My Story Part 2
This series is not told in a chronological order but this is one of my first encounters with concrete danger in Syria during the first months of the war.
My bad luck landed me into working in the local TV station in the south of Syria, a TV station that had no political programs just boring talk shows and ”entertainment” which I was forced to endure 8 hours a day all day every day even on holidays.
I was the Supervisor Engineer/Technician and the deputy of this…
Charlatans are not a new phenomenon.
They've been around ever since humans discovered how easy it is to trick someone else into meeting their needs — be it giving them money, service or adoration. Although scamming folks is not solely the domain of the religious nor do only the superstitious succumb to such slick dicks, the ordained charlatan is a particularly loathsome critter.…Continue
Right now I am above ground, breathing, thinking, and feeling. I'm not sure how much time I have left in this life, none of us do, but I'm likely to live into old age, statistically speaking. I could go on to develop an incurable, deadly disease, or even die in a head collision today by something completely outside my control. I do have some control in life, some free choice you know. I think I make rather good decisions that will help extend my life. Ultimately, though, I do not know how…Continue
Added by James on September 13, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments
For all their sanctimonious talk of pro-life, the Evangelical Right likes nothing better than a good war. When the bombs start falling and the bullets flying, the Christian Right becomes orgasmic at the prospect of death and destruction as many believe that war with North Korea will lead to Armageddon predicted the…Continue
I will tell my story to complete strangers because I have no one else to tell it to:
After having a near death experience for the 9th time I decided to stop playing Russian Roulette with my life and leave Syria.
I was in Damascus at that time, all my papers were in Daraa, and sadly, the Army had the city under siege while the rebels were bombing it nonstop.
I managed to get my family out of it (parents and sister).
All my papers were in my…Continue
If you've never been to Spain and you like to travel, put it on your bucket list.
I've been returning to Spain for twelve years, often staying for my 90-day limit on my passport. There are loads of reasons why I fell in love with Spain, but one that I often fail to remember is that like much of Europe, Spain is far more secular than the US. That's no small accomplishment considering their crushing history…Continue
... your Earth was crumbling all around you. You've got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won't take the hint! In every moment there's the possibility of a better future, but you people won't believe it. And because you won't believe it you won't do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this…Continue
Where were you when 150 mph winds and record rains visited Houston. Where were you when people drowned when the water created currents strong enough to sweep away pickup trucks. Where were you when 52 inches of water destroyed homes and killed more than 70 people. Where were you when two-week-old babies drowned or…Continue
I've been thinking about Spain today and an acquaintance of mine who I've known for almost 12 years. He happens to own a beautiful family run hotel with a million dollar view perched high in the mountains of southern Spain. He is old enough to remember the Franco era. For those of you who may not know, Francisco Franco was the facsist dictator of Spain who rose to power during the Spanish Civil War in 1939 until his death. After his death Spain became a democracy.…Continue
I'm an empath. In fact, I register rather high on the empathy spectrum. That means that I was born with the capacity to not only sympathize with the pain of others but to FEEL the pain and suffering of complete strangers in my own body. It's a mixed blessing. Often, even as a child, I was confounded, perplexed and infuriated by the apparent lack of empathy and compassion that many people of faith seemed in desperate need of, especially if they were to follow in the…Continue
I was driving home after celebrating my wife’s twin sons’ 32nd birthdays, having enjoyed excellent lasagna, salad, and homemade ice-cream-cake, in the company of some very good people. Cruising north on Ohio I-77, the powerful, easy grace of my Mustang GT thrilled my senses as we charged north toward Cuyahoga County and home. What was totally unexpected was the display proffered by an electronic billboard, off to my left. In bold primary colors, it displayed the Lone Star flag…Continue
Trolling is like debating, I learn a lot from trolling, so I've been Trolling Prager University as myself since the time Trumpty Dumbty started his run for presidency.
Since then I've learned a lot about American History, Economics, The Constitution, the history of Fascism and Nazism along with Mussolini's biography and other things I was clueless on before I started trolling.
There are lots of Creationists and people with less than a year 10…Continue
When I first read the following line by H.L. Mencken I could hardly believe how accurate it was (at the time. W. Bush had just been elected.) But now it's even more accurate than ever.
"On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
What if I'm wrong?
That question has been asked by many believers with the intent of haunting me into submission out of fear. Fear is a great way to control people. We see it all the time, not only coming from believers trying to save nonbelievers from hellfire and brimstone, but also from politicians trying to convince us that some imminent horror is almost on our doorstep and we best do what they suggest in…Continue
I did something I rarely do at a debate—I lost my temper. Normally, I can let ignorance roll like water off a duck’s back, but sometimes there are such stunning and dazzling displays of dunce-hood that make it hard to catch your breath or focus clearly.
I debate regularly at a local “higher…Continue
In 1995, Ireland finally legalized divorce. After decades of living under the crushing rule of the Catholic Church. Malta, a country arguably more Catholic than inside the Vatican itself, managed by a very slim margin to legalize divorce in 2011. Are you as shocked as I was? Having lived in Malta, I can assure you that the tiny island which has often served as the crossroads of the world, has a long tradition of earnestness when it comes to The Church. I happened to…Continue
There was a time when the unspoken but powerful cultural expectations for a proper marriage went something like this.
The woman shouldn't be taller than the man nor make more money than the man. They both must be racially matched. The man should be older than the woman. The woman…
Yesterday my daughter came home from her second day of college. On day two her history class started on the Epic of Gilgamesh, of which I was very impressed to hear. Then my daughter mentioned "the Jesus guy". She described a typical religious person in an outside area preaching. This of course was no surprise.
What did come as a shock is when she said she listened to his stories and immediately recognized the stories in the Epic of Gilgamesh that had been written 2000 years before…Continue
“Many people who seriously practice a traditional religious faith—be it Christian or other—have a divorce rate marked lower than the general population.”—The Christian Divorce Rate Myth, Glenn T. Stanton, Baptist Press
The above quote, taken from the website crosswalk.com, is…Continue