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Kratom Made As Illegal as Heroin in Arkansas Under the Radar

Posted on 27 February 2016 by The Secular Nerd

Kratom Made Illegal

Kratom Made Illegal

If you try to order Kratom today from the many distributors, you’re gonna have a bad time. That’s because a bureaucratic decision (not a legislative decision) made by the Director of the Department of Health with the stroke of a pen made it as illegal as heroin in Arkansas.

Since my interview with KARK (Article Here), I have been blackballed from every single doctor in almost a 50 mile radius. What have I been using to treat my chronic back pain? Kratom. This atrocious decision originates from Dr. Thomas Atkinson. Want to know what reviews say about him?

 

atkinson

 

Interesting that a doctor who found out his patients was using something all natural to treat their addiction and immediately took action with the Department of Health to have it declared just as illegal as heroin. And what was with this one day public comment period that I have yet to find any mention about as of this writing? I would have been there or made my voice heard in a heartbeat.

I’ve reached out to KARK and hoping to hear more from them. I will post updates and more details as I get them.

Right now, there is a good conversation on Reddit about this (Found Here) along with a link to the PDF that details this from the Arkansas Legislation Site (Or direct link here).

Stay tuned for more details that I find out about this.

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How to get the police called on you at the doctors office for not doing anything

Posted on 10 August 2015 by The Secular Nerd

So there I was, ready to go in with my wife for her monthly visit to the doctor at AR Care in Des Arc, AR. I was stopped at the door and told I wasn’t allowed to come back with her. Forty minutes later, they called the police right before she got out and he waited for me to leave and then pulled me over.

A little backstory. Des Arc’s AR Care bogusly kicked me out of their care because of what happened with KARK. They viewed me as threatening and intimidating and claimed I had three prescription anxiety medications in my system. I asked to see the medical records proving it and they never produced it. That’s because it was bogus. They waited until I came in to see them to hand me a letter stating I was a threat to them and others. I had talked to the office three days prior and was never told to come in.

So I called the complaint department about this bogus charge and no one got back with me. Fine, I know what they are doing. Trying to make an example out of me. Well a few months in with my wife seeing them, they cut her anxiety medication down without even talking to her. To make matters worse, they lied to her on a Friday saying they called her prescriptions in, but never did. She went three days withdrawing on her medication until they called it in on a Tuesday.

They were punishing her because of me. Then, last month? They gave her to a fill-in nurse practitioner because her normal Nurse-practitioner was too scared to confront her. When she asked why they cut her down during the worst month of her life (We had to go to court to sue her mother), they wouldn’t give her a straight answer. Then, today (8/10) they told her that she is being cut off from all controlled-substances because Walgreens filled her previous doctors Ambien for her (she had three refills left) instead of her current nurse-practitioners prescription.

When she asked them how is it her fault Walgreens did that while bawling her eyes out, they shrugged and did and said nothing. Then they had the nurse bring her a prescription for 10 Klonopin and told her that “We aren’t terminating you, we just can’t give you controlled-substances anymore”. When my wife came out with tears in her eyes I asked her “What did they do?”. She said “Let’s just get out of here.”

We walked out. I was pretty livid, but not livid to the point of making a terrible mistake. I saw the cop next to my car. I walked back in and asked how can I make a formal complaint? They pointed me to a stamped envelope on the wall. I grabbed it and took it outside. With the cop car next me, I got in my car and drove next door to the gas station. I saw the nurses talking to him. I knew then what was going on. They called the police thinking I would retaliate against them for lying and screwing my wife over because they wanted to make an example out of anyone on Medicaid and especially me who called KARK on the local hospital.

So I went into the gas station, got what I needed to get, and started to pull out. I saw the cop was going to follow me, so I got behind someone at the gas pumps. He pulled around, waited awhile, then went back to AR Care.

Mind you, they made my wife wait until the second they closed because they didn’t want anyone witnessing what was going on. They were legitimately scared of me for no reason. I never once acted threatening or intimidating. I never once cussed at them, raised my voice, or did anything to merit this. What they did to my wife and I was unbelievable. Two months ago, they even lied to her on the phone and said “Well the Nurse-Practitioner talked to you about lowering your anti-anxiety medication”. My wife was flabbergasted about that! Why would she agree to something like that with a pending court case against her own mother? Not once did she ever speak with her.

So let this post be a notice to anyone going to AR Care, especially Des Arc AR Care, that if you are young, going through some troubles and require aid, you have Medicaid, you will be discriminated against. You may even have the police called on you because you are poor, and poor people are threatening.

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Update on Unity Health in Searcy, AR

Posted on 29 May 2015 by The Secular Nerd

theodore-roosevelt-photo

Theodore Roosevelt

 

It’s been about two months since I went to KARK and had my post go viral on the internet about how Unity Health has turned Searcy Medical Center into a nightmare. I have a lot to report about since that time. I’ve been completely blackballed by the entire Unity Health system. I was turned down by three different doctors in the system. Doctors who refused to see me since my Primary Care Physician and I completely parted. I’ve been attacked many times over from Unity Health workers, calling me a drug addict and a liar.

 

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt

 

That quote resonates with me on so many levels. When my story went viral, I had nearly 75 people tell me their horror stories. They all shared a common theme. They were poverty stricken, seeking help from their local hospital here in Searcy, AR. I had to do something for them, so I went to KARK to share my story, and the story of others. I was met with a complete blackballing of my wife and I. Even our family physician wouldn’t see me. He sees my father and my sister. He won’t see me because he is a part of Unity Health. I’ve also applied to several other doctors and all met with “We can’t see you”. No explanation given.

I’m not considering myself a martyr. I consider myself someone who did the right thing, and when people do the right thing, there is a backlash. That is how the world works. I had no illusions about what to expect when I went toe to toe with Unity Health. I gave those who needed a voice about their experience an audience. The reaction was predictable with attacks and assumptions. We live in a world where those who suffer can’t suffer enough, and those who do get good care or in a comfortable position are usually blind to those who suffer.

Let there be no mistake about this. It is happening all over America. The land of the free has turned into the land of the rotten to the core. Stand tall and continue to be vocal about atrocities. Know that if you receive a backlash against something that is humanistic or humanitarian, you are doing something right.

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How Should Secular Humanists feel about ISIS/ISIL?

Posted on 18 September 2014 by The Secular Nerd

ISIL

If you identify as a secular humanist, and try to live by the philosophy that is secular humanism, you may be feeling conflicted about ISIS/ISIL. For purposes of this article, we will just call them ISIL for now. If you are like me, and believe that life is very precious, and that religion should never dictate how other people live their lives, you may see the conflict in dealing with ISIL.

On one hand, you have a classified “terrorist” organization hell bent on establishing an Islamic state that is beheading and killing people left and right, those who don’t agree with them. On the other, they are human beings with a very radical ideology, but human beings none the less. How do we, secular humanists deal with two major things that we are directly against (killing others and forcing religion onto others)? They are beyond reasoning with since most radicals are focused on the extremes of their religion.

One thing in particular that I’ve seen, as someone who does not believe, or follows a dogmatic religion, is a very scary similarity between ISIL and our own Republican party in the United States. A similarity that can only occur when extremes from most religions inject themselves into politics. Below are the beliefs shared by ISIL and most if not all of the Republican GOP:

  • They both are strongly against Evolution being taught in school [ISIL Link] [Republican Link]
  • They both liken gays to pedophiles [ISIL Link] [Republican Link]
  • They both believe that religion should rule quite like a theocracy for the government

The only difference here between Republicans and ISIL, is that Republican extremists don’t go on religious holy crusades and kill people. They usually just stick with the 2nd amendment as protection enough to “defend your family” and justify things like “Stand your ground” and other things Republican supporters and congressmen alike have defended.

That doesn’t make Christian extremists any less dangerous or violent though. Throughout the last few decades we have seen many people kill in the name of “God” and Christianity in America. We have seen abortion clinics blown up by “pro-life” supporters (the irony is killing people, but they believe it’s justified to save an unborn zygotes life). We have seen mothers justify the death of their children, saying that “God” told them to. In the bible, as well as the Koran, we can find it laced with violence, rape, murder, torture, slavery, and other things we Secular Humanists feel are extremely unethical and immoral.

So this leads us to a fork in the road. Do we need to take out ISIL before more innocent people die by a radical extremists hands? Do we justify murder, to prevent murder? Is it considered murder instead of defending the weak or diversified population of the world? How can we Secular Humanists solve this issue when it’s beyond rational and reasonable negotiations?

We have similar conflicts in the United States. We find that talking to right-wing extremists is impossible because they won’t see the reasoning in our ideology. We don’t see what they call rational in their ideology, but we understand what makes them think like they think. They make up lies and propaganda for what we non-Republicans believe. So what do we do in a situation where rational discussion is impossible to be had?

In the United States, we can vote to rid those who refuse to see reason or compromise. In the other parts of the world however, where they don’t respond to voting, only violence, I’m afraid the only response is violence. We have an ethical obligation to humanity to protect itself against credible threats. We fight viruses all the time. We fight harmful diseases all the time. How is ISIL any different than a disease or virus that can kill you?

Follow me for a moment into my reasoning. I view religion as a virus thanks to Dr. Darrell Ray and his book, “The God Virus”. With an overwhelming amount of people carrying this virus of death, destruction, and destabilization, there’s no inoculation. We can’t treat this virus with a dose of rational thought. These people were born with an AK-47 in one hand, and a Koran in the other. Quite like the Republican extremists of today except it’s a Bible.

The Islamic extremist point of view goes one step further than Christian extremists. It actually acts on killing, rather than talking about killing (for instance, Christians wanting to put to death all gay people). Some Christian extremists do indeed act on that impulse to kill. Luckily, it’s not an epidemic (yet). The Muhammad Virus is strong with these Islamic extremists. It’s too powerful to inoculate, and it has consumed them whole.

Do I believe they are going to come to the United States if left unchecked? It’s possible. Do I believe they have the power to destroy the United States? No. Why? Because only we have the power to destroy ourselves. Look what we did in the name of freedom? We took our freedom away, to protect freedom. Patriot Act, Global 24/7 unwarranted surveillance programs, police departments receiving war equipment. We sacrificed our freedom, in the name of freedom. We wracked up a debt in the trillions by putting two wars on a credit card.

We bring our own pain onto ourselves. We meddle. We screwed up going to Iraq, and now we need to meddle some more. We have been caught in this endless cycle. I do believe we owe it to the world though, to try to clean up a horrible mess. A mess that was already there, but we decided to make it worse. This conflict has been happening since the dawn of religion and man. So because we meddle, we have threats against us. We are NOT the world police, but I do believe the world should come together to eradicate this virus. We as one planet need to fight ISIL, just like we would fight AIDS, or any other disease or virus. ISIL is no different than Ebola when it comes to trying to rationally get it to stop killing. The only difference is that ISIL will discriminate against who it kills, while Ebola doesn’t care who it kills.

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Natural Selection & Survival of the Fittest

Posted on 22 August 2014 by That Heathen Girl

             I just had a conversation with The Secular Nerd about this and thought I’d share my thoughts with you. These are just observations I made, and I am no scientist. Let us know what your thoughts are on this subject in the comments!

 

 

“Survival of the Fittest”

Evolution

If you’ve heard this, you probably think of it in terms of who is physically strong to survive.

Well, let’s have a little example:

Say two people are preparing for a fight, standing a few feet or so apart. Bob is tall, built, very strong, very health. Frank is frail and skinny.

Now if you took those two and said, of course Bob would survive, look at him! He could crush a guys skull with his bare hands!

Now add in a weapon for Frank. Say some kind of gun. Who do you think would survive now?

The problem with “Survival of the fittest” is that it’s turned into “Whoever has the biggest gun and has the best shot survives”.

We don’t fully realize how much our viewpoints have to change in order to adapt to our species evolution. Natural selection can’t work the way it’s supposed to if the weak carry an AK-47.

Those weak genes will just get passed on instead of strong genes. Say Frank in this scenario has some kind of health issue. Nothing life threatening but something nature wouldn’t want passed on to affect their children. Say they we’re fighting for a mate, and Frank wins because hey, he’s got a fucking gun!

Bob would have had the genes necessary to create strong healthy children. However, since the population of Earth is now well over 7 Billion, and overpopulation is becoming an issue, natural selection doesn’t jump in anymore because nature is trying to curb the human population.

If you look at the way nature changes around us, you’ll notice how Humans are very very slow to evolve now. It’s because we’re at the top of the food chain. Other species change around us all the time, to adapt to predators. Humans have an unfair advantage since our brains are more evolved, so we make weapons. Those species in turn slowly change their way of staying alive as Humans fight amongst ourselves.

h7FDE3675

Let’s hope it never comes to that, though it would be kinda adorable.

Viruses are probably the only other species that have killed as many humans besides humans themselves. Think about that. The Black Plague hit China and Europe, taking out a hefty chunk of their populations. It could happen again.

Nature and humans have always battled each other out to dominate the food chain, and it’s only a matter of time before we either destroy ourselves, or nature does it for us.

I shall leave you with a good quote:

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Charles Darwin

What do you guys think of Natural Selection?

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Religious beliefs for corporations win in Supreme Court

Posted on 30 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

Today, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in what is considered a landmark decision that gives corporations the right to decide what their employees receive coverage for, in terms of their insurance they have with that corporation. What does this mean? It means a company can pick whatever they want to deny, and say it’s due to religious belief.

I can’t stress enough how hypocritical Hobby Lobby is in this case, since their 401 k retirement plans were invested in the pharmaceutical companies that made contraceptives [Source Mother Jones], then through whatever backroom political pressure meeting, decided to go to the Supreme Court to fight for the right to deny their own employees from being covered for contraceptives.

What’s going to happen when corporations like Hobby Lobby say “It’s against my belief to receive coverage for blood transfusions”? Jehovah Witnesses come to mind with that. One thing you need to ask yourself is this: “Is it right that any corporation can have control and say on what coverage you can or cannot receive?”. Before you start to say “Well, they can just find another job!”. Think about that statement, and think about your current situation. Are you in a position yourself to have free roam to have a change of where you work freely? Do your relatives have a choice in where they work?

Regardless of if you make that statement or not, it’s a crime against humanity. Contraceptive is used for hundreds of other things besides preventing pregnancy. It’s used for the treatment of painful menstruation cycles. It’s used to prevent some extremely life threatening conditions such as cancer of the ovaries and womb – [Source]. All this is, is an overreach of the Supreme Court. They are more fearful of the loudmouth minority fundamentalists, because they are capable of triggering radical things. What things you ask? Oh, I don’t know, like shoot up abortion clinics [Source] (Google for more than this), bomb abortion clinics [Source].

 

Protesters

 

Justice Samuel Alito wrote in his majority opinion, over a dissent from the four liberal justices, that forcing companies to pay for methods of women’s contraception to which they object violates the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He said the ruling is limited and there are ways for the administration to ensure women get the birth control they want. – [Source Boston Globe]

 

Corporations qualify for protection of religious beliefs under the law, Justice Alito writes for the majority, because even though corporate personhood is a “legal fiction,” those corporations are formed by human beings and they represent the people who are associated with them and their rights. Protecting the corporation thus protects the people who own and control it. – [Source New York Times]

 

I personally cannot wait until secular businesses fire people for radical religious beliefs, and then rely upon this ruling. The Supreme Court just approved of discrimination based on “personal religious beliefs” because “those corporations are formed by human beings and they represent the people who are associated with them and their rights. Protecting the corporation thus protects the people who own and control it”.

We live in a country where capitalism does not represent humanity’s best interest. It represents the corporation’s best interest. – The Secular Nerd

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Top 5 GOP Fails for June 2014

Posted on 29 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

In this new top 5 segment, each month we will list the fails/fallacies of the GOP party backing it up with evidence at the time, along with any fallacies they commit and the definition of said fallacy. We will not state opinion, but the irony here is the fact that we are rather biased. This is “nothing but the facts”, so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster.

 

5. Jordan Haskins running for office with felonies involving masterbation

A convicted felon running for a Michigan House of Representatives seat this November isn’t getting support, or opposition, from the Saginaw County Republican Party he has filed to represent.

Jordan Haskins’ record of criminal offenses dating back to his teenage years are mainly tied to a sexual fetish the candidate says he has since left behind him.

Haskins admitted to police that he scaled fences and trespassed on both public and private property in order to take vehicles for joyrides and to facilitate a fetish he referred to as “cranking.” Police reports state he disconnected the spark plugs on a vehicle and then masturbated while attempting to turn over the engine. – [Source MLive] [Alternate Source The Raw Story]

Saginaw resident Jordan Haskins is the lone Republican candidate who is running for the 95th State House District seat in November 2014. Neil Barris | MLive.com

Saginaw resident Jordan Haskins is the lone Republican candidate who is running for the 95th State House District seat in November 2014.
Neil Barris | MLive.com

The Secular Nerd:

This speaks for itself.

 

 

 

4. Suing the President for using executive orders granted to him for being the President

President Barack Obama on Friday slammed Republicans for a forthcoming lawsuit against him over alleged abuse of executive power, saying such actions were only necessary because the GOP has been unwilling to compromise on even the most basic issues.

“Now Republicans are mad at me for taking these actions. They’re not doing anything, and now they’re mad that I’m doing something,” Obama said during a speech in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, then why don’t you join me and we’ll do it together,” he added. – [Source NBCNews] [Alternate Source NPR]

 

House Republicans argue the illegality of executive action signings, like one in April 2014 in which President Obama acted to close the gender compensation gap among federal contractors.

House Republicans argue the illegality of executive action signings, like one in April 2014 in which President Obama acted to close the gender compensation gap among federal contractors.

The Secular Nerd:

Article 2, Clause 1, Section 1 of the Constitution states [Source Cornell University Law School]: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same term, be elected….”

United States Presidents issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself. Executive orders have the full force of law when they take authority from a power granted directly to the Executive by the Constitution, or are made in pursuance of certain Acts of Congress that explicitly delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation).” – [Source Wikipedia] [Alternate Source USA.Gov]

Congress may attempt to overturn an executive order by passing legislation (a bill) that opposes the order. However, the President can veto that bill, and Congress would then need to override that veto to pass the bill. Also, the Supreme Court can declare an executive order to be unconstitutional.” – [Source USA.Gov]

Total count of President Obama’s Executive Orders (As of 6/20/2014): 182.     George W. Bush: 291.    Bill Clinton: 364.     George Bush: 166     Ronald Reagan: 381  – [Source The American Presidency Project]

 

 

3. Rush Limbaugh’s book denied shelf access at a bookstore, and he loses it

…This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be.  And it’s exactly what they accuse us of being.  They claim that they’re tolerant. They claim they’re open-minded. They claim that they are colorblind and all that.  They are the most bigoted, racist people. They exclude here and exclude there and then they don’t make any money and they can’t figure out why.

My two books are in the top five on the New York Times best-seller list, and here’s a woman at a bookstore who wants to sell books, is begging people to buy ’em, proudly says that two of the books in the top five are not even available at her store, and she wants accolades for that. These people are loony. They simply are dumb.  They don’t have the slightest idea what they’re doing.  And they happen to be running the country.  And I don’t just mean in Washington. People like this are in charge of the public school system. People like this are teaching your kids. People like this are running day care.  People like this show up at Obama’s fundraisers.

Limbaugh’s mention of the store was prompted by Teaching for Change Executive Director Deborah Menkart‘s remarks at a C-SPAN-taped event at Busboys and Poets for an unrelated book, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil, which aired Sunday. Menkart gave the opening speech and said 90 percent of children’s books that Teaching for Change sells at the bookstore are by or about people of color, specifically noting that the shop does not sell Limbaugh’s best-selling children’s book. She said the bookstore proves there is a market for these books by or about minority people, but then added that the bookstore isn’t breaking even and asked the audience for support through donations.” – [Source Washington City Paper] [Alternate Source Daily Kos]

 

rush limbaugh
 

The Secular Nerd:

Fallacy List time:

  • confirmation bias: This refers to a form of selective thinking that focuses on evidence that supports what believers already believe while ignoring evidence that refutes their beliefs. Confirmation bias plays a stronger role when people base their beliefs upon faith, tradition and prejudice. (“This is exclusionary, it’s racist, it’s bigoted, and it’s the opposite of everything they claim to be.  And it’s exactly what they accuse us of being.”) The rebuttal is:  “Menkart gave the opening speech and said 90 percent of children’s books that Teaching for Change sells at the bookstore are by or about people of color, specifically noting that the shop does not sell Limbaugh’s best-selling children’s book. ” The bookstore “proves there is a market for these books by or about minority people, but then added that the bookstore isn’t breaking even and asked the audience for support through donations.” (It’s a bookstore focused on minorities, by minorities and/or for minorities)
  • ad hominem:  An Ad Hominem is a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). (Practically everything in confirmation bias)
  • appeal to fear: When fear, not based on evidence or reason, is being used as the primary motivator to get others to accept an idea, proposition, or conclusion. (“People like this are in charge of the public school system. People like this are teaching your kids. People like this are running day care.  People like this show up at Obama’s fundraisers.”)
  • The list can go on, but I believe I made my case.

 


 

 

2. Ann Coulter calls soccer a liberal conspiracy

“Liberal moms like soccer because it’s a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys,” Coulter wrote. “No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.”

They’re doing an incredible job of hiding all those girls on the field this week.

The 52-year-old also ripped the lack of scoring in soccer (“No other ‘sport’ ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer”) and how they don’t let players use their hands.

“What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs,” she wrote. “Our hands can hold things. Here’s a great idea: Let’s create a game where you’re not allowed to use them!” – [Source San Jose Mercury News] [Alternate Source The Kansas City Star]

 

ann coulter
 

The Secular Nerd:

This speaks for itself. The biggest fallacy is Appeal to Tradition, at least what she feels is tradition, which are contact sports.

 


 

1. Timothy Ray Murray believes he won because the candidate who did win is an android

Murray claimed that Rep. Lucas was “executed by The World Court on or about Jan. 11, 2011 in Southern Ukraine. On television they were depicted as being executed by the hanging about the neck until death on a white stage and in front of witnesses.”

 He stated that while “it is possible to use look alike artificial or man-made replacements,” such “replacements” are not human, and therefore ineligible to serve in office. He also assured the board that he “will NEVER use Artificial Intelligence look alike to voice what The Representative’s Office is doing nor own a robot look alike.” – [Source The Raw Story] [Alternate Source New York Daily News]

timothy ray murray

The Secular Nerd:

All I can say is, this speaks very loudly for itself.

 

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First Anniversary of DOMA ruling but where was the excitement?

Posted on 27 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

As I was spending quite a lot of time on Facebook as I usually do, scouring for things I miss in my custom news listings on Google, I saw little hype or excitement for the ruling one year ago Thursday (June 26th) of the strikedown of a key part of DOMA that paved the way for states one after another to strike down laws against same-sex marriage. Why was this? Why was there very little hype or excitement?

I made sure to remind people with a quick meme on The Secular Nerd’s Facebook page, but very few people were excited about it. I saw almost no news postings on Facebook. The trending topics were Ann Coulter’s rantings about soccer [Source] (it’s Salon, you know, the site that hates Atheists) and how un american you were if you were a fan of it, but that was about it! This got me thinking. Is it because it’s taken a year to only have 19 states that legalized it [Source]? Progress has never happened overnight. 19 states is a BIG fucking deal in one year. It took YEARS for women’s suffrage to end (end is debatable) [Source] and took YEARS to end discrimination (legally) against African Americans [Source]. So are we becoming complacent in our fight for marriage equality?

doma one year
I don’t think so. But I’m an online activist. I push information out as quickly as I get it, and this anniversary was a HUGE THING that went almost completely unnoticed. I found a few sites [Source, Source, Source, etc] discussing it, but by no means was it a “In your face, this was a great victory we are all cheering for, even one year afterwards” kind of day. We did have another Supreme Court ruling that may have taken the thunder out of this anniversary with a pretty awful strike-down of protection of people seeking abortions or simply entering an abortion clinic [Source]. The vote was unanimous to rule about a Massachusetts law that created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics, striking it down. 

I would love to see more excitement, and more drive into this. It’s going to be a long fight, so grab your water bottle, your running shoes, and get ready to keep running. We are far from having real marriage equality in this country, but we’ve come a long way already. And that, is my two cents. – The Secular Nerd

 

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Nerdy Fun Fact of the Day #35 – Neanderthal Diet

Posted on 26 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

ff35

 “Some brave souls from MIT and the University of La Laguna recently analyzed the makeup of the samples [of 50,000 year old feces] and found that Neanderthals ate a diet dominated by meat, but definitely ate some plants, as well. ” – [Source]

The Secular Nerd:

That’s a “shit” job. See what I did there?

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The Secular Nerd’s Opinion on the Iraq conflict

Posted on 25 June 2014 by The Secular Nerd

If you aren’t living under a rock, you would know the current conflict in Iraq is a very real and very serious issue. It has left me very conflicted with a lot of things. On one hand, I know that the United States was 100% in the wrong with going in there in the first place. It has almost everything to do with what is happening today. On the other, I can’t see us having anything good come out of trying to fix what we caused.

Over the last month, ISIS has moved across Iraq almost like a game of Risk. I apologize for the analogy, but it’s true. Iraqi soldiers and police have been losing on every front as they slowly work toward the capital, capturing strategic areas one right after the other. It’s a very real issue, and I feel utterly terrible to be an American right now. My country under the Bush Administration ransacked the country under false pretences that there were weapons of mass destruction. It can be a very serious feeling of guilt to be a part of a country that its government did that the people did not want done.

Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji, north of Baghdad (AP) (Click picture for Telegraph article)

Al-Qaeda inspired militants stand with captured Iraqi Army Humvee at a checkpoint outside Beiji, north of Baghdad (AP) (Click picture for Telegraph article)

 

We are faced with even more guilt now, because we don’t want to go back to Iraq to clean up the mess we left, as well as caused. It has led me to believe and come to only one conclusion. This was either completely our doing, or it was inevitable and we only sped up the process. Speaking a lot with the secular community, I have gotten about the same conclusions from others. It’s a very difficult situation and those that seriously want to help those suffering have their hands tied.

A friend of mine on Facebook and very prominent middle-eastern Atheist Faisal Saeed Al Mutar has been describing the feelings he has had watching as his country Iraq is spiralling out of control. I feel sincerely petrified and horrible for him, and his countries innocent people having their home overran by radicals. I also feel extremely guilty that I still don’t want to have our country go back there in full force. We were not welcomed there, and we certainly and rightfully so were wrong in the first place to “free” them.

Saddam Hussein was a  ruthless dictator. We all agree that he did horrific crimes against humanity. He also understood however how his region and neck of the woods worked. He understood what would happen if there were any signs of weakness in the regime and its military force. He knew what was at stake if he flinched, and dealt with uprisings brutally to deter other types of uprisings or rebels. I can’t condone his crimes against humanity, but I can’t help but have that lingering bitter taste in my mouth when I say “He did what he felt was necessary to maintain order”.

Am I a horrible person for believing that? Am I just as guilty as him when it came to the atrocities that he did to maintain order? I don’t believe so, no. The Middle East has always been brutal. From the time that you can hold an AK-47, you understood that at any moment you could die. As this article describes [The Washington Post – The Middle East, explained in one (sort of terrifying) chart] everyone grows up knowing who is the enemy. They acknowledge the fact that at any moment, they could die, and through their religion(s), they accept death and believe that by killing their enemies, they are doing their religion(s) a great justice.

I know that doesn’t hold true for everyone. Especially those in lest hostile cities/areas. But think about it? Schools teach children at an early age how to kill your enemy [Al Qaeda Opens Syrian Jihad School], and if you Google for more information/facts about this, you find even more terrifying things (to us Americans) happening in schools. This is the way of the Middle East. It’s not everyone’s way, but it’s the general overall life and cycle of endless violence and hostility.

 

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