How to help Christians who don’t like Satanist prayers

Many governmental meetings start off with a prayer, despite the clear language of the 1st Amendment. Courts have held that this is fine as long as you give equal time to all religions. Not that most places abide by that, of course.

The Satanists in Alaska protested and won, and were allowed to give a prayer at a meeting recently, which caused many at the meeting to leave in protest.

Look, Christians: If you don’t want to hear prayers from religions you don’t like, then the solution is to not have prayers at all at government meetings. You know, kind of like what the founders wanted when they wrote that whole 1st Amendment thing.

Don’t like it? Move to some country where religion is part of government, like Iran.

Please understand: No one is trying to stop you from practicing your religion. No one. You are not under attack. There is no “war on Christians.”

All we’re saying is “Don’t make us obey your religion.” We’re the ones under attack. Every fight is in defense.

Stop trying to make us listen to your prayers, live by your religious laws, and take our tax money to pay for your religion and we can all get along just fine.

So here’s my advice to Christians: If you prohibit all prayers in government meetings, you will never have to sit through one you disagree with.

And if not, then you’ll know exactly what it feels like to be an atheist at these things.

“I didn’t collude and I’ll gladly do it again”

Kevin Siers

Grow a spine and start impeachment hearings already

I have a degree in Political Science. And I don’t know what the hell is going on.

Everything I learned in school about running a campaign and getting elected is meaningless now, because as we have seen, no one can predict anything.

Anyone who says “We need to choose the most electable candidate” wasn’t paying attention to the last three elections, where we elected the black candidate and then the idiot candidate. No one knows anything.

cartoon by Mr. Fish

And the same thing goes with impeachment. Democrats need to stop worrying about how the public will react and whether it will hurt the party and instead they should just do the right thing.  Don’t wait for the perfect political moment that may never appear. Don’t wait for the polls to be perfectly in your favor. And don’t worry about how Trump and the Republicans will act — they’re going to accuse you of only wanting to impeach Trump and will say you’re acting political whether you start impeachment proceedings or not. They will lie as they have always done.

So ignore them. You took an oath to the Constitution. And it requires you to at least hold investigations about all of this, because if you don’t, you are putting your party over the country — which is the exact same thing the Republicans are doing.  If Democrats do not do this, all it does is set the precedent for the next corrupt President to get away with it.

Do the right thing and stop worrying about the political fallout already, Democrats. Stop worrying about what people who will never support you in a million years think. Stop letting the bullies win.

Grow a backbone.

 

Trump visits the queen

Clay Jones

Drugs, Pain, and Marijuana: My wife’s journey

Around the turn of the century, Heidi Hooper (my wife of thirty some years) had a cancerous tumor growing in her arm and didn’t know it. She thought it was just a muscle spasm. Since we had no medical insurance at the time, we didn’t go to see a doctor until it was too late.

Dozens of operations and radiation treatments later, she ended up with her upper arm removed completely and a muscle from her back spliced into her arm solely as protection for the bone. (Fortunately, we had health insurance by then.) She has no feeling in that spot, and is in constant pain.

After the operation, the doctor had her on oxycodone for the pain because, you know, that’s what doctors do. When Heidi complained that they weren’t working after a while, he explained to her that your body becomes addicted to these things and needs more, because your body stops fighting the pain on  your own. That scared Heidi so much, she went cold turkey. There were many sleepless nights with sweats and pain as she forced her body to adjust. The doctor then placed her on gabapentin, a less harsh painkiller which worked well enough.

I love this picture of Heidi with Mel Brooks when Heidi was a guest on ABC TV’s “To Tell the Truth”

Her arm had developed lymphedema since she has no lymph nodes, and it would get inflamed and send her to the hospital a few times a year. Finally, the insurance company agreed to give her a machine that would massage the liquids in her arm to keep them from building up and causing the infections.

In the meantime, the body adjusted to the gabapentin and each few years, she would need the dosage to be upped.

Last year, the lympehdema machine finally broke down, having lasted longer than originally guaranteed.  The insurance company took months to replace it, and perhaps because of that, Heidi ended up in the hospital four times and her arm progressed to stage two lymphedema. She now has to get into that stupid machine three times a day for an hour each time.

However, there is good news.

Medical marijuana became available in Pennsylvania. I had previously written about my skepticism of this so-called wonder drug, but thought it was at least worth checking out. We finally found a doctor willing to prescribe it down in Allentown (about 45 minutes away) who, coincidentally enough, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University the same year we did (although from the medical college there). He gave her marinol pills and if the pain was really bad, she could use a vape (which she hates because of the smoke). Pennsylvania now also has the liquid drops which she prefers.  She takes enough to kill the pain and doesn’t get high from it.

She slowly reduced her gabapentin dosages and went through a month of feeling like she had the constant flu. After a while, she was only on the medical marijuana, and what a difference.  As I wrote before, it was a huge change for her. The pain was much less, and more importantly, her mind was not clouded by the gabapentin. She used to complain about not remembering things and losing her train of thought, and now, finally, I can have long conversations with her for the first time in twenty years.  “All the friends I made over the past twenty years must think I’m an airhead,” she worried to me recently.

But here’s the best news:

For the last few weeks, she has felt absolutely great. She has not needed the vape or the drops at all. She says she hasn’t felt that good since before the operations.

I emailed the doctor to ask him about it, and here’s what he replied:  “I would certainly bet on the Gabapentin.  I think this is one of the worst drugs ever perpetrated on the public.  The fact that Heidi continues to do better and better by your account and every time I have seen her would dovetail with the continued absence of this drug and the longstanding side effects.  That is just unbelievable news and I am just thrilled beyond anything you can imagine.”

So here’s another affirmation of the dangers of all these drugs Big Pharma throws at you while fighting against legalizing a drug that actually works much much better. And let’s hear it for Heidi!

(Plug:  If you want to support Heidi and encourage her after all she’s been through, why not become a patron of her art? Even a dollar a month means a lot to her!)

sd.jpg

This is 3 feet by 4 feet and made entirely out of dryer lint

 

Trump in London

Clay Bennett

I miss conservatives

No, seriously.  I may have a completely different view of the purpose of government, but I used to be able to rationally debate conservatives. We’d discuss whether the government should be providing health care, or where we should be spending our money, or how taxes should be set, or even whether the Constitution provided for financial aid to religions and so on.

But the Republican party has stopped being the rational conservative party and is now the party of criminals, racists, and nazis. I can’t debate with these people. They’re not talking about fiscal policies — they want to put migrant children into cages, take away the rights of gay couples, control women’s choices, disenfranchise minorities, give criminals and terrorists guns, and force their religion down our throats — all while supporting criminals in the White House.a2668b92-7c26-4736-b568-feb08d471e03-ax098_4a00_9This is no longer about right versus left, but good versus evil.

Some conservatives may actually disagree with these positions, but they’re remaining quiet because they are getting their tax breaks and that’s more important to them. They’re like the Germans who didn’t support the nazis, could have done something about it, but remained silent because it didn’t affect them personally.

Allowing evil to prevail by doing nothing means you’re evil, too. Good people fight.

I look forward to the day when conservatives take the Republican party back, but I see little evidence this is going to happen any time soon.