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Would You Wear Atheist Shoes?

atheist shoes“Whether you’re an atheist looking to tickle the world with a foot-first declaration of godlessness, or someone who’s just keen on the aesthetics and craftsmanship of what we do, we really do hope you’ll give our shoes a go.” This is the message from Atheist Shoes, a small operation run out of Berlin. Atheist Shoes have been in production for almost two years now, producing shoes with the message “Ich Bin Atheist” imprinted into their soles, so that when the whether is rainy or snowy, atheist walkers can leave the German message – I am atheist – wherever they step.

Is that something you would do – if you’re an atheist? Why would an atheist need to leave the message of atheist identity in an evaporating path behind them? What is this supposed to achieve?

If you are in the camp of declaring your non-theistic identity through your footprints, does it change your decision that Atheist Shoes sells a model of their footwear in a color they call Kitten Testicle Grey? “For those grown-up enough to be comfortable with complexity, there is nothing black or white about these shoes. Their rich grey is a friend of smutty urban streets and, being as soft as a kitten’’s nik-naks (& the same colour in the case of our kitten) their slipper-like comfort will keep a smug look on your face all day long.”

(No kitten testicles are actually used in the production of the shoes, or in the maintenance of this web site.)

Condoleezza Rice and DropBox Collude With Heartbleeding NSA

Last week, the world found out about the Heartbleed bug, “the worst vulnerability ever on the Internet”. It’s a gaping hole that allows hackers to easily gain people’s passwords to the majority of web sites and online services. It’s been open for years, and the worst part of it is that hackers who have been exploiting it have left no trace, so we can’t know when our private information has been taken from us.

condoleezza rice dropboxWhat does that remind you of? The National Security Agency has become little more than a collection of hackers given carte blanche by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to snoop, search and seize through Americans’ private information whenever they like, without providing search warrants or other reasonable legal justification for doing so.

The supposed security of cloud service sites like DropBox have been paper thin. Companies like DropBox have been encouraging Americans to place their most private and valuable information online in accounts on their “secure” servers, without having the necessary protections in place to ensure that the information isn’t stolen and exploited by strangers. DropBox users have been vulnerable to both the NSA and to privateering hackers, using vulnerabilities like Heartbleed.

On Friday, news came out that suggests the Heartbleed security nightmare may not have been as purely accidental as it first appeared to be. Sources within the NSA indicate that the NSA knew for at least two years that Americans were made insecure by Heartbleed, but decided to do nothing about the problem, because Heartbleed was a valuable tool for the NSA’s own hacking activities, enabling the military agency to rapidly increase the size of its Big Brother electronic surveillance program.

Actual security for Americans in general, it turns out, was never really the goal of the National “Security” Agency. The rogue military spy agency purposefully kept Americans insecure so that it could grab more power for itself.

Neatly weaving these two threads together into a web of deceit and betrayal, this news came just a couple of days after it was revealed that DropBox announced that it would be appointing Condoleezza Rice to its Board of Directors. Condoleezza Rice, as head of the National Security Council under George W. Bush, was one of the leaders tasked with expanding the electronic surveillance powers of the NSA.

The new activist group Drop DropBox writes, “Rice not only spoke in favor of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretap program and expansive domestic surveillance program, she authorized the warrantless wiretap of UN Security Council members. Given everything we now know about the US’s warrantless surveillance program, and Rice’s role in it, why on earth would we want someone like her involved with Dropbox, an organization we are trusting with our most important business and personal data?”

Why would DropBox want someone like Condoleezza Rice on its Board of Directors? This shouldn’t be interpreted as a rhetorical question. In the past, Condoleezza Rice has specialized setting up data seizure programs that violating the constitutional rights of Americans, in order to centralize power for the people who employ her. It’s safe to assume that DropBox would like her to perform the same job for them.

Really, that’s what commercial cloud services are all about. Companies offer people “free” storage, and then feel free to search through their private information, mining it for useful data that it can then use or sell for profit. We cannot trust cloud service corporations like Google, DropBox, Droplr, Wuala, Cloudme and Carbonite any more than we can trust the NSA.

The hiring of Condoleezza Rice is merely one of the more blatant flags of privacy abuse from the tech sector. Abuse of user privacy is rampant in Silicon Valley, and in Washington D.C.

