Parenting Beyond Belief

August 25, 2007

Here is a book I am reading.  I don’t read alot of parenting books but this one doesn’t claim to have a single best answer it is actually a few dozen authors with short essays and provides many perspectives.  I am said to say that this issue is going to be tough challenge to my marriage.  My wife wants to raise our boys in religion (ELCA) while I am increasingly of the mindset that religion is not needed to raise ethical, well balanced children as long as we put extra effort in place.  Not only is religion not necessary it leads to a scewd moral sense and a reliance on a false entity.  I plan on reading them teachings of all religions including the “dead” faiths or “myths” from the ancient civilizations.  They should then be able to understand that the Bible is just another set of stories that people use to make sense of the world.

Parenting Beyond Belief

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The Atheist Community of Austin (yes Texas!) has a great podcast (The Non Prophets) and a tv show they release as a podcast (The Atheist Experience).  I really enjoy listening to it.  I have listened to over a dozen of the shows on back issue.  Mat Dilahaunty<sp> is particularly fun to listen to.  I must agree with a great deal of their words.

The Atheist Community of Austin

Liberal democrats need to be very careful for their reasons for supporting a Hilary Clinton run for president.  They will find that her (a moderate) being hoisted as a champion for the liberal will find that she, as her husband before her, will allow the Republican party to pull even further to the right.

When Bill Clinton was elected, a DLC right-wing democrat, was elected he as charismatic and very well spoken.  Liberals were drawn to him and overlooked his more conservative policies (welfare reform, NAFTA).  Instead of rallying behind this moderate to conservative democrat they Republicans saw an opportunity to attack him in a concerted effort to pull the country to the right.  It worked!

The next president was as far to the right as any president, at least since before the Great Depression.  The Republican’s had successfully launched an ad hominid attack and in so doing made democrats (even moderate ones) look “way to liberal for America”.

So when liberals are raw-raw-rawing for Hilary Clinton they need to realize that she is a conservative democrat and what electing her will mean.  I don’t have any problems with moderates.  I liked Bill Clinton and most of his policies. the problem I have is that the Republican party and conservatives just use it as an opportunity to pull the conversation to the right.  It worked too well…  THEY WILL DO IT AGAIN!  If you are going to elect someone who is going to be called a “liberal” no matter what make sure they are actually a liberal so there can at least be a tug of war instead of a landslide.

E

A good review in the New York Times* about the past, present, and future of the seperation of church and state.  I would only emphasize that it is foolish to think that we are in the clear.  We have enjoyed a prosperous, scientific society for the past 400 years only because we have largely abandoned the shackles of religion.  Even the “religious” are very selective of the passages of the Bible they read and all but the most zealous think that their religion is in a separate sphere and isolated from their daily experience. 

There has been a trend towards greater fundamentalism in the United States which will likely end US dominance of science and technology (and the world in general) as our children are raised in a confused state where religious dogma pretends to have as much likelihood as scientific fact.  The more our religions gets protective (and it must to survive the slimming gaps it has so far plugged) the more they will cloud the minds of our children.

Children (and most adults) have a tendency to believe what is convinient and doesn’t make them think.  They tend to fall into the “Argument from Personal Incredulity” which states that if they can’t understand it then it must be false.  Science is very specialized and can be very hard to understand.  Very few understand Natural Selection and even fewer the quantum physics that underline this world, I don’t understand the later.  The difference, they need to realize, is that with science they can actually acquire the skills to go out and perform the experiments or to learn to understand the mathematics and theory.  With religion and faith-based “knowledge” you just have to accept what is stated and then all the answers flow from there, “Magic man dun’it”.

E

* I don’t know how long the link will remain open to the public, the NYT tends to leave this stuff up only for a few days.

Fed Cuts Rate!

August 17, 2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/18/business/17cnd-fed.html?ex=1345089600&en=5596e4064fe998bc&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

This was a very suprising move by the Fed to cut the rate by a half a percentage point.  I have two questions.  Is the situation worse then I had feared or is this just a political move to make sure the economy is still going strong as the Bush’s term ends.  It was my opinion that it is not the job of the fed to ensure that the market never goes down.

I thought they were very concerned about inflation.  I guess now it isn’t an issue which leaves me to think that the current economic situation is worse than I thought.

E

P.S. Now with Country Wide Home Mortgage tanking it appears that the Fed was concerned about a spreading problem.  It looks like Alan Greenspan set us up for a big fall when the fed slashed rates so far earlier in the Bush administration.

Down to Obama and Edwards

August 16, 2007

I think with statements like this I will become a supporter of Obama.  There really is too little a difference between the two parties.  I don’t think that if Hillary Clinton gets in that things will change.  I think both Obama and Edwards would mean change.  I think I need to choose between those two.  I think if Clinton is elected she will just be there for an embattled 4 years and no changes will result.

Obama Says Bush Not Solely to Blame – The Huffington Post

P.S.  I think I was having an “I think” fit this day 🙂

A great site for keeping in touch about what is happening in congress…  Everyone should spend about an hour a week going over what happened in congress.  I am going to start.

http://thomas.loc.gov/

This link shows the current congress and what happens day by day such as bills voted on.

http://thomas.loc.gov/r110/r110.html

E

Tim,
I am disappointed with your vote on the “Protect America” Act.

This may indeed be a good bill in the hands of administrations that doesn’t take every inch given to them and turn it into a mile.  As it is the current administration will see this bill as permission to take their programs even further from the rule of law.  This does not only speak of the current administration but of future administrations that abuse executive power.

The most worrisome phrase I have seen in the bill allows for unchecked surveillance of “persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States if the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General determine”.  “Reasonable” is a very loose term that this administration has proven they have abused and have intention of continuing to abuse.  At the very least this bill should have been made contingent on the impeachment or otherwise replacement of the current attorney general who is either an incompetent political shill or completely corrupt and undeserving of any power.

Thank you,
A supporter from Rochester,
Eric Winter

P.S. I later sent a similar note to Klobuchar and the lovely Norm Coleman although I said I didn’t expect any better from Coleman.

FISA bill

August 4, 2007

Here is some BIG news happening under our noses as we fret about another bridge falling out from under us.  This bill that the democrats<!> offered but the president turned down made much of the wire tapping legal.  Apparently Bush wants free reign to do whatever he want<period>.  Since he turned it down congress should just say fine and not pass anything of the sort.

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/003862.php

It is unbelievable what this administration has gotten away with and continues to get away with.  This op-ed goes into quite a bit of detail on Gonzales’ background with Bush.

My biggest hope is that there are required administration papers that need to be filed that the next president can make public and we can go after this SoBs.

E

http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2007/08/02/alberto_gonzales/