Well, Where Have You Been, Huh?

UglyDog_width_640x-1-1Got your attention didn’t I?

Well where have you been? I been waiting here it seems like forever, and NOBODY showed up. So I thought I might jar you from your lethargy with Buttons here, my friendly pup.

Actually I have just been busy in a fairly good way. Holidays and all. Finally have days utterly to myself. Made enough food yesterday to last until at least Monday. By then, I think we will start to be tired of it all.

Frankly the political scene both disgusts me and bores me. I still keep INFORMED, but I’m just so tired of Republicans being, you know, so Republicanish, which is a nice way to say douchey. Do they ever stop being douche bags? My representative sure doesn’t. Steve Pearce is his unholy name, and he is a douche of the very first order.

A millionaire they tell me, and owned lock, stock and barrel by the TeaDrunkards. I find it amusing to read the GOP playbook (sent around to all the lil man and woman/childs pretencing at actually serving the public). Said playbook is regularly filched/gifted/snuck to various liberal organizations and published for all to see. It consists of phrases (typically called “talking points”) and suggestions of things to do to make the GOP look intelligent and the Democrats to look stupid.

The playbook lately has focused a lot on Obamacare, of which I am thoroughly tired by the by. So, to make a long story not quite as long, old Steve has been busy reading his, and he regales us regularly on Facebook with lists of all those tens of millions who have lost their coverage in New Mexico, followed by a plea to “please send us your stories of misery”. He then reports one or two of these, and dusts his filthy lucre hands off and thinks he’s done his “job.”

Of course he offers these people no help of any sort, and fails to bother suggesting that they go to the exchanges and see what they might be offering. We have no individual exchanges here since our other douche Guv Martinez, didn’t sign the legislation until it was too late to have the time to set them up for October. So we are very douchey here. (Guv Martinez may have some serious problems of her own since her main man on her staff is a Rovish like creature that a number of people have suggested might be leading her into some illegal behaviors )

Anyway, his latest addition to stupid dialogue is to suggest that Domino’s Pizza is paying $15-20 per hour to drivers, but only in “energy selling” states, meaning those states that are pumping oil and frackin’ their way to heaven with gas. Now any student in the first fifteen minutes of undergrad school (pick your subject) knows that one has zero to do with the other on so many grounds that we reach infinity. But what was funny was that a whole bunch of Domino’s drivers chimed in with “hey Steve, you idiot!” Turns out that the $15-20 is an estimate of what drivers CAN make with tips off their base crummy salary, and DOESN’T include the cost of maintenance of their vehicle and GAS. But poor old Steve fairly misses that, since he’s simply following the PLAYBOOK.

I figured after going a few rounds with Steve, that well, I was right in the ball park with this next story. It seems like dinosaurs liked to poop in groups.  In this they are similar to camels and elephants, which means the apple don’t fall far from the tree, I guess. Or not. Evolution is a strange thing.  I’m really pretty sure that Republicans poop in groups too.

Which leads to this: did ya know that some soft tissue from a T. Rex survived 68 million years? It was found in Montana, and I have no idea whether that mattered at all, but factoids are important in Jeopardy, so consider me a coach. I mean under the best conditions it’s only supposed to last a million years. Anyway, the collagen from the beastie resembles that of birds, which must make the people at the Creation Museum go scrambling for an explanation. It all has to do with a lot of biological mumbo jumbo and IRON-rich blood that for some reason known only to a BIOLOGIST, helps preserve the tissue.

Which reminds me of Coach, Craig T. Nelson, who is among the dumber of the Republicans I know of. He hates paying taxes, hates the “welfare” society we now live in, hates Obama for bringing all that to Merika, and so on and so forth. And he’s not going to take it any more, refusing to pay taxes for things he doesn’t believe in. After all, he says, “What happened to society? I go into business, I don’t make it, I go bankrupt. I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out?. . .” YES YOU IGNORANT FOOL, THE GOVERNMENT HELPED YOU OUT WITH THE FOOD STAMPS AND WELFARE!!!  I mean this is Louis Gohmert stupid.

Louis by the way has been ear-deep in Obama conspiracy theories, claiming that the President is busy via the AHCA in amassing a private army. He’s been at this for some time, and the stories of the government buying up ammunition only goes to support that idea according to the Galloping Gohmert. A portion of the law which allows the training of a group for public health and national emergency response, is to Louis a smoking gun. But he’s a bit unsure of what the weapons of choice will be for this group:

“I’ve continued to ask questions, what is this for?” It says it is for international health crises, but then it doesn’t include the word ‘health’ when it talks about national emergencies. And I’ve asked, what kind of training are they getting? It provides in Obamacare that this commission and non-commissioned officer corps will be trained. But I want to know, are they using weapons to train or are they being taught to use syringes and health care items? But we’ve got no clear answers on that.”

Seems like dear Louis should bring up this subject at the next group poop he has with Cruz and King, and well, all the bare butted GOP’ers at the gathering. Hey, whose poo don’t stink?

Happy leftovers!

Facepalm

Items to Make You Queen of the Watercooler Next Week

large_overworkedSee that’s me. I mean, imagine a woman instead of a man, and that’s me. I’m spend hours reading just so that you don’t have to. I mean you can if you want to of course. God forbid that fine education goes to waste, but I have burned up the Intertubes in an effort to find all the news that you missed.

And I read it all. And some of it was crap upon further inspection, and so I ditched it. And the rest, well you gotta know this stuff. Especially if you want all your friends and aunt Tilde to think you are just a real smart ass. (meant in the kindest way of course)

So, let’s get to it, in no particular order.

Paul Krugman has a fine op-ed in the NYTimes detailing the crazy party, AKA, the GOP. What he says is very true. The GOP argument for deliberately toying with the very health of our economy goes something like this: I have put a gun to your head and demanded your money or your life. If you refuse to give me your money, it’s your fault that you’re dead. I gave you the option to live after all!

On the other hand, this may all go to prove that one can actually get admitted to Harvard and get through it with flying colors and still be utterly and profoundly stupid. Ted Cruz may be set to be one of the most spectacular blazing super nova that sputtered out in record time in the history of horses asses, err, super novae.

If it is true that humans have an individualized predisposition to violence, is it equally true that humans in community have a predisposition to violence in the form of war? It seems many assume this to be true. But evolutionary biologist, David P. Barash argues that this may in fact not be true. The latter may be only a capacity rather than an adaptation. Want to learn more? If you don’t think it matters, think again. We base our defense systems on assumptions of what other groups are likely to do. If we assume all people are driven to war to achieve ends, we build a different defense system than if we do not. And we’ve sure got the tax bills to reflect that.

I know that most of you are just thrilled every time you get a chance to read about quantum mechanics, I mean what self-respecting grease monkey or grocery check out lady  isn’t obsessed with the working of the universe at the extra-tiny scale? Ever heard of an aplituhedron? I bet not. It all means that all the complicated mathematical twists and turns are eliminated as well as the super computer to do the computations. Now little Bobby can explain the most complicated sub-particle interaction with nothing more than a pencil and paper again!

If you are going, uhh, okay so what? Well, you all know that physicists have been since the beginning of time, trying to join the big universe with the small universe (macro and micro forces?) and it has just never fit well, and well, the don’t call it the elegant universe for nothing. Everybody who knows this stuff figured the answer would eventually be simple. This might be it. I’m not a physicist as you might have guessed by now.

I mean this is simply delicious early fall reading. Get to it.  :)

Now I know you will love this one. There is a new book out there that you probably will want to get. I can imagine about half a dozen of you will be on Amazon in moments. It’s called Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing, by Melissa Mohr. Colin Burrows review of the book is worth the reading. Now read it your grouthead gnat snapper!

Steven Pinker from Harvard has written a book that details how we are becoming less violent as societies over time. He also argues that the world would be better led by science than by the humanities. Some beg to differ. A great essay from The Berlin Review of Books, and Gloria Origgi, A Reply to Steven Picker’s Scientific Manifesto.

overworked4111Love words? Lots of words? Okay.

The American Scholar has a fun essay called Is There a Word for That? Words are being made up all the time, but you knew that. Want to know who created some words we now take for granted? Who is responsible for katydid? Or neologize ? Or Anglophobia? Blurb? Gerrymander? Bromide? Oh I bet I got your attention now.

Similarly, if you have ever remembered the quote but not the quoter, and the more you looked the harder it got? Who Really Sad That? You would be surprised at how often we get the attribution wrong. Amaze your friends by correcting their quotes!

“Whoever is not a socialist when he is 20 has no heart; whoever is not a conservative when he is 30 has no brain.” Usually attributed to Churchill. Actually? Nobody knows.

Enter the fine world of WAS–Wrongly Attributed Statements.

I betcha thought that the human mind created the gear, that round thingie that has “teeth” and meshes with other objects similarly constructed? That together makes things turn and other things go up and down and maybe side to side? You would be wrong. Scientists have found a gear in nature for the very first time. And YOU are some of the first non-specialists to know that, so don’t you feel so very proud?

A cute little guy called a planthopper (he has a very important scientific name you need not memorize) has a couple of gears in his back legs that mesh together and then when he calls on them to, spin backward sending him off on a leap across the earth that looks pretty fun. I’m sure it made sense to him too in terms of escaping predators or getting up as high as he wanted to feed. It’s called evolution folks. There is a little embedded video so you can watch him go!

Must a life be meaningful in order to be happy? Do we prefer meaningfulness over happiness if we can’t have both? They are not the same by the way. Happiness in part is getting what you want or need in life. Meaningfulness can have zero to do with this. Similarly happy people report that health is essential, yet health has nothing to do with meaningful lives. Happiness is apparent in the now, while meaningfulness tends to be a future assessment. This is a long article but one that raises lots of questions to think about. Well worth your time.

Nautilus brings us the ever-beloved essay on dinosaurs. The discovery and explanation of our bird predecessors have had a varied history as scientists working from small numbers of bones, continually revised their thinking of these creatures over time. As is usual, it is the unsung tiny dinosaurs that have done the most to correct our understanding over time of what these cuties looked like and how they lived. For the kid in all of us, this article will satisfy. I still wish there had been Brontosaurus, they were so neat!

With the advent of all the cute devices we have now from phones to tablets to readers to computers, all with calendars and reminders of one sort or another, there is less and less reason to have to memorize things. Nobody has to write down a phone number or address. The call is registered, switch it to contacts and it’s saved forever. Enter an address in your Google maps app, and you don’t need to record that address again. And maybe, just maybe that’s a good thing. Memorization may be a much over-rated thing. Curious? Read on.

How many late night gab fests have lingered long into the night over the ever-present question– Why was Spinoza excommunicated anyway? I mean this guy was ostracized with a big O, like in members of the congregation being order to be no closer that four cubits to the man. That’s some serious excommunication! Worse, payment of a fine served to dissolve most bans. Spinoza’s was life long. Spinoza himself never spoke of the harem, most of his works and fame came long after it. What is as interesting as why is by whom: Jews who had escaped forced Catholicism in Spain and Portugal and once free in Amsterdam, practiced a form of Judaism that was anything but normative. All in all, quite fascinating.

Happy reading everyone, and to all a good day!

books

Annual Grifters Conference Held in Shangri-La

Grifters from around the world are gathering in Shangri-La for their annual conference.

This years attendees seem to be particularly numerous especially from the “dictatorship” category, as many now deposed autocrats are looking for a refresher course in “how to dupe all the people all the time.”

We scurried in and grabbed a program of seminars that are hot this conference:

  • Dissembling: The Art of the Dodge
  • Slight of Hand: as in Where are the Jobs?
  • Perfecting the Non-Answer and Redirecting the Discussion to Banalities
  • How to Spot the Lazy Mark
  • Methodology in Fear Tactics and Creation of the Other to Blame
  • Developing and Massaging the Greedy Publisher: Lies Sell!
  • Staying on Message: The Art of Lying

Prominent speakers at this conference are listed as:

  • Sarah Palin “How I Turned My Lack of Knowledge into Big Bucks”
  • Newt Gingrich: “Creating Nice Sounding Organizations that Pay YOUR Bills!”
  • David Barton: “You Too Can Re-Create Your Country’s History with These Easy Steps” CD’s and books available!
  • Muammar Qadaffi: “Secreting Billions for That Future Retirement”.
  • Brian Fischer: “Finding the Target: Who to Hate?”
  • Panel Discussion by perennial favorites: Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh–”How to be Svengali At the Workplace or Any Where You Want Control”

Yes folks, and a time will be had by all.

I suppose it was inevitable. That little report from CERN that perhaps a certain type of neutrino might, (possible) go faster than the speed of light, long believed to be as fast as anything could go, has brought out the usual crazies.

Climate change deniers ponder, if Einstein might be wrong about relativity, then perhaps plug in your favorite scientists might be wrong about plug in your favorite “wrong” science.

This has led to the Twitter hash tweet: #WSJscience, where in, the WSJ stands for Wall Street Journal and the idiot Robert Bryce. Apparently all manner of funny tweets have been produced, so head over to Twitter and look it up and enjoy the fun.

Samples include:

“If serious scientists think that Einstein might be wrong about relativity, then we might have to rethink whether the sun revolves around the earth.”

Enjoy.

