Thursday, March 31, 2005

Atheists fight back

I don't have faith in God, nor do I believe in God, but I guess you could say that I hope there is a God. This is because if man is all there is, then our history might soon be appended with "The End" with no possibility of appeal.

I do believe in the notion of a spirit, though, chiefly because of this. Consider the body of a man one second before death and one second after death. Assume if you like that they were injected with drugs that stopped their heart without damaging anything. Between the time of life and death the body goes from being alive to being meat. As far as I can make out, the chief difference between the two states is that a type of energy has petered out, and this is perhaps the soul.

Is the soul immortal?

The first law of thermodynamics states that "energy is conserved in all thermodynamic processes." Another way to express that is "energy can neither be created nor destroyed", and from the second law we find that "energy can be converted from one kind to another".

So, it seems there is some rational basis to conclude that this little light of mine is going to continue to shine on if my sense of self is linked to this energy. I am not willing to definitively answer that question by the only method known to me, but it is something to ponder for my duration.

When it comes to religion, though, I am ambivalent about them (except when they are working to restrict my freedom). On the one hand, religion seems to comfort people frightened by the prospect of worms playing pinochle on their snout, or they offer a social community (which is important and healthy), or they can simply be a place to hear choirs sing.

On the other hand they can be a dangerous tool when wielded as fuel for violence, since members are infrequently affected by the helps that come from reason once inflamed.

David Morris sounds to me like he has had enough of the bad side of religion, and writes about it here:

The End of Reason

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


When the General Accountability Office said that it wasn't legal for the Bush administration to feed TV stations pre-packaged news stories that do not disclose the government's hand in producing them, the man that was supposed to restore accountability to Washington "rejected the ruling".

Not as I do

Shouldn't it be illegal to lie to the American people with textbook propaganda?

Why would any reputable newscaster broadcast such flim-flam? Wouldn't doing so suggest a healthy lack of respect for the audience and for any sense of duty to democracy? Is this a case of groveling for scraps of political favor?

I used to enjoy making fun of Communist newscasts, or of people like Baghdad Bob, but the fuel for the derision, my feelings of news-source superiority, seem to be approaching empty. It is also getting harder and harder to find a reputable filling station too.

Friday, March 25, 2005

What do you think?

In a time of universal deceit a little satire can be highly refreshing. Here, the Onion, conducts one of it's trademark opinion polls and asks the question:

"In a major political victory for President Bush, the Senate recently voted to open the Alaskan Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. What do you think?"

Answers here


Beastly behavior

I am ashamed of the cowardice that manifested itself as the murder of POWs in our care, no matter how tempting it may have been to "pulpify" a prisoner's appendages:

POW abuse

Where are the angry "culture of life" hordes when the life in question is not fetal nor vegetative nor American?

What generates the collective indifference necessary to ignore these abuses?

What has happened to America's conscience?

Don't morals apply to us?

ADDENDUM: UK Lawmakers Accuse U.S. of Grave Rights Violations

Union Jack

British citizens have been staunchly opposed to the Iraq war from the start, and so protesting in vast waves of people, and ceaselessly hounding Tony Blair for his support of the war.

While Tony Blair might fancy himself to be bravely and wisely choking the threat of terrorism in the cradle, he seems (at least from afar) to be regarded as a brown-nosed admirer of the US Presidential derriere and ridiculed with the moniker of "poodle". It is hard to imagine anyone labeling Winston Churchill as such.

There is now news that the UKs Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, changed his mind about the legality of the Iraq war (presumably under pressure from Tony Blair). This is sure to be another headache in a long line of headaches for the Prime minister.

Poodle Blues

Will the UK be the next member of the coalition of the not-so-willing, following in the footsteps of Spain, and Poland, and the Ukraine, and Italy? Will any of Tony Blair's political opponents pledge to withdraw troops in exchange for votes? How long can the silver-tongued Prime minister sustain the war against the public mood?

The sense of British loyalty to the US is an admirable quality to have and a virtue to be admired, yet there comes a time when loyalty becomes an addiction. I don't know if we're at that point yet, but there is certainly another straw on the camel's back in this revelation isn't there?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bull Moose

It seems that idealistic Conservatives under Bush are treated in the same manner as idealistic Liberals under Clinton, which is to say they were marginalized in favor of the interests of professional pan-handlers (also known as "Washington lobbyists").

