Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Finding Peace

I had been thinking of writing this blog even before the shootings that have taken place.  Anger and vengeance are destructive.  Everyone has been faced with an injustice at one point in time, but that doesn't mean that it does any good to lash out and respond with violence.  An eye for an eye may have worked in the Old Testament days, but all it does now is make everyone else blind.

There are many wrongs that are done that aren't crimes.  There are many crimes that are committed that people will get away with.  Ultimately there is only a limited sense of justice in this world.  There is no such thing as closure.  To punish someone else for what you perceive as a wrong done to you, won't restore the way things were before the wrong. 

We have to live in a world full of hate and division, but when we allow anger to overwhelm us in response then no good comes from that.  When I feel anger, I deal with it by either meditating, going for a walk, or by going for a hike.  Anger as I've learned does more harm then good.  Having a vindictive spirit won't make you feel any better about what has been done to you.  Recognize and accept your own powerlessness.   To react in anger is to punish yourself for the wrong that has been done to you.

Everyone does wrong at some point whether it is in their own eyes, the eyes of society, or of another person.  The best that you can do is to avoid anger and to show the world that you can return good for bad.  In other words, do what is right going forward.  In such a way, the world will become a better place for all.

There are many and have been many who have been wrongly accused and sentenced to prison or death.  In reality, two hundred years from now, they will be less than a memory.  For those who lived long ago and suffered, there is no justice.  They have passed already.  When we have passed the same will be true for us.  The only peace you can find in this world is within yourself.  Let go of the past and of  whatever feelings of anger and vengeance you hold, because to hold on to that will keep you from finding peace in this life.

I say these things based on my own experiences and life.  Sometimes, it is all too easy to allow the past to haunt us, to feel the pain of memories of suffering, but to learn to put aside those memories and that anger while easier said than done is the only way to real peace. 

There is prejudice and envy now that is visible, but when you learn to put aside your hate, you will learn to live.  The Black Lives Matter movement isn't saying that only black lives matter, but that they do matter.  There are many who will choose to paint a picture in their own minds of what they stand for, but you don't have to do that.  The officers that passed that dark day in Dallas gave their lives trying to ensure peace.  Do not allow their deaths to be in vain, by reacting in hatred and anger.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sloppy Journalism, Distortions, and Sex Toys

An article posted on the secular humanist site Patheos suggested that Cruz is opposed to masturbation and sex toys, because of a law he defended while Solicitor General for the state of Texas.  The problem is that while his office defended the law as was their obligation, the quote about masturbation that was used in that case was actually a reference from other cases and Cruz wasn't the one that actually argued the case.  The fact that his office defended the law doesn't  mean that it reflects his personal beliefs.  Snopes rated the claims made in the article as mostly false.

I tried to point this out in the comments section of the article and was told that Snopes wasn't referring to the article even though Snopes specifically refers to and quotes from the Patheos article.  As Snopes mentions a Mother Jones article which had misleading statements in it as well.  Other left leaning sites have picked up the ball and ran with it.  If you do a Google search for why did Ted Cruz defend the Texas law regarding sex toys, you can read through what each one says and you'll find that overall most are misleading or haven't pointed out the things that Snopes did.

So why are secular humanists bringing this up?  Let me start off by saying that I'm not religious myself, but I'm not a secular humanist.  Secular humanists tend to have very liberal beliefs and some are very anti religious.  I'm neither.  My assertion is that they are contriving this because they disagree with Ted's politics.  Why they don't just criticize his politics is beyond me.  They tend to think that Republicans and Tea Party supporters are all Christian fundamentalists.  I know plenty of Tea Party supporters who are not religious.   If you look at the bottom of the Patheos article, you will notice that their sources are Mother Jones, Occupy Democrats, and AddictingInfo so it wasn't based on anything objective.  AddictingInfo is very slanted and has a reputation for posting stuff that turns out to either not be true or is not even close to the way they describe it.

