1/31/2005 11:50:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Well it just goes to show you that you're never to young to start sticking your head in the sand.

By BEN FELLER Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The way many high school students see it, government censorship of newspapers may not be a bad thing, and flag burning is hardly protected free speech.

It turns out the First Amendment is a second-rate issue to many of those nearing their own adult independence, according to a study of high school attitudes released today.

The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.

Yet, when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes "too far" in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.

"These results are not only disturbing; they are dangerous," said Hodding Carter III, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which sponsored the $1 million study. "Ignorance about the basics of this free society is a danger to our nation's future."

The students are even more restrictive in their views than their elders, the study says.

When asked whether people should be allowed to express unpopular views, 97 percent of teachers and 99 percent of school principals said yes. Only 83 percent of students did.

The results reflected indifference, with almost three in four students saying they took the First Amendment for granted or didn't know how they felt about it. It was also clear that many students do not understand what is protected by the bedrock of the Bill of Rights.

Three in four students said flag burning is illegal. It's not. About half the students said the government can restrict any indecent material on the Internet. It can't.

"Schools don't do enough to teach the First Amendment. Students often don't know the rights it protects," Linda Puntney, executive director of the Journalism Education Association, said in the report. "This all comes at a time when there is decreasing passion for much of anything. And, you have to be passionate about the First Amendment."

The partners in the project, including organizations of newspaper editors and radio and television news directors, share a clear advocacy for First Amendment issues.

Federal and state officials, meanwhile, have bemoaned a lack of knowledge of U.S. civics and history among young people. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., has even pushed through a mandate that schools must teach about the Constitution on Sept. 17, the date it was signed in 1787.

The survey, conducted by researchers at the University of Connecticut, is billed as the largest of its kind. More than 100,000 students, nearly 8,000 teachers and more than 500 administrators at 544 public and private high schools took part in early 2004.

The study suggests that students embrace First Amendment freedoms if they are taught about them and given a chance to practice them, but schools don't make the matter a priority.

Students who take part in school media activities, such as a student newspapers or TV production, are much more likely to support expression of unpopular views, for example.

About nine in 10 principals said it is important for all students to learn some journalism skills, but most administrators say a lack of money limits their media offerings.

More than one in five schools offer no student media opportunities; of the high schools that do not offer student newspapers, 40 percent have eliminated them in the last five years.

"The last 15 years have not been a golden era for student media," said Warren Watson, director of the J-Ideas project at Ball State University in Indiana. "Programs are under siege or dying from neglect. Many students do not get the opportunity to practice our basic freedoms.

Well if you get all your information from your parents, church and Fox News, it's not hard to see how this could happen. The most enjoyable thing about this is the portentiousness of it. The NeoCons have not only succeeded in taking over the existing planet, but apparently they have a nice little Boys From Brazil program going with the kids. These ignorant masses are going to be carrying this kind of institutionalized whitewash into the colleges soon and then the senate and higher seats of government. If you thought Tom DeLay was bad, imagine if there were 50 of him? The country is going to descend into the same over-controlled, intolerant, opressive, mind-controlled society that sent the pilgrims to the new world in the first place (how ironic). Unfortunately they have learned nothing from the U.S.S.R. or China - a party dictatorship doesn't work in the long run, so by 2050, the party will be over. Unfortunately, most of us will be dead, so get your exit visas now.
|W|P|110719096519036988|W|P|Excercise Your God-Given Right to be Ignorant.|W|P|1/31/2005 5:05 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|A very Orwellian future is in the cards for us.10/02/2005 5:04 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Hi, Saw you blog last night while searching around. My site about austin tx weight loss program and other free diet info needs some work. thanks for a few ideas10/07/2005 7:15 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check my link of kid educational game.10/08/2005 7:19 AM|W|P|Blogger ioio|W|P|Great Blog! Ilike it.I have Site where you can Find sex partnerTake a look if you have a minute. Thanks and have a good one!1/28/2005 04:04:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
I thought I would make another post to make up for the sketchy posting of the last two weeks.

This is a link to The Philosophers' Magazine which has some great content.

Here are some interactive games that are really interesting and will definitely get your brain pumping:


Check out Battleground God - it's great!

There are other games that you will find interesting as well - enjoy.
|W|P|110694658649342519|W|P|Have Some Fun This Weekend!|W|P|1/28/2005 11:30:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
OK We're back again. After a week spent in Denver, it was nice to return to Atlanta.

As you all know Georgia is in the south and here in the south most folks don't hold with no book learnin' unless that book is the Good Book. Well here in Georgia there is a fight going on over our pal Chuck Darwin and his cockamamie theory of evolution.

First State Superindendent Kathy Cox tried to remove any talk about evolution from the science curriculum by calling it "biological changes over time."

Then they lost that battle and decided to put a sticker on each textbook that read:

"This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things."

Since "evolution is a theory, not a fact" is the language frequently used by so-called "intelligent design" creationist folks and is tantamount to preaching creationism, the sticker was ruled in violation of separation of church and state laws and ordered removed.

NOW, Republican State Representative Ben Bridges from White County Georgia(figures), is introducing a bill into the Georgia State Legislature that would require teaching only of facts, not theories.

“A theory can be wrong. If it's wrong, or possibly could be wrong, don't teach it. Teach it with facts. If you've got facts to back it up, that's great,” Bridges told 11Alive News Reporter Jon Shirek.

Bridges said he is introducing the bill because of the conflict of evolutionary theory with his Christian beliefs and feels that "intelligent design" should also be taught to children because it is also backed up by scientific evidence.

Bridges is prepared to argue that evolution is a disputed theory. “My motivation is possibly teaching kids something that is not true and we need to teach it with facts if we teach it,” he said.

Dr. Sarah Pallas, a biology professor at Georgia State University, says people forget that facts are what support scientific theory. “There is no evidence against evolution except that concocted by religious groups,” she said.

It's nice to know that the State of Georgia which consistently comes in either 49th or 50th nationwide in state SAT scores is taking action to ensure that their children are consistently miseducated.

That said, a recent survey indicated that 55% of all Americans believe God created humans in their present form sometime within the last 10,000 years.

Listen up people, evolution is true. First you were a protozoa, then a monkey and now some guy named Bill - the end. You can bury your head in the sand and wait for the rapture all you like, but you're still wrong, and legislating intentional stupidity isn't going to change anything.

If you want to read something very interesting with respect to the "theory" of evolution, check out the new issue of Discover Magazine. There is a great article about Michigan State's Digital Evolution Lab that has created a mathematical evolution simulator that allows them to clearly show how evolution works including all the surprises like biodiversity, availability and consumption of resources and it's impact on diversity. Everything turned out according to the currently accepted theory of evolution. Yet, I'm sure that no one in that 55% of Americans even reads Discover because it's science and they apparently can't be bothered with it. So I assume this information will have no more effect than the hundreds of other peices of evidence out there.

What intruigues me is that they don't seem to have any issue whatsoever with other "theories" like gravity or thermodynamics and certainly not anything from physics since that includes theories that make smart bombs blow up people real good. I guess science that doesn't conflict with their beliefs is good science and science that does is bad science.

If disbeleiving accepted theories is perfectly fine, why not jump off the Empire State Building and pray for God to create a Holy Parachute to save you? After all gravity is just a theory, not a fact.

Stay tuned folks, I'm sure we'll be hearing some more.
|W|P|110693031887366109|W|P|Don't Confuse Me With The Facts.|W|P|1/28/2005 12:55 PM|W|P|Blogger gravitybear|W|P|"I guess science that doesn't conflict with their beliefs is good science and science that does is bad science."

Pretty good summation. Anyone remember Aryan science? Soviet science? What the IDers want is Christian science.1/28/2005 2:31 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|Good grief. Well its hard to see anything clearly when you are blinded by the light of religion. (ps. wonder why these close-minded idiots don't mind that the bible hasn't been proved as fact either).1/21/2005 02:30:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Yesterday was the coronation of Emperor Bush. As the conservative Reich, I mean Right sail off into the sunset, fat with their seemingly complete domination of everything, the left is supposed to be sitting around wondering what went wrong and pow wowing about what to do now.

Currently they are looking for a new DNC(Democratic National Committee) Chairman. There are numerous contenders including screamer Howard Dean. In an interview on NPR, one of the DNC pundits said that her criteria in picking a new leader included the candidate waking up every day wondering how he can advance the party and consumed with the same insatiable desire to defeat the Republicans.

While this is typical rhetoric, it is a galling example of not only how far removed politics are from real life, but how disgustingly similar the two parties actually are. The US vs. THEM mentality is mostly a joke and actually works counter to any real attempt to move forward. The people in this country are at odds because they have two distinctive world views - one conservative, one liberal. There are as many strata to these views as floors to the empire state building, but the important thing to realize is that liberal or conservative does not mean republican or democrat.

The republicans are seeing the momentum go their way because they tricked the conservatives and the Christian Right into believing them. The true republicans are natural born capitalists whose job it is to make more money for them and their friends - which is why they continue to pass tax laws that favor the rich and big business - who are their true friends. How they got the social conservatives to go along with them is one of the greatest propaganda/manipulation stories in history. How does a group of pro-business rich kids convince a population filled with working class joe's to be their power base? By pandering to the very things that they care about and then blaming anything that doesn't work on the liberals.

It doesn't make a bit of sense from the outside - the true republicans represent and pass laws that favor the very companies that laid off many of the people that voted for them. But they know their audience - the so-called "red staters" are salt of the earth types. Simple no-nonsense folks who pump your gas and fix your car and build your house. They're loyal, god-fearing folks who watch TV, NASCAR, are big sports fans and love country music. They're patriotic and they are the first to go if there's a war on. They are the heart and soul of America. At least that's what the Republicans want them to think. What the republicans were able to do was to use the classic methodology of find a common enemy and use fear of that enemy to move your agenda forward. But it's the republican agenda, not the conservative agenda that is going forward.

The republicans had three enemies Al Qaida and Osama, Saddam and The Liberals (which includes gays, intellectuals, atheists, treehuggers, activist judges and people from Massachusetts). The whole red state/blue state battle is part of the same strategy(do you really think everybody in Kansas is in an ideological battle with everybody in Connecticut?). So they were able to convince enough people to fear these enemies and they were able to parley that fear into a war for oil, unprecedented corporate croniism, a dismantling of most civil liberties and complete control of the government.

The real trick is that the social conservatives were duped. It's going to be business as usual for the Republicans who will go forward - which means more breaks for corporations and less taxes for rich people, and more control concentrated in the hands of the the golden rulers. But what about gay marriage? This was the issue that turned the presidency back over to W - he himself has already said just a few days ago, that it probably wouldn't pass. And you watch, they won't pass this legislation, they won't overturn Roe vs. Wade, they won't do anything with Social Security or Medicare or Prescription Drugs. There won't be prayer in schools or tort reform or any of the other things that the social conservatives care about. But when all of these go sour - you can bet the liberals and democrats will be trotted out to take the blame.

