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Feb-03-2013 15:30printcomments

Report From the Pit of Hell

Tens of millions of Americans are no farther advanced than Bedouins of five thousand years ago trekking across the desert on their camels. And these people are allowed to vote!


Representative Paul Broun, Georgia Republican

(CALGARY, Alberta) - Over the years, a few commenters have asked why I hate America. It’s not hate or even dislike. It’s just that since Americans have walked on the moon and gave up on the exploration, that I’ve felt a profound disrespect for American society overall.

I began watching the decline in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of such counter-luminaries as Jerry Falwell. It’s not that the U.S. is becoming more conservative (which it is) but the population overall is regressing farther and farther back in time.

One outstanding example is Representative Paul Broun of Georgia who plans to run next year for the Senate. Considering the backwardness of his state, he’ll probably win, unless someone ever more wacky steps forward.

Although educated as and practicing as a medical doctor, he is famous for telling the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet last fall that “all that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory, all that is lies, straight from the pit of hell.” Evolution, he added, is one of those “lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

He went on to say that, "Earth is about 9,000 years old," "it was created in six days as we know them," and that main "line Christian denominations are "going to send their people to hell. A touch of hubris for a Southern Baptist.

This, to me, is almost a source of comedy relief. Would God, as Broun imagines him, be so petty and small-minded to send people to eternal torment and damnation on the basis of some doctrinal fantasies? It is to generate a few belly laughs.

How low can American culture/society go? Broun is (stop the presses Ripley’s Believe It or Not) on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. "Bill Nye the Science Guy" rejects Broun's ability to serve on the Committee: "Since the economic future of the United States depends on our tradition of technological innovation, Representative Broun's views are not in the national interest" and that he is, “by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology."

Although most have automobiles, the American people, with some notable exceptions, are not much farther advanced than Bedouins of a few thousand years who trekked across the deserts on their camels. You don’t need to read the Bible or the Koran very deeply to realize that the deity portrayed is profoundly limited in his awareness of what he apparently “created”. The earth is an unmoving flat disk (probably resting on the back of a turtle) that is at the centre of everything, with the sun, moon and stars revolving around. It took until Galileo in the 17th century to teach him that there was a solar system of revolving planets and that the Milky Way in the sky is composed of uncountable individual stars. Even then his primary followers (the Catholic Church) denied it all.

It’s not that the American people are “stupid”, but that their brainwashing begins at an early age and basically never ends. Children grow up believing in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, etc. “God” is the one fantasy that Americans are unable to relinquish.

The U.S. may be on its way to becoming a secular society like the other developed nations that, like the U.S., were formed in the Enlightenment era or a Theocracy. At this point, it’s a coin flip.

M31

M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years (2.4×1019 km) from Earth in the constellation Andromeda. It is the nearest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy, but not the closest galaxy overall. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 30 other smaller galaxies. Although the largest, the Andromeda Galaxy may not be the most massive, as recent findings suggest that the Milky Way contains more dark matter and could be the most massive in the grouping. The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that M31 contains one trillion (1012) stars—at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion

Omega Centauri

Omega Centauri is a globular cluster in the southern constellation Centaurus, discovered by Edmond Halley in 1677 who listed it as a nebula. It had been listed in Ptolemy's catalog 2000 years ago as a star. It was first recognized as a globular cluster by the English astronomer John William Herschel in the 1830s.

Orbiting the Milky Way, it is both the brightest and the largest known globular cluster associated with our galaxy. It is located about 15,800 light-years (4,850 pc) from Earth and contains several million Population II stars. The stars in its center are so crowded that they are estimated to average only 0.1 light years away from each other. It is about 12 billion years old.

Omega Centauri is one of the few globular clusters visible to the naked eye and appears about as large as the full Moon.

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Daniel Johnson is a born and raised Calgarian. He is currently working on a book The Occupy Wall Street User Manual which is scheduled for publication in spring 2013 by Polymath Press In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary) Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2012, has published more than 210 stories. View articles written by Daniel Johnson




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Anonymous February 14, 2013 10:08 am (Pacific time)

"Your comment is worth a detailed reply. See "Second Report from the Pit of Hell" "
I'll be here on my starship waiting...

Sorry, I don't have the time to write it, after all. 


Anonymous February 12, 2013 9:52 am (Pacific time)

The reason people who are knowledgeable about our nation’s history are so concerned with following the Constitution, sticking to traditions, and safeguarding our rights is that our country's success is not the rule. For all the bitter railing you hear against "1%ers," if you're living in modern day America, you are one of the 1%ers. That’s because 99% of the people in human history haven't had it as good as you do. To the contrary, the lives of most humans who've lived on this planet could be fairly summed up with Thomas Hobbes’ famous phrase, "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Maybe we should consider that and stop taking all the good things we've achieved as a result of our Constitution, our culture, our religion, and traditions for granted. e shouldn't take our republic for granted: At a venerable 237 years old age, the United States is the world's oldest surviving republic. That's not very long in the scheme of things, especially when you consider that the Roman Empire's republic endured about 450 years before Julius Caesar took the reins. To us, a democratic form of government may seem like the natural order of things, but only 45% of the world's population currently lives in a free nation. Dictatorships, totalitarianism, and kings are the rule in the world while our style of government is the exception. Once long ago, Ben Franklin was asked if we had "a republic or a monarchy." Franklin said, "A republic....if you can keep it." That’s just as true now as it was when Franklin spoke those words. 

We shouldn't take our long lives for granted: In 1900, the average life expectancy in the United States for men was 46.3 and for women, it was 48.3. In 1930, it was 58 for men and 62 for women. In 2009, men were living to 75.7 years, while women were living to 80.6. There are a number of countries that are ahead of us on that scale, but there are also quite a few that are behind us. The average lifespan in South Africa today is 49.11. Afghanistan? 49.72.

Nigeria? 52.05. The only reason our numbers are as good as they are given how much Americans overeat and the number of deaths caused by violent crime and automobile accidents is that we have the best healthcare system in the world. When Obamacare causes the system to become swamped, the incentives for innovation go away and the quality of care drops, your life expectancy may drop right along with it.

Your comment is worth a detailed reply. See "Second Report from the Pit of Hell" 

 


Anonymous February 11, 2013 12:27 pm (Pacific time)

Any combat veteran who has actual infantry combat experience will not be carrying a "Bushmaster" or any other firearm that is a .223/5.56.

My  mistake. I meant BB gun. Sorry. 


Anonymous February 10, 2013 10:37 am (Pacific time)

The real "pit from Hell" is emanating from those spoiled white democratic children with their anarchistic sympathies. They have never had any accomplishments in life so they blame their "loser-existence" on achievers. It will be glorious come the time they act out violently and then they can join their ultimate destiny in the pits of hell. It is coming, and soon.

And you, as a combat vet, will be at the front on the line with your Bushmaster. 


Anonymous February 7, 2013 4:19 pm (Pacific time)

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. My experience proves you have failed to make the connection in regards to propaganda, inculcation and learning contrasting/conflicting views. This is what helps promulgate paradigm shifts in Philosphy. Compare and contrast Realism with say Existentialism, and their sub-components. Most all early ideologies embraced a superior entity. Ergo...ethical conduct is found in most, except Marxism and others of similar anti-humanism perspectives. Now where is that GPS unit, I cannot find the Oasis.


Anonymous February 7, 2013 11:03 am (Pacific time)

Have you been certified as a teacher from an accredited institution? The art of learning can be a mysterious process, even for those well versed in pedagogical pursuits. One persons view of a subject matter may be an excellent topic to teach, while someone else may view it as a dangerous inculcation. Providing contrasting viewpoints allows for a chance at discussing polarizing matters, and helps enhance critical thinking for alert individuals. For some, well it makes no difference. Tunnel vision coupled with blinding myopia is a disease that impacts many, especially those that simply cannot grasp that censorship is a double-edged sword. People who are goal-oriented, and finish the tasks they are involved with, from my experience, do well in the world's environment, and the dynamics that have become omnipresent in these current times.

You write:  "Providing contrasting viewpoints allows for a chance at discussing polarizing matters, and helps enhance critical thinking for alert individuals"

In secular education, this can happen. In religious instruction it cannot. That's the difference between teaching and indoctrination. 


Anonymous February 6, 2013 3:38 pm (Pacific time)

School is a word that only has meaning when a "learning process" is happening. Censorship is anathama to the learning process. When is Canada going to get it? Live by censorship, devolve into even more mediocrity.

That's my point. An institution that offers religious indoctrination is not a school. Check out the difference between "learning" and "indoctrination". Blocking indoctrination is not censorship. 

I've also come to understand another faceet of American culture: Americans tend to believe that whatever they do or have is better than anyone else's--even when it isn't and especially when it isn't. 


Anonymous February 6, 2013 10:21 am (Pacific time)

DJ: "Religious indoctrination is not education." Never said it was, this is about a private school that is exercising what I would hope would be a freedom of religion exercise. It appears Canada has exercised censorship in what America holds quite valuable in our 1st Amendment. When a group, or an individual, decides on what is okay to teach in a "private setting" you then have "tyranny." Would the teachings of of other ideologies be okay? How about Marxism, Buddism, Islam, or any other"ism"? I can appreciate a public school secular approach to education, but a private school, that's offensive to any fair-minded person in America. Obviously, and thank God, we Americans have our Bill of Rights, even though we have a strong movement attempting to re-work it. For example if just one of our rights is to be altered without going through the established national process we have, then all those rights can be altered. George Orwell's gift to us was providing a "canary" in the mine so to speak. Hey, I like that, maybe a bumper sticker?

"School". There's your key word. 

As for your Bill of Rights, I doubt that a majority of Americans actually support it as it currently exists. Do you support every single Amendment? I'll bet, not. 


Anonymous February 5, 2013 4:15 pm (Pacific time)

A private school in Canada is the subject of the below outrage. I had no idea how progressives had so completely shut down free speech there, that is speech  the progressives don't like. So sad to see this happen. Would never happen here in our private school system, public schools, yes. "Quebec school to appeal  to Canadian Supreme Court for right to teach Catholic religion course."... A private Catholic high school in Montreal has decided to appeal to Canada’s highest court in its fight for academic and religious freedom..." http://bit.ly/12o958w

Religious indoctrination is not education. 


Anonymous February 5, 2013 10:16 am (Pacific time)

Actually I am a registered Independent, and I vote for people who have a demonstrated record of the kind of accomplishment that meets Constitutional muster. Talks cheap. DJ please keep in mind that half of our population was born after the last moonwalk in the 1970's, so the history you have picked will never be of much interest to the majority of them. Also it is our congress that enters into, and okay's, our treaties. We would never subordiante ourselves to the kangaroo court you mentioned. A quick reading of the Congressional Quarterly will show you that Senate and House democrats were saber rattlers during the Clinton regime. They voiced a desire to attack Iraq because of their threat of WMD's. We certainly knew, as did the whole world, that they had, and did use WMD's multiple times. Remember the "KURDS?" Also Iran mentioned many times being on the receiving end of artillery/rockets that were carrying poison gas. In regards to the "war crime" today for dropping atomic bombs, well so what!? That means nothing. I served with career military personnel who were staged to land in Japan, and they were certainly pleased with the bombs' results. I guess you had to be there to understand. Pretty sure Bush/Cheney or any other American president is not worried about any criminal prosecution, nor the joint congress that authorized our military actions and continued to fund the wars back then, and currently. Both China and India are in very poor, and diminishing capabilities to handle successfully the high growth that they are expeiencing. You should visit these two countries, they are totally dependent on American leadership and technology. Unfortunately their huge over-population pressures means that they will fail to take care of the majority of their people. This means serious political struggles are on their horizons. Speaking of horizons, they may not even be able to see their horizons as per this news story: "Suffocating smog from China reaches regions of Japan" http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2013/02/05/2003554261


