Sep 012015
 

I am 56 years old. I grew up in the 60s and 70s. I know the 60s especially were a period of social upheaval and change, but it was a period of people coming together more. Labor unions organized to get workers decent wages, healthcare, and a stable retirement. We invested in public schools. We were wowed by and respected science and scholarship. We started talking about conservation and protecting the environment. We accepted that it cost money to do those things. We looked to the future with excitement and anticipation, but today, we seem to be in a rush to go backwards as far and fast as possible. We fear everything, and demand absolute security, and think it can be found in some nostalgic past.

Apollo 11America, through public and private cooperation and investment built an unrivaled infrastructure. We became the country that invented the things of a new and exciting world, and we built those things. The workers who did the building mostly got a decent wage that allowed them to live a decent and comfortable life, plan for the future, and set a foundation that raised the next generation a little higher.

The government created Social Security and Medicare so the disabled and elderly could live out their lives with some stability and small comforts. We built public schools and public colleges and universities. Trade schools and community colleges were developed to help those who needed an interim step on the financial ladder. And we all realized we had to chip in to pay for those things. As Barney Frank once said, “Government is what we choose to do together.” We made mostly good choices.

We built the machinery and the forces to win World War II. We put men on the moon, sent people to the deepest reaches of the seas, captured the power of the atom, and built (for better or worse) the internet. We laid the foundation to connect the world. Continue reading »

The Evolution Vs Creationism Debate

 Education, Featured, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Science, Society  Comments Off on The Evolution Vs Creationism Debate
Feb 132014
 

Creationists_ReadOneBookToon450OI finally had a chance to watch the debate between Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and Ken Ham of the Creationism Museum. Ken Ham, and anyone who still believes in creationism should be ashamed. What a sad commentary that we have digressed in this country to the point where we even have to have this discussion.

Keep in mind that I am a Christian, so I don’t discount everything in the Bible. But let me clear, I have studied it enough to know that it is not, cannot be, literal and inerrant. Most blatant and applicable to this argument is there are two creation stories that have significant differences…so which one is correct. The Gospels tell stories of Jesus where the details often differ, and there are conflicts and disagreements with the writings throughout the book. Not to mention, while it may have been inspired by God, it was written by men, often well after the events that are recorded. It has been translated over and over with some translations based on other translations.

Yet here’s one of the most interesting things about “this book”:  you can’t find an original copy of it anywhere.  It’s like one of those missing link fossils Creationists are always going on about. The Bible is a compilation of thousands of codices and pieces, sometimes fragments, written in many ancient languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Syriac).  Sure, big chunks of the Bible are found in the four great uncial codices:  Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus.  Then there’s the Dead Sea Scrolls.  But not a single one of them are the Bible, are they?

And then there’s the dirty little complicated secret of the biblical canon.  Some books got in, some were rejected.  Some are in one Bible, not in another.

If you didn’t watch it, let me sum it up for you. Bill Nye used science, proven facts, and logic to make his arguments. He explained  radiometric dating, bedrock layers, tree rings, the expansion of the universe, evolutionary patterns of animals, technological advancements of ships, common sense and all sorts of scientific data which has been proven by some of best and brightest over many years. Continue reading »

Republican Craziness Continues-Biking Bad for the Environment

 Featured, Legislature, Politics  Comments Off on Republican Craziness Continues-Biking Bad for the Environment
Mar 052013
 

Finally, the Republican craziness rears its ugly head somewhere besides Florida and Virginia. This time, it is Washington State Representative, Ed Orcutt (Republican), who’s firing the next shot in the Republican war on science. Orcutt recently argued that bicycling is equally bad for the environment as driving cars, because when we bike, we breathe out CO2. Wow! The craziness is strong in this one.

Bicycle Riders in Seattle, WA

And here are some folks adding to global warming

As noted at Americablog, “Republicans generally hate cyclists.  Since heaven forbid anyone exercise, or use roads in a manner that actually decreases the pollution impact.  Cyclists are socialists, you see, and simply must be destroyed.” Orcutt was responding to a question about a tax he wants to impose on bicyclists, and said:

“Also, you claim that it is environmentally friendly to ride a bike. But if I am not mistaken, a cyclist has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride.”

Scarier still is that Orcutt is the top Republican on the Transportation Committee.

What’s truly sad, as noted in that same article at Americablog is that, “Orcutt isn’t the fringe of the GOP, he is the GOP.”

Chris at Americablog notes the following examples of the GOP divorce from reality:

It seems to get worse daily. As commenter noted, “Yes, the GOP has a ‘crazy’ problem, but they have an even more serious one. An “embrace of ignorance” problem. They don’t even bother to try to be rational or present facts to support their positions anymore. They just make up shit and assert that it’s true, even when it’s objectively false and patently ridiculous.”

Let Corporations Vote?

 Featured, Legislature, Politics, Science  Comments Off on Let Corporations Vote?
Feb 252013
 

corporations-people-texas-execute7Apparently, some Republicans didn’t get the memo from Gov. Bobby Jindal about not being the “stupid party.” Because if you live in Montana, you can thank state Rep. Steve Lavin (R) for  taking the Supreme Court’s misguided notion that “corporations are people” to new heights of stoopid. Lavin introduced a bill to allow corporations to vote in local elections. Under Lavin’s bill, under the proposal, “if a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote.”

But apparently Lavin’s not the only Republican not checking his email from Gov. Jindal. Idaho State Senator, and Chairperson of the Senate’s Education Committee, John Goedde (R) introduced a bill requiring that all high school students, to graduate, must read Ayn Rand’s, “Atlas Shrugged.” Goedde was asked by the Idaho Spokesman-Review why he picked that book. At least his partisanship was on full display when he said, It ““made my son a Republican.” He went on to add, “well, he’s not a practicing Republican. But it certainly made him a conservative.”

And just for the record, Ms. (all about personal responsibility) Rand drew her Social Security payments and Medicare.

Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (R) has decided his fellow lawmakers shouldn’t even be allowed to  propose gun control regulation. Leara has proposed legislation that would make it a felony for “any member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” Continue reading »

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