Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Gathering of Fools...

Granted, Nathaniel Abraham shouldn't have been fired for his religious beliefs. Never mind that someone being fired for their religious beliefs falls into that "special rights" category that homosexuals want--after all, Jesus himself would only want religious beliefs protected, not sexual behavior ingrained into the DNA he himself supposedly had a hand in creating, right? (not to mention the civil union the father and holy Casper have been in since before time began while raising poor, motherless Jesus!)

It seems that, in "casual conversation," Mr. Abraham mentioned (at his job at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) that he did not believe in evolution...

A conversation he was having with his supervisor. At the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Institutions mission statement is as follows:

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society.
Note that the institution is dedicated to "research and education to advance understanding." Something tells me they should be more selective in their screening process of whom they hire, but I guess that's kind of beside the point, isn't it?

But, I wonder, would Mr. Abraham have a lawsuit if he had mentioned, in casual conversation with his supervisor, that he didn't believe two plus two equaled four? That the supposed Theory of Gravity was a lie invented by science to lessen the importance of the Christian god?

The article states that Mr. Abraham is being represented by the Christian Law Association (surprise! surprise!), and his lawyer is quoted as saying:

"And what the scientific community seems to be saying to creationists or [those who hold to] intelligent design is if you're going to hold that belief, keep it in the closet -- hide it. [They are saying] if you let someone know that you hold that belief, we will indeed, in this case, shun you, terminate you, punish you for having that religious belief."
Now, it's not every day you see that kind of spin! Makes a dradle seem tame! I also love how they adopt the whole homosexual metaphor of closets and such! Classic victimology! I wonder if the bright-eyed bushy-tailed lawyer even realizes he's claiming victimization in a metaphor used by their classic victims--do you think he does?

Tell you what--you think this is a hoot--you should read some of the comments left under the article!! Reminds me of part of the reason I stopped going to church--you know, besides the whole disbelief in god thing. That many uneducated morons in one place gives me the willies! And not in a good way...

Friday, December 28, 2007

My "Intelligently Designed" Body...

No, no, no... I didn't die... I know you were all wondering on baited breath if I would come out alright or not... Please, please, thank you for your concern, but I'm a-okay...

I am a little disappointed on my return, however, in that, the best argument a fundie could come up with against socialized medicine was "Look at how Europe screwed it up!" Ah, yes, Jesus would be proud... Those nasty, evil Europeans and their socialized, Satanic medicine... (I now have to wonder if their sole argument against the theory of evolution is "Look at how the apes screwed up! They're almost extinct!!")

Regardless, when you have time on your hands when healing from any surgical procedure (this was my 5th surgery), you like to just sort of go through old pics... You mean, you don't? Anywho, as my eyes perused the treasure trove of family memories, I found this gem of a TJ Maxx moment--seriously, that's the first thing that came to mind when I saw my father, mother, and her mother posing in my great-grandmother's backyard--"Holy TJ Maxx moment!" Well, here, see for yourself:

Oh, didn't I mention? A seventies TJ Maxx moment...

Anyway, I had a good laugh, much like my nieces and neph's will have when they look at our 80s, 90s, and millennial pics, I'm sure...

My Maxx Moments were, of course, carried through the holidays with relatively little pain after the teeth were removed--indeed, I had almost NO pain after the surgery. And, FYI, just because you have an ear ache for three weeks doesn't necessarily mean it's your ear. Regardless, I now have 29 Vicodin pills that are of absolutely no use to me post surgery, but a more-then-half empty 500mg, 500 count Rapid Release Tylenol bottle from the three weeks prior to having my wisdom removed...

Exactly. Who knew my "intelligently designed" body had so many useless body parts!! Indeed, useless and deadly! Between the appendicitis and the wisdom teeth, I'm wondering if I should just elect now to have my other useless, "intelligently designed" parts removed before they kill me! Anyone know how much they charge to have the gall bladder, the coccyx, or my pinky toes removed?

Just wondering...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Going Under... Way Under...

May be a while before I'm back here, kids...

Going under the knife this morning for the removal of my four wisdom teeth...

Rich is hoping it's not my home construction know-how wisdom...

Regardless, more to tell when my jaw is feeling more like.... well, itself...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas, Kids!; or, How Christians Really Do Mean "Suffer the Children" (and the Poor, the Illegal, and Plain un-American...)

Guess what you aren't getting this year? That's right! HEALTH INSURANCE!!!!

So even after Democrats LOWERED the spending on SCHIP from $50 billion to $35 billion (and please note, the so-called "War against Terror" has already cost almost $500 TRILLION), Bush decided health insurance for the poor and uninsured wasn't important--and vetoed the bill again...

The FRC (Family Research Council), and organization that is supposedly all about Christian values, loves unborn fetus's, and thinks gays are just plain icky, thinks it's GREAT that Bush has decided not to insure not only poor children, but, according to them on their
web site:

So much for peace and goodwill toward the President's men. [...] Fortunately, the distractions haven't affected President Bush's resolve. For the second time, he [Bush] vetoed yesterday a $35 billion renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), largely because many of the bill's beneficiaries were not children in need but adults, illegal immigrants, and families already covered through private insurance.
Apparently, "good will" should be extended to the President and his buddy-boys, but not to people struggling to make ends meet. Yeah, in case you didn't get that, the FRC thinks Bush is the bee's knees, despite the fact that their own holy book states the following:

When it comes to poor persons:

Lev 25:35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.

Deu 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

When it comes to illegal immigrants:

Lev 19:34 [But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.

Mat 25:35
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Oddly enough, not much is said about kids, whether unborn or not... I suppose the Hebrew's back in the day were of the mind that children should be seen and not heard? (And let's face it--kids who are uninsured have a better chance of being silent due to death and illness!)

I seriously have to question how "Christian" an organization is that actively wants to withhold the wealth and security (not to mention freedoms) of the wealthiest, most blessed (metaphorically speaking) nation in the WORLD from the poor, needy, and sick... It's almost as if they consider themselves greedy, needy, victimized Americans first, and Christians as an after-thought (if a thought were to go through their brains at all!)

Being the uber-liberal, anti-Christian, Satan-loving atheist American that I am (Oh! And homo...), of COURSE you expect me to be all for "socialized medicine" and letting illegal immigrants have a better life...

But tell me: What's really so bad about universal health care? Why are the fundamentalist organizations so anti-universal health care? Where is the inherent evil in that?

Secondly, why is it a bad idea to insure the "illegal" immigrants? Aren't people always bitching about how they are a "drain on the system" and whatnot? Theoretically "driving up health care costs" by using emergency rooms instead of family doctors? Wouldn't health insurance in some form or another alleviate some of that "burden"? Not that there aren't 600+ other reasons why we should be helping those less fortunate (has anyone ever heard of kindness for kindness sake? Common decency?)

But no--in this time of sharing and giving (and that ruse known as celebrating a god's birth), the said celebrant's of that god, instead of trying to do as much good as possible for their fellow man (supposedly also created in their god's image) are supporting a man (also metaphorically speaking) who would rather wage war than get people health insurance. Yeah, that sounds like something Jesus would stand for. I think we find that passage in:

Hypocrite chapter 8
1. And lo, Jesus called unto himself his disciples; and they were sore tired from hiking up the Mount of Olives once more;
2. And he said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you: See ye these olives?"
3. And lo, they answered thus, "We answer thee, Lord, and we say Yes, lo, we behold these olives."
4. And Jesus replied and said,
"Verily, verily, these olives are blessed among fruits, unlike the figs; apples; bananas;
5. oranges; coconuts; pears; kiwi; pomegranates; grapes; mangoes; tomatoes--"

6. And lo, Peter interrupted and said unto Jesus, "Verily, Lord, tomatoes are a vegetable, are they not?"
7. And thus Jesus said unto Peter,
"Behold, you are a box of rocks that I will build my church upon--dare you question your Lord's word that tomatoes are a fruit?"
8. And thus Peter answered and said unto him, "Sorry, Lord, please continue. Please do not smite thy stupid, stupid servant."
9. And Jesus continued thus, and lo, he said unto his disciples,
"Verily, verily, these blessed olives do heal the sick, make the lame to walk, and the tone-deaf to sing on key."
10. And Peter thus spoke and said, "Lord, Lord: we should export these olives to the masses, the tired, the poor, the hungry!"
11. And Jesus answered thus, and said unto Peter,
"Peter, the Box of Rocks foundation of my kingdom, I say unto you, it would be too expensive! People from around the globe would flood the land, and the olives would be wiped out; Mexicans would benefit from your olives! No one wants that! And what about those lazy inner-city folk? You think THEY deserve to eat olives? Seriously? And don't get me started on those with pre-existing conditions! They would need TWO olives to heal! You would need to DOUBLE olive production!! Do you see what I'm talking about, Peter? Verily, verily, I ask, do thee?"
12. And lo, Peter understood that the blessings he thought were a gift from God should be kept to himself, and a few select others, and not shared with the masses, despite the amount of labor and taxes that could easily be made up for with the influx of persons to the land.
13. Peter and Thomas thus chopped down most of the olive grove, and walled in the few remaining olive trees. They charged an arm and a leg for the olives, only gave them to people who could certify that they lived and worked in Jerusalem, and paid not only the olive tax, but the tree tax, root tax, stump tax, picking tax, green tax, sunlight fee, wall maintenance upkeep surcharge, occupational privilege tax, as well as the eating olive privilege fees (plus $20 person-to-person sales fee), and lo,
14. Jerusalem stayed a drippy economy, with low wages for most, and those who could thus afford the olives took advantage of the rest, and thus, a few remained healthy and viable while the rest made do with vegetable-like tomatoes and assorted breakfast cereals;
15. And indeed, God was thus pleased with the way his followers did box up their gifts and keep them for themselves, and thus, were the perfect example for what he was really all about--a special, select few, with the rest to live the rest of their lives in utter misery and contempt (not to mention the eternal afterlife in hell for not giving his kid enough props).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies...

