Dearie me, news from the Simon Wiesenthal Center -- the EU is not only refusing to criticize Arafat in any way (even for that picture of a blond (yes, blond, for all those who persist in thinking it's a white-israel-vs.-dark-palestine race struggle!) Palestinian baby done up like a suicide bomber), but they're also refusing to listen to protest emails! SWC has set up a rerouter to get past their blocker, but still.... Ah, I am so grateful to live in a land with a pretty good amount of freedom of speech! So glad I got out of Europe...
Saturday, June 29, 2002
Friday, June 28, 2002
From the Federalist newsletter:
A new study by the Independent Sector, a non-profit research group, and the National Council of Churches, shows that those who contribute to religious congregations also provide three-quarters of secular charity. In 2000, the study indicates, "religious-giving households" (6 out of 10 American homes) provided 87.5% of secular charitable giving as well. Likewise, regular churchgoers comprise only 29% of the population, but account for almost 70% of monthly hours volunteered to nonprofit organizations.
just goes to demonstrate what I listed below... banning religion will ban public help initiative and will work counter to libertarian ideas...
And, in case you're interested, Bob's grand today :) and coming to see me! :) so thrilled... so thrilled... :)
Am feeling very libertarian at the moment... but only in terms of social organizations (well, and taxes, and "special protection" for various groups of people unable or unwilling to make it on their own, but that's a constant thing)... rereading all the Anne of Green Gables books, written by someone living during the time being described -- it's full of aid societies, people taking care of each other because that's what's done, that's what they feel called by their religion to do, not because Americorps is paying them to or the government is taking 1/2 of their income to do it. Well, Tony Campolo wouldn't like it, because he doesn't like those people being helped to know who's helping them (apparently, they'd feel obliged to be grateful, and that's a bad thing somehow). But I think it's grand. And it happens in some places here (usually in smaller towns, though, where people know each other). Religious-based (usually Christian, occasionally Muslim) prisons do a dang sight better than state run ones; maybe there's something to it. Of course, Matt Yglesias seems to think that when libertarians say, "the state shouldn't take citizens' money to provide all sorts of services," they mean the sentence to continue, "...because we're rich white men and don't think those services should be provided"; but if he'd actually take the time to go talk to any libertarians he'd find out that they want most of those services to be provided, but from local initiative (like those aid societies), not from the federal government with no knowledge of the local situation. True, some libertarians do believe that the government, along with existing to protect its citizens from foreign aggression and various other things, is also there to protect the citizens from running across any free expression of religion (viz. the move to ban crosses on the exterior of churches (!)), but most think that, across the board, less laws and more freedom (including freedom of (not from) religion) is a good thing.
worried about family and friends in Colorado... damn greenies, preventing human-set controlled fires for so long that now it's uncontrollable. Environmentalist campaigners should foot the bill for the houses that are burning down due to their whining. I am now in the rather odd position of aligning with GWBush on environmental policy, with Dianne Feinstein on visas, and with much of the Democrat party on drug policy (I think it's rather a shame to choose the people least likely to be on drugs -- debating teams, etc. -- and say they can be subject to random testing!... but perhaps... the congress should also be subject to random testing?)....
"It is the duty of mankind on all suitable occasions to acknowledge their dependence on the Divine being...." --Benjamin Franklin
"We acknowledge the separation of sectarianism and state, but affirm the belief that there is no separation between God and state," said Senate Chaplain Lloyd Ogilvie yesterday. Good for him! There is absolutely NO "separation of church and state" (much less a "wall of separation") in the Constitution. The most there is is a letter from Thomas Jefferson to two ladies concerned that their denomination might not be accepted, should the country become officially Episcopalian; he assured them that there would be no official denomination in the country. "Congress [just Congress -- states and counties etc. are free to make these laws] shall make no law concerning an establishment of religion OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF." Goodness, why can't people read stuff. They heard some goose say that all religion should be banned from the public sphere, and that this country was founded on the basis of secularism, and they believe it, never once thinking to use their brains and check stuff out for themselves (read, say, the Federalist papers -- a dang good guide to what was intended to be the basis of this country!). Of course, maybe they're just smart, and aware that, if there is no God, and all is just random atoms banging together, there is no such thing as rational thought... (see Alvin Plantinga for more on that subject).
Thursday, June 27, 2002
dangit... bob ain't doing all too hot.
anyone falls on this page, think nice thoughts at him or pray or whatever it is you do (good vibes?) -- he's low again. perhaps this page should chronicle his ups and downs -- they rule my life, so that would make sense. we'll see.
Wednesday, June 26, 2002
One nation under God should be so no longer, apparently.
they're saying it's no different than "one nation under Vishnu" or "one nation under Jesus" -- well, yes, it is different, just as how all the students in the Hindu student group at school can pray to "God," while they might not be willing to pray to "Karthikkeya" or "Kali" depending on their backgrounds. Different names for (or an entirely different) God can be put aside, for everyone who believes in God by whichever name must believe in God (by definition).
So we leave out the 4% who say they don't believe in God.
They have the right to remain silent.
They feel pressure to join in? do they buckle when there's pressure to do something else one would assume they would not want to do, such as... shoot up, or, say, if they're at a friend's house and the friend wants to say grace before a meal, do they argue and insist on not remaining silent (lest, God forbid, they might actually have a spiritual thought)? What in the world are they afraid of? If God does not exist, they should have nothing to fear from hearing other people affirm their belief in a God; if God does exist, they've got greater problems than peer pressure! Everyone has to deal with not fitting in at one point or another -- deal with it!
"Unconstitutional"? Well, ignoring that there's no "separation of church and state" in the Constitution, God's throughout the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence... may as well rewrite those... because you'll have one heck of a time arguing that the Constitution is unconstitutional! (good luck?)
Why are people so blind about Israel?
the UN just gave the Palestinian Authority another $18 million or so to fund "people who feel they have no option but to use their only weapon, suicide bombers" -- aargh!