They argue that Ted is a Dominionist theocrat because of his association with David Barton and Glen Beck.  Just because those guys support him, doesn't mean he is a Dominionist.  Ted respects the beliefs of Muslims, atheists, etc.  He just doesn't believe that religion should be excluded from the public square.  Even though I'm not religious, I don't have a problem with the Ten Commandments in a court house, a nativity scene on city property, or a prayer at a high school graduation.  Many atheists and humanists do though and much of that stems from an opposition to religion itself.  They can be as dogmatically rigid as some religious people are.  I know, I once was a staunch anti religious atheist and humanist, but I came to view it as both ignorant and dogmatic.  Many countries in Europe have had state sponsored churches for centuries and yet are much more secular.  Mixing religion and government doesn't necessarily mean we would become a Christian version of Iran.  The whole Dominionist thing with regards to Ted sounds more like a wild eyed conspiracy theory.

This video gives a better view of Ted's views on religious liberty: Megyn Kelly asks Ted Cruz about atheists  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why the #CruzSexScandal Doesn't Matter

Even though the National Enquirer article maybe more or less debunked, Cruz's failure to answer a direct question about unfaithfulness in his marriage may indicate that he has been at some point.  To me though it doesn't matter.  Trump has had several affairs.  Kennedy and Clinton had theirs.  Infidelity may matter at a personal level, but at the political not so much.  Does it mean that he is a hypocrite since he is the family values candidate?  Maybe.  He would be if he had directly criticized someone else for infidelity.  Even so, I believe everyone is a hypocrite at some point or as Christians put it using the verse from Romans 3:23: "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."  He obviously isn't open about it like Trump, but that maybe to protect his family and the position his father holds. 

I disagree with Cruz on some subjects like same sex marriage, Obamacare, and his comments regarding patrolling Muslim neighborhoods.  You will almost never find a candidate you agree with completely.  Trump's vulgarity  isn't the problem I have with him.  It's the ignorance he's displayed regarding foreign policy and his socialist positions.  He's called for tariffs on imports and tariffs were a major contributor to the Great Depression.  It is government manipulation of the market and ultimately harms consumers who drive the economy.  He also seemed to have a problem with Scott Walker keeping taxes low in his state.   Cruz  has the better economic plan and has a good understanding of foreign policy.

Four years from now I may not support Cruz.  I'll wait and see.  I am a libertarian at heart when it comes to civil liberties and both he and Trump have authoritarian positions.  If Trump becomes the nominee, I will shift my support to Gary Johnson.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thoughts on Anonymous

I'm not a big fan of Anonymous, but I have some friends who are.  I liked what they did back in the day with the Church of Scientology, but sometimes I disagree with what they involve themselves in.  The Steubenville issue was one.  I don't believe in vigilantism, but it seems to be a growing fad.  The reason I disagree with it is because too often innocent people are swept and condemned as guilty.  In the Steubenville issue, I didn't really know who was guilty of what there, but I felt that should be decided in a court of law.  They are also involving themselves in political issues.  I saw part of one of their videos where they were claiming to represent the people.  They don't represent me.  I represent myself and I don't do so anonymously.  I believe in individualism and not obeying the will of a collective.  That being said they have the right to voice their opinions as much as anyone else.  Other than that though, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about Anonymous.

Losing Faith in Humanity

I swear I should stop looking at Twitter.  I keep seeing stuff that has been debunked regarding the "Cruz Sex Scandal."  People are calling Amanda Carpenter names like "husband stealing witch" even though everything they've put out about her has been debunked.  It's like trying to explain a spherical earth to a member of the Flat Earth Society.  Some of these people are conspiracy theorists who post the stuff that's been trotted for years about the Council on Foreign Relations and the "New World Order."  I guess some people believe everything they read at least if it confirms their point of view.  I really think we should send them all on a one way ticket to Mars.  When I would debunk some of this, you would think they would look at the fact that so much of it has turned out to be fake and go wait a second maybe Ted is telling the truth, but no.  I almost think it's pointless.  People will believe what they want to believe.

