Posts made in November, 2012

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Posted by on Nov 22, 2012 in Social Issues | 0 comments

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Traditionally a time when families and loved ones gather together to share a feast and enjoy, or depending upon the family (member) endure one another’s company.  We gather to give thanks for surviving the hard times.  We give thanks for being sustained through the lean times.   In today’s economy, this seems particularly appropriate.  Good, decent people have been out of work for a long time for reasons beyond their control and they will give thanks for what they do have.

If Thanksgiving is about taking a minute to count our blessings and devote time to the things that are truly important in life, our families and loved ones, Black Friday is the antithesis of all that is worthy and good about us.  On Thanksgiving day we gather to count our blessings and be with one another.  On Black Friday people gather outside of stores and trample strangers to get a perceived deal on an item that will probably be broken or discarded before the year is out.

On Thanksgiving we celebrate all that is lasting and meaningful about our lives, the people who are important to us and to whom we are important. We celebrate the relationships that give our lives true worth, be it with family or friends, relatives by blood or choice.  Family is not always the people who you are related to, family is the people who care about you and nurture you.

On Black Friday we forget how much we already have and turn into snarling beasts, fighting over scraps, to get one more thing that we probably don’t even have room for in our homes.  People assault strangers to get that “perfect gift” for someone who won’t even give it a second thought once the presents are all opened and the wrapping paper discarded.

We do these things for the people we love.    I just don’t think that a gift that comes with such a high price is worthy of the people we love.  If we have to be cruel to strangers for something that dishonors the person we give that thing to.  If we have to be brutes to get a thing, that denies the love we feel for the person we are getting the gift for.  It diminishes our love for the people we love when we use that love as an excuse to behave like part of a mob.

I won’t shop on Black Friday.  I won’t shop at any store that forces their employees to come in on Thanksgiving Thursday ever.  The people I give gifts to are worth my best effort and my best self.  Not a snarling, vicious, jackass in search of a deal.  The people I love are worth my best self when I’m selecting their gifts and when I give them their gifts.  It says that my love for them is so vast that it spills over onto others.  It says that I value their good opinion of me so much that I will not abuse others to save a couple dollars.

When I give gifts, it is an act of love.  It is an act that comes from my best self and the self I want to be for them.  I will not behave in such a way as to diminish the gift or the love from which that gift comes.  I don’t think it is any mistake that the name Black Friday has transformed from a term indicating the day when shops would finally start making a profit in their ledgers, being in the black, to a term with more graveyard connotations.

I also think it is an obscenity that such a thing happens the very day after we gather together with the people who mean the most to us to give thanks for what we already have.  It is an insult to Thanksgiving, when we gather together to reaffirm the most valuable thing we will ever have, love, that the very next day, before the first leftovers have even been eaten, we turn into ravening mobs for the sake of consuming yet more things that have no true meaning.


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The Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Sports | 0 comments

The Kansas City Chiefs have been terrible for a decade.  I can’t lay the blame solely on the players.  The line up has changed over the course of the last decade but the quality of play has been consistently bad.  It’s actually been stupid.  Stupid calls like 3rd down and 9 so they throw the football two yards behind the line of scrimmage.  That’s become a classic KC Chiefs play.  As soon as they take the lead in a game they start playing stupid.  Instead of playing to win they play not to lose and they’ve become known for being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.   Last week they managed to break  Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers quarterback, and they still couldn’t win a game.

Speaking of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I was watching the game tonight and what is up with those hideous uniforms?  You know these are going to show up on those reels of “The worst uniforms in football” some night.  Which makes me wonder if  Roethlisberger got hurt due to the shame of wearing a uniform that makes him look like the Honey Nut Cheerios bee.

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States are not petitioning to secede. How does a group of yokels pass for news?

Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 in Getting it Wrong, Politics, Women's Rights | 0 comments

I’ve been watching, with a certain amount of disbelief and possibly horror, the news story making the rounds like a bad chain mail about how “31 states petition to secede.”  If this were true, if this were real; if STATES were actually doing this then yes, this would be news.  It is not states though, it’s a small group of local yokels in some states, many of whom are signing petitions in every state they can, many of whom don’t even live in the states they’ve signed petitions in.  It is a petition, but it is not an official petition.  It’s not on any of the petition sites that specalize in grass roots petitions where they gather signatures to send to retailers or others to bring about change.  No it’s a form on the Whitehouse PUBLIC website.  So anyone with an axe to grind can post anything there.  Yet somehow, the news sites, especially that bastion of making up stuff that has no basis in reality, Fox News, is carrying this as front page news.  How is this journalism?  How is this responsible reporting?  How is this even news at all.  Despite all of the lamenting done by journalists after Fox got caught completely unaware by reality on election night just a short week and a half ago about being “forced” to cover non-news as news because of all of the right wing fantasy news sources, here they are once again following the piper.  They could have done a brief segment debunking the whole thing and moved on to real news.

There’s plenty of real news in the world every day.  They could actually inform people about poverty, human trafficking, the tragic and preventable murder of  young mother Savita Halapannavar.  How was that not front page news?   Yes I said murder.  She was murdered by the Catholic Church.  She was murdered by the laws of Ireland that forbade doctors treating her and forced them to leave her to die in agony.  These kinds of laws are a real danger here in the United States.  In Arizona they have already passed a law telling a doctor he has to lie to a woman about possible birth defects of a fetus.  That is the kind of law that leads to murder and everyone who supports such law is party to the murders that result.  There is nothing pro life about forcing a woman to die rather than performing a medically indicated abortion on a dying fetus.  Rather than aborting one, already dying fetus, and saving the woman’s life, Savita Halapannavar, they murdered her and lost two lives.  Like I said, it’s a two for one deal for the control freaks who think women’s lives have no value and have found some kind of  religious sounding way to force their beliefs on others.  These are beliefs they don’t even hold for themselves.  They are beliefs they only and solely hold for others to be forced to conform to.  Look at Rick Santorum who got an abortion for his wife but wants to outlaw abortion in all cases for everyone else.  The people who think like that, the people who support putting laws on the books that draconian, are murderers in their hearts.  They are not pro life in any way, they are pro control women’s sexuality and punish them with death if they don’t behave according to the rules these men have set.

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Face to Face with Reality, GOP Eats Their Own

Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in Getting it Wrong, Politics, The Christian Church | 0 comments

By now everyone who isn’t living under a rock either saw in real time or has seen the youtube videos of Fox News anchors running full speed ahead into the intersection where the fantasyland their chronic lying created met the real world of facts and truth.  The utter shock on their expressions is immortalized on the internet and in the minds of their credulous viewers and those viewers, suddenly presented with the fact that their “fair and balanced” news had lied to them all along are questioning the political propaganda that they have been spoon fed since Fox News won the right to lie and call it news in a federal court in Florida.

That’s right.  Fox News won the right to lie and call it news.  Then they forgot that they were lying.  That’s why they were caught completely by surprise on Election Night 2012.  They ran their own polls which they manipulated to tell them and their target audience what they wanted to believe.  They viciously attacked anyone who dared raise a voice of dissent and pilloried anyone who dared to publish polls based upon actual math, see Nate Silver and his 538 blog, and then were surprised when no one told them they were wrong.  They implied that Nate Silver, who accurately predicted how every state in the union would vote, was gay because he had the audacity to be the one who looked at the actual numbers and the real world data and used it to make his predictions.  They accused Silver of being an ideologue who would rather skew the numbers to say what he wanted them to than stick to facts, projecting their own sins upon an innocent man.

Now they are looking for scapegoats to sacrifice on the altar of their huberis.  Everyone who was surprised, everyone who listens to Fox News and ignores reality in favor of lies should be taking a long hard look at themselves.  The thing about the truth is that it’s still true no matter what someone wants to believe.  The thing about facts is that they’re still true regardless of how much someone denies them.  When people deny reality, they will always meet it rushing headlong at them, sooner or later the facts will rise up in a way that even the most willfully ignorant cannot deny.

Then they have a choice.  To accept the truth or to run back into the shadows and try to find a way to deny what they just experienced so they can continue to live in a bubble wholly disconnected from reality.   I’m already seeing hints that the powermongers of the Evangelicals are backing away from the truth and casting their arrows of blame at the politicians who they claim have misled them.  The truth is that they wanted to be decieved by the political movers and shakers of the Republican party.  They know better but they don’t want to let go of their grab for power.  As I said in a previous blog, the Republican Party/Tea Party and the Evangelicals in this country will destroy each other.

Already people are leaving the church in droves and it’s not because they don’t want to follow Christ.  It’s because the church has stopped following God and started creating a god after its own image.  The church has stopped preaching the good news and now preaches gospels of contraception and prosperity.  The church has stopped being a place where sinners are welcome and introduced to the love of a savior who died for them and become a place where people are judged and rejected for being human.

Everyone who was caught by surprise on Election Night 2012 was a willing participant in the lies and delusions that were being sold and consumed by Fox News, talk radio and other conservative outlets.  They have no one to blame but themselves.  It’s a shame they won’t take responsibility for their own actions, especially since they’ve been preaching a constant sermon of hatred towards the poor, minorities, women, gays, lesbians and transgender people along with the 47% they hold in contempt for not “taking responsibility” for their lives.  They are a party of ignorant, self deluded hypocrites and the meltdown on national television put that on display for the world to see.

I said it in 2000 and it’s just as true now as it was then:  The good guys don’t eat their own.  The evidence has been on display for over a decade.  All it takes to see it is eyes to see and ears to hear.

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Book Review: The Shadow of The Hand of God

Posted by on Nov 11, 2012 in The Christian Church | 0 comments

The Shadow of The Hand of God is a fascinating look into the cult like mentality of the far right and the churches it controls, mainly Independent Fundamentalist, Southern Baptist and  far right Evangelical churches.  The author explains the journey the churches she describes have taken from moderate and Christ Like to extreme and abusive.  She describes the insidious mental, emotional and spiritual abuse through heart breaking autobiographical memoirs and occasionally with fictionalized stories of her life.  It is a hard book to read due to the emotional depths but as a story of one person’s journey through the fall of certain churches away from the true heart of their faith, through rejection of that faith entirely and then back to a real relationship with Christ.  It brought me to tears more than once.

You can get it at Barnes & Noble for the Nook

Also at Amazon:




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