Monday, December 22, 2014

You Got To Have Faith




 I have to tell my tale so often that I thought it was time to write it down.


 First, let me clear a few things up.


 An atheist is a Satan worshiper.  False.  That would imply that we believed in the Christian mythos, which we do not. Without the Christian side of the equation, Satan does not exist either. Make sense?


 All atheist’s are at war with Christians.  False.  This is a tale Christians perpetuate.  Why? Because without scary enemies like Satan or atheists, Christianity loses its grip on its membership.


 I will concede that there are many atheists that are jerks, idiots, etc…  But let’s face it, Christians have their share of lunatics as well.


 This country was founded on Christianity. False. This country was founded by many different people with freedom from government and organized religion on their minds.


 Governments and religions had ruined the world up to that point (and I submit still do), and that is why our founding documents specifically control the formation of an official country religion or government that is not controlled by the people.  Although I feel we are slowly losing our grip on this country due to an increasingly ignorant populace.


 Enough of this type of rant, I literally could go on for hundreds of pages.  Let’s get on with the topic at hand. What the heck happened to me?


 Historically speaking, my family came from a Quaker background.  During my childhood, however, we were essentially of the generic Christian variety.


 We went to church and Sunday school. Learned all about Jesus, God, the Bible, etc…


 Those of you who know me are aware that I don’t just sit by and follow the herd.  I tend to blaze my own trail, and seek knowledge everywhere I can. This has always been my way.


 During my school years, in addition to my own church I went to the usual overnight services where they lock you in, and people go to the front of the crowd to accept Jesus into their lives.


 I prayed, and did my best to accept Jesus, and all the trappings that went along with being a good Christian.


 No matter how hard I believed, or how much I tried to understand, the whole thing didn’t seem right.  Many things did not make sense.


 At around 18 years old I seriously was on the edge…


 Why was I not getting this? What was I missing about religion? Everyone else treated it like it was some unquestionable reality.  I truly thought I had psychological issues because I did not see what everyone else did.


 Talking to others got me nowhere. My friends and their families were just as lost on the topic as I was, they just didn’t seem to care.


 On hindsight it’s like being in a bad science fiction movie where everyone around you is in some trance, and you’re the only one who sees the reality.


 The next step was to go to our pastor. I figured since the flock was just as confused as I was, I would go right to the expert!


 After some long, deep conversations with the pastor it soon became apparent that even he did not know the answers.


 I recall his final answer vividly. “You just have to have faith.”


 To my analytical brain that was not a good answer for me.  It was at that moment when I began to realize there wasn’t anything wrong with me.


 For pretty much the rest of my life I have been searching for the meaning of why people follow religions.


 At first I went in search of a religion that made sense to me.  After all, humans have an underlying need to want to belong to something.

Unfortunately, all religions had one thing in common.  They were created by someone that had an agenda.  There really didn’t seem to be any mystical religion that had all of the answers, or even a few of the answers.


 For over thirty years I continue my studies on religion.  I have read many books on the subject, both pro’s and con’s of many different religions. I’ve gone to ceremonies, spoke with practitioners, and learned a lot.


 My Bachelor’s degree is From Wayland Baptist University, where studying religion is part of the curriculum. Here I learned in-depth about the Old and New Testaments.  Instead of drawing me into Christianity, it emboldened my view.


 There is a saying among atheists, that if you want to convert Christians to be atheists just make them read the entire Bible. There are some really bizarre and scary things in there.


 In this article I am not going to try and explain what I have discovered in my search that had made me forget about Christianity. Nobody can explain this to you if you are not willing to have an open mind and learn these things for yourself.


 Suffice it to say, that if you stop memorizing Bible verses, going to church services and study groups constantly, and strike out on a course to truly study Christianity outside of the church, you will begin to see what’s behind the curtain.


 It’s sort of like taking the red pill in the Matrix.

 For me the journey continues. I still read books on religions of the world, old and new, and watch shows about religious history. Perhaps one day something will click and I will accept Jesus into my life and see what all the fuss is about.  That day is just not today...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why So Syria?




The neighborhood of this world is filled with good and bad societies.

Clandestinely the good try to manipulate the world order through backroom deals, meetings, and other sneaky ways to get things accomplished.

On the other hand, the bad members of our global community tend to be somewhat more raw and blatant in their dealings.

Currently in Syria there is a civil war raging between the bad and the worse.  Which is which?  Only time will tell.

When the citizens of another country are involved in fighting for the right to rule it, the people outside of that country need to stay out of the mix.

The government in Syria has supposedly used chemical weapons on civilians.  Although I would agree this is horrendous and should not be tolerated, Syria has not joined into any treaty agreeing not to use these types of weapons.

Some folks in our government think that because chemical weapons have been used, we need to go in and teach them a lesson.

My question is…  Why?

Around this world atrocities are constantly being committed against the population.  We use sanctions, and other diplomatic techniques to try and get them to fall in line, but in the end it is up to that country to police themselves.

If a country with a stable government decided to just gas its folks, such as Germany and the Jewish people, this would make sense to move in and stop this.

Syria is a nightmare!  It’s evil fighting evil.  We need to just stay the heck out of the way until something finally clears.

The President wants to do some weird itty bitty strike of a hundred missiles.  To what end?

It’s like poking a hornet nest with a stick.  You might do a little damage, but you’re going to piss off the hornets that weren’t really bothering you in the first place.

Syria is not a threat to the national interest or security of the United States in their current situation.  They are more involved with killing one another.  Why poke the nest?

In fact, some have claimed that because this action by Syria does not pose an imminent threat to the United States the President had better get the approval of Congress or risk an impeachable offense.

President Obama has decided to go to Congress for their approval, yet claims he needs no such approval.  So why even consult them?

I think he has brought Congress into the mix to cover his ass.  If Congress votes “No” he can bow out a blame Congress for the decision.  If Congress votes “Yes” and all hell breaks loose because of the attack he has someone to blame for the decision.

Since the people and Congress sound like they don’t want this to be approved, the President is stuck with a conundrum.  His speech on Tuesday tried to cover all of the bases without really saying anything.

Thinking that once you lob a hundred missiles into a country they will apologize and behave themselves is a moronic viewpoint.  Once you attack another country you cannot rewind that action.

Now I’m not afraid of Syria, and I know the United States is powerful and can deal with any conflict.  But why even get involved in the first place?

John Kerry accidentally came up with a great solution for the United States to save face.  In a press conference in London Kerry answered a question asking if anything could be done to prevent a U.S. strike on Syria.  Mr. Kerry brought up that if Syria turned over their entire stockpile of chemical weapons it would mean the United States would not attack.

The State Department tried to backstroke and claimed this was not a serious proposal.   Luckily, Russian President Vladimir Putin jumped on the flippant comment and has agreed to back Syria in removing their chemical weapon stockpiles.

As stated before, a huge percentage of the citizens of the United States do not want the country to get involved in the Syrian civil war, and the President now has a graceful way to back out of the corner that he has painted himself into.

The win for the world is that if we can get Syria onboard with destroying its chemical weapons and enter into the treaty with other nations to ban the future use of such weapons, this is a great step forward.

I will give credit to President Obama because it was his determination to attack Syria that accidentally caused this outcome.  Also, to John Kerry for accidentally coming up with an ideal diplomatic solution.

Although they get credit for their accidental resolution to this situation, they are still on notice for getting us into this predicament to begin with.

Running one of the most powerful countries in the world is not an easy task.  Most of us would choke at the pressure.  Let’s just hope this will remain a peaceful ending to this current crisis.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Neutral Good Human Druid




According to What D&D Character Am I

I Am A: Neutral Good Human Druid (7th Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-12
Dexterity-16
Constitution-12
Intelligence-14
Wisdom-16
Charisma-16


Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.



Class:
Druids gain power not by ruling nature but by being at one with it. They hate the unnatural, including aberrations or undead, and destroy them where possible. Druids receive divine spells from nature, not the gods, and can gain an array of powers as they gain experience, including the ability to take the shapes of animals. The weapons and armor of a druid are restricted by their traditional oaths, not simply training. A druid's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast.



Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)


Friday, March 15, 2013

Bad Egg




 As Easter comes closer I find myself thinking about different people, and how they look at life.

