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I am a 29 year old college student hailing from Albuquerque, NM.

20 December 2014

The Koch Brother's little list...

Read this link first and note the list at the middle of the post: http://bluenationreview.com/koch-bros-seek-influence-public-education/?ref=00411

Let's check out their list--

1. Controversy Exists over Climate Change
There's only controversy among those who don't know and don't care to know.

a. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/may/06/top-ten-global-warming-skeptic-arguments-debunked
b. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/indicators/
c. http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

2. States Shouldn’t Have to Comply with the Bill of Rights
Originally, they didn't have to, believe it or not, which is why the language of the first ten amendments often specifically says "Congress." They were originally meant only as a restriction on Congress' powers. Then the 14th Amendment came along, and starting in the 1920s, the federal courts started forcing states to "incorporate" the same rights as in the Bill of Rights, same restrictions and all.

3. The 17th Amendment should be repealed
For those unaware, this is the amendment which allows for the direct election of US Senators. This Amendment was put in because beforehand, state legislatures chose Senators. Often this meant that election losers became Senators who then could stymie the election winners in the House. William A. Clark very notoriously bought his own way into the Senate in 1900 by flat out paying Montana state legislators to elect him. Clark was bounced by the Senate for this but plenty of other cases could be cited. Big Sugar, Big Ag, Big Oil, Big Banks, basically Big Whitey Capitalism simply chose (with campaign contributions) who would be sent to Congress. The 17th Amendment was enacted to remedy this -- but of course people such as the Koch Brothers would love to turn that clock back.

4. The federal government has too much power
The best example of a libertarian government is Mexico. So why don't the Koch Brothers set up shop in Mexico? Simple -- no government = massive amounts of violence (this was the case before government, known as the "state of nature.")

Take Juarez. Juarez (one of Mexico's most northern cities) has no government reach. None. The government was nice and weak, just as the billionaires like it, which is why the city (between 2006 -- 2011) had the highest murder rate on earth as two cartels (Siñaloa and Juarez cartels) waged open war. The libertarian government was powerless to stop it. The only reason Juarez's murder rate went down is because the Siñaloa cartel eventually won the war.

Before the creation of government, "Juarez"-like warfare between humans was common. Imagine two families or tribes on each side of a lush valley, with enough food and water for only one. War is inevitable, obviously. That's what happened in Juarez. There is a reason why libertarianism doesn't work -- it is specifically meant NOT to work. It is meant to keep political decision-making in the hands of those who have economic and social interests in keeping themselves in control of you. Keep that in mind. Profit has no inherent moral values. None.

11 December 2014

Too Simple of atheism?

Link to Pharyngula: At last! Someone agrees with me!

PZ Myers doesn't like the "atheism is merely the lack of belief in a deity" line.

I get what he is saying. When someone gives up religion, rarely is religion the only thing coughed up. Religion is, in essense, a type of philosophy, which often carries with it teachings about what is moral. When a religion goes away, often it has been a keystone for other moral teachings, which also fall away.

The best example is gay marriage. Religion is the ONLY reason for gay marriage opposition. I have never, ever, ever, met any atheist who opposes gay marriage. Not one.

(I have met atheists who AIDS-shame, but AIDS-shaming, while bigotry as well, is a separate but related form of bigtory in and of itself.)

I can also throw abortion into this. I have never met an atheist who opposes abortion. Even MRAs who think most women are sluts, whores, cunts, etc. seem to agree that women should be able to access abortion.

I want to agree with PZ Myers about atheists being more open to science and reason. It is true to an extent but by no means a true requirement. Sadly, atheists can choose to remain bigots.

PZ Myers mentions the treatment of women in the atheist community, which (he argues, and I agree) is very shameful.

All of YouTube major Hitler admirers and open racists (HeyRuka, MarmiteMan4, MartinJWillett, LibertarianRealist2) are atheists.

I also think of Mao, who mixed Communism's authoritarianism with bigotry -- he disallowed the religious freedom to hold praye meeting and bible studies in private homes (religious freedom is a part of equality, correct?). Mao also hated Muslims despite the terrible price Muslims paid for fighting the Japanese. Mao hated Buddhists as being superstitious and below normal intelligence; Tibetan Buddhists started to become persecuted under him and still are today.

Then there's Jews; Mao's views on Jews weren't all that different than Hitler's. Mao felt that Jews were responsible for the capitalism which raped the Chinese nation during the Opium Wars. (Times have since changed -- China and Israel do have warm diplomatic relations today.)

Let's not forget that the Soviets felt that religion is a mental illness and forcely medicated religious people in an attempt to get them to deconvert. The heyday for this was in the 1950s. When religious people claim that atheism is a mental illness, we rightly see that as bigotry.

We're perfectly capable of the reverse.

I'd like to think that becoming an atheist will make all of us so into learning how to be better people that we are all on paths to kicking bigotry to the curb. Sadly, that is asking too much from some. I think about how so many atheists are anti-immigration, Islamophobic, or use "Western" or praise "Western Civilization" as a means of cheaply hiding racist attitudes. (Thunderf00t and Pat Condell come to mind with this one.) In order to be truly for equality, remouncing religion and belief in a god is not enough. It takes other moral values to be instilled; yes, skepticism is a moral value, yet it is distinct from equality.

Hell the whole reason atheist women are treated so badly is because we atheists are badly infected with white male privilege, thanks to thunderf00t's and Pat Condell's oh-so-beloved Western style institutions. Capitalism must be renounced if atheists are ever able to stamp out the bigotry amongst our community -- and it is the privilege capitalism created that keeps spurring it on. Capitalists stay in power not by getting the legitimacy of 51% of the people, but by concentrating wealth and economic power in the hands of a few who will obey them to the point of going to war. Capitalist numpties even believe the system when the system tells them the reason we're going to war in Iraq is to "liberate" them, or that we need to fight a "war on terror" to get "them."

Some people use their atheism as an excuse to smear Muslims, who despite being Cold War allies (yes, Saddam and bin Laden were Cold War allies), suffered badly at the hands of the white Western capitalists. We overthrew their nations and installed kings and dictators after WWI when the Ottoman Empire was chopped up. That's the part of "Charlie Wilson's War" we don't teach. Chopped up by white people, governments slapped on them which they did not create -- imagine if Muslims invaded America and installed Sharia law here. Would we put up with it? Why should they put up with us?

If we got rid of the white male privilege in our community by refusing to listen to thunderf00t, Pat Condell, and the Four Horsemen (remember, Hitchens supported the Iraq War until his death; he can never be forgiven for that) and start listening to actual oppressed people instead (women and nonwhites, the people hurt by capitalism) we might actually become a force for good in the world.

Until that time, we atheists need more than just renouncing religion. We need to renounce hate, and that doesn't start with god belief but with smashing privilege. Tell the bigots they have nothing to do with us.

Perhaps Atheism+ wasn't all that bad of an idea after all.