creepy Chris Matthews creeping it up

I couldn’t make it to the end of this video. I was that creeped out.

Only in the richest country on earth

From Vice:

At 29, Brown works approximately 40 hours a week, splitting her time between a McDonald’s in Durham, North Carolina, and a food-service gig a local hospital. “It’s still not enough,” she said. Both jobs are part-time, and she doesn’t receive health insurance through either employer. She can’t afford insurance on her own, either. That’s a problem since Brown is diabetic, and she has to pay for her medical expenses out of pocket. She’s trying to do all she can on her own—she receives no food stamps or other assistance, she notes—but it rarely feels like she’s doing enough.

“It’s really rough right now,” she said.

Read the whole piece.

… 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.