Author Archives: madblog

A Note

My dear blogging friends–we lost my mother early this morning at the remarkable age of 96. I do appreciate your friendship.



Saying Goodbye to a Home

It turns out I’m nostalgic and sentimental about places. Today I said goodbye to my house–the house I was born into, the house I lived in until my marriage, then returned to, to raise my family for nine more years. After that we moved halfway down the block.

I have had free access to my old house all my life. The last few years I was there nearly every day.

Today I went in very early in the morning, walked through its empty rooms and took pictures. You see an old house much in need of cosmetic repair but I see many, many memories. One empty corner is where my play kitchen was in the TV room. Another is the attic closet where my boys played spaceship. And so on. There really are a million memories.

I have never lived more than a mile or two from this house. Can’t believe I’m saying goodbye to it. Now I will be able to see the new family take ownership and make their memories. That doesn’t feel good yet but I hope that it will.



Please explain to me again about the moral superiority of atheism. No need for objective morality, a Moral Lawgiver, a True God. Tell me how when people are finally free of superstition we will have a society of reason, justice, and sanity.

Here is atheism’s favorite populizer’s compassionate and reasoned response to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, while the horror is fresh, while the victims are still being identified.

Richard Dawkins‏
Verified account

Durn tootin’, great shootin’. Cool dude sertin’ he’s 2nd Mendment rahts. Hell yeah!
Every country has its psychopaths. In US they have guns

All he has to offer his fellow human beings at this tragic moment is contempt.

SHOCKER: Almost half of all abortions performed worldwide are unsafe, reveals WHO

Almost half of all abortions performed worldwide are unsafe, reveals WHO

Really, almost half? So more than half of the babies survive?…No, really? Who ever heard of an unsafe abortion?

A procedure performed at a facility with minimal clinical safety requirements, possibly by someone who is not an M.D., the purpose of which is to suddenly halt a healthy pregnancy by extracting the fetus, which may include inserting cutting instruments through the cervix into the uterus and dismembering the fetus, or transforming the nurturing fluid in which the fetus thrives into a hostile burning solution then vacuuming the contents of the uterus…can be unsafe?

Concise and correct response to headline: All abortions are by definition “unsafe”. Every single one results in a killed child. Abortion does not exactly sound safe for the women either.

Let’s take a look at this piece. First, the article is written not from an objective perspective but promotes one side of an entrenched debate. Bias is all over it. Witness the “Mexico City Policy” renamed the” Global Gag Rule”. “Experts say the proposed cuts, together with the reimposition of the restrictive Mexico City policy (also known as the Global Gag rule) which forbids US federal funds to any organisation that counsels women on abortion, can only make things worse.” What kind of “experts,” and could you find a less informative adjective than “worse”?

Second, how are statistics on illegal abortions validated? I am dubious of the legitimacy of numbers given on procedures which are designed to be hidden because of illegality or societal disapproval. Official records are maintained? So those numbers (which are helpful to said bias) are suspect.

Look at the bar chart. Looks like North America is Abortion Heaven, doesn’t it?  That doesn’t square with the apocalyptic hysteria from Planned Parenthood.

The article unwittingly hints at one of the actual problems for women in less developed countries: lack of “well developed health infrastructures”.

“They say women may die as a result of more serious complications because of the dangerous methods used to bring about an abortion – and their health services may then not have the skills or resources to treat them.”

I’m going to surmise that any  procedure performed at a facility lacking basic clinical safeguards, medically qualified clinicians, or well developed health infrastructures is much less safe than any procedure performed in first-world facilities. Abortion is selectively highlighted, and they literally don’t care about the other items.

Where are the billionaire celebrity philanthropists and childless world politicians when Africa needs basic medical infrastructure? Their generosity is conditional and laser-focused: kill more babies and we’ll give you the means (to kill more babies). Helping you with basic medical care doesn’t make me sexy enough.

Other internal contradictions: abortion by pill is unsafe, then it’s safe. “…and of them 17.1 million were unsafe because the woman was taking pills alone” but “Safe abortion is a very safe procedure…It isn’t even necessary that it has to be a procedure. Now you can use tablets.”

And here, according to my research, is an urban myth, an outright lie: “There was no evidence that the Gag rule resulted in a decrease in the incidence of abortion,” she said. A couple of studies in sub-Saharan Africa had suggested it led to an increase as a result of the shrinking of contraception provision by NGOs.”

In reality, under the Mexico City Policy, organizations may still give contraceptives, post-abortive care, prenatal care, and even advise and refer abortions where it is legal, and under several circumstances such a rape. Some organizations, such a International Planned Parenthood choose to leave rather than have restrictions imposed upon them, leaving women without care. Here is a comprehensive assessment:

Let’s keep hope for a world where most people care about the health of everyone, both mothers and children.




X – 9/22/17

“Maybe rock and roll never dies but it sure gets old…” Jon Foreman

Concertgoers my age have had to acknowledge some uncomfortable perspective shifts. The young people you remember come out on stage and they’re freaking old people. Then I think: “Oh yeah, me too.”

But it seems rock and roll does age well. We saw X last night and this is a band comfortable with its age. The fact that they’ve had all the decades to become an even more awesome band is the important part. These are first-rate musicians and this is a great band!

Billy Zoom wearing my grandfather’s glasses, pleasant grin all night, hardly moving he’s so cool. His fingers fly but he’s not breaking a sweat. Occasionally he licks his pick, sticks it to the middle of his forehead and steps up to the sax to play a bit, grinning for pictures between riffs.

More experiment and jazz than I expect. The country-rockabilly influences. The vibraphone just lovely. All wrapped up in solid rock.

To my aging concert mates I say: let’s all age well and make the most of all the music.


Beauty from Ashes?

From 2014.

Messages from the Mythical

Beauty from ashes. The hopeful thought that something good can emerge from trials, or that something ugly can be transformed into something beautiful.

The phrase belies itself. “Ashes” are kind of a pretty image. Picture a humble muted-green bowl on a homey wooden kitchen table neatly filled with a casual pile of gray ashes lit by the natural sunlight of a wooden window with garden flowers in bottles on the ledge which looks out on sprawling farmland.

We women have a tick, a habit, a default behavior. It is to turn every disagreeable thing into a pretty thing. We must make all ashes into beauty ASAP. Every ugly thing must be subjected to a makeover. If it’s beautiful we can live with it.

But ashes aren’t really ugly. There are much uglier and messier things than ashes. Everyday life presents us with the mundane forms of ugly: dirt, grime, disorder. Endless little…

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The Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion

From Public Discourse:

The Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion

“America’s founding fathers specified that our society is premised on certain inalienable rights given by our Creator that are beyond manipulation by a legislature or the courts. The American Revolution was based on a religious belief that crucial fundamental rights and obligations derive from G-d, not from government. But more than 200 years have passed since that epic event, and secular humanists have developed a dogma that now places the state above G-d. Without the foundation of inalienable rights and obligations granted by a Creator that are beyond the influence of government, what we have is a dictatorship of ever-changing popular opinion.”