Ms. Dominique

Ms. Dominique
Ms. Dominique

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Worst Movie of All Time: Frailty

When people think about "The Worst Movie of All Time" they usually pick on poor _Plan 9 from Outer Space_ (1959)

This doesn't seem fair to me, because this film had no money, no acting talent, and no studio support.

To be the "worst" film, in my thinking, it should be a film that had everything going for it, then threw it all away.

This is why I think _Frailty_ (2001) is the world film of all time.

I am not suggesting that the film be censored, just expressing my opinion that this film, which had the potential to be a film of great importance, was instead turned into a B-movie with a stupid Stephen King-style ending.

Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in a theater in 1942
watching the film _Casablanca_. You've reached the point in the
film when the characters are all gathered at the airport.
Suddenly, the U.S. army attacks, led by Gen. Patton (played by
John Wayne) and they round up all the Nazis and shoot them in the
-- end of story.

This is the feeling I had watching _Frailty_. Both my son and I left the
theater stunned at the bizarre (and incredibly stupid) turn at the end.
Personally, I suspect that there must have been some hanky-panky at
Lions Gate studio that led to this bizarre turn in what had been, up to
the last ten minutes of the film a potentially excellent film, into a
piece of silly trash. And I think I know where this bizarre ending came

During the last 25 years, I have felt more and more concerned about
the growing right-wing Christian culture. Surely you can see, in
the enormous popularity of Tim LaHaye's awful end-of-the-world
"Left Behind" series of novels (for example) that many people are
beginning to accept the idea of a Christian jihad against secularists,
humanists and non-believers.

The message of this film is that the end of the world is here and it's
alright to go out and kill "demons." As one of those people who have
been "demon-ized" by the far right, I am concerned. And I think you
should be concerned, too.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Freud, Sigmund - Drug use


Most people familiar with the career of Dr. Sigmund
Freud, the founder of psychanalysis, are aware of the scandal of
cocaine use in his early career. As a young doctor, Freud
experimented with cocaine and even promoted its use as a sort of
cure-all for a variety of physical and psychological ailments.
Eventually Freud became aware of the addictive power of cocaine
and stopped promoting its use. Cocaine addiction was common in
the 19th century, and Freud's cocaine use has been popularized in
books and films, including _The Seven-Percent Solution_. Many of
Freud's followers are, to this day, a bit touchy about this
episode in Freud's early career. But it looks now like a new Freud
scandal is looming on the horizon.

A new book _Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity_ includes a
chapter "Freud in the Garden of Good and Evil" which presents
irrefutable evidence from the memoirs of Freud's son, Martin, that
Freud involved his children in "mushroom-hunting expeditions"
looking for hallucinogenic mushrooms. Freud often took his family
on vacations in the Alps, and there he organized his children on
mushroom hunts where they searched for the Amanita Muscaria
mushrooms that grow in mountain forests.

This variety of mushroom has been recognized by Europeans as
a powerful hallucinogen since the early 18th century when travelers
brought back reports of its use as an intoxicant by Siberian
hunters. It is likely that Freud, while doing research on primitive
religious practices, came across reports of its use and began his
own experiments, using his children to help him locate areas where
the mushrooms grow. Fairly large quantities of the mushroom are
needed to create a prolonged hallucinogenic "trip" and this would
explain why Freud involved his children in the search for these
elusive mushrooms.

In Martin Freud's memoir _Sigmund Freud: Man and Father_, he
describes the Amanita mushrooms but he is clearly unaware of their
hallucinogenic properties. It wasn't until some years after the
publication of this memoir that scholars outside of the fields of
ethnography and biology became familiar with this Amanita species,
which explains why this episode in Freud's career remained obscure
to Freud's many biographers.

It is an open question as to how much Freud's experiences
may be documented in his papers, which have for many years been
tightly controlled by a small group of Freud's followers. If
evidence of such experimentation is a part of Freud's papers, it
may help to explain why access to his writings has been closely
guarded for so many years. Like his cocaine use, it is also a
question how much this episode in Freud's career may have influenced
his writings, including _Civilization and Its Discontents_ and
_Totem and Taboo_.

