Friday, April 30, 2010

To blog or not to blog...?

Up with insomnia and having my head full of thoughts is making it hard to sleep. On top of that I took a nap today in the afternoon which threw off my sleep schedule even more. Plus now that Spring is here the days are getting longer and the Sun is rising earlier and I hate to see the rays of the Sun as I embark on my journey of rest. It's always a difficult journey.

So what's on my mind? I want a girlfriend. But then, I don't want a girlfriend. I want to be single, but then I don't want to be single. Damn. I want to meet the right girl, that's for sure, but then I don't want to settle down now. I don't know. Maybe a temporary relationship is fine. 1 yearish kind of thing.

Of course that would be the longest relationship I ever had if it were so. When I tell people that I haven't had a relationship longer than 6 months they are very surprised. I often don't provide that information unprovoked. I've never even had 1 single long term relationship. Not one. How long is an LTR? Let's say 5 years. That's an LTR at least to me. I can't even imagine what that's like. I really can't. I hope I do one day.

I've been working out to try to pump up for the Summer. I have 2 months before it's t-shirt weather everyday, actually less. But anyway, I want to get a nice cut first. I'm already thin. I lost 15 pounds during the Winter and I want to gain it back with a lot of muscle. So I don't have to loose weight I have to gain it. My BowFlex can get me looking cut very fast. I gotta look good this Summer. Last Summer was fun. I went out a lot and did some cool things. This Summer I hope will be even better. I will need a job because money is tight. I will be done with school completely. There will be no class. I'll miss school a little bit. Over the past year I made many friends. The first year of school I didn't make much friends. My hectic schedule didn't allow for much social time anyway.

I reinvented myself several times during the past few years at school. I went from a four-eyed total geek look to a slick-haired dude, to a goateed i-don't-know-what. Each look was carefully calculated. There are times when I don't care about my "look." I just do whatever. Then I get back into being superficial and start caring about my clothes and hair and shit like that. I'm not sure if I am happy with the "image" I've left on people. It's not how I want to be portrayed. In truth, we are all different images to different people. Seeing myself on camera which I rarely do, allowed me to see how I really look, from an other persons' perspective. It's the only way to see how you'd look from someone else's point of view. It's always a shocker when I see myself on camera because I notice a bunch of things that I don't notice otherwise. Like my voice sounds different from how I hear it in my head and my mannerisms make me look weird or different. When I see myself on camera I see a whole different person that I didn't know existed. It's me. It's not who I think I am. I think we all have that reaction when we see ourselves on camera. I look so geeky on camera. I never realized how much of a geek I was. I thought I was much cooler than that. Maybe I am a geek. Maybe I tricked myself into thinking or convincing myself that I'm much cooler than I actually am. But the camera showed me from an unbiased point of view where my desire to think I'm cool couldn't distort reality. So what to I have to do? Change reality.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Immigration debate heating up again...

Arizona's new strict immigration law is heating up the immigration debate which was waning in recent years due to the economic meltdown. When the economy recovers we will see more immigrants both legal and illegal coming to the U.S. and no doubt the debate over what to do with the illegal ones here and coming here will become an issue.

A few years ago when the immigration debate heated up I began following it closely. I was originally very against illegal immigration and any amnesty for illegals, but I've shifted my position a little bit slightly. I'm still against blanket amnesty for all illegal immigrants but I think that some deserve the ability to begin a path to citizenship. Those who are on the far right and far left of this issue I disagree with, and here is why:

Those on the far left of this issue, mainly illegal immigrants and their supporters, (who come in all different colors and sizes), think that there are no borders, that no one is illegal, and that everyone who can physically get here has the right to stay here indefinitely. I disagree with these ideas completely. First, we have to have borders. Borders keep the peace between us. If there wasn't a border dividing the land no one would agree who can claim ownership of a natural resource. But if you have a border, and the resource lay on my side then it's mine, or it will be yours if it lay on your side. Of course we can fight over the border, as most wars are often about, but with out the border there is no jurisdiction over the resource and fighting will be near constant. So we have to have borders in the modern world. This stupid naive mentality of the desire for living in a world without borders is absurd and will lead to immeasurable bloodshed.

