Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Flag burning question

If burning a flag in protest should result in loss of citizenship or a year in prison as President-elect Trump suggest, what about businesses that use a flag to proclaim national patriotism for commercial gain?

A photo posted by @mojoey on

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Mike Yenni is not gay

Mike Yenni, the Republican president of the Jefferson Parish in Louisiana, says he is not gay. He says this as if being gay is a bad thing. He says this after allegedly pursuing a relationship with a 17-year-old boy. He says this after allegedly kissing the boy and buying him sexy underwear. He says this dispute previous allegations of improper behavior with men and women. He says this and we know what he is; the Republican version of Anthony Weiner. A perversion of all that is good, a predator, a man focused on his own needs. A man who should be cast out of normal society. His actions do not reflect that of a gay man, they reflect that of a dishonest sexual predator. Why is still in office?

I’m sure Mike Yenni is a “good Christian.” They all are. I see from his bio that he’s a member of Youth Leadership Council. I’m sure that will change, right? As for the victim… you can read his story here.

10 minutes of Trump-inspired hate

Musings of a former white nationalist

I find myself reading a lot more since the election. An article by R. Derek Black in the New York Times Sunday Review caught my attention. Why I left White Nationalism is interesting, but jarring at the same time, this paragraph captures my unease with President-elect Trump. I am not the target of this hate, but almost everyone I love is.

Trump has put forward would endanger me, and I once enthusiastically advocated for most of what he says. No proposal to put more cops in black neighborhoods to stop and frisk residents would cause me to be harassed. A ban on Muslim immigration doesn’t implicate all people who look like me in terrorism. Overturning Roe v. Wade will not force me to make a dangerous choice about my health, nor will a man who personifies sexual assault without penalty make me any less safe. When the most powerful demographic in the United States came together to assert that making America great again meant asserting their supremacy, they were asserting my supremacy.
- via mobile.nytimes.com
On another note, I think one way to protest Trump is to pay for a subscription to the New York Times.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trump’s reaction to Fidel Castro’s death

Fidel Castro has died. As a nation we look to our political leaders for appropriate words of condolence and we get this…

“Fidel Castro is Dead!” - I don’t think a celebratory tweet is a fitting response from our nation or from President-elect Donald Trump. It oozes immaturity and simply panders to his base. His actual statement continues the theme.

President Obama on the other hand…

At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. We know that this moment fills Cubans - in Cuba and in the United States - with powerful emotions, recalling the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation. History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him…

- via whitehouse.gov

Can Trump go from Twitter screeds to diplomacy? I don’t think so.

I woke up angry

I’m usually a happy guy, but not this morning. I woke up angry. You see, I am a patriot. I love America. I love the promise of America. Yet lately, I’m just pissed. Racism, politics, hatred… oh my.

Stories about racism fill my newsfeed these days. Two black Americans were treated like hoodlums in Richmond, Virginia yesterday. They just wanted to buy sliced cheese. Kids were kicked off a school bus in Moorhead, MN - The bus driver dropped the kids off in a sketchy area of town and then used racial slurs as they got off the bus.

Love him or hate him, Trump is now my president. I think the election was fair. I think the people spoke, even though the popular vote count favored Clinton, our system is based on the Electoral College; Trump won that. But, I suspect Trump is already on his way to violating the Constitution. Others agree.

Trump does not want us to see unflattering photos. All I can say is WTF? All photos of Trump are unflattering.

The nutball racist fringe feels emboldened by Trumps election. I thought that part of America would always be on the fringe. They lost the stage decades ago. Why are we giving it back?

Why did Trump appoint an anti-public school champion to head the Department of Education? Bestey DeVos is a proponent of what conservatives call School Choice, but the rest of us call undermining public institutions. She does not believe in public education, has no eduction related degree and has never participated in public education in any way.

Why did Trump appoint Gov. Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, a position that requires international experience at the very least. Why is he pushing Ben Carson for HUD? We need HUD. Carson will kill it. And… why Ben Carson for anything? Who would do that? What the hell is going on?

We have Trump-loving Republicans drafting anti-American legislation. Like Washington state Senator Doug Erickson, who wants to make protest a form of terrorism. I’m sure we will see more of this in the days ahead.

We have fake news fooling each and every one of us, especially those 60 and up. It’s to the point now that I have to find multiple sources for everything I read, and sometimes even that does not work. Like with the CNN porn story or with the Ivanka Trump story about macing her lecherous father. We can’t trust the news on several levels. New might be fake. News might be produced by Russia. News might be ratings fluff. News might be bought with access. It’s all too damn frustrating.

Don’t get me started on the Democrats… pushing the Electoral College fantasy. Pushing the vote rigging fantasy. All while not looking at the real reasons why Trump was elected. Look inward… please look inward.

Did political correctness cost Clinton the election? Or… was it Identity Politics? I can tell you from first-hand experience that Identify Politics ruined the atheist movement. Did it ruin the left too?

I vent… sorry, but I must least I stay angry all day.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

So a Democrat helped dig our collective grave?

One of the things that amazes me about fake news and the 2016 election cycle is that evidence suggests it was opportunistic bottom feeders who filled our Facebook feeds with crap. I’ve recently learned that one of the big players was a Democrat named Justin Coler. Go figure.

Coler says he has tried to shine a light on the problem of fake news. He has spoken to the media about it. But those organizations didn't know who he actually was. He gave them a fake name: Allen Montgomery.

Coler, a registered Democrat, says he has no regrets about his fake news empire. He doesn't think fake news swayed the election.

- via NPR.org
I don’t buy Coler’s reason for disrupting the election.He was not in it to shine a light on anything except for a big pile of easy money. It’s always about money. Judas loved his silver.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I found a Trump supporter

I really don’t know very many people who will say they voted for Trump. I run into one every now and then…

Jim Bakker is a faker

As he tries to sell you earthquake supplies, Jim Baker will tell you his “god” is going to destroy your city if its citizens voted for Hillary Clinton.

“I just want to tell you, God has spoken to me, I’ve seen under the ground in California, in LA, and God spoke to me that in Los Angeles alone there is going to be such an earthquake come that literally the big buildings will be laying on their sides, all of LA is going to collapse,” he added.
- via Church and State
Jim Bakker, hypocrite, lier, embezzler and sexual deviant, has a direct line to “god.” And I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

I’m starting to figure Trump out

In order to get elected, Trump would…

  1. Meet with any and alloddball groups, like anti-vaxxers.
  2. Tell them what they want to hear.
  3. Keep repeating the message.
  4. Renege or alter promise after elected.

He promised anti-vaxxers hope…

Now that Trump won, we can all feel safe in sharing that Mr. Trump met with autism advocates in August. He gave us 45 minutes and was extremely educated on our issues. Mark stated 'You can't make America great with all these sick children and more coming'. Trump shook his head and agreed. He heard my son's vaccine injury story. Andy told him about Thompson and gave him Vaxxed. Dr Gary ended the meeting by saying 'Donald, you are the only one who can fix this'. He said 'I will'. We left hopeful. Lots of work left to do
- via Slate Magazine
How long till he takes it away?

More of this please

Andrew Barkett, the first-ever Chief Technology Officer of the Republican party, made his intentions clear with regard to “alt-right”, white supremacists, white nationalists and the whole nutball racist fringe.

These are racist, intolerant ideologies. They go against the spirit and interests of the United States of America. These beliefs have no place in the party of Lincoln. I denounce Stephen K. Bannon, who as editor of Breitbart.com provided a safe space for these racist and intolerant points of view.
- via Extra Newsfeed
More of this please, less of Trump’s milquetoast that.

Two Million votes

I’m sitting here in my beautiful home sifting through the morning news. I keep thinking that I’m having a nightmare. How can Hillary Clinton win the popular vote by two million votes and not be the next president?

Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in the popular vote surpassed 2 million Wednesday morning, according to Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
Clinton has garnered 64,223,958 votes, compared to Trump’s 62,206,395 votes.
It’s a rhetorical question… I know the answer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I tried to take a break from the news yesterday, but it was impossible. Too many things happened; too many odd things. Like CNN when held a discussion where an unbelievable question was posed. They actually showed it on screen, “Are Jews People?” WTF CNN? How does this ever happen?

In the segment, CNN Host Jim Sciutto discussed with political commentators whether Trump should formally denounce supporters from the alt-right. Specifically, they were talking about the National Policy Institute's Richard Spencer, who came up with the term "alt-right" to describe what pretty much amounts to white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Sciutto read the following Spencer quote: "One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem."

CNN gave a white supremacists legitimacy by referring to him as an Alt-Right leader and discussing his positions in a way that adds legitimacy to the absurd. The Media must expose crazy and not cultivate it. This is reprehensible.

Lets be clear. Richard Spencer is a White Supremacists. Referring to him as the founder of the Alt-Right or as an Identitarian is like throwing a sheet over a klansman.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Know I know where my stepmom gets her crazy

Part of dealing with Trump followers is dealing with the noise of fake news. My stepmother is a typical case. She reads endless clickbait stories, all with inflammatory headlines and tenuous links to facts. I have spent hours pointing out that the news was fake, that the sites were setup to take advantage of people like her, and that they were feeding her racial and political fears. She always had another site, another story, another reason to jump on the Alt-Right racist bandwagon, this despite having a bi-racial grandchild living with her.

“CAN’T TRUST OBAMA,” he writes as the headline, then pauses. His audience hates Obama and loves President-elect Donald Trump, and he wants to capture that disgust and cast it as a drama between good and evil. He resumes typing: “Look At Sick Thing He Just Did To STAB Trump In The Back… .” For the ‘ new yellow journalists,’ opportunity comes in clicks and bucks.

This is clear evidence. Two out-of-work kids turn to writing pap for middle-aged white trump supporters. Despite being confronted with the facts, my stepmom will hold to her “facts” and fight for her “beliefs.” I don’t know what to do. I think of her and others like her as the lost generation.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Oh the shame

And on Jan. 20, Trump will become the only world leader who openly and outright rejects fighting climate change.
- via Slate Magazine

The part-time President

I have this nagging feeling the President Elect Donald Trump does not get the size of the job. I fear he will work the job the bare minimum and hide away from the rest, or worse, delegate to his family. There’s talk he may retreat to Trump Tower in New York on the weekends. I fear he does not get the size and scope of the job, but then I fear he does. I need to get my shit together.

Henry Rollins thinks that Trump is going from grabbing pussies to being one. I agree with Rollins.

These are only some of the signs of Trump’s unraveling. His petulant tweet, complaining like a child about the protesters who took to the streets in reaction to his win, was another glimpse of how unaware he is of the magnitude of the job that less than half of the participating electorate sent him to do.

Trump is making noises like he is backing away from a few of his more obnoxious campaign promises. Did he ever really mean to build a wall on our southern border with Mexico or repeal the Affordable Care Act? I’m beginning to think his plan changes with every audience and every day. I’m beginning to think he does not know how to govern. I”m beginning to think he does not understand the powers of the Presidency. I’m beginning to think he is a textbook example of conflict of interest. I’m beginning to think he’s hiring staff that can’t find the toilet without assistance. I’m beginning to worry that we have no idea how bad it is going to get until the end when Congress impeaches Trump and delivers Mike Pence to power. Fuck. Pence is far worse than Trump.

Taking the measure of Pence

I’ve had my eye on Vice President-elect Mike Pence for years. He’s no friend of atheists and has a real problem with the LGBT community. Pence is also anti-science, anti-women and I have him pegged to the far-right dominionist fringe of the evangelical community. I take the measure of a man by what he does. The press is full of examples. Take for example how he treated Amy Sandler.

When a federal trial court ordered Indiana to recognize our marriage on an emergency basis because of Niki’s declining health, Governor Pence immediately appealed. He wouldn’t allow the state to protect even one family with a dying parent—my family—while the court case made its way through the legal system. - Mike Pence’s Hateful Laws Almost Kept me for my Dying Wife.

Mike Pence made his anti-gay crusade personal, and that’s all we really need to know him.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How does one lose the moral high ground?

It’s easy really, you simply push and elderly man to the ground.

Shacara McLaurin, an anti-bullying ambassador, gospel singer and Black Lives Matter activist, allegedly pushed an elderly Trump supporter to the ground during a confrontation at an anti-Trump rally. How does one lose the moral high ground in a just cause? One acts like a bully. Acting like a bully includes pushing old people to the ground.

There may be mitigating circumstances. She claims the man was drunk and using racial epithets. The narrative she paints in one where she was the victim; where she felt threatened. The damage is done anyway. A man was injured by a women who holds an anti-bullying position. That’s all that will reach the minds of the public today. Perception is reality.

How does one lose the moral high ground? By using the tactics of violence favored by the other team.

Is this presidential?

Part of what I want to do over this next four years is simply ask this question, are Trump’s words or actions presidential? I think this is fair. What about you?

I’m going with no, not presidential.

Text: Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!

How do we challenge ideas?

As I sat in the parking lot of a local laundromat, i thought about the ideas the elected Donald Trump. Many of these ideas were held and promoted by the Evangelical community. Social issues, like marriage equity and abortion were at the top of the list. I think Evangelicals bargained away their moral position in order to push a social agenda. It reminded me of Satan’s temptation of Jesus, except that they took the deal.

My laundromat is in a two-story commercial complex. Above it is a small Korean Church. I heard them singing hymns while I listened to Slate’s Political Gabfest and drank coffee. My guess is that the congregation contained no more than 20 people. The laundromat contains the normal smattering of Christian propaganda. I assume it’s provided by the church, but it could just be another true believer doing his or her part for the cause. It prompted me to think.

