Monday, November 30, 2015

JZ Murdock, who? A brief biography.

Who exactly is JZ Murdock? Who am I and why do I hold the beliefs that I do? How were they formed? Why does it even matter?

Well, it very well may not matter. I won't go into all of it, but perhaps some of it.

I am a writer. Not unlike many of us I have lived various lives, I have saved a few lives. I'm happy to say that I have gotten this far and have yet to kill anyone. Though I have had my moments when it may have been justified.

I am a published author (since 1990) with print, ebook and audiobooks available. I've studied screenwriting at my Western Washington University where I got a degree in psychology and I worked for years at another, the University of Washington. I'm still working on my screenwritings and I've started working again on film productions.

Cover art by Marvin Hayes
I wrote the horror sci fi book, Death of heaven. But why? How does someone come to be so against religions to even write a book titled as this one, where the "h" in "heaven" is lowercase. That "h" actually has more to do with the story than my personal beliefs. I spent the first half of my life surveying, studying, even though a university psychology degree going back into the origins of religion. How it came to be, how it could come to be.

Across the humanities and sciences, across the evolutions of religions, until I found what seemed the most reasonable explanations and I came to find it is simply a form of thought that can be far better achieved for whatever it has offered humanity through other and far better formats not requiring a deity or any consideration of ridiculous and far fetched fantasies.

Religions were invented by men. For all the good that religions have achieved, because of their format and structure they have allowed, at times supported, and overall allowed and put great evil upon the world.

For every point that theists point to how great religions have been, it all could have been achieved in a far more rational, safe and sane way; undercutting those claims of necessity, reality or relevancy by theists. Humankind has been addicted to religion and it's high time we grow out of our childhood mythologies and into our rational adolescence as a whole.

The story I devised in Death of heaven is quite a story and not for the faint of heart or the simple minded. It is a complex and hybrid tale told in a unique way, multi-layered with multiple-dimensions. An unusual book of fiction that I'm rather proud of. Aside from the obvious, there is nothing in that book that hasn't been done to humans or humanity by religions or the religious, at some point through our history.

I am against killing and humans causing other humans misery. Especially if it is through some form of belief, faith or religion. No one should ever die because of a religion. No one should ever die or be maltreated because of a belief system. Especially not one founded in myth and magic.

More Hard Hitting Words From The Dalai Lama About The Mass Brainwashing Of Society

If you've visited my Facebook page you'll notice a certain attitude against terrorists and abuse by one human or set of humans against another and that might make you wonder. How did that ever come to be? I've been very vocal against terrorists since 9/11 to a point that some have worried for me.

But we have to speak out against injustice and ignorance, foolishness and stupidity.

Light kills evil. Silence fertilizers it.

So how did this all come to be?

I had a pretty good but at times rather rough childhood. Partially because of ADHD. My parents weren't highly educated but bright people. Though my father was an electrician. Not a dumb guy but then, I didn't grow up with him after three, I only got his genes for the most part. My mother was kind of flaky at times but a loving if not occasionally somewhat nutty woman, though with a great sense of humor.

I got into trouble a lot. I got grounded a lot. So eventually I found books and the public library, including the adult section in fifth grade and then books by Aristotle and others. Something that was a great benefit to me overall but a great detriment in trying to fit into the 1960s as a child.

Some adults back then started to think I was nuts because I would say things that the world and history has long ago judged correct and brilliant. I remember in fifth grade saying something once and my stepfather, a harsh guy who wasn't my biggest fan, had said was stupid and asked where I hear that from?

I said, "Aristotle." He asked, "Who's that." Somewhat stunned at his ignorance and trying not to embarrass him and in doing so feel his wrath, I simply said, "A guy from 2,000 years ago." To which he responded, "He's an idiot."

Taking a chance and trying to restrain my irritation in  having already read what a boon to humanity Aristotle had been I said, "Maybe so, but people all through history, [I hesitated, then pushed it further knowing I was justified] all around the world have based how we think on his words."

That ended that particular "discussion". From that moment on I realized I was learning more than he knew about and it spurred me on. While he realized from then on I was someone to be even more wary of.

Some adults around that time started asking my opinion in making decisions in their own life as they thought I seemed for some reason to make a lot of sense. But not the family. Never my family who only thought as my sister liked to put it, that I was "weird". I was. I thought I was weird too. And I couldn't figure out why any adult would listen to me. A kid. I knew I must be onto something.

The downside of my childhood were all mostly mental issues really. Berating from those who didn't understand me, from teachers I couldn't satisfy, from a stepfather who according to my mother was jealous of me and found me a pain in the ass.

Having a father who was out of my life from when I was three and we were living in Spain didn't help things. I used to daydream he would come save me from my life.

Our mother picked up this new guy on the way home from Spain who got his jollies for years after in berating me so I learned to stay out of his sight whenever possible. After Spain, after spending a couple of years around our east coast family, our mother dated around and finally settled on this guy and married him.

They had a kid when I was five and brought him back to where I was born in Tacoma, Washington. Even though our mother had been born in Brooklyn, New York. Tacoma for me once we had left, was a place I never wanted ever to go back to. Certainly not after experiencing Spain, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York.

When we returned to Tacoma in 1960 it seemed even worse than when we had left.

The museum we had visited in Philly had a giant human heart you could walk through the ventricles of. They had a hands on moon exhibit where you could experience what it was like to walk in a lighter gravity. In Tacoma we went to a museum and it was in an old square wooden building with square glass display cases containing artifacts. At first I thought it was some kind of a bad joke. It was light years behind the museum science displayed on the east coast at the time.

We moved each year so I had trouble making friends and got to realize it was useless to anyway as I knew they wouldn't last. Much like a military brat but stepdad wasn't in the military. He just had trouble finding a decent job on a new coast after his having been a big band leader. I always felt sorry for him about that, even though we pretty much hated one another.

Mom had forced him to stop playing music. Who does that? And drinking. She never allowed him to spank us as his anger was too disturbing and she said he didn't know his own strength. I thank her for that. But that meant she was the punisher and would use his belts to whip me with when I was bad. But he's dead now. I recently sprinkled his ashes in the River Liffy in Dublin at my sister's request and against my personal desires.

