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Josh Duggar, Family Man

First, the disclaimer: I’ve never seen the ’19 and Counting’ show, but it’s in the news and on the discussion boards often enough that I think I have a rough idea; it’s a reality show about a family with a ridiculous amount of children, and they’re crazy family values Christians, which is absolutely the most obnoxious variety of Christian.

Josh Duggar, family man

Josh Duggar, family man


I watched Honey Boo Boo once, for about 5 minutes. If it’s anything like that, I’m not missing a thing.
Also, I don’t want to totally jump on the ‘Let’s Lynch Josh Duggar because he’s a filthy child molesting pervert’ bandwagon. Maybe just hang onto the side and ride it down the street a ways, but not jump on firmly with both feet. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First, I’ve heard many, many people over the past couple of years criticizing the Duggars for having so many kids, but I’ve got no problem with that. I might not agree with their Christian reasoning, but big families are great (I’m one of seven)and if they can afford it and are good parents, more power to them.
Secondly (and feminists hate this) there really are different degrees of sex crime. Not everything is rape and, among rapes, not all are equally horrible. Josh Duggar did not hold any women down at knife point and forcibly have sex with them. He snuck into girls’ bedrooms, when he was 14, and touched them up while they slept. The news article I read didn’t specify, but I imagine the girls involved were his sisters.
It’s not a good thing, but it’s not Bill Cosby bad, it’s maybe not even Woody Allen bad.
So much for the defense. Now let me ride the bandwagon.
He’s a nasty morality crusader who is famous for saying “Gays are child molesters” so it’s comical to see him in this situation. Comical but somewhat predictable. All of the fiercest anti-gay types turn out to be closet homosexuals, or have some other skeleton in the closet, and child molesting definitely counts as a SITC.
Mike “will never be President, no matter how bad he wants it” Huckabee came to his defense, saying “Good people can make mistakes.” Perhaps the good reverend Huckleberry is thinking of the time his own lovable little lardbucket tortured and killed a dog at summer camp.
Here’s the thing. Just like Bush invading Iraq, just like Huckabee’s son torturing the dog, just like Mitt Romney and his buddies forcibly holding a kid down and cutting his hair, it was NOT a mistake. He did not walk into their room looking for his toothbrush and accidentally put his hand down their panties. What he did, no matter where it ranks on the hierarchy of sexual misbehavior, he did on purpose.
He probably won’t be prosecuted, it doesn’t seem as if his wife is going to leave him and he’s more or less gotten away with it. The network canceled their program, though. That’ll teach him.

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Thursday’s Meaning of Life

On Thursdays I have three classes at a Gymnasium. When I got there today I had what I thought was kind of a lame, last minute lesson plan. But it worked. Pretty well, actually.
I started off by getting them to write a sentence – I said a minimum of one sentence and a maximum of five, because if you just say ‘write one sentence’ half of them will manage to do less than that, which one or two students managed any way. The subject was ‘What is the meaning of life?’
The key to an exercise like this, of course, is to make them sit separately, or at least do it without looking at anybody else’s paper, or they’d all just write the same, exact, damned thing and then your left with 40 minutes of class and no idea what to talk about.
One student checked his phone right away and posed the question, and got the answer ‘a movie.’ He is a lazy sod, and obsessed with his phone, but that led to a pretty good discussion of movies. One student seemed to really think I need to see a movie called ‘Rounders,’ so maybe I’ll check that out.
One took a very small piece of paper and wrote in green ink in concentric circles that the purpose of life is to be totally in tune with nature and to ‘evolve perfection.’ I’d had no idea. Usually he just sits and draws in class and doesn’t say a damned thing.
Quite a few people said there was no meaning to life but that led to some good discussions about, well, the meaning of life.
A few people mentioned children. In one class, that let to a discussion about whether or not they would want to choose the gender of their child, in the future. Because you know it’s going to be possible soon.
It was a fun day. Almost all of them did manage to write at least one coherent sentence, and a couple of them started right in to write a novel.
Maybe they’re not all as dumb as they look.

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Obeema

More than 3/4ths of the way through his presidency, I still can’t figure Obama out. He supports that Pacific trade deal that absolutely nobody likes – at least not any actual human beings, I’m sure some corporations love it. He’s been fairly good at blocking the Keystone Pipeline, but he’s all for allowing Shell Oil to drill in the Arctic Ocean, which is a disaster waiting to happen. He’s cool, and he’s smart, and I love the way the

Thanks, Obama

Thanks, Obama

Republicans go into an incoherent rage whenever his name is mentioned, but I’m still not sure he’s one of us, and by one of us I mean people who are concerned with the well being of the human race and would like to see it have a future.
Consider this. On the one side, it’s nice to see that this urgent problem is at least being addressed at the presidential level.
While most of the American public is busy debating gay wedding cakes, assault rifles, and abortions, Obama is taking time out of his busy schedule to try and do something, at least, about the dying bees.
On the other hand, it’s not near enough. He’s proposed more research into neonicotinids, when it’s already been shown they are bad for bees and they should be banned outright.
But, setting aside some land to plant plants that bees like is an awesome idea, because it will help the bees and make the roadsides prettier. It’s a win-win.
But, it’s not enough, and I’m pretty sure he smart enough to know that. So, I worry.

