In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
What May Be Coming

I must admit ahead of time that what I have to say may be one of the many things one just can’t say in public. Sort of like mentioning to a man that his pants are still unzipped, or to a woman that her skirt is caught in back in the band of her underpants.
I’m sure this will give you an idea of how unacceptable what I have to say may be. But I still think the time has come for me to say it.

There are three major forces in this country that do not work: Democracy, Free Enterprise, and “Freedom and Liberty,” George Bush’s favorite, but least dispensed value. All thinking human beings need to start talking about these concepts, what has happened to them, and what can be done about them. I’ve talked to myself about these matters, and I’m no expert, so I’m calling on those of you who care to join in with me, as well as with others in the hope that we can contribute to saving this nation.

First, we have to admit that there are all kinds of people, with all kinds of mental capacities, all kinds of education (or lack thereof), and all kinds of motivation. One of the most motivational forces in this country at this time is religion, especially Christianity. We would like to think of its values as all-encompassing, because many of its values are also shared by many other beliefs, including those of agnostics and atheists. Christianity in this country at this time, especially that of the evangelicals, however, has gone completely out of control. It is their belief that the faiths and beliefs of others are meaningless and unacceptable, and that they must be converted or dissed.

To digress for a moment, the human mind is influenced by a number of things. First is the IQ with which we are born. This is followed by the education or lack thereof. And this in turn includes values learned through experience or religious training. (I attended a very good religious school for three years, and was then nearly thrown out because I refused to join the church. I am now an atheist, though I share many of the values I learned at that school.)

There are human characteristics which, fortunately for animals, do not seem to apply to any other animal. Starting with the least harmful, they include inability to reason, sloth, and stupidity. At the very top is Unmitigated Evil. Evil in the form of street gangs is fairly far down on the list because their opportunities are also fairly far down on the list.
Evil is at its most unmitigated, however, when it is used for purposes of personal greed and accumulation of powers in order to control other humans. And that brings me back to why Democracy is not working, and to the unzipped zipper.

In this world full of information (understood or not) as used by media and all the way up to the Presidency to further their own interests, it is easy for the people who are barely able to qualify as voters to be led to the choices they make without being able to reason them out. There are many humans on this level, and they are VALUABLE, because they represent sheer numbers. We need to find a way to serve everyone without USING them.

Next on the list is Free Enterprise. Here, once again, we have an area in which EVIL thrives. We live on a planet which we are increasingly rapidly laying bare. The human population is growing out of hand, and the natural resources are being depleted by humans. Pristine resources, created by the God so many revere, once depleted, will never be pristine again. Yet many humans would rather use them up than control our numbers and accommodate our lifestyles to the animals and natural beauty which are being sacrificed on the altar of greed. In addition, as technology grows and diminishes the numbers of individuals required to serve it, more and more jobs in the bottom pay levels are being replaced, leaving those people nowhere to go for a living or a sense of being needed or pride in accomplishment.

And finally we come to Freedom and Liberty, Bush’s favorite boast about his administration. He has set out, as he has said, by the will of God, to bring Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy to the rest of the world. And his Crusade, symbolized by his “farewell” to his office as president, grows increasingly urgent and transparent with possible hints as to what else he has in mind as the “War President” before he leaves.

A Nice Mix of Sunday Entertainment

Thought I would share with you what I did today. I got to watch Nascar and La Boheme at the same time by going back and forth watching first one, then the other. The race start and the accidents are always exciting, as well as the finish. For those of you who missed the race, rain decided the winner. During the many television ads and the fairly lengthy clean-ups and restarts, I turned to La Boheme, which was as thrilling as it was the first time I ever watched it. During the breaks between Acts for scenery changes, I turned back to the race. Just wanted to keep you all up on the eclecticity (my word) of my many interests.

A Language Lesson for Congress

I was lousy at languages when I was in school, but Latin was required in public schools even in the hinterlands when I was young. And I had to take 5 years of Latin to get through Latin 3 so that I could get into college. In addition, I also took French and Spanish, but the one that taught even a lousy linguist the most about English was Latin. It is the basis of most of the English language and probably is why I grind my teeth any time I hear someone in government address an attorney general.

Most, if not all, politicians address an attorney general as “general.” This is on a par with “nucular,” Bush’s pronunciation, which he continues to use even now. I don’t know if any of the politicians know about “general,” and even the attorneys general probably don’t know.

At any rate, in some foreign languages the noun comes first and the modifying adjective comes after, as it does here. In this case, “attorney” is the noun and “general” is the adjective, referring to his status as the top legal representative of a nation or state. Properly, he should be addressed as Mr. Attorney General. “Attorneys general,” or “attorney generals” are both plural phrases.

Aren’t you glad you know this now?! My language teashers would all be so proud of me as a language teacher, but unfortunately they’e all dead.

These Men Hate Barack Obama

Left to right, they are Floyd Brown, Bruce Hawkins, and James Lacy.

Mr. Brown, 47, a 6-foot-6 bear of a man is perhaps best known for his involvement with the Willie Horton television advertisement that helped sink Michael S. Dukakis’s candidacy in 1988. According to the NYT, Brown is a bruiser who has a placard on his wall that says:

That is why for Christ’s sake I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
You can read their complete biographies on EXPOSEOBAMA.

Know your enemy, They are doing their damnedest ....

