You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded.
To the question, “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, “Why not?”
Atheist: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth

24 December, 2007

Dispatches from the Culture Wars: More Huckabee Absurdity

Dispatches from the Culture Wars: More Huckabee Absurdity: "'The Ten Commandments form the basis of most of our laws and therefore, you know if you look through them does anybody find anything there that would be all that objectionable? I don't think most people would if they actually read them,' he said.
Utter nonsense. I can't see how anyone who has actually read them could possibly think that they are the basis of 'most of our laws. Of the ten commandments, only two would even be constitutional in the United States, with a third being constitutional in limited circumstances. The other 7 could not possibly be the basis for any law because they would be clearly unconstitutional. Let's take a look at them one by one:"

Good one! 7 of the 10 commandments are unconstitutional! I hadn't even thought of it!

Thanks Ed!

16 December, 2007

Pharyngula: Have a jolly godless Christmas, all!

Pharyngula: Have a jolly godless Christmas, all!: "Richard Dawkins celebrates Christmas. Greg Laden celebrates Christmas. PZ Myers celebrates Christmas. We aren't celebrating the Christian faith (we actually deplore that), but we do like parties and music and good food and a seasonal tradition and having fun with our kids.
I have no problem saying 'Merry Christmas!' to people, or putting on a red santa hat, or seeing houses draped with Christmas lights. I'm joining in. It's my way of subverting the tradition — it's also a secular holiday, you know, and I aim to appropriate it. I'm following another tradition there, since Christians initially stole the pagan midwinter festival for themselves, so I'm planning to take over Christmas as an atheist celebration."

Great idea, I guess I've been doing that all along! Merry Christmas Everyone! And Happy Newton's Birthday!

09 December, 2007

Nice day towing yesterday, cold and breezy but an easy 10 tows and no problems.
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25 November, 2007

Impeachment: If not now, when?

Impeachment: If not now, when?: "Judiciary Committee member Bob Wexler wrote, 'The American people are served well with a legitimate and thorough impeachment inquiry. I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months. Only through hearings can we begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush administration.'"

Maybe it is happening... I should read the news more...

22 November, 2007

American Freedom Agenda

American Freedom Agenda

Congress needs to step up and defend their Constitutional balance of power with the Executive Branch. Quit standing around like a bunch of sheep. Or is it that when a Democrat becomes President, they want her to be as powerful and unaccountable as Bush/Cheney currently are?

My latest letter to Congress:
Speaker Pelosi,
I fail to understand why Impeachment of President Bush or Vice-President Cheney is not being discussed. They seem to have violated their Constitutional powers and Impeachment proceedings should be commenced to investigate.

You and all of Congress took an oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. It is not a matter of if it is "good" for the country to do so. "Dividing the country" should not be a concern if it is done to protect the Constitution. I think you'll find more Americans will respect both parties if this is done, especially now just before the elections. Refusal to do so looks like Democrats anticipate favorably the expanded (stolen) powers of the Executive Branch when they win in 2008.

Today is Thanksgiving and I feel I have more to be fearful of than thankful for.

04 November, 2007

Good towing but... NUTS!

Oh hell. I was towing today. 14 good tows. Beautiful blue skies when I left Watsonville. Blue skies all day at Byron. I fly home in the dark and find that Watsonville is totally fogged in (4mile visibility, drizzle rain, 300ft ceiling, dark). I turned around and flew to Reid-Hillview airport, first time there in years. First night flight in years! Called Liz to come pick me up (poor gal, she was tired and didn't need to be driving over the hill 40+ miles), will have to try to find a ride into work since my car is still at Watsonville. :-( It will work out...
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07 October, 2007

Ben Franklin quote

They that would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

22 September, 2007

'Taking exception to Jake' by PZ Myers, Pharyngula -

'Taking exception to Jake' by PZ Myers, Pharyngula - "The public acceptance of science isn't something we defer in the unfounded hope that the public will be more receptive towards at some vague time in the future. We fight for it now … and not just some small obligingly plastic part of it all, but the whole damn thing."

16 September, 2007

Why I have no faith

Why I am godless.

I don’t understand how perfectly rational, intelligent, kind, and responsible people can believe in a God. It baffles me totally. And I think about it a lot, not like I feel like I am missing anything myself but in wonder at how this belief can be corrected. You know, I wouldn’t trade our family for any other family, I enjoy and love them all and the fact that most have faith saddens me somewhat.

I do not see any god anywhere I look. From the maelstrom of quantum mechanics in particle physics, to the busy chemistry of each living cell, to the beautiful physics of aerodynamics, to the majestic geology of our earth, to the titanic forces in our solar system, to the stupendous forces driving our galaxy and universe… it is all so awesome and beautiful that to attribute any of it to God’s creation is, to me, insufficient. That there are questions and problems with what we understand only makes discovery all that more meaningful. It is all so hugely complex in total, but it all builds upon many simpler things. Evolution is perfect simplicity which builds very slowly into the complex beauty of life we have today. I feel that beauty in my heart much better than I can express in words. Even without the controversies of life and evolution, the complexities of the universe are so much beyond a god, needs no explanation with a god. God is so unnecessary.