Which all suggested to me that it might be fun to visit the antithesis of rational thought, Conservapedia and see some of these items of misinformation.

  • The scientific evidence points to a young age of the earth and the universe. The biblical creation organization Creation Ministries International published an article entitled 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe, that provides much of the scientific evidence in support of a young Earth. (prominently cited as proofs are St. Irenaeus and Arthur C. Clark, the science FICTION writer.)
  • Creationist research is having a global effect that is worrying the atheists and secularists of this world. They have had it all their own way for over a century but things are slowly changing. For almost twenty-five years now, Journal of Creation has been publishing cutting-edge creationist research that has been fueling the war against evolution, creating little fires all around the world, including Great Britain. (This from Creation Ministries Int’n, and references to “Evolutionists Stumped Confused and Dumbfounded by 15 questions!” a YouTube entry)
  • Creation science shows that dinosaurs lived in harmony with other animals, (probably including in the Garden of Eden) eating only plants[4]; that pairs of each dinosaur kind were taken onto Noah’s Ark during the Great Flood and were preserved from drowning[5]; that many of the fossilized dinosaur bones originated during the mass killing of the Flood[6]; and that possibly some descendants of those dinosaurs taken aboard the Ark are still around today. (Yep, you just turn left at Albuquerque, and head to Middle Earth. Watch for Hobbits crossing!)

  • Modern feminists:
    • never wanted gender equality; they want power for the female left[4]
    • in movies, falsely portray the men as inherently evil, dumb or incompetent, and the women as inherently good, smart or competent (note that this conflicts with gender equality)
    • pretend that there are no meaningful differences between men and women when that advances liberal causes (e.g., women and men equally in military combat, to weaken the U.S. military), but reject equality when that results in more money to women (e.g., VAWA funding of women’s groups)
    • oppose chivalry and even feign insult at harmless displays of it (see battle between the sexes)
    • view traditional marriage as unacceptably patriarchal
    • belittle and mock other women who desire to have children or raise a family[5][6]
    • shirk traditional gender activities, like baking[7]
    • support affirmative action for women
    • prefer that women wear pants rather than dresses, presumably because men do[8][9]
    • seek women in combat in the military just like men, and coed submarines
    • refuse to take her husband’s last name when marrying[10]
    • believe marriage implies female servitude when it is in fact a mutual bond
    • distort historical focus onto female figures, often overshadowing important events (Eg: Henry VIII’s wives take precedence in common knowledge to his actual reign.)
    • often condemn the God-Given order of gender roles, as laid out in the Holy Bible
    • object to being addressed as “ma’am,” or feminine nicknames such as “sweetheart” or “honey”;[11] object to other female-only names, such as “temptress”
    • take offense at grammatical rules of the English language, like using the pronoun “he” when referring to a hypothetical/anonymous person, or phrases like ‘fireman’ and ‘stewardess.’
    • support of the homosexual agenda (why I’m sending in my KitchenAid mixer this very moment. The stuff about men being inherently dumb is mostly true, but I will change my name back to my maiden name. What WAS I thinking. Dusting off my Feminist membership card even as we speak.)
  • Liberal creep is liberal biasthat gradually creeps or distorts an entry, definition, explanation, description, or historical account.Former Utah state Sen. Bill Wright may have been the first to coin this term in spring 2008 when he “warned of liberal creep — the ‘education of indoctrination‘ — in which the media peddle “socialism and programs. We have been so dumbed-down, so indoctrinated with all this information we’re in a haze; we can’t see through it. We must find out for ourselves.”[1]Examples of liberal creep include:
  • Ronald Reagan left the White House with the best approval ratings of any president, up to that time, at the end of his term, yet the media and history books have since relentlessly tried to downplay and distort his political achievements.
  • Reverse to the above example, Bill Clinton [2] left office after a failed impeachment attempt on perjury charges, yet liberal creep ensures that this is downplayed and distorted.
  • Many early scientists such as Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei were heavily influenced by Christianity and would never have made their important discoveries without their faith in the Lord Almighty, yet that faith has since been downplayed in liberal atheistic public school textbooks and Wikipedia.[3] [4]
  • The ferocity and savageness of the Native Americans towards American settlers has gradually been downplayed, while the relocation of the Cherokee has been gradually inflated to the point that some liberal textbooks treat it as an atrocity comparable to the Holocaust. Similarly, there has been an increase in denial of the many technological and spiritual improvements the settlers brought to previous inhabitants. (gosh I feel all creepy now. The antithesis of Liberal Creep: Conservative Hate)

New Conservative Terms:

  • Drive-by media: liberal MSM assault on Conservative and GOP values and principles, deceitful attacks
  • fleebaggers: deceitful Democrats who deny their sworn duties for political gain.
  • Hoax and Chains: Keynesian economics (as opposed to trickle down)
  • manufactured outrage: fake Democratic anger used to pursue an agenda
  • schlockumentary: documentaries based on half-truths and lies
  • refudiate: combination of refute and repudiate as “coined” by Sarah in 2010

Oh gosh, one could go on, but my sides are splitting. Is it any wonder the right-wing TeaNutz® are ignorant? Enjoy your Saturday.

 

We’re Gonna Make A Dinosaur, We’re Gonna Make a Dinosaur

You remember the theory behind Jurassic Park dontcha? Mosquito bites dinosaur, falls into tree-sap, and after a kazillion years becomes amber. Break open the amber, get the mosquito, extract the dinosaur DNA from the blood sucked in?

 Well, no, that actually probably won’t work.

Turns out DNA breaks down too fast, and we could probably not get enough “pure” DNA to clone the T-Rex of our dreams.

But Jack Horner, who has been more right about more things dinosaurish than just about anyone, thinks you might be able to de-evolve a chicken back to what it used to be. And some biologists think he could be right, and some are actually working on it with him.

It’s a fun read, and it’s Friday, so go on and read the fun story about how having a dinosaur pet can still be your dream.

I thought this was sweet. It’s from LOLGod.

Question of the day:

What do you have when you put Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Louis Gohmert,  and Steve King in a locked room?

An all-out knock-down dragged-out fight for the only brain cell in the room.

Who will referee? Ann Coulter, Glenn (what happened to you?) Beck, and Rushed Limpy, all looking under a toilet seat for where the brain cell is hiding.

What the pseudo-journalists at Blaze are trying to brainwash the trailer-trash with today:

Increasingly they call it ABR: anybody but Romney. I always feel bad when I’ve learned that “somebody doesn’t like me.” Wonder what it must be like to know that millions don’t like you?

I don’t have any personal reason to dislike Romney. What I dislike is that he has proven himself over the years to be obsessed about becoming president. That’s troubling enough, for you wonder just what kind of demons are thrashing it out in his head.

But what is disturbing, and an obvious deal-breaker for me, and I’m certainly not a Republican, is that I have no idea what if any principles he actually has. He has changed them so often and so violently, that I frankly think they are non-existent.

Romney seems to order his handlers to poll on every issue, and then he adopts that position. At least to the degree that he needs that segment of voters to add to his election winning strategy. That’s why Republicans are nervous. What he says ain’t necessarily what he will do. He seems frankly up for sale to the highest bidder.

And if you don’t agree, well even the National Review seems to agree with me. So far the GOP in various configurations,  has begged Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, Sarah Palin, and Paul Ryan to save them from eating their vegetables. It is a bit pathetic isn’t it?

Speaking of which, people dislike Romney so much that some of them have gone to the extraordinary length of actually forgetting they ever knew him. A new poll suggests that only 27% of the electorate knows who he is. This is down from 30% in 2007. Or it could just be that knowing who he was, was so traumatic that 3% of those who knew just died from the agony.

Jon Stewart pointed out something last night that, well it’s actually what we would expect from the Great Grifter, aka Sarah Palin.  Stewart suggested that Sarah had kept on shilling for money for her own SuperPac right up to the moment she announced that she wouldn’t run.

Stewart remarked that while not illegal, it might be termed unethical (since Palin can and does use the money for her own personal self-promoting purposes) if indeed Ms. Moosesilla knew she was not opting in for some time.

Stewart went on to smile, and say, “well, we can’t conclude that can we?” But then there was this pesky little piece of tape with Daughter #1 BristleBrush, saying like in JUNE, “oh she knows what she’s gonna do, but it stays with the family for now.”

Best Grifter of the Year: Sarah, although Newt is a close second.

What a Difference a Day, errr, Month? Makes?

Well, slap me with a wet noodle. You remember me? Mad woman. Not literally mad, as in certifiable, but angry mad, ready to dump a sitting president and turn the page? Yes, you do remember.

Well, it’s hard to admit that at 60 years old, I’m still an idiot a lot of the time. Moreover, I spent some under grad years studying the fine art of politics as well as living through lots of political times. You’d think I would know better.

It appears that the brilliance of Barack Obama once more is most apparent to most of the people. This has not happened over night, and certainly isn’t a result only of the speech of a life-time in Tucson. The polls were edging upward before then.

But, things have changed, and one can but cast a bemused look upon Republicans who are looking at empty hands and wondering, “has it indeed slipped from our grasp once again?” Riding high in November, the GOP is beginning to mutter. To be sure, nothing is set in concrete yet, and given the fickleness of the public, it would be unwise to assume that “it’s in the bag” for 2012. Not at all.

Still, one has to be amazed at the resilience of the President. Today, he beats Romney and Huckabee in mock match-ups and slaughters the grifter, Palin. The big switch is the Independents who have moved to the Obama column. This poll straddled the Tucson tragedy, and has some impact but doesn’t include the speech given by Obama. There is only a 6 point differential between those who think we are on the right track-wrong track, down from a 24 point differential a couple of months ago. Obama’s approval rating has moved up to 53%.

We shall see what the future holds. But clearly most of us who were ready to move on were simply wrong. Obama has played his poor hand extremely well, and has accomplished much in the lame duck session.

The GOP will have a tough time selling a “NO” or repeal everything scenario I suspect with voters. The polls, dang ‘em, just keep getting in the way of the agenda.

***

Speaking of agenda, the Extremist Right didn’t take civility on as a mantra for long. Once they realized that nobody except them viewed the President’s speech as a chastisement of the Left, they went back to their usual ranting. One, I”m told, said, “but the President must have been pointing to the Left, there is nobody on the Right who needs such a chastisement!”  Delusion lives on it seems in the rock heads of the Extremist Right.

***

Proof that nothing changes, Tim Pawlenty, who on Jon Stewart, the other night, refused to agree that there is something new in the vilification of Obama that has not been present in American politics before. Stewart suggested that painting the President as  Hitler, as a Socialist, as not an American, and as not a Christian didn’t reflect true beliefs but were being used as political ploys by certain GOP members and sympathizers. Pawlenty continually feigned ignorance of Stewart’s true meaning and kept pointing out that there was vitriol on both sides.

Now Pawlenty has appeared with Bryan Fischer, of American Family Association fame, and claimed that he would re-institute DADT if president. It’s not so much that he said this, bad and deluded as that is, but that he appeared with hate-monger Fischer at all. Fischer is a virulent homophobe, one who decries giving the Medal of Honor to a “defensive” action instead of a killing hero. As to DADT, Fischer has vowed to over turn it and has claimed that McCain would lead their forces. McCain has repudiated any such notion.

Pawlenty, who for a moment, suggested he would not have acted as Palin, seems unwilling to stand up for any real principles, but again, simply plays to the lowest common denominator of the Republican base. His chances of being the nominee are nil.

***

Efforts are underway to induce Fox Noise to fire Glenn Beck. Jewish Funds for Justice submitted a 10,000 name petition to the News Corp, calling on them to end their association with the hate-mongering extremist. I admit that we try to watch Beck from time to time, just to see, but frankly, after ten minutes, it’s so awful you just can’t. He parades a slew of pseudo-scientists, historians, economists, etc., to “prove” his wacky mean and dangerous conclusions, all to a live audience of nodding automatons. It’s surreal.

The petition included some of the more egregious accusations of Beck, which makes references to Hitler some 400 times in eighteen months. His comments are widely regarded as anti-semitic and a distorter of the Gospel. For instance he claims that social justice issues are a perversion of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

***

Don’t know if you heard this, but the darn earth moves. Okay, so you probably knew that. But it moves in relations to the stars, and THAT is a damnable thing. If you are into astrology. Which I’m not, but still. I’m an Aries, and so is the Contrarian. At least we were. I don’t know what he is, being an April 8. But me? I’m a April 15, and that now makes me a Taurus. I don’t like it. I am trying to figure out who to complain to. Is nothing sacred?

***
Warning: the following may be hazardous to the mental health of closed minds. Others read on. A new dinosaur has been found! A small guy, but pretty darn mean. Read all about Dawn Runner, who hails from Argentina, at PBS’s Rundown Blog. He’s most primitive.

Wiping the Lint From My Brow

pigpenI keep turning around and looking behind and below. Surely my stuffing is coming out as I move about my day. So it seems at least, as I’ve suddenly become prone to losing stuff.

I’m a fairly organized person, as you know. I usually know where things are, in general. “It’s somewhere in the house!”  Actually, I’m a bit better than that.

But lately my life has gotten increasingly complicated or scheduled, and I’ve not put in place the filing, organizing plans to insure that all the papers I collect are properly divided and located with others of their kind. Thus today, I find myself unable to locate the minutes of last month’s library committee meeting, and have had to issue a call for someone to bring a copy with them to the meeting today.

