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Everything posted by older

  1. And what Wertbag writes is the reason I avoid saying I am an "atheist." I prefer to say I don't believe, or that I'm not religious. As I've written on this site before, the term "atheist" is often used as a pejorative by Christians and I don't want to give them an opening for inaccurate claims about my world view.
  2. Well, the domain name seems available. Sex-Christian.net. The no-guilt site for horny Christians. First month free with a year's membership. Only $9.95 per month, one year paid in advance. Credit cards accepted. Not sold in stores.
  3. It is worth noting that this guy posted only twice, on Dec. 26, and hasn't been back in two weeks. Perhaps he found what he was looking for.
  4. Part of middle eastern cultures is that they do not forget. They will wait as long as it takes and then strike. It should also be noted that Iran has one fourth or one third, depending on how you count it, of the world's oil reserves. So it is unlikely that the country will ever be left to itself.
  5. That's what I get for zooming quickly through the forums!
  6. To add to what I wrote above, what really scares me is what happens when end-times Christians are in the driver's seat about all this. What if they get hold of the nuclear codes? From the NYT: "The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who last year agreed with a Christian Broadcasting Network interviewer that God might have sent Trump to save Israel from the “Iranian menace” — has been pushing for a hit on Suleimani for months." (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/opinion/trump-iran.html)
  7. I don't think it is inevitable but this was a very stupid move and Iran will have to respond. There were significant factions within Iran which were very large and opposed to the current government that have now been united by this bonehead action. A response to a provocation needs to be proportional and measured with consideration of the consequences. That was not done here. I could write a lot about this, but the main thing to know is that too many of our politicians know little about the history and culture of the middle east. I once had dinner with Joseph Wilson, the husband of Valerie Plame. You may remember that she was the CIA agent whose cover was blown by Dick Cheney in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Wilson was the second in command at the American embassy in Iraq before the war and was the last American to talk to Saddam. Wilson was a career diplomat, not a political appointee. I sat there for three hours while he told the story of this whole mess. And to understand it you need to go back to the end of WWII when these countries were created by the Allies with no consideration for the local cultures or religions. Religion is a far more important force there than it is anywhere in the west. The West has continued to meddle there without such understanding, and there will never be a resolution until we get out of there and leave them alone. The current mess can be traced directly back to the Bush administration and it's invasion of Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a power that kept Iran in check; removing him opened the door for Iran to move throughout the area. Taking out Soleimani will not stop the Iranian agenda; there are many other folks in the regime who can step in and keep up the campaign to control the entire area. Soleimani was in Iraq at the invitation of Saudi Arabia to work on defusing regional tensions.* So this assassination kills that and makes everything much worse. Saudi Arabia is particularly upset that they were not notified before this was done, as are many of our NATO allies and members of Congress. The advisers who presented Trump with this option in a list of several choices, are partly to blame for even suggesting it to him. They did not think he would choose this, which was the most extreme of the options given to him. So Iran will have to retaliate. Let's hope that it will be just enough to save face and not an escalation, and that the madman in the White House will move on to other paranoias. -------- *https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7854971/Soleimani-Iraq-discuss-escalating-tensions-Saudis-killed-PM-says.html
  8. Sorry, Taba, but this really is Fake News. Here's an explanation: https://www.earnthenecklace.com/fact-check-daniel-sharp-florida-veteran-convinces-female-officers/ Also, the writing contains numerous errors of newswriting style that would never happen with a legitimate source. And if the story was true, it would have been covered by legitimate news sources. A Google search fails to turn up any news source with the story.
  9. Hi Giovanni: Glad to hear that things are good now. We hope you'll stick around and contribute to the discussions. (And don't forget to work your way over to the News and Humor subforums, too.)
