A Slight Disappointment and the Cost of Living.

Most of you may know that I recently had a birthday. Yep, I am now in my 40’s and no longer just 40. So, shit is all downhill from here.

I try and treat my birthday as if it were any other day. That way there are no disappointments because “X” didn’t happen or no one got me “Y”. This year I backslid on that and actually had some expectations for my birthday.

Boy was that a mistake.

Mind you it wasn’t all bad. I got a good deal of people acknowledging my birthday and an awesome Cthulhu painting; however the one thing that I had asked for didn’t happen and the birthday money I had received went to buying dinner for me, my wife, and our two housemates. It was a slightly disappointing day. So I learned my lesson and will go back to having no expectations, thus no disappointments.

Speaking of my housemates…

So, the plan to move in with his girlfriend finally fell through. I had been waiting for that shoe to drop and it finally did. So, now he is planning to move back to the town that he regrets moving to in the first place.

Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity? Yep.

So now, his plan is to work himself to death & save up all his money in order to move back to where he started from. In almost 2 years of living here, he has saved up nothing and when he did come into money, he spent it on other stuff (mind you some of the things were legit) and didn’t save anything. Now he has until the end of April to get his shit together and get out. If he fucks around and doesn’t save up; then he will need to find a new place regardless of his finances.

I am done being nice.

So, so done.

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Dammit.

I spoke too soon.

So, apparently, the 3 -5 business days was AFTER the 60 days that it takes to update my direct deposit information. Yep, it takes 2 months to update 2 lines on my profile with a string of about 10 numbers each. Gotta love loathe the federal government and their efficiency.

Not to mention that it took me 4 hours worth of phone calls to even get this information. You see, I called the National Social Security Office and (after an hour on hold) I was told that I needed to call the Local Social Security Office. Problem is that when you call the local office, they send all of their overflow to the national office. So, I just got sent back to where I came from.

Now all of my plans are now on hold until April 27th. And my Amazon basket is going to be full for quite some time. Sorry HUE Smart Lights, you are just going to have to wait. You too tank-less hot water heater and paid off vehicle. We will be together one day.

Probably around the end of April.

If You Are the Smartest Guy in the Room…

Hope your Thanksgiving was great. We went on a trip to Louisiana to see family the day after Thanks giving.  It was filled with family, and the best food on the planet.

It was also filled with an uncomfortable conversation.

While hanging out with some family members drinking some Jameson and having a good time.When it was just me and one particular family member, I was asked if I was working. Of course I said no and that I was still going for my disability. When pressed, I explained my anxiety, and bipolar disorder and how they affect me.  Then I was pressed further for more of an explanation. I was asked how I could be around people at family gatherings and such, but have anxiety. Then more family came over to talk and the conversation changed.

It puzzles me that people treat mental health issues with such doubt. If I had cancer; then no one would say “But, you had that one good day” and then doubt that I had cancer. Why people do this with mental illness is beyond me.

As the conversation went on it was directed back to the subject of work and how people should pull themselves up and not ask for help. The same family member piped in with a bunch of “If this; Then that” statements on how people should get themselves back to on their feet. Some were valid; however one of these statements was “If it’s mental health; then go get your pills”.  This just proved to me that this particular person was ignorant on the subject of mental health issues.

Pills do not cure mental health issues. They can help manage the symptoms. Pills alone do not help with mental illness. It’s pills and therapy that are the course of action to make mental illness manageable.  Just like some treatments usually don’t work well by themselves, there are tandem treatments that go along with them (Like radiation & chemotherapy).

“Go get your pills” is not a solution for mental health issues.

Especially when you take in the fact that there is a severe lack of mental health services in this country.  In my state alone, there is such a shortage of psychiatrists that there is only 1 Shrink to every 10,000 patients. Yes, this number is offset by the use of Physician’s Assistants; however that is still a large deficit between people who need help and the people that provide help. Then you have to be qualified to receive any form of county, state, or federal assistance. The other option is to have insurance, which most people cannot afford through the Health.gov site, and if they work part-time they are generally disqualified from any form of assistance. So, you would have to work full-time at a job that supplies insurance. Which if everyone could do that; then this entire conversation would be a moot point.

In short, sometimes you simply cannot “go get your pills” to begin with.

I am not even going to go into the fact that sometimes it takes Y E A R S to find a medicinal regiment that will actually work for your symptoms. Sometimes it takes awhile to find out what pills to go get.

I guess the point is this: If you have little or no understanding on a subject; then don’t speak on that subject. It’s really that simple. You are doing nothing but spreading ignorance and perpetuating a stigma.

