Friday, December 30, 2011

Santorum Saturates Iowa!

Dan Savage was brilliant, as it turns out, to make 'santorum' mean 'ass juice.'

There's just so many possibilities!


Santorum is running somewhere between Romney and Gingritch...

Santorum surges... explodes in Iowa...

Santorum comes from behind. (Simple, yet elegant)

Santorum has unexpected burst

Santorum bottoms out

Santorum campaign leaks to press

Santorum Smears Romney's Magic Underwear

Santorum streaming video

Santorum in bed with Big Oil

Evangelical voters satisfied with Santorum

Santorum offices evacuate lower level

Marcus Bachmann prefers Santorum to Bush

Santorum dips in polls (homonymously cute, no?)

Barney Frank blasts Santorum!
(I have to credit my wife for that one)


Great name for a Gay Bar: "The Sanctum Santorum"


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Bible is Psychotic

Luke 19:27 Jesus Christ said to His disciples: "But those, mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (KJV)

Ahh, dearest loving Jesus must have been having a bad day.


I am here to put forth a theory. It's a very unpopular theory, to be sure. But it needs to be said.

The Bible is psychotic. Absolutely flaming psychotic. That's my theory. And I can back it up.

Think about it, really think.


[sahy-koh-sis] Show IPA
noun, plural -ses  [-seez] Show IPA.
a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.
any severe form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.

[skit-suh-free-nee-uh, -freen-yuh]   Origin
[skit-suh-free-nee-uh, -freen-yuh] Show IPA
Psychiatry. Also called dementia praecox. a severe mental disorder characterized by some, but not necessarily all, of the following features: emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, social isolation, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations.
a state characterized by the coexistence of contradictory or incompatible elements.


If the Bible were a person, holding *all* of the many beliefs found within its pathological pages, they'd be a raving psychotic, a complete lunatic, because the Bible is in two halves, one of which is diametrically opposed in tone and direction and even philosophy to the other half, *and also* let us not forget that the Bible contains *many* other individual instances of self-contradiction within its pages. Even the four gospels do not agree on many important points, so 'gospel' meaning 'truth' begs the question 'which truth?'

The Bible tells us that it is the Word of God Himself, so we Must Believe in All Of It At Once. Or we're bad and evil and will go to hell after we die. And so we have Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild, with His Father Yahweh in Heaven who is never, ever meek and mild, is absolutely always *incredibly* strict and authoritarian, but you have to believe that really, they're one thing, one being, one God. And if that isn't enough to finish the job of dissolving your mind, we even have a terrible Revenge Jesus in Revelations at the very end of the book. Just in case you weren't fucked up enough up to that point.

This is the very definition of (forced) schizophrenia. To firmly believe in contrary things at the same time, is mental illness. There is no doubt about it. It's just a fact. The Bible is 'committing schizophrenia' on its readers. On its victims.

The Bible causes schizophrenia. The more literally you take it, the more sick you become. It's really that simple. And just because it's group schizophrenia doesn't excuse it. Actually it makes it far more horrifying. In fact, when you really think about it (and you have to really think about it,) you come to realize that it is entirely possible, even likely, that the Bible is the root cause of much of the mental illness present in Western (and Islamic) society. It is the Rotten Tree from which all the diseased branches grew. It is the Official Alternative to Reality.

I can't think of a better training program to produce schizophrenia. There just isn't one. The Bible, over and over again, presents sets of things which self-contradict, and yet *demands* that the reader believe in every last word of *both* of the pair of things presented, perhaps even with other differing things thrown in that contradict those two things, demands you believe absolutely all of it, all together, the whole mishmash, *or else God will fuck you up forever* (because He loves you!)

It's not possible to believe in the bible literally and not be a psychotic, a schizophrenic basket case. It demands, on pain of damnation, that the reader hold contrary beliefs in their head at the same time, permanently. And not just contrary *beliefs,* but even contrary *moral convictions!*

Or else.

Isn't coercive morality fun?

So go forth and do unto others as you would have them do unto you and love thy neighbor, while of course taking an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth along the way. Just remember to take the eye from them *lovingly.* Remember that God loves you more than anything, which is why He demands strict obedience or else He will torture and burn you forever.

So have fun, boys and girls! God loves you! (But it's a fearfully horrific kind of love, hope you don't mind...)

I want to end on a cheery note. So let me inform the gentle reader that, according to the Bible, practically all Christians are *absolutely* damned to hell anyhow. For how many Christians, what percent, believe in *all* of Leviticus? How many Christians would kill their son if he came home drunk and rebellious? Heck, how many Christians do at least some sort of work on the Sabbath? (Which incidentally, in the Bible, is on Saturday, so there's that too...) They think little of ignoring those parts; indeed they think little of ignoring whichever parts of the Bible they find just too offensive (or too nice!) for their bent and fractured belief system, hence, they're eternally damned by Biblical definition, period. The Bible says so. It's a Biblical Fact. So get used to it, Christians! God is going to love you all the way to hell. Take comfort in that, and remember to bring the ice.

(It was cheery to me)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jesus Loves Bullies

New Anti-Bullying Law In Michigan allows exceptions for 'religious conviction'

An anti-bullying law that makes exceptions if the *bully* has religious convictions about it? Really? REALLY?

Um, wouldn't that be just about all anti-gay bullies?

What, are they going for the title of 'Most Infuriating Legislation?' Because this makes me want to punch a random Christian in the head.

Lately it's not so much that religion seems harmful. No, those days are long gone. Nowadays it seems that religion has just become outright malicious, and proud of it. The mask is off. It's gone 'overt.' It just doesn't seem to give a fuck anymore. It's just 'going for it.' For all the glory and the power, amen. Screw everyone else, we're Team Jesus. Pay no attention to the fact that we act like we hate his guts; we're using his name so it's all cool. Rejoice! Now roll over and play dead for The Lord, we're coming with our jackboots on!

Religion doesn't even try to hide its evil side nowadays, counting on the fact that the public is conditioned to tolerate it reflexively. Sure I have hopes that it won't last, that the more horrific their behavior becomes the less credence the public will give them, but hey, we're fucking stupid, so that's probably not going to happen anytime soon. We need to have a religious revolt of a different kind; a revolt against the mental shackles and chains of religion. We need to free our minds from this ridiculous mental slavery, this mental computer virus called 'faith.' After all, it's utterly revolting.

I have no problem with freedom of religion, but that doesn't mean that it's free to dominate every area of the country and repress all others who disagree. Nobody's free to restrict the freedom of others, although that's what they believe they're entitled to do.

'Entitled' is a big word for them. And I mean that in two ways: Importance, and spelling difficulty.

I have no problem with Christians that keep their religion to themselves. I wish there were more of them. They're not the problem. They might even be part of the solution, if they grow a pair and fight back against this Antichrist that pretends to holiness.

This new law is execrable. What I fervently hope is that some Muslim student beats the ever-loving crap out of a good, clean, whitebread Evangelical Christian boy, and uses his legal religious exclusion to get off scot-free.

How on earth could anyone let this happen? Have they no hearts whatsoever? This is *condoning* bullying, even encouraging it! People are dying, killing themselves, because of this issue of Christian bigotry, and so of course, this law enshrines and protects it as religious freedom. Anything to promote more hatred in the name of the Prince of Peace, I guess.

Hypocrisy is a strong word, usually. But in this case, it is far too weak to be applicable. I'll go with 'evil.' Or even perhaps 'Evil,' as in, metaphysical Evil. If such a thing exists, this is it. What can be worse than evil believing itself to be good, and thus feeling good, about being evil?

This is just plain ugly. Here we have a group of people that are so very entitled and so very self-important and so very inflated with false pride, that they make the Pharisees of the Bible seem pious and humble by comparison.

Comfortable in the unshakeable belief that they are Chosen and Superior to all others, that they are literally by definition decent, upright, Godly people, they are thus free in their minds to become the polar opposite of all that, and never even realize it.

They are the evil that they fear. They are the Antichrist. They spin in circles of self-delusion, and can no longer see reality. They have decided to construct their own version. They insist.

Nothing could be further away from Christ's message than these wasters, these destroyers, these haters. They are the Cautionary Tales, demonstrating what can happen to a person when they come to believe that they no longer need to think.

Believing themselves to be blessed, they curse themselves. And in the process, curse us all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Christian Morality Comes From God

Christian Morality Comes From God.

God being the very worst father archetype there is.

So in the Christian home is reflected how God speaks and acts in the Bible.

Hence, we have:

"Because I said so!"

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out!"

"Children should be seen and not heard"

"Spare the rod, and spoil the child"

"How DARE you question me?!"

...and so on...

In the home, as in the bible, the 'God' or 'Gods' of the house in righteous indignation demand strict obedience or else dispense immediate harsh punishment or at least threats of such. Even threats of 'going to hell.' Even accusations of 'being evil.' Be good, or else face the harsh consequences. The child is thus taught that 'might makes right.' Such 'ultimatum parenting' teaches what I like to call 'coercive morality' to children. Morality based not in love, but in fear of consequences. Morality, which isn't.

Comparing this 'coercive morality' to actual morality is a lot like comparing the more modern methods of dog training, involving reward and praise, to the old-school method of just beating the dog when it does something bad. The former produces a happy and loving dog that wants to please, whereas the latter produces a cringing man-hater that snaps at the least provocation.

The parent, like God, demands respect while acting in a manner that is not respectable, demands love while acting in an unloving manner, demands devotion while showing no devotion in return.

In many cases the child is even told some variation of 'you must love God even more than you do Mommy and Daddy.' And if the child quite logically then asks 'Does that meant that you love God more then you do me?' the answer will invariably be 'yes, of course!' Shattering. The self-image of the child is reduced over and over again, by the punishments, the manipulation through guilt, the lack of perceivable love and kindness and tolerance, and even by just reading or being read the Bible where it clearly tells us of how incredibly inferior we all are, no matter how we may strive to overcome it.

The child is taught to be proud of being a Christian, and just for being a Christian, by telling them of the inferiority and even 'evil' of everyone else and how automatically good they are just for believing in God and Jesus. That just by believing in them with 'all their heart and soul' and by loving them, they are good people, excellent people, and God loves them and so will find them acceptable rather than throwing them into a fiery pit for all time like He will do to all those evil 'others.' You're special and chosen, just for believing. Nothing more required, really. Doing good works in the world, good actions, are superfluous to the goal of eventual salvation; it's blind belief alone, re-labeled and re-packaged as 'Faith,' that provides the keys to the Gates of Heaven. Faith. Not good action nor loving kindness nor helping others nor 'loving thy brother.' Faith.

Unadulterated Purina Ego Chow. What a crock of shit.

The child sees in the home that conflict resolution is best done with either violent rage or guilt. Or lies. Because after all, the parents see in the Bible that God often gets Wrathful or Jealous and does quite a lot of Smiting, so why can't they? He's 'Our Father Who Art In Heaven' and so it's not much of a leap to suggest that the parents take their examples of proper parenting from Him. Of course they do. The proof is in the pudding.

Plus Santa (Jesus Lite) was a years-long lie we all lived through. Our very first lie. Our introduction to the behavior pattern. A fantastic way to teach kids the acceptability, even the desirability, of not telling the truth. The parent, like Christianity itself, is not afraid to lie to the child as long as it causes the desired behavior or belief, and eventually, the child notices this. It will affect him or her for the rest of their life.

The child learns to not dare to ask questions. The child learns to be obedient rather than an independent thinker, looking outside themselves to authority for direction rather than looking within themselves for inspiration.

The overall logic of the parents' actions in general is often weak to nonexistent, and yet the parents will brook no questioning as to their reasoning, so the child is never taught that logical thought can avail them anything but punishment. So the child, logical by nature, soon learns to discard logic in favor of blind belief. Blind belief in the parents is stressed in the home as blind belief in god is stressed in the bible. The child is taught that blind belief trumps logic and reason and even science, and is the very best, most desirable thing in the world to aspire to.

In the home, it is demonstrated to the child time and again, that someone that loves you can also commit hateful and even harmful actions against you, and this is because they love you. You know... like God does.

Maybe I should call it 'mindfuck morality.'

And most people in the country come from Christian homes. Think about that for a minute.

So I ask you, is there any fucking wonder that this country has left morality and empathy and love in the dust in favor of selfishness and greed? We're practically ALL victims of child abuse! The only reason we don't think we are, is because it was a part of the abuse to convince us that it wasn't abuse at all. In fact, it was a part of the abuse to convince us that this system is the very best moral system that exists or could possibly exist, the only True Morality in the whole world, and a direct Gift from God. Something to be proud of.

We've been sold a turd as a diamond.


Mystery of why the country is such a moral sewer: SOLVED.

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Just In: Earth Older than 6000 Years.

Well let's see what's in the news today...

Ancient Babylonian Tablets Translated

Wow, 90 years to compile an ancient Babylonian dictionary. Fascinating. I once learned the Babylonian numeration system in a college class. Turns out it wasn't even 'base 10.' It was based on the number 60. Hard to manage in your head...

It would seem that here we have a series of clay tablets which tell a complex story of a complex thriving culture that pre-dated the writing of the Old Testament. The tablets are approximately 4,500 years old, and speak of a three-thousand-year-old culture that contributed greatly to the flowering of ancient Greece and Rome, and thereby our western world.

A three-thousand-year-old culture.

Let's do the math, christians. The tablets are how old? Hmm... 4500 years. And how old a culture do they speak of? 3000 years.

Now I'm not sure whether today's christians still do arithmetic. I mean, they've convinced themselves that most of modern science is completely wrong on the say-so of such authorities as a bloated ex-drug-addict radio host so filled with open hatred that it almost literally oozes out his ears, because hey, he's so credible and all as compared to accredited scientists who've studied really really hard for all their lives; and they also believe that the world is only 6000 years old because of some rheumy religious moron's interpretation of the 'begats' in the bible, which is itself an ancient hodgepodge of various mostly anonymously-written texts based on oral traditions that were compiled and edited by corrupt Roman politicians with hugely vested interests in maintaining earthly power.

(Why, that's at least half as reliable as how Harold Camping so accurately determined the exact date and time for armeggedon!)

That's why I figure that it's not out of the realm of possibility that they've abandoned arithmetic as well. If not, they will after they finish reading this post.

Therefore for the convenience of those who have faith instead of intellect, beliefs instead of ideas, I'll provide the solution...

It means that the earth absolutely has to be *at least* 7,500 years old. 4,500 + 3,000 = 7,500. Years. 7,500 years. Old. The earth. You listening?

And further, that culture didn't just spring up instantly when the world was 'created' either. A culture doesn't develop like that, now does it? It takes quite a while for cities to form from a primitive agrarian culture, and even longer for a primitive agrarian culture to develop from even more primitive hunter-gatherers. So let's say at least a few more thousand years. Over ten thousand all total, most likely, at the minimum.

So there it is, christians. Read it and weep. Or deny it to yourselves, as you are wont to do. It's just another pesky fact, after all. Shouldn't present a problem to true believers like yourselves. You've already denied several million; what's one more?


So then, tell me why it must be wrong. Why it *has* to be wrong. Why it is *certainly* wrong.

I mean, it has to be wrong, right? You certainly can't be. Not with god on your side... With god on your side, you can't be wrong. God is infallible, and the bible is his revelation.

I mean, just ask Harold Camping. He's never wrong, either.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Newsflash: The Antichrist, Identified!

Check out this article:

New Christian Army, born in the USA

So some Arab country like the UAE or whoever can now hire Eric Prince's guaranteed Muslim-free All-Christian army to put down those pesky pro-democracy revolts that keep cropping up! Or whatever repression you have in mind! We're flexible...

Hey, fantastic.


But you know what?

Here's something scary:

Prince of Darkness

Prince of Blackness

Prince of Black Ness (Loch/Lake)(identified with monster)

Immortal Prince = Eternal Ruler

Eric, (Name etymology, >Norse: Eternal Ruler) Prince of Black Lake

Eric, Prince of Black Lake

Eric Prince, of Blackwater


How brazen. It's like the Purloined Letter. Right there in front of you. How appro-poe.


So my christian brethren, there it is. Now is the time to shout it from the rooftops! "The Antichrist has been found! The Adversary has been located! He's already building his army!"

"And shit, he's one of us!!!"

Monday, May 9, 2011

You... You... You Autoretard, You!!!

Am I wrong to miss being able to just call people 'retards' with no political fallout?

I mean, I don't ever want to disparage the mentally handicapped. Truth is, the last person that I'd ever call or even think of as a 'retard' would be someone that is actually mentally handicapped. I don't even go there in my head, not ever...

I'd also hate myself if I ever hurt the feelings of some poor innocent mentally challenged person by calling some random republican or christian (or perhaps more properly 'christorepublican?) a retard. I'm not 'that guy.' I can't stand people that are that ignorant.

However I can't stop using the word. Can't a word evolve beyond the connotations of its origins? The way that I think of it, it tells the recepient 'you are acting as if you have a physical/developmental cause for your lack of reasoning ability as do some unfortunate individuals in our world, *however* you do not have such a cause. Instead, you chose it. You've chosen to be ignorant. They have no choice; you do.'

It's still insulting to the mentally handicapped, though, isn't it? No getting around it.

Damn. Great and satisfying potential new usage possibilities for a word ruined by the undeniable offensiveness of its origins.




I'll create a new word!



So then, why oh why are most christians in our society so incredibly autoretarded? Discuss...

(I feel so liberated!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fact VS Belief? No Contest, Or So I Believed

I think I can finally find some peace with the fact that I'm not going to be able to change christian minds by sheer force of will nor strength of invective.

