Monday, February 11, 2008
What a hard decision this election will be. On one hand, we have an untested African-American. On the other hand, we have the real brains of the Clinton Dynasty. And on the elephant's side, it is shaping up like a male clone of Billary. Can any of these political wonders really reverse the effects caused by eight years of the Manchurian Dipshit? Or the past 13 years of Repooplican controlled government (House and Senate/Congress). Are the Democraps really any different?
Some of the problems they face from 13 years of Repooplican control are the near total elimination of all manufacturing and industry in this country, and the rise of the "Burger Flipping" economy. The dire state our trade deficit is in, is bleeding us dry and selling us out. In the next decade, if things are not changed, our enemies will be major shareholders in our economy. They already are, but it will be worse. The politician's in their quest for less government interference, have allowed the business world to sell away the very things which made our country great. All of our manufacturing has now relocated overseas. All of our consumer goods now come from our enemies. And no one is able to reverse this on a large scale due to the "Wal-Mart effect", that is the government subsidization of cheap consumer goods to the point that no other businesses can compete. This has TOTALLY devastated entire small town economies, and put most local retailers out of business. It has become so bad, that you cannot purchase anything without going to the "Big Box". No one even bothers to compete anymore, and the public is stuck with rotten meat, and low quality chinese consumer crap. All of the money generated by this goes straight to our enemies across the big ol' Pacific. They have no need to fight us, since they are destroying us from the inside out, and the good old GOP led government, with it's "Good for Business, Good for the US" attitude let them do it.
Am I pissed off? YES.
These traitors have sold us all out to the point where it is nearly impossible to get a job that does not involve the flipping of a meat patty. There simply is nothing else around for most of the country. And what else there is, does not pay any different than flipping a patty. The last bastion of decent jobs in this country, the Government Civil Service, is a favorite target of these buffoons in their quest to "get rid of big government" and destroy Socialism. The writing is on the wall for these jobs, with the new NSPS system taking effect. The people who want to "get rid of big government" are the ones who think government should have no say in their traitorous and shady business dealings. They want it out of their way. They do this in the guise of reducing government spending by cutting government jobs. Our government is now at a point where it is nearly impossible to accomplish anything because the personnel shortages are so bad. What? Can't perform? Let's slash them even more! They are obviously lazy! It is a big scientifically engineered "Vicious Circle" designed to destroy our government, leaving the corporations holding the power. Don't even let me get started on the sad state of government programs to help the needy, such as the SCHIP Controversy involving uninsured children of the working poor (yet another selling out of America and our rights).
Traitors, yes, these folks ARE traitors. The GOP has been run by traitors for the last decade. They have sold us out, and even worse, they have sold out our children. The Demos are to blame too, for they did not have enough spine to stop them. The result of this is that our children now have a promising future in any one of the food service industries, nothing else is open to them unless they want to move to India, or China.
Now, who to vote for? Does it matter? Are any of them really so different from each other? We need someone who will get into office and place the rights and needs of the American People on the forefront, and not the rights and needs of the corporations as it currently stands. If a politician is not willing to do this, then they are not working for the US, and have allied with the enemy.
Who is the enemy? The enemy is us. The enemy is the ravenous, mindless, consumer world which we self perpetuate through our thoughtless actions. Change now. It can only begin on an individual level. Don't vote for anyone who seeks to perpetuate "The Matrix" in which we currently are stuck.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop
By David Van Biema
N.T. "Tom" Wright is one of the most formidable figures in the world of Christian thought. As Bishop of Durham, he is the fourth most senior cleric in the Church of England and a major player in the strife-riven global Anglican Communion; as a much-read theologian and Biblical scholar he has taught at Cambridge and is a hero to conservative Christians worldwide for his 2003 book The Resurrection of the Son of God, which argued forcefully for a literal interpretation of that event.
It therefore comes as a something of a shock that Wright doesn't believe in heaven — at least, not in the way that millions of Christians understand the term. In his new book, Surprised by Hope
Wright, 58, talked by phone with TIME's David Van Biema.
TIME: At one point you call the common view of heaven a "distortion and serious diminution of Christian hope."
Wright: It really is. I've often heard people say, "I'm going to heaven soon, and I won't need this stupid body there, thank goodness.' That's a very damaging distortion, all the more so for being unintentional.
TIME: How so? It seems like a typical sentiment.
Wright: There are several important respects in which it's unsupported by the New Testament. First, the timing. In the Bible we are told that you die, and enter an intermediate state.
TIME: Is there anything more in the Bible about the period between death and the resurrection of the dead?
Wright: We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep. The Wisdom of Solomon, a Jewish text from about the same time as Jesus, says "the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God," and that seems like a poetic way to put the Christian understanding, as well.
TIME: But it's not where the real action is, so to speak?
Wright: No. Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death — in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth. Jesus' resurrection marks the beginning of a restoration that he will complete upon his return. Part of this will be the resurrection of all the dead, who will "awake," be embodied and participate in the renewal. John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: "God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves." That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.
TIME: That is rather different from the common understanding. Did some Biblical verse contribute to our confusion?
Wright: There is Luke 23, where Jesus says to the good thief on the cross, "Today you will be with me in
TIME: Why, then, have we misread those verses?
Wright: It has, originally, to do with the translation of Jewish ideas into Greek. The New Testament is deeply, deeply Jewish, and the Jews had for some time been intuiting a final, physical resurrection. They believed that the world of space and time and matter is messed up, but remains basically good, and God will eventually sort it out and put it right again. Belief in that goodness is absolutely essential to Christianity, both theologically and morally. But Greek-speaking Christians influenced by Plato saw our cosmos as shabby and misshapen and full of lies, and the idea was not to make it right, but to escape it and leave behind our material bodies. The church at its best has always come back toward the Hebrew view, but there have been times when the Greek view was very influential.
TIME: Can you give some historical examples?
Wright: Two obvious ones are Dante's great poetry, which sets up a Heaven, Purgatory and Hell immediately after death, and Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine chapel, which portrays heaven and hell as equal and opposite last destinations. Both had enormous influence on Western culture, so much so that many Christians think that is Christianity.
TIME: But it's not.
Wright: Never at any point do the Gospels or Paul say Jesus has been raised, therefore we are we are all going to heaven. They all say, Jesus is raised, therefore the new creation has begun, and we have a job to do.
TIME: That sounds a lot like... work.
Wright: It's more exciting than hanging around listening to nice music. In Revelation and Paul's letters we are told that God's people will actually be running the new world on God's behalf. The idea of our participation in the new creation goes back to Genesis, when humans are supposed to be running the Garden and looking after the animals. If you transpose that all the way through, it's a picture like the one that you get at the end of Revelation.
TIME: And it ties in to what you've written about this all having a moral dimension.
Wright: Both that, and the idea of bodily resurrection that people deny when they talk about their "souls going to Heaven." If people think "my physical body doesn't matter very much," then who cares what I do with it? And if people think that our world, our cosmos, doesn't matter much, who cares what we do with that? Much of "traditional" Christianity gives the impression that God has these rather arbitrary rules about how you have to behave, and if you disobey them you go to hell, rather than to heaven. What the New Testament really says is God wants you to be a renewed human being helping him to renew his creation, and his resurrection was the opening bell. And when he returns to fulfil the plan, you won't be going up there to him, he'll be coming down here.
TIME: That's very different from, say, the vision put out in the Left Behind books.
Wright: Yes. If there's going to be an Armageddon, and we'll all be in heaven already or raptured up just in time, it really doesn't matter if you have acid rain or greenhouse gases prior to that. Or, for that matter, whether you bombed civilians in
TIME: Has anyone you've talked to expressed disappointment at the loss of the old view?
Wright: Yes, you might get disappointment in the case where somebody has recently gone through the death of somebody they love and they are wanting simply to be with them. And I'd say that's understandable. But the end of Revelation describes a marvelous human participation in God's plan. And in almost all cases, when I've explained this to people, there's a sense of excitement and a sense of, "Why haven't we been told this before?"
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
This woman should have given speeches to the people in my previous feminist article, maybe then they would get a clue. Alas, she was killed by a car-jacker when she fought it out while he was trying to escape from her. She clung to the car while he sped off, and she eventually got thrown off, striking her head on the road. She had just fought off another car-jack attempt the week before, when she got the drop on the guy with her gun.
Why don't we grow chicks like this in America?
The world is truly a darker place. This chick was a real life Bond girl
One more shot for good measure...
Sunday, February 3, 2008
I know this topic has been covered before, and has been making the rounds around the Internet, but I find it quite creepy...
It seems there are scattered reports of strange, black-eyed children approaching people with less than honorable intentions. These children for all appearances seem to be normal, pre-pubescent kids, but the overall aura given off is that of something "evil" or un-natural. When looked at closely, they are observed to have totally black eyes. No pupils, or iris visible. They try to gain entrance into your home or car by asking to come inside, and never give an honest or viable reason for entrance. They seem to be trying to trick the person into letting them in, for some evil purpose.
Who or what these children are remain to be seen. Several outlandish theories have been proposed, from Vampires to Alien-Human Hybrids but no one really knows.
Here is the story that originated it all. It is from a news reporter in the Abilene, Texas area named Brian Bethel. It was originally posted in a Usenet group...
I don't really know what I'd call this story if I was submitting it for publication in Fate or something of its ilk. "Brian vs. the Evil, Black-eyed, Possibly Vampiric or Demonic But At Least Not Bloody Normal Kids" doesn't have much of a ring to it. (Shrug.) :)
But that's at least an accurate title.
As so many things do, it all started out innocently.
My Internet Service Provider used to have offices in a shopping center before they moved to their (comparatively) lush accommodations elsewhere. There was a drop box at that original location. The monthly bill was due, and thus, there but for the Grace of the Net I went.
It was about 9:30 p.m. when I left. From my relatively isolated apartments, it's about 10-15 minutes or so to downtown (Abilene has a population of about 110,000).
Right next to Camalott Communications' old location is a $1.50 movie theater. At the time, the place was featuring that masterwork of modern film, Mortal Kombat. I drove by the theater on the way into the center proper and pulled into an empty parking space.
Using the glow of the marquee to write out my check, I was startled to hear a knock on the driver's-side window of my car.
I looked over and saw two children staring at me from street. I need to describe them, with the one feature (you can guess what it was) that I didn't realize until about half-way through the conversation cleverly omitted.
Both appeared to be in that semi-mystical stage of life children get into where you can't exactly tell their age. Both were boys, and my initial impression is that they were somewhere between 10-14.
Boy No. 1 was the spokesman. Boy No. 2 didn't speak during the entire conversation -- at least not in words.
Boy No. 1 was slightly taller than his companion, wearing a pull-over, hooded shirt with a sort of gray checked pattern and jeans. I couldn't see his shoes. His skin was olive-colored and had curly, medium-length brown hair. He exuded an air of quiet confidence.
Boy No. 2 had pale skin with a trace of freckles. His primary characteristic seemed to be looking around nervously. He was dressed in a similar manner to his companion, but his pull-over was a light green color. His hair was a sort of pale orange.
They didn't appear to be related, at least directly.
"Oh, great," I thought. "They're gonna hit me up for money." And then the air changed.
I've explained this before, but for the benefit of any new lurkers out there, right before I experience something strange, there's a change in perception that comes about which I describe in the above manner. It's basically enough time to know it's too late. ;)
So, there I was, filling out a check in my car (which was still running) and in a sudden panic over the appearance of two little boys. I was confused, but an overwhelming sense of fear and unearthliness rushed in nonetheless.
The spokesman smiled, and the sight for some inexplicable reason chilled my blood. I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in. Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what it could possibly be.
I rolled down the window very, very slightly and asked "Yes?"
The spokesman smiled again, broader this time. His teeth were very, very white.
"Hey, mister, what's up? We have a problem," he said. His voice was that of a young man, but his diction, quiet calm and ... something I still couldn't put my finger on ... made my desire to flee even greater. "You see, my friend and I want to see the films, but we forgot our money," he continued. "We need to go to our house to get it. Want to help us out?"
Okay. Journalists are required to talk to lots of people, and that includes children. I've seen and spoken to lots of them. Here's how that usually goes:
"Uh ... M ... M ... Mister? Can I see that camera? I ... I won't break it or anything. I promise. My dad has a camera, and he lets me hold it sometimes, I guess, and I took a picture of my dog -- it wasn's very good, 'cause I got my finger in the way and ..."
Add in some feet shuffling and/or body swaying and you've got a typical kid talking to a stranger.
In short, they're usually apologetic. People generally teach children that when they talk to adults, they're usually bothering them for one reason or another and they should at least be polite.
This kid was in no way fitting the mold. His command of language was incredible and he showed no signs of fear. He spoke as if my help was a foregone conclusion. When he grinned, it was as if he was trying to say, "I know something ... and you're NOT gonna like it. But the only way you're going to find out what it is will be to do what I say ..."
"Uh, well ..." was the best reply I could offer.
Now here's where it starts to get strange.
The quiet companion looked at the spokesman with a mixture of confusion and guilt on his face. He seemed in some ways shocked, not with his friend's brusque manner but that I didn't just immediately open the door.