Corporate and governmental hubs of power have been consumed by a surveillance culture in which top executives presume that they have the right to seize and whatever information they want, to use for whatever purposes they can dream up. They don’t believe that the law, or the Constitution of the United States, applies to them anymore. They believe that digital technology has made our legal and constitutional rights obsolete.

Congress and the Supreme Court confirm this belief by refusing to take action to curb rampant hacking by corporations and the Executive Branch. American voters add their own assent when they re-elect politicians who have allowed Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable search and seizure to be made irrelevant.

Shame on us all. We have not yet begun to suffer the worst of the consequences of this collective apathy.

With Extra Political Parties in California, Big Two Still Pack Big Punch. Why?

Richard Winger’s Ballot Access News points me to fresh polls in a California Secretary of State race reopened by the revelation that gun control candidate Leland Yee had been brokering illegal gun sales on the sly. The story of Leland Yee is surely an entertaining one, but the polls in the race he leaves behind are interesting too.

Let’s look at the polls in this open moment, when sheer shock leaves possibilities open:

April 11 California Secretary of State Poll

In case you’re curious, that’s a different Pete Peterson up at the top of the ticket from our favorite gut-the-poor billionaire.  But look down the ticket.  There’s a Green there.  Greens have ballot access in California, but in this race the Green candidate isn’t appealing to voters, with a 5% poll share.

Look elsewhere, to the most recent political party registration report for the state of California, which shares the locations with the highest third-party registrations:

Locations in California with the greatest share of third-party registrants

As you can see, there is no county in California where a third party has as much as a 6% share of registrations.  In some cases, as with Americans Elect, the low registration share is a result of a defunct organization.  But the Greens, whether you agree with them or not, have been working for a long time at building their political party share; their organization is active and enduring, if small.  And if you have ever had a conversation with a member of the Libertarian Party, you’ve felt the zeal, a zeal that gives off the impression that there are more Libertarians out there then there really are.

Ballot access proponents have focused on the mechanics for getting third parties on the ballot.  But once they’re there, what keeps them from rising?  What keeps these third parties down?  Tell me what you know.

If We Came From Apes, Then Come And Answer This Question, Smartypants!

seneca bible baptist churchThe Seneca Bible Baptist Church, outside of Seneca Falls in upstate New York, has issued a challenge to all the secular eggheads in the area, their neighbors who actually believe in the theory of biological evolution through natural selection as proposed by the original Darwinist, Charles Darwin. The church has posted the sign you see here, asking the rhetorical question: “If we came from apes – Why are there still apes?

Brilliant! Genius!

Who could answer this penetrating question? As we all know, after all, to come from something is to destroy it. Why, just look it up in the Boxford Dictionary of Universal Wisdom, which defines the verb “come” as follows: Come, verb. 1. To obliterate entirely. 2. To cause to wither away in irrelevance.

The battle song “Oh, Susannah”, for example, is the ballad of a soldier who has arrived in Mississippi after a Civil War battle that saw the thorough devastation of the Alabama Confederates. “I’ve come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee,” brags the triumphant soldier. “Banjo” was a term used by soldiers of the time to refer to scars earned in victory.

When one person asks another, “Where do you come from?” It’s a challenge, suggesting that a person had better explain their past conquests if they want to be taken seriously. Are you bad? Did you come from someplace?

We don’t have to say, “I come from France, and I wrecked the place.” The wreckage is just implied. This is how we know that no one really ever came from Europe to the United States. If we came from Europe, how come there is still a Europe?

At least, that’s how it is in real, red-blooded America, where the blood is red, instead of puce, or teal, or off-white, or some other wimpy color like “goldenrod”.

Sure, in liberal havens like Portland, the word “come” merely refers to the action of arriving out of a different context, passively, without destroying anything. Liberal wimps use the word “come” to say limp little things like “I come from a long line of academics,” or “My ancestors came from Sweden.” Yeah, but they forget that when people CAME to America from their Old Countries, they utterly obliterated their old homes first!

Sissy progressives, when they “come home from work”, just mean to say that they had a hard day at work, in which sitting in their office chairs for too long made their backs stiff. Poor babies! Those of us who live in real, rough and tumble Christian America, on the other hand, will only say that we have “come home from work” when our shirts are soaked in blood, having hacked and blasted our offices into unrecognizable, smoking wreckage!

Really, who could say that human beings came from apes, when there are still apes around? Weaklings. That’s who!

Thank you to the Seneca Bible Baptist Church for reminding us of this, God’s truth!

Portrait Of The Internet

I had a heartbleed this morning, and had to go to the pharmacist for a treatment. When I got there, I discovered this latest update of the Internet’s infrastructure, waiting for me outside.

image

Apoptosis

A*pop*to*sis -noun

1 the distinctive odor associated with single-parent families

2 cell death as a normal consequence of drinking high fructose sparkling beverages

Spring in the Garden after a Long Winter

I don’t have to tell you that we had a long winter (although a review of global climate data will tell us that such a winter was typical a generation ago). I just want to share two of the little subtle joys coming with the remarkably quick spring. Just two weeks ago we had snow and weather in the single digits. Today, I see that our garlic has begun to grow:

Spring Garlic in the Garden

Even under a bed of insulating pine needles it looks like our strawberry plants suffered from some freezing, but at their core they are alive and well:

Spring Strawberries in the Garden

I don’t think our ground is quite ready to shovel, but it’s good to see these small starts. What’s happening in your garden?

You Great Big Samsung Rebel You

You are a rebel. You are such a big rebel that you don’t even know what kind of rebel you are. You just rebel against… stuff… by perpetrating a sort rebelliosity… involving pouting your lips. Why, if you weren’t so busy tapping the screen of your Samsung Galaxy smart phone, you would be standing in front of a brick wall, throwing punches at… stuff.

It’s hard to be a rebel when you don’t know what kind of rebel you are. But, how can a rebel find out what kind of rebel they are? What you need is an authority who knows all about rebels, to tell you what kind of rebel you are. Until you find an authority on rebels, you can take an online quiz, provided by Samsung, because Samsung is always rebelling against… stuff.

samsung rebel

Amusing Conspiracy Theories Linked With Neo-Nazi Holocaust Denial

Last week, I wrote about the strange conspiracy theory known as Project Bluebeam, which contends that fake alien invasions will be used to create a global tyranny. Before that, Peregrin Wood wrote about the odd idea that Homo Capensis, a species of human-alien hybrids, has been working behind the scenes for tens of thousands of years to enslave Homo sapiens.

These are silly ideas, but they seem rather harmless. As delusions go, they’re entertaining, full of flamboyantly absurd ideas.

So, why bother debunking them? Sane, intelligent people will be able to tell that these strange stories are nothing more than elaborate fantasies, right?

Actually, sane and intelligent people are capable of believing all manner of strange ideas, even ideas for which there is no evidence. Large numbers of Americans believe in the literal reality of ghosts and angels. When videos of raccoons with mange show up on YouTube, people will spread the news that the Chupacabra has finally been found. Entire political movements in the United States are not only centered around the claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, and that people co-existed with dinosaurs not too long ago, but seek to force public schools to teach this belief as scientific fact.

It is commonly argued that these kinds of beliefs should be spared from criticism because they don’t harm anybody. If my neighbor wants to believe that cattle mutilations in Texas prove the existence of an Illuminati plot to infiltrate American manufacturing, it doesn’t do me any harm, right?

What if, among your neighbor’s ramblings, there were references to the Zionist victimization of the honorable Nazi Party? That’s just the sort of thing that can be found over at the conspiracy theorist site Pakalert Press.

One of the site’s most consistent writers, going under the pseudonym “Truther”, has written about coming revelations about extraterrestrial civilizations from the World Economic Forum, and about how the Denver International Airport contains a secret headquarters for the Antichrist and his Satanist minions. Truther’s most recent revelations contain claims that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is intact, having been taken to a secret location by a military escort, and the assertion that Stonehenge is a hoax that was constructed using modern equipment in 1954.

