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.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Proof!!!



Judaic myth-spouters and Evilutionsits be damned!

Or at least touched by His Noodly Appendage.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Well, Who Wouldn't?




Though I suppose I'd rather she played drums or something like that...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bush's Need to Go Beyond

It's been said before, but Christopher Dickey says it pretty well here in his Shadowland column for Newsweek. W's delusion prohibits him, and his believers, to go beyond good and evil and see modern terrorism for what it really is.
What I missed, of course, was the decision by the Bush administration to make its first priority fighting evil in an endless war, rather than fighting men and ending the war.
The column is from Sept 13th but he is referring to his own understanding of specifically Islamic terrorism as he wrote about it in Sept, 01.

I'm tired but it is worth the read if you don't think we need to eradicate all religion; just the psychotic individuals that force it down non-subscribers' throats.

'Night.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Nectarine

There's a story behind the title of this song but I still find it pathetic so :-P That's all I have to say about that.

Art is a way to express feelings that aren't helping me to get what I want in life. If I can't manifest my desire in reality then painting it lyrically can at least allow me to see where I've failed to make its achievement possible. If I wasn't proud of the way it turned out - as art - then I wouldn't post it here. Hopefully I'll have some recordings to post by mid-winter.


(Category: Weepy bullshit in A minor)

We are a road upon which
I'm not allowed to travel
A trail I may not hike
A mountain I just can't climb

Were we a dream I'd awaken
enjoy the lingering fascination
of something so innocent and sweet
but which I can't quite recall

without rejoining
the vividness of sleep

Are we a future memory
Some phantom though benign
A here and now that's yet to be
I won't close my mind

to that which
I am wont

and barring such
will endeavor to be a more
fully conscious man

until time or my fate
will open up to me
a promised land
bringing me my heaven on Earth

But I don't want you
I don't want you like I want the world
And I don't want you
I don't want you like any other girl

No I don't want you
I don't want you like I breathe the air
I don't want you, no
It's like I don't even care
I don't really care
I don't want to care...

Here in the meantime I will
Continue to live my life
Studying the scenic views of
That which I'm denied

the forbidden road
the taboo trail
the mountain which I just

don't have the means to climb
when it will be my time

But I don't want you
I don't want you like I want the world
And I don't want you
I don't want you like any other girl

No I don't want you
I don't want you like I breathe the air
I don't want you, no
It's like I don't even care
I don't really care
I don't want to care...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Impossibilities

What Impossibilities do you imagine?



I decided the other crap on this post wasn't up to quality. Hey, it was my 40th birthday and I was depressed and thinkin' my probability of getting over that life-long state of mind might just be impossible.

What can I say? It isn't.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Doh!


Thanks to my bio-bro & indispensible friend, Leebee Jammin'.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Quotation & Sam being The Man

I don't generally pay much attention to the Huffington Post, but when Sam Harris writes, I do tend to read.

This particular post doesn't really break any new ground, but then again, how could it? Still it was well worth the read in small part because of the bonus quote a commenter said they've carried around in their wallet for many years. Enjoy.

"Atheism in it's negation of gods is at the same time the strongest affirmation of man, and through man, the eternal yea to life, purpose, and beauty."
Emma Goldman


"... the subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy"

I have to thank Brian Flemming for bringing this speech to my attention. It cuts to the quick of what is wrong with our species.

I've been seeing this fact represented on Television
and via what passes for "common knowledge"
with rising irritation and frustration over the past decade or more.

The 80's gestated the phenomenon, which was reborn* of the 1960's & '70's eerily dramatic coverage of the Vietnam War, Female Rights, general Civil Rights and the Watergate scandal. President Reagan was a man of very little ability to reason fully and objectively and yet his speeches left television viewers feeling better about themselves; until they actually began to consider the content of those speaches when the rhetorical and oratory gimmicks "the Great Communicator" used lost their glossy effect. Unfortunately, far too few people allowed that effect to wear off.

