Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Atheist's lament

At times it is very difficult for me to understand.  Palestinians killing rabbis.  Israel screwing around with citizenship for non-Jews.  Buddhists in Malaysia killing Muslims.  Shiites killing Sunnis.  Hindus attacking Muslims.  All of this in the name of a non-existent being in religions which are fairy tales.  

Look folks, when you die, that’s it.  Remember how it was before you were born?  Of course you don’t.  You'd didn’t exist.  That’s how it will be after you die.  So behave yourself while you are alive.  Act in a decent manner.  Think rationally.  Quit being evil.  What you have here on earth while you are alive is the only time you have.  Use it well.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jim Webb for President?

First of all, you should know I’ve backed quite a few losers running for President.  Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Morris Udall, Teddy Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, and John Kerry were among them.  My success stories are Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson (first term), and Barack Obama.

Now former Senator Jim Webb is forming an exploratory committee for a presidential run.  I have great respect for Jim Webb, and I’m on board, provided Elizabeth Warren doesn’t run.  I just can’t get excited about Hillary Clinton.  I know she will probably be the Democratic nominee, and I will support her, but I really think we can do better.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sen. Mary Landrieu

The Democratic Party has been sending me appeals to donate to the Louisiana runoff campaign of Mary Landrieu.  This is a Senator who is pushing the Keystone pipeline, who is in the thrall of big oil, and who is so far to the right that she opposes legalizing marijuana for medical reasons, although her Republican opponent supports it.

I know she will be another Democratic vote in the Senate on organizational matters, but so what.  Doesn’t the Democratic Party stand for anything?  Perhaps some of the Democratic candidates lost because they ran from the Affordable Care Act, which has insured millions.  They ran from Obama’s policies that brought us out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  Alison Grimes wouldn’t even admit she voted for Obama.  

Why settle for Republican light?  No wonder voters went for the real thing.  As for Mary Landrieu, I’m ok with you losing.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Solitary confinement

In Louisiana in the United States of America we have kept a man in solitary confinement since 1972.  The man is named Albert Woodfox.  He is 67 years old.  For 23 hours a day he sits in a windowless cell.  He eats alone.  He has no access to the prison’s educational activities or religious services.

What is wrong with us?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Mockingjay Part I: Life Imitates Art

Tonight Linda and I saw the latest movie in the Hunger Games series at the Mahoning Theater.  The audience consisted mostly of teenage girls.

The rebels in the movie adopt three-fingered salute, which the government forces declare as subversive.  Anyone who uses the salute is summarily executed.

Now the government of Thailand, a military dictatorship that came to power last May, has announced that anyone using the three-fingered sign could be arrested.  Five students who wore shirts that said “ We don’t want the coup” flashed the sign during a speech by the Prime Minster.  The students were arrested and held for “attitude adjustment.”

Another student was detained for silently reading “1984.”

Where is Katniss when we need her?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Moral Stand at Guantanamo

When a lowly individual defies authority for moral reasons, knowing that he or she will be punished for taking a stand, that person deserves both respect and support.  A 18-year Navy medical officer has refused to force-feed prisoners on a hunger strike at Guantanamo.  

The American Medical Association called force-feeding a violation of “core ethical values of the medical profession.”  The AMA noted that “every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention,” including measures to extend life.

Another word for force-feeding is torture.

The American Nurses Association wrote a letterer to Defense Secretary Hagel asking that no retaliatory action be taken against the Navy nurse.  I personally think the nurse should be given a medal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Contentment Tinged

That’s the title of a poem I’ve had accepted in an online publication entitled “Attune Online Journal.”  Check it out at <http://www.attune-online.com> or Google “Attune Online Journal.”