Is God that much of an S.O.B.?

On the bus the other day, I wrote a poem in my head. It’s a tad vulgar, but so is the behavior of certain religious leaders.

For at least the last dozen years, there have been a handful of religious “leaders” who, after some tragic and horrific event, will proclaim that it happened for some reason related to that place somehow offended God. We heard it after 9/11, and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, among others, and now after the murders of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee blamed the school shooting on failure to have compulsory prayer at school; damned that inconvenient separation of church and state! Others have blamed disasters on the acceptance of abortion and gay marriage. Some Tennessee pastor specifically said the mass shootings take place because schools teach evolution and “how to be a homo;” I shan’t link to it.

For sake of the argument, let’s assume that God is the spiteful, vindictive entity that some religious leaders say God is. Still, how do they KNOW it’s THESE particular activities that’s ticking off the Deity? Continue reading “Is God that much of an S.O.B.?”

2011: What Kind of Year Was It?

Something about losing over $10,000 in three months is just marginally disconcerting.

When I get my World Almanac for Christmas, I often sit around with my in-laws trying to guess what the top 10 events of the year (which is actually November of the prior year to October of the current year).

Seems that while US politics (Tea Party, crazy Republican Presidential candidates) might make the roster, I sense the list will be dominated by three areas Continue reading “2011: What Kind of Year Was It?”

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

“Unions are also the only large-scale movement left in America that persistently acts as a countervailing power against corporate power. They’re the only large-scale movement left that persistently acts in the economic interests of the middle class.”


On March 25, 1911, 146 young immigrant workers, mostly female, died in a tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York’s Greenwich Village. Within 18 minutes, the fire spread to consume the building’s upper three stories. Firefighters who arrived at the scene were unable to rescue those workers trapped inside because the doors were locked and their ladders could not reach the factory floor. This tragedy galvanized a city and state to fight for labor reform and safety in the workplace.

And now a century later, it’s clear that organized labor is under attack. You may have seen the cookie joke. “You know: a CEO, a tea party member, and a union worker are all sitting at a table when a plate with a dozen cookies arrives. Before anyone else can make a move, the CEO reaches out to rake in eleven of the cookies. When the other two look at him in surprise, the CEO locks eyes with the tea party member. ‘You better watch him,’ the executive says with a nod toward the union worker. ‘He wants a piece of your cookie.'”

Just because I haven’t spoken much here about the attacks on labor, in the US and elsewhere, Continue reading “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire”