Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Feeble Argument?

Atheism Explained: From Folly to Philosophy (Ideas Explained)

A popular theme of atheist propaganda is that the person being addressed (usually a Christian) doesn't believe in Zeus or Allah, so it is only taking it one step further to disbelieve in the Christian God. I grant that something similar to this may sometimes be useful as a rhetorical goad to get people to look at the fleeting nature of all ideologies, including theistic ones, and mentally to step outside of their own cultural milieu. But it doesn't cut very deep. Christians, of course, do believe in Allah, which is simply the Arabic word for 'God' (Arabic-speaking Christians call God 'Allah'-what else?). God, Allah, and Yahweh are just different labels for the same hypothetical entity.

Even Zeus could be defended as another label for God, by claiming that he is more powerful than the Greeks supposed. It was presumably this train of thought which led Kierkegaard to say that a man who worships an idol in the right spirit may be worshipping God. But can the Christian God really be the same as the Jewish and Muslim God, if he is 'three persons in one'? Yes, just as many people can agree on the existence of some historical personage, while only some of them adhere to the theory that this personage was a case of multiple personality disorder.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Was An Eggnog Loving Fool

I was picking up a few things last night when I remembered Mushy's advice on holiday eating. Eggnog only once a year, eggnog only once a year, eggnog only once a year... went the mantra in my mind. I saw it there, in the refrigerated case, the full-bodied, extra rich, classic Xmas nog. I got it home last night and poured me a giant glass and sipped it while watching the Classic 39. When my glass was empty I poured me another, after all, Mushy couldn't be wrong! I woke up with terrible heartburn and something weighing me down around my waist. That's why I'm up now, heartburn barely in check, five more pounds in the middle.

On Xmas

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gas, Food, Toys

The car was nearly on empty, I don't usually let it get down that much, normally fill up at half a tank. Not this time, too much distraction from the back seat. Saw a gas station and a restaurant up ahead, pulled over. Jen and the kids were hungry, I joked about the restaurant name (Jen's it was called) saying I thought we'd get a little relief from your cooking on this trip, Hon.

The kids acted badly as soon as we were seated (well, even before we were seated, truth be told) , making their army men and plastic animals hop around their plates and driving their tiny cars through the mashed potatoes.

After we ate I found an old box behind the gas station and scrawled "Toy Drive" on it. I gathered the toys and put them in the box, left it outside the front of the station. There was loud screaming and much crying coming from the back seat all the way home, but it was worth it.

What's For Christmas Dinner?

Overheard at work:

"What do people fix for Christmas dinner?"

I wanted to shout TURKEY! Haven't you ever seen A Christmas Story? What's cooking on Christmas day? A turkey, that's what! Oh, some people have ham, yeah. Like the person who piped up with this: "We have ham, it's the traditional Christmas dinner". Well, to hell with you and your ham, I'd rather eat roast beast! Even if I had to go out in the snow and kill the beast myself. (All right, I like ham too, but why claim it's traditional but turkey somehow isn't?)

But I just wonder how someone could ask such a question in the first place. Wouldn't they at least know that it's either turkey or ham in most homes? Another idiot spoke up with an answer to our fool's inquiry. "We have Mexican food for Christmas." WTF???

At least with a turkey you can make sandwiches with the leftovers.

And if you want to get crazy, well, put turkducken on the holiday menu.

Eating Tips for the Holidays

I now agree with one of the tips from the link above:

Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it!!!! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

OK, so I've always enjoyed eggnog and looked forward to it every year. But this year, after consuming a half-gallon in one sitting a couple weeks ago and then reading the nutrition info on the carton and realizing I'd consumed two days worth of calories in about an hour and a half, I vowed to stop buying eggnog for the remainder of the holiday season. But then I read the tip you see above and rushed to the local Food City last night to buy some more. I went to the dairy section, and to my dismay discovered the regular eggnog was sold out. All that was left was "low-fat" eggnog, and lots of it (looks as if no one else cares about the calories either).

As I stood before the refrigerator case, some disappointed children pleaded with their mom not to buy the fake stuff (how else would you describe low-fat "eggnog") but she pointed out to them it was the only option if they wanted any of the sweet stuff at all. They agreed but they were not looking happy. I opted to try the stuff myself, so added it to my shopping basket. By the way, don't ever but the Silk soy eggnog. It has the same relationship to actual eggnog as George W. Bush does to an actual President of the United States.

I didn't bother looking for fruitcake, though I actually like the stuff, at least in small doses.

You used to be able to buy it in large rectangles at nearly every supermarket during Christmas season. Not any more. I found some at Wal-mart, but it was in smaller chunks and made by Hostess. I'm not alone in my taste for the ridiculed baked good. Someone at work asked if anyone had seen fruitcake in the stores. "No, because nobody likes it" came the inevitable response. "I like it" said the asker timidly.

I like it too, you fruitcake loving fool, I like it too.

Merry Christmas Dinner!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Firefox Myths

Myths Regarding The Firefox Web Browser

Global Warming or Climate Change?

Why did they stop calling it "Global Warming" and switch to "Climate Change"? Could this be the reason:

Of course, the important thing to remember is that climate change has been going on for millions of years, and was taking place long before the human race came on the scene. Lest you think this view is somehow anti-science, there are many scientists skeptical of the fearmongers who scare the public and attempt to indoctrinate children with the GLOBAL WARMING CLIMATE CHANGE boogeyman.

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.

Cracks in the global warming consensus

World Climate Report

Global Warming Hoax

And if you want to melt your snowman, don't rely on higher temperatures due to global warming, not with record lows being set each winter. Instead, you can always invite Frosty to join you in the hot tub.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Freedom Blog of the Moment

Freedomain: The Logic of Personal and Political Freedom

Think of the absurd cultural beliefs that people somehow think are really true...

The Military

"Hit men who murder for money are stone evil, unless they put on a green costume, and then they become moral heroes..."

The Government

"The government must use the threat of violence to steal half your income, in order to protect you from violence and theft."


"The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree..."

"Gases expand when heated" – this is not a statement of culture, but of science.

Mathematics is not cultural, but rational.

Einstein's theory of relativity is not cultural, but factual.

Logic and science are not local cultural customs, but objective and rational methodologies.

