Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Canada: Truly the Land of the Free!

In landmark legislation, a truly evolutionary step in human cultural evolution has taken place across the northern border of the Home of the Brave. Canadian’s have legalized a fundamental human right: Marriage.

No longer will it be illegal for two people of the same sex to enjoy the same rights and privileges of the legal institution marriage that opposite-sex couples have always been assured. While the US electorate devolves into paranoid and reactionary fear of “the other” (ironic that…) our neighbors up north have taken a stand on firm moral grounds that “all men are created equal.” Regardless of popularity. Regardless of heredity. Regardless of creed. This is an excellent example of a Democratic Republic operating at its most fair and efficient.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, a Roman Catholic by creed, said it best.

We are a nation of minorities… And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights.
Rights, though indeed granted by people to people, are not exclusively for those with whom we agree nor, in theory, are they contingent upon any amount of power or popularity one segment of society may enjoy. The are assurance to ALL equals that the Law will protect their freedom and their natural heritage.

Of course the Catholic Church sees rights as “God given” and thus only to be determined by itself; the true voice of God’s will on Earth. According to the AP story Charles McVety, spokesperson for one of Canada’s most notorious hate groups, Defend Marriage Canada and the president of Canada Christian College, characterizes this legislation as an

"onerous breach of trust and the deconstruction of so much that is dear to our hearts."

Flanked by clergymen, McVety vowed his group would work to vote out lawmakers who supported the legislation in the next general elections.

"This is the beginning of the formal fight against the redefinition of marriage," McVety said. "We will, in the next election, be able to correct this incredible democratic deficit before us today."

Until Mr. McVety can show evidence that homosexuality is some sort of contagious disease, which is a dire threat to the health of ourselves and our children, he is going to have to continue abstaining from such activity as his most honest form of legal protest.

Abstinence is all that’s necessary after all, right Mr. DeVety?

Friday, June 24, 2005

"Kelo" Brings Church Taxation Closer

It’s not our homes that are most at risk despite this case. It’s America’s churches, synagogues and mosques.

That is the thesis of Donald Sensing's latest post on One Hand Clapping following the recent SCOTUS decision known as the Kelo case. As you might expect, I am all for taxing churches just like any business. Their tax exempt status is actually quite in opposition to the spirit of the First Amendment. I like Donald's blog. A lot of reason gets posted there. So I contributed the following of my own.

LOL! While I won’t say “I wish!”, if they replaced them with Schools and Public Athletic Centers (like ancient Greek gymnasia) there would obviously be a net advantage to Society. Obviously though, that is not the intent.

The problem is one of Individual -vs- Society. The ruling misses the Constitutional Point not because it’s bad reasoning, but simply because the US Constitution doesn’t proscribe the conditions for city building. It doesn’t spell out the reality that Cities are unique entities. Is a City the “property” of its most powerful elites? Or is the “property” of its consensus constituency? Can a city be legally viewed as an Individual? Yes, through Incorporation.

The Constitution assumes what is best for the Individual is best for the Society and it spells out ways in which individuals are allowed to come together and implement their consensus ideas. That is why we have “Incorporation” laws. So that Corps can have the same political voice as individuals. Good or Bad, this is the basis for the ruling and it is a legal reality which the Const leaves up to legislative discretion.

Back to the “churches at risk” point though: If History shows us anything unequivocally, it is that Religion is the bane of both Individuals and Society. It sucks resources from both in return for its intangible and esoteric assurance that we’re OK or not. Religion (aka, astrology, christianity, islam, voodoo, judaism etc…) is a scam that gets treated with respect that it simply and empirically does not deserve. Despite that fact, the Const is quite clear that “no law shall be made respecting (its) establishment.”

So, how to deal with this blood-sucking leach of belief rationally and constitutionally?

“Houses of Worship”, contrary to the wing-nut reading of the US Constitution, are not immune to the law. They are abusive drains on society which must be taxed as surely as any Car Dealer, Bank or Fortune Teller’s shop. If they were, they would have nothing to fear from eminent domain rulings.

OK, so I went overboard a little with the "abusive drains on society" op. The rest stands as written.

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Retirement Time? {rollin'eyes}

The Old Man on the Hill certainly isn't applying for it yet.

Senator Robert Byrd, not generally my favorite bird in DC, had strong words in the face of Rummie's attitude and denials of the extent to which Iraq has become a quagmire today. From Reuters via Yahoo:
Rumsfeld was chastised by the Senate's senior member, 87-year-old Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who objected to what he called the secretary's "sneer" and disdain toward lawmakers' questions. "So get off your high horse when you come up here," Byrd told Rumsfeld, who later testified before a House of Representatives panel.
The old guy still has the same fire that has kept his 87 year old, pork-pullin' butt on in the Senate for, dang mang!, how long now??? Well, at least he acts like a modern Democrat on this issue.

Rummie didn't fare any better with any body else in the upper house. Kennedy came out with the "Isn't it time for you to resign?" blast. The Administration's own top commander in the Mid East, Gen John Abizaid, has "declined to endorse" Veep Cheney's assessment of the Iraqi insurgency as in its "last throes." He wasn't very encouraging as to which "throes" it might be in either. reports this from Abizaid at the hearings:
In terms of comparison from six months ago, in terms of foreign fighters, I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago," Abizaid said. "In terms of overall strength of the insurgency, I would say it is the same as it was.
How wonderful... Does anybody have a timeline for withdrawal? Isn't this lack of information from all the inhabitants of Gitmo and such places evidence enough that "extraordinary interrogational methods" don't work?

Maybe Osama bin Laden knows. Why don't they ask him already? Maybe King Fahd isn't ready for him to be caught yet...

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bolton's Gotta Wait - Strike Two

President Bush really has no clue. "I think it's time for the Senate to give him an up-or-down vote. Now," he said at a Monday afternoon news conference. Ummm... This Senate is doing an excellent job showing just what they think about that.

Once again John Bolton's nomination vote has been denied by the Senate. The sharp tempered anti-internationalist Bolton is seen by a few too many Republicans as being simply too harsh and irrational a representative of US interests in the United Nations assembly. Bush, as usual, refuses to acknowledge any critique of his position or choices and, also as usual, refuses to provide a full disclosure of information which is relevant to the nominee's qualifications for the job of Ambassador.

As could be expected, minority leader Harry Reid made a less-than-emphatic attempt to ask for reason from the Oval Office. "The president will have to make a decision whether he wants to send this flawed candidate to the UN."

I think we all know what decision the Chimperor will make. When the Senate goes on their July 4th recess, we can expect to see Bolton installed pre-emptively by the Pres. It is his right to do so. He will prove himself a fool when he does. Here's a tasty and utterly irreverent cartoon o' the day that captures his essence quite well.

I can't wait to see how much "easier" Condi's job as Li'l Miss Conciliator (not going all that well to begin with) will get with a reactionary like Bolton getting in the faces of the world's ambassadorial mouthpieces.

{sigh} Here's to hopin' W's right for a change... Who knows, maybe ...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

How to Respond to Attacks on Your Patriotism

Outstanding! "Wow" was my first comment when I finished reading DarkSyd's response to a "Real American" who had determined that ~DS~ is a flaming Liberal.

Please, just get a cup o' joe or can o' coke or whatnot or whatever and settle in. It's long but well worth it for the coverage of and enumeration of points of clarification as to BushCo's despicable behavior since September 11th.

Oh yah! Happy Father's Dall to all y'all dudes!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Welcome to the Apocalypse!

Since I've been assured that June 18th is the day of the Rapture**, I may not get my chance to host the 20th installment of the Carnival of the Godless© on August 7th, so I thought I'd throw a practice (ha!) run out here before the world, uh, ends...


