Respect vs. Tolerance

10 11 2009

I had a conversation tonight in which it occurs to me that the other party involved was making the mistake of confusing respect and tolerance.  I had made it clear that religous beliefs were not something I had much respect for – in part because of religion’s intolerance.  I was then accused of being intolerant because of that opinion.

The difference is that I am not trying to force my beliefs on anyone, I’m just arguing that I should be extended the same courtesy.  But when lawmakers ban gay marriage because their book says it is wrong – that is a blatant violation of the separation of church and state.  When I say that they are ridiculous for believing that gay marriage is wrong, I am not saying that they don’t have the right to choose not to marry someone of the same gender.

I wonder how many decisions are made by how many people have an impact on my life that I’m not even aware of.  Seemingly infinite.  I wonder how many of those decisions are made because of the input of the person’s invisible friend . . .





Darwin Bio Pic too Controversial for U.S.

14 09 2009

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The new film “Creation” has yet to find a distributor in the United States.

The Telegraph says:

However, US distributors have resolutely passed on a film which will prove hugely divisive in a country where, according to a Gallup poll conducted in February, only 39 per cent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution.

Movieguide.org, an influential site which reviews films from a Christian perspective, described Darwin as the father of eugenics and denounced him as “a racist, a bigot and an 1800s naturalist whose legacy is mass murder”. His “half-baked theory” directly influenced Adolf Hitler and led to “atrocities, crimes against humanity, cloning and genetic engineering”, the site stated.

Wowzers.  Only 39% of Americans believe in evolution?  What is it about education that scares so many Americans?  Maybe it is just easier to believe whatever the book says – typical lazy American idiots.

I hope the movie gets released here because I want to see it.  I also hope it gets released here because that would show that at least one company isn’t too scared of the nut jobs to release a simple bio pic.





Obama Speaks on Healthcare

10 09 2009

Left —— Medium —— Right

The political spectrum according to Obama.

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Jolly jeepers it would be nice if Obama kept one of his campaign promises.  Just one.  He did get a dog, but that one doesn’t count.  Evidently insurance will now be mandatory under Obama’s healthcare reform.  He says he favors a public option, but stops short of saying it is a requirement.  One reason I liked Obama more than Clinton in the primaries is that he didn’t favor making insurance mandatory.  One of the reasons I liked him better than McCain, among many, was his strong support of a public option.

Oh well, I guess I should have voted for Clinton and McCain’s love child.  I guess I did.

But what is key here is that the Obama camp left themselves with no room for compromise.  Those of us actually on the left wanted a single payer system – we have compromised.  The public option seemed like a good middle ground between us and the right.  But by starting with the public option, Obama has given the right the ability to try to reach a compromise from the public option.

Oh well, I guess healthcare REFORM will have to wait for the next president.  Obama has got some good ideas but ultimatly is leaving healthcare in the hands of insurance companies. . . and we’ve all seen how that works out.





Dysfunction’s Role in Religion

28 08 2009

From Newsweek (believe it or not):

In brief, the number of American non-believers has doubled since 1990, a 2008 Pew survey found, and increased even more in some other advanced democracies. What’s curious is not so much the overall decline of belief (which has caused the Vatican to lament the de-Christianization of Europe) as the pattern. In a paper last month in the online journal Evolutionary Psychology, Gregory Paul finds that countries with the lowest rates of social dysfunction—based on 25 measures, including rates of homicide, abortion, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, unemployment, and poverty—have become the most secular. Those with the most dysfunction, such as Portugal and the U.S., are the most religious, as measured by self-professed belief, church attendance, habits of prayer, and the like.

What is also disturbing about this is that the US is considered a country with more dysfunction.





That’s How They Get You!

27 08 2009

The Ethiopian Review has a great article listing the top ten reasons why we should hate cell phone companies.  I’ve always thought that I was getting screwed, and evidently I was right:

For example, Verizon plays: “At the tone, please record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5.”

Everyone already knows how to leave a voicemail message. Apple required AT&T to drop the requirement, for example, and somehow iPhone users are still communicating with each other.

Pogue estimates that Verizon, for example, takes $620 million a year away from customers for all the collective “minutes” required to listen to these messages. That’s just one carrier, and just one example of how carriers make money by optimizing what they call Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

I’d love to hear a rebuttal to this article from the cell phone companies.





The Sexual Orientation of the Earth-Worm

21 08 2009

Lesbian worms.  Need I say more?

By altering a gene in the brain of a female worm, scientists were able to change its sexual orientation so that it was attracted to other females. Scientists activated the gene that makes male structures develop in the body, but only turned it on in the brain.

Here’s a dirty picture:

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Oh sure, you laugh now, but wait until my army of lesbian worms is complete.  World domination my friend, world domination.





The Necessity of Cable News Quacks

18 08 2009

When one thinks of people like Glenn Beck, Keith Olberman, Bill O’Reily, and Rush Limbaugh, one often finds oneself wanting to stab ice picks in one’s ears. These people are commentators, not newsmen, but this distinction is not understood by a lot of people.

But let’s imagine a world in which these vitriolic opinionated ass-hats didn’t exist.  It would be a world of reporting only the facts.  “People gathered outside the capitol today and protested the legality of President Obama’s birth certificate.”  “Some republicans are upset about the death panels that would be created under the congress’ health care reform bill.”

The point is that there are some truly crazy people out there and perhaps it takes some crazy people to cover them.  I’ve seen the so called serious news cover these events and with only a few exceptions they are far more interested in not offending anyone that they don’t say anything at all.  They’re afraid that if they point out that there is no way that Obama isn’t a citizen they’ll be accused of being left wing and biased.  The right has embraced so many lies that it is impossible to report the truth without appearing to be leftist.

When we have actual US Congressmen (I’m looking at you, Michele Bachmann) who think that the census leads to internment camps, who receives huge amount of campaign donations from the insurance companies and proceeds to act as their puppet, who has consistently worked to incite violence against those who oppose her, who thinks CO2 is natural and therefore harmless to the environment, and who thinks  that we need to go through and purge the congress of all of those with what she has determined to be “anti-american” philosophies – why shouldn’t we have crazy people on tv talking about them?

Until we start electing serious people there will be no possibility of serious news.  This is not to say that there are not good news sources out there, and it is not to say that all cable news commentators were created equal.  But it is to say that the serious news should spend less time complaining about the so-called “fake” newsmen on cable news and start complaining more about the “fake” people who are deciding our fate.

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