Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Nobody was paying attention....

 Last week, my mother moved from her two-story home into a supported living facility - much smaller digs - and the excavation was initiated. Somehow, she has managed to acquire enough stuff for four families, despite being very elderly and a widow....

Among all this stuff, surprisingly, is a small archive of my report cards from a couple grades of elementary school, two from junior high school and one year of high school.

It was riveting and heart-wrenching to read the comments on those reports - all hand-written, dating back as far as 1966.

Our home life was, shall we say, disturbed. My parents fought - not regularly, but spectacularly - and finally separated when I was maybe five, which is the year I started kindergarten. Their relationship was acrimonious. Actually, not "their;" her relationship with him. Brutal. As it was the 60s, we, my younger sister and I, stayed with our mother. My mother has the most spectacular case of narcissism I've ever met, although I didn't know that until maybe 10 years ago. Such affected people do not great parents make....

I read those hand-written comments with a shifting mix of chagrin, anger, embarrassment, and wonder. In all those years, did not one single person - teacher, librarian, principal - ever wonder what was going on? It was the 60s/70s and people didn't meddle back then - certainly not teachers; they had enough on their plates between planning lessons, working five days a week and doing everything by hand, so probably paying attention to the more personal aspects of their students' lives was too far outside their area of attention. I understand that. But.

See, I grew up in total, daily chaos. My mother was always angry about something, angry at me, angry at what I was wearing, how my hair was, who my friends were, how I spoke and acted... you name it, she found something in it to be angry about. I was, until five years ago, her scapegoat. I think I still am, but I am out of contact now, so whatever she might say about me, I don't hear.

When I was in second grade, the bulk of the comments on my report cards were that I was distracted, occasionally confrontational, not doing well, rushed, missing fundamentals. At home? M mother would pick a fight with me every morning. For a period of a month (I was little; could have been a week, could have been three months; it was fucking terrifying, however long) and then threaten to send me to boarding school.

So yeah, I was distracted, because I was terrified of what might be happening - what my mother might be doing or calling or planning during the day, or what might happen when I came home after school. It wasn't a maybe; it was a for-sure. If the what-might-happen was relative peace, it was a rarity that was proof of the rule, and the calm before a certain storm later, or the next day, or....

By the time I was in fifth grade, her terror campaign was well founded and deeply rooted. My mother reminded me on a regular basis she had people watching me and reporting back to her about what I was up to during the day. Can you imagine what it's like to be an eleven-year-old child who is convinced she's being watched all day, every day??? Like, who do you trust?!

During all this chaos my mother remarried. He was excellent. Really. We'd known him since we were born so he wasn't a stranger at all. He married my mother (the sunday school teacher) because, despite her outwardly puritanical, judgemental views on sex and relationships, they were screwing around and she became pregnant. If you're the puritanical, once-divorced sunday school teacher in a baptist church, in the 70s, you must, at all costs, keep up the appearances....

The upside was he was a great dad and we got a little sister out of it. The downside is we got a little sister out of it and I went from being my mother's constant target to being that, and the scapegoat for ANYTHING she didn't like - my sister's teenage behaviour, and anything that our new baby sister did that my mother didn't like. Apparently, I was going around behind her back "teaching them to misbehave." That accusation continued up to about 10 years ago... the 'baby' was 45 years old by then....

When I was in junior high, I was bullied. Endlessly. One guy put his foot in my back and pushed me down a flight of stairs. Later, he took to following me home. In eighth grade, my so-called best friend decided she was furious at me because I'd made one other friend, so she chased me home... with a stick. Then she never spoke to me again.  One day couple of girls, twins, waited for me outside the school, the back side, in a corner not visible to the street or windows, threatened me, pushed me off my moving bike, attempted to steal my bike. In home Ec. class, someone stole my bra while I was trying on a dress I'd made in that class. An hour later, I was horrified to see the boys kicking my bra down the hallway.  A boy in several of my classes took any opportunity he could to harass me. One day he decided he hated me and, right outside our science class, he pulled a huge clump of hair out of my head - hurt so much. I wacked him with my binder - and was hauled into the office and chastised for the "friends" I kept. A few months later, he slapped me across the face in full view of an auditorium of kids.... I was ridiculed for my hair, my size, my build. You name it, it was up for target practice. At any point did any teacher or parent step in? Nope.

My mother, of course, was carrying on as "normal" which meant I was never sure what would be on the other side of the front door when I came home after school, but it was never good. Once, when I was 13, it was really, really bad: she was in a fury over how I was doing the dishes - criticizing absolutely everything to the point I began screaming at her to leave alone (this kind of harassment was the usual - almost any time she screamed us into cleaning up, she'd also spend the entire time screaming it wasn't good enough).

That's when she picked up a knife - a 12-inch long, bone-handled, serrated knife she had beside the stove (which, by the way, she still uses, 40 years later). She was terrifying anyway, but armed? Holy shit ... so I raced out of the kitchen, up the stairs into the bathroom and locked the door. She kicked the door in and held that knife to my face - in our second-floor bathroom with one of those 60s-style wide, narrow windows high up in the wall. You don't know terror until you're pinned against a wall with your crazy-ass mother shaking a knife to your face and threatening you and there's no escape.

So yeah, my schooling suffered. I was angry. I was scared. I daydreamed. I escaped into a book or up into my head. I looked for any possible means of escape - which, for the record, did not include drugs or alcohol.

Not a single teacher ever asked if I was ok. Not one. In twelve years of school, how many teachers does one have? 60? I know some of this had to do with the era - people didn't meddle and given divorce was such a horrifying event still - common enough but still considered a morally-contentious choice.

Hilariously/sadly/confusingly, my mother used to write comments back to the teachers on those report cards - it was always their fault I wasn't doing well, and true to her character, she was an exemplary parent, and had expectations for everyone's behaviour. As she'd been a teacher herself, she was bizarrely judgmental, and her imperiousness was more pronounced.

In fifth and sixth grades, I volunteered as a library page in my school. I LOVED that job. The school was always quiet - mornings, 7:30 to 8:30 or so and sometimes after school. It was safe, and provided a legit means of being out of the house. And I really liked the librarian, Mrs. Woods. Like, a LOT. She always had a smile on. She was nice.

Even that bubble was burst, though. When I was 28 years old, I was out for groceries with my two babies - I think I was probably pregnant with my third at the time - and ran into Mrs. Woods. I was really happy to see her. During the conversation, I made the fatal mistake (being a stay-at-home mom at the time and it being the late 80s and being that mothering wasn't necessarily considered a job), of replying "not much" to her question of "What are you doing these days." Her reply was, "Well, you always were a bit lazy."  I was DEVASTATED. I wasn't, and I'm not now, lazy; I was an eleven-year-old child with a chaotic, scary home life turning up almost every morning for two school years to shelve books, to get some peace and stability.

I till struggle day-to-day with feeling like I belong, like I have the right to belong, with feeling like I'm not contributing to anything, like I'm failing, like random shit that happens is my fault, like with bad things wouldn't happen if I weren't around, with living.


There was an "into traffic" incident about two years ago - the second, the first being the result of agreeing to go to counselling with my sister, who spent an hour of a two-hour session with her finger in my face, screaming at me. The first "into traffic" indicent scared me a LOT and took two weeks to come down from. The second was even worse. I was driving alone on the highway and struggled for the entire 90 minutes to not drive across the centre line. Semi-trucks are big. The driver is up high. It would be a bump for them. That's where I was in my head for and hour and a half....

My family members don't think I hear their whispers of "well, you know how she is." They don't know how devastating their petty little comments are. They don't acknowledge their actions and they don't understand they scapegoat me, or, if they do, they're somehow justifying such lifelong abuse.

My sister continues to scapegoat me - this month of moving my mother gave her the opportunity to unload her resentment on me - and to be fair, this time she copped to it; she called me to tell me how resentful she is (except she ignores she chose the situation she's in, and that I had zero input into it), so at least there's that - but yet again, after her having unleashed on me, demanding money from me, but refusing to let me understand what she, or my mother actually need, we're back to radio silence and, "Well, you know how she is."

No, you don't know how "she" is, because you don't give a real fuck.

It took me years and years and years, not a little therapy, and total non-contact to get to a place of reasonably good functioning, but there are still moments or interactions that throw me into chaos.

But at least now I have all these report cards spelling out all my faults and failings - why would I be surprised my mother kept them -  that will reinforce just how separate I am from the family and how invisible I was at school, and how important it is for my family members to maintain me as the scapegoat.

Friday, May 05, 2017

The dogs of hell. #unleashed

.... you narcissistic, conceited, self-centred old boot! In almost 80 years what have you done? What have you contributed besides three girls who never had a mother but who suffered through your endless, ridiculous fits and tantrums; who lost their fathers - yes, two of them - due to your fucked up world view; whose childhoods..... never mind: what childhoods?

And now that you've achieved (yet again on the backs of others, having done little to contribute and nothing to deserve) living quarters in a place you can show off from, you're still making every one's life a living fucking hell! Are you never ever satisfied? And for the record; nobody cares a damn about where you live, how big 'your' house is, how 'expensive all these horses are' or about your 'rich clients.' Nothing. Not one bit do we care about any of that. Nobody does. Only you. And no, none of that has anything to do with you. You're still a fucked up, mean, old woman.

You're stupid beyond comprehension to believe that any of that has anything to do with you or any reflection on you. You are nothing to anyone beyond being the crazy, bitch of an old lady who lives in that house. Yeah, the house that most people have begun avoiding just to stay away from you.

Here's the truth you old bitch. You are a joke. Full on. There's barely a soul whose spent more than a day with you who doesn't know you're as fake as a wooden nickel and measurably less useful. There isn't a soul who doesn't know you're a poser and a liar and a conceited idiot.

Are you three years old? Are you still that spoiled bratty little kid? Fuck! Grow up already! Isn't it time you made some steps toward being a human rather than the most disgusting, painful, stinking putrid boil on all our asses? Is this your legacy? You're going to go down in history as one of the most despised people there ever was?

What did you ever do for anyone?

Your kids? You spent years and years and years poisoning them against others - their dad! Their grandparents; their aunts and uncles; their cousins and even them against themselves, and you spent years poisoning others against them! Who does that to their own children? You could write a book on how to abuse, isolate and ruin a child.

