Archive for the ‘Addictions’ Category


2016 was a good year for us  (if not for U.S. democracy, the rest of the world, and the environment).

In our first half-year, in 2013, this blog received 2,500 hits; in our first full year, 2014, it received 8,000; in 2015, 9,800; and in 2016 the number jumped to 14,900.

We also hit 400 subscribers in December; had our best month ever in that same month, with over 2,100 hits; and had our best week ever, last week, with just under 1,000 hits.

Our 10 most popular posts in 2016 were:

  1. Anarchist Science Fiction: Essential Novels
  2. Alcoholics Anonymous Does More Harm than Good
  3. A very brief History of Calypso and Soca Music
  4. Back to the Terrifying Future: Sci-Fi E-book Giveaway
  5. A very brief History of Country Music
  6. God’s Thug: Brigham Young
  7. A very brief History of Funk Music
  8. Alt-Country Player Al Perry
  9. Review: The Martian, by Andy Weir
  10. Homecoming for Mormon Missionaries

During the coming year we’ll continue to post daily (well, we’ll try) on music, politics, science fiction, religion, atheism, cults, science, skepticism, humor, and anything else we think is interesting and that our readers might enjoy.

Over the coming month, we’ll post an excerpt from our upcoming title, Venezuelan Anarchism: The History of a Movement, by Rodolof Montes de Oca, reviews of two new sci-fi novels, Ken Macleod’s Insurgence and Robert Charles Wilson’s Last Year, more on the “Russian hacking” affair, more interesting and marginally useful Internet crap, and a good old fashioned Religion Roundup.

Be on the lookout for another e-book giveaway sometime reasonably soon.

 


We just put up our 1,000th post —  this  is number 1,002 –a few days ago. We’re now looking through everything we’ve posted, and are putting up “best of” lists in our most popular categories.

This is the second of our first-1,000 “best of” lists. We posted the science fiction “best of” list two days ago, and will shortly be putting up other “best ofs” in several other categories, including Anarchism, Atheism, Economics, Humor, Interviews, Music, Politics, Religion, Science, and Skepticism.

Best Addictions Posts


“If you want to see the absolute scum of the earth go to any prison in the US during shift change.”

–Paul Harvey (attributed)

If you doubt the truth of that statement, consider the new piece on the excellent investigative site, The Intercept, “Police and Prison Guard Groups Fight Marijuana Legalization in California,” by Lee Fang, reporting on the funding of the opposition to the initiative repeal marijuana prohibition in California:

Roughly half of the money raised to oppose a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in California is coming from police and prison guard groups, terrified that they might lose the revenue streams to which they have become so deeply addicted.

Drug war money has become a notable source of funding for law enforcement interests. Huge government grants and asset-seizure windfalls benefit police departments, while the constant supply of prisoners keeps the prison business booming.

One thing The Intercept piece didn’t mention is that opposition to legal and medical marijuana initiatives also comes from the private prison industry, which contributed significantly to the opposition to the 2010 medical marijuana initiative in Arizona (which barely passed).

Another thing  The Intercept piece didn’t mention is the power that pot prohibition gives the police over the public. It’s probably the primary example of government intrusion into the private lives of individuals.  It’s a license for the cops to terrorize people in SWAT raids–breaking down doors, beating people, holding guns to their heads. And it’s a damn good bet that some of them enjoy doing that. Sadists don’t willingly give up their power over their victims.

Think about it. The arguments in favor of prohibition have been thoroughly discredited for decades, and millions of people who have done no harm to others have been thrown in prison because of barbaric prohibition laws.

Again, think about it. The pro-prohibition forces are driven by sadism and the desire to lock people in cages for victimless “crives” because they profit from it. They want to lock innocent people in cages for money.

The prison guards, private prison industry, police chiefs, and other parasites opposing marijuana legalization truly are “the absolute scum of the earth.”

 


I love writing these posts — they practically write themselves, and I chortle all the way through the writing process. I delight in the sick and grotesque, and, as you’ll see, religion really delivers the goods.

So, here it is, the best of religion since the beginning of the year.

(This post will be a bit shorter than our previous Joy of Religion post. We’ve omitted the items about religious parents killing or seriously harming their children by denying them medical care, because such items are so common and so depressing.)

Anyway, here goes. Enjoy!

  • There are a lot of good atheist videos on Youtube from ex-Muslims. One that we particularly like is Things Muslims Should Know About Apostasy. About 30 seconds in, check out the crybaby Islamic judge wailing about “insults” to the prophet. Like all too many PC leftists and Christian fundamentalists, Islamic religious extremists believe that they have a right not to be offended. They don’t. It’s a binary choice:  either you have the “right” not to be offended or you have the right to free speech. As is blindingly obvious, if everyone has the “right” not to be offended, no one will have the right to free speech. And if only some have the “right” not to be offended, you end up with tyranny.
  • A recent piece in The Guardian, The shelter that gives wine to alcoholics, provides yet more evidence that the religious approach to addictions enshrined in Alcoholics Anonymous is utterly useless, if not actively harmful, and that the secular harm reduction approach produces much better results. (The rate of recovery via AA is no better than the rate of spontaneous recovery.)
  • The always entertaining Rev. James David Manning of ATLAH Worldwide Missionary Church has proclaimed that “God is gonna put a cancer in the butthole of every sodomite,” and that “every sodomite will have a flame coming out of his butthole,” necessitating “special ass asbestos diapers.” Do check out the video — Manning’s words only hint at the power, at the magnificence of his performance.
  • If you’ve ever doubted how misogynistic Mormonism is, check out Rape victim could be punished under BYU’s ‘honor code.’
  • For yet another testimony to the salutary effects of religion upon individual judgment, see Woman says rapture was coming, God told her to crash car into Walmart.
  • And finally, via Florida Man, in an item which seems like it must have a religious connection, though the article doesn’t mention one, we find Florida man charged with soliciting sex with dogs on Craigslist.

Stay tuned. More to come.


"Smoker" illustration from The American Heretic's Dictionary

SMOKER, n. A rugged, take-no-bullshit maverick who proudly shows his independence by flaunting his dependence upon the health-destroying products of multinational corporations.

* * *

–from the upcoming revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary scheduled for June 2016

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

Music and Mortality

Posted: March 21, 2016 in Addictions, Music
Tags: , ,

I had a long talk with my pal M. tonight. He’s a former genius bass player who gave it up because he couldn’t handle all of the bullshit being in a band entails.

My current band was playing a benefit for a battered women’s shelter, and he was there doing the video.

After we were done, he and I started talking about friends, ex-wives, ex-bandmates, ex-GFs, who had died.  We’ve both had to deal with some horrible shit in recent years. Over the last 15 months, my closest friend from my teen years, my closest friend from my early 20s, my closest friend from my 40s, my closest friend from my 50s, (all musicians, except for one writer) and my most recent long-term GF (greased in an entirely predictable “accident” — she was a hideously unsafe driver)  died — all younger than me, five to fifteen years younger. That’s not to mention what happened to my closest friend, my ex-bass player who OD’ed 11 years ago at age 45. What made that really heartbreaking was that I was letting him stay here at the time after he swore that he was cleaning up. (For a musical take on this, check out Slow Motion Suicide.)

M. has had very similar experiences, and was very similarly devastated.

At least when my closest (in age) cousin  ODed on heroin 20 years ago, he did so without disowning me or his two sisters.

M.’s only brother is still estranged from him a quarter of a century after the fact, thanks to his  brother’s bitch of a wife.

Jesus.

What do we do with all this? Forgive and forget.

And play music.

. . . . . . One, two, one two three four.

 


We started this blog in July 2013. Since then, we’ve been posting almost daily.

When considering the popularity of the posts, one thing stands out:  in all but a few cases, popularity declines over time.

As well, the readership of this blog has expanded gradually over time, so most readers have never seen what we consider many of our best posts.

Over the next week or two we’ll put up lists of our best posts from 2014 and 2015 in the categories of atheism, religion, anarchism, humor, politics, music, science fiction, science, skepticism, book and movie reviews, writing, language use, and economics.

Because there were considerably more posts in 2014 and 2015 than in 2013, we’ll be putting up several posts for those years divided by category. We’ve already put up the following:

Here’s the latest 2014 installment:

Addictions