Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Guns Do Kill People

As we offer our deepest condolences for the victims and their families and loved ones, we must wait for the answers to why? and how could this happen?

"Reggie Graves, a student at Red Lake High School, said he was watching a movie about Shakespeare in class Monday when he heard the gunman blast his way past the metal detector at the school's entrance, killing a guard."

This is the worst school shooting since Columbine in 1999, which had reinvigorated our calls for gun control in the United States. Why, we ask again and again, can't we be a civilized nation? Notice the metal detector at the school's entrance; are guns worth this?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Un-purple Connecticut

Daily Kos quotes Robert Novak in the Chicago Sun-Times passing on a warning to Repubs from the RNC that they are in danger of losing 25 seats in the U.S. House in 2006. A loss of 16 seats would give control to the Dems.

Two of the three most vulnerable Repubs mentioned are from Connecticut: Chris Shays and Rob Simmons. We should organize in CT to be an effective part of the take-back-the-House strategy.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Light of Truth

I'll write more on this when I've had a chance to look into it deeper, but I wanted to get the story and links out:

San Diego Roman Catholic Bishop Brom has denied funeral services to a gay man on the basis that his life was inconsistent with Church moral teaching. Bishop Brom has been accused in the past of sexual harrassment/misconduct.

There are serious moral injustices in today's Church, and these are the fault of men like Bishop Brom, not just part of the Church itself. We must bring greater peace, love, and justice to the Church by shining the light of Truth on stories like these.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick, Snakes, and the Gulf Stream

"Saint Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland. 'Charmed them into the sea, he did,' she would say," writer Dr. George Johnson recalls his mother's Irish tale.

Well, today we need St. Patrick back to drive the snake from the White House; by allowing runaway global warming to continue, there is a real possibility of shutting down the Gulf Stream for the first time in thousands of years with results like these:

"When the last glacial ice finally disappeared from Ireland 18,000 years ago, its land remained frozen several hundreds years longer because the warming waters of the Gulf Stream were blocked from reaching England and Ireland as they do today, leaving the Irish weather frigid (remember, Ireland has the same latitude as Hudson's Bay in North America)."

At what temperature does Guinness freeze?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

If We Do Not remember History

From the New York Times, on jury selection practices in California for death penalty cases: Only white, Christian, killers should report for jury duty:

Mr. Quatman, who worked for 26 years as a deputy district attorney and prosecuted the case, said the trial judge, Stanley Golde, advised him during jury selection that "no Jew would vote to send a defendant to the gas chamber."

Would anyone consider the possibility that there is good reason that no one should send anyone to a gas chamber? And is it me, or is Golde a Jewish surname? Nice.

I am deeply disturbed by capital punishment, and disgusted that they make sure that only people who are willing to murder their fellow man should sit on a jury to decide these cases. Basic morality would dictate that if I were ever called up for a capital punishment jury, I would need to jump up and down yelling, "Kill! Kill!" like Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant until it was verdict time, and then there would be only one possibility no matter how heinous the crime: "NOT GUILTY." This system is morally broken, and life in prison without parole is a perfect answer, the only answer. And I would think sentencing to life without parole any jurors who have voted in court to kill a defendant would be very appropriate.

The Answer, My Friend?

I want to post. But nothing is catching my eye to write about. I'll ask some questions, and please pick one to answer if you wanna.

Do we have any strategy to end this war? Where are the protests? How many times must the cannonballs fly before they are forever banned? Will young people come out to vote again anytime soon, or did we shoot our load in 2004 and get dumped? Does the economy (including job market) actually look like it might be improving despite Bush's economy destroying policies? Will out of control oil prices put that to an end very soon? What will we do without Dan Rather? Is he running for something? Will Kenneth ever tell us what the frequency is? If they think it is so important that I do not have the right to marry, can I please pay less taxes if I don't have as many rights? How many years can some people exist before they're allowed to be free? Is the answer blowing in the wind?

Thanks to Peter, Paul, and Mary for the great lyrics and great music. Come back!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

If We Can't Trust the Truth of Fiction Anymore...


Sources close to the Vatican noted that the selection of Cardinal Knutcais to a newly established commission to debunk the story "Jack and the Beanstalk" signaled a powerful commitment from Rome to fight what they call, "a wildly ridiculous and utterly untrue story."

"It is profoundly important to explain to people in no uncertain terms that magic beans, giants in the sky, and talking hens categorically do not exist," announced a clearly exasperated Cardinal Knutcais to an audience of the faithful that had gathered in St. Peter's Square for the announcement.

Dr. Bill Meelaytre of North Southern University's School of Religion explained, "the Vatican needs to show that they are able to focus on important priorities even through the Pope's recent health problems. This determination to discredit the story of Jack and his beanstalk once and for all demonstrates that the Holy See is on message with a critical mission that has been neglected for too long: explaining to people that some fiction is simply not true."

While Catholic circles are buzzing with speculation as to which fictional story the Vatican will debunk next, there is no official announcement of their forthcoming targets.

*end parody*

Um, how else to respond to this? I guess as long as it keeps them from gay bashing for a few days, perhaps it is a welcome distraction. But really, this is too crazy for words:,,30200-13311903,00.html

"The Vatican has appointed a top cardinal to respond to what it says are lies, distortions and errors in The Da Vinci Code."

The Climate Change Acceleration Begins

It's unfortunately clear that we will experience huge consequences of global warming due to human carbon dioxide emissions before corrective action is taken. And the effect will be continuing and irreversible for centuries at least. "Runaway global warming" will take hold in the near future with melting ice increasing water vapor in the atmosphere. Water vapor is another leading greenhouse gas along with carbon dioxide. The increased water vapor will cause more warming, which will melt more ice, and cause accelerating increases in water vapor and warming. And this, along with continuing increases in carbon dioxide emissions will result in horrific, dramatic effects, which will happen more and more quickly, and spiraling further and further out of our control.

Sky News is reporting that the snow on top of Kilimanjaro has melted for the first time in 11,000 years and "15 years sooner than ... predicted":,,30200-13311579,00.html

The Bush administration's refusal to cooperate with efforts to control global warming ought to be considered internationally criminal. It is "last call" now for everyone of conscience to speak and act on this issue. Very soon, even the people without conscience will be cooperating to save their own hides from dangerously destructive climate effects.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Marriage Momentum

Judge after judge is now ruling that banning same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional.

What other decision could a rational adjudicator make? It's really simple when it comes down to it that we cannot tell taxpaying citizens that they are excluded from a right that their neighbors have just because of a difference in gender.

The DaVinci Code

I finished reading Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code last night. The plot is quite gripping and it's an exciting read. The writing is very good, extremely strong technically, and just short of excellence with a self-consciousness of style that just falls short of the greats.

I'm aware of an abundance of attempts to "debunk," "refute," and otherwise to show ruffled feathers over this fictional novel by certain conservative Christian circles. I would have expected far more falsehoods pushed as facts or something more shocking than the book contains. It is simply fiction which takes appropriate liberties of narrative, and weaves a tapestry of fact and conjecture well-grounded in historical and theological evidence.

But we are in a new dark age where fact is irrelevant and truth is the enemy. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Extend the Ban to Heterosexuals

I normally follow the Human Rights Campaign's action alerts like a lemming on an old PC game. Last week I got one regarding a bill to end discrimination against gays in the military. I recalled an old slogan which I once chalked on the sidewalk of Trinity College campus: Extend the Ban to Heterosexuals. Some of the queer community don't think we should want into marriage. I don't think we should want into the military. One is for love, the other is for hate. I hit the delete on that email.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Ahem, Is This Thing On?

If you build it they will come?

I've been assuming that some people will find my blog at some point. Maybe I need to publicize more. If I knew anyone was reading it, I would post a lot more.

But if in fact, you are reading this, would you be kind enough to post a comment to let me know?

Proud to Wear Birks

In a mad rush to be on time to work this morning, I caught a discussion on the WTIC AM 1080 morning show, in medias res. From what I could gather, both hosts, and several callers were indignantly irate over some political cartoon (the source of which I do not know), which they felt was an outrageous attack on conservatives. My guess, based on my experience of the tone of the debate in this country, is that the cartoon simply implied that some conservative position was misguided. That's enough usually to send them into a frenzy that we are attacking them... Now, have you heard about this?:

As reported from DailyKos:

Republican United States Congressman Jim Gibbons from Nevada speaking to a crowd,

"I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else," Gibbons said to [a] burst of applause.

He said that they are the same people who wanted to go to Iraq and become human shields for the enemy.

"I say it's just too damn bad we didn't buy them a ticket," Gibbons said.
Laughter rippled through the room, mingled with more applause.

* * *

Now maybe it just comes down to the fact that right-wingers are aggressive and mean-spirited, say these sorts of things, and become enraged when we sneeze in their zipcode. And left-wingers may, in fact, mostly just whine a little (on blogs?) as Rep. Gibbons implicates. But really, pacifists or not, why aren't we having non-violent but loud marches in our birks and tie-dyes to Rep. Gibbons' home and office? Or shall we just go hug trees?