Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 41 of a series

You can tell autumn is in the air. The snowflakes are already blowing in the wind:

The Fake News Is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!

Somebody has obviously missed the point of irony:

I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, “I hope so!”

Donald, please stay. You are truly a source without end.

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Dying to Believe

Some more of the same

Neglecting a child’s life-threatening illness and allowing the child to die in the name of religious liberty is a criminal offense and also an offense to the name of religious liberty. Seth M. Asser and Rita Swan,—researchers respectively with the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego,
School of Medicine, San Diego, California, and Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD), Inc, Sioux City, Iowa—published their research in 1998 in Pediatrics Vol. 101 No. 4. Here is the abstract:

ABSTRACT. Objective. To evaluate deaths of children from families in which faith healing was practiced in lieu of medical care and to determine if such deaths were preventable.

Design. Cases of child fatality in faith-healing sects were reviewed. Probability of survival for each was then estimated based on expected survival rates for children with similar disorders who receive medical care.

Participants. One hundred seventy-two children who died between 1975 and 1995 and were identified by referral or record search. Criteria for inclusion were evidence that parents withheld medical care because of reliance on religious rituals and documentation sufficient
to determine the cause of death.

Results. One hundred forty fatalities were from conditions for which survival rates with medical care would have exceeded 90%. Eighteen more had expected survival rates of >50%. All but 3 of the remainder would likely have had some benefit from clinical help.

Conclusions. When faith healing is used to the exclusion of medical treatment, the number of preventable child fatalities and the associated suffering are substantial and warrant public concern. Existing laws may be inadequate to protect children from this form of medical
neglect. Pediatrics 1998;101:625–629; child abuse, child neglect, child fatality, Christian Science, faith healing, medical neglect, prayer, religion and medicine.

Among their findings, the two noted this:

A total of 23 denominations from 34 states were represented in this study. Five groups accounted for 83% of the total fatalities (Table 4). Several states had totals disproportionate to population. There were 50 from Indiana, home of the Faith Assembly. Pennsylvania
had 16 fatalities, including 14 from the Faith Tabernacle. The Church of the First Born accounted for the majority of 15 deaths in neighboring Oklahoma and Colorado. In South Dakota there were 5 deaths from the End Time Ministries. Nationwide, the Christian Science church had 28 deaths in the study.

Contacts with public agencies and mandated reporters of suspected child neglect were not unusual among the children. Believing they were powerless in the face of the parents’ wishes, some teachers ignored obvious symptoms and sent lessons home to bedridden children. Some social workers and law enforcement officers allowed parents to decline examinations of children reported to be ill. Public officials did not investigate the deaths of some children.

One teenager asked teachers for help getting medical care for fainting spells, which she had been refused at home. She ran away from home, but law enforcement returned her to the custody of her father. She died 3 days later from a ruptured appendix.

A premature girl was delivered successfully at a hospital after her twin brother died during a home birth. Her mild respiratory distress syndrome resolved after 4 days of oxygen and other minimally invasive support. She then developed progressively severe apneic spells. The medical staff acquiesced to the parents’ request not to transfer the child to a higher level unit, despite an expected good prognosis. She died 2 days later when she could not be
resuscitated after a respiratory arrest.

The image at the top is from a post by a Facebook friend, and I know this person to express strong religious belief. Additionally, the screen shot from my Facebook feed captured three comments to Dan’s posting, and there were three more I did not capture.

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that in many cases parents are choosing allegiance to religious belief over their duty to their children. And may Jesus have mercy on their souls.

People Unclear

This is number 20

I keep wondering why I have to do this time and again. And then I remember. Human stupidity.

Here are snippets from a Facebook conversation that caught my attention. First the opening, posted by JP, with minor edits:

September 13 at 7:14 pm

More than just a little ‘tongue in cheek’, but a great message anyway that hits at the heart of the left’s irrational hatred of people of biblical faith.

Who Will Rid Us of These Christians? They’ve Done Something Else Now. | The Resurgent

If you believe in the THERESURGENT.COM Like

So I am just now looking into TheResurbent.com. Here are some current headlines on the site:

Dean Baquet and Jeff Bezos are The Despicables; In Comparison, Hannity and Limbaugh are Positively Neutral

Yes, it’s that last item that got posted to Facebook. It’s by Erick Erickson, and it’s interesting to see what it’s about.

If you believe in the “imaginary sky god” you are treated with utter contempt by the left these days. Your Jesus is a bigot unless he is not the real Jesus and you people are contemptible bigots. In Georgia, even the Republicans hate you and are planning on revising adoption laws to prohibit Christians from helping the state place children in adoption and foster families. You would think Christians would learn from all of this, but instead they have gone and done something even more ridiculous to highlight just how absurd they are.

