Posts By ds

Mo Jesus…

 

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The End of the American Century…

 

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From John Michael Greer

I have a bone to pick with the Washington Post. A few days back, as some of my readers may be aware, it published a list of some two hundred blogs that it claimed were circulating Russian propaganda, and I was disappointed to find that The Archdruid Report didn’t make the cut.

Oh, granted, I don’t wait each week for secret orders from Boris Badenov, the mock-iconic Russian spy from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show of my youth, but that shouldn’t disqualify me.  I’ve seen no evidence that any of the blogs on the list take orders from Moscow, either; certainly the Post offered none worth mentioning. Rather, what seems to have brought down the wrath of “Pravda on the Potomac,” as the Post is unfondly called by many DC locals, is that none of these blogs have been willing to buy into the failed neoconservative consensus that’s guided American foreign policy for the last sixteen years. Of that latter offense, in turn, The Archdruid Report is certainly guilty.

There are at least two significant factors behind the Post’s adoption of the tactics of the late Senator Joe McCarthy, dubious lists and all.  The first is that the failure of Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions has thrown into stark relief an existential crisis that has the American news media by the throat. The media sell their services to their sponsors on the assumption that they can then sell products and ideas manufactured by those sponsors to the American people. The Clinton campaign accordingly outspent Trump’s people by a factor of two to one, sinking impressive amounts of the cash she raised from millionaire donors into television advertising and other media buys.

Clinton got the coverage she paid for, too. Nearly every newspaper in the United States endorsed her; pundits from one end of the media to the other solemnly insisted that everyone ought to vote for her; equivocal polls were systematically spun in her favor by a galaxy of talking heads. Pretty much everyone who thought they mattered was on board the bandwagon. The only difficulty, really was that the people who actually mattered—in particular, voters in half a dozen crucial swing states—responded to all this by telling their soi-disant betters, “Thanks, but one turkey this November is enough.” 

TODD WALTON: Two Love Stories

 

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love story photo by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

Here are two brief love stories from my new novel Magenta.

Henry’s Story

When I was a senior in high school at Fort Orford High and causing my God-fearing parents great distress by playing the guitar, I fell in love with Iriana Ceja, a beautiful Mexican woman three years older than I.

Iriana was a waitress at the North End Café, now Dave’s Donuts, and believe me, Iriana was the only reason anyone knowingly went to the North End Café. The food was bad, the coffee uniformly bitter, the décor ugly and uncomfortable. But Iriana was so lovely, so friendly, and such a sparkling conversationalist, hundreds of people made the North End Café a daily part of their lives, and I was one of those people.

I went there after school to gawk at Iriana and listen to her talk and laugh. I would buy a stale cookie and a cup of bitter coffee and stay for hours, supposedly doing my homework, but really just reveling in Iriana. My life at home was torture because my parents were so fiercely opposed to everything I loved, especially my playing the guitar and writing songs. School was drudgery and my peers were largely disinterested in the poets and artists I admired.

Iriana was my solace.

An Animated Introduction to George Orwell…

 

From Open Culture

When his short and (by his own account) often miserable life came to an end in 1950, could the English political writer Eric Arthur Blair have known that he would not just become a household name, but remain one well over half a century later? Given his adoption of the memorable nom de plume George Orwell, we might say he had an inkling of his literary legacy’s potential. Still, he claimed to choose it for no grander reason than that it sounded like “a good round English name,” and would have loathed the pretense he sensed in the use of the phrase “nom de plume,” or, for that matter, any other of conspicuously foreign provenance.

The attitudes that shaped the author of Animal Farm and 1984 come out in this animated introduction to Orwell’s life and work, newly published by Alain de Botton’s School of Life. In explaining the motivations of this “most famous English language writer of the 20th century,” de Botton quotes from the essay “Why I Write,” wherein Orwell, with characteristic clarity, lays out his mission “to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”

Orwell hated his fellow intellectuals, whom he accused of “a range of sins: a lack of patriotism, resentment of money and physical vigor, concealed sexual frustration, pretension, and dishonesty.” He loved “the ordinary person” and the lives led by those “not especially blessed by material goods, people who work in ordinary jobs, who don’t have much of an education, who won’t achieve greatness, and who nevertheless love, care for others, work, have fun, raise children, and have large thoughts about the deepest questions in ways Orwell thought especially admirable.” Though raised middle-class and educated at Eton, Orwell eschewed university and believed that “the average pub in a coal-mining village contained more intelligence and wisdom than the British Cabinet or the high table of an Oxbridge college.”

One might want to call such an intellectual a poseur or even a sort of fetishist, but Orwell backed up his pronouncements about the superiority of the working class with his years spent living and working in it, and, with books like Down and Out in Paris and London and The Road to Wigan Pier, writing about it. He praised newspaper comics, country walks, dancing, Charles Dickens, and straightforward language, all of which informed the attacks on ideology and authoritarianism that would keep his writing meaningful for future generations. The holiday season now upon us makes another work of Orwell’s especially relevant: his Christmas pudding recipe, one blow in his lesser-known struggle to, as the London-based de Botton puts it, write “bravely in defense of English cooking” — a project which would, by itself, qualify him as a champion of the underdog.

See Also:

George Orwell’s Five Greatest Essays (as Selected by Pulitzer-Prize Winning Columnist Michael Hiltzik)
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‘Atheist Muslims’ could be the key to defeating Islamic terror…

 

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From New York Post Opinions

I was raised in three Muslim majority countries — Libya, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan — and arrived in North America in my mid-20s. Two years after I settled in Canada, September 11 happened. Nineteen hijackers acting in the name of my parents’ religion — 15 from a country I grew up in — flew fuel-laden airliners into the World Trade Center, killing thousands.

From the ashes, two opposing narratives began to emerge, as it happens with most issues in the US: one on the right, and one on the left.

And today, in a nation more divided than ever after a rancorous election season, the differences couldn’t be more stark.

The right is clear: We’re at war with Islamic terrorists. They started it, and we must respond. We know the common denominator here, so enough with the political correctness — we must keep our country safe, and if that means profiling Muslims, restricting Muslim immigration or even “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” as President-elect Donald Trump proposed last year, so be it.

No, says the left. We need to be nuanced. Read through our history. Islamists are simply responding to America’s atrocities around the world. We’re the imperialists who colonized them, held them down under the boot of the military-industrial complex and built our civilization at their expense. We must look at the underlying grievances and root causes driving this. The “biggest terrorist operation that exists,” according to uber-leftist hero Noam Chomsky, is actually the one being run by Obama.

Hi, I’m Stefanie and I’m addicted to religion…

 

img_2030From ExChristian Network

I have seen others refer to this as an addiction, and I have said this myself before. Sometimes I wonder, am I making to much of this? Is it just something that happened in the past and I’m over it? No.. It’s something I battle all the time. Am I sure all other ex Christians feel addicted? No, I don’t know…

That’s just it, I don’t know….

I have been in a relationship with someone who goes to AA. I go to support him, And I listen. I have to say that I went through a lot that they did, but I can’t tell them that, they will never understand. Its actually addicting to me to get into an organization. But I am an extremist and take it too far. I can’t help it and I don’t know when to quit, I end up getting hurt and hurting the people around me. Christianity hurt me and my family. I didn’t know when to quit. I had to be just what God ordered and I thought I was doing right. If I hurt you for the cause… I was doing right, or so I thought. I lost everything in his name, and I would do it again and again, and I would have died for this god as well. I gave him my money when I was going without food. I was supposed to have faith. I ended up stealing food and then believed I was going to hell for it. There was no mercy. But I couldn’t stop.

