Obama’s Nuclear Option for the Supreme Court Vacancy Appointment

The Republicans are in near lock-step in obstructing Obama’s nomination for Antonin Scalia’s vacancy. Moments after Scalia’s death, the politic du jour was the same we have been seeing for the last seven years from the Conservative side of the aisle – if Obama is for it, we’re against it, even if it would help our cause, or we used to be for it when our guy was in charge. Then, after the obstruction is begun, figure out a good message, especially if damage control is necessary.

Then, on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Justice of the DC Court of Appeals. True to form, Republicans and conservative groups alike stonewalled. In fact, Garland, having “been praised by Republicans in the past,” was a centrist choice for the President, a veritable olive branch to those who were against his pick, whomever it was, a position that was completely transparent and truly translated to, “We will not allow a liberal justice to be nominated to the court.”

Garland was problematic because Republicans and Conservative lawmakers and groups were unaware of the totality of his record, leading to sputtering tired platitudes and talking points. In fact, many Conservative groups actually fell on their swords, stating, “We don’t care who the President nominates, even f we don’t know the guy and he seems bloody decent, we know who Obama is, and we hates him, so we hates his pick.”

So I say to the President, call their bluff. Pull back the nomination of Merrick Garland. Nominate a serious Conservative. A strict Constitutionalist, whatever that means. Not to actually carry through with the selection, but to show the nation that the Republicans are nothing more than two-bit placeholders, caring naught for their constituency, but only for the perception to their voters that they are against Obama. So much so that they will fall all over their rhetoric about the court being weighted against their “principles,” the nomination being perfect for them.

Nominate David Barton.

Looking Behind the Shell of a Dour Old Codge

I swear, this is neither brown nosing, nor back scratching.

I have been reading P.Z.’s blog for years and have loved his factual and lengthy pieces on science, his frothing anger at people who should know better, his easily ingestible ideas of free thought, and even his bad taste in music. But what has kept me coming back are his pieces where he let’s his guarded shell down, cracking it just enough to let his readers see the pile of mush inside.

Like his latest article about his wife: Asymptotes get in my way

Pardon me while I go make sure I get another few years with my bride. Enjoy.

Stop Acting Like Trump Actually Knows What He Stands For

As I was driving around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area last night, I had Minnesota Public Radio on. They were irritatingly dull about the primary elections. All they discussed was numbers. Polls this, polls that. Blah blah blah. It got old.

But then, something caught my ear that made me run my car off the road, knocking over a fire hydrant – which was good, because I saved money on a badly needed car wash.

The hosts were discussing the voters’ in Michigan, a week earlier, who answered an exit poll about US foreign trade. Overwhelmingly, Michigan voters were either skeptical of trade or were dead set against it. Then, the focus turned to the campaigns from last night, surmising that the issue wasn’t really about trade, being that Hillary won Ohio with a convincing win. Hillary is pro-trade (unless she isn’t).

But here’s the problem:

What exactly does trade mean? Are people against the United States exporting goods and services to other nations? Are they against imports? Are they specifically against the TPP, NAFTA, or the like? Do they even know what those trade deals are, other than the acronym?

Those are the sorts of hard-hitting facts I would love to hear during election season. I don’t give a rats rear end about the percentage of people who think something. I want to hear why.

Then, the fire hydrant hitting comment came out of the MPR host’s mouth:

“Donald Trump is against trade.”

I had to laugh. Donald Trump wouldn’t know what “trade” was if he was sitting on a Chinese tanker ship, headed for the port of LA, full of Walmart supplies. He proves that, every time he opens his mouth and says, “Mexico’s trade deficit with the US is $58 billion. They can afford to pay for the wall. Believe me. I can tell you.”

Dude. Orange headed goon. Trade doesn’t work like that. A trade deficit does not mean a country owes us money, nor does it mean that we are “losing” or, in Trump’s words, “aren’t winning anymore.” It’s simply a dollar comparison on what we consume (imports) vs. what we export. Quite frankly, a high trade deficit needs other economic inputs to determine if that parameter is indicative of an unhealthy economy, or, as Trump would say, “Get that guy out of here!”…oh wait…I can’t find the right soundbite in this gaggle of a word salad.

And yet his followers eat it up. And numbers hungry media hosts report on the shallow crap of purported positions.

The kids, playing in the rain

IMG_2719It rained and they decided to go outside. Fuck homework.  I’m happy. And my eldest got a damn iPhone 6S, which is better than mine. So I’m pissed off.

Here was our iMessages conversation after she left the Verizon store:

Her (13): “Hi!!!!!!!!!!!”

Me (35, nearly 36): “I [redacted] hate you.”

“I know you do!”

“You got a 6S. That’s better than mine.”

“I know!!!!”

“Go to hell.”

Now she’s behind my chair, gloating and laughing at me. She’s enjoying this. I need a Johnny Walker Platinum with an orange rind in the glass.

Wow…thank you for your comments

My last post, titled, “I just want to play and build games all day,” was a simple plea to get some other ideas on how to be a better dad to my son, Frederic. I figured you all would take a passing glance, shrug, and move on. But…

…damn.

Thank you for your comments. I’ve been reading them all day and sharing them with my bride. In turn, she’s been telling me to leave her alone at work. But we’re going to be talking about many of your ideas tonight, including possibly sending Frederic to a Waldorf-esque un-school. That sounds expensive, though.

Anyway, thank you so much for this engagement. I look forward to your comments as I write more.

 

“I just want to play and build games all day!”

My son, Frederic, is in 5th grade. He’s struggling in school, as he always has been. He has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism, but I attribute every one of his struggles to my utter ineptitude at parenting. After wallowing for a decade in the bowels of religious instruction on how to be a godly dad, which led to complacency in shittiness, being I had the rule book at my fingertips whenever I needed to crack open the Holy Bible, I finally decided to step outside of myself and learn a few things from good people, lacking dogma.

Yesterday, Juaca Baby (Fred) brought home a grammar test for his parents to sign. We were expected to sign the thing because he got 32 out of 32 wrong. It quickly became obvious that he randomly selected the multiple choice answers. After all, a line of symmetry is most definitely not a three-sided shape.

I soon found out that this was actually the sixth time he had taken this exact same test. The students were expected to get 100% before they could stop taking it. It was direct preparation for what would be in the state-mandated testing material.

Needless to say, I was beyond frustrated. Worse, Fred didn’t want to talk about it, no matter how excitable my pleadings to the value of education were.

Enter my bride.

She got The Boy to talk and soon discovered that he was indifferent, nay, antagonistic toward his education.

“Fred, do you feel math will help you get a job?”

“No.”

“Science?”

“No.”

“Reading and writing?”

“No.”

“What do you want to do for a career when you grow up?”

“I just want to play and build games all day!”

Then, my wife went into how getting a good job, these days, especially in the field of computer science, nearly always requires a Bachelor’s degree, which includes science, mathematics, and plenty of reading and writing, even if the job duties don’t require a substantial knowledge in some of those disciplines.

She did well, yet, in my estimation, Frederic shrugged off the logic.

Anyone else have a better suggestion on how to excite him? Quite frankly, his teacher sucks this year, seemingly hell bent on humiliation and intimidation – two things Fred does not respond to well.

I can kill my children if God tells me to

I wrote a post, yesterday, titled, I am more powerful than God. The point of the post was to say that, since God is supposedly all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere, being accused of “turning others away from Jesus” with my words was a false accusation. If I am able to best the god with all the myriad omni-characteristics, then I must be more powerful than him.

I’m actually okay with that. The logic of the Bible-god is completely ridiculous and I am left incredulously shocked that intelligent people still believe in a glorified Santa Clause or Tooth Fairy.

Enter a young gentleman who I grew up with. We’ll call him Tom B. He’s half my age and brainwashed into fundamentalist Christianity by his parents and the decades of a carefully constructed apparatus for true believers to be well-versed in apologetics and the “us vs. them” false dichotomy.

Only he doesn’t know this. And that’s by design. Fundamentalists are taught to view themselves as using superior logic to anyone that may be their detractors. Hell, the Apostle Paul set this up by saying, “The truth of Christ is foolishness to the wise.” That’s a paraphrase, of course, but you get the point. Anytime you are faced with doubts or a redress of your belief system, you are well within your spirituality gold star chart to reject all arguments as foolishness and Satanic.

Tom’s response:

If what you’re saying is true, it’s a really good thing that the reality of God is not who humans make Him out to be. Because, if that’s really who God is than (sic) even I would’t believe in Him. The thing is, humans can say anything they want about Him. They can attempt to find His flaws and make Him look bad. But in the end we’re judging Him by our standards of who we think He is. If you really want to know who He really is read the book He gave us.

My response was two-fold:

First, no. You don’t get it both ways. You can’t tell me that it is not possible for the human mind to fathom the realities of God, and then in the next breath, tell me that my human mind has the capacity to fathom the realities of God if I only read his book. You get one. Not both.

Then I mentioned Ole’ Abe. I told him that I’m morally superior to God, including Abraham, being that I wouldn’t kill my kids if some jerk-off told me to, no matter how powerful he thinks he is.

To that, Tom B. responded:

In Abraham’s defense. If you made a beautiful wooden chair and placed it in the dinning (sic) room nobody in the world can rightly take that chair out and burn it unless you gave them permission, because it’s your chair. In the same way God (who made man) gave Abraham the permission to “burn the chair”. Of course he wouldn’t let it happen because He loves us too much. But since God is the author of all life he has the right to do what He needs to with it.

I especially love the part where he conjectures, “Of course, [God] wouldn’t let it happen because He loves us too much.” Really? And in the next breath, people like Tom B. will tell you that you’re going to burn in hell for eternity – just like the millions, nay billions upon billions of souls before you.

But damn….God loves you.

I fear for his kids. And, being a quiverfull fundie, he’ll have a whole gaggle of them.

I am more powerful than God

Yes. Satan said that and was banished from God’s presence. I’m okay with that.

The Christian god of the Bible is defined in many ways, and has been so, throughout history. Popular ideas of who God is have come and gone. But once the masses, however fractured, accept a version of God, he changes again. It has to be this way as the potential realm of the supernatural shrinks smaller and smaller with each scientific discovery and Google search.

Think back to the era around Jonathan Edwards (Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God), Issac Watts, John Newton, etc. At that time, God was quite the angry and jealous being, ready to strike you dead at a moment’s notice, yet somehow loving and wanting of your worship, at the same time. Edwards’ famous sermon graphically depicts how God would hang a man by his toes over the lake of fire, terrifying him into obedience, the gentleman knowing full well that God held all the cards, and could drop him whenever he so chose. And yet in the same sermon, Edwards unabashedly and passionately spoke of how much God loved the human race.

The cognitive dissonance is amazing. People bought it like crazy. Revival happened. Tent meetings and services lasted for weeks, people lying in the aisles, frothing at the mouth and repenting of their “sins.”

Then God softened. The Billy Sunday types slunk away from society and built their walled compounds – Christian universities. Bob Jones, Pensacola, Liberty, Hyles Anderson, Wheaton, etc. These universities trained their men to be apologists – assholes, really. They then sent them off to run IFB and other fundamentalist churches, preaching their hatred for “them” and their love for “us,” unless, of course, you were a woman.

Then God softened even more. The shrill Bryan Fischer, David Barton, Raphael Cruz, and Franklin Graham types grew even more afraid. The proof of their god, in the rest of society, was slipping away.

And who was to blame?

Me.

Yes. Me. My words. The words I put out online, in my own little corner of the e-niverse. I am turning people away from worshiping an asshole and singing about a dead guy being inside of them. Or so I have been accused of the same.

The problem is, if God is really as powerful as these people claim, able to turn the weather and kings’ hearts wherever he wills them, why do I matter?

If I do, I am more powerful than God.

And I’m okay with that. Truly. I’m not the most loving person in the universe (or e-niverse), but I’m thousands of times more loving than the god of the Bible.

Bring me coffee, hold the cream – unless you’re my father-in-law

 

Those of you who have been reading my words since the inception of Incongruous Circumspection, those of you who encouraged me to begin writing my thoughts on the virtual page, those of you who have, over the years, shared with me your stories of abuse, allowing me to expose those who hurt you so deeply, those of you who have worked your ass off, trying to get me to realize the error of my atheist ways, yes….even you, welcome. New readers, hello!

As has been my tradition, I will continue to expose my dear Mama and her lovely narcissistic letters to me and my family. I will still be accepting stories of abuse, whether it be sexual, spiritual, mental, physical, abuses of power, or any other sort of abuse that ends up hurting my readers, and needs to be exposed.

I will be writing personal letters to commenters who try to win me back to the bosom of Christ. I’ve checked. His bosom is rock hard and full of dust-caked sweat. It’s really not that great. Also, his blood tastes like blood, not wine. And, news flash, the last time I tried to get a carpet stain out of my pearly white Berber, it didn’t leave the rug as white as snow. Sorry.

I’ll be doing what I do best, as well – writing puff pieces about the chaos of my own home. Every time my kids yell at me and tell me I’m an idiot, you will know. Of course, I’ll spice it up to make me look like the good guy and they, gooder.  My bride, as ambitious, beautiful, brilliant, and successful as she is, will grace these pages as often as she allows. I love that woman and you will see it.

I hate those who hurt others. They will not be spared my ire. I love those who care for others. They will be praised here.

And I like craft beer (for sipping) and good coffee. I add cream to bad coffee. That is, all bad coffee, except my father-in-law’s. He makes the most vile coffee this side of the Mississippi, and yet I made the social faux pas of declaring it “the best damn coffee, this side of the Mississippi,” when I was but a stupid newlywed. I’ve been paying for that compliment ever since, having not the heart or the ovaries to tell him the truth. Then again, after 15-years, maybe I kinda like it in a self-flagellation sort of way.

In short, welcome.