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The President Tells Some Whoppers January 29, 2008

Posted by Joe in Bush, politics, President, State of the Union.
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From The State of The Union Address:

From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we’ve made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.

And so in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free peoples to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives for their futures.

And members of Congress should know: If any bill raises taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it.

and then …

Next week, I’ll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion. The budget that I will submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets; so should their government.

A grand “plan” to balance the budget without raising taxes from a President who has larger budget deficits than all the Presidents before him, combined.

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options. We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

We don’t want to ensure that all Americans have health care, we just want to make it “more affordable and accessible”.

Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods and crops and services all over the world. So we’re working to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can.

Because so far the free trade agreements that have driven our jobs over seas have been great for middle class America.

To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology.

Now that we are grudgingly willing to admit that there is such a thing as global warming. Don’t expect us to actually use those words though.

To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

Unless they are offending religious zealots by “playing god”.

On matters of life and science, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries.

“respecting moral boundaries” = offending religious extremists.

And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years.

Yes, increase funding to the program that insists on abstinence as the way to fight AIDS and does not distribute or teach the use of condoms which could drastically reduce the spread of the disease.

increase funding

increase funding

increase funding

Oh and we can balance the budget without restoring taxes.


“For The People, By The People” ? September 17, 2007

Posted by Joe in health care, homosexuality, law, media, politics.

I am of two minds about the state of the US government, which is supposedly an institution for the people and by the people. On one side it seems obvious to me that the US was never run by the people and was never run for the people. It has always been run by the rich and the white, who grant those without power the benefit of governmental power only at their whim.

Of course, this has improved massively with time. Women, minorities and the poor have all gained much more access to the power structure than they previously had. On the other hand the power of the media and corporations has grown to the extent that the current democratic system is overwhelmed by the power of the constant corporate propaganda.

How can the voice of the underdog be heard in this country? Are the media setting the current political agenda?  Are global warming, health coverage and gay marriage just the play things that they let us rant about while the critical issue of who controls the power in this country remain hidden behind the curtain? Could a genuine grass roots movement have the power to change this country like it did in the 60s with the civil rights and anti-war movements?

Now That’s A Ticket September 7, 2007

Posted by Joe in politics.
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Humanism, a first look July 27, 2007

Posted by Joe in atheism, belief, ethics, freethought, Humanism, life, morality, politics, skepticism.

I do not wish to define myself by what I am not. This is my largest problem with the term atheist. It is a statement of something I do not believe, but really doesn’t say anything more than that. So I am seriously looking into Humanism for the first time.

If you have any experience or knowledge of Humanism, please share.


The Demon-Haunted World June 18, 2007

Posted by Joe in agnosticism, atheism, belief, books, creationism, ethics, evolution, fallacy, freethought, god, language, life, media, NASA, politics, psychology, reading, religion, science, skepticism, space exploration, theism.
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It’s been more than I decade since Carl Sagan wrote A Demon-haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark, But even as I reread it today its message is as timely as ever. The survival of our way of life depends entirely our scientific knowledge and how we apply it. Yet we have created a society where the vast majority have no knowledge of the methods or findings of science and no knowledge of how the technology they use everyday actually works.

Furthermore we have media and politicians that present everyday anti-science attitudes, watered down and pop-culture simplifications of science, and present pseudo-science uncritically.

Everyone should read this book; theist or atheist; “evolutionist” or creationist. Whatever your stripe you will get something out of it and enjoy the trip.

Carl Sagan explains what makes science the best way we have to know what is:

Some people consider science arrogant, nevertheless, I maintain that science is part and parcel humility. Scientists do not seek to impose their needs and wants on Nature, but instead humbly interrogate Nature and take seriously what they find. We understand human imperfection. We insist on independent and to the extent possible, quantitative verification of proposed tenets of belief. We are constantly prodding, challenging, seeking contradictions or small persistent residual errors, proposing alternative explanations, encouraging heresy. We give our highest rewards to those who convincingly disprove established beliefs.