Actually, in the midst of blog-surfing*, I came across Science Boy's site and found this coolish linkage. Then, while copy/paste'n back and forth I found this to a slew of Botany links. And this featuring a science link-fest from the Tangled Bank.

Since I'm much more of a politically oriented blogger, I thought all of these science links would make a nice addition. I wouldn't post most of what I do without hard-evidence, and adding some of the sites linked to here gives me even more source-material!

Thanks for the inspiration and materiel SB!

* Todays path included Euro-xenophobia gettin' plunked by Silt in Where's My Car?.

There was an informative interview by The Talking Dog with Joshua Dratel, the attorney for aussie terror detainee, David Hicks. The Jose Padilla story ain't the only one of interest vis-a-vie the Pat Act!

Thanks to a digest from the Yahoo group, Free-for-All I had to engage in a little scrutiny of the US Constitution in order to get clarity on some problems with the Patriot Act that the group is discussing.

And, last but not least because it hit home on recent troubles with my own communication style, is DarkSyd's letter to Michael Crichton regarding the latter's dismissive critique of the idea of scientific consensus. Reading Crichton's entire essay makes the remarks to which DarkSyd replied a little more comprehensible. Still, and as ~DS~ points out, science is indeed without practical applicability until consensus is discovered. Hhhmmm... you really need to read DarkSyd.

** The linked site says nothing about June 18th but I can't find the link to the commenter on Yahoo's Atheist General message board who has repeatedly said he thinks this is the day. D'ya think I believe 'im??? ;-}


Friday, June 17, 2005

Psychic Challenge


Well, I'm still in "I'm so sick of people spreading lies and BS because other people will believe anything"
mode, so I'll encourage you to check out a Challenge to Psychics just issued by the 2% Company.

I happen to know a few people who believe this garbage. They really do! I guess they've just no comprehension of statistics or they figure they might be the one to hit on the way that proves such non-sense practical. I don't know for sure but I am sure that they're not just Evil Effers intent only on the scam. The scam is just part of it. If they can "ease someone's pain" along the way then it appears worth it. Plus, they really, really, Really do think their bunk is Real!


Hopefully another weekend just layin' about will help me chill already.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Was I Too Harsh?

Well, maybe a little...

I'm a member of Atheist-World Yahoo Group (nearly defunct and moving to Atheists-World: long story...) and we recently received a new member who wanted to help us.

She offered a link to her own site, requesting that we try it for 30 days, taking the polls and doing, well, I'm not sure what... LOL! Not until she clarified one of your group member's questions that is. The first block quote is Danielle's response to my fellow group member. Be sure to click on the link and read what Carol posted. I've seen it before but it still gives goosebumps for its origins. It's Excellent reading!

The second blockquote is my own reply to Danielle. And so, Danielle...
I do not have the time to answer all of your questions at one time, I know people are busy that is why I chose a "bite size" newsletter, as to not throw everything at you at once therefore all questions will not be answered in a day. As for the ads on yahoo, I have no control over them, it is part of their free site, I do not have the resources to upgrade right now, as I am just returned to work from a six month medical leave I had no control over. Student loans, 5 more car payments, groceries for a family, water bills, rent, electric, I think take higher priority over paying for a website right now. The ads are from yahoo, why on earth would I choose the ads they put on there as my own if I were in control?
If you want answers faster, I highly recommend the following resources.
Second, I highly recommend you read the following books:
This one by a humanist as yourself and doesn't believe in a "god"
1.) Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael J. Behe
2.) in Six Days: Why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation edited byJohn F. Ashton, PhD
3.) on the Seventh Day: Forty scientists and academics explain why they believe in God also edited by John F. Ashton, PhD.
There are also books you can read online at including The Answers Book which will answer many of your questions.
You can also find answers online that I will use in my newsletter at:
You have only seen my work for a few days, and that is not enough to judge me, I have seen you twist my kind words into hatred, which tells me you have a hardened heart which I am sad for whomever made you that way, yet I too, don't know you well enough to make that judgement. I have obviously hit a sore spot knowing how many times you have written. I don't have the time (since I have a family, etc.), nor will I debate you everyday, I am not going to try to change your mind, I am just sharing knowledge, some copy and pasting which I will leave my resource behind, I realized after day 2, I had forgotten to add it and that I apologize. Some will be my own stories. I hope to finish changing over the surveys to the atheist site soon, right now you have click on my main site and scroll down to answer it. I will be adding a new one soon.
The challenge is basically, after 30 days, will you still think the same way? If so fine, if not, even better. I have learned, you have learned. We move on. You are not forced to read my stuff, nor am I yours, we read them because we want to. After the 30 days, I will leave all the newsletter material on my website along with all my emails, and survey answers. Science is what is observable, repeatable and testable. People have the right to observe, repeat and test ideas and theories to come to their own conclusions and not rely merely on others for their answers. That is what my newsletter is about, to open minds, let people judge for themselves. You obviously are, I am, and others will too. That is what makes it great.
I will leave you with on final thought since we all think we are basically good people. Have you taken the survey at yet? It is not my own, but the survey is called "Do you consider yourself to be a good person?, It is quite interesting.
I have tried to write to you in kindness, but obviously you like to twist my words around before you have the full story, give me the benefit of the doubt before you let your hatred come out please. I will continue to be kind, but ask before prejudging me please.
As always, in Kindness,
(I cannot always right back in such long emails but will still try to answer your questions, right now, I have to call my doctor, my work, and spend time with my kids. Yes, I am a normal person just like you.)
Here is my, slightly, aggressive reply.
Dearest Danielle

You may want to actually apply critical thinking skills when reading: 1.) Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael J. Behe
This may help you understand why it is bunk and completely lacking in the discipline and honesty which the scientific methods demands.

I've never heard of either of these until now.
2.) in Six Days: Why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation edited byJohn F. Ashton, PhD
3.) on the Seventh Day: Forty scientists and academics explain why they believe in God also edited by John F. Ashton, PhD.

Here's what I know of its author though.
Google says very little about the man outside those particular works. Perhaps I'm missing something but I'll wait until I hear of any contributions of value this man may eventually offer. I won't hold my breath.

There are also books you can read online at including The Answers Book which will answer many of your questions.

Ahhhh... www.answersingenesis.... Okidoke... {rollingeyes} "Seek truth for authority, not authority for truth." Here is free advice: remember that saying when reading anything!

You have only seen my work for a few days, and that is not enough to judge me, I have seen you twist my kind words into hatred,

Hhhmmm... You invite us to exchange our innate and natural ability to reason by subsuming it someone else's belief system. We expose you as the fraud you are. And we are somehow twisting "kind words into hatred..." OooohhhK then...

... you have a hardened heart which I am sad for whomever made you that way,

Bad read girl.

yet I too, don't know you well enough to make that judgement.

Oops! You got something right! Better be carefull or you might learn how to do it more frequently! LOL!

I don't have the time (since I have a family, etc.), nor will I debate you everyday, I am not going to try to change your mind, I am just sharing knowledge, some (quote mining)

'nuff said

I hope to finish changing over the surveys to the atheist site soon, right now you have click on my main site and scroll down to answer it. I will be adding a new one soon.

Excellent! Good luck fleecin' the sheep!

The challenge is basically, after 30 days, will you still think the same way?

How about after 30 years of suffering such IDiocy from our friend's, family members, society at large, you go away and believe in your Sky-Daddy numbskullery on your own, with your friends, family members, and a slowly evolving though ever so slightly less frothingly delirious society at large?

If so fine, if not, even better. I have learned,

I doubt it...

you have learned.

Yes. How to deal sarcastically with a nutter such as yourself who has NO Respect for your own species' intellectual capacity.

That is what my newsletter is about, to open minds, let people judge for themselves.

As long as they forgo science, according to Henry Zuill, one of PhD Ashton's shill buddies.

I will leave you with on final thought since we all think we are basically good people.

I think you and your kind are very BAD people and I think so because you demonstrate it with cruelty and ignorance which is unforgivable. You "preach" tolerance and love and make promises for a mythological non-sequitor (that's yer God honey) which, even were they conceivably possible, would be abominations against natural morality and human decency. "Love HIM or burn in Hell for all eternity!" Well, isn't that so kind and loving and special...
Yes, I am a normal person just like you.)

You, my sweet IDiot, are very little like me where it counts, and I fully support your right to be so. But to be clear, Rights are given To People, By People. Your "rights" on this group are to express what you will and to be treated accordingly.

You were conceived as were we all, by a pair of sexually active homo sapien mammals. You have the potential of a species evolved primarily because of its intellectual capacity, and yet, like billions of others, you refuse to embrace the reality of your existence. Now THAT is sad and unforgivable.
With all respect,
You might be a good person if you weren't hell bent on converting rational people (or just plain suckers even!) to your discredited and immoral beliefs.

With respect for your right to make a fool of yourself or to observe and learn and, quite likely, contribute some of your observations and anecdotes on how to live a good life and deal with obstinate ignorami who accuse you of doing exactly what they are doing to you,

Michael Bains
Well, I've never denied that I'm a silly human as well... I was basically just pissed that people decide they have a right to evangelize in places where it is obvious such a thing will not be appreciated. I even got so ticked off one time over a comment about Brian Flemming's blog being "dangerously educated" that I did exactly what I'm complaining about now! I joined the Women of Faith message board in order to "share my thoughts" with them!

Silly Human indeed...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Totalitarianism? OK, Not Quite

"We are not besmirching the honor of the United States, we are trying to uphold it," said Congressman Jerrold Nadler as his microphone was shut off during a meeting of the House Judiciary committee on Friday morning. Apparently committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) had had enough of the debate and decided to take the ball and go home.

As anyone who has read this blog somewhat regularly can attest, I try to avoid excessive use of hyperbole. I really am getting sick inside at the amount of effort some Republicans are putting into avoiding discussion of issues for which they have no good answers! Can't anybody learn from past mistakes? For the GOP that would mean Nixon's Waterloo, er, Watergate scandall. For the Dem's it's gotta be Slick Willy's "I din't have no sex wit' dat chick" stupidity. Nevermind which one was worse for the country*, they both resulted in crises which would have been less disruptive of government if the principals had been more forthcoming early on.

But nooo... Everybody has to have their way and ignore reality if it might possibly make them look bad or result in a set-back for their cherished little ideas.

There is a very basic premise at issue here: The Patriot Act contains Super-Constitutional elements which have been deemed appropriate and integral by the Congress for the protection of the "Homeland" during a time of "War." Without going into how much that word "Homeland" makes my non-nationalistic self shudder (Homeland - Vaterland,) I think the act's concept is a good one. There are extremist nutters out there (not to mention within the homeland {shudder}) who would see our way(s) of life destroyed in order sublimate their mythology rather than taking responsibility for the mess in which they find their own versions of civilization. It has been a matter of no limited discussion that the YES vote to institute the Patriot Act was ridiculously quick and poorly debated (Ha! There's some understatement to off-set the hyperbole of this post's title.)

Sensenbrenner's spokesman, Jeff Lungren, derided the Democrat's for their determination to fully engage in meaningful debate.
We have a number of members on our committee for whom 5 minutes is never enough. Five hours is closer. You're trying to be respectful of everyone's time and [Sensenbrenner] was very, very generous…Democrats wanted to turn a thoughtful review of the Patriot Act into open mic night at the Improv...
Uh, sure Jeff. And I bet your arms are tired from the flight in from Wisconsin. {sigh} What seems more likely, given the partisanship this Congress is so notable for embracing, is that the chairman had simply decided that this particular meeting had gone on long enough since it is the only one, amongst dozens concerning reauthorization of the Pat Act, to include witnesses who were called exclusively by the Democrats.

'Tis a shade of the Nuclear Option debacle vis-a-vie the Senate's use of the filibuster. The party in power has determined that such power obviates the lesser party's opinion. "The people have spoken" becomes "Winner takes all" and not even nuts to the losers! Folks, this tactic is NOT a democratic one. The Constitutional Democratic Replubic that is the United States of America is based upon Majority Rule with the Consent of the Minority
**: Compromise. That usually means looong hours of dickering and less than desired out-comes for both (or all) sides of any debate. It also, and most importantly, means that The Mob does NOT rule. It means that there is no way on Earth that BIG BROTHER shall ever, Ever assume control.

* IMHO, Nixon's was worse for the country and the Slick one's was worse for the Dems - which may actually mean for the country... hhhmmm...

** If you don't think so, try reading the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution again...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Conyers Will Hold THE Hearings!!!

As reported on The Raw Story:


For Immediate Release:



WASHINGTON, D.C. - On Thursday June 16, 2005, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of House Judiciary Committee, and other Democratic Members will hold a Democratic hearing to hear testimony concerning the Downing Street Minutes and the efforts to cook the books on pre-war intelligence.

We might get the Chimperor Impeached (LEGITIMATELY) after-all! If you pray, do so now. If, like me, that's not yer shtick, then take a nice and well-deserved deep breath and thank the Laws of Nature.

Some Things You've Just GOT to Ignore

I am not convinced that he doesn't understand it.

That is how a much respected correspondent of mine replied to my critique of an essay which criticizes the scientific community in Kansas for the no-show strategy in the recent KB0E hearings on the Science Curriculum.

Yah. She was correct (as usual!) in pointing out the author's first line to me "In the game of Politics..."

Adding weight to his argument, he Charles C Haynes, goes on to say
Clearly, what the public thinks — and how people vote — matters...
And he expounds upon it with:
Because the general public (including state and local board members) knows little or nothing about the actual science involved, decisions about what gets in the science classroom are often based on hostility to evolution — not on a scientifically sound discussion of the evidence.

That's why science groups should abandon the silent treatment and begin promoting their own alternative for dealing with this controversy in standards and classrooms."

But this is exactly why the issue needs to be dismissed publically by the Science community. I know it seems strange but "dismissal" is not, in this situation, an ignorance of or withdrawal from the argument. As a strategy, it is based upon the idea that science needs must regroup and observe the antics of the creationist vogue in order to let them show themselves as the fools they truly are. It is a trust, no matter how foolish it may indeed be in the ability of the people to see for themselves what is really being debated.

Here's the hard point that makes Prof Haynes' commentary more accurate than I want to give it credit for being: I am constantly amazed at the number of people who think evolution means that humans evolved from modern day apes! From high-schoolers to my 40 something co-workers, folks simply don't understand the details of evolution, much less the mechanism of Natural Selection. As Brent of UTI points out in a recent post, even the "eminent" historian Paul Johnson believes, and gets PUBLISHED belching out the ignoramist line that evolutionists have never truly or convincingly

... made their calculations (of the time-line of human evolution) chronologically. Had they done so, they'd have seen that natural selection works much too slowly to fit into the time line allowed by the ages of the universe and our own planet.

This kind of non-sense coming from an educated man, a very-well educated Professor, was printed by an organization such as Forbes, in which it appears! His "evidence" is his ignorance! Brent's take on that is excellent so I'll just get back to why I strongly, not completely, but strongly disagree with Professor Haynes' position that abstaining from the KB0E hearings was both rational and politically sound.

Politics is as much a dramatic art as it is mere exposure. Even bad publicity is good doesn't ring very true for science in an atmosphere where it is not understood very well to begin with.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hey! Look what I found!

I just stumbled 'crost The 10th Skeptics' Circle at Skeptico's site. These things rock as hard as my fav'rite Carnivals of the Godless.

