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cleanhippie's Journal
cleanhippie's Journal
March 21, 2015

Did religious beliefs play a part in fire that killed 7 kids in NYC?

A "hot plate" keeping food warm in a kitchen overnight apparently started a fire that killed seven children in two-story house in Brooklyn early Saturday, New York City's fire commissioner said.

The four boys and three girls, siblings ranging in age from 5 to 15, were in upstairs bedrooms when the fire swept up from the first floor shortly after midnight in Brooklyn's south-central Midwood section, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

The children's 45-year-old mother and one of her daughters -- a 14-year-old, police say -- also were upstairs but jumped out of windows to escape; they were in critical condition at a hospital, being treated for burns and smoke inhalation, Nigro said.


Nigro was asked why food was being warmed overnight.

"I believe it's the Sabbath, and people keep food warm that way. They don't have to operate a stove," Nigro answered.


So very, very sad. And preventable.
March 20, 2015

"They (Mental Health Professionals) viewed some of his beliefs as a kind of psychosis..."

Found this in an article that deals with a much larger issue. This particular topic has been brought up here before, so I thought I would share it.

"They viewed some of his beliefs as a kind of psychosis - and yet they were also part of a worldview shared by millions of mentally healthy people."


Then there were the grey areas.

A patient named Brian had beaten his mother to death with a baseball bat, believing her to be possessed by the Devil. Brian was a Pentecostal Christian. He'd been doing well in treatment, but one of his obstacles was that he still believed his mother had been possessed - only now, he conceded that the killing was a pointless act, given that the Devil can't be killed.

Brian presented a dilemma for the hospital. They viewed some of his beliefs as a kind of psychosis - and yet they were also part of a worldview shared by millions of mentally healthy people.



March 10, 2015

A taste of that good ole' Christian love we hear so much about.

Death threat rebuked at council

An expletive-laced, anonymously written letter to a Klamath Falls city councilwoman for her outspokenness on a free speech issue, got the attention of the city council Monday night.

The address on the envelope was handwritten, with no return address, but Councilwoman Trish Seiler said, at first, the letter she received Feb. 14 didn’t stand out from the rest of her mail … until she opened it. “I didn’t recognize the handwriting,” Seiler said about the envelope. “It was just like any letter one might get.”

The 400-word, typewritten letter was littered with bigoted remarks, name-calling and racial slurs. It concluded by calling for her beheading by overseas terrorists.

Seiler read a statement, declaring she wouldn’t be intimidated by the letter, copies of which she provided to the Herald and News and to the police department.


The person claims “Christian morality” formed what is now the United States, and then wrote, “Maybe we could have the privilege of seeing your wonderful Muslims behead your (expletive) ugly (expletive)!!!”


Yes, yes, yes, I know, the title of the OP is not the headline of the article, it's my opinion. It's not an ad hominem, it's not bigotry, it's not anything other than how I feel about what some Christian just did to an elected official.
February 27, 2015

First Atheist Restaurant opens.

Here's a peek at the menu.

And a drive-thru for convenience.

They even have a Senior Citizen menu.

February 9, 2015

Itís time to fight religion: Toxic drivel, useful media idiots, and the real story about faith

It’s time to fight religion: Toxic drivel, useful media idiots, and the real story about faith and violence
Out of misguided notions of “tolerance,” we avert our critical gaze from blatant absurdities. We must now get real

Those whose profession it ostensibly is to enlighten found ample grounds on which to rebut reality and muddy the waters around the matter at hand: the faith-motivated murder of cartoonists for doing nothing more than drawing cartoons. Serial Islam-apologist Reza Aslan appeared on Charlie Rose‘s show and admitted that the Quran has “of course” served as a “source of violence” for terrorists, but then resorted to his usual tiresome Derrida-esque double-talk when it came to discussing his religion’s material role in the killings. “We bring our own values and norms to our scriptures; we don’t extract them from our scriptures.”


We are accustomed to reflexively deferring to “men of the cloth,” be they rabbis and priests or pastors and imams. In this we err, and err gravely. Those whose profession it is to spread misogynistic morals, debilitating sexual guilt, a hocus-pocus cosmogony, and tales of an enticing afterlife for which far too many are willing to die or kill, deserve the exact same “respect” we accord to shamans and sorcerers, alchemists and quacksalvers. Out of misguided notions of “tolerance,” we avert our critical gaze from the blatant absurdities — parting seas, spontaneously igniting shrubbery, foodstuffs raining from the sky, virgin parturitions, garrulous slithering reptiles, airborne ungulates — proliferating throughout their “holy books.” We suffer, in the age of space travel, quantum theory and DNA decoding, the ridiculous superstitious notion of “holy books.” And we countenance the nonsense term “Islamophobia,” banishing those who forthrightly voice their disagreements with the seventh-century faith to the land of bigots and racists; indeed, the portmanteau vogue word’s second component connotes something just short of mental illness.


Worse still is the offense that denying faith’s role in atrocities inflicts on commonsense. No one doubts people when they say their religion inspires them to attend mosque or church, make charitable donations, volunteer in hospitals or serve in orphanages. We should take them at their word when they name it, as did the Charlie Hebdo assassins, as the mainspring for their lethal acts of violence. We should not toss aside Ockham’s razor and concoct additional factors that supposedly commandeered their behavior. The Charlie Hebdo killers may have come from poor Parisian banlieues, they may have experienced racial discrimination, and they may have even been stung by disdain from “the dominant secular French culture,” yet they murdered not shouting about any of these things, but about “avenging the Prophet Muhammad.” They murdered for Islam.


This all leads us to an overarching issue of critical import. Adherence to any of the Abrahamic religions — that is, to the trumped-up doctrines of systematized, unverifiable fables mandating certain kinds of behavior and outlawing others — is, to repeat Kristof’s silly term, “otherizing,” or divisive, provocative, and ultimately inimical to social harmony. Traffickers in such fables, or those who provide cover to those who do, deserve to be disinvited from every forum convened to seek solutions to the problems they themselves have helped create. Or perhaps they should be invited, but only as court experts in the particular variety of mass psychosis they and their ancestors have engendered. “Dialogue between religions” — a perennially popular yet doomed endeavor often proclaimed as necessary by religious potentates — should be eschewed in favor of rational discourse among reality-based individuals. Please, let’s give the shamans and witchdoctors the day off.

January 30, 2015

Deepak denies that HIV causes AIDS

Well, if Chopra ever had any scientific credibility, it’s now in shreds. Listen to the part of this video (laughably labeled “Two great minds question HIV/AIDS—Scam/Hoax?”) that starts at 22:15. Chopra is interviewed by Tony Robbins, wealthy lifestyle guru and “self help” author. Here’s a bit of the interchange:

Chopra: HIV may be a precipitating agent in a susceptible host. The material agent is never the cause of the disease. It may be the final factor in inducing the full-blown syndrome in somebody who’s already susceptible.

Robbins: But what made them susceptible?

Chopra: Their own interpretations of the whole reality they’re participating in.

Robbins: Could that be translated into their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs, their lifestyle?

Chopra: Absolutely. . .

It goes on and gets worse as Chopra discusses what he calls “so-called AIDS”

Let’s look at the facts. If you don’t have the virus, regardless of your interpretation of reality, you won’t get AIDS. If you do have the virus, you’re certain to get a disease that is highly likely turn into full-blown AIDS without medical treatment. I don’t know of any studies showing that an “interpretation of reality” is 100% correlated with the presence of the disease (although the presence of the virus is). So which one of these is the more likely “cause”?

I suppose that, according to Chopra, no disease is “caused” by a microbe.

Chopra is reprehensible, suggesting that you can avoid AIDS by not using condoms, but by having the right interpretation of reality. So far his quackery has been either amusing or mildly harmful. Here it becomes dangerous, as Chopra denigrates drug treatments like AZT. (As we’ve long known, the drug slows the replication of the virus, and prolongs life, but is not a “cure”.)

When both Chopra and Robbins laugh at AZT, Chopra suggests that it was promulgated by drug companies because they were interested in money. Now if that’s not a pot/kettle moment, I don’t know what is!

January 24, 2015

"This was a chance for Brady to come clean. Instead, he pulled a Lance Armstrong."

Is the NFL Going to Let Brady and Belichick Play It for a Fool?
By Mike Freeman , NFL National Lead Writer
Jan 22, 2015

There has never been a series of press conferences more full of nonsense than what we saw in New England Thursday.

Bill Belichick: I don't know what you're talking about. I would never. How dare you?

Tom Brady: I didn't alter the balls in any way. I don't know what you're talking about. How dare you?

Brady actually said these words: "I have no knowledge of anything."

"I did not believe what Tom had to say," said former quarterback Mark Brunell, now an ESPN analyst, on the network following the Brady press conference. "Those balls were deflated. Somebody had to do it. I don't believe there is an equipment manager in the NFL who would on his own initiative deflate a ball without that starting quarterback's approval."

Brady, on who in the organization has custody of the footballs after the referee checks them: "I have no idea. That's not part of my process."

No idea? A meticulous, brilliant guy like Brady—one of the most well-prepared and detail-oriented players in NFL history—has no idea? Really?

No one believes any of this except Patriots fans. No one. It's a joke. It's worse. It smells like a cover-up.

This was a chance for Brady to come clean. Instead, he pulled a Lance Armstrong.


Thoughts on this? "Pulled a Lance"? Apt analogy or not?
January 23, 2015

I think that there is a high probability that Tom Brady will not be playing in the Super Bowl

I think that there is a high probability that Tom Brady will not be playing in the Super Bowl, and that makes me sad. Why does one of the best QB's to ever play the game need to cheat? He would have still crushed Indy, of that there is no doubt, and when he got beat by Seattle in the Super Bowl it would have been 100% legit.

Now, no matter what happens, Brady, Belichick, and the Pats will go down in history as cheaters. CHEATERS! And worse, the one question that will linger in our minds forever will be "Why? Why did they have to cheat?"

UPDATE: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000462476/article/nfl-investigation-of-balls-in-afc-title-game-led-by-pash-wells

For the fact-challenged: NFL rules state that the footballs must be inflated within a certain pressure range. 11 of the 12 footballs used by NE were underinflated by 2 lbs. (more than 15% of the minimum pressure) Thats a FACT.

The 12 balls used by Indy were NOT underinflated. Thats a FACT.

The balls are inspected and marked by official 2 hrs before the game then returned to their respective ball-attendants. Thats a FACT.

The underinflated balls were not noticed until an interception by Indy when the defender noticed the ball seemed underinflated, he then notified coaching staff who notified officials who checked the balls and found them underinflated. Thats a FACT.

Using underinflated balls is against the rules. Thats a FACT.

January 18, 2015

Pope Francisí new clothes: Why his progressive image is white smoke and mirrors

Don't buy his populist rhetoric. The new pope is every bit the sexist homophobe as his predecessors

THE IMAGE OF Pope Francis is that he is a breath of fresh air, more progressive on social issues than his predecessor and a kinder, gentler pope. But when the facts are examined, you see that he is none of these things. There is an enormous disconnect between who the pope really is in terms of his policies and his public relations image, as crafted by the Vatican’s PR man, previously with Fox News. The current PR mission is all about reversing the incredible decline in fundraising under the last pope from the U.S. Catholic Church in particular. Pope Francis has made any number of statements that seem to indicate change and progress that are not reflected in policy. In fact, in the wake of such comments from Pope Francis, the Vatican often makes a point to explicitly state that no church policy has changed.

While the pope transmits a populist vibe—particularly about the economy— he is an old-school conservative who, despite his great PR, maintains nearly all of the socialpolicies of his predecessors and keeps up a hardline Vatican “cabinet.” He has done virtually nothing to change the policies of the church to match his more compassionate rhetoric. People excuse the pope, claiming that he doesn’t have much power to make changes, but this simply isn’t true. Further, it is ludicrous to suggest that a man who denies comprehensive reproductive health care (including all forms of birth control including condoms and abortion) and comprehensive family planning is a man who cares about the poor of this world. The bigotry of homophobia and sexism cloaked in religion are still bigotry and sexism. By giving to the church, American Catholics aren’t supporting “progress,” they are supporting oppression and in this way are complicit in the bigotry, sexism, and oppression of the church.


Glad to see that more and more are seeing the reality of who this man is and what his church actually stands for.

And Catholics wonder why attendance is down and churches are closing?

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