Our economic system is broken.

Wall Street banksters raked in almost $27 billion dollars in bonuses last year, yet Congress can't even get it together to raise the minimum wage. According to the New York State Comptroller's office, the gamblers on Wall Street raked in $26.7 billion dollars in bonuses in 2013 – 15 percent more than they did the previous year. That's enough money to double the paycheck of every single minimum wage worker in our country.

Our economic system is so completely broken that banksters got another pile of cash after wrecking our economy while millions of real working people put in long, hard hours for paychecks that leave them in poverty. And, this keeps happening even though it does not make a lick of economic sense. Every extra dollar paid to a low-wage worker generates about $1.20 for our economy. When that dollar goes to line the pockets of the super-rich instead, it adds less than 40 cents to our GDP. The banksters and the corporate elite can afford to stash their money away in foreign countries and high-return risky investments, while real working Americans have to spend every single dollar just to get by.

If that $26.7 billion in bonuses went to the working poor, instead of the gamblers on Wall Street, our economy would grow by more than $32 billion. That makes a whole lot more sense than gifting billions to the very people who crashed our economy. It's time to fix this broken system, to stop rewarding the people who gamble with our economy, and time to put this money back into the hands of the real working people in America.


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 9 weeks ago

Marc, my dear comrade… DUH! No wonder I didn't respond! I just checked out your #34 post in the "C'mon America" thread of March 13th, and I see nothing to identify this as something requiring or needing a response from me specifically. There's no mention of my name anywhere, nor is there any previous post of mine identified that you are responding to. There's lots of other bloggers participating here, as you know, and I thought #34 was inviting a response from anyone who wished to respond. Anyway sorry for the misunderstanding.

The content is indeed familiar to me. I remember reading the lyric to that song. Even though I didn't post a comment, I thought the lyric beautiful and insightful… and wistful, and a little sad.

The Buckaroo sounds familiar as well… but I don't see that listed among the links in #34. I remember reading it though, and thinking Buckaroo an amazing person of many facets and accomplishments. Again, I had no idea you were hoping for me to respond and thought it was simply for anyone to respond. Since receiving your current message, I tried googling Buckaroo again just for a memory refresher, so that I could discuss this more in detail; but all I got was a generic message stating: "We're sorry. The Web address you entered is not a functioning page on our site."

As to your post #15 on this thread, that's a different story. I knew you were responding to my earlier post about worker-owned cooperatives, but somehow it didn't register that you were expecting a response to your response. Now that that's been clarified, I agree with post #15. I think your point is valid; that cooperatives won't be able to compete without the legal minimum wage raised high enough to be at least comparable to what workers in those cooperatives are paid. I totally get it, and can dredge up no argument. I often get impatient because I want these societal changes so badly; you know… "I want it and I want it now!" kind of thing…. (SIGH)

Now, as for this other thing about me being Jewish, it's really not that big a deal anymore. I've never personally been targeted for being a Jew. I don't look Jewish; I wasn't raised Jewish. For some Jewish people such as myself, it's all about Hebrew Law, and this special heritage that gets passed down through the maternal blood line. My maternal great-grandmother was German Jewish, therefore her daughters (including my maternal grandmother), therefore my mother, right on down to yours truly: Aliceinkosherland! I was actually raised in the Unitarian church. I've done a few Passovers in my day, which I was invited to attend. But for me, it was a social event and a holiday more than something of religious significance, even as I relate to all the symbolism and the metaphors about tyranny and oppression; how some have triumphed against these malevolent forces.

There is very poignant reasoning behind this maternal blood line that customarily determines if one is Jewish. This was established eons ago, in response to all the persecutions and abuses Jewish people have had to endure, including the rape of scores of Jewish women. It is but one of many tactics Jewish people have used throughout the millennia, to preserve some sense of cultural and ethnic integrity, making the children of these rape victims Jewish by identifying as Jewish any individual born to a Jewish woman. That's how I recall it being explained to me 35 years ago, by some devoutly Jewish old friends in Philadelphia, one of which later became a Rabbi.

I mentioned the Jewish facet of my lineage not to draw attention to myself so much as to make a point. It was a semi-joking or satirical way of putting a face on the receiving end of this age-old problem of xenophobia and its consequences. Perhaps it didn't come across as intended. Sorry if I unwittingly sent out the wrong message or was not clear enough on my intentions!

Anywaaaayyyy… this ought cover everything for now Marc! Thanks for calling my attention to your confusion regarding any lack of response perceived from this end. No need to worry; passive aggression ain't my style. Ole Alice lets it all hang out!

Cheers! - AIW

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 9 weeks ago

A referendum with tanks pointed at them. soldiers all over the place. I would think that is what the UN would be for. When a serious international event happens. The UN just sits there waiting for the US to solve the worlds problems. Where was the UN when Iraq invaded Kuiwat? Or when all hell broke loose in Rwanda?

oh by the way I am proud to say Canada just pulled its last troops out of Afganastan. 13 years, over 40,000 soldiers, 22 billion dollars, and 162 dead. Keep in mind Canada has a ten of the population of the US to multiply all those numbers by ten to compare to the US. The UN sent us there for four years then no one else would help except the US years later. Just like Rwanda everyone bailed and left Canada there all alone. Time to let Europe solve the worlds problems.

here we go again though our Prime Minister is in Ukraine right now so guess where we are going next.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 8 years 9 weeks ago

Good weekend to All

If i might referre to the topic of reincarnation as mentioned earlier this week. Palin and to those interested .the Free thought skeptic view on Life after death telepathy reincarnation ofcource would require Impirical data.In my humble attempt to bring together an argument an atheist would consider.my argument for telepathy allowing prophecy is this.

First the big bang theory. doppler shift proof the universe is expanding science believes until further data is discovered. (such as dark matter )somethings pushing something out there?

I will attempt to connect my laymans view of partical science with Steven Hawkings multiverse theory

Palin this is the machine you mentioned that would be required A Nobel prize for being in two places at once | Reuters now follow me out please, particals in brain, Thought could, in the very near future move(and does) say particals (now this happens simutaneously from partical to partical)in the mind of an other. Breaking the speed of Light. Keeping Prof. Einstein in mind, faster than light time travel .now consider prof. Halkings parallel Multiverse Theory.with this faster than light thought presumably travels then access to these future Worlds would be what in Religious communities call Prophecy?

Fractionally Pondering.. thanks All

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Did cold-war-hungry neocons stage manage Liz Wahl's resignation?

1. She had previously worked for Fox News.

2. According to 6 other anchors at RT she had never expressed political opinions. Never seemed concerned about editorial content. Her biggest beef was about her salary. The only time fellow employees saw her express politics was after they watched a commentary by James Kirchick, a senior fellow at FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative) , the neoconservative think-tank that grew out of PNAC (Project for a New American Century).

3. 2 weeks before she quit, she had berated some of her co-workers and screamed at her employer over salary and other non-political things. She was suspended for 2 weeks without pay for unprofessional conduct and demoted from anchor to correspondent.

4. Prior to her quitting RT, she had tried to get a job with Al Jazeera but they turned her down. So much for quitting RT on political principles or patriotic reasons.

5. 19 minutes before Wahl's on-air resignation from RT, James Kirchick tweeted that "you're really going to want to tune in to RT...something really big may be going down". Then 2 minutes before the resignation he again tweeted to urge followers to tune in to RT. Then, at the very moment that she quits FPI's twitter account broke the news: "RT Anchor RESIGN ON AIR. She 'cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin'."


Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 9 weeks ago

I'm all Ukrained out. And I thought we were over this Cold War thing. Our warlords' obsession over "evil Russia" has gotten so old. Let's clean our own house and let them worry about theirs, okay? That's all I've got to say about Russia & Ukraine. So old… Can't we just live our lives in peace, without all these stupid goddam wars?!!! - AIW

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

Kend, that's pretty lame. The tanks were pointed at the West, the people of Crimea are overwhelmingly pro Russian and don't need anything pointed at them to get them to vote that way.

The US only "solves" the problems it creates. The US, together with proxies, created the crisis in Kuwait in 1989-90 so it could invade. You don't seriously think the second most oil rich country in the world that, unlike Saudi Arabia, was defiantly asserting its independence and thumbing its nose at the West and the first to nationalize its oil industry in 1973 was going to be left to its own device by the colonial powers of the US and Western Europe, do you?

The UN is only as good as its members and with rogue states like the US, Israel and Western Europe in charge it can't do much more than remonstrate.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

Fractionally, naturalists are just not going to fit everything into their predetermined definition of the universe and cosmos.

The spiritual world is the real world and the material world, the illusion.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 8 years 9 weeks ago

Cheers Alice if only we could take the motives for war itself away !Peace. to readjust the Ethics of humanity Demacratically.The Industrial war complex would grind to a halt. The complex propaganda fed to us as we awake out of the matrix has to Change as Rt and Others slowly but truthfully are begining to achieve.Hard work of so many, as far as we still have to go, is worth Living for. Strive forward Peace Movement. thanks

Yours truly Mr. Unnerved

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 9 weeks ago

Aliceinkosherland ~ Thanks so much for the response. You are right about Post #34 from the previous day. It isn't addressed specifically to you. However, I'm sure I addressed follow up posts later to you about it. Maybe I'm wrong. Better late then never as they say. I remember clearly when that video debuted. The Grateful Dead had previously posted some teaser videos a month or so before that had struck my curiosity. They seemed prophetic in nature and they scheduled to show the entire "So Far" video this particular Friday night. I had previously recorded the teasers in EP on my VCR. After reviewing them several times I regretted not recording them in SP because I wanted to make copies for friends. This later date I awaited in great anticipation ready to rerecord not only the entire video but other video debuts that were also announced on PBS all in SP. I wanted to see if they had any other prophetic messages and to be able to capture them. PBS was doing a pledge drive at the time and Jerry and the boys intended to put them over the top.

As it turned out, a day or two before the PBS debut show, Brent Mydland, their keyboardist, who was to be highlighted in the new preview videos, was found dead in his apartment from an apparent overdose. I immediately suspected foul play because I know the messages in the videos I saw did not set well with the powers that be. I also couldn't understand how someone could be so careless so close to his television debut. My first gut reaction was that his murder was a warning to The Grateful Dead to knock it off. I also knew that if these music video messages were truly prophetic then this next show would have a powerful one two punch right to the nose of the killers of Brent and the powers that be from an even higher power that be. Of course it could all be a coincidence but in particular "Just a Little Light" certainly fits what I was anticipating.

Like your spiritual experiences as a child, and the experience of many people "Just a Little Light" was a profound experience for me as a young adult. Unlike most such experiences, this was a gift that I can share with you and others. Thanks for checking it out. So many people are afraid of looking divine intervention in the eye. They are afraid because it serves as a threat to their entire world paradigm. I have found that even amongst alleged believers, the vast majority run away like scared rabbits from any evidence that might support their supposed beliefs. I suppose that it is just so much easier to just laugh it off then to take it seriously. Thanks for being stronger than that.

I don't know why that Davies link didn't work. If you look back at some of my post this week you can see where I practically paraphrased the entire book. No exaggerations on my part. What a guy! He is described by others as being very lucky. He describes himself as having led a "charmed" life. Whatever you believe, Davies certainly proves that anything is possible.

If you search google you might want to type in "Mayor of Oakland John L. Davies Autobiography." "Buckaroo" is just a post mortem nickname given to his book. The original title he gave the book was "My Own Story."

The best synopsis I've found for the book is on the amazon website. Go to the website and type in "His Honor The Buckaroo" in the search engine of the site. The image is his favorite ferryboat "The Rosalie" which is on the back of the book. Click on the title of the book and that will take you to the synopsis page.

Thanks for that lesson on Jewish history. I'm glad to hear your point of view. It seems you carry your heritage well and have a very healthy perspective of it.

Again, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to review those two topics. Have a great Sunday! I know I will.

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 8 years 9 weeks ago

I believe there is room for both.spiritual and material. Host/body and Soul /abstract thought. Now the canvas that would be the time space continuum. the multiverse.or World then.The Incarnation of each individual (the think thier for i am. part)then creatively works out karma. like minded people(within reason) in this New global village have so many ways to connect so much is possible that could never be realized (thought actuated)Spirit and material.in an earlier time.earlier Global karma.. Spirit is the higher reality.. true!

When transfering thought via sight and sound ,and as we unravel these mysteries think of how now are thought travels fast as light to each other and around the world.those of us that have the Big Picture concerns in mind ,must wonder why We exist at all?

Power to the people and Thought for the Thinkers .Thankfully people are no longer burnt at the stake for differences of oppinion.

- Frac out

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago
Quote wikipedia:"Freethought holds that individuals should not accept ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any logical fallacies or the intellectually limiting effects of authority, confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmas. Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena."


Quote atheists.org:Two commonly used retorts to the nonsense that atheism is a religion are: 1) If atheism is a religion then bald is a hair color, and 2) If atheism is a religion then health is a disease. A new one introduced in 2012 by Bill Maher is, "If atheism is a religion, then abstinence is a sexual position."

The only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods and supernatural beings.


There is just no evidence to support the supernatural. In the past, much of what was considered as "supernatural" is now understood, through scientific method, as natural and explainable..just previously misunderstood by people who had no grasp of science. And it is those scientifically-challenged psycho-babble bullies of the past, and the present, that have foisted their nonsense on other scientifically-challenged pushovers of the present.

That is usually the case...those who believe in the supernatural, and adhere to dogma, cannot understand science. And, yes, you can find a few examples of certain "men of science" who make ridiculous non-scientific claims of their beliefs in dogmatic religious or superstitious things. But most scientists distance themselves from superstitious beliefs.

But for most "real scientists" who understand the Empirical method of deriving experimentally repeatable truths, rather than superstitious dogma that never does show anything above random chance... if that, they have to admit that there really is no good reason to believe in superstitious nonsense.

If everyone throughout history till the present, believed in superstitious nonsense then they would all still be fearing dragons and thinking they could fly on magic carpets, dying of what are now curable diseases.

And it is really funny how adherents of superstition and religion will misconstrue what scientists have said...often misquoting them. Scientists continually search for better answers to what they don't yet understand, dogmatists don't.


FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 8 years 9 weeks ago

good day Palin

i must apologize you mentioned and offered other "lark allegory" stories I remember now being caught up in that partical science epiphany at the time and should have thanked you for that offer. cheers.