In God We (Don’t) Trust…

 

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From Freedom From Religion Foundation

For an overwhelming part of U.S. history, America’s motto was purely secular, “E Pluribus Unum” (From many [come] one). E Pluribus Unum was chosen by a committee of Jefferson, Adams and Franklin. Many Americans mistakenly assume our founders chose “In God We Trust” as the motto, but nothing could be further from the truth. Our founders were committed to a secular government. For most of U.S. history, our money was likewise free of religion.

Of all of the complaints over state/church entanglement received by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, none has received more complaints from our membership than the inscription “In God We Trust” on currency.

To learn more about how a religious motto supplanted U.S. secular heritage, read on and see the links below.

The Freedom From Religion sued the federal government in 1994 to have “In God We Trust” removed from currency and as our national motto.

The motto was put on all paper currency by an Act of Congress in 1955. The phrase was chosen as our national motto by an Act of Congress in 1956. It first appeared on paper currency in 1957.

The Foundation lawsuit was dismissed by a 10th-circuit federal judge on the grounds that “In God We Trust” is not a religious phrase. The Foundation appealed the dismissal.

Foundation Lawsuit Challenges “In God We Trust” Motto
Freethought Today, June/July 1994

“In God We Trust” Legal Complaint
Freethought Today, June/July 1994

“In God We Trust” Appeal 
Freethought Today, January/February 1996

In God We Trust Appealed To High Court
Freethought Today, May 1996

US Supreme Court Turns Down Foundation Appeal 
Freethought Today, June/July 1996

See Court Challenges
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Agnostic or Atheist?

 


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The magic baby in Bethlehem…

 


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Sunday Song: Praise the lord and send me the money…

 

Thanks to Bruce

Praise the Lord and send me the money
I’m happy you can be happy too
If you praise the Lord and send me the money
That’s what Jesus wants you to do

Late one night while watchin’ Columbo
I fell asleep till quarter past three
When just like a vision I thought I was dreamin’
I heard the voice of a man on TV

He said praise the Lord and send me the money
I’m happy you can be happy too
If you praise the Lord and send me the money
That’s what Jesus wants you to do

I sat straight up and reached for my checkbook
Trembling with guilt took my bic pen in hand
I wrote out the figures a one and four zeros
Went out and mailed it with a note to that man

I said praise the Lord I’m sendin’ the money
I surely wanna be happy like you
Praise the Lord I’m sendin’ the money
If that’s what Jesus wants me to do

I woke up late for work the next morning
I could not believe what I’d done
Wrote a hot check to Jesus for ten thousand dollars
And my bank account only held thirty-one

I got a second job at a gasoline station
I’m savin’ me money to pay what I owe
I don’t get much sleep cause I stay up late watchin’
All of the folks on the Lord’s TV show

Sayin’ praise the Lord and send me the money…
Praise the Lord I’m sendin’ the money

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The New Way To Be Creepy For Jesus…

 

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From Roll To Disbelieve

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. . . A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

Matthew 12:33-35

It often takes a personal tragedy for Christians to realize that they can’t trust the religion’s party lines about much of anything. But once that tragedy strikes, it’s usually too late to do anything but feel regret for that misplaced trust.

One of fundagelical Christianity’s most cherished party lines is that people are meant to live in rigidly structured, hierarchical communities and to adopt very narrowly-prescribed roles in their relationships. One group gets all the power to make decisions and order everyone else around, and everyone else is supposed to obey without flinching. Not only are fundagelical leaders authoritarians, but their congregations tend to be in turn authoritarian followers. The dysfunction of the leaders makes sense to their followers, who are dysfunctional in different but completely complementary ways.

“Do what I say, and you will be safe and rewarded,” these leaders promise. It is a promise their followers desperately ache to see realized. But thanks to the nature of power in fundagelicalism’s deeply broken system, only one of those parties is going to get what they want.

The other party? Well, they get it in the shorts, as always.

Finding Out the Hard Way

Endless Absurdities of Religion…

 

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From Church and State UK

Pentecostalism—in which worshippers compulsively spout incomprehensible sounds called “the unknown tongue” (glossolalia)—has become a major world religion. An estimated three hundred million North Americans and Southern Hemisphere residents now attend churches where glossolalia occurs. This faith is surging, while most other branches of Christianity fade.

Santeria worshippers sacrifice thousands of dogs, pigs, goats, chickens, and the like to a variety of deities that are partly Catholic saints and partly African jungle gods. Bodies of the unlucky animals are dumped into waterways. Miami police patrol boats fish out the carcasses. Santeria (“way of the saints”) is somewhat similar to voodoo, but it arose among Spanish slaves instead of French ones.

Many millions of Hindus pray over models of Shiva’s penis. They make pilgrimages to a Himalayan cave where a penis-like ice stalagmite rises in winter. In San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, many worshippers pray at a phallic-looking traffic barrier.

About five thousand fervent young Muslims have detonated themselves as human bombs in “martyrdom operations” to kill tens of thousands of “infidels.” The phenomenon peaked on September 11, 2001, when nineteen suicide volunteers hijacked four airliners and crashed them like projectiles to kill nearly three thousand Americans. The year 2007 had more than five hundred suicide attacks worldwide—well above one per day.

TODD WALTON: Solar Postage Socialist

 

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Goldens photo by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

“At a time when the Post Office is losing substantial revenue from the instantaneous flow of information by email and on the Internet, slowing mail service is a recipe for disaster.” Bernie Sanders

I recently sent a little book, not much more than a glorified pamphlet, to Switzerland. The least expensive way to send the little thing was via the Post Office for twenty-three dollars.  Not very many years ago, the postal service offered inexpensive international mail service, but that was eliminated because…

No one seems to know or remember why the slow boat option was eliminated, but I suspect the cessation went hand-in-hand with all the other things Congress, in service to the Evil Ones, did to wreck our once great postal service.

As a cottage industry artist who sells my books and CDs via my web site, and then ships those goodies to lucky buyers, I am grateful for the wonderful and inexpensive Media Mail option offered by our postal service, with free tracking, but I lose several international sales every year because the cost of shipping books and CDs abroad is more than the value of my products. International postage turns a twenty-dollar book into a forty-five dollar book, and a five-dollar CD becomes a fifteen-dollar CD.

Well, Todd, if you’d make your books available as e-books…no, I don’t want to. I understand why large publishers make e-book versions of books, but the books I sell are limited edition, signed and numbered, actual three-dimensional coil-bound books. Original intriguing well-written fiction. What a concept. I rarely sell more than fifty copies of each book, and I rarely make a profit. And with international postal rates being what they are, I rarely sell to people abroad who express interest in my work. Such is modern life.

The Coming Privatization of Everything…

 

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From TPM

You’ve heard that Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos is from the billionaire DeVos family, heirs of the Amway fortune. She’s a big supporter of ‘school choice’, charter schools, vouchers, etc. But this doesn’t quite capture who the DeVoses are. In terms of scale of wealth and intergenerational devotion to laissez-faire conservative ideology that are right up there with the Kochs – with activism ranging from breaking unions to opposing LGBT equality on basically every front. In fact, Betsy DeVos and her family are parts of the network of conservative donors the Kochs have assembled in recent years.

With all that said, I think the best way to look at DeVos’s appointment is as part of a thoroughgoing movement to breakup the public sector – schools, social insurance, roads and infrastructure, public sector unions – and basically privatize everything. With that in mind I wanted to refer you back to our series on privatization. We’ve published three pieces, with one more still to come. 1st: The history of the privatization movement. 2nd: The private prison industry. 3rd: Public-private partnerships – largely dealing with infrastructure and the privatization of municipal services and public goods. If you’ll pardon a publisher’s sense of pride, this is a really good series, capturing the privatization movement not just in its individual dimensions (which are each important) but as an overarching ideological movement which has had an immense impact on American society and looks set to have much more.

