Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Enemy of the State

I saw a picture this week that just won't go away. It was taken to show the "security" measures being used to transport an American citizen, in an American military confinement facility, on American soil.



His vision and hearing were both restricted with darkened googles and earphones. Everytime he left his cell. Every time. It didn't matter whether he was leaving the facility or not. Every time he left his cell, he had these devices placed on him. In essence, his solitary confinement followed him everywhere.

He is of course, Jose Padilla. Arrested in 2002, on charges of attempting to enter the U.S. in order to detonate a 'dirty bomb'. He was held in solitary confinement and was subject to psycological torture, until earlier this year, when he was finally charged and moved to Florida. He was cleared of any conspiracy or involvement in the 'dirty bomb' conspiracy, and charged with different terror related conspiracy charges. With the new charges, I've read that the total time he could spend in prison wouldn't be more than 15 years.

Which, if you're Jose Padilla, wouldn't sound too bad. Considering. The only problem now is his lawyers are claiming the years in solitary and the mental abuse he endured have greatly affected his ability to tell who is on his side, much less help in his own defense.

I would just like you to remember, he is an American citizen, arrested on American soil, held in solitary for almost 4 years on a complaint that was proven false.

The New American Justice.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pictures by a friend

I was recently in contact with an old friend, on YahooIM, who had joined the military and ended up in San Jose,CA. Tonight I asked if he had any photos, meaning of him, but he sent me a link of some pictures he had taken around the San Francisco area awhile back. After clearing it up and getting a couple of recent pics of him, I spent some time looking at his other pictures.

Here is a picture taken at the Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park:














The angle of the Sun (midmorning/late afternoon?) really makes this a nice study in contrasts.

My other favorite from his picture page is one of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Southwest.















There is so much in this photo. The clouds, the wide expanse of beach, the surf, the bridge itself. These pictures are really best seen in a larger format.

Please feel free to visit HERE to see these and more of Jasons pictures.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Little girls rant

Found this over at Freethought Weekly, and it reminded of something I have been kicking around in my head.


Find this video and thousands of others at vSocial!

Of course it's obvious this isn't ad-lib, but still...

Friday, November 10, 2006

A break from the madness

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The South
The West
The Northeast
Philadelphia
Boston
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes


After all the crap that has been going on, I took a break from blogging till after the mid-term elections. I'm back now, and thought I'd restart with a fun little quiz. As suspected, I really don't have an accent. I attribute this to the fact I'm an Army brat, never really living in one area too long to acquire the local twang.

I saw this on The Uncredible Hallq, and had to share it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

"We've never been 'stay the course'"

George Stephanopoulos was talking about James Bakers strategy for Iraq, and whether or not it would be something in between 'cut and run' and 'stay the course'. Here is our Residents response...and the proof that he just lied to America.





Thursday, October 05, 2006

Camouflage

All the noise over Mark Foleys instant messaging has brought about the classic "hide the issue" mentality to the forefront once again. Without repeating what I'm sure most of the world knows about this, I can't help but notice that some issues of the incident are being downplayed.

Let's start with the GOP, the stalwart defenders of Americas morals. Foley was a Republican (regardless what FOX or AP would have you think), and was strongly supportive of all the antigay messages of the GOP. At least in public. Now we find out he's gay, and most of his collegues knew he was gay. He also had a inclination towards teenage boys, and again, most of his collegues knew this as well. I'm not going to spend my time linking to these claims, anyone can find them in a matter of minutes. Now, these very same collegues, these voices of morality, these defenders of the christian faith, knew about Foley and did nothing.

That in and of it itself is shameless. But, the point I'm trying to make is two-fold. One, the antigay party of America seems to be full of gay men, hiding in plain sight, and destroying the freedom of the very same lifestyle they're hiding. Two, all this blame shifting is doing nothing but making even more Republicans look bad. They all need to go. And those on the right that are doing the mad scramble for damage control by trying to place doubt as the to age of the victims, it doesn't matter. If a page was 16, 17 or 18...hell even 19. It doesn't matter. Mark Foley was a Congressman for the United States of America. That is enough to make this wrong. Terribly wrong. By trying to justify these instant messages and planting the seeds of doubt in the publics minds, these rightous defenders of Foley detract from the mental and emotional abuse some of these pages received. And it also minimizes the crime itself.

So, the Gay Old Party, likes the "do as I say, not as I do" meme, and when they get caught at it, blame the victim/democrats/media. But for gods sake, don't admit it.





Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ironic Bush




Incongruity at its finest. Referring to the Mark Foley scandel, our Resident said this,

"I was disgusted by the revelations and disappointed that he would violate the trust of the citizens who placed him in office"


I say the same thing almost daily.



Friday, September 29, 2006

America surrenders. Terrorists win.















Now that the House and Senate have both approved the Military Commissions Act of 2006, we have become that which we hate.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Video blog?

Thinking about doing a weekly video blog here as well...this is a short test clip.

The very end seems to have been chopped when I converted from AVI to MPEG. /shrug



comments welcome

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where did all the christians go?

You'd think that the rapture was real and had already occurred, with the lack of voices critizing our government for legalizing the torture of prisoners in the War on Terror. Anyone missing family or friends? No? Then why aren't we hearing more from the wwjd christians on this issue?

While there is some ambiguity about how their superhero, Jesus, felt about dealing with his enemies, most will agree that the current view is of a peace loving, cheek turning, shepherd of the weak and helpless. So where are they? This should right up their alley. This is what their religion runs on, peace, love and compassion. Yet, they're not standing up and denouncing this evil that our government is unleashing.

They waste no time when it comes to homosexuality, abortion or the right to die a dignified death, but from all appearances, torture gets a pass. Why is that? I'm at a loss for an explaination. These defenders of American morals have all but disappeared in the face of this moral debate. I can only assume that they support torture. Amen.

The greatest country on the planet, and we're reduced to torturing prisoners for information. Sad and disgusting. We are the terrorists now. There is no other way to see it.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Deja Vu

Sometime last week, I remember seeing a reference to the Declaration of Independence.

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,


At the time, I was reading through my daily list of politcal blogs, which led to a daydream about the current administration occupying the White House. Let's say I had a full blown Walter Mitty moment, lasting quite awhile.

While I think I'll save my 'vision' for another post, the reason I mention it, it compelled me to visit ushistory.org, which is a great resource for documents regarding American History.

So, on to my point. Which I'm sure some have deduced from the title of this post.

Let's begin with the opening put forth by the congress of men, who on July 4, 1776, unanimously declared for the thirteen united State of America:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


If you think you're being governed unfairly, out of respect for public opinion, you should put forth your reasons for saying so. Straighforward.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,


Here are the rights in question, and an explaination on who and how they are enforced. Which brings us to the section which leads this post.


That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;



Anytime the government disregards our rights to such a degree that it's harmful for the population at large, we reserve the right to remove it from governance. This we will not do for minor or petty reasons. This next part is where we get to the meat of the affair.

and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.



History has shown us that men have suffered at the hands of tyrants, and have found it easier to suffer than fight back. But, if it goes on too long, they have the right and duty to rid themselves of the tyranny, and establish a new order to protect their rights for the future.

So, there we have the basis for our split from King George. What follows in the Declaration, is the exacting reasons he has impinged on the above. And the point of my title.

from thefreedictionary.com
dé·jà vu
n.
1. Psychology The illusion of having already experienced something actually being experienced for the first time.
2.
a. An impression of having seen or experienced something before: Old-timers watched the stock-market crash with a distinct sense of déjà vu.
b. Dull familiarity; monotony: the déjà vu of the tabloid headlines.
[French : déjà, already + vu, seen.]


Please remember, the following was written over two hundred years ago.

The transgressions of King George III:


He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.



If you have been paying attention these past six years, the bold lettering above should have make you sit up a little straighter. We have all heard the line that failing to remember history will doom us to repeat it, or similar words. The fact that we're ignoring such obvious history may mean we're already doomed.

I've highlighted sixteen or so of the twenty-seven listed greivances that appear to have relevance to current events. How is it we fought off one King George two hundred plus years ago over these, and are again having another George commit these very same acts upon the American people?

