I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'wouldn't it be much worse if life *were* fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?' So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. – M. Cole
I dreamt about dead crows last night. I was in a parking lot where there was a crow that was black, red and blue. A child kicked it and I tried to help it but it died. Then I was back in my garden where there were more dead and dying crows. My parents laughed at me for trying to help them.
Then Athena, one of our cats, decided that she needed to wake me up, chirping and nearly rolling off the bed.
Per some dream websites, dead crows are a sign of an enemy won over, but I love crows/ravens, pretty much as I love snow leopards. My husband, who has a talent at interpreting symbolism, says it could be that the crows were people of color and I was frustrated that I couldn’t help them.
I like this video
To a point, anyway. I don’t believe we were ever “great”. At points, the country, in general, was better than it is now.
Americans committed atrocities repeatedly against the native humans here and in colonization attempts. The US gov’t ignores the treaties it agreed to. That still happens, witness the Standing Rock protests about water.
Slavery was accepted and a good part of the country decided that murdering their fellows for the “right” to own a human being was just a wonderful idea. And there are STILL have Americans who think this is fine.
Women weren’t recognized as human beings with their own rights for more than a hundred years. And there is still have no Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
Many Americans just wanted to appease Hitler and other dictators as long as they weren’t bothered. Isolationists were rampant. A ridiculous number of Americans were Nazis and had summer camps about that crap in the US. So much for the “greatest generation” that had to be largely dragged into caring about the events around the world.
The police in the country default to violence in many situations because they aren’t taught any better and hiring is for those who follow orders, not those who think.
The willful ignorance and arrogance that drives the idea of exceptionalism, aka the “chosen people” is a poison. We advocate, we donate. And I wonder what’s the point sometimes? The dreams of frustration still plague me every night.
Well, this has been quite a week here in the US. We have had a conservative sending bombs to famous liberals from his van plastered with all of the hate that Trump has spouted, and then we have had a conservative shooting up a synagogue here in Pennsylvania.
I went to college in Pittsburgh for a while and walked by this synagogue often.
Now we have conservatives doing their best to deny that Trump’s constant hateful diatribes encouraging violence be done to anyone who disagrees with him had anything to do with this. They keep bringing up the shooting of the republican Scalise at the baseball game. What they forget is that they can’t point to a democratic president constantly saying people should be harmed or anyone else of any similar vein doing what Trump is doing. It is a false equivalency, nothing more than an attempt to ignore reality and cause and effect. They want the hate and divisiveness but don’t want to take responsibility for it.
Of course, Trump and Pence have spouted just how concerned they are about the Jewish folk being shot. It comes from one Christian who needs to believe that all Jews will be killed for his fantasies about the idiotic “end times” and a man who claims he is Christian but pretty much fulfills the definition of “anti-christ” at least if you just look at the good parts of the bible. They both have no problem in blaming the synagogue for not having a armed guard ( oh what a freudian slip, I initially typed “god”, not guard) to protect them from angry stupid white men who need military grade weapons to get out their frustrations of their own failures.
This is domestic terrorism by conservative Christians, just like when they blow up abortion clinics and murder doctors.
If you support Trump and you support the NRA, you are the problem. You are those who support wannabee Nazis and confederates on these days leading up to Veterans’ Day, where those people fought against everything you now stand for.
“Also on April 5, chalk messages were written on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. They included, “They have to go back #Trump,” “Build the Wall” and “Trump Deportation Force.”
The messages appeared near the campus’ Latina/Latino Studies building.”
Chalking is not the exchange of ideas, it’s done to intimidate.
This is not just pro trump, the messages and locations are not an accident.
Hate speech should be distinguished from free speech.
Lets not forget that the Hitler youth were fond of scrawling slogans on walls… “Wir hassen die Juden und Ausländer”…
a rather awesome video (not safe for work for language) that has been around but we just encountered it and thought it needed to be spread a little further. Always good to have a metal message about freedom and human rights especially when the US is flirting with such stupidity as we are now.
Being nice doesn’t preclude standing up for what’s right.
