Monday, December 31, 2012


Put downs have been around since humans first invented language.  It's the easy way out of really dealing with an opinion or argument.  Inspire automatic disparagment of your oponent by attaching some supposed negative characteristic to that individual and their opinions.

You find it in just about anything that involves differences of opinion or doubt. 

This blog was inspired by my reflections on II Peter 3:3-4:  "..there shall come in the last days scoffers (oh, those awful scoffers)...saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation"  (KJV).   (That was written some time between the 1st and 4th century AD.)

Yep, they sure do, and a multitude of blowhards still fling that biblical retort at anyone who dares to question their prognostications and theological certainties.  In between the time when whoever appropriated Peter's name and wrote those words and now, a whole lot more "fathers" have fallen asleep (face it, they're DEAD), and guess what? 

The world goes on pretty much the same!

I know.  We now have computers and cellphones, drive cars and fly airplanes, etc.  But, the world as a whole is pretty much the same damn place it always was -- a very dangerous place in which to live.

Barach Obama gave a very good speach today, in my opinion.  Soon, his opponents were out trying to belittle it and put him down.  They didn't like what he had to say or the way he said it, and I'm supposed to be surprised and/or offended?  Not hardly.  I toasted his speach with the first bottle of champagne we had.  One more left for tonight so we can ring in the New Year.  Don't worry.  I have no reason to drive, and if I get a little "sloshed," who cares?  From what I read about Jesus turning ordinary water into terrific wine, he wouldn't (if that actually happened).


The opposition? 


Friday, December 28, 2012


I like to figure things out and I've been at it for over 78 years now.  It's taken me in a lot of false directions and involved plenty of mistaken concepts.  I was so sure back there in my late teens and early twenties that I'd been specially chosen for a great mission.  I'd been called into "the truth," and I was going to be instrumental in ushering in and setting up that great kingdom Jesus promised and Herbert Armstrong so graphically described.

That led to great disappointment and disillusionment about twenty-two years after it began.  I catalog all that in my autobiography (

Some lives are relatively placid most of the time.  However, I've noticed that, even in those cases where it looks like everything has been an idylic "walk in the park," when you learn what has gone on behind the scenes, there've been a lot of thorns on those apparent roses with which some people's lives seem to be filled.  They are just hidden from public view.

Soldiers aren't the only ones who suffer from PTSD.  Just as with the military, the severity can vary, but we all are subject to some kind of post traumatic stress due to the happenstances of our lives.  It can involve any myriad of things from a divorce to the sudden death of a beloved child or the tanking of a career.  It provides for a lucrative career field for those in the field of psychiatry, and fortunate is the person who can take advantage of their skills.  I never could.  I had to stumble my way through to the relative peace and clarity I enjoy today.

Everyone has a story to tell and insights to share.  The elderly often yearn to pass on what they have learned but have very little opportunity to do so as the younger people around them are too busy accumulating their own experiences and the tales they will one day wish they could tell.  That's why I wrote my little book.

In a recent blog, I steered people to Johnny Cash's song "The Man in Black."  I've spent some more time studying his life and his last flurry of work struck me.  His wife told him, when she was near death, "Go to work."  Johnny did.  The last few weeks of his life were and unstoppable avalanch of artistic accomplishment. 

I'm in a similar position.  I know my time is growing short.  I used to chafe at the fact that all these things I ruminated about went nowhere.  I had to content myself with daydream fantasies of telling it like it is, but they were all bottled up inside.

My book was my first attempt to get my story and my accumulated "wisdom" out there.  It cost a lot of money and basically went nowhere, so I put it online on one website where it just "sits" most of the time. 

Then, blogging came along, and Facebook.  It took awhile for me to realize what a great tool they could be.  I know my audience is very limited, but at least I can get what I'm thinking and desperately yearning to say out there to anyone who will take the time to read.  I can draw attention to other things I just stumble upon and which would go unnoticed by most people.  It's liberating.  So what, if somebody disagrees or gets angry?  They can vent in a comment or get their own blog and Facebook page. 

That's why we bloggers and Facebookers do it.  It's therapy.  It's fulfillment.  It leads to the peace of being able to just "say it."

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Most of us spent our youths fantasizing about the wild west which was a constant theme on the "silver screen," radio and early TV.  Much of it was overblown.  There was a subculture, especially after the Civil War, centered around crime and banditry and gunslinging, but it was always a minority in the population.  Women and children and the sanctity of the home were generally respected.  In fact, my grandparents who homesteaded in North Dakota shortly after the turn of the century never locked their doors, and neither did my parents until about the nineteen fifties or sixties.  Society was changing even then and not for the best.

Even the gunslingers who dueled with each other were generally a problem only in isolated areas like mining towns and Dodge City and they tended to wipe each other out and disappear as soon as the civilizing process through the introduction of women folk, education and churches began taking effect.  I'm pretty sure that most areas of Deadwood and Tombstone were a lot safer for the average child and adult than some areas of Chicago and new York are today, with so many irresponsible individuals owning or stealing guns and spraying bullets with abandon.

Our ancestors sought for the calming effects of civilization and consciously set out to find and apply them.  They wanted safe neighborhoods where wearing guns would become obsolete.  Tombstone even had a statute against citizens wearing guns in town, and enforcing that law against some lawless elements was one factor that led to the famous shootout at the O K Corral.  That "wild west" attitude is quite a contrast with the current attitude exhibited by Wayne LaPierre.

He actually said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

He went on to blame everything from video games and TV shows to a violent culture for the problems we face and called for armed guards in all schools.  He conveniently neglected to suggest ways to pay for such armed protection.  Even if such "protectors" were volunteers, the administration of such a program by school districts, local, state and national government would be astronomical.  I'm sure he doesn't want taxes increased on his corporation or his overpaid self to take care of it.  Probably, he would take the common GOP and tea party approach of cutting more desperately needed safety nets away from desperately needy citizens while he expected the resulting increase in desperation to lead to "law and order."

I don't blame him for not taking questions after such a display of stupidity and ignorance. 

It is impossible to have a civilized society under our present system of letting everyone, regardless of need or qualifications, to be armed to the teeth with military style weaponry and to walk around with impunity any place they choose to do so.  As I pointed out recently: and:, the idea of becoming the member of an etremist militia and "saving America" is pure nonsense and it is an attitude that gave us one civil war a century and a half ago.  Do we really want to precipitate another such paroxism of bloodletting?

As for me, I don't want to see schools transformed into a scene approximating a prison or concentration camp.  I don't want teachers having to strap on holsters filled with loaded guns every morning.  I don't want to walk down the streets of Cottonwood, or anywhere else, and wonder if some deranged individual is going to send either an aimed or ricochet bullet my way or the way of some unsuspecting child merrily skipping rope or tagging along on a shopping trip.

Please, let's see some sanity!

P.S:  P. Z. Meyers has a good statement about this nonsense as well:

And, check out Lawrence O'Donnell:

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Most people assume that charity would cease if it weren't for churches and their faith based efforts.  I don't denigrate any true charitable efforts put forth by any group, but religious efforts are often only cover for proselytization (there's a "hook" in it) or skewed to only help those with which the organization shares a bond.

This article sums up the true picture very well: 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


David Letterman made a very true statement filled with insight: 
"I've never seen a deer worth 30 rounds of ammo and an automatic rifle."

His statement reminded me of a comment my wife's father made to his then son-in-law who was admiring his father-in-law's semi-automatic service pistol and expressed a desire to have one.  The wise old police officer said that such a gun was for killing people and he didn't need a gun like that.

That's the real crux of the matter. 

People who want assault rifles usually have a "Rambo complex."  They often feel that the government is their oppressor and enemy because it doesn't rubber stamp their particular attitudes, assurances and prejudices.  They assume there is a plot for the government to take over and destroy all their "freedoms."  They want to be prepared to resist and "take back my country."

