Friday, September 28, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
I was very glad to see that it was available on their website because I really had to agree with what Mr. Shermer was getting at and I wanted to share it with some of my more militant atheist friends. The article starts off with:
And later he explains:
Since the turn of the millennium, a new militancy has arisen among religious skeptics in response to three threats to science and freedom: (1) attacks against evolution education and stem cell research; (2) breaks in the barrier separating church and state leading to political preferences for some faiths over others; and (3) fundamentalist terrorism here and abroad.
...we should be cautious about irrational exuberance. I suggest that we raise our consciousness one tier higher for the following reasons.
1. Anti-something movements by themselves will fail.
2. Positive assertions are necessary.
3. Rational is as rational does.
4. The golden rule is symmetrical.
5. Promote freedom of belief and disbelief.
Of course the letter goes into more detail on each of the above points, but he concludes by saying:
I think as atheists we have an automatic bad public opinion. As responsible people we should all strive to display the ability to live happy productive lives without the need for a supernatural spiritual being, to show people as Dawkins is quoted, "...to be an atheist is a realistic aspiration, and a brave and splendid one. You can be an atheist who is happy, balanced, moral and intellectually fulfilled."
Rational atheism values the truths of science and the power of reason, but the principle of freedom stands above both science and religion.
A colleague of mine recently sent me an article that he had presented to the local newspaper as well as The Washington Post. His article was turned down by both papers. I feel his article was turned down because he makes a comparison of Bush to Hitler. No matter how ‘FREE’ the press is, they still have to appeal to the majority of their readers. Just because the majority agree doesn’t make it right.
So for my friend’s sake I have copied it in its entirety here as part of my first post to this blog.
Bush and Hitler
The Greeks taught us that character is destiny. That is, if one knew one’s enemy’s or friend’s nature, it becomes fairly obvious what his future will hold. Roughly speaking, I think this assessment of the human predicament is accurate.
George Bush is a good case in point. In many ways, his personality is analogous to Adolf Hitler. Both Hitler and Bush demonstrate a nature which functions around only few core ideas. These ideas are sacrosanct, and Hitler would not, and Bush will not, brook any opposition to them. Both Hitler and Bush were impervious to any persuasion to change their course because the current military situation demanded it. The fatal flaw in this kind of defective posture is the person ceases to be able to deal with reality and becomes delusional. I think it can be cogently argued that Germany lost the war because of nine strategic decisions of Adolf Hitler; likewise it can be demonstrated America lost Iraq because of Bush’s strategic blunders.
To begin with, this benighted Administration’s raison d’etre for the invasion was based on a false premise: we had to occupy Iraq in order to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. When it became obvious there were no WMD’s, the Administration promptly switched horses and announced we were there for a regime change. Having accomplished this, and having found Saddam Hussein, we then proclaimed we now had to stay to stabilize our newly installed satrap regime until they were vigorous enough to stand on their own two feet without our help. In short, America now had a crown colony complete with a governor-general with a pith helmet and swagger stick. And we were in for the long haul, despite lies from the Administration we were there only temporarily. We immediately began to build the largest and most expensive embassy on this planet, coupled with huge and enormously expensive air bases, which only a fool would believe were being built for a “temporary” stay.
One does not have to be an Einstein to figure out that oilman Bush---ever loyal to the oil cartel that put him in power---is there to secure Iraq’s oil for American oil companies.
And so, we can expect Bush, like Hitler before him, to scream “stay the course” to the last minute of the Bush administration. It is foolish to think Bush can do otherwise. He is not psychologically capable of admitting he can make even one major mistake. Like Hitler in April, 1945, when the Russians were only six blocks away from his Berlin Bunker, Hitler yells to his bedraggled staff that he is not going to retreat one inch. Madness, sheer madness!
Americans must realize their current leaders no longer believe in democratic principles.
The real reason General Pace was fired was because of what he said on two past occasions. One, the National Press Club, February 17, 2006. “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral”. And Two, “They will be held accountable for the decisions they make. So they should in fact not obey the illegal and immoral orders to use weapons of mass destruction’” as stated in an interview with Wolf Blitzer in 2003.
Let us hope the commanders, now in place, will remember they swore to defend the constitution of the United States and not George Bush. September should be a very interesting month.
Stan Simpson is a humanist and a former Major in the USAF. His main duties were as a navigator on a combat crew.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Protest Greets the Opening of a Muslim School in New York
The biggest school system in the United States began the new school year today by opening its doors to controversy, as New York City introduced the first public Arabic school in the nation. It was, to put it mildly, an unusual first day of school for the 60 students at the Khalil Gibran International Academy, where students arrived to see press and police outside the new school, as those who
oppose the school fear it will spread radical Islam.
"When I came down the corner and saw the mobile police unit and the news cameras swirling around, then I was very nervous," said Susan O'Grady, a parent of a student at the school.
What's your opinion about a Muslim-based public school? Share your thoughts in the right column of this page.
Supporters say Brooklyn's new sixth through 12th grade school should not be controversial. Students will follow the same curriculum that every other school in the city uses, except that classes in Arabic language and culture will be mandatory.
Ok... This post is not about Muslim School. This post is not about religion. This post is not about the public outcry. This post is about ABC News' SENSATIONALISM of this story. Read the underlined portions. The headlines says MUSLIM SCHOOLS. The story, for those of us who read, says ARABIC. What's the difference? Nothing to those who don't read. However, this kind of story fuels ignorance that already runs rampant.
Don't get me wrong, Muslims are stupid- as stupid or perhaps, in some ways, more stupid than Christians. But stories and sensationalism like this are like tossing twinkies between two quarreling fat kids. Ha! Childhood obesity.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toymaker Mattel Inc on Tuesday announced a third recall of Chinese-made toys, saying it would take back more than 800,000 units globally that contain impermissible" levels of lead.
Anyone else think this may be some sort of subversive preemptive germ warfare? I don't, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's on a Republican's platform in 2008. "A vote for Schmuckface is a vote AGAINST chinky toys!"
Looks matter at high-profile trials like Spector's - CNN.com
(CNN) -- "Jurymen seldom convict a person they like, or acquit one that they dislike." -- Clarence DarrowSince April, the murder trial of music producer Phil Spector has been playing out in Los Angeles, California, oddly contrasting gruesome CSI details with the defendant's daily fashion emergency.
A moussed, tousled brown hairstyle is murder trial defendant Phil Spector's latest look.
Jurors finally will go behind closed doors for deliberations at the end of the week.
Their impressions of Spector's over-the-top fashion statements and nebbish-like demeanor could weigh as heavily, legal analysts say, as any of the conflicting expert testimony about ballistics, blood spatter and other forensic evidence....
So, I wonder why anyone could be against death penalty in light of cases such as this. Anyone who doesn't wear Versace should be convicted of something, right?
My favorite panel you ask? Seven rows down, the one on the right. It says, "God created man, animals, and plants - in the same week! They were created, not evolved."
And its got the little picture there, with the lion... and the peacock... and the zebra... and the stegosaurus... Wait, what was that last one? Yeah, that's right. A stegosaurus. With the peacock. All historical irony aside, what seems most funny about this creationist propaganda is that it actually depicts a scene that could potentially disprove Darwinian Evolution. If you did find the fossils of a modern lion in the same strata as the fossils of a stegosaurus, you'd put the Darwinist camp into a panic.
Any creationists in the room? *hunker down y'all* You know they did find those fossils? Yeah! And we're all conspiring to keep it from the creationists, so keep this under your hat!
Seriously, we've found hundreds of thousands of fossilized bits of ancient life. We've never discovered a single one that disputed Darwinian Evolution. Why are we still arguing about this?