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6.30.2013

Embrace Irreverence...

“The major religions on the Earth contradict each other left and right. You can't all be correct. And what if all of you are wrong? It's a possibility, you know. You must care about the truth, right? Well, the way to winnow through all the differing contentions is to be skeptical. I'm not any more skeptical about your religious beliefs than I am about every new scientific idea I hear about. But in my line of work, they're called hypotheses, not inspiration and not revelation. [Dr. Arroway in Carl Sagan's Contact (New York: Pocket Books, 1985), p. 162.]


I was raised in a Southern Baptist household. The brainwashing I received, the indoctrination into the Southern Baptist belief system, molded my perceptions of the world, the universe, and everyone around me in ways that have proven obsessively discriminatory and radically biased.

During Sunday School, we were taught that Jesus loves us. How do we know Jesus loves us? Because the bible tells us so... And so, through songs repeated every weekend, through the sermons preaching the opinion and interpretation of a verse or two chosen out of context and from completely different parts of the bible, I learned several important things:

  • Jesus died for me by choosing to let himself be beaten, savaged, tortured, spit on, degraded, and crucified horribly so that I could get into heaven.
  • As per the decrees of the Southern Baptist Church, the concept of Saints proves beyond a shadow of doubt that the Catholics are Satanic, by worshiping dead humans as idols between them and God.
  • Sharpies smell funny, especially when you spend every Sunday marking out the word “Saint” and its abbreviation in the bibles and hymnals which were donated to the Southern Baptist church by the Catholic Diocese.
  • There is only one true belief, and that is the belief of the preacher and his followers, no other preacher, even in fellow Southern Baptist churches, is correct. Those preachers are demons who misconstrue the exact message of the preacher at our church.


From this foundation, I was shocked and confused at the contradictory actions of these “faithful” men and women who praised their Lord every Sunday, then went out and became lecherous sinners every other day of the week. All the while, spouting that they were the Only True Christians, because their preacher told them so...

My family moved around a lot between 1983 and 1986. Due to that, we ended up going to other churches, where I saw similar hatred between congregations. Certainly, when preachers and priests from other churches met up, they were congenial and kind to one another, but when left to their own congregation, they lambasted and condemned all other churches.

A seed of doubt was planted in me when I explored what it meant to believe differently than my initial church upbringing taught me. As my eyes began to open, I felt fear, nervousness, and lacked confidence that I would survive just questioning everything I knew about God. But when I skipped a Sunday and survived (read: did not go immediately to hell), I had hope that I could be objective when examining my faith and that of my fellow congregation.

I noticed that one aspect of my indoctrination involved candy and gifts, given to us so we would come back, sit around, and listen to the sermons that made little or no sense to us in our world of cartoons and social studies homework. Reflecting now on it all, I can see what manipulation and trickery is used to ensure a child's openness to being brainwashed.

I must thank my Aunt M. She was a devout “First Church of God” member and preached to her children in the home, only allowed Christian Country and Gospel music to be played in her house, and then went berserk, cussing, screaming, and beating her children when they showed the slightest disrespect for her. She took the fifth commandment to its fullest extent.

So that is the context in which I found myself questioning what it really meant to be a Christian.

In Sophomore year of high school, I attended Latin 1 class. The following year, I took Latin 2 and Latin 3 simultaneously. Latin 2 class was developing conversational Latin, while Latin 3 was translating ancient Latin texts. One of the texts we were asked to translate was the Vulgate. The Vulgate is the 4th century translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew Torah. It contains countless words which can be translated into English using multiple synonyms, and dozens of instances where key information can be translated into words which mean completely different things.

I did some research outside of class and discovered a book called “Genesis Revisited,” written by the Sumerian Scholar, Zechariah Sitchin. In the book, as I found while trying to translate the Vulgate from Latin to English, I read about how – over the centuries – the translation from Sumerian to Aramaic to Hebrew to Latin contained countless word substitutions, complete paraphrasing, and sometimes even removal of context or back-story to summarize and shorten the writings so that the common individual could understand it all.

My mind was blown by the idea that the Holy Bible, that most sacred of King James' texts, could be in any way inaccurate, flawed, or even slightly wrong. Everything I was taught as a child, with all the essential Olde English “thee” and “thou” and “thine” and all the other weird words, could be questioned.

Wow.


Today I am an Atheist.

I sat down with the King James bible, read it cover to cover twice and found so many inconsistencies and changes and weird little things that made no sense, when compared to the Vulgate and the Sumerian writings. I researched the legends and myths of ancient gods and kings, finding the exact same legends, as told in the Bible, that preceded the Bible by thousands of years, using different names, but having the same basic setup and payoff for the stories and characters.

I left the Christian faith in 1991, seeking truth and facts. I looked into King James and his editing and revision of the Bible, finding out that he removed complete chapters, entire books, and countless verses, which are obvious to anyone who reads the Bible straight through. This zealot King instructed how specific words were translated, changed, and manipulated to follow his personal beliefs, which rivaled those of millions of church historians and religious scholars of the day.

I encountered – with much trepidation – people called Mormons and Catholics, and found that they were real people with hopes and dreams and ambitions in this life, who just had a different routine every weekend. I gradually vanquished the hatred and disgust that was drilled into me from infancy by the Southern Baptist church and my family. Certainly, elements of that darkness still remains, but has been expanded to encompass all religious fanatics who just will not stop talking about heaven and hell and Jesus.

I no longer believe in Heaven or Jesus or God or Angels, nor do I believe in Hell or Satan or Demons, in the same way that Christians do not believe in Mount Olympus or Zeus or Unicorns. To be Satanic in the Christian sense, one must believe in God in order to believe in the Devil.

I also explored the Church of Satan, which has absolutely nothing to do with Satan. The term and reference to Satan is a reference to anything and everything that opposes the limitations on life, pleasure, and happiness in our current existence. I explored Wicca, finding it to be rejoicing of nature and life, treasuring the sacred life-giving womb of a mother. I looked into countless other systems of belief: my paternal grandmother's fanatical faith contradicts her donation of all her dead husband's life savings to a Psychic swindler who uses God and Jesus to break the classic mold. That untold sum of money contained at least five zeroes and was to be passed down to my brother and I, per her husband's (my grandfather's) will. Now, we would be lucky to get a single $5 lotto ticket each.

My outlook has continually evolved, beginning with the incessant brainwashing of my family and their church, followed by the exposure to other faiths, then finding written evidence of contradictions via my Latin classes, and finally coming to terms with all the proof that the Christian Religion is – like all religions – just wishful thinking by people who have been deceived their entire lives and have become so devout that they refuse to look at any evidence which would open their eyes and minds to how foolish it all is.

To those who say my loss of faith made me evil, or even anti-christian, I present the following statement I made 10 years ago to a religious fanatic who questioned me about my non-religious stance.

My most unusual associate of the internet,
I am not an Antichrist, for to be such an indigenous person would force me to believe in Christ and God and the Bible, thus making me a Christian. Let me clarify to you my status. I am not Christian. I am not an Antichrist. I do not believe that Christ existed nor in God. I am into PLEASURE, not pain. I am into PEACE and ANARCHY at the same time. I am into INSANITY and CHAOS but not the orthodox faiths that are so foully and obscurely contradictory to human life.
Please forgive me if I offend, but I am a chaotic, sometimes cruel, but most of the time peaceful unless you anger me, type of man. There is no such thing as the Christian God but in the minds and demented imaginations of those flesh-haters who are so confused and divided that they are totally useless. If you wish to discuss further these matters with me, please do so by refraining from the obsessiveness you have with flaunting and irrevocably attempting to force your own beliefs upon others who have individual and righteously unorthodox beliefs. I honestly despise the religion I was brought up in, HATE WITH ALL MY ESSENCE OF BEING the fanatics who do not understand how to leave alone anyone not of their own faith, as - in their actions - they are breaking the law.
The Constitution of the United States specifies that no law can be made by the government which restricts or grants privileges to any religion. Many people interpret it to mean "freedom to believe in God, without governmental interference." That interpretation is wrong. This law, this set-in-stone rule, allows for anyone in this country to believe whatever they wish without persecution yet it also prevents anyone of a particular faith to force upon another individual the religion of that faith. 
Missionaries in this country, by the fact and rule of the Constitution, are inevitably and absolutely illegal. Do not force your faith upon anyone. If you attempt to do so with me, you will regret broaching the subject. I do not threaten, I merely suggest that we avoid such subject matter in our future discussions - unless you do not fear truth and facts which contradict every aspect of your declaration of faith. That would be much appreciated and would save both of us much time, effort, and mental anguish.

Thank you.

--Xoandre


2.17.2013

Embracing Friendship


As my personality can be very intense, sometimes maddening to be around, I have created the following list (in no particular order) of...

18 Things MY FRIENDS KNOW about me ...
or
18 Things YOU NEED TO KNOW if you wish to be my friend:


  1. I am allergic to Tobacco, and thus Cigarette Smoke. If you smoke, you cannot be around me. If you live with someone or spend time with a friend who smokes, I cannot be around you. You cannot have smoked (or been around someone who smokes) within the past hour if you wish to be within 15 feet of me.

    Besides being allergic to tobacco, I dislike the odor and will go into uncontrollable coughing fits when exposed to even a whiff of it. I am hypersensitive to the stench of cigarettes and can smell it on a non-smoker even if he or she just happened to walk past a smoker and enter my vicinity. Many of my relatives smoke and I simply do not visit them, specifically due to that, regardless of distance.

  2. I am Atheist, and thus do not tolerate attacks on my lack of beliefs.
    If you are religious and want to convert everyone around you to your faith (as most of my family members seem to want, which is another reason why I do not visit them often), then please either keep it to yourself or expect me to lash out at you when you assault my freedom to not believe.

    We can coexist peacefully unless you try to make me feel differently about what I consider audacious ignorance.

  3. I neither like nor comprehend sports.
    If you enjoy sports of any kind, please know that I was never taught and never learned on my own appreciation for sports of any kind. I dislike them and see them as a complete waste of time, energy, and money.

    So, no, I do not know nor want to know "the score" or "who will win" the sporting contest in question.

  4. I do not drink alcohol. No, it's not a religious thing (I'm Atheist, remember?). I simply find the taste, effects, and aroma of alcoholic drinks completely disgusting. I have no interest in losing my inhibitions on the level which alcohol takes them.

    I can have a great time just sitting at home watching a fascinating show on TV, playing a game on my PC (no consoles here), or going to a movie and (maybe) dinner afterward (or before)... The dangers of alcohol use and addiction just do not appeal to me.

    I do not know anything about the varieties of alcohol, nor do I care to learn. So, for all my high school, college, and former co-worker "friends" who think going out every night (or every weekend) and getting drunk as a skunk is a fun thing to do... I beg to differ.

  5. I am Native American.I will not tell you what "percentage" I am because that is a governmental mandated requirement for registering as an indentured non-citizen within the United States.

    No Native on any Reservation will ever talk about "blood percentage."

    Certainly, my father's mother is German and Irish. Half of my mother's grandparents were European invaders (immigrants? settlers? don't make me laugh), but in my heart and in my attitudes, in my actions and in my words, I stand tall and proud as an Oglala Lakotah. My mother has explored and researched for years, to find that our families are Miami Native on her side and Oglala Lakotah on my Dad's side.

  6. My morality is unquestionable.I do not tolerate any form of racism or ethnic discrimination, any form of sexual harassment or hateful activities. I am dire in my sincerity and tend to take things very seriously. However, I do fight for the rights and freedoms of the individual and the genocidally-oppressed Native Peoples of the North American Continent.

  7. My tact is (sometimes) questionable.You need to be conscious of my faults and be tolerant of my mildly-OCD personality, which - once unleashed - can overwhelm you with brutal straight talk on topics not found in general polite conversation.

    I was abused as a child and tend to not notice when I speak out of turn. Some of my coworkers and extended family members who have known me for years still find me astonishingly shocking at times.

  8. My sense of humor is raw, morbid, and stern.If you crack a joke and I do not laugh, smirk, or even take notice, it may be because I do not find much humor in banal or immature joking.

    Your "Common Sense" is not the same as the Common Sense that I was raised with. If I do understand you, I will occasionally indulge you by playing along. This seems to make people think I am gullible, but I simply understand and wish to turn your humor on its head. I am contradictory and impulsive when in comfortable conversation.

  9. I can be offensively contradictory.If you happen to say "Bless you" or "God" in any context, I usually think and occasionally may speak a contradictory term.

    Being anti-religious, I do my best to keep my opinions to myself, but if you inadvertently say something relating to God or religion, I may come back with something shocking and dark.

    For example: I sneeze and you say "Bless You" I will either say NO thank you or - if I am in a truly dark mood - say "Hail Satan" - not that I believe in Satan, as one must believe in God in order to believe in Satan. I simply say it to get a response and to make people re-think their perceptions.

  10. I am tall but short.I have a habit of talking about my height, the average height of my family (6'5"), shoe sizes, and other aspects of life repeatedly. I am honestly "size-ist" and any time I see photos of myself in a crowd of shorter people, it reinforces my weirdness for talking about how short I am (6'3") in my family.

  11. I am meticulous and verbose, intellectual and introspective.I speak using words which some people seem to find incomprehensible. I will commonly talk in the same manner as I have written here. I use words like "indubitably" and "salacious" and even "auspicious" and "interim" within my writings and in casual conversation.

    I am one of those grammar police who will correct you mid-sentence and enjoys marking up manuscripts and other people's writings, as well as my own. I know the difference between there, they're, and their, the misuse of to and too, tend to get furious when people write than when they mean then (or vice-versa).

  12. I frequently make references to movies, television, and books I have read.
    Sometimes I will - out of the blue - spout lines of dialogue from them. If you are unfamiliar with what I say it comes off a bit awkward sometimes. The most frequent nuggets of dialogue come from:

    The Fifth Element, Highlander, The Butterfly Effect, Die Hard, Independence Day, Hellraiser, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (original Radio Plays or Novels), Red Dwarf, LEXX, Hogan's Heroes, Scooby Doo (the 1970's original), He-Man (the 1980's original), and Inspector Gadget, to name a few.
    I am a film fanatic and sometimes just seek out spoilers to help decide if a film is worth seeing, but will ask you respectfully if you have seen the film yet or not just in case you wish me to not spoil it for you.

  13. I do not socialize face to face very often.I have co-workers, former classmates, and family. Outside of that, I see few people at theatrical auditions and rehearsals. I consider most people on the level of "associates" who do not know me outside of a common environment like work or school.

    It's not that I am afraid or uncomfortable, but I am just not used to knowing or hanging out with people who consider "going out" a regular thing.

  14. I can be a real downer.I try to be positive. I try to keep my tact level far above my "lack-of-knowing what the heck you think is so fun or funny" level, but sometimes I just seem to interrupt and bring people down.

    I have things to say. Some are profound and astonishing contributions, while many still will make you lose your train of thought, or just bring you down. I can be a downer, but - when in my element - I can just as likely be the person who gives you that million-dollar epiphany that changes your life for the good.

  15. Country Music is never an option. Never, ever. NEVER!

  16. I may seem uncultured to many who has a wholesome upbringing.I have no knowledge of classical music. Not a clue. Ditto for Jazz, "classic" Rock from the 1960's (Beatles - who? Who - who? Grateful Dead - who? Stones - who? Not a clue).

    My mom loves and raised me on ZZ Top, Styx, and the Eagles. I grew up listening to those as well as Poison, Motley Crue, Stryper, and many of the top 10 bands of the 1980's.

    Having been abused by my father, I never received exposure to classical or many other bands that are the staple "MUST HAVE" bands for anyone else born between 1960 and 1980.

    Even in my adult life, I simply have never found the desire or any reason to educate myself on classical music or those other bands mentioned. Certainly, I have tried listening to some of them, but just found absolutely no appeal in their vocals or instrumental stylings.

  17. My priorities are thus:
    1. Creativity
    2. Emotional Expression
    3. Financial Security through dedication and alert focus while working
    4. Striving for Success and Advancement of my Dreams
    5. Cat Naps with my Cats
    6. Relaxation and Enjoyment of Life
    7. Coping with my past and finding creative outlets for the rage and instability hidden deep in my subconscious
    8. Relationships with loved ones
    9. Socializing with "Friends" and "Acquaintances."

  18. I am a bit OCD.My Mildly Obsessive-Compulsive personality can occasionally make people dread my presence or fear me.

    Having been raised in a hard, harsh, impolite atmosphere of abuse and hatred filled with fear, my lack of social skills may occasionally terrify or shock everyone around me.

    Anyone who knows me well enough and wishes to be the kind of friend who will help smooth over the ripples of inappropriate comments or disruptive looks or statements is more than welcome to be my friend.

12.07.2012

Embraced by Brainwashing...

"The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it." -- George Bernard Shaw


I do not comprehend how so many people are deceived by the falsehoods and illogical fallacies of things they were told and they believed immediately without proof or any hint of probability in the world in which we live, with the laws of nature and physics we have dealt with since our conception... 

Just because your parents and family think something is true and take things "on faith" does not mean it can be proven or that it holds any merit. 

Certainly the organizations formed around it have manipulated everything and brainwashed their subjects to believe in what can not possibly be real... 

But if you were to OPEN YOUR EYES and LOOK at what you are saying and doing and blindly placing your livelihood in the fashion of... You would come to realize the wasted time and effort and energy of millions of followers of the improbable and illogical book and church which you hold so dear... 

WHY? 

WHY?


"Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true... youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies." -- Albert Einstein


WHY are you so resistant to facing reality and reason? 

WHY do you insist that your way is the only way and any variation of interpretation is evil?

WHY do you persecute your fellows and support war mongers who seek only to profit from your suffering and brainwashed fanaticism?

WHY do so many of you still believe in a God or Jesus or Mohammed or Allah or The Bible or The Torah or The Koran? 


These legends have been stolen and manipulated for millennia from stories told by Egyptian parents to scare their children at night... 

Myth does not justify mass murder in the name of the imaginary friend in the sky that you talk to...



Guilt? No.

Sin? No such thing.

Guilt is a feeling of wrong-doing after the fact.
Sin is something made up to make religious people feel guilty all the time.


I do not feel guilt.


"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing, all-powerful God, who creates humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." -- Gene Roddenberry

I feel the need to be responsible for my actions and I do take responsibility and openly explain when I know something I did resulted in something going wrong.

Some people think my open confession of wrongdoing is guilt, but it is not. It is in my nature to be open and honest, blunt and matter-of-fact. 

Most people cannot comprehend why I am like this, because most people around me believe in guilt and sin. 


Actions have consequences.
Mistakes teach us how our actions may lead to bad outcomes.

I believe in honesty, personal responsibility and respect. However, feeling at fault for an action or inaction which led to a mistake is not guilt to me. It is the self-correcting mechanism within my mind teaching me how to avoid those consequences - or better yet - how to replicate those consequences if I so wish to have them repeated. 


Any questions? 




"That is the most frightening sight I have ever seen... Run, little boy, run for your life!" -- Alfred Hitchcock 

Upon encountering a priest in conversation with a little boy, a hand on the child's shoulder.

People have asked me if there is not just "something special in the air" around the Holidays.

Yes, there is something special. It is called nostalgia for the brainwashed ignorance of innocence and youth. It is also the genetic memory of being a part of the whole of this planet, having the axial tilt that it does, with the significance of the Winter Solstice, wherein almost every one of our ancestral societies took note of the sun at its most distant peak and - on some level - feared the end of the world every year.

Religion has done more harm to this world than good. 

Certainly it has provided morality to those who think that the only way to know right from wrong is to follow one faith or another, but the damage to our societies and scientific developments over the centuries has made Religion the leading cause of mankind's current state of atrophy.



My Holiday Memories...

My family has been through tremendous events of horrific nightmares which have made us stronger, more resilient, and - for most of the others - more reliant on religion to scapegoat away all the bad things we have survived.

Christmas as a child was an exciting time when gifts were given and received, the tree at Granny's house was always beautiful and Granny's cookies and sweets - all handmade - were delightful. 


As I grew into maturity and adulthood, the wonderment of it all faded.

When we are children, things are what they are and we believe our parents because they are our providers and we do not know any better. We do not have the foresight to ask how and why certain things are told to us when they are unprovable. 

That does not mean I do not cherish the memories as they fade away gradually year after year from my mind... 

What I have discovered is that, while I was unaware of it, certain evil events took place at and around Christmas after my father returned to us. Those evil things were a harsh slap in the face on the Holidays. I am reminded of them every time I hear those most famous of carols sung or played in my presence.


Most people have lived a life most likely more filled with less pain and suffering than me or my family.

I lived more than a full year (Thanksgiving 1995 through February 1997) homeless and endured two Christmases and two Thanksgivings with no choice but to resist and endure and deny the brainwashing methods of religious fanatics in the Rescue Shelter of Galesburg. That was a very difficult time in my life and I vowed to myself never to allow such horrific circumstances to take over my world again. 

