Monday, December 2, 2019

Political Ideologies


Capitalism. Fascism. Libertarianism. Democratic Socialism. Communism. Totalitarianism. Social Anarchism. Anarchy. Oligarchy. Monarchy. Marxism. Liberalism. *

There are many, many ideologies out there and I've been doing what I can to learn about the spectrum. Their main points, how they function, examples in the world, pros and cons, personal and economic issues related to each one, the grey areas, factions. There is so much to learn and digest, I'm sure I'm confused about nearly all of it. 
So pardon me if I sound like an ass:

But there is something that I'm certain of, a conclusion that I've come to on my own: they're all bullshit.

Every single political ideology can be explained and idealized on paper. Every single one of these political viewpoint concepts can be rationalized...on paper. But when we take these ideals off of paper and attempt to apply them (all) to human behavior, every one of them goes off of the rails. 

Humans are the problem, I think. So many people, for some reason that I can truly not comprehend, are selfish, lazy, violent, unfair, dishonorable, corrupt**. It seems to me that anybody who wants leadership in this country, shouldn't have it because the desire for leadership suggests one or more of the previous list: selfish, lazy, violent, unfair, dishonorable, corrupt.

I know this post is a bit of a ramble, it's past 4am and my eyes are bleary, but it seems to me that all of the political ideologies that I have studied seem perfectly reasonable and understandable--on paper. It's the carrying out of them in the real world that shows the tremendous deficit in each one of them.

Are you certain that capitalism is the strongest, healthiest, and most reasonable system on the planet? Why do you think this? This capitalistic country is plagued in corruption, violence, selfishness ...our very planet is nearly beyond ecological redemption because of capitalistic notions of what is acceptable. Our very government is responsible for corruption and hateful actions around the world based on the principles of our nation's trade and industry being controlled by what brings the most profit: capitalism. Misery and pain for most, all for a profit to a few.

Communism, are you certain that it is reprehensible? Communism is a state where the means of production, the trade and industry, is actually owned by the workers. That means that the profit is shared by the workers rather than by the elite 1% like here in America. How can that be wrong? The ideals make perfect sense and are, in fact, rational, and sensible. However, the attempts at actually carrying out this form of government has always resulted in human misery and pain to most, for the benefit of the state.

Look, I am not smart and I am not erudite about political science or government at all. I simply have a basic awareness that governments of all kinds became necessary when humans began living in collectives, or large groups, in order to have order, fairness, decent living conditions. In the early days of our species, small bands roved around and whatnot until enough of them gathered together in such numbers that it became necessary to have some form of justice, rules to live by, good neighbor policies, I guess. Government.

What has happened?
Are there just to many of us on the planet?

Are humans who seek power simply the wrong humans to actually have in power. Am I simply too tired to be writing this blog post***?

I'm convinced that, just like religion, I suppose, governments cost us our humanity. I think people act in blatantly illogical, inhuman, inhumane, short-sighted, uninformed ways based on their political leaning. All political leanings. Are we, as a species, just too weak, scared, or unexamined to make communal living possible? Is there another way?

We all know of political systems in the ancient world that were no less power-hungry than our governmental systems are now and there were far fewer people on the planet at that time. The only thing similar between today's governments and those of three thousand years ago is us. It's our species. We're not at our best when it comes to living together. 

Somebody is always wanting to demonize somebody else. One guy is always trying to exert power or pressure on some other guy. This person needs you to believe as he does. That person needs to take your best stuff for himself. These lines must separate us from one another. YOU are different from US. These people would rather close their eyes to problems than look at them clearly. Those people are just fine with treating other humans like crap. You've read history books; you know what I mean.


I mean, with human beings like this, how could any governmental system succeed?

 What do YOU think? 


 *   All discussion and definitions and other stuff on this blog post is in general and not specific.
      You must do your own research.

**  YES, I do recall my last blog post. 
*** YES to this last question, for sure.

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I don't know if you've ever spent any time looking at the masthead on my blog, that part at the top of the blog page with my cheesy pic on the right, next to the quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The quotation reads Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. I chose that quotation in my life and for this blog very deliberately.

Emerson was a 19th century philosopher, writer, lecturer. He wrote and spoke about something called the Transcendentalism movement, a school of philosophy that gained some intellectual popularity in the early- to mid-1800s, probably in response to the anti-intellectualism brought on by various strains of religion. You can read about Transcendentalism in many great places online, so check it out if you are interested in this. Absolutely inherent in the belief system of Transcendentalism is a belief in the goodness of people and of nature. 

Furthermore, these folks believed that society and its institutions, mainly religions, actually impair and undermine the goodness of each individual. If you've ever read Emerson's series of essays called Self-Reliance, that is what he is referring to, the idea that individuals should rely upon their own thoughts, instincts, and opinions rather than conform to those of other institutions. Emerson would say that individuals are best when they are independent, that, were we, as individuals, to rely upon our own minds rather than those of past authors/philosophers/lecturers, we individuals would create our own independent thought and be better people, thus, self reliance.

Don't blindly follow the thoughts and beliefs of others, true independence comes from self-reliance, and nothing can bring you peace except for yourself. That's what Emerson was saying.

SO, I love the basis of Transcendentalism, though, naturally, I don't follow anyone or any doctrine...kind of like what Transcendantalism says to do.  LOL The quotation at the top of this page reflects exactly how I feel about the necessity for questioning, for continued learning, and for absolute respect for the process of exploration and of the unknown. 

The quote is an incitement, a catalyst, an inducement to myself and to all of those who read this blog to cultivate a life of free thought, of questioning, and of integrity.

Good night, Folks.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving


This year I've been very, very proactive making healthy decisions in my life, removing people out of my life who are toxic or painful... Over these past few years I have taken many steps in my life, steps that I've needed to take, to make deliberate decisions about who is in my life. I just don't have the energy for that kind of toxic crap.

Regardless of how deliberate it is, it's still hard. I'm a Family Person. Although I'm generally very happy in my life and glad that I've made the decisions that I've made, there are certain times of the year when it starts to get to me. These holidays are those days for me.

It's already started. Lucky for me, I've got some truly wonderful and loving people under this roof and they've already been so supportive...

Today John was the one I was talking with. Among many other things he said to me, Mom, you ARE a family person. And, though we don't have other family now, we have us. And in a few years, there will be more of us, and you will always spend the holidays with my kids.


Like, yeah, he said that. He gets it.

In the meantime, I'm struggling a bit.
But Happy Thanksgiving to you.


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Friday, November 22, 2019

I'm Sensitive


You're too sensitive.
If I've heard it once, I've heard it, literally, a thousand times. Someone notices that my feelings have been hurt by something they've said or done so they shake their head, little frown, and say Aw, tip of the head, you're so sensitive.


I have spent a good deal of my life apologizing for being sensitive. I've had people minimize their own rudeness/unkindness by simply thinking it is my sensitivity that is the problem and not their own rudeness or their boorishness or their bull-in-a-china-shop-...ness.
This has been an ongoing and constant issue for me.
So I've been quite ashamed of that part of me for years. But no more and never again.

The truth is, I am. I'm sensitive.
It's a huge part of who I am.
I own it and I'm grateful to it because it makes me the kind of person that I am proud to be. So I don't just accept that part of me, I celebrate it.

If this describes you too, take heart.

* I know I post about this issue alot...it's a thing for me...

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Athiest Homeschooling Parents: DON'T MISS THIS!


A friend on Facebook just posted a link to this film Your Inner Fish, available HHMI: BioInteractive, a website for science teachers to share tons of media materials. SHARE THIS LINK!
It's absolutely wonderful. I've only been checking it out for awhile tonight, but I've already seen dozens of titles that are awesome and absolutely FREE!


So far with my quick look tonight, I think it's generally high school level and higher, but who's to say that your children aren't completely capable of understanding these concepts already? ALWAYS expose them to materials that you think might be "above their heads". It's one of the amazing perks of being homeschoolers.

Here are a few titles and links to whet your whistle:


Check it out with your kids and follow your interests...
then let me know of your experience!

What do YOU think?


No Name for It


Just a thing on my mind.
It's been on my mind for years.


When I was young, I got pregnant. Right?
I had so much pain and judgement from that. People who labeled me whore.

But it was like it happened to me alone. I carried the stigma. I lived with the so-called disgrace. I was humiliated in a million different ways, and for years. In my family, I was smeared and stigmatized...I became the pariah. It was actually weird because I clearly wasn't the worst kid in the world, but being sexually active...oh geez, we can't have that! I wasn't even the only kid in the family (cousins, etc) who was sexually active. I mean, really, the stories I knew about other people... I was treated like tramp even though I was in a long-term relationship with the guy. Sheesh.


Anyway, both during and after my pregnancy I was person who was labeled; I was the besmirched name; * I was the ne'er-do-well. 

Guess who didn't lose either face or reputation.
My boyfriend.


Oh sure, he got some crap up front. Sure, his mother gave him the omnipresent Catholic guilt, but over all he was fine. The long run? He went on with his life. No problems with work. No problems with friends. No lingering problems with his family. He didn't even seem to have any depression, as I did for years. And no names. He was called no names. Not a single one.

Why is that?
No, really?
Why is it that the mother gets to be, as his mother called me, The Whore of Babylon? Why was he allowed to just skip away? No, I care enough for him that I truly didn't want him to have this same problem, but why is it this way? I carried that letter
A for many years, many, many years, while he just walked away unscathed**

I don't know, just an old, never before voiced, rant.

In the meantime, the baby?
She was adopted as a newborn.
She's now 36 years old, married, mother of two. If she EVER comes here and sees this picture, she'll be angry. And rightly so. 

But here she is, my daughter and her beautiful family.   --------------------------->


* ME! I mean, do you know me? Geeeesh.
** Actually there is a name for this, it's mysogyny, gender inequality, sexism.

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

I Know Who I Am


I'm all for the government staying out of my damn life, if it can also make sure that people in need have the support that they need to survive. I'm terribly extroverted, unless I'm not. I'm deliciously introverted, unless I'm not. I've got get out of the house; when I'm not snuggled up on the couch. I'm extremely friendly, unless I'm just keeping to myself that day. I'm feet on the floor, until those days that the existential thoughts, again, swirl my mind. And I'm connected to some exceptionally people, as well as being completely in my own bubble on some days. I feel tranquil, yet driven.

I'm all of these things.
And do you know why?
Because I'm finally me. Me, in all of my varying degrees of things.

For many years I'd thought that I'd really known myself...turns out, I had no idea! But I can say that I'm finally beginning to know me. How weird is that? Turning fifty was a real turning point in my life. It was such a freeing thing, such an empowering thing. I've often heard older women talk about feeling empowered in their fifties, but I simply could not conceive of such a thing, until now.


How could I know that the freedom of reinvention would become a real presence in my life, that the deep love that I feel for people in my life would deepen, widen, develop quiet violence? Rather then sliding down that slippery slope, I feel like the world is opening to me. Rather than paddling and paddling to stay in place, doors open to me and people welcome me in as legit, no need to prove myself anymore. I own literally every single thing that I'll ever need and have no need to accumulate any more stuff. I am both invisible and powerful beyond belief out in the world.


Yes, I am that person who talks to you in the grocery aisle. I'll drive up, roll down my car window and have a chat with you on the roadside. I'll stop and give you the time you need. I'll greet the mailman at the box. I'll drop everything to spend time with you, with your kids, with your kids' friends. I wear comfortable clothing, hair up in a do, eating healthy, wearing sneakers and a cozy, warm sweatshirt with dangling earrings. I'm fitting into the smaller sizes and I often choose to dress up just for fun. I think fondly of high school rather than thinking of it as a cesspool of neurosis. I look at my slightly-greying husband and fondly think He's getting to be a grumpy bugger. I can identify with several different generations and I feel like I fit in comfortably with almost everyone. But mostly, I don't give a FUCK what anybody else thinks.
 

Being in my fifties is wonderful and freeing and expanding and, as soon as this Advil kicks in, I'm going to kick my heals up and party like it's 1999!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Reaction Videos


I KNOW that there is something wrong with me!
Even though I'm busy as HAIL, I love and enjoy reaction videos, especially I love Jamel_AKA_Jamal at the moment. Jamel is a Youtuber who created content for fun, all kinds of videos, until now, he's doing reaction videos now, reacting to all kind of music.

While doing my work online I nearly always have music or TEDtalks or something behind me, occupying my mind. This propensity of mine to listen to a variety of content takes me on some weird journeys to videos that are far-flung at times. ANYWAY, somehow I started watching some videos of people listening to other videos and reacting to them. WTHeck? lol

I know.
I know.


Some months ago I stumbled on some videos by a dude named Jamel who was reacting to Led Zeppelin, The Moody Blues, Elvis, Rush, Queen, and Pink Floyd, to name a few. He seems to listen to many Spanish artists that are unfamiliar to me. I was binging on Led Zeppelin when I stumbled on Jamel. But it was his reactions to Karen Carpenter that made me really love him! 

Jamel's face when he's listening to Karen Carpenter is ADORABLE.

There must be tens of thousands of content providers on Youtube putting out reaction videos of every sort, and, interestingly, dozens of people who have reacted to Karen Carpenter specifically. But Jamel watching Karen Carpenter videos from 1972 has stolen my heart.



* If the crazy world of reaction videos appeals to you, check out these two dudes listening to Rush's Spirit of the Radio for the first time, and enjoy the discovery...again!


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Monday, November 4, 2019

Pornography


Here's another grey area for you.

Actually, maybe it's not so grey after all...

When I was growing up, my dad has pornography in the house. On the walls. In the closets. Sitting out. In the john, of course.

This was a house with one young boy and three young girls. This was a house where Mom left (GEE, Wonder why? ) and the kids were raised by this man. This man who thought it was OK to have pictures of nude women hanging around, who thought it was OK to have pornography (not the classy kind) just sitting around, accessible to these young minds.


Yep. I looked at it.
Yep. I was affected by it.


This morning I was thinking about what I thought about it all of those years ago and how I was affected by it. How I am, in fact, still affected by it. Let's start with a thing that happened when I was in the second grade.

I was in my second grade class, talking to some boys. They mentioned naked women and I said, "I can show you lots of naked women!" So we organized a trip to walk over to my house (literally 100 steps from the classroom door) so that these boys could see the naked pictures. I remember it being at least two boys (Tom an Michael), but I know that there was at least one other boy. We walked over to my house and into the garage. I turned on the lights/ the boys eyes lit up! The walls were covered with pictures. I felt kind of proud, kind of knowing, kind of generous. That is, until Mom came out and scooted us out of the garage. Until that moment I had no idea that it was a shameful thing or that there was something untoward about having naked pictures on the wall. To me, that was normal.


When I first became curious about the books and magazines around the house, I guess I was pretty young, in elementary school. Somewhere I ran across this old black and white dirty magazine of sorts. While most of Dad's pornography was of young women, this thing had an image of a naked dude standing there with a huge penis. As a kid I remember looking at that picture and feeling horrified at that hideous thing. I kept that picture hidden for months just so I could look at it with disgust.

As I got older, the message was always something like "Women are either virgins or whores." So any sexual activity, regardless of how freaking normal that is, was viewed as being a whore, being sinful, being unlovable. In fact, as soon as my sex life became common knowledge in the family (thanks to my brother reading my diary when I was 16 or 17...), my dad moved about fifty miles from me emotionally. From that moment forward, he never acted loving toward me again, and he died almost forty years later...

Imagine that weird dichotomy. Pornography all over the place, but we're not supposed to be sexual or to have sexual experiences. I was effed up about that one for decades...
What's normal? What's real? What's healthy?
All of these issues have reared their ugly heads because of the normalcy of pornography in my life.


Anyway, more stuff in my teens...somehow my boyfriends were from very conservative families, resulting in mothers hating me. Whore.
Yep.


And the pornography?
Somehow it gave me a weird, fucked up vision of women, of femininity, of sexuality. Using and enjoying pornography doesn't bother me. Use it if you like. Be in it, if you choose to. Enjoy it. Just use your integrity...your principles.

And, forgoodnessake, keep it off of your walls!


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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Excerpts from Posts I Will Never Write


The truth is, I try hard to keep myself positive and to avoid posting things that tell any of my so-called negative opinions. Words are powerful things and using them is a real responsibility. In my life and in my writing I make it a priority to write as precisely as possible. Sure, yes, make misteaks, lol, but I do make the effort.

I have a serious reason for this. With kids, I'm super aware of offering my opinion on things because when I express them, BOOM, suddenly my kids either share my opinion exactly or choose to hold opinions exactly opposite from mine. lol  In other words, I keep my opinions to myself because it allows others more freedom to have their own opinions. 


HOWEVER, I have written a few blog posts that I chose to never post. Let's call this blog post: Three Truths and a Lie

You decide which of these excerpts are truly from my fifty-odd unpublished posts, never to be published! and which are just silly stuff I'm putting here to trip you up.  lol


1. From a post called Working Title:
...I like people... and I want them to know me before they judge me on my religion.

When you can't take a joke about religion, I'm disgusted. When someone takes their religion so seriously it makes me annoyed. I don't want to hear about your religious mass or anything.
It disgusts me.
I hate feeling like that but it horrifies me that someone could think so mindlessly. I find it hard to be friends with someone like that. 
I feel bad because people aren't judging me for atheist, but I'm judging them. People respect my atheism and I find it really hard to respect their religion. ...I roll my eyes.

I have lost friends before when I told people I was an atheist and these two girls in my class stopped talking to me. That couldn't stand that I was pro-choice and not a Republican.
2. From a post called I Don't Want to Know
I don't want to know! Whatever evidence you bring, I will never stop believing.

I don't go looking for these conversations; they find me. Recently I was lassoed into a conversation about being an atheist and the other person told me I don't want to know! 
Whatever evidence you bring, I will never stop believing. They actually said that and I didn't know how to respond to it. A statement like that is, effectively, a conversation stopper.

But even more, it's a thought stopper. The decision to always believe, in spite of evidence, is easier for some, I guess.

3. And from a post called You Deserved It
...It's about rudeness.And kindness.
But I didn't tell her and she taught that lesson with that thing hanging out of her nose.
I didn't even tell her later.
And I'm not sorry.

I'm generally the person who tells you that you have spinach on your teeth or smooshed lipstick. I think that I'd like it if you told me, right? But last night I let this woman teach with a hanger.

4. And from Rainbow Brainwash:
...Hate is taught!! It's not something you are born with. My kids don't look at the world through a filter of judgment and it's not because I've brainwashed them with the rainbow (someone actually said that to me this week). It's because the hearts they were born with have been protected. They were born into this world loving unconditionally and have been allowed to continue that way. Guard all the love that your children came here to share. Don't let this fucked up world take it from them.


OK, so that's the challenge.
In the comments, you make a guess about which of the above non-published blog posts is the lie, I never wrote it. Totally fake.
And, for the others, I hope you will forgive me. 



*  Be back in a week with the answer.
      No guesses?
      Oh well, the answer was #3.  😊


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