Friday, March 30, 2012

Spreading God's love... Except to atheists.

     The post just previous to this one touched on the fact that atheists are at least among the most hated people groups in the U.S...

I won't embed this one for the sake of keeping the post tidy.  That's about a girl being kicked off of a basketball team and out of school.  It shows how the religious community demonstrated God's love to her.

That's terrible.  In general, atheists are seen as people who worship the devil, eat babies...  The funny thing is that it's the Christians who ritually drink wine to symbolize the blood of a man who has been dead for 2,000 years.  It's them who eat bread to symbolize Jesus' body.  It's them who have the weird death/blood thing.  The entire bible is centered on killing/resurrection/death.  Who really wants to do that, and moreover to force it on others?  There's no justification for that.

The hate of atheism is ridiculous.  Atheism is a balanced worldview boasting some of the greatest thinkers throughout history.  Atheist states tend to be less violent than religious states.  Atheists are more tolerant of other people and groups than are religious people.  Never has there been genocide in the name of atheism, there have been many in the names of various religions.  No atheist has felt compelled to fly airplanes into towers.  Atheism doesn't dictate the subordination of women, it doesn't teach abuse to children.  Atheism does not validate mindless massacre.  Atheism isn't behind slavery.  Over all of that though, atheism doesn't make people talk to an invisible man in the sky who doesn't demonstrate his presence.  For that disbelief we're hated.  Thank you America.

Why Christianity isn't a cult... Or is it?

Five characteristics of cults are as follows;

  1. People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations;
  2. Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
  3. They receive what seems to be unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group;
  4. They get a new identity based on the group;
  5. They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.

     The way these match up in my experience with respect to Christianity.  Not so much are people intentionally put in tough situations, more they are made to see their entire life as a tough situation.  There's always something trying to pull them off the path.  I've seen it take many forms, certain types of foods, music, most everything one could think of.  The point being, there's always something "wrong" which needs fixing, that makes one's entire life stressful.
     Everyone's problems in Christianity are reduced to the explanations "It's just another trick of the Devil to get you." or "You just need to repent and ask God for help.".  There's not really anywhere more to go with this.  It fits the bill perfectly.
     My mother is very religious and she sees the church in exactly this way.  She goes to several groups and deals with most of her problems through the church.  She often expresses how people love unconditionally and are accepting.
     The new identity here is more in a figurative sense, no really, keep reading...  When one is at church they are looked at as at least caring.  They're given respect for just being there.  I know several people who are intolerable as people, but they are defended by and because of the church.  
     This takes an interesting form, no one in the church is regularly prohibited from gaining any information they want to.  They're told to disregard things which contradict the Bible though.  One can present a strong case for an atheist view on a topic and it will be rejected at first glance because it does not coincide with the Bible. Most of the religious people I know around at least attempt to limit their children's music choices and despise the better part of the area's selection of secular stations literally claiming that they're of the devil.  So the information members of the Christian church can receive is very mentally guarded.  As has been said so many times, the best way to keep a person trapped is to make them believe they're free.

     One of the main ways the church recruits is brainwashing people, all too literally.  From the time children are born they're bombarded with the one-sided argument that acceptance of Christ is mandatory for a good life.  I underwent that same process.  My first hints of skepticism appeared when I was about 14.  I began to realize that I'd only paid attention to the narrative of one side of the argument.  Eventually, through research and my own musing I came to my current atheistic opinion.  People in the church will wax poetic about how they may lose friends for being Christians, but I'll attest that the reverse works as well.  Atheists are among the most hated groups on the planet.

If you're too lazy or disinterested to read those articles, they state that atheists are disliked over any minority and that atheists are similar or equal to rapists in the public opinion, respectively.  Does that seem at all like a cult mentality?  Now, I'm not going to be so ignorant as to assume that in either poll, only religious, and more to the point, Christian people were interviewed, but the traits are similar among most Abrahamic religions.  I was going to title this post in more of an Abrahamic religion setting, but I realized that for the most part, I can make a stronger case against that group's individual members one at a time then charging haphazardly at the whole lot.