I aggree myth as a teaching tool has and still can( Cargo cult )become superstition in cases through out the ages. but as Thomas Paine's friend spoke of the king James version of the Bible the Deist Thomas Jefferson said "you can seldom find a diamond in a dung hill "then proceeded to write his own version of the Bible! their still is that truth to be rediscovered unearthed as of yet.or taught in allegory as with the' lark story' as you know

Just as the scientists have little clue what dark mater is they presume it's mathamaticaly exists correct. the correlation between to particals moving.in completely different places on earth connected some how (Noble peace prize)leads the way in large to the many particals at once, Particals also being Thought correct.moving thinking together in different locations.mind to mind ,even in future and past world's in the multiverse Steven Hawkings prdict Their is more than enough science to speculate! much more than just dogma my friend.

911 2 jets 3 building lest we forget good day Frac

FractionallyUnnerved's picture
FractionallyUnnerved 8 years 9 weeks ago

good read Palin here's the quote I thought relevent

Despite his categorical rejection of conventional religion, Brooke said that Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism. He was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote. "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility

Now that said the comprehensive truth you require to prove telepathy and prophecy will soon be acknowledged

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

FractionallyUnnerved: I certainly think that there are some good and valid parables in the Bible. Like "Thou shalt not kill."...unless, of course, God tells you to...then it's ok, I suppose. He did order his flock to go down upon the land of Canaan and slaughter everyone except the young girls who would become their concubines. It's ok to kill if you ar God and you send a world-wide flood to kill everyone except Utnapishtum* (oops, I mean Noah) and his family. God seems more like a psychopath than a loving god.

There are some very good moral principles as well. But not all of them. And, not all are really believed or followed otherwise good God-fearing men would have to test their beliefs in God by sacrificing their first born male child. Or they would have to sacrifice the virginity of their female children to save a male visitor (an angel no less...yeah, right! lol) from being raped by hordes of lusting homosexual neighbors. And then as a "reward" for such fatherly love, those female children get him drunk and have sex with him so they can have children too. Yes, the Bible is X-rated, you know!

Just as in the Fables of Kalila and Dimna there are good examples of how someone should live. But that doesn't prove that the fictitious stories surrounding them are realistic or true stories any more than cartoon characters should be believed to be real.

Most people today do not actually believe that these myths or fables actually happened. They don't believe that Thor or Isis or Neptune actually existed any more that Bugs Bunny or the Easter Bunny. They are all myths. And so are the more modern day fantastical stories as depicted in various religious books and even in more modern day stories of the supernatural. None of them are factual realities.

And yes, there are theories of things like dark matter and string theory and zero point energy but until they are proven to be true they are just ideas...theories. Even the so-called "big bang theory" especially the part where the whole universe came from a tiny speck of nothingness. That's pretty hard to believe even if it is deemed scientific theory. But, I guess it is a good model until it is proven unworthy of thinking about it. But, the caveat is that science, in it's broad scope, represents finding things that does work over and over again without having to "believe" in it as a religion. While there is a tendency for some to latch on to ideas as if they were written in platinum, even in science, they still have to pass the test of repeated experiments that can be done by a wide spectrum of the scientific community before they can be accepted as a better model as to how things work.

The adherents of supernatural belief constantly try to manipulate others into their beliefs by misusing and misquoting scientists or other very acclaimed intelligent people like Einstein.

Quote heguadian:
Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as "childish superstitions".

Einstein penned the letter on January 3 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind who had sent him a copy of his book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. The letter went on public sale a year later and has remained in private hands ever since.

In the letter, he states: "The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."

Einstein, who was Jewish and who declined an offer to be the state of Israel's second president, also rejected the idea that the Jews are God's favoured people.

"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."


*Utnapishtum was the Noah of the Epic of Gilgamesh which preceded the biblical Flood story. Funny how these ancient religions like Judaism plagiarized even more ancient myths and changed them a bit to fit the believability of the gullible of their times.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Sorry about making edits...it tends to throw off the order of things putting your post ahead of mine when you were trying to reply to mine.

Yes, I did notice that and, actually, it is true. We atheists have to fight back somehow and it seems pure folly to just rely on trying to be absolutely fair and honest. It's kind of like the futility of Democrats (at least the liberal progressive one) of arguing honest points to someone who is constantly telling lies like Fox News..and it seems that the majority of people prefer to believe in lies. No one believes an honest man anyway...especially if that honest man is an atheist and dares challenge the entrenched gullibility of scientifically-challenge people who are so apt to believe in ridiculous things like the supernatural. I think Einstein was tired of being pulled in both directions and just wanted to be left in peace. Obviously, the atheists ticked him off too. But, you know, it wasn't the atheists who initially went big-time into tugging on Einstein...it was the religion-mongers who felt they needed someone really smart to prove their nonsense. And Einstein wasn't going to be their toady. He wasn't going to be anyone's toady.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 9 weeks ago

Speaking of the surreal, Palin, just the other day I heard Thom Hartmann musing over the question of whether Donald Rumsfeld is a "lizard person". He described an incident where Rumsfeld was giving a speech and someone from the audience asked him point-blank if he was one of those. According to Thom, Mr. R refused to answer and ignored the question. Then seemingly with a straight face, our geeky-science enthusiast Mr. H says "I wonder...", as if he thought this an intriguing possibility. When a science geek implies, in context or tone of voice, that "lizard people" are real, I have to wonder too. Previous to this, I recall hearing mention of such entities on Zeitgeist. Sooo..... what in damnation is a "lizard person"?!! Have you any answer to this question, Palin? Anybody? Inquiring minds need to know. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: Yes, I've heard of the term "lizard people" and I've watched youtube videos of people accused of being a lizzard person. It's kind of like if you stare at a closet doorknob at night when you were a child and thinking there is a monster in the closet. If you stare at the doorknob long enough, you might just believe that it turns or wiggles. So, in the youtube videos if you watch their eyes, they are supposed to exhibit a lizzard-like movement of the eyes...perhaps you imagine the round pupils very momentarily turn in to slits like snake or lizard eyes. Or perhaps, one may think they see them exhibit other unusual characteristics.

The Lizzard People comes from the idea that some extraterrestrials who have been visiting the earth for quite some time (thousands of years) can morph into human shape, in order to fit into our society..but yet working secretively to undermine it...or, at least to control it in the manner they see fit. (Don't get on that ship...that book....that book is a cookbook!*) But that unusual characteristics can give them away if you look hard enough. They used to burn poor women at the stake by scientifically-challenge buffoons who thought those poor women were witches. That's the kind of nonsense that is dangerous...and that kind of thinking deserves to be shamed into non-existence.

As for whether we have been visited by ET over the years...I don't know...maybe, maybe not. I have seen only one thing that may have been a UFO when I camped out near Rachel, NV one night.

But one thing we do know is that the military has had sightings and videos of sightings which they did not readily share with the public. They did, initially, report that the Roswell crash was an extraterrestrial UFO, but then later tried to cover it up by a couple of bogus stories that turned out to be disinformation.

Lots of very well trained aviation experts as well as other highly technical experts have seen these things. And if there was any "evidence" the military has already shown that they will cordon off the area and confiscate it...as they did in Roswell and several other places.

*A Twilight Zone episode called "To Serve Man". Aliens land and meet our leaders handing them a book that only the title was decrypted called "To Serve Man". The leaders were told that it contains very advanced technology that would help to alleviate hunger and drought and all manner of things beneficial to people on the earth. All they had to do was decrypt it. They had convinced people not to fear them and even started transporting human visitors to their planet...like a tour. The ending of the film showed exited lines of people getting into the ship when one man's friend or relative (I don't remember exactly who it was, now) was just about to get on the ship when the scientist showed up to warn his friend not to get on the ship because that book "How To Serve Man" was a cookbook!