The name Marshall Whitman is no doubt familiar with my esteemed Conservative readership, since he was a driving force alongside Newt Gingrich and the accompanying Conservative resurgence.

My esteemed Conservative readership might be interested to know that Marshall now spends a lot of his time railing against the unabashed corruption of Mr. Tom DeLay and yesterday's moral champions:


A society organized around money will undoubtedly be corrupted by money, since political power draws strength from inequity, and money assures that inequity will flourish. If you think about it, it is really surprising that society exists at all when money rewards selfishness, violence, and greed above all other virtues.

Perhaps this is a testament to the high moral standards of past politicians?

I have to say that it alarms me to see how quickly the knights in shining armor (the righteous right) have indentured themselves to the dragons. I never even witnessed an attempt to don the armor of principles.

Here also is an article by none other than David Brooks, who apparently feels there is more Conservative than Conscience in the machinations of Delay, Reed, and Norquist:

Tisk, Tisk, Tisk

It is nice to see some intellectual honesty coming from conservatives these days. Ends do not justify means when goals are trampled.

1,500,000 words

Here is a 3D look at the "Faces of the Fallen" exhibit at Arlington National Cemetary, which commemorates the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan:

War's fruits

Here is a story telling you more about the exhibit:

The War Dead

I wonder if there will be such an exhibit next year. If so I hope they add a hall of lies which you must pass through first since that could be instructive. Imagine seeing huge videos of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and Condi Rice and President Bush in full danger-and-kill modes, warning of WMDs and mushroom clouds and fleets of bio-terror planes and so on as a precursor to seeing the faces of those paying the price for those lies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


"Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red."

- President G. W. Bush, Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005 -

Is nothing sacred?

Extraordinary rendition is a freedom-loving process that involves outsourcing an uncooperative detainee's torture to someplace full of liberty like Saudi Arabia, where they are reputed to have an excellent staff of practitioners of torture to recommend them.

What you may not have heard is that for some reason the CIA made use of a jet of a minority partner of the Boston Red Sox, one Mr. Philip Morse, to transport their human cargo for treatment.

Story here

Confirmation here

I grew up hating the New York Yankees and we have come to refer to that organization as the "evil empire" in recent years, yet as far as I know not even George Steinbrenner is involved in a racket to profit from torture.

We live in a strange world when stories like this appear.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The final frontier?

One of my favorite things about perusing the internet is that I sometimes feel like Captain Kirk exploring alien worlds, but my ship is named Intel-inside and not Enterprise. While I can't claim to be boldly going where no man has gone before, it's a good bet that I am often lightly preceded.

Has the US government taken steps to legislate peace and restructure the banking system while cloaking the whole process in secrecy?

National Economic Security And Reformation Act

Are extra terrestrials drawing crop circles within the confines of our Canadian neighbors to the north?:


Did thousands of Americans all across the country protest the war in Iraq, stop traffic in Chicago by laying down in the streets, and hold numerous marches and rallies that promoted peaceful coexistence?

War resistors allegedly exist

Can you visit the Grays of Mars using only the power of your mind?

Cosmic Voyage PDF

The truth, as they say, is out there.

Guns don't kill people?

Gun control is a contentious issue and the best counter-argument for arming citizens has reared its ugly head again, this time on a Chippewa reservation in Minnesota.

A young man, 17 years old, shot nine people before turning the gun on himself. He shot his grandparents, 6 people at school, then himself.

Ten killed in school shooting

Guns are great for hunting, but I'm not sure I like handguns and/or assault weapons all that much, particularly this morning.

Monday, March 21, 2005


I shall find you with a song
when the warm winds return
and build you a treehouse
where we can watch the stars burn.

And we'll sing for want of nothing
and watch our children grow
from our Kiva in the treetops
when the summer winds blow.


Big Government at it's worst

Terri Schiavo has been severely brain-damaged, to the point where she has been in a vegetative state since 1990. Her husband, understandably in my view, would like to remove her feeding tube and allow his wife Terri to find her rest.

