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Gender: Male
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 7,062

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Dear Christian-bashers, here's a big fat target for you:

First, how do we know it's open season on the Christian faith community around here? A quick gander of recent posts . . .

You do NOT get to make the name of your own superstition mean "good person" because doing so screams that those who do not share it are bad people - and all the disingenuous BS in the world will not change that loathsome lie.

I think "Christians" are probably the most harmful entities on this planet right now. No single group has caused more bloodshed and harm to the living beings on this planet.

I don't bash individual Christians. I bash the idea of Christianity which very much does need to be bashed. With a few exceptions, that's what I see the majority of athiests on DU doing. If it bothers you so that your religion is being bashed, and you take that as a personal affront from all athiests on DU, perhaps your belief is not nearly as strong as you thought.

Christianity can be used to justify many different and contradictory conclusions which makes it pretty much worthless as any kind of standard to live up to.

I am convinced that religious belief is delusional at best, and a variety of mental illness at worst. Folks displaying those characteristics are hard to support for leadership positions outside the asylum.

I don't even believe he <God>exists, but instead is a made up myth used by groups over the centuries to control people and politics. If that makes me a god-hater I will wear that badge proudly.

I believe everyone has a right to believe in anything they want. I also believe people have a right to say they think those beliefs are dangerous, absurd or ridiculous.

Get your religion out of my government or get another Religion.

Want Your Ideas Respected, Sir? Get Better Ideas....

Religious people want their ridiculous beliefs placed off limits. Why? Too embarrassing to have to defend them?

I ridicule the ridiculous. I care little who or how many decided to make it the central focus of their life.

I hope I have refuted the "Christians aren't demeaned here" BS before it has a chance to choke off the real discussion which is . . .

If you don't like Christians, you have a major problem with this guy--

<Obama> gave a sermon, telling the story of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and his eventual crucifixion, a sacrifice that "puts in perspective our small problems relative to the big problems he was dealing with."

Few presidents have spoken about their religious faith as often, as deeply or as eloquently as Obama. "We worship an awesome God in the blue states," he declared at the 2004 Democratic convention, and he has sought since then to rebuild ties between the Democratic Party and the world of faith.


Obama from a 2006 speech on religion and politics:

At worst, there are some liberals who dismiss religion in the public square as inherently irrational or intolerant, insisting on a caricature of religious Americans that paints them as fanatical, or thinking that the very word "Christian" describes one's political opponents, not people of faith.

. . . over the long haul, I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in people's lives -- in the lives of the American people -- and I think it's time that we join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy.

And if we're going to do that then we first need to understand that Americans are a religious people. 90 percent of us believe in God, 70 percent affiliate themselves with an organized religion, 38 percent call themselves committed Christians . . .

I speak with some experience on this matter. I was not raised in a particularly religious household, as undoubtedly many in the audience were . . . It wasn't until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma.

It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago one day and affirm my Christian faith . . .


Posted by mistertrickster | Mon Apr 9, 2012, 10:11 PM (171 replies)

For group hosts, a thought for the day

Dogma is the enemy of human freedom. Dogma must be watched for and apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolutionary movement. The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice. Those who enshrine the poor or Have-Nots are as guilty as other dogmatists, and just as dangerous. To diminish the danger that ideology will deteriorate into dogma, and to protect the free, open, questing, and creative mind of human-kind, as well as to allow for change, no ideology should be more specific than that of America’s founding fathers: “For the general welfare.”

— Saul D. Alinsky, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

Or put another way in a magazine interview:

Philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide. . . . Nobody owns the truth, and dogma, whatever form it takes, is the ultimate enemy of human freedom.
Posted by mistertrickster | Tue Feb 14, 2012, 06:26 PM (6 replies)

Here's something for the hosts of "groups"

"Philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as 'that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you're right.' If you don't have that, if you think you've got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide. . . . Nobody owns the truth, and dogma, whatever form it takes, is the ultimate enemy of human freedom."

Saul Alinsky
Posted by mistertrickster | Tue Feb 14, 2012, 06:14 PM (1 replies)

DU Poll on Attitudes toward Rape

The polling feature has not been programmed on DU3 yet.

