Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I'm getting the kids ready to go. Draco is going out for his very first Halloween and he will be dressed as a dragon. Jacob is going as Darth Vader.
Been busy preparing the costumes and stuff today. I'll post pictures later. Haven't done that in a while...
Monday, October 30, 2006
Can a child that is 100% up to date with vaccinations still get the Mumps?
Jake is having symptoms that scream Mumps.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Man, those boys from Duke really got reamed for nothing, didn't they? The case against them is looking more and more pathetic all the time.
Remember back in the '80s when we were all told women don't lie about things like this?
Friday, October 27, 2006
So what you think? Is Detroit gonna blow it tonight?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
George W. Bush:
...the Democrats voted against giving our professionals the tools necessary to protect the American people.
...I do not question their patriotism. I question whether or not they understand how dangerous this world is...
Now quit whining and go vote for whatever Republican is on your ballot.
The Republicans. I was against them before I was with them and now I'm with them and planning to vote against them. Maybe not. I guess I am now officially undecided. Voting would be so much easier if I were just a smelly hippie that hated my country and "the rich".
What to do? What to do?
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Have you seen this campaign ad?
And you know what makes it even more hilarious? The Dems are having spazz attacks because they say the ad is racist! Too rich!
Man every time it looks like the Democrats may have a decent shot at winning they just go and shoot themselves in the foot again don't they? If they were any good they'd come up with an even funnier response ad. Playing the race card and acting like jerks just hurts them.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Stuff is appearing wrong on the HTML all over my site. The logo at the top has disappeared. Some of the stuff on the right sidebar no longer displays properly. If I give you a login can one of you HTML geeks maybe help me figure it out? It all worked right in the recent past...
Congressman Charlie Rangel is taking a lot of heat right now because he's introduced a bill to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for people who use drugs like crack.
I myself think Rangel is completely right. It's stupid. Maybe mandatory minimums for dealers, but for users? It's crazy.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
For example: if the invisibility cloak bends light around the object, then how would a human being inside the cloak be able to see out? In order to see, light needs to reflect off of some object into your eyes: but if the light headed towards your eyes is deflected around you, then it doesn't go into your eyes, does it?As well as a possible practical application of interest to adolescents:
a cloaking device would be excellent for young lovers; they could enjoy each other's company anytime and anywhere. They can't see if it's day or night, but they're probably in that state anyway. Fortunately, however, it wouldn't work very well for voyeurs; high school girls needn't be paranoid in the locker room: the rule of thumb is, if the girl can't see the boy — then the boy can't see her, either.
However, if one is willing to be caught, then there are possibilities. Adolescents acting like, well, like adolescents could creep into the shower room of the opposite sex, then snap the cloak off to magically appear at the most inopportune moment for the victims. So beware of "phantom giggling" in middle schools.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I just had a parent teacher conference with my daughter's 3rd grade teacher. And she asked me what I thought about the amount of homework she assigns each day. I responded that I thought the amount of homework seemed reasonable, but that it occassionally lacked guidance as to what exactly is expected. I asked her why she asked about the AMOUNT of homework, and she stated that most of the white and black parents (mostly mainland) as well as "local" parents complained that she assigns too much homework, HOWEVER, Japanese-American and Korean-American parents complained that she doesn't assign ENOUGH homework and that the homework was too easy.
Two things shocked me today. Oddly enough, each item came from the home states of the candidates of the last Presidential election.
I'll start with the great state of Massachusetts first.
I read in the Detroit Free Press this morning an article about an elementary school south of Boston that banned TAG from being played by the kids.
Officials at an elementary school south of Boston have banned kids from playing tag, touch football and any other unsupervised chase game during recess for fear they'll get hurt and hold the school liable.
The whole notion of banning TAG because of liability issues is absolutely outrageous to me. Kids can't even play anymore because their greedy parents are looking for a quick buck and a shady lawyer is willing to help them.
I was mad about this in the morning, then my sister-in-law Mary, tells me about something else.
This comes from the great state of Texas:
A group of Texas security experts with a company called "Response Options" has made instructional video tapes showing a gunman bursting into a classroom and being swarmed by students. The instructors tell students to throw their books, book bags, desk and chairs using everything and anything to disrupt and take down a gunman. Robin Browne, a major with the British Army, helped design the training course and says it is necessary for students and teachers to throw themselves into the line of fire.
WHAT WHAT WHAT???
You've gotta be kidding??
A group in Texas is actually teaching children how to storm a gunman?
That is NUTS!
Every person in the country who identifies themselves as a Republican or Democrat has at least one issue on their "side of the aisle" that they don't agree with.
For me, its GUNS. I hate'em. I 'inherited' a .177 caliber BB gun from my Dad, and I only use that to shoo at critters. I rarely ever use it. I can't stand Mr. Mossberg but I respect my sister's hubby's right to own it.
I just can't believe the SHARP contrast on how things are done from State to State.
In one state, you can't play TAG because the school is afraid of being sued when Johnny scrapes a knee. In the other state they are teaching Johnny the right technique on how to jump in front of a bullet to save his classmates.
The most eye opening part of the article was this:
Browne concedes that his program of fighting back carries risk. He admits that the first student to swarm an attacker may pay with his or her life. However, he believes the risk may be worth it to save other lives.
"He won't be able to shoot the fourth, fifth, eighth, twentieth or thirtieth student," he said.
Yeah. Thats really comforting.
Its sad that kids can't even be kids anymore.
Most places outlawed Dodgeball in school, because of the same injury liability concerns.
Is it possible little Johnny took a gun to school because some aggression built up against someone? Aggression that could have been let out years ago in a "friendly" game of Dodgeball. Or maybe a TAG to the head with a closed fist?
The kids fight a little, get their suspensions, and a week later they are back in school with a better understanding of each other.
The bully realizes, hey I better stop this or I can get beat up.
But no. We don't have that any more.
We have counseling and therapy. Which does nothing because we still have the same bully picking on the same kid over and over and over again. Until one day, the kid snaps and brings a weapon to school.
I'd like to hear some of your opinions on one or both of these issues.
So what say you?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
To our son, Jacob!
Then a 10lb 4 oz bundle of love.
Now a wonderful son and a great big brother!The first one is Jake & Drake on the hayride at the Cider Mill last week. The others are from the park.
Uber-conservative and fabulous writer, P.J O'Roarke thinks that The GOP is stinking up the joint.
LIKE OTHER DEEP-THINKING people, I'm full of principled, idealistic, high-minded indignation at the GOP. What a stampede of sleaze. Jack Abramoff is the world's best lobbyist--for the Federal Penitentiary System. Bob Ney was deep in the ethical rough at St. Andrew's. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's favorite weap ons system turned out to be the political suicide bomb. Tom DeLay may or may not have broken campaign finance laws, but he did his best to look like he was breaking them. He might as well have tied quail feathers to the GOP majority in Congress and sent it hunting with Dick Cheney.
Watching Republicans in Washington is like watching lemmings, if lemmings jumped into cesspools instead of off cliffs. Splash! There goes Mark Foley! Now the news networks are broadcasting G.O.P.U. around the clock.
Actually, the Republicans should be grateful for their lying, thieving scum. It distracts the public from the things the Republicans have done that are honestly bad. Our postwar policy is creating Weimar Iraq. And when the Islamofascist Beer Hall Putsch comes there won't even be beer. [...]
And Republican federal budgets have shown less self-restraint than Mark Foley's instant messaging. Billions are being spent so college students will have someplace below sea level to get drunk during Mardi Gras. Hundreds of billions are being spent indiscriminately dumping Medicare prescription drugs on old people. There's a new warning on the Levitra bottle: If arousal lasts more than four hours you haven't screwed the taxpayers enough.
I am so moved by principle and idealism, so indignantly high-minded, that I'm changing sides. At least the Democrats aren't hypocritical about being scum. After Gerry Studds was censured for molesting an underaged congressional page, he was reelected six times. Therefore, in the mid term elections, I'm working to get Demo crats into office.
And work it is. There's the problem of putative speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whose very name summons images of children coming home from day care madly scratching their scalps. Then, when you see Pelosi speak, it's impossible not to think of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. I hope her campaign slogan isn't "A New Kick-Off for America."
Go on and read the rest. Then come back here and tell me that I'm crazy. Go on...
I'll tell you what crazy is. Watching your children misbehave time and time again and NOT PUNISHING THEM. I'm still conservative and I'm sad that it has come to this. I really am. But these damn lawmakers need to wake up. I will not sit here and allow my own team to f*ck me in the ass and expect me to say Thank You.
Oh, hell no. If I want to get ass rammed, I'll call on the Democrats. They are more skilled at it and they will most likely leave some Food Stamps on the nightstand after.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I've been trying to get you on your cell phone...
You okay out there?
Saturday, October 14, 2006
They just the Oakland A's!
Anyone see that game? Two outs, 9th inning, 2 on, game tied and an Ordonez HOME RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today is the mega birthday party. My two nieces and my son, Jacob, are sharing a birthday party at Granny's house today. This is the "family" party, I will be hosting Jake's 9th birthday bash for 12 of his best buddies on Saturday the 21st. Lucky me, 13 9-year old boys in one room with lots of sugar! I'd better remember to refill that Xanax script on Friday the 20th.
So we are celebrating my niece Christa's 12th, Jacob's 9th and my niece Alayna's 3rd. Fun stuff.
People are always intrigued that the first three grandchildren were all born in the span of a week in October. It's not that odd if you think about it. We all live in Michigan and there isn't a whole lot for newlywed couples to do here in January. And that's the rest of the story.
What's up with y'all today?
Friday, October 13, 2006
Also, if you visit the VC link, you will be introduced to the creepily addictive Nietzche Family Circus. Oh what the heck. Here's the link.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Well, when you are at good at something you should do it often. It appears I am a master baiter.
