Thursday, November 24, 2005

Topics of the day...

Let's start with Thanksgiving...

I've been seeing a lot of news about the native Americans protesting Thanksgiving... bitching about how it was the beginning of their downfall etc... while I can understand wanting to clarify the impact that the pilgrims had... we should probably take into account Columbus.. the "French" MILLENIA before that... (yes, the French... or neolithic Solutreans from what is now southern France, something like 16,000 years ago, landed in North America and their bloodline persists to this day in the northeastern "Native American" bloodlines etc.) and the Spanish... and how it was mainly the native American's lack of resistance to the imported diseases that led to their annihilation, and not purely a willful genocide by immigrants.

That aside, many of the "native Americans" today that bitch about their people etc... have never been directly oppressed. It's very similar to black people bitching about slavery and being called African American when likely nobody alive that they know was either a slave or came over from Africa.

You're in a "free" country now... one made up of many people from different cultures.. it's your job to make the best of what you have... not whine about things that happened to your ancestors centuries ago and demand restitution for ills that were never done to YOU.

Now, on to the next topic... gun laws.

I was astonished to hear anti-gun activists saying that their constitutional rights were being violated when they were prevented from suing gun manufacturers when a gun was used in a murder or violent crime.

*blink blink*

Umm.... what the fuck?!?

That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard! You don't sue knife makers when someone is stabbed... you don't sue a car maker when someone is hit and killed by a car... or a carpenter when someone is pushed down a stairwell. You get the point?

You have a constitutional right to bear arms... far more so than the modern government would like you to believe. Trying to deprive that right is not only patently unconstitutional on the part of the anti-gun parties, but patently absurd to boot.

On to the final point... global warming.

Many people today would like to say that scientists and environmentalists etc are just playing Chicken Little and making a big deal of nothing about global warming... insisting that it's simply a part of the natural cycle of the earths global climate ebbs and flows... ie; that every few tens of thousands of years the earth gets hotter and colder naturally and that the current warming trend is purely natural and nothing to worry about.

Well, to soundly put the smack down on that nonsense, scientists have taken polar ice cores showing the earths atmospheric changes over the past 650,000 years and shown beyond a doubt that the current CO2 levels are far higher now than EVER in the past 650,000 years due solely to human causes. The fact that the earth has gone through some severe global warming spells naturally throughout history, but still made it through... and that the levels now far exceed anything EVER in the past 650 millenia... what exactly are we in for? I would hope that it would cause the naysayers pause for a moment to consider just how seriously in trouble we are as a species... life as we know it... ALL life on earth... is in grave danger. A chain of events can very easily take place which would wipe out essentially all life on earth and lead to an evironment akin to the atmosphere on Venus.

A few follow ups to these points would be the study of the actual level of advancement of the indigenous peoples of the Americas before the intervention of the Europeans... how they were in many regards more scientifically advanced, by centuries in some respects, than their European counterparts. It would be interesting solely in that regard to study what factors led to the stunting of the advancement in the old world in relation to the advances in the new world. And to wonder which might be the dominant world culture had things gone a bit differently.

Also, would be to contrast the racism exhibited by modern day Native American and Black people in contrast to actual perception by the white majority. This was really brought home today when I say a man of native American lineage, from the tribe that met the pilgrims at Plymouth, leading a protest that was chanting "down with racism" etc. I'm sorry, but I didn't see any white people there bitching about the native Americans... I honestly saw them thanking them for helping their ancestors survive the first winters etc. I realize that there is a bittersweet history there, but if anyone is being a racist today, is it certainly not the whites, but the native Americans themselves... and justifying it under the age old guise of ills done to their distant forefathers etc.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A List of interesting articles.

(like B list... but better. har har)

Anyway... I went looking for that research on stem cell research and ran across a slew of very interesting articles... so I figured I'd share. :-)

There Is No God <-- PENN JILLETTE (of Penn & Teller) IS MY HERO.

Chris Mooney, 'The Republican War On Science'

Arguing the Ethics of Stem Cell Research

The Patriot Act: Section 215 (It should properly say "The USA Patriot Act", as that is the actual name of the act.)

Evolution and Religious Faith

Vatican Outlines Opposition to Gays in Priesthood

There was something else I wanted to write about as well... but I can't remember at the moment. I really need to write this stuff down when I think of it... (which is usually when I'm driving between sites for some reason... which makes it hard to stop and write.)

"I forgot the taste of fears and how they haunt the lips you're kissing...
and how the soul can waste it's tears on someone who is missing...
and now I shed such tears, but never cry... this is how I want her...
and how I kiss her lips... and taste goodbye... this is how I want her..."

Echoes of the past.

There is a new study out that shows that the United States, which used to be by far the preeminent force in stem cell research, has now fallen far behind many other countries... and can we guess why this is?

Religious fundamentalists and other of their ignorant kin trying to supress medical and scientific advances because their small minds think that it conflicts with their personal religious views.

I've posted on this topic before... but it's nice to see that it's having such a profound effect on our standing globally, as well as our level of medical advancement and our economy etc...

Like the supression of literacy by the church centuries ago... and my favorite thing to note, the Libraries of Alexandria etc.. here's just another case of religion holding back the advancement of humanity out of fear and ignorance. (although I know it can easily be argued that the churches supression of power was a political maneuver and not one of fear and ignorance. although that also parallels quite nicely with modern politics where a politician is now judged on how strong his faith in god is, and not how intelligent or skilled he is. sometimes I weep for humanity.)

I hate religion.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My new favorite song.

where are we?
what the hell is going on?
the dust has only just begun to fall
crop circles in the carpet
sinking, feeling
spin me ‘round again
and rub my eyes
this can’t be happening
when busy streets
amess with people
would stop to hold
their heads heavy

hide and seek
trains and sewing machines
all those years
they were here first

oily marks appear on walls
where pleasure moments hung before
the take-over
the sweeping insensitivity
of this still life

hide and seek
trains and sewing machines
[you won’t catch me around here]
blot out two hearts
they were here first

ohm what you say
mm that you only meant well
well of course you did
ohm what you say
mm that it’s all for the best
of course it is
ohm what you say
mm that it’s just what we need
you decided this
mm what you say
mm what did she say

ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
mint-sweet darkness
paper word cut-outs
[paper word cut-outs]
speak no feeling
no unbelieving
you don’t care a bit
you don’t care a bit
ransom notes keep falling out your mouth
sick sweet darkness
paper word cut-outs
speak no feeling
no unbelieving
you don’t care a bit
you don’t care a bit

-- Imogen Heap - Hide and Seek

Also, their official band website:

Monday, November 14, 2005

Aroo? (o_O)

So yeah... chatted with my boss for awhile today.

He leans rather towards the Republican side of the fence... or Libertarian for that matter.

Plus he's a strong Christian.

Considering all that, it was a good conversation. He countered almost every single thing I said somehow... gave me some food for thought. By countered, I don't mean that he disproved anything I said, but has his own side of almost any issue, or some kind of rebuttal to minimize the importance of it etc.

He was saying he won't shop at K-Mart anymore because they're changing their wording of "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays" to be more secular or religion-neutral or something. Then he mentioned something about Halloween being banned for being Pagan and also mentioned Easter...

I told him that they were all Pagan Holidays and that the Christians just made a habit of stealing all the other religions holidays and moving their dates to the dates of the previously existing Pagan holidays etc.

Christmas, Easter etc. Easter was a Pagan fertility ritual, hence the bunnies and eggs etc. Christmas is a conglomeration of many previous religious festivals.

Also, in relation to my earlier post about the French, my boss countered that the French bailed on the revolutionary forces immediately after the first battle and didn't return again for several years until the very last battle, when their navy showed up and sealed the defeat of Cornwall in South Carolina.

So I need to make a list of all his claims... ie; that Michigan doesn't have a high unemployment rate, and hasn't at all recently as a whole state. That the swift boat vets were right in their claims against Kerry, and that Kerry was a lier in regard to at least 1 of his Purple Hearts. That Kerry only served 88 days on the river in Viet Nam and not 2 tours etc. That the Native Americans helped the revolutionaries more than the French. He essentially defended Israel and slammed on the Muslims, slammed on Clinton (a lot) and slammed on the Democrats and Liberals in general.

I'll have to try to remember all of it and do some research of my own.

That's all for now. Time for me to head "home".


The following quote should be read a few times over by anyone tempted to stray down the path of doubting evolutionary theory simply on account of it "only being a theory" as I've often heard it put.

It seems that the latest tactic of the Intelligent Design camp, upon losing some footing in the school systems and legal circles, on account of Intelligent Design being a religious idea and not a scientific one, has been to attack the validity of Evolutionary Theory in hopes that they can gain ground by weakening what they see as the enemy.
Most people in the world use the word theory to mean uncertainty, guesswork, or a rough idea, but in science it has a different meaning. A scientific theory explains facts or phenomena that have been shown to be true by repeated independent tests and experiments. An educated guess in science is called a hypothesis.

Scientific theories are not laws, which describe phenomena thought to be invariable. Theories are generally used to describe why certain laws work. For example, the law of gravity is known to be true for falling bodies, but how and why it works is explained by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. Einstein's theory was accepted as true only after repeated experimentation and observation. Yet not even laws are absolute. They are rarely overturned, but they may be amended should new data warrant it.

-- Maia Weinstock, Discover magazine vol.26 no.11 November 2005.
It should also be noted that the scientific community is essentially wholly in agreement as to the validity of Evolutionary Theory. Any minor disagreements are over such things as Punctuated Equilibrium etc... ie; the pace at which the evolution took place, etc. The fact that Evolution happens is essentially accepted as fact.

Anyone telling you that the scientific community itself doesn't believe in Evolution is lying. Period.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

So today I kicked a hornet's nest.

I was sitting here at work this afternoon, reading my e-mails, when I saw the following e-mail in my inbox:
Subject: Seeing Red?

Subject: Wear RED!

RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that.. Every red-blooded American who supports our men and women afar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.
The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear some thing red every Friday.

Now... any regular reader here might guess that an e-mail such as this might just push a button or two with me.

And let me tell you, you would be right.

So, here was my inevitable response, mass mailed out to the entire tribal government (well over 200 people, as the above e-mail had been):
While I’d like to point out first off that I do support our troops, I’d like to share some history and facts in response to this e-mail.

First off, we’ll point out a few things… the color Red, which aside from representing the blood of patriots who died forging our freedoms, also happens to be the Republican party color.

Then the reference to the “Silent Majority”, which comes from a speech by former U.S. President Richard Nixon addressing the war in Viet Nam. ( ... silent-majority-speech-1969.shtml) This is actually somewhat poignant if you contrast it with the current events of the war in Iraq.

Also, I fail to see a valid reason to link faith with God to supporting our troops in Iraq. Or even necessarily to support the current administration's foreign policy in order to support our troops. Our troops are brave men and women who have chosen for any number of reasons to put their lives on the line in defense of their loved ones, their fellow countrymen and the ideals of Freedom and Liberty. Whether or not I agree with the causes behind the war in Iraq, which I do not, I still have the utmost respect for those men and women who have chosen to put their lives on the line to defend my life and liberty as they see it.

I consider myself a patriot and regularly defend the ideals posited by the founding fathers etc… but I do not agree that it should somehow be requisite to proclaim faith in the Christian God, or refrain from any criticism of the actions of the current Presidential Administration in order to consider yourself a true patriot.

Some further things to consider:

“Under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, and was done so in violation of the principles of the Founding Fathers and the United States Constitution. ( ... printer_preview.asp?idArticle=3264&R=C7A618B14)

Patriotism without question is a dangerous venture. (

The original motto of our country was “E Pluribus Unum”, “Out of many, (come) one.” This statement celebrates the diversity of beliefs and ethnicities of the American people, a people who can be patriots and support their troops regardless of race, gender, creed etc.

Putting such a constant emphasis on “Under God” and religion and faith in relation to discussing support for our troops only serves as a means of dividing the people between Christian Patriots (or other monotheistic Abrahamic religious beliefs) and non-Christian people who are implied to not be patriots if they don’t share the same religious beliefs.

In closing, I would like to encourage everyone to support our troops in Iraq… they are good men and women who have been put in a terrible position, and many are dying as a result. But I would rather address the reasons they are there, and hope for their return rather than just cheering for them while they fight and die.

Let’s also not forget that while most Americans do support the troops, the majority of Americans no longer support the War in Iraq after finding out that Saddam and the Iraqi people really had nothing to do with 9/11, and that Saddam was not a threat to the United States etc. Supporting the troops does not mean supporting the war.

I think the ending of that e-mail also says something… it gives the options of agreeing and spreading it, or not caring and deleting it. How about having a different viewpoint? Sharing opinions?


How about we help each other to understand the history and culture of our nation, of the people who lived here before we did, of the many different religious beliefs that make up our society… the many different people… and also those of the people we now treat as enemies… may we help each other to learn, to understand, and to live together in peace, under the same sky.

Thank you.
Shortly after this was sent, people started stopping me in the halls to thank me for sending this out, and a flood of overwhelmingly positive e-mails started coming in. So far I've had only one negative response, and oh was that person unhappy with me. :-/

I'll let their response stand on it's own merit, along with my subsequent reponse.
Oh my God Justin, get over it, while you are here in your cushier job, you are very eligible for service too, as anyone of us. This mumble on, shows that for e-mail list, you are not to be involves. Just spit it out and save your jargon for the political area, as for e-mails I don’t care either.


Your Coe-worker that don’t give an either too.

to which I replied:
For the record, no, I am not eligible for service. I have a medical history of Asthma as a child and am therefore legally ineligible for military service, this comes as a result of actually contacting a recruiter when I was 19 and attempting to test in and being informed of the law forbidding my enlistment.

I’m sorry that you were offended by my e-mail. Thanks for your response.
and her closing reponse:
Too much information, end of e-mail. sk
I think we can safely say that I wasn't too crushed by this lone negative respondant, but I was a little bummed. I generally at least prefer a somewhat intelligent, or at least informative, response. :-P

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yay.... but no...

Dover school board booted out in elections.


But Kansas mandates teaching of intelligent design.

*shakes head*

Some people just DO NOT GET IT.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Yay for the Vatican.

Evolution in the bible, says Vatican.

THE Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.

Three cheers for the Vatican.

More stuff.

Cheney seeks legalizing torture.

That one really speaks for itself I think. I think I've also posted something on that topic on here before... a few weeks ago.

Also, it's been on my mind again lately that the United States is descending into a technological dark age. I hear rumors that this is being discussed outside of the United States, but I really don't hear much about it here domestically.

Essentially our legal system is stifling innovation and such to the point where most cutting edge work is being done outside of the United States... and a fair amount seems to be done in open violation of United States copyrights and patents etc.

The legal system here has been so thouroughly bastardized in the service of greed and power that I think soon there will be no choice but to openly violate it. It's beyond ridiculous at this point.

It's like Bill Gates said once... he sees the future of the industry being not in actually inventing anything, but in licensing Intellectual Property to anyone else who tries to. That's where the real money is in his mind.

Can you see the problem there?

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I was reading an interesting article today that completely reaffirms my existing stand on backing France.

Not to mention that I love French Fries, French Toast (and French Kissing)...


Read it for yourself.

The American obsession with hating the French is just about as stupid as stupid gets... but considering what president we elected, and the majority religious belief etc... it really doesn't surprise me that such a nation full of fucking IDIOTS would go along like with the fashionable mob sentiment like the clueless sheep that they are.

I'd almost bet that maybe 1 in 100 people under the age of 30 or 40 actually have a clue about the actual history of the relation between France and the United States.