Common Sense

There are many Internet writers constantly whining about the fact that Americans have no common sense.

The left wingers think the right wingers are idiots, totally lacking this important facet of intellectual life; while the right wingers are convinced that the left wingers have lost not only common sense but their full minds in the bargain. Yes, there are even people in the middle who think everyone has lost his or her common sense. In short, to them everyone is a moron.

But is this so? First a vivid example:

I saw Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s greatest evolutionary biologist and a fierce critic of religion and the belief in a god, being interviewed by a man of deep faith. The man asked the inevitable question that creationists will always ask evolutionists: “How can the human eye, which is an amazingly complex organ, have come about by random chance? Isn’t that impossible?”

Dawkins then gave the man a lesson on how the human eye came about through evolution, from sensing light and dark, to seeing shades of different types, all the way to the human eye. At the end of this, Dawkins then mentioned about a dozen or more animals that have different types of eyes that reflect some of the evolutionary points the human eye may have gone through at one time or another.

It was a brilliant lesson from the renowned Mr. Dawkins.

Dawkins then asked the man if this made sense to him. The man said that “yes, it did” but that he didn’t believe any of it because his judgment of truth is the holy word of God in the Bible.

In the Bible, God (meaning Yahweh, as opposed to say Zeus or Odin, etc.) created the world in six days. All the creatures were made as a “kind” and these “kinds” do not change. Yes, there are many different types of dogs but all dogs are of one kind. Man is obviously a “kind” and everything about man is the way it should be, including the eye. There is no such thing as evolution. The earth is only about 6,000 years old (give or take).

The Bible was everything. Nothing could shake this man’s belief in it, no matter what facts he was given. Dawkins just looked at the man and I am sure he wondered, “This guy has no common sense. What’s wrong with him?”

Now, the religious man probably thought the exact same thing. It was Dawkins who did not have the necessary common sense. How could Dawkins deny the eternal word of the Lord? Where was Dawkins’ brain?

If you are of the religious bent, you will agree with the man and disagree with Dawkins. If you are scientifically minded, then Dawkins is right.

Is the religious man so stupid that in other aspects of his thinking he also emits an intense odor of idiocy? Not necessarily so.

This man may be great in analyzing ideas for his business. He might be excellent in handling people and fixing things. He might have plenty of common sense in most other areas of his life. It’s just this Bible thing that would make the Dawkins of the world think the guy has a screw loose.

And Dawkins? Well, he probably has plenty of common sense except in areas of evolution on Earth. Therefore, he might not be the best choice for the Seventh Day Adventists’ “Man of the Year” award. After all, how could he not know that Saturday is the day God rested and not Sunday? Geesh! Some people have no common sense!

It is quite obvious that common sense exists here and there.

People might think Joey the Wrench is such an idiot that he probably doesn’t have any common sense at all. But the Wrench certainly knows motorcycles and how to fix them. He’s good with the ladies too – or maybe those ladies don’t themselves have common sense. Hmmm.

The bottom line? There is such a thing as common sense but no one has a true handle on it at all times. It’s here and there but it is not everywhere and none of us really thinks that it is. If we did, well, then we wouldn’t have any common sense, would we?

In conclusion, please use your common sense when discussing common sense.

My Damn Wife


My wife, the Beautiful AP, is my editor. A few days ago I handed her my latest article “The Righteous Outliers.” I thought it was a brilliant piece.

“So what did you think of my article?” I asked her, awaiting praise.

“I didn’t like it,” she said.

“You’re kidding.”

“No,” she said. “You wrote about two people in the club and about Thomas [not his real name] and I think you are going to hurt their feelings and our friends are going to be upset by this.”

“I didn’t make fun of anyone,” I said.

“You’re good with dialogue. I heard those two in the club actually speaking in your article. You don’t think everyone is not going to know who those club members are?”

“I gave them fake names,” I said. “I can’t believe you didn’t like it.”

“I hated it,” she said.

“I mean people who have certain beliefs sometimes go to the furthest ends of those beliefs and become intolerable. They lose their sense of humor and they are so critical of anyone who isn’t as fanatical as they are. You see it in religion, politics, societies…”

“Yes, yes, the idea is good. These outliers are everywhere in society,” she said.

“Righteous, righteous outliers. So that’s what I was writing about. I thought I caught it,”

“And Thomas? Do you think he wants you to share with the world the fact that he is being followed by his former religious friends because he’s converting to Catholicism?”

“I didn’t use his real name,” I said. “I mean his former religious friends have shunned him or are waiting outside his house speaking in tongues and trying to save him from the Satanic Catholic Church. Those people are all righteous outliers.”

“I hated the article,” she said.

Today I gave my wife my written analysis of the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate hearing from Thursday. I don’t know the truth of what happened and I am glad the FBI is looking into the allegations. My article was merely my attempt to show that a certain stereotypical pattern existed in the situation with Ford being the quivering damsel in distress while Kavanaugh was the beastly, sexually assaulting angry man. I claimed this stereotyping could be portrayed in a movie and the critics would say that this stereotyping was trite. My article was not taking either of them lightly.

She read the article, turned from the computer and glared at me.

I was smiling. “I hit on something that no one thought about or wrote about,” I said.

“I hated it,” she said.


“I hated it.”

“Seriously,” I said. “Come on, seriously?”

“This is a serious case and women are not going to be calm in the face of what you wrote,” she said. “This is a serious and emotional issue. They will not think of what you wrote as an ‘interesting analysis.’”

“What did I write? What did I write? I was just showing how you can see a stereotypical pattern in the event, that’s all. It was with both of them.”

“People are going to misunderstand what you meant,” she said. “You know and I know that people post absolute emotional garbage on the Internet. The reaction to your piece is going to be fierce and you will be mischaracterized.”

“Jesus Christ,” I said. “You mean I can’t write about hard-hitting issues?”

“Of course you can. But, you called Ford a damsel in distress and Kavanaugh the beer-bloated male bully but you’ll find that no one will understand you seeing a stereotypical pattern in this case. People will be outraged, thinking that you are trivializing the whole incident and what it represents—especially to those of us who can say, “Me too.”

“I don’t even know what you mean,” I said. Actually, I knew exactly what she meant but didn’t want to admit it.

“I mean: don’t publish it,” she said.

So I am writing this reaction at 2:30 in the morning. My problem is this: I know my damn wife is right about both articles. If it were ever Frank Scoblete versus the Beautiful AP testifying before the United States Senate—I would not be nominated as writer of the year.

Now comes the hardest part. I have to give my wife this article for editing. If you are reading this, it passed muster. If not…well, this will be the third article dumped on the trash pile this week.

Frank Scoblete’s latest book is Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available on, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Is This Funny or Idiocy?

An advertisement in the latest issue of Scientific American (June 2017) has me grinding my teeth after laughing a little, well, a lot. It is an ad for the “Freedom from Religion Foundation” with Donald Trump and Mike Pence having leading roles.

Here is the copy and I’ve tried to use the ad’s type style, punctuation and grammar:

“IN REASON WE TRUST; Don’t let The Religious Right Trump The First Amendment; [Picture of Pence pushing a painting of Thomas Jefferson behind him.] The ONLY WALL We Need Is Between CHURCH And STATE; Your gift to FFRF’s Legal Fund in Mike Pence’s name will help us fight religion in our government. Phone for free copy of FFRF newspaper. Gifts deductible for income tax purposes. 1-800-335-4021 /; FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION”

I have no doubt that just about all left-wingers will find this advertisement funny and might send in generous donations to the Pence fund for Freedom from Religion.

Yes, Mike Pence is a true Christian believer, heavily supporting a ban on gay marriage and wanting to make a law that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman. He is also in favor of the religious freedom act as incorporated in Indiana for our entire nation.

What is the religious freedom act? In a nutshell it maintains that if someone enters your store and is gay and wants a wedding cake, if such gayness violates one’s religious beliefs you do not have to sell the cake to such a person. That was an actual event. The owners of the bakery would not sell an inscribed wedding cake to (I’m making the names up) Michael and Donnie.

A Kentucky clerk named Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to a gay couple even though issuing such licenses was her job. When asked why she wasn’t following the Kentucky law she said to the effect, “I am following God’s law!” Republican Presidential aspirant Michael Huckabee flew down to Kentucky and was hanging all over Ms. Davis at a rally supporting her religious freedom even if it meant she wouldn’t do her job.

You can see the problem here. If an individual’s religious belief claims that a women should be dressed a certain way in order to come into his store to buy something, and the woman isn’t dressed that way, then he can tell the woman to take a hike. This is happening at an orthodox Jewish store in Brooklyn, New York.

Or if a black businessman says that his religion will not allow him to sell anything to whites then that is okay too. Or whites selling to blacks. Or Indians selling to Pakistanis. Or…on and on.

The right wing is in favor of religion being a part of government. They protest when the 10 Commandments are removed from court houses. They want civil government to be able to officially decorate for Christmas. I understand this too – hell, I love Christmas but I agree that Christmas and official government decorating for it is not the best practice.

So by using Trump and Pence as examples of the kinds of people who want to shove their religion down our throats the foundation thinks it has made the point. (I actually don’t know if Trump is religious but he now talks as if he is, so if the words fit he should wear them.)

Except –

The Freedom from Religion Foundation just zinged half their potential donors! Can’t someone who wants a wall between Mexico and the United States also want freedom from religion? They sure can. But the ad has now labeled them as retrogrades. Why donate money to a group that disdains you?

I am sure that Republicans and independents who voted for Trump and Pence would be less interested in supporting the Freedom from Religion Foundation than leftists. But some of them just might. I would guess that a percentage of Trump and Pence voters might even be atheists or otherwise opposed to mixing religion with government.

Making fun of their former candidates Trump and Pence is stupid; yes, it is total idiocy – funny idiocy at that but idiocy nevertheless. The “freedom from religion” cause is a serious one, calling for rational thought, as opposed to satire.

[Read Frank Scoblete’s books I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack, I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! All available from, on Kindle and electronic media, at Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.]