Yute in “Murrica

Some good news happening in the whirled. Apparently religiosity is getting its sorely earned position in this country.


Professor David Voas (UCL Institute of Education) said: “These declines aren’t happening fast, but the signs are now unmistakable. It has become clear that American religiosity has been declining for decades, and the decline is driven by the same dynamic of generational change that has driven religious decline across the developed world.”

The study examined US data from the General Social Survey (GSS), which is conducted every two years, and compared it with similarly broad data from Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The results show that people have slowly become less religious over time.

According to the study, 68% Americans aged 65 and over said they had no doubt God existed compared to 45% of young adults, aged 18-30. 41% of people 70 and older said they attend church services at least once a month, compared to 18% of people 60 and below.

– See more at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0316/100316-American-devotion-to-religion-is-waning#sthash.knlCcsy8.dpuf

Heh. About time, I say.





Is Bibi Netanyahu insane?

1553 – Volumes of Talmud are burned
1948 – Beersheba liberated by Israeli army

It was bad enough when he threw temper tantrums that threatened US-Israeli relations. His attacks on Obama would not have been tolerated if they came from any other leader and any other country. He tried to interfere with a presidential election, openly hoping the Romney would prevail. Most recently, he did everything in his power to screw up negotiations with Iran.

The flotsam and jetsam left in his path are considerable. Amazingly, he managed to top himself with what has to be the most idiotic performance yet. Perhaps he is trying to deflect from his doomed to fail moves in Gaza and the West Bank, as the death tolls spiral out of control. If so, his efforts are mind-numbing and jaw-dropping.

Not since Stalin rewrote USSR history books has there been such a perverse and boneheaded effort to ignore the past.

From the Church of Ineffable Stupidity:

A bit of history first.

Mohammed Effendi Amin el-Husseini was a Palestinian who was named the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. In 1938-39, he led several anti-British protests and revolts. Seeing the the growing strife between England and Germany, it was easy for him to choose the latter as a potential ally.

In late 1941, he met with Adolf Hitler to seek his assistance in creating a Palestinian state.

As for the Nazis, here are dates, places, and vile historical facts:

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe.Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians for forced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions.

Introduction to the Holocaust.The attacks, harassment, and eventual move to death camps started shortly after the Nazis took power in 1933, before the Grand Mufti held that title.

Bibi must be off his meds. Here is the Guardian reporting on what he said in advance to a trip to Germany:

The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has attracted a storm of criticism for an incendiary speech in which he accused the second world war Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem of having suggested the genocide of the Jews to Adolf Hitler.The comments in a speech to the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem came in the context of the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians and were condemned by historians and the Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog for trivialising the Holocaust.

On the Palestinian side, senior official Saeb Erekat described the remarks as absolving Hitler.

In his speech, Netanyahu purported to describe a meeting between Haj Amin al-Husseini and Hitler in November 1941. “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said: ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here [to Palestine].’” According to Netanyahu, Hitler then asked: “What should I do with them?” and the mufti replied: “Burn them.”

The GuardianWhat on this flat earth is going on in his head? The Final Solution started long before the Grand Mufti’s visit in 1941. Given his ever more erratic behavior, I wonder if he has some undisclosed mental issue going on. Because what he is saying is just plain nuts.

Given his recent history and ever more wild statements, it should give anyone pause that he is in control over nuclear weapons. Here is what the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says about Israeli nukes:

Although the Israeli government neither confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons, it is generally accepted by friend and foe alike that Israel is a nuclear-armed state—and has been so for nearly half a century. The basis for this conclusion has been strengthened significantly since our previous estimate in 2002, particularly thanks to new documents obtained by scholars under the US Freedom of Information Act and other openly available sources. 1 We conclude that many of the public claims about the size of the Israeli nuclear arsenal are exaggerated. We estimate that Israel has a stockpile of approximately 80 nuclear warheads for delivery by two dozen missiles, a couple of squadrons of aircraft, and perhaps a small number of sea-launched cruise missiles. – See more at: http://thebulletin.org/…

80+ nuclear weapons in the hands of a madman. Talk about scary. Given that Bibi’s daddy was a reknown historian and scholar, Bibi’s words are even weirder and more disturbing. I don’t know much about Israeli political mechanisms, but is there a way to remove a sitting prime minister because of a mental breakdown without holding a new election?

military, war, sports,

I had just walked puppy to our normal frisbee and tennis ball park when we saw a large fair at one of the three churches within spitting distance of the home. People walking there invited us in, dog and all, so we entered. Midddle eastern music, some Christian, some Muslim, and some agnostics like us mingled and enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells. Kids, both Muslim and not, asked parents to ask me if they could pet my 95 Lb baby. She loved it, as did the many, many kids who dared touch a large black puppy. Baby also met two camels (for kiddie rides) and touched noses with both.

Satisfied with our to-go meal purchases, all middle eastern fare, we headed home and turned on the T&V. Honey is a far more informed and excited futbol fan than I.

We turned on the futbol game involving the Chicago Bares, and the first thing we see is a playing field size US flag, held by tons of military in uniform, and some piss poor singer doing the national anthem. The corroded penny dropped. It hit me like a sledge I use when blacksmithing. It was all in your face propaganda. Tax dollars paying for a military presence and military ads, enriching TV stations and networks, as well as football team owners.

