October202014

Fontana City Council Candidate, Tressy Capps Harrasses Mexican Immigrant

A right wing zealot named Tressy Capps has been fired from her job with Coldwell Banker for violating their social media policy after harassing a woman for flying a Mexican flag in her own yard.

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Tressy Capps @tlc2tweet

The Tea Party member was offended by the flag when she spotted it as she drove through an Ontario, California neighborhood. The video Capps posted depicts her harassment of the woman who does not speak English. During the encounter, Capps suggested that the woman go to Mexico if she wants to fly the Mexican flag. When the woman pointed out that her family also flies the American flag, Tressy is oblivious as she doesn’t speak Spanish.

She’s also running for a city council seat in Fontana, California. I can’t imagine that voters in Fontana want a City Council member who goes to the homes of Mexican-Americans demanding they remove flags celebrating their heritage.

In the video encounter, Capps threatens the woman and her family with legal action over what she claims is a “code violation”. 

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Any reasonable person would expect a city council member to look into the law before leveling a public legal threat. Sadly, Capps did not. There is no law forbidding residents from flying foreign flags. She has yet to apologize for the empty threat.

Here’s the video that was posted to YouTube by Capps.

And here is a link to a CNN story.

After discovering the video I tweeted about it and Tressy decided to respond. Here is that exchange.

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Capps made no attempt to respond to my question about her comparison of a Mexican flag and the flag of a terrorist organization. In a desperate attempt to legitimize her behavior, she has committed the false dichotomy fallacy. There is no logic in her response.

It should come as no surprise that Capps’ Twitter feed is littered with biblical quotes and right-wing anti-immigration propaganda. Her actions are clearly motivated by her religiously informed political views.

It’s stunning that she does not understand why people are so upset. She states in her interview with CNN that she doesn’t understand why people are calling her racist. This is one of the more impressive effects of religious indoctrination. It serves to cement in the mind of the devoted a kind of moral superiority, while underscoring this position with the belief that their position is not oppressive. As a former Christian, I can report that the faithful truly do believe that these kinds of arguments are not racist in any way. I don’t think Tressy Capps is trying to be racist nor does she think she is. In my opinion, she’s not lying when she says she’s confused by why people are upset. I think she’s being honest and that’s what makes it so difficult to reason with her kind. You cannot reason with those who’ve built their belief system on faith and blind patriotism and I have no doubt that Capps is just such a person.

That’s why I prefer ridicule. I have no hopes of convincing people like Tressy Capps of their logical errors. I can only hope to illustrate to others the folly of such behavior. So that’s why I made a video that breaks down Capps’ utter lack of understanding. I hope to illustrate just how adrift of reason her behavior and beliefs are. She claims to be a patriot rather than a racist yet she fails to see that freedom means the right to live however one chooses to live so long as they do not bring harm to others.

There is no harm that comes from erecting a flag in celebration of one’s heritage. More to the point, there is no law that safeguards Tressy Capps from offense, nor should there be.

The only law that people like Tressy can point to is a federal statute that applies not to citizens but government agencies, which lays down guidelines for how a flag should be handled and flown. This statute also outlines how other national flags may not be flown above the American flag (again by government agencies, not private citizens). The Supreme Court (see Texas v. Johnson) has been very clear on the limitations of these statutes and we should never fall for the claims made by these “patriots” that private citizens are subject to federal laws that impinge on our freedom of speech and expression.

Here is my video response to Tressy Capps’ video:
http://youtu.be/a-Cqde_PlnU

Thank you to  and  for the translation.

October92014

Demonizing Language and Ideas / Setting Up GenieGo Port Forwarding

This is the first blog post I’ve written that is tech in nature and while I will be offering information that helps those with DirectTV’s GenieGo and an Apple AirPort Extreme wireless router to set up port forwarding so that they can take advantage of the “Out of Home Access” features, I’ve decided to file this entry to elucidate a pervasive problem that empowers some to believe they have a right they do not have. 

Before I launch us down this diatributary (I know it’s not a word) if you’ve found your way to this blog seeking help with port forwarding, scroll to the bottom for answers and screenshots. 

While speaking with an Apple tech about how to forward and open the ports that my GenieGo DirecTV streaming device needs to allow access while away from my home network, I employed the word, “fucking” in the following sentence. 

"I’ve been searching the Internet for two fucking days for a way to configure my AirPort Extreme."

Upon delivering that sentence, the Apple employee calmly said, “Sir, I have to ask you not to swear at me.”

I said, “I didn’t swear at you. I didn’t call you a swear word, I merely cursed in a way that’s meant to imply frustration. Swearing at someone and using a swear word are not the same thing.”

After an uncomfortable pause he said, “Oooookay, let’s continue…” And he proceeded to help me solve my problem. For that, I commend him. 

When we were finished, I thanked him for his help and asked him if I may say one final thing about the swear word. He said, “Sure.” So I reiterated the difference between swearing and being sworn at and then I added, “During our conversation you said the word ‘jive’ and while I have no problem with that word, my grandparents do but they have no right to demand that you not use that word when communicating with them. In the same way, you do not have the right to dictate how I communicate so long as I am not being abusive toward you and I suspect that you know that because you attempted characterize my use of the word ‘fucking’ as having sworn at you. I want you to know that you do not have the right to dictate what language others use nor do you have the right to be protected from offense and I want to encourage you to refrain from controlling other by misrepresenting their words and intent.”

He said “Thank you”, and invited me to have a nice day. 

This is what we are seeing in the gaming and skeptic communities. An attempt to silence dissenting views by defining both the content and the language as abusive. To conflate death and rape threats with strongly worded arguments is a smear tactic that attempts to deflect reasonable criticism and quell opposing points of view while trying to enforce underlying claims of institutionalized abuse and perpetual victimhood.

When someone labels you in an attempt to control you, reject their premise for the fallacy that it is. 

Setting up Port Forwarding for a Direct TV GenieGo 

Since I am using an Airport extreme for wireless access, my Time Warner modem/router has been set to bridge mode and is only being used as a modem. You can call Time Warner and they will happily set your modem to bridge mode for you. It is my Airport Extreme that is doing the routing so that’s the device that needs to be configured to forward/open ports 8082 and 8083.

To set your Airport Extreme up, you must first know the IP address of your GenieGo. To get this information, launch the GenieGo App on your Mac or PC then click on the “?” icon in the upper right hand corner of the application then choose “System Info”.

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My IP Address is 10.0.1.19 and you will also see the ports that need to be forwarded/opened. The reason these ports need to be opened rather than just forwarded, is in case you are using a gaming system such as X-Box. The forwarding is to allow the GenieGo App access to your GenieGo box when you are away from home.

Once you know the IP address of your GenieGo, you’re all set to configure your Airport extreme.

Open Airport Utility. You will find it in Applications>Utilities>Airport Utility.
Choose your Airport Extreme and click “Edit” then choose “Network” at the top of the screen.

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Make sure “Router Mode” is set to DHCP and NAT. Now click the “+” button below the “Port Settings” window.

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Fill in the fields as illustrated in the picture above but rather than setting the “Private IP Address” to 10.0.1.19, enter the IP address your GenieGo is set to.

Click “save” then click “Update”.

After your Airport Extreme has rebooted and you are sure you have an internet connection, you may now go to GenieGo, click on the “gear” icon next to the “?” icon and choose the “Out of Home” icon. After a few seconds, you should see a confirmation that you have properly set up Out of Home Access.

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That’s it. Now all your devices will have Out of Home Access but be aware, only your PC or Mac can actually stream your shows when away from home. Your other devices like iPad and iPhone are restricted to only allow you to browse your playlist and set up which shows you want to stream to the device but will not copy until you are back at home on your own network. I have no idea why they chose to restrict us in this way.

August122014

Lauren Bacall brings joy to the hearts of journalists and politicians once again

I’m sorry to report that actress Lauren Bacall has died an event of great import and grief to her family. But her sacrifice has been a great boon to the the news cycle and the electoral machinery — thank God that we have a tragedy involving a wealthy white woman to drag us away from the depressing news about brown people. I mean, really: young 18 year old black man gunned down for walking in the street vs. 89 year old white actress dying of a stroke? Which of those two stories gives you an excuse to play heart-warming video clips non-stop on your 24 hour news channel? Besides, the real story in Missouri is that businesses have been damaged by angry black people — no one is going to trash the Family Dollar in rage over the death of a popular actress. Mike Brown’s death is confusing — the police say he was a shoplifter struggling to get a gun, while no stores reported a shoplifting event, and Brown was unarmed and shot while raising his hands in surrender. Where’s the moral clarity? We’re supposed to want to believe the police, you know, yet all the evidence points to their status as a gang of militarized thugs. That’s very uncomfortable.