I believe that left to his own devices Trump isn’t terribly ideological about most issues and has few settled views and little policy knowledge. But he’s not left to his own devices. He’s surrounded himself with hardcore rightwing ideologues. And that’s been borne out by every appointment to date. Privatization on every front looks to be the order of the day in the Trump administration.
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Ron Reagan: Freedom From Religion Foundation…

 


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WILLIAM EDELEN: Thanksgiving Thoughts

 

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From Our Archives
WILLIAM EDELEN (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister

My mind is filled with thoughts of Thanksgiving. Thursday is the day we set aside to remember blessings that have enriched our days and graced our lives.

I sit back in my chair and let my eyes once again caress the walls of my study, feeling their energy feed my spirit. The book-lined walls, how I love them.

My heart pours out a very special thanksgiving to all of the great and magnificent spirits whose thoughts and words fill these shelves and offer a feast, waiting only for my mind and soul to partake.

Goethe is there, with Albert Schweitzer and Meister Eckhart, the German theologian. There is Jung, Russell and Whitehead, Loren Eiseley and Suzuki, the Zen master, with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. There is Learned Hand and Oliver Wendell Holmes, with e.e. cummings, Robert Frost and hundreds more, waiting to once again fill my spirit with food that is timeless.

Wow Music…

 


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Christian Crock: An Insider’s View — The Dark Rigidity of Fundamentalist Rural America…

 

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Rural, Christian, white America is entrenched in fundamentalist belief systems. They don’t trust people outside their tribe, and truly believe whites are superior to all races.

As the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is being sorted out, a common theme keeps cropping up from all sides—”Democrats failed to understand white, working class, fly-over America.” Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even  some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete bullshit.  It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to throw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t east coast elites don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is rural America doesn’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because the don’t want to admit it is in large part because of choices they’ve made and horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.

I grew up in rural, Christian, white America. You’d be hard-pressed to find an area in the country that has a higher percentage of Christians or whites. I spent most of the first twenty-four years of my life deeply embedded in this culture.  I religiously (pun intended) attended their Christian services. I worked off and on, on their rural farms. I dated their calico skirted daughters.  I camped, hunted, and fished with their sons. I listened to their political rants at the local diner and truck stop. I winced at their racist/bigoted jokes and epithets that were said more out of ignorance than animosity. I have also watched the town I grew up in go from a robust economy with well-kept homes and infrastructure turn into a struggling economy with shuttered businesses, dilapidated homes, and a broken down infrastructure over the past thirty years. The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people. The problem is they don’t understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and don’t seem to care to know why.

Ingersoll: A Thanksgiving Sermon…

 

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From The Archives
ROBERT INGERSOLL (1833 – 1899)
The Great Agnostic

Many ages ago our fathers were living in dens and caves. Their bodies, their low foreheads, were covered with hair. They were eating berries, roots, bark and vermin. They were fond of snakes and raw fish. They discovered fire and, probably by accident, learned how to cause it by friction. They found how to warm themselves—to fight the frost and storm. They fashioned clubs and rude weapons of stone with which they killed the larger beasts and now and then each other. Slowly, painfully, almost imperceptibly they advanced. They crawled and stumbled, staggered and struggled toward the light. To them the world was unknown. On every hand was the mysterious, the sinister, the hurtful. The forests were filled with monsters, and the darkness was crowded with ghosts, devils, and fiendish gods.

These poor wretches were the slaves of fear, the sport of dreams.

Now and then, one rose a little above his fellows—used his senses—the little reason that he had—found something new—some better way. Then the people killed him and afterward knelt with reverence at his grave. Then another thinker gave his thought—was murdered—another tomb became sacred—another step was taken in advance. And so through countless years of ignorance and cruelty—of thought and crime—of murder and worship, of heroism, suffering, and self-denial, the race has reached the heights where now we stand.

Looking back over the long and devious roads that lie between the barbarism of the past and the civilization of to-day, thinking of the centuries that rolled like waves between these distant shores, we can form some idea of what our fathers suffered—of the mistakes they made—some idea of their ignorance, their stupidity—and some idea of their sense, their goodness, their heroism.

Sunday Song: The Mississippi Squirrel Revival…

 

Thanks to Bruce

Well when I was kid I’d take a trip

Every summer down to Mississippi

To visit my granny in her antebellum world
I’d run barefooted all day long

Climbing trees free as a song

One day I happened catch myself a squirrel
Well I stuffed him down in an old shoebox

Punched a couple holes in the top

When Sunday came, I snuck him in the church
I was sittin’ way back in the very last pew

Showin’ him to my good buddy Hugh

When that squirrel got loose and went totally berserk
Well what happened next is hard to tell

Some thought it was Heaven others thought it was Hell

But the fact that something was among us was plain to see
As the choir sang, “I surrender all”

The squirrel ran up Harv Newlan’s coveralls

Harv leaped to his feet and said, “Somethin’s got a hold on me!”
The day the squirrel went berserk

In the First Self-Righteous Church

In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula

It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival

They were jumpin’ pews and shouting, “Hallelujah”
Well Harv hit the aisles, dancin’ and screamin’

Some thought he had religion, others thought he had a demon

And Harv thought he had a weed eater loose in his fruit of the looms
He fell to his knees to plead and beg

And that squirrel ran out of his britches leg

Unobserved to the other side of the room
All the way down to the Amen pew

Where sat Sister Bertha better than you

Who had been watching all the commotion with sadistic glee
Shoot, you should’ve seen the look in her eyes

When that squirrel jumped her garters and crossed her thighs

She jumped to her feet and said, “Lord, have mercy on me”
As the squirrel made laps inside her dress

She began to cry and then to confess

To sins that would make a sailor blush with shame
She told of gossip and church dissension

But the thing that got the most attention

Was when she talked about her love life

And then she started naming names
The day the squirrel went berserk

In the First Self-Righteous Church

In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula

It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival

They were jumpin’ pews and shouting, “Hallelujah”
Well 7 deacons and then the pastor got saved

And 25,000 dollars got raised and 50 volunteered

For missions in the Congo on the spot
And even without an invitaion

There were at least 500 rededications

And we all got rebaptized whether we needed it or not
Now you’ve heard the Bible story, I guess

How He parted the waters for Moses to pass

All the miracles God has brought to this ol’ world
But the one I’ll remember to my dyin’ day

Is how He put that church back on the narrow way

With a half crazed Mississippi squirrel
The day the squirrel went berserk

In the First Self-Righteous Church

In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula

It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival

They were jumpin’ pews and shouting, “Hallelujah”
The day the squirrel went berserk

In the First Self-Righteous Church

In that sleepy little town of Pascagoula

It was a fight for survival that broke out in revival

They were jumpin’ pews and shouting, “Hallelujah”
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God Weirded Out By Christian Who Loves Him After Only A Month In Church…

 

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From The Onion

THE HEAVENS—Saying the whole situation felt “super creepy,” God, Our Lord and Heavenly Father, confirmed Friday He was completely weirded out by Atlanta-area Christian Dale Evans, who has repeatedly professed his love for Him despite only attending church for a month. “He’s only gone to services for three or four Sundays now, and yet he’s already trying to talk to me every night and telling all his family and friends about how great I am—it’s kind of unsettling,” the Divine Creator told reporters, adding that Evans didn’t take any time to get to know Him before claiming that he wanted to be with God forever, a claim that the Lord Almighty said He found “pretty disturbing.”

“I don’t mind a little admiration here and there, but this guy is really, really into me. The way this freak went from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye just makes my skin crawl. It’s kind of scary how obsessed he is with me.” At press time, God had reportedly decided to cut off all ties with Evans, acknowledging that He didn’t need another toxic relationship with a fucked-up Christian.
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TODD WALTON: Cali Nation

 

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Last Little Carrots photo by Todd

From TODD WALTON
Under The Table Books
Mendocino

Marcia and I woke the morning after the election to the sounds of Waste Management trucks picking up the recycling cans, and my first words to Marcia were, “Apparently total collapse of the system has been delayed.”

I find I am not surprised Trump won. He is the fruit, if you will, of forty years of economic policies that destroyed the manufacturing infrastructure of the nation and stole trillions from the lower and middle classes to fatten the rich; and people who were hurt economically and emotionally by that destruction and thievery elected Trump.

When I traveled around America in the 1960s and 70s, it became clear to me that America is a union of regions as different from each other as the countries of Europe are different from each other. Because of the physical enormity of our country, the design of our union encourages states to make their own laws and create their own operating systems, and that is what California needs to do now, more than ever, in the wake of Trump’s election and Congress becoming overwhelmingly Republican.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of California, our state legislators twice passed a bill that would have created a statewide Single Payer Healthcare plan to provide all Californians with truly affordable healthcare and save the state tens of billions of dollars every year. Arnold vetoed those bills in service to the pharmaceutical and insurance companies who gave him millions of dollars in exchange for his veto.

Remember When Mad Magazine Forecasted The Future of Shaving in a 70s Cover? (I do)…

From Dave Smith

Now in 2016, not there yet… but getting close…

TWIN HANDLES FOR
WRAP-AROUND SHAVING

EACH TRAC LXXVI BLADE ENGAGES
ITS OWN SEPARATE WHISKER HAIR
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Voluntary Exits advocate Philip Nitschke says Exit International members targeted by Australian police…

 

eNitschke said an 83-year-old woman living in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak had been visited twice by police in two weeks. The woman was first visited by by Australian federal police, who seized the imported euthanasia drug Nembutal.

From The Guardian

Nembutal is used both in animals and humans as a sedative, anticonvulsant and anaesthetic. But some people seek the powerful barbiturate online and overseas and illegally import it to assist in suicide. Importing barbiturates without permission is a criminal offence.

Last week, the woman was again visited by police, this time by three detectives from Victoria police, Nitschke said.

Nitschke said the detectives said they were unaware of the visit by AFP officers and that they told the woman they were concerned for her wellbeing.

A spokeswoman for the AFP said police had visited a residence in Victoria on 2 November regarding allegations of the attempted importation of a prohibited substance.

But she said the visit was not in response to any membership or support for any organisation.

“The AFP considers this matter finalised,” she said.

Nitschke said the woman had no plans to take her life but did want the ability to do so should her health deteriorate.

“She contacted me saying she’s feeling harassed and I can understand why,” he said.

He warned that seizures of the drug might lead the elderly to resort to other means to take their own lives.

An AFP spokesman said figures for the number of seizures of Nembutal would come from customs and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. But an immigration spokesman said people detected importing barbiturates illegally were referred to the AFP for any further action after the drugs had been seized.

Details on the number of seizures were not provided.

Last year Nitschke burned his medical registration and ended his career as a doctor so that he would be able to continue running euthanasia workshops, after the Medical Board of Australia determined he could not promote euthanasia while also working as a medical doctor and ordered that doing so would lead to him being deregistered.
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Michael Laybourn — Mr. Red Tail Ale

 

michael-photo

From Dave Smith

I’ve resurrected my interview series with Mendocino community stalwarts in the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Michael Laybourn – Mr. Red Tail Ale has just been published here: http://theava.com/archives/62674

Past interviews are available here: http://theava.com/archi…/category/features/mendocino-talking

If you are not a subscriber to The AVA, they are also available on the Mendocino Talking website here: https://mendocinotalking.wordpress.com

Past interviews include: Els Cooperrider, Will Siegel, Tom Liden, Janie Sheppard, Ron Epstein, Steve Baird, Todd Walton, Pinky Kushner, Bruce Anderson, Margaret Fox, Will Parrish, Patrick Ford, Terry d’Selkie, Doug Mosel, and many more.
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