Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Food for Freethought 2010

What is “Food for Freethought”?

Food for Freethought, inspired by the Center for Inquiry’s Campaign for Free Expression, is a food drive that also encourages freethought, freedom of expression, and free inquiry.  We plan to accomplish this by giving “Banned” and Freethought books away in exchange for non-perishable food donations that will be going to Food Bank of the Rockies, during “Banned Books Week”, September 27 – October 2 (specific dates below).  Our goal is to raise an enormous amount of food for those in need.  Most food drives are done during the holidays and tons of food is raised and distributed.  That is all well and good, but what about the majority of the time that it isn’t the holiday season?  The hungry don’t stop being hungry after the holidays, they are hungry now too!  Given the existing goals of Metro State Atheists, it is only natural that we would attempt to help the hungry by promoting freethought, freedom of expression, and free inquiry.  With the proper support,  we can  have an immeasurable positive community impact!

The event will be taking place at the Auraria Campus (1201 5th St, Denver, CO 80204).   September 28-30th, 9am-4pm (Times Subject to Change)

Metro State Atheists will have SIGNED COPIES available at Food For Freethought 2010 by the following authors:

Hemant MehtaDaniel Dennett , James RandiMichael ShermerDan Barker, and…RICHARD DAWKINS!. If you’d like to obtain any of these signed copies, donate food!

Largest donors receive signed books!

Metro State Atheists would like to formally thank the above and the following groups  for their support:

The James Randi Educational Foundation

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

The Center for Inquiry

Secular Student Alliance

Skeptic Magazine

Freedom From Religion Foundation

How can I help?

AMAZON.COM Wishlist

Click here and check out the Food for Freethought 2009 wishlist.  From there you can buy the books directly and they will be sent to us!

A special thanks to Tanya J. Higgins of Boulder, CO for setting this up.

Donate Books:

If you have any of the books on the banned book list (http://banned-books.com/bblist.html) and would like to donate it to the cause, please email Joel Guttormson at metroatheists@hotmail.com to set up pick up/delievery of your donation.


July 28, 2009 Posted by | Art, Astrology, Astronomy, atheism, Awards, Bacteriology, Bible, biology, Blurb, Books, Calculus, Censorship, Center For Inquiry, Charity, Chemistry, Christianity, Chromatography, creationism, Differential Equations, Epistemology, Events, evolution, First Century, god, Group Theory, Guest Bloggers, Humor, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Language, Lecture, Mathematics, Medicine, Metro State Atheists, Microbiology, Morality, Movies, New Testament, News, Newsletter, Noah Mann-Engel, Old Testament, Organic Chemistry, Party, philosophy, Pictures, Poetry, Politics, Poll, Press Release, Pseudomedicine, Pseudoscience, Qoutes, religion, Resume, Rome, Sam Singleton, Sarah Schoonmaker, Satire, science, Scientology, Sirius, Skepticism, splendid elles, The Holy Bible, The Reed Secular Alliance, The Trickster, Troy Conrad, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Joel Guttormson debates radio show host Bob Enyart (AM 670)

From Theology Online:

“Atheist Billboard spokesman, Joel Guttormson, (“Don’t Believe in God, You’re Not Alone”) will debate Radio talk show host Bob Enyart this Wednesday on Bob’s radio and Internet show (AM 670, Internet www.KGOV.com) .

Both sides have been sent information on the other (Bob’s show with his interview of Dan Barker was sent to Joel, and Joel’s website http://metrostateatheists.wordpress.com/ was sent to Bob).”

The show will at 3pm MT, Wednesday January 7th.

Here is the  link to Bob’s interview with our friend Dan Barker.

Commentary on the show can be viewed by using the links below:

Joel’s Commentary

Chalmer’s Commentary

Metro State Atheists

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Art, Astrology, Astronomy, atheism, Bacteriology, Bible, biology, Blurb, Calculus, Censorship, Center For Inquiry, Chemistry, Christianity, creationism, Differential Equations, Events, First Century, god, Humor, Interview, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, Language, Lecture, Mathematics, Medicine, Metro State Atheists, Microbiology, Morality, Movies, New Testament, News, Newsletter, Old Testament, Organic Chemistry, Party, philosophy, Pictures, Poetry, Politics, Poll, Press Release, Pseudomedicine, Pseudoscience, Qoutes, religion, Rome, Satire, science, Scientology, Sirius, splendid elles, The Holy Bible, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Slaying Heritage

Slaying Heritage

Slaying Heritage

I am a woman

of

No history,

bequeathed by ghostly ancestors,

Abandoning origins,

lost

amid the 22 million

—broken

shamed,

cattle-prodded

through the cavernous,

Ellis Island halls

sweating human misery

They willed to me:

no stories, no customs, no heirlooms,

no words from the languages

of their births.

Just—

Whispers

streaming,

waves of fear fleeing hostility and bigotry

—pogroms—

sweaping Europe

executing

Jews.

They willed to me

only

a handful of sepia-faded faces—

with

no

places,

no

dates,

and

no

names.

Dirty Immigrants.

Victims.

Beguiled

by the American dream of oblivion,

they requested their pasts be cremated

along-side them.

And so it was done, in honor of their

broken backs

rendered in the melting pot—

skin worn to shoe leather.

Probed for labor fitness,

Stripped

Searched,

Inspected,

Renamed,

Mandated

Labeled

Tagged

Mass processed.

Branded

at Ellis Island,

(aliens) (untrustworthy)

Indentured servants for the fat old English Man that vouchsafed them,

(Eastern European—different)

Slaves

for Northern Factories.

Scurrying to his Summons:

Kykes, Hymies, Shylocks, Krauts, Jerrys….

(At least Not Chinks, banned 1862)

One more group exploited

(And Not Japs, barred 1902)

to

Tote that barge,and lift that bale.

Fettered.

Bull-penned in Factory towns

Shilled in Factory stores,

—Trapped—

before Northern Europeans only quotas 1924,

legislated, legalized more

discrimination, detention and deportation as the norm,

the very sentiments my grandparents

tried to bury before begetting progeny.

They’d all been lured by metaphors

of streets paved with gold,

Only to find beneath their feet

Not even wooden planks,

Just shovels, mud and jumbled stones

To learn that servitude

required

they be the ones to

Pave them.

I want to dredge up their ashes,

And minuscule,

fragmented bones,

Festively gilding them to tie into my hair.

Ornaments and Amulets,

bearing witness to my origins.

But their inscrutable faces murmur,

Let dead relatives be.

They do not understand my need.

You are the last, they accuse,

as if my only worth lay

in the passing on of genes.

Soon enough, they sigh,

soon enough you will

also be

a handful of dusty ashes

meaningful to no one

and nobody

will ever know you were.

Buried in the Nothingness

Of the

Chimera

They call America

by Riki Matthews, the Trickster

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Art, Poetry, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shearing Cuts by Riki Mathews

shearing-cuts1Snowing outside—bright, glazed white porcelain snow glinting diagonal streaks across the dull, matte white, horizontal blinds. Warm inside, light grey steamy mists rising perpendicular to darker grey, vertical heating pipes. Cold sunlight crosses hot lamp light, casting a lace collar on the faded, ash-blonde wood floor. A chiaroscuro painting.

My black hair drifts in clumps to the floor—point, counterpoint, snippets alternating with the white, old man’s hair falling outside. A mulch-covering ritual of renewal.


Clip, clip, snip scissors, the shears shearing. A perfect haiku: white spring snow and me, thick, black hair on a diminutive Japanese girl. Or, thick, harsh snow burning a cold January day and me, tall, heavy-boned black woman, crimps of wiry hair, hair in glassy, black waves—an ocean tangling into the African ivory coastline. The snow’s cruel light gleams, thick and gagging, a chalky milkshake, threatening to choke and kill. Or, a dense, onerous snow trudging across the Russian Steppes, asphyxiating the land, crushing the houses, and me, moon-faced, unblinking—staunch. And inside I am warm, surrounded by tufts of hair, molting clumps from a stuffed Panda Bear.


I tenderly collect hair to braid into a rug, to cover with dust, cover with cat hair, cover as it covers—to be worn down back into the elements. Or, this gathering of hair, I will weave as the bottom of a wicker chair, supporting friends that come and go, supporting dust, supporting cat hair, supporting as it is supported. Thus start the years of collecting hair, hair constantly pruned short to fulfill such purposes.


I beg (steal) hair. Rescued from lovers, from friends, from strangers, …. swept from beauty parlors finely stained wood, from barbershops dust-covered, dull linoleum floors, from waste baskets in bathrooms, from brushes and combs patiently culled without breaking the knots and tangles. Workrooms deep in drifting, shifting color-spectrumnal hair—cotton white to Tupelo honey, Poppy red to the deep purple of ripe plums, leisurely loops to ringlets, electric shock waves to water flows. A wondrous fey-lock palette.


Space and history, I weave, time and emotion, I weave—shirts, jackets, dresses, pants…. Chiaroscuro body maps lined with purple amethyst Chinese silk. Hair-knittes huggings holding humans against the cold, the dirt, the outside that sometimes taps, sometimes scratches against my windows. My closests spill stories of dead cells shorn to be renewed, journeys of celebrations and mournings, of beginnings, changes, and ends—people I have never met, people I thought I knew, people I knew for only a while, and the very few I knew forever in the rhythm of their heartbeat. No, they never stay….. But I have their hair—and all that encompasses.

by Riki Mathews.  Check out her blog at The Trickster Tells.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Poetry, The Trickster | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Venom In The Veins

Venom

in the

Veins

It’s my property! Why, I paid $985 for this here piece of flesh, and I have the right to do what I want with it.

