Angry Atheist Podcast #112 from Walter Ego on Vimeo.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Angry Atheist Podcast #112 from Walter Ego on Vimeo.
Monday, January 07, 2008
In this show, the seemingly indefatigable Susan Blackmore and hosts David Quinn and Dan Rowden try to come to grips with issues as diverse yet integrated as mystical experiences, memes, free will, consciousness and how truth can become integrated into the nature of what we are as humans. In a wide ranging and stimulating discussion other subjects touched upon include reincarnation, the illusory nature of the self and what it's like to get beyond such an illusion, emotional attachments, cognitive dissonance, life and death and the nature of modern academic life."
THE REASONING SHOW - Truth and Humanity - Dr Susan Blackmore
Monday, December 03, 2007
If you're masochistic enough, you can view the rest of the Donahue-Rubin videos at
Classic Television Showbiz: The Phil Donahue Show with guest Jerry Rubin (1970)
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
The curious thing about these books is that the authors often appear to think that they are saying something new and brave. They imagine themselves to be like the intrepid explorer Sir Richard Burton, who in 1853 disguised himself as a Muslim merchant, went to Mecca, and then wrote a book about his unprecedented feat. The public appears to agree, for the neo-atheist books have sold by the hundred thousand. Yet with the possible exception of Dennett’s, they advance no argument that I, the village atheist, could not have made by the age of 14 ...
What the New Atheists Don’t See by Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal Autumn 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The revered TV presenter, who has sat down with Hollywood's biggest names for in-depth chats about their life and work over the last 13 years, has revealed he once procured clients for French hookers.
He says, "This was when I was very very young, living in Paris, penniless, unable to get any kind of working permit... I had a friend who worked in what is called the Milieu, which is that world and she suggested to me one night, `Look, you'll be my mec... We would translate it perhaps... as pimp.
"We were earning our living together, this young woman and I, we made a rather good living, I must say."
Lipton reveals in his new book Inside Inside he would set up sex shows for clients of his lady friend.
He adds, "I had to accompany my clientelle to the Rue Pigalle, which is where these things occurred. And then I'd take them up to the room and I had to remain there because they were very nervous, they were young Americans for the most part... and they didn't speak French." Copyright World Entertainment News Network
Actors Studio host Lipton was a pimp in France- ABC Action News
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Here is a letter I sent to David Cohen, executive VP of Comcast, this summer. I am amazed at how similar my experience is to others on this board.
I am writing to tell you about the Single Worst Customer Experience of My Life, courtesy of the fine men and women of Comcast.This story has it all – shocking lack of competence, outright lies, and a customer service system that can best be described as Soviet in its hopeless ineptitude and ability to drain time and destroy souls. Mr. Cohen, I write to you because you are a man whom I respect, and who has tackled the Philadelphia city budget, which may be the only structure west of the Iraqi parliament which is more brazenly dysfunctional than the Comcast customer service system.
Mr. Dougherty, I write to you because you apparently have the unenviable task of herding the motley collection of dispatchers and technicians in the Wilmington, DE area.Let’s cut to the highlights, shall we?I have had no digital voice service for 4 ½ weeks. More important to me, except for maybe 1-2 days of isolated connection, I have also had no Internet service. Given that my girlfriend and I both work from home upon occasion, this lack of service directly affects our ability to earn a living.
To say that I have made an effort to have you resolve these issues would be like saying that Jeffrey Dahmer has a few minor personality issues. To be more specific, I have spoken to Comcast twenty times. Two-zero. That’s not puffery – that number was confirmed by Brian (ID #9FN) in your (Kafka- or Orwell-esque) “retention” department. But here’s the really infuriating part. Over the past week, Comcast technicians have failed to show up for four scheduled appointments. No call, no rescheduling – just flat-out didn’t show.
A quick recap of your efforts from the week of June 18, 2007 looks like this:
• Thursday, June 21 – I’m scheduled for first block of appointments in the morning. The technician was supposed to call my cell phone 30 minutes prior to arriving. The technician never called and never showed. When I called back the evening of the 21st, I was told that there was never any appointment in the system. I rescheduled for the following day, June 22.
• Friday, June 22 – Scheduled for first block of appointments (again). Tech never showed (again). I called that afternoon, and was told that a technician could come out between 5:30 and 7:30. The technician shows up at 8, does some work, and tells me the problem is fixed.
• Saturday, June 23 – Internet and phone are out again. I call customer service and am placed on hold for almost 40 minutes. A representative tells me he’ll send someone out tomorrow (Sunday) between 5:30 and 7:30. I give them my cell phone number so they can call 30 minutes in advance.
• Sunday, June 24 – At 5:45, I call customer service to confirm the appointment. I’m told the appointment has been cancelled… because the technician tried to call me and no one was home. The problem? He called the (broken) home phone line! I say fine, send him out now, since I still have plenty of time in my designated 5:30-to-7:30 “window.” I’m placed on hold for 20 minutes while the representative talks with his supervisor (or surfs for porn on the Internet, or whatever it is he does). At about the 21-minute mark, I’m disconnected.
• Sunday, June 24 (continued) – I call back and talk to a nice young man named Amir. He sincerely apologizes, but all the technicians have been sent home for the day. Amir informs me that he spoke to the dispatcher in my area, and that dispatcher claimed he tried to call both my home and cell phone numbers. This is a blatant untruth. The best he can do, Amir says, is to set me up for a new appointment tomorrow, between 10:30 and 12:30. I give him my cell phone number, and make him read it back to me. The tech is supposed to call 30 minutes in advance on my cell phone before showing up.
• Monday, June 25 – Given past history, I call customer service at 10:45 a.m. to confirm my “window” of 10:30-12:30 and that the dispatcher has my cell phone number. Their response? “That appointment was for yesterday. We don’t have anything today.” Jesus weeps.• Monday, June 25 (continued) – I receive a callback from the local dispatcher, who informs me that the technician will “probably try to be there by 1:00,” but he can’t make any guarantees. I inform the dispatcher that my time frame was 10:30-12:30; he responds that that is the best he can do. To his credit, the dispatcher does show up around 12:45.
The problem is fixed … for now.I have spoken to Michelle in your office and informed her of this twisted chronology. She was kind enough to credit my account for my difficulties. However, even by the distressingly low standards of today’s customer service systems, this entire episode stands out as being truly exceptional – exceptionally bad. Indeed, once-in-a-lifetime bad. I sincerely hope your company is able to improve its customer service and dispatch systems. If not, you’ll lose a lot of customers – myself included.
Sincerely,[name redacted] October 18, 2007 8:56 AM
From Comcast Must Die
Monday, October 08, 2007
Read more at DownWithTyranny
Friday, September 28, 2007
When word emerged this week that an operatic version of Brokeback Mountain is in the works, with a score by Charles Wuorinen, [pictured, left, with with Lepton the cat] a lot of people in the classical music world weren't sure what to think. For a start, the news appeared in the Rush and Molloy gossip column in New York's tabloid Daily News — not a place the industry thinks to look for breaking developments. And the combination of material, medium and music seemed wildly improbable: a spare short story by Annie Proulx about inarticulate Wyoming sheepherders — which, granted, had been made into a film that was very compelling but was far from histrionic — translated into the most histrionic of art forms? With a composer who's one of America's last major unrepentant modernists?
It was hard not to wonder if this was some sort of out-of-season April Fool's joke ...
"I think it's a marvelous idea," Wuorinen's manager, Howard Stokar, told Playbill Arts. "And so did Annie Proulx ... she liked the idea of it being an opera, and she liked the idea of Charles composing it."
There's no commission or opera house involved just yet — says Stokar, "Right now, it's really just under discussion. Who knows what's going to happen?" — but Proulx's approval means that one major hurdle that fells many worthwhile projects has been cleared. (Leonard Bernstein, for instance, is said to have worked on a treatment of Nabokov's Lolita but couldn't get rights to the story.)
The idea for a Brokeback opera was all Wuorinen's. "He wanted to work on a dramatic piece,"said Stokar, "and this seemed like the perfect subject."
Via Playbill Arts
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Ready for the facts, kids? Bogging is like a bargan sale at Macy's. If you weren't at the front of the line when the doors opened, you don‘t get the silk pajamas. Like professional wrestling and capitalism itself the game is fixed and, like high school, social (if not financial) success depends on who you know. But all is not lost, if you work real hard you might still be able to make a buck.
It was frigin’ amazing! I mean, there were no nooses hanging off the plastic fichus trees, nobody was wearing Nazi armbands and, unless you actually brought up the subject of Hilary Clinton, nobody screamed ‘bitch!’ or ‘fuck her!’ Except for the large portraits of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on the walls you’d think you were eating at the Time-Warner building or CNN. It was exactly the same! There were even black people eating there, not many but they were there! Frigin’ amazing!
Monday, September 24, 2007
It is clear to me that Hole in the Wall Saloon's prolonged relocation difficulties is a matter of karmic justice, than of NIMBY politics and business rivalry. During my two-plus years as a regular patron, I have witnessed (and suffered) incredibly dark mojo that still continues. Here's a quick list of my grievances against Hole in the Wall:
- I was drugged and mugged by a patron of Hole in the Wall. No customer or bartender gave me any compassion or support, nor did they admit knowing the culprit. (I have since learned that some regulars, and most bartenders there, knew all along.)
- Before the mugging, I had formed an excellent friendship with one patron, Larkin. But immediately after I informed him of the attack, he ceased our association. And it continues to this very day (more than a year-and-a-half later).
- Some of Larkin's "friends" (including bartenders Gary C. and Chris A.) humiliated me, turning him against me. I had to endure this for MONTHS (that is, until I finally left that bar).
- Weekend bartender Chris A. did nothing when I was attacked by a somewhat large dog. Instead, he kicked me out, and let the dog and owner stay.
- I was threatened with severe violence by another patron (red-headed speed freak Chris), on Gary C.'s shift. Yet the bartender did nothing.
I finally left that bar to hang out at the Eagle Tavern...a place I found much friendlier and safer, at least for a while. Sadly, the gossip from Hole in the Wall followed me there. Obviously, some bartenders and patrons have manipulated Larkin to hate me. (I can barely IMAGINE the wicked gossip used against me, and why Larkin fell for it.) I was recently threatened from one loser named "Gypsy" who is friends with the above-mentioned Gary C., and hangs out at BOTH bars. The bartender on duty, Ron, failed to 86 (or even reprimand) him for threatening a patron. So my days at the Eagle may be numbered, too.
Being Buddhist at heart, I take the high road: "I have no enemies, only teachers." My goal is not vengeance, but justice. Those who play my enemy I hope to win as friends. Imagine what all this negative energy can do for gay rights here in Gay Mecca, once it's channeled into a positive route! I do have an excellent resolution in mind, to make this a win-win situation for all involved:
Larkin, I cherish the friendship we had for a while. I prayed that you'd get your old job back at the Tacqueria next door to "The Hole", and to have you return to South of Market, where you were the star for over seven years. I am the one behind welcoming you to the Eagle, when all other bars wouldn't have you. Just ask Ron. Truth is: we've BOTH been shafted, and the last thing these A-holes care to see, is the resumption of our camaraderie. My prayers for your return to SOMA have been answered in every way, and I only need to look forward now, to my return into your heart.
It is time to mend all damage done. But time has grown short. If you do not change your ways, this will all backfire, and what you wished against me shall come to avenge me instead. Larkin, your willful cooperation with such evil will only entrap you, unless you answer to your conscience NOW. You are my hero: don't fail me, or yourself.
I want Hole in the Wall to relocate UNDER MY TERMS:
Rename the saloon to "Larkin's Lagoon"...where Larkin will be the host and professional bouncer. He'll be paid a living wage including quality health care. A plywood cutout of Larkin (artfully painted, holding a cue stick in one hand, cigarette in the other, with his trademark sardonic smile) shall be attached to the front door, or beside it. Details on how the bar should be run will be left up to me, during negotiations with the owners.
This includes reducing alcohol consumption by 80%, and increasing marijuana use drastically, by including THC based concoctions. (Currently illegal, but we know it's the right thing to do in order to heal our community. At this point in our history, to NOT move in this direction makes us complicit with the persecution of our homophobic enemies. Can you say "speakeasy?")
In sum: I take heart from Buddha's words in the Dhammapada: "A fool is happy until his mischief backfires. And a good man may suffer until his goodness blossoms."
A more detailed account of my grievances and solutions can be viewed at my Gay Bible web site:
Zeke Krahlin Gay Activist since 1973
tBlog - ZekeBlog
I had an interesting conversation with Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, whose new book is The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.
There have long been questions about Rice's sexual orientation and her personal life in general. As Kessler notes, "She has built a wall of privacy around her that is never breached." But Kessler had access to Rice's closest friends and to Rice herself, and he reveals some eyebrow-raising information that hasn't been out there before.
In the book and on the show, Kessler described how Rice's "closest male friend" is openly gay, a man by the name of Coit D. Blacker, a Stanford professor (Rice was provost at Stanford in the late 1990s for six years) and a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration. Blacker, whose partner is also mentioned, advised Al Gore's campaign in 2000, while his close friend Rice became a chief confidante to a president who has tried to make gays into second class citizens in the U.S. Constitution.
But wait, it gets better.Rice's "closest female friend" is a woman named Randy Bean (pictured here), who is unmarried and whose sexual orientation is not stated. She is described as a "liberal progressive;" she's a documentary filmmaker who works at Standford University and once worked for Bill Moyers. She and Rice and Blacker (again, who has a partner) are discussed as a "second family," a term Bean uses, also saying that, "on friends, [Rice] goes narrow and deep."
According to newly revealed information in the book (which Kessler found through real estate records), the two women, Rice and Bean (yes, hilarious), own a home together and have a line of credit together. Bean explains this to Kessler by saying that she had some medical bills that drained her financially years ago, and Rice and Blacker helped her out by buying the house with Bean. But over time Blacker sold his share of the house to Rice and Bean, and then Rice would later get the line of credit with Bean to do some renovations on the home. Kessler, when pressed, said he did not know if this meant there was something more to the relationship between the women beyond a friendship.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I loved both of James Frey's books and don't really understand why people are treating him the way they are. I watched the show where Oprah went after him. The books are incredibly touching and would assist anyone who is surviving addiction or knows someone close to them who is surviving addiction. I do understand there are some fabrications but, that is what sells. You have to keep the reader interested. Every movie out there is "based on a true story" and yet people don't seem to wonder how much is based on that story. James Frey has really taken a beating and he has stood up, been honest, and taken much mroe than he deserved. I certainly would support James Frey in his next novel. He has a beautiful style of writing and is one of my favourite authors
Kathleen Parker, London, Ontario
The unsung hero of L'affaire Frey and the first person to catch on to Frey’s scam was John Dolan writing for an expatriate journal published by some Americans in Moscow appropriately called The Exile. Dolan wrote hilarious reviews of Frey’s books and was very familiar with the reactions of Frey’s moronic fans. He was on the case long before The Smoking Gun picked up the ball and ran with it. Dolan’s summation on Frey and his fans can be read here.
I decided to read the book " A milion little pieces" after everything had already happened with Oprah. The book itself changed my life!!! With each turn of the page, it was no longer a book ,but a journey in which I walked beside James. I felt his emotions as if they were coursing through my body, I felt his pain as if I was searching for my next drink. It is the most beautiful and raw story. I cried, laughed, became angry and desperate. Keep in mind, I knew from the beginning what everyone was saying about his fabrications, and how upset they were. I, for, one believe we should be thanking him for giving us the honor of reading such a life altering book. It was for me and those I have shared it with. I walk with you James Frey... through a million little pieces, and I walked with you while meeting your friend Leonard. Thankyou for giving me that honor.
worth , US, IL
- ► 2007 (39)