Is Religion Really Evil? Can We Blame It For all Our Problems?

This is a facebook post from a 67 year old guy living in Israel who is an atheist and is regularly on the group site “Stop the Islamation of America”, giving the irritating bible thumpers a hard time. He is ridiculously smart and calmed down yesterday enough to post his reasons for his non beliefs.  I present his argument, with my comments at the end.

Richard A. Berg WHY I POST WHAT I DO (Atheism is not a religion. It is a personal relationship with reality.)
February 7, 2011 at 3:52pm

I will, in very short order, offend many people. I thought about apologizing up front, but I just can’t do that in this case. I am not much of a diplomat. I am a straightforward, damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead kind of guy. I am very opinionated, and something of an elitist. That is, I have a high IQ, a good education including a Ph.D., and I am not very tolerant of stupidity nor of willful ignorance. This is problematic as, by definition, one-half of the population is below average intelligence (IQ 100), and a very large proportion of the population is willfully ignorant.

By willfully ignorant I mean that there are those who have at least “normal” intelligence (normal being IQs of from 85 to 115) who refuse, out of sheer laziness or fear, or some other reason, to use that intelligence, to rely on FACTS, to search for EVIDENCE, to employ LOGIC and RATIONAL thought; but, who would rather just believe things that they are told based upon emotion or having been previously indoctrinated into a particular mindset / belief system. There are those who not only refuse to use logic but who actively fight against its use, who do not want others to use logic and reason either. This eschewing of logic and reason, and ignoring hard evidence often takes place within a single, major area of their lives (religion), but then slops over and creeps into other areas – important areas.

I was raised in a Reform Jewish home, by a Reform Jewish family, and I was sent to Sunday school and Hebrew school to learn about Judaism and to study for my Bar Mitzvah. I spent those years questioning my teachers and rabbi, debating them and sometimes arguing with them about god, religion, the Tanakh (Jewish bible), religious laws and ethics, and related topics. At 13 I did have a traditional Bar Mitzvah, reciting all the traditional Jewish prayers, and giving a traditional Bar Mitzvah speech in front of the congregation.

All along, however, I had accompanied my Catholic friends to catechism classes, and to mass. I went with my Protestant friends to their Sunday church services (mostly Baptist) and with my Greek Orthodox friend to his mass. And, I read. I read books about religion, about god, about spirituality – and I read books about science, evolution, biology, etc. So, right from the beginning I was an agnostic, a skeptic. After a time, I became an atheist. After a bit more time, I became a “devout” atheist. But, for most of my life I said nothing about this to anyone.

At university I took classes in Comparative Religion and in the Bible as Literature. I read books on the psychology of religion, and I read the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, and the “holy books” of other religions. I kept my atheism pretty much to myself.

Over time, however, I went from thinking that religion was a bunch of innocuous bologna to realizing that religions (ALL religions) were, in fact, insidious, pernicious conspiracies that inevitably led to extreme human suffering, mayhem, genocide, slaughter of innocents, wars, terrorism, and the like. Religion retards scientific research and discovery, and human progress. It actually “dumbs down” any population that subscribes to it. Religion is EVIL.

Religion inevitably causes the formation of in-groups and out-groups, a we-versus-they mentality. Members of a religious group always come to believe that they, and ONLY they have the one true belief system; that anyone who does not subscribe to their exact flavor of religion is damned and going straight to hell. It does not matter how closely the religions match – if they are not exactly the same they are wrong and perhaps evil. Look at the “Christians”: Catholics versus Protestants caused many wars in history and the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland recently. How about the frictions between Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Anglicans, Church of Scotland, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopal, Unitarian, Coptic, and various “Born Again” charismatic churches. Or, the open warfare and terrorism between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims.

And, of course, it gets worse as religions move farther and farther apart: Christians versus Jews, Christians versus Muslims, Muslims versus Jews, Muslims versus Hindus, all religions versus atheists. Every one of these has been the underlying direct cause of wars, terrorism, torture, killing, massacres, genocides, discrimination, suffering, pogroms, and exiles.

What exactly is the basis of religion? Why is it so ubiquitous? In EVERY case religion is based upon fear, ignorance, lies, deceit, delusion, indoctrination of very young children, extortion, threats, and punishments. I know of NO exceptions.

Humans are programmed by evolution to seek out answers to the unknown, to search for patterns, to attempt to turn chaos into order. Humans instinctively hate not having the answers to their questions. They hate not knowing the whys and wherefores of their environment, their world, themselves. Humans want ANSWERS.

