Monday, 4 November 2013

If you consider your self religious then please learn about your religion and where it came from!

  Does the average Christian out there find it embarrassing that the average atheist knows more about the Christian religion then most Christians do?  Christians shouldn't feel alone though.  Atheist on average know more about all religions then any other group based on belief.  Mormons and evangelicals can feel good that they know slightly more about the bible and Christianity then the average atheist but not much.
  This quick rant was triggered by reading a bunch of ignorant Christians bitch about how they would not thank Allah because Allah is a false god or something similar.  Allah is the same God as Yahweh and Jehovah.  All three religions are Abrahamic religions.  They all have the same roots.  They all worship the same "God".  Sure there are differences in the religions but that doesn't change the fact that you worship the same "God".  Within Christianity there are over 40,000 different denominations and some very radical differences between them too.  There is a joke about how there are as many different denominations of Christianity as there are Christians.
  So please before you bag another religion actually learn about it and while you are at it learn about your own religion at the same time.  If you just want to believe as you do now without learning more then keep you mouth shut about other religions.  In fact take some advice from Saint Augustine.
"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion."
In short if you don't know about a topic keep your mouth closed in discussions about that topic in relationship to your religious beliefs.  Because you just weaken your religious position in the eyes of others.  Why should I give any credit to your religious beliefs if you make stupid statements trying to defend your religion that are easily shown to be false?

Friday, 1 November 2013

US terrorism on foreigners. When will America stop killings innocent people? Warning Graphic Pictures!

  Just one year ago on Oct 24, 2012,  Momina Bibi, a grandmother, was out picking okra with some of her grand children.  She paid for that with her life.  Her grandchildren eye witnesses to her execution.

  The people live in constant fear of US controlled drones.  But life must go on.  They hear the drones every day, 24 hours a day.  They must still tend the fields for the food.  They must still carry about their day.  Sure, this family had never been hit by a drone strike before but it wasn't uncommon for innocent people to be killed by drones.

   The number of people killed by US drone strikes isn't easy to pin down but the best estimates range from 2,526 to 3,621.  Of which between 416 and 948 innocent civilians have been killed, depending on how you classify some of the young men aged and boys.  What is clear is that over 150 children have been killed by US controlled drone strikes.

  On Oct 24 Zubair Rehman, the 13 year old grandson of Momina, watched his grandmother literally get blown to piece.  Along with loosing his grandmother Zubair received shrapnel to his leg and had to undergo expensive surgery.  Surgery that you might think the USA paid for because they mistakenly bombed and innocent family, wounding a few children and killing a 67 year old grandmother.  But you would be wrong.  The USA government's position on this attack is vague.  They will not release any information about it.  They tried to claim 4 militants were killed in the attack but Momina was the only fatality.  When further questioned Caitlin Hayden, from the NSC, called the strike "Precise, lawful, and effective."  WTF?  Precise? Yea you blew a 67 year old lady picking Okra in a field from a drone flying high over head.  I guess that is "precise".  Lawful?  You have to be a huge scum bag of a lawyer to call killing a 67 year old grand mother "lawful".  Effective?  You have to be a huge fucking idiot to call it effective unless being a terrorist is your goal.  Because these innocent families live in constant fear.

  The kids no longer want to go to school and they come from a long line of educators.  Zubair's father is a teacher.  Zubair's grandfather, Momina's husband, is a teacher and he said "I wish God would just take my life, I can't live without her".  Zubair testified "All of a sudden things became very dark.  It was like she was exploded to pieces.". The kids don't like it when the skies are clear because that is when the drones are used the most. They live in fear because the US drones that circle over head.  They live in fear because the USA is terrorizing them. It is as plain and simple as that.

  So not only are they terrorized by the USA but the government won't even explain why the mistake happened or even acknowledge a mistake was made.  They call it "collateral damage".  The issue is the American public don't want to know about the problem.  For fuck sake the politicians don't want to know about the problem either.  Only 5 members of Congress listened to these families, and there was more then just this one family, at the briefing.  Rep Alan Grayson from Florida, Rep Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, Rep Rush Holt from New Jersey, Rep John Conyers from Michigan, and Rep Rick Nolan from Minnesota.  Why?  Because most American's don't know, or don't care, about the damage the US drone program causes.  The people killed, even if innocent, are non-people.  They aren't as important as you, your brother, your mother, your friend, your neighbor or even some guy in the next town over that you've never even met before.  The less you think about the victims of US military actions the better is the position of most Americans.  I can say that because the evidence shows it to be true.  If American's cared that we, as a nation, are responsible for hundreds and even thousands of children loosing their lives from US military actions then our politicians would know it.  They'd care because you care.  They'd know you cared because you would let them know you care.  Every time another one of these reports surfaced you'd contact your representative.  You call your senator.  You'd petition the White House to stop the terrorism perpetrated by the USA via our military and civilian combat programs.