Boy, I hate to say it, but it sure was nice of Lauren Bacall to create such a spectacular distraction. No one wants to think the police might be untrustworthy.

And think of the politicians! Midterm elections are coming up. Those are important! So people like Barack Obama need to be able to show their human side and connect with the real concerns of the American people by immediately issuing a safe, kind statement about Lauren Bacall, while navigating the dangerous shoals of police brutality and black oppression by avoiding them. Wouldn’t want to antagonize those lovely law-and-order folks before an election, you see.

Lovely folks like this white Man:

He seems nice. He looks like the kind of person who would have laughed at Lauren as Evelyn on “Family Guy” and cried at Key Largo. He is a Real American whose opinions deserve the attention of the powers that be.

July22014

My Unimaginable Psychic Power

This morning I had a psychic experience. I suppose it could also be called a premonition. I saw something happen before it happened. Wait, I sound crazy. Let me start over.

Today I had an experience that really underscores the value of skeptical and logical thinking. A set of circumstances took place that would have had a younger me, running around telling everyone who would listen, that psychic ability is very real and in fact, it’s an ability that I possess.

I know myself well in this regard. There are a number of embarrassing examples of manufactured “experiences” and/or “powers” that I convinced myself were true over the years. This happened well into my early thirties.

As a kid, I was convinced I was born in a barn in Africa after making up and telling that story countless times. As a teen I was sure I could travel great distances by leaving my body. I was confusing imagination for astral projection. In my twenties, I told hundreds of people I could see auras and pompously explained that they were nothing more than heat radiation that did not change colors to represent mood or personality.

I wasn’t lying. I was able to see these “auras” because my astigmatism was starting to take hold and what was once sharply focused was becoming blurry and fuzzy and ignorantly, I confused bad eyesight for New Age powers.

This morning, I awoke from a dream where a voice I recognized was saying something like, “let’s get it done!” Or some variation on that theme. I recall recognizing the voice as a Mac client and I grabbed my phone to see if there was a call or voicemail from her. That’s how real the voice in the dream felt. I first checked my missed calls and then I opened my address book to call her and just as I was about to dial, I dropped my phone. As I got out of bed I realized I needed to use the restroom and so, the moment passed.

That was at 10:30 this morning. At 11:16 I received a text from Tabitha that read, “Hi Emery. The new hard drive arrived last week”.

The feeling was instant and visceral. I was filled with amazement and wonder. Before I could even apply any logic or reason to this equation I was swimming in endorphins and I was instantly ready to call this a supernatural experience.

I knew that she was talking about replacing her hard drive because about four weeks ago, I had diagnosed her hard drive as ready to fail and helped her assistant order a replacement. I had expected to hear from Tab a few days after but the call never came. Weeks passed and frankly, I had forgotten all about it.

Fortunately my logical mind kicked in and I began analyzing all of the elements involved.

Over the last few days I had been thinking about the loaner iMac I have sitting in the living room that I had sent over to Tab last month. It has her data on it and I didn’t want to wipe it until I knew she had a new hard drive and her data was safe on her own machine. So this has been weighing on me for many days now. Just last night as I got up to go to bed I recall looking at the iMac and thinking, “I really should call Tab and ask her if she got her new hard drive installed and her data copied safely.”, but I never would have recalled having that thought unless I really started looking for a logical explanation for the dream.

Obviously Tabetha and her computer were on my mind before I went to bed. This is clearly what caused me to awake to the voice talking about her computer.

Now let me clarify that the dream that I woke to was not significant in the moment. It was like any other morning of dream confusion. It only became significant the second I read that text from Tabetha.

Think about that. I have awakened to hundreds, even thousands of different dream state moments and none of them was more significant than the other. The thing that made this dream stand out was the coincidence that Tabetha had reached out via text shortly after I woke from a dream. The human desire to connect these two events and make the dream somehow responsible for or magically connected to the text is overwhelming. This is what we humans are wired to do. And once you understand this, you would think we would be less prone to it but in fact, I fell into the predictable pattern instantly.

Now, before you go screaming that I’m being too logical and maybe there really is some magic at work here. I have to tell you one more incredible part of the story.

After Tabetha had texted me I told her I would call her after lunchtime and I reached for my phone, opened up the address book and to my amazement my address book was opened to the Mac client I had been dreaming about when I woke up.

The address cards starring back at me was for a Mac client named Susan. The dream I was having wasn’t about Tabetha at all. But my mind filled in the gaps and brought them together so convincingly that even as I began writing this story I was unaware of the fact that I had awakened to Susan’s voice in my head, not Tabetha’s. Had I not tried to call Susan and had I not dropped my phone, I might have spent the rest if my life thinking that the dream was about Tabitha.

When someone claims to have psychic powers I have no doubt they believe it but I know how easy it is to fool ourselves.

April292014

esssee123 said: Hi there. What happened to your podcasts, they just seemed to have stopped (on iTunes) without explanation. They were two favs of mine and miss hearing them. Either way, thanks for many hours of interesting content (cuntent). All the best, Jeremy - Australia

We just released 6 new ones.

1PM
March182014
Emery on Science vs. Religion.

Emery on Science vs. Religion.

3PM
"Ken Ham defends his conclusions while Bill Nye defends a process." - Emery Emery

"Ken Ham defends his conclusions while Bill Nye defends a process." - Emery Emery

January152014

Charity

I sat eating my Big Mac, playing Tiny Death Star on my iPhone lost in my own personal malaise. I was pondering the loss of so many relationships that initially, seemed as if they could never end. I was contemplating my mother’s slow healing, compound fracture and how I wasn’t ready for her to give up just yet. I wondered if my new used car would become a money pit and how was going to afford to get the old Saab running right so Heather could drive a more reliable car to her night gig.

My quiet contemplation was broken by a tattooed twenty-something charging through the door followed by an old man moving slowly behind him, a dog-eared notebook under one arm and what appeared to be sleeping supplies under the other. The old man was talking up a storm to some unseen person. He mumbled in a language only known to him and the ghost that only he could see.

The kid walked right up to the counter and placed his order with blinding speed as if he was late for a CeeLo concert and while he waited for his food, he eyed the old man. I wondered what kind of trouble I was about to witness. I knew I’d be getting involved because that’s what I do. I’m not a spectator.

The old man was focussed on his invisible friend and seemed hell bent on not making eye contact with anyone in the joint but all eyes were on him. He stood near the soda machine, working out some details about something that only he understood. He seemed to be getting what must have been good advice from the ether because he laughed a few times and nodded vigorously in his companion’s ghostly direction which was situated conveniently away from us all.

A tray was set on the counter as the minimum wage employee called out the number 315. The kid snagged the tray in one hand and the empty cup in the other and slid right up to the old man causing him to flinch as he let out a preternatural grunt.

“Which flavor you like, man?” blurted the young man.

After a moment of confusion a sliver of coherence slipped in just long enough for the old guy to say, “Sprite! Who don’t drink Sprite?!” And he turned away as quickly as his wretched body would allow and rounded the corner, shuffling his way to the seat that would place him as far from the rest of us as he could get.

I watched him situate his notebook which had a crude pen drawing of what appeared to be a woman with the words, “Keep It Together” scratched beneath in 1st grade level handwriting. He resumed his discussion but this time, with his notebook. The ghost must have moved onto the page he turned to.

The kid finished filling his Sprite, capped it and stabbed the lid with a straw and made his way to the man’s table, causing the man to rise to his feet as if he were ready to defend the small island and his pen and ink lady had staked claim to and in the moment, everything became instantly clear to me.

Twenty-Something sat the meal on the old man’s table and gently placed his arm around the man to help guide him to his seat. He said, “Stay strong, brother.”

My eyes filled and I was instantly ashamed for believing that this boy could do anyone harm. I had no idea he had met that man on the street where he invited him into the warmth of a McDonald’s restaurant where he would see to it that the man had a meal tonight.

I was also ashamed that only moments ago, I was sad.

