Friday, September 19, 2008

AHH, I'm really going to Afghanistan.

So I've been in training with the Texas National Guard lately. It's starting to dawn on me that I'm actually going to be going over to Afghanistan. I've known for awhile now, but it was always kind of a distant reality that might never materialize into existence. Yesterday while in combat life savers class (CLS) it really became tangible. I'm not sure what did it, whether the various grotesque casualty pictures, or learning how to give an IV and actually giving one to a fellow soldier, or maybe the entirety of the experience, but I now know it as truth. I'm going to Afghanistan as a US soldier. I guess it will be a good way to test if there are any atheists in foxholes, even though this isn't a very traditional war and there might not actually be any foxholes.

The worst part about about everything is going to be the seperation from my family for about a year. I'm going to miss them so much.

In polite company... Welfare

As with most topics, especially politics, you end up having to make decisions based on generalities. I understand that in certain cases welfare has significantly helped deserving people that used welfare as a stepping stone to get their life back on track. Unfortunately, I don't think that it represents the majority of people on welfare.

Speaking only from people that I have known on welfare, and not on statistics or any other scientific like study, I'm against welfare. I think it enables laziness, and quite often helps people with drug or alcohol problems continue their lifestyle. If you can't make ends meet, and you need help, then I think the government should be there for help, but not just for free. You want money? There are a lot of jobs in the government that you can do. They may not be "good" jobs, but if you don't want to pick up trash, clean sewers, etc, then go get a job on your own. Did I mention that if you work for the government that you have to submit to random drug tests at least once every 6 months? Oh, and one more thing. If you can't even support the family that you have now, how can you possibly support another child? Guess you'll be thanking the government for your mandatory depo-provera shot? (mandatory only for welfare recepients before everyone jumps on me)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In polite company... Iraq

From cdk007

This war is a tough topic for me. In a lot of ways I support it, and in many other ways I don't. The above video shows significantly better ways to spend the money we didn't have. On the other hand, Iraq was a horrible place to live. Maybe a lot of people were happy, but only because they made do with what they had. The country was run by a sadist dicktator (sorry Jeff) and his family. The country only had the strength it had because of it's oil, much like many of the other archaic Islamic countries. I personally think that even with the cost of the war being so high, that eventually the war in Iraq will be a good thing once (if) Iraq is stabilized.

I also feel that there are many other countries that deserve to be invaded and toppled. Countries like Iran and North Korea specifically, and many other middle eastern, asian, african, and south american countries. Many countries in this world support/promote/use children soldiers, starve their own people, support drugs (growing, producing, and trafficking), suppress and abuse women and and many other atrocities. If those countries don't want to reform, then I think it's the worlds duty to make them conform. I like to think of it as a mugger attacking an old lady in the street for her purse. If you stood by and watched, you would be immoral, especially if you were Batman. It's a shame that there aren't real super heroes, and that the lady getting mugged is instead humanity in despair.

The unfortunate thing about Iraq, and any other country that you would invade, is that they think we want to rule them. We just want them to be free to do what ever they want (besides what they are already doing ), to end the oppression of humanity. So even though we are there to free Iraqis, the very Iraqis we want to free are fighting us. A huge part is because of their religion, but it's also because national pride. If we were freeing them from an outside oppressor they would be fighting with us.

The same thing happens with religion. As an atheist I don't want to tell other people what to do, but I do want to free them from the oppression of their mind. If you have a conversation with someone deeply entrenched in religion, they think you are attacking them, when in fact you are attacking their religion. The enlightenment must come from inside. The war on Iraq is not a war against anybody, but against ideas.

So in a way, the war in Iraq is one that can't be won. The citizens of Iraq, at least the ones fighting us, are a lost cause. We will never convert them, the only way to stop them is by killing them. Is that such a horrible thing though? We are saying to them, be a decent person. If you don't want to be a decent person then you will die. Are you killing a human or a disease? How do you stop a malevolent meme? The children of Iraq are the reason we are there. We are trying to show them that there is a different way to think and live than the primitive ways of their fathers. When the children see that it is the US that is building the schools, hospitals, and power plants, and their fathers, cousins and brothers are blowing them up, that is where the war is won. When the mothers crying for their lost children realize that it was their fellow countrymen that viciously attacked them, that is when the war is won. When the Iraqi's realize that they are sitting by, as foreigners come into their country to blow up ambulances and soccer games, that is when the war is won. It is won, one person, one family at a time.

In the long run, I think it's the best thing for humanity. Could I be wrong? Of course, these are only my opinions, and please, feel free to disagree.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gone till October

I'll be gone until October. My national guard unit is training me for the Afghanistan deployment. I don't expect to have internet considering that cell phones barely even work where I'm going to be. I will have my laptop and my brand new copy of Spore though. I had meant to write a lot of posts for while I was gone, but time was short and the to-do list was long. You all will just have to wait.

