Saturday, August 8, 2009

Crazies in these Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

Nat King Cole had a hit in 1963 when he sang, in stereo, "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer." The album cover at right shows people on the beach; interestingly, in that era, there were lots of 'white-only' beaches. Crazy segregationists.

I wonder if heat and humidity trigger mental instability? It seems to be true this summer, even though here in the Midwest, it has been a mild summer. The South and the Southwest, on the other hand, have sizzled with record-breaking heat all summer long. As an aside, you don't suppose that this solid GOP section of the nation is somehow connected to the constant heat that must be endured by those living there? Just a random thought. Maybe not.

Crazy. Sarah Palin comes to mind. Glenn Beck as well. It goes without saying that Rush Limbaugh rings the crazy bell too. The word jester also comes to mind. These three would have made an excellent jester-trio in Medieval Europe- a touring show travelling from court to court, entertaining the townsfolk and peasants who needed comic relief from their miserable, mundane lives. Jesters, troubadours, and madrigals would be welcomed with great enthusiasm. Remember in your childhood the excitement when you heard the circus was in town?

Sheer mindless entertainment. Mindless, as in 'no thought necessary.' Pure emotion. Raucous belly-laughs and farts. Palin, Beck and Limbaugh: belly-laughs and farts.

Those other people, well...the hooligans who have been robotically programmed to attend and disrupt the town hall meetings light the crazy bulb as well. Zot! Zot! Zot! Mindless zombies directly from the 50's sci-fi flicks who walk around in a dazed state and scare the hell out of the good citizens of the town. The zombies of this summer, on the other hand, are pre-programmed to shoot off their mouths with a kind of psycho-babble. Whether dazed or with psycho-babble, the end result is that the zombies still scare the crap out of the towns' folk. A living nightmare in broad daylight!

Were this Medieval times, the travelling show would eventually move on to another village to delight and scare the folks, to relieve their boredom for a short while. Unfortunately for this summer, it looks like this court of jesters wants to stay a while, to spend the entire summer with us.

And so goes this crazy summer- a summer that is setting all kinds of records and testing the ultimate tolerance levels of our fellow countrymen.

Lemonade anyone?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Crazy for God

I immediately thought of that small knot of fundamentalists whom I irritate on a regular basis with my blog postings. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow interviewed the author of the book, Crazy for God, Frank Schaeffer. Schaeffer is the son of a famous evangelical Calvinist preacher but today the son has rejected all of the evangelical nonsense that was fed to him in his formative years.

Maddow asked him about the recent staged town hall demonstrations and the references to Nazism and Schaeffer went off in a strong condemnation of this rabble-rousing tactic. He is worried that this current spate of hate speech, and the words 'Nazi and Nazism,' are code words that are well understood by the far-right wing to be a license for disruption of the democratic process and, in the extreme, a license to kill. He fears greatly for the lives of some congressmen as well as the President. As a former Right-to-Lifer, Schaeffer said that he learned this coded language and the outcome that it hoped to achieve while he was in the evangelical movement. A few months ago he apologized for those years when he may have incited the murders of abortion doctors and other health care workers.

I especially focus on the 'crazy'of his book title quite often on this blog. I am convinced that many far-right evangelicals and fundamentalists suffer from, at the least, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and other, more serious maladies. Although I am not a psychologist, I can literally 'see' their OCD symptoms in their blog posts and comments. It is not normal to attempt to move through modern-day life guided by a 4000-year-old document written by a wandering Semitic tribe. Nor to heap sin and abomination onto people who do not fit the shape of this ancient tribe. Other people who think like this are endlessly pacing the halls of mental institutions.

Not only all of this, but they are anti-American as well. They dislike the U.S. Constitution are actively work to change it to fit their 4000-year-old set of laws. They would remake America democracy into a theocracy, not unlike Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Crazy for God could be written about the Taliban, al Qaeda, Zionists, and other extreme religious movements. It doesn't matter the dogma of the religion. Crazy is crazy.

Drifting Flotsam on Display

Did you hear about the recent ship wreck? Well, you knew it was inevitable with all of the leaks, patches and cracks in the hull. Just how long can you expect a tired, old vessel like that to stay afloat? Apparently the captain never saw the film, Titanic.

The flotsam washed up along with a few hysteric passengers who clung to driftwood and other debris. Hysteria is an awful condition. Delusions, random, unconnected thoughts, screaming, incoherent speech.

They showed up recently, this knot of jettisoned flotsam, at townhall meetings; did you see them on TV? Still in hysteria, still displaying irrational behavior and random thought-patterns, they yelled and interrupted the meeting with wild and crazy psycho-talk!

How will the mental health workers cope with them? Sedatives? Straight-jackets? Rubber rooms? Something has to be done and fast, otherwise, if they get loose, they will pose a great danger to society.

And where is the hulk of that ship- the USS GOP? Has the salvage crew reached it yet? Should they just sink it to the bottom of the sea and let it rust itself into nothingness? That, I think, would be the kindest solution to it all.

Senators Snowe and Collins- Who You Palling Around with?

They voted to approve Judge Sonia Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice yesterday. The rest of the Republicans voted 'NO!' Except for a handful who, in fact, are not seeking re-election. John McCain and Orrin Hatch voted 'NAY' for the first time ever in their long Senate careers; never had they voted down a candidate for the Supreme Court until yesterday. What a sad comment on these two characters who, surprise, surprise, are facing a stiff challenge in the fall election. They needed to look mean and lean for their far-right constituents. The character of a man.

Also yesterday, Snowe and Collins voted with the majority on continuing the so-called 'cash for clunkers' program. These two women along with senators Bond and Voinovich, who are retiring, were the only Republicans who voted 'AYE' for the bill. Apparently the rest of the GOP senators didn't like helping regular Americans purchase a more fuel-efficient car. They'd rather spend that money in Iraq and Afghanistan for more bombs. Quite an odd pooling of ignorance.

Snowe and Collins were, as you recall, the only two Republicans to vote for the stimulus package; the other Republicans apparently embraced the Limbaugh-ian mantra of letting Obama fail. Of course, the rest of us go down with the ship's captain, but they were willing to sink the entire Ship of State for their own amusement and satisfaction, just like adolescents.

Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins- you are two fully-functioning adult women and you are 'palling-around' with a bunch of adolescent, narcissistic boys. Surely you don't enjoy keeping company with this group. What the hell do you have in common with them? Nothing that I can see. Unless you wish to play the role of 'good mom' for your naughty, prankster boys. Mother birds push the sluggish chicks out of their nests when they suspect that they are loafers. Perhaps it's time for you two mother birds to build another nest in another spot.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bad News for Fundamentalists: Sexual Orientation is Fixed

Surely the news will cause much anguish in the hallowed hallways of fundamentalist christian churches all across America. In an article published in the New York Times, Psychologists Reject Gay ‘Therapy’, the American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

One local blogger surely must be rattling off verses of Deuteronomy and Leviticus today, hoping that the Bible is more truthful than the American Psychological Association. After all, the Bible says...

The evangelicals and fundamentalists will, of course, deny the truth because their God could not produce a human being who, according to the ancient tribal writings, is an abomination! No, God makes only 'perfect' people. Pray away the gay!

In fact, there are many in those denominations who have heralded supposed 'cures' for gay and lesbians who attended christian therapy programs. There are even testimonials from the 'cured' about their new-found life.

The association said some research suggested that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies. Instead of seeking such change, the association urged therapists to consider multiple options, which could include celibacy and switching churches, for helping clients live spiritually rewarding lives in instances where their sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

Changing churches! Now, that's a hoot. Find a more tolerant christian church? What's wrong with that concept??

Love one another.

The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power

Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, was interviewed last evening on MSNBC. There is an interesting Q & A from Rolling Stone here. Sharlet began his interview last evening by pointing out that two recent Republican adulterers, Governor Mark Sanford and Senator John Ensign are card-carrying members of The Family. God has appointed men like these, Sharlet said, to run our nation. Rules and laws of morality do not apply to these fundamentalist chrisitans. God gives them a pass for adultery. Former Congressman Chip Pickering,( R-Miss.), is another member-adulterer.

Nonsense like this is 'believed' by fundamentalist christians; like sponges, they absorb all of this crap while nodding and mumbling biblical passages.

The organization, also known as The Fellowship, hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast.

Apparently, they also like wars of aggression. The Family 'believes' in confronting the infidels because, after our military missions, christian missionaries will follow and will baptize the heathens. Surely Bush 'believed' that about his preemptive invasion of Iraq.

Sharlet castigates Calvinism in this statement: "It's sort of this Calvinist theology, this idea that you are one of God's elect, one of God's chosen." And, as 'God's chosen,' you have a license to do whatever the hell you want to, including adultery, aggression, and maintaining power. John Calvin- Evangelicalism.

Other congressional members of The Family include Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Susan Collins (R., Me), Mark Pryor (D., Ak), John Thune, (R. SD), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) and Jim DeMint (R., S.Car.). It is interesting that it also included former senator Norm Coleman who is a Jew.

Still other Fellowship members include [not surprisingly]include members of the U.S. Military: two former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. David Jones and General Richard Myers, are members as are former Marine Corps Commandant and NATO commander General James L. Jones, Iran-Contra figure Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, and Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, the military head of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld’s intelligence branch. Boykin, you may recall, was castigated for encouraging Jesus-talk among the troops- as if Jesus loved war!

Watergate cover-up conspirator Charles Colson, is also a member of the Fellowship. Golly! You know, though, he has 'repented' and now is on a straight-line path to Jesus.

The Fellowship Foundation is related to and shares common management with the Wilberforce Foundation (a.k.a. Wilberforce Project and Wilberforce Forum), which is part of the Charles W. Colson Center for Biblical Worldview. Cozy.

The Wilberforce Foundation is a conservative Christian political and social think tank and action group particularly active in the promotion of Intelligent design in education and in biotechnology and bioethics issues, such as human cloning and stem cell research that is closely allied with the Discovery Institute, center of the intelligent design movement, with the two sharing a number of fellows and advisors.

Imagine that! Quite a web has been woven, eh?

Jesus and politics. Who could have guessed?

Do you suppose, should Jesus 'return from the dead again,' that he would become an automatic member of The Fellowship?

Love one another.

The Right-wing is in Serious Depression

The love-to-blame sector of the GOP is in serious depression lately as can be seen in their babbling rants. They went over the cliff yesterday as their TV sets displayed Bill Clinton and Al Gore as super heroes all day long. I wonder, tangentially, if there was an uptick in spousal abuse yesterday.

There they were, as big as life. Bill Clinton, smiling, waving and enjoying the moment, loving the publicity. Al Gore, welcoming back the journalists from his network. Then there were the clips from Obama and Hillary Clinton.

It was a right-wing nightmare!

In fact, it triggered the moron-blather section of their brains. All of their pent-up fear mongering idiocy was on display from Pat Buchanan to neocon John Bolton. No doubt FoxNews was red hot all day long with pundit after pundit decrying some fabricated 'hostage deal.'

One of my regular right-wing visitors posted the same nonsense he listened to; their brains are sponges.

It must be an awful time to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum these days. The 'good old Bush days' are history, but the nation, unfortunately, revisits that nightmare every day.

Real, strong men are now in charge of this nation and the right-wing doesn't know how to deal with it. So they bluster, rant, rave and make up crap. Just like adolescent teens.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bill as Man; W as Wussy

Bill Clinton flies to Pyongyang, talks with Kim Jong Il, shakes hands and returns with two jailed U.S. journalists. How's that for 'a giant leap for a man?'

Think back on that wussy, George W. Bush, who name-called rather than talked like a man. The Axis of Evil. Ruthless dictator.

I gave a book to a long-time friend yesterday upon his retirement. It was called, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. The book was given to me upon my retirement several years ago. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. Think like a man, act like a man. Think like an adolescent, act as an adolescent.

These days there are an awful lot of men walking around America with adolescent minds. George Bush is the most recent example. And all of those 'men' who thought like he did. Many listen to another adolescent disguised as a man- Rush Limbaugh. The pooling of ignorant adolescent thoughts. Frightening outcomes.

I cull the image of the conversation during a meeting of an urban gang. Yo! Who we gonna mess wit?

Seems that the Limbaughian gang has about the same mental maturity as the urban gangs- them versus us.

Pity America if we cultivate more and more of these wussy men in place of fully-functioning adult men. At least we at last have a president who is the latter rather than the former.

A Question for the Senators from Maine

Dear Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins: What the hell do you have in common with Jim DeMint and Tom Colburn? Are you the party of the 'big tent' or is your party in such desperate circimstances that you have to pull together otherwise you'll sink to the bottom of the sea?

Maine, about as far north as one can go in these states, and South Carolina, the heart of the Confederacy. Judas Priest!

Like, I'm scratching my head to see the connection. Oh, both have coasts on the Atlantic Ocean. Oh, and both have two Republican senators in Congress.

And. Well. Hold on...

OK, end of list.

Margaret Chase Smith, Maine. Strom Thurmond, South Carolina.

So, Madame Senators, why are you still loyal members of the Southern Republican Party?

Ohio's Voinovich Deaf to Southern Dog Whistle

At last, the usually silent [and thereby complicit] GOP senator from Ohio, George Voinovich, exposes the sludge of his party: "It's the Southerners!" Because he is retiring at the end of this term, Voinovich apparently feels that he can [at last] bring this topic to the attention of his once-grand old party. He said, in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, ""We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns. It's the Southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' People hear them and say, 'These people, they're Southerners. The party's being taken over by Southerners. What the hell they got to do with Ohio?"

I don't know, senator, what the hell South Carolina and Oklahoma have to do with the people of Ohio. As the 50's tune went, "it's YOUR party and you should cry if you want to!"

Kathleen Parker, no bleeding liberal, said in today's Washington Post, "Whatever Voinovich's sound effects were intended to convey, his meaning was clear enough: Those ignorant, right-wing, Bible-thumping rednecks are ruining the party." You betcha! Kathleen. She goes on, "Southern Republicans, it seems, have seceded from sanity."

Parker recalled the Nixon quote from 1966 after visiting Dixie, "This is the party of the future, right here in the South!" Then she writes, "That same rage was on display again in the fall of 2008, but this time the frenzy was stimulated by a pretty gal with a mocking little wink. Sarah Palin may not have realized what she was doing, but Southerners weaned on Harper Lee heard the dog whistle."

Parker concludes her piece, "What the GOP is experiencing now, one hopes, are the death throes of that 50-year spell that Johnson foretold. But before the party of the Great Emancipator can rise again, Republicans will have to face their inner Voinovich and drive a stake through the heart of old Dixie."

That's a tall order for the current Republican Party. How will it 'kill' the southern ideology without killing their spirit? Or are the two bound tightly, Prometheus-style? What is the Southern passion, anyway? Is it the Bible? States Rights? Jim Crow? Far-right-wing ideology?

What makes the South so 'solid' these days? Is it all negativity- the party of no? Do most southerners begin their statements with, ' I don't want no...'?

I have often attempted to get into the mind of the far-right to try to understand what they are all about. I often hear the usual platitudes like, 'less government' and 'individual rights.'

Well, it seems to me that this nation has 'been there, did that' in its history and we learned a valuable lesson- mature democracies do not function with those two ideals leading the way.

That was pioneer America. That was the Wild West. That was the Confederacy. That was Jim Crow. That was pre-Civil Rights Act.

Ohio has moved on and so has the mid-West, the Northeast and the far West. We're turning gray and have years of wisdom upon which to make judgements about the type of government we want. And it doesn't look at all like that of the Jim DeMints and Tom Colburns.

Thank God!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why Do Republicans Hate America?

You know, the 'hate America' crowd! They are everywhere, trying to tear down this nation. Trying to impose THEIR thoughts onto the rest of us! Why can't they be more PATRIOTIC?? Why can't they support this nation the way our Founding Fathers did??

The hate America crowd is the current Republican Party!

They are obstructionists; they do not want the General Welfare of the nation to survive! They want their own 'style' of governing which favors only them and their financial contributors. It's all about their power, their money. Nothing else matters. Narcissism reigns supreme!

Why do they hate America so much?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Star of Bethlehem as Cometary Panspermia

Matthew, the only Gospel writer who added a 'star' to the story of the birth of Jesus, may have been on to something which he never could have imagined: star stuff. The late astronomer and host of an astronomy series in the 80's, Carl Sagan, often said of us humans that we were 'star stuff!'

Matthew, of course, added the star to bolster the credibility of Jesus and make him more competitive with the so-called pagan gods of the time. In his tri-layer cosmology-earth, heaven, hell- he knew nothing of black holes, comets, asteroids, novae, or the retrograde motion of Jupiter. His 'star' reference was pure propaganda. Yet, if he had referred to a comet, he may have been precocious.

The newly-developing theory of cometary panspermia suggests that the seeds of life are every where in the Universe and considers comets as the delivery vehicles that spread life throughout a galaxy. Scientists have learned that if amino acids were frozen at ice temperatures, they would last indefinitely. The same is true for nucleotides, the monomers of nucleic acids. Frozen suspended animation- the stuff of Sci-Fi movies. Isn't Walt Disney frozen, too?

Scientists have already simulated a polymerization reaction in ice. When an aqueous solution freezes, it essentially dries out. The ice crystals that form immobilize most of the water molecules, and liquid films of highly concentrated solutes accumulate in the cracks between crystals. Interestingly for our wine aficionados, same thing happens when ice wines are made from frozen grapes.

In the same study, scientists made a dilute aqueous solution of nucleotides, the monomers of RNA, and lowered the temperature to -18 degrees C to produce ice. "When we melted the ice a few days later and looked for products, the monomers had polymerized into short strands of RNA!"the report stated. The result clearly supported the idea that interesting chemical reactions can be promoted by freezing.

It takes no giant leap of faith, pardon the pun, to ascribe the same biochemistry to the ice in comets that have been travelling around our galaxy and solar system for eons. The science community became acutely aware of the reality of comet panspermia in 2001 when a strange red rain occured in India. Red colored rain occurred in many places of Kerala in India during July to September 2001 due to the mixing of huge quantity of microscopic red cells in the
rainwater. This event was correlated with a meteor airbust event phenomenon and raised an extraordinary question whether the cells are extraterrestrial. Two scientists, Godfrey Louis & A. Santhosh Kumar of the School of Pure and Applied Physics, Mahatma Gandhi University, document [link] how the observed features of the red rain phenomenon can be explained by considering the fragmentation and atmospheric disintegration of a fragile cometary body that presumably contains a dense collection of red cells. Slow settling of cells in the stratosphere explains the continuation of the phenomenon for two months. The red cells under study appear to be the resting spores of an extremophilic microorganism."

Matthew's 3-strata cosmology of myth and magic is a far cry from this theory of the origin of life on earth. Science Daily reports on the latest theory that the watery environment of early comets, together with the vast quantity of organics already discovered in comets, would have provided ideal conditions for primitive bacteria to grow and multiply.

Creationists like to scoff at the evolutionary process, naturally, for the belief in a Poof Moment by a sky-god. They often contend that evolutionary time is not long enough for simple-celled organisms to develop into humans. Timing is everything, they say, and thus close the 'book' [or open another one] at this point.

Yet, they fail to recognize that there is another possibility that does not require a lengthy time period: cometary panspermia. If there is too short a time for the evolution of life to take place from simple precursor molecules to the level of prokaryotic and photoautotropic cells, it leads to the argument that life has earlier originated elsewhere and then it was transported to primitive Earth. There is evidence to show that microbial life can remain in a resting phase for millions of years, which can enable them to make long space travel. There is the possibility of liquid water in comets, which could support active life inside of comets.

The creationists will now have to work overtime to think of ways to dispell this new theory as the comet theory erases their trusted 'time element' argument. I have no doubt that the Bible-thumpers will soon circulate a rebuttal to the panspermia theory. Perhaps they already have one. My email inbox may soon light up with said 'evidence.'

Until then, I'll dream with Carl Sagan that we are indeed, star stuff!

GOP Health Care: Just Say No to Germs!

Recall that carefully crafted and innovative anti-drug campaign launched by Nancy Reagan? The drug-woes of America could be easily solved by just saying 'No!' to drugs. The GOP likes simplicity. Is there data on the effectiveness of Mrs. Reagan's plan?

Today's GOP has taken a page from the Reagan playbook: just say 'No!' to germs. Simplistic. If we just think positive thoughts, we will not only be happy but healthy, too boot! Simple minds, simple ideas.

Yesterday the poster guy for man-tan, John 'boner' Boehner was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. He kept it all simple, too. When asked by Blitzer what his opposition to the current Obama proposal was, Boehner said stone-faced, "It has 1,122 pages."

A bit taken back, Blitzer querried further but Boehner replied, "And it has 502 'whereases.'

Blitzer blinked, expecting more. Boehner, in marionette-style, face frozen in an expressionless fashion, blinked back, then unrolled the usual talking points like 'big government' and 'bureaucracy.'

I concluded, perhaps foolishly, that the GOP has in fact adopted the Nancy Reagan mind-set: just say NO to germs!

Fathers Do Voodoo, Daughters Die

WAUSAU, Wis. – A Wisconsin man accused of killing his daughter by praying instead of seeking lifesaving medical help considered her illness "a test of his faith," a prosecutor told jurors Saturday.

Dale Neumann, 47, is a "full-Gospel Christian," who did not know his 11-year-old daughter had diabetes, his defense attorney said. The girl died from undiagnosed diabetes on March 23, 2008, surrounded by people praying at the family's rural home in Weston in central Wisconsin. Someone called 911 when she stopped breathing.

In the state of Oregon, a jury on Thursday convicted a father of misdemeanor criminal mistreatment for relying on prayer instead of seeking medical care for his 15-month-old daughter who died of pneumonia and a blood infection in March 2008. The father and mother were acquitted of a more serious manslaughter charge.


'Full-Gospel christians!' Apparently American grand juries don't 'believe' in parents who try voodoo rather than seeking medical attention for their ill children. Were this a Taliban country the outcome for the parents might be different.

Isn't it interesting that news of the death of these two children comes on the heels of the 'great medical insurance' debate in Congress where God's Own Party is working hard to deny medical care for American citizens.

It makes one wonder if there isn't some Voodoo-pact between the fundamental christians and the GOP- the GOP will stop all efforts at universal medical care if the fundamental chrisitans keep voting Republican.

Who will doubt that linkage?


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