Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pic Post



I really hope this one ends badly for the folks of Westboro Baptist. Those hate mongering assholes have been screwing around at funerals asking to get stomped for years. If there is any ambiguity in my statement I really hope a mob of angry Slayer fans inflict seriously bodily harm to every member of this protest old enough to legally drive a car.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombers Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

Somebody thinks they might be part of a sleeper cell. From what I can tell their actions were not particularly sophisticated and it doesn't seem there was much of an exfil/ hiding out plan. That makes me think they were probably acting alone or with minimal support at some point but who knows. It will be more interesting as information trickles out over the coming weeks.

That the motivations are presumably fundamentalist Islam but they grew up in the US is troubling. If they had moved here 3-4 years ago it would be a bit easier to understand their radicalization. Guess as Highdesertlivin said this is why (or at least part of it anyway) we carry guns.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For The Good of Society

Spent a lot of time on the road today. Still not sure if I will talk about what came of it but that's not why we are talking now. Part of the time I was listening to talk radio. Down in the hinter boonies we do not get talk radio so it was a nice break from my driving staples of NPR or country music.

In any case Laura Ingram was talking about something or another, marriage I think, and the phrase "the good of society" kept coming up. I got to thinking.

Many conservatives complain about how communists liberals want to tax this or regulate that to protect the children. However in the glass house of stone throwing some of those conservatives often of the very religious psuedo theocracy wanting variety flavor want to restrict drugs, gambling, private sexual behaviors, peoples chosen relationships or whatever "for the good of society." Most of these folks both right and left are well meaning and sometimes they are right. I don't think anybody would argue in favor of letting little kids go hungry or about the many benefits of heroine use. However that is not the point.

To me people wanting to use force of law as a way to restrict my rights and freedom are folks I have a problem with. If they have a legitimate point those folks can argue or persuade people to go with it but forcing them to do what you want is not acceptable. It doesn't matter if they are holding a copy of the communist manifesto, a Koran or a Bible. This is simply not something that should be condoned.

I urge you all to resist the desire to force your viewpoints onto others even though it is tempting. Sooner or later a sub group you fall into will be targeted. In my humble opinion thinking they get to boss others around but that others do not have the right to do the same thing to them when the shoe is on the other foot makes one a hypocrite.

Edited to include:

My intent here is not so much to discuss my socially liberal (though not without consequences) beliefs. The point I am trying to make is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Saying everybody should stay out of your homeschooling, raw milk, unlicensed/ improperly zoned business, religion as used in the most expansive possible way practices, guns and such but you can tell other people what substances they are allowed to partake in, how they can recreate and who they can spend their life with with is ridiculous. Conservatives telling others what to do to make a better society is equally offensive as liberals doing the exact same thing for the same reasons. It's the classic childlike everything I think is right and everything I do not like is wrong.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Freedom To Make Bad Decisions


Alternate Title: Libertarians and Puritans
I am typically a pretty concrete writer. I write about things I have done, things I am doing or the like. I am far more likely to be talk about how to pack a bag, ways to get in shape or how to improve your finances than some philosophical or political stuff. These are my strengths and the things that typically interest me so I play to them. Today we are going in a whole other direction. I posted a picture recently (probably a couple weeks or even months by the time this posts)that basically said if you don’t want people telling you what to do don’t try to tell them what to do and it brought a lot of discussion. I replied to folks in the comments section but it got me thinking.

The thing about freedom is that it isn’t just about good decisions.  In fact I would argue that it is mostly about bad ones. Also there is the thorny issue of which omnipotent power decides what exactly constitutes a good decision and what gives them the right to tell anybody else what to do.

Everywhere you go there is some darn politician or expert who wants to be able to tell people what to do. Now I like experts. I have a money person, a weight training person, a conditioning person, some tactical training people, etc. The thing is that I choose to solicit their advice and follow it if I want to, for as long as I want to. If someone wants to tell me what I HAVE TO DO that is an issue for me.