Christians across America have contributed more personal funds and more sweat equity than any other group in organized efforts helping the people of Texas and now Florida and Georgia due to Harvey and Irma. In fact, Christian non-profits like the North American Mission Board, Salvation Army, and Samaritan’s Purse have been more active in helping FEMA than the Red Cross or other secular non-profits. In fact, in Miami, the Red Cross did not even show up to run shelters that were designated as Red Cross shelters.

But those silly Christians have stepped in. They have proven even more ridiculous because FEMA will not help Christian churches damaged by Harvey or Irma rebuild. Everybody else can get disaster relief funds to help rebuild destroyed property, but not those Christians. They are on their own. And still they keep helping FEMA and everyone else.

Christian non-profits were the first on the scene after Harvey and were the first on the scene as Irma was blowing through Florida and Georgia. They took on the obligations of other non-profits that did not show up to help. And really, as every good Democrat knows, these Christians should not be out doing anything other than baking cakes for gay weddings. They’re just so ridiculous.

Lest any reader  missed the point of the headline’s wording, it is historical:

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” (or turbulent priest) is a cry attributed to Henry II of England, expressing his frustration regarding his conflicts with Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. While this was not a direct order, upon hearing this comment from their sovereign, four knights—Reginald FitzUrseHugh de MorvilleWilliam de Tracy and Richard le Breton—traveled from Normandy to Canterbury and killed Becket.

See, the king’s language is supposed to have been a code to the knights to do the deed, leaving the king’s hands clean of blood.

The gist of the posting is that Christian churches have stepped up to the plate and provided relief where the government fell short, yet FEMA will not use tax money to assist reconstructing damaged churches. There may or may not be an issue there, but what caught my attention was the first sentence, “If you believe in the ‘imaginary sky god’ you are treated with utter contempt by the left these days.”

Getting back to  the Facebook conversation, a response to that by DM:

Many take issue that Christianity is biblical faith – that it is “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints”. Even John Hagee has recently confessed, “Christianity is rooted in many pagan doctrines”. Doctrine is everything.

The John Hagee reference is to a pastor close to where I currently live in San Antonio, Texas:

To put this straight, a ten-thousand-ton rock, that has been on a collision course with Earth for likely millions of years, finally succumbed to the laws of physical science and completed its journey to the surface of Earth about a thousand miles east of Moscow, just north of the Kazakhstan border with Russia. And this was a message from God? Considering it may have been, the message was what? We are left to figure that out. Everybody gets his own shot at interpretation. Mine is that this was to herald the release, six days later, of Terry George‘s Stand Off. I’ve been wrong before.

In any event, God certainly does move in mysterious ways, his miracles to perform. Equally mysterious would be if God were to clue in to social media to push his roll outs.

Pastor Hagee refers to astronomy as “God’s High-Definition Billboard” (page 16). And he quotes Acts 2: 19– 20:

If you are not already aware, Pastor Hagee’s Cornerstone Church is massive, located at the intersection of Stone Oak Parkway and Sonterra Place. I receive periodic emails from Hagee’s Christians United For Israel.

All that said, let’s continue with the conversation. After a number of additional exchanges I felt the need to chime in:

John Blanton “Irrational hatred?” How about shocked dismay? Biblical faith is one of the dumbest concepts to plague humanity in recorded history.

https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/…/the-comfort…/

Well, that was engineered to produce a reaction of some sort. Here is the first,  from JP:

John Blanton: OK, so you are a man of no discernable faith who mocks those of discernable faith. All you demonstrate is an unwillingness to engage the real world where truth often is stranger than fiction and where the senses really do not tell even most of the story. Trust me when I say your mockery of others doesn’t in any way become you.

I didn’t fix the spelling.

Some analysis:

First, “a man of no discernible faith.” Of course that is premature. I do have faith, but I try not to have faith in false and foolish things. I may have commented subsequently that I have faith the sun will come up in the east.

Second, “an unwillingness to engage the real world where truth often is stranger than fiction and where the senses really do not tell even most of the story.” Here’s an open challenge. Who wants to claim that religious faith, especially the God of Abraham, represents the real world? While I agree that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and that sometimes fiction seems to make a lot of sense, there is no way that our senses interact in a discernible way with the faith in question. Specifically, the God of whom JP speaks, has neither been seen nor heard by any person, nor have there been any material actions that are attributable to this God. JP’s impression of what represents the real world is extraordinarily disjoint.

Third, “I say your mockery of others doesn’t in any way become you.” It does not? It certainly does become me. It is the moral duty of any thinking person to put the lie to this kind of nonsense and to hound it “around perdition’s flame” until it finally expires of a mountain of shame.

DK, an actual acquaintance and a Facebook friend added this:

It’s far easier to throw tomatoes than to grow them.”

JP added to DK’s response:

Yes it is. And that truth holds for both Blanton’s off subject post as it does for those who accuse practicing Christians of being pagans, though we may certainly disagree about the efficacy of individual practices.

First of all, DK’s tomato allegory is an allegory to end all. What an incredible summation! My response was:

John Blanton It helps when you are given tomatoes to throw. And let’s not talk about “faith.” Let’s talk about presence of mind. What straight-thinking person believes all this malarkey?

Of course, my tomato allegory was equally weak. I added a response:

John Blanton Do I call Christians Pagans? Do I call Pagans Christians? Do I call Christians Muslims? Do I call Muslims Christians? Do I call Christians Jews (close to the truth)? Do I call Jews Christians? Inquiring minds want to know.

Yes, my correspondents missed completely that I did not call Christian’s pagans, and at this point I waxed satirical.

There is much more to this conversation, and I made an attempt to capture all of it, hopefully to return to it when the occasion arises.

To the point, religion, and especially the so-called Judeo-Christian faith (includes Islam), is a large heap of BS, and righteous people need to be open and to point this out on a daily basis. As it is, there are people out there with this religious mindset, and they vote. Public policy is set, laws are passed, damage is done. Do not stand idle.

 

 

 

 

Bad Movie of the Week

One of a series

Amazon Prime Video again. Always a good source for a Bad Movie of the Week. This one is Woman on the Run from 1950. Lots of bad movies in those days, but this is one of the best of the bad. It has a plot with real drama and suspense—almost believable.

First scene, and somebody is walking his dog. It’s in San Francisco. The man is Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott), and his life is about to  change. While Frank stops to light his pipe at the top of some steps, a car pulls to a stop, and two men inside begin negotiating a matter of life and death. One is a chunky fellow with a terrific Irish brogue, named Joe Gordon (Tom Dillon), and he wants payoff money to  keep quiet. He thinks he has a good argument, and he asks his companion “Danny Boy” for a cigarette. We don’t see Danny, but we do see Danny’s signature lighter when he lights Joe’s final cigarette. Then Danny shoots and pushes Joe out the passenger side door. Joe begs Danny for his life, but Danny fires again.

Frank has been watching all the while. The dog (Rembrandt) barks. Danny spies Frank. Danny fires twice and misses. Frank ducks for cover, and Danny drives off in haste. Take a good look at Frank. The movie is not about him, and we’re not going to  see him again until much later.

The police come. Frank is cooperative. Then he gets the big picture. He’s the only witness to a first degree murder. He’s going to  have to  testify. While the police are distracted Frank cuts Rembrandt loose and hauls ass, but not before telling the police where he lives.

Hard-bitten  Inspector Martin Ferris (Robert Keith), lacking  his prime witness, pays a call on Frank’s wife, hard-bitten Eleanor Johnson (Ann Sheridan). She’s not interested in telling the police where to find her husband, and she’s not interested in her husband. They’ve been married four years, and the fire went some time ago. Frank is an artist, too persnickety to make it to the big time. He has gone through artistic phases and disparages his own work. He has quit painting and has gone to work for a department store called Hart and Winston, where he applies his artistic talents for money.

Eleanor shows absolutely no interest in her husband. That is, until Ferris mentions that the killer shot at him twice. Her expression intensifies. Perhaps this is not a mere case of spousal neglect. Her husband, for whom she has no interest, is becoming slightly more interesting.

The police go off looking for Frank, and they tell Eleanor to stay put. They are going to need her assistance, willing or not, to locate Frank.

Meanwhile, hard-bitten newsman Daniel Leggett (Dennis O’Keefe) horns in. He smothers Leanor with attention, wanting a story about Frank. He wants an interview. They must find Frank. He helps Eleanor escape the police by way of the roof through a skylight.

Inspector Ferris has observed Frank’s prescription medicine. Eleanor goes to visit the doctor who prescribed the medication. She learns for the first time that Frank has a heart condition. He’s going to die if he doesn’t continue to take the medication. Eleanor didn’t know that about Frank. She begins to show additional concern.

