Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ouch!


I filled up this morning. These gas prices are starting to hurt. My 17 mile-per-gallon Toyota Tundra is starting to look more like a pig than a pickup truck. $61 per week is $20 more than I am used to spending. I need a raise.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

5 Dead in Texas

Random violent death puzzles me, like this Shooting rampage at a Texas church. We seem to have one of these types of mass murders every few weeks here in America. One day it's a man at a Church, the next a boy in a school. I don't get it. Why go postal and kill innocent people like Holly Love Brown? Her only crime was driving a truck while towing a horse in Texas. I really don't get it

Why do the Frederick Leroy Crenshaw’s of the world kill themselves after their murder sprees? My guess is that they are cowards (but we will never know).

The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation

This is a crack up provided by my friend Brian by way of another article, Powerpoint kills by Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Urban Man

I caught the end of an essay on KCRW today. It was the Urban Man reading The Evening Commute. I only caught the end of the essay, but it was interesting enough to prompt me to look it up. It was worth it, The Evening Commute captured the essence of an LA commute.

The Urban Man, Marc Porter Zasada, has a site filled with interesting essays. It's worth a visit.

Nutball Alert: 9/11 conspiracy rants

David Ray Griffin published "The New Pearl Harbor" claiming the US Government was behind the Would Trade Center Terrorist attack. I have only one thing to say. NUTBALL!

So… Griffin was a professor at Claremont School of Theology teaching Process Theology – which is kind of a nutball anti-Christian philosophy to begin with. Process theology espouses that God is not omnipotent, self-determination characterizes everything, God changes, and Jesus was not the SOG. Basically, the whole mess should not be confused with Christianity (as my friend Pastor Brad tells me).

Griffin eventually retires and starts looking into lunatic fringe conspiracy theories regarding the event of 9/11.   He claims his training in logic allows him to analyze each claim and identify the “truth”. One of the claims he investigates is that the Twin Towers were a controlled detonation masterminded by the U.S. Government. And…. That’s where my brain shuts down and I cry NUTBALL. I remember 9/11 quite clearly. I watch the second plane crash into the towers. I watched the WTC burn and saw the bodies my fellow American’s fall from the tops of the WTC. Then, almost in slow motion, I watched the building collapse upon itself from the top down. No conspiracy, just plain old cold blooded murder perpetrated by Muslim Terrorists.

David Ray Griffn has wasted his life – don’t waste yours by reading it. His book is trash and so are his ideas.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Michael Shermer

My favorite atheist, Michael Shermer, has written a good essay called Finding Spiritual Fulfillment Outside of Belief for belief.com. Michael has followed a path very similar to my own, so I connect with his writing at a much deeper level than most science authors.

My favorite Shermer book is Why People Believe Weird Things, it is worth a read too.

Shermer also published this essay, which addresses many of the recent ID v Evolution events of recent weeks, like Bush's comments on ID.

Christian School Sues UC

Why would a Christian School sue the UC system? Well... when the school teaches science courses that forget real science and focus on Intelligent Design while leaving evolution as an after thought. What is that Christian saying… “You reap what you sow”. If you teach your children bad science, how can you expect a university to accept an applicant that does not have the required body of knowledge?

My prediction: lawsuit will fail and a whole bunch of kids will go back to school to learn about science, history, and English without a religious filter. If I were a parent of a child attending this school, would sue the school for failing to prepare my child for college.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You can't say he's not adaptable...

My friend Johnny Crow turned me on to this Pat Robertson rant. All I can say is Dirka Dirka - was Robertson on Team America and I missed it?

Google hates Bush

My friend John asked me to go to Google and type "miserable failure" in the search area. Now press the I'm feeling lucky button. Surprise... George W. comes up every time.

Some of my friends


I graduated from Pepperdine two weeks ago and then when on a long vacation, so I'm a little late throwing up pics. This picture is of (starting at the left), Peter, Adam, Heather, and Cesar.

I'll put the rest up at my flicker account tonight.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Nutball Alert: Christian Clothing (part II)

I found it! It only took a few minutes of hunting to find the ever-so-(not)-fashionable clothing I witnessed on a few women while visiting Yosemite a few days ago. My earlier attempts had pointed me to Andover Baptist, which was not exactly on target. The website is called Plainlydressed, the clothing depicted harkens back to Little House on the Prairie, and look, well… stupid.

The dresses are big and effectively hide the seductive bits, so you can be sure that no men (or women) are lusting after your wife or daughter. Of course, most men will look at your wife and daughters and say WTF?

I don’t see the difference between this type of dress and the Muslim Berka. The dresses serve the same purpose too. They stop women from tempting men, who apparently are not able to control themselves when faced with a bare midriff, or cleavage. So, women are responsible for the behavior or men, therefore they should be covered head to toe in cloth. And,… the nutball religious sects promoting this mode of dress don’t see that their actions are just legalism masquerading as religion.

We used to have a home school family living across the street from us. Generally, there are two kinds of home school’s, religious or secular. In our case, they were a “:Bikers for Christ” family. Mom and Dad wore leathers, son and daughter wore bizarre “modest clothing” at times, then these same kids could be seen half-naked and running wild when mom and dad were on the road. Dumb as a box of rock too. They only learned from the bible. (gentle reader – I like home schooling so don’t send the hate mail please!)

Ahem… I’m on my soapbox again, and all I really wanted to do was point out how stupid these dresses look. Sorry…

Fishing in the Merced

Early Morning at Yosemite Falls

Friday, August 19, 2005

Nutball Alert: Anti-Women Christians (not)

While walking in Yosemite Valley, I ran across a group of women dressed in old fashion ankle length dresses and long hair, which was gathered in a ponytail running down their backs. At first, I thought they were part of some exhibit at the park, but then I realized they were part of a fundamentalist Christian sect (I think it was the bibles that gave it away.) I thought they looked strange, and very out of place. I compared their attire with burkas worn by Muslim women and could find little difference except for their faces were uncovered. I took a note to look up the sect and find out what drives them. I’ve been unsuccessful so far, but I did run across the Landover Baptist Church.

The Landover Baptist Church website actually says “Clothing is perhaps the most important thing about being a Christian. If one is not properly clothed and fully representative of what God would want them to appear like.. well then, that person is probably not saved.”. Of course, their clothing restrictions only apply to women, men can dress as they please.

The basic’s of this Nutball Sect’s anti-women beliefs are, modest clothing, no makeup, proper acting, no perfume, and most importantly – following the rules of the church. In other words – dress like we tell you, act like we tell you, and do whatever the men of the church tell you. This seems a bit… well… Islamo-fundie to me.

***Update***
It seems that Landover Baptist is a Satire site. Who knew? I thought I had found a fundie gold mine!  

Of course – I also found Modeling Modesty, a real Baptist publication. Take a moment to read about Clueless Clarice if you want a laugh.


          

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Half Dome from Glacier Point

View from Camp

foot on step

1 of my 31 songs

I started reading Nick Hornby’s 31 Songs over my vacation. The essays are a revealing looked at Hornby’s life interpreted through 31 different songs – I should mention that I was shocked to find several songs I had never heard of on the list. I’m trying to find copies of the missing songs now. I don’t want to read one of his essays without at least hearing the song first. It would be like reading an essay about Picasso without seeing his work.

Hornby’s second essay is about Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. I had trouble connecting with the song, but found the essay compelling. Springsteen song is full of pessimism mixed with invigorating optimism, Hornby relates these concepts to his formulative years in the mid 70s, yet he interprets it as a wistful observation of middle age. I have no basis for comparison – Thunder Road did not speak to me in the 70s. Springsteen was not on my play list – and he never really has been. I was a high school freshmen when Thunder Road came out, it is the music teachers listened to.

I listened to Thunder Road after I read Hornby’s essay – No doubt about it, it is a good song. But It won’t make my top 20 list. There is something about ballad singing, male fronted bands that are a turn off. I don’t like Dylan either.

So what song made a connection with me at or about 1975? Cocaine of course!
If you wanna hang out
You've gotta take her out
Cocaine
If you wanna get down
Get down on the ground
Cocaine

- Eric Clapton
It was 1977 – I had bicycled over to the house of a girl I liked (but have now long forgotten)in Hawaiian Gardens. Karen’s (I think) younger brother invited me into the house. I could here Eric Clapton playing in another room. As I walked into Karen’s front room, she emerged naked, but rapped in a towel. Her bother disappeared right as Cocaine started to play, Karen and I kissed – she suggested we sit on the couch. Things were going quite well. As the song played out, Karen asked me if I would like to see her breasts. I remember this quite clearly because I shook my head like an excited puppy. I had never seen real breast before… fast forward 15 seconds as Karen is standing to loosen her towel. I can just start to see a little cleavage when the sound of Karen’s father yelling in loudly Spanish came from behind me. I don’t know what he was yelling, but it was easy to tell he was mad at me. I did what any 16 year old boy would do – I ran for the door with her father right on my heals. As I jumped from the porch, I could still hear Cocaine playing in the house. It is a moment I will never forget. Clapton’s song would forever be associated with breasts and danger.

Karen’s dad chased me down the street. He even got into his car and tried to follow me home. I escaped. I never went back to Karen’s house. Like many other girls I knew at the time, Karen became pregnant within a few months of our failed tryst. It had nothing to do with me of course, but more likely her association with the older boys at school, she subsequently dropped (or was kicked) out of school and I never saw her again. It is probably a good thing I did not get to see the whole package.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Vacation begins


I here in Malibu starting my two week long camping trip. I would like to say the view is nice - but I would be lying. it is way better than nice. We camp here for two days before heading to the Sequoias. I'm scheduled to walk in my graduation ceremony in the morning on Pepperdine's campus a few miles south of here. It should be spectacular.

I've heard French and Austrialian accents from some of my fellow campers. It is an interesting mix.

If I look to the left the view becomes a little ugly. It is hard to get away from it all when the next camper is three feet away.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bush and Intellegent Design

President Bush was asked giving intelligent giving intelligent design equal treatment with the theory of evolution over the weekend. He could have said no, intelligent design is not a scientific theory; it is religion and should not be taught as a scientific theory in our schools. Instead, he said, "I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught.", then added, “so people can understand what the debate is about.” Bush’s statements are tacit approval for teaching intelligent design in our schools. The ID people will jump all over this. Bush can be so STUPID at times.

Farther down in the article, Bush’s science advisor attempts damage control with "evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology" and "intelligent design is not a scientific concept." This is a great statement, but it did not come from Bush so nobody will remember it. As far as the Christian community is concerned, Bush has endorsed ID.

Now that we have established that Bush can confuse science and religion, we should keep a close eye on his policies in the future. I can just see it, Bush thinks that supply side economics’ is just a theory… he adopts the faith based “pray for it” economic approach based on good karma bringing around success to those who do good things… Or, he rejects global warming as a viable theory – oh wait, he already did that. Or, he promotes abstinence as the only way to control STDs – oh wait, he already did that too.

We are so screwed.

And for all of you ID nutballs… ID is a religious elaboration on creationism. It is not science. It does not offer answers to the “problems” with evolution, and it is really just an unethical attack on the minds of our young. I will fight ID with my last breath.

A picture from Mike


I gave my son Michael my Nikon to play with; he shot about 30 shots of dirt, fence posts, and signs. This one is his best (besides a nice picture of me). I thought it appropriate given I will be walking in my graduation ceremony on Saturday.

How many beers can Mojoey drink?

I’ve been on a brief business trip to Acuna. Last night, while blowing off some steam in a traditional male bonding establishment (or bar for the ladies), I was confronted with the question of how many beers can I drink…. Let me explain. I am not a beer drinker. I like beer, but I prefer scotch. As my friends can attest, I can drink bucket loads of scotch. But beer, well… I’ve never even tried to find my limits.

Acuna has a nice bar called the Corona Club. Corona is available for a dollar a bottle, so it one has $26 dollars to his name, then it is going to be about 20 beers (you’ve got to tip, right?). The Corona Club is the filming location for the bar scenes in Antonio Bandarious’s movie, Desperado. The bar is full of memorabilia. Oh, back to the story.

After arriving at the bar and taking the tour (Corona in hand), my amigos Chris and Hector starting buying rounds. I started buying after a few rounds because I was the guest. We bought beers for the toothless chicklet seller, which seemed better than giving him a dollar, except he would have bought beer with the dollar anyway. We als talked to the 16 year old Del Rio boys and girls who were in the bar because they could party and drink without adults interfering – except we were adults, drunk adults, but adults none the less and interfering a little too. But most importantly, we bought beers for ourselves. I lost track of how many I drank, when I checked my cash near the end, I was down to five bucks, so I’m figuring between 12 and 16. At one point, I was done and tried to stop drinking (which is hard to do when with beer drinking friends), but I somehow managed to finish up with three more beers.

After five hours, we walked out of the Corona club in search of food. I cannot remember the name of the establishment we went to, but we were the only people in it. We started with margaritas – it was a bad idea. After a nice long dinner, we stumbled out onto the street in search of our cars (note: at this point, I was no longer drunk, because dinner took a real long time and because of how quickly I process alcohol because of my size). Acuna was closed, except for the whorehouses and the taxi drivers. It was a good time to go back to the hotel.

At the border… Sir, are you an American citizen? I answer, ‘sure”. The border patrol dude looked at me for a moment then asked, “What are you bringing from Mexico”, my answer, “nothing”. He does not ask for a passport or photo ID, nor does he care that I smell like a humid, smoke filled bar. Instead, he does his best Apu from the Simson's, “thank you, come again” and waves me through.

Monday, August 01, 2005


X and O

Walking the dog


I shot this picture of a cousin (I think) walking his young daughter and puppy at a picnic.

A question of Scouts' beliefs

It has been a tough week or two for the Boy Scouts, what with the electrocution at the National Jamboree and the lightning strikes in Sequoia one would think that perhaps it's divine retribution. It really comes down a question of Scouts' beliefs. Scout’s discriminate against women, gays, and atheists, yet they receive federal funding for their activities. Federal funding should stop. Let the Scout’s fend for themselves.

Why am I anti Boy Scouts? I am an atheist and therefore cannot be a scout leader. My ten year old son is interested in joining; only I would have to lie to participate. I am not going to lie, so no scouts for my son. Since I don’t want to subject my son to potential child molesters or religious conversion, I will not let him go it alone. In thinking deeper on the subject, I find myself asking, why do I pay taxes to support this organization? It is excluding members based on not having faith, yet virtually every other religion on the planet is in the Scouts. It seems like a clear cut case of discrimination. The federal government should not fund bodies that discriminate against people based on their (lack of) religion. It is time to cut the Boy Scouts loose, let them find funding from churches and corporate America. Perhaps Congress can fund an organization that is open to all Americans. In the mean time, watch out for lightning.

p.s. I am a former Scout – I don’t remember religion playing a part in my experience. It feels like it has turned into a religious club.

Pure Speculation

Various news agencies are saying that oil prices up on Saudi King's death. It is pure speculation. Prices have bid up to $61 per barrel on anticipation of something happening in Saudi Arabia. King Fahd has been out of the picture since his stroke in 95. Crown Prince Abdullah has been running the show with absolute authority. We can expect more of the same form Abdullah, a steady flow of oil and Islamic fundamentalists.

Does anybody else think it is odd that America pours money into Saudi Arabia in the form of oil revenues and aid, and Saudi Arabia pours its money into spreading the reach of its version of violent Islam? I need to get an electric car.

Crown Prince Abdullah is no friend of America. Through indirect actions, he fights us at every turn.

Back to Blogging

Now that the stress of my final quarter of graduate school is behind me, it’s time to turn my attention back to blogging and photoblogging.

I’ve been encouraged by a few readers to separate my blog into two blogs, one for photos and one for my commentary. I’ve thought about it and I have decided that I am too lazy to focus on two blogs. So, everything will stay in Deep Thoughts – except for my two overflow photoblogs, and Bumper Reader.

I’ve also been criticized for my views on religion, so I want to make a few points perfectly clear. I don’t hate or even dislike mainstream religions at all. I think the fringe religious folk are very funny. If I were to rank them in order of hilarity, the list would go something like this:

#1 Christian fundies & other minority offshoots
#2 Wiccan’s and Pagans
#3 Cults
I don’t include Muslim’s in the list because I don’t find much humor in the Muslim fundamentalist sects bombing and beheading in the name of world dominance. They are unfunny – which makes them fair game for harsh criticism.

And then there is the whole atheist thing. I don’t believe in anything… so I take a dim view of those who try to fit my into some preconceived religious box, limit my rights, or act against me lack of belief (Of course, they always tend to be fundies…). So I will post liberally on this subject. Did I mention I just graduated from a Christian Graduate School? Funny, no?

It’s good to be back.