See you in July (Non-fiction)

As some of you know, I’ve been working on a novel for several years based on my Bolingbrook Babbler stories.  I don’t regret taking a long time to write it, but sometimes I’ve wondered if the Winds of Winter would come out before I published The Rift.

Now the story is close to a publishable form, I’m going to take the rest of June off to focus on editing the novel.  I’ll resume posting here in early July, hopefully after I’ve sent the draft to my editor.

It’s been quite a journey writing this story, but a journey has to end eventually.  Hopefully, the destination is a book most of you will like.

(Video) Jews and Slavery: A Complicated Legacy (Non-Fiction)

On the eve of the first Juneteenth Holiday, Rabbi Adam Chalom, the rabbi of Kol Hadash and the North American Dean of International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, discussed the history of slavery and the Jewish people.  As he describes, the Jewish people neither dominated the slave trade nor were they all abolitionists.  Instead, some Jewish people were involved with the slave trade, and some sought to abolish slavery in the United States.  It is a complicated legacy.





Debit Free! (Non-fiction)

As PZ announced, Freethought Blogs has paid off its legal debt related to Richard Carrier’s SLAPP suit.

We’ve been plugging away at out part — witness the various fundraisers we’ve put on — and then, in the last few weeks, we received some substantial donations from various anonymous and wonderful donors, including one for $8K, and … we paid off everything we owed.

If any of my readers donated, thank you!  You’ve helped all the bloggers here and made a stand against people who abuse the legal process to silence their critics.  Thank you, again.

Now I can finally go back to forgetting Richard Carrier and his quest to prove there never was a historical Jesus.

Sources: Village’s first genetically engineered trustee melts days before appointment (Fiction)

According to various esteemed sources, the Village of Bolingbrook attempted to grow a genetically engineered Village Board Trustee to fill a vacancy caused by Mayor Mary Alexander-Basta’s election.  While initially successful, the trustee melted three days before her swearing-in ceremony.

“It was disgusting,” said a source within Bolingbrook’s Department of Research and Development. Mayor Mary shook her hand and she melted into a pile of goo.  I think Mayor Mary is still trying to wash the stains off her outfit.”

Alice, who works in Bolingbrook’s IT Department, claims Alexander-Basta announced her decision to grow her replacement shortly after winning the mayoral election:

“We didn’t know what to say.  (Former Mayor Roger Claar’s) trustees were human but their android doubles attended the meetings for them.  Mayor Mary said that by growing her own trustee she could impress Roger with her innovative spirit.  We know how that ended up.”

Alexander-Basta, the sources say, believed that if the Village could grow its own Men in Blue, it should be able to grow its own trustees.  She mentioned that some of the New World Order’s leaders are genetically engineered.

According to Dale, a genetic engineer, Alexander-Basta didn’t appreciate the difficulties of her request:

“Our machines date back to the 1970s and were only designed to create Men in Blue.  Men in Blue are designed for security, not governing.  Creating a leader requires technology only the New World Order has.  We don’t have access to it.  When we told her that, she got mad and said we could do it if we tried hard enough.”

After the trustee melted, Alexander-Basta asked Alice if she could rush the creation of a trustee. 

“I told her we’re short-staffed and constrained by supply chain disruptions. We’ve already used most of our parts to reactivate the current android doubles.  If we modified (Trustee Sheldon Watts’s) android, we might be able to have one ready in a month.  Mayor Mary said she needed one in three days or else she would be in big trouble for failing to name a replacement trustee within 30 days of a vacancy.  I said I warned her after the election that this could be a problem, but she didn’t listen to me.  She said she heard me, but didn’t like my answer.  I suppose that’s progress from Roger’s administration.”

Alexander-Basta finally told Claar what happened.  Sources within Village Hall say they heard Claar yelling unprintable remarks for several minutes.  He finished by saying, “Go recruit a trustee the old-fashioned way.”

Near the end of the day, according to eyewitnesses, Alexander-Basta noticed Aimee Rupsis in the hallway.  The eyewitnesses say their conversation was roughly like this:

Rupsis: Excuse me? I’m trying to find—

Alexander-Basta: I know you, right?

Rupsis: Um, maybe? I was in one of your ads.

Alexander-Basta: I like you already.

Rupsis: Thanks? You might also know me as chairperson of the Bolingbrook High School Music Department and a band director.

Alexander-Basta: You can make teenagers do what you want?

Rupsis: I guess.

Alexander-Basta:You’re just the person I’m looking for!

Rupsis: Okay?

Alexander-Basta: I need someone to be my trustee on the board.Nobody wants to help me because they’re afraid of being attacked on social media.

Rupsis: Um—

Alexander-Basta: If I don’t find someone in three days, the Cook County Democrats will force me to appoint Jackie Traynere!

Rupsis:That’s horrible!

Alexander-Basta: If only there were someone out there who loves serving Bolingbrook as much as I do.

Rupsis: I love serving our community, but I don’t know if I can be a trustee.

Alexander-Basta: Oh it’s easy.You just ignore Sheldon, and serve my agenda.

Rupsis: I’ll do it because I love to serve!

Alexander-Basta: Great!Just don’t post about it on social media until after the board meeting.We don’t want to tip off the trolls.

Rupsis: But how should I deal with the trolls after I’m—

Alexander-Basta: Later!Let’s get your picture taken for the web site!

In a video call, Alexander-Basta denied trying to grow a replacement trustee.  She then attacked her critics on social media:

“It’s too easy to post negative things on social media.  If you have something to say to me, you have to say it to me in person or over the phone!  If you can’t say it to me in person, don’t say it at all!  Also—”

She was interrupted by a knocking sound on her office door.  She opened the door, revealing Watts.

Watts said: “A trustee has the power to vote for tax increases and local ordinances.  Each trustee’s vote can affect the lives of thousands of residents.  That’s an awesome responsibility and that’s why it’s an elected position.  You may have the right to nominate an acting trustee to sit on the board for the next 22 months, but you at least owe the residents the courtesy of letting them know who you’re selecting at least a few days before the vote is taken.  By only announcing your candidate minutes before the vote, you opened a can of worms—”

Alexander-Basta slammed the door on Watts.

“You can’t do that on social media,” she said.

Also in the Babbler:

Bolingbrook ends COVID restrictions on alien abductions
Russians heat ray bakes Bolingbrook
Rep. Bill Foster smashes atoms in joy after Rachel Ventura decides not to challenge him
God to smite Bolingbrook on 6/17/21

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group. 

Link: Supporting Trans Health Care is trusting science (Non-fiction)

Jey McCreight Ph.D., a science writer for 23andMe and a former member of Freethought Blogs, has a post on the 23andMe Blog supporting Trans Health Care:

People who fear or distrust trans people often use “biology” as a justification for attacking this community. But the reality is that the biology of sex and gender is more complicated than a simple binary. The science shows us that sex itself is not binary, but rather bimodal, with a range of diversity between the categories of male or female. Scientific research also supports the existence of trans and non-binary gender identities as a natural part of human diversity that have existed throughout history.

But it is not enough to simply say “trans people exist.” Science also shows that trans people who are accepted and affirmed have better health outcomes and quality of life.

Jey stresses the importance of gender-affirming health care and how people using the phrase “trust the science” to justify transphobic legislation aren’t really trusting what science has to say. While scientific evidence isn’t required to accept trans people, the abuse of science to promote transphobia shouldn’t be tolerated.  As Jey points out:

Regardless of what science says, everyone should still treat trans people with respect because it’s just the right thing to do. But if you want to claim you “trust the science” in order to attack trans people, then sorry – the science says that trans rights are human rights.

Palatine’s UFO base holds first Pride celebration (Fiction)

Hundreds of aliens and humans attended the first Pride celebration at Palatine’s Rob Sherman UFO Base.  Despite the village having only days to organize the event, The staff of Sherman UFO Base declared the event a success.

“Somehow the aliens found out about Mayor Jim Schwantz’s Pride Month proclamation,” said Village Manager Reid Ottesen.  “Then they demanded a Pride month celebration on the base.  The mayor didn’t tell me he was going to write up and sign a Pride Month proclamation, so I was caught off guard.”

The “semi-family friendly” event featured concerts, skits, Pride-themed foods, and lively discussions.  Ottesen credited the event’s corporate sponsors for their help in organizing the activities.

Some attendees criticized the marketing of some of the activities, which they called “Rainbow Washing.” One of the worst examples cited was the re-enactment of the Stonewall Uprising.  A horrible scene in it had Marsha P. Johnson saying anachronistic and obviously fictional lines:

“We are tired of being blackmailed.  We are tired of being arrested.  We want to proudly add letters to our sexuality.  We want to post our pronouns on the Internet!  We are so mad that we want to fight.  I will start the uprising by throwing a brick.  But not just any brick.  I’m going to toss this brick from the KIC Construction company.  From Dyson Spheres to homes, KIC takes pride in its work and is proud to sell its services to all accepting civilizations!”

Other attendees found the event inspiring:

“My culture only recognizes one gender,” said Oostop, a citizen of the Mitosis Alliance.  “However I never identified with that gender.  I used to think I was broken, but thanks to this event, I know there are other beings like me. I can now seek out gender-affirming treatment and I will soon figure out my true gender identity.  Thanks, Palatine!”

Ottesen confirmed that Sherman UFO base will hold annual pride events, but didn’t know if the Village ever would.

“It’s really up to the residents.  I know that was unthinkable at one time, but who could have thought that the Village of Barrington would recognize Pride Month?  Anything is possible.”

A receptionist for Schwantz confirmed that he signed a Pride proclamation:

“Can you not make a big deal about it?  We don’t want to make (State Representative Tom Morrison) even angrier than he is now.  It must hurt knowing that your hometown rejects your bigotry.”

In the background, a man who sounded like Schwantz, said: “I just wanted to let you know that I wrote up that proclamation you requested.”

A man who sounded like politician Joe Walsh replied: “Great!  I’ll pick it up at the next meeting!”

“Oh I won’t mention it at the meeting,” replied Schwantz.  “I wrote it and filed it in my draft documents folder like I do with other questionable proclamation requests.”


“You should feel fortunate that I wrote anything for ‘National Unemployed Radio Talk Show Host Day.’”

“Jim!  You’ve got to help me.  Okay, maybe a proclamation wasn’t the best idea.  I’ve got another one!  You can help me get a radio show on WBBM!  I could learn how to talk about the Bears.  This is a great idea.  I can be on the radio and still hate Trump!”

“I think you’re addicted to being a radio talk show host.  You should get help for that.”

Also in the Babbler:

Flying pyramid appears at Cavalcade of Planes
Wereskunks to premiere ‘litter art’ to celebrate Pride Month
Village retires Mayor Claar’s android double
God to smite Bolingbrook on 6/10/21

Note:  This is a work of fiction. All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of any organization I work for or of my employer.  Feel free to leave a comment here or in the Bolingbrook Babbler Readers Group.