The subtle militarization of pro sports isn’t so subtle anymore.

The advertising revenue spent by the military (your tax dollars at work) on the NFL alone, totals many millions per year. Tell me, please, why is there a need to do a PR job (for big bucks) for the military? What national security purpose is served by spending millions that enrich tv networks and billionaire team owners?

I say enough of this crap. It is propaganda, pure and simple, a steady Chinese water torture of smiling military, injured military,  football playing military, followed by military ads, and the commentators making sure to mention the . . . Military. Plus ads by military suppliers. Promoting our military.

From the church of ineffable stupidity:

I may take some flak for this, but I am sick and tired even the national anthem being sung at each and every sports game. No other country does that, not like us, except in international play, or international events like the Olympics. If a regular league game is being played, many countries do NOT stand and praise their military or their flag. They simply enjoy the game.

I am even sicker of the over the top military propaganda you see at every game. Advertising, huge flags, half time shows, and tv close ups.

Despite a few minor mistakes and errors, like the near extermination of an innocent group of people, the torture and deaths of millions, and the pesky, even troublesome invasions of many mainly peaceful countries, the Nazi Germany war machine did some great things. They industrialized access to outer space, they invented entirely new technologies, even sciences, and probably their most impressive feat was how they polluted the minds of everyone, especially their own citizens. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels may seem to be a cartoon character by today’s smoother and higher tech efforts, but he was an immense success in his time, and even now survivors talk about how the Nazi machine awed and impressed the locals, while scaring the Shyte out of those they intended to invade.

What you see before any professional NFL game is no different than what the German leaders did to their own population. It is a sophisticated form of brain washing, it is a forced diet, not of patriotism, but something far darker, far scarier.


Ugly, fascist nationalism. Under its dark cloud, we never blame the troops for killing innocents through misguided, misinformed,  or badly planned drone missile attacks on  afghan wedding parties. We never question any higher ranking officers who ordered or sent down the chain orders to torture folks. We never seek criminal actions for war crimes, even against the military who conspire with major corporate thieves who ripped off the US for billions during IraqNam or Afghanistan. (Honestly, could Haliburton  and others have stolen as much as they did without a willful blind eye, or more likely, the active assistance of the US military in Iraq? And how many of those later ended up in a cushy lobbying job once they left the military?)

The problem with this country is not that our navy is too small. (Think of it as a Floating Maginot Line) Rather, it is that in a post-Vietnam era, any criticism of our military seems to be inappropriate and frowned upon. Yes, I do respect those who serve honorably. I cry for those whose bodies are mangled, and I fully honor those who have died, too many in wars of choice, like IraqNam, not in wars of necessity. We have three, perhaps five active war zones in which our troops and unmanned drones are still actively killing people. Is there any political discussion or even a vote in the house or senate whether we should be doing them? Whether it is in our best interest? Whether we are creating more problems than solving them with such an active face in so many countries that pose absolutely no threat to us?

When I see a flag the size of the entire football field unfurled, being held by a hundred + active military folks, with a Rah Rah nationalism theme running at full blast, even before a game has started, I realize that our land of the free and home of the brave is a very scary, very different, and very troubling country.

Apparently, I am not the only one with a troubled conscience. The PTSD and mental health problem rates among drone operators are so high, that our military is suffering from  serious staffing problems. They can no longer maintain their kill rate. Apparently, the video feeds are now so good that drone operators are having nervous breakdowns after repeatedly watching the results of their murderous missile attacks. It proves that they are more human, more humane, and better human beings than those who plan, create, and order our current undeclared drone wars. Drone operator PTSD

I know some will object. Go ahead. I can handle it. But do yourself a favor. Step back. Look at the ultra-nationalism being displayed by the Klown Kar Kandidopes seeking the GOP nomination. Look at the gaudy display of Pro War Nationalism before every big sports game. And start adding two and two. It is a symptom of something quite ugly that seems ever stronger in our country. And looking at the zoo that is the GOP race, with every single one of them becoming ever more irrational, more pro war, and less inclined to use diplomacy, rational thinking, or even just sitting back and thinking through their own words, it is becoming a scary country.

Land of the free? When ATT conspires with the NSA to spy on each and every one of us?  When it takes a Snowden to learn about warrant less, intrusive spying on INNOCENT AMERCANS? When police use force first and foremost, and white racists cheer the deaths of unarmed innocents?

There is something rotten in the State of Denmark. Except, this ain’t Denmark.

British Docs Fear Statins. So should you.

Doctors around the whirled have long pushed Statins as a magical mystery tour of health and eternal yute. That might have to be amended to “infernal” instead.  By forcefully (and I mean forcefully)  lowering cholesterol levels, they predicted that routine Statin use by healthy people would prevent heart disease and lead to longer, healthier lives. Not to mention much higher profits for statin drug makers.

Not everyone got on board for the maiden voyage of the SS Statin Express, however. Some docs questioned whether a healthy person should jerk around his/her/its cholesterol levels, especially since cholesterol plays such a major role in your health. Those that didn’t are now counting their blessings and new and improved studies start casting aspersions on the widespread use of these drugs.

