Tuesday, January 29, 2013


It's taken nearly eight decades, but I've finally found my perfect calling.  I was meant to be a journalist, a writer, a master of the written word.  It's my natural bent and calling.  Maybe I could have gotten there quicker taking a different route.  Who knows?  If I'd gone to a different college and studied journalism instead of theology, what might have transpired?

The experiences certainly would have been different.  Maybe I wouldn't have the same insight I feel I now possess.  I could be better off financially or worse off.  I'd probably be living somewhere else or maybe long dead from natural or unnatural causes. Familial and marital circumstances would have been different.  Etc.  Etc.

It's sort of like thinking about a parallel universe, which I don't think can exist as so many imagine.  The history in parallel universes would go so differently, that the human race might not even exist, let alone a parallel of you or me.  Take billions of years and the crapshoot of happenstances beyond measurement, and the possibilities are beyond comprehension.

The important thing is that I did get here in this universe as my unique self and that's the only important reality I have to, or can, deal with. 

I used to wonder how syndicated authors could continually write interesting pieces that just seemed to flow like water on such a regular basis.  Now, I know.  I'm doing it myself -- right here on this blog and Facebook!  There comes a time when a writer like me is so filled with the urge to say things that they will be compelled to do so if an avenue opens up.

It's taken a lot of living.  A lot of experience.  Never ending study and learning.  Much heartache and emotional trauma.  An ocean full of water under that proverbial bridge. 

I just can't stop myself now.  This is the interest of my life.  The good thing about it is that I can do it as long as I have a computer and the mental capacity and manual dexterity to type on it.  It all came to be in my lifetime, thanks to technological geniuses who did what they were born to do.

Thank you all!

Monday, January 28, 2013


What a way to wake up!  The Huffington Post headline, "Mother Loses 4th Son to Gun Violence," will jar the brain of just about anyone with normal sensibilities.

"CHICAGO ... seven people were killed and six wounded in gun violence in one day.
Among those killed Saturday was a 34-year-old man whose mother had already lost her three other children to shootings. Police say Ronnie Chambers, who was his mother's youngest child, was shot in the head while sitting in a car."
Read the full account here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/27/ronnie-chambers-death-chi_n_2562014.html.
The gangland bloodbaths of the 20s and 30s horrified the nation and led to the banning of machine guns as private firearms.  The NRA never uttered a peep about that common-sense limitation. 
Things have changed.  Now they insist that every citizen has a right to own and carry around assault weapons -- a junior grade, but much more handy and portable version of a machine gun.  Couple that with easily concealable semi-automatic pistols and a plethora of other relatively cheap firearms being carried by more and more macho and pisssed off citizens of unknowable mental states and you have a situation which would make a walk down 1880s Tombstone streets look like an afternoon stroll through Cottonwood's Riverfront Park by comparison.
I think we've become so accustomed to ordinary citizens having to dodge bullets sprayed by psychopaths who consider whipping out a gun and blasting away indiscriminately as normal "anger management" that we view it as normal.
So far, nobody has been shooting up Cottonwood, but I have a doctor's appointment at 10 am, so I have to drive downtown.  I hope I live to drive back.  I don't know where in Chicago Ronnie Chambers was going, but he didn't make it.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I have a very skeptacle attitude toward much of what I see or hear in the "news."  If it comes from a religious or political source (especially right wing), I'm downright suspicious and looking for the lie. 

Religiously motivated politicians are the worst of the lot.  Most of them should be wearing swastika armbands and identifying themselves as cousins of Josef Goebbels.  The middle eastern and catholic originated drive to keep women and minorities down and skew everything to the benefit of the privileged rich and powerful never ceases.

They're masters of double speak, always looking for some high sounding euphemistic way to hide their real totalitarian agenda.  Like the recently put forward attempt to prevent abortion choice by outlawing such pregnancy termination in cases of rape or incest as "tampering with evidence."  What a transparent load of bullshit!

No subterfuge is beneath them.  They would riot to keep a list of the ten commandments posted in a classroom while they flaunt the one against lying.  (Yes, I'm aware that it is actually a command against perjury, but most people understand and pontificate about it otherwise and the principle does apply.)

I've had a lifetime of witnessing the outright lies and dishonesty so blatantly practiced by people posing as the holiest of the holy and there is no way I can trust any of them.  Many of them, I'm convinced, are just as unbelieving in the nonsense as am I, but the gravy train, people control and the easy life it affords is just too lucrative. 


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


While I slowly extricated myself from the extreme right wing and fascist-minded mental delusion that captivated my life for so long, much of that mindset maintained its control over my subconscious and far too much of my conscious mentality.  The growth out of it has been slow and by no means painless.  I have not yet attained, and probably never will, total freedom from it.  It's like a software program that buries electronic "hooks" in your computer and tenaciously refuses to let go. 

For decades, I assumed, like millions of others, that the second amendment to the constitution was inserted primarily to make self-defense possible against foreign incursion and domestic tyranny.  That's not necessarily the case.

Here's a very thought provoking post from the Freethought blog Pharyngula:

Root of all evil?

While I’m criticizing the South, I should also damn the whole country. They Yankees also contributed to the history of slavery: that whole second amendment thing that troubles us so much now was a sop to slavery, enabling ‘militias’ that were intended to capture escaped slaves and suppress insurrections.
…most southern men between ages 18 and 45 – including physicians and ministers – had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.
And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South. Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings. …slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.
So many of the high ideals of this country were poisoned by compromises to allow deep inequities. And the founding fathers were complicit.

Monday, January 21, 2013


I helped every way I could to re-elect Mr. Obama.  I've sent him many emails and a bit of financial support.

Here's My latest:

Mr. President, I just listened to your inaugural address for the second time.  It was inspiring.
I know you will probably not see my message, but I have to express it anyway.  My wife and I are behind you one hundred percent as part of that now famous 99%.  We’re both pushing 80.  Not much time left and you have a precious four years left to do whatever you can to make our beloved nation more of what it was meant to be.
Go for it!  We’ll be cheering you on.
Allen and Phyllis Dexter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I'm all for law-abiding, mentally competent citizens having whatever shotgun, rifle or pistol they feel is necessary for home protection, hunting, etc.  When farmers in North Dakota, my original home state, couldn't hunt deer during and immediately after World War II, the deer population got out of hand and were destroying crops, hay, etc.  As soon as a hunting season was declared and ammunition was handy, the over-population problem went away.  There are still lots of deer in North Dakota, but a yearly regulated hunting season keeps the population in check. 

You don't go hunting that 12-point buck with an assault rifle.  A bolt-action rifle with a moderate ammunition clip suffices just fine.  Even a slug-loaded shotgun will do.  People aren't contemplating hunting animals when they buy assault rifles.  What's in their heads is the possibility of hunting people they regard as enemies and/or threats or nuisances.

That's where the "assault" part and the multiple round clips come in.

A lady who attended one of our free-thought get-togethers summed it up succinctly when she stated that we need them to protect ourselves against "the government."  Our group doesn't endorse that kind of thinking and she hasn't been seen again.  I think she was looking for something much more anarchical than our opposition to religious and philosophical despotism.

There is an undertone of suspicion in the minds of too many Americans.  They regard "governemnt" with a jaundiced eye, forgetting that the government is us and is controlled by those we elect.  They're absolutely convinced that there is some grand conspiracy to impose a dictatorship on all of us and that dictatorship comprises anything with which they happen to disagree. 

If the government doesn't go along with what they demand, they dream that they can take to the hills and trenches and forceably supplant it with the "freedom" of their government -- which would be the real dictatorship.  Their 'Ramboesque" dream is made all the more erotic by holding that marvel of assault power in their hands.  They might not be all that well endowed down below but that assault rifle is a mightly potent phallic symbol -- in their fantasies.  Real he-man stuff!  (I haven't quite figured out the basic appeal to some women.)

We have enough problems to deal with in countering foreign terrorists.  The last thing we need is a Middle Eastern style civil war erupting in our own nation.  Our problems need to be hashed out in legislatures, not battlefronts.  We haven't totally recovered from the effects of our last civil war, a century and a half ago.  We don't need crazies bringing on another bloodbath while they sacrifice themselves to jet aircraft, missiles, drones -- you get the picture -- and tear our beloved nation apart, making our international position all the more perilous.

It's time for reason and cooperation, not assault!

Friday, January 11, 2013


There was a blog entry on The Painful Turht website dealing with the death of but not end of Herbert W. Armstrong's pernicious effects on multiple thousands of former followers and their families.  Far too many people still conduct their lives and base their thinking and logic as if the old reprobate was still alive and in control.

That's all very true.  However, there is another fact that far too many people never grasp, and I wrote the following comment to deal with it:

"I have a news flash too.


Jesus has been dead for nearly two thousand long years now!

His promise to come back almost immediately, if any person called “Jesus” actually said those things (we can’t know because decades and centuries passed between the supposed statements and their written recording) was a lot of hot air. All the prognostications for his imminent coming today are also a lot of hot air.

The cosmic Christ of all those people claiming to be “Paul” is likewise a lot of hot air and empty ink on the pages of a book called the Bible."

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Age! It's something I've grown accustomed to but my attitude toward it has shifted. Really, it's made a one hundred eighty degree turn!

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to become an adult. The thought was magical in itself. I chafed all the time between 18 and 21, waiting to be free to follow my new found religious fanaticism and immediately hauled my rear end off to Pasadena and enrolled in Ambassador College. Nearly twenty years later, that all came crashing down around my ears. My marriage ended a short time later.

I eventually found my way into a new career and the independence of being self-employed, remarried, moved to Arizona. The whiplash-like changes of direction in my life kept on until I'm now here in Cottonwood, semi-retired and still evolving.

Now, with the end approaching, I have an entirely different view of accumulating years and, especially, the physical effects. What energy I used to have! I had a long stride and was so full of dynamic energy that people huffed and puffed to keep up with me on a walk. Stairs and escalators were too slow! I walked up escalators and ran up stairs. Quite a contrast to how I shuffle along now and guard against things like steep slopes that could cause me to lose my balance. I now love elevators. So far, I don't need a cane, and I cringe at the thought of a walker, but I know that if I live long enough, both are in my future.

I tried hormone replacement to reverse the trend. Didn't work and was costing a mint. My body now converts much of any testosterone I do get into a female hormone, and it takes a special expensive drug to reverse that, and who knows what damages that drug is really doing to the body? Not a real problem as there is very little testosterone to convert, but it may contribute to less skin aging than many other men seem to experience at my age.

Unlike in my youth when aging was anxiously yearned for, I now wish I could find a viable way to turn back the clock to the bull of a man I used to be. I remember exactly when the dramatically noticeable energy decline set in. It was my 58th year. I had all my life been so uptight with energy that I constantly chewed my fingernails to a nub. It all ended that year, and I haven't been a nail gnawer since.

It's now twenty years later and I'm content to sit for hours and basically do very little physically. The intensity has ebbed. Love is still there, but not the old physical passion.

I try to take it all philosophically and realize I'm much luckier than many others my age -- many of whom are no longer among the living. Others have very debilitating health conditions from which I have so far been spared. I'd like to fight back and whip the enemy, but this old fighter knows when he's outflanked, outgunned and out everything else.

So, I'll just take life in the best stride I can muster, but I do wish there were some way to make that clock run a little slower. Funny thing. It sure seemed to way back then.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


All gods are failures!  History and the facts prove it!

Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, you name them.  All failures!

Yahweh and Jesus?  Allah?  Total failures! 

They can't hold anything together, largely because they are figments of human imagination, illusionary constructs of deluded and often pathological human minds.

Where was Yahweh at Auschwitz and Buckenwald, etc. when his "chosen people" were being slaughtered by the millions?  Where was Jesus to stop the "protestant heresy" catholics fought desperately to thwart.  Where was he in all the splits and divisions that have torn asunder every major religious movement that came along in christianity, Islam or any other hyped faith that has been invented, all proclaiming they were the true way and everyone else was bound for hell or "the lake of fire?"

You think the odds of winning a lottery are astronomical?  The odds and the chances of losing are far greater in the crap shoot of trying to choose something you can cling to as religious "truth."  In fact, they are absolutely ZERO!

Where are you going to start? 

What wager is guaranteed to pay off? 

Why are you so sure you have stumbled on the "winner?"

I've had adherents to my old cult ask to be removed as a "friend" on my Facebook site when they discovered my non-believing stance, all because of their illogical fear of being contaminated by my unbelief in what they still view as the ultimate truth and their ticket into that illusive "kingdom."  If I lived in some areas of the South, my life, and certainly my community acceptance, could be in danger if my atheist stance became common knowledge.

I used to be delusional enough to fall for the "You are God's elect" assurance.  I was totally convinced I had been specially "called."  That mindset afflicts billions of people who are absolutely convinced of their specialness.

Talk about narcissism.  Talk about irrationality.   If I want to know how dumb a human being can be, all I have to do is look at my own life history.


I spent some time on Armstrong Delusion website this morning.  One comment by a follower of the site struck me, and like many other things I happen upon, serves as the inspiration behind this blog.

The commenter referred to the time after departure from the cult as their "afterlife."

There was a time when all of us cultists looked forward to a supernatural afterlife.  In our cases, we, somewhat like the Mormons, looked forward to becoming actual sons of god.  Herbert Armstrong enlarged the very real original "Elohym" god family of pre-monotheist Israel and Canaan into a growing family that would include resurrected and immortal sons of God -- us.  We were to become brothers of Jesus.  Somehow, "daughters" didn't get included in the mix.  All, including females, were to magically become sons, from my recollection.  (Patriachy in overdrive.)

Of course, I no longer anticipate any such thing and am not even sure some essence of us will suvive our inevitable deaths.  There is compelling "anecdotal" evidence that something may, but so far, no measurable scientific evidence.  So, that is one of the "agnostic" parts of my atheist stance.  I don't know, and I'm humbly honest enough to admit the fact.  Anyone who objects to my unorthodox atheism at the moment is free to cast whatever stones they may have handy.

Back to the current subject.  What has traspired in my life after 1974-75 can certainly be describe as an "afterlife."  In fact, several afterlives.

Starting out, I was still hung up on the Bible and faith.  I even attended a Divine Science church for a while and delved deeply into reincarnation.  I supported Ernest Martin's Foundation.  I got myself ordained by an interfaith group so I could legally do wedding ceremonies and subsequently got several online ordinations, including one from an atheist group.  I've ventured into pan-theism.  For years, I identified myself as an agnostic.  Within the last decade, I became a devout atheist with agnostic overtones.

Is my evolution over?  For the most part, I think so.  Atheism seems to be the end of the line. 

I will never quit questioning and growing in knowledge and understanding.  I'm painfully cognizant of the fact that I don't know everything or understand all that is to be understood.  Nevertheless, I no longer quail in fear of some nebulous spiritual somebody who is going to wrathfully condemn me for not falling in line with one of the thousands (maybe millions) of "faiths" out there.  What makes the superstitions of some remote stone age tribe any more relevant or factual than those espoused by the vatican, a plethora of protestants, some muslim faction, hindus, etc.?

We insist on growing in science and tehnology, but much of the world has become ossified in its views of ultimate reality, especially here in the US where religion has hijacked one very old political party.  We humanists and atheists are fighting valiantly to change that situation, and we're making progress.  Getting much more involved in that struggle has become an increasing part of my "afterlife" of the the last year or so.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


A friend of mine posted this sucinct rundown on narcissism on her Facebook page.  Those of us who had the experience of being deceived by religious hucksters know all too well how accurate this description is.  Narcissists are to be found just about everywhere, especially in religion, business and politics, but also in personal relationships.  Read this, and I'm sure you will be able to identify someone who exhibits this mental condition to one degree or another.
"It is very easy to "break" a narcissist even a well-trained and well-prepared one.
Here are a few of the things the narcissist finds devastating:

Any statement or fact, which seems to contradict his inflated perception of his grandiose self.

Any criticism, disagreement, exposure of fake achievements, belittling of "talents and skills" which the narcissist fantasises that he possesses.

Any hint... that he is subordinated, subjugated, controlled, owned or dependent upon a third party.

Any description of the narcissist as average and common, indistinguishable from many others.

Any hint that the narcissist is weak, needy, dependent, deficient, slow, not intelligent, naive, gullible, susceptible, not in the know, manipulated, a victim, an average person of mediocre accomplishments.

The narcissist is likely to react with rage to all these and, in an effort to re-establish his fantastic grandiosity, he is likely to expose facts and stratagems he had no conscious intention of exposing.

The narcissist reacts indignantly, with wrath, hatred, aggression, or even overt violence to any infringement of what he perceives to be his natural entitlement.

Narcissists believe that they are so unique and that their lives are of such cosmic significance that others should defer to their needs and cater to their every whim without ado. The narcissist feels entitled to interact or be treated (or questioned) only by unique individuals. He resents being doubted and "ridiculed".

Any insinuation, hint, intimation, or direct declaration that the narcissist is not special at all, that he is average, common, not even sufficiently idiosyncratic to warrant a fleeting interest inflame the narcissist. He holds himself to be omnipotent and omniscient.

Tell the narcissist that he does not deserve the best treatment, that his desires are not everyone's priority, that he is boring or ignorant, that his needs can be catered to by any common practitioner (medical doctor, accountant, lawyer, psychiatrist), that he and his motives are transparent and can be easily gauged, that he will do what he is told, that his temper tantrums will not be tolerated, that no special concessions will be made to accommodate his inflated sense of self, that he is subject to court procedures, etc. and the narcissist will likely lose control.

The narcissist believes that he is the cleverest, far above the madding crowd.

Contradict him often, disagree with him and criticize his judgement, expose his shortcomings, humiliate and berate him ("You are not as intelligent as you think you are", "Who is really behind all this? It takes sophistication which you don't seem to posses ", "So, you have no formal education", "You are (mistake his age, make him much older)", "What did you do in your life? Did you study? Do you have a degree? Did you ever establish or run a business? Would you define yourself as a success?", "Would your children share your view that you are a good father?", "You were last seen with a certain Ms. who is (suppressed grin) a stripper (in demeaning disbelief)".

I know that many of these questions cannot be asked outright in a court of law. But you can insinuate them or hurl these sentences at him during the breaks, inadvertently during the examination or deposition phase, etc. Narcissists hate innuendos even more than they detest direct attacks."

From Sam Vaknin, author of Malignant Self Love -- Narcissism Revisited.