Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spoken Word Homophobia

This is just...awful, weird and creepy, and full of the usual lies about sexuality. The up camera angles are very 1984. I'm sure the young peoples of the hood were deeply touched. Update: wrong video... Please recommend this post

Mixed Message. Selective Listening

Likewise, we condemn any type of extremism. Of course, what took place was ugly. Offending the Holy Prophet is quite ugly. This has very little or nothing to do with freedom and freedom of speech. This is the weakness of and the abuse of freedom, and in many places it is a crime. It shouldn't take place and I do hope the day will come in which politicians will not seek to offend those whom others hold holy," said Ahmadinejad.
We also believe that this must also be resolved in a humane atmosphere, in a participatory environment and we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason, anywhere in the world.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an interview with the mentally vacant Piers Morgan.

New drinking game: take a shot every time you see the first paragraph quoted on an conservative/atheist blog without the second paragraph.

An acceptable compromise would be to create a blasphemy law with the strict requirement that you must produce the victim for cross-examination.

(Spell check tries to change Ahmadinejad to Madeleine.  They're using some type of soundex algorithm which is tuned to anglo-saxon, latin words.) Please recommend this post

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Motion to examine definition of human being defeated in Commons

Toronto Star:
OTTAWA—A Conservative MP’s pro-life bid to have Parliament study the definition of a human being has gone down to defeat in the House of Commons.
Stephen Woodworth’s motion was voted down 203-91.
Eight cabinet ministers voted in favour of the motion, including Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, government House leader Peter Van Loan and Trade Minister Ed Fast.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had allowed his caucus to vote freely on the issue, but did not vote for it out of concern it would re-open the debate on abortion.
Four Liberals also voted in favour of Woodworth’s motion, while the NDP caucus opposed it.
Somewhere a Bishop is kicking a chair.  Maybe now they can get back to their real job.  Four Liberals voting for an anti-choice anti-woman resolution makes it impossible to take the party seriously on social issues.

And the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women...oh nevermind.


Please recommend this post

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Churchill Bust: Outrage on Demand

Barack Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron discuss a little head.

This story about the sculpture of Winston Churchill given to the White House has so many weird (partisan) angles it would baffle Pythagoras.

No one likes a dirty fork.

Please recommend this post

Calgary Diabetic Pressuring Ab Govt on Promises

A local man suffering from diabetes is hoping a facebook page will start a movement to hold the government accountable.Brent Whitford has dealt with the Type 1 diabetes since he was three years old, and remembers clearly when premier Alison Redford promised to include insulin pumps as part of Alberta Healthcare during her campaign.Whitford says he wants the province to address the promise, and make it clear about where it stands.
Insulin pumps are covered in quite a few places. The funding of front line health care and education is dependent on the price of oil.  Note that overly generous bonuses and severances continue to be awarded to the political layer of health care management regardless of economic forecasts.

In order for the Alberta Budget to be met without a deficit the price of oil, and to a lesser extent natural gas and bitumen, have to rise above a certain level.  This is wholly determined by world markets. But even when the price does rise to a sustainable level it never stays there for too long because it is a cyclical commodity, and of course it's price and demand are outside Alberta's control.  (This cycle will get worse in the future)

You would think the government would treat this with more urgency after creating the expectation just to get elected. After all proper treatment and management of diabetes is a public health issue, and results in less expense to the taxpayer.  Additionally, diseases like diabetes impact the poor more than others.

Politicians bother me the most when they use the hopes and fears of people with real problems to get a few votes.

Facebook is not totally useless. Please recommend this post

Is ‘Jesus’ Wife’ papyrus fragment a forgery?

Stephen Emmel, a professor of Coptology at the University of Muenster who was on the international advisory panel that reviewed the 2006 discovery of the Gospel of Judas, said the text accurately quotes Jesus as saying “my wife.” But he questioned whether the document was authentic.
“There's something about this fragment in its appearance and also in the grammar of the Coptic that strikes me as being not completely convincing somehow,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the conference.
Another participant at the congress, Alin Suciu, a papyrologist at the University of Hamburg, was more blunt.
“I would say it's a forgery. The script doesn't look authentic” when compared to other samples of Coptic papyrus script dated to the 4th century, he said.
It could be a forgery, conveniently passed to a scholar who will create a buzz to raise it's resale value.

Even though there are a limited number of scholars qualified to translate and analyse ancient Coptic, there doesn't seem to be any doubt about the actual words - just doubt about the provenance of the fragment and what if anything, it actually tells us about the historical Jesus.

It's a problem for fundies and literalists because the celibacy of Jesus is the basis for his sinlessness.

All you can really do is follow the scientific and historic evidence as it emerges.  If some orthodoxies get harmed along the way true believers will find new ones.

Please recommend this post

Monday, September 24, 2012

Karaoke Nationalism

Lips Karaoke Calgary, on 10th St SW made the news by putting up a sign which translates as:

"Diaoyu Island belongs to China. Japanese are not welcome."

I've been there a couple of times. What they probably don't realize is that the average Calgarian won't want to go there if they are displaying this kind of hostility to their fellow Canadians.  It's really a bad business move.

The thing about Canada is that we are a country of many cultures and a country of immigrants. Most of us accept that as natural,  except for people like Ezra Levant who has a long list of all the people we should all be hating.

The only way a country like Canada can work is if people put restraints on their geopolitical grievances. In other words, don't bring your ancient feuds, religious or otherwise, into your new country.  In Calgary, atheists, Catholics, Hindus and Muslims all get along relatively well, mainly because of our separation of religion and state, but because of our rights and equalities.  It's not always perfect, but it's not Nigeria either.

I hope they apologize to the Japanese community and take down the sign.

Via News880am

Please recommend this post