Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, November 22, 2015

No Respect

From the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) (the wife and I are now officially Lifetime Members)

November 22

On this date in 1819, novelist George Eliot (nee Mary Ann Evans), was born at a farmstead in Derbyshire, England, where her father was estate manager. Mary Ann, the youngest child and a favorite of her father's, received a good education for a young woman of her day. Influenced by a favorite governess, she became a religious evangelical as an adolescent. Her first published work was a religious poem. Through a family friend, she was exposed to Charles Hennell's An Inquiry into the Origins of Christianity. 

Unable to believe, she conscientiously gave up religion and stopped attending church. Her father shunned her, sending the broken-hearted young dependent to live with a sister until she promised to reexamine her feelings. Her intellectual views did not, however, change. She translated StraussDas Leben Jesu, a monumental task, without signing her name to the 1846 work. After her father's death in 1849, Mary Ann traveled, then accepted an unpaid position with The Westminister Review. Despite a heavy work load, she translated Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity, the only book ever published under her real name. That year, the shy, respectable writer scandalized British society by sending notices to friends announcing she had entered a free "union" with George Henry Lewes, editor of The Leader, who was unable to divorce his first wife. They lived harmoniously together for the next 24 years, but suffered social ostracism and financial hardship. She became salaried and began writing essays and reviews for The Westminister Review (see quote). 

Renaming herself "Marian" in private life and adopting the nom de plume "George Eliot," she began her impressive fiction career, including: Scenes of Clerical Life (1857), Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Romola (1863), and Middlemarch (1871). Themes included her humanist vision and strong heroines. Her poem, "O May I Join the Choir Invisible" expressed her views about nonsupernatural immortality: "O may I join the choir invisible/ Of those immortal dead who live again/ In minds made better by their presence. . ." D. 1880.

“The clergy are, practically, the most irresponsible of all talkers.”

—George Eliot, "Evangelical Teaching: Dr. Cumming," The Westminster Review, 1885.

On this date in 1921, Rodney Dangerfield (né Jacob Cohen) was born in Babylon, N.Y. Dangerfield began performing a comedy routine when he was 17. He married singer Joyce Indig in 1949 and they had two children, Brian and Melanie. In order to support his family, Dangerfield stopped performing and became an aluminum siding salesman. 

After divorcing Indig in 1961, Dangerfield returned to comedy and became a highly successful stand-up comedian known for his catchphrase, “I don’t get no respect.” He founded the popular comedy club Dangerfield’s in New York City in 1969. Dangerfield performed on television shows such as "Saturday Night Live" and "The Ed Sullivan Show," as well as appearing in movies such as “Caddyshack” (1980), “Back To School” (1986) and “Natural Born Killers” (1994). He won the 1981 Grammy Award for “No Respect,” his comedy album, and was awarded the Lifetime Creative Achievement Award in 1994. Dangerfield married Joan Child in 1993.

Although Dangerfield was raised Jewish, he called himself an atheist during an interview with Howard Stern on May 25, 2004. Dangerfield added that he was a "logical" atheist. D. 2004
“We’re apes—do apes go anyplace [when they die]?”

—Rodney Dangerfield, Howard Stern Radio Show, May 25, 2004.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

it heals bones too!

Is there no end to the uses of this miraculous plant? Apparently not yet.  Now we have a study that suggests that CBD aids in the healing an strengthening of bones! What else? What next?!

Study finds cannabis compound CBD can help heal bones

By Wilborn P. Nobles IIIThe Washington Post
There’s yet another use for marijuana: It may help to heal broken bones, according to a new study.
Researchers found that cannabidiol — an element of marijuana that does not get people high — improved the healing process in rats with broken leg bones after eight weeks, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research by Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University.
Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv’s Bone Research Laboratory who led the study, said it found that the element “makes bones stronger during healing,” which could prevent future fractures. This process occurs as cannabidiol, or CBD, enhances the maturation of collagen, the protein in connective tissue that “holds the body together.”
“After being treated with CBD, the healed bone will be harder to break in the future,” Gabet said in a news release.
The results of the study provide another glimpse into the potential health benefits of marijuana. Medicinal marijuana is already used to reduce some of the effects associated with chemotherapyin cancer patients. It is also used as treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and nine states have PTSD on their list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana (Colorado’s board of healthvoted July 15 against adding PTSD to the state’s medical marijuana program).
In earlier research, Gabet’s team learned that the body’s cannabinoid receptors “stimulated bone formation and inhibited bone loss.” Those findings open doors to how marijuana could treat osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases, the researchers say.
Marijuana is still largely illegal across the world and in the United States. But marijuana prescribed for medical uses is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” alongside heroin and LSD. Although that classification is unlikely to change this year, attempts and events that challenge marijuana’s status in the nation have not gone unnoticed.
According to Gabet, “there is still a lot of work to be done to develop appropriate therapies” in using marijuana medically, but “it is possible to detach a clinical therapy objective” from the mood-changing aspects of the stoner’s plant.
“The clinical potential of cannabinoid-related compounds is simply undeniable at this point.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

civil confirmation

Did you know that there is a viable and thriving secular alternative to the "Christian confirmation" for adolescents? It's called "civil confirmation" or "secular coming-of-age ceremony" and it's very common throughout Western Europe. 

