Equal pay for women?

Well, the title of this post would imply that women should be considered equal. Are they? Should they be? Well, Mitt Romney’s wife Ann Romney doesn’t seem to think so. “Who’s going to want to hire a woman, or for that matter even marry a woman who thinks she is the same if not better than a man at any job?”

For starters, me. Sure it’s cute when a girl can’t open a jar of pickles and I have to do it, but I’m not about to write off a woman who can. I’m not a caveman. I don’t want to point to a woman, grunt, then drag her back to my cave.

Is Mrs. Romney serious? Does she really want to make women take a huge step back? Women have voted against their own interests throughout history. Suffrage anyone? There were women who didn’t think they belonged in the voting booths. Seriously? The women who vote for this “The man is better and I should just do what he says” mind-set is to me no different then an abused girlfriend defending her abusive boyfriend. “Oh I was out of line. I deserved it. It’s only for the best because I know he loves me…”

It really seems like some women need to feel inferior. I’m no psychologist so this is mere speculation, but what else could be the reason  for a woman to vote Anti-Woman? Voting for Mitt Romney is another way of saying “Men are better and their time is worth more than mine.”

Ladies. Please. I know you don’t actually feel this way. It almost feels like those of you who consider yourself a republican need to defend “home-base” in a sense because you obviously can’t really feel like you’re not equal to a man. You can speak out against “your team.” You can. It’s really okay. That’s the only way your party will mold to how you want it. Dissent is a good thing. If you don’t, republicans will keep the same platform that belongs in the 50’s.

Sure, the person with the (R) won’t be in office, but that’ll force the republican base to mold their core to fit a broader spectrum of voters. Tea Party rhetoric has already spread thin as it is. Their policies are obstructive and destructive.

Let’s move forward ladies.


Obama Will be Re-elected.

I know, I know. The media would have you believe it’s a tight race and that it’s going to come down to the wire. They want viewers! They want clicks! “It could change any minute, come back often to stay updated!”

It’s really not that close. It IS closer than it should be, but that’s of no consequence. Obama will firmly win this election. Major newspapers in swing states are endorsing Obama, some republicans are even voting for Obama. Fox News has even thrown Romney under the bus a few times, which to me seems like a strategy to maintain their credibility when Romney loses. So they can say “See? We ARE fair and balanced.”

In the past, strong stock market showings always favor the current president. Seeing as the stock market closed at a 5 year high last month, it’s clear Obama’s economic policies are working.

The odds makers in Vegas have Obama as a clear favorite, especially after the last debate.

Intrade which has a very high accuracy rate has the chances of Obama winning at 61.1%.Image

Hell, even the 7-Election (which is a promotion where the convenience store chain 7-11 has coffee cups with Governor Romney on one, and Obama on the other,) has Obama with almost a 10% lead. Keep in mind this promotion has also had a 100% prediction rate in the past.

So never fear folks. Unless the restrictive voting laws are really effective, and if republicans are getting away with voter registration fraud successfully, then we don’t have much to worry about.


Please, leave a comment and let me know what YOU think.

If Only I Were Dishonest

If only I were a dishonest person. If I were a dishonest person I’m pretty sure I could rack up millions. You see, the religious don’t have a well fortified layer of skepticism. That leads to opportunity of exploitation! I’m by no means a famous atheist, but I’m founder of the Facebook page Atheists Of Maine which currently has over 600 members. The religious tend to not use logic or reasoning, so all I’d need to do it write a book saying I’ve converted to a Christian and I’d instantly have a book deal. I’d be paraded around the Christian communities as yet another piece of propaganda. “See, see!” They’d say “See, God has reached out to another atheist! God MUST be real!” 

I could bust out a half-hearted book about (half-baked) logical fallacies that have been regurgitated over and over (which have also been debunked over and over) as well as lame excuses about why atheism makes me feel “empty” as a person and the religious would eat it up. 

You see, they wouldn’t think for a minute “Wait a minute. Maybe he’s using his new conversion as a chance to profit from our gullibility. We obviously can’t think for ourselves or question things so he could be exploiting our lack of skepticism or cynicism as a way to gain a quick buck.” It’s a fool-proof plan really. I mean, they take on faith stories about people living in whales, 300 year old folks, guys killing 1,000 people with the jaw bone of a donkey and dead people coming back to life. I know! Ridiculous right? But millions of folks gather into churches every week to condemn homosexuals and condone slavery because a book with anonymous authors tells them to. So they’re pretty much guaranteed to eat up a book about a “saved” atheist on faith!

I could even fabricate stories about how I used to worship Satan in my off time. That’d stir the pot too, since for some reason the word “atheist” is synonymous with “satanist” in Christian schools of thought. I could write about how I used prostitutes and fantasize about child pornography and about how, while in a state of inebriation from a recent fix of heroin Jesus came unto me and told me “Ryan, I see you there. Come to me Ryan, you’re better than this. Drink my blood and eat my flesh! Imbibe my bodily fluids! Ingest my dermis! Let the light save you and guide you on your path to righteousness.” New York Times best seller list, right there. 

Although, the fact that I’m writing this may be my Achilles heel after all. This is inevitably thwarting my path to fortune. If I wrote that book, people who stumbled on to my blog would be like “Wait a minute! this guy’s a fake! He’s still too logical to believe in our stone age stories! He Thinks women should have rights, too! Let’s get him!” Then again, no one reads my blog, so, that could be a blessing in disguise (irony intended.)

Mortality, pt. 2

Tonight, I finished “Mortality” Christopher Hitchens’ last piece of work. In it, you saw clearly what was going through this man’s mind. As I stated in my other post about this book, he maintained his wit and charm. More importantly he maintained his defiance and questioning attitude.

The end of the book came abruptly. The last few pages were seemingly random thoughts that Christopher had when he was near his end with a publishers note on the bottom “These fragmentary jottings were left unfinished at the time of the authors death.” That made my heart sink. I wasn’t done. I’m not satisfied. This man had so much more to give this planet and that damned authors note told me what I didn’t want to admit.

The Afterward was written by his wife, Carol Blue. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a hard time reading the last couple of pages seeing as though my eyes were welled with tears. Her words were beautiful in recalling their lives together and it added a lot to the book.

Please, if you knew who Christopher Hitchens was and have read his books and watched his videos, read this book. It’s powerful, hopeful, funny, terrifying, heartbreaking and morbid.

Up above I said I wasn’t satisfied and disappointed because I wasn’t done reading his book. Well Mr. Hitchens wasn’t done living his life, I can only imagine how disappointed he was.

Raising Children.

I’m of the mindset that spanking my child as a form of punishment is completely immoral. How could it be otherwise? I’m not talking about beating a kid causing physical injury. I’m talking about the open hand to the butt, or extremities parents use to alter un-wanted behavior.

The first argument FOR child abuse is “Well, Ryan, the Bible supports hitting children as a form of punishment, but not with your hand, a rod!” (Proverbs 23:13-14 NAB) This doesn’t seem like a good argument for hitting a kid. The bible also condones slavery. Oh and the subjugation of women. We as a society have moved past these things, well, most of us. So let’s move past child abuse too, shall we?

My philosophy to parenting is “Be smarter than your child.” Statistics show that parents start physically punishing their children as early as 6 months old. This is absurd! The child can’t even walk or talk let alone use moral guidelines to determine what is right from wrong. Instead of using pain, use alternative methods such as the time-out method. At such a young age the child can’t discern the causality between wrong-doing and punishment anyway, so why spank them? Unless, of course, you’re angry and it feels good to “snap” and spank your kid. That’s a great way to raise a child! I highly doubt a parent calmly says: “Little Joey, don’t play with my car keys again. You started my car last time. Little Joey, I said no, put them down please. Okay. You didn’t listen now come over here and lay across my lap as I administer physical pain to your rear-end since you didn’t do as I asked.” I imagine it goes more like “Hey, I said no! Stop!” followed by a brisk smack to the hand or rear-end; both startling and inflicting minor pain on that child. What that does? It shows a child they need to listen to the word “No” or else they’ll get smacked. How I raised my son (very successfully might I add)? I sternly told him his action was incorrect and WHY it was incorrect. He’s just a child! He doesn’t know better! (Well, he does now that he’s older, but when he was two or so…) How do children learn things? By their parents explaining it to them. Do parents who spank their children also use physical punishment when it’s time to learn the ABC’s? “Goddamit Lillian! D comes after C!” Smack. No, of course not. Children are blank pages. It’s up to the parent to fill those pages with the desired knowledge. They need to be taught WHY coloring on the walls is frowned upon, not just that if they do color on the walls they’ll get hit. Much like how I can behave without the threat of hell, my son can behave without the threat of physical pain. I’m the adult here, after all.

It’s my responsibility that no matter how frustrated I get, I remain the mature one; the one in charge and in command of the situation. Don’t let the child manipulate you to getting visibly angry. If you do that, they’ll know it’s a way to get back at you. “I’m angry at mommy for her making me eat my vegetables. I’m going to write on the walls! That’ll piss her off!” Then sure enough, Mommy will come in and see little Debbie’s “art” and flip a lid. Or when a child says “I hate you!” or “I don’t love you anymore!” Do you think they mean it, or are trying to get a rise out of you? Getting angry is a victory for them. Or at least, would be if you let it.

Don’t get me wrong here folks. I’m not a perfect parent by any means. I have gotten mad. I have gotten frustrated. Any parent who tells you otherwise is lying. But using anger to discipline your child will teach them that losing control is normal, and okay. Would you rather raise a level headed child who has the ability to come to grips with a situation before acting or a person who lashes out first and asks questions later?

“My Daddy beat me, so I’mma beat my kids!” With that logic, you must have enjoyed being hit? Just because your parents did it to you as a child doesn’t make it right. I’m not just talking out of my ass here either! In a study done on spanking, it was determined that 85% of parents who hit their children as a form of behavior modification, show “moderate to high anger, remorse and agitation while punishing their child.” What that says to me is parents who spank their children are lazy and are taking the easy way out. It’s easy to explode and lose your temper. It takes more discipline to swallow the anger and frustration and to calmly assert yourself. You put this innocent child on this Earth, why wouldn’t you want to give him/her the chance to learn why not to do something for the right reasons?

With all that being said, I was spanked twice that I recall growing up. Nope. I’m not damaged. I’m not maladjusted or angry. But more importantly, I don’t use that as an excuse to be a lazy parent to my child.

Also, to paraphrase Louis C.K. “People who abuse dogs get arrested. People who hit other adults get arrested. Yet people brag about hitting their children! Kids, tiny, innocent little kids who are helpless are the only people we’re allowed to hit. And the people who do defend and are proud of it.”

The above is mostly common sense, or what should be. Here are the numbers based on the same study I referenced above.

Effects on Children

  1. There’s a 93% agreement in scientific studies that spanking children is harmful
  2. Spanking leads to more antisocial behavior in childhood, and increased aggression and spousal abuse and child abuse in adulthood.
  3. Chronic defiance
  4. Children who are spanked are twice as likely to develop alcohol addiction or drug abuse issues.

The list goes on, but I’m sure you get the idea by now. In summation, altering your child’s behavior by spanking is not only morally wrong, but is the scientifically incorrect method of parenting. The problem also with spanking is that once you start punishing your child that way, it’s extremely difficult to get your child to listen by  any other means since they don’t think you’ve reached your breaking point yet (which was spanking) so they think they can keep misbehaving and pushing the boundaries. Best way to solve this problem? Never start. Raise your child with reason and logic not fear and pain.


I’m currently reading the book “Mortality” by Christopher Hitchens. He started writing this book when he was freshly diagnosed with cancer. Stage 4 cancer of the esophagus to be precise. In the book he talks to the reader on a personal level and he’s still just as charming and witty in his writing; although there’s a morbid flavor to it. For example when one of the physicians would ask him how he was feeling he’d respond: “Well, it seems as though I have cancer today.” His jokes touch home in a way that I can’t help thinking to my self “I’m laughing at a dead man’s jokes.” He knew he’d be dead when I read this.

He tells of peoples words of wishes, prayer and damnation. The roller coaster ride of hope and disappointment. The terrible side-effects of chemo therapy. One of the many powerful lines in it being “I don’t have a body, I AM a body.” And he noted that he wasn’t fighting a war on cancer, but the cancer was waging a war on him. A particularly sad part was when he lost the ability to speak, noting his voice was him.

The book it self is only around 100 pages and I’m halfway through it, but I don’t want it to ever end. I think this book could be a tool to deal with one’s own mortality if stricken with a deadly disease. Christopher Hitchens was a great man, and maintained that quality even in the depths of a personal hell. We’d all do well to personify him in times of great duress.


For the 2nd part of this review, click here.

My Decision.

All great writers say that in order to be able to write frequently without issue is to both read and write constantly. Now, I’m not about to delude myself and say that I ever even hope to achieve greatness, but I enjoy writing and am content with my mediocre ramblings that no one reads.

No, I’m not going to lie, either, and say that it wasn’t my dream to write a book that became a best seller. Do I have any idea what I’d write a book about? Nope. Do I have an interesting take on something no one else has done? Probably not. But damn it, it’s still something I want to do.

So to take note of the title of this piece, My Decision is to read and write something, anything everyday. No, Facebook doesn’t count. I need to read something by a published author who has more to say than what type of bagel he’s about to eat and his/her sleeping patterns. I need to pull back from my indulgence in TV and otherwise wasteful practices. (Not to say that writing on a blog that no one reads won’t prove to be ultimately wasteful, but I feel it’s time better spent.)

So please, feel free to join me on my struggle. Well, right now I’m energized on this path so it’s fun…right now. But I’m sure after a long day I won’t want to read, or write and I’ll want to lay on the couch and sleepily ingest fast-moving images and car commercials; those are the days I’ll need to keep trudging forward. Even if it’s so much as a paragraph. Something. Anything.

That is all, for now.