Granted, things were looking up for fundies around the world: Harry Potter was FINALLY done being written; Jerry Falwell was in heaven with Saint Peter licking his boots; and then there was that unfulfilled promise of a return or something they could all look forward to despite the four horsemen making the rounds at a local pub near you...

But then that evil, evil movie came along and made them realize it was even MORE important to bitch about "holiday trees," because it was just one more symptom in a world which could produce something so vile, so despicable, so atrocious as The Golden Compass...

Yes, my fellow occultists, agnostics, and ne'er-do-wells: The Golden Compass, a tale of magic, mystery, and an evil church (not much unlike the one on every street corner near you) was "The Big Bad" in this tale of a young child questioning the bigger things in life...

I know, I know--to most of you fantasy and sci-fi readers out there, this is SOOO been there, done that, it's like a bad remake of Buck Rogers with Paulie Shore in the lead role...

But between Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia (Oh, wait! Chronicles doesn't count!!), you'd think every child in the world actually believed they could whip a rabbit out of a hat and praise Satan until the cows came home!

I think a lot of the--shall we say "horror" and "outrage"?--at such films is rooted in one very simple concept, as was pointed out in a wonderfully brilliant movie called Hogfather that I watched a few weekends ago:

Death: Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.
Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?
Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.
Susan: They're not the same at all.
Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.
Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what's the point?
Death: You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?
I'm a bit surprised the fundies haven't discovered this little gem and railed against it yet...

The point being that, if children realize that fantasy is fantasy, and magic is just imagination and smoke and mirrors, how can they be expected to take this silly idea of god seriously? Can you just hear it?:

Right-Wing Nut: We can't let them see that evil movie! It's all about magic and demons! It's evil!
Average Joe: What's the harm? It's only a story...
Right-Wing Nut: "Only a story"?! Do you realize the damage this could do?! Soon it's, "Can I have a magic wand?" and "Can I pull a rabbit out of a hat?", and that's not a long stretch from "Well, if that's only a trick, then how do you know Jesus' water-to-wine thing wasn't all just a trick?" Soon they'll be questioning EVERYTHING! And then who'll pay for the new church roof! I'll tell you, NO ONE! And all because some child said "Why?" We can't have this kind of free-thinking going on! What would Jesus think?!
Average Joe: Uh...
They've said it before, they'll say it again: YHWH forbids it!

This is also why that stupid little phrase, "Jesus said it, I believe it, that settles it" is so popular among the sheep (also an appropriate moniker): it prevents any sort of "why's" and "wherefor's" from approaching the pulpit in any sort of logical or reasonable fashion.

I highly recommend Hogfather. You may just learn a thing or two...

Susan: (reading to her two young charges before bed) "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstalk, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions."
YHWH forbid...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

And the Self-Caged Bird Yet Lives...

I hate people...

Perhaps I should clarify: I can't think of anyone I hate on a personal level; it's more of a general hatred of people's ineptitude to communicate, grow, or even challenge themselves to something greater than a new flavor of coffee at Wawa.
Some background for this post, I suppose, is in order.

I have had a headache for three days now. Three days, a literal pain in my head, throbbing, banging, aching, and in all seriousness, metaphorically the size of Jupiter. It is kept company by a minor ear ache, a post-nasal drip, and an over-arching demand to once again step into the role of peace maker, or "Healer" if one is to ironically use the true meaning of my Greek name. (Even more irony? We're not Greek...)

Thus, it was with trepidation that I even answered my phone.

Actually, wait: The first moment of trepidation of phone answering came on Saturday, before the Headache from Hell arrived. It seems someone heard about someone else's little email vent, took it personally, and decided that it needed to be discussed. With me.

It was brought on by another person who, reading this tiny, small hiccup of a vent, thought deeper issues needed resolved and contacted this person who in turn contacted me--you know, to talk.

Talking, it should be pointed out, is OVER-rated. Especially when it's on a phone.

But I got through it, helped this person get through it, and hopefully that small branch of humanity has moved toward a semblance of healing and civility. After all, expecting everyone to be buddy-buddy and all hugs, kisses, and puppy dog licks is stupid. Period. But this small hiccup of trouble should have been a clue of greater troubles to come.

Then the head ache arrived, with it's buddies Ear Ache and Nasal Drip, on Sunday. Popped some acetaminophen, rested, yadda yadda--whatever. It was only roughly the size of a small, white moon.

The next call came on Monday at lunch: Someone's in a world of hurt. Fine, whatever--talked new person through their little crisis, and moved on--actually, moved on home, as the headache had increased exponentially to include Mars and the asteroid belt.

Then Rich comes home, thinks the world has caved in as I made it home before him, and after a half-hour of crisis mode, he realized that silence was a prerequisite for keeping his life in its current, unharmed form. I was in bed by 10:00 pm (yes, very very early for me).

By Tuesday at 4:00 am, Jupiter was squatting between my ears. Still, work beckoned, as if I didn't do it today, that would mean all the more for me to do tomorrow, 'cause God forbid someone actually help someone else in the dog-eat-dog world of green thing making. Perish the thought!

Another call 10 minutes before lunch--it seems that, while yesterday's little crisis had had the decency to pretend to be solved, it hadn't--it was just a giant waiting to awake and spread misery in the same way that butterfly collars did the seventies--horribly, and with little regard for others' eyeballs.

A certain someone is apparently under the false impression that the world revolves around him, that certain someone's parents should live just to help with his every whim and thought, and that anything less is a show of NON-love. Never mind that he's thirty (okay, twenty-nine); never mind that the only thing he thinks his parents ever did for him was bail him out of jail (conveniently forgetting the overall MASSIVE amounts of monetary, emotional, and physical help they've showered on the stupid child), which, he's quick to point out, maternal parent didn't even want paternal parent to do (trust me--for VERY good reasons); never mind that he's burned his family SO many times it would be like trying to count the number of side burns present at Woodstock--to quote him in one of the many MANY phone calls this afternoon, "his feelings are hurt."


Grow a set, buddy.

The truly sad part of this latest installment of The Bold and the Tragically Stupid is that his parents were waiting there with open arms (albeit with spring-loaded hinges, just in case), and all they wanted was one night to talk to him, in person, about his proposal.

From his reaction, you would think a precondition was that he contract the AIDS virus.

Not that his parents are completely blame-free, but at least they have history, facts, and logic on their side--not that that's an end-all be-all, as, if I were in their shoes, this person would be railing against me right now (Oh, the memories THAT thought brings to mind...; let's just say it involves at least two permanent scars on my body, and a bald spot, at the very least, on his...) as I would be reacting in EXACTLY the same way as said parents--with fear, worry, and a very cautious willingness to help...

One of the last things he said before the very abrupt disconnection (that we'll just blame Cingular for) was that, and again, I quote, "as [his parents] sit their in their Tower of Judgment" (and yes, I'm pretty sure the capital letters were there), he would "once again do it on his own" because "he always has to" and "other people's parents are better than they are" (oh, that greener grass--I wish someone would tell him its all astro-turf) and "They're all talk and no action!"

I'm certainly glad at this point that video phones aren't the norm or he would have hung up a long time ago as my face contorted in an effort not to let my rage be conveyed wirelessly to his cavernously empty skull. It just boggles my mind how (and here we'll blame the drugs, just for shits and giggles) how much he forgets about how EVERYONE (probably with the notable exception of evil Grandmom) has spent more time, effort, money, emotion, sleepless nights, drunken stupors, and sobering mornings on him than the entire Chinese population! The night I spent listening to him rail against the injustices of my older brother (while quite drunk) while I worked on my older brothers' magazine (as the drunk one leaned dangerously out the barn door on the second story of the Madison Street Rear apartment) through the night ALONE is priceless! (Seconded only by the night I had to listen to his drunken observations about the Lady of Shalott print that has hung in every living room I have ever inhabited.)

Now, this kid can be a great guy--he has a big heart (though very little follow-through) who lives very much in the present (also known to others as the "you'll regret that in the future" moment), all of which to say is he has no regard for delayed gratification, let alone doing something lacking any type of gratification for himself, never mind how it may affect others. He lives in the Land of Me, population: 1. He has his rare moments, granted, when he'll entertain a passer-by (usually as long as said passer-by brings a gift, physical or otherwise)... But the key word there was RARE.

I hate stupid people. I hate stupid people who think the world revolves around them. I hate that they think it's always OTHER people who have caged him in; it's always OTHER people who have held him back; it's always OTHER people that have not been there for him. And, trust me, it doesn't help to hand him a mirror--we've tried.

You'd think in such a small, shallow world, it wouldn't be hard to climb out of that mud puddle that he created with his own piss...

Am I being hard on this person? Maybe. Should I show more compassion? I usually do. But this is were I vent, and there it is. Tomorrow, my heart will have melted a bit, the last vestiges of this headache should be gone (thanks to the miracle of science), and this speed bump that right now a HUGE drama will be in the past--sadly, on the part of one human being, nothing will have been learned, though not for lack of effort on the rest of our parts.

Ah, dear reader, what's a person to do?