Sunday Morning Services

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Prelude to Services

Accompanying the Choir: Dr. Dre

A message to God. Continue reading

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Nye-Ham Debate Retrospective

Protons to Polygamy is Born

I stayed up half the night here in Germany to live-tweet the event and my overall “impression”? Based on the amount of pre-debate skeptic jitters about engaging in a ‘debate’ with a slobbering God botherer, which I normally concur is a bad idea btw, the whole event worked out quite well for the cause of secularism IMHO. Here’s why I feel that way.

First, there’s the relative popularity of Bill Nye easily trumping Ken Ham with all but the radical right wing ultra-minority of folks willing to overlook the reality of science and physics in the 21st Century. Then you toss in Ken Ham’s reliance on Cliff Notes from the prosecutor’s statements against Galileo.  Those are not nearly as effective as when people were engaged in bleeding themselves to death in their holy efforts to excise demons and return to health.

Finally, Ham’s “Molecules to Man” canard, was wholly inappropriate for a debate on evolution as any seasoned atheist debater is familiar with the tactic of shifting from evolution to abiogenesis willy nilly will be familiar with. I was a little taken back (see my live tweet stream) by Nye’s inability or reluctance to go “Christoper Hitchens” mode on Ham and get to some serious nut-cutting. That was a fantasy of mine I knew would not occur, but I was really saddened that Nye didn’t even do a little “soft shoe” Sam Harris impersonation at some point.

Bill Nye: “That all sounds well and good Mr. Ham, but when I read the Bible, I clearly see the story of “Protons to Polygamy” and your disavowing those parts of God’s holy works that you find unsuitable goes directly against your claims made based on other scriptures literal accuracy and contemporary relevance.” 

If Bill Nye had the quick wit and lust for metaphorical nut-cutting that I do, when Ham was busy refuting the literal facts about the Bible supporting polygamy, Bill should have come back with that line and I GUARANTEE you it would be the thing that made the highlight reel. Of course that overlooks the fact that I invented the phrase concurrent to the time of the debate itself, but great minds think alike and Bill Nye has a great mind.

In retrospect, and perhaps as part of Nye’s master plan, he modified Mohammed Ali’s Rope-a-Dope strategy and just let Ham wear himself out while Nye stood calmly covering his head tucked safely against the ropes. Instead of going for the kill like Mohammed Ali, he was happy to just stand there and witness the exhausted and frustrated puritanical pugilist nearly pass out from running himself in circles?

I dunno, but since the “debate” was taped, I expect the best of our secular public schools to use the footage, not as a religious exercise, but as an all-too-necessary exercise in deconstructing the rhetoric of creationist apologetics. FWIW, I had an extremely valuable class in critical thinking. It was in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was in 7th grade public school. Being armed with a proper list of logical fallacies is the secular armament most lacking in the rank and file militant atheism army I am trying to corral. If successful I promise not to let you all build a new religion around me since I’ve already started one on my WordPress blog.

Remember troops. Molecules to Man shall from henceforth on, be responded to with Protons to Polygamy, unless somebody can twist up an even shorter, more catchy “meme’ to undermine the creationist mindset.  H/T to Dan Dennett, and I meme that most sincerely.

Enjoy.

Me and Larry Flynt

porno

Welcome to the 21st Century on Facebook, where images that weren’t even considered pornographic in the Cold War Era are now being effectively suppressed by the American Taliban.  I’m opening this up for public discussion as I ponder, at the bare minimum, the degree of incompetence of a company that has such a complete track record of nearly every aspect of my life, and yet could so easily be misled into taking what I believe many of you will agree with is a customer service social faux paux of the highest possible order.  They didn’t just ban the picture, they banned me from any posting on Facebook over an illusory violation of a breach in their “terms of service”!

For fuck’s sake they’ve never so much as lobbed a first warning at me in response to any of the umm…more colorful language I use on Facebook with enthusiastic reckless abandon.  I’d at least have a bit more sympathy for Facebook, but no more respect, if that was the issue under consideration.

Keep in mind I ignored their first warning to remove the photo after reading that if I didn’t remove it immediately it would be put under a higher level of scrutiny, which I naturally assumed would involve some actual person at Facebook Central Command laughing his ass off while deleting the “complaint” that spawned the banning.  A complaint lodged by what I suspect was some militantly pissed off rightwing goober offended by my liberal politics or lack of proper respect to the memories of their imaginary Jeebus.  