We never learned to love. Oh sure, we heard all about it - you stuffed your stupid false pack of religious lies down out throats hard enough to choke the life and spirit out of us but we never saw anything even remotely close to 'love' from you. You have always been to busy making everything, every event about you. You are the 100% pur laine version of a narcissistic asshole.

You taught us how to never trust, never believe -even in ourselves: oh never mind; you never gave us any reason there was anything about us to believe in. We were the shite that trailed about your house making a wreck of your life. Yeah. Forgot.

Everything's about you. Everything that goes 'wrong' is about you; everything that anyone does is to 'make you look bad.' Let me tell you this: you do a fine, fine job all by yourself; you have not for one second needed anyone else to make you look bad.

And now you've resorted to 11 p.m. temper tantrums forcing your daughter, who's been working 6 a.m to 11 p.m. for weeks, to come chasing after you so you don't get your idiotic ass killed on the highway because you're such a fucking attention-seeking baby! And then you take two or three hours of another daughter's time having yet another poor-me tantrum? Fuck you. You know why they didn't call me??? Because I will tell you the truth.

You're the worst of the worst. We put up with you. Tolerate. That is it. We do NOT like you and there's no way we've even thought about loving you. You're less lovable than a ton of squashed maggots.

Here's the reality that you choose to blind yourself to.
You've been married to TWO pretty decent, hard-working men, both of whom provided everything for you and your children. You haven't worked a full day since something like the spring of 1961. Busy work does not count and neither does the copious time you've spend meddling in other people's lives and trash bins! What the hell is up with that!?

You have three children who are all blessed with great minds and health and strength but whose spirits you stomped and killed over and over again because you are incapable of tolerating anything you perceive as competition, even from a two year old baby.

You have lived in a wonderful home - that someone else paid for; you now live in another wonderful home - that someone else is paying for; yet, you have never been happy because neither home has been big enough or rich enough for full of enough costly things THINGS! that you could show off, as if those THINGS somehow make you a decent person in any respect.

You have an excellent education that you've squandered.

You've had friends, all of whom you've alienated at best and many of whom you've caused to hate you, despise you, distrust you and laugh at you.

The one thing that saves me from hating you entirely is that I'm sure you know, somewhere in your fucked up, denial-bound mind that you've created this hell and now you have to maintain it. Anything else would require you to be honest to yourself and about yourself and you are far too self-centred and false to even consider that option, so hell for all concerned it is.

I'm sure you wish, as much as I do, that you were dead. That is the one thing that saves you and - you can take some of your weird brand of comfort in this - keeps us bound in the hell you seems so determined to keep burning.

Dear LGBTQ....

Dear Non-binary people;

I get it. You struggle: for recognition; for equality; for safety; for compassion; for acceptance. I get it, and I know it has been, and will continue to be for some time yet, probably, difficult and frustrating.

I also get it you hate labels. You don't want to be different, outsiders, unacceptable, sinners, disgusting... labels suck. You're human.

So when you create new terms - labels - for me, in your terminology CIS-gendered, you apply the same de-humanising tactics you're desperate to stop. Because I'm also human. That I don't occupy any of the letters of LGBTQ does not render me weird or lesser.

I get it; you don't want to be marginalized

Labels blow. For everyone. The only viable label is HUMAN.
or invisible, but creating labels for people whose lifestyles, genders, genitals, orientations you don't like, understand or live, doesn't make your struggle easier.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Street Preacher's dilemma: Claims evidence, but is pissed off when asked to show it....

UPDATE:Frustratingly, the person with whom I had this conversation never replied to these questions, became very upset to the point of hostility and blocked further communication.

Prior to running off to hide from questions he was unwilling or incapable of answering (mostly because I think he was pretty uncomfortable with the answers he might have had to come up with), he did say I had been pretty convincing and were he looking to leave religion, he'd have to consider this stuff. I asked him exactly what he would be incapable of doing, with respect to the street people he works with, if he had no religion at all: he did reply "Nothing," but qualified it all with stuff I no longer have access too.... bummer.

Also unfortunately, and this is my error, because he blocked me, the rest of the conversation is no longer visible. I'm annoyed by that, as I'm quoting him without evidence here. Not fully kosher.

He continues to work as a street preacher - part of a group that is vocally anti-human with respect to LGBT people, and implicated in several legal proceedings in this city, as a result of his group entering City Hall in a manner City Hall found threatening, and which caused City Hall to be evacuated and locked down more than 30 times.

Also, I'm sorry to report, this guy has doubled down and become even more entrenched. His Facebook is (sorry, mean) laughable. His group has engaged in such stupid tactics including engaging one of their more stupid members, a bus driver, to refuse to drive a bus with ads from the LGBT community on the outside, as it somehow removed his freedom of religion (it does not in any way, and he didn't have any issues driving buses with ads for birth control, or bars that use blatantly sexual means to advertise)... so dumb.. and then that pawn tried to run for mayor. I think he had about 60 votes, all from his church pals. Idiotic.

Anyway, if you are a religious person, and you're interested in answering those questions below, I'd be super fascinated to have your answers.


