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NeoNote — Religion & morality

A couple of things.

Religion covers more things than Jews, Christianity, and a tiny smidgeon of Buddhism. There are different rules, different customs, many which you might not consider religious.

Faith is between you and the Divine.

The problem with making morality a part of religion is that some priests forget that they are measured by the lives around them. They think that their calling places them beyond "man's law."

As someone who has seen a lot of "pagan garb," standing out is not necessarily a good thing. It can be more of a "look at me" than standing apart.



Part I - Okay, let's start with the elephant that everyone tiptoes around.

Which religion?

I've been told repeatedly that the Decalogue is a good basis for law and morality. But Number One on that list (or numbers one and two depending on the translation) puts Yahweh first. Fine and dandy if that is the religion you have chosen. But what if it isn't? If the Decalogue is central to your faith but not your neighbor's, is it moral to insist that they abide by it?

Faith imposed is no faith at all. The only faiths and beliefs worthy of freedom are those freely chosen.

And that brings us to another point. Morality can't be imposed and still remain morality.

There have been times that neither Christianity nor Judaism have been particularly moral, especially towards other faiths. From this we can deduce that it is not really a specific religion that is the cornerstone of morality.

This follows because no matter how divinely inspired, religions are not created by the Divine. Religions are created by people claiming to speak for the Divine. Questioning a religion is not the same as questioning the Divine and someone's place in it.

No matter how much some priests insist otherwise.



Part II - Here's where I offend some of you. I'm sorry about that.

“An experienced faith differs from a revealed faith. It’s the Journey compared to the Story.

The Story is told while the Journey is lived.

I am not saying that one is superior. But one is active and the other passive. The Story is not the Journey and the Journey is not the Story.

A revealed faith always depends on what someone else says. The marvelous thing is that a Story can become a Journey if you just go a little beyond the nice polished gate and the carefully maintained path.

In an experienced faith, you will have to go out and do. That’s why so many pagan books never go deeper than cookbooks or the 101 level. Experience requires taking that first and seventh step into the unknown.

At some point in a Journey, it's going to be you and the Divine. No masks and no untruths allowed.

With a revealed faith, the answers could be in the very next book you read. A Story could become a Journey, but it takes hard work and stepping beyond the safe space.

How do you explain a Journey without moving into a Story? I am not sure you can.”

the Journey versus the Story from NeoWayland's lexicon


Way too many people are content to live the Story and not the Journey. That's okay, as long as they don't impose that on someone else.

It's why when someone tells me there is a Biblical basis for law, I point out that there are huge portions of Biblical law that they routinely ignore.

The point is that just as you don't have the power to define another's faith, you don't have the power to define another's morality.

Your beliefs don't shape the actions of others, especially without their consent.



Part III - At the same time, there are religious rites which you find uncomfortable. Some neopagans (neopagans are pagans but not all pagans are neopagans) practice some rituals nude or skyclad. There are some neopagan rites which have definite sexual connotations, acts, or ingredients. For some faiths such as vodun, blood sacrifice is an element. And that isn't even getting into things like curses.

If you wonder why I bring up curses in the context of religion, I suggest reading "War Prayer" by Mark Twain.

If you didn't choose it, it's not your faith or your morality. And that brings up a core aspect of morality, consent.

Just because I don't drink alcohol doesn't mean I should forbid others from drinking. At the same time, if I like sardines with my peanut butter, no one should have the power to tell me no.

So long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.

At that brings us to to keystone of Western Civilization and the thing that sets us apart. Christians call it the Golden Rule, but the Ethic of Reciprocity isn't uniquely Christian. Basically, don't do it if you don't want it done to you. Do what you want so long as you don't inflict harm on another or damage another's property.



Part IV - So without a specific religious writing and without invoking a specific aspect of Deity, we have a moral basis.

Most importantly it has to be chosen. And if someone chooses not to follow it, then those who do are under no obligation to respect the ones who don't.

It's not "God's will," it's human law. No one benefits without following the law.

At the same time, it leaves a lot unresolved. Vice law doesn't fit this model. Nor do blue laws. I'd argue that those laws can't be realistically enforced, but I freely admit my libertarian bias.

There is nothing that prevents people from following religious law. But there is nothing that demands others follow those same religious laws.

People should be free to speak and act as they choose, so long as they accept the consequences. "Free love" means greater risks both medically and emotionally. The world doesn't owe you diddly, although people may choose to help you out. You don't get to be shielded from the words and thoughts of others.

Before you object that this gives religion second shift, answer me this.

If you choose one religion among all others and honor it's precepts, doesn't that make your choice worth more?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Science is

Science is just what we know so far.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Brand D

Are you going to insist that Democrats are Democratic again?

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NeoNote — Naturally Good

As far as I am concerned, you have no business going after Republicans until you at least acknowledge that Democrats aren't perfect and are just as good at messing things up.

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❝There is no climate crisis…❞

The whole climate crisis is not only fake news, it’s fake science. There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life.
— Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace. Yes, he really was a co-founder of Greenpeace

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“How to Red Pill a Liberal”

“We all get into intense discussions with frustrating leftists, but despite all the reason and logic in the world, we rarely make progress. In this video, I explore some ways in which anyone might effectively red pill a liberal.”

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“Stossel: Tax Myths”

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks taxing the rich at 70 percent will bring in lots of tax money. It won't.”

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No to the American's Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.
— The American's Creed as quoted in Embracing the American's Creed
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NeoNote — Wiretapping

To me, the interesting thing is that most of the mainstream media is willing to ignore things like this so long as it's a Democrat doing it to a Republican.

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Maybe the fault isn't in the "Right" or "Left…"

Maybe the fault isn't in the "Right" or "Left," but in the idea that other people's behavior must be controlled For Their Own Good and For the Good of Society. Rather than teaching people that freedom comes with responsibility, we condition people to obey the duly delegated Proper Authority for the sake of perpetuating the institution.
— NeoWayland
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“Stossel: Academic Hoax”

“Journals applaud seven outrageously fake papers.”

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NeoNote — Politicos want problems they can stage-manage

Or I could just point out that power corrupts, just as freedom without responsibility does, and that it's in our best interest to make sure that government and the self-appointed elites have as little power over us as possible. No matter how much we agree with the politico of the day, government power will be used against us.
— NeoWayland
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Jefferson on state's rights

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power not longer susceptible of any definition.
— Thomas Jefferson

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Lincoln on state's rights

Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
— Abraham Lincoln

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Lee on state's rights

… I believe that the maintenance of the rights and authority reserved to the states and to the people … are the safeguard to the continuance of a free government … whereas the consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.
— Robert E. Lee

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Goldwater on state's rights

Today neither of our two parties maintains a meaningful commitment to the principle of States' Rights. The 10th Amendment is not a 'general assumption' but a rule of law. States rights mean that states have a right to act or not to act, as they see fit, in areas reserved to them.
— Barry Goldwater

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Hamilton on state's rights

The State governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendancy over the National Government, and will for ever preclude the possibility of federal encroachments. That their liberties, indeed, can be subverted by the federal head, is repugnant to every rule of political calculation.
— Alexander Hamilton

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Madison on state's rights

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.
— James Madison

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Signs of liberal privilege

Excerpted from Seven Signs of Liberal Privilege by Timothy Daughtry.

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“Stossel: Sugar’s Sweetheart Deal”

“The U.S. sugar program is "Stalin-style price controls," Ross Marchand of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance tells John Stossel.

The U.S. government uses a complex system of loans, domestic quotas, and limits on how much sugar we can import. The goal is to control the price of sugar.

Stossel calls it "welfare for the rich." Economists say the program costs consumers billions a year. And yet the sugar industry makes videos that say "it costs taxpayers nothing."”

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“Facebook Insider Leaks Docs; Explains "Deboosting" "Troll Report" & Political Targeting in Interview”

“Project Veritas has obtained and published documents and presentation materials from a former Facebook insider. This information describes how Facebook engineers plan and go about policing political speech. Screenshots from a Facebook workstation show the specific technical actions taken against political figures, as well as "[e]xisting strategies" taken to combat political speech.”

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No right to interfere

The very same people who say that government has no right to interfere with sexual activity between consenting adults believe that the government has every right to interfere with economic activity between consenting adults.
— Thomas Sowell

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Snow hits the southwest

“Arizona Airport, Highways Shut Down; Flagstaff Receives Record Snow From Winter Storm Quiana”

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❝Perfect is the enemy of good.❞

Perfect is the enemy of good.
— attributed to Voltaire

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Third best, second best, best

Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes.
— Robert Watson-Watt

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Perfect solution

We don't have a perfect solution. But we don't need one. We just have to make today better than yesterday.
— NeoWayland
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Expertise and understanding

Language is defined by usage, not expert decision and proclamation. It's why there are new words like smartphone and LOL. It's why there are obscure words like gelogenic and aretaics that most people don't know.

Now, do I know science? Yep, I know the scientific method. I know that science works by explaining past phenomena and accurately predicting future change. I know that there is a difference between physics and chemistry, although hardcore physicists will insist that every thing in chemistry is only a subsection of physics. I know that expertise does more to define blind spots than establish authority.

And I know that insight and understanding is not defined by degrees and publication, but by who can explain and predict. I also know that disparaging the source without considering the argument moves from scholarship to dogma. I know that the institution doesn't have value except in that it can produce results.
— NeoWayland
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Science doesn't work by consensus

Science doesn't work by consensus. Science works by explaining existing phenomena AND accurately predicting what happens next. Scientists are people too and they can see where the money and power are coming from. Very few want to speak against that. Sometimes the ones who have disputed the consensus have been attacked and discredited without the argument ever being addressed.
— NeoWayland
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❝The 3 Rules of Hate Speech: Free Speech Rules (Episode 2)❞

“Here are three rules you should know about "Hate Speech" and the First Amendment:



Rule 1. The First Amendment protects all ideas–loving, hateful, or in between.

In the United States, "hate speech" is just a political label, like "un-American speech" or "rude speech." Some people use the phrase broadly, some more narrowly–but there's no legal definition, because there is no "hate speech" exception to the First Amendment.

Rule 2. Some speech is not protected by the First Amendment, but that's true regardless of whether it's bigoted or hateful.

For instance, threats of violence are constitutionally unprotected.

Rule 3. Hate crime laws are constitutional, so long as they punish violence or vandalism, not speech.

The law often punishes people more because of why they did what they did. Killing someone for money will get you a harsher punishment than killing them out of momentary anger. Likewise, firing an employee because of his race will get you a civil lawsuit; firing an employee for most other reasons won't.”

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Dispute

For the Official Record, I didn't dispute that climate change is occurring. I disputed the measured changes were significant, if they were unusual, and if they were human caused. There's also the questions of the changes are bad, if humans can stop or reverse it, and if we should mess with a climate system that we have yet to understand.

For these reasons I dispute the climate change crisis.
— NeoWayland
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Curveball

My theory is it’s possible to become very successful in a given field by applying the prevailing orthodoxy and doing exactly as everyone expects without the slightest deviation. Like this, you can become very competent in your chosen subject – until someone chucks a curveball at you and it becomes clear you’ve had no practice in dealing with dissenting opinions.
— Tim Newman, Into-the-box thinking

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Rape culture

America is not a rape culture.

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So much for freedom of speech

Every day, there is a racist tweet, a hateful tweet, something really dark and ugly, And what are we as candidates, as activists, as the press, going to do about that? Are we going to chase after those every day? Are we going to let him use those to divide us?

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NeoNote — Deliberately created panic

What we do know is that there are loud politicos who want to take freedom, power, and money from people "for the greater good."

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NeoNotes — Health care

There is a distinct difference between healthcare and health insurance.

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NeoNote — Green New Deal

What is going to hit next is The Compromise®.

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“Bad Laws Cause Homeless Crisis”

“Parts of San Francisco resemble the poorest slums in the world -- even though the city is one of the richest in America.”

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❝Red Skelton, Pledge of Allegiance❞

“14 January 1969. Famous American comedian, Red Skelton, explains the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, word-by-word, from a memorized lecture given to him by his 7th grade school teacher, Mr. Lasswell.”

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Short Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Not a defect

Consider this. Is it possible that the corruption and graft are a function of the system and not a defect?
— NeoWayland
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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝Why You Can't Argue with a Leftist❞

“When two people share the same goals, they can disagree – even strongly disagree – and still have a productive discussion about how to reach those shared objectives. As comedian and author Owen Benjamin explains, the problem with America today is we no longer share the same goals, and that’s tearing us apart.”

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?❞

“Climate change is an urgent topic of discussion among politicians, journalists and celebrities...but what do scientists say about climate change? Does the data validate those who say humans are causing the earth to catastrophically warm? Richard Lindzen, an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world's leading climatologists, summarizes the science behind climate change. ”

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Education should not be pre-chewed

The classes teaching socialist and Marxist ideology aren't labeled as such. They are in fact part of the general education requirement. That wouldn't be so bad, except those classes are the only ones allowed. No one is allowed to dissent from the orthodoxy.

Once upon a time, university meant debating things that you disagreed with or that made you uncomfortable. You learned to think and defend your reasoning even if the words and thoughts you faced offended you.

Now, we have safe spaces to protect overgrown children from triggering because they shouldn't have to face something that actually makes them think and grow.

Education should not be pre-chewed. Education should be hard. Education should challenge you to be something more than you are right now. Education should be about understanding what you oppose. Education should be about finding what works.
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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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No stadium scam

“Super Bowl-Bound L.A. Rams Are Building the NFL's Most Expensive Stadium, Without Public Money”

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On the Equality Act

“The Nature of Sex”

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Powers are not rights

Government has power only to protect the rights of individuals.

