Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Dad Needs Stem Cell Research

Last summer his leg started giving out and creakin' bad on him. I didn't see him again until T-givin' and he is using his cane. Christmas he actually looked better. I didn't ask him about it. Family Dynamic. It was a good get together of the family. We mainly talked sports, but 3yo Benny likes to walk around with Dad's cane so it's frequently in view. Dad looks good and healthy (64 in February) when he's chillin' on the couch, talking crap and cool nothings.

Still, I was as miserable as I ever was on Boxing Day. BestBuy gift cards for xmas got me Half-Life 2 GotY Ed. Niiiice...

Anyhow, all I know is this kind of thing (in Pop's leg) is most likely genetically controlled. I don't think it's a bug or cancer. Stem cell therapy will fix it in no time, in some time. More time. No big deal. Things take time.

The current system is just paranoid.

It's what happens when science is outlawed.

Friday, December 30, 2005

I've No Proof

link The Justice Department has opened another investigation into leaks of classified information, this time to determine who divulged the existence of President Bush's secret domestic spying program.

Of what?

Well, I'd bet the algorhythm of their (compu$er?) program is the only reason why DoD, Navy Intel and DoJ Internet providers kept showing up on my site meter map last week. It's free so I've no access to older logs or stats.

link White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Justice undertook the action on its own, and Bush was informed of it Friday.

And a little paranoia never hurt anyone... .

(... sometimes even I don't get my sense of humor.. {shudder} .)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

"Mother" and A New Blog


I've actually got two Hat Tips to Unscrewing the Inscrutable on this pre-Xmas Friday.


The first is to Brent for his sharing of a new blog by one New York University professor, Mitchell Stephens. Without Gods is a blog intended to collect information and dialogue on the phenomenon of godlessness.
Most civilizations have been founded on the belief the universe is commanded by a magisterial Being (or beings), who monitors our lives, enforces our morality, endorses our power structures and offers eternal life. The subject of this blog is a book, eventually to be published by Carroll and Graf, that will tell the story of those who have dared disagree.
I highly encourage all freethinkers to contribute to the writing of this book by reading and commenting on Prof Stephens blog.

And the second hat tip, well, WOW!!! I know I say that alot in reference to Darksyd's Science Fridays, but I honestly do always mean it! Today's story is entitled "The One That Got Away" and it delves into the animals of the Devonian period which escaped the sea by virtue of their cunning and ingenuity. These critters are our forbearers. This is our story, told by a masterful educator of his species.


CIA Suspected


The Reuters' article is just a brief blurb.
It really isn't the kind of thing to make an American feel any pride of country though.

Here's hoping it pans out to be nothing. I hate this shit.

What ever happened to Presidential Administrations illegally supporting Right Wing regimes or burglarizing Lefty hotel rooms or presidents having flaming kids or drunk brothers or gettin' a little intern action in the Ooffice and making decisions based upon the last faction with whom they had a conversation?

Why is anyone putting up with these neo-con fascist hegemonists?

How can one of the most spectacularly progressive nations in the history or our species get taken to task by an immature socialist experiment like Italy's government? (No offense intended Italian folk. That government is simply kind of goofy IMO. I'd not suggest it's alone in that respect though.)

Why haven't Dems and a cadre of honest to goodness conservatives Impeached these sociopathic IDists already?!!?

So let me repeat:
Here's hoping it pans out to be nothing. I hate this shit.

All right... Just had to rant that outta my system.

Slurpy Holidays folks...

{shakin'head}

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Wisdom of the Woodpecker

via Tom Robbins' Still Life with Woodpecker*

Don't let yourself be victimized by the age you live in. It's not the times that will bring us down, any more than it's society. When you put the blame on society, then you end up turning to society for the solution. ... There's a tendency today to absolve individuals of moral responsibility and treat them as victims of social circumstance. You buy that, you pay with your soul. It's not men who limit women, it's not stratights who limit gays, it's not whites who limt blacks. What limits people is lack of character. What limits people is that they don't have the fucking nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone direct it. Yuk.

Bernard Mickey Wrangle - Outlaw
aka, The Woodpecker


List under "what I'm reading". You'll be glad you did.



* Copywrite 1980 by Tom Robbins

Survey SAYS!

We'll see.

At this point, I'm really just happy to see the Senate & House rejecting BushCo's war on the Constitution and our biosphere.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Kyoto Light

Since the Great Leader has decreed Global Warming too expensive to pay any attention to, some of the smaller fish in USA's political sea have had to step up and use their own brains in this attempt at forced species' suicide.

Thanks in great part to likely presidential aspirant, and current New York Governor, George Pataki, 7 states have now joined economic and regulatory forces to get my beautiful country in on the effort to keep our planet inhabitable.


Coolish.

Okay. Back to work...


Related News: ANWR Amendment Fails

Well this one caught me by surprise. I fully expected the drilling the superfluous ANWR amendment to make it through this time. I really did.

Although lawmakers were anxious to wrap up work for the year, the Republican majority failed to get the required 60 votes in the 100-member chamber needed to cut off debate on the bill. The vote was 56-44.

"Holding funding for our troops and relief for Hurricane Katrina victims hostage in this manner is just plain wrong and a violation of at least two Senate rules," said Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California.

Another Democrat, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, said the issue was not whether to support the defense funding for U.S. troops. "If we yield to this tactic on ANWR, next year it will be someone else's pet project attached to the defense spending bill," he said.

