Oil Barons

Oh, its confirmed, the oil companies this quarter have broken historical records of the largest profits in a single quarter in all of corporate history. Exxon led with 9.9 BILLION profit, with the other four large companies right behind.

Yesterday representatives of all five went before Congress, when a republican senator asked for them to be sworn in, the head Congressman in charge of the investigation refused them and told them that they would not allow forcing the CEO’s to be sworn in and be held under oath on why they charge what they do, hmm can we say oil money bought him. For some reason even with all the supposed problems and storms, their profits are actually officially up 62% since last year.

http://money.cnn.com/2005/11/07/news/economy/oil_hearing/

http://houston.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2005/11/07/daily40.html

fucking thieving corporate assholes, I so can’t wait until the oil runs out and we have to go to biodesiel.

Personal Revelation

A few months ago, my wife mentioned she thought my beliefs sounded a lot like Deism. Up until that point I had only heard of deism in the fact that several of our founding fathers of this country were deists.

Since then I have done a lot of research. Looked through the various christian religions, asian religions (including buddhism and hinduism), and even have done a bit of research on Judaism and Islam.

After months of looking around I think the wife was right. I think I am a deist. I do believe there is a god, I don’t believe any organized religion to date has it right (they are mostly hypocrites), I also am horrified that many religious people totally ignore science and instead refer to a book (that is a good guide of conscious in some cases) that has stolen many of its stories from other religions (such as Noah was actually a Babylonian Myth in the Epic of Gilgamesh that was written 2000 years before the bible) and that many many of the parts of the bible contradict each other.

I do believe both scientific reason and god can coexist. I do believe that like science says with the law of conservation that things are not destroyed they just change (meaning I do believe there is more to our lives then right here right now, just have no idea what to believe will happen after we die, but unlike many religions say about science, that science does not say there is no afterlife, just no way to know what it is).

The biggest specific reason I think I am deist is the belief that a “revealed religion” is not accurate. The reason for this is a revealed religion (christianity, buddhism, etc) is not direct from god, rather a revelation happened to a person and that HUMAN passed on the information to other humans. We have all played the game telephone and with just a few people the message changes drastically. I do believe personal revelation is the only way, on top of this I believe that this revelation needs to coexist with science. I do believe god shows his wonders through our environment, biology, chemistry. Many religious people I know kind of dismiss this in favor of miracles (which can happen, I am not saying they don’t) but just the fact that plants can live off the sun is a miracle itself, but the miracle can be explained, just because I can explain the process of photosynthesis does not make it non-god or not miraculous, rather it just shows the power of a creator to create such a hugely vast universe. The entire universe is a giant miracle, but it being a creation does mean it still has its own laws and effects, and that science is the way to determine how god operates.

The biggest gift god ever gave us was Reason. To not use reason and instead you follow dogma someone else told you to do is a lack of use of god’s greatest gift. Reason needs to be applied in all context, if someone tells you a message from god that does not meet reason, then more then likely in my belief, that person is misguided at the least and at the most is intentionally distracting you for some other reason (usually to get you to give them money or do something they want).

I feel a huge rant coming (as can be seen by my orderly post getting more and more unorderly). I will stop now, just reaffirm that I do think I am a deist.

Also a warning, in the future I will be posting some of my arguments against religions. Everyone is welcome to respond (or not read if you got a thin skin), I just ask if you debate with me, you do it in a polite manner and try and use sources, I generally wont accept a response of “well my pastor told me”, don’t rely on your religious leader, I suggest you do your own research, even if you have the same beliefs after the research, at least then you can feel more secure in your beliefs because you looked into them yourselves instead of relying on one of the parasites that calls themselves a minister/priest/pastor.

Home Owning Observations

My sister got a loan, made me think about home owning, read at your own risk, its long and not really that interesting.

My sister recently was approved for a home loan, she was excited, as many people believe she thinks it’s the way to save money and to get ahead in life. As my family was talking about this I began to think about the real value of owning a home. My conclusion is that it’s a myth. It doesn’t increase your value, and if nothing else it actually limits you due to your inability to move or sell quickly.

I am told constantly how people waste money renting, however after doing more research I discovered on average, if you wish to actually invest money, the smarter idea would be to rent. Here are my reasonings.

First and foremost, this does not include closing costs, realtor fees, repairs, or any extra fee. This is purely a monthly payment comparison between the house and the rental, AND this does not include money on the actual loan, THIS IS PURELY PAYMENT IN TAXES, INSURANCE, and INTEREST on the payment (basically the money that doesn’t go towards the value of the house, rather the money that is lost to excessive fees and does not actually pay off the primary loan).

First I took the average amount of $258,000 (average cost of a home in Bellingham according to http://www.bellingham.org). The average property tax is 1.4% (range is 1.2-1.6%), so you multiply 1.4% x 258,000 = $3,612 a year. She is paying 7% interest rate, that means 7.0% x 258,000 = $18,060 in interest alone on the house loan (none of it goes to the actual amount). Finally average home insurance (10 quotes I looked at for that value) was $820 a year. That means the totally yearly payment of her $258,000 home is $3,612 + $18,060 + $1220 = $22,892 dollars a year. If you divide that into a monthly payment that comes out to be approximately $1907.00 per month. NONE OF THAT GOES TOWARDS THE LOAN, that’s just the “cost” of having the house.

Now if you compare that to the average rental of a 3 bedroom home of $1050 (costs run $900 to $1200). If you take the rental cost of 1050 and subtract the Loan cost of $1907 = means renting you are saving $857 a month alone just in loan fees (plus the several hundred you would pay on your actual debt). Instead of wasting close to a $1000 a month extra plus the actual debt payment, you could turn around and invest that in some serious 401k, or invest it in other opportunities that are more portable.

So, my conclusion is you are throwing away an average of $857 a month in excessive fees to be able to say “I own this”. Of course this does not include the other advantages of renting, you do not have to repair or replace appliances (that is the responsibility of the landlord), rental insurance is only $15 a month, and utilities are generally cheaper in apartments (which btw are an additional $400 a month cheaper then the rental house).

If you truly want to invest, the best way to go about it would to be either rent an apartment and invest your extra money. Or do what the wife and I did, by a $20,000 mobile home (1/14 th the cost of House or go for a cheaper one) then pay $350 a month in lot fees that include w/s/g and cable (which is a savings of about $1600 a month over a house payment).

Just something I have been thinking about, useless rambling 😉

PS. My Insurance for the home is off, I mistakenly did a quote for $150k, not $258k, that means its actually a bit more expensive then $820 a year

PPS. This also doesnt even indicate that the average wage in Bellingham is about $28k a year, thats almost 60% of your pay, and it doesn’t even go to the actual debt.

PPPS This only includes starting buying a house from scratch (my sisters situation) not someone who has the ability to put down a downpayment 🙂

Where are your papers?

Sieg Heil, WHERE ARE YOUR PAPERS?

Yes its happening, we are becoming just like Communist Soviet Union, China, Nazi Germany and many other lovable places.

REAL-ID act passed 100-0 in the Senate and now goes to the president to be signed. This means everyone will be required to get Federal ID so the FBI/Customs/Border Patrol/DEA/ etc can all file away info on you.

This was the reason why when Social Security numbers were made there would be no use of it as Federal ID.

This is bullshit, might as well just give up all our rights to privacy.

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=47150
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/05/11/0119205

I am so moving out of this piece of shit country when I get my degree. Fuck them

Yes, they think this will help defend against terrorist, this just proves the terrorist won, they never think they could defeat us, but by causing us to run around, remove the rights they are jealous of, and let us live in fear we now live like they do, thus making us live in the same fear as them.

The terrorists won.

Fucked Up

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/2255.html

An Army Captain was found guilty of killing a wounded Iraqi they mistakenly thought was an insurgent. Now it wasn’t even that the Iraqi was killed accidently in the first salvo. They had stopped the car, killed one person and the wounded Iraqi was laying there bleeding. The Captain walked up, put the pistol to the Iraqi’s head and killed him “because he thought he would die anyways”.

How is that not the same as what we tried the Nazi’s for doing when they would take American prisoners and take them out to just shoot them? The Iraqi could not fight back (hell it wasn’t even an insurgent).

In the end, all the Army did to him was to kick him out of the service, no jail time, no other negative punishment. Considering how “noble and good” we are supposed to be, how is this any better then what Saddam, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh or any of them did.

Fucking hypocrites.

Opinion: Prisoner Abuse Scandal

I was thinking about the acts committed during the Iraqi prisoner scandal. I find what was done horrendous, terrible, and just plain wicked. I have heard some people complain that it isn’t that bad, but it would be the equivalent of making hardcore Christians do things that would make them burn in hell (sexual things, blasphemy, etc), and either way its a horrible thing.

I was also thinking there wouldn’t even be a hesitation with anyone if we found out an American prison, full of American prisoners were treated in an equally foul manner. We would not only demand the release of those prisoners, plus punishment of the guards, we would demand the extradition of those guards to have them stand trial here for crimes committed against our people.

You may be asking what I am getting too, here it is.

I am for not only releasing the guards from their military service with a dishonorable discharge, but I would also consider the possibility of handing them over to the Iraqi government (once its solidified) and let them try them for crimes against their own people.

Now, I know I am going to get flack, but honestly, we would expect anyone that violated our people’s rights to be extradited here and face trial, why wouldn’t we do that for other countries?

