Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – They can’t even get egg rolling right

(as an aside, look like I was wrong about North Korea being the first tail to wag the dog in my last post, see postscript).

In this atmosphere where the clown Trump and his circus are threatening the world with destruction thanks to their incompetence, one wouldn’t think that a story about the annual White House Easter egg roll would have much play. However, it underlines that this self-proclaimed great manager and his buffoons can’t even get things right that have been done for years. The New York Times has an article on the ineptitude again being shown.

Now, it is hard to arrange a public event of any kind, and especially one for tens of thousands. One has to start planning for such events months, if not years, in advance. Orders have to be placed, people have to be hired. And Trump, Melania, Ivanka (daddy, bomb them because they make me feels bad but screw the refugees) and their staff have done none of this. They blame others for their incompetence as usual, underlined by them trying to blame the manufacturer of the commemorative eggs by saying that the manufacturing time was cut and that is not true at all. They were told when they had to get the order in and they ignored it.

One might think that Trump is afraid of failing at the egg hunt too.  “I got more eggs than anyone.  My eggs are the best eggs.  No one’s eggs are better than mine!”

What’s even more pathetic is that Trump et al, also asked that PBS supply them characters for the event, when doing their best to kill PBS Kids, culture and the arts.   PBS seems to be providing *one* character, and at this time, it’s not known which one. I hope it’s Oscar the Grouch, who can tell the pointed truth about these idiots.

Postscript: On the subject of bombing Syria, it’s most curious that Trump’s son said this ““If there was anything that [the strike on] Syria did, it was to validate the fact that there is no Russia tie.” Hmmm, so we have a president who is facing an investigation for ties to Russia, and who ordered an attack on Syria that did little damage, and we have his son saying “look, look, we did something that Russia didn’t want us to do, so that means we’re not Russia’s pawns.”  One gets this ploy and the attempt for Trump to say “think of the children!” all in one package.

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – chance of war? High

with the noose tightening around Trump regarding his contacts with Russia, and his nepotism, it is no surprise that the sabres are rattling about North Korea.  http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/04/politics/white-house-north-korea-china/index.html   It’s a common tactic, a failing administration saying “Look, a bunny!” to get the media focus from them.

Also no surprise that Trump’s support of Assad in Syria has resulting in gassing civilians.  It’s what you get for supporting ignorance and dictators.

 

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – No, many conservatives really are this ignorant

I haven’t had a Pennsylvania politician post for a while.  But oh this one deserves it in spades.  Scott Wagner, a Republican (what else?) state representative from the district to the south of me, has said the following about climate change:

I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer to the sun every year–you know the rotation of the earth. We’re moving closer to the sun.” [WITF-FM, Harrisburg, 3/28/17]

And not satisfied with this, he also said:

“We have more people…you know, humans have warm bodies. So, is heat coming off?”

No, despite the date, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke.

Keystone Progress is looking to send this pathetically ignorant man to school to learn the basics about reality.   Hmmm, I wonder if I still have college books for astronomy, meteorology, geology, etc. If so, someone’s getting a package!  Indeed this man is a great example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, as is that clown Trump.

This is why everyone who can should attend the March for Science, write your legislators, and always *always* counter the ignorance and outright lies of those who would try to ignore science in favor of their ignorant ideology.  No one has the right to take away the ability of people to make an informed decision.

This stupidity makes the kitty angry. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Why climate change is a state/church issue

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has an excellent news release on this.  I am a member and I recommend that you be one too.

Trump has appointed an active climate change denialist, religionist Scott Pruitt, to head the EPA. The New York Times documents in an article boldly titled “Denialists in Charge” how federal posts are now filled with officials “who have a record of openly denying the established science of human-caused climate change.” These include the fundamentalist Christian Rick Perry, our secretary of energy, known for mocking climate science.

Denying anthropogenic climate change is based on the rejection of facts and reality in favor of blind faith, wishful thinking or willful denial. Many of the climate denialists in politics, such as Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. James Inhofe and former Senators Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, deny climate change for explicitly religious reasons.

There seems to be a correlation between religiosity and climate denial. While other factors, such as political party affiliation, race and ethnicity are stronger predictors of views about climate change, Pew Research found “it is the religiously unaffiliated, not those who identify with a religious tradition, who are particularly likely to say the Earth is warming due to human activity. . . White evangelical Protestants stand out as least likely to have this view.”

Sen. Inhofe, R-Okla., cited Genesis to bolster his denial of reality: “my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.” Inhofe, who wrote a 2012 book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” serves on the Senate’s standing committee on science. That’s outrageous.

A few months ago, the conservative Christian radio host Bryan Fischer tweeted, “Jesus would be for whatever is best for the poor. A warmer climate—if it’s even happening—is better for the poor.”

– See more at: https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/29062-why-climate-change-is-a-state-church-issue#sthash.omwVox8Y.dpuf

That last quote just takes the cake for pure selfishness, ignorance and stupidity.  I guess Jesus doesn’t give a f@ck about the islanders losing their homes, the folks on the coasts who will lose theirs, and suffer worse storms, etc.

Attend the March for Science in Washington, DC on April 22, 2017, or find one in your area.  Marches do work, perhaps not quickly or exactly the way you want but they do work.  It’s to support the sciences, widen the diversity of those in the sciences and to stand against the clown and circus in the White House.

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the flying spaghetti monster and a Christian walk into a bar…

It shouldn’t amaze me anymore, but it does.  The deceit that pastors and priest practice on their flocks knows no shame.

Recently, Dave, the pastor from a church in England who I have addressed before, has been on a tear to insist that atheists are wrong. As usual, an atheist can’t comment on his posts and they are evidently intended on preaching to his own flock, so that they don’t know what the facts are about atheists and atheism.  His latest couple of posts focus on a common point that many atheists make: that a Christian or any other theist, is an atheist to every other god claimed *but* their own.  These theists, for various reasons, deny the existence of gods that other humans have no trouble believing in at all.

The discussion starts out with Dave making an interesting claim, that no one can believe in his “one true God” without this god revealing itself to that person “belief in the one true God can only come through revelation as he speaks to you, reveals his true character and causes you to see your need for him”.  That certainly shoots the common, but not universal, Christian claim of free will. If I don’t believe, it’s not my fault, it’s this god who damns me to eternal torture just *because*. He claims that the revelation is in the bible, which does bring up quite a few problems; foremost that even Christians don’t agree on the true character of this god, what it wants, what it does, what parts of the bible are literal or not, and what it takes to be “saved”.   I do appreciate him in giving a pair of instances where the fact that Christians don’t agree and even this god can’t get them to agree is shown so well.

The pastor doesn’t seem to get the intent of pointing out that he only believes in one god and that he is atheist to ever other one.  This line of argument is to point out that, despite the fact that all theists have the same evidence for their god: none, they all insist that theirs exists and no others do.  When they claim that a non-believer in their god can’t definitively prove that their god doesn’t exist then so it *must* exist, they forget that this would mean that they can’t definitively prove other gods don’t exist either, and thus we have a bunch of theists who are stuck with believing in a lot of gods.  Claiming that they have a “one true god” is no more meaningful than the next theist claiming exactly the same thing.

Dave also claims that “the atheist would not want us to put his “no god” option alongside the 3000 “god” options for comparison and with good reason” which is not true at all.  It would be a bit silly since then one would be trying mightly to compare apples to oranges.  My conclusion that there are no gods, including the Christian one, is based on the fact that there has never been any evidence for any of the gods claimed to exist, and no evidence of any of the essential events that define these religions.  I can show that entirely different events happened rather than what is claimed in the myths of religions.  The claim of “potential truth” is nothing more than the Russell’s Teapot argument.  There is potentially a teapot in orbit around Jupiter, but that potential, aka probability is very very small.   When one adds more and more detail about the teapot, that it is an Edwardian silver tea set, complete with tea tray,  made by Oneida, and it has three sugar lumps in the sugar bowl, the probabiilty gets smaller and smaller.  In that the gods of most, if not all, religions have just as much detail, and those details can be examined and tested, the probability of those gods goes down too, until,  this god becomes some vague critter, living under a rock on Ceti Alpha 5, and nothing like the gods that humans claim to worship.  Continue reading