Who the hell do they think they are? Why are they so inherently superior to me that they can tell me what I have to do? If their argument was actually convincing I will probably have gone along in the first place and they wouldn’t need a regulation or a law at all. I don’t think anybody has my best interests at heart more than I do.  More to the point if I am doing something that isn’t clinically and scientifically perfect but I really enjoy it then why should they get to tell me that I can’t? It could be smoking or drinking or eating ice cream or whatever. If I want to spend my time and money on something to try and bring some enjoyment or happiness to my life it really isn’t anybodies business.

Look at the First Amendment to our Constitution, freedom of speech and religion and a bunch of other stuff. You never hear about a freedom of speech case where a nice woman said something polite to her friend. Freedom of speech is about Larry Flint offending just about everyone and the Westborough Baptist “church” spewing ignorant  hate at military funerals. These things are offensive to any reasonable person.

Not many people would like to have Larry Flint over for Sunday family dinner.  Pretty much everybody hates that “church” full of idiotic hate mongers. If 20 rough men with ax handles showed up at their next funeral protest and cracked some skulls I would be fine with that, and I don’t think I would be alone.  The thing is that the freedoms built into our governmental protect those idiots. This is a good thing. It is built on centuries of accumulated customs and philosophy which culminated in the great nation of America. Really if you want to get deeper I believe these rights come from God.

The point of freedom is that you can do what you want unless it infringes on somebody else directly. Not “well studies show” or “second order effects of” or “society” but directly. Obviously Rapist Jim’s desire to rape doesn’t allow him to infringe on Suzie’s right not to be raped. More to the point as long as I am not threatening, menacing or vulgar I can tell anybody what I think of them at any time.

 I can quit my job and start hitchhiking around the country like some 50’s beatnik. If I could physically do it I could smoke a whole carton of cigarettes in a day. I can wear my shoes on the wrong feet and tap dance in the rain. I can borrow money I know I shouldn’t for stuff I don’t need.

All of the things I talked about are stupid. Quitting my job to chain smoke cigarettes and hitchhike around the country tap dancing in the rain while running up a huge visa bill would be stupid all around. The point simply put is that it is my life and I am free to do with it what I wish, good, negligible or bad.

I can bust my hump, save like crazy, start a business, invest wisely and then make huge money or I can get a shack in the woods, have a still and some chickens and get drunk in a hammock during the summer and a recliner in the winter.  It is my life to do with what I wish.

The thing about freedom is that it doesn’t mean freedom from consequences. I am free to tell a 6’8” 400 pound biker covered in prison tattoos that black leather and motorcycles are just a sad cry for help based on impotence, homosexual tendencies and mommy issues but I doubt that would end well. I am free to tell my boss what I really think of him and after that I would be free to find a new job. I am free to eat McDonalds twice a day every day if I want, and I will become obese and probably have a heart attack at 50. I am free to blow my earnings on gambling knowing full well the odds aren’t in my favor and if I play long enough losing is a virtual certainty but I have to deal with the after affects. I am free to neglect my family and start chasing cocktail waitresses but that is going to cause issues in my marriage and likely I would be doing it from a half empty studio apartment before long.

For everything we do there is a consequence or more accurately numerous ones. There are first, second and third order affects of everything we do if you look hard enough. Take enough simple little decisions like charging a nice dinner out or hitting the gym and skipping desert and they add up to huge things. 

To say you believe in freedom except for this that and the other thing doesn’t work. Really that is just “I am right and you are wrong”. To think that everything you believe is good should be allowed and everything you think is bad should be banned is the most egotistical and idiotic political philosophy out there. My son thinks that way. He will move things or throw them to suit his desires. He will hit people or try to move them or harass them if they don’t want to/ can’t pick him up or otherwise are bothering him. Whatever he wants is right and what he doesn’t is wrong. This is ok because he is a one year old and thinks the world revolves around him. Over the next few years he will grow out of this. I expect it from him so I don’t think it is too much to ask of adults.