Humans are also the only species aware of their own impending, inevitable death. Death is frightening to most people and so humans attempt to assuage their fear of death, of the finality of death. They look for ways to “get around” dying.

Way back in the very beginning of human society people did not have a lot of answers. Why the sun rose every morning was a mystery. Why it set in the evening was a mystery. Why it sometimes rained and sometimes did not was a mystery. What caused the wind, clouds, all the events seen in nature was a mystery. So, in order to pull order out of chaos early man INVENTED forces: gods. Gods could answer any question, especially anthropomorphic gods. What caused thunder and lightning? Gods were angry and

fighting. What caused the sun to rise? A god pulled it up and across the sky.

And to “get around” death – gods had a place to take everyone after they stopped breathing where everything was wonderful, food abundant, life easy: heaven. People needed no longer fear death as it was just part of life and led to an afterlife that was even better.

Questions answered; fears assuaged.

Okay, if there were anthropomorphic gods then they could surely be bribed to provide more food, more water, nicer weather, fewer dangerous animals, less disease, etc. But, as most people did not know how to properly offer these bribes they had to turn to the few who did – the shamans. Some of the brighter people figured all this out and decided that they would be the shamans and live an easy life by having the rest of the (ignorant) people work to provide the bribes to them for their transmission, in a proper way, to the gods. Of course, the shamans were too busy intervening with the gods to actually work themselves, so the people supported them with offerings, gifts, and . . . tithes.

In exchange for intercessions with the gods the shamans got a nice place to live, lots of food, and assorted virgins for sex partners. NOT a bad deal for them. In order to keep it all coming they then invented HELL as punishment for the recalcitrant and nonbelievers, and thus were able to extort whatever they wished from the rest of the group. Their houses became temples. Their bullshit grew and took on all kinds of new and different meanings that allowed them to control every aspect of the lives of their “flock.” You may eat X but not Y. You may have sex with A but not B, and only under certain conditions, after saying “prayers.” You MUST give the shaman the best of your (newly domesticated) animals for his sacrifice to the gods (Sunday barbecue was born — why do you think that we still have church picnics and potluck dinners?).

And so it went. And so it is today.

But, now it is more complicated because people, over much time, began figuring out that many things in nature did not really require the force or intervention of gods. Even primitive “science” could figure out why some things happened all by themselves and could predict the future (seasons, rainy times, dry times). People began to realize that it did not require a god to pull the sun up and across the sky each day, that something was revolving around something. They got it right sometimes and wrong sometimes . . . the sun revolved around the earth or the earth revolved on its own axis and the sun stood still. But, they were making strides.

The shamans and priests had to stay one step ahead of the masses in order to remain in power and maintain their easy lifestyles. They set down rules that made further scientific discovery harder and that set in stone those ideas that benefited them. Those bucking the system were heretics and were reviled, tortured, burned alive at the stake, or at least excommunicated. Ex-communicated: sent far away so that they could not communicate with the believers and tell them the truth. And so, science was slowed down, the population dumbed down, and religion given time to reorganize and regroup to stay ahead.

The priests made religion ever more complicated, rituals ever more complex and mysterious (for example, by using a language only known to priests – Latin). They concentrated their power by changing from multiple gods to monotheism so that there was only one god, a god so far removed off into a far away heaven that only the initiated and educated priests could ever hope to directly intercede with him. They evolved stricter and more encompassing laws and regulations backed up by ever more frightening punishments. Not only could a lone “sinner” be killed and relegated to hell after death, but god could come down at any moment and smite him and his whole family, clan, or city; turning them into pillars of salt, inflicting upon them plagues of nasty frogs, flies, boils; having them slaughtered by other groups more pleasing to god; or if that did not work, by flooding the entire earth and killing off all but a chosen few humans. Pay attention, bow down, be obedient, or cause the extermination of the human race! Pretty drastic consequences. This way, not only were individuals frightened into obedience so that they would not end up in hell, but those around them made sure to keep each other in line so as not to call down another calamity upon the clan as a whole.

