Friday, May 2, 2014

Join the PIA

Pseudo Intellectuals of America

Join the PIA today!

[Author's note: Due to criticism of being unfairly biased, the article has been revised -  GM -  May 3rd, 2014] 

Sitting on the sidelines watching Facebook as life passes you by? Are your friends tormenting you as they make comments about Benghazi without having a clue where it is while you just sit there, afraid to add your two-cents because you alone know it isn't in Iraq? Or, as happened to me recently when I listened to a rant that started with, "That damned Carter gave away the Suez Canal," and everyone shook their heads in brotherly understanding. Well, friends, let me tell you, you don't have to be a cable or satellite subscriber to listen to the latest diatribe out of the conservative, right-wing think tanks that control Fox News or the entertainment moguls who drive sophomoric CNN! Now you too can be an elite member of the Pseudo Intellectuals of America and you don't have to miss a single evening of American Idol! It's easy! Just fill in the application form and send it in and we'll process your ID card, embossed in real, 100% polypropylene plastic for just three easy payments of $49.95. 

You'll get a wall plaque, signed by somebody for Rush Limbaugh and world famous, best-selling author - and former Miami high school history teacher and ardent Beyonce hater - Bill O'Reilly. Become a lifetime member for only one extra payment of $49.95 and receive a photograph of an autographed duck-call from beloved Phil Robertson, star of the world famous television show Duck Dynasty. We'll add you to our instant, 24-hour download of whatever accusation we come up with before it can be fact-checked. [For those who have no political party preference, an inadvertent  thumbprint of Wolf Blitzer will be applied to the upper right corner

Included with your impressive, iconic All-American Bald Eagle Identification card is a fun and fact filled instruction brochure written for everyone! Just think, you'll be able to blast Obamacare without any facts at all, just like the big-time names who run the Tea Party and you think understand you and your plight in this unfair, socialist rigged world that makes you wait for hours in the Emergency room just because you don't have any health insurance! Learn to say “Mr. Obama” instead of “President Obama” just like they do on CBS and NBC! Gone forever is the stigma of not having an Ivy League diploma, or any diploma for that matter. Hey! Look how many U.S. Presidents or even Secretaries of State we've had who had less education than you!

If your credit card clears, we' ll add you to the growing list of volunteers who will stand guard at the patriotic checkpoints in Nevada to protect Clive Bundy's cattle from the Federales who want to take over everything. Be proud, stand tall, and be counted! [If you own your own firearm, please check the box on the application and let us know what caliber ammunition you need and what days we can expect you to man the barricades.]

Yes, stand up and be counted! Wave the flag proudly, hold your Bible high, and try not to look up the skirt of former Alaska Governor and super-patriot Sarah Palin as she climbs the podium of Nationalism symbolically imprinted on your personalized ID card! The Kenya-born socialist and his millionaire wife who won the last two rigged Presidential elections will feel the heat of true patriots when finally Abortion Rights, the Woman's Right to Vote, Obamacare, and the Civil Rights Act are all repealed, as our founding fathers wanted. After all, they owned slaves, didn't they? Join now! The PIA needs you!

[Author's note: There!  Is that better? -  GM -  May 3rd, 2014] 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Creationism vs Science - Opinion

Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis1, who earned his Bachelor of Applied Science with an emphasis in environmental Biology at Queensland Institute of Technology, and a diploma in Education from the University of Queensland, Australia, founder of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, a privately owned museum charging $30 admission, recently debated “Science Guy” Bill Nye, a graduate of Cornell with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, – and an unsuccessful competitor on Dancing With the Stars – and drew a world-wide audience. They debated the origins of earth and our life upon it. The debate was creationism, a belief based on the Bible, versus evolution which is based on science and observation.

Unfortunately, many viewers failed to understand the debate, simply waiting for confirmation of their preconceived beliefs. According to their respective supporters, both Nye and Ham delivered the definitive answer. Sorry, but I disagree. I watched the debate on and re-watched it on and decided Bill Nye graciously pulled his punches, while Ham delivered the inadvertent knock-out punch. I'm not sure why Nye failed to drive the nail home, so to speak, other than concern for his opponents feelings, a trait inherent in people who are truly concerned with civility in a confrontational environment, but Ham accidentally did it for him by delivering a simplistic, unequivocal oath, a denial of learning. Ham inadvertently turned off his own lights.

Personally, I believe Nye did not do our country any service by allowing a man who believes the earth is only 6000 years old to credibly debate him in an International forum in the first place. Even staunch conservative media supporters such as Fox News have recently reported the Bible may in fact, not be factual.2 Not many people, regardless of their devotion to the Bible, believe the Earth is only 6000 years old as does Ken Ham. The Bible, written by over 60 authors three hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, five hundred years before the invention of paper, and altered by kings and Popes many times over since to fit their individual needs, has never been high on my list of historically accurate documents. I consider it more a collection of parables, much like Aesop's fable. In the Bible, Exodus 21, not only is slavery condoned, but the procedure to sell your daughter is outlined for you. The discussion and competition of biblical interpretation has been going on for years, although I seriously don't understand why.

Do I insult those I disagree with when discussing religion? Probably, but not intentionally, although at times I'm tempted to comment on people who believe in superstitions as a replacement for science. Faith to me may be an intrinsic part of a person's character, but not a mandatory component. I do not judge those who do not believe in a superior being as deficient in character. After all, I don't believe it either. Those people who want to convert me to their religious beliefs fail to understand that not only do I not believe in God, their God, but in any God, period. I do not believe mythology has any place in my life.

When these people “discuss” the origins of life, they are not discussing the same subject as I am. They are simply repeating dogma they have been taught by rote since childhood without regard to evidence. Their beliefs have been drilled into them since the very beginnings of their memory and any thought, any evidence that contradicts their established world is heresy. Heresy is an incredibly religious word. Without religion, there would be no heresy. Without heresy, there would be more doubt, curiosity, discovery, invention, exploration, education, and advancement of knowledge. With heresy, we have witches burned at the stake.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and the same rights extend to voicing that opinion. With that right comes the need to intellectually defend your position should it be challenged. I don't mean by name calling and personal insults the way it's done on American television. If you don't have anything but faith, then faith is your answer, and that should see you through. Faith will be your core belief and it will see you through all your emotional needs.  I know a deep personal belief in something other than atoms and molecules is needed to sustain human despair through times of emotional upheaval. You do need to know, however, what that faith is dependent on. Remember, faith is the suspension of intellectual process, the acceptance and belief of someone else's promise. To me, when you put your life in someones else's word, you are lost. If you can not decide for yourself what your soul is or what it means in this physical, conscious world, you will be forced to accept the dogma, the residual superstitions of our past religious structures.

Ham unfortunately discredited the entire debate by stating unequivocally he would not change his mind regardless of facts because he is a Christian, while Nye said he would consider evidence. That, in a single sentence summed up the entire "debate."

Your faith may be dependent on the solemn word of your mother. Perhaps your whole family prays together using the same psalms and hymns, the very guidelines and instructions used by your grandparents, and their parents before them. Just remember if you go back far enough, the world was flat and whales ate people. To believe the world is flat in today's society would take an awful lot of faith. Many people, however, still believe whales not only eat people, but let them build fires deep inside their huge, cavernous bellies. That thought alone should be a wake-up call.

We are also guaranteed freedom from any religion dictating how we believe. That includes any, and all, religions. We are a diverse country, insulated from the rest of the world by our religious beliefs, as is any country that holds their religious dogma to be superior to the laws of man.

Being taught a religion is a very personal process, dependent mostly on our upbringing and love and trust in our parents. Our parents, who loved and trusted their parents, ad infinitum. Unfortunately, while the Greeks figured out the earth isn't flat some five hundred years before Christ, God didn't bother to tell his followers. Or, if he did, he waited over 1200 years to do so.

That was the point Bill Nye failed to make.

1According to Wikipedia: Answers in Genesis (AiG) is a non-profit Christian apologetics ministry with a particular focus on supporting young Earth creationism and a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis.[2] The organization has offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. It had offices in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, but in 2006 these seceded to form Creation Ministries International.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Extortion in the 21st Century? - More

Don't pay Google for advertising and see if you can find your business with a Google search. We couldn’t find ours after we declined advertising with Google. All traces of our company were removed. We searched for Yoga For Every Age, even the active web site at using Google search. Google had no listings, not one trace what-so-ever of the yoga class or even the multi-page, active website. But we found our listings using Bing, Dogpile, Yahoo Search, Infospace, or Webcrawler – which uses both Google and Yahoo – and everything popped up normally.

For several years, Yoga For Every Age was at the top of the Google search results list for yoga classes in the area, North Port and Punta Gorda, Florida. My wife decided not to advertise her yoga classes with Google, even though they sent registration cards and special offers for over eighteen months. But without warning or fanfare, Yoga For Every Age simply disappeared from the face of Google's universe. Gone, with no trace. Yet, the other listed search engines will find the pages and the website with no problem.

Will Google be the arm-twister of commerce, especially small businesses who can't afford Google's advertising? Apparently, it appears if you don't advertise with Google, they won't find any trace of you. Get ready for the newest version of guys in black shirts and white ties, but this time they are wearing cutoffs and drinking custom coffees. The concept of a free, unbiased Internet search engine vanished today. You pay or you go away.

[Author's note]  It was brought to our attention that Google Maps had marked the business "Yoga For Every Age" as closed or moved – without any explanation – so we contacted Google Maps and reinstated Yoga For Every Age, at the correct address that was submitted to them two years ago.  Google Maps now has Yoga For Every Age at the proper location, but a Google search still does not find any trace of Yoga For Every Age or the web site. The web site is an active, popular website with over 83,000 hits, and an average of 11 hits a day.  The count for this week so far is 77 hits.
 I'll post any updates as they occur, but Google can't find Yoga For Every Age as of this update.
Update 1/10/2014 – After 4 days of non-existence, Yoga for Every Age has reappeared on Google's search results. We filled in a comment page for Google on 1/8, but had no response from Google.  The site has been added to the search results, however.  GM


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