_    I’m a writer and fairly creative. But there are others out there with beliefs and ideas that make my craziest ideas seem sane. I admit this not only without shame, but with actual relief. Seriously, this is so I ridiculous I wouldn’t make this up…

Scientology, known for being a staple of Hollywood stars, has multiple beliefs that I find a little hard to swallow. Here are two that are so completely over the top, though, that I can’t belief they are claiming- seriously!- that they are true.

The first is about their founder, L. Ron Hubbard. He is one of those men I refer to as a “Forrest Gump” (no offense to Forrest). They’ve done everything, they’ve met everyone, and they know everything. The Scientology website claims: “In July of 1952, L. Ron Hubbard became the first to scientifically isolate, measure and describe the human spirit, while objectively demonstrating spiritual potentials well in advance of scientific thought.”

Maybe my science books are missing this momentous event, but I can’t seem to find this on any timeline. I mean, even disregarding the word ‘scientifically,’ how can anyone claim to measure the human spirit? Or be the first to describe it? I guess millennia of philosophers know nothing next to L. Ron Hubbard. 

The second thing is something I not only wouldn’t, but couldn’t, possibly make up. This is Scientology’s use of the E-meter.  I am going to quote their site directly.  There is no way I can make it sound crazier than it does, and I don’t want anyone to think I’m mis-paraphrasing. 

Direct Quote: “One-to-one auditing is assisted by use of a religious artifact that helps the auditor and preclear locate areas of spiritual distress or travail. This religious artifact is called an Electropsychometer or E-Meter. (Electro-psycho-meter from electrometer, a calibrated device used for measuring extremely low voltages and psyche, the human soul, spirit or mind.) The E-Meter measures the spiritual state or change of state of a person and thus is of enormous benefit to the auditor in helping the preclear locate areas to be handled. The reactive mind’s hidden nature requires the use of a device capable of registering its effects—a function the E-Meter does accurately.”

Yep. If you believe that one, I am also taking donations for the “Starving Artists,” fund.  Money will be used to buy necessities for hungry artists.  Donate to my PayPal address!

The E-Meter, as displayed on the Scientology website. 
_2012 is a presidential election year, meaning that a serious portion of news time will be dedicated to this topic.  Obviously, we know who the Democrat's presidential candidate will be.  I will be doing a post about President Obama’s “rough” campaign platform at a later date. 

But with the wide variety of interesting debate comments and moments, I thought I would do an overview of who is running on the right.  (I do not support any candidate at this point…from either party.)

This being a cynical website, I will be posting a couple of less-than-intelligent quotes from each candidate.  I WILL do my best to find verification of every single quote.

    Son of Michigan governor, George Romney.  He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971, and then earned dual degrees from Harvard Law and Harvard Business School (1).  Worked as business consultant for firm Bain & Company for years, and then founded investment firm Bain Capital in 1984 (2).  In 1999, he took over as president of the Salt Lake Olympics Organizing Committee, and helped “rescue” them.  In 2003, he was elected governor of Massachusetts.  Ran for president in 2008, but was beat by Republican John McCain.

    On a banner under the navigation menu on every page of his 2012 Presidential Campaign site, is the phrase “We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in" (3).
    For taxes, his motto is “Fairer. Flatter. Simpler.”  Wants to reduce corporate tax rates, and make other tax cuts (fairly traditional Republican views). 
    Open trade with other countries and wants to change the dynamics of our trade relationship with China.
    Healthcare: Repeal Obamacare; give states more responsibility and resources to act; make individual tax situation the same for individuals w/ employer-sponsored health plans as well as individuals who purchase their own; general regulatory reform; malpractice reform; and encouraging market forces to help solve some of the problems. 

Media/Outside Commentary:
Newsweek magazine has a negative view, and is blunt about it. 
    Direct quote: "And so we’re back to the 'Have a Beer' test.  Imagine a guy with hundreds of millions in the bank (again, some of it from laying off working folks) telling a bunch of laid-off working folks, “I’m also unemployed.” How clueless, how clumsy, how cloying can you get?" (4).

Fox News, in the articles I accessed, worked very hard to keep a balanced view.  In an article covering Romney’s wealth and taxes, they report not only the good and bad, but maintain a balanced "commentary" throughout the article.  The following section of the article- though a bit long- seems to sum up the balanced view.  Note the two sections in bold (my emphasis), one seeming "pro-Romney," the other "anti-Romney." 
    "Tormented by Democrats and Republicans, particularly Gingrich, who insisted on knowing about the sources of Romney's massive wealth and his holdings in offshore accounts, Romney revealed last week he pays an effective tax rate of about 15 percent.  Though lower than the 35 percent income tax rate of high-earning Americans, it is in line with his primarily receiving most of his earnings not through wages, but through investments taxed at the 15 percent rate.  According to the financial disclosure released by Romney, during 2010 and the first nine months of 2011, his family had at least $9.6 million in income. In addition, Romney investments -- worth between $7 million and $32 million -- are being held in offshore-based holdings. Such offshore accounts also can enable wealthy investors to defer paying U.S. taxes on some assets, according to tax experts, but Romney said that he's not done anything that can be used against him. (5)"

And my very favorite part of these posts....the "Quotes" section:
entire: (6)
    “I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”  -Mitt Romney during a campaign stop in New Hampshire in June of 2011. (7)
-and, a few short months later-
“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.” - Mitt Romney during a campaign stop in Pittsburgh on October 28, 2011. (8)

For the "Quotes" section, a giant "Thank You!" to "Think Progress" for posting the ACTUAL VIDEO for both quotes.

1. “Mitt Romney Bio,” Romney for President, Inc., accessed January 23, 2012, http://mittromney.com/learn/mitt
2. "Mitt Romney," Biography.com, accessed January 23, 2012, http://www.biography.com/people/mitt-romney-241055
3. “Romney Believe in America,” Romney for President, Inc. accessed January 23, 2012, http://mittromney.com/
4. Paul Begala, “Mitt Romney Would Fail the Presidential Beer Test,” Newsweek, January 23, 2012, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/22/mitt-romney-would-fail-the-presidential-beer-test.html
5.  "Romney to release 2010 tax returns this week,” FoxNews.com, published January 22, 2012, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/22/romney-to-release-2010-tax-returns-this-week/
6. Stephen D. Foster, Jr., "25 of The Best Crazy, Stupid, and Scary Quotes Uttered By The Republican Presidential Candidates in 2011," AddictingInfo.org, accessed January 24, 2012, http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/12/31/25-of-the-best-crazy-stupid-and-scary-quotes-uttered-by-the-republican-presidential-candidates-in-2011/
7. Brad Johnson, "Reducing Global Warming Pollution is 'Important'," Think Progress, accessed January 23, 2012, http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/06/03/236305/mitt-romney-reducing-global-warming-pollution-is-important/?mobile=nc
8. Brad Johnson, "Romney Flip to Denial: 'We Don't Know What's Causing Climate Change'," Think Progress, accessed January 23, 2012, http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/10/28/355736/romney-flips-to-denial-we-dont-know-whats-causing-climate-change/

First of all, forgive my short absence.  I'm also a freelance copywriter, and got bogged down with jobs.  And, of course, clients come first.  I'm working on two posts right now: a humorous one about "crazier" human beliefs, along with another candidate profile. 

In the meantime, Michele Bachmann has withdrawn from the race.  The last two profiles I've done, the candidate has withdrawn shortly afterwards.....maybe I'm jinxing them.  In that case, anyone want to vote for who I do the next profile on?  ha-ha. 

Anyway, check back soon!
This blog has been overly serious for the last few posts, so we need to take a little humor break.  Luckily, it's Monday.  Monday's are always miserable.  I don't even have a 9-5 job (I'm a freelancer) and Mondays are still miserable.  So, I figured I'd cheer everyone up.  Here's a few links, cartoons, and light bulb jokes (come on, everyone loves the light bulb jokes).   

"The Onion" is always a great place to visit for a smile.  My personal favorite for the day is the " Neighborhood Kind of Hoping Panera Bread Shows Up and Plows Over Charming Local Bakery." 

Q: How many liberals does it take to change a light Bulb?
A: At least ten, as they need to hold a debate on whether or not the light bulb exists. Even if they can agree upon the existence of the light bulb they still may not change it to keep from alienating those who might use other forms of light.
-and- to keep it "fair and balanced"
Q: How many conservatives does it take to change a light bulb?
A #1: One, after reflecting in the twilight on the merit of the
previous bulb.
A #2: Four, one to do it and three to complain that the old bulb was a lot
_How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
501--one to take the old bulb out, and 500 to proclaim that it confirms the biblical record...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
501--one to take the old bulb out, and 500 to proclaim that it dis-confirms the biblical record...(so much for the univocity of the archaeological record, eh?)

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, actually, it only takes a couple to remove the old bulb, but then they get so involved in studying the old bulb (especially in trying to correlate its appearance with all other burned-out bulbs within a 1000 km radius), that they never get around to putting the new bulb in...

With tax season coming up,
Q: How many Accountants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What sort of answer did you have in mind ?
Reuter's article: "Occupy makes annual list of most overused words."
Whole list of funny articles (I can't verify accuracy, but they caused a smile: http://www.humoretc.com/odd_news.php#high-denomination
This last cartoon is a little blunt.  So, if easily offended, close your eyes.  (or find another website to visit....okay, I didn't mean that...well, not 100%).

Q: How many Censors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One to ---- ------- ----- and another to ---- ----- ---- while ---- ---- - - -----with a ------
(and if you don't "get" how it relates to the cartoon, ask the politically correct politician/teacher/parent who is currently programming you.)