Daily Archives: December 31, 2011

The Random thoughts of December

Oh joy, Obama wants another 1.2 Trillion.  But I’m sure this will be the last time that he needs another loan.  Just like the time your worthless brother-in-law asked for a loan…I’m sure he didn’t need another loan just a few months later.

Damn all the Senators and House members who voted for the Defense Spending bill that basically overturned the Bill of Rights (Republicans and Democrats included…although it appears it was Obama who demanded the unconstitutional language).  Can’t wait for the 7-2 vote from the Supreme Court that strikes it down (7-2 because I don’t think Kagan and Sotomayor have ever read the Constitution or understand that the Bill of Rights is superior to Obama’s will).

Bin Laden. Kaddafi.  Kim Jung Il.  Chavez with cancer.  It’s been a good year.  Let’s hope next year is even more productive.

Exactly why haven’t we bombed the shit out of a ten mile radius around where we think our drone is being kept in Iran?  Oh that’s right for the same reason we didn’t bomb every terrorist base in Lebanon and all of Iran when they captured CIA operatives.  Because we have a gutless coward who hates America in the White House.

If I had not spent 7 hours in a car on the 26th I would have probably done a blog on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union.  However, looking over the headline everyone else seemed to ignore such a wonderful holiday.  Why?

How to prove you’re an idiot in one easy step…leave Bachmann for Ron Paul would be a start.  But then being offered an excuse for this unbelievably harebrained move was money, but denying that is even dumber.  Hell you had an excuse for making such a monumentally stupid move…take it.
Hmmm. Every candidate in history has at least one dumb position.  Bachmann’s is her stance on gays…which she has said is a state’s rights issue and she’s not going to override states.  Romney’s is, if he’s telling the truth about doing the best he could with a liberal state legislature, is that he’s not a fighter.  Perry, Santorum, Gingrinch is that they’re big government liberals.  Huntsman is that he wants to bow down to his Chinese overlords.  But really, Paul, his biggest idiot statements revolve around the fact that he sees absolutely no problem with evil conquering the world and killing billions of people so long as they leave the U.S. for last.  When your idiocy makes Neville Chamberlain look bright, you clearly do not deserve to be in any office.

While I want Bachmann to win Iowa…if I can’t have that I actually want Paul to win.  Why you ask, when I would just be as happy if this anti-Semite would disappear and never be heard from again?  Well, because if Bachmann can’t win Iowa she’s done, which means I have no choice left but Romney (goddamn do I hate saying that), but nothing will scare the rest of the electorate into falling behind Romney like a Paul win in Iowa.  This will let Romney run as a moderate in the primary and thus take the middle during the national election more easily.

The top 2011 movies blog is coming soon…but it’s a sad list.  You are only going to get a top 5 list because there have not been enough good movies to justify a top 10 list.  Don’t believe me, go look at what some critics are putting out as top 10 lists…they’re full of overly pretentious films that are only made for critics (who in my opinion are a separate species that at some point in the last couple hundred years split off from homo-sapiens and are marked by a complete lack of ability to judge good art from bad.)

I’m not entirely shocked Iraq is not going well after we left.  I’ll admit I had hoped it would be more stable and that we had built up a more stable infrastructure.  I blame Obama for pulling out to early.  I blame Bush for not having a plan for occupation.  I blame Bush and Obama and every person who opposed the war for not advocating taking out the primary source of all of our problems in Iraq and Afghanistan—Iran.  Money, training, insurgents, arms, and soldiers all from Iran.

Even with a GOP controlled House we got some terrible new rules

Eric Holder has to be the most embarrassing Attorney General in recent years.  Gun running.  Money laundering.  Lying.  Aiding and abetting voter fraud.  And his boss still has yet to demand his resignation.

And if your family or friends weren’t nice enough to give you a copy of Republicans and Reincarnation for Christmas, remember you can just buy a copy for yourself.

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A final word on Christmas Charity Part II of II—New Age Charity

 

Okay, so in the last blog I think I’ve shown all the idiots who claim Christmas is a time for redistribution are without basis.  Why?  Because Christmas is a time of charity, and taking money by force is not charity.

 

Charity is not blind altruism and denial of self.

Charity is not government redistribution of income.

Charity is not welfare or entitlements handed out by the state.

 

But just tearing down bad philosophy is only half the job.  You need to show what charity should be.  And as a New Ager I have a tendency to look to all the world’s spiritual teachings (not just one book but many) for insight into truth.  So don’t take my word for it…but let’s start with that one book most in the West turn to…

 

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. “

Proverbs 11:24-25

Clear and simple.  Charity is a virtue.  But notice that it is not given as an order but advice that it benefits the giver.  Odd it doesn’t seem to mention anything about “fair shares” or “moral duty” or “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”  No, it seems to be personal charity and personal charity alone that is praised and rewarded here.

 

“Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “

Matthew 6:1-4

 

Seems to me that this is saying that charity and generosity are supposed to be private acts done by individuals.  And the closest thing to welfare and government entitlements at the time (the synagogues) is condemned as the work of hypocrites because it is done neither for the spiritual good of the giver or the desire to help the receiver…only for the vain attention that the public act of giving brings.  How much more despicable and ethically reprehensible it must be to demand that others give but that you don’t have to.  

 

Or we could turn to the East…

“Give up kindness, renounce morality,
 And men will rediscover piety and love.–Tao Te Ching 19

 

We have this in amongst the Tao numerous libertarian statements we have this one which suggests when you no longer demand altruism and rigid standards of morality and duty that people are once again allowed to deal with each other like human beings and then will treat others as such.

 

Or we could go to one of my favorites…

 

“Charity given for the sake of righteousness, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness. But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion. And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.”—Bhagavad-Gita  Ch17. 20-22

 

Notice how all conceptions of income redistribution and welfare seem to meet more the definition of “mode of ignorance”…and really it’s only called ignorance because I think Krishna thought “shit-for-brains” lacked the poetic nature that the rest of his words in the Gita had.

 

All of these quotes seem to be saying that charity and generosity should be personal, not a massive more by society.  They seem to be saying it should be done to improve the soul of the giver…not all that concerned with improving the state of receiver because you have no way to control the free will they have (although both the Gita and Christ seem to imply you should not give indiscriminately, but rather choose the object of your generosity to be a person worthy of such a gift).  All of these seem to suggest the amount to be given is a personal choice not some concept of what your fair share is as determined by society.  All of these are concerned with your soul, not with ending poverty (in fact I think Christ said something about there always being poor and you should worry more about personal connections with loved ones than with the poor…but then again, unlike many liberals who say they’re Christians, I’ve actually read the Bible).

 

So be charitable.  But because it feels good, not because you have any duty to do it.

 

And I’ll leave you with this from my favorite book, A Course in Miracles.

 

 

“The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest.”  A Course in Miracles Manual For Teachers Chapter 4 Part VII

 

 

 

 

 

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A final word on Christmas Charity Part I of II

So these last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of people talk about charity and generosity in reference to it being Christmas.  And a lot of what I’ve been reading on the internet and seeing in the media shows to me that once again people do not really understand charity (or any virtue for that matter…but that is a much larger undertaking which I will put off for the moment).

Now I’ve already gone over the psychological and spiritual benefits of Peter giving to Paul vs. the detriment that comes from robbing Peter to pay Paul in Republicans and Reincarnation, so I’m not going to go over ground I’ve already covered and bore you with that.

But I was doing my daily reading of news and op-eds on the net and ran across this little moment of insanity and evil “Christmas means the redistribution of wealth” by Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo .  It’s a fascinating if not horrendously perverse and monstrously evil article because it goes beyond the usual Robin Hood clap trap (because if you actually read the stories Robin steals from tax collectors and gives back to the people who earned the money in the first place).  It’s sad that liberal papers like the Washington Post have to dig so low just to fill their rags that they take the ranting of a guy who also argues that Queen Isabella, the one who created the Inquisition, be up for sainthood and defends Pope Pius XII, also known as Hitler’s Pope, as being “maligned” .  Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with this article if it wasn’t for the fact that I have heard shades of this argument for the last few months…and this article just puts all of these arguments in one big spot.

Obviously this twit is supposedly coming from a Catholic point of view (I use supposedly because there are many Catholics who don’t pervert the words of the Bible in the way this idiot does) and I’m coming from a New Age point of view, so I will be attacking a few of his premises on grounds of religious difference…on these points I ask that you only listen to my points before dismissing my side based on any religious beliefs you may have.  (Also there are going to be a few tangents because this man makes such random justifications for his beliefs that I have to also go all over the place to point out what a moron he is).

He starts out with:

“Jesus came to save the world.”

It’s a problem when I disagree with the first words you put to paper (it’s like reading the first words in Kant where you make the most preposterously idiotic, mentally retarded, and morally bankrupt statement that life isn’t about Happiness…when you start out with a false premise you know it’s all downhill from there.)  Why do I have a problem with this…well because if you actually read the Bible, and certainly if you believe in Christianity with its concept of Hell and eternal damnation, you have a view that he came to save some who would hear him and, eh, the rest of you know where you can go (John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”…and those of you who don’t believe…Also you might care to remember that it is “peace on Earth to men of good will” not “good will to [all] men”).  Also I thought he came to save souls, not the material world.  But this guy justifies his belief that the whole world is defined by quoting that famous passage of the Bible, “He’s got the whole world in his hands”  (okay he admits it’s from a “spiritual” as he puts it, not the Bible…but really, “spiritual” might even be a bit too complimentary. ) Really?  That’s the best you have?  He’s got the whole world in his hands.

Is this really a problem?  Yes and no.  I do believe that all the enlightened beings of history, Jesus of Nazareth included, came to save ALL humanity by helping them choose to free themselves from the delusions of this world and raise us to a higher spiritual level so he would be right if he meant save our souls.  But like most liberals he is a rank materialist who can see no value in anything other than the physical world around him and thus to him “save the world” means make our lives in the physical world, here and now, perfect (not to mention just ignoring the whole free will thing suggested by the condition “whosoever believes in me”).

And thus, for this crazy author, this means that we must have income in equality…because as he states

“Christmas 2011 comes on the eve of an election year when Catholic America is confronted with an escalation in society’s class divisions and a concentration of wealth worse than under the Roman Empire.”

(And I don’t even know where to start with that one…if you track his links back you’ll eventually come to an article that calculates the wealth of the elite in Rome (the city) versus the poverty of Rome (the empire), utterly forgets that there was a trading class of merchants throughout the empire which are more or less equivalent to the middle class,  ignores the vast amount of patronage and welfare programs in the empire…and completely forgets that Caesar has more money than all the Senators and Equestrians put together…I am still trying to put together all the data, and finding data on inequality in Greece, Rome, and the Dark Ages is near impossible, but distribution of income has never been more equal than the last 50 years of human history.  Also something to consider, the bottom 10% in America probably lives a life that Alexander and Augustus would have envied).

 “The idea that the world needs to be saved – and not just individuals — is contained in the doctrine of original sin as found in the teachings of St. Paul the Apostle. How can he say that a child who has just been born is a sinner? “

Ah, the heart of the matter, the heart of all liberalism (and the mis-named social conservatism…even though there is nothing conservative about it)… That people, at their heart are evil, they have to be saved by someone outside of themselves.  Now I will state that this is really the teachings of the Council of Nicaea (and a few other Council’s) rewrites and the not the words of Paul, but that’s an argument for another time.

As to his question about children and sin, well actually it’s called reincarnation genius…you know the dominant belief within Judaism at the time of Christ, the prevailing belief of every advanced civilization except post-Nicaean Christianity…might be something to that…but that’s neither here nor there really.  What we really have to deal with is the preposterous view of Original sin.  The idea that people are inherently evil and must be controlled.  Sounds kind of like liberalism doesn’t it: you’re evil and can’t be trusted to make the right choices, you’re corrupt and need to be controlled by something bigger than you.  Happy philosophy you have there.  Meanwhile I choose to take the side that there is divinity in the human soul, human reason, and humans were made in the image of God with all of his potential and reason within us if we choose to use it.  But I have hope for, faith in and love for humanity and you have a story about eating a piece of fruit…which sounds more like the acts of a rational God?  Also the teachings of original sin are attributed to 2nd century Bishop Irenaeus, not St. Paul…but as we already established this man clearly knows nothing about history.

