Friday, October 31, 2008

How to Use Twitter to Report Voting Problems

twitter vote report

Image by cambodia4kidsorg via Flickr

I'm always looking for good ways to use Twitter. I think tracking voting problems with Twitter is a fantastic idea. They even have have the process linked to Google Maps. I wonder what else Twitter can be used for?

When millions of Americans go to the polls on Tuesday, there are bound to be problems. A grass-roots, non-partisan initiative to call them out via the Internet has been launched; it utilizes Twitter, the popular microblogging service.

The Twitter Vote Report is urging those with Twitter accounts to report voting issues by adding #votereport to a Twitter update. The resulting tweets flow to the site's home page, and will also be plotted on a Google map

Source: How to Use Twitter to Report Voting Problems & Conditions

I'll be watching for action come Tuesday because Buena Park is such a hot bed of voter fraud.

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R.I.P. Studs Terkel

American Author Studs Terkel (May 16, 1912 - October 31, 2008) died today. He lived a long and vibrant life. I should be so lucky. I am a reader. Terkel was a writer. Over the years, I've read most of his books. I also gave a few away as gifts.

I found a photo essay about his life  at the Chicago Tribune.  Enjoy

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Nutball Alert: Elizabeth Dole

I just do not understand Elizabeth Dole. Is she completely blind to the diversity of our country? As atheists, are we not allowed a voice in politics? I sincerely hope she looses.

Kay Hagan needs our support. You can donate here.

Banning books in not only for fundies


Image by mojoey via Flickr

Sometimes people with no sense of humor get in on the act. Take Taffey Anderson of Portland, Or. She wants to ban The Book of Bunny Suicides. Why you ask? She does not think it's funny. Apparently she is a thief and a vandal as well.

...In fact, she reportedly plans to burn the book.

Two weeks after students at the school discussed the First Amendment as part of Banned Book Week, Principal Julie Knoedler said Anderson’s challenge is timely if not frustrating.

“I understand her feeling very strongly about her rights, values and responsibility as a parent,” Knoedler said. “But I’m disappointed that she is forcing us to buy another copy before we can review the book.”

Source: Mom wants to ban, burn 'Book of Bunny Suicides'

When people try to push their beliefs off on me or my children I get mad. This is exactly why when fundies do the same thing I start writing blog posts and emails. It is simply wrong. There are so many other things to worry about.

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Pastor found guilty of indecency


Would you leave your children with this man? He is a pastor, or was a pastor...  By now, I would have to say it is a bad idea. Never leave your children unsupervised with a pastor. Ever!

Rodolfo Sosa, 50, was convicted on all counts against him — five counts of indecency with a child by contact and one of indecency with a child by exposure. He faces up to 20 years on each indecency by contact charge and up to 10 years on the remaining charge. Senior state District Judge Jon Wisser will sentence Sosa on Nov. 21.

Source: Former pastor found guilty of indecency

Since this is Texas, he will ether get off with a slap on the wrist, or the will put him away for life. We'll have to wait until Nov. 21.

Pastor charged in assaults on girl, 14

Another Baptist pastor has been arrested for sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl. Alan R. Sienkiewicz is the pastor at Christ Independent Church in Lavelle and Grace Baptist Church in Ashland.


Sienkiewicz, who is 60, was not able to make bail. He will wait for his trial in prison.

Blogroll Update: Challenging the Commonplace

In the author's own words:

Greetings to the atheist and humanist community.

My name is Ocean and I'm the creator of two blogs. The first, Challenging the Commonplace, I began seven months ago. Since then, it has quickly gained recognition, respect, and a regular readership; and so far, close to 9,000 visitors.

Challenging the Commonplace focuses almost exclusively on the political - and when has the political ever been absent religious garbage influence?

My newest blog, Atheism Ascending is best described as "a joyful, irreverent romp - and stomp - through the land of religious dogma."

I created Atheism Ascending because my atheist perspective had begun ticking off likely converts to my various political causes. (And no one who belongs to Atheist Blogroll is surprised by the latter, right?)

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the freedom to express my non-theist perspective without the constant clanging in my head: Warning! Warning! Likely to offend god-believers!

New milestone for Deep Thoughts

I passed 500,000 page views today. I average 540 page views a day with 400 unique visitors. I have a few hundred people who subscribe by email, and the same number who read by a news reader. It's all good, and a little hard to believe.

This milestone should earn me another $100 from Google. Wow, at this rate I will be able to afford a good dinner with the proceeds from my blogging hobby. I'm planning on a big juicy steak.

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Blogroll Update: Liberté, Egalité, Trivialité

In the author's own words:

I’m Patrick and my blog Liberté, Egalité, Trivialité covers a number of topics, including atheism and religion, politics, sex and growing up in Utah amidst the Mormon culture. Mixed in with rants on religious extremist and political excess, I’m also recounting my journey form religion to agnosticism and finally to atheism, starting with my early childhood… And you’ll also see a bunch of pointless videos.

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Blogroll Update: LolKoran

In the author's own words:

Back in August we started a new blog,, where we are translating the Koran into lolcat language. We are not Muslims, but we try to avoid Muslim-bashing even though our approach is skeptical. You can learn about the blog by reading our post titled God is Fired, but there is a bigger issue underlying this.

For quite a while there has been a Lolcat Bible, and a Lolcat Book of Mormon being made, and some other things, but I looked all over the web without finding any sign of a lolcat Koran. In fact, every mention of the idea seemed to call up horrified protests about Mohammed cartoons, outraged Muslims and beheadings. It seemed obvious the reason no one was doing this was because radical Islamists are succeeding in their campaign to terrorize people in the Free World into self-censorship. This censoring needs to be stopped before it gets started: if we allow it to even gain a foothold, we may as well give up. If we are afraid to stand up for our right to free speech we don't deserve to have a free country. So somebody needs to start a Lolcat Koran. So we did.

There is really nothing offensive about this, it's just a way to study an important book, have fun and brighten up the world a little with some cute cat pictures. For anyone who struggles to read the Koran, which by all accounts is a Very Hard Book, this is a way to make it relatively painless. It should be a wiki, but we don't know how to do that so it is just a blog, but everyone is invited to halp wif translaytin.

Happy Halloween

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. It happens to coincide with the return of the Santa Ana winds. For me, this means a month long headache culminating with children ringing my doorbell all night long. I try to get away from it all, but often fail. Like tonight. I'm sitting here alone in a dark house with a cold cloth pressed to my eyes. I know little goblins will start ringing my doorbell soon. My excitable little dog is already barking.

One of my friends has it worse. He's working from his home tonight down in Venice Beach. He must monitor a month end financial closure process which is critical to his company's operation. He must do his monitoring in the dark. If the trick-or-treat crowd knows he is home but he does not offer treats, his house will be egged. It's happened every year for the last ten years. Poor guy.

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Discovering an atheist

My aunt Pat is a crusty old battlewagon. She's in her 90s and in declining health. She's recently moved from a senior living facility to a rest home where she can receive constant medical supervision. I don't know how long she has left. She is nearing the end of her story. She is the last of her generation and knows the end is near. It could be months, or it could be years. Her days have number. The number is short.

She is my great aunt. The dark sister of my deceased grandmother. I say dark because for everything my grandmother did right, aunt Pat did wrong. As I child I knew her to be an alcoholic chain smoking floozy who was as unreliable as they come. As she aged I spent less time with her. I occasionally spent a family holiday with her, but little else. I've seen her maybe five times in ten years. It is my fault. I've been partially estranged from my family for almost 30 years.

I spoke with my mother this morning. She and my sister had visited aunt Pat at her rest home. In the course of the visit, Pat asked about my sister's relationship with me. My sister said that it was all good except for that I was an atheist and she was not. I guess my aunt dropped an unexpected bombshell with her next comment.  She said she was an atheist too. She went on to say that we are all the result of an evolutionary process. I am so proud.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

He will come again

A friend dropped this on me: Heaven the Game.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feed the muse: LSD inspired art

3D representation of an LSD molecule.

Image via Wikipedia

Whoa... this takes me back to the 70s. LSD is a powerful experience (or so I hear). It's effect can be seen in a series of drawings produced in the 50s during a government experiment. The artist was dosed with LSD and then monitored while he made a series of drawings. The digression is amazing. I think it closely parallels the faulty yet inspired thinking which occurs while on acid. The connection with truth one feels closely parallels the connection with God Christians claim as uniquely their own. It is not unique, you just need a microdot.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kiwis, hypocrites, and bestiality, oh my!

The Canterbury Atheists writes about two cases of sexual abuse involving Christians, children, and... dogs. It seems that the clergy sexual abuse problem is a little more complex in New Zealand.

....what the hell was wrong with sheep the rest of us Kiwis manage to get by with, eh?!

I ask you, what's the country coming to, when sheep have to play second fiddle to dogs in our children's Sunday School Classes?

I've checked my archives.  I'm pretty sure this is a first.

Blogroll Update: More news

Blogrolling posted an update yesterday. They offer this plan:

bringing back affected services safely and responsibly. We want to ensure that your data is safe, so we’re doing an extensive review of the affected services, making slight adjustments here and there, and restoring individual services. This won’t be a quick process, so don’t expect to see full functionality restored in the next few days. It may be up to a few weeks before basic services are fully restored. I realize how much this sucks, but we want to make sure that we don’t affect the overall security of the system and the basic dependability of core roll serving. Like I said earlier, we’re committed to keeping the lights on, but they will be dimmed for a little while.

The key word here is "a few weeks", which in blogrolling terms can translate to a very long time. I can still add blogs, but admin functions, like URL changes, will have to wait.

Blogrolling also talks about blogrolling 2.0 and the ominous "business model". Which I am sure translates to charging for the service. I've got news for you folks at Blogrolling. If you are going to start charging for the service, then you had better start providing support.

Blogroll Update: Uzza's Quran Notes

In the author's own words:

The Qur'an Translation

Image by adobemac via Flickr

Hi, I'm Uzza. Long ago everyone in Arabia knew me, and my sisters and I were worshipped all over the Mideast. Then these upstarts came along with this new 'Islam' religion, and things have been downhill ever since. They have this thing the Quran, that I put off reading for 14 centuries or so, but it looks like they're here to stay so I finally got around to picking it up and starting it, and I'm blogging all about it as I go, at Uzza's Quran Notes.

Don't expect me to be all polite and respectful though, 'cause we had a good thing going until this little punk Mohammed came along. I'm trying to figure out what he had that we didn't have, and I have to admit I'm a little pissed. I mean they had a perfectly good moon to worship, and goddesses. What kind of guys would rather read a book than get drunk and have naked pagan orgies?

Anyhow, if you have ever wondered what these Muslims and their holy book are about, don't try to read it! Come to my blog instead, where there's plenty of snark and skepticism to help you through.

I always like it when Muslim atheists join the team.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oak Grove Disc Golf

Freeway and fog I've been driving the freeways of Southern California this week in pursuit of new disc golf courses. This shot is from the 5 near San Diego.

I played Oak Grove yesterday. It is located near JPL in Pasadena. It is an expensive part of of town. I was nearly alone on a hot dry day. It was dusty as hell. Check out the aerial map for an overview of the course.

Oak Grove is the place where it all started, it is the first disc golf course ever created back in1975. I played my first game of disc golf that same year. It was a church youth group activity then. I think it might be the only thing that remains from my days as a Christian.

I played a +1. The course fits my style of play. I have a short game (the longest I drive is about 350 feet), but I am accurate. The course favors left handed players, so I had some difficulty. However, most the holes were an easy lay up. The hardest hole is on the back nine, hole 13. You must throw over a gully. I would guess its 250 to 300 feet across a snake filled (at least in my imagination) 75-foot-deep gully that the course map calls it a lake. I made it by inches.

I birdied hole 14. My drive landed a few feet from the hole, which is amazing considering I could not see where I was throwing.

I'm playing again in the morning. It's been a fine vacation so far.

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Vote No On 8

No on Proposition 8

Proposition 8 is the very definition of why I write this blog. Christians are pushing a social agenda under the guise of protecting the family. It's all BS, lies, and hyperbole. This is what Prop 8 does.

It eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.

Another issue related to this ghastly initiative is that my alma mater has been smeared by association with a pro 8 commercial. I received this explanation by email.

Dear Pepperdine Alumnus:

Many members of the Pepperdine community have voiced opinions over a TV ad regarding Proposition 8. The ad features a Pepperdine professor and currently includes reference to his affiliation with the University.

We’d like to stress that the professor does not represent a Pepperdine University-endorsed position, as the University does not advocate for/against political candidates or ballot propositions.

The professor in the ad was not advocating a Pepperdine position, but his own personal position.

We have received confirmation that our request to have the reference to Pepperdine University deleted from the ad will be honored. We have been assured that the ad will be revised, perhaps by today.

Jerry Derloshon
Executive Director
Public Relations
Pepperdine University

Pepperdine is a Christian university. There is a big cross overlooking the campus. They by live their Christian values. The one thing I can bank on is their integrity.

Vote NO on Proposition 8.

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Blogroll Update: Texas Infidel Transplant

In the author's own words.

I'd like to introduce you to Texas Infidel Transplant, Texas Infidel Transplant, a "blog" about Texan's reactions to Atheists and Infidels, some politics, and non-belief in general. It is quite eye opening to move to the Bible Belt and have views that resign one to the status of an anathema. I have dismissed the concept of god or gods from a very early age.  I am now surrounded by deluded adults who consider Atheists as criminal, immoral heathens who have no fear of authority and no reason to behave respectably.  Funnily, every manufactured thing they seem to loathe about Atheists is generally more true about themselves.  Projection is a wonderful drug.  Enjoy the ride.

Hey... If it is about Texas, I'm up for it. Texas is the fundie capital of the world.

Blogroll Update: Science, Reason & Rationality

In the author's own words...

Science, Reason & Rationality is a new website / weblog offering categorized educational online articles & videos to encourage faith-based and emotion-driven thinking believers to consider fact-based science, reason and rationality, critical thinking, critical analysis, scientific and evidence-based inquiry to examine important issues and to use it as a means to arrive or to attain credible and authentic new discoveries.

Science, Reason & Rationality is also compiling the best educative, informative, thought-provoking and relevant video collections available on the internet together in one place for easy reference according to its category.

Subscribers will be notified via email or RSS feed when new article and/or video updates are available. Videos are carefully selected for quality content and it is presented by some really good, well-known and not so well-known scientists, critical thinkers, skeptics and atheists on the internet along with my own descriptions for each videos.

Note: You will only receive articles/videos no more than one or two per week if you subscribe to my blog so you don't have to worry about your email inbox getting flooded. If you wish to subscribe, just click on the subscribe button on the top left of the Science, Reason & Rationality blog and enter your email address. After you've done that, go to your email inbox and click on the activation link that will be sent to you automatically after you've subscribed. If you have any difficulties, do let me know if you need further assistance on how to subscribe to Science, Reason & Rationality. Thanks.

There are many of these great videos in places like YouTube, Google Video and the rest, but they are not categorized nor they are chosen and arranged for quality and educative content, so eventually they get lost and forgotten somewhere in the crowd of thousands, if not millions of other videos.

Finding a really good video for a relevant topic is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Therefore, Science, Reason & Rationality not only functions as a article blog but also as a video blog that looks for these needles in haystacks, and we may even function as a historical article/video archive for these great articles and videos so that it shall be seen and remembered by everyone, both by believers and skeptics of the present and the future for whatever purpose.

This, I think, is another way to make a difference in the world with regards to beliefs and religious differences as it will indirectly attract faith-based and emotion-driven thinking believers to visit the site and watch the videos, and I'm sure it will encourage, enlighten and free a lot of minds in the process as well.

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." ~ Bertrand Russell

Please drop in a welcome our newest member.

Blogroll Update: Problems with

Some of you may have noticed the problems with the blogroll. The ping form is down, as are the admin features. is down. They say "dark", but what they are actually is partially online. Apparently, they were hacked.

They are serving blogrolls, but are not allowing access to administrative features. I can add new blogs, but I cannot update or delete blogs. has been down since last Friday. They are posting sporadic updates on Twitter.  Here is the last update (from two days ago).

In the process of doing a complete security audit. Sorry for the lack of updates, we've been really heads down.

Don't get me started with this service. I've used them for four years because I have no other viable alternative. I am preparing for the worst here. These guys might fold up shop. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marcus McDowell goes to prison


Former Pepperdine professor and pastor Marcus McDowell was sentenced to prison yesterday. One of his victims posted this in the comment thread of a previous post.

sentence is 3 years, 4 months plus the five years probation sex offenders get, plus he has to register as a sex offender and pay for our therapy.

i have never been so happy to see anyone walked away in cuffs.

thank you to all those that supported us through this.

The family of the first victim in this case was kind enough to invite me to dinner last night. I could not go because of my vacation travel plans, but I was there in spirit. I want to thank the victim for coming forward. It took a great deal of personal integrity to stand up and hold this man accountable for his crimes. I hope the sentence will help you heal with some sense of justice.

Related Posts:

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Blogroll Update: Frodology

In the author's own words.Frodo from the 1978 animated film adaptation o...Image via Wikipedia

Frodology is a blog about the eponymous satirical religion, based on the worship of Frodo, and His hairy feet. It's written from the perspective of Frodo's "Minions on Earth," who, in their divine wisdom, interpret Frodo's Law as they please and dish out justice to the masses. Sound familiar at this point? Through the layers of sarcasm and self-referential humor, Frodology is overtly critical of religion in any guise. It co-opts "science" to prove bold, outlandish claims, laterally mocking creationism and Christian Science, to name a few. At other times it conveniently fills the shoes of any religion it chooses to parody. In a given week, Frodo can go from hating gays to vehemently protesting the use of Frodo's visage. And the best part? It now features crudely drawn pictures. Expect to see God making a recurring appearance as a monkey. Why? Check out Frodo's take on Intelligent Design to find out. Within the coming months, Frodology expects to convert the masses with its slogan "if you're a person of faith, chances are you're in the wrong one, so you might as well be in this one!"

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A visit to San Diego

I drove to San Diego today. My mission was to play disc golf at Morley Field. I hooked up with a local and play a good first round at 8 over. Their are way too many trees!