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Six sex rules

I've six sex rules. People laugh when I say that, but the first two are unbreakable and would solve 97% of all sex issues in this country.

Number one is consenting adults only. There are times that I think breaking that one should result in the forced removal of body parts. Without anesthetic. And dull blades. On live television.

But, of course, that would offend modern sensibilities.

How it would offend more than rape is something that I am still waiting for someone to explain.
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Friday roundup clearence

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Roots of the housing collapse

GFC Lessons Not Learnt

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❝Super Bowl of Welfare❞

“Sports stadiums get billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to the Atlanta Falcons and the site of this year's Super Bowl.”

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It's never enough

Bottom line: the politics of victimhood always depend on the guilt of others AND avoiding personal responsibility. And no matter what the "guilty" might "sacrifice," it's never enough. Equal rights and equal opportunity is one thing, special privilege because of "past wrongs" is just asking for trouble.
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Not about who is better

It’s not about who is better, it’s about what we can do together.
— NeoWayland
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❝Covington Catholic CLOSES: Lawsuits, Lies & Threats❞ by Roaming Millennial

“Covington Catholic and the MAGA hat kid may sue media figures for libel. The school closes down for safety concerns, and Trump tweets his support for the students...”

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Utopian ideas

Many utopian ideas aren't based in reality and require unwilling sacrifice (otherwise called theft). The utopian definition of injustice is always how society is just evil, without considering that society mostly works. So rather than correcting the injustice, society must be corrected.
— NeoWayland
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❝Stossel: Exposing Students to Free Markets❞ by ReasonTV

“It’s school choice week. Many kids don’t have choice in where they go to school. The school choice movement is trying to give them that opportunity.”

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❝The Truth - Nathan Philips / Covington Catholic Kids❞

“I normally avoid these sort of topics, but after seeing all this footage and all the people trying to destroy these kids lives, I felt like I had to do something.

We all need to do better, stop with this mob mentality over the first thing we see. Remember there's always two sides to a coin.”

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Racial segregation came from Washington

Washington Forced Segregation on the Nation

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❝What is a man? A response to Gillette❞

“A short film - Dedicated to all those who sacrifice everything to make the world safer and better for all of us.”

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Rite to right

I'd argue that the writing was on the wall when marriage was legally defined and moved away from being a religious rite to being a secular right.

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Massive roundup to clear my files

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Era of woke capitalism

We are living in an era of woke capitalism in which companies pretend to care about social justice to sell products to people who pretend to hate capitalism.
— Clay Routledge

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Doubts

Doubts raced through my mind as I considered the feasibility of enforcing a law which the majority of honest citizens didn't seem to want.
— Eliot Ness

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Truth, liberty and the rule of law

I honor truth, liberty, and the rule of law in that order.
— NeoWayland
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“Gillette SLAMS Toxic Masculinity: "Men, Do Better!"”

“A new Gillette commercial tackles toxic masculinity & metoo, but reactions say it's anti-male.”

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“Stossel: Government Shutdown Shows Private Is Better”

“The government shutdown is now longer than any in history. The media say it's a "crisis."”

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The razor blade scam

Occupy Your Bathroom

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Oversized headline catchup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — Looking good

Two video monitors of equal size. A dozen people, some of who were Democrats. Both videos played side by side with the volume turned down. All but one person thought that Trump came across stronger, more confident, better body language, and more convincingly. One guy said that Pelosi and Schumer looked like high school student council candidates.

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NeoNote — Unstable people (and not who you think)

Now, see, I was going to make nice here and just touch on the subject.

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Insults

Stop insulting Americans just because they vote for someone you don’t like.
— Dan Crenshaw
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Forgot to measure the animals

“NAU researchers combine satellite data and modeling to predict climate change”

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Oversized year change roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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You see, I've done this before.

You see, I've done this before. When True Believer Christians told me I was damned and a mortal threat to their children. When conservatives told me that only one way could save the country and anything else threatened their children. When progressives told me that capitalism and individualism were dead and should stay that way for the sake of the children. When well-fed third wave feminists in designer clothes told me about how they were oppressed by the patriarchy and wouldn't have children. When pagans lectured me on the evils of monotheism and how love would save the world. Always, always, ALWAYS the pattern is exactly the same. In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates. The enlightened demand sacrifice from everyone else. "For the children" is for those living and in charge. Anyone who offers an absolute won't brook dissent. Experts are uniquely qualified to fuck the situation up beyond any hope of repair. Government is not your friend.

So you have a chance here to change your behavior, change your pattern and accept responsibility. Your choice.
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