Dave Comes Out of the Closet

I realize that I have offended many people with my opinions, and that was never my intention. I was just trying to explain what I think. At the time I wrote it.

I reserve the right to change my mind. I’m not trying to change anyone else’s mind. Although I do encourage them to examine their opinions carefully. As in:

>>>>>>>
Cherish Your Doubts – Robert T. Weston

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth.

Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.

A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error,

for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.

Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.

Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it;

for doubt is a testing of belief.

The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;

For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.

He that would silence doubt is filled with fear;

the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands.

But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock.

He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;

the work of his hands shall endure.

Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:

It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.

Responsive Reading 413 from Hymns for the Celebration of Live – Beacon Press
>>>>>>>>

If you’re not known for looking at facts and changing your mind, then you can probably save a lot of time if you stop reading right here. Just go do something you enjoy. No need to look around for your thinking cap. So much simpler.

It probably has something to do with being an engineer, but I’ve always hated dogma. Which I’d define as mindless adherence to something they were told.

This causes me to get sideways on a regular basis with some religious people. So I try not to waive it around. Which is absolutely NOT a sign that I am in the very least bit embarrassed about that particular aspect of my mind. It is only because I try not to offend people if I can avoid it. And I’ve discovered that they don’t usually change their mind anyway. So no point in upsetting anybody.

The reason for this Blog page, is that I recently posted the following on FaceBook:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I do not think that homosexuality is a sin. I do not think that it is a choice. I do think that about 10% of the World has it.

I do think that to financially punish that 10% by not allowing them to marry, is wrong.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/judge-says-everything-you-want-say-anti-gay-marriage-crowd-just-smarter-and-more-sass

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And one of the replies was from a good friend who suggests:

“Read Romans verses 1-26…..homosexuals should be persecuted……”

By far the simplest reaction would be to just agree that we disagree. And I certainly value this person as a friend and do not want to endanger that friendship.

However, many years ago someone spouted a lot of Biblical quotes, and so I looked into it a little bit more. I strongly encourage everyone else to do the same, whichever side they are on.

Whatever your religious persuasion or lack of it, I assume that you will agree that the Bible is a wonderful book for extracting sound bites, to support or condemn pretty much anything you can imagine. Much like, we can now find web pages to tell us anything that we want to hear.

Only because it was the first link that came up, I will use http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Popular-Bible-Verses.php

The assumption would be that all versions of the bible say the same thing, which actually they don’t. But this should be adequate.

Romans
(26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

“homosexuals should be persecuted” seems to be missing. Strangely, when I read the entire text of Romans chapter one and chapter two, it seems clear to me that in line 26, that Paul is saying that God changed them into men that lusted for men, because they had moved away from God. I don’t see anything in Romans about persecuting them for something that God did to them. Homosexuality WAS the punishment, not the crime. Perhaps as a way to reduce their numbers.

I think it is also important to notice that for all the hoopla, homosexuals are only mention six or at the most eight places in the bible, depending on how you count.

And, rather than quote them all myself I will refer you to the following link. Where they mention the many places in the bible that explain that, touching pigskin is just as bad as homosexuality. American football players may be bothered by that. But being a gay basher is probably safer than being a basher of American football players. Those guys tend to be rather large and well muscled. And some of them are taking illegal drugs that make them pretty touchy to be around.

Wearing clothing of mixed fibers is also just as bad as homosexuality. That would be someone that does not wear pure ALL cotton, or pure silk, or pure linen, etc. There are also instructions on how to sell your daughters into slavery.

Personally I think that the group that these were written for, was a small group who needed to increase its population in order to better survive, in a very large world that did not like that small group. Sexual activity that did not create children, would be counterproductive to that goal. But here is the link and some others that follow:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/drlaura.asp Please read the whole post there.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-lose/what-does-the-bible-reall_b_990444.html

http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2013/02/13/on-homosexuality-many-christians-get-the-bible-wrong/15775

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3205727.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT-affirming_Christian_denominations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT-affirming_denominations_in_Judaism

But, this is ONLY to explain MY view. Not to change yours.

BTW, Dave is definitely not a homosexual.  And I can prove it.  Over the years I’ve seen many photos of extremely healthy men, wearing little or no clothing.  I’m a marvel at how did they get that body.  I wish my abdomen looked like that.  But for me they are about as arousing as a photograph of Mount Fujiyama.

However, similar photographs of very healthy females, have a very different effect on me. 

And when we were in French Polynesia, I went to the International Dance Competition, where there were, during the course of the evening, hundreds of healthy young men and healthy young women, in excellent physical condition, and very skilled at that form of dance.  As is the custom, they wore clothing but not much of it.  Personally I found the men almost comical.  I’ve never understood the appeal of the traditional moves that they make.  But on the other hand that maybe because I could not take my eyes off the young ladies.  They had my full attention.