Pounded under the slave block’s gavel,

bid-$1-2-430 bid-$2-4-580 bid-$3-4-850 bid-$5-6-1,000

& Sold, & Sold, & Sold, & Sold,

heart beats, heart beats, heart beats, heart beats

Four million hearts beating

Imprisoned

For Life

For Greed

For Lust

for

the rhythm of planting, picking—

FLESH

Turned into MONEY,

Blood

Poured into crops,

Fusing with the dirt

And

Raining from the sky—

Southern trees bore a strange fruit

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze,

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Across the street,

in the White Churches,

BREAD turned to CHRIST’S FLESH,

and

BLOOD

to WINE

So if’in I want to rape it, hate it, mutilate it, that ain’t none of your business. I can even kill it if I want to ‘cause it’s mine, and you can’t stop me. Though me killin’ it would mean I was downright crazy given what I just paid for it. But when it gets old and useless, and I’ve gotten my money’s worth, I just might hunt it for fun. Now you just get on out of my way before I start to showin’ my hate for you, you anti-Christian piece of Northern trash! It’s in the Bible; they’re heathens, savages, inferior, don’t believe in Jesus, and even when converted, they still the sons of Ham. My preacher taught me the word of God. He should know. God’s never wrong, and We Southerners have God on our sidde [ssssss-slap]

God on our siiiiid- [sssss-slap]

God on our siiii- [ssss-slap]

God on our sssss- [ssss-slap]

God on ouuur- [ssss-slap]

God onnn -[ssss-slap]

“Oh, yes ye converted heathen, God has a message for thee; be meek and mild my child in the face of thy travails. Submit and repent; think only of Heaven, not this world, and the next will be yours.”

So said the Southern Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and cohorts.

(and the country whispers but that was so long ago; that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but look and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—and yes, even most the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

The vomiting has begun

AGAIN

The bile is rising

AGAIN

The venom in the veins

Courses hardy

Again,

Throbbing, pulsing

AGAINf

Lub dub, Lub dub, Lub dub:

The throb of life calling for

MURder, MURder, MURder, MURder

chanting in a viperous tongue

slithering from

the Reptilian brain,

spitting

H A T E

K I L L.


When did slavery end?

When did it end?

Physical fact,

Or

State of mind?

Emotional?

Spiritual?

Cultural?

As law?

Or

Law enforcement?

But only the sightless believe

It ended in 1864.

Jim Crow’s reign, segregation, culture of terror, KKK, politicians, Good-White-Men-with-Family-Values. Black ink on White paper records 3,437 African-American lynched up to 1951. Not recorded: every Beating, Stabbing, Crippling, Broken bone, Fried human, Burnt house, Vigilantes Hunting in packs…..

Rising in the pride of the South, strong in their conviction, pleased with their Tradition, Southern Governors and Senators spoke out for what their cold, lizard hearts and squalid eyes and fetid brains claimed as Truth. the “Negro” is inferior. With God (& their ‘way of life’) on their side, they made sure no African American sat on a jury; lynchings took place with impunity as community picnic entertainment, photographed with pride—placed in the family album next to the wedding reception.

(and the country whispers….but that was so long ago… that was not us; I’m not to blame…. but mark and listen and understand it is here now; it is racism; it is killing you, me, the haters and the hated—the Lovers and the Loved—and yes, even most, the ones that stand by, doing nothing)

Woodrow Wilson, a racist Enforcer, segregated the federal government: 1902-1910. One man—the country followed.

1955, a 14-year-old Chicago boy visiting in Mississippi crossed an invisible “white’s only” boundary he didn’t even know existed. His punishment: eyes gouged out, beaten to death, then, finally, shot in the head, thrown into the Tallahatchie River, a 75-pound fan tied around his neck with barbed wire weighing his small body down. Only 54 years ago (and the country pretends… it was so long ago…but oh how wrong we are. It happened during my lifetime. And it was not the end.). Two men arrested, not held or punished; the haters enforced their reign of terror, and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI promulgated hate, intimidating civil rights workers, giving aid to lynchers, discrediting Martin Luther King, Jr., serving him up to the murdering mob.

1968, only 41 years ago, racism killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

1981, two KKK members in Alabama randomly chose to lynch 19-year-old Michael Donald. For the very first time, the killers were found guilty, but the prosecutor has been number 1 on the Aryan Nation hit list ever since. 1981, Only 28 years ago, during the lives of my children.

I beheld my caring, open-hearted lover

Ignored

Every month, every week, every day, every hour

We strolled through a store

Sat together for coffee—or more.

Eyes glided blankly past her to see only me,

Ask me what I wanted

Fuss over me

Serve me

While she stood next to me:

Invisible

Black

But

Invisible

Except in the Glares of the Police.

The Stares of the Guards

The Malevolence of the Whites

Sniggering, Blithering

As we passed by.

I learned to read

The nerve-quickened pulsing

at the edge

Of her jaw,

The muscles set

—Tightly—

from

neck

to

shoulder

blade,

Petrify,

and

Rip

her throbbing, open heart

APART.

1998, three men, all members of a white supremacist prison gang, murdered James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old Texas father of three, who had accepted an early-morning ride home from work with the three men. Because it’s what white racists do, they attacked him, dragging him to his death behind their truck, then moseyed off to a barbecue. 1998, only 11 years ago, as the radical Christian Right gained its stranglehold on the Republican party, fought for religion in politics, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-everything “not them.” They’ve perfected the attack ad, blaming the “other,” hunting the scapegoat, preying on and harnessing the collective ugliness within us. And as they’ve discovered, there is more than enough to destroy this country without the need of a nuclear bomb. (and the country ignores….IT is not going away…IT grows on hate, and the agony is ascending once again, again, and again, flooding the land.)

Finally, on June 13, 2005, the US Senate formally apologized for its failure to previously enact a Federal anti-lynching law. All earlier attempts had been defeated by filibusters by powerful Southern senators. 2005, only 4 years ago (and the country sighs, it is over…Oh, how very wrong are we. Look anywhere; there IT is).