He eyed me nervously.
The spokesman seemed a bit perturbed, too. I still was registering something wrong with both.
"C'mon, mister," the spokesman said again, smooth as silk. Car salesmen could learn something from this kid. "Now, we just want to go to our house. And we're just two little boys."
That really scared me. Something in the tone and diction again sent off alarm bells. My mind was frantically trying to process what it was perceiving about the two figures that was "wrong."
"Eh. Um ...." was all I could manage. I felt myself digging my fingernails into the steering wheel.
"What movie were you going to see?" I asked finally.
"Mortal Kombat, of course," the spokesman said. The silent one nodded in affirmation, standing a few paces behind.
"Oh," I said. I stole a quick glance at the marquee and at the clock in my car. Mortal Kombat had been playing for an hour, the last showing of the evening.
The silent one looked increasingly nervous. I think he saw my glances and suspected that I might be detecting something was not above-board.
"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you know," the spokesman said soothingly. "Just let us in, and we'll be gone before you know it. We'll go to our mother's house."
We locked eyes.
To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock (which was engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it away, probably a bit too violently. But it did force me to look away from the children.
I turned back. "Er ... Um ...," I offered weakly and then my mind snapped into sharp focus.
For the first time, I noticed their eyes.
They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs reflecting the red and white light of the marquee.
At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a look of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate: A) The impossible had just happened and B) "We've been found out!"
The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes glittered brightly in the half-light.
"Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We don't have a gun ..."
That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that point by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun."
He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The spokesman's final words contained an anger that was complete and whole, and yet contained in some respects a tone of panic:
"WE CAN'T COME IN UNLESS YOU TELL US IT'S OKAY. LET ... US .... IN!"
I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up behind me) and tore out of the parking lot. I noticed the boys in my peripheral vision, and I stole a quick glance back.
They were gone. The sidewalk by the theater was deserted.
I drove home in a heightened state of panic. Had anyone attempted to stop me, I would have run on through and faced the consequences later.
I bolted into my house, scanning all around -- including the sky.
What did I see? Maybe nothing more than some kids looking for a ride.
And some really funky contacts. Yeah, right.
A friend suggested they were vampires, what with the old "let us in" bit and my compelled response to open the door. That and the "we'll go see our mother" thing.
I'm still not sure what they were, but here's an epilogue I find chilling:
I talk about Chad a lot. He's still my best friend, my best ghost-hunting companion and an all-around cool guy. He recently moved to Amarillo, but at the time this happened was still living in San Angelo of Ram Page fame.
I called him and talked to him briefly. He had two female friends with him at the time, both professing some type of psychic ability.
I started telling him the story, leaving out the part about the black eyes for the kicker. One of the women (we were on a speakerphone) stopped me.
"These children had black eyes, right?" she asked. "I mean, all-black eyes?"
"Er ... Yes." I said. I was a bit taken aback.
"Hmmm," she said. "One night last week, I had a dream about children with black eyes. They were outside my house, wanting to be let in, but there was something wrong with them. It took me a while to realize it was the eyes."
I hadn't even gotten as far as them wanting to come in.
"What did you do?" I asked.
"I kept the doors and windows locked," she said. "I knew if they came in, they would kill me."
"And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."
So, from this extra-long post, we have three unanswered questions:
A) What did I see?
B) What would have happened if I opened my car door?
C) Why does Chad always get the cool psychic chicks? ;)
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Early this month, MySpace again deleted the Atheist and Agnostic Group (35,000 members). This deletion, due largely to complaints from people who find atheism offensive, marks the second time MySpace has cancelled the group since November 2007.
What’s unique in this case is that the Atheist and Agnostic Group was the largest collection of organized atheists in the world. The group had its own Wikipedia entry, and in April won the Excellence in Humanist Communication Award (2007) from the Humanist Chaplaincy at
“MySpace refuses to undelete the group, although it never violated any terms of service,” said Bryan Pesta, Ph.D., the group’s moderator. “When the largest Christian group was hacked, MySpace’s Founder, Tom Anderson, personally restored the group, and promised to protect it from future deletions.”
“It is an outrage if Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the world’s largest social networking site tolerate discrimination against atheists and agnostics-- and if this situation goes unresolved I’ll have little choice but to believe they do,” said Greg Epstein, humanist chaplain of
“My personal profile was deleted as well, and despite weeks of emails to customer service, plus a petition signed by 500 group members, MySpace won’t budge. I think these actions send a clear message to the 30 million godless people in