Whatever it took to control the masses, the priests INVENTED. They also co-opted natural occurrences: earthquakes and floods and droughts and wildfires were signs of god’s displeasure – requiring, of course, the intercession of the priests (for a fee). Ancient myths and legends were repeated, expanded, refined, reinterpreted, and finally written down in books so that the priests could more uniformly enslave the ignorant, naive, gullible masses. Anyone questioning religion was referred to the infallible source of answers, “the holy books” that had all the answers to everything. The sheeple never noticed (or consciously chose to ignore) the massive circular reasoning, or the total lack of reasoning, inherent in answers such as: “god works in mysterious ways.” Duh! It was that mysteriousness that prompted the question now answered by mystery! The books had to be taken as is with total belief based solely on faith as there was NO OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE presented for any of its answers . . . NONE . . . ZERO.

And, therein lies the major problem that we now see all over the world today: the religious masses have been inculcated, indoctrinated, brainwashed into thinking that hard objective EVIDENCE, RATIONAL THOUGHT, and LOGIC are unnecessary when making even monumental life and death decisions.

This regime of nonthinking, naïve, gullible acceptance in one major area (religion) slops over into other areas, important areas, vital areas. SCIENCE is relegated by the sheeple to second or third or fourth place after faith and ridiculous religious belief and their corollaries. LOGIC and RATIONAL thought are seen as unimportant. Discoveries, important discoveries, which are based on real observations, repeated research, replicated experimentation, hypothesis testing, statistical analysis, peer review, and LOGIC are blithely set aside in favor of the partial, highly edited, Bronze Age mythology of ignorant, nomadic, illiterate, goat herders.

This slop-over from religion to the really important aspects of life causes the sheeple to do the same sort of thing in all of their decision making. It distorts their understanding of all the sciences, history, psychology and other social sciences. It causes them (and their indoctrinated children) to reject modern education. Instead of getting a thorough, up-to-date education many of the children of these sheeple are kept out of school to be home schooled – spending countless hours not studying actual academic subjects, but rather learning to regurgitate long bible tracts, counterfactual fantasies about creationism, medieval mythologies and legends, science-fiction stories about talking snakes and donkeys, people being swallowed by whales and then days later coughed up alive on land; and, magicians being crucified, dying, being buried, and returning to life (aren’t these undead folks called ZOMBIES?).

How can anyone with this level of disbelief and distrust of modern science expect to become a productive member of a modern scientific society? In a crisis these sheeple do not attempt to think their way out of a tight spot – instead they fall on their knees and begin conversing with a supernatural spirit out of their delusional fantasy world.

Okay, so we live in a free society and religious sheeple should be allowed to make this choice, BUT . . . they make this choice not only for themselves but also for their infants and young children. Instead of vaccinating their children against diseases like polio, measles, whooping cough, etc. they have the kids baptized and blessed by some preacher who never got out of the eighth grade. And then, they are astounded when the kid comes down with these diseases and gets really sick – maybe dies or is paralyzed for life. (“It is god’s will.”) Instead of taking very sick kids to the hospital or doctor, they pray over them . . . over and over and over . . . even when it is obvious that it is doing no good . . . they pray and pray and pray until the sick child’s dead body turns black, bloats, and decays before their eyes. THEN they decide that they didn’t pray hard enough and so their supernatural god didn’t hear them. It was their fault that the kid died because they did not pray properly! (Or, “It was god’s will.”) God is still loving, compassionate, perfect. WHAT A BUNCH OF CHILD ABUSING, CHILD ENDANGERING MORONS! This is the outcome of religion.

This idiocy affects not only the kids of the religious sheeple, by the way. It means that because their kids are unvaccinated they are providing a reservoir of the viruses to keep that disease alive and transmissible to others. (Smallpox was eradicated only because smallpox vaccination was made mandatory by law in almost every country in the world. There is no longer ANY smallpox in the world as every possible reservoir was eliminated.)

Look around the world. Where are kids still dying of polio, measles, whooping cough? Only in those countries whose RELIGIOUS leaders forbid vaccination. Where is HIV/AIDS most prevalent, killing off large percentages of the population? In Catholic countries where the sheeple are forbidden by the church to use condoms. Where are kids dying in huge numbers of malnutrition and preventable diseases? In countries where the uneducated, illiterate, naïve, religious populations are forced to have six to ten children per family because their religious leaders forbid the use of any kind of birth control.

RELIGION IS EVIL.

I am constantly amazed by religious sheeple. For a decade now I have been asking the same questions of them: What objective EVIDENCE do you have for the existence of god(s)? What objective EVIDENCE do you have for the existence of an afterlife? What objective EVIDENCE do you have for the existence of heaven or hell? What objective EVIDENCE do you have for the universe, life, man being created in seven days, less than 10,000 years ago? What objective EVIDENCE do you have for the existence of angels and devils?

They have NONE. They NEVER have any. All they can say, in essence, is:

“God said it; I believe it; that settles it.”

EVIDENCE needed: NONE.

LOGIC needed: NONE.

RATIONAL THOUGHT needed: NONE.

COMMON SENSE needed: NONE.

HYPOTHESIS TESTING / EXAMINATION needed: NONE.

DISCONFIRMING HARD EVIDENCE: REJECTED.

DISCONFIRMING LOGIC: REJECTED.

DISCONFIRMING RATIONALES: REJECTED.

DISCONFIRMING COMMON SENSE: REJECTED.

DISCONFIRMING RESULTS OF COUNTLESS SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS AND DECADES (CENTURIES) OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: REJECTED.

When push comes to shove some sheeple will try to pawn off as evidence total fiction; purposely misstated, partially falsified facts; facts taken completely out of context so as to seem to mean precisely the opposite of the author’s actual intent; or convoluted circular reasoning. Upon even minimal inspection all of these claims are easily shown for what they really are: TOTAL BULLSHIT. NOT EVEN WELL THOUGHT OUT OR WELL DONE BULL SHIT. Just plain old, obvious to anyone with two working brain-cells bullshit.

I briefly considered giving examples of this bullshit and why it is such a load of worthless nonsense, but in trying to find simple examples I quickly realized that even the simplest would entail refuting reams of abject stupidity and having to explain very basic science to sheeple who did not want to listen to the facts that they did not get or ignored in their education in grades one through eight. So, if you want to understand, for example, why evolution makes total sense and is backed up by hard EVIDENCE I suggest that you go to a community college and take some classes, or just go to YouTube and watch the many very entertaining and informative presentations of Richard Dawkins, or someone using the name “potholer54”. Particularly important and perhaps a place to start is potholer54’s “The Scientific Method Made Easy.” He (or she) has very easily understandable videos on the origin of the universe, the origins of life, evolution, creationist junk debunked by science and logic, Noah’s flood debunked, etc.

See the YouTube videos of Christopher Hitchens for great discussions of skepticism, religion, atheism, and related subjects. Be sure to see “The Four Horsemen: Dawkins, Dennett, Harris & Hitchens.”

And, do not miss any of the videos of Carl Sagan.

These are all men of vastly greater intellect than mine, and it is well worth spending many hours viewing their videos and reading their books.

**********

Ginger’s Comments:

Yes, there is a lot of truth to what Mr. Berg says, but I wasn’t swayed by his statements.  I agree that ORGANIZED religion has for years caused wars and goes against the ten commandments by the  killing of those who disagree with the self righteous.  Therein lies the problem.  Most people cannot think for themselves, as evidenced by our two party system and the continual voting based on family tradition  The same applies with religious beliefs.  People become fully immersed in the preaching of their faith and fail to recognize that, as in the case of Christians, the Bible was written eons ago for those who lived in a totally different time and environment.  The Word of God has been revised and re-published hundreds of times, and probably translated into what the translator believed each passage meant.  The scenario reminds me of a game of “telephone” we used to play as children.  Form a line, whisper a phrase  to the person next to you, and be amazed at how your dialogue has changed at the very end.

I consider myself a Christian, but when and if I go to church, I go for myself, not caring or curious why others are there.  I listen to the sermon and apply what makes me a better person.  I do NOT believe everything the Bible says because you can see how the literal translations are applied differently by Jehovah Witnesses as opposed to other religious sects.  For example:  A statement about eating blood is translated to forbid life-saving blood transfusions, while the Jewish apply the same and eat Kosher, salting their meats to draw out the blood.  Why is there a separation of the old and new testament?  Four-hundred years passed between the writing each book, and because the Jewish utilize only the Old Testament, they do not recognize Jesus as their messiah.  Does this make them wrong and unfit for Heaven?  I don’t think so, and that goes against what so many hard-core Christians belief.  If you don’t come to the Lord through his son, you are damned to hell.

One Sunday, our Pastor,, who uses both the old and new testament, made reference to how much we southerners love our bacon.  If he truly believed in the literal word he would remember that in the old testament mention is made of not eating anything with cloven hoofs.  Jewish people use only the old testament, and therefore do not eat pork.  It is instances like this that make me understand how Atheists exist.

