Sunday, July 31, 2011

Catholic planking

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Cultural events - not yet a replacement for God

Many have argued that belief in the Almighty and observance of rituals should no longer be central to Jewish education but should be replaced with cultural events and the study of Jewish history. . . .

Advocates of this proposal feel that belief in the Divine is no longer relevant in an age in which science has replaced religion, and Jewish observance no longer speaks to the majority of our young people. Therefore, these two factors do not serve as enough of an incentive to remain Jewish.

But this theory is highly problematic. To argue that belief in the Almighty is outdated is not only a gross misreading of the truth but also what people are in need of. When vital values become obsolete, and many are overwhelmed with every kind of pleasure and comfort, man feels increasingly like a stranger in his own skin.

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Principles are principled

Perry’s position in favor of states’ rights based upon the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution extends also to abortion, even though he is himself pro-life. ABC reports that Perry indicated to reporters in Houston that states should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to legalize or ban abortion if Roe were overturned.

“You either have to believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t,” said Perry. “You can’t believe in the 10th Amendment for a few issues and then [for] something that doesn’t suit you say, ‘We’d rather not have states decide that.’”

Wow, a bold and well-reasoned statement. I had just despaired of ever hearing one from a politician.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chambers Street and Columbia University

Ephemeral New York uncovers the connection at the subway station!


High Praise for Jesus

The book that is.

Borg is brilliant and challenging. His uncovering of the historical Jesus, a pre-Easter versus post-Easter understanding, may seem irrelevant to Biblical literalists, but for those with an open mind, this book may prove revolutionary. At least it did for me. So many Gospel stories that I struggled with, had difficulty reconciling with my personal experience and understanding of God and Jesus, were given radically new explanations that breathed fresh life into some of the tired and awkward explanations I had previously accepted. Borg espouses a sort of "Neotraditionalism" one that goes back to the roots of Christianity, seeking to understand who Jesus is as the disciples understood Him. The result is a striking emphasis on Jesus' humanity, but one that makes him seem all the more radical and relevant in today's world. Well worth a read, even if you disagree with some of Borg's assumptions.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

World Youth Alliance

World Youth Alliance endorses World Youth Day at European Parliament:

“When the Holy Father called us, young people during the closing event, "the disciples of the new millennium and the watchmen of the dawn" it struck me deeply.” Blauwen says that after this encounter, she changed her life to follow this call. “All of this is burning in my heart and I do not seize to deepen it but also to transmit it to others that is why since I have gone to WYD, not for myself but to able to give this message of hope.” Blauwen testified to the importance of youth in Europe´s society through the positive messages of World Youth Day and the call to responsible citizenship.

I think I'll check out WYA when I'm in Madrid this August.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rape still bad, but Hate Sex is trending

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Street View, 1982

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Making a market

I've seem some calls for investigation/lynching/etc of various trading shops/investment banks for their evil deeds. Here's one example:

Investigators discovered that Goldman traders bragged about selling "shitty" deals to clients and the mega-bank bet against the same financial products it was selling to investors. And they've lied about it all the way to the bank.

Yes, usually when you sell something to your clients, you're selling it. That's sort of the nature of selling things, unless I'm missing something. If I call up my stock broker and buy 100 shares of Microsoft, he may very well sell me those 100 shares, betting against me. And I'm betting against him. Am I missing something?

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Differing definitions of irreparable

Gay rights groups say the policy -- even as it is being discarded -- violates the due process and First Amendment rights of military members. In their appeals, the Log Cabin Republicans said allowing the policy to remain in effect pending appeal would be unacceptable and would cause "irreparable harm."

Apparently delaying gratification causes irreparable harm.

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Psychology Stack Exchange in commit phase

If you're not familiar with "Stack Exchange", it is a family of Q&A sites that try not to suck. It's kind of a big deal in my corner of the Internet, right up there with Pedobear.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dead baby jokes on Lamebook

And I quote:

So I made a "dead baby" joke and it offended some girl that had an abortion a few years ago. And I got yelled at. So let me get this straight making jokes about dead babies = bad, actually making dead babies = okay.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not a nun

I first observed the phenomenon of faux-nuns when I was invited by a friend to go to monthly Holy Hours at a convent. I noticed a lot of girls were wearing long skirts and oversized crosses around their necks. They did not wear makeup. I kept confusing them with the postulants. But they were not postulants. They were just dressed almost identically to the nuns.

Ms. Ely provides some insight into a phenomenon that I had not noticed before, but seems to be somewhat prevalent. "What are you retreating from", indeed.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

The problem with corporations not being people

Is that it means people lose their rights when the get together to do something.

While it's true that corporations aren't human beings, that truism is constitutionally irrelevant because corporations are formed by individuals as a means of exercising their constitutionally protected rights.

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Waking up after brain death

DROMMONDVILLE, Quebec, July 5, 2011 ( – Last week, Madeleine Gauron, a Quebec woman identified as viable for organ donation after doctors diagnosed her as “brain dead,” surprised her family and physicians when she recovered from a coma, opened her eyes, and began eating.


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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Happy Birthday, South Sudan

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Waterways: From the Hudson to the Sound

I proudly introduce you to Waterways, a fledgling new blog of mine. I will continue to add my occasional two cents to Squach's blog, but I feel that some of the content I want to write about is not fitting for this space. My new blog will be dominated by an informal study of the local aquatic ecosystems of Westchester County, the Bronx, and beyond. There will be frequent posts featuring the local wildlife, reviewing science books and literature, and attempting to raise awareness of the environmental treasures, and issues, in our own backyards. I invite you to take a look, give me feedback, and make suggestions for future posts. Thank you!

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