Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Tax Contribution For 2008

Helping my daughter in filling out a scholarship application, I had to look up last year's income tax information, and I took note that we paid a total of $3521.00 in Federal Income Tax for 2008 and $1101.00 in County Taxes. For that we get: schools, fire & police services, military protection & VA benefits, libraries, National and County Parks, mail service, public buildings like courthouses, museums, & monuments, freeways, etc., etc., etc....

It seems to me that if the government can do all that with my contribution of just over $4600.00, it wouldn't take much more for me to pay a contribution for public health care. In fact, I would gladly pay all the money that I am paying now to my greedy health insurance company in taxes instead, and dump that insurance in a heartbeat in favor of a public option that would be administered by government employees who will never receive huge bonuses by raising deductibles and denying or canceling patients' benefits and payments.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

For Those Who Think They Will Never Change

Who I Used To Be:
Twenty years ago I was 33 years old. I smoked 2-1/2 packs of cigarettes a day (and was very obnoxious about it, not caring if my smoking annoyed others). My husband and I could finish a 2-liter bottle of whiskey in a weekend. I didn't like most kids, I had hair down to my waist and I was about 30 pounds lighter. I thought I was a failed Christian because I couldn't believe all that nonsense, but I was still afraid to admit, even to myself, that I was not a Christian. I thought that this was my life and all of my future.

Who I Am Now:
Today I am 53 years old, I haven't smoked a cigarette in 18 years (and tobacco smoke really annoys me!). My husband and I can keep the same bottle of whiskey for 2 months. My life pretty much revolves around kids -- hundreds of them! (I work in an elementary school kitchen) -- and I feel like I am a mother to all of them. My hair is as short as a boy's, and I have to buy my big clothes online. I am enthusiastically exploring atheism, after having studied Wicca for 5 or 6 years; spiritually speaking, I am somewhere between a Pagan and an Atheist, feeling that there are either many gods, with many different personalities (and probably little interest in us mere earthlings), or no gods at all. I can easily, guiltlessly, and even proudly, say that I am not a Christian.

Who I Might Become:
In twenty more years I will be 73 years old, most likely retired and living on Social Security (assuming there is still a Social Security program in twenty years). I expect I will be more cranky then, because my body will hurt more, and I won't have enough money to go shopping. I hope I won't be a widow. I will probably drink even less than I do now, because I won't be able to afford much booze, and because drunk old ladies are both sleazy and sad. My hair will be gray (and messy, if I don't have to go anywhere, and I won't have it cut regularly), and I really hope I will be able to wear clothes sizes that I can buy at Wal-Mart (or whatever the equivalent will be). I presume I will be just as opinionated as I am today. I imagine I might be volunteering at my school, or maybe the local county library, if I am healthy enough, and if I am still allowed by the State of Nevada to drive a car. (Ooooh, maybe I'll have one of those Segway things -- one of the new type, with three wheels!)

Since I can't seem to post a reply comment on my own post, I will place my reply to Makarios' comment here:

In reality, God does not meet MY standards. According to your own mythology, God has no parents, and that is very obvious. He could have used some mature, moral guidance.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Old Spider's Spiritual Growth, So Far

I was born, as we all are, an atheist. My Christian indoctrination began with my involuntary baptism while I was still an infant. My first 16 years I learned about Christianity, my family's religion, and I came out of that simply confused. The next 2-3 decades I spent hating myself for being a "failed Christian"; then I spent 6-7 years learning (fearfully, at first, because of my Christian upbringing) about Paganism and Wicca. From those studies I learned that polytheism was just as useless to me as monotheism was. So now I have returned to my natural state, and I'm officially an atheist/humanist. While there is always a tiny possibility that gods may exist ("anything's possible", right?), there is no evidence for any gods, and no good reason for me to waste my limited cerebral powers believing in them.

My morality is guided by the Golden Rule of the Christians, and the Wiccan Rede and the Threefold Law of the Wiccans. Everyone knows the Golden Rule ("Do unto others..."). The Wiccan Rede directs us to "harm none, and do as you will". The Threefold Law states that whatever energies, good or bad, that you send out into the world will pick up speed, or power, in their travels, and return to you three times stronger. The Wiccan Rede is the most difficult to follow -- you can't walk around outside without stepping on some small bug; you can't drive a car without damaging the air; you shouldn't even eat sweets because they harm your own body; etc., etc., etc. I think my pagan/atheist morality is even stricter than that of Christians. I have to do it right the first time, because there is no cosmic forgiveness. There are, however, natural consequences to every deed.

