Tag Archives: religion

Nature vs. Prayer vs. Politics

28 Feb

Donald Trump, ignorance, public health

On Wednesday night President Trump told America that Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential primary debate had caused a stock market crash that happened on Monday and Tuesday mornings.

Apparently stock traders had traveled ahead in time, watched a debate that had not yet occurred and then traveled back to their own time in order to freak out in a massive stock trading selloff.

Because what is more disturbing than a world wide outbreak of Corona-virus? Democrats! Of course!

Then the President boasted about how he is preparing America ‘s Corona-virus defense by working with some of the greatest experts in public health in the world…and then he announced that he was putting  Vice President Pence, a man who does not really believe in science, in charge of coordinating the administration’s response to the Corona-virus’ potential (but probably not?) outbreak in the U.S.

Hopefully the Vice President is organizing a national prayer shield to fend off the virus (or the Democrats?) as I write this… Soon we shall see if it is nature or prayer (or politics) that carries the day!

However,  judging by Thursday’s continued and massive stock market selloff and a record 1,191 point drop in the Dow Jones Index, the largest one day drop in history, Wall Street traders have once again ridden their time machine back into the future and already know the outcome.

But what did they see?

More Virus?!

More Democrats?!

Stay tuned!

And let us pray?

Mine Eyes Have Seen My Shadow!

2 Feb

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In honor of Groundhog Day I went outside and saw my own shadow…and it was shivering!… So I went back inside. This told me that it is still winter! And I’m sure that’s what the poor marmot in Pennsylvania is thinking every time those silly Punxsutawnians take him out of his home and hold him in the light of a freezing day.

We have some strange and weird commemorative days in our calendar and I just had to look this one up.  The 2nd of February was once (and I’m sure still is) a Christian holiday traditionally known as Candlemas. It is also known as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord.

According to the gospel of Luke, Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days  after his birth to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses. When they got to the temple the Gospel also records that they encountered Simeon who had been promised by the holy spirit that “he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ”

So once upon a time 40 days after Christmas Simeon saw the baby Jesus… and today, 2 thousand and some odd years later, a groundhog sees his shadow and then Spring comes!…eventually…like it always does.

Really the whole thing was and is about the celebration of light and it’s return. The days are getting longer and that’s always a good thing especially in times when electricity hadn’t been encountered yet. And metaphorically speaking Jesus is also known as the “light of the world” and his birth is often viewed as the shedding of light upon the human soul and condition…So let’s celebrate!

I have no idea why all of these religious icons and ideas have all been replaced by cute animals, parties and jolly old elves etc…but isn’t it curious that many pagan celebrations and festivals which began with the worship of earthly places and deities in the pre-Christian era morphed into religious holidays and the celebration of personal icons during the advent of Christianity and now thousands of years later have morphed again into celebrations of cartoon-like characters, who seemingly have nothing to teach us except that we should have a party and buy things.

Speaking of which, we now celebrate the Superbowl at this same time of year, a truly pagan festival  which commemorates the end of the barbaric football season and the thankful return of the light of baseball, a truly civilized sport of Spring, warm weather and safely returning home.

So…Happy Imbolc, Candlemas, Groundhog Day and Superbowl Sunday!

Some things just never change…even though they always do.

Climate Mockery

11 Jan

Image result for greenland ice melt

It’s now 2020! And After a summer of record temperatures in the Arctic scientists say Greenland’s ice sheet experienced its biggest melt, losing 197 billion tons of surface ice to the ocean — equivalent to 80 million Olympic swimming pools.

Temperatures are rising all across the planet. Weather patterns are changing. More and more animal species are in danger of extinction. Birds and bugs are disappearing. Our garbage and waste products are piling up all over the world and the oceans are filling with plastic debris from sea to shining sea.

And Australia is on fire…

Meanwhile:

President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign store now sells: Trump-branded plastic straws. And The description of the Trump straws is not subtle about the message the merchandise is meant to send. “Liberal paper straws don’t work. Stand with President Trump and buy your pack of recyclable straws today,” it reads. “Make Straws Great Again.”

A video that went viral last year of a marine biologist helping to remove a plastic straw from a sea turtle’s nose brought attention to the issue of plastic waste and specifically to the use of plastic straws…A recent study estimated that there are about 7.5 million plastic straws strewn on America’s beaches, amid 35 million tons of plastic pollution produced worldwide every year, about a quarter of which is dumped in rivers, streams and the oceans.

As a result many communities and businesses have begun to ban the use of plastic straws altogether. In the US, the west coast cities of Seattle and Malibu, near Los Angeles, have declared war on straws, while statewide bans of the items are being considered in California and Hawaii…and Many countries are even moving to phase out plastics in various forms.

 

But if you are a supporter of President Trump and the Republican Party then for just 15 dollars you can purchase a 10-pack of  red straws with Trump’s name “laser engraved” on them to show that you just don’t care about plastic waste. In fact his supporters so far don’t care to the tune of more than $856,000 in sales… since last July!

The success of the plastic straws – which the campaign says are recyclable (as is most plastic already) – is likely due to the hope of riling liberals, or anyone who is not keen on clogging up landfill, oceans, or the noses of turtles everywhere…with plastic straws.

Besides, President Trump has said that the US has bigger environmental problems than straws… And sadly, he has been addressing those problems by the way, by slashing and/or eliminating environmental regulations and protections on just about everything throughout the United States.

Now I know that we live in a free country and we all have the right to say and do as we please. And if you don’t think that our environment needs any special taking care of or that 8 billion people living on a planet that once had none, cannot in any way shape or form have any impact on how that planet behaves, then you are entitled to your opinion.

But do you really have to mock the rest of us who do? And mock the planet that you live on too? Really?

40% of America is now on board with tossing your soda cups, straws and cheeseburger wrappers out of your speeding car’s window while laughing and cavorting in your front seats as you wave your middle finger in the rear view window at Mother Nature… whenever the feeling moves you?!

Really? Remember when being a Litterbug was a bad thing?! Doesn’t anyone have grandchildren… who they love anymore?

I know that you won’t be around when they will have grown up to be the age that you are now. But if you were, what would you say to them?

“We did it for the straws? Plastic Straws were fun! Plastic Straws were wonderful! Plastic Straws were a necessity!

…You?… Not so much”…?

 

Peace In Our Lifetime!?

25 Nov

Image result for Armageddon

In 2016 President Trump said that he could solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East with the help of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner (who had no diplomatic experience) by making the “Deal of the Century”! “Jared’s a very smart guy,” said President Trump and “I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians.”

 

This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo  announced that the United States will no longer consider Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as necessarily violating international law and thus reversed decades of U.S. policy in the Middle East and almost certainly (according to many Middle East observers and scholars on the subject) ensuring that there will… most likely… never be peace in the Middle East!

That’s some deal!…And after only 3 years of negotiating?

 

But fear not for I believe that President Donald Trump’s evangelical advisory team, has a very long term-plan (maybe not so long-term?) that will eventually bring peace to everyone, everywhere.

Tensions in the West Bank rise. Regional war ensues. Other countries get involved. Nuclear war follows…

Armageddon!

The world ends.

Jesus returns.

Hell for the unbelievers?

Peace on Earth!

Gee, that was easy… wasn’t it?

I could be wrong…but if I’m not…I sure hope it’s televised!

 

 

Why Wealthy Folks don’t need tax Breaks!

2 Apr

Image result for Why wealthy folks don't need tax breaks!

Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among dozens of people recently charged by the FBI in an elite college admission scheme…Surprise! Surprise! Rich people use their excess wealth to bribe and influence people to get what they want! Who would have thunk it?

 

The Hollywood stars joined CEOs of private and public companies, real estate professionals and a fashion designer in paying up to 6 million dollars in bribes to ensure that their children were accepted to schools such as Yale and Georgetown. Most of the parents paid $250,000 to $400,000 per student.

Imagine being able to spend all of that money sending your kids to schools that they are really not going to attend anyway! Couldn’t you think of a much better way to spend that kind of money on your children…or yourself…or your family? And do you remember how hard it was to put yourself or your children or to have your family pay to put you through school? You might even still be paying for it…and at 8% interest! (Thank you Congress!)

 

The scheme, which the FBI called a “nationwide conspiracy,” allowed parents to pay for their children to cheat on exams and apply to elite schools as student athletes, regardless of their actual skills. Top college coaches at the schools are also among those charged, but authorities said they are not investigating the schools themselves.

Of course not! Why investigate the schools? We wouldn’t want to put schools out of the “rich family schooling business” would we? Even if they qualify and sanction ne’re-do-well rich kids as bonafide scholars, it’s still great business…and an education for us all. Money Talks! It really, really does. It talks so much that even our U.S. Supreme Court, a fine collection of 9 “scholars” themselves, has declared money to be free speech…just like the kind of speech that we humans invented and which sets us apart from the lower animals.

But I digress because The bribery ring got its start several years ago when William Rick Singer founded a for-profit college admissions company in Newport Beach, California, that masqueraded as a not-for-profit group. This “sham charity” allowed him to conceal the nature of the payments made by parents, who could then take a tax write-off at the end of the year!

So the rich parents not only paid millions of dollars to get their children into colleges in which they didn’t belong and had no qualifications to attend but they were then able to write off the expense as a charitable one for a charity that didn’t exist! (unless of course you consider yourself to be a charity case) Holy Catholic sex offender restitution program, Batman!!! …This is what the wealthy do with their money!

And we thought they used it to help the poor! Instead they use it to trickle down on the likes of : Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas, USC, UCLA, the University of San Diego and Wake Forest University…to name a few of the struggling institutions that these wealthy parents sought to help…  and Some parents even paid for someone to pose as their child during entrance exams ― and even during classes ― with those scores submitted as part of the college application…and Other cases involved exam administrators allegedly providing students with answers during the tests or correcting wrong answers afterward. 

 

And it gets even worse because some parents also falsely claimed that their children had learning disabilities, requiring extra time on the exams, and that those claims were bolstered by notes from therapists! Holy Tax Reform, Bat Girl! Is there no end to what rich people will do to get even richer?

According to one witness in the scam, the one rationale that most parents accepted as they prepared to cheat their children’s way into a “good school” was

“Everybody’s doing it” …and… “The whole world is scamming the system!” Oops! That’s 2 rationales!…but whoever paid attention in school anyway?

Which brings us full circle and back to our own current United States Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, who believes that our public schools are “a dead end” and who has said that her education advocacy would “advance God’s kingdom.” And that “my generation hasn’t done a great job when it comes to dealing with one another in grace.”

What she wants to gracefully do is cut overall federal funding to public education for the third year in a row (7 billion dollars)…and she wants to cut the entire budget for the Special Olympics, which is about 18 million dollars. Ms. Devos and her family have a net worth of 5.4 billion dollars of which 18 million dollars would constitute less than 1% or .0033 to be exact. To put that in perspective, if you earned a minimum wage of $15 per hour (a wage that rich folks think is far too much for poor folks to earn by the way) then you could save the Special Olympics by donating $102.96 of your salary.

Would you spend that kind of money to save the Special Olympics? I bet you would. But an incredibly wealthy (and devoutly Christian) person like Betsy Devos wouldn’t because she has 10 yachts and 2 helicopters to feed. (besides her mortal soul)

And that is why we should never give tax breaks to wealthy people! That and because they will never show you their tax returns… nor their college grades neither!… And yet we still wonder why? (Hint: It’s not because they are being audited…by anyone)

 

Do Earthlings Know Science?

15 Feb

Well, at least American Earthlings…Do they know science? Duh, Is the globe warming? And of course your answer to that probably depends upon how you answer these questions on the National Science Foundation Exam. I first posted this blog in 2014 under the title Galileo Gali…fianakis? and even though the NSF re-issues this survey to Americans every 2 years, and it is now 4 years later…the results haven’t changed! So here it is again. If you’d like you can take the survey at the end and see how you do.

Galileo Gali…fianakis?

1.Does the Earth go around the Sun, or the Sun go around the Earth; and how long does this journey take?

2.Did Zack Galifianakis appear in the movie The Hangover; and did he appear in a sequel to that movie?

Odds are that if these questions were asked as part of a national survey, question #2 would receive more correct responses than question #1, because in a recent survey conducted by the National Science Foundation only 73% of those surveyed knew that the Earth revolves around the sun…and of those only 71% also knew that it takes 1 year for the Earth to complete said journey.

Wow! And why do we suppose that is?

Is it because only 74% of America’s science teachers in America’s public schools have ever mentioned or illustrated this amazing fact to America’s students?

Is it because only 74% of America’s parents have ever had “that talk” with their children about where the sun goes at night?

Is it because we are a Christian country and as such only 74 of us will ever believe in both god and science?

There must be an answer because the National Science Foundation has been conducting this survey with these exact same questions every two years over the past 20 years as part of a report that the National Science Board presents to the President and Congress and guess what?…According to their own report, “Generally speaking, the percentages have had little variation over the past twenty years.”

So 20 years ago one quarter of those surveyed did not know that the Earth revolves around the sun…and 20 years later one quarter of the U.S. population still doesn’t know this simple and basic fact…nor have any of the other questions received any significant increase in the number of correct responses.

What gives? 25% of Americans just can’t learn? Ever? Or is there something uniquely American when it comes to taking tests? I taught high school students for 33 years and every year I would meet children who could recite countless hip-hop songs from memory yet couldn’t remember 2 words on a vocabulary test. I had students who could surf their way through the internet on the newest computers with the greatest of ease but could not master the basics of Algebra I, even after 4 years in Freshman level Algebra! There were classes filled with young adults who could program and operate through their complicated cell phone menus and send and receive text messages using just their thumbs on a keypad smaller than Thumbelina’s purse and yet they could not write a coherent introductory paragraph for an essay question while using a pen and notebook, no matter how hard they tried…

And no matter how many standardized tests we gave them…and no matter how important we told them these tests were…and no matter how many times we revised the curriculum…and no matter how many times we developed new and improved learning strategies…and no matter how many times we replaced the Superintendent and Principal or revamped the teaching staff or asked the parents to please get involved or threatened the students with failure and the withholding of diplomas…or declared nationally that we would “Leave No Child Behind”…their test scores little improved.

I’m willing to bet that just about every American knows that the Earth goes around the sun. It’s just that a certain percentage of us just don’t see the importance of remembering that fact or in paying attention to someone who wants to ask us such a stupid question to see if we know it. Does the Earth or Sun care? They’re still going to be doing their thing whether I answer that question correctly or not, right? And don’t you have something better to do than ask me that?

We’re Americans after all…and we’re busy! We’re a nation of seriously professional consumers who have been trained literally from birth to buy and sell and entertain and be entertained and consume and waste and innovate and reinvent and get bored if all of that takes too long.

The question and answer test, especially in pencil. paper and booklet form, is just no longer relevant to the 21st century world and I believe that we 20th century minded educators are the ones who have to get out of the way and stop worrying about numbers on tests as the only way to discern and/or prove whether or not learning is taking place.

Here’s the National Science Foundation’s test. Take it and see how well you score. Then ask yourself how many times these answers were given to you over the course of your lifetime by your teachers and parents and how many times these topics were probably covered during your schooling or lifetime… And then ask yourself if how well you did or did not just score on this test has any bearing or relevance to your present life or living conditions, even if it once did. When you’re playing on your X-Box do you really need to still be tested on your Atari skills? If you score better than a 7 on the following test then…you’re not average…and maybe even not American?

Physical Science

  1. True or False: The center of the Earth is very hot.
  2. True or False: The continents on which we live have been moving their locations for millions of years and will continue to move in the future.
  3. Does the Earth go around the Sun, or the Sun go around the Earth; and how long does this journey take?
  4. True or False: All radioactivity is man-made.
  5. True or False: Electrons are smaller than atoms.
  6. True or False: Lasers work by focusing sound waves.
  7. True or False: The universe began with a huge explosion.

Biological Science

  1. True or False: It is the father’s gene that decides whether the baby is a boy or a girl.
  2. True or False: Antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria.
  3. True or False: Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.

Leggo My Wall!

30 Jan

I received this add in my Email the other day from a website known as keepandbear.com…perhaps you’ve heard of it? Apparently their newest “toy” has been removed from their website by what they call a “large overseas toy company with deep pockets and lawyers” (Could it be Lego?)

And they have been threatened with a “devastating lawsuit”  (could it be because their toy is a rip off of Lego?) and finally even Facebook terminated their advertising account! (is that because Lego has a copyright on its blocks?)

And of course it is all a leftist, liberal conspiracy (trying to keep the toy wall from being built since the real wall has been terminated?) and an attempt to prevent maga children everywhere from building a miniature wall of their own while fantasizing no doubt about keeping fiendish immigrants away from themselves.

But don’t despair because they have set up a temporary on-line store for you to find and where you can purchase the “Build the Wall” play-set. It’s on sale for 30 bucks ($29.95) if you act now! And don’t just buy 1 buy 2 or 3! It’s certain to become a collector’s item. (I have no doubt about that!) They even have a GoFundMe page!

There are 101 pieces! Looks like it comes with 1 black base, 1 miniature President Trump, and 99 gray pieces of wall! (No illegal aliens included…miniatures, that is) So hurry! While supplies last! (I included the link if you’d like to check it out for yourself) It looks like a great imaginative toy for the inquisitive child who “just wants to build a big gray wall” and nothing else…

https://magafun.com/product/pre-order-build-the-wall-maga-building-blocks-toy/

I also included this T-shirt that’s also on sale (they have lots of Tees for you to peruse) because it just seems so apropos of the Trump supporter. Heaven has strict immigration policies? And a wall? (where is that written?) So I can’t even sneak in? Damn it!

Why is it that I have no doubt that all Trump voters believe that they already have their ticket to Heaven punched because they voted for the man that they believe is the Second coming of Christ? (BTW I recently saw the Reverend Franklin Graham being interviewed on MSNBC and he stated that he had absolutely no knowledge of President Trump ever telling a lie!…I kid you not) Their Heaven just sounds too easy to me. How about you?

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