What else should I do here? Talking about sex gives some readers the vapors. Talking about killing our enemies (and everyone in range) makes some people squeamish. Talking about Democrats makes my lefties insane and my righties giddy. Talking about Republicans makes my my lefties insane and my righties giddy. Talking about my kids gets boring for you, not me.
What can we talk about that the lefties won't feel baited and the righties won't feel bored?
Religion? The upcoming election? The Kama Sutra?
Throw me a bone here. (not that kind Tim/Mark, at least, not right now...)
I've been following this story for a while now. Muslim taxi drivers are refusing to take passengers they know are carrying alcohol. I've also seen that some refuse to take blind passengers with guide dogs. Being a man of a religious bent myself, I can certainly understand their desire to adhere to the tenets of their beliefs.
On the other hand, there's my niece who, all through high school, dreamt of attending the Culinary Institute of America and becoming a chef. During her senior year, she attended a week-long orientation/seminar in which the kids got to do some of the things they would be doing once they were enrolled. That's when it hit her: In spite of being a vegetarian, she would be unable to prepare dishes containing meat substances without actually tasting her work. She is now well on her way to getting her PharmD. plus a Master's in Nutritional Chemistry.
Today Scott Johnson at Powerline drew my attention to Daniel Pipe's piece in the New York Sun yesterday that brings up an interesting question for me. Now, I know how some readers feel about Daniel Pipes (and Powerline), but bear with me. I guarantee you don't know where I'm going with this.
A solution proposed for the Minneapolis cab drivers was to have a two-light system wherein it would be easy to identify taxis that would not present problems for the blind or the besotted. This was rejected, ostensibly, due to overwhelmingly negative public response. Daniel Pipes outlines a more compelling reason why this should not have been adopted (written before the proposal was rejected):
But on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari‘a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law.So here's my question: Regardless of how you feel about the rightness or wrongness of what Pipes says, I think it doesn't matter because it won't go down that way. Sometime, somewhere, a user or class of users of transportation or other public systems will sue a private carrier or public authority for discrimination for being refused service by a Muslim worker. Alternatively, a Muslim worker or class of workers will sue for discrimination for being disciplined or fired for refusing service.
What of taxi drivers beyond those at MSP? Other Muslims in Minneapolis-St. Paul and across the country could well demand the same privilege. Bus conductors might follow suit. The whole transport system could be divided between those Islamically observant and those not so.
Why stop with alcohol? Muslim taxi drivers in several countries already balk at allowing seeing-eye dogs in their cars. Future demands could include not transporting women with exposed arms or hair, homosexuals, and unmarried couples. For that matter, they could ban men wearing kippas, as well as Hindus, atheists, bartenders, croupiers, astrologers, bankers, and quarterbacks.
Which class do you think will prevail at SCOTUS? and Why?
David Zucker is a genius! (Via Drudge Report.)
I do not think that an unprovoked nuclear attack on North Korea is a suitable topic for discussion whether jokingly or not, especially in so public a forum as an Internet blog. I might let such a comment roll off my back in a casual conversation by the water cooler. I am not in that situation. I am instead a coblogger and despite any disavowal on this issue my continuance here would be perceived as approval.
It's 5:00 am and I cannot sleep. I have spent quite some time thinking about how to gracefully withdraw as a coblogger. I do not wish to hurt Rosemary and was afraid that my quitting in this fashion may hurt her in some way. I considered many options on how to withdraw but could not come up with any that did not present an ethical dilemma for me. I had to withdraw publicly for my own sake and this conflicted with my concerns for Rosemary.
I was already uneasy with the circumstances under which I accepted the position of coblogger and this tips the scale.
I hope everyone can understand. I do enjoy controversy but this is too much for me. There were complexities to this decision but ultimately it was a simple one.
I want to thank all the commenters for their thoughtful replies to my posts. Best wishes to everyone.
Rosemary did nothing to me. It's simply that my sensibilities are more sensitive than hers. She crossed a line that I would not have in a way I wouldn't have. The line I have drawn is personal and I have no notions that it should apply to everyone. I was assuming that people would understand that but apparently many do not think like me.
I will list some of these personal issues.
1) I am a nonbeliever and the scriptures of several major religions demonize the group I belong to. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the population buys into this. Thus there is already an expectation that I am evil and lack proper moral judgement. Thus I need to be on my toes more than others.
2) I am a manager and I have and have had in the past people who report to me who are Korean. I cannot risk being associated with the idea that mass murder of Koreans is a funny subject even if that was not the intent of the joke.
3) I have controversial views that are rationally supportable however easily dismissed with emotional sound bites.
4) In my judgement perception is sometimes more important than substance. This comes from hard experience and I don't expect others to comprehend this.
I did not express this in the article and I can see how someone could read the first two sentences as moralistic.
I had scanned prior posts for content. I did not run across anything that would be a problem for me. I am not omnescent and can only operate on what I know. I now know that I cannot participate as a coblogger.