  • Hey ME, I replied to your comment on the 'march for Jesus' post. I hope we can have a chat as I have gone down many roads in my research, including the 'Jesus is copied from other Gods' theories, you may not be aware that even secular historians have debunked those theories and yet they still float around. Anyway I would love to chat with you on these subjects and more. I love skeptics. FYI I'm not a church going Christian, and we would probably agree on our opinions of that lot.
  • Today
  • 1. HOW do you know your god is the right god and the only real god, when there are more than 4000 suggested by humans.

    1a. Please apply your answer to the question above to Shiva. 1b. Please tell me exactly what evidence you have for your god and how it CANNOT be used as evidence for any other god.

    2. Please explain how your bible, which contains more than 400 contradictions and more than 1000 falsehoods, historical inaccuracies and completely impossible stories, is evidence.
    3. Please discuss the facts of DNA and specifically mDNA in that those decisively, absolutely prove Adam and Eve never existed and the fact science shows absolutely and conclusively there was NEVER a point in human history where there were only two humans.
    3a. Given DNA conclusively, absolutely proves the Adam/Eve story to be impossible, original sin is not real. As such, there is no reason for the later blood sacrifice. 3b. Given there is no original sin, explain why your "god" who is "perfect" and "all knowing" screwed up so badly it decided to kill everything and everyone.
    4. There is no evidence for "Mary." The "virgin" story is impossible for two reasons: IF she was inseminated by a "sprit" or "god" or "angel" and those "beings" are not human, they cannot have human genes or DNA: therefore, "Mary" could NOT have produced a male child; no human DNA/genes, no Y chromosome, no male.
    4b. If your "Mary" existed and had a male child, the father of that child was decidedly male; therefore not a god, unless you're going to invoke magic or you're going to give your "spirit" or "angel" human genes, which again falsifies your story.
    5. Given the many, many excellent schools of archaeology in the world, and particularly in the middle east, where there is very much a will to find evidence of various religions (specifically, christianity and islam), with respect to the story of the wandering jews, there is absolutely NO evidence whatsoever there were people in taht very small are of land, wandering about for 40 years: no bones of the animals they would have had to eat; no evidence of any settling - pots, cooking fires, animal bones; no evidence of members of their group dying- and there MUST have been deaths. WHY is there no evidence? Given the size of the area these people were alleged to have wandered, explain how they managed to avoid contact with other humans?
    6. Given there is utterly no evidence at all, and definitively so, how do you explain the population of the earth TWICE via incest, first via two people who cannot have existed and second via a family of very, very elderly people.
    6b. Given Noah was 600 years old and his wife and children were also very elderly, and given none of them had any experience ship building and given Noah was an uneducated farmer, explain these items:
    • How did Noah build such a vessel?
    • How did Noah know about kangaroos, iguanas, koalas, komodo dragons?
    • How did he acquire these animals? 
    • How did he know how to feed them? 
    • How many animals above the estimated 14,000 (low estimate) did Noah ALSO have to load on that boat in order to feed the carnivores? 
    • How much food did he have to load to feed the animals generally? 
    • How did Noah get the Kangaroos back to where they came from, when there would have been no food for them along the way?   
    6c. How big is a cubit? There are two measurements in the bible; either your wooden boat was 2/3rds the size of the Titanic or it was 18 miles long. 
    6d. Given two years ago, a team of experience ship-building engineers built a wooden boat of the approximate (smaller) size of said arc, but with all their skill and experience could not keep the boat afloat longer than a week, how exactly did your 600 year-old man and his ancient family keep their boat afloat whilst feeding all those animals, dealing with the daily tons of excrement and keeping the animals from killing each other.
    7. You have made a presumption here, being I am unschooled in the christian faith. That is your fatal error. I am a member of a family wherein there are pastors in this generation (five) and in EVERY ONE of the last ten generations. I grew up in an evangelical church and was a believer until I was 35, at which point I began asking questions about the many, many inconsistencies, errors and falsehoods presented by members of my faith group.
    I am VERY interested in your ANSWERS here.
    I am NOT interested in any comments to the effect I "hate god," am "rejecting god," am uneducated about christian theory.
    I am interested in answers specifically addressing these questions.
    Also, as you have mentioned the march for "christ," may I ask you to:
    • point out specifically the verse in the bible that specifically says "one man, one woman," and please be specific too about where what you find decisively overturns the many, many other verses in the bible speaking to multiple marriage, force marriage, marriage by rape, marriage and concubines... SPECIFICALLY, where in your bible does your "god" say one man, one woman.

    • Also, please will you point out the verses in the bible that SPECIFICALLY say slavery is wrong. Please quote chapter and verse where your god or your "jesus" specifically say - before, when we said where to get slaves and how to treat them, we're rescinding that now.
    As I said, I am expecting SPECIFIC answers to these questions. Except for where I've asked for specific bible verses, you may NOT use the bible of evidence or proof of your premise: you must support your premise by extra-biblical sources. AIG does NOT count, as it is absolutely refuted and does not use extra-biblical resources.

    You may not use William Lane Craig, as he is also endlessly refuted; you may certainly not quote Ken Ham, as he is demonstrably ridiculous; you may not use "The case for Christ" which is also definitively debunked and its author exposed as a plagiarist - as a journalist and since then.
    I await your evidence. If you have it, and it is viable, I will share it and you will win a Nobel prize.
  • Oh, and you also may not call me names for having asked you to substantiate your various premises.

