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Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

3/05/2016

smith_w_eugene 01smith_w_eugene 04smith_w_eugene 02smith_w_eugene 03smith_w_eugene 05

photos by E. Eugene Smith (1949)

read the poem
“Beyond W. Eugene Smith’s Photographic Essay Life Without Germs”
by John Kinsella  

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Thinkage

18/04/2016

“The American Empire, especially states in the ‘bible belt,’ love vengeance and a blood-for-blood way of living. As Jesus people, we must contend with living our lives under the umbrella of a violent empire who wants nothing to do with the peaceful way of Jesus– just as Jesus too had to contend with life in a violent empire.

“Like Jesus, we must have the courage to stand amidst this empire and speak up to say, “you have heard it said that it’s okay to take an eye for an eye, but we tell you that you should love instead!”

“Like Jesus, we must continue to speak into culture and remind them that only the person without sin is able to administer the lethal injection.

“Like Jesus, we must lovingly speak into the lives around us and say, “go and learn what this means: God desires mercy.”

“Like Jesus, we must have the courage to tell those around us, ‘put away your sword!’

“And, like Jesus, we must be willing to endure persecution at the hands of the religious elite for teaching his message of love and mercy.” — Benjamin L. Corey, “Georgia Execution Proves We Love Vengeance Over Restoration

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Shut Your God Damned Mouth

15/04/2016

I am using the term “God damned” in it’s proper Christian theological context: Jesus of Nazareth, whom we Christians recognize as God incarnate, very specifically condemned judging other people. Further, in the Old Testament when God Himself offered the covenant from Mt. Sinai, He admonished against bearing false witness against your neighbor.

So let’s proclaim
a digging implement
a digging implement
and proceed apace,
hmm?

Recently political hacks, in an effort to appeal to the ever decreasing white and/or Christianist bigot vote, have passed or introduced a number of bills designed (among other things) to keep the icky transgender people out of public restrooms.

anti LGBT bill never about bathrooms

And make no doubt about it, this part of these bills is a blatant attempt to drive transgender people out of the public sphere: A bearded masculine looking transgender man would be required to use restrooms and facilities reserved for females, a feminine looking transgender woman could be required to use facilities reserved for males, in both cases regardless of their current sexual identity.

she has penis he has vagina 2

The reason for this is a completely groundless fear that a transgender male in a ladies room will suddenly snap at the sight and smell of females defecating and urinating and revert back to a presumed heterosexual male starting point, attempting to rape any “true” woman within reach.

Go read that highlighted text again. Keep reading it until you realize just how damned stupid and bigoted and hateful it is…

…to heterosexual males.

Seriously.

The rationale behind the bathroom ban is that heterosexual males are rapacious sub-human filth who are unfit for polite company, that they are incapable of self-control, that no force on earth short of the full weight of the law can keep them from raping and murdering.

Penn Jillette on morality w o God

Now, truth be told,
there is an argument
to be made in that case.

We have plenty of heterosexual males who have committed heinous crimes such as sexual assault.

For the most part, however, they don’t commit sexual assaults in areas where they might be discovered and interrupted by witnesses and/or law enforcement.[1]

No, when heterosexual males rape and murder, they either like to have privacy or else operate in a pack large enough to prevent / thwart / intimidate any witnesses or rescuers.

So this law as crafted does absolutely nothing to protect people from sexual predators as those sexual predators will be attacking victims regardless of what the law says about who can / cannot use a particular public restroom.

For example, we have conservative moralist politicians who have been arrested soliciting sex from other males in public restrooms, we have high school wrestling coaches who seduce their charges in locker rooms, we have purported Christian ministers raping children in their care.

NC longest term speaker

Do we need a law that specifically forbids conservative politicians from using public restrooms? Wrestling coaches? Preachers?

No, of course not; no moral or ethical person will sexually assault another; those capable of sexual assault will not be deterred by laws.

We don’t need laws to define the crime,
we need laws to define the punishment.

We have to be able to say, “Because you did X, you will now have your freedom limited for Y period of time” in order to insure the criminal does not victimize more people during that period.[2]

So there is nothing — nothing – these bigoted bills will provide in added security to potential victims.

Rape and sexual assault remain punishable crimes regardless of the location of the crime or what the rapist and victim are / are not wearing.

All the bills do is let smug anusoids demand other people show them their plumbing so they can decide if they get to sit in the front of the bus use that particular restroom or not.

Sound familiar?

NC rest rooms

Now, several turd mongers have been quick to rush and report violations of a citizen’s right to privacy in a public restroom.

They cite a couple of recent cases in which voyeurs violated the right of privacy of other people by sneaking cameras into restrooms; one such voyeur disguised himself as a female to do so.

Folks, they’ve been doing this for decades.

Peeping Toms

Voyeurs, by and large, are not transgender people seeking to feel comfortable in their identity but low grade sex offenders who are aroused by spying on other people.[3] They are morally and emotionally sick people who regardless of their personal predilections, do not respect interpersonal boundaries.[4]

Banning transgender persons from certain restrooms will not protect victims from voyeurs.

Imprisoning voyeurs will protect victims of voyeurism by denying the voyeurs the opportunity to sneak photos.

But again, none of this has anything to do with the actual issue of the role of transgender people in this society.

It has everything to do with bullies and bigots desperately trying to find one last thing they can gloat over before they are flushed down the toilet of history.

NC look away

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[1] And those that do are mentally deranged to some point or another, such as the maniac who followed a little boy into a public restroom and slit his throat even though the child’s aunt was standing outside, or the President of the United States who had sex with an intern in the Oval Office. Those offenders are either too insane to recognize the risk of exposure they are facing, or else they get off on the thrill of possible discovery. In the latter case, passing laws against doing something will only increase their desire to do it!

[2] One of the Manson family “girls” (now in her seventies) is up for parole. From the Tate-LaBianca murders all the way to the various crimes and murders committed by other members after Manson himself was thrown in jail, the Manson family has demonstrated themselves to be singularly psychotic, remorseless, and exceedingly dangerous. Any Manson family member serving a life sentence needs to stay behind bars for the rest of their life: The family as a group has repeatedly demonstrated they are capable of causing great harm up to and including murder, and if that means a genuinely repentant family member has to stay incarcerated even though they are no longer part of the madness, so be it; they have proven they cannot be trusted.

[3] Whenever one discusses what arouses any human being, questions to be asked have to include consent. Anybody who gets aroused taking pictures of people in what should be rightfully private settings is perfectly free to hire a model to pose for them under simulated condition, or to obtain permission from a partner to spy on them, or read fictional stories or watch commercial porn which, despite claims to be genuine voyeurism, is almost always professional models posing for money after signing a release form. Professional pornographers, as opposed to the creeps who run the revenge photo sites, do not have a viable business model that sees them getting thrown in jail and still turning a profit; the creeps are not motivated by money and are willing to face legal repercussions in order to inflict harm on others.

[4] To some degree we are all voyeurs insofar as we are curious what goes on behind closed doors: This is why tabloid news remains so popular, this is why we are amused by candid photos that capture people unawares doing amusing things. There are lines that can be drawn, however, and while snapping a photo of a cosplayer at a convention using a cell phone in an out of character manner can be considered harmless and charming, stalking that cosplayer to catch them in an embarrassing or revealing moment is not. Regarding the University of Toronto incident, the circumstances are clear: All human beings have a reasonable right to privacy in their domiciles, be they private homes or dormitories, and sneaking a photo of a person in a locker room is no different from creeping up on their home’s bathroom window to snap a shot. If a person is streaking in broad daylight across the university commons, they have no reasonable right to privacy and can feign no outrage if their photo is taken. It’s not that difficult a concept to master, folks.

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Tony Millionaire Calls The Cops

11/04/2016

Tony Millionaire self portrait as Uncle Gabby

Police: Yes?

I just saw a guy touching my car door at midnight.

Did you chase him and/or shoot him, sir?

No, I yelled at him.

Good. What did he look like, sir?

It was in the shadows at midnight, so he was dark.
If it would have been noon he might have been light.

What direction was he going?

He was going down the street.
Can you catch him and arrest him?

No, sir.

Ok, thanks. Goodbye.

Thanx to Tony Millionaire granting
permission to post this.  Visit Tony on
Facebook and his website.

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“You Keep Using That Word…”

9/04/2016

words1

The human concept of “God” is to the true divine nature of God what the flag is to the land & people referred to as the United States of America.

The map, as Alfred Korzybski was so fond of pointing out, is not the territory.

Neither is the flag the nation,
nor the word the reality.

Read the rest of this article »

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Bill Hicks On Pornography

31/03/2016

Bill Hicks on pornography

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Jim Wright On What It Means To Be A Human Being

16/03/2016

“She came to me, that cat, as a castaway. Literally, cast away by some cowardly waste of humanity.

“I found her at my back door on a -20F Alaskan winter morning, a tiny ball of fluff damned near frozen to death.  Crying piteously, hungry, cold, and terrified.

“Now, the very last thing I needed at that point was another damned cat.

“I suppose the prudent thing, the safe thing, the conservative thing, to do would have been to shoo this unwanted immigrant away from the house with curses and kicks, send her back out into the Alaskan winter to find her own way in the world. Honestly, what did I owe this needy creature? I had my own problems, my own pets, my own cats already.

“I’ve spent my entire life in war zones around the world, one more life – and an animal at that – what difference could it make to me?

“As it turns out, I’m not the kind of guy who would leave a kitten to freeze to death – make of that what you will.

“I spent some time and effort looking for her people, but it became obvious fairly quickly that she’d been tossed out of a car and abandoned to her own devices in the midst of the Alaskan winter.

“And so, because there was no one else, she became my responsibility.”

And so, because there was no one else, she became my responsibility.

And so, because there was no one else, she became my responsibility.

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And so, because there was no one else, she became my responsibility.

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And so, because there was no one else, she became my responsibility.

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The One And Only Original Sin

22/02/2016

The one sin that underlies all other sins is indifference to suffering. God and Jesus both pound home on this.  If you don’t care if other people suffer then you’re fully capable of justifying racism, rape, robbery, and murder. If you do care, then you will refrain from harming others because you wouldn’t want to be harmed yourself, and you will act charitably because you would like charity extended to you when you need it.

Specific acts are not in and of themselves selfish. On May 23, 1939 Electrician’s Mate Third Class Lloyd Maness slammed a steel hatch shut aboard the USS Squalus, locking 26 crewmen in the flooding after section of the sub and drowning them.

Squakus Guppy_Book_guppy_1A_watertight_door

 

Maness did this to save the 33 men in the forward section of the sub, since waiting even a few seconds would have allowed the rushing wall of water to push open the hatch and flood the rest of the sub.

Now, that sailor killed those 26 men just as surely as if he had shoved their heads into a bucket of water and held them down until they drowned. But did he sin? If he hadn’t locked them in, the entire crew would have perished. Maness was not indifferent to suffering; rather, he instantly knew from his experience as a submariner that those men in the aft section of the sub were already doomed, but there was a chance to save the rest of the crew (and they were; click on the story, it’s pretty amazing).

Now, if we stick by hard and fast rules such as Moses’ Old Testament purity laws, we end up in situations where suffering is magnified because it would be a sin to intercede (Jesus cites example after example after example of the Pharisees doing this). But if we stick to Jesus’ principles then there is freedom and leeway in our actions; we may do a thing under one set of circumstances that would be wrong under another so long as the motivation is one of love, charity, and a desire to prevent unjust suffering.

This orbits us back to the issue of slavery, and the horrid racism it fostered. Slave owners didn’t want to lose their “property” and their free labor, so they ignored Jesus’ principle treat others the way you want to be treated and found willing stooges to promote a heretofore justifiably discarded inaccurate literal interpretation of the Bible.

They focused on the rules, as it were,
instead of the reason.

Because of this, and because they deliberately fed into a pre-existing stream of willful ignorance embraced by the poor southern whites, the woefully inaccurate, grossly distorted, and factually wrong teaching of Biblical literalism took root and spread.

Case in point:
Human beings refer to the covenant offered on Mt Sinai as “the Ten Commandments” when God never referred to them as such either by number or by that definition. God offered a contract that the Israelites were free to accept or refuse. If they wanted God to be their God they would do certain thing; if they didn’t want to do those things then God would have let them go off on their own.

The term we humans translate as “commandments” is the result of translators working for an established king or government translating the term to impart maximum authority…which the king or government would then claim to share. The proper Jewish term is translated into Greek as the Decalogue, and means literally “the Ten Words”.

Not commandments,
words.

Yes, Jesus referred to them as laws and commandments but again remember, he was talking to people already steeped in about 1,600 years of a particular tradition; they understood the covenant to mean something it didn’t, but there was no point trying to straighten that out at the time, it was just too culturally ingrained.*

So trying to figure out precisely what was said or meant is a problematic task, but taking the longer view of God’s principles as voiced in Jesus’ teachings, we see it’s basically very simple and no complicated at all: Love God, love your neighbor, everything else is commentary.

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*  And further, Jesus spoke in Aramaic, which was translated and written down in Greek, and then further translated into Latin and other languages, all of which went through meaning and culture shifts over time.

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Only A Bully Would Say This

7/02/2016

stop bullying

^This is unmitigated bullshit.^

When you analyze this, the only person who would make such an argument is a bully at heart, or at the very least siding with the bully mentality.

Of course they want to make people feel ashamed for asking for help when bullied — an isolated “go it alone” victim is much easier to bully.

They are the cowards. Truly brave people will face off against numerically superior opposition. A bully won’t.

A bully can’t.

Why do you think the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists did everything they could to disrupt Martin Luther King Jr.’s organizing attempts?

Because they knew they could not face organized opposition!

John Wayne and the director Howard Hawks despised the movie High Noon for its “go it alone” attitude. It’s about a town that abandons its sheriff rather than face down a murderous gang.

Wayne and Hawks made Rio Bravo in response, a movie where the sheriff keeps telling people not to get involved because it’s dangerous and yet they keep getting involved anyway because it’s the right thing to do!

Stand up to bullies and bigots and persecutors and evil people of all stripes.  Stand up alone if you have to, but stand together when you see someone being singled out for bullying or persecution.

If you don’t, you are just as guilty as the person doing the bullying.

Desmond Tutu on injustice

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>Eyeroll< Not This Again

5/02/2016

young girl eye roll

Somebody sent me this link and invited comments on it.

I’m going to try to reign in the snark on this one:
Alcoholism is a serious problem.

People who are struggling with alcoholism (and no alcoholic is ever truly “cured” insofar as the desire to drink truly vanishes; if they’re lucky they’re in recovery) deserve help, support, and compassion (short of enabling, but that’s a different matter).

So I’m not going to rag
Jamie Morgan for
striving for sobriety.
More power to her.

But I am going to rag on her presentation, because frankly it’s hypocritical shaming at best and openly blasphemous at worst.

She’s listed 50 points but I’m not going to enumerate them here (that’s what the jump is for).

That’s a fond tactic of many in the demagogue persuasion:
Throw out a ton of spaghetti — who cares if it’s redundant and / or nonsensical — and try to bog your opponents down answering your trivial pursuit questions instead of addressing the real issue at hand.

Screw that noise,
I’m going to the source
of the contagion.

First off, let’s tackle this from a Christian perspective: She says Jesus is evil.

If the consumption of wine is in and of itself wrong, then Jesus sinned as he is cited as drinking wine in several verses in the Bible, not to mention John 2 where he turns water into wine for others to drink.

Which means, according to Ms Morgan, he wasn’t merely committing a sin himself but making it possible for, and encouraging others to sin as well!

And don’t give me that bull about Biblical wine just being “fruit juice”, there are too many Old Testament and New Testament verses to the intoxicating effects of wine to swallow that canard.

So, it’s pretty clear from various points in the Bible that it’s not the consumption of alcohol that’s wrong, but the abuse of alcohol consumption.

So her central thesis is bogus,
nullifying all objections derived
from it.

Now, had she limited herself to “I shouldn’t drink alcohol and I wouldn’t recommend alcohol to anyone else” then I wouldn’t be posting this.

That’s a perfectly legitimate position to take.

But it’s the shaming aspect that is what’s wrong with her message.

Shaming is what passive aggressive Christians do to try to force their standards of behavior on others. Drunk shaming, drug shaming, slut shaming, divorce shaming, political shaming, everything except shaming shaming.

It’s one of the key reasons why people are turning their backs on organized Christianity in this country.

Shaming has nothing to do with love and concern and compassion for others.

It has everything to do with power and control and feeling superior to others by judging them.

So that’s why I’m calling shenanigans on Jamie Morgan’s message, not on her efforts to remain clean and sober.

God bless you, Ms Morgan, more power to you as you strive to avoid destructive harmful behavior…

…in you.

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