Genital Mutilation is WRONG for girls AND boys.

Circumcision.
As American men most of us are snipped.  We take it as a cultural assumption, and few of us ever question it.  However, when most of hear about female genital mutilation in Africa or the Middle East, we are horrified! Why the cognitive dissonance?  Have you ever thought about this issue critically, independently and earnestly?

Wait, let me guess: “But it’s for health reasons!”, am I right? Was that your first reaction? It seems to be the go-to response for everyone I discuss this issue with.  It is, without exception, the first defense mechanism employed, followed quickly by the abhorrent notion that “it just looks weird if its not circumcised!”.  Hmm, interesting.

Let me first dispel the “Hygiene” argument with nothing more then simple, everyday logic.  To begin with, only 1/5th of the world’s men are circumcised, and the other 4/5ths of the planet’s men are not dying of STDs or bad hygiene; in fact many Europeans countries and some Asian countries have a longer average lifespan then American men. And let me ask you this, if 51% of our population (we call them women) can keep their vagina’s clean, then why would an extra inch of foreskin be so impossible to maintain?  After all, the labia of many women hang outside of the vagina, and the vagina itself is, with all due respect, an open wound (for lack of a better term).  Somehow, though, you lovely ladies manage to maintain an appropriate level of hygiene, so why can’t men and parents of boys learn to keep their foreskin and the foreskin of their sons cleaned?   I could post page after page of scientific evidence proving the “hygiene” argument wrong, but why bother.  My logical argument should be enough to convince any one who thinks about it for more then a second.

Let me now turn my mind towards the idea that “It looks weird if its not circumcised”. Well, it only looks weird because it is the societal norm to cut our children.  It is also “weird” for young people to read books in this society, btw!  And tell me you didn’t forget the little witticism that many of our mother’s use to tell us: “If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?”.  Also, if a girl refuses to be with a guy because his penis looks a tad different, then that is just a way to weed out the shallow and ignorant women.  If my son got turned down by a girl because of that reason alone, then I would tell him he is the better for it and he should move on to a girl with a little bit more depth. The “it looks weird” argument surprises me most when otherwise liberal, open minded, individualistic people use it.  Usually they are quick to shirk off trends and disdain “following the herd”, but when it comes to this issue they want to hide behind cultural norms. Why?

After these two arguments have been exhausted, the person I am discussing this issue with has nothing else to argue (usually because they have never actually thought about the issue) and is forced to face the fact: Circumcision was invented by old Jewish men thousands of years ago (before germs were discovered, by the way, making the “hygiene” argument even more comical) who thought it was God’s orders to cut the tip of the male penis off to distinguish the “Chosen People” (Jews) from the non-Jews.  And in 2012 I see atheists and agnostics cutting their children’s foreskin off. Is there anything more absurd then atheists who supposedly love science, following the dictates of some desert religion before people even knew the Earth was round or that weather was NOT caused by the gods?  And these are the same people who are disgusted when thinking about little girls getting their labia and clitoris cut off.  You want to know the most used excuse for female genital mutilation by the people who do it?  Tradition (i.e. Cultural norms).

Another point: I think millions of years of evolution has honed the human design pretty well.  I trust biological evolution more then I trust ancient Jewish superstition.  Also,  look at it from the point of view of choice.  Shouldn’t I decide whether or not my penis is trimmed off or not?  Is that really a decision that should be made without me? We would never think of cutting off the tip of our child’s ear or big toe, but cut off the tip of his dick? FUCK YEA!

Circumcision is wrong. Period. It rapes the individual of their ability to choose.   It was founded in ancient religious superstition. It decreases the sensitivity of the penis (which might be a plus for some guys, lol), and on average actually decreases the size of the penis by 8 millimeters (not a big difference, but a significant one).

I implore you, think about this issue critically and independently.  Ask yourself if my arguments make sense, and if they don’t make sense feel free to argue your case! I can’t wait to hear it! 🙂

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Billion Dollar Barack Vs. Mitt The Millionaire! Who Represents Us?

We live in a representative democracy, right? Well, at least that is what we have been told by our teachers and our society growing up.  We have always heard how great America is because it is run “by the people, for the people”.  But is this really the case, or is it largely propaganda?  Well, lets look at the facts: Barack Obama is predicted to spend around 1 billion dollars on his re-election campaign.  Of course, Obama is not a billionaire himself, but he is definitely a millionaire, with or without the job of president.  And the fact that he has to raise that amount of cash to feel comfortable in a re-election bid is telling, no doubt.  Mitt Romney, Obama’s likely competitor in the upcoming general election has a net worth of 250 million dollars; more then the last 8 presidents combined.  Romney’s father was also a millionaire.  This means our little wanna-be leader has had a silver spoon stuck up his ass for his entire life, and trust me, it shows.  He seems so out of touch with regular Americans.  He has said many things during this campaign which reveal the mindset of a life-long million dollar baby.  For example, when talking about his tax rate, he admitted he makes most of his money from investments and said he “doesn’t make very much” from speeches he is paid to give.  Well it turns out that he makes over 320,000 dollars a year just to give those speeches.  News flash for Mr. Romney, 320,000 dollars is a FUCK TON for most of us.  He also attempted to make a 10,000 dollar bet on live television during a republican debate over a quibble he was having with Rick Perry.  The ease with which he offered a 10,000 dollar wager is comparable to the ease us normal folk would make a 1 dollar wager!  He has been recorded arguing that “corporations are people too”, and his previous job was working for a firm whose job it was to buy a business, fire hundreds and sometimes thousands of workers, then selling that business for a profit.  He reminds you of the asshole that laid off your dad, and truth be told, he might very well have been that asshole!

But this raises a deeper question, how can such privileged, wealthy men represent the people (especially in a recession)! For instance, how can someone like Romney understand, much less feel empathy, for people who live paycheck to paycheck or struggle between going to the doctor for an illness or paying their rent?  How can Obama spend a billion dollars for a campaign when 1/4th of American children go to sleep hungry every night? And if we really do have a representative democracy, then how can over 50% of congressmen be millionaires, while only about 1% of the American population are millionaires?  Why do you have to have more cash then most of us make in a lifetime just to run for high office in this country? And, given all these facts, why are we surprised when these cunts drop to their knees in the face of rich lobbyists representing rich people’s interest? And why do we expect anything other then full corruption when we allow money to run our entire political system?

No matter who we vote for this election, nothing will change.
No matter who we vote for this election, money will still be god.  
No matter who we vote for this election, the poor will stay poor and the rich will get richer.

The system is evil; it is the unholy union between big government and big corporations and we are just the pawns used in their game.  Whether we are bailing out billionaire bank CEO’s or sending our friends and family members to fight and die for western corporate interests, the fact remains the same: THEY DONT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT US. 

So go cast your vote, let your voice be heard, but if the Obama presidency has taught us anything at all, its that hope and change are empty slogans, and once Mr. ______ (fill in the blank) takes office he will forget about you and I and immediately start sucking the corporate dick, because that is just what politicians do.  And all we can do is sit back and wait for the money shot (pun intended).

God Bless America, land of the snakes, home of the dirty knees…

Ruminations On Death

I was stimulated to discuss death today by my ancient philosophy class in which we discussed Socrates trial, conviction, and death penalty.  although uncertain of an afterlife, he had some conviction (based on ancient greek mythology) of a continued existence beyond the grave.  However, in the 21st century with the rise of science and development of philosophy it is becoming harder and harder to believe in such an afterlife.  Anyone who accepts evolution must come to terms with what it means to be just another animal, and many who contemplate this issue conclude the insect and the great philosopher share the same fate; namely a return to the pre-birth state after death in which the self is utterly annihilated and our demise consists of eternal nothingness.  The chalk board is erased and torn off the wall, never to have the pleasure of being written on or admired again.  The violin ceases to play its beautiful music and the ears which receive the sound waves of life are blocked up for eternity, along with the other 4 senses (or the other 5 senses for Haley Joel Osmond. bad joke, i know). But this raises an interesting question; how is the human being who is suspicious of claims about an afterlife deal with their impending doom?  At the young age of 23 I feel I contemplate my own death far to often, and am unsure as to whether this exercise is healthy or not.  Having a daughter, the rawness of death is ever more present and tragic. The mere contemplation of eternal separation from her seems highly unfair and as tragic as anything could ever be.  Sure this realization compels me to live a fuller, more conscientious life but it also strikes me with spells of uncontrollable fear and anxiety which make my body react as it does when I almost get into a car accident.  My breathing picks up, my skin feels hot as blood rushes to my skin, and adrenal gland begins to pump adrenaline into my blood; it basically puts me into a state of “fight or flight”.  This archaic evolutionary defense mechanism is not triggered by a saber-tooth tiger as it was for my ancestors, but instead by the mere psychological contemplation of my inevitable death and decay.  My deeply ingrained and instinctual sense of self-preservation battles chaotically with my (some would say over-evolved) pre-frontal cortex which is not faced with present danger, but with a danger that, I hope, is years away from becoming relevant.

I know I began this passage with a question, but as I write I am confronted with the fact that I have no answers.  It might be consoling, at times, to realize that science tells us that the atoms that compose us will not die but simply rejoin with nature.  And I may be able to conjure up some romantic metaphor for death which gives me a temporary sense of acceptance, but ultimately these are just the futile attempts of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to disguise the truth from itself; namely that I will fucking die like a dog and be forever separated from my mother, my daughter, my friends, and possibly most interestingly I will be separated from myself, my best friend: me.

Socrates welcomed his death and showed great courage in the face of imminent demise, if we are to believe Plato’s account of the events.  Karl Marx, when asked for his last words, bravely and wittily responded “last words are for fools who havent said enough”.  Jesus cried out “Lord, why have you forsaken me?”.  Beethoven is rumored to have said, “Friends applaud, the comedy is over”.  One of my favorite last sentiments was spoken by Voltaire, a famous non-theist philosopher, who, when prompted by a priest to renounce Satan brilliantly said: “Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies!”.

I don’t know what I will say on my deathbed, or if I shall even have the convenience to utter some last words at all. But if I do have the opportunity, I hope I will be able to look my daughter in the eye one last time and remind her (I am getting teary eyed and lumpy-throated as I type this) but I want to remind her, simply and without unnecessary witticisms, how much I loved her and how deeply connected our hearts will always be, even after mine stops pumping…

Now I must go off to the bathroom to splash water on my tear-stained face and compose myself.

Karl Marx was a good man

I just got done listening to a play written by Howard Zinn about Karl Marx.  It was an imaginative play that brought Marx back from the dead to explore how he would react to current socio-economic conditions.  It was partially biographical and partially philosophical, but wholly entertaining.  It addressed an often contemplated issue for me; namely Marx’s unfair association with 20th century monsters like Stalin and Mao.  In many debates I have been taken by surprise when I suddenly find myself defending Marx’s character against the most defamatory remarks.  I have been told that Marx “is responsible for millions of deaths” and that he “advocated violence and murder” to further his evil ends.  After picking my jaw up from the floor and shaking off the offensive nature of such claims I coolly and calmly (ie. aggressively and passionately) explain that Marx’s motivations were rooted in compassion for his fellow human beings, and if family life is at all indicative if a man’s moral make-up then Karl Marx was an especially moral man.  He loved his children (especially Elanor) unconditionally and was a faithful, loving husband to his wife and confidant Jenny.  He was a good friend to Engles and his other inner-circle comrades, and dedicated his life to inspiring revolutionary ire in oppressed peoples all over the world.  His libelous association with murders and tyrants are largely right-wing propaganda; unfortunately this propaganda seems to have worked on many of otherwise intelligent minds.   I feel infinitly confident saying that not only would Marx be horrified at what has been done in his name, but also that every attempt at communism, socialism, marxism, etc. (with the exception of the Paris Commune) were all in direct contrast to Marx and his philosophies.  The less democracy you have in your society the less “marxist” it will be.  Stalin, Mao, and the rest were the OPPOSITE of socialists, they were fascists and tyrants, and Marx would have fought endlessly AGAINST their terrifying regimes.

What the fuck?

This blog is not necessarily meant for people to see, although I am sure I will eventually attempt to pimp it out in some form or another.  This is really meant as a way to create and aggregate my writings.  I am writing so I can practice for my sample paper which is needed for entry into grad school as a philosophy major.  I want to specialize in political philosophy, but will touch on many subjects.  We shall see how it goes!