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

30 November, 2008

Night Flight

Liz and I went flying last night... Moon, Venus and Jupiter were in the sky as well!
Posted by Picasa

28 November, 2008

Life Today

I have lost my iTunes playlists. My PC and iTunes are currently in a battle to the death. I am not sure which one I am rooting for, I feel like destroying both of them. This picture is on my desktop and it comforts me.

I spent 5 hours working on the airplane door today. It was pretty hellish trying to get both hinge pins into position at the same time. The bottom pin was easy, the top one I could only maneuver with my finger tips through a hole someone in the past cut into the side of the glove box.

Amanda should be in Redding by now. Allena and Katie should have had a Thanksgiving in Redding, Katie's first one. Wonder how that went. I think I am going to have to buy Amanda a car in the next week.

Evan went to Modesto for Thanksgiving with my Aunt and cousins. Probably was a crowd. Liz and I went to Los Gatos and spent $200 on dinner with Becky and Bram. It was good. Nice time and no dishes to clean up. Had to go get a pumpkin pie for tonight since we had no leftovers. Called Mom and Dad tonight and just as they answered, Pip got their turkey off the stove top and dumped the whole thing on the floor. Mom picked it up and put it in the fridge. :-)

26 November, 2008

A few religious thoughts to ponder - The Times-Herald

A few religious thoughts to ponder - The Times-Herald:

Thanksgiving must be a terrible time for atheists. They have no God to thank.

They do not have the privilege of gathering with family and friends to express gratitude by saying: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." An atheist on his deathbed faces serious uncertainties. Gazing upward, he pleads: "Oh God, if there is a God, please save my soul -- if I have one."

One of many replies:
"A Thankful Atheist - When I sit down at my mother's table this thanksgiving I will bow my head and give thanks to her and my sister-in-law for the feast we've managed to eek out in such tough times. I will thank my father for the years of hard work he put into making sure I had a chance for a better life. I will thank my brother for encouraging me to reach for the stars. I will thank the millions of farmers that made my meal possible. I will thank those who have past for their love and inspiration. And I will thank the men and women who are trying, even as I sit down to eat, to bring this holiday to the poor and homeless. Yet I will not be thanking god, for he has done nothing to deserve my thanks. A foreseeable result of not existing.
Posted by Friar-Zero at 8:53 AM"

Not one comment to Jim Griffith's column agreed with him before comments were closed.

I am thankful all the atheists who gave him a reply to read. If they opened his eyes a little, great. If not, he can continue to live his pathetically narrow life.

17 November, 2008

Geoffrey R. Stone: Democracy, Religion and Proposition 8

Geoffrey R. Stone: Democracy, Religion and Proposition 8: "it is as un-American to violate the separation of church and state by using the power of the state to impose our religious beliefs on others as it is to use the power of the state to impose our discriminatory views of race, religion or gender on others.

This is the fundamental point that the religious advocates of Proposition 8 fail to comprehend. Like other citizens, they are free in our society to support laws because they believe those laws serve legitimate ends, including such values as tradition, general conceptions of morality, and family stability. But they are not free - not if they are to act as faithful American citizens - to impose their religious views on others. That is, quite simply, un-American.

This is not to say that individuals cannot attempt to persuade others freely to embrace and to act in accord with their religious beliefs. The First Amendment gives us virtually absolute protection to preach, proselytize and evangelize. But the fundamental point about religious liberty in the United States is that it is private. Christian Evangelicals have every right to try to persuade others to accept and abide by their beliefs. But they have no right - indeed, they violate the very spirit of the American Constitution - when they attempt to conscript the authority of the state to compel those"

WNYC - Radiolab: War of the Worlds (March 07, 2008)

WNYC - Radiolab: War of the Worlds (March 07, 2008):

War of the Worlds

"An examination of the power of mass media to create panic. In Radio Lab's very first live hour, we take a deep dive into one of the most controversial moments in broadcasting history - Orson Welles' 1938 radio play about Martians invading New Jersey. And we ask: Why did it fool people then? And why has it continued to fool people since? From Santiago, Chile to Buffalo, New York to a particularly disastrous evening in Quito, Ecuador."

This has got to be one of the best radio show episodess I have ever heard.

Gingrich On Prop 8 Protests: "Gay And Secular Fascism ... Prepared To Use Violence"

Gingrich On Prop 8 Protests: "Gay And Secular Fascism ... Prepared To Use Violence":

Fuck you Gingrich.

"GINGRICH: Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think that it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion. And I think if you believe in historic Christianity, you have to confront the fact. And, frank -- for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam or the historic version of Judaism, you have to confront the reality that these secular extremists are determined to impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school."

I don't want to impose my will on anyone. They don't want to impose anything on anyone. Tradition is irrelevant in the fairness of law. Just because it has always been one way doesn't make it right. And again, there is no threat to "traditional" marriage. If you don't want to marry a guy, then don't. That is the way 96% of us will go. Just because a few (ONLY 4%) go the other way, so what? How does it hurt the traditionalists? There are so many flavors of Christianity and other religions to live with, how would it be different to coexist with a different form of marriage? Get used to change old man. You want to keep your traditions, then go live on a historic farm or commune.

15 November, 2008

Flying 44D in the afternoon

Liz and Ernie went for a flight this afternoon with me.
Nice flight, a little warm. Liz flew for 10 or 15 minutes while
I changed the PCAS battery. 44D really likes the temporary hangar.
Too bad I have to give it up sometime in December.
Posted by Picasa

13 November, 2008

Why Believe in a God? - American Humanist Association

Why Believe in a God? - American Humanist Association:
# Why not believe in a god?
# Without a god, why be good at all?
# Isn’t Christmas really about Jesus?

Pharyngula: Oy, it's War on Christmas time again

Pharyngula: Oy, it's War on Christmas time again: "Fresh off the British Humanist Associations's successful bus campaign, the American Humanist Association has fired up its own set of big signs on buses in the Washington DC area. Their message is 'Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake'.

Of course, CNN considers this another salvo in the War on Christmas. Silly news organization. Didn't you get the word? The war on Christmas is over. We won. It's a secular holiday, atheists can celebrate it any way they want, Christians can continue to pretend it's baby Jesus' birthday, and everyone has the freedom to interpret the meaning of the day in whatever way they choose. The freethinkers of America are victorious."

04 November, 2008

Final predicts...

Final predicts before the polls close...
Colleyrankings: 367 Obama, McCain 171
Obama 353   McCain 174   Ties 11
We'll see how it goes...

01 November, 2008

Obama interview

Good interview between Obama and Maddow.

Elmo the pumpkin

My pumpkin this year looks like Elmo.
Only had one teenage kid show up last night.
The No On Prop 8 signs probably kept parents from allowing their kids down our driveway.
Posted by Picasa

Hangar for 44D!

I was at the airport office looking at the hangar wait list and talking to Bonnie the Hangar Queen. No movement on the list ( I am still #154). Then she asks me if I would sub-lease an hangar currently open for a couple of months while the guy gets his plane worked on. It took me a minute and said yes. It was starting to rain and the cabin door leaks in the rain, even with the cabin cover on. We had cancelled Young Eagles today due to the weather. So, YAY!

I had just ordered a new door seal kit to try to make it more water tight. Now I have a hangar so I can take the door off and do the job properly. Maybe rebuild the door hinges as well.
Posted by Picasa

No on Prop 8.... again

Again... why No on Prop 8

What is wrong with Prop 8? It is pure and simple discrimination against a minority being coded into the State Constitution. The constitution! This is messing with the California State Constitution! It should not be touched without very serious consideration. This hysterical campaign of fear and lies does not constitute serious consideration. The topic of marriage has become irrelavant, this proposition is about discrimination being coded into the constitution. It could be about any discrimination, it would still be wrong. Morally wrong.

Why does it matter to me? Everyone should be treated the same under the law. If not, then when does it stop? A religious test for state office? Some restriction in freedom of speech? Some restriction on who can live where?

Why was the will of the people on gay marriage ignored? It wasn't ignored, it was struck down as unconstituional. The checks and balances in our government prevent the majority from making laws that discriminate against minorities. Judges must strike down laws passed by the people if they violate the constitution, they have no choice, that is the basic design of our system. The Judicial branch balances against the Executive and Legislative branches. The mob (us) work through our legislators to get laws passed, sometimes we get fed up and make our own propositions. But, it is too bad if we make a bad law. Unless we (the mob) change the Constitution. I think it is too easy to change the State Constitution.

How is marriage threatened by gay marriage? It isn't. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one. The law already says marriage is between two people. Nothing more. No polygamy, no animals, no children.

How are kids threatened by gay marriage? They aren't. Prop 8 does nothing to protect kids from imaginary (or even real) threats.

What does marriage have to do with making babies? Nothing. Don't have to be married to have babies. Don't have to have babies if you are married. Gays can adopt or have kids naturally. Marriage is a status that is privileged by law and everyone must have the same privileges. No discrimination. "Civil Unions" do not have the same status and privileges as marriage and doesn't cut it. Maybe marriage should be removed from law and only Civil Unions used, making "marriage" only a social and/or religious construct defined by whoever has an opinion on what it should be.

Who is against Prop 8:
including California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

So, you see I have strong feelings about Prop 8. I would trade McCain for president to keep it from passing. All I can do is express my opposition, buy bumper stickers, talk to my friends, and send money to Liz and I may go stand on a corner Sunday with signs. I know I am preaching to the choir for most of you, but you might need some ammunition to work on your friends.

Thanks for reading... hope I didn't offend anyone this time.

Dad/Thomas/Tom/Liberal whackjob

PS... NO on Propositions 4, 6, 8 and 9, vote YES on Proposition 5. Just in case you wondered. :-)

Liberating the Founders [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]

Liberating the Founders [Speaking of Faith® from American Public Media]: "Americans remain divided about how much religion they want in their political life. As we elect a new president, we return to an evocative, relevant conversation from earlier this year with journalist Steven Waldman. From his unusual study of the American founders, he understands why 21st-century struggles over religion in the public square spur passionate disagreement and entanglement with politics at its most impure."

I really enjoyed this interview. Even as an atheist. I am recommending it to all my family... maybe... if I dare...

Swatting attacks on fruit flies and science | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/31/2008

Swatting attacks on fruit flies and science | Philadelphia Inquirer | 10/31/2008: "This year's Republican campaign has consistently attacked the values of reason and logic that undergird our democracy. If anything has led to America's high standard of living and world preeminence, it's the idea that we can advance only with the best science possible.

When Palin declares that we don't have to know what causes global warming in order to fix it, she's not only exposing herself as a scientific illiterate; she's going against two centuries of American progress in technology, medicine and science. Trying to bond with the American people by taking pride in your ignorance and making science the common enemy - now that's a bridge to nowhere."

I hate this... got to go into a cave for the next couple of days.  Maybe I can get a doctor to put me into a coma until Tuesday evening.