The origin of Christmas has nothing to do with Religion.

It is the Winter Solstice which all peoples recognize, and was celebrated long before the Church adopted it as a Holy Day for themselves. Like countless other "pagan" traditions and sacred days, the Church has incorporated them into their own celebration calendars in order to assimilate and brainwash even more hearts and minds of non-Christian societies and religions.

I respect and understand the joy in the gathering of family and friends to celebrate community and love one another. I simply have not had any form of that sensation or togetherness for nearly a decade now... 

Certainly, I gather with my wife and her parents and we exchange gifts, but with the ever-increasing costs of living and stagnant or reduced incomes, it is constantly becoming more difficult to feel anything on these special days, even with family and gifts. 


Now for my list...

Horrible things done in the name of religion:


"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." -- Thomas Jefferson



  • Looting of Babylon by religious fanatics, who destroyed "evil mechanisms and monstrous creations" of the Babylonians (as in electricity, centralized plumbing and refrigeration, amongst other technologies fully in use in ancient times).
  • The Crusades to the "Holy Land" wherein priests, knights, and peasants invaded, looted, raped, sodomized, murdered, and brought death to millions of innocent children, women, and men just because they did not believe in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • The invasion of the Americas by radical fanatics who held no respect for non-white, non-Christian peoples, considering them heathens and savages, only to slaughter, rape, destroy, and oppress my ancestors, the Natives of these lands.
  • The Holocaust, wherein the devout and fanatical Adolf Hitler kissed the ring of the Pope and took the Pope's words of "Death to all Jews" to heart and brought death and destruction to Europe.
  • The American Indian Holocaust, which gave Hitler the inspiration for his Death Camps, based entirely on President Jackson's Reservation System. The Trail of Tears, which is a stain of blood on the face of the United States much ignored but never forgotten and impossible to wipe away.
  • Repeated invasions of the countries of the Middle East for religion and money and oil, regardless of how oxymoronic those are...
  • The repeated and eventually final attacks on The World Trade Center, then the London Underground, amongst other Terrorist attacks by Islamic Radicals, who have skewed the peaceful writings of the Koran into death and destruction around the planet.
The blind dedication that the majority of the "Civil War" Southern States have toward the Republican Party, which has absolutely nothing to do with Religion, but still uses the symbols and names of Religion as a standard bearer while raping and looting every possible source of greed and economic improvement that this country so desperately needs...

"I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul... I am an aggregate of cells, as, for instance, New York City is an aggregate of individuals. Will New York City go to heaven? No; nature made us - nature did it all - not the gods of the religions." -- Thomas Edison

The list goes on, and is easy to discover for anyone who seeks truth and answers without the taint of religious fervor. Yet I do not expect change to come swiftly or completely in any manner. 

I know that countless people will be offended by these words. Some will take up arms and try to cut my analyses apart with quotes from their own book of religion.

If you take only a part of the book as true and claim that certain parts are not meant to be literal, then how can ANY of it be taken literally?

I pity the fools who still follow blindly without consideration for those of us who have seen the truth of reason and proven fact. 

Yet I will not tolerate someone slashing at my personal non-belief with their redundant BULLSHIT brainwashed sanctified holier-than-thou attitudes.

I end with the words of a great man, a leader, one who lived and died and was a great leader of his day, having to deal with his own group of radical religious fanatics, who to this day seem not to know the full truth of his beliefs.

"Look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity; we find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the pagans, yet practiced it on one another." -- Benjamin Franklin

9.26.2012

Embrace the President...


Many people have been up in arms about the job performance of current President Barack Obama.

As it stands with the election coming soon, I have been receiving countless attacks on my opinions in support of Barack Obama.

Certainly, many of Obama's promises were not kept, or were impossible to achieve in a mere 2 years, or even 4 years. When the Republican "Tea Party" took control of Congress in the election of 2010, nearly every action and goal of Barack Obama was smacked down by the radical corporatist right-wing religious, military, pro-life fanatics.


Willard Romney (Mitt) is a fundamentalist Corporatist Mormon. He owes his allegiance to only two things: his billions of dollars kept in tax haven bank accounts overseas and the growth of said monies, and the Mormon Church.


The Prophecy:

The Mormon Church has a prophecy of a High Priest of the Mormon Church coming to power in the United States and bringing all citizens to the Mormon religion, then bringing about the actions written in the book of Revelation. Willard "Mitt" Romney is a High Priest of the Mormon Church. He has an opportunity to bring to fruition all that this prophecy foretells and, with his countless dollars and billionaire backers, he would do everything in his power if elected president to do just that.in that case, here is my prophecy for all who are considering giving their vote either FOR Mitt Romney or Against Barack Obama:



If Romney is elected, we will be NUKED by Iran.

He has insulted every country in the world whenever he has discussed their societies. He is a Corporatist Mormon fanatic posing as a Republican Conservative. Even though Republicans are so far extremist right-leaning that they are no longer conservative, but more theocratic corporatist themselves. 