I'll write another post more directly tuned to why atheism is so hated.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Little white lies

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It's all in the faith

Mark Twain once said something to the effect of "The best cure for Christianity is to read the Bible.".  I could not find that quote to be more true.  I was a baptist for the first part of my life, brought up in church.  No one in a religious setting teaches critical thinking, no one teaches any alternatives.  Unconditional believe in God is the contention, no defense.  Indoctrination of children is such a low move.  I know a great many people who have not yet thought about their faith through the lens of reason, all of their refutations to my arguments boil down to the basic Christian contention in which you must accept what's said on faith.  I posed once the question "Why is proof of the Bible's legitimacy dependent on the Bible's legitimacy?", I posed it in written format, but it was a few months ago and I have yet to receive a response.  The people I submitted it to are the youth leaders at our local church.   I asked a few more questions in person and the responses I got were based on believing on faith.  I'm incredibly skeptical, I normally defend evolution in debates, but I'm yet to be entirely convinced of it's validity.  For the majority of the time I'm happy living the life I have and I don't need to know why I have it.  I have life, emotions, needs, interests, many better things to do than to try to find out if life has some grandiose meaning.  If there is a God, he should understand and respect that, but at least the Christian God doesn't.  It seems unfair and even cruel to me to create people who have the ability to reason and question, require they believe in the creator, and provide no proof that a creator exists but a book which is very unfounded.  The idea here is either you believe in God, or he'll torment you eternally.  Seeing as there's no proof of life after death or God, I'd not be too concerned.  There are people who believe that they've been in heaven while they were dead on an operating table or the like.  Scientists have frequently postulated that these are hallucinations, I personally subscribe to that explanation.  I won't go into the scientific process here, but I'll post an article at the end.  As the article reads, DMT is released into the body along with sedatives/pain relievers/what have you.  That seems enough to cause a hallucinogenic response when the consciousness is subdued.  Physiology is something Christians don't need though, as proven by the Bible.  The  Bible often talked about believing, thinking, loving, so one...  In the heart, which of course, is absurd.

Exodus 7:3 But I will harden Pharaoh's heart...
Exodus 9:12 But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh...
Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart "There is no God."...
Psalm 37:31 The law of God is in his heart...
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he...
Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart...
Matthew 5:28 ...committed adultery with her in his heart.
Mark 8:17 And Jesus, aware of this, said to them...   ...are your hearts hardened?
Mark 11:23 ...does not doubt in his heart...
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the treasure of his heart...
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each on must do just as he has purposed in his heart...
Ephesians 4:18 ...due to their hardness of heart.
Hebrews 3:8 Do not harden your hearts...

I personally see that coming from the blood pressure and heart rate changes when certain emotions or other stimuli are experienced.  An all-intelligent designer should know this though.  Unless maybe daddy didn't remember to tell Jesus about biology.  Why would you need that when you're capable of spitting into someone's eye and restoring their sight.  Miracles raise some problems too.  Religion has set science back incredibly because it was considered blasphemous and sacrilegious to consider anything which might contradict God.  The punishment for being thought of as blasphemous could range from social exclusion to exile to death throughout history.   Of course, if it's God who is angry, your entire city may be in danger.  God's track record of killing entire populations is nearly, if not completely, unmatched.  Cities with infants, destroyed.  Several times in the Bible, God directly tells Israel's armies to flatten cities, killing infants. Now about about abortion, Christians.  Cities full of people are just a mark on God's genocidal list.  What's more disturbing yet is how people defend God's brutal acts.  Is something "moral" because God does it?  Is it right to wipe out people who have never wronged you if God tells you to?  Think about it.  If God told you to kill your friend, right now.  Would you, and would it be right?  Why hasn't God told anyone to do things like that, well...  Anyone but the Muslims.  God doesn't perform any miracles which can be proven at this point in time. I submit that if there is a God, he no longer pays attention or cares.  Think about it, creation was supposed to be about 8,000 years ago.  Roughly 6,000 years before Jesus was born.  Throughout that time God was very active.  He was burning bushes, parting seas, sending plagues, destroying towns, feeding people...  Then Jesus leaves.  He promises to come back of course, but it's been 2,000 years and no so much as a clue as to where he is.  Again, I submit that he no longer cares if he ever existed at all.

Near-death experience (linked to the biological section, but the page is more complex)

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Grade A prime bullshit! Obamaville (unlisted, spread the link)

Stop plagiarizing 'The Walking Dead'...  This advertisement is funny at best. Rick's message for America

The fact that anyone even considers Rick for president baffles and frightens me.

Fundamentally altered...  Really?  Pres. Obama has been very conservative for a democratic politician.  Most of the things I've been looking for I hope to see in the four years to come if Pres. Obama gets a second term.

Don't pass this off like all of these issues are new, they're merely peaking.  Bush left a wreck, this administration gets to clean it up.  Bush had a lot to work with too, considering his intellectual disadvantage.

We haven't varied from the constitution, and the declaration of independence...  What?  All that the Obama administration has done is make the dirty choices that no one else would.  There's no way to magically fix problems.

The debt hasn't just skyrocketed, but gone into orbit...  ONE generation?  You imbecilic twat!  The debt has been around for a very long time.  It's "immoral", need more be said?

If we didn't have to deal with Rick for four years afterward, I'd like to see him try to balance everything out as he promises.  Unless he is indeed using magic, he'll find it a bit more complex than flipping a switch from debt to gain.

You really can promise that we'll never have this problem again?  Are you really egotistical enough to assume that your ideas will be perfect throughout time?

"Burdensome regulations", we've got to watch out for that sort of thing.  Obama job killing regulation, is that killing Obama's job, or Obama killing other people's jobs?  Regulations aren't put in place to impede jobs, they're put there to make jobs safe.  You want to get rid of regulation, read 'The Jungle'.

Lower manufacturing taxes to 0, Obama is/was trying to reduce the manufacturing tax rate.  But without some tax, the government cannot operate.

Pres. Obama's energy plan is designed to help us reduce a need for oil in favor of green energy.  We then have jobs in renewable energy, without having to destroy the environment with pipelines.  As an "American people" myself, I object to that.

I'm trying to argue this in a point-by-point format that doesn't require the video as much as a knowledge of our buddy Rick.  This part in the video however, complaining about gas prices, shows a pump reading 90-91 dollars.  At roughly $91, the meter also reads just shy of 38 gallons, putting the price of that fuel at $2.39/gallon.  Just putting that out there.

There's no safe drilling, oil companies always try to get by as cheap, not safe as possible when drilling to get the most money.  That's where things like the gulf oil disaster come from.  It won't, as Rick argues help us in the long run.  It just prolongs the time we have to arrogantly burn oil.

Now you start talking about how we need to make America an energy supplier, not just a consumer.  When will it get through that thick skull that we have solar, wind, hydroelectric etc...  at our FINGERTIPS!  Yet we neglect those for oil.

Well if your wife says it's true then we all accept it without a doubt, thanks for clearing that up.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can't pass up the opportunity...

Jon Stewart gets to decimate Bill O'Reilly, not something to miss.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How and why Obama is EVIL!

     The fact that it's Fox News should be anough to put it down, but...

Catholic bishops are doubling down in their opposition to the Obama administration mandate that church-sponsored institutions provide employees health plans that include contraception.

      This is healthcare.

The issue is not women’s reproductive rights, but rather the right of faith-based institutions to continue in their historically established roles serving American society.

     So, we don't like that whole separation of church and state here at Fox News.  In history, the government was less up-to-date on the individual settlements and citizens.  The church stepped in, at that point a vast majority of people were religious, and better than religious, most Americans were Christians.  Now we're got a blend of religions.  The problem with "faith-based institutions" is that they tend to include conditions with their aid.  You may receive care with this program, but not if it's illness or injury caused by what we consider to be sinful.

The First Amendment prohibition of laws “impeding the free exercise of religion” was written in an age of very limited government. Prior to the New Deal, Washington left the aid to the homeless and poor, health care and other social services largely to the states and private sector. With little or no public funding, churches and other private charities established schools and universities, social service agencies, and hospitals to help educate the young and aid the sick and poor.

     This is like I was saying above.  But things like scarlet letters, witch trials and other atrocities come as a side-effect.

Before Medicaid was established in 1965 and the federal government began supporting Planned Parenthood in 1970, no one gave much thought as to whether church-sponsored institutions should be required to provide birth control services, or pay for those for their employees. However, now that the government has chosen to provide health insurance to all Americans, directly or through private mandates, the issue is cast through a wholly different prism.
As federally mandated health plans must pay for sterilization and contraception—including abortifacient drugs—those mandates will require Catholic Church-sponsored hospitals, universities and social service agencies to act against Church teachings.

     And there it is, when you take morality into legislation all you get is an open can of worms.  Not everyone who needs help agrees with the invisible dude who lived 2000 years back.

In deference to the First Amendment, Health and Human Services will exempt religious employers who only hire and serve primarily those of their own faith, but that is too narrow—effectively, it only exempts houses of worship.

     But it isn't!  That's a good solution for the most part.  You don't have to do things which offend you if you mostly serve people who agree with you.  We're to accept that people's opinion of what is right should be legislated?

     So, uh...  God doesn't like that porn.  And God doesn't like your music.  Guess what, God doesn't like those clothes, he doesn't like your lifestyle, your choices, or your free will which he so readily advocates.  This sounds like something I want to join in on!  Which morals do we legislate?  The catholic church, where if you're having fun, you're doing something wrong?  The baptists, where you've got to be a right-wing nut to have any respect, to have your opinion even noted?  Muslims, who want to expand their agenda, just like the church?  Any of those sound like fun, or should we be objective?

To comply with its own teachings, the Catholic Church would be compelled to either limit the faculty and student body to substantially only Catholics at Notre Dame University, and thousands of schools and other universities, or shut their doors. The same applies to employees and clients at hospitals and social service agencies.

     Or stop being prudes with antiquated morals.

This would effectively limit the Church’s role in America to one similar to the one it had in Eastern Europe during the Soviet era. Churches stayed in business but were isolated places. Citizens could visit houses of worship, but the Church could not effectively reach out to the sick, homeless and poor, and participate in education. Its humanitarian role—which is as much an expression of faith as the Mass—was almost totally usurped by the state.

     The soviet era, there's something to just throw around.  Well, there is a difference between the concentrated effort to destroy religion and having healthcare terms that the church doesn't agree with.

HHS has offered Catholic bishops a compromise—it would require insurance companies to offer contraceptives through health plans at Catholic hospitals and similar institutions, but not permit those companies to charge for contraceptives in premiums.

     In other words, the government proposed that the catholic hospitals and such would have to provide birth control.  The phrase "those companies" used here is confusing.  I take it to mean that the hospitals cannot then mark up the birth control products.

That is an economic and theological fantasy—someone has to pay for birth control services and those costs would simply be disguised and passed on to Church-sponsored institutions anyway.

     Prove it.

Those institutions still would be compelled to pay for something the Church teaches is morally wrong—by any reasonable reading that violates the “free exercise of religion.”

     Context failure.

Since Franklin Roosevelt, Americans have increasingly gravitated to a welfare state that guarantees income security, cradle to grave health care, access to higher education and the like, but those are not free—increasingly those guarantees come at the expense of free speech, religion and other constitutional protections.

      Do we have to buy the "constitutional protections"?  That welfare money is somehow reducing free speech?  What?  Fear not, I'm sure the author will explain that below.

For example, virtually every college and university receives some federal and state dollars, and young people must attend one of those to get a college degree.

     That's the "college" part of "college degree"....

Yet religious organizations are increasingly circumscribed in what they must tolerate to gain access to campus facilities and service students.

     Maybe not because the regulations of the state are flawed, but the regulations of the church are.

     They're limited in what they must tolerate?  The church is limited in what they tolerate, the state is pretty tolerant.  Blurb out those big words there.

A Supreme Court decision recently upheld a state-sponsored law school’s decision to deny a Christian group funding and recognition, because it did not permit gay students to join. Students pay taxes and compulsory fees to fund campus organizations and facilities—gay rights organizations are free to get that funding and access, why not religious groups that believe their lifestyle is wrong as long as they
pose no threat to others?