Oh, and don’t fool yourself, you all know if that did happen to our citizens, everyone would clamor for the people at fault to be shipped over here and tried.

Opinion: Tired of the “Freedom in Iraq” Rhetoric

I think I have had enough “arm chair” soldiers talk how we are giving freedom to the Iraqi people. In fact we are invading them and occupying them. Many of my friends who do believe in the war claim that terrorists are now attacking our troops. I hate to break it to you but I would consider them Iraqi Freedom Fighters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I want a single one of our troops to die, I also do believe that the soldiers over there need to do whatever they can to maintain thier own lives, and unfortunately that means killing Iraqis.

However, for us to invade another country is not moral. Especially since President Bush forced the issue of WMD and Terrorism when in fact Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction (evidently Blix was right) and no affiliations with Al-Queda. In fact it has been shown that since day one of his office (before 9-11) Bush has had his eyes on Iraq. I realize there is a lot of oil, and he is probably wishing to finish what his daddy started but he was wrong in what he did.

In 1936 Hitler claimed he was “pre-emptively” striking and reclaiming lost lands, actually if you read history much of Hitler’s reasons for taking over Austria and the rest of the little countries before Poland was the exact same reason that Bush gave.

We did not have the right to invade another country “pre-emptively” especially when the U.N. told us it was wrong. We are not infallible and we are just swinging our big dick around telling the world we will do whatever we want. We sound like a bully.

I have detoured off my original rant so I will go back to it.

How can we expect Iraqis to accept us with military and governmental control. Supposedly we came to give them freedom but the new government on June 30th is not allowed to make laws, and not allowed to do many other things. Exactly how is that giving control back to the Iraqis. 

We have an army that consists mostly of 135,000 Western, White and Christian in a Muslim world. Exactly how well would we handle if China came over here with 1.35 million troops (thats exactly the same ratio of troops to us that we have to Iraqis, they only have 10% of our population), what if they invaded us took over and said for our own “good” we would have to listen to them. We are not U.N. backed, we have no rights to be over there and we are being a big old bully.

I love my country, but I hate the weird “fervor” that has brewed, I wish some people would read more history, we are so very close to Berlin 1936 its not even funny. I do know if Bush wins, when I get out of school I may very well decide to find a foriegn place to live til America gets its head out of its ass.

Oh, by the way, I plan on becoming president in 2024. I have just purchased http://www.voteforlucky.com but it wont be valid until its registered by NIC (up to 3 days). I figure I can start my political career by slowly building up a site on why I should be president 🙂

*note from 9/2018 who would have thought this could be a serious thing, after all we voted Trump into office…

Crisis of Faith?

Well I finally fell asleep about 3am. I really think my worries about my parents growing old and what is going to happen is most likely still some stress from school, bad diet (not that I am on a diet, bad food habits), caffiene withdrawal and not enough vitamins.

Please forgive the following ranting, I have just woke up and am still bleary eyed so I am not sure how much sense this will make when I wake up, but it makes sense now.

I also think I am having a small crises of faith. I get worried when I am stressed on what will happen to my wife, parents, siblings and friends after they die. Weirdly enough I don’t feel as concerned about myself, except that I have selfish feelings, I don’t want to lose them. I don’t want to have to miss them. I don’t want to lose my wife forever after this is over. I am not talking about a heaven/hell thing, I just mean part of me thinks its unfair I only get a certain time with her, my parents and my friends.

I realize that sounds funny as hell, and normally I dont even worry or think about it, but this quarter for some reason its been bothering me. I guess this has plagued man all of eternity, the foreknowledge of dying. I guess I am partially worried my wife is right and this is the end of things, although honestly I guess if its over after this I wont notice too much :).

I am  partially worried the Christians or other monotheistic religions are right and there is a judgmental being that will separate family/friends/loved ones because they wont kneel to him/her/it in supplication and obey rules instead of judging on who is truly a good soul.

Ok, here is my rant about Christianity/Catholicism/Monotheism of any type. Having been raised Catholic (with bouts as buddhist for 5 years, and other Christian churches for a few sessions each). I originally believed in God, Jesus, the devil all of that. As I grew older I realized the hypocrisy that all churches have.

I have yet to see a church that doesn’t “make money” off of people. Don’t get me wrong, I believe they need to be able to make enough to keep going, but I have never seen a poor preacher who has a congregation, not ever. All I hear from ALL monotheistic religions is that if you don’t “believe” in a single way of doing things, if you wont kneel and be subservient and go to church then your going to hell. I would think that a divine being of goodness would base thier whole judgement on a person’s goodness (which I believe is how you treat others). My believing that most Christians/other Monotheistic followers are hypocrites is the fact they preach goodness, but tell my wife she is going to hell because she is not Christian.