  10. You sound quite determined and motivated. You'll succeed. Here's a quote that helped me once. I keep it on my desk. I hope it helps you, too: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
  11. It seems that there are allegedly Christian groups out there who are setting up cooperative health care systems that, when it comes down to it, are ripping off their people. These outfits are not insurance, so they escape regulation. They charge a monthly fee but pay little and tell their folks to just "trust God." Here are a couple of quotes from the story: ______________ “Just trust God,” the nonprofit group, Samaritan Ministries, in Peoria, Ill., said in a statement about its coverage, and advises its members that “there is no coverage, no guarantee of payment.” …. These Christian nonprofit groups offer far lower rates because they are not classified as insurance and are under no legal obligation to pay medical claims. They generally decline to cover people with pre-existing illnesses. They can set limits on how much their members will pay, and they can legally refuse to cover treatments for specialties like mental health. “Nothing is guaranteed,” said Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, a physician who is also a financial planner in Jacksonville, Fla. “You have to depend on the largess of the program.” ______________ The story cites one case where a family paid over $500 per month into the program but was left with over $100 thousand in bills after an emergency. There are more examples in the story, which is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/02/health/christian-health-care-insurance.html?searchResultPosition=1
  12. Good to hear from you! Hang in there. It's sort of like healing from having your wisdom teeth removed. The teeth are gone now, soon the rest will be OK, too.
  13. I understand your position, but to me it's not an issue of being dishonest, but rather a matter of using lanuage they understand. To them, the term "atheist" is a much more negative term than to just say "I'm not a believer," or "I don't believe in gods." It seems to me that they see "atheists" as anti-Christian zealots who want to stamp out their religion. I see the latter phrases as just as honest but also not waiving a red flag in front of the bull.
  14. As Mark Twain once wrote: "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and it hadn't caused me the slightest inconvenience."
  15. Hey, the Irish invented Guiness!
  16. The high school I went to was about 70 percent Jewish, and the local community was heavily Jewish. And the kids there were just as snotty as any other bunch of teenagers. Years later, when I was a wedding photographer, I noticed that the more fundamental Christian the weddings, the more up-tight the people seemed to be. The Catholics were more relaxed. Most of the fundamentalists treated me as hired help, and sometimes I was treated like a scullery maid. But the Jewish weddings were big parties and everyone was relaxed and having a great time. I was usually treated as one of the guests and sometimes invited to sit at one of the main tables with family members. I felt more welcome and at home among the Jews than I ever did among the Christians. If I was going to go back to religion I'd take a good look at Judaism. (And besides, Yiddish slang is wonderful (mazel tov!)*, and kosher food is great. ) _______ *https://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-yiddish-handbook-40-words-you-should-know/ https://thoughtcatalog.com/nico-lang/2013/10/61-hilarious-yiddish-insults-you-need-to-know/
  17. ^ ^ ^ Some Christians think atheists worship the devil and eat babies. But seriously, "atheist" and "atheism" end in "ist" and "ism" which implies some sort of belief system. But as we know, "nothing" is not a belief system. But Christians will think that anyway.
  18. I have frequently written in this space that fear is a key component of Christianity. Many Christians I encounter have numerous fears from the significant, fear of death or of Hell or the Devil, for example, to the inconsequential, such as fear of spiders or of the dark. I sometimes wonder if fear is intrinsic to their personalities, which in turn propels them toward religion, or if fear is instilled by the institution. Perhaps it's a bit of both. It is certainly perpetuated by the church. Of course, Christians will say they are not afraid because God walks with them and protects them, but the reality is that they are scared of the unknown and of those who are not like them.
  19. Damn! Weezer, you are a genius! A business opportunity! Internet sales! Unlimited income! GENUINE HOLY WATER. Pints, quarts, gallons, delivered to your door! Filtered through prayer cloths for absolute purity. Special blessings available, see the fee schedule. Bulk orders welcome. ORDER NOW! Supplies are limited. We accept PayPal and major credit cards. Uh... oh wait. I just checked Ebay. Lots of folks beat us to it. Next idea.
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