Saturday, July 31, 2010

attributing tragedy

I've noticed that whenever someone "miraculously" survives a tragedy, somebody is usually there saying a god saved that person. For example, if a plane crashes, and there's one survivor, someone says their god must have been looking out for that person (but apparently he wasn't bothered much about the rest of them). So I was just wondering. If a plane crashes and everyone but one person survives, does that mean their god hated that person? Does it mean he didn't figure into the god's plans? And would anyone say that on the news? Like, you would hear this headline:

Car Flips Over and Bursts into Flames: One Person Walks Away Unscathed; Says God Has a Plan for Her

But not this one:

Car Flips Over and Bursts into Flames: Four Uninjured, One Dead; Relatives Say God Didn't Have a Plan for Her

Why is that? Could it possibly be that religion just tells us what we want to hear?

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The other day I was talking about how the religious right people are always complaining about "redistribution of wealth." Well, apparently that only applies if it's being redistributed away from them. According to this chart from the Tax Foundation, they need to STFU. Apparently most of the red states get back more federal aid money than they pay in taxes in the first place. Meanwhile, the blue states are getting less than we pay. Hmmm. How is that not redistribution??

Here in Massachusetts, we're getting back $0.82 on the dollar. Whereas, say, Mississippi, is getting back $2.02 for every dollar they send in tax money. Why do they even get to vote? They're not ever paying taxes. They get double their money back! California only gets $0.76 back per dollar. No wonder they're broke. They're supporting half of the red states by themselves.

Recently, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), who is running for governor of Tennessee, was whining that if we don't vote the Republicans into federal offices and overturn health care, then states might have to "consider separation from the government." Excuse me? You want to talk treason and secession? Go ahead. Buh-bye. And kiss your $1.27 return on $1 taxes paid goodbye. If enough of you leech states leave, maybe we can bail California out of the republican mess it's in.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I guess this is good...

...even though I never heard of him before. Is there a sci-fi version of this thing?

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Can't make this shit up

So over on Facebook, The Raw Story put up a post about ol' Glenn Beck's latest faux pas. (HAHA FAUX NEWS, FAUX PAS!!) I wrote about what he said the other day. But anyway, their take on the story was that Beck was siding with the Nazis, claiming that the Jews killed Jesus, rather than the Romans. Which, you know, now that they mention it...

But anyway, the Christians were having an argument about "Paunches Pilot." Hello? Pontius Pilate, kids. And yeah, I'm pretty sure he was a Roman. And anyway, aren't they supposed to be happy that Jesus was tortured to death? Isn't that the whole point of the death cult? Human sacrifice, martyrdom, cannibal wafers and blood wine? Because of how he wanted to plagiarize Odin with the sacrifice myself to myself theme, right?

I will never understand this religion.


I was just reading some of my old posts from back when I was going to do reviews (movies, tv, books, whatever). I notice that I said I liked anything with vampires. Apparently, I did not anticipate sparkly vampires. They are an abomination. Whiny emo sparkle boys... bleh. Those aren't sparkles, he's starting to catch fire. I hope.

Finished The Family

I finished reading Jeff Sharlet's The Family the other night. It was kind of dry, and fairly depressing. Not that I didn't like it. I did like it. I'm glad I read it. Now I get why the conservatives back the wars they do, but didn't want to get into WWII - no chance for proselytizing. They're right ready to leap into Vietnam or Iraq, because they have a chance to get converts. But who were they going to convert in Europe? Iraq has the extra added bonus of having oil, so the rich guys with oil stock love that.

Now I get how the Prayer Breakfast people managed to get their god stuck on the money, and in the Pledge. No previous president would go there, but Eisenhower caved.

So yeah, it cleared up a lot of things for me. I think people should read this book. Even Christians who agree with everything Sharlet says these people have done should read it. If they think the Family is doing the right thing, it might make them feel good.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Glenn Beckisms: Christians take note

I know an awful lot of fundamentalist Christians get angry every time someone mentions separation of church and state. But you know what? They really shouldn't.

Glenn Beck's Latest Heresy

This is what happens to religion when it gets political. Beck is spouting the old GOP line about how we should all just pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and forget about helping the poor. Let's pretend for a moment that Jesus was real. What the heck would he say about that? And what would he say about the fact that a huge number of "Christians" are buying into it? Because Beck is directly contradicting him.

Ask the Dalai Lama what he would think about not helping the poor (he's actually a real guy, so he could answer).

So what I'd like to know is this. Glenn Beck says that he does not want "the government to redistribute money from wealthy whites to victimized minorities."
Jesus says: "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." Matthew 19:21 (Also, "When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."" Luke 18:22.) Matthew, Mark and Luke all have verses about "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (That was Mark 10:25.) Beck is contradicting Jesus. So who are these people following? Beck or Jesus? I'll give you three guesses, and the hint that it's not Jesus.

When religion gets political, the religion suffers just as much as the state from the combination. Beck and his super-conservative GOP buddies are rewriting the religion, and since they're saying what the sheep want to hear, those sheep are letting them.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mel Gibson sucks

Yep. I said it. Mel Gibson sucks. What an ass. This guy is a typical I-Hate-Everyone-Who-Isn't-A-White-Christian-Man pig. Although I suppose in his case one needs to specify Catholic, rather than generic Christian. I'm mostly referring to his recent hate-rant at his baby's mother. But every time he gets in the news it's because he was an asshole to somebody. Granted, daddy was a holocaust denier, so he got a bad start, but he's a big boy now, and he's got no excuse. Except for his religion. Who would Jesus hate?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Updated my books list

So I updated my books list. I noticed that I hadn't updated it in... I don't know, years? LOL. I don't know if this is everything I've read since Different Seasons. I just went down my bookshelf of things I've bought and read in the last year or so. Obviously I haven't been doing a lot of fiction lately.

I'll give a brief overview of everything I added, though. The version of Origin I read was an illustrated anniversary edition to celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of its original publication. It's based on the original edition. I found it fascinating, though a little dry at times. There were also excepts from his Beagle voyage interspersed through it. I won't go into a long description, but I did enjoy it. And it is clearer than ever to me that many anti-Darwin people have no idea what his book actually said.

Loved Hawking's books. He must be a fantastic teacher. Everything he said made perfect sense, and even though I've never taken a physics class there was very little I didn't follow. Recommended for anyone who is interested in such things, and doesn't get lost watching Star Trek.

As for the Horsemen, Dawkins is brilliant. I've already admitted a nerd crush on Harris. I find Hitchens amusing, and I like most of what he says. I think he's lost it a little on the pro-war thing, but I guess nobody's perfect. At least he moved here and is trying to help, rather than complaining about the US from afar, like a lot of people who could be helping do. Dennett is too dry for me. I can only take so much abstract philosophy. But he's from the Hub, so he gets points for that.

Beak of the Finch is another book I wish the anti-evolution crowd would read. I mean, they're not going to read Dawkins, but they could read that guy. I also wish they would knock it off with the pretending that "macro" and "micro" evolution are totally different things. That's like saying micro erosion is different than macro erosion. Yeah, it takes longer. *dope slap upside the head*

Sagan was really interesting, and I started re-reading it a couple weeks ago. But then The Family came in the mail, so I've been reading that. So far it's made me want to smack every conservative from the last hundred or so years. And every time he starts talking about the current "Family" members and how they live their lives, I swear it's like I'm watching a cartoon about the 50s. Real people act like that? You have got to be kidding. One guy actually said "golly." Which, you know, that may just be their problem. These people mentally live in Pleasantville. They got to take over the country in the 50s. But it's always been the same thing. In the early 20th century, when unions were fighting for working conditions that didn't involve dropping dead, these guys were who they were fighting. Greedy people who climb to the top by crushing others into the dirt. They may not have lived like Scrooge, but they had his generous spirit of "die and decrease the surplus population." Anyway, I'm not done with that one yet.

The Buffys were ok. Glad to have new Buffys that I didn't have to hunt down at a comic book store (too much effort). But they're whacked out and all over the place. Stuff that wouldn't fly on television is a double edged sword.

The Girls Who Went Away was about teenage biological mothers before Roe v. Wade. It made me cry. And being that I am an adopted person born before Roe v. Wade, it obviously made me wonder. Because from what I was told my bio mother was like 15. So yeah.

As for The Gathering Storm, all I can say is that I love Brandon Sanderson a lot. I never thought I was going to get to read the end of Wheel of Time. And I'm so grateful to RJ and his family for telling him how it ends. He's doing a great job, and I'm really looking forward to the last two books. I mean, holy crap, he's tying up loose ends! Things are moving along! Not that I want it to end, but I do want to know *how* it ends.

Is that everything? ... *looks back at list* Oh, wait. Tolkien. I don't really need to review him. I just realized earlier this year that I hadn't read The Hobbit or LotR for years. So I read those. I do need to get around to the Silmarillion again. I meant to read it when I read the others, but I've read that more recently, so I skipped it. But it really brings the whole of Middle Earth together and sheds light on its past. Anyway, Tolkien was a literary genius, and obviously I adore his work, or I would have stopped reading it when I was 12. So, there you go.