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Archive for March, 2008

Email forward of the Day

I get email forwards from my (politically and religiously conservative) family. I recently received one that kinda made me smile because it just didn’t seem very well thought out. One of the big issues in the coming election is “change” – i.e. people want a change in political leadership. By in large, Obama is seen as the candidate for change. The problem is that Republicans don’t like that. Republicans don’t want to move away from the George W Bush way of doing things. So, this email forward attacks the very idea that “change is good”. Also, I should add that this wasn’t written by Jay Leno (email forwards have a ridiculous tendency of just making stuff up). I also have to wonder: is the essay any more persuasive or notable if it’s credited to “Jay Leno” rather than “Joe Schmoe”?

Subject: Pathetic Negativity

Hope you will all read to the end. Jay Leno puts it into perspective and makes us think about the pathetic negativity. That’s right, Jay Leno wrote this!!

Jay Leno wrote this; it’s the Jay Leno we don’t often see….

“The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3rds of the citizenry just ain’t happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ”What we are so unhappy about?” Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Okay. All of those would be good points if George Bush’s administration was personally responsible for bringing those things to America. But, they didn’t. All of those things were true before G.W. was elected. Wanting a change in political leadership is based on how things have changed for the better or worse under Bush, not on the question “are things good or not” relative to the rest of the World. I also couldn’t help thinking that you could repeat nearly that entire section verbatim in the year 2000. Would Republicans conclude, then, that “we should continue the Democrat’s control of the White House”?

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen.

Read: you’re an ungrateful, spoiled brat if you want Obama to be president or think G.W.Bush is a bad president.

No wonder the world loves the U.S., yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are.

Ha. Quite the opposite – many people like Americans, but hate the US government.

The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don’t have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

Yeah, they hate us because we complain about the state of the nation. I’m sure the world would just *love* it if Americans could elect G.W. to a third term.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11?

Ungrateful Americans – don’t you know he was looking for answers in the “My Pet Goat”.

The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

He’s the leader of an all-volunteer army, and therefore he should get the credit for the work they’re doing.

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn’t take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it…… are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the “Media” told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

It’s all the media’s fault. The media doesn’t properly glorify the great leader, therefore it’s biased and evil.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn’t have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ”general” discharge, an ”other than honorable” discharge or, worst case scenario, a ”dishonorable” discharge after a few days in the brig.

And you should credit all their hard work and sacrifice to the President!

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by “justifying” them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O. J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn’t kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way…… Insane!

If you hear anything bad about our glorious leader – blame the media. I especially like how “they” (the “media”) conspired as a *group* to publish O.J.’s book. I’m quite sure they consulted the high-priest of media control and his thousands of underlings – who control everything we see, hear, and read – and he, in complete dictatorial control, approved O.J.’s book for the masses.

Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country.

Ignore the media – and make-up the news stories you want to believe. Hmmm – today, George Bush saved children from a blazing fire. That’s my news story of the day.

There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.”

Thank God? I think he meant to write thank George W. Bush for all his hard work fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. I heard he took several bullets and single-handedly rescued dozens of POWs. You’d have to be crazy for wanting a non-Republican president!

“With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, “Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?”

Jay Leno

Please keep this in circulation. There are so many people that need to read this and grasp the truth of it all.

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Just thought this was a pretty cool video. It’s an 8-minute video of an elephant painting an elephant. You have to wonder what the inner mental life of an elephant is like.

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Matt beat me to it on this one. An eleven-year-old girl recently died from diabetes (which is treatable with modern medicine). Her parents decided to rely on God and prayer rather than doctors and hospitals. Now they believe that they just didn’t have enough faith, and even worse, they think that she can still be resurrected from the dead if they have enough faith.

Now, I know the Christian excuses here – God gives us doctors and medicine, they say. (As if we should credit God, rather than the hard work and intelligence of a the disproportionately atheist medical researchers.) I would add that while that philosophy might be a good way to get theists to rely on science-based medicine (rather than prayer – which has a ridiculously bad track record in medical studies), there’s nothing un-Biblical about prayer. In fact, the Bible is very pro-prayer. Here’s the bad advice that the “Good Book” gives:

Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:14-18)

You can read the whole chapter if you think I’m taking that out of context. The fact of the matter is that these parents were following the teachings of the Bible. God isn’t “the great physician” no matter how many times you say that he is.

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Reverend Moon – leader of the Unification Church, and self-proclaimed Jesus Christ reborn – is such a narcissistic ignorant putz. But, like L. Ron Hubbard said: “I’d like to start a religion. That’s where the money is.” And, Reverend Moon is a rich, politically connected man because of it.

More than a dozen lawmakers attended a congressional reception this year honoring the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in which Moon declared himself the Messiah and said his teachings have helped Hitler and Stalin be “reborn as new persons.”

At the March 23 [2004] ceremony in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding an ornate crown that was placed on Moon’s head. The Korean-born businessman and religious leader then delivered a long speech saying he was “sent to Earth . . . to save the world’s six billion people. . . . Emperors, kings and presidents . . . have declared to all Heaven and Earth that Reverend Sun Myung Moon is none other than humanity’s Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent.”

The only “international crown of peace awards” went to Moon and his wife.

Moon has claimed to have spoken in “the spirit world” with all deceased U.S. presidents, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed and others. At the March 23 event, he said: “The founders of five great religions and many other leaders in the spirit world, including even Communist leaders such as Marx and Lenin . . . and dictators such as Hitler and Stalin, have found strength in my teachings, mended their ways and been reborn as new persons.” (Link)

Two US congressmen are even filmed carrying the crowns to be placed on the heads of Moon and his wife. (What planet am I living on again?)

Below is an 18-minute video on Moon, this bizarre event, and his level of political influence in Washington. Much of his influence is based on sucking up to right-wing politicians by attacking Democrats, promoting American nationalism, and abstinence education. They returned the favor by sucking up right back to the cult leader, and (apparently) sending government money his way for things like “abstinence education”. It’s amazing how rich Moon is.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I especially like how dead US presidents (from beyond the grave) have endorsed him as messiah. Strangely, the percentage of dead presidents endorsing him was significantly higher than the percentage of living presidents (hmm, I wonder what could possibly explain that?)

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My Week in Review

The last seven days have been interesting. Last weekend, I was hanging out with friends. There was one girl (Sarah) who I’ve liked for years. I had asked her out years ago, but she turned me down. I occasionally made off-hand comments indicating that I was still interested, but not to the point of awkwardness. Well, last weekend, she suddenly grabbed me and started kissing me. It was very unexpected. She said that it’s been building up for a long time. Great. Like I said, I’ve liked her for years. She came home with me that night (not that anything happened). The next morning, she sheepishly admitted that she had a date that night with another guy she’s been seeing.

I talked to her on Sunday about making plans for the this weekend. She said she wasn’t going to do anything on Good Friday. Um – she doesn’t have plans yet, or she’s not going to make plans because it’s “Good Friday”? She says she’s not going to make plans. Hmmm. I had no idea she was so religious. Being an atheist and dating is hard when the majority of people believe in God. I’ll have to think about this situation, and avoid the subject of religion for the time-being. I guess that explains why she’s still a virgin at 29 years old (at least, that’s what I’ve heard from our mutual friends).

Yesterday, I brought a shirt to a local tailor. A short Greek woman with a heavy accent. She owns a tiny little shop that’s easy to overlook between other businesses. I walk in and she’s smoking a cigarette. I had to smile – as of a few years ago, there is a city-wide ban on smoking in businesses. I assume she’s simply ignoring the ban. She takes my shirt, and we discuss modifying it. She’s a foot shorter than me, in her sixties, and round. She asks me if I bought the shirt on sale in a tone that says, “all clothes these days are overpriced, so I’d better answer yes”. I’m in my thirties, but I stammer around and say something about buying the shirt a while ago and I don’t remember. Of course, that’s a lie. I remember exactly how much I bought it for less than a month ago, and it wasn’t on sale. Somehow, it felt like less of a lie than “yeah, I bought it on sale”. I hate lying, and I’m bad at it. Now I know what it feels like to have a mother from the Old World. I can’t help but smile at the roles we’ve fallen into. She tells me to come back on Friday. “You’re open on Good Friday?” I ask, just making sure since this is obviously a one-person business. She says she’s Greek Orthodox – Easter isn’t for another month, she says with a wink. (Huh. I had no idea the Greek Orthodox had a different calendar.)

Tonight, I’m at a local coffeeshop when suddenly, I see Sarah walk in. There was a brief moment of confusion that happens whenever you see someone in a totally different place than you’d expect. She lives in the suburbs. I live downtown – at least 15 miles away. Sarah’s with a guy. Hmm. On “Good Friday”? I smile and look at her. It takes her a good half a minute to notice me. Not going out on Friday, huh? Maybe she’s not as religious as she said. And isn’t lying a sin? She occasionally looks over to me, trying to avoid tipping off the guy. I can’t figure out exactly what she’s thinking, but my expression is a mixture of “strange seeing you here” and an amused “I think you’ve just been busted going out on ‘Good Friday'”. They get their drinks and quickly leave. Of course, I knew she was seeing some other guy, so that isn’t completely a surprise, but going out on “Good Friday” when she said she wasn’t going to? Heh. At best, maybe he talked her into going out on Friday, since I was seeing her on Saturday. (I’m still skeptical that she was being completely honest, but there was really no reason for her to lie, since she had already told me about him.) Seeing her in the coffeeshop was a bizarre coincidence, though. There were thousands of places she could’ve gone, but she ended up in the coffeeshop where I was. In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never run into her unexpectedly. But, it happens on the very night she’s out with some other guy, on the night when she says she’s not going out. I’ll have to give her crap about this tomorrow.

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Like Father, Like Son

(How could anyone think that’s a good idea?) The mug shots of father and son:

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Remember the video posted by anonymous declaring war on scientology? The “church” of scientology is striking back:

Jason Carlin just sent me this link, it seems someone claiming to be involved with The Church of Scientology has identified what they think are a few Anonymous members and posted all their personal information online. I said before this was going to get more interesting before it went away and it seems to have just taken another step in that direction. I do think it’s noteworthy to point out that when trying to defend yourself against claims that you use fear and personal threats to silence your critics, using fear and personal threats to silence your critics might not be the best course of action when it comes to clearing your name. (Link to Boing Boing)

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