     That whole discrimination thing, it makes the government a bit less generous with their funds.  Don't act like it's ridiculous.  Gay rights groups get funding because they are inclusive, not exclusive.  Religious groups who believe a gay lifestyle is wrong and pose no threat to others have every right to express what they will, but the government cannot fund bigoted organizations.

It all becomes not a question of the free practice of religion, but whose religion we are free to practice.

      Kind of like the conservative war on everything but Christianity?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The almighty cup/paper/pen(cil)/whatever you have.

I submit to you this, select a random object within two feet of yourself.  That object, hereinafter referred to as THE PENCIL, is almighty.  Now, there are supposed to be three ways in which God answers prayer.  Those are; yes, no, and later, as demonstrated here  Ignoring for now the moral implications of not helping someone who is in pain when you have the power to reverse their injuries/damage, I'll move on to the main point.  THE PENCIL is an all-powerful entity, it knows your every thought and hears your pleas.  THE PENCIL will answer your prayers to it with yes, no, or later. Those answers encompass every single possible outcome.
Yes, your wish will be granted.
No, your wish will not be granted.
Your wish will be granted whenever I feel like it, bitch!
There's no way to not fall into one of those outcomes.  So is THE PENCIL all-powerful?  Why not?  Pray to it, and in it's infinite wisdom it will decide to grant your wish or not.  But at least it is possible to observe THE PENCIL.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One question to end them all

This guy, right here...  has one question, one question which will reduce any atheistic belief to rubble.

Ok, so.  Although it may be shallow, I'll turn that question on you, which did God create first?  In Genesis, the birds of the air are commanded to rise out of the water.  Is this the sea, or the inside of an egg?  Now, things evolve more slowly than you imply.  Instead of a fish egg turning into a chicken it works more like...
The way you pose such a question is disingenuous.  The egg came before the first chicken as we now consider it, this is because the creature just before the chicken had to lay the egg with the correct mutation to become a chicken.  Same goes for fish.  My turn now.  Where did god come from?  If he's eternal and has always been there, how can you then assume that a dense particle couldn't have been around forever.  Take a look at this as well

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To attain shock-jockey status...

     Toward the beginning of the video is the first misconception.  Just because someone exists doesn't mean they matter.  I exist, I plan to be a mechanical engineer, I'll fix some problems and design things.  In the long run though, I won't do anything that no one else could not accomplish.  The best I can hope for is that I'll do it sooner than other people.  But that just makes me the first, not the best.
     Who am I not to end a war?  I'm a single person.  A war is a multitude of people, all that will happen is my voice will be drowned out as I am trampled by the masses.  The way to end a war as I interpret you saying it would be to amass a following and as a collective, end the proverbial war.  The problem is, by doing that it is no longer me, but us who ended the war.
     So we're going to tell the kid, this little fucker with no independent thought that Kony is the "bad guy", without telling him why he's bad.  Now, a lot of these things are awful and heinous and demand a reaction.  But come on, I hope not everyone is dumb enough to agree with something because a little kid bumbles out the words his daddy is telling him.  You seem to be raising a small child army there, indoctrination before free thought develops and the like...
    The government has policies about military engagements so that we don't do off loosing hell in small countries because Jack stole Bobby's ball.  This particular issue is one that Uganda needs to solve.  There are three options I see;
1:Arrest and try Kony for his crimes.
2:Kill Kony.
3:Revolt against Kony, all the power he has currently is only assumed.
I list these options as the most likely, not the only solutions to this issue.  Let's just make sure it isn't kindergarten day at the courthouse.
     You have friends in this conflict, right now...  And what are we doing?  Making facebook groups.  Well, if Americans who won't take action to raise awareness about domestic issues click on that share button, Kony will drop to his knees.  The way I see this playing out is Kony's army grows until someone sees them  as a threat, that rival will ally a couple other forces and end the Kony issue.  That's just my prediction.
     But where you live has always determined whether you live, look at mortality rates in harsher environments and then at more hospitable environments.  That's sort of how it's been going forever.  Eventually, people will get sick of all this crap coming through their countries, they'll band together and end it.  Through history, this is what has happened.  Not always in such a cruel fashion, but the principle is the same, the more ruthless one is the more likely they are to win a given scenario.
     Oh, ok, so this is a charity thing.  There's something that might be worth mention before we're halfway through a video.  So yes, people raise money and a lot can happen.  Before we get scholarly, might it be a good idea to make sure that the school doesn't just get burned down?  That early warning network is a great idea, but what's the plan?  Fold up the school and put it in a backpack?  I know this group's entire directive is peace, but maybe training and organizing a defense...  When a person or group shows a tyrannical force that they're done taking it in the ass, the tyrannical force will move along to somewhere else.  Eventually, the process has to end.  It always has, because at some point someone will make a fatal flaw.
The quote "We will fight war!" seems a bit...  Odd.  Especially with the ten thousand fists thing going on.  Peace group, right.

"From Mexico, from Canada[,] from every other state I can think of..."  Come on...  You can't do that.

     Just because there isn't an American policy dictating the way Uganda behaves doesn't mean that the cause goes unnoticed.  That's like saying you can't punish someone else's kid the way you think is proper, so the child must never be punished.  On the other hand, if this other child is threatening others, you have the right to stop them.  Does that make any damn sense?
     The next bit goes on to talk about how the U.S. authorized about 100 troops to deploy.  it pretty much states that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is becoming a threat and must be dealt with.  I'm not familiar with the time frame of all this, but whether this is a direct result of the activism is unclear.
     After eight years of work, the government heard you...  Trust me when I say they pay close attention to activism and protest groups.  The situation just reached a point at which it merits intervention.  Save patting yourselves on the back for later.
     If i had a nickel for every time people demanded something from the government and still didn't get it...  Well, the point is, we may request and petition, but not so much demand.  The U.S. has had a tendency to pull through as humanitarians when need be.  Also, didn't the letter say that the LRA is becoming a threat to a large number of countries and communities?  Or shall we disregard that for the icing on our victory cake?
     So Kony has changed his tactics to be harder to track.  Wouldn't it have been easier to remove him when he wasn't doing the hide-out thing?  Not like we're familiar with this game...

20:38-21:01 has there ever been a more hashed up clip which made less sense?

     This is like I was saying earlier, when it gets to the point where it's bad for everyone.  The big fish in the pond will step up to stop it.  Does this really bear mention in a video in which you are trying to prove that your activism caused a response?
     Well "...changing that..." is politically complex.  We unfortunately don't live in a world where political vigilantism is considered proper.  There needs to be a line between what we see as wrong and what is a threat to humanity.  This certainly falls into the latter,

Again with the little kid, what is that really supposed to convey?

     The government has a large effect on people with money, it merely favors them.  What controls the government is media, politics is all about image.  If a politicians slips up and the media is there, they're done.  That's how it works, welcome to the U.S.
NO ONE CARED?  Really?  You think that may be overgeneralizing a bit?

     Everything we do will affect every generation to come.  It can be any role from being a number in a statistic to a technological or social breakthrough.  Just putting that out there.  Same deal with shaping human history.  Which reminds me, why fall back on redundancy?  Do you feel that repeating a directive  legitimatizes it's authenticity?  Seriously, why keep going with redundancy?  Redundancy is a weak tactic.  Oh damn.
     Hate to break it to you buddy, but Gavin will have other issues.  They'll be equally bad and some of them will be direct consequences of this generation.  Doesn't it suck to think of it that way?  But in the end, it rings true.  Everyone seems to have this objective to make the world a better place, but it's more like shifting the bad around.
     The last nitpick is " for peace." armed with guns of creation and swords that heal I assume?

You message is sound for the most part, it's the presentation which I simply cannot stand.

I agree that the crimes Kony has committed are awful.  But it's just a different bad.  Before him came Hitler, Ghengis Khan...  The list rambles on.  There's always going to be someone committing vile acts and there will always be people thinking that signing a paper will make someone see the evil of their ways.  I can just see Kony now, sitting in his little hut.  But what's this?  People in america are hanging signs up and signing online petitions?  A tear trickles down his hardened cheek...  To be continued....