Earl Lee, author of _Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity_,
discovered the reference to the amanita mushrooms in Martin Freud's
memoir while doing research for his book _Drakulya_, which deals
with occultism and psychology in the 19th century England.

publication date: Sept. 1, 1998
ISBN: 0-7864-0548-1
$25 [144] pp. softcover, notes, bibliography, index.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

X-mas story

Yes, Virginia, there is a Jesus.

I know this because he mows my boss's yard every other Thursday.

Or maybe you're thinking about the illegal they call Little Jesus.
He works at the meatpacking plant, or at least he did until last week
when the INS guys raided the plant and sent him back to Mexico.

Or, then again, maybe you're thinking about the Jesus who is the
mayor of Garden City, Kansas. A republican woman (who was just
elected to State Bored of Education) said that he wasn't born in this
country and he had no business serving as mayor. But Jesus says that
he was born in Garden City and so was his Dad, ... but she's not so
sure about that.

Then, of course, there is the Jesus that the Southern Baptists talk
about. That Jesus hates Catholics, homosexuals, liberal Democrats,
and a lot of other people. That Jesus is not so sure about women or
blacks, either.

I guess there's a Jesus who goes to the Catholic church, too. He
hates protestants, Moslems, communists, atheists, abortion doctors
and women who use birth control. I've never met this Jesus, but I
think he must have a son, Jesus, Jr., because I read in the newspaper
that a catholic boy named Jesus accused the priest of molesting him.
I don't know what Jesus, Sr., thinks about this, but he still goes to
that same church anyway. I guess Jesus, Sr., must really like church
a lot, because he still goes there and takes communion from the
people who molested his little boy, Jesus, Jr..

Anyway, yes, Virginia, there is a Jesus. There are lots of Jesuses,
and some of them are nice guys and some of them are not....

If you enjoyed this, you might want to read: _Raptured: The Final
Daze of the Late, Great Planet Earth_

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Golden Compass movie

Last night we invited about two dozen students from the creative writing program over to our house for a get together. These kids (most are in their twenties) are all fairly bright people and got along very well. Even the Christian girl seems to get along with the gay couple .... up to a point.

At the end of the evening the gay couple got up to leave, and they suggested that they were going to catch the late show of _The Golden Compass_. At this point, the Christian girl jumped up and asked them *not* to go to this movie, because it was based on a children's book written by an atheist (English author Philip Pullman). I found the whole scene a bit surreal. She seemed (as far as I could tell) to have no problem with the fact that they were a gay couple, but the idea that they might go see this film, which she assumed was some kind of atheist propaganda... or at the very least an enticement that might lead children to read the book... well, for some reason this really bothered her.

Frankly, I am bothered by the fact that christians can promote all sorts of horrid crap, like the sado-masochist and anti-Semitic film _The Passion of the Christ_ and even show this film (now on DVD) to small children in their churches. There is no telling how much severe psychological damage has been caused by this disgusting film. The night I was at the theater, there were many people crying and emotionally crushed by this piece of propaganda.

At the same time, Christians have no problem attacking _The Golden Compass_ without having bothered to see it. The fact that the book was written by an atheist is sufficient reason to condemn the film.

As much as Christian groups like to pretend that they are being persecuted, it is the atheists who are shunned and boycotted by these small-minded bigots.

It's easy to see why the Catholic church hates this film, since it is an attack on authoritarian religions. But why do evangelicals attack the film? Aren't all these Protestants supposed to be anti-authoritarian too?

I guess just being smeared with the atheist label is enough.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Who's Stupid Now ?

A couple of Christian pundits have taken me to task for my book _Raptured: The Final Daze of the Late, Great Planet Earth_. The general sense of their comments is:

"Do you think all Christians are stupid, or what?"

To me this question misses the point. None of these Right-wing evangelicals care about my opinion, so why do they ask? Similarly the Pope in Rome (Joe "the Rat" Ratzinger) couldn't care less about my opinion, nor do any of his followers. Obviously, they are not going to be buying my book anyway -- unless they enjoy books that mock loony Right-wing Protestants (as opposed to the loony Right-wing Catholics, who recently elected an ex-Nazi to be Pope).

So why do they care what I say? Why do they even ask?

I think this comes from a deep-seated fear that Right-wing evangelicals have about the leaders of their religion. They look at men like Richard Roberts, Pat Robertson, James Dobson and wonder this same question:

"Do you think all Christians are stupid, or what?"

The reason for this fear, this intense self-depreciation is that these "men of God" these "religious leaders" treat the people in their ministries as if they were complete morons.

For example, when a man dips into funds belonging to the ministry and then spends them on his own personal desires, doesn't this suggest a contempt for Christians? Doesn't embezzling money from a ministry suggest contempt for those people who donated their hard-earned dollars?

For example, Pat Robertson has made himself a millionaire several times over by using his ministry to advance his own private media empire. Some of the transgressions are obvious, like using planes belonging to a religious charity to move mining equipment in Africa, or using the 700 Club program to establish his own television network, which he later sold for many millions. More recently, Robertson has been hawking a high-protein shake and even demonstrated his new muscles in a fake weight-lifting demonstration. Robertson is so arrogant that he believes his followers will have no trouble accepting the idea that a man in in 70s can set a weight-lifting record by using a protein shake!!!

I wonder, when Pat wakes up in the morning, does he ever say:

"I shouldn't do this! The people in my ministry are too smart to ever fall for this silly crap."

Evidently not.

So if Christians want to escape the "stooopiddd" label, maybe they should take their leaders to task for abusing them, over and over and over again.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Holy Fraud

A person I know attends a small church with about twenty members (total). The minister recently, during one of his two-hour long sermons, announced that all the church members were going to have to go to Chicago for a one-day training session on how to do counseling with alcoholics and drug users. After the one-day training, they will start counseling people with addiction problems at the church.

This looks like one more example of George Bush's "faith based" scam. The church members will, after one day of training, be able to counsel drug addicts; and then the church will bill the federal government for this high-quality counseling. I'm sure the guys in Chicago also submit a bill to the feds for the training of these counselors. All-in-all this is just one more example of the "faith based" scam that--thanks to the Boob-in-Chief in Washington--allows churches to raid the federal treasury with no accountability and no standards of care.

What's even more grotesque is that I know for a fact that this minister believes that all mental and emotional problems are the work of demons. He doesn't believe in mental illness or psychological counseling, so all this counseling is going to be people praying over alcoholics and drug addicts. These people are going to counsel the addicts to read the Bible and pray to Jesus.

Do they really need to go to Chicago to learn how to do that? Or is it all about getting the money?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

more corruption and scandal

In my blogg of Monday, July 16, 2007 I suggested that many congressmen are not giving real value for our tax dollars. For example, disgraced Senator Vitter was found to have hired prostitutes, paying above $300 for single session. This seems extravagant, especially for someone from Louisianna who knows the $150 is typical for this kind of service (unless maybe he is just a really big tipper).

Now it seems we have another Republican politito, Coy Privette (R-NC), who actually gave his mistress a BLANK CHECK.

Yes, you heard it. He gave her a blank check for her services.

What was he thinking! It's not like he can use the excuse that, like Sen. David Vitter, R-La, he had developed bad habits after dealing with all those military contractors and no-bid construction contracts for Haliburton.

And this congressman was also, at one time, a minister! Did he ever see anyone throw a blank check into the collection plate? Not hardly.

Privette is 74 years old, a staunch social conservative and, until recently, President of the Christian Action League.

This is why you just can't trust Republicans with your tax dollars....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Swift Boat Liars for Bush...


Vet #1: People are not telling the truth about George Bush's war experience.

Vet #2: George Bush is just like a real war hero.

Vet #3: I knowed George Bush. I served with him in the Texas National Guard.

