Archive for the ‘Lies’ Category

I’m in love with a man.

January 11, 2008

Dennis Kucinich has come through for me and demanded a manual recount in New Hampshire. I love you Dennis Kucinich. That’s right. Love.

I still think Hillary has lost a huge opportunity here. If she had stood up and said exactly the same things Kucinich has written, I think she would have mobilized this country in her favor.

I’m not sure what I hope happens next. Actually, that’s a lie. I hope that it is shown that there were discrepancies and Obama was the victim. I hope Obama is given the victory. I hope it happens so that all those pundits who came up with “explanations” for the discrepancies are shown to be the prevaricators I believe them to be.

Hillary’s tears.  Obama’s mishandling of Hillary’s lack of likeability.  The ordering of the names on the ballot.  The Bradley Effect.  Etc, etc, etc.

What a story that would be.

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I miss you.

December 20, 2007

Fuck I miss you.

I miss having an educated populace. Actually, I miss having a populace that can read … or spell … or add … or think.

I miss being the tourists that were culturally naive and oblivious to our own volume. Now we’re the tourists that should pretend to be Canadian.

I miss knowing that we don’t torture. I miss knowing that, no matter what the other guy did, no matter how low he stooped, we would take the moral high ground. We would do the right thing. The wrong thing was something other people did. I miss that. I miss everything you used to stand for. A beacon in the darkness. An example to others. A bastion of hope. A place where hard work and a sharp mind just might, with a touch of luck, be enough. I miss having a nation that believes in itself. I miss having a nation that is entitled to believe in itself.

I really miss having a leader that can talk, think and be honest. I miss having a leader that could do any one of those three things. I miss having a leader that can inspire rather than embarrass, a leader that can stir any emotion other than shame. I miss having a leader that I don’t have to apologize for.

I miss feeling that we fight on the side of justice and against tyranny. Actually, I miss at least knowing why we fight.

I miss being confident that this is the best country in the world. I miss knowing that my grandchildren will inherit a world better than the one I found.

America, I miss you and I want you back.

I’m not sure how to get you back, but it might start with taking some responsibility… I want us to stand up and take responsibility for what we’ve done. I’m sick and tired of people saying “Yes, it’s all terrible, but I didn’t vote for the guy. It’s not my fault.”

Yes. It is. It is your fault. It’s my fault too.

By my actions, or lack thereof, I have been responsible for the deaths of innocent Iraqis. How? I didn’t do everything I could to stop Bush being elected. I could have tried harder. Once he was returned to power, I could have done more to limit the damage.

I could have paid attention to every vote on every piece of legislation and organized a groundswell of outraged support when the Democratic “leadership” caved and continued funding the war. I could have campaigned (and still could) for the defeat of every Democratic Senator who failed to follow through on the mandate they were given to end the war.

I could have reduced my dependence on fossil fuels and removed the reason for the war in the first place. I could have encouraged others to do the same.

Maybe no one else feels the same way. Maybe I couldn’t have done much. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. It would sure feel different to have tried though. Reminds me of a Roosevelt quote:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Like I said, maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference but at least I would have failed while spending myself in a worthy cause. I’m responsible for the deaths of Iraqis. Me. Now I have to figure out how to change things and I need my country back to do it.

Please come back America, I miss you.

Iraq

September 21, 2007

A friend recently made a statement that clarified my understanding of the Iraq war:

The Bush administration has come to believe that “peak oil” is an imminent and potentially devastating problem.

The reason it clarified things for me is because it explains everything about the Iraq situation.  It explains why we’re there, why we won’t leave and why we’re rattling our sabers at Iran.

It also provides the simplest possible explanation for those available facts.

The Bush administration believes that peak oil is coming and coming soon.  I’m going to read “The Last Oil Shock” soon.  I’ve heard the author speak and he makes some interesting points.

Possibly the most surreal thing about this new understanding is that it makes me feel more positive about the Bush administration.  Not much, but a little.

If Dinesh D’Souza is what religion produces, I’m proud to be an atheist

April 20, 2007

I rarely use the ad hominem attack because it doesn’t achieve anything. The only exception is when I think it will make me feel better. Dinesh D’Souza is a completely fucking disgusting human piece of shit. Well now, that does feel better.

What an utter fucking asshole this clown is.

Just days after the horrifying events at Virginia Tech, D’Souza decides to unleash a rant against … wait for it … atheists! What a vile little turd of a man. He starts with a post that invokes the tired old canard about atheists and morality (note to self: finish and publish “Religion and Morality”).

