Minimum Wage and You

Being a wage slave puts you in a position of zero power. People in poverty have very little opportunity to crawl out. You need money to make money, and even if you get a college degree, there still aren’t jobs available.

So when I see… people… (fighting the urge to use harsher language) laughing at minimum wage laborers demanding higher pay, I just want to sock them in the jaw. If you think everybody that works a minimum wage job is just too lazy to get something better, you aren’t paying attention to what’s actually happening in the world.

People don’t have options. Continue reading

Is There A Biblical Precedent Against Premarital Sex?

In light of my previous post, which was mostly inspired by a conversation on Facebook plus some blog comments regarding sex without marriage and its rightness or wrongness (mostly in a Biblical sense), I think it’s important for anyone discussing the concept of sexual purity to consider whether God and/or the Bible actually forbid sex without marriage.

I’m no Biblical scholar, and I’ve never even read the Bible from front to back, but I have studied the base principles of Christianity and dug into particular messages contained in the Bible and their interpretations. Mainstream Christianity holds the axiom that sex without marriage is wrong and sinful, but where does it actually say that in the Bible?

Some of the most commonly cited passages only reference sexual immorality, and that’s, of course, only the English translation. Language nerds could argue about the actual meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words referenced in the Bible, leaving a lot of room for interpretation. You will see many Christians fallaciously argue the Biblical precedent against non-marital sex by citing verses denouncing “sexual immorality”, but sexual immorality is never really defined. This could mean that church culture has merely accepted that non-marital sex counts as “sexual immorality”—and is therefore instanced into any verses denouncing sexual immorality—without any clear Biblical precedent. Now we’re looking at post-Biblical church culture that has been accepted as the word of God—which any Christian (except Catholics) would probably agree is dangerous stuff.

There are vague references in Genesis to a man and a woman joining together permanently as “one flesh”, but at that point no such thing as marriage has been laid out in the text. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul basically says a celibate life is best, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and at the time the Corinthians were fraught with “sexual immorality” (only exemplified by a man who had a sexual relationship with his father’s wife [his mother?] but otherwise not clearly defined), and Paul said it’s better for a husband and a wife to be married and take care of each other’s sexual needs than to be tempted to sexual immorality. Furthermore, if you pay attention, little of what he says in this passage is claimed to be God’s command, but how Paul suggests the Corinthians behave to best hold close to their faith and God’s will. There are many old rules and laws that Christians no longer uphold because they were specified for a certain people, time, and place–just look at Leviticus.

Here are a couple of articles that I found interesting. One is from someone who espouses that sex without marriage is actually not forbidden in the Bible at all. The other says that, while the Bible never explicitly forbids it, it carries other rules and requirements and is discouraged. Food for thought.

If all lust is a sin, stop looking at your wife.
Sex: Does the Bible actually forbid premarital sex?

Interesting side point regarding Biblical misinterpretation that’s ingrained in the social consciousness: “Sodomy” is associated with homosexuality and anal sex, but the people of Sodom were actually defined as “wicked”, with little else in the way of description. Their crime that brought their destruction was demanding that Lot bring out God’s visiting messengers so that they could rape them (Genesis 19). This is rape, not merely homosexuality. Some interpret it as a power move; the messengers were foreigners, and the intolerant Sodomites were to “put them in their place” through sexual domination. The people of Sodom may not have necessarily been homosexual themselves.

A Soliloquy on Religious Integrity

I see people think they’re outsmarting religion and creating loopholes in their faith by switching over from “being religious” to “having a personal relationship with God”. They hand-craft their own moral code and argue with anyone that tells them they’re defying God’s laws by saying “My relationship with God is my own; it’s not your place to judge it.” This is nonsense.

If your personal relationship with God is based on the Bible, then every time you choose to ignore a part of the Bible, you are a hypocrite. For your basis of faith to be this book, if you choose the parts you like and reject the parts you don’t like, you are creating a Frankenstein’s Monster of a faith that is solely your own. You can’t believe that THIS is the one true god while claiming parts of the text that your faith is based on are false.

If you want to believe there’s a greater being, not necessarily the God of the Bible but some other god, and imprint upon him your values of what you think is true and just, well… if you want to create your own Build-A-Deity, that’s your prerogative. But don’t call yourself Christian.

Sins are laid out in the Bible. It also lays out that all of God’s children are inherently sinners who can only be saved by the grace of God and Jesus Christ. You cannot choose to sin while knowing that it is a sin, planning to later ask for forgiveness for your knowing and willing sin, and think that this is done in a just and loving relationship. That’s hollow. You don’t want forgiveness; you want to do whatever you like and then exploit “Jesus’s love” to save you. If any of this is true, God SHOULD turn his back on you. You don’t love him; you’re exploiting him.

If you believe that there is an all-knowing and all-powerful god who has created everything and all of his rules are final, you cannot reject any of those rules and stay honest to yourself and to your faith.

For me, personally, the more I read the Bible, the less it made sense and the more I disagreed with it, its teachings, and its god’s commandments, so I’m not a Christian. I don’t have any faith in any religious text or believe in any deity. I also don’t consider myself an atheist because that’s a loaded label; people will assume all sorts of things about you if you call yourself an atheist, and that’s just not a fight I care to take on. (I already have to deal with being an anarchist. One label fight is enough for me.) Modern atheism would be better labeled antitheism; most atheists are staunchly opposed to any possible spirituality, and I’m not necessarily, I just have yet to see any evidence.

So I really don’t care whether you do or don’t believe in the Bible. What I do care about is that you be consistent and honest with yourself and your beliefs. If you cast off part of your god, how can you not cast off the entire thing? You are only imagining a customized god.

On Feminism

First of all, on labels: I’ve chosen to identify with the label of “anarchist” despite the stigma around it. A common stereotype is that anarchists are teenagers going through an irrational rebellious phase, which, while there are some teenagers who wear a raggedy circle-A symbol on their hoodies and go around spraypainting it on things to appear “edgy”, that’s not a real anarchist. Forgive me for using the term “real anarchist”, but I’m talking about in the most basic sense that a “real” anarchist is a person who supports the abolishment of any ruling class, generally on a moral basis. The stereotype is just rebelling against authority because they feel like it.

That said, even though I’ve embraced the stigmatic label of “anarchist”, I am hesitant to adopt the label “feminist”. I thought at first it was due to its stigma, even though my values would probably define me as a feminist, but I’m not so sure that’s the reason.

Perhaps because the word “feminist” implies a preference for females, which is simply switching the paradigm into the opposite, but still wrong, direction. There should be NO gender preference, which is really what feminism is about, but I think that the word gives the wrong impression, to make no mention of the feminists who are, in fact, misandrist and would prefer women to be on top rather than to level the gender field.

As a proponent of non-aggression, voluntary interaction, a non-hierarchical world structure, and, most importantly, logic, feminism is implied by my values. Harassment, discrimination, or even simple assumptions based on any biological descriptor, including sex as well as race and age, are preposterous. Women do not exist to serve men, just as blacks do not exist to serve whites as slave owners seemed to believe. This is ancient, ignorant, presumptuous thinking.

There is certainly ancient, ignorant, and presumptuous thinking about men on the part of women as well, but not to the extent that it comes from men. As I’ve done some reading and participating in online dating websites, that’s where the disparity between sexes has become most obvious to me. It’s absurd how frequently men contact women to make crass comments about their bodies, or to tell them what they want to do to them sexually based solely on pictures posted on a website, or send unsolicited pictures of their genitalia, or, if they put on the appearance of a reasonable human being long enough to go on a date, then they often expect sex as a “reward” simply because they bought dinner and some drinks. On the other hand, about the only expectations you’ll get out of women are to open the door for them, pull out their chair, and pay for dinner, though, interestingly, feminists are often against these practices as well.

In essence, gender inequality is based in logical inconsistencies; that women, by definition of their gender, have roles and obligations to society, particularly to men. This brings me back around to anarchism, because the allegation that women have inherent roles and obligations to society implies the existence of the absurd “social contract”.

And going back to my original point, since this became more of a stream-of-consciousness rambling than anything, perhaps it’s best to coin a new label such as “humanism” or “equalism”, which may collectively oppose sexism, racism, ageism, and perhaps other -isms I haven’t thought of yet.

Or better yet, maybe I should just label myself a decent human being.

Catastrophic Twitter Entropy

I feel like spending too much time on Twitter has dulled my writing senses and I can no longer write a blog post of decent length. I would already be running out of my character limit here, and probably start looking for ways to trim the message down so I can fit a #hashtag.

I’m experiencing Catastrophic Twitter Entropy. I’m not even entirely clear on the definiton of “entropy”, it just sounded good.

On this note, somebody recently described me as “overstudied and undersocialized” after having met me about 5 minutes before. I’d say that’s pretty accurate, but is it really that obvious?

I must return to my studies.

Color Matching Givi Crash Bars/Tank Guards

I bought a 2005 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom about a week and a half ago. The day after I bought it, tried stopping on a lateral slope and lo and behold, planted my foot downhill and toppled the bike onto the Givi crash bar, gouging the thing up pretty good on the gravel.

SO!

Step 1: You need a metric 6mm Allen/hex key to remove the bolts holding the crash bar on. I didn’t find one in the tool kit that comes with the bike, so I had to buy a set. (Somehow we didn’t have a single metric Allen key in the house.)

Step 2: Regular satin black Rustoleum sold at Lowe’s matches the original color of the Givi V-Strom tank guard really well. I’m no expert, in fact this is my first time doing something like this, but here’s what I did: I took some fine (150 grit) sandpaper to it to get the rust out and smooth out the scrapes, gave the surface a quick once-over with water and dish soap, then put on the first coat of paint, which I put on far too thick, giving it a smooth and goopy appearance that obviously wasn’t good, so I gave it a day to dry, sanded it lightly with 220 grit sandpaper to get the goopy appearance out, cleaned again with water and dish soap, then re-sprayed with the Rustoleum, holding the spray can a bit further back and putting on a thinner coat to give it a rougher finish like the factory paint job. You can tell it’s not perfect if you’re checking out the bar, but I have no prior experience with this whatsoever, so I never expected it to be perfect.

I think this is a win. Ride on! And don’t drop the bike next time!

Voluntaryist Philosophy Simplified

A friend of a friend on Facebook didn’t think I seriously thought that taxes were theft. To prevent retorts and going on bit-by-bit, I simplified the entire philosophy so there would be no confusion.

I wanted to save that post for posterity–and for reposting in case I need it in another conversation.

How is any government supposed to operate without taxes–that’s certainly the question. They can’t, because as soon as their funding is voluntary, they’re not a government, they’re a private service provider. Which would be GREAT! Then they’d actually have to provide quality services and wouldn’t be able to dig their tendrils into your property, your business, your earnings, your marriage… I could go on.

Taxes are collected by force, and therefore it is theft. I sure wouldn’t pay them voluntarily, but I fear the gun and the cage of the government, so I pay up. It’s extortion, basically a mafia racket, and government is at its core an immoral institution because it functions ENTIRELY on initiating force against you.

Either you were going to do things the way they want you to anyway, and government is unnecessary, or you weren’t, and they have to threaten you with kidnapping you and locking you in jail to get you to do things their way. If you were to defend yourself like you should against any kidnapper, they will kill you, so in essence, you are threatened with death if you don’t give up your money to this mafia.

The only time anybody should use force against another is in defense of property. (I use property in a very broad sense, including your life, body, and freedom as well as land, home, and belongings.)

Weekly Anarchist News/Rant Show – State of Madness

I’ve started a weekly news/rant show on YouTube. Check out the first two episodes!

Episode 1: Senator Rand Paul detained by the TSA; ex-Presidents make more money than you probably do, without working; President Obama increasing spending on federally subsidized college loans; and Iowa’s war on the word “retarded”.

Episode 2: The government tells the Catholic Church to go to hell; a Houston man is beaten by police for rolling through a stop sign and not pulling over immediately, and they beat his wife too for holding a cell phone; a documentarian, Josh Fox, is arrested for filming a public House of Representatives hearing; a Virginia family faces a crime for bringing there kids to school a couple minutes late.

So you think the government should regulate TV?

I was just reading a thread on an internet forum on the subject of whether the government should regulate content (particularly profanity and sexual content) on television. Some people–obviously older (50+) Republicans; I could tell by their refusal to admit the parts of their argument that were wrong, as they subtly and gradually changed what they said while claiming they never said their original statement–made some incredibly ignorant arguments and I couldn’t leave it alone, but I knew it was pointless to actually post on said forum, so I resorted to my blog, or as I sometimes like to call it, my rant engine.

Fallacy: “The government needs to regulate television content.”

Why?

Nonsense: “Because what if they advertise porn while my kid is watching Spongebob???”

1. This is pure idiocy. No television network would do this unless, I don’t know, they were showing Spongebob as some sort of joke for their adult target audience or some similar ridiculousness that still would probably never happen.

2. If this did happen, then you call the network and complain. If it’s a subscription channel, cancel that subscription. Petition your service provider to remove the channel. Do everything you can to make the network lose money for doing something so blatantly inappropriate. When their entire customer base does the same, they will either make things right, or they’ll go out of business.

While this next point wasn’t expressed in the original forum thread I’m talking about, I’ll go out on a limb and say some might think it.

Desperation: “But NOBODY (except me) would put in the effort to do anything about it, and nothing would change, therefore we need government to enforce it.”

That either means that the majority doesn’t actually want it to change, in which case government regulation would be enforcing the will of the minority at the expense of the majority, or society is too lazy to work for changes that they want. If society as a whole won’t work for what it wants, then it doesn’t deserve to get what it wants. Block the channel; cancel your subscription; do what it takes so you don’t watch that channel again. You can affect your own corner of the world, even if you can’t rely on the hopeless, degenerate masses to make real change.