Sunday, July 31, 2011

Note to CNN: Tell the whole story

On their faith segment today, I just watched CNN talk to Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a liberal religious organization committed to promoting their progressive version of religious faith and dogma.  Not surprisingly, they lay all blame, immorality, and sin regarding our current financial and debt crisis at the feet of the Republican party. Natch.  Fine.  There's a Christian Right, and despite media narratives to the contrary, a Christian Left.  But at least if you're CNN, try to acknowledge the fact that this is a liberal group.  Maybe - and here's a radical thought, but I've seen it put to good use against Christians on the Right - ask the fellow if he thinks there could be some fault at the feet of, oh I don't know, the Democrats.  Dare I say, even President Obama? 
Expecting our media to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is seeming more pie in the sky with each passing day.

Update:  CNN had to break into the interview, but there was much gushing with love and adoration toward Sojourners, and it looks like they will enthusiastically be invited back!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

And finally, the light is at the end of the tunnel

As I begin to remember the beauty and love and joy of the world after too long in a blog dedicated to ignorance used to justify evil (and remembering that not all atheists are like that, just like not all religious believers are like Fred Phelps), I turn to my older boys.  The other day we had the chance to go to Highbanks park just north of Columbus.  After demonstrating their rock skipping prowess, we had the chance to visit the nature center and catch a breathtaking view of the natural world that is God's wonderful gift to us all.

The two oldest prepare to throw as our eleven year old bolts...from what or to what I wonder.

They have their moments, but they are good together (and excellent big brothers to the two year old)

More of the family to chase away the evil

As if to wash the filth from me by purging the Nazi-like hatred of the Hate'n Jesus blog I had been visiting, I also thought I would invoke the kids.  Here's our youngest, just turned two, after his first haircut!  Nothing this beautiful could be by accident.  Fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Loving the camera as it loves him

I've earned the right to post about the fam

After two days visiting a blog that boasts being the number one blog when the words 'I hate Jesus' are entered, I figure I earned the right to muse on the beautiful things of life that God has given me.  First was last night, where we took my Mom out for my parents' 60th wedding anniversary.  It was a bittersweet time since the passing of my Dad, but we made sure that they would still celebrate this, the month of their wedding 60 years ago.  After all, death where is your victory, where is your sting? 

The family together (wife taking picture), with one notable exception; he was very missed

Friday, July 29, 2011

When Liberals are Fundamentalists

Over at Get Religion, a new contributor posted an article that noticed how much of the MSM was in full celebratory mode when it came to New York legalizing gay marriage.  J. Calvin mentioned how it would have been nice to see some other views, like those who were willing to quit their jobs rather than compromise their values.  And lo and behold, at least one commenter has demonstrated why I say there is ultimately no such thing as conservatives or liberals. 

In tirade after tirade he/she makes it clear that legalizing gay marriage is the exclusive truth, which is 100% correct, and any who disagree are bigots, Nazis, KKK, or whatever.  He/she doesn't hold back.  There's no shame.  Even when I and others have asked fair questions about the news coverage, he has hit Dislike.  Maybe it isn't him or her, but my gut tells me it is.  A great reminder that the only thing more close minded, judgemental, self-righteous, and intolerant than a conservative is a liberal, which is why those terms mean so little.

Global Warming is wrong?

Not so fast say proponents of modern GW theory.  Yesterday a story shot across the news cycle that 'NASA' research suggested GW alarmists were a bit off course.  This brought a wave of stories debunking this latest find.  An example of it is here, at Live Science.

Now the science behind it all is a little beyond my expertise.  I don't know what to think.  But I noticed something.  While the Live Science article did bother, beyond some of the other pieces that took offense at this latest critique of GW status quo thinking, to mention some of the actual science, it rested heavily on who Spencer, the NASA scientist in question, actually was. 

Several times it was mentioned that he is a 'Global Warming Skeptic.'  And?  Why not say the others are 'Global Warming Advocates'?  It also had a section on 'Science and Politics.'  Yeah?  And?  Couldn't it be true that both sides could be guilty of letting non-scientific factors influence their interpretation of the data? 

That's what hit me in all of this.  First, the headlines said 'NASA Study suggests....' when in fact the individual was affiliated with NASA, but it doesn't look like it was a grand  NASA conclusion or anything (they're busy packing up their boxes since we'll now be hitching rides with the Russians and Chinese for our space travel).  Yet most criticisms came, not focused on his actual science, but focusing on him.

It reminds me of an old Charlie Brown cartoon.  The girl Violet comes up to Schroeder and Charlie Brown, who are engaged in a heated debate.  She hears what they are saying: "Who plays the piano all the time!", "You do, all day at that dumb piano!", "Oh, yeah! Well at least I can catch a baseball!"  And on and on they go.  Violet then asks them, "What are you two arguing about?"  They both answer, "We're arguing over who was better, Beethoven or Davey Crockett."  As Violet walks away, she gives a quizzical look as she overhears the debate continue: "Who wears a stupid shirt with a stupid stripe?", "You do..."

That's about it.  Basically I get the feeling everyone is sure the science agrees with them because as soon as someone suggests either side is wrong, folks just dismiss them by attacking who they are, what 'Side' they are on, or whatever.  Which makes it difficult if you think about it.  It certainly does me, since I don't think either side is more prone than the other to let non-scientific purposes enter into their thinking.  To paraphrase Longshanks from the movie Braveheart: The problem with science is, it's full of scientists!

I do know it's been hot this summer after a terrible winter.  I know the seasons are overall different than I remember them.  I know we do break records, but often they were set decades ago, or we only 'nearly' break the records, meaning there were other times it was worse.  I know that the 1930s looked pretty bad as a decade, and many records were set then that still stand.  And I know the climate has been changing for eons, and that things like the Medieval warm ups weren't part of some Northumbrian conspiracy to thwart children of a future age. 

So what to think?  My guess there's truth behind climate change since it's always been happening.  Are all the pollutants and carbon we belch into the air a good thing?  Probably not.  Can we make changes that could at least reduce our part of the damage?  Sure.  Is the very presence of humanity, as some claim, the culprit?  Doubt it, that's selling this old world pretty cheap, and also typical of the generational arrogance that is so prevalent nowadays. 

Overall, the lesson?  My lesson is this: Scientists say we should turn to science to solve our problems.  Yet according to scientists into MMGW, the reason we have these problems today is that two hundred years or so ago when the scientists and inventors told everyone to give them a blank check, that they would solve the world's problems, and nothing could possibly go wrong, we said OK.  Lesson learned.  Science can certainly help us, but only the greatest generation of fools would say we are on the brink of destruction due to giving science, technology and industry a blank check, and then conclude our only hope is to give science and technology a blank check.  Fool me once, after all.

Judge decides Americans can pray after all

Judge Gray Miller dealt the Freedom from Religion Foundation yet another setback by declaring that just because you are a politician, doesn't mean the entire 1st Amendment doesn't apply to you.  As usual, the FRF was trying to impose its values through censorship and oppression of all religion by filing a lawsuit against Governor Rick Perry, who later plans on attending a prayer and fasting service.  This is the same group that tried - and failed - to file a lawsuit stopping President Obama from attending the National Day of Prayer. 

Basically, these are the folks who act like the kid who insists everyone play his game, and when they won't, screams, hollers, yells, cries, and pulls his hair.  Fortunately, it looks like some of the courts might be waking up to the fact that groups like these are not trying to promote liberty and freedom for all, but are attempting to find loopholes in the existing interpretation of the Constitution in order to strip away the Constitutional rights of all those who don't believe and think they way they demand they should.

Elsewhere, Secularists for a Totalitarian State were dealt another blow when a judge in, of all places, California actually decided that they can't allow a measure on the ballot that would ban circumcision.  This drew the ire of folks, especially when pro-ban forces published materials reminding one of 1930s anti-Semitic propaganda.  Now this could be because of the atmosphere in California right now.  After all, gay rights groups have been screaming about Prop 8 since it passed, saying just because you have enough votes is no reason to strip away people's rights (even if the Constitution is vague on the actual issue of gay marriage).  It then would be difficult to imagine turning around and pushing for an initiative that would more or less ban the freedom of religion based upon the same idea of majority rule.  Of course the majority may have voted against it.  But I can see that tipping the double-standard scale against those protesting Prop 8.

Of course the Judge in this case said that the state, not the city, has the right to do such things.  And also mentioned that pesky 1st Amendment again, that a growing number of post-modern ignoramuses believes says Congress shall impose separation of church and state in order to establish a secular nation.  When in fact it says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.  Though things look bleak for America's future, it is nice to know there are folks who read the Constitution and realize yeah, before we give rights to people based on what the Constitution never said, we should at least make sure we are protecting the rights of people based on what it clearly said in black and white.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Brat bans?

The nice thing about a society that has become so evil that its business establishments begin to offer the slogan equivalent of 'Hate kids?  Then we're for you!', is that it won't be around much longer to trouble the unhappy world.  The reason for the babyphobia is all too obvious, just ask much of Europe:
"When did kids become the equivalent of second-hand smoke? Blame a wave of childless adults with money to spare. "Empty nesters continue to wield a huge swath of discretionary spending dollars, and population dips in first-world countries mean more childless couples than ever," writes AdWeek's Klara."
Being childless is increasingly not seen as a curse, or even a choice, but a world view.  Those who do it have no intention of having kids so they can live a completely self-absorbed life of narcissism and hedonism, care not a rip about what happens to their society's future, and then laugh at all the dolts and losers who do have kids because it will be their kids and grand kids who get screwed over when things fall apart.  Yep, the good thing is, they'll be gone soon.  The bad thing is those who don't follow their brand of self worship will be forced to watch their posterity pay the price.

Friday, July 15, 2011

And that's the way it was?

So I'm off for several weeks trying to learn a new job. It ain't easy, and it ain't a sure thing.  But we'll see.  Right now here's hoping.  But blogging, as I've said, has taken a back seat to more pressing matters.  In the meantime, I've also become somewhat bothered by the tenor and tone of so many blogs out there.  I'm not sure they were ever that great, but at least some of the ones I've followed over the years have taken on a more fundamentalist stench. 

So I was wondering what, if anything, I would want to write about if I had the chance to return.  Well, first off, I want to avoid the tendency on so many blogs, including such notorious blogs as the Huffpost, of being all partisan vitriol and demagoguery.  And yet, no sooner do I sit down to take a look at things after taking an early Friday off, than I see this headline: California to require gay history in schools.

Now, someone tell me: just what the hell is 'gay history'?  Would anyone tell me?  Do we know 'gay history'?  Do we know who was and wasn't gay in history?  Will they just take people they know to be gay and look at what they did, both good and bad?  Will they assume anyone with any affection toward anyone was gay?  Will they just happen to take all of history's heroes and assume they were gay? Will they look at cultures that had various takes on homosexual  relations and look at those, both good and bad?  Or will they take any culture that was the slightest bit open toward non-heterosexual normality and paint in the most Utopian stripes?

I fear this is state sanctioned indoctrination, which is already just about there anyway.  Our public education system has made it clear that those who question non-heterosexual normality are not welcome in our school systems, any more than someone advocating evolution or questioning our Cold War policies was welcome in our schools of yesteryear.  Of course, the line between education and indoctrination has always been fiber-optically thin.  And the public schools systems of any society naturally promote the values of that society.  But as one who does not embrace the dogmas of the post Christian, post modern secular left, it doesn't warm my heart to think of the challenges that will be placed before me and my children and grandchildren in years to come.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Blogging on hold for a while

There's two reasons.  One, my new job, helping my Mom move since the passing of my Dad, and generally just making time for the family isn't allowing the time needed to really do a good work on the blog.  Second, I'm really, really reconsidering what kind of a blog I want.  Two reasons for this are best seen in the comments here and here

On one hand, you have folks coming out and blasting the media for exploiting the death of Caylee Anthony for its own purposes by basically exploiting the death of Caylee Anthony in order to blast pro-choicers, the press, talk radio, or any one of a hundred not-me types while getting in an all-too-common "America Always Sucks" meme.  And of course, they miss the irony of their own hypocrisy in doing so.  But alas, far too many ideological blogs appear to be going that direction I'm sad to say, and that's the direction of the fundamentalist. 

But on the other hand, you have someone defending Dan Savage, the Gay Rights Movement's answer to Fred Phelps, or at least Jack Chick.  A man who spews hatred and loathing at anyone who doesn't conform to his values, who wishes to turn kids against their parents while teaching them the glories of anal sex (even in an age of AIDS), and who has more than once said that he feels anyone in any school who speaks out against homosexuality should be treated like a bully.  In short, they should be punished.  His comparing certain individuals to fecal matter was not condemned, but rather passionately defended.  And when I and others suggested Savage might be a bit on the bad side of things, note the resistance on the part of some.

The blogosphere is a place, apparently, where people go to say there are no rules, just my side winning - becoming the very things they so often condemn.  Not wishing to repeat that, and not wishing to bring back the comments section since I noticed that stopping people from acting that way caused most of the commenters to leave, has made me want to think through just what I want from this blog. 

So until then, once more, I'll turn to the things that matter so much to me, and that's my family.  Here are the boys at COSI (that's Center of Science and Industry) in Columbus striking an interesting pose outside of the Dinosaur exhibit (which could have been a day trip in and of itself).  The Adventure exhibit, where you wander through ruins looking for clues, was equally fun.  Will be back when I can, and hopefully will see some light at the end of the blogging tunnel and escape the pitfall that is, sadly, all too common on the blogosphere (a pitfall I'm afraid even Catholic blogs seem unable to avoid in the long haul). 

Note the examples I give are not unique to those sites.  It's unfortunate that they are simply indicative of what it seems goes on across most blogs.  I could have spent an entire post on the Huffpost and other such locations that make these seem tame by comparison, as I have mentioned before.