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A Break from Reality February 28, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Politics, Religion.
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 The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church has a bit of a problem with reality. She thinks that it’s possible for theological fundamentalists to compromise. Time reports on her live webcast where she says that the American church should agree to the demands issued from the meeting of church officials in Tanzania. Everyone should calm down and be patient.

“If we can lower the emotional reactivity in the midst of this current controversy, we just might be able to find a way to live together.” 

 Really? How? The rest of the Anglican Communion outside of the U.S. and parts of Europe is so conservative that they still hold a grudge because of the ordination of women, which occurred decades ago. How patient are the gay members of the Episcopal Church supposed to be before they simply abandon the church, recognizing that patience means that bigotry will be compromised with for the rest of their lifetime?

The article also reported this:

Asked whether she was abandoning gay and lesbian Christians, Jefferts Schori said, “My view hasn’t changed, but I’m called to be pastor to the whole church.” 

In other words her personal views haven’t changed but she has abandoned them for the sake of unity with the “conservatives”. I’m sorry but I consider compromising with fundamentalist bigotry to be a very bad idea but if you’re going to do it don’t you owe it to the people you’re betraying to be honest with them?


Bias in the Mind of the Beholder (or the biased) February 20, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Politics.

Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars points out the conservative “answer” to Wikipedia, Conservapedia. The site is painted as an answer to Wikipedia’s bias. Of course in the minds of the founders of Conservapedia Wikipedia must be biased because it isn’t conservative. That’s the only reasoning I can see.

What Makes for the Most Prejudice? February 20, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Politics.
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I’ve thought that the attitude towards homosexuals that our society shows makes it seem like homophobia is the “acceptable” prejudice. A new Gallup poll on general groups and how they are viewed as presidential candidates shows another one. Of the general groups or people with certain characteristics such as Catholic, women, blacks, Jews, Mormons, men over 72 or homosexuals there was only one group that actually had fewer people willing to vote for them than those who would vote for them. It was atheists. Admittedly among conservatives only 36% would vote for a homosexual but even among moderates only 48% would vote for an atheist. Among conservatives atheists did even worse than homosexuals with only 29% of conservatives willing to vote for an atheist.

Does this tell us that religiously based prejudices trump all others? Take a look at the numbers to see what you think.

Another Page Turner Finished February 20, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in The Book List.
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I finished Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher Sunday and started Fifty Below by Kim Stanley Robinson yesterday. I’m not sure what’s next but I’m thinking of switching to a mystery or two next.

Back to a Series I Like February 15, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in The Book List.
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I finally finished The Far Side of the Stars by David Drake. I’m starting Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher, the latest of his Dresden Files series to hit paperback. I even think I already know what I’m going to read after that. It’s probably going to be Fifty Degrees Below by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Broder Gets It – Sort Of February 11, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Health Care, Politics.

David Broder has all too often lately seemed to not understand the mis-steps of the Bush Administration as well as I’d like, but overall is far less objectionable than others who are ideologically blinded to them. Today’s column calls them to task for their chicanery in what can only laughingly be called a budget. He does a good job of pointing out many of the games and misrepresentations in it. Where does he fall down?

When it comes to the health care cuts he has this to say:

Bush also has described, in blunt terms, the dismal financial prospects for Medicare — premiums will have to increase fivefold to sustain the program unless some way is found to curb health-care inflation. As a start on alleviating that crisis, Bush has proposed $66 billion in savings over the next five years, achieved mainly by trimming payments to providers and boosting premiums for the well-to-do.

Congressional Democrats are screaming even about these modest changes, but the problem is real. Bush would be in a stronger position to secure these savings if he were not pretending that he can balance the budget by 2012 while preserving all his tax cuts.

The emphasis is mine. What’s wrong with these “modest changes” in my mind? The fact that they depend on that old standby of shafting the providers is what bothers me. While it might seem that the small amount being cut shouldn’t make any difference remember that we’ve seen all of this before. The amounts currently being paid to health care providers is already too small. There are providers who won’t take Medicaid right now. If we take this path for Medicare we’re probably heading towards patients having the same problems that they currently have with Medicaid where it’s difficult to find providers who take it. This isn’t reform of the system, it’s just claiming to do something that has to be done because the effort of true reform seems to be beyond them.

Just a Touch Stubborn February 10, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Cartoons I Can't Draw.
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Picture if you will a well dressed individual standing on a very small piece of ice floating in the middle of a body of water that stretches as far as the eye can see. He’s just saying “There’s no such thing as global warming.”. The caption is “The Arctic – 2075”.

The Morality Police Mis-Strike Again February 8, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Uncategorized.
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Protecting children is important. Not exposing youngsters to porn is a good thing. But some people really need to budget some money for clue purchases. A school district and D.A. are arranging for a substitute teacher to do jail time because they claim that she was using the computer to browse for porn even though her expert computer forensics specialist showed that the popups had been on the system since before she was at the school. Does anyone else think this is utterly insane?

Something in Common February 8, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Economics, Politics.
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Wow. We have something in common with Asia after all.

Couldn’t we do more? February 7, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Environment, Science.
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I almost never agree with what Robert J. Samuelson writes. But his latest column on the reality of what’s being done concerning climate change actually hits some right notes. The cap and trade systems that are proposed by the believers in the First Church of Free Market aren’t going to cut it. No current technology would help enough even if it could be deployed in the next couple of years, which of course they can’t be. The proposals by the Bush administration are beginning to head in the right direction but they just don’t push hard enough. The research money should be doubled at least.

But why should we be surprised at our current President says the right things but doesn’t give this issue as much attention as it deserves? While they’re not getting the coverage that the Scooter Libby trial is getting the Congressional hearings on Bush administration interference in science are still going on. On other blogs I read it’s pretty much impossible to avoid conservatives defending the Bush administration on this issue, claiming that all of the climatologists who say that there is Anthropogenic Global Warming (human caused global warming) are wrong, or that they’re lying and that their motivation is grant money (Which is completely equivalent to the billions of dollars of profits the oil companies make and the millions that the power companies save by not updating their outdated power plants.) and that it really all comes down to natural cycles.