Archive for the Category »Religion «

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Gods, Ghouls & Goblins…

A writer friend, Sidney Gendin, published a story entitled “To Whom Does God Speak” yesterday.  It reminded me that I actually recall when I was a believer. Since I also remember ships shot all to hell limping up Narragansett Bay, I guess I was 3 or 4 years old and it was the end of the Good War (WW-II) circa 1945-46.

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I was digging a hole in my sandy front yard with my toy beach shovel when my father came home in his old Model T and asked what I thought I was doing.

I proudly exclaimed that I was digging for the devil to kill him and end all the bad in the world. He whipped my ass, and then beat my mother for not watching me. I’ve been an atheist ever since. more…

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Nature’s Vacuum…

I really get a chuckle out of watching Sarah, Michele, Glenn and the rest of that silly horde propagated by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox New’s scam trying to explain their beliefs.

Kharon with Fox viewers…

I have a theory: In order to believe what Fox puts out, one would have to be terminally ignorant. Far more likely, most of them simply feel more comfortable with a network that is as stupid and prejudiced as they are…not realizing that Murdoch is their Kharon to Hell. more…

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Ashes to Ashes; Stardust to Stardust…

Well, gosh oh gee whiz.  We’re all still here.  The world didn’t end May 21st.  Unfortunately, so are all the raptors.   I was looking forward to some peace and quiet on the planet…

But not to despair.  Ol’ Harold Camping assures the faithful that May 21st was an “invisible judgment day”; it happened, it’s just that the faithless don’t have a clue.  In any event, he insists, October 21st will be the end of the world!  Count on it. more…

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Vincent Bugliosi & The God Question…

One of the more interesting and refreshing essays that I’ve read recently is by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor of Charlie Manson and 105 other felony trials, losing only one.

Serving all denominations…

Vince has become quite a prolific writer.  His most famous book is Helter Skelter (1974), on the Manson Family prosecution.  He also wrote Outrage: the Five Reasons O.J. Simpson Got Away with Murder (1996). more…

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Family, Labor & State…

A few thoughts from behind the razor-wire in answer to some of my more conservative, navel-gazing friends…This includes the role of woman.

I agree with the concept of individuality and the idea of earned opportunity as one of the driving forces in social evolution.  Unfortunately, so is war, slavery, murder, theft, fraud, greed, racism, nativism, misogyny and other patent evils.

Not really so long ago…

As prisoners in the largest mass gulag in the world, we have a rather naked view of this reality.  It might be a good idea to ponder alternative views as to what’s going on…

Ever since humans came out of the proverbial caves and established constructed dwellings and extended family organization, there’s been a myriad of tensions between the individual in our vast variety and social empowerment. more…

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Rock Beyond Belief…

Bigotry and religiosity are handmaidens in a desert of ignorance.  The ability of humans to believe in their “superiority” and rank superstitions is phenomenal.

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In prison we run into this mental aberration all the time.  Such beliefs are a source of solace for some along with attempts to make sense of their condition.

Often, soon given their reversion to old ways, it’s clear many are trying to scam the system for favors, privileges and other considerations…such as early release. more…

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Reactionaries & Hypocrites…

Far be it for me to wish upon others—and certainly not their loved ones—what they themselves intend to impose on those less fortunate…

Conservative Nostalgia...

Republican Chris Smith (NJ) and 173 other House conservatives are calling for the creation of a Bill to redefine rape and forbid federal funding for abortions for poor women (Medicaid).  The new House Majority leader, John Boehner (R-OH), calls it a “top priority” for their new Congress.

We’d all be better off if these whackos redefined the drug and consensual laws.  That would eliminate some 75% of prisoners in the American gulag.

Okay, Chris, let’s bring it home, shall we?  Say your 13-yr-old daughter (faux), Suzy Creemcheese, gets pregnant by statutory rape with a, say, 47-yr-old ex-con.  Under your Bill she would not qualify for Medicaid for an abortion. more…

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Prison Psych 101…

I’ve found in my lifetime (68) that there are two basic kinds of religion.  There are those who come together—whatever the denomination or spiritual belief—and create a social betterment.  And those who remain self-serving individuals and use their religion for that purpose.

Arizona genesis...

In its extreme, the latter is a social pathology…a moral and mental disorder.  In the prison life, we easily see these persons for what they are.  We live side-by-side and quite literally on top of each other.  Hard to avoid one’s misbehavior.

On the other side of the razor-wire however, the so-called free world, or what is today more and more simply minimum security, their self-loathing behaviors, prejudices, hatred, and all-around sociopathy is more hidden, or at least, ignored (until it becomes a behavior sanctioned under criminal statutes, which is increasingly how America, Inc., deals with mental health and social welfare). more…

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Sermon on the Wire…

For thousands of years, humankind has celebrated the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere as a party-down event.  Observing that the sun was returning to the northern sky, prompted people to celebrate another year of spring birth, summer growth, and autumn harvest.  The bacchanal usually lasted several days.

By the time Christianity came along, there were no surprises as yet another religion usurped the various holidays throughout the year as ecumenical observances.  Since the celebrations could hardly have been stopped, they decided to co-opt them.  The winter solstice became Christmas, the spring equinox became Easter, etc.

Constantine, the Emperor of the Roman Empire, had adopted Christianity.  In the Edict of Milan (313 c.e.), he granted Christians (and all others) the right to practice their religion, and ordered that previously confiscated Christian property be returned.  He was also a major contributor of buildings and money himself. more…

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Happy Winter Solstice!!!

Dateline:  Detroit, Tuesday, December 21st, 2010:   The shortest day of the year, and the longest night.  Certainly an apt metaphor for these conservative times (despite the crumbs off the table of the current Administration’s “compromises”).

Analemma...

The irony for us in the northern hemisphere is that the earth is actually closest to the sun than at any other time of the year.  Being tilted away from our personal star, however, gives us winter and the cold weather.

I recall one year when I was at FCI McKean, PA, while waiting for the prison factory (UNICOR) to open at dawn.  I usually stood in the same place, out of the wind, and watched the sun rise thru a wire mesh screen.

It wasn’t long before I noticed the sun appearing in a different spot as the days passed.  Even giving the adjustment for Daylight Savings Time, and the longer or shorter days, I began to play a game of plotting the sun’s position in the mesh. more…