Dinner with Mojoey

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I am in Anaheim for a two day advanced training on the software my school district uses for managing students.  After a  few previous attempts to get together I finally enjoyed a dinner and a few beers with Joe (Mojoey).

In case you don't know who Joe is let me tell you about him as he is a quite fascinating person.
  • Joe once worked in the aerospace industry manufacturing parts for the B2 bomber without even knowing what he was making them for.
  • Joe co-developed Pointalist which was popular software for Mac OS in the early 1990's before he and his partner sold it to Adobe.
  • He is a professional photographer but photography is not his profession.
  • He is an avid disc golfer.
  • Joe is currently an IT manager in the aerospace industry.
  • Joe writes several blogs; My Blind EyeRattling the ChainsDeep Thoughts and The Atheist Blogroll.
Although, I don't know how he would find the time I think he does other fascinating stuff that he didn't get around to telling me. Of course I am not sure how since we talked, ate and drank for over 3 hours. It may have been because of my habit of running off at the mouth and disrupting the flow of conversation.

Despite so-so food at Haven Gastropub in Orange, Ca the company was exceptional and I look forward to meeting up with Joe again.

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War on Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011
Annual Thanksgiving Post:

I am a Traditional Pilgrimist. I can trace my family's roots back to early colonial days. As a Thanksgiving Pilgrimist or TP'er I always celebrate Thanksgiving by having a traditional turkey, traditional stuffing, traditional cranberry sauce and traditional pumpkin pie. I watch the traditional Macy's parade and the traditional Lions and Packers football game.

However, the last few years I have seen a constant assault on Thanksgiving. First, we have people having pasta or sushi and not turkey. Now we have people calling Thanksgiving, Turkey Day, Gobble Day or Gobble Gobble Day. Then there is the advertising, "Gobble up Savings", "Don't be a Turkey and Pay Too Much".  And of course there is the Black Friday sales and if that were not enough we now have Pre-Thanksgiving or Pre-Turkey Day sales.

When will it end?!

As a TP'er I demand that we take Thanksgiving back. Show your support for a traditional Thanksgiving and become a TP'er by leaving a comment of support.

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God Did It

Saturday, October 1, 2011
Foreclosed House 3-21-08 IMG_7996Image by stevendepolo via Flickr
Last night I was at a going away party for a long time coworker. Near the end of the party I was sitting with a group of coworkers while one of them was explaining how they just bought a house.

First, she told us how she had been driving around this particular neighborhood for about two months looking for homes for sale and foreclosures. She finally found a foreclosure she loved and although it was in need of some repair she asked her Realtor to make an offer. Her Realtor said it wasn't for sale and couldn't make an offer. 

So, she went back to driving around the neighborhood. A few weeks later a For Sale sign was posted and she again contacted her Realtor. This time they made and offer which was rejected. When the made a second offer they were told it was sold.

So, again she went about looking until her Realtor called and said the sale fell through and they want you to make an offer but it has to be cash. She said she can't do cash so they made a regular offer. After about a month of back and forth they finally agreed on a price and that the bank would pay for necessary repairs. So, she bought the house and moved in a few weeks ago.

So, why am I telling you this and what does have to do with religion? Well, all through her story she kept saying how complicated and confusing the process was and that god must have been watching out for her. She said it was a miracle she got the house and that god must have made sure.

I will be the first to admit that buying a house can be a complicated and at times confusing process but I don't think even god could help her through the process of buying a house even if god existed. As complicated a process as it is it is still a process of men and laws.

The reason she got the house it turns out is that the company that had the foreclosure, Wachovia, had just been purchased by the company that was providing her loan, Wells Fargo. Additionally, the person handling the foreclosure and the person handling the loan ended up in the same office. 

But, what I really think made the difference was her persistence in looking in the same area.

So god did it? I don't think so.

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Happy Labor Day

Monday, September 5, 2011

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FFRF Harassing School Districts?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Demanding that public schools stop engaging in sponsored prayer at school events is not harassing, it is simply just a demand. Harassing would be to demand they stop every day in every way until they stop.

However, The New American thinks a simple demand equal harassment. But, this is not surprising coming from them since they are not what you would call a mainstream media source. Their coverage of topics always fall very far to the right.

Here is how they started their article
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues its attack on the constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and religious expression as it targets school districts in Mississippi and Kentucky that have held to their long-time traditions of public prayer. 
They apparently misunderstand the phrase, "constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech and religious expression". Luckily, we have some some who does understand the phrase.
“Prayer over the loudspeakers at football games is a constitutional no-no,” quipped FFRF spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The Supreme Court has spoken on this issue…. We’ve given them the law, and the law is incontrovertible. What they’re doing is illegal.”
 Fortunately, I believe the school board reaffirmed their policy of no prayer.

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An Interesting Quote

Saturday, August 27, 2011
I picked up this quote off of Facebook:
“And verily, thou shalt pick and choose which of my laws thou shalt keep and force upon others; for only that which makes thee comfortable or feel a smugness in thy heart shall guide you.” - Doucheronomy 8:17 

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Book Censorship Increasing in Public Schools

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The American Library Association says the number of reported challenges in the past 30 years has hovered between about 400 or 500, but there are many bans they never learn about. While parents have traditionally launched the lion’s share of challenges, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, an attorney with the association, says she has noticed “an uptick in organized efforts” to remove books from public and school libraries.

The library association reports that this year alone, U.S. schools have banned more than 20 books and faced more than 50 other challenges, with many more expected this fall as school starts. 

A review of the books banned by various schools in the past six months illustrates that eliminating this “objectionable material” actually deprives students of the chance to think and form their own opinions about difficult questions.

List of books banned:

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Citizens for National Security sue Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida DoE

Saturday, August 20, 2011
The nonprofit group claims Florida's governor "purged" the state school board, to undermine public schools and "facilitate the religious indoctrination of children," then pushed through a law that will give a two-member board the power to select school textbooks, with the intent to unleash "unscientific creationist beliefs of fundamentalist religious leaders, who seek to promote their erroneous beliefs on the children of Florida".

The group says Florida SB 2120 takes the power of textbook review and approval out of the hands of large groups with public representation, and puts it into the hands of a 2-member board which cannot possibly be expected to review fairly the thousands of textbooks used in Florida school within 4 months, as required by the bill.

The group claims SB 2120 violates the Florida Constitution's guarantee of a high quality education, and also violated the Constitutions single-subject rule on legislation. It claims that SB 2120 "furthers the governor's goal of politicizing our public schools and potential brainwashing of children in order to share the governor's and his political cronies' support and endorsement of religion, by keeping the overview of textbooks in our public schools a secret, and by facilitating the inclusion of textbooks which advance religion."

Read more here.

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This Won't End Well

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Cedar Falls, IA Board of Education recently decided to invest more than $60,000 into a Cedar Falls church to house part of the district's preschool program. This act has caught the attention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation and on Friday the FFRF sent a letter and email to Deon Senchina, the board president, detailing their concern with the decision.

"This is exactly the kind of entanglement that the founders of our country did not want to have," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, the foundation's co-president. "... This deal is at taxpayers' expense and it is unacceptable in our opinion."

The project which is to pay for ADA upgrades and code improvements to the church, which is next door, has already received district funds for asbestos removal.

The foundation believes the contract violates the Iowa Constitution which states that no person should be "compelled to attend any place of worship, pay tithes, taxes or other rates for building or repairing places of worship."

Superintendent David Stoakes who disagrees says, "To my knowledge there is no basis in fact for what the letter is alleging. Separation has to do with programming, not the facility. We are not going to be propagating any religion in our preschool program."

Apparently, the superintendent has done this in past at districts he previously worked. He also notes that it is common for districts to pay to upgrade property they use like city owned buildings.

Gaylor said the issue goes beyond just the taxpayer dollars, though. She is also concerned that the students will be exposed to religious paraphernalia which will get "mixed up in their minds."

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

Saturday, June 4, 2011
“There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as The Dark Ages.”
Ruth Hurmence Green (1915 – 1981)

So would this make us in The Dim Ages or The Only Slightly Dark Ages?


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I Think I Slept Through The Rapture

Sunday, May 22, 2011
RaptureImage by rossaroni via Flickr
I was really tired yesterday. I did not get up until late and I took a nap in the afternoon. So, as a result I think I missed, The Rapture of 2011. Is everyone still here? Who's gone. What did I miss?

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