This article helped me to understand what I'm up against:

The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science


It helps to understand why they can never understand me.


Of course I already knew some of this, but it's nice to see it so well laid out. I knew they were not reachable, and that it was the power of an emotional belief over an intellectual fact, but this traces out the rationale of it all better for me than I had for myself.

Why, I might as well try to 'write my name in the snow' in Siberia. From here.

So, enjoy. Talk amongst yourselves.........

Oh, and PS: Mike, this one's for you.

PPS: On a related note, that of the triumph of christian religious ignorance over both intellect and common decency, here's an amazing thing.

Not in a good way.

What kind of world do they envision?

Or is that the problem, that they do not envision any world, since the bible lays it all out for them? After all, if you 'know how it all ends' then you obviously have no power to change it or affect it in any way by your personal actions... it's not up to you to make the world a better place, is it? It's up to god. And he's decided to scrap the whole project.

How utterly love-less they are.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Religious Mole

Ya know what I can't stand? What really irks me?

Fake atheists. Religious 'moles.' Christians who, transparently to any real atheist, promote themselves to Christians as atheists who see Christianity as persecuted, persecuted of course by 'other' atheists!

Like S.E. Cupp for instance.

Her book

Her website

What a Godhole!

She gets a lot of face time on various media outlets, too. She's a total lie. A construct. A religious, Christian 'mole.' A self-promoting self-centered plastic woman.

And her angle is that 'she's an atheist' so we can't doubt her on this stuff. It's the very source of her supposed 'credibility' and so far, the only one I haven't seen fall for it, more or less, was Bill Maher. However, if you read the press, most people seem to think he lost the argument! Soo...

How incredibly annoying.

I just needed to vent. Thanks.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Deus Ex-pectorate

I was just talking to my wife...

I noticed on Sesame Street (of which I watch far too much for the good of my sanity,) that the characters on 'Abby's Flying Fairy School' (another right-winger nightmare, that title) during a discussion of what people say when someone sneezes, stated that the choices were 'bless you' and 'gesundheit.'

Both of which I believe relate to the christian god.

So in fairyland where there are trolls and pixies, they also say 'bless you' when a someone sneezes. Apparently the christian god is also a part of their mythos, along with gerbilcorns and macaronisauruses.

Which got me to thinking... What should atheists say when someone sneezes? We tend to say 'bless you' due to cultural pressure, but that's really going against our beliefs, or rather the lack of them. Plus, it makes me feel slightly 'unclean.' And hypocritical. Very hypocritical. I know that's not a problem for christians, it being their way of life and all, but it bothers me a great deal.

We atheists need a word or a phrase that can be said in response to a sneeze that is as secular, as atheistic, as 'god bless you' is religious and theistic.

We need a sneeze phrase with No God Included.

So I was going to ask you all here to come up with something... maybe make it like a little contest or something like that. "What would be the most appropriate thing for atheists to say when someone sneezes?" Sounds fun, right?

But then I went and googled the question, and the number one response that I found, is I think just too good to beat.

The number one thing, and indeed in my opinion the best possible thing that atheists should say when someone sneezes is:

"Shut your god-damned mouth!"



However, since it doesn't fly in polite society, again due to cultural pressure (in other words, two millennia of social brainwashing,) I suppose we still need a 'nice-sounding' atheist sneeze phrase. Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Puzzle For You

Hello my droogies!

I needed a change of pace from all this talk of religion, so I decided to actually attempt to harness all the considerable brainpower and variety of viewpoints on this blog to do something constructive instead of just the usual mutual mental masturbation.

Let's instead try to find the solution to a really hard puzzle. And if we do solve it, perhaps do some good in the world. Maybe even solve an old murder case.

No, really. Excited yet?

First, you might want the background information:

FBI: Help Us Crack This Code and Solve a Murder Case

That's right, when I set a challenge, I shoot for the fucking moon.

Here's the deal. Nobody can solve this code. FBI cryptology experts have been stymied by it now for twelve years. And yet, when I look at it, I can't look away. So I thought that I'd introduce it here, as a post, so that all of you can discuss it and share the pain. Perhaps we might even solve it; who knows?

Here's the actual code:

(click to enlarge)

Have at it!

I'll start. I notice that it seems that the two letters 'se' have some special significance, perhaps indicating the end of a word.

And afterwards when we've exhausted ourselves in this sisyphean manner, we can go back to religion.

Or maybe not. I haven't decided yet. Consider this my 'intermezzo.'

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Narrative World

Wanting to be right so bad that you come to actually believe that you are right, is not the same thing as actually being right. If you can't tell the difference, you're hopelessly lost, and no one can help you anymore.

Beliefs are thoughts that the ego fell in love with.


This is an article about the two worlds we live in on this planet.

What two worlds?

Well, there is the consensual reality that we mostly tend to agree upon, with attendant facts and data that can be used to prove or disprove our theories.

And then there's Narrative World.

Narrative World is a world where the narrative rules over the facts. The love of the narrative is too intense for mere facts to be allowed in to interfere.

In Narrative World God is real. (In fact, only in Narrative World is God real)
God is so real in fact, that to even doubt in Him is considered wrongheaded, a 'sin.' To suggest that the facts do not support His existence, is to be ostracised and scorned. Facts and data have no power in Narrative World, you see. All that matters is the story. Facts are heresy; logic is a crime. Only the story is real.

Religious people are married to their story. They just fucking love it, more than they even love themselves, and that's an awful lot. You cannot even assail it without intense personal scorn being directed back at you. You can't suggest that they might be in error... what's wrong with you? Literally, they equate belief in their narrative with being 'good' as opposed to 'evil' and in their minds it's an eternal war between the two. No gray areas allowed. So if you're a skeptic, in their minds you are personally evil. Case closed. As are their minds.