Dang! Sometimes it's very cool being wrong.



We Come From Monkeys

While lookin' up links to the "Breathtaking inanity" post, I found this gem.

LOL! I love it! It's only Rock-n-Roll folks.

But I like it.

"Breathtaking inanity" of Dover School Board Members

I've not much to say except Hooray! Judge John Jones rules according to both reason and precedent in the Dover School Board trial.

The judge says it best:
Jones decried the "breathtaking inanity" of the Dover policy and accused several board members of lying to conceal their true motive, which he said was to promote religion.

A six-week trial over the issue yielded "overwhelming evidence" establishing that intelligent design "is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory," said Jones, a Republican and a churchgoer appointed to the federal bench three years ago.


This silly human appreciates the irony of Behe's testimonial attempt to redefine Science to include astrology and similar artistically intellectual endeavors. This redef is impossible though, without subscribing to the
preposterous ad emotionally amped idea that a Theory is nothing more than wild guess. This court's decision shows respect for established definitions and gives the ID gang a smart slap on the hand to encourage them to stick to reality.

Good luck with that folks...

Happy Holidays All!


Monday, December 19, 2005

now playing...*

I always forget I have these cuts on my hard drive.

Phish
Franklin's Tower (dealin' wit' the dead...)
Gin and Juice (dogg...)

Laid baaaack...

I've had a crick in my neck for 6 days running. I'll try anything.

Okay. Pile of Heads - So much Hate doesn't quite get it.

But Floyd does.

Wish you were here ...

If you come across a June 05 Vanity Fair (I needed the cologne sample), pick it up and look at the cover. I won't get married again until she asks me. So I told my friends at work. I don't mind being single.

Baby Come Back by Player does not work right now.

Yikes! I almost bought eminem's compilation. Got Nickleback for ... well, instead {shhhh {-; xmas stuff.}

Leaving on Prong featuring Ray Manzarec Strange Days

Gotta read the VF. (and neck still hurts.)


* an experiment in stream of consciousness.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Lindsay Graham Making Sense

On Face the Nation right now.

Graham was gut-wrenching talking about BushCo's ignorance of the need for the Court's opinion where required. Democracy is not outcome based. If the check is required, there's no excuse to skip it. The process becomes unbalanced.

He's a little temporally optimistic on the Iraq to come. Biden has a scarier, quite likely mix to Lindsay's scenario.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

"A Cosmic Season's Greetings"

Just completely wonderful extrapolative science writing! Darksyd's Science Fridays are always a worthwhile trip.
In the Constellation of Virgo, hundreds of millions of light years distant, there lurks a strange, mysterious force: The Great Attractor in ABELL 3627. Our new hybrid galaxy and all the others within two-hundred million light years are in freefall, dropping towards the location of this baffling phenomena. These galaxies form a spherical halo of spinning spirals and buzzing ovoids, all constricting around the Attractor. As we watch, our own newly enlarged galaxy comes blazing in like a whirling snowflake until gravity wrenches her apart, spraying the delicate fiery innards all across the local cosmos in great fountains of multicolored light which arc back towards the mammoth gravity well. The funeral pyre, only one of many thousands a relative minute, is exquisitely beautiful.


Happy Holidays 'til the mollasses of January runs cold.. .

War on Christmas {sighhh}

I just watched the local Fox 8 News anchor do a 5 sec spot on the holiday season.

He's sittin' next to a Christmas tree and says something conspiratorially like*, "I know it's not politically correct. Merry Christmas! And I mean it!"

The spot flashed out with a festive Season's Greetings page.

Nice. {shakin'head} No shots across the bow with that one.

I'm just not sure when I actually attacked christmas or xmas or INRI's ostensible birth-day. I could understand the defensiveness if the majority superstition were under Legal attack. But even Newdow's attempts in court have been legitimate concerns of Constitutional importance.

Oh well. Maybe it's just kicks on his part. I gets me own in other ways. Season's Greetings folks!



* I've just seen it once. Not positive about every word of the para-quote, but the gist is good. I'm fairly sure the anchor would agree with what I recall.


Frappr

Sheesh! I honestly don't mean to be rude or uninviting.

Thank you Spencer and Carla for signin' onto the Silly Humans Frappr. I went into this one kinda half-heartedly at first, but now I find it's really cool to see names for who's reading without comment. Alan from Meet an Atheist signed onto my MBains frappr which I setup whilst figuring out it's functionality. So thanks to you too bro.

This blog is fun. I might actually move it to a paid-platform. I just need to decide on a format I'd enjoy using enough to pay for it. Blogger's free domain has really been quite sufficient to date. Movable-Type seems like a leading contendre early on though. I'll see...

Thanks again and I encourage anyone else who reads here with any regularity to Frapp on you silly diamonds as well.

Go Browns!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Valuable & Reliable Science Reporting

Thinking 'bout posting but not posting is, er, well, not posting.

{sigh}

Here's a quick link to a Washington Post article on a two-day conference on evolution for High School students at the Howard Hughes Center in Chevy Chase. Post reporter Valerie Strauss does an excellent job separating opinion from fact, while showing respect for both.

As a skeptic in matters religious, one thing stood out to me as problematic when it comes to human integrity.

