blueollie

Halloween Eve 2007

Workout notes 3 mile easy walk, yoga, 3 miles easy back home. Things are coming together; I felt good the whole way. It is almost as if this weekend’s long, gentle walk has made me high.

During my pre-yoga walk (when it was still dark) I saw a large raccoon on the trail.

Social/Politics

I found many interesting articles out there; here are but a few of them:

Religion/Kooks/Woos

The United States: still “a woo friendly” country as more people believe in ghosts than approve of President Bush!

True, I am glad the people disapprove of Bush…but ghosts?

Put Conrad, a homemaker from Hampton, Va., firmly in the camp of the 34 percent of people who say they believe in ghosts, according to a pre-Halloween poll by The Associated Press and Ipsos. That’s the same proportion who believe in unidentified flying objects — exceeding the 19 percent who accept the existence of spells or witchcraft.

Forty-eight percent believe in extrasensory perception, or ESP. But nearly half of you knew we were about to tell you that, right?

Conrad, now 40, lived in Syracuse, Ind., when her family was scared from the house they rented.

“It kind of creeped you out,” she recalled this week. “I needed to get us out.”

To put the roughly one-third who believe in ghosts and UFOs in perspective, it’s about the same as, in recent AP-Ipsos polls, the 36 percent who said they are baseball fans; the 37 percent who said the U.S. made the right decision to invade Iraq; and the 31 percent who approve of the job President Bush is doing.

A smaller but still substantial 23 percent say they have actually seen a ghost or believe they have been in one’s presence, with the most likely candidates for such visits including single people, Catholics and those who never attend religious services. By 31 percent to 18 percent, more liberals than conservatives report seeing a specter.

I could have done without reading that last sentence. :)

But at least most Republicans believe in creationism and most Democrats support evolution. Scroll midway down.

At least many are not that enthusiastic about “faith”; some take a “consumer approach” to their religion.

which, I suppose, isn’t all bad if one takes the approach that religion is supposed to serve humanity. But then again, sometimes, you need to hear what you don’t want to hear.

Of course, there are us unbelievers; many of us started life as being very devout. In my case, I found myself being shocked at how primitive and barbaric the Old Testament was (mass murders, jealous deity, a deity who couldn’t deal with iron chariots!) I also found myself asking “do I believe in this nonsense” every time I recited something. Eventually, I had to admit that the answer was “no”, even though I saw some usefulness in prayer, meditation, and having a main myth as a paradigm for life.

Of course, the pious kooks have not gone away.

See the video here.

Of course, even the kooks are willing to attack religion, so long is it isn’t theirs. There is this evil “Islamofacist” enemy that the wingnuts rail against.

Someone had to say it; I’m just glad it was Paul Krugman.

[T]here isn’t actually any such thing as Islamofascism — it’s not an ideology; it’s a figment of the neocon imagination. The term came into vogue only because it was a way for Iraq hawks to gloss over the awkward transition from pursuing Osama bin Laden, who attacked America, to Saddam Hussein, who didn’t. And Iran had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 — in fact, the Iranian regime was quite helpful to the United States when it went after Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies in Afghanistan.

Beyond that, the claim that Iran is on the path to global domination is beyond ludicrous. Yes, the Iranian regime is a nasty piece of work in many ways, and it would be a bad thing if that regime acquired nuclear weapons. But let’s have some perspective, please: we’re talking about a country with roughly the G.D.P. of Connecticut, and a government whose military budget is roughly the same as Sweden’s. […]

Mike Huckabee, whom reporters like to portray as a nice, reasonable guy, says that if Hillary Clinton is elected, “I’m not sure we’ll have the courage and the will and the resolve to fight the greatest threat this country’s ever faced in Islamofascism.” Yep, a bunch of lightly armed terrorists and a fourth-rate military power — which aren’t even allies — pose a greater danger than Hitler’s panzers or the Soviet nuclear arsenal ever did.

(via Crooks and Liars)

True, Al Qeada IS our enemy (Sunni), and we should fight them. But there are many different kinds of Islamic militant groups and many of these have very different ends. There is Hamas (Palestinian Sunni Muslim group opposing Israel) and Hezbolla (Shite organization in Lebanon)

Fred Thompson Ok, I am becoming less scared of this guy by the moment. But he is still loads of fun; evidently he doesn’t know the difference between “gay marriage” and “civil unions” or what states have done on this matter:

Freddie’s trouble started when he was asked if he would support a federal civil unions law. (Does that sound like a trick question to you?)

The comical candidate responded: “Soviet Union?”

“No, civil unions,” replied the New Hampshire resident.

“Oh. No, I would not be in support of that,” said Grandpa Fred.

Freddie’s trouble continued when he elaborated. The clownish candidate did not appear to understand the difference between civil unions and same-sex marriage. Thompson answered the question as if the two are one and the same. Fred’s response also indicated that he had no knowledge of the legal status of civil unions in New Hampshire, or anywhere else for that matter.

In short, the ‘aw shucks’ candidate confused soviet unions, er, I mean civil unions with same-sex marriage and proceeded to get it all wrong.

