Some Thoughts – Domestic And Foreign

All teachings are mere references.
The true experience is living your own life.
Then, even the holiest of words are only words.
Deng Ming-Dao

To determine the true rulers of any society, you must ask this question; “Who am I not allowed to criticize?”

‘All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician [to keep the hoi-polloi in order], and ridiculous to the philosopher.’

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was not an Atheist. He was Catholic and realized how he could use religion to rule the masses.

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived.”
Isaac Asimov

If prayer actually worked, we’d see two things:
1 – Ambulances would take patients to churches
2 – Christians would have longer life spans than the rest of the population

Most people are not looking for provable truths. Truth is often accompanied by terrible pain, and almost no-one is looking for painful truths. What people need are beautiful, comforting stories that make them feel as if their lives have some meaning. This is where religion comes from.

My favorite part of the Bible is where God gives everyone free will, and then drowns everybody in a flood for not acting the way He wanted.

CREATIONISM
The idea that we are not related to apes, no matter how many genes we share, but are in fact, descended from dirt.

Religion has at every age kept the human mind in darkness and held it in ignorance of its true relations, of its real duties, and its true interests. It is but in removing its clouds and phantoms that we may find the source of truth, reason, morality, and the actual motives which inspire virtue—Jean Messlier 1704

How many religious people does it take to change a light bulb?
None! They just sit in the dark and demand that you believe that the light is still on.

The cold, hard truth is worth so much more than a comforting lie.

“In religions and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are, in almost every case, gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who themselves have not examined the questions at issue, but have taken them second-hand from other examiners, whose opinions about them are not worth a brass farthing.”
Mark Twain

When you have to ignore mountains of evidence to hold a belief; when your words are those of others to preserve your faith; when you refuse to use logic, to protect your fantasy, your willful ignorance does not make you a unique individual. It doesn’t afford you special consideration.

Actually, it means that you are just plain wrong. It means that you have nothing to add to intelligent conversation. Believers show all the hallmarks of long-term abuse, unable to distinguish threats, fear and degradation, from kindness, love and self-worth.

Atheism says absolutely nothing about the issues of Northern Ireland, Shia/Sunni wars, genocide in Rwanda, questions of religious freedom, stem cell research, or gay marriage.  Atheism is not a belief, it’s not a set of values, it’s not a political movement, it’s not even a platform.  It merely is the understanding that all the religions seem made up.  And since we have no way to figure out if any of them are real, we must deal with life on our own.  We must use our brains.  So let’s quit being dicks to each other, roll up our sleeves, and figure these things out.  And keep making fun of religions.

PopeClown

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’18 A To Z Challenge – Q

Challenge '18
letter-q

 

I recently found that I’m a

QUIDNUNC

Shabby Man

It’s okay.  I’ve been called worse.  A quidnunc is a nosy old man.  And here I thought that I was just an interested observer of the human condition.  I am fascinated by the most mundane of details about the people who I come into contact with – what their name means, and what ethnic background they come from.  Even if I ask you a question which you refuse to answer because you feel that it is too personal, I still learn something about you.

Actually, a quidnunc is:  noun

  1. a person eager to learn news and scandal; gossipmonger
    a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a gossip or busybody.

Origin of quidnunc

First recorded in 1700–10, quidnunc is from the Latin word quid nunc – what now?

Up until about a century ago, the upper social crust liked to study Latin and Attic Greek, the Classical Languages, and show off their education by scattering Greek and Latin terms into their conversations.  That is largely gone now.  Rapidly advancing technology leaves very little spare time to learn dead languages.

Quidnunc is now a seldom-used, archaic term.  It originally applied to someone of any age, but matured to indicate only nosy older men.  Aside from this blog-post, you may never run into it again for the rest of your life.  If you do, it will almost certainly be applied to some old dude with suspenders, and his pants hiked up almost to his armpits, probably at Shoney’s at 4:00 PM, for the Early Bird Special.

Please stop back again soon.  I’d like to play a game of Twenty Questions.  😉

WOW #34

Wine

Today’s Word Of the Week must be imaginary, because it can’t be found in the dictionary.  It is

PROPIONATION

If it’s imaginary, where did I find it?  Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.  If pressed, some dictionaries will tell you that ‘propionate’ is; A salt or ester of propionic acid, containing the group CH3CH2COO.  Google will send you to Wiki, which explains that it is a natural by-product of winemaking.

Winemaking includes harvesting, crushing, vatting, fermentation and bottling.  Propionation is restricted to the actions and additives of the vintners during fermentation which produces this yummy-sounding substance.

For those who worry about such things, despite having a chemical formula that looks like the name of a Hungarian brothel, it is all-natural, and not Genetically Modified.  So, whether you purchase $200 bottles of Merlot, or pick up the $3.99/gallon cardboard box of plonk at a K-Mart blue-light special, you can feel safe.  Me??!  I’m sticking with the Heineken Dark ambrosia.  See you in a couple of days, when I’m sober.  😉

U-Turn. No, You Turn!

 

Dictionary Bible

Recently, in a very unofficial interview, Pope Frank was quoted as saying that there was no Hell; i.e. there was no place, full of fire and brimstone, where souls were tortured for eternity.  He said that the torture for non-believers was merely to be removed from the presence and grace of God forever.

Immediately, the Official Church Organ (Not the one with the keys, which makes the music.  The one between priests’ and Bishops’ legs, that’s used to molest altar boys and choir girls) swung into action, denying, and “clarifying.”  The Good Catholics, who know more than the pontiff, who is infallible in doctrinal matters, began screaming, ‘Give us back our days Hell.’  (That “days” thing was the April Fools who thought that, somehow, part of their lives had been stolen when Pope Gregory rearranged the Julian calendar.)

The Vicar of Christ has now put his other strangely-shod foot in his mouth.  I don’t know if the situation was intentionally caused, and, if so, who caused it.  He attended the re-dedication of a renovated Catholic elementary school, attached to a cathedral. He and his goon-squad  bodyguards several Cardinals sat at the front, a microphone was set up about 10 feet in front of them, and each student was allowed to come up and ask him a question.

A 12-year-old boy could not speak his question into the mic, so a Cardinal grabbed him by the arm, and he was allowed to approach, and whisper his question into the Pope’s ear.  He and his mother were ‘good Catholics’, but his father, who had been a good man, but an Atheist, had recently died.  “Was his father in Heaven?”

Like, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?”, this is a no-win question.  If he says ‘No,’ the pope disappoints a grieving son and all his schoolmates.  If he says ‘Yes,’ he contradicts Church doctrine.  The Pope considered for only a few seconds, and then said;

“God, our Father is like your father.  He is good and kind, forgiving and loving.  If your father was truly a good man, then God will forgive him, and welcome him into Heaven.”

I have written that the unchanging Catholic Church will take years – decades – centuries even, to ‘modify’ their dogma and catechisms.  This may be an attempt by Pope Francis to un-paint the Church from some of the corners it’s got itself into.  This could be the start of something good.

***

Speaking of Christians changing definitions….  I got some ironic laughs from Blogger Barry, in his replies on my Childlike Grace post.  If you don’t believe in a supernatural God the Father then, by definition, you are an Atheist!  If you don’t believe in God the Father then, by definition, there is no Christ the Son for you to be a non-theist (?), or post-modern, or Liberal Christian follower of.  😳

Please come back again soon.  See you at the dictionary, kids.   😉  😯

 

Firearms VS. My Skull

Shotgun

Have you ever had your head blown off with a 12 gauge shotgun?  I have, almost, and it still gives me shivers when I’m reminded of it!  Actually, that’s a silly question.  If you’d had your head blown off, you wouldn’t be here, answering this silly survey.

Children in my small hometown owned weapons. 14, 15, 16-year-old boys possessed rifles and shotguns.  It was not unusual, of a warm, sunny summer Saturday, to see a group of armed youths, ‘going hunting’, if hooting and yelling, and telling jokes while clomping through the near-by woods could be called hunting.  All the animals were hiding behind trees and snickering.  The only things that got shot were trees and fenceposts – or old appliances and food tins, if we reached the city dump.

One well-armed wight once boasted of ‘bumping off a chickadee’, as if he were a mob hit man. From a distance of 20 feet, he blasted away with a 12 gauge shotgun, leaving nothing but a fine pink mist.  He was also the genius who found an arm-thick, wild apple tree amongst the evergreens, and ‘chopped it down’ using three blasts to its base.

The rifles we owned were mostly little .22 caliber plinkers, capable of very little serious damage. Those who carried 12 gauge shotguns though, were far more dangerous.  .22s are only 22/100ths of an inch wide.  Even .45s, a large handgun shell, are less than half an inch.  12 gauge though, is .730 inches in diameter. And the power comes from the ‘squared’ portion of the Pi/R/Squared formula.  See the size comparison below.

Gauge

I had moved away to get a job, and had returned for Christmas. I’d been able to get presents for my Mom and Dad, but admitted to him that I had no idea about what to get my brother.  He told me that my brother wanted to be armed like his friends for ‘hunting season’, and also told me where there was a bolt action shotgun for sale, much like the one at the top, only in far better shape.

Bolt-action, for a shotgun, is quite rare. It cocks, ready for the next shot, when you lift the bolt handle, rotating a wedge-shaped section backward.  After you manually insert another shell and close the bolt, it is fired by pulling the trigger, to release the spring-loaded portion….usually.

After I had presented it to him on Christmas Day, the brother oohed and aahed over it, and took in into his bedroom, ‘to put it away in his closet.’ I had a small repair chore to do for my Dad, and stepped out into a shed, attached to the back of the old, frame house, with a work area in it.

I was standing close to the house outer wall, with a file and screwdriver in my hands. Suddenly, there was a loud bang, and my head and shoulders stung from small impacts.  I thought at first that a two-bulb, 4-foot fluorescent light fixture had exploded in the cold….but no, I still had light.

I turned, and there was a head-sized hole in the wall, right beside my head.  I could see my brother inside, with the shotgun in his hands, and a dismayed expression on his face.  By the time I’d left home, I’d acquired almost 300 hours of gun-handling and safety training.  Not so my brother, and his gun-toting friends.

He just HAD to know how the gun operated, and inserted a shotgun shell.  Apparently the gun had a 6-inch split, at the back of the barrel.  Instead of cocking, as the bolt was raised, it allowed the cocking cam to slip out of a groove, machined into the barrel, and hang up on the barrel’s rear edge.  When the bolt was pushed forward, it stretched the firing spring, and when the bolt was cranked down, to lock it, the cam snapped back into its slot, and suddenly flew forward, firing the gun.

A couple of fortuitous degrees of angle, or inches of difference in where he, and I, were standing, were the only things that prevented me from becoming a Wisconsin Swiss-Cheese-Head. The gun’s vendor had not wanted to lose a sale by mentioning the flaw, but had to refund my money, and got a good blast from both me and my Dad.  My brother never did end up owning a gun, and it’s probably just as well.

Do any of you have an almost-died story that you wish to share?  This is not my only one.  My brother also almost drowned the both of us one time.   😯  I’m alive and safe now, and look forward to hearing from you again soon.

 

 

30 Day Challenge – A Day At A Time

Another Challenge

Four Fun Facts – 50 Things About Me/My Blog – Reading Challenge – 30 Day Challenge There are all kinds of memes out there that bloggers are seizing, to both give them a blog-theme, and to connect with their readers.  Sometimes the challenge reveals more about the person who compiled it than it does about those who choose to use it.

I’m surprised that the person who drew up the above list was able to finish it before they were arrested outside someone’s bedroom window, or had to rush off to their weekly psychotherapy appointment. So, with appropriate trigger-warnings, and suitably evasive diplomatic wording, I plan to work my way down the list, a couple of items at a time.

#1 – Weird things you do when you’re alone – Which is tied to
#14 – Something disgusting you do

Politically Incorrect

The compiler of this list really needs some mental health aid. “Oh no you don’t!!  Just because I keep my curtains drawn, you don’t get to ask shit like that.”  The first question is about weird things – ‘things’ – plural, as if we all have a list of questionable personal activities.  He sneaks back in at #14, by upping the ante to ‘something disgusting.’

I have a note here “Suffrage = Power” which, at this long-forgotten date, I take to mean more than merely the right to vote. I believe that I meant more like Christ’s quote, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.”  I think I want to be allowed (suffered) to do whatever I want in the privacy of my own home/life, as long as I actively harm no-one else.

Then the English Nazi/amateur psychologist takes over, and asks who gets to decide what I, or anyone else, do, that can be considered ‘weird’ or ‘disgusting.’ Some people consider the word ‘moist’, disgusting.  Compared to that, I’m normal.  I march to the beat of a different flautist, because I feel that much of mankind is weird.

I’m never ‘alone’, to do anything weird. All the voices in my head see to that.  ‘Does your brother talk to himself when he’s alone?? I don’t know.  I’ve never been with him when he was alone.’  If I were, I would not be judgemental.  I think that expecting others to bare their soul, and openly admit their peccadilloes, is both weird, and a bit disgusting.  I’m saving my weird and disgusting revelations for my upcoming autobiography, the one that Steven King is ghost-writing.

Stop back again, perhaps next month, when I insult crazy people again, and answer another prompt or two. 😛

A To Z Challenge – J

April Challenge

I know that I published some jokes for my A To Z Challenge, under H for Humor recently, but after that sick joke of a post for the letter I….

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Inspiration.  I’m going for a beer.  You’re on your own.

…I felt that you deserved a little more real humor, so for the letter

Letter J   I’ve decided to honor you with a few more Jokes.

***

Two blondes are walking down the street, when one of them finds a mirror. She keeps looking into it, puzzled.  “I just know I’ve seen that face somewhere.”

The other one takes it and looks into it and says. “Of course, you silly, it’s me.”

***

A lawyer and a judge went on a three-day deep sea
fishing trip. The lawyer who had never been to
sea before was green at the gills. He was
standing at the rail contemplating feeding the
fish.
The judge came up to him and asked if there was
anything he could do.
The lawyer retorted, “Yes. Overrule the motion.”

***

Q. What are the three types of men?
A. The handsome, the caring and the majority

***

Some people are sitting in a bar when one guy
says, “My name is Larry, and I am a SNAG.”
Another guy says, “What’s that?”
The first guy says, “That means I am a Single,
New Age Guy.”
Another one says, “My name is Gary, and I am a
DINK.
A girl asks, “What’s that?”
He says, “That means I am a Double Income,
No Kids.”
A woman says, “That’s nice. My name is Gertrude,
and I am a WIFE.”
Larry says, “A WIFE? What’s a WIFE?”
She says, “That means, “Wash, Iron, Fuck, Etc.”

***

Q: Why is a lawyer like a pickpocket?
A:  Need you ask?

***

If Trump is the answer, it was a stupid question!

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