Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dinesh Gets Threshed

 Bill Maher Takes Dinesh D'Souza Apart


It couldn't happen to a nicer person!

I especially like the way that, toward the end, Maher springs a little trap on Dinesh and the poor besotted fool can only stammer and protest... A Thing of Beauty that will be my Joy Forever!

At one point when Dinesh was trying to redefine and parse words, Maher simply asks him the same question that I've asked Eric in many forms:  "How far did you have to go up your ass to pull that out of it?"

Perfect. 

187 comments:

  1. "At one point when Dinesh was trying to redefine and parse words, Maher simply asks him the same question that I've asked Eric in many forms: "How far did you have to go up your ass to pull that out of it?""

    But Dinesh was *clearly* correct on that point! 'Dreams of my father' means something very different from 'dreams from my father,' just as 'troubles of my father' means something very different from 'troubles from my father.' And isn't it rich when *Maher* is actually giulty of what he mistakenly accuses Dinesh of at the end when he cravenly backtracks from his previous statement about who isn't and isn't cowardly. (Note his BS "I was famous and you weren't" retort to Dinesh's perfectly legitimate distinction between denying that the terrorists were cowards -- something they both agreed on -- and denying that the terrorists are cowards while implying that our pilots are.

    Dinesh dominated that exchange from start to finish by any rational standard.

    Anyway, I'm off for the evening.

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  2. "Anyway I tried summing up Eric and W.L.Craig's stuff:-
    There is the philosophy. If you can be talked into imagining 'The Act of Being' as an entity, if you can be razzled by the Brain-in-bucket thought experiment and dazzled by the "Aquinas said it, it must be true" premise, then you're well on your way to imagining how real God must be, realer than real!"

    Wrong on every count, but hey...
    ...................................................

    What? So metaphysicians don't claim that the Act of Being is an entity?

    The guy claiming that God was, in fact realer than the reality we see around us didn't use the Brain-in-vat-being-deceived-by-evil-scientists thought experiment to try to establish that at least we could say we are each a being and that there was at least one other being, one other entity, the Act of Being?

    Hey if I'm wrong, then that guy is wrong, since I'm just paraphrasing him!

    Didn't that guy also claim that Aquinas said something which for no other reason at all than 'Aquinas said it', it was somehow an 'established fact'?

    Once again, if I'm wrong, it is really easy to show me where I'm mistaken.

    Lastly, why isn't it true that if you buy that guy's arguments then you'd be well on your way to imagining how real God must be? Isn't that exactly the point of his argument.

    Heh Eric, I think you made my last point about using derision and claiming lack of understanding for me, Thanks! But hey....

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  3. I know ahead of time what you will say, Eric. Am I developing psychic powers? No. I simply can be sure that in no instance will you ever agree with me on any subject that you are personally invested in.

    Dinesh got his clock cleaned by any rational standard. The problem that arises here is that you are not rational in your convictions, they are based in belief and not observation and critical thinking, so you see the world in reverse, a mirror image of actual reality, a looking glass that reverses the very force and nature of reason and fact, and through that glassy pane you look at me and you are constrained to perceive my rational view of the world as irrational, completely unaware of how ridiculous your reversed perspective is to all sane beings in attendance.

    Have a nice day, Alice!

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  4. 'Dreams of my father' means something very different from 'dreams from my father,' just as 'troubles of my father' means something very different from 'troubles from my father.'
    ----------------------
    Dreams of or from my father, little difference and much overlap in meaning. A dream is internal, a trouble is external. Therefore a dream from your father is also a dream OF your father that you share. Not so with 'trouble.'

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  5. A trouble from your father means your father gave you something negative that is not a trouble to him, whereas a dream from your father is a positive in this context and as mentioned previously, is also a dream OF your father.

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  6. Plus, it was a pretty title for a book, not a mission statement.

    Parsing such a thing to the extent that Dinesh (and you) did, shows desperation, hence the up-his-ass comment. It was the only right answer to that sort of nonsense.

    "Anyway, I'm off for the evening."
    -You certainly were.

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  7. He's trying to link Obama to African anti-colonialism. It's just as bad as, and indeed a part of, the "birther" nonsense. Alienation and demonization of a black AMERICAN president. It's racism. And it's frankly tiresome. Republicans need to grow up and put on their big boy pants.

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  8. The guy that came up with the Obama-Father-African anti-colonialism was Newt Gingrich.

    Enough said, or it certainly should be!

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  9. I liked Dinesh's reaction when Bill called him a rat! Almost nothing, as if he's used to that kind of thing. Of course Eric could find a reason to back D'Souza, he was busy turning D'Souza's hate propaganda into deep philosophical arguments way back. What's new?

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  10. Some of those were good fun, Dinesh arguing that wars generally have nothing to do with God or religion while simultaneously arguing, not overtly of course*, that everything, even time moving along has everything to do with God and his little test of faith that each of our lives are.

    *But of course it is a given, at least as far as Eric is concerned, that D'Souza is backed by Catholic philosophy and not simply his ability to try to talk the white off of rice.

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  11. "Dreams of or from my father, little difference and much overlap in meaning. A dream is internal, a trouble is external. Therefore a dream from your father is also a dream OF your father that you share. Not so with 'trouble.'"

    Wow, you just made Dinesh's point! That they share the dream is precisely what Dinesh is saying; that's the point that Maher claimed that Dinesh pulled out of his ass. (Of course, when Dinesh quoted Obama directly saying that "it was into my father's image, the black man's son of Africa that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself..." but what does that matter?)

    And Maher's "anti-colonialism...where are there colonies?" remark was laugh-out-loud funny. It shows that he hasn't a clue. Contemporary feminist theory, queer theory and theories popular in African-American studies programs (Cornel West anyone?) have been heavily influenced by anti-colonialist/anti-imperialist theory.

    But Maher was right about a side issue, viz. no Republican voted for the Clinton tax increases in 1993 (though the legislative history is complicated, as it always is, and many Democrats -- about 15% in the House, 10% in the Senate -- didn't vote for the bill as well).

    Here's what I recommend -- read a transcript of the exchange, and go through it point by point. Sure, Maher wins on corny jokes and rhetoric (which easily impress unreflective types, but Dinesh dominated the discussion about substantive issues. (I mean, honestly, you can't claim to know something about someone unless you've met him? Really? Has Maher ever met Bush? No? Then how does he know so much about him? What a joke -- an unintentional one, by the way!)

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  12. He was writing a book of lessons that he learned from his father's life, when he barely knew the man. Not about the MauMau revolution or whatever. That's not in the book.
    It's a stupid line of thought to think that Obama is connected to anticolonialism through his father. You're using a BOOK TITLE to extrapolate a child's ideals. It's a book title. It makes you look bad to even attempt this parsing of a book title. It's not what he meant. He was searching for identity and found some of it in his blackness, through his father. That's all. Nothing nefarious here. Unless you're desperate to find it. It's like you christians read the bible, desperate for it to justify your greed and lack of humility so forth.

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  13. Maher claimed Dinesh pulled it out of his ass because of the ridiculousness of giving such significance to the title. A young man's book about his father's ideals and dreams and what he took from them, turned into a nefarious manifesto by a little Indian ratfaced man-boy.
    The proof is in the pudding; Obama does not ACT like Dinesh would have us believe. That's the smoke-and-mirrors act put on by desperate people with no moral compasses.

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  14. I look to actions and not words. You parse words to attempt to prove intent without referring to actions. This is clearly an intent to mislead. I win. You lose. The End.

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  15. When I look at actions it is clear who is trying to govern and who is trying to destroy. Simple. When I look to actions, and not words, all is clear. Actions like the Ryan Budget for instance. A budget (for the country) is a moral document. All the words in the world denying the intent of that budget do not matter. The actual budget does. Your side even claims that Obama isn't good at foreign policy, after he got Bin Ladin! All empty words meant to deceive. Your side is Satan's, if he existed. The lying side that seeks to destroy... what else to call it?

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  16. You yourself Eric know that the republicans did not ALLOW Obama to do anything that he attempted to do, and now criticize him for not getting it done! They stopped him!

    How can you DEFEND this sort of thing, sir? What WORDS will you choose to attempt to cover up their ACTIONS, sir? And can you see now, that even trying that sort of thing reveals YOUR agenda?

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  17. Brian, didn't Obama claim that he would be able to unite the parties, to bring competing groups together and to get things done despite ideological disagreements? He sure did, and he FAILED.

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  18. .. and the legacy is that we have the most right wing legislation by a Democrat President EVER and the Reps. are still crying that he is so left wing he's ruining your country!

    Obama failed to unite the the parties against the countries woes and the right is painting Obama as the creator of those woes. This is not a foot-race or something where everyone wins if they've bet on the winner, everyone is losing right now because the right refuse to help your country!

    There is absolutely no reason to believe that reducing revenue could increase revenue, is there? That's what the Reps. are banking on happening.

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  19. Brian, didn't Obama claim that he would be able to unite the parties, to bring competing groups together and to get things done despite ideological disagreements? He sure did, and he FAILED.
    ----------------------
    You should be ashamed of yourself. Your immorality is showing. As you KNOW, the republicans, your side, stopped him from accomplishing anything in a bipartisan manner, being totally unreasonable, even going back on their words, and their promises when the teabagger side made them. Obama was intentionally sabotaged, by your side, and for you to come here and claim what you just did takes one huge pair of brazen balls my friend.
    Your side is hatred disguised as love. How can you look in the mirror, sir? How can you? Seriously? I'd want to kill myself if I were you.

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  20. What good American would dream that the republicans would sabotage everything, ignoring what is good for the country?