So what happened to the liberals? Well their party of choice, the democrats woke up on November 3rd and took a look around the room and realized that they actually were the egghead smarty-pants latte drinking intellectuals and they were surrounded by a group of marginalized special populations. Nobody likes extremism in any form whether it's Christian Psycho Hatemongers or Birkinstock wearing Druids with Ph.D.s, but what the democrats didn't get, was that the conservatives would tolerate the nuts on their side as long as they felt that the Republicans were representing them. Now we all know this was idiocy, but remember, your typical "red stater" isn't an intellectual or a free thinker or an analyzer - these are the folks who get their information in sound bites and don't ask any questions. So when Mr. Smarty Arty Liberal starts waving a bunch of reports and making logical analytical arguments which show in no uncertain terms that these folks are being hoodwinked - they just tune out and remember the easy stuff like "four more years" and "flip-flop"

So where does that leave us? You have to remember that there are two distinct groups, liberals and conservatives. Typically they are associated with republicans and democrats, but that would be an inaccurate portrait. There are conservative Democrats, just like there are Liberal Republicans. So what's really going on? The Republicans and Democrats are two groups fighting for control of America - the richest and most powerful nation on earth currently. They are constantly fighting for control of the government because with that comes control of the money and the power. If you take away the party affiliation between two senators you will find a fairly similar person(a rich white lawyer who's underwear is too tight). The only difference is in who they trust to get them and keep them in power. The people control who is in control, so the party that does a better job of tricking (not representing) the most people, get to be in control. Democrats and Republicans never keep any promises, and only do what they have to do to stay in power. Clinton had no more of a chance of passing universal healthcare than Bush does of passing his big stuff. But that's what people want to hear, and that's what gets them to vote.

So what's the answer? Do like Shakespeare says and kill all the lawyers? Why bother, there will just be more lawyers. Throw out all the senators and congressmen and start over from scratch? The same thing will happen all over again. How do you think we got here in the first place? The democrats were all the rage for awhile, but then the hippies started getting older and started making money and slowly turned into conservatives. Then you take that and couple it with the dislike of extremism and the repainting of liberals as extremists - and you end up with a conservative majority.

So what do we need, a third political party? Nope. What if we rounded up the most altruistic and idealistic pro-democracy people and let them be the government? The same thing would happen.

So what's the deal, are we basically screwed? Yes. And here's why. I'm sure that eventually the Democrats will figure out a strategy and swing the pendulum back their way and then years later the Republicans will do the same, but ultimately not much will really change. Think about it - apart from the war, how much has America really changed? There was a lot of fear being flung on both sides, but how different is your day to day life from where it was 4, 6, 8 years ago? Apart from the war or gas prices - probably not much. Maybe you don't have a job now, or maybe you do and didn't have one before, but America is still America more or less.

So what can we do? There is only one solution, but unfortunately it will never happen - and here it is:

Get rid of the money.

As long as we are a monetary based society, the golden rule applies. Take away the money and imagine what would happen. I'll leave you with that - think about it.
|W|P|110623704463316619|W|P|Oh Democrats, Where Art Thou?|W|P|1/24/2005 8:55 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|You made some good points but your right (well left really but what the hey), it will never happen. The only true hunter/gatherers left are dying out as the rain forest dissapears.1/25/2005 8:58 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|Since I read Ishmael, these thought have never fully cleared from my head. As Mr. Quinn said, the root of all man's problems came from putting food under lock and key. We have built up a society over centuries based upon inequality and the innate greed of man. We are so entrenched and bound by the rules of this society, that in order to step outside everything must fell apart or there must be a mass exodus of like-minded people into a unincorporated location (some deserted island) for a new society to emerge.

Otherwise we are stuck being the best and happiest cog that we can be, functioning within this machine.1/28/2005 11:45 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Ishamel is one of my favorite books - that series Ishmeal, Story of B and My Ishmael are three of my favorites of all time. His final workon that genre Beyond Civilization is mediocre - unfortunately i don't think there is a solution outside of a societal collapse OR creating some utopia. That's what I found so intriguing about The Village, not the typical scary part, but the concept of dropping out of society like that - although I think they went about it the entirely wrong way since their whole world was based on a lie.1/20/2005 05:25:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Sorry for the lack of posts this week - this week has been crazy and Blogger has been on the fritz - I had a great story in the works and blogger crashed and I lost more than half of it. So we'll try again later.
|W|P|110626001922105411|W|P|We're experiencing technical difficulties.|W|P|1/17/2005 01:40:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Every once in a while I like to do a little exploring, going out and driving around to see what's what. It's a great way to see things that you never saw before and also a great way to find new restaurants and other things to do.

Atlanta is a mid-sized city with a population of around 4 million. Being in the south and understanding the prevalence of religion down here - you would think there would be a good amount of churches. Well there aren't, there are a crapton! According to one report there are 119 churches in the city alone (not including the outlying areas). That seems like an awful lot of churches to me.

So ok there are a lot of religious people and a lot of churches, but what struck me was not only the number, but the size as well. Many of us have been to various churches, mostly in neighborhoods and they are a little bigger than most of our houses, but not these Atlanta churches. No, these babies are GINORMOUS! I'm not talking big, I mean HUGE.

There is one church called the Church of the Apostles, that rivals the Great Pyramid of Giza in size. I thought there were 12 apostles, this place seats close to 6,000! For those of you who have been to France, this place is more than twice the size of Notre Dame and three to five times the size of Westminster Abbey. It's also at least twice the size of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York and sits 3 times as many people.

Ok so every city has a huge church, but this is only one of probably a dozen monstrosities in the city.

Why do they need a building of such magnitude that it dwarfs the sun? I know in the medieval world, the church was supposed to be the tallest building in the city and easy to locate so everyone could come and also the spire was supposed to be reaching up to God. But come on now. Do we really need a 200,000 square foot leviathan to glorify god? Let's put this into perspective on this one church alone, they just added an expansion of another 100,000 square feet for a cool 17 million dollars.

17 million dollars. For that sum, they could have built 85 200,000 homes or since this is the south, they could have bought 340 trailers and housed families all year round.

Why do we need this? Does God need it? Supposedly these structures glorify God and attract worshipers. Let's take a look at that. What does this say about the worshipers? Are we just like fish who are attracted to shiny objects and follow them? Are we all subscribing to the bigger is better theory - i.e. a big church must be favored by God in some way? What does it say about God? Is God so low self-esteem that he only feels worthwhile if he can see his structures from miles away? Does he need them so big because he is compensating for something? If the Church of The Apostles is so huge, does that mean he loves the people in the slightly smaller Hebron Baptist Church that only seats 4000 and only has a parking lot the size of the Mall of America instead of a 5 story parking deck, less? What about the other 5 obscenely large churches within a five mile radius - are they lower on the totem pole of God's favor because they are only slightly less gargantuan? What about the local 50-100 seat Baptist churches in rural Alabama and Mississippi - they must be the dog poo on God's shoe compared to these others.

Ultimately, this has nothing to do with God or helping others - it's a combination of egomania, big business and frat house "mine is bigger than yours" syndrome. But make no mistake - this is big business. There's a reason the Catholic church is one of the largest land owners in the world. Parishioners mean dollars - just change the term worshiper to customer and you get the idea. Each person donates or "tithes" money to the church and those who give more are more holy. And as the corrupt business people get closer to death they start donating all sorts of money to buy their way into heaven and having wings and such named after them and endowments etc. All to show that they were good people after all - regardless of how long they've been screwing people in the past.

It's all about the Benjamins folks. The more you give the more they get and the bigger the building gets and the nicer the seats. And you get Chianti for communion instead of Thunderbird. And the pews have nice seats and knee rests and the hymn books are all new and you can send bibles to convert the tsunami victims. Who cares if the pastor has a mansion and two Hummers, it's all for the glory of God.

But what would happen if everyone stopped paying? What if the sermons were given by people who got together in their homes with their neighbors instead of going to the church? What if the whole system collapsed because people weren't "tithing" anymore and all the pastors and priests and everyone else had to go get different jobs? What if all that money and land and resources went back into the community and not into politics or big business or some groups pocket? How would we know what to believe or how to live or whom to vote for or whom to ostracize. Who would the rich people bribe to get into the kingdom of heaven?

How would we ever know who was holier than thou?
|W|P|110598451648392442|W|P|Edifice Rex.|W|P|1/18/2005 11:52 AM|W|P|Blogger gravitybear|W|P|Love the title for this post. Excellent!
I have often wondered about the mega-church phenomenon. My brother and his family belong to what is, as far as I know, the largest church in MN. His description of it amazes me. It's brand new (2002) and was built with a $29 million capital campaign ... for Phase One! Phase One was a "340,000 square foot facility that would include a 4,200-seat worship center" and a "bookstore, coffee café, commercial kitchen, dining room, and gymnasium." My brother has offered me a tour, which I am eager to take just to see how big it really is.
"just change the term worshiper to customer" - dead on right.1/18/2005 1:18 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|These churches are becoming compounds...like that crazy Egyptian compound for the Nubian cult (or whatever it is) out in Cartersville.

I had a girlfriend whose family went to one of these monoliths out in Duluth...it was a scary sight...it was like an opera house for Jesus, a corrupt hypocritical opera house for Jesus.1/18/2005 1:19 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|P.s. www.landoverbaptist.com

it you haven't seen it, go there...this is the kind of thing I love to see!1/18/2005 1:24 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|I love that site - I've been wanting to share that one with the readers, but haven't figured out the right context - so I guess they can go check it out now.

Thanks for sharing that - I guess that works best until something specific comes up.1/18/2005 2:37 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|Thanks for sharing this, its ridiculous really. The little town I grew up in (population 36,000) in Mississippi had over 300 churches, but unfortunately with MS being the poor state it is, they didn't have anything so grand as the Mall of God.1/18/2005 3:41 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|The Mall of God - that's great, but don't give them any ideas.1/18/2005 4:11 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|from landoverbaptist.org

"We have a permanent injunction against all unsaved persons. If you are unsaved, you are not allowed within a 10-mile radius of our church, nor are you allowed on this website. Kindly leave, and be about the Devil's business, for you are not welcome here. Glory!"

I can't find it back, but somewhere on the site, they recommend that "True Christians" only purchase products manufactured by other "True Christians"...Hilarity ensues.

Other fun links!


http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news1100/masturbation.html1/18/2005 4:27 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|I read through the website, Mr. Pants and it is hilarious. Actually I think I ran across the bit about true christians only buying from true christians. The site is definitely worth visiting.1/18/2005 4:45 PM|W|P|Blogger Dave|W|P|you might want to check out this site too! It was a hoot! had me rolling and laughing so hard in the library! LOL!
http://www.bettybowers.com1/18/2005 5:23 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|OMG! What a great site! I love the letters.

Hey, I love the pottery barn catalog too...hmmm I wonder what that means.1/18/2005 7:25 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|Now THIS is what I'M talking about!

http://www.landoverbaptist.org/news0204/tithe.html1/18/2005 7:35 PM|W|P|Blogger Eileen|W|P|Great post.

