Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blog Against Theocracy 2008!

Greetings fine readers! Well, another year's gone by, and as I've done the past few years, I'm joining the 'blogswarm' against Theocracy in America.

Questions arise, and as I do every year, I say... No, I'm not an atheist. No, I'm not anti-religion. No, I'm not a militant against Christianity, a la Richard Dawkins...

So, why do I write in support of First Freedom First every year? I mean, come on... No one is REALLY trying to break the American tradition of the "Separation of Church and State," ARE THEY???

I don't know... Readers, you tell me...

In our current election cycle, there were rumors abounding about Barack Obama being a Muslim, and when everyone had debunked that one... They started picking on his Christian pastor being anti-American.... Blah, blah... F-ing' blah!

What do these recent allegations have to do with Barack Obama being a candidate? Why couldn't a person who is non-religious run for President in America? Because Americans would go ape-shit, that's why.

If you are not a Christian in this country, do NOT run for office. I mean... You're pretty much screwed. I feel quite honoured, that the first Muslim elected to Congress is from my home. But Mr. Ellison got a shed-load of abuse as he was running for his seat.

Why aren't more of my fellow Americans appalled? What does your 'faith' (which is one heck of a fuzzy concept anyway) have to do with your abilities to represent the people in America?

Most of us have jobs, right? Okay, so when you interviewed for your job, were you asked to which religion you followed? When you go into a shop on the main-drag of your town, do the people in the shop ask you what religion you are before selling you something? When you pay your credit card bill, do you have to check a box marked "Christian" or do they just take your money without worrying about your beliefs?

Of course not. Generally, American people are not persecuted according to whichever faith they belong.

Unless you are running for office.

There is a major disconnect in our society folks. A scary and frightening one. Where most of our society in America embraces freedom of religon, our leaders, the ones that control our country are all self-proclaimed religious nut jobs.

Are they actually? No.... But they have to at least PRETEND to be Über-religious, or they won't have a chance of being elected.

I could never run for office, and that angers me. I'm a smart guy, I have a Master's degree... I work at a great institution that has been known for churning out politicians... But... I don't attend church services, so... I'm not 'Christian' enough to be a politician in America.

This is a frightening trend that should be checked and stopped. We have to stand up all together as a free and right society, and support candidates that DON'T say they've been 'Born Again' 'cause damn it, most of us were born right the first time.

Religious freedom in America will end, if we keep sending nut-jobs to our houses of power. The more Muslims we send, Hindus, Secularists, and quiet Christians.... The better.

Oh, I forgot... Happy Easter. Or... As one of my friends back in Britain said: "Happy Zombie Jesus Day".

(I can only write that piece of blasphemy right now, 'cause we HAVE religious freedom. Can you imagine a place where we don't have the right to have a little fun with religion? I can't.)


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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Montanans can sometimes make me smile.

I don't really talk about it much, but I went to Montana State University in Bozeman, MT for just under two years. Yeah... I lasted that long.

Don't get me wrong, Montana is a beautiful place. It truly is "Big Sky Country" where you swear to the gods that the heavens just cannot be that big and awe inspiring. As for Montanans themselves, the people are by and large, polite and respectful folks. There are also a shed-load of howling bigots, but I'm not going to talk about the type that drove me from the state... No, I'm going to actually wax positive about our weird big state, out West.

See... The first time I came across the sort of libertarian-slant of the Montanan, was when the "Federally mandated interstate highway speed limit" was in effect. See... In the old days of the '80's and '90's, all the freeways in the country had to be capped at 55 mph. If a state didn't do that, the marvellous federal government would cut their road-funding, and the state would be forced to pay for all their OWN roads. (Oh the terror! I'm not being facetious, that would be a REALLY horrible thing. I mean, the Fed HELPS pay for Minnesotan roads, and look what happened to our 35W bridge over the Mississippi!) Anyhoo, Montana said, okay... And made a nice slow speed limit. But, instead of charging you huge fines for speeding... The cops would charge you a $5.00 'gas-wastage fee'. (Okay, I think it was called an 'environmental impact fee' or something) I kid you not... They'd pull you over for going 75 mph in a 55 mph zone, write you a ticket. You'd give them $5.00, and they'd give you a receipt.

Awesome concept, hmm?

(This happened to me, so I know it's true. There was a lot of talk about it being an urban - 'er rural - myth... But NOPE. True.)

Anyhoo, when the Fed stopped making road-funding to the states dependent on standardised speed limits, Montana raised the speed limit to... Guess..... As fast as was safe.

That's it.

Just don't drive so you ain't safe, and the cops won't bug you. Now... That left it up for a bit of interpretation, but generally if you were on a straight-away, and there was 100 miles of nothin' around you... Heck, you could go 110mph, and it almost felt like flying.

This post isn't about Montana and its speed limits. No, it's about the "Real ID Act" that the Department of Homeland inSecurity is trying to pass. It says that someday, in the near or far or sometime-future, every State has to abide by a Federally mandated 'safe ID' program.

What's cheesed off the Montanan folks, is really something that should cheese off MOST people, see:

To get a "real ID" one must report to a government office with a birth certificate. That's just about it. Not a picture ID, not fingerprint data. No. Just a birth certificate. Of course, since every state, heck, County
, has a different birth certificate, you don't think that it'd be pretty easy to slide in a FAKE birth certificate?

Hell... Easy and cheep as chips to do... Give me a few minutes on my computer, and a decent printer, and I could whip up a fake in a few minutes... I mean, I'm a graphic designer, I know. But KIDS could do this stuff now on their home computer systems. And what, terrorists don't have laptops with Word and an ink-jet in their possession? Please.

I digress... The whole thing is quite silly. It ALSO smacks of 'Big Brother' and all sorts of negative connotations surround this program. I know Britain is also going through a few problems with their National ID plans. I mean, people... Doesn't this whole "ID" thing just sort of smack of Nazism/Communism? I'm not exaggerating, it's like "I neeed to zee your PApars!" (Hard to fake a German accent with text, but you get the point.)

Well, Montana's Gov. Brian Schweitzer, was interviewed on National Public Radio back in January, and damn if he didn't symbolise the "libertarian-leave us alone" attitude of that huge state!

What a guy. I mean... How often do you hear a politician say, "Blah, blah, blah..?"

-- Tuckmac