Strictly because I was appreciating their artistic skills.

Just in case you’re wondering.

PS: to the best of my knowledge about 10% of the population is homosexual. About 11% is Left Handed. Left handed people are mentioned FAR more in the Bible, in a negative way. Christians and many groups used to kill them.

I also disagree with killing left handed people or inconveniencing them in any way. See also:

http://www.csun.edu/~djo41504/left.html

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Good news/Bad news

Now, the bad news is, that this post is about death. Few want to talk about that or even hear the word. And pretty much nobody wants to be are reminded that that is coming.

However, that’s not a choice you have to make. It’s coming.

The good news is that if you do just a little homework, you can make it almost guaranteed to turn out the way you want it to.

The choice you have is how painful it will be for you and your family. The choice you have is, ‘Will your wishes be a respected or not.’ The choice you have is will it be mediaeval torture, financial ruin for your extended family, or something that everyone understands, and goes especially well, for everyone involved.

There’s a lot of information about this online. I encourage you to read the excellent article at
http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/460/the_long_goodbye

But, there’s lots more information out there.

http://deathoverdinner.org/ has been recommended to me

and  https://www.everplans.com/

A 2012 survey found that 82% of people believe that it is important to put wishes for their final days in writing, yet only 23% have followed that task through to completion.

(And that also makes me wonder if 18% of the population is brain dead already.)

It is absolutely imperative that you have completed a complete collection of paper work. A CURRENT will, for starters.

It is not bad luck. It is just making it more likely that your wishes will be followed.

Let us suppose that you have someone in the family that you really love dearly, and one or more people that you wish you did not know. Do you really want the deadheads to get all of your estate? Do you really want the people that you love dearly, to destroy several years of their life, making some sleaze ball lawyer ridiculously rich, while the deadheads legally torment your wonderful and lovely relative or friend or wife?

Each state has its own rules. You do not need to hire an attorney, but, if you hire a good one, that may be the safest thing to do. There’s a great deal of information online that is absolutely free.

Do a little bit of homework to become confident that you’re doing it right, under the laws of your home state. Here is just one example of a web site. I have no idea if it is correct, but if you compare several opinions, you should get pretty close.

I was told that if you just write out a very clear set of instructions in your own handwriting and sign it, preferably in front of some witnesses that can be found later, that that is legal. HOWEVER, I’m not a lawyer, and so that maybe nonsense. And by the time you would find out, it would be too late to do it right. So, do your own homework. Here’s that link:

http://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/reports-guides/advance-directives.aspx

Funeral expenses can be greater than the Gross National Product of a small Central American country. So, this is a very important thing to think about, and make your wishes known. If you do not get them down on legally binding paper, all it takes is one nut case cousin, or uncle, or whatever, to create a travesty of your wishes, and cost the surviving members of your family a huge amount of money and anguish.

I have found that the hospice people, seem to know the very least expensive way to deal with the body. In our family, we prefer cremation over burial, especially NOT wanting a lavish expensive ceremony. In most states, cremation can be done for about $500.

The Celebration of Life that we had for Janet cost about the same. My mom and dad did not want any ceremony. Exactly what do YOU want? Write it down.

Janet and I like to recycle things and have things be useful. We like to not waste stuff. We like to conserve resources. We like for people to learn whenever possible. So, Janet wanted very much to donate her body to the local medical school. Which was totally free, and they were very respectful. We looked into the situation and came away feeling that it was a wonderful opportunity. A new Doctor would learn a tremendous amount from her that could not be learned in the other way.

Janet & I also strongly support organ donation. But, advanced cancer patients are not so good for that.

But this idea is abhorrent to some of you. All I’m asking is that you decide what YOU want. You may find that if you can get a discussion going with the rest of your family, that there will be some surprises. Better to solve these things NOW, than later.

I think that it is YOUR life and your body, and your choice. But, if you want to adjust those choices to accommodate family members that’s up to you. But if you do not have this conversation, you literally have no idea what’s going to happen. And it is pretty much guaranteed to be bad. Someone will be very unhappy. Probably lots of people. A lot of money is going to be wasted. Not all vultures have feathers.

This whole subject gets very intertwined with religion, and the laws of your home state. I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just telling you that you must have this conversation at least in your own head. And you must do something. Even if you’re only 20 years old.

And when something changes in your life, or at least every few years, you should review your decisions, and make sure you’re still happy with them. That cute little girl that your son married, may turn out to be Dracula in drag.

Poop happens. People step in front of the wrong bus every day.

More info at

http://theconversationproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/TCP-StarterKit.pdf

Dave’s thoughts on Religion(s)

This post may test your views on religious freedom. I’m not saying that ANYONE should agree with my views. I’m only posting this because, while not exactly the way I would say things, it is very close and I think performing a valuable service.

