Thursday, May 31, 2012

How I Became a Liberal

It may be a surprise to some to learn that I once considered myself a conservative.  I come from a conservative family.  Growing up, Ronald Reagan was our hero.  I was too young to understand anything about politics, but I had a great childhood and I had confidence in my parents and there reasoning (I still do actually, my mother is racing to the left at the moment).  I continued on my conservative bent on through college; fighting off the revelations of reason I was receiving.  As we got into the thick of the Bush administration, and I began to lose arguments badly, I backed off a bit and changed my views to "moderate, with right leanings".  This was really the beginning of the end for my life as a conservative.

 I fought the good fight, but at the end of the day, none of the ammunition that I was provided with by right wing ideology was doing the trick.  Those who I was debating held the high ground on almost every issue.  I began to realize that things I was arguing for weren't convincing me either.  When faced with that kind of cognitive dissonance it seems that the only options that one has are to change your mind about some things or plug your ears and double down.

Ironically, it was a theology professor of mine who told me that an extremist is someone who when they get lost, drives faster.  I am not sure where he got the quote, but it stuck with me, and has always reminded me that we cannot be afraid to change our minds when the facts don't match our world view.  And that is really why I have become the godless liberal I am today, no matter how I tried, I couldn't make reality fit the image I had had of it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Creeps

I just came across this list from the Southern Poverty Law Center at This Week in Christian Nationalism over at Freethought Blogs.  I read through a lot of the profiles.  I don't believe in supernatural monsters; it's these guys that give me the heebie jeebies.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Unco expertise

Someday I think I am going to make something up, just for the heck of it, to see if people will believe it.  Something like, "Want to cure everything that has ever plagued you?  From gum disease to bowl cancer to depression all you have to do is ingest 30 pounds of corn husks a day!"  Then, I will say something like, "big pharma doesn't want you to know about this."  or "The CIA has known about this technique for years, but you know, the CIA.  CIA!"  Finally, I will slap on a "wake up, people." or "Open your eyes."  I haven't decided which, but I sometimes think it would be helpful if I had more face or more palm.  Perhaps both.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bad Art

One thing I find fascinating about art is how subjective it really is.  Two people can look at the same picture and see two different things.  Anyhow, I few weeks ago I was watching the Colbert Report and he talked about this guy Jon McNaughton.  I was able to find a couple of his works online.  The common theme seems to be Obama's deep and unrelenting hatred for America as symbolized by the Constitution.  Subtly is not really one of this guy's strengths as an artist.

Nevertheless, subjectivity can still creep in there.  For example, regarding the piece One Nation Under God shortpacked has quite a different take than McNaughton's clearly spelled out vision.  I think my (least) favorite part of the original is McNaughton's description of the immigrant in front who is stunned by the freedom of religion flowing from Christ.  Really though, it is hard to choose when there are so many things to dislike.  This painting is like what you would expect from an artist whose parents were David Barton and Thomas Kinkade.  You know: crap.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wade in the Water

I have been reading this morning about a TED talk that was not put on the website because the topic was of a partisan nature.   I would like to start off by mentioning that I definitely respect TEDs efforts to not be partisan.  I have also not seen this talk (I am at work now, or I would try and find it or a transcript of it), so I cannot really say much about it.  This censorship may be a gross injustice to the speaker, or perhaps the talk was a hack job full of pigeon holes and ad hominems, or more likely it is somewhere in between.  I can't really say. 

Here is my question, how can one reasonably stay non-partisan when one side clearly rejects reason? For example, global warming is a partisan issue much of the time.   Basic human rights are also often a partisan issue.   Once again, I don't want to accuse TED of too much, and I do admire people who try to remain above the fray of politics, but if you are afraid to ever wade into those waters, you run the risk of losing the ability to say anything at all.

Update: I watched the talk. You can find it on YouTube.  I didn't see anything scandalizing.  Interesting, yes.  Scandalizing, no.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Does Not Equal: Part 1

Embryos != Persons

Small Government != Government telling people who they can marry

The feeling in your "heart" != evidence of anything but your opinion

Science != a religion

Mysterious != Magical

Any others would be appreciated...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Douchery of North Carolina

Well, after not having anything really relevant to write about yesterday, we have a outrage double header today. First, as I posted below, the Republican party is hard at work weeding out anyone with half a brain (or ability/desire to govern).  Now, I find out that North Carolina has passed their discriminatory anti-gay marriage amendment.  I am not sure what they call it, but I will tentatively name it the "There is something that I don't understand and therefor it is wrong and protect the family somehow American patriot amendment."   What a load of horseshit

Two things.  One: it is totally ridiculous that we can decide by a majority vote what rights people in a minority will have.  Not only is it ridiculous, it is scary; very, very scary.  Clearly, if you are not presently in the majority, you have no rights.  You may have privileges, but no rights.  What you thought were your rights were only the good will (and I use the term loosely) of the majority.

Two: Gays and Lesbians were already (profanity omitted) prohibited to get married by North Carolina law.  This isn't defense of marriage, they are on the offense.  Offense of marriage.  That does sound more like what is going on here.

Anyhow, I will leave you with this little thought...first go here and look at the picture.  Next, go here and watch the video.  Apparently, the golden rule applies in traditional marriage.  /snickers 

The Madness of Indiana

I do not always agree with Richard Lugar.  In fact quite often I disagree with the senator from my home state. However, I am sad to see him go out like this as I do have a great amount of respect for him and his willingness to make compromises to get things done.   In a time when more and more politicians are acting like that kid in the store whose parent is not going get them the toy they want, Senator Lugar always seemed to carry himself with dignity.  

With that out of the way, the republican party has lost its mind.  I am not saying they are crazy (we have known that for years).  I am saying they are being idiotic.   This upcoming election is going to decide who controls the hotly contested Senate, and Dick Lugar was a sure thing.  Don't get me wrong, Mourdock has a good advantage in perennially red Indiana, but now Donnelly is actually in the race.  Factor in that Mourdock now looks like he just took out his own grandpa and, who knows, Donnelly might just win it.   Thanks for the opportunity, dorks!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Back again

Alas, vacation is over.  Back to work, and I suppose I should get back to blogging as well.  Anyhow, I haven't really come across that many fresh outrages recently that I wanted to write about.  Maybe I am just getting numb to them.  I did happen upon a fun piece over at Project Reason.  Apparently, the world economy will utterly collapse this summer, and people who believe this will be transformed into superheroes or something.  It is not as much fun as a real end-of-the-world-doom-love-in, but it is fun nevertheless.  After all, the semi-apocalyptic group is led by a guy named de Jesus.  And nobody fucks with the de Jesus.