To save time I’m going to skim over the next paragraph where he also shows he has a great grasp of history when he says…

[…] The evil person alone prospered in the Roman Empire. […]

…Because there were no just and good people before Jesus…Cicero, Aristotle, Cyrus the Great, not to mention thousands whose names weren’t recorded by history, never existed…before Jesus all life was apparently somehow a Hobbesian nightmare but yet still somehow managed to progress.  Am I the only person who didn’t get such a dark view of humanity from reading the words of Christ in the New Testament?

 “But Jesus changed that imbalance by substituting for selfishness Christian love of neighbor in Jesus’ name. The world’s original sin of favoring evil over good has been wiped away for those baptized into Jesus’ life and resurrection.”

 

This is really sick.  No educated and rational Christian seriously believes that only Christians are good people and the rest favor  “evil over good” as a general rule…and the fact that a major newspaper prints this twaddle is an insult to all the good that Christianity and Christians have ever done or thought.  I would like to remind this idiot that the commandment Jesus quotes from, Leviticus 19:18, commands you to love your neighbor as you love yourself (which actually is kind of selfish…rationally self interested, in between the two evils of narcissism, not caring about others, and altruism, not caring about yourself).

He then goes into, very poorly, a justification that since all individuals are sinful, society is sinful too, and that as individuals need to be saved, so does society…

 

“The concept of society’s structural sin that is suggested in Pauline teaching was crystallized in the theology of liberation when it appeared among Latin American theologians after the II Vatican Council. Based on a socio-economic secular analysis of history in secular academia, theologians like Father Gustavo Gutierrez spoke of structural sin. Upholding an unjust political and economic system would only perpetuate injustice, they argued. Good people could be trapped into a web of doing bad things because society fostered a way of acting that normalized immoral behavior.”

…If you need to reread that a few times, I’ll understand.  It’s terribly worded and poorly thought out, so it might take you a few times to get what he is trying to say (his fault for being a bad writer and thinker, not yours).   So society is evil and that causes good people to do bad things.  So again we have a very liberal view that there is no free will and people aren’t responsible for their own actions.  Now you probably glossed over that phrase “theology of liberation” because no explanation was given.  What is it?  I’ll tell you (and if you don’t believe me, go look it up yourself).  It’s the theory that Christ wanted everyone to spread the wealth around, even though he was friendly with some of the rich, and to spread it around by legal force if necessary, even though Christ had a I could care less “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” policy towards politics, and though he may have advised some to give up their riches (riches made off of slavery which was the economy of the time so certainly lacking the ethical basis for profit that capitalism allows, and always as a personal suggestion not as societal policy) he never demanded or forced anyone to spread the wealth around…yes clearly Christ wanted Marxism.  The theology of liberation is a belief in economic socialism, that you should worry about how much others have, rather than just doing your part to make the world around you better, you have to punish those who have done wrong…because the mote in the rich man’s eye is always more important than the board in yours…I’m sure Christ said that somewhere.  It also teaches that profit is of course evil, as all socialism and Marxism teaches…because we all remember that Christ praised the servant who buried money and made zero profit and condemned the servant who made lots of money…oh wait.  The long and short of it is, it’s Marist socialism dressed with a few out of context quotes of Christianity to try and get Christians behind it.  Further, did you notice how not once he held up even a shred of proof that capitalism is unjust (maybe because it’s pretty much the definition of justice) unlike the government controlled economy he advocates (which breeds the very injustice he says he opposes)?

The mere fact that he has to gloss over what it really is, shows even he knows what a house of cards his argument is.