Here's a pretty good explanation about Reptilians...another name for Lizard people...shape-shifters.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 9 weeks ago

AIW -- I just put a comment in yesterday's blog, that I will repeat here. Do you know of any examples where two co-ops competed against each other in the market place?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 9 weeks ago

JB -- Very interesting! This disaster gave birth to Teddy Roosevelt. We need another such birth.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 9 weeks ago

JBP -- It seems to me the only current path to the ideal you describe is card check (AKA employee free choice). We were just one vote short of being able to override the republican filibuster of card check. Vote Democratic.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 9 weeks ago

Kend -- Your ignorance is overwhelming (it is the reason I like your blogging so much; please never stop).

It seems that every finacial institution, oil company, pharmeceutical company etc breaks the law with impunity. The one I remember the most is the money laundering of drug money by the UBS. I think Eric Holder's response could be interpreted as UBS is too big for us to prosecute. He said something like the austerity economics of people like Kend have weakened our government so much that we do not have enough resources to prosecute the big corps.

With regards to the 5 trillion dollars spent by the government, it has provided some of the best return of any such large entity I can think of. For example from a loss of 700K jobs a month to gaining of 250K jobs a month. Without the republican insurrection of the caucus rm restaturant, the return would have been so much more.

The US economy always does well when the top tax rate is above 50%, and does worse when it is below that rate. I can see why you want us to lower the tax rate since it will destroy our economy and make Canada's look really swell.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

David Icke writes lots of books and articles on the "Lizard People" and the "Illuminati". A lot of what he writes about... the ruling elite, etc., sounds probable...all except for when he claims that the "Illumnati" are the Lizard People who are shape-shifters and who are running things here on planet Earth. All except when he tries to claim that all of the runaways on milk cartons are because the human-eating (or perhaps, they just drink the human blood like vampires) Lizard People who now dwell in subterranean mazes abduct the children taking them down to their lairs to feed upon. He also gets into Satanic nonsense as well.

I wonder if, by mixing a little bit of truth (that the ruling elite are creating wars to gain profit from them) isn't purposely being mixed with some pretty wild stuff to make people doubt everything he says about the few things that are most likely true. The government has done this...invent fantastical nonsense to mix it in with things that actually happened in order to turn people off from it all. The Icke people even try to counter with the idea that some people, wanting to hide the truth, will try to say that he has some pretty far out ideas.

I used to listen to Art Bell radio show and then Coast to Coast AM and even have read things on Rense.com but there sure was a lot of nonsense. Not only from Icke but from Major Ed Dames. These things are all interesting to listen to but I give them very little credibility.

The reference to Rumsfeld...he may not even have known what the heck the guy was talking about..thinking he was asking a nonsense question that didn't even deserve an answer. But, according to Icke...if you ask a Lizard Person if they are one and they don't answer "NO" and remains silent that it indicates that he is one. According to Icke Lizzard People cannot deny that they are Lizard People when asked...so they can only answer "Yes" or be silent. People used to test whether people were possessed of the devil by weighting them down under water...drowning them....if they drowned then they were innocent if they survived..then they were possessed.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 9 weeks ago

Marc, I just did what you suggested and googled Davie's autobiography and - WOW! People like that amaze me. John Davie "Buckaroo" sounds like a total "man's-man" sort of guy (mule driver, butcher, ranch hand); a man of culture (opera singer, actor); academic (law school), retailer (hay & feed business, book store)... and as if that weren't enough, a bohemian free spirit and/or connoisseur of literature who rubbed elbows with the likes of Jack London! That's pretty amazing. An all-around Renaissance man who could also be described as a chameleon! More typically, and especially back then, a working stiff's life could easily be filled with just one of those occupations. Mayor Davie sounds absolutely fascinating, Marc; now I understand what has you so inspired by this person. Folks living in those times apparently had their own issues with oligarchs, such as Mr. Davie's battle with Central Pacific Railroad. (Sounds like he gave those hacks a run for their money, at the very least!) And the ferry service there on the bay all started with him as well. They don't make 'em like that anymore, do they?! Mr. Davie knew what public service was all about, that it wasn't about self-enrichment!

Thank you for sharing another bit of history with me, about my old home town!

Back in the fifties & sixties, Oakland was a marvelous place for me to grow up. If you're ever on Hillmont Drive, our old address is 7565. That house was brand-spankin' new when we first moved in, the summer of '56. It was right before I entered first grade at Parker Elementary School. Oakland was very rural back in those days and man, was it gorgeous! I was in butterfly heaven; they were everywhere, and so many different kinds. By late summer, the grass on our hillside would be taller than my waistline. Lots of trees to climb, critters to catch, nooks & crannies to explore. It was a kid's paradise. Those were the days… (SIGH).

We lived in that house for eleven years, until the summer I turned seventeen, when we migrated to a cul-de-sac in El Cerrito. Some years later in the mid '70s, while in my mid-20s, I visited my old neighborhood again while tripping on acid. In retrospect, that wasn't such a brilliant idea. By then the city authorities had destroyed all the natural vegetation around there (deemed a fire hazard) and the butterflies were gone. A few of those old houses even had astro-turf in front of them. I remember crying, and it ruined my trip.

Like the old saying: You can never go home again.

Anyway Marc, guess I got off on a tangent of some sort… It's kinda hard for me to think about Oakland without getting flooded with memories, a "blast from the past" as it were. Goes with being an old fart, all those memories… Anyway dear Marc, thank you so much for sharing such a fascinating piece of Oakland history with me!

By the way, do you happen to know if Parker Elementary School still exists? - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: Forgive me for interjecting but it looks like your old school is still there.with faces painted on the windows....or at least it was a couple of years ago when Google Earth went through with their spy-mobile taking panoramic photos of the community.

Wow! You had quite a view up there! It kinda freaked me out, after your story of going back there while on acid, because when I checked it out on Google Earth street view....something went really haywire and I got really crazy geometric shapes represent buildings and trees but really surrealistic on the top half of the screen and a night time view of stars on the bottom half of my screen. I have never experienced this on Google before and no, I haven't dropped any acid lately or ever. Anyway, it straightened it self out and I was able to view your house from the street...carport level. What a view of Oakland! If you don't have Google Earth...you should get it...it let's you travel to places in an instant!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 9 weeks ago

Thanks Palin, for answering my question about so-called "lizard people". I had a vague idea that was it, but needed just a little more clarity.

"I wonder if," PD says, "by mixing a little bit of truth (that the ruling elite are creating wars to gain profit from them) isn't purposely being mixed with some pretty wild stuff to make people doubt everything he says about the few things that are most likely true." And that's a pretty scary thought, that the powers-that-be would use such sophisticated forms of psychological manipulation & trickery. Scary indeed; but as we all know, hardly unfeasible. I think this is a pretty common tactic used by fascists, to confound the gullible masses.

I spent a whole day watching David Icke, a few years back. I'd googled Zeitgeist (much of which resonates for me) and had been pretty immersed in that when somehow by accident, I stumbled into Mr. Icke. Had me confused for awhile, assuming he was affiliated with Zeitgeist. Anyway I watched Icke for a long time as well, ultimately walking away with mixed feelings. Like you say PD, he seems to blend some kernels of truth with a fair amount of questionable (at best) theories. It was entertaining, but I didn't get sucked into that man's spell either, remaining firmly grounded in my realm of reality. The older I get, the better I am at that, staying grounded.

Such is the blessing, or curse, of living in "interesting times"! - AIW

P.S. I just found your post about my old residence and elementary school; rather than pardoning you for interjecting, I thank you! Do you live in Oakland, by the way?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland: No, I used to live in San Jose and traveled to Oakland a number of times...mostly to Jack London Square. I really liked that place. I also had a sail boat in Alemeda..bay side..for a few years. I camped out in my boat over the week end a number of times and often reading Jack London. Sailing the bay was fun but kind of scarey at times...all adding to the fun of sailing. I sailed around Angel Island and out the Golden Gate Bridge and back. It really got scarey just outside of the GG Bridge...whirlpools. I built a 22 foot fiberglass pocket cruiser sailboat which I sailed for a few years in the Monterey Bay..had my boat in a dry storage area and launched it at Moss Landing when ever I went sailing. Then I bought a 36 foot sailboat and had it docked in Alemeda. It was fun but I am no longer into sailing...or building boats. Working in Fiberglass has it's challenges...itch..itch!

Now, of course, I am living in Semipalatinsk (or just Semey)...;-}

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

I bought the video Zeitgeist and watched it a few times. I liked it.

I had gone to a few UFO conferences but finally gave that up. Nothing but milking people for their money. And then you lose out on the other "teaser" lectures. You pay more money than they are worth just to get in to see teaser lectures and they try to get you to pay even more money to attend what they call ..."workshops"....duh! maybe they even have you make little UFOs out of Play Dough? I don't know, I've never bitten the hook. ;-} "Workshops"!? Ha!

I suspect this is the same way they do it for the so-called conspiracy conferences...which I've never gone to. There is just so much BS out there all to get your money.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Don't try this at home, Kids! The stunts in this film are not done by professionals. Actually, the video made me a bit dizzy! Nothing like just hanging around on a nice day!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 9 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed the story of His Honor. Quite a guy indeed. If I could accomplish 1/4 of what he did I would be so happy with life.

Concerning lizard people you can also go to YouTube and look for interviews with a gentleman named Alex Collier. Collier claims to have been a abductee from a group of extraterrestrials who identify themselves as The Andromeda Council. In a nutshell (please pardon the pun) The Andromeda Council are composed of evolved humanoids from different star systems. They claim to be fourth dimensional and are benevolent. They are old enemies of the lizard people; who are a race of reptilian humanoids from the Zeta Reticuli star system. The lizards are also fourth dimensional. It is the fourth dimensional physics of their natural state of being that allows them to shape shift. The lizard people hate humans and only consider them useful as slaves and food.

This story, which is semi-collaborated by another self appointed abductee who goes by the name of Tolec, basically claims that humans and lizards have been at war for some time--thousands of years. Only recently humans have gained the upper hand and are currently ridding our planet of the lizard influence that has plague mankind all throughout history. It is claimed that lizards have infiltrated and interbreeding with the elite on this planet in order to form a ruling class (ie. The Illuminati.) Personally, it would be hard to argue that anyone in the Bush administration wasn't a lizard. They were certainly all cold blooded. According to the tale the humans are winning the war and soon we will be free from the lizard threat to live our lives freely as we were intended to do naturally.

Pros: The story matches and explains all manner of religious lore and mythological symbolism in a way I've never seen any other hypothesis do. (The ancient Serpent in the garden of Eden was actually the lizard people.) The story also explains all manner of paranormal and ET activity that can no otherwise be explained in relation to each other or with respect to religion. Basically, the story explains everything in our culture that we can't explain. The story also has a certain degree of scientific and factual credibility as Palindromedary commented. Perhaps most insidious of all it explains why mankind has engaged in warfare throughout history. In doing so it comforts the minds of those who can't accept war. According to the story, humans have been manipulated by the lizards to engage in war as entertainment for the lizards.

Cons: The story tends to lead the believer into a potentially threatening and self-defeating state of complacency. One tends to perceive that all their problems are being taken care of for them from a benevolent super species that has their best interest at heart. Therefore, all they have to do is sit back and wait. Because of this obvious natural result of human behavior from this hypothesis it is reasonable to believe that this story is nothing more than old fashioned COINTELPRO and psychological warfare on steroids. It has the very uncomfortable almost tranquilizing effect of telling people everything they want to hear. Just like a bedtime story you tell a child so they can go to sleep. For this reason I would strongly suggest approaching it with extreme caution. (ie. Don't buy it. Insist on proof.)

There is literally so much BS out there that it is almost impossible to see the forest for the trees.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 9 weeks ago

Ain't it the truth. Amen. - AIW

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

Alex Collier 14 Years After The Ground Breaking 1994 Interview

This is almost 2 hours long. I watched the first 30 minutes. It starts off with Alex and the interviewer being kind of silly...they were obviously drinking. And in that silliness it kind of sounded like they were slighting socialism and the government and government's control over us...sounded more like the talk of right wingers. But then they settled down, not smiling and laughing, and Alex got serious. He really didn't say much about aliens in that first 30 minutes but was talking more about personal responsibility and that WE, the people, let things get the way they are now. He did say something about JFK..said he never has mentioned this to anyone before...but I don't remember what it was. Then he talked about how Carter and Clinton both tried to get information on the aliens and they wouldn't let them because they did not have the classification of "need to know". Makes you wonder who is really in charge. More evidence that there is a covert government in control of our just-pretend government. It was kind of difficult understanding some of the things he was saying...the drinking, perhaps? I'll have to watch the rest later.


Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

Palin, atheists who deny that their beliefs are also religious remind me of the fundamentalist, evangelical Christians who used to like to say, "Oh, I'm not religious, I'm a Christian." I guess they meant, "I'm not religious, I'm right." or some such.

Atheism is religious in that it is a belief or set or system of beliefs regarding the nature of existence and the cosmos and/or the supernatural and an attempt to define them. That the atheist definition is more nihilistic is irrelevant to that.

Many undisputedly religious belief systems hold minimal or close to no - if not, indeed, no - affirmation of the existence supernatural phenomena - or leastways are unconcerned about any. Examples of these would be Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism.

And atheists certainly posess the same passionate cathexis and even fanatical obsession with their beliefs as any religious and that brings me to the next point, that religion, as a psycho social phenomenon, is indistinguishable in most significant and essential ways from ideology. I'd like to thus refer you to an article I reproduced from a very good anarchist journal called Modern Slavery and posted on my member blog that says it all about that. http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/mark-saulys/blog/2013/11/ideology-and-...

The anthropologist Clifford Geertz defined religion as a "system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic."

The sociologist Durkheim, in his seminal book The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, defined religion as a "unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things".[28] By sacred things he meant things "set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them". Sacred things are not, however, limited to gods or spirits.[note 2] On the contrary, a sacred thing can be "a rock, a tree, a spring, a pebble, a piece of wood, a house, in a word, anything can be sacred".[29] Religious beliefs, myths, dogmas and legends are the representations that express the nature of these sacred things, and the virtues and powers which are attributed to them.[30]

In his book The Varieties of Religious Experience, the psychologist William James defined religion as "the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine".[31] By the term "divine" James meant "any object that is godlike, whether it be a concrete deity or not"[32] to which the individual feels impelled to respond with solemnity and gravity.[33]

Echoes of James' and Durkheim's definitions are to be found in the writings of, for example, Frederick Ferré who defined religion as "one's way of valuing most comprehensively and intensively".[34] Similarly, for the theologian Paul Tillich, faith is "the state of being ultimately concerned",[35] which "is itself religion. Religion is the substance, the ground, and the depth of man's spiritual life."[36] Friedrich Schleiermacher in the late 18th century defined religion as das schlechthinnige Abhängigkeitsgefühl, commonly translated as "a feeling of absolute dependence".[37] His contemporary Hegel disagreed thoroughly, defining religion as "the Divine Spirit becoming conscious of Himself through the finite spirit."[38]

When religion is seen in terms of "sacred", "divine", intensive "valuing", or "ultimate concern", then it is possible to understand why scientific findings and philosophical criticisms (e.g. Richard Dawkins) do not necessarily disturb its adherents.[39]

Anyway Palin, I think your atheists are just doing as the evangelical Christian fundamentalists I mentioned above and simply insubstantially narrowing your definition of "religious" to exclude any beliefs or sets of beliefs that you hold.

There is ample evidence for the supernatural but religious fanatics are unconcerned with evidence.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

And Palin - and all similar atheists and naturalists, pointing to places where the supernatural is not has nothing to do with where it is. It seems you'd rather set up a straw man you can easily knock down than fight the real one. It's as if on some level you know - or fear - you're wrong.

>:^) Night, night

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

Chuckle8, when one co-op defeats the other, after the merger, they can be one big, happy co-op.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

From http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/index.html

The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.

— Albert Einstein in Goldman, p. vii

You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or an eternal mystery. Well a priori one should expect a chaotic world which cannot be grasped by the mind in anyway. One could (yes one should) expect the world to be subjected to law only to the extent that we order it through our intelligence. Ordering of this kind would be like the alphabetical ordering of the words of a language. By contrast, the kind of order created by Newton's theory of gravitation, for instance, is wholly different. Even if the axioms of the theory are proposed by man, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the "miracle" which is being constantly re-enforced as our knowledge expands.

There lies the weaknesss of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but "bared the miracles." (That is, explained the miracles. - ed.) Oddly enough, we must be satisfied to acknowledge the "miracle" without there being any legitimate way for us to approach it . I am forced to add that just to keep you from thinking that --weakened by age--I have fallen prey to the clergy …

— From a letter to Maurice Solovine; see Goldman, p. 24

In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human understanding, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.

— to Prince Hubertus zu Löwenstein, Towards the Further Shore (Victor Gollancz, London, 1968), p. 156; quoted in Jammer, p. 97

I was barked at by numerous dogs who are earning their food guarding ignorance and superstition for the benefit of those who profit from it. Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source. They are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional "opium of the people"—cannot bear the music of the spheres. The Wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims.

— Einstein to an unidentified adressee, Aug.7, 1941. Einstein Archive, reel 54-927, quoted in Jammer, p. 97

The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive. However, I am also not a "Freethinker" in the usual sense of the word because I find that this is in the main an attitude nourished exclusively by an opposition against naive superstition. My feeling is insofar religious as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insuffiency of the human mind to understand deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as "laws of nature." It is this consciousness and humility I miss in the Freethinker mentality. Sincerely yours, Albert Einstein.—Letter to A. Chapple, Australia, February 23, 1954; Einstein Archive 59-405; also quoted in Nathan and Norden, Einstein on Peace P. 510

You might also want to look at this reference where Einstein explicitly denies being an atheist.

Einstein was an agnostic not an atheist.

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 8 years 9 weeks ago

The right people making the right movies such as Brave new Films; could educate people about the dire possibilities of climate change and all other selfish behavior; maybe will sway public opinion onto the right tract.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 9 weeks ago

Mark Saulys ~ Well, you certainly said it all. I hope Palindromedary was listening. Very, well said! What can I add? Just this little footnote to Durkheim's definition. Everything postulated by he and many others you quoted can be summed up thusly, most members of religious institutions--cults, if you will--tend to worship idols and graven images more so then exhibit belief in the unseen. In Judaism and Christianity this of course is strictly forbidden in the Ten Commandments. Of course, since true obedience to scripture would cost the church a fortune in profits it is not discouraged. People attribute divine power to inanimate objects and not the creator. I have also noted that such tendencies tend to be more prominent in poorer and more ignorant members of the church community. There is also a lack of any scriptural knowledge in such groups. In essence the Church willfully exploits the ignorance of it's members for profit.

I can't speak much for the Muslim community; however, I can make this observation: Anyone who is capable of strapping a bomb to themselves and blowing themselves to smithereens has definitely proven a belief in the afterlife. I'm not so sure if I can say that about today's Christians--Christians who typically will wear a crucifix when charging into battle in war as a supernatural shield with the hope that it will protect their lives. Not much true devotion there. Certainly more fear of death than any belief in the afterlife.

That brings me to my main point... I will take an honest Atheist anyday over a devout hypocrite. Not all believers are hypocrites--just the ones who say they believe and don't have a clue as to what that is. Belief in what you don't understand is superstition; and, idolatry certainly qualifies as superstition. Any Jew or Christian who believes in idolatry of any kind is a first class hypocrite. They obviously haven't even read the first chapter of the Bible. Unfortunately, churches everywhere are full of such people.

Quote Mark Saulys:His contemporary Hegel disagreed thoroughly, defining religion as "the Divine Spirit becoming conscious of Himself through the finite spirit."[38]

Ding! Ding! Yatzee! Put me down under Hegel's definition. No idols, no church, no nothing' just you and the Divine Spirit. That sums up my belief. If you can sit alone in an empty space and feel connected with the Divine, that is all you need. After that then the scripture makes perfect sense and you have arrived. Everything and everyone that exists in the world is blessed; and, nothing is more sacred than anything else.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 9 weeks ago
Quote DAnneMarc:Not all believers are hypocrites--just the ones who say they believe and don't have a clue as to what that is.

Apropos to #88 ~ Most of these hypocrite believers have two sets of belief systems. The first one is a false facade that allows their acceptance into the Church cult. It is this acceptance that creates the psychological state of "salvation;" which is nothing more than perceiving oneself as being the center of a public spectacle. They perceive themselves as being perceived by their peers as being acceptable in the order. This is all they aspire to. This is their reward.

The second set of beliefs are the same as Palindromedary--they are completely atheist. This set of beliefs are hidden as to not draw attention. They are buried deep down and only through close observation of their behavior can one perceive the truth. Also, only after challenging their supernatural beliefs for some time can you determine exactly what they actually believe in. it is not easy to talk to these people about these subjects. They are used to interacting within their cult which questions nothing. When they are challenged they become quite defensive about the situation and scurry away like frightened rabbits. The same can be said when they are presented with any real proof about the supernatural. This also proves where their true beliefs are.

For that reason I can say with absolute confidence that I prefer an honest atheist to a devout hypocrite any day of the week.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 9 weeks ago

Hey Kend, I got something for you http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4307214-canada-post-s-invented-cris... Seems it's just like I said. The pigs you shill for are just trying to steal the Canadian Postal Service - which, until now, has been a beutifully efficient and profitable operation, just like the USPS until 2006.

I don't know if you just made up half the shit or what.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago
Quote Mark Saulys:There is ample evidence for the supernatural but religious fanatics are unconcerned with evidence.
Really? Like what? Scientific evidence of the supernatural? I think that most scientists do not believe in supernatural things. They theorized the existance of the Higgs Boson and finally proved it's existance in 2012 but until they have real evidence of anything they cannot say something does, in fact, exist.

They might say that they have clues, perhaps mathematical equations, that suggest something exists and some may even "believe" that the something might exist because so many clues point to it's existence. Scientific clues, not religious or superstitious mumbo-jumbo and circular double talk rhetoric.

So, just what "evidence" do you think you have that the supernatural...like ghosts, leprechauns, devils, gods, demons, angels or any of those other superstitious ideas exist external to the minds of those who chose to believe them?

Quote wikipedia:On 22 March 1954 Einstein received a letter from Joseph Dispentiere, an Italian immigrant who had worked as an experimental machinist in New Jersey. Dispentiere had declared himself an atheist and was disappointed by a news report which had cast Einstein as conventionally religious. Einstein replied on 24 March 1954:

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text."
"Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect. Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order... This firm belief, a belief bound up with a deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance this may be described as "pantheistic" (Spinoza).
""I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."
In 1945 Guy Raner, Jr. wrote a letter to Einstein, asking him if it was true that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism. Einstein replied, "I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist. ... It is always misleading to use anthropomorphical concepts in dealing with things outside the human sphere—childish analogies. We have to admire in humility and beautiful harmony of the structure of this world—as far as we can grasp it. And that is all."
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."
"About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church... As long as I can remember. I have resented mass indoctrination. I cannot prove to you there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws"


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago
Quote DAnnemarc:The second set of beliefs are the same as Palindromedary--they are completely atheist. This set of beliefs are hidden as to not draw attention. They are buried deep down and only through close observation of their behavior can one perceive the truth. Also, only after challenging their supernatural beliefs for some time can you determine exactly what they actually believe in. it is not easy to talk to these people about these subjects. They are used to interacting within their cult which questions nothing. When they are challenged they become quite defensive about the situation and scurry away like frightened rabbits. The same can be said when they are presented with any real proof about the supernatural. This also proves where their true beliefs are.

I'm sorry, DAnnemarc, but I couldn't help but laugh when I read this. I think your are, perhaps, a little confused! Atheists do not believe in the supernatural. You said "only after challenging their supernatural beliefs". Again, we do not have supernatural beliefs otherwise we would not be Atheists.

We may "scurry away" if we get tired of arguing with superstitious believers who are arguing nonsense and use circular mumbo-jumbo. It really is pretty much a futile effort, after all, to argue with someone who has their heads stuck in the occult or superstitious or religious beliefs because they, by definition, cannot posit sensible ideas.

And our "beliefs" or "non-beliefs" are not hidden, obviously, or I wouldn't be displaying them now. But, of course, when there is a danger of being physically harmed or persecuted, as in the Middle Ages, or in early American history and not so early American History, maybe even today...then some Atheists tend to clam up. But many Atheists realize that you can't have a rational conversation with irrational people....so they don't even bother in the effort.

But with the many books and articles written by Atheists challenging irrational beliefs, and with organizations such as FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) that actively challenges religious organizations who brazenly assault the separation of church and state....bringing sanity into otherwise insane actions of these people, it appears that we are winning.

More people today question religion and superstition than ever before. More intelligent people are dropping out of churches than ever before. And they are not all heading in the direction of equally silly replacements in irrational belief systems. Some do. Some just can't get irrational hocus-pocus ideas out of their skulls. I guess if they want to see demons and devils they are welcome to them. But I sure hope you people wake up before you hurt yourselves or someone else. There have been more than a few exorcisms where parents have killed their children because they thought they were possessed of the Devil. There is a very close relationship between irrational beliefs and insanity. It would be so easy to slip over into that other condition unless you get a grip on reality.

Quote DAnnemarc:...their cult which questions nothing.
Are you sure you are referring to Atheists? Atheists question everything that superstitious people posit. And they never get real answers...just more bull.

Quote DAnnemarc:.. The same can be said when they are presented with any real proof about the supernatural.

So, again...what real proof about the supernatural are you referring to? There is no real proof! It may not be, exactly, organized religion but it is still in the same ball park sans the organized part. There are, of course, followers of the the flim-flammers of superstition that people latch on to almost as religiously as other religious people do with Priests. But, what proofs?

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 9 weeks ago

In #91, I mentioned the Higgs

In #91, I mentioned the Higgs Boson...you know...the God Particle! Seems that they have now proven that it not only exists but that it looks like there are even smaller particles that the Higgs particle is made of. Science just keeps looking and finding new amazing things. Dogmatic belief systems don't.

But the problem is that the people that don't understand science, eg: "the world is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old", find it much easier to understand superstitious ideas and they really don't accomplish much of anything in the world except mayhem. So, what's a poor particle physicist to do in seeking support in the way of funding? Hey, I know...let's call it the "God Particle" so that the common superstitious bumpkins will be supportive of our research. And, of course, then the superstitious bumpkins try to use that bit of scientific pseudonym as some kind of proof of their superstitious beliefs. See there...even scientists believe...there's the "God Particle"!

By the way, I'm really looking forward to watching the new movie coming out on the 28th of this month....Noah with Russel Crowe. I wonder how true it will be to the original story...in the Epic of Gilgamesh...where Utnapishtum builds this giant ark in anticipation of the coming flood. If the thumpers think that this Noah movie isn't exactly in lock step with the biblical account maybe they should read about Utnapishtum in the Epic of Gilgamesh!

In case you don't know, the Epic of Gilgamesh was written in Mesopotamia way before the Levant Jewish story of Noah. Abraham came to the Levant from Mesopotamia, so it is told, from the city of Ur. And most likely brought this story to the Levant with him and his "flock"...but the story was modified a bit. In fact, there are quite a number of parallels which would indicate that the Jews, or Abrahamic people of the time plagiarized a more ancient story, changed it to suit the believability of the people they wanted to control. And this is only one of many instances where plagiarism of more ancient superstitions formed the successor religions. I think most religious people today would consider all those ancient gods as myths or superstitious nonsense not realizing that their very own religions plagiarized them to begin with. Now, of course, they are the infallible word of God. Duh! ;-p

By the way, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in ancient Mesopotamia flooded the area between them lot of times in ancient Mesopotamia. And if there ever was a real Utnapishtum and his Ark...that area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, flooded would seem, to most in that area, to be a "world-wide flood".

Some of the arguments, by believers, of a "world-wide flood" are the sea fossils found in higher elevations...like mountains. But, I guess if you believe the world is only 6000-10,000 year old, you are certainly not going to be fooled by geographical formation of mountains, upthrusts and downthrust, plate tectonics, etc that takes many millions of years to accomplish. Mountains that once were at the bottom of the oceans. And, you are certainly not going to buy just how long it would take for these fossils to form...or that Dinosaurs lived way earlier than 6000 to 10000 years ago. But you might be tempted to believe that the Devil put all these things here on Earth to fool us into doubting the infallible word of God...as written in the Bible....as written by "inspired" messengers of God whose imaginations conjured it all up to begin with.

mikebwesty's picture
mikebwesty 8 years 8 weeks ago


To "Kend:"

The bonuses are given with private funds. It is none of anybodies business what they do with it. I would suggest to quit putting your money into wall street. They would have nothing to bonus Why is it that Thom thinks all money in America belongs to all Americans. It belongs to the Americans that earn it. They choose how much of it goes to the government by elections and the rest is theirs to choose what they want to do with. - Kend

Right, because the corporations, Wall Street bankers, and super wealthy "earned" it by buying politcians and rigging the system in their favor while destorying our economy. There is nothing wrong with, say, a pension fund investing through Wall Street so long as the bankers there are acting in the interests of their investors, and NOT the short-term profit interests of themselves. The "private funds" you speak of are from the people of America who expect that their investments are handled responsibly.

The solution is to tightly regulate Wall Street and prevent them from becoming "too big to fail" in the first place.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 8 weeks ago

Well said, mikebwesty, those parasites, who like to think of themselves as having earned all their excessive wealth, are really no better than bank robbers. In fact, they are worse than bank robbers because they are sucking the nation dry with their underhanded schemes...and ownership of those "officials" who are suppose to protect us from them.

I think I would also have to add that we all need some very strong "rent control" as well....that should really torque some rich men and/or women rentier's* blood-sucking proboscises.
*rentier capitalism: Rentier capitalism is a term currently used to describe economic practices of parasitic monopolization of access to any (physical, financial, intellectual, etc.) kind of property and gaining significant amount of profit without contribution to society.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 8 weeks ago

How many times do I have to repeat myself? Look at the research by statistician, George Gallup jr., son of George Gallup, founder of Gallup, inc., the polling and demographic research firm, on the near death experience (and that of others). Look into the work of hypnotherapists work researching and documenting past life regression. Look into the documentation of Edgar Casey's clairevoyance and that of others'. Look into the reports of anthropologists studying and observing religion and spirituality in technologically primitive cultures. Do you think you are the first person ever to have this debate with yourself?

From http://atheism.about.com/od/einsteingodreligion/tp/Was-Einstein-an-Athei...

I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.

- Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr., Sept. 28, 1949, quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2

The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.

- Albert Einstein, quoted in: Einstein's God - Albert Einstein's Quest as a Scientist and as a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God (1997)

Quote Wikipedia:

Many studies have been conducted in the United States and have generally found that scientists are less likely to believe in God than are the rest of the population. Precise definitions and statistics vary, but generally about 1/3 of scientists are atheists, 1/3 agnostic, and 1/3 have some belief in God (although some might be deistic, for example).[39][130][131] This is in contrast to the more than roughly 3/4 of the general population that believe in some God in the United States. Belief also varies slightly by field. Two surveys on physicists, geoscientists, biologists, mathematicians, and chemists have noted that, from those specializing in these fields, physicists had lowest percentage of belief in God (29%) while chemists had highest (41%).[130][132]

I will not repeat myself further. I am beginning to find your religious fanaticism tiresome. I am becoming much uninterested in the argument you are having with yourself. From now on I wish you 'd bring your issues to your psychiatrist rather than here. I know of a good one for religious and other fanaticism if you'd like a referral.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 8 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:Are you sure you are referring to Atheists? Atheists question everything that superstitious people posit. And they never get real answers...just more bull.

Palindromedary ~ No, my friend, you have again, like so many times before, completely misread everything I was talking about. Let me repeat it as clearly as possible: My observation has been, that many people who claim to believe in God and do practice faith in churches are actually atheist in disguise. I am not talking about you.

Many of these so called "believers" I have come into contact with believe in nothing more than being seen by many in church to fuel their looking glass self of church self-esteem. Church self-esteem is really all that religion means to them. When pressed, they actually don't take any of the church's teachings or scripture seriously at all. The words they memorize and repeat over and over in church are completely meaningless to them. All they really believe in is themselves. They are atheist at heart who are ashamed to admit it and cloke it under a guise of religious fanaticism to make themselves feel like they are better than others. They disgust me. Henceforth why I have already stated twice and will state again, I'd prefer an honest atheist to an devout hypocrite any day of the week. I consider you to be an honest atheist--quite refreshing.

Perhaps you are skimming over what I am writing and assuming that I am attacking you. Big mistake. Your responses show how poorly you listen to anyone whose opinion might not agree with you. Like a scared little rabbit.

As far as the proof I was refering to I already shared it on this blog. If you still don't want to believe it that's just fine with me. But please don't ignore it and say it doesn't exist. Repeatedly asking the same questions is something I would more expect from Kend than you.

Review post #48 in this blog addressed to Aliceinwonderland and the succeeding posts to her to view the two pieces of evidence that I have shared here.

The "Just A Little Light" video debut and The Autobiography of John L. Davies, the life of a man who himself stated that he, "Lived a Charmed life." Both are clear evidence that suggests a higher power at work. If you chose to sum up the evidence as coincidence and luck that is your call. To me that conclusion isn't rational. Coincidence and luck just doesn't cover it for me.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 8 weeks ago

Palin, on this issue of religion and theism, it seems that nothing I've said to you has had any impact. You really need to lighten up. None of us has the answers to these age-old questions. A little humility & diplomacy would be more appropriate in response to matters of theology or the "supernatural". Otherwise, as Mark points out, your dogmatism and rigidity make you no different than these religious assholes you love to hate. - Alice I.W.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 8 weeks ago
Quote skepdic.com:True-believer syndrome is an expression coined by M. Lamar Keene to describe an apparent cognitive disorder characterized by believing in the reality of paranormal or supernatural events after one has been presented overwhelming evidence that the event was fraudulently staged. Keene is a reformed phony psychic who exposed religious racketeering—to little effect, apparently. Phony faith healers, psychics, channelers, televangelist miracle workers, etc., are as abundant as ever.

Emily Harrison watched her mother, Debra Harrison, die as she and Consegrity® co-founder, Mary A. Lynch, practiced their "healing energy" medicine to no avail. As they tried to will away the "bad energy" that they believed was causing Debra's illness, Lynch, an M.D. who should know a diabetic when she lives with one, spoon-fed her partner orange juice. Debra Harrison had co-invented Consegrity with Lynch and did not seek medical attention, even though at the time of her death she showed all the signs of diabetes.

Despite the fact that diabetes is treatable and that a medical doctor should recognize obvious signs of the disease, Mary Lynch and Emily Harrison maintain that it was the "negative energy" of family members that killed Debra. What Lynch and Emily Harrison saw as negative energy, the family members who were trying to get Debra to go to a hospital for treatment saw as loving concern. Most rational people would see things the way the family members did. Nevertheless, Emily Harrison followed Dr. Lynch when she left town and set up shop peddling the same snake oil under a different name.


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 8 weeks ago

Mark Saulys and Aliceinwonderland ~ It should appear to you both by now what I've known for some time.. Palindromedary is as close minded and inaccessible on this subject as any closed minded religious fanatic is. Perhaps it is his natural reaction to some horrendous stimuli at some time during his life. What ever it is, this man cannot be reasoned with concerning this subject. Please keep this in mind when engaging in dialogue with him in the future.

My experience has been--and perhaps yours as well--that divine intervention needs no human assistance. I particularly hold this against Church missionaries historically. How arrogant can you be to assume that you can go somewhere that God almighty cannot. In this respect, I respectfully request that we all remind ourselves that if God wants to influence the likes of Palindromedary, he/she does not require our assistance. In fact, only through direct influence from the higher order would someone like Palindromedary ever seriously pay attention.

With that, I respectfully--with all who are participating in this discussion--end my participation.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 8 weeks ago

Yeah, like "God helps those who help themselves", right? But, there is no good reason to believe that God even exists. Going somewhere that God almighty cannot...presupposes that God exits. And there is just no good evidence to support that.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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