the difference between coinage historically (which is not like coinage in the modern world) and paper “monies“, and just what money really is.

I will be analyzing monetary theory without being bound by any politically oriented school of “economics“, instead I will attempt to put money in the same light that Newton put moving objects; money follows laws that do not respect any political need or opinion and I hope to merely describe what it is and what it is not irrespective of what anyone wants it to be.

Let’s start with coinage, a concept that still holds its place at the head of the parade despite vanishing as a concept by the 1970’s.

Historically, coins were what people now mostly think “money” should be, a portable piece of actual wealth, something “worth” just what its face declares. Don’t forget though that all value is relative, if no-one wants gold, it is “worth” little, if they crave it, it is worth a lot.
Cash monies on the gold standard promised payment in hard coin with value of its own.

At first glance this seems a good system, though it does carry hidden “costs.” If the gold or silver or copper in a coin is “worth” exactly its face value the person or group who minted that coin will lose the amount of “value” (manpower and resources) represented by the minting of the coin from bullion.  No matter how cheaply a chunk of bullion quality metal is turned into coinage that amount of value will be lost to the minter if they receive the “face” value in goods or services in return for their shiny, new coins.

This does not change with banknotes; printing costs plus the cost of the raw materials simply replaces the minting costs; remember, the raw material of a coin is the value of the coin.

For a long time banknotes represented actual bullion in a vault, or somewhere in the control of the issuer of the note, while coins represented actual wealth themselves. But, the ability of coiners to debase the metals they used producing coins “worth” less than their face value, and the fact that not all promissory notes represented an honest promise of actual coinage made the system far from perfect.

Enter “fiat” money. Bitterly fought, this is what “money” is supposed to be, though the transition is far from over globally and nationally.

A “currency” based on the exchange of gold and silver etc. is not in fact a real monetary system, it is barely one step up from barter. In barter or specie based economies not only must a person, or society, have the wealth and productivity to fill their own basic needs, they need to accumulate extra goods (coinage) simply to be able to participate in the system that provides those basic needs and services. Then they must accumulate even more if they wish to enjoy a level of “comfort” far below what is consonant with their current efforts to add productivity and wealth to their communities.

Barter ecomonies belong to an uncivilized past. Coinage was a simple, brute force answer to the problem of trusting someone when you have no way of enforcing that trust. Cash on the barrelhead as they said. Hopefully we have grown a bit beyond that, at least in the Western (civilized, modern) world.

Here is the bombshell Virginia, it is so simple that the “intelligentsia” just can’t get it: In a civilized society the function of money is to serve as counters in the games of economics, nothing more, nothing less. Money is not a commodity as it has no value of its own. Money is supposed to represent the wealth and productivity of the issuer only, not to be “worth” anything at all on its own!

Ideally, if a government wanted a bridge built and had the spare raw materials and manpower to build it, all the gov needs to do is print the right amount of money, and pay for a new road.

They do not make anything appear by doing so, they do not cause “inflation”, they just tossed counters in the game that were needed to let the players turn raw materials and idle bodies into a bridge thus creating wealth, not diminishing it! Or not creating as such, but acknowledging, since keeping the money level in balance with the national productivity is the whole goal.

Ideally, within a nation, it should be practical to pay each citizen with new, non-inflated money in tune with any growth in GDP, just like dividends to stockholders in a corporation. Infrastructure improvements (bridges, roads, universities and research facilities, etc.) would only be “unaffordable” if they used so many resources or manpower that they caused a significant rise in prices and wages in the private sector; wouldn’t that be so terrible, we couldn’t build a road one year because there was no unemployment and people were selling what they made as fast as they could make it!

Practically, especially with the current rats nest of insanity that we call economics worldwide, that kind of system would be almost impossible to implement; more the shame on us for letting things get so messed up.

Simply put, we should not be borrowing the money the government has the sole right to print/mint and regulate!!! The amount of dollars in circulation is supposed to be enough, theoretically, to buy all the goods and services produced this year, instead we treat money as though it is coinage and create a pre-broken system that invites inflation, deflation and puts everyone at the mercy of molehill booms and mountains busts.

Heretics Crusade back with New Computer and More Attitude

Heretics Crusade confronts Authoritarianism

It has been a hectic couple of weeks. First the power supply in the main computer decided to die and I decided to get a new PC instead of reparing the old one.

The new computer is up, all my files are back where they belong and I have been finally able to get dinentangled from all the tweaking and tuning and installing and whatnot.

Stay tuned for more new content, in your face and raging against the people who love The Machine.

Where the Wild Things Are: Heretics Around the World

 

I was playing around with the stats for the blog today; lots of fun information there.