 

 

 

Repetitive.

It seems like I have covered this topic before, but I fear that I will be covering it again and again and again.

Because ‘Murica.

The mass shooting that happened in Las Vegas was horrific. 50 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. Why? We don’t know because the coward offed himself.

Now we have talked about political vehicles that launch whenever one of these things occur. We have talked about motivation of these things. We have talked about the details of mass shootings to the point that I have forgotten what we have covered. So, my apologies if this is repetitive.

When the shooter was first identified, the media started asking what they always do (when the shooter is a white guy) and that was question his mental health. I am sure that they were shocked and amazed when the family stated that he had no issues with mental illness. Now, does that mean that he really didn’t? Of course not. There are members of my family that don’t know I struggle with mental health issues, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is that mental illness gets the blame as the cause for the incident and the idea that all mentally ill people are just sitting around waiting for their moment to snap and take out a pre-school is perpetuated further.

Say this with me now:

“The Mentally Ill are not mass murderers in waiting”.

As a mentally ill person, I have N E V E R thought about, or planned a mass shooting, bombing, or anything. I am horrified by these things and I am terrified that people with a history of mental illness are always looked at when these horrific events happen. I am not stockpiling ammo, or weapons, or anything. Matter of fact there is only one gun in our house.

Nerf Maverick

That’s right, I am a mentally ill white guy living in Texas that doesn’t own a gun and is not planning a mass shooting. I am like a fucking unicorn.

So what is the root cause to all of the mass shootings? If it isn’t mental health issues; then what is it?

In my opinion, there is not a root cause for mass shootings; there are several.  One is the current gun laws that we have in this country. In Texas, it is harder to get a fucking drivers license than to get a gun in Texas. I could literally go to [Insert Name of Sporting Goods Store Here] and shell out the cash for an AR – Whatever and be out the door in a matter of minutes.  That’s right, minutes. My wife and I have been helping my niece get her drivers licence and it has literally taken months and we still haven’t gotten it, yet.

So, we make people have licenses to show that they can safely operate a vehicle, but we do not do the same for a firearm. We make people have insurance to cover their liability in case of an accident, and we make them register their vehicles with the state; however we do not do jack shit for guns. Until we have comprehensive and logical gun laws in this country, we will continue to have mass shootings.

What else do we need to fix?

We need some common sense laws regarding the modification of firearms.  The media has been reporting about the “bump-stock” that the Las Vegas shooter was using. I know that these increase the rate of fire for a semi-automatic rifle; however I didn’t realize by how much. Then I saw this video.  It shows that the semi-auto basically becomes a fully automatic weapon with the flick of a switch. These are legal because you are not altering the actual firing system, but just the stock. We need to regulate this shit and quick. Sorry, but I am not sorry, there is not a legitimate use for this type of accessory. This isn’t used for hunting, this isn’t used for home defense, and not one gun-owner is going out to stop any tyrants. This type of thing isn’t needed, period.

We have to change the way we view gun laws. No one…REPEAT…NO ONE is coming for your guns. We just want to make sure that responsible people own guns, just the way we do with automobiles, and make sure these weapons do not actually become assault weapons. Yes, you will have to go to an actual gun dealer and not a convention center to buy a gun. Yes, you will have to wait, and go through some hoops; however this will lead to less dead kids, less dead concert goers, and just less death all around.

But… but… criminals will still buy guns illegally.

Yes, they will; however most criminals have stolen their weapons, or have purchased them illegally anyway. This will still happen. My thoughts on this are that if we stiffen the penalty for gun theft, and illegal sales; then we will see less of this, too. If guns are harder to get for the bad-guys; then we should see a reduction in crime. Other countries have done this, why can’t we. Of course, until the GOP stops sucking the NRA’s dick for their campaign money shots, none of this will probably happen.

Look, I don’t have the solution (even though the gun & cheese plan I had was pretty solid), but I have ideas. Ideas lead to solutions. Hopefully, one day, I won’t have to post about this shit anymore.

Sadly, that day isn’t today.

People Are Fucking Stupid.

If you read one of my previous posts, you know that I rejoined Facebook. I have kept it simple and only a few people are on my friends list (I think I broke into the 30’s); however I have joined a few groups for my home town. One of which is a grievance page.

Now a little history before we begin.

My home town was formed in 1846. In 1920 it had a whopping 150 residence. Now it is a “massive” 8.8 sq miles and has approximately 9,600 residents.  As of the last census, the racial makeup of the city was 95.90% White, 0.22% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.20% of the population.

So, basically a rural town with a bunch of white people and a Wal-Mart

Now to the point.