No man is a hero to his own wife. I heard that years ago, and I tend to believe it. Eleanore visits Hart and Winston and learns more about Frank. More than Frank ever told her. A Mr. Maibus (John Qualen), who works with Frank, tells Eleanor things about Frank that Frank never mentioned to his wife. Apparently in his past life Frank was a world traveler and adventurer. Also, Frank is invaluable at the store. Financial success hangs on Frank’s talents, and Frank once saved Maibus’ job by threatening to quit if Maibus was fired. The sculptured mannequins he created for the store have been modeled after his wife. Eleanor is becoming more interested in Frank than she has been in years.

The ax falls. Leggett lights a cigarette for Eleanor with a distinctive lighter. “Call me Danny.” Sacré bleu! Eleanor is working with the murderer. Of course we won’t find that out until the end of the movie.

When Eleanor and Danny visit a rooftop Chinese diner where Frank and Eleanor often dined, they learn that Frank has been there. A cabaret dancer who works there tells them that Frank made a drawing and gave it to her. It’s the drawing of a face that looks much like Danny. Ditching Eleanor for a few minutes, Danny apparently (we don’t view the action) goes back to the diner, murders the girl, and destroys the drawing.

The end comes at a popular beach, where Eleanor finally figures out where Frank has gone to wait for her. Only, the scene was filmed at Santa Monica Pier, 381 miles away. When the action shifts to the beach scene we immediately spot the roller coaster, and we know it’s going to figure in the plot. Anytime there’s a roller coaster in a movie it’s going to play a critical role. Danny insists they ride the roller coaster. It’s a ruse to keep them hidden as the police begin to close in. Also Eleanor and Danny have figured Frank has been waiting by a sand sculpture on the beach, and Danny needs to distract Eleanor while he makes his move.

The roller coaster charges up and down the slopes and around sharp bends while Eleanor hangs on and screams. The ride stops, and Danny insists Eleanor must take another ride by herself, leaving Danny to stalk Frank.

The roller coaster ride repeats, with Eleanor holding on tightly and screaming. Then she recalls something Danny told her. He told her the killer shot at Frank twice. Nobody knows that but the police, herself, and the killer. Danny is the killer. She spots Frank on the beach and screams for him to run.

Danny corners Frank near the roller coaster and attempts to induce him to have a heart attack by forcing his head on the track. The police kill Danny. The ride ends. Eleanor embraces Frank, and it’s the end of the movie.

This movie has a lot going for it. From Wikipedia:

The film was recently restored and preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. It is available on DVD and Blu-ray (2016).

Acting is up to snuff, disregarding some of the minor players. The dialog is realistic, and the actors settle naturally into their scenes. This was four years before Elia Kazan brought On the Waterfront to us with real people and real dialog.

There is suspense, but attempts to build suspense drag at the plot. Eleanor and Danny visit clothing store after clothing store to find one where Frank might have gone for a disguise. There is scene after scene during which suspense is supposed to be building, but interest is lagging, instead.

An essential element of the plot is the wife’s growing realization there is more to Frank than she comprehended. It’s a likable plot device. A character is pictured initially one way, and as the plot develops and more becomes known the character takes on an entirely different form. Alan Campbell, Norman Foster, and Ross Hunter (dialogue) take the hit on this. They don’t handle the transition smoothly, hammering it in, instead. “No, Mrs. Johnson, your husband is not the milquetoast he pretended to be.” That’s not actual dialog from the picture, but it is my impression. I could have done better. For example, “I first met your husband when he pulled me out of the gun turret after we got hit.” The re-engineering of the Frank Johnson character should have been handled more obliquely. The screen writers show a lack of dexterity unbecoming.

Besides that, how come Eleanor never asked Frank, “What were you doing all those years before you met me?” Viewers get the idea, perhaps intended, that Frank and Eleanor met, had great sex for a few years, and never brought their complete selves into the marriage. I am sure that kind of thing does happen, but in this case it gets loaded onto the audience needlessly.

The roller coaster episode is overly dramatic, maybe fresh at the time, but now a cliché. What did surprise me was that there was no chase on the tracks resulting in Danny being killed by the cars or else falling from a great height.

For comedy, there is roller coaster action in the title sequence for The Naked Gun. There’s a monster and a roller coaster in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. There’s more roller coaster comedy in Abbott and Costello in Hollywood. There are move. Readers are invited to submit recommendations.

Ann Sheridan is a pleasure to watch. Hers is the only voice that comes close to that of Eve Arden for cool and brittle. She hailed from Denton, Texas, and attended North Texas State Teachers College. She was a co-producer of this film.

The copyright owners were careless and allowed the copyright to expire. You can watch this for free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIOB4CQhCT0.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a continuing series

So I was returning to my car after a few rounds with some friends, when I saw this man. He was sitting on the curb, his feet out in the street. And he was crying.