Sound familiar?  It's been a common refrain ever since a black skinned man won the presidency.  It rears its ugly head every time someone points out the insanity of the religious right's attempts to legislate their religion into every aspect of the common citizen's life.  By gawd. they're going to be "christian soldiers" or a "Phineas priest."  They consider it their "faith assignment" to be judge, jury and executioner, and that assault rifle is very effective in carrying out that supposed divine ordination.

When ordinary people become psycologically inflamed by faith-inspired ideology and conspiracy theories, it's very easy for psychoses to take over.  It happened with the inquisition.  It happened in Nazi Germany.  It's happening in Africa where witches are being hunted, denounced and executed right now by Sarah Palin's deluded friends.

We never should have allowed the ban on assault weapons to expire.  It's made millions for arms manufacturers, but it has turned our nation into a very dangerous place where the most minor mental crisis some individual might have can suddenly morph into the most horrible of tragedies.  He or she doesn't even need to own the weapons themselves.  They can simply appropriate the weapons others have lying around.

When my wife's adopted Yavapai Apache son was paroled from prison, we knew his alcoholism could flare at any time, and when he is drinking he is completely out of his head.  We were very concerned about the guns I had in the house and never used.  Our solution was to sell them to people who had a legitimate use for such firearms.  Spending time at shooting ranges, plinking away with expensive ammo at targets doesn't appeal to me, and I certainly wasn't going to spend a fortune at my age stumbling around in the mountains after a deer or elk I couldn't deal with after I bagged it.  So, we have not a single gun in the house.  If any cowardly "phineas priest" hates my writings enough, I'm an easy target.  I won't be shooting back.

It certainly doesn't take 30 rounds of high-power ammo to bring down a deer.  A deer hit with that kind of firepower would be rendered inedible.  Little children and dedicated teachers hit like that are just DEAD!  

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I happened on a TV accounting of Johnny Cash's life this afternoon.  One song really registered with me.  For some reason, I don't recall ever hearing it before.  I guess it wasn't all that popular.  Wonder why?

I just had to go to YouTube and look it up.  Here's the link so you can listen to it also:


Greta Christina is one of the best analysts I've ever encountered.  Couple that with  being a fantastically good writer, and you have a dynamite combination.  She has single-handedly summed up what is wrong with the Republican party and how they have backed themselves into a corner they can't easily extricate themselves from.

Read her excellent analysis here:

Friday, December 14, 2012


What a horrible day!

I've spent much of the day glued to the television screen, apalled by the senseless slaughter of innocent children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut.  Gone are the days I remember from my own youth when children went off to school with no worry of some deranged person invading with guns and summarily executing them and their teachers.  Teachers could concentrate on the 3 R's, not on crisis training to deal with such madness.

My rural community was full of guns, mainly rifles and shotguns for the annual hunt and dealing with predatory "varmints."  Little, if any, thought was given to someone invading their homes and certainly not the local school with murder and mayhem on their mind.

I remember my dad handing me his old .22 rifle when I turned 14 and giving me stern instructions how to handle it.  He let me know that if I ever brought that rifle into the house with the clip in or the bolt closed, I wouldn't see it again for a long, long time.

We regarded guns as tools with a legitimate use, and certainly not for harming or even threatening another human being.  I'm sure there were mentally deficient and challenged people somewhere in our community, but for some reason, they never became the kind of community dangers they seem to be today.  I think they were usually consigned to asylums and homes where they could be properly cared for and monitored.  Today, we are too concerned about "entitlements," the possibility of unjust incarceration just to get rid of unwanted people, and especially the social expenses that might take a few dollars away from the bloated rich.  Thus, people who should be supervised and cared for by experts are left to prowl their communities and we have inevitable tragedies such as we witnessed today and in Tucson.

I'm not in favor of draconian gun control.  Our forefathers demanded the right to keep and bear arms for logical reasons, and it wasn't just to be able to hunt.  They also wanted to be able to protect themselves and had no inkling of the world we now live in where resisting the rise of tyranny with individual arsenals would be the height of folly.  You can't resist a military armed with jet aricraft, helicopters, guided missiles, etc. with household arsenals!  Not even with assault rifles and multiple round ammunition clips!

No one needs anything other than rifles, shotguns, and handguns for hunting or home protection, and having to meet common sense standards of mental and psychological fitness and adequate instruction before such ownership is allowed is simply good common sense.  The Swiss are armed to the teeth, but they also have universal military training and know what they are doing when they pick up a gun.

Rather than think we can "save democracy" by becoming wild-eyed militia fanatics, we had better concentrate on electing qualified people who love and support democracy to public office so they can rein in the military industial complex and keep it from taking over our republic.  If that takeover ever succeeds, any militias that might exist would soon be "toast."

Just a few days ago, my friend, Mark Manning, wrote a very inciteful article on this very subject.  Rather than try to say the same things all over, I urge you to read his blog article:

That's all, folks.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


I Just got back from picking up some morning purchases at an estate sale to hear the news that the latest rethug hatchet job on a decent and eminently qualified lady, Susan Rice, by the Asshole right has succeeded.  She has withdrawn herself from nomination as Secretary of State.

Chief among her hatchet job aficianados was so-called war hero, John McCain.  You may bow down to old John -- not me.  He cost the United States multiple millions of dollars in jet aircraft through his ineptitude as a pilot, long before he was shot down by the enemy, possibly largely because of that same ineptitude.  He almost drowned in one of those accidents becuse he didn't know where the eject button was!  He had to rip off the canopy by "main strength and awkwardness!  Likely, playboy John was so hung over when he was instructed about its location that the instruction never registered in his alcohol-befuddled brain.

You may praise him as a hero, if you wish.  I don't.  I considered him a pampered rich party-boy "fuckup" who never would have lasted in the Navy if he hadn't been an admiral's son.  His fuckup nature was amply demonstrated by his 2008 vice presidential choice of Sarah Palin -- a totally dumb, clueless incompetent.  On reflection, they were well met.

Included with one of the dog kennels I bought was a little crock rolling around on the padding.  I chuckled when I saw "crock of shit" written on the side.  It's not going with the kennel when I resell it.  I'm putting it on my desk, and everything that comes to me from a republican or religious source is going in it.  After an accumulation, I'll put it through my cross shedder, then melt some parafin wax, place the paper in a suitable form and pour the wax over it.  Then I can sit by my chiminea and watch all that "bullshit" burn.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


My friend, Dennis Deahl, a former WCG minister, now physical therapist, Has written a very thought provoking article on the subject of religious books and their positions in society.  I recommend it as reading time well-spent:

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I've been ruminating about "gods" and religions, how people dream them up and their nature through history.  Like much of my thinking, it comes easiest while I'm engaged in something physical, like the carpet I worked on yesterday and the bumper crop of Mulberry leaves I was vacuming up today and turning into mulch.

The average person doesn't spend much time on such reflections and I probably wouldn't either were it not for my past associations and activities.  It's impossible to be embroiled in a super-fundamentalist cult for over twenty years and not have religion occupying a significant place in your memories and the concepts you've had to mull over and analyze incessantly for decades.  It's led me into very deep historical, religious and pschological study and never-ending analysis.

Our instinctual search for order and patterns, coupled with our vulnerability in a dangerous world and ecosystem led our primate ancestors to seek something to explain and hopefully offset the natural vulnerability we all feel.  I think that situation led to what seems like a "hardwired" proclivity toward religion.

Humans want answers.  There's always someone who will come along and supply what that individual decides are the answers.  In the early group and clan societies, the strongest and wisest or most vociferous and communicative took care of and tended to rise to leadership over the weaker, more reticent and more vulnerable in their group.  Some of them became legends around the campfires and, like Elvis, the stories got bigger and more marvelous with the telling.  I've often said that, in an earlier, less recorded and literarily fixed age, Elvis would have joined the pantheon of gods.  We see the same force at work in the sometimes largely fictional stories about the founders of our own nation.

Just as Roman emperors were exhalted to the position of gods, some of the legends of these exemplary individuals and their families led to deification.  It took the form of a holy family, even among the ancient Isrealites.  It's clear that the Israelites didn't start out as a strictly mono-theistic people.  They also had a god family, known as the Elohim.  El Elyon was the patriarch and Ashtoreth was his wife.  He had several children, like Baal, Yahweh, Anath, etc.

It wasn't until after the Babylonian captivity, during which the Jews had been subjected to Persian Zoroastrianism, that mono-theism became the totally dominant approach of the Jewish nation.  All the other Elohim suddenly were shoved aside and Yahweh became the one and only god.  It was only after that time that what we now know as the Old Testament began to be constructed in the form we know today.  The polytheistic overtones still can be seen in the modified Babylonian creation account in which the Elohim says, "Let us" do something.

Men always create gods in their image, not the other way around.  That reversal of the actual reality is common in both politics and religion.  The ancient gods that still haunt the faiths of today far more than people realize were usually just ordinary people who had been raised to the level of immortality and semi-omnipotence.  I say semi-omnipotence because all devotees to regional gods were constantly afraid that a more powerful god might thwart their god, and that was a good "copout" for the priests and shamans.  It persists in our dualist perception of God and Satan being at war and Satan sometimes coming out on top.  That whole concept comes straight out of Persian Zoroastrianism.

When one thinks about it, the ancients had a very convenient way of justifying their own failings and inadequacies by holding up these powerful conceptual concoctions as models.  The Greek pantheon, and competing pantheons, were filled with gods who were all too human.  Randy old Zeus and his counterparts in other mythologies, as well as their quarreling families and associates could serve as a justification for just about anything. 

I can picture a philandering husband telling his outraged wife, "Look, honey, I'm only mortal.  If Zeus can't keep 'it' in his pants (or whatever Zeus wore), how can a mere man like me do any better?"

So, today we have several evolved religions on this small planet.  All the writings attributed to the Old Testament developed enturies after what they purport to record and some of those events have been shown to be either total fictions or massive non-factual fabrications of quite different events.  The New Testament wasn't gathered together in anything near its present form until the fourth century -- a time approximately equal to the elapsed time between the first American colonies and now -- in a time of no news services, basically no written records, and a Roman world afflicted with hundreds of competing religions and wandering teachers of multitudinous ideologies looking for followings.

We have a more reliable backup of religious writings connected with Islam and Mormonism than we have for either Judaism or Christianity.  We wouldn't even have Christianity if desperate imperial god Constantine hadn't forced the issue by his imperial decree when he ordered the Council of Nicea.  Want an eye-opening expose of that?  Go here:

Saturday, December 8, 2012


I happened upon Bill Maher's Real time blog and a reader's comment resonated with me, so I'm sharing it:

Saturday, December 1, 2012


A couple days ago, I happened upon a Youtube video of a young Australian singer delivering a tear-inspiring rendition of John Lennon's Imagine.  He and his brother are maimed Iraqi adoptees an Australian woman rescued from an iraqi ophanage.  It was so moving, I linked to it on my Facebook page.  If you go to this address, you will find out why I was so moved:
I had heard the song before but never really dwelt on the message.  I've chosen to take those words and expand on them in my own personal way.

"Imagine there's no heaven.  It's easy if you try."

It's easy for me when I take a really deep view of the universe -- all of the expanse of it -- nearly fourteen billion years worth of continuing expansion and creation.  I occupy only a fleeting dust mote and blink of time in that immensity of time and space in a run-of-the-mill galaxy among billions of other galaxies.  It is the height of haughtiness to imagine this "third rock" from an average star as the center of everything and the chosen apple of a deity's eye in some "heaven" that only exists in human imaginations.

"No hell below us. Above us only sky."

Science tells me what's below my feet.  A rather thin solid crust, then the mantle and core of a unique planet that is horribly hot inside and that heat is only glimpsed through the eruption of an occasional volcano.  No souls are being tortured there at the behest of a vengeful cosmic ogre.  The "sky" has expanded considerably during the last century with the advent of modern telescopes, especially those in space.

"Imagine all the people living for today."

Today is all we really have.  The past is only memories that will fade away, except for the few that are recorded, and even those, like the records burned with the great library of Alexandria, can disappear at some point in the future.  What is to come may get here or it may not.  None of us have the guarantee that we'll survive until tomorrow.  The probability may be great, but there's no guarantee.  I'm doing my best to put these words into action.

"Imagine there's no countries, It isn't hard to do."

It is rather hard for me to do that.  I really don't think countries are ever going to completely disappear.  If they do, it would be far in the future.  I understand the sentiment, but don't expect the reality in my lifetime or in several lifetimes to come.

"Nothing to kill or die for and no religion too."

That would be wonderful, but before it could become reality, we would have to let go of politics as well as religion and just settle down to using hard reason and science to solve human problems.  That won't happen until we advance far enough to eschew individual, cultural and national selfish motives.

"Imagine all the people living life in peace."

A wonderful dream and goal, but it isn't going to happen anytime soon.  As long as cock sure people continue to say, "I'm right and anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong and should be suppressed, imprisoned or killed," the world isn't going to enjoy that kind of peace.

"You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us and the world will be as one."

Yes, I do dream and hope for progress.  I'd like to see our own nation become as one more completely first of all.  I'd like to see, "all for one, and one for all" be the true national slogan as it was during those wonderful years of unity during and shortly after World War II.  Then, it could spread to encompass more of the world.

"Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can.  No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.  Imagine all the people sharing all the world."

That dream is going to take a monumental change in human goals and aspirations.  Pure capitalism will never achieve it and neither will pure socialism -- or any other exclusive "ism".  It's going to take a change in basic human aspirations and attitudes and a wholesale application of the golden rule and humanistic values.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.  I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one."

We must keep the dream alive and strive to make it an eventual reality.  It's been a long climb (the Magna Carta, the United States Constitution, civil wars, revolutions, The League of Nations, The United Nations, etc.)  I know I won't live to see "the dream" fulfilled.  Maybe no one will.  Nevertheless, dreamers gave us our American republic and we continue to try to perfect it in spite of all the negative, hatefilled efforts to subvert it.

The dream we "imagine" makes the journey and the struggle worthwhile.  

Friday, November 30, 2012


I've been blogging and Facebooking for some time now.  It will soon be five years since I started posting on Facebook, a much shorter time that I have been blogging.  For quite a while, my activity in both cases was rather sporadic.  Only recently have I been taking a much more active role in both outlets.

The world has changed tremendously in the interval between my birth in 1934 and now.  Much of the farm work was still being done with horses back then.  Not very much is still being done that way.  We were in the middle of "The Great Depression" and the dust bowl was ravaging much of the Midwest.  Farms were relatively small, compared with modern family and non-family corporations spread over hundreds and thousands of acres.  Even electricity, indoor plumbing and phone service, along with much more we now take for granted, was an ethereal dream in our rural world.

We learned how to handle the soil better, thus revitalizing our bread basket, and World War II forced us into a period of technological progress that has increased at an ever accelerating pace.  Most new devices only have a few months to enjoy their ascendancy before a new and much improved model comes along.  Now, just about any business can take credit cards with a simple attachment to their cellphone that's only about an inch square!  And, you sign with your finger -- on that little screen!  Remember those clunky machines that the card was placed in and double copies were then printed on multicopy paper receipts?  Ancient history in just a few years!   

I remember the "clunky" cell phones that began to appear back about forty years ago.  They're quite a contrast to the ubiquitous little wonders we all have become accustomed to and which are an integral part of just about everyone's life.  If I remember to take my phone with me, anyone who wants to can reach me from anywhere in the world instantaneously, and if I fail to answer or the line is tied up, there's voice messaging.  No more answering services or individual answering machines.

Personally, I can't keep up with it all.  I'm still typing on a "tower" computer with a big plug-in keyboard.  It's a dinosaur!  After about three years!  My next one will probably be a lap top I can take anywhere there is a wireless connection available that will leave this one in the dust.  It could also be a super cell phone that would fit in my hand!  Don't know how typing would go on one of those though with my big fingers.  My Aflac District Manager sends me emails from his phone all the time.

Then, there's tweeting.  I haven't gotten into that.  Maybe I will.  Maybe I won't.  So far, blogging and facebooking is doing me just fine.  It's about all I want to wrap my aged mind around for the present.

What worries me is the lack of progress in ameliorating and reversing some gargantuan problems like climate change and the mindless determination of idealogues to force their thinking and ways on everyone else.  They're all convinced that they have the answers and the world's problems would cease overnight if everybody just wised up and became like them -- of course, with them in charge and calling the shots.  If science disagrees with them, science has to be wrong.  Funny.  It works just fine when it gives them smaller and better computers and a plethora of other wonders.

How long can we cling to superstition and mindlessly go our way oblivious to what we are doing to our planet?  Can we go on demanding that others see things our way or else?  How long can we "luck out" with no one daring to use those weapons of mass destruction that many nations have and others are jealously and determinedly seeking?  When will a superbug get loose and drasically alter the state of the world?

These are just some of the uneasy questions that plague me and lessen my natural bent toward optimism.  History proves that no outside force intervenes to stop the mad choices humans in power make.  We're on our own.  Viruses mutate and it's only a matter of time before one unleashes a pandemic.  No "god" has ever intervened to stop a plague.  The CDC isn't all that omnipotent either, but they do a tolerably good job most of the time.

I'm going to go on capitalizing on the advances and utilizing them for my own and others benefit.  I just hope that, in the end, enough reason and humanitarianism will prevail to prevent the wholesale destruction and carnage that could erupt at any time.


Saturday, November 24, 2012


Most of you are well aware that I have a Facebook page.  It, along with this blog, is one of the most satisfying activities I engage in because it allows me put my thoughts and feelings and those things I so deeply care about out there to hopefully help others see where we need to go as a nation and people and cut through the misconceptions and self-righteous condemnation that seems to have inflicted itself on our nation and its people.

Just today, I published a poem I've seen before.  It's attributed to an elderly nursing home patient in Scotland.  You can find it on my Facebook page:

A lady saw my posting and had this to say about it:   

"I'm in tears yet I know this poem, I guess the origins will never be known since I knew it to be from a woman in Scotland in a nursing home. I posted it a few yrs. ago. I trained in being a nursing assistand & licensed to give out medication. I treated all of them, tended them, Vets & more. At the end of each clinical I did every weekend, we had a group meeting with our RN teacher. To share thoughts, etc. I broke down crying. The room was silent, I felt foolish but my RN teacher was wonderful, she cared truly. She asked me, "Blondie (my nickname via her), why are you crying?" I told her, "I saw too many wrongs, everything's too rushed, I saw what I felt was abuse, I found it heartbreaking. I was shadowing a nursing assistant, she took me by the arm into a bathroom, where she said, can I just cry for a moment on your shoulder & then I'll be okay..." I told her of course, she cried, she hugged me saying, we can never care enough for them, there's no time, they could hire more, but they don't, none of us can complete anything right. Then it was back to work, I promised to never say a word or tell her name. My clinicals & classes lost me 20 lbs., there's no time to stop from 6-2:30, that was my clinical shift every Saturday & Sunday. No time, no time for them in the right way, no time for me. I couldn't go back when I graduated. I had fallen into depression over what I saw & how the best of facilities, high tech, still wouldn't spend extra for our Vets & all. It made no sense to me. To this day I'm haunted by it all, what I saw, what I felt, how difficult it all really is & all lands on nursing assistants, the RN's do paper work, LPN's are being phased out, nursing assistants do all & are paid a fraction of RN's. Want to be thin? Do what I did, I was thin as could be during all my nursing assitant program & the price I paid was to see horrible conditions & ongoing frustration, for me, depression. I will put on my photo in honor of this, of me at 5 in the morning or so, getting ready for my weekend clinicals at the Veteran's Nursing home. You name it, I saw it, our system is flawed, no one would want to be in one of these, you will never get the care or cleanliness, you want or desire in your personal life. The rules are, set by whom? Higher ups who don't care, but I did what I did, I was horribly sad about it & I am disappointed in how we run our nursing facilities, because, trust me, I worked in the best, the one here, they call the cream of the crop, yet it too, was neglectful, if they hired more, it wouldn't be so neglectful but its all about money. Sorry for this long story, it touches me deeply."

It touches nearly everyone who really cares about their fellow human beings.  I think nearly everyone really feels they care, yet I have to shake my head in bewilderment when I read or hear some statements such as were tossed around in the recent campaign.  When I hear sarcastic, condescending comments about the "47%" and desperate people depending on food stamps as their only means to get food or medicaid for desperately needed medical care while they claim to be followers of that teacher who extoled the "good Samaritan" and told people to sell off their great wealth and give to the poor, My only reaction has to be, "What hypocrisy."

We have a long way to go as a society, and we've lost some ground the last few decades.  Anyone who wants to hatefully denounce me as a "liberal," a "socialist" or whatever is welcome to have at it.  I'm not going to join their unaware hatefulness toward their fellow human beings.  I will continue to add my small voice for compassionate, fellow-human-loving changes we as a people once embraced and under which we grew and prospered as no nation ever before did.


Grover Norquist's dictatorship over the U. S. Congress seems to be falling apart.  His insane campaign to hold members of congress hostage to a twenty-year old pledge not to raise any taxes seems to be losing its terror hold on formerly cowardly politicians.

Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) has broken the strnglehold and is to be praised for doing so.  Hear his statement here:

It's about time for members of congress to "grow a pair" by standing up for reason and the  welfare and future of the country.  I think the recent druming the Republicans took in the election was the "handwriting on the wall" a significant number of them are finally reading.  Hopefully, they are reading a whole lot more rather obvious signs that the days of economic madness have to end.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Theistically prejudiced people will almost universally conclude and probably state that a professing atheist such as I doesn't feel thankful on this day dedicated to being thankful. 

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I'm very thankful.

I just don't waste my time expressing gratitude to a non-existent sky fairy -- the adult version of Santa Claus.  I express my thankfulness to the real people and things from which I have benefited and am benefiting.

I couldn't begin to enumerate all the things I am thankful for, but here are a few.

I am thankful for those who risked everything, including their lives, to give me this great bastion of freedom called The United States of America.  I am also grateful for the dedication of great people who have preserved it against every peril, often to the point of the "ultimate sacrifice," so I can enjoy its benefits today.

I am thankful to exist on a planet which is just perfect for the kind of advanced intelligent life embodied in the human race.

I am thankful to have enjoyed the benefits of education to develop and augment my natural talents so I can sit at this computer and write this blog.

I am thankful for the genetic matchups which made me the healthy individual I am, even at this advanced age.

I am thankful Barack Obama was re-elected and the tide of fanatical theocratism and unbridled capitalistic Dickensianism has again been thwarted.

I am thankful to enjoy the sumptuous feast I am about to go partake of and look forward to the promise of tomorrow.

There is much, much more I am thankful for, but it's now time to go eat and you get the idea, I'm sure. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I was asked to share the president's plan for getting us out of the mess Republican nonsense and mismanagement got us into.  Here it is:

Makes sense to me.


Henry Ford raised the wages of his assembly line workers so they would be able to afford the ownership of the autos they were constructing.  He was a wise man.  He understood that true prosperity for himself included prosperity and well-being for those who served him in his factories.

Somewhere along the way, that philosophy has disappeared from most boardrooms and has been replaced with greed and avarice directed toward the top 1% of our so-called economy.  The average citizen is being squeezed in a financial vice, paying taxes vastly higher than the privileged few while they mortgage their futures to those same vultures just to survive day to day. 

Not only are their wages steadily being eroded by pompous CEOs and overpaid company hacks, but if those avaricious incompetents happen to drive the establishment to ruin, some pirate operation like Bain Capital will descend upon it and abscond with everything of value, including the pension funds on which workers had placed their hopes for retirement security -- all to build the obscne wealth of a few privileged multi-millionaires who proclaim themselves "businessmen." 

What a travesty! 

Pirates masquerading as businessmen!

We just escaped having one of those pirates as our president!