Friday, March 25, 2016


Let me start off by saying I'm a supporter of Ted Cruz so I do have a bias, but if I could find verifiable evidence to back the claims made by the National Enquirer, then I wouldn't defend him.  I've been able to debunk some things the Enquirer and others are pointing to.  Let's start with the matching tattoos that have been suggested as evidence of an affair between him and Amanda Carpenter.  On April 1st, 2014 Ted appeared on Fox with a temporary tattoo on his arm of Winston Churchill.  The same day Amanda Carpenter posts a picture on her twitter account where she got the same tattoo.  If you do an advanced search of her posts on Twitter for that day, the reason becomes clearer: 
    Had to!
  1. We have staffers w/ Churchill (fake) tattoos on their faces today. I love our office.
  2. CHURCHILL! RT : Did ... Did Ted Cruz just show a fake tattoo of FDR on his arm during an appearance on Fox?

    As you can see it appears to be a much more innocent explanation.  Yet someone named Bill Still used it as evidence of the affair:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dB3VXwD6X0&feature=youtu.be 

    I don't consider the National Enquirer a reliable source and so far at least two of the women, Amanda Carpenter and Katrina Pierson are both denying it.  Katrina by the way is Trump's spokesperson.  None of the women have confirmed it outside of the Enquirer.

    Another thing that is pointed to as evidence is a $500,000 donation that was made to Carly Fiorina's campaign by the Keep the Promise Superpac which backs Cruz.  When it is brought up those saying the affairs are true don't say it was the Superpac, but Ted that made the donation   The reason being is that they feel it was hush money for a woman who worked on the Fiorina campaign and is one of the women the Enquirer implicates.  This is what Keep the Promise had to say about the donation: "
     "Keep the Promise I made the donation in June to Ms. Fiorina at that time because we thought she had important things to say that weren't being heard, including her poignant and effective criticism of Mrs. Clinton, at the time, the likely Democratic nominee," Kellyanne Conway, president of Keep the Promise I told CBS News in an email."  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-did-ted-cruzs-pac-give-half-a-million-to-carly-fiorinas/

    Realistically at the time it was felt that Trump was the threat and Carly wasn't viewed as a viable candidate so it was more of a case of helping someone who was opposed to the same enemy as you.

    Someone then stated that Amanda Carpenter's sister in law was interviewed and confirmed the affair.  It's posted in an article by someone who goes by Enforcer for Trump:  https://medium.com/@Blackppl4Trump/l-affaire-of-ted-cruz-c1818b9db18f#.dxk7k1bn6

    Curiously Bill Still in the video earlier mentioned stated it was Carpenter's brother that was interviewed.  The same words are used in both cases so I doubt any such interview happened.   

    It's also been stated that there is a video of Cruz leaving a hotel and restaurant with a woman on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Apparently Breitbart saw the video and thought it was weak.  Other news organizations passed on it as well.  Maybe they were just going to a restaurant in a hotel or were using the conference room, who knows, but until we can see the video it's hard to judge.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/25/ted-cruz-affair-rumors-peddled-by-marco-rubio-s-allies.html 

    Then there's this which is being promoted but has no verifiable evidence to back it up at least not till they post the video: https://avengersocial.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/interview-with-a-candy-wrapper-the-lollipop-edition/
    Anybody can make up a story like that, but we'll see if they ever provide evidence. 

    One person on Twitter who claimed to be a columnist for the Washington Times stated he had confirmed that the story for two of the women were accurate.  I asked how he knew they were accurate and didn't get a response.  The Washington Times stated he was not a columnist for them and was a former employee who submitted articles to their communities portal as a citizen journalist.  They ended their relationship with him.

    Ted is someone who has a religious family values theme and some are jumping on this to say ha ha hypocrite!  Those who defend Ted are said to be in denial.  They should wait till more facts are in.  Right now the Enquirer's story is looking less than credible.