I've seen other monolithic churches in South Texas. I drove by and was amazed at how huge they were, and how many of them they were.1/19/2005 1:50 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|The site Dave was referring to is very funny, thanks Dave for posting that, I had forgotten about that site.1/14/2005 01:52:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
GK was talking about 1984 and McDermott over at Singabloodypore posted a story about a guy in Edinburgh who got fired for posting about his job on his blog, and it got me thinking about Big Brother.

So yesterday was the big news about Prince Nazi, I mean Harry. The kid is an idiot, we all know that, but what about everyone else? Big Brother is everywhere - I don't mean big government, but a lot of little brothers who make up Big Brother. By now you should know that around every corner lurks a camera, a camcorder or a blog. If they can snap a shot of Kirstin Dunst's boobs for the half second they pop out at the beach - then you can rest assured that nothing you do will be able to go unnoticed - and this increases by a factor of 1000 if you are famous and anyone whatsoever would give a crap what you do everyday.

Despite this obvious fact. People do and say completely idiotic things every day. Prince Harry wears a Nazi costume to a party less than 2 weeks before Holocoust Rememberance Day. Or some judge says something negative about women or some senator says something about blacks or gays or some starlet goes topless in St. Barts or get's caught driving 500 miles per hour whacked out on X.

If some jerkweed at the local bookstore can't even flame his boss on a blog without people finding out about it and making a stink - what chance do you have if you are Brad Pitt or Natalie Portman or Bonehead Prince Harry. You will be found out and you can guarantee that the spin machine will start churning to make it as bad or as big as it can possibly go. EVERYTHING will be taken out of context and used against you. You can't say anything off the record, there is no privacy at a private party.

So this leads me to an open question; Are they all this stupid that they say or do obviously moronic things believing that they wouldn't be found out? Or are they doing it intentionally to get publicity?

There is a subconscious belief that famous people are also smart cookies, but anyone who has ever listened to Jessica Simpson talk can easily dispel this myth. But I can't believe that a thinking person would allow themselves to get caught unawares like that. I further can't believe that anyone associated with the Royal family - even if it was one of the body guards, wouldn't mention that his costume was a little inappropriate.

So the flip side is that it's intentional - meaning Pam and Tommy WANTED that tape to get out, or Antonin Scalia MEANT to say that on tape. But even if this is true, couldn't they think of anything that wouldn't paint them as a racist, sexist, nazi, homophobe, moron?

I pose it to you - what do you think?
|W|P|110573065972800158|W|P|Oblivious to Big Brother|W|P|1/17/2005 1:49 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|You average famous person is less intelligent than your everyday Joe--well maybe just less aware. Their actions are all in the public eye, and they become disenfranchised with reality insofar as their existence requires nothing more than for them to be themselves, not to question and evaluate their actions. In essence, they get away with anything they want to which isn't directly in disaccordance with the law.

However, as I type this I am forced to rethink the above: maybe it is the fact that their lives are lived in front of the camera and therefore we see both their best and worst sides. I'm sure all of you have said something stupid, racist, sexist, etc at some point in your lives as well, it just wasn't thrown on the Enquirer or CNN.

The job of a famous person is to manage their pulic image, at all times...maybe some aren't as good at their jobs as others.1/18/2005 10:05 AM|W|P|Blogger Frustration Station|W|P|I am a reporter and everyone is fair game, myself included.1/18/2005 10:53 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|I agree, everyone is fair game - which only makes me reiterate the question WHY? If you are being watched why do moronic stuff.

In thinking about it, it may be more like little children who think that because they can't see anyone, noone can see them. I think alot of these guys are just plain dumb - but it is very hard to fake your way through life. I think most people are faking - especially the famous ones, and you can't keep that up forever and sooner or later the real stuff comes out.1/13/2005 05:18:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Morning Morgan brought up a good point about appropriate children's TV characters, so I thought we could suggest some new shows that would better reflect the current society:

Simple Simon - no longer a pie man, he's now a red-state curmudgeon who doesn't hold with all that book learnin and thinks the government is Jus Fine.

Aryan Joe and The Purdues - a self-rightious nazi orangutan and his cadre of all-white Chickens protect the midwest from infiltration by massachussetts liberals.

Str8 Ape - a 50 foot tall "all-male" gorilla that "bashes" those evil queers with his best friend and hetero drinking buddy Quincy.

Learning to Obey - a family drama about a group of young lemmings who are continually put back in line by their loving parents anytime they question society's rules.

The Terrible Two's - a group of super-powered two year olds who fly around the country smiting activist judges or anyone freely thinking and then chastise them with 'baby-talk'.

Wooly Bully - A wooly mammoth goes to high school and because of his size takes over the school and terrifies all the students into doing exactly what the Principal says.

My Savior - An angel saves different rich white christian children from trouble every week by mysteriously making their problems go away.

What The Hell - a Scared Straight kind of show where kids who are caught doing sinful things (like premarital sex, smoking pot, reading banned books, being gay, speaking out against the goverment, talking back to their parents or thinking for themselves) spend a day in hell talking to the damned about how terrible it is there.

Queen of Da Nile - a game show where Christian children are questioned by philosophers and score points for properly reciting the party line in the face of contriditions in their dogma - points are taken away for the number of seconds the children actually spend thinking about the question. Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to HolyLand in Waterbury, CT.

Hopefully we'll be seeing these shows coming out next season. If oyu have any more ideas let me know, and I'll send them along.

|W|P|110565515844712619|W|P|More appropriate Children's TV.|W|P|1/13/2005 10:38 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|http://www.theholylandexperience.com

Is the HolyLand in CT the HolyLand that is abandoned and decrepit? I saw a photo set in a magazine of the remains of this one, and it was at once eerily inspiring and disturbing.1/14/2005 9:47 AM|W|P|Blogger Ailyn|W|P|No, it is a different one. Here is a web link: http://www.agilitynut.com/h/holyland.html. It used to be really nice. I have gone a few times when I was a kid. Actually, I've snuck in at night when a teenager to just to hangout and watch the sun come up. Great view at the top by the cross.1/17/2005 10:27 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|YES! That's the one I was refering to. I saw a layout in a magazine of that one...spooooky.1/18/2005 9:58 AM|W|P|Blogger Morning Morgan|W|P|I was thinking of some other cartoons, of course we all know that Velma is gay and I think Shag & Scooby are into beastiality, but hey, to each his own. On Edd & Edd & Eddy, Jimmy is OBVIOUSLY GAY possbiley a future transexual or drag queen extraordinaire, Pleakley on Lilo & Stictch is also into cross-dressing, he doesn't have the glamour queen thing down though Anyone else notice any other "alternative" characters on childrens programming lately?1/12/2005 01:16:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
In response to the God Hates Fags website that we talked about last week, two bright blokes Joe Decker and Ryland Sanders, have created a website called God Hates Shrimp. Here is the content:

God Hates Shrimp

Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants.

Leviticus 11:9-12 says: 9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

Deuteronomy 14:9-10 says: 9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: 10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.

I love this! Unfortunately this is the kind of hypocrisy we have come to expect from the Religious Radicals. You can pick and choose what you like, but if you take one, you better take them all or you mute your point.

Here is plain and simple evidence that this group and others who quote scripture for their own ends are simply using it to mask and legitimize a doctrine of hate and bigotry. This goes for any group that trys to justify their behavior by quoting scripture or taking scripture literally. If you are going to follow one, you better follow them all. So to all you I say, I better not catch you eating any shellfish or sitting in the same chair as any woman who is menstruating or any of the other prohibitions outlined in the bible.

Good luck with that.
|W|P|110555097210818487|W|P|God Hates Shrimp.|W|P|1/12/2005 12:43 PM|W|P|Blogger gravitybear|W|P|Of course it's impossible to take the Bible literally. Anyone who says differently is fooling him/herself. But that's what religious faith is all about.1/12/2005 1:38 PM|W|P|Blogger Ailyn|W|P|That was precious. Good find Rudicus.1/12/2005 5:24 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|Does it say anything about Panetone or fruitcake being evil?1/12/2005 5:30 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|Not specifically, but I think the fruitcake is what they use to stone people with who violate the laws.1/13/2005 11:09 AM|W|P|Blogger I am Melissa|W|P|Yeah though I walk through the valley of death, I shall fear no fruitcake for thou art with me, thy brandy and they cigars comfort me...1/13/2005 11:13 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I rebuke you evil shrimp! Demon fruitcake be gone! by Mollie1/13/2005 11:55 AM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|That's funny.1/11/2005 01:50:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
The gay army is on the move again - TARGET: Toontown.

Children's TV Unites to Launch Pro-Homosexual Campaign of 'Tolerance'
SpongeBob, Arthur, Pooh, Bob the Builder, Little Mermaid, Many Others Enlisted in Stealth Effort

Feature by Ed Vitagliano
January 10, 2005

(AgapePress) - It is as unprecedented as it is cunning, using all the right words and happiest faces in an attempt to speak directly to the nation's children about "tolerance and diversity." Once again, of course, those ideas include homosexual advocacy.

On November 10, 2004, a video remake of the song, "We Are Family," was created using the voices and images of over 100 beloved children's TV characters. On March 11, 2005, the video performance will air simultaneously on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS. A similar video aired on those networks in 2002. (See earlier story)

The nation's children will be all too familiar with the characters on the video, incuding those from Arthur, Barney, Blue's Clues, Bob the Builder, The Book of Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Dora the Explorer, Jimmy Neutron, Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, Little Mermaid, Madeline, The Magic School Bus, The Muppet Show, Rugrats, Sesame Street and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Also in March, the DVD of the song will be distributed to 61,000 public and private elementary schools across the country. It will be accompanied by a teacher's guide, designed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a group that, among other things, promotes the normalization of homosexuality.

Driving the project is the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF), which states on its website that the song was remixed "to speak the message of diversity and tolerance to elementary school children nationwide."

On the surface, the project may appear to be a worthwhile attempt to foster greater understanding of cultural differences among all Americans. However, a short step beneath the surface reveals that one of the differences being celebrated is homosexuality.

WAFF was founded as a non-profit organization in 2002 by Nile Rodgers, who wrote the song "We Are Family" with his late music partner, Bernard Edwards. The WAFF site says that the group "celebrates our common humanity and the vision of a global family ...."

The website is filled with pro-homosexual materials. A "Tolerance Pledge," for example, created by Tolerance.org, part of the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, encourages signees to pledge respect for homosexuals and work against "ignorance, insensitivity and bigotry."

Most Christians are now aware of what those code words mean, said American Family Association chairman Don Wildmon. "If you are a person who accepts the homosexual lifestyle, then you are tolerant," he said. "If you don't, then you are a bigot who is motivated by ignorance and hate."

One of the teacher's guides available online at the WAFF website is called "Writing for Change: Raising Awareness of Difference, Power, & Discrimination." Full of politically correct lessons on feminism, it is also a primer for teachers who want to indoctrinate children regarding sexual orientation issues.

Lessons include such topics as "Talking About Being 'Out'" and "Uncovering Attitudes About Sexual Orientation." In these lesson plans, teachers are taught how to introduce students to "the concepts of homophobia and compulsory heterosexuality."