For simplicity sake, please vote YES if you agree with any of the following (starred) statements:

Vote NO if you disagree with all the statements:

A woman is responsible for forced, unwanted sex against her will if she

* dresses in skimpy or tight clothes that show off her body.

* drinks at a bar and flirts with one or more men.

* goes to a man's apartment after a date or after drinking with a man at a bar.

* gets so drunk that she passes out.

* crawls into bed with a man.


I'm trying to get a feeling for attitudes toward rape among the DU community and contrast them with a study that was conducted in London.

Thank you.
Posted by mistertrickster | Tue Feb 7, 2012, 04:15 PM (90 replies)

Here's the bogus Forbes article that's lighting up the right-wing blogosphere

and here's the rebuttal:


Warren Buffett’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. She was the president’s chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system – a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.

Bosanek’s prominent role in Obama’s “fairness” campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman? So far, no one has volunteered this information.

We can get an approximate answer by consulting IRS data on tax rates by adjusted gross income, which would approximate her salary, assuming she does not have significant dividend, interest or capital-gains income (like her boss). I assume Buffett keeps her too busy for her to hold a second job. I also do not know if she is married and filing jointly. If so, it is deceptive for Obama to use her as an example. The higher rate may be due to her husband’s income. So I assume the tax rate referred to is from her own earnings.

. . .

Buffet himself declares that he pays a 17.4 percent rate on taxable income. His staff, like Bosanek, pay an average of 34 percent. The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The 2009 results show that the average taxpayer paying Buffet’s 17.4 rate earns an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000. But an average taxpayer in Bosaneck’s rate (after downward adjustment for payroll taxes) earns an adjusted gross income of $200,000 to $500,000. Therefore Buffett must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary well above two hundred thousand.


Did you catch the weasel word there, folks? It's average. If you walk through a 20 foot stream that is exactly two feet deep, the average depth is two feet. However if you walk through a similar stream that is 20 feet deep for a width of four feet and one foot deep the rest of the way, the average depth is only 1.2 feet.

Which one do you want to cross? The stream that is two feet deep or the one that is "only" one point two feet deep?

The Forbes article reflects data of "average" taxpayers who may have a lot of investment income, just like Rmoney. This would pull the "average" tax rate far lower than it really is on MOST taxpayers in that range.

So, it's a bogus way to look at Buffett's secretary's income.


Here's the simple truth--

If Buffett's secr'y makes 75 K a year, files singly, and only takes the standard deduction of 5,800 dollars + the exemption on herself (1) 3,700, she pays taxes on 65,500 dollars. The tax on that amount is 12,506 dollars.

Divide that tax by 75K, and you get a tax rate of 16.6 percent.

Rmoney makes over 20 million a year and pays a tax rate of 13.9 percent.

It's pretty simple math, really, and it shows that what Buffett and Obama said is exactly right.
Posted by mistertrickster | Fri Jan 27, 2012, 02:49 PM (4 replies)

Never forget that the Cons fought King every step of the way . . .

William F. Buckley, Jr.

The foremost CON of his day, William F. Buckley started the arch-CON magazine The National Review in which he defended Joe McCarthy witch hunts. According to Wiki, In 1957, Buckley came out in support of the segregationist South, famously writing that “the central question that emerges . . . is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.”‘

James J. Kilpatrick

Widely published in thousands of US newspapers, you may remember Kilpatrick as the curmudgeonly old guy defending the position of the Reich on the 60 Minutes "Point-Counterpoint".

The Virginia campaign for Massive Resistance organized in response to Brown v. Board may have been avoided if not for journalist James J. Kilpatrick. Deemed a moderate voice in southern race relations, Virginia’s Commission on Public Education was expected to offer a reasonable plan for school desegregation that would serve as an example to other southern states. However, public condemnation from government sources such as the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, as well as the 1955 media coverage of the lynching of Emmett Till and the Montgomery bus boycott, fueled southern resistance. Kilpatrick initiated a counter media campaign, resurrecting the Doctrine of Interposition—the theory that states had the constitutional right to interpose themselves between the Federal government.

Kilpatrick's furious opposition to Civil Rights led to some Virgina schools closing for five years rather than to integrate.

(from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_mla_apa_... )

John Birch Society

Surely these tireless defenders of liberty would support King's struggle, right? Guess again.

In Alan Stang's book published by the JBS, It's Very Simple: The True Story of Civil Rights, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is portrayed as an agent of a massive communist conspiracy to agitate among otherwise happy Negroes to foment revolution, or at least promote demands for more collectivist federal government intrusion.


Barry Goldwater

"the federal Constitution does not require the States to maintain racially mixed schools. Despite the recent holding of the Supreme Court, I am firmly convinced-not only that integrated schools are not required-but that the Constitution does not permit any interference whatsoever by the federal government in the field of education. It may be just or wise or expedient for Negro children to attend the same schools as white children, but they do not have a civil right to do so which is protected by the federal constitution, or which is enforceable by the federal government."

He summed up by saying that it is the right of each individual state to decide if it is wise to integrate White and Negro schoolchildren. "That is their decision, not mine," he declared.


Ludwig Von Mises Institute

"The nonviolence of Martin Luther King et hoc genus omne was of course a fraud: It aimed to provoke others to violence in the hope that this would advance the civil rights agenda."

Wow. Talk about BLAMING THE VICTIM! That has to be the most egregious example possible.


Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan originally opposed the bill that would create Martin Luther King Day citing high costs (www.nytimes.com/2007/11/13/opinion/13herbe... ).

It was not until congress passed the bill with an overwhelming 338 to 90 he signed the bill into law.


The National Review

"For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the “cake of custom” that holds us together. With their doctrine of “civil disobedience,” they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes — particularly the adolescents and the children — that it is perfectly alright to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance; in protest against injustice. And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted “school strikes,” sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit defiance of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed — and, no doubt, with the best of intentions — and they have found apt pupils everywhere, with intentions not of the best. Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind."

Will Herberg, "’Civil Rights’ and Violence: Who Are the Guilty Ones?", The National Review Sept. 7th, 1965

Ronald Reagan, again


Sam Donaldson: Mr. President, Senator Helms has been saying on the Senate floor that Martin Luther King, Jr., had Communist associations, was a Communist sympathizer. Do you agree?

Ronald Reagan: We’ll know in about 35 years, won’t we? No, I don’t fault Senator Helms’ sincerity with regard to wanting the records opened up. I think that he’s motivated by a feeling that if we’re going to have a national holiday named for any American, when it’s only been named for one American in all our history up until this time, that he feels we should know everything there is to know about an individual.

http://www.advancingthestory.com/2009/03/0... /

Ron Paul


in December 1990, Paul suggested that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sexually molested girls and boys, remarking: “And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?”


Posted by mistertrickster | Mon Jan 16, 2012, 01:49 PM (4 replies)

What’s for the tea party not to like in Romney?

Op-ed in my local paper on the day Frank was in town for a book signing ("Pity the Billionaire"

Dear tea party movement:

For the last few months, the world has been fascinated by your frenzied search for a presidential candidate who is not Mitt Romney. Because you found the man inauthentic, you buoyed up a string of anti-Mitts – Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich. But they were buffoons all, preposterous figures whom you rightfully changed your minds about as soon as you got to know them.

. . .

If nothing else, you in the tea party movement have spent the last three years teaching Americans that we are in a battle for the very soul of capitalism. And here comes Romney, the soul of American capitalism in the flesh. Look back over his career as a predator drone at Bain Capital: Isn’t it the exact sort of background you always insist politicians ought to have as you wave your copy of “Atlas Shrugged” in the air?

It’s true that Romney said that the bank bailouts of 2008-09 were necessary, while you regard them as a mortal sin against free-market principles. But you shouldn’t hold this against him. Any study of bank history reveals that free-marketeers have no problem doling out, or grabbing for, government money when the chips are down.

After all, President Herbert Hoover himself distributed bank bailouts in the early years of the Depression. Calvin Coolidge’s vice president, Charles Dawes, helped out in Hoover’s bailout operation, later changing hats and grabbing a big slice of the bailout pie for his own bank. Ronald Reagan’s administration rescued Continental Illinois from what was then the largest bank failure in our history.

Posted by mistertrickster | Sun Jan 15, 2012, 01:28 PM (2 replies)
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