Class Warfare Blog

November 20, 2017

New Resource for Social Justice Found

It has been recently noted that most Americans do not own a gun, nor is there a gun in their household, rather there are many guns in the hands of a few. Apparently “… America’s gun super-owners, have amassed huge collections. Just 3% of American adults own a collective 133,000,000 firearms – half of America’s total gun stock. These owners have collections that range from eight to 140 guns, the 2015 study found. Their average collection: 17 guns each.

Really I think we need to start considering these people a national resource. Since they reject the idea that the Second Amendment to the Constitution refers only to militias, maybe each of these super gun owners could be tab as a militia of one, to help defend the country, you know, when the liberals attack.

Maybe we could have these militias patrol the streets of our most dangerous cities, where all of them mynoritees is.

Maybe we could have them fight ISIS. I would be willing to buy a one-way ticket for one of these guys, but we would have to get some sort of dispensation to allow them to take their own crate of guns and ammo with them.

Apparently the Second Amendment is not about allowing individual citizens to own a gun, but about a very small minority to own their own armories.

I wonder what happens to the NRA when these gun nuts run out of room to store their hoards and stop buying guns. Are they going to sponsor the building of secure, high tech, gun range and armory combinations on the lot next to their houses? Gotta find a way to keep those “collectors” buying.

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November 19, 2017

Where Do All of These Crazy Religious Ideas Come From?

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , ,

At this time of year we are bombarded with “War on Christmas” diatribes. There is also a war on Christianity, and persecutions of Christians going on. Where does this stuff get made up? I know you want to say “Fox (sic) News” but I can’t agree with that as they are not bright enough to make this stuff up. Instead they steal it; the question is from where? (Fox (sic) News is smart to do this because memes like the War on Christmas, being in circulation in evangelical circles basically makes those items vetted so that Fox will know they will resonate with their core audience (old religious people) when they repeat them over and over.)

Like many of you I read quite a few e-books and e-book readers constantly flog other books “you might like.” I was reading a history of freedom of thought, and I noticed an ad for a book entitled “You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe” by Erick Erickson and Bill Blankschaen. Here’s the blurb:

Religious liberty is under attack in America. Your freedom to believe may not last much longer. To all those who say they don’t care about the culture war, Erick Erickson has only one response: ‘The Left will not let you stay on the sidelines. You will be made to care.’ Now the former Editor-in-Chief of RedState.com joins with Christian author Bill Blankschaen to expose the war in America on Christians and all people of faith who refuse to bow to the worst kind of religion—secularism—one intent on systematically imposing its agenda and frightening doubters into silence.

Since most atheists support freedom of religion and demand freedom from religion, where in our secular state do these war makers come from? Oh, I see. They come from the imaginations of Christian Spin Doctors who are trying to create a fortress mentality for Christians and, well, sell a few books.

It seems that there are myriad books out their creating grist for the Christian Spin Mills. I followed just a few links and here is some of what I found.

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods Jr.
No institution has done more to shape Western civilization than the two-thousand-year-old Catholic Church—and in ways that many of us have forgotten or never known. How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization is essential reading for recovering this lost truth.

So, since the Church came before, it must be a cause. This is a common logical fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc). That the Catholic Church did everything in its power to suppress freedom of thought on all terms including scientific ones, not just on religious terms, also supported the oppression of the secular elites, and suppressed scientific works galore, this is actually bullshit. Yes, I think that is the proper term. Books could not be printed without Church approval through much of Europe (gasp we wouldn’t have control over what people read if they were allowed to print willy-nilly!). The Church maintained a list of banned books (the Index Librorum Prohibitorum), beginning in the mid 1500’s and abolished in 1966, just in time to boost the Scientific Revolution! (Yes, I am being sarcastic.) On that list were many books of science. (Yes, I know the Vatican supported scientific research, but their “program” had definite ends and the “researchers” knew what to claim and what to shut up about.) So, yeah, they did a lot of shaping but it wasn’t all that good.