This looked so pitiful, I went over to investigate. I asked, “What’s the problem, old fellow?”

“My wife is gone,” he sobbed.

This was distressful news. So I asked, “Did she die?”

“No, he sobbed.”

“Did she leave you?”

“No.”

I was puzzled. “Then what happened to your wife?”

He stopped sobbing long enough to look up. “I traded her for a bottle of whiskey.”

That was shocking. “So, you traded her for a bottle of whiskey?”

“Yes.”

“And now you want her back.”

“Yes.”

“Because you realize you love her, and you miss her.”

“No.”

“No? Then why do you want her back.”

“Because I’m thirsty again.”

Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 40 of a series

In case there is somebody reading who does not have a clear understanding, here is some clarification. In the traditional (meaning most recent) sense, a snowflake is a person who cannot tolerate a dissenting view, especially dissenting commentary. A snowflake’s feelings are injured in the face of criticism or contradiction. From that I derive the title for this series, and I aim it at the new President, who has to be the most delicate of snowflakes to  come our way in decades.

That said, let me get started:

The Fake News Is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!

“Demean and denigrate.” Imagine that. People can be so thoughtless.

See what I  mean? Wait, there’s more.

Donald J. Trump Retweeted Bill O’Reilly

Sadly, they and others are Fake News, and the public is just beginning to figure it out!

[more omitted]

There certainly is a problem with fake news.

And that’s about it for today with fake news. And for snowflakes of the first order.

 

 

 

 

Your Friend The Handgun

Nothing new here, folks.

When it comes to protecting yourself and your property, the Second Amendment is your right to arm yourself. What could possibly go wrong?

BONNEY LAKE, Wash. — A woman has died after being hit by a stray bullet in what appears to be a tragic accident. Deputies said she was shot in the head when a man was running down the street firing at someone who was stealing his car.

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, witnesses called 911 shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday to report hearing ten gunshots in the Prairie Ridge Area.

This citizen has the National Rifle Association to thank for (almost) keeping his property safe.

Bad Movie Wednesday

One of a continuing series

This is akin to beating a dead horse. Since Star Trek: The Motion Picture came out 38 years ago critics have been whipping it back and forth, the consensus being that it missed the Star Trek frame of mind from the 1960s. And it’s overly long. It’s from Paramount Pictures in 1979. Here’s a quick look and some personal comments. Everybody knows the characters. I’m only going to credit the newcomers. I just watched it on Hulu, but it’s also available on Amazon Prime Video. Details are from Wikipedia.

In the beginning we see Spock undergoing the Kolinahr ceremony, but he cannot complete it and accept the medallion. Apparently he returns to Star Fleet.

The movie is sprinkled with spectacular views of Star Fleet operations.

Admiral Kirk takes command of the Enterprise, displacing Captain Willard Decker (Stephen Collins), much to Decker’s displeasure.

Apparently Enterprise has undergone some refitting, and the shakedown is not going well. The scene moves to the Enterprise bridge, where much disarray is obvious.

Long expected, if you ever watched the original TV series, there comes the eventual transporter accident. Two people are lost when the transport malfunctions. Long faces all around.

Replacement crew comes in the form of navigator Ilia (Persis Khambatta) from Delta. She’s an old flame of Decker’s.

There’s eye candy in the form of graphics and visual effects. I could not help noticing the rounded corners of this display screen. Those are hold-overs of when display screens were CRTs.

The Enterprise‘s mission is a mysterious cloud approaching Earth. As the Enterprise draws near it encounters powerful forces, ominous warnings, and the invasion of the bridge by a plasma column and an arcing beam. The beam lands on Ilia, and she vanishes, clothing and all.

Ilia soon returns in the form of a mechanical reproduction, right down to Ilia’s personality. Except the mechanical Ilia has been sent as a communications device to the Enterprise. The source is also purely mechanical, and it wants to be connected to the Creator. Nobody can figure out who or what the Creator is. The alien life form (the cloud) refers to itself as V’Ger (veejer).

Penetrating deep into V’Ger, the Enterprise crew discovers at its heart the Voyager 6 spacecraft, a fiction reflecting on the Voyager spacecraft program of the 20th century. The spacecraft has lost its ability to send back its data, and developed V-Ger as a means to get our attention.

Decker melds with the mechanical Ilia, and both join V’Ger in its quest for knowledge. And it all could have been accomplished in little over an hour instead of two hours and 12 minutes.

This movie runs long scenes with nothing much happening. Too much attention is paid to atmosphere and not enough to the story.