I have a saying that has gelled in my mind over the last year or so… Atheism: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth.

Our morals come naturally, someone writing them down and calling them the word of God seems like plagiarism to me. And I think they added in the rules to help control the masses better, or at least to control the women better. It looks to me that our natural morals come from our need to survive, we can’t survive if we are killing each other, we are wired for survival and propagation of the population. Stoning women for adultery seems wrong and it is, it isn’t a natural moral, but the writers of the “messiah’s” words seem to have another motive, valid at the time maybe, probably to help control the population to their benefit. The need to survive and procreate is very simple but a lot of things derive naturally from it. Helping others, kindness to your children, education, it just builds and builds on it.

Real meaning in life also comes from the need to survive and procreate, to do so means we must discover how our world works, adapt, learn, overcome problems, coexist with the individuals of our species, coexist with our world. This is real meaning to me. To worship a deity hoping for a good result when I die doesn’t provide any meaning. The discovery of our world may be the most important and leads us into our future. If we stop, we will stagnate and suffer. I think our species made a mistake creating religions, it is a dead end that we have to back out of to progress on, but maybe it was a lesson we had to learn.

Credible truth, the biggest being that this is it. This is heaven, hell, whatever you make of it. This is your one life. You are only borrowing the atoms you consist of for your sort life time and then they are recycled into the universe to be used again. I am ok with that. It doesn’t scare me. I wish it weren’t so but that is the way of the universe. We are such a small mote in just our galaxy which is a small object in an immense universe. But the meaning of life is to be all that you can be to your family and friends, community, and world. That is a real truth that I can believe in.

Why is this important to me? I see thousands dying monthly, sometimes daily in fighting to the death over what are to me fairy tales. Fighting over essentially worthless land, fighting for what boils down to power. Much of it in the name of their religion. It makes me angry. The war in Iraq has many religious overtones that disturb me. The trillions of dollars this is going to cost us is going to hurt.

I didn’t mean to write this on a Sunday, it just turned out that way, I’ve been busy and I had to compose it some in my mind first. I had a great day yesterday with flying passengers for the 99’s scholarship fundraiser. Allena came over and helped out the ladies. It was one of those things I do that gives real meaning to my life, showing 10 people their world from above.

15 September, 2007

Watsonville Open House 2007

I flew four loads of people for the 99's Women's Pilots Association today. They were all very pleased with their rides, some more than others. This lady was very excited and had a great time. Today was the WVI open house wherer for the first time there were a bunch of hot rod cars on display as well. They seemed to get the most attention. Allena helped the 99's guide riders to the planes and organize who was flying with who.
Afterward Liz, Allena and I went to dinner at Mama Mia's before taking Allena back to her dorm at SJSU. Said dorm room is below.

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09 September, 2007

Byron airshow

There was a mini airshow at Byron today. They were staging out of Byron for a show in Pittsburg appearently. A Pitts, AT-6/Harvard/SNJ, this Sea Fury and Super Stearman. I talked to the Stearman and Sea Fury pilots and helped them fuel up. The Patriots team went and came back as well. Most of this happend after we were done for the day so no impact to glider operations. Good day! :-)

The Stearman took off with a 10 ft roll... mostly because it was already blowing 18 kts down the runway and he has a bunch of excess power. The Sea Fury... flown by this old guy who could get under the tail, lift it up to swing the tail wheel where he wanted it. He was one crusty old dude.

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View from the tow pilot's seat.

Rember at the last safety seminar Mike mentioned how hard it is to see over the nose of the tow plane? I had thought it was an important point he made and found this opportunity to show what it looks like. Especially for the newer members. I haven't had any close calls or worrisome moments recently. I just thought it might be a good point to reinforce now that more operations will be returning to Byron this month.

You will notice that this picture is taken as I sit in the seat normally without moving side to side. It is pretty easy to hide from my sight when in front of the plane. If you are in front of the tow plane and the engine is running, you should be highly concerned about my ability to see you. Be assured I am highly attentive about the people around 16Y, but in the rush to get started and going out on the runway... I might miss someone.
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03 September, 2007

The Skeptics Guide - Skepticast #110: 8/28/2007

The Skeptics Guide - Skepticast #110: 8/28/2007: "'Thinking critically is a chore. It does not come naturally or easily. And if the fruits of such efforts are not carefully displayed to young minds, then they will not harvest them. Every school child must be implanted with the wonder of the atom, not the thrall of magic.'

