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Thursday, September 3, 2015

A non-believers view of religion


Most of these are Meriam Webster definitions. A couple of definitions are also provided by Wikipedia.

Atheist--one who believes that there is no deity

Agnostic--a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not

Gnosticism ("having knowledge"), is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the Demiurge– which they viewed as created by – and embraced the spiritual world. (Wikipedia)

Fundamentalism--a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as to Christian life and teaching

Evangelical--of or relating to a Christian sect or group that stresses the authority of the Bible, the importance of believing that Jesus Christ saved you personally from sin or hell, and the preaching of these beliefs to other people.


Deism--a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe .

Theism--belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically a belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world.

Spirituality--most any kind of meaningful activity. It is often separated from organized religious institutions, as in the phrase "spiritual but not religious". Traditionally, spirituality refers to a process of re-formation of the personality live a life according to divine will, but there is no single, agreed-upon definition of spirituality.

Many people think atheists and agnostics are different. Actually, most atheists are agnostic. Richard Dawkins has even said it would be fine with him if god did exist. Most atheists like Richard Dawkins do not have any special knowledge about the existence of non-existence of god. Therefore, most atheists are, in fact, agnostic They just do not know.

An agnostic, therefore, is someone who lacks special knowledge about something like God or religion. On the other hand, a gnostic atheist would be positive that god doesn't exist. Few atheists take this position. Most view god as irrelevant or that people are adamant about gods' existence need to prove it. 


Fundamentalists and Evangelicals are gnostic. There is no doubt in their minds about the existence of god. Many also think the US is a Christian nation and accordantly Americans should be following god's law, whatever that might be. For example, Kim Davis, the Rowan county Kentucky clerk, thinks she is denying marriage licenses to gay couples under the authority of God.

When the nation was founded, many of the founders were deist. They believed in god , but not organized region. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and John Adams were deists.

Franklin may have even been an atheist: One of his famous quotes: 

Light houses are more useful than churches. 


Theists, on the other hand, participate in organized religion. It would be safe to say that most evangelicals and fundamentalists are gnostic theists. They believe god needs to be worshipped in the context of an institution or ritual. 

There is an example of theism in Judaism. Orthodox Jews say the Temple of Solomon needs be rebuilt on the Temple Mount because it is the only place that God can reside on earth. This is considered the holiest place in Judaism,

Of course the Al Aqsa Mosque would have to be destroyed to rebuild the temple. 


There are also people into spirituality who do not show any interest in organized religion, but believe something is out there. People who are into spirituality appear to be the modern version of deists. 

In summary, most atheists are agnostic. And most fundamentalists and evangelicals are gnostic theists. People into spirituality are, for all intents and purposes, deists.


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Monday, August 24, 2015

The outcome of living in a Red State or a Blue State



In the early days of the industrial revolution, capitalism had two classes: the capitalistic class and the working class. The capitalists wore tops hats and suits and the workers--work clothes. This was the case in the US after the Civil war and until the height of the Progressive movement.

Workers worked 60 hours a week under oppressive conditions. There were no benefits, and safety in the work place was non-existent. Child labor was common. Many of the industrial management practices in the US were based on techniques used during slavery in the antebellum South

It wasn't until the Progressive movement which broke up trusts, the rise of labor unions and the New Deal that a vibrant middle class developed in the US.

It seems the entire objective of Red State conservatism and,in particular, libertarianism, is to return the US to a two class system. Conservatives have achieved this to a certain degree already. The middle class has been declining since the Reagan era and class mobility in the US is the most stagnant of the industrial nations. Even billionaires are concerned about lack of social mobility in the US.

In the past, a college education was a ticket out of the working class, but college expenses have risen as fast as medical care and many young people do not wanted to be saddled with lifelong student debt. Extending public education two more years may provide a partial solution to the conundrum millennials are now in.

Student debt and working wages are the main reason millennial couples cannot afford to purchase a house. Blackstone, the hedge fund has been buying up houses in the $100-$150K range because it suggests “renting is the new American dream.”

Conservatives say the nation will be better off with more privatization and less regulation. They support right to work laws and want to raise the retirement age for Social Security, which will be raised to 67 shortly, and to privatize Medicare and Veterans Affairs. Conservatives also strongly resisted the Affordable Care Act which has reduced the number of medically uninsured to below 10 per cent in the US for the first time.

Red Staters can waive their Confederate flags, picket planned parenthood clinics and yell about State's Rights, but it is clear the Red States lag behind the Blue in many areas: lower literacy rates and higher drop out rates, more STDs and teen pregnancy, lower wages and more poverty. Most of the federal welfare disbursements in the US go to the Red States. 


In the end the Blue States with more liberal polices win. Many of the people who live in the Red States will be lucky to make it to 74. Most of the people in the Blue States live past 80 years of age.

sources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/social-mobility-is-a-myth-in-the-us-2013-3?op=1
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/06/14/credit-dotcom-renting-american-dream/71053284/


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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Official Donald Trump press release on the Mile High Club




Eric Elder's photo.

Today another item was added to my impressive resume. My wife, Melanoma, and I have been officially certified as members of the Mile High Club for another year.

My wife, who will bring grace and dignity back to the White House, has been participating in this organization for decades. We both look forward to continued membership for years to come.








The Donald
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Just what America needs, Melania Trump, the First HOTUS.

Melania Knauss-Trump was born Melanija Knavs, Her name was Gormandize to Melania Knauss after she arrived in the US.


She is a former model, a jewellery designer, and the wife of American billionaire Donald Trump.

She married Donald  Trump  in 2005 in a an Episcopal church. Melania was born in Slovenia, a nation that had been part of Yugoslavia. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2006.

It is hypocritical that Donald Trump is married to a recent immigrant from Europe , yet he wants to build a $2 billion dollar wall between Mexico and the US to keep Central American immigrants out.

Donald Trump recently said:

When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best,” They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting.

People from 75 nations have been apprehended at the border and most are form Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, not Mexico.

If  The Donald was somehow to become president, Melania Trump would be the first immigrant First Lady (FLOTUS).

Judging by the pictures, the First HOTUS might be a more apt description. 






sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melania_Trump
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/immigration/item/18857-immigrants-from-over-75-countries-illegally-crossing-us-border

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_laws_concerning_immigration_and_naturalization_in_the_United_States

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/20/politics/obama-immigration-bush/index.html
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rand Paul may be inelgible to be president




Rightardia recently discovered that Rand Paul is not fully human. He is part hobbit and part human, a rare hybrid that Hobbits call halflings.

Lat month Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mocked members of the conservative grassroots movement as “Tea-Party hobbits.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) responded: 

I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll.

This exactly what a hobbit would say because hobbits and trolls are mortal enemies.

Rightardia used the Hobbit name generator to reveal Rand Paul's real name. It is


Marroc “Panky“ Sandydowns


Paul's hobbit friends referred to him as Panky because he was always involved on some sort of hanky panky in the Middle Earth.

In fact, one of his biggest pranks was his religious “Aqua Buddha“ movement. He even kidnapped a female hobbit and tried to convert her to Aqua Buddhism.

Can Rand Paul run for president since he was not even born in country like Kenya? Since he was born in the Middle Earth, legal scholars say he will not have “birthright citizenship” under the 14th amendment and public law (8 U.S.C. § 1401). 



Rand Paul needs to produce his birth certificate before his candidacy goes any further.

Paul even got a Middle Earth endorsement form Smaug, Smaug is the evil dragon from The Hobbit. 
Smaug appeared on The Colbert Report, displaying a broad range of conservative views. The Dragon stated America should go back to the gold standard, a view he shares with Rand Paul.
Smaug also an advocate of Florida’s controversial stand-your-ground law, citing his experience with the thief, Bilbo Baggins.

How would you feel is someone wearing a hoodie broke into your cave?

The Dragon noted Rand Pails short stature (5'8“) is tall for a hobbit. But his pubescent face and pubic head of hair are classic hobbit good looks.

sources:


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Monday, August 10, 2015

Trump tries to make peace with other debate candidates


To make peace with the other candidates, Donald Trump bought the other candidates early holiday gifts.

The Donald started off his shopping spree by buying himself several selfie stick he said he would need when he became president.

He bought the other candidates talking Donald Trump piñatas. Every time you hit the piñata, it says something different. Some of the phases:

“When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.”

"There are many, many people, tremendous numbers of people that are not satisfied [with President Obama's birth certificate]."

"I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created."

"If I were running 'The View,' I'd fire Rosie [O'Donnell]. I mean, I'd look her right in that fat, ugly face of hers, I'd say, "Rosie, you're fired."

"I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I'll have Mexico pay for that wall."
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever”

When I was attacked viciously by those women, of course, it's very hard for them to attack me on looks, because I'm so good looking,"


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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Opinion: Do you want a school yard bully in the bully pulpit?

Donald Trump is well-known for being an eccentric blow hard. He is a successful real estate developer, but hardly the most successful in NYC. The Durst organization, for example, is several times larger.

Trump pledged to Republicans in the first GOP debate Thursday night that he would run third party of he doesn't get the nomination.

He also mishandled Megyn Kelly's question about derogatory comments Trump has made about women. Trump knew the question was coming and fumbled it. He deflected the "fat pig" quote  with a one liner about Rosie O'Donnel,

He could have responded to the other inappropriate comments he's made about women with an apology, but that not "The Donald's style.

Donald Trump is a good example of what Lawrence Kohberg would describe as pre-conventional.  Looks at Trumps' comment his refusal to pledge to support the GOP nominee:

“Why should I give up that leverage? If they don’t treat me well, you know, you’re talking about the establishment Republicans. If they don’t treat me well Sean, why should I make that pledge?

This is an example of what  Lawrence Kohlberg would call pre-conventiaonl thinking. In other words, you rub my back and I rub yours. This is tit for tat thinking or what attorneys call quid pro quo.

Wikipedia described it this way:

The pre-conventional level of moral reasoning is especially common in children, although adults can also exhibit this level of reasoning. Reasoners at this level judge the morality of an action by its direct consequences. The pre-conventional . . . is solely concerned with the self in an egocentric manner. A child with pre-conventional morality has not yet adopted or internalized society's conventions regarding what is right or wrong, but instead focuses largely on external consequences that certain actions may bring.

Pre-conventionals  think right action consists of what instrumentally satisfies one's own needs. Vengeance is considered a moral duty. People are valued in terms of their utility. It's "An eye for an eye" philosophy. Kohlberg referred to such people as instrumental egoists.

Here is another example. Trump explains his donations to the Clintons. Trump invites them to come to his wedding as a joke, 

“they (the Clintons) did come to the wedding, but they came because I’m a donor. If I wanted something, I’ve never wanted anything, but if I wanted something — and I’ve contributed.  

Here is a third example of pre-conventional thinking:

"Honestly, Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry. I've been very nice to you, although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn't do that."

Pre-conventional thinkers use prid quo pro thinking. You do something for me and I do something for you, Kohlberg called this simple reciprocity. 

The Donald could have retained low tones after the debate, but he called Megyn Kelly a "bimbo and a lightweight. Trump also said her questions were very unfair. He added injury to insult by saying on CNN:

You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.


Trump later slammed Erick Erickson of the RedState Gathering for disinviting him. The event features GOP presidential hopefuls this weekend in Atlanta. Trump was scheduled to give the keynote speech Saturday night.

As for Erickson -- who is also a Fox News contributor -- Trump called him a "total loser" who "has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event."

This is a typical pre-conventioanl repsonse. 

When Erickson told the gathering Saturday morning that Trump would not be attending, the news was greeted with a mix of applause and boos.

Folks, I've given Donald Trump a lot of latitude because he's not a professional politician. He's been a very blunt talker. I've said some dumb things in my life, then I've apologized for them,

Erickson continued. "I've got my wife here, I've got my daughter here, I've got 800 friends of mine here. It's a family-friendly program, and if he's not going to clarify that this isn't what he meant, I don't think I want him at my event."



Does Trump have a problem with women?  Penny Young Nance, the CEO and president of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, told CNN that Trump's "tantrum was even more enlightening than his original remarks she questioned."
  
Every presidential election since 1964 has been carried by women. Women don't like mean and we certainly won't vote for men or women we don't trust. Trump's biggest woman problem is how does he convince women to trust him. . . 

Trump does have a problem with women, who are 53 per cent of the electorate. In Trumps' first divorce, his wife refused to have sexual relations with him for 16 months and it was alleged in the divorce proceedings that Trump raped her while pulling out her hair, Later Ivana said the rape "was not in the criminal sense. 

Give thanks to Megyn Kelly for outing a man who is unfit to be president.  We don't need a bully in the bully pulpit. We do not need to a President who makes rash decisions because he is offended by someone or something in the international community. 

source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/27/ex-wife-donald-trump-made-feel-violated-during-sex.html

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

You have physcian options with Veteran Affairs (VA).

When you get a medical appointment with the VA, you go to a VA Medical Center (VAMC) or a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) or clinic.

You may be seen by a physician, a physician assistant (PA) or  a nurse practitioner (NP). All three are collectively referred to as clinicians.

Suppose you get a bad clinician. I hear about complaints about "doctors" all he time on the Internet. Of course, the bad doctor may a PA or an NP because the VA has a huge shortage of physicians. In fact, VA secretary, Bob McDonald, wants to hire 28,000 for physicians.

Bad doctors are not unique to the VA. In the past 7 years, I changed private practice endocrinologists twice and neurologists once. You can often go on the Internet to find information on physicians, PAs and NPs.  You can also subscribe to Angie's List and pay an extra fee to get patient ratings of people and institutions in the medical community.

If you get a bad  VA clinician , what can to do? You can contact the Patient's Advocate office and ask for a new physician. Make it clear you want a physician, and not a PA or NP.

If the second physician is also problematic, then go back to Patient Advocates Office and file another complaint.

This time a patient affairs is supposed to assign a private practice physician to provide medical care.

Hopefully your third attempt for medical care will be successful.

By the way, the CBOCs or clinics often have many of the functions that a VAMC has. For example. the Palm Harbor CBOC has both Patient Advocate and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) offices.






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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Be careful when buying an older home




Older homes can offer a lot of amenities such as established yard, better bones (construction) and architectural details that you will no longer find in more contemporary homes. However, these homes can also have many hidden problems.

Some of the key problems

1.leaky basements which are generally not a problem in Florida because few homes have basements.
2. crumbling foundations. An expensive proposition to fix.
3. ancient galvanized plumbing, cast iron interior sewage pipes and ceramic sewage pipes in your yard will have to be replaced.
4. lead paint in both interior and exterior walls.
5. knob and tube electrical. If you have to make any changes to the electrical system your home, all of the knob and tube wiring will have to be removed and replaced. Another expensive proposition. Your fuse box will have to replaced with a breaker box, too.
6. Asbestos in insulation, roofing tiles, siding, and floor tiles. A special abatement team will have to come into your home to remove any asbestos.
7. Termites. Subterranean are easy to control but dry wood termites require the home be tented and fumigated with poison gas. Fortunately, this is the seller's responsibility.

Basement problems can easily cost $30K or more to fix. Sometimes French drains and sump pumps will do the job. In other cases basement walls that have shifted may have to be reinforced with steel beams. Basement renovations(reno) can also be expensive because the furnace and water lines have to be moved as well as as sewage lines and the ventilation system for heating and cooling. In general, trying to add usable living space in the basement of an older home is a bad idea.
Foundation problems can also be a huge problem in older homes. Carry some marbles and drop them on floors to see how true they are. Check the foundation, walls and ceiling for large cracks.. Sometimes cracks in flooring will only be apparent when the carpet is pulled up.

In the case of a wood frame house, the home may have to be jacked up to replace rotting foundation timbers.

Older homes use galvanized plumbing and cast iron interior sewage pipes. All will probably have to be replaced in an aged home. The ceramic pipes exiting the home will cost $2 thousand or more to replace. Tree roots penetrate these sewage pipes over time.

Older homes built between the 1860s and 1940s used knob and tube wiring. This is a two wire system with no ground wire. It uses insulators in the walls and ceramic tubes as insulators when wires have to be pulled through studs.

One of shows on HGTV had a house built in the 1950s that had knob and tube wiring. Knob and tube is safe as long as you don't need to upgrade electrical service in you home.

If you need to upgrade your home's electrical service, your home will have to be completely rewired. The old fuse box will have to be replaced with an upgraded circuit breaker box with more capacity.

In a worse case scenario, all of the interior plaster in your home might have to be removed to upgrade the plumbing, sewage and electrical lines. The plaster will be replaced with dry wall.

Lead paint has been banned from household paints in the United States since 1978. Have your house checked for lead before you buy. ,

Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may also have asbestos as insulation. Asbestos was used in textured paint and in patching compounds used on both wall and ceiling joints until 1977.

Get an older home thoroughly checked out. The plumbing, sewage pipes and electrical must be in working order. Make sure the electrical and water is on for the inspector.

Find out what the local code requirements are for knob and tube wiring. The inspector should be able to test for lead paint, but probably not identify any interior asbestos issues.
Asbestos might be discovered during a major reno in a kitchen when a wall is opened up.

It's best not to open a wall in an older home unless necessary Likewise, think twice about expanding living areas into basements. Basements can eat up most of the reno budget, Get the kitchen and bathrooms and living areas updated before you tackle a basement.

One other tip: finance through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Veterans Administration (VA) if you can. The government has more stringent requirements for underwriting a home than a conventional lender.

For example, The roof under FHA guidelines should have a remaining physical life of at least two years. VA inspectors will also check for lead paint.
sources:




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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Most Rightardia political posts have been moved to Facebook.

Rightardia moved most of the political articles to FB many years ago. 

The Facebook page is at

https://www.facebook.com/rightardia


Send a friend request if you want to see the private page.


The change was necessary for troll control.

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