Friday, November 17, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Specious Arguments and Young Sheldon...

I don't know that I've ever posted a link to a TV show, but this is good.

I, of course, am a believer in God and disagree with the boy's opinion. However, I am also NOT a believer in specious arguments, especially those made by religionists. Young Sheldon rightly destroys these specious arguments offered by this pastor.

Well done.

Here's another well-done snippet...

Friday, November 10, 2017

#Vote For Women

Given the ridiculous number of men of all stripes in positions of power who've been outed as abusive towards women, how 'bout a time out? Following in the steps of the Abuser-in-Chief, why don't we have a temporary ban on anymore men assuming positions of power?

The data is there: Power corrupts men. Absolute power corrupts men absolutely. Especially sexual corruption, the sense that they are entitled to sexual oppression, abuse and misuse.

Let's just elect women a while, just long enough to ensure some extreme vetting of men before they get in positions to be abusive on a larger scale?

If that is reasonable for the tiny percentage of foreigners who might potentially possibly maybe be possible terrorists or criminals, perhaps, then it's at least as reasonable if not more reasonable for men, given our track record.

Look, fellas, we've had a nice run in this country. For nearly 250 years, we've dominated the politics in our nation. But we just keep messing up. Let's surrender, at least for a while.

This is not to say that all men are dicks, like Trump, like Weinstein, like Judge Roy Moore, like Weiner, like Billy Bush, like... well, you get the idea. I'm quite sure that there are decent men out there in politics (Hey, that Obama fella seemed to be especially gentlemanly and above reproach! Hell, setting aside his politics and his perversity about LGBTQ matters, Pence seems like a straight arrow, sexually speaking!). But just for a while, just until we get some extreme vetting in place to keep out the perverts like our current "president," let's stand down.

Vote for Women, y'all. Let's start a movement.

#VoteForWomen2018, #VoteForWomen2019, #VoteForWomen2020

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dwell Among the Beauty...

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

“In nature nothing exists alone.”  

“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
“But [humanity] is a part of nature, and [our] war against nature is inevitably a war against [ourselves].”

“The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities... If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.”

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”

“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”  
One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself,
“What if I had never seen this before?
What if I knew I would never see it again?”  
~Rachel Carson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Beauties of Nature

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature.

The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions,
seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth.

Such a man has a double existence:
he may suffer misery,
and be overwhelmed by disappointments;
yet, when he has retired into himself,
he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him,
within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”

~from Mary Shelley's, Frankenstein

Monday, October 16, 2017

In Each Crevice

The sun was written
in each crevice on each leaf
the universe, implied
between the lines

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Forest, Here, is Alive

 The forest, here, is alive

I find myself in the midst
of a massive murmuration *
surrounded by sacred songs
engulfed by black-winged 
gods and goddesses
awaiting flight

fluttering flailing leaves and feathers
falling down around me

* Murmuration: A flock of starlings

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

"Ask the experts.

In a new book published this week, "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump," a group of 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts warn that “anyone as mentally unstable as this man should not be entrusted with the life-and-death-powers of the presidency.” Seemingly in defiance of the American Psychiatric Association’s "Goldwater rule," which states “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion [on a public figure] unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement,” the various and very eminent contributors paint a picture of a president who has “proven himself unfit for duty.”

Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo — of the famous Stanford prison study — suggests the “unbalanced” Trump is a “specific personality type:
an unbridled, or extreme, present hedonist” and

Psychiatrist Lance Dodes, a former Harvard Medical School professor, says Trump’s
sociopathic characteristics are undeniable
and his speech and behavior show signs of
significant mental derangement.”

Clinical psychologist John Gartner, a 28-year veteran of John Hopkins University Medical School, argues that Trump is a
malignant narcissist” and
evinces the most destructive and dangerous collection of psychiatric symptoms possible for a leader.”

For Gartner, the “catastrophe” of a Trump presidency “might have been avoided if we in the mental health community had told the public the truth, instead of allowing ourselves to be gagged by the Goldwater rule.”"

