Oliver North (former NRA president) blames recent mass shootings on “driving God out of our culture”

This won’t be the only time we hear the argument that “driving god out of our culture” is the reason for gun violence as awful as what we saw in Uvalde, Tx.

Yet this very argument is what drives the argument for God further and further from validity.

The argument that’s used to define God is that he’s everywhere all the time. And if he’s not praised by human lips, the mountains will praise him. God/Jesus himself made this very declaration.

So if he’s everywhere all the time and something somewhere is giving him praise, he shouldn’t be so insecure as to stand with arms crossed in a classroom in Uvalde Texas while 19 children are filled with bullets and bleed all over their best friends.

Every time a 2nd Amendment “Christian” makes this argument for “we need more God in our culture” is taking his/her/their argument and flushing it down the toilet.

We get it. Some people want more God in culture. And the calls for more God trump all other calls, because the dude who’s not there, who is all powerful and all knowing and all loving and supreme justice and created the ENTIRE universe needs more attention or he’ll keep America wailing, because we deserve violence against children … so He can finally get the praise he deserves.

Sounds so good I might convert back to the flock.


This newsletter has a section on how social media distorts reality. I would submit that — what’s more — a person’s media diet also distorts reality when that diet is engorged with the same sources hourly/daily.

That diet is also sourced by environment, of which, I am not immune.

But social media is actively destroying relationships and bonds that otherwise would not be dissolved.

I’ve deleted all social media apps from my phone, which basically helps me consume them less. I’ve also turned to creative newsletters from people who don’t concentrate all their efforts on one topic, but many topics with varieties of sources. This formula is how I like to find recipes for meals, and how I determine what I will cook.

Limiting my time on social media has freed up my mind and body for working out, reading more, and watching a variety of films that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, because I was too triggered by algorithmic emotional responses.

Here are some standouts from the list of eight:

  • The Information Flooding Distortion 🤯 happens as algorithms and bots flood or curate the information users see based on their likelihood to engage with it, resulting in users believing that what is popular (e.g., hashtags, comments, trends) is public consensus, when in fact it can also be manipulated distortion.
  • The Moral Outrage Distortion 😱 occurs when engagement-maximizing algorithms amplify emotionally charged, moralizing content. This results in polarization, mischaracterizations of “the other side,” and the perception of more moral outrage around us than there really is.
  • The Anti-Journalism Distortion 🚫 is created as social media platforms force reputable news organizations to compete in an environment that rewards clickbait headlines and polarizing rhetoric resulting in less thoughtful, less nuanced reporting.

oh how times have changed

Back in my day, I could walk in a store with $25 USD and walk out with 6 porterhouse steaks, 2 chickens, a case of beer, 5 bottles of wine, 2 loaves of bread and a gallon of milk. Can’t do that today. Too many fucking cameras.

Thought-terminating clichés

A while back, I saw the above screen capture of a tweet, and saved it to my desktop. It resonated with me in a deep way. It reads:

I learned yesterday that there’s a term for phrases like, “It is what is is,” and “It’s in God’s hands,” “YOLO,” etc–things meant to short-circuit cognitive dissonance & end discussion. They’re called “Thought-Terminating Clichés” and I haven’t stoped thinking about that phrase since.

Throughout the time it took me to deconstruct from religion, I sincerely tried to talk to people who were older, wizened and were supposed to have answers to my questions. They’re the ones who spent decades reading and researching Christianity, listening to all the arguments to counter atheism/disbelief and to validate their stances.

But no person of faith, no matter what the status of divinity school pastor to enthusiast could defend my questions with answers, just these thought-terminating clichés. You can read more about them here.

Continue reading “Thought-terminating clichés”

a quote, repeated

“Let yourself really fail once in a while – not some tiny little mistakes here and there, but big, glaring, confidence-shaking, dark-night-of-the-soul-inducing failures. Understand that no one simply coasts from achievement to achievement. The most accomplished people in the world fail and fail big. That’s how they learn so much, grow so quickly, and become so interesting and wise.”

– Michelle Obama

Sixteen year old Elif Bilgin turned banana peels into a bioplastic

After two years of research, experiments, and failed trials, 16-year-old Elif Bilgin developed a new process for turning banana peels into a non-decaying bioplastic, a more eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based plastics. 

Of the process, she jokes, “but hey, even Thomas Edison said, ‘I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’”

In this Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation video, host Mo Rocca talks with Bilgin about her project. She also explains the concept in the presentation video below:

“The reason why I anticipated that the banana peel could be used in the production of plastic is that it contains starch which is the key ingredient in the production of bioplastic.”