To quote an American sports icon,

It's like deja vu all over again


And it's scary as hell.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In the name of Jesus get out of my house!

Nice example why some think religion is a mental disorder.




This woman needs serious help.

Homework assignment from the Hajj

Found this jewel in one of my bookmarked sites. While I'm aware of, and enjoy, the humor and satire in this piece, it is also a very real commentary on the todays youth.

From Kingdom of Heathen

Dear Mom,

Hi! Guess where I'm writing from! Yeah! Saudi Arabia! Man, what a crazy two weeks this has been! It seems like just a few nights ago when you were disowning me for converting!

But seriously, Mom, this has been awesome! Now that I've gone on the Hajj, I've successfully completed one of the Five Pillars of Islam. I even got a bumper sticker! Also deep spiritual fulfillment derived from connectedness to God, but I can't put that on my car.



Ha! Ha! Anyways, you know, Muhammed was the first person to do a Hajj. We call him "The Big M" around here. Yeah, so, ever since he came back to Mecca and conquered it for Islam, Muslims have been making the pilgrimage here. Millions of people, Mom! You know how Dad always told me to become part of something? It's not the Army, Dad (wherever you are), but it's still responsible for lots and lots of wars and dead people!

You know, Mom, Muhammed was kinda like me. He was banished from his home (Mecca!) for practicing "paganism." Sound familiar? Haha! And so when he had enough followers, he went back to Mecca and took it away from the actual pagans! It's awesome!


Mom, you know how you always thought I converted because I was too stupid to understand Catholicism? Well, some of my new friends find that very offensive! This one guy, Abu-Musab, says that Catholicism is the stupid religion! How about that, Mom? Hmm?

No, Ma, I converted because the Bible's boring. There's too much begetting and not enough killing of infidels. I'm a child of the twenty-first century, Mom. I need action, and I found it in the Koran. Sure, Jesus said he would "slay" his enemies once or twice, but the Koran has that everywhere! Pages and pages condemning the infidels! "Fighting is obligatory," Mom! It's just like in those video games you caught me playing!

You and Dad always told me my life needed structure, but the Church never gave me any! But with Islam, Mom (Ha ha! It rhymes!), I've got salat. No, Mom, not a tasty vegetarian dish. It's prayer! I have to pray five times a day! Oh yes, Ma, five times: Before sunrise, at noon, before sunset, after sunset, and at dusk! That's far more structure than you and your crazy confessions and nightly prayers! Ha!

So that's why I went on the Hajj, Ma. I've proven that I'm an actual Muslim now. I have structure, and friends, and I'm closer to Allah. Who's the loser now, Principal Jenkins? That's right!


Anyways, did I mention how hot the Middle East is? It's sweltering, Ma! It's even worse than Dad's laboratory! Well, there aren't as many pointy things, so I guess it evens out. But when I got here, I was almost dying (also like Daddy's lab!) to change into my ihram! You know what that is, Mom? It's a white uniform! It's like two sheets, but even better, because its traditional! And sandals! Everybody else has to wear them, too, so there aren't any stylish kids to beat me up anymore! Ha ha ha! We're all nerds before God!

And you know what else is cool about Mecca? The Kaaba! It's this big cube-shaped building that Abraham built, in the center of the city's mosque. It's got a big black cloth on it, and my friends say that on the inside there's a room with Koranic inscriptions! They don't let people in, thought, except for the annual cleaning ceremony.

You know, when The Big M conquered Mecca, he didn't hurt anybody, because he was just cool like that. Instead, he just told people to get rid the filthy pagan idols around the Kaaba. So now, instead of worshipping idols, everybody bows down to a gigantic cube! It's awesome!

And not only is the Kaaba awesome, but the whole Hajj is awesome! When I got here, I had to walk around the Kaaba seven times, and then walk up and down a corridor seven times! It's because a long time ago, this servant woman Hagar had to walk back and forth across the desert to get water for her son. Pretty cool, right? And then, after all the walking, I had to drink water from the Zamzam well! Zamzam! Isn't that a funny name? Ha ha! Now I understand how horrible life was for adulterous maids!

