“No, “Breatharians” Can’t Live Without Food (and Neither Can Anyone Else)” – (Patheos)

It seems that there is no limit to the ridiculousness that one may come across in the world of alternative health. Alan Jackson sang about “Livin on love” . . . these people apparently live off something equally unlikely.

You may have seen online that one couple — dubbed “Breatharians” — have “barely eaten” for nine years and have survived off of  “the universe’s energy.”

This claim is not only false, but impossible and even deadly.

I had not heard of this before now. But I am not surprised.

Specifically, I’m talking about Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello, who say they survive on a few pieces of fruit and some vegetable broth about two times per week. A lot of media outlets have reported on this married couple, helping them spread their lies and promoting the dangerous notion that food and water aren’t necessary to sustain human life (even during pregnancy).

Husband and wife Akahi Ricardo and Camila Castello believe food and water is not necessary and that humans can be sustained solely by the energy of the universe.

Camila and Akahi — who have a five-year-old son and two-year-old daughter together — have survived on little else besides a piece of fruit or vegetable broth just 3 times per week since 2008.

And Camila even practised a Breatharian PREGNANCY — not eating anything during the entire nine months that she carried her first child.

The married couple-of-nine-years claim that their “food-free lifestyle” has improved their health and emotional well-being as well as meaning they can spend money on travelling rather than the weekly shop.

Uh . . .

If an adult wants to follow such beliefs, really . . . who are we to stop them. As they say, you can lead an idiot to knowledge, but you can’t make them think. The dynamic changes however when there are children in the picture. Good nutrition is an important part of child development. As such, this lifestyle (if forced on the children) could (should!) be considered a form of child abuse.

Keep in mind that none of this has ever been verified by anyone (including doctors), and no one has ever proven the existence of this “energy of the universe,” let alone shown that you can use it to sustain your life in lieu of actual nutrition.

Shocking revelation there.

These people are putting lives at risk by spreading misinformation that could prove deadly to men, women, and even unborn babies who don’t get enough nutrients due to their parents’ lifestyle.

Other Breatharians have made these claims before, and they will make them again, but that’s all they are: claims. It’s not like there’s a video camera following them around for a week to verify this. None of these people have ever been able to prove that they can live normal lives with no food or water, and that’s almost certainly because they can’t.

Would make for some interesting footage. Here’s an idea . . . give one of these families a reality show.

It is entirely possible that these people and others like them believe their stories, but that doesn’t make them true. And journalists have a responsibility to vet these claims before publishing them for millions of people to see. As one reader even mentioned to us, there are pro-ana (pro-anorexia) groups who celebrate articles like these because it gives them justification for not eating. In other words, by new outlets publicizing this lifestyle and not calling out the hoax, there’s a chance people may actually try it, despite the potentially fatal consequences.

Is that worth the pageviews?

ANYTHING is worth the page views. If it bleeds, it leads. If it clicks, it sticks.

Until advertising is a minimum income generator for news portals, you will see this happening.

Posted in Opinion, Various Commentary | Leave a comment

“Claiming ‘Bullying’ By Trump Over Gruesome Joke, Griffin Says She’s Standing Up For Free Speech” – (Yahoo News)

I didn’t think I was going to find myself touching on this again, but I guess here goes.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/1285364-170602063.html?.tsrc=daily_mail&uh_test=2_14

I touched on this on Twitter a couple times since it broke, but it seems I wasn’t aware of everything. Small details, but important details none the less. One of the big ones being that Griffin herself is a bit of a dumbass.

Calling her firing from CNN “censorship,” comedian Kathy Griffin said in a press conference Friday that she would stand up for free speech in the face of fallout from a controversial image of President Trump she tweeted this week.

No, Kathy. It is not censorship. Thanks for raising THAT idiotic misunderstanding of law up from social media and right into the mainstream, by the way.

First off, being disallowed to do a single show in the span of a year hardly seems like censorship. In fact, I am guessing that by the time that New Years Eve rolls around, NO ONE will remember this. That is just the way it is with these things.
And that is not even taking into consideration what could happen between then and now.

As for the whole “I will stand for free speech!” thing, easy to do in a free nation surrounded by lawyers. Either way, nothing to see here but a publicity stunt turned attention grab using the free speech hysteria of late as its basis.

“I am not afraid of Donald Trump. He is a bully,” Griffin said.

Indeed.

As Rosie, and many other people likley know personally. It comes with the territory. Being born with a silver spoon in your mouth comes with its perks.

Unfortunately for Trump though, as he seems to be increasingly learning by way of his actions and behavior of late, even THAT has its limits. He is no longer dealing with wealthy contemporaries and heading a team of subordinates. True power and true responsibility . . . I doubt he will (or possibly even CAN) grasp this new arena in which he resides.
Not all that different from the DPRK’s Kim Jong Un, really.

I (and really, I suspect MANY people!) would respect the man if he simply decided that this was all to much, and stepped aside. But I can hardly respect someone that CLEARLY has no idea what the fuck he is doing, yet still stays in place.

So yeah . . . fuck him.

While Griffin expressed remorse for posting an image of herself holding a bloody mask of Trump, she also accused Trump and his family of “bullying” her, and hit out at CNN, which on Wednesday fired her from its New Year’s Eve broadcast.

Fallout from her tweet was quick and severe, with celebrities and members of both parties criticizing Griffin for going too far. Trump responded to the post Wednesday morning, tweeting that Griffin should “be ashamed of herself.”

First off, I don’t agree that she should show remorse. To quote a close friend that will likley lose a bit of respect for me for even posting this . . . this whole thing is nonsense.

In terms of gore, this incident ain’t shit. I have seen more offensive black metal album covers than this (including one depicting a suicide). Not to mention the horrors behind the scenes that we don’t see.
Everyone flips out when a celebrity does a stupid publicity stunt with a prop . . . and yet, one could likley see graphics 1000 times more gory if they were to observe the aftermath of a drone strike. Real people.

Not just a fucking prop.

“My children, especially my 11 year old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!” the tweet read.

For this, I will link to a rather hilarious observation of a David Pakman Show live caller. That observation being that based on past behavior, Trump seems more worried about HIMSELF than anyone else (family included).

Do with that what you will. A bit of a cheap shot I admit.

Other Trump family members also condemned the post. Trump’s son Donald Jr. called the image “disgusting,” and said that the video Griffin later posted as an apology was “phony.” First lady Melania Trump said the video makes one “wonder about the mental health of the person who did it.”

1.) Naturally.

2.) Melania is in no position to be judging ANYONE’S mental health. Just saying.

A tearful Griffin said she had been contacted by the Secret Service about the matter, and that she feared for the future of her career, noting that multiple venues have already canceled her shows. She also said that she has received death threats.

“The death threats that I’m getting are constant and they are detailed,” she said. “Today it’s me. Tomorrow, it could be you.”

What career?!

Again, a cheapshot. But no . . . I doubt this will be remembered much after maybe a month or 2. Or in today’s progression of news . . . 2 days!

As for the death threats . . . unfortunately, but a part of fame or notoriety in a free world. Though the internet has certainly made making such threat easier, its nothing new.

Griffin said most of the criticism stemming from her post is because she is a women.

“Cut the crap. This wouldn’t happen to a guy. … I have been living with this my whole career,” Griffin said, later adding that she was used to “older white guys trying to keep me down my whole life.”

Gotta admit that I didn’t see the feminist angle coming. Way to go. You just threw a bone to the feminists and anti-feminists. The creators, Google and Patreon should be ever grateful.

There are a couple of ways of looking at this. On one hand, one could find a ring of truth to this, considering that Marilyn Manson did the very same thing back in November (HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!).

Well, not exactly.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-marilyn-mansons-brutal-trump-inspired-say10-video-w449091

Manson told The Daily Beast it is open to interpretation. “It’s about the desperate acts of people who believe something that is preached by an unbeliever,” he said, adding: “Right now we’re in such a state of confusion when it comes to religion, politics, sexuality, and how they all tie together, and it’s being turned into a circus and a sideshow – and that’s something that I’ve been described as a ringleader of. It seems like a time for me as an artist, and as an American artist, to make something that causes a new set of questions to arise that aren’t simply statements.”

Either way, at least 2 other metal bands (GWAR and Municipal Waste, I believe) are claiming to have decapitated Trump first. I really don’t doubt that.

But all in all, beside the point. The point being that men can seemingly behead Trump, but women can’t. Whilst seemingly true on the surface . . . in reality, there is more to consider.

While all of the above indeed fit into the generalized categories that are celebrity and male/female, that is pretty much where the associations end. When it comes to both GWAR and Marilyn Manson, the shocking and controversial is to be expected. Not so much however with someone like Kathy Griffin. A better male comparison would be an Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon (HA!) or Jake Tapper.

Though it likley has some weight in the conversation (sexism is pervasive), I would characterize its weight in this whole thing as minimal.

While Griffin did not say whether she was filing suit against CNN or Trump, her lawyer accused Trump of trying to silence those who disagree with him.

1.) I would hope not, because she would lose on both counts. One, because she clearly misunderstands free speech laws. And the 2ed . . . because she clearly misunderstands free speech laws.

Wait, WHAT?!

2.) That happens with Trump. Settlement agreements are to him what cell phone contracts are to us.

I couldn’t help myself.

“The message is clear: criticize the president, lose your job,” attorney Lisa Bloom said, adding that she has received hate mail for representing Griffin in the matter.

Uh. Its like were dealing with children.

No. Criticize all you want, like millions of others both inside AND outside of the boundaries of the US. Just do not expect all forms of criticism to be treated equally in terms of reaction. If you do a tasteless photo shoot holding the current presidents decapitated head, expect problems if part of your bread and butter is in seemingly family friendly media contexts. That is not shocking censorship, that is common sense.

If it is not apparent by NOW what drives away advertising dollars (and thus what actions will make one more vulnerable to falling victim) , then I don’t know what to say. Just in the last 2 months ALONE, the internet AND Fox News have dealt with major shakeups due to this very thing. Even Bill O’Reilly was not immune.

I don’t necessarily agree that advertisers should be the gatekeeper of media. That is just how things are right now.

Posted in Free Speech, Opinion, Various Commentary | Leave a comment

The Cure To Dementia – A Beverage?

For the pest few months, I have been keeping up with a couple of secular contributors on the web platform Patheos. Though the website is primarily inhabited by the theisticly inclined (primarily Christians, being it is hosted in the US), there are other voices in the mix as well (including some secular).

The ad network that the Patheos platform as a whole utilizes however, is interesting, and unlike any other that I have been tracked by elsewhere. Its obviously tailored to the majority user base of the platform (Christians).
But since it pays the bills, I don’t mind seeing pro Jesus this or that within contributor email newsletters, or within articles. Even this blog has some advertising in it (at least in my earlier posts. In later years they seem to have gone away, oddly enough).

Anyway, advertising is one thing. I just ignore it, like all the other white noise in life. However, there is typical advertising (which is increasingly becoming intertwined with legitimate content, but that is another matter altogether). And then there is this.

Again, I have never seen this ad ANYWHERE else before, aside from Patheos. I suspect it may be common on more Christian oriented platforms. But as you may have guessed, I rarely ever browse those.

My curiosity is peaked, however. Though I don’t normally click these things, I decided to investigate this one. I was brought here, and shown a video.

https://pro.nutritionandhealing.com/p/NAH170124A/LNAHT347/?h=true

And now, some digging.

 Lets start with Christine O’Brien, supposedly a researcher for “one of America’s top doctors”. Their bosses name? For them to know, and us to dig up, apparently.

Unfortunately, its a quite common name (if its a real one). From an obituary in a small town to high positions all over the map, there are many to find. However, we do know one thing from the video. Were not looking for someone of authority. Were looking for someone working for an authority. Makes things a bit murkier, but none the less a lead.

And we have a possible lead. She (or someone using the pseudonym, possibly the same person in both instances) has written a few articles on a website called Healthier Talk. Her short bio within the articles tells us this:

Christine O’Brien is an alternative health reporter dedicated to researching and writing about natural health.

Ms. O’Brien has written for Nutrition & Healing, Healthier Talk and a variety of other natural and alternative health outlets. She believes in the power of natural medicine and her goal is to open people’s eyes to the benefits of alternative and integrative medicine.

Christine is passionate about helping people help themselves without having to turn to harsh drugs or invasive surgeries.

Bingo.

Since the video I was directed to from the ad is hosted on the Nutrition & Healing (looks to be an alternative health publication. Naturally) website, it seems that I am on the right track. She is real, as is her mysterious boss . . . a Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld.

First off, her boss.

Here is a small snippet of what he says about himself, straight from the horses mouth.

For nearly 35 years Dr. Rothfeld has helped patients identify and conquer the true underlying causes of diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. His cutting-edge research into neurological diseases is creating exciting new avenues of treatment for seniors struggling with everything from Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s disease.

http://nutritionandhealing.com/about/

I’m sure he has.

Either way, it looks like he has a practice in Waltham Massachusetts. He has few reviews, though he seems to have quite a web presence (in the alternative health scene). The books alone are quite something, boasting claims such as this:

The Atlas of Natural Cures is the incredible program that provides you the medicinal mushroom compound that can save you from 4 out of the 5 most common cancers, using the power of your immune system. This mushroom extract “switches on” the most powerful cancer-fighting system in nature…It’s blessedly free of side effects since it’s your immune system killing cancer instead of an external poison. It seems to work on any cancer, with research on cells from liver, colon, skin, breast, and lung cancers, multiple myelomas, leukemia, melanoma and more…This program is the proven method that works so well. This program will reverse your disease and also help you to live the healthy longer life are starting to emerge. Finally, you can get back your healthy brain function, the memories, quick thinking, intelligence, and the sense of humor.

https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Natural-Cures-Glenn-Rothfeld/dp/B01NCJ65HW 

No doubt that this also comes with that pesky little bit of legalese also found on the N & H website.

Health Disclaimer! The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

Translation: If you end up getting cancer and croaking because you gave them money for a book of BS, you can’t sue!

Dr. Glenn Rothfeld is a fully-licensed MD and acupuncturist whose expertise spans conventional and non-traditional medicine.

*​We are not a primary care doctor’s office, although we provide services for general wellness, preventative care, and chronic conditions.

** (Mott0)
We believe that both health and disease are functions of physical, emotional and spiritual factors

http://www.rothfeldcenter.com/

It just gets better, doesn’t it.

Either way, he certainly has a lot going on in the alt med world. But that is enough background. Back on track.

It looks like this whole thing is based on something called the ICT protocol. It is part of a book called 81 Natural Cures For Cancer, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s And More, a book that Dr Rothfeld is generously giving away for free. However, they have a very limited number of copies, so you gotta get while the getting is good.

Read between the lines on this one.

That still leaves me wondering however . . . What is the ICT protocol?

First off, some medicine stuff. The common wisdom is that Alzheimer’s is caused by the build up of beta-amyloid plaque within the brain, which leads to the confusion, memory loss, disorientation and other symptoms of the disease. Most of the drugs (and research in this area) is aimed at tackling that build-up.
However, the ICT protocol (allegedly the product of a mysterious experiment funded by the US government) is based around the hypothesis that the buildup stage is essentially the final stage of the process. The claim is rooted in the fact that as we age, the body’s metabolism slows. As it slows, the body’s ability to extract proper nutrients for brain function begins to deteriorate.  Leading to a loss of nutrient values that directly affects brain function. An affect that (it seems) they feel outweighs the presence of the buildup.

And thus, the answer is the replacement of those nutrients.

Unfortunately, the list of ingredients that makes up the ICT protocol seems to be no where to be found. Yes, there is that book by Dr. Rothfeld. However, when evaluating a claim, using the claim is hardly honest.
No where can I find the list, the cited study, anything really. Well, anything outside of untrustworthy testimonials and so called reviews. They give away few ingredients in the ad, one being medium chain triglycerides (they allegedly are absorbed by the body better than other triglycerides).
I have no idea. That (like all other questions and inquiries into serious health related things) is a question for a medical professional. A REAL medical professional.

Either way, it seems that the jury is out on the dementia reversing ICT protocol. Well, not really. Like the other 80 cures to almost every illness that our personal temple can throw at us, remember the disclaimer:

Health Disclaimer! The information provided on this site should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this site. Readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors, but readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.

If you think it wise to put your health in those hands . . . I won’t stop you. Don’t say you were not warned however. Considering that were dealing with very serious illnesses here.

Interestingly, there were other findings in this journey. There already is a drink that allegedly serves this purpose on the market (at least in Europe and in some other nations). Its called Sovenaid, and it apparently slows the progression of early stage Alzheimers disease with regular consumption.
A more recent European study came up with this:

Overall, Souvenaid made no difference on the NTB composite. The treatment group did not perform differently from the placebo group. This is the primary result of the trial.

But it is not all bad.

The drink affected hippocampal volume. After two years, this brain structure had atrophied 39 percent more in the placebo than the treatment group. Hartmann interpreted this to be a good thing, saying that AD patients have more shrinkage than age-matched controls early in disease, and this may parallel disease progression (Oct 2009 conference newsHennemen et al., 2009; Barnes et al., 2009). He commented, however, that whether atrophy changes translate into cognitive and clinical benefit remains to be seen. Other studies are less clear about how hippocampal volume loss relates to age, disease, and treatment  (Jun 2013 news; Jul 2004 conference news).

http://www.alzforum.org/news/conference-coverage/souvenaid-trial-missed-primary-partially-met-secondary-endpoints

This study has at least 2 more years to go, so we will see where it goes from here. If you live in a market where this is not yet available (such as North America), don’t expect to be picking this stuff up anytime soon (if ever).

And speaking of related studies, UCLA also had a hand in a small study that got a lot of coverage recently.

In the UCLA protocol, patients made dramatic lifestyle changes. They avoided simple carbs, gluten and processed foods. They increased their fish intake, took yoga and meditated. They were instructed to take melatonin, get adequate sleep, incorporate vitamin B-12, vitamin D-3 and fish oil.

Within six months, nine patients saw a noticeable improvement in memory. One patient, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, did not show improvement.

UCLA researchers say the findings suggest at least early on, changing a person’s metabolic processes can bring back memory and cognitive function.

Six of the patients of the patients in the study who had to discontinue working were all able to return to their jobs. Study authors say some patients were followed up to two and a half years and the memory improvements remained.

http://abc7news.com/health/non-drug-treatment-may-reverse-alzheimers/336963/

But as with everything else, there is more to it.

But he admitted there are some limitations to the study. It is complex and the burden falls on patients and caregivers to follow it.

In this study, no patients were able to stick to the entire protocol, their most common complaints being the diet and lifestyle changes and having to take multiple pills each day.

Dr Bredesen added: ‘It is noteworthy that the major side effects of this therapeutic system are improved health and an improved body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.’

Furthermore, he said while the findings suggest memory loss can be reversed and improvements sustained, the results need to be replicated.

The size of the sample is also a factor. 10 participants is far to small of a pool to garner a reliable result from. As, it seems, is noted.

I guess the close to this is . . . though it would be great to have a quick fix to these problems, at least at this time, it is not possible.
As well, it seems that a note of precaution is in order. Though dealing with (even thinking about!) diseases like cancer and alzheimers is scary, you have to be careful. Scared people are also vulnerable people.

Though taking advantage of the vulnerable is as despicable as it sounds, one has to play it safe. Where there is a dollar to be earned . . . you can bet that someone won’t bat an eyelash in swooping in for that money. No matter the cost.

Its a good rule of thumb to use EVERYWHERE in life. But its certainly a must where ones (or ones loved ones!) health is concerned.

Posted in Opinion, Other | Leave a comment

“Culturally Insensitive Gáy Pôrn (featuring a Didgeridoo)” – (TJ Kirk)

Here we have something that made me laugh and damn near spit out my coffee this morning. And that was just reading the title of the video!

It seems that Men.com has found a whole new use for the Didgeridoo.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The engine of irrationality inside the rationalists

I first came across this whole situation yesterday when browsing Twitter. It peaked my interest, being that I at first mistook it as a retort to a previously published (and very much criticized) paper on (I believe) the similarities of Trans-racialism and Transgenderism. Do not quote me on this, I don’t directly deal with this stuff (persay), but I often find myself discussing it with someone directly involved in these areas.

Either way, though it seems that the internet is incapable of being even slightly critical of the rational Gods of Atheism, for me, that luxury went away a long time ago. Which is why when I suddenly start seeing tweets from Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and other so called thinkers praising some paper that I am unsure of, my first instinct is “I must be missing something here”. Good thing I know the right people to help me verify this stuff.

If my grasp is correct . . . what we have here is an EXTREMELY frustrating wasted opportunity. Rather than use this as an opportunity to focus on the problem of academic journals publishing almost anything for the right price (note that the hoax paper was turned down by one journal, and the authors had to PAY for publication!), most of the attention is being put towards slamming gender studies.

For fuck sakes, you rationalist dipshits . . . these papers are benchmarks. They are sourced by media (among others) for any number of reasoning’s. Thus it is of the utmost importance that it is not easy to publish trash as credible material.

To miss this important teachable moment just because trashing Gender Studies is more enticing click bait (lets be honest!) is asinine. If anything, it exposes on a brilliantly grand scale what I have known for a long time already . . . that even the so called “rational” community isn’t beyond ideological sheepishness.

Click below to read the full article. Comments on the article can be left there, and comments on my input can be left here.

Ketan Joshi

There’s a multi-directional cacophony of gleeful back-patting ringing out across my Twitter feed at the moment. The outpouring of joy stems from an article published in Skeptic Magazine. Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay managed to submit a hoax article to a gender studies journal, and are hailing this as a profound, thermonuclear indictment on the entirety of gender studies, social science and the “academic left”. They wrote that:

“We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal” 

Their article was initially rejected by a journal, “NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies”. But they were referred to a smaller outlet, ‘Cogent Social Sciences’, that offers publication where you ‘pay what you like’ (apparently, they didn’t pay anything).