We are back from the Reason Rally 2016 which was June 4th. The weather wasn’t looking to promising as we drove down from Harrisburg, low clouds and drizzle, and I was dreading another repeat of 2012. But once we got there the sky lifted with high clouds, and later in the day, the sun peaked out.
Since it’s hard to go to DC and not want to look at other things, after we got settled in our hotel (Rouge Hotel, part of the wonderful Kimpton Group; they don’t put holy books in the rooms, and they welcome pets), we headed for the National Mall. I had wanted to see the National Air and Space Museum and the American Indian Museum, but hadn’t realized that things had changed I bit since I was last there. Now there are lines for security review and *then* you can enter. So, we did the American Indian Museum, had lunch at the Mitisam café (fry bread with chili) and headed down to the Rally.
Holy crap, I had forgotten just how busy the Mall is, and the zillions of busses. They were also having a run/walk for Parkinson’s Disease which was utterly screwing up traffic. I was so glad to know I had a hotel room to go back to, rather than having to drive home that evening.
So we set out walking the approximately 1 and a half mile to the Lincoln Memorial. I didn’t bother taking many photos of the usual things, the various SI museums, the Washington Monument, etc. Frankly I’m not much of a photographer, and as you may be able to tell, there evidently was a slight smudge in the center of my lens because things tend to get the fuzzy filter effect right there. Sigh…..
As we made it past the Washington Monument, we saw our first Christians, who were haranguing anyone who was near by. What utter jackasses who were there only to bother people and get attention for themselves. Funny how JC himself said that screaming one’s beliefs on a street corner wasn’t the way to go. And then we had the complete idiots who were screaming about how bad technology was and all using that technology that projects their voices. Ah, nothing like hypocrisy. They were very careful to not collect together. We did see good ol’ Ray “Banana Man” Comfort’s minions with their handouts for Ray’s new movie, a little number called “The Atheist Delusion”. No books or gift cards to be seen. I’m almost sure that I saw Comfort, but I’m not sure if he was supposed to be there or not. I do wonder how sadly he’ll lie about atheist in his movie and how he’ll try to twist whatever footage he supposedly took. But we can always expect a good lie from Ray. There were plenty of veterans around of various ages since this area has the WWII memorial, Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial. Plenty of wheelchairs and crutches, not to mention the unseen wounds. Still no reports of healings by Christians as promised by the bible. I guess it was more important to make noise than help people. Walter Reed Army Medical Center was only 6 mile away right up 16th street, but still nothing.
I did watch the trailer for movie (oh the things I do for my readers 🙂 ) . As usual, we have Christians using the only things that they have: fear (of death) and ignorance. Now, we have lots of quotes from atheists, and the last is “I’m lying to myself.” Funny how the quote ends abruptly and doesn’t say what the speaker is lying to himself about or what the question was that the speaker was asked to respond that way. Now, if he was lying to himself about science, evolution, or atheism, they would have left the quote go on, but they don’t.
It’s also telling that the only people that he can get to give a good review is Matt Barber, a writer for the news site for conspiracy theorists WND(World Net Daily), Kevin Sorbo, the fellow who stars in movies like “God is not Dead” which are nothing but attempts to bear false witness against anyone who doesn’t agree with them, Chad Williams a former US Navy SEAL (funny how SEALS and JC’s pacifism don’t exactly go together) and last, but not least. Barbara Cameron. Yep, he had to get Kirk‘s mom to put in a good word for his book. For claiming that this is Ken’s masterpiece, one would wonder why the thing he did before aren’t masterpieces because he appears to be doing nothing new now. We still get the lies about intelligent design. I wonder if the banana will make an appearance again. One can get an overview of what Comfort claims to get a preview of what will likely be seen in this new movie at the rational wiki site. I think I may create a bingo card to use when watching the movie.