FOX:

I have paid attention to what is happening in the world and our country. Most people who are Conservative seem to watch Fox. They seem to not notice that nearly every "personality" on the channel mumbles under their breath the words "IN MY OPINION" or "I FEEL" before they spout straight out lies and extremist radical bullshit. Fox has very little in the way of facts and what facts they do have they distort for the betterment of their own coffers. Not one person who is given more than 5 minutes of screen time on Fox is paid less than 5 million dollars a year. They want to protect their ability to NOT pay taxes, to keep their own money, which they have duly earned, but to force people who are struggling to make a pittance of $20,000 a year or less to pay more in taxes than these talking Fox heads with their lies and opinions based on distorted concepts of reality would ever think of paying.


The "Job Creators"

In our country, we have people who are struggling to live life free of oppression, and yet they are brought down by the elites who think that the "Job Creators" might create a single job here in the United States. The so-called "Job Creators" have created millions of jobs. Yes, they have, I agree that they have created jobs. But those jobs are in Indonesia, China, Yemen, and dozens of other foreign lands where there is no such thing as Environmental Protection or Occupational Safety or a Living Wage. The jobs created in these countries deprive every willing American of an opportunity to make money and spend money and get our economy growing again from the BOTTOM UP. 

If a single person who is unemployed is hired in the United States, he or she will end up spending 90% or more of his or her paycheck to purchase things, to pay bills, and to contribute to the economic growth and well being of the United States. If that job is given to a person overseas, certainly the corporation will pay them a mere tenth of the income an American would be legally required to earn, but not a single dime would benefit the unemployed who are out on the street, as required by law to receive unemployment checks, trying day in and day out to find a job.


How do I know this?

I know all this from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. I was HOMELESS for a year, was given an opportunity to escape the city where not a single company or business was hiring - they literally had NOT HIRING signs in their windows. I took that opportunity to leave everything I ever knew behind and work my ass off to become a better citizen and contribute to the economy. I watched countless people around me get fired or become unemployed and we all did what we could to survive on the $12 in Food Stamps we were provided per MONTH. You try living on $12 worth of food per month and tell me those on Food Stamps are cheating the government.

Continuing... I spent 14 years working menial, minimum wage jobs and built my reputation as a hard worker who used his brain to make sure that whatever task I was assigned got done right, quickly, and would never need to be redone by someone else. After 3 weeks of training 2 new employees at Office Max, I discovered those 2 people were to be my replacement. I was fired cold turkey, no reason given except that my menial $11 an hour (for which I had worked 5 years to achieve) was too much for them to pay me. I was a key-holder, assistant manager, hiring manager, trainer, and cash manager and they did not want to pay me $11 an hour.

I went on unemployment and spent more than 6 months seeking a job. I walked and drove everywhere I could think of, filled out so many applications my fingertips were dry and cracking. That is what is required of people on unemployment - we must submit 10 applications per week to the Unemployment office in order to receive the $122 bi-weekly from them to live on. 

Again, try living on $61 a week. Pay your bills, pay your rent, and see if you can afford to buy a single meal or groceries. THAT IS UNEMPLOYMENT!

I finally convinced someone to hire me and became a Manager at Halloween USA (now Halloween City) for 3 months (the length of their season). At the end of that, I got the job I work now. I also got a second job and even a third job, so I could finally catch up on my bills and hope to start refilling the empty savings account I had before Unemployment. My savings have only just now (after 3 years) begun to grow. I am working 50-60 hours a week and barely scraping by on paying my Student Loans which are at a 13.8% interest because I have deferred half of them.

The 47%:

I am one of those 47% voting for the man who should be President, the man who IS President, and the man who has made those who lost all of their retirement monies under BUSH become better off under his own Presidency. Obama has brought our country back from the brink at which GW Bush and his cronies pushed us. The debt everyone is talking about is the money it cost Bush to go to war with the Middle East. This money it cost us to go to war that Bush keep OFF THE BOOKS and Obama said, "Ya know what? We need to pay our bills, so let's put the BUSH wars on the books now." and so he did and our deficit and debt went through the roof. 


Seek Truth:

Turn off your Fox. Turn off your TV. Go to the library or research here online and find out what the facts are before you spout talking points created by corporatist lobbyists and fed into the mouths of biased fools who are overpaid puppets of those who seek to destroy every achievement of the past 60 years! 


What has President Barack Obama Accomplished?


