Republicans Raped Country

pennI guess unless you are Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Pat Robertson, or Bill O’Reilly you are not allowed to make criticism with flamboyant language. William Penn speaks truth, Republicans raped country!

“If you go to the Republican convention in Florida, you see all of the old Republicans with the dead skin cells washing off them,” he says in the video. “They’re cheap. They don’t want to pay taxes because they have already raped this country and gotten everything out of it they possibly could.

“They don’t want to pay for your tuition, because who are you? Well, to me you’re somebody,” he says.

Is this news? Don’t we all know this is true,

After being secretly recorded by a student on the first day of class at Michigan State University, award-winning creative writing professor William Penn, Nez Perce/Osage, has found himself in trouble with mainstream media and possibly the university.

He says more.

“Be forewarned, I’m eccentric. I hate bureaucracy. I will say what I think. I never mean to offend you, if I do, come up, tell me, I will apologize,” he says in the video. “And I absolutely don’t mean to offend you, even if you are a Republican. I don’t mean to offend you in this class. Outside of class is a different matter.”

Penn also discusses in the video what he calls “voter suppression.”

“What do you think is going on in South Carolina and North Carolina?” he asks the class. “It’s about getting black people not to vote. Why? Because black people tend to vote Democratic. So why would Republicans want to do it? Because Republicans are not a majority in this country anymore. They are a bunch of dead white people, or dying white people.”

It’s called gerry mandering–a big word, so people won’t get it’s theft of votes. Let the beatings begin.

Yahoo Newsdeclares that Penn “is white and sports a feathery mullet.” But Penn is mixed race, Nez Perce and Osage. He is a creative writing professor, a founding member of the Native American Writer’s Circle and won an award for teaching excellence in 2003.

The result?

“Penn’s teaching duties have been reassigned to others. Students’ education will continue as scheduled with alternate instructors,” Cassella continued.

Thy myth of truth and academic freedom. But it doesn’t foster the right white guys won attitude.

“That certainly doesn’t foster a sense of community in the classroom where you can share your own thoughts,” Lyons said. “He was spewing hate, really, and that’s uncalled for, regardless of party. I didn’t think that was appropriate for the classroom at all.

“It didn’t give me the impression that he was inviting different views, which is kind of the culture we’re trying to encourage.”

Here’s the full video.

Indian Country News is a good source of what’s happening back at the Rez, and off. Just in case you want to know how the original owners are doing.

Jim Newman, bright and well



not christianI was reading my latest newsletter from – Freethought Today and made it to page 14 where the “Crank Mail” was placed.  It’s one of my favorite features of this fine publication.  Crank Mail a sampling of the recent emails or contacts made by those most faithful Christians to call out and/or to “warn” FFRF of their impending doom.  Education is the cure for ignorance but for now the ignorance is entertaining.

Always a joy to read but this most recent edition sampled some of the best I’ve ever read.

“Whats wrong you assclown afraid of Islam?  You screwwbals have nothing to say or do to that fucked up piece of pig shit so called religion that teaches to kill everyone thats not like them. Where you fucks at on them hum. you bunch of chicken shits” – David Lupton

As with most of these short but sweet rants, they all appear to lack basic vocabulary skills.  Their spellcheck systems are useless and to hell with punctuation.  I often imagine the man or women behind the keyboard, typing feverishly, their mind whirling with anger as they describe how we are “screwwbals”, “assclowns” and “chicken shits” – and usually they include what they and/or their god is going to do to us.

I imagine as they type, that as the colored line appears below a misspelled word; “Oh look Mary Beth, even gmail knows that I mean bizness, it’s underlining all the impotant wurds.”


wealthy sponge“We are a group of Wealthy citizens of South Dakota, and many who not reside outside of South Dakota.  We have informed certain Rapid City politicians that we stand ready to provide significant financial support to defend their religious practices, views and opinions.  Please feel free to pursue any and all legal action you feel is necessary to attack the citizens of Rapid City, but be prepared for a lengthy and expensive legal costs, as we will fund any and all state court action, as well as federal court action.  God Bless Freedom of Religion!” – Our Lord Jesus Christ

Apparently from Jesus himself.  In response, I might say:

Dear Jesus Christ, I see that you now reside in Rapid City amongst other wealthy citizens.  I think that is a great move, it’s more believable than this “heaven” thing you spoke of and it means that you now can enjoy the U.S. Postal Service and actually get that money that so many have been collecting for you.

Your letter states that your group contains citizens of South Dakota and “many who not reside outside of South Dakota”.  Wouldn’t those be the same as the citizens residing in South Dakota?   I appreciate your permission for us to pursue legal action, we were hoping to get your blessing but couldn’t find your address.  I see that your group members are wealthy and wanted to ask, before this most recent commitment to defend your politicians, what were you doing with this wealth accumulated?  Have you been giving all to the poor and needy as you demand of your followers in the bible?

Can you imagine what this person was thinking?  I imagine a middle aged person, almost finished the 10th grade before having her second child and being forced to pick potatoes for a living.  I imagine she actually gave this some thought, she sat down and after much deliberation, decided that her best method of attack would be a threat using reverse psychology.  “I’ll give them permission to sue as if we don’t mind but I’ll warn them of our wealth and how costly this might be, as if I care about their finances.”