I see no reason why I cannot comment here if I find the topics interesting. I am not asking anyone to judge Rosemary unfit for human company. This was about me and not her.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 9, 2006
Not to hold you in suspense, but what would a post about Mark Foley be without a section dedicated to the Democrats? A few things about the Dems reaction to Foley that shocked me, but shouldn’t have. Calling for Hastert to resign?
The best one, though, is from Democrat talking head Bob Beckel. He compared a homo around boys to Willie Sutton (bank robber) around banks. Huh? When did the Dems start thinking that all homos are pedos? Aren’t the Dems the champions of acceptance? They now think that being homosexual should automatically put you under the microscope? “Keep an eye on that homo, Pelosi.”
You can’t leave out Gerry Studds, either. He has sex with a few minors, then goes on to serve 6 more terms, elected by the fucked up moonbats in Massachusetts. You remember them? The same people that are screaming for Hastert’s head. Did these same moonbats go after Tip O’Neil?
No they didn't but Democrat hypocrisy is the rule not the exception. Nothing ever surprises me when a Democrat says it. Nothing.
I went to the store Thursday evening. As I was walking up, two boys looked toward me and said "hey, baby".
I started to look around and one of them said "don't look around, we're talking to you". I laughed. I couldn't help it. Me? Are they serious?
Boy #1: "What school do you go to?"
Me: I don't. I'm out.
Boy #2: "When did you graduate?"
Me: High School?
Me: [chucking] Probably before you were born.
Boy#1: "Really? When?"
Boy #2: "For real?"
Boy #1: "I wasn't even born yet?"
Me: I thought so.
Boy #2: "Dude, she's your Mom's age!"
Boy #1: "I guess that makes you a MILF then."
Boys: "Later MILF!"
We need to pay for hosting and bandwidth, blah, blah, blah. Actually, paying for electricity is more of a priority since we're still jobless here. So, if you like me and you want to drop a dime in my bucket...this is the week! Otherwise, I'll have to start hookin' for groceries and truthfully I really hate worms. They are way too squishy but the fake lures don't work as well.
|Your Political Profile:|
|Overall: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
|Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
|Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal|
|Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
|Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal|
|Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
Sunday, October 8, 2006
I understand that forgiveness is important for some people in order to prevent hate from eating up their lives. I think it is also important to bury the hatchet when the person who has wronged you has repented. It is also important to forgive those who rationally bear no responsibility for an outcome even when your feelings tell you otherwise. If not then one might be inclined to seek unjust revenge.
Some people hold unwarranted and disproportionate grudges for perceived wrongs. It is very important that such people learn to let go, to forgive, deep resentment for what are often minor slights. Humans are also fallible and there can be mistakes and misunderstandings. These are often unintentional or result from a mismatch of perspectives. If such unintentional wrongs were not forgiven they would accumulate and result in a major feud over essentially nothing.
So the attendance of the funeral Charles Roberts by the Amish victims of this murderer does have some redeeming qualities. There is little reason why they should hold a grudge against the surviving Roberts family. This certainly sends such a signal.
However attending the funeral also sends the signal that they are forgiving Charles Roberts himself. I don’t know if that is so ethically inspiring. What did Charles Roberts ever do to earn this forgiveness? I see no action on his part that showed any kind of facing up to his responsibility for what he had done. How could his actions be seen as unintentional, due to miscommunication or some other minor human frailty? I do not see how.
I think that the signal of forgiveness of the Roberts family could have been sent in more constructive ways. For instance, they could have sent flowers to the wife and children outside the context of the funeral. Some way that says we don’t blame you and yet does not offer forgiveness for the evil deeds done. Inviting the Roberts family to attend the funerals of the slain children would have been appropriate if the parents of those children did so.
The issue who does the forgiving also troubles me also. How can I forgive the murder of another’s children? It is up to that person to do the forgiving. I would take it as an insult if a bunch of Amish people came to the funeral of the murderer of my child to forgive him. They are not in the position to forgive since it is not they who were wronged. Such public displays of forgiveness by those who are not wronged are cheap and seem only to serve as a public display of piety.
If the purpose of attending the funeral was some sort of holier than thou public exhibition of pacifism then I find it grotesque. Who are they to feel they are better than the rest of us?
True pacifism is parasitic upon people who are willing to take a stand against evil. In this case the evil has self destructed so there really is no action to be taken. If instead Roberts had killed the children and then aggressively resisted justice and perhaps tried to repeat his acts then it would have fallen to others besides the Amish to stop him. It costs the Amish nothing to forgive and do nothing. It is difficult and dangerous to apprehend and bring criminals to justice.
So please don’t feel awed, humbled, or unworthy when presented with such displays. They are counting on you to do the dirty work for them. Don't be mistaken; it is dirty work, this business of getting angry enough to do something about evil in this world.
I’m sure the Amish have already forgiven Osama Bin Laden. It allows them to get on with their lives. I’m not ready to get on with my life with regard to that bastard. My lack of forgiveness for him is not causing hate to eat up my life. Most of the time I don’t even think about it. When the time comes that he is dead I will still not forgive him.
I never forgave Uday and Qusay Hussein for their horrible acts and they are dead. I don’t loose a moment’s sleep over it either.
So what do you say? Have you forgiven Osama Bin Laden? If not have you lost any sleep over the fact that you haven’t? If not do you feel yourself unworthy of the Amish and their drop of a hat forgiving nature? If you have forgiven him do you feel smug that you are a better person than I am?
I haven’t forgiven him and there is nothing to be ashamed of.
I don't forgive this bastard Charles Roberts either. I have a right to be angry with criminals even when they are forgiven by their victims. Not for what he did to me but what he did to others which might have befallen me. I have children and I was a child once. The nature of their acts endangers more than just their victims. Acts are repeatable and a failure to repent indicates a willingness to repeat.
Every rape victim who forgives their attacker without seeking justice has only endangered others. Murder victims never have an opportunity to forgive and that responsibility therefore falls on anyone else in their position.
If I were to forgive Osama it would be a private matter having to do with my worries that he continues to pose a danger to me, my loved ones, my friends and other people of good will. That would entail an owning up to his responsibility for his actions, a change of mind, and a believable avowal never to repeat those acts. I would never presume to forgive him on behalf of another. I don't think there is a snowballs chance in hell Osama will ever meet these criteria.
Saturday, October 7, 2006
Ara finally succeeded. I laughed with him and not just at him!
The video has strong merits, I'm starting to re-think my earlier postion.
One of the commenters, Mckieman, wants to know if I put my pants on one leg at a time.
The answer is no. In fact my wife laughs at me for how I put my pants on.
I'm not sure that I know exactly how I do it because it comes naturally and so I'm going to have to put them on right now so that I can describe the process. Pause. See how quick that was. Now let me explain.
I sat at the edge of the couch (normally bed but the Mrs. is sleeping) grabbed the pants firmly by either side of the waist then lifted both feet up into the opening and positioned them over the leg holes. With a backwards-rolling motion of my whole body I pull the pants up in one swift motion and then rock forward hopping to my feet at which point I fasten the button and close the zipper. Both legs go on at the same time.
If this is too much information for you, Mckieman, then don't ask the question.
BTW, I know you were not being literal but I have "issues with literalism", which perhaps I will get to in another post. I think it will tie in nicely with this whole issue of interpreting religious texts and what not. I don't think certain people recognized the serious issues that arise from non-literalist texts. Especially when those texts are purportedly inspired by or authored by deities.
I can see where some of the commenters on that are trying to go but they are being a little coy about it. Guys, ultimately I am a rube and I think everyone shares in my affliction to some extent. My meaning may become clearer later as I elaborate on this theme in later posts. By rube I don’t mean literally an unsophisticated country person. I mean more. I mean it also in the more derogatory sense that a carny would use it. You know, as in sucker. Like our great teacher bugs bunny would say “What a maroon! Ha, ha, ha. What an ignoranimous! Huh ha, ha ha ha.”
Thanks to modern technology we have Bugs’ inspiring words here (warning audio!).
Why I chose the word rube might become clear later.
Note: That was where the post was suppose to end but then I went on to rant.
Mckieman, does have a point however. I am a rube with messiah issues. That's a joke, seriously. I only wish every messiah grounded their philosophy the way I do. It would lead to so much less trouble. It isn't very easy to get along with the next guy when your messiah has the one and only word of God or is that last prophet with a "final solution" from Allah. It doesn’t work out so well when you don’t have a messiah/final prophet in common with that other fellow. Especially when that spiritual word literally calls for the slaughter of others.
I hope the reader got the double entendre in that prior sentence since I put it in scare quotes and italics.
I also hope I am not relying on links too much here to convey my meaning. I know that it’s possible that in a thousand years people worshipping this very text may not get my meaning should the web sites referred to above become inactive. I have thought ahead for some distance in time by providing some links via Google instead of directly to a no-name web site.
In this concern I have provided more forethought than authors of such holy words as “slaughter them all”. Who, I’d have “thunk”, should have considered that 1400 years later (or even a generation later) people would perhaps no longer think that He (pbuh) was only referring to some single incident or war? Especially considering the phrasing.
Some people can’t blame Him (pbuh)[I will provide a link later.] After all, it’s not like He was claiming that such text was like fact checked or anything like that. After all, can’t a deity talk in, like, parable? Or for that matter can’t he lie? I mean really, he’s all-powerful, ain’tin’ he. If he can make it so that one believer is the worthy military foe of a thousand non-believers well he can do anything. That’s quite a feat when you look at the fact that it normally takes around one female infidel US soldier to take on a whole mess of believers. Shouldn’t one assume that being an all-powerful being includes the ability to do what even a child can. The ability to lie.
So why should it be so obvious to me that every hateful thing ever put in a religious text is “obviously” subject to interpretation just because a God can talk in parable. If it isn’t in a religious tradition to read things as parable then why should I assume such a thing? It’s not normal in most religious traditions to assume that your God is lying even though he is perfectly capable of that too. Should I assume that every believer assumes his deity is lying also just because I can conceive of that? If so then exactly when should I apply this rule or the other?