It is difficult to believe that something greater than ourselves exists.  Too many people don’t understand the word “faith.” If they can’t see it, feel it, taste it, then it can’t exist.  But faith  is the basis of religion to me.  I only know for myself, if I did not have faith that  God exists, how would I explain the beauty that surrounds me and the wonder of life?  Faith is the plug that fits the hole in my heart…the one I had before I had faith, and that can’t be a bad thing.  I prefer this approach over skepticism and doubt.

As with everything else, the problem with ORGANIZED religions is that there are no free thinkers.  You are either with them or against them.  I choose my own path, and the world would be a much better place if everyone took that approach instead of accepting verbatim what you’ve been taught by your elders.  Respecting each others rights has been lost in the battle of the religions as in our current administration.  It’s time to re-evaluate our thinking and be open to new ideas.  For me, life without faith would be akin to a fish out of water.  I don’t expect people to agree with me, nor do I want to argue the facts.  I’m content with my relationship with God and I don’t have to be in a church to experience his presence.  All I ask is respect for the right to believe the way I choose, and if more people could do that, we wouldn’t have progressed through the ages to killing people in the name of God, Allah, or whatever moniker we give to the supreme being in which we believe.

The Winds of Change They Are A Blowin’

I’m an author, but today I’m stepping away from the world of fiction writing where I can sweep myself away to a different era, civilization, and a place where everything has a happily-ever-after and addressing what has happened to the population’s voice when it comes to government.  I want changes, but I have no idea how to initiate them.  I wonder why so many take the time to write scathing reviews about fictional works on Amazon, but when it comes to what’s really important in life, no one seems to find the time or a way to speak out.

Rumors of siphoning money from Medicare trust to pay for Obamacare ran rampant during the campaign between the President and Romney.  Who knows if that’s true, but it made me wonder why Bernie Madoff went to prison for Ponzie scheming people out of millions when, if the rumor is true, what makes a difference between Bernie’s actions and the Government infringing on money we’ve paid for through our jobs all these years?  Even more, I wonder if government officials would be so quick to initiate Obamacare if they had to “endure” it. Aren’t they Americans?  Why are they exempt from something they can vote into our futures?  My insurance increased this year, my coverage decreased, and my drug costs went up, too.  When I asked my doctor about the future of the medical profession, he wasn’t able to offer any assurance that things would improve…in fact doctors are leaving the profession and a shortage is sure to occur. I honestly don’t want the government determining my health care needs.

What bothers me more is that I cannot figure out why we continue to re-elect the same stale politicians when what we want is hope and CHANGE.  We at least have the good sense to allow two terms for the Commander-In-Chief, yet we continue to send back old-timers who are more interested in taking a side than considering the issues at hand.  That line dividing our country (GOP/DEM) is killing us.  Why don’t we have term limits instead of electing people to a career position where they continue to pad their pockets and vote themselves raises.  Did you know they recently received one?  Did you?  Only one member, and he happened to be a Republican, refused a raise during a time when most Americans are struggling to get by day-to-day.  Now that’s what I call noble.  It’s time to do away with party lines and become ONE NATION, indivisible, under GOD with liberty and justice for all!

Here’s a list I got from the Internet that lists how long people have been in Office.  I got it from Wikipedia, so I can only assume it’s accurate although somewhat dated since I know some of the people listed have since died.  No doubt, had they not passed, they would still be serving.  I recall seeing Strom Thurmond carried in on a stretcher in order to cast a vote.  Yes, some are deceased, but I remainly firmly convinced they would still be in office if they weren’t.  We need forward thinking individuals who really want to make a mark in history for the good…but even if you elect one and set him up against a house divided, he or she is bound to fail.  Term limits…the only answer.