Here is a partial breakdown of the most common countries viewing Heretics Crusade

PERCENTAGE COUNTRY NAME  
64.60% United States United States
15.20% Canada Canada
4.80% Australia Australia
4.60% United Kingdom United Kingdom
1.20% Spain Spain
1.20% Slovenia Slovenia
1.20% India India
0.80% Tanzania, United Republic Of Tanzania, United Republic Of
0.80% Sweden Sweden
0.60% Albania Albania
0.60% Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
0.60% Egypt Egypt
0.60% Israel Israel
0.40% Russian Federation Russian Federation
0.40% South Africa South Africa
0.20% Kuwait Kuwait
0.20% Malaysia Malaysia
0.20% Poland Poland
0.20% Netherlands Netherlands
0.20% Bosnia And Herzegovina Bosnia And Herzegovina
0.20% Finland Finland
0.20% Iceland Iceland
0.20% Lithuania Lithuania
0.20% Germany Germany
0.20% Korea, Republic Of Korea, Republic Of
0.20% Italy Italy
0.20% Turks And Caicos Islands

Here is the breakdown by City

  PERCENTAGE CITY Region Country Name    
5.20% United States United States
5.00% Washington District Of Columbia United States United States
2.80% Peoria Illinois United States United States
2.60% Toronto Ontario Canada Canada
1.80% Bolton Bolton United Kingdom United Kingdom
1.80% Oshawa Ontario Canada Canada
1.80% Dallas Texas United States United States
1.60% Calgary Alberta Canada Canada
1.60% Launceston Tasmania Australia Australia
1.40% Perth Western Australia Australia Australia
1.40% Louisville Kentucky United States United States
1.20% Málaga Andalucia Spain Spain
1.20% Atlanta Georgia United States United States
1.20% London Ontario Canada Canada
1.20% Vrhnika Bohinj Slovenia Slovenia
1.00% Kingston Ontario Canada Canada
1.00% Pittsburgh Pennsylvania United States United States
1.00% Newport Beach California United States United States
1.00% Riverside California United States United States
1.00% Texarkana Texas United States United States
1.00% Arlington Texas United States United States
1.00% San Francisco California United States United States
1.00% Tampa Florida United States United States
1.00% Lincoln Park Michigan United States United States
1.00% Ottawa Ontario Canada Canada
1.00% Plano Texas United States United States
1.00% Lancaster Texas United States United States
1.00% Los Angeles California United States United States
0.80% Dar Es Salaam Dar Es Salaam Tanzania, United Republic Of Tanzania, United Republic Of
0.80% Saint Peters Missouri United States United States
0.80% Sacramento California United States United States
0.80% Valencia California United States United States
0.80% Bronx New York United States United States
0.80% Little Rock Arkansas United States United States
0.80% Houston Texas United States United States
0.80% Columbus Ohio United States United States
0.80% San Diego California United States United States
0.80% Chagrin Falls Ohio United States United States
0.80% Denver Colorado United States United States
0.80% Markham Ontario Canada Canada
0.60% Conroe Texas United States United States
0.60% Seabrook Texas United States United States
0.60% Cornwall Ontario Canada Canada
0.60% Lake Placid New York United States United States
0.60% El Paso Texas United States United States
0.60% Kalamazoo Michigan United States United States
0.60% Cairo Al Qahirah Egypt Egypt
0.60% Sydney New South Wales Australia Australia
0.60% Sycamore Illinois United States United States
0.60% Tel Aviv Tel Aviv Israel Israel
0.60% Milwaukee Wisconsin United States United States
0.60% Castries Castries Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
0.60% Hamilton Ontario Canada Canada
0.60% Stockholm Stockholms Lan Sweden Sweden
0.60% Penticton British Columbia Canada Canada
0.40% Tucson Arizona United States United States
0.40% Sarasota Florida United States United States
0.40% Moscow Moscow City Russian Federation Russian Federation
0.40% Fort Worth Texas United States United States

And here is probably the most interesting breakdown: By ISP

PERCENTAGE ISP                             CITY          Region                Country Name
3.20% U.S. House Of Representatives Washington District Of Columbia United States United States
2.00% Research In Motion United States United States
0.60% U.s. General Accounting Office Washington District Of Columbia United States United States
0.60% United States Senate Washington District Of Columbia United States United States
0.60% Link Egypt Cairo Al Qahirah Egypt Egypt
0.60% Golden Lines Cable Tel Aviv Tel Aviv Israel Israel
0.20% University Of Arizona Tucson Arizona United States United States
0.20% Fbi Criminal Justice Information Systems Washington District Of Columbia United States United States