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Regina Takhisis

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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Regina Takhisis"
Subject: Re: Religion
Date: February 21, 2002 3:11 AM

You are no bother, but a burst of joy and enthusiasm that penetrated even my case-hardened shell!

I am sorry to say that "chats" and "posts" are not my cup of tea to begin with. But besides that, I am now very far behind in what I am supposed to be doing from last week's onset of a mysterious and painfully scary illness plus two bigotry-motivated forced moves in as many months. (I've been literally harassed out of two units while the management lifts nary a finger in assistance! As the skin on my lower legs begins to peel away in Morgan Dollar-sized patches, the movers are scheduled to arrive on Saturday. Again.)

Add that my finding of yet another organization who already has much more than I will ever have conspiring to wrest from me the two droplets of productivity that constitute my life's work (all that is special and meaningful about my meager hand-picked and hand-created collection; my pride and joy, which took me, all told, perhaps two years, full-time, to create [as I am disabled and can work only about a third as fast as an able-bodied person]) and add them to their already vast collections. as I am disabled and can work only about a third as fast as an able-bodied person.

What I have (that they want to distribute to every two-bit atheistic web site they can find) is all that's left to keep me inspired to even continue doing this work at all, especially when illness, bigotry, moving, and broken promises to help me move (walking has been difficult for months, and I can barely walk at all this week), plus not being able to find people willing to work for real money. Each of these things makes it tough, but all of them combined make me just want to give up and go do something else with my time (or worse, buy my first-ever television set and not do anything with my time).

Notwithstanding, I would be willing to discuss with someone who would be interested in helping me bring to the Internet some exciting things, the likes of which the Internet has never seen. But to set aside time that I don't even have to check out yet another manifestation of the same old same-old is not wise use of what little time I seem to have left on this Earth. This is not to downgrade your project, and I will check it out; it's mostly to comment on what I see as the difference between why I chose the Internet as my medium and why I so often find myself regretting that very choice!

The problem with even bringing new material to the Web would be that the moment we have succeeded in creating and posting it, those people I call "the Copy and Capture Criminal Class" will come by and make sure that what we did to make our Web project unique and exciting is quickly rendered "old hat" after they grab what we put up and distribute it to every two-bit, one-lung website that advocates atheism as lawlessness and debauchery rather than the highly advanced ethic that Positive Atheism has, for 60 years, seen the philosophy of atheism as being.

This long ago happened to our news articles, which is part of why we stopped posting those. Why keep even your own work posted when it now lives on so many other web sites?

This has happened to our quotes section several times, which is why we don't do much of that any more. Why spend thousands of hours excerpting your own quotes from print media so that your collection will be unique? By creating the "What's New?" Index, we simply alerted the others as to when they "may" grab and post our hard work so that they don't have to spend their own precious time bringing something new and different to the net. This way, they free up their Saturday nights for fun and carousing: I have already made that sacrifice, spending my Saturday nights creating material for their web sites!

Today, it is happening to our tiny but highly significant (to me) collection of hand-picked, hand-created manuscripts -- the only part left on the entire web site to make this thing special to me, special enough to want to keep doing this work at such a sacrificial pace. (Could this be why my health is going south all of a sudden?) But this final stunt, I fear, is what will push me off the deep-end, emotionally, thereby toppling the Positive Atheism project off into e-oblivion.

When that happens, I won't even want to look at somebody else's website -- any website -- but will be doing something else, something that probably has so little to do with the Internet that I can get away with using Juno or one of the other supposedly free Internet services rather than spending fully one-eighth of my income just staying online (never mind the lighting, heating, air conditioning, and computer power bills).

Sorry this is such a downer of a Reply, but I just got back from the doctor's office. My physician is on vacation, and the fellow I ended up seeing would have bedside manners from Hell if there were such a place! I don't want to believe their initial prognosis, but the first thing they did was sign the order qualifying me for hospice coverage. Brrrr!