My current methodology is to look at how the believers behave with reference to such texts. I look at what they do. That “doing” includes the action of speaking. So I would have to go with the question of whether they do really have non-literalist traditions or not.
The existence of traditions is not the only important issue either. If so, if these non-literalist traditions do exist, then how prevalent are they? There are Christian sects, the Hutterites, which interpret the bible to command that we live in communes. This is a literalist tradition. They do not take certain biblical commandments as parable. Just because this literalist interpretation exists doesn’t mean that most Christians follow it and are literalists.
The fact that most Christians have settled on a non-literal interpretation of the “commie” portions of the bible does not tell one anything about how people of other faiths treat their holy books. Heck it doesn’t even tell you a thing about other Christians like “Hutterites”. Why should one expect to figure out what most Muslims think on this basis? Had Marx been exposed to those commie Hutterites instead of your average Christian perhaps he wouldn’t have been on his so all in your face jag about religion being “the opiate of the masses”.
What was my point, I forget. Well I guess that you just can’t take the traditions of one religion and assume that another follows them to come up with a verdict of certifiably peaceful religion. The issues are more complex than that. In fact the issue of whether a religion is tolerant is itself a complex issue with no simple yes or no answer.
I don’t think whether I should be slaughtered should rest on an issue so religiously tenuous as whether one should take Allah or God at his word or not. Nor on whether my disbelief makes me an innocent or not. I want some certitude on the issue, as you should understand.
Well here I went off on a tangent, perhaps a rant, and never did get to my point about rubes. Perhaps I’ll get to it in another post.
Note that I was trying to find a link to a comment to document the kind of thinking I am talking about. I never did find the comment I was looking for. It was one in which Dean berated someone for assuming that those bad quotes from the Koran could be taken literally saying, and I paraphrase, “No shit and you don’t think Allah can speak in parables?”
In that process I came across a comment by Dean that shows that he is well aware of these issues but fails to adsorb them into his psyche
(I know what you are thinking “or should I say psycho”). He states,
“I don't think all religions are the same at all. I think a very reasonable reading of the religion of Islam is that it's quicker to endorse violence than many other religions are. The Koran puts heavy emphasis on justice, including sometimes pretty rough justice (although nothing that's worse than what's in the Bible that I've seen on that score). As I said: I have never denied that holy war is allowed under all major Islamic traditions, because it obviously is.”
Which leads me to say, “Holy Cow, what was he on about, the TRATOR! He, he. :)”
Friday, October 6, 2006
Ultimately I will be blogging about my opinions. Since everyone's opinions are informed by their personal philosophy it be important to my communication that I make this philosophy explicit. For most people communicating their life philosophy (a set of principles upon which their conscience as settled) is easy. They merely state I am a Catholic, Reform Jew, Lutheran, or Marxist. This is one of the benefits of sharing an ideology, ease of communication. There are other benefits and that is one reason why I am not purely anti-religion as one might expect given some of my positions.
Although it is true that having a named ideology can help provide a shortcut to people understanding your thought processes it is not always helpful. Some ideologies are just not well known, such as Baha’i. Heck, I don't even know if I spelled that correctly. Another problem is no person is one hundred percent in agreement with a particular philosophy. In the case of intolerant ideologies one cannot be sure of a persons true beliefs because they may suppress their personal views out of self-interest and fear of harm. We all need to take such facts of human nature into account lest we become bigots about others viewpoints.
Unfortunately, I have not found any philosophy that I can call my own. I was baptized a Lutheran but by the age of eight had already decided that it was not a path my conscience would allow me to follow. I have looked at many ideologies and none meets my personal needs. Many have partial solutions to the issue of ethics, some of which I would never thought up myself in my own short lifespan, but none provides the kind of comprehensive ethical view that I feel is necessary to order my life.
Some of these ideologies I have examined shallowly others I have examined in depth. In all cases I examined to the depth that interested me based on my criteria. Often I may stop at a depth for which I could determine if anything new was being offered and whether those new things were true. Many times I take it much further in order to better understand people who hold such views with whom I must interact. I don't know many people who practice Shinto and they haven't attacked us since WWII, so I don't feel a need to explore that particular religion deeply.
I make no pretense of detailed knowledge of most of these ideologies. I don't know how to be a good Catholic for instance. Hopefully, when I am mistaken about a particular ideology and it is relevant to the discussion you can inform me of my errors. I am profoundly aware of my own ignorance.
I don't have the luxury of telling you that I am an "X” so that you may understand where I am coming from. I am a freethinker who has not arrived at a consensus with any large group. I am do believe in certain philosophies but often with a twist that would make me a apostate in the eyes of the “true believers”. So even when I say that I am a “libertarian” I often get other libertarians saying they wish I wouldn’t refer to myself as such.
I make no promises but I plan on writing a major article approximately monthly or bi-weekly. I will be doing so in order to clarify my philosophy. The purpose is not to convert you but to justify my opinion and allow you additional angles of attack upon my opinion and belief. Sprinkled between these articles will be shorter opinion articles on current topics, news, and scientific discoveries. The topics I will be covering include ethics, religion, politics, science, technology, philosophy, law and my personal hobbies. My expertise in these areas varies. I am so woefully ignorant of law that I expect my opinion in this area to change drastically between now and the end of my life. It's an area that is important to a well-rounded person but that I have neglected. I am extremely competent in the areas of science, technology, and economics. Please don't assume that I am completely ignorant in the areas for which I denigrate myself. This comes more out of my comprehension of the scope of knowledge that is possible in these areas than in my level of knowledge compared to an average “Joe Blow”.
I may share personal experiences where they are relevant. I will try not to do so in a way that says, "Look at me! Aren't I great". I have in mind fun and instructive experiences even if they paint me in a less than flattering way. We are all fallible.
I the process I shall be offending Christians, Jews, Muslims, Nazis, Communists, Socialists, Objectivists, Behaviorists, Libertarians, Feminists, Post Modernists, Liberals, Conservatives, Buddhists, Ecologists and even the occasional Bahi’a or Shinto.
So what am I? What do I believe? Well in no particular order of importance here is a list.
1) I am a Rationalist who does not ever utilize faith.
2) I am a scientist.
3) I am a Pan-Darwinist. That is I believe darwinian principles can act on more than just genes.
4) I am an Ignostic (a form of Atheism).
5) I believe in Naturalistic Rights. (Non-deity based natural rights).
6) I am a Naturalist.
7) I am a Ecologist (however one who believes man and his works are natural)
8) I am a Skeptic.
9) I am a Free Thinker.
10) I am a Popperian.
11) I am a Compatibilist (as opposed to a philosophical Libertarian or Determinist).
12) I believe that the Austrians have the best economic models but I disagree with their anti-empiricism.
13) I am a Political Libertarian (not a philosophical one)
Remember that I have my own unique twist on each one of these (except perhaps science). Arguments against any particular ideology listed may not work against me because of my particular improvements.
I call my own personal religious beliefs “Responsibilianism” or “Teknosticism”. I do so because most well known labels that would apply to me such as atheist or libertarian make people assume bad things about me that are not true. I am sick of people assuming I’m a communist or libertine. Most people assume that these labels have established meanings without assuming I’m an anti-Capitalistic member of N.A.M.B.L.A. Responsibilianism/Teknosticism includes many what are uniquely American values and attitudes. I am, after all, steeped in American culture.
I give you this summary so you know how to argue with me. For instance, since you know I accept rationality you may feel free to use laws of contradiction against my arguments. I must accept such criticism or abandon that portion of my philosophy.
Now that you “sort-of” know where I stand, let the debates begin.
Thursday, October 5, 2006
I'm not going to engage in a battle of the links here with shep. This outrage illustrates the absurdity of their one-sided efforts to paint the Bush Administration as some kind of fascist Thought Police with a monopoly on suppression of opposing ideas. Take off the tinfoil hats long enough to admit that this goes on and that it's wrong.
From Scott Johnson at Powerline:
Public discourse at Columbia is for now in the hands of intellectual savages. Does the university have the wherewithal to restore the conditions of freedom? It prominently advises students:
The Rules of University Conduct (Chapter XLI of the Statutes of the University) provide special disciplinary rules applicable to demonstrations, rallies, picketing, and the circulation of petitions. These rules are designed to protect the rights of free expression through peaceful demonstration while at the same time ensuring the proper functioning of the University and the protection of the rights of those who may be affected by such demonstrations.
The Rules of University Conduct are University wide and supersede all other rules of any school or division. Minor violations of the Rules of Conduct are referred to the normal disciplinary procedures of each school or division ("Dean's discipline"). A student who is charged with a serious violation of the Rules has the option of choosing Dean's discipline or a more formal hearing procedure provided in the Rules.
There appears to be no shortage of evidence on which to predicate disciplinary proceedings against any number of students caught on tape last night. Columbia is now presented with the opportunity of demonstrating who is in charge of the zoo. As they used to say, the whole world is watching.
From the Columbia Spectator (obvious tool of the fascist overlords)[emphasis mine]
"We were aware that there was going to be a sign and we were going to occupy the stage," said a protestor who was on stage and asked to remain anonymous. "I don't feel like we need to apologize or anything. It was fundamentally a part of free speech. ... The Minutemen are not a legitimate part of the debate on immigration. [Sez who? - MTR]"
I love how you progressive protectors of individual liberty always think you get to make all the rules of who can speak and what is truth. It's like you never heard that a coin has two sides.
UPDATED: Removed name of person falsely accused of link-battling. ;-)
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
under circumstances like these:
Members of a Kansas-based church that has picketed funerals of fallen American soldiers are expected to protest at the funerals of the Amish girls killed Monday in Lancaster County, according to a news release issued by the church.
The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka blamed Gov. Ed Rendell for the mass murder of the five girls in a one-room schoolhouse because he ridiculed the church on a national television news show, the news release said.
The church said nothing about the man who shot and killed the girls and wounded five other girls. He was identified as Charles Carl Roberts IV of Bart.
Members of the church have been in the national spotlight after picketing at funerals of soldiers killed in action. The church says the military deaths are God's punishment for tolerance of gay people.[snip]
My question to Fred Phelps: If God is such a cruel and vindictive entity that He regularly metes out pain and suffering for 'sins' that Phelps defines, what sin of Phelps' own would God be punishing him for when 'English' counter-protesters beat him into a coma for disturbing the grief of these poor girls' families? You know the Amish won't do it. God bless them for being better Christians than I.
I just had to get that out of my system. Rant over.
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Betcha somebody we know wishes they had one of these.
Make sure you watch the video.
I would like to thank Rosemary for her well-reasoned responses to Dean’s outburst. I had read them after Dean had posted a comment on his site mentioning them. To be sure I was bewildered by this situation. My first thought was that I should mix it up in Rosemary’s comments section but that just felt wrong. My ethical antenna went up over the idea of getting between a wife and her obedient husband.
To my surprise I received an email from Rosemary inviting me to blog here because she was unhappy with Dean over this issue. I also got emails from others informing me of the history of Rosemary’s blog and that I am not the first to be vilified by Dean. I knew that was true because of what I saw happen to Scott Harris but I thought that was a fluke. Apparently there is a long history of this sort of thing and that Rosemary created this blog specifically as an island of misfit toys rejected from Dean’s blog.
Since there is already a history here I lost my discomfort with the idea of being a wedge between partners. Apparently, they have survived two years of this so what harm can I bring?
Technically, Dean has not banned me there but he is claiming that he is only keeping me around as an object lesson about "conservatives". I wasn't even aware that I was one. I did "ban" myself over there and tried to disengage but Dean kept attacking me so I felt I must defend myself. I am now fed up and am jumping ship before I am forced to walk the plank.
I made clear to Rosemary that if I came here she may not like what I had to say, and that I would not be interested in a coblogging position merely on the issue of defending myself against Dean. I can certainly do that from within Dean’s own comments, although at the disadvantage of being relegated to a less well-read section. Rosemary made clear it that was exactly her intention in extending me this opportunity. She had looked at my blog and was interested in having a diversity of viewpoints here.
I will be defending myself here against Dean but will also being writing articles about my diverse interests. Hopefully I will do more of the latter than the former.
I really hate writing but I love to communicate my ideas and the ideas of others.
I abandoned writing on my blog some time ago because the traffic level was too low for me to put up with the agony of actually writing an understandable, grammatically correct article with no typos or spelling errors. Well some approximation to one. I do have a full time job, a family, and other responsibilities that prevent me from producing enough content by myself to pull traffic to a blog. I also feared that if I did draw traffic I would end up with more work controlling comment spam and other issues than I was willing to deal with. Therefore being a coblogger is a good deal for me.
So again, I would like to thank Rosemary for this opportunity. I think it will be a good fit for me if not for her. I hope I don’t make her regret it.
The main reason I've stayed a loyal Republican was because I believe that we must fight the terrorists. I do not want to negotiate with the bastards nor do I want to bury my head. There has been a lot of shit that I have swallowed in order to remain loyal. The camel's back got pretty heavy with the Foley scandal and the probability that the leadership was aware of his proclivity and did nothing.
This here folks is the last straw. U.S. Senate majority leader calls for efforts to bring Taliban into Afghan government
QALAT, Afghanistan U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan guerrilla war can never be won militarily and called for efforts to bring the Taliban and their supporters into the Afghan government.
The Tennessee Republican said he had learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated by military means.
"You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government," Frist said during a brief visit to a U.S. and Romanian military base in the southern Taliban stronghold of Qalat. "And if that's accomplished we'll be successful."
Frist said asking the Taliban to join the government was a decision to be made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican from Florida accompanying Frist, said negotiating with the Taliban was not "out of the question" but that fighters who refused to join the political process would have to be defeated.
"A political solution is how it's all going to be solved," he said.
In violence on Monday, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a NATO convoy in the capital Kabul, wounding three soldiers and three civilians, while a roadside bomb in the eastern Paktia province killed three Afghan soldiers and wounded three others, officials said.
Afghanistan is being rocked by the worst outbreak of violence since the ouster of the Taliban regime in the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Militants have increasingly resorted to suicide attacks and roadside bombs.
Frist, who said he would announce whether he would run for the U.S. presidency in about a month, said he had hoped that the United States would be able to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan soon. But the 20,000 U.S. troops are still needed to help the 37-country coalition deal with an intensifying Taliban insurgency.
"We're going to need to stay here a long time," Frist said.
I'm with Ace, I'll be voting Democratic this year. No loyalty from me at all. I'm throwing all the bastards out.
Monday, October 2, 2006
At least that's what al-Reuters says we should do. Either that, or be ashamed.
To my baby brother and part-time co-blogger Jerry K.
Sto Lat Bro!