Saturday, October 29, 2016

Offending religion, ghosts, superheroes, hunters, paranoral garbage and ice cream

Are you religious? If so I am about to infuriate you so proceed with the utmost caution. First is the connotation of religious which I associate with a formal structure such as a church, synagog or mosque. There is also a second that is spiritual which has a board brush that excludes membership in the various cults – which is exactly what I consider churches, et al to me.
Mohammed, Jesus, John the Baptist, Moses and all the other various religious luminaries up to the present were in my atheist view religious hustlers. They were the Benny Hinn’s of their day. Using a nice patter to build a base of support – today they would be televangelists. In some instances their teachings caught fire and you have would you have today with large and highly structured corporate religion.
People need an anchor and religion certainly provides that especially in a time of emotional need. An atheist does not have that fallback so they must deal with – to me – a more rational approach. One that excludes “higher Authority” or “God’s Will.” An atheist, therefore, has to exist in a type of emotional vacuum with no secure anchor. In that way, many an atheist can have a tinge of jealousy towards those who believe.
Many an atheist has manners that leave me puzzled. They become almost a nonreligious version of the Westboro Baptist Church. What they fail to recognize is the value of religion since many of the fables, lessons and so forth provide valuable insight and are quite relevant to positive human behavior.
The downside is that many of out most vicious confrontations are steeped in religious issues. Christianity has made considerable strides in the few centuries in purging itself of some of its excesses. Maybe Islam will have a reformation?
I have an inherent distrust of Muslims, which is probably considered hate speech in today’s sensitive environment. As an atheist, I question just how long I would survive in a Muslim country? I can clearly see a radicalism that puts others – particularly me – at risk. The last thing I wish to confront is the destructive nature of a present day inquisition.
Ghosts. What is the attraction? Is this a return to childhood and Casper the Friendly ghost? Folks – this may shock you – there is no proof of ghosts. None. Do the ghost hunters really believe the movie “Ghost Busters” was a documentary? Shock treatments are no longer used, but maybe they should be reinstituted?
A subsection of ghosts is paranormal investigations. I have occasionally watched on television shows that center around that term. I will limit this to extra sensory perception, Isn’t there, folks, since no valid scientific evidence has been presented.
Another subsection is the absurdity of fortune telling. This- like astrology (and psychology) – can be fun to do, but don’t take it seriously.
Aliens do not exist, nor is there intelligent life on other planets. The earth has not been visited, we have had no abductions and there is no one out there. How can that be? The estimates are there are now potentially trillions of galaxies and each with billions of stars. Just the mathematical probability of intelligent life is astounding.
The fact is there is no proof. No signals from beyond either electronic or smoke. No sightings of Dyson Spheres or of massive alien constructs anywhere. We are absolutely alone. At this point a blip – an anomaly.
Superheroes do not exist and that is somewhat of a shock to an isolated few who actually believe that they exist. I have encountered a few such in the last few years that – no doubt – have spent an excessive amount of what should have been productive studying instead of going to Comic Con.
Who is left to offend? How about hunters!
The cold hard fact is I am anti-gun, but not anti-gun as most suspect since I am hardcore anti-gun. Just think Lynyrd Skynyrd and Saturday Night Special – toss them “to the bottom of the sea.” I would ban all guns. That, of course, is totally unrealistic, but how about hunters?
I watch what the bring to hunt with and am numbed raw by the firepower with both gun power and bow power. They should use neither. Our ancestors cleared the continent of all sorts of unruly varmints without such weapons. Time to go “old school” and do the same. Gets those spears sharpened, wooden bows ready and drummers to beat the animals off a cliff.
Hannaford’s has now joined Bryers, Friendly’s, Hood and a few others in tossing in Frozen Dairy Dessert into the ice cream mix. It is not ice cream! It is a chemical concoction that does not meet the standards of ice cream. Faux ice cream. Yet they place it in the ice section hoping that consumers are too stupid to know the difference.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The sorry state of politics

Time for me to ramble on with some disjointed and some, not disjointed comments on the current election cycle, especially regarding the less than presidential candidates.
Should anyone be surprised by the actions of Donald Trump? I certainly am not since the rich and powerful males often consider any woman fair game with no restrictions. Men know what is right and what is wrong since it is a mere action on ethics. Using your power to intimidate a woman is simply wrong. What I find equally depressing is the reaction or non-reaction by Democrats on the extensive list of similar ventures by their own icons.
The term is quite appropriate – hypocrisy. There is absolutely no way to ethically defend the behaviors of Bill Clinton or Ted Kennedy, yet political expediency is the appropriate term. Bob represented the worst in predatory actions towards women and now Trump can join their club.
The – of course – is representative of the morass that has become our two party system where the ultimate goal is simply winning – winning at all cost. Hillary Clinton is just an awful candidate – untrustworthy, an enabler, a serial liar – and those are her good points. Compared to Trump, Clinton is Mother Theresa.
The fault is quite obvious are it goes to the core of the dumbing down of America. As a lot, we have become incredibly stupid in the information age where influence is generated by sound bits. You must have a stage presence to be successful\l which explains the quick demise of Jim Webb.
Rare was a party that lost, losing simply because they attempted to place in nomination the bottom of the political barrel. Adlai Stevenson was a remarkably gifted politician who lost twice. Recently the Republicans offered up John McCain and Bob Dole both with years of political experience. Al Gore and John Kerry had the extensive resumes one would also expect.
The election of Obama was – to me – centered on White Liberal Guilt. Clinton – for all her warts – was obviously the more seasoned candidate, but that was in the past. Obama has demonstrated that a Black man can be as incompetent as and White man. Now Clinton can prove the same for women.
The recent email revelations that Clinton had two sets of “books” in operation regarding positions is just appalling. One is for public consumption and one for private and that is called lying. This is a pattern that Clinton has continually displayed – lies, duplicity, meanderings and just a boat load of indiscretions. That will most certainly continue.
Clinton represents the continued path to the government expansion and that to my classic liberal sensibilities is an abomination. With each new law or regulation comes further erosion. You can actually place this back into the incubator of the real progressives of the late 19th and into the 20th century. That, however, is another story.
The ultimate gift was placed on government expansion doorstep with 9/11. That opened up the “Bloody Shirt” gates to the Patriot Act and that gift and its bastard twin – the Freedom Act – has allowed domestic spying under the guise of terrorism. Obama went along for the ride and Snowden at least outed the administration. The current administration has continued two needless wars – shameful.
The current administration also has used the DOJ and IRS as political tools – Joe McCarthy and J. Edgar would be so proud. Do I blame Obama? Of course – just as I blame each administration for pulling the political wool over our eyes. Just think Fast and Furious, Pentagon Papers, Iran-Contra, Gulf of Tonkin and several more. Each one brings further incursions into our own privacy. Think Yahoo was NOT scanning emails? Right.
What is upsetting is the marginalization by the left by attempting to control debate with simple innuendo. The opposition is sexist, racist, homophobic, nativist and so on. You simply state that all opposition has no coherent points by labeling them. If all else fails they are merely “far right extremist.”
That was not the Democratic Party I grew up with. That is – to go back to tail gunner Joe - what one saw in the 1950s, when opposition – especially Democrats – were labeled “Pinko’s.” “Reds,” “Fellow travelers,” and a long list that could be added. The liberals of today have adopted that playbook and they should be ashamed.
What will happen with President Clinton?
The real issue is the ongoing legacy of debt that both parties choose to ignore. The tab is staggering and has quite possibly reached a point of no return. Continued promises will do nothing to elevate debt, but will expand it. An underclass has been created – mostly minority – dependent upon the handouts offered up by liberals. If anything the tender underbelly is expanding.
Just what type of adventurism will a new administration subscribe to? Our failures in the Middle East are well documented as our relationship with Russia and China. The administration is on the defensive in the geopolitical circle and that is obvious to even the most ardent of supporters. Clinton will certainly be tested and it will come quickly with the big question being aggressiveness or entrenchment?
An aggressive foreign policy is great for business. Russia, China, the United States and their client states certainly prosper in that environment by creating villains – real or imagined. Out two needless wars – placed on the front page by the incapable Bush – has drained blood and treasure. I see not change to that.
Race relations will continue to deteriorate as Obama has created the most racially divisive period since the riots of the 1960s. When an open door policy to race hustlers like Al Sharpton exists you know exactly where the president stands. A racial division is politically profitable for both parties as they prey on insecurities.
The United States has somehow survived a string of “Dough Faces” in the oval office and that will continue. Clinton will most certainly be a one term president hamstrung by a Republican Congress and some serious adversaries within her own party. On the Democrat horizon, there is little to show hope.
The Republicans will cleanse the hive. Trump’s candidacy will be reminiscent of Goldwater’s in 1964. By 1968 they had regained the White House. That happens in politics and you saw in with McGovern in 1972 on the other side.
The Republicans will have to have someone worthy step forward and not the scrum that allowed a blowhard like Trump to crawl out of the slime and take control. Good luck with that!