Monday, March 30, 2015

Speaking of “Unintended Consequences”...........

Bill Levin, founder of the, so called, First Church of Cannabis Inc believes he is putting a fast one over on the State of Indiana and its controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Critics of RFRA claim that the law was enacted in order that Christians could discriminate against LGBTXYZ12@%. Levin has responded to the Governor's signing of RFRA by filing paperwork with the State for the First Church of Cannabis Inc., which Levin claims uses marijuana in the "church's" religious ceremonies.

Progressive sites are calling it a classic case of “unintended consequences.”

I have no idea how this will hold up in court, but I believe Levin needs to consider the unintended consequences of mocking God.

No one seriously believes that smoking marijuana is an actual sacrament in this would-be church.

On the "church" Facebook page, Levin is soliciting donations:

Individual Membership Donations $4.20 per month
Donate $ 100 or more and become a GREEN ANGEL.
Donate $ 500 or more and become a GOLD ANGEL
Donate $1000 or more and become a CHURCH POOHBA

Other than a list of "The New Deity Dozen", there is no mention of God in this "church".
Bill Levin - Minister of Love and Grand Pooba of the Church, proclaims we should all, "Practice these in your daily adventures in life, teach others to do the same".

1) Don't be an asshole. Treat everyone with Love as an equal.
2) The day starts with your smile every morning. when you get up, wear it first.
3) Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it's needed.
4) Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.
5) Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything.
6) Never start a fight... only finish them.
7) Grow food, raise animals get nature into your daily routine
8) Do not be a "troll" on the internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive.
9) Spend at least 10 mins a day just contemplating life in a quiet space.
10) when you see a bully... stop them by any means possible. Protect those who can not protect themselves.
11) Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
12) Cannabis, "the Healing Plant" is our sacrament. It brings us closer to ourselves and others. It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group.

I especially like #4. Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas......but it's OK to inhale smoke into your lungs, possibly setting yourself up for cancer or other lung diseases.

#7 tells us to raise animals. I'm guessing not for food, however, since #5 says we should not "intentionally hurt anything".

Levin may have pulled one over on Indiana, but not God. If Levin doesn't repent, he will one day suffer the consequences of his blasphemy.

Arizona State Senator Wants Mandatory Church Attendance.

According to wikipedia, Snowflake, Arizona was founded in 1878 by Mormon pioneers, Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake. Today, the town is represented in the Arizona State Senate by Republican Sylvia Allen.

One wonders if the good Senator is descended from the original settlers of the community. Recent comments would suggest that Sylvia Allen is definitely a Flake.

During a recent committee hearing concerning legislation that would allow individuals who have permits to carry concealed weapons to bring them into public buildings, Allen stated that she felt the committee should be debating a bill about mandatory church attendance instead of guns.

I agree with the Senators comments, "I believe what's happening to our country is that there is a horrible erosion of the soul of America" and "......we are slowly eroding religion ......." but the idea that we should pass a law requiring mandatory Sunday church attendance is absolutely insane. And Fascist.

It appears standard operating procedure for demagogues to want the government to make certain actions mandatory. Recently, President Obama opined that voting in elections should be mandatory. With Allen's idea concerning mandatory church attendance, Obama no longer has the dumbest idea of the week.

Sorry, But Cursive Writing is Obsolete.

I've come across this meme of Facebook quite a few times recently. Along with a photo of an example of cursive writing, there is the statement,

"Massachusetts is one of several states that wants to keep penmanship lessons in the curriculum. Do you think we should keep cursive writing alive?"



As I type this, 175,424 folks have "liked" this meme on Facebook and it looks as if all 175,424 have left a comment. I've not read every comment, but it appears as if only one person besides myself thinks teaching cursive is pretty much a waste of time.

Some of the dumber comments supporting the continuation of cursive went along the lines of  "cursive is needed so they can read our founding documents".....as if the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution aren't available in print form - online, no less. You don't have to travel to Washington, D.C. to see the original document in order to read it.

Another mind numbingly stupid comment was,

"Absolutely! What will we do if the electricity is out, the phones are out and we need to send a message!"

If the phones and electricity are out, the message would have to be hand delivered. By the time you drove across town, the electricity would probably be back on. If the power wasn't on, you could talk to the person face to face.......no need to even write the %$#@& message.

The origin of cursive writing is associated with practical advantages of writing speed and infrequent pen lifting to accommodate the limitations of the quill pen. News flash: no one uses a quill pen now-a-days.

The method of cursive taught in the United States from the late 1890s to the 1950s was called the Palmer Method which had been developed to allow the writer to effectively compete with the typewriter. Unlike in the early twentieth century, businesses no longer communicate with hand written letters. Cursive may have had its place 100 years ago, but other than when writing a signature, cursive is rarely used at all any more.

Here's a link to someone who has explained why cursive is obsolete, much better than I. He writes,

"Cursive writing is an anachronism. Spending any classroom time on it is comparable to teaching how to use an abacus: it’s interesting as a history lesson, and probably offers some side benefits, but it is not at all practical as a day-to-day skill in the modern, connected world."

and:

"Just because you learned something in school doesn’t mean your kids should: the world is changing, quickly. And while it’s hard to make predictions about where technology is headed, it’s safe to say the future won’t involve a lot of cursive handwriting (unless some kind of disaster sends us back to 14th-century technology, in which case handwriting will be the least of our problems)."

I've never operated a cotton gin - once considered a valuable skill. I've never saddled a horse or hitched one to a cart, but I've gotten along just fine. I suppose if the phone and electricity and Internet go out, I won't be able to ride a horse to deliver my handwritten message.

Heavens forbid.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso's Appeal Rejected.

According to reports, [inquirer.net] Indonesia is preparing to move a Filipino death row inmate for execution after she lost her appeal in the Indonesian Supreme Court earlier this week.

While Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay renewed his appeal on Friday to Indonesian President Joko Widodo for the commutation of the death sentence of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, Indonesia has so far turned a deaf ear to all appeals from the international community.

Last week, rappler.com published an article on the impact this tragedy has had on Veloso's parents.

I continue to ask for prayers for Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso and her family in Philippines.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Losin' With Cruz.

I'd like to "like" Sen. Ted Cruz; I really would. He and I agree on a good many things, not everything, of course, but sadly it's those few differences that rub me the wrong way.

The differences I have with the Senator can best be illustrated by his picking Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia as the location to announce his candidacy for the 2016 presidential race.

The Washington Post calls Liberty University"the symbolic center of the GOP political-religious universe". That may be true for the GOPs conservative Protestant wing, but for this conservative Catholic, I find the folks at Liberty not quite my cuppa coffee.

I've always found the late Jerry Falwell's particular brand of Protestantism more than a little creepy. Falwell was a strong supporter of 6-day, young earth creation as well the belief that global waming was "created to destroy America’s free enterprise system and our economic stability.”

Whenever I hear the words "Liberty University", I can't help but immediately think "6-day, young earth creation" and that, frankly, gives me the heebie–jeebies.

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