GENE LOGSDON: Two Peachy Economies

 

p

From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

I cheer for the local food movement every chance I get, but I’m a little uneasy with the word “local.” Just as all politics are local, as someone famous has said, all food is local. And like politics, just because it’s local does not necessarily mean it’s good.  I recently ran into an example that addresses this conundrum.

I got a phone call from a friend in Kentucky and she was all excited because what she referred to as “the peach truck” was in town. She had just come home from buying peaches from The Peach Truck (first letters all capitalized), the best peaches in the world, she declared. “There were 40 people lined up in front of me to buy peaches and just as many behind me. I counted them,” she said. Pause. “Guess what they were selling for.”

I had no idea of course and nearly dropped the phone when she told me. “Thirty nine dollars  a HALF bushel.”

Anti-Evolution Creationists are ignorant of what a species is…

 

Evolution

From An Atheist in Illinois

First it’s important to note that accepting the reality of evolution is not a devotion to atheism.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams recognizes that humans evolved from other animals.

Pope John Paul II openly recognized the realities of evolution in 1996.

President John F. Kennedy had no problem with evolution. In fact, one of his speeches discussing our origin from the sea was played during a Super Bowl XLIX commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines.

There are those who keep a liberal interpretation of their religion that allows compatibility with modern science. This has allowed millions of Christians and people of other faiths to contribute to advancements in medicine, sanitation, food supply, transportation, and other fields that have greatly increased the standard of living for mankind.

And then there are those who keep a dogmatic interpretation of their religion that only leaves room for an 18th century understanding of the universe. Ironically these same people use computers and iPhones. They have no problem using technology that was made available by modern science while keeping their antiquated views of reality.

Someone who dogmatically believes that disease can only be cured by god and prayer will never create a vaccine that will ultimately be responsible for saving millions of lives.

Imagine a child arguing that the earth is not spinning because we don’t feel it or crash into things when we jump straight up. The best thing to do would be to explain the supporting scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates that the earth is spinning and relativity to understand why it doesn’t seem to be from our perspective.

But what if the child refused to listen and simply kept repeating that the earth doesn’t rotate. That is one obnoxious child that refuses to listen or learn. Now let’s suppose the child is 40 years old. We would need to conclude that the adult was mentally challenged, delusional, or extremely gullible and being persuaded by ignorant people.

When creationists argue that we never see a cat turning into a dog, the ignorance is staggering. What makes it worst is they often say things like that with a smug grin. Not only do they have no idea of how a species is classified or how evolution works, they are proudly and shamelessly ignorant. They have no desire at all to read a book and actually learn the subject matter.

A species should never be understood as some giant sudden leap from elephant to tiger. There is no magical point in time where a biological divide causes separate species classifications between animals. This understanding is critical to understanding evolution. The evolution of species isn’t about a sudden giant horn, long neck, or trunk. The most basic species classifications are about the ability to mate…

Complete article here
~~

Robert Ingersoll

 

i

Would an infinitely wise, good and powerful God, intending to produce man, commence with the lowest possible forms of life; with the simplest organism that can be imagined, and during immeasurable periods of time, slowly and almost imperceptibly improve upon the rude beginning, until man was evolved? Would countless ages thus be wasted in the production of awkward forms, afterwards abandoned? Can the intelligence of man discover the least wisdom in covering the earth with crawling, creeping horrors, that live only upon the agonies and pangs of others? Can we see the propriety of so constructing the earth, that only an insignificant portion of its surface is capable of producing an intelligent man? Who can appreciate the mercy of so making the world that all animals devour animals; so that every mouth is a slaughter house, and every stomach a tomb? Is it possible to discover infinite intelligence and love in universal and eternal carnage?

What would we think of a father, who should give a farm to his children, and before giving them possession should plant upon it thousands of deadly shrubs and vines; should stock it with ferocious beasts, and poisonous reptiles; should take pains to put a few swamps in the neighborhood to breed malaria; should so arrange matters, that the ground would occasionally open and swallow a few of his darlings, and besides all this, should establish a few volcanoes in the immediate vicinity, that might at any moment overwhelm his children with rivers of fire? Suppose that this father neglected to tell his children which of the plants were deadly; that the reptiles were poisonous; failed to say anything about the earthquakes, and kept the volcano business a profound secret; would we pronounce him angel or fiend?

And yet this is exactly what the orthodox God has done.