The question this case poses is can death be compassionate? In my view the answer is yes, since in some cases prolonging life is equivalent to prologning suffering. In fact I would like to say that if I am in a vegetative state please unplug me, since I can think of no prison worse. Don't be hasty about it, mind you, but if the medical consensus is that I won't recover play "There is a balm in Gilead" by the Fisk Jubilee singers, place flowers beneath my nose, and wave goodbye.

I strongly feel that a decision such as this ought to be Mike's alone and is hard enough to make without the Federal government getting involved in the case. As it is the feeding tube has been removed twice only to be reinserted later on. I think it is a case of big government over-stepping it's role and interfering with the intimate moral decisions of a family.

Imagine what it must be like to come to the conclusion that death is in the best interests of someone you love. How can anyone meddle in that awesome duty that a husband and wife must sometimes bear?

Difficult decision

ADDENDUM: Click here for a good example of Presidential hypocrisy on this issue.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Watch it Friday

You may recall that I blogged about a book called "God's Politics", which was an alternate theological viewpoint regarding Christ's teachings as they relate to politics in America.

The author of that book, Jim Wallis, appeared on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" and received vigorous applause for saying things like, "I'm pretty sure Jesus' first priorities wouldn't have been a capital gains tax-break and making war on Iraq".

I, myself, haven't made up my mind as to what I believe regarding a creator. However, I can say with confidence that I am more closely aligned to Jim's point of view than the one which says we must make a desert and call it peace.

Here is a link to the segment.

Watch it

Liberty and justice for oil?

Investigative reporter Greg Palast was involved in a joint BBC Newsnight and Harper's Magazine story which posits that there were two separate plans to sequester Iraq's oil well before the invasion of Iraq. There was a big oil plan and a neo-conservative plan and the story alleges that the neo-con plan won out.

If this is true, of course, it means the protestors that were shouting "No blood for oil" hit the nail on the head.

Here is the story:

Secret U.S. Plans For Iraq's Oil

You can watch an online broadcast of the story between March 17 at 7pm and March 18th at 7pm here:

Watch it

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Whenever anyone comes out strongly opposed to a book I usually, of course, respond by going out and buying a copy of the book to see what all the fuss is about. It's not so much that I have a strong desire to rebel, but rather I find censorship cowardly and authoritarian and I also find my curiosity raised by being told "No!"

My curiosity has been recently aroused by some rather harsh words from Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone about the book the Da Vinci Code.

Details here

Here is a link to purchase a copy of the book for yourself if you are similarly inclined:

Da Vinci Illustrated

I suppose the Cardinal realizes that men never have resisted the temptation of forbidden fruit and that we never will?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I never have to doubt the Holocaust because my grandfather fought in World War Two.

My grandfather was a family man by nature and therefore opposed to the reckless killing that goes along naturally with war. He preferred to stay home and work and raise a family than to spend his time fighting a foreign enemy on foreign soil.

But WWII was a paradox for my grandfather. He was drafted by his new country and went to fight from a sense of duty, even though it meant leaving his pregnant wife behind (he would not see my mother until she was 4).

My grandfather was humble and didn't like to talk much about the war. In fact, when he talked with us kids about it he usually focused on the comic times, like the time his unit came across a wine cellar thanks to the keen sense of smell of one of the men (nicknamed "Honk"), or the time he had to steal a horse and it was so old it farted up every hill (as a child I underestimated the danger of a slow getaway and overestimated the comedy of a flatulent horse).

I remember one time I asked him if World War II was worth it. He paused as powerful emotions swept through him, wiped at a tear, and then told me that he once saw a death camp, and that it was depressing to find out people could be so cruel to each other. He said he saw people so scrawny he didn't know how they could stand up, many of them were bleeding from their bottoms, and their faces were "like zombies". He paused to let the picture sink in, then he simply said, "Yes, it was worth it, but I didn't know it up until that moment."

Many of the people who remember WWII have passed away, my grandfather included, and so the designers of a new Holocaust Museum felt a sense of urgency to complete their monument lest future generations forget:

A new memorial

A monument such as this must be powerful and beautiful and horrible all rolled into one, at least if it accurately reflects the human race.