Here’s a poor fellow who has no one caring he’s ignoring the words of his supposed savior:
We finally got to the Lincoln memorial, and got there right around when Penn Jillett was on. His special guest was a young woman from a South American country who was on some type of talent tv show. The story was that she sang, did very well, and then the judges asked her if she believed in God. She said she did not, and then they harangued her. She dealt with their words elegantly and honorably. I think I’d have been less noble. She sang “No Martyrs, No Saints” with Penn in Spanish and in English. There was a good speech from James Randi about how harmful woo is in medicine, Maryam Namazie did her usual good job, Rep. Bobby Scott gave a elegant speech about freedom from religion and the Fab Four was a good musical interlude (of course they played “Imagine”). We spent about 3 hours there and then my husband’s legs and knees were just about done with sitting and walking. So we headed back to the hotel. Later that evening we ate at Rasika, an Indian restaurant with some curious reinterpretations of the food. The lamb xacuti was good, though had a large amount of cinnamon in it, I had a lobster dish with cashew milk and I think saffron. The naan bread was fantastic, and we had two cocktails. Mine had quite a mix of beet juice, crème de violette, Sailor Jerry’s rum, and lime. Weird as that sounds, it was great and a lovely color. My husband’s was passion fruit ginger liqueur and sparkling wine. The only bad thing is that the restaurant was noisy. I wish places would think about sound control when they decide to make every surface hard. If I can’t hear my husband across the table, there’s something you need to fix.
In some of the photos it’s hard to tell how many people are there since most people are under the trees in the shade.(I have yet to hear a count.) They had several big screens so everyone could see well, and two big tents, one full of organizations and the other the family area and the donation area. The crowd was a lot more diverse that I would have thought. It certainly wasn’t all Caucasian. There were families (one group thought my husband’s three sloth moon tshirt was awesome), young people of all skin colors (I liked the “don’t be afraid, I’m an educated black woman tshirt), etc. The whiners that the rally was going to be unacceptable to them weren’t there. Oh well. I’ll take a group of 10,000 rather than have a group of 20,000 and that extra 10,000 sure that I’m less of a human than they are because I’m a woman and that I might be concerned about things other than they are.
The following photos are of the rally and then just some cool things I took photos of.
And one addition. I saw these crazy golden spires above the trees coming home on 495.
The second biggest waste of money and resources by the Church of Latter Day Saints.
52 acres (21 hectares)
160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2)
288 ft (88 m)
Always good to know that it’s far more important to do this than help people. Looks like some of the stuff in Kazazhstan.
In their ritual of showing off how virtuous they are, some PA representatives are trying to again force their version of their religion on others in HB 1640, aka “National Motto Display Act”. The sponsoring representative is Chris Dush (such a name, miserable to grow up with and certainly appropriate now). The rest of the sponsors are: DUSH, BAKER, V. BROWN, FARINA, GROVE, KAUFFMAN, MAJOR, McGINNIS, MILLARD, MILNE, REESE, SACCONE, STAATS AND ZIMMERMAN. Pretty much the usual suspects, who need to show their constituents that they are indeed trying to make a theocracy. Of course, they can’t be honest about it. No, they hide under the skirts of nationalism. They intentionally lie to try to force their religion on others. I guess they must not have read the bit in their bible that says lying is bad and lying “for” their god isn’t good either (Romans 3)
HB 1640, titled the “National Motto Display Act”, is nothing more than an attempt to force religion into schools, using a phrase put on money (in a desperate attempt to curry divine favor during the US Civil War)and on the US motto in hysterical fear over Communism. Political leaders decided that we should curry favor with one god, out of fear of the “goddless Commies”, as if putting the word God on money and the motto would make them, what, burst into flames? Again, we have some Christians trying to force their version of their religion on others, now through the backdoor of patriotism when they now present HB 1640 for a vote. It seems that intentional dishonesty is what some Christians try to get their way
There is no place for sectarian nonsense in schools as a display to be respected as the authors and supporters of the bill want. Let the history of such silly attempts be told in history books. This attempt tries to force a single religion’s claim onto all Pennsylvanians, onto our children and ignoring any parent’s right to teach their own children about their own religion, or lack of one. The Pew Research Center has that here is around 70% Christians in the US (and we know that is far smaller since most of those Christians are sure that those Christians who don’t agree with them aren’t Christians at all). That means around 30% of us have no trust in the Christian god. This attempt at theocracy and petty nationalism has no place in our schools. These Christians can have whatever they want in their homes and churches, they have no right to force the rest of us to participate in their religion.
This idiocy is why voting matters.
PS – had some formatting issues.
PPS: with much thanks to Ron, here is the amendment offered for this stinker: Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE McCARTER Printer’s No. 2388 1Amend Bill, page 4, by inserting between lines 1 and 2 2(d) Referendum.–Prior to a school district posting the3motto under subsection (a), it must conduct a nonbinding voter4referendum on the question of displaying the motto and which 5explains any possible cost or the potential cost of any6potential exposure to litigation as a result of displaying the 7motto.2016/90LKK/HB1640A06585-1-“
Nah, they don’t know that they are wrong and completely anti-Constitutional, do they? Ooh fuck, don’t blame *us* if you get sued.
“Costs and expenses.–Costs and expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by a school district in defending any action or proceeding brought as a result of the implementation of this section shall be borne by the Commonwealth.”
Yep, these folks want taxpayers to pay for their stupidity.
Just some various thoughts about religion, politics, etc. None were showing promise as a blog post on their own, but I found them interesting enough to gather together.
No idea what is going on with the Republican party or its candidates. Trump seems to be doing his best to get attention but to have no chance of becoming president and then being required to actually work for a living. The rest? They seem stuck in the fantasy that only white 40+ year old men vote. They certainly have been doing their best to make it that way by their attempts at restricting voting as much as they can. We have a man of African descent, a woman and two men of Hispanic descent, none who have a snowball’s chance in hell of even winning the nomination much less the general election. Why do they run? Book deals, as some claim? Positions on boards? That’s quite a jaded view, if true. No idea either on what is going on with people who would vote for somone like Trump. What does it say about people who claim they would vote for a man who is demonstrably ignorant on most subjects, and who is nothing but one more wannabee megalomaniac? Not that people haven’t voted for such men in the past. It’s just sad that they would voluntarily do so again.
Unsuprisingly, one of the questions at the Faux Noise circus was if the candidates hear from their god, taken from a question from Facebook: ‘I want to know if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.’. To paraphrase Sam Harris, it’s okay for a candidate to hear from God, but if you add that he heard from God who was speaking from his vacuum cleaner, then that makes the candidate a lunatic. It’s more amusing that the fellow that asked the question isn’t happy because the candidates weren’t Christian enough for him. I do wonder what he wanted to see exactly. A beam of light coming down and selecting the one true candidate? Or may be all of the candidates standing behind altars and praying really hard to get them to light? Now, *that* I would have watched.
On one more murder of an atheist blogger by theists. They have to do in a mob what each of them would be too afraid to do on their own. They are no more than violent ignorant cowards, whose belief is so weak it cannot take the least questioning. Unfortunately, we have just as many here in the US. We even Christian apologists, like William Lane Craig, who say that such things are fine, the only problem is that the Muslims have the wrong god. Happily, we in the US have a secular government that dissuades such actions more strongly than the useless governments in so many theocratic countries.
Netflix and Microsoft have decided to offer a year of paid leave if one is having a child. Now, why isn’t this offered to anyone who makes a choice to do something? I’d like a year to write, why is my choice to do something that I want to do any less worthy than having a child?
To claim Christianity is a major religion is rather silly since Christians regularly claim that the Christians who don’t agree with them are not Christians at all. This also appears to hold true with other religions. Sects hate each other. This indicates that religion may indeed be a powerful force in the world, but the argument that size equals truthiness fails rather dramatically.
Here in PA, we have the usual nonsense. In one more instance of trying to pander to the theocrats, we have one of the usual state legislators again trying to get his particular religion forced on everyone in the public schools; now it’s “optional”. We also have the usual attempts by TrueChristians trying to keep one of those Ten Commandments monuments from the Ten Commandments movie(made in 1956 – which will be notable later) on public school grounds. Funny how Hollywood is usually attacked by TrueChristians, but when it’s on their side, what good friends they are!
In a telling instance, the folks who are trying to keep a lump of rock with the first ten commandments on it have to claim that they had a “good number” of people come to their gathering. Hmmm, seems that citing actual numbers might be a tad embarrassing for groups like “Thou Shalt Not Move” when they tout just how effective they are. Of course, we have the usual attempts to claim that the monument isn’t religious and how dare someone think that it’s only for one religion. ““Even if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ, even if you don’t believe in the Lord God, it’s freedom for all. It’s a standard of respect to everyone.” Well, except for that first and foremost commandment, “Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me.” And all of those other commandments that came right after those first ten, still all supposedly straight from this god, and so very inconvenient for modern Americans. And shucks, if one has to allow anyone’s opinion to remain unchallenged as a “standard of respect”, then surely no one needed to go to Europe in the 1940s or to the US south in the 50s and 60s because t’s just “respect” to allow such nonsense like concentration camps and keeping people from voting to exist. Sorry, no need to respect things that are baseless and cause harm.
It’s also wonderful to see that the TrueChristians who support these commandments, ignore one really big one, though shalt not bear false witness, e.g. Don’t lie. We have this lovely quote from Rev. Marietta ““This is our heritage. When our ancestors landed in Jamestown in 1607, the first thing that they did was to enact the Ten Commandments as law.” – Pgh Tribune, May 14, 2014 It seems that the reverend needs to attend the school that he wants to force religion on, since he’s failed in history. Nope, the first ten commandments were not enacted as “law”. What was enacted as law was English Common Law as it was under James I. (a sidebar: the first chaplain of the Jamestown colony was a minister, Robert Hunt, who had to leave his last posting because of an adulterous relationship. We can also see religious intolerance from the beginning where this man is declared “a man not in any way to be touched with the rebellious humours of a popish spirit”.) One can see how religious laws were enacted and again more anti-Catholic nonsense here.
In other news, Rep. Saccone, a serial theocrat, wants “In God We Trust” to be able to be placed in schools (HB 1728). Again, we have the problem of the majority forcing their baseless beliefs on the minority, even if they claim that it is “optional”.
“In God We Trust” is indeed the US National Motto. It has been since 1956, and what was going on then? Yep, the Cold War, where people were stupid and scared (and putting up useless images of the first ten commandments from a movie). Apparently thinking that saying “god” would cause those “commies” to burst into flame, US legislators added such nonsense as a “motto” (it has been on the currency for quite a long time, also with no effect whatsoever, other than to amuse non-Christians because of how money is decried by the supposed Christian savior). Now, this seems to be believing in magic, that if we appease some magical being by mentioning it all of the time, then it’ll have good thoughts about us and nothing bad will happen to the US. Of course, this can’t be shown to be true at all, that prayer or mentioning any god helps anyone, much less a country.
We did get to see how the “poor children” of Pennsylvania are claimed to not have any possible way to know our national motto, by of course a Republican legislator, Rep. John Maher. Hmmm, now didn’t we just see that this motto is on every piece of currency in the US? Finally, in this case, we have one more example of how TrueChristians depend on lies to get their nonsense forced on everyone. An amendment to the bill that would require local governments and school districts to inform their residents that having such a phrase on their public school wall could engender expensive lawsuits was rejected. Add to this the rejection of an amendment that would have transferred the responsibility of legal fees to the state shows just how much these people want to defend their nonsense. They want to agitate but not to support people who will follow them.
And gee, Rep. Saccone lied about how atheists “supported” his bill when it was trotted out the first time.
“Saccone: Atheists, you know, they look at things their own way, also. They can either interpret that as whatever God that they worship, in the form of, maybe it’s materialism, or something else in life that they look at. I actually talked with the head of the Pennsylvania Atheists who came to me after my last rally and said, “You know what, Rick? I support the bill. I see that it’s historic. And I don’t really have a problem [with it]. I don’t believe in God,” he said, “but I support the bill. It’s a good thing.”
Of course, it wasn’t true (I have contacted Rep. Saccone’s office to give him a chance to apologize or explain and have not heard back yet). What a good TrueChristian. Again, we see that religion needs lies, fear and ignorance to exist.
Next up, an anonymous ad in the local paper that does an excellent job of showing even more antics of Pennsylvanian TrueChristians in regards to the recent approval of same sex marriage (still no “wrath of God” a month after the approval. God approves? God doesn’t exist?). It’s always great to see someone who is so ashamed of his/her own opinion that they won’t even own up to it.
Finally, a break from work and a chance to kibbitz on the interwebs. Here in the US, we are celebrating Memorial Day, a day to remember those who have fallen in combat during our various wars. It’s also a time for celebrating the summer, even though it isn’t officially summer yet. Everyone wants to grill something outside, so the meat department is very busy.
Oy, I’m tired.
But that’s nothing new. We did have a great development here in PA when Judge John E. Jones III struck down the PA anti-marriage law, which said only certain people approved of by certain religions can enjoy the benefits of marriage. Judge Jones, you might remember, also was the judge for the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial which showed intelligent design to be the same as creationism much to the disappointment of those who were doing their best to sneak their religion into public schools. Judge Jones may be one of the few Republicans left who respects the rights of people and the existence of the US Constitution. They are still out there, those who favor the government to stay out people’s lives and to be fiscally responsible, but they are a vanishing breed. It may interest you to know that even Rick Santorum supported this judge’s confirmation. So much for claim of “activist liberal judge”. I wonder, does he do so now that Judge Jones dares to disagree with him and his desire to make the US a theocracy?
Of course, we do have the usual suspects throwing fits about this. Rep. Metcalfe, often a target of derision on this blog, has suffered quite a bit lately, with this and with the defeat of his attempts at requiring everyone to have “papers” to vote. We also have the Pennsylvania Family Institute (aka the Pennsylvania Family Council, and Independence Law Center, all the same organization) insisting that the sky is falling again. It’s always amusing when people who are so virulently anti-family, always have to add that to their official names of their organizations. It’s as if no one would realize that they cared about families at all if it wasn’t in their name. They may be interested in families but only those they approve of. One does wonder, do they approve of any family that doesn’t teach their particular religion? I do have reason to doubt that, with their carrying on about how marriage is *only* for a few.
Brandon McGinley, their “field director”, and he of claims that homosexuality can be “overcome” and that homosexuality is going to destroy any vision he has of appropriate “masculinity”, has an interesting op-ed in the local Sunday paper today. Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty much what you might expect from someone like Mr. McGinley. For a fun read about Mr. McGinley’s views, PA GLAAD has a great series of screen caps of Mr. McGinley’s tweets.
But enough of that, let’s take a look at the claims that Mr. McGinley makes. First, there is the claims of how dare anyone reject the “traditional” meaning of marriage and how marriage is somehow only a “unique” thing that only means man marries woman, they must have kids and nothing else. I guess that Mr. McGinley would be sure that my marriage of 22+ years isn’t a “real” marriage. But the state already disagrees with him and has for years. It’s a shock that he isn’t protesting my marriage, but that would be a bit of a problem since he also isn’t whining about divorces too, something else that his bible says is a “very bad thing”.
We get right into the claims of how this was an “activist” decision “unnecessarily broad in scope, faulty in reasoning and, to many, malicious in rhetoric”. Of course, there is nothing about this supposedly “faulty” reasoning, just vague claims of that. Silly of me to expect someone like Mr. McGinley to actually say how the reasoning if faulty. He also does skirt around the fact that more than half of Pennsylvanians approve of equal marriage laws and it was only our representatives that voted to have a law restricting marriage.
Then we get into the meat of the baseless accusations. Mr. McGinley is horrified by Judge Jones’ phrase “We are a better people than what these laws represent. And it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history”. He is sure that anyone who uses such a phrase isn’t interested in “healthy public discourse”, aka allowing people like Mr. McGinley attempt to make homosexuality a thing to be hated, as he has admitted he wants to do. Mr. McGinley can continue to try spread his claims as much as he wants, but not with the tacit blessing of the government by its restriction of equal treatment under the law. Continue reading “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Pennsylvania’s anti-equal marriage rights law struck down; let the whining commence”→