Well, This Is Just Sad As Hell

Crying Soldier

Got this thing on Facebook, but it's very little different from stuff I've been getting for years via email. Here it is in full, with picture attached: ***A MUST SHARE***A young man working in the army was constantly humiliated because he believed in God. One day the captain wanted to humiliate him before the troops. He called the young man and said: – Young man come here, take the key and go and park the Jeep in front. the young man replied: – I cannot drive! The captain said: – … [Read more...]

Help (Really, Sort-Of, But Often Maybe Not Really) Wanted

Help Wanted

I know from my own experience of reading blogs that I generally expect the voice behind the screen to TELL me something, to clarify or assist me in understanding. Which builds a sort of weight into the fact that I'm a blogger myself. I do try to live up to that sort of expectation. I look at larger issues – mainly atheism, sometimes politics, but lately also Beta Culture – so I can present more understandable or balanced analyses of each subject for readers. At the same time, I'm also … [Read more...]

Population Pessimism and Diminished Personal Freedom

No Limits 1

Face it, if your Superbowl party includes a sofa that comfortably seats four people, and you have game snacks for four people, but two more people show up ... Everybody has less room. Less popcorn. Less beer. Those two extra people COST something to the others. Further, if you lived on an island with sharply limited resources, in a situation where growing population had finally bumped up against those limits, you’d be forced by the situation to demand less for yourself, to work more … [Read more...]

It’s Starting to Look Like Christie is Toast

Here it is: Crimes were probably committed. Chris Christie Scandal Is An 'Impeachable Offense' If He Knew “Using the George Washington Bridge, a public resource, to exact a political vendetta, is a crime,’ New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) said. ‘Having people use their official position to have a political game is a crime. So if those tie back to the governor in any way, it clearly becomes an impeachable offense.’ ” Subpoenas are going out, including to the woman … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Sometimes It’s You

car alarm 1

Outside my bedroom window, three floors down and about 50 yards away, a car alarm began going off. At about 10 p.m. Sunday night. Thirty blasts of the horn, then silence. For about 30 seconds. Then another 30 blasts. Silence. Again. And again. And again. For more than two hours. I was reading in bed, as I always do, and I’m able to ignore a lot when I’m caught up in a book, so it wasn’t a big problem. But it was annoying. And it went on. And on. And on. I finally looked out the … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: More About the Nexus

Nexus-2

One of my central ideas about Beta Culture, about creating it, is that every culture on Earth, past and present, is potential source material for designing our own unique cultural environment. We can borrow, copy, or just outright steal ideas and ways of doing from any and every culture. Borrow cultural goodies from the Mormons. Steal from the Catholics. Copy good stuff from the Romans, the Shakers, the Japanese, the Italians, the Navajo. Borrow, copy, steal ... and make it ours. If you've … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Necessity of Change

fire

This is a bit more heated than I'd say the thing ... Burn the Fucking System to the Ground ... but there's one quote I view as absolutely accurate: The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else. I don't see "burn it to the ground" as a workable solution. This is more a cry of impotent rage -- the same thing … [Read more...]

Yeah, About That “Atheism as Intellectual Luxury” Thing

rich

So ... THIS got written: Atheism is an intellectual luxury for the wealthy It starts with the writer's Reasoning Guy bona fides. An atheist at 16, Chris Arnade sneered at religion, even later becoming an actual scientist. Three years later I did escape my town, eventually receiving a PhD in physics, and then working on Wall Street for 20 years. A life devoted to rational thought, a life devoted to numbers and clever arguments. During that time I counted myself an atheist and nodded in … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Self Defense in the Medical Arena

Catholic Hospitals

So you go into a hospital and it looks like every other, right? Doctors, nurses, beeping monitors, an overall air of concern for patient well-being. And for most of us, it's probably even true. But for one targeted class, women in need of emergency, or sometimes even routine, reproductive care, one in ten hospitals in the U.S. take a radically different approach to medicine. Read this paragraph from Miscarriage of Medicine – The Growth of Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Reproductive … [Read more...]

Things I’d Like to Take Home on the Eve of Christmas

Claus

The impulse, I suspect, is in all of us. Put a 5-year-old on a beach with his mother, and he will spend some large part of his time picking up shells, one by one, over and over, running them back to her, proclaiming in awe and delight, “Mommy, look at THIS one!” You find a great new eating place, you go back and TELL everybody. You discover a beautiful little waterfall on a hike, you take pictures and go back and SHOW people. You hear some juicy, or sad, or amazing, bit of news, your … [Read more...]