It’s disconcerting to be so scatterbrained. I’m not familiar with it. I feel uncomfortable. Kind of like that dream where I’m walking down the school corridor and wearing only my undies. How did I leave without my clothes?

It isn’t like I’ve never been busy before. I used to be really busy, often visiting multiple courts, with twenty or more clients and court appearances a day. Sometime in multiple cities. Often with shopping trips interspersed or after. I seldom screwed up, and lawyers are great at having networks of “stand-ins” for just those scheduling nightmares.

I wouldn’t change things. The Contrarian continues to be highly supportive. I was at my EFM meeting last night. They are different than previous educational experiences I’ve had. Fascinating in its conception, and I’ve already learned things about the Hebrew Testament and canon that I had not known, and so far I’m just at the introduction.

In a couple of weeks I start a month long Adult Formation class that I’m facilitating. We don’t like to use the word “teach.” I’m just  the one who will read the background material and push the conversation. I’m doing the lectionary section on Job, one of my more favorite books of the Old Testament. (I know, I know, that definitely says something weird about me.)  There are concurrent readings I think from Mark. I’ll be interested in how they interplay. The second year EFM students are doing Mark, so perhaps I’ll glean a few insights from them.

I got creative with dinner. Sauteed some chicken breasts, then sauteed onions and fresh tomatoes, garlic and some jalapeno, a bit of wine, salt and pepper. Chopped the chicken roughly and let it sit until a warm up, then add capers and olives. Serve it over spaghetti. My favorite kind of cooking is Italian. I love garlic and onions.

I’ve got the agenda set for the library meeting. Not so easy with no minutes from last month. We are having our re-opening at the end of the month, and we are pretty well set. It’s been an amazingly satisfying job. So many people worked hard. We fairly drooled over the new books added, more than 200, and all top notch biblical and theological works. I could read for years non-stop there now.

I missed the President’s speech last night because of the EFM class, but the Contrarian taped it for me, and we watched it when I got home. Powerful, competent, intelligent. The polls suggest the president hit a home run. Who would have doubted that? Put to rest are all the utter cow dung idiot arguments. Perhaps now we can have an adult discussion now that the hair-brain flights of fancy of the Palin/Gingrich et al contingent have been put to rest. Let us hope we can shush the children with their personal agendas of destruction. We deserve it.

Best moment: Joe Wilson (you lie) resulted in his opponent raising something like $200,000 to date. It was exactly what we hoped would happen. The rational people in America react with disgust, and the Rethug agenda of politics before reform takes a hit.

I find it humorous that because Obama is an inspirational speaker, he is disdainfully referred to as the Messiah, and we are his followers. Interesting, because most of these brain dead opposers claim to be born again Christians, and shouldn’t the Messiah be followed? But what can you expect from confused thinkers who have long since given up remembering what that thing between their ears is for.

Ellen DeGeneres has been named as the new judge on American Idol. I think it’s probably a good thing. She’s brightly funny. We don’t watch it that much, but Paula was always painful to watch. Ellen just came over to ABC and her daytime show is now at 9 am here. Gone are Regis and Kelly. I don’t know where they went. I liked Kelly but Regis was never my cup of tea.

Back to Wilson, ya see, I’m not all shocked and stuff. I don’t think the dude should resign. It is just symbolic of the general wingnuttery of the Republicans these days. Party of the certifiable. There is a pretty good analysis of this at HuffPo. Read it if you enjoy beating dead horses. I do from time to time. Just ask me about fundamentalists!

I’ve been hooting for a day or more at my re-meeting with creationists and the wacky world of dinosaurs and man kumbaya’ing through the amazon forest. Brings back memories of the Flintstones. Come to think of it, perhaps the creationists took that literally too. Anyhoo, I realized I had another A number 1 reason why evolution must be true:

SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS, SAND BURRS

NEBRASKA-SAND-BURR-140I mean seriously, no loving God would create such a torture device.  Having no, and I  mean no use whatsoever, except to cripple and maim the unwary, it can only be the product of evolution. I repeat, NO loving God would deliberately dream this up.

My poor pups are limping every day. Fully a block long of the lane has these Inquisition worthy plants scattered around, dropping these lethal barbs in the sand.

It is unsafe to walk indoors without shoes, since both cats and dogs lay down and patiently pull the needle sharp orbs from their feet and hair. You have not lived until you have driven one of these babies into the ball of your foot at full deliberate step. The screams and curses can echo for miles.

Let me get organized, I have a dinner to finish, a meeting to conduct, and more things to lose before day is done.

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Oh, Here Comes Satan to the Rescue

SATANSome days ago, I stopped by the couch to chat with the Contrarian. On the tube was Jim Baker. You remember him? Fallen TV evangelist, went to prison, stole a lot of money from his flock.

Well, I’d heard and seen that he was back in ministry. He started small again, but is now back on the TV, running telethons and asking for $1000 donations. All for the “children” of course.

The Contrarian asked, “How in the world can people be so gullible?” “Easy enough,” I replied, “Remember the documentary we saw last night on cults? That pretty much explained it.” And indeed, it did.

It seems that the key to leading a cult is to remind your followers that Satan is ever present, always attempting to upset “truth.” The cult leader drums into the follower that any deviation from his/her teaching is the work of Satan, trying to prevent the soul from following God. So, when your instincts or reasoning tell you that this guy is nuts, you are told that that is Satan planting those doubts.

The person gets caught in a loop and cannot escape easily. Every rational thought might be the devil. One of the ex-cult followers was having a terrible time in the documentary with figuring out reality from temptation. She kinda knew it was wrong that the pastor was beating her kids to drive the devil from them, but then again, she was afraid to trust her belief, and on and on it went.

I first learned of this watching a documentary on Ted Haggard and his fall from grace. Remember him? Homosexual, hiring  gay prostitutes, doing drugs? One would have thought that his followers would have left his church in droves. A man who had committed such falsehood, why, he cannot be trusted to have told me the truth about the bible or God either right?

Wrong. It is precisely because Haggard got caught in such an egregious circumstance,that he can be trusted to be telling God’s word correctly. How else would Satan have to go to such lengths to silence him? Rational people drop their teeth, but the fundamentalist smiles and nods in agreement.

It has now been put to me directly that I too am the victim of Satan’s work. Some weeks ago, I mentioned that I was in contact with old high school mates. I was thoroughly excited to find out what turns their lives had taken. Only a couple maintain ongoing Facebook conversations, and I soon came to learn that two of them were pretty much full blown fundies.

I was willing to remain largely silent at that realization until I started getting either e-mails or saw posting about death panels, and links to WorldDailyNews, a evangelical fundie online rag whose only other exposure is through Jack van Impe and the end timers brigade. I tried to correct this misinformation but was met with resistance, and I slowly began to glean that these were not only fundamentalists but hard cord right wing politicos as well.

I soon came to see that one of them at least was a birther, and I can say that I actually now know one “birther.” As the days and weeks went on, there was an unending amount of evidence of insanity afoot. Sarah “the quitter” Palin’s Facebook entries were met with “I agree!” and there were diatribes about the godlessness of Obama appointees. Jesus was not for the poor, only the “right kind of poor.” Gingrich was lauded as “always” telling it right.

When I realized that said classmates were actually creationists, well, the end was in sight. To deny the efficacy of evolution is sheer insanity. It is the product of a mind that no longer trusts itself to think. Is is afraid that anything that upsets the worldview so painstakingly created must be the work of Satan. If it is not, then belief collapses. I can understand the dilemma.

Straight up fundamentalism is bad enough. I would be the first to say that only a tiny fraction of fundamentalists of whatever faith go the violence route. However fundies in the Christian sense are starting to create untold havoc with our national conversation by diverting it toward nonsensical discussions that have no basis in fact.

Rational Republicans are embarrassed by the birthers and deathers. They make the Republicans look more foolish that they already are. They are embarrassed by the “parenters” those who find fault with the President’s message to school children, although both Reagan and Bush I did the same thing. Rational people see these types of fundamentalists as merely masking a deep seeded racism that  they cannot acknowledge.

But even most fundamentalists don’t go the extra mile to deny science. How do you function with the hypocrisy of using science when it benefits you, but denying the reality of a certain type because it, in your twisted mindset cuts against your personal vision of God? Science is fine as long as it makes the lights go on, runs the car, operates the computer and presents a life giving drug. It’s bad when it tries to explain how life evolved on this planet.

It is wrong although millions of scientists have used this model successfully for more than two hundred years and it has been independently verified by multiple disciplines. Geology, anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, astronomy, biology, medicine, dinosaurs, all are condemned in some part if evolution isn’t true. Moreover, the fundie must admit that some several millions of scientists past and present are part of a worldwide conspiracy to put forth a theory they know is false.

Tomorrow: How I’m being assaulted by Satan.

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