HOUSE AND SENATE TIME

Total tenure
rank
Uninterrupted
rank
Name Party affiliation Total tenure time Uninterrupted time
1 1 Robert Byrd(H,S) Democratic Party 57 years, 176 days 57 years, 176 days
2 2 John Dingell(H) Democratic Party 57 years, 22 days 57 years, 22 days
3 3 Carl Hayden(H,S) Democratic Party 56 years, 319 days 56 years, 319 days
4 4 Daniel Inouye(H,S) Democratic Party 53 years, 118 days 53 years, 118 days
5 5 Jamie L. Whitten (H) Democratic Party 53 years, 60 days 53 years, 60 days
6 6 Carl Vinson(H) Democratic Party 50 years, 61 days 50 years, 61 days
7 7 Emanuel Celler (H) Democratic Party 49 years, 305 days 49 years, 305 days
8 8 Sam Rayburn(H) Democratic Party 48 years, 257 days 48 years, 257 days
9 9 John Conyers(H) Democratic Party 48 years, 1 day 48 years, 1 day
10 Sidney R. Yates (H,I) Democratic Party 48 years, 0 days n/a
11 12 Strom Thurmond(S,I) Republican Party 47 years, 159 days 46 years, 57 days
12 10 Wright Patman(H) Democratic Party 47 years, 3 days 47 years, 3 days
13 11 Ted Kennedy(S) Democratic Party 46 years, 292 days 46 years, 292 days
14 Joseph Gurney Cannon (H,I) Republican Party 46 years, 0 days n/a
15 13 Adolph J. Sabath (H) Democratic Party 45 years, 247 days 45 years, 247 days
16 14 J. Lister Hill(H,S) Democratic Party 45 years, 142 days 45 years, 142 days
17 15 George H. Mahon (H) Democratic Party 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
18 16 Warren Magnuson(H,S) Democratic Party 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
19 17 Charles Edward Bennett (H) Democratic Party 44 years, 0 days 44 years, 0 days
20 18 Justin Smith Morrill (H,S) Republican Party 43 years, 299 days 43 years, 299 days
21 William B. Allison (H,S,I) Republican Party 43 years, 152 days n/a
22 19 Charles Melvin Price(H) Democratic Party 43 years, 110 days 43 years, 110 days
23 20 Henry M. Jackson (H,S) Democratic Party 42 years, 241 days 42 years, 241 days
24 Carter Glass(H,S,I) Democratic Party 42 years, 157 days n/a
25 21 John William McCormack(H) Democratic Party 42 years, 58 days 42 years, 58 days
26 22 Charles B. Rangel (H) Democratic Party 42 years, 1 day 42 years, 1 day
27 23 Bill Young (H) Republican Party 42 years, 1 day 42 years, 1 day
28 24 John Sparkman(H,S) Democratic Party 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
29 25 William R. Poage (H) Democratic Party 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
30 26 Jack Brooks(H) Democratic Party 42 years, 0 days 42 years, 0 days
31 27 Robert L. Doughton (H) Democratic Party 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
32 28 Joseph William Martin, Jr. (H) Republican Party 41 years, 305 days 41 years, 305 days
33 29 Dave Obey(H) Democratic Party 41 years, 276 days 41 years, 276 days
34 30 Clarence Cannon (H) Democratic Party 41 years, 69 days 41 years, 69 days
35 31 John C. Stennis (S) Democratic Party 41 years, 59 days 41 years, 59 days
36 32 Kenneth McKellar (H,S) Democratic Party 41 years, 30 days 41 years, 30 days
37 33 William Huston Natcher (H) Democratic Party 40 years, 240 days 40 years, 240 days
38 Claude Pepper (H,S,I) Democratic Party 40 years, 207 days n/a
39 34 William P. Frye (H,S) Republican Party 40 years, 157 days 40 years, 157 days
40 35 Ted Stevens(S) Republican Party 40 years, 10 days 40 years, 10 days
41 36 Thad Cochran(H,S) Republican Party 40 years, 1 day 40 years, 1 day
42 37 Carl Curtis(H,S) Republican Party 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
43 38 Peter W. Rodino (H) Democratic Party 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
44 39 Pete Stark (H) Democratic Party 40 years, 0 days 40 years, 0 days
45 Jennings Randolph(H,S,I) Democratic Party 39 years, 364 days n/a
46 Eugene Hale(H,S,I) Republican Party 39 years, 363 days n/a
47 40 Leslie C. Arends (H) Republican Party 39 years, 362 days 39 years, 362 days
48 41 Daniel A. Reed (H) Republican Party 39 years, 352 days 39 years, 352 days
49 42 George William Norris(H,S) Republican Party 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
50 43 John Taber(H) Republican Party 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
51 44 William M. Colmer (H) Democratic Party 39 years, 305 days 39 years, 305 days
52 45 Don Young(H) Republican Party 39 years, 304 days 39 years, 304 days
53 Samuel Smith(H,S,I) Democratic Party 39 years, 9 days n/a
54 John Little McClellan(H,S,I) Democratic Party 38 years, 329 days n/a
55 46 Morris Sheppard(H,S) Democratic Party 38 years, 145 days 38 years, 145 days
56 47 Ernest Hollings (S) Democratic Party 38 years, 55 days 38 years, 55 days
57 48 Richard Russell, Jr.(S) Democratic Party 38 years, 9 days 38 years, 9 days
58 John Sherman(H,S,I) Republican Party 38 years, 4 days n/a
59 49 Russell B. Long (S) Democratic Party 38 years, 3 days 38 years, 3 days
60 50 Patrick Leahy(S) Democratic Party 38 years, 1 day 38 years, 1 day
61 51 Max Baucus(H,S) Democratic Party 38 years, 1 day 38 years, 1 day
62 52 Chuck Grassley(H,S) Republican Party 38 years, 1 day 38 years, 1 day
63 53 Tom Harkin(H,S) Democratic Party 38 years, 1 day 38 years, 1 day
64 54 George Miller(H) Democratic Party 38 years, 1 day 38 years, 1 day
65 55 Henry Waxman (H) Democratic Party 38 years, 1 day 38 years, 1 day
66 56 Frederick H. Gillett (H,S) Republican Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
67 57 Wilbur Mills(H) Democratic Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
68 58 Dante Fascell(H) Democratic Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
69 59 Robert H. Michel (H) Republican Party 38 years, 0 days 38 years, 0 days
70 Robert Crosser (H,I) Democratic Party 37 years, 305 days n/a
71 Robert L. F. Sikes (H,I) Democratic Party 37 years, 290 days n/a
72 60 Nathaniel Macon (H,S) Democratic-Republican Party 37 years, 255 days 37 years, 255 days
73 61 Henry Cabot Lodge (H,S) Republican Party 37 years, 250 days 37 years, 250 days
74 Alben W. Barkley(H,S,I) Democratic Party 37 years, 74 days n/a
75 62 Henry B. Gonzalez (H) Democratic Party 37 years, 60 days 37 years, 60 days
76 Francis E. Warren (S,I) Republican Party 37 years, 6 days n/a
77 James Eastland (S,I) Democratic Party 36 years, 83 days n/a
78 63 Ed Markey (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 63 days 36 years, 63 days
79 64 Joe Biden (S) Democratic Party 36 years, 12 days 36 years, 12 days
80 65 John Murtha(H) Democratic Party 36 years, 3 days 36 years, 3 days
81 66 Orrin Hatch(S) Republican Party 36 years, 1 day 36 years, 1 day
82 67 Barbara Mikulski (H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 1 day 36 years, 1 day
83 68 Nick Rahall(H) Democratic Party 36 years, 1 day 36 years, 1 day
84 69 Henry L. Dawes (H,S) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
85 70 Felix Edward Hébert (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
86 71 Edward Boland (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
87 72 William Broomfield (H) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
88 73 Dan Rostenkowski(H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
89 74 Neal Edward Smith (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
90 75 Claiborne Pell(S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
91 76 Joseph McDade (H) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
92 77 Paul Sarbanes(H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
93 78 Pete Domenici(S) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
94 79 Ralph Regula(H) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
95 80 Christopher Dodd (H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
96 81 James Oberstar (H) Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
97 79 Richard Lugar(S) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
98 80 Daniel Akaka(H,S) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
99 81 Norman D. Dicks (H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
100 82 Dale Kildee(H) Democratic Party 36 years, 0 days 36 years, 0 days
101 Shelby M. Cullom (H,S,I) Republican Party 36 years, 0 days n/a
102 Henry A. Cooper (H,I)

Just in case you’re interested, you might want to check out this list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_living_United_States_Senator and note which are still serving.

Here’s proof that some people just never go away:

http://www.mynews3.com/content/news/local/story/Reids-tenure-in-Congress-now-states-longest/Ih-qKmcvWECLZ_mpsePcjA.cspx?rss=3269

California and Nevada are two of the most financially devastated states and when it came time to vote, they put the same politicians right back into office.  Does that make sense to anyone?  I am neither Democrat or Republican….I chose candidates personally, not by a party affiliation.  It’s time to speak out, and this is my opportunity to do so and I took it.

Remember, the content reflects my opinions, and according to the constitution, at least for now, I’m still entitled to have a few.  I’m putting away my soapbox and getting back to doing what I enjoy most…writing novels.  There I can forget reality.

TOP 10 “Only In America ” Observations

This is not an endorsement of the “observations” below – just an interesting e-mail that I received and I thought others may enjoy seeing the perspectives that are shared….

10) Only in America… could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000 a plate campaign fund-raising event.

9)  Only in America …could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black while only 12% of the population is black.

8)  Only in America …could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and
Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

7)  Only in America …can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react byfretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

6)  Only in America …would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just ‘magically’ become American citizens.

5)  Only in America …could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country’s Constitution be thought of as “extremists.”

4)  Only in America …could you need to present a driver’s license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

3)  Only in America …could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company ( Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

2)  Only in America …could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year – for total spending of $7-Million PER MINUTE, and
complain that it doesn’t have nearly enough money.

1)  Only in America …could the rich people – who pay 86% of all income taxes – be accused of not paying their “fair share” by people who don’t pay any income taxes at all

Labor Unions Profit vs Business Profit

It seems most people are talking about the situation with Hostess, Twinkies and the labor union.

A trip to the store this week – made it clear that people are stocking up on Hostess products. Two local stores – and there were no Hostess products on the shelves.

Monday we heard the labor union and Hostess would be in mediation today – and people started making jokes about the people who stocked up on Twinkies and the people who had them listed on Ebay. Surely the union and management could work this out — they had been thrown a life line from the court and Twinkies would survive.

Well…. maybe not.

BREAKING NEWS – Hostess Brands and one of its biggest unions failed to reach an agreement in private mediation Tuesday, the company tells FOX Business. The move could pave the way for an ultimate liquidation for the snack maker. 

Let me preface this next comment and say the conclusion is based on various information I’ve read online — it seems there are plenty of operational issues with the company. It also seems that conditions from labor contracts have made it necessary to impliment a number of very costly operational decisions.

So – let’s see if I have this right…..

The unions make demands on the business and the business has to make changes in order to meeet these demands.

So a struggling business that has filed for bankruptcy protection a number of times – is now shuttering its plants because they cannot reach an agreement with the unions.

Hmmm – and 18,000 people are out of work.

I see that as a loss for unions, workers, business and the consumer.

A quick question — do unions understand that when their demands cause a business to lose money, they can not stay in business. Which means they cannot employee people.

What do you think?

Hostess continues to liquidate – http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57552853/twinkies-maker-continues-plans-to-liquidate/

Picture also from the link listed above.

A Hostess Brands hiring sign is shown at the Utah Hostess plant in Ogden, Utah, Nov. 15, 2012.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Mocking a Man With Many Achievements

You know – I have a lot of issues with people who mock people with disabilities of any kind. Its juvenile, hurtful and actually shows the measure of the person doing the mocking.

Whether you agree with Charles Krauthammer or not – you should at least acknowledge the things he has accomplished and the hardships he has overcome.

This is the comment that caught my attention –

Anchor Martin Bashir on Wednesday jokingly apologized to young viewers who might have been “frightened by” Charles Krauthammer’s face in a video clip that was aired on his show.

In case you aren’t familiar with Charles, here are some details about his life — and I included a picture from his Facebook page.

Krauthammer is a Pulitzer Prize-winner whose columns are syndicated to more than 275 newspapers and media outlets.

He received a medical degree from Harvard in 1975 completing his residency in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1984 he was certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

While at Harvard, he was involved in a diving accident that left him paralyzed but didn’t prevent him from finishing his studies and completing his degree.

He received a Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and is considered one of the nation’s leading conservative voices.

And that last sentence reveals why its “okay” to mock him – he is one of the nation’s leading conservative voices. Funny, he used to be a liberal, maybe it would be good to find out why he changed his mind…

If you’d like to see more about Charles Krauthammer, this is the link to his Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/charleskrauthammer

Four More Years?

There are at least 49% of the people in the US scratching their head and wondered how in the… world, President Obama was re-elected. It defies most logic.

Here is an opinion piece about this conundrum… I like Judge Napolitano, he definitely speaks his mind…

By

Only in America can a president who inherits a deep recession and whose policies have actually made the effects of that recession worse get re-elected. Only in America can a president who wants the bureaucrats who can’t run the Post Office to micromanage the administration of every American’s health care get re-elected. Only in America can a president who kills Americans overseas who have never been charged or convicted of a crime get re-elected. And only in America can a president who borrowed and spent more than $5 trillion in fewer than four years, plans to repay none of it and promises to borrow another $5 trillion in his second term get re-elected.

What’s going on here?

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/08/four-more-years-what-is-going-on-here/#ixzz2BkWog3WK