It's time to reign in such nonsense if our nation is to survive as anything more than a third world hellhole for the average citizen.  Among the first steps needs to be a law that guarantees that the security of pension funds won't be stolen by legalized criminals.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


In line with my blog of two days ago, I refer you to this astounding article published by American Atheists:

The drive to "talibanize" the United States of America under an inquisitional type of tyranical religious rule is pervasive, especially in the Bible Belt and Mormon Belt.  They have been thwarted -- for now -- but don't expect the underhanded drive to end.

We who value our freedom must be vigilant and on guard, and our president has to be on alert to appoint freedom-minded jurists to the Supreme Court.

Monday, November 19, 2012


As the Republicans nurse their seething anger and try to understand what went wrong with their four year campaign to sabotage President Obama and their all-out effort to buy the presidency, a new phenomenon pops on the scene in the form of Marco Rubio.  Rather than rewrite what was so well written by P. Z. Myers, I'll just steer you to his blog article on the subject:

They just can't get it through their heads that the American people got wise to them and a new generation isn't buying their nonsense.  I know the average person isn't too well versed in arithmetic, but they do have enough mathematical ability to see that stupid economic policies don't add up and more and more are realizing that theocracy equals mental stupidity and slavery.

Being honest about my cultic past on Facebook lost me another "friend" from the past who wrote me asking that I drop her from my friends list.  No problem.  The Worldwide Church of God religious virus is in full control of her mind.  Reading things I write would only disturb what peace she can feel in what remains of her now very short life.  In the final analysis, it really doesn't matter in the overall scheme of things.  Que sera, sera.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Perhaps some of my readers think I was being hysterical or unbalanced when I referred to rabid religionists as "christofascists" and "theocractic fascists."

Let's look at what they themselves have said.

Jerry Falwell had this gem to offer:  "I hope to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools.  The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them.  What a happy day that will be." 

That extreme statement appeared in 1979 in America Can Be Saved published by Sword of the Lord Publishers.

In 1992, Pat Robertson stated in The New World Order, "There will never be world peace until God's house and God's people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world."

Gary North, writing in Political Polytheism: the Myth of Pluralism, had this to say:  "The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise.  Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant -- baptism and holy communion  -- must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel."

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, offered this gem, as reported by The News Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Indiana:  "I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you,  I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you.  Yes, hate is good ... Our goal is a Christian nation.  We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country.  We don't want equal time.  We don't want pluralism."

The statements made by Romney and Ryan in the recent campaign, though less blatant in many cases, were just as alarming.  Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Thomas Paine, etc. would have recoiled in horror if they could have heard them.  I'm sure they saw the danger that a future rise in theism could present.  That is probably why Benjamin Franklin replied to a questioner about the type of government they had instituted that it was a Republic, "if you can keep it."

We kept it!  The danger has not disappeared!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


We were privileged to hear from Dr. Darrel W. Ray this morning in Sedona.  I understand it was his first visit to Sedona.  No doubt, he will be back.  Sedona has a way of growing on people.

He didn't come to take part in any of the "wooo, wooo" so prevalent there (vortexes, auras,  psychic readings, channeling, etc.).  Instead, he lectured for about an hour and a half on the subject of his book, The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, followed by a question and answer period.

The Sedona, Verde Valley Secular Freethinkers sponsored the lecture which was well attended by people from the local area as well as visitors from Flagstaff and Prescott.  Several visitors expressed an interest in becoming associated with our group. 

I bought my own autographed copy of his book and plan to buy his new offering just recently off the presses in 2011:  Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality.

Wikipedia has a quick rundown on Dr. Ray, his background, education, etc.:

That's all.  I have a bit of reading to do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Within the last 24-hours we heard the cheering news that Kyrsten Sinema has won here in Arizona, putting another Democrat of the female persuasion in the House of Representatives.

Why am I, a man, cheering when I read an article like this:

I've come to realize how important women are to a vibrant, progressive and sane society.  Over my lifetime, I've evolved from the super fundamentalist I used to be to the thoughtful progressive liberal I am today.  I no longer have the attitude fostered by patriarchal religions that women are lesser creatures created to serve and be in subjection to men.  That's a bullshit premise, if there ever was one.

I've profited all my life from the influence of women as well as men.  Knowledge, wisdom and leadership ability isn't concentrated in any one sex.  There was my mother and my grandmothers.  I especially learned love and tenderness nestled in their soft bosoms.  My first and second grade teacher was an exemplary woman who got me started academically.  Anne Niclolson was her name, and I will never forget her.

There have been so many that I could not begin to enumerate the benefits I have often subtly received through association and partnership with the female half of humanity.  My proficiency, limited as it is, with computers is due to my wife, Phyllis.  When we got married in 1995, she was amused that I wanted to buy a typewriter.  Soon we had our first computer and I slowly learned how to use and appreciate them.  Now, it's the first thing I go to every morning.  We have three of them in total.  In so many things, she is my "right arm," and I seek her advice and counsel by habit, just as she does mine.

Teamwork without sexually based and biased attitudes is the answer to nearly everything.  I hope I'm getting across the fact that we all need each other and the sooner women have an equal and respected right at the national and international tables, the better off the entire human race will be.

C'mon, all you angry old white men.  Chill out a little and appreciate the benefits to be derived from all those females you've felt superior to and belittled.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


There's an article on Huffington Post this morning quoting Carlos Gutierrez, hispanic advisor to the Republican party as to why hispanics were so terrified of Romney and the Republican party:

They weren't the only ones terrified.  So were negroes, gays, secular-minded people like me, women, anyone who sees the danger of further uniting religion and the state, etc.

One commenter sumed it up well by writing: "Is there actually anything the repubs are for that doesn't involve being 'anti' something?"

Too which another commenter replied:  "Let's see: anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-reproductive rights, anti-voting rights, anti-middle class, anti-union, anti-medicaid, anti-medicare, anti-education, anti-science.  OK, I'm going to run out of space."

That pretty well sums it up.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


The Sedona, Verde Valley Secular Freethinkers are sponsoring an address by Dr. Darrel Ray, author of The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture at the Sedona Elks Lodge, 110 Airport Road, Sedona at 11 am, November 17.

This lecture is free to the public and will carefully detail the practical consequences of religious beliefs and their effect on personalities, families and cultures.  He will explore various methods religions use to infect and maintain infection within a particular religion.

If at all practical financially and distance-wise, it would be well worth your while to attend.

Following the lecture, join us in the lounge for informal conversation and refreshments.  Dr. Ray will have his book for sale.  For further information:  928-203-4213.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I got a call from my cousin in Houston this morning.  She was kind of down over all the "friends" who have angrily rejected her over her support of Obama.  One of three Obama sign displayers in her plus-55 community has had dog feces thrown on their driveway and trash on their lawn.  I welcomed her to "the club," since I've had the same experiences for decades now.

Theocrats worshipping their "god of love" have one thing abundantly in common -- unthinking hatred of anyone who doesn't go along with their agenda.  If some unfortunate female human gets raped and turns up pregnant, god intended it to turn out that way.  If hated Obama and us horrible liberals happen to win an election, suddenly it must be "Satan's triumph."  I thought they claimed their god was "omnipotent!"  I seem to recall that there is a verse in that New Testament quoting a Jewish leader advising his angry contemporaries to back off lest they be found to be fighting god.

Personally, I don't think any of the imaginary two "gods" people prate about had a damn thing to do with it.  There simply were more of us voting in the right places than them, and we carried the day.  The demographics are changing -- and rapidly.  The "angry old white men" who hate having a "nigger" in the white house (yes, that's exactly how they feel), want the "leave it to Beaver" fantasy world back and detest anyone who doesn't fit their sexual, ideological, hard-ass style of life.  They are losing their clout.  More of them are disappearing from the scene every passing day while younger, more educated and more reasonable people take their place.

They realize they are losing their evil control.  That's why they do everything they can to keep our youth from being truly educated in sound thinking.  That's why they denounce "educated fools."  That's why they want their "creationism" forced on pliable young minds as early as possible -- the plausibility of their holy book is at stake!  They don't want their children to be thinkers.  They want them to be robotic clones of them.  It isn't working.  Largely because -- WE WON!  They know that, and it makes them desperately, viciously angry.  Their grab for power and total dominance was thwarted.