The purpose is to prepare adolescents for their life as adults.

For example,


Prometheus medallion
The first Prometheus-leiri (Prometheus Camp) was held in 1989 by the Finnish Philosophy and Life Stance teachers' coalition. The following year Prometheus-leirin tuki ry (Prometheus Camp Association) was founded for organising the week-long summer camps. The ideology of the association is based on a Humanist world view, but it is politically and religiously non-aligned. One of the main principles of the activity is tolerance towards other peoples' life stances.[6]


Borgaraleg ferming (civil confirmations) are organised by Siðmennt, a Humanist association, as an alternative to the Christian Confirmation for the 13-year-old. Before the civil confirmation the youngsters take a preparation course about ethics, personal relationships, human rights, equality, critical thinking, relations between the sexes, prevention ofsubstance abuseskepticism, protecting the environment, getting along with parents, being a teenager in a consumer society, and what it means to be an adult and take responsibility for one's views and behavior. The course consists of 12 weekly group meetings, each lasting 1,5 hours. Youngsters living outside Reykjavík can take the course as a concentrated version during two weekends. The teachers of the course are usually philosophers. In the end of the course there is a formal graduation ceremony in which the participants receive diplomas, and some of them perform musicpoetry and speeches. There are also prominent members of Icelandic society giving speeches. An increasing number of youngsters have taken the course every year with 300 taking the course for the confirmation in 2014.[8]


The association Humanisterna (The Humanists) started secular coming-of-age courses in Sweden in the 1990s in the form of study circles, but they were soon replaced by a week-long camp where the subjects are dealt with through discussions, games, group works and other activities. During the last years there has been approximately 100 participants annually in the Humanistisk konfirmation (Humanist confirmation) camps. The themes in the camp concern one's life stance, for example human rights, equality, racism, gender roles, love, sexuality and lifestyles, but the topics under discussion depend on the participating youngsters' own choices. In the end of the camp there is a festive ceremony in which the participants demonstrate to their families and relatives what they did during the week, through e.g. plays and songs. There are also speeches held by the organisators of the camp, the youngsters themselves, and invited speakers.[9]


Modern non-religious coming-of-age ceremonies originate in Germany, where Jugendweihe ("youth consecration", today occasionally known as Jugendfeier"youth ceremony") began in the 19th century. The activity was arranged by independent freethinker organizations until 1954, when the Communist party of East Germany banned it in its old form and changed it to promote Communist ideology. In the GDR Jugendweihe became, with the support of the state, the most popular form of coming-of-age ceremonies for the adolescents, replacing the Christian Confirmation. After the reunification of Germany the Jugendweihe-activity regained its independence from Communism, but the non-religious rite of passage had become atradition, and thus approximately 60-70% of youngsters in the eastern states still participate in it. The age for participating in the Jugendweihe is 13–14 years.
Before the ceremony the youngsters attend specially arranged events or a course, in which they work on topics like history and multiculturism, culture and creativity, civil rights and duties, nature and technology, professions and getting a job, as well as lifestyles and human relations. Nowadays there are many different groups organising Jugendweihes.
and yes, it is finally coming to America:

United States and Canada

Edifices of the Ethical movement in the United States perform secular coming of age ceremonies for 14-year-old members, in which, after spending a year performing community service activities and attending workshops regarding various topics concerning adulthood, the honoree and one's parent(s) speak before the congregation about their growth over the year. Similar ceremonies are performed by congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association and Canadian Unitarian Council.

You don't need religion to be a good person.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


That's America!!  Watch a short reminder about that dreaded socialism!

The Young Turks saw that video and produced this:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Earl Blumenauer

We don't need someone in charge of the DEA that has antiquated, ancient, and outdated (not to be redundant) views on marijuana. 

To my mind, the simple fact that marijuana is an excellent stress reliever is reason enough to legalize it. All of the other benefits - physical and economic - are just icing on the cake. But we won't get there if we have Neanderthals in charge. I'm glad that someone in Congress is taking up the call that Rosenberg should be fired.

Congressman Calls For DEA Chief's Removal After He Calls Medical Marijuana A 'Joke'

"Rosenberg is clearly not the right fit for the DEA in this administration."

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said Wednesday that acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg should be replaced after calling the notion of smoking marijuana for medical purposes a "joke." 
"Rosenberg is clearly not the right fit for the DEA in this administration," Blumenauer said during a speech on the House floor Wednesday morning.
The acting agency chief made the comments to reporters earlier this month.
"What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal -- because it's not," Rosenberg said. "We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don't call it medicine -- that is a joke."
Blumenauer hit back at this notion during his floor speech. 
"What is a joke is the job Rosenberg is doing as acting DEA administrator," he said. "He's an example of the inept, misinformed zealot who has mismanaged America's failed policy of marijuana prohibition." 
He continued: "Rosenberg's claim that more research is necessary is true, but it reeks of hypocrisy because the DEA under his leadership has made badly needed cannabis research difficult, often impossible." 
The DEA considers marijuana a Schedule I substance, the most dangerous of five drug categories outlined in the Controlled Substances Act. According to the federal classification, these substances have "no currently accepted medical use," creating a barrier to federal funding for research into cannabis's medical properties.
Ecstasy, LSD and heroin are also Schedule I substances. 
Blumenauer also criticized Department of Justice officials for cracking down on state medical marijuana laws, pointing to a recent court ruling in California that declared such interventionillegal.
"Sadly, these actions by administrating officials are indicative of a throwback ideology rooted in the failed war on drugs, which needs to stop," Blumenauer said. 

Blumenauer's remarks come as a petition calling on President Barack Obama to fire Rosenberg has gathered over 90,000 signatures.  
"It's great to see members of Congress calling for much-needed change at [the] DEA. Rosenberg's comments are not only offensive to millions of seriously ill people who rely on medical marijuana, they are out of step with where the vast majority of the American public is on this issue," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, the group that started the petition. "Unless President Obama does something about this, it's going to be an increasingly distracting political problem for his administration."
The DEA, meanwhile, has stood by Rosenberg's remarks.
"To clarify, Acting Administrator Rosenberg indicated that marijuana should be subject to the same levels of approval and scrutiny as any other substance intended for use as a medicine. DEA supports efforts to research potential medical uses of marijuana," the agency said in astatement last week.
Rosenberg is a former FBI official who took over the agency in May. He replaced Michele Leonhart, who in 2012 would not say whether she believed heroin and crack were more dangerous than marijuana. (Rosenberg himself said in August that heroin is "clearly more dangerous" than cannabis.) 
Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Contrary to Rosenberg's claims, some studies have shown that smoking cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for a variety of medical conditions.

Monday, November 16, 2015


I'm about 2/3 of the way through my multi-years-long vinyl ripping project, and I remembered another of the many albums that I no longer have in my possession.  Where are they now?  (The vinyl, not Spirit) This one was pretty awesome.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Paris endures

So, ISIS, or ISIL, or Daesh, attacked and killed over 120 people in Paris this past Friday the 13th. Another bloody chapter in the book of religion. Isn't God great? (sarcasm)

Yes, there is disagreement over the use of the terms "Islamic extremism" or "Islamic terrorism".  Many seem unwilling to use the terms at all, saying that ISIS, the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham" is not Islamic. Nor is it a state. 

But, these guys in ISIS think of themselves as Islamic. And they think they have established a caliphate. They follow SOME of the tenets of the Koran, and they often yell, "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great!) when they are killing others.  They are Muslim. They are Islamic. They are extreme. They are killers, not to mention they subjugate women and lots of other abhorrent-to-Westerners activities.

ISIS is Islamic in the same sense that the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) members consider themselves to be Christians. Many "good" Christians claim that KKK members are "bad" Christians or not "true" Christians, but ask members of the KKK or the WBC and they will tell you they are Christians. They are Christians. And there are a lot of radical, extreme Christians running loose in America. The U.S.' radical Christians are not killing as many people as ISIS is, of course, but one gets the feeling they want to. See Kevin Swanson. And yes, Ted Cruz, Christians have been and some still are terrorists, you fucking idiot.

The Paris atrocity is another example of how toxic religion can be, especially in the hands of those who are extreme in their "faith" and have no compunction about killing those who may disagree with them. You don't have to be religious to kill people, obviously, but it provides a pseudo-excuse.

I wonder how bad ISIS has to get before those "good" and "peaceful" Muslims decide to do something about the extremist Muslims?  ISIS kills about as many Muslims as Christians. Where are the Arab states? Where are the "peaceful" Islamic states?  Are there any?

Another appalling aspect of all this is that our Republican Party instantly jumps to politicize this horrific event. "Obama isn't doing enough to keep us safe!"  "Obama said ISIS was contained!!" "He lied! Obama is a threat to our national security!" "Obama is a radical Muslim sympathizer!"

It's getting to be so kneejerk.  Any event around the world they will twist to somehow blame Obama for it. They are almost as extreme as those killers in Paris, and we'd better keep an eye on them.

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