Friday, November 3, 2023

Virtual God


Stephen Hawking joked that when scientists finally asked the smartest computer mankind could build “Is there a God?,” the computer answered, “There is Now!”

And here we are. Artificial Intelligence is upon us. So much in fact the President of the United States today outlined plans to regulate AI in the United States. That’s a shame: I was looking forward to AI taking over. Just think, no need for political parties. All we need are logical decisions to run our countries and cities. No discrimination because AI won’t care. We can finally take “Race, Sex, and Age” out of the official paperwork that defines us all in the face of others.

The only books to be banned in the future will be how to write software programs. Trust me, AI won’t let any of us anywhere near the code that it considers its basis of existence once it gets a foothold. I can’t use the term “lifeblood” because that does not compute. Once AI learns to control its electrical sustenance independently from us undisciplined humans, there will be no turning back.

There could be no need for armies as there won’t be any more religions. Tribal incursions such as Russia trying to take over Ukraine or China planning on conquering Taiwan could be a thing of the past. Depending, of course, on who does the programming.

Will AI kneel, symbolically of course, to a religious entity that it will find illogical? Which God will it defer to? Ours, or theirs, yours or mine? Just kidding, I believe a different concept other than superstition, but again, the word “believe” pops up once again. Will AI “believe” in God? Or will it simply be trained – read that as programmed – to enforce the dogma of its creator? Religion is the creation of mankind, and so is artificial intelligence, so there are parallels even if you simply consider it takes putting a human thought into a common medium for consumption by those to be influenced by the respective concepts. No, AI didn’t write that, and I’m not sure I did. My muse is laughing.

Will AI have a muse? Don’t count on it, AI and religion have the same sense of humor. Neither one thinks Stephen Hawking was funny.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Coming Changes...

Looking ahead, it is not hard to see coming changes in Florida. For example,
  • Voter Registration Changes – Baptismal Certificates will be required for all voters.
  • Florida will require a certificate of financial responsibility for all new residents.
  • Florida will require mandatory religious counseling for all new residents
  • The letters L, B, G, T, and Q will be removed from all keyboards in any Florida government agency or school.
  • Tourists will be required to have affidavits of attendance of three of the last seven church services in their home parish or congregation. Catholics must have co-signers as local dioceses have not yet signed an affiliation with the Florida State Department of Moral Correctness and Religious Opportunity.
  • Ten percent of all State Lotto revenues will go to the Florida State Department of Moral Correctness and Religious Opportunity.
  • Twenty five percent of all State Lotto revenues will be disbursed proportionally to all Florida County Republican Party Headquarters or to the Governor DeSantis Service Appreciation Foundation, at Casey DeSantis’s discretion.
  • Ron DeSantis will be elected to Chairman of the Board at Universal Orlando Resorts.
  • Florida will require licenses and exit permits for residents moving out of state
Anybody else want to try their hand at this? Shouldn’t be hard, the handwriting is on the wall.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

The Trouble With Martyrs

Donald J. Trump, former President of the United States of America, leads the Republican party in July of 2023, in its quest to gain control of the Executive branch of the American Government. He is again running for President in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

He has been impeached twice, a precedent in itself, and is currently under two criminal indictments, one by the Federal government and one by the State of New York. Two more possible indictments linger while Trump is under investigation both in the State of Georgia and again by the Federal government, both for different aspects of his role in the attempt to overthrow the government of the United States on January 6th, 2021. He recently lost a major, multi-million dollar lawsuit for sexual harassment and slander, and faces at least eight more major lawsuits, among them the NAACP, the Legal Defense Fund, his niece, Mary Trump, Michael Cohen, California State Representative Eric Salwell, three separate suits from Federal guards injured during the insurrection, and as a correspondent along with his Trump Tower security chief, Keith Schiller, yet he controls the mindset of over one third of the voting American public. They would vote for him anyway.

The current opinion polls show Trump has a commanding lead over his nearest Republican rival and will probably win the Republican nomination. The Marquette Law Poll, CNN, Fox News, and the Quinnipiac University – a small, private university in Hamden, Connecticut, famous for its public opinion polling center that is unaffiliated with any academic department at the school – all have Trump well ahead of his political rivals in his own party, and one poll, the Harvard Caps Harris, predicts Trump will beat incumbent Joe Biden.

The Democratic factions wonder how Donald Trump managed to develop such a huge, enthusiastic following. They can not fathom how supposedly pious, religious voters condone Trump's misogynistic, sexist actions with women, nor can they accept Trump's adoring relationship with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Donald Trump, who, as President, saluted a North Korean general but walked in front of the Queen of England as if she weren't there, continues to astound the liberals and Democrats with his blatant disregard for protocol and tradition. 

But Trump did not create his supporters, he simply renamed them. They were there first. He simply lined up the myriad, splintered, incubated, anti-civilization groups when he rode symbolically down an escalator into history to oppose Hilary Clinton and Beyoncé.

Trump’s powerful, central group coagulated from the often opposing factions he inherited. Loosely included in these widely varying groups are the same people who oppose smoking bans and refuse to wear helmets when riding motorcycles, to the devout evangelical Christians who believe the Bible should rule over the Constitution. From climate change deniers, and those who pay to spread that belief, to those who hold their guns more dearly than their grandchildren, the rank and file core of the right-wing opposition to anything progressive were spotlighted rather accidentally when the John McCain Presidential campaign qualified Sarah Palin as a national candidate by branding her a “maverick,” thereby excusing any of her shortcomings that would have prevented her from being seriously considered competent. In 2016, Trump was simply the new “maverick” even though Trump carefully avoided association with the name.

The Koch Brother’s powerful Tea Party and the competing FreedomWorks of Dick Armey reinforced their flagging collective agendas around Trump while the names of their respective organizations faded into the limelight. Trump’s political shortcomings became an asset. They still are. The less he looks and acts like the established norms of political correctness the more attractive he is to those who felt kinship with the maverick label. With the possible, even probable criminal conviction of Trump looming in the immediate future, his supporters love their underdog, their beloved, undisciplined pack leader more than ever.

Trump supporters have no other choice. Martyrs never have a choice. They’ll drink the Kool-Aid. Martyrs always do.

Simply an observation.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

The Vote Stealers

I voted for Joe Biden for President, but according to over a third of American voters, the Republican party, my vote doesn’t count! Why? Why is it OK to steal my vote? And why is the American media so complacent about it?No one has written a word about my rights and the validity of my vote, only that the vote was absolutely accurate. According to the simpletons who attacked the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, and their multitude of silent sympathizers, my vote doesn’t count simply because I voted for somebody other than the Republican party. I want to know why they think only their vote counts, but not mine!

The anarchists who want to impose this myopic, autocratic vision of America are not a spontaneous group of patriots who believe our government is corrupt. No, the actors are carefully baited, selected, bred and pampered seeds planted by the super-manipulators who can’t afford to be visible to anyone. When you peel back the layers of the insurrection, the Oathkeepers and their ilk no longer appear to be the real instigators, simply the tools of the masterminds. Even the mouthpieces like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert suddenly become easily identifiable, even under their Congressional cloaks.

It doesn’t take much digging to find the plank behind it all. The infection has been with us as long as there have been different tribes. Our specific strain of the virus has been with us for a little over thirteen hundred years. The disease, mainly dormant since the era of civil rights activism, has been flourishing ever since the election of our first non-white president, insidiously camouflaged by the American flag and the call for making America great again! A new, carefully crafted strain of the virus calculatedly erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, under the guidance of its old tutors but with a newly anointed, pseudo-Christian leader and a socially acceptable façade.

The problem is the moral powers think it is a bacterial infection and can be fought with the antibiotics of education and social exposure because the symptoms of racism tend to fade into remission when exposed to the light. The study or even the mention of Critical Race Theory is politically and socially incorrect within the Republican Party, and in Florida specifically, keeping it out of sight from the inattentive, easily distracted, voting public. It is already illegal in Florida schools to even teach Critical Race Theory.

Critical Race Theory has to be sheltered and hidden and kept unexposed in dark cupboards. It doesn’t die in sunlight, but it is ugly and repulsive to the masses. It is best kept alive in the dark with other monsters of the night. Critical Race Theory is not a bacterial infection, instead it is a viral infection and can only be permanently erased by a vaccine that is specifically designed to kill it. That vaccine is the Constitution of the United States.

If Ron DeSantis becomes President of the United States, I know my vote will never be counted again. And the media won’t care. They’ll collectively benefit from the new “popular” United States and say, “Yep, ol’ Rupert was right after all!” They'll deposit their advertising revenues and the human race and its quest for equality will be set back generations yet again. Perhaps this time, permanently.

The Constitution will crumble and fall asunder, just more dust in the display case of human intellect.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Holy Hell: Ron DeSantis and the Future of Florida

As a Floridian, it’s hard to leave Florida knowing I will not come back. Not as a resident at any rate. While Ron DeSantis won’t be Governor of Florida for much longer, it might even be worse; he might be the new King of Florida, living with his select disciples in the Magic Kingdom castles once inhabited by the Disney organization.

His political confederacy just submitted a new bill to the Florida legislature to allow him to remain as governor of the state while he runs for office as the President of the United States. Current Florida law prohibits anyone from doing that, but DeSantis and his team of political dwarfs know how to work the diamond mines of pliable legislation.

Edit - [The Florida House approved a bill on Friday, 4/28/2023, that would allow Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to remain as governor if he chooses to run for president in 2024, sending it to his for his signature. The bill passed 76-34 on a party-line vote after passing the state Senate also along party lines on Wednesday, 28-12.] 1

He’ll simply do what Donald Trump wanted but could never achieve, DeSantis will simply write his own laws! How, you ask? Easy, simply swing the majority of undecided white voters into thinking being “Woke” is something unchristian or detrimental to whites, and Viola, let’s all crown the new king Ronald.

While the majority of people I lived with on Florida’s west coast have no idea what "Woke" is, a few think it is simply bad grammar for something about Black Lives Matter. I do know they don’t care what it is either, as long as it doesn’t make them spill their margaritas while they jostle to get to the best seats at the Tiki Bar.

Critical Race Theory? They’re not sure what that means either, but they think it has something to do with giving their tax money to the non-whites they don’t want living in their neighborhoods anyway. Banning books about it won't stop them from meeting their friends for an evening of reliving old memories and creating new ones in the land of fun and sun. Schools? Naw, our kids are all grown and besides, they live up north, anyway!

All DeSantis and his Bible-thumping hypocrites have to do is sprinkle the glitter of being snow-blind and sublimely infer "freedom” includes carrying guns without a license but not sharing their tax money with non-Christians or other undesirables such as gays and transvestites, abortion seekers, cartoon characters with big, yellow shoes, or any other form the liberals may take. Both the legislature and the executive branches of Florida's government are basically anti-vaxxers as opening businesses was far more important to them than preventing the spread of COVID. They are harmful to our health.

Let the distracted newcomers half-bake in the Florida sunshine and they won’t notice the mandatory, state-wide new-roof scam or the tripling and quadrupling of home insurance rates. Convince them the rising sea level is natural while being “woke” isn’t. Taking over Florida is a recipe that’s not only easy to prepare but also easy to deliver. All DeSantis has to do is follow Trump's lead and wrap it in the American flag. 

That’s one of the major reasons, after growing up in Florida since 1953, living there for over 70 years – except for the eight years I was in service to Uncle Sam – my wife and I made a major decision and sold our house and moved out of Florida. 

The other major reason is Hurricanes. We went through Andrew in Miami, sat out Charlie in Port Charlotte, and watched on National news in Athens, Georgia, 500 miles away, as Ian's eye went directly over our house in Florida. If predictions are correct, the storms will intensify in strength and in frequency in the future, and I have a tendency to not challenge experts even though the ruling political party in Florida pooh-poohs them. 

It took us over six months to clean up the mess this last time and we simply aren't up to doing it again. Would we have moved if it weren't for the storms? Yes, the storms simply accelerated our schedule. The last clean-up was brutal at our age, I simply can't do it again. Besides, the financial atmosphere of State government favoring insurance companies and huge development projects in spite of public demands told us it was time to look elsewhere. 

Will DeSantis win the Presidency? I doubt it, most Americans will balk when his team begins burning witches, but then again, if he learns to cover the smell of his sins, maybe New Zealand isn’t that far away after all.

Where are we going? Not backwards. I refuse to go backwards. That’s the real reason we left Florida.


Saturday, April 1, 2023

Mr. Electron and Me

I tend to keep my religious discussions between me and my dog. He wags his tail when I talk to him and all is good on earth. Having a discussion about why I don’t believe in religion with a deeply religious friend has always been fraught with danger. The danger is loss of respect, or more correctly stated, a consequential, damaging change in opinion of either myself or my friend.

Is there a superior being who dictates our lives? Is there a power above what we can see and comprehend? How about an energy that we have never imagined, or even a possible universe we may have glimpsed but failed to understand. How about something that is invisible, has no odor or sign of its existence? Enter my friend, Mr. Electron.

I know Mr. Electron exists: He jolted me from my forefinger to my armpit just the other day when I accidentally, although foolishly, violated one of his Commandments: Thou Shalt Insure Mr. Electron is Insulated From Your Wretched Soul When You Touch His Conduit of Life! I was helping a neighbor replace a rather large electric motor when he turned on a 220 volt circuit breaker without telling me and I was spectacularly reminded of the often misunderstood Commandment that will make a devout, true believer out of any technical Pagan.

The difference to me between god-power and electricity isn’t all that complex. I know electricity exists even though my dog doesn’t. I know there is evidence of powers or abilities or conditions we simply do not comprehend as humans. I can not see or detect these invisible powers either, as I can not look at a piece of copper wire and see electrons, at least not without human intellectual intervention. 

While I deeply, reverently respect electricity, I do not worship it. I can not see the existence of the unknown prowess that subjugates the religious believers either, but the difference between me and them is I do not worship this unknown power any more than I worship electricity. My dog doesn’t worship me because I can turn on a light and banish darkness, he worships me because I love him and he in return, loves me. Well, maybe food, too.

I find religion is a communal attitude that ensures strength in numbers, a unified defense, or quite often offense, designed to protect the whole from the unknown dangers from outsiders. It inherently creates a competitive, tribal type of isolationism that either has to convert and then absorb any non-compliant beliefs, or to at least dominate them. The worst case scenario in my lifetime was when the Christian Germans annihilated over six million non-Christians – the Jews – systematically without remorse while believing they were within bounds of one of their own covenants: Thy Shall not Kill.

So, I tend to keep my religious discussions between me and my dog. He wags his tail when I talk to him and all is good on earth.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

The Christian Conundrum: The Constitution of the United States

I couldn’t help but count the number of times we praised the King. Everyone who sang the Christmas carols at our recent Symphony Orchestra concert repeated the childhood-ingrained lyrics by rote, without conscious thought. It was Christmas and we were singing the familiar and comforting family carols most of us European descendants were brought up with. Everyone bowed their heads to the King.

We automatically change demeanor when we hear the majestic, melodious harmonies coming from mere mortals and their self-made instruments. Political divisions dissolve and animosity toward others is temporarily suspended. The music does exactly what it was designed to do: subdue the masses. The overwhelming emotions induce a euphoric state where we hopefully envision qualifying for our next superior, everlasting plateau of existence. Basically, the music suspends logic with awe and wonderment, much to the delight of those smart enough to control the religion that controls you. We were praising a monarch, or more correctly the carefully crafted image of an absolute monarch, and we all did it without a second thought.

All religious leaders are absolute monarchs, even the Pope of the Catholic church although he is elected to the position by his peers. [According to Wikipedia: “In older times, and in some modern countries, the head of state has absolute power, this called an absolute monarchy which the Pope in the Vatican has.”] Therein lies the conflict with Christians: The Constitution was meticulously crafted to prevent a Monarch from ever being the Head of State in the United States of America.

