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Brainstormy

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Member since: Tue Jun 1, 2010, 11:14 AM
Number of posts: 711

Journal Archives

Sanctity of Life

I know that the piñata I’m swinging at is full of angry bees, even on this forum, which has felt safe so far to me, and comfortable for expressing my thoughts. I may be risking that now, but I have to take my swing anyway. I never hear this and wonder if I’m all alone. ???????

See, I don’t believe in the “sanctity” of life. I am in awe of the evolutionary processes that have resulted in life on earth. I’m humbled before, as Dylan Thomas phrased it, “the force that that through the green fuse drives the flower.” But as a rationalist, nothing has been made “holy” to me as a result of religious superstition. Blastocyst, zygote, embryo, fetus. Normal stages of human development. There is nothing there to sanctify or to worship. Nothing there that is “sacred.”

I do subscribe to an ethical hierarchy. I give higher value in my system to higher evolutionary forms because it seems to me, rationally, that these are the ones with the most potential, not just for greater good, but also for greater suffering. And I don’t mean the simple suffering of neurological pain. I mean suffering in all the complex physical, psychological and sociological dimensions which human beings are capable of experiencing. The kind of complex, alas, intelligent, suffering that surfaces in dreams, and manifests in guilt, self-hatred and violence. The kind of suffering that no blastocyst, or zygote, or embryo or fetus can possibly experience.

I read where, in Texas, the family of a brain-dead, pregnant woman is suing the hospital that is keeping her alive against the family’s wishes. I remember the Terry Shiavo affair. I simply don’t understand. There are complex legal issues involved. But I still don’t, I can’t, understand. Why an individual human, a person, with an extended family, each of whom is capable of an infinite range of genuine suffering should be sacrificed to an iconic idea—the unborn “sacred” is simply beyond me. The “sanctity of life” seems a ridiculous notion and I reject it. Life itself—THE life, THESE lives, seem much more important.


New York Pastafarian Christopher Schaeffer Sworn Into Town Council Wearing Colander


Christopher Schaeffer, a Pastafarian minister, was sworn into the Pomfret, N.Y. Town Council last week wearing a colander, the Observer reported on Friday.

Schaeffer is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a group founded by an atheist in 2005 that has adopted the spaghetti strainer as its symbol.

"It's just a statement about religious freedom," Schaeffer told the Observer. "It's a religion without any dogma."

Bobby Henderson, founder of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, blogged about Schaeffer's swearing-in on Monday, saying Schaeffer "may be the first openly Pastafarian sworn into office."

"Some people will see it as obnoxious or a sign that he’s not taking the oath of office seriously," Henderson said of Schaeffer's decision to wear a colander. "But I am completely confident that Schaeffer will distinguish himself as a Council member of the highest caliber."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/06/pastafarian-christopher-schaeffer_n_4551662.html?ir=Politics

Rush Limbaugh slams polar vortex ‘hoax’

Here we go again:

Rush Limbaugh on Monday accused the media and liberals of creating the polar vortex to “lie” to the public about the “hoax” of climate change and global warming.

The conservative radio host told his listeners that “the left, the media, everybody” came up with “this phrase called the ‘polar vortex’” to connect the current cold weather conditions around the country to “the global warming agenda.”
“We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country,” he said, according to a transcript. “And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex.”

Limbaugh said liberals are “in the middle of a hoax, they’re perpetrating a hoax, but they’re relying on their total dominance of the media to lie to you each and every day about climate change and global warming.”

“So they created the polar vortex, and the polar vortex, something’s happened, and that cold air which normally stays is in the North Pole, something’s happening, something deeply mysterious and perhaps tragic is happening,” Limbaugh said.

The weather system “actually sounds like a crappy science fiction movie to me,” according to the radio host.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/rush-limbaugh-global-warming-polar-vortex-hoax-101792.html#ixzz2pfEIpCaY





Doug Stanhope on raising money for atheist tornado survivor: I did it simply to be a prick

Comedian Doug Stanhope helped raise more than $100,000 for an Oklahoma family whose home had been destroyed by a tornado.

