Saturday, November 10, 2007
I find the concept of faith, born of religion, to be the bane of human existance. The conditioning faith has provided can be tracked to many counterproductive aspects we all deal with today. The one I will harp on now is money, a concept second only to religion in its detriment to societal stability.
What is money? It is the medium with which to measure the accumulation and transfer of wealth.
What is wealth? It is the measure of the money or valuable property you or I posess.
What is value? It is the amount of your wealth, typically measured by money that you are willing or able to trade for a good or service.
How it was decided that a metal ore should be the basis or medium by which wealth should be determined is a mystery to me. But it was, and for a large portion of human existance it was the benchmark of wealth, and the basis for all currency, if not in practice, definately in principle. The majority of items we tend to associate with wealth have little if any useful purpose. Gold has no structural integrity to speak of and was not used in commercial application until fairly recently. Same with diamonds. Mental capitivity to uncommon, shiny objects could well be mans greated weakness.
When mans lust for wealth exceeded the somewhat limited quantity of available gold, the gold standard was discarded in favor of government backed curreny notes and coins. A rather arbitrary move as far as I am concerned. Now the only thing that gives value to money is faith in the promise that those who are entrusted to power will recognize that money as wealth.
Now, this is a simplistic view of modern currency, it is far more complex than that these days. The financial miracle of interest and the credit that generates it, have seriously complicated the matter, throw in nearly 200 governments and nearly as many currencies all vying for a worlds goods and services we find ourselves in a mind numbing place.
Money has trapped and enslaved us. It has become necessary for the basic act of survival. Everything has a value, everything is owned. This leaves our present generations of Americans in a difficult place. Our money is becoming worth less and less every day. I purchased a one ounce gold coin last year for about $600 it is now worth $832. If still attached to the gold standard this would be impossible. Commodities such as gold, oil, foodstuffs etc. do not flucuate in value per se. It is the money needed to purchase the items that moves and provides the value of said items. So the gold I bought did not increase in value, it requires more of my wealth to obtain the same amount of gold, because the dollars that measure my wealth have less value.
The amount of wealth contained in the dollar versus other forms of government backed currency is falling a a phenominal rate. Once the preffered currency in the world, nations are divesting themselves of dollars causing an exponential tailspin, the faster the dollar declines in value, the faster other countries dump dollars. When all of those dollars are injected back into the domestic economy it creates a glut of currency. There is less demand for the dollar when more are available in a given market and with out the dollar being attached to anything tangible there is nothing to stop the government from borrowing more dollars from the federal reserve. (notice the .gov designation in the link, the federal reserve is a private, for profit entity)
You read that right, our government borrows all of the dollars available in our economy. The federal reserve prints the currency and our government borrows it and pays interest to the federal reserve to do so. (recently they stopped publishing the M3 or money supply so the average citizen can no longer see how much money the government is borrowing from the federal reserve, this in my opinion is why the current powers that be don't care about deficit spending, they just print more money, and hide that fact by doing things like sending pallets of dollars to Iraq to be used as footballs) Our tax dollars pay the federal reserve for the privilge of using thier notes. Pull out a dollar bill, it doesn't say United States Note, it says Federal Reserve Note. That's right a conglomoration of private for profit banks control our currency. JFK tried to abolish the Federal Reserve, he issued executive order 11110, and in my opinion sealed his fate in doing so.
This long path leads me to my point. For the dollar to have value all that is necessary is that the people holding them believe they have value. The more value we believe dollars have the less we are willing to trade for goods and services. The conditioned faith that the general populace has regarding the intentions of our government, which largely draw on the conditioning seen in religion, has ensured that the wealth of a nation is syphoned of to a tiny faction. While I find this futile in the grand scheme, it has damaged any chance of the average person being anything but average. They manipulate the faith of the people by adjusting interest rates, fuzzy math to hide things like inflation, trade deficits, unemployment figures etc. In short we are beginning to awaken, more and more people a becoming hip to the fact that money is an illusion, and the declining confidence of faith is showing. Unfortunately this illusion is so closely tied to our survival, when it is laid bare we are all in serious trouble.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I have a problem with visionaries who work to effect change beyond their lifetime. The dynamics of chaos that we have assured ourselves we have a grip on are a fickle bitch. When ideologies reach into the unknown they change in ways unknown to the visionary. The most devestating campaigns of change were/are effected with the goal of cohesion of all to a particular ideology. The wide range of social ideologies and geographic location often require the use of force to implement change on a wide scale. The visionary is able to justify the force with the conviction of their perspective that the cause is noble.
The euphamism "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is a good way to sum up how I feel on this issue. I am quite certain that none of the characters deemed despots thought to themselves "hey, I'm an evil bastard, lets go do some evil" They were convinced that their cause was righteous and were willing to do whatever necessary to see through their ideology. The identity of good and evil is related mostly to which side of the issue you are on. The American Revolution is the most common example in our society. I assure you that king George III did not think of his rebelious colony as anything but, and certainly would never have catergorized them as freedom fighters.
I bring up the American Revolution to illustrate my point further. The framers of the constitution envisioned a specific future for America, a future that reached well beyond anything they could have forseen. A future that many say differed greatly from the contemporary situation we live in today. They attempted to account for ideological shifts by making the Constitution a living document, amendable to contemporary circumstance, as evidenced by the 17 amendments in addition to the Bill of Rights. What they could not know, therefore not account for was a dis-engaged populace and the semantics driven political strife that has become the norm.
I wish I had an answer for this problem, I see the advantageous side of progress and I see a down side as well. This is directly related to my perspective and moral judgement on the intent of the actions and direction of progress. The rational and existential wage war on my thoughts and I find myself in a regressive loop ending in the thought that we should all just revert to slaves of our primal origins. So if there is anyone out there reading this, help me out here. Must we accept the good with the bad and strap in for the roller coaster that is humanity, or is there a way to focus each generation on the contemporary therefore building a solid foundation for the future, with out violation of my original and seemingly circular concern?
Friday, October 5, 2007
The careful measure of verbal mis-direction by those who want you to see things as black that are clearly white is a time honored tradition. Clergy, politicians, lawyers, advertisers, teachers, parents all want to control your perception of reality. That's how you end up with suicide bombers and anyone who isn't a millionaire voting republican. There are various groups who's sole purpose is to dissect the common language and find ways of manipulating their target audience to believe not what is true, but what that group wants them to believe is true and they're damn good at it.
Take the food industry as an example. The words; light, lite, free, low, lean etc. were abused in food packaging to the point where the FDA had to step in and regulate criteria for the use of those and many other words so the consumer would not be duped when they focused on the big brand label telling you how good for you an item is and not on the nutritional content. Fat Free items can contain up to .5 grams of fat per serving, regardless of the serving size. Soda usually comes in 12oz or higher containers yet the nutritional data is geared towared an individual serving which is 8oz. It seems as though companies who process and package foods for the consumption of the general public don't want you to know what's in, or has been done to the food being consumed.
The ability to twist words to suit a particular meaning, or more precisely the ability to accurately pattern the twisting of those words to achieve the desired effect is a powerful tool for those that are aware of it, and a weakness of dire social consequence for those who do not. 90% of communication is non-verbal, yet most rely on the verbal portion to process for reaction, leaving the meaning-less words to formulate, in effect, a meaning-less reaction leaving many with a life without meaning.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
So I used the Google to look up Ernie Chambers to see what he was all about, interesting fellow. He was involved in something that reminded me of someone I knew way back in the day.
I had heard of the Franklin cover up not by name, but in the ramblings of a tweaker who was convinced that the world economy was run not by oil, but by kiddie porn and she used this as one of the examples. A sweet, odd lady, no doubt at least a little crazy, not that we all aren't, but she was more adamant than open minded in her conspiracy theory. She would told stories about hearing from a friend, who heard from a friend, who heard from an insider about wild sex party's in secret rooms in D.C.. She described the debauchery in great detail, Rude Pundit style. Romanesque orgies involving young children and old men. Things that I have only heard just before a comedian says "and they call it the aristocrats!".
I consider myself to be open minded to just about anything, as long as there are supporting facts. I don't know near enough of this man, or this case to form an opinion on the matter. I will say that trusting the wolves to investigate the hen house robbery is foolish at best, especially when the wolves have a tuft of down exposed at the jowls. There are many, many things kept from the public by those in power under the guise of the publics own good. The slipshod investigations into JFK, 9/11 etc. leave little in the way of credibility and fuel those who actually think, to do so. For those in power postions their illusion of superiority is all they have, and they cling to it fiercely.
Given the spate of attention shed in the last few decade's on the sexual proclivities of those held to the higher standard of public trust, it is not an impossible leap to get to these allegations. The only thing new about the behavior is the attention it's being given, the dark side of human sexuality is well documented through the history of man. The uncomfortable nature of said behavior is what causes it to be pushed out of societal eyesight into the bathroom stalls of life, at the same time driving the shock when exposed to the light of day.
In all honesty I have no idea if the Franklin incident occurred, but I would not be shocked if it did. Sexual urges are the strongest psychological force known in nature and the complexity that is human consciousness lends to the wide ranging and varied methods of gratification. Horrible sexual atrocities (which I measure by the suffering of one party) are an everyday occurrence in the shadows of humanity of which anyone could be involved.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Until there is a substantial number who come forward and openly endorse their convictions, the non-believers will be cast aside to the fringes, marginalized in the game of life. I know asking free thinkers to get behind a single cause is a daunting proposition, but to effect large scale change a large voice is needed.
The Atheist Blogroll is a netroots effort to bring together like minded individuals and groups in the Atheist, Agnostic and non religious communities. I am proud to be a new member and would like to thank Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for welcoming me to the roll call.
Flex Your Head is not an Atheist blog per se, but I feel many of the societal ills of this world stem directly from religion and more specifically religious fanatics and it is a topic I touch on regularly. I find skepticism healthy for progress in understanding and evolving the human condition. Blind faith equates to being just that, blind.
If you, like I, are tired of being marginalized by those whose place faith above all else, I urge you to come out from the shadows, make your stance known and stand up for your right as a human to think, speak and act in a critical manor when things don't seem to add up. Remember, if some one tells you not to question, they have something to hide and that the pursuit of answers is what life is all about.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Well the judge tossed it out...
"The judge shot down every claim Caldwell made in the suit. He found that the school board and administrators did not discriminate against Caldwell and instead gave him extensive opportunities to present his ideas on changing the evolution curriculum."
To be clear, this lawsuit is about access to the school board and not about the evolution views. It goes to show the tenacity of those who are fanatical in their beliefs. Can't make a convincing argument about the need to teach "intelligent design" in a biology class? Pull the discrimination card and sue. It is readily apparent that this man had no case and probably knew that going in. He had unprecidented access to the board and still could not get his way, so he tied the district, and several board member is a lengthy, surely expensive lawsuit with no merit. I am sure that money and time could have been used for someting more productive like, umm, teaching.
So Mr. Caldwell I would suggest to you that if you are unhappy with the education your children are being given, by all means pick a school from this handy list of private schools in the area. If you live in Granite Bay, you should be able to afford it.
While I disagree with Mr. Caldwell and his tactics, I am a glass half full kind of guy. At least he isn't blowing up biology classrooms...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Back in the day monies were extorted in ways that are well, medieval. Promises of damnation and hellfire, or relief from it all the way up to just taking your shit. While RICO statutes prevent that in the modern day, there is still a long line at the ATM at the foot of the stairway to heaven. Religion, like every other contemporary product, has evolved its marketing tactics into subtle psychological manipulation to sell the masses. As the naked pastor hypothetically lays out a plan of deceit, isolation and fear to condition the congregation, he gives valuable insight into the modern day workings of the religion industry, supported by the users comments showing just how "hypothetical" these practices are. The art of marketing, in specific church marketing, is its own industry. A Google search on church marketing registered 7,490,000 hits, compared to 2,140,000 hits for religious charities.
I find the practice of manipulative marketing detestable on all levels, in all industries. The marketing of religion I find to be the most heinous of all. It exploits a weakness in the human condition to sustain itself while offering nothing tangible in return, a true parasite. A term was recently introduced into the American lexicon; "infotainment" to refer to news that is presented less on its own merits, than on the human interest, shock, humor etc. value that a team of writers can apply to it. Let's coin a new phrase "faithtainment" which is what modern American incarnations of Judeo-Christian religions are using to drive attendance and hence contributions. Arena size churches boasting of jumbo trons, stages with professional lighting and sound, bookstore\gift shops, coffee shops etc. to make the experience of worship more comfortable for those caught in the trappings of a capitalistic society, all in an effort to put butts in seats and dollars in the collection plate.
The modern American church is in practice, far more a corporation than an institution of worship. As noted in forbes pastors are more akin to CEO's and the church business model is the envy of the corporate world. Churches don't pay taxes on the vast majority of income, they have legions of people who will work for free and are largely unaccountable as there are no stock holders.
While I hold little importance in the bible itself, there are some good life lessons in there. The numerous contradictions, and heavy editing through two milleniums lend a bit of doubt to it being the actual word of god, but there are many who believe it is. I would love to hear PEO's (pius executive officers) stammer and stutter to reconcile their practices with the ideology thier god.
John 2:13-16And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
I could sit here and pick quotes from the bible all day in regards to the evils of money, it would do no good. As all things, the bible is open to interpretation and can be spun to fit any need. In an environment that teaches blind faith, especially in the face of fact and reason even at times in the face of their own teachings amounts to hypocrisy on high, and the fleecing of a naive populace. Amen.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
the earth calls my name
I settle in it's embrace
earth is now my name
boldly passive I
sit awaiting what is next
knowing it's nothing
neurons firing is life
all fuel is finite