Category Archives: Politics

For People Who Don’t Understand ISIS

Karl Sharro gave the best explanation for ISIS I’ve ever seen, and he did it in a single sentence.  I copied it below.

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Mixed Metaphors

I don’t know what I’d do if I were a pastor.  If I had to wait until inspiration struck, I’d have a sermon ready about as often as I post to this blog.  Several things converged recently to lay this in my lap.

In a recent video, some guy was talking about attending Sunday school at a synagogue with the rabbi in attendance.  I immediately wondered when Liberal Judaism became so liberal.

If you were as educated as I was when I was a kid, you’d know that the Sabbath is Sunday and that the Jews were just another Christian sect.  Sigh.  Why couldn’t I have just remained in blissful ignorance so I could display it on a regular basis in my newspaper’s letters to the editor.

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Rambling #2

This nearly had the title “A Tale of Two Languages“. A couple weeks ago I was watching a rerun on the Smithsonian channel about the Pirahã of Brazil and Daniel Everett. It immediately reminded me of the cultures of El Beni in Bolivia, and particularly, the Sirionó. The similarities and differences are striking.

There’s something you may not know about me. At one time I worked with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (now known as SIL International) and its sister organization, the Wycliffe Bible Translators (now called the Wycliffe Global Alliance), both founded by William Townsend. For those unfamiliar with Bible history, Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible (Vulgate version) into Middle English in 1382, and he was a constant thorn in the side of the Holy See. The purpose of the organizations is to study and document lesser-known languages and to translate the Bible (especially the New Testament and Gospels) into the local languages for the edification and enlightenment of the natives. Yes, I was one of them, but my excuse was to aid in studying and recording languages before they became extinct and because it was something I truly enjoyed.
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What’s Coming

I had hoped that I’d be finished with my next posting by now. Since I’m not, I thought I’d give a quick preview. It’s about a very unwelcome topic: gun legislation – specifically legislation that I think would be effective while trying not to be overly intrusive, unlike some recent legislative attempts which are neither.

The article includes the pertinent resources and research that I did in coming up with the information I present. It compares firearm deaths world-wide, their causes, what is unique and what is comparable to the situation in the U.S., and over a year’s worth of data for every reported case on who was killed, where it happened, and further details, so that if you’re inclined to pick me apart, you too can go through the data.

I have condensed and summarized information from articles that I had promised and started over a year ago but never finished. The topics have been reorganized and structured in a way that I hope is more helpful than before.

Although many people are thoroughly uncomfortable even talking about guns, if you have kids or grandchildren, this is a topic you need to understand whether or not you have a gun yourself. The must-read portion will be under the heading “Proposed Gun Legislation”. Although you may miss why I recommend what I do, at least you’ll know what I am proposing.

The last part of the article is aimed at education about guns and ammunition that seem to be either unknown or confused by most media sources. If this is a non-issue for you, skip it.

The last point I’d like to make is that although I have little expertise with guns, I know what sounds questionable when I hear it, and I look it up – something that seems to be increasingly uncommon. I have accumulated a lot that way – enough to feel comfortable in writing my article.

 

It Makes Me Proud to be an Atheist

Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY, has announced that his latest venture, Ark Encounter, is facing dire financial difficulties. With quick visit to the Creation Museum website, the first words you run into are “Prepare to Believe”. If you don’t mind swallowing a little bullshit, you too can believe.

The Ark Encounter was to be a replica of Noah’s ark, complete with dinosaurs, unicorns, and fire-breathing dragons, just as the Bible tells us. Actually, I had missed those 3 kinds of animals in Genesis, but that’s what makes Ken the expert on Genesis and the genius that he is.

Between now and Feb. 6, Ken has to sell $29,000,000 in unrated junk bonds, so if you have some spare change, won’t you send him a few million dollars? The state of Kentucky was so enthusiastic about this great idea, that during the recession, they plunked down several million dollars of the taxpayer’s own money for infrastructure and tax breaks.

Ken blames this mess on atheists (way to go, atheists) and the secular media. Specifically, “the trouble with Ark Encounter’s financing is due to the treachery of atheists and godless bloggers, who have sabotaged the giant dinosaur boat…”. Thanks for finally acknowledging me, Ken. But he goes further. He has been wrestling “against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” I do admit to being a ruler of the darkness of this age, but thanks for thinking that I am a spiritual host of wickedness and that I rule from heavenly places. I’ve tried to project that image for a long time now.

To read more, check out Ark Encounter Close to Failure.

The Queen’s Mercy Pardon

You may already be aware Queen Elizabeth out of the goodness of her heart issued a “mercy pardon” for Alan Turing almost 60 years after he committed suicide when the British courts had him neutered for the heinous crime of being a grossly indecent homosexual. (Isn’t homosexuality always grossly indecent in Britain?) At least she didn’t wait as long as the Vatican did to pardon Galileo for the crime of being right while the pope thought he was being ridiculed. Had she issued the pardon within two years after ascending the throne the suicide could have been prevented, but gays didn’t need mercy in those good old days.

To put this into perspective, Turing led a pretty useless life. He not only broke Germany’s enigma code, shortening WW II considerably, he helped design the machines that automated the code-breaking process when no key was available. He was a mathematician, logician, and is best known for modeling a general-purpose computer which still bears his name. He formalized the concepts of algorithms, computability, Turing reduction, Turing completeness, and Turing degree as well as being the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He worked in two different laboratories developing early variations on the first stored-program computers. He wrote a paper on what later became known as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reactions, which were only discovered 8 years after his death.

There is little question that he lived a wasted life, and the queen, her empire, and the world could just as well done without him. Now the U.S. can start working on pardons for the Salem witches. If we get through that in the next century, we can retroactively save their lives. I can only thank God that the queen found the mercy in her heart, but only after the House of Lords had already passed a bill for statutory pardon on Oct. 30 of this year.

God, Sitzpinkel, and the U.N.

I had written nearly a complete post on this subject when my computer crashed last fall, and I lost the work on all my posts in progress. There is little doubt that God was chastising me for being an atheist, and He fully expected His flock to fill the void. It didn’t come to pass, so here I go again on this important subject.

There is no doubt of God’s opinion about sitzpinkel – He despises it. Most Bible apologists simply don’t understand how God could have overlooked this offense to His holy creation in His 613 Laws, but the explanation is really pretty easy. He obviously originally had 614 Laws, and Moses just couldn’t understand what such a strange law was doing in the collection because in Biblical times, no one violated it, so he neglected to include it with the other 613. (On the other hand, the tenth commandment [Exodus 34:26Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.] was necessary, because so many Biblical Jews were eating cheeseburgers. For those not familiar with God’s wishes, read Meat and Milk and Cheese and Whey.)

I can hear you now protesting that you don’t know what sitzpinkel is, when in fact, you know damned well but you won’t admit it even in your darkest nightmares. For those who are hopelessly clueless, watch the following exhortation.

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Raven about NSA and Privacy

I stole this from Digital Cuttlefish since he says it so much better than I could.

 Once upon a conversation, I received a revelation—
Just a tiny aberration in the phone line could be heard
It was near too faint for hearing, all too quickly disappearing,
And it surely had me fearing they had listened to my word
But of course, there is no reason to be snooping for my word
Such a notion is absurd!

With the conversation ending, and my paranoia pending—
Was some listening ear attending? Had a wiretap occurred?
My suspicions were implying what I’d rather be denying;
That the government was spying, and the lines had all been blurred
There had formerly been limits, but those lines have all been blurred—
Ah, but surely that’s absurd!

Could my phone call now be quoted? My associations noted?
Are there data banks devoted, at the mercy of some nerd?
All the data they can hack up, with more copies just for backup
In some cave where servers stack up with the info there interred?
They will long outlast my body, which will rot when I’m interred
This is far beyond absurd!

In a time that seems chaotic, is my worrying neurotic?
Maybe spying’s patriotic—it’s what 9/11 spurred.
Sure, the citizens are frightened, but security is heightened
With the leaky borders tightened and some terrorists deterred
Why, the means are surely justified if terror is deterred
Or they’re not… cos it’s absurd.

Songs for Memorial Day

In the glory of war, we sometimes forget the price. I want to thank to thank Daz for his remarks on one of these songs.

Progress in Oxford, Alabama

Maybe this isn’t quite as spectacular an example of progress as my article 2 posts ago, but Sam’s Club and Oxford Mayor Leon Smith have determined after exhaustive business research that a 1500 year old Indigenous American ceremonial mound is a ‘natural’ formation because it isn’t on the National Register of Historic Places, which they researched so well, they called it the “Natural Register”. It was the largest stone mound of its kind in Alabama. Smith knows for fact that it was only used for smoke signals (he is, after all, at least as accurate a historian as David Barton), and that the United South and Eastern Tribes are just blowing smoke signals up his ass to claim otherwise. Really, who’s the business expert here?

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That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

I almost called this A Tale of Two Stories as there are two stories to celebrate. The first ended in 2001 with victory for Allah and his prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), while the second ended just this month with a complete victory for Capitalism, Objectivism, Ayn Rand, and probably Jesus Christ. I hope you’re as excited and as much a sucker for happy endings as I am.

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Gun Legislation – Part 1

I started this over a month ago for people who may not have given much thought to gun legislation. I expect it to be a 4-part series to give you a little more insight into the matter than most of the politicians who are cobbling together laws to protect us from guns (and those who would oppose any change). You don’t have to own a gun to be informed about guns. After listening to legislators and journalists, many of whom claim to own or use a gun, I’m really appalled. Especially cringe-worthy is the expert on gun violence who put together the new proposed gun legislation (which is essentially a rehash of the old Brady bill).

Warning: this article is rather long and is about controlling gun violence as opposed to controlling gun access – a difference that our lawmakers don’t seem to appreciate. (Gun access is a separate issue and requires more competence on the part of policy makers than violence prevention.) I hope it is useful if you’re interested in gun violence.

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