THIS SITE could have a better name than mine with “dot com” tacked on to it. I had considered Ratiocinations Out of Thin Air as a title—and that would have been a great title, if a confusing title. Too many people wouldn’t have taken the time to ratiocinate over the meaning of the word CONTINUE READING

the hydra of hate bubbling beneath america’s surface

I SKIPPED “MONSTER TALK” with Blake Smith as he prepared for CryptidCon in the latest Skeptic newsletter. The question “What does science have to tell us about monsters” didn’t attract my interest. Nor did common misconceptions about the origins and development of identical and fraternal twins. But I did eye the key article by CONTINUE READING

blmf literary saloon (where used books come to be found)


1501 Pike Place
Suite 324
Seattle WA 98101




Monday-Sunday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM



Photo of interior of BLMF Literary Saloon bookstore in Seattle.

“Looking for poems written by cats? A Star Wars travel guide? Maybe a book on how to survive a sharknado? You can find those and more at BLMF Literary CONTINUE READING

big bad eagle steals dinner from baby fox who killed an innocent rabbit

BERNI CAME HOME LAST NIGHT and immediately asked me to look up a video on the internet that had everyone’s attention—at least where she worked. It was a local story that had something to do with a fox and an eagle. I went to my trusty browser and typed in “eagle fox” and there were CONTINUE READING

george zimmerman and self-defense

I RARELY PAY ATTENTION to the letters written in to the local newspaper. Too many letters are from misinformed individuals who almost always vote Rep*blican and actually believe that Limbaugh and Beck and O’Reilly are sources for actual “news.”

I am astounded by the people willing to put their name in print and claim credit CONTINUE READING

an experiment that actually curbed hate speech on the internet

I HATE BULLIES and internet trolls are bullies, ergo, I hate trolls. But aside from Facebook—where I can keep them curbed by excluding them from my comment thread—I have little interaction on social media platforms on the internet. Hence, I have little interaction with bullies and trolls on the internet—although there sure are a CONTINUE READING

barbara lee and the boundless consequences of war

SO YOU THINK YOU’RE RIGHT and everybody else is wrong?” I heard those words from my father many times while growing up. Of course, the rationale behind those words is sound: most of the times we hold an opinion that differs with that of 99% of everybody else, then 99% of the time we CONTINUE READING

lies, damn lies, fake news, and the misinformation ecosystem

FAKE NEWS AIN’T NEW NEWS. The term has been in fairly regular if not quite common use for years: it initially referred to the mis/disinformation and propaganda circulated by the thousands of well-connected, rightwing radio talk shows for propaganda. It grew to even vaster proportions with the emergence of the millions of ‘conservative’ websites and CONTINUE READING

caustic sarcasm ain’t the same thing as thoughtful irony

IN RECENT CONVERSATIONS and in reading articles, blogs, and comments on the internet, I hear the word ‘sarcasm’ used interchangeably with ‘irony.’ I point out that irony ain’t the same as sarcasm, which requires a caustic intent. Since we are now at a time when everyone thinks themselves as right as the next guy and CONTINUE READING

the cost of going to the movies back then and right now

A WHILE AGO, I responded to a post on my Facebook thread about going the movies these days, including the price of tickets and concessions, excessive sound systems, rude viewers, etc. I am now a senior, so the price of tickets seem too high, and I haven’t shelled out a cent for obscenely overpriced candy, CONTINUE READING

hey buddy, you wanna talk about it?

WAY BACK IN 1974, I did a favor for a friend: he was managing a small restaurant on Wyoming Avenue in Forty Fort and needed the day off. One of his responsibilities as manager was to tend the bar, which is what I did that day. This was not a drinker’s bar—the majority of drinks CONTINUE READING

pope francis puts down trickle-down and those wielding economic power

IN THE SUMMER OF 1964, I was not quite 13-years old. I was trying to stay awake in the hot, crowded, non-air-conditioned confines of St. Ann’s Chapel in Kingston, Pennsylvania. Father Devlin was performing the Mass, his sonorous voice chanting the Latin in his mildly monotonous manner which had a hypnotically soothing effect.


so atheism and agnosticism don’t do it for you—are you man enough for secular humanism?

DID YOU GROW UP with a “normal” religion an then rejected it and all traditional religions? Atheism and agnosticism not enough? Want the marvels of science revealed to you? Ever want to know what the hell the religious right are talking about when they mention Humanism, or (shudder) Secular Humanism? 

First, Humanism is a philosophy CONTINUE READING