Second, the absurd idea that no one is illegal. Really? Most countries where "illegal" immigrants are coming from don't even allow legal immigrants, or have very strict quotas on them. Mexico deports thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America from its southern border every year. And as for the idea that anyone who can get here has the right to stay here, just from being able to get here, that's is bullshit. Living in the U.S. is a privilege not a right. No one has the right to be here. That would be like me saying I have the right to come into your home whenever I want. I'll clean your house and take out your garbage, do all the things you don't want to do, but you must feed me and pay for my doctors visits and my kids education. You shouldn't have to be forced into that situation.

But of course logic and rationality go out the window when you are starving and need to make money. I understand that. Which is why I support legal immigration, but we have to have limits. Immigration must be controlled. Without rules and regulations we will have chaos. We will have basically what we've had for the past 25 years since the last amnesty was passed in 1986. Yes we need a strong border that makes it near impossible to cross. This can be done. The U.S. can secure borders all over the world and can surely secure its own backyard. Finally, there is an agenda at large here and it comes from corporate America, who likes cheap exploitable labor and thus doesn't mind the open border. Yet another reason to hate large corporations.

Here is what I think should be done to the illegal immigrants already here after we fully secure the entire border:

1. If they have been convicted of any kind of felony they must be deported immediately and never allowed back in, period. They have one chance to show they can become model American citizens, blow it, and they forfeit their only chance;
2. If they are in or ever have been associated with any gangs or criminal organizations and are documented as such by law enforcement they get deported and banned forever also;
3. They have to have made an attempt to learn English. If they cannot speak even basic English and they've been here for 5 years or more then they cannot be put on a path to citizenship and they must apply the regular way (i.e. go back home and get in line);
4. If they are willing to pledge allegiance to the U.S. and give up their country of origin, (as they have to do when they swear oath) then;
they should be allowed to go to the back of the line and become citizens;
5. So for those immigrants who have made it passed the above criterion, they will have to apply for a temporary visa that would allow them to stay in the U.S., that has to be renewed every year until citizenship is gained, and pay a $4,000 fine per every household. Failure to renew the visa, or the conviction of any felony during the visa, or the conviction of any crime while associated with a criminal gang, will result in an immediate revocation of the visa, followed by imprisonment for the convicted crimes and/or deportation.

Is that not fair?

There should be an incentive program where the more Americanized the illegal immigrant, the sooner they can become citizens. Basically, they can cut ahead in line of the other illegal immigrants who haven't Americanized as much during their stay here. And from then on, with a secure border, we'd have only legal immigration (in a perfect case scenario). I'm sorry, but not everyone has the right to be here, even if they are poor. There are several billion poor people in the world who would love to come to the U.S., even if just temporarily, to attain a better life. We can't let in every single one, we have to have realistic limits.

The U.S. is the most liberal country in the world when it comes to immigration. It allows more immigrants through its borders legally then all the other countries in the world do combined. That says something. When I hear people say that the U.S.'s immigration policies are anti-immigrant, this is complete and utter bullshit. Compare the U.S.'s legal immigration policy up against any other country's in the world and you will see what I mean. On top of that we have allowed 12 million illegal immigrants come into our borders and did almost nothing about it, and your saying we are anti-immigrant? Bullshit! No other country in the world would tolerate 12 million illegal immigrants. Mexicans don't even like it when Guatemalans cross their border. Please. All I hear is hypocrisy coming from the left, who are being aided and funded by big business.

From the right, I understand their point of view but they simply have to realize that we are a country of immigrants and that immigration is going to continue whether they like it or not. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Races of the world can get together and unify here. This was never a white country to begin with. There were always Native Americans and Africans were being imported as slaves long before most Europeans got here. White people are afraid of losing their majority status, but look at it this way: in the future there won't be a majority. We'll all be minorities. America is going to change, it always has and always will. Nothing stays the same. As long as immigrants of all colors and national origins embrace a common identity, an American identity, we will be one people.