How do we challenge these ideas? How do we challenge the echo chamber of a small congregation? How do we challenged the endless Christian tracts? How do we challenge the ideas that lead good people to pick bad presidents?

I don’t have an answer yet, but I’m working on a few ideas. My blog is its own type of echo chamber. With few readers and most of those from the Atheist community, it is not an effective means to influence others. There are things I can do. I can write a letter to the church. I can make my own idea-driven tracts. I can respond to posts on Facebook with better ideas, but to do that I have to move outside of my Atheist and family bubble. I can get involved…

I’m looking for ideas.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trump inspired racism 2

A long-term substitute teacher at Bret Harte Preparatory Middle School in Los Angeles threaten students with deportation. The teacher said, 
'If you were born here, then your Parents gotta go, and they gonna leave you behind. You’ll be in foster care.”
The teacher goes on to tell his victims that he knows where they live and that he’s going to tell Trump. An audio tape of the incident exists.

At least one victim was 11-year-old hispanic girl. The teacher is an adult male. His name was not released, but he was fired.

Trump inspired racism 1

A teacher at Wesley Chapel High School in Florida was suspended without pay for saying, “Don’t make me call Donald Trump to you sent back to Africa.” The teacher, Donnie Jones Jr., is white. The victims were black children.

One of the comments…

Doug Ken, from Munich, Germany…
People dont jump the gun, there is alot more to this then you know. Most of the times the blacks toss in the blak ticket and scream racist because they didn't get there way. I have seen it happen alot.It;s sick to see but they do it.
So Doug is s a racist too. No surprised there.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Will Trump follow through

I’m still recovering from my post-election hangover. I think many of us are in the same situation. I woke up this morning with my first thought being, will Trump follow through on his campaign promises? I did not know the top 10, so I look to Politifact, Donald Trump’s top 10 campaign promises

  1. Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it
  2. Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States
  3. Bring manufacturing back (jobs)
  4. Impose Tariffs on goods made in China (and Mexico)
  5. Renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  6. Full repeal of Obamacare and replace it with market-based Alternative
  7. Renegotiate the Iran deal
  8. Leave Social Security as is
  9. Cut taxes
  10. “Bomb” and/or "take the oil" from ISIS. 
Will Trump follow through? Honestly, I don’t know, but I think it is possible that Trump will walk away from his promises in favor of other policies. I think it is possible that he said what he had to say to get elected, but is now faced with a host of opportunities that he had not previously considered. He is not a true Republican. He’s not beholden to the party. He can and will do whatever he wants. What does he want?

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Do not give in to despair

We elected Trump last night. He was not my candidate, nor does he represent my America. My wife ask me something important this morning at 4:00 am. “I’m brown and a woman, will you protect me?”

My answer, “Yes, I’ll protect you and a lot of other people.”

How will I do that? Well, for starters I will not give in to despair. I will not move to Canada. I will not support California’s succession. I will not drink my unease away. I will not give up. I will do everything I can to fight for what I know to be right and true. I’ll hold the media accountable. I’ll do the same for our government. I’ll fight. I’ll speak, I’ll write. I’ll even engage with the evangelical community. I’ll do everything I can. Everything.

Hillary Clinton was not my candidate. I voted for her and lost. The Democratic Party has a lot to answer for. I’ll push for accountability on this point too. They cannot field another establishment candidate. We need new blood and new leadership. The question is how…

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review of Presto!

A short review of a horrible book called Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, by Pen Jellette.

Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical TalesPresto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Talesby Penn Jillette
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Why did I read this horrible book? I need to wash my eyes with bleach; lots and lots of bleach.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 29, 2016

Kareem made me laugh…

Baptist pastor Gerald Heard arrested

Baptist pastor Gerald Heard of Carencro, LA, was arrested on charges that he molested two young children in the mid-90s. Heard is the pastor at Temple Baptist Church (3501 N University Ave, Lafayette, LA 70507). He is also the president of World Missionary Support Services, which is registered at the same address. 

The Facebook page for the church is down as of the date of this post and I cannot find a website for the church or its associated business.

World Missionary Support Services is staffed by Gerald W. Heard (President), Roy W. Heard (Vice-President) and Warren L. Heard (Secretary, Treasurer). The church and the business fall into the Baptist family business category of churches, which means it had little or no oversight.  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Politics as a business opportunity

Ivanka Trump gave her speech at the RNC and then pimped her outfit on Twitter. You can buy her look at Marcy's. We are doomed.

Is Ben Carson insane?

I try hard to be fair with people, but sometimes I have to ask myself the rhetorical question, “Is this person insane?”

I did this with Ben Carson after he linked Hillary Clinton to Lucifer. HIs explanation makes me ask the question. Heck, it demands that I ask the question.

Carson, himself a former candidate who now backs GOP nominee Donald Trump, laid out an elaborate thesis during his prime-time address Tuesday that began with Clinton's study of Saul Alinsky, a community organizer who advocated disruptive tactics to bring about change. His methods were the subject of Clinton's college thesis. 

"We all have people who are our mentors; we all have people we admire,” Carson said on CNN’s “New Day.” “As a college student at Wellesley, she was on a first-name basis with Saul Alinsky.” - Source: LA Times. Ben Carson explains how he draws a line from Hillary Clinton to, yes, Lucifer.

So what he is saying is that Hillary Clinton admires Lucifer by way of her friendship and scholarly studies. Um… That sounds like the reasoning of a sick mind to me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Scott Baio is a Christian hypocrite

In my imagination, I do not see Jesus setting around with the Apostles talking about Mary (the prostitute) as a cunt. I just don’t see it. It runs exactly opposite to the what Christianity is supposed to be. Yet, we see clear examples of hypocritical behavior on the part of Christians, especially those with a political bent who happen to be Republicans; Scott Fucking Baio for example.
This exchange between MSNBC’s Tamron Hall and Scott Baio today (Tuesday) the day after Baio speech at the RNC.
Hall: Let’s talk about your speech. I know you said you went to church and talked about your religion. One of the things that caught my eye was this tweet you sent out July 10, a photo of Hillary Clinton standing in front of the word “count.” the o is blocking, so it appears she is standing in front of the c-word. 
BAIO: Right. 
HALL:: Did you think about that in church when you tweeted it out? 
BAIO: I just put it up there. 
HALL: I’m just asking, you’re writing your speech in church, you talk about religion coming back to this country and us having a moral barometer. Where was your moral compass when you put a photo of a woman which you disagree politically and that’s fine…
I just put it out there.” - What the fuck? Baio sent a tweet with a photo of Hillary Clinton which clearly paints her with the offensive and un-Christian word, cunt. Baio takes no ownership for his action.
BAIO: Tamron, you can look at that any way you want. It’s the word count, which she is standing in front of. I just put it up there. There is no commentary, I didn’t call her anything. And the fact that you question my faith…
Baio does not see that his actions are hypocritical. In his mind, this is Christianity. It is an insane, form of Christianity too, but it gets worse. He wrote his RNC speech in church. He appeals to his religiosity in one sentence and then later refers to himself as a cigar-smoking guy from Jersey as an excuse for sending an offensive tweet about Michelle Obama. I can only say wtf so many times in one night. I used like ten on Baio. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Who watches the cops?

