Thursday, August 25, 2005

More on young Lisa's anti-same-sex marriage stance and subsequent denial of said stance.

I'm going to quote a few of her posts and comments verbatim and see if anyone here can't figure out what her stance on same-sex marriage is.

From a comment on my "yay canada!" post on June 29th:

I love how the government just lies and lies and lies. And how they ignore the opinions of those within the country.

Polls showed that 75% of Canadians did not want same-sex marriages aprroved. But the government, who "represents the people", voted to extend parliament so that they could pass the bill, which had been rushed through all the preliminary things a law is supposed to go through. It was rushed through and did not go through the proper scrutiny that a normal law is supposed to go through.

Not to mention that Martin promised he would wait until the fall to pass the same sex legislation.

I'm not overly upset that it has been passed - it was obvious that it would happen anyways, in our country's desire to be politically correct. To me, the passing of the bill demonstrates the government's willingness to lie and bend the rules when it suits their own interest.

Followed by her remarkably similar July 31st post:

(12:14 AM) -
I'm tired, so this is bound to be more or less incoherent. And probably what some might deem "unintelligent". And full of spelling mistakes! Our friend Phreadom can enjoy them.

I read a stupid article in our lovely left-leaning newspaper, The Sun. Shouldn't have done it - I knew it would make me mad.

The stupid thing was so biased, and so wrong. Good Lord - why can't people just believe whatever the hell they want to believe, and not bug other people about it? Let me say this. JUST BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE RELIGIOUS DOESN'T MEAN THEY CAN'T VOICE THEIR OPINIONS. For goodness sakes - the whole point of government is so that people of varying opinions and beliefs can be represented, not just one group of similar minded people. Everyone has opinions, and everyone deserves a say. Christians aren't going to take over the world, for goodness sakes. Stand up for what you believe in - unless it's politically incorrect. Then you're a bigoted, hateful, prejudicial person and you don't deserve a say. Arg.

Oh yes. And 75% of Canadians believe in defending the traditional definition of marriage. And so our government passes the law! Whoo! Way to be a representation of the people! Bastards.

And they also bashed a whole bunch of Christian orginizations. Why don't we abolish all of those too? Religious people shouldn't be allowed to be religious in public. Or teach what they believe, or what the Bible says. Heaven forbid.

And this is NOT an oppertunity for people to start an angry argument over the comments. I'm looking at YOU. No insults, no anything if it's going to start a fight.

End of angry rant. Tomorrow I talk about Doug.

She's also flat out said that she thinks that homosexuality is wrong and a sin. But unfortunately, she deleted her entire blog, and while I have the main posts, I do not have all the comments. :-( So I can't copy the exact comments here.

My problem here was simply that she obviously sees same-sex marriage as wrong if she has such a problem with the government passing the laws for it. The issue of government corruption is moot here because this was not a case of that... and the only reason she would possibly think that is because she's against same-sex marriage, which is obviously a symptom of her religious born prejudice against homosexuality. Which is exactly what led me to that point in my arguments with her.

lisa: the government is corrupt.
me: why?
lisa: because they passed a law for same-sex marriage.
me: how does that make them corrupt?
lisa: it's against what most people wanted.
me: what about the governments responsibility to protect the rights of minority groups? aside from the fact that the statistics I see show that the majority both supported the law, and do not want it meddled with now that it is passed.
lisa: statistics mean nothing (even though I tried to use them to my advantage previously), the government is corrupt!
me: I'm not arguing whether or not the government is corrupt. I'm arguing that you used same-sex marriage laws as an example of their corruption, and the fact that you plainly stated that you think homosexuality is wrong. you are also quite plainly opposed to same-sex marriage. and when I ask you what valid reasons you have to oppose it, or feel that it's passage into law was a source of corruption in your government that would imply that they did something damaging or wrong, you refuse to address the issue beyond saying that those are simply your beliefs (which are based upon what the bible teaches).
lisa: I refuse to argue with you. I never said anything against same-sex marriage or anything about homosexuality.


My hahaha's for the morning. :-)

God's Blog.

Strategery ("President Bush's" blog).

These gave me a chuckle this morning... thought I'd share. :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


It appears as though someone from the Department of Homeland Security is reviewing my website. Make of that what you will.

I don't know whether to feel oddly honored, or nervous.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I laughed so hard that I cried.

I Fucked Ann Coulter in the Ass, Hard.


Funniest thing I've read in a long long time.

(Aside from Lisa's husband's occasional gems, like the visual of the auto-mechanic as Mammon... but they don't have the sheer scale of this opus.)

A City of God. (well, of Catholics at least.)

City of God
Tom Monaghan’s coming Catholic utopia

Tom Monaghan: the tycoon who sold his assets to serve the Church.

Building the "City of God".

Yep. That's right. He's building a city of, by, and solely for, fundamentalist extremist Catholicism as a foundation for world domination on the back of his billion dollar fortune.

Here are some choice quotes:

"We’re going to control all the commercial real estate, so there’s not going to be any pornography sold in this town. We’re controlling the cable system. The pharmacies are not going to be able to sell condoms or dispense contraceptives."

For Monaghan, the enemy is the morally corroded secularism of modern America, and the freedom he seeks is the freedom to fully obey the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

"I think it’s more difficult for someone who’s trying to live his life consistently with the Catholic faith to vote for Democratic candidates, because the party’s platform includes things which are clearly against Catholic teaching, such as abortion and homosexual marriage and so on,"

Don't vote for the smart candidate with facts to back him up... vote for the chimp who believes in an imaginary man in the sky and in stripping away personal liberties and freedoms to pursue the religious statist agenda of a single particular branch of a particular religious cult.

"My ideal would be for the entire human race to be fully and completely Catholic, and to serve God that way," Fessio answered. "But that’s not going to happen. What do I want for the town? I’d hope the town would be like I’d like the whole planet to be — fully conformed to the truth. But that’s not going to happen either. So I don’t know. I’ll accept whatever happens."

"The Truth" of course being Tom's vision of Catholicism... not actual facts, science and reality... but a specific, highly fictitious and repressive religious dogma of one particular religious cult.

The students and faculty are "pioneers" who will "win the hearts and minds of a new generation"; the university is "destined to be a mighty work of the Holy Spirit, a bulwark of Catholic truth against the windstorms of secularism and apostasy which seem to overwhelm our nation and our church."

"I think they really can’t do this, as much as they might want to," says Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "You can’t create your own town and then decide what all of the rules will be for living in that town. You can’t have a religious test for purchasing a house.... This kind of approach to creating your own little community is still governed by fundamental civil-rights and civil-liberties principles that are inherent in the constitution of the state of Florida and the federal Constitution. This is not a guy who’s buying his own island out in the Pacific. If he did that, he might be able to get away with all of this."

Honestly, at the core, I don't think there is any good reason why a group of people can't form their own community and live by those standards should they so choose. The issue with me comes when they start trying to forcefully exert their particular belief system and morals onto other people.

For instance, the brainwashed sheep of a girl who was saying how wonderful Mother Theresa was... She was a sick old woman who created centers for people to die in squalor and filth and discomfort because the very foundation of her belief system was that the only way to achieve salvation and understanding of Gods love was through misery and suffering. Her goal wasn't to help people, to give them comfort and aid and a clean bed... to ease their suffering while they died... it was to help them suffer as much as possible. Abject suffering and misery was her goal, because she honestly believed that that was good for the people she took in. The more you suffer, the more you'll need God... the more you'll be humble and understand Gods love etc.

Sick sick woman.

Jesus fucking God... I so hate religious people. There is a line of Religious Freedom that I try to protect... but I HATE the fuckers that perpetrate this delusional mindset onto others. That try to fill the government with their kind so that they can pass laws making it illegal for anyone to actually exercise their free will and personal liberties and freedoms. To force society backwards by leaps and bounds back into the days of the repression of science... of womens rights... of tolerance and diversity...

Sometimes I almost want to weep in despair that through sheer statistics, there isn't much we can do, as the perpetual minority. It is our lot as the smartest in the country to watch in dismay as the legion of sheep around us constantly shit in the very bed they sleep in... and do their damnest to force us to lay in the same filth because they think they know what's best for us.

Yep... thousands and thousands of the brightest and greatest minds on earth laying out the provable facts of the world around us, based on millenia of progress and discovery, and whom have in large part brought humanity, against great odds and mainly against the opposition, repression and even threat of DEATH from religious zealots... are wrong and evil in light of the "word of god" laid out in some 2,000 year old book written by primitive people with only a tiny fraction of the understanding of the world we now have.

This kind of bullshit almost makes me wish that Scientists would just start burning religious idiots at the stake for a change, and let them see how it feels.

"Well, see... I don't agree with you that there's some man in the clouds that controls everything. So... we're going to torture and kill you now for not agreeing with what we say."

See... I think both groups believe they're actually doing something for the good of mankind... the difference is that one can very easily be seen to have historically brought us forward, while the other strove to perpetually hold us back... and if given it's way, would have us all still living in mud huts, tending sheep and cowering at lightning, still believing it to be Zeus or some other god casting spears at us out of anger for us being naughty.

(Thanks to Jen for showing me this story.)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Brain bender.

So, yath randomly busted out with a question in #phreadom a few minutes ago. I was the first to answer, and got the answer correct! :-D It took me 5 minutes to be sure I was right.

Have a crack at it and see if you can figure it out. :-) (please try not to cheat either, it ruins the fun. ie; don't google it.)

<yath> There are three boxes. One has apples, one has oranges, and one has a mixture of apples and oranges.
<yath> You have the boxes. They were labeled correctly once, but someone has mixed up the labels and they are all mislabeled.
<yath> If you can take just one fruit from a box without looking into it, in order to correct the labels, which box should you take a fruit from and what will you do based on that information?

Enjoy! :-D

World's Smallest Political Quiz.

So, on the advice of my friend Sean yesterday, I took the World's Smallest Political Quiz.

I had told him that I felt like I was a conservative masquerading as a liberal simply because I was loathe to be associated with Bush and all his neo-con fundie Christian flock, whom I detest.

Mind you, I mean conservative in the classical sense, NOT in the contemporary sense.

So I took the test... and feel a good deal better about where I stand as a result.

So without further ado... The Results. :-)

The political description that fits you best is...

LIBERTARIANS support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.

Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity, tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

The RED DOT on the Chart shows where you fit on the political map.

Your PERSONAL issues Score is 100%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%.
(Please note: Scores falling on the Centrist border are counted as Centrist.)


(Results are renewed after each submission.)

How People Have Scored

Centrist 30.10 %

Right (Conservative) 7.54 %

Libertarian 34.93 %

Left (Liberal) 18.84 %

Statist (Big Government) 8.59 %


Other Political Philosophies

Left (Liberal)
Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net" to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

Centrists espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

Right (Conservative)
Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates "traditional values." They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.

Statist (Big Government)
Statists want government to have a great deal of power over the economy and individual behavior. They frequently doubt whether economic liberty and individual freedom are practical options in today's world. Statists tend to distrust the free market, support high taxes and centralized planning of the economy, oppose diverse lifestyles, and question the importance of civil liberties.

Essentially I guess I feel that although as somewhat of a bum myself, I'm drawn to the idea of the social safety nets and such rather than personal responsibility... but realistically I know that the Libertarian ideals are more in line with the personal freedoms I hold as being of such great importance. Something of a survival of the fittest type arrangement. ie; Why should I be -forced- to provide for the welfare of my lazy neighbor? Why should I not be allowed to reap the rewards of my own hard work and live independantly, should I so choose?

There is a lot about the current form of our country that flies in the face of what our founding fathers meant, and a lot of serious misconceptions and revisionism in the history we've learned.

What I've been doing lately is attempting to get a better and more facts based understanding of the foundations of this country and governmental system from it's inception to modern day.

I feel that when I'm done, I'll feel much more comfortable taking a solid stance on these issues, as I know that right now, I do not have enough information to make an intelligent stand on many points.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

LinuxWorld thoughts... and a trip down memory lane.

I quit going to LinuxWorld a few years ago.

On that note... I was reading an article today on one mans impression of this years Linux World Convention & Exposition (LWCE).

Golden's Rules: LinuxWorld's screaming hardware, palm-sized server, faux IT guys and .org ghetto.

It was actually very nice to see it publicly stated what I've known for a few years now.

The hacker feel was gone a few years ago... to be specific, it started in San Francisco at the fall 2001 expo... where many people broke down into tears (and I am now covered in goosebumps just remembering it) when at the end of the expo, a bagpipes rendition of Amazing Grace was played over the convention wide intercom and the entire crowd... who for just a moment smiled when it started... and then understood the true meaning... fell completely silent... and all you could hear were the bagpipes playing... and here and there, people crying.

It was truly the end of an era. It was the beginning of the end of the DotCom boom and we all knew it. It would be the last true Linux World for many of us.

Shortly after that, the September 11th 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York happened... and the world felt different... and by the time I returned to New York the following spring... things felt drastically different from my trip there a year previous, for both the obvious and the not so obvious reasons.

This would be the last booth. By the next convention, the rumors had it that we had been blacklisted, for not showing up on time the 2nd morning of the previous convention... but Microsoft themselves... the supposed Antichrist of the Linux World, had been given a sizeable booth to show their wares. This was almost the last nail in the coffin for me... but I still held on to the hope that the spirit wasn't quite dead...

The following convention would indeed be my last. Fall of 2002 in San Francisco.

I honestly spent the vast majority of the time with my friend Bela, whom I had met through a rather fortuitous and highly unexpected events during my previous visit to San Francisco the year prior. A group of us from the LWCE had gone out to dinner at a nice little restaurant. Bela was serving as our waitress that night, and I had mentioned to the girl sitting next to me that she was so beautiful that I wished I could take pictures of her. The girl then promptly informs Bela; "Excuse me miss, but he would like to have his picture taken with you."

