Category: personal and none of your business

the official voters’ guide greatest hits

I love the King County Voters’ Pamphlet! Join me in an exploration of five of the best statements in the 2018 August primary guide.

1.
Let’s start with a great one. This is part of a candidate statement for a U.S. Senate hopeful:

… stop Seattle emerald degenerate super smart freaking idiot, who bring Seattle to number One Fascist City in America with Nazi Social Democrat Mafia with progressive Gestapo principle. That always choose dirty garbage rats that drink from fat cat toilet and who make your life miserable and brought up to total collapse. Enough is Enough.

There’s a lot to ponder here, as well as handy phrases I might want to use in the future (“super smart freaking idiot”). I know lots of voters are thinking, “I want to elect the dirty garbage rat guy,” but then they get to the part about drinking from the fat cat toilet, and it puts them off. That’s how it went for me. Enough is enough.

2.
For the second example, here’s a different U.S Senate candidate. He lists his policies on various subjects, including this one:

China – Kick Xi jinping’s Ass, by blockading, then Conquering China by firing the necessary number of Tomahawk Cruise Missiles to destroy all Nuclear Targets, all Air Defense Targets, all Military Targets including each and every Chinese ship, submarine and airplane launched from a safe distance with a goal of no loss of American Life and with no US ground troops used until after China’s unconditional surrender.

Conquering China is a bold foreign policy. How do we do it? It’s easy! Just disable their entire military before they fire a shot or launch a single nuclear missile. Can’t believe no one thought of that before. But why conquer China? Who needs a reason … maybe we just feel like it. He sounds like our current national security advisor, John Bolton.

3.
Now let’s change the pace completely and get down to a more local level. One candidate for legislative district representative lists his experience, education, and community service record:

Community Service: Long time recycler.

His sacrifice and service are impressive, but how long is “long time,” and does he wash all the peanut butter out of the jar before tossing it into the recycle bin?

4.
Another legislative district representative candidate, says, as part of his statement:

It would be nice to add a state holiday on Good Friday.

Agreed. It would be nice to include these holidays as well: L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday, Arapaho Sun Dance Day, and Mahavir Jayanti.

5.
Finally, there is one legislative district representative who lists his professional experience, and includes this:

“… a member of Cigar Rights of America …

Cigars need rights? No, that’s not it. I looked it up. He’s fighting for the right of citizens to enjoy premium cigars. According to Cigar Rights of American there is pending federal legislation that will “ban walk-in humidors, deface or cover cigar box artwork, and require manufacturers to submit their blends for ‘testing’ before they can be sold.” I’m actually sympathetic to his cause because cigar box artwork is cool, but he’s not in my district.

Cigar_Box

That’s all for this election, except one bonus message from a man running for U.S. Representative. He wants Boeing and NASA to: “harness the universe’s unlimited source of power within Magnetic Propulsion Generation.” He also discusses the beauty of Washington State, which was made by our creator “with his bare hands.”

That’s how I make this blog — bare-handed.

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specifically, the pacific (northwest)

Some photos from the last month or so. (1) Tiger lily wildflower; (2) giant cow on a barge; (3) bear grass along path; (4) cooking oysters; (5) a bear in the woods; (6) a specific Pacific Ocean

ask the non-believer

It seems like a fair number of people are curious about the non-religious. I wouldn’t have thought there would be many questions, but I’ve hung around Quora for a while, and seen lots of wondering. Here are common questions that I’ve been reading along with my short answers.

What is the philosophy behind atheism and what does it contribute to the world?
It’s not a philosophy. It means not believing in gods. That’s it. If you don’t believe that elves exist, no one asks you about your elf-less philosophy and what it’s contributing to the world.

Why don’t you believe?
Lack of evidence. Keep in mind that what a book says is not evidence, the number of people who believe in gods is not evidence (and neither is how smart some of the people are), the fact that someone had a deep, life-changing experience is not evidence, and neither is “But just look at this amazing world!” Also, deeply studying religious philosophy does not produce evidence. It seems much more plausible that people came up with gods, not vice versa.

What would it take to convince you that the god I believe in exists?
I’m not sure, but if all the starving people in the world were fed immediately, and if all diseased and suffering children were cured and given peace and joy right now, that would be a good start. Of course, the god or gods would need to appear and claim credit. I still wouldn’t know if this was actually the result of a god or some super-technology by aliens, but go ahead and ask your god to do this in case it hasn’t occurred to him/her/it.

How do you know for certain there are no gods?
I don’t know for certain. I put gods in the same category as leprechauns. I can’t say for sure they don’t exist, but assume they don’t. I suppose someone might try to say I’m really an agnostic, but would you say you’re agnostic about leprechauns? I wouldn’t.

Where do your morals come from without religion?
People are born with the capacity for empathy. It’s common in social mammals that have to band together to survive. Good parents encourage it. Innate traits aside, it’s also common sense not to want to live in a society where murder, cheating, and robbery are rampant.

If there’s no god, then where did the universe come from?
I don’t know. If you say a god created it, but you don’t have evidence of that, and you also can’t say where the god came from, then your answer is worse than “I don’t know.”

Why do you want to stamp out religion?
I don’t. I can live peacefully with religious people, and I don’t go door to door asking folks if they’ve heard the good news about the lack of gods. There is a vocal group of religious people who want to  reduce or eliminate many civil rights and to end the separation of church and state. Only those people I will actively oppose.

P.S. That’s just the way I am.
In case this helps round things out, I also doubt the existence of spirits, ghosts, telepathy, reincarnation, and other things we have no evidence to support. No astrology, no homeopathy, and no magic. Life is a fabulous parade of discoveries, facts, experiences, and sheer amazement — no need to add wispy fantasies to the mix.

building the back-scratching octopus, part 2

As mentioned in the last post, the octopus must be finished soon. Here are the latest additions.

Draped seaweed – A sea-weedy fabric curtain from a thrift store, cut in strips and hung from a pipe-cleaner collar.

Tentacle holder – Tentacles are pinned to another piece of vaguely sea-like material (this may have been something that tied back drapes) and then hung around the neck.

Sea shoes – Because octopus don’t have human-like feet, this is an embarrassing necessity. I took the sleeves cut from a old green shirt and stretched them over shoes. Hopefully no one will notice that I’m not really a cephalopod.

seaweed1tentacle_collarsea foot

 

building the back-scratching octopus

It’s almost time for the Solstice parade and if I’m going to scratch the backs of onlookers, there’s work to be done.

Tentacles – Cheap costume tights, stuffed with polyester batting. 10-gauge wire is inserted and bent so they don’t just hang straight down. There are six tentacles because my arms will go through the legs of another pair of tights to make the seventh and eighth.

Suckers – An old bathtub mat made from little disk-shaped plastic pieces was handy. I’ve cut it up and hot-glued the vaguely circular, semi-transparent chunks to the tentacles.

Giant back-scratcher – The same one from prior years. I stripped off the old monkey fur, added green tape and sea-weedy cloth strips.

There are more steps involved before I’m confident that no one will catch on. Spectators should think I’m a real octopus carrying a giant back-scratcher, of course. 

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