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The 31 Millionth

I just finished a book this morning which I’d been reading on Kindle. ‘Ovid’ by David Wishart was a detective novel set in ancient Rome. That may sound a bit gimmicky but, think about it. There have been detective novels set in the future, lots of them, detective novels set in the Wild West and during the Civil War, of course the Sherlock Holmes stories were contemporary when they were written but by today’s standards they were set in the past, and then there was “The Name of the Rose,” so it’s really not that odd at all.
Then there’s this thing where every time you download a book (not even buy, necessarily – you get this with free downloads as well) you get a message on facebook asking you to write a review of it.
Well, writing is writing, and it’s actually a cool aspect of the books-on-computers age that readers write the reviews, so I usually go for it.
I gave it a good review. Four stars and a pretty nice write up. Looking back through my past reviews I think I have a tendency to be too generous. I almost always give 4 stars and out of the 15 book reviews I’ve written so far, I’ve only ever given one one star review, and it was deserved.
I love the modern world and the idea that anybody can publish a book, but I’m aware of the downside of that, which is that many pathetic, cringe inducing tomes of word vomit are out there in the marketplace.
Anyway, after writing my glowing review I lingered on the page a bit, pressing this key and that, and I found my reviewers rating, which I presume is based on how many people have read your reviews.
I’m in 31 millionth place. Actually 31 million, some hundred thousand, something, somethingth place. I’m not one of the literati, I barely even rate as a reader.
On the positive side, I know that there are at least 31 million people in the world who care enough about books and reading that they’ve not only read more than me but, presumably again, have written more incisively and in a wittier fashion about those books.
With all we hear, constantly, about how nobody reads any more, I actually find that somewhat reassuring.

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Nine Dead in Waco

When I hear the name Waco, I think Whacko, because that’s what it sort of sounds like, and I enjoy silly puns. Also because I remember David Koresh and the Branch Dravidians, who maybe all died because they were crazy, and maybe all died because the Clinton administration got a bit heavy handed, but even if they didn’t all die because they were crazy, they were all crazy. Maybe not the kids. Yet.

Obviously, not as threatening as Eric Garner

Obviously, not as threatening as Eric Garner


But, still, you can’t blame the town for that.
Now, there has been another extreme violent incident, with more than a slight element of crazy involved.
Yesterday afternoon, two, or three, or maybe five different motorcycle gangs had a bit of a disagreement, and at least two of them were the Cossacks and the Bandidos but we don’t know the names of the other ones because American journalism sucks.
It sounds a bit like the plot from Warriors.
According to one account, the Cossacks messed with Texas (hey, guys, all of the bumper stickers warn you not to do that)and the Bandidos didn’t like that. So, they took to fighting and, since some of them did have their shooting irons in hand(Texas. Whole ‘nother country. Never forget it.), things escalated pretty quick.
9 people are dead. 18 hospitalized. 192 arrested. Not a single one beaten to death while in police custody. Maybe that’s because they were all white.
I don’t quite understand this. Do our darker hued brethren not like motorcycles?
Anyway, I find it a bit distressing because I’d thought those days were in the past. I though motorcycle gangs today meant a lot of old guys reliving their glory days and not really wanting to get into gang fights. Apparently, I thought wrong.

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Messed Up Memes

I got a couple of messages on facebook today, about an average number, which were pre-printed memes saying “I’ve noticed that not all of my facebook friends are hanging on my every word and hitting the like button for all of my photographs of my cat sitting there looking terrified of the camera, to which I’d attached some anthropomorphizing statement, and I strongly suspect that none of you give a shit about me, so leave a one word message about how we met, or something stupid like that, and anybody who doesn’t do that and then share this, because what facebook really needs is more people shitting in the creek, I’m unfriending them forthwith.”
If everybody who ever sent me one of those messages was actually unfriending everybody who doesn’t share, then my number of friends would be down to a much more manageable number by now.
Another meme I don’t care for is the “I’m trying to teach my kids the dangers of social media so I want them to see how far and how fast this message will travel. Please share this to help me prove my point.” Sorry, lady. All you’re proving to your kid is that you’re just as big an attention whore as everybody else.
The whole purpose of social media (as I see it, anyway) is to reach as many people as possible. So, if you get lots of likes and shares, they will be encouraged rather than discouraged.
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In the learn-something-new-every-day project, someone today described a series of poems I am working on as ekphrastic. I had to look up the word, but it perfectly applies. I thought that was pretty cool.

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A Special Day in Krumlov

I have heard it said that the reason one is fatigued after a flight, for instance, when you haven’t actually exerted yourself physically, is a state of affairs call ‘sensory overload.’
Whenever you are in unfamiliar circumstance, you are actually observing and trying to observe instead of just coasting through the day the way most of us do.

Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov


Maybe. It would explain why I’m so tired right now. Of course, the fact that it’s past midnight and I smoked a killer joint about 2 hours ago might have something to do with it, too.
Took a day trip to Cesky Kumlov today, for a friends birthday. It was good fun, it was beautiful, Cesky Krumlov is as close to a fairy tale village as exists in the real world.
I talked to some old friends, met some new ones, and every time I looked around me I thought ‘fairy tale village.’ I am so glad I live in a country whic has such places.

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