Bill Annett February 4, 2013 4:40 pm (Pacific time)

What happened to my second last comment? If you're going to edit the debate, I'm out of here.

You're a pretty impatient guy. I thought you were out of here already. 

You'll just have to wait for the fullness of time! 


Anonymous February 4, 2013 4:24 pm (Pacific time)

DJ you're really stretching now. Bringing the dropping of atomic bombs on a belligerant country that had been literally killing millions of innocents going back to their Imperialistic behavior starting in the 1920's, is at best a distraction. It does not work, except in very limited groups, and groups that have absolutely no impact on American policies. Your statement "You're missing one little historical reality: The past does not equal the future." Maybe this comment has some significance to you, could you share that with me? As far as your other comments about Agent Orange, and what you consider to be our belligerence, war is certainly a factor in regrettable behaviors. Just the same when you tally up the positives and negatives of American behavior, we have repeatedly saved the world from global tyranny. I frankly would like to see us pursue an isolationist profile, cancel all immigration, secure our borders, and remove those here illegally. But the world would soon fall apart without our beneficial intervention. It's a burden to be the world leader, being exceptional, but it is who we are, and God has certainly picked us to be his chosen assistant. I feel very blessed. To think how very young our planet is, probably less the 7,000 years as per my carbon dating procedures, what will America's planet be like in another 7,000 years? I wonder if Hostess Bakery products will be back?

The American military dropped the bombs on civilian populations. Times may change, but that would be considered a war crime today.

It's obvious why the Bush Adninistration wouldn't join the ICC.  Bush and Cheney would almost surely be in the dock today. 

It's a very long list of countries that the U.S. has destabilized or overthrown in the last 120 years or so: Hawaii, Iran, Honduras, Philippines, Guatanala, Chile, Panama--see Stephen Kinzer's book Overthrow for a detailed list.

As for the past the future, America dominated the globe for so long for one simple reason: there was no competition. Now there is China and India at least.

I'm assuming you're a Paul Broun supporter. 


Bill Annett February 4, 2013 4:07 pm (Pacific time)

You quote David Brooks slightly out of context, but no matter. He remains a solid, right-leaning columnist for the New York Times, and you'll note that he continues to live the good, established, conservative, establishment life of an American intellectual, with all the rights and benefits thereto appertaining. I don't accept him as a reliable critic. Think John Steinbeck.

Of course he's a right-winger. That's why I quote him so I can't be accused of depending on lefties. 


Anonymous February 4, 2013 2:10 pm (Pacific time)

DJ you offer these stats but you fail to understand the dynamics of America, and how our form of government promulgated our great success. For example,let's say China has all their citizens receive not just undergraduate/graduate college degrees, but all have post Doctorate degrees...so what do you think that will do for them? Raise their per capita income up considerably? Say it rises 500%, that would still not be 1/2 of ours. They also need consumers for their export market to have an ongoing cash flow. They need energy supplies, and in time will be getting it from us. You have such a Jones for us DJ, maybe you should calm down and read Moby Dick, maybe see what that story is all about. As far as a Theocracy, you should not just review our Constitution, but also a couple centuries of our case law. You are possibly spending too much time on those sites that simply do not care about facts, much less have an understanding of the historical flow of America. We are an "exceptional" people, and that just rankles so very few people. I would suggest a course in demographics and "over-population" problems to possibly get a better idea on what happens in 3rd world countries, and both China and India, though they have very modern locations and developments, are essentially 3rd world. A small cut in their agricultural production causes massive problems for them. They also have very poor medical delivery infrastructures which also can create massive casualties. What country on the planet goes all over the world to help those in need?

You're missing one little historical reality: The past does not equal the future. 

On your last point: What other country on the planet goes all over the world to undermine and overthrow democratically elected governments; drops nuclear bombs (twice) on civilian populaitons; sprays civilians with napalm and kills their ecosystem with Agent Orange? 


Bill Annett February 4, 2013 6:02 am (Pacific time)

I trust America - having survived since the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 - will survive your criticism, Daniel. You simply cannot with any logic or credibility castigate 315 million people. There is a lot wrong with this country. There is even a lot - which I observe and acknowledge daily - that is insane about this country. But - leaving out Canada - which I invite you to do some time - name me an alternative: Australia? a great country but anally rententive and colonially challenged, perhaps moreso than Canada. Sweden? Why did the Sedin twins leave? Cuba or North Korea? I don't notice a great inrush. Great Bloody Blighty, clinging hopelessly to its disappearing history? France? Everyone's favorite escape but a perennial loser. I have chosen for 22 years to live here because in different ways and degrees in my opinion, there is more to despise, and reject the hypocrisy of, the "true north strong and free" for which my family has fought and died since 1825. Idiots, tea-baggers and financial poltroons come and go - sometimes even measuring 47% - contrary to what a recent cretin wrongly assumed - but I have a deep and abiding faith in the people. Eventually, they always get it right. Even in Canada, though I'm still waiting. And I go with the English Squadron Leader in the RAF, during the American occupation in 1943 (with a good deal more in-your-face confrontation and reason for rejection than you suffer - who wrote: "There is much to forget; much to forgive / But in a world without America, I do not care to live." The piece I sent to Tim last night, with attention to you, was written last August, and was on the subject of Post-America and the death of exceptionalism.

Respectfully, Bill, I think you’ve been living down there too long and you’ve “gone native” so to speak. Note that without Exceptionalism, there is no United States as we know it.

America dominated the globe for so long for one simple reason: there was no competition. The U.S. could overthrow democratically elected governments all over the world with no fear of retaliation. It could ruthlessly exploit the people and resources of subject countries with no pushback. Those days are over.

The U.S. is not going to return to some fictional normal. The world is shifting and the U.S. is not and will not be able to lead in that shift;

The U.S. was founded as a white, British, Protestant nation. Those days, too, are over. Here is how the demographic is changing.

10,000 people are going to turn 65 every day for the next 20 years

by 2030, China will have 200 million college graduates—more than the entire U.S. work force

by 2017, India will graduate 20 million people from high school —five times as many as in the United States.

As David Brooks wrote in his last Nov 1 column:

The U.S. trails most of Europe, Australia and Canada in social mobility and is falling further behind every year. “We are in the middle of an economic transition, a bit like the 1890s, with widening inequality, a corrupt and broken political system, an unsustainable welfare state, a dangerous level of family breakdown and broken social mobility.” 

The point of my article, which you did not address, is that America is building towards a theocracy. As the nation's global status and internal culture continue to deteriorate, I can see tens of millions of Americans, led by the radical right will increasingly, as Obama said in another context, cling to guns and religion for succorance. 

America is not a "nation" but is  more like a religion itself. Go to Wikipedia and check out the American Creed (no other developed nation has such which is why no other nation could set up something equivalent to HUAC).


Bill Annett February 3, 2013 10:04 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel, you asked about a piece on Post-America. I did one last August. I just sent it to your attention.

Do you mean the one on the "Sanity clause"?

 

You had an anonymous commenter who wrote: " I appreciate your observation of American politics, though we are light years beyond the other western systems, thank goodness."  which supports my point on how politically backward and deluded Americans are.

 


Anonymous February 3, 2013 6:31 pm (Pacific time)

Seems you cannot handle correct personal assessments. America will continue long after you are vapor...and Canada will continue it's conservative arc. Mr. Harper is a lib compared to the next leader.


Daniel Johnson February 3, 2013 4:02 pm (Pacific time)

Some of you have made comments and looked to see them posted. If they were ad hominem attacks rather than addressing any of my points (for or against), they were routinely deleted.


Bill Annett February 3, 2013 3:51 pm (Pacific time)

Daniuel, you minimalize and oversimplify what's going on down here. It just aint that simple. The Post-America revolution that is going on hasn't yet been fully realized, and it has literally nothing to do with theocracy, but rather with a different energy environment, different social media and a different and evolving society. I may miss a lot of points, but yours is so selective as to be irrelevant.

Tell me about Post-America revolution. Perhaps you might want to write a piece about it? I would certainly be interested in it. 


Bill Annett February 3, 2013 2:09 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel, my boy, as part of a Canadian family and legacy since 1825,(and having sought refugee status in Florida since the millenium glitch) I'm mildly titillated by your selection of a nutcase hick Congressman from Georgia as representative of the American mainstream, even to the extent of debating with him concerning creation and evolution. It's about as logical as citing Bible Bill Aberhart (under whose reign I grew up in the Dirty Thirties, as typical of Canadian enlightenment. My father and Bill Mitchell chronicled that era, and had no illusions as to Canadian superiority. We've come a long way, of course, currently having Stephen Harper (with a majority government, yet) leading us out of our colonial wilderness. Why could you not have cited someone like Senator Bernie Sanders, who is probably more intelligent, dedicated and principaled than any politician in either of our countries? As for culturak deprivation, I give in: Calgary, I admit, is my favorite hockey city, and Iginla, Tanguay and Camalleri have done more for Alberta sense and sensibility than any of our statesmen in the past, right back to R.B. Bennett. Live, Daniel, and let live.

You've missed the whole point, Bill, which was to portray the American decline into primitive fundamentalism. The U.S. is the only country that came out of the Enlightenment era that remains stuck there. I've been arguing the potential for an American theocracy since 1980 and it may still happen. Of course, I'm not the only person who has made such an argument. Bernie Sanders? Yes, I could support him, but in terms of American society he is definitely an outlier.

If Broun were only a "nutcase hick" that would be one thing, but he and his ilk have tens of millions of ardent followers who distort the country and its future. And, a pox on democracy, they are allowed to vote.

Thanks for reading and commenting. 


Anonymous February 3, 2013 12:52 pm (Pacific time)

DJ: " “God” is the one fantasy that Americans are unable to relinquish." Do many Canadians, and the other nearly 7 billion on planet earth also engage in a similar "fanatsy?" You have any surveys you can share, or is this just an opinion based on a fantasy? Considering that we have these "checks and balances" within our governmental system, if those "others" have opinions that people(voters) find objectionable, our governmental process still seems to carry on. As far as your opinion regarding America, then why use American products and technology? Maybe you're just angry that the OWS movement became such a big failure? Here, enlighten yourself:

"Occupy Wall St: White, Wealthy, and Well-Educated. survey of Occupy Wall Street reveals the group was primarily made up of white, wealthy college graduates, many of whom had grad school degrees. OWS was not a spontaneous, broad based movement with appeal to everyone in the country. It was a professionally organized yet unsustainable political tantrum carried out by white, well-off Democrats with high levels of education. The survey was carried out by sociologists at the City University of New York. Their results are focused on what they call the "actively involved" or core members of the movement. What they learned about the demographics of this core group is summarized in this chart": http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/01/30/OWS-White-Wealthy-and-Well-Educated

There are none so blind as those who will not see. 

Are you arguing that material innovation somehow trumps spiritual innovation? 


Jane February 3, 2013 12:44 pm (Pacific time)

Well, the women are certainly treated better here than by the Bedouins.

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