Saturday, October 11, 2014

Around here we do things by the Book: Luke Skywalker & the Planet of the Lawgivers

Fundamentalist Biblical Literalism be damned. Our young'uns are smarter'n that.

Compared to my generation and those before me, our young at heart in America seem to have a much smaller span of mythical images with which to relate to contemporary society. Yet there are some images which, almost by contemporary definition, must be inseparably linked to the medium through which they are best absorbed.

One sample of 20th-century myth-making - received via dark, popcorn-&-pepsi theater settings - comes to us as famed entertainment.

One ponders that perhaps entertainment is the only venue from which can come any holistic view of human spirituality. It's is a holistic need that goes beyond the scientific and logical literalism that seems to focus our attention and learning span. This literalism permeates contemporary perception for all of us. Precisely through the logic and literal propaganda that modern spiritless corporate economics markets its products leads to dependence on outside sources to tell us what to think, how to belong, how/why to conform and thereby avoid any nuisance of personal independence and freedom.
"Trust the force, Luke!"
In the original Star Wars film the climactic scenes are defined only after that the spiritual prompting voice of Skywalker's mentor can be heard. Subsequent group salvation thru the hero's triumph is achieved only after the young prophet lets go of doing things by the Book.

I suspect that though perhaps not a conscious awareness, our youngest adult generation today has an internal grasp of that particular concept.

We need more of that and less spiritual literalism that looks mostly like the old Simian Prophet who asserts and flexes his authority based on long-term social programming in the film Planet of the Apes.

We have our own kind of old farts constantly quoting a historical lawgiver who no longer needs credibility proven because of long-term social programming. How heretical to question the validity of that lawgiver as told through contemporary old-fart-tales!

In knee-jerk fashion the lawgivers contemporary minions demand submission to the get-back-in-line social orthodoxy that authorizes those who are seemingly in charge to remain in the driver's seat.

"Luke, don't you ever turn off your scripture machine, you can't trust the force!" is the suggestion of those who worship the idol of inerrant scripture that was never the intent of Christ.

Jesus was never the "lawgiving" autocratic authoritarian described by those who historically and currently walk around dragging a leather-bound lawgiver's manual to justify one of those most fundamental, limited and useless letter-of-the law texts that plague us today. Such is not and was never Jesus' intended use of the Bible.

Why isn't that mythical image of letting go the biblical training wheels and trusting the spirit the integral part of raising children to become spiritual adults rather than future aged children afraid of deeper waters?

The Bible is not useful as a literalist construct of "shoulds, shouldn'ts" or rewards-&-punishments that gets dragged around in a knuckle-scratching manner by strutting simian/human demagogues who are afraid of deep waters.

"Stay here in the shallow end of the pool kids, where we're in charge and you can have fun splashing without ever having to risk deeper waters. Sure the shallow end of the pool doesn't have much room to explore, but you don't need to explore since your pulpit pounders will tell you - by the Book - all the important stuff you need to know.

Their Inerrant Biblical Life Jacket leaves them stuck in the shallow end of the pool.

When most literalist Christian evangelical preachers and politicos make their accusations and advocacies they do so based on a traditional assumption that is not traditional to the broad spectrum of American Christians:

This from the website of the American Family Association:

Philosophical Statement
The American Family Association believes that God has communicated absolute truth to man through the Bible, and that all men everywhere at all times are subject to the authority of God's Word. Therefore, a culture based on Biblical truth best serves the well-being of our country, in accordance with the vision of our founding fathers.

This is kindergarten religion at its most immature and adolescent.

This is also the shallow end of the pool, where splashing around without really getting wet is supposed to be the most fulfilling thing God desires for you.

This is the fear-based and limited view that remains terrified of any venture into deeper waters where the ultimate discovery is that the biblical water wings are absolutely unnecessary and in fact an encumbrance.

If a person bases their faith on an innerant Bible then let them be honest.
Let them stop calling themselves "Christians" as if all Christians were literalists and those of us who doubt innerancy are merely back-sliding literalists.

Let them admit that they are Biblicists and nothing more than Kindergarten Christians.
Let them admit that they have the Bible as their only basis of proof which is not the same faith in God. Literalists can only believe in canned answers - as if their life jackets automatically deflate if they venture out of shallow waters.

Concerning my own experience, I suppose one could use the word "deprogramming" in that my initial bout with innerancy had more to do with how scripture was quoted to motivate or coerce me into socially acceptable conformity within my church.

I confess that as a child and up into my 40's, scriptural meaning as interpreted by my church had an absoluteness about it that brooked little dissent.

When I discovered Joseph Campbell and his book entitled "The Power Of Myth," I was advised not to read that book. But since I was in dissent and had become a non-literalist doubter, I swallowed my religious guilt, girded up my intellectual loins and read it anyway.

When I read in Campbell about myths older than Hebrew Scripture referring to floods, arks, babies in baskets rescued from rivers by princesses, African stories about God asking man why fruit was eaten and the man blaming the woman who blamed a snake ...