 The human race is made up of a dynamically, undulating, diverse set of variables.  From the physical, to the emotional, we’re like snowflakes, in the sense that none of us are exactly the same.

 Oh sure, we sometimes find some people who are similar to us, and maybe hang out with them, even call them friends, or acquaintances, but there is always a few traits that just don’t match.

 Some differences can be tolerated, and accepted, while others tend to be deal breakers and we don’t fancy ourselves compatible.

 Occasionally, it’s freaky how close we can be to another person.  Close, but still not exact.

 I’m almost certain that most of you reading this belong to a group of some kind.  Perhaps a gang, religious organization, or something else that you find interesting such as a sporting group, or even part of a team for an actual sport.

 Whatever your association is, within that subgroup you still have a large variety of folks.

 Inevitably the group you are in will have conflict within the ranks.  This is what caused churches to split up time and again over the years.  Have you ever stopped to wonder how there became so many different “flavors” of Christians?  Internal turmoil in the group.

 What makes an individual cause strife?  I can’t believe that these people actually face each day trying to be a jerk and cause hate.  It’s so foreign to me when I see this type of person in line someplace just being as rude and belligerent as they can be.

 There are a very large group of people who think that they live their lives better than others because of the groups they belong to.  Collectively they rain down their views on others like they alone reside on Mt. Olympus, and the rest of us are but amusing insects that don’t see life as they do.

 Then you see one of these people acting like a weiner towards someone else.  Or a group of them will whip up a hate frenzy about another group.  It scares me that they do not see how horrible they are being.

 Far from perfect myself, I still try to live each day as a good person.  I view, and treat everyone else, as another person, not as something I should be angry with and hate.  As neutral as I think I am, occasionally I run across someone who dislikes me (not to sound arrogant, but this is very rare).

 My first thought is to find out why and attempt to mend the rift between us.  Frequently I am very successful in this approach, much to my joy.  Typically it’s a misunderstanding, where good communication was all that was required to repair the damage before it got out of control.

 Then there comes a person who, no matter the attempt, settles into just being evil.

 No amount of kindness and understanding seems to penetrate their wicked shielding.  Worse yet, this person is one of the “holier than thou” people who jumps at the chance to be openly, and blatantly, offended when someone swears near them.

 Take a look at yourself in a mirror.  What do you see?

 Do you fit into the basket of eggs that we call the human race, or are you the one disgusting egg that is among the others, starting to smell and become rotten?

 If you find yourself breaking down inside. If you’re angry about the simplest of things, perhaps it’s time for a change.  Find a friend to give you an honest assessment of how you treat others, or even find a good therapist.

 Chances are if you know that you’re a nasty person, everyone else already sees you as the bad egg.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Out of Control



When I follow topics such as the latest gun control issue, it makes me once again whip out my words and thrust them out to the Internet.

Whether you agree, or disagree with me is not relevant.  What is important to me is that I attempt to explain my position to pass down to my family and friends.

You see, we don’t have to all think the same way.  Being able to exercise our minds is what helps us to grow individually.  Those of you who know me already are aware of my thirst for learning as much as I can.  I enjoy a good discussion regardless of which side I fall on.

I almost began this topic stating what I feel to be obvious, but I’ve decided to start off a bit more basic because a lot of the arguments I hear against the ownership of guns seems to be flawed.

We must first travel back in time to when this country was formed.  This is when the Bill of Rights was created.

Throughout history, and even now in modern times, many governments controlled their people with power and force.  Essentially, he who has the power, makes the rules.

This country began because the government had too much power and forced too many rules and taxes on its colonies.  Anyone that spoke out against such things became an enemy and was quickly jailed or killed to stop anymore foolishness of going against the ruling body.

Is everyone in agreement with me so far?  If not, you need to do some reading on our country’s history.

After just kicking the butt of a government that had complete rule and control over them, when the founding fathers drafted our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, they were determined to not give our new government that kind of power over the people again.

This is the whole reason we see things such as “We the people”, and “by the people, for the people”.

How could the founding fathers ensure that the government would not dictate to the people ever again?  They created a series of checks and balances within the government, and gave the people the right to remain armed so that the government could not become controlling over the people any longer.

