It’s true, today really is the beginning of the end until August. It marks the end of pretty much non-stop entertainment of sports and TV. The year starts in August for me. August means that summer will finally be ending soon, and we celebrate that event with the start of pre-season football. Followed by regular season football in September. This also marks the beginning of a new season of our favorite TV shows. Then October comes around we are rewarded with first, the next season of The Walking Dead, followed by Halloween, the best of the holidays. Then right around the corner is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve and, we get to enjoy all of these with glories football three times a week!
But, it doesn’t end there. Now begins the NFL playoffs and awards season. The Super Bowl, the Emmy’s, Globes, Oscars and the mid-season premier of The Walking Dead. It all starts to wind down in March though and sadly comes to a screeching and devastating stop with the season of Finally of The Walking Dead. A time when many of us will agonize over the loss of our dear friends on The Walking Dead. Though these friends only ever existed in our hearts and imaginations, our love for them is real and the loss we feel still hurts us anyways. Today truly is the beginning of the end until next August.
Sadly, even August isn’t as great as it once was. For many of us we had Shark Week to look forward to the first week of August. Of course Discovery Channel has slowly been fucking that up for the past several years. Last year after promising a better Shark Week they aired it an entire month early for no fucking reason and it was mediocre at best. They still had fake shark experts doing doing stupid “experiments” all while putting spins on some events that were nothing more than mere coincidence masking as scientific conclusion. And, this year the idiot executives are moving Shark Week up yet another month! And, their teaser commercial for it is a fucking joke because they’ve thrown a fucking mermaid in it. I don’t know what the hell that was all about? Was it supposed to be a joke? They executed that punchline poorly if it was because it only succeeded in pissing off the fans off. We keep telling them what we want, they keep telling us they are listening, and the keep lying to our faces. Fuck it, I’m done with the Shark Week. They want my respect they’re gonna have to earn it.
On the bright side, now that we’re entering the dead zone of holidays, awards shows and anything even remotely interesting on TV it gives us a chance to go outside and be healthy. I hope this year that I honestly do take advantage this time, I know my health isn’t the best, two decades of sitting in front of PC hasn’t done me any favors health-wise. So maybe tomorrow I will get out of the house and do something? Maybe this long seasonal dead zone I won’t rely on the world to provide my entertainment? Maybe this year I will get healthy and go have some real adventures? Meh, who am I kidding, I’ll just sit here and bitch about until next August.
Oh and don’t five me any of your baseball crap. I can some of you now. “What about baseball? It’s starts today.” Baseball, sucks. I was done watching a bunch of over paid wimps that won’t even cowboy up enough to play in the rain. Now I will admit that for some odd reason I used to enjoy going to baseball games. But, that was back in time when I could go and not have to worry about some loudmouth, drunk, dumbass getting in my face because I’m not wearing the jersey of the team he likes. The last thing I need is to end up in jail for beating the crap out of some drunk fool that thought he was a tough guy. So yes, baseball, like Shark Week can go fuck itself.
Being an atheist I used to allow myself to get sucked into religious debates all the time. In my defense it’s really hard not to when you repeatedly hear the stupidest things fly out of the mouths of the religious. They seem completely oblivious to the ridiculousness of their comments and then have the audacity to become offended, the moment you come out and question them about it. It’s absolute bullshitery at it’s finest! However, I have learned through experience that arguing, debating or responding is completely futile.
To better understand why I do not debate and avoid confrontation with the religious it’s because I understand that they are mostly likely mentally ill. First, I see some of them as schizophrenic. I truly do and I mean it with no disrespect. I don’t take mental illness as a joke and I believe the medical industry really needs to apply what it preaches to the religious community and stop making excuses for them. Just take a look at how schizophrenia is defined.
“Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others.” continued… “It is possible to live well with schizophrenia.” This comes from the National Institute of Mental Health’s website.
Just let that sink in for a minute. Then, when you read the symptoms from the illness as I’ve copied from the same page of the same site, it all begins to make sense.
Below I will provide a link to this page for further study, should you choose.
One of the things you should never do unless you are a trained medical professional is confront their delusions. It can lead to violence. Want further proof of that. Turn on the news.
You also have to understand being religious is in definition very similar to that of BWS (battered Woman Syndrome). You just have to look at the symptoms and again, it all becomes very clear how religion can have a very negative and serious effect on it’s followers.
The abused thinks that the violence was his or her fault. The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere. The abused fears for her/his life, and/or, the lives of loved ones whom the abuser might or has threatened to harm (e.g., children-in-common, close relatives or friends). The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.
Seriously take a look the above symptoms and break them down. The abused thinks the violence was their fault. How many times have we heard religious people blame themselves or others for their god’s wrath? Fear for their lives and the lives of others. How many times have pleaded for their own salvation and do so because they believe harm will come to them if they do not. And, the last symptom, needs no explanation.
When you start to realize that the belief in the gods began with man’s lack of understanding of the natural order of things and then later became used as a form of crowd control, it all starts to make sense. However, now it has morphed into a legitimate mental illness for many. Sure there are still those using it for crowd control and fund raising but has become much more than that now. It goes beyond the corrupt leading the weak of mind. For many, these delusions are real. So real, that they have no problem with killing themselves or others to protect those beliefs.
Want some examples? How many times have we seen Christians bomb abortion clinics or shoot them up. Last year a gunman in Colorado shot and killed several people at a Planned Parenthood facility because his religion taught him that abortion was murder contrary to all facts and logic on the subject. But, when some uninformed political leaders continue to deny science and logic, when religious leaders obviously do them same it becomes easier to understand how these beliefs are formed. No matter how much you want to believe in something, it doesn’t make it true.
More examples, ISIS, AL-quieda, the Taliban to name a few. All get their ideals from religious beliefs. To say otherwise is an outright lie. It’s one thing to question the belief of the leaders of these religious extremists. However, to question the beliefs of their followers carrying out their will, is simply wrong. It’s the very strong belief in their religion that allows them to carry out these horrific acts of terrorism. They are not doing it because they believe in a political agenda, they do it because they have become convinced that this is what their god wants that’s exactly what religious extremism is.
So when it comes to debating religious people, it really is a terrible waste of time. Your arguments almost never work because they are always based in fact. Religion is faith based. How can you argue things like logic and science to someone who believes that there is an invisible man that knows and controls all? You can’t.
The only thing you can do, is speak your mind when asked. Explain why you believe in science and facts. That’s it. Leading by example is the absolute best thing you can do. Be a good person. Stay true to your scientifically held values and stop confronting the mentally ill. All you’re doing is fueling their fire.
One last example I can provide has to do with a friend of mine. We got into this debate on Facebook a couple of years ago. She posted some ridiculous religious things and I had to respond to it. Well, no, I didn’t have to respond to it. I felt compelled to.
She had posted some religious persons quote. I pointed out how the Bible goes against that person’s statement. It didn’t matter to her. It didn’t matter to her because she doesn’t care about the Bible. She believes like I do, that the Bible was a book written by man. It has some good quotes in it and it has some bad quotes in it. Her belief in a god has nothing to do with that book. She simply just likes to believe that there is something out there bigger than her that actually gives a shit about her existence.
I have found a lot of religious people have this view of the Bible. It made me realize how futile it is to quote the Bible back at a religious person in most cases. Sure, sometimes it can have an effect them. But, religious people aren’t all the same. As atheists, we need to stop treating them as though they are. They all have their own reasons for believing in what they do. A blanketed argument attacking them for their beliefs isn’t going to work.
However, if you are going to debate a religious person your only chance at getting them to listen, is by trying to understand, where they are coming from. Is this person devout, the Bible says it, therefore it’s true, then pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible might help in this case. But, if you go off quoting the Bible and this person is like my friend, your arguments will fall on deaf ears and all you are going to succeed at is pissing them off. The best way to debate is to listen first.
You must realize that someone who believes in something based on faith is never going to be persuaded by science and fact alone. It’s like that old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. In other words, you can lead them to science but you can’t make them think. You can give them the tools to think. There are plenty of atheists out there that used to believe in a god. Ask them what made them change their mind. Chances are it wasn’t because someone on Facebook or Twitter was trying to make them look stupid for their faith.
I know in my case, I had just always thought that there must be a god. My parents weren’t really religious, none of my friends were. Yet, I still believed. I just never put much thought in it. Never really saw the harm in it one or another. That was until I really started to think about it. The more I thought about it, the more I learned the history of religions, the more my eyes started to open. The more I saw the hypocrisy and ignorance in it all. The more I saw the people being taken advantage of. It was these thing that made me come to my senses. Now, I look back and I can’t believe I was ever so silly to believe in that nonsense for even a second.
What I can say, is that I didn’t become an atheist because someone started to belittle my faith. I did so because there were those I respected and listened to, Carl Sagan for example. The more I began to understand the science of the world around me, the less need I had for gods and devils.I realized that most of the times the arguments I was making were only pissing off and belittling the very people whose minds I was trying to change. Before you engage, ask yourself, are you really trying to convince them of something or are just preaching to the choir. I see a lot of friends on Twitter that are atheists getting into battles with religious people and a lot of times their arguments are failing terribly because they aren’t confronting the specific person in the debate. Instead they are attacking them on broad generalizations that may not apply at all to that religious person. Once the debate goes down the road, you’ve already lost.
And, that’s why I stopped debating them.
Below are some links to some of the facts quoted in this rant.
So I finally took the time to watch John Oliver’s brilliant take down of Donald Trump or rather, Donald Drumpf. Every single minute of this video is a pure delight. An amazing blend of truth and comedy wrapped up in one delicious commentary of epic proportions. But, don’t take my word for it. Watch it for yourself and see why we need to Make Donald Drumpf Again!
For me, I feel betrayed by Donald Trump and I will tell you why. I loved Celebrity Apprentice. I was never a huge fan of Trump however I respected that the show made a lot of money for charity and I found it fascinating to see some of these celebrities try and think for themselves. Sometimes they were brilliant and other times they were terribly self-absorbed. And, though Trump seemed to make the worst decisions in the “board room” when it came time to fire a person, I accepted it. It’s a “reality” show, someone has to go and I’m sure the decision has a lot to do with ratings so I accepted it.
When Trump said stupid things in public, I let it go. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, Trump always seemed like a real douchebag to me when he spoke, but I let it go. He was giving a lot to charity and I will admit it, I found him on some strange level to be entertaining. My support for him ran out a few hours after he announced his intention to run for President. I was stunned at his comments on Mexico. Yet, once again, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, he didn’t really mean that? He misspoke? He had to of. I thought for sure that Trump would later correct himself later on the news. Well, he didn’t. In fact, he doubled down on the bigoted comments. That was the last straw for me.
He has gone on to say the most outrageous things and some of his idiot supporters remain in complete denial of his immaturity and total ignorance of world politics. Even worse, it appears that most of his idiot supporters actually agree with his racist, bigoted, homophobic, misogynistic, megalomaniacal statements, even when his statements, most often, are flat out lies. These people are absolutely pathetic but we can’t completely blame them for it either.
The media has done everything it can to make the Trump campaign larger than life. He’s being constantly thrown softball questions but worse than that when asked the hard questions, they let his unresponsive answers stand. No one is going hard after this guy. And, it’s tragic that the only people truly going after him for his lengthy list of bullshittery are the comedians. The media seems completely at ease with giving him one pass after another. They are treating him with a respect that he does not deserve and has in no way earned. I long for the day when they finally choose journalism over ratings. So in until they do, we have no choice but to Make Donald Drumpf Again!
Oh and don’t get me started on his fucknet kids, Trump Jr. and Eric…
I’ve ranted about this before and I am sure I will rant about this again but it’s worth repeating because just maybe I can convince a republican who is on the fence to make the leap. So let me start with a brief history of how I went from a Republican To An Independent. The home I grew up in consisted of my mother, father, my mother’s father, my dog and myself. My parents were never really political but my grandfather was. He was tried and true republican. I grew up in the ’80s and when it came to politics, three people influenced me greatly. My grandfather, Ronald Reagan and Alex P. Keaton.
I was born in 1969 and graduated from high school in 1987. I have changed in so many ways since then. But at my core, many of beliefs are still the same. I believe that discrimination of any kind is a bad thing. I believe that gays should have the same rights as anyone else. I believe that we should all be kind to each other. I believe in traditions but not at the expense of science or logic. Republicans in the 80’s represented those core beliefs, in my eyes, and that’s why when I turned 18, I registered for the draft and I proudly registered as a Republican.
Jumping way ahead to the year 2003. I started to realize that between republicans and democrats, over the years, it was the republican party that had been lying to me about the most critical of issues. The Iran–Contra affair, the “family values” being preached in the late 80’s and early ’90’s weren’t family values at all. They were a right wing Christian philosophy that preached hate and fear by suggesting that family values can only come from those consisting of Christian married families. No gays allowed in that plan.
In the 90’s when Bill Clinton ran for President, I didn’t vote him either time. Even though I seemed to agree with his philosophies, my party kept telling me he was a socialist, a communist and would throw our country into a great depression or worse. Of course, none of that was true. He wasn’t perfect by a long shot but he did more for this country than Reagan did and he certainly fixed the economy that Bush Sr. screwed up. Everything I had been told about Clinton by my party turned out to be a lie. Even as the economy grew, my party continued to tell me it wasn’t. They made excuse after excuse as to why all the numbers were a lie. History shows they weren’t. Clinton wasn’t a communist or a socialist. He didn’t collapse the economy. Yet, I continued to vote republican. I just couldn’t see the forest through the trees.
When Bush Jr. ran for president the first time, sadly and embarrassingly I voted for him. The sad part is that I knew he was an idiot! But, I told myself, it was that darn “liberal media” always making him look bad. When Former United States Secretary of State Colin Powell sat before the United Nations and told us all that Iraq had WMD’s, I believed him. When Bush told me that we had to invade Iraq because al-Qaeda was there, I believed him.
As it turns out, pretty much all that fear and hate Bush and Cheney were promoting was all a lie. There were no WMD’s, there were no terrorists in Iraq and to top it all off Bush Jr. let Osama go at least two times! Both time after the events of on 9/11. We had him, and Bush let him get away. My theory, Bush Jr. had no intention of ever catching him. Osama had become our villain, our Boogeyman. As long as Osama was out there Bush and the republican party could keep promoting all that fear and hate that kept so many voting republican. (As I said, that is a “theory”, that is not a fact. But, I truly believe it because actions speak louder than words and the actions of the Bush administration due nothing to suggest otherwise.)
Even today the republicans continue to spread the most outrageous lies. These people refuse to take any responsibility at all. They preach about unemployment levels and have yet to pass a single jobs bill. They preach about love for the troops and yet they almost never pass a bill that will help them and the few times they do, they pat themselves on the back completely ignoring all the times they screwed the vets. Some prime examples of republicans screwing vets, Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans With Children Act (2010). you can thank that America hating republican Mitch McConnell for that not passing. There was the Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act (2014). Senator Senator Bernie Sanders came up with this one but you can thank the Once again Mitch McConnell fucked the vets by attaching amendments against Iran to it. What did Iran have to do with the bill? Nothing. The republicans then decided the whole thing would cost too much. Then there was the Veterans Jobs Corps Act (2012). They killed that too. The list goes on and on. They say one thing and do the other time and time again.
Take a minute and think about the lies republicans have told. Obama is Muslim. Obama will kill the economy. Legitimate Rape, ISIS is working with Mexican drug cartels, Ebola-infected terrorists could come through Mexico, The attacks and lies about Planned Parenthood from the lie that the government is funding abortions to that fake video. Obama is soft on terrorism, and yet he his had more terrorists killed than Bush. Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. How pathetic was that? Hell Ted Cruz wasn’t born in the U.S. and now suddenly there’s no republican outrage? Well, Trump is outraged but he seems to be the only one. Take something as factual and scientifically provable as global warming and yet this party is in complete denial over it. The republican party is out of control, the crazies have taken over and the good ones are sadly and cowardly keeping quiet about it, just so that they can stay in office.
Hell, they even tried to blame Obama for ISIS. They immediately claimed that it was Obama who let the man who created ISIS go. However, what the republicans refused to say was that it was Bush Jr. that gave the order for Abu Bakr al Baghdadi to be released. It was of course FOX News that spread this misinformation. This is just one of many things that FOX News has lied about. And, they keep repeating it, and sadly the more it gets repeated the more people will believe it. Anyways, you can read about the claim on politifact.com.
Mitch McConnell even went as far as to say that the parties primary goal is to make Obama a one term president. This was at a time when this country was facing the greatest recession since the great depression. Unemployment was skyrocketing thanks to the republican policies of the Bush administration. The Housing market was collapsing, the American auto industry was near dead. We were in the middle of two costly wars. None of that mattered to the republican party. Their goal is not to help the American people, it is one of self-preservation first, the country last.
If you look back at the history of the republican party since the 80’s, and try to keep an open mind, you will see a pattern of preaching hate and fear to win elections, to pass bills and to keep the republican party in office. If you’re a republican, listen to those in office and don’t give them the benefit of the doubt just one time. Just once, as you listen to them speak, hold them accountable for what they say. Don’t make excuses for them. Just do it once. Look up what they say and I promise that you will discover that what they are saying is at best purposefully misleading and at worse a complete fiction. It’s been happening more and more the past decade because the republican party has learned that it can make any claim it desires without repercussions. It can do so because most republicans rely on FOX News for their information and FOX News has been proven to be biased in study after study. How do they do it? By convincing you that ever other source is a product the liberal media.
There are smart republicans out there. Some of them are good people. Some of those smart ones, are not good people. Those of you that are good, think for yourself. Don’t take my word for anything that I’ve said. Look it up for yourself. Look at government documents, look at other media sources that are not FOX News. It’s hard to stay informed, and I am not saying liberals don’t lie. What I am saying is that liberals didn’t start the war in Iraq and Iran. They are the ones that have fought to end them. They didn’t let Osama go, they hunted him down and killed him. A liberal president did that! Liberals didn’t create the recession, they ended it!
I am not liberal and I am not a democrat. I am an Independent. There is a lot of liberal bullshit out there, I am not going to lie and say there isn’t. However, if you take a deep breath and truly take a look at what the democrats have to offer versus the republicans you have got to admit that democrats are doing what’s right on every level. The economy, education, veteran affairs, human rights. I was a republican for most of my adult life and to be honest there’s this part of my that still sees democrats as this weak, uneducated group of hippies. I know that they are not. I have seen them fix our economy twice now. Once under Bill Clinton and now under Obama. I know that democrats are the party of humanitarianism and science.
That small part of me that has looked down on democrats was forced upon me by a propaganda machine that does not quit. It’s a strong machine and it can make you believe in things that simply are not true. You have to fight it. You have to look for the facts and learn to recognize the difference between opinions and facts. They are two very different things. You have got to look at both sides of an issue. Listen to them and then side with the argument that presents the most relevant facts.
So a couple of years ago on Facebook I came across this post from NBC LA about a shark attack in Hawaii. As a person that loves sharks, I dove right into the article. Seems that yet another idiot thought it would be a good idea to go swimming in the morning, in the ocean, when sharks like to eat. I have little to no sympathy for people that do stupid things that end up getting themselves hurt or killed. Sure, I don’t think people should die just because they did something stupid. But, Natural Selection is a real thing and the best way to survive it is to either be smart or strong. Anyways, this lady taking the early morning swim gets attacked by a shark and some guy claiming to be a pastor swam out and saved her.
I made the mistake of reading comments. I know, never read the comments. Well, I did and of course the first comment was some idiot calling it all a miracle. The stupid shit an idiots will call a miracle in today’s world is just pathetic. If I were ever to call something a miracle, it would have to be pretty damn impressive. There’s a long list of criteria that would it would have to pass in my book before I ever uttered such words in any serious context. The story of this attack didn’t come close to passing my criteria. The sad thing about that miracle is that it wasn’t a miracle.
For example, this surfer pastor guy was brave. What he did was hero worthy in my book. But, there was noting of the supernatural involved in what he did. He simply swam out there, grabbed her and swam back. Again, extremely brave but not superhuman. As I recall, there was something special about why the surfing pastor was there in the first place that added a bit fun to the whole thing but I don’t recall the specifics. I just remember that it was one of those “whoa!” kind of moments. Like he was supposed to be at a meeting or something but had skipped it and had he not skipped it, she would have died for sure. Something like that. Again, not a miracle, just a few serendipitous moments.
Well, I made the second mistake of commenting on how it’s not a miracle. And, of course all the religious people immediately start to attack me because I dared to question their delusions. Something I know better than to do. Never questions the delusions of schizophrenic people. It was one attack after another against be about that miracle. It got so bad that even the reporter came after me in the thread. I mean she flat out attacked me. I have to admit that I was a little hurt that she would go after me like that. She’s a reporter, I didn’t call anyone a name. I didn’t harass anyone. All I did was look at the event objectively and point out how every single event in that so called “miracle” was completely explainable. It didn’t matter, to them. Just one thread after another about that miracle.
Eventually the debate between the reporter and myself lead to a phone call. She explained that the family members of not only the lady that was attacked but also the surfing pastor and his family were also reading our debate. I didn’t know that. It wouldn’t have changed what I said. Well, maybe I would have been a little more sensitive with my responses, but I regret nothing. I didn’t lie about a damn thing and I certainly had done nothing to feel sorry for.
Some months later I saw an update to that story. It had turned out that the lady who had been attacked by the shark ended up dying from her wounds. I just shook my head when I read that. All those poor fools claiming it was a “miracle of God” and the reality of it was that a dumb lady went swimming in the ocean, in known to be shark infested waters and got attacked. Some very brave, surfing pastor attempted to save her and in doing so maybe gave her a few extra days of life to be lived in what I can only imaging was a lot of pain. Though, I must admit, still better than being completely consumed by a shark.
Those people who wanted to believe so much that it was all about that miracle. They will probably never know that the lady died. To them, the story ended when she was saved by that surfing pastor. For them, end of story, it was a miracle. The reality of what happened that day and in the days that followed mean nothing to them. For them it will just another story of how the good lord works in mysterious ways.
This saddens me on so many levels. It’s not ignorance, some may think it is but it’s not. It’s massive stupidity. Ignorance is simply not being aware of the facts. Stupidity, is choosing to ignore the facts because you just want to believe whatever it is that you want to believe. There’s no excuse for that all. These people are living in a fairytale world and they are holding the rest of back. These people end up voting for other crazy people that choose to ignore reality over their belief of an imaginary friend and it’s scary, it’s very, very scary.