From the kitchen and the bar: duck and wine

Sorry for the long hiatus. I am dealing with a job I don’t like, and working on my art, which I do like.

I’m now an officially paid artist! It’s very weird feeling for someone who hated art teachers in elementary, high school and college because the ones I had didn’t teach art, they just had class pets who could do art and ignored the rest of us. There is, I think, the idea of some innate talent but you have to be taught the rest. In a week, I’m doing another show.  This is the cheese plate that sold (the white is from the reflection from the resin on it)

Lately, we’ve been trying a few new things to cook and drink. I finally cooked the last bit of game meat that I bought from D’Artangnan, a duck. It was very good, but they are indeed greasy. I think ours could have used more pricking of the skin to release more of the sub-q fat and a little longer in the oven. We had it with sweet potatoes and carrots that roasted in the fat. I just recently made a quick hash of that in a skillet to crisp it up some. Here is the duck. They are quite a bit different in physiology than a chicken.

We also had some shimmery wine. We got this at the local ren faire, the PA Renaissance Faire at Mt. Hope Winery. They mixed whatever makes liquids like Viniq shimmer (finely ground mica?) with pink Catawba wine and made fairy wine. You can’t quite see how nice it looks in a still photo. Here’s a video of Viniq.

This weekend we’re making yet one more roast chicken when my folks visit. It’s kind of an early xmas, late thanksgiving thing. I’m going to be a sneaky daughter and given them a bible as a present, one not the hard-to-read KJV, and with large print and the apocrypha. I wonder if my dad, who bet me all those years ago I couldn’t read it the bible, will do it himself since he has found he likes reading. He used to always give me such a hassle when I was a young bookworm. Go play outside! Go play with your brother!

Now he knows what its’ like because I can’t resist teasing him.

We also adopted two friendly feral cats.  A huge black one had been hanging about and I got him to like me.  There was also a smaller gray and white one who seemed to get along with him well.  So we brought both in.  The black cat is called Tez, short for Tezcatlipoca, and the other is Aggie, short for Agamemnon, also called Roomba because he loves to roll around on the floor and collect any crumbs.  We have decided to always call our cats aggressive names because those ones all turn out sweet, and the one we named Muffin is the hellion.  She is about 15 now and has screeched at and cowed the the new boys (well, they are neutered).

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Rain Distribution: A Godly Contract

a wonderfully snarky observation about god and droughts

The Accidental Satirist

THIS AGREEMENT is entered into this 10th day of February between God and drought-ridden nations. Nations hereby retain God to use his best efforts to keep all of the countries in the world supplied with enough water for hot showers and things, subject to these terms:
ARTICLE I
OBLIGATIONS OF GOD
1.1. God, in his omnipotence, swears to bring enough rain to the world unless he accidentally brings drought. Noah only fixed the flooding situation. Droughts are totally still a thing.
1.2. God, in his omniscience, swears that if He *does* accidentally bring drought, it’s the nation’s responsibility to pray for rain or else He can’t very well be expected to bring it, now can he?
1.3. Actually, that last clause suggests that God makes mistakes, so scratch that. Where there is drought, God sent it on purpose. Uh. Let’s try again. Where there is drought, it serves as punishment…

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – questions posed to an atheist

As I am wont to do, I was roaming about wordpress looking for silly claims about atheists by theists.  While chatting with his son about another blog post, I found this list of questions by a pastor that has his church not too far from where I grew up.    So I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Most of what he thinks are great questions are the same old ones you’ve seen me address before on this blog.   This is such a collection of them, I figured it could give folks a “one-stop shop” in seeing them.

These were addressed to another atheist and supposedly that atheist never returned to answer Bill’s questions.  So here we go!

1) Why should I put my trust in you and your philosophy for my future and eternal destiny? Jesus Christ has far more credibility than anyone else. His words have greater wisdom and hope than any other philosophy and what it ultimately offers.

I’m not asking you to trust me.  Trust has nothing to do with it.  You’ll die and be recycled in this universe.  It seems that the main reason you believe is that you are afraid of death, nothing more.  And the idea of do unto others has been around far longer than your particular religion, so we’ve already got that as a philosophy without your or any version of Christianity.  In that the ancient Egyptians and Chinese seems to have got the idea earlier than you, should we follow those religions?  You have nothing to back up your claim that JC is more credible than anyone else.  You can’t even show that this magical being exists. 

2) When I am dying, what hope will you offer me? 

Why do you need hope when you are dying?   Fear of death is likely the reason that humans invented gods and religions.   If you hope to get well, the cures and therapies invented/discovered by the sciences that show that evolutionary theory and the Big Bang Theory are true, might help.  Your religion makes promises but there is nothing that shows those promises are true.  No heaven, no hell, no Chistians able to heal as promised.  My hope when I’m dying will be that I did my best while alive helping others and enjoying myself.  

3) What great accomplishment(s) do you claim to have done (fulfilled prophecy, miracles, resurrection, other feats and accomplishments) so I can examine the

evidence to see if your belief system has merit? 

I don’t need to do miracles to point out that being compassionate, etc has merit.  It can stand on its own.   However, you do need to do some miracles, since your bible claims that any baptized person who has accepted JC as savior will be able to do what he did. 

