Saturday, May 24, 2008

At Last, Honest Stained Glass!

This makes me laugh every time I look at it.

I gotta believe that this was created before all of the priest sex abuse scandals came to light. But perhaps there was something subliminally careening around the cranium of the creator of this stained glass window?

Do you think the Jesus light switch is used to light up the room that this window is in?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Stupidity of Dignity

The title of this blog post is not mine, but is stolen from an article by Steven Pinker as published in the National Review (May 28, 2008), to wit:

This spring, the President's Council on Bioethics released a 555-page report, titled Human Dignity and Bioethics. The Council, created in 2001 by George W. Bush, is a panel of scholars charged with advising the president and exploring policy issues related to the ethics of biomedical innovation, including drugs that would enhance cognition, genetic manipulation of animals or humans, therapies that could extend the lifespan, and embryonic stem cells and so-called "therapeutic cloning" that could furnish replacements for diseased tissue and organs. Advances like these, if translated into freely undertaken treatments, could make millions of people better off and no one worse off. So what's not to like? The advances do not raise the traditional concerns of bioethics, which focuses on potential harm and coercion of patients or research subjects. What, then, are the ethical concerns that call for a presidential council?

If you read the entire article linked above you will learn of this council's desire to define ethics in terms of religion; specifically, judeo-christian religion as literally defined in the bible. How repugnant!

For example: ...the volume finds room for seven essays that align their arguments with Judeo-Christian doctrine. We read passages that assume the divine authorship of the Bible, that accept the literal truth of the miracles narrated in Genesis (such as the notion that the biblical patriarchs lived up to 900 years), that claim that divine revelation is a source of truth, that argue for the existence of an immaterial soul separate from the physiology of the brain, and that assert that the Old Testament is the only grounds for morality (for example, the article by Kass claims that respect for human life is rooted in Genesis 9:6, in which God instructs the survivors of his Flood in the code of vendetta: "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God was man made").

Absurd! If people want to believe this nonsense individually then more power to them, but this shit should not be the basis on which our government forms its policies on bioethics... indeed, it should not be the basis for ANY government policies.

Reading further, it becomes evident that the author of the report in question, Leon Kass, is a lunatic. Go to the linked article by Pinker and search for "ice cream cone" and I think you'll agree.

Just another example of fundamentalist christianity run amuck.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Various Tidbits of Sad Information from TIME Magazine

From the May 28, 2008 edition of TIME Magazine:

  • 75% of all income gains from 2002 to '06 went to the top 1% -- households making more than $382,600 a year
  • The median American family made $58,407 in 2006. That's $991 less, when you adjust for inflation, than the median in 2000...
  • ...the top 0.01% now control 5.46% of all income, their highest share on record (the data go back to 1913)
  • ...for the fiscal year 2008 (which ends in September) the government will probably spend $500 billion more than it takes in, a deficit of 3.5% GDP.
  • 47 million Americans lack healthcare insurance.