(Advanced Placement biology teacher, Kurt) Richter said that he makes a strong effort to present evidence and not opinions -- and that the approach works in educating students, more than half of whom enter his science classes disbelieving evolution. Most change their minds.

Not (17 year old senior, Emily) Howell, however, who said she took Advanced Placement Biology with Richter last year and kept telling him that she had a "different worldview" from her teacher, one based on a literal reading of the Bible. Nothing would shake it.

Richter said that she was an excellent student and deserved a chance to attend the evolution conference.

Nothing, not even a cold, hard smack of empirical reality will shake her faith.

As long as Miss Howell doesn't take her right to self-delusion and try forcing it upon others, I really have no personal problem with it. I just don't share it and won't deny that I don't respect such potentially self-defeating silliness.

I mean it. Where is the honor or integrity in professing belief in something you have seen proven wrong?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

On the "Wedge Strategy"

Thanks to the Commissar for providing a nice synopsis (and some good links, of course) on the progress of The Discovery Institute's "Wedge Strategy" for insinuating Intelligent Design fantasy into the public discourse on, ahem, a scientific basis.

His post actually links to Ed on Dispatches from the Culture Wars, but I've always enjoyed the Commissar's somewhat fascist approach to bloggin'. It's made me laugh and groan just a little bit more frequently than it's prompted my eyes to roll, er, heavenward.

Enjoy

Monday, December 05, 2005

Ahhh, Tradition ...

The family gathered 'round the burning goat. Spiced nogg passed 'round to help warm our hands and hearts. Presents under tree giving wide-eyed children fuel for their Yuletide drea... um, say... Run that first bit by me again, eh?

Why are we burning a goat?

What has the goat to do with Christmas, or Yuletide even?

How come I never heard of this before?

I've got a busy work-day in front of me, but once I heard this story on NPR this morning, I just had to post on it briefly. Follow the links for the whole
amazingly human story.

Okay. I'm back to work.

Happy Holidays!

LOL!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

There Is No God

And just because I don't believe that fact with all of my heart and soul,* it doesn't make it any more or less true or factual. I think it is because every proposed god & goddess has been factually refuted beyond any doubt. The only way it's possible for a human to believe in one of them (or all or any) is for the human to suspend disbelief and reason and profess that they have Faith in their imaginary creator.

That is every bit as impressive an argument as the current offensive capabilitie's of the NFL franchise whose colors I'm using on this Sunday. Well, maybe not even that impressive...

I had a bit o' luck yesterday when a wonderful blogger by name of Bird stopped by and left a coolish comment about my take on fellow primates Bob and Cal's pompous little sharing of their astounding ignorance vis-a-vie the nature and methodology of science. I naturally visited m'lady's Bird In Hand to catch up on her blogtivities and found this much needed cobweb-clearer from Penn Jillette.

This outtake is a little longer than I'd normally use, but the paragraph is very helpful and meaningful to my poor human psyche.
Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.
I've not much to add except to say that I wish my brother Rob was able to talk about this stuff on occasion without one or both of us becoming idiotically enraged that the other would dare to think differently from ourselves. I don't ask for much in my life, shit!, I'm pretty sure I don't ask for enough. Knowing how great a guy my 2nd youngest bro really, really is and not being able to have any sort of friendship with him just totally sucks.
But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do."
I need to remember to take slow, deep breaths when confronted by that type of phenomena from people I love. Otherwise, I am unable to prove to them and me that my love is valuable and real.

There is no god. {sigh} I too am learning something.



* Hearts can't think and souls (or spirits), if they exist, are medically unlikely to be aught more than electrical energy fields resulting from the biochemical activities of our bodies.

Friday, December 02, 2005

"Only Man has a Conscience..." ???

Now, I'm not a trained scientist (BA PolSci,) nor does one need to be in order to understand the scientific method. It helps that I know the sequence of that method though. So I am disgusted by people like Bob and Cal who base ignorant arguments upon false premises then declare that science, in its inevitable essence, is little more than a self-righteous philosophy. What's worse is they get published gibbering about it in an internationally (semi-)respected news publication!
Bob (a Liberal): ... the science crowd hasn't come close to explaining why only man among all living things has a conscience, a moral framework and a free will.
What the ---- ? Only homo sapiens has these traits? REALLY? Someone has proven this empirically and repeatably in a manner which anyone could duplicate and confirm? Wow! I missed that entirely. Perhaps Bob (or anyone) could provide a link to the research that's been done or which they've followed or at least know something about.

Now, I'm not saying that squirrels uncharacteristically ganging up on a annoying dog proves non-human animals have conscience or some kind of social moral framework, even though such could help explain it. It's simply that all the research* I have seen suggests biological and physical explanations of all of man's possible actions and decisions, just as they do for every other animal of which humans have empirical knowledge. Humans have evolved as a result of our intellectual capacity being our most prominent feature and this explains the advanced and obviously important nature of morality in our interactions.

Alon Levy just wrote an intelligent, if limited, essay on human morality on UTI. I wonder what Bob & Cal might comment on such. Would they leave anything as profound as Cal's closing remarks in this silly waste of bits and newsprint?
Cal (a conservative): Maybe we can offer (Darwinists) some bananas as an incentive. As they eat them, they can contemplate their heritage.
If anyone has any source material supporting Bob's assertion, I'd sure appreciate a link. All Cal has offered is banana's.