What Hath Man Wrought

An article by Joel Achenbach in the Washington Post says that many experts feel the disastrous flood in the Midwest was caused, not by Nature, but by Man. Human beings replaced the soil and the native grasses with totally different soil and amendments, as well as non-native plants, thus destroying the natural barriers which either contained heavy runoff or withstood it.

The extent and depth of the tragedy, to both Man and Nature, is beyond comprehension. (You are aware that in just the past few days it has been revealed that there are warehouses in New Orleans still full of building materials, food, appliances, clothing, etc., which never reached the victims of Katrina? Most of what they got were poisonous trailers to live in.)

Bush has touched down in Iowa and will speak fo the victims of this Great Flood shortly. I do hope that he will have his shirt unbuttoned and his sleeves rolled up to emulate hard physical work when he moves to the microphones.

And the media are not without blame for the approach they are taking to this calamity. They have spent a lot of air time talking about how this is going to affect YOUR pocketbook and the inconvenience YOU will experience. Unless you are THERE and have felt THEIR despair, you should be ashamed of thinking of yourself, especially as this tragedy plays out. It would be like going to a funeral and jumping up after the final “amen,” and saying “What say we all go out for a bite?!”

Thank God I'm an Atheist

The displays at the gay weddings have been appalling. No, not the gays. I’m talking about the “Christians.” (They’re the ones that have to refer to the Bible to find out what they believe, because they usually can’t remember without looking it up.)

What each of us believes does not affect what the other believes or does unless what we do is directed at the other person. And that is exactly what the “Christians” were doing, displaying hateful, judgmental signs at the newly married couples. They are undoubtedly the same people who tear the wings off of butterflies just for fun. The last I knew, there was strong scientific evidence that homosexuals were born with a gene that makes them that way. Regardless, there is, no gene that accounts for cruelty. You have to think that up by yourself, encouraged by others of your ilk.

Another anomoly is that many gays have been willing to offer their lives in service of this country, some of them to be expelled because they were gay. On the other hand, many “Christians” are in vociferous support of the current insane war, from the sidelines, making sure that the rest of us know about their support by wearing flag pins or T-shirts, and sporting flags or patriotic stickers on their cars.

Most gays have suffered from abuse or ostracism from early childhood. Leave them alone, and you might even try accepting them as human beings just as some of the rest of us do. If you can’t reason that out in your own mind, you might even look in the Bible to see if you can find anything there about kindness to other people.

What is even more appalling is that the laws of this country, or parts of it, can be authorized by a vote of enough citizens thus covered to enact a law that negates any legislation which welcomes gays (few of whom are even recognizable as gay) and provides them with the freedom and and protection of this nation.

And to the gays who are reading this, married or not, may you find many happy years ahead!

Random Thoughts

Listening to the remaining moments of a Senate hearing on transportation taxes today reminds me of one of Sen. McCain’s favorite goodies offered to the American public. He suggests that any gas taxes be dropped for the summer so that American families can take their summer vacations.

Doesn’t he realize that those taxes will pay for road, bridge, and other upkeep, as well as encouraging the American public to gradually realize that we have a higher living standard than we should feel entitled to or the earth can maintain? The whole idea was also to use less of a rapidly disappearing natural resource. No concept on McCain’s part except to gather support from those who can’t think beyond themselves. The one exception I might make is that truckers, who are a vital resource at this particular time in our development, have a very hard row to hoe.

Republicans, in particular, use hatred of taxes or support of those on the bottom of our human heap as one of their major sources of support. It is popular to feel taxes are an imposition upon our “hard-earned” income and to resent paying them, as well as the people or needs that may benefit from them. But there is no Tooth Fairy, with exception of the awareness of the connection of all creatures, one to another, regardless of which is in need. Reminds me of moving through traffic and the awareness of those on a main street with heavy traffic who pause long enough to let someone in from a side street, as well as those who are grateful enough to wave in thanks. Makes you hope you will meet again.

What a Mess

So many things are so bad! The weather situation in the middle of this country is so unbelievably destructive that one wonders how you would ever be able to get over it. It would be like the end of my life to me. The human loss is inconceivable, but as an animal lover, the suffering of those innocents is more than I can bear to think of.

But here is a suggestion that might be a huge help to the people who are suffering from these floods and ought to make their helpers feel good too. If you were planning on a vacation in that area and had been saving up the money to finance it, especially if you had already made reservations, why don’t you just tell the people there to keep the money, or send them a check for what you had planned to spend?! I can’t think of a gift more appreciated or friendships more profoundly cemented. As for the donor, such a life-changing decision to contribute to the future of those so badly in need—especially if they are people you already know or may know in the future—is a sign of personal growth of character. And what a noble lesson to your children!

Back to the war situation, Bush is off on his triumphal farewell tour of Europe as president, full of his own importance as usual. He did make a limp reference to his many oratorical mistakes—such as “bring it on”—without apologizing for them or evincing any conception of the death, destruction, and lasting hatred they brought on, or the many years it will take for the situation to change. And profoudly sad for his troops, both dead and alive, he had no right whatsoever to send them to wage an unlawful war against a country that did not deserve or invite it. As in sports, there is no victor when the “winner” prevails against a foe who did not invite his attack and is ill-prepared to defend against it. How very sad for both countries!

And the presumptive heir to Bush’s throne exhibits many of the same traits that Bush does—victory is the goal, merited or not. As in so many American sports, the use of illegal drugs and tactics are weapons of choice. Sen. McCain has said that he would rather lose an election than a war. Some value for a man hoping to be our next president!