I got taken down to a Karate dojo in 1965 by my mother because said she was tired of groups of boys beating me up for my big mouth. I'd had a big mouth because I hated seeing injustice and I spoke out whenever I saw it. I can't stand bullies, or people pushing their will upon others. Occasionally I took a beating for it, but it never stopped me speaking out. Not to this day.

My saying "Screw Al Qaeda, screw ISIL, screw ISIS, or screw DAESH", isn't a new thing with me.

They are all slim. Terrorists are scum when they kill, maim and abuse non combatants and they deserve to be called out about it. Their pathetic needs do not weigh a thing in light of the innocents they murder. Just as do the politicians and rich who abuse their status, as well as conservatives, Republicans, or anyone on the other side who abuse through their actions. But then too, there is only so much time in a day. I find I simply can't avoid speaking out when I see abuses.

Something that did however make my childhood... difficult.

I had been taken there earlier and turned down as the Sensei said he didn't take on children. But then we heard he had started to and she took me back. That led to my learning Asian philosophy and to pick up an orientation on how to kill quickly and in so learning that, in also having gained a responsibility to protect others from a confrontation with me to protect them from being killed.

In having gotten grounded a lot I discovered science fiction which opened my mind quite a lot. I'd be sent to my bedroom as punishment but after a while, whenever I got told that I had to try not to look happy about it. Because I would go from being outside or playing in the house where I would get into trouble to going to my room and traveling the universe. I always read only the best and they had good solid ideas to found my young personality on.

I got used to things seldom going right for me. Or of being my own worst enemy in my curiosity or lack of care in being punished for trying new things. I got in trouble in third grade once for repeatedly jumping off the roof of the house. The fall was fantastic even if the sudden stop at the end was a bit of a let down.

In getting poor grades in school I mostly got used to not living up to the standards of my older straight A sister. Years later I heard a CEO give a talk to us in college saying that he preferred solid C students over straight A types. Because he said, when an A student type failed they took it hard, but C student types were used to it and just pushed on through it. That was me.

I got to where I thought outside the box because I had to.

I also had an older brother, seven years older who we seldom saw but who always questioned things. I learned over the years from many of his mistakes. Things I would have done, that he did first, suffered for it and would share his experience to help me avoid duplicating his mistakes.

Our grandmother taught me to always listen to those older and more knowledgeable and not be like many kids who don't listen to their elders, to people who have done it all already. Why not build upon other's experiences and save myself the trouble, to put me further ahead of those who don't listen? That made a lot of sense to me.

My grandmother, my mother's mother, was a great benefit to me in learning critical thinking. She told me when I started reading to always finish a book once you start reading it. Just be sure before you crack that cover that it is a book you want to read.

To this day I can count on one hand the books I haven't finished reading. And I've read a lot of books though I always seek out the best authors and for that matter apply that to anything I did. I have my mother to thank for always seeking out the best teachers in anything I wanted to learn. Grandma taught her to choose experts wherever possible. And I've had more than few.

From that I learned to finish whatever I started and to learn the best forms available and possible.

In eighth grade I started in Civil Air Patrol. CAP is an official auxiliary of the US Air Force. It teaches its young cadets Aerospace technologies and search and rescue of downed small\light aircraft. I took ground school toward a pilot's license in junior high.

We learned base support in taking care of aircraft that flew to locate downed aircraft and locate survivors. We learned communications in two way and HAM radio in how to run radios professionally. We were taught first aid, first responder training. We learned LSAR, Land Search and Rescue techniques, how to travel in the mountains, to locate aircraft and crash survivors and find your way in and out, how to climb cliffs, and so on.

If my mother knew half of what we did she would have had a heart attack. After my first meeting I was told to learn the manual as next meeting they had just received so many new kids I would be in charge of a "flight" of them, half of that squadron. I taught them how to drill, to march in order.

I was raised in a blue collar Union family, Teamsters, as democrats. We were Catholic. Liberals I suppose. But it was a positive life affirming environment which I've only come to appreciate of late as I have learned what Republicans and conservatives are all about and I find it rather distasteful, based in a strange kind of reality that seems to fit only the rich.

My mother had said I was "gun crazy" as a kid in eighth grade. Which may be reasonable when you are adventure loving, mostly stupidly fearless and grew up watching 1950s and 60s cowboy, military\war and cop shows and films. With Vietnam on TV during dinner almost every night a gun seemed like a pretty good idea, even though I grew up in a suburb.

So mom called the police department to ask what to do about me. They suggested getting me access to burn out on my cravings and to learn how to handle guns safely with authoritative and appropriate respect. They suggested a civilian who had a gun club for kids who reloaded cartridges for the Tacoma Police Department to save them money.

They let him use their firing range downtown for his junior gun club and said he was well liked and highly respected and reputable. He was yet another in a long line of men who were second fathers to me, filling in where both of my "dads" had failed. It was in that club that I got my craze under control and learned how to shoot, handle firearms properly and see them as what they are. Tools, not toys. Eventually I got my high school sports letter from being three years on the Lincoln High rifle team.

During nights in high school I worked at a drive in theater where my step father worked as assistant manager. As long as I kept my grades respectable (no one expected As or Bs), I could keep my job and have some pocket money, and then a car in my senior year. I eventually became snack bar manager and worked the box office. I started there picking up the garbage on the field in ninth grade each day after the previous night's showing.

I had what three neurosurgeons said was a nervous breakdown and ended up in the hospital in twelfth grade. They said from what my mother told them it had to do with the tension in my home life and that I needed either to figure out how to deal with it or simply move out. They gave me a prescription of valiums and sent me on my way. I moved out the week after graduation at seventeen into my own apartment, having started a job the day immediately after graduation.

I was up for that job with another kid. I got the job because he wanted to go to graduation party and I underbid him saying I could start the day after graduation, thus killing my going to the Ocean Shores graduation celebration. I later found out that the kids that did go, got corralled by police for a caravan of drunk kids, hanging out of car windows driving around and their parents had to drive the couple of hours to the shore to get them all. So in the end I pretty much got the better deal.

Then I got very sick with bronchitis (something I got about every year) and the doctor required I stay away from the open garage doors of the drive in's snack bar for a month. So I lost my job in a rather underhanded way because the new manager didn't like how my employees listened to me over him. I've received that kind of loyalty from employees ever since, all through my life including in the military.

So that's about it. There is of course a lot more and where I was headed after high school. I've written a biopic, a true crime screenplay about a week in my life after high school where I was a bodyguard for the first (and not last) time, for a stip club waitress who witnessed a mob murder. I have titled it, Teenage Bodyguard. It was a well known murder in 1974. The waitress had a different story that the official one that holds to this day and I may be the only one with the true story of what really happened.

I graduated high school hating my K-12 school experience, because of ADD mostly I suppose. I decided I would graduate and be done with school and never have another thing to do with it. Happily, my life changed, I changed, and I ended up at a university after the Air Force. Eight years to get through four years of college. But then my Vietnam era benefits paid for college, something that otherwise would, could, never have happened.

I was actually talked into going to college by two high school friends who said they could get me into pledge their Zeta Psi fraternity at the University of Washington. But my mother said they simply didn't have the money for that.

There is a wonderful true scene where I spent a night there at the Zeta Psi house in Seattle during the Christmas season so I could take the SATs the next day. There was hardly anyone there, every one being home for the holiday break. The frat Secretary and President knew I was there and found me and pulled me into their room. We sat on the floor and smoked pot and listened to Simon and Garfunkel and talked. In the end I did miserable on my SATs and the UW wouldn't let me in anyway.

So I screwed around after high school from seventeen till twenty, through the nightmare of my little brother's death via cancer and into my engagement to my first wife. But I had no job prospects.

So at twenty I entered the Air Force as Law Enforcement. The other forty nine guys in my flight were from seventeen to nineteen and called me the Old Guy. At twenty, I was being called the Old Guy. Except there was one guy older than me at twenty four who had been a teacher. We called him The Teacher and Crazy for joining at that age. But he said he wanted to teach, in the Air Force.

I got booted out in basic because of flat feet but talked them into letting me stay. Demanded it actually as I was pissed off I went through so much of basic training only to lose my job and my slot. The base foot doctor, a Colonel whom I was bitching to about this liked me for some reason. So he told me to select another job.

I chose Flight Simulator Technician and as backup, Parachute Rigger. I had been a SCUBA diver since 10th grade and started skydiving just after high school. But I just missed the primary job and ended up as a parachute rigger. A field where they were nicknamed, "panty packers". Everyone seemed to have a nickname. "Riggers can pack anything" they told me.

Before I left the military I joined the OSI. That is a book unto itself. And it could have gotten me killed.

I got out and floundered for a year doing nothing, which I now see as a healing period. My older brother whose house I was staying at, talked me into using my military benefits and so I entered college where I found that my teachers believed I had a knack for writing. I had only planned on getting a two year degree but my girlfriend (another long story) wanted to get a four year degree.

So we petitioned universities around Washington state, visited all the campuses and both decided on Western Washington University where we eventually got our B.A. degrees in Psychology. UW turned me down yet again. They said not to feel bad because even straight A students got turned down. By this point I was extremely close to a straight A student, but not quite.

At WWU our Psychology adviser in the department eventually told us we were in the top 1% of the top 1% of all psychology students in the country. The head of the counseling department literally begged me to go into counselling as he thought I had a real feel for it.

I knew I couldn't emotionally handle dealing with other people's problems day in and day out and would eventually kill or drink myself to death if I had to take on other's miseries. And I wasn't a drinker, not after high school. By the time I turned twenty one in fact, I had pretty much tired of bars and drinking.

So yes, I'm a progressive type and have always been liberal in my approach to life, much more fearless than our conservative types from what I have seen, who seem to me mostly to be rather fearful people.

I see life for what it is, a calculated risk. Not something to hide from. Not a venture where you can take from others, or to have much that I don't need that costs others in taking from them, and so on and so forth.

I see this planet as a spaceship we're all riding on.

A world we owe something to for living on it. I don't think I have any right to impose my will on others unless they are harming others, or possibly themselves. Conservatives are like that, ISIS is like that, Republicans lately have been very much like that.

As the put it:

"Average Americans need to be more informed about what is going in the country, but also where to get their information. The argument isn't about holding a liberal or conservative ideology, it's about facts that are based on truth and not information based on twisted logic. Americans need to learn to dig a little deeper to find honest reporting, not just believe something that falls in their lap at the expense of a billionaire funded think tank or news organization."

I think we owe it to ourselves to be as honest as possible, not to lie, even if it is at the cost of our beliefs. If your belief is wrong, why are you holding onto it? Let it go.

We have many who don't care about the truth, just twisting things into their benefit. Sadly many of them don't even realize they do that. Critical thinking has become a victim.

I grew up testing myself. I've had plenty of opportunities to.

Someone once said if you run from your fears you'll run all your life from them. So I've tried to discover them and face them down. I also got the testing of myself out of the way at a fairly young age. Something I've seen adults doing sometimes late into life, much to their detriment and that of others around them or under their control.

A good man knows his limitations I was told and I've found many times in people making mistakes in life where they simply didn't know themselves, don't know their limitations. They incorrectly, over or under expect failure or success.

What I've found is many times, most of the time, when I go up against what I'm afraid of or when I take a (calculated) risk, it nearly always seems (against all reason sometimes) to work out in the end. If you have an accurate assessment of yourself, you can achieve great things. But one has to balance life and family, quantitativeness with qualitativeness.

If you give in to your fears you never find out what you can achieve.

Therein for me lay the defect in conservative thinking.

Want some irony?

My older brother has become a conservative and a small businessman. From having been a1960's hippy type, I have no idea how that happened. Other than he was mostly raised by his own father. Of my four siblings, we all had different fathers, except for my one still living younger brother where we have different mothers but grew up separately. He's the genius artist in my family. We didn't grow up together but I'm happy to say now we are great friends.

I think that gives you just a small idea of who I am and where I get my attitude and orientation from. I was raised Catholic, I was head altar boy at one point. I'm now what some would call an atheist, a humanist, perhaps a pantheist. Since the concept of God came after one not existing, I object to being called atheist as it means against something and one cannot be against what wasn't there to begin with.

I have learned that Aikido (I'm on the board of directors for our local non-profit Aikido dojo) and the Buddha Dharma (Buddhism for Westerners) has helped me a great deal. I'm not a ritualist though and I reject any religious orientation in my Buddhist thoughts. I became a Freemason years ago to see why my grandfather was one as well as a Shrine. Getting a degree in psychology has given me free therapy and helped me achieve a kind of cohesins in life. Raising two kids also gave me a wealth of reasons to be alive. To see them grow and become artists, musicians and free thinkers themselves.

I spent much of my twenties being bitter about my childhood until I realized to simply let it go (though there was nothing simple about doing so). To see things in the right light, makes life so much more worth experiencing. To want love over things, is so much more worth the effort. And to leave a positive legacy, such a rewarding pursuit over that of wealth, power or notoriety.

In the end I have only this to say to you all. Do your best in life to do no harm. To leave things better than you found them. To know that religion is never a good enough reason to kill but to kill those killing for the purposes of their religion are sometimes necessary. That killing is seldom necessary, though sometimes it is in order to survive but if you avoid it as best you can and still survive, you should have no guilt, only regret in not having seen a better way sooner to have avoided it.

May prosperity seek you out in many ways and may you deserve any gifts it bestows upon you.

Cheers to you all! Sláinte.

Life is risk. Calculate it. Risk it. Live.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving....everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it on this day! 

For those of you who do not, have a great day anyway. 

For those of you who aspire to one day celebrate it here in peace and harmony, may you one day soon be able to achieve your dream. In the meantime wishing you all the best. 

For downtrodden everywhere may this next year bring you the peace and prosperity we all desire and most of us deserve.


A Precious Human Life
Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am
alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it, I am
going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out
to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am
going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry
or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

This is my simple religion. 
There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. 
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple and the philosophy is kindness.

Monday, November 23, 2015

War on American Religious Freedoms or Fundamentalists' Misapprehensions?

People seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what religious freedom means in America.

I'm just going to go ahead and address Christians here because they seem to be the ones most confused, deluded or disingenuous on this topic here in the US.

This country was set up originally for freedom. NOT for Christian freedom, though there was an overwhelming number of them. Then concept however in the wisdom of the Founding Fathers was to center upon any one religious group was to remove that freedom eventually for either those or others. Only a secular government can protect freedom for all.

That freedom came out of a need to see that we do not ever have to deal with the nightmare of having an abusive king or queen, o some potentate who rules in any way they deem necessary, possibly with complete disregard for the feelings and condition of the citizens of the country, at the burden of the citizenry or parts thereof.

From that came all other things and the desire to have a free country where people could pursue their potential for happiness and advancement in their station regardless of their location of birth, environment or any consideration beyond their desire to achieve happiness and their own intrinsic individual potential to succeed.

This is not a country where you are guaranteed happiness or success, but the systemically equal potential opportunity to achieve those things. That is to say, you will not be disqualified because of birth, or things outside your personal potential as in belonging to caste of "untouchables" in India or a lower class in Britain in the old days.

That includes who your caste, family, country of origin, religion, race, color, etc.

Christians seem to forget in their recent railing against how they feel they are being mistreated, how they have actually historically been prejudicial against other groups, all because of their religion in how it was all interpreted.

Christians were slave owners after all. Christians have been prejudiced and bigoted against gays and other races. And religions. Have you ever heard a Christian say that "Jews killed savior"? What has that really got to do with us today? Absolutely nothing. And if it does, then you can know you're a bigot.

Now Christians are merely starting to feel what those groups felt for hundreds or thousands of years in the playing ground finally becoming equal for all...and it stings.

So what does religious freedom actually mean in a mixed salad country like America?

Once you have the consideration of a mixture of people with various races, cultures, religions, viewpoints, ethnic orientations and so on you have  to view things in a different way not only through one religion or viewpoint.

You have to set up a country that can handle and allow all those groups the freedom to live their lives and at least within the context of their private existences to live how they see fit in order to enjoy their beliefs and to be happy.

That does not mean that once they leave the confines of their home, compound or church, they can dictate how life should be in public.

Most religions in the US have freedom WITHIN reason. After all a group of serial murders in a religion or part of one, who is devoted to serial murder really needs to be shut down for the good of the nation. Think ISIS I suppose in Islam or Sharia Law. Even within that group\system we cannot allow things like honor killings, a very archaic and juvenile practice and belief system.

If this were the Middle Ages, Christians and Muslims all over America would be trying to kill one another. And that goes against the foundation of our nation where all people can live together in peace and tranquility, if not political discussion and debate.

Certainly from their perspective it may appear they are being discriminated against, but that is not the case as the public areas in a country need to be amenable to all people. Leave your differences, as much as possible at home for the common areas where you can intermingle. A religions that preaches separatism in order to practice their faith I find personally sad butt then we have those groups. he Amish. Some Mormons (even though some break laws in those communities in doing so). Some types of monasteries and so on.

If you are going to have a country, for the most part you need to be willing to serve others, not just those who share your beliefs. That means if you are going to go out in public you will see things that you disagree with within your religion but to live in this country you will need to find a way to deal with that and maintain your religion within yourself and YOUR community.

IF you religion cannot handle seeing reality and maintaining you beliefs, your faith, that would seem to me to be a pretty poo religion in the first place. But in the core of religious practices for the most pat, rather than fix what is wrong, believers double down and irritate or rail against, rather than find ways to live in harmony.

Not all religions are like that however. Buddhism comes to mind and from what I've seen, where that isn't' true in those practicing the Buddha Dharma, they are the ones who have lost the way, not their system, but the flavor of that system they have over generations, chosen to subvert and practice. And that is on them, not their religion overall, not necessarily anyway. Though perhaps in some cases it should be. It really depends on the structure of the religion to be amenable to such changes and controls.

What is expected of you as a Christian is for you to keep your beliefs to yourself and be happy.

Not to push those out into the public eye to affect others in their religions, or even those who are atheists who deny the existence of any deity and who do now share your beliefs in a divine overruling entity.

The thing is, we all have to live together.

Even though your beliefs dictate to you that you have to follow this or that rule, that is not the same for everyone. We all have to live together in this contained country. If you don't like that, move. That is the form and structure of this country. Deal with it.