Some narratives are childishly simple. 'Believe in God or else go to hell, period.' Fear is the ruling factor here. Of course egotism enters into it as well, the 'I'm right and you're wrong and I'm special and you're not and I'm going to heaven and you're going to hell' mentality. Schadenfreude abounds in Narrative World. All the petty emotions thrive there as well. After all, even God is petty and small and oh-so-humanly flawed, admitting personal jealousy and wrath openly, even gambling with people's lives on a whim. Indeed it would seem that 'Tis all a checkerboard of nights and days, where God with men for pieces plays...' And apparently, that's okay. No amount of overt examples of raw Biblical evil are enough for them to see their God in a bad light. He's always good, even when killing little innocent children. Somehow that must be good too. It's a mystery, and it's all God's plan for us and we're just not meant to understand it.

(One wonders how these people hold their shit in, since the functionality of even a simple sphincter muscle must surely be beyond them.)

(Oh right, it comes out their mouths, I forgot...)

However some narratives are ridiculously complicated. (For good reason!)
Thomas Aquinas (God's official liar and archetypal ass-smoke-blower-upper extraordinaire) for instance constructed huge and impressive edifices of logic upon the shifting sands of faith to 'inexorably' lead us to belief in God, and did so in such a seamless manner that later generations of christians are completely incapable of seeing that all those pretty words and logical-sounding sentences aren't ultimately based on hard fact as they sound like they must surely be, but are instead based upon what amounts to nothing more than childish wishful thinking. Their love of the narrative utterly clouds their perceptions of reality, and the more complex, more logical-sounding narrative in this case allows even relatively intelligent people to be caught like flies in amber.

We are human, fallible emotional animals at best. So at what point is the lure of the narrative so great that we are willing to forgive it for not meeting the test of facts and data?

At the point where it provides more meaning to our lives than just living them in consensual reality does. The fact that it's empty meaning based on wishes and dreams matters little if at all. The religious just don't know the difference. They do not want to know. They are (have been kept) far too ignorant of reality to glean any real deeper meanings out of it, and are far too lazy to learn to now, nor do they see any need to, so they crave the simple, children's fairy-tale version. It's like a nice, warm bottle of milk, lulling them to a comfortable sleep. Forever.

And they want everybody to join them in their slumber. In fact, they *insist.*


A part of the religious narrative is of course that all other narratives are false, including consensual reality's 'narrative.' This can become quite comical when religion's beloved narrative meets reality in a head-on collision. Heliocentrism comes to mind. Hell, all of the findings of modern science come to mind, for that matter. Religion has been dragged into the modern world kicking and screaming all the way, like the retarded child it is. It never agreed with science or even basic observations of the world, it always had it's own ass-backward ideas instead, and it has always, always been wrong. Pathetically wrong. And it's still trying with no better results. This is because, by nature, religion is viciously stupid. It ignores reality in favor of fantasy; what better definition of 'stupid' does one need? Today's religious people even go so far as to vilify learning and knowledge itself, to scorn them as effete and effeminate somehow. The 'real Christian man's' way is apparently to kill and fuck (and fuck over) one's way through life whilst blaming one's 'sinful nature' for one's flaws and still maintaining the belief that somehow they're still 'going to heaven' because after all, they do still believe in God and they do ask to be forgiven their many sins, which are then magically erased from their souls and from their consciences. Convenient. After a while, they even forget to ask. They assume forgiveness for whatever they might do, since hey, they're *christian* and that's how it works, that's what Jesus does. It's magic, no doubt. Magic, plus a heavily flawed system of pseudomorality that is ultimately coercion-based with heavy appeal to egotism, and therefore can produce no good thing in the world without an evil taint to it.

When one 'absolutely knows' that one is 'good' with no doubt left in one's mind, it frees one up to do considerable evil in the world. This is the boon of religion. Sure you're an evil fuck but you believe that you poop Ben and Jerry's, and that's all that matters. You get to sleep at night, guilt-free, no matter what heinousness you've comitted or contemplate comitting. You'll even eventually get to the point where you're *proud* of it.

That's because religion is Purina Ego Chow.

I am always amused at the christians who vehemently deny (irrationally) that Hitler was a christian. I mean, he certainly acted like one. He definitely *believed* in his own righteousness completely, and manipulated his people through their christian faith. He thought he was an instrument of God in fact. Pretty typical, actually. He just got more power than most do; it's not that many other christians alive today wouldn't do the same thing if they had the opportunity. So why then, can he not be a 'real christian?' Because nobody that evil could be? That's what they'd like to believe, but I know differently because I do not live in Narrative World. It's easier to be evil if you're also religious. Look around.


You see my droogies, being right, as in being correct more often than one is not correct, as it turns out requires living in consensual reality enough to observe it dispassionately and draw conclusions from it. However, merely believing that one is right (and good, and just, and holy, and so on...) is more than good enough for those who are lost in the psychosis of their religion. Sure, they're wrong about just about everything, but they're ignorant of that fact too, so it's okay. Ignorance is indeed bliss to them, and a nightmare to everyone else. Because, they vote like they see the world. Ass-backwards.

I find myself wishing that the religious folk come to an agreement to ignore *all* science. Got diabetes? Pray it away! Go ahead... surely you have enough *faith* for that to work. No? Aww, too bad, so sad.

Hey, I can dream... And at least, I don't mix up my dreams with reality. That would be religiously stupid of me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Suck

So I've finally figured it out.

We suck.

No seriously, look at
this article.

See? We suck. Sad.

We are, as a country, a self-centered narcisistic lot with delusions of grandeur. We seem to have come to the unspoken concensus that believing we are NUMBER ONE, is somehow indistinguishable from actually being number one. We've grown sloppy and bloated, and we just don't give a shit anymore.

And I'll sing my sad, sorry song yet one more time here, and tell you that yes, absolutely, I blame the fucking religion. The religion, coupled of course with a ravenous pack of amoral Republican wolves who play the stupid sad sorry lot of religious fools like an out-of-tune saxaphone. This duality, the fools (sheep) and the wolves, is why we are in such a sad state of denial as a country. Heck, we've practically made blind patriotism a religion. Or perhaps more correctly an addendum to the already-existing religion.

We are the Lotos Eaters. We are asleep.


There. I've said it.

For those who cannot use the link provided, here is the article in full from Explore, the Journal of Science and Healing ( minus references:

Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 8-12 (January 2011)

5 of 13












Trends That Will Affect Your Future … A Portrait of American Societal Health

Stephan A. Schwartz

The SchwartzReport tracks emerging trends that will affect the world, particularly the United States. For EXPLORE, it focuses on matters of health in the broadest sense of that term, including medical issues, changes in the biosphere, technology, and policy considerations, all of which will shape our culture and our lives.

Article Outline
• Abstract

• Tax Cuts

• Povertry Rate

• Moving In

• Prison Population

• Physical Health

• Hunger

• Justice

• References

• Biography

• Copyright

When Benjamin Franklin—the only founder who drafted and signed all three of the documents that brought the United States to life, the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris (September 3, 1783), and the Constitution—dreamed of the America he would like to see develop, the imagery that came to his mind was of a middle-class, largely urban culture made up of immigrants who were technologically sophisticated, family oriented, joyful, and upwardly mobile. And when he thought about how they might happen to become that society, it wasn't just the people he thought about. He also understood the importance of infrastructure as a factor in creating a middle class. He felt so strongly about this that he used his will to continue to support his plan for America beyond his death. He left specific bequests for public works and created the microlending model that has proven such a powerful transformative force, leaving what today would be several hundred thousand dollars1 each to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia. The infrastructure money was to be used specifically to build such an infrastructure and nurture such a middle class. He explained his intent was to create that “Which may be judged of most general utility to the Inhabitants, such as Fortifications, Bridges, Aqueducts, Public Buildings, Baths, Pavements or whatever may make living in the Town more convenient to its People and render it more agreeable to Strangers, resorting thither for Health or a temporary residence.”2

This is classic Franklin. He defines a goal, and a process for achieving it, but leaves any personal cherished outcomes as to how this should happen unstated. Franklin put his money on creating civic amenities—the kinds of things now seen as the prime targets for budget reductions—because he knew they are essential for a healthy city. His genius allowed him to conceive of the impact over time that parks, sanitation, and hospitals would have on the lives of all the city's people. He knew that each interaction with clean water, or decent medical care in an emergency, or a place to go for a picnic improves the quality of life and lifts morale. People think in larger terms, attempt more. Are more optimistic. The interaction each individual in the city has with these amenities might seem small and not terribly important, but in aggregate, over time, they are a powerful force in shaping a city's character through their impact on the lives of citizens and visitors alike.

How different that view is from the policies that seem to govern so many municipalities, states, and even the federal government today. Ultraconservative Grover Norquist voices this worldview: “I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”3 What he does not say, and what is not acknowledged, is that such a vision of governance can only be attempted through the radical reduction of the social safety net Franklin recognized as so important, because philosophically this worldview sees no role for government in doing such things.

So do these anti-Franklinian ideas really work?

A large percentage of politicians apparently think so and, through their voting, have attempted to create this Ayn Rand world, with the Bush tax reduction for the rich as one of its crown jewels. Just about this time last year, I wrote an essay “The Vanishing Middle Class,” which dealt with what was happening in 2009 as a result of pursuing those kinds of policies.4 I talked about Franklin's view and the truth of what was happening, noting:

University of California, Berkeley, economist Emanuel Saez had reported that, in 2007, the disparity between the richest and the poorest reached a level never before seen, going all the way back to 1917 when modern tax data began to be collected. According to Saez's study, the top 10% of earners in America received 49.7% of all the income earned in the United States. To give this context as recently as the 1970s, the top 10% earned around 33% of all the income earned in the United States—a 17% shift. This contrast becomes even starker when only the super rich are considered. According to Saez, ‘The top 0.01 percent of earners in the US are now taking home six percent of all the income, higher than the 1920s peak of five percent, and a whopping six-fold increase since the start of the Reagan administration, when the top 0.01 percent earned one percent of all the income.'4

Or, put another way, as of 2007 the top upper-class 1% of households owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 50.5%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 85%, leaving only 15% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers).

A year later, these trends have continued, and every one of my markers has become more distorted in favor of the top at a cost to the middle class and the poor. There are a hundred ways to show this breakdown. Here are seven, by which I hope you will see that I am not selectively picking my data to make a polemic case, but describing the actuality of American society just when it transits the midterm elections. Perhaps it will provide some guidance for the choices we now must make.

Tax Cuts
Just as they did in 2000, the Republicans are running, as I write this, on an economic platform centered on tax cuts, and proposing that the Bush cuts be made permanent for the richest Americans. The 2008 income tax data are now in, so we can assess what their economic theory is worth, and how it fulfilled its promise that tax cuts would produce widespread prosperity, by looking at all the years of the George W. Bush presidency. This is what David Cay Johnston, on the faculty of Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management, and Pulitzer Prize–winning tax analyst, concluded, based on the IRS data:

Total income was $2.74 trillion less during the eight Bush years than if incomes had stayed at 2000 levels (all figures are in 2008 dollars). In only two years was total income up, but even when those years are combined they exceed the declines in only one of the other six years.

Even if we limit the analysis by starting in 2003, when the dividend and capital gains tax cuts began, through the peak year of 2007, the result is still less income than at the 2000 level. Total income was down $951 billion during those four years.

Average incomes fell. Average taxpayer income was down $3,512, or 5.7 percent, in 2008 compared with 2000, President Bush's own benchmark year for his promises of prosperity through tax cuts. Had incomes stayed at 2000 levels, the average taxpayer would have earned almost $21,000 more over those eight years. That's almost $50 per week. Just measuring the second through seventh years we find that total income was still nearly $2 trillion lower than if 2000 level income continued.5

Povertry Rate
That same US Census data also described what has happened to the nation's standard of living, comparing just the latest time period—2008 data with that of 2009. Here are some of the highlights:

Some 43.6 million people were living in poverty last year—the highest number since 1959, five years before President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty. The poverty rate was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008 and the highest level since 1994. Hispanic households took the hardest hit: Their poverty rate rose 2.1 percent from 2008's level, compared with a 1.1 percent jump in the rate for blacks and whites. (The US government considers an annual income of $21,756 to be the poverty line for a family of four.)

A record number of Americans, 50.7 million, were not covered by health-care insurance in 2009. At the same time the survey was being taken, Congress passed President Obama's contentious health-care reform law.6

Moving In
From the 50s until about five years ago, one of the strongest American familial trends was for children to grow up and move away. It was a central part of the nuclear family ethos. That is now reversing thanks to the grinding down of the middle class through unemployment, job loss, and reduction in income even when a person is employed.

From 2005 to 2009, family households added about 3.8 million extended family members, from adult siblings and in-laws to cousins and nephews. Extended family members now make up 8.2% of family households, up from 6.9% in 2005, according to Census data released in September 2010.

“Clearly, a big part of that is the economic recession and housing costs,” says Stephanie Coontz, cochair of the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research association. “We're seeing a shift away from the 1950s and 1960s mentality against extended families, when ‘modern’ women did not take in aging parents for fear of hurting their marriage.”7

And this shift involves far more than blood relations. “For the first time in more than a century, more than half of people aged 25 to 34 have never been married. The number of people in non-family households—those whose members are not related—grew 4.4% from 2005 to 2009, faster than the 3.4% growth for family households.”7

Prison Population
According to the Pew Research Center's Economic Mobility Project, the US prison population has more than quadrupled since 1980, from 500,000 to 2.3 million.8 The American Gulag is now larger than the 35 largest European countries combined. The incarceration rate in the United States—753 inmates per 100,000—is five times that of the United Kingdom—itself an anomaly at 151 prisoners per 100,000. France, which is next, stands at 96, with Germany at 88. This means more than one in 100 Americans is in prison, and one in every 28 children in the United States has a parent behind bars—up from one in 125 just 25 years ago.7

It probably won't surprise you to learn that a family with a parent in prison on average earns 22% less the year after the incarceration than it did the year before. After all, who wants to hire an ex-con in a tight labor market? And children with parents in prison are significantly likelier to be expelled from school than others; 23% of students with jailed parents are expelled, compared with 4% for the general population.

“Both education and parental income are strong indicators of children's future economic mobility,” the survey notes. “With millions of prison and jail inmates a year returning to their communities, it is important to identify policies that address the impact of incarceration on the economic mobility of former inmates and their children.”7

In all, 2.7 million US children have parents behind bars, and “two-thirds of these children's parents were incarcerated for non-violent offenses,” the study notes.7

And when you break the statistics down by race, it just gets nastier. There are large disparities. Among black children, fully one in nine, or 11.4%, have a parent in jail. For Hispanics, the number is one in 28, and for white children it's one in 57.

I hope marijuana law reform passed in California, because this alone could help reverse these trends, simply by reducing the 858,000 arrests in the United States in 2010 for marijuana. That's marginally down from the 2007 peak of 872,000. It is notable that more than 50% of these arrests are nonviolent violations involving marijuana.9

The cost to states of this human warehousing now exceeds $50 billion per year, or one in every 15 state dollars expended.7 What is worse is that a growing number of small towns and cities now look to the gulag for their economic well-being. Like something from an Orwell novel, it is a complete cycle: one group of Americans lives on the incarceration of another group of Americans. And although it would appear illogical, it goes on even though it is well-known that the children of incarcerated parents face a much harder struggle in life. The gulag that incarcerates their parents, in the process, also often condemns the next generation to a life in jail.

Why would any society do this? Well, from the point of view of those who live on keeping them, and who mostly live in low-crime areas, isn't this exactly what is wanted? Thus, we have created a lobby whose rice bowl is dependent on the gulag. It is a truly Dickensian reality that few talk about for fear of being labeled “soft on crime.” It is a form of willful ignorance on the part of politicians and citizens alike.

Physical Health
In 1950, before the inception of the present illness profit industry, the United States, compared with the world's other leading industrial nations, was fifth with respect to female life expectancy at birth, surpassed only by Sweden, Norway, Australia, and the Netherlands.10 In 2010, the United States position concerning female life expectancy had fallen to 46th.11 And when both men and women were combined, it went to 49th.12, 13 Americans live 5.7 fewer years of “perfect health”—a measure adjusted for time spent ill—than, for instance, the Japanese.14

Is this the result of lack of spending on the part of the United States? Most emphatically it is not.

Health policy expert Uwe E. Reinhardt, the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University, headed a team that specifically considered this. They found, “per capita health spending in the United States increased at nearly twice the rate in other wealthy nations between 1970 and 2002.”15 As a result, the United States now spends well over twice the median expenditure of industrialized nations on healthcare, and far more than any other country as a percentage of its gross domestic product.15

Peter A. Muennig, assistant professor of health policy and management at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, in New York City, and Sherry A. Glied, professor of health policy and management at the Mailman School of Public Health and currently on leave as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, analyzed Reinhardt's and many other studies in a groundbreaking exegetic survey of healthcare.16 They concluded:

We found that none of the prevailing excuses for the poor performance of the US health care system are likely to be valid. On the spending side, we found that the unusually high medical spending is associated with worsening, rather than improving, 15-year survival in two groups for whom medical care is probably important.

We speculate that the nature of our health care system specifically, its reliance on unregulated fee-for-service and specialty care may explain both the increased spending and the relative deterioration in survival that we observed. If so, meaningful reform may not only save money over the long term, it may also save lives.16

It doesn't get much more basic that not having enough to eat. It is hard to think of America as a place where large numbers of people are facing hunger as a daily reality for themselves and, even worse, for their children. That happens in Africa, or maybe Asia, but surely not here. You think not? Millions of our fellow citizens routinely are forced to make life decisions based on whether they or their children will eat or go without to pay for housing or medical bills. And even the slender pipeline of assistance that does exist is problematic; 70% of emergency food centers face threats to their survival.