Mixed in with these apparently random absurd ideas is something more sinister. Two weeks ago, Truther wrote an article purporting to prove “How the Holocaust Was Faked”. In that article, Truther writes, “The Jewish Bolshevik terrorists who overthrew the Russian monarchy during WWI and their allies – the USA and the UK, primarily – committed the real atrocities and genocides against the German people and their sympathizers during and after WWII… Jewish propagandists have entirely reversed the reality of the situation using their control of the media, and have blamed the Germans for starting the war and committing all the alleged atrocities, when in reality the Germans and their allies were the most disciplined, honorable and righteous forces fighting in that fratricidal Jewish-instigated war. The German people and their allies were the ones who experienced a genuine holocaust – a real genocide – during WWII, not the Jewish population of Europe. The simple fact of the matter is that the “Holocaust” narrative – 6 million Jews persecuted, abused, and systematically exterminated by ‘those evil Nazis’ during WWII – endlessly promoted and perpetuated by the Jewish-owned mass media.”

Here in the United States, people are free to believe whatever they want, and to speak whatever they want. I have no wish to prohibit Pakalert Press from publishing whatever form of vile racism it wants to publish. However, I also have constitutional rights, and I intend to use those rights to expose the blatant falsehoods of Pakalert Press and other right wing conspiracy theory sites like it.

When these sites publish wildly ridiculous conspiracy theories, they do so with a purpose. They seek to stretch the limits of our credulity, encouraging people to adopt the posture of holding an open mind even in regard to ideas for which there is no evidence at all. If we accept this posture, when these sites unleash politically-motivated conspiracy theories, we are in no position to judge.

How could we judge assertions that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, or that Jews were the real villains of World War II, simply because there’s no real evidence for any such thing, when we were willing to accept the possibility that an advance force from the shadow planet of Niburu could have already infiltrated the Federal Reserve?

one conspiracy theory

Conservative Christian Group Alerts America to… a Practicing Homosexual and Dangerous Negroes???

Practicing Homosexual on the phone: Oh, Dave, I love you so mulch!  Wait, damn.Why does conservative Christianity get so much negative press in America?

News item (via American Family Association’s One News Now)

President Obama has submitted a list of five nominees for federal judge posts, and a constitutional law expert suggests America will pay a price. Among the nominees are four African Americans, one of them homosexual, and the final one is white.

“Mat Staver, who heads Liberty Counsel, tells OneNewsNow the president is reaching out to two communities: ‘So he gets a black man, who is a practicing homosexual, and now he wants to put this individual in an appointment for life on the federal bench,’ Staver advises.

A practicing homosexual? Come on! He should get his act down. Maybe the four negroes could help.

Barack Obama Bans Pictures Of Himself While Stealing Pictures Of You

A week ago, we discovered that President Barack Obama became furious after discovering that people shared a photograph that he had allowed to be taken of himself. This week, Obama’s obsession with photographic privacy has become news again.

This time, the news comes from The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. The Jefferson Center released its 2014 Muzzle Awards yesterday. The Muzzle Awards are given to “those who in the past year forgot or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost.’” – the individuals and organizations in the United States that have done the most to promote censorship.

The Obama Administration has earned the top three Muzzle Awards this year.

One of those Muzzle Awards was given to the White House Press Office, for its policy of banning journalists from taking photographs at events involving President Obama. The White House claims that these prohibitions on ordinary press activity are due to the need for privacy. The White House Press Office typically releases its own photographs of these very same events.

The Obama Press Office policy has little to do with privacy, and a great deal to do with control of President Obama’s political image. President Obama’s team only wants to release polished and processed images that suit its political agenda. Giving photojournalists access to the White House would interfere with that project.

This is White House censorship is just the latest in a long course of Oval Office hypocrisy from Barack Obama. While Obama and his team demand that they be granted privacy for their public actions as public servants of the American people, they have unleashed unreasonable search and seizure of Americans’ private photographs, documents, homes, offices, communications and photographs. President Obama has even been working with British spies to steal pictures of naked Americans, in their own homes, from Yahoo.

If Barack Obama were subjected to the kind of privacy violations that he has inflicted upon the American people through the NSA, FBI and CIA, we would be able to read his emails, search through logs of his cell phone activity, and look at up to the minute maps of his GPS-tracked travel, all while watching and listening to live web cams of the Oval Office, top diplomatic meetings, and even the West Wing bedrooms.

We need more transparency from the President of the United States, and less in our own lives. Barack Obama volunteered to serve us. We did not volunteer to be the subjects of government spying.