  • Barack Obama has passed a health care law that keeps the insurance companies from telling people they will have to pay for every medical treatment because they had a pre-existing condition.
  • Barack Obama has passed a health care law that allows college students to have health care while they attend college, up until age 26, as long as their parents have health insurance.
  • Barack Obama has proposed countless bills to the House of Representatives, only to be slapped down every time they get ahold of that bill, even if it is a bill that those who are doing the slapping proposed themselves before Obama grabbed it and said OK.
  • Barack Obama turned the military focus away from oil-mongrels and toward Osama Bin Laden. Barack Obama ordered the death of Osama Bin Laden, as he promised in his original campaign in 2008.
  • Barack Obama gave a LOAN to General Motors to keep them alive. General Motors has REPAID that loan back to the government WITH INTEREST! GM is ALIVE and successful!
  • Barack Obama passed a law which provides equal pay for both men and women in the workplace, when doing the same exact job.
  • Barack Obama passed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, for which he was given support by 90% of the US Armed Forces, Generals and Commanders.
  • Barack Obama drastically expanded Small Business Loan approval regulations.
  • Barack Obama increased funding for all National Parks, providing more than 100 more jobs per park and better conservation methods.
  • Barack Obama provided over 26 million dollars in aid to States , of which every Republican Governor said they would refuse, while quietly pocketing and disbursing the funds to their state anyway. More than 100,000 teachers are still employed because of these funds.
  • Barack Obama expanded the Pell Grant system for all low-income students seeking higher education.
  • Barack Obama has funded and continues to fund the rebuilding of New Orleans. Not reported in the news much, but about half of the funds needed to reconstruct and clean up the disaster Bush let happen has been provided by Obama through presidential order.
  • Barack Obama created the GREEN VET program, which provides training free of charge to any and all Veterans in the fields of Renewable Energy Technologies.
  • Barack Obama funded the manufacture and construction of over 5 million charging stations for ELECTRIC VEHICLES.
  • Barack Obama invested more than $8 billion toward the refurbishment, construction, and safety inspections of Nuclear Power Plants.
  • Barack Obama established a tax incentive to any and all cities and states that promote and expand public transportation.
  • He redirected military funding to train troops in foreign languages prior to their deployment. Funds used were being wasted or pocketed by private security firms.
  • Barack Obama cut salaries in the White House, streamlined Government to reduce waste, saving tax payers more than $20 million a year.
  • Barack Obama cut prescription costs for Medicare recipients by 50%.
  • Barack Obama established a Housing law that prevented home owners from being evicted for being late on mortgage payments.
  • Barack Obama funded the rehabilitation of Native American housing.
  • Barack Obama deported Mexican illegals in higher numbers than ANY president in the history of the United States. Also, he funded increased DRONE surveillance of the border.
  • Barack Obama ended Stop/Loss which forced troops to remain deployed for double or triple deployments.
  • Barack Obama increased pay and benefits for Veterans and Military families, despite the Republican stance of eliminating the Veterans Affairs departments altogether. Military spouses now receive nearly double the benefits they had received under either Bush or Clinton.
  • Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon to redirect wasted funds toward armor and proper protective clothing and vehicles for troops in high-risk conflict environments.
  • Barack Obama ended Bush and Cheney's illegal torture methods, which yielded NO results of any value in any instance and nearly caused the United States to be held accountable for WAR CRIMES. All interrogations are now filmed without exception.
  • Barack Obama Provided small business tax credits to companies with fewer than 20 employees to cover 100% of the cost of the small business providing insurance to said employees.
  • Barack Obama shifted taxation so that current taxes paid to the government are the lowest they have been since 1950.
  • Up until the 2010 Republican take-over of Congress, Barack Obama helped reduce jobless claims and unemployment by 25%. After the Republican takeover, no laws or bills passed to improve that or reinvest in the Economy, so jobless claims grew again.


So.. yeah, I think President Obama has accomplished a tremendous amount of goals and great things in his mere 4 years after Bush decimated this country.

He has more that earned my vote. 

5.09.2012

The Separation of Church & Straight (and other perceptions, or lacks thereof)

What is the Separation of Church and Straight?


No, that is not a typo.


The Separation of Church and Straight is an idea I had today when listening to some random talk radio personality on whose show a caller had a slip of the tongue and said "Separation of Church and Straight... I mean State." 


My point here is that there should be a divide between Church and all things dealing with sexuality and choice and freedom of pursuing personal happiness. Thus, a Separation of Church and Straight, or Gay or Bi or any personal lifestyle preference is essential for progress and movement to be made for equality in this country. 


For far too long, the religious extremists have taken the political stage and pushed their fanatical agenda to prohibit and eliminate any form of pleasure or happiness for Americans who choose to live a life with different rules than those they personally espouse. 


Since my freshman year at Knox College, I have done everything in my personal life to open my mind to acceptance (having spent many years being oppressed by a religious fanatical Southern Baptist church).


When I first became aware of alternate lifestyle choices, I was afraid and ignorant, but have discovered that many friends enjoy their personal lives in their own way which differs from what I was brainwashed as acceptable. 


Having overcome that brainwashing, I hold no animosity for anyone except the fools who fear what they refuse to accept or understand. 


My philosophy is as follows: 
What two people in love do in the privacy of their own relationship is no business of anyone outside of that relationship. leave it alone and we can all have Life, Liberty, and Pursue our own happiness in whatever way we see fit. Hey... where have I heard those words before...??? 




Brainwashing is what has happened throughout history, as the religions and the "Church" have used every form of manipulation, war, abuse, and torture to instill into the general populace the soap suds of religious dogma. What needs to occur to these bubbly fanatics is a rinse cycle to wash away the soapy tendrils of ignorance and fear, the better to allow them to think clearly about the facts of life and see what the suds have hidden from them for countless generations: the truth which they refuse to acknowledge could possibly hold any basis in fact. 




Now let me flip the world around: Separation of Church and Straight...


Imagine a world where being Straight was considered a moral obscenity by the religious majority. Certainly, procreation must occur to maintain the existence of the species, but besides that, just humor me a moment...  


To the point:


Would "man and woman" lovers want the intimate details of their love life plastered all over the news and discussed with distaste in Congress or by Political or Religious leaders? 


Husbands and Wives certainly do not talk their intimate activities. Neither do people of different lifestyles. 


When two people wish to make each other happy, the only thing that should be of concern is safety and privacy. How is it anyone's business besides the two (or perhaps more?) people who are enjoying one another's company? 




For those offended by my words or my open blatant discussion of these topics, I am not sorry. 


I understand you may not think it is right to share my thoughts or opinions. 


