Thursday, February 28, 2008

A long day on the freeway

The morning on a freeway

We call them freeways here in Los Angeles, only... they are not free. I drove 140 miles for my job today. 70 across Los Angeles from Buena Park to over the Ventura County line, and then back again in the afternoon. My total drive time was five hours and 15 minutes.

I am lucky I carry my camera instead of a gun. I can understand how somebody might loose it and start shooting. It is mind numbing to make this drive.

Driving in heavy traffic eats your soul.

and no - I do not believe in a soul - I mean that part of us that makes us happy to be alive. Whatever you may call it.

I saw two traffic accidents happen, and saw the aftermath of two more. I saw an older lady (my age anyway) loose her dignity by flashing her boobs at a hairy truck driver. My camera was ready, my will was not.

I saw three dead animals. I saw the middle finger from at least four drivers, two were pointed at me. I saw the back of a lot of ugly cars and trucks. However, I also made this photo. It was a good day.

I posted a few more shots from my drive at Flickr.

Technorati tags: , ,

Carson Ugly #30 - The Dead End

Carson Ugly #30 - Dead End

I shot this at the end of an ugly street in an ugly city, near an ugly oil refinery. Oh, and did I mention I shot it with an ugly model? Thanks Brad :).

I go photodriving at lunch some times. In Carson, it is not hard to find something desperately ugly that calls to me. This shot was at the end of a residential street.  You can feel the despair. Who wants to live 100 yards from an oil yard?

Technorati tags: , ,

Huckabee calls for debate

Evangelical nutjob Mike Huckabee said that he has agreed to debate John McCain anytime, anywhere. Who the hell did he agree with? Himself?

Honestly, does her really expect John McCain to ever even say his name again let alone waste his energy on a debate? McCain has much bigger fish to fry.

Condemned to death

He says distribution of condoms encourages sex before marriage "which is a sin before God. I will not go against the teachings of the Bible"

With these words Reverend Biggie Butale condemns countless people to an agonizing and unnecessary death in Botswana. Stamping out AIDS in Africa depends on programs like free condom distribution. Yet religions groups like the Catholic church and Biggie Butale's End Time Ministries (ETM) oppose distribution of condoms in the name of preventing sin. When people ask me what I have against religion, I point to stories like this. They piss me off. I do not know the people who will die. They are not my brothers or sisters, nor are they my friends. Yet they are part of my human family, and I despair when I read stories like this. I know innocent people will die on the alter of religious expediency just as surly as those who were sacrificed at the hands of the ancient Aztecs. And really, what is the difference?

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Pastor Harper guilty!

Another pedophile pastor has been found guilty.  Robbin Leeroy Harper of "The Church" faces more than 26 years in prison for molesting young girls. He will be sentenced on April 9th. At 60, it looks like he will die in prison. It is a good thing to, Harper is sick.

The young woman, now 20, called police last fall to report that Harper had been molesting her since she was 12. He told the pre-teen -- as well as 7- and 8-year-old victims -- that he was showing them pornographic material and teaching them to perform oral sex on him as preparation for marriage, according to court documents.

Source: Pastor guilty of child abuse

In this case it appears that Harper was the head of a Christian cult. His word was absolute law. At least 10 women and girls have come forward claiming abuse. It is all just so wrong.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ending religious pork

Americans United urged federal agencies to block federal cash from ending up in the hands of organizations with blatantly religious agendas

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alfonso Jackson and Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, Americans United challenges 10 grants of public dollars for religious organizations or programs that appear to violate the First Amendment principle of the separation of church and state.

The Americans United letter identifies an additional 16 earmarks that raise constitutional concerns and should only be issued if the federal agencies “can ensure that the grant funds will be restricted to secular activities and not be used to support religious coercion or discrimination….”

“Government pork for religious work is never kosher,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The federal government should never use public funds to directly support religious missions. The bulk of these earmarks are highly suspect because they are directed at groups or programs that include heavy doses of proselytization.”

Americans United’s letter notes that the departments of Justice (DOJ), Housing (HUD), Education (DOE) and Health and Human Services (HHS) all have regulations intended to bar direct funding of overtly religious work.

Read More...

I have some small hope that this behavior will end when the democrats take over next year.

Another way I do not want to die

So far this list is short.

I do not want to be hit by a train.

I do not want to be squeezed between two vehicles.

I do not want to be eaten by a large animal (or fish).

And, I do not what to die like this Buddhist monk.

Technorati tags: , ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

TX Pastor likes the prostitution

Another sad story from the hyper religious state of Texas.

Barry Allen Lovely  ...A member of the Marshall Planning and Zoning Commission was among 20 people who were arrested during a prostitution sting Thursday. Barry Allen Lovely, 45, also is the owner of Barry Lovely Bail Bonds and has served as pastor of Corinth Baptist Church, both in Marshall.

Source: 20 arrested in prostitution sting including Marshall P&Z official

I can hear the excuse now. Lovely is an important man, with big needs....

He's still a hypocrite.

Technorati tags: , , ,

Bishop Kelly is guilty

I don't know the story on this one. I will have to do some digging. "Bishop" is a lofty title held by a whole bunch of people in the Church of God in Christ. What is the difference between a pastor and a bishop? does the title have some significance in the African American community? 

Frederick Kelly was convicted of aggravated sexual battery and child molestation on Friday night. His church is looking for a replacement - it is a good thing too, Kelly's going away for 25 years... or more.

In cases like this, I always wonder about the last sermon hypocrites like Frederick Kelly deliver. Do they know their fall is near? Do their words ring true? Were they ever true?

Technorati tags: , ,

Saturday, February 23, 2008

As Waco goes, so go the fundies

I like to watch the happenings in Waco, Texas. One of my best friends live there, and Waco happens to be the ruby in the eye of the rodeo buckle of the bible belt. The last time I was there I counted more Baptist Churches in one place then I have ever seen before. So Waco has become a barometer for fundie activity. Trends start there... so do cults.

This little notice caught my eye.

Wall of Misconception author Peter Lillback will present a lecture titled Does the Separation of Church and State Mean the Separation of God and Government? at 7 tonight in the SBC Theatre at Baylor University's Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 S. University-Parks Drive.

It is a book lecture for a new piece of Dominionist Christian propaganda called Wall of Misconception. Look for Peter Lillback's words to issue forth from the ignorant mouths of fundies in your neighborhood soon. 

Via Iceland: The Last Supper

According to my Icelandic friend Jörgen, this commercial created quite the still. It was even condemned by the bishop.

Hat tip Jörgen

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pastor Jones is a child rapist

Can you imagine the surprise of the members of pastor Jones' City of Refuge Community Baptist Church when they found out their pastor was a two time child molesting loser?

Guy Jones is the pastor of the City of Refuge Community Baptist Church. He is behind bars tonight for failing to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law. Risa Ferman: "He raped an 8-year-old girl and he went to state prison for that and that was what made him a required register under Megan's Law." Pastor Guy Jones was convicted of raping a kid back in 1991. Andrea Primas: "I was shocked. Very shocked. We had no idea." Since June of 2006 he had run the City of Refuge Baptist Church out of the gymnasium of the Pottstown YWCA on King Street, where he rented space

Source: Police Say Pottstown Pastor Violated Megan's Law Rules : WFMZ-TV 69News

Did I mention that Jones forgot to tell his congregation that he is currently awaiting trial on charges of assault, unlawful contact with a minor, and child endangerment? Did I mention that a secret panel of Atheist have pronounced pastor Guy Jones a capital "L" loser?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

On sin

I've had this conversation with Christians four times in the last two weeks. They claim that a sin of the mind, like thinking about robbing a bank, is the same as actually robbing the bank. It blows my mind that normal healthy adults would buy into this sick thinking. What does it matter what I think? If this were true, I mean if god were watching our thoughts, I would be damned at least three times for every 20 minutes I spend on the Los Angeles freeways. The people who are really damned (usually to prison), are the people who act on their impulses, like the nutjob who shoots at another car for some perceived driving slight, the druggie who robs a bank, or the monster who molests a child. Doing bad things makes one a bad person, not thinking about doing bad things. Am I wrong on this?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Youth minister admits to murder

Amid the many stories of hypocrisy I come across, occasionally I find a story which points in a different direction. Like this one... Calvin Wayne Inman, an newly ordained youth minister, admitted to stabbing to death a 64-year-old man in 1994.

The Pasadena man knew he needed to surrender to authorities for something he said he did as a 16-year-old in 1994. That's when, police said he told them, he fatally stabbed a 64-year-old convenience store clerk for cash and cigarettes.

Earlier this month, Inman told authorities he and a then 13-year-old friend planned to rob Mumtaz Grocery store the afternoon of Aug. 14, 1994. When the store's clerk, Iqbal Ahmed, asked for identification, Inman told police he pulled out a large kitchen knife from his pants and stabbed Ahmed once in the chest.

Ahmed died at the store. The two teenagers fled to a nearby apartment complex and never spoke about the incident — leaving the case unsolved for more than 13 years.

Source: Youth minister's admission breaks 1994 stabbing case | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

I have another story to write. I'll post it tonight. I good man died in Los Angeles a week ago. It's been all over the press. He was a SWAT officer with a big heart who died in the line of duty. I met him twice. He tried to give me a bible.

Technorati tags: , ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Carson Ugly # 29 - Artificial Kidney

Carson Ugly 29

This thing about Carson is that it is full of these old businesses that gave up hope a long time ago. Would you go here for any kind of help? Ever?

Technorati tags: , ,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Church Deacon Charged With Sex Battery

Hypocrisy and lack of basic controls allowed a "Deacon" with a shady past to rape a15-year-old girl.

Irvin Van Jenkins, 46, is charged with sexual battery, kidnapping and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child.

The alleged victim said that she was attending a baby shower at the church on Saturday when she went to the second floor of the building on an errand and ran into Jenkins.

Jenkins confessed to being inside the United House of Prayer with the teenager, but said that "he only masturbated on her", according to a Miami Police Department news release.

"He came up to her. He started rubbing her and saying that he wanted her," said Lt. Bill Schwartz of Miami police. "She tried to resist. He forced her into a room, pushed her down on a mattress, pulled off her shorts, pulled off her panties and raped her."

Investigators said Jenkins has a criminal record.

"It must be awfully easy to become a deacon in a church these days. This guy has a past for burglary," Schwartz said. "Maybe the pastor thought that he had been reformed and was a good guy."

Source: Church Deacon Charged With Sex Battery - Local News Story - WTVJ | Miami

I think sexually deviant behavior is spreading among the Christians...

Technorati tags: , ,

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hello! ever hear of background checks?

The convicted pedophile killed by police in Florida has a name.  Geoffrey Schuab, 62, of Orange County, Florida. Schuab was an ordained minister, theological student, and the janitor at Oviedo Presbyterian Church where he also taught adult bible classes. 

Geoffrey Schuab had to convictions for child molestation. Yet somehow he still managed to become an ordained minister and work in a church. I don't get it.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Another "Devil made me do it" excuse

It cracks me up when a pastor offers the standard "the devil made me do it" excuse when caught with his pants down. It is particularly inane when the excuse is offered in writing to a judge who has the authority to send you away for a very long time. Yet, they continue to do it. Take the story of youth pastor Kaipo Cabanting of Hawaii. The devil made him do it too.

August said he takes Cabanting’s religious beliefs seriously but the explanation Cabanting gave in a letter blaming the devil is “not completely satisfactory to the court.” August said that people make conscious decisions in committing criminal acts.

Cabanting was sentenced on two reduced counts of second-degree sex assault, with additional prison terms for third-degree sex assault to run at the same time. The charges were for incidents in 2006 and 2007, when the victim was 13 and 14.

The age for a minor to consent to sexual activity in Hawaii is 16.

August said Cabanting could have cut off his relationship with the minor after being told to do so by police, family and friends after the first sexual encounter. If he had, the judge said he could consider probation and up to a year in jail.

But the second sexual contact nearly a year later called for prison time.

This guy has looser written all over him. 10 years in prison might teach him a lesson, but somehow I doubt it.

Pastor Sentenced To 24 Years

Another religious predator is off the streets. But in this case, not before inflecting massive damage on two innocent young girls. Pentecostal Pastor Modesto Reyes was sentenced to 24 years in prison for impregnating two young girls, aged 11 and 13. I posted on Reyes back in July of 07. 

As his family members and parishioners looked on, Pentecostal pastor Modesto Reyes was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting two young female members of his congregation.

One of the victims, who was 11 years old when Reyes first befriended her, bore a child in May 2006. The other girl, a 13-year-old, also became pregnant but subsequently miscarried.

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Sandra Tullius said that when the second girl became pregnant Reyes suggested to her horrified family that she have an abortion and suggested homeopathic remedies that would cause the girl's pregnancy to be terminated.

Source: Pastor Sentenced To 24 Years -- Courant.com

Reyes still had the support of his church, even after he was found guilty. I can not understand why this happens. This man tried to convince the family of a 13-year-old girl to use homeopathic remedies to induce an abortion. How can anyone look at him without the desire to smash his skull in?

I'm not interested enough in Reyes to keep him in my news filter. When they find him dead in a shower with a shiv in his back, I will not morn (or post) for him.

Pedophile pastor shot

The stories of Christian hypocrisy keep getter stranger and stranger here at Deep Thoughts. An associate pastor and bible school teacher who also happens to be a convicted pedophile, was shot and killed by the police.

A 62-year-old convicted pedophile shot and killed while holding a flare gun Wednesday was a Sunday school teacher and assistant pastor at a Central Florida church, police said.

Sheriff's deputies and Orlando police officers were performing surveillance on the man, who was wanted on charges of capital sexual battery on a 7-year-old.

The man, whose name and age were not released, showed up at the house, and deputies moved in, Orange County Sheriff Kevin Beary said.

Source: Convicted Pedophile Shot, Killed By Deputies Was Bible School Teacher - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando

Something tells me this might be an example of street justice.

I'll follow up with the predators name when they release an update.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Is the Ron Paul Revolution over?

Ron Paul

Every day I see the Ron Paul Revolution on street corners, on bridges, on lawn placards, on Digg, on youtube, and thanks to the nutball California libertarians, in my email. Now his days are numbered. Thanks to his 4.3% vote total here and in other Super Tuesday states, I think it's over. Somebody wake up the fat lady, it is time for her to sing.

Technorati tags: , ,

I did not waste a vote damit!

I voted Libertarian again. Every time I do it makes me angry. I normally feel like I am wasting a vote. Plus, most of the candidates are either crazy or perennial losers who use their status as candidates to wield power and influence in the halls of Libertarian power (which can be found at the VFW Hall the first Thursday of each month).

These are the California election night results for Libertarian Presidential candidates. Honk if you've heard them mentioned during the past three months.

I voted for Christine Smith. Woohoo!

Why did I vote for her? Because of the people I know on the list, she was the least crazy. I doubt she would pass the not crazy snuff test in a public gather, she is typical in her radical approach to libertarianism. The moment she is elected (likely on when hell freezes over), she will embark on policies that the general public will recoil from. Like pushing abortion decisions down to the state level, neutering the power of the federal government, removing the government from public schools, and abolish the income tax. The list goes on.

I share some of her values, but I seem to be alone in understanding that none of them will gain public support if approached from the typical "immediate radical change" perspective my libertarian friends hold so dear. Instead, I suggest slow,incremental changes which moves us in the direction of increased personal liberty and a smaller government. I am often greeted with "man, you are insane!".

I did not waste my vote. I've done much worse. I've wasted 20 years voting for these idiots. And let me tell you, the national candidates seem positively normal when compared to the nutballs who run for local office. I'll post more on that later.

Here's a joke from a meeting I attended. The local party boss was trying to get me to run for office. When I told him I was an Atheist he said that would make me un-electable. Really? you mean the whole Libertarian thing makes me electable?

Is Ann Coulter Insane?

I try hard not to notice the sick bitch. She is on my list of conservative who need to fade from the limelight. Her hate filled rhetoric does nothing to help America, and often hurts innocent people. She acts like she is insane. Need further proof?  Her scorched earth policy towards John McCain.

Some Republicans may be rallying around Sen. John McCain as the GOPýs best hope of winning in November, but best-selling author and conservative firebrand Ann Coulter would rather stick to her principles and give up the White House to Hillary than to see the Arizona senator as the White House's new resident.

Source: Newsmax.com - Ann Coulter Vows to Stop 'President McCain

She has principles? I don't believe it for a minute. Coulter and the her fellow right wing conservative nutballs know the republicans have already lost the White House. She's just doing her part to make sure people who do not share her insane values are damaged as much as possible when her power base passes. McCain, if elected, will not put up her brand of hate filled screed. She's running scared. Maybe she will run to Canada?

Is Wicca America's fastest growing religion?

I hope not. I really hope not. Wicca is like D&D come to life. It is totally made up. How can this be true?

According to many figures, Wicca is the fastest growing religion in the United States by percentage. With many people attracted to its communion with nature, the number of adherents is doubling about every 30 months, and the following grew from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001. The online store site, unlike some Wiccan shops that are more insular, will provide useful information about this Pagan religion for people looking to learn more. Willow Grove Magickal Shoppe was founded by Anna Maples and Shannon Hansen, both of whom have extensive knowledge of the products from years of studying and practicing Wicca.

Source:  PR-USA.net - Willow Grove Magickal Shoppe Announces Opening of Online Store Selling Items for Wiccan Rituals

Not that I have a problem with Wiccans. They are almost like this generations hippie. Plus they apparently like to bake. How can you dislike tattooed earthy women who like to bake?

Technorati tags: , ,

More Haggard News

New Life Church Says Haggard's Restoration 'Incomplete'

More than a year after former pastor Ted Haggard resigned from his position at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Haggard has severed his official relationship with the New Life Church Restoration Team. The megachurch said Tuesday Haggard has prematurely ended a "spiritual restoration" process begun when he was fired for sexual misconduct. Haggard was the church's senior founding pastor.

Source: Church Says Haggard's Restoration 'Incomplete' - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

Reading between the lines, I would guess this means Haggard is still gay. Go figure.

hat tip: This. That. No Other.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pastors who kill

I guess pastors can kill too. Pastor Robert Lee Adam Reaves stands accused of the murder of Latrece Curtis. She was found dead by the side of the road after being whacked with stick.

Monday, Reaves clad not in a pastor's robe, but a Wake County Jail issued jumpsuit, made his first appearance.

"Based on the circumstances of this situation, I will issue a 'no bond' at this time, you'll be held without bond," said the judge.

Still Reaves is no stranger to being on the other side of the law. He faced a conviction on sex charges while the pastor of a church in South Carolina, charges for financial card theft, motor vehicle theft and fraud.

Source: Pastor denied bond in student's death

How does Reaves lead a church if he's already been up on sex charges while a pastor at another church? Can somebody explain that to me? It just does not make any sense. Where is the much vaulted Christian morality?

A comment from his friend:

"This is not the man that I know and most of us that are involved with him, this is a good man," said Reaves' friend and pastor of Tehillah Church Ministries, Bishop Anthony Slater. This is a shock to all of us. We send our prayers to the family of the victim that something else will come out of this.”

It's called a secret life. It's called a lack of judgment. It's called a lack of discernment. Reaves has a history - what the hell are you good old boys down at the Tehillah Church Ministries doing? Why would you put a man in the ministry if he had already proven himself untrustworthy as a pastor? Let him serve as the pastor of lawn cutting if you must, but keep him away from the women and children.

Brad in B&W

brad

I played with the Black and White capabilities of the Nikon D300. I enjoyed some surprisingly good results. My net take off of the 30 pictures I shot today was higher than before. I took 30, deleted 8, adjusted two, and kept the rest as is. I'm starting to get a limited feel for how the D300 works now. Things are looking up.

About this picture. This is my friend Brad Hightower, a former Christian blogger no less. We've known each long enough that he noticed my four month dry spell after I broke my D70. No whe enjoys sitting for portraits (or not).

You can see another shot of my friend Kenny here.

Technorati tags: , ,

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nutball Alert: Jan David Clark

I had trouble classifying this post. It is clear that Jan David Clark if a nutball. But the incident occurred in Texas. I wanted to throw it into the "Only in Texas" category simply because of the high religiosity rate in Texas. Who knows, It might have had some influence on this horrible crime. You see, Jan David Clark murdered his wife during an exorcism. That makes him a nutball, right?

Jan David Clark, 60, of Odessa, was arrested Friday after authorities went to his home and found Susan Kay Clark's body wrapped in a bed sheet with a cross and sword on top of it.

Dead with a cross and a sword? WTF?

A man accused of killing his wife says he was trying to exorcise a demon from her when the devil entered his body and killed her, cops said.

The devil killed his wife? I thought his wife suffocated?

Susan Kay Clark was apparently not strangled, Ector County Sheriff Mark Donaldson said of results of a preliminary autopsy that showed she died of suffocation.

In an ominous development, no pillows were found in the bathroom. The devil is wanted for questioning. I understand he lives in Del Rio.

Hat tip: Jersey Speaks

Technorati tags: , , ,

Electrical towers from the freeway

Towers

I started the process of learning my new camera today. I shot about 40 pictures. Only this one was interesting. So far I've managed to over expose a dozen shots, blur a few more, and screw up the white balance on a few more. I'm not used to the level of control the D300 offers. Well, more practice is required.

About the photo - I shot this on the 405 freeway near the 605 interchange. On the horizon are the snow covered San Bernardino Mountains. You can't really see them in the photo, but they are visible on the hi res. We can only see the mountains for a month or two in each winter - and even then they remain obscured by smog.

Technorati tags: , ,

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Feed the Muse: sculptor Jennifer Maestre

I have got to ge me one of these! Jennifer Maestre does amazing work in pencils. Seeing her work reminds me of the feeling I get when Isee a talented photographers work. You know the feeling  - the "how did they do that" feeling that makes one feel like they have no talent at all.

I can barely write with a pencil.

Technorati tags: , ,

My new camera has arrived

Frist Signs of Spring 2008

I picked up my new Nikon D300 this morning. This is one of two shots I took while picking up lunch today. I used default settings. The solid thunk sound of the shutter gave me shivers. This is a nice camera.

About the picture - yes, it is spring already here in Southern California. Flowers are blooming all over.  I took this in front of the Panda Inn in La Palma. Winter lasts a month, Spring lasts until July, and Summer lasts until late October. If there were not so many people here, it would be paradise.