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3 Reasons You Can Stop Kneeling During The National Anthem

Football season is upon us again!

Let’s drop to our knees and stand against injustice!

If history has anything to teach us it’s this:

Change happens when football players kneel during the national anthem.

Criminal activity plummets when athletes boldly speak against it.

Raising awareness is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do!

First, I need to mention that Donald Trump is a moron.

Are we clear on that?

Can we get past that now?

Trump’s tweets are not a license for everyone else to be moronic too.

So allow me to raise awareness about the uselessness of raising awareness.

Here are 3 reasons to quit kneeling during the National Anthem.

You’re drawing attention to yourself, not your cause.

All those press conferences, magazine articles, televised interviews, and radio spots where you say, “It’s not about me” seem…

…disingenuous.

Nothing says, “Don’t look at me” quite like anonymity.

Do you need to get credit for speaking the truth?

Because it’s hard for us to see the ‘oppressed masses’ when you’re kneeling in front of them on national television.

You’re saying that we’re the problem.

The vast majority of the NFL audience is NOT affiliated with law enforcement.

The vast majority of people involved with law enforcement are not racist bigots.

So who are you trying to reach with your brave demonstration?

The corrupt, racist, hateful bigots who perpetrate injustice against black people?

Think about this:

When the anthem is over and you get off your knees, those folks are still going to be bigots.

Hateful people are still hateful people even after your self-indulgent display.

The only people who are changing their minds on issues are your fans.

They’re deciding to quit watching football.

You’re not better than the rest of us.

You should sit down before you read any further.

Police brutality is not the worst thing happening in the world.

If you must perform flaccid exhibitions of concern, there are MUCH better reasons for kneeling.

Sex Trafficking

Child Abuse

Abortion

Ethnic Cleansing

Of course, kneeling during the National Anthem will do nothing to combat these issues.

But your impotence will be of a more nobler quality.

Truth be told, none of us has cornered the market on virtue.

We’re  selfish, thoughtless, and apathetic creatures.

Your sanctimoniousness is a vulgar reminder that we’re also oblivious.

So you might as well stand up during the National Anthem.

Kneeling only serves to put grass stains on your pants.

Tim Gets Married and There’s Lots of Queso

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EPISODE – Tim Branyan Gets Married!  You’re invited to tag along for some behind the scenes stuff.
 
My eldest son is getting married! I’m kind of busy but I’m going to try and capture a few conversations. I need help with my tie. The girls are wearing heels. And I complain about the double standards for bridesmaids and groomsmen.
 
Peaches makes a run to Starbucks and explains how the barista assigned a new label for Tabitha.  They seem to indicate that there is more than one bride in this wedding, which confuses me but I don’t ask because I don’t want to appear foolish.
 
The groomsmen offer some conversation while they get ready for the event. It’s really not that great…Timothy is surprised the photographers didn’t come to take picture of the groomsmen getting ready.  
 
I get a few thoughts from Tim. He confesses that he cried during the rehearsal (but I already knew that). None of the guys can explain why my vest is pink.
 
Apparently, the groomsmen didn’t let any women know what color socks they were wearing because the socks are totally disrespectful.
 
Peaches refuses to interview the bride prior to the wedding. She accuses ME of being annoying with the podcast machine. I’m kinda hurt but nobody can tell because I’m a rock.  Tabby refuses to help me too.  My niece is the only one who’s remotely helpful and she’s only 10 years old.
 
Tabby interviews me in a sad attempt to replace the bride’s interview. I do a poor job of explaining my point of view. Then everybody makes fun of my hair.
 
I never do get to interview my daughter-in-law (Marla). But I do interview Andrew (the Best Man) and he reveals more stuff about Tim that everybody already knew.
 
Then, I drop the podcast machine and destroy it.
 
Turns out…I didn’t destroy it after all. After the wedding, we have a lot of bubbles left over. This family can’t seem to remember the bubbles.
 
…And I can’t remember to turn the podcast recorder on.  So I try to get Peaches to repeat our conversation but she refuses because she’s easily annoyed.
 
Mexican food should be served at every wedding reception. There, I said it.  Cami offers her thoughts on the wedding which she distills into a single word.
 
I’m skeptical that two matrons of honor can share the office equally but apparently it didn’t bother anyone else. Peaches gives her impression of the wedding and it’s shocking. SHOCKING!  Luke is happy that Pintrest wasn’t invented when they got married.
 
We all were duly impressed with Marla’s commentary during the reception. She’s wise for her age.
 
Tabby and Joe arrive and update us on the taste of their anniversary cake.  Allen and Judy are here too. Judy’s anniversary cake was flattened by a bad throw.
 
The conversation then shifts to how easy it is to walk into places where you should not go. We discuss how easy it would be to steal stuff from church.
 
Tabby argues with Allen about the freshness of Papa Murphy pizza. (She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.)
 
Somebody mentions GFS so I give my mandatory sales pitch for the Christmas Cookie dough they sell.
 
We discuss musicals and movies. (It occurs to me that we’re not a cultured family.) The first animated movie my mom took me to see was a huge mistake. I don’t remember much about it except that Mom felt horrible taking us to see it. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067749/)
 
I finish with a personal insight regarding the wedding day. 

Check out this episode!

Bible Bats A Thousand

Bethsaida.

Does that mean anything to you?

A girl with that name was in my 5th-grade class.

I had a crush on her.

I’m kidding.

Bethsaida was a town Jesus talked about in the New Testament.

Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  -Matthew 11:21

Bethsaida did not make Jesus’ list of “Top Ten Towns to Settle And Raise A Family In”

Up until the late 1980’s, skeptics listed Bethsaida as an example of ‘Bible fiction’.

Then, an obscure archeological dig unearthed evidence that the actual town actually existed in actual actuality!

However, the actual town wasn’t actually what was actually discovered.

Actually, recent discoveries are more likely the actual Bethsaida.

(If you actually enjoy reading archeology you should follow the links.)

The bottom line for Bible skeptics is this:

So far, no archeological evidence contradicts scripture.

Zero.

Zilch.

Suggesting that the Bible is nothing but a collection of myths…

…is actually stupid.

There are too many historical accuracies in scripture for intelligent people to dismiss.

In actuality, skepticism and intelligence are not the same things.

Healthy skepticism is satisfied by intelligent inquiry.

It only takes ONE example of historical accuracy to establish the Bible as more than “myth”.

CALM DOWN!

Bethsaida doesn’t prove God exists.

Bethsaida doesn’t prove the resurrection of Jesus.

Bethsaida only proves that Jesus was talking about a real place.

You can retreat to your citadel of cynicism.

Wave away scripture as fiction.

That’s cool.

Only intelligent people are interested in the truth.

Can You Name Something That Never Ages?

There is a phrase that goes, “Nothing lasts forever.”

It’s a nice phrase that happens to be false.

The correct way to express the sentiment is, “Few things last forever.”

Many, many, many things are not eternal.

A partial list includes:

  • Eyesight
  • Bowls of ice cream
  • Respect for politicians
  • Focused thought
  • Beer keg at a frat house

But some things ARE immortal.

At the top of the ‘Eternal Things List’ is the truth.

The truth never expires.

Truth is valid even when the source is an ancient book.

That’s stupid, John! The truth changes all the time!

Give me an example of a truth that has changed.

Slavery! Ha!

Slavery hasn’t changed for centuries.

Yes it has!  It’s illegal!

Oh. You’re talking about the laws regarding slavery.

YES!  I got ya!

Why did the laws change?

Because it’s wrong to oppress people! Slavery is oppression!

Is it always wrong to oppress people?

Are you stupid?  Of course it’s always wrong!

So slavery is eternally wrong?

Yes! Slavery is eter…wait. Oh…I get what you’re saying…”

Cultural norms and laws change because they aren’t always rooted in truth.

I said I get it! Shut up already!

And I will shut up.

…pretty soon.

Christian people, hear this:

The Bible cannot be dismissed simply because it’s ‘old’.

The ancientness of the text has no bearing on whether or not it’s true.

Here is a partial list of scriptural truth:

  • honor your parents
  • return good for evil
  • put others before yourself
  • respect authority
  • help the helpless

None of these ideas will be ‘wrong’ in a few millennium.

Because they are true.

And the truth doesn’t age.

The Animal Rights Hoax

Have you ever been lectured by a vegan?

Don’t answer yet!

Let me define the term, ‘Vegan’:

Vegan – vee-gun: Individuals who see themselves as morally superior because of what they don’t eat.

It’s a mistake to think about vegans as merely ‘people who don’t eat animal products’.

When you do that, you’re omitting the most important aspect of veganism…

…self-righteousness.

Pompous proselytizing is how vegans differ from vegetarians.

Vegetarians can have conversations without mentioning that they are vegetarians.

Vegans never do this.

Vegans proclaim their veganism three times an hour even when they are alone in a room.

And twice a day, vegans express disdain for non-vegans.

For vegans, not eating eggs is a religious rite.

Every time a vegan skips an omelet, an angel gets his wings.

Vegans are closer to God than the rest of us.

(Unless they don’t believe in God in which case they’re closer to an arbitrary standard of goodness defined by themselves.)