Vet #4: While John Kerry was off in Vietnam, shooting Gooks, George was right here in Texas, protecting American soil.

Vet #5: George is a real Texas patriot. And George REALLY knows how to have a good time, too!

Vet #6: If I was going on a road trip, I would want George right there next to me, riding shotgun.

Vet #7: I felt safe with George sitting next to me, a Coors in one hand and a rollin' a joint with the other.

Vet #8: And George sure knows where to go to have fun. He knows every bar and strip club in Texas, 'cause George has been to 'em all.

Vet #9: One time, in a bar in Austin, George had this blonde stripper givin' him a lap dance, and he was doing body shots off a different stripper, both at the same time!

Vet #10: There was this one stripper named Dixie. I think George was in love with her. He used to sit down front, next to the stage, and sing: 'I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray, Hooray! I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray, Hooray!'

Vet #11: And then he would say, Hey, Honey, do you know what a Bronski is? And before you could say Boo! George had his face shoved in her tits!

Vet #12: George got up on the bar and started dancing. He pulled his pants off and he was wearing a bra on his head!

Vet #13: And then we said, Come on, George, put your pants back on. She don't want to see your thing. And the rest of us have seen it. Lots of times.

Vet #14: This bouncer grabbed George and threw him out of the bar. But not before we smashed up a couple of chairs and set the men's toilet on fire!

Vet #15: I remember one time when we were in this bordello in Matamoros.

Vet #16: George was snortin' coke off of this Mexican whore's ass.

Vet #17: George still has a scar from when that pimp hit him with a beer bottle.

Vet #18: That cut started bleedin' like a sum-a-bitch. I think his Dad got him a Purple Heart for that action.

Vet #19: So get this! On the way home George had his head stuck out the window of the Ford Mustang. And he was puking all over the side of the car, while it was still moving!

Vet #20: Later that same night, George showed up at my sister's house. He had a six-pack of Coors in one hand and a bong in the other. Now that boy knows how to party!


(paid for by Crawford Bottling & Fine Liquor, Crawford, Texas)

Friday, August 24, 2007

If Mohammed had a car....

There has been a great deal of news coverage lately about my neighbor who lives across the street. He has been living in his car for over six years, after his wife kicked him out of the house. Here is the original story from the Joplin Globe:

A few days ago the wife was interviewed by the guys on the morning show at Rock 103 in Memphis. They elicited from the wife the fact that she kicked him out of the house after she found out that he was running around "partying" with the Doublemint Twins! Yes, one set of the Doublemint Twins (there were several sets of twins over the years hired to promote Doublemint gum) lives here in Pittsburg, Kansas.

By an odd coincidence, I recieved in the mail today a new pamphlet "Road map for a religion of violence... The Koran" from my anarchist friend, Fred Woodworth, who is the longtime publisher of an anarchist magazine, The Match! Fred points out some of the religious lunacy that found its way into the Koran.

Fred starts with the story of how one of Mohammed's wives, Hafsah, caught him in the sack with a slave girl. Apparantly, she had caught him boinking the slave girls before, and he had promised to stop. Mohammed then got very angry (about being caught) and so he wrote in the Koran that God permits him (Mohammed) to boink whoever he wants to, and his wives should shut the hell up about it or he (Mohammed) is permitted (By God!) to cast these wives aside, or worse. Mohammed includes a list of all the women he is allowed to boink, including all the female captives captured in battle and all of his female cousins (listed in the Koran as "the daughters of your paternal and maternal uncles and your paternal and maternal aunts"). Because God (here called Allah) is always very generous to his holy servants, God will also permit Mohammed to have sex with "any believing woman who gives herself to the Prophet...." I bet Bill Clinton wishes he had that kind of leeway.

Anyway, it's not hard to imagine that if Mohammed were alive today he would be living in a car (on blocks) in his wife's back yard. Instead of writing his holy book, he would be singing along with his radio, and maybe even singing classic rock songs. Who knows....

Anyone who wants a copy of Fred's pamphlet can write to him at The Match! PO Box 3012 Tucson AZ 85702. The pamphlets are free, but please help Fred out with a buck or two for postage.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shades of Joseph Smith

Today's paper includes a news story from Salina, Kansas, about a couple who were scammed out of $45,000 by a couple of confidence men. These swindlers convinced the couple that a treasure trove of gold coins was buried under their shop. Using a "treasure detector" that beeped loudly near buried gold, they convinced the couple to let them dig under the floor at the back of their shop. The men then pretended to discover a metal box dated 1878 which contained documents describing a treasure of gold coins buried a few feet below where the box was (supposedly) found. In order to avoid a magic curse, the couple had to build an altar and say the rosary for nine days. As part of the process for avoiding the curse, the swindlers put $25,000 of their own money on the altar and the couple put $45,000 in cash on the altar. Needless to say, the two swindlers soon made off with all of the cash.

This scam is very similar to the old "buried treasure" scam that was run in upstate New York by Joseph Smith and his Pa. The Smiths were well-know swindlers back in the 1820s. As part of the scam, the swindlers would find a hidden treasure using a "peer stone"--usually a piece of quartz crystal or glass. The swindler claimed to "see" the treasure through his magic stone, and he offered to help the land-owner (usually a wealthy farmer) to find the treasure and dig it up--for a large fee. Usually, after the farm hands would dig for several hours (or days) the swindler would announce that the treasure had been magically transported by pirate ghosts or Indian spirits to some other hidden location. The swindler/seer then left with his fee.

The Church of the Mormon has long claimed that Joseph Smith was not a scam artist, but recently-discovered court documents prove otherwise. The Chenango County Office Building in Norwich, New York, has documents from 1826 that prove good old Joe Smith was accused of running just such a scam. Later Joe gave up running these kind of petty swindles and went into the big time religion racket. The magical "peer stones" he used in running the scam were, until recently, on display in Salt Lake City. It was these same magic stones that Joe used to "read" the hieroglyphs written on the gold and silver plates given to him by the angel Moroni.

For those of you not familiar with Mormon history, Joseph Smith claimed to have found gold and silver plates buried in the earth, with the help of an angel. Joe translated the writing on the plates--using his magic seer stones--and produced his "translation" of the writing, now known as the Book of the Mormon. No one ever saw the plates, though Joe was clever enough to get some gullible followers to go into an empty room and feel the plates through a burlap bag. These followers then signed affidavits stating that they had handled the gold plates. Of course, for all they knew the objects in the bag could have been steel hubcaps (if hubcaps existed in 1830)! Other followers were told to simply spiritually "visualize" the gold plates through prayer. All of their affidavits are reprinted at the beginning of the Book of the Mormon.

The act of putting cash from the swindlers and the victims in a common bag (which the victims hold) is also a very, very old confidence game. The swindler in Salina, Kansas, seem to have combined the two cons into an effective game.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush's colonoscopy

The headlines on read:

"June 28, 2002
"Bush to have colonoscopy under anesthesia"

Was he planning to have it some place else?
Also, while the doctors are in there, maybe they can hunt around and look for his head.

I'm sure it's in there, somewhere.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good or Weavel, you decider.....

The Washington press reports that Pres. Bush has had a steady stream of ministers and theologians visiting the White House. Bush has invited them to discuss "Good and Evil." While I applaude Pres. Bush's efforts to try to figure out which is which, I think I can save everyone some time here.

Short Answer:

Invading another country, without provocation, and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people is Evil with a big "E"

Long Answer:

I am becoming more and more convinced that there are a lot of people out there who simply don't understand "Good and Evil." Most of us ordinary people are born with a basic notion that we should not do harm to others. But that still leaves a lot of people out there who just don't seem to get it. It's like they have fetal-alcohol syndrome or some other congenital condition that confuses their "moral compass." Essentially, they are morally disfunctional.

Ironically, the same people who have no moral compass also tend to develop a curiousity about all this "Good and Evil" stuff that people talk about. And many of these people, lacking a moral compass, decide to become ministers, priests and theologians.

