Friday, May 05, 2006


As I always suspected, "believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism." Don't believe me! Well, the Vatican astronomer makes it quite clear! Hat tip to Tristero.

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a "destructive myth" had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.

He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a "kind of paganism" because it harked back to the days of "nature gods" who were responsible for natural events.

Brother Consolmagno argued that the Christian God was a supernatural one, a belief that had led the clergy in the past to become involved in science to seek natural reasons for phenomena such as thunder and lightning, which had been previously attributed to vengeful gods. "Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance. That's why science and religion need to talk to each other," he said.

"Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do."
The Christian Right Wing are a bunch of Pagans.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever expected the value of gold to be over $400.00 an ounce. Let alone $675.00 an ounce that it is today. Gold, since its removal as an economic staple, had become a bastard child indices. A key figure when evaluating inflationary risk (therefore, a hedge against inflation) within the economy, but not more than that. A run-up in its value was considered inconceivable- at least during my studies in the early 90's.

Nevertheless, we are seeing a massive increase in its value. Just incredible numbers. While, at the same time, we are experiencing a like-kind increase in other commodities; silver, platinum, copper, nearly all raw materials. Furthermore, we are now experiencing, first hand, the rising values of crude oil. I paid $3.25 a gallon the other day.

On the other hand, we have not seen a real appreciable rise in inflation. Those pressures have been tempered, at least for now. What is it that is keeping values in check? Is it the rising productivity of our employees? Maybe its some of that. Improved productivity of industry in general; whether it is at home or production abroad? Its probably some of that also. Could it be the stability of real wages in America? The fact that the average wage of working Americans has not increased at the same pace of corporate executives is a telling signal. In fact, this might be the most important factor. We are more productive as a people and a country, but those achievements and resulting benefits have not trickled down in-kind --- to borrow Mr. Laffer's term --- in the form of higher wages for the working class. What does this all mean?

Beats me! I can't tell you I'm an expert in all of this, and I'm sure I've missed some important factors and subtleties. Nevertheless, there's gotta be a backlash, no? Of course, maybe as long as we don't see inflation people won't notice.


Arthur Magazine has a great interview with Boston based band Godsmack. Link from FDL. Tell me what you think Bert!


Well, they actually came to us, believe it or not. Somebody in the Navy loves this band, because they used ‘Awake’ for three years and then they came to us and re-upped the contract for another three years for ‘Sick of Life.’ So, I don’t know. They just feel like that music, [laughs] someone in that place thinks that the music is very motivating for recruit commercials I guess. And hey, I’m an American boy so it’s not… I’m proud of it.


Well, no. [laughs, then jokingly] Don’t be turning my fucking words around, you!


I guess… I don’t know what their recruit age is. I know it’s at least 18.


My thing is… Listen, here’s my thing with the military. I’m not saying our government is perfect. Because I know that we make some mistakes and we do shitty things BUT, BUT. You wouldn’t have your job, and we wouldn’t have our lives, if we weren’t out there protecting this country so we could lead a free life. So there’s kind of a ying and a yang to that. Sometimes it’s not always the best choices that we make, or we stick our noses in other people’s shit, but at the same time, we protect this place enough that we’re able to like pursue careers and do what a lot of people in other countries aren’t able to do. They’re kind of picked and they’re chosen to be whatever they become… I’m, I’m, I’m proud to be an American, I’ll tell you that.


Uh, no. Not right or wrong. But I’m proud to be an American. I love my country. I’ve seen the depressions and how people live in other countries and how they’re told what to be, and they don’t have the choices that we have. I do love that about our country. So, you know… And I actually sympathize with a lot of the soliders, and the military in general, that are trained to go out and protect FOR us, and what they have to go through, it’s really kind of shitty in a sense that these young kids have to go over there and die, sometimes, for something that isn’t our fucking problem. And that kind of sucks. So what I have to do is at least support them, because they don’t have the choice that we do.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Baghdad Burning

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Not Ready To Make Nice

I'm not a country fan at all. So this post might be a bit unusual. This Dixie Chicks song has some muscle to it. They seem a bit angry. I guess when you question the patriotism of another American feelings can run hard. Afterall, those are fight'n words.

The Press

How accountable should we, as liberals, hold the press when they have failed repeatedly to do their jobs.? When their failue is not just a temporary oversight, but a long term problem that has manifest over the past 20 years. How can we continue to defend the press unconditionally? We can't. Digby explains why.

One of the most important catalysts for the emergence of a left online community was the Clinton and Gore character assassination campaigns. We just could not remain quiet anymore --- particularly since the mainstream press seemed to writhe around in the muck with the same pleasure as the GOP operatives who plied them with tabloid trivia. The technology merely gave voice to what millions of us out here in Americaland had been screaming in our minds for years.

Wow, You Learn Something New Everyday

I've been sitting quietly observing the recent anti-immigrant brouhaha, from the minutemen to politicians spouting off pre-election vitriol. And, as I expected, a little bit of history finds a way of creeping in. Apparently, in 1919 the U.S. Bureau of Education commissioned a Spanish version of “The Star Spangled Banner. ” Check out a scan at the Library of Congress. Think Progress has more. Senator Alexander eat your heart out!

Ya know. I've never understood the pack rat mentality of the numerous xenophobic movements I have seen and experienced in my short 33 years on this earth. It's almost as if it is a right of passage every immigrant must endure, and a right nativist feel they must inflict on future new Americans.

"Welcome!" They scream. "Welcome to the land of opportunity and freedom! Now go fuck yourself! You goddamn foreigner!"

What causes this psychosis? What causes people to turn off their own inescapable ability for compassion? What is it about being a nativist that makes you feel justified in doing so?

Monday, May 01, 2006

The May Day Immigration Rally in Santa Ana

Colbert, The Comic Genius

This was the greatest performance I have ever seen by a comedian. A man, playing a right-wing talk show host, is set before an audience that he routinely lambast on Comedy Central. Its like a gift from heaven. He stands up out of his seat and slowly walks over to the podium. The conservatively dressed man looks up at the crowd and adjust his glasses as they almost fall from his nose. Does he follow the format and provide the wolves their proverbial meaty helpings of lame comedy leftovers, or does he go for the jugular. Provide them the biting sarcasm and irony perfected by the comic mavens at his network. Give them a taste of his show.

He did better. Like the old master, Andy Kaufman, Colbert changed the entire perspective of the dinner. He tossed it on its side, kicked it in the groin and then kicked it again. Because, you see, the Dinner, which started out as a fun light-hearted self deprecating affair, was in actuality a joke in itself. The joke isn't on them, the joke is them!

Andy Kaufman would have been proud.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3: