Introducing Supplementology — A New Religion

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As one who could never truly ‘buy into’ any of the world’s religions (as I understood them) I had to take a serious look when I heard of Supplementology and then jumped at the opportunity to present it to you! Why? Because it comes extremely close to the ‘truth’ as I perceive it to be.

If you go to Supplementology.org you will find that the entire concept of Supplementology can be expressed with nine concepts (in the writings on Supplementology, these are called “nine norms”). If you are a devout follower of Christianity or some similar religion these nine norms may shock you but if you are like me, a skeptic, you’ll find that Supplementology’s norms remove much of the mysticism from religion and bring it a lot closer to earth.

A very brief summary of each of the nine norms in my own words follows. If my paraphrasing interests you, go to Supplementology.org for a more complete explanation.

  1. Man has been given free will, it is the productive or unproductive use of that free will that directs our destiny; not divine intervention.
  2. Praying to a supreme being may make you feel better but it is your actions that will provide results, not your prayers.
  3. The religious principles presented in the scriptures are little understood and often abused; Supplementology is needed to create a workable understanding of these religious principles against backdrop of our understanding of how the world works.
  4. Children are our future; as parents or caretakers of children we should be totally focused on their needs and on their proper education.
  5. “God” will not make you rich or happy, that’s up to you; neither does accumulated wealth alone bring joy to your life unless you have a good spirit and take full responsibility for your actions.
  6. Supplementology does believe in the eternal life of the spirit but it also believes that this life is the real Heaven or Hell — depending on what you make of it.
  7. Man lives best when he lives as a spiritual being as much (or more) than as a material being. The spirtual side of man helps him overcome material weaknesses.
  8. Supplementology believes in the immortal (eternal) spirit — a spirit that does not die when the material being dies.
  9. Supplementology believes that God’s function in the universe is to bring light, love, mercy and faith to mankind while Satan’s function is to test (challange) the body, the mind and the spirit.

Hopefully I’ve given you a palatable taste of Supplementology and made you curious to read more and read about the very interesting genesis of this religion.

This post was generously sponsored by Supplementology.org.

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Candidate Tom Tancredo: A Report Card

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By: Whymrhymer

President Bush, in his SOTU message last week, renewed his determination to “resolve the status” of the millions of illegals already here in the United States “without animosity and without amnesty.” Its a clever line and a ‘technically’ correct interpretation of the president’s proposal, but some in the audience that night see the president’s plan for what it is:

“The President has chosen once again to trot out the same old pig, albeit with a slightly different shade of lipstick. If there is one thing the President seems intent on demonstrating to the American public again and again is that he is utterly tone deaf.”

That was Colorado Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo’s response and a feeling shared, as he indicates, by the vast majority of “legal” Americans as well as by many, if not most of those immigrants who are here legally but only after ‘jumping through all the hoops’ and waiting patiently for their documentation.

Team Tancredo 2008

Tom Tancredo has announced his intentions to run for the Republican nomination for President and, in my ‘grade book’, he has three great position (immigration, Social Security and Taxes), a couple others that need some work and one failing grade (here in “The Center” we issue ‘reality-based’ grades).

While Tom Tancredo is best known for his tenacity in the area of illegal immigration and while that is a top issue for him, he is NOT a one-issue candidate. On the Internet site: “Team Tancredo 2008 for a secure America” set up to promote his candidacy, Tancredo lists his positions on some major issues.

Immigration: Needless to say Tancredo opposes the President’s “guest-worker program” but does not call for an unworkable mass deportation. He lays his position out in two parts:

Part 1: The heart of Tancredo’s position is the reduction of illegal immigration and the attrition of those already here by removing the incentive for illegals to come and stay here: jobs. Anyone who knowingly hires illegal workers is already violating the law but sometimes it is very difficult (but never impossible) for the employer to know if a potential employee is really here legally. If current laws are rigidly enforced and the INS provides the proper tools for employers, the employers will overcome that ‘very difficult’ obstacle or face fines that could put them out of business.

(To be fair, I have to note that President Bush DID call for the enforcement and the ‘tools” for employers in his SOTU address; the question is why does the president feel the need to supplement this nearly sure-fire solution to the problem of illegal immigration with a “temporary worker program?)

Part 2: Tancredo also proposes that “America must also reexamine its legal immigration policies.” Specifically he calls for reducing legal immigration by 75% which, he feels, “will allow the newcomers to assimilate.”

I give Tancredo an “A” in Immigration — it would be an A+ but I think if the first part of his proposal worked as it should the reduction in legal immigration need not be that drastic and may not even need to be changed.

Defense: Tancredo also ties immigration issues, specifically border security (or lack of same), in with his defense position; and, of course, that is right on the money. The next terrorist attack could be perpetrated by someone who came here on a student or tourist visa or by someone who just walked across our northern or southern border.

Unfortunately Tancredo’s positions on: the Iraq war (except for the fact that he initially voted for it); on Iran; on Syria; on North Korea; on terrorism in general; and on the U.S.’s current tendency to become ‘big brother’ to the world are not mentioned. His positions, like his candidacy, are brand new so time will tell where he stands.

I’ll give Tancredo a “C+” on this one (it shows potential) and hope he will fill in the blanks.

Education

Tancredo believes that “control over the education of our children must be in the hands of the parents.” To that end, he supports tax credits that will allow the parents to choose the best educational vehicle for their children be it, in his words: “private, parochial, or home school.” Tancredo also states his opposition to “increased federal involvement in education” as the reason he voted against the No Child Left Behind Act.

He gets a “B-” on this one for lack of vision. In an ideal world, Tancredo’s positions on education would be great but he seems to ignore the public school option — an option that can’t be dealt with so cavalierly. Public schools for most Americans are not an option, they are the only choice — even with tax incentives. As to federal involvement in education, I’ll agree that the federal government’s involvement should be minimal but it must provide incentive to the states to improve and maximize the public education option — that was the intention (if not the reality) of No Child Left Behind.

Social Security

Tancredo understands the problems with the current social security program and is an advocate of “individually-controlled, voluntary personal retirement accounts.”

Definitely an “A+” on that one in my grade book.

Taxes

Tancredo supports “tax relief” and understands that high taxes are a symptom of “a more serious underlying problem.” That problem is the lack of fiscal restraint by the legislature and the fact (though he doesn’t mention it here) that the president has never once vetoed a spending bill. Tancredo is also a proponent of either “a national sales tax or a flat tax.”

Another “A” in my book. It would be an A+ but I see the ONLY answer to the tax problem to be a “consumption tax:” you get your entire paycheck and only pay taxes that are attached to your purchases. Sure, everything will cost more but that will be a great incentive for people in the lower income brackets (who will now have more ‘cash-in-hand’) to make smart choices about what they buy and, consequently, it will give incentives to retailers to keep their prices competitive.

Social Issues

Tancredo states that he is “a devout Christian, father, and grandfather.” He also comes out strongly in favor of “constitutional amendments that respect marriage and life.”

Here’s an “F” for Rep. Tancredo’s report card. I’m happy for him if he’s satisfied with his religion but, (as you can read in my recent post: “Conservatism With a Prefix . . . Isn’t”) anyone in favor of changing the Constitution to reflect his or her personal/religious views fails in my class.

Rep. Tancredo’s final grade is a “B-” which isn’t bad but hopefully he’ll do his homework and bring that up closer to an “A.”

Links:

NewsMax.com: Tancredo: Congress ‘Hell-Bent’ on Mass Amnesty

Magic City Morning Star: McCain, Giuliani, Romney: Three Stooges

Tom Tancredo Info.: Tom Tancredo 2008 for a secure America

From the blogosphere:

Praise from the “Political Cowboy”: The Dream Ticket for the GOP

And derision from “Big Ink”: Tanc Commander

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

Payday Loans: Understanding the Process

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If you listen to or watch financial shows you’ll sometimes hear payday loans getting bad press; mainly they gripe about the high interest rate and occasionally point out a company that has ‘shady’ business practices. Well in spite of what you may have heard from those “pros” there is another side to the story.

Lets say I have bad credit, I don’t feel like getting laughed at by my bank or by some loan company and I don’t want to borrow money from friends or relatives but still need maybe $100.00 to get an emergency repair done on my car or some other unexpected expense has popped up. What I do in that case (and I have done this several times in the past) is get a Payday Loan. Within just a short time, with just minimal documentation and with NO credit check I have the $100.00 in my hand and have time to pay it back. If I don’t have the full $100.00 (plus less than $20 in interest) to pay back by the next payday I either pay just the interest and let the loan ride for 2 more weeks or I pay maybe 1/2 the loan and the interest. If you use payday loans properly and don’t borrow what you know you won’t be able to pay back (at least over the next couple paydays), you’ll be in good shape.

The interest rate (if you are just looking at interest rates) is high that’s true but, at least in my world view and compared to long-term loans or loans where you have property to guarantee your loan, the benefit of being able to handle an emergency, when I have no other course of action, far outweighs the few bucks in interest.

You can get all the basic details about payday loans here at Payday Cash Advance Loans. These people will shoot straight with you, telling you all about the process and the payments and will help put you in contact with lenders that can help you in your particular situation. Just click on this Payday Advance link and scroll down on the page until you get to an article entitled: “Payday Loans 101;” it gives you honest information on this little understood subject.

This post was sponsored by Payday Cash Advance Loans but it is based entirely on my personal experience with payday loans.

