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.




The problem that is Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Braking gnus:

It’s part of what DNC Communications Director called an “aggressive expansion” of the committee’s communications team heading into the election cycle, which will give Democrats a solid shot at taking back the Senate and holding onto the White House.
The DNC has hired Holly Shulman, who formerly served as spokeswoman for international affairs at the Treasury Department, as its new national press secretary, per a committee release. She worked as Obama’s New Hampshire press secretary in 2012 and has previously held communications roles in congressional and statewide races in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Debbie, Debbie, Debbie. Will the penny never drop? Or are you too greedy and self-absorbed to realize what a mess you made of the DNC?
I personally know of at least a dozen people who answered your recent survey by demanding that you be replaced. I guess we won’t see those poll results any time soon.

The core problem is that you not only mishandled the job, you actually have no clue on how to do it right.

New communications staff? THAT’S your solution?

Debbie, you pissed off every single Democratic voter with your approach last election season. Honestly, we did not want to learn how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, by totaling up sending trillions of e-mails your DNC sent, each of them more and more desperate, all demanding “Just $4 a month to save this election!” As though such tactics would change the election results. After receiving more than 40 such requests on one day, I began responding by dropping off each one of those lists.

It was, bar none, the worst approach to an election that I have ever witlessed. You not only fucked up the election, you actually supported GOPers over liberal candidates in Florida! That alone should have caused your termination.

So instead of facing up and owning up to your abject failure, instead of running a national campaign in every state and race, instead of cooperating and coordinating with the White House political staff, you went big . . . If self-dealing, greed, and ineffable stupidity constitute going big, then wow, you were successful.

And despite a horrific track record, your answer is to hire more communications staff? Seriously? I have no doubt that they may be talented, effective at their jobs, and might have some good ideas. But the basic problem is the rot at the top of the organization. There simply is no getting around the fact that you suck as DNC chair.

If you really want to serve, if you really want what is best for the DNC, the democratic party and the nation, resign. Please.

Papal Crimes and Misdemeanors

In some ways, both too much and too little is being made of the sex abuse crimes committed by Catholic priests around the world. From Poland to China, from Ireland to New York, from Los Angeles to Sao Paolo, priests routinely destroyed the lives of innocent little boys and girls.

Until 2005, the person who controlled every case, every claim, every piece of litigation around the world was Cardinal Ratzinger. To save electrons, I will simply call him the Rat.

The recent document release in Los Angeles again proves how closely the Rat followed each case, and controlled the actions of local officials.

While child abuse may be salacious and seedy, simply mentioning it in connection with the Rat may be good enough for MSM, but the Papal crimes go far deeper.

His resignation (something almost as rare as prayers being answered) is the fourth in the church’s 2000 year history of blood, war, murder, crusades, torture, and abuse. Perhaps that voice he heard telling him to resign was an echo of an abused’s child’s cry, as a well protected priest repeatedly sodomized and abused the kid.


From the Church of Ineffable Stupidity:

Let’s break down the crimes and misdemeanors into three groups. Even one of these should have been enough to cause the shut down of this evil organization. But all three?

1. A bloody, terrifying, and deadly history:

1099 – The First Crusade
Under Pope Urban’s orders, thousands of muslims, pagans, and excommunicated people were killed by Catholic crusaders. The devastation caused by the Pope’s troops caused future starvation and major loss of life.

1312 – Knights Templar
Pope Clement the V sought to enrich himself by concocting lies, murdering most of the leaders of the Knights, and stealing their lands, riches, and treasures. In doing so, he destroyed the first international banking system.

1545 – the Massacre of Merindol
Pope Paul decides to eradicate 24 villages which were populated by protestants. Thousands were killed, including women and children. The Pope pardons those involved.

1572 –  St. Bartholomew’s Massacre
Under the french crown’s orders, with strong papal support,  30,000 Huguenauts were murdered by Catholic goon squads, because of their protestant beliefs. The pope wrote and congratulated the french king on his success. Pope Gregory XIII issued a medal celebrating the murders, which was awarded to anyone who killed sufficient numbers of non-catholics.