Who watches the cops? The right answer seems to be, “We do.”

I wish this were available here in the states.

You are what you do

You are what you do. It is really the simple.

Dani Mathers, the Playboy model who posted a nude photo of what I’m guessing to be an overweight woman taking a shower at her gym, issued an apology of sorts. The apology is a joke. Dani is a horrible person because Dani does horrible things. When Dani is caught, she attempts to evade responsibility for her actions.

What have we learned after listening to her apology? That she took a photo of a woman in a shower and made body-shaming comments. She sent the photo and comments to what she thought was a friend but was instead everyone. She offers no apology to her victim and instead tried to manage her image. Pfft… See for yourself.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

R.I.P. Brian Gergely

Do you know Brian Gergely? No? He killed himself a few days ago. His story is compelling.

Brian Gergely’s body lay at his funeral mass just feet from where, in the same church, his revered priest had shattered his innocence and trust by molesting him when he was 10 years old.

“The root of all his problems was what happened to him as a kid,” said John Luther, a friend and former schoolmate of Gergely’s at a Catholic elementary school in the small Pennsylvania town of Ebcnsburg. - Source: Ex-alter boy who killed himself mourned in church where he was molested.

He is one of many clergy sexual abuse victims and unfortunately, he was a victim of his past too. Gregely was 46.

The monster behind Greeley’s abuse was a Catholic priest named Father Francis McCaa. He died in 2007. His “gifts" will keep on giving though.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A pimple on the ass of history

Dr. James Dobson recently uttered these words about Donald Trump.

"I believe he really made a commitment," said the highly influential evangelical leader. "But he’s a baby Christian. We all need to be praying for him, especially if there’s a possibility of him being the next executive officer.” - via The Daily Wire

Trump has been making Christian notices since he started his run for President. It is official. In order to secure Dobson’s vote Trump uttered the magic phrase and is now one of the good guys in the eyes of our decrepit evangelical leadership. He just needs “our prayers.”

Dobson referred to Trump as a baby Christian, which means he does not know how to speak about his faith yet. Which is also an excuse to cover Trumps unable to speak the language of evangelical Christians. Don’t worry folks. He’s one of us. Go ahead and vote for him and… don’t forget Obama is a secret Muslim.

I use the term pimple on the ass of history. It refers to both men separately. Each has earned the title for different reasons. Dobson for an endless stream of hate masquerading as Christian values and Trump for daring to aspire to an office that is well above his capabilities.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Did we really send bibles?

I’ve been reading a few books about the War in Iraq these past few months. One thing I find mentioned over and over, is that after taking Baghdad, we allowed Christian missionaries into the country to hand out bibles and to proselytize to Muslims. What the hell were we thinking? Did we really fight a war to encourage Christian proselytizing? Did we think of Iraqis as subjects to convert? We failed them in so many ways.

We did over and over. Shame on us.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Predisposed to believe in Jesus

As a skeptic, I work hard avoid lazy thinking. It’s not easy, especially when dealing with politics. Religion is easier. As a skeptic and atheist, my first thoughts are often, can you show me the proof?

When The Atlantic published a story by Ariel Sebar called The Unbelievable Tale of Jesus’s Wife, my first thought was, why is Sebar predisposed to the existence of Jesus? The article is a long look at the authenticity of a scrap of 1,300-year-old papyrus with Coptic text referencing the wife of Jesus. Many people think it is a fraud…

King (Karen L.) called the business-card-size papyrus “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife.” But even without that provocative title, it would have shaken the world of biblical scholarship. Centuries of Christian tradition are bound up in whether the scrap is authentic or, as a growing group of scholars contends, an outrageous modern fake: Jesus’s bachelorhood helps form the basis for priestly celibacy, and his all-male cast of apostles has long been cited to justify limits on women’s religious leadership.

Sebar is a skeptic too. There is no mention of Jesus. He focuses on the authenticity of the fragment. He digs and digs into the story. It was fascinating.

The story is a great read. The fragment is questionable.

Bad Preachers on Youtube

I found this Youtube channel, Bad Preachers, via a comment on my blog. It’s interesting. Enjoy.

Hillary Rodham’s 1969 Wellesley College commencement address

I recently lost my mind over a discussion with a woman about thinking and ideas. She thought thinking was commenting on the ideas of people who are pushing a political or theocratic agenda. Her position on anything was always something thought of by other people. If President Obama did something, she would repeat, often by reposting a meme, his opposition’s opinions. These opinions, no matter how vile, became her opinions. She defended them as true despite obvious lies and half-truths.

In our discussion, I urged that she think for herself instead of accepting the words of others as fact. I suggested listening to speeches. Base thoughts and ideas off of original source material. Do research. It’s a refreshing change, but hard to do. I use this method to evaluate our 2016 presidential candidates and to assess the idea’s of President Obama and countless other politicians and religious leaders.

I do not think that I was able to get though to her. A few hours after our discussion, she posted something about Muslims that was blatant fear mongering and based on a half-truths. It may be too late for her.

I’m not a fan of Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’ve read too much about her first run for office and listened to many of her speeches to think kindly of her. I must admit that I do not know her well enough to reject her as a candidate. So, I’ve started leaning about her with fresh eyes and ears. It’s going to be her or Trump… and Trump’s words have already made him unfit for office in my mind.

My friend posted Hillary Rodham’s 1969 Wellesley College commencement address. I listened to it this morning. Enjoy.


Failing a Turing Test

Failing a Turing Test is a poem by poet Sean Wright. It was written to honor the victims who died in Orlando and I think it is beautiful. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A call for Dan Patrick to resign

The photo, tweeted by the Lieutenant Governor of Texas Dan Patrick, in response to an act of terrorism at an Orlando nightclub, says it all.

Dan Patrick should resign. At least 50 of our citizens were murdered. It’s not the their fault they were gunned down. People do not deserve to die because they are gay.

Dan Patrick sounds like he belongs to the Christian version ISIS. He is saying that the those who were murdered derived to die. How is he different from ISIS?

His words encourage violence. He should be held accountable, but he’s from Texas, so they will probably throw him a parade.

Why Omar Mateen? Why?

I am tired of waking up to news of gun violence, murder and terrorism. Singer Christina Grime gunned down, the weekend Chicago shooting tally, an Orlando nightclub mass murder… It never stoops. I don’t understand it. Why take a gun and turn it on innocents? Why?

They’ve identified the Pulse nightclub shooter as Omar Mateen (OMAR MIR SEDDIQUE MATEEN). He’s dead. Shot by a police SWAT unit. I want to ask Mateen why. It’s too late now, but I still want to know, so I watch the news and despair.

I’ve heard the words, ISIS, ISLAM and ACT of TERROR used in connection to Mateen’s murder spree. Damn it. That’s a reason, but it points to a corrupt religious motivation. The why will get lost behind rhetoric.

What I don’t want to know is what some media outlets insist on showing us; like a grieving mother who obviously thinks her son is dead. Or, the same scene of a wounded man being carried down the street by others. I think I’ve seen it 30 times already. Hey look! A wounded and bleeding victim! This is news!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Libertarians Reflect on Hillary's Nomination

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

The United Nations warns that making children attend Christian school assemblies undermines humans rights. They are talking about Great Britain and its compulsory collective act of worship for children held each school day.

Britain must stop forcing children to attend Christian school assemblies because it undermines their human rights, a United Nations committee has said in a controversial new report. 

The authors called on ministers to repeal a law demanding a daily act of Christian worship at schools because it may contradict a child’s “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” -via The Telegraph.

The wording the recommendation from the report reads:

The Committee is concerned that pupils are required by law to take part in a daily religious worship which is “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character” in publicly funded schools in England and Wales, and that children do not have the right to withdraw from such worship without parental permission before entering the sixth form. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, children do not have right to withdraw from collective worship without parental permission.

The report was produced by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It’s members are persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights. Let’s just hope there are not pastors on the team.

it seems like a great idea to me.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

A List of Yoga Scandals

I found this yesterday and though I would pass it along.

The last few years have been awash with yoga scandals as well-known yoga teachers and gurus have fallen from grace.

I’m not going to add any commentary to this article, it’s simple a list of scandals that have happened over the years.  If you know of any that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

Read more here.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Shame on you Ali Jimenez-Hopper

Ali Jimenez-Hopper is a GOP candidate for the House of Representatives in Minnesota. She gave a speech where she beat her chest over her Christian values while at the same time bringing up the race and sexual orientation of her opponent, Erin Maye Quade.

More on the story and some commentary can be found in a column titled, GOP candidate criticizes opponents LGBT ‘lifestyle,’ family by Andy Birkey.

We should not care if a candidate is male for female, gay or straight, married or single, liberal or conservative, nor should we care about a candidate’s race or religion. What matters are ideas and character. Are Hopper’s ideas good or bad? We know one thing for sure, Hopper has failed the character test.

Hopper chose to highlight her Christianity and in her first act, threw stones. She has lowered our standards and should be held accountable by voters. Do what can to hold her accountable and to support Quade. Write about Hopper and Quade. Perhaps you can chip is a few bucks to Quade. Do what you can to offset the evil evoked by the Christian racist and bigot Ali Jimenez-Hopper. (Ouch… that tag line sounds horrible.)

A call to war

We are at war with bad ideas. Ideas that could damage the fabric of our culture. There is no room for compromise. This is not an election issue. It does not matter if you identify as a Democrat. Republican or one of our various third parties. This election is about bad ideas and evil outcomes. We are morally obligate to fight against bad ideas and to fight against evil in all forms.

My choice of language is important. I say, vote against Donald Trump. I’m not saying to vote for anyone else in the race. Make your own choice. We must vote against Trump. Doing so is our duty. Don’t get caught up in the debate over who will be the Democratic candidate. Don’t lose your focus on the goal. The goal is defeating Trump. Anything else enables him.

Trump must be defeated. His ideas must be cast aside. He must not gain power. We must not let him. Do the right thing and vote against Donald Trump.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Christian wtf car

I found this car in East Lakewood yesterday. I was afraid there might be a dead body inside. No! Just big piles of garbage.

One Small Incremental improvement

I am an incrementalist. Progress is good. I applaud any change the moves in the right direction. Well done Pope Francis!

Pope Francis reveals new church law to deal with paedophile priests

Catholic bishops who fail to sack paedophile priests can be removed from office under new church laws announced by Pope Francis.

The move, announced by the pope on Saturday, answers a long-running demand by victims of abuse to make bishops responsible if they fail to stop clergy sexually abusing parishioners.

This is a step in the right direction, but then next step is just as important. It is time to fire a few bishops. I’ll send over a list if they need help.

Coach Jonathan Shawn Russell

I read about Little League baseball coach Jonathan Shawn Russell in a Rawstory post by Bethany Palma Markus on 03 Jun 2016. Apparently, Russell liked to give bare-bottomed spankings to 8 and 9 year old children on this team. The spankings were justified by a Christian tome, Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp.

One of the children told his mother he was spanked for saying “dang it.”

“I had no words for (my son) that would erase the fear and embarrassment that this man made him feel from this humiliating and sadistic manner,” she testified. “The acts of this man have left wounds that a Band-aid or doctors can’t heal.” - Via Rawstory

For some reason, this dumbass figured it was ok to spank his young charges because he spanked is own kids. Of course, this is the same kind of screwy thinking that causes Christians the world over to attempt to legislate morality and control our behavior.

I should also mention that this occurred in LGBT-hostile North Carolina and that the crime could have been prosecuted as a sex crime, but was not. I assume it is because they took into account his pure motives…

I’m not so sure. This quote, by one of his victims, paints a different story, “What happens at Coach Russell’s house stays at Coach Russell’s house.” Apparently, Coach Russell would take his victim into a bedroom, lock the door, pull down his victim’s pants and underwear and then spank his bare bottom. He would tell his victims that there was no need to tell their parents about the spanking. Why the secrets? Why the locked door? Why the spanking at all?

“If you fail to spank, you don’t take God seriously and don’t love your child enough,” - Coach Russell.


Using the bible to suppress wages

And Jesus say, “Don’t pay fieldworkers overtime because it will take food out of the mouths of fat farmers.” Wait… that might not be in the bible, but this verse is…

Luke 14:5: “Then he turned to them and said, which of you does not work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?” - said by Assemblyman Devon Mathis, (R-Visalia) during deliberations.

And just like that, Jesus is used to justify not paying fair wages to a whole class of people. California Assembly Bill 2757 failed on a 37-35 vote.

The bill would have expanded upon that to bring agricultural overtime rules in line with other industries, eventually guaranteeing laborers 1 1/2 times their normal wages for every hour they work over eight in a day or 40 a week. Working more than 12 hours a day would have meant double pay. - via The Sacramento Bee

Is it Christian to buy cheap produce and wine while the people who pick our carrots and grapes cannot make a decent living? Not to mention the backbreaking manual labor that goes into each salad or bottle? Is it fair to deny these people overtime pay that someone who is driving or selling these same products get by law? I don’t think so and using the alleged words of Jesus to justify doing so is hypocrisy of the highest order.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Watching Ken Starr Lie

Hey Ken Starr, why do you need a crisis management consultant to tell you how to answer and re-answer a simple question? When my kids do it, it’s called lying. What is it called when a Christian does it?

Friday, June 03, 2016

Be explicit James Dobson

Did you mean to say that men should shoot trans men in bathrooms? I’m unclear. What are we supposed to do?

“If you are a married man with any gumption, surely you will defend your wife’s privacy and security in restroom facilities,” Dobson writes in a column published this week on the far-right site WND. He imagines such scenarios as “a strange-looking man, dressed like a woman … peering over toilet cubicles to watch your wife in a private moment” and “men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of [little girls].”

“If this had happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot,” he continues. “Where is today’s manhood? God help us!” Via James Dobson: Be a Man, Shoot a Trans Woman in the Bathroom

It’s clear that Trudy Ring of The Advocate thinks Dobson is advocating for violence, but I am not sure. Dobson does not actually say, SHOOT THEM. He talks around it though. Let’s look at the original text.

Obama, acting like a king, is wielding dictatorial powers never envisioned in the law. He is determined to change the way males and females relate to one another, and worse, how children perceive themselves. If you are a married man with any gumption, surely you will defend your wife’s privacy and security in restroom facilities. Would you remain passive after knowing that a strange-looking man, dressed like a woman, has been peering over toilet cubicles to watch your wife in a private moment? What should be done to the pervert who was using mirrors to watch women and girls in their stalls? If you are a dad, I pray you will protect your little girls from men who walk in unannounced, unzip their pants and urinate in front of them. If this had happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot. Where is today’s manhood? God help us! Via Protect Your Kids from Tyrant Obama

Let’s set aside most of the paranoid rantings the start the paragraph. What matters to me is this sentence. “If this had happened 100 years ago, someone might have been shot.” - I am not sure this is true, but I understand his appeal to the good old days of segregation and repression. Dobson is clearly saying, transgendered people would have been shot in the past by real men.

His next sentence challenges his male readers. “Where is today’s manhood” Dobson is clearly calling out men who do not protect their families like the real men of old. Dobson may not actually say to go out and shoot transgendered people, but its pretty clear that that is what he means. It is a repressible call to action that skirts direct responsibility for action while at the same time, encouraging that same action. I’d call it masterful if it did not come from human filth.

Death by Jesus

When your child is dead and you pray for his resurrection, you are an idiot. Thanks Jesus.

Members of Alexandru Radita’s family’s church were told the teenager died and was brought back to life before paramedics arrived at his home to find him dead in his bed.

And one of those church members testified the boy’s father told him they believed doctors in B.C. had caused Alexandru’s diabetes and that’s why he wasn’t taken for medical help.

Marius Ciltan testified he went to the Radita’s Citadel Dr. N.W. home during the day on May 7, 2013, after being told by a friend about the resurrection claims.

Via - Parents on trial in son’s death blamed doctors for his sickness

Another young life lost to religion and another set of parents sent off to jail for murder.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

WTF Rep. Louie Gohmert?

I like to read the news on a lazy Saturday morning, but this morning I blew coffee out my nose.

“You’re wanting to save humankind for posterity, basically a modern-day Noah. You have that ability to be a modern-day Noah, you can preserve life. How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on the spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?” - Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) on 5/26/2016 in a speech on the House Floor.

Gohmert does not belong in Congress. His ilk is a corruption of common sense and is one of the reasons we our political system is in serious trouble. Bad ideas, and by extension, bad politicians, should not make it to Congress. Thanks Texas.

Friday, May 27, 2016

If this were true…

If what this Muslim cleric says is true, California would have vanished beneath the waves of the Pacific a long time ago.

Malay Abass Mahmud said in an interview: “Allah gets annoyed when males engage in sexual encounter and such disgusting encounter causes earthquake.”

Via - The Independent

Very similar to our own Christian pastors who claim hurricanes are the result of various sins. Only, Christian pastors like to place blame after the event.

Trump’s politics are based on race

This bit of wisdom from Donald Trump’s top adviser Paul Manafort. According to Paul, America needs a white vice-president.

“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He seems himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO.”

“There is a long list of who that person could be,” Manafort added, “and every one of them has major problems.”

The campaign probably won’t choose a woman or a member of a minority group, he said. “In fact, that would be viewed as pandering, I think.”

via Huffpo - Donald Trump’s Top Adviser: ‘This is not a hard race’

In our race to the bottom, people like Manafort lead the race. We need another white republic vice-president about as much as I need another damn colonoscopy.

Let’s not forget where Manafort gets his money. His lobbying firm was listed as among the top five firms taking money human-rights abusing regimes. Plus, serval other controversial clients, like the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Agency.

Does the bible have a place in Congress?

Every time I read a story about a Congressman or Senator using the bible to justify a moral position before a vote, I cringe. How are we different then an Islamic theocracy? Muslims use the Koran to deny progress and rights. We use the bible to the same end. It happened again just this week. Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA), a Methodist, read a passage from the bible during a Republican caucus meeting.

Rep. Rick Allen, a Georgia freshman, launched the GOP’s regular policy meeting in the Capitol basement by reading a Bible passage condemning homosexuality and suggesting that supporters of the LGBT provision, which passed the House the night before, were defying Christian tenets, attendees said. - via TPM GOPers Leave Meeting when Member Reads Bible Verse on Homosexuality.

The article goes on to state that some House members became upset and left the meeting, which I take as an encouraging sing, but the LGPT amendment was still voted down.

How is this different from a religious leader in Saudi Arabia issuing a fatwa against the morally reprehensible practice of taking photos with cats? Nothing really, and that’s why is so sad.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

On Chris Kyle

Every time I hear news about Chris Kyle, my first question is, “Is he a Christian?” According to this story and many others, he is a veritable saint. Yet, I know at a fundamental level that being a sniper and being a Christian are mutually incompatible. 

I can just see that first conversation with Jesus.

Jesus says, “Hi Chris, what did you do for a living?”
Chris says, “I was a sniper.”
Jesus says, “The elevator to the basement is over there.”

Chris Kyle is in the news again today. This time because he exaggerated his military record by claiming Two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars, all for valor. Kyle actually won one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars. The truth is impressive enough. Why lie?

So… Chris Kyle is a Christian hero who tells lies. What next?

And let’s not forget this lie told about a fight that did not happen with Jesse Ventura. Why is he a hero?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Another reconversion story

I find de-conversion stories fascinating. Pathos has the de-conversion story of The Order of Elijah and its lead singer Shannon Low.

…he [Shannon Low] found Christians rationalizing the awful behavior instead of denouncing it. But he still held tight to his positive image of Jesus.

Low did some reading… It looks like The God Delusion helped him make up his mind.

Welcome to the ATeam!

Steve Wiles a.k.a. Miss Mona Sinclair

Conservative North Carolina State Senate candidate Steve Wiles used to work as an MC and performer at a drag queen show at Club Odyssey. When confronted about the inconstancy of supporting his state’s same sex marriage ban, he said the role was, “Just not something that I want to continue.”

Ok… I can buy that a conversion to christianity may drive behavior changes. In fact, it supports the whole redemption from sin mindset that’s popular with Christians these days. I have a problem with Steve Wiles’ position though. He’s lied about his past and he will not answer a basic question. “Are you gay?”

When confronted about working at the club, he initially denied it. That constitutes a lie, right? If he had gone through a religious conversion, would it not make more sense to proclaim that he was a form drag queen turned Christian and then use that to his advantage in the election? And why lie? My guess… being gay is an unforgivable sin in evangelical circles.

Steve Wiles qualifies as a hypocrite on several fronts. The one I find most disturbing is that he acts against his own community. How can anyone trust him?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

If memory serves

I am getting on in years. I notice it most when I look back 10 years and realize that without my journals, I would not remember much. I have general memories, but what I thought of the past is influenced by what I know now and not by what I knew then. Take the Invasion of Iraq for example. I know now that it was folly perpetuated by politics, and that knowledge influences my memories of the past. My journals tell another story. I supported the war. I thought it justified. I bought the whole international terrorism angle.

To my credit, I was skeptical, but not enough to dissuade my support. I was not a President George W. Bush supporter and I thought Vice President Dick Cheney was Satan, but for some reason I thought the war was legitimate and I supported it.

Today, I read history, analysis and memoirs to put together a better picture of what happened. It’s a slow process, but I find it fascinating. What I continue to learn is that I am not skeptical enough. I tend to buy the big lie. I tend to not think too deeply.

What I continue to learn is that I continue to learn. That being skeptical is not enough. Everybody has an agenda. That every time a politician speaks he or she is trying to shape our perceptions and push an agenda. What I learned is that our news sources are corrupt and that social media is a marketing tool. What I learned is that I need think deeply, be more skeptical and journal more.

Friday, May 20, 2016

I smell propaganda

I read, Courageous Christian on death bed asks mother to forgive Isis thugs who burned her alive via IBT.

A Christian child on her death bed used her final words to ask her mother to forgive the Islamic State (Isis) thugs who burned her alive in her home. The courageous child, believed to be around 12-years-old, was burned in the Daesh (Isis) stronghold of Mosul, in northern Iraq, after her family were shaken down by the jihadists for Jaziya — a religious tax.

I smell propaganda. The author, one William Watkinson, is reporting hearsay as fact and then goes on to describe how horrible it is to be a Christian in Iraq. He feeds the Christian forgiveness trope. The bias is obvious.

To be clear, I believe that Christians are persecuted in Iraq because there is ample evidence. Do I believe the burn victim used her last words to forgive ISIS? Not at all.

I am immediately skeptical

Black Lives Matter activist Charles Wade was arrested and charged with human trafficking. The official story claims he was pimping a 17-year-old out of a Howard Johnson Inn hotel room in Maryland. The evidence, as presented in The Daily Caller, seems substantial. Wade’s story, which paints a different story, also seems plausible.

I have a problem though… I’ve become jaded. I don’t trust the official story because Charles Wade has fought the good fight on behalf of Black Lives Matter and frankly, I think entrapment is possible. But Wade also seems… like he is full of it. Painting himself in his own self effacing statements as, too trusting. Wade also has a history that leads one to believe he plays loose with the law.

I’ve learned a few things over the years, but not enough to stop me from reading 20 articles and posts, plus comments. My conclusion, Wade is in trouble and likely going to jail, plus the world is full of racists. The comments on each article are horrifying. What is the truth? I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Eye contact and empathy

I ate lunch at a Carls Jr. yesterday. I normally eat at my desk these days, but things worked out and I found 30 minutes for a quick bite with a friend. He sat across from me at an angle at a table for four. Behind him, in another row, sat a disheveled man in a wheelchair. I took him for a panhandler.

I could not look at my friend with looking at him. We made eye contact at least a dozen times. I took to looking down at my food instead of looking at my friend. The man was homeless and squatting in a restaurant. I kept asking myself, why should I pay him any mind? He should not even be here.

An older Asian man stopped on his way out of the bathroom to hand the homeless man something. The Asian man made eye contact with me and smiled. It was a small thing; he donated a quarter and gifted me a smile. I kept asking myself, why is it so hard for me to care?

I finished lunch and as I was throwing my tray away, I saw that the homeless man was an amputee. My friend said he needed to order something to go so I lingered and asked the man what his story was. He flashed a smile and in an accent I did not recognize said, ‘Just waiting.”

I asked if he was hungry. He shook his head no. I asked if he needed anything, which should have prompted a request for spare change, he just shook his head no. I started to leave, but asked one more questions, I asked if I could get him anything. He asked for coke. I bought him one. He smiled when I delivered it and said thanks.

The man was not homeless, nor was he a bum. The Asian man had placed a small book in his hand. He was just waiting for somebody and I was a judgmental jerk.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Facebook, egos and control

I’ve always had about a thousand friends of Facebook. I’m at 1,035 at the moment, but lately I’ve been cutting ties with lots of people. It started with ego centric posts that grew intolerable. These are people who live for minor celebrity status in our small little atheist community. I moved on to people who start dictating what I can post or how I can comment. These people are usually aligned with the victimhood movement. Somebody who suffers from depression and cannot tolerate a post that may trigger her unease about said aliment. Or somebody who posts a list of memes that are off limits. Or somebody who comes out as transgender and starts a round of pronoun wars. We are warned, “If you dare to post something I find offensive, I will ban you from commenting or unfollow you.” Or worse, “I will unfriend you."

I’m not sorry about this but… fuck you all to hell. Let me be the first to unfriend you. I friended you in the first place because I liked your ideas, you art or your activism. I some cases I friend you because you are just interesting. I don’t have enough energy to keep track of what content or subject offends which friend. I really don’t. Who does?

Case in point; I posted a list of books I’ve read so far in 2016. One book, The Deep Blue Good, A Travis McGee Novel, by John D. MacDonald, apparently raised the hackles of a feminist who messaged me to express her dismay that I would read such a horrible book. She suggested that I edit it out of my post so as not to offend others. The protagonist, Travis McGee, is an epic mansplainer sure, but the story was written in the early 60s and I’m a big boy. How would reading it offend some feminist friend? I don’t know, nor do I care. I have a solution though. Unfriend…

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Christian and just crazy

Maverick Dean Bryan, a Christian activist who seems crazy, is sitting in jail after threatening to hang seven mayors unless they replaced Common Core books with the bible. He seems crazy, but may just be on the left tail of IQ bell curve.

People like Bryan set self-defeating traps by sending traceable letters and posting ads in local newspapers. They are not smart enough to hide their intentions. Acting out loud is an effective way to grab a moment in the news and become important. Did Bryan really think he could pull this off? He is dim and coupled with his delusional Christian lunacy, becomes the subject of jest.

What happens when the next Maverick Dean Bryan appears and instead of spouting insanity, he acts on it? What if the next guy is smart? What if he is organized and understands technology? What if he hangs mayors, gays or atheists? This kind of scenario keeps me up at night. What if the next guy is the equivalent of Islamic terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. What if he embraces terrorism?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Priest + Grinder = Hypocrite

It’s easy to create a hypocrite. The formula is a homophobic priest + Grinder = hypocrite. Just ask Father Rory Coyle.

A well-known Catholic priest in Ireland — who was vocally homophobic in his sermons — has been outed for having his own secret Grindr profile .

35-year-old Rory Coyle was a priest in Armagh, a town in Northern Ireland — until it was discovered that he’d been keeping a secret Grindr account, chock full of illicit selfies.

Somebody recognized him. Given the prevalence of facial recognition, I am surprised this does not happen more often.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chile rojas with a side of despair

I eat breakfast on Sundays at a little Mexican restaurant near my house. Sometime I eat alone, like today, but more often I eat with my wife. I ordered chile rojas and eggs, which is spicy enough to make sweat, and settled in with a book. I was after some high-quality me time. I did not get it. 

Facing me across the table was a party of four. One old fat man in a wheel chair and his robust wife. A bald old man of 70 or so sat across from him along with his fat wife. The talked about everything; all of it loud. 

They got my attention when the bald man stuck a foot up to show his friend the deal he got on 99 cent diabetic socks. His foot, encased in a shoe with the sock showing just above the ankle, rose to within a foot of my table and food. He did it again with his second foot to show that he was wearing a tall sock on that foot. I thought they were idiots. What they talked about next proved it. 

Gender neutral bathrooms... They did not believe school children could identify as different gender. They had never met a transgender child, so transgender kids did not exist. The bald man, said, "There are no school children who need a gender neutral bathroom. If they are gender confused, direct them to the principal!"

Most people in the restaurant looked away, embarrassed. I stared at the man, but he would not look my way. 

Gender talk went on for a few minutes and included digs at President Obama and Target. The man was working himself up to some point, but then he switched gears and started in on welfare cheats. His solutions to a crisis that did not exist were Fox News talking points. I hope he does not vote. 

I did not interrupt these old fools. I wanted to, but this in my neighborhood place, so I did not want to make a scene. Plus, I am a big scary man and I tend to make people uneasy when I insert myself into their conversations. Instead, I did my best to ignore these idiots, just like everyone else in the restaurant. 

They left before I finished my breakfast. the place quieted down. My server apologized for the old idiots. She said that they were regulars. I smiled and waved it off. After a few minutes, I took another bite of chile rojas along with an unordered side of despair. The world is full of idiots. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Does Anne Graham Lotz speak for you?

Anne Graham Lotz thinks that God allowed 911 to happen because gay rights

...What happens then is God abandons us and backs away, he he takes his favor and blessing away from us.

[If we repent] I think he would begin to reveal the plots of terrorists before they are carried out, even the weather patterns he can control and protect us from violent storms.

Lotz whats us to think that she can read divine tea leaves. That she can interpret the mind of God. That she knows what is right and that the rest of us are inviting disaster by doing the right thing. She switches accountability for the actions of terrorists to the victims. By  her logic, a rape victim is responsible for her own rape because she wore a halter top that displeased God. Or, that New Orleans brought on its own destruction because of jazz. God could have redirected Hurricane Katrina if only the citizens had repented and sang gospel instead. This type of thinking is absurd and childish. Is this Christianity?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

LYFT, Uber or cab?

I took my first LYFT ride in Chicago a few days ago. I had used Uber before and enjoyed the convenience and the experience. While in Chicago, I had also used cabs. My trips were short, a mile or two at most. While waiting for a LYFT, I turned down several cabs. Chicago is a saturated environment. 

Cities like Chicago regulate cab rides. Each cab I used had the cab number posted on a placard inside the passenger compartment. It read, "This is ca no. 1234. All compliments or complaints should be directed to the Dept. of Consumer Services 14-hour hotline. Call 311." I don't see anything like this in Lyft. My only options are a one star rating or emails to corporate headquarters. Are my rights protected? It makes me wonder.

I don't notice much incentive from a cost perspective. Both times I used LYFT, I paid a 75% surcharge. The rides, with tips, cost about the same be it taxi or LYFT. 

My first ride’s fare was for $13,51. It broke down like this:

  • Ride (1.02 m, 5m 14s), $3.66
  • Prime Time + 75%, $2.25
  • Trust & Service Fee, $1.60
  • Surcharge, $.50
  • Tip, $5.00 (I gave the driver a big tip because he spent a few minutes explaining how LYFT worked from his perspective.)

Without the large tip, my fair would have cost about $9.56. A cab fair would have cost $8.91 plus tip. Why is LYFT better? Because I save $.50?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The wisdom of cabbies

I flew to Chicago last week and upon arrival, took a taxi from O'Hare to downtown. During the 30-minute ride, my cabbie, a Kufi-wearing African immigrant, listened to the radio. I recognized NPR's All Things Considered and fell into a practiced listening rhythm. 

Politics and Donald Trump dominated the stories. Each time Trump spoke, the cabbie lowered the volume so that we could not make out Trump’s words. After doing this a few times, I asked, "Why do you lower the volume when Trump speaks?"

His reply, in a deep Ghanaian accent, was beautiful,  "It is best to deny evil a chance to whisper in my ears."

Monday, May 09, 2016

On writing again

I was prompted to write again after listening to two young women talking in line for dinner this evening. One woman said to the other, “Did you listen to pastor Phillips’ sermon Sunday?” The other replied, “Yes.”

There was a moment of silence and a few giggles. One woman said to the other, “I’d really like to fuck him.” The other said, “Me too.”

A three-year old girl stood between them.

I thought to myself… I really need to tell this story.

Facts… Pastor Phillips is a fictitious name. The city was Rancho Cucamonga in California. The restaurant was (don’t hate) Chick-fil-a. I really wanted to take a photo, but did not do so because of the creep factor involved.

Pastor dumbass

Pastor Alvin Weasel was arrested for brining a loaded gun to the airport. It was his second arrest for the same offense.
Weasel said that he has asked God why he made this mistake a second time. 
“Perhaps he’s trying to use this so others can learn from my mistake and then perhaps he’s using this to teach me, so that something worse wouldn’t happen,” he said.  
Source: Nebraska pastor arrested for bringing a loaded gun to the airport - twice.
Really? Did God do this to you or did you do this to yourself? Does God really control your life to the extent that he makes you forget about a loaded gun that you apparently carry with you everyplace you go? Does that even make sense? Here is a solution. Set an iPhone reminder to check your gun each time you arrive at destination airport.


oh yes… I’m back.