According to a study from the nation's largest food bank operator, the number of Americans in need of food aid has jumped 46% in three years, including a 50% jump in the number of children needing food assistance and a 64% increase in hunger in senior citizens' homes.

According to the largest study of domestic hunger ever done, Hunger in America 2010, a study based on more than 61,000 interviews with clients and surveys of 37,000 feeding agencies, “hunger is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States”17:

1.Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children. This is an increase of 46% over 2006, when we were feeding 25 million Americans, including nine million children, each year.

2.That means one in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries.

3.Feeding America's nationwide network of food banks is feeding one million more Americans each week than we did in 2006.

4.Thirty-six percent of the households we serve have at least one person working.

5.More than one third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities, such as rent, utilities, and medical care.

6.The number of children the Feeding America network serves has increased by 50% since 2006.17

“Clearly, the economic recession, resulting in dramatically increasing unemployment nationwide, has driven unprecedented, sharp increases in the need for emergency food assistance and enrollment in federal nutrition programs,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America, which operates some 200 food banks across the country.

“It is morally reprehensible that we live in the wealthiest nation in the world where one in six people are struggling to make choices between food and other basic necessities,” Escarra said in a statement.

She added that “these are choices that no one should have to make, but particularly households with children. Insufficient nutrition has adverse effects on the physical, behavioral and mental health, and academic performance of children.”18

Feeding America's report is far from alone in reporting this food catastrophe.

“The Food Research and Action Center found that nearly one in five in the US—18.5 percent — report having gone hungry in the past year, up from 16.3 percent at the start of 2008. Households with children were even likelier to experience hunger, with nearly a quarter reporting hunger in the past year.

“Perhaps worst of all, the Feeding America study finds that 70 percent of emergency food centers are reporting “one or more problems that threaten their ability to continue operating.”18

I have placed this last because I hope you will agree with me that where there is not justice, there is not civil society. It has always been my safe port that no matter what else happened in America, I always saw the justice system as fair. Perhaps you feel the same way, and will be as appalled as I was when I read the World of Justice Project (WJP) report, Rule of Law Index 2010.19

To understand why I think this report is such a big deal, perhaps it will help to say who funded it: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Neukom Family Foundation, the GE Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and LexisNexis. I list them to make the point that this is the pinnacle of nonpartisan philanthropy, not some political think tank with an agenda. We can trust the data.

The project, involving 900 researchers from 35 countries, who have polled 35,000 individuals, in addition to searching each nation's records, presents itself in this very Franklinian way:

“Establishing the rule of law is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity and equity—communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights… . The rule of law is the cornerstone to improving public health, safeguarding participation, ensuring security, and fighting poverty.”

When the WJP talks about the rule of law, they spell out very carefully what they mean. They refer to “a rules-based system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:

•the government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law;

•the laws are clear, publicized, stable, and fair, and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property;

•the process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient;

•access to justice is provided by competent, independent, and ethical adjudicators, attorneys or representatives, and judicial officers who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve.

With this as the basis for its analysis, the Rule of Law Index 2010 then lists what it calls the 10 “factors,” which break down further into 49 “subfactors.” These descriptors are the basis upon which the Rule of Law Index 2010 evaluates a nation's justice under the rule of law. The outcome of this exercise is a quite extraordinary assessment “of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law—not in theory but in practice [emphasis added].”19 Here are the 10 factors; they all sound very “American”:

•factor one: limited government powers

•factor two: absence of corruption

•factor three: clear, publicized, and stable laws

•factor four: order and security

•factor five: fundamental rights

•factor six: open government

•factor seven: regulatory enforcement

•factor eight: access to civil justice

•factor nine: effective criminal justice

•factor 10: informal justice19

As I started reading the report, I assumed that whatever other self-inflicted wounds we have brought to ourselves as a nation, our justice system was still solid, and that the United States would rank at the top of the world's list. Surprise. The WJP groups countries by regions as well as such considerations as income level, then evaluates them, dropping factor 10—“informal justice”—because it is does not involve law. Not surprisingly, the United States is grouped with North America and Western Europe, and there are seven nations in our bloc: Austria, Canada, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and USA (Table 1). These are the nations where the survey was carried out for the 2010 report, with other countries to follow in later reports.

Table 1. Nine-Factors Ranking Analysisa

Nations Factor One Factor Two Factor Three Factor Four Factor Five Factor Six Factor Seven Factor Eight Factor Nine
Austria 3 3 4 1 1 6 3 3 1
Canada 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 5 6
France 6 5 5 4 6 5 6 6 4
Netherlands 2 2 2 5 3 2 2 2 3
Spain 5 6 7 7 5 7 7 4 7
Sweden 1 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 2
USA 7 7 6 6 7 3 5 7 5

Countries are ranked from one to seven.

For the United States, it is a death's head portrait of the reality that lies beneath the smug rhetoric we use to hector others about justice and the rule of law. I am embarrassed. We all should be. This has haunted me since I read the report. If America is not a leader in justice, what are we? I could pick a dozen other trends, from closing libraries, to depaving streets, to decline in educational performance, but do we need to go further? If America were a patient, what would you tell him about his lifestyle and habits? What would you see as his prognosis?

On the basis of data, it is impossible to say America's societal health is good. On the basis of that same data, we can also conclude policies based on cutting taxes, without recognizing that it is in the societal interest to assure a decent quality of life for all, are destructive. We know enough to see that democracy cannot function properly without a healthy and vibrant middle class, and to prove to ourselves that we are killing ours. We need to change course—not on the basis of political ideology—but on facts. Facts about what does and does not work.

It is the middle class that holds the key, just as Franklin saw all those years ago. The middle class has enough money to dream, but rarely enough to do it alone. Success requires working together, finding compromises. And that's what most of us say we want. According to research by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, 92% of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the United States, choosing Sweden's model over that of the United States.20 The America Benjamin Franklin imagined while sitting beneath his mulberry tree in the courtyard of his house in Philadelphia over two centuries ago.