The Bellews really blew it.

September 21, 2012

To say nothing of the Islamic backlash in response to one of the worst videos I’ve probably ever seen, we have yet another example of religion at its worst and most lethal – this time, in the state of Oregon.  Russell and Brandi Bellew have been sentenced to five years probation for, in essence, killing Brandi’s 16-year-old son with their subscription to a ridiculous theology (redundant!).

So, with their son Austin writhing in pain for days and days from a burst appendix — which they claim (and probably still do) that only prayer and the intercession of some zombie-baby-Jesus-who-is-his-own-son-and-father can cure — they looked on with, no doubt, sadness and despair.   Truly, what parent, unless they are completely socio- or psychopathic, could do otherwise?  When Austin finally dies — to no one’s surprise but his idiot parents — his murderers are given a slap on the wrist by a court that apparently seems unwilling to properly punish these parents, lest the free exercise of religion be infringed upon in some way.

What in the fuck is wrong with this picture?

This is, once again, religion getting a free pass.   If anyone else had done what the Bellews did and at the same time did not cite a divine authority, they would’ve been locked up faster than you can say “cognitive dissonance”.  

But you know, I gotta admit — there is a train of thought that gives me some pause here.  Austin was old enough to drive, which means he probably could’ve driven himself to a hospital.   I wonder — did he have his license, or a car or access to one?  If his parents are this religious he was, no doubt, homeschooled.  So, I wonder if he had any friends that he could’ve asked to help him.  Perhaps Austin isn’t a victim at all.  Perhaps he drank the Kool Aid, too, and was as much to blame in his own death as were his parents who spoon-fed him the idiocy that led him to his tragic end.  And I’m guessing that the “I’ll believe anything” gene runs in the family – his father, Brian Sprout, died of sepsis in 2007 after – yep – he refused medical intervention for an infection.

Well, natural selection works in mysterious ways, I guess.

Well, he’s done itDonald Crabtree has reopened his Grand View Coffee Shop in Vassalboro, Maine, much to the delight of coffee-, freedom- and booby-lovers everywhere.  Granted, his new digs are an office trailer… but who cares? The coffee is flowing, the donuts are glazed, and the women are topless.  Every straight man’s dream, right?

I actually heard a wrinkled, humorless old woman on Wednesday night’s local news say that she thinks Don and his shirtless staff should go “someplace else” like New York or Boston.   Ah, fuck her.  Check out the broadcast here:

http://www.wmtw.com/video/21591387/index.html

While the arsonist who burned down the original shop remains at large (prudish bastard!), it’s heartening to know that Mr. Crabtree is bound and determined to keep plowing ahead.  I say good for him, and good for coffee-, freedom- and booby-lovers everywhere.

I’m sure you’ve seen this bumper sticker:

“SMILE!  YOUR MOTHER CHOSE LIFE!”

I saw it again the other day, on a mini-van which was also sporting one of those “Support Our Troops” ribbon magnets (of course it was!), and it finally hit me why that bumper sticker offends me so.

It’s not just that I can infer that the driver of this van is a pro-life nut, which means they are probably a religious nut (and that all presents a whole slate of issues that I can easily poke through with reason and intellect) –  it’s that the logic of the sticker’s message is entirely flawed.

I understand, emotionally, that this message is supposed to make me feel grateful toward and indebted to my mother for not aborting me when I was in her womb.  I am supposed to think, “Oh yeah, that’s right – if my mother had had an abortion, I wouldn’t have this great life and I wouldn’t get to… etc. etc.”.  The message of the sticker is supposed to elicit a feeling of loss – how I wouldn’t have gotten to experience my life if my mother had chosen differently.

But this, my friends, is entirely my point.

Just think about it intellectually – if you had never been born at all, you wouldn’t have this sense of loss.  You wouldn’t have anything!  No consciousness, no brain, no memories – nothing.  So, you wouldn’t even have any comprehension of what you were missing out on.  So, if your mother hadn’t “chosen life”, you wouldn’t even know the difference!  Death of the ego!  Isn’t that what all the Buddhists are always clamoring about?  Well, there you have it!  Ponder that puzzle for a while!  You didn’t ask to be born (unless you believe the rantings of some of the New Age wackos).  Your mother simply chose to be a mother, for whatever reason – because her religion and/or family demanded it, to keep her man, to have a little baby to love and cuddle, to simply do what her mother did – whatever the reason.  And contrary to the charge delivered by the 5th Commandment, honor and respect of one’s parents should not be automatic, as George Carlin once said – rather, “it should be earned.  It should be based on the parents’ performance.”  Some people, like in Nepal, for instance, sell their daughters into the sex slavery trade of Calcutta’s red-light district.  I’m quite sure these girls are not smiling about the fact that their mothers “chose life” while some guy named Habib is shelling out rupees so he can rape them.

So, lady in the minivan – quite frankly, you can go fuck yourself, because my mother chose to be a mother.  Period.  End of story.  And so here I am, left to sort this all out for myself – as we all are – and ponder the oblivion from which I sprang forth, and which awaits me when my carcass finally gives out.

Bailout rant, part 2

October 7, 2008

OK, OK… so I don’t understand this whole bailout thing academically, so perhaps my criticism of it is unfounded.

However – I think I understand it morally, and it just ain’t sittin’ right with me.

Perhaps I don’t understand what all the ramifications are of the bailout – whether we really need it or not, what would happen without it, etc. etc.  Would there really be another Great Depression?  Would people – heaven forbid  – have to start actually conserving a bit?  As in doing things like combining errands in order to reduce fuel consumption, or turning off the fucking lights when you leave the room, or turning down the thermostat at night, or baking bread from scratch rather than buying it in the store?  (Heh, these are things I’m already doing.  Go figure.)

Or am I being too simplistic here?  Are people losing their shirts and their life savings because of all this mess with the banks?  Did that man in California wipe out his whole family because of economics?  Or did he just have a screw loose in his head?

A part of me wants to see society, as we know it, come to a screeching halt.  I’m not sure why, but I think it’s more just a desire for some general shaking up of things.  Call me crazy, but I think we Americans, as much as we bloggers (and others) like to bitch about our country, we do have it pretty easy.  We’ve got our cable TV and our iPods and our box scores and our porn and our processed foods and we just don’t want to have to sacrifice a damned thing for the next guy.  “Do unto others before they do unto you, but wave the flag and put a magnetic yellow ribbon on your SUV and eat an animal that you shot with your own gun, or I’ll call you a socialist hippie bastard.”

But, Christ – $700,000,000,000 – look at all those zeroes – that’s a whole bunch of money to be tossing around.   OUR money.  Money for which many of us worked our asses off, so that these fat-cat banks can sell off their bad loans to the government.  Too many people are living above their means; they’ve bought into the “American dream of home ownership”, and now they don’t really “have” anything except for a mountain of debt they can never hope to dig themselves out of.  How dreamy is that?

Even though a majority of Americans didn’t want this bailout, here we are, staring down the barrel of 7 tenths of a trillion dollars worth of saving the fat cats from their greed-fueled, dim-witted lending practices. Oh, but the government will swoop down and save us.  That’s what the Democraps all want us to believe, right?  Government will help us (even when we don’t want the help).  And the Repugs, they don’t like all the government interference.  But isn’t it all of their resistance to oversight and rallying for deregulation that got us into this mess?

I need some direction here.  I feel like just saying “fuck it” and moving to Canada.  Hell, I live in Maine, which is so close it should be part of Canada anyhow.  Cessation from the Union, ah, now that’s another can of worms.

A ban on humans!

September 23, 2008

So, everyone’s freaking out about banks collapsing; about taxpayers having to lend out $770 billion to bail out a bunch of really irresponsible people who were living way above their means and couldn’t make their house payments.  And the list of grievances goes on – urban sprawl, unemployment, depletion of natural resources, water and air pollution, food shortages – the world as we know it is going right down the tubes.

“What do we do?”  everyone shouts.

Well, I think the answer is pretty obvious, don’t you?

STOP BREEDING!

Stop having so many babies, you breeders!  Why do you have to have so many children?  Ladies – who cares if your “biological clock is ticking”?  Why do you have to be so selfish about feeling the joy of motherhood?  And guys – can’t you exert a little “self control” during sex, if you catch my drift?

Don’t you parents realize that every baby human that comes into the world is one more human mammal that needs to be fed, clothed, housed, educated, employed, health-insured, entertained, retired, adult-diapered and then finally embalmed, buried and/or cremated?   Think of all the food, water, fossil fuel, and other myriad resources being used by one human being.  Just think of how much one person throws away in the garbage in any given week.  I live in a small town, and yet the amount of garbage I see at my local transfer station is still so shocking to me.

Oh, but somehow, this is all trumped by how cute the little baby is, and her/his little pink/blue outfits, and witnessing those first coos and first words and first footsteps.  Yeah, all at the expense of their future prospects of life on this fragile planet.  Hey, don’t get me wrong – I love kids.   I’ve even WORKED with kids.  Kids are awesome – but let’s use our heads here, people.  We need LESS humans on the planet!  The efforts to teach people about birth control and family planning should be whole-heartedly supported, especially in Third World countries, where, instead, the stranglehold of Christian missionaries and their insidious ideas about sexual morality and being “open to the possibility of a child” every time the natives fuck have driven out every last shred of common sense and hope for pulling these natives out of the clutches of poverty and despair – and despite wild claims to the contrary, the Baby Jesus ain’t gonna feed all them little bastards’ starving mouths once the missionaries have packed up their Bibles and moved back to North Carolina or Utah or whichever red state where they were bred.

So, I say, when your suburban housewife friend proudly announces the conception of her 5th or even 1st or 2nd child, slap her and tell her she’s helping to destroy the very planet she wishes to populate.  How’s that for a conversation stopper at an otherwise boring baby shower?

So, Dubya has less than 200 days left on the job before retreating to his ranch in relative obscurity and looking over his presidential library plans (what on Earth will they circulate – Ranger Rick magazine??).

I haven’t spoken at all, really, in this forum about the upcoming elections, except for my very enthusiastic support of a NOTA option on the ballot.

Wanna know why? Because ever since the 2000 farcical election in which 5 people elected the American president, I’ve become more and more disillusioned with the whole process. I haven’t yet dropped out of voting entirely, but I’m really damned close.

It’s a shame, too – I used to be one of those annoyingly enthusiastic granolas at the polling stations at EVERY election, signing up new voters, getting signatures for various referendum petition drives, and spreading the good, pie-in-the-sky idealistic news about the right to vote, and how every vote matters. I used to get so angry at people for NOT voting. But in 2000, I traded in my Birkenstocks for a firmer middle finger – and, aside from begrudgingly voting every year, only because I haven’t yet had the heart to completely abandon my highest ideals, I’ve barely looked back since.

Yahoo! news reported today about which candidate dog and cat owners prefer. I mean, really. Who gives a shit? If this is the “depth” of MSM coverage of something as important as electing the person who’s finger is on the world’s biggest trigger, then I’m one mouse-click away from saying “fuck the whole process.”

As far as I can tell, Obama and McCain are both snake oil salesmen – Obama’s only more handsome and a better public speaker. These 2 are the best that the corrupt two-party system could summon? (Perhaps I just answered my own question.)

Someone – anyone – please give me one GOOD reason why I should vote at all this year. I eagerly await your responses.

Thanks to Rodney Anonymous for sharing this little nugget.

“Um, uh, um, gays is just wrong.”