Hating Jesus: The American Left’s War on Christianity by Matt Barber and Paul Hair
The new pagan gods of the late, great USA are self-worshipping men and women who, realize it or not, spend every waking hour doing evil. You know them as American leftists. They are waging a War on Christianity and, for now at least, are winning.
“Just a few short decades ago a church-going man who publicly supported the right to life, backed laws protecting marriage, and spoke freely of Christ’s love for fallen man, would be universally recognized as a fine and upstanding citizen. He would be welcomed anywhere, including at the highest levels of power. But things have changed. In today’s America, the “progressive” left actively endeavors to destroy such a man.
“Modern American leftists start by vilifying Christians. They then begin scheming, quite often with success, to get Christians terminated from employment and forever marked with a scarlet “C” to inhibit any future prospects for employment. Next, they simultaneously attack their family and work to tear it apart, at once sending a warning shot over the bow of other Christians and pushing them to the fringes of society.
The ultimate goal? Conform to their pagan demands, or face incarceration.

Bwah, hah, hah, hah! Boy, I can’t wait to lock up all of the Christians … my parents, my sisters, their kids, all of them. Doesn’t the stridency of this put Christians off? Oh, they believe atheists like me eat babies, so I guess they will believe anything.

Finding Jesus in the Old Testament by David Limbaugh
In Finding Jesus in the Old Testament, David Limbaugh unlocks the mysteries of the Old Testament and reveals hints of Jesus Christ’s arrival through all thirty-nine Old Testament books.

All 39 books of the OT! Wow! Maybe one of the “justifications” is the one of Bishop Cyril of Alexandria who took the Biblical description of the construction of the Ark of the Covenant as presaging Jesus. The ark was built of wood but covered in gold leaf. But the gold stayed gold and the wood stayed wood, just like the two natures of Jesus, man and god.

If you look hard enough to find something, you will find something. Unfortunately, this is bullshit. If the hucksters trying to sell Christianity on the first through third centuries hadn’t tried so hard to link it to the Jewish scriptures, we might not have the bullshit in the Jewish scriptures so infused in Christianity today (e.g. Roy Moore’s Ten Commandments aren’t in the NT).

It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies by Mary Eberstadt
Mary Eberstadt documents how people of faith—especially Christians who adhere to traditional religious beliefs—face widespread discrimination in today’s increasingly secular society. Eberstadt details how recent laws, court decisions, and intimidation on campuses and elsewhere threaten believers who fear losing their jobs, their communities, and their basic freedoms solely because of their convictions. They fear that their religious universities and colleges will capitulate to aggressive secularist demands. They fear that they and their families will be ostracized or will have to lose their religion because of mounting social and financial penalties for believing. They fear they won’t be able to maintain charitable operations that help the sick and feed the hungry.”

Christians seem to be loaded with fears. I wonder who made them that way? Gosh, could their religion be based upon fear itself? Gosh!

The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution by James Hannam
As a physicist and historian of science James Hannam shows in his brilliant new book, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution, without the scholarship of the ‘barbaric’ Middle Ages, modern science simply would not exist.

Methinks he doth protest too much. Again, since the Christian Middle Ages came before the Enlightenment, it must be a cause. This is, as mentioned, a common logical fallacy (post hoc ergo propter hoc). Since the Christians controlled everything, why was so little accomplished over 1000 years? Just asking.

Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson
Darwin’s theory of evolution is accepted by most educated Americans as simple fact. This easy acceptance, however, hides from us the many ways in which evolution—as an idea—shapes our thinking about a great many things. What if this idea is wrong?
“Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson looks at the evidence for Darwinistic evolution the way a lawyer would—with a cold dispassionate eye for logic and proof. His discovery is that scientists have put the cart before the horse. They prematurely accepted Darwin’s theory as fact and have been scrambling to find evidence for it.
“Darwin on Trial is a cogent and stunning tour de force that not only rattles the cages of conventional wisdom, but could provide the basis for a fundamental change in the way educated Americans regard themselves, their origins, and their fate.

Oh, dear, what if Darwin was wrong? Relax. He wasn’t. BTW, lawyers rarely understand science, so their lawyerly approach is a simple ploy to take the prestige of one profession and apply it to a topic it doesn’t apply to. You gotta love people who do this. Really, you have to love them; it is in the Bible. They are someone’s neighbors!

Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer
When Charles Darwin finished The Origin of Species, he thought that he had explained every clue, but one. Though his theory could explain many facts, Darwin knew that there was a significant event in the history of life that his theory did not explain. During this event, the “Cambrian explosion,” many animals suddenly appeared in the fossil record without apparent ancestors in earlier layers of rock.

Darwin had doubts? Oh, he must have been a scientist! Only religious people have no doubts. Darwin had no doubts about the Cambrian Explosion as it was barely investigated and certainly not named as such when he published. He was doubtful about trilobites (part of the Cambrian explosion) and human eyes, and many other things. But after Darwin came Mendelian genetics, DNA, and myriad other discoveries and Darwinism stands stronger than ever. All of the Darwin’s doubts have been addressed. None of them come close to being deal killers. Many have been settled in evolution’s favor. Some are still under investigation.

This book was written by Christians for Christians because if evolution is right, Christianity is wrong, so the Theory of Evolution must be false, it must be!

The Secret Battle of Ideas about God: Overcoming the Outbreak of Five Fatal Worldviews by Jeff Myers
A virus has been spreading across America. Chances are you’ve already been infected without even realizing it. The virus is made up of dangerous ideas—worldviews that don’t reflect Jesus and biblical living.
“According to a recent Barna study, less than one in five practicing Christians have a biblical worldview. Idea viruses—stemming from secularism, Marxism, postmodernism, new spirituality, and Islam—are rampant in our churches today
.”

Damn! I just got my flu shot and it doesn’t protect me from secular viruses! How dare those atheists use Christian techniques to indoctrinate people! That’s cultural appropriation of the worst kind!

… And, I just had to include this one!

The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left by Dinesh D’Souza
“The Democratic left has an ideology virtually identical with fascism and routinely borrows tactics of intimidation and political terror from the Nazi Brownshirts.

‘Of course, everything [D’Souza] says here is accurate… But it’s not going to sit well with people on the American left who, of course, are portraying themselves as the exact opposite of all of this.’ —RUSH LIMBAUGH

Those liberal atheists are evil, evil I tell you!

D’Souza violates Godwin’s law in his title! Godwin’s Law is an internet adage that is derived from one of the earliest bits of Usenet wisdoms, which posits that “if you mention Adolf Hitler or Nazis within a discussion thread, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in.” D’Souza, mentioning Nazis in the title has already lost his argument. That has to be some kind of record for him.

The Christian fundamentalists have so closely identified with right-wing politics in this country that they would rather vote for sexual abusers of women and voluminous liars (sometimes in the form of the same person) than a liberal. (Psst, Jesus was a liberal and a socialist!)

* * *

There are thousands of these kinds of books in circulation. We do not often see them and more rarely read them because they are part of the Christian propaganda network. But they do get seen and do get read, a lot.

November 15, 2017

Wow, Prayers Result in Speedy Response (Breaking News! Not Fake! Not Fake!)

In my post “Thoughts and Prayers” I showed that when a mass shooting occurs, the immediate response of “thoughts and prayers” by people has resulted in ever more mass shootings. I presumed that some of those prayers were to beseech the Deity to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future so they seem to be having a reverse effect. The more they pray, the worse it gets.

According to today’s NY Times: “A gunman rampaged through the small Northern California town of Rancho Tehama Reserve on Tuesday killing at least four people and wounding at least 10 others. The gunman — who was fatally shot by the police — had entered an elementary school but was unable to get into classrooms.” Since the most recent mass shooting to provoke an nationwide outbreak of “thoughts and prayers” was just two weeks ago in Texas, we now have evidence that prayers are answered and in a speedy fashion. While not instantaneous, a two week lag between cause and effect is not unknown in prayer analysis.