They knew that if you disarmed the population, they were at the mercy of the government.

In those days people weren’t so much afraid of their neighbor, nor was it about hunting.  Self defense and hunting was a way of life for them already.  It was understood that these folks would have guns to hunt and defend their property.

Why then put the right into the Bill of Rights?  Because it was designed to allow the population to defend itself against a tyrannical government.

Let’s look at the second amendment.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

During these times most men were considered part of the militia.  In other words, those that could were expected to take up arms against any threat against their state.

It also says that this is necessary to maintain the security of a FREE state.  The right is not so that people can hunt, or defend themselves against their neighbor.  This is talking specifically about maintaining our freedom!

Many of us accept that we cannot, and probably should not, have missiles, tanks, and that sort of thing, but we should certainly have enough proper firepower to make a good defense against soldiers trying to conquer us!

If the President decides he wants to grab even more power and suddenly become a dictator, we need the ability to make that as difficult as possible.

Stop rolling your eyes and thinking that this could never happen here.  If you allow the government to take away any ability for us to prevent this from happening how would we ever be able to stop this scenario?

It has happened throughout history.

THIS IS the sole reason for the establishment of the second amendment.  It should be the end of the discussion, but alas, it is not.

Now we’re wallowing around arguing about what type of weapons people should be allowed to carry.  So let’s look at this.  If you do not agree with the above, you might as well just stop reading now, because you won’t even be close to this second part of the article.

The point I have made previously, is that we need the right to own sufficient weapons to provide a good defense of our freedom.

Due to the population growth, protecting our freedom has also focused on our ability to defend our individual freedom from the undesirables among us.  We no longer have miles between neighbors, but we live in cities where literally thousands of thugs and hoodlums can easily attack us.

Luckily, because of the second amendment, and our legal ability to defend ourselves from the government, this also allows us the ability to defend ourselves against the criminal element.

Notice this entire article is about defense, and not hunting or target practice.

The argument that we do not need a certain type of gun for hunting is an uneducated asinine viewpoint.  It’s never been about hunting.

If we proceed along the thought process that our second amendment allows us the freedom to own a weapon for our defense, a reasonable assumption would be that we require a weapon that can provide us the best defense possible.

We all enjoyed watching Barney Fife, and his single bullet.  Why was this funny?  Because anyone knows that a gun with a single bullet would be idiotic.

In order to properly defend yourself you need the ability to fire multiple bullets.  How many?  It obviously depends on the situation.  Most of us would like the ability to be able to fire as many as practical in any given situation.

The situation dictates how much ammunition is practical.

When you’re carrying a concealed weapon, for example, you do not necessarily need to look like a crazy man with two bandoliers draped across your chest full of ammunition.  You carry a magazine in your gun and possibly one or two extra depending on your thought process and situation.

If you’re at home, you might possibly want a larger weapon that is capable of carrying a large magazine in case your defense is against numerous armed men trying to kill your family.

In this last scenario you absolutely want as much ammo as you can load at one time.

Why are people trying to limit this number?  Do they honestly believe a criminal will play within any rules they come up with and only have small magazines in their guns?  Even if they do, if there are numerous assailants with small magazines, I’d like to have a bigger one thank you.

In this case, size absolutely matters.

Everything up to this point is why weapons are allowed, and why we require them.

Everything else is irrelevant.

If people take what is legal to own, a car for example, and use it for evil deeds, the proper reaction should not be to outlaw the car, but to punish the person who used it illegally.

Now call me simple, but this seems like an extremely easy concept to grasp.

Just because bad people use a gun in the process of committing their crime, does not mean that we suddenly need to disarm law-abiding citizens any more then we should take everyone’s car away because people drive drunk.

If you can’t see the simplicity in the logic I have spelled it out for you, I’d love to hear your opinion.  If you’re thought process is to take away guns, you might as well not even waste your time responding.  This would mean you do not agree with our Constitution and should tread very carefully in this country.


Speaking of which, you'll notice the end of the second amendment says this right "shall not be infringed". This means by the constitution we shall not have to have this right removed from us.

