A Peek Beneath the Mask

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A New Decade

Good bye to the old
Hello to the new
I hope that the teens
will be better for you
Tue, December 29, 2009 - 11:03 PM — permalink - 1 comments - add a comment

¿Usted habla español?

I've always gotten good grade in college -- top grades. But Beginning Spanish is just kickin' my butt! I took French in junior high and highschool with about a C average through out. I don't want to blow my average. It's a required course for my degree. I can't drop it because I'd have to give up a huge chunk of my Pell Grant (I'd be under 12 hours). So I'm just gonna hunker down and make it through. ù☺

I'm sure you know that Ser and Estar are the hardest to learn. It makes me wonder why they give them to us first. But I suppose they know what they're doing. They might know, but I don't.

We're working on times of day, times of classes, which forms go with what pronouns -- familiar and formal forms.

What can I do to get it fixed in my mind what goes where, when and how? I'm not lazy, just confused.
Sun, February 1, 2009 - 3:53 PM — permalink - 5 comments - add a comment

The Eternal Quest

I must be on some kind of spiritual bent. A lot of things make a lot of sense to me that I may not have considered in the past. The previous blog entry for one. And this for another. Sometimes I see both as true.

I'm not sure I have to pick either as Buddhism is a discipline not a religion. It's adherents aren't so much worshiping a "god" as they are seeking their own highest power.

Is there? a god?


1. "Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there's an invisible man...living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn't want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money." - George Carlin

2. "The most heinous and the must cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives." - Ghandi

3. "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

4. "It is not as in the Bible, that God created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image." - Ludwig Feuerbach

5. Atheism: A non-prophet organization.

6. "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Ghandi

7. "It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand." - Mark Twain

8. "And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence." - Bertrand Russell

9. "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish."

10. "I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death." - George Carlin

11. "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein

12. "Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." - Mark Twain

13. "Lighthouses are more helpful then churches." - Benjamin Franklin

14. "If God has made us in his image, we have returned him the favor." - Voltaire

15. "Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities." - Voltaire

16. "Black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice, but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen." - Stephen Hawking

17. "You're basically killing each other to see who's got the better imaginary friend." - Richard Jeni

18. "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived." - Isaac Asimov

19. "A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition." - José Bergamín

20. An Atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.

21. "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Steven Roberts

22. "Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned."

23. "We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes." - Gene Roddenberry

24. "Without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg

25. "Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer

Oct 11, 1:44pm
26. "Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a God superior to themselves. Most Gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child." - Robert A. Heinlein

27. "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." - Thomas Jefferson

28. "Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?" - Friedrich Nietzsche

29. "Religion does three things quite effectively: Divides people, Controls people, Deludes people." - Carlespie Mary Alice McKinney

30. "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain and presumptuous desire for a second one." - Richard Dawkins

31. "The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams, 2nd President of the United States

32. "You do not need the bible to justify love, but no better tool has been invented to justify hate." - Richard A. Weatherwax

33. "They felt that science would be corrosive to religious belief and they were worried about it. Damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive to religious belief and it's a good thing." - Steven Weinberg

34. "What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism." - Albert Einstein

35. "A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows." -
Mark Twain

36. "We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There's not much personal about the laws of physics." - Stephen Hawking

37. "Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires." - Sigmund Freud

38. "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." - Karl Marx

39. "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." - Delos B. McKown

40. "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw

41. "Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions." - Blaise Pascal

42. "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg

43. "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." - Edward Gibbon

44. "The foolish reject what they see and not what they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see." - Huang Po

45. "Where knowledge ends, religion begins." - Benjamin Disraeli

46. "The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not." - Eric Hoffer

47. "I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative. I think religion is a neurological disorder." - Bill Maher

48. "There's a phrase we live by in America: 'In God We Trust'. It's right there where Jesus would want it: on our money."

49. "If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them." - Baron D'Holbach

50. "One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion." - Arthur C. Clarke

51. "Society will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"- Diderot
Sun, December 21, 2008 - 3:46 PM — permalink - 3 comments - add a comment

Mantra from the Dalai Lama

Just a short Buddhist outlook on life.

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements
involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a
wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great

7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate
steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think
back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current
situation. Don't bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love
for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get

19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

I also know that dreams really do come true and you have my Best Wishes and my best efforts in those.

Thu, December 11, 2008 - 10:34 AM — permalink - 5 comments - add a comment

What kind of dog should the Obama's get?

They should get a pound puppy -- a mongrel dog.

It would be both the epitome of the mixture of doggie "races" *and* an example to the people that you don't need a pedigree to deserve love.

There are so many pets who also lost their homes to foreclosure. Only they lost their family too. They will be extra especially driven to please a new family. I know. I've owned previously abandoned dogs.

Please adopt. We did.
Wed, November 5, 2008 - 6:49 AM — permalink - 7 comments - add a comment

Crossed one off The Bucket List

I'm just kind of amazed at how easy it was and how casually it happened. I combined several aspects of myself and actually made them work for me.

1- sardonic
2- smartass
3- political interest
4- writing
5- poetry

And now I'm a published writer on a site where I can make a few pennies for what I wrote.


Writing accepted by a publisher. Check.
Thu, October 16, 2008 - 11:41 AM — permalink - 7 comments - add a comment

McCain You Got Nuthin'

He's beginning to repeat a familiar pattern. When dubya was losing his ass in the polls what did he do? He insulted, belittled and lied about his opponent.

Now McCain and some mysterious anonymous e mailers are taking the same tack.


And gee, since McCain endorsed drilling some large cash donations have been received from big oil and big oil employees.

And the fund raising events at $37K a pop are paying off too.

Funny how all of a sudden the money is just rolling in to McCain. He doesn't need Cindy's money now.

He can just dump her like he did his first wife.

But who's the real winner in this years election battle? The cable television companies who are sucking up the largess of the campaign larders.

They sure can raise the cash if they want to, can't they? But why? It wouldn't have anything to do with creating laws that favor the donors. Would it? Like every other president in the last 40 years McCain is for sale. You! Big business! step right up and buy your piece before he's all sold out. At these prices the paybacks will be hell -- for the taxpayers that is.
Thu, July 31, 2008 - 5:56 AM — permalink - 2 comments - add a comment

The Banks Are the Victims?

The banks devised ways to legally loan shark mortgages en masse. The resulting backlash is what's staggering the banking industry and a large contributing factor to the economic woes today.

1995 -- When you go to sign mortgage papers -- for the single biggest purchase most people will make -- it's "sign here, here and here. Initial that this and those 10 items and we're out of here." I said I was going to take some time to read the papers before I signed. The impatient mortgage officer just waved at me and said "These are standard loan papers. You won't understand them. Just sign so we can all get on with the day." I read them anyway.

I didn't understand a lot of it. But I did understand that the mortgage was adjustable and how the adjustments would be calculated. I didn't know how this would play out. I found out when our mortgage increased over $200 the first year. We refinanced the next year for a fixed rate and my payments came down about $100 a month.

Flash forward -- 2003

My daughter and her husband buy a house. Their loan is adjustable. No big deal for a year or so. Then the bottom drops out. Mortgages raise at the rate of about $100 a month. When their $1600 a month loan hits $2000 a month they go looking for a fixed rate. The mortgage company balks and stalls. They keep looking.

Other mortgage companies say their credit rating is too low and won't touch them. His credit rating is good. My daughter's has been devastated by ID theft. A woman has been using her identity since my daughter was 18 years old. The woman was finally caught in 2004 in Colorado and disappeared when she was released on her own recognizance a day before trial. The woman's confession is enough proof for most creditors but her credit rating with the larger bureaus is still poor. The reason is unexplained. Irregardless it's enough to have a mortgage rejected.

When the mortgage finally went up to $2800 a loan officer from their original mortgage company turns them down yet again. This time she tells them the reason they're being turned down for a fixed rate loan is because the investors won't allow a fixed rate loan for this property.

His parents, her parents, their siblings and friends all urge them to let it go back to the bank. They have 3 children who need clothes, food and health care. Even with both of them working they cannot afford the mortgage plus -- $425/ heating bill in the winter, ac in the summer,
average $150 a week for food, now $100 a week for gas, 2 car payments (one is finally paid) not to mention the student loans they are still paying back.

I won't tell you what the final decision was. But I will say this: I'm damned sick and tired of industries creating their own problems with immoral and barely legal practices and then turning around and crying on Uncle Sam to bail them out. They are no more a victim of this situation than an addict is when they choose to put that needle in their arm.

Personal choice -- right? Personal responsibility-- right? So how come it doesn't apply to big business as well. The only outcome seems to be that businesses are not required to experience the result of their own bad policies.
Mon, July 14, 2008 - 7:46 PM — permalink - 0 comments - add a comment
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