“Detractors have caricatured Liberation Theology as advocating violent revolution against White capitalists. In contrast, based on the Just War Theory, theology restricted violence to a response against violent attack, reasoning that self-defense is legitimate when measured by the countervailing force trying to take away human life and liberty.”

First off St. Thomas Aquinas, who said that not all evil should be prevented by law because more often than not they will hurt the individual in their path toward grace (Summa Theologiae, I-II Qu96 Part 2) , is probably spinning in his grave right now that you have made a mockery of Just War Theory like that (Aquinas sets out three requirements for a Just War—proper authority, just cause, right goal—liberation theology lacks all three, Summa Theologiae, II-II Qu40 part 1 ).  Second, saying you follow Just War Theory and thus aren’t a violent bunch rings about as true as genocidal lunatics saying they practice a “religion of peace”…oh wait, in practice they’re a bunch of socialists too.  I’m seeing a theme here.

(The Declaration of Independence was founded on that same principle: armed revolution in defense of God-given rights is “as American as apple pie.”)

And Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin are now spinning in their graves that this idiot would dare put a belief that requires taking away people’s liberty and right to pursue Happiness, not to mention the sacrosanct right to property, and have the audacity to justify it by referencing the Declaration.  It’s a pity I’m not a Catholic, because if I was I could rest knowing that this ass’s only time not spent in hell would be when they were deciding if his heresy against the Bible (sixth concentric circle) or his treason to the U.S. (ninth) was the deciding factor in where he would spend eternity.

“Christmas 2011 is not a call to violent revolution.”

Why be violent when Obama is trying to make this law.  After all, technically you can be arrested and detained without counsel or trial if Obama doesn’t like you right now.

He goes on and on in with this drivel but there are two other quotes of his I would like to point out.

“This is the message of Pope Benedict XVI this year for World Peace. “We cannot ignore the fact that some currents of modern culture, built upon rationalist and individualist economic principles, have cut off the concept of justice from its transcendent roots, detaching it from charity and solidarity,” writes the pontiff, echoing an earlier Vatican Committee’s statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movements around the world that protest laissez-faire Capitalism, the concentration of wealth and the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand. In place of these unfair social principles, the pope calls for “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.”

 

Okay first off OWS isn’t protesting laissez-faire because we don’t have laissez-faire, haven’t had it in over a century…what they’re protesting is what is being mislabeled as crony capitalism, which I tend to call the first steps to socialism…and bizarrely enough the corruption they’re complaining about will only be helped by the socialism they’re asking for.  Second, Ayn Rand, really?  Friedman, Sowell, Hayek, Williams, Laffer, Von Misses, Smith.  The great philosophers of capitalism and you pick Ayn Rand (Rand is nice, but she is to economic theory what Dr. Seus is to reading…a good place to start but a terrible place to end.  This would be like critiquing English’s ability to create great literature and using Stephen King as example of why English can’t produce good literature).  Thirdly, we have an “adequate mechanism for redistribution of wealth”, it’s called capitalism, law, and merit and it says you get out of life what you put in.

“If Benedict XVI were a candidate for the presidency of the United States, his call for “redistribution of wealth” would be controversial. Can it be dismissed as left-wing socialism? No doubt enemies of Catholic social justice will tar the pontiff in this way. But the ideal “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need,” doesn’t originate with Marx. It comes from the Acts of the Apostles (4:34-35; 1:44-45).“

It is left wing socialism!  The current Pope is a pathetic replacement for his predecessor who actually fought to defend liberty…and it’s not tarring him, it’s applying reason to his statement and seeing them as wrong.  Hate to tell you this, but the Pope is not infallible (but then again this writing did come from the apologist for Hitler’s pope).  Ah and quoting two passages from Acts written by Luke, a guy who never met Christ (and was a vicious anti-Semite to boot) in describing how early Christian communities copies their Essence predecessors in sharing everything…this was of course before Paul came and turned it from a wacky cult to an actual religion.  A shame he couldn’t quote a single line from Christ to justify this as a Christian behavior.

I’m getting very tired of this moron…if you want even more detailed rebuttals go here

 

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