Monday, September 8, 2008

In polite company... Abortion

I'm pro-choice. I don't think it's an easy choice to make, but I believe it should be a choice. Aside from all the what if stories like, mentally/physically handicapped, rape, incest, etc, the main reason is - who am I to tell someone else what to do with their body? Having a child is a huge commitment, and sometimes mistakes can force you into that commitment. There isn't a shortage of people on this planet, but there is a shortage of food, space and love. Raising a child is difficult even in the most perfect situation.

Another big part of accepting abortion, is my lack of belief in miracles. A pregnant women isn't miraculous. It's beautiful, it's amazing, but it's nothing special. Everyone got here that way. It's just the way things work. There isn't even anything special about a fertilized egg. Eventually it becomes a baby, but until then it's nothing special. A good percentage of fertilized eggs are broken in some way and eventually become a miscarriage. A significant amount of fertilized eggs never even attach to the uterus. An even more significant amount of eggs don't even get fertilized and get discarded in one way or the other. Thousands of eggs lie dormant in the ovaries and never even leave the body, left to die when the woman dies. Don't even get me started on how much sperm is wasted. The point is, there are millions of times a day where all the living parts of the beginning of a child fail to live up to their possibility, and actually become a child. If I'm not bothered by the nearly infinite number of people that fail to become people all the time, why would I be concerned if there are any more? One thing I never understand. If someone is pro-life, how come they aren't screwing every person they meet? Every moment that a pro-lifer isn't reproducing, they are potentially murdering their offspring.

On the other hand, I think there should be limits. If you are 9 months pregnant and you decide to have an abortion, I don't think you should be allowed to. If you've waited past the first trimester to make a decision, then you've already made a decision. Once it has really started to become a baby, with arms and legs, and a heart and brain, then you should have the baby. Basically, if you are showing, you're birthing. Also, if you decide to have the child, then you should do it responsibly. Quit doing drugs, drinking and smoking, and start eating right, it's not just your body anymore. That's all I have to say. It's just my opinion, please feel free to disagree.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

In polite company...

Supposedly you aren't supposed to discuss politics or religion in polite company. Since I already talk about religion and it's follies, and I've even already talked a little bit about politics, I figured what the hay, I'll jump right in and let loose. Besides, how do I even know if it's polite company reading this?

I'm neither a republican nor a democrat. There are so many issues, and I've yet to see a candidate that I fully agree with, much less a party. Some issues I'm middle of the road, others I'm left, and yet others I'm right. So I figured I'd make a short series out of it. I'll be training with the National Guard starting Wednesday for 21 days with no internet. I didn't want to leave everyone without a post for that long, so I wrote some posts all at once and set them to post at a metered rate. I won't be able to respond to comments until I get back, but please don't let that stop you from letting me know what you think.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stupid post in the future thing.

So I set up some posts for when I'm gone. All you have to do is change the post date. Apparently it doesn't always work, as the last post was supposed to post on the 11th. Oh well, here it is now, and it will make more sense once the other posts

Obama on evolution and global warming

I was over at Jeff's lunchbreak, and I asked him a question I should have answered myself. What does Obama think about evolution and global warming. Here are my answers.

Global Warming -

And from Obama's website

Evolution - This one is not as clear as a video, but apparently the York Daily Record interviewed Obama on ID. I went to the source, but the article isn't available anymore. It's referenced on many blogs, this one in particular. Here is the quote...

Q: York County was recently in the news for a lawsuit involving the teaching of intelligent design. What’s your attitude regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools?
A: “I’m a Christian, and I believe in parents being able to provide children with religious instruction without interference from the state. But I also believe our schools are there to teach worldly knowledge and science. I believe in evolution, and I believe there’s a difference between science and faith. That doesn’t make faith any less important than science. It just means they’re two different things. And I think it’s a mistake to try to cloud the teaching of science with theories that frankly don’t hold up to scientific inquiry.”

Google Alert - Eric Jones

I have a Google alert for Eric Jones in blogs. I mostly do it as a way to see the trail I leave through the internet. Usually it just alerts me to useless stuff that isn't related to me in anyway, but I have found a few interesting websites from it though.

There is my doppelganger over at Transformed Daily. Of Course when I say doppelganger I don't mean all that mythical mumbo jumbo, just that he is quite opposite of me when it comes to religion and he shares my name.

Another interesting site I've come across is My Life In Pictures, by another Eric Jones. I've added it to my blog roll. I usually don't mention when I've added a new blog to the blog roll, but I didn't want anyone to get confused by the blog, thinking it was me. It's an entirely different Eric, that apparently is traveling around in China right now.