This was one of the more embarrassing moments of my life. (A lot of people do not realize that I am quite shy, and especially in the presence of a very pretty woman or someone who I would have a serious crush on or be really interested in.)

Bela working.

Bela and I when we first met.
Note the bright red tint to my head from how badly I'm blushing.

Anyway... after that, she gave her e-mail address to the girl I was sitting next to, who gave it to me, so that we could send her copies of the pictures when we got home. I contacted Bela over AIM... we chatted for a bit and then went our separate ways, not really feeling that we clicked I thought... then about 6 months later, she messaged me again to say Hi and we started chatting again and almost instantly became very good friends. She offered to let me stay with her when I came out to visit next, and that's what I did most of the week that I was there. We toured the city and I had a great time. The LWCE was almost just an afterthought that week... and excuse to be there. My friend Joey and I toured the city and spent some time at the LWCE when Bela was at work or whatnot... but with no booth, and the crowd frankly already of the "dockers" type, as the link at the beginning of this post describes, there wasn't much to honestly keep us very interested.

It was about that time that I really officially kicked the Phreadom idea into gear. Having discussed it with my friend Chris Mecca at the previous 2 LWCE's... about how the "community" was dying and becoming some corporate bullshit (these were marathon hours long drunken brainstorming sessions in hotel rooms)... and how we should start a new group... even a new convention of our own. At this time I had also started becoming disillusioned with the direction of the WindowMaker project that I had been associated with for a few years. There is actually a picture of me that was taken while I was working on contract for VA Linux (now VA Software) doing a design for, called "Largo is WindowMaker", that embodied that spirit.

Largo is WindowMaker.

For a time I was actually mistaken as being the actual head of the project because my name was even more recognizeable than that of the author himself. I was asked for my autograph at the conventions... or for people to have their pictures taken with me.

That pic was taken by my friend Trae McCombs, who along with Greg Sanders and others, actually helped to get me that contract at VA... and really, quite honestly, changed the course of my life.

Anyway... I really owe those guys and will never forget all the good things they did for me.

But after a few years, and what many of us considered the death of the community spirit and LWCE etc... we moved on. I didn't feel the same passion about WindowMaker anymore and the project itself felt stalled and stagnant... so I moved on.

I don't remember what day I first started the #phreadom chat channel on IRC... but that was the real start of it. Over the course of a few months, many of the people that shared the same interests and ideas about things that I did, followed me from #windowmaker to #phreadom. We started working on the website, which honestly still isn't finished... years later. It's almost a running joke at this point. :-P

But back in the winter of 2002/2003, we had the first "SUMMIT". A gathering of people from #phreadom or who were interested in it. Rob flew up from Arizona, Lee drove over from the other side of the state... we drove down to see Matt in Holland (MI) because he had a friend flying in from Europe I believe and couldn't come up to the actual Summit. My friends Scott and Birdy came as well. A few people couldn't make it at the last minute and literally called to let me know while I was on my way to pick them up from the airport and train station. :-/

Anyway... it went pretty well, and we had planned the next Summit to be in Dresden Germany, but a lot of us were short on the time and money... and getting together a group of people from around the globe was proving a bit difficult. Obviously my European friends wanted to meet in Dresden, and my American friends wanted to meet in Las Vegas... and even this was only generally the case, and not the rule.

The Summit 2004 - Dresden, Deutschland.

Anyway, The Second Annual Summit never happened. And although there has been talk recently about organizing another one, it has just been sort of thrown out there... nothing really discussed yet.

Since then, Phreadom-related things have taken most of my attention... LinuxWorld is mostly a memory, and even WindowMaker is being left behind as more of a memory. I just felt that I needed to move on and not get trapped in the past. So I've been in a sort of limbo for a few years now wondering what direction I really wanted to go in... what I wanted to focus on... I tried some things like the Plan 9 operating sytem to see if I could find another group that was still more worried about truly being creative and not just kissing corporate ass... but frankly I got in a little over my head. But I enjoyed running it for a bit, learning about it... creating a page for it on my server here, that I didn't finish because I couldn't juggle such an investment of time with the job I was doing at the time.

Anyway... I think that's enough on that for now.

"My last night here for you... same old songs... just once more."


So it appears as though my free trial of NeoCOUNTER has expired... and now it looks like crap. :-/

I'm thinking I'm just going to remove it. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm not going to pay for it. If it comes down to that, I'll just finish implementing my locally run blog server based on Wordpress and then use a separate open source setup on the server to analyze the Apache web server logs and create a nightly updated counter or something.

Who knows.

Cute considering that their website is based on open source software.

As a matter of fact...
Linux Apache/2.0.54 (Debian GNU/Linux) PHP/4.3.10-15 mod_ssl/2.0.54 OpenSSL/0.9.7e

It's running on the Free (as in libre and/or gratis) Debian GNU/Linux OS Distribution, and not just that, but actually the most strictly open source based Linux distribution available. And running on top of that is the Free Apache webserver, running the Free PHP scripting language and other free plugins including the SSL based ones listed for SSL (encryption/security... Secure Socket Layer, or TLS - Transprot Layer Security).

I realize that everyone is free to make a buck... but I always get a dirty feeling from people who take all this free work of other authors and use it to make money without giving anything back... but in this case, they do offer the stripped version for "free". I guess what bothers me is that they don't offer the source to it. I would feel better about them charging for the service of hosting it for you and tracking your hits and serving the content for it, all with an easily manageable setup on their end.

Something about paying for a service provided... not one that requires you paying for limited access to something that depends solely on preventing it's being open.

Sleepy. Time for bed. I don't feel like I'm expressing what I think/feel. :-(

/ / / / / / / / / / /

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Sun - Romantic Death

The Sun - Romantic Death.

The Sun - Romantic Death video

Good song, great video as a compilation of bits of clips from Beautiful Agony.

You can check out the bands website(s) here or here.

/ / / / / /


I've been having a lengthy and heated debate with Lisa through e-mail.

The basis of it is that her view that homosexuality is wrong is based upon the fact that "god said so". So I asked her if she was a Christian or not, and she refused to answer. I asked her if she believed a number of other things stated as God and Jesus' word in the bible as fact and rules etc. No answer. I asked her to read an article that laid out quite clearly why belief in the CHRISTIAN version of God is simply impossible without being fundamentally irrational and out of touch with reality on the most basic level. Again, she doesn't get it. I explain to her that believing in a higher power, or in "god" as a "prime mover" in the deistic sense is not the same as believing in the Christian God, and that Aristotle and Plato and many other of the greatest minds in history agree with me on this fundamental point. She ignores it. She in one breath says that being gay is wrong because god says so, but then says why should she feel a certain way just because god says something is wrong? why should that affect how she feels or acts? Then why do you feel it's wrong if you don't feel obligated to put credence in it or change the way you feel because of it? OH WAIT, YOU DO.

It's like arguing with a retard. (I'd say I'm sure that comment is going to piss her off, as she pays very close attention to any possible insult I say to her, just not the actual facts I point out to her.) How can you prove your point to someone on a complex issue when they obviously cannot understand the constituent concepts, even when very clearly pointed out to them? When you explain something, and in the next breath they contradict what you just showed to them to be true, as though you never said it... how do you make any progress? How do you explain or prove something to someone who has forcefully closed their mind to the possibility that you might be right, and in the process, ignores all the concepts that are a part of actually understanding?

I do not have the patience for it. I can't help but call things as I see them, and when someone is in fact behaving as though they're stupid, I can't help but tell them so. If you don't want to be called an idiot, QUIT FUCKING BEING ONE AND USE YOUR GOD DAMNED HEAD. QUIT CRYING FOR BEING CALLED OUT FOR THE STUPID FUCKING CRAP YOU BELIEVE ESPECIALLY WHEN SHOW WHY YOU'RE WRONG FOR DOING SO.

Jesus fucking Christ.

yeah, while I'm at it, fuck you God and fuck your alleged son Jesus of Nazareth. Fuck you both. Please strike me down with lightning for blashpeming and taking your names in vain you fucking pathetic figments of the collective Christian imagination.


Oh look... nothing happened!

STUPID FUCKING CHRISTIANS. You're prisoners to your own ignorant delusions, and so set on maintaining that fundamentally irrational and stupid and impossible belief system, that you cannot comprehend the complexities of reality. You have convinced yourself that something as impossible as "black is white" is true because you need to do so to maintain your fantasy. It doesn't make it true, and it does in fact cognitively cripple you and make you A FUCKING IDIOT.

So go get mad and cry and point at me for calling you names now, instead of actually focusing on WHY I DO SO. On the actual evidence I presented stating the very core of why the very foundation of your religious belief system is IMPOSSIBLE AND WRONG, and hence every belief based on the authority of that WRONG and ERRONEOUS belief are therefore INVALID. MOOT.


If you don't agree, then please, explain to me how that article is wrong, and how and why the Christian God IS in fact real per what the bible says he is. And we'll see who is the ignorant one here who has to fall back on ignorance and lack of understanding as their excuse for their beliefs.

The United States of Stupid

Considering that almost half of all Americans believe some of the following things...

The Christmas Miracle.
Most Americans believe the virgin birth is literally true, a NEWSWEEK poll finds.

A quick note for those of you that don't know... Mary was not a virgin when she had Jesus, this is a known misinterpretation of the original texts. Also, the immaculate conception does not refer to the virgin birth of Jesus, but instead to the miraculous birth of Mary being free from original sin and therefore an untainted vessle to conceive Jesus in so that she would not impart him with original sin, as being the savior, he could not have this sin in him. (all based on particular Catholic dogma and interpretations and outright fabrications etc.) I've touched on this before... but there are different camps on the original sin issue.. the 2 main ones I'm aware of being, on one hand, that original sin is almost like a genetic legacy that we pass on to our children, so that as soon as they are conceived, they bear the taint of that original sin. This is the root of the Catholic concept of the Immaculate conception of Mary... they HAD to fabricate this to account for their version of original sin etc. The other view is that original sin was a kind of disaster that tainted the world in which we live... so that we are suffering from the fallout of that original act, but not necessarily that we ourselves are tainted.

To put it simply, sort of like a river with fish in it. On one hand, the fish are healthy but living in a polluted river which makes them unhealthy. On the other hand the river is clean, but the fish are genetically diseased from birth in spite of the clean river. (And to continue the parallel, that both of these were somehow the result of a conscious choice by the fish... as though we humans, claiming to love the fish, said "ok, you can swim in this river, but never eat this worm.". So the fish eat the worm and are fucked for eternity, but love us as perfect creators and providers in spite of the fact that we created their misery, we presented them with it and afterwards refuse to fix it, and are obviously far from loving and perfect as they think we are.)

*sigh* Enough with that silly analogy.

Most Americans take Bible stories literally.

Now mind you, Lisa is an 18 year old Canadian girl, so obviously some of this mentality stretches north of the border, although thankfully they seem to, on average, have a little more common sense up there. Considering their laws to allow same sex marriage in contrast with our governments overt attempts at a constitutional ban against them.


adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est
1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.
A stupid or foolish person.

It's your own fault that you quite clearly match the definition. Don't cry to me for stating a fact. Instead work to no longer fit the definition.

/ / / / / / / / / / / / /

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Let's kill the Intelligent Design misconception and put several nails in Christianity while we're at it.

What a refreshingly verbose subject for this post. :-)

Design Yes, Intelligent No - A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory and Neocreationism.

Do yourselves a favor and read this.

I've already said a lot on this subject, so I won't bother repeating myself.

Brilliant article. Very informative.

/ / / / /

Based on a true story!

Zeus and Thetis

The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

Hrrrmmmm.... how about... allegedly based on a story heard from some newspaper articles about a speech a priest gave to a parapsychology society about an excorcism he had supposedly performed on a 14 year old boy 20 years prior.


It's nice to see that they at least on the surface seem to present both sides of the story in this fictional account. At least from what I see from a cursory glance through the website.

Moving on to a little more reality based...
"In June 2005, in Tanacu, Bacău County, Romania, Father Daniel Petru Corogeanu, a Romanian Orthodox priest who ordered the crucifixion of Maricica Irina Cornici, a 23-years old nun because she was "possessed by the devil" and "had to be exorcised", faced murder charges, and was unrepentant as he celebrated a funeral mass for his alleged victim."

From the article:
Priest unrepentent after crucifying of nun.
And a nice gem from that article:
Claps of thunder from an approaching storm were sometimes the only sounds to break the silence.

"This storm is proof that the will of God has been done," Daniel said.
*shaking head sadly*

"See!? The lightning is Zeus! He is angry with us!"

Has humanity really progressed so little in the past several thousand years?


Lightning (from Zeus!)

(you might remember this story from my previous posts, including the original " and while we're at it... yay religion! :-D")


After posting my last post, I was browsing the technorati tags on Gay Marriage, and I ran across a blog called "Hispanic Pundit".

This fellow really is a few crayons short of a full box. :-/

For instance, not only can he not grasp in his post "Gay Marriage Is Not About Equal Rights For Gays" that there are fundamental differences between the reasons why gay marriage is not allowed and why marrying your biological sister is not allowed, or why polygamous marriage is frowned on by the government. Now, mind you, first off polygamous marriage has actually been historically BY FAR the norm. It is actually natural and makes sense in the context of nature, and hence was up until relatively recent times, and generally everywhere outside of Europe and the U.S., the predominant form of marriage and relationships.

The government simply wanted a simple concrete standard definition of marriage, and so chose the simplest one that was in vogue at the inception of our country, based on the current European concept of marriage at the time, which was between a single man and a woman as laid out in the Bible. This was not the case for most of the rest of the world. Changing this now would require a massive reworking of everything related to marriage from the ground up to account for an arbitary number of spouses. Rather than as in the case of same-sex marriage, simply changing the wording to "between two legal adults".

As far as marrying your sister, this has to do, quite simply, with Genetics. The government doesn't want you purposefully breeding web footed deformed babies. Obviously in the case of same sex marriages, this isn't an issue. And just as a matter of stating a fact here, same sex marriages are PROVEN to provide more stable environments for children than heterosexual marriages, due primarily to the fact that most homosexual couples are affluent and well off, and that any child brought into the family is generally a well planned for and very wanted child. Homosexual marriages, for all intents and purposes, don't have "oopsies" babies.

Also, our Hispanic friend can't seem to fathom in his post "Is Gay Marriage A Civil Rights Issue?", that homosexuality is not just a choice. It's part of who you are. And just because you try to act differently, doesn't change who you are. And repression of who you are because it doesn't fit what society wants you to be, doesn't change who you fundamentally are, as many homosexuals who have finally "came out" later in life could tell you. They had felt wrong, and sick, and depressed and unhappy and all kinds of things their whole life because society had shoved it down their throats that being gay was bad. That it was wrong etc. Which we know is not true.

When finally later in life they end up getting divorced, leaving behind their family and finding someone of the same sex and simply being themselves, they feel incredible. Happy, relaxed... they just feel right. It's sad that they have to spend a portion of their lives trying to force themselves into a mold of what they think they're supposed to be because an ignorant society based primarily on outdated and just plain wrong religious dogma has pushed upon them that who they are is wrong, that how they feel is a sickness. And that it takes them until later in life when they finally can't take it any more and take that giant step and finally realize what was right all along.

Would me personally abstaining from sex make me any less heterosexual? No. That is silly to even consider. Would my sexual desires just cease to exist because I'm not physically having sex with a woman? No. Would me marrying a man and even having sex once in a great while make me gay? No. This is just a distinct lack of understanding of human sexuality and psychology on the part of our Hispanic friend.

I'm sorry to say, but it's sad that someone can be that oblivious to reality in an attempt to justify their own bigoted point of view. Of course it's no shock at all that he's a Republican. I'd hazard that he's Christian too. But that's just a guess.

(Now mind you, to be fair, having read more of his blog, I think he's generally on the right track with most things. He seems to try to keep his facts in check and rationally approach situations. Which actually puzzles me as to how he can be so clueless on this topic. I just like to give credit where credit is due, having been reminded oft times by my friends that even the ignorant people I choose to bash on about topics like this are generally a good deal more intelligent than the average person. So with a nod to Dale Carnegie, I give a nod to the Hispanic Pundit.)

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Interesting perspective.

Oh, one more thing. In the previous post's comment box you were quoted as having said that "A government's job is to represent the majority of people. That's how they are supposed to make their decisions - by taking the general opinion of their constituents, and doing what they want." And while that is true, it is also a government's job to defend minorities.
Vanessa | 08.10.05 - 3:33 am

And Lisa's response, which I actually found quite interesting as a way of rationalizing her stance on the issue. I personally had never thought of it like that, so it came as a bit of a surprise. It made me smile at how clever it was. :-)

I agree. But the homosexuality thing isn't about defending rights, it was about changing the definition of marriage.

Up until just a little while ago, homosexuals had the exact same rights that everyone else did. No one could marry another person of the same gender. I couldn't, you couldn't, no one could. So it wasn't about defending the rights of anyone, it was about changing the definition of marriage, which is what most people seem to have an issue with.
Lisa | 08.10.05 - 8:11 pm

The difference is, heterosexuals didn't want to marry someone of the same gender. If you want to equate rights, it would be like saying you didn't have the right to marry the person you fell in love with. You've got the cart before the horse. They didn't have the same rights, because you got to marry the person you fell in love with if you wanted, because you were heterosexual and fit the old standard and religious definition of marriage, the old outdated and incorrect one that says that homosexuality is an abomination in Gods eyes and teaches you to be the bigot that you are. :-)

Thankfully, enough people aren't living in an archaic religious based fantasy world that they realize that the real difference is that there were normal adult people who were in love with each other, spending their lives together as lovers and wanted to be married as the normal people that they were, and they couldn't because of a law that did not grant them equal rights... that expressly prevented them from being like everyone else and perpetuated the stereotype that they were deviants who had simply made a sick and perverse choice in violation of Gods will.

It's like having a law against insulin. We'd both have the same rights, but it certainly wouldn't bother me like it would a type 1 diabetic, who really couldn't just make the choice not to be one now could he.

But a cute approach to rationalizing discrimination to one's self none the less. ;-)

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Patents are horrible redux.

Epicrealm Uses Vague Patents to sue Web Sites.

And yes, that includes this site as well. And pretty much any other blogging or journal sites.

Patents were supposed to be a very specific thing originally. A short exemption from having your product copied, sort of limited monopoly, in exchange for the information being published and after a few years (14 it seems, now extended to 20 for general patents.), then it would go into the public domain.

Lately these have proliferated to such an extent, crossing boundaries into software and other areas, that they are stifling any kind of innovation because every tiny idea is being patented, no matter how obvious, trivial or otherwise that it has been. It's nearly impossible to create anything today without infringing on several patents held by other companies, putting you at the risk of later being sued, or having to pay expensive licensing fees etc.

Copyrights have gone horribly wrong in a different direction, by repeatedly extending the term they cover (And RETROACTIVELY applying this extension backwards to previous copyrights that would otherwise be expiring, the obvious main culprit being Disney's massive lobbying efforts in order to maintain control of the Mickey Mouse image.)

There was a statement not long ago that I think might have been Bill Gates (it was from Microsoft) saying that the future economy would not be in creating products, but instead licensing ideas. All ideas would be owned as Intellectual Property and in order to actually create anything, you would have to pay these warehouses of ideas.

Chilling if you ask me. That is not a world I want to live in.

I am not completely against the idea of Intellectual Property. I don't think it would be unreasonable to allow a period of 2 or 3 years where you would have exclusive rights to produce your specific invention to recoup the costs of investment production and development and personal effort etc. Then allow the idea to move into the public domain where it could benefit society and also promote actual competition, either replacing the product with a better one, or forcing you to come up with a new innovation or to advance that innovation to match pace with your competitors etc. All around good for society as a whole.

Locking away ideas for over a century is detrimental to society to say the least.

"If creativity is the field, copyright is the fence". --John Oswald

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." --Thomas Jefferson

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A great quote.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
Henry David Thoreau

(Found as a sub-heading on Strike the Root, thanks to koden.)

I strive to strike at the root, and teach others to do the same, at the very least by learning to tell the branches from the roots. (And this goes as much for myself as for anyone else... I spend at least some time almost every day expanding my knowledge to help me better understand the world around me. I will still hopefully be learning until the day I die.)

Also, I should note that I'm always wary of any use of the word "evil", as I've discussed in several older posts. (For instance, my June 3rd post entitled "In response to Lisa's "the nature of man" post.")

Another example of ignorance.

I ran across a site today that piqued my interest at first glance, but as I read through the article, I simply had to laugh at how outrageous some of this guys assertions were. I mean, some of the points are true, generally regarding ties to Freemasonry... but beyond that, as far as what freemasonry is, or as to what the spiritual relevance of certain symbols are, or whether or not things were built for certain reasons... I mean... this guy must be smoking crack. :-)

Freemasonry and Washington D.C.'s Street Layout.

For instance, he claims that the 5 points of the pentagram stand for Fire, Water, Earth, and Air, with the bottom point representing Lucifer himself.



It stands for the spirit. In almost every religion ever to use it. Not to mention the fact that it was regularly associated with Christianity for centuries, including in it's upside down variation. Which he'd know if he did any real research.

Or his assertion that the streets were laid out in a giant satanic pentagram for the following reason:
The symbols that were interwoven into the design of Governmental Center, communicate tremendous power to the occultist while at the same time they hide the true meaning from non-occultist. These symbols take on a life of their own, in the mind of the occultist, possessing great inherent power to accomplish the plans of the occultist.

However, if we look at the following image, we see that there is a section of the perceived pentagram missing.
Perceived partial pentagram in Washington D.C. street plan.

Not only that, but if we refer back to the original plans themselves, we see that this was the case from the beginning.
Original L'enfant plans from 1791.

Now, if you were intent on creating a giant pentagram whose symbolism was highly important, wouldn't you make the simple effort to continue 1 street to complete the symbol? Not to mention that given it's Pythagorean roots, it's generally made a point to draw it geometrically correct.

Have a look at this page page for much more on that:
"Washington, DC - A secret satanic plot revealed?"

Or how about where he says the following about the Washington Monument:
The Federal Government informs us that the visible height of the Washington Monument is five hundred and fifty-five feet, and the foundation depth is an additional planned twenty percent of the visible height.

Thus accurate figures for the foundation depth in feet, the overall total height in feet, and also the visible height in inches, can be arrived at.

Which according to his erroneous calculations, come to 666 feet and 6660 inches respectively.

However, if he would have actually done any research whatsoever on the subject, he would have discovered the following FACTS about the height of both the above ground and below ground portions of the monument:

Height above ground: 555 ft 5 1/8 in
Depth below ground: 36 ft 10 in

Which gives us a grand total height of 592 feet 3 and 1/8ths inches and an above ground height of 6,665.125 inches.
(and 7107 and 1/8 inches grand total, just to be thourough)

Funny how when you actually stick to facts, ignorant conspiracy theories start to fall apart. Life starts getting a lot more interesting when you start to realize that an awful lot of things are like that.

Feel free to dig in further and see what else you can find out about that article, I guarantee you'll learn a hell of a lot in the process. ;-)

(I actually did a lot of studying on Freemasonry not too long ago, thanks to Jen's roommate Gabby lending me a book on the history of Freemasonry before the supposed origination in England etc, so this really jumped out at me as bullshit once I started reading it and saw the references to Lucifer and Satanism.)

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Balloon Pirate rocks my socks.

Head on over to his excellent blog and read his post " The New Silent Majority".

Then read the rest of his blog.

Then bookmark it.

Then add it to your blogroll or whatever the hell you people call that...

Then remember to check back and read his blog periodically. :-)

Thank you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

I know I said I'd post more...

But I've been busy all evening playing with satellite photos.

I was reading about how pretty much any satellite photos you can get your hands on now have the White House, the Capitol Building, the Dept. of Treasury, and surrounding office buildings all modified, pixelated, obscured etc.
Composite image of United States Capitol building

Google Map of the White House, Dept. of Treasury and surrounding buildings.

The United States Capitol Building and surrounding office buildings.

Here is the Lincoln Memorial at full 0.25m:1px resolution. These are only thumbnails linking to full size images. Be sure to follow the links to view the full size images.
The Lincoln Memorial at 0.25m:1px resolution

So I started playing around and created a merged together 1m:1px ratio composite of the 2002 images with the 1988 black and white images.
Composite image of United States Capitol building

Here is the original new degraded image:
Degraded new image.

And here is the original old non-degraded image:
Non-degraded old image.

Here's an example of the resolution difference between 1m:1px and 0.25m:1px.
Resolution comparison between 1m:1px and 0.25m:1px

Personally I think these alterations are complete appeasing bullshit that accomplish nothing in the way of additional safety. People were whining about sattelite images being available, so they alter the images to make your average Joe on google maps feel more safe. Sorry folks, do you suddenly think that they can't figure out where the building is now!? *gasp* "Muhammad! We've lost the U.S. Capitol! Our terrorist efforts have been thwarted by their making the building a little more pixelated! The Jihad is over my brothers!"

And for a few kicks:
WTC Site, New York.
"Area 51", Groom Lake, Nevada.
Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia.
Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.
The Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island.

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This one speaks for itself.

Bacteria froze the Earth, researchers say.

Having studied the history of Venus and Mars and their atmospheres etc, I probably get a little more nervous than the average person about how frail our own planet is in that regard.

/ / /

"Top 10 Tech We Miss" from C|Net

Top 10 tech we miss.

I couldn't help but think as I read this list that it might be a little shorter if not for the wonders of our incredibly screwed up copyright and patent systems.

But on further examination of the actual list, I realized that a lot of it was simply great innovations being squashed because of MONEY on the very bottom line. Take #5 for example. This isn't a simple matter of them phasing out a vehicle... this is a matter of them quite fervently stomping out a truly revolutionary advance in automobiles. And this isn't the first time this type of thing has happened. While I was working at GM, I started paying a little more attention to the auto industry, which I normally don't, and noticed other cases of this happening where people who had leased other electric vehicles and loved them, were forced to return the vehicles so that they could be destroyed rather than allowing the interested parties to buy them. However, I think that in the story I read, at least 1 gentleman did get to keep his truck... and possibly a few other commercial fleets, but when they die, they're dead.

Now I can't speak for the exact reasons why this happened, but whenever I hear about something like this... where a truly pollution free vehicle is not only quietly taken off the market, but where the vehicles are forcibly recalled and destroyed with no other option given, and not for safety reasons, as to the best of my knowledge the only real safety issue has been high voltage lines in the cars causing a danger to rescue workers who might need to cut through the frame in case of a crash. This issue is present in modern hybrid vehicles, which also require gasoline to run and in real world use offer a barely marginal improvement in fuel economy. Points such as this lead me to question pressure from political or business groups with considerable investments in fossil fuels taking precedence over environmental concerns or the possible market available for "zero" emission vehicles.

I feel like I'm getting a little close to "conspiracy theory" territory, so enough on that point. ;-)

The rest I think I've generally touched on in the past.. the only one I feel the need to revisit momentarily here is the Manned Space Flight issue. I've felt for awhile now that because of the media attention on space flight, and the way the death of a single person is considered an earth shattering catastrophy to be avoided at all costs, how manned space flight has truly been relegated to a pathetic series of short hops into space and back. The historic advances in manned space flight made in the 60's and 70's was due to a concerted effort by dedicated men (and women) willing to put their lives on the line for the advancement of humanity. These people knew the risks and chose to take them. This is just a little more fresh in my mind due to my post a few days ago; "A few links on manned space flight."

Other than that... I'm not sure why the Concorde flights were shut down. It's been several years since I read on that topic... and now, with a review of, I see why I didn't have a concrete memory of why they were taken out of service. :-)

As for Napster, it was great, but unfortunately, illegal. I mean, it's hard to argue that it had any other purpose than the sharing of mp3's, the vast majority of which are illegal (and essentially just about all of them were at that time).

Now, I'm all for telling the RIAA and it's ilk to go suck on mufflers, but I don't agree that blatant copyright violation (which is not theft for the record) is necessarily the route to take. However by the same token, I don't agree that artificially maintaining an outdated commercial system through threats and quetsionable lawsuits (suing for thousands in damages for songs that cost less than a single $1 to purcahse or are free etc), or more specifically, trying to sue for lost sales on sales that would have likely never occurred anyway. Something about as logical as 2 stores on the same street suing each other because a person bought a can of pop (or soda) at the other store, thereby depriving the first store of the sale.

Not to mention that you're not even dealing with a phsyical commodity. You are dealing with bits of data on a computer which are infinitely reproduceable with no loss of quality (beyond initial encoding with a lossy codec like mp3).

Hence copyright infringement. It's like photocopying a book. Just because you photocopied the book, doesn't mean you were going to buy the book in the first place. You're just making a copy without permission... which in and of itself is a bit questionable. À la Richard Stallman's "The Right to Read".

blah. Before I have to get into some deep discussion on Free Markets, I'm just going to move onto something else. This is all giving me a headache. Although I really do need to sit down and study this... as it ties into a lot of what I deal with. I need to really do some serious studying here and get a better understanding of where I stand on the issue.


Terrorists Turn to the Web as Base of Operations.

While this is nothing new to me, reading articles such as this one always worry me for a different reason than you might expect.

This type of information is increasingly being used to justify legislation criminalizing anonymity, encryption, privacy etc. An "If you've got nothing to hide, then what are you worried about?" type of argument.

Another facet of this story that I feel the need to note is the pervasive presence of Islam throughout the post as a fundamental justification and cause of this movement. Remove the religious aspect from the equation, and how strong do you think the movement would be?

Which brings me to my next point. Trying to restrict privacy and freedom to battle the "terrorists" on the internet is like treating a corn on the toe of a foot of a leg that is about to be amputated due to gangrene. The governments desperately need to address the root of these problems and stop trying to fight the symptoms. They are starting to realize that they're fighting a losing battle. You can't prevent the transmission of ideas. You need to remove the cause for these people to want to learn those ideas... remove the justifications for their actions.

What they don't seem to realize is that in their myopic fight against terrorism, they are actually making the situation even worse... just pouring fuel on the fire. Until they stop and actually address the root causes and stop trying to avoid the REAL religious underpinnings and political and military history that have caused this, they will NOT make any headway, and as we have seen... things will just get worse.

This brings to mind one of my previous posts on the London mayor Ken Livingstone and his comments on the real reasons for the causes of the current explosion in terrorism. (no pun intended. ;-)

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Let's start this out softly...

Now this first article, I'll have to say that I'm taking it with a grain of salt, but if by some odd chance it is correct in it's assumptions, I can only say that I'd be quite thrilled. :-)

Federal Whistle Blower Claims Chicago Grand Jury Indicted Bush And Others For Perjury and Obstruction Of Justice; U.S. Attorney's Office Says 'No Comment,' Refusing To Confirm Or Deny Alleged Indictments.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the Valerie Plame-CIA leak has now spilled over into Bush administration lies involving 9/11 and the war in Iraq, according to sources close to the Chicago probe.
August 2, 2005

And here is an update to that story:
Prominent Chicago Judicial Watch Dog Claims U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens In Chicago To Mediate Resolution Concerning Grand Jury Indictments Against Bush And Other High-Level Officials.

And be sure to note it's follow-up:
Journalist Stands By His Story That Bush And Others Indicted But Retracts Story About Potential Firing Of Chicago Special Prosecutor.

Or you can just go to the main site itself and browse the articles for yourself. :-)

The Arctic Beacon - The Last Frontier of Truth.

Just posting the title of that site makes me question the use of the word "truth", is so much as that a lot of what is posted on both that site, and in a sense on my sites, which has the subtitle on the official site of "A Beacon of Truth In Dark Times." Facts are generally not subjective... but I'd have to say that the Truth is a tiny bit more hazy than that. Also before I get into some philosophical rant again... I'd say that "The Truth" is really no more subjective than Facts, but the Truth, being comprised of a multitude of facts, and factoring in a multitude of peoples personal feelings and beliefs, is far more complex. The truth isn't a binary question of true/false, like a fact is. The truth is like the end of a long journey, where the cobblestones beneath your feet are the facts. Wander off the path and lose the truth.

/ / / / / / /

A flood approaches.

I just woke up, so I'm still clearing the cobwebs out... listening to "Alison Krauss & Union Station", who I loooooove love love love love love.

Anyway, as I'm browsing the net and whatnot, I've come across a slew of articles that I feel the urge to post on... so, over the rest of this evening, there should be a steady stream.

But first I need to get some ramen in my belly.

A quote on "dark ages".

An age is called Dark not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it.
      -- James Michener, "Space"

Open your eyes.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Yes, I'm polemic. :-) Accountability for Islam.

I was browsing Chris' blog again and noticed a comment from one of his readers, Herge Smith:
I was listening to Radio 4 yesterday, and I think it was Nick Clarke interviewing a Muslim group and he said something along the lines of 'Do you fear a backlash?', and this guy quite rightly answered, 'what do you mean, 'backlash', that implies that we had something to do with it in the first place."

If our media can't make a distiction, what chance does the common (and think) man and woman have.

Hello politically correct ignorance! :-D

YOU DID HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT. It was your idiotic religious beliefs that fueled this fire. You choose to be a part of, and promote, an archaic religion that promotes ignorance. This religious fervor and ignorance is what has been used primarily to fuel terrorism and conflict in the middle east, and now throughout the world. Justified resentment towards the United States for their imperialistic foreign policy is the other main ingredient... but we can't ignore the fact that ISLAM AS A RELIGION IS A VITAL AND FUNDAMENTAL INGREDIENT TO THE MAJORITY OF ALL TERRORIST ACTIVITY TODAY.

So, in fact you, AS A MUSLIM, DO share some responsibility for these actions.

For a little bit of background on the logic behind this, please read my previous post entitled "and while we're at it... yay religion! :-D". Please make sure to read the comments, as that is where the meat of the discussion is.

/ / / / /

A few links on manned space flight.

A Rocket To Nowhere.

Some key quotes:
But NASA dismisses such helpful suggetions as unworthy of its mission of 'exploration', likening critics of manned space flight to those Europeans in the 1500's who would have cancelled the great voyages of discovery rather than face the loss of one more ship.

Of course, the great explorers of the 1500's did not sail endlessly back and forth a hundred miles off the coast of Portugal, nor did they construct a massive artificial island they could repair to if their boat sprang a leak.


The Soviet Shuttle, the Buran (snowstorm) was an aerodynamic clone of the American orbiter, but incorporated many original features that had been considered and rejected for the American program, such as all-liquid rocket boosters, jet engines, ejection seats and an unmanned flight capability. You know you're in trouble when the Russians are adding safety features to your design.

hehe ;-)

And another link that was a bit disheartening:
Cosmic rays may prevent long-haul space travel.

And a list of other links just because they're interesting (about the new "planet" discovered at the edge of our solar system):
Distant object found orbiting Sun.
Much ado about Pluto.
Java applet visualizing the orbit of 2003 EL61. (took a minute or two to load on my computer)

/ / / / / / /

Further comments on ID.

I was reading over that article on Bush again, and felt compelled to comment on this particular comment:

"With the president endorsing it, at the very least it makes Americans who have that position more respectable, for lack of a better phrase," said Gary L. Bauer, a Christian conservative leader who ran for president against Bush in the 2000 Republican primaries. "It's not some backwater view. It's a view held by the majority of Americans."

This DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACTS. When are people going to get that through their heads? Intelligent Design is NOT Scientific. AT ALL. It does NOT deserve, even remotely, the same credibility which Evolutionary Theory has SCIENTIFICALLY EARNED.

The majority of Americans believed that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction. The majority of Americans believed that Saddam was behind 9/11. The majority of Americans hold many MANY ignorant views about the world based on a lack of research and a lack of understanding. They naively take the word of people like Bush or of their Pastors, Preachers, Fathers etc. FACTS have since proven that Saddam did NOT have WMD's... Saddam did NOT have ANYTHING WHATSOEVER to do with 9/11 or with Al Queda, nor was he harboring or supporting terrorists or ANYTHING. Those were and ARE the facts... and the majority of ignorant Americans believing otherwise didn't suddenly alter reality and make their fallacious misunderstanding and ignorant beliefs true.

And humorously enough, given enough time for reality to settle in, guess what? The majority of Americans believe otherwise now. Gradual Illumination of the Mind.

This isn't an argument about keeping it out of schools... it's an argument against pretending that it's a remotely scientific claim. It's not. If you want to mention Intelligent Design AS WHAT IT REALLY IS, and NOT as a remotely scientific belief... be my guest.

John G. West, an executive with the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank supporting intelligent design, issued a written statement welcoming Bush's remarks. "President Bush is to be commended for defending free speech on evolution, and supporting the right of students to hear about different scientific views about evolution," he said.

Intelligent Design IS NOT SCIENTIFIC. It's that kind of bullshit rhetoric from the ignorant Christian Fundamentalists that is really the root of the problem here. The failure to remotely comprehend what actually seperates religious belief from scientific reality.

Bush's comments were "irresponsible," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He said the president, by suggesting that students hear two viewpoints, "doesn't understand that one is a religious viewpoint and one is a scientific viewpoint." Lynn said Bush showed a "low level of understanding of science," adding that he worries that Bush's comments could be followed by a directive to the Justice Department to support legal efforts to change curricula.

Followed by another gemstone of ignorance:

In comments published last year in Science magazine, Bush said that the federal government should not tell states or school boards what to teach but that "scientific critiques of any theory should be a normal part of the science curriculum."

Say it again with me now... Intelligent Design is IN NO WAY Scientific.

Starting to understand the root of the problem here?

I hate to keep reposting the following quote by Stephen J. Gould, but it's so pertinent that I feel compelled to.

Moreover, "fact" doesn't mean "absolute certainty"; there ain't no such animal in an exciting and complex world. The final proofs of logic and mathematics flow deductively from stated premises and achieve certainty only because they are not about the empirical world. [...] In science "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional consent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.
   - Stephen J. Gould, "Evolution as Fact and Theory"
     Discover, May 1981

Why is this so hard for them to understand? As I said before, it all boils down a rather simple point... if you posit that the universe must have a creator, because complex things cannot exist without one, then the creator himself must have a creator, ad infinitum. This is the true definition of Irreducible Complexity. Being irrational and illogical, those of us with functioning brains move on to consider the next scientific possibility actually dealing with reality and not fantasy.

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Bush Remarks On 'Intelligent Design' Theory Fuel Debate.

Simply put, "Intelligent Design" is not a scientific theory, it is a religious belief and nothing more. It does not belong being taught under the false guise of "science" anywhere near a science classroom. Period. You're welcome to discuss it in a religious studies or philosophy class or something... but having nothing to do with sound science, it by no means belongs in a science classroom and is ridiculous to be even considered as such. Frankly I personally would rather it wasn't "taught" anywhere, but rather discussed frankly as what it is, a religious belief held primarily by Christians with no factual or scientific basis, and as I stated in my previous post, a belief that lacks any logical or rational foundation whatsoever.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Here we go again...

It's things like this that actually made me a little sad to see Pope John Paul II die... I think Catholicism is ridiculous, and religion in general stupid... but within those bounds, he was a progressive and intelligent man. With him gone, I unfortunately see the Roman Catholic Church regressing in dangerous ways. :-(

For instance, take this article by the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, entitled "Finding Design in Nature".

As further food for thought on this general topic, I have a few additional pieces; the first from Wikidpedia's article on Creationism:

Plea to reject nonsense

In his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim), Saint Augustine (354-430), embarrassed by Christians who would not accept this implication of the Doctrine of Creation, wrote against them. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, [..] and this knowledge he holds as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?" [1 Timothy 1.7]

I'll add in the actual verse from from New Revised Standard portion of my bible for 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7, which Augustine references: ... desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are sying or the things about which they make assertions.

Another point here to consider, which deals a hefty blow to both Augustines views on the proofs for God's existance and of Intelligent Design etc... is the other side of the double edged blade of Irreducible Complexity, which while originally attempted as a validation for belief in god and creation and a rejection of evolution, in the ends up being turned against the very point it was meant to bolster when you consider that if you try to avoid Irreducible Complexity by introducing a God, ala Deus Ex Machina, you are actually introducing Irreducible Complexity into a system which was only previously highly complex. If you introduce a God, then who created that God? It is no more a relevant solution than evolution, and unfortunately, because it is not based on scientific inquiry and facts such as Evolutionary Theory is, it is inherently less credible to begin with.

Again, Wikipedia sums it up in a nutshell: The "chicken or the egg" argument states that if the Universe had to be created by God because it must have a creator, then God, in turn would have had to be created by some other God, and so on.


Also, after noticing the Technorati Tags on Chris' blog, I think I'm going to try them out. I've been looking at ways of getting my blog some more exposure lately, like the TTLB Ecosystem etc... and this one seems interesting. So here goes:

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