We see the same phenomenon in Psychology, as many people who become counselors and psychologists have, themselves, severe psychological problems. They, in effect, become psychologists in an effort to cure themselves ("Physician heal thyself")

The same thing is true with people who have no moral compass. They study religion and ethics and try to figure out what "Good" is and what "Evil" is. They always put good and evil into capital letters because, to them, these are abstract concepts, not actual behaviors. All that they understand about good and evil is what other people tell them. And once they become "experts" they are ready to start telling everyone else what to do (and not to do). They become incredible bores and arrogant bullies, always blovating about how "Evil" Clinton was to get a bj from a young woman and "Good" Bush is to kill thousands of muslims.

William J. "Bill" Bennett, the former Sect. of Education, is a good example of this kind of blovator. He even wrote a book about his "moral compass" though he still seems to be unable to find his. Maybe it's under the sofa... or maybe it fell behind the buffet.....

Or maybe he lost it at the race track.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More corruption & scandal

This has been a difficult week for institutional corruption. The Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles has committed to paying out $660 million dollars to victims of sexual abuse. This is the largest amount paid out ... so far.

Meanwhile US Senator David Vitter has finally come out of hiding (unless you count hiding behind his wife's skirts) and admitted that he was involved with prostitutes in two cities. Vitter is the same creep who said that Pres. Clinton should be impeached for violating his marriage vows (Clinton's, not Vitter's). Now his bizarre right-wing pronouncements have come back to bite him (you know where).

There are various news reports that Vitter paid upwards of $300 for the services of these prostitutes. I think this alone is reason to censure him. How can the voters of Louisiana trust him with their tax money if he is willing to overpay for services? Can you imagine if Vitter were on a Senate committee and an Air Force General said they needed to spend $200 on a toilet seat for a B-52. Vitter would say (to himself) "Well, that's less than I spent on that hooker last night ... must be a pretty good deal!" See, we just can't trust Sen. Vitter to give the taxpayers real value for their hard-earned money. Vitter has to know that no one in Louisiana pays more than $150 for a hooker, even in the best neighborhoods of New Orleans.

On the other hand, we have Florida Republican State Representative Bob Allen. Allen was arrested by police in Florida after he approached an undercover cop and offered to give him a blow-job for $25. Now here is a congressman who really understands giving good value. I think that Bob Allen should be elected to the US Senate, because he knows the value of a dollar. If some General asks Bob for $200 for a toilet seat, Bob would demand that they go to Home Depot, or maybe even Big Lots and buy a cheap seat for $29.95 -- just like the rest of us do.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What's Wrong with Scooter?

George W. Bush has commuted the sentence of "Scooter" Libby. Libby no longer has to go to jail, but he does have to pay a $250,000 fine. Of course he is not actually going to pay the fine out of his own pocket. The Right Wingers have already rased millions of dollars in a fund-raising campaign, much as they did for Ollie North.

They have already sent out the mass mailings and made the phone calls, as thousands of poor and middle-class conservatives were asked--once again--to contribute to keeping another criminal out of jail. Meanwhile the really deep pockets are busy contributing to Presidential campaigns where it will go to buy even more influence and power.

Perhaps some jail time would have helped Scooter straighten out his priorities. But of course if Libby goes to jail there is always the chance he will rat out his boss, Karl Rove. Bush can't afford to take the chance that Libby will turn on his masters and start talking about the high crimes of his bosses in the White House.

It's amazing that the Right Wing pundits have compared this commutation to Clinton's last minute pardons in 2000. Clinton didn't pardon anyone on the White House staff in order to cover up his own actions. Libby, on the other hand, probably knows where all the bodies are buried, and neither Bush nor Cheney can afford to have him start talking to prosecutors.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Legacy of Jerry Falwell

Earlier this week Rev. Jerry Falwall passed away. A great bloated and obscene presence has left this world and moved on, leaving a vacant hole that can only be filled by another (walking and talking) vacant hole. I'm sure one will step up to the plate pretty quickly.

Early on in his religious career, Rev. Falwell decided that God was against the civil rights movement. So Falwell proclaimed from the pulpit that God was against civil rights (at least for black people). He even described it as the "civil wrongs" movement. Rev. Falwell also told his fellow ministers that it was evil to get involved in politics. Getting into politics was a sure pathway to Hell. Jerry also thought the racist goverment in South Africa was a pretty nice thing.

Then, twenty years later, Rev. Falwell saw the growing Neo-conservative movement and decided that God was for it. This time *not* getting into politics was a sure pathway to Hell. Also, he could see that supporting Ronald Reagan was a sure path to fame and fortune for Rev. Falwell--so how could he refuse God's will?

So clearly since Rev. Falwell both stayed out of politics and then went into politics, he must have gone against God one way or the other. So it's fair to assume that Rev. Falwell is, right now, in Hell.

If you have any doubts about this fact, then go to your local mall and stand very quitely. Listen, and in a few moments you will hear a faint sound, much like a cell phone ringing. This is proof that Rev. Falwell is in Hell, because every time you hear a bell ring, it means a devil is stabbing Jerry in the ass with a pitchfork.

I still remember seeing Jerry Falwell when he was a guest on William F. Buckley's television program "Firing Line." Falwell had just had a run-in with the faith healer Ernest Angley--a short, fat froggy-looking evangelist who is famous for healing people through their television sets. Angley tells people to put their hands on the tv screen and feel God's healing power enter their hands.

Rev. was all upset about the way Angley was (he felt) deceiving his followers. Rev. Falwell was clearly agitated about Angley and his faith healing. According to Falwell, "He can't heal people through the television set. Those programs are taped two weeks in advance!"

Let's sum up Jerry's theology:

1. God created the whole universe in only six days.
2. God wrote the Bible, a very large book which is absolutely accurate and without error.
3. God can heal people through a televison set, through "live" programs.
4. However, God can't heal people through a pre-recorded broadcast. Sorry!

What was really amazing is that William F.Buckley kept a straight face throughout Falwell's tirade. The fact that Falwell said these things, and actually believed what he was saying, proves that Falwell was mentally impared. Whether it was evangelical theology that impared him, or whether he was simply drawn to evangelical religion because he was already impared--no one can say.

We know that Rev. Falwell's father was a bootlegger. So maybe Falwell was a victim of fetal alcohol syndrome... at least that would be my guess. People affected by fetal alcohol syndrome are often selfish and amoral--only interested in attaining power over others. Yep, sounds about right.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When Does Life Begin?

Pythagoras of Samos (580-500 BCE)

Pythagoras of Samos, the famous Greek mathematician, is also know for starting a philosophical and religious movement based on the idea that everything is based on mathematics (which seems obvious) and that numbers were the basis for reality. This movement is now called Pythagoreanism.

Pythagoras is generally credited for creating the Pythagorean Theorem, though in fact he may have simply borrowed this idea from the Egyptians. Less well known is his effort to create a secret religious society. Very little is known about this group, except for its reverence for numbers and its strict vegetarianism.

Evidently Pythagoras influenced the development of Platonic philosophy and, to some extent, the development of various magical and esoteric traditions, such as Rosicrucianism. His ideas were also important to the development of Numerology.

There is a story about the death of Pythagoras, which is worth repeating. According to the story, Pythagoras was running away from his enemies. He was being pursued by a group of men who meant to kill him. As he ran, Pythagoras came up to a field of beans. Pythagoras stopped short, because he believed that beans were sacred. This was part of his strict vegetarianism, that no one should harm beans—because they possessed a living soul.

Needless to say, his enemies quickly caught up with him and murdered him there on the edge of the bean field. Perhaps some of them might accidentally have trampled a few beans in the process. We can only hope—for the sake of his soul—that they did not damage or destroy any beans in the process.