So I’m asking, have you ever been lectured by one of these folks?

Did you enjoy it?

I don’t.

In the aftermath of a vegan tirade I’ve never thought, “I should be more like that person.”

I could never be like those people because my brain works too well.

They are always champions of ‘animal rights’.

Animals rights is an incoherent concept loosely based on the idea of ‘human rights’.

Human rights come from God.

Animal rights come from Humans.

Vegans cannot grasp the important difference.

(I think it’s because they don’t have enough protein in their diets.)

Animals have no rights except those assigned by humans.

It is correct when a vegan says, “This pig has a right to life!”

It is also correct when I say, “This pig has the right to become sausage!”

I won’t tell a vegan that they shouldn’t eat tofu and kiss swine on the lips.

Be at peace, my friend!

And pass the bacon.

College Kids Are Too Stupid For This

I sort of remember when colleges taught useful stuff.

Didn’t people sometimes say colleges were ‘institutes of higher education’?

Or did I imagine that?

When I was in college there was a mandatory class called, “Freshman Orientation”.

The class was predicated on the idea that college students are morons.

In orientation class, I learned things like:

  • Where to look on campus for the library.
  • How to carry a tray in the cafeteria.
  • The usefulness of taking notes during class.
  • The importance of sleeping for awhile every day.
  • Flunking tests could negatively affect grades.

Mid-semester,  I learned that some students were not passing orientation.

Because college students are morons.

Which is why this unicorn is so distressing.

Let me spell out why this unicorn is horrifying!

Colleges are asking students to identify their own genders!

How can a college student, incapable of reading a map or carrying a pocket-knife, accomplish this?!!

These kids don’t even know which end of a pencil to sharpen!

Can we trust them to declare whether they’re male, female, or ‘other’?

Of course not!

Most of them haven’t even declared a major!

This information should be part of college orientation.

The first day on campus, students should have their gender assigned by a physician.

This is pre-requisite for their upcoming ‘Public Toilet Etiquette Symposium’.

Tuition of thirty grand a year ought to buy some kind of education, right?

They Don’t Want You To Know This About Shakespeare

Everything you know about William Shakespeare is a lie!

He didn’t exist.

William Shakespeare is a fictional character.

I have evidence that he did not exist.

By that I mean, I have no evidence that he did exist.

Same thing.

A quick perusal of reliable, historical sources (Wikipedia) should convince you that I’m right.

(Unless you’re anti-science in which case, nothing will convince you.)

But if you need MORE evidence of no evidence…here it is.

“…actual documentation of his life is pitifully scarce: little more than several signatures, records of his marriage to Anne Hathaway and the birth of their children, a three-page will and some business papers unrelated to writing”

Case closed.

Shakespeare was invented by men in power to control the gullible masses.

The name ‘Shakespeare’ sent the sheep scurrying to buy theater tickets.

Nobody questioned where the sonnets came from.

They weren’t scientists!

They were simple, superstitious folks who blindly accepted whatever they were told.

Such rubes!

It’s embarrassing to call them ‘ancestors’.

The tragedy of Shakespeare’s hoax (see what I did there?) is that it grew.

It spread, like a virus across Europe first…

…then THE WORLD!

Today, Shakespeare has parades, festivals, and even HOLIDAYS in his name.

The Shakespeare brand rakes in truckloads of money.

The organizers of Renaissance Fairs prey on the mindless disciples of ‘The Bard’.

Swindling the dullards with empty promises.

Intellectual honesty demands that I speak up.

The lie ends here.

There is no William Shakespeare.

I’m sorry.

I know this destroys your high school Lit. class indoctrination.

But it’s important to know the truth.

And while we’re at it…

…Mark Twain wasn’t real either.

God Finds My Daughter (Again)

Here’s a testimony from one of my kids.

It’s a strange thing to read coming from her.

She’s very settled, rational, and sensible.

This testimony borders on insanity.

She doesn’t say stuff like, “God spoke to me” very often.

Neither do I.

It’s a dangerous thing to attribute our own thoughts to God.

It is incorrect to assume our suffering means God doesn’t care.