Friday, October 6, 2017

Sister Sodom

Then, God came to God's Religious Ones and said,

"On the day you were born
your navel cord wasn't cut
you were left covered in slime
you were not tended nor cared for

No eye took even the slightest pity on you
to have compassion for you
for you were
on the day you were born

When I was walking by, I saw you
squirming in your own blood
and I said to you


And I made you grow like weeds
and you grew tall and strong

yet still
you were naked and bare

And so, I covered you
clothing you Myself
in My Love for you

And everyone talked about my
Great Love for you and you were
made famous
because of Me.

but you trusted in your reputation
and played the whore, because of your fame

You made yourself wealthy
as maggots
and powerful
in your Many Things,
using this wealth
to buy more Power
and more and more useless Trinkets
and you were not embarrassed
in the least

No, you just wanted more

As I live,
your Sister Sodom
was not as Sick as you are
in your wealth and power

This is the sin of your Sister Sodom
She and her family
were arrogant, wealthy, lazy-as-shit
but she did not help
the Poor
the Foreigner
the Oppressed

You are Proud, like hell,
and sick, in your Wealth
gorging until you vomit
and then
gorge some more.

Be ashamed,
for your abominations
for your embrace of ignorance
and indifference.

For My sake,
Be ashamed.

Ezekiel 16, in part... my loose paraphrase

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Irrational Shriek

There is nothing whatsoever in the murky dark of the ancient forest at night that is not there in the daylight hours. Reason assures us that this is true.

I know better.

Having explored the local woods all my life, I am well aware that there are noises at night that can not always be identified. An angry snort from somewhere nearby, the rustle in the leaves of something too large to be a squirrel, the wingbeat of a creature that sounds much too leathery and brittle to be a feathered bird. These are sounds that disturb the conscious mind.
Still, in the day, we know the snort is a startled deer. The rustle, just a raccoon. The beating wings from a fleeing owl. In the daytime, we know this.

But at night... Well...

It was dusk and I had settled myself on a convenient tree stump next to a pond in a forgotten woods. The roar of the interstate and lights of the city were blotted out by the trees stretched out overhead and the rolling hills separating the known world from the unknown.

I came to this spot regularly in the autumn, to enjoy the sounds of the leaves falling, the crickets calling, the night coming to life. I came to listen.

This night, as I sat, quietly listening – intent upon separating out this creak from that groan from the other nearby rustle – I first heard the hideous Shriek. Inhuman. Grotesque. Impossible. What in our local woods would make such a disconcerting scream?

The Shriek came from Not Nearby. If I were to guess, I'd say 100 yards or more away. Curiosity – cursed curiosity! – won out over my fear, and I rose from my seat and quietly made my way in the direction of the Shriek. I didn't want to scare away whatever was making the noise.

Twenty steps closer and I heard it again, that soulless Shriek! Could it actually be a human, wounded and in trouble? The Shriek sounded so pitiable this time, and clearly closer. I moved, still quietly, but more quickly, in the direction of the Scream.

Twenty steps more and I paused to listen.


Then, SHRIEK!!

I nearly fell backwards in my fear. It was significantly closer. The Shriek – although human-sounding – was clearly NOT human, I knew this now. It was the sound of a – of a madwoman, nails turned to claws, abandoned in the woods and seeking food. It was the sound of Anger and Hatred.

In the dark of the night, I knew that it was the sound of Evil.


And close.

And maybe on the other side of me.

Between me and my path out.

I waited. I listened. I barely breathed.

No Shriek returned. No sound at all.

The leaves were not falling, the crickets were not calling, no frogs croaked from the nearby pond. I was alone and surrounded by a maddening silence, frozen in fear, unsure of which way to go.

An hour later – or so it seemed – I breathed again. I took a step. I walked back down the path and exited those Awful Woods, to my car and began heading home, but only after checking the back seat of my car.

It was empty.

The next day, the Google told me that foxes shriek when they are at play with one another. Harmless foxes cavorting in the woods. I listened to field recordings of foxes and there it was, the Shriek. But harmless now. In the light of the day.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Is the GOP Embarrassed, Yet?

Ashamed? Disturbed?

What will it take for the GOP to draw back from the ugly, racist, bigoted, hateful, oppressive, ignorant paths they are sending themselves down?

Roy Moore doesn't know who Dreamers are or what DACA is, in this day and season.

He has advocated criminalizing homosexual behavior. He has called it akin to bestiality.

He has spewed overtly racist commentary.

He has opposed Muslims being elected.

(Enough with the links, anyone can look them up.)

He holds to anti-American, ugly theocratic ideals.

He is so bigoted, hateful, ignorant and distasteful that even Donald Trump wouldn't endorse him!

Think about that!

Man, what the GOP is tailspinning itself into is an embarrassment to the world and our nation, and frankly, all of humanity.

When will God save those people?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why Draw the Attention...?

Over at Stan's blog recently, he took on the conservative boob who said the two most important things to him are "the Constitution and Boobs." [Clay Travis, who said to a reporter, who happened to be a woman (not that it really matters), "I believe in only two things completely. The First Amendment, and boobs."] Stan criticized the guy for being in the wrong. Stan said, "She (and I) thought it was rude for him to say it."

Okay, as far as it goes. But, Stan didn't leave it there. He added a BUT. "But," he said, "I do wonder why women who rightly are offended when men are that rude continue to wear outfits clearly intended to accentuate the features men are not supposed to comment on..."

Stan (and his commenters, with him) rightly found Travis in the wrong (although, I'm not sure that merely calling his comment "rude" is the right way to identify his error...), they also shared some blame towards women who dress "wrong..." meaning, of course, wrong, by their measure...

Oh, they assured and reassured us that it was entirely the man who was wrong or, in the case of a rapist "aroused" by women dressing "wrong," the rapist who was wrong... BUT... why would the women dress "that way..."?

Craig put it this way...

"Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [rapists], and be dressed in a way that draws attention?"

Stan clarified it this way (speaking in the voice of those who defend women dressing, you know, how they want)...

"Women should be allowed to ... nay, celebrated for dressing as slutty as they wish..."

So, allow me to try to clarify what seems like it would be obvious...

Craig, consider these questions:

1. Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [rapists], and be dressed in a way that draws attention?

2. Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [robbers], and be dressed in a way that draws attention (i.e., dressing as if you had money)?

3. Why would anyone assume that they won't run into one of them [killer atheists], and be dressed in a way that draws attention (i.e., wearing a cross necklace and carrying a bible, for instance)?

With those extra questions, do you see the problem with your approach?

Let me spell it out for you:

3. Christians wear what they want because it is their choice to do so and they should not be intimidated to wear something else because it might draw the attention of killer atheists.

2. Wealthy people wear what they want because it is their choice to do so and they should not be intimidated to wear something else because it might draw the attention of robbers.

1. Women wear what they want because it is their choice to do so and they should not be intimidated to wear something else because it might draw the attention of rapists.

It's our human liberty to wear what we wish and we are not wrong for wearing that, nor should the reality of bad people who might be "aroused" by what we wear cause people to opt for other clothes. Are you suggesting that Christians should NOT wear things that identify them as Christians to avoid any conflict? Or would you bristle at that suggestion?

You of course don't need to comment here, Craig, but if you choose to reply to this post, please begin with an answer to that question. Thanks.

Stan, I am sure you were truly thinking you were defending women and only attacking this guy, but you sure (and if not you, some of your commenters) didn't sound like you were defending women. You sounded sexist and a bit perverse.

You see, you all are saying, "Yes, it is the MAN who is wrong for saying 'boobs' matter most to him... BUT, why do women..." and "Yes, it is the MAN who is wrong for raping women... BUT, why would women..."

And when pushed on it, you said you "got" it, what the complaint was... you'd encourage women to dress to a degree that you would call "modest," and if they weren't dressed "modestly enough," then they might be sort of asking for it... of course, it's the MAN's fault... BUT...

It's the "BUT" that is getting you off track. The correct answer is, "It's the man's fault for making sexist comments." PERIOD. "It is the MAN's fault for assaulting a woman." PERIOD.

And end it there. Don't pause and then go on to sorta blame the woman just a little bit, too. Because she was "dressed wrong." Or, as you put it, she could be dressed as slutty as she wished. The commenters at this blog kept suggesting that there was a line that is crossed and by crossing that line, women could expect to be abused, maligned and raped. "Not that it's right," you clarify, but still...

I asked you if you agree with the Muslim extremist measure of wearing a burka. You all balked at the comparison. "Well, well, bu... well, NO! No, of course we don't believe in making women wear burkas..." BUT. But they should be dressed modestly, for their own sake, because you're gentlemen, in your minds and you don't want these poor women to be subjected to a possible rapist (which is a crime of power, not sexuality, you should know) or perverse treatment by perverse men.

No, you don't advocate a burka. Not full blown. BUT...

That But is the problem.

It's not that you disagree with Muslim extremists, it's just that you draw the line at some point differently than they do. But you still draw a line, because you know what's best for these women, presumably.

And that's sexist.