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.

Kira’s Kingdom

We’d be better off if the rotten people died.” – Kira

For those not on board the anime train Death Note is a supernatural suspense thriller in which the main character seeks to create a better world, by killing people. He uses a notebook from a ‘Shinigami’ (“death god”) to write the names of criminals who then die after having their names transcribed in this ‘Death Note.’

Generally speaking I am against capital punishment and using fear to install world peace. However, on any bad day (which today rates rather high on the list) I operate on a very different plane of thought.

Who decides what is justice? Who determines what is moral? You? Some old book that most people never read cover to back?

I have said many times in regards to politics that I don’t care at all the vehicle for positive social change. The Democratic Party, The Republican Party, The Green Party … I really couldn’t care less about the branding. All I care about is results. Any political party or movement that can show me they will affect positive change to serious societal issues has my support.

This same pragmatic approach is exactly why in my dark moments I find myself speaking as if I were Kira. I’ve even been known to throw down some fire & brimstone at the same people who throw it on me. I don’t believe in a Hell outside of this living world, but enough readings of the Bible would make anyone start wanting to shove some sulfur and endless torment on the bullies, stalkers, racists, bigots, homophobes and zealots who make it their business to inform us of their vile nature.

It’s a false paradise bathed in blood. Beyond that once the new world was founded, Kira must then die. He could never live as the ‘god’ of his kingdom for he would be a collection of more mass genocide on his hands than could ever be tolerated in the this new utopia.

But my mind wanders on these topics at times, even without the aid of gothic anime shows.

Would this world founded on fear and death be so vastly different from our world of today?

People decide every day that life in this world is not worth living.

Would Kira’s Kingdom truly be so awful to live in that people would continue to see existence as vile and loathsome?

There is no question in my mind that true peace is not founded on a pile of corpses.

But how long must the world sit bleeding and dying in wait for true peace?

In my experience reality is not a decision between ideology versus ideology, but rather between a destructive status-quo versus a catastrophic realism.

“Two wrongs don’t make a right.” But this supposes there is anything but “wrong” in the world in the first place. If everything in the world is nothing but “wrong” to begin with then “two wrongs” is just nothing more than the world in motion, and the question becomes only what world will we be left with after the actors have played their parts and exited the stage.

Translation of lyrics from Death Note’s closing video:

This single page,

Forever depressing,

A fleeting tactic in the eyes,

Without petition,

Evil against the law,

Chain it in a prison,

Poison in the notebook,

Fear the lust,

Delusion of being deceived,

Perpetually drooling,

Judgment is “crime control” they driveled,

Who has the Rx for that?

A decriminalized world,

A sanctioned world,

Taking heat just like “Pirates of Death,”

Atone with the game of laws,

Billy in despair,

Now it’s time for ethics,

Now the unstoppable Eraser Rain,

Billy in despair,

Now it’s time for ethics,

Now the unstoppable Eraser Rain,

The unstoppable Eraser Rain.

Police Execution Is Now ‘Manslaughter’?

This Mehserle verdict is a blood stain on democracy.

This is not justice.

This is the condoning of ruthless murder by police officers, even when video evidence shows the execution in plain view.

Oscar Grant was executed in public, on camera, and the best the legal justice system has for the murderer is ‘involuntary manslaughter’!?!

Time and time again this society proves to me that they have no rights to the words “justice,” “equality,” & “freedom.”

Perhaps increased video surveillance of police activities will have no effect on limiting police corruption. If they can commit homicide on camera and receive this kind of treatment in the courts they have very little to fear from us. Maybe next time it will make more sense to execute the person with a camera as well to the police officer.

I’ve watched the video and slowed it down. Mehserle stands up and shoots Grant in the back, if he intended to use his taser he would not have needed to stand. This was a citizen execution, most likely non-premeditated and calling it anything but second degree homicide is an insult to all of us.

I Am The Stone That The Builder Refused

1318020

I am the stone that the builder refused,

I am the visual,

The inspiration that made lady sing the blues,

I am the spark that makes idea bright,

The same spark that lights the dark,

So that you can know your left from your right,

I am the ballot in the box,

The bullet in the gun,

The inner glow that lets you know to call your brother son,

The story that just begun,

The promise of what’s to come,

And I’ll remain a soldier until the war is won.

(Lyrics by Asheru)

These words can be taken many ways and turned to suit the ends of the unjust and the power hungry.

But that is not how these words were writ, not how they were intended.

They are like the mantra of the truth-speakers and the brave souls still fighting for social justice in an age of mainstream racism on media entities like Fox News.

I will remain a soldier until this war is won. I want to make that clear. I am not backing down, nor going away.

They’ll have to kill me to get me to stop spreading the truth about the corruption in our government and our press.

Rusty Humphries is a Fascist

Rusty Humphries is a disturbed individual. He sought to express to his audience today that for the first time since his wife passed away, a year ago, he felt as if tears would well up into his eyes. What caused him this moment of anguish and misery equal to the loss of a loved one? The images of recently released Guantanamo Bay terror suspects, referred to as “Uighurs,” to Bermuda.

One more radio pundit has lost his mind in the age of a return to American justice and the US Constitution being enacted under President Barack Obama. The partisan hate and ignorance of the fundamental values of American Democracy is disturbing and leads to only one conclusion: Rusty Humphries supports totalitarian-fascist policies for the U.S.

RUSTBUCKET: “These guys [Uighurs] had every intention of doing terrorist acts on China.”

One has to prove this in a court of law if you intend to detain any person. Innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental difference between American and Fascist Ideals.

RUSTBUCKET: “China has made it clear they will execute and make example of all terrorists.”

This is true. They are also a nation guilty of endless human rights atrocities. It is clear to me that this particular radio-jockey is a pro-fascist and anti-democratic pundit.

This is the U.S., not China.

Those who lose their country seek to protect the U.S. Constitution.

Those who love fascism seek to defend torture and detainment without trial.

His hatred for President Obama and all things American is so great, and so vastly partisan, that he continues to jeopardize and threaten the nation with his dangerous and unconstitutional rhetoric.

Cheney Deserves His Day in Court

“When just one single piece of information could prevent a nuclear-armed terrorist [we can‘t take any chances.]”

Former-Vice President Dick Cheney continues to spread the myth that inhumane torture tactics, mislabeled as ’enhanced interrogation,’ are necessary to protect the nation from extremist violence. His continued use of fear-tactics by insinuation of nuclear attack on American soil is a throw-back to the selling of the Iraq War to the American People, which ultimately was proven to be based on bad intelligence. The use of these tactics will only produce more bad intelligence and not to mention legal ramifications of using techniques that are clearly ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’

I could only speculate if he is a man bereft of all humanity or simply a man of very strong and very flawed convictions, but the fact remains that putting our nation in danger and violating the US Constitution are all that is accomplished in following this destructive version of course of action proposed by both Cheney and Bush.

I continue to advocate investigation and prosecution based on any evidence gathered that can meet the standards of a courtroom. If sufficient evidence to convict Dick Cheney of war crimes exists then, we the American people, deserve to hear the facts out before a jury of his peers.

Alan Keyes Done Got Locked Up

Mr. Keyes, please report to the commissary.”

—–

Locked Up” by Akon

I’m steady tryin’ to find the motive, why I do what I do,

The freedom ain’t gettin’ no closer, no matter how far I go,

My car is stolen, the registration,

The cops patrolling, and that ain’t done stop me,

Then I got locked up,

They won’t let me out,

Head up town to re-up, back with a couple [Keyes],

Making so much money, products moving fast,

And as I sold the last bag,

Fuqed around and got locked up,

They won’t let me out,

Visitation long longer comes by, seems like they forgot about me,

Commissary getting empty, cell mates getting food without me,

Can’t wait to get out and move forward with my life,

Pay me a visit! Send me some money orders! Where’s my lawyer?

Get me out of here!

Please accept my phone calls!

Dick Cheney is an American Disgrace

55_cheneyI wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that President Obama has made the country any less safe since entering office. The notion that immoral practices will make us any more safe from terrorism is counter-intuitive to my core beliefs.

The CIA Enhanced Interrogation Program was one of the most effective terrorist recruitment tools and a project expressly advocated by former-Vice President Cheney which is now noticeably absent from terrorist recruitment methods.

The approved torture methods of the Bush administration have presented one of the greatest threats to our continued national security to date.

Not only is it disgraceful for Cheney to criticize the current administration as a member of the former but also as to his own level of personal integrity to turn the issue of national security on it’s head by denying the immorality of torture tactics.

The Politics of Fear remain the only tool left to Neo-Conservative Americans.

I see a land of injustice where prosecutions of some order are not undertaken. Those who wrote the legal opinions used to justify these torture tactics must face consequences.

The Justice Department cannot dispense justice onto itself.

A Special Prosecutor must be appointed.

If anything, President Obama has yet to do enough to restore justice and security to our nation.

Anarchism Versus Populism

Ever reviled, accursed, ne’er understood,
Thou art the grisly terror of our age.
“Wreck of all order,” cry the multitude,
“Art thou, and war and murder’s endless rage.”
O, let them cry. To them that ne’er have striven.
The truth that lies behind a word to find,
To them the word’s right meaning was not given.
They shall continue blind among the blind.
But thou, O word, so clear, so strong, so pure.
Thou sayest all which I for goal have taken.
I give thee to the future! Thine secure.
When each at least unto himself shall waken.
Comes it in sunshine? In the tempest’s thrill?
I cannot tell — but it the earth shall see!
I am an Anarchist! Wherefore I will.
Not rule, and also ruled I will not be!

                       – John Henry Mackay

I draw your attention simply to the first nine lines of this quote, and have included it in it’s entirety for a full perspective.

I believe we have suffered this current Global / American Recession in a large part to the economic strategy of ‘greed is good’ and more specifically the enactment of Anarcho-Capitalism in our banking, mortgage and credits markets the United States of America.

A lack of sound order and a lack of logical policies, will only ultimately lead to a lack of accountability from authority.

A populist does not reject authority, or rule, outright. Rather a populist is prone to ask:

“By right to do govern? Whom do you serve?”

While I will express a degree of fondness for Pure Anarchism in which all property is outright theft … I find the whole ideology unworkable and only expressly attainable in small, sustainable, isolated communities. Much like Marxism is all looks good for an intellectual discussion and quid-pro-quo debating but in a real world setting the whole underlying concepts quickly become revealed as nothing but an ideologist’s dream work.

America of 2009 needs real solutions and not simply an outpouring of sentiment to ’make AIG pay you back’ but rather a hopeful outpouring of people willing to listen. People willing to engage.

The Presidency of Barack Obama is a stepping stone in a much larger and much longer road.

We must begin to demand the highest standards of our leaders on both Wall Street and Capitol Hill.

It is not not wrong to want justice. It is not wrong to want fairness. It is not wrong to question authority.

I am a Populist! Wherefore I will.
Not to rule, but to question the value of our rulers to us.

Obstructionist Republican Agenda

New RNC Chair, Michael Steele, claims to stand against obstructionists in his first speech then condones the stagnation of the Obama Stimulus bill in the House by Republicans shortly thereafter. I am sorry but that is shameless hypocrisy that reminds me of the previous tactics of Republicans that have done nothing but twist politics into a double-pretzel.

When interviewed about abortion and gay marriage, he explained that certain issues comprised his core beliefs and could not be compromised. In an earlier comment he expressed that he sought to avoid those who simply talked a lot and wanted no resolutions done.

Steele fails to understand that the Democratic Party is easily equal to the Republican Party in terms of members who do not back down on core ideals and core beliefs.

One such core belief is that legislation should pass without a partisan standard of approval in both the House and Senate.

It is obvious that it is nothing more than a partisan agenda of Congressional Republicans to keep the Stimulus package under a Democratic President from passage due to the fact that the last Stimulus and the equally large Bailout under Republican President Bush received quick and dual-party support, without any major concessions from the Democratic Party included therein.

