Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Daddy Issues

I have come to the conclusion that if you have, or have had, a father, you have daddy issues, and if you have, or have had, a mother, you have mommy issues.

I have come to this conclusion because I haven't talked to anyone- atheist, believer, don't care- that doesn't have parental issues. Why is that? Because parents are people like you and me, and despite their heroic status in the minds of little children, they screw up. Parents lie, break promises, lose their tempers, speak thoughtlessly- because that's what people do.

My point is that it is ridiculous to say that parental issues cause atheism, though you see it all the time.

In the book, Spiegel notes that many well-known atheists share the
experiences of having lost fathers when they were young, or have fathers that
were alcoholics, abusive or "defective" in some other way.

Among celebrity atheists, both Jodie Foster and George Carlin lost their
fathers when they were young. Spiegel also cites research by New York University
Psychology Professor Paul C. Vitz who found a significant link between
fatherlessness and atheism. In his book, "Faith of the Fatherless," Vitz lists
influential atheists who as children experienced the death of their fathers:
Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre. He also names
atheists such as Thomas Hobbes who had weak or abusive fathers. Spiegel notes
that Professor Daniel Dennett's father died in a plane crash when the boy was 5
and Christopher Hitchen's father was distant and his mother killed herself in a
suicide pact with a lover when Hitchens was 24 years old.

So, we have a dozen people who had weak (I don't even know what that means), abusive or absent fathers and who were also atheists. Ergo . . . nothing. I've read dozens of testimonies from believers who had abusive or absent fathers. How can the same thing cause both atheism and theism? It boggles the mind.

What proof of this is there? Why, the Bible, of course!

"This doesn't prove that every atheist necessarily is the product of bad
father relationships, or that's a necessary condition for atheism, but it's very
suggestive and I'd see it as one significant, causal influence," Spiegel says.

From the standpoint of scripture … the basic idea is that God – as our
heavenly father – is mirrored by our earthly father. And so when that
relationship is broken, it has a kind of psychological influence on our approach
to God."Exploring the "biblical diagnosis" of atheism, Spiegel argued it
involves a "hardening of the heart" (Ephesians 4:18) and the suppression of the
truth by wickedness (Romans 1:18). And although a broken relationship with one's
father is often involved in this process it's often combined with a form of
rebellion - resentment, hatred, vanity, unforgiveness or pride.

I love the way Spiegel weaves together psychology, a scientific field that uses scientific principals, and Bible quotes. He doesn't offer any proof of his assertions whatsoever besides Bible quotes and negative words- resentment, hatred, vanity, unforgiveness or pride. (Theists, naturally, must be grateful, loving, humble, forgiving and, um, humble.)

"The hardening of the atheistic mind-set occurs through cognitive malfunction
due to two principal causes," Spiegel wrote. "First, atheists suffer from
paradigm-induced blindness, as their worldview inhibits their ability to
recognize the reality of God that is manifest in creation. Second, atheists
suffer from damage to the sensus divinitatis, so their natural awareness of God
is severely impeded. Both of these mechanisms are aspects of the noetic effects
of sin. This combination of factors amounts to a deadly cognitive cocktail when
it comes to religious belief. However, thankfully, even the atheist is not
beyond reach of the redemptive power of God."

Cognitive malfunction, huh? So my brain is broken if I don't believe in god. Good to know will punish me forever for having the divine equivalent of aphasia. "Paradigm-induced blindness"? Big words don't actually make you right, you know. "Sensus divinitatis", damage to? Hmmm . . . so I suppose you can produce MRIs or PET scans showing damage to my sensus divinitatis? Yeah, I didn't think so. Besides, if my sensus divinitatis were existent and damaged, why would I go to hell for not believing? That would be like sending someone to hell for being blind or deaf. And dibs on "deadly cognitive cocktail" as a band name. Or possibly a weapon in the next Fallout.

Yeesh. If you want to know why an atheist is an atheist, ask the atheist. Nobody else can tell you, certainly not some Christian apologist with a fetish for big, scientificey words.

Slithering, Hissing Seeds

Every now and then, I find a Christian evangelizing on the internet that I like.* They're nice, likable and seem so kind. I start thinking, "They're certainly bent on spreading their religion, but they don't have bizarre, hateful ideas about people not like them." And then they do this:

In my endeavor to sow salvation action seeds somebody always comes along and
tries to uproot and snatch away that which was planted. As if that weren't bad
enough, they try to sow a rotting seed in its place. Seeds of doubt. Seeds of
confusion. Seeds of deception. Seeds that manipulate and twist the truth.
Slithering, hissing seeds that strangle away good seeds. Its purpose is to
devastate a garden. Its motive is to keep one down in the weighty muck and the
mire. In the cold and darkness, in a dry and weary land.

So, an atheist's viewpoint, and atheist's rational questions are rotting seeds, deceptive, manipulative, slithering and hissing*. Wow! Atheists must be really bad people. We strangle good things. Our purpose is to devastate. Our motives are muck and mire. We are cold, dark, dry and dreary. Lock away the children and watch the animals carefully, the atheists are coming! Just what I needed to see first thing in the morning.

But what is a Christian to the garden of man?

A tilled and fertile ground in the heart of man.** A garden awaiting the diligent
work of the harvesters. Sowing seeds of love and salvation action. Thirsting for
water and sunshine for growth. Its increase brought about by the very hand of
God. Budding seedlings of knowledge and understanding of the truth. Flowering,
stretching, growing toward the heavens. Its purpose is to lift one out of the
sinking sand and set the foot upon a solid rock. A rock that doesn't shift or
slide. Its motive is to shine and expose the deeds of darkness. Offering
forgiveness, redemption, salvation, reconciliation, hope, help, and every
single, solitary thing that you will ever need to make it through this life and
the life ever after.

Fertile. Diligent. Love and salvation. Water and sunshine. Knowledge and truth. Forgiveness, redemption, salvation, blah, blah, blah. The good words are for me, the bad words are for thee.

She never seems to consider that our motives may be the same. She seeks to spread truth and hope- and so do I. I find only subjugation and fear in her message. I find hope in reason and logic. I do not do what I do in order to manipulate or devastate. Thanks for attributing the worst of motivations to people, dearheart. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

*I get that snake imagery is par for the course for Christians (though the "snake" in Genesis is clearly described as a lizard), but seeds that move and make sounds?

**Sentence fragments in the post.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Unfortunate Circumstances

[trigger warning: jail, drug abuse]

I am sad today. I tried to help a friend and it didn't work out and in the process I learned something about what the war on drugs has become: a way of ensuring that very nice people who have made a mistake that hurt only themselves will never move past that mistake.

There is an expression in Christiandom I am still very fond of: There but for the grace of god go I, meaning of course, that only luck prevents you and I from experiencing terrible misfortune. That bum down the street begging for change? The only difference between you and him is misfortune.

My friend is a recovering drug addict. Like so many, he tried drugs and found they were wonderful for a momentary relief from his troubles. So he took more drugs and wound up with more troubles, necessitating more drugs, and ended up in jail. The very best place in the world to get drugs is jail, so that didn't help anything. Eventually, he fathered a child, which motivated him to quit using and now he's stuck in purgatory.

What do I mean by that? My friend is trying to pick up the pieces of his life, get a decent job, get his own place, eventually go to school, but everybody does background checks for even the most menial of jobs these days. And nobody cares whether or not the person's record reflects a true unfitness for the job at hand*, they just see arrests and jail time and no job for you.

So why even try to clean up your life? Why bother? You've been convicted, you have a record, and now you're never getting a decent job with a living wage. You'll scrounge your whole life, living in one friend's basement, sleeping on another's couch, with never even a shot at getting ahead. You were a danger to yourself, not anyone else, but you'll be treated as if you carry a lit stick of dynamite in your back pocket at all times. "Go to rehab! Get clean! You can do it!" we all shout, while hiding behind our backs the dismal life we've condemned them to.

