Friday, April 30, 2010


If it's a fact that Christians in America are persecuted, and it's a fact that the American media is liberal, thereby persecuting conservatives, then why do I have to listen to them all the time?

Monday, April 26, 2010

I know my birthday is coming up

but don't buy me this

It must be a comic book.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I can write more about this later when I have time, but here's a website:

Our Society Will be a Free Society

Sign the petition to help free journalists who are imprisoned in Iran.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You Gotta Read This Article

The New York Times & CBS News have have conducted a poll of Tea Party Supporters, and the findings are interesting, if not very surprising.

"The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45."

What?! How SHOCKING!!

They have a  "fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular..rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich."

Yeah, it's really bad when government is not helping the rich.

"The overwhelming majority of supporters say Mr. Obama does not share the values most Americans live by and that he does not understand the problems of people like themselves. More than half say the policies of the administration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public. They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people."

Just so you know now, for certain, that this it not about race. Not at all. Nothing to do with it, in fact.

"Tea Party supporters over all are more likely than the general public to say their personal financial situation is fairly good or very good...But while most Americans blame the Bush administration or Wall Street for the current state of the American economy, the greatest number of Tea Party supporters blame Congress."

The words socialism, socialist, and Muslim also made an appearance.

This is just to say that privileged Americans will believe anything stupid, as long as there's a black man in the Oval Office.

"But in follow-up interviews, Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on 'waste.'"

Mine. I want mine. Just mine. Not yours.

And now I have read some articles

(This is the immediate follow-up from the previous post. Read that one first.)

From the Times article, I gather that Prof. Dawkins is, indeed, hoping to have the Pope arrested during his visit to the UK in September. He and Mr. Hitchens have retained lawyers, and they are building a case. If there is evidence that the Pope has participated in and sanctioned a cover-up of child rape cases, then it does seem that he is answerable to the law. My first reaction is tho think "Now that's going a little far, isn't it?" but really, that just my own latent thoughs, built-in-by-years-of-indocrtination, that the Pope and other such religious figures are untouchable. But that should not be so, should it, simply because they have their own supernatural belief system that says they are answerable to an imaginary higher calling? Why, when they commit a crime, should they not be subject to the same laws as the rest of us?

The New York Daily News article has this quote from Prof. Dawkins' blog: "I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope's visit, let alone pay for it."

He wants to create uproar and outrage which is, indeed, for publicity. Calling it a "stunt" is also true in some sense, except for the fact that the ethics behind it are sound, and the backing is not disingenuous.

BBC News has a couple of gems, gathered from elsewhere:

From The Guardian and columnist George Monbiot: "Picture the pope awaiting trial in British prison, and you begin to grasp the implications of the radical idea that has never been applied: equality before the law."

Robert Pigott, The BBC's religious affairs correspondent, said "The controversy over alleged Papal involvement in the cover-up of child sex abuse is providing atheists with a stick with which to beat religion."

Rather, I think, if a stick has been provided, it seems to me that religion itself has provided it. A stick that I think we all agree we would rather not have, and a stick that it seems Prof. Dawkins and Mr. Hitchens are trying to break.

Strip away the religion--the myths and trappings that go along with the idea of "The Pope"; remove the titles and monikers on which generations have conferred respect, and how would the case be judged?

If "it has been alleged that Mr. Smith covered up the systematic sexual abuse of children in his neighborhood organization," would that make people feel differently?

Where do all the sanctimonious "Think of the children!" pleaders go when something like this happens?

Arrest the Pope? A little extreme? Yeah, sure it is. But is it more extreme than the systematic child abuse perpetuated by the Roman Catholic church for decades?

I have only seen the headlines

Based on the headlines alone, I am going to form an opinion. Then I'll go read the articles and see if it changes.

Apparently, atheists have demanded that the Pope be arrested in connection with the sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church. I should say, the recent ones.

The headlines are as such:

"Atheists Demand Pope's Arrest in UK" (I think that means that some atheists in the UK have called for the Pope's arrest.)

"Atheist Richard Dawkins backs campaign to arrest Pope"

"Atheist writer Richard Dawkins wants criminal case vs. Pope Benedict XVI for sex abuse scandal"

"Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI"

What I am thinking is that Prof. Dawkins is trying to draw some public attention to this case from a perspective outside the protective shell of religion and the Vatican's own manner of handling "internal disciplinary issues." In a criminal justice sense, there must be some liability, somewhere, in this whole mess. I'm guessing he's thinking about this as a long-term, systematic abuse of human rights, and thinks that someone should be held accountable to some entity other than the Vatican.
Here's what the Vatican has to say:

"Vatican spokesman: Atheist campaign to arrest Pope is publicity stunt"

Well, duh.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Black Hole of Stupid

Minnesota has a grand tradition of intelligent, thoughtful politicians. Eugene McCarthy, Elmer Anderson, Hubert Humphrey, Paul Wellstone, and Walter Mondale leap to mind. We have a lot to be proud of.

It's something we have to remember on a day like today, when Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, two of our less-than-thoughtful politicians, gather with celebrity Sarah Palin and talking head Sean Hannity in downtown Minneapolis for a rally and fundraiser. I am uncertain if the time-space continuum can handle the weight of the white hot rhetoric that will erupt from the convention center. Certainly, the fabric of fact-based knowledge has already been fraying and is in danger of being reduced to dust by the claims of the Teabaggers and the far right, and an event such as this might just do us all in, leaving the entire populace of Minnesota as jibbering, paranoid idiots, convinced that census takers are going to show up at our homes, make us gay marry, go through our wallets, and tell our children to eat their vegetables or Czar Obama will put them into an interment camp where they will have to pray to Mecca five times a day.

Did I miss anything?

The woman who is running against Michele Bachmann, Tarryl Clark, has a site set up where you can make a photo of yourself with the Dynamic Duo. They call it the 10,000 dollar photo because that reputedly what it will cost to have yourself photographed with these two women, which is certainly money well spent.

 babywhumpus isn't too happy about it.

Later, if my stomach can handle it, I will try to write about the sad and sorry state of women in politics.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Repost: Jesus Had A Horcrux

Digging one up from 2006 for Easter.
It's alarming how much of it is still pertinent, 4 years later.

I am not going to get into my whole Joseph Campbell myth analogy between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and how I believe I can use the former to predict how the latter will turn out; because that sort of thing is really only interesting to, well, a whole bunch of people with whom I really don’t want to "hang". But as this country seems to be simply saturated in sticky Jesus stuff, that poor, young, misinterpreted lad is often on my mind. Kristians like to feel persecuted in America because I guess they are being mistreated and ignored, and there is a War on Christianity, though I did not know that America could sustain more than one War on a Noun. Even though Kristians seem to have infiltrated every aspect of public life, since you can’t say "Merry Christmas" in the office anymore if you work in the public sector, I guess they must be right. Modern persecution is really rough.

Then I read something like this:
"Pope's Top Exorcist Says Harry Potter Is 'King Of Darkness'"

This is yet another example of how the people in charge of the Roman Catholic Church really get it, you know?

Wow! First of all, "Pope’s Top Exorcist"? How do you get that job? And, What century is this? Secondly, "Harry Potter is ‘King of Darkness’"? Mr. Top Exorcist (or is that Rev. Top Exorcist? Fr. Top Exorcist?) is clearly confusing Voldemort with Harry, which I can totally understand because they are, indeed, so similar in so many ways. But if he really does mean Harry, himself, then I bet Harry, who already knows he is pretty important, really had no idea how important he is and how much power he truly wields. Book Seven is going to be GOOD.

The article goes on to quote Top Exorcist Man as saying "Magic is always a turn to the devil." (This guy is also the president of the International Association of Exorcists, which is definitely an annual meeting that I want to attend.) He says that "the series contains many positive references to ‘the satanic art’ of magic and makes no distinction between black and white magic." OK, so I get it, the "IAE" and The Vatican don’t have book clubs. Maybe they should start one! And it should include a dictionary. More on that later.

Seriously, I can’t get enough of this. I (almost)don’t even need to write commentary. It’s just too easy:

"[Exorcist Guy Who Is Anthony Hopkins In My Head] compared the Potter character to dictators Stalin and Hitler, saying they were possessed by the devil."

HEY, buddy! In America, we compare dictators like Stalin and Hitler to LIBERALS, not fictional literary characters initially meant for an adolescent audience. But this guy has exorcised over 30,000 demons—a regular Keanu Reeves—so who am I to argue with an expert, me with my lowly English degree?

But let’s talk about magic. According to the wildly inaccurate "Concise Oxford English Dictionary", magic is defined as follows:

• noun 1 the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces. 2 conjuring tricks performed to entertain. 3 mysterious and enchanting quality. 4 informal exceptional skill or talent.
• adjective 1 having or apparently having supernatural powers. 2 informal very exciting or good.

As for Jesus, I’m thinking “magic.” I’ll leave all the healing and reincarnating and walking on water and loaves and fishes incidents alone in favor of talking about Easter, the slam-bang finish in the Vegas Show of Religion that is the New Testament: Jesus dies; Jesus rises from the dead; Jesus ascends to heaven. That’s a sell out! SRO, people! (Dark on Mondays and Tuesdays). If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is. The reviews of this trick vary depending upon which gospel writer you ask; It’s like any sort of party game of “telephone”—the story changes as it is passed on, and even if the same two people witness the same event, they will often differ in their interpretation or in what they remember. Anyone who has ever argued with a spouse or partner will attest to that.

In Matthew’s account (27:50-53), Jesus dies and the rocks split, and "the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life." Then, like "Night of the Living Dead", these dead people roam into the holy city and freak people out.

As for Mark, it’s more of a romantic comedy/buddy picture. He starts Jesus out nice and early "on the first day of the week" and sends him to see Mary Magdalene "out of whom he had driven seven demons" (snicker). She in turn went to tell the others, who, sanely, did not believe the woman. So Jesus appeared to two other mourners, who were, in turn, also not believed. Finally, he went to the remaining 11 disciples, while they were eating, and finally got his point across, which seems like what he should have in the first place. He chastised them. It’s unclear whether or not he had any food, but he asked them to go out and preach the good news about baptism and salvation and going to hell and whatnot.

According to John, Jesus was "alive" for 40 days before he ascended, so he had time to do "many other things as well." Apparently, at least in John, Jesus was very efficient, if vague, for "If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." I guess we are just supposed to trust him.

It all sounds pretty magical to me. How does one rise from the dead without magic? How is having supernatural powers that supposedly come from God different from magic? It seems that he was resurrected in his bodily flesh, as well, which smacks of dark magic, if anything, and if he ascended into heaven like that, is he the only solid guy up there? Is he just walking around, bumping into things while everyone else just passes through them? Methinks Popey McDemonhunter doth protest too much. I think Jesus had a Horcrux.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Residents of the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota are tired of Michele Bachmann, so they formed a PAC.

Ms. Bachmann and Ms. Palin will be here next week for a fundraiser.

I'm so excited.