Its funny because they do good things in order to get into heaven, the wife does good things because she likes people (ignore her rumblings, she has an incredibly generous heart when people are in need). But according to these people they will go to heaven because they are being good (purely for the reason of going to heaven, seems kinda selfish if thats the only reason they are good) and she goes down because she doesn’t follow thier religion.

Now I have been happily surprised by some “individual” followers of Monotheism, some of them have shown me generousity above and beyond and I dont believe they do it for an end, but they are good people. What frustrates me is the dogma of these churches, not the individuals in the churches (ok, some individuals frustrate me even more).

I realized my ranting is going off on a tangent so I will try and pull it back. I am worried that either
A). There is nothing after this, but I guess thats moot once I die, I wont notice and it will just be over, or
B). There is a jealous god/goddess/thing that because my family tends to be less then religious will split us up so we never see each other again.

I think what bothers me the most is I want to believe in something, I want to believe there is a a good place everyone goes to, there is actually very few people in history that I think deserves a hell, how can someone be judged if they do something horrible for only one lifetime, what if thier circumstances of when/where/how they were born dictate they have to behave in a bad manner, hell why could a divine being of good judge someone who has mental illness and does horrible things because of it, that they deserve eternal torment. It doesn’t seem fair.

Actually that last part is probably the crux of my problem with most religions. How is it fair to judge anyone as “beyond redemption” because either they dont believe in a church (but are good people) or because they are born into unfair circumstances that they do bad things. How can eternal damnation be that easy to give? Hell honestly I would think its unfair for even someone like Hitler to go to eternal hell. Yes he caused suffering but he obviously was suffering from mental illness/syphillis/etc. 

Now there is a way around this, some eastern religions is that maybe we are judged on more then one life, I could understand if someone was an evil bastard for more then one life, maybe the soul is corrupt and deserves to go to hell. But I believe that would be a fairer way to judge the mettle of someone. The eastern religions believe we redo this life until we get it right. 

Actually in the end thats what I hope this is about, we come back and keep doing the “living” thing til we get it right and then we can move on. This quarter I have been having problems with my personal beliefs, not that I dont believe them anymore, just fears instilled in me by Christianity and the guilt have made me second guess myself.

My whole belief (is usually at least) that we have all been here before (we dont repeat the same life, yes I do believe in “past lives” and no I wasn’t an Egyptian Pharoah, I dont think at least). I believe the same “souls” meet each other and thats why certain people even upon meeting them for the first time I believe I have known them for a long time.

I am positive my wife and I have been together before (more then once at that). I believe my friends and family have been together in different variations before and actually I do sometimes have dreams of past places/times and I sometimes wonder if thats a memory or maybe its a “cellular” memory from an ancestor. I do believe some form of “reincarnation” exists.

That was one of the hard things to try and accept as a Catholic, that we only get one life, one chance to do it right, it always seemed to me unfair that eternity is based on a single set of years ranging from 1 to 80. Even 80 years seems like such a small time to lay eternal damnation on someone for actions. 

Actually I guess in the end I am agnostic, I do believe there is something good (no matter how hard I try to think nothing is there), I do believe there is something bad there, whether thats an outer being of evil, or the flaws in us individually I am not sure of. I am trying to restore my belief that there is something after this life, I realize that this sounds weird, but I hope all things have an afterlife (including animals/pets, I sit here staring at my humongous cat above my monitor and I think it would be a shame if this was it for the little guy).

I think thats where the chink in my “crisis of faith” its not that I don’t believe there is something good, I just am scared that the Christians/Monotheistic people are right and it is a judgemental being, or that the atheists are right and thats it, its over (but I don’t think the atheists are right about there not being a divine being/or beings, I don’t think the Romans/Celts/Greeks/Japanese/Just about every other non-monotheistic culture are necessarily wrong). I could accept a pantheistic view, especially after my classes with Rabbi Oblath.

My belief in the churches of monotheism were shaken when I took a class with a rabbi that explained how the old testament was written and how current modern day peoples mis-interpret what is going on (Hebrew religious texts are very exact in what the meanings are, he was explaining). I figure since “his” religion and people wrote the old testament they would have a clearer understanding of things then the churches that took it over. There are so many examples that I will rant with at a latter time (Adam had multiple wives, god in the garden speaking with other beings of equal level, etc). But all of those require a lot of ranting each so no space here.

I guess in the end, I just am worried that the conservative religious people are right, but then again if they are right the being that demands worship and obediance isn’t truly good and they are being fooled. IF that was the case (and I hope its not) then maybe it is better to Reign in Hell then serve in heaven.

Ok, that was a really long winded rant, I think it helped me to write it out, I feel less worried about things now. Even though I feel my rant isn’t done, I need to stop, it was a long time in writing and in the end its just better if I get some breakfast and get ready for going down to my parents house.