Either you are a good American citizen and share this country with others, or you are not. Right now there are a lot of Christians who are trying very hard not to be good Citizens, who try to push their religion into state and national politics. Some churches too are trying to do this. Churches who do not pay taxes and are getting into national politics., I agree with the many now who are saying if churches want to become political then they too need to pay taxes in order to have that right.

It would  all work far better if we could all just try to get along and not expect so very much from a nation where very different types of people are all trying to live together and get a long. Because in that is our strength, not in all of us practicing whatever you think is best for us.Or you neighbor. Because if we all do what you want, then one day we may all just decide to do what your neighbor wants, and that my friend, you may come to find a very unsatisfying experience.

Let's get along and support having the secular government we have before it is too late and you find you have gotten what you want, and it has cost us all so very dearly.

Friday, November 20, 2015

On Mein Fuhrer Donald Trump and American mistakes

So now Trump says we need a database of all Muslims in America. I assume it would be bad for them if they don't register. He said he would get them registered at Mosques and many other places.

Donald Trump Says He’d ‘Absolutely’ Require Muslims to Register

Really. Seriously?

A Jewish group responded to this saying they've seen that done before and it didn't end well. Well put, if understated.

Well, there is at least, this:

Donald Trump’s Call for Muslim Registry Denounced by Democrats

I wonder. What if Hitler never had killed anyone? Just "managed" those "dangerous" Jews. What if he didn't scream and be charismatic with crowds? Trump screams and is charismatic with crowds.

You know, Hitler was really just a good corporate mind. The ultimate corporate mind. Efficiency to the max.

Trump says this country is very poorly managed. We need to better manage this country. He would better manage this country. Trump is the ultimate businessman. Very much a corporate mind.

I used to think we just need a businessman to run this country to get things in order. Then someone pointed out we are a nation of people, not a corporation of workers. There is a massive difference between being president of a nation and being CEO and manager of a corporation. That was when I realized how true that was.

A corporation needs to run and that is the end all be all, to make money, be efficient (see Brazil (1985 film)). A country has to act somewhat like a corporation but then it may have to lose money to take care of people and keep them happy and safe because in this country it is about a nation of people pursuing happiness and quality of life. Or it once was.

I'm sure it will all be all right.

Since I first learned of the Japanese internment during WWII I have said I refuse to ever go back to that kind of chickenshit behavior.

Where are the Islamic countries in fighting off the terrorist threat against the world, against their own in the Middle East?

Where indeed. Is it because they can't be warring on other Muslims? Why not? Isn't that what we need them to do, to stand up and police their own? Is it because they as in Saudi Arabia have something else going on themselves? Like how they are about civil rights and support behind the scenes? Is it because of their tribal nature always pitting one type of Muslim against another, always treating each other badly internally between sects in their gang mentality?

I suspect all the surrounding Middle Eastern countries are concerned about DAESH (ISIS\ISIL). So why does America or Russia or anyone but them have to be the ones to do it all, for them?

It just seems to point out a few things about that region that leads me to wonder why we have to even be there.

Because of oil? Israel? Really. What is so important about the Middle East anymore? We were there so that exactly what is happening would never happen. In order to protect Israel, to have cheap oil, or oil at all (but at any cost?).

Haven't things changed now?

Though now I agree that due to many of our own actions (mostly on the Republican ticket) we now have to deal with humanitarian issues, even though we don't want to. It's like being the bully in a playground to a weak, stupid kid (no I'm not saying Muslims are stupid, this is about America being a bully). Then all the other weak kids gang up on and now you what, run away? Good luck with that now that they have organized and retaliated.

Am I 100% right on all this? Perhaps not. But I suspect you may be able to get the idea of what I'm trying to say.

Republicans like War. War on people in other countries.
Wars on drugs (people in this country).
Wars on the poor (again, this country, very much so through drug issues).

How about we mellow out and work toward no wars?

But if we need any, let's....

WAR on ignorance (Kill Fox News, open up schools to educate our citizenry esp. the poor).
WAR on having to be perfect to run for office or stay in office especially about legal (if not immoral) sexual behaviors.
WAR on lying in public office (that would end politics in this country on at least one side).
WAR on Governors (or politicians in general) doing stupid things that are against their citizenry.
WAR on gerrymandering not being done right (if actually needed for the real reasons it may be needed, to protect our citizens, not to support politicians or parties).
WAR on people abusing the meaning of the 2nd amendment.
WAR on those who are attacking people properly utilizing the 1st amendment, and on those who are abusing the 1st.
WAR on curbing or eliminating voters from voting (this should be a mortal sin for politicians and yet it's practically a branch of the republican party (as is gerrymandering).
WAR on the rich abusing the rest of the country.
WAR on politicians helping the rich abuse the rest of the country.
WAR on abusing other countries for our benefit (especially when they eventually turn about and attack us and caused grief to the entire world).
WAR on monopolies like we're supposed to be doing.
WAR on big money in politics.
WAR on the religious pushing their agendas on a secular government that supports a mostly non-secular country.
WAR on fake religions.
WAR on religions who dabble in politics without paying for the right to do so through taxes.
WAR on those abusing immigrants through American politics.
WAR on those cutting taxes to where the government fails it's purpose as in maintaining our infrastructure and the esp. then saying that government is too big but only in the ways that are needed, or broke by their actions but not the big government that actually exists and is over funded.
WAR on a minority (think Tea Party conservatives) perverting a major political party (think republicans)
WAR against good ideas.
WAR against calling government plans for the people as socialism and calling that anathema to our country.
WAR on those who are warring on others and calling positive progress and evolution of an entire nation as a WAR on them, just because people are waking up and seeing the abuse of some of those groups disingenuously as a WAR on themselves.

But really let's stop this near sexual addiction to WARs, extreme conservatism and Donald Trump types and start seeking out the facts, recognizing them, and then building functional systems upon those findings without letting extremist ideologies and idiots subverting our beneficence and pursuit of happiness.

Let's stop making mistakes.

Let's start thinking and making better choices.

Let's end this on a positive note.

At least a rational one based in reality:

Attendees of the Cairo International Film Festival speak out, with the event's president speaking of a war "between civilization and barbarity."

Okay, perhaps we can end on a positive note after all....