We all make mistakes. We all do things we are ashamed of. Some of us get to say we're sorry and move on. Some of get to pay and pay and pay forever.

*I suppose that you could argue that drug use 5 years in the past makes one unfit for cleaning toilets, but I'm not sure how.

Don't Trust the Trees

tasty, tasty electricity

Monday, March 29, 2010

You're Not a Terrorist if You Worship Saint Ronny Raygun

So, how do you, as a terrorist, get every wingnut in the US on your side? Simple: carry around a Bible and worship at the Church of Ronny Raygun.

Yesterday, the FBI raided a militia in Michigan.

At least seven people, including some from Michigan, have been arrested in raids
by a FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana as part of
an investigation into an Adrian-based Christian militia group, a person familiar
with the matter said.

A militia that was, btw, planning to murder a police officer, then use the funeral as an opportunity to kill more law enforcement officers with IEDs (not just for Iraqis, apparently).

The Hutaree members allegedly "planned to kill an unidentified member of
local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in
Michigan for the funeral. According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law
enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive
Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment,
constitute weapons of mass destruction."

Did the same people who will call the police on me when I have a pashmina wrapped around my head* get equally freaked out by terrorists with IEDs in the US? No, these are good Christians. Don't be silly.

This really irritates me. Islamberg in New York state appears to operate with virtual
impunity, but God forbid a Christian militia group mention muslims!!! At least
at this point, it seems the mere mention brought down the hammer.

That's right, it's all the muslims' fault. Slaughtering police officers with IEDs is just a distraction.

I would like to know what the FBI protocols are for following up on accusations.
Do they have anything to do with ethnicity or beliefs of the accused? Or with
whom is in a protected class? The FBI used to be a bulwark of honest law
enforcement. Now they seem to be a political tool.

Fascist bastards, infringing upon their rights to murder police officers.

I agree. It appears that a U.S.based islamic militia group has worked with the
government to bring about these raids on what is basically a survivalist
Christian militia. Homeland Security and Napolitano have their fingerprints all
over this one. Obama and Nepaolitano would do well to investigate the islamic
terrorist militia's scattered all over the country linked to alQaeda, and leave
these harmless, tho maybe flaky Christian groups alone. I have read three
articles and I have yet to find out what the charges are and why they were


This group could be a bit misguided, but since when is it a crime in this
country to prepare for the coming of the AC?

It's not a crime to stockpile Bibles and water or even to own guns. IEDs are an entirely different matter.

This one is crystal clear.The administration is afraid that Militia's will start
popping up since we're headed rapidly towards a totalitarian state - and the

I'm frightened of nutjobs with IEDs, so I'm okay with that message.

You hit it perfectly. This is such an obvious push back at tea-party Christians.
First, we were a joke (tea-baggers). Then we were 'racist'. Now, we're
'terrorists'. They're creating that public perception that Christians = unstable
and dangerous.

These Christians certainly are unstable and dangerous, but I wasn't conflating them with all Christians.

*true story. the cop was both amused and annoyed and then gave me a ride to the store to make up for scaring me half to death. nice guy.

Angry Atheists Would Be Much Less So if You'd Stop Forwarding Us Stupid Shit

Apparently, [redacted] thought I needed a good vomit, because she sent me this email forwarded to her by a concerned Christian relative. She gets at least 3 of these sorts of emails a day, and that's not including the emails that her coworkers pass around. Angry atheists are angry for a reason: your imaginary friend is seriously clogging up our inboxes.


Edith Burns was a wonderful Christian who lived in San Antonio, Texas . this entire email is written in simple SVO* sentences. One right after the other right after the other . . .

She was the patient of a doctor by the name of Will Phillips.. She was a patient of Dr. Will Phillips, perhaps? Dr. Phillips was a gentle doctor who saw patients as people. unlike most doctors who see patients as bees. His favorite patient was Edith Burns. Shakespeare's corpse is one more SVO sentence away from rising from his grave to enact vengeance upon us all.

One morning he went to his office with a heavy heart and it was because of Edith Burns. When he walked into that waiting room, there sat Edith with her big black Bible in her lap earnestly talking to a young mother sitting beside her. Nope. The more complex sentences aren't any better. This is so clunky and awkward. I can't decide if it was written by a child or for a child. Edith Burns totally unnecessary to continually restate the last name. We've only had two names in this story so far, we don't need surnames to keep track of them all. had a habit of introducing herself in this way: "Hello, my name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" Then she would explain the meaning of Easter, and many times people would be saved. Really? Anywhere she goes, that's what she does? What a rude bitch! Seriously, she doesn't give a shit why anyone else is at the doctor- you know, they might be sick or something- she doesn't care what anyone else might be interested in, it's all Easter, all the time. Yeesh. And particularly wierd around Christmas.

Dr. Phillips walked into that office his office, someone else's office, what? and there he saw the head nurse, Beverly. no last name? Beverly had first met Edith when she was taking her blood pressure. when? 5 years ago? 20? today? specificity is helpful, people. Edith began by saying, "My name is Edith Burns. Do you believe in Easter?" now that i think about it, that's a wierd question. it's like asking if you believe in Saturday. I decorate eggs, too. Beverly said, "Why yes I do."

Edith said, "Well, what do you believe about Easter?" ah ha! some acknowledgement that Easter, like many other things, exists as a cultural phenomenon even if you don't believe the religious stories. Beverly said, "Well, it's all about egg hunts, going to church, and dressing up." because Beverly is 5. Edith kept pressing her about the real meaning of Easter, and finally Beverly told her to leave her alone and wait for the doctor . . . led her to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. that's for Catholics, who know about Jesus, but are all going to hell anyway.

Dr. Phillips said, " Beverly , don't call Edith into the office quite yet. the way this is written, Dr. Phillips said this immediately after Beverly was converted, but I don't think that's the case. Ibelieve there is another delivery taking place in the waiting room. which i at first took to mean either the UPS guy had shown up or someone was having a baby in the waiting room. After being called back in the doctor's office apparently, (a) the doctor knew exactly how long to wait, and (b) has no problem making everyone else for the rest of the day late so that Edith can proselytize. oh, and what about the delivery, Edith sat down and when she took a look at the doctor she said, "Dr. Will, why are you so sad? Are you reading your Bible? Are you praying?" the primary cause of sadness in today's world.

Dr. Phillips said gently, "Edith, I'm the doctor and you're the patient" what does that even mean? you need 8 years of medical school to tell if someone looks sad or not? With a heavy heart he said, "Your lab report came back and it says you have cancer, and Edith, you're not going to live very long." really? the lab report said all that? that's amazing. it's also amazing that a primary care physician is diagnosing and staging cancer rather than an oncologist. i guess that's the power of Jesus!

Edith said, "Why Will Phillips, shame on you. shame on you for practicing outside your specialty! Why are you so sad? Do you think God makes mistakes? You have just told me I'm going to see my precious Lord Jesus, my husband, and my friends. oh, Edith is suicidal. poor dear. You have just told me that I am going to celebrate Easter forever, and here you are having difficulty giving me my ticket!" ticket to . . . Easter?

Dr. Phillips thought to himself, "What a magnificent woman this Edith Burns is!" and what a terrible doctor Phillips is. no treatment at all? no specialist? nothing? Edith continued coming to Dr. Phillips. why? she's dying of apparently untreatable cancer. and she's happy about it. Christmas came and the office was closed through January 3rd. what an odd detail. especially since we have no idea when the beginning
of the story took place.

