Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let Me Start Off by Saying...

Sorry for the delay. Boy have I been busy! After cleaning my house twice before Family Game night on Saturday (you don't want to know why I had to clean twice...), hosting Family Game Night (a raging success, from what the critics are saying...), cleaning again on Sunday and then decorating for Xmas that same day, then talking to Tamie for what I can only say sarcastically was quite some time on Monday after work, nursing poor Richie back to health from a nasty nasty cold... well, you kind of get the idea...
But throughout these past few days, two very interesting topics came up which I feel need addressed in the public arena:
  1. Witches, and
  2. Jesus Birthday Cakes,
and not necessarily in that order.

Let us start with Jesus' Birthday Cake, shall we? It came up, as these things often do, by a conversation with either my mother or Rich's mother. I'm not sure were this one originated from, but I'm thinking it had something to do with the Diehl family trying to arrange a time for the Xmas get-together. So there we are, Monday night, having just rung off with Tamie, and Rich says (his nasal passages blocked, remember, due to the nasty nasty cold...)

Rich: Are we gobing to sing habby birfday to Jebus?
Me: What do you want to do to Jesus?
Rich: Have a Jebus birfday cake. You know, sing habby birfday to him?
Me: Why would we do that?
Rich: Welb, it's a trabition in your fambily and mine...
Me: And?
Rich: Since we arebn't goibing to be seeing them on Chribmas day, I thoughb we should do it ourselbes...
Me: A) You don't know yet if we're going to be seeing them or not, and B) if indeed you do wish a "birfday cake" for "Jebus," I'll make you one, but you'll be singing solo.
Rich: Oh...
Me: (Sigh.) What?
Rich: Nubbin.
Me: Yes, something. What's the matter?
Rich: I jub thing it woulb be nice to do. It ibs the reabon for the season, you know...
Me: A) No, it isn't. It happens to be some people's, no matter how faulty or misconstrued, but it is not THE reason. B) If it'll make you happy, fine, we'll both sing, but I'm singing to Carl in Singapore whose birthday is also December 25th.
Rich: Whobse Carl?
Me: Never mind. Listen, if it turns out no one makes you a Jebus cake--
Rich: Stob making fun ob my cold!
Me: I'll make you a Jebus cake...
Now, when we get closer to the winter solstice, I'll give you all the true low-down on the church's stealing of pagan holidays and such to "spread the message" of Jebus, but until then, I'll just let this one go for now as lunch is half-way over and I still have to cover
My mom thinks there may be a witch in the family (through boyfriend/girlfriend type stuff, not blood) and she made it quite clear this was not a Glinda-type witch from Wizard of Oz but a green one. Of course, we both paused when she said this and had a great laugh, but when we conversed a little further, a few points of interest came up:
  1. spells
  2. green skin
I'm sorry, but I don't see a difference between "casting a spell" and "praying for someone." What is the difference? So the fundie doesn't boil Bat Wings and Eyeball of Newt over a great big fire in the woods at night (and, if you know any witches, they'll get very pissed at this stereotypical picture of what they do to cast a spell!), but basically, both the witch and the fundie are sending out a wish on a hope and a prayer, hoping their respective Flying Spaghetti Monsters will honor them in a way that makes we earthlings a little happier. Of course, you could expound different doctrines or belief systems, but, boiled down, they are the exact same action. Appealing to a Great Sky God in the hopes that someone or something is listening (whatever you think the great sky god may be...) and that your wish, your hope, your dreams, will be granted. Am I wrong or am I right?

As a side thought, wouldn't it be nice if people did come color-coded? So you could tell who was a raging bible-thumper and who was just a Concerned Citizen for Jebus? Of course, we haven't done that well dealing with the colors we do already come in, so maybe we'll just pass on that idea....

As I said, as Xmas gets closer, we'll discuss the holiday's originations and what it started out as a celebration of, but if you have any thoughts to add about either topic at this time, I promise I'll be around to respond to comments (if needed...) tomorrow or perhaps even tonight, depending on if someone is feeling up to decorating our naked Xmas tree...

Catch you all later!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Day of Mourning, a Day of Thanksgiving...

So as we Americans get together to break wishbones, watch our children butcher their lines in a school play, and picture in our minds the image of Native Americans sharing a picnic table with a bunch of repressed white folks from across the pond, it occurs to me: How many of us actually know how Thanksgiving actually got started? It's now generally very well known that the Vikings actually "discovered" the new world (but even this encompasses a Euro-centric world view; Asians actually "discovered" America first when they crossed the Bearing Sea when it was frozen to populate this earth...) way before Columbus ever thought how nifty it would be to sail around the world in three ships (the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria) and find some islands he mistakenly thought was China. But once it was established that there was, indeed, a "New World" just ripe for the plundering by all the superpowers of the day, others saw a new land of opportunity for other reasons: some to escape prison, others to escape debts, some to escape religious persecution. These last were not the Pilgrims, despite what twisted history you may have learned in class. I know, I was pretty shocked too! These folks already had religious freedom where they came from--Holland, where they had fled to originally to escape religious persecution. But being the good fundies that they were, they felt they were losing their "identity," and becoming too much a part of the "world" in the Netherlands. So, being even better fundies, instead of trying to tell everyone else how to live, they simply left... (more fundies should be so considerate...) They actually decided to come to the "New World" to preserve their identity, and make some money on the side by contracting with the London Company to fish. Yeah, that's right: fish.
Despite what many believe, they did not land on Plymouth Rock. They actually showed up on Cape Cod, about 37 miles away from the unwarrantedly infamous Plymouth Rock. After having been at sea for a little over two months, the 102 passengers were quite elated when they spied land on November 10, 1620. Their elation would be short-lived. Many were sick, some had died, and most were worried about running out of food before they could find a place to land and repair their severely broken and battered ship, the Mayflower. While navigating the sometimes treacherously shallow water around the cape, small groups went to shore to bathe and find supplies.

They also managed to piss off a few natives.

When the first group landed, led by Myles Standish, they found not only native and euro-style homes, they found a village, a burial site, and some cultivated fields (quite impressive for a bunch of "savages," wouldn't you say?). So what did these god-fearing Europeans do? First, they started by stealing beans and corn, or "maize." They assumed that this was their god providing food for them after their treacherous journey. In fact, William Bradford recorded in his journal,

"And it is to be noted as a special providence of God, and a great mercy to this poor people, that they thus got seed to plant corn the next year, or they might have starved; for they had none, nor any likelihood of getting any, till too late for the planting season."
So after stealing what food they found in the abandoned housing, what did they do next? They desecrated the graves of the deceased natives... Seeing baskets and gifts left at the grave sites of dead natives, they took what they could grab (all with their god smiling down on them) so they wouldn't die. And really, let's be fair--which is worse? Let your family starve or steal a loaf of bread? They stole the bread; but worse, they desecrated the graves of those who had died from the smallpox, a disease brought to the new world five years earlier by the first European traders. The number of natives left was so small after the disease swept through them, it is estimated that, by the times the pilgrims arrived, there were only between 70 and 90 left from what was once a tribe that had covered all of New England. Sad indeed. It is recorded in William Bradford's book:

and shortly after a good quantitie of clear ground wher ye Indeans had formerly set corne, and some of their graves. And proceeding furder they saw new-stuble wher corne had been set ye same year, also they found wher latly a house had been, wher some planks and a great ketle was remaining, and heaps of sand newly padled with their hands, which they, digging up, found in them diverce faire Indean baskets filled with corne, and some in eares, faire and good, of diverce collours, which seemed to them a very goodly sight, (haveing never seen any shuch before). This was near ye place of that supposed river they came to seeck; unto which they wente and found it to open it selfe into 2. armes with a high cliffe of sand in ye enterance, but more like to be crikes of salte water then any fresh, for ought they saw; and that ther was good harborige for their shalope; leaving it further to be discovered by their shalop when she was ready. So their time limeted them being expired, they returned to ye ship, least they should be in fear of their saftie; and tooke with them parte of ye corne, and buried up ye rest, and so like ye men from Eshcoll carried with them of ye fruits of ye land, & showed their breethren; of which, & their returne, they were marvelusly glad, and their harts incouraged.
Well, at least they were honest about their thievery, eh? (Of course, it does make one really want to reconsider claiming their direct descent from a Mayflower occupant, doesn't it?) And here's the part where they "thank god" for his providence in allowing them to steal:

ther was allso found 2. of their houses covered with matts, & sundrie of their implements in them, but ye people were rune away & could not be seen; also ther was found more of their corne, & of their beans of various collours. The corne & beans they brought away, purposing to give them full satisfaction when they should meete with any of them (as about some 6. months afterward they did, to their good contente). And here is to be noted a spetiall providence of God, and a great mercie to this poore people, that hear they gott seed to plant them corne ye next year, or els they might have starved, for they had none, nor any liklybood to get any [50] till ye season had beene past (as ye sequell did manyfest). Neither is it lickly they had had this, if ye first viage had not been made, for the ground was now all covered with snow, & hard frozen. But the Lord is never wanting unto his in their greatest needs; let his holy name have all ye praise.
Now, again, we can't be too hard on them; I mean, they were going to starve to death if they didn't get food now, wouldn't they?

Once the expedition cut-and-run back to their ailing boat, they sailed a little further down the coast, to Plymouth Rock, or, at least, relatively closer than Cape Cod was. When they found that it was a good spot to build their settlement, they erected a barricade of stumps and trees around the perimeter--just in time. The remaining tribesmen who had watched as their graves were desecrated and their food was stolen attacked! Arrows flew through the air as the colonists fired back with their muskets. Even though many pilgrims had died, or were still sick from the voyage, they outnumbered and overwhelmed the native men who were left... And as the natives fled back into the woods over the hills, the pilgrims thanked god for their "victory" over the "savages." From Bradford's book:

But presently, all on ye sudain, they heard a great & strange crie, which they knew to be the same voyces they heard in ye night, though they varied their notes, & one of their company being abroad came runing in, & cried, "Men, Indeans, Indeans"; and wthall, their arowes came flying amongst them. Their men rane with all speed to recover their armes, as by ye good providence of God they did. In ye mean time, of those that were ther ready, tow muskets were discharged at them, & 2. more stood ready in ye enterance of ther randevoue, but were comanded not to shoote till they could take full aime at them; & ye other 2. charged againe with all speed, for ther were only 4. had armes ther, & defended ye baricado which was first assalted. The crie of ye lndeans was dreadfull, espetially when they saw ther men rune out of ye randevoue towourds ye shallop, to recover their armes, the lndeans wheeling aboute upon them. But some runing out with coats of malle on, & cutlasses in their hands, they soone got their armes, & let flye amongs them, and quickly stopped their violence. Yet ther was a lustie man, and no less valiante, stood be-hind a tree within halfe a musket shot, and let his arrows flie at them. He was seen shoot 3. arrowes, which were all avoyded. He stood 3. shot of a musket, till one taking full aime at him, and made ye barke or splinters of ye tree :fly about his ears, after which he gave an extraordinary shrike, and away they wente all of them. They left some to keep ye shalop, and followed them aboute a quarter of a mille, and shouted once or twise, and shot of 2. or 3. peces, & so returned. This they did, that they might conceive that they were not [52] affrade of them or any way discouraged. Thus it pleased God to vanquish their enimies, and give them deliverance; and by his spetiall providence so to dispose that not any one of them were either hurte, or hitt, though their arrows came close by them, & on every side them, and sundry of their coats, which hunge up in ye barricado, were shot throw & throw. Aterwards they
gave God sollamne thanks & praise for their deliverance, & gathered up a bundle of their arrows, & sente them into England afterward by ye mr. of ye ship, and called that place ye first encounter.
It's hard to imagine what it must have been like for both groups of people... One, the natives, who, knowing that the last time white people had arrived, most of their population had been decimated by disease, some had been captured and taken for slavery. The others, the new comers, wondering why they can't get the natives to approach them, near starvation, needing food and medicine and a boat that will stay afloat after being battered on the high seas...

But somehow, over time, a "peace" was made between the natives and those first pilgrims, and they did share a feast together:

They returned in saftie, and brought home a good quanty of beaver, and made reporte of ye place, wishing they had been ther seated; (but it seems ye Lord, who assignes to all men ye bounds of their habitations, had apoynted it for an other use. And thus they found ye Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to blesse their outgoings & incomings, for which let his holy name have ye praise for ever, to all posteritie. They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; for as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no wante. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter aproached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, &c. Besids they had aboute a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corne to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not rained, but true reports.
So what did the first Thanksgiving basically consist of?
  1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.
  2. The feast occurred somewhere between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11.
  3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists--the latter mostly women and children--participated.
  4. The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.
  5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes--white or sweet--and pies were not on the menu.
  6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.
And that, my friends, is what started all of the bad school plays across the country that parents adore and friends of families endure...

Not exactly the fuzzy warm feeling you thought you would get, eh? Native Americans throughout the country don't celebrate this day. They actually call it "The Day of Mourning." Appropriately, of course. For when we "discovered" this land, a grand genocide began, wiping out tons of native people due to not only extremely differing cultural norms and misunderstandings, but resulting in the propagandist "Manifest Destiny" in which we just had to own all the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific, relocating anyone we saw fit, killing others... No wonder they call it "Day of Mourning."

Of course, that didn't stop Lincoln from naming it a national holiday in 1863. Fitting, that Lincoln, the man that essentially brought about the end of slavery, also made a holiday out of another part of our history which ruined another race of people...

Let us remember that, while our history certainly isn't a bed of roses, there are still things to be thankful for...

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
To read William Bradford's complete book in pdf form, click here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


So I do suppose I owe Rich an apology. In fact, I know I do... Regardless, Mom still felt the need to lecture me while I am typing out this post... You gotta love mothers, don't ya? :D What'll be really funny is that, when I do apologize, he will admit to not even knowing I was giving him the silent treatment. It's happened before, trust me...
I've made peace with Rich's parents coming up for Saturday. I don't know why I get so anal about these kind of things, but there it is. I must also remember to tell Rich my mommy loves him. Yeah, don't ask me, I'm sure she'll explain it here under "comments." :D

Back to work now. Still in training.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Redecorating Jesus-style...

Apparently I'm on some kind of mailing list. Something tells me it has to do with the Jesus-people that were by earlier trying to drag me off to the "revival."

I received a Jesus Rug. No, really, that's what it's called. This is actually the second Jesus rug I've received this week. What's supposed to happen is, you unfold this "Jesus Rug" (really just an 11 x 17" piece of paper--cheaper weave, I suppose) and stare into his eyes. Once they "open," your prayer will be answered, you mail the Jesus Rug back to the church in came from (in Alabama), along with a check as thanks to god for your answered prayer, and life will be good.

The real deal is that it's an optical allusion, and the image on the paper is painted in such a way as, if you look at it one way, his eyes are closed, and when you look at it the other way, his eyes are open, but when you stand there dazed and confused and your eyes go blurry with tears in the hopes you'll be chosen by Jesus to be looked upon and perhaps Aunt Faye will recover form that stroke, Jesus' eyes open, a shaft of light shatters though your living room ceiling, angels sing Alleluia, and hence, you are blessed above all virgins (if, in fact, you prayed for your virginity back...)

Couple of things:
  1. Are the same people that actually fall for this scam the same ones that send Falwell and Robertson a check when they suggest Jesus would kill the Venezuelan president? Or that Katrina was about the debauchery of the French Quarter? (I remind you, one of the only sections of New Orleans to not be flooded...)
  2. Why call it a "rug" when it is only a piece of paper? Or should it miraculously change at the same time Jesus opens his eyes?
  3. Who in the hell is falling for this shit? (I know, but it bears re-asking...)
In addition to the Jesus rugs, which make a handsome throw for the dog to shit on when we're away all day, I got a pamphlet extolling the virtues of buying guardian angels to hang over all my doorways (one of which glows in the dark, "so you never feel alone") and how Satan cannot possibly be overcome by the forces of plastic, fiber optics, and a banner that says "Jesus Loves You." I;m thinking this may have been more geared toward an older, more Ahlzeimer-ridden population, but I looked at the addy on the catalog, and there my name was in bold print: "Jason Hughes or legal resident." Being that it could have been for a "legal resident," I'm wondering if they think perhaps I border Mexico and possibly have illegal immigrants getting my mail for me from my mailbox...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Whole New Meaning for Suffer the Children...

So it seems that instead of trying to get kids into church pews for brainwashing, or perhaps, say, a summer camp who wants to "Wash Your Brain for Jesus," a bible-based company wanted to donate 4,000 talking Jesus dolls to Toys for Tots in the hopes of spreading the love of Jesus for those less fortunate:

"The idea was for them to be three-dimensional teaching tools for kids," La Roe said. "I believe as a churchgoing person, anyone can benefit from hearing the words of the Bible."
Yeah, I'm sure the followers in Waco, Texas, truly benefited from hearing those words, didn't they? How about all those altar boys the Catholic priests raped and abused while preaching against the nastiness of gay marriage? "Save our marriages from gays, Lord, but let lil' Johnny please please be an altar boy this year! Amen!" Does the bible help some? Yes, of that I have no doubt. Does that mean everyone would benefit? Hmm, ask a slave in the 1800's whose master said "The Good Book says slaves should obey their masters!" Yeah, a real benefit, something I'm sure the employee handbook didn't spell out when they were being loaded onto ships to most likely die in passage across the Atlantic before being thrown in a foreign land and whipped near death to pick cotton...

More form the article:

Toys are donated to kids based on financial need and "we don't know anything about their background, their religious affiliations," said Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Va.

As a government entity, Marines "don't profess one religion over another," Grein said Tuesday. "We can't take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish family or a Muslim family."
Next thing you know, Focus on the Family will be saying to boycott Toys for Tots as they won't let Jesus dolls speak for them. Can you hear it now? "Jesus dolls are inspired by God, and any company that won't help pass out inspired Jesus dolls is of the devil! Donate now to help us trash Toys for Tots on national television and put an end to gay marriage!"

According to the company's Web site, the button-activated, bearded Jesus, dressed in hand-sewn cloth outfits and sandals, recites Scripture such as "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again" and "Love your neighbor as yourself." It has a $20 retail value.
Hear that? Jesus can be yours for a mere $20, plus, if you act now, he comes with a free cross to be crucified on at Easter--"Tomb to be Risen From" sold separately, batteries not included. Now wouldn't you, as a poor, needy child just love to hear that you won't get into heaven unless you're "born again"? And here when I was a kid, I just wanted Lincoln logs and legos to build cool castles and forts that my toy cowboys could use as a ranch. Who knew what I really needed was a doll that told me I was going to hell! Kids these days, sheesh!

Michael La Roe, director of business development for both companies, said the charity's decision left him "surprised and disappointed."
Usually when someone's alternate fuzzywarm lands are shattered by reality, shock and disappointment can be side affects. Luckily, he has 4,000 Jesus dolls sitting around to tell him to love his neighbor. As long as he's Christian. And straight. And not a Muslim. Or gay. Or pregnant and not wanting a child.

At least the children will have toys they enjoy. Not toys that will ruin a happy holiday, a time of sharing, giving, caring, and unconditional love.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Feel Like I'm Babysitting, and I'm Not Getting Paid...

Can anybody reference the movie from which today's post title comes from?
So, yes, I got a promotion, but good god, you'd think that the floor of the building just opened up and swallowed and sort of decency and common sense in the building! If one more person comes up to tell me how worried they are about how much things are changing... AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! Yeah, change is worrisome. But get the hell over it! Emily and Erin are more than capable of running the freakin' show--I trained them for fuck's sake! Have things ever fallen apart when I wasn't there? (HINT: No.) In fact, when I've been on vacation or what-have-you, I've heard nothing but praise for how they've run the department--so what the hell?
This weekend, my nephew Lil' B turns one--as in, 1--so Rich's brother & wife are having a little party for the cute little bugger. It's just so hard to believe how fast these little rugrats grow up! This year alone:
  1. Samuel Nelson turned 9
  2. Olivia Joy turned 5
  3. Thomas Henry Allen will be turning 5
  4. Devin Nelson will be turning 3
  5. Ceili June turned 2
  6. Brenton Michael is turning 1
  7. and last but not least, Nathaniel Lewis was born...
I've recently made a list to remember all their exact birthdays, but now it seems I can't find that anywhere... Getting old sucks...
It turns out Rudy Giuliani may be taking a shot at presidential nomination in 2008. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I mean, the guy did do wonders for New York City, and not just in the 9/11 sense. He's a decent man who is both honorable and trustworthy. Granted, we'll have to see where he stands on the issues (I might look up his New York mayoral record to see where he's stood on things like abortion, gun control, taxes, things of that nature), but all of this is still speculatory. He's simply set up an exploratory committee to see how they think he might fare if he did run. It also matters greater who is VP may be, who the Dem's run (assuming he stays a Republican), who their pick for VP is and so on and so forth. But interesting, nonetheless. I do fear it could make any Hilary bids more unlikely, and everyone knows I'm all about Hilary, but I'll digress on that for now seeing as how she has yet to even take the committee step for 2008. Perhaps she won't run (which would also be fine as she's doing some great work in the legislature anyhow..), but if and when she does, we'll also have to take a gander on how centrist she really will be, who her VP might be, and, of course, the issues. :D

How likely do you guys think you would vote for Giuliani if he ran? Why do you like or dislike him? Who would you like to see run in 2008 for president?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Great Minds...

Interestingly enough, this week's Time magazine has an article, where Francis Collins (Christian geneticist) and Richard Dawkins (atheist biologist; not Robert Hawkins, Tom... :D) have a conversation. The article is called God Vs. Science, and in it, they discuss morals, and surprisingly, Dawkins and my position from earlier are very similar, although, as Mr. Dawkins is a much smarter, better educated man than myself, I have posted that portion of the article here. But I would highly suggest either reading it online (requires signing up) or buying the issue, dated Nov. 13, 2006. From the article, God Vs. Science:

TIME: Dr. Collins, you have described humanity's moral sense not only as a gift from God but as a signpost that he exists.

COLLINS: There is a whole field of inquiry that has come up in the last 30 or 40 years--some call it sociobiology or evolutionary psychology--relating to where we get our moral sense and why we value the idea of altruism, and locating both answers in behavioral adaptations for the preservation of our genes. But if you believe, and Richard has been articulate in this, that natural selection operates on the individual, not on a group, then why would the individual risk his own DNA doing something selfless to help somebody in a way that might diminish his chance of reproducing? Granted, we may try to help our own family members because they share our DNA. Or help someone else in expectation that they will help us later. But when you look at what we admire as the most generous manifestations of altruism, they are not based on kin selection or reciprocity. An extreme example might be Oskar Schindler risking his life to save more than a thousand Jews from the gas chambers. That's the opposite of saving his genes. We see less dramatic versions every day. Many of us think these qualities may come from God--especially since justice and morality are two of the attributes we most readily identify with God.

DAWKINS: Can I begin with an analogy? Most people understand that sexual lust has to do with propagating genes. Copulation in nature tends to lead to reproduction and so to more genetic copies. But in modern society, most copulations involve contraception, designed precisely to avoid reproduction. Altruism probably has origins like those of lust. In our prehistoric past, we would have lived in extended families, surrounded by kin whose interests we might have wanted to promote because they shared our genes. Now we live in big cities. We are not among kin nor people who will ever reciprocate our good deeds. It doesn't matter. Just as people engaged in sex with contraception are not aware of being motivated by a drive to have babies, it doesn't cross our mind that the reason for do-gooding is based in the fact that our primitive ancestors lived in small groups. But that seems to me to be a highly plausible account for where the desire for morality, the desire for goodness, comes from.

COLLINS: For you to argue that our noblest acts are a misfiring of Darwinian behavior does not do justice to the sense we all have about the absolutes that are involved here of good and evil. Evolution may explain some features of the moral law, but it can't explain why it should have any real significance. If it is solely an evolutionary convenience, there is really no such thing as good or evil. But for me, it is much more than that. The moral law is a reason to think of God as plausible--not just a God who sets the universe in motion but a God who cares about human beings, because we seem uniquely amongst creatures on the planet to have this far-developed sense of morality. What you've said implies that outside of the human mind, tuned by evolutionary processes, good and evil have no meaning. Do you agree with that?

DAWKINS: Even the question you're asking has no meaning to me. Good and evil--I don't believe that there is hanging out there, anywhere, something called good and something called evil. I think that there are good things that happen and bad things that happen.

COLLINS: I think that is a fundamental difference between us. I'm glad we identified it.
Fascinating read, these two brilliant minds clashing over what most of our society is wrestling with when it comes to faith and science...

Only the Good Die Young...

So what is the basis for someone being moral who claims no ties to a higher being? One would reasonably expect, if one assumes that "all goodness comes from god," that anyone who disbelieves would be a thief, murderer, liar, adulterer, or any number of social taboos. The fact that not everyone who believes in a "higher power" isn't a murder would lead one to logically conclude that goodness, then, doesn't come from god. Further, one would expect that, if still concluding that all goodness does come from a higher power, that those who subscribe to God Monthly Magazine would never commit the social taboos that their higher power frowns upon. But we know neither is the case.

For goodness to flow from a source that
  1. not everyone knows about
  2. not everyone believes in
  3. has no evidence other than others' word-of-mouth testimonies
would require a world much darker, much deadlier, much more chaotic than the one in which we currently reside. In fact, the sheer magnitude of diversity within Christianity alone, one would expect a force of evil and "bad" deeds so numerous, the fact that good even existed would be lost within the magnitude of the "badness" that surrounded anyone who had an ounce of common sense to look for it.

So why, then, as a nonbeliever, do I, the homosexual atheist, enemy of all that is godly, still do good? Or, to phrase it in such a way that Darkmind would appreciate (I think), why isn't there a consensus between all god believers about what is "good," and why is there no consensus about what is "bad"? Why all the gray areas? The relativity, as it were? If good has one singular, other-worldly source, how can it be that those who don't believe in the other-worldly source still have an ability to sense what should be done and what shouldn't be done?

It actually all goes back to evolution: survival of the fittest. Further still, a specific trait that we and very few other animals on our planet have evolved: Empathy. The ability to place ones self in another's place and sense, perhaps even know, what they are feeling within reasonable and logical ramifications.

Now, of course, there are some persons in this world who have a higher sense of empathy than others--that is, an easier time placing themselves in another's place and feeling that urge to help someone whom they "feel" is in need of help, or comforting. And there are others whom have none, who show no concern or care for their fellow man, and are hence much more capable of committing social taboos on a scale that would shock the rest of us. Add in the whole gambit of in-betweens, and you can observe that, while empathy overall is a very general presence for which most of mankind benefits, one must also take into account why some would claim that it must be from an unearthly source from which we derive this ability.

I mentioned earlier "evolution," a term which made some of you cringe, come to the conclusion that I must have eaten too much trail mix, and hence crapped my brain out before I had a chance to use it. Not only would you be wrong, but you're actually engaging a form of empathy that tells you: "I know what he's thinking." No one ever said empathy was always correct; in fact, most times we are basing these feelings and chemical reactions in our brains off of small facial clues or slight physical movements that alert the most primitive part of our brain, the amygdala, that something is amiss, and we must be prepared to do whatever it takes to survive. But before you start training for the triathalon, another part of your brain, a more advanced portion, filters these physical clues and ways, "Wait--we've seen this before. What were the circumstances? What did we do last time?" And before we know it, we're experiencing all over again something we've experienced, based on the physical clues in front of us, that tell us what this person may be going through, and that triggers another chemical reaction in our brains in which we react. It could be to put an arm around them, to hug them, to flee from them--whatever the case may be.

We learned to look out for one another when we were nearer the bottom of the food chain. When we depended on each other for warnings, for food, for keeping a look out when others were trying to sleep. We see these kinds of interactions all around us in the animal kingdom: One deer always has its head up, ears constantly moving, keeping a watch over the rest. One bird not on the ground pecking at the seeds, ready to sing out and make the others fly away if danger is sensed. One monkey sitting on the rock while the others groom or sun bathe. We learned that by sticking together, we had a much better chance at making it through to the next morning, as opposed to becoming lion lunch or dinosaur dinner. This very primitive need for species survival is at the root of what keeps us within accepted social norms.

Now, as with any grand genetic pool, some inherit a greater disposition toward more chemical reactions, and some inherit almost none, but most are somewhere in the middle of the scale. One thing we also evolved over time was not only survival of the species, but an awareness of self. An ability to say, "I know I am." Or, to quote an oft overused phrase, "I think, therefore I am." We came to be in charge of our feelings and emotions to a degree that allows us to willingly go against instinct and emotion, as we learned that following instinct isn't always for the best, doesn't always allow us to survive, whether as a whole or as an individual. Hence, we can choose willingly to not follow instinct if we feel, through our observations of the world, that our perceptions of the threat are not as fearful as we feel at that moment.

Take, for example, my mother's story from earlier, about how she nearly scared herself to death when, cleaning something, her rocker recently moved to a new position in the living room bumped her back. She screamed, but she did not automatically run for the hills (like she could anyway :D) as she has learned (probably many times over) that when she bumps into something in her home, it isn't something that will threaten her life in any way. And although the primitive parts of her brain were screaming "Danger! Run!" and hence, the automatic release of a scream to alert any other persons who may be about, the more highly analytical parts of her brain quickly kicked in behind to say, "No, look, see? Just the rocker..." Of course, by that point, the amygdala had already started her adrenaline pumping and her eyes dilating so that, if indeed she was in mortal danger, she could flee as fast as she could. And all of this happened in the course of a split second. It wasn't something she had to sit and ponder over a cup of coffee (although it might have helped!). Herein lies the root of empathy.

Now, when someone tells Mom a story about how they were walking past the fridge, and their dog bumped their shin letting out a howl of fear, Mom can laugh and say, "I know just what you're talking about! Yesterday when I was in my living room..."

Of course, it could be an entirely differing story about an actual intruder, but Mom has experienced that fear, and knows exactly what that other person was feeling, even though in her case, the presence of the fear was fleeting when the rocker presented itself. Her feelings of empathy could also come not from what she could have personally experienced, but what she personally observed. She's seen someone who has lost a loved one through murder, knows by observation the pain that person went through, and thus, may know better how to interact with that person in their grief. She also could have come to this knowledge in other, various ways, perhaps intrinsically, through genetic memory, much like "fight or flight" but on a less personal, more intrapersonal scale.

Similarly, when Mom observed another with tears, or perhaps tensed shoulders, the quirk of an eyebrow, although she may not be thinking, "Hmm, look at the way their nose is flaring. They must be _____." Her brain recognizes these clues before she cognitively does (if at all), and she experiences the appropriate chemical reaction that allows her to feel what they are feeling, or fear them in a more predatory way if the physical clues are pointing toward danger.

I know this is all very cold-sounding and very analytical for a topic about emotion, but this is in essence what allows a non-subscriber (and even the subscribers) of the higher power to do good without a higher power actually holding the power. The ability to empathize, the ability to analyze, the feeling of feeling what others are feeling. This is why most people aren't running around murdering people. Not because a sky god told them "Thou shalt not kill." But because we have an inkling, a feeling, knowledge through past experience of what killing entails. Pain, both emotional and physical. Consequences. A ripple effect through the "herd," of you will, of what murder leads to, as well as a comprehension of "other," and you will know why most people don't murder. As I've said earlier, though, some (a very few) don't inherit empathy (whether through a genetic fault or mutation, or a multitude of chemical reactions in utero, or maybe both or maybe neither--science is still looking into this; as an example, serial killers who don't care about their victims or what they might be feeling are an example of non-empthetic persons...) while others become mere victims of instinct (crimes of passion, as it were).

It isn't sky god which makes me a good person. It is the ability to be a person which makes me a good person. The practice of saying to myself, "How would I react to this?" or "I remember when I..." that allows me to care for my fellow man, and to know what to do to help my fellow man. Right is more often determined by how it helps us collectively more so than how if honors a spook in the clouds. Good is determined socio-psychologically, not spiritually. It is determined by how we feel both individually and societally in placing our feet in another's shoes. By acknowledging one another's feelings and emotions and thoughts and how they relate to ours, both cognitively and subconsciously. On the flip side of that coin, Bad and Wrong are determine by the harm an action or thought causes both individuals and society as a whole as determined from past experiences and observations as to what has helped protect the species and what has hampered the species. Nothing more, nothing less.

I know-chemical reactions are all very non-romantic and sterile. Much better to imagine a great paternal figure that has it all already figured out and taken care of, yeah? The problem with that scenario, though, isn't just the illogic (although for some that is enough), it is how it doesn't take into account the relationships, the traits, the commonality across the board of interspecies interaction. While it may be all well and good to state "Thou shalt not kill," reality states, as does instinct, that sometimes killing is necessary, whether to protect yourself, or your loved ones, from one of our own; or to prevent a possible greater societal harm that may come in not murdering, or not killing, now. (Please don;t take this out of context to assume I condone murder, or even the death penalty--these are simply logical, reasonable assessments...) Even sky god felt the need to smite when his "chosen persons" were not being given their due to ensure their survival! And a grand "Thou shalt not kill" simply doesn't cut the mustard, period.

Thought or comments?

Friday, November 10, 2006

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts...

Call me crazy, but after all the nail-biting and hullabaloo at work, get this! I got a promotion and a raise! Yowsers! I even managed to wiggle in a raise for the two people it will take to replace lil ol' me! (I know, I know, bragging...) So what was all the hullabaloo?
As I mentioned in my last post, strange things were afoot at the Circle K. People laid off, others quitting with a rapidity that would make rabbits a wee bit jealous. So I had a meeting with N. to ask about these things.

Background: We make a lot of Green things, many Orange things, and very little Blue things.
What's Happening: It turns out that the Green things have become more profitable while the Orange things not-so-much. Blue things are up-and-coming as profitable, so we nixed Orange things entirely, resulting in the unfortunate dismissal of four people, three of which were just annoying pains-in-the-asses anyway. Old equipment has been sold as Orange things will no longer be made, but new equipment was ordered to make many more Blue things. The Green department, of which I am a part, is simply undergoing what a larger company would call a "corporate restructuring." But as we employ only about 50 people on a good day, it's more like a strange way of playing musical chairs.
What It Means: Good things for me, annoying times ahead for others until more people are trained (or hired and trained) on the goings-on of how we go about processing Green things, but overall a fulfillment of a deadline I made myself to happen by Christmas. Yeah me!
Side Note: This will, however, mean super-fast learning for the next three weeks, and hopefully the making of Green things will stay slow for a while, at least through the holidays, so that people can be trained effectively. We'll just have to strap in, and hope for the best. In celebration, I got a calzone from the Italian place down the street. It don't take much to make me happy!
Tomorrow, I will be finishing up my post on the Atheists basis for Morality, so you all have that to look forward to instead of this dysfunctional version of As the World Turns. So, until then...

P.S.-- Tamie, I am home tonight, so you can call! Enough of this phone tag already!!!

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Meanwhile, Back at Work...

So in the three days I was on vacation to watch our country take a turn for the better, much has happened:
  1. Three people have given their one to two week notice
  2. Four of the six persons working in the back warehouse were laid off as we won't be doing that aspect of the business any longer
  3. One person had their shift moved from 8-4:30 to 3-11 because of the non-warehouse work any longer
  4. A bunch of pallets are sitting by the back warehouse door
    --we never keep pallets around--
    we don't use them
  5. Two others have expressed looking for new jobs
  6. Apparently, VP called all the sup's yesterday one at a time to see how long they've been with the company
Is it just me, or should I start looking for a new place of employment? Sigh. I hate job-hunting.
I expected more of a fundie backlash as a result of the fortunate Dem take-over, as well as the Rummy dismissal, but perhaps they're all at home licking their wounded pride...
The Jesus-folk haven't been back since our last episode, but from what the neighbor two doors down says, the revival was a smash! (Noted with a heaping tablespoon of salt.) On the same night as the finale of the "revival," there was a township meeting to determine about the public water/sewer that is supposed to begin (now) in 2009. What was determined?
  1. We won't be getting water, just sewer
  2. We will be paying three times as much as the surrounding townships that in recent years have gotten public sewer
  3. We are being sued by the DEP to get public sewer regardless
  4. No one on the board seems to know what all this means.
Rich spoke eloquently about our troubles with iron in the water, and how, if we're paying three times as much as everyone else, we could at least reasonably expect to get clean, drinkable water that won't stain everything it touches. One supervisor was sympathetic, the other five just kind of looked at all 150 of us like we were wasting their time complaining about
  1. the cost ($3,000 hook-up and $900 per year)
  2. the time-line (this plan apparently started back in 1994--what the hell?)
  3. the atrocity of our water (apparently, most of our supervisors live in the one small town that hooks up to Lehighton on the other side of the mountain)
  4. why they couldn't answer basic questions, such as
    1. When would we know if water would be included?
    2. Will blasting be required?
    3. Are they going behind the houses (letting gravity whisk away our sewage) or along the street (requiring everyone to put in a pump costing another $1,500)?
    4. Was there a bidding process to find a cheaper company to put in the sewer lines?
So instead of placating us that night, we're having another meeting on Nov. 14 to rehash all of these questions. So all of us basically wasted our evening for 3 hours to learn nothing except that we now know less than we did before. Small town politics aside, how hard is it to answer these questions? Especially if this has been in the works for 12 frickin' years now? I think the board was nervous about taking responsibility, as this was on Monday evening, and elections were the next day. I guess I'll find out on Nov. 14th if we were all as disgusted with them as I was...

But, at least nationally, it seems we were mostly on my side of things....

Catch ya's later....

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Speaking of Paradise...

Could today be any sweeter? I looked forward to blogging about how Democrats took back both the House (expected) and the Senate (wasn't expected by most experts), but then, to have the opportunity to point out a bold faced lie by Mr. Not-My-President Bush about how, just last week he gave a "heck of a job" referral about both Cheney and Rummy and how he expected them to stay on through the next two years of hell we must endure by him--and here, today, the day the American people woke up and said "No!" to the republican corruption, scandals, lies, uncontrolled spending and deficits, tax breaks for the wealthy and the oil companies--we also find out that Rummy is leaving... Too bad, so sad, really...

Bush said in a press statement today that he knew last week (after his "atta boy" shoulder slap) that he was going to be replacing Rummy--but he lied. Go figure, right?

But one thing that is definitely a positive--even, if after all the votes are recounted in Virginia and Allan really did win (which won't happen), now compromise must happen. Dem's may hold a majority, but it is a slim one in both cases, regardless of how it is spun. And that, in a nutshell, is what America needs. The races remained close this election year, with a lot of the races decided 50%/50%, 51%/49%, and 48%/52%--not a mandate by any stretch of the imagination, no matter how Shrubya tried to spin his election results that came down similarly last time. But it does mean one thing--although America has moved slightly left (very slightly) allowing Dem's to take back control, we now need to see some type of compromising going on. Yes, I still want investigations into the Iraq War/Haliburton/Oil Company Tax Breaks/Patriot Act/Warrantless Wiretapping/Guantanimo Torture/and everything else that has shadily gone on in these past six years.

If we end up impeaching Bush, so much the better--but it's not high on my agenda. High on my list of priorities: Health care for all (I don't care if that means big government or just a revamp of commercial health care systems). As the richest country in the world, there is no reason--NONE--that we shouldn't be able to provide everyone--EVERYONE!--with adequate, cheap, quality health care. This includes prescriptions, specialists, procedures, the whole gambit.

I'd also like to see Iraq over with (and this does not mean "cut and run" even though that phrase as well is nothing more than a red herring). If that means chopping the country up into six or seven differing areas, fine. If it means nuking the hell out of them (not on the top of my list), fine. If it means just leaving the area and surrounding Iraq to contain it as they all kill each other off, fine. Just stop making our soldiers die for a lied-about-falsified intelligence-big oil-revenge for my daddy war in the desert. It's pointless, it was never part of the war on terror, had nothing to do with 9/11, so let's get it over with already. Too many innocent men and women have died.

Find Osama, for fuck's sake!

Education: ID is philosophy. Stick with science in the science rooms. Philosophy in the philosophical rooms. Ad standardized testing is for the birds, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a teacher that actually backs this "No Child Left Behind" crap! Revamp it, let kids specialize early if they desire into the sciences, maths, political sciences, health, auto mechanics--whatever! If kids know y ninth grade what they want to do, our educators should be able to make that happen. If not, keep classes well-rounded and not dumbed-down so kids can choose what type of education they want to pursue in college. Learn how to test kids in such a way and to work with them on their strengths, not punish them for their weaknesses. A testing that allows for kids who don't do well in essay form--allow them to speak their answers! Or for kids who can't read due to a learning disability: Let them also speak their answers! To kids who don't speak well--let them take written exams! How about essays to music? Or auto-mechanics in an actual garage, not in a "school lab"? Education can be so much more than what it is in this country. We assume all kids are dumb, make them take tests not geared to help them, put dumb ones with smart ones and wonder why all of them are suffering--get creative! Get out of the classroom! Teach something! (and not the answers to some stupid "standardized test"!)

I think I'm done for now. I'm giddy over the Dem's win, and Rummy's leaving, but a lot has yet to happen, and Bush has never played well with others...

Time will tell. I apologize that this is pretty scatter-brained. I stayed up really really late to watch us win, I've slept for about three hours, got back up to learn about the Senate races, and need to force myself to stay awake to get back on my work schedule for tomorrow....

Till next time...

Monday, November 6, 2006

Another Day for You and Me in Paradise...

So guess what we've found out today?

Not only did the Man from Nantucket have a not-so-big gay following (consisting of one male escort), and a mega church of 14,000 dead-in-Christ (who shall be the first to rise at the rapture...), he had a small role to play in Jesus Camp... You remember, the camp run by a right-wing nut job that brainwashes kids to be "soldiers for Christ." In parts of the movie Jesus Camp, you can see the not-so-Reverend Ted Haggard saying things like this:

He tells the vast audience, "We don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It's written in the Bible."

Then Haggard looks into the camera and says kiddingly: "I think I know what you did last night," drawing laughs from the crowd. "If you send me a thousand dollars, I won't tell your wife."

Later, another joke for the filmmakers: "If you use any of this, I'll sue you."
Haggard has disputed the way he is portrayed in "Jesus Camp," saying on his Web site (in a posting that since has been removed) that the filmmakers shot for hours at his church and only used the parts in which he was playing with negative stereotypes.

Ewing and Grady say Haggard is the only one who has complained about the way he was depicted in the film.

"Jesus Camp" also shows Haggard speaking to an aspiring young preacher named Levi, asking him whether people listen to him because he's a kid or because he has something to say. His advice: "Use your cute-kid thing until you're 30, and by then you'll have good content."
Haggard also leads the audience in praying for President Bush to select a Supreme Court nominee who supports their beliefs (it would end up becoming Samuel Alito) and later brags about the rapid expansion of evangelicalism.

"It's got enough growth to essentially sway every election," Haggard says with a smile. "If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election."
Do you remember how this all came about? First, Haggards "lover" (okay, okay, to use Haggard's term, "masseusse") came forward to show how the hypocritical pastor was getting his jollies n the side while trying to deny homosexuals equal access to (secular) marriage laws. Haggard denies everything. (Lie #1) The next day, Haggard comes out and says "Oh, hell no! He gave me a massage, and I was tempted to ask him where to get meth, then I threw the meth away. I never had sex with that man." (Lie #2) The day after that, he admits to his church that he was guilty of "sexual immorality" but most of what his ex-lover said was a lie... (Hmm, who has shown themselves to be a liar? Let me think, let me think...)

You know, the stupid, stupid man could have just been open and honest about everything from the get-go instead of breaking one of the big Top Ten Commandments, but seeing as how he couldn't even have respect for himself and who he was, why would he respect others, let alone religious tenants? I think we can tell, not only from his endorsement of a camp created to brainwashing children, but from some of these excerpts, what the man truly felt for his blind following of 14,000--"Use your cute-kid thing until you're 30, and by then you'll have good content." They just needed lied to...

This is what happens when you deny yourself from being you. It starts this snowball of hate, deception, anger, bitterness... and you end up with lies, broken lives, lost faith, and stunned persons who thought they knew you...

Ted, Ted, Ted... Hopefully this will lead you to healing, and an acceptance of who you truly are. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be that way, I suppose.... we all have things about ourselves we'd like to change. The difference is, just because I would like to weigh a bit less, I'm not campaigning for all persons over their ideal weight to be discriminated against. Persons who would like to change their hair color aren't trying to constitutionally ban red hair while dying their naturally red hair black or nut brown while calling red-heads "of the devil and "evil"... You are who you are. We all are who we all are. Until we can all learn to accept each other for who we are, the hypocrisy and lies will never end, and that's the truth...
Shifting Gears...
I was on a road trip with my mother today all up and down the eastern coast. We bought some burn barrels, did lunch, watched television a little about a man who was holed up less than a mile from her house after having robbed guns from a store and held up two local businesses....

I also learned about how, one time when my mom was a little girl, her mother (you remember my evil grandmother?) was dying to see a movie starring Barbara Streisand. (Yeah, I don't get it either, but hey, whatever...) Anyway, Mom distinctly remembers that Grandmom was fearfully worried that someone would see them standing in line to go into a movie theater (Gasp!). Mom remembers Grandmom saying over and over, "I hope no one sees us. I hope no one sees us." And all I could think while Mom was telling me this story was, "How sad." Here my grandmother was, a mother of three, married for years, probably in her early to mid-forties, and the complete and utterly abhorrent mind set that my great-grandfather had raised her on caused her to fear even being seen going to see a movie. A RATED G movie, at that.

This is the vile, evil environment that my grandmother (and subsequently my mother) were raised on:
  1. Dancing, in any form, was evil and of the devil (and lead one to premarital sex).
  2. Rock music, in any form or any means, was of the devil (causing one's body to move rhythmically and sensually, leading one to premarital sex). Only gospel (and a very small amount of country music) were worthy to listen to.
  3. Going to a movie theater was sinful.
  4. Playing cards were evil and satanic.
  5. Even considering dating someone who wasn't going to your church was bad (verging on evil, unless you convinced them to start going to church)
  6. Basically any social activity outside of the church walls was bad (verging on evil as well)
Holy Hannah mother of god, it's amazing me and my four siblings even remotely had a snowballs chance in hell at being able to think for ourselves! Luckily, my mother, through time and life's many curves, grew to understand the mind set that turns many people into ugly, nasty Christians... The whole mentality of being "apart form the world," a mentality that drives many to be so uber concerned with what the world thinks about them that their every action, their every thought, their every waking moment is spent trying to appear not of the world and is no longer about loving your neighbor, but about judging your neighbor, and how they might be judging you...

This is the very mind set that drove my grandmother to her crazy version of what love is, what love means, and why love cannot only not be trusted, cannot be unconditional. And thus, is how she interacts with her entire progeny...

Sigh. Christian fundies make monsters. That's all there is to it. They create a bunch of people so concerned with how they look and act to others, they become obsessed with what others are doing (or not doing), they become so concerned with saving face, appearing godly to the ungodly masses, covering up sins to prove the sin-saving power of Jaysus, and what does the world get in return? Scandals, lies, cover-ups, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll....

Which, in the end, just proves their as human as the rest of us with one distinct difference: we would have accepted them for who they were to begin with; they never learned to accept themselves for being human...

Friday, November 3, 2006

There Once Was a Man from Nantucket...

Okay, well actually, he was from Colorado. And it wasn't his, um, Mr. Hoo-Hoo that he was worried about sucking, now, was it? Of course, not wishing to even perhaps slightly appear gay, he became the pastor of a mega-church, married a woman, and then proceeded not only to verbally bash those of whom he truly desired to be with, Ted Haggard actively lobbied for a constitutional amendment...

It's sad to see the lengths people will go to just to hide who they really are, isn't it? Of course, being the "man of god" that he is, he's denying the sex part, alluding only to the "massage" that had been "recommended" by a hotel concierge he had stayed at in Denver...

Yeah, that's it, a "massage." (CODE: sex.) Of course, not wanting to admit to being, at the very least "bi-curious," he claims to have been "meth-curious," (CODE: Anything to make my first time a good one!) because, as we all know, being tempted by drugs, and being tempted by gay sex, are two very different, distinct, and very uneven taboos in the right-wing culture. Plus--good news, all you naive fundies--he didn't even try the meth!! That's right, he just used his children's college funds to buy it, stare at it, and then flush it down the toilet "because it was wrong." Of course, I am always tempted to spend hundreds of dollars on something I've claimed to never have tried. And I always ask the people "massaging" me where I can get it... You mean, you're not that close to your masseusse? I thought everyone was? Oh, well, anyway, what are we left with? Oh, yes, a "massage" and a "curiosity" about meth that we simply threw away, but...

(Photo courtesy of Ms. Betty Bowers)

We still felt the need to step down from our job? Hmm... Anyone else seeing that 1 + 1 ain't equaling 2? Or is it just me?

Now, don't get me completely wrong here. Men and women make mistakes. Men and women "experiment" and then make a choice. But a few things here:
  1. The man was a pastor dedicated to making sure homosexual persons did not receive equal treatment under the law
  2. The man is now lying, going against one of his own top ten
  3. He is, in essence, making a decision in his mind that admitting to buying the drugs is a "lesser evil" than even the thought of being tempted by "man sex." I(So sin isn't sin isn't sin)
  4. His wife is being made a fool of on national television.
No, granted, we've all been down this road with Clinton. What was it? Oh, yes:

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Eventually, he owned up, apologized, then the Republicans had a field day making a mockery of his marriage, claiming that, as the "values voters" representatives, they would flush out such "corruption" from the system...

So, how have they done? From Republican Moral Values (you can follow their links to see the full stories to verify that these are all facts that you so-called "values voters" put into office and pray and give your money to and tout as the end-all be-all of morality):
  1. Adelphia Communications Corp.: Donated large sums of money to some of the most conservative members of Congress. They are also the first cable company to offer hard-core adult movies to subscribers. Daily Kos article
  2. Edison Misla Aldarondo, Republican legislator from Puerto Rico, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for molestation of his daughter and her friend for eight-year period starting when they were 9.
  3. Randal David Ankeney, Republican activist from Colorado, arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a child with force. He faces 6 charges related to getting a 13-year-old girl stoned on pot and then having sex with her. Source Also accused of sexually assaulting another girl. Denver ABC Article
  4. Dick Armey (R-Texas), former professor, has been accused by The Dallas Observer of sexually harassing female students.
  5. Jim Bakker, televangelist with Pat Robertson at Robertson's Christian Broadcasting network. Committed adultery with Jessica Hahn and then used charitable donations to pay her hush money. Fellow televangelists say he's gay. Indicted on 23 federal charges of fraud, tax evasion, and racketeering.
  6. Merrill Robert Barter, Republican County Commissioner from Maine, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy. Booth Bay Register Article
  7. Bob Barr, Republican Congressman from Georgia. Sponsored the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act, saying "The flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundation of our society, the family unit." Was married three times. Paid for his second wife's abortion. Failed to pay child support to the children of his first two wives and while married to his third and present wife was photographed licking whipped cream off of strippers at his inaugural party.
  8. Merrill Robert Barter, Republican County Commissioner, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy. Booth Bay Register Article
  9. Robert Bauman, Republican congressman and anti-gay activist from Maryland, was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar. Source: Washington Blade
  10. Parker J. Bena, Republican activist and Bush Elector from Virginia, pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography (including children as young as 3 years old) on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.
  11. William Bennett, Drug Czar under George H. W. Bush, compulsive gambler who has had to wire as much as $1.4 million to cover gambling losses in a 2 month period. NY Press Article | Washington Monthly Article
  12. Louis Beres, chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon. 3 of his family members accuse him of molesting them when they were pre-teens. Editor and Publisher article
  13. Howard L. Brooks, Republican legislative aide and advisor to a California assemblyman, was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography. Sacramento Bee article
  14. John Bolton: George W. Bush's latest Ambassador to United Nations. Corroborated allegations that Mr. Bolton's first wife, Christina Bolton, was forced to engage in group sex have not been refuted by the State Department. Raw Story Article
  15. Mike Bowers Former State Attorney General of Georgia, prosecuted the famous "Bowers vs. Hardwick" case, based on Georgia anti-sodomy laws. Admitted to a 10-year adulterous affair Slate article
  16. Andrew Buhr, Republican politician, former committeeman for Hadley Township Missouri, was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.
  17. Jeffrey Buley, New York Republican Party's top lawyer, and senior political adviser to Gov. Pataki (R), arrested for assaulting his wife in a drunken rage. They have two young children.
  18. Ted Bundy campaigned for the Republican Party. Infamous serial rapist who murdered 16 women. Source: BBC
  19. Jim Bunn Congressman of Oregon: With his success due in great part to support from the Christian Coalition, Bunn won his congressional seat, then immediately ditched his wife (and mother of his five children), married a staffer, and put his new wife on the state payroll for the unheard-of salary of $97,500.
  20. John Allen Burt, Republican anti-abortion activist from Pensacola, Florida, convicted of sexually molesting a 15 year old girl at the home for troubled girls that he ran. Source: Pensacola News Journal
  21. Dan Burton, Republican Congressman from Indiana who, while married, fathered a child by another woman. Article
  22. George W. Bush, Republican president, accused in a criminal complaint and lawsuit of raping Margie Schoedinger, who was later suicided. Accused by Tammy Phillips, a former stripper quoted in the National Enquirer in 2000 saying she had an affair with Bush that had ended in 1999.
  23. Neil Bush, brother or G. W. Bush, in a March 2003 divorce deposition, admitted repeatedly having sex with strange women who just showed up at his room while on an Asian business trip. (Overshadowing the sex scandal; the business scandal--see link.) Washington Post article.
  24. John Butler, Republican activist, was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.
  25. Ken Calvert, Congressman (R-Ca), champion of the Christian Coalition and its "family values." Sued as an alimony deadbeat by his ex-wife. Said "We can't forgive what occurred between the President and Lewinsky." In 1993 he was caught by police receiving oral sex from a prostitute and attempted to flee the scene.
  26. Charles Canady, Congressman (R-Florida), Judiciary Committee member. Lied to his constituents about his adulterous affair with Sharon Becker, which caused her divorce.
  27. Helen Chenoweth, Congresswoman (R-Id.). Admitted to a six-year adulterous affair with a married associate. In 1995, Chenoweth had denied the affair when asked about it by The Spokane Spokesman-Review, but now she claims a pardon from a higher authority: "I've asked for God's forgiveness, and I've received it," she revealed.
  28. Keola Childs, Republican County Councilman from Hawaii, pleaded guilty to sexual assault in the first degree for molesting a male child.Honolulu Star-Bulletin Article
  29. Kevin Coan, Republican St. Louis Election Board official, arrested and charged with trying to buy sex from a 14-year-old girl whom he met on the Internet. Source: Newmax
  30. Roy Cohn, continually condemned gays and gay rights. Was a closet gay who died of AIDS. Wikipedia Article
  31. Carey Lee Cramer Political consultant and anti-Kerry ad producer, tried for molesting two young girls, one of whom lived with him, and was 8 yrs old; the other starred in an anti-Kerry commercial. Diary Diary. The Monitor.
  32. Dan Crane, Republican Congressman from Illinois, married, father of six. Had sex with a minor working as a congressional page. article --Bkmeyers 08:36, 3 October 2006 (PDT)On July 14, 1983 the House Ethics Committee concluded that Rep. Dan Crane (R-Ill.) had engaged in sexual relationships with minors, specifically 17-year-old congressional pages. In Crane's case, it was a 1980 relationship with a female page. article
  33. Paul Crouch Televangelist, Former President of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Paid $425,000 in hush money in an attempt to cover up a gay affair. Christianity Today article
  34. Randy Cunningham: Federal prosecutors are investigating allegations that Congressman and confessed-felon 'Duke' Cunningham was periodically supplied with prositutes. Cunningham pled guilty to corruption charges, and is currently serving jail-time.
  35. Richard A. Dasen Sr., Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, convicted of sexual abuse of children, promotion of prostitution and several counts of solicitation, enough to add up to a sentence of 126 years in prison. Investigators estimated that he spent up to $5,000,000 on prostitutes. Missoulian Article on the trial | Missoulian Article
  36. Richard A. Delgaudio, Republican fundraiser and Bush pioneer, was found guilty of child porn charges. WBAL Channel article
  37. Peter Dibble, Republican legislator from Connecticut pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl. News Channel 8 Article
  38. Brian J. Doyle, Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Department of Homeland Security. On March 12, 2006, Doyle contacted a 14-year-old girl whose profile was posted on the Internet, and initiated a sexually explicit conversation with her. The girl was actually an undercover Polk County Sheriff s Computer Crimes detective. Doyle knew that the girl was 14 years old, and he told her who he was and that he worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. During future online chats, Doyle gave the undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl his office phone number and his government-issued cell phone number, so that they could have telephone conversations, in addition to their online chatting. Doyle used the Internet to send hard-core pornographic movie clips to the girl and used the AOL Instant Messenger chat service to have explicit sexual conversations with her.
  39. Nicholas Elizondo, Republican director of the "Young Republican Federation" molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison. Halfway down this Bakersfield Californian article
  40. Larry Dale Floyd, Republican Constable in Denton County, Texas Precinct Two. Arrested for allegedly crossing state lines to have sex with an 8-year old child and was charged with 7 related offenses. Age 62 at time of arrest. Dallas News Article | Atrios Article
  41. John Fund, of the Wall Street Journal, a prominent anti-abortion columnist and GOP fund raiser. He lost his position after it was revealed that he impregnated the daughter of an old girlfriend and then encouraged her to abort his child. American Politics Journal Article
  42. Jeff Gannon Partisan blogger with no journalism credentials and a fake name who got invited to Bush's Press conferences. Is also a pimp and a gay prostitute. Truthout Article. See also dKospedia's page on Jeff Gannon.
  43. Jack W. Gardner, Republican Councilman from Pennsylvania, had been convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl. When the Republican Party, knowing of these crimes, put him on the ballot. Article with documents
  44. Richard Gardner, a Nevada State Representative (R), admitted to molesting his two daughters. Review Journal Article
  45. Newt Gingrich, Republican from Georgia, married three times. Gingrich campaign worker Anne Manning admitted that she gave Newt oral sex while he was still married to his first wife. Informed one wife he was filing for divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer treatments. Salon Article
  46. Philip Giordano, Republican mayor from Connecticut sentenced to 37 years for forcing two 8 and 10 year old girls to perform oral sex on him in his City Hall office. NBC Article | Newsday Article
  47. Matthew Glavin, President and CEO of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, big player in the Clinton Impeachment, and many anti-gay jihads, has been arrested multiple times for public indecency, one time fondling the crotch of the officer who was arresting him. Full Article
  48. Marty Glickman, Republican activist, was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a juvenile and one count of delivering the drug LSD.
  49. Mark A. Grethen, Republican activist from Virginia, convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children. Orlando Weekly article
  50. Jon Grunseth, Republican businessman and candidate for Minnesota governor, withdrew his candidacy after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter, and tried to grope one. "I've made some mistakes" he said. USA Today article
  51. Dr. W. David Hager, Bush appointee from Kentucky, member of Focus on the Family's Physician Resource Council, player in movement to ban the morning-after-pill. Had an adulterous affair, before divorcing his wife he sexually abused her, including sodomizing her in her sleep. Article
  52. Mark Harris, Republican city councilman from Wisconsin who is described as a "good military man" and "church goer," was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
  53. John Hathaway, Republican Senate candidate from Maine, was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media. Source: Casco Bay weekly
  54. Howard Scott Heldreth, anti-abortion activist who gained fame during the Schiavo media-circus, was convicted of two charges of raping a child in 2002. page at Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Sexual Offender/Predator Unit
  55. Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor from Des Moines, Iowa, introduced by Bush on the campaign trail, and promoted his policies. Says he supports Bush's values. Two months later, this married father of four turned himself into police, charged with the sexual exploitation of a child. Article | Commentary Also signed an ad (that called for criminally prosecuting business that sell porn), together with another pastor who was repeatedly busted for public masturbation.
  56. Neal Horsley, anti-abortion activist from Georgia. Has called for the arrest of all homosexuals. Admitted on the Fox News Radio's The Alan Colmes Show, that he's had sex with mules. Put photographs on his Web site of naked men engaging in homosexual acts and a nude woman engaging in bestiality amid shots of grotesquely maimed fetuses. Drug dealer convicted of possession of hashish with intent to sell. He calls for "the establishment of a new government, one that can obey God's plan for government."
  57. Henry Hyde, Republican Congressman from Illinois, Judge who oversaw Clinton's impeachment proceedings, prominent opponent of reproductive rights, who had an extramarital affair with a woman who was married and had three children, during the course of which she and her husband were divorced. article
  58. Don Haidl, Assistant Sheriff of Orange Country, in violation of California's rape shield law, led a smear campaign against the child his son poisoned and then violently gang-raped on videotape, adding up to 24 felony counts. He said that his son "acted accordingly" because the child was a "slut". The full gruesome story, with many newspaper articles.
  59. Tim Hutchinson, divorced his wife of 29 years to marry a congressional aide he was having an affair with.
  60. Paul Ingram, Republican Party leader of Thurston County, Washington, pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison. Source: The Olympian Article
  61. Bill Janklow, former S. Dakota Governor and Congressman, arrested for drunk driving, disorderly conduct, assaulting an officer, and indecent exposure in 1974. Pardoned his son-in-law for multiple drunk driving convictions in 2002. Resigned congressional seat due to a felony manslaughter conviction in a reckless driving incident (running a stop sign at 70 mph)in 2003 that resulted in the death of farmer, Vietnam veteran, and motorcyclist Randy Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minnesota. Janklow served 100 days of a possible 11-year sentence. Janklow sought and received immunity from civil damages on the grounds that he was traveling on business related to his role as a congressman when the killing of Scott occurred. Janklow also petitioned to get back (and was granted) his license to practice law in the state of South Dakota. Link from American Motorcyclist Association webpage
  62. Bernard Kerik, had two simultaneous adulterous affairs.
  63. Earl Kimmerling, from Indiana, sentenced to 40 years in prison after he confessed to molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her. Anderson, IN, Mayor Mark Lawler and Republican State Reps. Jack Lutz of Anderson, IN, and Woody Burton of Greenwood, IN, supported him.Source
  64. Randy Steven Kraft Republican serial killer convicted of 16 murders and suspected of at least 51 others.
  65. I. Lewis Libby, former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. In 1996 published a novel containing bizarre sexual content, including bestiality and pedophilia.Full Details (Oh yeah, and he's also been indicted on obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements, charges adding up to 10 years in prison.)
  66. Rush Limbaugh, triple-divorcee, 30-pill a day drug addict. Goodies from The Smoking
  67. Bob Livingston, former Congressman (R-La.), Speaker of the House; resigned from the House in the wake of revelations about his past adultery -- at the same time he was leading calls for impeachment of President Clinton.
  68. Donald Lukens, Former Ohio Republican Congressman, was found guilty of having sex with a minor - a girl he was accused of sleeping with since she was 13. Also convicted of taking $15,000 in bribes from the operators of a trade school while he was a congressman. A U.S. District Court jury in Washington deliberated for just one hour before reaching the verdict. Time Article
  69. Pat McPherson, Douglas County, Nebraska Election Commissioner. Arrested for fondling a 17-year-old girl. Article
  70. Jon Matthews, Republican talk show host in Houston, was indicted for indecency with a child, including exposing his genitals to a girl under the age of 17. Source: ABC News
  71. Jeff Miller, (R-Cleveland), Senate Republican Caucus Chairman in Tennessee and the sponsor of Tennessee's Marriage Protection act, getting divorced (as of April 2005) because of an affair he was having with an office aid. Miller described the Tennessee Marriage Protection Act as a means of preserving the sanctity of marriage. He opposed an amendment, however, which stated that "Adultery is deemed to be a threat to the institution of marriage and contrary to public policy in Tennessee."
  72. Nicholas Morency, Republican anti-abortion activist from Cape May County, NJ, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor The Dallas Morning News article.
  73. Sue Myrick, Congresswoman (R-NC), describes herself as a "devout Christian." Committed adultery with a married man.
  74. Bill O'Reilly Right-wing conservative talk show host on Fox News, sued for sexual harassment by his producer. The suit included graphic details, including tape-recordings. O'Reilly's wife was pregnant at the time. O'Reilly settled and paid millions of dollars rather than have the details become public.
  75. Bob Packwood, Senator (R-Ore.), resigned in 1995 under a threat of public senate hearings related to 10 female ex-staffers accusing him of sexual harassment.
  76. Jeffrey Patti, Republican Committee Chairman from Sparta, NJ, was arrested for distributing what experts call "some of the most offensive material in the child pornography world" - a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped. Daily Record News Article
  77. Brent Parker Utah State Representative. Arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer posing as a male prostitute. KSL News Article |Deseret News Article
  78. John Paulk, lied about prowling for gay sex while running a fundamentalist group to cure gays.
  79. Mark Pazuhanich, Republican judge from Monroe County, PA, pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation. Pocono Record article
  80. John Peterson, Congressman (R-Pa), accused of sexual harassment and creation of a hostile work environment by six women. Peterson has refused to admit a crime, saying only "I may have been an excessive hugger."
  81. Harvey Pitt, SEC Chief under George W. Bush until he was forced to resign in 2002. Worked for New Frontier Media, a firm which distributed teen sex videos.
  82. Ronald Reagan First president to be divorced (from a woman who had been married two or three times before him - the record is unclear, none of which seems to bother the religious right).
  83. George Roche III, carried on a 19 year affair with his son's wife, while serving as president of Hillsdale College in Michigan, which "emphasizes the importance of the common moral truths that bind all Americans, while recognizing the importance of religion for the maintenance of a free society."
  84. Beverly Russell, County Chairman of the Christian Coalition as well as a member of the South Carolina Republican Party's executive committee, sexually molested his step-daughter, Susan Smith, who later drowned her two children. Herald-Journal Article |Commentary on Newsweek Article
  85. Jack Ryan, 2004 Republican nominee for US Senate from Illinois, pressured his wife, actress Jeri Ryan, to have sex with other men. Tricked her into visiting sex clubs, where he asked her to have sex with him while others watched.
  86. Rick Santorum, used $100,000 of PA state funds earmarked for that state's school children to educate his own children, who were not residents of Pennsylvania.
  87. Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman from Pensacola, Florida, currently a conservative talk show host. Resigned his congressional seat abruptly to spend more time with his family, amidst allegations of an affair. His intern, Lori Klausutis, was soon after found dead in his office. The medical examiner, who had his license revoked in Missouri for falsifying information in an autopsy report, and suspended in Florida for six years, ruled the case an accident, after giving conflicting information about her injuries. He said he lied about them because "The last thing we wanted was 40 questions about a head injury."
  88. Ed Schrock, two-term Republican Congressman from Virginia, with a 92% approval rating from the Christian Coalition. Cosponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, consistently opposed gay rights. Married, with wife and kids. Withdrew his candidacy for a third term after tapes of him soliciting for gay sex were circulated.
  89. Dr. Laura Schlessinger, right wing conservative radio host. Promotes family values, but estranged from her mother; opposes birth control, but has had her tubes tied; espouses saving oneself for marriage, but admits to having had sex before she was married; opposes adultery, but has committed adultery while she was married, and has slept with a married man; opposes divorce, but is divorced and remarried, has posed for nude photos which are available online.
  90. Larry Jack Schwarz, Republican parole board officer and former Colorado State Representative, fired after child pornography was found in his possession. Rocky Mountain News article With his political career over, he went to work in the hard-core pornography industry for Platinum X Pictures, owned by his daughter, porn starlet Jewel De'Nyle (Stephany Schwarz). Wikipedia article
  91. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican governor, had sex with a 16 year old when he was 28. Numerous allegations of gropings, harassment, in California.
  92. John Scmitz, right-wing republican congressman, who had had his committee chairship taken away from him in the California State Senate after issuing a press release attacking Jews, feminists and gays. Forced out of office in 1982 for having an adulterous affair and fathering two children out of wedlock with one of his students. He was caught because his baby was admitted to hospital for having hair tied so tightly around his penis that it was almost severed. His daughter, Mary Kay LeTourneau, was convicted of having an adulterous affair with one of her students, and giving birth to two of his children. Wikipedia article
  93. Don Sherwood, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 10th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. Eventually admitted to an affair with a woman 30 years younger than him, after she accused him of physical abuse and attempting to choke her. Post-Gazette Article
  94. Tom Shortridge. Republican campaign consultant and former head of the South Bay, CA, Republican Club, was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl. Los Angeles Times Article
  95. Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr., Republican City Councilman from Wrightsville, PA, pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison. Sex Offender Registry page | Article
  96. Craig J. Spence, Republican lobbyist, organized orgies with child prostitutes in the White House during the 1980s. Full page including Washington Times article Discovery Channel documentary
  97. Jim Stelling, Seminole County Republican Party chairman who believes in "family values", as he told a judge. Filed a defamation lawsuit against Nancy Goettman, a former county GOP executive committee member, for falsely claiming he had been married six times. Stelling has been married 5 times. Article
  98. Roger Stone, Republican dirty-tricks operative, led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount; advisor for Bob Dole and Arlen Specter's Presidential campaigns, owner of Washington, D.C.-based Ikon Public Affairs. Place X-rated ads for group sex with his wife, Nydia. Claimed he was framed, even though the ads were placed with his credit card and used his P.O. Box.
  99. Jimmy Swaggart, televangelist, said during a sermon "I'm trying to find the correct name for it; this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men; I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." Had an affair with a prostitute.
  100. David Swartz, Republican County Commissioner from Ohio, pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Rocky Mountain News Article
  101. Randall Terry, Right to Life activist, founder of Operation Rescue, involved in the Terri Schiavo protests. Once imprisoned for sending former President Bill Clinton an aborted fetus. His son Jamiel is gay; his daughter Tila had sex outside of marriage, became pregnant, had a miscarriage - she is no longer welcome in his home; his daughter Ebony had 2 children outside of wedlock and became Muslim. He has campaigned against infidelity and birth control, gays and unwed mothers. Terry himself was censured by his church after committing adultery.
  102. Bill Thomas Republican congressman, had an affair with Deborah Steelman, a health care lobbyist who steered huge campaign gifts to Thomas' war chest.
  103. Strom Thurmond, Republican Senator from South Carolina and racist, impregnated a 15-year old African American maid. (BBC Article)
  104. Robin Vanderwall, Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate, convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet. Virginian-Pilot Article
  105. Robert Waltrip, Bush campaign contributor. Runs a funeral company which had to settle a lawsuit because bodies were being dug up and dumped in the woods. According to Fox News, Waltrip's company, a cemetery company called Service Corporation International (also known as Dignity Memorial) was "recycling" graves, removing the bodies that were there originally and throwing them in the woods to use the space to house new customers at two Jewish cemeteries in Florida. George W. Bush, who had met with Waltrip, was subpoenaed but refused to testify in the case.
  106. J.C. Watts, Representative (R-Oklahoma), loud champion of "moral values." Has out-of-wedlock children.
    Jim West, Spokane Mayor. Supported a bill, which failed, would have barred gays and lesbians from working in schools, day-care centers and some state agencies. Voted to bar the state from distributing pamphlets telling people how to protect themselves from AIDS. Proposed that "any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person" among teens be criminalized. Had a sexual affair with an 18 year old boy.Source: Spokesman Review
  107. Keith Westmoreland, a Tennessee state representative (R), was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to minors under 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children). Tennessean Article
  108. Stephen White, Republican preacher. Was arrested after allegedly offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy in West Chester, PA, for permission to perform oral sex on him. Daily Pennsylvanian article | Daily Yale News Article
Just makes you want to go out and vote for an elephant, doesn't it? And if those 108 examples (Yes, that was a liust 108 people long...) let's not forget other Republican faux pas of recent weeks, shall we? Mark Foley, Jack Ambramoff, Tom DeLay, Sen. Hastert, and on and on and on... Yeah, continue to "Vote Your Values" and soon we'll all be hypocrites... Just like poor Reverend Haggard...

There once was a man from Colorado,
Who, after speaking just like God he was Hallow,
Lied through his teeth
As he confessed his sins clean
"I like paying men to be my hoes..."
Think he'll ever be as popular as the Man from Nantucket?

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Various, Miscellaneous, and All-Over-the-Board Topics...

Before I get into anything, I'd like to direct you all to FCSuper's site It's Trouble..., where he's written a great post about evolution, but from a decidedly differing perspective from how I've covered this topic in the past. Check it out!

What's with all the hoopla over Madonna adopting the kid from Africa? Why isn't this old news just 6 days out from a very important election in America? The FACTS: The kid is better off with her than he was in an orphanage that was under-funded and under-staffed, and where a great deal of kids don't make it past the age of five. She will make sure he gets back to his homeland very often to get to know his father (whom hadn't stopped by the orphanage to see him since he was two months old) and to know his homeland's customs and culture--and yes, sad but true, people with butt-loads of money move to the top of the list for anything and everything, including adoption. Get over it.

Kerry, shut the hell up! Go back to Massachusetts, you aren't even on a ballot for anything, you couldn't speak well in 2004, and you certainly haven't learned how to do it now. You're as bad for us as Rush is for the Republicans (well, and Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Foley and Frist and Delay...) Okay,so maybe you aren't as bad as all of them rolled into one, but still--learn to bash Bush correctly, or shut up!

I can't believe they killed Ekko on Lost!! Holy cow! Who's going to beat people with the Jesus Stick now??

Speaking of Jesus Sticks, Jesus Man and Jesus Woman from earlier were back to let us know that they were praying for us, and offered to drive us to the revival tonight and every night this week!! Where the hell do these people get off? Do you not see our two cars parked out front? Don't you think if we wanted to go, we'd drive there our fuckin' selves? Since they left their daughter somewhere where we evil homosexuals couldn't get a hold of here to convert her to "the other side," I was a little more confrontational this time:

Me: You're back?
Jesus Woman: We just wanted to remind you--
Me: Yes, the revival. Thank's, but no thanks.
Jesus Man: Son, I don't think you under--
Me: Don't call me son. I have a father already.
Jesus Man: --that you could end up in hell--
Rich: (yelling from kitchen) Who is it?
Me: The Christian revival people!
Jesus Man: Son, are you listening to me?
Jesus Woman: If it's a matter of getting there, we'd be happy to take you there tonight and let Jesus--
Me: Not interested. Good-bye.
(I close the front door. They knock again)
(from outside the closed door)
Jesus Man: We're just leaving some material here for you to--
Me: (reopening front door) No, because I'll only burn it in the coal stove. Please leave.
Rich: (yelling from kitchen) Are they gone yet? Dinner's ready!
Me: (looking at them on the front porch) They're leaving now.
Jesus Man: (shouting over my head towards Rich's general direction) Sir, we have some reading material for you--
(I slam door closed.)
What the hell!! Why can't people just take a polite "No thanks" and leave it go? And people tell me fundies aren't socialists--Puh-leaze! They left the material anyway. Basically, Satan is controlling my mind, I'm demon possessed, we already knew I was going to hell, but it also seems my homosexuality has something to do with repressed memories of sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, and absent father, not being good at sports, joining the band, and a whole host of other things and stereotypes that Jesus can cure me of--I suppose salvation means a football scholarship? I know it just pisses off fundies that not every gay person was sexually abused (as I was not), that a lot of us had loving fathers (like I have), that some of us are good at sports and athletically engaged (okay, not me on that one--the brochure on that pleads to my sense of being bullied and having low self-esteem at not being able to catch a football or some other such nonsense), or that we are all drama queens in an actor's troop(again, not me--I avoided drama club just because).

I'll wrap this up for now. I'm all pissed off again that people can't show a modicum of respect when having been politely turned away. Next thing you know, they'll be praying on my front lawn, spritzing holy water on my dog, and hanging crucifixes on my windows...


I know Kelly hasn't updated her blog lately, but she's a new mommy!!! Her daughter is adorable! Stop by and congratulate her if you have time!