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Now they talk?!? December 30, 2008

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Apparently many of the background folks in the Bush administration are now coming out and saying in essence what a lousy president Bush has been.

I found this part to be particularly enlightening, knowing what I know about the Rovian strategy employed to get Bush elected not once, but twice.

On other topics, David Kuo, who served as deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, disputed the idea that the Bush White House was dominated by religious conservatives and catered to the needs of a religious right voting bloc.

“The reality in the White House is — if you look at the most senior staff — you’re seeing people who aren’t personally religious and have no particular affection for people who are religious-right leaders,” Kuo said.

“In the political affairs shop in particular, you saw a lot of people who just rolled their eyes at … basically every religious-right leader that was out there, because they just found them annoying and insufferable. These guys were pains in the butt who had to be accommodated.”

Yes, the had to be accommodated in order to get their votes. Kuo asks that we read between the lines on this one. I can’t wait until the Vanity Fair article gets out in the wild. It should be an interesting read.

But it just reinforces what I’ve known for a very long time. Bush is nothing more than a puppet. In that he’s been wildly successful. Cheney himself must be jiggling with glee at the fact that they have collectively succeeded in looting the coffers of the federal government and more importantly the American people.

The Bush presidency was a great big “Fuck You” from the business world. Need I remind people of Enron, of Tyco, or how about National Grid and their 27% increase in electric rates.

Then there is the shadow bank implosion. That was a spectacular flame out. The shadow banks fly under the regulatory watch. And unmitigated greed always ends in disaster. The thing that was really interesting though is how the big commercial banks bought up those derivative debt packages like they were gold. That showed the flaws in the Federal Reserve system.

If anyone has studied the histor of the Federal Reserve you’ll find that it was conceived by bankers and tycoons as a way of controlling the money supply. It was legislation that stunk so badly that they snuck it through on a holiday vote. Technically speaking the amendment creating the bank was never truly ratified by the majority.

One of the promises of the Federal Reserve was to smooth out financial crisis and panic. Their first big failure was in the late 1920’s. Since then we’ve seen numerous recessions and I think we’re sliding headfirst into yet another depression right now.

Another interesting factor is Bush packing the federal judiciary with 300 Republican Ideologues. That ought to screw up justice for a very long time.

In all his presidential legacy has been one of draft and corruption from the outset. Did anyone really believe that a guy who drove a baseball team, and oil company and other ventures into the ground would be a good president?

Awww, homophobic Salvation Army suffering in RI December 29, 2008

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Check this one out. The RI Salvation Army, a branch of the homophobic national organization missed their prediction for 2008.

Instead of the $320,000 they projected, they only got $257,299 a difference of $62,701. If you ask me they shouldn’t have gotten anything until they re-do their policy regarding LGBT people.

Where I’ve been December 29, 2008

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If you look closely at my flickr tags you may deduce that we visited North Carolina for the holiday again.

Last year was a “just because” year. This year it was to see our new nephew Camorre (I think that I have the correct spelling now!)

Interested

Interested

He’s a cute baby and pretty far along on the development curve. He’s already got the ability to hold his head up easily, he’s starting with vocalizations and a bit of babble as well as beginning to get his first set of teeth at the tender age of 3.5 months old.

Aunt Selma has had some setbacks but for 94 she’s still with it. And while Uncle Book may be losing his eyesight, he’s still sharp.

Selma

Selma

Uncle Book

Uncle Book

I got to meet a few more members of Keyron’s family. For example in this photo we see Norma, Keyron, Marie and Keyron’s Mom.

Family

Family

I like Norma. She reminds me very much of my aunt Carol. I guess it’s the fact that she’s free with her speech, very open and just a very sweet person to be around.

Marie is also pretty cool too. And Mom/Ma/Mama and I get along just fine. I love Keyron’s family, but as I said to them and they confirmed, I’ve gotten to meet the good ones. Haven’t met the bad members yet and I doubt I ever will.

Tolls and navigating via GPS December 29, 2008

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Keyron and I recently did a road trip from RI to NC. I noted some things about tolls that I’ll expound on shortly.

Rhode Island has put tolls on the table for I-95. It’s too small a state to do this and I’ll explain why.

In every state that had tolls (NY, NJ, DE, VA) I noted a peculiar traffic pattern. If traffic speeds up then slows down and the process repeats you can be pretty sure there’s a toll ahead. Sure enough my observation was correct, the tolls impede traffic even if you use EZ Pass since the readers vary in speed from 5PMH to 20MPH. Technically they could read at full highway speed though.

But the traffic jams are horrible. Imagine traffic stretching for miles all because of a toll station. That’s precisely what happens. Of all the states I’d say NJ has the best system, when you get on you take a ticket and then pay when you get off based on distance traveled. Not a bad system.

But RI is only 40 miles long, and a 7 to 10 mile long tie-up would cripple our interstate system. Instead the state DOT needs to be thoroughly audited to see just where the money is going.

The one that really got me was the George Washington Bridge in NYC. It’s $8 to get on that sucker and there is quite a lot of traffic. That’s one well funded bridge but the traffic slowdowns it causes are horrendous too.

On to the GPS navigation. I picked up a TomTom 125 for $97. I updated all the maps but once in a while it’s directions weren’t necessarily clear or more likely the road layout wasn’t exactly conducive to getting onto the correct roadway on time. We had little side tours of Washington D.C. and NYC thanks to that. But the TomTom got us back on course fairly quickly.

The thing that really impressed me was that coming back home you’d normally take I-95 all the way up to exit 21. But this unit knew about RI-10 and it’s exit on Westminster St. so it brought us in via that route. I don’t think it yet knows about the relocation of I-195 though. Haven’t had an opportunity to use it on that one.

One thing I love about the TomTom is that you can submit corrections. I had to let them know that the street I live on is partially one way between two major thoroughfares. Also let them know that Exit 20 off of I-95 to I-195 has moved and is now a right hand exit, as opposed to a left hand exit.

Car rental GPS prices December 19, 2008

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My my, they really try to soak you. $15 a day for a GPS unit. So I figured it out, for 8 days I was looking at $120 to rent a GPS unit.

So the web to the rescue. I found out Radio Shack was selling the Tom Tom 125 for $97 which with RI sales tax of 7% or $6.79 (Disgusting I know, when MA is 5%) it came out to $103.79, a $16.21 difference and I own it.

My descent into Madness December 18, 2008

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So over the past few days I’ve been having an increasingly strident discussion with a character on YouTube that goes by the moniker “SoutherPreachers“. This is one of the guys who got in bed with George W. Bush and watched in horror as he didn’t deliver on their agenda. He couldn’t see that he’d been hoodwinked.

And it gets better. In one of his videos he excoriates homosexuals. The video had many gay supportive comments. So what did Preacher Boy do? Instead of moderating comments in order to make it look fair he disabled comments on the video.

We then took the exchange to email. I’m hoping enough people engage Preacher Boy to make the fuckers head explode.

So I present the first of the increasingly psychotic email exchanges I’ve had with this guy.

I’ll post his first since it is quite an amusing read. In it he claims to have a direct line to the big guy (GOD) and he’s already passed judgment upon my soul so strongly that he felt it necessary to both rebuke AND reprove me.

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t judgment reserved for God himself? Or do people like Preacher Boy think that they’re God’s Generals? I suppose that’s what you get when your entire worldview is based upon a sloppily written book that is not the divine word of a deity but the common everyday word of man himself.

Here’s a bit more on that sloppy book and a strong screed against the religious homophobes “Not Another Word on Gay Marriage Until They Execute an Adulterer”

I’d like to see that rule enforced because I’m pretty certain there are a number of former ‘sinners’ in the street preacher movement who are divorced, or who maybe did drugs, did time in jail for larceny, etc.

In fact I’d expand on it. Let us not just be cafeteria Christians, let us obey the entire contents of the Old Testament.

Setup roving squads to go and enforce the rule of your God and then prosecute those performing all the abominations like eating shellfish or pork, or perhaps having sex with their menstruating wife. Let us also enforce the rule about a woman being unclean during menses. That will go over well I’m sure.

I am not intimidated by your Neoevangelicalism, Oprahism or Darwinianism.

What it boils down to is your CUPIDITY.

It is not as if I have never been involved in tireless online debates with your kind…on the college campus, on the street corner, at gay shame parades and on the job. You are LOST, a lost soul wandering in the wilderness of sin and convinced, like the Pharisees of old, of your own self righteousness even as you occupy the seat of the scornful and prove that you are the offspring of your father the Devil. You are indeed, Hell bound; a cursed brood of vipers, the poison of asps is under your lips. Your future is one of unending horrors, decay, depravity and eternal destruction. Your decent into the eternal abyss will be one of great sorrow. Loneliness and regret as the weight of your sin accelerates your decent into the lower parts of Hell itself. You have at your disposal, while time remains, a brief window of opportunity to repent of your wickedness but the probability of your eternal damnation is exceedingly high, This is why we PREACH…preaching the WORD of God to you, warning you, rebuking you, reproving you…adding to your condemnation on the Great Day of your personal judgment. Your hardness of heart is proof that you, like the wicked homosexuals of Sodom and Gomorrah, deserve nothing less than the wrath of God. His patience with you is drawing thin and He will not contend with your spirit forever.

I may yet set up a blog where you can continue to demonstrate your qualifications as a child of the Devil and if so then we shall continue to PREACH to you and your kind, knowing that time itself is your enemy and that the retributive justice of God is working on His behalf to bring you to the ultimate end of yourself. The retributive justice of Almighty God is at work, grinding away at your empty and meaningless life in this world. It will seem as if you were caught in some kind of giant invisible box crusher, compressing your life on all sides, bringing great stress and uncontrollable anxiety by way of unseen forces, even demonic forces into your life…but you will, in all probability, miss seeing the hand of God in this and in so doing, miss your opportunity, once again, to repent.

It is a known FACT that homosexuals are suicidal. You have embraced the spirit of suicide, you are in bed with the demon spirit of suicide and you are a text book example of the self destructive spirit of suicide. Your own CUPIDITY is, even now, being revealed and manifested to all around you as your undoing. God is watching you, He is taking note of your obstinacy and He is hardening your heart even as He did to Pharaoh so that He may be glorified in His justice in condemning you to Hell at the final Judgment. I pity you; you are your own worst enemy.

And now my response though I am surprised he commented on my neoevangelicalism. How can an atheist be evangelical though I am in agreement with the precepts in the gospels of the New Testament. I figure it’s not a bad way to live ones life. I just don’t agree with the god part of all of it.

You are using typically old testament arguments in all that you do. I ask you, read the New Testament and love thy brother.

Your last paragraph is a red herring. We are not suicidal, in fact I might be driven to be homicidal if I encounter more “Christians” like yourself. And if the rates of suicide are in fact higher, maybe it’s because “Christian” bigots like yourself have forgotten the message of Jesus Christ.

As I’ve said before and it bears repeating, you’re stuck on a worldview that existed in the mid-east deserts some 6 millenia ago.

Let me address this: “Your future is one of unending horrors, decay, depravity and eternal destruction…” parargraph.

Your future is what you make of it. Claiming to have inside knowledge of the end times and what may await me smacks of judgment and as I’ve said, judge not lest ye be judged.

As far as preaching the WORD of your God, that WORD is the word of men very much like you, men with an agenda. If you read the Bible with a critical eye you’d be able to see that, but you’re an ignorant and apathetic person who thinks pushing your religious view upon those of us who want nothing to do with it is your mission. It’s proselytizing plain and simple, you’re no better than the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons in that respect and equally deserving of my utter disrespect, contempt and scorn.

I’d like citation of this if you could, but I reserve the right to exclude certain citations such as those from the Bible or other books and papers by those with the same bigoted views as you. I urge you read some science and social policy blogs other than those written by religious fundamentalists.

And as for allegedly being the child of the demon, don’t you think I have endless time to pick apart your bigotry, if only because you can’t stand the thought of a man loving another man, slipping his cock into another mans mouth or anus. I hope to make you apoplectic.

You PREACH a perverted version of religion. And I’m curious why you felt it necessary to use both rebuke and reprove, they’re almost synonymous. In essence, you feel it’s your mission to punish but it’s funny, I always thought that particular vocation was left to God himself.

I’m curious, do you have a direct line to this God ? How do you know HIS patience is growing thin? You’re the worst kind really, you claim to have spoken with God but the reality of it is that you probably suffer a form of mental illness and the entity with which you’re in commune with isn’t God but your own deluded mind.

And what I have with my partner is equal parts love, respect and yes, to use your $50 word, cupidity!

If there’s one thing I’m not it is repentant. Why repent for that which is not from my viewpoint a sin?

Go right ahead and setup a blog, I have one too:

http://truthspew.wordpress.com

And I’ve been posting all your responses there too.

Kiss my ass preacher boy.

This is great fun. I love goading the fundies.

I’ve been discussing this with my friend Nick. He seems to think that this is all the dying gasps of the religious movement. I certainly see signs of it, particularly here in the northeast which is predominantly Catholic and they’re losing membership like crazy. It could be their crackpot views on IVF, contraception, abortion, gay rights, or it could be that people are just finally sick of the crap that we’ve had to go through because of religion.

Troppe informazioni Martedì numero uno e cento sessanta cinque (TMI #165) December 16, 2008

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1. What is the greatest age difference between between you and a SO? Older or younger?

I’m eight years older

2. What is the greatest age difference between between and any sexual partner? Older or younger?

Mmm, that would be 15 years older. But that was a while ago.

3. Have you started your holiday shopping? Is it done?

Yes it is, I don’t shop. I hate shopping as a matter of general fact.

4. What are the chances there will be a “naughty” present under the tree this year (either from you or for you)?

Approaching zero. I’ve been a very good boy this year. Well maybe not so good, I have been goading the so called Christians lately. They seem to think I’m destined for the fiery pit and of course I don’t believe a bit of it.

5. What is your favorite holiday song?

I generally don’t go in for holiday music. It’s so vomit inducing. Actually what I am listening to right now is a new track from Jazzanova called “Let Me Show Ya”, very nice.

Bonus (as in optional):Do you have a preferred time of day to have sex?

The morning, definitely a wake up call if you will. I’m of the Marvin Gaye camp. “Wake up, wake up!”

I’ve stirred up the “Christians” December 15, 2008

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I enclosed Christians in quotes because these people are anything but real Christians. They’re people whose worldview is stuck circa 2000BCE because all their arguments come from the Old Testament and they completely disregard the message of love and brotherhood found int he New Testament.

Apparently they’re praying for my non-existent soul and telling me I’ll find out when I die. I tell them we get one life to live, and you don’t get do-overs so make this one count. I call them deranged fools, idiots, morons, bigots, etc.

One had the nerve to say that someday I’ll find God/Holy Spirit/Jeebus. Yawn! 12 years of Catholic schools, a lifetime in which I’ve buried several loved ones, and 44 years of age and I haven’t found shit yet. But then I’m not looking. There is no need to look for something that doesn’t exist.

There is no God, no Holy Spirit, and Jesus wasn’t the son of any God. I’m an atheist. Keyron seems to think there’s a trace of the spiritual in me, but that’s just me being a generally decent person.

I love goading the Christians. It gives me a special joy, a joie de la vie. Here’s a comment one of those so called Christians posted on one of my innocuous youtube videos:

Very Christian!

Very Christian!

Needless to say, I removed the comment from the video but I did a screen cap just for posterity sake. I’ve dealt with the Christian bigots on this blog too. I promise, I’ll fight tooth and nail to squelch the bigots. I have no problem telling these dipshits to shut the fuck up.

This is one atheist you can’t push around.

But they’ll still try:

A Christian Resonds

A "Christian" Resonds

And my response though I may send more which I’ll detail after this:

A special place in hell

A special place in hell

I want to tell him that even though I’m an atheist I still work to promote the welfare of the people. I do that through political work for the most part but I’ve volunteered for soup kitchens in the past, and now I volunteer for political campaigns.

When I worked for the Attorney Generals office I went out on their project to reach into the inner city neighborhoods to help people out.

Spousal Quizz December 15, 2008

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Got this from Sticky Crows who got it from Patricia.

All About Keyron

1. He’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen? Absolutely Fabulous

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Thousand Island

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like? Hot cherry peppers, good,I get them all to myself.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? A Martini

5. Where did he go to high school? Northeastern High School

6. What size shoe does he wear? 11

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? Clothing, lots of it.

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? Sausage and Peppers

9. What would he eat every day if he could? Sausage

10. What is his favorite cereal? He doesn’t generally do cereals.

11. What would he never wear? Jeans with the crotch pretty much worn out.

12. What is his favorite sports team? Like me, he’s not a sports nut.

13. Who did he vote for? Barack Obama of course.

14. Who is his best friend? Probably me though he has a very wide circle of friends.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do? Get away from the computer every now and then.

16. How many states has he lived in? Three, NYC – Queens in particular, then North Carolina (Elizabeth City) and now here in Providence, RI

17. What is his heritage? African-American with strong Native American features.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what would it be? Pineapple upside down cake.

19. Did he play sports in high school? No but he was involved with the 4H program.

20. What could he spend hours doing? Watching online videos.

21. What’s something cool about him? He and I play good cop/bad cop with him as bad cop. Does it so well too.

William Felkner – A NeoCon trying to change the world from the inside December 14, 2008

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This one gets my goat. Felkner decides to pursue a masters in social work and then has his delicate sensibilities offended because of a screening of Fahrenheit 911? There’s more to it than that.

Here are some salient points of the Projo Article about Felkner:

Felkner has filed a lawsuit against Rhode Island College that revives arguments from conservatives who have assailed the NASW code of ethics, the profession of social work and the structure of academic programs in schools of social work across the country.

Emily Brooker, a student at Missouri State University, won an out-of-court settlement in 2006 after she alleged in a civil-rights complaint against the school that her course work required her to be an advocate for the right of homosexuals to adopt children.

These two paragraphs pretty much tell the whole story. They’re neo-cons. And Emily Brooker filing that civil rights complaint is ludicrous. And of course we now have President Bush doing a signing statement protecting medical professionals if their beliefs interfere with their professional training and practice.

It’s so easy to see that the bias in all cases is religious in nature. And in the case of Felkner and Gordon, they’re probably good Catholic boys, and if you didn’t catch the dripping sarcasm in that one you haven’t been reading this blog for long.

They’re Catholics who missed the message of the New Testament, each and every one of them. What part of love thy neighbor, or love as ye wish to be loved did they forget? I may be an atheist but you know what, some of the parables of the New Testament aren’t a bad way to go about life.

I don’t hate people like Brooker, Felkner and Gordon. I just want them to see the error of their ways. However I should make it clear, I consider these people mentally deficient. They forgot to read the parts after the first five books in the Bible.

I refuse to live my life under the rule of Leviticus and if people actually read the prohibition in that book and the others in the Old Testament they’d come to the conclusion that they wouldn’t like living that way either. No divorce, the ability to sell your wife and daughters into slavery. Biblical times were delightful weren’t they?

Felkner’s lawsuit says the RIC School of Social Work discriminated against him by penalizing his grades, filing ethics charges against him, delaying his graduation, and denying him the opportunity to work on welfare reform in the governor’s office — all in retaliation for his conservative views.

But the grounds of his suit and the fact that the courts wouldn’t grant RIC’s summary judgement with prejudice request is interesting. I don’t think Felkner has a leg to stand on. Maybe the courts want to make an example of him. I certainly hope that’s the case.

I did a little digging, here’s what I found on Felkner:

First up is his Ocean State Policy Institute. It’s none other than a neo-con think tank.

BTW, check out the Board of Directors of OSPI. You’ll find the likes of the annual crank Dan Harrop, or First Lady Sue Carcieiri as well as some folks from flyover country who think their opinion should rule here in Rhode Island.

Mr. Felkner’s Blog

His election to the Chariho School District.

His LinkedIn page which curiously has the contacts locked out. I do know I’m connected to Felkner through one person from RI Geeks. I aksed that person about it and he doesn’t really know why Felkner is linked to him.

He’s associated with both the Vanguard Group and the National Taxpayers Union.

His contact info:
William Felkner (401) 377-9027 14 High St,Ashaway, RI 02804

Looking at the domain registration for Ocean State Policy Institute I find his web site was provided by Three Bean Studios. Apparently Mr. Mark Gordon of Three Bean Studios never saw a flash presentation he didn’t like. I can say this as someone who knows Flash and ActionScript too.

But digging into Mr. Gordon yields a few interesting tidbits:

His ZoomInfo profile for one.

But more importantly this article cached on Zoom Info. From the article two things are worth noting:

Conservative Christian, Mark Gordon, recommends putting away the carving knife. He’s got a better idea. Why not take over the National Endowment for the Arts and use it to promote traditional art and family values?

Indeed, take it over from the inside. I almost think Gordon is mentoring Felkner because quite honestly Felkner strikes me as someone short on critical thinking faculties.

Mark Gordon is an administrator of the St. Michael Institute of Sacred Art in Mystic, Connecticut. In a late-May article in the National Catholic Register, a conservative weekly, he argues that “gaining control of the NEA and its $100 million annual budget should be a strategic imperative for Christians who have made this fight their own.”

But it gets better, this sick fuck Gordon is a fundie Catholic. Tell me again why we shouldn’t yank the tax exemption of the Catholic church too?

Mr. Gordon’s contact information:
Mark Gordon (401) 315-5192 4 Rosemount Ln,Westerly, RI 02891

So I think it’s fairy easy to figure out who is funding Felkner and Gordon. It’s the Catholic church. Good going guys. Expose your fucking hypocrisy.

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