The Conversation I Never Thought I Would Have at Rock Beyond Belief

The Conversation I Never Thought I Would Have at Rock Beyond Belief

A friend reveals his thoughts on God.

Yesterday I had an absolute blast at Rock Beyond Belief, I got to hang out with my fellow bloggers Ed and Justin, rocked out to Aiden, and got one of my unit t-shirts signed by many of the performers and speakers at event. It was a beautiful day and a welcome change of scenery from the normal deserts that define my life.

The after-party was also a fun and positive experience; at least it started out that way.

So, no shit, there I was. It was 2 am and the party was still going strong. The weakest of the pack had been culled; an inebriated Ed Brayton was transported to his room via one of those wheeled baggage cart things. I really didn’t know a man could projectile vomit such a large amount of fluid and I think he might still be hung over well into May. But the largest shock of the party was still to come. [Read more...]

The Operators

Michael Hastings covers the unwinnable Afghanistan.

Recently my buddy clued me into to another light colonel who “Hackworthed” or sacrificed his career in the hopes of raising consciousness about an unwinnable fight.  LT. COL Daniel L. Davis wrote a scathing assessment of the War in Afghanistan as the conflict pushes steadily into its second decade. Sadly, I believe the brass has learned from the mistakes of how it handled the public face of wars since Vietnam. By fostering an all-volunteer force, our country has effectively fostered a Solider Caste, ensuring that the effects of war are neigh invisible to the broader public. Political sentiment and the pure ignorance that is “American Exceptionalism” keeps any criticism of the war from being voiced. To do so is political suicide. Even Obama, who has handled the war like the smelly bag of trash it is, (a thing to be removed as soon as possible) has to step lightly through a minefield of critics to get out to the dumpster.

The most common response I get from friends outside the Army when the subject of Afghanistan arises is usually a variation of “I didn’t know we were still there”. The Army, like always, is almost single minded in its focus, the Army wants to win. The military is a very goal centric organization that places mission accomplishment as its number one priority.

We are told that the Surge and Counter Insurgency won the Iraq War, beat terrorism, and that it will soon be the same in Afghanistan.

However modern history does not jibe with the reality of twenty first century warfare. [Read more...]

John Edward, Relationship Genius

I actually still can’t believe this happened.

Today was a long one, eleven and a half hours. Consequently I didn’t get to read or write much but this, sadly, caught my eye.

Apparently the reason Kim Kardashian got a divorce was because her father told her to. Even better, her father is dead. Even better, the information was relayed to Kim via John Fracking Edward, yes THAT John Edward, the very paragon of morality. [Read more...]

Golshifteh Farahani Exiled For Nude Photos

Iran censors an act meant to highlight the struggles of Muslim women.

As my fellow blogger Maryam Namazie has reported, recently the Iranian born actress Golshifteh Farahani posed nude in a French magazine to protest the conservative policies of her homeland and highlight the plight of women across the Muslim world.

Upon seeing the blasphemous image of a beautiful nude woman, the Iranian Ministry of Culture tactfully responded by permanently exiling her from Iran. We should all appreciate the sacrifice she has made with her statement.

(Source: Zeenews)

The Troll Behind the Banner

The author of the Cranston High School Prayer is pissed.

So about 60 years ago, there was this guy named David and he went to Cranston High. There was a contest and something that David wrote was put on a wall. Swing forward to today and that thing David wrote was now having the opposite effect it was supposed to. For David’s goal was to unify the school, so he choose one of the two things that people by and large had in common, he choose God.

But the world has changed since the early 1960’s, and one student now felt very isolated because of David’s work. Upon hearing this, are we to think that David took the students concerns to heart? After all, “His prayer, [David] noted, is based on civility, intelligence and common decency.”

Nope. [Read more...]

Taking It to the Grave

Deceased Connecticut woman faces exhumation amid religious and racial issues.

When Juliet Steer finally succumbed to lymphoma, her brother dutifully and loving carried our Juliet’s final wishes. She had been a devoted Christian in life but wanted to be buried in the Jewish manner, under the same traditions that Jesus had been buried with. She had even found a Jewish cemetery with an interfaith section separated by a road from the Jewish section that would accommodate those wishes. When she passed, her brother, Paul, arranged the ceremony and tearfully said good bye to a family member.

Despite the cemetery’s 2009 policy on interfaith burials, one cemetery board member has taken issue with Juliet’s presence on the grounds. Maria Balaban has sued both Paul Steer and her own congregation on the grounds that Juliet had no ties to Judaism. [Read more...]

Are Social Conservatives Rallying Around Santorum?

The Christian Right attempts to rally after the plethora of Republican candidates split the vote.

Perhaps Romney’s biggest advantage going into the Republican Primary was the sheer number of presidential competitors with strong records on social issues. The often revered Religious Right vote was split between Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry from the earliest days of the competition. Even Newt used his newfound Catholic faith to garner a slice of that voting bloc. But, with Bachmann gone and Perry on life support it now appears the religious right has placed its hope in Mr. Santorum as the last realistic chance of choosing a nominee whose name is not Mitt Romney. [Read more...]

Minister in Chief

Religion Dispatches has a great article about Bryan Fisher and how he thinks that the President’s first responsibility is to be a Minister of the holy gospels. Go read it here.

Fischer uses this passage, along with verse 6, to prove that “One who holds public office is serving in a divinely ordained role, just as much as a pastor in the pulpit. The role of a statesman is every bit as sacred as that of a clergyman.”

Indeed, he goes on to use this assertion as a bludgeon against Newt Gingrich—without ever naming him. Following this “logic” that since all politicians are really members of the clergy, Fischer pulls out the requirements for a pastor in 1 Timothy to bolster his slam on Gingrich.

(Source: Religion Dispatches)

Ron Paul Loves Mass Effect

Paul attempts to turn video game’s back-story into reality through the liberal application of bullshit.

So there I was, Assassin Shepherd, trying to help out a friend via a dangerous game of breaking an entering and theft on Planet Bekerstein in the Serpent Nebula. My partner and I have just disabled multiple levels of security as we descended towards the now unsecured vault below on a whisper silent turbo lift.

The doors open to reveal the treasures within and its not what we expect. The severed head of Lady Liberty is suspended before us, the copper green head millions of light years from the rest of the reconstructed statue back on Earth.

A testament that Ron Paul was right, all those years ago. [Read more...]

Christian Misses the Meaning of Santa Claus

Richard Land is pissed that even if you celebrate Christmas, you don’t really mean it in the way HE wants.

It is apparently terrible being a Christian during Christmas. From Richard Lang’s prospective as a good little Xian who goes to church twice a week, Santa is just another Golden Calf and we are all certainly damning ourselves to hell following the false idol.

But, from what I understand about our World, Santa is supposed to be a Golden Calf. He is the gateway god of the Christians along with the Easter Bunny. Two mythical figures added to the cannon to help convince pagans to come over to the fold. The same principle behind magicking Christmas and Easter to end up being celebrated on the solstices. So,Richard ends up complaining that Americans have embraced the wrong god and they can’t seem to move away from Starter Santa and get into the heaver stuff with Homeslice Christ.

He ends up identifying the source of the problem, secularism. I say bullshit. [Read more...]