On the day the office opened January 4th, Edith did not show up. wait, she showed up every day? did she have an appointment that day? Later that afternoon, Edith called Dr. Phillips and said she would have to be moving her story to the hospital what? so Edith is in such bad shape she needs to be in the hospital, but first she calls her doctor to use a wierd euphamism? and said, she said and then she said? "Will, I'm very near home, so would you make sure that they put women in here next to me in my room "in here, next to me, in my room"? man, this is some bad writing who need to know about Easter." Dr. Phillips is in charge of room assignments at the hospital? and how would he know that anyway?

Well, they did just that and women began to come in and share that room with Edith. women, mind you, so sick they are hospitalized, but function merely as props for Edith's need to evangelize. nice. Many women were saved. many were not. Everybody on that floor from staff to patients were so excited about Edith, that they started calling her Edith Easter yeah.; that is everyone except Phyllis Cross, the head nurse. enter the mean old atheist. Phyllis made it plain that she wanted nothing to do with Edith because she was a "religious nut". maybe she just wanted to, you know, do her job? maybe she was the only person in this entire town that recognizes what a hospital is for?

She had been a nurse in an army hospital. we know all about them. She had seen it all and heard it all. atheists: we see everything. She was the original G.I. Jane. oh, for fuck's sake. She had been married three times atheists: better at marriage than evangelicals, but why should reality intrude here, it hasn't made an appearance so far, she was hard, cold, and did everything by the book. not at all what you'd want in a nurse. One morning the two nurses who were to attend to Edith were sick. has the person who wrote this ever been to a hospital? it doesn't work that way. Edith had the flu and Phyllis Cross had to go in and give her a shot. a shot for the flu? you give the vaccine before a person gets the flu, and current guidelines are that those with cancer are to receive the flu vaccine, so Edith should have already had the shot.

Whenshe walked in, Edith had a big smile on her face and said, "Phyllis, God loves you and I love you, and I have been praying for you." no, Edith, you don't love Phyllis. i totally hate it when people overuse "love" like that. love is a beautiful, deep, intense emotion not applicable to casual acquaintances. Phyllis Cross dear quantum field, there is only one Phyllis in this story, can we quit with the . . . oh, "cross", i get it. said, "Well, you can quit praying for me, it won't work..I'm not interested." Edith said, "Well, I will pray and I have asked God not to let me go home until you come into the family." Phyllis Cross said, "Then you will never die because that will never happen," and curtly walked out of the room. "curt" applies to speech. one cannot walk curtly.

Every day Phyllis Cross would walk into the room and Edith would say,"God loves you Phyllis and I love you, and I'm praying for you." One day Phyllis Cross said she was literally drawn to Edith's room like a magnet would draw iron. she said that or she was. plus, the correct way to say that, as Phyllis was drown to Edith, not the other way around, would be "drawn to Edith's room like iron filings to a magnet". and "literally" has no place in this sentence. She sat down on the bed and Edith said, "I'm so glad you have come, because God told me that today is your special day" i want her to add "to die!" and turn this into an awesome zombie story. alas.

Phyllis Cross said, "Edith, you have asked everybody here the question, "Do you believe in Easter but you have never asked me." Edith said, "Phyllis, I wanted to many times, but God told me to wait until you asked, and now that you have asked." and now that you have asked what? besides, what is the effective difference between saying that god loves you and asking if you believe in easter? Edith Burns took her Bible opened. opened her bible. and shared with Phyllis Cross the Easter Story the real origins of easter? of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Edith said, "Phyllis, do you believe in Easter? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is alive and that He wants to live in your heart?" that sounds painful! Phyllis Cross said, "Oh I want to believe that with all of my heart, and I do want Jesus in my life "

Right there, Phyllis Cross prayed and invited Jesus Christ into her heart. For the first time Phyllis Cross did not walk out of a hospital room, she was carried out on the wings of angels. ugh. just ugh. Two days later, Phyllis Cross came in and Edith said, "Do you know what day it is?" Phyllis Cross said, "Why Edith, it's Good Friday." Edith said, "Oh, no, for you every day is Easter. most ridiculous statement ever. Happy Easter comma Phyllis!" Two days later, on Easter Sunday, Phyllis Cross came into work, did some of her duties as far as i can tell, she's the only one who does. and then went down to the flower shop and got some Easter lilies because she wanted to go up to see Edith and give her some Easter lilies i'm weeping for the english language. "she stopped by the gift shop to buy Easter lilies for Edith. "and wish her a Happy Easter.

When she walked into Edith's room, Edith was in bed. wow! in a hospital! really! That big comma black Bible was on her lap. Her hands were in that Bible. or on it. There was a sweet smile on her face. When Phyllis Cross went to pick up Edith's hand, she realized Edith was dead. she didn't know that by all the alarms going off on the monitoring equipment? when is this set? 1865? Her left hand was on John 14: "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." Her right hand was on Revelation 21:4, "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, there shall be no more death nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." considering how far apart John is from Revelation, that's amazing.

Phyllis Cross took one look at that dead body, and then lifted her face toward heaven you know, up?, and with tears streaming down here her cheeks, said, "Happy Easter, Edith - Happy Easter!" Phyllis Cross left Edith's body, standard hospital policy to just let bodies rot in their rooms, I suppose walked out of the room, and over to a table where two student nurses were sitting. She said, "My name is Phyllis Cross. Do you believe in Easter?" "Hi! I'm a pod person, would you care to join me?"

If you believe in Easter, forward this on. God works in wonderful ways, and to believe in his power is to truly be free. If Jesus had e-mail, he'd do the same for you.(Actually, maybe He just did) He's in the house! He was dead the whole time! The village exists in the present!

"Father, bless this person in whatever it is that You know he or she maybe needing this day"

*Subject then verb then object as in The dog ate the bone. It is the simplest possible sentence structure in English. Unless you want your writing to read like a book for small children, you should vary sentence structure to include more complex structures. Persons just learning English are excepted from this rule.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fail So Epic . . . Nope, Still a Fail

this fail is much like FFTS's understanding of nature

I went back and forth on ripping the writer of Food for the Soul a new one for his post on nature. I think he's pretty young, which generally earns a pass from me, but then again, he thinks it would be pretty cool to shoot wolves and doesn't understand why abusing animals is bad and he posted this on the internet for all the world to see- forever. So I'm compromising: I'm shredding his work, but I'm not cursing or calling him stupid. "Fail", however, will be coming up a lot.

The first paragraph is typical of FftS's style: totally disjointed.

Yesterday I helped my family with watching the kids. Later in the afternoon we
saw three bald eagles flying in circles above our neighbors' house. My sister
also told me that when our neighbor had little puppies a while ago, a bald eagle
came down and walked around the dog cages. It wanted to eat the little puppies!
Crazy. She also said that five eagles were flying above her school a couple days
ago. Later in the day my sister and I went to the library and got a book about
bald eagles. They are pretty cool creations. It reminds me of the scripture in Isaiah40:31.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and. What that has to do with puppy eating eagles, I have no idea.

Wildlife sure is cool. I was reading a wildlife article at a library here in
town in Minnesota that the wolves are on the endangered species list or the
no-shoot list still, but the citizens and businesses want the wolves to be taken
off because they are reproducing and there are too many of them. I don't know
how much bureaucracy they have to go through to get them off the list, but it
sure would be nice to be able to get rid of the threat of wolves by letting us
shooting them. I think it is interesting that the powers that be are more
willing to protect animals rather than their fellow man. They are also willing
to kill millions of us in the womb. They are also willing to tax us to protect
the polar bears. They are even willing to tax us to protect Gaea mother earth.

This has no connection to the preceding paragraph. None. It also has no connection to any observable reality. Wildlife sure is cool . . . I want to kill wolves . . . abortion is bad . . . taxes.

1. You give no explanation as to why it would be better to shoot wolves than to preserve them. Fail.

2. You want to make wolves extinct. Super fail.

3. You seem to think abortion is imposed upon people in this country. It is not. Women are free to choose to abort or not. Fail, fail, fail.