On the face of…

View original post 1,305 more words

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What Is The Value Of Life? + Other Realizations Of 3 Decades Of Existence

I’m getting old.

In truth, I am only 28, going on 29 this June. Some would say that I am still a spring chicken. Or as my old boss would say, a young buck (I don’t think he knew that there was a racial element to the term). Either way, I haven’t been around all that long compared to many old fucks.
I don’t really see myself as having much going on in the long term, either. I always say that I really can’t see anything beyond 50.

In truth, I have never looked all that far ahead. Something that started in my rough period of high school. A time of life when my main motivation was some future date of suicide  which would never materialize. Yes, it was a coping mechanism of my young mind. With a successful outcome, it would seem.

It would seem. Funny way to showcase the obvious (I assure you that I am not the first ever super natural entity to ghost write my own blog. Literally!). Yet, fitting.

The journey of the years following was rewarding. Filled with new experiences, interactions and people. Many of the experiences of teenagers occurred for me in adulthood, but none the less, I’ve done things. More than many who know me would ever realize.But it all has become rather stagnant of late. And I am running low on distractions, of late.

I suppose that this period was always coming, however.

I have never really felt myself working towards any long term goals. I know of and seen those people around me (in high school mainly). And I even came across a few after. Generally, they were to good to even both respecting the peasant cashier and former classmate serving them.
But either way, I never could see that far ahead.  So I didn’t even bother trying, opting to just live day to day. School was less about preparation for life than it was a time to see friends. Until work became the new combination socialization place and distraction (shitty irrational jobs).

At first, I had a fairly healthy social life outside of the workplace. But even that eventually faltered as people made the wise decision to move away to greener pastures. Though I wanted to, I felt stuck here, in obligation to my needing folks. Something I don’t even think my closest relatives understand (though I don’t listen to any of their advice anyway, being that they have never demonstrated any other agenda than having all of the family in (or near) the center of the universe . . . Winnipeg).
The internet helped for awhile. Being a keyboard militant atheist (among other things) gave me something to do, a group to identify with, and other factors that drive macros everywhere. But even that can only go so far before one gets bored. Of having the same old conversations. Same lines, different audiences.

I would have my world (0r at least, my perception of it) altered by the introduction of philosophy to my life. Not officially persay. I have not taken any philosophy courses, and can’t quote Descartes, Nietzsche or Heidegger on demand. Philosophy purists (if you will) have used this against me in my short lived visits into philosophy groups, when I couldn’t refute using quotes from whomever. But those groups (only one really) were fun to play in. Its amusing to see so called philosophers (studied ones, no less!) not recognizing nihilism when its right in their faces.

Either way, though I don’t like creating or enabling dichotomies, it seems to me that there are 2 types of philosopher. Those that are more than happy to interact (of which generally don’t seem to get it), and those that don’t interact generally (often regarded as the better philosophers).
Despite the world desperately needing the input of the latter group, they tend to stay away from the public domain. Which is unfortunate, since good advise can NEVER permeate if it is only seen in academic circles.

Despite all of this, I do not call myself a philosopher. Not even because its status as a label (I try and stay away from unnecessary ones). Its more of a combination of the adjective  seeming unwarranted (I have not formally studied philosophy) and unfitting (I just can’t see myself as deserving). Comparatively to some of the others that call themselves philosophers, maybe (some of these people make me look like Nietzsche). But none the less, I am undeserving.

Either way, one may wonder where I am going with this. I went from my depressing life, to some tangent on not feeling that I am philosopher. It ties in however.

I mentioned earlier that philosophy helped me in my perception of the world around me. The best way to describe it, is that its influence enabled me to take a step back from largely EVERYTHING and EVERYONE, in order to gain a better picture. This insight helped me to see the problems with any number of ideologies (including some of my own). Though Atheism previously bored me, this change made many of its adherents frustrating (the full range of this experience can be read from the start in the Atheism Criticisms category of this blog).
Being able to see these problems, and being able to communicate them, are 2 VERY different things however. People stuck in the grips of ideologies of ANY kind are not often open to compromise. I suppose I thought I would see a different result because I was talking to a group that takes pride in self-labeling themselves as logical, rational, reasonable, free thinking.
However, in the age of the digital echo chamber, such are now only empty labels. Logic, Reason, Rationality, Nuance, Free Thinker, Truth. Anyone that stings 2 thoughts together can (and often DOES!) call it any of the above. And as for Truth, that is another word that can (and HAS!) been hijacked by the inept. Thus, I neither use nor take seriously ANY of them in conversation.

Its not necessary to label persons or arguments with intellectual buzzwords. Because these traits will be apparent even without highlighting them.

I titled this piece “What Is The Value Of Life?”.

Its an interesting question. It is also interesting how I posed the question when I first started typing this out. Rather than the seemingly more humanistic Does Life Have Value? , I went instead with the more corporate and legal resembling What Is The Value Of Life? . The question that a court or corporation is forced to consider if their malpractice causes injury or fatality to innocent bystanders.

Its an interesting question to ponder, even in just relating to the word value. What does this mean to you?

For many, the money element is the most controversial. The monetary worth of those we love and care about is a necessary enigma for those dealing with class action lawsuits or life insurance policies. But outside of money, what is value?

Presence? Sentiment? Reliability?

I have no answer to this question. I don’t even know if there really is (should there be?) an answer to this question. Its up to you how in depth you want to take it, I suppose.

Though I do not have any thoughts on the interpretation of Value in the posed question, I do have an answer to the question as posed in the typical manor of this discussion. That answer being that, No, life does not have any intrinsic value.

Be it plant, animal, human (even though we are in the last category), or bacteria, there is no value to any of it. The only value is what we assign. But in the grand scheme of things, this is still moot.

That is correct. Outside of the bubble of human consciousness, our existence has no value. No reason for being. No purpose. No worth. Its a big part of what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom (and biotic life, really). Our manufactured sense of purpose.

So no, I don’t think we have any purpose, or point. In a way, I envy plants, animals, bacteria, and even less intelligent humans for not having to ever face this knowledge, this ultimate red pill. I envy them that come at me with claws out due to my nonchalant stance towards things like abortion. I remember the days before my unfiltered acceptance of reality would often get me labeled as Evil or Psychopathic.

Its funny to hear such words as that, as though I am another Hitler or Stalin. Because I am far from it. I am just an everyday person, like anyone else walking the streets of a city or town near you. I am annoyed by (and thus tend to avoid) people, but I still am compassionate. I give to different charities that do good works towards the likes of both endangered and harmed people AND animals. I do what I can to put the macro’s of my society back on track from bickering so we can focus on the big ticket items that harm us all (like climate change).

Humans annoy me. But I am still one.

There are people and creatures near and dear to me that I assign value to. I just don’t regard my species (or a species near and dear to us, such as the feline) as being MORE valuable for some reason. With a world population that is well beyond any former metric of prosperous , humans are in no way an endangered species. Past societies would likley marvel at the exponential growth of our population in the post petroleum years.

If anything, our exponential growth is turning us (and almost everything else alive today) into an endangered species. Energy and resource waste aside, on a planet with finite (and ever shrinking!) resources, and in an ever more unstable climate, to much emphasis on pro-birth is going to bite us collectively in the ass.

 

 

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“Liberal Purists” Vs. “Corprate Democrats”

While this issue has crossed my mind before (long before the election), recent events have pushed it to the forefront for many. It started with a segment from Bill Maher’s weekly show “Real Time”, in which he told liberal purists to basically go fuck themselves. It was not a bad segment. If anything, I think it was about time for someone to say it.

But as expected, there was backlash. Though likley from multiple sources, the one I came across (and the one I will respond to) originated on Kyle Kulinski’s Secular Talk news show. While I understand where he is coming from and express some agreement, there are problems.

But first, for context, here are both applicable segments (as featured on the Secular Talk channel).

I like the segment on the part of Maher (as I have said before). And I agree that Kyle has a point. But as seems to be a habit of Kulinski, he has turned it into a dichotomy. Bill Maher and defenders of the corporate democrats Vs “WE TOLD YOU SO!” liberals.

The first thing I have to acknowledge is the elephant in the room. The deception that cost the DNC the election (not REALLY, but none the less . . . ). Sanders should have been at the helm. He was, and really still is, the most popular politician in America. He is slowly pissing away that credibility in touring with the status quo democrats (as opposed to telling them to go fuck themselves. Or just retiring!). But none the less, he has something that Americans like. He EVEN NOW easily unites both populist branches of American politics, despite having several scary labels attributed to him. If he was run against Trump, he would have EASILY wiped the floor with him.

This is not to diminish Hillary however. Though certainly not the IDEAL candidate by any means of measure, she became a better candidate in the days leading up to the election. She had to as a women (like it or not, as a women, you have to be EXTREMELY well read even when in competition with an orangutan). But even with that, there was just to much baggage.
Stealing the nomination from Bernie Sanders was a big part of it. But there was also a lot beyond that. Not just the emails, and other stuff that blew up just before the vote either. Also legacy hatred (some of it which may even be more on Bill than her), and flat out irrational and unfounded disdain. I am sure we have all seen this in friends and family that talk about all of her alleged and hard to find crooked dealings. Despite the fact that Trump has likley committed every one of those allegations IN REALITY. But that doesn’t fly for these people because . . . fuck it.