I burn a candle, usually with a brief incantation carved into it, for friends who ask for prayers, because it is an honest way for me to direct my good will out into the "ether"; and I work the occasional spell when there is a distressing situation, and I want to feel like I'm doing something positive about it. Both candle-burning and spells are ways for me to address my desires and focus my intentions without invoking any gods. I think spells are just as effectual/ineffectual as prayer -- about a 50/50 chance of success or failure; however, both techniques are capable of making the participant feel better about whatever difficult circumstances they are experiencing. And for me, spells are just plain more fun that praying!

...So, there you have it.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

An Example of Overly-Religious Thinking For Everyday Events

Posted by me, on my Facebook page --

"Rejoice with me and praise the Goddess Isis!! My little chihuahua got out of the house today, and we found him two houses up the street, where some little children were trying to coax him to play -- he could have been dognapped! -- but Isis caused my neighbor to look outside her window at just the right moment and see my little dog across the street from her, and then call me and tell me where he was -- Isis saved my dog! I believe in The Great Goddess with all my heart!!

I'm so thankful that we found him, praise Isis! We were outside in the yard looking and calling for him (it is a big yard, half-an-acre), and I had come inside to see if he had come back, and I just happened to be in the house when my neighbor called my home phone. It must be a miracle that I was inside at that time, thanks be to Isis!!"

(Now, I don't know about you, Dear Reader, but to me this sounds like making way too much out of a common incident, to the point of being a little "nutty". This is how the religious appear to those of us who have both feet on the ground and no part of themselves in the clouds. And the sad/funny thing is, is that my believing friends, both Pagan and Christian, seemed to be taking me seriously, judging by their reply comments, when this story was first posted on my Facebook page. People!! I am truly sarcastic, and full of bullshit, about nonsensical supernatural notions!)

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We Need To Talk...

It took decades to teach the American public that their slaves were not "livestock", but human beings; that drunk driving is not an "accident", but a crime; that beating a child is not "punishment", but abuse. It will take that long, or longer, to teach our society that religious beliefs are not "glorious", but lead to wasted lives, with believers wishing and hoping, for their entire lifetimes, to avoid the reality of death through the "promise" of Paradise. Religious beliefs lead to zealous violence, with believers murdering, either singly or en masse, those whom they feel are "sinners" or "infidels", thinking that their god wants the unbelievers dead. (And the Old Testament shows again and again that the biblical god is more than willing and perfectly capable of performing his own murders.) Religious notions prompt parents to allow their children to die of treatable diseases, because obtaining medical help would show that they lack faith in their god; so everyone prays for a miracle until the child is beyond any doctor's skills (which, ironically, would more than likely provide the "miracle" cure that the sick are looking for).

All the good and charitable works that the religious feel they "own" are also achieved by the non-religious. People do not need to follow Jesus, or Mohammad, or Buddha, or Isis, or any other religious character, in order to be loving, generous, compassionate, and wise. Spirituality and similar comforts of existence can grow from other, non-religious, natural, and reasonable, roots. The end of religion will not end charity, love, or wisdom, but it will reduce acts of violence, bigotry and neglect carried out in the name of the Lord.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Facebook Bull Session 01

MY Facebook Status Post:
I have committed the sin of cogitation, and in so doing, I may have inadvertently tempted non-thinkers to convert to cogitation themselves. Such was not my intent, and I apologize to any non-thinkers who may have been forced, briefly, to think because of my own sinful ponderings...

Hey when you get to the point where your cogitation causes loquaciousness resulting in verbose conversation, let me know. I have a poem to share.

Well, I think my post up there is quite loquacious and verbose enough for your poem; let's have it!

ok....but remember, you asked for it....

Here goes...

If only the loquacious could be persuaded of the obnoxiousness of talkativeness, verbose conversationalists would probably become extinct....

In promulgating your esoteric cogitations, beware of platitudinous ponderosities.

Let your conversational communications possess a clarified conciseness, a coalescent consistency, and a concatenated cogency.

In other words....
Say what you mean, mean what you say, and DON'T USE BIG WORDS!!!

HAHAHA!! I love it! And I will never stop using big words...

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Private vs. Government Health Care

If my health insurance company is worried that I, and millions of other users of private, for-profit health coverage plans, may dump them in favor of a government program -- they should be! -- because I would drop them in a heartbeat if there were something better out there. So instead of lobbying Congress to stall the President's health insurance plan, maybe they should be working on ideas for providing a better product to their customers so that they can compete with a government program.

Oh, wait -- that would mean actually working for their customers, and possibly even having to give up this year's new Mercedes because of lower profits. God forbid the insurance executives should have to drive last year's car!

And what is the difference between a "government bureaucrat" deciding on a patient's health care treatment, or an "insurance executive" making the same decision? The bureaucrat and the executive are the same person, just with different titles on their name tags. The difference would be that, hopefully, the denial by a government employee of a request for patient benefits would be for real medical reasons, and not because it would move that employee any closer to owning a yacht, or a collection of $1000 designer shoes and handbags.

Furthermore, I believe people who go to medical school to "get rich", acquire power, or retire early are there for the wrong reasons. Their motivation should be, like that of teachers, a desire to help and benefit their communities. Removing the huge profits from the health care system might just make room for fairness for everybody.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Dog, My Worshiper

My dog lays at my feet. When I move, she follows me and lays at my feet. Everywhere I go, even to the bathroom, she follows me and lays at my feet. In bed, she lays at my feet. If she's lucky, I even let her lick my toes. This is her idea of heaven.

She adores and worships me. She calls me Woof, because she can't pronounce my name. I control every aspect of her life; she cannot even wander freely or have sex unless I allow it. I provide her with everything she needs; her food and water, a warm and safe home, unconditional love. I existed before she was born, and I will exist after she dies.


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Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Moral High Road?

I have to question the righteousness of churchgoers who accept the notion that it's okay for someone else to pay the price for their own offenses. My morality requires me to take personal responsibility for my actions, and to suffer the consequences myself. This is how I learn to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. How will anyone learn from their errors if it's acceptable that another individual is punished in their place? Using a "personal savior", to me, would be immoral; just as, in the old days of slavery, the Master's children had their "whipping boys" to take their lashes.

Now, before you say it - "hell" is a fantasy, not a consequence. I further claim that I cannot be a "sinner", because I am not a Christian. Sin belongs to those who believe in it. (This is not to say that I cannot do wrong; far from it! But if I do harm, I must seek forgiveness from the people who were hurt, not from a third party like Christ.)

And what heinous atrocities are Christians committing, anyway, that require A DEATH to atone for them? In our society, only the most horrible of crimes merit a death penalty. So I am forced to ask: Are Christians as "good" as they claim they are??

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

When There's Nothing To Talk About, There's Always The Weather

The wind blows across our yard without ceasing and sends the leaves & branches of our trees & shrubs into a crazy dance. It picks up sand & dust and flings it into the open windows of our house, and even when the windows are shut, the dirt finds its way in through every tiny crack.

Sometimes a twisting little dust devil scrubs the roof with debris; other times I glance up, startled, as a piece of airborne trash blows by the window, and I make sure my little chihuahua is inside - he doesn't know how to fly!

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Zen Punctuation Challenge

that that is is that that is not is not that that is is not that that is not that that is not is not that that is is not that so it is

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On Being Left-Handed....

One of my favorite words is: sinistromanual. That is the medical term for left-handedness. (Righties are dextromanual.) It sounds like a serious affliction, doesn't it? Not to minimize the very real medical conditions that some people live with, being left-handed does feel like a small handicap sometimes. The world is "made" for right-handed people.

Here are just two examples, from my job as a school lunch worker:

(1) My manager and I both share a computer that sits on a small, multi-shelf cart. On the top shelf there is room for the big, old-fashioned monitor, the keyboard, and a full-size spiral notebook where we record daily student monetary transactions, with no space between the keyboard and the notebook. The notebook is always placed on the right side of the keyboard, because my manager is right-handed. When I need to write something there, the keyboard and even the spiral wire of the notebook interfere with my hand, forcing it into a very awkward position and making my writing look sloppy. (My manager doesn't like me to move the notebook.)

(2) The large plastic pans that we use to serve fresh foods are washed by hand in a three-sink system. The first sink, on the right, is used for washing, with a detergent dispenser attached to the wall over the sink. The middle sink is used for rinsing, and the third sink, on the left, is used for sanitizing (which must be done last), again with a dispenser for the sanitizer solution fixed to the wall. Now, working right-to-left is all backwards for me! I can't reverse the direction of my work because the push-button dispensers for the detergent and the sanitizer are affixed to the wall over the sinks -- some right-handed person did that, I'm sure!

Even everyday things, like coffee mugs with pictures on them, are designed for right-handed people; the picture is on the wrong side of the mug when used with the left hand.

Now, on the other hand (so to speak), being a southpaw is kind-of cool. For one thing, it's my own little bit of "specialness". And I notice that a lot of famous actors and other celebrities, and also several of our recent presidents -- including President Obama -- are lefties. And when I crochet pinwheel or spiral patterns in doilies, they go the opposite direction than those in doilies made by righties, which makes my doilies unusual.

It's not that difficult to learn to do things "backwards"; left-handedness is a minor inconvenience. I'm glad that I was allowed to remain left-handed, and was not, as was done in the past, forced to use my right hand. All in all, I like being sinistromanual; if nothing else, it's a good conversation starter.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Witch Bottle Incantation

(art from

For the record, I don't believe the Goddess is any more real than any other deity; but she is a far more pleasant fantasy than the God of the Christians/Jews/Muslims. I wrote this poem to be recited at the planting/burial of a Witch Bottle, which is a glass jar containing "magical", and "protective" ingredients, and is most ideally buried on the night of a full moon. I post this blog for balance, as I see that my other writings here (so far) are more atheistic than Pagan.

Witch Bottle Incantation

Magical herbs and tokens stand,
Hidden underneath the land
To give our home a helping hand.

A stone of white for purity;
Red, white, and blue for liberty;
A coin for luck and prosperity.

Basil, bay leaf, sage and mint
Strong protection now imprint –
Bold as granite, sharp as flint.

Blueberry, almond, garlic and rice
Guard our home and add some spice –
Love, luck, and wisdom will suffice.

Wax from ritual, scent of clove
Add psychic power, cleansing and love.
– And I ask all this of Great Mother above.

If it do no harm let my spell go forth
Into the world – east, south, west and north,
And bide my will, today and henceforth.

Oct. 27, 2004 Full Moon

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If religion was genuine, then I think there would be just one religion (the "true" one) with clearly stated standards that everyone on Earth would understand. There would be no need for "mysteries" or "interpretations"... there would be no confusion, no need for doubt, no "holy" wars... "God" would be a known fact, with everyone in agreement and no need for "belief" (I don't have to "believe" that the moon exists, I can look outside after dark and see it). If God was real, he would not be, as he is now, the subject of eternal conjecture.

As children, we are taught to believe in Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, God, etc. For the first three, we are even given "evidence" for the existence of these characters: Christmas presents, a coin given in exchange for a lost tooth, hidden colored eggs. And yet, we are expected to give up the only childhood beliefs for which we have actually seen "evidence", but to continue in the fantasy of God. Since no evidence for God can be given, we are simply instructed to Believe, Believe, Believe! -- Faith makes God real. Without belief, God would be nothing.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Power Of Prayer

Why do people bother with praying? Followers claim that "God" has his "plan". So if their requests are compatible with this cosmic purpose, then their prayers will automatically be "answered". Prayer is no use if the believer's needs/wants are not part of the agenda -- and if the believer's desires are part of the plan, then there's no need to pray.

And what if several people in the same situation are praying for conflicting results? Say the husband of a terminally ill woman is asking God for her quick death, to end her suffering; but the woman's young child is begging God not to take her mommy away, and the woman herself is asking for a miracle cure? If the intention is for the woman to die a lingering and painful death (and why would a "loving" God plan that?), then all of those prayers are a waste of time -- which the child will definitely begin learning! (Unless, of course, any church has its grip on her -- in that case, the brainwashing has already begun.)

If a deity was in the habit of frequently altering his design in favor of the millions of believers asking for such a change, he would be too easily manipulated to be "powerful". Our unfortunate family would make better use of their time by focusing on each other, rather than in useless (and humiliating) attempts to gain the attention of a god who will ignore their requests in favor of his own agenda.

So why pray? - Because prayer has the power to help the worshiper feel better emotionally... that's all. I suspect that the final result doesn't even really matter to the believer; whatever happens is "God's will", and therefore is "good". So if prayer is what makes a person feel better, then "more power to them"!

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Sunday, June 28, 2009


When I was young and being raised by my parents and family as a Christian, I used to pray to Jesus to take away my doubts and “evil thoughts”; even as a child, I felt that what they were trying to teach me – their “truth” – was nonsense.

Despite my fervent prayers (I was just a kid, and trying very hard to please my family and community, trying to be what they wanted – required – me to be), my doubts continued and increased. Jesus wasn’t helping me.

When I was old enough, I quit going to church with my family, but I continued into my adulthood with a secret fear that there was something wrong with me: there was something that enabled other people to believe that was lacking in myself, and I felt that this was an impediment. And I felt guilty for being unable to believe.

Now, finally, in the fifth decade of my life, I realize that there really is nothing wrong with me, unless thinking and asking questions are wrong. The god that I can finally admit I don’t believe in has ignored me all of my life, and it is not I who am unworthy – it is the god of the bible who is unworthy of my belief and worship.

My family had the best of intentions, I’m sure, raising me in their religion – they were doing what they had been trained to believe was right – but I am proud to say that I am the first one in my family to break the habit of generations; I have raised my children without religion… And they are good kids!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

This Is What Happens When You Think For Yourself....

... And not what those people talking on the radio want you to think...

(first published on MySpace - July 2008)

1. I believe that we humans are this planet's parasites. The farther we advance, the more destruction and waste we leave behind us.

2. I think that the invention of the Mute button is right up there with the New Testament miracles.

3. The coldest I've ever been here is -15° (that's below zero!); and the hottest I've ever been here is 108°. That's a range of 123 degrees -- and 1-23 is my son's birthday -- Whoa! Some heavy ship, man! (Remember, I'm not listening to the "voices" who tell me what to think...) {Maybe I should...}

4. What's up with the Mormons lately? They've got this big advertising blitz going on here in Metro Reno; they're chasing after new followers -- maybe their church is running out of money....

5. The older I get, the more I appreciate the concept of ancestor worship.

6. We diss everything, and sometimes I offend Myself. But then We forgive each other, because - you know - We have to live together in Spider's Mind. I and Myself get along okay most of the time, but Me - well, it's just all about Her...

7. Who is my own worst enemy? I am. And who is my own best friend? Myself. And that leaves Me, all alone out there, hopping around and shouting "Me! Me! Me!" -- God, she's so annoying...

8. {The object of this Game is to determine which of these cogitations are True, and which ones are Bullshit -- their only purpose being to amuse Me.... and which ones are, perhaps alarmingly, somewhere on the line between

9. I would rather be self-directed and led by my own mind and heart, than be a slave to ancient writings and a flock-of-sheep mentality. (This one's easy - True.)

10. If you're going to call yourself "pro-life", then I think you should be looking at the bigger picture here; stop concerning yourself with "women's sin", and start protecting the holder of all life -- Planet Earth.

11. I believe that sperm is a form of human life -- have you ever seen video of those little "tadpoles" swimming around?; they sure look alive to me -- and that male masturbation is an evil equal to female abortion. Both actions destroy a chance at life for a human cell or group of cells, simply for the convenience or selfish pleasure of the parent. If it is wrong to deny a fertilized egg a chance for life, then it is also wrong to deny the same for a living sperm.

12. As a sometimes practicing Witch, I find it extremely offensive when people (usually Christians, who don't want to use any "bad words") substitute the word "witch" for "bitch". I think turnabout is fair play, so the next time I don't want to say "bitch", I might say "Christian" instead. "God, I can't stand that woman; she is such a Christian!" Yep, sounds good to me!

13. I have been caught talking to Myself a couple of times at work, and was teased about it. I simply explained that I am the only one who really listens to Me and respects what I have to say.

14. I don't like it when black folks insist that they be referred to as "African-American", but think nothing of talking about "white" people. There are Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans... Whoopi Goldberg, on The View, even spoke about her "African-American-berry", and then in the next sentence said something about "white people". Now, Whoopi, you know I love you, but I am not "white" - I am European-American!

I believe that religion, like sex, is a very personal behavior, for people old enough to make their own decisions, and neither one should be practiced in any public place or venue, and especially not around impressionable young children.

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