Conservatism With a Prefix . . . Isn’t

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Fresh perspectives by: Whymrhymer

This weeks spectacle of hundreds of thousands of “Religious Conservatives” and “Social Conservatives” descending upon Washington to March against a woman’s right to choose, should be repulsive to “genuine” Conservatives. Not, however, because these activists are speaking out! They have that right!

They have the absolute right, these anti-abortion activists, to speak out against those who do not share their values and the absolute right to encourage everyone else to join them in their value system and to scorn those who do not.

Let us, however, be clear about one thing: the purpose of this “March for Life” was NOT to ‘discourage’ abortions or speak out against them, the sole purpose of the march was to (again) attempt to force Federal legislation that would, in the majority of cases, take the abortion option away from all Americans and THAT is what should be repulsive to genuine Conservatives.

A law that dictates what medical procedure a woman can and cannot have, when that law is based solely on a religious belief system and not on the state of medical technology or on the safety of the woman, is a law that blesses the de facto marriage of religion and government; a law that, in cruder terms, spits in the face of anyone who believes in personal freedom and in the Constitution.

Abortion (along with the other ’cause celebre,’ same sex marriage) is wrong in the eyes, hearts and minds of a majority of Americans because the majority of Americans have been steeped in religious doctrine that teaches that these things are wrong. I certainly do not intend to tell anyone that his or her religious beliefs are wrong (as long as they are legal) but to mandate those religious beliefs as the law of the land corrupts the founding documents that earned America its reputation as the ‘land of the free.”

In this country everyone has the right and the freedom to live their lives with their own traditional or non-traditional values, raise their children with their values, choose friends who share their values and speak out for their values. It is not the “right” however of any American or any legislative body to force a set of social values on every American citizen — that is not the intent or function of our government.

A true Conservative cherishes and defends the documents that were created to guide the American Republic: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and its Bill of Rights. As I see it, Social and Religious Conservatives (and other Conservatives with prefixes) are moral elitists who are intent upon shredding our founding documents in the name of self-aggrandizement.

Links:

ABC News: Bush Hails Abortion Foes at Annual Rally

TomPaine.com(mon sense): Blog For Choice, A Day Late And A Dollar Short

From the blogosphere:

Pro-Choice; Taming Estella: Blogging for Choice

Opposing Choice; Time Immortal: Those tired old pro-choice arguments

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

Blood Diamonds: Challenging the Industry

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Until recently, most people who bought diamonds were totally unconcerned about the source of those diamonds; taking a “diamond is a diamond” attitude as it were. Now, however, with the new big-budget movie, “Blood Diamonds,” about to hit the screens in Europe and eventually in the US and with all the new information that is arriving with the movie, people are starting to wonder where those diamonds they proudly wear came from and, more to the point, how many people died for them.

Blood diamonds (also called “conflict diamonds”) are diamonds that were used as payment to fund bloody armed conflicts in Africa. You, as a consumer, can’t tell a blood diamond from any other diamond by looking at it but your jeweler can — not by looking at the diamond but by looking at the documentation that tells where that diamond comes from. More and more frequently, jewelers are being asked to do just that.

The diamond industry started mobilizing in 2002 to assure the public, as well as their own member jewelers, that any diamond they purchase was procured from a country that is free of diamond-financed conflict. The answer they found is described as the “Kimberley Process.” The Kimberley Process is a scheme that certifies the origin of each diamond and prevents purchase of diamonds from countries that have not certified that their diamonds were not used to finance armed conflicts. The Kimberley process gets its name from the location of the initial meeting of South-African diamond-producing states in 2000; Kimberley South Africa. At that meeting the process was begun that led to the certification process that was finally agreed upon in 2002 by nations that trade in diamonds and by the major diamond mining and producing companies. Only countries that agree to and adhere to the Kimberley scheme are allowed to trade in diamonds in the international diamond markets.

Links:

Read more about the Kimberley Process at Wikipedia

You can also find out virtually everything you ever wanted to know about diamonds by going to diamonds and clicking on the Education link near the top of the page.

This post is being sponsored by the good folks at DiamondsandOpals.com they want your business and they value educated consumers.

Common Sense Equated with Racism in Virginia Statehouse

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by: Whymrhymer

A proposal in the Virginia House of Delegates that calls for an “apology for slavery” to Virginia’s black citizens was being debated on Monday (Martin Luther King’s birthday) when comments that Virginia Delegate Frank D. Hargrove Sr. made to the Charlottesville Daily Progress newspaper were brought into the fray. According to an article in the Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch, Hargrove was quoted as saying:

“Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ? Nobody living today had anything to do with it. It would be far more appropriate in my view to apologize to the Upper Mattaponi and the Pamunkey” Indians for the loss of their lands in eastern Virginia.

“On the other hand, not a soul in this legislature had anything to do with slavery. (It is) harmful to society in general to keep recycling this thing which we all know and all despise and all have no respect for.”

That bit of common sense (blunt and unarguably tactless but none the less common sense) has Del. Hargrove in the sights of all the proponents of the apology and has branded him as an insensitive racist.

A person doesn’t have to be a racist to see quite clearly that the proposal for an apology to blacks for slavery is ridiculous. It is harmless I suppose and will probably provide some measure of satisfaction to those who are deluded enough to suppose that the Commonwealth and its citizens in the 21st Century have some reason to apologize for the indefensible actions of the state’s residents back in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

The part of Del. Hargrove’s remarks (above) that is getting the least attention but deserves much more is his statement that it is “harmful to society in general to keep recycling this thing which we all know and all despise and all have no respect for.” No one advances himself or herself in society or in his or her own mind by adopting a victim mentality and a spurious apology will do nothing more than reinforce that victim mentality.

A couple final points:

It should be obvious that Del. Hargrove’s remark: “Are we going to force the Jews to apologize for killing Christ?” was an attempt to point out how inappropriate apologies are when made by people who have nothing to do with the original affront — it was not a serious proposition asking for an apology from Jews. That SHOULD be obvious but it apparently is not obvious to those of a certain mindset.

The news and blog coverage of this story is getting confused. The Virginia proposal has to do with slavery, NOT with the racial attitudes (segregation for one) that were still around in the 20th Century and, unfortunately, will still exist in some individuals far into the 21st.

Links:

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Hargrove offends blacks, Jews

CBS News: Slavery Remarks Spark Outrage

From the blogosphere:

Hampton Roads Insights: Apologize? Tangled issues

Deo Vindice: 16/01: Groveling as Governance

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

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When Zero-Tolerance Policies Lose

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by Whymrhymer

An Associated Press story out of Portsmouth, Rhode Island tells the tale of Patrick Agin, a Portsmouth High School student who has a passion for all things medieval. He and others in an association he belongs to, the Society for Creative Anachronism, study and recreate the lives and times of knights in armour by learning associated skills and crafts and by staging shows and events, including mock battles between hundreds of “knights.”

Sounds like a fun and interesting hobby but Patrick made the mistake of taking his hobby to school with him, at least in a sense. As most students do, the seventeen-year old submitted a photo for inclusion in the next edition of his high school’s yearbook; Patrick’s photo however, showed him wearing chain-mail armour and brandishing a sword. Patrick’s high school rejected the photo, citing their “zero tolerance policy” for weapons as an official reason. Patrick, his family and the other members of the Society for Creative Anachronism are, with the help of the ACLU, suing the school and insisting that Patrick’s picture be used in the yearbook. The basis of their Federal lawsuit is the claim that the school is violating Patrick’s right to free speech.

This may seem like a rather “silly little” story but it raises at least one very interesting question: Can a school’s zero-tolerance policy against weapons reasonably extend to pictures of weapons? Can, in other words, your son or daughter possibly get suspended or even arrested (some schools immediately call the police for policy infractions) for simply carrying a picture in his or her backpack of James Bond with his smoking gun or some Japanese warrior with his sword, or even a magazine that has a simple picture of a weapon? Also, as Patrick’s mother, Heidi Farrington, suggests, this kind of unrealistic interpretation of the policy could even lead the school to ban literary masterpieces like Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” or Romeo and Juliet — both of which involve weapons in their main plots.

Most of us who have or have had children in school in the past decade have run across, and perhaps butted heads with, some very ‘interesting’ zero-tolerance policies. I think most rational people would agree that while this policy against having weapons in school is needed, a picture of a weapon is not a weapon and should not be subject to the same rules.

However: The school should certainly be under no obligation to accept any picture a student submits as a year book photo — accepting Patrick’s “Knight” picture could force the year book to print all sorts of absurd pictures of students engaged in their favorite hobbies (your imagination should provide some interesting examples of this).

Aside from that, the “free-speech” basis of the ACLU lawsuit is pure nonsense. The school may have used an indefensible (that’s my polite way of saying ‘stupid’) reason for rejecting the photo but they are , in no way, interfering with or discouraging Patrick’s hobby — they just aren’t helping him advertise it.

This whole legal battle started in December of 2006 and, right now, a federal judge is waiting on a recommendation from the Rhode Island Education Commissioner. If Patrick and his supporters win this lawsuit (which I doubt will happen) Portsmouth High School, and possibly schools across the country, may have some very amusing yearbook photos in years to come.

Links:

CNN: Teen fights for yearbook photo featuring armor, sword

From the BBC (shows the actual proposed year book photo): School tells youth to drop sword

St. Louis CofCC Blog: How We Know ‘Zero Tolerance’ Has Gone Too Far

Switters’ Blog: I Never Said Sayville Schools Had a Monopoly on Stupid Decisions

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

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