    One can promise to bring people together, and he did, and he had a great plan for that: Put forward legislation that they wrote! HOW COULD THEY REFUSE THAT? No-one in their RIGHT MIND can imagine that happening. It's that simple. The republicans, as it turned out, cared much more about destroying the black man in office than helping the country one iota. Not one tiny bit. No. Not gonna do it. Tough shit. That's what they did. They even said they were going to do it beforehand.

    If you're hanging your hat on 'waah, but Obama promised!' when he wasn't the one that broke it, then you're not worth much as an American. Sir.

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  21. I've never seen anything like what the republicans did. Disgraceful. Un-American in the extreme. They couldn't be more un-American if they were agents of a foreign power! And this election is another disgrace. The republicans have given up all pretense of honesty in every material way. They've 'come out' as evil, and still too many people are blinded to it.... it boggles the mind.

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  22. ...the point here isn't whether the evidence is sufficient to justify the claim, but how one set of evidence for one claim compares with other sets.)

    This comment seems to be operating under the assumption that "if theism is true, then at least one cockamamie story that makes divine claims is true" which is absurd and totally misses the point of my question.

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  23. "..If theism is true.."

    LMAO! That's like saying, "If there really is a Batman.."

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  24. "... then those comics and movies are eyewitness accounts!!"

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  25. The whole theism argument is riddled with gaping holes you can drive a truck through. Religion produces morons, on purpose, so they stay religious. It's that simple, and that obvious.

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  26. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/paul-ryan-today_n_1853759.html

    Hey MI! Paul Ryan is taking it back now... says that Obama didn't close that plant in WI. Says he never said that.

    He's your type all right. A fucking nut who thinks he can have his own version of reality, who thinks facts are debatable like opinions are.

    He's showing his skirt.

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  27. Forward!
    NOT Back!
    Forward!
    Not BACK!
    FORWARD, NOT BACK! YAY! YAY! YAY!

    Phew, my brain feels fresh as an Irish spring!

    I'm not saying this on my wall, some rednecks I play games with might actually think that I support billionaires against my own interests, fertilized eggs over people, the economic wellbeing of the rich over the economic wellbeing of everyone.

    I cannot imagine anyone thinking that they're looking after their own interests to starve and overwork the poor to the point where their(the poor's) children are even MORE likely to end up in prison, costing much more than the hand UP that social democratic govts. world-wide wish to give. Who, indeed, are the fiscal hawks here?

    My post in BASHERS!

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  28. These little dogs are so smart!! Mozie is 6 months old. How do you know if Mozie is thirsty?

    That's easy, Mozie is thirsty if he is sitting under the water cooler! LOL

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  29. All you critics--- you need to see the movie before running your mouths... Maher's not credible--- a joker, if you will.

    Maybe check CBS's Scott Paulson's critique of the movie: it may surprise you.....

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  30. "2016: Obama's America" Movie Is Disturbingly Necessary

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  31. MI, we formed this blog, at least I did, because we were on the Dinesh D'Souza blog and we couldn't STAND HIM and his snotty little attitude and his INCESSANT LYING. So you wanting us to see his propaganda piece isn't going to happen. Stop acting like a demented bag of snot, you demented bag of snot. Seriously, you're such a shithead.

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  32. See MI, you are un-disturbingly un-necessary, so go to hell. I honestly can't stand you. You're as unwelcome as a tumor.

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  33. Maher's not credible--- a joker, if you will.
    ---------------
    Maher's not UNDERSTANDABLE to people who have half a defective brain like you and your ilk. The same people who cannot understand Maher also cannot think critically, and it is those very people that believe in things like Dinesh and his propaganda.

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  34. Scott Paulson's not credible, a joker if you will. See I can just assert stuff too! Yay!!!

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  35. One of the things I find most amazing about this election is the emphasis on the right about preserving the so-called American dream of upward mobility. By any rational standard it should have blown up in their faces. Here you have Obama - a man whose real history could have been penned by Horatio Alger, and on the right you have a scion of wealth. Would Romney have been a success without the enormous head start he got from family wealth and influence? Hard to know but I have doubts. In Obama's case we know the answer to that one. Obama doesn't need empathy for the common man. He's experienced first hand the challenges of rising from nothing.

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  36. I know.

    Did you all hear what happened today? Apparently the words 'God' and 'Jerusalem" were missing from the Dem platform and the Republicans were whining about it.

    So what would be the very worst reaction that Obama could have?

    Did I hear the word 'CAVE?'

    And even worse, when it was introduced, when they took a voice vote to re-introduce those words, there were more NAY votes than AYE votes and still Villaragosa said 'The ayes carry it' or whatever.

    So A. We have Obama caving
    And B. We have the dems on record miscalling a vote on purpose
    And C. We have video of the dem audience at the convention yelling NAY and then BOOING (after the call)... Booing God and Jerusalem (or so it sounds, close enough to make a great red meat Romney ad)

    I'm sick of this shit.

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  37. there were more NAY votes than AYE votes

    I don't know about "more", but definitely not the 2/3 majority of AYEs needed to carry the vote.

    Whoever that lady was next to Villaragosa appeared to be telling him that he needs to go with the NAYs ("you've got to let them do what they are going to do"), but he probably (from what I've read) had orders for a certain outcome.

    I'm proud of the party "rabble" for being against the inclusion of god and Jerusalem, but I'm also not surprised that party leaders would cave to political expedience.

    All in all, encouraging.

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  38. I agree with your sentiment pliny, but when I'd heard a yesterday that they didn't have 'god and 'israel' and 'Jerusalem' in the platform my instant reaction was 'why the hell not?' I mean, it's obvious that it's a weakness that will get hammered.... but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought they'd cave on it.. .that just feeds into the narrative that we're spineless AND godless. It's almost too good for Romney. For once he hardly has to lie to make us look bad.

    They need to clear shit by me next time. I have no political experience but I am an expert on how assholes think, and apparently they need one badly.

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  39. Pliny, I was wondering whether in any approach to an attempt to create an artificial intelligence with a semblance of self-awareness, anybody has ever thought of using many computers in tandem to create a gestalt with all of them differing in prioritization and programming, some perhaps programmed to 'guess' and others to derive logical conclusions, and so forth with many different variables included in disparate computer 'minds' with a linkage so that they could interact when coming to decisions and so forth.

    ???

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  40. I'm starting to think that self-awareness arises from the inner dialogue between disparate parts of the mind, is my point.

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  41. In order to talk to yourself, it is first necessary that someone is there to listen.

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  42. A computer cannot have an inner dialogue. But a series of differing computers all interconnected and 'wrapped together' as one, can.

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  43. Now say 'EUREKA,' thank me, and go get rich and famous!

    Then we can still have killer cyborgs!

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  44. Pliny, I was wondering whether in any approach to an attempt to create an artificial intelligence with a semblance of self-awareness, anybody has ever thought of using many computers in tandem to create a gestalt with all of them differing in prioritization and programming, some perhaps programmed to 'guess' and others to derive logical conclusions, and so forth with many different variables included in disparate computer 'minds' with a linkage so that they could interact when coming to decisions and so forth.
    ------
    Yes, this is being done. One of our experimental systems in essence has a half dozen differing analytic systems that combine their outputs.

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  45. (I secretly figured that someone had tried it)

    Well, good then.... glad they took my suggestion.

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  46. When you say 'combine their outputs' do they do it as say, an average of their outputs, or do the computers have some sort of interaction whereby they all get to interact in an information-sharing type scenario prior to rendering an answer? Do they 'discuss' it, I guess is the point of my question. Or is that even possible yet?

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  47. Discuss isn't it exactly. It isn't an averaging it's more a analytic weight comparison that leverages context to determine which set of outputs take precedence.

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  48. Well, that seems about right I suppose. Likely the best we can do at this point.

    One of the computers should have as it's task, to constantly attempt to determine it's own nature.

    (Yeah, right...)

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  49. it's more a analytic weight comparison that leverages context to determine which set of outputs take precedence
    -------------
    Not to be a sycophant, but I practically worship this sentence. I, who used to pride himself on his vocabulary (among many other things, sadly) stand in awe of yours, sir. I meet many people online that are probably not what they say they are, but with you I could have no doubt.

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  50. This is my favourite subject, machine awareness, and I don't think it's going to be that hard. Pliny's A.I. is different. I guess it comes down to what the machine can do with the input we give it, in my idea of awareness, real time input, motion sensors, mic, camera, some means of locomotion and touch/pressure sensors, and the it is an it in a realtime environment.

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  51. Who was it that said animal consciousness was so foreign as to be incomprehensible? I'd read that years ago, and can't find it now I.e. the way a bumblebee sees the world would make no sense to us. Dan Simmons touched on this, I think, in the Hyperion novels when they applied translation programs to dolphin language. It rendered it into English, but it made no (very little) sense.

    Seems like this would apply to A.I.? Or E.T.?

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  52. Perhaps an anlogue of the human brain (with different 'areas' responsible for different functions) could be constructed from individual computers performing only in their 'areas', subject to an "ego" machine that passes judgement on input and makes decisions for the whole system?

    Maybe it's a bit anthropocentric, but we already know it works, biologically...

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  53. Maybe the way to go would be through making a model of how our brain functions, make it a functioning model, and voila, a brain in a bucket! It wouldn't necessarilly be the smart, robotic kind of 'mind' that we're used to thinking about, just a virtual functioning brain. Switch it on and it loads to RAM and the virtual neurons do identical, but virtual 'things', exactly like a real brain does when it wakes up.

    Asking it, "What are you thinking?", would elicit the kind of response that we'd expect from anyone, it would depend on it's experience.

    I can see a huge flaw with this, since our brains are not primarily designed to think, they're designed to 'have feelings about stuff' which we can override to a certain extent since we can think ourselves INTO having feelings about stuff too.

    How could a virtual brain respond to the presence of a plain Jane, an ugly Betty versus a gorgeous slutty ho? Virtual hormones?

    I think we might learn more about ourselves than we'd care to.

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  54. Very short story.. by me.

    Albert headed for the light. After the horrifying pain in his chest, everything had become peaceful, and there was that light. Albert a devout Christian all his life knew exactly what was expected of him, he headed for the light!

    As the light enveloped him the scene crystalized around him, a scene of indescribable beauty. Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking two things, "Now Ian is thinking that he is such a good writer that he can actually describe a scene of indescribable beauty, good luck with that!", and, "Why is this guy breaking the fourth wall?"

    Well, I'm not going to try it, just take my word, indescribable is not describable. So, back to the scene...

    Albert sees some figures walking towards him and is overjoyed to find himself looking at, what must be, his extended family, all in their prime of, well, I hesitate to say 'life' under the circumstances, though that's what we'd normally say.

    "Hi MOM! Great to see you again, and you're looking so good!"

    (to be contd.)

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  55. Contd already! (having bricked up that fourth wall)

    Albert spent the next, well who knows how long, he might be at it yet, hugging and kissing(where appropriate) friends and relatives who had 'made it' which was a much nicer euphemism that 'kicked the bucket', 'bit the dust', 'cashed in their chips', or, if you're Scottish, taking either the high road or the low road, whichever one means dying, I don't know, google it. (Okay, just cracked the door on the fourth wall for a second, no harm done.)

    "Hi! Nice to meet you, glad you made it!"

    There was a lot of that, lot of that, qualified by 'again' and changed up with some, "Good to see you!"s, "Great to finally get back together!"s, and so on, I mean, come on, use your imagination for Pete's sake! Unlike Albert and them, I don't have Eternity!
    (Damn that fourth wall, I'm using concrete blocks to patch it this time! Or maybe screen doors sprayed with that liquid rubber stuff?)

    Albert was as happy as the proverbial pig in, um, doo-doo, don't want to say 'shit' so... hey wait, said it anyways, what the fuck, it's a good Anglo-Saxon word, like cunt, so why not avail myself of it? Anways, point being, Albert, pig-in-shit happy! 'Nuff said.

    Of course it wouldn't be much of a story if it ended there, now would it? So far, it's a pretty thin story and I'm about to add some corn starch! Some of you might be thinking, at this point, "Yea, very drole, why don't you add some shortening too, dickwad? Have you forgotten the 'short' bit in 'short story'?"

    Now Albert was beginning to realise that there was a strange 'something' going on. Yes these people, all of them, were genuinely happy to be there, happy to meet him, happy they all made it, but there seemed to be a tiny soupcon(I'm not hunting for a c with a cedilla or whatever that's called just so you know to pronounce it soup-song, and not soup-con. I'm just not is all.)

    Picking up the thread there, there seemed to be a tiny soupcon of 'not happy about summut'(this being identical to 'something' except it's Northern English, and we all know what a bunch of cynical pricks they are!).

    Aha! I hear you thinking, well not really but.. oh nevermind, "Aha! The plot thickens!"

    Where is this story going?
    Will the Devil show up?
    Do they need toilets in Heaven?
    Can everyone do magic?
    If not, can everyone do stage magic?
    In this Heaven, is Barak Obama still president, or is it Mitt Romney?
    These, and many more questions may or may not be answered in the next installment of.. hmm... think of a title Ian, and be quick about it!... "Albert goes to Heaven!", "Albert bites the big one!", "Get ready for a big surprise, Albert, you douche!?"

    Take your pick, I'm thinking that last one is pointing out that without a twist, this story will totally suck, but is a tiny soupcon of a give-away?

    Ponder on that during the break!
    To be contd.

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  56. The story so far.

    Albert has croaked and finds that he is in Heaven where all his loved ones, the ones who have also died that is, are happy to see him but he is a tiny bit concerned that they all seem to have, well, a tiny, unspoken, concern of their own.

    Don't think I imagine that you all have the memory capacity of a four year old, it's just that stories use words, and a brief recap adds some more words!

    It's a win-win situation for me, while emphasizing to you, just a soupcon(pronounced, 'soup-song'), dear reader(pronounced, 'reed-err'), that you could be learning partial differential equations in an effort to build a Grand Unification Theory of the Universe and Everything!(pronounced, 'That pronouncing thing will never get old!')

    Will I get all 'Stephen King' on you and take 37 pages to describe the soupcon of concern that the folks(love that folksy word!) in Heaven are feeling?

    Find out when the story actuall continues!!

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  57. The story isn't going to be continued until after I've showered, got gas, taken Emma to the doctor for prescription refills and such, and maybe picked up some food. Figure about 2:30-3:00 Pacific time!

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  58. contd.

    As Albert is working his way through the crowd he's in no hurry since he knows that he has Eternity to do the meet and greet thing. As it goes on, he's getting more and more inclined to chat for awhile about Heaven, what it's like, whether everyone gets a chance to meet God, you know, and so on and so forth.

    Now we fade into one of these, perhaps typical, perhaps no, who is to say, conversations. I know, I'm supposed to say, since I'm supposed to take responsibility for what the characters in my story say and do, so let's just say that this particular conversation is quasi-typical. This is more or less accurate, but I want to say crypto-typical to seem like a wild and crazy guy, and now all thoughts of dying my hair white and practicing a song and dance routine about Tutankhamun are hereby banished from this story!

    "So, you're my great-great-uncle Ebenezer then? Nice to meet you!"

    "Hi Albert, first off, my dad was a geologist and it was either Peter or Ebenezer. Sadly, he picked, well, you know, but you can call me Ebby, hey you can call me anything but 'late for dinner'!"

    Albert got into the spirit of this and sang out, in a surprizingly good singing voice,

    " If you'll be my bodyguard
    I can be your long lost pal
    I can call you Betty
    And Betty when you call me
    You can call me Al!"

    Ebby seemed a bit concerned, "Yea, about that, um, don't call me Betty, Al."

    "Snookums?"

    "No."

    "Beaver-lips?"

    "Mmmm... neh."

    "Pooding tush?"

    "Okay, you're right, you can't call me anything, call me Uncle Ebby. But that was a fairly good rendition of 'Call me Al'!"

    At this point, Albert breaks the fourth wall and turns to look directly at you, saying, "I can't help it, Ian is making me a complete moron, somebody stop him please!! We'll be right back for the end of this conversation just as soon as this inner voice murders one or more of his other inner voices, we'll see who is boss here!"

    Albert puts on a chicken suit and dances around crapping chickens eggs out of his bum.

    Albert screams, "ARGHHH!... ARGHH!.. Okay already, STOP IT!"

    Albert howls in pain as he craps out the egg of an ostri..."NO! PLEASE! NO! I apologize for ever suggesting that there might be any question of who is the boss of this story! PLEASE!"

    Well, let that be a lesson to all the characters in this story, don't mess with the writer!

    Albert continues his conversation with his great-great-uncle Ebby after the break!

    To be contd.


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  59. Pboy seems to be channeling Kurt Vonnegut on a bender.

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  60. contd.

    At this point, uncle Ebb's wife showed up and gave Albert a big, welcoming hug, "Hi there kid!", she bubbled, "I'm your great-great Aunty, by marriage of course! One man, one woman, Adam's rib and all o' that!, I'm your Aunty Florence!"

    Albert frowned and his eyes went side-ways all of their own accord as he grokked the significance of this, thinking, "He didn't go there, tell me he didn't go there?" (but yes, yes I did go there! Auntie and uncle, Ebb and Flo!)

    "Okay, auntie Florence, what can you tell me about Heaven?"

    "Well, as you can see, it has a beauty that can only be described, ironically, as indescribable! Well, you know, if that is, in fact, irony.", she said, frowning and moving both her eyes to the side as if the answer to that might be somewhere off to the left.

    "I'm. Not. Really. Sure.", she added woodenly.

    "Oh well, that's neither here nor there, is it really?, she asked airilly and somewhat rhetorically with a touch of oompa-oompa stick-it-up-your-joompa, to boot!

    Albert was, at least at this point in time, totally oblivious to aunty Flo's oompa-ish 'tude, as you too would be if I hadn't stuck it in there for absolutely no reason whatsoever, as he blurted out, "And God, do I get to see God??"

    (Y'see he just blurted this out because it gets boring if the commentary begins or ends with 'he said', 'she said' all the time. Don't get me wrong, I'd have them blurting everything out all the time if I thought the english majors wouldn't waff at me. Please don't waff at me!)

    Auntie Flo smiled like River Song and while Albert was thinking, "Damn, she looks a lot like River Song.", she smoothied out(the exact opposite of blurting), "Well, of course you do Sweetie."

    "Oh God!", Albert blurted, but he was only thinking, so it was think-blurting or blurt-thinking, hey what do I know, write your local politician and ask him or her, "I wonder if she has a working sonic screwdriver??!!"

    "Well of course I don't have a working sonic screwdriver sweee-teee", she smoothied, "Everyone asks me that when I do my River Song impersonation."

    "At least give me a chance to blurt it out loud!", Albert felt strangely short-changed, blurt-thinking yet not being allow to complete the blurt, and a little miffed at the strange direction this conversation was tacking.

    Aunty Florence, having heard Albert's rendition of 'Call me Al' parodied R.E.M's famous song,

    " When your day is long and the night
    The night is yours alone
    When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
    Don't let yourself go
    Everybody cries and everybody blurts sometimes.. sometimes..", complete with air guitar.

    "Oh dear", thought Albert, "Seems that we're being deliberately distracted here, for some strange reason."

    Is there a strange reason for this distraction?
    Has Albert completely lost his marbles?
    Hey, has Florence completely lost her marbles?
    Come to think on it, has our fearless narrator completely lost his marbles?
    If so, who is winning this damned game of marbles?
    Who the hell mentioned playing marbles?

    Find out after the break, where, I swear, double dog pinkie swear, whatever that could possibly mean, there'll be no mention, not even a whisper, about marbles!

    To be contd.

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  61. Is that Kurt Vonnegut? I was thinking it seemed more like Douglas Adams, but yea, sure, a bit of both. Likely the Simpson's did it already anyways, yes? LOL

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  62. Douglas Adams! Yes! Him and Vonnegut!

    I'm starting to wonder if the whole point of the story is that there is no conclusion to the story...

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  63. You're actually being incredibly funny here, Pboy... you're pretty good! I was reading it to my wife and had her in stitches.

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  64. Oh, I reread it and laugh too. So there's that. It's stream-of-consciousness stuff, so if you believe in channelling, well, it's that I suppose. There is an ending I'm aiming at, but it kind of has to get there on it's own and in a way that I like. I'm catching up on face-book games and such right now.. so likely to be contd. tomorrow!

    I can't hardly wait to find out what happens!! LOL

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  65. My life is enriched by knowing you, Pboy. I like your style.

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  66. I felt badly when Jerry and you had such a falling out. I went through a similar phase with you but came to a point where I felt that you were sticking to your principles and just being who you are and I thought that I didn't really want to change you.... I wish Jerry had come to the same conclusion. I miss him. I hope he stops by again sometime.

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  67. I guess I finally thought that by knowing you I had access to someone that I respected who held differing opinions to myself that I could dialogue with and I felt that such a thing was of value to me.

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  68. Sometimes it's only this computer and the stuff I do on it that keeps me sane, and you guys are a big part of that. Right now I'm on the closest thing to a holiday that I care for, and that includes 375 mls. of rum of an evening, which makes me a functioning alcoholic for this week. Functioning because when I get up in the morning, I feel fine, make coffee, take the little dog out and everything is hunky-dory.

    The Obama vs. Romney thing, the insane vs. the even more insane thing, takes a back seat and I'm watching comedians on youtube, love that Doug Stanhope.

    BTW those double-slit experiments which are totally awesome, do seem to suggest that there is no Godly, personal overmind watching the universe and counting the hairs on our heads, which changes daily? Hourly? The whole thing seems a bit retarded to believe but that experiment clearly shows that if it can be known my us, then the experiment shows that, but if it can't be known by us, then the experiment demonstrates THAT TOO, shows that there really isn't a supernatural mind which knows all things knowable, which the particular slit the photon took is, in principle, knowable if you're a God and have no need of poor physicists tools.

    At the very least it is showing that God isn't what scholastic philosophers can make him out to be by sheer sophistrical reasoning, a.k.a. talking themselves into it with jargon, focusing techniques, manipulating concepts dividing or joining to suit themselves, and so forth.

    I've never heard any defense of the idea that the name and title(s) Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, actually means God, The Saviour of the Branch of Judahism(called Christianity, of course!).

    It's like the richest man in the world being born with the name Elhombre Masrico Del Mundo! What? How the hell does that happen?

    Jumped around a bit there but, yea, we've been agreeing on most everything/and not agreeing on some stuff for quite a few years now.

    I really think that I was maybe too harsh on Jerry, the truth is a little too harsh for Jerry. I was telling him that everything he believed was wrong. I kind of wish I hadn't tried to drive that home, but I didn't mean to hurt him, I was trying to help him.

    At least his politics was not of the even more insane variety! Mucho points to him for that at least!

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  69. "Pboy seems to be channeling Kurt Vonnegut on a bender."

    That made me lol -- literally!

    "Who was it that said animal consciousness was so foreign as to be incomprehensible? I'd read that years ago, and can't find it now I.e. the way a bumblebee sees the world would make no sense to us."

    Ryan, are you thinking about Nagel's "What is it like to be a Bat"?

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  70. contd.

    Albert, our erstwhile hero, you know, if you're remembering this story years from now, was trying to think how he might get to the bottom of this. Okay, picky-picky, I just like that word! Plus, this story could well be episode thirteen of a two hundred and fifty five episode saga! You don't know...uh-uh...no, you don't do you, admit it!

    For all you know, there may well be some Thomist, through the hundreds and hundreds of years of Thomists, whether secret Thomists or outie Thomists who would stoop to literally using the word lol! Just say you don't know! I know what you're thinking, and again, I don't really know, what, am I friggin' Kreskin?

    What I do know, is that any Thomist with a John Thomas might say, "Literally!", and mean, "Not really literally!" Did the Thomist actually spit Corn Flake bits on to his friend's computer monitor?(explaining, in the process, why he comments as 'Anonymous'? Does he even eat Corn Flakes, we don't know? Not even Anonymous really knows, himself, and of course I say himself, assuming that he has the requisite parts, you know, ".l."

    Arghhh.. burn my eyes with a red hot poker somebody!! Is there an old time Catholic in the house??? I don't want to have to look at even a representation of 'Anonymous''s meat and two veg, even if I typed that up myself!

    Hey, some people have just the one ball, we don't know, right? Perhaps a more accurate representation of 'That Thomist who shall remaing (virtually) nameless!'... so here's a representation of that, "!"

    Double argh!

    Poor Albert is stuck waiting for me go give him something to do while I search for traces of the fourth wall.

    "Hello, yes, I'm calling the police, yes. I seem to be missing a fourth wall! No, I did not witness the event, but, I'm guessing Holmes, from Holmes on homes! Who else would need an entire wall? What? Nigerians? But, a Nigerian who cannot afford a wall is hardly likely to come to the New World to pinch a wall! Logistics, man!"

    Albert, poor Albert, making a duck face and flipping his lips up and down with his finger, thank goodness it wasn't with, you know, some other guy's exclamation mark, although why one would even think of hunting down some guy with one ball just to use his.. STOP! Step back! Deep breaths!

    Albert is going to be okay, okay.

    Just forget this whole 'anonymous Thomist with one ball' thing, erase that from your memory!

    Let's just say that I felt the need to address an issue!

    Back to the storyline when, well, after.

    To be contd.

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  71. Could the other side of a two party system win by reducing the votes the one side gets by foul means, fooling the undecided into thinking that they are 'on their side', appealing to peoples' general prejudice against the proclaimed lazy, ungodly, unAmerican, inglorious, envious scum of the Earth?

    Well, the GOP seem to think so. But what does this say about them, if they're willing to lie, cheat and steal, to preserve their what, honesty, honor and charitablity?

    It's upside-down day every day for a Republican these days! I have to wonder how it is that roughly half the people in the U.S.A. cannot look in the mirror and see bigotted, self-centred thieves.

    Why can't they just be honest and call themselves the B.S.T. party! We could make it more homely sounding, the B.S. Tea-party? By the time they take over the so-called 'fical conservative' Republicans, it'll be too late to go back!

    "Well, if we don't like this guy, we can always fire his ass, unless he somehow disenfranchises us, and that's not hardly likely right? Sure they're going great guns disenfranchising 'them', and that's great, but if I find out that I was fooled, there's no way they'd do that to me, right? Even if I became one of 'them'(NEVER!)."

    Christ! They're like party members in 1984 who'd cheer the increase in daily chocolate rations from 8 oz. per day, to 6 oz. per day, since and only since, 'their guy' is in power!

    Example... "Smaller govt now! YAY!".. "What we want is some good ol' faith-based initiatives!".. (that's govt. spending).. "Who cares, YAY!"

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  72. I called Emma out on playing games with me. Picture me sitting beside her carefully explaining 'how a choke-chain works' with demonstrations, when I had an epiphany! Jesus was standing there in all his glory, some call it 'sticky', but I don't want to get into that, icky, icky. Anyway, Jesus' booming voice says, "This woman has lived on this planet for 60 years come December, and you're explaining how a fucking choke-chain works to her while she's doubting that the words you say mean what she thinks they mean?? Come on MAN! She is fucking with you! She does this in the supermarket, when suddenly she's basically asking you how food works, when a choice of products turns into a conversation about how the gastric system actually performs it's duties!

    Fuck man! She imagines you're an idiot! This is a variation on the, "I heard you the first time!", joke, where the hilarious comedian keeps asking you what you said until you're exasperated telling what you said and then reveals that he heard you, of course, the first time!!!. And we all laugh uproariously at your stupidity, for not knowing that the guy is basically a fucking jerk! This would be the girly version of that, "Could you explain to me, a poor blonde girl, how this works?"

    "Well, of course I knew THAT, you retard, everyone knows THAT, but what I mean is... (anything to keep the mark explaining the obvious over and over)"

    What she means is, "I may be a totally ignorant cunt, but with THIS game, I am in control, I know, I already know what I'm making you explain, as if I were a retard! Well, sucker, I KNOW, which makes YOU the retard!", and we all laughed so hard.

    Well no, I can't see how, acting like a retard, demanding to be informed on a subject, somehow makes me a retard, it just doesn't.

    Her defense, upon being called on this bullshit? "I don' wanna argue, I don' wanna argue, la-la-la-la!"

    .. and we all laughed, sure, like a you and a used car dealer laughed when he explained what a cunt you were for giving him 2 grand profit on the cheap piece of shit he sold you.

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  73. Ahh, yin and yang again.

    Best thing to do as a man, is roll with it baby. You are right of course, and she is wrong, but proving that to her comes with far too high a price.

    Maybe it's because in her heart she knows that you're smarter than her. And maybe, resents it just a tiny bit. Dunno. But I think you're right; it's a power-play.

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  74. My big thing with my wife is that very often when she wants me to do something, she only hints at it and if I don't get the hint she insists to herself that it's because I didn't want to do the thing in question. She'll say something like 'I need to bring the laundry downstairs' and then wait for me to volunteer my services, while I'm say writing a blog post or something that takes my attention. That's supposed to make me jump up and say "I'll do it honey!" But I don't hear any actual request for help in that. Then she'll get pissed off, all simmering.... Because I had the audacity to not be able to hear an unspoken request!

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  75. We're supposed to read their minds pboy.... what's wrong with you? Can't you just do that one simple thing?

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  76. Here's something you can try, Pboy:

    When she tries a game like that again, like the choke-chain thing, tell her "Honey, I give you a lot more credit than that; I know that you understand this, because you are an intelligent woman." and walk away.

    When you get out of the hospital, tell me how it worked. :-)

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  77. OH yea, the mind-reading thing we're supposed to be able to do if only we werer as smart as we think we are! LOL

    Maybe if we put on oversized turbans and tried to assess what was in sealed envelopes. That way, they could see how bad we actually are at psychic stuff and lower their expectations!

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  78. Emma has gotten into the habit of using me to think for her. "Hey, I don't know how to get on to youtube!"

    "Well, click on the star, favourites, under the 'x'."

    (She does 'something') "No, can't see youtube anywhere."

    "Have you never been to youtube on that computer?"(I know damned fine she has)

    "No."

    Now I'm there looking at her monitor, "There, that star."

    "No, can't see nothing, oh wait, YOUTUBE!"

    Now this is pretty much standard fare, and who knows what pills she has taken recently, and I don't mind helping her out.

    Right this minute I'm stepping through the process of 'how to copy a youtube url and paste it on facebook. She's only done it like 1000 times, a conservative estimate.

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  79. You sure gotta lotta anger, friend. God doesn't choose our destiny. The human race does. God loves U.S. in spite of our failings, thus, God'll take you into Heaven -IF- you'll just honor Him. And if we fail to honor Him, murder, worship the Devil, do witchcraft, steal, or be greedy our whole lives, who's choice is that?? Our own. We have 77ish years. Isn't that puh-lentee of time? God bless you with discernment. Meet me Upstairs, dude, and let's have a beer... or seven hundred. I'm thirsty HawrHawr _thewarningsecondcoming.com_

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  80. Who was that masked man?

    I hope that was brilliant satire.

    Are you around to discuss is, Good Doctor, or was that just a hit-and-run?

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  81. I wen to his website or whoever's it is.... it made my stomach ache. He's for real.

    It reads like Satan himself wrote it. If I believed in Satan. No informational content but fear and pride.

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  82. HIs bio says he found god after his girlfriend and he got into a car accident and she was killed, and he was in a coma... had a vision.

    Sad.

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  83. If you're out there Doctor, I feel for you. I am of course of the opinion that that terribly sad, horrific experience unhinged you slightly, as it would do to many men if they had a good heart.

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  84. As to anger, I see most of that on the christian side of politics. My side is, rather understandably I think, angry in reaction to their anger and hatred, lies, and distortions, and the huge hypocrisy of wrapping all of that up in Jesus Christ, who would have called them pharisees and walked away slowly.

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  85. Doctor Cold Cadaver? Nice handle!

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  86. I suspect that he was indeed a 'hit and run' Christian. Too bad, at least he seemed interesting.

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  87. When you're a doctor that believes in creationism, Kold Kadaver Flatliner is an appropriate name.

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  88. "You sure gotta lotta anger, friend."

    How do you write when you feel that you have a strong point to make?

    " God doesn't choose our destiny."

    Yea sure you can say that. God also chose to give us the choice through the creation of the Bible. No Bible, no choice of whether to believe it's inspired and whether we can be saved and so forth. Do you have the choice to wake up of a morning and believe that it's not true? But you do believe that others can choose the opposite, right?
    " The human race does."

    Choices are made by individuals.

    " God loves U.S."

    What do you mean, he loves the land, the people, even the unGodly or unAmerican people? I doubt this. Do you think I have a choice whether to doubt this?

    ".. in spite of our failings, thus, God'll take you into Heaven -IF- you'll just honor Him."

    There is no God, not even the one.

    " And if we fail to honor Him.."

    Who?

    ".. murder"

    Hopefuly, go to prison, you'd be a menace to society.

    ".. worship the Devil, do witchcraft"

    Just so long as you don't hurt anyone, what's the difference?

    " steal"

    (Insert whatever you'd say to a thief here, about restitution or jailtime)

    ".. or be greedy our whole lives"

    Lot of people choose that, who are you to say it's wrong, you some kind of socialist?

    ".. who's choice is that?? Our own."

    If you give me a $100,000 I wouldn't do anything greedy, it's your choice now, bitch!!

    " We have 77ish years."

    So?

    " Isn't that puh-lentee of time?"

    For what?

    " God bless you with discernment."

    Don't forget to mail me that cheque now! You wouldn't want me to steal or be greedy, would you?

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  89. This 'choice' thing is so bogus.

    "You have the choice!"

    "If you read your Bible, it seems to give you the choice to believe that or not, depending on which section you read!"

    "Still, you can't deny you have a choice! Checkmate!"

    "But it depends on what you mean, a soft choice or a hard choice? For example there is always the soft choice of whether to go to a tall building and jump, right? If you are Catholic, you'd be thinking, that that is no choice, no, God would be miffed! A maze of choices thought of or not shouldn't impress anyone, it's just life! Do you choose to run 5K a day to stay healthy? Guess you're not really trying to stay healthy then!"

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  90. How is it that we can't believe the obvious, that life is a maze of choices, some soft, some hard, some silly, some with serious consequences, and yet have no free will, since we are slaves to our environment and our past choices within it.

    I choose to sneak up on Brad Pitt and throw him into La Brea, then I choose Angelina Jolie for my wife! No.

    I could choose to believe that nonsense, so what?

    But there are many more, much more reasonable sounding choices which we could express, which aren't going to happen, could never happen.

    Lottery winers could say in all honesty that they chose their destiny because they carefully chose which numbers to bet on! So there's that. There is choosing one thing and some fortunate thing happening or some tragic consequences which we could never predict barring some magical powers!

    It might be that we can see cleary that the lottery winner didn't choose to win, he chose to gamble, sure, but that we are clouded by the winner's logic(I chose the numbers) when pointing out how someone else could have chosen 'more wisely', heading down that street where a 400lb, strong as an ox, ass-rapist happened to be lurking in the shadows for a victim.

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  91. Not only that, we could sit Pliny down in a chair(hypothetically), put the spot-light in his eyes and grill him about what he did versus what he could have done, and we could be thinking of alternatives ourselves!

    Upshot of that wouldn't be how Pliny made his choices but how many options there were, even if he didn't think them through at the time.

    Let's say you're a kid, and you're choosing to not be bored, you end up getting in deep shit! Can we honestly tell you that you wouldn't have gotten in shit if you had only chosen to remain bored? As a kid, are you even choosing to not be bored? Certainly you're not choosing to be bored in the first place.

    But this is the weird way choices work. Any situation you find yourself in, we can backtrack to a point where, if you had done something else or if you hadn't done something else, your life would be worse, or better! It's basically self-recrimination.

    Can't you picture someone flipping burgers on the McDee's grill thinking, "If only I'd taken the blue pill instead of the red one, I'd be flipping peoples' brains (as he understands it) down at the Sacred Bleeding Heart of Jesus Hospital for the brain-dead, now, instead of this!"

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  92. If he'd read back far enough, he'd have seen that I already (technically) practice witchcraft.

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  93. I go away for a couple of days and now you guys are threatening to subject me to rendering! Seems a bit harsh.

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  94. " God bless you with discernment."
    ------------------
    They're pretty free with the 'trying to bless people with the precise qualities they lack' thingy, aren't they?

    It goes so well with the Standard Christian Pee-Wee Herman Defense.
    ("I know you are, but what am I?")

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  95. Is is 'rendering' or 'rendition?'

    Render unto Caesar dressing that which is Caesar dressing's.

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  96. If god blessed someone with true discernment, that person would instantly cease to believe in god.

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  97. Which would be a BIT of a paradox.

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  98. All part of the mystery, my friend!

    (There are no paradoxes to those that can hold two conflicting concepts in their minds at the same time and believe both)

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  99. Hypothetically = Hypodermically

    Um, huh?

    Methinks Pboy's plowing for humor nuggets in the desert again....

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  100. Kind of went from Vonnegut/Adams to Norm Crosby there for a bit...

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  101. Actually to channel Eric, there is no paradox as long as the person that god blessed with discernment were not aware that it was god that so blessed him and then went on to disb....
    ahh, nevermind.... makes me feel filthy...

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  102. "Hypothetically = Hypodermically

    Um, huh?

    Methinks Pboy's plowing for humor nuggets in the desert again...."

    Um, think quick Ian, think, think.. AHA! I, um, was trying to get under Pliny's skin! Yea, that's it!

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  103. I don't like the name Noam for some reason. Don't know what it is. Don't like the name Chomsky either. They do seem to suit each other though. This doesn't say anything at all to me about the man himself.

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  104. I do have a problem with the story though, and it seems to be the opposite of what you were thinking. It's not that it doesn't have an ending, it's that it does, but figuring out a way to get from Albert's situation now, to the end is not as easy or likely as short as I had originally anticipated.

    Oh yea, I should have had contd. at the top of this comment and, to be contd. at the bottom. The previous paragraph(or whatever you call the segments that are single comments is, and boy did you get that right, not really part of the story, Brian.

    Hey, who knows, maybe I started channelling Mr. Chomsky! Blame him.

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  105. B I prefer rendering to rendition because not only do you get the information you need, you end up with an excellent soup stock as well...

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  106. So, Romney's plan is to reduce taxes on the very wealthy. Okay, yes, yes, that's not much of a plan since it obviously doesn't address the deficit, less revenue cannot help a deficit in any budget, it's just impossible.

    To ofset the sting of this policy they've come up with the idea of promising to cut loopholes in the tax system.

    Which loopholes? Well look at Ryan's budget, they're going to fuck over the poor, the old and the sick. But they can't say that, so it's 'eliminating tax loopholes to make it revenue neutral' all the way, with no specifics.

    This isn't a plan though.

    Okay, example:-

    My plan for saving America! We have a framework, the goal being to save America!

    "Do you have any specifics?"

    Again, you're not listening, we have a framework, and in this framework, the overall plan is to save America!

    "But could you tell me anything at all about the framework or the plan?"

    "This is getting exasperating, I've already told you, the plan is the framework, what part of that don't you understand? The framework is the plan! Hope that clears that up!" GO GOP!

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  107. Now it's Norm Crosby = Noam Chomsky

    Very confusidilating.

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  108. Here's Randal Rauser's rousing rebuttal of John Loftus' OTF. It's the stuff in quotes, except for the last sentence which seems to work against Rauser, although he said it.

    RR:-"You would be great as a neo-con. They're always talking about American exceptionalism."

    Me:-Yea baby! Paint Loftus 'as bad as a neo-con'! How could anyone who is as bad as a neo-con have anything decent to say?"


    RR:-"You, on the other hand, talk about atheistic exceptionalism."

    Me:-HOW COULD YOU? John? Are you seriously telling us that your faith-based atheism is an exception to all the other false religions? Please, Loftus, let Rauser's 'straw man John Loftus' answer this question!

    If x type exceptionalism is equivalent to y type exceptionalism, where does 'on the other hand' come in? Implying that there is some kind of controversy between American and atheistic exceptionalism seems a bit devious to me, since it's you who brought up the virtual equivalence of them just now.

    RR:-" There is this so-called OTF..."

    Way to GO! Randy-baby, why the OTF has been dismissed with a charged word or two! What do you mean Loftus, "OTF", and where do you 'get off' so-calling it that?

    RR-"...[the OTF}.. which applies to everybody but you and your doxastic community."

    Wait, I had thought that the OTF couldn't be applied to 'itself', not to our doxastic community?
    There's the problem right there! Rauser is accidentally conflating the OTF with our 'belief system'.
    Only I don't really think it's as much accidental, as say, oh, I don't know, well let's let Dr. Rauser finish up...

    Me hitting RR with his own last words:- As the church lady used to say, "How con-VEEN-ient."

    Oooo, that's gotta hurt a feeling, empathetic, honest person. Likely doesn't describe RR though.

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  109. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremiah-goulka/ex-republican_b_1870534.html

    A fascinating essay from a former republican about how his whole republican worldview fell to harsh reality. Very interesting.

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  110. Indeed, talk about 'seeing the light'!!!

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  111. What a depressing yet enlightening article. Perhaps this is a good place for me to jump into the conversation. I'm Lloyd the Lurker. I occasionally posted back in the Dinesh D'Sousa blog days and then mostly lurked when Brian started this blog--jeez, what's it been now, five or six years ago?

    Anyway, I've been needing a place to vent, chat, blather, remonstrate, kill my demons, whatever. If you remember, I was the token Mormon on the thread, so to re-introduce myself, here's the title of my post: what's a Mormon Democrat (or Democrat Mormon) to do in this election?

    I may have somewhat alienated a couple of my sisters who live in SLC--actually, I don't think so, but I know that one of them is a little concerned about me. I'm sure she thinks I've gone off the deep end. She finally reluctantly realzed that we'll have to agree to disagree about the policies of our country. I live in the NE and not the West, especially Utah or Idaho because, well there are just too many Mormons. Actually, I don't like to live anywhere there are too many of one group of people. Where I live now is actually a small oasis of liberalism in a wider conservative region. The city is a university town and quite liberal, while the outlying area is largely conservative. And to be honest, sometimes I feel that there are too many liberals here too.

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  112. I like a good healthy mix of people. Unfortunately there are not many center-right people left. The center has moved so far right that previously ultra conservatives are now considered liberal--kind of scary. And my people, the LDS, have been moving more and more to the right to the point that about 3/4 of the US LDS population is conservative or very conservative (my estimation, based on some things I've read as well as anecdotal evidence. By the way, is there such a thing as anecdotal evidence?).

    Fortunately for me the LDS community where I live is more balanced, with a good number of liberal and card carrying Democrats--some of whom I would never have guessed as such, but I've been pleasantly surprised as I'm finding out as I get to know the new move ins or get to know better some of the folks who've been here a while. But I find it nice and refreshing that there are more of these kindred souls than I thought and it gives me hope.

    The big problem though is that the larger LDS community, especially in the inter-mountain West, where I grew up, and the West Coast, has moved much more quickly and much more in lockstep to the fringes of the right-wing spectrum. We used to believe in the golden mean--moderation in all (well in most) things (there's always been an undercurrent of extremism in a few things, but now it's nearly universal).

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  113. And Romney's evolution (yes, ironic isn't it) from moderate-liberal republican, who seemed quite independent in the 80's, to--I don't know quite how to describe him now--John McCain's crack baby comes to mind (though I'm not quite sure what that means, but I kind of like the phrase). I don't know. He was the RINO in waiting for years, and yet I've not heard anyone on the right describe him as such, especially when they described McCain that way, as well as others, John Huntsman as well--interestingly also LDS and Republican, but surprisingly sane.

    Funny as there are people in my extended family who were so keen to slap that label on anyone who violated even the smallest, most inconsequential conservative dogma (note the religious connotation--which is on purpose. Conservative politics has become a religion to many of the LDS and they already have a religion!), but haven't breathed a word of RINOism about Romney.

    So, I'm at a loss of what to say. I got together last year with a guy I'd gone to HS with, and we'd also served in the same LDS mission (at least I can give Romney credit for most people now knowing what a Mormon mission is, so I don't have to explain it). As I was talking with this guy we got in a bit of a political discussion. It was probably me who brought it up--you'd think I'd know better. I was in Idaho, my home state, and I should've known better, but I opened my big mouth and said the D word. He looked at me and with incredulity and almost disgust and said, "you voted for Obama?" It was with the same tone of voice that I would have expected him to use if I had just revealed that I was a polygamist. I was flabbergasted and not being very quick couldn't come up with a good rejoinder, but really it was just plain offensive. I wouldn't have said the same thing about him voting for Bush. Crap, I hadn't seen the guy for over 30 years! I don't think he realized just how offensive he was and I hate to admit it, but I don't think he's capable of understanding it either.

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  114. The irony (one more) of this mass movement to conservative ideology is that in the early days of the LDS chuch, parts of the theology were extremely radical. We experimented with co-operative towns and systems based on communitarianism, called the United Order, which was based on the practice of "no rich and no poor," both in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon. Whatever you think about the historicity of the BofM--and I'm sure you don't think much of it--there is some really cool theology built on this theme of building transformative societies where the temporal needs of all are put on the same level and where the people live as a united people, with no rich and no poor.

    But as a people, we began to consciously assimilate into American culture, especially after getting rid of polygamy in the late 19th century-early 20th century. A people who had been hounded for years and driven out of every place where they'd tried to settle, even being driven out of the United States to the intermountain West, have over the last 100 years become among the most conservative, patriotic people in the country. I guess when you finally get tired of being a pariah what better way is there to fit in than by adopting extreme nationalism and uber patriotism.

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  115. So, we have the mixed blessing and mixed message of Mitt Romney, somebody I liked and admired years ago, and if he had stayed moderate to liberal as he was even through his governorship (at least as I've perceived it), I might seriously consider voting for him now. I probably still wouldn't, but I would give it very serious consideration.

    So, I don't know if I've explained very well my angst and my own disgust with the mass immigration of the LDS rightward, but it worries and alienates me. I guess after most of the LDS immigrated to Utah in the 19th century, they've felt that they had no where else to go except to the right.

    So to answer my question I used to introduce my post: what's a Mormon Democrat to do in this election? It's easy, as I told my overly concerned sister (which ticked her off): "I'll vote for Obama, but pray for Romney!"

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  116. Hey Lloyd! I feel your pain Man. What can we say about that but the obvious. Did you read that Huffpost comment Brian gave us the address to.

    Well, there's your mission, you're our only hope! If you can impress upon your fellow LDSers that the USA is becoming more and more on a third world country, in places, and that the only way to change this to be the dreams-come-true land that Republicans think it is, is to have a govt. that helps.

    What am I suggesting, I can't put that on you. I honestly think it's too late. Obama and the Dems. can more or less stave it off for another four years. Time for Obamacare to be 'the normal', where even REPS. have to admit that there are things they really want, in it.

    And so on.

    Nice to hear a new voice, and remember, we live in an absurd universe on an absurd world, surrounded by absurd people! Relax and enjoy, or be forever puzzled and anxious!

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  117. Walked out of the front door this morning to a squadron of Canada geese flying right above me , I dunno, fifty feet up. What a din! All calling to each other, or saying hello to me, what do I know, don't speak Geese! The dog wanted to duck and run, haHA!

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  118. Thanks PB. I read the article by Jeremiah Goulka, who became disenchanted with the Republican party, if that's the one you're referring too. It was a good article, enlightening and depressing at the same time if you get my drift. I think a big part of the problem is that when reality bumps up against your world view there are only two things you can do: take notice and look at the bigger picture or hunker down. Most people hunker down.

    Why would you accept climate change or even hunger when you've been told time and time again that there is plenty to spare on this world and that it was created for our use. So much for stewardship, another important theme in LDS life--at least it used to be.

    I do have to point out though that there is a good reason that most LDS are Republican and that does stem from the persecution of the early church. They petitioned state and federal governments for help and redress and got very little in return. In fact, in the 1850s, the largest military expedition at the time was sent to quell the Mormon uprising in Utah. Well, there wasn't an uprising, but there was the ulterior motive of moving the military through the midwest to send a message to the Kansans at the time of burning Kansas. So, the government got a two-fer: show the military might of the federal government to the Kansans and to keep the Mormons in their place.

