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Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday is fun day - and a 'conversational intervention' for the coming Holiday

Good Friday is the day which commemorates the death of Jesus on the cross, leading to the resurrection.  The technical term for that period is the Paschal Triduum, something you can trot out at the water cooler (if you feel like showing off). The Paschal Triduum was not always celebrated the way we do now; it used to be different by half a day, but that changed in 1955 under Pope Pius XII.

 The official Easter season does not end on Sunday, but goes through Pentecost, 50 days later.  The Sunday a week after Easter is called Ember Sunday, except in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, and appears to be another one of those pagan holidays co-opted by Christianity.

So we all pretty much know that Easter celebrates Jesus rising from the dead, and that before that, Jesus was attributed with the act of raising Lazarus from the dead.   But in Christianity, that used to be pretty common; some 400 saints, according to their specific history or hagiography, became saints in part because they supposedly also raised the dead.  The gospels command believers to raise the dead ( Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely you have received, freely give.” ) and St. Paul is credited in the book of Acts with raising Eutychus in Acts 20:12.   Eutychus was a man who dozed off because Paul's preaching was boring, and Eutychus fell asleep, and then fell out of a window where he was sitting.

So, for those who like to be able to trot out religious trivia - you have the Triduum, Ember Sunday, and Eutychus / dead raising. But if you still feel the need for a little 'conversational intervention' topic to tuck into your mental pockets in case things get tense, there are still fringe Christian groups that do so -- or claim to do so - today. 

YUP, in the U.S. we have crazy fundamentalists, or as some of us refer to them more colloquially, 'fundies' who are part of a world-wide movement that believes they can raise the dead -- and they run around trying to raise 21st century corpses.

As the Freethinker noted, in the U.S., in Washington state, there is a group called the Dead Raising Team; they claim to have raised 11 people from the dead, but of course, they can't produce any of them.  In the U.K., the BBC did a news piece on the global evangelical movement; there is a documentary about them called "the Deadraisers", and of course, youtube videos.

They actually complain about a lack of available corpses to practice on.  Although some of these fundies reject modern medical care in favor of exclusive reliance on prayer, which does seem to provide them with dead people on a regular basis.

Personally, I see this as nothing more than more groups of religious charlatans, giving religion a bad name, and embracing superstition rather than spirituality. But what the heck, it might just be the thing you need to change the subject if your crazy conservative uncle starts ranting about Obamacare, nazis, or domestic terrorists like Cliven Bundy and the dangerous militia groups out in Nevada.

If dead raising doesn't change-up the mood, there is always creating vaginas in the laboratory to fall back on.  If you get one of those transplanted in, is a woman a virgin again?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Nevada 'Taker', 'Moooooh-cher' and his terrorist miilitia buddies should be in jail - and pobably will be

Like believing in gravity, 'belief', sincere or otherwise, is not a requisite for the federal government to exist and to be effective.

Like gravity, ignoring the federal government could both surprise and hurt.

Shoot the cattle, not the protesters, then take away the land; if anyone starts shooting, lock 'em up. Bunch of right wing domestic terrorists. The right wing nuts are hypocrites. The militia crowd that showed up armed are no better than any other criminals, bent on insurrection and violence. There is no difference between these guys and the two Boston marathon bombers; both were bent on violence, both were anti-U.S. government.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Latest update on Craig Cobb, Conservative/White Supremacist, friend of alleged shooter in KS

As the news comes out about the shooting in Kansas of an old man, a boy, and a woman, allegedly carried out by an angry old white supremacist, we learn that while he targeted Jewish institutions, none of the three he killed were actually of that faith or ethnicity.  He appears to have assumed they were, based on the location, although he was caught at what appears to be a public elementary school.  It is unknown if he intended to shoot anyone there as well.

Craig Cobb is facing sentencing in North Dakota for threatening people in that town.  He claims the shooter (alleged) was a long-time friend of his, and that he was in contact with him quite recently.

Cobb got a sweet plea deal, with sentencing set for April 29th, according to this No Dak news source, but that might still fall through, as the locals are seeking to have the prosecutor replaced and an actual trial held - with stiffer penalties.
BISMARCK – A sentencing date is set for April 29 for a white supremacist accused of terrorizing people in Leith, the small southwestern North Dakota town he targeted for a takeover last year.
Craig Cobb entered guilty pleas Feb. 27 to one charge of felony terrorizing and five counts of misdemeanor menacing as part of a plea deal with Grant County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz that would require Cobb to serve four years of supervised probation but no additional jail time.
Judge David Reich said he wanted more information before accepting the plea agreement and sentencing Cobb, and he ordered a pre-sentence investigation, including a psychological evaluation.
The investigator’s sealed report was filed in Grant County District Court late last week.
Cobb’s sentencing is set for 11 a.m. April 29 at the Burleigh County Courthouse in Bismarck. A July 15 jury trial has been canceled.
Cobb, who is wanted on a hate-crime charge in Canada, moved to Leith a year ago and bought up property there with hopes of creating an all-white enclave.
Last week, Leith Mayor Ryan Schock, City Councilman Lee Cook and New Leipzig resident Gregory Bruce, the city’s website developer, filed a complaint with the North Dakota Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Board alleging unprofessional conduct and possible unethical practices by Schwarz. They’re asking the board to censure Schwarz, remove him from the Cobb case and appoint a special prosecutor to bring Cobb to trial.
Cobbs relationship with the other violent right winger is detailed here, and since this was written it is my understanding that Eric Holder has directed this be taken to court as a federal hate crime - and rightly so.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - White supremacist Craig Cobb is friends with a man jailed in the killing of three people at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City on Sunday.
Cobb says he last spoke with Frazier Glenn Cross on Thursday and that Cross gave no indication that he might be planning an attack.
Cobb says the allegations against Cross have nothing to do with him and so he isn't commenting. But he says he hopes Cross didn't do it.
Cobb is jailed in North Dakota while he awaits an April 29 sentencing for terrorizing residents of Leith.
Cross, of Aurora, Mo., hasn't been formally charged in the Kansas City killings, but U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom says there's enough evidence to justify submitting a hate-crimes case to a grand jury.

The latest Tim Scannell news

Tim Scannell should resign.  This man has behaved so badly, including himself being a scofflaw by ignoring a restraining order against him, and has behaved so badly in his inappropriate relationship with an underage girl, that he cannot credibly do his job.

When Scannell was shot by a man he prosecuted and convicted - for the same thing - the man accused him of exactly that, of himself doing what he prosecuted others for doing.

There is a sad, sick culture of much older men, guns, and underage girls, of exploitation and of intimidation in this part of Minnesota.

Scannell needs to go, and if it takes going to jail to get rid of him, then a conviction cannot come too soon.  He has discredited his office, himself, and he has abused his authority and the trust that was placed in him.

Scannell apparently began this 'romantic' relationship when the girl was much younger than 17, although he claims he did not have sex with her until then.

From NBC:
updated 4/11/2014 6:20:10 PM ET
Duluth, MN ( St. Louis County District Court judge Shaun Floerke has decided not to dismiss the indictment against the Cook County Attorney accused of criminal sexual misconduct.
Judge Floerke ruled Friday that there was enough evidence for a grand jury to indict Tim Scannell on two counts of fourth degree sexual misconduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
Scannell's attorney also argued that Scannell's position of authority over the girl shouldn't have been allowed into evidence saying the grand jury was confused by it...but Floerke ruled that there was enough evidence presented to the grand jury showing Scannell held a parental role in the victim's life.
Scannell has been on medical leave from his job as Cook County Attorney since October of 2013.
A pretrial date will now be set for his case.

Monday, April 14, 2014

You might be a New Republican if.. (Installment 1043)

From our friend J.O.B.

1- If you believe that the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Liberal oppressors in order to take your guns away, you may be a new Republican.

2- If you will do anything within your power to defend the rights of an eight week old fetus, then fight to put an end to programs that may feed a three year old child, you may be a new Republican.

3- If you compare gay marriage to zoophilia and use that as an excuse to trample basic civil rights of homosexuals, you may be a new Republican.

4- If you believe the Koch brothers are true American freedom fighters spending hundreds of millions of dollars tirelessly fighting for your liberty, you may be a new Republican. And an idiot!

5- If you argue that an ex-convict in Chicago should not have the right to vote, but an ex-convict in Chattanooga should be able to exercise his/her second amendment rights, you may be a new Republican.

6- If you argue against marijuana legalization while finding nothing wrong with opium based pain killers, you may be a new Republican. And if you find no link to these pain killers and the sudden surge in heroin usage, you may be blind.

7- If you are anti abortion and pro death penalty, you may be a new Republican. Not too mention a hypocrite. According to your own "good book", both souls are filled with sin.

A couple of my own thrown in for good measure:

1. If you believe in atomic energy, but deny atomic decay can be used to determine the age of ancient artifacts, you might be a New Republican

2. If you deny that animals with more useful traits are more likely to survive and breed (that's the essence of natural selection), you might be a New Republican (e.g. if you deny evolution, you might be a New Republican).

3. If you deny there is sufficient scientific research confirming the relatively simply concept of natural selection, but then believe in things like irreducible complexability (a concept disproven at the Dover Trial on Evolution), or any of the other crack-pot ideas for which there is nearly zero scientific research, you might be a New Republican.

and one from me - our first 'you might be a New Republican' visual:

1. If you would actually have this in your yard, and use it with pride, you might be a New Republican.

2.  You might be a new Republican if you superstitiously believe that the lunar eclipse / blood moon tomorrow night signals the end of the world.  You might also be really poorly educated, and exceedingly stupid.

Here is radical religious righties contradictory comments, via USA Today:
He cites Acts 2:19-20 as a sign: "And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord."
In extensive remarks available online on his interpretation of the Blood Moons, Hagee says, "I believe that the heavens are God's billboard, that He has been sending signals to planet Earth, and we just haven't been picking them up."
He adds: "God is literally screaming at the world: 'I'm coming soon.'"
A spokesman for the televangelist said tells USA TODAY on Monday that Hagee "has not associated the blood moons with the end of days."

3. You might be a New Republican, if you obsess over reproductive body parts: