I laughed. It seems so real!
I laughed. It seems so real!
I took the last two days off from work, just to get on top of the house. Since the end of August, when we went to the Colorado mountains, the house has gotten away from us. School began. Kristine had her tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy/deviated septum/sinus polyp removal/uvula removal/etc. surgery, where she was out for two weeks. But mostly, my kids are allergic (epi pen-esque) to cleaning, with very few exceptions, mostly due to the phases of the moon on a weekend where the temperature difference between the inside of the house and the outside is directly proportional to the number of coherent sentences published in the current edition of The Hill vs. the number of omitted co-authors of the latest academic paper from the chemistry department of USC, due to their lack of Photoshop experience, botching the smoothing of the edges of their microscope images.
In other words, only my eldest really cleans on a consistent basis, and even she is beginning to see the fairness ratio in this equation. I’m sure, if the rest of the kids read this, they would be furious, pointing out all of their hard work. But they lack an understanding of the Sisyphus nature of cleaning. They think, “Once I’ve done enough, I am done for life.” It doesn’t work that way.
Which finds me walking down the hallway to the laundry room, this morning. I pass by the boys bedroom and smell a sour and rotten stench coming from it. We had worked into the night, last night, uncovering the floor and had been very successful in that endeavor. There was probably a day’s worth of work left to do and I wrote the smell off as having uncovered an old sock that had been soaked in waffle grease and laid lovingly on top of a banana peel.
I walked past again. And again. Then once more. I couldn’t take it anymore. I rushed downstairs, grabbed a pile of cleaners, a garbage bag, and a roll of paper towels, and ran back up to the room. Entering, I was met with a cloud of fruit flies. It was dark in there. I had to adjust my eyes to the lighting and use my nose as the chief sense to find the rotten cup of pudding on top of their dresser.
Only, it wasn’t just a pudding cup. It seemed to have boiled over, liquefying all over the flat top, gluing down coins, legos, Nerf bullets, baseball, Pokemon, and Valentine’s Day cards, and had permanently affixed a lava lamp to the surface. I lifted up the pudding cup. Sticky strings came with it. There was a mound of something else that looked like a pile of tiny maggots. I picked that up with my fingers. It came off in one piece, didn’t crumble, and is now in the garbage outside, along with everything else. Sure, they lost a few toys but, whatever.
It’s all clean now, but I’m wondering how on earth humans can exist in such filth. I’ve figured out a final solution to this problem – I’m banning pudding and only allowing Jello.
“Is sexual assault against women a big issue? Yooooou bet it is!”
Said Michelle Bachmann on the “Stand in the Gap” radio program. She then followed it up with:
“I believe that Hillary Clinton will set a standard in this country that will lead to even more sexual assaults against women, because she will be setting anti-biblical agenda.”
Really, Michelle Bachmann? I’m not so sure. Let’s look at the Biblical standards for sexual assault.
First, Judges 21:10 – 24
10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11 “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin.” 12 They found among the people living in Jabesh Gilead four hundred young women who had never slept with a man, and they took them to the camp at Shiloh in Canaan.
13 Then the whole assembly sent an offer of peace to the Benjamites at the rock of Rimmon. 14 So the Benjamites returned at that time and were given the women of Jabesh Gilead who had been spared. But there were not enough for all of them.
15 The people grieved for Benjamin, because the Lord had made a gap in the tribes of Israel. 16 And the elders of the assembly said, “With the women of Benjamin destroyed, how shall we provide wives for the men who are left? 17 The Benjamite survivors must have heirs,” they said, “so that a tribe of Israel will not be wiped out. 18 We can’t give them our daughters as wives, since we Israelites have taken this oath: ‘Cursed be anyone who gives a wife to a Benjamite.’ 19 But look, there is the annual festival of the Lord in Shiloh, which lies north of Bethel, east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.”
20 So they instructed the Benjamites, saying, “Go and hide in the vineyards 21 and watch. When the young women of Shiloh come out to join in the dancing, rush from the vineyards and each of you seize one of them to be your wife. Then return to the land of Benjamin. 22 When their fathers or brothers complain to us, we will say to them, ‘Do us the favor of helping them, because we did not get wives for them during the war. You will not be guilty of breaking your oath because you did not giveyour daughters to them.’”
23 So that is what the Benjamites did. While the young women were dancing, each man caught one and carried her off to be his wife. Then they returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and settled in them.
Sounds a lot like sexual assault to me. But wait…let’s continue! Numbers 31:7 – 18:
7 They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man. 8 Among their victims were Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba—the five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. 9 The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. 10 They burnedall the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. 11 They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals, 12 and brought the captives, spoils and plunder to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the Israelite assembly at their camp on the plains of Moab, by the Jordan across from Jericho.
13 Moses, Eleazar the priest and all the leaders of the community went to meet them outside the camp. 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 “They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and enticed the Israelites to be unfaithful to the Lord in the Peor incident, so that a plague struck the Lord’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Hmmm…seems a bit like ownership of a woman to me. If she’s a virgin, you get to keep her! If not…kill ’em all! Yeah. Forget sexual assault. This Biblical stuff needs its own terminology.
Let’s keep going, shall we? Deuteronomy 20:10 – 14:
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.
What? God-sanctioned ownership of the women of the town? Of course, this doesn’t say anything about checking their vaginas for an intact hymen, but we can be fairly certain this whole virgin business was quite important to the barbarians.
This Biblical stuff is fun! Let’s actually look at the law of God. Deuteronomy 22:28 – 29:
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Oh God no!!!! No God! That can’t be what you meant! Surely Michelle Bachmann, you’re anointed one, knows the Biblical laws better than those libruls! Hell…Hillary Clinton supports an anti-biblical agenda! I’m feeling a little cognitive dissonance here…
Deuteronomy 22:23, 24:
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.
Um…I’ll just let that one speak for itself.
Deuteronomy 21:10 – 14:
10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.
Now THAT one is just weird. But hey! It’s Biblical!
Meh. I’m bored. Let’s look at Minnesota’s rape and sexual assault laws, otherwise known as Minnesota’s anti-biblical agenda. The link is here…
Rape and sexual assault are illegal in Minnesota, as in all other states. However, Minnesota doesn’t call these crimes by the usual terms. The legal name for the crime of rape and sexual assault is “criminal sexual conduct.” Minnesota has five degrees or levels of criminal sexual conduct that vary based on the unlawful sexual activity and the age of the victim.
You can read all the gory details of why we can’t do what the Bible teaches anymore, at that website.
But really, it seems to me that Michelle Bachmann has it back-asswards. Donald Trump is biblically within his rights to do anything he wants to a woman, as long as he has 30-shekels of silver jingling and jangling in his pocketses for her pa. And only sometimes might he be kilt at the gate – but not to worry, so does the female, being she didn’t yell loud enough to stop the rape.
I think I’ll stick with Hillary’s anti-biblical agenda.
I respect The Atlantic and their lengthy, well-researched reporting. I see them as fair. Objective. Going out of the way to make sure they consider all angles to a story. Here is what Russell Berman has to say about the latest Clinton emails from the Wikileaks hack, which I have no time to read for myself:
How you react to the emails will almost certainly depend on how you already felt about Clinton. A diehard Bernie Sanders fan who sees Clinton as a corporate Democrat driven by expedience will find confirmation in her vacillation over what kind of Wall Street reform to support, her backing of the Bowles-Simpson plan that would have cut spending on entitlement programs, and her musing in a paid speech that “you need both a public and a private position” on policy. In mentioning the dual positions, she was making a comparison to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and the unsavory political machinations Honest Abe had to undertake to achieve ratification of the 13th Amendment.
Those who view Clinton as hopelessly liberal, craven, and corrupt will seize, as the Trump campaign has, on her stated “dream” of “a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” They’ll smell conspiracy when they read hints that a Clinton campaign spokesman who formerly worked for the Justice Department got a heads up on a court hearing related to the release of her State Department emails. The Trump campaign said it was evidence of “collusion” between the campaign and the Justice Department, but notice of the hearing would have been public information.
The most common thread in the Podesta emails, however, is that they show a political candidate being political. Not much more, and not much less. Clinton is a mainstream Democrat who admires “moderates” and pragmatism. And yes, she did move to the left to defeat an insurgent liberal opponent.
“And yes, she did move to the left to defeat an insurgent liberal opponent.”
We knew this. We celebrated it. The loudest argument that Bernie put forth in the end was that Clinton and the DNC had adopted 90% of his left-leaning positions. This was politics. Horse trading. A carefully constructed campaign. Something that has always been – until Donald Trump.
At least the Trumpster is being consistent in leveling accusations of collusion and fraud against the Clinton campaign, as he did against the RNC and the final ole’ college try of the Cruz/Kasich campaigns that utterly failed in the end. The difference here is that Clinton won and they didn’t.
Do I want it to be different? Sure. Do I want all news to be objective? No. No I don’t. I appreciate objective news, as I also appreciate subjective news. Opinions help me form my own opinions, just as facts bolster those opinions. In today’s 24-hour subjective entertainment-news climate, it’s up to me (and everyone else) to be careful what we parrot, making sure we validate everything we read with the facts.
I understand that when I say “the facts,” people will retort, “But what if the facts are fed to you, but aren’t really facts?”
We live in a new age. What is done in darkness will be brought to the light. For that, we have Wikileaks.
This is going to be a gloating victory lap. I get to puff out my chest in pride, raise my fist to the wind (maybe flip it the bird), and let out a loud “Fuck yeah! I’m better than them!”
What? You say pride goeth before a fall, Religious Right?
You say it’s wrong to swear?
What’s that you say? I’m not allowed to have sex before marriage?
I can’t get divorced and remarried?
I have the perfect…er…trump card to EVERYTHING they throw at me now! Donald Trump is their guy. And he is the embodiment of everything they have ever been against, holding their stone-age book of rules (extrapolated eisegetically for the common era) over the heads of those they deem unworthy of their hateful god.
But that’s not really my point. No. I’m actually better than them. Not only do they now have no leg to stand on, with respect to their faux holiness, but they also are defending the very acts that they accuse we atheists of partaking in, simply because we can. After all, the Religious Right holds that morality is dictated by God and without God there can be no morality. Remove God and you have anarchy. Every man for himself. Every woman for herself.
Except that’s not really how morality works. Those with their heads out of their dusty Bible cover scented asses understand this acutely. Simply put, if it takes a God to prove to me that I cannot grab a woman by the pussy, I’m no better than a worm.
And that’s my point. I understand that a woman’s snatch, hootch, box, vagina…whatever she wants to call it, is hers. She’s the owner, just as I am the owner of my penis, and nobody has the right to grab it without my permission (unless, of course, I’m about to fall over the edge of a bridge, my pants come off, and some good Samaritan is flailing to grab onto something – anything – to stop my inevitable tumble. Then, of course, he or she (or it, if it’s a dog’s jowls) can grab it). I don’t need a god to tell me this.
More to the point, I won’t defend those who say they can do it. And that’s why I’m better.
She mocks my iPhone.
In June, 2015, I wept as I gave up my Windows Phone, replete with the beautiful and intelligent voice of Cortana, and moved over to the iPhone 6. I wept because I hate being like everyone else and had held out hope, for two years, that the technology would improve, people would catch wind of the perfection that was the Windows Phone, and move to the platform in droves.
In the span of two years, the technology continually broke down where I had to get my phone replaced exactly eight times. My cell carrier, Verizon, had trained their people to deal with tech problem on the iPhone and Samsung’s line of devices, but had failed to give their technicians even a brochure that the Windows Phone existed. Not to mention, the Windows Store app library was so unpopular, the only Google apps available were third party. And those broke every time Google changed their API. And I needed Google.
So I went to the iPhone. My wife was on a Samsung S5, or whatever the hell they called them then. I had watched as she struggled to remove simple storage, in order to free up space to just send texts. I watched as the battery life and charging abilities made you feel like you were using heavy duty batteries from the dollar store. I watched as saving and watching videos took half-a-dozen finger touches to get where you wanted to be. And I went with the iPhone.
She has laughed at me every day since. Whenever Samsung announced a new feature, she would laugh. Every time she put her phone on the wireless charger (which is still wired to the wall), she would laugh. Whenever she heard that Apple was removing a time-tested, standard feature, she would laugh. Every time she saw me purchase an official Apple accessory or a charger, for exorbitant prices, she would laugh.
And I took it. Humbly, with silent gloating eyes of intrepid pride. I knew I was hooked. Hooked with the ease of this device I held in my hands. A device that would sometimes get warm, but would never explode or melt my nether regions. A device that never required me to delete OS backup files, in order to get 1K extra space to send a text. A device that the FAA gladly let me take onto a plane. A device THAT. JUST. WORKED. I’m not a gadget guy and don’t spend three seconds in an entire year, messing with the configuration of my iPhone. It looks nearly the same as it did when I took it out of the box last year (except for that large crack on the bottom of the screen).
So when the Samsung Note 7 began to melt, causing the company to halt production, kill the entire thing, and lose $20 billion off their market cap, I expected an apology. A tearful one. One done on her knees, wringing her hands in the style of the old black and white motion pictures. I imagined the softness of her lovely face, even softer around the edges, lit with the rays of a sunbeam straight from the heavens, as she wept in non-contrivance, begging me to forgive her, acknowledging that I had been right all along.
And nothing. Nothing but silence.
It’s bloody difficult to be so humble.
By now, everyone has heard that comment from Billy Bush on the infamous 2005 recording.
“Holy Shit, The Donald has scored!”
It is clear that Bush is referring to Arianne Zucker, who is seen wearing a purple dress, and quite uncomfortable with the entire exchange. But The Donald hadn’t “scored.”
To “score” in popular culture, means to get the girl. Whether one is talking about a quick shag betwixt the sheets or even just a wink and a nod in your direction. I’ve given my wife a high five when she has scored an enviable triple-take from a lovely gentleman. In short, there is a definite connection between both parties.
Except, in this case, there wasn’t. Donald and Billy Bush were sitting on the bus, behind windows that were painted over, clearly unable to be seen from the outside. They saw Zucker walking up to the bus and Bush uttered the word “scored.” I’ve seen this phenomenon before.
“I’ve gazed upon, I liked, and thus it was my right to have.”
I have a dear friend in Arizona that plays the Russian roulette game of OK Cupid and other nefarious dating sites. As a woman, she gets the pleasure of being introduced to every filthy assault that men can throw at her. But one in particular always gets to me: The perceived right for a man to be acknowledged. And it isn’t just that the man demands acknowledgment. It’s that he feels that, if he gazes upon the woman and likes what he sees, regardless of his intentions, he deserves to be vetted.
The following is a typical conversation:
Male (2:07 PM): “Hi.”
Male (2:08 PM): “You look hot.”
Male (2:34 PM): “Fine, you racist cunt!”
Again, I look at this one-person interaction (which is exactly what it is) and see that the man has claimed a sort of ownership over the woman, at 2:07 PM. Not 2:34 PM. 2:34 PM is when he decides that his victim has not performed the correct master/slave ritual, and must be put in her place. This man sees he has scored, by simply happening across the woman’s online profile, and thus can require the woman to prove why she should not be owned by him, if but for a little while.
Billy Bush and Donald Trump are like these men. Arianne Zucker looked pleasing to them, thus they had “scored.” Arianne Zucker’s desires, independence, and most importantly, her inalienable and equal set of human rights, was removed from the equation, the power given to the leering men.
No, Billy Bush. The Donald had not scored. Quite the contrary. As he was filling his face full of minty-fresh Tic Tacs, preparing for a sexual assault, a talented young woman was strolling toward history, holding in her being every right to knee a billionaire in the balls.
At the end of August, my bride and I surprised the kids, waking them up at 4:00AM, having packed the previous day, and told them to get dressed and get ready for a week in Colorado. We were taking them on a plane for the first time in most of their lives. The older three had vacationed to Maine many years ago, flying on the old Midwest Airlines (I miss them so much), but nobody actually remembered the experience.
They were so excited.
During that week, we stayed on a ranch in south central Colorado, about 12-miles from a horse ranch where you could ride horses – and eat. The place was owned by a lovely couple and their mother cooked the food for the guests. One morning, when my wife and girls got back from riding, we sat down and ordered food.
Laura (13) ordered a large bowl of broccoli cheese soup, The Freak (6) ordered some nondescript sandwich with a pile of large fries, and Fred (11…also, he has decided he does not like to be called Frederic anymore) ordered another forgettable sandwich with massive onion rings on the side.
Fred and Laura despise each other. Their personal hatred for one another is greater than the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
“Fred, can I have some of your onion rings? I can trade some soup,” Laura asked.
That was it. No explanation. Just a quick and dirty rejection with no fanfare.
“Laura, can I have some of your soup? I’ll give you some fries,” Analisse (The Freak) piped up.
“I don’t want fries. I want onion rings! Daddy! Fred won’t trade me his onion rings!”
I shrugged, ignoring the tattling. It had been like this the entire vacation and I was simply tired of it. Ignoring it didn’t make it go away, caused me even more stress, but gave the semblance that I was actually indifferent to the pointless non-issues at hand.
Laura slumped in a huff and made noises of disgust.
“Fred, can I have an onion ring for three of my fries,” Analisse asked.
Over the cries of unfairness by Laura, The Freak crossed to Fred’s table, summarily dropping four fries (one more for a reason you’ll soon see) on his plate, grabbed the largest onion ring (which Fred couldn’t argue about now, being she gave him extra fries), walked over to Laura’s table, dropped the onion ring on her plate, grabbed the spoon without so much as a polite request, and slurped down an ample helping of soup.
Fred was pissed. Here, his archenemy got an onion ring, when he had worked his rear end off keeping it from Laura. He made it quite clear that he didn’t want Laura to have it even then.
“It’s not your onion ring, Fred. It was mine,” Analisse giggled.
Fred had no case and was left mumbling under his breath. He had been bested. Everyone had been bested.
And The Freak’s stomach was full of warm soup.
So I’m writing.
I realize I’ve been away for a while. I’m still alive. I have a lot to say, but much more to ruminate on. A few months ago, I was full of words and things happened. The words evaporated while my thoughts needed to mature. After all, I’m only 36-years-old. That’s too young to be right about everything and too old to be wrong about most things.
I’m still married, still dating other women, still a daddy, and still a fucking atheist. In fact, after watching the Religious Right defending the non-consensual grabbing of the pussy, I’m even more of an atheist. I’m so amused at the curtain finally coming down and revealing the wizard.
Trump is a good Toto.
Anyway, I’ll write more…
Love you all,