While I was browsing the Facebook page for ” Grievances, bitches, moans, and complaints” I came across this post:

Redkneck_Jackass

Now, when I see shit like this, I usually just shake my head and go on with my day, but this hit me a bit differently.  While reading the comments I noticed that no one spoke up against this. Not a single person. Most of them gave “likes” and kudos in the comments. Some even gave tips where they could drive to “piss more people off”. People also encouraged one member to fly her flag outside instead of living in fear of retaliation.  I couldn’t believe the obliviousness of these people. The pure disconcern for other people and the sense of fucking entitlement. It was this that made me angry, not the flags.

If a person wants to fly these flags because they have the political ideology of a state’s rights being over the rights of a centralized government’s rights and this is how they express this, then great! Good for them! Its when the only reason that this is done is to “piss of[f] liberals” and cause further animosity between races that I find the point of this ridiculous. This guy went out and probably spent $30 – $60 for the flags, and $80 – $100 for the mounts and poles, just to piss people off and make his truck nothing more than a dick-wagon. The fact that someone would spend this much money and energy just to be an asshole astounds me.

Then again, this is Texas.

So, good for you cunt-servative flag guy! Way to use your time and money wisely. You show your support for a form of government that completely failed in its meager 4 years of existence. You support not only slavery, but overwhelming inflation, bread riots and complete economic ruin. Because that’s where the Confederacy was heading (actually it was already there during the last 2 years of the civil war) and (as most historians have found) even if it would have won the war, the Confederacy would have economically collapsed in just a few years and would have probably been taken over by  The US, Mexico or a European country. But hey, it’s your right to express your love for a fallen way of government and the degradation of an entire race of humans; however it is my right to not like it at all.

Like I have said before, you have the right to say whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean that people are going to like it.

Personally, I hope your truck confederate dick-wagon catches on fire.

Bad Words.

So, let’s talk about Political Correctness and mainly how it is absurd.

 

Still reading? OK, good.

 

I think people have blurred the line between “Being PC” and being a decent human being. I believe that we as a people have to get back to the point of “being decent” instead of being politically correct.

I hear people say this phrase all the time:

“You can’t say that!”

And, frankly, yes I can. I believe that a person can say whatever they want; however that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to applaud whatever comes out of your mouth. I believe that we need to focus on what we say. We need to weigh our words. To quote my mother: “Think before you speak”; however people should do this out of their own free will and not some form of social dogma, then the world would be a better place.

Who am I to say this? I am someone who (usually) thinks before they speak. I also keep two quotes in my mind at all times:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

– Evelyn Beatrice Hall

“No one has the right not to be offended. Just because you’re offended, it doesn’t mean you’re in the right.”

–  Ricky Gervais

If everyone just thought about what they were about to say before they said it, we wouldn’t have the issue of “Political Correctness”. We would just have people thinking, and showing genuine concern about what they say. We would also probably have a lot more silence.

But wait! Aren’t you a liberal/progressive/democrat? 

Well, yes to 2 of those things. I am liberal/progressive when it comes to most social issues and I feel that humanity should be open to new ideas and we should be moving to improve our society rather than stagnate in tradition. We need to constantly be reforming the way we act and think towards ourselves, each other and the world around us. If we just keep doing “the same old shit” then we will stop growing as a race (by race I mean humanity) and we will eventually die off. I do not consider myself a democrat, however. I don’t really see eye to eye with any political party. So, two out of 3 aint bad.

One point to note is that the term “politically correct” is actually a Communist term.

According to the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Kremlin advisers were the first to widely use the term. They did so without a trace of irony. Calling someone “politically correct” in Soviet Russia meant they toed the party line.

Now days it just means that we should not use words because of their effect on people or it’s a pejorative term that means policies or ideas are excessive. The term was used in the 90s as a pejorative term that basically meant censorship and today it is a label that conservatives like to use as a pejorative against liberals and liberal policies as an excuse to say things that are offensive. So, again it’s a blurred line of manners vs. political correctness.

And being politically correct, or promoting political correctness,  is just that: censorship.

An article by NPR had a good explanation of why “being PC” is just the wrong way to think about things.

The danger inherent in attempting to speak in a “politically correct” manner, is that in an effort to avoid offending the most sensitive members of our society or audience, we ban the use of perfectly good, accurate descriptive phrases for fear of running afoul of a small group of people with a political agenda. Hence the phrase “politically correct.”
At its worst, political correctness can be a form of Orwellian newspeak in which non-pejorative descriptions that accurately convey clear unambiguous thoughts are demonized, and banned in favor of bland replacements. A “war-lord” becomes a “faction leader.” Words are drained of their meanings.

– NPR newscaster Jamie McIntyre

So, we should be ANTI-Politically Correct then! Right?

Nope.

People that are Anti-PC (generally conservatives) find that being Anti-PC means you can say whatever hate-fueled garbage comes out of your mouth and people have to like it because of free-speech and it isn’t PC, so it’s cool if they say it (Again, manners vs. political correctness); however, like I said in the beginning: “…a person can say whatever they want; however that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to applaud whatever comes out of your mouth”. If you go around saying hateful & hurtful things, someone is eventually going to to tell you to shut the fuck up. Either in a polite respectful way, or with a punch to the face. So, go ahead and be “anti-PC” just don’t be anti-manners and expect everyone to like it.

So, what do we do?

Think before you speak, weigh your words and have some empathy; however don’t just say and think things because they are (or aren’t) politically correct. I am not PC, but I believe in things like LGBTQ+ rights, the disuse of fossil fuels, (actual) science being taught to our children in public schools, feminism, and equality. Not because it’s politically correct, but because they are good ideas. They progress us as a species and add to our general wellbeing.

Also, because I am not an asshole…Well, that big of one anyway.

I believe that a person can say or think whatever they want. That is a right that we all (should) have and no one should be able to force a way of thought or morality on you. It is my hope that one day we will all use empathy and understanding to choose our words, thoughts and actions because it is the right thing to do and not the politically correct thing to do.

I’m not going to hold my breath, however.

 

 

 

Let’s Get This Out of the Way.

Now that I am done with being depressed and anxiety ridden, let’s talk about Trump and this election outcome.

Grab a snack and soda, this may take a minute.

First, let me be clear, I didn’t vote for the guy. My initial support was with Bernie Sanders but the DNC decided to anoint a different candidate for the primary. I did flirt with voting 3rd party but decided to choose the more logical choice of backing the candidate that had a shot at actually winning (Sorry, but until 50% or more decides to become a Libertarian or a Green; they just aren’t going to win).

Now, the biggest issue with him winning is “what now?”. The Republican Party platform is filled with horrible ideas and policies that they are wanting to make into law. The NY Times has called it “The Most Extreme Republican Platform in Memory” because it includes such things as:

making no exceptions for rape or women’s health in cases of abortion

requiring the Bible to be taught in public high schools

selling coal as a “clean” energy source

demanding a return of federal lands to the states

insisting that legislators use religion as a guide in lawmaking

appointing “family values” judges

barring female soldiers from combat

rejecting the need for stronger gun controls

The platform also wants to gut Medicare. Instead of having Medicare done at the federal level, each state will receive a “block grant” and the State’s will decide on what to do with Medicare. And the entire platform is heavily Anti-LGBTQ and was even called so their own party’s LGBTQ community, The Log Cabin Republicans. Of course there are promises of walls and deportations as well. The platform also wants to make Christianity the official US Religion and English the official language, along with a few other shitty Tea-Party wish list items.

This platform and the election along with the appointment of a known “white nationalist” as an advisor and a evangelical zealot as the VP has spurned not only protests across the country (Even some here in the “deep red” state of Texas) but a rise in hate crimes not seen since the day after 9/11. To prove my point, the KKK has planned a “Trump Victory Parade”.  Now on top of all of this, you have his VP that is so radicalized by his faith that he caused a major HIV outbreak in his home state when he was the governor. He let this happen due to his “moral stance” on needle exchange programs. When he quit funding and took those programs away, the use of opioids and heroin didn’t stop as he thought they would, but the sharing of dirty needles started. It wasn’t until the caseload reached outbreak proportions and that there was so much pressure from local and national agencies (including members of his own party) that he “prayed about it” and let the program continue in affected areas. On top of this he has been quoted as saying:

“Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Now, Pence has never come out and said “I support Gay Conversion Therapy” but that is pretty much what he just defined in the quote above.  Remember, Mike Pence is the same governor that signed the 2015 Religious Freedom Act into law for the state of Indiana that started the whole “Religious Liberties” debate across the nation and almost cost Indiana thousands of jobs and millions in revenue due to boycotts and relocation threats from companies and groups like Angie’s List and The NBA. That same year, the following month actually,  a bill was passed that gave protections to LGBTQ  “customers, employees and tenants” but the original bill still stands as law in Indiana.

So, the separation of Church and State is a little foggy with VP Pence.

We also have another election that was fucked up due to our voting system. The Electoral College is outdated and needs to be abolished. It’s overdue and the system isn’t needed anymore due to the increased population and expansion across the country and also the fact we have forms of  communication that our forefathers never dreamed of. These advances in technology and social evolution have made the Electoral College irrelevant.  Even Trump says that the popular vote should prevail in his recent 60 Minutes interview when asked about the Electoral System:

“I would rather see it where you went with simple votes,” he said. “You know, you got 100 million votes, someone else gets 90 million votes…”

– President-Elect Donald J. Trump

[NOTE: To be fair, he later tried to CYA and add that he “respected the current system”, since it won him the presidency and all.]

But let’s talk about election influence.

The Trump campaign had/has ties to the Russian Government. It was found that Trump has a “secret server” of his own that was in communication with a Russian business called “Alfa Bank”. The server was shut down when investigated and then re-activated under a different server name a short time after it was found.  Now this has been “unproven”, but is still a bit sketchy since it is known that Trump has done business in Russia and has business ties to them; however, server or not, when a Russian Diplomat states that his government has been in contact with the Trump campaign, that should be a huge red flag (no pun intended), but the Russian Foreign Ministry cleared things up (or performed CYA) and stated that they:

 “…had been referring to American politicians and supporters of Mr. Trump, not members of his campaign staff.”

The FBI stated that they found no evidence of “hacking” or any “financial connections” between Russia and Trump.

Speaking of the FBI. Let’s talk about their influence on this campaign.

Director James Comey needs to be fired, at the very least. His action violated FBI Protocol and The Hatch Act. The “new evidence” found was nothing more than CC & BCC emails from the original investigation that was concluded. That should have been investigated thoroughly before making any form of an announcement. The FBI doesn’t have to give Congress updates regarding ongoing investigations. He used his position to influence this election and this was found to have seriously impacted the Clinton campaign. Don’t get me wrong, she made the mistake of setting up a private email server all for the reason of not carrying two phones and basically being lazy. This was a bad judgment call on her part. I didn’t see it as a “crisis” or anything, but it did call into question her work ethic; however I will take a person that finds ways to work smarter that maybe a bit sketchy that someone that drags a radicalized theist into one of the most powerful offices in the US and spouts off nothing but hate and ignorance on Twitter every 5 seconds any day of the week.

But now we come back to my original question: “What Now?”.

Now we let the guy try to be president. We hope that he goes with what he said in 1998 ( Not the Republicans are dumb thing, he apparently never said that) but that he was liberal on social issues. If that’s true; then when something that he doesn’t agree with comes across his desk, he should veto it.

We progressives/liberals/democrats (or whatever we are) also have to organize. We have midterm elections in 2 years. That means we have to get out and vote. We have to talk (constructively) about politics in with people that don’t agree with us. We have to find commonality with “the other side” and try to spread reason.

“But I got out and voted!”

Yeah, a little over half of us did; however the other 45% of us stayed at home and even some of the 55% that did vote jerked-off their vote and did some form of write-in or voted for a political party that no one has even heard of (and no, I am not talking about The Green or Libertarian parties); however it is up to the Electoral College to actually elect the president and not us. So, we ALL need to get organized and go vote this midterm. Why the midterm? Because enough seats for both the House and the Senate come up for grabs and we can get those put in more progressive hands. We can get more Democrats (and if you want to try to get a few Greens or Libertarians that’s fine too) in the Senate and the House that can affect policy and legislation.

For the most part, I say we see what the GOP can do and when (or if) they fail miserably then I think everyone will have learned their lesson. Right now, they have no Democrats to blame as opposition. They control the whole show.  So the what now is plan to vote in mass for the midterms and hope for the best.

Right now, I am now going to sit back and watch  “America Become Great Again”; because that’s really all I can do at this point.

 

 

(And if you didn’t vote at all, then you don’t get to say shit. STFU)

 

Stay Tuned for Our Halloween Special.

If you have ever read this blog you know my feelings on religion and you know that I “did time” in the church. One of the things that I would do usually for the church happened around this time of year.

Before I was “saved” I was a witch.  I practiced Wicca. A fun religion built on Welsh, Irish, British and other European pagan traditions that involves a lot of accessories and the delusion of the supernatural. Because I was a witch turned christian, I was always asked to speak out against Halloween & because I was a good little christian soldier, I always did (I now feel shame for it to be honest).

However…

I fucking loved Halloween and I still do!!

I loved the costumes, the pranks, the scary movies, and the whole idea of halloween! I know that Halloween comes from pagan roots, ALL OF OUR HOLIDAYS DO; however it isn’t satan’s night or the night where kids are sacrificed in some pagan rite. It’s a night where kids do more cardio than they do all year and get more candy than their parents know what to do with so they take it to the office the next day and all of their co-workers get to trick-or-treat throughout their cubicles (Adulting is awesome).

