Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh hell yes

James Dobson has retired from Focus on the Family.

Dr. James Dobson, the conservative evangelical leader who founded Focus on the Family 32 years ago and turned it into a major political and media force with millions of followers across the country, suddenly resigned as chairman today.

The Colorado Springs group framed the resignation as part of an ongoing turnover of ministry leadership to the next generation. The 72-year-old Dobson's wife, Shirley, who is chairman of the National Day of Prayer, also left the Focus board.

Now if only he would stop speaking in public, but I suppose that is too much to ask.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blogroll Update: The new advertising model has announced it’s new advertising model. The plan is to serve an unobtrusive ad when people click on blogs in a blogroll. They’ve provided samples in their post. Please visit the article and post your comments here. I plan to pay the removal fee, but I would like feedback before I do so.

The fee will be $20 per year to turn of the advertisements. The Atheist Blogroll is actually two blogrolls, one is a full list, the other is a rolling list. I’m not sure if I’ll have to pay $40 for two, or $20 for one. Either way, the cost is manageable.

Since the fee’s are low, I’ll cover it myself. At the urging of a few other bloggers, I’ll put a “Support the Atheists Blogroll” donation button on my blog to help offset the enormous cost of maintaining the blogroll. If you feel inclined, pitch in a buck or two.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Are you praying?

A few weeks ago I was asked by a stranger if I was praying. I’ve delayed the telling of the story while I waited to secure permission to use a poem. The permission never came, but the story is still rattling around my head, so here we go.

I was listening t0 the poem Animal Caution by Chase Twichell when I decided I wanted to memorize it. I transcribed its 10 lines to a index card and carried it around it my pocket. When I had time, I would pull it out and attempt to commit it to memory. I’ve done the same thing with a few other poems.

A few weeks ago, I took a lunch break in a parking lot near the factory I was visiting that day. I was sitting on the folded down back panel door of my truck, listening to some jazz while smoking a cigar. I had my eyes closed and was attempted to recall the lines of Twichell’s short poem. When I spoke the line, “Soon they will be constellations…”, a man interrupted me. He spoke Spanish. He asked if I was praying.

I was a bit taken back by the interruption, but regained my composure quickly. I answered in Spanish, “Yo no rezar.” He smiled and switched to English and said, “But I heard you pray.”

I explained that I was memorizing a poem. That it was an intellectual exercise aimed at bettering myself. He smiled and explained that he too enjoyed poetry. A moment later he launched into a recital of Not Fear by the Mexican poet, Rafael Guillen.

Not fear. Maybe, out there somewhere,
the possibility of fear; the wall
that might tumble down, because it's for sure
that behind it is the sea.
Not fear. Fear has a countenance;
It's external, concrete,
like a rifle, a shot bolt,
a suffering child,
like the darkness that's hidden
in every human mouth.
Not fear. Maybe only the brand
of the offspring of fear.
Read More….

I was stunned. Here was a gardener taking time from his lunch break to recite a beautiful poem in a parking lot of an obscure manufacturing plant somewhere North of Los Angeles.  It was a random moment. I was a complete stranger. Yet he was opening himself up to me in a way that was beautiful. It was an amazing experience.

When he finished, he asked if I knew any poems. I explained that I was just starting to fall in love with poetry and that I was working on committing my first batch of poems to memory. I showed him the four other poems I had in my pocket. We took turns reading them. When we had finished he told me that he had committed 20 poems to memory. Most were in Spanish. I asked him why. He responded with, “Yo no rezar”.

I think poetry can fill a void in people, much like working with my camera satisfies my need to create. Poetry is something I’ve been looking for for a very long time.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Priest resigns over inappropriate conduct

I think it might be pick on the Catholics day here at Deep Thoughts. This is the third rouge catholic priest post of the day. Rev. Johnson Jayabal Pappusamy did something “inappropriate” in public with an adult male. I can only speculate what that might be (and I will).

The Rev. Johnson Jeyabal Pappusamy submitted his resignation to Bishop Walter Hurley last week while police continue to investigate, according to a letter Hurley sent to the parishes. Pappusamy was pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Custer and St. Jerome Catholic Church in Scottville, both east of Ludington.

Hurley wrote that Pappusamy has been "accused of engaging in inappropriate conduct in public with an adult male." Hurley will not comment further while the investigation is continuing, said spokeswoman Mary Haarman.

I going to take a guess here and say Pappusamy has impulse control issues and may like to hang out in dank public restrooms. I wonder if they have those back home in India?

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Priest guilty in church embezzlement case

It is not like we did not see this conviction coming. Rev. Francis Guinan’s defense was basically, fuck you, I’m a priest.

A jury convicted a Florida priest on Monday of stealing from his church, but the panel found that he embezzled far less than the $488,000 prosecutors charged.

The Rev. Francis Guinan, 66, was found guilty of second-degree grand theft of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 after less than four hours of jury deliberations.

Guinan is 66, if he serves a 30 year sentence he will die in prison. It seems a high price to pay for a trip or two to Las Vegas. What was he thinking?

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I love secrets

Especially when it is the secret life a Catholic priest...

 Kingdom of Christ founder led secret life

Kingdom of Christ followers say they were shocked by revelations the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the U.S. religious group's late founder, led a double life.

Jim Fair, a Chicago spokesman for the Catholic lay group, officially known as Regnum Christi, said 200 Kingdom of Christ families in parts in Louisiana have been experiencing a wide range of emotions since Maciel was accused of having a daughter…

It is the classic, do as I say and not as I do scenario. I bet that in 20 years they’ll  make him saint.

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Blogroll Update: Four new atheist bloggers

Please join me in welcoming four new atheist bloggers to the Atheist Blogroll.

  1. Alphaville
  2. Norelpref  ***A Mojoey favorite!
  3. Dog Bless Us One And All
  4. Econoom

Please visit their blogs and welcome them to our community.

If you would like to join the blogroll, click here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cardinals turn on Pope Invisible

The slaughter was horrible....

Cardinals turn on Pope Invisible

The Pope’s daily routine, as described by Vatican insiders, is being blamed for a series of blunders that have prompted a rare show of dissent from exasperated cardinals. Critics claim he is leading the church and its 1.2 billion faithful like a monarch cut off from the world outside his palace windows, helped only by loyal but inept advisers.

That's what the world needs, an out-of-touch, cloistered, influential, hater. Can you imagine another world leader running a nation without listening to his nation’s citizens? Oh wait, we just did 8 years of Bush. What was I thinking?

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Another reason not to become a Christian

Baptism can kill...

Four drown during baptism

Four people drowned on Sunday morning during two separate church baptism ceremonies in Eldorado Park in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein in the Free State, police said.

Everything about this story sounds wrong. Who would jump in a fast moving river in Africa? If the current don’t get you, the snakes, crocodiles, hippos, or various other bad animals will. And all for what? You get to go to heaven when you die… which is in five minutes if you set foot in that friggen river.

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Blogroll Update: Two new blogs

Please join me in welcoming two new atheist bloggers to the Atheist Blogroll.

  1. Anna’s Bones
  2. Verbal Razors

Please visit their blogs and welcome them to our community.

If you would like to join the blogroll, click here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Allen Stanford linked to Christian evangelicals

Image representing GodTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Max Blumenthal has an outstanding article in The Daily Beast linking alleged financial conman Allen Stanford, with the evangelical website we all know and love as GodTube. God and Ponzi discusses how a Stanford owned firm called VCE Capital Partners, was a founding partner of the GodTube.

GodTube spokeswoman Holly Taylor says her company’s involvement with Stanford has made “zero business and financial impact” on the website’s parent companies, and Big Jump Media, and insisted that one of Godtube’s funders, VCE Capital Partners, purchased only “a nominal amount of shares,” with Stanford's holdings amounting to 0.5 percent of the company’s total shares.

GodTube has removed VCE Capital Partners from its website where they were listed as limited partners. I think they are looking to distance GodTube from the massive scandal surrounding Stanford. Good luck with that.

I find it disturbing that money allegedly stolen from investors would fund Christian outreach ministries like GodTube. I wonder what motivated this behavior? It could not be profit. GodTube’s business model seems pretty weak and their numbers are minuscule in comparison to mainstream sites like YouTube. I don’t think profit was a factor. Standford must have been doing the Lords work… with stolen funds. How nice. I wonder if GodTube will give the money back?

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Carnival of the Godless is up

It is time to pop a beer and start reading. The Atheist Blogger is hosting the Carnival of the Godless #111, go check it out.

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Burning down a church

Sometimes it not about race or hatred, its just about the money.

Investigators charged a traveling gospel singer's wife with attempting to set fire to a church where she got upset with the pastor after her husband had performed there, Chattanooga fire officials said. Court records show that the woman was charged Wednesday with attempted arson at the Harmony Baptist Church. There was no fire and no damage to the building after firefighters responded to an automated alarm at the church, authorities said.

I’m just guessing about the money. I mean, it could be about how poorly the gospel singer performed, or pehaphs the pastor did not show the appropriate respect. Maybe the gospel singer did not impress the congregation with his piety? Who knows? Money is the safest bet.

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Youth Pastor Gets 15 Years in Prison

Another youth pastor bites the dust. Dean Barnes could not act like a human being. Now he will pay.

A former police officer and juvenile court counselor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after he admitted sexually abusing two 16-year-old girls in a church group he led as a youth pastor.

Barnes wants to kill himself. He was planning to stab himself with a sharpened toothbrush. I say we let him.

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Wife of pastor pleads guilty

It is not what I expected in this case. Robbin Lamonica, who faced aggravated rape and aggravated oral sexual battery charges, will not face justice. In exchange for a guilty plea on a vague obstruction of justice charge, she will escape a prison sentence. This is not justice, it is simple legal expediency. They need her testimony to convict others of worse crimes.

Prosecution and defense attorneys also said Lamonica has agreed to testify at future trials in the Hosanna case, which has raised lurid child sex charges amid allegations of satanic rituals at the church.

Seven members of Hosanna Church have been indicted or convicted in connection with the alleged child sex ring.

Juries have convicted former Hosanna pastor Louis D. Lamonica, Robbin Lamonica’s estranged husband, and Austin “Trey” Bernard III on allegations of child rape. Lamonica is serving four concurrent life sentences and Bernard three consecutive life sentences.

At least somebody is going to prison.

Related Post: This and that

Blogroll Update: Cure Faith

We have a new member. Cure Faith is a new blog. I like new blogs, they sometimes give a small measure of hope. Please join me in welcoming our newest member.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catholic pastor thinks stealing is OK


Image by mojoey via Flickr

Well... at least that is my interpretation. Father Guinan is alleged to have spent nearly $500K of his churches money on himself. He claims the Catholic church allows him absolute discretion when it comes to expenditures under $50K. Of course, he is lying through his teeth and we all know it. Here is why.


  • He doctored the books so that his self-indulgent behavior would not come to the attention of the church.
  • He use the stolen cash to pay his own credit card bills.
  • He acted in a way inconsistent with the teaching of his faith.
  • He violated the trust of his parishioners who donated their hard earned cash to help the church, not pay for gambling junkets.

Guinan is a stain. 

Guinan didn't deny regularly taking cash from the church offertory and spending it as outlined by prosecutors.

He didn't deny taking six trips to Las Vegas, three trips to Ireland, three trips to the Bahamas and staying at nine luxury hotels in Florida in the course of 15 months.

He also didn't deny using church money to pay personal credit card bills.

What i find most troubling is that his Christian thinks that what he did was justifiable. He is not accepting responsiblity for crimes he has already admitted to, instead he says the Catholic church was an enabler. I’m betting this hypocrite spends the rest of his life in prison. He needs to.

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Reaching back in history for a payout

I am instantly skeptical of cases where men or women reach back into the 60s or 70s for tales of clergy sexual abuse. I think one reason is that I'm nearing 50 myself and think back to 1971 -72 through a fog of dim memories. I can remember where I lived and the names of my dogs (and sisters), but people are a blur, as are events. I remember things, but not enough to take to court. And proving abuse, or that I even played on Falcons baseball team… well, it don’t think it’s possible. So, it is hard for me to believe that a 40-year wait between an alleged crime and a memory is legitimate.

A John Doe is suing former pastor Jim Bourne for alleged sexual abuse that took place in 1971-72. Mr. Doe claims to have become aware of the abuse in 2007. Mr. Doe is afraid to use his real name. Please don’t tell me this is a case of recovered memories.

The incidents allegedly occurred “during functions in which Bourne had custody or control of the plaintiff in Bourne’s role as a pastor and authority figure.” The lawsuit’s claims include that the church provided training to Mr. Bourne; hired, supervised and paid assistants to Mr. Bourne; paid for trips and travel expenses incurred by Mr. Bourne; and empowered him to perform all duties of a pastor, including educational and tutorial services.

Don’t get me wrong, I detest these abuse pastors. They are blight on the human race. I am also a skeptic. After 40 years, what damage is there? How much is Mr. Doe fishing for? It simply feels wrong, or too late to be just. What do you think?

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Blogroll Update: 2 New Members

We had two new atheist bloggers sneak in over the last 24 hours. I normally do updates once a week, but I figured what the hell.

  1. Avert Your Eye
  2. Human Behavior

Please drop in and welcome them to the team.

I'm so conflicted

Baptist Pastor Walter Hoye will spend 30 days in jail for violating an Oakland law that creates a buffer zone between anti-abortion protesters and abortion clinics. Walter Hoye is a peaceful man who carries a sign that reads “Jesus Loves You and Your Baby. Can We Help You?” From a few unbiased accounts I've read, it appears that Hoye did not harass women entering the clinic, yet he is going to jail.

Everyone who reads my blog knows that I am no fan of religion, but a am also a huge fan of free speech. I am conflicted here because I don’t like religion imprinting it’s contrived moral agenda on secular society. I tend to rebel against the message because I don’t want the message to become law. People need options.

I also support the right of people like Hoye who peacefully protest what they find morally objectionable. From the accounts I’ve read, I do not see what Hoye did as wrong. Do you?

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama writes letters

My first thought upon reading that President Obama writes a letter to the family of American soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan was that this must mean that Bush did not write letters. My second thought was about how much I respect President Obama for making the gesture. It is the right thing to do. It is one of those things that causes a “hell yes” to escape my lips. It is nice to feel proud again.

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Blogroll Update: Seven New Members

This is a list of our newest Atheist Blogroll members. Please follow the links and welcome them to the team.

  1. Luck Atheist
  2. A Drunken Madman
  4. The Random Fish
  5. A Midwife In Training
  6. Sublime Depravity
  7. Wonderful Life

A bit of news…. has published an update. They plan to release BR 2.0 on March 4th.   They plan a pay version and a free version. The difference is that the free version will serve advertisements. I plan to pay the fee if is reasonable. If the fee is a burden, I plan to appeal to the members of the blogroll to help defray the cost.

I cannot imagine serving ads, It feels so cheesy. I would like input on this. What does the membership think?

If you would like to join the blogroll, click here.

Random Christian Encounter

I was playing disc golf by myself yesterday when an 80 year old man walked by on the exercise path. He asked me if I was going to beat myself. I responded that I was planning on doing so, but that I would be hard to do so. He slowed his walking and asked why I was playing alone. I become a little annoyed. I told him I was playing alone because I liked to be alone. I hoped that that would be the end of it. I was wrong…

He turned to walk towards me, “You know, you never have to be alone if you walk with Jesus.”

I reached into my disc bag and fished out a disc. I held it out towards the old Christian and said, “If Jesus is walking with you right now could you ask him if he wants to play a round with me?”

The old Christian scoffed and the walked away.

I later met a man who claimed to worship Bob Marley. Him I liked.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Self Portrait

I'm in the truck.

Today is the only day each year I will break down and buy myself an Original Tommy’s Burger. Once a year can’t kill you, right? If' you’ve never had one, I’ll just say that these chili coated monsters are not healthy by any stretch of the imagination.

I took the day off to play some disc golf. I played Huntington Beach in the morning, and El Dorado in the afternoon. I achieved one of my 2009 goals by shooting a par game at Huntington Beach. I had an amazing game. I also hit my first ace on the 13th hole at El Dorado. I ended up with a –4 for the round, a new personal best.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another Christian moment

I wanted to take a moment to describe an encounter with Christianity I experienced in my driveway yesterday. I was about to let this one pass because it was too personal. Upon reflection, I think the story is perfect for my blog. Let me know what you think.

Near sundown last night, my son and I were in the driveway of my house looking for a misplaced iPod. I noticed the neighborhood drunk standing across the street looking at me. He looked a little off. I though he might be drunk again, so I paid him no attention.

My son had our dog on a leash when the barking started. My dog is yippy. He barks at the wind. This time he was barking like the world was coming to and end. I look up from searching in my truck for the iPod to see my neighbor standing in the street near my driveway. He was gesturing to me. The last time he did this he need a ride and some cash to buy his nightly 40 oz bottle of beer. I figured he needed the same thing again.

I walked over and greeted him. He was not drunk, he was crying. I asked him what was wrong. He reached for my hand and shook it as if his life depended on it. He did not let go. His left arm came up to grab my shoulder. He said, “My dad died, I don’t know what to do.”.

I  offered my condolences and inquired about when the death had happened. He told me it had happened on Valentines Day. He said his mother had died a few months before, and now that his dad had died, he did not now what to do. I asked him how I could help. He said, “Could you pray with me?”

I did not even hesitate. I simply said, “No, I am not a Christian”.

He looked up at me in surprise. He asked, “How about a hug then?”

I wrapped my arms around him and held him for several minutes while he sobbed. My son looked on is shock. I nodded to him that it was ok.

When the hug ended, I told the man that I was willing to help in any way I could. Including sharing  a bottle of Jack. He smiled and told me I was a good man.

The truth is, I love the man. I love him just like I love everybody. I don’t have prayers in me, but a hug is a good atheist substitute. My son understood.I think it was a good lesson for him. 

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Satan twists everything in your head

I happened upon an interesting discussion on the bizarre  topic of Mormon apostasy. My involvement with the Mormons from years ago left me with the impression that doing anything that the boys who ran things said was proscribed, could be interpreted as apostasy. My friends lived in fear of the word. At one point, on a surfing outing with a small group of Mormon teens, they tried to stop me from surfing without a group prayer. They even tried to restrain me. My friend was worried sick about not following the rules (I guess you had to pray before you could surf). He kept telling me that my actions were putting him in danger of committing apostasy. I could never understand the fear. They were like sheep. I ran into the surf without a second thought, and then I hitchhiked home.

The Liberal Mormon That Could has an interesting post on the subject of apostasy. I still don’t understand.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Backyard Bird Count

I’m a bit of an odd bird… I like bird watching, I always have. It all started after I killed a sparrow with a BB gun as a child. The guilt was overwhelming. I’ve been a bird watcher ever since. I did a little bird watching this weekend as a participant in the Great Backyard Bird Count. I shot a few pictures along the way too.

I saw the ubiquitous Mallards and American Coots, but I saw a few less common birds too, like the Northern Spoonbill and the Great Egret. I actually saw a Great Egret trying to swallow a gopher and a Little Egret take another gopher from the ground.

The park I visited was full of Canadian Geese. I counted 40 in two groups. I also saw a few Wood Ducks, Gadwalls, and Green Winged Teals.


The highlight of the day was a half dozen Black-crowned Night-Herons in a tree. A few juveniles were in the area too.

It’s fun and a great way to spend a sunny afternoon.

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Blogroll Update: New blogs!

The main reason I provide the Atheist Blogroll is that I get to read new blogs. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad, but each time it is like pulling a new book off the shelf at the library. I enjoy it.

Our new members are...

  1. Beyond Belief
  2. Apple of Doubt (new URL)
  3. unBeguiled
  4. Rationality Now
  5. The Sunny Skeptic
  6. Godless Freethinking Goddess **
  7. That Atheist Bitch
  8. Charley Socci
  9. Masoni Raves About
  10. CyberLizard

New bloggers need attention too. Please stop in at each blog and say hi.

**the the author of Godless Freethinking Goddess. Your email bounced. Please contact me with an email address so that I can send you the blogroll information.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

White Stripe


I’ve resolved to start taking a least one photo per day as a way of sparking so creative projects with my camera. I took a few shots of the stuff my son leaves around the house. This is his old skateboard deck. It’s in the middle of my front room. It’s been there a few weeks. My wife and I want to know how long it will take before my son notices it and moves it to some other spot in our house. My guess is at least a month.

I don’t normally crop my photos, but this shot is cropped to remove some of the black areas. I looked for light coming in from the morning sun. I think I over underexposed the shot too much, but my other shots did not capture what I saw. You had to be there I guess.

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Polygamist Muslim Nutball gets life

seven life sentences to be exact. In my humble opinion, Mansa Musa Muhummed converted to Islam to simply to further his polygamist lifestyle. He needed something to validate his desire for multiple wives, he found it in religion. Muhummed’s world view is sick and twisted, it makes me wonder how many other people do the same thing.

The judge denied a defense motion to sentence Muhummed to one life term so he might be eligible for parole someday. Instead, he gave him a life sentence for each of the seven counts of torture. Muhummed isn't eligible for parole for at least 65 years, said his attorney, Peter Morreale.

Mansa Musa Muhummed is a monster. He tortured his family in ways that sicken me. Justice was delayed for ten years for some reason. I hope his many victims are comforted that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

American Muslim beheads his wife

Not that I'm tracking Muslim hypocrisy or anything, I have my hands full with the Christians. When a man beheads his wife I tend to notice. But when a man who started a TV station to help change the way American's view Muslims beheads his wife, I figure it's headline worthy.

Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.

Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder.

"He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead," Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning.

I will never understand what posses people to kill each other over religion, or custom, or some fucked up cultural belief. I can’t even begin to tell you have much I hate to hear the term “Honor Killing”.

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Book Review: Exhibiting Photography

ExhibitingPhotography I started reading Exhibiting Photography back in November, but then misplaced it. I found it again a few days ago. I'm glad I did too. The book is an outstanding look at what it means to put together a photography show in a gallery or public space. It’s a mix of project management advice, marketing advice, artistic advice, and practical background knowledge. All of which the average photographer would never know.

I have aspirations. I’d love to put on a show build around some of the photography themes I’ve played with over the years. I’ve followed some of the advice already. I made a brief YouTube movie of some of my photos as an experiment. I don’t like the finished product, but it serves as a good starting point for my next effort, which will be better.

I found Chapter 4, Text, Printed, and Publicity Materials particularly helpful. I’ve never even considered this before. In fact, this is the main reason I liked the book. Its full of useful information that is completely unrelated to making a photograph. It is the stuff one needs to know if one intends to do anything besides posting pictures to a blog (that would be me).

Book Info

Exhibiting Photography: A Practical Guide to Choosing a Space, Displaying Your Work, and Everything in Between, by Shirley Read.

Shirley Read is an independent curator based in London. She teaches exhibition workshops at universities and writes for numerous magazines including Portfolio, Source, and Creative Camera.

Paperback, 272 pages, publication date: FEB-2008
ISBN-13: 978-0-240-80939-7
ISBN-10: 0-240-80939-4

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There has been no news from since they last posted status on January 14th. In their last post they promised progress.

Our developers are working on the migration tools now to get your old data into the new system. With some luck, I’ll have a concrete relaunch date Friday coming, or possibly Monday at the latest.

Reading this bit of tripe leads one to believe that the new version is just around the corner. Heck, all they must do is migrate data. How hard is that? Don’t hold your breath because I really have no idea if this service will every work again.

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Pastor torches his own church

Pastor Quincy Arnold was arrested for arson in Georgia. He and his son are alleged to started the fire to collect on the insurance.  Of course some members of his church think otherwise.

Tawana Brawley said…
The only people that would do this is white people trying to frame the Lamb of God and his son.

It's the doings of the white devil himself. Trying to keep the black man down. But now we have the power and things are going to change.

You'll see, soon white churches will burn.

heh… good thing I don’t go to church… I should be safe.

Supergirl said…
for all of you dont know the family this is a good family we all fall down but we get up what every happen to praying for the family the word say in matthew 7- 1-7 DO NOT JUDGE do not judge so that you wont be judged for with the judgment you use you will be judged and with the measure you use it will be measured to you why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye but dont notice the log in your own eye or how can you say to your brother let me take the speck out of your eye and look theres a log in your eye hypocrite first take the log out of your eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers eye dont give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearis before pigs or they will trample them with their feet turn and tear you to pieces dont talk about the family pray for them amen

I have no idea what Supergirl is writing about. But apparently, her pastor should not be judged because it isn't biblical or some such.

Christians crack me up.

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Pastor T.D. Jakes' stepson faces charge

So I guess Christian morality does not run in the family? You would think that it would. I mean, T. D. Jakes is a big time holier-than-thou mega-pastor and all, you’d think that he might of taught his stepson to keep his willy in his pants.

The stepson of megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes has been arrested on an indecent exposure charge. Dallas police say Jermaine Jakes is accused of exposing himself to two undercover vice detectives last month. He turned himself in Thursday and was released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

Jermaine Jakes showed his willy to the cops. I mean, what kind of freak shows his willy to the cops?

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Mormon convicted of child molestation

I guess the Mormons don't have a lock on moral superiority.

Raymond Parkin (59), of Burns Avenue, Mansfield, was convicted by a jury of raping one girl some years ago when she was aged only six. The jury also convicted him of sexually assaulting a second girl when she was aged five.

The LDS get away with way too much. I’ve got several news filters up an running to start keeping a closer eye on things. Please send me tips if you can.

Date Is Set For Youth Pastor

Pastor David Webb has waited five years for his day in court. He asserts his innocence, now we will get to see the state’s evidence.

The date is just over five years from the time that Webb is accused of taking an underage girl from the church and across state lines to Oklahoma where court records indicate a sexual act took place.

Source: Date Is Set For Youth Pastor Sex Trial – CBS42

How’s that for fair? I still think he’s going to jail.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

$1 million bond for priest accused of theft

D’oh, only a million dollars? This priest is accused of very un-priestly activity. The bond should be set at a level that consumes every penny he has.

Rev. John Regan, wearing the blaze orange jumpsuit of a DuPage County Jail inmate, appeared on closed circuit camera in bond court after returning from an out-of-state counseling center where he had been receiving treatment for a gambling addiction.

Regan, 45, was indicted last week on 21 counts of theft, money laundering and operating a continuing financial enterprise by the DuPage County Grand Jury.

So…. I wonder how many gambling confessions this hypocrite sat through. I wonder is his parishioners will hold it against him? I would, but then I’d invite him to my poker game. Gambling addicts are known by another name, losers.

A prayer of peace

Maybe I'm working too hard. Or maybe, like my most recent email from a Christian, my heart is hardened to the good things in the world. I don't know what it is that makes me so cynical, perhaps its the endless parade of wasted prayers for people who have committed horrendous crimes. Like the pastor who offered a prayer of peace for woman who allegedly murdered her innocent two year old daughter.

"I miss that kiss on the cheek, that special hug. But to get a hug from a small child, that gives me energy like you couldn't imagine," said George Anthony, Caylee's grandfather.

Caylee was 2 when she disappeared last summer. Her remains were found in December. Her mother, Casey Anthony, has been charged with killing her and is in jail just a mile away from today's service.

Why does Casey Anthony deserve prayers? This feel good religious bullshit will not bring back a dead child. I’ll never understand, nor will I believe, not when a murder is treated like a saint. My gut reaction to this story was to retch.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I just don't understand

I don't understand how I can read about injustice and no longer feel anger. I don’t understand how to the world can watch others suffer and do nothing. I don’t understand how religion can be used as a weapon one day and help up as an ideal the next. I don’t understand how Islam is called the religion of peace while at the same time it leaders conduct a Islamic version of the Spanish Inquisition on its believers. I just don’t understand. I don’t want to understand. I just want it to end.

Saudi judge sentences pregnant gang-rape victim to 100 lashes for committing adultery

I don’t have words…

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A story from my day

Yesterday I bought a Diet Dr Pepper from a small kitchenette. As I checked out, I noticed that the cashier was wearing a large silver cross. I saw a bible on the counter next to her. I was alone. The place was quite. She smile at me and said hi, I returned her greeting. I had the drink in one hand and a dollar in the other. The moment felt odd. I knew something was coming from the way she looked at me.

Instead taking the dollar from my hand, she reached for the bible. She said, "I'll give you a discount if you let me share a verse from the bible with you." I declined politely. She tried again with, "OK, how about I give it to you for free? It is only one verse, I promise."

I dropped the dollar on the counter and walked out without talking to her. Christians are so frustrating. How would you have handled this situation?

Monday, February 09, 2009

Question of the day

I grow tired of reading about the "Miracle" on the Hudson. Even though I understand that when most people use the term to describe what happened, they are not referring to an act of God, but rather to an unbelievably lucky incident. What's been bothering me is the certainty that if the "Miracle" on the Hudson had ended with death and destruction, then any reference to the divine would be replaced by a reference to the actions of the pilot and crew. If a tragedy had occurred, the pilot would have been blamed. God would get a pass.

My question is, what is the opposite of a miracle? Is it an act of God? Would anybody describe a fatal plane crash as an act of God? I don't think so, the word tragedy comes to mind instead.

I also want to know what the secular term is that can be used in place of miracle. Then, the next time a lot of people avoid certain death through the actions of a highly competent professional, we can celibate instead of harping on the press coverage.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Dalai Lama is now following you on Twitter!

This is something that I never thought I would see in my inbox.

Hi, mojoey (mojoey).

Dalai Lama (OHHDL) is now following your updates on Twitter.

Check out Dalai Lama's profile here:

OK… I followed him first, but it is still pretty cool.

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Sunday’s Pastor Perp Walk

Pastor pleads guilty to prescription drug charges

Shane Keith West, pastor of the Church of Champions, pleaded guilty to several prescription drug-related charges Thursday in Judge John H. Gasaway's court.

West, 42, who gave a Hopkinsville, Ky., address, was charged with 10 counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of tampering with evidence. West's attorney, Jeff Grimes, negotiated a settlement with Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Lund before West was set to go to trial on Feb. 23.

Former Pastor Facing More charges in Sex Case

More charges have been filed against a former pastor accused of soliciting sex from a teenager online. The Attorney General has filed 66 new charges against Paul Marmon. Marmon is a former pastor for St. James United Church of Christ in Allentown. He was arrested last September for allegedly posing as a teenager and propositioning a teenage girl online.  The new charges were filed after investigators say they found child pornography on Marmon's computer.

Dana Point Youth Pastor Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Charges

A Dana Point man and former youth pastor at Capo Beach Calvary Church on February 4 pleaded not guilty to charges that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl he met at the church, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Daniel Pedroza, 28, faces three felony counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, two felony counts of oral copulation of a minor, one felony count of sexual penetration with a foreign object and one misdemeanor count of child annoyance. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years and four months in prison.

Teen testifies about sex abuse

A teenaged girl testified in court Monday that an adult leader at her church rubbed her in a sexual way and took suggestive photographs of her nearly three years ago.

The teen, now 19, said Timothy C. Edmonds, 37, son-in-law of the pastor of the Chesapeake Apostolic Church, sexually abused her several times in the church basement and at a house nearby that he was remodeling.

New charges filed against ex-pastor

A former youth pastor accused of sex crimes has been arraigned on accusations he sharpened a toothbrush for use as a weapon in the Baker County Jail.

Priest accused of stealing $300,000 from church

The Rev. John Regan was pastor of St. Walter Parish in Roselle from June 2006 until last year. He was charged Thursday with theft and money laundering.

An indictment alleges Regan stole parishioner offerings between August 2006 and July 2008. Authorities claim Regan deposited the money into a bank account he used to pay personal credit cards and make ATM withdrawals at riverboat casinos.

Former Troy pastor arrested on sexual assault charge

A former Troy pastor was indicted by a grand jury Thursday, based on accusations that he molested a young boy last summer

The Rev. James K. Gullen, 53, who served many years as pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault and two counts of criminal sexual abuse. He was in custody at the Madison County jail on $150,000 bond.

Alaska Natives expand sex-abuse suit against Jesuits

Twenty more plaintiffs and a defendant have been added to a lawsuit filed by dozens of Alaska Natives who say they were abused as children and teens by Jesuits or those supervised by Jesuits.

In the original suit, filed last month, 43 Alaska Natives said they had been abused in remote villages in the state. The suit named several defendants, including various Jesuit entities and the head of the worldwide Roman Catholic order.

New charge filed in Canadian polygamy case

Canadian prosecutors have filed a new charge against a pair of polygamist leaders.

An amended criminal information was filed in a British Columbia court on Thursday merging the cases against polygamist leader Winston Blackmore and Fundamentalist LDS Church Bishop Jim Oler into a single case.

"We have added one wife to Oler's charge," special prosecutor Terry Robertson told the Deseret News on Friday. "After the original information was sworn we went back and reviewed our material and thought we had sufficient evidence to justify the new charge."

I am sure there are more, many more in fact. These are just the one’s I noticed this morning.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

My Hellboy


This is the only good picture from my first set of shots with my new flash. I have much to learn. This is my Hellboy figure. My son left it behind when he moved out. Now it looks over me while I sleep least the forces of Jebus try to sneak in the window.

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A New Photography Toy


I picked up a Nikon SB-9000 Speedlight today. I've wanted a good flash for years but I've never been able to afford one. I’ll need to play around with it before I try anything serious. I’m looking forward to taking family shot without the obligatory flash shadow. Plus the macro work I like to do with benefit from some of the lighting options available to me with this unit. The manual is thick and complicated, I'll have to play around some.

I love this tip from the manual:

Take trial shots. Make trial shots before photographing important occasions like weddings or graduations.

I also purchased a Tamrac Expedition 5x. I finally have enough space for all my gear. I guess I’m doing my part to fix the economy too.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

TAL - The New Boss


This American Life episode 373 is titled, The New Boss.  Act One is called A Trust Without Trust. It is about problems with the community trust built around Warren Jeff’s Mormon cult in Short Creek Utah. FLDS members are fighting a long battle with accountant Bruce Wisan over the management of the FLDS Trust. The story manages to capture many of the things I loath about religion.

Jeffs kept 100 wives in his compound at Short Creek. He married children off to his cronies, while banishing man who had something he desired. He treated women and children as if they were his property. He did all this in America, right under our noses. It is so hard to believe.

He’s just a man, a child molesting, manipulative despot who exploited his status to build a personal harem, but still just a man. I hope he rots in prison.

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You are a liar, a thief of childhoods and a child molester

This case generated a few comments and more than a couple of emails all telling me I should not judge the Reverend, and what about innocent until proven guilty.  Well ok people, Rev. Robert Yurgel is now a convicted child molester.

The victim, now a tall, dark-haired man in his early 20s, stood in the courtroom Monday, finally confronting the Roman Catholic priest who'd molested him a decade ago. You robbed me of my ability to trust, he told the Rev. Robert Yurgel, his voice sometimes quivering. You stole my faith, you stole my childhood.

“To this day I suffer with horrible flashbacks and nightmares…,” the victim, a teenager at the time of the molestation, told Yurgel. “You are a liar, a thief of childhoods and a child molester.”

Yurgel was sentenced to seven years and eight months. He must also register as a sex offender. Prison is too good for this scumbag.

This is for the idiots who will tell me Yurgel is still innocent, or that only God can judge. Don’t bother to post in the comments as I will not play nice with my response.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Date to Save Ministry

OK - This must be a joke. My friend Richard turned me on to a concept called missionary dating via The Date to Save Ministry website. Apparently the plan calls for hot girls to date men with the sole intention of converting them to Christ. Can you imagine?

Datetosave So, I created this web page for information regarding the calling of Missionary Dating. First of all, it helps that you're good looking. Romans 12:1 says "to offer your bodies as living sacrifices." Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), it makes sense that we should use our beautiful bodies to glorify HIS name, the Holy Spirit will work the strongest since He's in our body, right? That's the best position to be in!

Can you imagine? I mean, how fucked up is that?  I hope its a joke, but these days you never know.

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Bagged another one

Another Catholic priest was arrested for sexually assaulting children.

Father David O'Hearn, 47, who was suspended from active ministry in May last year, has been charged with seven child sex offences at Cessnock in 1990 and 1991. The priest had worked in the parish in the rural town for nearly 20 years. The charges against him include five counts of sexually assaulting a child under 16 and two of indecently assaulting a minor under his authority.

When I say “another one”, I mean that O’Hearn is the fourth priest arrested in Hunter Valley. Its beginning to sound like there is something seriously wrong with the Catholic Church down under. It’s almost like a pedophile training program. What else can a priest do in rural Australia?

Hat tip to Rob – Thanks mate!

This sounds like a bad idea

Convicted felon Rev. Henry J. Lyons wants to lead the National Baptist convention.

HenryLyons The Rev. Henry J. Lyons is mounting a bid to lead the National Baptist Convention USA again, a decade after he was convicted for swindling more than $5.2 million from the organization's corporate partners and then served nearly five years in state prison.

His campaign theme: "Restore the love, and repair the breach.''

During the group's meeting last month in Nashville, Tenn., the Tampa pastor emerged as one of two candidates for convention president. The group, claiming more than 7.5 million members, will hold the election at its September convention in Memphis, Tenn.

Source: The Rev. Henry Lyons wants to lead National Baptist Convention USA again - St. Petersburg Times

As president of the National convention he stole $5.2 million dollars. And the want him back why?

I love this quote:

"There's nobody living who has not made a mistake in (his) life; the good thing about God is that he is a forgiving God," Stewart said.

Right… but that does not mean you have to give them man the keys to the vault. He’s demonstrated his inability to handle responsibility. No sane person would let somebody like Lyons back in the game. But we are not talking sane here. This is religion at its worst, with abuse of power, money, lies, and deceit. It looks like Act II of this sordid self-inflicted tragedy is about to start.  We best take our seats.

You can learn more about the infamous Lyons here.

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Worse Than Hitler

I happened across a pretty cools blog: Worse Than Hitler, It’s tagline reads, “Dedicated to those lacking the imagination to make an appropriate analogy.”

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Chapbook released for Praise Song for the Day

I've recently become a big fan of poetry. I enjoyed the poem by Elizabeth Alexander performed for President Obama's Inauguration. I found out today that her poem will be released as a commemorative chapbook by Graywolf Press on Feb 6th. I bought two copies today. One for me, and one for a friend.

I learned of this via a press release.

Elizabeth Alexander crafted the poem for the occasion, drawing inspiration from poets such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Walt Whitman. Alexander is one of our nation's most eloquent poets, and she spoke at the most closely watched inauguration in U.S. history. Alexander is the fourth poet in United States history to read at a presidential inauguration. Previous inaugural poets were Robert Frost at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, and Maya Angelou and Miller Williams at the inaugurations of William Jefferson Clinton.

The poem starts:

Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

I don’t know why it is that poetry has suddenly become so important to me. I’m almost 50 after all. Poetry came to me late, but I am glad it came.  I just know that poetry often captures the emotion of a moment better that anything else I’ve ever experienced.

I’ll remember hanging on each word of this poem for years to come. I’ll also remember being jealous that my friend Kenny was able to hear these words in person. It was a beautiful moment.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Priest expected to admit abuse

I just love it when a story has a happy ending.

The Rev. Robert Yurgel, the Catholic priest accused of molesting a 14-year-old boy in Charlotte a decade ago, is expected to plead guilty today in a deal with prosecutors that will send him to prison for more than seven years.

Oh wait… no happy ending. The kid he molested is still screwed up. I don’t think the victim will ever get his happy ending.

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Sometimes allegations are just allegations

What do you do when allegations of clergy sexual abuse cannot be verified? The Catholic Church reinstates the priest.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has reinstated a Roman Catholic priest who had been suspended over a child sexual abuse allegation.

The archdiocese said Monday that the Rev. Donald Shelander was restored to active ministry after a church panel ruled that allegations against him were unproven.

Without knowing more about the case, this course of action seems reasonable. People make false allegations. If it comes down to the word of one person, versus the word of another, what do they do?

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Pastor charged with prostitution resigns

Some poor bastard asked a woman in his church to have sex for money. Turning himself into a hypocrite and a pimp in once simple act. At 62 years of age, and a man of God, you would think he would know better.

It is with sadness that Zion Lutheran Church accepts the resignation of Alan Wenrich as Senior Pastor, effective immediately. Dr. Wenrich, his family and the individuals affected by recent events, as well as the healing of our church, will be among the prayers of our congregation."

What does one do after pissing away the meaning of your life? I hope they put him on suicide watch.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Review: The Trials of Ted Haggard

I felt bad for Ted Haggard after watching the new documentary about him called The Trials of Ted Haggard. His is a pathetic broken man. It is human to feel for others when the are hurting. And the need to feel for Ted came across loudly yet superficially. I do not subscribe to the kick a man while he’s down school of thought. Ted Haggard’s been reduced to delivering door hangers to make a few bucks. I get it. His life is shit. But… I still don’t know why.

I also understand that Haggard has not come clean. He brushed over his drug use and the real nature of his sexuality. When filmmaker Alex Pelosi had a chance to dive deep, she pulled her punches. Her treatment of Haggard was sympathetic and shallows. Her focus limited to his lamentable daily life. The documentary is truly about the shit pie he must eat each day as he goes about trying to put a life back together for himself and his family.

I understand why his mega church turned its back on him, or at least I think I do. To the holy, he is a pariah. They will not forgive him, nor well they let him back into the lucrative church enterprise he founded. His exile is partly to save the church, and partly to punish him for being gay (or whatever he chooses to label himself).

I have a few reasons to dislike Haggard. I was angry for the way he treated Richard Dawkins, and his comments about atheists, but that was small beer. I was deeply upset over how Haggard treated the gay community. It was wrong on so many levels and contributed to the climate of hate that drove issues like Prop 8. His hypocrisy was of the worst sort. He preached something he did not believe because it buttered his bread. Plus, he’s a liar. I have no tolerance for liars.  Life is too short.

His church and former friends will not forgive him. The gay community will forever loath him. And atheists will continue to hold him accountable for his lies and hypocrisy. After seeing the documentary, my heart has softened. I’ve tasted shit pie in my life a few times. It is a taste I would not wish on anyone.

Ted Haggard, if you read this please know that in my heart I forgive you for the enormous mistake your life has been up until now, or at least the part of it that I have noticed. Please live honestly going forward. If you do, I won’t write about your old hypocrisy and lies any more.

Honesty starts by telling the truth about what happened. The whole truth. Don’t try to spin it to make yourself look noble or to play the victim. Own what you did and who you are, and then get on with your life. To do so without becoming a media whore would be nice too. But call me a cynic… I know you see dollar signs attached to the media coverage of this documentary and another chance for the limelight. And we already know what you are willing to do for money.

Oh, and one piece of advice. Stop trying to sell stuff. Only a fool would ever buy anything from you. Go buy yourself a pair of work gloves and a shovel. There is plenty of work out there for men who are willing to step up. And nobody will care that you were once famous.

And one last parting thought. I liked the documentary. But I liked it in the strange way one likes a freak show. I could have been much better. It could have been deep and meaningful, and even spiritual. We are at our best (or worst), when tested. It would have been nice to see the best (or worst) of Ted Haggard. I hate to say that I think I could have done a better job, but I think I could have done a better job.

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