I may be too kind, it may actually be a 5th grade alter boy who overheard his parents discussing the legal issue and figured while the internet was down would draft up a letter to threaten the FFRF.


“Dear Mrs., Annie Laurie Gaylor, I just read this article about you proposing to the government to rename Christmas to “Family day”.  This nation was founded and started on Christian principles found in the Holy Bible.  I am a very strong, and powerful man, I can take on anyone in a fight, and win.  I have taken on people bigger than you and won.  Good day, God bless you.” – Jaye Sanders. Child of God, Brother to Jesus, American Patriot, NRA Supporter

Here we have one zealous Glen Beckistan citizen who thought it prudent to draft a letter in response to the FFRF’s Co-President, Annie Laurie Gaylor’s OP-ED piece about renaming the Christmas Holiday.  Not just any letter, but a threatening letter.  He’s fought and won, he can fight anyone and win.  This from a peace- loving Christ-tard and Brother to Jesus?


“All of ypu people are going STRAIGHT to hell.  The sooner the better you FREAKS. FUCK OFF” – Tonya Haas

“u say this country is not christian or goddly. you all are full of shit are four father left england so they could worship god without all politics. its funny christianity is the only religion that is be tooking out of stuff. and for your info, the women so many years ago that started all thisso long ago.  ended up getting her head cut of and was a athist and her son turns into a preacher and that carma.  and now theres a muslim run the country in the ground and you all are try to hurt any one you can but carma get u alive or dad.and i am not christian and believe in christianity so go bit one” – Adam Phillip, Greenville, South Carolina

One of the funniest I’ve ever read.  Now do you see why I love this part of the newsletter so much?  Poor little non-Christian feller, folks trying to tooking his Christianity out of stuff.


“Why can’t you mind your own business and stayed your evil asses in WI Who do you think you are??? You are nothing but the scum of Hell.  You are nothing but COWARDS!  If you don’t love it then leave it! – Jesus Christ, Pickens, South Carolina

“i hope there is a god and he gives all your members and their families cancer”  (anonymous but apparently a true Christian)


Awwww Mike, why don’t you try to explain it to us.  Surely you didn’t write that gibberish without a brain.  Are you saying that if only you had a brain you would explain it?  I’ll pray for you Mike.

Education is the cure for ignorance

There are many others quoted as well.  Be sure to check out and consider joining.  Your membership and support helps tooking religion out of government.  Education is the cure for ignorance.  It’s those like Phil Ferguson and that recognize this, lending support to groups like the Secular Student Alliance , Junior Skeptic and Camp Quest.  We must offer our support as well, we must help educate children to be more skeptical, to use reason and to question everything.


Ask A Mortician: Ghost Tours

I’m a huge fan of Ask A Mortician, a slightly niche youtube series where a professional mortician answers any question you’ve ever had about mortician work, dead bodies, and death in general. And she’s delightful.

So of course, she’s been asked about ghosts. A lot. In her new video, she talks about her views on ghosts and takes a look at some “ghost tourism”. Well, after she’s done talking about a famous cemetery, of course. It ends on a very beautiful, humanist note. She’s always got a good take-away from her videos.

Even though the series isn’t a normal skepticism series, I strongly encourage you to watch the others.  There’s a lot of misinformation about death out there and she occasionally talks about death-related scams.

Her website is Order of the Good Death and she can also be found on Facebook.


Today we’re looking at PT Barnum and his book Humbugs of the World. After all, there’s no one who knows a sham better than a professional sham salesman. “Humbug” as you probably know, is an old world for “bullshit” or “flim-flam” but PT Barnum generously defines humbug as mere…. exaggerations of the truth. And as long as people were getting their money’s worth, humbug here and there isn’t a problem. Whatever you say, PT.

Humbugs came out in 1865, following the huge success of Barnum’s autobiography. Humbugs did pretty well too, and you can probably find really beautiful copies of both books in your local used book store – but it’s public domain and free on Kindle. If you want to see a really beautiful copy, CFI Amherst has a lovely leather copy in their library with gold lettering on the cover and gold on the edge of the pages.

At times, Humbugs reads like PT Barnum is simply defending his own humbuggery by pointing at people who are bigger liars than he is. And hey, the guy has a reputation to keep. But that all fades away when he talks about spiritualists and mediums. Barnum never hired a single one and he has nine chapters full of venom and scorn for the lot of them. If you’re into the history of spiritualists, this is worth picking up just for those chapters alone.

Otherwise, the book gives us a nice overview of the scams and psudoscience of the day, like the “Golden Pigeons of California”, the weird and wonderful moon hoax (the one with the demons having a party on the moon), witch hunts, Monsignore Cristoforo Rischio (a “model for our quack doctors”), blood purification pills, and the list goes on and on. The chapters on financial scams are tailor made for Skeptic money readers, with lottery humbugs, Tuipomania, the largely fictional (but very profitable) New-York and Rangoon Petroleum Company , and page after page of money swindles. The book is mostly anecdotes and feels like a friendly conversation with Barnum. It’s also pretty sarcastic and light-hearted, so it’s very readable, despite the 150+ years of language difference.

There is some serious historical culture shock. He has two chapters devoted to avoiding food and alcohol-related scams; for example, watering down alcohol to “homeopathic” doses. Barnums words, not mine. It took me a minute to remember that these were the days before FDA and basic food regulations. I’ve never felt so grateful for modern food regulations in all my life. I’ll let you read them for yourself, but it’s all very scary. It’s for the germaphobe. The chapters on quack medicines are even scarier with magic sand, rampant placebo use at doctor’s offices, and hashish candy. It’s a wonder anyone was able to survive a doctors visit at all.

Other chapters left me really disliking Barnum. The 1800’s were a bit racist. Ok, they were really racist. And boy-howdy is Barnum right in step with his era. The chapter on the Miscegenation pamphlet is flat-out unpleasant. I get that he had to sell copies of the book to all parts of the US (I’m looking at you, post-civil-war-south) but I took very long breaks from that chapter. It ended up being worth reading for the history of the word “Miscegenation”, but I feel like that information could also be learned from Wikipedia without reading about Barnums disgust with racial mixing. His chapters on religious humbug is where he can really loose me. He’ll start waxing on and on about pagan cultures on distant lands or ancient heathens and my eyes glaze over. On the upside, he does move onto “ordeals”; traditional christian “trials” that would determine your innocence if you survived drowning, poisoning, burning, etc. Apparently these were still practiced during his time.

Overall, it’s a fun read and many of the lesser scams in the book aren’t available to research on the internet. If you’re into history in general or if you feel like you’ve simply run out of new ways to be shocked by scam artists, well,  you’re only gunna find this stuff here and Barnum is awesome. Go check it out.


Humbugs of the World is public domain and is available on Project Gutenberg for free, and currently is free in the Kindle bookstore.

The audio recording is free at the Internet Archive, and was recorded by volunteers at

The Memory Palace

I’m really into scripted podcasts. I want a story, some drama, maybe a little art and radio-play sound effects.

The Memory Palace is one of the most perfect podcasts ever. It’s a history podcast, but it’s not a history lecture. It’s stories about people, most of them were only a footnote in obscure history books. The more eccentric the story, the better, so he ends up covering a lot of psudoscience stories. And did I mention they pack a hell of punch in just a few minutes? It’s good stuff.

The guy is a master storyteller, and I don’t want to ruin the surprise if you’ve never heard these before, so I’ll shut up and let you listen to my personal favorite skeptically-themed episodes of The Memory Palace.

Click the link and then click the large image to start the .mp3

Episode 8: The World Within the World (5:21 min)
Episode 9: Ben Franklin Death Ray (2:21 min)
Episode 21: A Gas Gas Gas (5:46 min)
Episode 24: The Moon in the Sun (5:23 min)
Episode 27: The Sisters Fox (10:43 min)
Episode 41: Mary, Mary, and Mercy (4:42 min)

The Memory Palace is also available on itunes

Atheist Christmas Specials

Christmas is a tough time of year for atheists. It shouldn’t be. Christmas is a pretty secular holiday and has been for a while, but thanks to Scrooge, it’s a Christmas tradition to take petty shots at generic non-believers. Every once in a while, though, television series get sick of converting the strawman and they do their own thing for Christmas. And every once in a great while, an atheist plays a lead character. Here’s three of those specials:

Charlie Brown Christmas as performed by the cast of Scrubs
Charlie Brown Christmas was pretty notable at the time for dragging religion into a christmas special. I still love it, but the cast of Scrubs decided they could do one better and do their own version, with “Meaning of Christmas” speech delivered by resident atheist character Dr.Cox. It’s pretty heart-warming, even if you don’t know the characters very well. This was never part of an official release that I know of, so the only place to find it is on youtube.

Charlie Brown Christmas as performed by the cast of Scrubs

All in the Family: A Christmas Day at the Bunkers
Some of you out there might not be familiar with All In the Family, but Archie Bunker is to All in the Family what Chevy Chase is to Community – the lovable racist. And sexist. And homophobic. And… everything else. Edith is his sweet and slightly ditzy wife, Gloria is his daughter who lives at home with her husband Mike, “the Meathead.” The Jeffersons (yes, THOSE Jeffersons) live next door. Mike is an atheist and often buts heads with Archie over politics and religion. Just… watch. You can dig up the whole thing online or at your local library.

Christmas Day at the Bunkers clip


The Boondocks : A Huey Freeman Christmas
This one is probably my favorite on the list. Boondocks was an amazing show. There is nothing funnier than combining racial politics with Christmas. This may be animated and it’s hilarious, but it’s not really for kids. It’s very VERY easy to find online, and at your local library.

The little boy in this is Huey’s brother.

He likes to act and dress like a gangster and he’s declared war on Santa.
I hope this makes your Christmas television specials a bit more tolerable this year.
If you guys have any favorite Christmas special, share them in the comments and I’ll do a follow up post.