Scientology Hides in Portland
[Guest post from Arthur who was in Portland for the “Grand Opening”.]
I dropped by the “Grand Opening” of Scientology’s latest “Ideal Org” in Portland, Oregon. It was nothing much. I guess that’s typical of these events. Only a couple of hundred Scientologists showed up.
As much as it was nothing much, a few things struck me about the event and how Scientology “welcomed itself” into the community.
The overwhelming image and attitude of Scientology in that neighborhood and in that community was, “We don’t like you, we don’t trust you. Keep out.” There were tons of security all over the place plus rented off-duty police. The police were polite, the Scientologists were most definitely not. At one point I saw one Scientology “security” person hassling a non-uniformed Scientology security person because he didn’t recognize him. That was funny.
If you were not a known Scientologist, you were most…
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There’s Something About Mormonism
Today I’m going to tackle the sensitive and topical subject of Mormonism. In contrast to my usual style, I will attempt to do so without sarcasm and snark. I’m going to attempt to be serious.
Note: Within the context of this post, for convenience, the term “Mormonism” will be used interchangeably with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Why think about Mormonism? Why now? I think, mostly, the answer to that is Mitt Romney. He’s a serious candidate for president and, like every candidate before him, his religious views get put under a microscope and become a topic for discussion.
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Case studies from the X-Files
Google and Bing agree. X is for Xbox. Boring! YouTube came up with xjawz.
Relying on the auto-complete features in these search engines, I then tried “X” followed by all of the vowels.
xem phim tren mang
From these results I deduce that Bing is more international than Google and Google is more commercial than Bing. And YouTube is just weird. 🙂
The X-Files: The Strange Case of the Trumpers
Proving the old adage that “it takes one to know one,” Robin Williams had Donald Trump pegged long before the rest of us:
He wants to see Obama’s birth certificate? I want to see his hairline. I mean, my theory is the hair is actually The Donald. That it’s like some alien creature that landed years ago.
Interesting. Is it the hair itself which is the alien, and Trump merely some sort of host? Or is the relationship more symbiotic than that?
I have no doubt that Mulder and Scully will get to the bottom of this.
There are several critical components to wonky beliefs like conspiracy theories: an overactive imagination, an element of doubt, and a steadfast stubbornness and determination to dismiss facts that contradict the belief. In my opinion, ignoring facts that don’t fit is the key ingredient. And I’ve seen this sort of thing time and time again in my travels.
Of course, in Trump’s situation, it’s hard to know if he seriously believed the sewage that came out of his mouth or if it was all just opportunistic entrepreneurship. “Hey, look,” he probably said. “Polls show increasing numbers – mostly Republicans – who doubt if Obama was born in America. I can use that. Yes, I shall cash in on that.”
Now that Obama has produced his birth certificate, something he decidedly didn’t have to do, one thing is now certain: We can expect the focus of the birthers to shift. They will change the conversation. They’ve already proven they are unwilling to accept facts that challenge their beliefs. I highly doubt the document distributed by Obama will change that much.
Of course Trump, the classy guy that he is, had something extremely pithy to say about it during a press conference he called to discuss his reaction:
I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue.
–Donald Trump and/or his alien hair (it’s unknown which was speaking)
Speaking of “natural born” qualifications to be president, I would very much like to see Trump’s birth certificate from Planet X.
And now, only because I personally thought it was funny, is my tweet from Wednesday morning regarding the Birther issue and Obama producing his birth certificate:
Tom B. Taker
Birthers: Please report to the nearest empty field to wait for relocation by spaceship. Don’t forget your Nike footwear.
April 27, 2011 via web
And, just in case the reference to Nike footwear is too obtuse, check out the Wikipedia page on Heaven’s Gate. One thing about us humans seems certain: We’ll never have a shortage of Trumpers.
This is my “X” post for the A-Z Blogger Challenge.