Wednesday, August 26, 2015

FYI - Activisim is long road

August 26, 1920: The 19th Amendment is quietly signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, granting women the right to vote. Suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt summarized the effort involved in securing passage of the 19th Amendment:
"To get the word 'male' in effect out of the Constitution cost the women of the country fifty-two years of pauseless campaign... During that time they were forced to conduct fifty-six campaigns of referenda to male voters; 480 campaigns to get Legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters; 47 campaigns to get State constitutional conventions to write woman suffrage into state constitutions; 277 campaigns to get State party conventions to include woman suffrage planks in party platforms, and 19 campaigns with 19 successive Congresses."
1921: American Birth Control League is founded by Margaret Sanger

Change takes a long time - I've often wondered if part of the reason it takes so long is all the waiting for old stodgy people who are set in their ways to die off so new ways can finally be embraced without shame over "what would Father say?!"  as a part of the equation.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Traditional Marriage and the Cycle of Religious Suppression of Women

Understanding the reason why our culture needs to move on from the idea of “Traditional” marriage :

What does “Traditional Marriage” mean to you? Does it evoke ideas of the supposed ideal family of Man+Woman and 1.5 children? Does it mean to you a heterosexual pairing tied together spiritually by God in front of a community of like minded individuals?
Regardless of whatever ideals you cling to, if you go far enough back in history you’ll find examples that defy your “Traditional” definitions. Marriage and family has ever been a changing thing with our species and it continues to grow and change. For instance, the idea of a “white wedding” is a rather novel part of our culture, dating back from early 20th century. Before then, a white dress was thought to be a stupid thing to have, and a symbol of wealth since it invariably would get dirty and look like crap faster than any other color.
There are those who claim Marriage is dead, or should die, or that it’s a bad deal for men, or women but yet people keep wanting it don’t they? Unfortunately there isn’t any one simple fix for any problems with marriage but one thing we can do is objectively look at where we came from with religion in the mix, since the idea of “Traditional Marriage” is tied up so intimately with religion.
Note however, religion is only part of the problem as I see it, much of the rest is the promotion of unhealthy masculine gender identity as emphasized by a heterosexual norm biased culture. Religion only reinforces these ideals but it doesn’t have to, and it’s time that it was changed, whether by individual choice or our society developing beyond these archaic beliefs.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Yes, Atheism = Optimism

Pessimism and or Atheism? (spoiler alert! - yes, Atheists are actually optimists usually)
I don’t believe in “isms” – as words they’re useful but otherwise they’re just buckets of terminology that our lazy minds like to shove things into.

So yeah, a lot of Atheists are colored in a negative light, for obvious reasons by the religious, but I’m only interested in discussing the less obvious right now: the association of the atheist with negativity. Atheists might use the word “no” when asked about their belief in God, they might negate or belittle pathetic evidence supporting the existence of a god, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that all Atheists are negative nannys full of active hatred for the religious and religious things. Many Atheists don’t even call themselves “Atheist” because it has a pejorative flavor to it, and they don’t wish to evoke that reaction in the people around them.
Most Atheists live out their lives the same way the religious do except they avoid the time sucking waste of going to services in church or other religious time sucking nonsense. Some of these Atheists don’t even think to use the word Atheist to describe themselves – but even those who do won’t necessarily do anything a religious person needs to be afraid of, like violence or criminal acts. Atheists won’t come a knocking on your door to try to push their ideas down your throat. If they gather in large groups, they’ll probably be very civil about it and only engage religious who engage them first in some manner, such as making ridiculous claims about hell or some such other BS.
There are no Atheist brain washing boot camps for troubled teenagers, but there are for religion. There are no cults of Atheists. (No Cult of Dusty

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I love stories

Ok so something you ought to know about me: I like to create stories in my head. It’s mostly just for me, I don’t expect other people to give a damn, but I’ve been doing it since I was a child so I’ve become pretty practiced at it, and super aware when I’m doing it too. 

I’ve always loved stories as well as creating stories. In RPGs’ as well as fiction – in fact I remember remarking on my love for the gods in the role playing game D&D, because they were actually worth worshipping and had real power (in game only of course!) You pray for healing and it can actually happen in game. This seemed to both amuse and annoy one of my friends but my point is I’m well aware that I sometimes enjoy and wish fantastic stories were true. What a weird and interesting world it would be if say ghosts were real? Or vampires. I love to play the what if game, but well a part of me knows the improbabilities, knows the difference between reality and fantasy and it just won’t shut up.

So the other day I heard strange noises in the kitchen, like sounds as if the kittens were messing with the dishes, except I saw the kittens right in front of me and they were lazing about as cats are inclined to do. 

Me,(mental voice #1 –MV1): Ha! they’ve developed an out of body method of searching for food! Those adorable scamps.. .

Me, (mental voice#2-MV2): Yeah right, that’s silly! Might as well say it’s a ghost cat.

MV1: Ooooh! Ghost cat, now that’s fun, but Cat’s already can walk through walls right!?

MV2: mm well yeah there was that bit about Schr√∂edinger’s cat but that’s a thought experiment about quantum mechanics, not really the same thing. You’re thinking of the Heinlein novel The Cat who walks through walls – but that’s not necessarily what’s happening here. In fact it might as well be time travelers from the future spying on you and using their superior tech to keep out of sight but every once in while you perceive them in some small way anyhow, so those sounds were them accidentally knocking the dishes, not our cats or your ghost cat. That’s just as likely and just as improbable. . .

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One year ago

Made my first post one year ago, wazoo!

Anyway, what if we had a church of chocolate and a church of bacon?  The devout members of the Chocolate church would in discussion with the faithful Bacon church goers get into such fights over who's chosen flaver was best, right?  But wait, then some do-gooder would get the idea of putting chocolate and bacon together to try and make peace. . . oh the evil, delicious, blasphemy.|Bacon%20and%20Chocolate&utm_keyword=bacon%20and%20chocolate&utm_content=bacon%20and%20chocolate

and this may be why peace will never be kosher for some folks.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kingsman: a review b/c it blows my mind

So Kingsman – I guess this is sort of a film review, so spoiler alert!  I understand that it’s based on a comic, but I haven’t read the comic so I’m only going to respond to the film and leave it to someone else to comment on how accurate to the comic it was and whether any of the observations I have track to print as well.
                First, for some reason the violence in this film really took me by surprise.  I knew it was an action picture and yet both the close up depictions and the implicit violence seemed way over the top to me.  I’m not usually one to care for a having a kill count or statistics on what I’m watching, but this film made me want to know.  Yes, it’s that violent.  And yet but for it being a plot point for one of the characters, there’s very little blood, very little gore.  I’m thinking of the first 10 minutes when a character is sliced in half from top to bottom and the two halves are each covered with a sheet, and yet there’s no blood pool or other obvious person bits lying on the floor between the two halves (and no it wasn’t a slice by a light saber, WRONG FILM!)  So right there you get the message: live action cartoon.
                The message that the violence in the film is going to be neat, denying the messiness of life and death, continues with the corrolary message that you only need to make a cursory attempt at diplomacy before resorting to violence, because well, it’s expected by all the characters involved that “we’re going to fight now” – which is admittedly not an exact quote, but

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Manifest Destiny

We should eschew this bullshit from our politics, from our children’s text books and call it what it is: a perfect example of winners writing the history books.
This rhetoric is still used today by US politicians when they say it’s our job to encourage other countries to embrace democracy, and then so justified they send our young people off to war. It’s appealed to by so many for so long because it makes people feel good, it gives them a reason to love their country and ignore some of the US’ more despicable moments. It has allowed the rationalization of so much violence and it hooks into the religious sense of righteousness too.
When someone uses this rhetoric to justify US imperialism, I say inwardly “Bullshit! Someone wants to get paid, someone’s got an angle on this that will make them rich and that’s the real reason why we’re going to war!”
Now that’s not to say that our democracy, or rather republic (I mean oligarchical republic), has not inspired some to build their own democracies, - it certainly has helped, but often our imperialism makes the US look like a nation of used car salesmen. Always smarming our way in and manipulating things to our advantage, making the deal happen but strategically being elsewhere when the bumper falls off the super lemon dud we sold the unwitting recipients of our supposed beneficence. Why no indeedy do!, we didn’t set that up! No sir! you must of forgotten to fire that up the right way.. .

The fact is the democracies that actually survive are the ones that were the hardest won. Freedom can be assisted but not purchased, unlike Tyranny. Nope, Tyranny and dictatorships seem to thrive on selfishness and greed so if you’ve got the money? No problem! You can buy the country.
And why not, it’s not as if you can’t find something good to say about life in a dictatorship – a benevolent dictatorship might actually result in more change that benefits everyone, like food and other necessities being readily available for the destitute. However, people’s individual freedoms suffer the most in dictatorships, and it’s extremely likely that the benevolence will disappear at some point. Then you’re just left with Tyranny.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Diet of Worms

Most Christians don’t enjoy the Diet of Worms (1521)
Or any of the history of the Christian Church because it’s evidence of just how much of it is really humans deciding and doing things. God hardly enters into it at all. Sure they would claim that these religious figures of history were divinely inspired at least as long as what they find attributed to them could be said to be “good” but when less “divine” actions, from political maneuvering to expropriation, persecution, torture or murder are documented, well then the blinders go back on and the naysaying begins. This is because religion was a source of power for nobility, - especially royalty.

Martin Luther is the one history remembers for his founding of the Lutheran church and the start of the reformation, or what should be more accurately called the split in the Catholic Church that led to the spawning of many new sects of Christianity. Before the “happy” happenstance of protestant churches dominating and being accepted, back then, Martin Luther was just another heretic to the Catholic Church, and he was very lucky to not be caught and executed.
If you look at the history of the Church of England and the English Reformation, the politics, and violence are horrifying. All were human activities, not “acts of God” though I’m sure some saw gods hand in everything. It’s this history that led to the age of enlightenment and the founding fathers of the United States came right out of this strife over religion. Seems history supplanted by “social studies” in schools doesn’t really touch on these delicate details very much though.
Time after time, History has shown us that religion and religious power mixed with governmental power leads to despotism, persecutions and unnecessary death (all things incongruous with the tenets of the myriad sects of Christianity). Hence Science may be #1 on the religious fanatic’s shit list, but History is a close second.
So many Atheists would like to see religion eliminated,

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We can choose to be good to each other

In the northern hemisphere January is often the most depressing month of the year.  What will you do to make it better for yourself, or for someone else?  Will we find a way to get through the most depressing time of the year? and is knowing that spring comes enough?

Some people have faith in God, others choose to have faith in each other:

 Will you choose to have faith in humanity? will you be the reason someone else has their faith in humanity restored?

The Good is that which leads to health, The Right is that which leads to
peace. Purpose is ours to choose, Meaning is the story we choose to join.
We are all members of Darwin's family, all kin from the beginning of life.
If you value anything, value other humans, for they are the only help you
will have in times of trouble. The Godless Universe is vast and wondrous,
and more than enough. We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful
of the night.

[John Hodges, 1999] - from quote file on