I was lucky enough to play behind course legend Snapper Pierson. It was amazing to watch this man throw a disc. I told my wife it was like watching the difference between me shooting baskets and Michael Jordan dunking.  We don't even play the same game.

I shot this on the drive down.


I stopped at a foggy rest stop to shoot a few shots. I love the fog.

It's hard taking my camera around with me everyplace I go. However, when I get the chance to shot something memorable, I can't help but think it is worth it.

I put a few other shots from my trip today up at my flickr account.

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Random encounter with the homeless

Jesus Loves You

Image by mojoey via Flickr

I was approached by a homeless man yesterday. I was in the parking lot of Tommy's in Westminster taking a phone call because my Bluetooth earpiece was dead.  I've already been pulled over twice for talking on my cell phone with out the damn thing. I'm not going to press my luck any further. Anyway... I was deep in conversation with a friend when somebody knocked on my window. It was a homeless man.

My hearth skipped a beat when he knocked. I put up a finger to tell him I was busy. He waited. A few minutes later I asked him what he wanted while knowing it was going to be cash. He asked for food instead. He said he was hungry. I offered to buy him something from Tommy's. He agreed.

I figured that guy would go for a large meal when I told him to order whatever he wanted from the menu. He surprised me by ordering a small coffee and a breakfast muffin with egg and chili. I ordered a diet coke. The food at Tommy's is epic, but it kills me to eat it.

I sat with him while he ate his meal. The interesting part of this story happened next. He asked me if I was going to talk to him about Jesus. I asked why he thought I would do that. His response bothered me.

The only time people buy me food and eat with me is when they want to save my soul. You know, Jesus love you...

I promptly replied that I did not give a damn about his soul. I told him I was an Atheist and felt that it was my moral responsibility to help people when they are in need. I don't give cash, but I will buy food.  He did not respond with words. He just smiled and finished his coffee.

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Not So Buena #9

graffiti on a truck4


Title: Melted Graffiti
By: Mojoey
Where: Buena Park, Ca., on Knott south of the park.
When: October 14, 2008 at ~ 7:30 AM
Equipment: Nikon D300 - 1/800 @ f14


I spotted this yesterday while driving near my home. Some wayward youth had tagged a truck. It's owner made a halfhearted attempt to remove it and then gave up. It fits my city.

This photo is an entry in the Not So Buena photography project hosted here at Deep Thoughts. If you would like to participate with photo's from your own city, see the instructions for submitting photos on this post.

Blogroll Update: Stochastic Scribbles

In the author's own words:

Stochastic Scribbles is a set of random writings by a politically moderate atheist with an enthusiasm for science. At least the author thinks so: the recent extremism of American conservatives has him writing political posts far more often than he likes, and there are questions about him being an atheist as he has yet to eat his first baby. (Seriously, even the human placenta as food grosses him out too much.) The author is one of the simple-minded folk: the life sciences are far too complex for him so he spends more attention on the physical sciences, which aren't complex, just mind-blowing to the extreme.

Blogroll Update - new blogs

Hi everyone. I'm on vacation this week. New blogs will be added to the blogroll sporadically until I return from my wanderings. For those of you in queue, I'll get to you soon. I promise.

A note on my methodology. I read every blog that applies for membership. It takes me 15 minutes per blog. I do this because I've had more than a few theists try to join over the last year.  I don't know why they do it.

I have about 15 blogs in queue as of tonight. I'll bust through a few now that I have a little time to burn. The things that go through my head is a new blog written by an Atheist. It contains little atheist oriented content. I like blogs like this one. I'm interested in people, and to tell the truth, reading 25 different post on the same issue is boring.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New friends

TravisI played a round of disc golf at the course in Huntington Beach. It is supposed to be a hard course. I played well. I played par on the front nine, and four over on the back. It was a good round for me despite blowing hole number 11 with a triple bogey. For those of you who do not play, imagine trying throw a disk in a forest of tree trunks. I think I hit every tree.

I met Travis on the course while looking for the tee box on the tenth hole. We've met once before while I was shopping for discs at Discovering the World. He remembered me right away.

One of the reasons I play the game is the social interactions. People like Travis are friendly and open. You walk up, say hi, and start playing. I've met dozens of new people this way. We all share a love for the game which transcends race and class.

I asked Travis why he played. He told me he loved to walk in the park so that he can be close to nature, and, like me, he liked to watch the flight of a well thrown disc.

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The joy of vacation


365-6 Kenny at disc golfI am on vacation this week. I plan to play some of the best disc golf courses in the State of California. I'm playing a round at Huntington Beach this morning, and then I'll walk the park with my camera. For my friends in the cold parts of North America, It's sunny and warm here, perfect weather for a day in the park. I don't know how much blogging will happen over the next week. I don't expect much.

I'm also planning to visit a few photography exhibits and  at least one museum. I also plan to look at what remains of murals in the LA River. I rarely have time to indulge my interests. Since this is a solo vacation, I will be able to do as I please, so... cigars, disc golf, art, drinks, eats. Perfect!

That's my friend Kenny in the picture.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ex-pastor drops lawsuit

It is the tales of the absurd which amuse me. Take Pastor Leon Harris for instance. You might remember his as the pastor who secretly filmed women and children using a bathroom at the Baptist church where he was the pastor. He was filming toilet shots of women and children as young as five.

Harris filed a wrongful termination lawsuit after he was arrested and convicted on four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Leon Harris, 56, filed a civil suit in Superior Court in July, claiming Rose Hill Free Will Baptist Church and the Central Convention of Free Will Baptists violated his contract when they fired him in 2005.

He dropped the suit voluntarily Thursday.

Harris entered an Alford Plea in July 2007 to four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in connection with the videotaping charges.

As part of that plea, 48 counts of felony secret peeping were dropped. The Alford Plea means that while Harris did not admit guilt, he conceded prosecutors had enough evidence to likely convince a judge or jury to find him guilty.

I don't think his case had any chance of succeeding. Now we need to watch for Leon Harris to pop up as the pastor of another Baptist church. The mans got to make a living... right?

Pastor sentenced to 15 years

I typically focus on pastors who sexually abuse their flocks. Pastors commit many other crimes. Take Pastor Neulan Midkiff, who liked to be called by the lofty title of "apostle". Midkiff is a thief. He participated in a scam the bilked 519 people out of $390 million. In retrospect, he feels bad about what he did.

Midkiff, 66, wept as he apologized for his part in the scheme, although he said that he did not realize at the time he was committing fraud.

Of course, he still claims he did not realize he was stealing, which is not exactly the same as admitting your sins. He has 15 years to think about it.

For the record, "Neulan Midkiff was found guilty August 1st of eight counts of mail fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and four counts of failure to file tax returns."

The things people will do for money blow my mind. It is so sad. Where is the vaulted Christian morality in this story?

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Pastor accused of molesting girl

James M. Wilson is the principle of Terrill Road Christian Academy and also a pastor. He was arrested for fondling a 16-year-old student in a motel room.

prayingThe girl said Wilson checked into a motel room and he and the girl stayed in the room watching cartoons, according to the probable cause statement. Wilson allegedly threw the girl down on the bed, unbuttoned her shirt, kissed her and touched her breasts.

The victim then told Wilson to stop because he was married, and Wilson stopped and apologized, according to the statement.

The girl was lucky. It could have been so much worse.

A little GOP inspired racism

Gleaned from the morning news...

From San Bernardino, the local equivalent of Central Ohio, GOP Women's Group Decides Obama Should Be on Foodstamps, Along with Fried Chicken and Watermelon. After reading the article, I had to ask, "When is a letter of resignation appropriate?" Diane Fedele, I hereby call for your resignation.

- - -

Al-Jazeera pointed a camera and a microphone at people who were attending a Sarah Palin rally in Central Ohio. The resulting footage should win and award for exposing racism. Take this quote from an old lady "Obama and his wife, I’m concerned that they could be anti-white. That he might hide that.

I don't know what to say. I am so ashamed. These people are idiots. But... I find it hard to trust Al-Jazeera to tell the truth, so watch it with your BS detector set to full power. You can watch the whole video at Prose Before Hos or at YouTube.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Weezer - Time ( Pink Floyd Cover )

I went to the Weezer concert last night at the Forum in Los Angeles. The show was amazing. My favorite moment was Weezer's cover of Pink Floyd's Time & Home Again. 10,000 people sang along with the band. It was a magical moment and a feeling that I can only achieve while enjoying live music in a large crowd. I felt connected... like I used to feel when I prayed as a Christian a very long time go.

I found a version from a show on October 10th. Enjoy.

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A dirty window

Yes! I am the strange man with a camera in the truck behind your dirty car on the 5 Freeway near Los Angeles. Now hold still so I can take a picture.

I'm sure this is illegal in Texas.

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Canadian pastor guilty of sex assault

I don't know what to say. This small paragraph encapsulates why I make these painful pedophile pastor posts.

A self-described Montreal pastor who says a so-called marriage to a 10-year-old girl gave him the right to have sex with her has been found guilty of sexual assault.

Source: The Canadian Press: Self-described Mtl pastor guilty of sex assault against child he claimed as bride

I mean... what kind of twisted fuck of a pastor rapes a ten-year-old girl?

Daniel Cormier, ...who headed the now-defunct Church of Downtown Montreal and who once ran for mayor of Montreal, showed no emotion as Durand read her ruling in court, staying two other charges of sexual touching and invitation to touching.

Let's make this a short story. Cormier opened an evangelical church that catered to the dregs of society. With no one looking over his shoulder, he promptly started to abuse the very people he was trying to help. And that is the very definition of a hypocrite.

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Things I don't understand

A girl under the age of 12 was violated by an adult male named James Patten. In this case, Patten is just a regular guy, a custodian in fact. The girl tells her mother about the abuse right after it happened. This is a good thing. It is what I would expect my children to do given the same circumstances. What happens next is what I do not understand. The girl's mother goes to her pastor for advice.  The pastor is a decent man and does the right thing; he advised her to report the abuse. What I don't understand is why the mother went to a pastor before reporting the crime and seeking medical attention for her child? If the pastor had said "pray about it", what then? My assumption is that James Patten would not be in jail awaiting trail on sexual battery charges.

Can somebody tell me how a pastor figures into this?

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not So Buena #8


Title: Underpass
By: Mojoey
Where: Buena Park, Ca., at the 5 and 91 freeways.
When: October 14, 2008 at ~ 7:30 AM
Equipment: Nikon D300 - 1/200 @ f9


My city is bisected by the 5 and 91 freeways. This detail is part of an enormous interchange. I wanted to show the gray bleakness of it all. It is just so damn ugly - yet is it beautiful at the same time. On a side note, a 75-year-old security guard could not understand why I would want to take this picture. When I told him it was a compulsion, he said, "you mean a drug thing?"

This photo is an entry in the Not So Buena photography project hosted here at Deep Thoughts. If you would like to participate with photo's from your own city, see the instructions on this post.

Blogroll Update - Forte Étude

It is my pleasure to introduce our newest Atheist blogroll member, Forte Étude. She's even provided a video with her introduction, which is a first.

In her own words:

Hi! I'm Candace, Writer, Atheist, Pet lover, Left-of-center Boomer, Occasional person of interest. Welcome to Forte Étude, Study of the Strongest Point. This name came about because the theme of my stories (and my life) is fortitude. This was unconscious at first. Heh. Sneaky subconscious.
Atheism is truly the last closet. More and more of us are coming out, heeding the call of "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" to keep silent no longer after 9/11. I feel I've been too quiet for too long. The election's coming in just over a month, with polls showing an extremely tight race. It is conceivable that a foaming-at-the-mouth Fundie could wind up being President of the United States sometime in the next four years, and she could be far worse than Dumbya, the dry drunk who switched from booze to Jesus endorphins.
My blog won't change a thing one way or another about the election, but at least it's a place where I can express myself more fully.
"I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world." - Bertrand Russell
(Of course, this was a pre-9/11 observation.)
We've already seen the "morality" of Dumbya's reign, and boy did the Fundies eat it up. McCain's scary enough, but imagine what could happen if Palin took the highest office.
Oh wait; someone has:

Welcome to the Atheist Blogroll Forte Étude. I hope some of our members will drop in and welcome our 809th blog to the team.

Monday, October 13, 2008

~Homeless ~gasoline ~murder

I have a few Google news filters that are odd. Take this one for instance... ~homeless ~gasoline ~murder. I added it a year ago after a homeless man told me Asian gangs were trying to burn him alive. I laughed at his story, and then I bought him a few cheeseburgers. I added the news filter a few days later. There have been a few nasty hits on this combination of search terms since then, but none as disturbing as this story.

Then last week, someone threw gasoline from a red canister on the homeless man who seemed rooted to the corner of 3rd and Berendo streets, in a densely populated, diverse neighborhood west of downtown. Neighbors rushed to save him in the Thursday night darkness. But his body had been charred, and he died.

On Sunday evening, more than 200 people crowded the sidewalk and spilled over into 3rd Street for a memorial to McGraham. Many of them wept as dozens of votive candles glowed on the concrete. McGraham's sister Susanne McGraham-Paisley brought pictures of her brother.

It is a nasty world we live in. This is barbaric.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

I support possummomma

I was reading The Calladus Blog when I came across a post regarding possummomma and her blog Atheist in a Minivan. I was traumatized to learn that her blog has gone dark. She's been intimidated and stalked to a point where she felt it was better to stop. You can read all about it here.

Mark, of the Calladus Blog, produced the Possummomma graphic as a way for our fellow blogger to show support. I've added The Calladus blog to my top blogs list to show my appreciation for his effort.

*** Update ***

The Atheist Experience blog is collecting messages of support for possummomma:

Several folks have left comments at the previous post, offering their well-wishes. But consider this an open comments thread where the idea is that you post a message directly to Possummomma herself, as if she were reading it (which she will, because I'm emailing her the link to this post). If her blogging has impacted you — and it's impacted many of us — let her know.
Drop in and let her know how you feel.

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The skool of hard knocks

...before anyone writes me, skool is an intentional misspelling.

The Wooster Collective is an art blog I follow. They have an interesting take on graffiti called The skool of hard knocks from above. I like the result.

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Fence art - who knew?

I've never been a fan of chain link fencing. But I could get used to it if somebody cared enough to do this

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More racism in the presidential campaign

As the campaign nears the end, McCain supports are starting to show their racist predilections. it can be as subtle as shouting "off with his head" - OK, shouting "off with his head" is not exactly subtle, but compared to some of the things we've see recently, it's small potato's.

Digg and Reddit are full of the Obama Monkey story. I've watched the YouTube video of a nutball supporter wave his Obama Monkey in open racial contempt for Barack Obama. I've watched follow-up footage of the same jackass trying to hide his stupidity. I am sure some who read this will point out this is a single data point, except it's not. There is ample video evidence showing supporters saying all sorts of stupid nasty things.

Racism has no place in politics. These people are trying to roll back the clock. It is simply wrong.

The truth is... I like my monkeys on cupcakes. Racism has no foothold in my life.

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Well this pisses me off

A billboard in Missouri makes me ashamed to be an American - and proud at the same tiem.

Ashamed - racism is alive and well. I don't understand it. It pisses me off beyond words. I want to tear the damn thing down. But I won't...

Proud - we have the freedom to speak our minds here, even if the words flow from the minds of a cretins.

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Say what?

I try to be nice, I really do. Even when my friends send me "important" editorial emails like this Letter to the Editor from the Lompoc Record. Seriously now - what is she talking about?

It's quite hilarious that people have such a problem with “in God we trust.” People saying things such as “it's a melding of church and state.”

Do these people have any idea of our history? And how we became a nation? They don't seem to have any problem spending or taking money that states “in God we trust.” I haven't heard that it is a problem of melding church and state or forcing Christian beliefs on anyone?

People need to see and realize when this nation started failing. It wasn't just eight years ago, as people would like to believe. It was when we, as a nation, allowed such people as these to take God out of our nation.

Soon there won't be any protection for us. I thank my God that I am, and always will be safe in His hand.

Kelly Masi - Lompoc

Try as I might, I'm not sure what Kelly's letter is all about. Is it really funny that people find a problem with mixing church and state? And what does she mean about history? And what is her point about spending money with the words "in God we trust" imprinted our coins and currency. Do we have a choice?

I'm sure Kelly will frame her letter, I'm more inclined to wipe my ass with it. What absolute drivel, what rubbish, what poppycock.

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Not So Buena #8


Title: Palm Trees
By: Mojoey
Where: Buena Park, Ca., at Buena Park Mall
When: October 10, 2008
Equipment: Nikon D300 - 1/250 @ f8


Living in Southern California has it advantages and its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the use of palm trees as decorative features on commercial property. I actually hate it almost as much as I hate houses that use tar paper and white rocks as roofing material (don't ask, it's irrational). The parking lot at the Buena Park Mall is palm tree anarchy. It's urban ugly at its worst.

This photo is an entry in the Not So Buena photography project hosted here at Deep Thoughts. If you would like to participate with photo's from your own city, see the instructions on this post.

St. John's Priest Arrested On Porn, Sex Charges

Catholic MazeFather Charles Plock, a chaplain at St. John's University in Queens is accused of sending sexual internet messages to a child. Plock is also a youth pastor. He is alleged to have made pornographic videos of himself and then emailed them, along with sexually graphic messages, to a 13-year-old boy.

Quote of the day:

"This keeps happening with different priests in different places. It's outraging in a lot of ways and I'm catholic, so this gives my religion a bad name. - freshman Corey Danis.

Amen Corey, amen.

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My god is bigger than yours

A pastor opened a campaign event with an odd prayer. He wants god to grant McCain a big win.
God Bless

Before McCain spoke, a Christian pastor offered a prayer that seemed to ask for divine intervention on his behalf. "There are millions of people around this world praying to their God -- whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah -- that [McCain's] opponent wins for a variety of reasons," Pastor Arnold Conrad said. "And, Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens.

Source: John McCain and Sarah Palin try new tactics - Los Angeles Times

I am reminded of the immortal words of the Talking Heads.

I got a girlfriend thats better than that
She has the smoke in her eyes
Shes moving up, going right through my house
Shes ginna give me surprise

The only surprise will be if McCain wins.

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