Highly rec'd so enjoy (and be careful. You might just learn somethin'!)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Accomodate and Compromise: Democrats Better Learn How AND Why

It started with Armando on the DailyKos (OK, it started with a Congress-ful of cowardly Democrats) then moved to The Mahablog where it was picked up by Eschaton which is where I posted the following this morning 'round 6am. It's in the comments (says there are 0 of them but there's closer to 40!) section under the Edge Heading.

"Trying to appeal to them by being accomodationist is the wrong way to go."

The failure of politicians (Left or Right) is that they do such on issues on which they should hold their line. That's what makes the Left so freakin' fuzzy right now. They've got to learn how to accomodate where it helps make the coming compromises smoother, and compromise where they think it will be most efficacious to the Big Picture (saying Soc Sec isn't broken doesn't get it fixed.) You will rarely have to compromise your own values if you compromise on administrative details. THEN you can be proud of what you gave up to get back.

Accomodation is fitting 300 million in a room built for, um, as many people as there are to fit!

Accomodation is about the capacity of the room, the political system, not the individuals within it. The room must accomodate all and, like it or not, you can leave, kill them (force them out anyhow,) or Compromise with them.

"Compromise is something you do behind the scenes. Stop doing it in public."

The gist of this is pragmatic and rational, especially when you're talkin' about administrative details. But, come on mang!, if you can't own it don't do it! Were you advising Slick Willie??? LOL!(whom I voted for the 2nd time btw...) Obviously Kerry thought along those lines cuz he could have capsized the whole Swift Boat Veterans' issue by flooding the media with every detail he had about his service right at the start. 'Twould have been a non-issue for voters if they'd got all that info up front instead of piece-meal the way it was dished out.

Compromise is humbly and honestly admitting where you're wrong or lacking, and staunchly, earnestly, vociferously and relentlessly creating
an environment in which you can really believe and prosper. Win or Lose you gotta live in the room with everyone else.

Unlike the neo-Cons or the lame-Dems, I want a political and cultural environment where I can be as proud of my accomplishments as I can be of my dissent. The former seem to want freakin' Dominion! The latter seem currently to fear for their very existence and therefore don't seem to know who the heck they even are...

It may not be an unfounded fear, but how often do you think Fear is a good environment for Reason? (ex: If your plane is crashing, do you put the O2 mask on yourself or your baby first?)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Atheist Dominion?

That's right kiddies, the atheists have taken over America and are trying to bury your God and eradicate your right to worship it!

Well, unless you want to acknowledge reality.

In the latest Associated Press/Ipsos poll on religious attitudes within 10 industrialized nations, Americans came out as the most willfully delusioned people in the group. According to this Yahoo News - AP story, this alte-cocker has been around long enough to know just how bleak things really are in this country.
"Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian policies and religious leaders have an obligation to speak out on public policy, otherwise they're wimps," said David Black, a retiree from Osborne, Pa., who agreed to be interviewed after he was polled.
Well, I'll give him the bleak part... Do you know how often I've heard this ridiculously ignorant sentiment professed in the media lately? And its almost always used in conjunction with the paranoid delusion that atheists (and other "intolerant" secularizers) are trying to destroy people's right to believe and worship as they see fit. Forget that it has less connection to reality than the idea that George Washington's teeth were made out of wood or Slick Willy's claim that he "did not have "sex" with that woman!" Americans believe it so it must be true!

My dearest non-atheist friends say they just wonder why I feel the need to attack people's religious or spiritual beliefs. Why can't I just live and let live? I don't have all the answers so why do I feel the need to bash their attempts to find them?

Well, I suppose if you define bash as pointing out the short-comings of an idea and suggesting a less far-fetched or more statistically likely possibility, then sure I bash my friends. {shakin'head} What do I need with friends any way? To be fair (I know. That's impossible for a Godless freethinker like me!) I can and do get emotional about these things and this kind of story is THE MAIN REASON. The United States is, as conceived and institutionalized, a Secular nation. Our government may absolutely not, under any circumstances, make (any) law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. That isn't some recently added, atheistic attempt to remove infantilism, er, religious influence from the governing process. It is the very First Amendment to a 200+ year old document delineating rights, freedoms and obligations and duties for the proper governmental administration of a religious and secular society. Religion is as protected by this code as much as is reason.

The willful and dangerously rampant ignorance of such as Mr. Black in the AP story are at the heart of the reason this amendment was the very first clarification of delineated rights to be instituted.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Moyers: Calling the Press to Task

Holy Moley! (Thanks Jay Stu!) I "saved to draft" then freakin' "forgot" to finish up on this. Moyer's has been frequently slammed for his Liberalism by the "mainstream" press and, of course, by the White House. I guess they just can't take responsibility for themselves and their failures so they'll blame it all on us debunkers. {sigh}

There are reasons
that people refuse to notice when they are being lied to. Bill Moyers has made it his personal raison d'etre to expose the Truth; the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth (well, maybe a little extra on occasion... ;-}) Sometimes the truth has a Right-wing political profile. Sometimes it favors the Left.
What too many people fail to acknowledge is the actuality that "Truth" is most often something neither extreme wishes to have known.

In a speech at the National Conference on Media Reform a few weeks back (when I first started this story!) Moyers
relentlessly put forth his view that WE are in trouble vis-a-vie the Press. Under the aegis of spreading democracy, our government has continually developed into a Marketing Department for those who already own wealth and power. In the name of variety and "getting the word out", it has repeatedly enlisted, sometimes for CASH, actual reporters to shill for the status quo. For those who would give a different perspective, one not sanctioned and sanitized by the mainstream media's profusion of talking heads (who all seem to appear on every show on television) there is abject dismissal.

Actually, it's even worse than that. The animosity displayed to journalists, such as Moyers, who dare to suggest there is inherent value in information which is not sanctioned by the very people being reported upon, appears to be reaching a fevered pitch. If there were enough of an objective criticism to point out such obvious violations of the sanctity of Freedom of the Press, this animosity might prove futile. As it stands, all that sincere journalists (and us li'l blogger-boys 'n' girls) can do is write our fingers off working for the (hopefully) inevitable backlash.

The natural environment of a diverse society, which usually creates an objective mix of motivations and observers to support and encourage diligent
examination and questioning of a country's standing and direction, is, in the current environment, subsumed to the limited number of people and ideologies which have been given their power, if not exactly freely, then at least whole-heartedly by the very people who stand to lose the most from such a concentrated nexus of responsibility: We, the people.

The most plain and beautiful metaphor Moyers uses in his speech is this:

I ha’ve always thought the American eagle needed a left wing and a right wing. The right wing would see to it that economic interests had their legitimate concerns addressed. The left wing would see to it that ordinary people were included in the bargain. Both would keep the great bird on course. But with two right wings or two left wings, it'’s no longer an eagle and it'’s going to crash.

I thoroughly and demonstrably value Liberty and Freedom speech... so I'm not about to violently attack Ari Coulter, er, Ann Fleischer, er... hhhmmm... well, just because they put their own spin on those concepts. When it is so difficult to tell those two apart, then it is apparent that we have a serious problem with The Fourth Estate.

Dmitri Shostakovich???

Dmitri Shostakovich??? {sigh} OK. It could be worse. I could be drunk on Vodka...

If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Dmitri Shostakovich!

I am a shy, nervous, unassuming, fidgety, and stuttery little person who began composing the same year I started music lessons of any sort. I wrote the first of my fifteen symphonies at age 18, and my second opera, "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District," when I was only 26. Unfortunately, Stalin hated the opera, and put me on the Enemy Of The People List for life. I nevertheless kept composing the works I wanted to write in private; some of my vocal cycles and 15 string quartets mock the Soviet System in notes. And I somehow was NOT killed in the process! And Harry Potter(c) stole my glasses and broke them!

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test