That reminds me of the Puritans who fled England because they were persecuted and ultimately came to America, where they promptly persecuted anyone who didn’t believe exactly what they did. I find the comparison between the modern religious right and the pilgrims to be striking. They have strong beliefs and think they should be able to force you to have the same beliefs. Moreover they think they have the right to punish you if you do not have those beliefs. At least the pilgrims went to a new place to force everybody to act like them (though they did it because they were persecuted back home) unlike the religious right who think they can make everyone act like them wherever they are. 

My family is very socially conservative. This is for a lot of reasons but it boils down to us believing it is the right way to live. Other than the various sects that say we can’t have booze and have to do other wacky things we live a lifestyle that meshes quite well with conservative republican/ Christian standards. That isn’t the issue. The issue is that we choose to live this way; we don’t do it because somebody told us to or wants to compel us.

I have realized recently that I can’t even call myself a Republican with a straight face anymore even though I may (or may not) vote for them. There are probably some republicans who are not fascists or puritans but they have been keeping a low profile for awhile now. Is it too much to ask for a candidate who isn’t a shameless whore to big business (crony capitalism, not free markets) or an evangelical who wants to force me to live by his particular religious code?

I just don’t see why anybody has the right to tell me what to do with my own life, money and body and by logical extension I don’t get to tell them what to do with theirs. When it comes to some religious issues I do not see why it is any different. I’m certainly not going to live under Islamic law and someone who is a Buddhist or an atheist shouldn’t have to live under a set of rules they don’t agree with. Also I tend to think that religious issues get sorted out elsewhere.

I have a live and let live philosophy about other people’s beliefs and ways of life. This extends from whacky religious nut jobs and vegans all the way people into weird sex stuff, drug users and the like.  To paraphrase Commander Zero “I don’t really care if people have gay orgies while snorting a mountain of cocaine on top of rocket launchers as long as they do it on their own land and kids are not involved.”  It doesn’t mean that I approve of it, just that it is none of my business and as such I stay out of it. We all have to bite our tongues now and then but we get to do what we want, seems like a fair trade off to me. Also life is short and if a person thinks something will make them happy then I wish them the best.

In closing the freedom to make bad decisions is something I firmly believe in.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gay Marriage

I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Western culture and traditions as well as the bible make that pretty clear to me. I also believe in Glock handguns, single malt whisky, cheap light domestic beer, bacon, salt and vinegar potato chips and catsup. I do not believe in car loans, Smith and Wesson (though the new M and P series shows some real promise) or Ruger semi automatic pistols, gin, miller genuine draft, BBQ potato chips or pickles. That is just fine. The reason it is fine that nobody really cares what I think. The great thing about America is that you can (or could/ should) be able to do whatever it is that makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else.

Doesn’t anybody have anything more important to worry about? Between terrorism, fuel prices, the destruction of the middle class, economic collapse, the creep of socialism into our lives and numerous other issues can’t we apply our time, energy and resources into more useful areas?

To me if consenting adults individual happiness and freedom comes in conflict with other people’s conceptual displeasure and desire to impose control on others that is always a non decision. So somebody doesn’t like the idea of gays being “married”, why the heck should they get to tell other people what to do? Lots of holy rollers (mostly the annoying Church of the Holy Visa TV types) will be up in arms but so what. They don’t get to tell people what to do. This isn’t Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, it is America and one of the many reasons our country is great is that we have freedom of religion.

If I choose to be a part of their church and consider them important/ wise/ whatever I will listen but otherwise I will ignore them. As far as I am concerned some other Church of the Holy Visa type has about as much right to tell me what to do as an Iranian Mullah. If you haven’t picked up on it they have no right to tell me, or anyone else in America what to do. If they really want to make me do something they can come to my house and give it a try.

The really dumb thing about this is that gay people exist and preventing them from getting married doesn’t change that. Gay people aren’t being strait now because they can’t get married. Unlike prohibition two or prostitution or gambling not even the most deluded totalitarians or religious zealots can pretend this affects the gay population of the US in any way. It is not like dudes who like dudes are living strait lives now because they can’t legally marry or strait people will become gay because it is legal to get married to somebody of the same sex.

For anybody that wants to go down the sanctity of marriage road I have three things to say: Kim Kardashian, internet ministerial services and Reality Television.

Next someone will inevitably mention the good of society or decaying morality or something like that. Those are what people say when they want to control other people’s behavior and can’t come up with a good argument for it. Preventing people in long term stable relationships from getting married in the eyes of the law is sure doing a bang up job of keeping up the sacred institution that is marriage; reference previous exhibits A-C: Kim Kardashian, internet ministerial services and Reality Television. Rubbish is what I say to that argument.

I do not see why the state is involved in marriage anyway. My marriage is between myself, Wifey, our families, whatever church we choose and God. The states only involvement is that I had to pay them for permission. (On a side note it amuses me in a sad way that it is harder to get a drivers license than a marriage license.) If someone else’s partner, family and church say two dudes can get hitched why should I care? What grounds do I have for it being any of my business anyway? Unless one of them is a kid or being coerced I say none at all. Seriously if people think something will make them happy, maybe for the rest of their lives I wish them the best.

If I were the dictator in chief with sweeping powers to solve these sorts of things my solution would be as follows. The government would no longer be involved with marriage. Aside from minimal record keeping I am not sure why it is at all now. It would from now on only certify civil unions. Any consenting adult can get a civil union with any other consenting adult or adults they wish. In a legal sense civil unions have the same powers and protections as marriages have currently. Now if you want to get married and a church or person with access to the internet and $20 wants to marry you then go for it. (Why somebody needs a license to marry people anyway? Especially since you can get one over the darn internet, that however is a whole nother rant.)
Personally I wouldn’t recognize Bob, Jill and Tom’s marriage at the church of the holy threesome but that is my right. They could in turn feel free to think my marriage is a crock and disregard it. This is after all a free country. Just leave people alone to live their lives.
Flame On!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions: January Update

I've decided that instead of just randomly reviewing my progress and changes in goals I will do it monthly. Accomplished goals will be lined through and changes/ additions and commentary will be in italics.

People:


1. Maximize family time. I think spending at least a hour of good undivided family time a day is doable on all but the longest work days. More on weekends. This one is coming along pretty well.

2. Take better care of myself. I need to work on getting at least 6 hours of sleep even when I get off work late. Also I need to eat more regularly (I have started to get busy and just not eat) and like most people could also consume more green stuff. Find a suplimentary (to regular PT) exercise program that I can really stick with. I got busy and this goal sort of ebbed/ flowed and then just slipped away over the past year. I'm not in bad shape but could definitely be in better shape.

3. Better prioritize tasks and be more efficient.

Money:

4. Become debt free- Should be done in by the end of March

5. Fully fund ROTH IRA's for Wifey and I.

5.1 Learn about how to analyze and value individual stocks.

6. Add at least $500 (ideally $1,000) to our emergency fund.

7. Buy some silver. It is somewhat flexible but am leaning toward 90% coinage. I hesitate to say an exact amount because as I noted last year price swings change those goals from being realistic to unattainable.

8. Start funding Walkers college education.

Of course we will also continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills and Education

9. Study insurgent/ guerilla/ partisan tactics. This has the added benefit of being 'red hat' stuff for work.

10. Get better at first aid/ trauma stuff. May get moving on this next week.

11. Shave with a straight razor. Sharpen it also. (implied task, get a straight razor)

12. Work on making antennas for world band radio’s and tuning into a variety of stations around the world.

13. Get better at using Excell. Particularly writing formulas to get the most out of what the program is capable of. This will help me with work, blog stuff, preps and life.

