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

Monday, March 27, 2023

Dan Rather

I really enjoy and appreciate having Dan Rather still around. His weekly "A Reason to Smile" is often like a soothing balm, which is nice, considering the hyper-culture we live in. You can find Dan on

A Change Is Gonna Come
A Reason to Smile

by Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner
March 26

Sometimes it feels like we are stuck on repeat, beset by headwinds that make progress seem excruciatingly difficult, if not unattainable. 

We wonder: Is change even possible? 

We recognize our nation’s uneven progress to a more just and equitable society. Looking back at our history, we can see periods of hope and forward movement. But there are also eras of backsliding and regression. 

Where do we find ourselves today? 

To change the status quo, especially one built upon the legacies of racism and injustice that permeated the nation at its founding, it’s important that we hold onto a sense that progress is possible. With this in mind, we felt that an apt song for our “A Reason to Smile” feature this week would be Sam Cooke’s iconic tribute to struggle and hope, "A Change Is Gonna Come." 

Cooke was moved to write a rousing call for civil rights after hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” He was especially inspired by Peter, Paul and Mary’s rendition, which proved that a song about civil rights could be a hit. 

The song was also born from Cooke’s personal experience in Jim Crow America — particularly a formative incident when he, his wife, and his bandmates were turned away from a whites-only hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

In 2019, the mayor of Shreveport at the time, Adrian Perkins, who is Black and a graduate of both the United States Military Academy at West Point and Harvard Law School, apologized to members of the Cooke family and issued them the keys to the city. This moment stands as a testimony that change is indeed possible. 

As Cooke wrote:

“It's been a long, a long time coming 

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will.”

Cooke’s recording of “A Change Is Gonna Come” was released posthumously in 1964, and we haven’t been able to find any video of him singing it. In the years that followed, there have been many wonderful covers of what has become an iconic contribution to American musical history.

We found one that brought an especially large smile to our face (and maybe a bit of mist to the eyes). And we’re apparently not alone. It has over 90 million views on YouTube — a duet between the singer Brian Owens and his father, Thomas.

(The clip can be viewed here.)

And as promised above, here is Peter, Paul and Mary singing “Blowin’ in the Wind.” We’re still smiling.

(The clip can be viewed here.)

And we actually found Sam Cooke singing “Blowin’ in the Wind” (along with the song “Tennessee Waltz”) from the pilot of the music show Shindig! in 1964. You can find “Blowin’ in the Wind” at the 2:24 mark. 

(The clip can be viewed here.)

Original. You can see the embedded videos at the Original link.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

ban the Bible

Seriously, the Bible should be banned, as long as Florida and other red states are banning books for indecency or sexualized content. Have you READ the Bible? You KNOW it is full of nasty stuff: slavery, incest, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, bestiality, rape, murder, infanticide, more rape and more murder. Parents should be urging authorities to ban the Bible, especially in red states. There are redeeming qualities in the Bible you say? Oh, and there are absolutely no redeeming qualities in all the books being banned by conservative fascists?

Found on

Parent Calls Bible ‘PORN’ and Demands Utah School District Remove It From Libraries

A parent is arguing that if banned books like 'Gender Queer' are pulled from shelves, the Bible—with its sex scenes, incest, and murder—should be banned, too.
March 23, 2023

A Utah parent has filed a request to ban God’s most popular blog, the Bible, from schools, citing and ridiculing a law passed last year that removed dozens of books from schools and libraries last year. “Get this PORN out of our schools!” they wrote in their request for the removal of the book.

In 2022, Utah passed a law banning books with “pornographic or indecent” content. The initial list of banned books included many titles that feature coming-of-age stories that also deal with themes of sexuality and gender, including Judy Blume’s Forever...Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, and Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. 

By those standards, the parent—whose personal information was redacted by the Davis School District for privacy reasons—is arguing that the Bible should be on the list. 

“Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide,” the parent wrote in their request, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, which obtained a copy of the request. “You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”

The Bible absolutely contains all of this and more. A personal NSFW favorite is Song of Solomon, a rapturous piece of erotica, describing a woman’s breasts in painfully horny detail as “two fawns” and “clusters of fruit,” and pleas for a man to eat the “precious fruits” of her “garden.” King David is overcome with lust for a woman named Bathsheba, who he’s been creeping on while she bathes, and commits adultery with her, later murdering her husband. Samson’s downfall is a femdom named Delilah. Noah’s son Ham catches his dad nude and drunk off his ass, and accidentally sees his dick; for this, Noah curses Ham’s bloodline to lives of slavery. Lot’s daughters get him drunk and rape him repeatedly while he’s blacked out. There are more references to, and encouragement of, killing babies in violent ways than I care to name but feel free to search that up. God gets really pissed at the citizens of Judah for smelting all the jewelry he gave them down into fucktoys. 

“I thank the Utah Legislature and Utah Parents United for making this bad faith process so much easier and way more efficient,” the parent wrote. Utah Parents United is one of several conservative groups pushing for more banson books in schools, which overwhelmingly feature Black people, people of color, and queer or gender-nonconforming characters. “Now we can all ban books and you don’t even need to read them or be accurate about it. Heck, you don’t even need to see the book! Ceding our children’s education, First Amendment Rights, and library access to a white supremacist hate group like Utah Parents United seems like a wonderful idea for a school district literally under investigation for being racist.”  

Utah is one of several states where libraries and teachers are undergoing attacks from right-wing groups and conservative parents who are demanding that libraries ban large swaths of books. In Florida, teachers risk going to jail if they don’t cover or remove books until they’re reviewed for “offensive” content. 

Parents can submit books for review by the school district, and there’s a backlog of books under review, which takes as long as 60 days, Davis School District spokesperson Christopher Williams told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We don’t differentiate between one request and another. We see that as the work that we do,” Williams said. 

In 2021, the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for Utah investigated the district for race discrimination in the district’s schools, “including serious and widespread racial harassment of Black and Asian-American students,” according to a press releaseannouncing the settlement. In 2022, the mother of a Black ninth grader sued the school district for "racial harassment by students on a daily basis.”  

Saturday, March 18, 2023

capturing Trump

I found the writing below on the internet, thanks to noted atheist Seth Andrews, who shared it from another Facebooker. Thought it was worth re-printing. 

We like things that confirm our own biases, no?  I've been feeling the same as the writer lately, namely, that many of Trump's followers are not really "stupid" but are in fact kindred spirits to Trump. That is, racist, white supremacist, lying fascists who actually idolize the guy. There have probably always been people like this in America. Trump has a special talent for pulling them out of the woodwork.

“Talented and well-practiced in every vice, a stranger to compassion or empathy, a liar and a cheat so complete in perfidy that he has elevated his dishonesty to hold it up as an ersatz moral principle, violent, so long as he can order someone else to do the dirty work, grotesque in body, graceless in action, in possession of a wounded self-regard so colossal as to smother any spark of grace, treasonous, not only to country, but to every ally he has ever had, the poisoned fruit and rankest flower of racism and contempt for women, and utterly devoid of shame for his moral and spiritual bankruptcy.

That is your leader. That is to whom you give your money. That is who you follow and laud. That is whose banner you willingly carry. Why? Because he is a mirror, not a lighthouse. You see yourselves in him. He is what you would be, if you had inherited money and could shed the last vestiges of conscience and shame.

No, I do not “respect your choices,” nor do I admire your loyalty and dedication to this miserific, demoniac vision. You have demonstrated not only a lack of civic virtue, loyalty to the Republic and to the rule of law, but a willingness to engage in violence and sedition at his slightest expressed wish. And you will never, ever admit you were wrong.

Because you see your dark, twisted, resentful dreams in him. And to renounce him is to renounce yourselves.”
~ Advocatus Peregrini
Stable Genius by Siegfried Woldhek, pen & ink, October 12, 2019.

He's always watching

He's always watching