Saturday, November 18, 2006

Life Without Religion

I used to go along with scientists like the late Stephen Jay Gould, a man I have much respect for, who said that science and religion did not have to be in conflict, that they could peacefully co-exist as "non-overlapping magisteria." But I can no longer side with Gould and must move toward his erstwhile rival Richard Dawkins, whose next book is entitled The God Delusion.

I tackle the problem by noting that creative writers are always searching for ways to enhance our mundane existence, and so they often dip into superstition and religion for images that can capture the imagination
Joseph Smigelski, Life Without Religion
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$888,888.00 Bond for Clean Waste Baskets

In an unprecedented transparent attempt to severely limit the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech of low-wage Houston janitors and their supporters, a Harris County District Attorney has set an extraordinarily high bond of $888,888 cash for each of the 44 peaceful protestors arrested last night. Houston janitors and their supporters, many of them janitors from other cities, were participating in an act of non-violent civil disobedience, protesting in the intersection of Travis at Capitol when they were arrested in downtown Houston Thursday night. They were challenging Houston's real estate industry to settle the janitors' strike and agree on a contract that provides the 5,300 janitors in Houston with higher wages and affordable health insurance.

The combined $39.1 million bond for the workers and their supporters is far and above the normal amount of bail set for people accused of even violent crimes in Harris County. While each of the non-violent protestors is being held on $888,888 bail ...
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Do you know the name of the person that sweeps your cube each day? You should - and say thanks next time. Thanks Angie!!!

How to Tell if a Catholic is Driving Too Fast

UCLA Student Taser'd for Not Showing ID in Library

A shouting student inside Powell Library at UCLA was shot with a stun gun at least twice last night, once after resisting police orders to "stop fighting us" when they tried to remove him from the building's computer lab and at least once while he refused loud demands to stand up.

Laila Gordy, a fourth-year economics student who was present in the library during the incident, said police officers threatened to shoot her with a Taser when she asked an officer for his name and his badge number.

"It was the most disgusting and vile act I had ever seen in my life," says David Remesnitsky, a witness and recent graduate.
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"Here's your Patriot Act. Here's your Fucking Abuse of Power"

This violent assault is the result of Homeland Security’s unchecked and unsupervised spending spree. Millions for additional security police with little or nothing spent on training them to use respect and restraint when dealing with citizens. The young man, an Iraqi-American citizen, was asked to show an ID card by campus security. The assault started when the young man indicated that he would be happy to show his ID provided security requested ID from the other male students in the library.

“The price paid for security is liberty.” Robert Wright, The Real War on Terrorism.

L.A. files patient `dumping' charges

The charges stem from an incident earlier this year when a 63-year-old patient from Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital was videotaped as she left a taxi in gown and socks, and then wandered skid row streets.
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The world's only remaining superpower continues to ignore its crumbling health care infrastructure. We can and we must do better in providing adequate health care for all Americans. That could have been your mother left at the curb wearing nothing but a hospital gown with her exposed bum competing for the streets' attention.

The Most Expensive War Since World War II

"The Pentagon is considering $127 billion to $160 billion in requests from the armed services for the 2007 fiscal year, which began last month, several lawmakers and congressional staff members said. That's on top of $70 billion already approved for 2007. Since 2001, Congress has approved $502 billion for the war on terror, roughly two-thirds for Iraq. The latest request, due to reach the incoming Democratic-controlled Congress next spring, would make the war on terror more expensive than the Vietnam War."

Flashback: Former Bush economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was ousted from the administration after he suggested the Iraq conflict could cost $200 billion.

The Political Wire

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I think my life is of great importance,
but I also think it is meaningless.
Albert Camus, Le Mythe

A World Awash in Oil?

That's the tantalizing proposition offered by a report issued this week by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which says there may be as much as 3.74 trillion barrels of oil available ‚– more than three times some other widely publicized estimates‚–and notes that the world hasn't even reached the point where the supply has peaked. Read more ...
US News and World Report

It is any wonder why companies are reluctant to invest billions into alternative energy solutions. The Federal government has a role to play in establishing a market price that accurately reflects the true costs of fossil fuel. Any formula should include the impact on health, on the environment, and for funding the research to develop a replacement for fossil fuels.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I wish I'd thought of that

Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching

Terry Eagleton, John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at Manchester University, reviews The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.
London Review of Books
October 19, 2006

As far as theology goes, Dawkins has an enormous amount in common with Ian Paisley and American TV evangelists. Both parties agree pretty much on what religion is; it’s just that Dawkins rejects it while Oral Roberts and his unctuous tribe grow fat on it.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Tribute to Hannah Arendt

On the 100th anniversary of her birth, Hannah Arendt’s influence has never been greater.

Arendt made me fall in love with Walter Benjamin before I read a word he had written.
Jonathan Boyarin

If I only had a brain

Copyright 2006 g.epting. (

Wonderful work. Enjoy

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Make Dubya Clean Up His Mess

Let's hope the new congress doesn't allow Dubya to pass on his Iraq mess to the next administration. He has 2 years in which to extricate our troops from Iraq and to find a honorable settlement for which the deaths of almost 3000 military men and women may find some justification.

Marsha Blackburn is voted “hottest woman in politics.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) may have been voted the hottest woman in politics but a stroll through the depths of her intellect would barely get your feet wet.

Chris Matthews was clearly exasperated with her evasiveness when he asked her, "Knowing what we know now, would you have supported the Iraq invasion - Yes or No." She refused to answer with a simple Yes or No and spoke for 3 minutes without saying anything intelligible.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why Your Vote is Important.

When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac.

First Place, International Picture of the Year. By Todd Heisler of The Rocky Mountain News

Another Texas Moron

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, after a God and country sermon attended by dozens of political candidates Sunday, said that he agreed with the minister that non-Christians will be condemned to hell.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Editorial: Time for Rumsfeld to go

It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads. Donald Rumsfeld must go.

Army Times
Nov 6, 2006

The hard-right face candidate DeVos isn't showing voters

DeVos, who was president of Amway from 1993 to 2002, has so far spent $17.9 million on his TV campaign, according to an analysis released last week by the nonpartisan Michigan Campaign Finance Network. That campaign has been "80 percent self-funded," the watchdog group noted. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has spent $2.5 million on TV ads, while the state Democratic Party has spent $5.5 million on "issue" ads supporting the incumbent.

Curt Guyette
MetroTimes Newspaper

Friday, November 03, 2006

Support our Troops - Vote Tuesday

Who really owes the troops an apology?


Western media focus on the negative, shallow aspects of society, and this is how the West is perceived elsewhere in the world. It is time to celebrate the considerable achievements of our democratic evolution.

Daniel C. Dennett: "Thank Goodness!"

Philosopher and atheist Daniel C. Dennett, author of "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon," recently had a close brush with death.

I saw with greater clarity than ever before in my life that when I say "Thank goodness!" this is not merely a euphemism for "Thank God!" (We atheists don't believe that there is any God to thank.) I really do mean thank goodness! There is a lot of goodness in this world, and more goodness every day, and this fantastic human-made fabric of excellence is genuinely responsible for the fact that I am alive today. It is a worthy recipient of the gratitude I feel today, and I want to celebrate that fact here and now.

Pastor Ted has a dark side

Can you imagine the self-loathing eating at Pastor Ted as he fuels his homo-erotic fantasies with the added spice of mortification of the flesh so popular in Christian tales of redemption?

Jones said Haggard’s fantasy was for Jones to arrange for a group of “young college guys …around 18-22. He would love to have an orgy,” he said.