... I realized that as a literalist with no appreciation for the blessings of myth, I was on a dead-end path.

But to reject the Bible and scripture because you've found them not to be innerant - not to be the literal and absolute "Word of God" as preached from many Christian pulpits - is a mistake in my opinion.

Once able to remove the limitation of literal interpretation, I learned how to bring Scripture to life. I learned about my own natural mystical bent as something all humanity possesses but only a minority actually trust to awaken.

I learned how scripture is best appreciated as a "living" document that speaks through spirit.

"Luke, don't you ever turn off your scripture machine, you can't trust the force!"


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Noticed at the theater last night that Nicholas Cage is the star of a remake of the Left Behind movie..

Among things encountered via Google was an article about Left Behind fans questioning Cage's faith and wondering if the Rapture might show up before the film debuts

Is Obama the Antichrist? The winning lottery number in Illinois was 666, which, as everyone knows, is the sign of the Beast.
So read the headline of a recent article by Lisa Miller in Newsweek.
According to a 2006 study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, a third of white evangelicals believe the world will end in their lifetimes. These mostly conservative Christians believe a great battle is imminent. After years of tribulation natural disasters, other cataclysms (such as the collapse of financial markets) ,God's armies will vanquish armies led by the Antichrist himself.
Instead of fame, pretend theologian and San Antonio Christian Broadcast Celebrity John Hagee gained notoriety when he became an item with John McCain during the recent presidential campaign after Hagee and his political following of End-Times literalists endorsed the Republican candidate.
Hagee of course the famous pointer preacher with his picture of a hot mama riding a dragon based on what is written in the book of Revelation.
Nowadays the more popular speculation among these religious hysterics is the notion that the next American President who will be replacing the current Christian in the White House will be none other than ...
...a sweet-talking world leader who gathers governments and economies under his command to further his own evil agenda. In this world view, 'the spread of secular progressive ideas is a prelude to the enslavement of mankind,' explains Richard Landes, former director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University.
No wonder, then, that Obama triggers such fear in the hearts of America's millennialist Christians.
The "Left Behind" series of fiction novels became the hottest obsession among those imaginative Christian literalists whose belief in an inerrant Bible is coupled with the private interpretation of scripture known as The Rapture.
The Rapture notion is based on another private interpretation or speculation known across the End Times market as "Prophecy."
Without the belief and acceptance of prophecy, wannabed be oracles like Pat Robertson would have to stop trying to step up to the prophecy pedestal and pretend that he is a new Jeremiah.
The Left Behind series is nothing more than The Rapture as prophecy-driven speculations of Christian writers Tim Lahaye and Larry Jenkins. Their own Da-Vinci-Code style of religious pretend vastly outsold Dan Brown's more plausible fiction and even outsold that other paragon of Biblical Jeremiah-ism, Hal Lindsey and his Late Great Planet Earth.
This from the TAPPED Archive at The American Prospect:
These people have been using the same kind of "evidence" to predict an imminent rapture for centuries, and always to great disappointment.
How exactly will gay people having the right to marry and women having the right to choose "threaten the freedom" of religious conservatives?
Prophecy in most current Christian dialogue applies mainly to two separate but related ideas.
The first idea is that which might be entitled Prophecy: the Key to the Christian Future. Prophecy in this context refers to biblical verses that refer to future times and not biblical times. These include remarks by Jesus, Old Testament prophets and New Testament writers (although historical research has determined that the authorship of writing attributed to early apostles is highly questionable.)
Principal interest in End Times prophecies focuses on but is not limited to Jesus' and Paul's discourses on the last days. In other words, prophecies concerning the coming apocalyptic kingdom of God - with assistance from the Book of Revelation whose authorship traditionally is ascribed to the Apostle John.
End times as a religious speculation is usually referred to as eschatology.
The second idea of prophecy is one practiced within the more charismatic or Pentecostal churches which place greater emphasis on the Holy Spirit as a medium of both communion with God and communication between congregation members. The latter of course seems to be primarily communication from the pulpit or television platform issued to the congregation. Also known among TV evangelists as "throwing the book at them."
Spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues are more widely accepted and expected within these congregations and are regarded as signs of God's spirit forcing holy wordage from humans.
Speaking in tongues - also known as glossolalia - was something the occurred quite frequently during the early years of the Mormon church. Brigham Young was one of the most frequent and powerful practitioners. However, once established and with expanding influence, the LDS institutionalized their religion. Today speaking in tongues is frowned upon and normally considered a tool of Satan in the Mormon Church. The LDS of course have their own specific End Times theology that anticipates Jesus returning in the clouds but making his landing either in Salt Lake City or the LDS New Jerusalem just outside Kansas City.
Key to the idea of End Times prophecy and its popularity today is the understanding that Jesus for most Christians has promised to return to Earth a second time.
Awareness of Jesus' promise was prevalent and acute immediately after the time of his crucifixion and resurrection. Many contemporary scholars have adduced that the tone and meaning of many New Testament letters and epistles were written with an immediacy of the Second Coming in mind - Jesus' return was expected to happen shortly after his departure .
For example, some of the more radical views of Paul concerning celibacy have been equated with a belief that the End Time was so near, pro-creating children and raising them would not be possible and was therefore a waste of time.
There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. (Mt.16:27,28)
and [Jesus to the high priest]
...hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Mt.26:64)
However, contemporary End Timer's of the Schofield Bible and John Darby persuasion are having none of that. End Times along with Pre-Millenial and Post-Millenial theologies is serious stuff - so serious that the Hagee crowd has formalized its support of Israel. These folks intend to help Jesus return by getting the Holy Land back into the its boundary extensions portrayed in Biblical prophecy so that the rest of the Revelation horror can commence.
Over the centuries, originally driven by the ascension of a singularly dominant form of the earliest Christian power base (Roman Catholicism), more emphasis was placed on a future rather than immediate return of Jesus. This then an act of cunning which made the Second Coming a more valuable tool for crowd control through manipulation, fear, shame and guilt.
These supposed future promises have remained unfulfilled now for over 2000 years. Despite a history of an assortment of sects who have unsuccessfully predicted and prepared in vain for a specific moment of Jesus' return, Literalist Christians in general have never wavered nor given up on their hopes and expectations of that triumphant and vengeful return that will justify and validate End Timers.
The penultimate novel of the Left Behind series was aptly entitled by LaHaye and Jenkins Glorious Appearing.
There are many well-written Internet articles defining, in support of and critical of the Rapture concept. One excellent article entitled "The Rapture Theory: its Surprising Origin".
It is in this End Times context that folks apparently are running around wild-eyed about whether or not Obama is Satan's Imp. Again from the TAPPED archive
In fact, a quick google search of "Bill Clinton Anti-Christ" turns up an old article on Worldnetdaily arguing that -- you guessed it, Bill Clinton is the anti-Christ. Given a topic of such importance, should Newsweek spend a little more time considering a few other candidates for anti-Christdom? After all, Todd Strindberg, the owner of "Raptureready" and the source mentioned in the lede, put Clinton on a list of candidates that included Barney the Dinosaur, John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II. Strindberg wrote solemnly:
"A number of folks have e-mailed me saying, "Clinton is Satan's pet." I came across information posted in newsgroups and websites that add up William Jefferson Clinton numerologically to total 666."
Christian fundamentalist and Christian liberal thinking do not so much collide over the issue of the End Times as much as differ in how and why the scriptural references and subsequent speculations have come to be.
Liberal Christians who believe in a literal Second Coming would differ in the imagined portrayals of what that might look like. Where the Left Behind literalists expect Jesus to forcefully set things straight, justify and take the righteous immediately to heaven before setting the dogs of war and tribulation loose upon the left-behind unrighteous, liberal Christians see a time when a return appearance by The Lord involves more of a conciliatory New Beginning activity consistent with the concept of a God of Compassion.
Yet other Liberal Christians have little or no belief or expectation of Jesus coming at the nadir of human crisis to intervene and make things right. Rather, these liberal Christians believe that an improved future lies in a reformation or revitalization of human values and attitudes.
Fundamentalist-literalist Christians have an emotional investment in the Rapture and associated Tribulations. These involve the ultimate intervention of Jesus in world affairs with its implied justification and validation of believers' attitude, outlook and supportive actions.
It has been said that a fundamentalist is someone angry about something which might explain the aggressive hostility to those who do not see the Bible, Christian doctrine and Prophecy in the same light. Seeing themselves as living among people who are wicked and deserving of hell-fire feeds a personal psychology of religious heroism, suffering and endurance which God must surely reward.
They are a frightened people who do not seem to understand that the lack of faith they perceive in others is in fact their own lack of faith. The End Times as sold in Christian bookstores has as its basis a lack of faith in the power of God and the implied irrational assumption that the King of Heaven - Mighty as He is - cannot accomplish anything without the mortal intervention of human foot soldiers.
If God does not come down, take names and kick butt and then leave doubters behind, fundamentalist theology itself would be defined as mere current superstition based on a more ancient set of superstitions whose validity has become - to a frightened number of literalists - irrelevant.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This weekend's required reading for those who are offended but who aren't afraid to look into the mirror.

Whether you sing in the choir, preach to the choir or cater to the choir ... there are many in the choir who are oblivious to the sour-sounding music the choir makes.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

 As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage. 
I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks. 
 1. I can, if I wish, arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time. 
 6. When I am told about our national heritage or about civilization, I am shown that people of my color made it what it is. 
 17. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.  
For this reason, the word privilege now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to overempower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one's race or sex.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A ringing endorsement ... why, if you are ignorant and uninformed ... you should vote for McMorris-Rodgers

If the way of things is for you to take advice from any old Kindergarten Konservative, here's your chance to do a big belly flop into the shallow end of the pool where most of your political friends are splashing around.

Ann Coulter Urges: Just Vote For Any 'Crap-Ass' GOPer

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Most Powerful Republican Woman in Congress and her faulty political, economic and social thinking

Cathy McMorris-Rodgers will tell you many things and give you many reasons why you should send her back to Washington so she can keep NOT DOING the things she was elected to do.

Take a look at the following summaries of how ignorant her party assumes us to be.

Why This MattersThese things really matter. We all want to fix the terrible problems the country has. But it is so important to know just what the problems are before you decide how to fix them. Otherwise the things you do to try to solve those problems might just make them worse – just as laying off government workers in a recession makes unemployment worse.
If we get tricked into thinking that Obama has made things worse and that we should go back to what we were doing before Obama – tax cuts for the rich, giving giant corporations and Wall Street everything they want, when those are the things that caused the problems in the first place – then we will be in real trouble.

Friday, August 8, 2014

OK you guys ... tough-talking impeachers ... put up (I dare you) ... or shut up

Polls Show GOP Base Has Impeachment Fever, Even As Party Leaders Run From It

Come on you guys ... what's a matter Colonel Sanders ... chicken?
Polls conducted last month by CNN/ORC, Fox News and Rasmussen Reports all found close to 60 percent of Republicans in favor of impeaching and removing Obama from office.
Each poll found that wide majorities of the public at large — and virtually every other demographic group — oppose impeachment.
 After all, Kindergarten Konservatism is nothing if not reckless.

"Such a calculation — amnesty-by-fiat to deliberately court impeachment — is breathtakingly cynical. But clever. After all, there is no danger of impeachment succeeding," Krauthammerwrote. "There will never be 67 votes in the Senate to convict. But talking it up is a political bonanza for Democrats, stirring up an otherwise listless and dispirited base. Last Monday alone the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $1 million from anti-impeachment direct mail."
Pick up NRA-backed weapon ... Ready .... aim at foot ..... FIRE.

I think you guys should go for it.

I wish you would.

Couldn't pass a civics test if their life depended on it

Next time you think you have the best say as to who comes in and who can't come in ... this speaker has the truest point to be made. Run and hide, or invest 90 seconds and watch it ... then be honest with yourself ... go home and look in the mirror.

WATCH: That Awkward Moment When Anti-Immigration Protesters Realize They're Immigrants Too
Note the size of the crowd at the beginning of the video as opposed to when the camera pans back about 30 seconds in.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The original illegals deserving deporting were white guys and some of their dumber descendants are expecting to win the next election.

Tell me over and over again ... why would you vote for any Republican who would do this?

Cathy McMorris-Rodgers is one poster child for focusing on all the wrong stuff and doing no good for our district. She and her party are demonstrating a total lack of knowing which way the wind is blowing.

Republicans Become the Party of "Deport 'Em All" -Joan McCarter, Daily Kos

A girl wears a

Your Republican Leadership gave up. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, the most powerful Republican woman in Congress, along with her fellow honchos ... just plain gave up. They handed power to the craziest elements of their party in Congress.

Joan McCarter:
After the leadership's first attempt to bring bills to the floor on Thursday failed, Speaker Boehner and his team just gave up and handed the mess over to the crazies. The result was two bills basically crafted for Cruz and his House minions, Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN). And, of course, the rest of the Republican caucus followed along behind, passing legislation that even the Republican stalwart Wall Street Journal finds deplorable. 
[WSJ]"The House GOP looked ready Friday to pass a bill to address the influx of children over the Southwest border, though not before providing another spectacle of internal disarray. The bill should have been a moment to redirect attention to President Obama's cynical handling of the border problem and to the Democratic Party's immigration divisions. Instead the GOP again gave the country the impression that its highest policy priority is to deport as many children as rapidly as possible back from wherever they came."
That's not just an impression the Republicans are giving, that's their policy. Nothing says that more clearly than the fact leadership caved to Cruz and turned policy-making over to Bachmann and King. Not everyone in the conference might have been happy with that, but almost all of them voted for it. Republicans now own the fact that their official policy is, in the words of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) "Deport 'em all." They own that, and they carry it into November.

Welfare Rancher Bundy and His version of Republican Jesus ... two shoot-em-up Kindergarten Konservatives saved by the Graces and Tender Mercies

Silly Section Nomination here ...

The Lord talks to Cliven Bundy? When the Cliven speaks the discussion is over ... far as he's concerned.  Personally I think the Lord oughta be telling Bundy to lose that hat and go on a belly diet ... folks talkin to God need to look more ascetic than a rancher who shows up ta meeting in a big hat with a big overstuffed ego.

Bundy: Showdown with Feds a Spiritual Battle

The disagreement with federal officials over whether Bundy has a right to graze his cattle on "public" lands without paying government fees remained the focus of the summit's finale, but much of the dialogue delved into spiritual influences.
The Independent American Party draws much of its inspiration from statements made by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the majority of its members are LDS and Utah residents, although Gneiting said the party is not about doctrines specific to the Mormon religion or any other faith that believes in the biblical "providence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
The LDS church does not endorse any political party, although its Utah members are heavily conservative and Republican.
Even so, Bundy's and Mack's comments were largely couched in the language of the believer and the gathering at times took on the spirit of a revival.
"If our (U.S.) Constitution is an inspired document by our Lord Jesus Christ, then isn't it scripture?" he asked. 
"Yes," a chorus of voices replied. 
"Isn't it the same as the Book of Mormon and the Bible?" Bundy asked. 
"Absolutely," the audience answered. 
Bundy's daughter-in-law, Briana, spoke of how the members of the family fasted and prayed for the spirit of their forefathers to be with them as they prepared on horseback to defy the Bureau of Land Management's efforts to impound cattle deemed to be "trespassing" on federal lands. 
The Bundys pointed out that the family was unarmed when the initial confrontation with federal agents turned violent, and Mack referred to a Book of Mormon account of women "softening the hearts" of a militant enemy in praising Bundy's daughters and daughters-in-law for helping to bring about a peaceful resolution. 
"If the standoff with the Bundys was wrong, would the Lord have been with us?" Bundy asked, noting that no one was killed as tensions escalated. "Could those people that stood without fear and went through that spiritual experience … have done that without the Lord being there? No they couldn't." 
Bundy also cited personal inspiration from God in establishing his course of action."The Lord told me ... if (the sheriff doesn't) take away these arms (from federal agents), we the people will have to face these arms in a civil war. He said, 'This is your chance to straighten this thing up,'" Bundy said.

UPDATE: 08/07/14

Welfare Rancher Bundy: Divine Inspiration has told me to Disarm the Feds

"I have no idea what God wants done, but he did inspire me to have the sheriffs across the United States take away these weapons, disarm these bureaucracies, and he also gave me a little inspiration on what would happen if they didn’t do that," Bundy said, according to the Tribune. "It was indicated that 'this is our chance, America, to straighten this problem up. If we don’t solve this problem this way, we will face these same guns in a civil war.'" 

UPDATE; 08/10/14

Kirby (Salt Lake Tribune): Prayer - Hearing What you Want 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

McMorris-Rodgers campaign ads: No honesty, No substance and John Boehner's Monster

Go ahead, take a moment to really pay attention to Ms. McMorris-Rodgers reelection campaign ad. Then, experience someone else's perspective, say from "Satan's Designated Driver?"

As I've done many times before with powerful writings like Wright's, I challenge you who read and disagree to make a genuine qualitative denial or rebuttal to his opinions. I also challenge you copy-and-paste Kindergarten Konservatives who lack direction to find someone you admire who could do the rebutting for you so your next copy-and-paste will have something of substance to it other than your own Howdy Doodie laziness.

Jim Wright on John Boehner’s Monster

"Six years. Six fucking years of birth certificates and fake social security numbers and the imminent End of Days and Biblical Antichrists and teleprompters and FEMA death camps and secret reeducation centers and 911 truthiness and supposed gayness and Michelle’s sex change and Black Panthers and Tea Parties and Communists and Nazis and Socialists and Arabs and gun grabbing and Israel hating and death panels and painting over Old Glory on Air Force one and killing his own ambassadors and killing Breitbart and killing the kids at Sandy Hook and killing the soldiers at Fort Hood (twice) and NOT killing bin Laden and spilling oil in the Gulf of Mexico and HAARPing himself up a hurricane to punish New Jersey and disappearing Malaysian airliners and ordering IRS outrages and alien reptile lizards from the 4th Dimension and Sharia Law and, well, it just goes on and on and on.
... Six years they’ve been telling us Obama is going to destroy America.  And every year it gets louder and more shrill and more strident and more panicked and more desperately insane. 
And yet – and yet – far from an America destroyed, our nation has steadily improved day by day, month after month, year after year during the entirety of Obama’s Administration. We are better off here in the United States than we have ever been and better off than nearly anywhere else on the planet.
 Jim Wright is a retired US Navy Chief Warrant Officer and freelance writer. He lives in Alaska where he watches American politics in a perpetual state of amused disgust. He's been called the Tool of Satan, but he prefers the title: Satan's Designated Driver. He is the mind behind  Stonekettle Station Blog and FB Page

More than once I’ve heard the refrain from friends and family with whom I maintain a passing “relativity” that I just flat out read too much.

It’s a problem I’ve been stuck with most of  my life … reading too much which is then followed up the equally destructive addiction of thinking too much about what I’ve been reading.

I’ve recently been given to more fully understand that the solution to all the problems in our country are essentially encountered in the simple (or was it simplistic?) minds of the simple (or was it simplistic?) followers of the Reflublican party and its cheerleaders.

The key is in reducing complex issues into powerful straight forward but brief clarifications. For example, unfounded concerns about climate change, pollution and ozone layers has been reduced to the straight forward clearing up of any confusion with Limbaugh’s  dismissal of my concerns as the “neurotic hand wringing of tree hugging ‘environmentalist whackos.’"

Can it be any clearer than that?

And how could I have ever forgotten those years in the 80’s when I too was a devout dittohead and when Rush dismissed female equality issues as mere notorious “feminazism?”
Is there not something irrationally appealing about living in a world dominated by black-white certitude; where such things as nuances have no impact? That’s the beauty and loveliness of simple (or simplistic?) life in Right Country. There has to be security in that psychic foreclosure stuff.

But their certitude consigns them to what psychoanalyst Erik Erikson called the state of psychic foreclosure.
 Foreclosed persons are easily attracted to the beguilingly simple, one-size-fits-all belief systems of powerful others that they adopt as their own so as to avoid the sometimes lonely rigors of personal searching.  The foreclosed are the ready disciples of demagogues in every age. – Psychologist Paul Ginetty
It really isn’t about logic or common sense.

It really isn’t “I just wannabe loved.”

It’s more of “I want to be singing in the same choir and on the same page as somebody who is simply (or simplistically) famous, influential and popular among my friends.”

No matter that I sacrifice my individuality and intellectual integrity so long as I am loved and respected by all my fellow sacrificers. We are they who willingly shout “Amen!” to the simple (simplistic?) profound declarations of the national blowhards - those talkers who willingly admit to never having read up on or pursued knowledgeable command of the topic they wish to deride.
It’s not about that kind of sacrifice … its about inclusion and a “brothers-in-uninformed-arms” intimacy with a voice on a radio. UPDATE

As professor Paul Ginetty wrote,
 "They get a chance to feel real smart when the master seems to agree with them, failing to see that it is actually they who are agreeing with him."
Yes, if I want to calm down and retire to a life of ignorant bliss I should repent, reconvert to dittoheadedness and join the Reflublican Party so that I too can enjoy a life of simplistic simple-mindedness.
… maybe even stake out a booth at the local Elk Snout Tavern where as a disciple I can spread the shallow gospel of simple arrogant ignorance.

Update 11:00 a.m. Sunday 08/03/14  What passes for "logic" in Reflublicanville:

 "Apparently, if Obama is using his executive authority to advance a policy House Republicans support, it’s a meritorious exercise of presidential authority; if he uses that same authority to aid a policy they oppose, it’s time to write up articles of impeachment." - Dana Milbank, WaPo

Friday, August 1, 2014

Did we elect her to be the 5th Congressional District Hypocrite?

Now tell me again ... why should we re re-elect Ms. McMorris-Rodgers, one of the drivers of the Reflublican Klown Kar?

To their credit, some House Republican recognize the pure hypocrisy of the message they are sending to President Obama on border security. After Thursday's fiasco, when House leadership had to pull their border crisis response bill, thanks to de fact Speaker Ted Cruz's interference, nominal Speaker Boehner issued a statement on behalf of leadership saying, in part, "There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries." That's a day after they sued President Obama for executive overreach.Hypocrisy?
You bet, say some Republicans.
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer lambasted House Republicans for the "ridiculous" move on Thursday night.
"It is ridiculous to sue the president on a Wednesday because he oversteps the law, as he has done a dozen times illegally and unconstitutionally," the conservative commentator said on Fox, "and then on a Thursday say that he should overstep the law, contradict the law that passed in 2008 and deal with this himself."
Cole wasn't alone in recognizing the problem here, and that's why Boehner was "mobbed"by members demanding a vote yesterday immediately after the original bill was pulled. Not acting on immigration, and then saying the president could go it alone the day after suing him for doing just that, is even worse than missing a day of vacation. Go figure.
"Look, you can't say on the one hand that the president is overreaching by acting without legislative authority and direction and then refuse to give him legislative authority and direction in another area," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a frequent voice of moderation in the House GOP conference, said on MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown." 

Ten Reasons Why Religion Belongs in School ...

And nobody better contest the idea that the reasons are global and universal, eh?

"Madrasa" (Arabic: مدرسة, madrasah, pl. مدارس, madāris) is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious (of any religion). 
Variously transliterations appear: madrasah, madarasaa, medresa, madrassa, madraza, medrese, etc. In the West, the word usually refers to a specific type of religious school or college for the study of the Islamic religion, though this may not be the only subject studied. 
As of 2004 20,000 madrasas educated over 1.5 million students per year.[1] Not all students in madrasas are Muslims; there is also a modern curriculum.[2] In Bosnia it's called medresa, and it means islamic high school. - Wikipedia

If it's somethin' weird an' it don't look good Who ya gonna call?

Better not waste yer time on the Cathy McMorris-Rodgers crew
If it's somethin' weird an' it don't look good Who ya gonna call?

Behaving badly and pretending to do it on our behalf

Our most real border problem: Kowards of the Kounties defending our borders one stupid tragedy at a time.

Dave Niewart

After stumbling out of the gate last month, militia activists in Texas are now appearing along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a vigilante campaign to “secure our border” in the midst of a refugee crisis involving unaccompanied children from Central America.
According to a handful of news reports out of Texas, the militiamen – who initially were nowhere to be seen after publicizing their plans last month – are now conducting patrols in some areas in hopes of stopping incursions by border crossers.
The San Antonio Express-News published a report this week that listed some of the groups that have been involved in the patrols and included numerous photos of the militiamen.
Strikingly, the patrols are being organized secretively, and all the militiamen involved have insisted on anonymity.

But for all you copy-and-paste non-critically-thinking and apparently at a junior high level of civic maturity ....

I have no desire to defend a sitting U.S. President who - along with his administration seems perfectly capable of defending the country, themselves, their party AND you and me against the silliness and rhetoric that is passed off as genuine patriotic concern for this country, its future and our children.

But for all you copy-and-paste non-critically-thinking and apparently at a junior high level of civic maturity ....

start right here and now ... your own study of what it means to be a political crook and liar. Until you do, everything you copy-paste-and-post is only more silliness.

Gird up your loins, your integrity and your courage and respond to this:

The War Card
"As part of its investigation into the false statements made by top Bush administration officials leading up to the Iraq war, the Center for Public Integrity has just released an interactive database where you can search who said what, when."
...  The Center examined every public pronouncement by President Bush and seven top officials on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and on the links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. They concluded that eight individuals — President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House Press Secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan — made 935 false statements from September 11, 2001 to September 11, 2003.
Who had the biggest problem with the truth? That honor goes to President Bush, who made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 false statements about Iraq’s connections with Al Qaeda. The runner-up, Colin Powell, made 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction and 10 about Al Qaeda links.
Search the interactive 935 Iraq War false statements database by clicking on an individual’s photo to see a timeline, as well as the statements in full."

Thursday, July 31, 2014

On Critical Thinking: My Mind Is Made Up! Don't confuse by asking me to think ...

Five Infuriating Examples of Facts Making People Dumber - Chris Mooney, Mother Jones

On Monday, I reported on the latest study to take a bite out of the idea of human rationality. In a paper just published in Pediatrics, Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth University and his colleagues showed that presenting people with information confirming the safety of vaccines triggered a "backfire effect," in which people who already distrusted vaccines actually became less likely to say they would vaccinate their kids.

In that regard, here's Barbara Ehrenreich

“When our children are old enough, and if we can afford to, we send them to college, where despite the recent proliferation of courses on 'happiness' and 'positive psychology,' the point is to acquire the skills not of positive thinking but of *critical* thinking, and critical thinking is inherently skeptical. The best students -- and in good colleges, also the most successful -- are the ones who raise sharp questions, even at the risk of making a professor momentarily uncomfortable. Whether the subject is literature or engineering, graduates should be capable of challenging authority figures, going against the views of their classmates, and defending novel points of view.”  

In the absence of doing your homework, you let someone else give you talking points and acting points ... things you can say or do that at first glance seem to work for you.

You don't question, search, ponder or pray ... you just start talking and acting according to someone else's coaching.

Like so many who appear in the sensational stories of broadcast media ... you don't fully know or understand what you are talking about.

By merely mouthing someone else's opinion (which honesty requires you acknowledge rather than pretend that you thought of it yourself) you remove all doubt as to whether or not you know what you are talking about. Anyone with even a passing practice of critical thinking will see that - even in the tavern where BS flows at the same rate as the beer.

Take it from someone who has by experience learned that fact the hard way.
Do your homework before you open your mouth or write your piece.

Study things out in your mind, take time to learn and understand what you want to speak to ... and own up to it when you have mis-spoken or written something that is not true.

Then compose your own expressions of how you feel. No matter how well or poorly you speak and write, the more you write and speak, the better you'll get at it.

Let real honesty govern what you say ... your honesty.
Not the grandstand honesty coached by someone telling you how.

Ponder this quote from a sitting American President in 1958.

"It is difficult indeed to maintain a reasoned and accurately informed understanding of our defense situation on the part of our citizenry when many prominent officials, possessing no standing or expertness as they themselves claim it, attempt to further their own ideas or interests by resorting to statements more distinguished by stridency than by accuracy."- *Dwight Eisenhower 

If She's so Powerful and Interested in what happens in Washington State how come ...

And while we're talking about suing presidents and speaking of Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, show me any non-Reflublican candidate in any non-Reflublican party who promises to sue Reflublicans

for gross negligence in doing right by their country,

for wasting public funds on nonsense

and for deliberate opposition to any meaningful socially-redeeming legislation

... and you'll know who gets my vote.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Kowards of the Kounty ... The toughest shoot-happy American patriots in the country. 

Why ... I'll bet George Washington, John Adams, Tom Paine, Sam Houston and Davy Crockett wouldn't THINK of rolling over in their graves at the sight of these straight-shooting Bull Shippers ... 

Tea Party, KKK and Bundy-Style Militia Message: Shoot Immigrant Children

Sitting in the Dallas Morning News editorial meeting earlier this year, Texas Tea Party candidate Chris Mapp said that,
Ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land and referred to such people as “wetbacks.”

P'raps them over-stuffed-cowboy hats could ask Ted Nugent to write them a new bigoted national anthem, after all, he recenty lost a job ...

Coeur d'Alene Tribe cancels Ted Nugent concert over 'racist" remarks

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Niece Has Gone Missing

#Missing - Jennifer Huston, age 38, of #Dundee, Oregon, was last seen at a Circle K gas station in #Newberg#Oregon around 6 p.m. July 24th, 2014. Since then, she hasn’t contacted her family and no credit card activity was recorded. Huston's cell phone has been off since Thursday night, and detectives have tried to ping her phone hourly with no response. 

Huston, a mother of two, was wearing black yoga pants, black-and-pink Nike shoes and driving a dark-green 1999 Lexus LX-470 with the license plate number WXH-011. She is 5’7” tall, average build, with blond shoulder-length hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information about Huston’s whereabouts, please contact Detective Ryan Simmons with the Newberg-Dundee Police (503) 538-8321 or 911.

To assist with missing persons and wanted fugitive cases on Facebook at: and follow on Twitter at:


The Weekend Silly section Golden Doofus winner: Ken Ham

Ken Ham wants to end the U.S. space program because the aliens are all going to hell -

Ham does concede that the Bible does not specifically mention whether or not there is alien life. However, he is skeptical.
“And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel,” Ham wrote. “You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin — the Savior of mankind.”
Ham's Blog Post 
 Well, I'll tell ya ...

I better check in on what them folks want our kids ta learn when they're sitting is school being confused cause they couldn't say a prayer before takin a test.

If our textbooks have got ta have stickers on them sayin such and such is only a theory, then by gum we need to apply the rule across the board startin with the 3 R's and includin the Bible.

Readin: Warning youngster - the words you're about to read are only the product of a theory and can only be proven by "faith". That means that you have to trust what you read is tellin you somethin useful. If you read a word you don't understand, look it up in the dictionary. But remember, what a dictionary says is only a theory too and it might not be true.

Writin: Warning youngster - writin is the way you make your own readin show up in words. That means that what you want to say will only be a theory and them who read what ya write are not supposed to believe your words. Instead they have to prove to themselves about what you say by "faith." Now faith is also only a theory that must be proven. So ya see, everything you read and write and say and do and think and feel are only theories which you must prove by faith - which is also a theory.

Gettin complicated for ya?

Well that's what yer smart parents think is the best for you to grow up and be as smart as they think they are. By the way, that ain't the way they grew up to be as smart as they are.

Rithmatic: This is where it gets good. Any number you see is only a theory. So if I have two apples in my hand, that means that I'm holding two theoretical things that might or might not be apples. And an "apple" is a theory about a certain kind of "fruit" which - theoretically- is something that grew once before gettin killed by harvestin, but still tastes sweet - even if it is dead - and is good for ya ta eat. But then eatin only fer pleasure might be sinful which again is only a theory.

Anyway, I have two theoretical apples in my two hands which are theoretical products of evolution which is ... (you guessed it - a theory). Or them apples may be the product "intelligent design" - what some of yer parents says ain't a theory cause they read it in their not-a-theory Bible.

I don't know why the Bible isn't considered a theory but for many grown-ups it ain't. But fair is fair and if yer folks learned that the Bible isn't theory by exercisin their own faith then by gum what was good enough fer them'll be good enough fer you.

So New Rule: The Bible contains theories that must be proven by faith.

Now back to rithmatic: I have two (which may or may not be an accurate count) apples (which may or may not be apples.) And you ask me to give you one - theoretically. Now if I ain't theoretically selfish and you look theoretically needy or deservin, I might theoretically decide to "share" (a theoretical virtue) and give you one half of how many apples I'm holdin in my theoretical hands.

What's that you say?

How do you know a half is really a half? You just have to take it on faith you uppity little whippersnapper.

See what I mean?

In order to make schoolin consistent and the same way all across the board, were gonna have to post a sticker on the Bible that says "Contains theories that can only be proven by faith."

Well, it's a start but I'd hate to be teachin a Sunday School class for kids or adults using these here criterias.

And what hell there'd be to pay tryin to teach kids about theoretical birds and bees whose lusty behavior has to be taken on faith.

Doofusness; The incumbent sitting Lame Duck American President

It's a vanity issue. For Mr. Trump that means he must satisfy Mr. Hannity, Ms. Coulter and these kind folks: On Networks and ...

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