Pope & President clear way for breakthrough in US-Cuba relations

I’ve had a couple of job interviews the last few days keeping me busy. The job market has noticeably improved. I can’t quite pick and choose among plum jobs, but there are offers on the table starting as early as Jan 5, 2015, for stuff that will keep the lights on and none too soon. In the meantime, I thank those of you who found the generosity and holiday spirit — despite your purportedly cold, immoral atheist hearts — to send some paypal or snail mail bucks my way. If you haven’t yet contributed and are able to, the blog bucks I receive from the annual Christmas bleg are vital to the continued operation of this site and my ability to stay in the lifestyle in which I have become accustomed, i.e., food, water, and Internet. My Paypal email is Darksydothemoon-at-at AOL, thanks!

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While that was going on we had a blockbuster and, in the opinion of many, long overdue development yesterday afternoon. Technically overseas but in reality closer than most US cities in neighboring states are to each other. Working behind the scenes with Pope Francis, the Obama administration secured the release of several American prisoners in Cuba and that’s just the tip of the iceberg: [Read more…]

The plot to sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids

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It’s a brilliant icon of Cold War cinematography: Dr Strangelove, Or How I Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Where Air Force General Jack Ripper goes nuts and orders his bomber wing to nuke the Soviet Union. Hilarity ensues. At the heart of Ripper’s paranoia was his certainty that fluoridation was being used by communists to “sap and impurify our precious bodily fluids.” He knew this because, as the years went by, he noticed a growing malaise right after the ‘physical act of love,’ which he correctly recognized as the loss of essence. Some classic Strangelove video below.

Fluoridation was actually picked by early model wingnuts back in the late 50s and early 60s as an example of evil Big Socialist Government robbing the people of their God given right to gaping cavities and early tooth loss. But it’s not just commies, Hitler was down with fluoridation, too: [Read more…]

Court upholds police discrimination of smart people?

The Internets are not always accurate! Here’s a little example and holiday bonus for you kind skeptics — and other people — who have brightened my holiday. Operators at Darksydothemoon -at- aol via Paypal are standing by if you wish to contribute this year. My finely tuned skeptic sense told me this report about a police department excluding applicants who score too high on the intelligence test had to be a joke. It turns out it’s not, but it’s also not quite what it seems. [Read more…]

Religious leaders condemn torture

I saw a snide comment where someone was flaming an atheist about the torture report, because atheists don’t have morals, so why would we care? Yeah, that old saw. Being an atheist is easy, if you’re quiet about it online and off. I’m not and this time of year I do ask for any holiday contributions you might have handy. This site would not be able to function without the generosity of readers and it’s the time of year I always ask. As we atheists and skeptics also celebrate the holidays.

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It’s true that there have been religious leaders who stood up against torture. Makes sense, in fact you’d think it would be all of them since Christian theology is based around Jesus being tortured to death! So it was nice to see, on the heels of a report released by the Senate, leaders from several denominations, including the Methodist, Baptist, and Catholic churches, issued statements deploring the use of torture. [Read more…]

Senate torture report confirms the worst

I don’t know much about national security beyond what is in the media. I’m probably naive on how useful secret and not so secret wars and off-the-grid prisons are to our safety. Just musing here. But my understanding is, when people say ‘torture doesn’t work,’ they don’t mean the victims won’t give info. They mean the victims give too much info, any info, to avoid more torture. The common anecdote is the ticking bomb scenario, where a bad guy in custody knows the location of an armed bomb that’s going to go off and kill a bunch of people. Surely if nothing else worked and time is short, torture might have to be used. Why can’t you bleeding heart libtards grasp this …?

Here’s some of what the newly released, declassified version of the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report had to say: [Read more…]

Democrats reportedly taking bullet for conservatives in legal pot battle?

It sucks to be poor all the time, but especially this time of year. Store with gleaming gifts and online ads with great deals mean nothing but added stress and a reminder of circumstances, the focus is on keeping the lights on and food in the fridge. So thanks to those who have brightened my dreary days and stuffed a few bills in my meager Christmas stocking. Thanks to them I’m almost halfway to solvency for the month, please consider a small holiday donation to my Paypal account at Darksydothemoon -at- aol if you can. Later this month I’ll have a snail mail address available for anyone who prefers that.

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The only way viable path to decriminalize marijuana, so far, has been by voter referendum. Any politician who sticks their lone neck out on the issue takes a big risk: It’s just too easy for a political opponent to paint them as soft on crime, pro-drugs, anti-family, etc. So a few states like Colorado and Oregon have made it legal, turning it into an industry and revenue base. Which so far has worked out well for everybody, with the possible exception of big organized drug cartels.

This last election day, the District of Columbia followed suit. Initiative 71 passed by a whopping 70%, small amounts of the drug could now be legalized, a source of prison overcrowding and life-ruining policies softened, the people have spoken and some sanity has prevailed! At least until democrats reportedly offer themselves up to take the bullet for conservatives and others who can’t stand the thought of legal weed: [Read more…]

Exquisite aurora light up longest, darkest nights

The shortest day is the Winter Solstice, ringing in locally on Sunday, December 21, at 5:03 PM CST this time around in 2014. But the earliest sunset occurs a couple of weeks before the solstice, the latest sunrise a couple of weeks after. The reason for that is hard to visualize. But that’s literally how the world turns. Bottom line, if you live in the mid latitudes of the Northern hemisphere, these next few nights are when you’ll notice it getting dark quick. [Read more…]

Cop decks women in handcuffs, no charges filed

Many thanks to those kind readers who have kicked in this holiday season! My Paypal account is at Darksydothemoon-at-aol and I’ll be headlining here all month …

The video below is hard to watch. It starts out gritty and routine, like an episode of COPS, with dashboard camera showing a couple of policemen trying to make heads or tails of domestic dispute that appears to have spilled out of a nearby house and into the street. For whatever reason one cop decides the wife needs to go to jail. He’s shoving her in the backseat of a patrol car, handcuffed, and it’s hard to see but she allegedly kicks him. What’s not hard to see,  he loses his temper in an instant and decks the absolute living shit out of her. She goes down, hard, and later turns out to have a broken eye socket. It looks like he could have killed her with that punch. [Read more…]

The Military Religous Freedom Foundation

Boonie Weinstein, middle-class mother of three, grandmother of one, and author of the new bestseller To the Far Right Christian Hater ...

Bonnie Weinstein, middle-class mother of three, grandmother of one, and author of the new bestseller To the Far Right Christian Hater…You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, But You Can’t Be Both: Official Hate Mail, Threats, and Criticism from the … of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Click image for book info.

I have some Q & A with Bonnie Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) going up at Daily Kos today, about the Foundation and her new book that sold out of its first print run before the official Dec 2 release date (More books are already being printed and can be ordered now). Bonnie has become the subject of particularly nasty, scary homegrown domestic terrorism. You be the judge, but as the Daily Kos piece will be widely read, I thought it would be best to use that valuable real estate to set the record straight on what the Weinsteins and the Foundation are really all about, rather than expend space to reward trolls and nutcases with exposure on the largest progressive website in the world. Because the truth is, almost 100% of active and retired US military people who support the MRFF are themselves religious and the lion’s share of those are Christians. The best way, perhaps the only way, to stop this madness is to stress the true nature of the MRFF and their supporters:

Daily Kos InterviewOur windows have been shot out, we’ve had swastikas and crucifixes painted on our house, we’ve had animals decapitated and their heads left at our home … that bulls-eye painted on me in the pic, it’s not a joke. That’s how I really feel …

In  my view, this is the key item to get across: the MRFF is not an atheist organization or a political one, far from it, which means the cowardly clowns who have vandalized the Weinstein’s home and sent threatening email and snail mail are engaged in an organized terror campaign of ideological fratricide, they’re terrorizing the wrong people! Below the fold is an exclusive excerpt for FTB readers in Bonnie’s own words, followed by a few samples of the endless hate mails they receive on a regular basis. I encourage you to read the whole thing here and take time to thank the Weinstein’s for taking on this important and increasingly dangerous work. [Read more…]

A strong economy could, finally, turn the tables on corporations

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Thanks again for the Christmas cheer, its helping a lot. If you can put a few bucks in my stocking at the Paypal link, I’d appreciate it!

The latest job numbers spell an ominous sign for employers who’ve grown fat and lazy over the Great Recession. If it holds up, corporations that have been in the driver’s seat for years are going to have trouble adjusting back to low unemployment.

NYT — The numbers are these: The 321,000 payroll jobs added represent the best monthly result since January 2012. Revisions to September and October counts add a net 44,000 positions, boosting those months’ results from “solid” to “pretty good.” Over the last three months the nation has added an average of 278,000 jobs a month, the best result since the 2008 recession except for a brief boom caused by census hiring in 2010. But what was warming the hearts of many jaded economy-watchers on Twitter Friday morning were the numbers on wages.

Remember, don’t waste mercy and sympathy on a company, corporations are not alive, the Supreme Court notwithstanding. But if they were, they’d be a spoiled, sociopathic toddler with a big trust fund used to getting everything they demand. Most will stubbornly stick to the same methods they’ve been using for more than five years when it comes to hiring. My goal here is to make that adjustment to normal employment as painful as possible for every last one of them. A few things to watch out for below the fold, especially for you young folks who have never known a normal, healthy economy in your entire working life.

[Read more…]