The fact that not even one Republican voted for this bill, even after the requested tax cuts and concessions were included, proves beyond all anecdotal commentary on the exact specifics of the package that the opposition is simply against all policy with no need for explanation or discussion.

These actions prove that the current agenda within the RNC is simply to reject all policy proposed or supported by President Obama in a dangerous game of raw politics.

It is the responsibility of Michael Steele to encourage the Congress to come to a constructive level of progress in this time of great economic instability.

I do not, thus far, share in any level of elation that some have expressed within the Democratic Party with this new chairmanship of the RNC. There is no more time for these word games and the extremely familiar partisan stalemating in America today.

The game-clock has run out and there is nothing but lasting damage done by such an obvious favoritism for Republican sponsored bills and this obstructionist reaction to a Democratic sponsored bill.

To be fair, no Chair can be expected to be able to effect a great many votes in the Congress just after receiving the such a position.

I am simply stating that if the situation reversed, I would chastise the DNC Chair for taking such a narrow view of policy. Steele was in a unique position to help put an end to Republican obstructionism in modern-American government.

Instead he chose instead to be vague in his declaration against such a serious matter.

I would have hoped that the broad declarations against Americans and the vague comments eluding to items of a serious nature that often amount to slander would come to a close within the RNC and its members with the losses of 2008, but it appears that the tactics of distraction are not dying out as hoped.

Another unsettling element is that he speaks as if the Republican Party is not in great need of reconnecting its core foundations with its message and representatives after such a serious national defeat.

It is unfortunate that the need for keeping up appearances is keeping what I tend to believe to a genuine and honest man in his convictions from telling the simple truth that he has a lot work ahead of him if he wants to keep conservatism within the American dialect of politics in years to come.

I would like to attempt to dispel this term ’common sense’ from politics that Steele is so found of.

Basic knowledge about civics gives a person both personal political perspective and helps with a debate on policy. Common sense is to not running with scissors and taking good care of your health or things like not swearing in a church and being polite to others.

I see plenty of basic and advanced knowledge in the RNC but very little common sense. This has not changed in any fashion, in my view.

Lastly, the former-Congressman David Duke expressed that he saw Steele’s election as a dark day in Republican history. I think that is simply absurd and that Duke is a racist.

It is simply more of the same from the past eight, in what I see so far. I find it difficult to find excitement and relief at this time.

Eric Lightborn
February 3rd 2009

The Greatest Failing of the Liberal Movement

“Why would a liberal blogger ever talk about this? Has he lost his mind?”

Upon review of my postings, I have been exceedingly focused on the conservative movements and often harsh. I take nothing back.

It is past time I took a moment to address the very real short-comings within the popularity and success of many liberal movements. I’ll refrain myself to speaking generally.

The case of the ‘liberal snob’ or the ‘egghead liberal’ is the center of the problem. I cannot speak for others but I cannot address real issues without getting verbose and sometimes over-technical.

‘Joe Biden long-windedness’ is modern term getting thrown around for those like myself in their political discourse.

Or rather I can remove myself from the endless sentiment, but I must be allowed to let raw passion and at times foul language into the dialect of political discussion.

Far too many popular liberals in both press and in office maintain what some people see as a ‘know-it-all’ attitude that I am guilty of myself and attempt to train myself out of the habit in both my writing and personal conduct.

Book-smarts is great, as is higher education, but only a certain number of people eat the material up like I do. And I test far worse than I comprehend in most subjects.

So I am far from an academic at this time, and qualify as a hobbyist at best.

People should have every chance to look over the same press releases a little longer or to think on the perspective they hold as much as they wish. A person who says they are not too sure about something in politics, is really thinking about politics.

Which is nothing but good, no matter where in the aisle you find yourself.

This is tied into our fundamental Right to Vote. We require a full compliment of modern perspective in our political media and a high-credibility, non-partisan, factual press corp.

Only the so-called ‘fringe’ liberal groups support extreme journalistic integrity reform and numerous conservative groups have labeled themselves as ‘media integrity-advocates’ when in fact the majority of them support fact suppression and disinformation.

