Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus everyone! That's right, it's today. Now, in keeping with the time honored tradition, let the airing of the grievances begin. I will start:

John, for saving my life by spraying me down with a fire extinguisher. I would thank you except for the minute detail of there not being a fire. Watch your back...

Mitch, for not getting an elk because you turned into a giant pussy when it got cold. You are an embarrassment to foresters everywhere.

The media, for reporting on science in a manner that does more damage than good and labeling everyone you interview as an "expert" in their field no matter how much of an r-tard they might be.

Jenny McCarthy, for being one of the aforementioned r-tards.

Barrack, Seriously, you can give up the fake christianity thing now. You won.

ERV, Pharyngula, SBM, and Respectful Insolence, for feeding my ADHD by allowing me a new subject with just the click of a mouse.

Jesus, for hating gay people. If you don't, shame on you for not conveying that to your earthly followers.

Pirates, for not being cool pirates like Johnny Depp. The FSM is watching.

God, You are not real and yet you have almost as much power over the world as the ipod does. Amazing but unfair.

Evil Monkey, Leave Chris alone. He's a nice kid.

Add your own grievances in the comments if you like.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Solstice Eve!

You know that feeling you get when you just accidentally put your heel into the squash while simultaneously filling a fermenting bucket from the sink and adjusting the oven temperature with your toe and then you realize that the transfer spigot on your bucket was open? No? Apparently you've never spent a drunken Solstice Eve with the Bowe's. Seriously, the photo evidence is all there below the fold. All this with no Yuri Gagarins (equal parts vodka and citrus/tang flavored Ripit energy drink). We're thinking of you John.

This is our new family tradition. We will spend Solstice eve preparing for our Winter Solstice Party. We bake cookies (stars, suns, moons, trees, darwin fish, flying spaghetti monsters), make food for the party (squash soup and beer bread this year), decorate, and finish up the gifts we've been making. The party this year is going to be a soup buffet, a bonfire, spiced wine, cider, and whatever other drinks we concoct. I've been brewing mead for a while but right now it tastes a bit more like perfume than honey-wine. We have decided that solstice gifts should be home-made or nature related and instead of under the Yule tree they'll be hidden, just as the FSM would wish. We've been decorating a bit too. I collected cedar and balsam bows that we are placing in baskets with lights and cones. They look really cool.

Our Solstice celebration will be nearly identical to many people's christmas celebration but somehow it feels very nice to be celebrating the return of the sun instead of the birth of jesus. We wanted to do something unique for Solstice but it turns out that pretty much every Solstice tradition was already stolen by christians. That's OK, we've come up with our own. We'll still celebrate christmas with the rest of our family but this allows us to have something special that is more in line with our beliefs. Besides, this is not a time to be spiteful.This is a time to reflect on all the good in our lives and the people around us. So, thanks to all of my friends and family for doing your best to accept and understand my views. I love you all.

Oh, it appears that the day of Solstice has arrived as I was writing this. Happy solstice everyone!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Egnor is Wrong = Egnor is Wrong, and "Why I Just Might Need to Fire my Doctor."

Dr. Michael Egnor (that's MD lest the title confuse), a neurosurgeon and ID proponent often refers to evolution as nothing more than a tautology. In all honesty, I didn't even know what that meant until looking it up and even then I wasn't so clear. So, here is one interpretation by MarkCC at Good Math, Bad Math. It's an interesting read if you're curious about tautologies in logic. Read right on down to the bottom and be sure to catch the rant at the end about the death of the author's father before reading below the fold here.

I've been struggling with the idea of firing my doctor and the content at the bottom of that article spells out my reasoning quite well. He doesn't accept evolution. I don't have any personal anecdote like the death of a loved one to harden my resolve but I don't really want to wait for that. I'm just not sure that I'm comfortable with a doctor that doesn't understand the implications of evolution in medicine. It could cause real damage, to me, to my wife, and to my future children.

Now, my doctor may not be quite as off the wall as the one in that story. In fact, I suspect he probably subscribes to some weak form of intelligent design (as though there is a strong form). I would bet that he just refuses to give up on his belief in the magic man in the sky and ID allows him to retain the god hypothesis while accepting that evolution is real. He's really a pretty good doctor. I would bet that he is more than ready to explain the evolution of bacteria and antibiotic resistance. Just to be sure though, I think we will have this conversation at my next check up. And if he can't give me reasonable answers, well, he's fired.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marriage (măr'ĭj): The Legal Union Of A Man And As Many Women As He Can Afford.

Yep, more on same-sex marriage, or gay marriage, or gayrriage. We all know by now that the fundies think the institution of marriage is sacred and has been defined as one man and one woman for thousands of years (at least Mike Huckabee thinks this). I call Bullshit. Lisa Miller does too, in a Newsweek cover story. She quite accurately points out that polygamy (technically polygyny I think) was rather common in the bible.

Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists.
Also noted are some of the more ridiculous rules layed out in the bible. Some of my favorites (not necessarily mentioned in Lisa's story): stoning one's non-virgin wife, proper blood sacrifice rituals, and the fact that rabbit meat and shellfish are abominations and should not be eaten. Curiously, though man on man lovin' is expressly forbidden, nothing much is really mentioned about women. Apparently god digs that too. Daily Kos picked up on an especially entertaining comment defining marriage using biblical standards found below the fold.

A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)

B. Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)

F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

G. In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36).

Now, how about we get over this "traditional definition of marriage" bullshit. Remember, there was a time not so long ago that the definition of marriage included a man and his servile wife of the same race (color). Does that seem appropriate? Our children will look back at these discussions and be embarassed in the same way that we are embarassed about the rampant racism of our recent history (not that we've conquered that yet either).

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

John Stewart Takes Huckabee to Task on Gay Marriage.

I appreciate that Mike Huckabee is willing to show up on the Daily Show. I'm not really sure what he thought he would gain considering the audience though. I'm sickened and embarrassed by Prop 8 and by the level of homophobia in the United States these days but I think I may have a fix for the problem.

Why don't we just remove the entire concept of marriage from government. We will change the little piece of paper that says two people are joined together as one into a civil union for everyone. Everyone. Not just homosexuals. Then everyone can be equal. We will all receive the same tax breaks, get the same health care coverage, enjoy the same divorce process, and complain equally about the sex not being so good since the wedding. The question of whether or not the union is "defined" as a marriage can be decided by your church. If your church wants to remain homophobic, and I'm guessing it does, it can grant the right of marriage to heterosexuals only. The right wing fundamentalists can continue to live in the dark ages and the rest of us can get on with our lives. I'm willing to change my marriage to a civil union. It's just a word...like Jesus.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Geography, Apparently Not My Thing.

Go to this link. You will have five minutes to submit answers and come back with a score. I really suck so make beating me your goal and you'll feel good about yourself all day long. I got 51. I think I sat there for the entire last minute unable to answer any more. Post your score in the comments if you'd like to help me feel dumb.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

Damn you PZ for getting all the good stuff first. I don't care. I'm stealing it anyway:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Peter Schiff or Ben Stein?

Peter Schiff any day in my book. I know hindsight is 20-20 but I am getting a chuckle out of this video. Ben and the rest of the "Faux News" financial analysts get to eat their words. Anyone still think the Dow is going to hit 16,000 in 2008? I didn't think so. Hmm...I guess Grandpa was right. He predicted this recession years ago.

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