14. Learn more about IED construction, emplacement and use.

15. Read a couple of significant books. I wouldn't say classic but but old, noteable type stuff. In particular Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is on my list. Also read the entire Bible.

Alternates- Skills are an area where things seem more prone to changing due to factors beyond my control. I decided to come up with a few alternatives against that scenario.

Get better at making flat bread

Learn some HTLM

Get better with Powerpoint

Things:

Family/ Life:

16. Probably going to purchase another vehicle. A fairly low mile mid sized SUV with a decent sized 6 cylinder engine (3.5Lish or above) and 4WD. It goes without saying that we will pay cash.

Prep Stuff:

I did a couple of things differently here. I broke stuff down by category. Also if you notice there are numbers after the goals. Those numbers are a tenative plan on what order I will acquire this stuff.

Force Protection Stuff-

17. 1x bullet proof vest. Probably class II or IIIA concealable type-2

18. 3x gas masks-9

Firearm Stuff-

19. Folding stock for my AK and a US palm grip-1

20. 500 rounds of .38 special-5.1

21. 500 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot-5.3

22. 1 case 7.62x39 hollow points-5.2

23. AK spare parts-11

24. Buy more mags. In particular a few more Glock happy sticks and a half dozen each for the AR and AK. I am not in a bad place but if I happen to have a couple extra C notes lying around in the late fall this is where they will go- 12 This one might just have to get bumped up in priority with all the shenannigans that have been going on recently.

Food and Water-

25. 4x Berkley black filters-3

26. 1x Katadyn replacement filter-7

27. Nice solar oven-4

Energy and communication-

28. Bigger and better solar trickle charger (folding mat type)-10

29. Compact world band radio-6

Random

30. Get 2 spare Cold Steel folding knives (my EDC) and a leatherman for a rainy day-8. I actually got a Gerber at no cost from work which lets me make a leatherman I already have my primary backup multi tool.

I would have accomplished a couple other goals by now but with me deploying and Wifey going home we have so much happening that I am holding off on doing much of anything. For the immediate future I am just going to keep my life simple and hold cash. At some point when we both get settled that may change. Due to this not much will happen in terms of stuff for awhile.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Voluntary Simplicity and Creamy Ranch Pork Chops

Wifey reads blogs also. She reads blogs about Housewifery, which incidentally is a phrase I coined today, simple living, doing things cheaply and the like. She saw the recipe for Creamy Ranch Pork Chops and immediately thought they would be great.  Creamy  and Ranch are adjectives which we like in a meal. Short of cheesy and sauce it doesn't get much better. Well maybe cheesy saucy creamy ranch but you can't be too greedy with these things.

Sunday is Wifeys day off so I do the cooking. Generally it is something easy but I have been trying to get back into practice recently. Also the pork loin was in use or lose status so I cooked this meal today. It is really pretty easy. Make rice, cook pork chops, mix and heat up sauce, pour sauce onto meat, cover and let cook then serve. With a bit of canned corn and some home made french bread it made for a delightful dinner.

Anyway we got to talking about the blog where the recipe came from which is called Frugal and Simple Living. It is written by a young house wife. After graduating college she and her husband both got normal jobs. Then they decided to see how her being at home worked. Shortly thereafter he quit his job and went to work at their church for a significantly decreased salary. They live very frugally and simply on his modest salary. They seem happy with the decision.

The women who blog about serious Housewifery, stuff like cloth diapers, making food from scratch and the like tend to be quite conservative and almost always devoutly religious. Their politics or religion do not detract from the interesting observations, experiences and lessons. The only reason I mention it is to note a distinct trend.

Anyway Frugal and Simple got me thinking about the concept of voluntary simplicity or its extreme gentile poverty. I am a big fan of the idea. To each their own but I don't give a damn about keeping up with the neighbors. When someone else sees a neighbors shiny new BMW and thinks success I see it and think huge car loan. This is even more plain in military communities where you have a very good idea what somebody makes.

In our own way we practice voluntary simplicity. I earn a decent living and we live well below our means. We indulge a bit in travel and "date nights" but otherwise live pretty cheaply and simply. We take the leftover money and use it to make our lives better. A little bit at a time things are coming together for us. We saved an emergency fund and purchased a new to us vehicle and now are paying off my student loan at an accelerated rate. After this is done we will save a down payment for a modest home. We will then pay off said home at an accelerated rate.

I have a couple concerns with voluntary simplicity. My first concern is people who practice voluntary simplicity often live right to the edge of their means. If your normal expenses are 95 percent of your income there is no wiggle room for life's little unpleasant surprises. It interests me that some folks talk about how those who earn 100k a year and spend 98k are fools just waiting for disaster; while they earn 20k and need $19,995 to keep a roof over their head and food in their stomachs and don't see a similarity. You need a decent gap between what normally comes in and your typical expenses. You need it to deal with life's little surprises and those occasional major life events like job losses or home repairs or the need to fly to Minnesota to help out your aunt who got hit by a truck.

My second concern is about medical insurance and retirement though this is more with the gentile poverty plan than voluntary simplicity at large. Often saving for retirement and having medical insurance are among the first expenses to get cut. To each their own but I would not be comfortable without decent medical insurance. Also I find it interesting in the preparedness community that some folks will have a plan for an EMP but not to pay for a trip to the hospital for a broken arm or whatever.

Also folks who plan for the fall of western civilization but not for supporting themselves in their old age are really missing the mark. Yeah, yeah the world is going to end and you will be so rich with wheat and beans and .22 shells. Those fools who stashed lots of money for retirement will be wishing that instead they had put a grand into wheat and .22 shells like you did. I've heard all that junk before. To be honest every time I hear that line it sounds even more stupid than the first time, and it sounded pretty darn stupid the first time. Get real and start planning for how you will live with dignity in old age should the world not end. Hint hint, it is more likely that you will grow old and need money to live on then the world will go all Mad Max plus also wheat and .22 shells while useful are not the way to go.

Living simply is great. A real added benefit is that if your lifestyle is modest the odds that you can do something you enjoy, versus just chasing a big paycheck, are better. I think this is a great plan provided you keep income a reasonable amount above basic expenses and include medical insurance and retirement into your overall thinking.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Once Upon A Time In Afghanistan

An Afghani talks about how his country used to be. Lots of interesting pictures. Very worth reading.

Interestingly enough my Great Grandfather spent some time in Afghanistan in (I think) the 1950's building roads. My inner cynic does however note that the photographs and information from the article are of a sort of brief renaissance period for the country. Also probably more significant the pictures and information only involve the major cities. By far the majority of the population of Afghanistan is rural and I am not convinced that their lifestyle has ever changed that much. Of course some minor technology has been introduced but the fundamental patterns of life seem to be more or less the same as they have forever.

Take away a bunch of rifles, a truck or two, some radios and maybe a generator or a small scale hydro and I tend to think that a little Afghan village is probably about the same as it was 100, 200 or 500 years ago.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Movie Review: Book of Eli


Today we were at the store for something else and I got Book of Eli. I missed it in the theater and never ended up renting it. This evening we sat down and watched it. To the usual format.

The good: I was really entertained by this movie. Denzel Washington is a great actor and the movie was quite enjoyable. It kept a good pace and had plenty of action. His use of a big (military looking) rechargeable battery to power an Ipod was pretty resourceful. Also Mila Kunis is pretty darn easy on the eyes even in simulated post apocalypse get up.

At one point a goblin noticed the main character had a gun. He said "I bet it is empty, they are all empty these days" or something to that effect.  This is just a good reminder that without ammunition guns are useless. Ammo isn't cheap but it is pretty darn important. Stash at least couple hundred rounds per gun. A case or maybe even two is probably better.

I appreciated that it dealt with the whole Apocalypse thing in a realistic manner. People will do bad things to each other and thinking otherwise is at best idealistic and at worst dangerous.  It was not idealized or sanitized or anything like that. However it dealt with the issue in a way that wasn't vulgar or unnecessarily extreme. A tough balancing act for sure and they executed it well.


The bad: I found the whole situation with water in the book as really unrealistic. Simply put human beings need a certain amount of water every day to live. The exact amount varies based upon conditions but you can not condition yourself to live on less. If memory serves me correctly the US Army tried water rationing and progressively decreasing water consumption in North Africa during WWII with disastrous results. The levels characters seemed to be consuming in the movie were seemingly below the levels needed to sustain life.

The ugly: There wasn't really any ugly.

This movie was pretty much a strait forward action movie with a religious and apocalyptic twist. I am glad it is now part of our collection and look forward to watching it again in the future. You will almost surely enjoy it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Everybody Draw Muhammad Day

Wrote a post to go with this and decided to skip it. The picture really speaks for itself.

Tomorrow I will draw Muhammad.

The New Supreme Court

With the nomination of Elena Kagan to the SCOUS, for the first time, we might have a Court without a single Protestant... Or will we? According to CNN, 6 Catholics + 3 Jews = 9 Protestants. According to CNN, Catholics and Jews think the same as Protestants, so it is really a Protestant court.

This is bullshit. Now, I am not Jewish, but I am a Catholic, and I can say that Catholics are not Protestants. To begin, Protestants focus on individual systems of belief. Each individual reads the Bible, and comes to his or her own determination of what it means, and what lessons are to be learned. Catholics differ in two regards here. First, Catholics read the Bible, but also look to dogma and tradition. Second, the Holy Mother Church sets guidelines for interpretation, with the Pope having final say over theological arguments.

I don't need to remind people of the history between Catholics and Protestants, let alone the history between Christians and Jews. Basically, anyone saying that Catholics and Protestants are the same ought to spend a weekend in Northern Ireland.

Now lets look at the Court. Stevens is the only Protestant. He is on the far left frienge of interepretation, feeling unbound by stare decisis (tradition) or by rules of interpretation (dogma). At the other end of the spectrum on the Court are the Textualists, and Originalists. This is composed of Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Roberts, all Catholics. They are strict observers of tradition, and dogma.

It should be noted that this is not a totally accurate reflection of the Court. Sotomayor is a Catholic, and is a left winger, much like Stevens. The Jews on the Court tend to also move to the left. However, regardless of where they fall on the spectrum, it is clear that at least the Catholic are not Protestants.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent

Lent is coming up pretty darn quickly. Though not particularly religious (3.5 out of a possible 10) I do practice Lent. Interestingly I started it in college after being inspired by a friend who is a total atheist. It is kind of a good way to practice some self sacrifice and control. Also helps put things in perspective.

This year I have decided to give up coffee. It is not going to be fun.

Ryan and Maggy have a 'Lent Off' every year. I believe it is % based weight loss with cash for the winner. Not sure where the big guy is on turning Lent into a form of gambling by making wagers but in any case.

So yeah I am going to give up coffee.

Monday, February 15, 2010

quote of the day

“Marriage plays an important role in civilizing men. They work harder, longer, more strategically. They spend less time in bars and more time in church, less with friends and more with kin. And they’re happier and healthier.”
-W. Bradford Wilcox

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We've Got a Saint on our Side!

Somehow at a work function we got to talking about Patron Saints. St George is the Patron Saint of the Cavalry which pretty much means Armor these days but pretty much everyone knows that. Also he is on the back of Gold Soverigns which is sort of cool. In any case we got to wondering who the Patron Saint of the Infantry is.

Now it is a couple weeks later and for no reason in particular I decided to look it up. Our Patron Saint is Maurice.
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