4) Why is it so important to you that I (and others) do not believe in Jesus Christ?

Because religion causes people to harm others, mostly because religion tries to claim that some people are “better” than others.   Humans make up religion and their gods in their image, and they want to claim a magical being validates their actions, no matter how heinous they are.

 5) What positive effects will atheism have on my life and eternity?

 Not much.  You might stop wasting time and resources on something that doesn’t exist and cease being frightened of hell and the devil.  Atheism won’t have any negative effects either.   It’s just not believing in imaginary beings because there is no evidence for them.

 6) Why do the fossil records reveal fully-formed creatures, but no transitional forms? Where is the socalled“missing link”? Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – questions posed to an atheist”

From the Bar – what I’ve had lately

Now to catch up on some drink I’ve had lately.

Found a nice dry rosé wine from Washington state, Milbrandt 2016 Rosé. It was less than $10 at the pa wine store.

I very much like Hendrick’s Gin. It has quite a different flavor profile than other gins. I like flowery alcohol (crème de violette is a favorite) and this is very nice in summery drinks.

A new beer I’ve tried is Space Otter American Pale Ale from Mispillion River Brewing in Delaware. It’s a good pale ale and not too overly hopped. I, of course, bought it primarily for the can.

That’s it. Enjoy!

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Happy Fourth of July! Hobby Lobby is at it again with their 2018 ad

Unsurprisingly, we have a hobby lobby july 2018 ad (happily saved for posterity here), the folks that want to force their religion on their employees (and you) and who have no problem in depending on people working on the “Sabbath” whilst ever-so piously closing their stores on the same day. The people living under authoritarian governments who make the products that they sell and advertise on the Sabbath work on the Sabbath. The truckers and distribution center workers who work on the Sabbath, and the newspaper employees who work on the Sabbath. They certainly have their own shabbos goy so they can try to convince themselves and others how observant they are.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation has shown that all of their claims are wrong, and these TrueChristians continue to repeat lies.  In that the Green family supports a bible museum, they might actually want to read the thing to see that their god hates lies and liars.

This ad is a wonderful example on how so many conservative Christians have no problem in lying, despite their holy book repeatedly saying that lying is a no-no, even if a Christian is lying *for* their god (Romans 3). And it is a wonderful example of Christians who have nothing to refer to except for 17th, 18th and 19th quotes to support their bigoted and ignorant views and even in them they must quote mine to spread lies and misinformation.   They seem to feel that they have the right to remove the ability of humans to make informed decisions based on the facts.

The banner reads “Blessed is the nation whose God is Lord.” This is from Psalm 33, and from the Old Testament. Now compare how these Christians, the Greens, and so many others, follow their god. They support an adulterer, a liar, a cheat, and a self-admitted sexual abuser. It seems that the Greens forget that adulterers are to be stoned to death per the same divine commands that they follow to close their stores. Psalm 33 also says this “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.” But I guess that those laws are just too inconvenient for the Greens and Christians like them to care about as long as Trump promises them power.

The article goes onto quote presidents, founding fathers, SCOTUS rulings, SCOTUS justices, members of congress, words from Yale and Harvard from the 17th and 18th centuries, and “foreign opinion”.   Of course, they print all of the quotes that support their position and conveniently ignore the quotes, often from the same people, who don’t agree with them. Conservative Christians have no problem in cherry picking, as we can see from how they treat their own bible.

Now let’s look at a couple of these quotes that they gave.

They quote John Adams as saying “We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Now here is what is actually said

“While our Country remains untainted with the Principles and manners, which are now producing desolation in so many Parts of the World: while the continues Sincere and incapable of insidious and impious Policy: We shall have the Strongest Reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned Us by Providence. But should the People of America, once become capable of that deep <gap in manuscript> simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by <gap in manuscript> morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition <deleted text “and”> Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

An Address so unanimous and firm from the officers commanding two thousand Eight hundred Men, consisting of such substantial Citizens as are able and willing at their own Expence, compleatly to arm, And cloath themselves in handsome Uniforms does honor to that Division of the Militia which has done so much honor to their Country. Oaths, in this Country, are as yet universally considered as Sacred Obligations. That which you have taken and so solemnly repeated on that venerable Spot is an ample Pledge of your sincerity, and devotion to your Country and its Government.”

No mention of Christianity, and most certainly not of the conservative Christian’s version of Christianity at all.

Of course they also ignore that he said “Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen (Muslims); and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” – Treaty of Tripoli, 1796

And a second:

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” – Thomas Jefferson

As soon as I saw it claimed to be from Thomas Jefferson, I knew what happened. It is entirely unsurprising that they misquote this and they do so intentionally. Now, let’s see what the actual quote says, with the real punctuation and the context. This quote is from “Notes on the State of Virginia – Query 18: Manners

“Manners – It is difficult to determine on the standard by which the manners of a nation may be tried, whether catholic, or particular.  It is more difficult for a native to bring to that standard the manners of his own nation, familiarized to him by habit. There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us.  The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other.  Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal.  This quality is the germ of all education in him.  From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do.  If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present.  But generally it is not sufficient.  The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst of passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities.  The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances.  And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriae of the other.  For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labour for another: in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavours to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him.  With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed.  For in a warm climate, no man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labour.  And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?  That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!  The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.  — But it is impossible to be temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of policy, of morals, of history natural and civil.  We must be contented to hope they will force their way into every one’s mind.  I think a change already perceptible, since the origin of the present revolution.  The spirit of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of heaven, for a total emancipation, and that this is disposed, in the order of events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather than by their extirpation. “

Why do such Christians find it necessary to lie about such things? Jefferson’s words do damn the actions of these Christians today, their turning into despots for their need for control. No wonder that they tried to pretend the rest of the quote didn’t exist.