Concord Monitor:

[Fred Thompson] stumbled over a question about a federal civil unions bill, which he said he would not support.

He blamed courts for compelling states to allow same-sex marriage or civil unions and criticized judges’ interpretations that the constitutions in those states required it.

“The controversy that is before us is basically, so far, a judge-made controversy,” he said. “No state governor has signed off and introduced legislation on the state level that has endorsed marriage between two people of the same sex.”

Actually, New Hampshire passed a bill legalizing civil unions earlier this year, without a court ruling requiring lawmakers to do so. Gov. John Lynch signed the bill June 1, giving same-sex couples the same “rights, responsibilities and obligations” as married couples. The law will go into effect Jan. 1.

Of course Huckabee isn’t much of a threat either, but it is so much fun to tweak his followers! :)

By the way, the last Thompson post was from the Tennessee Guerilla Women, who also sent a link to a cool “what kind of liberal are you” quiz.

Finally, Citizens Against Hate linked to a cool blog which I added to my blogroll.

Here are a couple of articles that I found there:

they discuss the death of a young African American in a penal bootcamp and the public’s reaction to it:

[...]When Martin Lee Anderson was murdered by the seven guards and a nurse at the Panama City, Florida boot camp I was taken aback by the number of painfully insensitive comments coming from people in the white community. The cover up that ensued after his murder started with the county coroner attributing his death to a latent sickle cell trait despite the fact that the guards were seen on video standing around Mr. Anderson and beating him. The guards even confessed to shoving ammonia tablets up his nose and holding his mouth shut in order to suffocate the young man and gain his compliance.

But what was more troubling was the fact that so many people with a white mindset were actually celebrating because the juvenile judicial system had taken another one of our black children out of the picture before he had the opportunity to become another thug terrorizing America. So many good white people are so afraid of Mr. Anderson and the potential trouble from “his kind” that the emerging thought process can be summed up as any time a black child is killed society should rejoice. One good white Christian said that they prayed for Martin Anderson’s soul to be redeemed from his evil ways so that he can get into heaven, but they still considered his death a good start for something positive for our national community.

It’s no longer enough for white mindsets that our black youth are given a separate and less than equal sorry form of American public education. It is no longer enough that our black children have a greater chance to be impoverished and grow up in single family homes. It is no longer enough that black children receive less than adequate medical care. White people in America now party when black children are wrongfully killed by a system that refuses to have compassion for the black community. [...]

You see that a bit here as well. Consider our local “jaywalking” incidents. We’ve had cases where many (mostly minority) kids were walking to school in the middle of the street even when sidewalks were available. They just took it over and made it difficult for cars to pass though.

People reacted negatively to that (of course, as did I). But in my opinion, this was more of a “why those &^%$ so-and-sos, they don’t respect our society” type of thing. Yes, we have university students who jaywalk (in a different way) and these people (who are older and should know better) were sometimes given tickets. But much of this was “oh my, doing this in the dark might get you killed” type of reaction.

In other words, one reaction had a bit of (tough) love to it; the other had no love at all.

Another article from this blog had a funny line:

But everybody in America knows that the black person wants to do nothing more than to sit at home and look for a handout. A lot of people are more than happy to make the assumption that black people are looking to sit on their ass at home, collect a fat welfare checks that they use to pay for the brand new Cadillac they use to drive to the welfare office, stay in their section eight government funded home, and watch Jerry Springer episodes on their flat screen forty seven inch liquid crystal television with high definition. Black people are too ethically, morally, socially, and intellectually challenged to even try to earn a living. But somehow, black people are clever enough to cheat the government out of thousands of dollars and live life as royalty in the urban ghetto.

Hmmm, cheating the government out of thousands (millions?) of dollars: isn’t that what Halliburton and Blackwater do? :)

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October 30, 2007 - Posted by | creationism, hillary clinton, Peoria/local, politics/social, religion, science, walking

5 Comments »

  1. Pop quiz, Ollie. Is Halliburton in Iraq?

    Comment by vonster | October 31, 2007 | Reply

  2. Don’t look it up just answer right now. If they’re not then you’re just spewing crap, right??

    Comment by vonster | October 31, 2007 | Reply

  3. I didn’t look up the answer, but it is my understanding that their contracts are with the government to do work on the larger bases (e. g., Saudi Arabia).

    But what does that have to do with their “no bid” status? ;)

    I am glad that you are visiting, but please ding me for what I actually said and not for what you wish that I had said.

    (ps: can you name Democratic senators that helped Halliburton get major projects that had nothing to do with war? I can. And no, these are NOT DINOS)
    :)

    Comment by blueollie | October 31, 2007 | Reply

  4. Umm KBR is working in Iraq. Halliburton spun them off some time ago. At least find the correct focus for your hate.

    Comment by vonster | November 1, 2007 | Reply

  5. Actually, if you read what I said, I didn’t say Iraq. But I guess that one Arab country is the same as another to a wingnut. :)

    http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/

    Comment by blueollie | November 1, 2007 | Reply


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