I am Jack's Smirking Revenge

little, yappy dogs

Monday, November 06, 2006

Demon of the Week

I have just this very moment realized the distinct connection between those annoying and patently untrue messages people forward and the news items which appear regularly and do nothing but incite distrust and fear.

They are one in the same.

People have a certain need to fear something, and when the right sort of combination of 'facts' and words happen upon them, they believe it because they want to. They repeat it without questioning it. Everyone has their own little set of beliefs in human nature, beliefs in who is bad, fears of how the world will get to them... and those fears are exploited regularly by... whom?

There are people who simply get a charge out of pushing your buttons. We're familiar with these kinds of people.

But at the next level, how is it that we are made to be afraid of nonsense in the news? Is there an Orwellian nonsense-news generating committee somewhere in charge of keeping the public busily disagreeing with each and fearing each other?

It really seems to me that if we were not so involved with:

being in debt,
buying junk we don't need,
fretting over how we were not dieting,
failing to be there for our kids,
hating people who were different than us for whatever reason,
worrying about the civil rights of people in a country we will never step foot in,
fearing the loss of our precious consumer goods,
possible destruction by meteorite,
invasion by killer bees or ants or toxic gasses,
death by gigantic volcano,

- if we all stopped bothering with that, our current political leaders would all end up in prison. But we're too busy, so, they get away with the truly absurd, and we worry about trivialities which may or may not be true.

So perhaps there is such a news-generating committee somewhere.

Spam, advertising, tv news- it's all there for your insecurities. What do you find yourself prone to believe?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Our Nation

And now a little post about who founded this country.

To set things straight, while many religions certainly arrived with our forefathers as settlers/rapers of this continent, there is little doubt that the people who cobbled together our constitution, the 'founding fathers' and original patriots were decidedly against mixing politics and religion.

Please see also the Monotheism site , a site expressly devoted to illustrating some very precise quotations from George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, among others. Further concise information on this topic can be found here, and here- adherents.com is considered an authority on religion, and here- even a christian institution has such an informational page. And here, just for sake of contrast, is a page explaining how many of those same founding fathers were pretty religious.

Our money has "In god we trust" on it- how did that get there?

According to Wikipedia, "The motto In God We Trust was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the American Civil War." -but, strangely enough, a law wasn't made placing it on all money until 1956.

But... our pledge of allegiance has "One nation, under god" in it- how did that get there?

Again, according to wikipedia, "Though the Knights of Columbus tried, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade the United States government to amend the pledge. It was a Presbyterian minister who made the difference in 1954 by preaching a sermon about Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address." ...pretty close to when the money got changed, too. Hmm.

...so, I would have to assume that those who are not Presbyterian would have to take great offense at the idea that we're asked to call our nation one under their god.

My final question here would have to be- the surefire way to rile up the right is to threaten that the left is out to take away their freedom (never mind that all the freedoms the right has were fought for by the left). Is it possible that the current upswing in fear by the left that the right is out to take away their freedom unfounded? Is it sensationalist media and diversionist tactic? Are we being suckered?

...or is there indeed a movement of people so un-american* that they would take away the freedoms of others by passing their religious beliefs into law?