These little creatures are fascinating and unlike anything else on earth.
These little creatures are fascinating and unlike anything else on earth.
It’s time to stop using mental illness as an excuse for gun violence.
It’s the guns that are the problem!
“Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing,” read a statement the APA issued on Aug. 4, after the Dayton tragedy. “The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them. One critical factor is access to, and the lethality of, the weapons that are being used in these crimes. Adding racism, intolerance and bigotry to the mix is a recipe for disaster.”
To read the full article, click on this link:
I have had three terrifying, PTSD-inducing experiences with gun violence. In one of those incidents, I literally wrestled a gun out of the hands of a violent man. This happened just two weeks after I had given birth to my daughter. My “super human strength” was fueled by my maternal instinct. I did it to save the…
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I really needed this today. I’ve been soooo stressed lately due to family and financial issues, and haven’t had much opportunity to get to the pool or do much of anything recreational this summer.
I arrived at the local public pool early, while it was still almost empty, and just floated on my back in the deep end for a long time (just like an otter!)
The feeling of weightlessness combined with the hot sun beating down on my body seemed to take all my built up stress away. I could have stayed like that all day, even maybe falling asleep, but soon the pool was crowded with kids and rain clouds began to roll in, so I spend the remainder of my time taking these pictures, which are intended to be artistic but probably aren’t really.
The above photo: looking down into 12 feet of water. The dark part on the right is the shadow cast by the side of the pool. This is my favorite picture because of its slight creepiness.
I love John Pavlovitz’ blog. He’s a Christian pastor, but the kind that’s tragically rare in America: a pastor who actually believes in the compassionate, loving Jesus of the Sermon on the Mount, a Jesus whose table included all types of people and always had room for one more. This Jesus isn’t the Jesus of the prosperity gospel, dominionist, and right wing evangelical churches, whose preachers seem to completely ignore the inclusive, loving Jesus in favor of their abusive and constantly angry God who gaslights his flock, holds them to endless harsh rules, constantly threatens Hell and punishment, shames and silences women and tells them they must tolerate abuse from their husbands and pastors (because as women, they must be doing something wrong to deserve the abuse of their “betters”), makes excuses as to why keeping children in cages and separating families is “godly,” and tells poor people their poverty is due to their own moral failings and that if they were pleasing to God, they’d be rich.
Their God is forever changing the goalposts and is impossible to please. Moreover, their God has “anointed” certain chosen people as “prophets” or “apostles,” people we are to obey without question and never criticize just because their God has elevated them above the rest of us (that’s where the “Trump is anointed by God” rhetoric comes from). Their religion, so unlike the real Christ, is merely a cover for greed, hatred, exclusion, and fascism, and is used by sociopaths and narcissists as a means to control people.
They have created a God in their own image: their God is a sociopath or least a pathological narcissist, and good, decent people with a conscience and empathy want nothing to do with him. But in America, unfortunately he is the loudest and most visible God. The term Christianity itself is acquiring a bad name lately (this trend has increased since Trump was elected) because good people are associating it with authoritarianism, hatred, condemnation, elitism, American exceptionalism, misogyny, white male privilege, and harsh punishment. No wonder so many good people are turning to atheism or non-Christian religions instead.
I too am finding the term Christianity offputting lately. When someone tells me they’re a Christian, I automatically become wary and distance myself, assuming they follow the authoritarian, far right God that’s so prevalent in America today. Theirs is a predatory, heartless religion that behaves more like a cult than a proper religion, and hurts millions more than it helps (mainly enriching its wealthy pastors and billionaire donors).
John Pavlovitz speaks for the rest of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, who reject the authoritarian American God, but who wish to emulate the Jesus of the Gospels. Such Christians, to circumvent the recent negative connotations associated with “Christian,” have been calling themselves Christ Followers. I kind of like that!
Here is another insightful and important article from John Pavlovitz’ “Stuff That Needs to Be Said” blog.
One thing I like to do to pass the time and relax is take “virtual” roadtrips. Virtual roadtrips are all over Youtube and are created by people who attach a dashcam to their dashboard while driving. I’ve posted some impressive drives before. It’s a great way to see the world without having to actually travel or spend any money at all, and I find it to be a lot of fun and educational too.
I was amazed by this drive through the mountain roads of rural Croatia because the scenery and terrain so closely resembles the southern Appalachians which run through several states in the southeast US, with the highest peaks in North Carolina, where I live.
The scenery is so similar that if you showed me this video and didn’t tell me where it was, I would swear I was back home.
Use the full screen feature in the lower right hand corner to experience the full effect.
I was saddened by this news. Tim had a great blog, and always focused on Jesus’ message of love and hope instead of the legalistic, harsh, hellfire and brimstone rhetoric so many other Christian speakers and writers focus on today.
Tim’s blog gave me comfort in times of stress, and explained difficult religious concepts in a very down to earth and easy to understand way.
Rest in Peace, Tim.
Tim’s blog is still up so if you’ve never seen it before, his short and well written articles are definitely worth a look.
Tim Chastain, 1951-2019
After a lifetime of scholarly and deeply personal exploration of his Christian faith, Tim Chastain started the Jesus Without Baggage blog in 2013 and posted articles regularly until his passing in June 2019.
The blog was a very important part of his life, and he greatly prized his interaction with commenters. For this reason, Tim’s family is preserving the blog’s online presence, including the comment threads. However, since the family will be unable to monitor the blog, the comment function on all previous posts is now disabled.
Tim’s expert interpretation of Christianity and the Bible was complex, insightful and unique to him. Tim’s family hopes that you will be able to benefit from continued access to the articles on his blog and his responses to commenters.
This was an educational film released in 1945, at the end of World War II, after Hitler and the Nazi Party had been defeated.
Watch and listen carefully, and notice the similarities in the rhetoric to Trump’s rallies and speeches.
We fought against fascism back then, and we won. There is no place for fascism and neo-Naziism (white supremacy) in America today, and none of us should tolerate it.
The gorgeous kitten you see above is the same one as this little fluffball.
He’s grown quite a bit, his fur has become sleek and dense black, and he just has the sweetest personality (but he’s a little devil too).
He’s been through several names. The first name he had was BlackasHell, but that didn’t stick, so I renamed him Shadow. But he wasn’t having that name either, and since I’ve been calling him House Panther for the past few weeks, that’s going to be his new, permanent name.
I’m going to keep this short, because for several reasons, I don’t think it would be a good thing to say too much about it, even without identifying or naming anyone. I’m embroiled in a family crisis right now involving fentanyl addiction (not me).
All I am going to say about that is this is a terrible and extremely addictive drug that’s often passed off as “heroin” but it’s actually fifty times stronger than heroin and a hundred times stronger than morphine. It can kill very easily because it depresses the respiratory system and it’s extremely easy to overdose.
I’m scared out of my wits and can’t focus on much else. Writing has fallen by the wayside for now, but I’ll try to post every so often because I love blogging and find it relaxing and therapeutic (even when the subject matter I post isn’t all sunshine and kittens).
I’m trying to keep my own head together by getting involved in Al Anon (an addict is an addict, whether it’s alcohol or drugs — plus there are no comparable 12 step type support programs for the families of drug addicts) and learning to deal with my own reactions to the addiction and its attendant behaviors (since the people involved are adults I cannot force them into treatment).
Please pray for my family that these two people recover and get treatment.
The opiate crisis is real. Our government needs to do something about it, but they probably won’t. There’s big money in prescription fentanyl and other strong opiates for Big Pharma. I realize chronic or severe pain patients need relief, but these opiates are deadly and are too easily obtainable by people looking for a quick high. But the Trump administration will never put the health and wellbeing of the people ahead of profits and greed.
America has a seedy, sordid underbelly, and it has for a long time. Both major political parties are guilty. Power corrupts.
Please leave comments on the original post.
John W. Whitehead, Rutherford
“As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensating to increase. And the dictator (unless he needs cannon fodder and families with which to colonize empty or conquered territories) will do well to encourage that freedom.”—Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Anyone who believes differently hasn’t been paying attention.
Politics, religion, sports, government, entertainment, business, armed forces: it doesn’t matter what arena you’re talking about, they are all riddled with the kind of seedy, sleazy, decadent, dodgy, depraved, immoral, corrupt behavior that somehow gets a free pass when it involves the wealthy and powerful elite in America.
In this age of partisan politics and a deeply polarized populace, corruption—especially when it involves sexual debauchery, depravity and predatory behavior—has become the great equalizer.
Take Jeffrey Epstein…
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