  • Oh... and I'm going to post the entirety of your answers, OK? I'll delete any reference to either of us, to protect your identity.

    I'm assuming you're going t
  • Oh, and please do not insult me by saying "you won't accept any evidence I present."

    If it is viable, substantiated evidence, absolutely I will accept it.

    MR: Why so hostile? I have been polite and friendly towards you. {"Hostile" is a commonly-used slag by christians when they're on the spot (and other religious types, to be fair), and when they're confronted with questions they either can't answer, haven't thought about, or have thought about and don't like what they've discovered. In 99.9% of these exchanges, the christian will resort to diversions - you're hostile, you hate god, why are you so angry, you must have been hurt, etc. etc., rather than answering any question. This, of course, renders them false. Either their religion is true and there are concrete answers, or it isn't and they don't}
  • Anyway, I guess you are angry at us crazy Christians LOL.
    (No, absolutely not. I just asked a series of questions. Unfortunate christians seem to interpret "defend your faith" as "you're angry at us.")Funny thing is I bet that we would agree on many of your dislikes of Christians, (I don't dislike christians; I dislike it when they do everything they can to avoid answering questions). I don't like most of them either. You probably steriotype (sic) us as all the same but there is a vast difference between the church crowd and my tiny crowd who go out and demonstrate the power of God. Nobody can prove God anymore (sic) than can prove life forming from non life without an external cause.....

    ME: Please quote me directly where I say "I dislike christians."
    Please identify what you see as "hostile."
    So you state here "nobody can prove god." On what grounds do you believe in your unprovable being?

    MR: Since contacting you before, I have decided not to engage in these conversations anymore. (Huge surprise. So much for "Anyway I would love to chat with you on these subjects and more.")

    Don't you agree it's pointless? We just disagree. You see we will never agree because our foundations for viewing the world are so different. You (appear) to live by a 'fact' based, 'if you cant prove it, it does not exist' worldview (sic), and I live from a spiritual worldview. I suspect you are not willing to consider anything that exists outside of this physical dimension, so our conversation will be biased towards your ground rules which you have already outlined. The main reason I dont (sic) engage in these conversations anymore is because I have dedicated myself to helping others.

    I currently (sic) spending all my spare time helping people who are deeply depressed and in bad addictions. There is such a need for these people as they are everywhere. I used to have the same problem for 30 years but I was instantly set free in a supernatural way, never to return to those addictions. I have seen others instantly set free as well. So as you can imagine, suffering for 30 years in ways I will spare you, to having and instant, supernatural experience that took all that away, gives me a lot of belief in those sorts of things. I am thumb typing this on my phone at work, so forgive any bad spelling.
  • ME: As you have already diverted this conversation away from my questions, I will take it you have no intention of attempting answers.

    MR: See above, you are displaying hostility now (nope. Asking him to clarify his intentions, as he opened with "Anyway I would love to chat with you on these subjects and more.")
  • ME: Are you not confident in your beliefs enough to discuss them with respect to the questions I've asked you? Again, you're diverting. I invite you to take this opportunity to answer my questions above.
  • MR: You get to set the ground rules for the grid we work within? 

    ME: As I noted above, Mark, I asked you not to insult me by suggesting nothing you can present will be acceptable, yet in your note above, you write, "I suspect you are not willing to consider anything that exists outside of this physical dimension, so our conversation will be biased towards your ground rules which you have already outlined."

    Yes, evidence matters. On what grounds do you "believe" what you say you believe?
  • You're welcome to set the ground rules, as long as they don't include, "just believe it because if you don't, you're going to hell."
    How do you establish if anything exists outside the physical dimension?
  • MR: You see, you are steriotyping me with churchians (sic, sic) (avoid avoid avoid....)
  • ME: Please identify where I stereotyped you?
    I've asked you several questions and am looking forward to your answers. I have invited you to set the ground rules I have stated I will accept any viable evidence you present.
    How have you established if there is anything outside the physical dimension and what it is?
  • MR: Listen, I'm at work right now, I cannot give this my full attention. I will try to speak to you this evening. I am thumb typing on my phone. I am not like the Christians you have met, I guarantee you 100%. I don't even really like that term as by it's very nature it steriotypes (sic) and pigion (sic) holes. Like if I keep referring to you as an athiest. (avoid, avoid, avoid, divert)
  • ME: I am very interested to know your answers. These are fair questions put to you based on what you have written here.
    You are more than welcome to refer to me as atheist, humanist, secular, because those are true and apt.
    Well, Mark, so far, so good. #predictable
  • MR: See above. I will try, but how can you prove that, I have no idea but to demonstrate it. Come with us next time we go to the streets to heal people. But even then, it can be easily dismissed as placebo, mind over matter etc.
  • ME: Please Mark, will you start at the beginning and review the questions above. I am very interested in your answers to those questions.
  • What is your evidence for "healing?" Are you suggesting people who are literally sick come away from your events cured? 
    How have you established they were sick in the first place? 
    What testing did you perform to establish if they were sick and with what?
    What testing did you perform to establish they were no longer sick?
  • MR: I dont have events. I approach people on the street. I see people with injuries and ask to pray for them.
  • ME: Can you tell me please: if you had been born in Iran, are you sure you would be christian?

    • Is your family christian?
    • Would you describe Canada as a predominantly judeo-christian culture?
    • That was not my question: how do you establish they are ill?
    • How do you establish they are no longer ill following whatever intervention? 
    • And you have evidence these injuries disappear?
  • MR: My family are athiests. I was raised to believe in evolution.
  • ME: I'm going to stop proposing questions now. I invite you to review all the questions here and to answer them. I am very interested in your answers and I will say this again: anything you propose that is verified and substantiated, I will absolutely accept. Any evidence or proof you have, anything you can substantiate, I will absolutely accept. 

    MR: The only evidence I have is the reaction I get. OK, I have to stop now. Got to work. Gonna get fired LOL. I will do my best later
  • ME: Just as a point of order, religion and evolution are two different subjects...
  • MR: Disagree STRONGLY LOL
  • ME: Please print this conversation and please, please respond to each question. I am very interested in your answers, your evidence and your substantiation.
    Regardless, they are two different subjects. There is overwhelming evidence for one and none for the other.
  • MR: Although before I disagree, I need to know which evolution you refer to (Darwinian, macro et)
  • ME: Let us deal with the set of questions I've asked you.

    I am very, very interested in your answers, so please, I invite you to take this opportunity to address those questions.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

GMO debate

It is not at all uncommon for me to kick the proverbial hornet's nest on this subject.

As I note in this conversation, I have a good friend, Dr. Cami Ryan, who is an expert in this field, and contact with another person, the public affairs officer for Monsanto, who is Cami's friend, who advised me on a bunch of these issues.

The short form is this:
GMOs are common, ubiquitous and SAFE, and consumed by humans and livestock for more than 70 years.
Glyphosate is an effective, low-risk, fast-dispersing herbicide that has been in use for more than 60 years.

These things are facts, supported by science and frankly indisputable, but disputed they are.

Here's today's convo:

There are so many ways I've lost respect for this guy in the last decade, from the middlingly awful music they've been making for years, to having their latest album appear unbidden in my iTunes. More annoying than anything.
But this is a whole new level of evil. Damn, Bono.

Orignal POST
Bono the bone head!

As his career continues to free fall into total irrelevance, pop star "Bono" of the rock group U2 has announced his support for a U.S.-backed plan to pillage Africa by…
BFTop of Form
 So disappointing

JM: boo

JC: 1. This:

2. This

For more than 70 years, GMO tech has been part of our landscape. Despite so much garbage, non-research, conspiracy, full-on-bullshit about it, the facts are CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR: the careful, thoughtful, science-based, heavily regulated manipulation of genes in order to produce excellent quality, drought/disease/pest-resistant foods/grains is NOT DANGEROUS.

It is CRITICAL to understand the realities of modification - and how lab modification differs from all the other types of modifications that happen to food.

As for the source of this article, PLEASE people... seriously??? Such a deep pit of bullshit is this organisation.
Globalresearch (under the domain names globalresearch.ca andglobalresearch.org) is the website of the Montreal-based non-profit The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) founded by Michel Chossudovsky,[2][3] a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa.[4] Weep for the future.

JC: As for Bono being a humanitarian, and making sustainable crops more of a reality, ABSOLUTELY. Because things are hard to grow in arid climates first of all, and doubly difficult where the soil is poor and pests are a major factor.

It's all well and good for us who are so spoiled by an ample, safe food supply to dictate what should happen in Africa - or to ignore the huge rates of starvation there - assessed at one person per every TWO SECONDS. If GMO seed can provide viable foodsources, then YES. Because there is ZERO risk to human health, and even if there were (and there is NOT) compared to 30 people starving every minute, don't you think it's worth the risk??
Like · Reply · 3 hrs

JM Studies coming out indicate high glyphosphate levels in humans and autism , alzheimers, allergies, birth defects, ADHD, Just a few... No studies have been done proving the safety of GMO foods. Now is the time to do this.

JM The starvation has alot to do with dictators who steal all the $$ and put in swiss bank accounts and never develop infrastructure in preparation for drought times. It is the downfall of Africa. GMO crops are not the solution.

JC: Yet another ridiculous, ill-informed, fear-mongering site. This group is TINY and is made up of, to be frank, uneducated idiots who believe all sorts of bullshit.

AS for glyphosate That is ALSO BULLSHIT.

Glyphosate ONLY affects PLANT enzymes. It is highly volatile in that it dissipates within very few days. It does NOT remain in the plant and even if it did, it CANNOT have any effect on humans, as we do NOT have the enzyme affected by this product. Further to this, the amounts used on fields is VERY small. One gallon is enough to do hundreds and hundreds of acres.

JC Jane. A lot, not "alot." Your point here has zero relationship to the subject at hand, and it is an unfounded opinion.

GM crops are not the whole solution, true but they are a HUGE part of it.

Also, can I ask you if you've recently eaten an apple, banana, pear or any broccoli, because if you have - regardless of whether you also buy in to the also-bullshity "organic" fad, you are eating GM foods. For SURE.,
JC: JM, go to www.rationalwiki.com and look up Moms Across America. Seriously. That group is ridiculously idiotic.

JC: JM, Show me those studies. Provide links. I promise you I will debunk, with prejudice, every study you post.

SM So JC - tell us how Monsanto's independant safety testing and licensing works devil emoticon...and while you're at it can you explain why you think Glyphosate is safe.

JH:  JC, would you like to reply to Stan?

JC: I'd love to reply to both of those.
When I was researching Monsanto, I called them. I spoke to the public policy lead and picked her brain. She spoke to me for an hour and then sent me loads of independently reviewed research. She also directed me to a vast external resource, all public.

As for glyphosate, again. There is endless publicly available information and independently-reviewed science on this product and subject. Yes, If you wish I will go into my archives and post everthing I have, which will provide you all about two weeks of reading materials. Or, you can do what I did, call Monsanto and, if you're near a location, go visit - they run. Daily tours of all facilities and their staff is free to speak. Ask them about the science.

Glyphosate is an extremely safe, low dose, short life herbicide. It ONLY affects a certain plant enzyme which humans do not have. It has been in use more than 60 years and I'd it were dangerous we would see evidence and the US. And Canadian food safety organizations would have pulled it. Facts do not support the idea it is unsafe.

Please read everything I've written and posted tonight rather than me rewriting it all again

JC: As to the article, let us parse:
1. "As his career continues to free fall into total irrelevance..." This is opinion, not fact and does not reference the excellent initiatives Bono has begun or is affiliated with. Also, as the band has been at it for something like 30 years, and still plays to absolutely CRAMMED stadiums, this opinion is not in any imaginable way supported by facts.

2. "... his support for a U.S.-backed plan to pillage Africa by stealing its land and agricultural systems and replacing them with corporate-owned GMOs (genetically-modified organisms) and chemicals."

The US does NOT have a "plan to pillage Africa." Africa is a continent, not a country; each African country has its own government (or dictator, as the case may be), so it is IMPOSSIBLE for the US to pillage the entire continent.

The US does NOT have any plans to steal land, or ag systems in Africa. The US could not begin to afford the wars it would take to overthrow various governments in order to enact this "evil" plan. Yes, GMOs are produced by corporations that have the R&D heft to allow for their development and testing, but that has no bearing on anything. There are five large and many smaller corporations that are engaged in the science of modification.

3. "/The Obama regime." This is bullshit. Obama is the duly-elected president of a country with free elections. It is NOT a regime. Dictatorships are regimes. Saudi Arabia has a regime. Obama was elected. He is not a despot and he didn't wrest power from anyone by force.

4. "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition,” a thinly-veiled Green Revolution 2.0 that aims to uproot autonomous family farming systems throughout Africa and replace them with toxic monoculture systems controlled by multinational corporations like Monsanto."

Also bullshit. Monoculture is NOT the goal, first of all: even a mediocre scientist will tell you that narrowing the gene pool leads to bad things. See the Hawaiian papaya issue for a case study.

I'm only two paragraphs in to this stupid article and disgusted by it. It is fact-free, biased, fear mongering crap designed for people who see conspiracy under every rock. It is beneath thinking people to buy into this garbage.

 I totally disagree with you and that is fine. Blessings and be happy not angry and the Monsanto tragedy will continue.

JC: JM, Rational Wiki on Glyphosate - and particularly, read the parts under "Woo" (short for Woo woo and an nicer way to say "full-on bullshit).

And here for some exposing of the "gullible" MAA.
Glyphosate is a synthetic herbicide that is widely used in farming, especially since the introduction of glyphosate-tolerant strains of crops have been introduced via genetic engineering, and has been historically produced by agricultural biotechnical company Monsanto under the trademark "Roundup",…

If your choice in underwear was connected to suicides in India, would you pay more attention to the panties you buy?
JC: Again, totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I've provided you excellent links and Google is a wonderful place for assessing the validity of claims.

JM: I follow Vandana Shiva. She is a very educated scientist from India. This is what has already happened in India.

JC This person:???
Wealthy Activist Vandana Shiva Is A Poor Advocate For The ...
Jul 16, 2014 - Vandana Shiva advocates policies that will inflict widespread poverty, malnutrition, and death on the very people she claims to champion.
Vandana Shiva's Crusade Against Genetically Modified Crops
Aug 25, 2014 - Michael Specter on Vandana Shiva, an activist who accuses biotechnology companies such as Monsanto of imposing “food totalitarianism.
Vandana Shiva: 'Rock Star' of GMO protest movement has anti
Sep 1, 2015 - In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as the "rock star" of the anti-GMO movement. What are the facts behind the curtain?

Um.... I think you need to do some homework on your guru....


JM: These articles are published by scientists. You can find anything on the internet to prove your point. Does not make it correct. i have studied this serious issue extensively.

JC: I claim bullshit. If you had, you'd have changed you stance. And yes, science is the best source of information on science-based issues, unless you think opinion caries more weight than 60 years of research.

JC:  Did you actually read this, Jane? Can you find any errors in science?

JC: Um... Dear Jane. The problem here is that you did not read the background on the source, Global Research, and so you are posting really, really bad resources that use really, really bad science. This article is EASILY debunked.

Maybe try running it through www.rbutr.com

As a matter of fact, this entire GMO issue is excellently parsed through Rbutr. Great resource. Also Snopes.
rbutr helps you find rbutls to any page you read on the internet so that you can get a complete view of all sides of the discussion.

JH: JC, whether or not you believe that GMO foods are safe: there remains the question of the right to self-determination vs. the kind of paternalistic colonialist enterprising we've seen ravage cultures and ecologies throughout the world. The African Civil Organizations stand against. Doesn't that matter to you? Or do you know better?

Also - do you really think that using Monsanto crops, which require an intensive chemical regime to create good yields, is a good idea for people or planet, in Africa or elsewhere?
I don't. I think some big interests are going to make some big money, create an unsustainable dependency on non-compassionate foreign corporations, and further undermine local ecologies and intelligences in the process.

There are MANY ways to improve arid landscapes. Is big Ag interested in sharing the planet- and people-friendly methods that permaculturists have been developing for decades? At all? No. Out of the goodness of their hearts? No. Give your head a shake. They're in it for money, they don't care about people's right to self-determination, and they sure as hell don't care about getting more food to Africans. They care about more CUSTOMERS. That is all.

Question to you: who edits your Rational Wiki? Are you aware that many large organizations - particularly big pharma and big Ag - have full-time staff that aggressively monitor wikis to ensure their propaganda stays front and centre, and reasonable criticisms (and the studies that support them) get buried? Do you really think that Rational Wiki is any less biased than Global Research? You are completely entitled to your favorite sources, the ones that align with your biases, but don't BS yourself that yours are "The Truth".

I don't "believe." The science is crystal clear. You eat GMO EVER Day and have for your entire life.

These are all tropes based on conspiracy. I personally know two people who work with Monsanto. I trust the science and I trust these scientists. The information that counters these claims is readily had.

People are welcome to their opinions but not to have these false, conspiracy based statements go unchallenged.

As for a Rational Wiki I don't know the answer to that question but the have a contact and FAQ page. Call and ask.

JH: Truly I say to you, Bono is an ass. Posting this because I find it amusing and clearly there will be no actual exchange of ideas here. Just a lot of shouting in the dark. So, something funny.


JH: Trusting science as a system and trusting Monsanto reps saying their products are safe are not the same thing.

BH: Just a thought it is possible Julie to have a healthy debate without being demeaning and condescending to those you are debating with. I hope you're not an educator cause your students would be afraid of you.

JH2: Awe this is sad. Money hungry asses unsure emoticon those poor people in Africa. Commercialism is not alright. This article is was very good at providing valid points on mega co operations
wanting to make revenue at their cultural's expense. Geez unsure emoticon

JH2:  ^^^^That is how I feel about that !!!! frown emoticon

JH:  And for more fun... JC I think you'll find this an interesting read. Conspiracies do actually happen. Not everyone who mistrusts the powerful is an idiot. Governments and businesses do not always tell the expensive truth about their illegal or unethical practices.


BF:  And actually super interesting that you use the word fear mongering to describe others cause that's pretty much what you've done with all your posts. Rather than take you serious Julie I stopped reading half way through after all the people you called idiotic.

JC:  I don't give a damn if people call me idiotic. I simply feel sorry that people are so bonded to their beliefs which should not be confused with science-based knowledge.

I did my research - a LOT of it - on these two subjects; I called people, I read case law, studies - independent studies to be clear - and then I called back Monsanto and checked with them.

I have reams of information, sites, links, and case law that I can cite and I guarantee you, most of the poeple here haven't done any research at all, and are relying on very poor resources. Whatever. That's their right, but it doesn't mean they are right, and it doesn't change the facts, or the excellent science.

JC: Sorry all. Facts are facts are facts and good science is good science.

I've given 90 minutes of my time and many good links here. I'll ad
www.sciencebasedmedicine.org to the list and suggest you look up Doc. Cami Ryan's blog.

Otherwise, I can't budge those who are melded to a paradigm.

Science-Based Medicine: Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and…
JC: Also, there is an excellent discussion of the GMO issue at Food and Farm Discussion Lab (Facebook group) a group of farmers international, who are experts in this and other ag-related issues. I know there is a very active discussion of GMO seeds on there because I directed another anti-GMO person there the other day. #creamed.

One must at some point at least READ the science behind this stuff. Have your opinions, but understand that the science is based on more than 70 years' research and use, in the case of GMOs and more than 60 for glyphosate.

And given you are all consuming GMO products every single day of your lives, and you will continue to do so for the rest of your lives, and that you're all quite healthy, I'm sure, and that people the world over are NOT dropping like flies, AND that sustainability is a CORE goal of the five main companies engaged in GMO tech (Monsanto is only one of them), the idea they are intent on not only ruining the world but cannibalising their own clients in the bargain is absurd.

JC: JH, that Dupont thing has zero to do with glyphosate or gmos. I'm going to read the case - the actual case, not this tear-jerking story - to understand what the case was based on and what the outcome was.

JC: You guys all know Bill Nye the Science guy, right?

Well, he was very anti-gmo until he did his research. He's a smart guy....

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