Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – frustration and futility

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.


Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – reducing a conservative Christian to incoherence

I think I may have broken our favorite unfunny Christian comedian, John Branyan:  “I would consider the stopping of the earth’s rotation as evidence you have a husband.”  Now, since no one ever claimed my spouse could stop the earth from rotating like the bible claims this god can stop the “sun” aka stop the earth from rotating, how can that be evidence of a 50+ year old Army veteran who is married to a 50+ year old me?  Of course, JB’s Amanda, has such a good time trying to claim I’m not human *but* she’ll be “forced” to vote for Trump because of me.  Such a pair of conservative Christians.

Poor JB, he has ended up here after thinking that it’s funny to be misogynistic just like Donald J. Trump, whom it seems to be living up to his claims of being an sexual abuser.  Oh well, that’s all he has, the “comedy” of a bully, who doesn’t like it at all when he’s called on it.  This is what conservative Christians are.


In other news, I have a momma cat and her kittens in my backyard.  The momma cat lets me pick her up and pet her. Now begins the process of taming the four kittens.  I discovered, again, that kittens have claws with monomolecular points on them.  🙂



Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Congratulations, Ireland

I generally don’t blog about abortion rights. I find abortion to be a stupid thing to be used for birth control, but sometimes it’s the only option and it’s everyone’s right to control their own body and choose the healthcare that they want.

Of course, some people don’t think that’s so. They think it is their right to control people.

We have this bit from one of the pastors I follow regarding the wonderful overturning of religious law in Ireland (Dave is British): “As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and as Stephen Kneale points out here, one of the pro-abortion lobby’s tactics is to focus attention on the difficult cases. The message is that if you are against abortion then you are unloving because you don’t care about vulnerable people, those who are victims of assault or those who are medically at risk through pregnancy.”

Why yes, Dave, we pro-choice people care about every woman’s choice and *especially* those who are the vulnerable people you mention. If you want to force your choices on others, then yep, you are a theocrat who doesn’t care about these people. You only want external validation. You don’t want to help women or children or families. You want people to risk dying for *your* religion.

If someone wants to be against abortion, then they need to think about a few things:

Is it your right to tell someone what they can do with their body? Explain why.

Do you want to help support these children and families with everything from good nutrition, good education, safe housing, counseling, etc? If not, then why do you think you can force someone to have a child?  You are not pro-life, you are pro-birth and pro-control.

Do you support other means of birth control? If not, you’re the problem.

How many children have you adopted/fostered? If you haven’t, why not?

Do you think you can force someone to risk their lives? Why? Any pregnancy can go wrong. One has to wonder why Christians with their supposed healing powers can do nothing for these women.

I welcome any anti-choice person’s reply. I suspect I won’t get any.

Dave makes this false claim “Abortion takes us up a medical and ethical cul-de-sac which distracts us from answering difficult questions and pushing forward to make serious medical progress.”

There is not one thing that shows that allowing abortion somehow ends medical progress. IF there is, it would be nice to be shown some evidence. Until that happens, it’s a shame that again a Christian has to lie to try to force his beliefs on others.


Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a couple of videos you should watch, the first is NSFW

These videos show just how ridiculous the evangelical Christian position is on birth control and also how ridiculous the evangelical Christian attitude is toward the controversy over kneeling during the US national anthem and how many false claims have been made about that by them.

An excellent spoof of a Viagra ad, pointing out the hypocrisy of those who have no problem with employers paying for medicine to for men to get an erection but have plenty of problem women getting equal treatment.

Getting hard is easy.  Getting birth control is not.


A video why Colin Kaepernick took a knee and why this is respectful towards veterans since a veteran suggested it.



Not so Polite Dinner Conversation – a day without a woman

There has been talk about the protest action “day without women” as being somehow “elitist” because not all women can take a day off work.

If a woman cannot take a day from work without putting her job or family in jeopardy, that is the point of this protest. If a mom losing a day’s pay will cause her children to be without food, clothes, shelter or health care, then she isn’t making a living wage. If an employer will not allow her to be gone without punishing her, then she is being treated as little more than a slave.

Women often take the most low paying, but necessary, jobs e.g. health aides, housekeepers, cooks, cashiers, waitresses, clerks, thanks to various things: limits on education, often caused by having to have children and the resources going to them with nothing else left; having children limiting her to what jobs she can take, be it hours that she must work when she is not caring for them, etc. Single parents of any sex are limited to what resources they can get from friends and family. A soldier may go off to serve, and have to leave her kids with relatives, having no choice.   Even those families who do stick together, often find themselves working multiple jobs and hoping they can get child care that will let them work, an awful ouroboros continually eating its tail.

Everyone deserves a decent job at a decent wage. Women suffer disproportionately in this. This why it is important to show how necessary women are to the workplace.

Considering how many of my theists readers are convinced I’m a guy, I wonder how confused they’ll be with this post 🙂

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – wannabee theocrats marching in DC today

what pro-control people want women to believe
what pro-control people want women to believe

Today there is a “march for life” in Washington, DC. There are a lot of women there, who insist that they are feminists. There may be some men who also would claim this, since being a feminist isn’t limited by sex. They all declare that they are “for life”, aka against abortion and birth control.

These people want to control others, and that is all they want to do. They want to tell women that they can’t. They can’t make their own decisions. They can’t believe what they want. They can’t be trusted to be intelligent enough to know what they want. They aren’t feminists, they are wolves in sheeps clothing. Feminism isn’t about telling a woman “no”. It’s about knowing that a woman can make her own decisions and that supporting women is important.

These wannabee theocrats demand that their opinion become law, that no one may choose to disagree with them. They want women to be punished for daring to make their own decisions and not obeying them. They claim that women need their help because of a myth with a talking snake. Most, if not all of them, want their particular version of one religion to be the law of the land, conservative Christianity. Of course, they can’t agree on which version of Christianity they want. They may insist that each other is doing to hell for accepting the Pope, for not accepting the Pope, for being baptized in one way or another, being divorced or not divorced, but they are harnessed in the same yoke for this one reason, in their pure hypocrisy.

They want to claim that they are for life, but they are against anything that would help the children that they wish forced on others to live. They are for punishment and obedience. They support the murder and terrorism of those who believe different than they do. They want no assistance be given to assure that these children have healthy food and a safe home. They want to keep families from having affordable health insurance. They want no assistance given to assure that these children have a good education, no matter if they are wealthy or poor . They want none but their religion taught to these children and they want only the families they approve of to take care of these children. They depend on lying to women to convince them to have children, intentionally misleading women by how they name their services. After the uterus is vacated, they are not interested.

Caring for another isn’t important at all, only forcing a woman to bear a child she cannot support, either financially or emotionally. They pretend that their churches will help these women but every shelter everywhere is desperate for money despite that there are pages upon pages of churches and other religious organizations in the phone book. They haven’t taken care of these families so far, so why should anyone believe that they will now?

These conservative Christians prate that this god would never give a woman more than she could handle, but they turn their heads when these women harm or kill themselves and their children because they could not handle those things, no matter how much they prayed and others prayed for them. They needed real help and that real help requires that people support them through real resources, resources payed by taxes and given to everyone, not just people who agree with the taxpayers or obey the rules of a religion that has no more evidence that it is true than any other religion.

These people want to take over the government, and force their religion on everyone. For all of their false claims of being unable to make their own choices, they do their best to remove the ability to choose from others. For all of their false claims of being pro-life, they do their best to ensure that those lives suffer as much as possible.

Hypocrisy personified, when this woman thinks she is being silenced and she’s walking down streets in the nation’s capital saying  exactly what she wants.


Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – screw your courage to the sticking place!

The goats won, barely.   And it is a reason to be angry.  However, it is also reason to be resolved, because it won’t last long.   In six months, half of those who voted for Trump will have buyer’s remorse; indeed Trump will have it himself when he realizes that being president isn’t being dictator. He isn’t the CEO of a company anymore, he is the employee now.   He may try to be the dictator, but history has indeed taught us how to handle those people.   You can depend on people to forget history, hopefully they won’t have time to forget it again when Trump implodes.

And heck, it gives me even more evidence that religion isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be.  So much for objective morality, eh?

Obama said that this election was judgment on his legacy. That legacy will be burnished to a new shine in 4 years, when it will be demonstrated that all of the magic prizes and ponies promised by his successor were simply lies told to be elected.

There are still humane people in the world.   We will still do the right thing, despite the attempts of others to hold us back, to return to ignorance and fear.  Shake them off and move ahead.  There is plenty of space to move in that direction.  Screw your courage to the sticking place!

But just in case I’m wrong about humanity, and I often am, anyone of my overseas friends have a room for me in a few years?

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “I’m shocked, shocked…..”

(addendum: unsurprisingly, we have some of those “shocked” people now insisting that Trump is perfectly fine now, including a number of pastors.  Thanks folks, nothing like showing the religious right is simply cowards and hypocrites)

“I’m shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in here.”

“Your winnings, sir.”

Just finished watching CBS Sunday Morning, where it had Ben Stein being just as sincere as Captain Renault in his indignation about how bad Donald Trump is. Ben Stein, as a lot of you know, is the same fellow who was involved with the nonsense “Expelled” about creationism in schools.

He’s just the latest in a long line of Republicans who are now condemning Trump, despite having no problem with Trump saying things about women, immigrants, Mexicans, veterans, etc, all disgusting and all lies. We have two choices in what they say here: it’s just hypocrisy, or it is people who made a terrible choice and now have finally come to their senses, and it took Trump touting how great sexual assault is to do it. Neither conclusion reflects well on these people, but if it is the second, at least they did come to their senses, like Captain Renault does in Casablanca.

Of course we still have Republicans who are saying that what Trump says is just fine, including people who self-describe as conservative Christians. They say that their god is using Trump. Well, if this god can’t come up with a better tool than Trump, then it isn’t much of a god, is it?

Trump apologized for something 11 years ago. And never once changed his actions or his words in those intervening 11 years right up to now, consistently treating women, and everyone else, like the bully he is. There is no reason to accept the crocodile’s tears.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a selection of thoughts from the recent news

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.

That’s is, just a quick wander through my mind.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Pennsylvania legislator at it again – Arizona redux

330-Morality-Slavery-or-Homosexuality-Guess-which-one-the-bibles-ok-with-biblical-ethics-insanity-bigotryFirst, I’m happy that Arizona got rid of the legislation that would have legalized discrimination.

Of course, that doesn’t prevent more people from trying the same thing.  If you’ve been reading this blog, we often have our state legislators doing something ridiculous when trying to get their versions of their religions into the law.  Gordon Denlinger, a Republican  State House member from Lancaster County (and graduate of Bob Jones University) says he will be crafting a bill that will change PA’s state constitution so that….well let’s see what the Representative says for himself in the memo announcing this nonsense:

“William Penn, for whom our Commonwealth is named, established Pennsylvania as a haven for those seeking freedom of conscience and freedom to worship.  These ideals have been debated and reexamined throughout our history and remain timely and important today.  I believe that in a modern Pennsylvania we must be vigilant in protecting individual rights of conscience and those who live and act based on their sincerely held beliefs. 
That is why I believe that the time has come to propose an amendment to the Commonwealth’s Constitution that will strengthen right of conscience protections for all Pennsylvanians.  Specifically, I plan to propose a new section in Article I – the Pennsylvania “bill of rights” – that will prohibit government from punishing an individual or entity if the individual or entity makes hiring or other employment decisions, or provide services, accommodations (including housing accommodations), advantages, facilities, goods or privileges based on sincerely held beliefs. 
Further, under my proposed constitutional amendment, an individual or entity may not be found to have discriminated in making employment related decisions or providing services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privileges if the action was based on the sincerely held beliefs of the individual or entity.  
We must be vigilant in protecting this core founding principal of our Commonwealth.  I believe that my proposed constitutional amendment will serve to ensure that the actions of our modern-day government do not infringe upon individual rights of conscience.
I encourage you to consider cosponsoring this important and timely proposal.  Thank you.”  

A good take down on why Denlinger is merrily pandering away and wasting everyone’s time can be found here in a blog post by John Micek, Opinion Editor of the local paper, the Patriot News.  However, I want to take a look at this nonsense and use the wonderful powers of ridicule against its utter wrongness.

Big-BrotherDenlinger wants to protect the rights of people to do whatever their “conscience” tells them to do and whatever their “sincerely held beliefs” tell them to do.  Whatever language he will propose (supposedly under review by “constitutional law experts” at this very moment), will keep government from punishing any person or entity who intentionally discriminates in employment decisions or providing various services.  It also will protect them if they intentionally discriminate against people in giving “advantages” and “privileges”; I’m not quite sure what those words mean in this context but it certainly does sound vague and broad.  He also seems to want to declare that no one can say that a person or entity can be called discriminatory even though that is exactly what they are doing.  Shades of 1984, if we declare that discrimination isn’t really discrimination, we can pretend that it isn’t happening.   Rep. Denlinger claims to be shocked that anyone could possibly thing that his proposed legislation would lead to discrimination “Most disturbing to me is that some have chosen to portray the bill as being an open door to renewed discrimination.”   Rep. Denlinger, people think it will lead to discrimination because that is *exactly* what you are proposing to legalize.  Just because you don’t want to call it discrimination doesn’t  magically make it something else.  “What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet;”  or stink  like this legislation does.

Denlinger of course hides behind the skirts of William Penn, a Quaker who did indeed create Pennsylvania as a place of religious freedom.  Alas, Rep. Denlinger doesn’t seem to realize that religious freedom can only be practiced until it hits upon the freedoms of another human being.

Let’s take a look at what it would “really” take to make this law work.  If you want the right to discriminate and not be “yoked” to those who don’t agree with you, we need a few ground rules so we know who you don’t want in your stores, your neighborhoods and anywhere else.  And again, this is entirely to ridicule those who want such things as Denlinger’s proposal.  Some may claim I’m on the verge of, or sliding down, a slippery slope fallacy here, but we know that the only societies that have approved of baseless discrimination weren’t the best examples of human civilization. Is it so hard to see where this could go again?

First the general public needs to see just who is taking advantage of this “freedom”.  Most of us usually don’t want to be where we aren’t wanted. There needs to be a uniform set of signs that you can put up so everyone can see who isn’t wanted where.  Maybe we can even have degrees of how much you don’t like a group by the degree of bigoted term you use on your signs. For instance rather than just saying “Homosexuals not served.”, you can go with one of the many nastier terms for homosexuals.  Then everyone can really know just how much of a jackass you are.

Another problem is how do you tell if someone is part of a group you don’t like?  You won’t know if those people you don’t like are daring to use your services and they might be infringing on your “freedom”.  Granted, some attributes that you don’t like are hard to hide, like skin color, but what about the LGBT person who isn’t the stereotype that the righteous bigot expects?  Indeed, what about atheists?  Can you tell if I’m an atheist just by looking at me?  What about people of different religions?  Hmmm, do we need to wear badges so you can be “free” to know who to chase away?

So much for that, eh?

Rep. Denlinger seems to believe that he and his socially conservative and right leaning neighbors are under attack by the government: “As I seek to initiate a public dialogue on conscience-level protections, I need to share my strong sense that many of my socially moderate and left-leaning friends do not realize that their social and religious conservative neighbors all across Lancaster County (and I count myself among this cohort) are fully convinced that government-sanctioned persecution of individuals and entities holding to traditional beliefs is not only coming — it is already here” 

Shucks, how dare the US government support the idea that all people are created equal and expect Americans to follow that.  And the claims of persecution…  Really, Rep. Denlinger?  You’re persecuted if you can’t discriminate against anyone that is different than you?  Such “wonderful” traditional values you have.  Oh noes, I can’t punch someone in the nose so I’m persecuted!  Sigh.   As always, it seems that so many of these people who claim persecution have no idea what persecution is.  Theists of various types can and are persecuted in various places around the world, including being killed for what they believe by other theists.  To claim persecution here in the US, where there are hundreds of radio stations and tv stations entirely devoted to religions, where there is a tax exemption for religions, where religious institutions do not have to follow most, if not all, anti-discrimination laws, and where there are multiple churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, etc in every community, is ridiculous.  No one is saying that anyone has to give up their “sincerely held beliefs”.  You can be as much of a prejudiced twit as you want, in your home, in your church, or at a rally or online.  You just can’t try to have your cake and eat it it too when it comes to interacting with a free society.  You can hate me as much as you want but you can’t interfere with my life.

I would take a moment to point out a certain sentence to Rep. Denlinger, a sentence of his own: “I believe that in a modern Pennsylvania we must be vigilant in protecting individual rights of conscience and those who live and act based on their sincerely held beliefs.” Sounds great doesn’t it?  But as always, such interest in individuals’ rights only seems to apply to one group of people, e.g. Rep. Denlinger’s “social and religious conservative neighbors”.   For someone who is so concerned with individual rights and the ability to practice one’s beliefs, he does his best to make sure those who he doesn’t agree with don’t have that freedom at all (he was a co-sponsor on HB 2381 back in 2006, one of the first attempts to get a constitutional ban on marriages other than what Denlinger et all want as marriages.  He was also a co-sponsor of good ol’ Rep. Metcalfe’s 2013 bill HB 1349 trying the same thing last year  *and* a co-sponsor of the “turn your head” ultrasound bill).   Why can’t other people believe what they want and do what they want, Rep. Denlinger? Some religious believers have no problem with gay marriage and you have repeatedly taken away their right to do what they believe so who’s religious freedom are we talking about here?  Certainly not everyone’s.

Again it seems that yet one more TrueChristian is trying to legislate his beliefs into law. There is no concern for real freedom here, only the usual attempts at controlling others.