Saturday, January 21, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
I do not believe in ghosts or spirits. I do not believe in invisible people in the sky who control our destiny. I do not believe in Bigfoot, Yeti, chupacabra, mok'ele-mbembe, Nessie or Champ. (Google 'em.) I do not believe that John Edwards, Sylvia Browne, or Derek Acora actually communicate with spirits. I do not believe in astral projection or ESP.
Oddly, I find myself watching Ghost Hunters and Monster Quest every time they are on.
The other day, a friend told me this story: While driving from Houston to Seguin on IH-10 to her in-laws' home with her three kids the car broke down. She pulled over to the side of the road, and began to panic. Her oldest kid was six, the youngest was two. She looked in her rear view mirror, and a white tow truck had pulled up behind her. Two men in white jumpsuits climbed out of the cab of the truck and got her car fixed so she could get to Seguin. When she told one of the men they were angels for helping her, he didn't respond. She got back in her car, told her kids to turn around and wave to the nice men. She looked in the rear view mirror to see them wave and noticed that the tow truck was gone and was nowhere to be seen. She believes that they were, indeed, actual angels.
I don't doubt her story. But, I don't believe they were angels.
However, I would like to believe in all this stuff. So I am an open minded skeptic.
Labels: Things to think about
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Is Your Religion School-Approved?
Ginger Strivellis a witch. No, really. She practices witchcraft as a religion. One day, her son came home from school with a Bible. The Gideons International dropped off a few boxes of Bibles and the school announced that they were free to any student who wanted one.
Ginger marched down to the school and asked why they were giving away Bibles. The principal said that they would distribute any religious books to anyone who was interested. So when she offered to donate spell books to the school for anyone that was interested, she was turned away.
The school board is reviewing the matter and is not taking any donations of religious texts. They will make a formal decision at the next meeting, in February.
I have problem with this story.
The principal wasn't walking down the hallway between classes passing the darned things out. They were giving them to people who were interested in them. Ginger's son had to go to a specific location (presumably the office) and get the Bible. He was interested. No one forced him to get a Bible. He did it himself. Is Ginger transferring her anger at her son to the school?
As pointed out in the story linked to above, the School has two choices in the matter: accept no religious books or accept all religious books. I don't care which option they pick, either. But I think Ginger's making a mountain out of a molehill.
Here's why SOPA is bad. To quote from Ehowa.com, wherein, Ernie mentioned a post on The Truth About Guns and a round counting device that could go onto .357 magnum. The article concludes with a Dirty Harry Joke. It links to a clip on YouTube. Ernie said that if any site linked to that page, like I did, Under SOPA:
Warner Brothers goes directly to the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT does two things. First they order that all of the domains hosting -- OR EVEN LINKING TO -- the copyrighted material be banned from US based search engines like Google. Secondly, they FORCE financial institutions like banks and Paypal, to case processing all funding for all of the domains hosting -- OR EVEN LINKING TO -- the copyrighted material. And all of this happens without the case seeing the inside of a courtroom. Finally, some nice FBI agents -- or perhaps Immigrations and Customs Enforcement? - will be knocking on the doors of: Youtube headquarters, The-Truth-About-Guns headquarters, and my house since I linked to TTAG. We'll all be treated to a nice 5 year stay in FEDERAL PRISON and FINED UP TO $15 MILLION DOLLARS EACH
Kind of shocking. I admit I've stolen pictures. I never claimed I owned or created them, but I stole them any way. Hello, LOLcats. I'm talking to you.
The worst offender, though is SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith. Here. When it was pointed out that Congresscritter Smith was violating the law he wrote, he changed his site. Here. This meant that if SOPA had been in effect and his site had remained the same, Lamar Smith would have been facing jail and fines. So would anyone who linked to him. Like the Federal government. And if anyone had shared the link on Facebook, so would Facebook.
No one is saying that piracy should be legalized. All we're saying is maybe we should redefine Fair Use and think about the consequences.