I'm an American.

And as for Christians....

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I do care... just maybe not about you

And, "Le Petite Merde", the ISIL minimind, born Abdelhamid Abaaoud 
has now been blown to bits by his own idiot female cousin during a raid by French police.

We shall not miss you slimy one.

Who don't I care about?

I don't care. If you are heartless, if you are a terrorist, if you are a bigot.

I don't care that you're offended.

I don't care that you feel there is a make believe war against
you, or your holidays, or religion, or your religion.
I respect a person's right to a belief, not a right to a stupid or hurtful belief.

I don't care what you think if you are talking nonsense 
that your favorite nutcases have dreamed up.

I don't care that you think your God or religion says you can hurt people or kill them. 
That's some God you've dreamed up.

I care about real people, really being hurt.
I care about real pain and real suffering,
not perceived pain and not perceived suffering.
I care about the poor who have no money for food or healthcare. 
I don't care about the rich who are sad they will have less money
just for others to have something at all,
when it will not affect those rich at all in any real substantive way.
I care about reality. 
I care about people who deserve my concern.

Not your luxuries in life when others don't have because you do.
Not when others are dying because of your God,
or your buddies who like to kill and enjoy the benefits
of power over others who are not of your
clan, cult, tribe or nonsense belief system.

So I guess I do care.
I just don't much care about you.

You know I've posted about this before, what it is to exhibit heroism. I shrink myself from the thought of my local community areas being attacked, loved ones dying becuase of terrorists.
But you have to stand up as a human being sometimes even when you don't want to, even when you are afraid, WHEN YOU HAVE REASON TO BE AFRAID. So many of late are afraid for little or no reasons, making up fears, fears unfounded.
Courage is being terrified in the face of terror and still functioning, still doing what needs to be done and not just thinking of yourself.

We all experience cowardice and heroism from time to time and those who experience heroism at certain moments in life do, act and infrequently are viewed and praised for doing such great things.
It is in those moments when we become greater than we are.
Isolationism, rejecting a chance to stand up and face down evil, to give refuge to those in need, these are those moments of heroism, moments that are gifts where we can be allowed to be more than we are.
Decide what you are, who you are, what you want to be, how you want to be seen by others, and in the future by yourself.
Cower safely in a dark corner.
Or stand forth bravely among all of humanity.
Be seen as a coward among citizens.
Or a cowardly nation among nations.
It is your choice as an individual,.
Our choice as a nation.
And now is the time to make it.

A tiny footnote: I am pleased to note that the international media has stopped calling Le Petit Merde, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris attack "mastermind" and instead now refers to him as the ringleader. A term that evokes a circus, a far more appropriate one, as mastermind infers some kind of exalted status, rather than that of one who merely coordinated something. 

He is someone who every time I refer to him I have to look up his name yet again. because he is already being forgotten, already barely a footnote in history.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What is it (should it be) to be an American?

Thanks to The History Place web site for this.

I've heard some people asking this week, just who are we as Americans now? Who do we think we are? Right wing extremism, extreme fundemental, evangelical Christianity and Republicans confused in the implosion of their party as well as our having now to deal with a different kind of enemy in religious if not Islamic terrorism and the rise of groups as an enemy over that of nation states, has diluted what it is to be an American. 

In this speech just replace Britain for France. Or simply wait, as I'm sure there will be attacks forthcoming again on the UK, sadly. Transpose the elements of WWII for today's struggles and today's events and players. But the core should sound familiar. And if it doesn't, you need to question your orientation today.

From Harold Ickes - May 18, 1941

This remarkable speech was delivered during an I am an American Day gathering in New York's Central Park by Harold Ickes, President Franklin Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior. It came at a perilous moment in history, May of 1941, when Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seemed headed toward possible world domination.

By this time, countries that had fallen to the Nazis included Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and areas in North Africa. Airfields and cities in England were now under ferocious air attack from the German Luftwaffe while wolf-packs of Nazi U-boats attempted to blockade the British Isles.

Many Americans, however, still questioned the wisdom and necessity of direct U.S. involvement in the European war. Pacifist sentiment was steadily growing, while at the same time Fascism was sometimes referred to as the "wave of the future" by respected Americans, buoyed in part by the ceaseless barrage of highly effective anti-democratic propaganda emanating from the Fascist countries of Europe including Germany.

In this speech, Harold Ickes counters that propaganda, defines what it means to be a free American, and offers a blunt assessment of the perilous future the United States would face standing alone against a victorious Hitler.

Here it is:

I want to ask a few simple questions. And then I shall answer them.

What has happened to our vaunted idealism? Why have some of us been behaving like scared chickens? Where is the million-throated, democratic voice of America?

For years it has been dinned into us that we are a weak nation; that we are an inefficient people; that we are simple-minded. For years we have been told that we are beaten, decayed, and that no part of the world belongs to us any longer.

Some amongst us have fallen for this carefully pickled tripe. Some amongst us have fallen for this calculated poison. Some amongst us have begun to preach that the "wave of the future" has passed over us and left us a wet, dead fish.

They shout--from public platforms in printed pages, through the microphones--that it is futile to oppose the "wave of the future." They cry that we Americans, we free Americans nourished on Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, hold moth-eaten ideas. They exclaim that there is no room for free men in the world any more and that only the slaves will inherit the earth. America--the America of Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln and Walt Whitman--they say, is waiting for the undertaker and all the hopes and aspirations that have gone into the making of America are dead too.

However, my fellow citizens, this is not the real point of the story. The real point--the shameful point--is that many of us are listening to them and some of us almost believe them.

I say that it is time for the great American people to raise its voice and cry out in mighty triumph what it is to be an American. And why it is that only Americans, with the aid of our brave allies--yes, let's call them "allies"--the British, can and will build the only future worth having. I mean a future, not of concentration camps, not of physical torture and mental straitjackets, not of sawdust bread or of sawdust Caesars--I mean a future when free men will live free lives in dignity and in security.

This tide of the future, the democratic future, is ours. It is ours if we show ourselves worthy of our culture and of our heritage.

But make no mistake about it; the tide of the democratic future is not like the ocean tide--regular, relentless, and inevitable. Nothing in human affairs is mechanical or inevitable. Nor are Americans mechanical. They are very human indeed.

