… And, Lo, the gullible will drag everyone else down with them to their below ground level

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NPR: After 6-Year Battle, Florida Couple Wins The Right To Plant Veggies In Front Yard

Holy shit, some people are assholes. Thank goodness these people won the legal battle to plant produce in their front yard. Jebus forbid!

Okra. Bell peppers. Cherry tomatoes. Jalapeños and squash.

Those are some of the vegetables that Hermine Ricketts and her husband, Tom Carroll, planted in front of their home in Miami Shores, Fla., on Monday.

That’s the day a Florida law went into effect that nullifies local bans on vegetable gardens at residential properties. It was one of those ordinances that had forced the couple to uproot a garden that Ricketts had tended for 17 years.

Ricketts had her vegetable garden in front of her home because that’s where the sun is, as NPR’s Greg Allen reported in 2013: “[H]er house faces south and her backyard is mostly in the shade. A retired architect, originally from Jamaica, Ricketts says she gardens for the food and for the peace it brings her.”

“This is a peach tree that I put in, and around it, I had kale, and in between the kales, I had some Chinese cabbage,” Ricketts said then. “And I also had Swiss chard, yellow Swiss chard.”

More: 

Racism runs rampant in today’s USA

In response to a concerned mother about her child not getting the best level of education, the high school principal wrote:

“Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened,” he wrote, according to email records obtained by The Palm Beach Post through a public records request. “And you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

He went on to say that as an educator he had “the role to be politically neutral but support all groups in the school.”

“I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event because I am not in a position to do so as a school district employee,” Latson wrote.

That response led the mother to launch a yearlong effort to address what she called a school leader’s failure to separate truth from myth regarding the genocide of an estimated 6 million Jews under Germany’s Nazi regime in the 1940s.

Principal regrets comments

She didn’t doubt that Latson knew the Holocaust was real, she said in an interview, but she feared his reluctance to say so stemmed from a desire to avoid confronting parents who deny the Holocaust’s reality.

I read somewhere that this principal wonders the same thing about whether slavery happened or not.

One question I have, is he religious (likelihood is probable) and if so, does he hold religion to the same level of scrutiny …

Questions. Always more questions.

Let’s raise some dead bodies! There are hoaxes a plenty.

The other day I posted about the rise in people claiming “no religion” in America. Reader perdebytjie commented about gullibility in South Africa and how pastors left and right are doing outrageous things to claim a magical superiority in order to gain followers. He  cited a few stories about pastors claiming to raise the dead, encouraging their congregations to eat grass to cure disease or to get closer to god, and even feeding them crazy things like dog meat and blood …

I think any religious person in America would agree that these pastors are grifters. They are false prophets. They are preying on the gullible, the weak, and the ignorant.

This is where talking about “those pastors” gets tricky. I remember these kinds of stories from as far back as I can remember. I remember being told that people who speak in tongues aren’t “real” believers. Or that TV pastors claiming to faith heal their congregants … those are false.

But that area is quickly grayed when believers of all ilk claim to have a direct line to the creator of the universe, who can somehow defy science and reality by issuing prayers in exchange for earlier healing, or respite from cancers or disease. I’ve been in many situations where someone asks to pray, calls out to God for early healing, and it’s viewed as completely fine. It’s not like those faith healers on TV. It’s different somehow. It’s “realer”. It’s more legit.

It can’t be questioned. It can’t be scrutinized. And if you doubt it, one would be asked to be quiet. Or expected to remain quiet.

I remember being told clearly that healing from God is not magic. Magic is reserved for trickery. Magic is reserved for something that’s not real. But what happens when a person is mysteriously cured of something, that’s providential. It’s supernatural. If it cannot be directly explained, it must be a power invisible to the natural world.

It’s like being told what’s written in a report without reading the actual report. It’s like thinking something is completely true, because, say, a book makes a claim that it was written by an eye witness, but you never met the eye witness or cannot verity the veracity of that claim … yet one would believe the eye witness claim without question.

These topics are difficult to approach. Because most people are skeptical enough of almost everything, except when it comes to their own deeply held beliefs. Then it’s full-on belief train and there’s no inkling of skeptical prowess.

Here are a few links to more of what perdebytjie is talking about: here. here. here.

