Double Standard

I haven’t written in a while, but with the political circus now going on I need to dump about how I feel about the “double standard” that is taking place.  Everything the GOP and it’s followers are now doing, saying, and choosing to ignore are the same things they spent the last 8 years accusing Obama and the Democrats of doing.

Private email servers?  Well apparently it is ok now.  A soldier and child killed by poorly executed raid that was sanctioned by Trump and his son-in-law over dinner?  Benghazi anyone?  Of course the “President” chooses not to go to the intelligence briefings and executes all his plans based on the last person he talked to (or saw on Fox news).  And Executive Orders?  No one is batting an eye on the number executed… even though they are poorly drafted by the devil himself Steve Bannon (I’m reminded of the Drunk Uncle skits on SNL).  Oh… and comparing the immigration BAN to what Obama did earlier?  Not even close to the same thing.  I could go on and on… because almost everything they are now doing is exactly what they accused the other party of.  It’s called “projection” and it’s what mentally ill people do.

The double standard is disheartening.  And it’s not just from the politicians.  I’m experiencing it with GOP’ers.  I just spent the last 8 years listening to people bad-mouth Obama and his family.  Calling them monkeys.  Bashing Michelle’s looks (I think she’s smokin’ hot).  And now I’m told I’m suppose to respect the “presidency” and not say negative things about our fearless leader?  No thank you!  I will spend the next 4 (or 8 Lord help us) years speaking out against everything that is wrong with this administration.

This last week I posted a link for our YouTube channel to the Facebook group that I manage for my wife’s church.  My profile pic happened to be a black background with the words “#NotMyPresident” on it.  Within a few hours someone attacked me for dragging politics into a private church group.  It was my profile pic that shows up EVERYWHERE I go on Facebook.  I wasn’t targeting or even thinking about it and here I was having to take the abuse.  Needless to say, I’ve resigned that position.  I won’t stifle who I am online because someone finds my “Not My President” statement to be offensive.  I sat through picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache.

I think the Trump “Presidency” is a farce.  A joke gone bad.  He is unqualified.  He is not smart (if you disagree I urge you to watch this video).  He has no attention span.  He is narcissistic and thinks he alone can save the world.  He disrespects women (even now he is making his female staff “Dress Like A Woman” — whatever that is).  In his inauguration speech he said “We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People”.  I don’t buy that for a minute.  We are on the borderline of losing all our privileges as far as that goes.  Threats to send military to protests.  The silencing of certain news outlets (except the crazy ones).  The introduction of “alternative facts”.  It all threatens to “stifle” our voices and our right to resist.  How easily could we become the next Venezuela?  We are living in an autocracy!

I was talking to my friend in Shanghai this week.  Of course they live in a very repressive society (I’m surprised we can even Skype).  He was like… what’s the big deal?  Don’t sweat it.  That bothers me.  I have an “ideal” of what I think America could be.  And we were “progressing” towards that ideal (think Star Trek).  Now I see us going backwards.  In the matter of 2 weeks we have gone back at least 8 years… and in some cases… 40 years.  Progress lost.  And it’s disheartening.  And people just stand there… like… it’s ok… everything will be ok.  Really?  I suppose that’s how the Jews felt at some point. Right?  Well.. maybe not.

I will resist.  I will protest.  Some days I want to give up.  What difference does it make?  But I will stay strong.  And I will prevail!  Fuck Trump!

Why I Left The Mormon Church

With all the recent news about the Mormon church’s stance against the children of gay couples, I thought I’d finally write a blog entry I’ve been contemplating for months.

Earlier this year I had my church membership records removed.  It took several attempts.  First they wanted me to meet with church officials.  I said I had no interest in doing so.  I finally had to threaten legal action.  A few weeks later I finally got a confirmation letter in the mail.  Of course they sent me a letter telling me that I had eternally damned myself.  I guess I’ll deal with that IF the time comes, but I don’t believe in a God that would do that.  He/she/it knows my heart.  And if all we do is rot in the ground and get eaten by worms, then I’m safe.

I chose not to advertise this to anyone.  I spoke with my parents before I took action to make sure it wouldn’t upset them.  They were very loving, understanding, and supportive.  I talked with a good friend of mine, who had years earlier gone through the same process.  He too had not been active for decades before deciding to take action.  I hadn’t been active in the church for over 25 years, but everywhere I moved the home teachers or missionaries tracked me down.  My wife even told them I died at one point.  That kept them at bay for a few years.  I just got tired of the game and decided enough was enough, since they weren’t honoring my wishes.

There have been 108 billion people that have lived on this planet up to this point.  I’m gonna take a guess and assume there have been about 30 million Mormons.  That’s 0.0003% of the people that have lived on this earth that have been Mormon.  Mormon’s believe you must be baptized into the church to obtain the highest level of heaven.  To account for the other 99.9997% of people that didn’t have the opportunity to accept the “true” church, Mormons baptize for the dead.  That’s right.  When you die, Mormons will key off your death record and have you baptized by proxy so that you can accept the church in the afterlife.  I have to assume that the conversion rate will be pretty low.  My iPhone games only see about a 1% conversion rate for in-app purchases.  I don’t believe in a God that would allow only 1.0003% of all humans to enter into the highest level of heaven.  I have no testimony of Joseph Smith.  From my perspective he was a cult leader that founded a religion that became mainstream.

I don’t say any of this to upset my family or friends who are still Mormon.  I totally respect anyone’s perogative to practice any religion they want.  I also respect those who choose to practice no religion at all.  Only 1/3rd of the planet bases their religion on Jesus Christ.  I won’t discount the other 2/3rds or profess that they are wrong in their beliefs.  I only have issue with religion when it causes harm to others, represses women, turns a blind eye to abuse, or causes it’s members to be intolerant.  I don’t think the Mormon church actively does any of the above, although I think there are members who might.  I was always told the church is “perfect”, the members are not.  I’ll at least accept the later part of that sentence.

I don’t agree with a lot of the policies the church has come out publicly against (I don’t think churches should get involved politically).  I disrespect everything they did against Proposition 8.  I don’t agree with the recent decision either.  But here’s my advice… there are PLENTY of religions that tolerate whatever lifestyle you choose.  If you need religion in your life, find the one that best suits you, be loving and God-like in your dealings with others, and don’t push your beliefs on anyone else (unless it’s about a crazy-ass person running for president).  The “pushiness” of the church is one of the reasons I left.

God/Allah/Buddha Bless You!



Vote Smart

There is something about this year’s election that really has me bothered.  No, it’s not anything about the candidates, although they perpetuate the problem I’m going to discuss.  It’s the lack of research that people do in order to make up their mind about a candidate.  I’m not gonna try to persuade you one way or another on who to vote for.  That’s your choice.  All I’m asking is that you do honest research before voting.

I wish there were requirements before someone would be allowed to vote (just like their should be a quiz before someone is allowed to be a parent).  A simple “did you do the research?”.  I hate hate hate that people vote because of just 1 reason.  For example, “I’m voting for him because he’s black” or  ”I’m voting for him cuz he’s good looking”.  That just irks me.  I would rather that person didn’t vote at all, rather than pollute the voting system.  This isn’t American Idol!  And if Ryan Seacrest ends up hosting the debates… argh.

My concern (and excuse me for expressing my political view) is that many people are going to vote for Romney for the sheer reason that he is Mormon.  I’m not knocking the church… but if I were to ask many of those people to tell me how that vote would affect their taxes or medical coverage, they might not have a good idea, and might be surprised by the answers.  Of course the lying that goes on on both sides doesn’t help.  But many voters aren’t going to go do the due diligence to investigate whether it’s a lie or truth.  They’ve made up their mind and will cover up their ears and go “blah blah blah”.

Will the 1% of Mormons that make up the U.S. population make a difference?  No, probably not, since most are located in areas where Republicans typically win anyway.  I pray that the Mormon church hasn’t done anything devious like they did with Proposition 8 however.  I pray that funds aren’t funneling through secret channels to get Romney elected.  Let him win or lose on his own merits.  I know… someone reading this believes these are the latter days and he MUST win.  If that’s your only reason for electing him, please reconsider.

Please vote for who you think is the best candidate, or at least the lesser of two evils.  But do it based on intelligent reasons.  The internet is full of truth and lies.  Try to find a reputable site, do some reading, and make your choice.

Global Warming?

Whether global warming is or isn’t happening isn’t something I stress about.  It might really be happening.  It might not.  It seems we spend an awful lot of time and energy worrying about things we have very little control over.  Has man made an impact on the planet?  Sure.  Both good and bad.  But when you look at the 5 billion year history of the earth, we are but a speck in that timeline.  The dinosaurs were here for 165 million years.  We’ve been here 200,000 years.  That means the dinosaurs were here 825 times longer than we have been.  I’m guessing they made a bigger impact on this planet than we ever will.  That also means that humans have only been on this planet for .004 percent of it’s existence.  Think about that.  If my calculations are correct, that’s 20 minutes if we scaled the earth’s existence down to 1 year.  Think about anything you’ve done that lasted 20 minutes (ya, I know where your mind is going on that one).  How much of an impact did it make on the earth?  Possibly another human being was spawned because of it.  Ok, I’ll give ya that.  1 more person out of the 7 billion on this planet. The point I’m trying to make is how insignificant our time on this planet has been.  Read the Bill Bryson book “A Short History of Nearly Everything” and you’ll come to a greater appreciation for that.

So back to global warming.  Wouldn’t the earth have gone through this cycle anyway?  It’s obliterated life on the planet several times in it’s existence.  Why would our generation be any different?  We will cease to exist at some point in time and the next iteration will crawl out of the swamps.  I don’t consider this a defeatest attitude, just realistic.  We would be naive to think we’ll be around for ever.  This certainly doesn’t give us the right to abuse the planet, but then again, ultimately it probably really doesn’t matter that much.  The next species will dig up our bones and wonder what we were like and why we became extinct.

As human beings we have a tendency to not see the bigger picture and put things in perspective.  This is especially true when you are emotional invested in something.  But if we stand back and realize our insignifigance in the whole process I think we would be humbled.  Enjoy the planet, treat each other nicely, and relax and enjoy the ride.  And if it gets toasty outside, be glad we were ingenious enough to invent air-conditioning.  How cool is that???

I Must Be Oblivious

I will admit it.  I don’t know Casey Anthony from Anthony Weiner.  I didn’t follow the trial nor do I know anything other than she was a woman accused of killing her child.  Every time a news story came on about her I changed the channel.  Years ago I was gripped by the OJ trial.  I couldn’t get enough and tuned in for every little bit of info.  This time I hadn’t even heard of the case until just a few weeks ago.  Why was I so oblivious/disinterested this time around?  I hardly doubt it had to do with the lack of media coverage.  I think it was more about my lack of need to consume what the media was offering.  I’m sure this was probably a bigger circus than OJ, but I just didn’t buy a ticket.  Why?  I think this has a lot to do with my experiences with the court system during my divorce trial and my opinion that court cases should be private.

Who decided this is entertainment?  When did the court system become a reality TV show?  Why should I support this poor family being drug through the media gutter?  Why give the lawyers the limelight they so desperately crave?  It’s a scary future.  Movies like “The Running Man” may not be that far away.  I need to know what’s going on in government and I need an unbiased news report.  I don’t need to know what’s going on in everyone’s personal life (well… except for what people want to expose on Facebook).  I find that if I concentrate on what I am doing and not what everyone else is doing, life gets a whole lot easier and a lot less stressful.

Sometimes I still get sucked up by the media and it pisses me off.  I have to snap myself out of it and take a nice long walk through nature.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the sensationalism.  I’m not trying to be preachy, just trying to understand why my perspectives have changed.  If you ever experience the court systems, perhaps your views will change as well.  Lawyers for the most part are not interested in coming to a speedy resolution.  They certainly aren’t sympathetic or vested in their client’s emotions.  Most have learned to detach.  The media doesn’t seem too concerned with a person’s emotions or privacy either.  Just watch Nancy Grace for more than 5 minutes, if you can swallow it, for proof of that (I’m sure she doesn’t have any demons in her closet).

So maybe the trial wasn’t fair or maybe the verdict wasn’t just.  I have absolutely no idea.  I also don’t care.  It’s a private matter.

Stock Market