When I was commiserating with my doctor over my fears that Romney might win, he assured me that was impossible because too many thinking young people had come on the scene, and if their votes were honestly allowed and counted, Romney could not win. 

He was right.  I am very thankful he was right.  It means my grandchildren's lives won't be lived in a theocratic hell hole under the unfeeling heel of the rich and the fanatical theists.  Notice the election maps.  Those red states delineate the religion-deluded Bible Belt and the Book of Mormon deluded west. 

We now have the chance to reverse course and nip that theocratic Dickensian world in the bud.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I received the link to the video cited below because I supported and helped all I could to re-elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America. 

What struck me was the deep humility and the spirit of hope this man always projects.  I'm fiery and confronting, more akin to Joe Biden than to him.  He is steady and determined with a reserve I admire but find hard to emulate. 

A man like him needs to be in the presidency at a time like this, not a man like me, and I recognize that fact.  That doesn't mean either of us is superior to the other, just that he has talents and temperments that fit him to such an office much more than any other person I can think of.

Here's the link of him speaking and conveying his thanks and appreciation to the staff of his main campaign office:


I admire animals and get delight from almost all of them.  A few, like mosquitos, could disappear from the earth and not be missed by me, but I guess they and their larvae are important as a food source to some other species, so, "Please pass the repellent."

We were at a yard sale this morning held by a nice lady who breeds, trains and shows Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.  The one out front was sweet and absolutely beautiful.  She told us a bit about them and one story really stood out.

People who own Ridgebacks have found that the dog's jugment of people can be relied upon 100%.  They tell anyone who adopts or buys a Ridgeback to always go with and rely on the dog's judgment.

One lady got a Ridgeback puppy from this breeder and she told her that very thing.  Five years later that new Ridgeback owner came by to relate how reliable the advice had been.

She said that a man she knew and had trusted came by unexpectedly one day.  The dog absolutely refused to let that man enter the house and it mystified her.  About two weeks later, that same man was arrested for raping and murdering another woman in that same community.

I suppose we will never be able to determine the exact mechanism behind such dog instincts.  I could throw out all kinds of suppositions and some people might be dumb enough to think I knew what I was talking about.  I'm content to just pass on the story and appreciate one more example of how great a blessing "man's best friend" can be.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


We have a neighbor at the corner of our street whom I've never met and really don't care to meet.  Every election, he loads his two fences with every Republican campaign sign he can find. 

We were wondering how soon he would take them down.  Phyllis had a doctor's appointment today, so we and the dogs took a little trip.  As we passed his corner, we noticed not a single sign...BUT, he also flies the US and Arizona flags on two flagpoles.

The national flag was flying upside down!  That's the signal of distress!

We've been rejoicing all day.  Him?  I guess not so much.

Just another of those angry old white men who are ever so slowly disappearing from the scene.  If we survive him, we'll look forward to his estate sale but won't be buying any Republican memorabilia.


As I stated in my previous blog last night, America has been saved and the future set in a progressive direction.  We are a different country this morning, but a rejuvenated, more united country than we were 24-hours ago. 

America has condemned and then embraced all foreign incursions -- the irish of the potato famine, the italians and sicilians, Jews, the Germans and Russian Germans of post World War I times, etc.  They are now "us" and we are stronger for it.  We will also be stronger from the enlarged melting pot of the recent past.  My grandson is in a relationship with a beautiful and totally wonderful philipino girl.  Instead of denouncing it, I welcome it.  This genetic and cultural mixing is a strength, not a weakness.  History proves it so.

I could say much more and probably will in the days to come.  In the meantime, this article pretty well sums up the situation:


It's over!
Now, I can rest as soon as that big glass of tea I had with dinner, and which I found out was cafeinated, wears off. I avoid cafeine because I developed an alergy to it right after I turned 70. If I drink cafeinated drinks for two or three weeks, I might as well have alzheimers. An occasional cup of coffee or tea only keeps me awake due to not being used to it.

Anyway, I can now stop fearing what might happen to this great republic my ancestors fought and died for. The theocratic right has been soundly trounced and Obama can appoint truly qualified jurists to the Supreme Court with the approval of a senate controlled by sane democrats. The gravy train for the super rich will at least be slowed down a bit. People who are "different," due to being born of a darker race, with a different sexual orientation or a different belief system will be accorded the kind of respect every human being deserves. Women won't be consigned to a second class existence under the dictates of antiquated religion and male bias.

Oh, we haven't "arrived" yet. The struggle against ignorance and superstition will go on. Mindless denunciation of progressive ideas as "socialism" won't end. Hate will not magically disappear.

But, we dodged the bullet. After the coming four years, we should be fully recovered from the "conservative" illness that came close to completely destroying our republic. That should make it easier for Biden or Hillary to win next time

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Throughout my life, I've become estranged from a lot of people over where I stand on life issues.  When I left my WCG allegiances behind, the bulk of my former associates took off for the hills.  When I left behind agnosticism and became a devout atheist, even more made themselves scarce.

A great many of those who saw through Herbert W. Armstrong's overall cultism, still hang with his ultra fundamentalist approach in other areas.  He, like the Rethugs, hated labor unions, looked down on the average person as inferior and not worthy of a decent lifestyle and had a British-style class outlook. 

Some (indeed many) former worldwiders are staunch creationists and rabid pro-life fanatics.  One angrily told me that a woman does not have control over her own body and he's absolutely vehement about evolution.  Humanism is a dirty word in his dictionary.  He buys anything pseudo-scientists put out in their cross-fertilized, literarily-incestuous books, blogs and articles, pooh-poohing what real scientists with real credentials and years of painstaking research publish and state.  We no longer communicate by his demand, and his pompous daughter consigned me to hell.

By getting involved in politics and fearlessly stating my flamingly liberal atheist/humanist outlook and opinions, I've lost even more former "friends."  Somehow, they can't take that extra logical step and cast aside that ultra conservative mindset we all bought way back there.  I'm a heretic in their eyes because I won't goose step to their theocratic fascist outlook.

That's OK.  There's too much McCoy in my ancestry for me to compromise with what I see and not speak out.  (Yes, my paternal great grandmother was Isabelle McCoy, straight from Virginia, and a more outspoken, activist personality would be hard to find.)  I'm deeply grateful to have this blog and other avenues open to say what wells up from deep within and strains to be heard.

Our nation was not founded by shrinking violets who cowered in fear.  They were willing to risk everything for the ideals they held dear.  I'm at least not risking execution as a traitor to my king like they did.  For now, anyway, no one can bring me up on charges for blasphemy or character defamation if I tell the truth as I see it.  How long that will continue is something I really worry about if the Rethug cabal manages to pull this coup off.

I must say what I say because it's the reality I see.  To do less would be a betrayal to myself and those who come after me.

To those who would angrily tell me to "shut up," I reply, "Never!"


We're two days away from either elation or crushing despair.  The future hangs in the balance.  We stand on the brink of disaster or the renewal of the promise of America generations have fought for and built.

Joe Biden lays out what is at stake sucinctly and clearly.  Take a few minutes to hear what he has to say:

I personally don't believe a word that comes out of Romney's or Ryan's mouths.  They will say anything to deceive the public and get their way.  Potential dictators always act that way.  Lies are their stock in trade and the litany of lies has been pointed out before in this blog and to anyone who pays attention and thinks as they listen.

They have promised that they won't touch the benefits seniors are presently receiving.  If you believe that, I have a bridge in New York I'd like to sell you.

Even if that were true, do we not care what awaits every American citizen as they inevitably age?  If it were not for the wisdom of past generations, millions of seniors, including Phyllis and I, would be homeless, destitute and probably long dead.  I know for sure that Phyllis' heart condition, which is under control due to Medicare and four stents, would have taken her long ago.  As it is, we can live, not lavishly, but with a modicum of comfort and dignity.  Do we want less for our children and grandchildren?

For millenia, the human race struggled and most died young, many after intense suffering.  My great grandfather lived to 69 and died in his sleep of a sudden heart attack.  A stroke took my grandfather at 72.  He suffered from high blood pressure.  My dad lived to 95.  Mother to 98.  According to my last checkup, I just might exceed that.  I couldn't have even had that checkup without Medicare. 

I remember how unnecessary and superfluous it looked to pay into Social Security and Medicare back there in my younger years.  When we are young, we feel indestructable and chafe about all that money that we could really use right now going into something that will pay off only if we reach that age that seems so far away.  I face the same mindset in trying to convince people that the ethereal future benefits of Aflac insurance really are worth the present inconvenience of the small premiums that must be paid.

We're no longer hunter gatherers doomed to following the herds and braving the elements to survive for a few harsh years until our teeth decay and break and our physical prowess declines to the point that we can no longer hack it and we have no choice but to lie down and die miserably and youthfully.

We should be progressing, not turning back the clock.  Not returning to the miseries of a few short generations back just so the super rich can lord it over those who are less fortunate and scornfully say, "Let them eat cake" while seated on their posh furniture in their opulent estates.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Do you have a dog, or dogs, you love dearly?  Have they become to you, as to us, almost like children in your home?  Do you cherish their happy and trust-filled smiling faces and revel in giving them special treats, just like you would a child or grandchild?  Do they snuggle up to you at night and you find that you cannot get up or go back to bed without giving them a loving pat or pet?

If so, join the other millions who are thankful to have these denizens of the animal kingdom to add another fulfilling dimension to their lives. 

Your attitude would be a heresy in the Muslim world.  It also flies in the face of the prejudiced attitude toward dogs found in that revered book we've inherited from the Middle East, the Bible.

Cute little toy dogs and the multi-spendored array of breeds existent today just didn't exist in the backward, undeveloped world from which either the Bible or the Koran emerged.  In those backward, prejudiced, unscientific tomes, dogs are looked down upon and references to them are used as a slur. 

In the Muslim world, to be called a "son-of-a-bitch-dog" is one of the greatest of insults.  It's also a quite common derogatory retort that's come down to us in the Western world, but we don't add the "dog" part, in my experience, and most people don't really think about what they're saying or what original attitude it is based on.  The same basic attitude and origin applies to the disrespectful labeling of a woman as a "bitch" -- a female dog.

Dogs of two thousand or more years ago were not far removed from the wolves from which they descended.  They were useful for some purposes but not highly regarded and seldom treated the way we treat our pets.  There was no Humane Society back then.

Proverbs 20:11 sneers at dogs as creatures who will return to and eat their own vomit.  Jesus referred to gentiles as "dogs."  Several Old Testament scriptures portray dogs as scavengers that will eat human flesh and lick up human blood.

Deuteronomy 23: 18 says, in the King james translation:  "You shall not bring the wages of a harlot, or the price of a dog, into the house of the Lord your God...."  Modern translations meet modern sensibilities toward our pets by making the term apply to male prostitutes, but there is considerable evidence that the meaning of the original was actually "dog."

As for us, we love our dogs.  They are more loyal and loving than many humans.  Dogs are a wonderful, highly intelligent and useful complement to us humans.  I seriously doubt that a lion will ever, in any world, lie down with any lamb, no matter what the Bible supposedly foretells.  Our dogs lie down with us all the time, and neither they nor we have the slightest fear of each other.

Again, the Bible shows itself as an unreliable source of much of anything.  Of any true science it is almost totally lacking and unreliable.  Many of its social teachings are archaic and repugnant to a modern, enlightened mind (approval of slavery being just one example).

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I was very young.  So young I don't know when it was that I first heard the famous saying attributed to an old German, "So soon old undt so late schmart."

How true that famous saying is! 

I turned 78 in the wee morning hours of October 10.  It's been a long and stormy journey from that inauspicious beginning in the guest bedroom of my grandparent's home out there on those wide-open North Dakota plains.  It's had it's joys and fulfillments and it's pains, turmoil and sorrows. 

I've known the bursting energy and forever optimistic soarings and passion of hormone-fired youth.  I've also known the insecurity of aged legs that feel insecure on a downhill slope and have wondered, "where did all that testosterone get off to." 

I've known the despair of having a career come to a crashing end along with a marriage to which I had given my utmost dedication and faithfulness.  I've experienced the overwhelming joys of second and third loves.  In addition to divorce, I've known widowerhood after several years of marital separation. 

I've experienced soaring joy and devastating depression.  I've known lack and the joy of financial prosperity brought about by my own dedicated labor. 

I've known so many things, so many emotion-filled tumultuous times.

Mine is a unique story mainly meaningful only to me, but so like what every other human faces and goes through on this journey we call "life."  The details of each life are different, but we all travel a similar path. 

We start out with a wail as we are suddenly thrust forth into this strange, cold and insecure realm.  We travel our path and experience what comes our way and what we bring upon ourselves.  And, every day, the end draws more nigh.  The days become even more precious, and often we even reflect on what could have been but wasn't.

The "soon old" has arrived. 

The "schmart?" I hope so.


The festival of lies goes on and on.  Ad after ad put out by lying Republicans tries to paint Obama as a profligate spender. 

'Taint so. 

Here are the facts, according to official government statistics:

In the 2009 fiscal year -- the last of George W. Bush's presidency -- federal spending rose by a whopping 17.9 % from $2.96 trillion to $3.52 trillion.  You can verify those figures at the Office of Management and Budget.

In fiscal 2010 -- the first budget under Obama -- spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.

In fiscal 2011, spending rose a modest 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.

In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise an even more modest 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Comgressional Budget Office's estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.

In fiscal 2013 -- the final budge of Obama's current term -- spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion.  See the CBO's latest budget outlook.

Over Obama's four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 billion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4% -- A far cry from the 17.9% increase during Bush's last year.

This is all in contrast to the lies we hear about Obama's profligate spending.  People don't realize that the first year of every presidential term starts off with the budget approved by the previous administration and congress.  Obama didn't begin to shape budgets until his second year in office.  Developing and steering budgets through congress takes a lot of time and effort, especially with a gridlocked congress that openly proclaims its determination to thwart everything that president tries to do to make certain, if at all possible, that he won't be re-elected.

Obama came into office with a budget already in place which called for spending to increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in response to the worst economic and financial disaster since the Great Depression, directly caused by the profligate practices of that previous administration.

As usual, the facts are ignored and the despicable liars blame Obama. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I would truly love for this to be an actual photo of me and the President and First Lady.  Alas, it's not.  They're just cardboard likeness displayed in the local democratic campaign office.

Ah, sweet fantasy!


There are ordinary lies and there are "damn lies."  Ordinary lies are told out of weakness and a desire to not hurt other people's feelings or look out for one's personal well-being.  "Damn lies" are deliberately hand crafted to delude and deceive with salacious ulterior motives.

The Romney/Ryan campaign are masters of "damn lies."  They desperately hope enough people will be gullible enough to believe them. 

One of the most blatant of these "damn lies" is the currently playing campaign ads that tell the American public Chrysler is planning to ship auto production for the domestic market to China. 

It's a total "DAMN LIE!"

Go to this article to get the facts about lyin' Ryan and lyin' Romney;

Be sure to check out the litany of other false Romney statements that accompany this article.  I'm of the opinion that he's one of those idividuals who will tell a lie when the truth would serve him better, just to hone his skill.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


On another blog I keep up with and often comment on, someone I've had words with before spewed out some Rethuglican nonsense I just could not resist countering.  He thinks the problems with our nation are all the social programs which he considers that hated "socialism."  He wants the past world of the robber barons back, like many other stupid so-called "conservatives."  Here's my reply to him:

"'Let me hear a "Amen brother'!"

Not from me. Nor from any other true patriot who understands history and what is at stake.

You know where I stand, since we've had our words over it, and it's not with the 1% who are the real bankrupters with their welfare for themselves, poverty, want, national decline and Taliban-like control for everyone else with ill-conceived, unnecessary wars to enrich themselves while the country goes to hell and everything that made us great is destroyed.