Now that this cause and effect relationship has been identified, it is hoped that the authorities will now seriously investigate this effect. At the very least, a national ban on “thoughts and prayers” should be put in place as a precaution. Whether the NRA will get behind this movement is unclear at the moment as how these events affect guns sales has yet to be determined.

November 13, 2017

Thoughts and Prayers: Do They Work?

After the most recent large scale mass shooting (in Texas) Republican lawmakers said … over and over again … that thoughts and prayers were appropriate and that “prayers work.” David French of National Review, for example, argues prayer can be the most rational and effective response to such happenings. So, the question is, have these “thoughts and prayers” been effective? Did they work?

Apparently, we have a natural experiment going right now. Let’s start by looking at the number of mass shootings that occur in the U.S. There is an immediate problem with this topic. The first number I ran into is that there have been 307 mass shootings in 2017 (so far). The next number I found was that there have been 10 mass shootings in 2017 (so far). Obviously different definitions as to what constitutes a mass shooting are involved.

The 307 number was compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, which compiles data from shooting incidents, a “mass shooting” according to them is any incident in which a gunman … shoots or kills four or more people, in the same general time and location. The 10 number was determined using the U.S. federal government’s most commonly accepted definition in which one only counts incidents where four or more people were indiscriminately killed in a public place. Since the federal government is in the pocket of the NRA (or rather the NRA’s money is in the pockets of the federal officials) and would then rather be serving to downplay such incidents, I am inclined to not use the federal definition. I am further disinclined to use the federal definition in that it makes a distinction as to selectivity (indiscriminately) and location (public place). So, if someone guns down four or more people on private property, that doesn’t make it a mass shooting according to the feds, but if they were in a park across the street, it would? Also, I suspect the people shot or shot and killed probably don’t care whether the shooter was discriminating or not, they would just rather not be shot.

“Please, all of you ‘thoughts and prayers’ people, please stop praying; you are making it worse!”

Here are the numbers according to the Gun Violence Archive (using the “liberal” definition)

2017    307 (so far)
2016    383 mass shootings
2015    333 mass shootings
2014    273 mass shootings

And, of the 30 deadliest shootings in the United States dating back to 1949, 18 have occurred in the last 10 years. These are just from the U.S., not from the rest of the world. (Not that it would matter a great deal as we are by far the world leader in such events.)

One can presume that since Christians constitute 70+% of the American population, that after each of these events there were thoughts and prayers for the victims, the victim’s family, maybe the shooter’s family, and I would hope prayers to beseech the ruler of the universe, the one, the only, all-powerful god of the Christians to prevent such horrible events from ever occurring again. This is just an assumption, but these are the people who claim that prayer works and I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t ask to have these events eliminated from the future. If they did not pray so, one would really have to ask why.

So after each and every one of these mass shootings, hundreds and hundreds of them, we can assume that those inclined to pray, prayed fervently, at least in part for such events to not occur again.

And the results (so far)? Mass shootings have been increasing in number.

Please, all of you “thoughts and prayers” people, please stop praying; you are making it worse!

 

November 12, 2017

God, Jesus, and Vietnam

The NY Times is running a history of the Vietnam War series, highlighting the experiences of individuals. In a recent piece a gentleman told of how he went to Vietnam with his faith and came home without it (God, Jesus, and Vietnam).

The story is quite poignant and I recommend it to you, but the author’s main point was that one couldn’t go out and sin for six days and then ask God for forgiveness on the seventh and then go out and repeat that cycle again and again, something had to give. (There was more, but that was the crux of the matter.)

What struck me as just as fascinating were the comments. Here are a couple:

… there is in fact a Judgment Day, I have no doubt that this man will get off the hook of his own conscience and that Christ will intercede for him.

So, this gentleman is convinced that there will be a judgment day and Jesus will “intercede for him.” Intercede with whom? Christians who are trinitarians (the bulk  of them, actually) seem to facilely switch between “Jesus is God” and “Jesus is the Son of God” states, often it seems when there is bad shit happening that they don’t want Jesus to get the blame for. So, Jesus will apparently intercede with this poor slob who lost his faith with the Judge on Judgment Day. And who is the Judge you ask? Of course, it is Jesus. Why is it that the Christians who are oh, so sure, of what will happen because scripture, never seem to know what it is?