So back off, because last time I checked EVERY military member, police office and government official has sworn an oath to protect this right! This includes the President of the United States. Actively trying to infringe upon this right is actively going against the Constitution.

It is not the Presidents place to attack the Constitution, but to defend it. As usual, he has his priorities, and the understanding of his position, all wrong.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

President For Dummies




Obamanomics - Really?

Some people wonder what is so bad about the folks currently running our country.

Let me give you my two cents on the subject.

This little game of creating a bill that only the House will pass, or only the Senate will pass, is childish.  Our government officials act like they are two years old most of the time.

I have said this before, and I'll say it again.  Create bills that are small and do not have a bunch of extra special interest crap in them.  One bill, one problem to solve.  Get things done and stop trying to make a political statement.

Obamacare is crap legislation, but it does have some good parts to it, and we all agree that things must be done to help improve our healthcare system.

Trash Obamacare, then work on improving the healthcare system a piece at a time, with individual legislation that is void of special interest crap.  (Do you see a pattern here?)

My next point.  Stop spending money!

We give billions of dollars to other countries constantly.  Stop it!

Tell these other free-loaders they're going to have to survive without our money until we get our own house back in order.  I suggest they do the same.

Then, only when we have got our act together, and have paid down our debt, and are moving things in the right direction, can other countries reapply to see if we can help them.

They had better have a great reason to ask though, because it's about time they started fending for themselves!

The current administrations plan is to tax the holy bat crap out of people, then give the money to other people.  This is a broken thought process.  As Mr. Spock would say, That's illogical.

For example I present to you the situation where unions demand higher wages and more freebies from a company for their members. They do this relentlessly and constantly.

Sure their members love all of the cool benefits and higher pay, until the whole thing comes crashing down because they have driven the company out of business.

Nice strategy.  It's like a parasite that eventually kills the host.

Employees need to have a more symbiotic relationship with their employers, not a parasitic one.

People need to except the fact that their employers NEED TO MAKE MONEY.  This is how our economy thrives, and how they actually got hired in the first place.

Those of you who are too stupid to understand this raise your hand and I'll get a little more detailed for you.

Then the same people complain that companies are moving out of the country, or stashing their funds in offshore accounts.

We have a shortage of companies growing and thriving in this country.  It's not because they are run by evil rich people you idiots.  These companies are run by business folks who become successful by...wait for it...making money!

If you tax the crap out of them, screw them to the wall for benefits and pay, then tax them again, why the hell should they be in business in the first place?

Have many American people (Yes I'm talking to those who support Obama) become so blind that they actually believe that the policy to spend more money then we have, then try to tax every last ounce of income from the people who have made this country great, is a winning policy?

Obama's administration has spent more money then they have taken in.  This does not mean that they need to take in more.  There is no more folks.  We're on the ropes!  The only answer is to stop spending money.

All of the people getting food stamps, free health care, free education, free government loans to research the mating habits of the South-American Swamp Rat, need to be cut off.

The way our country is designed there are those that have worked hard and have money to show for it, and those that are free-loaders and just whine because they are not getting even more free stuff from the government.

You are not entitled to have the government take care of everything for you.  Work hard, or live like someone who doesn't.

We should go to a flat-tax system where everyone pays a percentage of their income.  No loopholes, no sneaky back room deals to get out of it.  Everyone pays "their fair share".

All of the leeches will cry, but this is THE ONLY FAIR WAY TO TAX PEOPLE.  Poor folks will pay very little, and rich folks will pay in a ton of money.

People ask why I don't want another four years of Obama.  It's because his plan is to tax people more, then distribute the money to who he wants to help.  I have news for you, it's not the American people.

Is Mitt Romney any better?

Every four years it's a crap shoot.  When Barak Obama was elected I hoped he would do what he promised, and yet he let down the country.  Many people who were behind him, and helped him get elected, have realized what a mistake it was.

Someone should have given him a "President For Dummies" book.

I don't know if Mitt Romney will do what is needed to turn this country around, but he is a businessman, and understands finances and dealing with money issues much better then Barak Obama ever has.

If President Obama was hired to run a company, he would have been fired for how he has run this country.  I'm willing to let someone else give it a try.  I hope it can't be any worse.