Monday, April 26, 2010


When I don't shower for a few days and my hair gets messy and my body starts to stink, and I sit home in my house clothes, I start to feel ugly. I start to get the urge to shower and get all styled up to feel attractive. As a man I am not immune to the need to feel exceptional from time to time as women have been for many years. I guess it's a product of the metrosexual culture we live in. Maybe it's just me. I know how good it feels to be all fixed up in a nice outfit, with hair done all styled up, and a hint of cologne maybe to top it off. It immediately gives us a little boost of confidence when we look our best. When there are days when I don't shower or maintain myself I look in the mirror and see my unkempt self and think, "damn, I look horrible."

I hate that, and we live in a culture consumed with looking good all the time. Even celebrities often look good, when they're suppose to be looking average. Maybe they spend a lot of time to look good when they are suppose to be pretending to not care about how they look. I am a high maintenance person by nature. I wish I was one of those type of people who naturally has great hair and skin and can just jump out of bed looking awesome with out having to do anything. On rare occasions I can do that but usually not due to my oily skin and hair. Instead I almost always have to shower or at least shampoo my hair and style it to look good. I hate it and I blame my bad genetics for it. But what can I say, that's how I am. I don't want to be high maintenance but I just am.

As I've gotten older I've slowly gotten turned off from the whole fashion thing, not completely, but it isn't as big a part of my life as it once was. I still have a sense of style but it doesn't rely on current trends as it once did. I am the type of person that constantly changes my style anyway. I am now styling myself more as an intellectual because that's how I've become. Pretty soon I'll be wearing dress shirts and blazers everywhere.

I haven't given up on style. I plan on being stylish throughout my 30s just like my 20s. However, I want to resist the temptation of the evils I see (corporations) that want to put pressure on all of us into thinking like teenagers until we're 45 (or later). That is a big scam I see that's very profitable: Trick everyone into thinking they can feel young and cool if they obsess over their looks and image way past high school.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Price of Greed

Take a moment to think about our current capitalist culture that has evolved over time here in the U.S. and reflect on its state of existence. Think about the Wall Streetization of "Main Street," seemingly all of American culture, and a great deal of the world's economy. When I think about it really hard it makes me sick to my stomach. Over the last few years we witnessed the meltdown of Wall Street financial systems and the robbery they committed on the American people to save their sorry asses for falling into their own self-designed trap.

I believe the U.S. is controlled by corporations and that it's big business that we have to truly fear and not big government. Our elected members of congress as well as all our politicians pretty much have been bought and sold by the corporate elite and are working for their best interests and not ours (the people). They have demonstrated this over and over again with corporate loopholes and fine print buried deep in legislation that misleads the public and allows further corruption and corporate control to take place.

These are people with no morals. They will screw over their neighbor if it means making more money. They have outsourced millions of jobs overseas telling us that it's good for business. They have no loyalty to country, whatsoever. They will do anything it takes to make money, period. They will at the same time, trick you into thinking that helping them get more rich is a good thing and is somehow in your best interests also.

They worship money. Money is their God. Some say my discontent with Wall Street greed is an argument for religion because of the doctrines in many faiths preaching against materialistic wealth. Well I don't believe I need faith in God, and all the baggage that organized religions contain in order to agree with them partially that too much greed is no good. Christianity for example says we can't have any desire for materialism: we cannot envy what our neighbor has, even the thought of it is a sin. Without the desire of people to want to succeed, to have more than their neighbor has there would be no investment for the future, and no drive for higher quality. Therefore we need a little bit of greed. Some greed is good.

But where do we draw the line? There used to be areas of our economy that were off limits to capitalism. Many of these barriers have been subsequently destroyed. When I first heard of the "prison industrial complex" I thought it was bullshit, then I looked into it and acknowledged that our jails and prisons are being privatized and a profit motive is being tagged on them. Our health care industry is driven by the profit motive instead of genuine treatment and care for sick individuals. It seems that where ever greedy money worshiping pigs can find a market for something and turn it into a money making cash cow regardless if it has negative effects, they will.