Let’s wade into the sewer and see what this morally impaired ass clown is ranting about:

Notice something interesting about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings? Atheists are nowhere to be found.

(emphasis his).

Now, just out of curiosity, what the fuck does that even mean? Atheists are nowhere to be found? Where the fuck would you expect to be find them? Giving interviews? D’Souza is unable to spot atheists in a crowd and so he assumes that there are none around? Is this guy actually just a slightly challenged 5 year old rather than a conservative mouth piece? His logic would be laughable and pathetic if it wasn’t so damn offensive to the suffering that so many are going through (and will continue to go through for a long time). While dipshit D’Souza is trying to cash in (drive traffic to his little brainfucked shithole of a blog) on this tragedy, there are families and a community who have been shattered beyond anything that stupid little fucker could imagine.

To no one’s surprise, Dawkins has not been invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community.

Again, dude, what the fuck are you talking about? Seriously. D’Souza later claimed that this was a sarcastic comment. Brilliant job fuck-knuckle, just what the victims and their community need: functionally retarded right-wing sarcasm.

Then, D’Souza whips out this little gem:

What this tells me is that if it’s difficult to know where God is when bad things happen, it is even more difficult for atheism to deal with the problem of evil.

I actually laughed out loud at this crude attempt at the Jedi mind trick. Evil is, and will always be, the Achilles heel of religion. It presents no problem at all for atheists (other than our disappointment that it exists at all). Answer me this, fuckwad: If your god is so powerful, good and pure, why would he let 32 innocent students and teachers be slaughtered in this way? How is that a problem for atheism? If you want to probe the atheists’ understanding of why people do evil deeds, look to the field of evolutionary psychology. If you want the religious explanation, look to a fabricated sky god who is either an ass-clown who can’t stop this shit happening, an asshole who won’t stop this shit happening or completely made up by human asshats and has no impact whatsoever on this shit happening. Any way you cut it, it’s hardly a problem that can’t be explained in an atheistic world view. D’Souza you stupid fucker, you make me laugh.

He begins to wrap up with another tired old religofreak bullshit trick:

The reason is that in a purely materialist universe, immaterial things like good and evil and souls simply do not exist.

Fuck I get sick of this ridiculous line of reasoning. It’s just so stupidly, obviously, blatantly, pathetically wrong. The Egnorant one ran with a different version of the same horseshit recently in his rantings:

Materialism is nonsense, because if matter and energy are all that exist, then truth doesn’t exist (it’s neither matter nor energy). If truth doesn’t exist, then materialism can’t be true.

The only real question I have about these two fuckchops is whether they actually believe the shit they write or whether they write it to fool their superficial readers. The fundamental thing that Egnore and D’Souza are lying about is that no matter how we categorize things or label them, whatever is true about the universe will be true regardless of how we describe it. They’re both claiming that “materialism” precludes the existence of truth. The refutation is trivially simple; if matter and energy really are all that exist and we currently have the concept of truth, then obviously materialism doesn’t preclude the existence of truth (yeah, I know, but they started it).

The thing that’s never (or rarely) explicitly stated in the type of rant common to religious nutbaggery is that they’re trying to find a refuge for the soul. They want an explanation of the world that doesn’t preclude the existence of souls. When a mind arises (emerges) from the amazingly complex interactions of purely physical parts of our anatomy, the soul has nowhere to hide. This scares the D’Souza’s and Egnor’s of the world.

I’m stopping now because I feel much better. Maybe I’ll come back to it later, maybe I won’t. Either way, god damn that felt good.

Lies, damned lies and Christians

April 19, 2007

There’s been a feeling building in me over the last few months that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I figured it out recently; a whole bunch of Christians are completely, utterly full of shit. They lie. They lie like it’s their fucking job. Maybe it is.

The first stage of me figuring this out was to realize that I reacted in a very strong negative way to certain writings and speeches by Christians. At first I really thought that maybe I was just reacting negatively because I disagreed with them. At first I thought that maybe they were just honestly mistaken. Then I saw the video by Ken Miller about the ID movement and its collapse. Ken is a devout Roman Catholic which would seem to put him squarely among the class of people that I disagree with most often. Then, however, I realized that I loved listening to him speak and respected his opinions.

How could this be? I thought about it for a while but couldn’t quite nail it down. Possibly I just liked him because he understands evolution and explains it well (he’s a fantastic speaker, I highly recommend checking out his work). That didn’t quite seem to explain it completely, but I moved on. I started reading a book called Misquoting Jesus, given to me by a friend. In it, the author, Bart D. Ehrman starts out as a fundamentalist evangelical “crazy” Christian. I mean, he goes to the Moody Bible Institute at one point. The MBI might be the place where you’ll find more religious nutbaggery than anywhere else on Earth. If it’s not, it’s certainly a contender. His book chronicles his quest to discover the text in the original versions of the Christian gospels.

Anyway, so I’m reading Mr. Ehrman’s words and they’re not grating on me like religious tripe normally does and I couldn’t figure out why. The writing was light, quick and humorous which is rare in such a scholarly work. It was just a good read and I was having no bad reactions. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks; Ehrman cares about what’s true! He knows that the current form of the bible isn’t what was originally written down. He wants to know what was originally written down. I find this quest admirable. Ehrman says at one point that knowing the inspired word of god was written down is wonderful, but given that those words have changed over time, how inspired are they now? Doesn’t it actually matter what god originally said rather than what fallible humans have written in the intervening 2,000 years? Of course it does.

He highlights a couple of very interesting places that scholars know that large tracts were added. They can wait for a more detailed review of his book. I’ll do that at some stage. Regardless, the godless and faithheads alike should read it, it’s a simply wonderful analysis. You’ll learn things.

Anyway, back to me for a second 😉 I have this dawning realization that I seem to not object to Christian claims when the claims are made by people who care about what’s true. This leads me back to the video of Ken Miller and the discussion about the Kitzmiller trial.

Miller recounts how, during the trial, it was exposed that as a result of a ruling in 1989, Creationism “textbooks” were altered to be Intelligent Design “textbooks”. In some cases this was done using search and replace. I’ve come to understand that this bothers me for a number of reasons:

1) It’s dishonest

2) It borders on illegal

3) It involves denying (or at least hiding) god

I did a little more investigation into the people involved with the ID case and found the Discovery Institue. I won’t link to it. Their articles just instantly started making me angry, although now I know why; it’s because they do not care about the truth.

Even the names of their websites and organizations are dishonest: Evolution News and the Discovery Institute. Evolution News is a bunch of people making ridiculous claims about evolution being wrong. The Discovery Institute is basically a religious organization promoting the teaching of creationism. The dishonesty is in how these people portray themselves. It sickens me. For fuck’s sake, be up front about it. They want to teach creationism but they hide behind this disgraceful veneer of ID.

The first article I came across while trawling Evolution News was by Michael Egnor. It is entitled “What if Darwinism were true”. The title sounds promising until you realize the nuanced meaning contained in the term Darwinism. Darwinism is a manifestation of yet another dirty trick used by ID proponents. I call it the “you’re just as silly as us maneuver”. I think that deep down (some deeper than others 😉 ) most religious people know that they’re on shaky logical ground. They know that they can’t coherently explain the things they believe because the things they believe don’t cohere all that well. So, with varying degrees of subtlety they imply that Darwinism is like a religion. “See you believe a bunch of crazy shit, just like us!” It’s transparent and tacky, but it’s used all the time. A great example is the debate between McGrath and Atkins recently where McGrath continually insisted that atheism is a “faith”. Or this recent article by David Klinghoffer. Do these people not understand that they’re denigrating their own faith by doing this? Sheesh.

Believe what you want, just make sure you care what’s true. And to the ID clowns out there; when you talk about an intelligent designer but deny that you mean god, you’re actually denying god his due. Don’t sweat that too much though, it’s been done before.

The collapse of intelligent design

April 1, 2007

I just watched a video entitled “The Collapse of Intelligent Design”. It contains a lecture style presentation by Ken Miller, a Professor from Brown University. The video is well worth the investment of time to watch. Professor Miller eviscerates the ID movement with a lot of brilliant analysis.

It is worth noting that Ken Miller is a devout Roman Catholic. He is confident in his faith and comfortable reconciling his belief with his understanding of evolution. Kudos to him for being a modern, intelligent Christian. The world could use more people like him.  In the course of his remarks, he touched on morality and how the ID movement equates  acceptance of evolution with denial of any moral foundation.  This is so stupid that it will require a future post all of its own.

Miller was involved in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial in 2005. The case that the ID people together was simply laughable and, reassuringly, laughter is the response it got in court. The ID crowd were simply destroyed. The memorandum of opinion is an interesting read. In places it’s a mind blowing indictment of the ID concept and many of its proponents. Judge Jones does not hold back. Given his conservative outlook, the condemnation from Jones is quite stunning.

Even beyond the shudder inducing stupidity of the ID movement, it’s their blatant lies that bother me most. I really enjoy the fact that the trial exposed the outright dishonesty of this crowd. For supposedly Christian people, they sure lie a hell of a lot. Then again, based on their holy book, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.

To me, two of the most interesting quotes came in the Q&A session after Miller’s presentation.

Miller explains that science and religion are not at odds:

I do think that most people within the scientific community have come to accept the notion that one can be a genuinely religious person in the traditional Abrahamic sense and still be fully accepting of science as a way to learn about the natural world.

and follows up with a jab at James Watson (in response to a question) for his narrow view of the world:

He may see no place for god in his view of the world. I do. That means we differ on matters of philosophy and theology but I don’t think it necessarily means we differ on matters of science.

I love these comments because they demonstrate true rationality. Miller is basically saying that he knows god exists and that he knows science is the best way to understand god’s creation. Obviously, I think Miller is wrong about god. That being said, I admire Miller a great deal and would love to hear him speak in person. I think I’ll also be buying his recent books. I hope they’re as much fun as his speaking.

Bush sits down with Cindy Sheehan

November 22, 2006

CS: Mr. President, I’ve wanted to speak with you for months now and I’m not sure you ever knew why. I pursued you for answers. I want to know why we went to war in Iraq. I want to know why my son died. You sent him to his death and I think you owe me an explanation. I want you to look me in the eye and tell me why we went to war.  My son’s life blood seeped away in the dirt of a foreign country and you should have to explain why.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

GWB: Ms Sheehan, I’ve dreaded this conversation for a while now.  Firstly, let me say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your tragic, devastating loss. I feel powerless even trying to put into words what you must have gone through. Your suffering and the suffering of thousands of other parents is very real to me. I think about your family and families like yours every day. That burden never, ever leaves me and I know it never will. I’m sorry.

I’m also sorry I ducked you for so long.  I did it for many reasons but all of them were political.  I owe you more than that.  I owe your son’s memory and his sacrifice more than that.  For that, I’m sorry.

Now, to your question.

We went to Iraq mostly for the reasons I gave publicly and some that I didn’t give … couldn’t give … in public. I’m the president of the most powerful nation on Earth. Many say that makes me the most powerful individual on Earth. That might be true, but I’m still just a man. There are things I don’t know, things I can’t know. I surround myself with advisers and experts to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. I have to rely on these people to give me information about the many subjects I deal with every day.

When it came to Iraq, the advice I got was terrible. Absolutely terrible. First, a caveat; this isn’t an excuse. I’m not trying to duck my responsibility here. I listened to the experts, but I made the decisions. In many cases I was involved in appointing the advisers, so I won’t be pointing fingers without realizing that ultimately all fingers point back to me. I understand that.

As I said, this is not about excuses, it’s about explaining.

After 9/11, America was hurting. We wanted to strike out and make sure that the people who conducted the attacks on us were made to suffer. We wanted to make sure that their capacity to strike at us was removed. We were pretty successful at that in Afghanistan.  While Afghanistan was a success story, Iraq was far from it.

Iraq wasn’t really about terrorism.  It was about two main things.  It was, first and foremost, about the politics of the region and trying to create a foothold for democracy.  Secondly, it was about stabilizing one of the major oil producing nations in the region and installing a government that shared our sympathies.

Yes, in hindsight these are terrible reasons.  I understand that.  At the time, based on advice I was given, I mistakenly believed that we’d be in and out quickly.  I believed we’d be greeted as liberators for removing a despicable tyrant from power.  It certainly didn’t turn out that way.

I saw an estimate the other day that said 650,000 Iraqi civilians had been killed.  I can tell you this face to face (but I’ll deny it on the record) , I believe that number.  We made sure that earlier reports of civilian casualties were much, much lower than that to train the public perception.  Mission accomplished.  The number 650,000 sounds outrageous now.  It isn’t outrageous and it might actually be low.

The first few weeks in Iraq could be reasonably described as a resounding success.  However, that was the last point at which I can describe anything we did as successful.   It devolved from there into a situation where it wasn’t an invading force taking control of terrority.  It was an occupying force involved in skirmishes with local insurgents.  The skirmishes have steadily increased in frequency and damage as time has gone on.  We’ve also given up almost everything we gained in Afghanistan.

You asked me for the truth.  The truth is that your son’s life was lost in a war we shouldn’t have been fighting.  His life was given for goals that, in hindsight, don’t make sense.  Nothing I can say or do will give your boy back to you.  I understand that.  All I can do is tell you that his sacrifice won’t be in vain.  It’s a reminder that America has to fight for the right reasons.  We have to fight as a last resort.  His death is a reminder that the President of the United States of America is, above all else, a public servant.  He’s supposed to protect this country from harm, not increase the risks.  He’s supposed to defend the great freedoms that America stands for, not whittle them away.

I’m sorry for the loss I’ve caused you.  I can tell you our foreign policy will change because of the sacrifices of the brave men and women I killed in this war.

The highest sacrifice a person can make for their country is to die in its defence.  That carries an obligation at the highest levels to make sure that sacrifice is only made when absolutely necessary.  Your son died as a result of poor policy, planning, diplomacy and leadership.  I’m the leader and therefore that’s my fault.

I’m sorry.

Rage

October 12, 2006

How the hell did we get here?  I was trying to explain the current American social and political climate to a friend overseas.  I just found myself getting angrier and angrier.
Writing this down won’t change anything, that’s not the point.  I’m just hoping it might make me feel better and, right now, maybe that’s enough.

Nobody trusts politicians.  Nobody ever has.  There’s something unwholesome about the world they live in and the way they accomplish things.  I’m not saying they start out corrupt.  I’m sure many of them have the loftiest goals in the beginning.  It’s how they end up that stinks.  In this country, it’s a nightmare that just keeps getting worse.  The ever present feeling that no matter how fast you run, you can’t outrun the bad guys.  You can’t outrun them because they’re everywhere.  They control the damn country.  Literally.

Not trusting politicians is one thing.  The state of affairs in this country at the moment is a completely different ballgame.  It seems to me that everyone, the administration, the press, the public … everyone knows that Bush is lying.  Including him.  Maybe especially him.  It’s getting pretty insulting.

I want you to visualize something for me.  Seriously, give this a try.  Think of all the people you know who are under say …. 40 years of age.  Now, of those, picture the one (or two) that you’re closest to.  Preferably a child or sibling.  Now, picture them being sent to Iraq by our “war president”.  Finally, picture them lying broken and dead in the dirt.  I know it’s hard, bear with me.  They’re lying there dead, you’re never going to see them again, speak to them again, hold them, hug them, kiss them again.  They’re gone.

For me, the first question that springs to mind when I do this is simple; Why?  Why is my nephew dead?  Why is my father, mother, brother, uncle, aunt, wife, husband, son or daughter dead?  Georgey?  Straight answer please?  For once in your miserable fucking life, you piece of shit, answer the fucking question.  Don’t give me some bullshit about a war on terror.  Iraq had nothing the fuck to do with that.  Don’t give me some bullshit about freedom and regime change.  You seem happy enough with the bunch of crazy motherfuckers that run Africa.  So why?  Tell us the fucking truth.  You’re supposed to be a god fearing man, check out commandment number nine.  How about bearing a little less false witness?  You know that you can’t change the commandments to retroactively protect yourself, right?   Just making sure.

Murdered.  Murdered by lies.  Murdered by deceit.  Murdered by hubris.  Murdered by a halfwit asshole who likes to play the cowboy, the gunslinger, the hero.

To a certain extent, what’s done is done.  What matters is the truth.  You owe it to the people who elected you to tell the fucking truth.  You owe it to the memory of the dead in Iraq (and the dead Iraqis too, NOT just the Americans) to tell the fucking truth.  You owe it to the families of those who died on 9/11 to come clean and admit that whatever the war in Iraq was about, it wasn’t about 9/11.  9//11 might have given you a pretext to go to war with Iraq, it didn’t give you a reason.

You owe it to everyone who has ever fought for what this country used to stand for.  You owe it to every person whose blood has been spilled to provide the freedoms you’re whittling away.  You seem to think you’re a tough guy.  That’s fine, be tough.  Tell the truth no matter how hard it is.  You tough enough big guy?

By the way, I read today that you’ve now killed more Americans in Iraq than were killed on 9/11.  Yes, I actually meant that you killed them.  You didn’t shoot them yourself, but you may as well have.

“I’m a war president” – George W Bush.
“Fuck you George, you halfwit asshole.”  – Me