So then, after all that walking, I had to walk even more to this place called Tent City. You know what that is? It's this big city of tents! Ha ha! It's in the Mina Valley, which is pretty big. We had to walk here without food of water, kinda like whenever you and Dad took me to Grandma's. Tent City's only about six miles from Mecca, though. And we prayed when we got there, instead of going down to Grandma's basement.

And later, I went to this plain called the Muzdalifah, where everybody had a vigil at sundown. You know what the vigil was for? To become closer to God! Yeah, I know, I just kept getting closer and closer to God during the whole Hajj! Closer and closer and closer! During the vigil, I think I even felt Him! It was awesome!

The most eventful part of my Hajj came on the tenth day, when we all went back to the Mina Valley. This was the part when we all threw stones at these three pillars called the jamarat, because they represented Satan. I don't know if he had real estate in them or whatever, but people seemed pretty mad at those big hunks of stone. There's also this bridge around them, called the Jamarat Bridge, where people can stand and throw the rocks. Awesome, huh?

So I was on the ground, throwing lots of pebbles and having a good time, when suddenly there's this stampede up on the bridge! I see people pushing people and running everywhere, and people falling off and all sorts of painful things! Apparently, a couple dozen people were killed! But one of my new friends told me that happens all the time (in 1994, almost three hundred people died!), so I wasn't too worried about it. After all, they'd be going to Heaven anyways! It's just too bad they didn't get to wage war on any infidels first.

Oh, and also, we had a feast that night! And for the next two days! There was food everywhere! It was awesome!


Say, Mom, if you ever become a Muslim, I'd be happy to go on a Hajj with you. Because, you know, women can't go by themselves. It's a Saudi law! Isn't that silly? Ha ha ha!

Yep, I started out alone, but then I met all sorts of interesting people. I made lots of friends, Mom! Aren't you proud? Ha ha! Although, I won't be seeing some of them for a while. Jacob lives all the way in Australia, Andy lives in London, and Abu Musab said he couldn't tell me where he lived. Isn't that awesome?

Sure, I may have felt awkward around the Arabic-speakers, but there were thousands and thousands of other people who I could talk to! I actually felt like someone! Like a person. Like a person surrounded by millions of other people in blind, unquestioned devotion to a giant cube! I felt awesome!

I'm a much better Muslim than I was two weeks ago, Mom! I've learned a lot. Like how I'm not alone in my struggle to serve God! Oh yes, the Hajj has taught me that we as people should not focus on that which divides us; nay, we should rather focus upon that which divides us…from Jews and Christians.


Awesomely,
Seth

Friday, September 15, 2006

"Clarifying" the Geneva Convention

Bush is saying we need to clarify parts of Article 3, and even became visibly angry at a press conference today when questioned about it. I've read and reread the Article, which is quite plain in it's text, and am at a loss to find something that needs to be "clarified"...
Unless you want to do things that are covered in the Convention, there is no reason to change a single word. I'm not even sure if you can make changes or interpretations to the Geneva convention without a majority consensus of all abiding bodies.

Here is the full text of Article 3 of Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.:

Art 3. In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following
provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.



Knowing this administration, I'm pretty sure they're confused with Paragraph 1, subsections (a), (c) and (d). From reading it, and remembering numerous news articles from the past 4 years, it's a pretty safe bet that America has violated all three of those subsections.

I'm only guessing, but I think Bush wants to redefine certain words or actions.....namely "torture", "cruel treatment" and "humiliating and degrading treatment". Why? Could it be because everyone knows these things are occurring, probably while I write this blog, and they are trying anything and everything to cover their asses from war crimes accusations? Bush kept saying he wants to make sure the intelligence community uses legal means to get information from suspected terrorists. What better way to make torture legal than by redefining the word "torture".

I need to do more research, (and add my findings to this post in the future), but by changing the Geneva Convention to fit their view, would the Bush administration be voiding our participation in it? Even if that is the case, nothing would change in respect to our participation to any part of it, because of Article 142:

Art 142. Each of the High Contracting Parties shall be at liberty to denounce the present Convention.

The denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal Council, which shall transmit it to the Governments of all the High Contracting Parties.

The denunciation shall take effect one year after the notification thereof has been made to the Swiss Federal Council. However, a denunciation of which notification has been made at a time when the denouncing Power is involved in a conflict shall not take effect until peace has been concluded, and until after operations connected with release and repatriation of the persons protected by the present Convention have been terminated.

The denunciation shall have effect only in respect of the denouncing Power. It shall in no way impair the obligations which the Parties to the conflict shall remain bound to fulfil by virtue of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and the dictates of the public conscience.


As I see it, Bush is trying to accomplish two things with this strategy. On the one hand, he wants to appeal to the uninformed American population by appearing as if he's concerned with our treatment of P.O.W.s, but on the other, he's trying to change the Convention to allow the mistreatment of P.O.W.s to gather intelligence.






Thursday, September 14, 2006

Religion under attack by ......gays?

From AP(Washington) Religious conservative leaders, sensing declining alarm over same-sex marriage, are warning that the debate over homosexuality has prompted attacks on religious freedom.


Whenever questions are raised about issues affecting more than just the religious, it soon turns into "A War on Christmas", "A War on Easter", "A War on ...", you get the point.

Our good friend, Tony Perkins has this to say:

"There are a number of pastors that said, 'Look, we don't get involved in politics, I'm not going to get involved in this issue, I just want to preach the gospel.'He adds, "When they realize their ability to preach the gospel may very well be at stake, they may reconsider their involvement."


In a word, ridiculous. How is allowing same-sex marriage going to lead to stopping preachers from preaching? While I'm atheist, I respect the fact that people have the right to do as they please. If that means joining together once a week in a designated building and praying to an invisible being, fine. Perkins tries to equate opposition to their religious beliefs, which not all Americans hold, as an outright attack on them. Poor persecuted christians.

This is just the same crap of an ongoing attempt at the religious right to try to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. To put their attempts in a more understandable light, try this: Whenever you see a headline or quote stating this or something similar,

"They are trying to remove God from public schools."

Just slip in the word "our" in front of any reference to a god.

"They are trying to remove our God from public schools."

Notice how that gives possession? Which is who it is....their God, and they should keep him to themselves, out of respect for other Americans who don't share their particular belief system.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Talent

I couldn't pass the chance to post this. Found the link on BartCop Entertainment. It's titled "guitar", and it shows Lim Jeong-hyun, a student from South Korea, playing a modernized version of Canon by Johann Pachelbel.



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Incongruous

So, I'm reading a recent Newsweek article about being atheist in America, and man, the bias displayed by the author is quite evident. This story has been blogged alot this past week, so I'm not going to cover what other atheists have already pointed out.

My concern, is the opening paragraph. Namely the first two sentences:

"Americans answered the atrocities of September 11, overwhelmingly, with faith. Attacked in the name of God, they turned to God for comfort; in the week after the attacks, nearly 70 percent said they were praying more than usual."

Looking at those words, I find it hard to believe we haven't killed off each and every person on Earth by now. Let's look at one line in particular:

"Attacked in the name of God, they turned to God for comfort"

One word comes to mind, incongruous. I'm sure most everyone knows that the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions "share" their god, at least historically.(It can be argued that the Christians share one god and claim a second and third for themselves as well, but lets not dwell on that for now.)

Looking at the state of the world today, we can trace back most of our current problems to these three religions:

The Jewish god said, "I give you this land"

The Christian god said, "Spread the word"

The Muslim god said, "Kill the godless"

Where would we be today without these religions? Does any of their good outweigh their bad? How many lives lost? How much knowledge have we failed to gain, because we were too busy being afraid of a invisible sky being, and too busy killing each other for one god or another?

There are many terrible things going on all over the planet not involving religion: disease, drought, hurricanes, earthquakes... these things are natural. At one time, religion was used to explain these things. Now we know better.

I don't see a future for this planet as long as religion holds sway over the masses. Believing in fairy tales, myths and monsters is for children. Can we try using logic, reason and critical thinking skills to deal with our future?