Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bedtime Prayers for Kids

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I awake
I pray to the Lord my soul to take

Oh, yeah......start 'em out young. Get that fear to course through their little minds. Don't let them come to their own conclusions based on critical thought, beat them down with the fear of death. Is that any way to run a religion? I remember saying that prayer and at times wondering why would god let me die while I was asleep. This was back before cable TV, so it's not like I could put on a pot of coffee and enjoy a Nick at Night marathon of "Happy Days", while trying to avoid some sort of sleeping death that apparently "the Lord" didn't care to control. That's some sad and sadistic stuff right there. "If I should die before I awake"? wonder it's hard to get kids to go to bed. I'm shocked there isn't a syndicate of crystal meth 7 year old kids, whose only goal is to not fall asleep.

Four posts around my bed,
Four angels around my head,
One to watch and one to pray
And two to keep the Devil away.

Second verse....scarier than the first!? Wow, now this may be even worse than the first part of the prayer where you have to ask god not to let you die, or since he is the all being master of time, space, and dimension, not to kill you. Myself, I find it a little bit creepy to think of angels or anything else watching me as I sleep. That's some Max Cady shit, right there. And two angels to keep the devil away? Now, a kid not only has to worry about dying, he/she has to worry about the devil showing up and milling around in their bedroom? What could possibly interest the devil? Maybe the Justin Beiber posters draw the Lord of the Underworld in to a child's room, I don't know.

For the religious, prayer can be a powerful tool to ease the mind and take the burden off of a tough situation. It seems natural, if you believe in a god, to lay your life and troubles at the feet of that god who is listening and cares. But how about taking the kids in the direction of love and forgiveness instead of playing on their fears? It's hard to be a kid, remember? Scared of darkness. Scared of things that are not easily understood. Trying to make sense of things that go wrong. Uncertainty in new situations. Why send them to bed with one more fear? If you are gonna brainwash...........ummmm......teach your kids about god, why in the world would you want that to come from a place of fear and uncertainty, when you can get to the same place with love, kindness, sympathy, forgiveness, and understanding? You may know the almighty as full of vengeance and furious anger, as well as his having the ability to smite (had to throw that one in that word.....smite), but that's not for a child. Is it?

Aren't you glad you have me to read, so you can know how to raise your kids? You don't have to thank me. Heroes just do what feels right. So, here is a prayer that I made up......was inspired to pass on.

God, please help me to be kind and forgiving. I give thanks for all that I have, especially for the people who I love and that love me. And especially, o 'Lord take time to smite (got it in there again!) the fucktards in Washington DC who have crippled our economy at the expense of the poor and middle class. Please bless the holy trilogy; the Internet, Google, and And don't forget to increase the price of stocks for Apple, McDonald's, Wells Fargo, and Nike. Oh, and kill the Muslims, blasphemers that they are. 

Oh, they're halfway there
Oh, living on a prayer
Take my hand
We'll make it I swear
Oh, living on a prayer

Bon Jovi

Thursday, July 28, 2011

'Murika: Chain Email

Anyone who has ever created an email account has gotten one of those political chain emails. You know the kind, right? One that has a big eagle flying in front of an American flag and tells you all about how we should be mad as hell and take our country back. Well, I got one the other day (I usually average someone sending me this type of thing a couple of times a month), from a co-worker. I thought I'd share it with you and then maybe take a little bit closer look at it.

Borders : Closed...

Language : English only .. .

Culture : Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!!!

Drug Free : Make a drug screen mandatory for congress and
For anyone on welfare and/or food stamps!

NO freebies to Non-Citizens !
Support Our Military!

Put God back in schools!

This one also came with a bunch of anti Barack Obama propaganda, but I didn't bother to post it. It's the same stuff that circulated about Bush, and Clinton before him. Nothing new.

So, I want to take a closer look at this, point by point;

Borders : Closed...
So we want to seal up the borders. I think it's no secret that our borders can cause a lot of problems when they can be so easily breached. That's a real issue, but it's much bigger than just saying "close the borders". From the tone of the rest of the email, I'm going to take a guess that closing the borders means keeping anyone from coming in to our country who is Mexican. I'm sure you wouldn't mind paying a few bucks for an apple or an orange, right? Yeah, shut the border down. How dare those Mexicans come over here, work for very little, doing jobs that most Americans will not take. And just like in Georgia, we can run them all off and just let the fruits and vegetables rot on the ground. Not everyone who crosses the border is a criminal. If you believe that, then you should stop reading right now, because you sure the hell won't like what I have next for you, Mr. Limbaugh. If you are not a native American Indian, you need to pack it up and go back the hell where your mutt ass came from. Because the last time I checked, our ancestors encroached upon (you can't discover something that already has people living on it) a native people and screwed the hell out of them for their land and in many cases, simply killed those native people. We brought disease, rats, and other segments of hell with us and dicked up a good thing that the native American Indians had going. Oh, and if you are black, forget all that I just said. Your ancestors were brought here to work the land and do the dirty work for the Europeans who decided there was a great deal of wealth to be had if one didn't mind taking over the land and enslaving human beings to take care of that land.

Language : English only .. .
 English only, huh? Well, whatever happened to expanding your horizons? Did the native American Indians speak English? Didn't think so. Now, you don't have to speak any language except English and you don't have to understand it either. But to alienate an entire segment of our population (ie, Mexican immigrants) simply because they don't speak English (and by the way we don't do such a great job of it ourselves) is foolish and hard headed. I do believe it would make it much easier for Mexicans to get along here if they did speak English, but what the hell is it to you?

Culture : Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!!!
Alright!!! I'm all for following the constitution and the bill of rights. So, where does that leave people who immigrate into this country legally? If we close the borders off, are we not slapping the hell out of what this nation was founded upon? And if you say you are for the rights of Americans in regards to the constitution, the bill of rights, and in civil matters, then you really can't be against gay marriage, abortion, and a myriad of other social issues. You are not allowed to cherry pick and shape what you like about our liberty to suit your life and beliefs. This country was founded on freedom. Not just freedom for white people. Not just freedom for straight people. Not just freedom for Christians. All of us should be free to pursue happiness and the famous "American Dream" and not have obstacles put in our way just because some people don't like what someone who is different says happiness is for them. If you believe in the laws and conditions that the founders of our nation enacted, then you need to read up on what they said. And with that, regardless of how you feel about an issue, you should direct yourself to the bill of rights and constitution, as well as consider the civil rights of others, when you think about whether something should be allowed or not. If one person is not free.....none of us are.

Drug Free : Make a drug screen mandatory for congress and
For anyone on welfare and/or food stamps!

 Sounds great doesn't it? Hell yeah!!! I don't want my tax money going to someone who is doped up all the time!!! really does sound good. Until you stop and think about it. Is it worth taking food, clothing, and maybe even shelter away from children because a welfare mom or dad puffs pot? If they are doing crystal meth and not taking care of their children, that's one thing (and probably need to have their children taken away), but a lot of people use alcohol and cigarettes to their detriment and to the detriment of our tax dollars. What's different about that? Why is that OK? If you don't like the poor drawing welfare, go look at how they are living and tell me what the alternative is. How many jobs are out there that someone can support a family on? Even getting a part time job or getting married can reduce benefits (if that's what you want to call them). What kind of fair is that? How many people are driving Porsche's and living in 100K homes and drawing welfare? Seriously, take a trip down to your local ghetto, if you dare. You'll see just how great the people on welfare and food stamps are doing. And we want to restrict them in a way that would hurt children? Sorry, but we have to come up with something better than that. As for congressional members using me anyone who drinks alcohol, drinks cola/coffee, and smokes cigarettes/cigars and I'll show you a drug user. Oh, and by the way.....who is going to pay for all these drug tests? More of your tax it will be you! It's about time we let each state decide what drugs are legal and which are not. You have heard of states rights.....right? No? Well, look it's in the bill of rights. Skip ahead to amendment 10.

NO freebies to Non-Citizens !
 I guess I'm OK with that, unless we are talking about children not eating or someone having a health issue that requires immediate attention. No person, anywhere on earth should be hungry. PERIOD!!!!!!!!!

Support Our Military!
We do.....right? Don't most of us have quite a bit of respect and admiration for those who will put themselves in harms way to defend our nation? But, we don't have to and shouldn't have to feel like we are less of an American if we don't support the mission that they are sent out to do. 4,000 Americans, mostly civilian, were killed on September 11th, 2001 by Islamic terrorists (17 of the 19 were Saudi Arabian). Since then we have killed hundreds of thousands Afghan and Iraqi civilians in response. Read that again. OK....still don't get it? Read it again, or better yet, let me simplify it for you; 4,000 Americans killed by what are mostly Saudi Islamic terrorists. Hundreds of thousands of non Saudi Islamic civilians killed by us since. Yes, the Taliban did need to be toppled. But why did we go to Iraq and fuck their shit up? Because of UN resolutions that they had been ignoring long before 9/11/01? 9/11 provided us with a great opportunity to sell us going into the middle east on a war with no tangible goal, to make sure we have our finger in their oil when we really need it. We didn't build a billion dollar base in Iraq because we are skating our asses out of there. We are NEVER going to leave Iraq. So, support our people in uniform, but don't ever think you have to support the old fucks who are sending us to die for their ideas.

