Thank you all. It’s so great to have comments. Sometimes I feel like I am shouting into a dark empty room. I confess, I had a secret hope that when I started that my blog would be so good I could make a living at it. I know, thats a pretty stupid, empty hope, but don’t laugh.
I’m still writing my decon story. I had yet another realization today. I was a Christian. No, seriously, I was a Christian. That means so much. First it means I really was. All those years waiting for the magic feeling I never got? All that time carefully looking at others and trying to decide if I was what I was supposed to be? All that time I was a Christian, because (Point 2) that’s what Christianity is, and (Point 3) I’m not any more. (Point 4) because it’s all just pretend.
That was the question that got me to really question Christianity in the first place. It hit me one day. I was waiting for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit to hit me, watching my friends roll around on the ground. And I thought, “What if it’s all just pretend?
Though I’ve called myself an atheist off and on for about 6 months now, but I guess in my heart, I thought of myself more as man God called to be damned to atheism that truly accepting the fact that there is no personal God. And now, I’ve truly accepted that there is no God.
This makes my mortality a bit stranger. Though I’ve long known I wasn;t going to heaven, I didn’t want to go to hell. Now, I don’t believe in Hell. When I die, I’m just gone, like data in RAM when the power goes out. Gone. Forever.
And there is no story. If something happens to my wife or daughter, just gone. There is no ultimate justice that says I get to see them again. We are not part of some cosmic play, acting out our lines to a great hidden script. I seems horribly wrong that my daughter, so full of life and sparkle, could be removed from earth by the random selection that says 1 out of x number of children will die before they see 10. But she could. Or me. Or my wife.
My best friend leaves for Iraq soon for one of the most dangerous jobs available. We are both sons of the church, rejected, and happily apostate. If he dies in a firefight, it’s not because our Heavenly Father decided it was time to take him home. It’s because 2 objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, and his brain, the seat of his beautiful mind, cannot occupy the same space as 7.62mm slug doing over mach 1.
I love him like a brother. I don’t want him to die, I want him to live. But wanting bad enough doesn’t change physics anymore. It never did, but I used to believe that it did. I can’t change that he leaves. I can’t change whether he lives or dies. The only thing I can change is how I am a friend right now. That’s the morality of atheism. Accepting reality makes me a better friend right now, because it matters right now.
And when I really think about, every truly good thing I ever did for or with God, everything that every really helped someone, I accepted my powerless where I was powerless, and took what action I could. Even when I was a Christian the most moral acts I did where the ones that were the most godless.
Well the Associated Press has done it again. They have trotted out pure crap and called it news, and done such a shoddy investigation that the editor of a high school paper would pull his hair out.
The gem is a story called “Colt’s grip on the military rifle criticized”. Normally I would post the whole article here on my page but honestly, this story is such crap that I refuse to reprint it. If yellow journalism rocks your socks here’s the link.
Let me draw attention first of all to paragraph two. This is where the AP informs you, that like a toddler who just made stinky, you should be very proud of the outstanding job they did, “…according to interviews and research conducted by the Associated Press.” Aren’t you proud, Mommy? I did interviews and research and everything!!!
Let me draw a series of statements, emphasis mine.
Page 1 paragraph 1: Colt Defense of Hartford Connecticut
Page 1 paragraph 3: “What we have is a fat contractor in Colt who’s gotten very rich off our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.” Oklahoma
Page 1 paragraph 5: “The fact is, the American GI today doesn’t have the best weapon. And they ought to.”
Page 2 paragraph 2: “Coburn is the M4’s harshest and most vocal critic.”
Ok, now lets go look at another article
“Coburn asked the Army to hold a “free and open competition” before inking sole-source contracts worth about $375 million to M4 manufacturer, West Hartford, Conn.-based Colt Defense..” Specifically he mentioned the HK416, made by Heckler and Koch
Here the good senator has this to say “incoming Secretary of the Army Pete Geren agreed in July 2007 to hold a “dust chamber” test, pitting the M4 against H&K’s HK416 and XM8, as well as rival Fabrique Nationale’s SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) design. Coburn had threatened to stop Geren’s Senate confirmation if he did not agree to the test.” Here he specifically mentions the FN SCAR
These two rifles the HK416 and the SCAR are mentioned many times in the original AP article, as is senator Coburn.
The AP article basically says that the M16/M4 rifle currently being manufactured by the Colt Company of Hartford Connecticut is an inferior weapon to the Fabrique Nationale SCAR or the H&K HK416. The article begins and ends with quotes by Senetor Coburn, and he is the spark plug for this whole issue. Fabrique Nationale, by the way, just happens to own Winchester and Browning. Colt is the last US weapons manufacture capable of providing battle rifles in the quantity demanded by the DOD that belongs to a US company.
So who is Senetor Colburn? Had the AP actuallly done that investigating they were talking about they would have discovered the following:
Coburn is a member of the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Coburn, despite his statements above about making sure our troops in Afghanistan have the best weapon, seems to think they are ok without funding. He’s voted against them being funded twice now.
What about Oklahoma? Read the following April 21, 2004 press release from the Oklahoma State Senate here.
Or read my highlights
“There are parts of the country that are hostile to gun manufacturing. What we want to do is get the word out that we welcome these jobs. Oklahoma has a great western heritage and a college that has a top-notch gunsmith program. We want these companies to know we’d be a perfect fit”
“This is a multi-billion dollar industry. But those high-dollar manufacturing jobs are in states where those companies aren’t even wanted. There are 75 major firearm manufacturers with facilities in 12 states. I think if we get the word out about what we have to offer in terms of education programs and economic development incentives, we could bring some of those jobs here”
“We have an excellent gunsmith curriculum at Murray…We’d be able to provide a highly-trained work-force for an industry that Oklahomans would appreciate having here. This is something we really needed to pursue.” (Murray State College has the US’ largest and most prestigious gun smithing school.)
“Attracting these businesses here would not only create jobs in firearm manufacturing, but it would also boost economic development through the domino effect new companies have when they locate here. This ultimately will benefit our entire state”
And finally one last quote, again a Oklahoma State Senate press release, this time from March 13, 2007. This the real kicker, in my opinion.
“I can tell you right now that we are in negotiations with a leading gun manufacturing company interested in bringing some very good-paying jobs to Oklahoma. I believe this legislation will help us make an even more favorable impression. If we are successful in these talks, it’s going to be good economic news for our state.”
So the good Senator Coburn just happens…
to serve a on a committee that puts him in regular contact with gun manufacturers.
to represent the state that has the largest gunsmith school in the US
to represent a state in active negotiations with a leading gun manufacturer, and finally,
to TOTALLY COINCIDENTLY want to keep Colt from getting a weapons contract. But that is totally coincidental. He’s just doing it for the troops… that he won’t vote to give funding to.
May I remind you all. Fabrique Nationale, and H&K are not US companies. Browning and Winchester belong to the Belgian super company Fabrique Nationale. Smith and Wesson does not make rifles. They rebrand Stag Arms rifles and Stag does not have the industrial capacity to take the M4 contract. If we take the battle rifle from Colt, we will be turning our arms industry over to Europe. Yep, Senator Coburn sure is pro-American.