I grew up in an abusive home with fear and terror every. single. day. I was exposed at a very young age to the horrific nature of the universe and the darkest parts of human nature. Due to that, I sometimes have difficulty keeping my mouth shut and sometimes may shock or astound my family members or peers. 


I am a truthful, open, honest man. I do not apologize for my blunt nature. 


I was not raised in an environment in which polite conversation took place. I was not taught proper etiquette for conversation or meals or ... whatever it is that I do not even know to mention here because I have no knowledge of it... 


So for those who insist I should not state my opinions or support causes which may offend one or multiple persons, for those who find me crude, uncouth, and undisciplined, please know that what I have in my perception of the world is tarnished, tainted, and blistering with welts from decades of beatings from my father - and I know no better. 




The above being analyzed and placed upon the ether like a wind broken upon a breeze... 


I try. 


I do try to comply with morality and what I happen to skim off the surface of perception when I am in a situation where others expect more of me... Yet, my ignorance and lack of exposure to some things in the common culture of American Life and World Society leaves me lacking in the eyes of others.


I honestly know nothing of classical music, do not comprehend the point of sporting events, have no idea why people may drink the foul fermentation of century-old grapes and call it pleasurable..?


My musical, artistic, and cultural tastes were limited and confined to a few of the favorite things which my mother and grandparents happened to enjoy. I never knew who The Beatles were until I was 16 and in High School. I do not understand the music of The Who or The Rolling Stones or ... well, I have no knowledge of names of similar bands because I have never been exposed to them, or perhaps dislike them to the point I have never held their existence in my mind long enough to recall them in order to describe them in this disclosure of cultural deprivation... 


And thus many of you who have so far chosen to take the time to take in all that I have given out here in these paragraphs... Now you may better understand why I have these odd looks or unusual reactions or lack of comprehension when you may mention something like "The White Album" or "Symphony No. 7" or "Monet-esque"... To me that is all gibberish (and I even had to Google it to find out the proper spelling and names of these things) which my faint recollection of astonished lack of understanding can barely manage to bring forth. 


I am at a loss for now and shall thus take my leave of typing furthermore this evening. Until some time later then...

4.01.2012

Tranquility Fate (prose)

The tranquility of peaceful sensation: confidence overwhelms my moment of now as I philosophize apathy and consider all aspects of relaxation of mind and body within my warm place of being.

The loveliness of calmness is an artifice brought upon my current like a still water that can never last as the wind always blows away the glassy surface of smoothness with ripples of emotional distress.

Yet I suppress these anxieties and frustrations, caring only for the freedom of enjoyment as I envision the endless distance of imaginated fugue state: I am comforted by the peaceful outlook I have taken upon myself, having replaced the constant dilapidated state of distress which has been my life and past pains.

And yet in my calm state of mind, I find myself reminiscing over what is yet to be or soon to come while a whisper of regret lingers about my mind like a cloud of smoke, cloying and swirling with the slightest breeze or exhalation of breath.

What I need and what I want have come into alignment and the fruition of those desires will be forthcoming upon their own arrival time, hopefully sooner than later.

For my words may shock those who think that they know me, but the horrific nightmares I experienced as a youth have become ingrained into my life and persona, fortifying and encapsulating me.

Such topics which I speak aloud in casual conversation with matter-of-factness are taboo: they utterly astound and shatter the perception of those around me who stand with shocked expression and whisper that my words were too much for their fragile realities to conceive of as normality...





And yet these things are nothing shocking to my own mind and lifestyle as I have accepted them as part of my being and incorporated them into my heart and mind.




However I find that I must censor my own words and edit my mad thoughts before they leap from my tongue into the over-sensitive atmosphere of over-confidence which surrounds those who grew up within an environment which nurtured, protected, and cushioned them from the dramas and horrors of what I find to be part of my childhood.

My American dreams are the nightmares of politicians who prefer to slice their own roads with the cash provided by their special interests, which have nothing to do with the interests of those who are truly special and in dire need of guidance and protection from such greed and carelessness - as that which purports to be for the good of all benefits a mere few.

These dreams of a world in which society as a whole is protected from those who would do any portion of that society harm: protected by a governing body of people who truly listen to the individuals who live in the worst possible conditions; protected by people of influence who will work to their maximum potential to make the least man's life better.





These are the nightmares of the warring factions of oil-mongrels who insist that they receive their own share before anyone else can even see how much is there in the first place.




Ah, but these pipe dreams can bring about the downfall of so many who see themselves as essential and integral to the working functions of this society of American greed. Due to this essential inevitability, little chance exists for the society to become a great covenant of self-sufficiency in a world that sees only the bottom line of profitability; damn the need for stability within our own country!

And even still I find myself calmed and soothed by the fact that there is still a chance for true change in this world, if only those who live in fear would wake up from the nightmare of a greedy corporatocracy and seize back the reins of power, to lash the workhorses and work houses back to full tilt and bring America out of the ditch.

The solutions of tomorrow must be found in the shadows of our yesterdays and utilized to renovate this shabby home: fumigate the evils of society and scrub away the muck from our dilapidated factories; find a way to bring us back from this brink at which we are poised to be punched in the face and plummet to our doom.

All the while we continue to buy foreign-made goods and stare in shock at the cost of buying something made by people within our own borders; thus the cycle of inevitable atrophy continues to eat away at our souls.