Put God back in schools!
So, here we are the bill of rights and the constitution. Not everyone believes in "god" and when someone in this country says "god", they are talking about Jesus, not about just any god. are the majority. You are winning. God is on money, it's in our pledge of allegiance and you are free to practice your religion anywhere.......except for on property supported by tax payer money. It's for your protection too. You can be free of government interference. It's your right to worship as you want. Just don't believe for a minute that it's your right to make others follow the same moral conduct or god that you do. If nothing else, you should be supporting the rights of all people to live the way they want to. To be free. That's why the country was founded. To be free to practice your religion your way.....or not at all. Schools are public institutions. They are not churches. Last time I checked, a church could start their own school. Have at it.

I sure hope that anyone who reads this (all 2 of you) will take the time to think about these issues on a deeper level and with that, think of all issues on a deeper level. Does your wants and needs mean more than someone else's, when looked at from a larger point of view? Is the kind of America we want, the kind of country who will deny people their civil rights, oppress people because of their skin color, sexual orientation, religion, education, or politics? Isn't there room for everyone to do their thing? Can we be truly free if we oppress the freedoms of anyone else?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Too Much Time On The Boards


Why do I do it?

I am talking about my addiction to Internet message boards. I'm an argumentative person (not in a mean, shouting sort of way) and like to debate topics and issues that are meaningful to me. But, many times, I'm just venting and not really getting anything out of an Internet conversation. Or, the person on the other end has an agenda that doesn't really involve discussing the core of an issue and how to understand others points of view. 

I know that it's basically pointless, sort of like offering me a salad at dinner, but I keep going back to it day after day. What is it about my personality, other than the arguing thing, that makes me subject myself to talking back and forth with someone that I KNOW doesn't give the first shit about my opinion or thoughts? 

"I don't know."

In case you have never visited an Internet message board, I'll explain a few things to you. First, you are going to get identified with one group or another pretty quickly and it will take some time for you to break into conversations where people actually even acknowledge you. If you are a newbie, you can expect to get ignored a bit, unless you say something really provocative. You also will have to learn who the trolls and morons are. They are the people who basically say the same things over and over, without regard to topic or try to steer the intent of a post or topic into the direction they want it to go. They show little regard for what anyone is trying to get across, they just want to make sure they get to say what they want to. Hey, it's the Internet and they won't be held to account, so they act like assholes.

One of the most important things I have learned, and it has become increasingly obvious to me lately (with the help of my cousin) is that nobody is going to change their mind about anything, just because you have a good argument and good case against them and their beliefs. Most of the time, you are just going to entrench them and that will only lead to insults and degradation. Most people do not care to learn about anything other than what they know. Most people do not want to change their minds about anything, they just want to try to win an argument by shouting down and insulting the other side, or by making absurd and many times, hypocritical points. When a person is not willing to examine their worldview, there is no sense in trying to discuss issues. It's wasted time. Many times people will start a topic that is absurd and they are just looking for a place to find a "gotcha" moment and use the 1/2 ounce of wit they have to make an ass of themselves.  Taking the obvious and running with it can be useful in a conversation. Sometimes it's good to push the envelope and carry a thought out to it's illogical conclusion. But, on a message board, it's usually fruitless.

So, with that, I am weening myself off the distraction of the Internet message board, unless it is tailored to my interests or topics that I am interested in. I frequent a sports board, that has a political forum and have enjoyed some conversations there. But, the topics are fairly random and most of the folks on the board that are regulars, have become characters. They play a role, so there is no real room for a discussion, just new ways to express an inflexible point of view that allows them to fulfill a need for recognition. I have found a couple of message boards that are relevant to where I am in my life and I'm going to use those as outlets for discussion. Those boards tend to be less about staunch ideology and more about issues and how to better understand those issues.

I've been through the fire of losing my religion, controlling my depression, and putting myself in a better state of mind and I've found that the open message forum that I've been "enjoying" is not moving me forward. It's holding me back. I need to talk with people who don't project their view of me on to everything I say, because I've been open about myself. The Internet has some great uses and there are some good people on message boards who actually want to hear differing opinions and think about them. But, sadly, the majority are not. I'd be better off if looking at naked pictures of Jenny McCarthy and pulling my tool, than putting an idea out there for someone to slap down and reject out of hand.

So, I've been challenged to not post on my regular forum for 7 days and I've accepted that challenge. There are more useful things for me to do, including;

1) the aforementioned pud Jenny McCarthy (goes without saying)
2) spending time with the kids chatting
3) reading 
4) watching a documentary and learning something
5) creating by writing more
6) did I mention pud pulling......oh, yeah.....that was number one right

Well, time to get busy. Anyone have a tissue?