* OBVIOUSLY that's not all of it... {-;

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Another Fine Example...




of why it is more important to seek Truth before Authority.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

BushCo® and the "L" Word

Richard Cohen has a scathing Op-Ed in Tuesday's Washington Post entitled "Iraq and the 'L' Word".
(The Invasion of Iraq) is a blunder without peer in American history and possibly an assault on democracy: The people, through their representatives, are supposed to make an informed decision about war. It is incredible to me that Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sex, but nobody -- that's nobody -- in the entire Bush administration has been fired, not to mention impeached, for this shedding of American blood. Cheney, a man of ugly intolerance for dissent, should have been the first to go. His has been a miserable, dishonest performance -- which he continues to this day.

I'll just say that I aggree with his position that someone in this Administration should pay for this atrocity.

Happy Thanksgiving
{sigh}

Friday, November 18, 2005

Domestic Aesthetics

Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.

William Morris (1834-96)



That quote struck me as quite useful and desirable advice. I foun it via Mario Livio while reading part of his book, "
The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry ", on Simonsays.com.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ask a Fundy

if they don't believe in evolution, then how did their religion evolve from what it started out as.

And if it's the same as it ever was, ahem, what kind of car did Jesus drive? Did Peter have an international Sea Pilot's license? How is Zeus doing these days?

Which corner of the sphere did you get "created" on?

But that's just as a last resort.


C'mon Cavs!

We're ALL Gonna Miss This Guy

But maybe not as much as has been feared.

This Christian Science Monitor story on Ben Bernanke has boosted my hopes for a smooth transition from one of the most effective Fed managers ever to an "unknown" replacement. Bernanke is currently undergoing confirmation hearings before the US Senate. In the CSM story, he talks about finding a working balance of computerized statistical analysis and human judgement.
He and coauthor Jean Boivin concluded in the 2001 paper that man can outperform so-called expert systems. "There clearly remains considerable scope for human judgment about special factors or conditions in the economy," said the two researchers.

Wikipedia brings a little more backround to light. But I'm having a little trouble determining what this quote really says about his direction:
In March 2005, a few months prior to becoming Chairman of the CEA, he gave a speech which argued that a "global saving glut," resulting from new patterns in international capital flows, was largely responsible for the American current account deficit. This was controversial among those economists who felt the trade deficit was due instead to excessive governmental spending. [1]
It sounds reasonable that a "glut" of savings in economies targeted by US companies will result in a negative trade balance. What exactly constitutes crossing the line of excessive government spending is a little harder to determine vis-a-vis that deficit. Here's to hoping he's as good as he just might be at finding the right balance of Prime Rate incentivising to hold inflation to efficacious levels while

A)
American business adapts to world demand for its products and
B) the economies with whom we do that business adapt to changes in their own needs and abilities to produce.

After all, you can't stifle growth just because it's difficult, just like you can't push it to the limit if it it's obviously about to kill you.

And you simply can not do it alone.


Monday, November 14, 2005

Voice of Moderation


The mindset that makes moderate imam Raed Hlayhel's
reaction to this publication is evidence that Sam Harris is not just spitting out anti-religious rhetoric. An Editor from Denmark's leading circulation daily, Jyllands-Posten, has recruited artists for a childrens' book on Islam in which the likeness of that religion's founder, Mohammed, will be depicted graphically.
Among those who attacked the newspaper's lack of sensitivity was prominent Copenhagen imam Raed Hlayhel, saying "I will not tolerate this. If this is democracy, we disagree with democracy."
You're kidding? Really? Why don't you tell that to George Bush so we can clear out of Iraq already (er, not gonna happen.) He seems to think your religion of peace and love must necessarily include democracy as a foundation for the Islamic future.

At least Bush sold the War in Iraq to American's on the basis on that argument. (Well, that and his conversations with his god, of course helped sell it.)

Of course, not all muslims feel the same as imam Hlayhel.
"People have a right to say what they want without being killed," says Nasim Rahnama, the 20-year-old Iranian woman who started a petition in support of the newspaper. "These Islamic groups have to be stopped. I just can't sit down and do nothing."

So far Ms. Rahnama, who moved here from Tehran four years ago, has collected over 150 signatures from Danish Muslims who support the paper's stance but says that she would have got many more if it weren't for people's fear that Islamic groups would find out.

I know that at least of couple of my muslim friends & aquaintences think more like Ms. Rahnama, but they aren't in positions that converge religious & political influence amongst wide numbers of others of their faith.

Individuals can always make up their own minds in a democracy. That's something else someone might want to tell the president and the imam.



Thursday, November 10, 2005

I Love Speed Bump


Well, yah...

"We do not torture" Update 2

but "Any activity we conduct is within the law."

Maybe I was a little hard on Lyndon LoRouche...


Torture.
Illumination. What's the difference?

It's a fucking rainbow of BIG GODDAM DIFFERENCES!!!

I'm in a hurry but need to post this. The Independent Online Edition posted this story on Tuesday and I found it today via Darksyd and the DailyKos.

I vaguely remember reading about the use of phosphorous last year. The "illumation" angle seemed, to my limited tactical knowledge of warfare, to make a kind of rational sense. Now an unidentified US Soldiers reports
"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."
emphasis mine

It seems to me the US Military was saying, back in 'o4, that they knew this and kept that 150 meter radius well above ground level. As this testimony indicates, this unidentified soldier is gonna have to dispense with their anonymity when this thing goes to a World Court and BushCo attempts to defend itself against War Crimes charges.