Not to mention the fact that the Fairness Doctrine has entered the political discourse of Democrats and I personally view it as macaroni-legislation in which we adopt failed policies of the past and switch the pieces around hoping for some wild new picture. The Fairness Doctrine has not caught any major steam, however, perhaps due to the paranoia of many conservative hosts on radio broadcasting mediums.

The greatest failing of the liberal movement is simply that all liberals, myself included, want everyone to pick up various materials and sources then ration through all the reports looking for the facts. A person asking this is any form is often perceived as snubbing their nose at light readers.

This is not just unappealing and offensive to many, it is a downright ridiculous proposition.

Both liberals and conservatives along with the ‘third’ parties all have a great many members who find it a laughable concept to start watching or listening to the alternative perspective in their daily media consumption.

The conservative agenda seeks to pin this blame on the idea of Politically Correct Language (PC) but I think the source of blame is a three-letter acronym: FCC.

PC attitudes are another topic, but it safe to say I am not a strong advocate for them in all situations. I do want to state that I see cultural sensitivity and political correctness as two separate issues and the common-conservative argument against PC culture also includes a negative view of cultural sensitivity and religious sensitivity that I do not share.

The Federal Communications Committee is the true beating heart of the matter, and remains a taboo topic even in this age of worldwide-electronic communications.

Just as the ‘scream heard around the world’ by Howard Dean was received as if he was mentality unstable or the nature of how the New Year‘s Eve comments of Kathy Griffin were handled, the constant vanilla-nature of all our major communications has given the lasting impression to many that if you express anything but highbrow editorials you will be shamed in public if not removed immediately.

As I see it, the yolk of the FCC bending to the will of a highly sensitive primarily religious minority has squelched the liberal movement more than any other when speaking of American politics and media over the past twenty to thirty years.

The damage is universal, not isolated. The smaller political movements and even the under-funded branches of the conservative movement have suffered under this scenario.

There is a need for laws and rules, of course. But we need not rampantly censor all dialogue and squelch the very intention of Freedom of Speech in the process.

To put it another way:

The young liberals of America are more than ready to verbally tear Rush Limbaugh’s head off, and start making a paycheck off that, except most of us have a “HBO Rated” and “TV/Radio Rated” manner of conducting ourselves. We don’t need Obama to pay any attention to the windbag if he would relax the arcane FCC regulations on the independent minds of America.

Eric Lightborn
https://ericlightborn.wordpress.com
February 3rd 2009

American Partisanship? Guilty On All Counts

Everyone has a little partisanship in them. Or at least if they have any political convictions they do. The true difference between a hard-line partisan and a person who uses passion and exaggeration in arguments is extremely simple: A blinded partisan will always work to squelch the ideas that are contrary to their own.

A close examination of modern media shows that partisanship is within all formats and all sources in different fashions and forms. The strongest vein of partisanship is without a doubt found within the conservative and pro-Republican news talk radio programs. Using dismissive attitudes and literally speaking over the words of others is not just commonplace but the entirety of certain shows.

My ire is raised the most when a person guilty of partisanship disguises themselves as one who is not. A host that asks their audience to suspend the fact that they make their living on the success or failure of the media is fit to inform and critique the media, is both absurd and insulting. A host that labels their shows and commentary as non-biased and pure policy when in fact the agenda is exclusively conservative is harmful to political understanding and hopeful future compromises.

Each group must come to fully understand one another before there can be resolution within the truth that each faction is invested in the same goal but wishes to employ very different strategies in government. The nature of all partisanship truly comes from keeping this message out of the major media sources and the popular formats.

I have no way to prove my sincerity but I have no desire to stomp out the conservative viewpoint or keep the majority of Americans from hearing opinions that are completely different from my own. I can only say that I am against the Fairness Doctrine or any legislation that works to alter the Fair and Equal Rule.

The issue should be laid at the feet of the networks, who could easily solicit a wider range of opinion.

Eric Lightborn
January 31st 2009