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  1. WFMZ.Com This isn't even about abortion but the same procedure used to treat a miscarriage as an abortion. Republican kooks in Texas not only are pro-death but for some reason have no problem with scaring doctors into not doing procedures WHEN A FETUS DIES through miscarriage. Do not vote for these Republican monsters. Reminder that the same type of thing happened in Ireland that is why abortion is legalized there.
  2. I wrote about why I'm an atheist on my old blog, Salon, in 3 parts, going to copy the information to put it all here. I wrote this in 2010 so that was 12 years ago. Why I Am Now An Atheist Part 1- Religious Background Why I'm Now an Atheist- Part 2- Feminism and Women in Religion Um. Thanks. :) I also do not believe that being a woman physically is a curse, that being able to have children, or feel pain during childbearing, is a curse, or that women should be blamed, like Pandora opening the box, for all the world's evils. I've read a number of stories where women have been in abusive relationships and have been told by religious *authorities* to basically put up with it, and wait on god. That's absurd. If a woman genuinely feels that she is being abused, she can make her own decision about whether to get out or not. Again, her OWN decision, because she is an adult, not a child that needs to be told what to do. And I don't want to hear "If people would actually follow the example of God's love...". Belief that one should treat each other kindly and with love is an ethical position that anyone can have; conversely there are plenty who profess to be moral that don't follow loving precepts. From Alternet I've wondered before it was all simply a desire for power. That is, one who wants power must have others to be powerful over. If you can convince half the world that you have a right, simply because of your sex, to have the power and they cannot, because god says so, why wouldn't you do it? But why does any woman buy into this? When I started really considering whether a book had the right to dictate how I should be perceived, only because I happen to have been born female, I decided it could not. That goes for any so-called holy book or any religion or philosophy. To me, a book only has power over you to change how you perceive yourself if you allow it to. If there are women that want to be submissive to the men in their lives, they can be. But because America is a nation of laws, others that do not want to live this way do not have to and can, in good stead, reject that choice of life. I prefer relationships that are based on love, respect and equality. That gets me to the heart of my philosophical argument I had with myself regarding a just god. I don't believe that if god exists, he or she would make a distinction based on a flawed book between male and female, that he would punish a woman just for eating an apple that represented knowledge, or create physical problems and pain. If that were 1, then god would be no better than an abusive husband. I do not see any evidence among religions that claim to speak for god that women are treated consistently better. Is there any reason to have male dominance over women aside from claims for it, or justification based on a book? No. If god existed, and god were good, he or she or it would have made sure that everyone, male or female, was treated fairly and that if there were those that sought to lord it over others were stepping out of bounds, they would be snapped back. Instead there are a host of evils that are done to woman in the name of religion. Therefore, I reject religion as an artifice of humans designed for various earthly ends. Why I'm Now An Atheist- Part 3- Why Even Say Anything Publicly? I'm the same person I was before, didn't suddenly grow hooves, or change my basic moral and ethical beliefs. The only thing that changed is that I no longer believe in god. This is not a bad thing. In fact, there's a real mental freedom that comes with this. I don't believe in a vindictive god that would condemn me to an eternity of torment because of jealousy. I do believe in treating people well during their lives and having the best, happiest, most appreciative, and ethical life one can, because this is when it counts to show love to others. Not later. Now. I don't believe that a god would want me to lie about worshipping him or her IN CASE I'm wrong. As Bertrand Russell said "But sir, you didn't give us enough evidence." People will then often say, "But surely it's better to remain an Agnostic just in case?" This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I've been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.) Douglas Adams Everyone is an atheist in his or her own way. If one doesn't believe in the god/gods of another religion, that one is atheist in that regard. I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. ~ Stephen Roberts I really didn't talk directly much on this site about what I was thinking, but instead about other issues that illustrated issues I was grappling with. Like, why, since the pledge of allegiance was altered in only 1954, should anyone stand and say it in its new religious guise? It's a marriage of obeisance to a piece of cloth and god (graven idol anyone?) It also doesn't seem fair that since we are a country that has freedom of religion, which includes freedom from religion, that secular government should include a marriage of church and state. (I may feel extra strongly that way because I was raised as a baptist, which STILL has in its belief statements that church and state should be separate.) I don't see anyone being forbidden to do private religious activities in taxpayer spheres as long as they aren't imposed on the public. (Like children praying in school-who stops them unless they try to stand up and lead the class?) If there are those that want to be religious and worship one god over another, I am not trying to stop them. Again, we have freedom of religion in this country and that includes, for example, Islam. I began recently, though, to feel that I wanted to express myself on this. I"m not ashamed of calling myself an atheist. I am a moral, ethical person. I starting feeling like anyone that thought maybe I was would consider that I was trying to hide it. In this country, though, why would anyone with a difference in beliefs or opinion feel compelled to not treat beliefs as normal and part of life? I know a lot of people who start their meals with a prayer, don't have any problem with telling me how they feel about their god, and, in fact, as in the case of evangelists, consider it their mission in life to do so. I want to express my opinion as well. I'm an American and proud to live in this country where I can speak up, even when I am not sure that my views are popular.
