Monday, January 29, 2007

Jesus: no gay adoptions

EVERY time I think that the Catholic Church cannot possibly disgust me any more, they go and do something else to prove me wrong.

In approximately three months, the Equality Act, legislation which makes it a crime to discriminate based on sexual preference comes into effect in the UK. Under these laws, Catholic adoption agencies can be prosecuted, as they currently do not allow gay couples to adopt.

Stevie Wonder could have seen this one coming.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, has already said that the adoption agencies will close if they are forced to place children with gay couples.

I really am at a loss for words on this one, and I have to wonder whose interests these people are serving. One thing is for sure, it's definitely not those of the children.

So much for Matthew 19:14.

monstersandcritics, BBC.

Friday, January 26, 2007

There is no War on Terror

ONE of the things that has always bothered me about the "war on terror" is the extreme hysteria and that came along with it. The PATRIOT act, the ludicrous travel restrictions, TAPS, warrantless wiretapping, revocation of habeas corpus, torture, rendition to foreign states, indefinite incarceration of American citizens without being charged with a crime, indefinite incarceration of American citizens without being provided access to legal counsel, and about a zillion other examples of violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms all done in the name of protecting us from terrorists.

The people that try to justify these actions will try to tell you that we live in a time of unprecedented peril, and that we are facing a threat that the world has never seen before.

These people apparently have forgotten their history.

During most of the 1960's and the 1970's the entire planet was constantly on the brink of global nuclear obliteration as the United States and Russia escalated their deadly arms race. At any moment during that period, had things gone the wrong way, every last living thing on the planet could have been destroyed. These were the years of the very real fear that it was All Going To End.

I don't know what is so different between my generation and the one that preceded it. Why were they strong? What courage did they possess that we now lack? What allowed them to retain their values, their ideals, and to preserve the civil rights that we, cowards that we are, so eagerly toss away in the face of far less dangerous times?

I am truly embarrassed of my generation.

Today, for the first time, I read something that has given me a little hope in my generation and its leaders. Sir Kevin Macdonald, the director of public prosecutions in England, has spoken out against the "war on terror", and for treating it properly - not some horrific boogyman in whose name we debase our constitution, in whose name we destroy our way of life, and in whose name we throw away our rights, but as it should be treated. As crime.

The guardian has the story - linky

Props to ignatz-uk on kos, making me aware of it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The SPAM experiments, Part I.

THE amount of spam mail I receive is seriously getting out of hand. What is even more annoying, is that the spammers are getting better and better at creating spam that gets by my email filters. As of right now, my inbox has over 3,000 email messages in it, presumably most of them are spam, but I do not want to delete them because I am not sure what they are.

I'm also getting a ton of crap from mailing lists that I either cannot unsubscribe from, or that I refuse to unsubscribe from on principle because I have to "create an account" and "fill out a profile" in order to unsubscribe. I should not have to tell you more about myself in order to tell you to never talk to me again. You really have to wonder sometimes if the people who set up these email systems put even the slightest bit of thought into what they are doing.

Most people eventually change email addresses to escape spam, which is a non-solution, as it immediately renders worthless any contact information that you have given out in the past. Why bother to print email addresses on business cards or resumes at all, if you know that the spammers will force you to change it in a year or two?

A few months ago, I remember reading about some guy that disabled his email account, causing all emails sent to him to bounce. A couple of days later, he turned it back on. His friends that were sending him legitimate emails that were getting bounces eventually re-sent what he didn't get. The spammers deleted his email address from their databases (because bounced messages cost them money). The net result was that after a while, the amount of email coming to him was drastically reduced, and he was able to keep his email address.

I am now in Day Two of this process. I haven't decided how long I am going to leave it off, as obviously there is a tradeoff - if I leave it off for too long, I run the risk of losing opportunities due to email non-delivery issues. Friends will simply try again, or call me on the phone, because they know I still exist. The problem is that some of my email is from strangers, and some of it could be potentially very valuable. How many job databases will I be removed from during this time? Will I miss out from meeting my long lost billionaire twin brother who finally found me after all this time? Who knows?

Monday, January 22, 2007

I don't like your T-shirt.

Allen Jasson, 55, an Australian IT expert who lives in Britain, was stopped from boarding a London-bound Qantas flight at Melbourne Airport last Friday for wearing what the airline said was an offensive T-shirt. Airline staff said the T-shirt of Bush with the tagline "World's number 1 terrorist" could have upset other passengers and demanded it be changed for another.

Give. Me. A. Break.

Reuters has the story. - linky

PS: Does anyone know where I can get one of these shirts?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

LEAP in the news

SO there is this organization called LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) which is a group of almost 7,000 former police officers, judges, narcotics agents and so forth, who argue that the drug war has failed, and that drugs should be legalized.

I've read about them in the past, and they seem to be doing good work. What was surprising however, was reading a story about them on Fox news.

Friday, January 12, 2007

An Inconvenient Lesson

THIS just in, from our "God Makes You Stupid" Department.

Al Gore has a movie called "The Inconvenient Truth", in which he talks about man-made climate change, and how it has affected, and how it will continue to affect us in the years to come. It seems that this movie (which I highly recommend) was being shown at a school in Washington.

No more.

The decision was sparked by complaints from parents who said their children were taking the film as fact after viewing it at school.

"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven children who doesn't want the film shown at all.

"The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is," Hardison told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."

I'm lost for words.

The First Amendment Center has the story - linky

Breaking up is hard to do

Found this gem on a forum I read.

It's one thing being dumped by your girlfriend. It's another to be dumped by text message. But it's even worse when you're dumped by a total stranger. How cruel can someone be, to just cast me aside without even knowing a single thing about me? Oh fickle woman, how you toy with my heart via the medium of SMS! I could be the man of your dreams for all you know, which you never will, because you got all confused about cause, effect, also possibly telephone numbers, and ditched me before I'd even asked you out!

Anyway, here's the message I received.

im sorry babe i cant go out wit u no more. soz. please dont text or cal me. Beth.

I am now taking suggestions for a reply.