1626-1631 – Bamberg Massacre
German catholics embark on non-stop witch hunts, causing the deaths of hundreds of innocents. German towns suffered greatly under the Church, with at least two towns having most women over the age of 30 being exterminated due charges of witchcraft.

I won’t bother mentioning the crusades to the Iberian Peninsula, used to clear out indigenous scientists, scholars, poets and scribes who made the mistake of being Muslim. I will ignore the Eastern European crusades, which wiped out indigenous tribes and cultures. And, temporarily, let’s forget about the later crusades to Save Jerusalem from its Own Peoples.

With this kind of history, how can anyone think that this organization is an asset to humanity?

2. Banking Scandals: Money laundering, drug dealing, arms trade

This topic alone could take volumes to describe. Remember Banco Ambrosiano, a Vatican scandal that led to the murders of bankers, witnesses, prosecutors, and blackmail by the Church and its mafia friends?  This scandal exploded in the 1980s.

Banco Ambrosiano was known as the Pope’s bank, or the Vatican’s bank. It provided criminal organizations an easy path to launder money and to transfer great sums to certain friends. Unsavory investments and worse went forward, When the Banco finally collapsed, records of financial support and bribery to both sides of the Nicaraguan revolution was tied to the Vatican. It profited from selling arms used in the killing of thousands.

Because laundering money was so profitable, the Vatican Bank stepped up and fill the shoes of Banco. Once again, criminal organizations, international drug dealers, arms dealers – often involving enemies of Italy and NATO, had a way to transfer huge amounts of money without US or Euro knowledge or oversight.

Money laundering for the Mafia, drug lords, weapons dealers, perhaps even terrorist states, and extremely questionable dealings by the Roman Curia were uncovered as recently as July, 2012. The man behind the crimes and their stonewalling cover-ups is the current  Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. Not only does he double deal on the world political stage, he has his sticky fingers on the 7-8 Billion euros that are directly controlled by the Vatican. This does NOT include income, capital gains, or real estate investments.

There is no indication that the Vatican Bank and the Sec. of State have changed their ways since the 1980s, when the corrupt Milanese banker Robert Calvi and the mafia financier Michele Sidona were found to be dealing with drug dealers, weapons sales (to groups directly opposed to NATO interests), and other fascinating, corrupt practices. When one avenue for  crimes was ended because of the Banco collapse, (under Archbishop Paul Marcinkus) the Vatican simply moved its dirty dealings to two accounts at JP Morgan Chase, opened by the Vatican Bank.

Millions of Vatican dollars were deposited to one account in Milan, then transferred (and laundered) in another JP Morgan account in Germany, effectively erasing the trail of how the Vatican originally got the funds. After Italian police froze tens of millions of dollars in the Milan account, the Vatican pled, bribed, stonewalled, and pushed for the the re-openning of that account and release of those funds. Eventually Italy agreed to release the funds it froze, but it refuses to put the Vatican Bank back on the list of approved banks. In simpler terms, the Vatican Bank is still so dirty and connected with mob, drug, and arms dealing money, that not even the Italian Government allows it to do business with it, or allows it to do international business.

There is no way around the fact that the Vatican Bank invested in, profited from, and did everything possible to keep its many ties to crime and heavy duty criminals quiet. Many groups currently blowing up parts of our allies’ cities might have been armed and supported by the Vatican.

3. Rev. Marciel Maciel, Ireland. Poland. Spain. Los Angeles. Milwaukee. New York. Chicago. Milwaukee. Boston. Las Vegas (where catholic churches actually outnumber casinos) Rio. Mexico City. Beijing. Toronto. Boston. Germany. France.

The list of cities and countries currently investigating the Church’s sexual abuse of children continues to grow. The worst thing about it? How The Rat ran the office in charge of these crimes from 1982 to 2005. EVERY decision, every destruction of documents, every hidden witness, or transferred witness, every legal stance taken by the church in every country was approved and ordered by the Rat. His sole goal was to protect the accused, and to hide evidence. Never did he care for the kids whose lives were ruined.

The US Catholic church boasts of having 60 million sheeple. More than 100,000 children were sexually abused by this criminal organization – according to its own records!  Child Abuse statistics from the Catholic Church. The church admits that in the US alone, there were 6,195 priests who actively sexually abused children. Many of these criminals REMAIN ACTIVE as priests in the USA.

Any organization that cherishes, protects, and employs 6,000+ active criminals is not a holy institution. It is a criminal organization.

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It would take a brave politician indeed to question the continued coddling and protection that Church has received from state and federal governments. Its tax free status, its huge land holdings through out the USA (it remains the biggest landowner in Chicago, sometimes secretly owning great swaths of the Loop and lakeside properties) and its manipulation of the bankruptcy laws should shock the conscience of any ethical human. But this church is not ethical.

As recently as 2003, high ranking Vatican members celebrated the hiding of child abusing priests and the destruction of documents. Here are the immoral words of just one such Vatican cardinal, Dario Castrillon Hoyos, thanking a bishop for his coverup:

I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration. You have acted well and I am please to have colleagues in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and all other bishops in the world, preferred prison to denouncing his son and priest.


Take Milwaukee, for example. The Archdiocese faced more than 200 claims, involving several priests. So it transferred the culprits, without warning the new parishes of the priests’ abuse history. Faced with growing numbers of complaints, and seeing a great opportunity to screw the victims one more time, the archdiocese transferred tens of millions of dollars in assets to a small cemetery in Milwaukee, allegedly funding its upkeep. Given the small size and low cost of upkeep, this transfer keeps the cemetery in shape for more than a thousand years. And it keeps the millions out of the hands of those greedy little children who dared attract those innocent priests.
Luckily, the tide is turning. Recently,  Illinois and Minnesota withdrew their statutes of limitation on sexual child abuse crimes, and New York is actively working its own statute. BY withdrawing these bars to civil recovery, victims who frequently covered up and hid their own abuse can finally seek some remedy, even though the abuse likely scarred them for life.

As for this new pope, Francis? According to attorneys on the street, those involved in child abuse litigation, nothing has changed. The same hardball tactics, the same reluctance to comply with discovery, and the same insulting approach to the victims continues unabated.

Monster Beverage hires some Experts

Breaking News: Dateline NEW YORK — “Monster Beverage is hitting back at a lawsuit alleging its energy drinks were responsible for the death of a 14-year-old Maryland girl, saying that no blood test was performed to confirm that the girl died of “caffeine toxicity.” The disclosure comes amid intensifying scrutiny of energy drinks and their caffeine levels. A lawsuit filed last year by the family of Anais Fournier said the girl went into cardiac arrest after drinking two, 24-ounce cans of Monster drinks in a 24-hour period.

At least five deaths since July, 2012, were attributed to Monster consumption by teens.
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In unrelated news, ten years ago, the FDA announced that carbonated beverages containing caffeine could not contain more than 65 mgs per can, especially when sold in carbonated form. The only exception were beverages intended solely to provide massive caffeine doses, such as Vivrin. Such drinks were designed for over-the-road CDL drivers who conveniently forgot about US-DOT’s limitation on hours of service. Vivrin and similar drinks contain no more than 200 mgs per daily dose.

Since the GOP managed to fuck over ejukashun programs across the country, starting with Leave No Childs Behind, and ending with efforts to teach Creationism and Intelligent Design as real, honest, god-given Science, (with a capital C), it is no surprise that illiteracy has become a way of life for growing numbers of Tea Bagger members and their offspring.

Following closely behind is Innumeracy. For those unaware of this mental deficiency and unable to find a dictionary on their computer, someone suffering from Innumeracy is defined as “A person who is unfamiliar with mathematical concepts and methods.”

By “mathematical concepts and methods” I mean basic arithmetic, subtraction, and multiplication of digits no greater in length than two. Division, fractions, and percentages create a Brave New World which such sufferers recognize as alien and strange, something to be ignored in the hopes that it goes away. For example, to a TeaBuggered sufferer of Innumeracy, if you threatened them with a course in advanced arithmetic, and said, “Here’s Lesson One,” most of them would suspect that you were talking about “Zero.”

Applying basic math to Monster, two of their drinks would have approximately EIGHT FUCKING TIMES the amount of caffeine that the FDA considered the maximum more than a decade ago.

I am sure that none of the sponsors or manufacturers ever attended a Rave, or any teen-based get together. It would be impossible to predict that in the heat of the dance, or a great hormone-raging party, that your functionally illiterate and innumerate teen would recognize that drinking two Monsters could be fatal. That doing so put 8 times the recommended maximum dose of a powerful drug into your bloodstream. That Caffeine can kill in relatively high doses. That kids do stupid things on a dare. That kids, and even adults, are incapable of recognizing dangers that might be hidden on a drink label or warning. That by aiming their advertising at teen kids, they are creating a potentially deadly mix of party, ‘coolness,’ drink, and death.

Luckily, Monster, Inc talked to Big Tobacco, Asbestos manufacturers, and BP, and learned from them which medical group they used to procure “experts” necessary for them to defend their product from any rational attacks. Watch those same prostitutes offer a defense which mentions free enterprise, “not our fault!”, “they could easily swallow a bottle of aspirin”, and  the scientific proof is sorely missing, as topics.
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In more unrelated news, the family of 14 year old, Anais Fournier, is the family that filed suit against Monster Beverage, Inc. Their daughter attended a party, drank two Monster drinks, and died of cardiac arrest. Monster’s defense? It is impossible to die of Caffeine Toxicity. It’s not our fault. Our product is innocent, safe, and pop-(profitable)-ular.


On edit, one reader emailed me and asked about the Famous “Fox Effect” on today’s yute. While I certainly agree that anyone watching Fox News eventually suffers from cognitive difficulties, because the average viewer of Fox News is in excess of 73.2 years of age, I doubted that Fox and fiends has any impact on drinkers of Monster.

The Onion Factor

In some future history book, or more likely, an iHistory App, a century from now, people will look back at our era and point to us, right here and now, as the day. To be more precise, “THE DAY!”  Historians, social scientists, psychologists and other mental health experts of all stripes will look at all of the events transpiring, exchange looks, nod wisely and agree, “This is When The Onion Factor Began.”

With all apologies to the Onion, when I skimmed over my daily papers (yes, I still like the rubbed ink smears, especially with cross words, and even crosser numbers like Sudoku), then switched to my early morning news feeds, I realized something that jarred me rather fiercely.

I could no longer tell the difference between the Onion and actual media outlets.

Here’s are just a few examples:

1) Freedumb works on porn?
You all know by now who Freedom Works is – a ultra-reich wing outlet that the Koch Brothers and others have used to astroturf the TeaBuggerers. Their performance in the last election cycle ranged between pathetic and laughable, and still their presence is like a rotting elephant’s corpse in the corner. Their very threat of interference leaves formerly solid re-election bets like Mitch McConnell shivering in their britches. Because McConnell doesn’t scream “NO!” loudly enough in Pres. Obama’s face.

The TeaBuggered billionaire outlet, proving again that money and wisdom rarely mix, apparently has a bit of a PR problem.

First, Dick Armey resigned, made threats, then walked away with $6 million in hush money from them. Next, we learn that Matt Kibbe, Freedom Works’ president, used FW resources, staff and money to “write” a book while he was supposedly working for FW. He then spent six figures of FW money to raise the book’s profile artificially (Amazon, etc) and kept all of the book’s revenues for himself.

In most states, that’s considered criminal fraud.

Amazingly, it gets better. They invested untold sums of money in video-taping a porn flick. Yes, the organization that proudly calls itself a natural ally of American Family Association and christian conservatives around the country, FW actually filmed a porn flick involving a female in a panda suit servicing a Faux Hilary Clinton with oral sex.

As I said, we have achieved the Onion Factor.

No matter how badly they act, no matter how gruesome their crimes, the LAPD manage to outdo themselves.

I abhor violence, and the idea of a crazy former cop running around kidnapping and shooting people is extremely disturbing. BUT – they found this guy’s wallet and ID at another crime scene. They corner this rat, and burn down the cabin – with him inside. And then, they claim that his drivers license helped ID him? This guy loses his wallet and ID, there’s a state wide police hunt going on, and he worries about being stopped while driving without his license? AND the license survived the fire? AND they just happened to bring dental records before the fire started “to help with ID?”

Everyone, EVERY SINGLE ONE of us is entitled to Due Process of law. The instant that we make snap decisions and allow our police kill people they deem dangerous, without proper court proceedings, without proper safeguards, without the rule of law, our society has begun in a death spiral that will be impossible to escape. It may be hard, it may be emotional, it may take time, and cost money, but damn it, TRY THE GUY for his crimes. If a jury finds him guilty, then carry out the sentence. But, do not have police sell us their revenge package and call it justice. Because every single one of us become at risk with that kind of justice.

3) Fox News
Amid a few, lonely signs of rational thinking, (firing Palin, for example) Faux has outdone itself. It seems that they forgot who won the November election, and continue to treat our political process – no, I can’t find a valid comparison. But, as one telling example, Fox News’ Martha MacCallum and Brian Kilmeade learned of the 102 year old Desiline Victor’s voting problems. She was forced to wait in line for hours, as GOP plans to artificially suppress minority voters worked almost as planned.

The Fox spin readers’ response? On air? THEY LAUGHED AT HER. “What’s the big deal?”

4) Evangelical Groups seeking to kill LGBT in Ugana funded by the State
Even in a more socially fair and sophisticated country like Canada, the crazies still have too much control. Christian Crossroads receives money from Ontario to operate in Uganda – where they are working towards making homosexuality a crime punishable by death. Shame on you, Ontario, shame!

5) North Carolina
Despite having the highest unemployment rate in the country, this collection of jerks decided to cut some taxes for a few favored businesses, while also cutting unemployment benefits for the unemployed by 35%.

Yeah, let CEOs take home more money, while cutting the lives short for hundreds of thousands of people.

Who said The Onion Factor was sane?

6) GOP Behavior
Just a few years ago, John Kerry(D) was the target of tens of millions of attack ads, and personal attacks so disgusting and stomach turning, that even some GOPers were repulsed. Last week, the vast majority of the Senate voted to approve him as secretary of state.

Yesterday, the same GOP cretins decided to filibuster the president’s nominee for Secretary of War, Charles Hagel, a conservative Republican. Why? Hagel and AIPAC don’t care much for each other, and Hagel tends to speak his mind. (The second is by far, the greater sin).

The excuse the idiot party uses is Libya (a place that few of the senators could find on a map or a globe. Definitely not a globe, for several of them, since their world is flat and 6000 years old)and the unfortunate attack on a CIA- State Department outpost. After cutting funds to secure such places, the GOP now complains that those bases were too insecure.

Funny how so few of them demanded “answers” after 9/11, eh? Instead, they promoted the bimbo who held the chair for their president’s National Security Council. They also uniformly voted to invade the wrong country, and pushed for covering up torture and huge frauds committed by GOP contractors in Iraq.

There is so much more out there. Just pick up a national paper (too many of the regional ones have been raped by take over experts, and no longer do “news” and take a gander.

An Abortion Deal for today’s GOP

After the RNC spent hours, even days, trying to find out what went wrong, and trying to find a path to electoral victories in the future, the RNC came to a stunning conclusion:

“Our message is correct. We simply didn’t present it well.”

( I feel like throwing in a random “Fundamentally” or “Fundamental” in there. As in, “Our fundamentalist message is correct.”)

We also learned today that the GOP decided to concentrate on “abortion” as their 2013 key issue. Both Rand Paul and John Boehner agreed to make banning all abortions their key program. Let’s take them at their word. After all, when they promised to gum up all the works in Congress after 2010, they did precisely what they promised. Ergo, I see no reason to doubt their words or their intent. Given the spanking they received on taxes, on gay marriage, on the role of government, they may have realized that the RNC’s vaunted Idea Cupboard was pretty much bare, except for abortion.

Before today’s announcement about the RNC’s direction for 2013, here is what Rence Preibus (1/13/2013) had to say about the President:

“Today’s press conference reveals just how little President Obama cares about deficit reduction. There is nothing ‘responsible’ about continuing to put trillions of dollars on the nation’s credit card,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “Instead of showing leadership, the president seems to believe he has no role in leading the country toward fiscal responsibility. Instead, he prefers to cast blame elsewhere. But he is the one who promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term and then presided over the first four $1 trillion deficits in American history, racking up more debt in one term than any president before him. “Republicans take our spending crisis seriously because it’s a drag on our economy and a threat to our children’s future. President Obama should tackle these issues head on, like a president, instead of running from the problem.” If it weren’t so funny, I’d be crying. In all honesty, having two strong, capable, and rational political parties is healthy for a nation. When both sides honestly try to do what is right for the nation, and compromise in favor of doing good, the results are usually good. Not perfect, not happy, not complete, but generally good. If one side or the other has too much power, they make mistakes or misuse their power.
Unfortunately, what I describe above does not exist in America. We don’t have two strong or capable parties. Most importantly, we do not have two rational national parties. Both parties are (ahem) fundamentally flawed.

Today’s GOP is simply crazy. If the best and the brightest of them, (those who make up the RNC) honestly believe that their positions are right on all the important issues, ie, taxes, investing in infrastructure, wall street regulations, abortion, then the only conclusion left is that they are stark raving insane. No amount of anti-psychotics or psychotropic medications will do any good. Sad to say, I suspect that those within the RNC have become so brain-washed on their pet issues, and immune to rational arguments that oppose their talking points, that they honestly think that theirs is the only working plan. Even worse, there are enough TeaBuggerers holding office to continue to hold the GOP hostage. And to top it off, their TeaBuggered supporters will punish any effort at compromise, even if it is best for the nation.

But the Democrats have their problems, too. Harry Reid demonstrated exactly how weak-kneed, spineless, and pathetic our side can be, especially in the face of certain victory on filibuster changes. At least our problem can be corrected in future elections. I don’t suspect that the degree of mental incapacity on display within the GOP is as easily fixed. Especially when a few billionaires are so willing to invest hundreds of millions in those ideas.

Here is a simple, effective, and workable plan that we should follow. In fact, we should contact all GOPers and Dems and have them sign on to this “agreement.”

If the GOP is going to support the concept of “Life” and work on banning all abortions, the the Democrats need to demand that any legislation proposed by the GOP must include a complete ban on assault weapons, large capacity magazines, and a strong mental capacity requirement for any and all gun sales. Additionally, if they really want to save lives, ban all gun shows.

What’s that I hear? Do I hear squealing of angry GOPers, upset that we would dare link two issues both intent on saving lives? Can you imagine the sputtering response of Paul Ryan and Ron Paul, when faced with the argument that gun control and abortion bans both save lives?

Honestly, I don’t expect that the GOP can afford to combine both issues, not without the TeaBuggerers going postal, and perhaps exploding in violence. The most likely result would be that GOPers would accuse the Democrats of sabotage, by linking the two issues. It would not be pretty, but heck, it would be pretty entertaining. Or as the Chinese say, “exciting times.”

So be it.

Guns in Schools?

1993 – Wendy Northcutt has the brilliant idea of putting together a collection of the ineffably stupid. She called it the Darwin Awards, and later published print versions of her collections.

2012 – The NRA calls for arming teachers in schools.

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From the Church of Ineffable Stupidity:

In my misbegotten yute, I came up with multiple scary plans, usually involving  ironic, sarcastic, and pre-curmudgeonly humors and femurs, even devious plans. Had I taken any one of the more serious ideas to its logical conclusion, instead of only finishing the half baked and par-boiled plans, death and destruction would certainly have been involved. Quite possibly leading to the end of civilization as we know it.

For example, when I sabotaged my home in advance of my parents coming home from work, each and every one of the tricks backfired, and got me. I ended up wet, filthy, wetter, filthier, and exhausted. I was, as it were, the April Fool.   Think of it as crushing a dozen habanero peppers with your fingers, then rubbing your eyes. You cry so much that you could not help laughing. At yourself.  When I was away at boy scout camp, and I got others to agree to . . . . Never mind. Those memories are too painful.

Needless to say, part of one’s growing experience is falling flat on one’s face, learning the right lesson, and picking one’s self up by the bootstraps. Or as Sir Douglas Adams wrote,

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.”

As I eventually survived my error prone yute-dumb and became a fool-fledged adult-aged  curmudgeon, I learned that my actions often caused reactions or other events to occur. I even learned that making a silly or stupid action would result in a silly, stupid, embarrassing, even harmful result. Some people call that the act of maturing.

The good thing is, not everybody does it. Where would we be without the Sarah Palins, the Eric Cantors, the Dick Armeys of the world, and where would our comics and comedians find new raw material?

It is in this vein that we should examine the latest calls to arms, specifically, the one put forth by one Wayne LaPierre.

It is bad enough that TeaBuggers have infested Washington. They are doing their immature damnedest to take this country out of an economic rut, and instead, put it out of its misery, permanently. TeaBuggerers pose a clear and present danger to democracy. Hard to believe as it is, there is one group even more stupid, more dangerous, and more immature than TeaBuggerers: The NRA and its strongest supporters.

Given my dirty tricks experiences, I have found it easiest, safest, and smartest to review my plans from a “worst case scenario.” If I dig this mantrap in a forest, and fill the bottom of the pit with sharpened stakes, what on earth could go wrong? If I take this burning cloth, and stuff it into my neighbor’s car’s gas tank, what might happen? If I light this firecracker and grasp it tightly, what would be the result?

Or, more specifically, If I arm every teacher in grade and high school, and force them to conceal carry, what on earth could go wrong with that idea? Seriously, what?

Let me count the ways:

1. A teacher could lose his, her, its temper, especially with a classroom filled with unruly yutes, intent on make the teach miserable.

2. A teacher could accidentally drop a loaded weapon in a class filled with 3d graders.

3. A teacher could finally learn that his, her, its, spouse was having an affair with Mr. Jones in History/ Social Studies. And lose his, her, its temper.

4. A teacher could have his, her, its, gun stolen by an unruly yute, one with the same level of immaturity that caused my parents so much grief in years past.

5. Or, the likeliest scenario – the gun goes off as intended, but the rank amateur pulling, not squeezing the trigger, is unable to aim it properly. And as all well designed machines, it goes off as intended, just not where expected.

I’ve had some experience in shooting. In high school NJROTC, I was sent to Quantico, where I learned to shoot M-16s, handguns, even an automatic weapon. Despite intensive training, a very experienced NCO intent on making my life hell, and repeated efforts, my handgun skills were laughable. Since then, I have taken several civilian and police courses on shooting safety and practice. Not only were they far less intense than the Navy version, they taught far less. With a rifle, I can hit someplace on a target. With a pistol, at 20 yards, pissing at it upwind might be more accurate. Under severe stress and fear? Forget it.

I know this is an indirect, long-running, way of getting to the point, but if the points are unclear,  let me make them plain.

A. Having a loaded gun in a room filled with yutes is a very silly idea.

B. Arming teachers, who spent years learning about their subject matter, and then, years about how to properly teach that subject matter, who have as much in common with a trained marksman as a melted snowflake has with a Cray supercomputer, is an ineffably stupid idea.

C. Having ill-trained teachers mix it up with an unruly class filled with yutes, WHILE ARMED, is an even more ineffably stupid idea.

D. Anyone seriously promoting the idea of arming school teachers is so immature, so irrational, and quite possibly demented or mentally ill, that nothing they say should ever be taken seriously. Not without a written release, sworn and attested to under oath, by a panel of examining psychiatrists and psychologists who will personally guarantee that the current treatment and proper administration of anti-psychotic medications has cured that particular individual of all of his, her, its ills.  

I just learned that 7 – count em, SEVEN states are seriously considering conceal carry in schools. Who ever thought that gerrymandering based on Ineffable Stupidity would ever become so widespread?