My goal is to move philosophy from culture to truth, by reasoning from first principles, with reference to empirical evidence.

Culture is that which is not true, but is believed to be true. Religion, patriotism, militarism, political allegiance, all the supposed virtues of accidental geography.

Reasoning from first principles is dangerous to "culture," since culture is always revealed by philosophy as irrational prejudice, indoctrinated through propaganda and the threat of violence.

Culture is the opposite of philosophy, and truth, just as superstition is the opposite of science, and proof.

Culture is only the first syllable.


"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Saint Paul

Campaign For Liberty

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh'Really Insulted

Flipping through the channels the other day I landed on FGPC, the Fox Government Propaganda Channel (uh, Fox "News" Channel) and there was Bill Oh'Really (uh, O'Reilly) pontificating on the Iraqi shoe throwing reporter (Flying Shoes, Bursting Bubbles). Oh'Really said that if he'd been there the reporter wouldn't have been standing for long because he insulted Oh'Really as an American. "You see that American flag back there (behind the Great Leader) -the shoe hit the flag" said Oh'Really/O'Reilly. Oh Jesus! The Holy Idol, The Flag, was touched by the unworthy shoe of a lowly subject of the Almighty American Empire!

But what Bill, no outrage over the desecration of the Constitution and the American Republic and the flag that is supposed to stand for the values of freedom and decency, by the crimes of Bush and Cheney? The only insult to a real American is to have Bush represent them as President.

Prostitution vs. war crimes: The real moral offense

An Iraqi citizen throws his shoes at an American President who -- all based on false pretenses -- invaded, occupied and obliterated his country; set up prisons where his fellow citizens were encaged without trials and subjected to brutal treatment; slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and displaced millions more. And the outrage is predominantly directed at the disrespect, irreverence and the "ingratitude" displayed by the shoe-thrower, not the murderous and inhumane acts of the dignified American leader.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

If You See A Blind Man...

Before the rain came, I saw the Christmas lights. It was a cold evening and D wanted to take a quick, short walk around the neighborhood (just a couple of the near-by streets). She mentioned that we should have walked around to look at the Christmas displays so many of these few blocks of houses have up in their yards. I mentioned that there was still time (it was only 8PM or so) so I hurriedly put on my shoes and walked with D, looking at the seasonal sights. A great many had those inflatable displays up, the ones that are flat during daylight hours, emerging into 3 dimensions only after dark, when air is blown into their holes.

Okay, so I enjoy simple little things like that. It was cold out, but I put a jacket on and we began. The walk took us past house after house decorated with colorful lights and fanciful Xmas scenes. Some were animated, with moving Santas and North Pole train wheels and walking, talking penguins (OK, so I made up the talking part, though you'd think that would be easier to accomplish than the walking) and even a grinning Grinch. Though not as spectacular as those "candy cane lanes" in many cities where nearly every house for blocks and blocks is decorated to the point of overkill (and huge electric bills) is was still something to see.

And speaking of things to see, I was watching Little House On The Prairie, the episode where the blind school burns down and Alice Garvey and Adam and Mary's baby are incinerated.

There is a scene just before the fire starts where Adam is helping put some of the children to bed and asks whose turn it is to pray. The kid, a little black boy, doesn't think to ask the simple question Why am I blind? Who'd want to bow and worship an all-powerful being that lets that tragedy slip under his radar?

One Christian website responds to the logic of this:

If you see a blind man, kick him; why should you be kinder than God-Arab proverb.

...with this nonsense:

John 9:2-4 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned. But that the works of God should be revealed in him, 4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

The Work of God is Not to Blind & Blight

It is to Help & Heal!

John 9:7

Life Isn’t Always Fair

Job 21:6-16

Luke 16:19-31

James 1:3

Matthew 5:45

Qualities an Environment Would Need to be the Ideal Environment

1.Law-Abiding World -- Genesis 1:26

2. Challenging Environment

3. Certain Survival Mechanisms Awaken People to Fundamental Needs

Every Instance of Human Suffering Results From Some Quality of This World Which is Necessary For Making it a Proper Environment For Human Life

What Would YOU Change?

Well, first of all, I'd get rid of blindness for starters, which would make me, with all my faults, a much better god than your invisible one.

Anyway, after the child prays, God refuses to stop the blind school where he and his fellow blind children live and learn from burning to the ground. Then he makes sure that Adam, who brought up the praying thing to the kids, has the good fortune to have his baby die in the worst possible way, by fire. You can't say the Christian God doesn't enjoy that, cause he created a hell that burns forever and makes sure its victims can't even escape through death.

Mark Twain had this asshole Father's number:

I will tell you a pleasant tale which has in it a touch of pathos. A man got religion, and asked the priest what he must do to be worthy of his new estate. The priest said, "Imitate our Father in Heaven, learn to be like him." The man studied his Bible diligently and thoroughly and understandingly, and then with prayers for heavenly guidance instituted his imitations. He tricked his wife into falling downstairs, and she broke her back and became a paralytic for life; he betrayed his brother into the hands of a sharper, who robbed him of his all and landed him in the almshouse; he inoculated one son with hookworms, another with the sleeping sickness, another with gonorrhea; he furnished one daughter with scarlet fever and ushered her into her teens deaf, dumb, and blind for life; and after helping a rascal seduce the remaining one, he closed his doors against her and she died in a brothel cursing him. Then he reported to the priest, who said that that was no way to imitate his Father in Heaven. The convert asked wherein he had failed, but the priest changed the subject and inquired what kind of weather he was having, up his way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Top 10 Atheist Billboards

The Astounding Leonardo da Vinci

Via The Commentator and e-Talian

From the video:

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest geniuses of all time, and probably the most intelligent human that has ever lived.

He had an estimated IQ of 220

Albert Einstein - 160

Charles Darwin - 165

Galileo Galilei- 185

When he died in France in 1519 he left around 33,000 pages of unpublished notes to his student Francesco Melzi. Francesco looked after the notes as if they were his own. However, when Francesco died his son Orazio broke the notebooks up into individual pages and sold them to anyone that wanted them for next to nothing. The 600 pages of The Windsor Castle collection are worth approx 5 billion dollars.