And once again the lynching comes

as mobs find courage in numbers.

Have Faith for Faith’s sake,

preserve Tradition for Tradition’s sake

Hate for Hate’s sake

With God, Government, and Police on their side.

For as far back as we have evidence, humans have practiced human sacrifice: scapegoats, the pariah, the “other” to put upon them the blame and shame of the community, to be the sacrifice for the sins of all, originally to drive them out of the community and leave them to die—or ritually kill them in cleansing ceremonies. Human sacrifice for the rest of our sakes; human sacrifice to the gods. The one we know best is the dying/rising god, the god that promises immortality. The names may change but the promise of sin-free immortality remains the same: Osiris, Dionysus, Tammuz, Odin, Ishtar, Persephone, Baal—Jesus. Christians say Jesus is the last; THEY say Jesus took the sins of all so no one else would have to suffer; THEY say they follow him….and yet…and yet….and yet, THEY continue scape-goating—sacrificing others, projecting fears, hatred, anger, perverted thoughts onto entire populations.

What an excuse to commit genocide (Indians, Jews, Blacks, Muslims, Immigrants—take your pick).

What an excuse to kill ( so many to choose from).

What an excuse to be a vigilante (a buffet of life to slaughter).

What an excuse for murdering in the name of love.

Diagnosis:

The psychosis of humanity made manifest, running amuck, ranting, wrecking, reeking havoc, assaulting, lynching, Effacing to avoid facing themselves.

Playing God, they slaughter.

The herd hunts again,

Rulers of Deceit:

The Rogue and the Righteous

—The McPalins of the World—

Forging the grandiose

Hate-Fest

To Feast,

Draped

in rancid lies

They

Dredge

the

Sludge in the drains—the slime—

Lining the social plumbing,

Lurking in the twisted shadows

Out of sight

But

Never

Out of mind.

Left too long to rot and mold

In the grime

of history

—denied—

Bubbles in repression,

Churns sour in our souls,

Flings out its tentacles for the light of day

Births hate from guilt,

Pain from shame,

Displaced blame gobbles the refusal to atone

No matter how hard we try to scrub the claims of conscience away,

Racism

is

Our Nemesis,

Our cyanide rage,

Our Gangrenous hate.

Crawling on the unmasked:

Neighbors,

Church members,

Farmers,

Butchers,

Jury-sitters

Bakers

Law-makers,

ALL

Beasts craving to be fed Again

US-made

Vampires

Raping

Their Country,

Devouring

Their Young.

(With God on their side)

Thanks to:

Abel Meeropol for the lyrics Strange Fruit

The Southern Poverty Law Center:

Morris Dees, Joseph J. Levin, Jr., and Julian Bond,

Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, all those who’ve been hurt & still will,

All who’ve fought and still continue to

Charging Shame to:

All that aid & abet fear of those who are different

All that feed off hate

All that incite violence against those who disagree

All that are complicitous, consciously or not

By riki mathews, The Trickster

(Some aspects of original format have not been preserved)

October 30, 2008 Posted by | god, Poetry, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ode To Rapid Republicans


Ode To Rabid Republicans
Ode To Rabid Republicans

Ye cravest certainty in a world

Ye knowest as boundless;

Thy dismay bleedest

Through the cracks in thy rusty and shackled armor

ye refuest to discard.

Thy time hast passed, yet ghostly ye cling, forlorn and lost.

Worn buckles fumbled shut,

Old steel boots mauled onto fungied feet,

Thou preparest thy latest onslaught.

Thou hast trodden into our minds for many a decade

Thy hatred for all;

Harvesting fear and frenzy, seeding anger to fester and explode.

In droves thy recruits swarm behind thee.

Proudly bannered in the American flag.

They slogan forth, fangs dripping Patriotism,

Screaming

Death to terrorists,

Death to Muslims,

Death to the Other,

Death to all

that lights this wondrous world,

Death to it all

But your dictums.

Though thy faith leadest to the valley of death,

Though thy faith leadest to the Killing Fields,

Though thy faith

                                            forces

thou into befouled alleys,

Heaped in thy stinking deceipt,

Beset by bigotry, envy, grisly greed, lust, and dreadful deeds

that most surely will end in contrition,

Ye travelest it leaning on blind dogma—eschewest reason

and wonder not to justify the vile means nor the ends for that

which you seek.

Doest thou not thinkest of thy God thou invokest so facilely?

Doest thou truly believest thy God adorest thy offerings:

Burned flesh?

Charred children?

Drowned poor?

Suffering meek?

Did Christ not enjoin thy vows of love?

of mercy?

of compassion?

Methinks thou hast lost thy way,

To gather at the birthing of thine own making,

Yet not of the foretold nor desired Second Coming.

Nay,

Thou hast abandoned thine children

Foresworn thy duteous caretaking,

Forgotten the words of thy Savior,

The meaning of

Forgiveness

to woefully follow the

wrong

Messiah

—a Pied Piper—

A Traitor Made in Thine Image,

Gleefully

Enticing

                               Thee

                                            Unto

                                A most private

Hell

                                           Thou Designed for Thee.

By riki mathews

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Bible, Christianity, god, Poetry, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Modern Proposal

(For Preventing The Children of Poor or Unrighteous People in the United States From Being A Burden to Their Christian and Wealthy Brethren and Country, and Instead Making Them Beneficial to the Public)

It is such a sad affair, at the beginning of this 21st century, to travel within the city and its surrounding urban districts and find oneself assaulted by the vast numbers of homeless, especially the rapidly increasingly number of women—homeless or not—with their children and swollen bellies. At least two in five children live below the poverty line, and with the absolutely necessary wage depressions placed upon the middle class, leading to further growth among the poor, along with the corresponding taxation, which I wholeheartedly agree that the government is most correct in applying (far be if for me to question the wisdom of the policies our most astute leaders see wisest to institute). And of course we must reward our most successful citizens with permanent tax cuts and not help those who cannot help themselves. After all, it’s a well-known fact that those who have absolutely nothing can most certainly pull themselves up from nothing using nothing.

Even within the schools, whose moral duties are to protect our young before they reach the age of taking on adult responsibilities, I have seen horrifying signs of the young bearing their own young. And the numbers of poor continue to surge among them, growing numbers of unaccompanied, wild youth, no matter how hard we try to instill morally true messages and admonish them to honor their parents! Why, just a few years ago the number of homeless youth ranging the country was swelling in numbers of over 300,000 a year! I cannot convey the staggering consequences put upon this country from these numbers of uneducated, unprepared children—fleeing, I am told, alleged conditions such as sexual and physical abuse, economic instability and merely leaving parents who simply did not care, of which I am sure these incorrigible youth must be deliberately committing perjury.

I have taken on the task of questioning many of these poor, pregnant and/or already mothers and unknowing fathers at tender teen ages. It seems that many, despite our excellent education exhorting abstinence only and quite wisely keeping from these indiscrete youth the knowledge of preventing pregnancy in order to uphold the sanctity of marriage, gave in to their lust despite the consequences and the numerous admonitions given and disciplinary measures taken by their parents and preachers. In keeping with our country’s policy that our children are best kept ignorant of the sordid processes behind the making of babies and be raised to see procreation in the service of God and matrimony, I most certainly cannot declare myself in favor of changing this course as it is indeed in keeping with the best values of Christianity and morality itself. And I do understand that in order to maintain the purity and sanctity of life that we hold so dear we cannot teach these poor young women about birth control or ever allow them access to it or, heaven forbid, abortion. Yet faced with the prodigious numbers mounting here that they do not have in ungodly, socialist Europe, I have spent many years as the tragedies compound, bending my mind to various solutions.

And so now, I find myself in a position of offering a proposal that would be palatable and acceptable within our Godly commitments to protect the unborn souls and yet not allow the born offspring to become a burden upon those families that either cannot care for them or those that do not deserve them nor the society that must not provide medical care, jobs, social programs, counseling, or other unchristian help to those who have disobeyed God and country in this matter.

Something must obviously be done to intervene at an early age to keep these children from growing up to be the homeless and miscreants burdening our society or repeating the mistakes of their mothers of having children outside marriage (it is a fact that this is indeed a typical pattern). Now I have studied and thought long and hard before staking a claim on a possible solution, and I want to make sure that my critics understand that I have nothing to gain from my proposal. Since I am now a retired teacher, I would not be profiting in smaller class sizes that would be created nor could I benefit since I am not married and so given my Christian upbringing would never have a child out of wedlock to try and make a few dollars from my proposal. I do understand that my proposal will not help things immediately, but we are in need of long-term preventive measures, given that we cannot allow a continually growing population of poor old people past their working prime to burden those among us who pay their our way, and this will indeed solve such nagging concerns from occurring in the future.

Since our country is so beholden to the rich for their patronage of our goods, as well as the powerful corporations that have built such wondrous empires upon our own and other soils, my suggestion is basically for them to take up the gauntlet of this cause to save our country and to increase the wealth of those who truly deserve it. I am now going on knowledge acquired by others that the tender flesh of young babies is of the highest quality in taste and protein (J. Swift). I therefore submit that those approximate 1.3 million abortions now being performed per year that will most thankfully and assuredly come to a halt through the efforts of our Evangelical brother Alito upon the Supreme Court bench, and the other thousands of children born from lust and the inability to abstain from disgusting carnal pursuits may now lend a noble hand to the continuation of this country and bring just punishment upon their thoughtless, criminal parents as is befitting a just God. I submit that these babies, after having been breast fed for a year, be sold to the finest restaurant chains and meat companies in the United States to become as fine a delicacy as caviar: home grown, cured, packaged, and dressed all by US businesses for consumption by those in our society so deserving through their wealth and Christian living (such wealth seen as a reward from heaven for their service to the Lord) and by any others our most illustrious leaders see fit to provide this cuisine to.


Surely, in this way, we may stimulate the economy (which we all know so dreadfully needs it) without encroaching upon the just wealth or our richest citizens and corporations; rid ourselves of the pestilence of the poor, unwed, homeless, criminal, immoral elements: shower further favor upon the elite; punish the unrighteous; and cleanse this country of its sins in the eyes of the Lord and so make our peace with the Almighty before He decides to totally destroy us as He has most recently showed in the rash of floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes He has been sending of late as warnings to our shore to mend our unholy ways.

Certainly there will be critics of this proposed action, but I am most amenable to other solutions if anyone can think of something that will take care of as many facets of the problem as this proposal does; in that instance, I will most wholeheartedly lend them my mind and ear. Until then, though, I feel we must urgently move forward and adopt this proposal to stem the tide that is overwhelming society. I can only call attention again to the numbers I have already given that have grown further in the last few years to point out that something needs be done at once (and let us not forget the burgeoning prison population—with the highest per capita incarceration rate of any country in the world—that that is another blight upon our sacred society).

Now, I must admit that I owe my solution to a greater mind than my own, a man who first thought of this more than one hundred years ago, and so I must rest on his laurels: chaplain Swift. And so, you see, I cannot even claim honor or recognition for my proposal, only for putting it forth once again in these trying times. I just must thank the Lord for giving us such a brilliant mind as chaplain Swift’s.

Amen

By riki mathews, The Trickster

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Politics, Satire, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Double Entendre: X Does Not Equal Y

Just recently, a story hit the news about a D.C. MADAME that “threatened” a US senator, a deputy secretary of state, and the man who created the doctrine of “shock and awe.” And just how did this woman “threaten” these and other powerful men? She ran an escort service they used. Now, given the ignoramic double standard in this country—prostitutes go to jail and the johns go free—I have to cogitate very hard to understand in what way this woman was a threat. It was certainly in her best interests to keep the matter quiet, and as far as I can tell from the news coverage of the case, and as business sense would dictate, discretion would be an asset.

Now for some reason, this one was considered so dangerous, that despite the numerous other escort rings in the area, hers has been the only one prosecuted. And why? Supposedly, she was laundering money: a total of $2 million over 13 years. In an attempt to legitimize this courtroom theatre of the absurd, an IRS agent produced records of a lower than middle class lifestyle bought by this “high crime” Madame. Oh, please, give me a good production of Lysistrata any day!

And all of this supposedly required a full investigation into the sexual acts performed along with the release of 132 women’s names, some who hadn’t worked there for years, including being subjected to vituperative, fatuous questions demanding a need to know bodily-function-details such as, I kid you not, asked of a 63-year-old former escort by prosecutor Catherine Connelly, “Did you specifically discuss what happened when you went in the shower?”

The witness explained, “I was having sex.”

“What would happen if you were menstruating?” Connelly then asked.

A travesty of justice? A mockery of it? NO, that and a vilification of women.

X Does NOT Equal Y in this system:

These women, including a naval officer who worked there for only a few months and the now 63-year-old with a Ph.D. will lose their jobs, and according to most of the blogs I’ve seen, both men and women think they deserve it.


SEX….Euwww! Women having sex for money……….Euwww! And the men, or “johns,” including Senator Vitter, a GOP family values crusader, what happens to them? NOTHING. That’s right, nothing. No jail, NO names published, NO fines. Kinda warms the cockles of your heard, doesn’t it, to see the patriarchy in such great form protecting its own. But of course, we all know it’s the woman’s fault; she’s evil [Eve’s to blame]; men can’t help it; women ought to be pure. Or is it, how dare women have power over men; how dare men have to pay for sex; how dare women be able to decide what to do with their bodies when they are supposed to belong to men! I forget, is it the evil woman, sex is bad or the need to keep women in their place and control what they can and cannot do with their bodies or a mishmash of the two?

Gender inequality is an inescapable fact. I witnessed it firsthand only a few years ago as a teacher, as if the women’s movement had never taken place. My female students constantly worried about their looks, felt inadequate if they didn’t have a boyfriend, were made fun of by the males if they weren’t attractive, and were pressured by their peers to have sex to be cool, then labeled sluts, whores, bitches, tarts, teases, etc. And the boys, they bragged about having sex, were studs, operators, stud muffins, with not one bad word for one who slept around. While if a female tried to assert her own will, she was quickly cowed by being called a “feminazi.” In fact, none of them wanted to be associated with being a feminist—though they wanted all the rights from the fruits of the movement. Such a hatchet job the powers that be have done, once again, on women.

I could overwhelm you with stats that back up my assertions of discrimination women face, from studies done where the exact same paper got an A when signed by a male and a B or lower when signed with a female name to FBI Crime Statistics of 2003 where 63.2 in every 100,000 women were raped [and that’s only the reported ones] to the fact that we still do not receive equal pay for equal work. What I find most disturbing are the women who perpetrate 2nd class status onto their own daughters and other women, as in the treatment that Anita Hill received during Justice Thomas’ hearings; her information was not put on trial, but she most certainly was with such rabid emotional responses, giving immediate clues that a deeper issue has been triggered than innocence or guilt.

So let me leave you with what should be two troubling, thought provoking trends:

In India and China, where the status of females is at the level of about what it was in the 1800s here [remember, it took women over 100 years to get the vote and we didn’t get it until 1920; read about the political prisoners conveniently “lost” in women’s workhouses for protesting for the right to vote], 90% of known female fetuses are aborted or killed after they’re born, and in India, married women die in deliberate fires set by husbands rather than divorce and give back the dowry while the police look the other way.

In parenting books for Christians that have become quite popular, the advice given for parents of girls, honored for their ability to give birth and suckle the child, is to adamantly stress obedience, for they must learn to honor their fathers and then transfer that obedience to their husbands.

One last, but not to be overlooked nor forgotten, note; this “dangerous,” “powerful,” “threatening” Madame excoriated in our not so just justice system, committed suicide after her cold and wicked betrayal. For that is what it was, a betrayal. Legalize prostitution and regulate it, as is done in sane countries and parts of Nevada, and truly honor a woman’s right to control her body instead of giving the notion lip service. And please, spare me the moral outrage. Going out to dinner and a movie in which the man pays and then going to bed with him is prostitution. Negotiating the amount or time allotted for sex in a relationship is prostitution. Selling your body at a job every day IS prostitution. Capitalism is prostitution, and we’ve seen what unregulated capitalism looks like.

D.C. Madame, Ms. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, I promise I will not forget what you have suffered at the hands of an unjust society.

By riki mathews: The Trickster

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Small

Family Values

Ah, just hearing Sarah Palin talk about good-old, small town values just warms the very cockles of my heart. I can see it now, a return to those idyllic days of small town idealization: the 1950s, when America was at its greatest. “Leave it to Beaver” ruled the airwaves, entering every middle-class home delivering the very fundamental values embodied by Mrs. Palin, her church, and the current Republican party. Nostalgic tears flood my cheeks—Ah yes, those were the days—and I most heartily look forward to reinstalling them.

Yes, the memories overwhelm me . . . . time spent watching those wise TV fathers instructing their raptly attentive wives fresh from doing their domestic chores dressed impeccably, high heels and tastefully coordinated jewelry, while happy children with perfect manners played harmoniously, then said their Christian prayers before meekly popping off to bed. The good old nuclear family.

Sure was dreamy baby, though it didn’t have an iota of similarity to any family I knew—families where fathers beat their children and mothers called them stupid morons. Disgruntled housewives and single women who’d gotten a taste for working during the war “let go” because the men needed the jobs more. The mommies on my block drug around unintended, unwanted children. Effective birth control wasn’t available and those who perhaps aborted, well, given the morality of the times, that would stay buried in the closet, so how would we know? Unless they died, of course. Even then, it’s amazing the secrets behind closed doors. Don’t know why they were so unhappy; after all, research back then showed that only 7% of Americans thought a single woman could ever be happy. Maybe they just didn’t know enough to know what was best for them.

And as for single moms? Why, I knew of one….but she was obviously immoral, so the entire community blackballed her, and everyone had someone they could gossip about. That’s always good for keeping cohesion in a small town. Yep, nothing like being the outcast, looked down on, unable to find work, having your child laughed at and called names to let everyone else know what they better not do. That went for divorce as well, rightfully scandalous among us average folk, a good cause for a lot of tongue wagging.

The home was a man’s undisputed castle, and his word ruled—we learned that from TV, from our teachers, from, well, from everywhere. Boy oh boy, my best friend’s dad knew that. Punishment meted out in the basement with PVC pipe against bare arms and legs, metal belt buckles across the butt till she couldn’t sit. One time, she got it so bad, she had to sleep on her stomach for a week. Of course I knew, but as far as I could figure, that’s what went on in every home. Even in “Father Knows Best” or “My Three Sons” or “Ozzie and Harriet.” Children were supposed to keep their mouths shut and show proper respect for grownups, and, well, basically, do everything they were told. Now how those parents got their kids to mind themt was the fuzzy part to us as w didn’t know any kid or parent that acted like those on TV. We couldn’t figure it out: were they just being mean like our parents were in private, or were we the only ones in America whose families didn’t look like theirs?

What with all the evidence—TV, Uncle Sam, our teachers and what they had to say about us….my best friend and I guessed we just had to be the sinful little boogers, the deviants, deserving of a good beating or some other torture. If I misbehaved, I got sent to my room without dinner—zip, nothing, even if I hadn’t gotten lunch either because some school bully had taken it. My own fault my parents said. And they never did explain what I’d done to not get dinner. I remember once going a whole week without. That time I collapsed, but no doctor visit; we couldn’t afford a doctor back then. They say we got what we deserved, and I guess we turned out the better for it.

Strict rules were all part of family values back then. And it was the Dad’s job to enforce them. Men had it tough, for sure. You had to give them slack, coming back from the war and all, starting life again. So what if husbands cheated? Good, dutiful wives put up with it. Come to think of it, they never showed any of that on The Family Hour….but hard to believe it was only going on in our small town; whatever, we kept our mouths shut when it came to the men; what could you expect from men? It was in their nature after all; everyone said so. And those women still trying to keep their places in the workforce certainly didn’t help a man’s morale; they were just giving ‘em a reason to wander.

Uppity women. Selfish. Got a taste for working and now couldn’t let go, do the right thing for the country. Their place was in the home having babies—whether they wanted to or not. Uncle Sam knew best; the government made it very clear women owed it to our future to give the jobs back to the men, stay home and raise children—White children that is. I understood that some of my moms acquaintances were doing their civic duty when they told my mom she should give up the job she got during the war . . . . even . . . even if my dad wasn’t bringing home enough money to pay all the bills. I agreed with what they said behind her back, that by working my mom was undermining my dad’s ego, ‘cause her actions were making him think he couldn’t do it by himself; she was making him look bad in front of his buddies and, and, and . . . . that’s why he was running around. Yup. It was my mom’s fault for, now what was the word they used. . . for. . . for . . .I know—emasculating him.