From the Kitchen and the Bar – samoa pie, and wine

The samoa in the title is the Girl Scout cookie.  My spouse *loves* them.   They are basically a shortbread cookie covered in caramel, toasted coconut and chocolate.   They still are pretty good, though many of the cookies seem to less than what I remember.  Of course it could simply be the glow of nostalgia.  I, for the record, was a Brownie for about 6 weeks.  I was there long enough to make a “sit-a-pon”  and then was bored with the antics of little girls.  Such is the burden of reading way way early and just not caring who had what doll, etc.

Spouse found a recipe for a “samoa pie”, and asked nicely for one.   The recipe came from Averie Cooks, and is a very nice recipe indeed. It is quite the sugar bomb.  I think it is better than the cookies.  It is also very close to the circa 80’s Seven Layer Cookies, but I find it much easier to make since I almost always have the ingredients on hand.  I got randomly lucky and the chocolate on top evidently hit the tempering temperature and it ended up shiny.   I do recommend baking this on a sheet pan because the sweetened condensed milk got very very close to boiling out of the pie pan.  This is very very good with a cup of dark roast coffee with a bit of cream. I’m really enjoying the Gevalia Majestic Roast lately.

As for the wine, we finally got a bottle of Apothic Crush.  This is one of their limited editions, and I think for Valentine’s Day.  It’s very much like their Red and Dark, velvety and rich, but a bit lighter than both.  They are now coming out with a Rose for the spring/summer.

That’s it.  Eat and drink well.

Postscript:  if you are a new visitor, be warned that the bulk of my posts are my opinions of politics (pragmatic liberal) and religion (hard atheist).  If you only want to see the food and drink posts, just pay attention to the titles. They’ll always have “from the kitchen” or “from the bar” on them.  Occasionally, you’ll see a “from the back room” which will detail our adventures in home brewing.  Visit The Boss’s Office to find out about your host.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a new poll indicating a more secular America, and a hardening of evangelicals

The Public Religion Research Institute has come out with a new poll on the religious attitudes in the US, specifically about gender and sex: “Majority of Americans Oppose Transgender Bathroom Restrictions”    It indicates that attitudes are changing, with white evangelicals losing ground for their claims of having a divine “truth”.   Curiously enough, this group voted overwhelmingly for Trump, a man who ignored them until it was politically convenient.  This does show how much a promise of returning people back to a time when they felt in control can get their support.

A Salon article about the research, says the following: “Despite all the conservative posturing about how their movement represents “real” America and liberal political attitudes are restricted mainly to the “coastal elite,” new research from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests that, at least in political terms, most Americans are secular in their orientation. While many Americans may still hold conservative personal beliefs, when it comes to the issue of church-state separation, large majorities reject efforts by the religious right to use the power of the state to impose conservative Christian values on others. 

In fact, the polling data shows that there’s really only one group of Americans that rejects a secular society: White evangelical Christians. And this study is just further evidence that a lot of the political polarization in our country is the direct result of white evangelical Christians realizing that they are no longer dominant majority, and lashing out angrily in an effort to regain the levels of dominance they used to enjoy.”

The need for no change and obedience to their demands is what many Christian conservatives evince.  They need that external validation for their beliefs; the mere existence of anyone who doesn’t agree with them (and isn’t being punished by some god) shows that their beliefs are not quite what they claim.  If they do not get this obedience and agreement, they often seem to act out like a three year old who isn’t getting her way.

For additional information on the actions of those who need to imagine that they and theirs are in authority, I recommend Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians.