Saturday, October 29, 2005

Tax The Church!

Source: CNN
"Janet Mavis Marcusse was convicted of defrauding 577 people of $12.7 million and laundering the money through bank accounts opened under the names of nonexistent churches. Marcusse presented her scheme as a way for investors to capitalize on the tax-free status of churches."
Yet another reason why we shouldn't give churches (mosques, synagoges, or temples for that matter) tax free status. Basically, this is just the same thing as giving free money to the church. What we need is better laws protecting the sepration of chruch and state. At the time being, I believe, the only laws we have prohibit congress from establishing an official religion and eliminating any religious qualifications for goverment positions.

This is a very important issue these days. Who's with me?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Recruiters On Campus

Every time the army recruiters come onto my high school campus, kids will bring picket signs to school and protest the recruiters on campus.

I think this is a) stupid, and b) pointless.

Last year the army fell short of its goal of 800,000 recruits by 6,627. [source] They army needs new recruits to help keep this country safe and free. If these kids are sucessful at driving the recruiters off campus (very unlikely) it would become even harder to the army to reach their recruiting goal. Besides, the school is recuired by law to allow recruiters to visit campus.

The recruiters aren't lying, they are just trying to show people the benefits of being in the army. Every person entering the army knows what they are getting into. The kids enlisting know that they are risking their lives, and have a possibility of dying or being terribly injured.

Don't get me wrong however, I am against the war in Iraq, but I think it is EXTREMELY important that we support our troops. The young men and women who risk thier lives to serve this country deserve much more respect than that.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Man...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yet Another Complaint About the Media...

Does anybody still remember the earthquake that struck the Middle East a couple of weeks ago? According to CNN [link]:
The October 8 quake already has been blamed for the deaths of 47,700 people and injuries to 67,000 in Pakistan, according to its government. India says the magnitude 7.6 quake killed another 1,200 people there.
I'm sure EVERYONE remebers Katrina about 2 months ago. It caused only a couple thousand deaths. Yet the media still considers it front page news, while news about this earthquake is buried back on page 7. Read on:
UNICEF said it has yet to reach an estimated 120,000 children in Pakistan's mountainous north, and about 10,000 of those could die of hunger, hypothermia and disease within a few weeks.
This is WAY more important than an "Extreme Makeover" winner having a criminal record [link] (front page on CNN). CHILDREN are STARVING to DEATH in the THOUSANDS!!

I could rant on about this for another hour, but I think you get the point. The media in this country is totally screwed up.

More about the earthquake here and here if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Of Hobbits and Humans

Scientists have discovered hobbits! Read about it here!

Okay, I'm partially kidding, but the article still raises some intresting points (and issues):
"Scientists say they have found more bones in an Indonesian cave that offer additional evidence of a second human species -- short and hobbit-like -- that roamed the Earth the same time as modern man. [...] The discovery of a jaw bone, to be reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, represents the ninth individual belonging to a group believed to have lived as recently as 12,000 years ago."

This is very intresting. This also raises a problem for Creationists and IDists. Why would a designer create another species of humans, only for them to die out relatively quick? This is another great example of evolution at work.

Unfortunalty, its inconclusive:
"But the vocal scientific minority that has challenged that conclusion since the discovery of Homo floresiensis was announced last year remains unconvinced. [...] A vocal scientific minority insists the Hobbit specimens do not represent a new species at all. They believe the specimens are nothing more than the bones of modern humans that suffered from microencephaly, a broadly defined genetic disorder that results in small brain size and other defects."
Hmmm... good point. Right now we don't know.

"Daniel E. Lieberman of the Peabody Museum at Harvard said the specimens are so unusual that they deserve a more detailed analysis in order to adequately answer the critics' complaints.

'Many syndromes can cause microencephaly and dwarfism and they all need to be considered,' said Lieberman, who wrote a commentary in Nature. 'The findings are not only astonishing, but also exciting because of the questions they raise.'"

Also read it here and here.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Deadly Gaming

An addiction to video games has been proved fatal in some cases.

I don't think I ever expected that anybody could kill themselves playing video games. Right now, it looks like only a few people have actually died, but my prediction is that within the decade, this number will skyrocket.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Python Invasion

This was just so weird, I had to post it - Python tries to swallow an Alligator. And apparently, this wasn't the first time it's happened. I guess this does raise concerns about other animals invading fragile ecosystems, such as the Everglades.

This might be a stupid question, but how did the Python even get into the Everglades in the first place?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dante's Inferno

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)High

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Monday, October 03, 2005

God or Not

The first GOD or NOT carnival is up at skeptic rant. The topic is "sin" My Hypocrisy of Sin essay is in it. The next one will be held at Eternal Revolution on Nov. 7