Chapel Hill Shooting: Atheists / Anti-theists Are Responsible?

Craig Hicks, charged with shooting death of 3 Muslims in N.C.

Some less than spectacular people out there on the Inter-webs are calling for vocal atheists and anti-theists to own up to the Chapel Hill Shooting being our version of the Charlie Hebdo Massacre. No, we won’t be doing that. At least not at this time. Should the available facts on record change, such as a confirmed manifesto being released, any reasonable person would adjust their views to include this. But what we have here is a horrible tragedy with no clear motives, nothing more. Charlie Hebdo was killing in the name of religion being held higher in importance than freedom of speech and human life; no comparison.

Standards of acceptance of evidence is probably the core difference between atheists and theists. For instance: I don’t see any evidence that is at all compelling for a historical Jesus of Nazareth nor for a God of Abraham. The commonly used “personal experience” routine is crap on multiple levels but mainly because people lie to further their own goals all the time and religious labels don’t instantly cure a person of unethical behaviors.

I’ve studied the Bible at length, researched non-canonical texts, applied the standards of historical veracity to both the Old and New Testaments and none of it amounts to the claims of “divinity” and “divine truth” made by Bible-believers. At the most, and this is being very generous, there was a Jewish rebel priest put to death by the Romans that had a chain of hearsay turn him into a demigod in the eyes of certain men who were all born around a hundred years after his execution.

Islam and the Quran are different in the sense that the central figure is much, much more so a verified historical figure but shares in the same issues of the Torah and the Bible where none of the claims to divinity and ultimate truth are any more compelling than when the Greeks, Egyptians or the Pagans wrote of their mastery of the ethos of life and contemplation. The endless contradictions anyone can find with enough time spent with almost any “holy book” placed to the side, the issue with any form of religious extremism boils down to dehumanizing those who will not conform to the point where an act of torture or murder upon them is not only acceptable but mandated from on high.

Thing to remember here is some people believe in UFOs and anal probes but it’s rare to the point of being unheard of that one of them would go shoot up a skeptic conference in the name of being unhindered to spread the message of the coming alien overlords to the masses. But both radicalized Christians as well as Muslims, and even the heavily pacifist Buddhists, have done exactly these kinds of actions in both isolated and organized acts of violence. All this in recent decades and not even bothering to dredge out old history books citing violence over the centuries committed in the name of religious “purity.”

No respected atheist anywhere is advocating you solve your disputes with acts of murder or that the best way to silence an ideological opponent is to kill them in their home or place of business. But I could troll the right-wing radio Christian waves for awhile and bring back some moron who is doing exactly that and same with the nationalistic Islamic newsgroups and forums. This would not in turn implicate all Christians and all Muslims in those statements but only those who identify with the speaker’s views which is not an easy thing to assess unless someone declares it to be so.

Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.

 

As always when I cover tragic stories my deepest condolences go out to the family members and friends of the victims of this horrible event.  I do not speak merely for myself when I say that this man should face the full force of the legal justice system and hopefully this will bring you some measure of peace.

Come Home, America


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew well of what he spoke when he addressed a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4  (1967) in regards to the Vietnam Conflict:

“Come home, America.”

In Harper’s Magazine, Andrew J. Bacevich made the connection between Dr. King’s words and the current war in Afghanistan. I wholeheartedly agree, and would press further this point by taking a look at the heading-titles from the speech itself:

1. “The Importance of Vietnam [Afghanistan]

I believe it well past the point in terms of the expenditure of American Treasure to the nation of Afghanistan to set a clear withdrawal strategy, and then hold to it.

2. “Strange Liberators

We are not the nation to spread liberty and justice for all across the Mid-East. Whatever preconceptions one may have, the fact remains that stabilization efforts that operate outside U.S. Military influence remain intact while U.S. facilities are destroyed and rebuilt in a constant cycle within Afghanistan.

3. “This Madness Must Cease

We cannot afford to throw lives and money into a nation with no clear estimation on how long it will take to achieve this lofty goal of a “terrorist safe-bed” being prevented from being formed. The bottom line is we are pointlessly infrastructure-building and policing Afghanistan, and this madness must cease. Sooner rather than later.

4. “Protesting The War

At this stage, in November of 2009, I do not believe there is a valid anti-war protest platform to take. President Obama is weighing the decisions carefully. However, should his decision-to-come be something to nature of huge troop increases with no time line for withdrawal I believe the voice of the people should be known in the streets.

5. “The People Are Important

The people of Afghanistan are who are important in this issue. The constant fighting takes more and more innocent lives every day. Without a time line and an attainable mission statement, the continued occupation of Afghanistan is nothing but a quagmire. A quagmire that not only costs American lives, but the lives of those caught in the crossfire.

If truly we seek to build up nations that have systemic problems that may effect our national security agenda then as Bacevich reminded us the nation of Mexico would be of primary interest to those in Washington D.C.

The U.S. could take part in other “humanitarian invasions” under these same circumstances.

The entire concept that we can “fix” another nation with increased troops and increased involvement is absurd.

Andrew J. Bacevich:

Fixing Afghanistan is both unnecessary and impossible. Rather, we should be erecting and maintaining a robust defense.

I find it rare to find people willing to make the pro-defensive military argument. I applaud Bacevich for this recent article in Harper’s. Worthy of your attention, to be sure.

Bill O’Reilly versus Joan Walsh

YouTube Video of The Debate

“This Tiller thing is bogus. And I think you know it‘s bogus. And if not I‘m gonna show you a sound byte that‘s gonna prove it to you.”

How many sound bytes do you have to show people to fix what they read in textbooks and newspapers?

If it’s in the Constitution, he has a sound byte for that. No need to read it yourself.

If it’s the truth of ideology that he claims to hold and only perverts and twists to his own ends, he has a sound byte for that. No need to speak to the people involved.

If he promotes domestic terrorism via lies about Americans and invasions of privacy in his ‘just crusade,’ he has a sound byte for that. No need to look at reality.

He has a sound byte ready for the day he starts getting right down to it and promoting violence against liberals and terrorism on the city of San Francisco. And another one ready as they fit him for an orange jumpsuit.

All of it to carefully explain away why he is not at fault, ever, and has nothing to do with anything except the so-called ‘truth.’ All it to make sure nobody in his audience ever actually reads anything except what he tells them to.

To me, this is proof of what I’ve always said about Bill O’Reilly:

This man cares nothing for facts and only for own personal set of biases.

 

The O’Reilly Tactic of Dirty Pool Debate revealed one of his trademark spin artist moves in the opening moments of this clip.

Bill’O brings up as a side-line, and states himself very quickly, in mentioning what Joan wrote on her website was “unconscionable” and then says he is going to “stick to it” by addressing the matter at hand.

This is classic Dirty Pool Debate. You slander your opponent and before they get a chance to respond then quickly you move to the ’real issue at hand.’ The whole point of Dirty Pool Debate is to demean the character of your opponent instead of argue the point with them.

Bill O’Reilly is a master at doing just this. Keeping the truth of a real debate away from his audience and helping them maintain narrow-minded thinking while feeling like they are ‘learning’ about politics, media and the nation.

Just screaming like an idiot into the camera and refusing the recognize the damage he does to society at large with this brand of partisan hate and untruthful propaganda on serious social issues in America.

Joan: “You crusaded against him.”

Bill: “You bet!”

Joan: “He had been shot twice already.”

Bill: “And I‘m sorry about that.”

Well if he was so sorry why didn’t he stop slandering and misusing his platform to spread lies about Americans that ultimately lead to domestic terrorism incidents?

Because that would have hurt his ratings. Oh, the precious ratings.

He should be sorry. He is the one with blood on his hands, after all.

What Bill O’Reilly does on television is wrong. It is a brutal set of lies and conjecture that provides no benefit to the nation whatsoever. FOX Broadcasting Studios should be ashamed to have their name attached to such a disreputable and dishonest man.

 

The need to scream over all that disagrees with your mentality is a clear example of partisanship and intolerance for the opinions of others.

The need to call everyone not aligned with you as “far left“is a clear example of a need to marginalize your opponent because you feel your own position is weak or lacking against theirs.

Considering conservatives are on the wrong side of history in every debate over social issues I can see why Bill O’Reilly is so threatened to use such shallow and childish tactics.

Joan is absolutely right about Bill O’Reilly being a vile man. A vile and lowly man who loves his ideologies more than he loves other humans.

He disrespects the nation and the intelligence of his audience with his so-called ‘facts’ and his so-called ‘reporting.’

Time and time again it is the true patriots who must stand up against the charlatans and propagandists who seek to destroy this nation in violence and ignorance.

Let our voices be heard, loud.

A domestic terrorist is in our amidst: Bill O’Reilly. A man who promotes vigilantism and misinformation that gets Americans killed.

Loyal Opposition No More

1.republican-party
For many years I have felt that for all our disagreements between liberal and conservative individuals in the U.S., there was a shared position by both sides. A loyal opposition to the opposition, if you will.
For the time being, as since the election of Democratic President Barack Obama, I believe the majority of the conservatives of America have thrown down this national system of civil loyalty in politics in place of a pure obstructionist agenda.
The Party of “No!” is not conservative, nor liberal, it is pure nihilism in place of understanding.
I have not heard any amount of logical rebuttal to an Obama Policy or policy proposal, except in very rare cases.
I find I cannot listen to the standard bearers of GOP right-wing radio these days. Like most people I have my “hang-ups.”
Dismissive attitudes, a complete lack of humility and screaming people down end up on my list.
Every time I have been listening to conservative talk radio, or GOP responses, since the election of Barack Obama I am disgusted by the complete lack of integrity and grace in politics. Every word a smear, every point a spin.
Reducing everything down to simply “look at who is doing the name-calling” is not the issue. Though it is important thing to avoid name-calling as much as possible.
Not sticking to the facts about our democratic representatives and our recent national historical facts is unpatriotic.
I wish it were not so, and no group can claim to innocent of some form of vitriol in these times. But if something I say amounts to “name-calling” then I’m afraid it must be so. But understand I don’t say such things in a state of glee as we see from others screaming rational people down.
I find it offensive that in a matter of weeks all our politics have reduced to childishness and fear-mongering about the government.
Instead of having an actual political dialogue they insist on presenting “vague-facts” along with connect-the-dots logic, which is simply dirty pool politics.

Just Call Me a Populist-Christian

A liberal, sure. First and foremost.

But I’m not running from being labeled a populist. Red-baiting doesn’t phase me anymore. Let those who attempt and fail at political understanding call me what they will. I am unashamed. With the change of a single word in a historical quote from the first American Populist to run for president in 1896 you can sum up everything I have to say about the current condition of the American Economy:

You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold [credit].”  – William J. Bryan

The bloody cross of the middle-class and the working-poor should be bore no longer! The whips of old exchanged for bare hands.

This yoke of “credit” and “credit approval” has far too long strangled the workforce of North America from advancing in social class and status. The burden by no means stops there.

The very integrity of the American-worker has been bought and sold on the open market for far too long.

The largest of institutions have had ultimate sway on matters pertaining to them for an age and a day too long.

The era of protectionism has taught us well. No market is isolated. No economy is independent of the strongest economy known to exist. Recent events have shown us this beyond any reasonable doubt.

But the era of “Deceptionism” has yet to be fully addressed, or even understood. No industry is without accountability. No private incorporation is fit to possess a majority share of any highly successful venture.

The essence of mass-deregulation and “trickle-down economies” have only benefited the highest levels of the business world up until now and will only ever benefit the rich at the cost of the poor.

I do not support a return to the Gold Standard as those like Congressman Ron Paul who I have much respect for propose. The credit system and the existence of “credit lines” themselves are not the source of the crown of thorns.

Those who sought to lead us blindly into this recession cannot be fully trusted. Those who hide the truth become party to a much greater misdeed. We should stand silent no longer.

To those who came before us in days of Vietnam. We say to them we have seen your sorrows and known your pain. But we are not shedding blood nor issuing violence as our battering ram against authority.

We demand recognition that our tools are but words, protests and non-violent actions. Choked of our very means of ways by the ever-expanding, all powerful monopolies across our markets. Let all who allowed this to transpire as such come only but to apologize before the public.

Let the regulators who took part in this only shamefully resign. Let the business leaders who did nothing to tell of the coming recession when many Americans, including my father and myself, were fully aware of its coming onslaught only plead for willingness to allow them near our political structure.

I say these words as member of the Progressive Movement and a registered Democratic voter in California. Let us never forget the modern progressive, or alternatively the modern liberal, was forged in the first Progressive Reform Movement of one hundred years past. And the Populist Movement stands the father of the Progressive.

While we do not resemble our forerunners we are much the same as they. There is no tolerance for “absolutism” in the control of the means to better ourselves.

Talkin’ Alan Colmes & Radio Broadcasting

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know nobody cares about Alan and his radio show. If you remember he got a lot of press and did an appearance on Colbert after leaving the syndicated cable TV show Hannity & Colmes which holds the record for the longest running seasons of any cable news broadcast.

12 years some of us watched Sean and Alan (they are friends in real life to debunk that whole myth) duel it out on our televisions.

12 years of seeing an intelligent and thought-out man make his sound point; then be shouted down, cut off or done the finger by the people running the show behind the live feed.

No, I’m not board operator. I had a Public Access television program briefly as a youth and am not technology illiterate. I talked with my operators frequently. I am a host by nature, I can’t help it. Would you like me to design an interview for you? Pick a figure I’d know in politics.

I know only part of what it means to have a “reputation” in the public and we only did a rare few open-lines on a few shows, but that was more than enough of a taste what real broadcasting must be like.

My voice is extremely recognizable so I don’t call in much to shows on the radio. This writer’s pseudonym “Lightborn” I blog with is actually all over my bank records and college transcripts. I am like most these days where a monkey with an internet connection could find out everything about me through social networking sites and all that noise.

I’m not really into anything but thought-provoking discussion on the internet or radio. But I’ll dance if the steps are not too complicated.

Being a subject of public scorn, or praise, on a large scale is not an experience I personally enjoyed.

I’d go out to get something at the store and:

“Hey! You’re that guy from the TV!”

At first it was flattering but not for long. Soon it became an equal share of “fag boy” and “love your show” which took a toll on me. Seeing as how I wasn’t getting paid and no other people existed other than board operators who wanted to re-vamp the program, I left. (Funny note: They still play the old tapes sometimes. I am going down there and ripping them out of the recorders! So embarrassing!)

What most fail to recognize about any person you, and I, happen to toss around the name of in media / government discussions are real people with real feelings.

I recently said to mild shock of some that if I personally met Rush Limbaugh I would sit down and just love to talk broadcasting with him. It’s true. The same is true of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and many others.

Putting me converse them with the things they all say on air, while it would be entertaining, is actually not a good idea. I have no honest way to tell you or any operator that I wouldn’t swear every other word and say “radical” things rather than sound arguments. The “historical” perspectives and “social sentiments” are like stabs into the heart of a man who defies all these classic political definitions. (Cry me a river, I know.)

That’s the beauty & glory of this wonderful thing we call “blog.” I can just take a second to look at what they said instead of going to ape-town. Then it’s up here if anyone gives a hoot. I try to put out links to all sorts of media and not just my kind of media.

Back to Alan:

Alan Colmes has, in my opinion, the best talk radio show on Fox News Talk. Hands down.

He lets through callers at a higher rate than any other national host I am aware of. Of all opinions, and levels of insanity.

He doesn’t brag about the fact that he has been doing radio since the Vietnam-era and protested that war way back then. Before we could prove that it was started on a lie.

Like he protested the Iraq War. Another war predicated on a lie.

On the radio every night when you weren’t listening. (I podcast him mainly.)

He doesn’t brag about the fact that he was part of the same comedy scene that gave of George Carlin The Great, and many others. (Comedy and radio broadcasting has always been intertwined in American broadcasting.) Yes, he was a comedian first. Now he’s a talk show host with that weird ‘cheesy’ kind of humor.

Alan Colmes refuses to accept the mantle of the “Anti-Limbaugh.”

He beats Rush out in terms of just the raw amount of time working in radio specifically; if we engage in this whole Limbaugh-ism that the longer you talk into the radio the better a broadcaster you become. Yet still he won’t take on this title most likely because he views it as ‘silly’ just as I do to aim any part of what you do just to feed into another’s design. So to speak.

Yet as his liberal critics always say about him:

“He is a total liberal push-over.”

Is simply untrue. He tries to conduct himself in very certain fashion and sometimes … well … on the air he just has had enough Republican-garbage for one night and lets it be known. We all know conservative daily talking-points are nonsense but sometime has got to say it aloud.

Those who still hate him should know his show brings in guest-hosts, full panels and little features like Radio Graffiti where everyone calls in and gets one sentence only.

Lastly, he has read the names of every single causality in the Iraq War right up to this very moment in time. The same is true for the entire American-Vietnamese Conflict. You show me one broadcaster in America with that kind of obvious record of bipartisan media and experience using formats like AM Talk Radio the way they were meant to used. For the people.

Possibly the best hire FOX has ever made, or will ever make. As you can tell I’m a fan. There’s a chatstream community and I only ever speak with the staff via email if your thinking I work for them or something. I am one of many “contributors” to the show. We influence it greatly and often with simple suggestions..

Nope, not employed by any media agency. No real life plans around that.

The popular term to best understand about Eric Lightborn is:

political-junkie

(March 17th 2009)

Has America Gone Conspiracy-Crazy?

It has been my observation that popular websites and radio shows have experienced a recent increase in the number of people touting the “New World Order Theory” (NWO) or an apocalyptic theory that includes global conspiracies in one fashion or another. I am not a fan of dismissive attitudes and rather than mocking these people I wish to explain why I personally do not subscribe to these theories even after having reviewed much of the same media and materials that they often use as evidence for their theory.
—————————————————————————————————–
http://www.coasttocoastam.com
http://www.jordanmaxwell.com
—————————————————————————————————–
There is no doubt that there remains a large divide in society between the labor classes and the aristocratic classes of people, no matter how wealthy or advanced a society is. As many have written on throughout history there is a mutual disgust shared between these classes.

The labor class most often views the other as uncaring and immoral. The aristocratic class most often views the other as uncivil and illogical.

The clever, and usually fiendish, use this divide on both sides of society to promote their personal agenda. Be it selling DVDs, seeds, books, survival supplies or perhaps gaining ratings, website hits and sponsors the issue of interjecting mass fear without any tangible proof is reprehensible. Not to mention the fact that both modern and ancient politicians have sought to demonize one group or another using these same existing prejudices in what is commonly called class-warfare.

I assert that the entire idea of a “grand-puppeteer council” that rules all of humanity is a form of ancient social-engineering, if you will, developed perhaps some time prior to the Roman Empire. An agenda formed purely to destabilize all forms of government in a time when there was no such thing as democracy or equality under the law for any person not of a ruling class.

I believe the labor class of old created this entire theory around the strange practices of aristocrats that still exist in today’s society in the form of the Skull and Bones Society or other ritualistic practices in society as a whole. The unseen and unknown rulers of all cannot be proven nor disproved. Nor can the shadow regime be seen for it is made of no light that we pathetic laborers can find with the blindfolds that our masters provide. It is a perfect circle of plausible yet improvable concepts leading to the same conclusion of rejecting all the institutions of government as purely evil.

I see certain figures like Jordan Maxwell as not motivated by sheer profiteering motives but rather simply a person who has read more material and done more research than I have, by far, yet he has not considered this simple concept while reading many occult materials. Maxwell is one of the rare exceptions in this subject where he is genuine and earnest about his fears for America coming under some form of global-control. I just simply disagree and obviously I would be proven wrong if such a thing were to happen outside of popular fiction.

I am not certain if America is falling prey to an age-old agenda of anarchistic motives or if a certain few have simply become voiced after being silent but the issues of the press failing to do their job in the modern world or the multitude of other arguments used to promote these theories don’t provide any proof for the theory itself.

No doubt someone who believes strongly in these theories would seek to call me a “NWO shill” and I am trying to convey that I see Alex Jones, for instance, as a profiteering shill. Let people judge for themselves as I make zero dollars on this weblog and Jones runs advertisements for his products on the radio. George Noory would be the converse of Jones where he appears to simply believe in the NWO while further proving my point that Jones is primarily motivated by profit due to fact that Noory doesn’t engage in schemes to sell documentaries yet is still affiliated with and outspoken on the issue.

Many theories defy evidence, like Creationism for instance, and there are many people of varying degrees of study who wish to establish a sense of complete authority on these theories making them into supposed facts. It is the very nature of spreading willful ignorance. Some issues do not have all the standards of scientific proof at this time and must be handled as such.

The answer is, we don’t have the answer. Anyone who tells you otherwise should called into suspect immediately to produce proof or be called to state themselves as a person of convictions and not facts, which is perfectly acceptable.

I am not here to be throwing out names for everyone to repeat of my ‘perfect’ theories or just to start an uproar on any of the issues I’ve touched on but rather to say that when any person simply accepts what they hear, see or read as proof-enough for them that ultimately we all could suffer the consequences if this were to become systemic.

Eric Lightborn
February 17th 2009