She was white and Uncle Sam had said we needed white babies; he hadn’t said anything about the minority women that’d been working before, through, and after the war cleaning up after the rest; of course they were supposed to continue working, and be thankful they got paid at all. They needed to prove they deserved the American Dream—just like we already had.

And we had that dream, almost all that dream: we got a government loan to buy a home on Dad’s GI bill; he got a new Cadillac every year he never paid for thanks to bank credit; he was a salesman with a fine diamond pinkie ring—and it didn’t even matter that he never sold anything! We had the look of prosperity; that’s what mattered. That’s all that mattered when it came to the money game. And best of all back in the 1950s, we had the Cold War.

Now that pulled us together. A strong common enemy sure brings out true blue American patriotism, do or die, no questioning authority, no sir. Why, just like the beginning of the war in Iraq. It was that same thrill of fear, terror, panic, lashing out, and squashing anyone who spoke out against our government all rolled into one—and it lasted for years and years longer than the crap war we got going on now. Just nothing beat it for getting people all gung-ho and rah, rah, rah for the principles of the USA. I definitely know why folks want to go back to those simpler, halcyon days of yore.

We lived in the bosom of great faith we did, positive that could survive a direct nuclear attack. At my school we faithfully practiced duck and cover under our desks while those of us that lived within 20 minutes walking distance were sent home, the alarm sirens blaring from every corner, to take refuge in our basements, our storage bins, or if we had the dough, newly installed bomb shelters. With fear and pride mingling in our devoted hearts, we banded together behind the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, and Senator Joseph McCarthy—that fierce fighter of Godless Communism and minority groups trying to undermine us from within.

With our government’s encouragement, we spied on our neighbors, anonymously reported anything that looked suspicious to the authorities, rooted when the Rosenbergs were put to death, and couldn’t wait for the next round of so-called traitors to be thrown in jail or lose their jobs [sorry you were framed Ethel, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and there’s nothing like catching bad guys to keep morale up]. We felt awe and empowerment as Cold War bands of thugs channeled our fears for us, demanding blind loyalty tests from government employees, kicking out any who disagreed with any policy of President Truman and then Eisenhower, ruining careers and lives with a snap of their fingers. With total impunity, knowing what this country needed, they ignored the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, planted forged documents, leaked fake information to the press, accused and declared people enemies of the state in private trials.

They fueled the public’s rage and fear, and with pit bull McCarthy at the helm, we got to not only watch, but be co-conspirators in one of the greatest dramatic plays in America. Even though McCarthy was muzzled, we weren’t done expressing our unleashed passion; we stuck to our duty and joined The John Birch Society. Yes, we were the best Americans, finally able to overcome any family troubles and, instead, turn our righteous anger and suspicions on Semites, Blacks and any other minority that wanted to invade WASP America. Boy, oh, boy, those were the days of strong, single-minded conservative values alright.

We surged in patriotism and fear thanks to the Cold War and, naturally, we surged with Christianity to emotionally bond Americans together to save us from hellfire and Godless Communism as well. Making an official Pledge of Allegiance, still itself brand new out of 1942, overtly religious by adding “under God” in 1954 sure helped send a message to any deviants here. And then adding “In God We Trust” onto all our paper money, thanks to an act of Congress in 1955, we magically became that Christian church-going nation the family values people always thought right.

Again we turned to our trusty TVs for the right message, adding Televangelists to our favorite family programs, eagerly soaking up Oral Roberts of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches who offered fake, I mean faith healing of the blind and crippled in front of thousands and directly into our living rooms through the TV screen, and the nation sure was in need of that to keep us strong in the face of our enemies. God spoke directly to him. Imagine how thrilling that was for us watching this movie star preacher getting divine revelations at the same time he spoke to us. Of course we sent him our money—isn’t that the American way? Don’t we get rich through the grace of God just like anyone can grow up to be President? You won’t find me faulting him for his $100 shoes or $500 suits or the $9 million we sent to save his life. He and so many others have taught us the true American virtues of capitalism, which he simply followed.

And we just had to watch Billy Graham as well with his own fiery fundamentalist/evangelical rhetoric. He explained it in terms we could all understand: war with Russia being the millennial Biblical showdown, God’s test of our goodness and strength. Like the great prophet Moses appearing before us on the Universal stage, God compelled us to follow him….we embraced him especially.

Blessed by God and Eisenhower, backed by Standard Oil and the precursor of Haliburton, he, like McCarthy and J. Edgar Hoover—his personal friend—focused our rage on the correct targets, the unions, the traitor liberals in government, and anyone who was anti-big business. Yes, he showed us whose side God was on There we stood, the proud towns, nay, the proud nation composed of small towns and our small town American values.

“Gimme them old time values,
“Gimme them old time values,
“Gimme them old time values,
“They were good enough for my growing years, they’re good enough for me now
“They were good enough for my growing years, they’re good enough for me now

…………………………Ah……………..
Ah………………. Well……………………
…..ah, actually, the more I think about it…. you know, they, they, you know, they look a lot like what we’ve had for the last eight years…..

By riki mathews: The Trickster

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Christianity, Politics, religion, The Trickster | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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