His notes were subsequently scattered all over Europe and lost to the scientific community. The combination of Leonardo not publishing his notes & Orazio losing them has set science & humanity back at least 100 years. 6000 pages were found in the 20th century by which time his discoveries had been rediscovered, usually hundreds of years later.

e-Talian is also our Blog of the Moment

Have a Very Gay Christmas!

The video below is from the 1930's (note the NRA tattoo on the bum's chest; a bit of New Deal fascist propaganda designed to indoctrinate the public to conform to the Great Leader FDR's dictates?) a presumably more innocent time when it came to subjects such as homosexuality. Now we have people with minds in the gutter implying something is there that was not. Unless closet 30's homosexuals slipped in subliminal messages, their only outlet in a repressed time and place. I say homosexuals because the word gay was not used to describe that orientation until more recent times, a word that once meant something else, permanently destroyed by the politically correct. What would you do if you were the Gays? Hi, I'm John Gay, says little Johnny on his first day at school while the other children then ridicule him for his name. John is gay! go the shouts on the playground. Poor little Johnny. Let us recover the word gay, let us rescue it from the mindless conformists who have stolen it and defacto banned it from the vocabulary list of children's book writers. Join in this great project, won't you? Do it for the children!

WEIRD GAY CHRISTMAS CARTOON 1930's King Picks Up Bums For Party! - More free videos are here

But please hurry, because otherwise an icon of childhood, the beloved Santa Claus, could be the next target!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Interview With SE, By George

I never expected to interview the mind behind the greatest blog in the universe, but there I found myself, face to face with the one called SE.

George: You say Skeptical Eye is the greatest blog in the universe. On what do you base such an absurd statement.

SE: When did you stop beating your wife? Never mind, I didn't say it, I don't have to, you said it yourself, right there in italics above us.

George: Now wait a minute, I got that from you. I...

SE: Of course, I can't and won't deny the obvious. I do have the greatest blog.

George: What makes it so great?

SE: Read it for a month or two and you'll see. And I must add, it's only going to get greater. You ain't seen nothing yet.

George: You still haven't given an example of why you think your blog is so good.

SE: Not good, just great.

George: Why? Give us an example.

SE: There's nothing else like it and there never will be. It's that simple.

George: How and why did you start blogging?

SE: Is that two questions or one? It was by accident, really, but once I started I found I couldn't stop. Blogging became something to do, something to look forward to, and an outlet for my creativity. We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of Skeptical Eye.

George: What's the date?

SE: December 14.

George: But what kind of traffic do you get? How many visitors?

SE: That's not important to me. Never has been and never will be.

George: But surely you want as many visitors as possible? And don't you want regular readers, people who come back over and over?

SE: I don't care, really.

George: But if you did care, how would you go about it?

SE: If I build it they will come, in more ways than one.

George: Why do you sometimes go days without posting anything new?

SE: I'm always posting, in my head. The truth is life is hard and we are all dying inside.

George: What do you mean, "dying inside"?

SE: The other day, after a Christmas party I didn't go to, someone who did said he felt like he was dying. I thought he meant a hangover, as he'd had more than a few the night before. But he said he was serious, he had all kinds of pains and maybe he had cancer or something. I told him lots of people have pains and are dying for years and years. I've had pains since I was a kid. I remember having terrible chest pains while watching the first Benji sequel, For the Love of Benji, I think it was, and feeling awful throughout the entire movie. I mean the pain was continuous. I was still hurting when I walked out of the theater, and I was only 13 years old. Doctors never could find anything wrong.

George: I'm going to try one more time. Why do you think you've got the greatest blog in the universe?

SE: Because even space aliens with their huge, bulbous heads and mind reading abilities, can't top me.

Young Guitarist vs. The State

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Bill O'Reilly's Brain and the Existence of God

I was listening to Blowhard Bill (O'Reilly) on the radio the other night (and thankfully his worthless radio show will be ending soon, sparing innocent radio dialers from hearing his moronic pronouncements accidentally, leaving only brain dead Fox "News" viewers subject to his egomania) as he discussed god. He stated that he was smarter than Bill Maher (an unbeliever) and that therefore, if you're going to base the question on intellect, God exists. Of course, if we really were to decide such a question based on what Bill O'Reilly thinks, we could safely conclude there is no god. Many highly intelligent people, by the way, believe foolish things. There are many high IQ Mormons, but that doesn't make that religion any less silly.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hate Crimes?

"Hate crimes," as trumpeted by the likes of the Southern Poverty Law Center, are a questionable legal construct used almost exclusively against whites.

Hateful or not, interracial violent crime is overwhelmingly black on white or black on Asian. The Department of Justice's figures show that between 2001 and 2003, blacks were 39 times more likely to commit violent crimes against whites than the reverse. Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.

You won't hear about that from the Southern Poverty Law Center or see it on the evening newscasts, because the truth is one thing and the liberal agenda is another.

From here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey and Ham Day

There was a Thanksgiving gathering, with all generations around the table.

Mischievous teenagers put a Viagra tablet into Grandpa's drink, and after a while, Grandpa excused himself because he had to go to the bathroom.

When he returned, however, his trousers were wet all over.

"What happened, Grandpa?" he was asked by his concerned children.

"Well," he answered, "I don't really know... I had to go to the bathroom... So I took it out and started to pee, but then I saw that it wasn't mine, so I put it back."

The History of Thanksgiving

Well, the ham and turkey are both in the oven (yes, we've got both this year) and both are fully cooked, the turkey a fully cooked Butterball and the ham a spiral cut honey from a mail-order company. The ham label warns against over heating (not over cooking as it's already cooked) as that will dry it out and the natural juiciness will we gone. Auntie got involved, however, telling an old story of a fully cooked Farmer John ham that wasn't (she says). I have to say, I think we're dealing with apples and oranges here, even though both are hams. This one just needs to be heated, not cooked, but after an hour in the oven, Auntie cut it with a knife (it's already partly sliced) and declared "Look at all the juice in there, it's all wet, it needs to go a lot longer." I have to ask, am I the only sane person on Thanksgiving?

I have some Thanksgiving text messages, emails and calls to make. I spoke to my dad this morning and he has to work today. He took a job at Walmart for some extra money, so he won't be having Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Happy Thanksgiving

I asked my mom the other day if she had any true Thanksgiving stories from her childhood. No, she said. I couldn't believe this was true. She's told stories of black servants refilling lemonade glasses for her and her family in the summer heat of Tennessee, of encounters with water moccasins in the swamps of Florida where she and her sister would play for hours, and many other detailed tales. But no memories of Thanksgiving?

"I really don't remember anything, no memory of dad carving a turkey or anything like that at all".

As for myself, I seem to remember many Thanksgiving dinners at restaurants. We kids (my sister and I) liked it fine, if it was one of those fancy places where you could go and get turkey, ham and roast beef at the carving station, have unlimited drinks (soft drinks, I mean) and have an abundance of dessert choices presented to you at the end. As time passed and I got older, things changed. Some years I was with friends, or just a family member, like the year my dad and I cooked a turkey and had our feast with no one else at the table (well, actually, no table was involved, we ate in the living room while watching TV). There was even the unfortunate year when my Thanksgiving meal looked like this:

There must be many sorts of Thanksgivings out there. I hear the Salvation Army puts on a good dinner with all the trimmings. Then there are always those that choose ham instead of turkey for the big meal.

I do remember a few Thanksgiving dinners where it was announced "We're having ham this year" and being very disappointed, not that I don't enjoy ham, but turkey is it on Thanksgiving.

Then there was that strange year, the one where my little nephew was staying with my mom. She had a big bird in the oven, and it all seemed to be going fine, until it started to stink. I mean, it was awful. My nephew (you know how kids talk) said it smelled like dirty diapers. I have to admit, it did smell like crap. The whole house soon filled with the unbearable odor. Mom kept denying there was anything wrong, until it became too much even for her nose. The turkey went into the trash can outside and we had Thanksgiving Italian style in its place.

Who knows what other kinds of dinners are served on the holidays in this great land of ours.

Spam demand has factory working overtime.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Flaking It

Make-a-Flake lets you try your hand at snowflake design.

Paul Gallico's SNOWFLAKE is a book I read years ago. It's about the life of a snowflake. Too bad it's hard to find. So many books are brought back into print, why not one as unusual and interesting as this? It would be a great little book for gift giving.

The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn't

My title for this post sounds like the name of an old TV movie, doesn't it? Well, sometimes life feels like a bad TV movie. Actually, I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving week. I HAD PLANS! I mean, for the blog. Big plans, epic Thanksgiving posts, if ya know what I mean. You may not get them now, at least not this year, but really, be grateful I didn't just take the week off. I could have, after all, I've got lots of DVDs to watch.

My mom was supposed to have Thanksgiving at her house this year. It was all planned and set. My mom was looking forward to seeing the grandchildren and having a happy time. "You'll have to come," Mom said to me over the phone. "I have lots of food I ordered from a catalog and we'll have Thanksgiving here. Your sister is coming too, with that Jeffery she knows."

A catalog? "Yeah, I had to, I don't have the money to go buying food at the store right now. With this I don't have to pay until next April and they deliver Thanksgiving week."

"I'll buy what you need."

"Well, you never said anything so I did what I had to do. It's expensive, over three hundred dollars, but its lots of food, more than we can eat probably."

"Mom, you never asked me or told me anything. Of course I would have bought the groceries for you."

"I'm sure if I'd mentioned it you wouldn't have listened and would have just ignored me."

I got a call the next morning:


"Well, your sister isn't going to be here for Thanksgiving."


"Her car isn't in good shape and Jeffery's car has bald tires. They said they can't drive the long distance out here."

"He has a job, why doesn't he buy new tires?"

"I don't know. But we'll just have to go to her house instead. You'll have to come out here and pick me up, I guess."

That evening, Mom called again:

"Well, your sister won't be there for Thanksgiving."


"Yeah, that Jeffery has a rich uncle way up the coast. He lives in a mansion and is putting on a huge feast and party. It's an opportunity they just can't pass up."

"I thought his car had bald tires. How are they going to make it up there?"

"Oh I don't know! Don't ask me those questions. Anyway we'll have to have our dinner on Friday. They'll be back then."

"Friday? That's not the holiday, and besides, I have to work Friday."

"Well, there's nothing I can do about that. We'll just have to make do somehow and have our Thanksgiving the next day."

The next morning it was Mom on the phone again:

"Your sister won't be back in time for Friday, looks like we'll just have Thanksgiving at my house, just you and me."

Uh, okay.

That evening:

"Well, Auntie called, she'll be all alone this year. Last year it was just her and her ex-husband and she didn't even cook a turkey, just threw a small chicken in the oven. I think we should have it at her house."

The next morning:

"Change of plans. We're having it at your cousin's house now. Since I ordered all this food though, I told them not to make anything or buy anything for the dinner. I'll be bringing everything".

I got to Mom's house late Monday night.

"Well, where's all the stuff from that catalog company," I asked.

"It's in the fridge."

I took a quick look.

"That's it?"

"Yeah, what a jip! I though it would be tons of food. From the pictures it all looked bigger! Look at the size of the cheeses and the nut loafs. I thought they would be full size from the prices they charge."

I grabbed one of the banana nut loafs. It fit nicely in the palm of my hand, with room to spare. The turkey and ham were big enough for Thanksgiving dinner, if you weren't too hungry and it was only for two.

"Well, there's going to be at least ten people there. It's not going to be enough food."

We went to the store and bought the extra food Mom would need to feed that many people.

"Let's get a pumpkin pie," Mom said.

"I thought you were getting a pecan pie from Cracker Barrel."

"I am, but they might like pumpkin too. It's more traditional." The pumpkin pie went in the cart.

Mom added more and more items until the cart was full.

"That should do it," she said.

It certainly should. I didn't want to look at the total at the checkout.

Last night she started cooking.

"I want to fix it all ahead of time. You know how that kitchen over there is. We'll take it over and heat it at your cousin's house. It'll be a feast, that's for sure. Besides, I want to make my sister look bad. She always runs me down, but wait until everyone sees the meal I've prepared."

Mom made me taste her mashed potatoes three times, to see if they had enough salt.

She's still going at it. I have to go now. Another trip to the market for some more ingredients. This may or may not be the best Thanksgiving ever, but it sure will be the most expensive.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Imagine No Censorship of Billboards

General Outdoor Advertising has caved in to pressure and taken down a billboard paid for by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The city of Rancho Cucamonga had received 90 complaints and "asked if there was a way to get it removed." Is this what a city government does? (well, in a way yes, as such local governments are always filled with little nanny state nazis). This goes beyond ordinary nanny statism, however, and involves itself in first amendment issues. Private censorship is one thing, but government lobbying on behalf of religion is another.

"We're being censored," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Judy Rooze, administrator of First Baptist Church of Rancho Cucamonga, which is two blocks from the billboard, was relieved it was coming down.

Rooze said it was unsettling.

"I understand people have freedom of speech, but this is taking it too far," she said. "It's very jarring."

How does Judy Rooze understand freedom of speech when she thinks an innocuous billboard message like "Imagine No Religion" (inspired by John Lennon's classic song) is "taking it too far"? Poor little piece of shit bitch, Jewish zombie worshiping, moron Judy Rooze thinks it's "jarring." Well, FUCK YOU, Judy, and all your First Baptist Church retard coreligionists. Maybe all your friends in right wing talk radio will finally shut their mouths about those "intolerant atheists" who want to remove crosses and creches from public property. Here we have PRIVATE property, a billboard, being attacked and not just criticized by fucktarded Jesus Christ ass kissing losers, but the use of government by these fools to help get it removed!

Who are the intolerant? Who wants to silence whom?

I'll give you "jarring". Jesus is dead and he's never coming back, so you can kiss your rapture, your second coming and your New Jerusalem goodbye.

Or, as Lennon said in another song: There ain't no Jesus gonna come from the sky.

Let's make a billboard out of that!

Playing Cat-and-Mouse with a Few Somali Pirates

Here's how to solve the Somali pirate problem. Allow merchant ships to arm themselves, because government navies (just like the police in your city) aren't going to be there to protect you from the bad guys:

British Royal Navy Commodore Keith Winstanley, deputy commander of the Combined Maritime Forces in the Middle East, said he feared no amount of coalition forces would be sufficient to secure the 2.5 million sq nautical miles of the Gulf of Aden, let alone the Indian Ocean waters where the supertanker was seized. “The pirates will go somewhere we are not,” he said. “If we patrol the Gulf of Aden then they will go to Mogadishu. If we go to Mogadishu, they will go to the Gulf of Aden.”

Friday, November 21, 2008


I was listening to a local radio station while in the car the other day and on the local morning talk show they were discussing the city budget with a representative of the city government. The topic was the current fiscal year that started in July. The city, it seems, based on projections from the first 3 months, will fall short of revenue.

"We will earn the same amount as last year," said the city spokesman. "But our expenses are going up, so we'll have a deficit if we don't earn more than we did last fiscal year."

Huh? No government ever "earns" anything. Earning is done in the free marketplace, where you have to offer something someone else wants and compete with others for the right to earn those dollars. Government produces nothing. To get the funds to run its criminal organization, it steals the money (they call it taxation) and if you don't pay, they threaten you (just like mobsters). Like any parasite it takes without permission from its host.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Think Twice

Doug Stanhope on Some Troops

"He's not fighting for your freedom," says Stanhope of one asshole, "he's fighting cause he's a psychopath that can't wait to kill people."

Of others who join the military because of the lure of "college money" and such, he makes a good point: "They're not yanking kids out of the inner city and making them fight a war."

The truth is that the ranks are filled with either psychopaths or war whores (those that prostitute themselves to the US military in exchange for the benefits they will be given from stolen taxpayer money). Neither deserves any sympathy or "support".

I'll confess that I myself am in the armed forces, but it's not something that I'm particularly proud of anymore, but it's a mistake a made when I was much more naïve and have to suffer the punishment for my naivety just a bit long. Sure I could desert, but that benefits of that would be miniscule compared the terrible consequences and hardships that would be wrought on my family. No, I must suffer this imprisonment as a consequence of my own mistakes for the sake of my family. If I have gained anything from my own experience in the military it is the chance to see firsthand the sick satisfaction some of these people get from being part of America's crusade of slaughter and murder. If it weren't for my time here, I would not truly know the lack of honor among these men that glorify the deaths of "rag heads" or anyone unlike themselves.
- Think Twice When Honoring Veterans

Stefan Molyneux talks to a young man thinking of selling his soul:

What do you think 5 years being ordered around by a bunch of sociopaths, doing work which is fundamentally against your moral principles, serving a corrupt and evil empire and contributing potentially to the deaths of innocents around the world, what is that going to do to you as a human being?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Auditors

The Auditors were in some ways a typical American family. And in some ways they weren't. Asked by Tana to record the events of their lives, I did so for many years. The following is one result of those efforts.

At that time Tana believed she would one day have her own apple juice stand and make millions. Frank was some sort of government bureaucrat and Tana knew in her heart how evil such a person could be. Perhaps that's one reason she hated him so, though there were many other good reasons to.

Got Religion?

The State is Your Enemy, As Are All Those Who Work For It

Stop apologizing for those that work for evil, for those who willingly choose to serve the state and enforce its unjust edicts. Tried of being forced to wait in line to pay the extortion money demanded every year or so by your state government's department of motor vehicles for the "privilege" of driving? Know someone who works for that department? Then tell them off! Tell them you can not be friends with someone who supports your enemy, who is in fact a part of that enemy, our enemy the state. The same goes for IRS agents, police officers and enlisted military. Tell them all to go fuck themselves, they are not your friends, so don't make excuses for them any longer. Evil is evil, and its about time we stopped pussyfooting around and called a spade a spade. Black-hearted devils, every last one of them!

American Experience: Jonestown

This is part 1, you can find the rest at YouTube

"I was one of those kind of guys that, um, used drugs. I was an alcoholic. I drunk alcohol and stuff like that and all these people that were, like, my age, they were clean...and for me that was like, wow, I like that."- Stanley Clayton, member of Peoples Temple.

"Before I came here I was taking LSD, marijuana, every type of dope you can imagine. Without our pastor Jim Jones to teach me the right way I would not be in college right now."- Young woman testifying during a Peoples Temple service.

Just because something gets someone off drugs or some other vice, doesn't mean its true, right or good. Think about that the next time someone wants to tell you how Jesus changed their life and how he can change your life too. All they've done is substitute one drug for another. Now they're high on Jesus, that's all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I don't feel much like writing. There are days like that, and sometimes days and days. String them together and you don't see any new posts appear here for a almost a week sometimes. Sometimes I am in the mood but can't get to a computer. Other times I sit and have more ideas than I know what to do with, but can't get the words out, or I just feel too tired after working all day. It makes one long for a paradise...

see the rest of Paradise Lost here

1978. We were living at the Rosebud apartment complex, second floor. We had driven down from Washington in a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, purple with a silver padded vinyl top. My mom loved that car, though earlier that year I had thrown a rock at the front fender, putting a big dent in it. That had been in response to her running over my cat Rascal, a fat Siamese that had been delivered to me one night by two school friends. They were feeding him hot dogs and recommending I take him off their hands, which of course I did, since adding one more cat to my collection of nine or so didn't make much of a difference;maybe no one would notice I had a new one. Anyway, one day Rascal (a bad luck name, as my previous Rascal had died from distemper) was enjoying the sun while rolling his roly poly self around the driveway. Mom decided to go for a drive, probably up to the store, and she backed over him. I heard yelling from outside and ran out to see the horror. Mom was still in her car, in the street now, with Rascal flopping about on the driveway, his head down, the rest of him convulsing wildly, going in circles. Dad was soon by my side. My first thought was we needed to rush Rascal to the vet, but dad knew better, and it was all over seconds later. We buried him at the side of the mobile home.

The last third of that year saw a major plane crash (PSA flight 182) and the deaths of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul I. But the most shocking event was the mass suicide at Jonestown, Guyana. Back in 1978 there was no cable news, no internet. Just the big three networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) and the local newspaper and local TV news.

PSA Flight 182, falling from the sky over San Diego, California

NBC News reports on the events at Jonestown in the videos below. At first it was believed that only 383 lives had been lost and the rest of Jim Jones' followers in Guyana had fled into the jungle. The sad truth would soon be revealed. Over 900 had died that tragic day 30 years ago, November 18th, 1978.

Remembering Jonestown, Thirty Years Later:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Don't Believe It!

Via You Made Me Say It

I've known so many Christians like those he describes in this video. Especially about the premarital sex.

I knew one guy that worked with me in TV sales and he wore a cross around his neck and a dying Jesus (crucifix) ring on his finger and was always talking about "the Lord". He was also a used car salesman, which should tell you a lot. He had a flask on him at all times and would buy Red Bulls from the lunch room vending machine and add vodka to them. He then drank this concoction while on the job. When not working he was drunk most of the time, I mean completely loaded. He talked about going home to be with Jesus a lot too. He was also a member of his church choir. Guess he forgot about that part where it says drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Oh, well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stick it to The Man Whenever You Can

Went to the local CVS pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Walked down the aisles just browsing with D. D wanted to show me the liquor gift boxes, but though they were kinda nice and colorful , I wasn't looking to pay that much for a pretty box. Then we strolled down the regular liquor aisle. I spotted Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy for only $5.47. Not something I would normally buy, but I didn't want to shell out a lot of money for a bottle of liquor at that moment, and since D wanted some, well, why not? The price was right anyway.

After a little more browsing, including the Christmas items and candy, we went to the cash registers to pay for the one item, that bottle of brandy. After scanning it (and yes, a CVS savings card was presented to the cashier) we were told it would be over eight dollars in total. Wait a minute, I said, it said 5.47 over in the spirits section. A man was sent to verify, and I headed there myself as well. I knew the price I'd seen had to be correct. I've been very careful to double check after numerous checkout lane incidents of this sort. As I approached the shelf where the blackberry brandy was located the CVS guy was already there, bending down to investigate. I took a closer look myself at the same time. That's when I noticed it. Although nothing but Hiram Walker Blackberry Brandy was anywhere in the vicinity of the 5.47 price marker, the tiny print on the tag indicated that sale price was for another product. I reached my conclusion quicker than CVS guy. You know, I told him as he looked at me stunned , you need to put the right product over the right price. I walked away. He finally showed up at the counter as we were about to leave. Sometimes, he said, they keep changing their mind on where to place the items and they get put with the wrong pricing. Yeah, sure, buddy, and I've got a nice used car to sell you, runs good, you won't regret buying it. Turned out the guy was a manager, but instead of apologizing or offering us something for our inconvenience, he just let us walk out the door.

I wonder how many people never discover they were over charged for a particular item in this manner? Thinking they were paying the "sale" price, they were instead charged the full amount, and just didn't notice it among all the other items they purchased at the same time. If you are a retail store and steal from your customers like this, it's just an "innocent mistake", but if you're just some rube and walk out with an item under your jacket that you failed to pay for, you're a criminal. That's how the crapitalist system works.

Later that same day Wal-Mart overcharged me for a bag of Fritos by about 90 cents (and no, I did not make a mistake this time). It was okay though, I lived with it. You see I had a case of bottled water in my cart. I mentioned it first thing to the clerk and she nodded in response (these clerks now ask you NOT to put your big heavy items up on the checkout conveyor) and so naturally I assumed she got it included on my receipt. Out in the parking lot I took a look at the receipt. Everything seemed in order, until...damn, the corn chips! Then I couldn't find the water on there. Free water, I guess, I said aloud. Well, that makes up for the chips and a few other things I've been overcharged for.

"Didn't charge you for it, eh?"

I turned. It was a short man, almost little people size but not quite.

"Yeah," he continued, "happens to me all the time. Did you happen to have a male or a female clerk at your lane?" Who the hell was this guy?

"It was a woman, why?"

"Oh?" he lifted his brow. "Did you buy any embarrassing type items? You know, cause the lass to blush?"

I started putting my bags in the trunk.

"I always get free stuff when I go to the 99 cents store," he said. "Leave a few things in the cart, then throw a dollar box of condoms on the counter. I make sure to have a lecherous look on my face as well, of course. It works most of the time, for me anyway. Always stick it to the man whenever you can, I say."

I was almost done unloading my cart.

"Course lube or a naughty magazine works sometimes too. I see you've got something like it there, some petroleum jelly."

Actually I did. "Actually, I do," I said.

"Whatcha gonna do with it?" he asked.

"You see those bottles of water I wasn't charged for?"

"Yeah," he replied, a bit puzzled.

"It's for you so you can take those bottles and shove them up your ass."



The Lord is Surely Watching

The comments at YouTube are sometimes as good as the videos. This is my favorite comment on this video:

and i cry to god, because it hurts to know that people like u are so feebele minded that u cant even believe in our creator even after countless amounts of proof, ud rather cling to your scients which has failed mankind.. what right minded man would create bombs out of science.. lol u serious?
so many dipshits in this world.. at times id like to watch them burn but then compassion hits me, i wouldnt like to watch u regret in torment.

Video via Scary Jesus

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Story of Johnny Bag

It came to rest at my feet one afternoon, during what they sometimes call a blustery day. It was a brown paper bag, lunch-sized and worn, but surprisingly not too torn. I reached down to deposit it in the nearby trash receptacle, when I noticed the faded writing on its surface:


Johnny Bag is my name. I have had many a long and hard travels. You can tell by looking at my skin. I am already very old, seven years at the time this was written, and with the average bag life being much shorter than that, I am quite ancient by bag time. I was a very nice bag at one time, and I once held a child's lunch within me. I was happy then but no longer; I'm afraid I've become a grumpy thing, not caring much for anything, lazy and drifting with the wind. I once had aspirations to live in a museum or get myself in the Guinness Book of Records for being the oldest living bag.

These words were printed on my skin so that you may know a little of the life of a bag. So the next time you see a bag blowing down the street, stop and think.

I knew the words I read were composed by a paperbag writer. I tossed the old sack into the can. As I walked away a strong breeze blew through the empty parking lot. I turned and witnessed the old bag catch the wind and sail away, up and out of the trash and into the air, going who knows where. I stopped and thought.

The Evil Nightmare Will Be Toppled

On the rof nirwe gokrns dis cover a rat wuith a bod fat god bihind hes ear so it rab doalopppopthisthe now this does concern us said the maor ass of thw heads read the report why ill bet it tastes okay.

The old fat one with his yellow porcine ears are heartily as he digested this uncommonly good news. "Bitter young Seacreek he'll like that", the old fat one said aloud.

His miniature female partner coughed and spat out a jellified wad of mommybag. "Hishoner won't be none to displeased as well will gubere"?

"Eek! Speak ingles whydontya", the old fat one responded absent-mindedly.

U i togetgerwe cased wak loew to the oldehuse and fing ouyr tad way thru the grimof it alll kind op tells me. Just gy ruht en as de id not be thrr fur the longed time of it quit the bs as we understanthe situason opl hu go mi stay away.

Said the man alone from his lonely spot with no one listening: The battle for good has begun. It will not fall short of its goal. The evil nightmare will be toppled. Count on it and never lose hope.

Don't Support The Troops!

Some years ago I gave my expression to my own feeling – anti-patriotic feeling, it will doubtless be called – in a somewhat startling way. It was at the time of the second Afghan war, when, in pursuance of what were thought to be “our interests,” we were invading Afghanistan. News had come that some of our troops were in danger. At the Athenæum Club a well-known military man – then a captain but now a general – drew my attention to a telegram containing this news, and read it to me in a manner implying the belief that I should share his anxiety. I astounded him by replying – “When men hire themselves out to shoot other men to order, asking nothing about the justice of their cause, I don’t care if they are shot themselves."
- Herbert Spencer

We get the usual "support the troops" nonsense, even from the antiwar types and especially on Veterans Day:

As a life-long pacifist, I hate war. Detest violence of any sort.

Still, it is not the soldiers who decide to go to war, they do what they are told, whether volunteer or conscripted.

Hey, pacifist jackass, go fuck yourself! I'm tired of all the crap that pours out of the mouths of leftist idiots like diarrhea coming out of a sick dogs butthole. Got that, fool? Anybody who calls himself a pacifist (by the most common definition of that word) has already proven a lack of sense so profound as to render anything else they say completely worthless and devoid of logic. Let me make one thing perfectly clear, I AM IN FAVOR OF DEFENSE. If someone attacks me I will NOT lay down the sword ( I will run away to avoid harm to myself or to avoid harming another, always if it's possible) I will fight back and defend myself. If my land is invaded by any, soldiers or otherwise, who seek to subjugate me, my loved ones and neighbors and enslave us, I will take up arms and shoot back at the bastards. What I will not do is have sympathy for those who willingly (WE DO NOT HAVE A DRAFT, DUMBASS!) join the military knowing full well of the history of US intervention abroad and the fact that we have goddamned troops in countries all over the fucking planet. This world empire has NOTHING to do with defending our freedom, as you well know, being anti-war and all. But your dumbass comment is that the troops don't decide to go to war. Question, Dumbass: did the soldiers not DECIDE to join and then go through training to learn how to kill "the enemy"? Did the poor innocent soldiers never think they might be sent to war sometime in the future, after they joined? And what about all those recruited AFTER the war in Iraq started??? Did they have no clue they might be sent there? They joined knowing they were involving themselves with an evil criminal organization (the US military) and therefore they are without any excuse, and excuse me if I have no sympathy for them.

This country has not had a truly defensive war since the War of 1812. The so-called Civil War (more properly referred to as the War Between the States) was also a war of aggression, by the North against the South, so maybe we can include the Confederacy as fighting a defensive war as well, but that still only takes us to 1865. The "Good War", WWII? Read Buchanan's Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World.

Read the asinine comments to the above linked post of our pacifist. Inane, illogical bullshit! Like this: our war time veterans should have our lifelong gratitude and we should demonstrate it with post-service support. They deserve no such thing, and will never receive it from me or any compassionate person. No mercy for those who cause evil! No tax dollars (socialism) for war whores! No "benefits", no free health care, no nothing! Not with my money, buddy! Give to them out of your paycheck if you want, but don't steal my hard earned income to redistribute to some government employee leech (by the way, funny how "conservatives" so dislike Federal workers and their benefits, except when they wear a military uniform).

Another question: If these jerks you love so much had not signed up for "service" would this war we currently find our nation in have been possible? If they hadn't willingly signed on the dotted line, there would be no pawns for the generals to order around, no brainwashed hired killers for the decider-in-chief to send to kill and bomb and maim and destroy thousands of innocent children and their homes and families. I'll save my empathy for the victims of our aggression, thank you very much.

There is one thing you can do for those who join and then repent of their bad decision. Lobby to make military "service" like any other job, with the right to quit whenever you want. Pushing for such a change really would be supporting the troops, and would leave no room to excuse those who kill in our country's name.

Let's Just Call It Murderers Day, It's More Honest

Victims of the US Military

The War Prayer

by Mark Twain

It was a time of great exulting and excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest depths of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast doubt upon its righteousness straight way got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came – next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams – visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! – then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:

"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory – An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside – which the startled minister did – and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:

"I come from the Throne – bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import – that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of – except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two – one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this – keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer – the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it – that part which the pastor – and also you in your hearts – fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory – must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Words by Mark Twain

Illustrations by the United States Government

Veterans Face Trial for Antiwar Protest

Speaking out about the crimes of war

Old Fashioned American Humor

American wit and humor

Tom Paine On Predestination


By Thomas Paine

Paul, in speaking of God, says, "Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say, why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay, but who art thou, O man, that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?"

I shall leave it to Calvinists and Universalists to wrangle about these expressions, and to oppose or corroborate them by other passages from other books of the Old or New Testament. I shall go to the root at once, and say, that the whole passage is presumption and nonsense.

Presumption, because it pretends to know the private mind of God: and nonsense, because the cases it states as parallel cases have no parallel in them, and are opposite cases.

The first expression says, "Therefore hath He (God) mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth." As this is ascribing to the attribute of God's power at the expense of His justice, I, as a believer in the justice of God, disbelieve the assertion of Paul. The Predestinarians, of which the loquacious Paul was one, appear to acknowledge but one attribute in God, that of power, which may not improperly be called the physical attribute. The Deists, in addition to this, believe in His moral attributes, those of justice and goodness.

In the next verses, Paul gets himself into what in vulgar life is called a hobble, and he tries to get out of it by nonsense and sophistry; for having committed himself by saying that "God hath mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth," he felt the difficulty he was in, and the objections that would be made, which he anticipates by saying, "Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He (God) yet find fault? for who hath resisted His will? Nay, but, O man, who art thou, that repliest against God!"

This is neither answering the question, nor explaining the case. It is downright quibbling and shuffling off the question, and the proper retort upon him would have been, "Nay, but who art thou, presumptuous Paul, that puttest thyself in God's place?"

Paul, however, goes on and says, "Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?" Yes, if the thing felt itself hurt, and could speak, it would say it. But as pots and pans have not the faculty of speech, the supposition of such things speaking is putting nonsense in the place of argument, and is too ridiculous even to admit of apology. It shows to what wretched shifts sophistry will resort.

Paul, however, dashes on, and the more he tries to reason the more he involves himself, and the more ridiculous he appears. "Hath not," says he, "the potter power over the clay of the same lump, to make one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor?"

In this metaphor, and a most wretched one it is, Paul makes the potter to represent God; the lump of clay the whole human race; the vessels unto honor those souls "on whom He hath mercy because He will have mercy"; and the vessels unto dishonor, those souls "whom He hardeneth (for damnation) because He will harden them." The metaphor is false in everyone of its points, and if it admits of any meaning or conclusion, it is the reverse of what Paul intended and the Calvinists understand.

In the first place, a potter doth not, because he cannot, make vessels of different qualities, from the same lump of clay; he cannot make a fine china bowl, intended to ornament a sideboard, from the same lump of clay that he makes a coarse pan, intended for a close-stool. The potter selects his clays for different uses, according to their different qualities, and degrees of fineness and goodness.

Paul might as well talk of making gun-flints from the same stick of wood of which the gun-stock is made, as of making china bowls from the same lump of clay of which are made common earthen pots and pans.

Paul could not have hit upon a more unfortunate metaphor for his purpose, than this of the potter and the clay; for if any inference is to follow from it, it is that as the potter selects his clay for different kinds of vessels according to the different qualities and degrees of fineness and goodness in the clay, so God selects for future happiness those among mankind who excel in purity and good life, which is the reverse of predestination.

In the second place there is no comparison between the souls of men, and vessels made of clay; and, therefore, to put one to represent the other is a false position. The vessels, or the clay they are made from, are insensible of honor or dishonor. They neither suffer nor enjoy. The clay is not punished that serves the purpose of a close-stool, nor is the finer sort rendered happy that is made up into a punch-bowl.

The potter violates no principle of justice in the different uses to which he puts his different clays; for he selects as an artist, not as a moral judge; and the materials he works upon know nothing, and feel nothing, of his mercy or his wrath. Mercy or wrath would make a potter appear ridiculous, when bestowed upon his clay. He might kick some of his pots to pieces.

But the case is quite different with man, either in this world or the next. He is a being sensible of misery as well as of happiness, and therefore Paul argues like an unfeeling idiot, when he compares man to clay on a potter's wheel, or to vessels made therefrom: and with respect to God, it is an offense to His attributes of justice, goodness, and wisdom, to suppose that He would treat the choicest work of creation like inanimate and insensible clay. If Paul believed that God made man after His own image, he dishonors it by making that image and a brickbat to be alike.

The absurd and impious doctrine of predestination, a doctrine destructive of morals, would never have been thought of had it not been for some stupid passages in the Bible, which priestcraft at first, and ignorance since, have imposed upon mankind as revelation.

Nonsense ought to be treated as nonsense, wherever it be found; and had this been done in the rational manner it ought to be done, instead of intimating and mincing the matter, as has been too much the case, the nonsense and false doctrine of the Bible, with all the aid that priestcraft can give, could never have stood their ground against the divine reason that God has given to man.

Doctor Franklin gives a remarkable instance of the truth of this, in an account of his life, written by himself. He was in London at the time of which he speaks. 'Some volumes,' says he, 'against Deism, fell into my hands. They were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle's lectures.

"'It happened that they produced on me an effect precisely the reverse of what was intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted, appeared to me more forcible than the refutation itself. In a word I soon became a perfect Deist." - New York edition of Franklin's Life, page 93.

All America, and more than all America, knows Franklin. His life was devoted to the good and improvement of man. Let, then, those who profess a different creed, imitate his virtues, and excel him if they can.

The Calvinist God is Evil!

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