Coalition of the dwindling

Italy will begin withdrawing it's 3,000 troops from Iraq by September, obviously in response to US soldiers shooting a recently freed Italian hostage and high-level intelligence asset.

Support fading

Maybe now the US Congress will begin to pressure the Bush administration for an exit strategy. After two years don't we deserve to know what set of circumstances will lead to our withdrawal? Didn't President Bush himself say that "victory is exit strategy?"

We waited out WMD claims.
We waited out Saddam's capture.
We waited out a transfer of sovereignty.
We waited out an Iraqi election.

What, exactly, are we waiting for now?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Honest Abe

"As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 - (letter to Col. William F. Elkins

Leviticus and aliens

I have heard the Bible described as a book which should not be taken literally, but which is always true. As I was reading through Leviticus I came across this commandment of God to Moses and was struck by it's relevance to our times:

When an alien resides with you in your land,
you shall not oppress the alien.

The alien who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen among you;
you shall love the alien as yourself,
for you were aliens in the land of Egypt:
I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 33-37

In the aftermath of 9/11, perhaps the temptation to hunt immigrants can seem justified, but I think that is fear talking.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Dollar continues sliding

The Japanese Prime Minister said that diversity in foreign exchange reserves was a good thing, which raised concerns about central bank reserve diversification.

What that means in English is that the dollar is not going to stop losing value anytime soon as investors continue to regard the US dollar as a risky investment (thanks to the tax cuts of George W. Bush).

Story here

To this news we can also add news of rising claims of joblessness and growing inventories.

Story here

And also there is that pesky trade imbalance which has grown yet again:

Trade off

And finally, it is worth considering that Republicans are literally selling us to Communist China every time they add to our debt levels:

Pay the man

But, don't worry, President Bush is gonna sing you a lullaby.

Friday, March 11, 2005

That's hypocritical

At a time when Republicans in Washington have racked up more debt than any other Congress in US history through a combination of reckless spending and ideological tax-cutting, they have the temerity to make it harder for Americans on poverty row to declare bankruptcy.

I was raised that you lead by example and the example these balance-sheet bunglers set is fiscal mismanagement without accountability.

Let them eat cake

Is Washington full of nothing but hypocritical hucksters and used car salesmen in expensive suits?

If what is good for the goose were good for the gander the Whitehouse would be repossessed and it's occupants held responsible for their debts.

I believe that a person ought to pay their bills, but sometimes there's a damn good reason to declare bankruptcy, usually that reason is a medical emergency. If these carrion-feeders were as compassionate as advertised they'd do something about our healthcare system so that people wouldn't have to declare bankruptcy in the firstplace. Instead they act to make a bad situation worse and congratulate themselves with smiles all around.

How can so many people be so outright heartless?

If Canada can do it, why can't we?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hopelessly devoted

"When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs. A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."

- Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun -

Here in the Homeland, or "America" as I still like to call it, there is a trend to blur the lines between Church and State, between patriotism and piety, and between obedience to God and obedience to Washington. For example, this article describes a scheme whereby a group of evangelical Christians infiltrates a prison and proselytize to the incarcerated (with government dollars):

Beyond the God Pod

Does anybody else find it ironic that most of our enemies in the "War on Terror" blur the lines between Church and State?

Could it be that religious control is necessary in a state that wants to spread terror so that it can portray violence as a divine calling?

Didn't our founding fathers recognize this fraudulent use of religion and explicitly guard against it by erecting Church/State walls of separation?

Shouldn't we be wary of our own tendencies to pitch down that slippery slope?

Is it wise to seek spiritual sustenance from Washington, or to make your church beholden to Federal dollars?

Wouldn't devotion to a separation between church and state be the surest way to keep political Islam out?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Religious Center?

Not every reader of the "good book" believes in cheerleading for war, in moral superiority, or in stuffing their boot in the face of the poor.

Here is an article written by Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, on the religious center and the rising voice of progressive religion:

What Jesus Wouldn't Do

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

How we look abroad II

Here is an article that wonders how President Bush could choose a unilateralist like John Bolton to represent them at the UN. The point is raised within that this seems to put the lie to President Bush's recent talks with European leaders which suggested a more diplomatic approach.

A view of Mr. Bolton

How we look abroad

You might be interested to know that some of the most glaring examples of Bush administration deceit, for instance Gannongate, are actually covered abroad. It is a pity that as an American citizen I should have to rely on foreign correspondents to raise questions about the US government, but once again the internets giveth what domestic cowardice taketh away:

A hireling, a fraud, and a prostitute

I am confident that a story this juicy would not have been as ignored as a sparrow-fart in a hurricane had Clinton been guilty of this behavior (a blue dress comes to mind). It makes me wonder if the Religious Right is guilty of practicing the "moral relativism" they profess to abhor.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The curse of oil

Here is a story with an easy ending to predict:

There are three bands of indigenous tribal people living in a pristine virgin rainforest in Ecuador. They are the Achuar, the Shuar, and the Kichwa peoples. The land is their ancestral home and has been legally designated as such.

Much of this land, it turns out, is believed to sit on huge untapped reserves of oil and gas.

The story

If tribes of oilmen can become rich by killing tribes of indians what do you suppose will happen?

That didn't take long

On February 24th the Holy See, the Pontiff, and the Pope came out and blasted gay marriage as the new ideology of evil.

This week three homophobes went out gay bashing.

Aggravated battery

Was the intolerance of the Pope a contributing factor in this hate crime?

Would the Pope condone three attackers kicking a man in the head in order to combat the new ideology of evil?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Italian journalist Ms. Giuliana Sgrena had been kidnapped in Iraq by a group called the Islamic Jihad Organisation.

However, Italy managed to negotiate her release from the captors.

However, as she was being driven to the airport, and accompanied by Nicola Calipari described as one of Italy's top security agents, her vehicle was fired upon by American soldiers.

Ms. Sgrena was wounded.

Nicola was killed protecting her.

Coalition chilling

Understandably Silvio Berlusconi was outraged at the event and demanded an explanation from President Bush. He has it hard enough as it is remaining part of the "coalition of the willing" against the wishes of a democratic populace, without the added insult of losing intelligence assests and injuring a woman championed as a hero at home.

President Bush has promised a full investigation into the matter, which will probably entail placing blame solely on the backs of the troops on the ground (his modus operandi thus far).

Some people are already racing to characterize the whole thing as a hoax (She faked it). One need only note that Mr. Berlusconi met Ms. Sgrena at the airport to disabuse themselves of that fantasy (i.e. he's not going to use his time legitimizing hoaxes which undermine his position).

I am amazed that cheerleaders of the apocalypse aren't out in full force showing Silvio a little team spirit. Perhaps they are incapable of feeling his pain?

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Today I find myself wondering why Conservatives are always railing against Hollywood. If you ask me, Hollywood has done more to promote democracy abroad than any war ever has.

Do Conservatives think our culture spreads on the merit of our political leaders?

Do Conservatives think that Hollywood played no role in brining down the iron curtain?

Who else but Hollywood could reach the masses under Communism's jack boot and stir thoughts of liberty? Who else could show them that, by comparison, their lives were unfulfilling?

Is there any more popular Republican politician than Arnold the Barbarian?

What gave Ronald Reagan his mass appeal but Hollywood's long reach?

Yet, to listen to Conservatives talk they'd rather capture a latte drinking Hollywood movie star than Osama bin Forgotten.

Why is that?

Why don't democrats ask someone like Tom Brokaw, Oprah Winfrey, or John Redford to run? Are they blind to the success rate of Sony Bono, Ronald Reagan, Arnold, and Jesse Ventura?

Americans love Hollywood movie stars. They love to watch them, talk about them, and vote for them, and when in Rome democrats ought to wear sandals.

As for the latte drinkers, I view any ingredient other than coffee in my coffee as pollution, yet I tolerate Conservatives across the aisle that put sugar and cream in their cup (how elitist!).

Friday, March 04, 2005

The lesson of Pinnochio

Alan Greenspan thought it would be sound fiscal policy to gut the treasury with President Bush's tax-cuts, which were aimed squarely at the well-off. In fact, he manipulatively warned of the danger of "paying down the deficit too fast". What a hoot it must have been to pass that one off on the trusting populace!

Now that our economy predictably suffers, though, Alan has the audacity to warn Congress to get the budget deficit under control! What Congress should do is tar and feather him and run him out on a rail (but of course they are in on the joke).

Ha ha grandma

Something tells me that people like Mr. Greenspan are forever thirsty in a land of water, forever hungry in a land of harvest, and forever lonely in the midst of love.

Has he immersed himself in the pursuit of wealth and failed to understand what riches are?

ADDENDUM: Thank you Paul Krugman. I can see I am not the only one whose hackles were raised by the shameless, partisan display from Mr. Greenspan:

Foreign dependence

1500 dead and counting

The US death total in Iraq just passed 1,500 lives and the wounded in action total just passed 11,200.

A bell tolls

The Defense Department says they know what they are doing, are having great success, and not to worry your pretty little head.

Call me skeptical.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Until industrial feudalism is replaced by industrial democracy,
politics will remain the shadow cast by big business over society

- John Dewey -

Is Iran on the table?

Ray McGovern wrote a flurry of articles before the US invaded Iraq trying to point out the irrationality of the venture.

Ray McGovern's pen is in the midst of a new flurry of articles pointing out the irrationality of attacking Iran:

Ray on Iran

If nothing else, you should read about Mohammad Mossadeq and who we "regime-changed" him with. It wasn't exactly a success story.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Since the world seems to be full of people competing to destroy mankind for the glory of God, I decided to begin reading religious works. Currently I am reading The New Oxford Annotated Bible (so I can know what a cubit is, or what it means to be redeemed by a sheep).

I have made it through Genesis and am now in Exodus. My early impression is that there aren't any good people in the Bible so far, simply obedient ones. Nearly every character, from Noah to Moses, seems driven to do what God tells them for fear of punishment or else motivated by greed (If I do X I obtain Y).

Another early impression I have is that people seem to pick and choose which words of God they wish to obey rather than obeying them all. Can you exercise a line-item veto of the Covenant?

For instance, when the Lord talks to Moses about altars He says:

You need make for me only an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your offerings of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. But if you make for me an altar of stone, do not build it of hewn stones; for if you use a chisel upon it you profane it. You shall not go up by steps to my altar, so that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.

Exodus 20.24 - 20.26

Yet every Church I have been in has a raised altar made of hewn stone which is approached by steps. Are the Church leaders guilty of disobeying the words of the God of Moses?

What about:
"Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work..."

Exodus 20.8
By working on the Sabbath do you condemn your children to the third and fourth generation to the punishment of a jealous God? (Exodus 20.5)

By these two simple examples I suppose you see my point. Most of us, even the religious, ignore the words of God at our pleasure (if not these, then others). I do so because I doubt the veracity of the Bible and the people that relate it, but what about the cultural moralists among us? How can they, for instance, work on Saturday, worship at a hewn altar, and then point their fingers at Sponge Bob's transgressions? Don't their own actions dethrone their moral position?

I suppose the answer is that pious people prioritize the words of God and then do the best they can with what they have, which is human form. I suppose they are confident they have their priorities right with God before they go about using the Bible as a wedge and their pulpits for persecution.

I wish I knew which words of God to safely ignore. Maybe if I keep reading I'll figure it out. If I do I'll be sure and pass it on. Until then I shall ignore them all and do the best I can with what I have.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Double threat

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, and you don't need an economist to interpret this financial message:

1. Personal income fell 2.3 percent in January.

2. Inflation was "sharper-than-expected" and will spark another interest rate hike.


Of course you can add to this news the dollars continuing slide, a large trade deficit, an expanding budget deficit, and growing anti-American sentiment abroad.

It seems the President's plan to devalue our way to prosperity either needs more time to prove itself effective, or is the opposite of a sound fiscal policy.

Robert Baer comments on the terror war

Many intelligence agents and former agents of the US continue to be unimpressed by our conduct of the war on terror. Robert Baer is simply one of the latest to speak out:

Totally reactionary

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin