Great lyrics on entitlement

I Want A Pony by Candypants

Take a Listen: Candypants – I Want A Pony

Mom, I wanna be an astronaut
Buy me a rocket ship
So I can sail to Mars

I don’t wanna fly an Apollo
Buy me the Enterprise or I don’t wanna go

Mom, I wanna be the president
Buy me votes
Pay my rent

Or maybe writing novels would be fun
Mommy, hire a novelist to write me one

Mom, I wanna be a movie queen
Buy me the cover of Premiere magazine

I’m way funnier than Jay Leno
Buy me a motorcycle and a TV show

Can a model win a Nobel Prize?
Buy me brains, liposuck my thighs

Hurry, hurry, I don’t have all day
If you love me mommy, you’ll do what I say

Pony up
Pony up
Pony up
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony now, now

Mom, I wanna be an astronaut
Buy me a rocket ship
So I can sail to Mars

I don’t wanna fly an Apollo
Buy me the Enterprise or I don’t wanna go

Mom, I wanna be the king of pop
Buy me fans, hurry up

I just wanna be a millionaire
You’ll die and leave me money if you really care

Pony up
Pony up
Pony up
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony now, now
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
Pony up

All about Candypants: http://www.musictory.com/music/Candypants

Taken from: http://www.lyricsmania.com/i_want_a_pony_lyrics_candypants.html

Great lyrics on entitlement

I Want A Pony by Candypants

Take a Listen: Candypants – I Want A Pony

Mom, I wanna be an astronaut
Buy me a rocket ship
So I can sail to Mars

I don’t wanna fly an Apollo
Buy me the Enterprise or I don’t wanna go

Mom, I wanna be the president
Buy me votes
Pay my rent

Or maybe writing novels would be fun
Mommy, hire a novelist to write me one

Mom, I wanna be a movie queen
Buy me the cover of Premiere magazine

I’m way funnier than Jay Leno
Buy me a motorcycle and a TV show

Can a model win a Nobel Prize?
Buy me brains, liposuck my thighs

Hurry, hurry, I don’t have all day
If you love me mommy, you’ll do what I say

Pony up
Pony up
Pony up
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony now, now

Mom, I wanna be an astronaut
Buy me a rocket ship
So I can sail to Mars

I don’t wanna fly an Apollo
Buy me the Enterprise or I don’t wanna go

Mom, I wanna be the king of pop
Buy me fans, hurry up

I just wanna be a millionaire
You’ll die and leave me money if you really care

Pony up
Pony up
Pony up
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony now, now
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
I wanna pony
Pony up

All about Candypants: http://www.musictory.com/music/Candypants

Taken from: http://www.lyricsmania.com/i_want_a_pony_lyrics_candypants.html

I’m Also Too Busy To Be Part of Atheism Plus

In my previous post I outlined the conceptual reasons I would not be joining up with the new Atheism Plus (A+) movement.  Veganism was not one of the main concerns in Jen McCreight’s manifesto and the comments hardly showed a lot of support.  As any animal rights person knows “animal welfare” is not animal rights.  Furthermore, I’m a libertarian which puts me at odds with the political bent of the movement.  There is no place for me in the movement under those conditions.   In further consideration, though, there is one big reason I would never join as well:  I simply don’t have time.

I’ve read some posts where some A+’ers seemingly castigated others for not wanting to take the time to comb through bulk email or setup folders in order pick out the online petitions that matter.  That got me thinking about what I spend my time on, and I realized that my life, the decisions I make, the way I think almost all revolve around supporting the skeptical movement and living the vegan lifestyle.

I’m not a great speaker or writer.  I’m not a scientist in the traditional way people consider it (I consider myself a computer scientist).  I read the magazines, I buy the books, I donate to the causes, and I try to let people in the skeptical community know how much I appreciate their work.  That is how I feel I can best contribute to the skeptical community.  Not everyone is good at community outreach or education.  Some of us are just good at financial and moral support.  I go back and forth in my head on whether that’s good enough or not, and perhaps in my future my skills will evolve and I will be able to take on different roles.  I hope what I’m doing helps.  

The next thing I would like to talk about is how my life revolves around the vegan lifestyle.  I warn you, some of this will come off like bragging, but I don’t know any better way to describe it.  Veganism and the support of animal rights has steadily become my very lifestyle and affects my day to day almost on an hourly basis.  My wife and I don’t live perhaps the stereotypical vegan lifestyle, but I feel like we’re doing some good.  Also, I want to be clear, my wife does a tremendous amount of work supporting our lifestyle, but I only will be commenting on my mindset.

So, the first thing I think of when I consider how we’re living, is that I need a really good paying job.  I work extremely hard and I work long hours, taking advantage of my great skill at a particular style of programming , and that translates into good money.  I’ve had the same job for the last fifteen years, because it’s a great job, provides good benefits, and allows me to live a lifestyle that helps animals.  I can’t be living the life of a twenty year old college student, or be living paycheck to paycheck.  Again, I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but this sets up the next few paragraphs.

Why the focus on money?  After all, a fixation on being in the top 5-10% of earners seems almost hostile to the idea of social justice, and perhaps some would think that’s why I have no interest in A+.  Well, the reasons start out with eating vegan.   Eating vegan the way I eat vegan is more expensive than normal (though probably less than eating a high meat diet).  My wife and I do not live on rice and beans, and in fact we do buy a lot of meat analogs.  The reason, as far as I am concerned, is to support businesses who go out of their way to produce vegan products.  As vegan products become more common, economies of scale will eventually lower the cost of such goods.  I eat vegan sausage, vegan hot dogs, two or three kinds of vegan cheeses, vegan pepperoni, vegan chicken patties, etc.  There is also the side effect of illustrating to people and friends that eating vegan does not mean eating so called “rabbit food”.  We eat quite well.

The next reason I fixate on money is we support eight animals who live in our house with us.  We have seven dogs, all adopted, and a cat who was a stray.  We used to have another cat, back when we only had five dogs, but sadly he passed away in 2011.  In order to have so many animals, you need a large house.  Large houses cost money to buy, heat, and cool.  It’s worth it to make sure all the animals have enough space.  We have a (and here comes the braggy sounding part) five thousand square foot ranch home that gives us plenty of room for couches and beds for all the dogs to lay around on.  We have a large fenced in area for the dogs to walk around in.  We’re in the process of spending a good chunk of change to redo our walkway so that our fifteen year old one-eyed almost blind dachshund has an easier time getting in and out of the backyard.

We want to eventually rescue farm animals, which is why we bought a place with over twenty acres with a four to five acre pond.  We live outside the city limits so there are no laws to prevent us from doing what we do.  Because we live outside the city limits we have a septic system, that turns out needs replacing which isn’t cheap either.  We have two large beds in the master bedroom side by side so the dogs can all sleep with us at night because they wouldn’t have it any other way.   If I had to commute, I would have an hour each way.

Caring for that many animals also costs money.  Ralphie, our dachshund, sees a dermatologist and ophthalmologist regularly for his skin and eye (he used to have two, but is down to one).  We’ve taken two of our dogs to a special veterinary dentist to make sure we received top of the line care for our dogs’ teeth.  I’ve had to rush to the emergency room because one our dogs was bitten by a venomous snake (she is fine, was scarier than it looked), another dog was bitten badly by a woodchuck.  One time I took a dog to the emergency room just so my wife could leave on a trip away and know that our sick dog was just a little sick, and had nothing to worry about.  We order extra xrays to make sure we Ralphie’s back is ok.  We have our dogs’ teeth cleaned, we have their fatty deposits removed to make sure the lumps aren’t anything more serious. When Ozzy, our late cat, was clearly on his last few days, we paid a little extra to ensure he could pass away at home, on his favorite table.

My wife and I do not want kids, so in some respects, all our animals have filled that role.  As you can see, my wife and I do a lot for the animals we have, and I don’t know that we can have a more direct effect on improving the lives of animals than we do now.  Our vet once told someone in front of me “If you ever die and come back as a rat terrier, you want to live with them.”  “Them” referred to my wife and I, as they know how much we care about them all.

So when I think about my time, and what I can do to help in the “social justice” arenas, I think about how hard we need to work to support everything in my own home.  Also, my wife does even more on a day to day basis to care for and support our animals, far more than I do, I want to be clear on that.  I don’t have time to be more involved in a movement that doesn’t prioritize the values I live through on a daily basis.  This is not to denigrate A+, it will stand or fall on its own merits.  I just wanted to add something else to the reasons why I and others wouldn’t be joining up.  Time is always at premium and if that time wouldn’t be spent supporting my most important cause, I don’t have time for it, sincerely.

As an addendum, I’ll list our current animals and why we have them:

Ralphie – Our fifteen year old dachshund we adopted eleven years ago because a divorcing family didn’t want him.

Peedee – A dog we adopted as a puppy because no one wanted him and he wasn’t going to be a good breeder.

O-Ren – She was supposedly found as a stray, but I believe she was turned over to the pound because she was too hyper.

Kaylee – Adopted with Jayne, she was abandoned in an apartment for three weeks.  She was considered a senior and hard to adopt out.

Jayne – Adopted with Kaylee, she was abandoned in an apartment for three weeks.  She has a very odd personality and hard to adopt out.

Lemmy – A stray cat we believe abandoned by our neighbors when their house was foreclosed on.  He pushed his way into our house and is here to stay.

Mags – A tiny dog with a bad hip that was found as a stray with Finnick.  Considered old and unadoptable for supposedly being vicious

Finnick – A small dog that was found as a stray with Mags.  Considered old and unadoptable for supposedly being vicious.

Ozzy (deceased) – A cat found as a stray that only really liked me.

I’m Also Too Busy To Be Part of Atheism Plus

In my previous post I outlined the conceptual reasons I would not be joining up with the new Atheism Plus (A+) movement.  Veganism was not one of the main concerns in Jen McCreight’s manifesto and the comments hardly showed a lot of support.  As any animal rights person knows “animal welfare” is not animal rights.  Furthermore, I’m a libertarian which puts me at odds with the political bent of the movement.  There is no place for me in the movement under those conditions.   In further consideration, though, there is one big reason I would never join as well:  I simply don’t have time.

I’ve read some posts where some A+’ers seemingly castigated others for not wanting to take the time to comb through bulk email or setup folders in order pick out the online petitions that matter.  That got me thinking about what I spend my time on, and I realized that my life, the decisions I make, the way I think almost all revolve around supporting the skeptical movement and living the vegan lifestyle.

I’m not a great speaker or writer.  I’m not a scientist in the traditional way people consider it (I consider myself a computer scientist).  I read the magazines, I buy the books, I donate to the causes, and I try to let people in the skeptical community know how much I appreciate their work.  That is how I feel I can best contribute to the skeptical community.  Not everyone is good at community outreach or education.  Some of us are just good at financial and moral support.  I go back and forth in my head on whether that’s good enough or not, and perhaps in my future my skills will evolve and I will be able to take on different roles.  I hope what I’m doing helps.  

The next thing I would like to talk about is how my life revolves around the vegan lifestyle.  I warn you, some of this will come off like bragging, but I don’t know any better way to describe it.  Veganism and the support of animal rights has steadily become my very lifestyle and affects my day to day almost on an hourly basis.  My wife and I don’t live perhaps the stereotypical vegan lifestyle, but I feel like we’re doing some good.  Also, I want to be clear, my wife does a tremendous amount of work supporting our lifestyle, but I only will be commenting on my mindset.

So, the first thing I think of when I consider how we’re living, is that I need a really good paying job.  I work extremely hard and I work long hours, taking advantage of my great skill at a particular style of programming , and that translates into good money.  I’ve had the same job for the last fifteen years, because it’s a great job, provides good benefits, and allows me to live a lifestyle that helps animals.  I can’t be living the life of a twenty year old college student, or be living paycheck to paycheck.  Again, I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but this sets up the next few paragraphs.

Why the focus on money?  After all, a fixation on being in the top 5-10% of earners seems almost hostile to the idea of social justice, and perhaps some would think that’s why I have no interest in A+.  Well, the reasons start out with eating vegan.   Eating vegan the way I eat vegan is more expensive than normal (though probably less than eating a high meat diet).  My wife and I do not live on rice and beans, and in fact we do buy a lot of meat analogs.  The reason, as far as I am concerned, is to support businesses who go out of their way to produce vegan products.  As vegan products become more common, economies of scale will eventually lower the cost of such goods.  I eat vegan sausage, vegan hot dogs, two or three kinds of vegan cheeses, vegan pepperoni, vegan chicken patties, etc.  There is also the side effect of illustrating to people and friends that eating vegan does not mean eating so called “rabbit food”.  We eat quite well.

The next reason I fixate on money is we support eight animals who live in our house with us.  We have seven dogs, all adopted, and a cat who was a stray.  We used to have another cat, back when we only had five dogs, but sadly he passed away in 2011.  In order to have so many animals, you need a large house.  Large houses cost money to buy, heat, and cool.  It’s worth it to make sure all the animals have enough space.  We have a (and here comes the braggy sounding part) five thousand square foot ranch home that gives us plenty of room for couches and beds for all the dogs to lay around on.  We have a large fenced in area for the dogs to walk around in.  We’re in the process of spending a good chunk of change to redo our walkway so that our fifteen year old one-eyed almost blind dachshund has an easier time getting in and out of the backyard.

We want to eventually rescue farm animals, which is why we bought a place with over twenty acres with a four to five acre pond.  We live outside the city limits so there are no laws to prevent us from doing what we do.  Because we live outside the city limits we have a septic system, that turns out needs replacing which isn’t cheap either.  We have two large beds in the master bedroom side by side so the dogs can all sleep with us at night because they wouldn’t have it any other way.   If I had to commute, I would have an hour each way.

Caring for that many animals also costs money.  Ralphie, our dachshund, sees a dermatologist and ophthalmologist regularly for his skin and eye (he used to have two, but is down to one).  We’ve taken two of our dogs to a special veterinary dentist to make sure we received top of the line care for our dogs’ teeth.  I’ve had to rush to the emergency room because one our dogs was bitten by a venomous snake (she is fine, was scarier than it looked), another dog was bitten badly by a woodchuck.  One time I took a dog to the emergency room just so my wife could leave on a trip away and know that our sick dog was just a little sick, and had nothing to worry about.  We order extra xrays to make sure we Ralphie’s back is ok.  We have our dogs’ teeth cleaned, we have their fatty deposits removed to make sure the lumps aren’t anything more serious. When Ozzy, our late cat, was clearly on his last few days, we paid a little extra to ensure he could pass away at home, on his favorite table.

My wife and I do not want kids, so in some respects, all our animals have filled that role.  As you can see, my wife and I do a lot for the animals we have, and I don’t know that we can have a more direct effect on improving the lives of animals than we do now.  Our vet once told someone in front of me “If you ever die and come back as a rat terrier, you want to live with them.”  “Them” referred to my wife and I, as they know how much we care about them all.

So when I think about my time, and what I can do to help in the “social justice” arenas, I think about how hard we need to work to support everything in my own home.  Also, my wife does even more on a day to day basis to care for and support our animals, far more than I do, I want to be clear on that.  I don’t have time to be more involved in a movement that doesn’t prioritize the values I live through on a daily basis.  This is not to denigrate A+, it will stand or fall on its own merits.  I just wanted to add something else to the reasons why I and others wouldn’t be joining up.  Time is always at premium and if that time wouldn’t be spent supporting my most important cause, I don’t have time for it, sincerely.

As an addendum, I’ll list our current animals and why we have them:

Ralphie – Our fifteen year old dachshund we adopted eleven years ago because a divorcing family didn’t want him.

Peedee – A dog we adopted as a puppy because no one wanted him and he wasn’t going to be a good breeder.

O-Ren – She was supposedly found as a stray, but I believe she was turned over to the pound because she was too hyper.

Kaylee – Adopted with Jayne, she was abandoned in an apartment for three weeks.  She was considered a senior and hard to adopt out.

Jayne – Adopted with Kaylee, she was abandoned in an apartment for three weeks.  She has a very odd personality and hard to adopt out.

Lemmy – A stray cat we believe abandoned by our neighbors when their house was foreclosed on.  He pushed his way into our house and is here to stay.

Mags – A tiny dog with a bad hip that was found as a stray with Finnick.  Considered old and unadoptable for supposedly being vicious

Finnick – A small dog that was found as a stray with Mags.  Considered old and unadoptable for supposedly being vicious.

Ozzy (deceased) – A cat found as a stray that only really liked me.

I Won’t Be Joining Up With Atheism Plus

In the past week, the idea of a new wave of atheism called “Atheism Plus” emerged on the blogosphere.  Frustrations with the existing atheism and skeptical movements (though atheism != skepticism, so not sure how that got in there), has lead some to attempt to build a new movement that takes atheism and enhances it with “Social Justice.”  The enhancement is what the “Plus” part is, of course, and that has also created the shorthand “A+”.  Calling a movement “A+” is probably the worst branding idea since “The Brights”, but admittedly it’s too early to see if that sticks once people have a chance to live with it a while.  I think there are sincerely noble reasons to do such a thing, but I won’t be coming along for the ride.

So why do I plan not to join up with Atheism Plus?  Well, for one, it isn’t really new, it’s secular humanism which I’m already not a part of.  Secondly, it’s already been made abundantly clear that libertarians are not welcome in “Atheism Plus.”  This is strictly a politically progressive movement and so I would not be welcome.  Thirdly, veganism was not one of the original “ism’s” in the A+ manifesto and if I want to spend the little bit of time I have left on this planet, it would be with vegan groups, not a secular humanist group of meat eaters.  Lastly,  I’m not really interested in pushing atheism so much as skepticism.

I know we have these battles over and over about what skepticism is and isn’t, and I can’t do a better job than Barbara Drescher over at icbseverywhere.com.  She does the best job of outlining what skepticism is and there is so much to learn that about skepticism that I’d rather spend my time and support on it instead of atheism.  The truth is, I’ve been an atheist for so long, from the time of my childhood that I’m almost too atheist for the movement.  I’ve never had to “come out” as an atheist, I didn’t have to unlearn years of religious upbringing.  Instead, I’m the result of what would happen if you never gave a kid a bible, but instead let him read all the astronomy books he ever wanted.  I feel out of touch in the realm of atheism outreach, because my experiences don’t seem relatable to many.

So, this leaves the question about “Social Justice”.  It’s true that I’m not at all active “social justice” movements, and I only support vegan causes.  The list of things to cover in the “Atheism Plus” manifesto is so long and unmanageable I wonder how they will ever get anything done.  Instead, I choose to focus on learning more about skepticism, supporting vegan causes, and voting in ways that promote freedom and equality.  I want to end the drug war.  I want to get rid of the death penalty.  I want marriage to be abolished and the state left out of it entirely.  I want people to have control over their own bodies, whether that be for abortion, drugs, or euthanasia.  

I want to do all that, be a libertarian vegan, and not get involved in movements defined by checklists and outlined by tribalism.  That’s why I won’t be joining up with Atheism Plus.  I wish them all the best, and I hope they find what they are looking for.  I think I already have.

I Won’t Be Joining Up With Atheism Plus

In the past week, the idea of a new wave of atheism called “Atheism Plus” emerged on the blogosphere.  Frustrations with the existing atheism and skeptical movements (though atheism != skepticism, so not sure how that got in there), has lead some to attempt to build a new movement that takes atheism and enhances it with “Social Justice.”  The enhancement is what the “Plus” part is, of course, and that has also created the shorthand “A+”.  Calling a movement “A+” is probably the worst branding idea since “The Brights”, but admittedly it’s too early to see if that sticks once people have a chance to live with it a while.  I think there are sincerely noble reasons to do such a thing, but I won’t be coming along for the ride.

So why do I plan not to join up with Atheism Plus?  Well, for one, it isn’t really new, it’s secular humanism which I’m already not a part of.  Secondly, it’s already been made abundantly clear that libertarians are not welcome in “Atheism Plus.”  This is strictly a politically progressive movement and so I would not be welcome.  Thirdly, veganism was not one of the original “ism’s” in the A+ manifesto and if I want to spend the little bit of time I have left on this planet, it would be with vegan groups, not a secular humanist group of meat eaters.  Lastly,  I’m not really interested in pushing atheism so much as skepticism.

I know we have these battles over and over about what skepticism is and isn’t, and I can’t do a better job than Barbara Drescher over at icbseverywhere.com.  She does the best job of outlining what skepticism is and there is so much to learn that about skepticism that I’d rather spend my time and support on it instead of atheism.  The truth is, I’ve been an atheist for so long, from the time of my childhood that I’m almost too atheist for the movement.  I’ve never had to “come out” as an atheist, I didn’t have to unlearn years of religious upbringing.  Instead, I’m the result of what would happen if you never gave a kid a bible, but instead let him read all the astronomy books he ever wanted.  I feel out of touch in the realm of atheism outreach, because my experiences don’t seem relatable to many.

So, this leaves the question about “Social Justice”.  It’s true that I’m not at all active “social justice” movements, and I only support vegan causes.  The list of things to cover in the “Atheism Plus” manifesto is so long and unmanageable I wonder how they will ever get anything done.  Instead, I choose to focus on learning more about skepticism, supporting vegan causes, and voting in ways that promote freedom and equality.  I want to end the drug war.  I want to get rid of the death penalty.  I want marriage to be abolished and the state left out of it entirely.  I want people to have control over their own bodies, whether that be for abortion, drugs, or euthanasia.  

I want to do all that, be a libertarian vegan, and not get involved in movements defined by checklists and outlined by tribalism.  That’s why I won’t be joining up with Atheism Plus.  I wish them all the best, and I hope they find what they are looking for.  I think I already have.