The intent of the so tenderly placed Sabbath ad by our pious TrueChristians™ is to convince people that the United States is a “Christian Nation”. However, the Greens, and Christians like them, are certain that those Christians who don’t agree with them aren’t Christians at all. This shrinks the population of TrueChristians™ mightily and in this United States of ours, these Christians are a happily small fraction. By their ignorance and bigotry, the Greens and their ilk demonstrate themselves that we are not a “Christian Nation” and the majority are not in their theocratic image, wanting to force a Christian sharia law on everyone. The US is a nation of democracy and freedom, for everyone who wants to participate in those honorable institutions. Some Americans want to be hypocrites who will kneel to someone who ignores the laws they so piously claim to follow, in order to claw their way to power, so they might force everyone to agree with their version of one religion. The rest of us need to stand against such attempts to destroy what we have fought for.

Happy July 4th! Many thanks to those who fight for freedom, be they in our military or in our streets.

An addendum (7/2/18)

Our ostensible TrueChristians did the same as above regarding Alexander de Tocqueville.  They quote this:

““The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is

impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.” – Alexis de Tocqueville: French observer

of America in 1831, author of Democracy in America”

The below is part and parcel of the same book, and we can now see the context of what he says:

” To each of these men I expressed my astonishment and explained my doubts. I found that they differed upon matters of detail alone, and that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.This led me to examine more attentively than I had hitherto done the station which the American clergy occupy in political society. I learned with surprise that they filled no public appointments; 4 I did not see one of them in the administration, and they are not even represented in the legislative assemblies. In several states 5 the law excludes them from political life; public opinion excludes them in all. And when I came to inquire into the prevailing spirit of the clergy, I found that most of its members seemed to retire of their own accord from the exercise of power, and that they made it the pride of their profession to abstain from politics.

I heard them inveigh against ambition and deceit, under whatever political opinions these vices might chance to lurk; but I learned from their discourses that men are not guilty in the eye of God for any opinions concerning political government which they may profess with sincerity, any more than they are for their mistakes in building a house or in driving a furrow. I perceived that these ministers of the Gospel eschewed all parties, with the anxiety attendant upon personal interest. These facts convinced me that what I had been told was true; and it then became my object to investigate their causes and to inquire how it happened that the real authority of religion was increased by a state of things which diminished its apparent force. These causes did not long escape my researches.

The short space of threescore years can never content the imagination of man; nor can the imperfect joys of this world satisfy his heart. Man alone, of all created beings, displays a natural contempt of existence, and yet a boundless desire to exist; he scorns life, but he dreads annihilation. These different feelings incessantly urge his soul to the contemplation of a future state, and religion directs his musings thither. Religion, then, is simply another form of hope, and it is no less natural to the human heart than hope itself. Men cannot abandon their religious faith without a kind of aberration of intellect and a sort of violent distortion of their true nature; they are invincibly brought back to more pious sentiments. Unbelief is an accident, and faith is the only permanent state of mankind. If we consider religious institutions merely in a human point of view, they may be said to derive an inexhaustible element of strength from man himself, since they belong to one of the constituent principles of human nature.

I am aware that at certain times religion may strengthen this influence, which originates in itself, by the artificial power of the laws and by the support of those temporal institutions that direct society. Religions intimately united with the governments of the earth have been known to exercise sovereign power founded on terror and faith; but when a religion contracts an alliance of this nature, I do not hesitate to affirm that it commits the same error as a man who should sacrifice his future to his present welfare; and in obtaining a power to which it has no claim, it risks that authority which is rightfully its own. When a religion founds its empire only upon the desire of immortality that lives in every human heart, it may aspire to universal dominion; but when it connects itself with a government, it must adopt maxims which are applicable only to certain nations. Thus, in forming an alliance with a political power, religion augments its authority over a few and forfeits the hope of reigning over all.

As long as a religion rests only upon those sentiments which are the consolation of all affliction, it may attract the affections of all mankind. But if it be mixed up with the bitter passions of the world, it may be constrained to defend allies whom its interests, and not the principle of love, have given to it; or to repel as antagonists men who are still attached to it, however opposed they may be to the powers with which it is allied. The church cannot share the temporal power of the state without being the object of a portion of that animosity which the latter excites.”

we can see that Tocqueville wasn’t supporting how religion was in the US, and certainly speaks against the type of religion that these TrueChristians want, supporting the separation of church and state.    And yep, he does insist that “unbelief” is an accident, being a good Catholic.