But, to keep with my old tradition of speaking out against things that occur on Halloween, I do want to go on a bit of a rant about some practices that do occur on this most awesome of nights.

Stop with this fucking Trunk or Treat bullshit! If you don’t know what this is, it is a stupid ploy to “make Halloween safe for kids” by having people come to church (sometimes a school, but usually a church) parking lots and open up their trunks and have kids just wander around the church parking lot and get candy. Of course there is also a catch at the church based ones:

 Churches are expanding on the original idea of trunk or treat by adding food, music, games, and rides. Their goal is to reach more of the community with an alternative to trick or treat. It not only has become a way to provide an alternative for children in the church but to the entire community. They have also found that it opens up opportunities to invite parents and children to other events or services going on at the church. To this end, some church groups hand out tracts or other information on the church at a Trunk-or-Treat.

Now I get it in the rural based communities where neighbors are 20 miles apart, but in my town there are suburban communities everywhere. We also have 30 churches that are in the 10 sq miles that make up our city limits (Welcome to Texas) and they all do the trunk-or-treat thing. The past 2-3 years that I have carved a jack-o-lantern, left the porch light on, signed my house up as a designated trick-or-treat house, I have gotten less than 5 trick-or-treaters in all 3 years combined. Its heartbreaking to see this tradition go away.

But, I would gladly let it die if it meant that a swift death would come to the other tradition that the church has on Halloween.

Every year almost every church puts on a spectacle called a “Hell House“.  They are like haunted houses you see pop-up around Halloween, but based on “sin” and “hell”.  They show melodramatic scenes of teen drug use, domestic violence, suicide, abortion, and homosexuality (amongst other evangelical christian issues). Now some of these things are serious topics, but the hyperbole comes in because the scenes are all caused by demonic influence. Yep, satan and his minion caused the depression that led that (always female actress) teen to suicide. Satan caused that girl (it’s usually always the same actress as the suicide teen) to go out to that party and get raped (notice there wasn’t any demonic influence over the guys that did the actual rape), and abortion is always caused by the devil; however at the end of the trip through this christian psychological shit-show, Jesus (or sometimes an angel if no one in the church looks like Jesus) pops in like a superhero and saves the day by leading the tour group out of hell and into heaven; however sometimes there’s a twist and not everyone gets in and you end up back in hell.

Here take a look, there was actually a documentary done about these a few years back:

 

In these attractions, you are basically subjected to psychological torture (Almost like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”). You are made to see horrific images played out with sounds and lights (sometimes smells) to give a further discomforting augmentation to a distorted reality  and then given an out: Salvation through Jesus. At the end of these you are given a chance to pray with members of the church and be “saved” (and also join the church mailing list of course). Like the kid in the video, I would have given them the finger as well.

Truth of the matter is, I have only been through one Hell House (and that was enough). It was more horrific, and unsettling than any actual haunted house that I have been to. Mind you,  I have been to a haunted house as a kid/teen where the group was chased by a dude with a chainsaw. AN ACTUAL FUCKING CHAINSAW (sans the chain on the blade of course) and that was less horrifying and damaging than the 1 hell house that I visited in my 20s as a “saved christian”.  Honestly, I laughed at the chainsaw guy. I loved every minute of the normal haunted house. Because they are there for entertainment. Hell Houses are there to subject you to a psychological torment, distort your thinking, and then convert you you at the end. Basically, you are herded like cattle through this “morality play” and processed at the end.

And of course it’s all for your own good.

Richard Dawkins, noted atheist, has condemned Hell Houses, saying that using fear to convert children is child abuse, and that the children only leave with nightmares and soiled underpants.

My largest problem is that these are aimed at kids. They will usually let children as young as 12 into these psychological slaughterhouses and that is one of the most frightening things I find about them. That and the number of them. There is one, or more, in every town and usually the ticket prices are cheap. So, instead of going to an actual haunted house a few towns over or in the nearest metropolitan city, kids will usually end up at these. Plus, they are ran by a church.

Nothing could possibly be that scary to the kids at a church, right?

classroom-shooting

Nope. Go on and take the kids, be sure to hit the Trunk-Or-Treat afterwards.

 

Happy Halloween.

 

Unequal. 

From time to time I go to the largest time wasting site on the Internet: Youtube.

I have a few Youtubers that I follow and some channels that I subscribe to. A lot of the time I will find a video that is attached or suggested by the algorithms that are conjured up by the wizards at Google and find myself deep into a rabbit hole that I had no intention of going down. While in this wonderful land of HD video eye candy, I come across a video that an intelligent person posted, and makes a comment that I disagree with; however I can also see their point (to an extent).  But, much like the community that this Youtuber is a member of, I also do not like being labeled and lumped into one broad category.

One of the topics this person discussed is the fact that followers from other channels will mob other Youtubers and sink their ratings. This person stated that these people call themselves “Attack Helicopters”. So, to be safe, I am not mentioning names or posting links.

The subject of this video is “Anti-Feminists”. During the video this person and their co-host state that most (if not all) anti-feminist videos that they see are Atheist channels and more or less allude that atheists are anti-feminist. They go on about because atheists claim to be intelligent and logical, we are all anti-feminist because they have seen multiple videos from other Youtubers that cross their “Social Justice Threshold”.

Hang on a minute.

I am an atheist and I am about to use some logic. If you have seen multiple Youtube videos from atheists that disagree with your social justice views, this does not make them anti-feminist; however let’s say that these atheist Youtubers were professing anti-feminist views. So the idea that some atheists are anti-feminist means all atheists are anti-feminist is not logical. At the same time, I know that there are a lot of atheists out there that are on Youtube that are complete assholes. They try to live strictly by logic and that is no way to function as a human. Here’s why:

A strictly logic based man is sitting and watching TV. His wife comes in the room and asks him to go to the store. She tells him to buy a loaf of bread and if they have eggs; then get a dozen. About 30 minutes later the man returns home with 12 loaves of bread.

His wife asks: Why did you buy so much bread!

He answers: Because they had eggs.

To function rationally we have to have critical thinking.

Critical Thinking
noun
1. the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Other than this one issue, the video that I am referring to was on point about a great deal of things. I believe that some people do not and will not address issues that are “too social justicey” and I believe that we do have a society that has cultivated a toxic Outrage Culture that gets offended over stupid shit and it goes both ways. The “Left” will get offended over something and SJWs will hop on it just like the “Right” will get offended over something and the “Fundamentalists” will go apeshit over it and then they will get mad at each other for getting mad at the thing that they are mad about. A lot of times I hear people talk about Free Speech but then get mad when they find out that it doesn’t only apply to them.

“You’ve got to be allowed to say things that [potentially] everyone might find offensive, I think offense is the collateral damage of freedom of speech. But just because you are offended doesn’t mean you’re right.”

Ricky Gervais

I can say that I was somewhat offended by the labeling of atheists as anti-feminists. Simply because I consider myself a feminist. I believe that a woman is equal to a man and that there is no such thing as “women’s work” or a “man’s job”. I know that there is wage gap and that women in the workplace are not equal. I worked in IT for years and the few women that we had in that field had to be smarter, faster, and 20x more adept at their job than I did, or they had to be on par with the male techs and be hot. IF they did one or both of those two things, they maybe made as much money or maybe even got a promotion. I believe that if you are as qualified, and perform as well as your male co-worker; then you need to earn dollar for dollar and promotions need to be based on merit and not your dick. I believe that a woman should have full say over what she wants done with her body. Whether I agree with abortion, whether you agree with abortion doesn’t matter. It’s not either of our bodies, so it shouldn’t be our decision. Whether you agree with the sex industry, again, it’s not our body. We don’t get a say in the matter. It’s that simple. I believe rape is a detestable thing. Some people say that we have a “Rape Culture” and I can’t argue with that. When I see college frat kids getting short sentences for rape, or grown men that rape children getting only a few years in prison. When we ask questions like “what was she wearing?” or “Did she lead you on?” this leads me to believe that we do view rape as a minor offence. When a kid with a computer violates a network, they get a minimum sentence of 35 years for computer hacking, but a kid with a boner violates an unwilling female and rapes her, they get 3-10 years and are usually out in half of that time, I think that something is fucked up with that.  I believe that LGBT+ rights are a major issue and that is another issue of inequality in our society. The feminist movement until recently (Thirdwave Feminism) really didn’t include LGBT+ rights or women of color in its agenda. As a husband to a beautiful black woman, I want equality for her. As an awesome uncle to 4 strong and beautiful girls,  I want equality for my nieces. I also want them to be/feel safe and have the right to make any choice that they feel is right for them. 

I am an atheist, and I am a feminist, and I have a “social justice threshold” where I find things to be too “social justicey”.  So, sorry Youtuber whose videos I actually enjoy, but I think that you are being over general in the statement that most atheist are anti-feminist. Especially, since your topic was Social Justice. While feminism is a Social Justice topic, Social Justice does not equal feminism. So, the definition of the label of “anti-feminist” is incorrect. Honestly, I just believe that a lot of atheists may just disagree with your social ideologies and this is prompting a reaction.

But, again, that may just be that atheist logic of mine kicking in.

 

Dallas.

Less than 24 hours ago I posted about how my anxiety is partially fueled by when I see violence, specifically police violence, in the news. My reasoning is that I am in a biracial marriage and that I fear for my wife’s, niece’s and nephew’s, brother-in law’s and practically all of my family’s safety with all of the non-sense that I see going on with the police. This one factor has made me understand what white-privilege is all about. When I get pulled over by the cops, I don’t worry about getting killed. I’m a white guy.

But that’s not what I am here to talk about today.

Last night at about 9pm my phone started going off. Message after message started pouring in. At first I ignored it as I was trying to get an early night’s sleep; however finally it started to annoy me enough that I opened up Telegram to see what the hell was so damned important and read the first message:

Just confirmed one DART [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] officer dead.

4 shot

The conversation then went on about how there were snipers in downtown Dallas shooting police officers during a peaceful protest regarding the recent police related shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, & Dylan Noble.  Before the night was over it ended up with 12 people being shot, 5 dead (4 police officers and 1 civilian) and the other officers wounded. 4 suspects were found 3 are in custody, one was negotiated with and eventually “neutralized” via a bomb disposal robot with a bomb attached to it.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said one suspect is dead after a long standoff with police. Negotiations were underway when Brown says the suspect told police he was angry over #BlackLivesMatter and was mad at white people. He wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.

He also mentioned “the end was coming” and that he was “going to hurt and kill more” officers. He said bombs were planted all over the garage and downtown.

After negotiations went sour and gunfire was exchanged, Chief Brown says officers had to use a bomb robot to detonate the area around the suspect and kill him.

From what I have seen in the news this morning, none of the suspects in custody are talking.

This has been called the largest assault on law enforcement since 9/11.

And of course, people have offered their thoughts and prayers for the fallen officers and there will even be a statewide moment of prayer at noon today.

So, now we’re back to the question of what to do about the gun violence in America. The NRA’s stance of “More Guns” obviously isn’t a logical solution because EVERYONE HAD FUCKING GUNS. We’re an open carry state here in Texas! So, even if people in the march had guns to help the police out (or help the snipers out, depending on where their moral compass was pointing that day) that obviously wouldn’t have solved the fucking problem, but made the whole situation more problematic. Hell, one man that was exercising his 2nd amendment rights and carrying his (unloaded) AR15 openly in the anti-violence march was a POI  (person of interest) and he had surrendered his weapon to police when the first shots rang out to make sure he wasn’t considered as a suspect, but guess what? His picture was plastered all over social media, and the TV as a suspect. So, again, more guns doesn’t help.

What about no guns? Well, if no one had any guns (other than the snipers obviously) then the cops would have been even more screwed and that definitely would not be a logical solution. What about less guns? Well, apparently our lawmakers can’t fucking figure out what to do about that one because some people think that the 2nd amendment is chiseled in fucking stone. So, we are back to square one with in the on going gun debate in America.

Just for clarification:

amendment

[uhmend-muh nt]
noun
1.

the act of amending or the state of being amended.
2.

an alteration of or addition to a motion, bill, constitution, etc.
3.

a change made by correction, addition, or deletion:
So, the 2nd amendment can be altered or changed by adding ANOTHER AMENDMENT.  At one point we had articles in the constitution that allowed and regulated slavery (the three-fifths compromise, the slave trade clause, and the fugitive-slave law); however we got rid of all of these with the 13th Amendment! Now some people say that we would be entering a slippery slope if we start editing the bill of rights with new amendments, but I don’t think that our Founding Fathers, nor The Framers of the Constitution really meant for us to use the 2nd Amendment for gunning down innocent people and police officers in the cold blood. I am pretty sure if it were possible to travel back in time and bring them to this time period, they would shit themselves, take a shower, and then go and beat the living fuck out of each and every member of our legislative branch of government (possibly the supreme court as well).
I will be curious to see what the political vehicles do with this latest breakout of gun violence and what, if anything, that will come from our geniuses in DC. Because now it’s not a mass shooting of High Schoolers, or College Kids, or a Military base, or Elementary Schoolers or LGBT Club Goers but our police. Maybe now this will make them act. Maybe now we will see some form of common sense gun laws passed and see some results.
Maybe now this will be enough.