A few facts that you need to know about this War on Cholesterol:

As you sit, your brain is chock full of Cholesterol. Should you be worried? Probably not. It seems to be critically important to memory, rational thinking, and learning. In your low-risk group of relatively healthy people, if 600 people take statins routinely from age 20-40, perhaps one and only one may be spared from a heart attack by the time they reach 65.

In higher-risk populations, there probably is some good that they do. However, as patents expire, the drug companies have increased potency of their Statins, and pushed sales to ever younger groups, as early as the age of 8.

So, as Joe Biden was quoted, what is the big fucking deal? If it helps lower cholesterol, it has to be good. And the more powerful the drugs, the better my chances are with my health, right?

There is a dirty, seedy, greedy underside to this push of this so-called miracle drug:

Side Effects.

A surprisingly common one is muscle pain – up to 70% of users complain about it. All too often, docs who profit from prescribing Statins blame your aging rather than the drugs they push. But it gets worse. Failing memory, depression, irritability — are directly related to Statin use. Even then, doctors have blamed other factors, age, lack of exercise, diet, or even personality disorders. This is despite 65-70% of users mentioning it to their doctors (which tells you just how troubling those complaints have to be).

The bad news keeps coming. Adult onset Diabetes is directly related to Statin use. The relationship is direct – the longer and higher doses you take, the more likely you are to become diabetic. The British Medical Journal previously estimated that 46% of all users will suffer from Diabetes unnecessarily because of widespread Statin use.

If that ain’t bad enough, try this: STATINS SEEM TO CAUSE PARKINSON’S DISEASE.

Let me type the more slowly so everyone can get the idea. STATINS SEEM TO CAUSE PARKINSON’S.  Not just confusion, forgetfulness, inability to process new information, or inability to learn – Actual, factual PARKINSON’S DISEASE. And not even the Parkinsonism that welders working in enclosed places with Stainless and other alloys get to enjoy.

Dr Kailash Chand, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association, was speaking following research which found those who take the cholesterol-lowering drugs are more than twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in later life than those who do not.A study last week showed statin use increases the risk of diabetes by 46 per cent. It has led to calls to end to the widespread use of the drugs.
The risks of side-effects of these drugs are far greater than any potential benefits and it is high time these drugs were restricted in the low-risk population.  The Parkinson’s research carried out over 20 years, and involving nearly 16,000 people, suggests cholesterol may have a vital role in protecting the brain and nervous system.

The findings have alarmed experts who say if applied to the number of Britons deemed eligible for statins it could equate to 150,000 extra patients with Parkinson’s, a central nervous system disorder affecting one in 350 mostly older people.

The work has also fueled concerns that statins, now recommended for up to half the adult population over 50 by government drug policy adviser the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, may be doing many patients more harm than good.

Statin use linked to ParkinsonsTo make matters worse, the Drug Dealers and their pusher Doctors initially used to provide Statins those who had a 30 per cent or greater risk of suffering a heart attack. That number was shelved and in 2005, Statins were pushed to the population with only a 20 per cent risk. Drugsters have been moving to push it down to 10% (or 80% of the population) AND they have been moving the goalposts on age down to 8.

Here is the cite on Diabetes:

But London cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said: “Although the benefits are clear in reducing the risk of death in those with established heart ­disease this is not the case for a low-risk population.“Millions see them as a magic pill but they are not.

“This research shows you are more likely to develop irreversible Type 2 diabetes than prevent a non-fatal heart attack if you are at low risk.”

Participants in the study, carried out by the University of Eastern ­Finland and Kuopio University Hosp­ital, were aged between 45 and 73 and followed for six years. New diabetes was diagnosed in 625 men.

Cholesterol and Diabetes.When cholesterol is so critical to mental functioning, who wants to risk having to stick needles in your arm daily, test your blood sugars all the time, and suffer the risk of having the shakes so bad that you need to hire someone to do it for you?

On a personal note, my former GP pushed Statins hard, harder and hardest. He could not understand why I refused to take them. “It is all benefits and no downside/ Why can’t you see that?”  He quit practicing because of Parkinson’s about four years ago. He also compared his muscle pain to my constant back problems. Too bad his only response was hydrocodone.

I have(had) an expert who was also a big fan of Statins. He proudly showed me the latest, far more powerful version he had been taking since they came out. I had to withdraw him as an expert because his Parkinson’s made it impossible for him to travel.

Yet another scandal brewing in Big Pharma?  Recall restless leg syndrome? A nonsense diagnose intended to sell meds by popular demand? Or what of Pain Meds that actually kill?  Remember when you saw more VIOXX ads that beer or car ads on T&V? Merck spent 1.4 BILLION on advertising a year. Despite that, and after recouping every penny of research, development and manufacturing costs, they still made more than a BILLION a year in net profits. Pity it would kill you, although admittedly that would stop your complaints of pain.
VIOXX pulled off the market – cuz, it will damage, even kill you.

My hands down favorite has to be ulcer medications. An Aussie scientist claimed that a common bacteria was the cause of most ulcers he saw in his practice. Barry Marshall came up with this idea after he saw ulcers coincidently disappear when he gave his patients anti-biotics for unrelated problems.