  3. I was actually surprised that Ken Paxton won the Republican primary in Texas but guess that shows how many Republicans are perfectly fine with a known crook being, of all things, the state's lawyer. Anyway, got to wondering what the fool was going on with this man, who cheated on his wife, and the indictment and why the heck this has NOT gone to trial yet. I mean, if you or I had some felony indictment against us, doubt it would take seven years for it to get heard. According to KHOU, "special prosecutors are waiting on Texas top criminal court to rule on an appeal to address payment issues and keep Paxton's case in Houston." How can anyone have confidence in a person who supposedly is upholding the law when there is a serious felony case still pending against him? And of course, that's not the only one. There is also the whistleblower case from people who worked in his AG office that is now at the Supreme Court of Texas. (Supreme Court wants a brief on the merits of the case, with deadline of the end of August 2022. What's also interesting about this case is And not only that. Ken Paxton was cheating on his wife, Angela Paxton, with a woman whom AND, Paxton is under review from the Texas bar, which has filed a professional misconduct lawsuit against Paxton for the stupid and clearly partisan stunt he tried to pull re: Trump's attempt to overthrow the election. (Not forgetting that the Texas Supreme Court had thrown out Paxton's lawsuit contesting the 2000 election results) Texas Tribune Republicans are just not good people, but more than that, makes me personally sick that there is a different standard, apparently for average citizens than people with power and influence. Again, rolled my eyes when I saw that Paxton won the Republican primary against George P Bush. Have to admit I laughed at at least one George P Bush commercial where he was driving a little cart along the Texas border saying he would keep our borders safe. Hah. Would he have done better NOT to follow along with these rabid Republican nuts? Really didn[t make any difference because the people who voted for Paxton WANT A CROOK.
  4. Have said before that I had geese, ducks, chickens, and guineas for some years. And loved them, although having them caused a few problems along the way, even though living in a rural area. More specifically, what I have wanted to do is fix up the front yard for some time, including flowers. The geese would come along and eat virtually any flower I attempted to grow, so I pretty much quit worrying about it while I had them. Also having a grassy lawn was an impossibility, and I don't miss it anyway. But now, oh, how glorious. I have pots in the front by the sidewalk with flowers, vegetables, even a banana plant; hanging plants with ferns and wandering jew; flowers, including lantana and petunias in a front section. Also spent a deal of time repainting the front porch walls, trim and floor, and paring down the stuff that was on it. I repainted chairs and moved most of everything that a paper wasp could seize upon to build a nest. The best part of what is growing, though, are the crepe myrtles, in bloom and providing a shady pleasant atmosphere to the front yard. For example, and I am quite proud of this, I had an automatic cat food feeder on the front porch for a long time. Basically, it is an automatic feeder set into a large plastic container with a brick on the top so that raccoons and other predators can't get in. It was on a timer so that a selected amount of food came out twice a day, time picked when the predators would not be still out. Looked basically like this, except that I put the feeder on a table on the porch, to help cut down ant activity. Raccoons love cat food and I'm sure tried their best to get in, but this just works. But it was time to get it off the front porch., so it has been moved to a part of the porch out of sight that is covered. Also pulled out a broken down trellis from the yard that I had put up some years back for wisteria. Folks, wisteria is beautiful but way invasive. Behind the lattice was what I thought was a Texas sage plant but actually was a huge butterfly bush Before-had a Grey Gardens-feel to it:) After- (today) -Also adds some interest and depth to that part of the yard and the butterfly bush, although it's not blooming much anymore, has a prominent place for the eye. Also have put in, or rather, hub worked hard to build, a raised garden that is deer proof by dint of having chicken wire all the way around. Neighbor has had a beautiful one of these for some years. Put up some shade cloth over the top because the sun, this being July, is brutal. Used old deck boards and filled it up with dirt from elsewhere on the property, so the cost of all this was minimal. I've seen one like it, which I modeled this on, for sale for about $1400 bucks. Would like to make two more, and have one earmarked specifically for a winter garden.
  5. Texas Tribune Something interesting from the Texas Constitution. (1836)-Tarleton Law Library
  6. When I first came to Somervell County back over 20 years ago, I walked the property I was fixing to buy with a neighbor from across the street. He told me he had walked over all the lots then currently for sale, and had decided on his across the road, largely because it was downhill and had some impressive large oaks. For the property I wanted, it was and is on a hill, lots of fossils and rocks, and some woods. I liked it because it had so many different landscaping features. I figured I could fix the caliche by adding dirt, branches and other materials to build up the ground, but also loved the woods along the road that gave privacy. What I didn''t realize with all the cedar wood was that this was also a privacy feature for the moonshiners that used to be in this entire area. Neighbor told me that when he had first walked this property, he saw the remains of a still in the woods. I was a volunteer at the local Somervell County History Museum, downtown, for awhile, and got a chance to see more relics and information about what had happened with the moonshiners. Apparently at one point, Glen Rose was known as the Moonshiners Capital of Texas. When, in 1919/1920, Prohibition came about, making alcohol in the woods became a regular activity, albeit illegal. From Yesterday''s America Texas Governor Pat Neff enlisted Special Prohibition Agents to bust up and arrest moonshiners. Here''s a video I did in 2010 with Terry Gosdin telling the story from a perch on his truck while selling farm goods at the downtown Glen Rose farmers market. But notice, according to the article, that "Dick Watson, the bootlegger turned Special Prohibition Agent, was the star witness in several trials, but was assassinated before he could provide testimony in all. In such a moonshine-friendly community, Watson’s friend the imposing Texas Ranger Red Burton couldn’t convince the grand jury to indict his suspects." One of the local Somervell citizens who knew about this was Kenneth Hopson. I interviewed and recorded him back in 2010; he has since passed away. There is an old, gorgeous fossil rock gas station at the edge of town on Hwy 144 at 67. Even it has a history connected with moonshine. Roadtrippers Here are some pics I took from a modern time Glen Rose Moonshine Festival in October 2010 '
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