Saturday, November 19, 2011

Knowledge and Freedom

A democracy cannot be both ignorant and free. --Thomas Jefferson

In the hands of a people whose education has been willfully neglected, the ballot is a cunning swindle benefitting only the united barons of industry, trade and property. --Daniel GuĂ©rin 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quote of the day

From James Cameron's cave-diving film Sanctum:

"Assumption is the mother of all f*-ups".

On Electoral Campaign Donations and Corporate Marketing Spending

No matter how much money is donated to a political candidate, it will not influence my vote, because I thoroughly research the candidates and their ideas, and I have radically different viewpoints than the majority of the candidates. For those reasons, it is not easy to sway me one way or another. However, less investigative voters may be swayed more easily by the propaganda paid for by the candidate's marketing spending. But successful marketing campaigns are expensive. In short, successful propaganda campaigns cost a lot of money, and this is where the amount of money a candidate can raise can have an influence. I say influence, not mind control, because no money in the world can make an idiot look like a Nobel Prize winner, but it can help make him look smarter.

However, propaganda - either political or corporate - does not always bear an official stamp. Propaganda operatives will sometimes work for years in the shadows, anonymously originating spam email chains, starting a blog under a pseudonym (!), secretly sponsoring newspaper columns, paying off television news producers to air specific stories that reinforce their concepts, planting the seeds of ideas in the media, even in movies and works of art. Propaganda takes time to sink in, and repetitive exposure over extended periods of time is the key. It can take the obvious form of a billboard ad on the side of a busy road, or it can take the subtle form of a scary news story in the local newspaper.

The truth is, propaganda does not necessarily consist of lies, and need not contain factual errors. It's all in the choice of what is presented to the viewer or the reader; picking ideas that support your goals, and omitting opposing ideas. By carefully selecting the viewpoints presented to the audience, one can influence the audience's perceptions.

An anti-gun group may pay journalists to focus on emotionally-charged gun crime news stories (i.e. "Local Teenager shoots cat with father's BB gun.") instead of focusing on a foreign genocide against unarmed civilians (i.e. "915 Tutsis Found Decapitated in mass grave"). A pro-gun group may pay a film maker to show the hero using a firearm to defend his family against a chainsaw-wielding maniac. A church group may start an email chain about how Stalin was an atheist, and an oil company may pay people to go to blue-collar dive bars and rant against Greenpeace over a few brewskis.

The art of propaganda does not consist of shoving a fabricated lie down someone's throat, but rather to use deceitful psychology to progressively bring someone to believe the lie of his own accord over an extended period of time.

P.S. Oh and never believe anything you read either.

God's power on the decline. Getting too old, perhaps?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reflections on the "F" word

Why is the so-called "F" word so bad? Why must it be bleeped out in songs playing on the radio? Why must it not be printed in respectable newspapers? Why can't it be uttered in certain company? Generally, I try to avoid using this expletive. There are more eloquent ways to express surprise or anger. Plus, the more one uses that word, the more one is likely to slip and say it at the wrong place at the wrong time, and for a professional, it can be a bad habit. Even though I am writing a semi-anonymous blog, I try not to use that word, but sometimes I think to myself 'oh what the f*' and I go ahead and use it. I probably shouldn't.

Why are people so horrified of a mere word? Is is because of the sexual nature of the word when used in the literal sense? Most of the time, the word is not even meant in the literal sense. It is usually just a word of anger that sounds better than a caveman-like grunt. If the sexual meaning of 'f*ing' is a real problem, then why not bleep out other similar words, such as 'intercourse' and 'coitus'? Why are those words ok to say, when they mean the exact same thing? And why is sex such a taboo topic anyway? How were you born, did you come out of a magic egg delivered by a stork?

I agree that saying 'f*' in every f*ing sentence makes one appear uneducated and unprofessional. But why is it so? When I was a kid, we could say 'f*' out loud in school all day long without fear of reprimand because english was not our native language; and teachers didn't give a flying f* that we did, because 'f*' doesn't mean anything outside of the boundaries of the english-speaking world.

So please, educate me. Why is 'f*' a bad word and would it be such a big f*ing deal if, for instance, the President said it out loud during a live press conference? Would the f*ing world come to an end?

It's just a f*ing word, get over it.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Dairy Reflections - UPDATED

So you drink cow milk, don't you? You like to put it in your coffee and soak your breakfast cereal in it. You like your greek yogurt and your cottage cheese. You like your whey protein powder. Admit it, you even enjoy drinking a large cold glass of milk. It's okay, it's delicious and full of protein. I indulge too.

Would you drink human breast milk? No? Why? You are more grossed out by the milk of a member of your own species, than you are by the milk of a different species that lives in a barn and trots around in its own manure?

Who was the first weirdo who saw a big fat cattle's udders and thought "Man, I gotta get me some of that"? Granted, I find it hard to envision barns filled with row upon row of women hooked up to milking machines, and then to have that milk shipped to milk distributors and cheese makers. I also find it hard to imagine rows of refrigerated breast milk at the grocery store, neatly lined up in gallon and half gallon containers, with photographs of large-breasted women on the labels instead of the more traditional holsteins. Similarly, I can't imagine bringing human infants to a dairy barn and just letting them suckle directly at the cow's udder. Interspecies milk drinking is just gross. We are biologically meant to drink the milk of our own species, yet we don't do that.

Think about it; you are drinking the milk of an animal. You are a freak.

2011-11-19 UPDATE: Found this old article from April about chinese scientists genetically engineering cows that can produce human milk...: and this BBC article about ice cream made from human breast milk for sale in the UK  quote:"Mrs Hiley's donation was expressed on site and pasteurised before being churned with Madagascan vanilla pods and lemon zest.

Don't ask how I find this stuff.

In God We Rust Part III

Just a few more things about the recent "In God We Trust" resolution.  First, Ron Paul opposed that vote. Which makes him even more interesting to me as a presidential candidate. But on to what I really want to bring up:

Representative Jerrold Nadler said "No one is threatening the national motto". He is wrong. I am threatening it. In God We Don't Trust, damn it.

Representative Trent Franks said if we do not believe in God "we should just let anarchy prevail because, after all, we are just worm food." Well... anarchy it is then!

No gods, no masters.

The Nein! Nein! Nein! plan

You are being monitored

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In God We Rust Part II

Today, the US House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution to take a huge stinky dump on the principle of separation of Church and State.

In a 369-9 vote, the House reaffirmed that the national motto of the United States is 'In God we trust', which is utter bullcrap if you ask me, and my Congressman is NOT going to get my vote at the next election, I can tell you that.

The national motto of the United States is featured on the Seal of the United States as NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM: A New Secular Order. The Founders of this country firmly believed in separation of church and state, and the approval of this garbage resolution is akin to dumping septic tank contents into the Founders' tombs. It is extremely insulting that our elected representatives are taking such an ideological stand against secularism.

It is becoming apparent that we are no longer governed by 'Representatives', but are now ruled by a corrupt theocracy bent on granting political favors to equally corrupt Wall Street while keeping the obese masses poor, uneducated, and brainwashed into believing in bronze-age superstitions and in a false middle-eastern deity. The future is bleak; our government is a circus filled with silly, malevolent clowns.

We need way more than 'Occupy Wall Street'. We need to 'Occupy Congress'. Where are the atheist politicians? Who will be the first atheist President? I know you are out there. COME OUT OF THE CLOSET. It is not political suicide to do so. WE ARE STANDING BEHIND YOU... as long as you keep your hand off the Second Amendment.