I am proud to be American. At this point, I just feel sick about it as well.

Become Republican!

I almost didn't post this cuz, even though it's hilarious in how it's put together, it's just too freakin' close to reality. There are 10 li'l vignettes (a decidedly unRepublican word) showing Democrats why they would be better off converting to the Replublican party.

From scene 10 on "The Environment"
Animal Harm: Animals belong at the zoo, in your closet, or on your plate. If you want to see nature as a majestic Circle of Life, just order a meat-lovers' pizza.

{shudder} "... in your closet" ??? What the ...

Thanks for the link to Carol on Atheists-World.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"We do not torture" Update

Mr Bush, W, the Chimperor, IDiot in Chief

By whatever moniker, from simply juvenile to outright profane, the current President of the United States of America is an immoral and reprehensible fool.

To whit:
"Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Mr. Bush said. "Anything we do to that end, in that effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law. We do not torture."
Why he is unable to acknowledge that this conumdrum was logically solved in great part by the "quaint" old Geneva Convention I will demur from addressing here. Well, it does bear repeating that he certainly and proudly blames his god as his guide.

In defense of their indefensible Leader's delusions as to what constitutes "within the law," and as a result of the humiliating activities at abu Graib and (apparently) Gitmo, the Pentagon has finally released their new policy directive on how to perform interrogations and maintain detainees.

The eight-page directive, which was signed without any public announcement last Thursday by Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon R. England, will allow the Army to issue a long-delayed field manual for interrogators that is supposed to incorporate the lessons gleaned from the prisoner-abuse scandals last year.

The Army intends, for example, to ensure that interrogation techniques are approved, up to the highest levels in the Pentagon, that interrogators are properly trained and that personnel in the field are required to report any abuses, Army officials said.

That part about it being singed without any public announcement bothered me upon an initial reading, but I believe in giving people who respond proactively to address criticism the benefit of the doubt. That ain't easy with this Adminiistration though and that is their own doing.
The new Directive 3115.09, "DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning," assigns responsibilities for interrogation activities to senior Pentagon civilians and commanders; establishes requirements for reporting violations of the policy; and requires that Central Intelligence Agency interrogators follow Pentagon guidelines when questioning military prisoners.
My emphasized portion speaks to the explicit disagreements put forth by our Great Leader when they prayed before Congress that "we" deserved the right to ignore definitions of inhumane treatment against other human beings. They already have carte blanche to enforce the death penalty via the Executive right to initiate War (ostensibly) and the Patriot Act's allowance for definitional differences between Prisoner's of War and enemy combatants. Their argument to allow the CIA free reign in deciding who qualifies as a human being, and thus deserving of freedom from the threat of torture, is no more surprising from this group than their tacit outing of one of their own in the Plame case.

In related news:

I wonder if the Aussie's needed torture to prosecute this apparently very successful action.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Legalese?

Which one of these quotes reflects more poorly on America's "leadership"?

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman!"

or

"Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture."

Okay. So neither one of them is exactly Lyndon LaRouche, but the Chimperor is actually making Tricky Dick Nixon look downright Law Abiding.


{shakin'head}

What I've Been Getting at Recently

I'm no psychic. This kind of thing just keeps coming up in my reading with more frequency lately.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Imagine last year's tsunami, last month's earthquake in Pakistan, and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma all rolled into one — and then some. If nations can't handle those calamities, what's going to happen when an asteroid collides with Earth?

Fascists and other War-mongers seem to have natural function other than mere savage dominionism.

Still, if we remain brutally incapable of working together, what kind of species will we be to survive?

So I blog until I make myself able to do more.

Evo-Devo

I am astounded at the frequency with which I encounter people who profess a strong skepticim of biological evolution on this planet. As far as I can ascertain, the occurence of evolution isn't an issue that has any more points of debate; rather it is the mechanisms and primary origins of the life which is evolving that we are now using the scientific method to investigate, understand and utilize.

Scientific bloggers like PZ Miers, Orac and Phil Plait (amongst numerous others) have been metaphorical god-sends for helping me to understand the processes and occurences that lead from pre-biotic times, to
chemosynthesis, abiogenesis and photosynthesis. Resting on a base of Physical laws, these occurences happen because it makes sense for them to happen naturally. What we perceive as Random only seems that way until the principle's behind it are revealed through conscious experimentation.

Homo Sapiens occured because large numbers of pre-Homo animals benefitted from utilizing their awareness of their selves and their species-mates over hundreds of thousands of years. One powerful mechanism for this evolution was space-time: organisms interacting with each other then developing tendencies and abilities to manipulate and controll
their environment eventually leads to more complex abilities which allow more awareness and more ability to affect each other through means of individually and personally beneficient violence and persuasion evolving as exchanges of ideas and resources. This occurs to some variable but physically possible extent in all species of biological organisms. In H. Sapiens it goes all the way up to and includes the invention of animal & plant husbandry, the utilization of and then the mining of ores, cuneform writing into Hammurabai's Code, Abraham & Isaac to Jesus & Caesar, Hiroshima and "One small step for (a) man."

The species-pruning of events such as Noah's quite real regionally devastating flood, the Black Death other similar population shifting events, have given H Sapiens impetus to understand and control the environs in which we exist by any means we can develope and utilize effectively; both personally and as an emotional animal which places value on the happiness and smooth operation of our family, friends and neighbors. These driving forces of survival and happiness have led us to develope literally billions of cultural norms which work in conjunction with physical phenomena to effect and consciously ensure both happiness and survival on personal and societal levels.