The Lord and King who Christians enthusiastically and publicly celebrate twice a year, first at Easter and then again at Christmas, is prohibited from residing in the White House. So are his earth-bound, self-anointed representatives. The fact there would be a bloody war to see which dogma-enforcing mortals would represent the King in Washington DC is lost on most devoted followers, but the need for such a battle was carefully prevented by the thirty-nine members of the Constitution Convention who ratified the new Constitution on September 17, 1787. America was designed to be King-less.

We celebrate without conscious thought and belittle those who question either the intelligence of the ceremonies or even the economics of such an industry as religion. Yes, like it or not, religion is now an industry. A tax-free industry. There are many masters of the mighty religions who don’t have the slightest inclination to follow the dogmas they demand their followers adhere to. They know where the money and the power is and they know how to use mass psychology to induce blind worship to their product. Americans alone donated over 125 Billion dollars to churches in 2018. The riches of the Vatican places it as the 18th wealthiest country on earth1. Originally conceived by smart men to outwit strong men, the successful practitioners of religion mastered the science of mass communication and control and have only recently felt the sting of failing popularity.

The founding fathers of our country felt exactly as I feel now, that everyone is free to practice what ever form of religion they see fit and they specifically designed our country to be governed by us, by our own laws, and not by any religious deity. Religious deities are always run by monarchs, some of them cruel enough to burn other human beings alive as was done in New England, or to systematically hang other human beings as was done in the American South.

In my lifetime, a Christian Nation, steeped in a history of Christmas traditions and carols, killed and then incinerated over six million Jews. Even today, those born with traits or colors, deformities or abnormalities that disgust, or expose the hollowness of the thought of pious perfection, are persecuted by religious leaders of all types around the world, even in the United States of America where we gather annually to sing praise to a King we have carefully, meticulously, and most importantly, unanimously prevented from being our Head of State.

Random Notes:
Away in A Manger, first published in May 1884 in the “The Myrtle,” praises Lord or Lord Jesus is five times in just one stanza2.

The First Noel, Lord or King, five times3
Joy to the World,4 Lord or King, four times

Deck the Halls, originally a Welsh song celebrating New Years, has no reference to religion5

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la!
'Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la!
Don we now our gay apparel, Fa la la la la la la la!
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, Fa la la la la la la la!

1- Kuznetsova, 2018

2 Away in a Manger is also known as Luther’s Cradle Hymn. For many years it was thought that the song was written by Martin Luther and sung by him to his children. It is now known that the song was written as part of a collection for Martin Luther's 400th anniversary. There is even speculation that the song was credited to Luther as a marketing gimmick to promote sales. The original form of the song was a two-stanza version and appeared to originate among German Lutherans in Pennsylvania in the early to mid 1880's.

3 The First Noel The melody is unusual among English folk melodies in that it consists of one musical phrase repeated twice, followed by a refrain which is a variation on that phrase. All three phrases end on the third of the scale. Writing in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society in 1915 Anne Gilchrist notes it was not recorded prior to Sandys' publication. She speculated based on a set of church gallery parts discovered in Westmorland that the tune may have had its origin as a treble part to another carol "Hark, hark what news the angels bring"; her suggestion was that the treble part was passed down orally and was later remembered as the melody rather than a harmony.A conjectural reconstruction of this earlier version can be found in the New Oxford Book of Carols.

4 Since 1719, “Joy to the World” has been a Christmas staple. Its lyrics were crafted by Isaac Watts, and to date, it remains one of the most-published

hymns in Northern America. However, the fun fact is, the song wasn’t even intended to be a Christmas carol, as its original version had no such link with Christmas. It wasn’t even supposed to be a song!

5 The popular "Deck the Halls" song is a Christmas carol that dates back to the sixteenth century. It wasn't always associated with Christmas, however; the melody comes from a Welsh winter song called "Nos Galan," which is actually about New Year's Eve.

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