Go stand with Romney/Ryan and their tyranical, lying, disgusting ilk and watch everything real patriots built until about thirty years ago with the election of "acting president" Reagan and the long so-called "conservative" plunge into national oblivion and theocratic fascism. (Their fanatical forerunners even succeeded in putting "under God" in the pledge of allegiance! I'm not under any god and my nation was never meant to be either. Those words never exit my mouth when the pledge is repeated. They won't stop until we're cringing under blasphemy laws and every other theist horror they can dream up.)

It's Rome all over again from where I observe and we just might get our Mormon Caesar. I admire Cato like George Washington and the other great founders of our nation did. He cut out his guts rather than live under Caesar's dictatorship with only the form and ceremony of original Rome. The republic was history, and he knew it. Ours will be history to if that evil cabal succeeds!

You might as well start shouting, "Viva Mormonism and Catholicism!" That's what we would have."


Phyllis just said something which got me thinking.  She said it would soon be a system of the survival of the fittest and the devil take the hindmost if Mitt Romney somehow managed to win this election. 

She was referring to Romney's goal of getting rid of first response organizations like FEMA, and who knows what else.  He wants to unload all federal programs possible onto states, and even onto the private sector so rich people like him can make even more obscene wealth providing inept and inadequate emergency services to suffering, vulnerable humanity.

Mankind rose to the heights it occupies by organizing together to provide for the common interest and good.  Things like natural disasters cry out for national solutions -- not some inept state by state hodge podge of under funded and communication breakdown ridden little local setups, or for-profit schemes handled by corporate lords with their eye on the bottom line and their position in the stock market.

Nature operates on the principle of the survival of the fittest and the evolutionary record shows that a whole bunch of species, numbering in the millions, if not billions, didn't have enough fitness when a crunch came along.  They're long gone. 

Humans have the mental capacity to figure ways around problems and emergencies, so we've survived and now constitute a population of around 7 billion.  That's one great reason why national and international cooperation and programs are so essential.  We have to stick together and work together to make the resources necessary readily available when a crisis comes along.

If we follow Romney's misguided, greedy, self-serving vision, we will devolve down to the point where survival is no longer a matter of who is the fittest, but who happens to be the richest.  Eventually, that won't even work because the basis for being rich will have disappeared.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I work hard for what little I earn above and beyond that horrible handout we, as members of that slothful 47%, get each month for those terrible "socialist" programs like Social Security and state retirement.  That makes me kind of careful how I spend it.

I made some money last week on carpet work and a wedding ceremony.  So, I got the oil changed in Phyllis' car this morning.  It was somewhat overdo, and we got the customary list of recommended things to do soon.  Gotta wait for some more extra jobs to handle those.  They have a maddening way of always being somewhere in the two hundred dollar range.

A few days ago, I opened the lid on our water softener and discovered we were almost out of the potassium cloride we use.  Time to recharge.

Five years ago, I bought a forty pound bag of that chemical for just over ten dollars.  I know things have had to go up just because of the increase in fuel costs, but gimme a break.  The last time I recharged (partially) the bags were just under $24 at both WalMart and Home Depot.  Both places were selling Morton brand.

This morning, I grumbled my way down to WalMart, and loaded up two bags now priced a few cents under $27.  After I'd bought them, someone told me Home Depot now had another brand at a considerably lower price.  I thanked them and hustled down to customer service for a refund.

At Home Depot, the price was $16.97.  Just one problem.  There wasn't a single bag in that spot.  Seems the word is getting around.

A clerk got someone from the back and I was told a supply would be right out.  It was, and I calculated that I could now buy three bags and did -- for less than the two bags were going to cost me earlier.

The water softener is now plumb full and should not need service until sometime next summer or fall. 

Thank you, kind informant.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


If you want to know how women's rights would fare under a Romney/Ryan presidency, you need only look to Romney's approach to women as an official in his Mormon Church.  Ryan's approach is abundantly clear from public statements he has made, all harmonious with the dismal history of Catholicism and their oppression of women.  They make a very harmonious team.

A very insightful blog article by Geoffrey Dunn lays out a very disturbing account of what women can expect from a president Romney.  Read about it here:

As I said earlier in another blog, when I see Romney's snake-like smiling face, I see the evil emperor portrayed in Star Wars films.  Barack Obama praised him as a loving family man.  Sorry, Mr. President, you are dead wrong.  He is not loving.  He is not good. 

He is pure evil.


Newt Gingrich can't understand why so many people are upset over what Mourdoch said about rape and pregnancy.  Here's the gist of his approach, word for word:

"He also immediately issued a clarification saying he was referring to the act of conception, and he condemned rape," Gingrich said. "[Mitt] Romney has condemned -- I mean, one part of this is nonsense. Every candidate I know, every decent American I know condemns rape. OK, so why can't people like Stephanie Cutter get over it? We all condemn rape."

Any decent person sees rape as a horror.  That's not the point, clueless Newt.

The point is that you and the rest of your theistic bullies want to impose your interpretation of what your bronze age imaginary diety supposedly wills and decrees -- through you and whatever religious authority you espouse -- on everybody as the "will" of that non-existent bag of garbage.

There are a whole bunch of us who don't agree with your interpretations of the universe and ultimate reality.  In your mind, we don't count because you and your ilk are the arbiters of ultimate truth that must be forced upon everybody else.

Mind your own damn business and quit trying to legislate your insane superstitions into our lives! 

Friday, October 26, 2012


In addition to what I've had to say about stupid and totally reprehensible statements about rape that have proceeded from the mouths of our theocratic, christofascist politicians, I just camee across this wonderfully crafted article:

No further comment needed.  Just read it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


My last blog dealt with Richard Mourdoch and his stupid, inane statement that a pregnancy from rape would just constitute an example of "god's" rather ghoulish "will."

My wife came up with a rather thought provoking scenario.  She wondered how he would react if his wife or teen-age daughter happened to be the recipient of this rather horrific manifestation of god's "will."  After all, maintaining control over trillions of determined little sperm cells released worldwide every day could get a bit overwhelming even to a supposed omnipotent deity.  Can't blame him if he got exhausted and threw up his hands and said "Aw, f++k it!

It's easy to be cavalier about such situations when they are only hypothetical and involve just plain ordinary people.  Or, women, which it seems, are lesser beings than him, as far as he is concerned.

It would be indeed interesting to see how Mourdach would react if the hard, cold reality struck home in his own household.  I have a feeling His tune might change -- dramatically!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I am sitting here in stunned bafflement that any even moderately intelligent human being could say what GOP candidate Richard Mourdoch said.  The article didn't state but I am sure he has to be a "teapublican."

Mr. Mourdoch stated that he opposed abortion for pregnancies arising out of rape because..."it is something that God intended to happen." 

OK.  Let's think about the implications of that ludicrous statement.

Let's not condemn Hitler and the Nazis for the holocaust.  Obviously, since "god" didn't stop it, he intended it.  Let's not jail or execute murderers, child molesters, terrorists, etc.  Let's whitewash all the horrors of history.  Lets just chalk all of it up to "god's will" and skip merrily along.  That's really what all of them, from the Pope to the thoughtless laity in most churches confidently endorse.  "It's God's will" becomes the mindless mantra that excuses every horror imaginable.

Mr. Mourdoch has actually clarified one of the main reasons I don't believe in or worship any "god."  I have contempt for their definition of their god because he clearly, if he existed, is an accesory to the horrors that exist in the world.  Neither he nor any of his vaunted "angels" rouse their lazy asses (that don't exist) to do a damned thing to protect millions of totally innocent and helpless people, no matter how desperately they cry out for deliverance.

I used to be deluded and think I got all kinds of help from divine sources.  It was all happenstance.  I've had just as much -- actually more -- seemingly benevolent outcomes after coming to my senses and chucking those superstitions overboard simply because I've lived more years in unbelief than I did in belief.  Life is a crapshoot and the dice sometimes come up in your favor irrespective of what or who you believe in.

Can the American people actually be dumb enough to put people like that in office?  I hope not, but recent history can only cause me to question.