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Six-and-one-half years of service
    to people with no reason to believe
P.O. Box 16811
Portland, OR 97292
http://www.PositiveAtheism.org/
editor@PositiveAtheism.org

"My conclusion is that there is no reason to
    believe any of the dogmas of traditional
    theology and, further, that there is no
    reason to wish that they were true. Man,
    in so far as he is not subject to natural
    forces, is free to work out his own destiny.
    The responsibility is his, and so is the
    opportunity."
       -- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), from an
       unpublished essay, "Is There a God?"
       (1952), being the religious opinion of
       Russell, of this journal, and of as many
       as one-fifth of the world's adults and
       perhaps one-seventh of Americans

"The legitimate powers of government extend
    to such acts only as are injurious to others."
       -- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), in his
       "Statute for Religious Freedom," saying
       government has no authority over one's
       religious opinions, thus defining "crime"
       as the injury of a person or his property

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain
    a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty
    nor safety."
       -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), from the
       "Historical Review of Pennsylvania," which
       warns, among other things, that if we don't
       use the Liberty to hold and express our own
       religious opinions, even if out of the fear of
       reprisal, then we rightly forfeit that Liberty

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[This was sent a few hours later]:
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From: "Positive Atheism Magazine" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Regina Takhisis"
Subject: My First Post on Your Web Site! Thanks!
Date: February 21, 2002 4:34 AM

Regina, I posted this on the Your Web Site section. Thanks!

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What Was Once My Web Site:
What Was Once My Life!

To find what was once my web site, do the following:

     1. Go to any search engine
     2. Type in "atheism"
     3. Click on any link that comes up

Chances are, statistically, better than average that the link you click will take you to a page that has something that was once unique to my web site. It was unique to my web site because I created it myself: I wrote it, or I did the research to find it, or I, by my reputation for doing hard work and for doing my own work, attracted readers who are also lay scholars (and sometimes real scholars!) who so firmly believed in what I do that they were willing to set aside their precious time and dig out new and different material that they then donated to my web site because they wanted it to be that much more unique and interesting to visit.

But that didn't last for very long at all, because some member of the Copy and Capture Criminal Class thought that my sacrificially hard and tedious and expensive work would look just grand on their own web site!

For six-and-one-half years, I have been busy building the only project that my feeble, pain-wracked body has thus far in my entire lifetime been able to accomplish successfully: Positive Atheism. Having never had the health to do much, and no longer having the mobility to make even a few friends, Positive Atheism has been my life. People log on and who criticize my work and tell me to "Get a life!" because this is all I seem to do don't need to be straightened out; such people don't deserve to know the truth: let them continue to believe their own bigoted lies.

It's that word again! They are angered by the word atheism, not by anything having much of anything to do with me. Just look at how many of the angry letters have the "Webmaster" link in the Subject line: this link occurs only on our Front Page and alerts me to the fact that the writer never ventured past Page One!

I sacrifice my Saturday Nights and any other spare moment I can, doing my own research in the hope of finding something to post that has never been posted on the Web. Posting new material is, I believe, is the only proper way to do the Internet: Mirroring the work that others have already posted elsewhere is tacky, to say the least. What's great about the Internet is that nothing -- whatsoever -- needs to have more than one home! It is theft, for sure. Now I am finding out the hard way, from first-hand experience, that mirroring can and does murder the good web sites on the Internet: those web sites created by people who sacrifice their fun-time to bring to the web something that the web has never seen before -- something original -- something that takes actual work to produce.

Meanwhile, the Copy and Capture Criminal Class has everything the hard-working webmaster has and more: the Copy and Capture Criminal not only has a first-class web site, but she or he also has freed up Saturday Night for fun and adventure, not having to have spent that time building their own quotes list, their own collection of news articles, their own collection of hand-transcribed manuscripts.

In short, they have not had to work for the web site that means little if anything to them, because they took from another the web site that means life itself to him! Unfortunately, it is difficult for you, the reader, to tell if this is how their web site came about; thus, you have no way of "Browsing With Your Conscience," so to speak.

I'd like to tell the Copy and Capture Criminal Class to get off the Internet. However, this will accomplish nothing. Instead, what I have seriously considered doing is telling myself to get off the Internet and go find something truly productive to do with my time.

Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six-and-one-half years of service to
     those with no reason to believe
http://www.positiveatheism.org/
editor@positiveatheism.org

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Cliff Walker
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six-and-a-half years of service
    to people with no reason to believe

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    • Note:
    • The first Reply and the post in the second Reply have been revised.
    • Regina's Forum has, unfortunately, been turned off by the web host.

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Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.