4. You seem to think protecting wolves and polar bears from extinction is preventing abortion from being made illegal. Those two things are entirely unrelated. Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

People in high places also think there are too many of us humans on earth.
So they give condoms to kids in schools and birth control pills and encourage
homosexuality. I have seen a lot of movies promoting the idea that us humans are
the enemy on earth and that we are destroying the earth. I also have seen many
movies that paint a picture that animals are just like humans by personifying
them by giving them the ability to speak. I have seen that we have been burning
our corn in refineries to produce ethanol in order to protect mother earth. So
apparently we should starve the humans in order to save the earth.

1. Dude, the overpopulation scare is so before I was born, and I bet I'm at least twice your age.

2. Condoms and birth control pills are made available to prevent unwanted pregnancy and the spread of disease. Neither one of those items are widely distributed at schools in the US.

3. No one "encourages" homosexuality, though the better schools do discourage bigotry against homosexuals. You can't make someone homosexual, no matter how cool you make it look.

4. We are destroying the earth. It's called pollution.

5. What does talking animals have to do with anything?

6. I'll grant you the ethanol thing, I think that's crap, too.

So us humans are taxed, fined, killed, starved, and de-humanized for mother
earth's sake. If you ask me, I'd say we have fallen far away from any kind of
common sense and fallen into the occult. People get fined large sums for
littering because "we need to save the whales." We also can't even drill oil in
some places because we need to be environmental conscious.

1. No. No, no, no, no and no. What fines? Do you mean fines for dumping toxic materials into rivers used for drinking water? Fine, you drink toxic waste.

2. Humans are dehumanized to save the environment? that makes no sense, nor have you given one example of such.

3. Throwing your trash on the ground for other people to pick up is rude and should be discouraged. This has nothing to do with the whales.

4. Yes, we should not drill in nature preserves. For obvious reasons.

The Lord told many people in old testament times to sacrifice a lot of animals
to Him just look at 2Chronicles1:6-7 and 2Chronicles7:5. Is the Lord
evil for doing that? I think not.

I do. I understand killing animals to eat them, although I am a vegetarian. Slaughtering innocent animals because your imaginary friend told you to? Not so much.

Animals are animals and can be killed at anytime for food. Sacrificing
animals is not necessary anymore because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. The
reason people sacrificed animals was to atone for sin and to please the Lord
before Jesus came. I honestly do not know what happens at the abortion clinics
but I wonder what the belief system of those clinics are. There is no way anyone
who works at those clinics are saved. So what are the beliefs of the people in
charge of those clinics? They need Jesus' forgiveness and the truth.

1. Fine, you understand tautology, clearly, but do you understand anything else?

2. Why would you want to worship someone who demands limitless quantities of blood? You seriously don't find that disturbing?

3. What does abortion have to do with this?! First of all, abortions happen at abortion clinics. Duh. What are the beliefs of the people who work at them? That women should be able to control what happens to their own bodies. You have no uterus, this will never be an issue you will have to face yourself, so do me a favor and SHUT UP.

I remember in school I went on a trip for sociology and one part of it was
about animal abuse. I remember coming out of that seminar very mad and
frustrated. I was mad because I knew that protecting animals and telling us we
can't eat them is a lie. I think that it was also an attack on farms and people
in the agriculture industry.

Now I can't even deal with you. A seminar on animal abuse made you mad not because the concept that people abuse animals is incredibly upsetting, but because the concept that humans don't have a right to torture, maim and kill as they please is just so wrong? What is wrong with you?! Did Jesus make you a psychopath or is Christianity just a convenient excuse?


Fail. Fail.

Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Storm Clouds are BREWING

I live in Tornado Alley, i used to, as well and those nights and days when the tornado warnings are popping up everywhere i never worried about tornados outside my immediate location in every corner of my world your entire world is the middle of the united states? , you can feel great anxiety, IT MAKES YOU RUN FOR SHELTER, cool it there, shouty. it's not anxiety that makes you run for shelter, it's the incredibly fast, swirly winds but once you take cover...there's this great feeling and serenity and almost giddyness that takes place no. you huddle in your basement and hope it's all over soon. unless you're in a trailer park, in which case you know you're screwed. tornados almost exclusively touch down only in trailer parks. i have no idea why....KNOWING YOUR SAFE my safe what? unless you mean "you're"....but then You start to think ...what about those who don't have the same safe place to run too to...and so I always start praying for People to find shelter from the coming storm or tornado

Then I take my cell phone out and call other's and warn them, so, you get to safety, spend a while giddy, pray and only then do you call loved ones to check if they know a tornado is coming? you're an asshole. seeing if they had been paying attention, do you realize what's coming??? Are you safe? Your you're just going to ride the storm out?? well, i suppose they could flee the country . . . Please come on over ..there's plenty of roomRIGHT NOW, yes, get into your car and drive around in the middle of a tornado. that's safe. there are things tornados headed towards you, things you can't see YET, you can see tornados coming. actually, right before the tornado, the sky turns the wierdest shade of green. it's hard to describe, but yeah, you'll know when a tornado is coming. but THEY ARE no one. the truth is out there. i want to believe. The Storm Clouds are brewing breakfast blend or french roast? and they are getting darker by the day and this Storm is OFF the Charts, IN FACT oddest use of that word ever...the Bible says UNLESS the days were shortened..NO FLESH WOULD SURVIVE just when i thought this couldn't get crazier.

when I turn on my tv...and the Storm Warning has been Issued waHt is uP wIth thE randOm cAPitaliZatioN?, there will be a scrolling message that tells me what to expect...Strong Winds in excess of 100mph, golf ball sized hail, dangerous lightning What can you expect? um strong winds in excess of 100mph, golf ball sized hail, dangerous lightning?...what should be scrolling at the bottom of your monitor right now?? crazy . . . crazy . . . crazy

100 lb Hailstones Rev 16:16-20

actually, hailstones aren't mentioned in any of those verses. they are mentioned in Rev 16:21, however.

And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

a talent would actually be around 130 lbs. and that would be quite a hailstone, because the largest recorded hailstone seems to have been (quick google search) around the size of a football.

The Great Earthquake leaving NO ISLANDS on earth also, taking down every mountain on earth. Rev 16:17-21

somebody doesn't know what islands are. also, the concept of taking down every mountain is a little odd. does that mean any part of the earth above sea level will be reduced to sea level? how?

1/3 of the Earth is burned up, 1/3 of trees, and all the grass Rev.8:7

again, wtf does that mean? 1/3 of the earth burned up? 1/3 of the surface of the earth? how far down does the surface go? also, 71.1% of the earth's surface is water. so, even if you "burned up" all of the nonwater surface, you'd then have to figure out how to burn up a significant portion of ocean.

1/3 of the Sea is turned into Blood Rev 8:8-9

after about 5% is burned up? and, considering that all of the world's oceans are connected, i.e., the same body of water, how does only 1/3 of that water turn to blood?

The Abyss (bottomless pit) opens and locust-like scorpion creatures arise Rev 9:2-3

how do these creatures come out of a bottomless pit? it's fucking bottomless. were they clinging to the sides near the top? also, wtf is a "locust-like scorpion creature"? let's check the scripture:

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

what power, exactly, do the scorpions of the earth have? do scorpions of the air have different powers? all i can think of is poisonous locusts (swarming grasshoppers). yeah, okay.

Evil angels released to kill 1/3 of mankind Rev 9:13-15

actually, Revelation doesn't say they are evil, merely that they are bound in the great river, Euphrates.

Painful sores break out on people that have taken the Mark of the Beast Rev16:2

again, Revelation mentions one sore. though it is "painful" and "grievous".

The sun will scorch people with fire Rev 16:8-9


These are NOT great things to look forward too to, and you can mock and scoff and say Like they did to NOAH when he warned of The Flood, you mean the mythical guy and the mythical event that didn't happen? OR you can TAKE SHELTER, gimme shelter! You can acknowledge that you are in DANGER from poisonous grasshoppers and improbably large hailstones and sunburn, that You are lost and far from home currently 1.2 miles away, that You have sinned against God nice segue!, Your Creator, ....THEN WHAT?? apparently, then i steal all the world's question marks and start randomly capitalizing. yeah, i'll pass. realize that Jesus Christ, came to this earth, Died a gruesome and Cruel Death less gruesome and cruel than being eaten by abyssal scopiohopphers ...He took Your Place...He took the Wrath that You had coming... that's apparently still coming . . . BUT then NOT ONLY DID HE DO THAT.....after his body sat lifeless for three days in a borrowed tomb, HE CAME BACK TO LIFE...PROVING that HE IS THE WAY ...HE IS THE TRUTH and HE IS THE LIFE!!!! HE is the Ark of Safety for what's coming... that is a mixed metaphor at best. PLEASE BELIEVE UPON HIM "upon"? and Put On the Lord Jesus Christ does he come in a size 2?....Call Upon Him and Cry "JESUS FORGIVE ME AND SAVE ME" 867-5309 . . . no, wait, that's Jenny's number Once you do that you too can KNOW the Peace of having found safety in the storm shelter.. of jesus.

The GOP Hates Homeless Veterans

And the GOP doesn't give a fuck about even one of them.

In an effort to punish Democrats for passing health care reform, GOP Senators are refusing to work- and keeping everyone else in the Senate from working, too. That includes Senators that are trying to help homeless veterans.

Without unanimous consent, committees are allowed to meet for two hours
following the opening of the Senate session -- which on Wednesday was 9:00 a.m.
The committees need consent to continue and consent again to continue after 2:00
p.m. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee,
had his hearing shut down abruptly at 11:00 Wednesday morning, in the middle of
a discussion on the effort to end veteran homelessness in the next five years.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 veterans are homeless in the United
States on any given night.

That's right, to Republicans, a hissy fit is more important than helping homeless vets. These people people aren't the Party of No, they're the party of Fuck You, That's Why.


For more information on how you can help homeless veterans, visit the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've Set Five Less People on Fire Today

Suppose you were interviewing me for a job, and you discovered that in 2009, I set 398 people on fire. You know, everybody needs a hobby, mine happens to be setting people on fire. Your immediate reaction would probably be something like, "Well, we're not really looking for secretaries who set people on fire, but we'll keep your resume on file."

Now suppose that I said, "But in 2008, I set 538 people on fire. I set 36% less people on fire last year than the year before!"

Would you change your mind about hiring me? No? What if instead of setting people on fire, 398 represented the number of child molestations reported- by the Catholic Church? Would you clap your hands with joy? Give the Pope the thumbs up?

Yeah, me neither. I especially wouldn't feel all sad for them that the financial toll from child molestation is really harshing their buzz.

All told, the scandal's price tag for settlements and other costs has risen to
more than $2.7 billion, according to estimates. The numbers of cases were
expected to decline, but the financial impact remains severe, said Charles Zech,
a Villanova University economics professor. "The U.S. Catholic Church cannot
afford that right now, not the way the economy has been going, the hit taken on
diocesan investments, and to some extent parishioner contributions," Zech said.
"The church ... can't afford to be going on like this very much longer."

Well, maybe they should have thought of that when they were sheilding child molesters from justice- by transferring them to new locales with fresh victims.

The number of offenders dropped 32 percent, to 286. Most are dead, no longer in
the priesthood, removed from ministry or missing, the report said.

Define "most". Also, when you say "no longer in the priesthood", I'm guessing you don't mean "in prison, where they belong."

The report said that about one-eighth of the allegations made in 2009 were
unsubstantiated or determined to be false by the end of the year.

And who compiled the report? Oh, that's right, the Catholic Church, not all of which participated.

The picture of the scandal in religious orders, however, is incomplete because
just 159 of 219 men's religious communities took part in the survey.

But that's okay, because the Catholic Church, well, most of it, is training children to keep themselves safe.

Almost 6 million children, or 96 percent of children in Catholic schools or
religious education programs, received "safe environment" training. The training
is required under the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,
reforms adopted by bishops in 2002 at the height of the scandal.

Two dioceses — the dioceses of Baker, Ore., and Fresno, Calif. — were
not compliant by year's end with the provision requiring the training and
documentation of it, the report said.

I imagine the training looked a little like this:


When You Have a Wolf by the Ears

When you have a wolf by the ears, it's as hard to let go as it is to hold on.

I can't think of a more apropos description of the relationship between the tea partiers and the GOP, as demonstrated in this list of demands:

The time has come to stand a fight to win.We must fight to win.And take no
prisoners.No bipartisanship.No reaching across the aisle.It is time to be a Rock
Solid Conservative.

Monday's passing of health care reform is a good example of why you don't really want that. No Republicans voted for that bill, and it passed anyway. Also, "stand a fight to win" . . . wtf?

You must support the Constitution.You must support the Second Amendment.

I'm beginning to think you should have to pass a basic test in civics before you can vote. The Amendments to the Constitution are a part of the Constitution. Supporting the Constitution means supporting the Amendments to the Constitution- all of them.

You must support our military.You must support tax cuts.You must support cutting
and limiting government.

Well, I suppose if you support tax cuts, you must necessarily support governmental cuts, but notice what he doesn't want cut- military spending. Military spending is significantly more of the budget than all social service programs combined. If you really wanted to cut government spending and be able to lower taxes, you'd cut military spending, not snatch food from the mouths of children. Of course, that assumes you like children more than guns, which I'm guessing Mr. Second Amendment does not.

You must support the death penalty.

I was unaware this was a key conservative viewpoint. Disturbing.

I am putting the Blue Dog,Yellow Dog,Lap Dogs DemocRats on notice.You have a
bulls eye on your chest.You will be defeated in your bid for reelection.

Shaking in their boots, I'm sure. I actually have no idea what a Yellow Dog is, btw.

I want to say to the squishy moderate RINO'S your not welcome in the GOP.If you
want to be a squishy moderate RINO form your own party.I am talking to Mitt
Romney,John McCain and Lindsey Graham.Just to name a few RINO'S.There is no room in the GOP for squishy moderate RINO'S.


I heard little Barry saying he wants a fight.OK Barry lets throw down right.We
the people will vote your Chicago Thug ass out of office.

Ah yes, the President of the United States, "little Barry". Yeah, there's no racism in the tea party. Not at all. And when did we start hating Chicago? The deep dish pizza alone is a reason to love the Windy City.

Never in my 55 years on this planet I have never witnessed the Congress ignoring
the wishes of the people.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Apparently, you spent 54 of those last 55 years in a coma.

To borrow a line from Abraham Lincoln. "That the government of the people and by
the people shall not perish from the earth." The governmnet should return to the

Oh, you mean the people that voted for "little Barry"? Those people? To borrow a line from me, "Sit down, shut the fuck up and learn to spell."

Good luck with the wolf, GOP. Let go or hold on, either way, you're screwed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do Not Read This Post

Grounded by a nasty cold and feeling unmotivated, so I give you instant jail time instead:

Ha Ha! You're screwed!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Universal Healthcare = Universal Divorce

"Obama gave me healthcare and now I'm leaving your ass!"

I really have to wonder about the state of other people's marriages. I also really have to wonder if some people just don't realize how much of themselves they reveal when they predict/complain about certain things.

Take, for example, The Playful Walrus' latest screed on same sex marriage and healthcare reform:

Advocates for neutering state marriage licensing have argued that it is
necessary so someone can be added to their same-sex partner's health insurance
and for hospital visitation.

However, it is now being established by federal
legislation that 1. the federal government can dictate the smalled details of
health care, and 2. everyone will have health insurance.

So now a neutered
marriage license is not necessary to obtain those things health insurance or
hospital visitation.

Of course, there will now be less incentive for people
in general to marry or work out conflicts and stay married, or care about
keeping their jobs, for that matter.

The government continues to become a
parent/spouse/pastor, to the detriment of the family.

Now I have to wonder, is The Playful Walrus fully aware that his wife is only sticking around for the health care and is now free to run!, run like the wind!, or is this just a vague suspicion in the back of his mind?

Asplosions for You and Me

I thought I'd share the collection wingnut asplosion that is my reader this morning with you. Well, the highlights, anyway, I don't have time to link to several hundred individual asplosions.

Democracy: 1776-2010

There was no democracy before the founding of the United States and there is no democracy after health care reform.

The Big Losers of Health Care

Catholic social justice. Which includes homophobia and pedophilia. Yeah, I'm okay with them losing.


Extra points for unintentional hilarity with this: Another great president once asked whether a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal can long endure? The irony strong with this one, yes.

On Freedom

Good night. Tomorrow will be a better day. Darn right!

Sadness, Terrible Sadness

My America, in which 45,000 people die a year due to lack of health insurance, is gone. I miss the unecessary death and suffering already.

Lies. I tell them.

Oh and every five years during your retirement, you will be asked to commit suicide. Read the whole thing. It's just one big ole mess o' crazy.

Ass Raping America

Health care reform is just like forced sodomy. And he would know, apparently.

We Lost Because We Didn't Galt It Up

If I had just quit my job as a Walmart greeter, I could have stopped health care reform!

Lincoln Hated Health Care Reform

Out of context quotes from Lincoln from a history professor. That's either a major fail, or an irony win.

This means WAR!

I suggest that someone might want to review the definition of "treason", preferably before the Secret Service shows up at his house.

and finally, I'm Not Really a Racist, I Swear It, even as I imply that electing a black man to the presidency inevitably leads to "gangsta" politics from Beetle Blogger. Welcome back from your hiatus, you racist bitch.

HCR Passed: I'll Be a Bit Busy

While my blogroll is mostly liberal/atheist sites, my reader is chock full of wingnuttery. Most Mondays I have around 175-200 posts to review, this Monday, I have over 500 posts to review, and a quick look at the titles tells me all I need to know: Obamacare passed and we are all DOOOOOOOOMED!!!1!!eleventy!!!!

I don't even care what's in the bill, the wingnut asplosion is totally worth it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Need to Borrow a Child . . .

Or have one of my own so I can buy them this:


or this:

black death

and who doesn't want their child to cuddle up to:


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy New Year, Iran!

Back in December, I ask my friend Sara if I should wish her Happy New Year on January 1 or not. It turns out that Iran uses a different calendar than the west, and their new year falls on the vernal equinox, which is Farvardin 1 by the Persian calendar*.

So, No-Rooz Pirooz* to my Iranian friends!

(how we celebrate New Year's in the US)

*I think. I'm hoping it's the thought that counts in this situation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Faith Healing: It's a Scam, Get Over It.

I hate people who take advantage of the desperate. They rank right up there with pedophiles. So I think you can understand why I have a special disdain for faith healers, those scam artists that combine the desperation of the incurably ill with the credulity of the faithful. It's a vile business. I have only pity for the desperate who turn to scam artists for help because I understand them. There have been times in my life I would have drunk motor oil if somebody somewhere said it would help. I won't list all the different herbs and supplements and such I have tried. It's embarrassing. Therefore, I have only contempt for those who take advantage of such despair and frustration for those who support it.

This morning I read Luke18:31-43. Jesus told his disciples that
he would be murdered by the Gentiles and then rise from the dead on the third
day. Also, as he walked by a blind man called out to Jesus so he could heal him
of his blindness. Jesus gave him his sight back.

I have witnessed one miraculous healing in Mexico back in August 2006. Our
group was praying for a while for a man paralyzed in his wheelchair. I don't
know how long we prayed but it was for maybe an hour. At the end of it he got up
out of his wheelchair and began to walk. At the end of the mission trip he was
pushing his wheelchair around while his non-paralyzed brother sat it in. Months
later he got a job at a factory. I don't know how he is doing now, since it was
almost four years ago, but I am sure he is doing fine.

It would be difficult to describe everything that is wrong with the above paragraph. First of all, we have no proof the man in the wheelchair was indeed paralyzed. He may have been a perfectly healthy plant. He could have suffered from any of a number of disorders or illnesses that require wheelchair use for medium or long distances, but allow one to stand or walk for short distances, such as pain, fatigue, heart or lung diseases, etc. We don't know and I doubt the writer did either.

Months later he got a job at a factory.

How does the writer know this? Did he see the man at the factory? I doubt it. He was told this and accepted it without question. However, even if the man were legitimately in need of a wheelchair, he could very well have had a self limiting disorder that required him to use a wheelchair and then improved to the point where he was healthy enough to work in a factory. That's assuming the man was ever in need of a wheelchair at all.

I don't know how he is doing now, since it was almost four years ago, but I am
sure he is doing fine.

He could be dead for all the writer knows. That's a ridiculous assumption. If the man has a relapsing/remitting disorder like Multiple Sclerosis, he could well be using a wheelchair as we speak. We have no way of knowing. I don't know if this is more of a study of the scam that is faith healing or the extremes of credulity.

I actually did comment on this post, pointing out all the things we don't know about this story, and this was the response:

Personalfailure... I understand your argument but it is not possible to
scientifically explain miracles because they can't be explained scientifically.
Miracles go above and beyond science. You have to have faith.

LALALALA- I can't heeeeaaaaar you! And really don't waaaaaaaant to!

This wouldn't bother me, but the people harmed in these scams aren't just the faithful, they are the desperately ill. People like me. We've got enough problems, we don't need scam artists preying on us.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to Annoy Your Coworkers: a Christian Guide

I used to work with a woman who was annoyingly Christian. The attorney she worked for is a really nice guy who curses a blue streak when he's annoyed. Nothing outrageous, like "cuntbushel" or "cocknozzle"*, just some random "fucks" and "assholes". She would get up and walk away or mutter furiously about being exposed to such language and her, a Christian! I took this for hypocrisy after she was fired, and arrested, for embezzling $5,000 from the firm, but apparently being obnoxious is deliberate form of evangelism.

How do we let them see Christ in us?

When one can't witness, lets say at work or something, then let them
see Christ in you. How does that work?

I must be in a mood, but my mind went to the dirtiest place ever when I read that. Putting my general deviance aside, I would assume the answer would be kindness, generosity, going above and beyond for your fellow man- oh, who the fucktrout am I kidding? These are fundys. The answer is obvious: annoy the piss out of your coworkers.

It is hard for me to witness at work, but I do it by my actions. Any time
someone uses blasphemy, later on I will approach them and just ask when they are
around me to please refrain from that language as it is offensive to me.
Whenever the conversations get crude or vulgar, I either excuse myself or just
walk away or start doing something else. If you have a lunch room everyone eats
in and you are comfortable with it, you can always say a prayer before your
meal. These are a few things that set Christians apart. I hope this helps.

I lecture my coworkers like children and pray like the Pharisees. That'll work!

Well, I usually find that just in the course of a conversation, I might say
"thank God", or "only in Jesus", and sometimes it stumps folks, but I say it
anyway. Even for something as simple and clear traffic, I will look out window
and say, "Thank you Jesus"...Or someone may see me go on break and I say I am
going to listen to the Word, read my Bible. I have a little orange pocket one
that really stands out.

Dude, I still say "thank God" on a regular basis. That's about as stumpworthy as driving down the street and seeing an American flag waving- in the US. Also, I'm an atheist, and I think a neon orange bible is a bit blasphemous. I again invoke praying like Pharisees.

Cocopea.... IMO you should say God bless you to atheists too when they sneeze..
its a small jesture but God wants to bless them even if they dont' believe He
exists. I think it'll keep His name in front of them and bring Him to mind, even
if in a minor way. You never know when hearing "God bless you" trillions of
times along w/ another event just might turn their paths around. Not saying it
(at least to me) is like saying they dont need God's blessing. And they
definitely need His blessing, but they need to find God first. Does that make
sense? I say it to everyone in public.. and mean it.... you never know how He
works... !

I say "bless you" when people sneeze. It's ingrained so deep I'm having more luck training myself to sneeze into my elbow than I am training myself to say "gehsundheidt" when someone else sneezes. My point being that a random "bless you!" when I sneeze is not going to make me praise Jesus.

Wearing a Christian necklace, button, bringing a bible to work(read it during
breaks), or even decorating your work space(if you work in an office) can help
show them that you're a Christian.

I do believe we call a Christian necklace a "cross", and can I introduce you to a word? It's "ubiquitous": existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered. That is the best description of Christian necklaces I can think of. Let me put it this way: if Madonna was wearing crosses 20 years ago, nobody today is going to look at your cross and think, "Wow! This person is so different! I should ask them about their curious neck wear."

From now on when my coworkers annoy me mercilessly, I will assume they are trying to convert me to Christianity. It's as good an explanation as any other.

*I like my obscenities to be vaguely amusing in a way that makes the listener stop and think "Wuh?" 5 minutes later.

Prom for Everyone!

constance mcmillen, gay, homophobia, prom , atheism, atheist,
Unless you've been out of the country (possibly on the moon), you've heard about Constance McMillen, the lesbian student whose simple request to bring the date of her choice to prom resulted in a bigot freakout for the ages in which the Itawamba school board cancelled prom altogether. The school board's theory was that since they can't discriminate against LGBTs, but a private organization can, they'd let a private organization take the reigns of discrimination.

The American Humanist Association has stepped into the breach and will be providing a bigotry-free prom for everyone, hilariously not what the school board had in mind, but exactly what they asked for. Go atheists!

I hope everyone who attends has a wonderful prom. To Constance, I would like to say that your courage and honesty is inspiring and I hope you apply that same attitude to everything you do in life, because that will make the world a better place for us all.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If You Enjoy It, God Hates It

God doesn't know your phone number, does he?

Usually fundys have to blather on about feminazis, abortion or the evils of universal health care to make me foam at the mouth, but these two asshats got me with a dog. A really cute dog.

We are getting rid of our dog, Jake. Before you jump to conclusions about
why we're getting rid of him, let me tell you why.

It's not because we don't love him, it's not because we can't handle having
a dog, it's not because it's too stressful, it's not even because we can't play
with him, it's simply because we feel that the Lord is telling us to do this.
Why? We know one reason is because Jake can be a distraction to us. It takes
time and effort to have a dog, time that really isn't producing fruit that's
worth it. Sure, he's fun! We LOVE spending time with him and training him, but
ultimately it's not going to produce fruit that will last for eternity. We can't
train a dog to win souls for the lost or pray out the plan of God! :) Too

No, but you could take responsibility for the animal that bonded with you, the animal that trusts you and loves you.

First of all, that flippant little "too bad" at the end makes me think they didn't really like the dog all that much. If you look at the pictures of Jake, you'll see that he is a Chocolate Lab. Labs are the sweetest of dogs, but they are fairly large, high energy, very playful and require a lot of patient, consistent training. I personally think these people have a dog they can't handle and are passing off their decision to dump the poor dear as "god's will".

However, suppose they truly don't want to give up their precious Jake? Suppose, despite evidence to the contrary, that they are heartbroken over being "forced" to give up their dog? What does that tell you about their god?

Oh my, is that an extra second you have there- PRAY! Do you have to pee so much? You're wasting time that could be used to pray. Sleeping is for atheists, you should be praying! Are you enjoying that? You shouldn't be enjoying things- you've got god! Is there anything else you enjoy, perhaps books or music or pretty clothes? Give that up, too! There is nothing of yours god does not require- he demands it all!

Yeesh, what a bleak life that must be. I sincerely hope they're just immature dog dumpers, because the alternative is pathetic.

Thinking of the Wrong Person

The headline screams: New Jersey Woman Wants to Weigh 1,000 Pounds!

The first sentence of the article says it all:

Meet Donna Simpson. She's going to cost you. A lot.

Oh? Will I be unable to walk if she reaches her goal? Will I suffer heart disease, diabetes, joint damage and myriad other health problems if she weighs 1,000 pounds?

What about what this will cost Ms. Simpson? That's only addressed so that the overall cost of obesity can be addressed. The entire article is a great big fat shame as experts review the costs of obesity, with nary a mention of why an individual would wish to eat themselves into complete disability, or what the poor woman's life will be like on her way to her goal.

The picture of Ms. Simpson is an action shot: she's eating. Of course.

“Obesity causes a minimum $1,429 increase, or 42 percent in medical costs,”
Emmer said. “Research shows lifestyle choices and behaviors drive 87.5 percent
of the cost for health care claims."

Well, sure. Living does indeed tend to lead to dying. Funny how I never see statistics on hospital visits for athletes for torn tendons and such. If you watch professional sports, you know injuries run rampant for athletes at all skill levels. Where's the shamy article on that?

As Simpson’s appetite increases, so will the cost of health care for the severe
medical conditions that she is likely to have — conditions that are preventable
by healthier lifestyle choices. Whereas her $750-a-week grocery bill is merely
gastronomical, her hospital bills will be astronomical — and the taxpayers of
New Jersey may well have to pay her tab.

Really? I won't deny that weighing over 600 pounds does put one at higher risk for heart disease and diabetes, but those conditions are not totally preventable through "healthier lifestyle choices". Thin people do indeed suffer from heart disease. Thin people also develop type 2 diabetes. Fat shame all you want, you're at risk too. Asshole.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Religion: Video Games for the Stone Age?

Occasionally I remember that exists and venture over there for a few hours of reading. Today, I came across an article about video games and Skinnerian psychology. The writer, David Wong, is quite right in his conclusion: video games provide people with the autonomy, complexity and sense of accomplishment that so many of us are missing in our daily lives. This is not an indictment of video games, as a gamer I can tell you this is true. There's nothing terribly fulfilling about being a legal secretary, but when I kill a corpser in Gears of War or level up in Dragon Age, that's accomplishment.

Then it struck me that there are probably other activities that fill the same need for people that don't like video games or don't have access to them. You know, like religion.

Stick with me here. One element of Skinnerian gaming is putting gamers in a virtual Skinner box. Teach them to perform an action for a reward and keep them doing it. Religion involves much the same dynamic. Keep doing the same thing over and over again, i.e., praying five times a day, attending services at certain times, rereading the same book ad nauseum, for a reward, be it heaven or the adulation of your peers.

Another element of gaming is based on the fact that your brain treats virtual rewards- cool! I got the sniper rifle!- as if they are real. Which goes a long way to explaining why the religious will do almost anything for potential rewards in heaven. Their brains treat those virtual rewards the same as if they were being handed actual diamonds.

Random reinforcement is a huge element of gaming, particularly in RPGs. Random reinforcement is the science behind slot machines, and we know how well it works. If you teach an animal to press a lever to get food, and every time it presses the lever it gets food, it stops pressing the lever unless it wants food. Set the lever so that food appears randomly, however, and that animal will do nothing but press the lever. (Think blue-haired ladies at the slot machine.)

How does this relate to religion? Prayer. Some prayers are "answered", some are not. You'd think that would convince people that prayer is a waste of time, but no, it just enforces praying more. Random reinforcement is a powerful force.