    Ever since, Mormons have been leery and very suspicious of government in general and the federal government in particular. With the increasing paranoia of the conservative movement about government intrusion, punctuated with the tea party, it really isn't that difficult to see why the LDS would find affinity there. But, just like anything, you can go too far, which is what's happening now.

    Also, there's a prediction in LDS scripture that says that the American constitution will someday hang by a thread and that the Elders of the church will save it. It doesn't say how that would be accomplished, but I think a lot of people see Mitt as the guy who'll save it. One thing feeds off the other. The democrats are attacking the constitution so it's hanging by a thread and since Mitt's running, well there's the divine proof that it really is hanging by a thread.

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  119. Well, that's not so good then, if LDS predictions seem to be fulfilling themselves. Maybe this could be diverted by the idea that, if they vote for Obama, they'd be surer since, if the prediction is really true, Romney is getting in with super-natural force alone, not helped by them themselves!

    The preceding was one of those ideas that aren't going to fly. Not while your church is more than willing to advertize against gay rights in California, it isn't.

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  120. Anyway, I've been needing a place to vent, chat, blather, remonstrate, kill my demons, whatever.
    --------------
    Hey, that's why I come here!

    Good to see you again Lloyd. Of course I remember you, it hasn't been that long since you dropped by here actually... in the last year or so I think...

    Sorry about your experience with your friend there. The right wing has poisoned the well, dude.

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  121. A prediction like 'someday the constitution will hang by a thread and we'll be the ones to save it' is one of those predictions which, as with those in the Bible, can be seen as 'happening right now as we speak' at almost any time in our history. They're the kind of prophecies that are nonspecific enough to get 'fulfilled' several times a year.

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  122. Who knows maybe Mitt Romney was the one who predicted it, after realising how easy it is to manipulate the right into believeing that their party is for a) democracy, one man, one vote and b) the chosen few, both at the same time.

    It's not hard, it's like free will and destiny. The land of the free and 'you do what we tell you, that's what you do'. A great success for democracy is to undermine democracy!

    There's the good us and the bad them, it's always like that.

    And so on.

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  123. If I were the president, this is what I'd do.


    Set up a press conference, go out there, and address Mich McConnel, John Boehner, and the congressional Republicans.

    And just say four words, and then turn around and walk away without taking any questions.

    "What am I, black?

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  124. Well, that's not so good then, if LDS predictions seem to be fulfilling themselves. Maybe this could be diverted by the idea that, if they vote for Obama, they'd be surer since, if the prediction is really true, Romney is getting in with super-natural force alone, not helped by them themselves!

    The preceding was one of those ideas that aren't going to fly. Not while your church is more than willing to advertize against gay rights in California, it isn't.
    -------------------------

    Well, it doesn't help that Mitt's running against a black man. While there is a dark chapter (no pun intended) regarding race issues in the church, I have to admit that we've come a long way in the last 30 years, but not far enough. There's still residual bigotry, far under the surface, at least in my opinion. No one would admit to it, but I think it's there. Again, I have no proof, but it's palpable. You can sense it, almost feel it.

    I've not seen so much vitriol against a sitting POTUS, not just in the LDS church, but throughout the right. Compared to the crap thrown at Clinton, this is way beyond the pale.

    The irony though (I love irony!) is that if Romney loses, I believe it will be because of the prejudice of the evangelicals against Mormons. Many are saying that they either won't vote or in some cases will vote for Obama rather than vote for a Mormon. Unbelievable. It puts them in fits. I must admit though that I expected more backlash from the evangelicals than has occurred. Many are reluctantly going to vote for Romney.

    If I was advising the Romney campaign I'd tell them to talk about Mormonism as the quintessential American religion, which it has been described as by historians. What, you don't like Mormonism? Are you anti American? I think Mormonism represents more the American spirit than Protestantism, a European religion...

    Anyway, the foregoing comes to you with some tongue in cheek, not a lot, but some.

    As far as the gay issue goes, there are rare times when the LDS church has overtly gotten involved in politics, at least in my lifetime. The first was the ERA, which the church helped defeat in the late 70s and early 80s. I hadn't heard much about the efforts in California regarding gay marriage, so I was dismayed to find out how involved the church was.

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  125. What'd ya mean? They'd just start denying that he's black too.

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  126. I like your take on Mormonism being the quintessential American religion. I mean, it's no more silly than any other when you actually look at it. He should own it.

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  127. I get it mixed up with Scientology sometimes, when I try to think of the two respective doctrines.

    L. Ron Hubbard, now *there's* a real funny guy. Talk about taking it to extremes... creates a religion on a whim, almost as if on a bet...
    They're the ones with the DC-10's or whatever and the volcanoes and hydrogen bombs, right?
    His plot for Battlefield Earth was much more developed and believable...

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  128. It's the 'Planet Kolob' thing that reminds me of Scientology I guess.
    Science-fictioney...

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  129. Apparently Libya and Egypt are really pissed off about some You-Tube video by an American Muslim depicting Muhammad as a prick or something... First Terry Jones and now this.

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  130. So they're killing people.

    Ahh Religion, you are so angry all the time.

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  131. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/pat-robertson-become-muslim-to-beat-your-wife_n_1873142.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    Pat Robertson, Televangelist, Encourages Man To Become Muslim So He Can Beat His Wife


    -Nice! Now that's funny!

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  132. Yes, the planet Kolob thing is pretty strange I have to admit. It's one of those things that's just not in the daily zeitgeist of the LDS. It comes up very rarely in conversation and in classes, although we do have a hymn about it that is sung once in a while. It's one of those things that most LDS would just shrug their shoulders if you asked them about it and they'd say. Oh yeah. Kolob. I think that's close to where God lives.

    But I can see how it would seem strange and science fictiony to everybody else. You're right though, that Mormonism is no less strange or silly on the face of it than any other religion, although what little I know about Scientology stretches the boundaries. So, from a theological bent we're very different from them.

    What gets the evangelicals in a snit about us is that we basically reject the Nicene creed and of course they don't like polygamy. But one of the reasons behind the persecution in the 19th century was the United Order concept I mentioned earlier--it's a direct threat to American individuality and American capitalism. Another irony of course is that modern LDS are totally captivated by both. We've lost most of the communitarian ideals that Joseph Smith brought out in the 1830s and 1840s.

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  133. The You Tube video was apparently produced by an American "Israeli Jew," at least from the source I read. Sorry I don't have a link.

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  134. There is something personal about religion I think that makes ordinarily sane people get apoplectic when their religion is insulted, and look out what happens when the insane ones get insulted--they take it to another level.

    I think religious folk take it as a direct attack on themselves. When you've invested your life in something so heavily that shapes the very core of your identity, the reaction is to lash out in one way or the other. Those who can control that reaction deserve some praise I think, but they're few and far between.

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  135. I think this Libyan thing should prove to everyone that freedom of speech is anathema to, at least, believers in Abrahamic religions.

    Oh, they'll cry out for freedom of speech when it comes to them preaching to the captive audiences in schools, but resistance to this so-called freedom of speech is condemned as persecution!

    So, it's freedom of speech for them, and you, you should shut your hole!

    Nice.

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  136. Earlier today, Mitt Romney flatly stated, "If I'm not elected President, it'll be because the peasants are jealous of my speed-boat and my jet-skis!"

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  137. I really, honestly wonder if Mitt Romney found himself in the embassy of an Islamic country in turmoil, his first instinct would be to condemn that entire country for the actions of a mob?

    Has he never heard of diplomacy? If religious mobs can and do form around the nearest objects of their disdain, even if it is obviously wrong to us, I for one would realise that any sane person wouldn't be sitting in such a country doing my best to rile up such a mob!

    Is that what Mittens would have ambassadors do? Sacrifice themselves in the name of free speech?

    Heretofore he shall be known as Ridiculous Romney!

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  138. My wife loves your little doggy.... I showed her the pic you have as an icon...

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  139. Hah.. oh yea. 6 months old now.. just this morning he finally got a chance to give Prettyboy Floyd a careful sniff.. and of course got hissed at for his trouble. He sees me talking to the bird and it sitting on me and stuff, so he's figured out that it's not a toy.

    Of course his next move was, 'can I be your pal?'... which I'm a little leery of, and the bird too thank goodness!

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  140. Incredibly cute. Yeah, best to keep the bird at some distance I think.

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  141. I think this Libyan thing should prove to everyone that freedom of speech is anathema to, at least, believers in Abrahamic religions.
    -----------
    Operative word: should.

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  142. Now they're saying the filmmaker is not Jewish: "A report from the Atlantic indicated the filmmaker was not Jewish or Israeli, as the filmmaker stated earlier in interviews."

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/actress-director-anti-islamic-film-deceived-us-233244788.html

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  143. I believe we've had him since 2004, and he was no spring chicken then, knew the same whistles he knows, wolf whistle, if he sees your bum, 'charge', too too-too tute ta-TOO! Poor bugger was just getting used to the budgie, and it died, and NOW, now he has to deal with a canine, which I pet and throw toys for and feed and so on.

    But he takes some solace from me and from Emma too, and it's just a thing to get used to, he's doing good.

    I do believe that the dog getting me out is helping me, early mornings, no big thing, regularity, he HAS to get out in the morning and so on and so forth.

    Just saw the one bear this year so far, just crossing the road by the bridge about 50 yards down from us, moved on by the time I got my camera. Berry patches are loaded this year, so they might now have to come down this far to load up for winter. Lots of fish this year too, so there's that.

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  144. Sorry, might NOT have to come down this far.. since there's a huge bramble patch right at this end of the building.

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  145. We got stiffed on the berry crop this year. There were very few, and the ones that did ripen were small and hard and not very sweet. It's been a drought up here in 'Da Glove'...

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  146. I understand the film maker is a Coptic Christian. As in, an Arab christian. With a criminal record to boot.

    Now THAT makes TOTAL sense.

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  147. Pboy, BEARS?

    And you walk your doggy?

    Better make sure you always have a Pick-A-Nick basket on you for a bribe...

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  148. Ya know, I remember asking my mom as a child about why the Bible says 'thou shalt not kill' and yet we were at war (Vietnam) at the time...
    She told me it's okay if we're at war, simple as that, done deal, no harm, no foul.
    Flexible rules they live by... whatever's convenient to the moment.

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  149. I guess the idea is that if you're threatened as a society then it's okay to kill to protect yourselves.... except I didn't see Jesus' followers fight to keep them from taking Jesus. I didn't see Jesus ever even call for an uprising.
    He just died.

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  150. except I didn't see Jesus' followers fight to keep them from taking Jesus.

    They did. Peter cut off one of the Romans ears when they took Jesus (supposedly). Jesus also told everyone to take up swords at one point near the end (supposedly).

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  151. Ya know, I remember asking my mom as a child about why the Bible says 'thou shalt not kill' and yet we were at war (Vietnam) at the time...
    --------------------

    What I'm waiting for is the next time somebody talks about how this country was founded on Christian principles, is that somebody needs to ask, "which Christian principles"? I think they'd be at a loss. What about charity, turning the other cheek, forgiveness, loving your enemy? They'd say those things only apply to individuals, not countries or governments.

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  152. "We got stiffed on the berry crop this year." There's nothing like doin it outdoors. :D

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  153. No humping in the brambles, unless you really want to look like Jesus after the scourging! LOL

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  154. When we were born, we had no beliefs, we had no belief system. As we grew, we, naturally, adopted the belief system of those around us.

    Our understanding of the world around us is based solely on the best understanding, the most consistent understanding available to us as we are in the process of gaining understanding of this world around us.

    It doesn't matter how many times your mother tells you that she loves you, how many times she hugs you, if she also beats you, or berates you, or allows your father to do this while telling you that he also loves you, since, this is not consistent.

    Listening to Ryan's speech about how Obamacare is forcing 'government opinion' on people! If you're a Catholic, or a person of any religion, you're being forced to disregard the rights of fertilized eggs! How dare the government force this on us!

    Much better for the Catholic church to dictate how women ought to behave! Now THAT is religious freedom! Can't you see that?

    Eric and MI can!

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  155. It's strange to me that Eric, obviously a student of reason itself, can railroad himself into this dead-end philosophy which somehow agrees with a sychophantic housewife on a version of 'freedom' that disagrees with freedom itself.

    Getting back to the inconsistent messaging, 'Don't forget that you're free to choose between our doctrine and actual freedom of choice, but if you choose the latter we will not love you, we will demonize and disown you, and if there's any real freedom of religion(which we cherish dearly), eventually we'll be allowed to imprison you as a heretic, someone who chooses!'

    Eric manages to sort of sweep this kind of thinking aside, disregard this kind of thinking as simple-minded, concentrating on the sophisticated, philosophical, metaphysical reasoning for that exact worldview!

    It's ridiculous! Eric begs us to put that ignorant, beneath contempt, attitude of the undereducated aside, while he gives us the educated man's reasoning why those ignorant assholes are RIGHT!

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  156. Here's what I think the right-wingers are down to. "In any relationship, just make sure that it's you who is the crazy one!"

    Chris Christy, "Y'know what, we're going to have to throw the poor, the old and the sick, under the bus! There, I said it! The whole world didn't collapse, I wasn't struck by lightning!" (big laughs from his supporters)

    I wonder, is there enough resources to support the poor, the old and the sick? Is it that there may well be(there is), but why should we look out for anyone but ourselves, however we delineate 'ourselves'?

    Is it that you're rich, and could be richer, if only 'government' was focused on that goal, instead of sharing wealth?

    These same people are the ones telling us that it is they who are not materialists, it's they who are spiritual, it's they who are refusing to accept a 'socialist' utopia here on Earth, presumably because it would undermine the masses hope for a utopian eternity as promised by God. Their evidence seems to be that people who grow up in harsh circumstances, turn out to be harsh people!

    What happened to consistency? We can't molly-coddle everyone since it's only the rotten circumstances of the masses which make us comfortable ones feel even more comfortable, in this World?

    "Hey, I'm a well-off Catholic, I wrote a $1000 cheque to my church last time I went! Can you not imagine how many sandwiches this could buy starving homeless people if that money were to be spent on sandwiches for the poor? I rest my case, government bad, church good!"

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  157. Our culture suuuuuuucccccckkkkkkssss.

    Honestly, it's been becoming more and more apparent to me, our culture is as empty as an old soda bottle. Maybe some cigarette butts and some spit and nothing else.

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  158. Right now I feel pretty good about our culture. To paraphrase Churchill, our culture is the worst, except for all the others (and by all the others, I mean Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, etc...).

    Fuck anyone who is willing to even entertain the idea of killing a random person because some other unrelated doofus made a video. A video!!! I mean seriously, a video! Don't watch it!!! Fuck em.

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  159. No, I agree with that, Ryan. I guess I judge it by what it could be rather than as a comparison to what already exists.

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  160. It's an attempt at a right-wing-nut conspiracy! Idiot make movie to enrage muslims in time for the election, to show that Obama is equivalent to Jimmy Carter!

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  161. You best get on the ball with your sympathetic magic Brian, to counteract THEIR sympathetic magic!!!

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  162. I'm dipping my zebra's tail in goat's blood as we speak. So have no fear.

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  163. Zebra tail and goat blood??? Man, now, now you're getting serious!!!

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  164. I can just imagine an entire neighbourhood of blind newts and wingless bats!!

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  165. Yeah, I used to use a goat's tail and zebra blood but I kept changing my dick into a republican. Kinda the opposite effect.
    I swore off of wingless bats with my last divorce. As to the blind newts, one of them just ran for president, and I didn't even see him escape the terrarium

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  166. Thought most recipes called for

    Eye of newt and wing of bat..

    Blood of nipple, juice of.. oh you don't wanna know.

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  167. http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-one-murdered-because-of-this-image,29553/?ref=auto
    No One Murdered Because Of This Image
    (the Onion)

    Wow. I guess this is rather eloquent, isn't it?

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  168. I noticed this problem trying to argue that the KCA is circular, since in examples of 'things beginning to exist' (a chair, a michelangelo statue, whatever) there is no new material created.

    But a chair or a statue is just a label we put on a part of the universe which has at some point been arranged into what we would call said chair, or statue.

    We cannot say that the universe had the same kind of cause as a chair or a statue since the chair and statue are just rearrangements of some matter which already exists and the conclusion of the KCA claims to cause matter itself to come into existence.

    Point is that although this is quite simple and obvious, apologists rather like the KCA and will debate away that they can simply and obviously see the exact opposite since that supports their notion that there is indeed a supernatural realm(by which we understand to mean an extra-universal realm, outside of spacetime) which contains at least one supernatural entity with the power to create and manipulate spacetime/matter-energy ex-nihilo!

    If theist apologists are arguing that there really is no matter, that it's all a very powerful illusion created by God for our amusement, the KCA fails since premise one appeals to the causer of the manipulation of matter to some end and strains the meaning of the word 'matter' implicitly pulling 'matter' into the supernatural realm which they're trying to demonstrate!

    So that can go round and round if they're defining everything in terms of the supernatural because they already believe that nature itself is really an illusion, and we are not defining it as such, especially if they're keeping their cards close to their chest and giving out details like this on some kind of 'need to know' basis!!

    IOW, holding a 'Goddidit' card and not telling us since they know we'd scoff at it. If that's the card they're holding out on us, the debate would take a decidedly scoffing tone, them being the scoffers at us for not realising it's all a silly word game by those 'in the know'.

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  169. If theist apologists are arguing that there really is no matter
    ---------------
    But they aren't, right? I don't think they go that far.

    That sounds a lot more like me.

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  170. To get back to that Onion article (cartoon, actually) for a minute, I think we should print up about a hundred million copies of *that* and air-drop them into middle-eastern hot spots and al-qaida territories all around the world. Anywhere where Muhammad is taken, shall we say, too seriously...
    Just a thought.

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  171. If theist apologists are arguing that there really is no matter
    ---------------
    But they aren't, right? I don't think they go that far.
    ........................

    that it's all a very powerful illusion created by God for our amusement

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  172. Yea Brian, they wouldn't get mad about that or anything.

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  173. So you're serious and they will go so far as to *say* that, or *imply* that? I'm thinking you mean the latter.

    Maybe they would get 'mad' at the cartoon being dropped on them. I suppose you're right, since from their point of view what they see is us wanting to exterminate them and their way of life.

    I guess I was being too hopeful in thinking that just *maybe* that *some* of them *perhaps* would see the meaning in it, in that they have the only deity in the whole world that it is a death sentence to even draw a picture of, much less a picture of him in an explicit orgy. Other than Mohammad, you can pretty much make fun of deities and not die for it.

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  174. No I was just thinking that Jesus is an Islamic prophet and somone would notice this and the hate would spread like wildfire. Look at the unreasoning hatred of anything western on account of that movie trailer, ridiculous! Anyone putting any amount of thought into it would realise that U.S. embassies have absolutely nothing to do with anything which would rile up a crowd against them.

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  175. Funny how much Jesus spoke of love and yet so many who seek to emulate him live in hatred.

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  176. And just for shits and giggles, NEW POST IS UP!

    NEW POST! YAY!

    (Aww shit, it's just a Truman quote...)

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