I walked out of that building with no money in my pocket because I sat a small wedge of cash on the man’s table as I walked by and as I was making my way out the door, the kid was behind me, on the way to whatever life he’s fortunate enough to have. All I said was, “That was beautiful”. He thanked me and jumped in his parent’s SUV and drove away. The music rattling his windows wasn’t Ceelo.

2PM

Compromise


Sitting in a Starbucks, I watch a man in his late 60s inspect every facet of a double walled, stainless steel travel mug. He rigorously tests the lid. Examining the interior for any imperfections and finally, it was clear that he was no lon
ger considering a purchase as inspection turned to admiration. He had made a decision. 

Continuing to admire his new-found possession, he slowly made his way to the condiment bar where his wife was doting over a double chai latte and with what seemed like calculated restraint, he presented her with his prize.

She didn’t even seem to look at the thing. Her eyes jumped to meet his where his gaze quickly turned from hopeful excitement to defeated disappointment as her scowling face and shaking head communicated precisely, her decision.

When a person becomes partners with another, a power struggle will always ensue and if those people remain paired for any significant amount of time, it means one of those people has beaten the other into a kind of submission. 

Perhaps it’s the better of the two options. Somewhere there is a man who always stood his ground and never acquiesced to his partner’s demands or even learned the value of compromise and right this moment, he’s drinkinking a black coffee from a stylish, finely crafted travel mug manufactured specifically to maintain ideal coffee temperature but alas his drink is too bitter to enjoy for he has no one with which to share and the plastic injection molded, rubber seal cap also serves to funnel his tears directly into his prized mug.

January142014
December302013
November222013
cupidisnotok:

This guy is talking like I might be a fairly older woman, so I want to clarify that I’m in my late twenties. My. Late. Twenties.
And, you know what? I was getting really insecure about how fucking ancient I am until this guy assured me that “age is just a number.”

I love this blog! It highlights everything that’s wrong with the male mind. And by mind, I mean penis.

cupidisnotok:

This guy is talking like I might be a fairly older woman, so I want to clarify that I’m in my late twenties. My. Late. Twenties.

And, you know what? I was getting really insecure about how fucking ancient I am until this guy assured me that “age is just a number.”

I love this blog! It highlights everything that’s wrong with the male mind. And by mind, I mean penis.

November202013
November132013

Ardent Atheist 11/13/13 

Episode Guests

Chris Gore - http://thatchrisgore.tumblr.com/  https://twitter.com/ThatChrisGore

Kyle Hill - http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/but-not-simpler/  https://twitter.com/Sci_Phile

Check out our Sponsors

https://gumroad.com/emeryemery

http://foundationbeyondbelief.org/

http://tinyurl.com/ardentcampquest

http://doubtfulnews.com/

Pre Show Topics

Rafael Cruz: Atheism leads to child molestation and perversity http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/13/rafael-cruz-atheism-leads-to-child-molestation-and-perversity/

Right-wing pastor wants you to stop buying lesbian Girl Scout cookies

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/girl-scouts-promote-lesbianism-says-pastor

Atheists can be jailed in Kentucky for not acknowledging God

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/337629

Relevant Links

Getting the God of Thunder’s Science Right http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/but-not-simpler/2013/11/08/getting-the-god-of-thunders-science-straight/

Squirtle, I (Should) Choose You - Settling a Great Pokemon Debate with Science http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/but-not-simpler/2013/10/22/squirtle-i-should-choose-you-settling-a-great-pokemon-debate-with-science/

The Road Less Travelled with Meredith Doig, PZ Myers, Chris Stedman, Leslie Cannold. “Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsqqFpWh7m8

Leading Scientists Still Reject God

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

Nonoverlapping Magisteria

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_noma.html

Please Pray for this Post

http://skeptoid.com/blog/2013/01/12/please-pray-for-this-post/

Precambrian rabbit (Wikipedia)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precambrian_rabbit

Are redheads going extinct?

http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/genetic/redhead-extinction.htm

Megan Fox discusses her wonky thumbs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvtg7cQEVQE

Marked for Mayhem

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200812/marked-mayhem

Patton Oswalt - Sky Cake

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55h1FO8V_3w

Chris Stedman - Faitheist

http://www.amazon.com/Faitheist-Atheist-Common-Ground-Religious-ebook/dp/B007WKEMCI/ref=la_B0094BKED4_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384403335&sr=1-1&tag=xunjiacom0e-20

 

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