Now, the big difference between our Skinner box hamster and a real human is that
we humans can get our pellets elsewhere. If a game really was just nothing but
clicking a box for random rewards, we'd eventually drop it to play some other
game. Humans need a long-term goal to keep us going, and the world of addictive
gaming has got this down to a science.

So does religion. There is no goal greater than heaven, now is there? And there are lots of short term goals along the way, including converting the heathens, raising good religious children, raising money for this, that and the other, the list goes on.

Video games, tv shows, books, blogs, etc. fill a void in our lives. The void of accomplishment or acceptance or love. So do religions. Sure, you're miserably poor and suffering, but you're going to heaven when you die! Everyone at school hates you, but everyone at church loves you! Passing out tracts isn't an annoying waste of time, it's saving souls!

None of this is really a problem until it interferes with your life and/or the lives of those around you. My playing video games obsessively won't impact you, but legislating my religion all over you will. Otherwise, I'd really have no problem with it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Racism: Get Over It!

Sometimes, you find a person so steeped in solipsism and general fail you just know they'll be the next Republican nominee for POTUS. So, America, I give you (Very) Fuzzy Logic.

Some things are complicated, difficult, seemingly impossible to fully
comprehend. To that I say, so the heck what? At some point, we have
to move past some of the things that are crippling our country, and why not
start now? Following is my (over simplified but darned fun to vent)
list of simple (simplistic, actually, but so what?) solutions to many of the
problems we face today:


To white racists: stop it

To black people: get over it

I . . . I may have had a stroke. I wonder if Fuzzy's future advice will include such gems as, "Rape victims: stop whining" or "So what if you've had every limb amputated, you don't see me complaining, do you?"

Progressives vs. PatriotsWe can do a few things about this, but none of them
involve "bipartisanship" or "compromise." I'm done "compromising" away my
liberties, my American-ness, and my country. Done. So here's what
can happen:

oh, so you protested against the Patriot Act? I will condense the next two paragraphs so we can get to the good stuff faster. Progressives: stop being progressive. Conservatives: get more conservative. And then . . .

Both: some kind of secession may be in order. Set up two "Americas,"
one that is based on the Constitution (move the capital somewhere else . . .
maybe Texas), and one based on crazy BO's crazy agenda. This would be a
short-term split because once the progs have all the people who want to sponge
off of others in one place and all the hard-working, industrious people creating
prosperity, freedom, and opportunity in another, the first will fold.
Fast. Who's going to provide financial support for their idiot dreams if
we all break off? No one. That government, being all-powerful as BO
wants it to be, will resort to force, arrests, imprisonment, executions to try
to make it work (just as they do in every other instance it's tried), and before
long they'll be begging to be part of the true America. And we'll let
them. Of course.

Actually, Fuzzy, in the real world, it's the blue states that support the red states. So, good luck with that secession and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Iran Nuke 'em. But strategically. There are democracy- and
freedom-loving Iranians who deserve a free Iran (one that isn't a menace to the
rest of the world).

How, exactly, does one strategically nuke a country 20% the size of the US? More to the point, has someone developed a nuclear weapon that kills Islamofacistcommiesocialists while sparing freedom-lovers? I must have missed that.

War on Terror

Find them, cut off their money trails, torture them if they are high up on
the food chain, kill them.

See, now that's way better than our current strategy of sending terrorists FTD floral displays. Why didn't we think of this before?!

Illegal ImmigrationAdopt the policies of any other country on this
planet. NO other country allows illegals to pour into their country and
suck their resources dry. Place a world map on a table, close your eyes,
and point to the map . . . whatever that country's immigration policy is adopt
it here. And then deal with the freakishly large and crazy-expensive
illegal immigrant population here in that exact manner. Get the word
out. End of problem.

Okay, so, we'll adopt Somalia's immigration policy. No, wait, I've got a better idea. We'll allow the Native Americans to retroactively enforce whatever immigration policy they would like, which I'm guessing doesn't allow for Fuzzy remaining in the US. Despite the fact that I would end up somewhere in the Alps, I am all about this plan.


Treat it like the religious holiday it is and not like a scarlet letter of
shame. If you're not religious and just like the pretty lights, trees, and
presents . . . yay! Go for it; celebrate it if you wish, as you
wish. But in the open, not hiding in shame, afraid to say the words,
"Merry Christmas."

FOR THE LAST FUCKING TIME, NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU FROM SAYING "MERRY CHRISTMAS". You just don't have the right to expect everyone on the fucking planet from saying it to you.

The (stupidestthingever) Pain Scale

If you go to the doctor complaining of pain, you will be asked three questions:

Where is the pain?

What is the pain like: stabby, dull, fiery, electric?

On a scale of 1-10, how bad is the pain?

For a chronic pain patient, the first two questions are frustrating enough*, but that pain scale is ridiculous for anyone. On the left we have "0- no pain", on the far right we have "10- worst possible pain". What the fuck does that mean? The worst pain I have ever personally experienced, the worst pain I can imagine, or the worst pain anyone anywhere has experienced? What exactly is a 10, the pleurisy pain that had my blood pressure jumping up to over 180 or Joan of Arc's final moments?

Holy meaningless, Batman.

One problem with the pain scale is that its ambiguity encourages patients to make up their own definitions. Denelian treats the pain scale like the Richter Scale, i.e., 2 is twice as bad as 1, 3 is twice as bad as 2, etc. I treat the pain scale entirely differently. 5 is normal pain for me. At a 5, the pain is bothering me, but I can work and do housework and enjoy activities like eating and playing video games. At an 8, I can't do dishes or laundry, and I lose interest in eating**. At a 9, I'm restricting water to avoid having to get up to pee and I don't want to play with my dog. By 10, I can't even enjoy video games and I mostly just twist and fidget in pain while tears roll down my cheeks and I yell at my dog if he gets too close to me.

So a doctor dealing with both me and Denelian is getting two different answers when he hears a 5, although he may be entirely unaware of that fact.

Doctors and nurses have their own interpretations. During the incident in which pain was driving my blood pressure to dangerous heights, I told the nurse that the pain in my chest was a 10 when it was hitting. She wrote down "4". I saw this and said, "I told you 10." She replied, "It's not like you're howling in pain or anything. I'm being generous with a 4." So, if I had had any weak spots in blood vessels in my brain I could have had a stroke right in front of her, but I wasn't causing a scene, so no big deal.

I know why doctors use the pain scale. It's easy. It's a single number. A real discussion of pain would involve asking a lot of questions and really listening to the answers. It would involve empathizing with a subjective experience and suspending disbelief. It would involve taking me at my word and trusting that I know my body, my pain and my needs. It would involve understanding that no matter how many years of school you attended, you're not living in my body, and you're not going to have to cope, as well as you can, with less pain relief than you need. Listening. Properly treating pain would involve listening.

In fact, studies have shown that [m]ost doctors, within the first 18 seconds of seeing a patient, will interrupt him telling his story and also generate an idea in his mind [of] what's wrong.

That explains everything right there. Doctors are never going to ditch the pain scale if they can't bother to listen for more than 18 seconds. It would take me the better part of five minutes to list every single symptom I experience, so you're not even getting the highlights in 18 seconds. Don't even get me started on the concept of treating people (or not) with potentially dangerous drugs on the basis of 18 seconds of listening and one number, especially if you've decided that you can tell from a single glance what that number is.

Anyway, I could go on all day about everything that is wrong with health care in America, but the pain scale really freakin' bothers me.

*It would be easier for me to list where the pain isn't. Right now, neither my nose nor my ears hurt. As for the descriptives, I usually just answer "yes". Here is dull, over here is stabby, over there is electric.

**I love food. If I'm not eating, there's a problem.
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