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Phillip McCleod

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: British Columbia
Home country: Canada
Current location: New Mexico, USA
Member since: Sat Oct 20, 2012, 11:12 AM
Number of posts: 1,837

Journal Archives

Simple Question about Culpability..

Does the fact that world cultures predominantly adhere to fairly fantastical religious beliefs *prime* some individuals to go the step too far in some direction?


Paranoid schizophrenia (which btw is little understood)?
Psychotic breaks (which btw have many 'causes')?
Bipolar disorder (which btw can have 'hyper-religious' manifestations in some sufferers, and is, aka, manic-depressive)

.. to name a few?

Let's *do* talk about mental health. I think it's a perfectly legitimate topic for discussion in a religious forum, because, quite, frankly..

.. it's pertinent.
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Mon Apr 29, 2013, 11:39 PM (65 replies)

If Operating Systems Ran The Airlines...

.. if you haven't read it yet, then.. well.. you should! it's funny (and true)..



Windows XP Air

You turn up at the airport,which is under contract to only allow XP Air planes. All the aircraft are identical, brightly coloured and three times as big as they need to be. The signs are huge and all point the same way. Whichever way you go, someone pops up dressed in a cloak and pointed hat insisting you follow him. Your luggage and clothes are taken off you and replaced with an XP Air suit and suitcase identical to everyone around you as this is included in the exorbitant ticket cost. The aircraft will not take off until you have signed a contract. The inflight entertainment promised turns out to be the same Mickey Mouse cartoon repeated over and over again. You have to phone your travel agent before you can have a meal or drink. You are searched regularly throughout the flight. If you go to the toilet twice or more you get charged for a new ticket. No matter what destination you booked you will always end up crash landing at Whistler in Canada.

OSX Air:

You enter a white terminal, and all you can see is a woman sitting in the corner behind a white desk, you walk up to get your ticket. She smiles and says "Welcome to OS X Air, please allow us to take your picture", at which point a camera in the wall you didn't notice before takes your picture. "Thank you, here is your ticket" You are handed a minimalistic ticket with your picture at the top, it already has all of your information. A door opens to your right and you walk through. You enter a wide open space with one seat in the middle, you sit, listen to music and watch movies until the end of the flight. You never see any of the other passengers. You land, get off, and you say to yourself "wow, that was really nice, but I feel like something was missing"

Windows Vista Airlines:

You enter a good looking terminal with the largest planes you have ever seen. Every 10 feet a security officer appears and asks you if you are "sure" you want to continue walking to your plane and if you would like to cancel. Not sure what cancel would do, you continue walking and ask the agent at the desk why the planes are so big. After the security officer making sure you want to ask the question and you want to hear the answer, the agent replies that they are bigger because it makes customers feel better, but the planes are designed to fly twice as slow. Adding the size helped achieve the slow fly goal.

Once on the plane, every passenger has to be asked individually by the flight attendants if they are sure they want to take this flight. Then it is company policy that the captain asks the passengers collectively the same thing. After answering yes to so many questions, you are punched in the face by some stranger who when he asked "Are you sure you want me to punch you in the face? Cancel or Allow?" you instinctively say "Allow".

After takeoff, the pilots realize that the landing gear driver wasn't updated to work with the new plane. Therefore it is always stuck in the down position. This forces the plane to fly even slower, but the pilots are used to it and continue to fly the planes, hoping that soon the landing gear manufacturer will give out a landing gear driver update.

You arrive at your destination wishing you had used your reward miles with XP airlines rather than trying out this new carrier. A close friend, after hearing your story, mentions that Linux Air is a much better alternative and helps.

Windows 7 Airlines:

In effect a cunning corporate-takeover rebranding of Windows Vista Airlines with a new paint-job on all of the oversized over-slow planes. Some of the annoying in-flight bugs have been fixed, but it's still basically the same. Plus, when you bought the ticket, you later found that because of an administrative flaw in the airline booking system you had already paid for a duplicate ticket on Windows Vista Airlines, which you now don't need.

Linux Air

Disgruntled employees of all the other OS airlines decide to start their own airline. They build the planes, ticket counters, and pave the runways themselves. They charge a small fee to cover the cost of printing the ticket, but you can also download and print the ticket yourself.

When you board the plane, you are given a seat, four bolts, a wrench and a copy of the seat-HOWTO.html. Once settled, the fully adjustable seat is very comfortable, the plane leaves and arrives on time without a single problem, the in-flight meal is wonderful. You try to tell customers of the other airlines about the great trip, but all they can say is, "You had to do what with the seat?"
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Mon Apr 29, 2013, 10:32 PM (4 replies)

Why the faceless cowardly Drone War must end, in one easily understood word..




Posted by Phillip McCleod | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:27 PM (2 replies)

not just 'boobs' either. also those parents aren't 'true muslims' now.

it's this great new ploy .. everyone's doing it these days!

if person A does something violent in the name of religion X, then by the redefinition of religion X as a non-violent religion, person A was never really a member of religion X to begin with.

confusing, i know..
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:29 AM (1 replies)

Pussy Riot Member Denied Parole, Will Remain in Prison Colony


One of the two jailed members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot was denied early release by a Russian court today, meaning she will continue to serve out her two-year sentence for her participation in her band’s “punk prayer” protest against President Vladimir Putin.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who along with Pussy Riot members Maria Alekhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich was convicted of “hooliganism” charges back in August, has been in custody since March 2012. Her plea for early release was permitted by Russian law since she has now served half of her two-year sentence. She told the court in Zubova Polyana today that the prison camp where she is serving her sentence – a place the group has characterized on Twitter as the “harshest camps of all the possible choices” — did not support her request for release because she “didn’t repent,” according to the Associated Press.
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:24 AM (4 replies)

Ron Paul’s New Organization Reportedly Stacked with Extremists


Ron Paul, the libertarian former Texas congressman whose hard-line views are widely admired on the radical right but who claims to reject racism, has started a new organization stacked with a hodgepodge of far-right extremists.

As The Daily Beast reported yesterday, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is ostensibly designed to promote a discourse about U.S. foreign policy. But its advisory board is stacked with what writer James Kirchik characterized as “a bevy of conspiracy theorists, cranks, and apologists for some of the worst regimes on the planet.”

And just who are the far-right luminaries helping guide Paul’s new endeavor?

One is Lou Rockwell, Paul’s former congressional chief of staff who now heads the Ludwig von Mises Institute, an Auburn, Ala., think tank with deep ties to the neo-Confederate movement. There’s Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News and journalist Eric Margolis, both 9/11 “truthers” who suspect that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks may have been orchestrated by the government.

And alongside them sits Butler Shaffer, a Southwestern Law School professor who similarly once asked: “In light of the lies, forgeries, cover-ups, and other deceptions leading to a ‘war’ in Iraq, how can any intellectually honest person categorically deny the possibility of the involvement of American political interest in 9/11?”

But that’s not the worst of it, according to The Daily Beast.

“Also on Paul’s board are prominent former government officials who claim that American Jews constitute a ‘fifth column’ aimed at subverting American foreign policy in the interests of Israel,” Kirchick reported. One of those is Michael Scheuer, a former CIA intelligence officer who has accused a long list of individuals and organizations of “being intent on involving 300 million Americans in other people’s religious wars,” The Daily Beast said.

Still another board member is Walter Bloch, a fellow at the Mises institute who The Daily Beast said “believes the wrong side won the ‘war against Southern secession’ and blames most of America’s current problems on ‘the monster Lincoln.’”

Yesterday’s article wasn’t the first to note the affinity many extremists have for Paul. An article in The New York Times in 2011, when Paul was running for president, noted that while white supremacists, survivalists and anti-Zionists had allied behind Paul’s campaign, he had not disavowed their support. Paul told the newspaper: “If they want to endorse me, they’re endorsing what I do or say .."
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:09 AM (7 replies)

Texas’ Appleby Baptist Church Pushes Racist Doctrine


“The curse of Ham,” an old-time Biblical (mis)interpretation used to vilify black people and justify slavery and laws against racial intermarriage, is still alive and spreading bigotry in the United States.

The Appleby Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, is among this country’s scattered, independent fundamentalist churches still openly promoting the idea that the Biblical Noah pronounced a curse on descendants of his son, Ham. Ham had sexually molested Noah as he slept in a drunken stupor, and Noah realized it, the story goes. The curse ultimately fell on Canaan, Noah’s grandson, whose descendants were black and fated to be an underclass of slaves, according to this version of the Bible, which has been widely discredited by mainstream religious scholars.

But the canard is trumpeted loud and clear in an online statement of conviction by Appleby leaders. The East Texas church, 90 miles from Shreveport, La., is “a bit of a throwback, but these people are still out there,” Rachel Tabachnick, a fellow at the think tank Political Research Associates, told Hatewatch. She researches the impact of the religious right on politics and society.

For hundreds of years, the so-called curse of Ham was frequently taught by religious leaders as the source for racial differences, and in more recent times was seized on as a Biblical excuse for segregation and slavery, said Tabachnick. “There’s been a shift, and you don’t often see churches that are this forthright now, but the underlying theme is still there in fundamentalist holdout churches.”
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:06 AM (7 replies)

Mississippi high school forces students to attend Christian lectures: lawsuit


A high school in central Mississippi allegedly forced students to watch a Christian video and listen to church officials preach about Jesus Christ.

The American Humanist Association’s legal center filed a lawsuit against Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood on Wednesday, accusing the school of violating the student’s First Amendment rights.

The school has held at least three mandatory assemblies about finding hope in Jesus Christ this month, according to the lawsuit. The assemblies showed a video laced with Christian messages about overcoming personal hardships through Jesus Christ and were allegedly led by local church officials.

“See, before Jesus came, innocent blood had to be shed for our sins,” one of the church officials allegedly told the students. “There had to be an animal that was sacrificed toatone for our sin. There had to be innocent blood. So Jesus came and he was the innocent blood because he lived a perfect life. He was that innocent blood. See the last few years of Jesus’ life he traveled from region to region and country to country and he had 12 disciples that followed him everywhere. And he talked about the hope he was bringing.”

The assemblies concluded with a prayer and teachers blocked the exits to prevent students from leaving, the lawsuit claimed. A disillusioned student videotaped one of the assemblies.
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Fri Apr 26, 2013, 11:27 AM (11 replies)

thank you this was my 1st thought..

..if this was true then hell is falsifiable. either all these dead people exist *physically* somewhere in spacetime, or they don't. period. there's no room for other ways of thinking about that neat little loophole. if they do exist somewhere, then where? if it's not on this planet, then how do the dead people get there? one cannot *get* one's body back.. god or no god, that's just not going on anywhere in this universe, and it's not on the table for discussion afaic.

if hell is going on in this universe, then truly the onus is on believers in hell to *prove it*, or accept culpability for the negativity that this evil concept has rained down on humanity for far too long. it is no comfort to me to think of hitler in hell..

..sweet oblivion is heaven or hell, depending on whether or not you're good with your SELF.
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Wed Apr 24, 2013, 10:13 PM (0 replies)

Why the faith of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects doesn’t matter, but yours does


It simply does not matter that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the two Chechen-born brothers suspected of perpetrating the attacks were Muslim. Any religion, or lack of one, can be co-opted and used by a person or people as a justification for extremism.

What matters right now, and into the future, is the way the faith and values of every other American can either help us resist the fear-generating effects of terrorism, or help that fear grow and take root like a weed, choking out trust and diversity.

* agree or disagree? does the line between fundamentalism and violent extremism hinge on, 'the faith and values of every other American', or not?
Posted by Phillip McCleod | Tue Apr 23, 2013, 09:56 PM (20 replies)
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