But he didn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart or because he was sympathetic. He just takes pleasure in mocking the faithful.

“I didn’t do it because I felt sympathy because she got all her sh*t destroyed by a tornado. I did it simply to be a prick to her Okie Christian neighbors,” Stanhope said in a video uploaded to YouTube on Monday. “It’s funny how hate can make you do real nice things every now and then.”

After a tornado ripped through the town of Moore, Oklahoma in May, CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked resident Rebecca Vitsmun if she thanked the Lord for surviving. She replied that she was an atheist.

“If you didn’t think that took balls you’ve never been to Oklahoma,” Stanhope remarked. “Saying ‘I’m an atheist’ in Oklahoma is like screaming ‘Jihad’ at airport security. It took some nuts.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/30/doug-stanhope-on-raising-money-for-atheist-tornado-survivor-i-did-it-simply-to-be-a-prick/


Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson: Girls should carry a Bible and marry when they are 15

It just gets better. Recently uncovered video indicates that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson may have fringe views other than those on homosexuality and civil rights.

Video at:

http://crooksandliars.com/2013/12/duck-dynastys-phil-robertson-girls-should

Adios Huffington Post

I know many DUers aren't in love with Huffington Post but I've been a user for three or four years and typically it's been my first go-to site every day for a general heads-up on the news. HP's decision to force commenters to connect with Facebook as of this month originally made me angry. Now it's making me kind of sad and I'm questioning whether I'm a hypocrite. See, I don't get into politics or many of the other issues I discuss here on DU on Facebook. The communications I have there, with co-workers, family, friends who go all the way back to high school, etc., are kept pretty warm fuzzy. I've never thought arguing on FB was a good idea and in that world not too many folks know that I'm a flaming liberal gun-hating, socialist heathen. (very little sarcasm intended.)

On Huffington Post, and here at DU I speak my mind. But not on Facebook. I'll miss the forum, I guess. And I'm not sure whether I'm smart or cowardly. But HP can color me gone. Does anyone else care about this development?

Elizabeth Warren Fires Back at Centrist Dems on Social Security

In the interview, Warren emphasized that Third Way, as well as many in Congress and the media, are framing the debate over Social Security in the wrong way. "We should stop having a conversation about cutting Social Security a little bit or a lot," she said.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/elizabeth-warren-expand-social-security-third-way

I will not shop on this Black day



I will not shop on this Black day
I do not care what others say
There is no deal that’s worth the crush
There is no discount worth the smush
There is no thing that I could buy
That’s worth an elbow in the eye
For the sake of Old St. Nick
I will not scratch or claw or kick
I will not push, or shove, or stomp you
Trying to buy a present for you.
I do not care what others say,
I will not shop on this Black day.

Giant Jesus Survives

This morning I stumbled on yet another story hailing the survival of the giant Jesus statue in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The fact that many are calling this a miracle, or a sign of hope or a message from god is also yet another example of the twisted, mystifying thinking I encounter among believers. More than 5,000 real people dead; concrete Jesus still stands, and the message is . . . .


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/15/jesus-statue-typhoon_n_4284415.html

Meet Your Taxpayer-Subsidized Farm Bill Billionaires!


Oh, SNAP.
Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) both cited the Bible last week to argue that while individual Christians have a responsibility to feed the poor, the federal government does not.
"We're all here on this committee making decisions about other people's money," Fincher said.

LaMalfa said that while it's nice for politicians to boast about how they've helped their constituents, "That's all someone else's money."

Yet both men's farms have received millions in federal assistance, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that advocates for more conservation and fewer subsidies. LaMalfa's family rice farm has received more than $5 million in commodity subsidies since 1995, according to the group's analysis of data from the U.S. Agriculture Department, while Fincher's farm has received more than $3 million since then.

Last year alone, Fincher's farm received $70,574 and LaMalfa's got $188,570.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/farm-bill-billionaires_n_4256365.html

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