According to the teacher's guide, children should be taught to reject the idea "that women are 'naturally' or innately drawn sexually and emotionally toward men, and men toward women," or that heterosexuality is normal and should be the only model for marriage.

Students are expected to be influenced by the lesson plans. One of the follow-up questions asks the kids: "How will understanding these definitions change your thinking about compulsory heterosexuality and homophobia?"

The ADL has partnered with WAFF on the "We Are Family" project in other ways. The WAFF site includes the ADL's pamphlet, "Close the Book on Hate," a diversity tome that normalizes homosexuality. It also contains a reading list for children and adults that includes such homosexual favorites as Daddy's Roommate, Growing Up Gay, Heather Has Two Mommies, Is It a Choice?, Two Teenagers in Twenty, and What If Someone I Know Is Gay?

Wildmon said it is difficult taking a stand against such projects. "Nobody I know has a problem with teaching children to be respectful and tolerant. It is wrong, however, to use such concepts to open the door to a secondary discussion about a controversial subject like homosexuality," he said.

For those people who find it difficult to understand AFA's objection, Wildmon said they should imagine a scenario in which the shoe is on the other foot. "What if these television characters were singing about personality, but then when children went to the website, or when the teacher opened up the accompanying lesson plan, the topic was Christianity?" he said. "A lot of people would be angry with that kind of approach. And that's why many Christians will be upset with the strategy taken by the We Are Family Foundation."While the March launch of the school project was still a couple of months away, Wildmon advised parents to be on the lookout to see if the DVD, teacher's guide, and other WAFF materials find their way into their local schools.

What's the big shocker here? Hollywood has a long tradition of being gay-friendly. Bert and Ernie were Amercia's first gay TV couple. Pooh and Piglet are obviously gay. So is Arthur and Barney (although not with each other) and we're still not sure about SpongeBob, but he probably is too. Remember the Teletubbies? They were gay too. Children's TV is loaded with gays.

Only the Religious Right could take tolerance education and turn it into gay advocacy and christian persecution. I don't disagree, the religious right has trademarked persecution of others so they probably have a valid infringement case here.

I just wish these guys could see the hypocrisy. What do you think would happen if the government started telling them what they could preach in church? The thing is that they are free to preach all the exclusion, intolerance and hate they please over at their church, just like the school is allowed to teach all the tolerance, diversity and compassion that they want - that's what separation is all about. If they don't like what is going on in the school, they can pull their kid out and send them to religious school or home school them as they please, but if not, and your kids go to public school then tough luck. Just like on the day that the Religious Right takes over the country and abolishes separation of church and state and repeals all the civil rights laws and establishes a faith-based nation and rewites the school curriculum to teach only absitinence and creationism and man-woman only relationships - they can then do whatever they like.
|W|P|110546924335228606|W|P|Damn Those Militant Gay Cartoon Characters.|W|P|1/12/2005 7:11 AM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|It's a good idea but aren't they targeting an audience that just MAY not understand? What I mean is won't this raise questions between child and parent(s) that then the parent can say whatever they want?

"Don't listen to that honey, it's bad," kinda thing?

It is a good start though, but if anyone noticed the race issue really hasn't gone away either.

Spongebob IS gay and out, Arthur and Barney had a "thing" some time ago but I think Barney's ongoing heroin addiction is what split them up. Please don't include Madeline in this though, she is a submissive in a monogamous BDSM relationship. Of course the Flintstones and Rubbles are into swapping and go on hedonism trips together every year.

Don't even get me started on the Joan Jettson, Wiley Coyote and Deputy Dog tryst.1/12/2005 9:50 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|I have watched Spongebob since its inception, and have always been interested in the obvious gay undertones of the show. I thought it was beautiful, expecially since the show caters to both children and their parents.

I think that the problem here is that most children have no concept of sexuality at all, so the question of homosexual tolerance/intolerance is moot. The awareness of a 5 year-old isn't at all developed enough to understand much less question sexual identity. All they see is bright colors and flashing lights.

Why don't parents and interest groups focus more on the excessive violence of children's television--shows like the Mighty Morphine Power Rangers had kids kicking the crap out of each other. Then there are shows like Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon (reminiscent of He-Man and GI Joe) whose sole purpose is to sell toys and other merchandise. Aren't these greater ills than shows where the characters get along and have well-developed relationships/ friendships?1/12/2005 12:16 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|This reminds me of the video stoere I worked at back in college. A mother comes in furious because her 17 year old son rented Exit to Eden - she was livid. "What's the problem?" I asked.

She went on to say that this film was "porn" and how could we dare rent this to her son. I asked her what she thought was so bad about this film and she said that there were scenes where you could "see the girl's hair, you know..."

I knew the kid who rented this film and decided to look on the account. "Maam," I said "Your son is old enough to rent R-rated films and for the record has rented numerous R-rated films such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and numerous other hyper violent films including Faces of Death 1-4 - numerous times."

"Well those movies are just violent, this movie is different, there were naked people everywhere."

I see, so it's perfectly acceptable for your 17-year-old kid to repeatedly watch videos of actual people being killed and murdered, but some pubic hair is over the top.

Nothing like those good old family values.1/13/2005 4:59 PM|W|P|Blogger Morning Morgan|W|P|I'm gay. Its all Bert and Ernie's fault.
I also have a fetish for yellow feathers, can I blame big bird.
I love frog legs - target Kermit,you slime bag.
Hey anyone notice that Oscare the Grouch ain't on SS anymore? Guess he is not PC since he is not Oscar the Nice Happy Friendly Non-Gender Specific entity.1/23/2005 4:15 PM|W|P|Blogger Alan Levering|W|P|What the liberal media fails to realize is that the video in question makes 2 separate references to the Foundation, including a clip from the character "Mouse" from PBS's "Between the Lions" which apparently has found the Foundation's website on his computer.

The Foundation, itself, beyond just the "Tolerance Pledge" has at least SIX different references to homosexuality, sexual identity, or sexual orientation in its site's materials, mostly in suggested lesson plans (from previous campaigns) aimed at school-aged children.

The actual lesson plans that will be accompanying the video are not publicly posted anywhere for review, so no one knows what the exact package will contain (Though MSNBC supposedly has a copy).

My website's discussion board has research showing at least SEVEN references on WAFF's website as well as a sample letter to school administrators who might be showing the video or other pro-gay material in the classroom.

Research: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exgaydiscussionboard/message/13428
Letter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exgaydiscussionboard/message/13456

--Alan Levering, Director & Founder, NCXDS Ex-Gay Internet Christian Ministries

Web: http://geocities.com/exgaylinks
Discussion Board: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/exgaydiscussionboard1/10/2005 11:20:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
I was wondering how long it would take for the religious pundits to sound off on the Tsunami and what it means for their faith.

Nothing brings out the religious spin machine and delusional rationalization like a good natural disaster.

We've already heard from the insane Nazi contingent that it was designed to wipe out iniquity and gay-frienly Swedes from the the world, but we'll assume that they are not the voice of anoyne other than insane religious Nazi's and move on.

With the death toll at 150,000 and climbing, it's awefully difficult to square that massive amount of destruction with a benevolent, all-knowing, all-seeing God. But that never stopped anyone, so without further adieu - here's what the various faiths had to say on the subject.

Hindu - It was Karma. All of those people, including the little babies and everyone else was fulfilling their karma for something they had done in a previous life. Each and every one of them had it coming for something they did before and this was their payment - better luck next life. A joining theory was that because we are destroying the earth with pollutants and other environmental unfriendliness, the earth is fighting back.

Hooey meter: 5

This is the mighty "Sweep It Under The Rug" theory combined with the "It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature" theory - I'm amazed that there were this many bad people all living in the same spot. I'm assuming that you need to be a fairly bad person to warrant a violent death in the next life, but I wasn't aware that the ratio of murderers, rapists and other unsavory types were so dense in the Sri Lanka coastal region - I guess murderers like the beach. But if this is so, then it begs the question why no Tsunami's or other disasters have hit Detroit or Washington D.C. I guess it's not their turn yet. As for the Greenpeace theory - I would like this to be true, because it might get some people to wake up for real if the earth was actually fighting back, but let's face it, a bunch of people living on the beach growing rice and picking mangos do not represent an environmental threat, so if it was retribution, then it would have hit America, Russia, The U.K., Norway, The Middle East, Japan or China. Nice try, but I don't buy it.

Islam - It was Allah's vengence. The people involved were trasgressors and received the awesome thumb of divine retribution for their crimes. There were countless stories of people who were saved from certain death at the hands of the Tsunami and were spared by the Almighty because they were good people - the rest were not so lucky.

Hooey Meter: 6.5

Ahh the old ecclesiastical pasta strainer theory. Almost everyone was bad and had it coming except for Lot and his children who were safely escorted away from Sodom and Gammorah by the grace of God. I see, so I guess one of these fortunate pious souls was the 13 year old girl who was rescued at the last moment before being swept out to sea by a man who risked his life to pull her out of the flowing water, depositing her safely on the shore and then raping her 5 minutes later. I'm also sure that the three year-old girl that was pulled out of her father's arms and swept out to sea was evil incarnate - I think she was the one that threw Spaghetti-O's at the Imam. A for effort, but please try again.

Judaism - We have two options - A: It was God's vengence upon some, but alot of innocent others got caught up in the retribution OR B: God is not actually all-powerfull and knew about the Tsunami, but was unable to stop it.

Hooey Meter: 7.5

So we have the Ghostbuster's "Don't cross the streams" theory and the "I got up from the couch to make a sandwich and missed the kickoff" theory. So in #1 we have our pal God saying "Whoops, I was just trying to take out a few hundred Sri Lankans and Indonensian who were unsavory types, but that whole Tsunami thing kinda got away from me, my bad." OR in #2 we have an impotent God who got the Doppler Radar report and turned to Jesus and said "Shit, a Tsunami! Now what do we do? I can't stop a Tsunami, who do they think I am Poseidon?" Either way, this doesn't bode well for anyone, but I guess this explains why God couldn't do anything about all those hurricanes that hit Florida last year either. He must have used up all his magic beans parting the red sea for Moses. Why would anyone worship a guy who either couldn't handle or worse was powerless to stop a Tsunami from killing everyone? Sorry kids - NO SALE!

Christianity - We cannot seek to know the wisdom of God. Whether we can fathom it or not, God had a reason, and when we get to heaven, God will give us an explanation that will perfectly explain it(this was from the catholics). And a baptist minister felt that the Tsunami was a call for sinners to repent and God was sending him a message through this disaster. He was lucky that god spared him and this was his wake-up call to stop sinning and turn his life around.

Hooey Meter: 9.5

Oh yes, the granddaddy of them all. It's not really fair though, these guys always win. You have to give them credit for developing a system of hysterical blindness so encompassing and they can pretty much blow off anything that happens without it in anyway impacting their beliefs. No matter what happens, you can just say, we can't know, but God has a plan and you're just a dumb Hu-man and can't figure it out. I guess I like this a little better than Captain Self-Absorbed over there who thinks God wiped out 150,000 people to get him to stop downloading porn.

If you simply must have a supernatural explanation, then I would suggest that someone got a whole shitload of Gremlins wet and their ensuing mischief caused the Tsunami - that's no better or worse that any of the above - so why not that?

So here we have it folks - lots of great explanations, but unfortunately none of them work. But being the ego maniac that I am, let me give this a try.

A tectonic shift in sea floor caused a seismic event that sent a shockwave through the ocean causing a Tsunami that wiped out 150,000 people who were in it's path. The reason why it hit where it did was because of where the earthquake happened - THE END.

Let's not demean the deaths of so many people and the destruction of a several entire areas by calling them evil just so we don't have to actually look at our faith or ask any real questions because the answers won't fit with what we believe.
|W|P|110537184670683705|W|P|A Tsunami of Abdication.|W|P|1/10/2005 12:16 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|This morning at work someone was talking about a church mission group that was collecting money. The money was going to buy bibles for the victims of the tsunami and for the people of Iraq. Talk about ego-maniacal behavior. So you raise all this money for a cause and then you use this money to buy books to indoctrinate people into your cult. Why not use the money you raise for food, for medical help, for things that would actually benefit the people who have been affected and need help with basic survival needs. I dont know what bothered me more- that people would send a bunch of bibles, arrogantly forcing their views and ideas on others or that they would raise all this money and then decide to spend it on something that benefits themselves, rather than using the money to buy things that the people actually need.1/10/2005 12:48 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|Nothing makes conversion easier than hitting someone when they are down. "If you had only accepted Jesus Christ, that Tsunami would never have killed everyone in your family and washed your entire village out to sea. Here's a bible - I hope you learned your lesson."

"No I don't have any rice or clean drinking water, I spent all my money on these bibles, but Jesus will provide for you if you convert - when you are ready I'll be at my hotel in Jakarta."1/10/2005 1:18 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|exactly.1/10/2005 2:13 PM|W|P|Blogger gravitybear|W|P|The question is: Why do bad things happen to good people? You are right, the Christian answer to this is the worst, "We cannot know, so let's not think about it." God's plan my arse! God's plan for thousands of children was to have a SHORT life of extreme poverty, and then die horribly swept away from thier families and struggling to stay alive. What a great plan!
And for those who say this was vengeance for wickidness, that means God(Allah, whatever) is a tyrant offering threats. Do what I command, or this could happen to you!
And they see distributing Bibles as charitable! Arrghh!

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
- Epicurus1/10/2005 3:51 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|What is the source for this?

I just wanted to point out that Buddhism is an atheistic religion which preaches that all life is suffering, that this suffering comes from desire, and that the only way to be free of suffering is to be free of desire. This being said, I do not believe that the interpretation of the buddhist response is correct: I think that the dharma says that we should have compassion for all living things. It also says that to be free we must come to terms with our own death. So there should be no sadness, but there should be empathy for the families of the victims, the dead have passed, and so shall we.

The concept of evil doesn't enter into the discussion. We are all guilty of desire, so we all suffer. We are all living, so we are all suffering.1/10/2005 5:06 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|The Capitalist response: the tsunami cleared out all the undesirable elements from the great new real estate I purchased.1/10/2005 5:39 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|It was taken from a story on NPR - they interviewed different pundit types from each faith branch and this was their response - my notes on the buddhist section were not as clear, so I might have gotten the evil part incorrect(but if so, it was something to that effect because I rememebr being startled by it), but they did say that the people deserved to die - it was not compassionate at all.1/11/2005 5:09 AM|W|P|Blogger Agagooga|W|P|I believe mainstream Buddhism would not agree with your source.

There are no gods in pure Buddhism, so none would've been able to stop the natural disaster.1/11/2005 7:10 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|OK I have removed the section on Buddhism so as not to polarize people on that one point. I went back and reviewed my notes on that section and to be more correct the sentiment was that the Tsunami was karmic in nature and that the people were culpable in some way for what happened. But there was some dissent by other buddhist groups who did not agree - which I suppose it typical when you have differing sects.

Also please remember that this was based off of interviews with pundits and not representative of entire faiths.1/11/2005 8:40 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|*chuckles* I didn't mean to cause a fuss. Thank you for your extra research on the topic.1/11/2005 10:44 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|There was no fuss - Agooga also commented on the same, and since the point of the piece was to discuss the religious spin machine vs. lampooning a specific faith or philosophy - it seemed better to drop the contentious part - especially since it was not integral to the message.

More than anything I appreciate your comments and those of others which lead us to question our own questioning - that's what this formum is all about!1/07/2005 05:00:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
I had been thinking about the impact of television on America for awhile, but after our friend Mr. Pants brought it up, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to throw it out there.

TV is not the enemy per se. Television like anything else is a tool or a diversion, and when used properly, it can be not only a useful, but effective way to communicate. I have learned quite a substantial bit of information and gained knowledge from researching things that I originally heard on TV. TV can educate, entertain and allow you to travel to places and meet people you would never be able to encounter in a single lifetime. That is the promise of television - unfortunately anything done to excess is not good.

I watch television, not much, maybe a couple hours a week here and there, but enough to enjoy it for what it is - but even in that time I can see the incredible danger that surrounds it for those who spend a much more significant ammount of time in front of it.

Unfortunately, I am in the minority - most people spend a significant time in front of the television. TV has become the national pastime. People routinely come home from work and plunk down in front of the TV and do not get back up again until it's time to go to sleep - that is if they don't fall asleep in front of it. They eat in front of it and in some cases live in front of it. Some people have TV's all over their homes, so no matter where they are, they will always be within sight of a television that is always on - there's one in the living room, one in the bedroom and one in the kitchen. I was at a party the other night and the guy even had a TV in the bathroom.

In addition to being a constant companion, TV has become the babysitter for children as well as the primary source for news of the world. Thanks to cable, TV is now a 24 hour 7 day a week event.

So what does all this mean? TV is probably the single most influential media outlet in the history of mankind. TV is a pipeline into the hearts and minds of America from small children to senior citizens. And armies of scientists, politicians and marketers know everything about you and can manipulate you accordingly.

The human mind can take in billions and billions of bits of information every minute, but you are only aware of a tiny fraction of that. What do you think happens when the TV is on all day long? Even if you are not paying attention to it, that information is being subliminally recorded and processed. Not only that, but thanks to the miracle of statistics, the messages you hear are being tailor made just for your demographic - and you know what, it works.

I know people who routinely do not do anything on the night that their shows are on. Now if you like a particular show, that's fine, but what if you like 10 shows on 5 different nights? And they don't only watch their show - they typically watch the one before it and the one after it.

All this leads to being bombarded with information continually throughout the day. You can't process information at that rate and be congnizant of it. And think of the thousands of messages that are being pumped into you on a daily basis from advertisers, politicians and others.

Now on the surface it sounds pretty tame - so what. But think about it - especially in light of our discussion yesterday. People don't question, they don't think, they don't consider - they tend to take everything at face value and believe it. Advertisers use ads to program people into responding. Repetition and visual imagery lead to retention and ultimately programmed response. That's why we all know jingles and tag-lines - whether we like the products or not. Tony Robbins gives a good example of this - he says the frst part of a company advertisement and the whole audience can finish it. We all can. This is not surprising - these guys use the same methodology that we learn with. One of the most effective language teaching programs uses this same method to teach language - and it's the best one on the market. The best part: it's all passive - you just sit there and learn, just like TV.

Now remember that most people are team oriented and very loyal - so you get people getting their information from the same source. What this leads to is the ability of advertisers to consistently target people and program them - whether to sell cars, beer, or food. Next time you watch TV, keep track of the advertising - you will notice some startling patterns. If you are watching football - you'll get lots of beer and electronics commercials, commercials for trucks and cars. Then switch over to the discovery channel or TLC, you'll get more upscale goods, lexus commercials, vacation commercials - they know who's watching and feed them accordingly. The other night we watched the season premire of alias - and 2 of every 3 commercials for this two-hour premire were for weight-loss, fitness clubs, and low-cal/low-carb foods - why? It was the first big show after the new year - resoultion time - and they know everyone made the weight loss resolution since Americans are all fat.

But if you really want to see the programming in action - watch children and doctor's patients. Take a kid to the mall or the grocery store some saturday afternoon and they'll start asking you to buy them all sorts of things - but ask them what it is - and they won't know. Ask them why they want it and they won't know. But they had been bombarded with that all morning and now they want it - and they don't even know what it is.

But that's just kids right? Think again. Start watching commercials from pharmaceutical companies. Half of them are vague references to some symptoms, but the other half say nothing at all - I saw a commercial for Valtrex (which I have heard of) but have no idea what it is - so I watched the commerical and they never said what it was or what it was for. But that works because I guarantee you someone walked into their doctors office the next day and said "Do you think I should be on Valtrex?" I hear you laughing, but I have spoken to doctors and other medical professionals and this happens every single day.

So advertisers are evil - everyone knew that - but imagine if the politicians started taking up the same tactic. Guess what, they already did. Most people had no idea what the issues were during the election - it was all condensed down to soundbites and chants. The most famous of these was the John Kerry "flip-flop" moniker. They actually did a study where they tracked both Bush and Kerry and Bush actually flip-flopped far more than Kerry did, but Bush used the TV and the media correctly and programmed people with his message. I'll give you an example - the first debate. We all know that Kerry kicked Bushes ass - no matter who you voted for, that was a fact. But the very next day I asked several Bush supporters in different situations in different locations and they all said Kerry flip-flopped all night long. One of the people I questioned even admitted that they hadn't even watched the debate, but they still made the flip-flop claim.

Like we said yesterday - part of the reason the Republicans had such a massive win was because they knew how to work the people. And they did it through the TV. A soundbite isn't true, a clip isn't a whole story - but no one bothered to ask or read any more about it. The people who listen to NPR did, but those are those same intellectuals that are spoiling the country. The swift-boat veterans were another one - their claim was completely fabricated it turns out, while the fact that Bush was an AWOL draft dodger was actually true. But Kerry took it in the keester on this one and Bush skated away - because he controlled the TV and thus public opinion.

Mr. Pants said yesterday that TV was a common denominator for all our social ills, I think that could be true. Certainly you can trace alot of our apathy and social programming to it, but at the same time it is the promoter of unachievable lifestyles and beauty standards - which when combined with all the fads and advertising begs the question of how we see all these commercials for healthy food, diets and exercise, but people are fatter than ever. Because people live vicariously through TV - they stopped living in the real world and started living on THE REAL WORLD.

It leads to unparaleled dissatisfaction with their lives, horrible self image, but at the same time an overwhelming sense of entitlement and desire for everything under the sun. The Real World is staged, Survivor is staged, The Apprentice is staged, The Bachelor is staged. There is nothing even close to reality in reality TV. All the shows we watch are completely over the top. Places where the ugly kid is still better looking than anyone you've ever met, where everyone has money and noone has a job and there are never any consequences for anything - and no matter how bad you screw up someone is always there to bail you out or take responsibility so you don't have to. And if you combine all that with no parenting or poor parenting and no teaching of reality vs. fantasy - then you get the very collection of social misanthropes and charlatans and career criminals that we see paraded around on TV every night on the news and Jerry Springer.

To me the biggest impact of TV is on politics, and i'm not at all talking about manipulative or fabricated TV ads or any of that other stuff - TV has pretty much eliminated good politicians from running for President.

Do you think Grover Cleveland or Taft or even FDR would get elected today? Hell no. Only pretty boys with good personalities can get elected. We have been trained to value beauty over brains and smiles over savvy. Which pretty much means that you are guaranteed only to elect people with good faces - who will most likely be puppets. The face gets them elected and then the people behind the scenes take over - it's a recipe for exactly what we have now - we can't elect strong leaders, we can only elect pretty leaders. And not only that, but the leader has to be free of anything in their history that might not play well in a sound bite. How do you think Jaques Chriac would fare with his mistress? What about someone fat? What about someone in a wheelchair? What about a Buddhist? If it is anything that doesn't fit into the nice TV Land mold - you can forget it - that's why anyone who is not a squeekly clean, lilly white WASP male won't have a chance. And how good a leader do you think you would be if you never did anything questionable in your life? Either you are completely boring and inexperienced in life and would make a lousy president or you are a mobster capable wiping out anything or anyone who could prove that you did anything bad which makes you a sociopath and a lousy president.

So lets all think about that as we go into the weekend - keep using your brain, don't be a sheep.

The TV is a tool, watch briefly and turn it off.
|W|P|110513056355629179|W|P|I Can't Think Right Now, I'm Watching TV|W|P|1/07/2005 11:26 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|WOW!! What an incredibly long commentary, it took me three commercial breaks to read the whole thing.1/08/2005 4:19 AM|W|P|Blogger True Flight|W|P|It could be worse. You could be addicted to ... blogs.1/09/2005 2:30 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|"It leads to unparaleled dissatisfaction with their lives, horrible self image, but at the same time an overwhelming sense of entitlement and desire for everything under the sun."

I think this paragraph perfectly depicts the incredible effect of TV on our culture. On the one hand people become dissatisfied with their lives. This is because the shows are full of people who have money, no job and no responsibility. They can do anything they want, go anywhere they want, and afford anything they want without seeming to work or have responsibility to think about work, family, and friends. That is not reality. In reality you have to pay for what you want- nothing is without costs. I dont mean this in a pessimistic nothing is good way. I mean this in a you have to work for what you want, you have to think about making a situation (job, life) what you want. It doesnt just happen miraculously (unless you have no wants and then life is depressing and boring). What I am trying to say is that we all have dreams for our work and lifestyle. In order to reach our dreams you have to think and work for it- thats what makes our dreams so amazing when you reach them. I love my job- I am working for it becoming completely what I want. But, I am taking responsibility and saying this is my plan, this is how I want to get there and not expecting things to be given out of nowhere. I have a lot of friends who wont compromise, they are waiting for that perfect something to come out of the sky. They are unwilling to do the work and have an expectation that it will just happen- that they deserve for it to just happen. I feel like that is, on some level, based on messages from TV. That everything will just come, that things happen without work, without compromise- that is a TV show and not real life. People have this outlook that they dont have to try, dont have to compromise, dont have repurcussions for their actions, dont have to answer to anyone or anything. That is weak and the basis of 95% of TV shows (it may be 100% but I hate to over-generalize)

Speaking on the horrible self-image. I feel that TV contributes to this bad self-image because no real person can live like a TV person. So then people get depressed because they cant live like they show on TV. In a society with no role models and no parenting- TV becomes our role-models. Our role-model's life are impossible to reach so we constantly feel like we are failing. This feeling of constant failure breeds the rampant depression in our american culture1/10/2005 9:40 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|There isn't much that I can say after all the points already made. In theory, television IS a good thing, but like so many other things, it has become bastardized and subject to the will of the powerful.
The tube is now THE vehicle for commerce. It is sad to think that so much of the viewing audience is oblivious to the messages they are sent on a daily basis.

It is interesting to think the double-edged message that TV sends: 1) go out & BUY BUY BUY! 2) Don't leave the television, keep watching, keep watching!1/10/2005 9:47 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|Well it's the same type of double-edged philosophy of being yourself and going for what you want. We are constantly told to be ourselves and go for our dreams no matter what, but in reality you actually get benefit from being like everyone else and keeping quiet and not rocking the boat.

No wonder everyone is confused, apathetic and ambivalent.1/10/2005 10:12 AM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|I did not own a tv for many years and I did not miss it. Now that I do have one, I watch it rarely. My time is valuable and I would rather be painting, reading, playing with my son or a million other things rather than to waste my time sitting in front of a tv.

Parents need to be viligent with the children and the amount of time the kids spend in front of the tv (ie. stop using it as an electronic babysitter). My son is gifted and tv would not have nurtured that the way human interaction does. All of his teachers and his pediatrician have all said they can tell that he is not a "TV KID" because of these things:
1. His communication skills (he also looks people in the eyes when he speaks, the pediatrician said that his patients who are glued to the tv, do not do that).
2. He has developed his critical thinking skills and asks questions rather than just accepting what he is told.
3. He has a variety of interests and a love of reading.

He does watch tv, but its 1/2 hour a day, after his "show", he will turn off the tv and walk away. Now that's something everyone could learn from, watch in moderation, turn it off and walk away.1/10/2005 10:56 AM|W|P|Blogger Ailyn|W|P|It is so easy to use the TV as a baby sitter. I have done it. I still do it. You're busy, you need the kids to chill so you can clean, cook dinner, chill yourself, whatever. So what do you do, turn on the tv. The first thing my child wants to do in the morning is watch TV or put in a movie (I prefer the movies - no commercials so no sales pitches). I try to turn it off when I think she has watched enough. Luckily, she usually plays while watching. But it is still too much.

For use adults who have favorite shows that we can not miss - get TIVO. It rocks. I used to watch two series but never actually could remember when they came on. I just watched them when I felt like it. And fast forwarded through those damn commercials :)10/02/2005 4:48 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Hello,
Looking at blogs and found yours...I like yours! My site about best weight loss exercise program still does not have a blog. Thanks for some ideas10/12/2005 12:08 AM|W|P|Blogger Robert Parr|W|P|Hello, just viewed your site. I think it is really nice and interesting. If you're interested you can view my lose weight fast. Its a tlose weight fast site. Have a good day!10/12/2005 11:59 AM|W|P|Blogger Robert Parr|W|P|Hello, just viewed your site. I think it is really nice and interesting. If you're interested you can view my lose weight fast. Its a tlose weight fast site. Have a good day!10/12/2005 2:49 PM|W|P|Blogger yaya|W|P|Hello, just viewed your site. I think it is really nice and interesting. If you're interested you can view my weight loss pills. Its a tweight loss pills site. Have a good day!10/12/2005 11:00 PM|W|P|Blogger yaya|W|P|Hello, just viewed your site. I think it is really nice and interesting. If you're interested you can view my phenitrine diet pills. Its a tphenitrine diet pills site. Have a good day!10/13/2005 2:41 PM|W|P|Blogger Roxo|W|P|Hello, just viewed your site. I think it is really nice and interesting. If you're interested you can view my lose weight fast. Its a tlose weight fast site. Have a good day!1/06/2005 06:00:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
I thought we could shift gears a bit and talk about some politics. All this week people have been up in arms on both sides of this debate regarding the Ohio voting irregularities. On one side they are blowing it off as unfounded liberal conspiracy theory and on the other as evidence of corruption and another stolen election.

Here's what I think...let it go, Bush won.

There is all sorts of proselytizing about what it means for the future; disenfranchisement, marginalization, racism corruption etc., but ultimately it doesn't matter, the people have spoken.

Do I think that there was election fraud in Ohio? You bet. I think that W. got his brother to fix the election in Florida in 2000 and I think Blackwell and his cronies did it again in Ohio in 2004 - but you know what? None of that matters, because it doesn't matter to anyone but the same liberal elite that the so-called red staters try to bash. The fact of the matter is that the right man won - based where we are and where we are going as a culture, Bush is the best man for the job. He does represent the majority. As much as we hate to see it - a lot of the liberal ideas are no longer in touch with the country.

Am I being defeatist? Not at all, just a rational sociologist/anthropologist.

Here's the bottom line:

The Bush administration has been the most secretive government in modern American history - they have intentionally blurred the line between corporate America and government giving business unprecedented access and influence as well a nearly limitless supply of sweetheart deals. On top of that civil liberties and privacy have been eroded to nearly nothing without impediment. The separation of church and state is quickly becoming irrelevant. State and federal governments are blatantly using a religious argument to legislate institutionalized discrimination against homosexuals. The congress feels perfectly willing and able to change laws and throw out ethics to stay in power. The government has blatantly lied, manipulated, fabricated and covered up countless wrongdoings as well as getting us into an illegal war filled with abuse and torture as well as on ongoing pattern of tactical ineptitude. And to put the icing on that cake, the country is drowning in the worst deficit in recorded history with no end in sight and a dollar that is losing ground practically everyday. In addition to that, the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns were the slimiest and dirtiest of all dirty campaigns.

I'm not bringing this up to bash anyone or make any political points - none of this is new information. The point that I'm making is that none of the above matters. Despite all of this going on in full view of the country - the majority of Americans not only do not disapprove of it, they actually embrace it and support it.

So what does all this mean? It means WAKE UP! Arguing over some votes in Ohio that won't change anything is closing the door after the horses have already left the barn. The country has changed. That's the real issue - now whether or not red staters are stupid, easily manipulated sheep is immaterial, the fact is that these people and their beliefs, no matter how wrong any of us may think they are, ARE the majority - even in the so called blue states, these attitudes and beliefs abound. And the are only getting stronger. The party is over for the liberals. Those beliefs are no longer in fashion any more, Americans are returning to their puritanical roots and that's the way it is. It's going to take several decades before the pendulum swings back the other way. The liberals are going to continue to shrink until they become nothing more than a collective of small minority groups - and these won't even be race based - especially as blacks and Hispanics migrate over to the conservatives as well.

People want to be controlled and lied to and told what to do - they say they don't but they really do. They rely on the media and the government to let them know when they should be mad, sad or glad and then act accordingly. They don't question and they don't read and they don't think, but they are happy - it's like The Matrix.

I don't know what's going to happen, but I can see these splinter groups being pushed into areas and separated so that there will be small bastions of people, but the rest of the country will be unified. So what are supposed to do? Well there are a few options. The first one is obvious; leave. I'm not saying this in a Bush won so I'm moving to Canada kind of way, but more from a cultural standpoint. America is not going back to the way it was before any time soon, so if you want to live in a liberal more socialist society - you'll have to find one and go there. Try France.

If you want to stay and do more than just gripe, there is going to need to be a radical shift in direction. The fact is that people don't see anything wrong and you can't point out how wrong things are if people can't see it or don't agree - that's what happened to Kerry and the Democrats - they thought they were pointing out everything that was wrong, but nobody gave a crap. The Republicans did the same, but they pointed out things that everyone else DID think was wrong and they won despite all the bad stuff that was going on. But the liberals have an uphill battle and judging by this whole Ohio thing, they still don't get it. This isn't a numbers game, it's an ideological one and as long as they continue to do things in the old way, they will continue to lose. People are not sitting around say "oh my god, how terrible, democracy is being hijacked, somebody should do something." They are sitting around saying "when will these godless, latte-drinkin', foreign car driving, smarty-pants liberals quit crying and admit that we won."

America is no longer a country anymore, it's a company. It's a nation of businesses run by business people. There's the big corporate business which controls all our money and there's the big government business that spends it on helping the business grow, then there's the big media business that tells us what to think, buy and do. Then there's the big church business that tells us what to feel and believe. All these divisions form a great big company with a board of directors sitting at the top running the whole thing. We go through the motions of being a democracy, but it's not that anymore - if you don't believe me - look closer. W., Cheney and Rove run the Government division of U.S.A. Corp - they already control the military, the judiciary, the supreme court, The Intelligence Service, The Police and The Congress. Combine that with the Murdochs and Sinclairs and Clear Channels and Pharmaceuticals and Haliburtons and all the Churches and you have a Corporate Executive Committee. And the people are employees - actually they are more like sportsfans - as long as they are taken care of and their team wins and they can get drunk on the weekend they are happy.

The only way to combat this is to learn the new game and play it by it's own rules. You can't win at Monopoly if you're still playing Candyland. The free thinkers need to figure out why nobody cares about them anymore and figure out what they do care about and then try and speak to them on their own terms, and maybe, just maybe, they'll figure out a way to get them to care about the stuff they used to. But the possibility exists that this society has moved on and the ideas and ideals that framed the liberal movement, don't exist outside of a few pockets on the two coasts.

Forget about Ohio, it's time to move on, move up or move out.
|W|P|110504654534869436|W|P|The Great Ohio Conspiracy.|W|P|1/06/2005 6:39 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|Too right. It would be great to have a candidate who would actually follow through on the issues. Can anyone honestly remember when legitimate issues were addressed (post election) and promises kept?1/07/2005 8:29 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Well- that was really depressing. How did the shift change in a way that caring about other people, conserving the environment and free thinking became negatives. How is it that intellectialism is looked down on. How do the people expect for things to improve if no one cares, no one thinks and no one acts. I dont understand when we started to change into this culture of followers who care for nothing as long as they have what they think they need and can get drunk on the weekend. Dont people understand the repercussions? Dont people see that if they continue to not act and not think that we will be a society of completely disconnected people going from one thing to another without any meaning. Their lives will become purposeless and meaningless as they do what they are told and feel how they are told. They will be isolated in their own worlds without hope and without love. What a miserable life.1/07/2005 9:28 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|this is a wonderful post.
I saw a bumper sticker which summed all this up perfectly... "Bush/Cheney in 1984...War is Peace"

I trace so much to the advent of TV (which is why I won't watch it anymore). The TV created a culture of laziness and selfishness in my book. The cathode ray tube gives us every value, moral, want and need in our lives. The undercurrent statements of "Buy Buy Buy" and "Why aren't you like this?" that are constantly coming over the airwaves shape society's lives more than they will ever realize. The TV has become the Great Squelcher of Free Thought. People are no longer interested in free thought because there is no longer a need for it--we are now automatons feeding on cathode rays and lattes, sacrificial cogs in the Great Machine. I think that many of our current social ills come as a direct result and consequence of the TV, it is creating complacency and apathy, lethargy and sloth. We aren't concerned with what someone says anymore, instead they have to look good on a 27" in HD.

I think that our society's ultimate goal has become the wish for our life to be just like television.1/07/2005 11:10 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|I agree with you 1000% about TV - from the onset, the vast majority of Americans plunked down in front of the TV and never got up.

In fact, I think this weekend's post will be on that very subject - Thanks!1/07/2005 12:45 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|Always glad to be of service.

I took an interesting course my last semester of school:
"A Critical History of Telvision"
my professor was amazing, and I learned alot about the true effects of the boob tube on our society.1/07/2005 12:58 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I completely agree with you about TV. I think TV has given people an extrinsic sense of purpose, motivation and a false sense of reality. People sit in front of their TV and watch other peoples fake lives in an effort to extract some feeling from thier own selves. Watching other peoples trials and tribulations lets them take their mind off the fact that they aren't actually doing anything with their own lives. It then sets up a cycle of people thinking that things will happen just like it did on TV and they get disappointed and frustrated that reality is different than TV.
This is one reason society/government wants us to watch TV so that we wont think about ourselves, we wont realize how miserable we are and we wont take action. If you didnt watch TV you might actually start thinking, asking questions and taking action.1/07/2005 1:37 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|another reason is that the television is the bastard child of capitalism.

In the 1960's the US was broadcasting episodes of "I Love Lucy" from Alaska and Scandanavia into Russia as propaganda to convert the commies.1/07/2005 1:52 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|...this explains alot of the common misconceptions that foreigners have of the US...and that the US has of the US.1/07/2005 4:30 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|Well now we have "reality TV" so we don't have to cope with.....reality. Odd isn't it.1/12/2005 8:23 PM|W|P|Blogger Mock Turtle|W|P|I really like your writing and I liked this post. I'm actually from Singapore (hopped over to your page from your comment on singabloodypore) and the resemblances between your feelings towards your country and mine to my own are remarkable. I live in Massachusetts right now, and I've heard from more than one American that they think the US is heading down exactly the same path I describe Singapore as having taken - the corporations as shareholders, the government as management, and the people as resources from which produce can be extracted. But while it makes sense to me at home - Singapore has never been anything but one party's pet project, and has never had any chance to develop a real intelligentsia to speak of - it saddens and surprises me that a country like this one, that has had what appears externally like a deep tradition of liberty, democracy and individualism, could fall into such spiritual disrepair.1/13/2005 2:56 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|I wish we were further along, but we're not. I try very hard not to become pessimistic, but there hasn't been much to be hopeful for. Thanks for your post, and welcome.1/04/2005 05:26:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
I've always enjoyed making fun of Mormons. The fact that the name is only one letter away from morons is not lost on me. As a student of comparative religion, I always take the opportunity to learn about religions whenever I can. So on the day that the nice white boy with the nice white shirt and the nice white teeth offered me a copy of the Book of Mormon, I took it and went home and read it. Well, not all of it - you see I unfortunately had to put the book down because my bullshit meter was going off so loudly, I couldn't concentrate.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the origins of the Mormon faith, I'll summarize it here for you (with the understanding that this is a paraphrase and I'm sure would be argued to the death by a real Mormon, but it works nonetheless).

Joseph Smith a farmer in upstate New York finds a cave wherein he meets an Italian angel named Moroni. Moroni displays for him the gospel of another angel named Mormon which is written on these golden plates. Joseph Smith is overcome with holy purpose and can now read and transcribe the formerly unintelligible angelic language of the gospel. He then spends a really long time translating and transcribing until he finally finishes the book of Mormon. He then goes out and gets several impartial witnesses (his brother, neighbor and some other family member) to view the golden plates before Moroni whisks them back up to heaven. Now armed with this new book of Mormon and accompanied by the "impartial eyewitnesses" Smith then saunters into town and starts the Mormon religion.

There is a lot more to the story of course, but that's it in a nutshell.

Now I'm sure you are making the same face I made and feeling the same feelings and saying the same thing - "What a bunch of crap!" "What kind of a moron would buy into this?"

Fast forward to Christmas Day 2004:

I'm sitting in a packed amphitheater in Disney's Epcot Center watching Gary Sinese tell the Christmas story while a choir intermittently sings carols. Now this is a story I've heard numerous times throughout my life, but listening to it that night was different.

For those who might have forgotten - here it is again:

Mary (a virgin) is visited by an angel who tells her she is favored by God and will be given a child and that child will be the messiah, Jesus. Mary's boyfriend Joseph(I'm going to assume boyfriend since if it was her husband she wouldn't have been a virgin) is seemingly not in anyway dismayed by the fact that his significant other is now pregnant and travels with her to Bethlehem for some kind of Roman census. As we all know, there is no room at the inn and Joseph and Mary sleep in a manger, where she gives birth to JC. At this point there is some sort of cosmic event that occurs because a bunch of shepherds see it and assume that a great messiah has been born so they take off to go see him. At the same time, the three kings from orient also see this sign and also interpret that the messiah/king of the Jews has been born so they all go off to worship the new born king bearing silver/gold/frankincense and myrrh. I assume the little drummer boy was in there with one of these groups. From here Jesus grows up to be The Christ and you all know the story from there.

In that moment I thought to myself - is this really anymore nutty than the Mormon story? Is the idea of a god impregnating a virgin with his son who announces his birth with a cosmic sign who grows up to be the savior of mankind any more far out than a farmer who finds golden tablets written by an angel?

To me this sounds a lot like something Zeus would do.

This really turned me on my head when I realized that the Christian story was just as ridiculous as the Mormon one, yet because it was so long ago and everyone had been so indoctrinated into it, nobody seemed to think it was at all strange. This is especially interesting to me since most people who don't even believe in God or Jesus don't really see this as all that glaring since we have all been desensitized to it.

And as I sat there listening to Lt. Dan recite this story, a flurry of questions started dancing in my head.

If all these people brought gifts and silver and gold, why was Jesus a poor carpenter/fisherman from Galilee?

If Jesus was the King of the Jews, again why was he a fishing/carpenter, but also why is there no record of this?

Where was his castle or estate?

Who was the new King of the Jews after he died?

Who were these Kings who pledged their worship?

Why didn't they send armies to help him fight the Romans?

Why wasn't there some kind of uproar when these Romans were staking a King to a big wooden X?

Why were there no significant ramifications to this? If I had a kid and someone nailed him to a cross, you can bet I would have at least caused some kind of ruckus, and I'm not the all-powerful creator of the universe. Why was there no smiting? If I'm god and some Romans smoked my kid - guess what? There are no more Romans 5 minutes after that.

I guess this is the problem when you try to analyze a myth.

Ultimately I can't decide whether I have a little more patience for Mormons who were duped by the same obvious BS as everyone else or if I feel like most people are just plain stupid.

But this brings up the question of if all these people believe this story and the Mormon story, why are we so quick to disbelieve in Santa? A guy who has elves who lives at the North Pole with flying reigndeer and gives everyone presents is no less believable than a guy who is the son of a god, born to a virgin who walks on water, raises dead people and converts loaves to fishes and water to wine. And personally I like Santa better - he's always nice to people, he never unleashes plague or smites anyone - the only thing he ever did was give a few bad kids coal - who also got a another chance to be good the next year. He certainly never sent a tsunami to kill 140,000+ people just so he could knock off 3,500 gay-friendly Swedes.

I guess the real moral of this story is: Don't actually think about or re-read any of the crap you were fed as a kid, you'll just end up disappointed.

|W|P|110487759440138975|W|P|The Hooey We Take For Granted.|W|P|1/04/2005 10:53 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|This reminds me of when I was at a youth group dinner with a rabbi. The rabbi brought up the idea that the stories of the old testament were metaphor rather than real life. A girl attending that event was really offended. It really bothered her that humankind did not start as adam and eve eating from the wrong tree, and that the various other equally as mythical stories were not real. As you said these stories from judaism are on par with zeus, mormom, santa, jesus etc...
What is hard to understand is how people do not actually learn anything from the stories. I was thinking that maybe because they believe in them as fact it may inhibit them from actually learning and questioning. Through questioning and learning they may have to come to an understanding that would undermine their belief. So in order to not undermine their belief they cannot question, cannot learn and cannot understand the stories as anything else but fact.1/05/2005 10:33 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|In high school a group of friends and I used to get drunk and go to the Church of Latter-day Saints and dance with the Mormons. What fun.

I personally corrupted a Mormon, it was rather fulfilling.1/05/2005 3:21 PM|W|P|Blogger gravitybear|W|P|If anyone is interested, a great book describing the origins of Mormonism is: Under the banner of heaven : a story of violent faith by Jon Krakauer. It is the story of a multiple murder that was commited by a few fundamentalist Mormons. The author also tells the story of the origin of Mormonism.
Interesting tidbit: Joseph Smith came up with the idea of polygamy in order to justify his side action (kept secret from his wife). His wife (first one!) refused to accept the polygamy revelation and, with some others, started her own Mormon church. It was also the side action that led to Joseph Smith's arrest and thence to his death.
Great book!1/05/2005 4:04 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|Thanks for the book referral - those are always appreciated.1/06/2005 9:58 AM|W|P|Blogger Ailyn|W|P|Wow. I am intrigued by that book. I must say, I have always liked the majority of their commercials and what seams to be their basic blief of tolerance and peace.

By the way Rudicus, I definately believe in Santa. But you brought up some great points. As I understand it, there is not mention of JC's formative years in the bible at all. Guess those "books" were left out.1/06/2005 5:02 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|its all bullshit, thats why the bible is right up there with Grimm's Fairy Tales and Aesop's Fables and Mother Goose rhymes. - Melissa1/06/2005 10:20 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|Of course every legend has a basis in truth.1/07/2005 9:10 AM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|the books that talk about jesus' youth are located on

www.metareligion.org --some of them are included in the Apocrypha which is heavily used by the Catholic church. I think I remember some of the stories being struck from the book because Jesus questions God's existence--not good, not good at all.

I can say from my experience with Mormons, they have the strongest family units I have ever seen--although their children are easy prey for those outside the circle.1/03/2005 01:41:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Well we're back with a bang. What better way to start off the new year than a tsunami that kills over 100,000 people and a group of Christian wackos that are happy about it.

This is an excerpt from the website http://www.godhatesfags.com/ which is a hatemongering site I just came across. The best part? It’s the website of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) of Topeka, Kansas - here's something the Red Staters can be proud of.

The tsunami was an adumbration of the wrath of God, a harbinger of things to come: that Great Day of Judgment. Amos 3:6 "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?" That word translated "evil" there is means distress, misery, injury, calamity. The answer, of course, to the rhetorical question posed in this verse is a resounding "NO!" See also Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;" And you wonder if this is the wrath of God? The lands affected by this judgment from God aren’t just full of idolatry; we’re talking about places (think Thailand) that are hot spots where American businessmen travel for the express purpose of fornicating with young Asian children. It is a thriving industry over there; many of these girls are taken into that business when they are seven years old or younger.

"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:" Col 3:5-6. And you wonder if this is the wrath of God? Not to mention the fact that those Asian countries weren’t the only ones affected by the tsunami. Do you realize that among the dead and missing are 3,500 Swedes and over 3,000 Americans? Sweden, who recently jailed a Gospel preacher for a month because he preached Bible verses and sentiments about the abomination that is the homosexual lifestyle from his own pulpit to his own congregation. America, who is awash in diseased fag feces & semen, and is an apostate land of the sodomite damned. And you wonder if this is the wrath of God?

This lovely site goes on to express their manifesto:

Perceiving the modern militant homosexual movement to pose a clear and present danger to the survival of America, exposing our nation to the wrath of God as in 1898 B.C. at Sodom and Gomorrah, WBC has conducted over 22,000 such demonstrations since June, 1991, at homosexual parades and other events (including funerals of impenitent sodomites, like Matthew Shepard). WBC teams have picketed all over the United States, and internationally (including Canada, Jordan and Iraq). The unique picketing ministry of Westboro Baptist Church has received international attention, and WBC believes this gospel message to be this world's last hope.

There is no greater sign of God’s love than picketing the funeral of a kid who was murdered and telling the attendees that he is burning in hell.

The evidence that Matthew Shepard is in hell is the fact that he was a practicing homosexual, who was trolling for anonymous perverted sex when he was killed. There is absolutely not one shred of evidence that he ever repented. We hope he did, as we hope everyone does, but there is no evidence. To the person who would suggest that Matthew Shepard is anywhere but hell, where is your evidence that he repented? For those who would appeal to the thief on the cross, there is a saying that goes "there was a thief on the cross that none might despair. But there was only one thief that none might presume."

But nothing is more telling than this:

WBC engages in daily peaceful sidewalk demonstrations opposing the homosexual lifestyle of soul-damning, nation-destroying filth. We display large, colorful signs containing Bible words and sentiments, including: GOD HATES FAGS, FAGS HATE GOD, AIDS CURES FAGS, THANK GOD FOR AIDS, FAGS BURN IN HELL, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, FAGS ARE NATURE FREAKS, GOD GAVE FAGS UP, NO SPECIAL LAWS FOR FAGS, FAGS DOOM NATIONS, etc.

  • This is the group pictured in the last three photos that were posted.

I know these guys are an extremist organization, but the fact remains that this is a church that is preaching this kind of crap to kids. There is not much to say here as this stuff speaks for itself - but just so you know - these are the very people who are sitting in the back row of the Christian Right - people that are so filled with fear and hate and glossed over with that my way is the only way zeal that they are actually happy when other people die.

What truly concerns me is that like anything else - this kind of extremism is only one step away from people who beleive in all the same stuff who just have not become radicalized yet. This is what we have to look forward to. This is what alot of the hyper-religious folks believe, but are too afraid to say in public.

Curiously, I couldn't find any anti-heterosexual groups out there, nor could I find any gay groups preaching intolerance and hate. Must be nice to be one of the chosen people.

Welcome back folks - it's 2005 and it's going to get ugly.
|W|P|110477796671136777|W|P|God Hates Fags.|W|P|1/03/2005 3:49 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|talk about missing the point.

how can people get so caught up in semantics?1/03/2005 4:27 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|I really wasn't surprised when I read this, the fomenters spewing hatred always hide behind "God" and the bible. I think maybe they forgot that Jesus taught us to "love one another".1/03/2005 4:33 PM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|If you really want a laugh - especially at the faulty logic, misinterpretation and selective scripturing of these bozos - go to their website and check out the FAQ - it's a real hoot and exceptionally scary at the same time.1/03/2005 10:08 PM|W|P|Blogger Ack|W|P|I wonder how many of them stone their daughters if they touch them while they are menstrating.

I also wonder how many of these psychos read the REST of the bible.

They are entitled to their opinion. and Im entitled to mine.

/wonders if I can provoke them to hit me or something.....1/04/2005 10:16 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|That is WAY scary man. I read their site, they are psycho to say the least, even David Koresh (waco) couldn't hold a candle to these flaming idiots. They vomit up hatred by quoting the old Testament,and NEVER even look at what Jesus taught in the New Testament. Sad state of affairs our country is sinking into quickly. - Melissa1/04/2005 1:28 PM|W|P|Blogger Ailyn|W|P|But hey, look on the bright-side. At least the opening page warns you that there is "Gospel Preaching Ahead".1/04/2005 1:41 PM|W|P|Blogger Ailyn|W|P|Honestly, I am not sure what to make of this and everything else. I am saddened to see that "some" of these words are actually spoken in the bible. But should you actually believe the bible. The old and new testament are extremely different. AND if a testament is defined as "a profession of belief" then to be Christian, would not one have to do away with the old testament and its teachings and strictly adhere to the new testament? The new profession of beliefs?

All that being said, I have found a great web site which shows bible verses and how they compare in 8 different bibles. Maybe some will find this helpful. I do. http://bible.cc/1/04/2005 2:52 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|Way back when...when I was a Christian, its been so loooong ago, but if remember right:

I was taught that the Old Testament (covenant) "was nailed to the cross" since Jesus had fulfilled the prophecies in it, therefore with Jesus came a new covenant (ie. New Testament). But that's just ONE of MANY teachings out there to consider.1/05/2005 6:24 PM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|Great article but you really can't lump all forms of Christianity together with these wackos. Excluding Catholicism there are PLENTY of denominations who accept homosexuals. As with any other religion there are fundimentalists in each group.

Also I'm kind of surprised at some of your reactions to the existance of such a fanatical sect. They have ALWAYS been here, people!! With everyones access to the masses we are seeing more of them, that's all.1/06/2005 7:34 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|I would never demean real Christians by lumping them in with these wackos - and I realize these guys are extreme, it just blows me away that a group could be this radical based on the same teachings that everyone else has read, but also how it would only take a little nudge to make the radical christian right like these guys.1/06/2005 8:36 AM|W|P|Blogger The Lone Rangers|W|P|You just have to look to the Koran to see what a little nudge can do. The different interpretations on a very peaceful religions are amazing.1/03/2005 01:40:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|

That's a good idea - use a man of peace as an example for your doctrine of hate. I love the girl in this one - smile pretty, honey! Posted by Hello
|W|P|110477765271814171|W|P||W|P|1/03/2005 4:25 PM|W|P|Blogger Lotus|W|P|It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words...1/03/2005 01:38:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|

|W|P|110477750913766796|W|P||W|P|1/03/2005 01:35:00 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|

I guess these are those good ole' family values we heard about. I guess you're never too young to start learning to hate. Posted by Hello
|W|P|110477732958389888|W|P||W|P|1/03/2005 5:20 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|the up-side-down american flag really puts their statement into a better, more disturbing context.1/04/2005 10:18 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Did you read where they said everyone who doesn't belive like them are going to hell? IF there is a hell, I am sure that their congregation will hold the front row seats - Melissa1/04/2005 10:34 AM|W|P|Blogger Rudicus|W|P|That's why I love it when these folks tell me I'm going to hell because I don't believe like they do. I always say GOOD! That way I won't have to spend eternity with pinheads like you!

Based on my experience heaven sounds like the most boring, uptight, no fun, stupid place I ever heard of - let me see infinity surrounded by the christian right and Mel Gibson or infinity with every musician, philosopher, thinker, movie actor, artist & author - hmmm that's tough one. I realize we'll also get the lawyers and insurance people, but you take the good with the bad.1/04/2005 2:44 PM|W|P|Blogger Mr. Pants|W|P|Heaven is like the swanky new restaurant in town. Everyone says its great, but more often than not you get there, the food sucks, you pay too much money, and you figure that you've ended up wasting your time--knowing that you could've just gone back to that familiar spot.