The Mitt Romney Mega Prayer!

The facts are clear; you must admit
The time has come to pray for Mitt

The time has come, if you believe,
To pray all day—election eve

And if it works—as well it may—
We cannot lose, if we just stay
At home, and pray and pray and pray
From dawn to dusk, election day.

You have to follow that link. Or here, here it is again. I am told it is for real. It looks like a parody, but I think a parody would have, as my verse does, asked people to stay home and pray on election day. I just love the graphic design–it reminds me of a simpler time, a time when everyone was straight, white, and Christian. A fictional time, in other words. A time that never existed except in the whitewashed memories of a privileged group.

But it’s just so shiny!

Halloween Eve…

…and it is quiet here–they moved Trick or Treat to before the storm.

Within a mile of here, there are trees down on top of houses, limbs down crushing car roofs, and debris everywhere. In other words, Cuttletown has been almost entirely spared. I am looking at video from places I used to live (NJ) in near-disbelief. Remember, people, in the US, the number for the Red Cross is 1-800-GIVE LIFE. Looks like they will need money more than blood, but whatever. If you have other suggestions, leave them in the comments.

For Halloween, though…

I’m giving out bibles this Halloween night—
The Gideons gave me a stack—
It’s more in the spirit, I think you’ll agree,
Than some sort of a sugary snack.

Cos Halloween night is supposed to be scary
And danger is part of the draw
“Be wicked! Be evil!” is age-old tradition,
Revered like it’s practically law.

Though candies or cookies or apples are things
You’re more likely to get from a stranger,
My green-covered bibles—though rarer by far—
May present a more serious danger!

With all of the junk the young goblins are gobblin’
You might think my claim is insane
But candy, you see, only rots out your teeth;
My bibles will rot out your brain

More evil, after the jump:
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Quick, Before The Hurricane Hits!

It’s not often that a re-post is *so* appropriate. I had completely forgotten about this one, and it’s only from a year ago. Substitute “Sandy” for “Irene”, and it all works.

Inspired by PZ’s post, back just prior to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene hitting the east coast, about David Silverman’s appearance on Fox. Basically, Silverman was invited on so that the hosts could ask him how atheists prepare for storms, and then make fun of him for not praying.

Of course, preparing for a potential disaster takes many forms, but the forms that are actually effective have one thing in common: they are among the things that atheists would do. Batteries? Check. Water? Check. Food? Check. First aid kit? Check. Prayer? Not so much. Candles? Matches? Check; check. Rosary? Nope. As Silverman said, the best thing you can do is prepare like an atheist.

Which got me thinking, and then composing. So below the fold is… not a verse, but a song. In my head it even has an actual melody and accompaniment–original, not a parody of any song I am aware of. For style, think John Hiatt, with a gospel choir backing him up. After the jump:
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Trick Or Treat–Ahead Of The Storm

So because of the upcoming apocalypse hurricane nor’easter storm, the powers that be moved trick-or-treating up two nights, to tonight. Without telling me. Or Cuttledog. I was prepared. Cuttledog was not. Much barking ensued.

It was an evening filled with many Captains America, a handful of Iron Men, and the usual assortment of witches, kitties, fairies and/or butterflies, a barrel of monkeys, and quite a few zombies.

No Gangnam style, and no binders full of women. I suspect that will be different (or will have been different) at the grown-up Halloween parties.

But… this was the first year I can recall when not one kid had the little UNICEF box. This saddened me, because I was ready to make these kids very happy.

Anyway… So there’s supposed to be a storm hitting soon. I’m as prepared as I can be, so even if I can’t post for a while, don’t worry about me (what? You weren’t going to? … okay…). But, you know, these storms can knock out power, and internet, and access to banks, and all that… so consider this post a bit of a “Trick Or Treat For UNICEF Donors Choose”. That’s right, I’m knocking on your door a little bit earlier than I would have without the storm on its way, and holding out a little box…well, a little software box…

… If I were actually coming to your house, I’d be the one in the really excellent cuttlefish costume. Yes, with a quill pen.

Trick or Treat for Donors Choose!

And thank you to all who have donated already! You astonish me with your generosity! For everybody else–small donations are quite welcome too! (and yes, so are large donations!)

It’s Not A Costume!

It coming up on Halloween, there are people putting on false appearances and trying to scare you… and there are people who are just plain scary when they are being themselves.

From a nearby paper, a letter to the editor today:

To the editor: You folks probably won’t print this, being a leftist leaning newspaper, even tho you print other letter authors two-three times a month, but here goes:

For those who haven’t done their research on this man, consider these facts.

1. He wants to finish removing every reference to God from all public institutions and schools.

2. Wants to increase federal income taxes.

3. Wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment and limit the 1st.

4. Appoint Supreme Court justices who will, will not strictly adhere to the Constitution.

5. Is for abortion, including public funding

6. Is pro gay agenda.

7. Has added $6 trillion to national debts, more than last ten presidents combined (can’t blame that on George Bush).

8. Is a rabid, radical socialist. Surround himself with socialists and Maxists (Van Jones, George XXX, SEIU, SOS, and on.)

10. Does not want a strong militant

11. Is not for developing our own energy resources. Will not allow off shore drilling, has shut down 20% of our coal mines, wants to shut them all down (can you say. “higher electric bills?”).

12. Apologizes to everyone (including Muslim countries who have murdered us) for this country.

13. His foreign policies have lessened our image to our allies, encouraged our enemies.

I could go on for gages, but I dare the reader to view the movie, “The Agenda” and read the book. “The Naked communist”. Very enlightening and very scary. I believe the average American isn’t fully aware of what’s happening to this country and further if I may be so bold, don’t want to be bothered with facts, their minds are made up.

Please, be an informed voter.

[name and city redacted--DC]

This person will vote. That’s scary.

But hey, other recent letters include the additional “facts” that Obama was born in Kenya, is a Muslim Atheist, and continues to eat roast dog in the White House (hey, it’s comfort food).

Half Right, Anyway…

I’m a sucker for church signs.

Mind you, they are trying to own anything positive while distancing themselves from anything negative; an old trick, but obviously one that has worked for some. But seriously, the Jesus described in the bible was not great, if you take it at face value. He was at best “good”, and at worst a bit of an ass, leader of a small cult, had a bit of a temper…

But I must say, the tide might well be turning when even churches (well, at least this one) are ceding the “religion is a positive force” claim, and retreating into smaller and smaller corners.

I’m Having Some Old Friends For Dinner

Update–Oh my word, that was wonderful! I thought about taking a pic of the final product, but foolishly took one bite first… and then ate it all.

Braised for an hour to tenderize, then cut up and marinated overnight, then grilled just a little bit ago. And the Okto wine was the perfect accompaniment.

Hey!

Still busy, but I thought I’d pop in to say thanks–both to the people who are supplying me with wonderful quotes, and to the people who have already donated to Donors Choose via my page.

It’s Friday (hey, I just realized–I have *still* not heard that song–Yay!), which means payday for some people… so I’m nudging the Donors Choose thing again. Mostly because most of FtB does not have their pages up and running yet, so I feel a bit obligated to hold the high ground until they get here, but also because I am ever so slightly competitive, and we’re not the only people trying to help kids. And succeeding.

None of my pet projects has been fully funded yet. In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be a big deal; they would have other sources of funding. Sadly, while we knew our world was not intelligently designed, it is a sad thing to realize that our system for supporting education is not either. And it’s something worth supporting, for reasons ranging from the purely altruistic to the purely selfish. Me, I just love going to a school and seeing kids excited about learning–and one thing that excites them is to have a new project funded, which simultaneously gives them something new and cool to do, and tells them that somebody actually cares about what they are doing. (I mentioned last year that I had serialized a classic play for a 5th grade class [ok, two joined classes] and read it to them on Fridays over the course of several weeks–at week two, I was able to supply each student with their own copy of the play. I am not a wealthy cuttlefish, so this was no easy thing for me, but I consider it amongst the best money–and time–I have ever spent.)

So anyway, if you got paid today (or yesterday, like me), consider throwing a few dollars (or, yes, if you have it to spare, a bit more) at Donors Choose. Like the name says, you can choose what you want your money to go to, so reward what you like. Be artsy, or sciencey, or fund your home state, or whatever. It doesn’t take a lot to make a very real difference. And frankly, it feels great to help these schools, these classes, these teachers, these kids.

Hmph. I already spent more time on this than I planned to. See? These kids, with their happy faces, their smiling eyes… they get to ya. Little twerps. And some bigger twerps. Give them a hand.

Tell ‘em Cuttlefish sent you.

Looking For Quotes

I’m considering a caper
With a printer and some paper
But my brain has turned to vapor
And I’ve only so much ink
I am looking for quotations
I can pin up in locations
That will tickle the sensations
And might make the readers think
If you know a bit of writing
That’s important or exciting
Whether feather-soft or biting
Or just something that you heard.
Give me statements; give me questions—
I am open to suggestions—
Just some atheist expressions
Cos I’d like to spread the word

Ok, so I’m looking for quotes I can use for a flyer campaign (yes, there is more to it than that; no, I’m not telling you). These would need to be relatively brief (since they will be printed on a sheet of paper and posted to a typical university bulletin board, and will be ignored if they are too wordy), interesting (my goodness, there are an awful lot of boring quotations about atheism out there!), and accurate (founding fathers quotes, especially, have been distorted to the point of pain, by both sides; I don’t want to propagate lies).

Examples:

Atheism in its negation of gods is at the same time the strongest affirmation of man, and through man, the eternal yea to life, purpose, and beauty.
–Emma Goldman, 1916

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
–Douglas Adams

The collections of atheist quotes I have seen collected elsewhere have (because they were collected for other purposes) tended to be too wordy, too familiar, and sometimes flat-out wrong. There are pragmatic reasons for briefer, pithier quotes here–something that can be read from across a room. And I tend to see the same quotes over and over again, so it would be cool if we could throw out the interweb databases altogether and just go with books, songs, movies, fortune cookies, poetry, users manuals, celebrity tattoos, or whatever you might have seen a nice quote hiding in.

And of course, it goes without saying that this would be a nice collection for anyone else who wants to use it–say, just as a public service, an atheist quote of the day/week/month/whatever in your local student paper, or chalked on the sidewalk next to the stuff the campus christian crusade wrote.

Anyway… Got quotes?

Trick Or Treat With Jesus

I hear that there is far less religion in this year’s election–in part because the people who really care about the religion of a candidate … don’t have a candidate that they consider one of their own. This is a problem with perspective; from my perspective, there has been more than enough religion in this election cycle.

It’s also coming up on Halloween, and once again the meteorologists are trying to frighten us. Apparently, there’s a hurricane threatening to cut our power just when the little ghouls and goblins would be going door-to-door. Which, strangely enough, is exactly what happened last year. And, last year, while the power was off, by candlelight, I wrote the following:

Jesus came back from the dead tonight
(He said he had done it before)
He took to the streets in the Bible Belt
With the children in masks, door to door.

With pirates, and goblins, and heroes, and ghosts
Came the Savior, the true child of God
On the streets where the Christian majority lives
It was more than a little bit odd:

Wherever they stopped, the people would guess
(Cos that’s what the homeowner does)
Though Jesus was Jesus, and not in disguise
Not one of them knew who He was.

The Jesus they know is the one they created,
Who thinks like, and looks like, themselves
Whose stories they hear in their sermons, but not
In the bibles that sit on their shelves.

If Jesus existed, if Jesus was real,
If He died on the cross for our sins
He wouldn’t want gays to be punished for love
Or care if a Democrat wins.

He wouldn’t want lies taught to children in school;
He wouldn’t want homeless to freeze
The weakest and weariest crying for help
In a system that’s deaf to their pleas

I worry, you know, for the Christian Right—
And (of course) for the human race—
When Jesus himself goes from door to door
And no one knows his face