Find me a person (or several people) that have verifiable claims of being screwed over financially by the Clinton’s and I will take the crooked Hillary thing seriously. That’s not to end the conversation either. If you knew such a detail, feel free to comment.
I just know that asking the same question of Trump would result in MANY results. And that’s just the ones we know about.

Either way, there were both legitimate and stupid reasons to not be in favor of a Hillary led democratic campaign against a Trump led GOP campaign. One of the more glaring ones seemingly being showcased by Kyle Kulinski, was this potential outcome. President Trump.

Uh. Even after 100 days, those 2 words just DO NOT belong together. Like delicious dogshit.

Either way, while that turned out to INDEED be a factor that should have been taken into consideration, its also a somewhat false argument. Because it is a self fulfilling prophecy set in motion by the left itself.

I get it. Bernie Sanders was, as far as candidates come, superb. He had an excellent history both in terms of activism and voting. He had a platform that energized Americans (particularly otherwise politically apathetic liberals!) to a degree that may well have surpassed even Obama’s 2008 campaign. And his message was universal. Given the chance, he would likley have resonated with a huge cohort of the population that ended up casting the “Fuck it!” vote for Trump.
Since all Trump could really bring to the table was a salesman’s mentality and carefully chosen sticky insults (crafted by psychological experts), it would likley have been a breeze.

Yes. Looking back, if the goal of the DNC is to WIN, one would have to be comatose to not ask “What the FUCK?!”. One theory I have is that Bernie would be horrible for corporate donations, and as such needs to be stymied at all costs (even if it means conceding the election). If this were the case, it would put the DNC pretty much on par with the GOP as “The most dangerous organization in human history” (to quote Noam Chomsky).

But tin foil aside, yes, what happened wasn’t right by ANY means. However, even with the underhanded way that Hillary ended up in the position, what is the more logical thing to do?
Abstain, or worse, help move Trump (a PROVEN lyin and crooked buffoon!) into office by voting him in? Or casting a vote for Hillary, a candidate that is far from ideal, yet competent enough to actually KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THE JOB ENTAILS?!

“We told you so!”

On behalf of the American left that actually participated by voting either Dem or independent, and on behalf of the rest of the world looking on in surreal agony, let me say 2 words . . . fuck you.

While some of the worries expressed by Maher and others like him may be questionable, because of you asshole abstainers, the world is creeping ever closer to . . . WHO THE FUCK KNOWS!

Nuclear War? Hitler 2.0?

I have no idea. I feel for every single person out there that has children living anywhere on this rock. Because be it in the short or the long term (turning the clock back on climate change), the left screwed them over.
Yes, it IS the right that is running rampant back to the 1800’s. And yes, even the corporate democrats are more open to fossil fuels than one would like. But at least they ACKNOWLEDGE climate change.
So instead of competency, we end up with a baboon and puppet that makes Sarah Palin look like a scholar in comparison. Fine, possibly to far. But at least I know where she stands!

S: “Drill baby Drill!”

T: “Pharmaceuticals are far to expensive! . . . oh, so you need less regulation . . . Nothing to see here folks!”

Indeed, American liberals got screwed over by their supposedly representing party. But what culminated following November 8th was not inevitable by any means. It did not have to happen. So while I acknowledge the legitimacy behind the hesitation to support Hillary . . . piss off with the “We told you so!” shit.
Many criticize the American right for being blindly patriotic to a point of danger. Well, I think that something similar exists on the left. Only in that case, these people are so blindly fixated on their flawed system that they negate to consider that they are a SUPERPOWER. Like it or not, American decisions matter.

Despite this scathing criticism, I have to congratulate cohorts of the left for using this time to seek viable change. Though at least 3 grassroots groups have sprung up seeking candidates of change, Justice Democrats seems to be one of the more popular ones. And they are vetting and running candidates even faster than I thought they would. Organized and created in January (if memory serves), they are already pushing for high level DNC positions. And I think these people actually have a chance.

While I knew that Bernie’s run would energize a new generation even if he was unsuccessful, I have to admit that President Trump is likley creating momentum that we may not have seen under Hillary.

The only silver lining to this presidency that I have been able to find so far.

Posted in American, Opinion, Political | Leave a comment