Wednesday, January 25, 2017


I have decided to purchase a real domain name for myself and now have  I know I haven't written in a while, but I'm starting fresh.  If you want to continue to follow me please come over to my new site.  It will be a few weeks probably before it is completely up and running, but I hope I will be able to continue to write there for anyone that cares to read my nonsense.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Diatribe on Trump

So for all my blog readers this is a diatribe I wrote for a rhetoric class I am in at UC Berkeley as a response to an hour long discussion we had in class.  I refer often to things that happened in class but I think it is clear enough that you don't need to have been in my class to understand the point.  Trump is a fucking asshole.

In class on Tuesday we spoke about some very contentious issues surrounding Donald Trump and the upcoming presidential election.  While our school has its liberal reputation for very good reason, I have no doubt that there are at least a few in our class and many on campus who support Trump.  For this reason, I am writing this, in order to address some of the comments made in class, as well as the issues I hoped to raise but was unable to because so many people wanted to speak.  Since this is a class in rhetoric we focus on words.  I have been reminded many times by our professor that words matter.  This is true, words do indeed matter, but only in the context of the facts that surround them.

Trigger Warning: I will be reprinting here Trumps comments regarding women in the video released over the weekend so that those who haven’t seen what he said can know.

I will also be using foul language because curse words are able to convey a certain intensity and emotion that is valuable when using a written medium rather than verbal communication. 

Early in our class on Tuesday I referred to Donald Trump as a steaming pile of human waste.  I want to begin by apologizing for this characterization as it is abjectly wrong.  The much more correct characterization that I should have used to refer to Donald as is a flaming bag of dog shit; however, I was concerned about using such language in class.  Trump is a bigot, a racist, a xenophobe, and an all-around asshole.  I fully contend that being a Trump supporter in itself is an exercise in self-delusion and truth avoidance.  Trump supporters in the media have irreparably damaged American discourse with their partisan bullshit.  They are able to deflect and deny all of Trump’s wrongs in order to maintain the false reality they desperately want to believe.  The truth, however, is undeniable and no mere words can ever change it. 

All People Deserve Respect, Freedom And Equality Regardless Of Race, Gender, Creed, Orientation, Or Any Other Categorization.

I have but one simple caveat for that statement.  A person no longer deserves respect when they have proven themselves to be unworthy of it.  Trump, more than almost any public figure today has definitely proven himself to be unworthy of respect.  The United States has reached a point in our history where all of the progress we have made through science, logic, reason, and cooperation threaten to be turned around.  I would never suggest that Trump has accomplished this himself, rather that he has given a public voice to the worst dregs of our society; people who had remained relatively silent on the national level for a long time because most people had ignored them.  We can ignore this threat no longer.

The first issue I want to address from class is a comment made that Secretary Clinton could possibly be in prison because of the issue with her Emails.  Those of us who have been motivated enough to do the research know that this claim is almost certainly abjectly false.  It is propaganda widely circulated through the right wing and has been baselessly used to demean her.  I do not expect anyone to take my word for it, but instead you can listen to a Harvard educated Lawyer, Andrew Torrez, explain clearly and efficiently why this is so on a podcast called Opening Arguments by following this link.  You can also read his accompanying blog article on the same topic here.  And of course, there are the words of FBI director James Comey

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. … In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”

Secretary Clinton does not deny that using a separate email server was a stupid decision, she accepts full responsibility and has said so multiple times, but under the claims of Donald Trump that she should be in prison are perverse exploitation of what is in reality a dumb mistake.

But Trump’s absolutely fucking idiotic call to lock her up is completely emblematic of his campaign.  As we all saw in the debate earlier this week he was unable to answer most questions and merely resorted to attacking Secretary Clinton.  When asked what he would do about Syria Trump instead turned to attacking Secretary Clinton.  He actually had to be asked the question a second time by moderator Martha Raddatz after he used his initial 2 minutes on attacks.  This is a man whose campaign is so disturbingly distanced from reality that his vice presidential candidate is an evolution denier.  I have a shrimp in my fish tank that is more intelligent than Donald Trump, but none of this comes even close to Trumps treatment of women, minorities, and the LGBTQ community.

While Trump continually tries to claim that he truly cares about African Americans his past is riddled with disturbing truths that show otherwise.  In 1973 Trump and his father were sued for discrimination in housing practices.  The lawsuit claimed that Trump Management Inc. (of which Donald Trump was then the president) either refused to rent to African Americans in some cases, or in others offered only apartments in buildings that were primarily inhabited by other African Americans.  While the lawsuit was eventually settled without an admission of guilt it is but one event in a long chain of discriminatory actions and statements that plague the entire Trump family. 

Not long ago, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a picture of a bowl of skittles with the caption “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful?”  This disgustingly simple minded evaluation of the Syrian refugee issue is absolutely disgraceful.  Before responding to it myself I want to give you the words of Comedian and magician Eli Bosnick who created a minor internet sensation with his response.  He tweeted the image of the same bowl of skittles with the following caption.

“If I gave you a bowl of skittles and three of them were poison would you still eat them?”
“Are the other skittles human lives?”
“Like. Is there a good chance. A really good chance. I would be saving someone from a war zone and probably their life if I ate a skittle?”
“Well sure. But the point-”
“I would eat the skittles.”
“Ok-well the point is-”
“I would GORGE myself on skittles. I would eat every single fucking skittle I could find. I would STUFF myself with skittles. And when I found the poison skittle and died I would make sure to leave behind a legacy of children and of friends who also ate skittle after skittle until there were no skittles to be eaten. And each person who found the poison skittle we would weep for. We would weep for their loss, for their sacrifice, and for the fact that they did not let themselves succumb to fear but made the world a better place by eating skittles.
Because your REAL question…the one you hid behind a shitty little inaccurate, insensitive, dehumanizing racist little candy metaphor is,
… and what kind of monster would think the answer to that question… is yes?”

The truth is powerful.  The truth is that we live in one of the most prosperous and well off nations in the world, but many of us suffer from the delusion that we have no responsibility to the rest of the world.  That these imaginary boundaries that we drew and we named countries have any more meaning than we give them and that for some reason being born in one as opposed to another makes our lives more valuable.  Trump initially called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, and as I have made very clear in class I am an atheist.  I have no love for Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism, or any other religion across the planet, but I do not hate the person who believes something because it is what they were taught.  One’s religious beliefs are usually just a result of what you were taught by your family and the people around you, and they are no reason to hate the person.  The truth is indeed that the vast majority of all religious people are peaceful.  The vast majority of all non-religious people are peaceful, but Trump wants to prevent thousands of people from escaping the absolute horrors of war simply because his xenophobic little mind can’t comprehend that he is no better than they.  Look up pictures of the city of Damascus before and after the civil war.  The difference is heart wrenching.  Any person who can look upon them and feel no ounce of sympathy, no desire to help in any way possible is a cruel heartless bastard who does not deserve to be our president.

On LGBTQ rights Trump’s position is as hypocritical as humanly possible.  Trump openly says that he is a better choice for the LBGT community while also openly opposing marriage equality.  His reason? Of course it is blame Secretary Clinton.  Since the Clinton foundation once received donations from Saudi Arabia he is suddenly better for some reason.  Of course that’s if you don’t consider the millions Trump has made in business with the Saudis.  Or the fact that donations to the Clinton foundation are irrelevant to Secretary Clinton’s support of human rights.  I say let’s take all of the money we can get from the Saudis and funnel it directly to humanitarian projects WHICH IS WHAT THE CLINTON FOUNDATION FUCKING DOES.  I’m sure Trump also thinks that his support of the North Carolina is also a pro-LGBT move (sarcasm).  Of course it’s no surprise that Southern Poverty Law Center listed hate groups like the Family Research Council, the Ku Klux jackasses and David Duke support the upstanding hatemonger that is Donald.

Of course no conversation on Donald Trump can ignore his views on women… As property.  Since women are half of the population it surprised me greatly that someone would suggest there were things more important than this.  We live in a country where women are still treated as inferior to men, a country where nearly 20% of women report having been raped or experiencing sexual assault.  In short we live in a country where rape culture is alive and well.  Here at UC Berkeley in the past few months we have had several instances of rape and sexual assault reported and undoubtedly there have been more that, sadly, the victims have not been able to report.  It is an uncomfortable thing to think about, but beyond that it must be discussed and it must be confronted.  We must also recognize that the culture of masculinity is the problem. 

At this point I am going to discuss the recent video of Donald Trump talking about women with Billy Bush.  In the video, the asshole says

“I moved on her actually. You know she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try and fuck her, she was married”

Followed later by

“I moved on her like a bitch. I couldn't get there and she was married. Then all-of-a-sudden I see her, she's now got the big phony tits and everything. She's totally changed her look.”


“I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

And the worst

“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

That anyone would try to apologize for or distract from the disgusting nature of Trump’s comments is insulting to the women of our country.  This is not locker room talk.  I have, in my life, played just about every sport there is to play, from soccer to ice hockey, and I have never heard anything that disgusting.  This is not how men speak when we are alone.  It is the way a desperate sad narcissist talks about people he views as mere objects for his pleasure.  Do we want someone leading our country who doesn’t respect half of the population?  Someone who even the Westboro Baptist Nutjobs see as “too fringe”.  Do we want a president that says he wants to take away a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body?  Do I even need to remind everyone that Trump currently stands accused of sexually abusing a 13 year old girl at parties hosted by a convicted sex offender?  Do I have to point out that Anderson Cooper had to ask that disgusting excuse for a pile of rotten flesh three times whether he had ever done the things he said in the video before Trump finally said no.  I desperately hope not.

I could write for hours, I know, and not do any good.  The Trump supporters would point out that Trump has not been convicted of rape (yet), that he settled his housing discrimination lawsuit and never admitted guilt.  They would deflect and bring up the emails, and the Saudi donations and all the bullshit claims Trump has made.  I know this because at one point in my life, that I am not proud of, I was one of those idiots.  I was raised in a republican household and I went through a phase where I was a radical conservative.  I thought it was cool, and that I was so much smarter than those stupid liberals.  I called democrats communists and made a general ass of myself.  I opposed what I now see as the basic human freedom of the right to love and marry anyone you wish.  I suppressed my own sexuality, unwilling to admit that I was bisexual because of the oppressive religious ideas I was raised with.  I am disgusted with who I once was, but I understand the mindset.  Trump supporters live in an echo chamber where the only information they see is that which re-confirms their pre-determined conclusions.  If they encounter contradictory information they label it lies by the liberal media.  My parents still live like that and it pains me deeply.

But at the same time I can’t blame Trump supporters for believing a lie.  I can’t do that because it truly isn’t their fault.  We are all just products of our surroundings, and most likely they were raised in households where they were taught to think that way.  It is an incredibly difficult thing to escape, and it only happened for me when I became an atheist.  I can, however, blame Donald Trump for promoting the toxic ideas he does.  He has millions upon millions of dollars, enough to have access to any information in the world.  He is surrounded by advisors who cannot ignore the truth and effectively do their jobs, and he was given by his father one of the best educations that money can buy at Wharton.  There is no excuse except malicious intent to obviously know the truth but ignore it.
So with all of this the only thing that really matters is how do we fix it?  I think the answer is an incredibly hard one.  I think it takes all of us confronting the issues we face as a society.  It takes white, middle class, educated, men like myself confronting our privilege and realizing that we, more than everyone else, have a duty to work to fix what our ancestors have caused.  This doesn’t mean we have to walk around apologizing for the way we were born, but it means actively working to support those who were not born with the advantages that we were.  It means educating others who want to maintain the status quo, because education is truly the only way to break them from the ideas they were raised with.  It means being an ally to the LGBTQ community.  But most importantly it means trying to understanding one another.  People are the same all over.  We all want to live happy healthy lives in the presence of those that we love.  We should all live in a society that doesn’t make anyone feel that they are an outsider.  I know that this seems like a pie in the sky fantasy world that we will never get to, but it truly is closer than we suspect.  We came to Berkeley because we believe in change.  We want to better ourselves so that we can better the world, and in a few short years most of us will be out there actually trying to do so.  I hope that we can all stand by each other one sunny day in a world where there is no more hatred, oppression, and division. 

If you managed to make it all the way to the end, thank you.  I completely realize the irony that this rant is almost as long as the midterm I turned in last week, but I find it quite cathartic to put my thoughts down in writing.  I know much of my anger came through as well as some of my sappy optimism and other emotions but I truly do believe every word.  If you take offense at anything I wrote or think I am wrong feel free to tell me.  There are few things I relish more than a good debate. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Reason To Have Faith In Network Television, Courtesy Of The Blacklist.

Like many people today I rarely watch T.V.  In fact, in my dorm I don't have access to cable, or satellite.  So like most, I rely on Netflix, which means waiting months for the next season of any show I like to pop up and then binge-watching the whole season while neglecting my studies.  Well that is exactly what happened today when I noticed that season three of one of my favorite shows The Blacklist starring James Spader.  The particular episode is episode 4 of season 3 entitled "The Djinn".  While many viewers may have just watched for the action and suspense, or perhaps for Spaders' witty quips, but at the end of the episode Spader has a monologue that absolutely made me light up.

As a skeptic, secular humanist, and fervent believer in equality, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I support gay rights and especially detest religious hatred aimed at members of the LGBTQ community.  Furthermore, as a political science major, I wouldn't have chosen UC Berkeley if I didn't believe in social justice.


So the premise of the episode is that a woman named the Djinn allows people to torture or otherwise take revenge on people who have wronged them.  Midway through the episode an Iranian businessman dissapears and it is revealed his Daughter Nasim kidnapped him for revenge. Reddington (played by Spader) and Keen (played by Meghan Boone) eventually find out that Nasim is the Djinn and then procede to reveal her secret.

Here is the transcript of the inspiring speech given by Spader about the situation:

Reddington:  Was it so horrific to discover that your 19 year old son, your eldest son was gay.  So horrific that you forced him against his will to go under the knife, change his gender, to give you a daughter instead of your son?  Who was gay.

Father: The clerics accept.  People can get trapped in the body of the wrong sex.

 Nasim:  I wasn’t trapped.  I liked my body, I liked men.

Father:  I wanted to protect you Nasim.  They could have killed you.

Reddington:  For being Gay!  They’re so homophobic that being gay is a hideous crime, but chopping off a man’s penis isn’t?  Honestly is it just me or is the human race armed with religion, poisoned by prejudice, and absolutely frantic with hatred and fear Galloping pell mell back into the dark ages?  Who on earth is hurt by a little girl going to school, or a child being gay?

For more on this real issue view the Vice News report on the subject from 2015.  Religious fundamentalism truly is trying to drag us back into the dark ages and it is up to individuals of rational mind to fight against it.  Every person in the world has the intrinsic right to live free of judgement about their sexual preference, free of persecution, free of fear of death and imprisonment over issues that no one else has any right to even know about.

I am encouraged by knowing that many others like me continue to become the majority, but religion continues to be the main enemy in the fight towards equal rights for all.  I haven't touched on religion much throughout my blogging, but I feel any decent skeptic (or sceptic for the Brits) must look at the scientific data and say religion has no place in the making of policy or determining how to treat our fellow humans.  Only reason, and the simple idea that we must care for one another, should guide our interactions.

So in closing I recommend the Blacklist to all of my readers.  I may enjoy it for the simple entertainment value most of the time, but it is also heartening to know that the typically shallow entertainment sector does manage to sneak in SJW topics from time to time.

Friday, August 19, 2016

I'm So Sick of Mike Adams' Racism and Bullshit

After my several week long hiatus on writing about the Health Ranger, today I decided to peruse several of the most recent articles he has written.  Recently he has been on a political kick, writing about things like the election, Black Lives Matter, and of course the ever coming collapse of America.  Over the years, and certainly in this election cycle, the Trump supporting megalomaniac Mike Adams has become increasingly caustic and racist.  In one of his most recent about how apparently we are in the middle of a race war he babbles about how BLM is really a black terror group and the race war Obama has been planning for years is finally upon us.  Of course Mike Adams doesn't miss an opportunity for product placement!!  He conveniently links his reader to an online gun store Bud's Gun Shop, so you too can shoot people in the pelvis just as Mike describes in the article.  One of his more sickening quotes is this,

"Remember, much of today's violence is being carried out by racist, angry, bigoted HATE MOBS, 

not just individuals. This means you will likely need to reload. Don't get caught with only one 

magazine in your gun. Like I always say in my tactical handgun classes, if they ever find me beat to 

death by an angry mob, there are going to be shell casings and empty magazines (and lots of dead m--

-er f---ers) all over the place"

Of course I have come to expect this type of sick and twisted bullshit from naturalnews, but the sheer hypocrisy of it is most striking.  This is the type of person that wants to highlight small groups of people that mainstream Black Lives Matter supporters would definitely condemn , and characterize that as the entire movement.  Meanwhile, back in the fortress of solitude, anytime a gun nut shoots someone, or a school, or a church, they are in no way characteristic of the mainstream gun owners in society.

You also get the sense throughout that he had to go back through after he wrote this and change all of the places where it blames black lives matter protesters, where before it probably just said black people.

I myself own a shotgun that I use for shooting clays.  It's entertaining and I enjoy it.  I'm no gun nut, but it is legal and I know my gun is safely locked away.  I know many other gun owners and the majority of them are just normal people that either hunt or target shoot for fun, but the audience Mike Adams appeals too is the type of person that is foaming at the mouth just hoping they someday get the chance to shoot somebody (a black somebody in most cases).  Neither the rioters who claim to be affiliated with BLM, or the murderers who commit mass atrocities are representative of their respective groups, but the Health Ranger would have you believe that at this moment the streets are filled with roving bands of racist black thugs, just waiting to see a white person so they can kill them.  I know there isn't much rebuttal in this post, but I am simply drained from having to read David Duke's fever dream channeled through the dripping conspiracy sponge that is Mike Adams.   There is only one way I can end this post because I am just too frustrated to think right now

Fuck You Mike Adams You Racist Delusional Piece Of Human Garbage.  

Why I Haven't Been Writing

As some of you may know, I am a college student, and for the last several years I have been attending American River College in Sacramento California.  Well my ship has finally come in and earlier this year I found out I had been accepted to UC Berkeley.  Needless to say I am incredibly excited to start at one of the top academic institutions in the world.  My hope is that the people I meet there will give me new resources to draw upon and allow me to write better, more informative articles about all the pseudo scientific woo I abhor.  Between my recent vacation and my frantic preparations for my move this Sunday I have not had time to write about the lunacy of your favorite online gurus, but rest assured I shall return.  In the meantime GO BEARS!!!

Monday, August 1, 2016

My Vacation.

Tomorrow at 6 in the morning I am leaving for a weeklong vacation canoeing in the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada.  I did this trip a few years ago with my Dad and younger brother, and we had such a great time we decided to go again.  I have to say, being absolutely alone in the wilderness for days, when you see not one single other human being, is amazing.  The stars are brighter than I have ever seen them, we catch more fish in one week than I think I've ever caught in a lifetime of going to Minnesota for summer vacations.  I cannot recommend it enough to those who love the outdoors.  So for the time being you will not be getting new blog posts from me unfortunately, but rest assured that when I return I will have plenty of pictures and stories to share.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Changes to blog layout

I'm doing a bit of fooling around with my layout and such for a few days so be patient with me, things might seem a bit weird for a bit.  Hang in there, more great stuff to come.