Most people apparently feel very little affinity for substance when style is, by virtue of its arbitrary nature and inherent malleability, vastly more attractive.

The speech to which this post is linked is by the first of President George W Bush's
(Texas had it's share regionally before 2000) national and international political victims: Al Gore. While Gore certainly played into the Media Entertainment Complex's hands with rhetorical gaffs of his own (anybody remember who actually built the DarpaNet?,) and is possessed of a markedly stiffer and less folksy communication style, the content of his agenda has remained steadyand true: Government is responsible for Infrastructure. It must create and maintain the environment for people to produce, trade, educate their children and themselves and travel. In short, the Government is not responsible for our successess (Halliburton, Hummer, the Saudi government AND Israel???) but only ensuring our opportunities to succeed. This government, by dictate instead of by logic or reason, has chosen whom they believe should succeed absolutely. It has taken upon itself to tell the people what should happen instead of utilyzing the forum of Observable Reality and reasoned debate of the obvious and often incredibly hard-won facts which are only to be found through a thorough and transparent investigation of the world as it is, as opposed to how it seems to those in power.

Gore is no innocent when it comes to wielding power. If he was, we would be discussion some other man or woman's entertainment driven decline from that power. Absolute power does indeed corrupt though. This is why our nation, and by extension our world, now finds itself on such a high precipice; with our only means of escape or triumph over the catastrophic failure of our species being Our Own Minds. That is all we ever truly have with which to observe reality and communicate our observations to our fellows. When we abdicate responsibility for what occurs within that space and matter of which each mind is comprised. When we give up our ability to observe objectively and think rationally and, instead, bestow those responsibilities upon the profit-driven empires of the Media Entertainment Complex by giving It free-reign over dispensation of the News and the Freedom of the Press, then we have decided to live in an illusory world and are at the mercy of any who speak - regardless of their sanity - through that outlet.

This is why I blog myself and that is why I read the thoughts of others: because I am capable of discerning
the Whole Truth only when all of its details are given the spotlight. It isn't Truth if the parts which reflect badly on those with the most power and responsibility are allowed to be hidden or ignored. Popularity means death when it is based upon what is desired at the expense of what actually Is.


* The concept of those in power having Final Say on what constitutes Reality predates technology of course. It even predates the Roman Catholic Church and Oligarchy of the Imams with which students of Western History are quite familiar.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Internet & Judicial Evolutions

Damn it.

I had to turn on the silly, pain in the temporal budget, Word Verificationer in comments.

OK then.


The SKOTUS ruling that Campaign Finance - how much an individual can spend to get themself elected to Public Office - is protected by the Constitutional Right to Privacy is wrong. If the purpose of private contributions or investments is to gain Public Responsibility then involving an aribtrary indicator
of right, in the case of the USA, wealth, to be used in place of empirical observation, in all cases accomplished using a strict version of the scientific method, private contributions must be maintained at the most raw and honest dissemination of a candidate's platform or agenda.

This applies to both contributors who wish to influence the leaders that get elected as well as to the leaders themselves. When one takes one's Private life Public, one must axiomatically give up one's aggreed upon privacy rights. They no longer apply as that one has now stated their wish to be Public. The only thing owed to that Public is the truth of the candidate's activities, plan's and motives. Only then can the individuals of which the Public is comprised decide credibly on the value of each candidate.

The concept applies in a different dynamic to the use of Publicly Traded stock for Corporate use. Corporations are no more Individuals than candidates for Public Office are private individuals. The decision to be one*
supersedes the right to be the other.

Remember, Humans don't decide what is right, we merely determine which rights we will enforce.

Where is a fatal flaw in that logic? I haven't found it yet and see a very low probability that there can be one so I will continue to investigate.



* An individual who chooses to Incorporate their self, for example, is no longer accorded Private status unless by arbitrary - thus irrational - decision; say a value which the decision-maker feels conciliates his guilt by ignoring the truth of the individuals compensatory value for gaining Corporate status. Quite simply: getting something for nothing relevant.