For reasons which I can trace as far back as my kindergarden years (but which go back even further,)
I have individually evolved to be a lover of the social sciences, and am a person who is less than adept with mathematics and the equations made inevitable by the components of the Periodic Table of Elements which exist, not due to random chance, but from the fact of natural, physical and quantum laws that take place unconsciously in our natural world. It is the macro-results of these interactions, particularly as they are expressed in my species cultural evolution, which seem most clear to me.


I publish this blog using the tools of my personality and my knowledge on a bed-rock of technology other's have Created to that end. Sometimes that results in slapstick, and at others I feel like I've actually learned and grown in a positive and healthy way. Regardless of the apparent results, the point of Silly Humans is for me to express to the world of my species who and what I think, feel and believe. I do have pride in ability to make sense of my people's evolution on Earth and I blog, indirectly for the competition of ideas/displays, but more consciously in order to have a place where I can look back and see what about myself and my life I am proud enough or just plain determined to share with others. There are certainly things I don't share either because I am not comfortable with them personally or because they are someone else's business primarily and I need to let them go in order to both improve myself and respect their evolution.

The point of this post is actually quite simple: the Universe is complicated but being deciphered. As a conscious critter - H Sapiens - I can rely on the work, techniques and evidence of other H. Saps to discern what is Real in both my own personal existence and as an element of my species. BOTH of these perspectives occur within the Universe as a whole, and regardless of any ability to tell one from the other.

Religion is soooo incredibly powerful because the former enables the latter enables the former etc... etc.. etc.

It's personal and impersonal at the same time, regardless of whether I (we) share it or not.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Was Hollywood A Threat to Communism?

That was the first thing I thought when I read this BookTV Headline
Was Communism a Threat to Hollywood

The Holywood film Industry ( note the I ) was required to repulse Communism, which It didn't have to be that way, except in order to support, yes, Human Rights it's true, but mostly profiteers of the available physical reality of our ecosphere; a species specialization, against an economic philosophy which:
  1. 1) hadn't been tried outside the context of Fascism, quite possibly since the rise of pre-city states. Though it's true Hammurabai's Code rings powerfully true. It was the onset of great art & science as a hallmark of a species with a personalized raison d'tre for each individualized organism on a conscious level.
  2. now needs a fascist-free practical employment; I Believe it should be an economy of the most powerfully effective culturo-organelles of which every historically known economic philosophy is composed. The results of our existence are what count so admit the truth when you see it & not.
-101 = -&/+ § Conscious Life = Reality

In Quantum Bio Computing. The brainwave of the future of what is known to & by us.





* in order to be clear on bullets, I'm using software verson # style notation. 1.1, 1.1.2.2 & 1.1.2.2.3 would necessarily follow.

§ intersects meaning This is what we know. It's all we can go on in order to discover alles else.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Meet an Atheist

Alan of Meet an Atheist posted this on Wednesday and I just cracked up upon readin' it for the first time.

I found MAA while reading what I think is a fairly important vjack post called An Alliance with Progressive Christians.


It appears that Alan's only been doing Meet an Atheist since October, but he already has quite an inventory of takes on an atheistic experience of life in our subtly (and not-so-)
religiously saturated culture. Take a look if you're into quirkie and rational, godless style bloggin'.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

5 Years In

For 5 consecutive years there have been H. Sapiens living night & day in the International Space Station.

Congratulations to the programs and people responsible.







When this is History - 50 years from now - industrial greenhouse gasses will no longer pollute our planet's biosphere. All such unusable resources will be excreted from orbiting factories me Green Buckaroos.

Global Warming is Real. And this is worth it to end that correlative with understanding and survival.
HOUSTON - The international space station Wednesday marked five continuous years of people living and working aboard it. But there wasn't much time for celebration.
15,000(2) feet of living space maintained for 5 years has giving scientists a test bed for the survival of our species on this planet by showing us precisely what is needed to survive in space. Mars will be no problem when we're finally able to setup this magnitude of human endeavor on that planet. What Pharao, King or Godking ever sat on such a throne as Orbit? or Mare Imbrium?or Mons Olympus? The latter spot sits outside the Martian atmosphere where a base might be setup in environmental conditions similar to the IST's.

And it comes with an added bonus! Should an asteroid or some such the size of Alaska or even the UK turns up to be in our path on the elliptic, and even should our entire biosphere be blown away, Homo Sapiens will survive. But not if we can't move.

I hope I've made it obvious that I think we're worth it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Cruel, Humiliating and Degrading

Wow! There are actually people in the White House who would like to see these kinds of activities officially prohibited via new Defense Department standards.

Imagine that.

According to a story in today's online version of the New York Times,
Advocates of that approach, who include some Defense and State Department officials and senior military lawyers, contend that moving the military's detention policies closer to international law would prevent further abuses and build support overseas for the fight against Islamic extremists...
(Emphasis mine)

Sarcasm aside, this is both rational and commendable. Our country had an overwhelming outpouring of empathy and sympathy from the combined nations of the world right up until Halliburton Inc, er, BushCo, decided to take out their nasty little co-creation in Iraq.

The fact that it hasn't always been this Admin's rule of thumb doesn't mean that it always has to ignore the rule of Law.

Ooops... I guess when it comes to the Chimperor's agenda, I've got to be extra diligent keepin' the sarcasm off.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reply to a Soldier

Sargent McElroy,

Torture is wrong.

The possibility that such a thing engendered a feeling comraderie in your mind during your CSU days doesn't make it right. It indicates you have a high tolerance for personal discomfort and that is great for you. Such a tolerance writ large to the sphere of International relations is a cause for war; regardless of who started it. Have you never seen one person go just a little too far? That's cool as long as that one's comrades, bro's or buds gives 'em a shove and says "knock it off." Unless of course the one they pushed has their own issues and pulls a gun cuz they've had enough.


You slide a slippery slope Sarge. Whilst your commanders have the reigns on you (which your rank suggests you're well adjusted to accepting and utilizing in our country's service) you are highly unlikely to breach any gap they've not said to breach.

But when your commanders get pissed and tell you to "turn the screw" on a potential terrorist, it doesn't matter whether or not You are morally comfortable with that or even if you understand all of the consequences of it. It is wrong because it is inviting retaliation. INVITING it. That kind of thing only works when it is done Hiroshimacally, so to speak; ie, when it leaves the "screwed" no doubt that they will soon enter the extinction of EVERYTHING they hold dear and valuable.

Rush speaks from the gut. When he uses his intellect, it is in an apparently - very apparently - limited fashion which utilizes only his own fore-gone emotional conclusions as to what is right or wrong. He is emphatically NOT empirically sound in his reasoning for the very fact that such reasoning is interrupted by the emotions your comments defend here so very well.

I'm not going to ask if you think it would be okay to slap a child of yours if she called you a bitch. Nor if she cut the dog's tail off cuz she got hysterically sick of gettin' whacked in the head with it. That slope is just too slippery for extrapolation to the international realm, even though it is emotionally relevant.

You write like you're an excellent soldier and I AM glad - as I'm sure is Clyo and a lot of other folks - that people like you fight yer asses off for your ideals. That means that your doing so potentially offers me safety to write this blog, make fun of my buddies, love my friends, family and self.

But your "DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY" do not, can not and never have been imbued with the "Right Stuff" needed to build a society of individuals who RESPECT one another whilst they strive for understanding of our Natural environment and the best means to utilize it whilst living as only one part of our species. Those ideals do so no more and no less than those of the sociopathic Islamofascist terrorist head-cases you must deal with in your voluntary tours of duty every single hour, day and week and month.

Good Luck and Much Gratitude to you SFC McElroy. I am sure that you believe in your mission. Perhaps if it were founded on reality instead of the Lies of the neo-con ideology that eeked out a controlling interest in the government of the United States, that mission might actually have some efficacy towards the goal of our healthy and maturing species. Perhaps if our attacks were against the true sources of Islamofascist Terrorism instead being a horrendously misguided campaign against a quasi-secular megalomaniacal and totalitarian dictator whom our country's previous leaders helped to build up, the world-wide threat to Freedom, Liberty, Democracy and Progress that these terrorists are would not be so hopeless in effecting your cause.

If you run for office when you get home, I'll be sure to double check your view points and proposals before I campaign either For or Against you.

And, believe it or not, I sincerely appreciate your posting your views here. As does your military service, such gives me concrete reality to confront inside my own mind so that I can improve my own understanding of my species and myself. Thank you.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Carnival of the Godless #26

While I've invariably been reading them, I do keep forgetting to link to them!

A Rational Being presented the 26th wondrous Carnival of the Godless on Saturday and I'm just now gettin' to postin' on't. There's no reason for you not to go as well (nope. "Work" ain't good 'nuff to 'scuse ya!) You'll even find this special site accessory while you're there:
Quote of Note
From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night, good lord deliver us.
- Anglican prayer book
If that's not enough, ARB offers you the chance to write your own Mu Haiku (Ya'll hafta click on the Huge Entity's link to decipher them thar partic'lars.) {-; Us atheists e'en gots us some Culture! ARRRHHHGGG!

PZ Myer's Pharyngula will be the next stop on the Godless Carny road show. Any whove frequented his haunts must be intellectually salivatin' for what he has in store. And don't forget that Cap'n Brent Rasmussen of Unscrewing the Inscrutable is always looking for folk willing to host so hop on o'er to here if you think you've got the skills of a bloggin' Carny.

Ramen! an' be she a scary one fer ye, me buckos!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Petition to Remove Rush

To: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

We request that Secretary Rumsfeld remove talk radio host Rush Limbaugh from the American Forces Radio and Television Service (formerly known as Armed Forces Radio). Mr. Limbaugh, whose program is broadcast for one hour per day to U.S. troops overseas, has spent the past four weeks condoning and trivializing the abuse, torture, rape and possible murder of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. guards at the Abu Ghraib prison—gross misconduct that you have described as “fundamentally un-American.”

In recent weeks, Rush Limbaugh has: Compared the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib to a fraternity initiation; called the abuse “brilliant” and “effective”; said the guards were just “having a good time” and “blow[ing] some steam off”; likened the abuse to “a Britney Spears or Madonna concert … [or] the MTV music awards”; compared pictures of the abuse to “good old American pornography”; and said “the reaction to the stupid torture is an example of the feminization of this country.”

Read the rest here if you think it's something you'd like to sign. I generally hem & haw over this kind of thing, but I've been thinking this is overdue for a few weeks now.

Thanks to commenter #8, Enough Already, on this post at the Think Progress blog.


Friday, October 28, 2005

BARBARian Alert

Okay, that's not exactly what it sounds like. I just discovered an interesting pol/soc site from west coast NOCAL that tipped me off to a new candidate seeking my vote here in Ohio!

Mags be this lady's nom de blog and here's the intro which left me quite abashed at my ignorance of one Paul Hacket.
Marine Reservist Maj. Paul Hackett, according to this article in Salon, just might have the chutzpah to fire up the Democratic party. The first Iraq veteran to enter the political arena, he's already called Dubya a "chicken hawk" and a "son of a bitch" with regard to the war.
The Salon article she references is, luckily for me, quoted fairly well in her post.

For now, I'll just say this guy bears more scrutiny, so I'll get back to this after some scrutinizin'. AS I commented on Mag's site,
... it does seem that I recall he would be making his run against OH's junior Senator, Mike DeWine. That's my preference anyhow and as well because Voinovich has at least shown a bit higher quality of human reasoning ability than even our average Dem lately. At least he beats his elephantine cohorts hands-down in that arena.
So thank you Mags. It was your blog's title, You Forgot Poland, that drew me in as I am genetically - though not so much culturally - a pollack from Lorain Ohio. (Bains nee Nabakowski)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

White Sox Win!!!

88 years is - apparently - long enough. That's how long it has been since the Chicago White Sox had clinched a World Series title.

Truth be told, I'm even more happy for this club than I was for their American League rival, the Boston Red Sox, after that team's exorcism of the Curse of the Bambino last year. That's probably just cuz the
Pale Hose hail from nearby Chi-town and, even more relevantly, are a division rival to my own Cleveland Indians. The nature of this year's World Series champs also adds to my enjoyment of their victory since my C-Town Tribe is constructed along the same lines: excellent pitching, decent power 1-9, and aggressive defense. Now if our manager can just learn to play Smart ball like Ozzie Guillen has coached his club, next year might be more than only the two most common words spoken here in my neck of the sporting woods.

Regardless of the how's and why's of this professional sporting phenomenon's importance to me personally, the thing that really stood out in Jason Stark's ESPN.com story was this historical tid-bit:
The last time the Chicago White Sox won a World Series, there were no radio stations to listen to it on. And no such thing as a national anthem to sing before every game*. And no such animal as a commissioner of baseball to hand them their trophy.
WOW!!! You mean Nationalism hasn't always been a key component of my nation's past time?

Actually, while I was aware that such things as National Anthems and the Pledge of Allegiance (shudder) have been propagandistically incorporated into daily life since time immemorial, having such a stark historical fact as when this particular bit started pointed out in the midst of a sports Championship report really lent meaning to this reality.

Sports is about competition. It is a zero sum game where there can, of necessity, be only One winner. It isn't Capitalism or Socialism or Nationalism in any type of sheep's clothing. It is for fun! Survival doesn't mean you're the only one left alive in sports.

It most certainly does in Reality though and that is why things like national anthems are immoral on at least the same level as abortion or war or religious fundamentalism. Like sports, each of these things has, at their core, a disregard for any equality of the right to grow and thrive the other may have in relationship to the self. Unlike sport, their full acceptance results in the absolute death of the other. There is no next year when one dies or loses in Reality. If you're not the Champ, then you are dead. Period. End of your story.

I've always risen and removed my hat when the Star Spangled Banner was played at the start of a ballgame I was attending.

I may just have to seriously reconsider doing so again. I'm not sure about it yet though, but it is certainly important enough to give some more thought.


* emphasis mine

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Lot Has Been Said


So I'll just take a minute to remember what some people have been through fairly recently on the scale of human history.

It was less than an average lifetime ago that Rosa Parks refused - whatever her only human reasoning - to be forced from her chosen spot of one minute in our society. She was only required by a US Law to move a few feet backwards, and her refusal to do so had an irrevocable butterfly effect upon our species' bio-cultural evolution.

Mrs. Parks died yesterday at the age of 92.

An icon is created in our minds by virtue of its effect on our existence. Like so many icons throughout our evolution as intellectually conscious animals, Rosa Parks' virtuous individual act is owed much more than a moment of silent contemplation. Life being what it is, I offer this as one moment amongst those many.

My life and the lives of dozens of people whom I have personally known and loved are
better for her existence.

Adieu Ma'am.

And Thank you.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Worth - vs - Value

Hhhmmm... I wonder if Silly Humans will loan me some of this. It'd be like my 401K where I pay myself the interest for such.


My blog is worth $15,807.12.
How much is your blog worth?



(To borrow a phrase from the Inscrutable One, hat tip to Brent Rasmussen.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lehigh University on Behe

One must assume that he does otherwise good work, or why would they keep him around?

Department (of Biological Sciences) Position on Evolution and "Intelligent Design"

The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences is committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity and academic function. This commitment carries with it unwavering support for academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. It also demands the utmost respect for the scientific method, integrity in the conduct of research, and recognition that the validity of any scientific model comes only as a result of rational hypothesis testing, sound experimentation, and findings that can be replicated by others.

The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of “intelligent design.” While we respect Prof. Behe's right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.


I'm sorry there's no other commentary. I'm tired. It's late. I'm going home.