Thursday, August 25, 2005

A Red State's "Respect"(?!?!) For Life

This simply is inexcusable in a 21rst Century industrialized Society.

According to the Canton Health Department, statistics through July show that 104 of the 586 babies born to Canton residents in Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center had mothers between 11 and 19. (emphasis mine)
I wonder how many of these new moms were taught birth control by people whom they had any reason to trust or respect...

I Was Never A We-Blow

As a matter of fact, I think I was in the Cub Scouts for less than 3 months.

Whatever. This is funny!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Doh! It's Not Too Late...

to check out the fantastic 21rst Carnival of the Godless presented by the inimitable Goddam Liberal at No More Mr. Nice Guy.

For some whacked out reason, I couldn't get to his site yesterday but it's working fine for me now. Excellent job GL! Looks like this one will provide a whole weeks worth of leftovers to nibble on!

It's All Relative

However, if the components have different phase velocities, then the pulse's overall velocity will depend on the relationships between the velocities of the separate components. If the velocities differ, the pulse is said to be moving at the group velocity.
Exactly!

Follow Up: Civilizations

I am probably misinterpreting this, but please don't tell me you're suggesting we try to unite Islam?
Seth

There is no question whether this deserves a followup. Thank you Seth for not just shruggin' it off as too ridiculous or, er, just plain silly to comment.


I don't think it's very rational either.
I also think its what a majority of the terrorists (and a plethora of Wing Nuts on both sides of the pond) think they want.

I quit smoking 2 days ago. It makes my thinking erratic; kinda like if I were hooked on a religious trip and was somehow being denied it, so I'm sure the post didn't come out exactly how I would have liked. Still, I'm interested in folks opinion on its conclusion as drawn yesterday.

What I know clearly is that I remember being amazed at the concept of a Caliphate when Orson Scott Card (Ender's Saga) proposed it in a work of fiction and I wondered at how cool I imagined it would be if Homo was that simple that we could just split into our various Civilizational political & economic ecosystems with only marginal interaction & minimal interdependence. This idea correlates well with Sam Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations essay and the concept is intriguing to me.

But I've since learned a lot about the lack of actual concurrence within the Islamic cultures as to how It's supposedto work. {sigh} There are Persians, Turks, Arabs and now Indonesians, all trying to formulate a coherent structure of Societal rules based upon an outstanding group of Iron Age desert homo sap's supernatural inferences. Don't get me wrong (as I sometimes ridicule the superstitious mercilessly,) the amount of cognitive ability necessary to formulate these religious concepts is proof - incontrovertible proof - that our species is intelligent! It's the fact that so many of us hang on to old news even after it has been updated* that causes our most intractable problems.

Using the Scientific Method to figure out our inter-societal issues will result in a lot of hypotheses that are just as idiotic as any IDiot's god phantasy. The difference is application, testing and peer review (that is empirically NOT Profit [or prophet!] Driven!!!) always, inevitably, demonstrably move us closer to reality.

Religion attempts a kind of stasis but is ineffective causing societies to become corrupt as they desperately try to avoid evolving.

Silly Deadly Humans.


* I've been smokin' since 1981 ('65 if you count my parent's combined 3 to 7 packs a day 'til they both quit in '80.) I know way too personally how hard letting go of deadly woobies can be.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Partially Right: Take Our Time Leaving: It Won't Matter to the Region

Christopher Hitchens is only partially right, but it's an extremely important part.
Some have perhaps been drawn to "Camp Casey" out of reverence for life. Their demand, however, is an immediate coalition withdrawal from Iraq. Have they seriously asked themselves how humane the consequences of that would be?
Bush could end the killing in Iraq right now. It would be the end of American service personnel dying there only though. There is no doubt that this invasion was uncalled for as retaliation for 9-11. Those who say otherwise have yet to prove their point because every excuse regarding alleged Iraqi involvement with al Qaeda has been dismissed empirically and objectively.

To leave now, and especially from the catalyst of a woman of less than exemplary understand of the logistics of war, would create a vacuum to be filled by... hhhmmm... sectarian sociopaths? While it does seem that such an end is in sight regardless of how much longer the US maintains a military presence, it is still the responsibility of this nation to do as much more as we can to ensure such sectarianism - or whatever the Iraqis choose - comes about as bloodlessly as possible.

I don't think leaving right now would cause more deaths in the long term. I think it would hasten the civil war which seems to be brewing despite, or because of, W's "best intentions." None the less, US withdrawal, something which is not even being officially contemplated at this time, will probably enrich a new religious state in the Middle East. Cindy Sheehan's dimly understood disdain for Israel's own culpability in this war may indeed give her reason to hope for a more prolonged disengagement. Not that I think her words were racist or that anti-zionism is any more immoral than anti-Conservatism or anti-irrationalism. I do wonder why Slate and others describe them as such. Regardless of whether Sheehan wrote the email herself, the idea that Religious Motivations abound in this war is accurate and, most importantly, are the main reason for the terrorism and the insanity of invading Iraq!

While it isn't necessarily inevitable, I look at the environment and actors in Iraq right now and fully expect that the best solution to the whole issue of sectarianism in the region is for the United Nations to put forth a sickening but pragmatic olive branch: a legitimate Caliphate which is Constitutionally exclusive of Israel.

I wonder how long that would last and how many refugees - and imigrants - it would produce.

Obviously there is more to come...

Theories Abound!

As I'm sure most of y'all have seen by now, there is a new Theory of Intelligent Falling to explain that ol' curmudgeon, gravity. Unfortunately it seems this Intelligent Genesian theory too may have some, uhm, less than desirable side-effects:


Yes well... Thanks to a card-carryingly atheistic co-worker, A Rational Being and Seth (for the pic-link) for gettin' me to post on't.

But of course this is nothing new. They've known 'bout God's, er, uh I mean an Intelligent Faller for years up in Minnesota eh.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Inhumane NOT Inhuman

If one is alive and homo sapiens then one cannot be inhuman.

We need to realize that I will not kill means ever: not for any reason. It can be done even if the methods seem impractical right now. It can done that our species accepts this fundamental profession of Human Value completely.

Before Bush left the meeting, he paused in the middle of the room and said to the families, "I will never feel the same level of pain and loss you do. I didn't lose anyone close to me, a member of my family or someone that I love. But I want you to know that I didn't go into this lightly. This was a decision that I struggle with every day."

As he spoke, Ascione could see the grief rising through the president's body. His shoulder slumped and his face turned ashen. He began to cry and his voice choked. He paused, tried to regain his composure and looked around the room. "I am sorry, I'm so sorry," he said.

And he can do something about it. We all can.

More death will follow but bring the fighters - the brave, the fierce, the human - home from the killing. If it is agreed that the killing is unacceptable to one, the other will be isolated. It will end eventually with less killing not more. It will end with fewer culprits not more. It will end when it is empirically obvious, verifiable, incontrovertible who is doing the killing. There will be no doubt.

Then it will begin to end that our species kills other animals; starting with ourselves.

I'd like to see that. President Bush, W, this next breath is your chance. With this heartbeat you decide and you act. The killing stops for you and yours. You have technology to observe empirically so use it. More will die when you stop killing but they will not be by our hands and they will be caught at least as quickly as they have already been... (Where's Osama right now?)


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Intelligent Designers

Who says it takes a god to do abiogenesis?

Not the guys doin' this kind of experimental work. They're creating life from scratch in the laboratories of Harvard, Berkeley and Synthetic Genetics Inc.

I like it. And the VC guys appear to as well.
I love it when Rockstar Rambles. I find all kinds of good tips on how to communicate more effectively with my fellow homo saps.

Take this tip for example:
From the "Make You Think" file and the hand of Glintir comes this quote from Stephen Roberts on how to get the monotheists thinking:

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

LMAO!! Man that's why I love the blog arena. Pundit proppin' pundit gettin' us all over the freakin' place with the good, the bad, the ugly and the "i ain't sure what it is but I might come check it out again... sometime..."

Fifteenth Skeptics' Circle

Now Playing on Austin Cline's About.com site!

Go. Debunk. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Move On From Madison Ave Truth®

Update #2

Doone's fear of Jane's train is exactly what I'm talking about.

Update:

American On Line has posted a scathing and horrifically accurate essay about the inhumane(!) and vile tactics that W's administration uses to combat its detractors. The Swiftboating of Cindy Sheehan is a must read.


Empirical Facts are Enough


This pisses me off about the Left. This is Holywood pure and simply disquising an issue and freakin' MISNAMING these much needed vigils!
Cindy has asked supporters to start candlelight vigils in our communities to remind people of the terrible price of war. So, MoveOn, TrueMajority and Democracy for America have teamed up to organize nationwide "Vigils for Cindy Sheehan" (and for all military and gold star families) on this coming Wednesday, August 17th, starting at 7:30 PM local time.
Is that not Holywood? Vigils for Cindy Sheehan? Cindy is not The Cause here. She is homo standing up for herself. She is wise in that she wants for everyone who despises and decries this war to let it be known. They should speak it with persistance, vigils and peaceful exhortations for the verifiable details of our administrations plans in this region.

And Move.On, True Majority and a group called Democracy for America call for Vigils for Cindy Sheehan. I hope she's disgusted enough to ask them to name these something more relevant and not just with the biggest face appeal. Aren't these guys supposed to exist for the sake of Truth? Woo hoo... Move.On is going to "fight for my cause" no matter what they have to do to make it work. Umm...

Reality* doesn't sell well 'cuz, as long as homo thinks life is just too bad they will have "reasons" to believe that at least distract them enough so it doesn't hurt so personally. Or, going the other way, they will grab at "reasons" ** that make the pain much more personal and thus, somehow, more easily embraced.

Reality is the only drug that works guarentied until death. We have all got to make it better ourselves and we've got to have a personal interest in doing so. Personal Responsibility instead of the ol' Lets do it for "insert cause celebre here".

The Vigils For Those Lost in Iraq or Vigils for Life or whatever they might be called are an excellent and efficacious way to show the Powers that Be what we think of their internationally illegal invasion of a country that had Absolutely Nothing to do with the level of terrorist activity in the world when it began.

But they just simply are not for Cindy Sheehan, and misusing her so is as dishonest as the neocon nutjubs have ever been. Once someone starts down this particular slippery slope it is very freakin' hard to stop the slide into total dishonesty.

Just ask Slick Willy***...


*I mean Reality here, not some semi-pro modern cultural atheletic/endurance "reality shows". I mean, I watch a little but I know its TV Programming with only a scripted - though still challengin' as hekk - fairly loose connection to the Real thing.

** I love those stupid little fear quotes! LOL! Sometimes they're quite appropriate as I think they are here.

*** Bill Clinton is still one of my Top 10 favorite Presidents of the US. Even if he did have questionable taste in women for a man of his celebrity. I firmly believe (and I don't believe much) that he only chose the women he did so as not to give Hillary any reason to feel threatened.

Background to the Fore

I may be carnivorous but H.E.R.B.ivore I am!

I've heard the name Ed Krebs
a few times but it never stuck. This is the first I can recall actually seeing any of his work and I must say that I like. Many good links for humans who have Had Enough Religious Bullshit from their elected officials.

If you think what you do "doesn't make a difference" then you're gonna regret not doing something else; If only long enough to die from it...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

{sigh} Just kicks...

I took the What's the Color of Your Blog Personality? Quiz at About Web logs and...


My Blog Personality's True Color Is...
BROWN

It's all about simplicity
and nature.
The world is bigger than ourselves. That's why in my blog, I try to shrink the importance of my existence in favor of things that really
matter.


Hhhmmm... doesn't quite fit.

Maybe I'll take the quiz again and get a "reality" I like better.

or not...

Due to someone's anonymous insistence that I'm in love with the Brown designation of this hyar blog, I've decided to move my comment on it to the fore. Very strange... I'm pretty sure their interpretation of "simplicity and nature" must differ quite a bit from my own but, since their comments are both anonymous and and insulting rather than objective and efficacious, I'm not quite sure wazzup.

Special Guest Post

My Path to Ministerial Fellowship

by

Pam Sharrah Rumancik*


Looking back there have been many turning points in my life. One in particular occurred in 1991 when I was watching a PBS music program called Church Street Station. I was thrilled to discover a fresh and original genre of music. The group called ‘Strength in Numbers’ was playing acoustic music that had bluegrass roots expanded in innovative and exciting directions. I was mesmerized. Falling in love with that music began a brand new chapter in my life; we started camping, attending bluegrass festivals, arranging vacations to Colorado and ultimately buying a café in Estes Park, Colorado. Picking up and moving the family 1500 miles across country could be traced back to an evening watching television at the house in which I had planned on growing old.

Stretch a little more and that evening might just be the first solid step in the direction which ultimately led to my application for ministerial fellowship. In the four years that my husband and I ran the Mountain Home Café I learned more about myself than I had known in the previous 33 years together.
I discovered unimagined strengths and internal resources. I also reached previously unknown depths of despair. I felt abandoned by the God that I had been so faithful to in my Catholic upbringing and it was out of those depths that a new, life-affirming relationship with Divine Mystery emerged. I learned how limited and limiting my old faith life had been. On a cold winter’s afternoon while asking God through my tears why He wouldn’t give me what I wanted – I’d done everything a good Catholic woman was supposed to do! – I got a distinct answer I wasn’t expecting. “Why don’t you want what I’ve given?” The words were so palpable they hung in the air and my despair was replaced by a complete change in paradigm. A love, so deep and powerful it took my breath away, poured over and through me. I had love, I had family, I had a home and children who were healthy – why wasn’t I appreciative of all those gifts?

That day in Estes Park was an enormous turning point in my life. I began trying to reconcile this wonderful new awareness of Spirit with the teaching of my childhood church. I worked hard at it for a few years reading everything I could, first in the Christian tradition then in other traditions, looking for similar experiences of communion with the divine. I finally had to surrender my comfortable home in the Roman Catholic Church when I realized that the defining characteristic of my experience was being loved completely and unconditionally. I didn’t have to do anything to earn that love. Any judgment I felt came from my own mind, not from That Which Is. The presence I experienced would never demand a life sacrificed for others’ sins or condemn anyone to a place of eternal punishment. It was inconceivable. There were still many truths to be found there but I came to borrow a sentiment I heard attributed to Gandhi “I like your Christ but not your Christianity.”


I smile when I look back upon the books that were recommended, the people I met, and the connections I made at just the right moment. In retrospect it seems like a perfectly laid out path, with lighted signposts and flashing neon lights. How could I have gone any other way? At times it felt like struggling in the dark – yet I always got an answer when I needed it. Upon reflection I could usually uncover the lesson that had been offered, often with a little help from one of my teachers. I studied with Sufis for a while and was initiated into the Sufi Rahanyat under Sheik Wyrick Firdousi in August of 2001. I was thrilled to meet so many people who knew and understood Divine Mystery the same way I did. In attending Sufi workshops I was exposed to Buddhist, Hindu, Zoroastrian and Islamic thought among many others. Each of the Sufi teachers had a tradition that they were stronger in and I loved the way all the traditions converged on common ground.

The jump from Sufism to Unitarian Universalism is not really a jump at all -it’s actually more of an overlap. I still cherish my participation in Zikr with my Columbus Sufi circle and my practice of wazifa – the repetition of sacred names of Allah in meditation. I treasure my connection with a community so in love with Love. Being a Sufi has a counter-cultural aspect to it that almost seems to manifest an ‘us / them’ mentality. There isn’t judgment, just the idea that the much of the world isn’t ready to live into the concept that there is only One. I want to be able to take my spirituality with me in every part of my daily life, not just have it as a weekend or vacation event. So here I am at the UU door. I love the way people of vastly different perspectives can come together to worship in respect and unity. I love that atheists and theists can co-exist in harmony; that the inherent worth and dignity of every being is affirmed. It is such a lovely model for the forward progress of the planet.

Taking the step from Unitarian Universalist church member to ministerial fellowship applicant feels more like organic growth than rational decision. It is something which has always been there in some part of my being and is just now coming to fruition. I want to carry awareness of spirit with me into all aspects of life. I know there are other options but this is the one my heart calls me to. Living the life of a monk in total renunciation is fully spiritual but being removed from the reality of daily life would mean losing many valuable lessons that can only be learned therein. I could continue my life as a Home Depot associate, interacting with one person at a time over the sale of blinds and carpet, but I feel strongly called to have all aspects of my life immersed in spiritual discovery. I believe each person I interact with can offer a valuable lesson if I am open to what the Universe is sending. Being in a position to interrelate on a spiritual level with many people each and every day will surely offer myriad ways to grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

My greatest aspiration is to be fully human and fully present with each person and in every encounter. The bottom line answer to why I’m applying for fellowship is that my heart has called me to this path. The experiences of my life have proven it a good and trustworthy counselor. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


*Pam Sharrah Rumancik is my eldest sibling and the first Guest Poster (by my request!) on this site. I am very proud to be her little brother.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Prove It Chaim

Morag settler Chaim Gross said: "A lot of blood was spilled on this holy land. It was presented to Abraham for the Jews and we are not going to leave it."
Prove it Chaim.

If you can't then, no matter how many wonderful things you do or how kind, creative and productive you are or how magnanimously you live your life, you are an immoral human, a thief and a murderer. People will die and suffer greatly for your fantasy "rights".


Silly, deadly, human...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Evil Monkey on the Chimperor

I'm way short on time right now but had to post to this Letter to the Editor at the Washington Post.
If ID supporters want their non-theory taught in schools then they should formalize a theory of Intelligent Design and actually conduct experiments in support of it, not waste their money lobbying politicians.
As Evil Monkey states, it may not even get published so do yourself a favor and read it here regardless.

Excellent in content and form!

Who Says This Isn't Covered?

Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982:

Whoever, having or having had authorized access to classified information that identifies a covert agent, intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to received classified information, knowing that the information disclosed so identifies such covert agent and that the U.S. is taking affirmative measures to conceal such covert agent‘s intelligence relationship to the U.S. [shall be guilty of a crime].
Aahh yes... Thanks to TomDispatch (via TomPaine.com) I've finally found a little clarity as to why the hew and cry has been fundamentally non-existent when it comes to Novak's outting of CIA Agent Valerie Plame's identity. (Sure Rove's machinations have brought forth the ire of my Lib/Progressive compatriots. But even they are often long a unrelated irrationalities of Roves and short on actually demanding Spc Inv Fitzgerald coming up with some charges. Apparently the pundits - both Right & Left - have dismissed that little ditty quoted above as being incapable of being either comprehended or utilized in these circumstances. Er, they say it ain't clear enough to indict anyone in this case or, more importantly maybe, that it is too precise to be of any practical use.

As TomD quite thankfully points out, that is just plain ignorant. He posts an informative and elucidating essay by one Elizabeth de la Vega, which helps to clarify exactly what this Act actually says. I must confess though that I found the lack of linkage for citations an annoyance at best.

Still, Ms. Vega breaks the above quoted paragraph down into its component parts and shows, quite clearly, how it is indeed both relevant and efficacious in getting Justice done vis-a-vie the Plame case.

It is well worth the read.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

DUH!

Well waddayaknow! There's a NOTHER new "theory" in town that seeks to explain the existence of Homo, the birds & the bees, and hekk, everyt'ing else for that matter!

It's called Design by Unintelligent Hand: DUH.


I'm all for teaching DUH
in America's schools!


Spread the joy of ignorance and irritation! Subscribe to DUH today! Or at least click on the link to this always amusin' and often quite informative Technical Writer's Quest for Love in a World Gone Mad.

Many thanks to Bora and his Science and Politics blog: highly recommended and not just for the post which follows his DUH announcement. As bora says
"I want this fish on my car!" Me too amigo! LOL!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Italian Design

Okay, so now I understand how the Roman Empire was conceived in Italy. The Aliens did it!

Zeus was simply a humanized (Olympicized!) Flying Spaghetti Monster whom we have all lost track of just because It went out (of the solar system) for more bread sticks for a few millenia.

(I started this post yesterday then I got busy and left it in draft. NOW I've seen at least 3 different ref's to it, including the last on the Kos's site! LOL!)

I wonder if He has a salad bar...?

Enjoy!

Addendum:

Holy Noodly Appendages! Sparky has just laid out a full course, er, uh, full-fledged plan for Scientific Experimentation to that will conclusively PROVE the, uh, theory of Intelligent Design Creationism! And it's been scrutinized by the Inscrutable Minions themselves so it must be valid!

Wow! I'm like, you know, bowing or genuflexicating or somethin'... Niiiiice...



Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Facts About "Intelligent Design"

Many thanks to Skeptico for this tip and an excellent method of getting the information out there.

The National Center for Science Education is a resource rich website for educators and lay folk alike. If you're doing a blog piece, or simply want a clear explanation for some scientific terminology pertaining to evolution, the NCSE site is a must. The particular link at top points to their FAQ on ID - Intelligent Design.

Incorporating this link with the words Intelligent Design or ID will help get this particular site to the top of anyone's Google on this IDiotic phrase.

Blog it!

20th Carnival of the Godless!

Welcome one and all! Oh ye of little faith and those like me with none, partake & enjoy!

Today is a celebratory occasion of the godless* world of blogging and this is the 20th Carnival of the Godless. I'm your host for the day: a silly human by name o' Michael Bains.

As any who’ve read me know, I traverse a path of examination of our species as a whole via its collective cultural components (and I’ve no qualms 'bout using $10 words [cuz I LIKE ‘EM!*
*] as well as the slang o’ my youth.) You’ll find a lot of variation here on any given day, but for such an event as a CotG I’ve gathered a motherload!

I try to constrain my bloggin' to practical ideas for the most part cuz it seems to make it easier for me to convey my meaning to folks of sundry backgrounds. Thus I feel it necessary to pimp a post o’ my own that defines what I mean when I use the word
Spirituality. Mystery¬Mysticism! That being done, we can begin the fun with a couple of primer posts featuring Favorable Views of ideas beyond empirical fact. Not ALL that is mysterious is bullshit eh... Open and honest dialogue is one of the first methods of getting to bottom of things.

Commence!

Belief in God: That Other Trinity
Paul Martin is not a Canadian Prime Minister. He does do what I consider a wonderful job ministering to a cadre of, er, faithful followers on his A Spiritual Diablog. His post Belief in God: That Other Trinity poses the question which is central the entire issue of theism:

So if we believe in God on the basis of something other than experience and reason, what would that be?
I think it is always important to have a good idea about what this answer is to individuals with whom we, as atheistic thinkers, would converse. I mean, for example, that they might be like Einstein and see the whole of the Universe as the God thing. They might have more sinister ideas though... It helps to know.


Isn’t the Gospel of Mark Wonderful?
Alun is a young Archaeoastronomer (workin’ on his Letters), and has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. As a student and lover of the ancient works of homo his interests seem to give him a more overt appreciation of even one the silliest of human works: the bible.
... just as we can use Homer to examine the life of the archaic Greeks, so the New Testament reveals some of what life was like for the non-elite in the Roman Empire. For such people this was a desperate time.
With
Isn’t the Gospel of Mark Wonderful? Alun looks at the gospel of St Mark as a description of a strong and loving man who finds, at his end, that no matter the strength of his faith and belief or the efficacy and honor of his mission, one man alone can only do so much. His comments on the crucifixion for a taste:
…And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.” That, to me, seems to be the tragic call of an honest man who has done what he believes to be right who discovers in the end that the good that he had done had come from within him rather than some external force. Rather than endure the agony of crucifixion he drinks the poison offered and exits life.

Uneven Ground
When it comes to the practice of rhetoric, I’m willing to bet that most of us have heard the explanation of how atheism is a “weak” argument. An overwhelming majority opposes it and it makes a statement of lack vis-a-vie gods and the supernatural. Religion, it is said, is the “stronger” argument in that it is advanced by multitudinous millions of individuals and is a simple explanation for phenomena that have no other explanation than god-did-it.

Hank Fox offers some excellent tips & reasoning on how to smooth out this Uneven Ground.
Lots of people think atheism, the assertion that no god or gods exist, is logically insupportable. However, there's a larger element to the logical argument which is always left out, but which is absolutely necessary for a full understanding of just how logical and rational atheism really is.
His post is especially important to me because I once replied to some commenters suggesting Hank's views were "bitter" in an ignorant explanation for that possibility. Upon actually reading a bunch of his posts, I found his blog to be filled with compassion, courtesy and well-thought-out ideas. I think it just goes to show that some folk will use any dishonest and emotionally swollen tactics to avoid having to give credit where it is due and, much more importantly, I got the valuable reminder to
"Seek truth for authority, not authority for truth."***

An Open Letter to Gay Marriage Opponents
When it comes to uneven ground in politics, minorities of most stripes have the bumpiest roads to hoe. Ed Brayton, an excellent riff artist on his own blog – Dispatches from the Culture Wars – went ahead and initiated an ensemble of idea riffers (that’s riffers, not reefers!) in the new and expanded Inscrutable Zone – er, our founder, Brent Rasmussen’s Unscrewing the Inscrutable.

Ed’s
An Open Letter to Gay Marriage Opponents addresses the humanity and, quite simply, the sameness of homosexual couples and individuals who are refused - BY LAW!!! - the same respect and human caring that any other person may receive when they are in nursing homes or hospitals or any other position where all that is left is the right to enjoy the company of their loved ones as their time slips away.
I want people and society as a whole to view those relationships no differently than they view any other relationship because that is an important step toward allowing gay people the same dignity that the rest of us take for granted and never have to think about.
But get ready cuz this isn’t one of those “wow that was great but way-too-short"ers! The comments were astounding and insightful in great part thanks to one christian detractor who goes by the moniker Gadfly. I’ve seen religious arguments before which were based purely upon scripture but Gadfly’s opposition to Gay Marriage was based upon the tired ol’ religious meme that
homosexuality and paedophilia are morally one and the same! What I found even more grotesque, and think may likely have encouraged the abundance of counter-arguments presented, is how he repeatedly claimed that there is evidence exonerating paedophiles (but not gays!) simply because some historically advanced societies had institutionalized it!

Why Our Society is Secular
Chris Hallquist, of The Uncredible HallQ makes an excellent point in his Why Our Society is Secular as to why religions aren’t simply laughed out of existence when all of their false premises and (in)articulations of revelatory experiences as “fact” are disproven and refuted scientifically on a daily basis. It has to do with how Historians routinely ignore "edicts of gods" in their accounts of their subject. They don’t even mention history-makers’ belief systems unless they are so Out-in-left-field as to be the obvious cause of historic events. If they don’t acknowledge and dismiss it, then it MUST still be true! {sigh}
It is a commonplace in these discussions for it to be insisted that people are entitled to their own beliefs, and as the minority party, we atheists should of course be glad of tolerance when we can get it. But tolerance doesn't mean we can't examine one another's ideas critically. The theists commonly claim that atheism is somehow connected to immorality. Among other things, I attempt to respond to this by making the moral case for atheism.
Good motivator to talk about politics and religion in “mixed” company Chris!


A Conversation With Delta’s Mother
Family can be especially challenging when one is eschews embracing the supernatural wants not to hide such an important part of their life simply because some find it terrifying to imagine. The Inscrutable COTG Creator himself, Brent Rasmussen, offers a personal anecdote, A Conversation With Delta’s Mother (in ref to a link to another’s) that perfectly articulates the best reason for Tolerance and Courtesy when discussing matters of Faith & its absence: that believer might just be your mother!


Jesse Needs Your Help!
“They” say atheists are hopeless, intolerant people who just want to take “their” rights away. As I hope I’ve made plain, the theme of this Carnival of the Godless has been one of Tolerance, Reason and Communication for the benefit of all. I can honestly say that my life does have reason. That my raison d’etre if you will, is to be as fully human as my genetic make-up will allow. I make mistakes – sometimes even knowingly – but I am too Moral a person to ever try and scam a person out of anything; whether it be their honor or their money.
On that note and in conclusion - hold onto yer wallets for this one! – the inimitable DarkSyd needs your input on how to deal with, um, well, shall we just say “phone spammers”…

Be sure to let him know how you would handle Jesse’s boy cuz
Jesse Needs Your Help!


As seems to always be the case, there was simply no way I could fit each and every Carnivalian submission into this weeks event. The few left out were appreciated though and, if you didn’t read yours here, be sure to submit again. Watch for the next Carnival of the Godless on August 21, 2005 at the digs of the notorious
No More Mr. Nice Guy. Be prepared. At UTI the tagline is “I’m not angry. I just don’t agree with you.” Here I use a quote ‘bout lettin’ out what’s inside you or it’ll kill ya! My dawg “No Mo” prefers a more, shall we say, invigorating approach: “… Take cover, you drooling neanderthals, because you're going to get what's coming to you!

Aaahhh... The fur's gonna fly! LOL!

L8



* Of course it is my understanding that the entirety of the Universe is godless; even for those who think otherwise.

** actually it's more because there are times when slang or general usage words just cannot fully express the idea I'm trying to get out. WTF...

*** Motto of the 19th century Women's Suffragettes, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Kaleidoscope

Looking at a Human Lifetime, just about any human's really but especially that of a celebrity, gives a complex and multifaceted picture of what it means to be homo sapiens. The picture can be beautiful or repugnant; sublime or abysmal; outrageous or banal. Most likely it will be a little of each.

I'm thinking in terms of Dictionary.com's third entry:
  1. A series of changing phases or events: a kaleidoscope of illusions.
Each of us is kaleidoscopic in our appearance, depending upon both the view point of an observer and, of course, the phase of life we, the subject, are experiencing. What one sees through the scope is not necessarily a fair representation of the reality of the view'd's existence. It is dependant upon so many variables that tolerance and understanding of the nearly limitless possibilities of individual experience must be at least subconsciously weighed when doing the observing.

When it is a celebrity at the far end of the scope, the picture is colored even more by everything anyone has ever written or otherwise published about the subject on display. Rafael Palmeiro is a case in point.

Last week all of the Sports Talk shows were debating whether this long-time standout hitter was going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He's certainly got the numbers: 3000 Hits - 500 Home Runs It's a no-brainer that he's in the Hall.

Or is it...?

Over the weekend it was announced that Raffie had failed a test for steroids. This makes him a doper. A druggie; A cheater and a liar and, because he testified this winter passed to a Congressional Committee that he had categorically never used steroids, he may actually be facing perjury charges.

But did he do it? Are the tests accurate and reliable? Or is this a matter of one of the great ones gettin' slandered by shoddy testing?

His numbers have never been outstanding in any given category for any given season. His have always been solid and near the top of the performance charts year in, year out. Does this fact offer a suggestion either way as to the likelyhood that he used 'roids? I don't think so.

But I look the small view hole at player's career and see alot of variable colors and shifting patterns of brilliance and mechanical solidity. I see a Viagra user and wonder what on earth a healthy, decent lookin' guy with his astronomical income could possibly need with performance enhancing sexual dysfunction drugs and it makes me think: maybe the 'roid tests tell a true story after all. As a baseball fan though, I'm torn between wanting to believe they erred and being fed up with always more examples of the simple idiocy demonstrated by people who should know better.

I don't know whether or not Raffie used the 'roids. I know he tested positive for doing so.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to make sense of the swirling montage of images that make up this man's baseball life. I wish him well and hope he's not the kind of person who will take this situation too hard. He'll most likely have his plaque in Cooperstonw; eventually. I'd say the first ballot debate is now a null issue.

The swirling mass of shapes and colours that form this one person's life reminds me to pay attention my own though. My values are what I practice and they form the image kaleidoscope that other people see when they look my way. This blog is only part of those shifting images, but I try to make it an honest reflection of who I really am so that I can receive feed back (in lieu of drug testing?) as to how to how I'm really living my life.

Would Jesus Kill You Cuz Yer Gay?

No, but he might ask you out to dinner & a movie... Well, it all depends upon whom you ask.

I found this little bit o' nifty inference C/O of commenter on Pheryngula. I'm really not even sure who wrote it but think it is a nice bit of biblical research and reasoning.

     As shown, the  Bible contradicts itself on the subject of
homosexuality. Leviticus and Romans condemn while Matthew just accepts
it as a reality. What are Christians to believe about homosexuality?

Monday, August 01, 2005

19th Carnival of the Godless

Non-Holy Moley!!!

I did'nae forget it but I'm on vaction a thousand miles from home usin' AOL Dial-Up for internet access so I just ummm... er, well, forgot. ;-}

Awesome as Always is this version of the Carnival of the Godless and, while I'm late in postin', I cannae neglect to exhort y'all to check it out! The Title Image itself is worth the cost of internet access!

The Evangelical Atheist, always a good read, is this week's host and the Word he be spreadin' are well worth the risks of spendin' too much of your work day blogavanting 'round the blogosphere.

And, hey hi and howdy! I be next in the Hostin' Honors. Please send your deity-didn't-do-it's to brentrasmussen@gmail.com using the subject: "COTG Submission" if'n you want a particular post(s) to be included this coming Sunday. I've already got a few personal pick to post upon but am Always looking for more good godless essays.

And in the meantime, enjoy the evangelism! (WOW!!! That's somethin' I never thought I'd say! LOL!)