In case anyone thinks that I am a Godless savage. The Godless part is wrong. The savage part, well I am what I am. I think Popeye said that.

I completely agree with many of the quotes that they have chosen on their site. Not limited to these:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Cherish Your Doubts – Robert T. Weston

Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the handmaiden of truth.
Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery.
A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error,
for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief.
Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.
Let no man fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it;
for doubt is a testing of belief.
The truth stands boldly and unafraid; it is not shaken by the testing;
For truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing stronger, more secure.
He that would silence doubt is filled with fear;
the house of his spirit is built on shifting sands.
But he that fears no doubt, and knows its use, is founded on a rock.
He shall walk in the light of growing knowledge;
the work of his hands shall endure.
Therefore let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help:
It is to the wise as a staff to the blind; doubt is the handmaiden of truth.

Responsive Reading 413 from Hymns for the Celebration of Live – Beacon Press
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

–Thomas Jefferson

“If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.”

–Isaac Asimov

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

–Carl Sagan

And actually I think Carl Sagan had several important things wrong. But he was clearly doing the best he knew how, and he definitely help spread an appreciation of science.

And I commonly say, when people ask if I believe in God (funny how they always mean THEIR God). I say that, “Believe seems to me to imply a lack of belief and a reliance upon faith. Would you not see anything odd about someone saying that, they “believe” in gravity, or water, or electricity? I would rather say that I’m certain of the existence of gravity, or water, or electricity, or God, but probably not YOUR concept of what that means. My God likes Love and dislikes killing and hate, just as an example.

But, I also believe in religious freedom. And I certainly hope that you do to. Let me have my ideas and I will be happy to let you have yours. If one of us is wrong in some important way, then God will explain it to us later.”

And, if you explore the following website (spoiler alert) you’ll discover a long letter written by a very intelligent and thoughtful man in 1890. And he is far harder on all organized religions than I would be. Even though I do think that they have been used by evil people, as one of the main excuses for people killing each other for many thousands of years.

I support religious freedom. But, I have a short tolerance towards killing each other. Enough of that. Here’s the website. Think of it is an ethnic experience. Just like if you went to some strange and unusual land, where they do even the most common thing, in a strange and unusual manner. Don’t be threatened by it. Don’t worry about my soul.

https://sites.google.com/site/utahfreethoughtsociety/home

Gaza & More

I see lots of clever videos about the situation in Gaza. So far almost all have been clever, but distorted propaganda pieces, for one side or the other. I would suggest that if you did not think that it is hopelessly complicated, you have not been doing your research.

Just to make my position clear, I support Israel or something very much like it, existing in that area. Permanently! So, for all of the, “Fight to the death! There can be no Jew alive in the Middle East, or some say the world.” I have a strong word that refers to the output of bulls after they have finished processing their food.

Somehow, a whole bunch of people, but I’m convinced a very small percentage, have convinced many Muslims, that killing Jews, Kurds, and even each other, is a direct order from God. Here I use that same strong word. I even pile it deeper.

You can find any opinion you want on the Internet, and use it to prove that you are right, and everybody else is wrong. Personally I like these videos about Islam.

http://www.ted.com/search?q=Lesley+Hazleton

Where I believe that she clearly says, that Islam, when read ACCURATELY, does NOT condone the massive violence, that the media blames on it.

I strongly believe that any religion that condones hatred, violence, or any antisocial activity, has been perverted. Bad humans have been at work. Do not believe that God tells you to be bad. Do not believe that hatred violence and antisocial activities are good.

I have met many, very nice Israelis, and I consider them friends, and hope that they can consider me a friend, after finding out that I believe that BOTH sides have huge lists of provocations, and justifications for their actions. In my opinion BOTH sides have wonderful excuses to keep fighting, yet each has done many things to provoke the other.

I’m not there on the scene to know what is REALLY happening. Because of my views, I probably should not ever go there. I have no desire to be arrested for not agreeing with someone. I’m still a, “freedom of speech” kind of guy. Even from people that are ridiculously wrong, which perhaps I am.

One of the complications is that, as far as I know, the actions of Israel, are the actions of a central government. While the actions of provocation against them, often come from individuals. This makes everything even more complicated.

If a single American, starts randomly blowing up things in France, is France justified in going to war against America? I hope not.

And to me that makes the provocations from Israel, harder to ignore. And for the Israelis that say “What provocations?!?”

I am talking about things like this article:
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118846/israel-palestine-history-behind-their-new-war

With things like increased Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and statements from government leaders that sound like they have no interest in ever finding a solution. And the whole dividing up the West Bank into a very complicated concentration camp, and then offering it to the Palestinian government, as their homeland. And being surprised and feeling justified, when they refuse that generous offer. That does not pass the sniff test.

I am very aware that this could all be twisted propaganda. It certainly seems to be everywhere.

I believe, and post on my sites, links that say that there is no reason for Jews, Muslims, or anybody, to be enemies. People may have to make compromises, but we can all get along. We don’t have to screw each other. We certainly should not shoot each other.

Given the seemingly accurate, but bleak perspective in this video:
http://www.globetoday.com/one-of-the-most-beautiful-accurate-and-true-cartoons-ever-a-masterpiece/

I wonder if Gaza is solvable. Perhaps the best solution would be to declare some defined zone, around the Middle East. Some large area, but not too large, were all the warmongers can go and just have a wonderful time. They are not allowed nuclear weapons, but otherwise they can just shoot the poop out of each other! I’m sure the Ukrainians would appreciate it, if some people near them would relocate to another area. With all the death and destruction among Muslims in the Middle East, they would not need to relocate very far to have a legally sanctioned bloodbath. Syria, Iraq, just a whole bunch of places could suddenly become peaceful.

The rational people in this new free fire zone, would need to be able to relocate to some sane part of the planet. But perhaps since humans are incapable of learning to not want to shoot people, or stab or strangle, perhaps we can give any defective humans, a single playground, so they don’t bother the rest of us.

The military-industrial complex, should find this very appealing. They can sell their cool toys. From my years in Baltimore, I know that Baltimore would be happy to export a few hundred people, to go play there. Mexico and Central America can send some druglords. The KKK and many zealots from America, would look so much better over there than disturbing things in America. This could work. Think of the reality TV franchise.

I have great sympathy for Israelis, Palestinians, Ukrainians, all of the groups that are at each other’s throats. I suspect that the vast majority of you, are wonderful people. Love your families, just good guys and gals. But some small percentage of you have been programmed, by not so good people, to feel totally justified in hating. I don’t how to undo that, but if you hate, then you’ve been tricked. And you will pay a terrible price. You probably are already.

I was born in Houston Texas, in 1943. A time when people of color, and that definition was pretty much whatever any white man wanted it to be, had to use special bathrooms, special drinking fountains, where the water actually was not colored at all, kind of confusing. They had to ride in the back of the bus, if they could find a seat, because many white people, just for fun, would slide the marker that signified the dividing line, way back to the back, so that there would be 25 seats for three white people, and five seats for 9 black people. What a great sense of humor, Billy Bob!

Uppity (N word here) were too frequently hung, by white men as recreation. They did not need to be guilty of anything. Just accused by a white bigot.

In the early 1970s I chose to wear a beard. Apparently people haven’t noticed, but human males have active hair follicles on their face. Seems like God made them that way. What was she thinking?

When I started my beard, it was already fairly common in the Pacific Northwest. So, I was certainly not a trendsetter, by any means. But when I would visit relatives in Houston, I had a hint of what black people in the South, and hated people everywhere, go through. I could be dressed nicer than anybody else in the store, yet when I walked into the shop, it immediately became very frosty. The staff and many of the customers, literally bristled when they saw me. They didn’t know or care anything about me. I had a beard. Therefore I was bad. A blight on humanity. Fortunately if any of them thought that God had ordered them to smite me, they kept it to themselves.

I was very aware of what was going on. All I had to do was shave it off and I would be a good old boy again. I was born there. I could talk the talk. But it bothered me. Mostly, how can they be that stupid? So I tried to be an ambassador.

“Hey Bubba, I was over at the Piggly Wiggly yesterday and there was this bearded Yankee ass hole. But, he almost seemed nice. I was really surprised.”

I’ve still got the beard and no plans to shave.

What ever happened to, “Make love, not war.”?

In that irony that is life, now Madison Avenue has me pimping for a deodorant company. I think you really need to watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63b4O_2HCYM

You’re welcome,

Dave

PS, Oh and about what’s going on in my life. Last Monday, Jul 14, I dislocated a rib, which then pinched a nerve and I could only take about a 5% breath. The National Lung Association has it right when they say, “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

Naturally it was at midnight, but I woke up my dear friends John and Maggie and John was able to snap it back in place. It was instantly almost perfect. There were a couple of relapses, but after about three days, things got back very close to the normal. Now I’m just trying to get rid of the indigestion caused by the NSAID’s that the doctor prescribed me. It makes me kind of worry when they give you two things to help the problem, and another, very powerful drug, (proton pump inhibitor) to try to counteract the side effects of the first two.

And when the third party website says of the NSAID, “Take the smallest possible dose, for the shortest possible time.”

But, the rib seems to be completely fine, although I’ve been told to pamper it for a month to make sure of no relapse. And I sure as Heck don’t wanna relapse.

We need to get more folks to watch that video. The Ukraine and Gaza are just two of the places that come to mind. The propaganda mills of all the major governments, are working three shifts. Be very skeptical of ANYTHING you hear about either place. There is a TON of baloney floating around. Don’t jump on any bandwagons. The people that drive them rarely have your best interest at heart.