Of course money is the strongest motivation, maybe on par with sex. How can you convince people to make less money? How do you convince people that there should indeed be certain areas of our society that should not be turned into for-profit businesses? This is a tough one. Naturally people will want to resist. Our stock market is run in such a way that businesses have to continually announce increasing profits in order for their stock price to go up. Good is not enough, it always has to be better. This forces the board members and CEOs to constantly find ways to exploit areas they previously hadn't seen or overlooked. That might mean cutting wages, or outsourcing jobs, or using a cheaper material, or come up with deceptive sales tactics.

I'm getting tired of it. I'm starting to embrace aspects of socialism. I'm not a total socialist, I believe in private business, and ownership and innovation. I don't like government owning everything, but I don't like corporations controlling everything either. Where is the comfortable middle ground that I can rest at? Some say that enacting laws and measures limiting the private profits of corporations will hinder and eventually ruin economic growth. There has to be some balance between them. The Tea-Baggers think that government should stay out of big business' pocket because big business (i.e. the rich) create the jobs. Well in order for them to create good paying jobs they have to spread the wealth around a little bit, since good paying jobs here take more out of the companies' profits than cheap overseas labor. So why would they do that? They wouldn't do it. So lifting the tax on the richest 1 or 2% of Americans is pointless since corporate America is all about eliminating jobs not creating them. How much longer can this go on?

I can up with an interesting analogy about how I view greed. What I do is I compare it to sex. I like sex, but I'm not going to have it with everyone, I think it is a good idea to limit the number of sexual partners to a relatively low number. We shouldn't all be whores and fuck everything, but we are human, and sexual in nature and there is nothing wrong with sex itself and liking it. Just like there is nothing wrong with the desire of money, and a better life, but we have to have some personal limitations on it. We shouldn't think of everything as being fair game for economic exploitation. So some greed is good just like some sex is good, but too much with too many people and you start losing a sense of morality. But the opposite of saying that you can never desire money or sex period is just silly and absurd.

So what is the price of greed? How much does it, in the end, cost all of us?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The internet is awash in great Atheist entertainment

This guy "Edward Current" is hilarious. He makes great videos parodying the Christian fundamentalists. Check out some of his hilarious skits:

This one is great also:

This one is about what would happen if God disappeared overnight. OMG!

This one is about evolution, which of course never happened:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day 2010

The last time I smoked out in public was recently on a warm April day, and rather than litter the floor with my cigarette butts I chose to put them all back into my cartridge, and encouraged my friend to do so also. As I get older and more mature I realize my role and responsibility that I play with nature and society. I want to make the world a better place, not worse. I want future generations to live in a better world. The old selfish mindset I had is evidently destructive and I have matured to the point where I am past that. I am aware of what I do to the planet now. Let's make Earth a better place.

I've always been an advocate for human population control or stabilization. I don't think anyone on anyplace on Earth should have more than two children. How can we sustain an ever increasing population when we know that the Earth contains a limited amount of resources? There is a threshold somewhere when the human population and its required resources will exceed that which the Earth can provide. I don't know when that moment is coming, or what that population amount will have to be, but I know that it is an inevitable moment given the rapid and seemingly unstoppable growth of the human species.

There are many things we can do to help slow it down including urban skyscraper farms, locally produced foods, worldwide recycling, and changes in lifestyle. But all we can do is slow it down, the threshold is inevitable. Slowing it down is worth the try, but what else can we do? We need a sustainable population growth of about 2.1 percent. We can't reduce our popualtion because that would send the economy spiraling downward. Who would invest when you'll have a declining population and thus a declining market? Unless each individual starts making and spending more money than the previous generation that is not going to happen. I feel we are trapped in a never ending growth cycle of our population and that any effort to reduce it is futile.