What constitutes an American? Not color nor race nor religion. Not the pedigree of his family nor the place of his birth. Not the coincidence of his citizenship. Not his social status nor his bank account. Not his trade nor his profession. An American is one who loves justice and believes in the dignity of man. An American is one who will fight for his freedom and that of his neighbor. An American is one who will sacrifice property, ease and security in order that he and his children may retain the rights of free men. An American is one in whose heart is engraved the immortal second sentence of the Declaration of Independence.

Americans have always known how to fight for their rights and their way of life. Americans are not afraid to fight. They fight joyously in a just cause.

We Americans know that freedom, like peace, is indivisible. We cannot retain our liberty if three-fourths of the world is enslaved. Brutality, injustice and slavery, if practiced as dictators would have them, universally and systematically, in the long run would destroy us as surely as a fire raging in our nearby neighbor's house would burn ours if we didn't help to put out his.

If we are to retain our own freedom, we must do everything within our power to aid Britain. 

We must also do everything to restore to the conquered peoples their freedom. This means the Germans too.

Such a program, if you stop to think, is selfishness on our part. It is the sort of enlightened selfishness that makes the wheels of history go around. It is the sort of enlightened selfishness that wins victories.

Do you know why? Because we cannot live in the world alone, without friends and without allies. If Britain should be defeated, then the totalitarian undertaker will prepare to hang crepe on the door of our own independence.

Perhaps you wonder how this could come about? Perhaps you have heard "them"--the wavers of the future--cry, with calculated malice, that even if Britain were defeated we could live alone and defend ourselves single handed, even against the whole world.

I tell you that this is a cold blooded lie.

We would be alone in the world, facing an unscrupulous military-economic bloc that would dominate all of Europe, all of Africa, most of Asia, and perhaps even Russia and South America. Even to do that, we would have to spend most of our national income on tanks and guns and planes and ships. Nor would this be all. We would have to live perpetually as an armed camp, maintaining a huge standing army, a gigantic air force, two vast navies. And we could not do this without endangering our freedom, our democracy, our way of life.

Perhaps such is the America "they"--the wavers of the future--foresee. Perhaps such is the America that a certain aviator, with his contempt for democracy, would prefer. Perhaps such is the America that a certain Senator desires. Perhaps such is the America that a certain mail order executive longs for.

But a perpetually militarized, isolated and impoverished America is not the America that our fathers came here to build.

It is not the America that has been the dream and the hope of countless generations in all parts of the world.

It is not the America that one hundred and thirty million of us would care to live in.
The continued security of our country demands that we aid the enslaved millions of Europe--yes, even of Germany--to win back their liberty and independence. I am convinced that if we do not embark upon such a program we will lose our own freedom.
We should be clear on this point. What is convulsing the world today is not merely another old-fashioned war. It is a counter revolution against our ideas and ideals, against our sense of justice and our human values.

Three systems today compete for world domination. Communism, fascism, and democracy are struggling for social-economic-political world control. As the conflict sharpens, it becomes clear that the other two, fascism and communism, are merging into one. They have one common enemy, democracy. They have one common goal, the destruction of democracy.

This is why this war is not an ordinary war. It is not a conflict for markets or territories. It is a desperate struggle for the possession of the souls of men.

This is why the British are not fighting for themselves alone. They are fighting to preserve freedom for mankind. For the moment, the battleground is the British Isles. But they are fighting our war; they are the first soldiers in trenches that are also our front-line trenches.
In this world war of ideas and of loyalties we believers in democracy must do two things. We must unite our forces to form one great democratic international. We must offer a clear program to freedom-loving peoples throughout the world.

Freedom-loving men and women in every land must organize and tighten their ranks. The masses everywhere must be helped to fight their oppressors and conquerors.

We, free, democratic Americans are in a position to help. We know that the spirit of freedom never dies. We know that men have fought and bled for freedom since time immemorial. We realize that the liberty-loving German people are only temporarily enslaved. We do not doubt that the Italian people are looking forward to the appearance of another Garibaldi. We know how the Poles have for centuries maintained a heroic resistance against tyranny. We remember the brave struggle of the Hungarians under Kossuth and other leaders. We recall the heroic figure of Masaryk and the gallant fight for freedom of the Czech people. The story of the Yugoslavs', especially the Serbs' blows for liberty and independence is a saga of extraordinary heroism. The Greeks will stand again at Thermopylae, as they have in the past. The annals of our American sister-republics, too, are glorious with freedom-inspiring exploits. The noble figure of Simon Bolivar, the great South American liberator, has naturally been compared with that of George Washington.

No, liberty never dies. The Genghis Khans come and go. The Attilas come and go. The Hitlers flash and sputter out. But freedom endures.

Destroy a whole generation of those who have known how to walk with heads erect in God's free air, and the next generation will rise against the oppressors and restore freedom. Today in Europe, the Nazi Attila may gloat that he has destroyed democracy. He is wrong. In small farmhouses all over Central Europe, in the shops of Germany and Italy, on the docks of Holland and Belgium, freedom still lives in the hearts of men. It will endure like a hardy tree gone into the wintertime, awaiting the spring.

And, like spring, spreading from the South into Scandinavia, the democratic revolution will come. And men with democratic hearts will experience comradeship across artificial boundaries.

These men and women, hundreds of millions of them, now in bondage or threatened with slavery, are our comrades and our allies. They are only waiting for our leadership and our encouragement, for the spark that we can supply.

These hundreds of millions, of liberty-loving people, now oppressed, constitute the greatest sixth column in history. They have the will to destroy the Nazi gangsters.

We have always helped in struggles for human freedom. And we will help again. But our hundreds of millions of liberty-loving allies would despair if we did not provide aid and encouragement. The quicker we help them the sooner this dreadful revolution will be over. We cannot, we must not, we dare not delay much longer.

The fight for Britain is in its crucial stages. We must give the British everything we have. And by everything, I mean everything needed to beat the life out of our common enemy.

The second step must be to aid and encourage our friends and allies everywhere. And by everywhere I mean Europe and Asia and Africa and America.

And finally, the most important of all, we Americans must gird spiritually for the battle. We must dispel the fog of uncertainty and vacillation. We must greet with raucous laughter the corroding arguments of our appeasers and fascists. They doubt democracy. We affirm it triumphantly so that all the world may hear:

Here in America we have something so worth living for that it is worth dying for! The so-called "wave of the future" is but the slimy backwash of the past. We have not heaved from our necks the tyrant's crushing heel, only to stretch our necks out again for its weight. Not only will we fight for democracy, we will make it more worth fighting for. Under our free institutions, we will work for the good of mankind, including Hitler's victims in Germany, so that all may have plenty and security.

We American democrats know that when good will prevails among men there will be a world of plenty and a world of security.

In the words of Winston Churchill, "Are we downhearted," No, we arc not! But someone is downhearted! Witness the terrified flight of Hess, Hitler's Number Three Man. And listen to this--listen carefully:

"The British nation can be counted upon to carry through to victory any struggle that it once enters upon no matter how long such a struggle may last or however great the sacrifices that may be necessary or whatever the means that have to be employed; and all this even though the actual military equipment at hand may be utterly inadequate when compared with that of other nations."

Do you know who wrote that? Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf. And do you know who took down that dictation? Rudolf Hess.

We will help to make Hitler's prophecy come true. We will help brave England drive back the hordes from Hell who besiege her and then we will join for the destruction of savage and blood-thirsty dictators everywhere. But we must be firm and decisive. We must know our will and make it felt. And we must hurry.

Harold Ickes - May 18, 1941

Monday, November 16, 2015

Death to the Great Satan of Islamic Terrorism!

I took this shot at Blarney Castle which is perfect related to terrorists.
The delusional can't see the forest for the trees essentially leading to stupidity.
Death to Abdelhamid Abaaoud coordinator to the Paris attack and multiple failed attacks this year, as well as Charlie Hebdo. Human filth, still walking the earth, but not for much longer.

I would like to apologize ahead of time to good Muslims faithful to their Islamic beliefs and roots.

Those of you who disagree with my posting semblances of your prophet but who would never consider killing me over it, I mean no offense.
Not in My Name campaign
I'm also glad to see Muslim leaders are speaking out against groups like ISIS\ISIL and other losers of such ill quality and low substance.

I'm posting these things because of those Muslims who will kill over things like a damn cartoon, thinking that all people should follow Islam. 

IF that is your belief however, then we do have a problem and perhaps we do need a religious war where religion will finally be wiped out. Just know that I have no need to end Islam. Religions in general perhaps, but only through speaking openly about my beliefs in non violent, non lethal ways.

Even though I know the truth, it gives me no right to kill believers. And vice versa, terrorists. 

I'm perfectly happy to leave theists alone to live and pursue happiness, to build calluses on their foreheads, to wear out tiny rugs and knee cartilage. Unless it impedes my pursuit of happiness through their pursuit of happiness. 

We are a disparate world that needs to learn to live together, not to kill each other.

Western countries admittedly have a culpability in all this mess as has been shown. But that does not excuse these killings. Even if they are not religiously motivated, they are being done by Muslims nonetheless. The world is a rough place that doesn't need innocent people being slaughtered just because your people are having a rough time of it. Heartless? Perhaps. But there are other ways and attacking people you only perceive to have done you harm is not one of them. 

Understand that I do not have to respect your beliefs, your religion, your God or your Allah. 
No one does!

One has only to respect that you have the right to believe in your delusions, just as we all do. 

No one has a right to force their beliefs on another, that's a kind of rape. If you belong to a religion that teachers otherwise, you are the one in league with Satan, the Devil, with Evil incarnate. Nearly all serial murders are found to have a strict religious upbringing. Then you have also obviously acquired quite a few sociopaths. 

Sex, alcohol, drugs, co-mingling of the sexes, may all seem bad to you but I question if you simply don't get enough of it and so you are basically just pissed off all your life. I would be. It's been shown that too restrictive religions lead to personality problems. What those things require in life is building borders and mechanisms to handle life as an adult, not hiding behind religion, fearing the world.

In killing innocents Islamic terrorists are basically claiming that Muhammad is evil, a joke. 
Why would they do that? Why DO they do that? Because, that is what terrorism is. Fundamentally, an alternate and real definition of violent Islam.

Je suis Charlie! 

Je suis Paris!

Je suis Beirut!

Je suis... all victims of terror!

And all the other places terrorists have attacked
where innocents have died and been maimed.

I suspect Paris and all of France are feeling the same thing toward terrorists about this current attack.

Terrorists attacking the innocent
are mentally and socially damaged people
attacking the entire modern human race.
Backward people pushing a backward and warped agenda.

Want more?
See my blog from this weekend after the Paris attack.

Islamic Terrorism a World Wide Social Cancer - Paris
If this stuff makes you want to kill someone over your God, Allah, or more likely your interpretation of you ancient religion you refuse to allow to evolve in order to join the rest of the wold, you are the problem.

Grow up! Try evolving into a mature adults and understand things as they are, not as you wish them to be.
Don't get me wrong. Christianity and Judaism is just as silly a religion.

Go off in a corner and reflect on your mistake. Stop listening to your religious leader because obviously if you are thinking that way he, and you, are idiots plain and simple.

If you want a "Caliphate" that never existed so you can live as if you won the lotto to do whatever you want, then you have the problem. 

You are the one needing to be destroyed. 

And you will be in the end. Evil is cyclical and your cycle is running out.

I don't care about you if you adhere to beliefs of a terrorist.
I don't care that you're offended.
I don't care that you feel there is a make believe war against you or your holidays or your religion.
I don't care what you think if you are talking about nonsense your favorite nutcases have dreamed up.
I don't care that you think your God or religion says you can hurt people or kill them.
I care about real people, really being hurt.
I care about real pain and real suffering, not perceived pain and not perceived suffering.
I care about the poor who have no money or food or healthcare.
I don't care about the rich who are sad they will have less money for others to have something at all, when it will not affect the rich at all in any real substantive way.
I care about reality.
I care about people. Not your luxuries in life when others don't have because you do. Or when others are dying because of your God, or your buddies who like to kill and enjoy the benefits of power over others who are not of your clan, cult, tribe or nonsense belief system.
So I guess I do care. I just don't much care about you.