A second commenter included this as part:

But knowing the Lord is the incommensurable good: no trouble, no loss can be compared to the good of knowing him. Furthermore, we will be with him forever.

So for this gentleman, his god is so good, no thing, no body compares with him. Let’s look at the “Good God’s” track record. According to the Christian time line. the entire universe was created and the first man in a matter of a few days. After a few more days woman is created and after a few more, they are banished from the Garden of Eden and cursed, along with all of their children … forever (circa 4004 BCE).

Then. their god decides he has made a mistake want wants to wipe the slate clean, and so about 1550 years later, he creates a big flood and kills off almost all of the animals on the planet (I used to say land animals, but the volume of water involved is so great, that if it were fresh water (no reason for it not to be), it would have changed the salinity of seawater drastically, right where all of the oceanic life forms were, so basically all animals were killed, including tens of millions of men, women, and children along with the deer, zebras, koalas, and dolphins.

From the eight surviving humans, a new crop of humans was grown, this time under more (better?) guidance from Yahweh (it is hard to tell). A little under 2500 years later, Jesus comes, dies, and saves us all. So, apparently it wasn’t going so well with the second crop in that it took massive divine intervention to fix the problems.

So, where is this “incommensurable good” demonstrated? The history, according to the Christians, shows a bumbling god who can’t get it right, who makes mistakes, piled one atop another. Again, Christians seem to be making it up as they go.

The fact that this soldier’s religious faith put him in a quandary in which the only way out was to reject his faith is quite telling. That his religious leaders were supporting him on a mission that made no sense to anyone, that involved atrocious behavior being required under the penalty of one’s life being ruined (court martial, dishonorable discharge, conscientious objector status all ruined lives) but was okay with god, shows that the army had chaplains as part of the secular and religious control mechanism entrapping these poor soldiers.

I used to be puzzled about the Garden of Eden stories. A key question I had was why did god punish Adam and Eve for making a decision that couldn’t be made correctly as they had no knowledge of good and evil (that was what the fruit gave to them). It makes sense now, now that I see religion as it truly is; it was not a decision that Adam and Eve were to make, they were to obey, just obey, and the price of disobedience was the wreck of the entire human species. The message is “obey or suffer.” Is there no better statement of the true motivation behind that religion?

It is all there in the Bible. Yahweh’s point over and over is “obey me, properly, or else.” And for the sniveling sort who say, “but that is the Old Testament god, Jesus is different,” these folks seem to forget that their faith, almost always, says that the Old and New Testament gods are one and the same … and even if they were not, Jesus had Hell invented on his watch (Hell is not in the Old Testament). Obey or burn in Hell is a New Testament twist to the Old Testament threat.

 

 

To Kneel or Not to Kneel During the Anthem? WTF?

In an article entitled “Star-Spangled Banner: how the anthem became central to the story of American sports” a number of very interesting points were made by the author Bryan Armen Graham.

Here are just a few:

“Professional sports needed to define themselves as patriotic in order to be seen as part of the war (WW1) on the home front and center for morale rather than as an expendable entertainment which is how they were initially,’ says Mark Clague, an associate professor of musicology at the University of Michigan who is one of the nation’s foremost experts on The Star-Spangled Banner, lest we believe anything but the owners’ self-interest made the anthem into the ubiquitous tradition we know today.

“Clague says the development and proliferation of stadium technology enabling the playing of pre-recorded music combined with a groundswell of patriotism during and after the second world war has given the anthem an almost continuous place in baseball in the years since. Football was similarly keen to wrap itself in the flag with NFL commissioner Elmer Layden in 1945 calling for a league-wide adoption of the anthem, saying: ‘The national anthem should be as much a part of every game as the kick-off. We must not drop it simply because the war is over. We should never forget what it stands for.’

“Oh, it was all about money! I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!”

“Says Clague: ‘When world war two happened, professional sports had really figured out that patriotism was good for their business and it protected them against this question of being defined as a non-essential occupation.’”

and

“The bombastic pre-game spectacles of patriotism that had become commonplace at NFL games began to make sense in 2015, after a report by Republican senators John McCain and Jeff Flake revealed the Department of Defense had spread $6.8m of taxpayer money among more than 50 professional teams across the NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NASCAR. In return, the teams promised organized displays of national pride including the honoring of members of the armed forces, surprise military homecomings and on-field color guard and reenlistment ceremonies. The co-opting of America’s most popular institutions as recruiting tools went by an easy-to-remember name: paid patriotism.”

Oh, it was all about money! I’m shocked, shocked I tell you!

And as usual, the gullible rubes are brainwashed into enforcing the will of the elites, to make them even more money.

Oh, who created this article?  It was created for The Guardian, in the U.K., of course. Nothing like this would be produced by a U.S. news organ … that would be telling, now wouldn’t it.

November 10, 2017

Boy, I Love Ian Welsh

But unlike most of the rest of the world, China is actually trying to tackle problems, to think decades ahead, to plan and to do big important things. Some of what China considers important, like its expansion of a truly oppressive surveillance citizen which will include a public score for every citizen, I don’t like, but China does big things, good, bad or flawed, while we watch approaching catastrophes and gently hum to ourselves, then check our phones.

Follow the brilliant mind of Ian Welsh at his blog.

November 9, 2017

We Are Waking …

Check this out “Why have we built a paradise for offshore billionaires?” by Thomas Frank of The Guardian. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Mr. Frank says, for example, “In reality, though, it was never about us and our economy at all. Today it is obvious that all of this had only one rationale: to raise up a class of supermen above us. It had nothing to do with jobs or growth. Or freedom either. The only person’s freedom to be enhanced by these tax havens was the billionaire’s freedom. It was all to make his life even better, not ours.

He is not quite there, though, as you can see from this “I don’t want to go too far here. I know that what the billionaires and the celebrities have done is perfectly legal. They merely took advantage of the system. It’s the system itself, and the way it was deliberately constructed to achieve these awful ends, that should be the target of our fury.

Mr. Frank, with all respect, it is not some disembodied “system” we need to contend with. You must realize that the elites created the system. We do not need to take the system down. we need to take the elites down.

At least the mainstream media are starting to see reality.

November 7, 2017

Shocking News! White House NRA Spokesman Lies

White House NRA spokesman Donald J. Trump added that if “Good Samaritan” Stephen Willeford had not had a gun, “instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead” in reference to the latest mass shooting in Texas.

Uh, this doesn’t quite add up. At the scene and in the perpetrator’s vehicle, authorities found at least 15 empty 30-round ammunition magazines along with two handguns, a Glock 9mm and a Ruger 22, found in his car.

I do not want to diminish the bravery of the two gentlemen who distracted the shooter, but if he still had enough ammo to shoot “hundreds more” why did he run from two guys, one of whom was unarmed? No mention has been made of any full ammo clips fitting into his AR-15 clone being found, so was he going to shoot down “hundreds” with the Glock and Ruger .22?

As usual the NRA spokesman told these lies in a easy, comforting, reassuring manner, as all NRA spokesmen do. Later he added, “There’s nothing to see here. Move along” and “In lieu of actual legislation, people are urged to send hopes and prayers that this won’t happen to them. In God we trust! he can protects us! Except, well, in schools, and churches, and music concerns, and movie theaters, and … well, you know.”

November 6, 2017

More NRA Bullshit

The latest mass shooting (in a Texas church), we are told by an NRA representative, is not about “the guns” but about mental health.

Certainly, imagine how much more destruction he could have spread had he been armed with a rolling pin, or even a steak knife. We should bless our lucky stars he only had guns.

Oh, the NRA spokesman? That would be Donald J. Trump, sitting POTUS. Just how many strikes do you get before you are out in this game?

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