We are, today, in a similar situation with respect to stem cell research. Our Fearless Leader, George W. Bush, believes that the human embryos—even those that are discarded by fertility clinics—have a soul. These bits of human tissue are therefore “sacred” and should not be harmed or destroyed. This idea ignores the fact that the eggs are about to be discarded anyway, and there is virtually no chance of them being implanted in a womb. These eggs are, quite frankly, no different from the many trillions of eggs and sperm that are “lost” and discarded each day, washed away in the laundry of homes all over the world.

Still, George W. Bush—and the right-wing religious nut-jobs who support him—believe that these eggs are somehow “sacred.” And they are quite willing (perhaps not to die themselves right now) but at least let many thousands of people die of horrible diseases instead of using these discarded eggs in genetic research.

We may be puzzled by the way Pythagoras died. But we are, in our own way, just as foolish. We allow a rather bizarre religious idea—an idea which runs counter to early Jewish and Christian ideas—prevent us from using these eggs for medical research, even though stem-cell research holds great promise.

It’s worth noting, too, that Pythagoras is said to have decided that beans were sacred because, “the beans create a wind in the gut that is foul, and thus proves that beans should not be eaten.”
This certainly sounds reasonable, in that preventing people from eating the sacred beans also prevents the development of gas and foul odors. Clearly, Pythagoras was a humanitarian.

At the same time, the right-wing religionists have decided that “life begins at conception.” And for this reason a mass of human cells should be equivalent in importance (in God’s eyes) to a fully-grown human. We should “respect life” because it is, well, life.

Obviously the “life begins at conception” idea is false. After all, what was it before conception? Mac and cheese? Potatoe salad?

Life exists and it continues until it dies. Human beings die, as life reaches its end—usually when something happens to stop its continued existence. All life is like this. It exists and it continues until it stops, at which time it becomes dead—a mass of flesh that is “lifeless.” A fertilized human egg did not spring to life out of nothingness. It was made up of the cast-off cells, the seed or germ of two parents. To claim that life somehow begins at conception is only a playing around with words—it is a theological game that is as foolish as the claim that beans have a soul.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mencken "On Government"

Mencken "On Government"

H.L. Mencken's essay is even more relevant today, in the wake of
9/11, than it was when it was first written. Everyone can
benefit from these sentiments:

"The great pox of civilization, alas, I believe to be incurable,
and so I propose no new quackery for its treatment. I am against
dosing it, and I am against killing it. All I presume to argue
is that something would be accomplished by viewing it more
realistically--by ceasing to let its necessary and perhaps useful
functions blind us to its ever-increasing crimes against the
ordinary rights of the free citizen and the common decencies of
the world. The fact that it is generally respected--that it
possesses effective machinery for propagating and safeguarding
that respect--is the main shield of the rogues and vagabonds who
use it to exploit the great masses of diligent and credulous men.

"Whenever you hear anyone bawling for more respect for the laws,
whether it be a Coolidge on his imperial throne or an humble
county judge in his hedge court, you have before you one who is
trying to use them to his private advantage; whenever you hear
of new legislation for putting down dissent and rebellion you may
be sure that it is promoted by scoundrels. The extortions and
oppressions will go on so long as such bare fraudulence deceives
and disarms the victims--so long as they are ready to swallow the
immemorial official theory that protesting against the stealings
of the archbishop's secretary's nephew's mistress' illegitimate
son is a sin against the Holy Ghost. They will come to an end
when the victims begin to differentiate clearly between government
as a necessary device for maintaining order in the world and
government as a device for maintaining the authority and
prosperity of predatory rascals and swindlers...."

Monday, February 19, 2007

The blog is devoted to the Kiss My-- Left Behind series

'Kiss My Left Behind' is dedicated to the exposure of religious and political idiocy. We reserve the right to poke fun at, satirize, lampoon, and otherwise mock any religious loonies and political hacks who annoy us.

The "Kiss My Left Behind" books are parodies of various "End Times" novels written by Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Ernest Angley, Mel Odum, and others. This genre of religious fiction is meant to encourage the persecution of non-Christians and justify political oppression of religious minorities.