It has been claimed that the H. pylori theory was ridiculed by the establishment scientists and doctors, who did not believe that any bacteria could live in the acidic environment of the stomach. Marshall has been quoted as saying in 1998 that “(e)veryone was against me, but I knew I was right.”

Eventually, despite strong complaints from the Drugster Industry, he was proven correct: Marshall and Robin Warren showed that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the cause of most peptic ulcers, reversing decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid. This discovery has allowed for a breakthrough in understanding a causative link between Helicobacter pylori infection and stomach cancer.
Bacteria the cause of most ulcers.Given that kind of track record, I am not surprised at this man-made mess regarding Statins.  “In an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr John Ioannidis estimated that the total sales of statins may approach $1 trillion worldwide by 2020; the most commercially successful drug in history, atorvastatin (Lipitor®), had sales exceeding $120 billion between 1996 and 2011.” Statin sale records.

Holy Heart Attack, Batman. A TRILLION DOLLARS IN SALES? No wonder the drugster industry is petrified over these new Statin findings.

I don’t practice medicine, although I do play doctor in my bedroom on occasion, but even I can add 2+2. It sure seems to me that Statins have a place in the medicine cabinet, just not for every adult in the US and A. Perhaps 5-8% at most. Instead, today’s docs seem intent on pushing Statins as a magic cure for, well see below:

High blood pressure?
Low blood pressure?
Erectile Disfunction?
Gall Bladder issues, including stones?
Sore male nipples and breast enlargement?
Testicular sensitivity?
Athlete’s feet?
Cranial auto-vacuumitis? (See generally, Michelle Bachmann)
Vaginal itch?
Bipolar Disorder, with Manic-Depressive and Suicidal tendencies?
Flatulence, with spastic Diarrhea?
Anal cysts?

(This Public Service Announcement was brought to you by the AMA and your local Statin supplier. Try Statins. It can only help you out!)

If you suffer from restless leg syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, insomnia, narcolepsy, erectile dysfunction, pryoprisms, vaginal dryness, vaginal discharge, nausea, anorexia, epilepsy, hoarseness, mental instability, depression, mania, suicidal tendencies, gout, ulcers, perspiration, diaper rash, tooth decay, oral tumors, confusion, irritability, anger, ideas of shooting up a post office, toe nail loss, delusional thoughts, angry dreams, constant thirst, shaking hands, muscle contractions, knee problems, dizziness, blurred vision, dry mouth, saliva dripping from your mouth, dental sensitivity, an uncontrollable need to rob a currency exchange while armed with a sagging banana, a sudden love of baseball, or visible, frothing oral Tumors with fungus, heart failure, irreversible lung congestion,  swollen scrotum, ovarian cancer, aortic aneurisms,  STOP TAKING THIS MEDICATION and contact your doctor immediately.

If you have an indescribable urge to dress up as a clown, stand in the middle of a busy intersection, while singing “Ding Dong, the Witch is dead” and keeping time by jumping up and down on one leg, then you have most likely overdosed on Statins, and your brain is now incapable of normal ideation, or even concrete ideation. Seek psychiatric help immediately.

Then again, anyone who is healthy and is taking Statins may want to seek that kind of help, too.

Donald Trump is a Plant

The more I watch the Donald perform his gig on air, the more I am convinced that he is a deliberately concocted, deliberately sold, and deliberately distracting plant.

What better way to seek the result you actually want?

First, you drive some of the nuts into distraction. Hucksterbee is going ever more to the Reich side, trying to find even his 15 seconds of fame, much less 15 minutes. As his folksy “charm” offensive becomes ever more transparent, silly, and just plain laughable, the huckster will finally hang up his angel wings and retire from Ye Olde Politicks. I just hope he makes it on the T&V this Thursday. 

Marco Rubio is both too inexperienced and too dumb to matter. Perhaps with the right seasoning, more pepper than salt, some onion, oregano, plus a bunch of cilantro (oops, it is all being recalled because of “Sam and Ella’s” new flavoring) and perhaps a tad of garlic, Rubio can develop into a W Clone, saying stupid shit, but without having the balls, the unmitigated arrogance, and stage presence to win despite multiple personal shortcomings.

Rick Perry? The best two things he has going for him are his new spectacles, and the knowledge that he is easily twice as smart as the man who replaced him. But NOT a serious candidate. Perry is fighting a fight on uneven terms. Most of the country is not Texan, and most of his competition is just as bad as he. 

Christ Chrissie? If his shenanigans of the past didn’t fuck his career forever, the fall out from his despicable Tunnel cancellation decision make his prospects, especially in the heavily populated NE of the country impossible. Christie’s latest, greatest effort at redemption? He has re-re-re-recreated himself as a friend of the commuter. AFTER he cancelled an absolutely critically necessary tunnel to ship hundreds of thousands of commuters on a daily basis. (Soon afterwards, he took the money and claimed the conservative throne because of that idiotic move) 

Squat Walker? I suspect that even his sugar daddies, or uncles, if your prefer, realize that he is seriously damaged goods, and no amount of their ill gotten gains can fix it all. Squat stoops to our direct north. Wisconsin used to be a state with great people, great cheese, better beer, and wonderful schools, especially its top notch university system. Scott’s turned the system into a “cystern.” Every union, excepting the police and fire morans who didn’t fully see our warnings as accurate, has had its present and future destroyed. The economy is now so bad, especially in comparison to states like Illinois or Minnesote, that Scott has been forced into out and out lying about his results. (Think Kansas, but without the funding by the Kochs).

Sanitorium? A frothy mix of religion, (who knows better than his pope, no less) stupidity, willful ignorance, and unyielding, unbending, fairy-tale based faith. I wonder just what sort of psychotropic medications could get rid of the voices in his head. If only he would seek decent psychiatric care under the ACA.

Ted Cruz controls a small segment of ideologically perverted voters, the kind who enjoy visiting grade schools, or crashing birthday parties for 9 year olds in public parks, while toting their Open Carry AK-47s. He cannot be stupid, not with his educational and professional pedigree. But, what could turn a man with some intellect into a braying mule-like jerk who manages to pick the wrong position on every major iissue?  I think there are three choices – A. he does it on purpose because he enjoys playing with people’s minds, and wonders just how far he could go before being found out; B. He really believes that spew he peddles;, or C. He suffers from a similar illness as Sanitorium.

 Bobby Jindahl – His candidacy has earned the following, weighty commentary: 

Lindsey Graham – I keep wondering what the people of his state are thinking, repeatedly keeping him in the senate. As substance goes, Lindsey is the kind of competitor that if he stands in the bright midday sun, he creates no shadow at all.

Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina – A failed libertarian, a failed neurologist, and an extremely failed businessperson? the mind boggles.

That leaves T-Rump and JeBushBush.

What a brilliant move, if the rumor about JeBushBush is true – that he sent operatives to by hook or crook, convince the Donald that he could win. What a strategery –  knowing that all you have to do is stay back in the pack, gather unbelievably huge amounts of Citizen’s United  millions, exude confidence, keep quiet and above the fray (except when Hilary accurately calls you out and you react instinctively – ie, like an idiot) and wait until the Donald self-immolates or quits, or more likely fires himself because he realizes that his campaign resembles a floating turd in an un-flushed toilet far more than a presidential caliber candidate. The added bonus is with a hothead like The Donald, he, too, will be taking aim at Hilary, with often accurate and painful aim. In fact, his attacks on Hilary might even be supported by Bush-Leaks to Team Donald in secret.

So as The Donald starts eroding the invincible aura that she tried for years to create, who is the winner? JeBushBush.

There might be token resistance to The Donald by the most obvious GOP leaders, like the RNC, the RCCC, the RSCC, and their best traitorous friend, Debbie Whatshername Schultz who ACTUALLY SUPPORTS Florida GOP candidates over Democrats.

Yes, I can fully believe that Donald Trump is a plant. Soooo, From the Church of Ineffable Stupidity, let’s talk agriculture:

So, what sort of plant is the Donald?

My top bet is with the species ARECACEAE

This botanical family of perennial shrubs and trees more commonly known as palm trees.  They have flowering seasons, from routinely, to as much as 100 years between flowers. Like the Donald, the vast majority are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates. And just like Donald’s hair, most palms are distinguished by their large, compound, evergreen fronds arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. As well as being morphologically diverse, palms inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests to deserts, again like the Donald. Although he is selling his $21 million condo in NYC.

The next bet would be ROSACAEA

This botanical family is more commonly known as roses. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing or trailing with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. In fact, grasping a Donald is no easier than grasping a thorny rose. Both will bite back. The problem is that while both roses and the Donald are superb at attracting attention, even at a distance, a rose uses its color, aroma, and natural beauty to grab your attention, while the Donald uses inane attacks, lies, deceit and more than anything, he relies on human nature to be attracted to a coming train wreck.

The last potential possibility would be PINACAEA

This botanical family includes the plants that we know as Pines. Woody, with an incredible variety of cone, leaf and seed characteristics, varieties can do as well in a blazing desert like Las Vegas as an ocean front area like the Jersey shore. Various species can survive in both temperate and subtropical regions of, where they are grown as timber or cultivated as ornamental plants in parks and gardens. Like the Donald too many of the introduced species have become invasive and threaten native ecosystems. Also like the Donald, the vast majority of Pines are notoriously thin skinned, somewhat sappy, and when exposed to too much heat, they can literally explode in flame.

What is that awful Stench?

What in the world is going on?

First, United stops all flights after its quite large computer network fails.

Next, NYSE stops all trading because its computers suffered some fault.

This comes after China(?) hacked multiple allegedly well protected federal computer systems over the past several months.

So what else is in the news? Greece, China, and the probable shutdown of the US government because of unfettered Teabuggery.

Let’s take Greece first. Austerity not only does not work, it actually makes things worse. The only word that describes what Austerity has done to Greece is “horrific.” And Merkel wants to make things worse. Piketty, and many others are waving a red flag in Merkel’s face, but she is color-blind, and immune to any outside advice. Her mind is made up, much like concrete that has already set.

Luckily for the US, our brush with disaster was limited (but we still suffered damage) when the mandated cuts in all federal spending actually took place. Almost everyone was shocked that the imaginary hammer actually fell in 2013. What we have now as the status quo, will stay with us, doing damage until 2021. Budget Sequestration was, is and will be a disaster for the US. Yet, we should survive, if only we do smart things like dropkick the F-35 in the process. Merkel’s Austerity solutions for Greece will be far worse, especially when one out of four Greeks are unemployed.

China? Wow. Shades of 1929. In the last few days, the huge, insular (ATM-based *) margin-festered Chinese stock market lost 30% of its value. At least 1,430 of the 2,776 companies traded in China which make up the Shanghai, have decided to pull their shares as markets continue their lemming-like march off the financial cliff.

We are talking TRILLIONS of dollars that have evaporated. An amount larger than the total GNP of the UK for an entire year.

The problem is compounded because the Chinese government deliberately permitted, even pushed, margin trading, with unbelievably easy terms (if the market rises). People who owned any asset, including a home, were able to double, triple, even quadruple their “bet” on the market by using their assets as collateral on a loan for the stock purchase. When the market value drops, those loans are due, wiping out hundreds of millions of families’ assets and destroying hundreds of thousands of small companies in the process.

Much like a Monty Python skit, (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink) everyone knew that the Chinese market was heavily over-inflated, and bore no factual relationship with their actual economy. Worse yet, the allegedly “thriving” parts of the economy (building new cities, new skyscrapers, and pouring concrete and laying steel) had run out of demand, while the pace of investment actually increased. Building an 80 story building in three weeks? Impressive, except when it remains empty.

Someone made out during this mess. Goldman Sachs clearly profited on both the start of the current Greek tragedy, swapping decent debt for crap, and now, like vultures picking and pecking among the corpses. It is likely that someone also profited from the Chinese disaster in the making.

The Greek Tragedy was a designed failure. The Chinese one, quite possibly was, too. (along with some really short-sighted policies from Beijing. The US govt. was seriously hacked. Today, United’s massive computers fail, AND the NYSE shuts down.

And now, the Wall Street Urinal is reporting that the US government will be shut down again, by the GOP.

Is there a pattern in the making here?

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* The Chinese have used this latest market bubble, which was artificially created by margin investing, to fund various military, social, and democratic investments, but these have been badly directed, and unbelievably fraudulent and inefficient. Think of the margin investment as creating a giant ATM that Bejing has used as a source of free money. It cannot and will not last.

Religious freedom

Religious Freedom – What is it, exactly? The Urban Dictionary defines it this way:

A bullshit excuse used by conservatives and the religious right to justify using their beliefs as weapons to preach against others who don’t believe in what they do. They claim that their right to speech (hate and discriminate) against anything they find immoral or against their ideology should be protected and legalizing something like abortion or same-sex marriage would infringe on their rights and hurt their “religious freedom” (to hate).

Tom: So how’s everything going? Mike: Pretty damn good. I’m very happy. Tom: Niiice. Mike: Yeah, Scott and I have been together for almost 6 years now and it’s been amazing. I love him. Tom: … Mike: I think I’m going to ask him to marry me. Tom: WTF? That’s fucking gay! Mike: …Well, we are gay… Tom: That’s so wrong and nasty. I’m offended. God hates that gay shit, and it’s my religious freedom to not put up with your sin. Mike: …I’m sorry you feel that way. We’re not going to marry in a church. The county is going to marry us. Tom: Fuck that. That’s wrong and I don’t agree. Don’t forget to send me an invite, faggot. I’m going to be there with my posse to protest that shit. I’m a christian and you can’t force that gay shit on me.



Under the guise of their own freedom, Conservative Christians (also Muslims, and other cults) seem to be happy only when they make other people’s lives completely miserable. The idea that a collection of writings, stolen from basically illiterate, unread, unstudied, and uneducated goat herders 3,000 years ago creates a mandatory set of rules for modern society should be laughable – except it is not. They seriously believe the shit that they spread.

Actually, their deliberate mangling of the definition of “freedom” by joining it with “religious” is itself a perversion. In this case, a concept that some very bright men a few centuries ago rediscovered was called freedom of religion. They even put pen to paper and included it in our second version of this nation’s constitution. The Articles of Confederation failed because they resembled too much what Brownback is doing to his failing state of Kansas.

But even our forefathers were not the first. In fact, Lithuania’s Grand Duke Gedeminas was one of the first to actively apply the concept of freedom of religion. When he conquered huge swaths of territory, he had two rules that he applied, fairly and uniformly. So long as the conquered people admitted that he was their ruler, and submitted to his over all control, they could and would maintain not only their local leaders (whose gratitude at being alive was immense) and political structures, but would also keep their religions. His written edict allowing all subjects to choose and maintain their own faiths was revolutionary. And it caused Rome a great deal of distress. It also led to at least one sanctioned “crusade” in an effort to install and instill Lithuania with Christianity.

Religious freedom. How best to define it?

Regardless of which faith you observe or study, it seems clear that faith is the necessary underpinning of every religion. Faith has been defined as “a firm, probably unwarranted, belief in something for which there is no proof”. Without faith, religion simply cannot exist. This is as good a place to start as any other. Faith. Everyone seems to recognize it, but what is it? What is truly meant by the word Faith? You might have noticed that superstitions and faith are closely linked. In fact, there is no difference between the two. Faith = superstition.

Present day superstitions grew over the ages because our earth-bound hominids had these wonderful tools called brains. At least in most cases, although some people today may debate even that statement. (See generally, Michelle Bachmann and Mike Huckerbee) when the earth shook beneath our ancestors’ hairy, unshod feet, or when tidal waves destroyed hamlets and crude abodes, when mountains blew up and spread lava and ash for no particular reason, hominids were puzzled. And being puzzled and confused is uncomfortable for us, even today. So, they made shit up. Any serious study of religion shows just how its creation was an effort to answer the unanswerable, to explain, to illuminate the vast mental darkness that plagued all of our ancestors.

We are curious animals. We seek answers and reasons and discoveries. If a closed box is on a table, for most of us, our first instinct is to open it. For others, their first instinct is to might blow it up ( Dick Cheney) or wish to seal it forever because it contains mortal sins. ( See generally, any conservative, evangelical, or Baptist Church).

Because our brains are powerfully curious, if we don’t find rational answers easily, we make things up. Our brains find patterns where none existed. That one simple cranial mechanism caused all sorts of superstitions to arise, and eventually to become fool-blown religious movements. Only now has our technology grown to a point where real science can answer the hardest of questions.

Much of what we now know about the universe has been due to brilliant geniuses like Newton, Galileo, Einstein, Bohr, Fermi, not to mention brave philosophers who braved the wrath of the powers that were, to promote new perspectives and truths.

Partly because of the Cult of Christianity, and partly because we humans have fought too many faith-based wars, technology and discoveries have taken a longer path than necessary. Anti-science movements were incredibly strong from 500 AD through the middle of the 16th century. Unfortunately, this willful ignorance is raising its ugly head once again. In many ways, today’s Klown Kar Kandidates uniformly believe that their future (and therefore, ours) depends on religion taking its “proper place” in society.

Seriously, for you to really appreciate just how bad things are going and how they will affect our little iron rock – solely because of faith – you have to take the entire body of scientific, medical, engineering, analytical, and philosophical thought and set it aside, (many “believers” want to throw it out permanently) and replace it with a peculiar version of Christian dogma. While doing so, you must rely on “Faith” and ignore the religion’s bloody, dubious history, and the fact that its instruction manual was poorly and inaccurately translated and repeatedly interpreted from an archaic tongue so primitive that the creators of the language failed to discover or use punctuation marks or vowels.

For such mental misfits, religion is the only thing that will save humanity (and their GOP) from guaranteed ruin and utter chaos. Some religions leader (and at least two GOP presidential candidates) actually speak glowingly of Vlad Putin just because of his treatment of “teh gays.” That alone should be grounds to ban them permanently from and position of responsibility, power, or elected office. But, instead we see the unbelievable spectacle of 19 conservatives each trying to take ever more conservative positions and impose ever more extreme religious ideas and ideals. Except the dude with the rotating wives.

Today’s believers see troubled waters ahead. They see mega churches closing. They see empty pews, and the recognize that those who remain faithful are quite a bit older than the general population. The yute, it seems, are MIA and are quite unlikely to change their ways and begin to tithe and pray in those close-minded hellholes they call church. Much like their dwindling membership, churches are simply dying off.

The most conservative of today’s Christians claim that there exists a single Great and Powerful bearded sky-based god-like person (much like the man behind that curtain in Oz). According to their Faith, their god inexplicably missed out on the part about the universe being around for billions of years, with billions of galaxies, their billions of stars and countless inhabited planets. They insist that only the Christian version of creation is true, i.e., that their god created everything about 6,012 solar orbits ago. Out of his entire, immense and infinite universe, only this iron rock and its hominids are deemed worthwhile of god’s attention.

Luckily, these Christians weren’t too overly egotistical, or else they might have claimed that everything in the universe actually revolved around them and their pathetic little, flat rock. Oh, wait. They did make that claim. Some still cling to that idea.

Now, before you start pointing fingers and claim how silly this all seems at this point, you had better know that it gets much worse. Theirs is a history of deadly battles over language, translations, gospel selection, forgeries, canons, Gnostic ideas, cult wars, wars against nonbelievers, assassinations, murder, riots, torture and repeated acts of treachery. The current version of their biblical instruction manual has undergone numerous translations, editing, changes, even wholesale adapting.

Even in this modern, “enlightened age”, the most strident Christians claim that the version of their instruction manual you read today is completely “inerrant” (defined as incapable of containing errors or mistakes). According to them, the bible consists solely of the actual words that popped out of god’s mouth into the ears of some ancient Hebrew or Aramaic listeners. Because god himself was doing the talking, it was absolutely impossible for the human scribes to make any mistakes. The same theory applies to all the translations that followed. (Some in the bible belt believe that god actually dictated the book in Modern English, long before that language ever existed.)

In 1978, a group of the top evangelical “religious thinkers” (a prime example of an oxymoron, if there ever was one) gathered together to study this difficult “inerrancy” question. After much debate, even hostility, they issued the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.” This lovely little document claims that because their instruction manual was “god-given”, “(it) is without error or fault in all of its teachings”, including about how the earth was created, all aspects of earth’s history, and even as to the creation of their fun-filled instruction manual itself.

Circular reasoning is defined as “the practice of assuming something in order to prove the very thing you assumed.” When a christian scholar claims that god exists and the bible is infallible – because it says so, that christian propagandist has achieved the pinnacle of circular reasoning. Their book claims it is true, therefore, everything must be measured by that warped yardstick. Voila!

Religious Freedom, at least today, means that a two part fairy tale must control your life and your life’s choices. Freedom, indeed.

If you really want to learn more about honest, modern, family values, the christian instruction manual is not exactly a good place to start your research. Today’s most serious practitioners rarely follow every word, even when they have the audacity to claim that every word is without error.

Most of them probably never read it cover to cover, much less analyze the true meaning of the verses. That helps explain why so many current christian practices and theories are so offensive to the intellect. It also helps explain why christians are so afraid of modern teaching. Today’s christianity is the last, best, refuge of anti-intellectual scoundrels and hypocrites.

In Leviticus 25:44, it says that males can own both male and female slaves, so long as they come from other countries or competing tribes. From other parts of the bible it is clear that female slaves had only one purpose, at least in their earlier, nubile, years. Sex.

This one statement was the cause of centuries of suffering, untold death, destruction and bloodshed all over the world, all in the name of god. If you were a person of color, with those words, this cult’s belief caused the destruction of your family, your freedoms and eventually, your life. But, hey, if you have enough Faith, and believe that holding other humans in bondage is merely god’s will, then there is very little evil that cannot be justified under their good book.

For many decades in early America, killing a slave wasn’t even considered to be a crime. Punishing them when, where and how you saw fit was your religious birthright. You master, he slave. There are many historical examples in which slave-owners successfully claimed that killing off your two-legged property was no worse than slaughtering a lame horse.

As late as the 1860s, Very Serious People (reminiscent of today’s Fox News regulars) argued that because the bible supported the idea of slavery, American had to maintain that abhorrent practice. All too often today’s Klown Kar Kandidates seem to use similar arguments to support their positions on same sex marriage, birth control, even their Koch-based economic policies.

If they were truly faithful, our society would look very, very different. Bleeding women tend to wreck havoc with men‘s sex lives. Lev. 15:19-24.
A horny male simply can’t touch them during their periods. Period. Perhaps that is why so many biblical heroes had numerous concubines and sexual playmates, not to mention, rape victims, lovers and multiple wives.

According to most of their instruction manual, men could pretty much decide with who and when they wanted to sleep. In Leviticus, females learn that sleeping with an in-law could get you burned at the stake.

Still, your own family members still have their uses. If you had too many financial debts and mortal sins to deal with, you could atone for many of your sins by selling your daughter into slavery. Exod. 21: 7. Instead of promoting ‘modern’ christian family values, the bible suggests the financial value of your christian family.

Even though most of today’s christian bigots claim that gays and lesbians commit moral and mortal sins, the bible is surprisingly free of such prohibitions. In fact, several biblical heroes were known for their love of all mankind. Claving and craving one another seemed to work out alright for them.

Their bible also controls your diet. It has all sorts of rules about eating. For example, oysters and mussels are a mortal sin; eating them is worse than having gay sex. Lev. 11: 10.

Unfortunately for the curious student, the bible remains silent about what happens to gays should they happen to swallow lobster or crabmeat before claving each other. Possibly earthquakes, tsunamis or hurricanes? No, Californian droughts!

How food is created is just as important. Just What Would Jesus Do about modern farming technology? Today, these christian Farmer John types had better stop with all of those evil new-fangled farming techniques. Like crop rotation.

According to their inerrant science guide, the mere planting of more than one crop in a field is a deadly sin. Lev. 19:19.

DeKalb, Pioneer and other seed companies manufacture and sell genetically modified grains, each of which have so many different traits, that they probably constitute entirely different crops. Does growing different strains of corn, soy and wheat mean that the farmer who dares grow these crops or the people who eat those products are sinning against god? And what about crop rotation and mixing crops to prevent insect and fungal infestation? Or to refresh the field by a judicious use of nitrogen producing plants? Are all modern farming techniques to be barred because of some ancient book? Oh, good. Let’s all starve in the name of their god.

How will the American farm industry react when farmers find themselves stoned to death simply because they experiment to decrease their reliance on herbicides and insecticides?
Probably the most interesting requirements center around Leviticus. One chapter makes some strong statements about about hair cuts, of all things. If you trim the hair around your ears, you will die. 19:27.

But back to religious freedom and faith. Even under the most minimal scrutiny, it is clear that “religious freedom” is anything but. Their sole purpose is to control what you can or cannot do, hardly the best example of freedom. The logical conclusion is that today’s GOP, it’s conservative Christian candidates, and the most extreme members of that party are either liars or hypocrites – more likely both.

Simply put, today’s alleged movement for religious freedom is little more than a fraud. A dangerous, destructive, and damaging fraud. What is striking today is just how strident their voices have become. 25 years ago, Sanitorium or a Huckerbee would have been laughed off the stage. A Rubio or a Cruz would have been laughing stocks. Instead, they are very serious candidates whose core beliefs are treated with kid gloves (can’t have pigskin just because) by our corporate owned media.

Religious Freedom is not just a fraud, it is the major underpinning of one of our major political parties, in a very sick and disgusting way.

Lettuce prey.