People are not their opinions

One can attack an opinion and not attack the person that holds that opinion, because people are not their opinions.
People are not their opinions.
Again -
People are not their opinions.


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School Photo Scoop

Blackfriars Public School - exercise - barn dance

I was standing in front of the kitchen sink yesterday fiddling with something. H came up to me grinning, he pointed out a little suction cup thing stuck to his face.

“Oh no, quick, take that off!” I begged.

Why would a grown man, or someone such as myself who passes as a grown man, react so strongly to this?

Well see, today is picture day at his school.

I loved picture day when I was in grade school. I loved it because I loved anything that was different, that got us out of the routine, and if it got us out of the classroom even better. I liked jerking around with my friends and I’m a showoff so I like getting my picture taken. Picture day had a lot going for it.

The photographer for the company that handled our school’s yearbook account was named Jim. Jim came to our school every year, if they’d sent someone else I would have suspected something. Jim called us all by movie and television star’s names and we’d all laugh and convene later to compare notes.

I remember one year on picture day telling the school secretary that Jim had called me Burt Reynolds. She said, “You kind of look like him.”

“No way,” I shot back “I don’t have a mustache.” Like every other kid in the United States I’d seen Smokey and the Bandit.

“He didn’t have a mustache either when he was younger,” she replied. Man, she had me.

Everything is new in Kindergarten (when you don’t go to preschool) and so my first school picture day was then. My mom has always been on top of things and takes pride in her work, I’m sure she had my clothes together that morning (just like H’s Mom had his clothes for today laid out on his dresser). And I’m sure she had doublechecked that my hair was combed and that my teeth were brushed (just like I didn’t do this morning before we left for school).

What my Mom hadn’t counted on was my love of sticking concave objects such as water glasses, small bowls, or in this case a sharp edged 1970s hard plastic bright yellow ice cream scoop over my mouth, and sucking all the air out of the space, affixing the object to my face as if it had been epoxied.

In my Kindergarten school picture you can make out the ice cream scoop shaped bruise running around my face. Burt Reynolds indeed.

I told H that story after he pulled the little rubber sucky thingy off his cheek. His shrug told me that he was thankful for the important lesson and the anecdote from my childhood.


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“The “miracle” was simply bad plumbing”

Image from page 177 of "Reasoner : journal of freethought and positive philosophy" (1846)


Cartoonists in hiding. Editors and publishers assaulted. Filmmakers murdered. Authors travelling with heavy security under threat of death. Activists and bloggers languishing in prison. Countless people scared to express what they really think.


Today is Blasphemy Day.  A day to celebrate freedom of thought and the freedom of expression that is vital for the mind of the individual and society. Freedoms that are under constant threat and so cry for constant support.


Because blasphemy is not a crime, but a right and sometimes a duty. Because we are all someone’s heretic or infidel. Because dogmas that demand deference deserve derision.


Because Mohammad cannot stand cartoons.


Because “They wanted me to stop saying there is no God.


And “the “miracle” was simply bad plumbing.”



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This increase in vampire activity, is it all part of someone’s master plan?

#Hellsing #anime


Watching episodes of Hellsing. I watched it years ago, so it’s familiar enough and unfamiliar enough. I love anime like this, long sweeping shots of haze and color. Slow motion movements, frozen moments. Drama, mystery, and in this one ghouls  and vampires, Alucard is such the smooth blood drinking motherfucker.


Katie is doing some work in the other room and packing, the boys are in bed. Katie is leaving tomorrow on her trip. The boys don’t have school tomorrow and I’m staying with them. Maybe a park, maybe a lunch out – Chinese maybe, or Indian.


Haven’t gotten much reading done this weekend, maybe tomorrow. Wrote quite a bit – burning up the journal paper. Helped my brother load a truck full of stuff for the city dump (what could make for a better weekend than a trip to the dump?) Played with the kids, drank a few beers, and now I’m watching anime and blogging. All in all that’s pretty good.

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Hope you boys want frozen pizza and cereal for dinner again tonight!

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I’m going to try to get lots of sleep and stay near the house, preferably in the house, preferably in my boxers.

My wife is heading out on a trip Monday and she’ll be gone through next weekend. It’ll be just me and the boys (8 and 2) that whole time. If by this time next week both boys are where they are supposed to be and I’m still able to put my shoes on like a big boy we’ll be doing pretty good.

Honestly, I don’t know how single parents do it, my hat’s off to you.

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And it came to pass, on the 8th day, that Joe Theo argued the creator of the universe into the universe

From the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary

You know what’s funny? The final answer to whether or not a god or gods, any kind of supernatural being “really” exists will not come from theology. Gods can’t be argued into being no matter how clever or cynical the apologist.


Either there is some supernatural being somewhere or there isn’t. The only way we’ll ever be justified in believing that something like that exists is through some kind of independently verifiable empirical evidence of the being(s) itself, or of it’s actions. Talk of revelation, and tradition, and sacred texts, and a desire for some pie in the sky objective morality, and faith that can move mountains, and everything else religious, won’t get us one step nearer to knowing whether there is a god or not.


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In Honor of Banned Books Week 2014: The meddlesome preacher and the school board that refused him

I wrote and posted the following piece last November 4th after hearing this story from my Dad for the first time. It’s a story of zealotry, and courage and levelheadedness. It’s the kind of thing that probably happens all the time and doesn’t make headlines. I’m posting it here, in the spirit of Banned Books Week. Here’s “The meddlesome preacher and the school board that refused him”


I and the family had a great time at my parents’ place this weekend. We roasted weenies, drank soda pop, watched a horror movie, and played, oh and there were pancakes. Nice.

At one point my Dad and I were talking about his time spent on our little town’s little school’s school board, back when my little brother and I were attending the Kindergarten through 8th grade institution (which btw I think was a pretty good one).

He told me a story that I didn’t remember hearing before. He said that the preacher for the biggest church in town (Fundamentalist, biblical literalist, hellfire, brimstone, church I went to with my best friend) attended a school board meeting and petitioned the board to remove some book on dinosaurs from the school library. Apparently the book mentioned evolution via natural selection.

My Dad said that one of the other school board members, a man I remember from that time, defended the book’s place in the library in an elegant fashion. The preacher’s request was denied.

I was glad to hear that the school board did the right thing back then. I was glad to hear that there were people in the community who knew the value of a secular education. And while not surprised I’m nevertheless angered at the actions of the cleric. He was working to limit us and our community with his bumpkinesque superstition.

We students (or at least this student) didn’t know about the people standing up for our right to learn free of superstition. Stories like this make me appreciate secularism and modernity and those who have stood up for it even more.

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