-Perry DeAngelis, 1963-2007, a skeptical philosopher and activist, and a good friend, of some considerable note."

It was very sad to hear the Perry DeAngelis had passed away, he was a great skeptic.

Sept 2007 Young Eagles

Nice set of kids flew with me on 1 Sept Young Eagles day at WVI. A good day flying. Tried out my PCAS and it worked great.
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Sam Harris: OnFaith on

Sam Harris: OnFaith on "Ask yourself, when even the doubts of experts are thought to confirm a doctrine, what could possibly disconfirm it?"

Wow... even Mother Teresa was doubting the existance of a god. Sounds like the church is going to make it a sign of how good she was to perservere in spite of her doubts. She is just one of the millions of people sadly wasting their time in service to the fairy tale. Just a bit sadder than most.

23 August, 2007

Crooks and Liars » Hold on, Christian soldiers

Crooks and Liars » Hold on, Christian soldiers

"... in Iraq, the Rapture is not a viable exit strategy."

"Bush’s Defense Department recently agreed to distribute “freedom packages” to U.S. soldiers in Iraq, as prepared by a fundamentalist Christian ministry called Operation Straight Up (OSU). As the LAT explained, OSU’s packages included “Bibles, proselytizing material in English and Arabic and the apocalyptic computer game ‘Left Behind: Eternal Forces’ (derived from the series of post-Rapture novels), in which ’soldiers for Christ’ hunt down enemies who look suspiciously like U.N. peacekeepers.”"

Holy Shit.

21 July, 2007

Rudy and Romney: Artful dodgers |

Rudy and Romney: Artful dodgers

Rudy and Mitt... dodged the draft just like Georgie. What a pisser. I'll keep pointing that out about them whenever I can.

I went to the Navy and tried to enlist in 1974, in case anyone wants to know. They wouldn't take me with my gimpy elbow. Since 1980 I have supported our armed forces with better than 99.9% reliable satellite communications for dumbass Bush on 9/11 down to the grunts on the road to Bahgdad in March '03.

14 July, 2007

Crooks and Liars » Bill Moyers’ Roundtable On Impeachment Of Bush & Cheney

Crooks and Liars » Bill Moyers’ Roundtable On Impeachment Of Bush & Cheney

We need to impeach them, simply to set the precident that the President isn't a king. Establish to the future leaders that we expect and will hold them accountable to their actions. And we have to stand up and be citizens, not sheep, or abuse of power will keep happening more and more. That means the end of the US. Impeachment doesn't have to mean removing them from office, it tells them what they have been doing is unacceptable.

08 July, 2007

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Liz made a video question for the 23 July Democratic debate. Took us about 15 takes but we got it!

Vote for Liz's question to be selected for the debate at:

11 June, 2007

Pharyngula: Religion—our maelstrom of ignorance

Holy crap.

Pharyngula: Religion—our maelstrom of ignorance: "Religion—our maelstrom of ignorance
Category: Creationism • Religion
Posted on: June 11, 2007 4:38 PM, by PZ Myers
We've got a new Gallup poll on evolution to agonize over. It's nothing but bad news—we are a nation of uneducated morons. Gary chose to weep over the political correlation: look how membership in the Republican party is tied to ignorance about science."

10 June, 2007

Crooks and Liars

From the new Creation Museum in Kentucky...

Crooks and Liars: "Early in the museum, the visitor is given advice on the proper mind frame to have for your visit: “Don’t think, just listen and believe”. [..] Human Reason is the enemy and God’s Word is the hero. Descartes represents Human Reason, saying “I think, therefore I am”. But God tells us there no need to waste your beautiful mind, for God says “I am that I am”.

So logic, reason and science are Bad; blind faith is Good."

Just believe and you'll be saved... fucking stupid.

02 June, 2007

Good Young Eagle day

The kids I flew today with Young Eagles. Pretty selfish of me, huh?
Fuck O'Reilly. Pissed me off! Spoiled a perfectly good day. Ok... get over that moron. I had a good day...

Weather at WVI was crappy at first, then cleared around noon. With 6 planes, it only took two flights per plane to get the 30+ kids flown. These guys were great, one wants to learn to fly.
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Crooks and Liars » O’Reilly Blames TB man on Secular Progressives….

Crooks and Liars » O’Reilly Blames TB man on Secular Progressives….

O’Reilly, I generally ignore your inflammatory babbling as typical chest thumping Fox-Trash. But in today’s talking points you claim Christians only think of others and “Secular Progressives” put themselves above all others. What a bunch of CRAP! Christians are nothing but ME-FIRSTERS! The entire Christian faith is “do it our way or burn in hell!” Your whining about how your Christmas is under attack is nothing but self preservation of a dying, out-dated, ignorant system of belief in a fairy tale.

I just spent the day giving airplane rides to kids, with no kind of reimbursement provided, where it costs me nearly $100 per hour to fly my plane. I gave rides to over 40 kids last year. I stood up in the faces of my bosses in defense of a fellow worker to try to keep her employed. Is that selfish? I have helped my neighbor with her child who has autism. I give to many charities, many of them Christian. I help my family, relatives and friends. I am not, nor are my atheist friends selfish or self-centered. Mostly we are quite the opposite, without a useless religion to waste my time, maybe more so than most Christians I know.

I am liberal, I not only believe there is no god, I know it in my heart. This BS you spouted about atheists only thinking of themselves is incredibly ignorant if you really believe it. But I doubt that, you are really just spouting hate towards atheists because your faith is under attack and is indefensible. Trying to make atheists evil, objects for hate. Sort of reminds me of Hitler blaming Germany’s problems on the Jews.

The whole situation is very ironic in a lot of ways. The drug resistant strain of TB was bred (EVOLVED you dumb-ass) because of people’s ignorance in taking their drugs properly, not really believing the warnings that incomplete drug regimens could cause this breeding. Where does that come from? Christian resistance to evolution? Faith that god has a purpose in such a strain of TB to punish the Secular Progressives? Did that magical god foresee the need for this strain 6000 years ago when he made the universe?

You are a dangerous fanatic. If I didn’t consider the US Constitution one of the greatest documents ever written, I’d like to see you imprisoned in Gitmo.

Tom Hail

From the naturally beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.

31 May, 2007

Allena graduates

Very nice graduation, I am very proud of both my girls. They are very nice, intelligent ladies and I look forward to them coming to San Jose State and being closer to me.

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06 May, 2007

A nice day flying

Nice view of the lighthouse and West Cliff drive in Santa Cruz.
The Melges 24 World Cup sail boat race is happening this week, 30 minutes later these were all gone from the water, couldn't figure where they went!
V-tail and it's shadow. Taking the picture seemed to be a good idea at the time.
Expensive gas. Buying an airplane seemed to be a good idea at the time.

Actually, I quite enjoy owning it. Just wish it wasn't such a money pit.
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Glider Lands Out at WVI

Something we don't see at WVI very often... looks like a glider from Holister landed out at WVI. He was very low on base and final for rnwy 20. But I guess he really had it ok, he could have landed crosswind on 26 if had to. I landed right after him. An hour or two later this tow plane came and towed him away.
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05 May, 2007

No Young Eagles today

I was supposed to fly Young Eagles today but I killed the battery taxiing up to the kids. I can't believe it. I hope it is just the battery needs to be replaced, but it is less than 2 yrs old. So I took it home and charged it up, went back, put it in and went for a quick flight. Very bumpy, wind was 310 10 gusting to 19 for runway 26. Very exciting, turbulent approach to landing up to just before touchdown, but all of a sudden everything came into place and it was a nice, straight landing.

So I went to get gas and then couldn't start the engine on the first shot. But that was all the battery could give me. Crap. Pulled the battery out again, towed the airplane back to the tiedown with the truck. Battery back on the charger. I think I am going to need a new battery. Hell.

I think I need an alternator conversion, that damn generator won't put out enough electrons. And I hardly have anything turned on! There is another $1500 to spend...
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04 May, 2007 - The Official Richard Dawkins Website - The Official Richard Dawkins Website:

"'Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins.'"

Quote from Christopher Hitchens as he is interviewed by Lou Dobbs of CNN. Hitchens has a new book titled " god is not Great" and is on his book tour.

29 April, 2007

Byron Towing

Towing yesterday, first hot day of the year. Got a bit grumpy at the end of the day because my last landing blew out the tailwheel. I had to change it out. I had also changed the tow rope earlier and delt with the oil leak by constantly burning my fingers trying to check the oil level. Looks like the nose seal on the engine is leaking. Then a 90 mile, 90 minute drive home. To find Ernie had a $200+ vet bill for a stupid foxtail in his toe. Grumpy sweaty day.

21 April, 2007

Day in the Sky 2007

Day in the Sky 2007 was very successful as far as I could tell. All the kids and people I flew seemed to have a good time and enjoyed the flying. Lots of big smiles! That makes owning the plane worth every penny. The weather cooperated and I think all the kids got to go up. 7 flights in 44D in about 2.7 hours of engine running time. I don't know what the totals were for the day, but there were at least 20 planes and pilots. I don't think all of the 155 scheduled kids with their parents/aids/siblings showed up but I bet over 400 people went for rides. It started raining just has I got in the truck after putting the plane to bed. I headed into Santa Cruz and had a beer and sushi for dinner. Good day.

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20 April, 2007

Ernie goes for a ride

Ernie went for his first airplane ride today. He pretty much was unimpressed. Went to sleep. Even the zero-g maneuver didn't phase him.
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