Dustin Hartley Brand

Apr 21 2014

Bystander Effect

We, the residents of the RCF, were eating our snacks. The nurse was in the kitchen. It looked like one of the guys in the dining room was choking. Someone called for the nurse, but the nurse didn’t hear him. There we were, all sitting and looking at each other. It was the bystander effect — there are plenty of other people here who can help him, so I’ll just stand by while help arrives.


I found this video on http://www.mrconservative.com/2014/04/39594-obama-praises-islam-in-his-easter-address/

I couldn’t really put my finger on what the fuss is all about, but this video has gotten some people worked up. My ire, too, was getting angry. Why was the President talking Judaism and about his own belief in Jesus? It sounded as though he was putting some dents in the wall that separates church and state. But then he named various other religions, and even acknowledged non-believers.

1 note

Apr 19 2014

Poor clown.



The pastor at Bible study once asked me, an atheist (this was several years ago, and I don’t know if he knows I’m an atheist, but we’re good friends) if I had thought of my judgment on Judgment Day. I hadn’t really given it much thought, and I don’t remember if I even answered the question, at least not coherently. 

I think that I’m a good guy with a bad streak. Others have told me that I am a good guy. But I’ve always had anger issues, and now I have a criminal record from when I snapped (see my book The Rat Case, available now at Amazon.com). As I said, I’ve been told that I have a heart of gold. 

Then again, an ex-girlfriend told me that I have no heart. (Wait, what? I had a girlfriend?). She’s wrong. I certainly do have a heart, of silver if not gold. So, yeah, I might be a bad guy,

Perhaps I’m going to Hell. I’d prefer Heaven, or so I think; I’ve never been there.

The funny thing is, I was trying to become a Christian. I tried Pascal’s Wager, but I couldn’t do it. Reading the Bible, learning about how the world actually works, using critical thinking — I just could not convince myself that there’s a god. 

If, however, there is an attractive female incubus, come on over. ;)

Apr 18 2014

Tear This Place Down

"How are you?" I asked Garland when I had nearly run into her while leaving my room. 

"What?" Garland is 95 years old, so her hearing isn’t the greatest.

I repeated my question, “How are you?”

Said Garland, “Well, I don’t know what we’re going to do. This young man back there told me that the government is going to shut this place down, they’re going to tear the building down.

"No, that’s not true," I tried to assure her, but she insisted that a man down the hall had told her that we won’t be able to live here at Country Haven because the government was going to destroy it. "Nah, that guy’s wrong; we’ll be fine."

Even with my reassurance, she defiantly asserted that the government was going to tear the RCF down.

I suppose that anyone who is still living at 95 years old are allotted a few delusions.


MVP is right about mental illness/neurological damage.

Apr 16 2014

Yelling at Guy Who Washes His Hands Way Too Much & Loves Chocolate Cake

There is this man. He is obsessed with washing his hands. It appears that he also loves chocolate cake. 

Each evening, we here at the RCF get a snack. It’s usually something sweet that makes me worry about my weight but also prevents me from craving sugar late into the night. 

A fellow named Eli has a birthday today, so we were treated to chocolate cake. Everyone was supposed to get one slice of cake, but James threw a big temper tantrum about the rule, though he’d already had two pieces of cake. 

The CNA/CMA tried to get the crazy guy back to his room, but he still ran around acting like an ass clown. I yelled at his crazy self, hollering for him to shut up and stop behaving in such a way. The crazy man must be in his 50s or older; he looked like one of those guys who’s led a hard life and has aged prematurely.

Meanwhile, another resident, who is very skittish, grabbed the back of my shirt and said, “He won’t hit her [the CMA], will he?!” I told her no.

After that, I got my glass of milk and a slice of cake, and the crazy man made himself at least a little more scarce.

Apr 14 2014


I’ve never held a job. I’ve never had a lasting intimate relationship. I’ve really been successful in any facet of life. I’m a loser.

I sometimes have thought that people are just creatures —,my fellow humans — much like me. I thought that people were often unfair to me, or that people shouldn’t do some of the mean or rude or otherwise unpleasant behaviors.  

Other people are like me after all. Both they and I want the best of all possible worlds. So I consider game theory, and I realize that we’re all playing to attain the best of all possible worlds.

Here I am, a fool. A loser. And everyone else is a chess piece, which I must play wisely because life is a game, and I’ve been losing it to an illusion.

Apr 13 2014

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