He has driven me and made me walk
In darkness and not in light.
Surely against me He has turned His hand
Repeatedly all the day.
 He has caused my flesh and my skin to waste away,
He has broken my bones.
 He has besieged and encompassed me with bitterness and hardship.
 In dark places He has made me dwell,
Like those who have long been dead.
 He has walled me in so that I cannot go out;
He has made my [a]chain heavy.
 Even when I cry out and call for help,
He shuts out my prayer.
 He has blocked my ways with hewn stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
 He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
Like a lion in secret places.
 He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces;
He has made me desolate.
 He bent His bow
And set me as a target for the arrow.
 He made the [b]arrows of His quiver
To enter into my [c]inward parts.
 I have become a laughingstock to all my people,
Their mocking song all the day.
 He has filled me with bitterness,
He has made me drunk with wormwood.
 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
He has made me cower in the dust.
My soul has been rejected from peace;
I have forgotten [d]happiness.
 So I say, “My strength has perished,
And so has my hope from the Lord.” – Lamentations 3

Talking Racism with A Big Black Guy

EPISODE – Mike Goodwin talks about racism with Peaches and me!
*Spoiler Alert*
Mike is a black guy.
Mike’s on the phone so we get some of the audio weirdness that makes this podcast so beloved. It’s the glitches that remind you we’re humans, and amateurs, Pkarlgh.
I’ve known Mike for quite awhile. We can’t remember exactly how long so we estimate.
I start by trying to pay Mike a compliment that is actually sort of an insult.
A few weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to do an uncontroversial show so I picked the subject of racism. I called Mike and he agreed to be on the podcast!
First, with much anxiety, I assume Mike is a black guy. It turns out, I’m right.
It seems black and African American used to be the same thing. Mike gives his perspective on people who ‘don’t see color’.
Perhaps we need a better definition of ‘black’ to get a conversation going. People maybe would rather be polite than accurate. And perhaps our attempt to avoid racism results in the most racist statements.
As the podcast continues and we discuss privilege, the military, Christianity, and comedy. (Eventually, the Peaches says stuff.)
Mike tells white people ‘what to do’. Finally, we have some directions!  He also has some excellent advice for people no matter what color they happen to be.
McGruff the Crime Dog had a different impact on Mike than he did on me. Grade school visits created conversations in his house that I never had.
(The phone rings and scare the daylights out of EVERYONE. Then, somebody starts and engine outside my house or a vacuum or something.  We need a soundproof studio but we’ll never have one.)
Some discussion of the Civil War happens next and we float some uncomfortable theories. I blame the Peaches for the awkwardness.
We may do a comedy show about racism. What should that look like?  Mike answers with sympathy for white guys…believe it or not.
Peaches asks me about pitfalls of the potential comedy show.  She links racism to feminism and the accusations that she is barefoot and pregnant all the time. (Barefoot not as much but she has been pregnant a lot…)
We decided that we probably won’t eliminate racism entirely. Probably…
Mike has a doctor appointment so we wrap up. Mike mentions that ‘Peaches’ is a stripper name. He’s not wrong but that’s not why I call her that.
Go see Mike’s website, Pkarl.  Be his fan too: http://www.comedianmikegoodwin.com/

Why Fundamentalists Should Fear Science

The greatest evil ever foisted on mankind is Untruth.

Falsehood never results in joy.

Falsehood always brings darkness, suffering, and death.

But not right away!

You tolerate untruth because it kills you slowly.

Lies are not lobotomies.

They’re a slow growing cancer that gradually turns your mind to mush.

Every day that you keep lies in your head…

…you get a little more stupid.

In my opinion, Fundamentalists are the stupidest people on Earth.

Fundamentalist is the term I used to describe someone who refuses to question their own beliefs.

Fundamentalists are immune to science, logic, and reason.

This recent conversation with a Fundamentalist will serve nicely as an example.

I asked for ‘clear Scientific Evidence’ that is contrary to scripture.

You gave me vague scripture references.

I cannot answer whether or not I would ‘believe the bible over science and evidence’ until you tell me what evidence you mean!

 

That is a faith statement.

I would be super-interested in seeing the scientific evidence that disproves the Genesis flood!

Yes! That is exactly the way the burden of proof works.

Sadly, your Fundamentalist’s brain thinks I’m the one who made a claim.

I’ve just asked for scientific evidence.

Here are some examples of claims:

Science disproves the flood.

Science disproves creation, resurrection from the dead, floating axe heads, and talking donkeys.

Stay with me now…this might be difficult to understand…

I can’t provide evidence for claims I haven’t made.

However, I’m a charitable chap so I’ll go ahead and offer a little science anyway.

And this is where we’ll leave the conversation.

If splitting headaches are your idea of fun, you can read the entire exchange here.

I want to close this post with a plea to my Christian brothers and sisters.

Do Not Be Fundamentalists!

Fundamentalism is untruth pretending to be knowledge.

Fundamentalism is an impregnable fortress of stubbornness.

When you spend all your time demanding that other people ‘prove you wrong’…

…be uneasy.

Wise people spend their time making sure they’re right.

When evidence indicates that you’re wrong…

…change your mind.