Monday, July 30, 2012

Since When Do You Have to Be Christian to Be President?

Recently I was amused, ashamed and annoyed when I read an article about a Pew Research Center poll that revealed 17% of Americans still believe that Obama is a member of the Muslim faith. With all of the facts and information to the contrary this sizeable number of people are too bigoted, too ignorant or just plain too stupid to accept the obvious. But these same people also don't consider Romney a "real" Christian because he is a Mormon. It is truly terrifying for this country that these people are voting and are actually breeding.

It is not surprising that these people identify themselves as Conservative Christian Republicans. They probably also believe Obama is not a US citizen and the earth is not round. It is a shame that here in the US, which touts itself as a tolerant, as well as literate and educated country, we have people who come out from under the rocks and back woods and refuse to give up on their archaic, racist and bigoted beliefs from a time long gone by. 

It's annoying to see that these people actually believe that only a Christian should be President of the US.  Where in the US Constitution or any other law or government document does it say that only Christians, and probably only members of  certain denominations, can become President? The US is fighting wars against intolerant religious extremists, while we have our own ignorant fanatics at home.  We have freedom of religion in this country and these people are trying to change our laws to give religious freedoms to only those of certain Christian beliefs they agree with.

It is interesting to note that a congregation of these devout so called Christians in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, refused to marry a couple from their congregation, simply because they were Black. This is 2012 not the 1800's. But I guess since many of these religious fanatics are so violently opposed to same sex marriages, they would also oppose marriages between Blacks, other racial minorities and other faiths. Only white, straight, Anglo-Saxon Christians, including close family members will be allowed to marry.

I sincerely hope that in the upcoming presidential election people vote for the candidate, whose policies they see best for the country, not vote against a candidate because of his religion or color of his skin. But I think I am asking for too much.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Blog Followers.

I have three active blogs with Blogger, Retired in Malaysia, Senior Neurons and of course this one. I also have an interactive blog on another platform that is not doing well at all, so I have decided to let it die a natural death. "Retired in Malaysia" is more or less a travel blog, in which I share my experiences as an American expat living in Penang, Malaysia. I am limited basically to anything having to do with Malaysia. "Senior Neurons" is a political blog and thus all posts are limited to items of a political nature. "Steveso Thinks" is a blog where I am not limited, by the nature of the content.

There are times when I am not in the mood to write a blog, I am just plain lazy  or I simply do not have anything to write about and when I do get the energy to write a post I can't decide on which blog to post it to. "Retired in Malaysia" is doing fairly well, but writing a political blog, such as "Senior Neurons" is difficult with so much competition, especially during a presidential election. I find writing "Steveso Think"s very enjoyable and easier, as I am not so limited by the topics. Because of this I have decided to put my main energies into "Steveso Thinks". In the past I have not been diligent in writing posts for this blog, but I am going to try to produce more posts in the future.

I would like to double or triple my readership here and to attract more blog followers. I think if I can see that I am attracting more readers I will be motivated to write even more. Also the more readers and followers I have the better chances of making a little pocket money. I have actually made $5 in the past year. I'm not doing this to be rich, but it does help to see a little money coming in. I would like to ask my readers to become followers. Simply go to the right side of the blog and look for the word "FOLLOWERS" and click on the banner that says "Join this site" and follow the directions. I would appreciate this very much. In any event I hope everyone continues to read my blog and hopefully enjoys doing so. Thank you very much.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Visit to the Dentist

As my readers may or may not know I am retired and live in Penang, Malaysia. Medical care and dental care here in Malaysia is excellent and one hell of a lot cheaper than in the US. Yesterday I had to visit the dentist and I am relating my experience to my friends back in the US to make them jealous of the costs that I have incurred.

As with most people, I really dislike going to the dentist. With a certain amount of trepidation and after lots of procrastination I finally decided to go to the dentist and have my tooth pulled. For months I have been putting off this unpleasant task, suffering with weeks of on and off pain from my root canal that went bad. After waiting for an excruciating 35 minutes in the waiting room I was called into the dentist's office, sat down in the chair, opened my mouth wide and in a matter of minutes it was all over. I has my teeth cleaned and my tooth extracted.

The ordeal became even more bearable when I went to pay for what had been done. My total charge was less than $50 USD. If I had this done back home it would have been 2 or 3 time that amount. I was extremely happy that I went to the dentist today, but the short walk back home made me feel even happier. When I lived in Boston and I walked the short distance back home I dodged traffic thinking of all the money I had just given to my dentist to buy his newest Lexus SUV. When I walked home here in Penang I admired some cows grazing next to the sidewalk in a vacant lot next to my condo. These same cows just wander from plots of grass to vacant lots grazing along the way, without any one leading them on. It just amazes me that they wander freely, walking on the sidewalks and in the streets without their keepers supervising their activities. Beautiful and only in Penang!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why again?

It has been a couple of weeks since I last posted here and was about to create a completely different post than this one. What changed my plans was the horrific massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families of this senseless tragedy.
At the same time I am grieving I am also saddened, ashamed and outraged that this has happened again. I am saddened by the loss of life and the ignorance of our NRA owned politicians. I am ashamed that once again the rest of the world sees the US as being just as dangerous as Iraq or Afghanistan. And I am outraged at those politicians who haven't got the balls to stand up to the NRA. Our government has allowed the NRA to become so powerful that no one in Congress dares to question them. With the deaths of 12 people in this latest massacre in Colorado, there are some politicians who are calling for more gun control, but the majority, especially the GOP are staunchly against any kind of gun control. The NRA, as usual, makes no comments. What would they say if there family members were injured or killed? Too bad, pass the ammunition?

The argument that these ignorant, sexually insecure gun advocates use is that "guns don't kill people, people kill people". This is true, but this is the only country in the civilized world where crazy unbalanced people who want to kill, can buy any kind of weapons they want. Why don't the other developed countries of the world have these periodic mass murders? The answer is that they are civilized enough to realize that gun control is needed to protect members of society.  Citizens of these country do go hunting and target shooting at rifle ranges, but they don't need an arsenal of assault weapons, as some Americans think they need to prove their manhood.

The second amendment to the constitution, which involves the right to bear arms is constantly used by these ignoramuses to oppose any kind of gun control. This is 2012, idiots. We have a very strong military to protect the US, and even if some one wanted to attack, the US and managed to get through our military defenses, do you think a bunch of liquored up, macho NRA members are going to stop them?

I realize that after this bloody incident the political talk about stronger gun control laws will dies down and everyone will forget about the horror until the next time. The NRA will continue buy and own members of Congress, as more and more people are killed, for no reason other than allowing NRA members to get their rock offs shooting a gun.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July America

Here in Malaysia, where I now live, it is July 3rd and my thoughts turn to the Independence Day celebrations back home in the US. There is a 4th of July celebration on the evening of the 4th at Penang's Hard Rock Hotel, but I will be passing on this. It's a bit too expensive and I doubt the authentic American BBQ will be that authentic. Even though they try American style BBQ they never get it right. So I will maybe have a few drinks at home and think about all of the cookouts back home. So to all of my family and friends back in the USA, have a Happy July 4th, enjoy all of the great food and keep it safe.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wishing and Hoping: What a Screwed Up World!

While flicking through the TV channels the other day I was amazed at the number of TV reality shows dealing with the lives of the more affluent members of the world's society. I remember a number of years ago there was a show called "The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" which was quite popular with the "wealthy wannabees" of the time.  Today there are shows about the Forbe's 500, the people who own the most expensive  homes in the UK and the US, the Great Lodges of North America, exclusive resorts such as the new Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the most expensive yachts in the world. Then there are shows about the everyday lives of people,who have so much money they don't know what to do with it, like the Kardashians.

Are people so bored with their lives that they have to stay glued to these shows in hopes of a better life?  I realize that all of us, even though we are living a quite comfortable life, often wish we had more money or more creature comforts. But there is no way in hell that any of us will have the excesses that we observe on these TV shows. Us common folk have a nice place to live, but may wish for an even better place. We may have a nice car but we may wish for a Lamborghini or Maserati. We may all wish to hobnob with the very wealthy and royalty and drink and dine at the most expensive clubs and restaurants in the world. I guess this is only natural and I am sure that every human being on earth does the same.

Just as I am sure that all of those people who watch these shows wish for more, I am sure there are people who have never seen these shows and never will, are wishing for more. Like the millions of people who don't have a home to live in wish they could have a tent. Like the millions of people who don't have anything to eat wish they had a bowl of rice. Like the people who have to watch their children die of malnutrition or disease wish they could have help to save them. Even in the US there are people who have lost their homes or are on the verge of losing their homes, who are only wishing for a chance to save everything.

We see emerging economies such as China and India, where there is a new class of super wealthy. These countries are now brand conscious and are the newest and best customers of companies such as Gucci, Tiffany's and Rolls Royce. But what we don't realize is that the people in China and India who can afford this new lifestyle make up less than 1 percent of the population. There are vast areas of both countries where there is little or no electricity or running water and millions of people live way below the poverty line. It is interesting that even here in the US also 1 percent of the population controls the wealth of the country, while the rest of the population is considerably less well off. 

In todays global economic downturn it is difficult to understand how the very few wealthy are becoming even more wealthy, often at the expense of the less fortunate. In this country we see strong opposition in Congress to programs that offer assistance to the poor and unemployed, such as extending unemployment benefits or expanding food stamps. Yet at the same time we see these same politicians strongly oppose any measure that would have the super rich pay their fare share of taxes. Often we hear accusations of socialism, as if it were a cancer, threatening the status of the elite upper classes. There seems to be a battle now between the political left and right, where one wants to improve the lives of the less unfortunate and the other want so keep them where they are. Even one former presidential candidate blamed the poor for being poor. It seems that kindness, civility and charity have been replaced by greed and selfishness.

What is really ironic to me is that the millions of people who watch TV shows flaunting the lifestyles of  wealthy, secretly wish they had the same lifestyle, even though they probably also secretly resent these people, are actually making these people even more wealthy than they already are. Economically and socially I think things will continue to be screwed up until everybody stops thinking of themselves only and start thinking of others.

Ablog about liberal politics andsocial issues