Before you take the trouble of wasting your time trying to explain to me how it’s all automated, I’m going to respond that it hardly matters to me from my perspective.  If they are willing to pass off this decision to artificial logic, they need to do a much better job of programming, and I’m willing to make an example out of myself in the greater interest of maintaining free speech on the internet.  

Facebook may well be a private company, but they are operating in the public space on infrastructure built and maintained at great taxpayer expense and have a certain responsibility in regard to that position which is totally independent from their ham-handed customer service policies.  And let’s be clear, that’s what is ultimately at stake here unless we’re willing to push back against the religious trolls intent on defining pornography down to a level where a picture of a naked Barbie doll gets you banned from all social media for life.  Slippery slope and all.Disgracebook

In any event, I think it’s highly ironic that at a time where tech, mainstream and financial news headlines are filled with stories of youth fleeing Facebook in droves, they are willing to risk offending someone of my advanced age (and online spending habits) by willy nilly banning me over the aforementioned “pornography”.

What rights of mine have been violated, if any?  Have I not been recklessly slandered by someone that Facebook could easily identify to me (under court order e.g.) so that I may seek compensation for damages in a court of law against this defamation (I’ve essentially been accused of being a public pornographer).  If there’s an eager young lawyer out there looking for a pro bono case to make a name for himself (win, lose or draw), I’m easy to get ahold of.

It’s “only” a 24 hour ban right now, and a minor perturbation in terms of access to Facebook, but  in the overall picture of which social media service I intend to give the bulk of my data (and hence their income stream), you can bet that unless I get some type of feedback from Facebook in the form of an apology (at a minimum), I’m going to be moving off their service (like so many others have lately) and will share my marketing information with a data management service that has the competency to judge my character more judicially based on the weight of a hundred thousand web postings I’ve already shared with them against the baseless complaint of one lunatic pearl-clutching prude intent upon helping them ruin their market share.  In the meantime I encourage those of you who support or sympathize with me on this issue to help spread this blogpost as far and wide as possible.  All it takes for evil to take over is the lack of action by a few good men.

Enjoy.

Sunday Morning Services

csilogoToday’s Brief Sermon

Even if we assume that there were chemical weapons used in Syria, there has been absolutely no evidence whatsoever that they were launched by the Syrian government.  In terms of absolute motive, a covert special ops mission by forces loyal to Halliburton and their Neocon collaborators fits the empty evidence framework as well as anything I’ve seen or heard.  They would certainly profit greatly from expanded mideast unrest.

We’ve got an army of drone pilots doing surveillance over there.  There’s persistent surveillance of Paki goat farmers to the point that our guys track (and discuss) individual villagers shitting in their fields every day.  Where is the surveillance video of Syrian soldiers brandishing the chemical weapons to support the president’s casus belli?

These weapons charges aren’t new.  There are web references going back months now.

The American public is well conditioned not to “take the government’s word” on anything these days.  We can’t afford to trust anymore, be it in imaginary religious beliefs, or our own government, which has shown absolutely no integrity in matters of war or peace.

You don’t have to be a Russian commie to see that.

King Crimson – Epitaph 

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The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams.
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams.
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
When silence drowns the screams

Rummy

Confusion will be my epitaph.
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back
And laugh.
But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying.

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Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown,
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
if no one sets the rules.
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools.

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Enjoy.

Morality Without Religion

monkeylove

If you want to understand where our human morality comes from, you’ll need to do a little research on our “godless” primate cousins.  It takes a special kind of person (religious) to deny what is so painfully obvious to me.

Evolution in Eighteen Minutes

It only takes eighteen minutes for you to educate yourself on the truth concerning the roots of human morality.   You’ve no excuse to sound like William Lane Craig when discussing the human morality issue henceforth.

See For Yourself

This is a film that should be shown in every church in America.  I’m surely going to add it to the rotation in my new online Church of Sanctimonious Indifference!  As a matter of fact, I don’t think the word “evolution” was even mentioned.  Let me know if I have inspired any of you to make it available in your house of worship.

Reconciliation, cooperation, empathy, fairness and compassion in primates.

Enjoy.