Improve your vocabulary!

I found these entertaining: 31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sexual Intercourse from the Last 600 Years and 35 Classy Slang Terms for Naughty Bits from the Past 600 Years. My favorites: “fadoodling” (although “play at rumpscuttle and clapperdepouch” is pretty good), “aphrodisiacal tennis court”, and “pioneer of nature”.

Now, unfortunately, I don’t have many opportunities to impress the ladies with my deep knowledge of houghmagandy.

Is this hope I’m feeling?

After the Republican national convention, I was stuffed to the gills with cynicism and despair. It was a week-long orgy of America-hating yahoos ranting about the people who aren’t white American men destroying the world, and as one of them, it made me feel awful for my species.

Then I watched bits and pieces of the Democratic national convention. It started badly, with more people chanting “No! No! No!” and generally being irrational, but it got better, starting with Sarah Silverman.

To the Bernie or Bust people…you’re being ridiculous.

Yes. It is possible to favor Sanders’ ideas without being an ass about it, and to recognize reality. You know, even if Sanders had the nomination, it wouldn’t be as if you flicked a light switch and the world got better, right? That whether it’s Sanders or Clinton, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us?

Bernie Sanders also demonstrated principled graciousness.

In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American – all of us – stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immigrant fight to create the kind of country we all know we can become.

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.

I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children.

Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.

Now it’s time for all of us who voted for Sanders in the primary to follow his lead.

And Michelle Obama set the right tone.

It’s looking like we won’t be wallowing in a week of hate, and I’ll be coming out of this with a lot more optimism.

The calculus of Trump

Mano has the latest John Oliver video. Savor the “feelings”.

I’m baffled by the math in Trump’s latest ad, though. He is proud of the fact that his convention speech was 75 minutes long (yeah, I can talk for a long time, too, it doesn’t make me a hero) and that people applauded for 24 minutes (so? It’s the Republican convention), and then he calculates that 24/75, or 33% of the time was spent in applause, as if that were an accomplishment. Oliver points out that is actually 32% of the time, so he even got the simple math wrong…but shouldn’t it actually be 24/(75+24), or 24% of the hour and a half of the final speech?

Of course, if feelings are what matters, it was 24 minutes divided by an intolerable unendurable indefinitely long period of misery, so subjectively the period of applause was an infinitesimal fraction of the total pain.

Tim LaHaye: No rapture for you!

One of the loudest purveyors of that absurd (and coincidentally, completely un-biblical) End Times/Rapture bullshit, Tim LaHaye, has ceased to exist. His brain has stopped functioning, his self has dissipated into the cosmos as nothing more than a final sigh of heat, and he is not frolicking about in Heaven or roasting in Hell, because those places don’t exist, and because neither does he, any more. He is not discovering now that he was wrong about everything in life, because he is dead, and it’s only the living who have to deal with the lies he promoted while he was alive.

The only thing I’m sad about right now is that he doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of the misery he dealt to LGBTQ people, to teenagers who were inculcated with an unjustified mortal terror, and to all those people who wasted donation dollars to his fraudulent organization.

I’m sorry, but Pokemon Go is my game

At least this writer admits to having an unpopular opinion about Pokemon Go.

To my fellow millennials, and adults of all ages: Just let kids play. Considering it’s their game, let them have it for a little while, OK?

Wrong. I’m almost 60. I’m at risk for heart disease. My father died of heart disease when he was a little older than I am now. I have been told by my doctor to get an hour or two of light exercise every day, and for the past couple of years I’ve been walking a few miles every day, around my rather unexciting little town.

That opinion is exactly backwards. It’s like Pokemon Go was designed for us old people. You young’uns get out of my game and go play racketball or rugby or run marathons, or any of those other games that would kill me if I tried them.

Nah, not really. There’s room for everyone and no need to be exclusive in any way. This weekend we were in St Cloud to take my oldest son out for a birthday lunch (happy birthday, Alaric!) and we went for a stroll around Lake George. There were swarms of people out walking with their phones. I saw a couple of Hispanic families talking excitedly about the game (I assume!) in Spanish; I saw a woman in a hijab stabbing at her phone happily; I saw lots of kids and college students and even crotchety old people like me enjoying the weather and checking their phones as they were out for a promenade.

So yeah, please stop trying to claim for yourself what everyone has good reason to enjoy.

Kenosha School District officials don’t seem aware of history

Ash Whitaker is a transgender boy in Wisconsin, and school officials are having difficulty dealing with it. So they’ve come up with a not at all novel solution.

A federal Title IX lawsuit filed in Wisconsin on Tuesday alleges that the Kenosha Unified School District instructed guidance counselors to have Ash Whitaker, a 16-year old transgender boy, and “any other transgender students at the school” wear “bright green wristbands” so that the school could “more easily monitor and enforce [their] restroom usage.”

First come the colorful wristbands, then the big bold armbands, then a symbol stitched to all of their clothing, and then tattoos.

Just a suggestion: the problem isn’t with Ash Whitaker, it’s with people who think they need to monitor restroom usage…which, when you think about it, is really creepy.

Weaponizing atheism

Here’s my take on the wikileaks exposé of DNC emails: there was nothing illegal done (other than the hacking of private servers, that is). We’ve got a set of private communications that confirm that Hillary Clinton was the establishment candidate, and the establishment was working to skew circumstances to favor Clinton while trying their best to seem impartial, when they weren’t. It’s the politics of deception, saying you’ll do one thing while doing something different, and nobody should be surprised that politicians do that sort of thing. It does not invalidate the Clinton nomination, because every politician is working within an institutional framework, and is part of a team — Clinton just had deeper roots and a more effective team than Sanders.

But it still disappoints me.

One thing that Charles Pierce points out about it is that it was just plain stupid. If the establishment wants to support an establishment candidate, be forthright and competent about it. This makes the DNC look like a pack of babbling amateurs.

Further, Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been exposed as a political hack, and not a very good one at that. She is an embarrassment too prominent to hide, and so has resigned as DNC chair…which is only appropriate. But then Hillary Clinton has immediately re-hired her to co-chair her election committee! If Clinton wanted to confirm that she was not running a fair nomination campaign, she couldn’t have come up with a more effective strategy. Appearances matter in politics, and that is one ugly relationship.

And then there is the reminder that not even the Democrats represent me, and that the Democratic establishment sees atheism as a useful tool for sliming candidates. This email is simply repellent.

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

It would also serve to highlight his Jewishness to the electorate: win-win!

Isn’t it nice to know that the citizenry of the USA are more bigoted against atheists than Jews, and that the DNC would consider exploiting that? And that now, thanks to the incompetence of their staff, the Republican party, which is even more bigoted, will be using this information against the Democrats?

I take it back. This is lose-lose.

Evidence that atheism has failed!

In a remarkable feat of unlogic, a Christian reveals the evidence that atheism has been defeated. I include his argument below, but I haven’t copied over his links, all of which are to his own blog, or to that paragon of trustworthy truthiness, Conservapædia, so just take his backing support as given.

1. Most atheists are men.

Yes, this seems to be true. Point, Christian!

However, I don’t see how this shows that atheism is weak or has failed. Many of us do take this as a sign that we have biases that we need to correct, but as you’ll see, that’s not why this guy has a problem.

I would also point out that most priests are men. Which means…?

2. Feminist women conquered atheism.

Uh, what? He’s just announced that atheism has a male majority. How does it follow that feminist women have “conquered” atheism? What does it even mean to say a set of ideas has been “conquered”?

Unfortunately, this is one of his claims that lacks a supporting link, even to Conservapædia.

3. Despite atheists being a minority in the world, atheists activists engage in constant bickering among themselves which reduces their effectiveness in terms of turning things around. Behold the poor interpersonal skills of atheists (See: Atheism and interpersonal skills and Atheism and romance and Atheism and love).

Why do so many atheists have such poor interpersonal intelligence? For further evidence of the poor social skills of atheists, please see: Atheists are quarrelsome, hypersensitive, egotistical crybabies. Atheists have no chance of victory over the global evangelical Christianity explosion

Many atheists adhere to an anti-authoritarian philosophy called freethought. It is not about poor interpersonal intelligence, it’s about a refusal to submit to dogma and a willingness to argue to converge on the truth. It is a strength, not a weakness.

It’s curious to see someone arguing that we’re weak-willed because we refuse to follow the Christian model of submission to authority.

But also, speaking of bickering, how many Christian sects are out there?

4. Atheism, as defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and other philosophy reference works, is the denial of the existence of God (see: Definition of atheism).

Paul Edwards, who was a prominent atheist and editor of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, defined an atheist as “a person who maintains that there is no God.” .

Atheists lack proof and evidence that God exists. The academic field of atheists apologetics (defense of atheism) has stagnated (see: Stagnation of atheist apologetics ).

There is a abundance of evidence that God exists and an abundance of rebuttals to the spurious claims of atheists (see: Evidence that God exists).

Therefore, most atheists are weak-minded.

The logic showing that most atheists are weak-minded is inescapable!

I looked at this abundance of evidence that God exists. It’s mostly crap from Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Science, and a collection of well-worn and often rebutted nonsense from conservative Christian apologists. Citing a definition of atheism is in no way a refutation of atheism, and asserting that gods exist is not evidence that they do exist.

But what does this point have to do with the previous points about feminists “conquering” atheism or atheists being argumentative? Nothing in this follows. There is no chain of logic here. It is a succession of feeble brain farts.

But you ain’t seen nothing yet. He is kind enough to tell us what atheism needs to do to correct its flaws.

If only boorish and quarrelsome atheist men did not spark atheist women resentment (a potent seedling of atheist feminism). In evangelical Christianity, Christian husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the church.

If only atheists were more like evangelical men whose wives were taught to obey them. In biblical Christianity, women cannot teach men and they cannot exercise authority over men as far as church matters. If only atheists women could not exercise authority over atheist men about atheist matters. The humiliation of atheism being conquered by feminist women could have been avoided!

Oh, atheist men! Feel the sting of atheism being conquered by feminist women.

There’s the answer! Atheist women wouldn’t resent those quarrelsome atheist men if only they were taught to be obedient and submissive!

Don’t worry. I think there’s a subgroup of atheist men who are way ahead of this guy, and who agree that atheist/feminist women should sit down and shut up and quit bossing them around.