According to the theologians, God prepared this globe expressly for the habitation of his loved children, and yet he filled the forests with ferocious beasts; placed serpents in every path; stuffed the world with earthquakes, and adorned its surface with mountains of flame.

Notwithstanding all this, we are told that the world is perfect; that it was created by a perfect being, and is therefore necessarily perfect. The next moment, these same persons will tell us that the world was cursed; covered with brambles, thistles and thorns, and that man was doomed to disease and death, simply because our poor, dear mother ate an apple contrary to the command of an arbitrary God.
~~

WILLIAM EDELEN: Euthanasia

 

d

From WILLIAM EDELEN (1988)
The Contrary Minister
[Repost]

The scene is in the intensive care section of an Oklahoma hospital. The woman strapped to the bed is 84 years old. She is my mother. I am sitting beside her with my wife.

A doctor enters the room. He is called a specialist. He walks over to the old, tired, pain-racked body and says cheerfully: “Mrs. Edelen, we are going to make you as shiny and bright as new. I have two surgeons standing by in the wings, just waiting to come on stage and go in there and fix you up like new.”

My mother stared at him. Her eyes narrowed, and in as strong and firm a voice as she could muster, she said these words to him:

“I want you to understand something. This is my body. It is not your body. I own it. I will tell you what you may or may not do with my body and my son will enforce it. There will be NO surgery. There will be NO chemotherapy. There will be NOTHING done that will keep me from dying a natural death.”

I said to the doctor: “She means it.” He stared for a moment at both of us and turned and left the room.

After a long, painful process of decision making, we moved her from intensive care to a nursing home where she could receive 24-hour attention.

As my wife and I were walking down the halls one day looking into rooms where bodies were strapped to beds, bodies that had no idea who and where and what they were, my wife said out loud, to anyone within earshot, “This is a torture chamber.”

Once back to Idaho, I was relating this experience to a good friend of mine, a Boise doctor.

His response was: “We in the medical profession can take no pride in what we are doing to those older persons in those conditions. A triumph of medicine? Hardly. Keeping bodies alive cannot be considered a triumph if the mind is gone. The heart of the matter is this: Physicians cannot do it. The politicians and the courts will not do it. The individual must do it.

Christian Crock: Is Josh Duggar the Biggest Family-Values Hypocrite Ever? Not Even Close…

 

f

From John Loftus
Debunking Christianity
Response to article by Jay Michaelson  here

Duggar has been exposed as a former child molester, porn addict, and with the Ashley Madison hacking leak, an adulterer. But is he the biggest hypocrite ever?

Jay Michaelson suggests other numerous candidates for being the biggest hypocrites ever, like,

What about megachurch Bishop Eddie Long, who, while preaching against homosexuality, sexually abused at least three teenage boys in his charge? And what about megachurch pastor Ted Haggard who, while likewise preaching against homosexuality and drug use, bought crystal meth and had sex with a male escort/masseur for three years? Or George Rekers, who, while preaching similarly, was caught with a rentboy on vacation in the Caribbean? For that matter, what about the entire Catholic Church hierarchy, which, while preaching against homosexuality, covered up the systemic sexual abuse of thousands of boys in Europe and America—and still maintains a “gay mafia” in the Vatican today?

Yes, that and more, like John Paulk, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Henry Hyde, Mark Foley, Bob Livingston, or TV evangelists Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, and a whole host of others!

Michaelson:

So it’s not surprising that for many of us, there’s a profoundly gleeful schadenfreude when hypocrites are exposed. (Along with profound concern for the LGBT people in repressive regimes whose lives are now in danger thanks to the Ashley Madison hack.) Women, progressives, and queers have had to sit and listen to the likes of Duggar, Huckabee, Santorum, and Fischer talk about us, as if the outright lies they spread about our lives are somehow deserving of deference. So you can’t blame us for smiling when they take a fall.

True Dat! But Michaelson isn’t smiling. He’s hoping mad instead, for two reasons.

TODD WALTON: Reversions

 

Reversions

Bird Mansion photo by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” Mark Twain

Something marvelous strange happened with our pumpkins this year. That is to say we are hopeful the strange turns out to be marvelous. Here’s what has happened so far. Four years ago, I bought two pumpkin starts at the farmers market in Mendocino and planted those starts in a raised bed rife with redwood roots, three miles inland from the coast. Those plants were supposed to grow small sweet pumpkins, half the size of bowling balls. I got one little pumpkin. Delicious. I saved the seeds.

When we moved to our new house a mile from the coast, I planted the seeds in a new bed, also rife with redwood roots, and got two little pumpkins. Delicious. I saved the seeds. The next year, last year, I planted the seeds in a bed less troubled by redwood roots, took great care of the plants, and we got six little cuties. Wonderful. Marcia made pumpkin pies and pumpkin soup. Yummy. I saved the seeds.

This year I created a deep rich bed, planted the seeds, and lo, the vines have set five pumpkins, four of which are much bigger than bowling balls. Where did these four mighty pumpkins come from? Why are they somewhat cylindrical? Are they reversions to an earlier type of pumpkin used in creating the hybrid little pumpkin I began with? Why did the reversion take four generations?

Turkish Atheists Give Soup to the Homeless Every Week…

 

From Friendly Atheist

In 2014, the first physical building dedicated to atheism opened up in Turkey. But the obstacles have come one after another since then. A court order blocked their website earlier this year, and death threats have led to the installation of a panic button in their building that directly connects to the local police.

None of that, however, has stopped the atheists from acting on their Humanism. Case in point: their weekly hot soup giveaways for the homeless:

Every Wednesday, the Atheism Association delivers free soup with the motto of “Soup campaign for you” in the streets of Istanbul. The association is also open to volunteer contributions to support its drive via its Twitter account.

How awesome is that?

You can see several more pictures on the group’s Facebook page.
~~

GENE LOGSDON: Basket-less In the Garden

 

v

From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

Carol ambled in from the garden recently with enough vegetables balanced on her left arm to feed us for a week. A cabbage head, a cauliflower, a swatch of lettuce, four carrots, and a zucchini tucked up under her arm. For some reason we all resist taking a basket to the garden to gather stuff. Or we forget. Or we go there with the intention of bringing back a tomato and end up with eight ears of corn teetering on a forearm. It is the eighth ear that causes the problem. It falls off on the ground. As you grunt your way down to pick it up, ear number seven falls off. You stoop down again for it and six and eight both fall off.

One time-honored way of avoiding a basket is to use your shirt front as a sort of shopping bag to tote produce in from the garden. This works okay except that it renders you one-handed and as you use the other to gather in food, you have no way to swat at mosquitoes and flies. Moreover you end up with a dirty shirt.

A hat balanced in a hand makes a fairly good basket substitute but leaves you even more vulnerable to bug attack with a bare head when the other hand is busily occupied, searching out pea pods or some such. Also if you reach a bit beyond a sturdily balanced stance, a hat full of pea pods or some such tends to cascade into the jungle below and retrieval is almost as time-consuming as picking them in the first place.

My very own social media…

 

f~~

The 8 most atheist-friendly countries in the world…  In many places around the world, this is an unprecedented era of freedom and social acceptance for freethinkers… 

 
9

From AlterNet

A lot of non-believer writers and activists focus, rightly, on the continuing lack of acceptance in many societies and nations of those who profess no belief in religion. Keeping an eye on what’s not working is the first step toward making improvements. Still, in many places around the world, this is an unprecedented era for non-believers of freedom and social acceptance. In the spirit of celebrating the amount of progress secularism has made around the world, here’s a list of eight of the best countries in which to be a non-believer.

1) Czech Republic. Many former communist nations saw their populations eagerly run back to the forbidden religions as soon as they were free to do so, demonstrating that the least effective way to spread atheism around is by mandate. The Czech Republic hasn’t seen any such return to religion, however; only 21% of its citizens consider religion an important part of their daily lives. They seem to be hanging on to secularism for roughly the same reason that they do pretty well in international sports competitions. Unlike most Eastern European nations, the Czech Republic rates high on the United Nation’s Human Development Report. It hasn’t been riddled by the corruption and authoritarian attitudes that dominate other former communist nations, such as Russia. A mountain of evidence demonstrates that stable, egalitarian economies correlate strongly with higher rates of atheism. It seems that the government’s demonstration of faith in its people and commitment to their well-being has gone a long way towards keeping the citizens from rekindling religious faith, whereas in places like Russia, where citizens are more desperate, looking to God for answers perhaps becomes more appealing.

2) Sweden & 3) Denmark. It might not seem immediately obvious why high numbers of non-believers in a country would make life better for atheists, but the examples of Sweden and Denmark show why this is true. When non-belief or even outright atheism is widespread, atheists can go about their lives free from the fear that their lack of belief will cause people to mistrust, hate, or even discriminate against them. These two countries, in which only 17% and 18%, respectively, of the population consider religion important, have become icons of secularist values to the rest of the world. Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., spent a little more than a year talking to citizens to find out why. He discovered that your average Danish or Swedish citizen simply doesn’t think much about religion; in these two cultures, religion has largely been relegated to a ceremonial role. For the typical atheist who likes to have a Christmas tree without the burden of having to believe in the Virgin Birth, the Danish and Swedish attitude towards religion should fit like a cozy sweater.

You Cannot Be A Republican And A Christian…

 

g

From DailyKos

No one in American life today proclaims their allegiance to Christ more conspicuously than those who have rejected most of what Christ actually taught: Republicans. The modern Republican Party’s hell-bent embodiment of nearly everything Christ warned against has become so serious that we have to call it out. You cannot be a Republican and a Christian.
Of course, it wasn’t always this way. There was a time, maybe even as recently as the early 1990s, when to support the Republican Party was not altogether evil. And further back, of course, things were even more different. As Garrison Keillor once reminisced, Republicans used to be: moderate, business-minded civic boosters and unapologetic patriots who were the linchpins and bulwarks of small towns across the Midwest, the enthusiastic backers of projects for the civic good, usually in partnership with the town liberals (the librarian, the bar owner, a lawyer or two, the Methodist minister, the banker’s wife). These Republicans were uniters and diehard optimists and persons of compassionate conscience, inveterate doers of good deeds.

Even today, there are probably some Republicans who still fit that description. The problem is that they are for all practical purposes invisible in American public life, and if their party found out about them, they would be hounded out of it. If they dared to compete in the lunatic talent show of Republican primary politics, they wouldn’t stand a chance.

WILLIAM EDELEN: Free of the Biblical God

 

i

From WILLIAM EDELEN
The Contrary Minister
[Repost]

Blessed are the Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, Mystics, Humanists, Free Thinkers, Taoist, Buddhist and all others who do not have an archaic, primitive God in their mind/brains.

Blessed are they for they do not believe that a God is on their side.

Blessed are they for they do not participate in holy wars, Jihads or Crusades.

Blessed are they for they would never be martyrs for the “Glory of God.”

Blessed are they for they do not condemn others as heretics or infidels.

Blessed are they for they do not conduct inquisitions nor slaughter millions of women as “witches.”

Blessed are they who do not participate in sectarian violence, nor harass little Catholic school girls walking through their neighborhood.

Blessed are they who do not twist biblical words to condemn homosexuality as a sin, nor to condemn a woman’s right to choose.

Blessed are they who would never say that a terrorist act is God’s punishment against those who do not believe or think as they do.

Blessed are they who know that the only hell that exists is right here on earth created by man. And that it is in man’s hands alone to create a heaven here on earth through intelligence, empathy and love.

Book Review: The Untenability of Faitheism…

 

b

From Steven Pinker
Cell.com

Steven Pinker is Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. His most recent book is The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible, Jerry Coyne, Viking Penguin, New York, 2015. ISBN: 0670026530.

Between 2005 and 2007, a quartet of bestsellers by Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens launched the New Atheism. Emboldened by the growing success of science in explaining the world (including our own minds), inspired by new research on the sources of religious belief, and galvanized by the baleful influence of religion in world affairs (particularly 9/11 and its aftermath), these Four Horsemen of the New Atheism — as they came to be called — pressed the case that God does not exist and that many aspects of organized religion are pernicious.

Though in the ensuing decade a growing sliver of the population has become disenchanted with religion, the majority of Americans still believe in God. Indeed, even many intellectuals — including scientists — are not ready to let go of religion. Few sophisticated people, of course, profess a belief in the literal truth of the Bible or in a God who flouts the laws of physics. But whether it comes from a loyalty to family and tribe, a fear of alienating purse-string-holding politicians and foundations, or a reluctance to concede that nerdy scientists might be right about the most fundamental questions of existence, many intellectuals have proclaimed that the new atheists have gone too far and that key components of religion are worth salvaging.

The backlash against the New Atheists has given rise to a new consensus among faith-friendly intellectuals, and their counterattack is remarkably consistent across critics with little else in common. The new atheists are too shrill and militant, they say, and just as extreme as the fundamentalists they criticize. They are preaching to the choir, and only driving moderates into the arms of religion. People will never be disabused of their religious beliefs, and perhaps they should not be, because societies need unifying creeds to promote altruism and social cohesion. Anyway, most people treat religious doctrine allegorically rather than literally, and even if they do treat it literally, it’s not these folk beliefs that serious thinkers should engage with, but rather the sophisticated versions of religion worked out by erudite theologians.

Support Bernie, Not Hillary…

 

From the recently cancelled Ed Schultz show on MSNBC…
~~

TODD WALTON: Django

 

Django

Django On Todd photo by Marcia Sloane

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” Albert Schweitzer

On this first day of August, 2015, as darkness gives way to daylight and the cobwebs of sleep are swept away by a slowly dawning clarity of mind, I wonder what this deep silence is all about. Our thirteen-year-old cat Django is what I refer to as an alarm cat. Like clockwork, promptly at seven every morning, rain or shine, he begins to yowl for his humans to feed him. Marcia does not hear the morning yowls of our large gray shorthaired kitty, or so she claims, thus I am the human who most often rises to feed Django at the beginning of each day.

But today, when my expectant ears hear no feline cries for sustenance, my brain presents me with two options: the time is not yet seven or Django has gone hunting and will be home soon and start yowling. Upon rising, I find the time is 7:22, no cat in sight. I dole out a modest portion of food into Django’s empty bowl, and step outside into the deep quiet of the fog-enshrouded forest.

“Django. Django,” I call. “Come get your breakfast.”

Kate Tempest…

 

Full performance available here:
https://vimeo.com/131381947

Kate Tempest started out when she was 16, rapping at strangers on night buses and pestering MCs to let her on the mic at raves. Ten years later she is a published playwright, novelist, poet and respected recording artist.

Live Lunch is a free all-ages live intimate performance & lunch at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Lunch catered by Taco Bar Company.
~~

 

GENE LOGSDON: Nature’s Rush To Brush

 
b

From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer

There’s a stealthy invasion creeping up on us from all directions, but if you don’t live in an environment like mine, you may not be aware of it. It is called brush but not the kind you use to rearrange your hair.  Brush is thicket composed of bristly weeds, thorny bushes, and bloodthirsty or poisonous vines speeding along  toward us at about two inches per hour. Within the armies of brush are poison ivy, blackberry canes, wild grapes, multiflora rose brambles, autumn olive and saplings of honey locust, bamboo, mulberry, and, well, any tree fighting its way up through the jungle of shorter plants. If brush can’t get you any other way, it dries up, sets itself on fire, and attempts to toast whole states to a crisp. We don’t have to worry about that in Ohio. We just have to make sure little children do not wander too close to the thickets lest a vine of multiflora snake out and snatch the poor tyke into the underbrush, never to be seen again.

Forget Jesus. Christians need salvation by Atheists…

 


~~

10 Stupid Things Evangelical Christians Say..

 
b

From Atheist Republic

1) Quoting From Their Holy Book

Some theists quote scripture to non believers as if they were preaching to the pews. Either these theists don’t know their audience or just don’t care about the futility of their actions. Do Christians care what verse 67:10 of the Quran says? Would Jews renounce their faith and embrace Krishna if they read the Bhagavad Gita? The only people who care what a particular holy book says are those who already believe the book is holy.

2) You’re Going to Burn in Hell

That’s nice. Remind me to bring marshmallows and hot dogs. If I threaten someone with a stocking full of coal, would they be any more likely to believe in Santa? Threatening someone with something they don’t believe in won’t make them believe it.

Robert Ingersoll’s Birthdate Today: His Words Still Ring True…

 

i

From Freedom From Religion Foundation
[Repost]

Read these quotes and imagine:

“It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good and it may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring.”

“If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help — we need not waste our energies in his defense.”

“The inspiration of the Bible depends upon the ignorance of the gentleman who reads it.”

Imagine an auditorium, filled to capacity to hear an orator known worldwide discuss atheism and question Christian tenets. Imagine thousands of people willing to pay a substantial admission to hear his eloquence and irreverent wit. Ingersoll, “The Great Agnostic,” would speak extemporaneously for three hours.

He was a lawyer and former colonel in the army. He was called the “most brilliant speaker of the English tongue of all the men on the globe.” Who could this be — Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens? You may be surprised to learn this remarkable speaker was popular over 130 years ago!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,683 other followers