Thanks for reading. I know there aren’t too many readers right now, but drop a link in the comments for your favorite hoax-y, miracle, bullshit-y articles … would love to read them.

 

Breaking with my Nazi past

I often joke that I grew up at Krispie Kreme, a donut shop that originated out of North Carolina and gained national popularity in the 2000s. My parents took us to KK almost every day after school. They loved a cup of coffee and something sweet, I think. It was something to do. Something to break up the day.  A place to meet others. A place to gossip and share stories.

Like the TV show cheers, when we walked in to KK, the whole place would call out to my dad or mom. We knew the staff and almost everyone who frequented there.

It was also a social thing for them. My folks never went to bars that I know of. And at the time, they didn’t smoke cigarettes. But the seating at this KK was circular bar stools anchored to the ground right up against a counter and almost everyone in North Carolina smoked. It was the Paris of its day.

My dad loved going to KK every day for a cup of coffee or two to talk politics, local and world events. When we left KK, we wreaked of cigarette smoke and deep fried glaze.

I joke with Tina that after every cavity I ever had filled at the dentist, my mom made sure to stop by KK afterwards for a cup of coffee. My siblings and I would get two donuts a piece. My donut of choice was chocolate glazed.

Inadvertently, I invested a lot of time into bellying up to the counter at Krispie Kreme Donuts.

You can imagine my surprise today when I read a story from Slate.com revealing that the family that owns KK, as well as Panara Bread, Caribou Coffee & Pret a Manger, recently discovered that its owners family supported Adolf Hitler and extensively used forced labor.

One of Germany’s richest families is coming to terms with a disturbing past. The family that owns a controlling stake in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Panera Bread, among others, will donate $11 million to charity after learning that their ancestors were staunch supporters of Adolf Hitler and extensively used force labor.

The family announced its planned charitable donation after Bild newspaper published a report showing how Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers during World War II. The Reimann family, which has an estimated wealth of 33 billion euros, or $37 billion, did not dispute the findings of the newspaper’s report. “It is all correct,” spokesman Peter Harf, told the newspaper. “Reimann senior and Reimann junior were guilty … they belonged in jail.”

I must admit. I always got a bad feeling when I left KK. At the time, I thought it was only the stomach ache from stomaching two chocolate glazed donuts every day of my childhood.

But this makes so much more sense. My Nazi-o-meter was trying to tell me that our hard-earned money was supporting a family responsible for destroying so many Jews, as well as so many families and people that the Nazis deemed inferior.

But the family is trying to make good by donating a whole $11,000,000 to an undisclosed charity. Donating $11M — when the family is worth $37 billion — is like finding change in the crevices of your couch and putting into the cup of a guy begging in front of a Dunkin’ Donuts.

And look, Panara Bread is also under this company’s umbrella. So now I understand why I don’t feel well spending my money there either.

We’ll probably find out that the Reimann’s donated their $11M to a company called RWSDT, also known as … Russians Who Support Donald Trump.

That time you lifted up your MAGA hat and forgot you weren’t wearing your toupee …

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Quoth he:

“Maybe they don’t like my hair — which is real, by the way. Look at that,” he said at a campaign event in June 2015, running his hands through his locks. He then motioned a woman onto the stage, asking her: “Is that sucker real?”

She touched his hairline and said: “It’s thin, but it’s real.”

In August 2015, he invited a woman in the crowd at one of his events to yank on his hair.

“I don’t wear a toupee — it’s my hair,” he said.

Family-owned Arkansas Grocery Store Ad: “Heaven Has A Wall”

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ABC Affiliate reports:

CAMDEN, Ark. (KARK) –  A family-owned Christian grocery store with several locations in Southeast Arkansas is dealing with backlash as customers argue a weekly ad mailer included a controversial political message.

The ad book was sent to four Mac’s Cashsaver stores in Arkansas. According to the store, the mailer typically includes a religious or political message. The current mailer includes a message that references the U.S./Mexico border wall controversy. It reads, ‘Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy. Hell has open borders. Let that sink in.

Those words aren’t sitting well with some customers.

Wall or a gate or whatever. Keep those illegals out of heaven! Not one dirty human who commits a thought crime gets in! Send those humans, those nasty dirty assholes to the open borderland of HELL.

The bar is set so low. It makes more sense to step over.