  In the past war was out of sight but US casualties kept it in our minds.  The knock on the door of 2 men in uniform to tell the family that their son has died.  If you didn't get the knock yourself you probably knew someone that did.  So while the images of war wasn't there we had a sense that there is a price to military action taken on by the USA.  In Vietnam we got exposed to not only those knocks but we also had a lot more understanding what was going on via returning vets and journalists.  Pictures that are now timeless that show not only the ugly face of war but let the people know that the USA isn't always the good guy.

  The young people today might not really understand the image above.  Sure the kids look scared but so what?!  Well lets look at Kim Phuc, the little naked girl there today.  She was a victim of a US Napalm attack.  For those of you that don't know it is a disgusting incendiary weapon that was designed to stick to flesh as it burned.  Think of it as hand sanitizing gell that is a LOT more flammable and a lot stickier.  Back then, in 1972, using it on civilians wasn't "illegal".  The UN didn't declare it a war crime until 8 years later.  Unfortunately that didn't help Kim.  Napalm burns at temperatures of 800-1200 Celsius.  For those that are metric impaired that is 1,500-2,200 Fahrenheit or 8-12 times hotter then boiling water.  The problem is that the drones are today's Napalm.  The government calls them lawful and effective but ignore the children and innocent people that are killed by them.  Kim is actually lucky.  She survived.  She lived through the pain of almost being burned to death.  Zubair survived.  He lived through the drone attack that killed his grandmother, wounded him, his sister and a few of his cousins.

  The issue now is that journalists in the USA refuse to publish images that the American people NEED to see.  Images that should outrage all American's.  Images that should stir you to act.  To contact your politicians.  To stop the USA's terrorism program.  We as a nation can not hold the moral high ground and complain when some "evil dictator" kills a few kids when our nation has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of children in Afghanistan alone.  We can not complain about Assad killing a few hundred kids with chemical weapons if we, as a nation, allowed our government to kill hundreds of innocent children with unmanned aerial vehicles.  Just because we are using weapons that have yet to be declared as a war crime if used against civilians doesn't give us the moral high ground over some dictator killing children with chemical weapons.  A dead child is a dead child.  The method of killing them isn't what should outrage you it is their death in the first place that should make you scream.

You should look at these and jump into action.  Remember when the Boston marathon bombing happened?  How outraged where you?  Sure the journalist showed the images over and over but those are images of American's being terrorized, injured and killed.  What about these kids?  Where is your outrage for them?  Where is your posts on Facebook showing support for their families?  Where is your insistence that those responsible for their deaths are brought to justice.  Sadly those you have elected are often the closest you'll get to seeing who is directly responsible.  Look in a mirror and you'll probably see someone that is indirectly responsible.  Someone who, through inaction, allows this to happen.

  The dynamic has changed though.  We no longer have lots of knocking on doors.  Most of you may not know someone that has either died or lost a love one to the current military conflicts going on.  The US "news" outlets seem to weak to expose the public to the ugly side of war.  To many people would look away in disgust.  To many people would call the journalist unpatriotic.  Both these types people disgust me in one way or another.  Every adult should have some understanding of the cost of war.  Right now to many American's call others terrorists because they strap a bomb to themselves and kill themselves and others in an attempt to change things.  But when American's pay lots of money to have foreigners killed without getting their hands dirty at all it they think it is right and just.  It isn't because the policies that control these strikes are flawed.  The people executing these strikes are flawed.  The intelligence gathered that these strikes are based on are flawed and to many innocent people are getting killed.  If you have a program where you know at least 25% of the people you kill are not guilty then there is a major fucking problem. If you don't do anything to stop this program then you are part of the problem.

  Right now the majority of American's support the drone program.  But how many people support the use of a strategy that kills the wrong target at least 25% of the time?  Who supports a program where over 5% of the people killed are innocent children?  Who in their right mind thinks this is "lawful and effective".

  If that all doesn't stir you then think of it this way.  The "interpretation" of the laws that is being used right in the US drone program allows the government to execute you, with out any trial or even oversight from any judge if you are overseas.  There is even grey areas about there use on, or rather above, American soil.

  Take back control of your government.  Let them know you aren't going to let them do what ever they want any more. That it isn't in the best interest of the USA and it's citizens to be terrorizing people half way around the world just because we have more expensive military toys.