There is another aspect of our population growth that I am scared of. That is the secret race war that exists. Everyone knows that the larger your population of your ethnic or racial or religious group, the more power your people will have in general. The U.S. can't fuck with China because their population is so enormous but a small population like Granada or Iraq with just over 20 million people are more easily conquerable. In a representative democracy the larger your population the larger your voices will be heard. That is one of the reasons why I think Latinos have so many children, besides their Catholic tradition: to increase their ranks so that they will no longer be a silent population. When Latinos were a tiny minority no one cared about them, now that they are 15% of the U.S. population, the largest minority, people take notice.

I think on the world stage there is a race to have a larger population. Bigger populations are harder to control and smaller ones are easy to exploit and at times "ethnically cleanse." I don't want to see a population war among all the people in the world because in the end the Earth, and nature, and ultimately us, will be the ones who suffer. We are better than that, but we still hold onto fears of war and genocide and the forced submission of people unto other people.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Golden Rule

It's been a while since I blogged. I want to write about the golden rule and how it relates to reality and morality today. The origin of the golden rule predates the version Jesus' had, to the Analects of Confucius, and Rabbi Hillel a few hundred years prior. The golden rule as simple as it is regardless of whether it is in its positive or negative form cannot be applied consistently in society.

Suppose I am on a job interview. I need the job badly, but I am competing with another person for the position. He needs it much more than I do. He's going to be unable to pay his rent next month if he doesn't make some kind of money really soon and he has several kids to feed. Now let's say I get the job and he doesn't. He's out of luck. I wouldn't want him to do that to me if I was him, but I did. We were competing for the same limited opportunity and resource as we all are in this world. That is the nature of life. If I had conceded and let him have the job because I wouldn't want him to take it from me I'd be out of a job.

We can't really apply the golden rule in every situation otherwise we'd never be able to compete for anything. With no competition many things would never get done. Period. How could any business compete with another if it deploys tactics that it wouldn't want its competition to do to it? I prefer the negative version of the golden rule. Don't do to other what you wouldn't want done to you. I think it has more force than the positive version because we wouldn't always want certain people doing things to us that we would want done to us. I like getting my dick sucked, but I'm not going to suck other men's dicks because I like mine getting sucked. I wouldn't want my dick sucked by a man, so I won't go out and suck another man's dick. I think it works better because we all know what we don't want a lot more than what we do want.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Race Matters...II

Is it not evident that many people will quite often find it easier to empathize with those of their own race? When we see a person suffering, do we find it easier to picture ourselves in their position if they happen to look like us? Do we find it easier to see ourselves helping them if they have the same skin color as us? Or the same religion as us?

I remember watching a program on disabled people and their struggles in our society and was sitting in a classroom next to this black woman. When we saw a few white people with disabilities I heard the black woman say nothing. Then the program had a section on some black people with disabilities and she started signing and making noises of empathy and concern. I'm not in any way saying she only empathizes with those of her own race but I think she was able to at least in this particular case, to more easily identify with the other black people on the program dealing with their disabilities.

I think there is a basic natural instinct in ourselves because of our tribal nature, to identify with others who are of the same race, or religion or gender. There are of course exceptions to this, and those exceptions are good for the sake of humanity and racial unity. It's one of the reasons why I think it is important for those of us to have friends of other races and to stray away from the idea of racial segregation. Jews and Muslims who attend religious schools are often separated from the other religions and groups of people. They do this to keep their people and religion pure, but it has the effect of turning those children into adults that might be the kind who will empathize and maybe lend more help to those suffering who only look like them or worship as they do.

Race matters, yes it does. It is the title of a book by the black intellectual Dr. Cornel West which I haven't read. I agree at least with the title, that race does matter and that it is very hard to not acknowledge race when dealing with issues with other people. We need racial unity to help move our society forward. I hate the mentality of those, of all races who want to stay only with their own race. If they want to do so, so be it. We are dealing with the aftermath of European imperialism. Europeans moved the races of people around the world and we have to be real and acknowledge this and try to make the most of it. I myself am biracial, but I consider myself raceless. I don't identify with any one race and I think it helps me take a neutral perspective when dealing with issues of race. I believe all our ancestors came from Africa and we all essentially are brothers and sisters. I find myself having a special connection to the continent of Africa where my ancestors left some 40-50 thousand years ago.


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