Pastor Agnostic’s Ten Commandments

1775 – American Revolution: The British advancement by sea begins; Paul Revere and others warn the countryside of the troop movements.

1949 – The aircraft carrier USS United States is laid down at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding. However, the giant ship is canceled 5 days later, resulting in the Revolt of the Admirals.

COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!

“Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.”
— Rev. Jerry Falwell

“The Spirit tells me, Fidel Castro will die in the 90’s.”
—  Rev. Benny Hinn

FROM THE CHURCH OF INEFFABLE STUPIDITY

If it was good enough for some two part, badly translated, mostly borrowed, and politically edited fairy tale, then ten arbitrary, off the cuff rules must be good enough for the rest of us. Please feel free to take my post in vain.

These commandments should be read like speed limits. Obey them only when it pleases you, especially if your radar detector is not working. Except in school zones, where you must slow down and keep a careful eye open.

1) Read, write, study, learn.

Honestly, what one thing separates us from animals? Writing, written history, and the intertubes. We can share information, knowledge, and experience today in ways never dreamed of just two decades ago. Sure, a lot of it is crap, (see, generally, Drudge, PalinPac, Whirled Nut Delay, WaPo of late, and the formerly honored Wall Street Urinal) but frankly, it pays to see what the great unwashed NeoConmen and  Tea Baggers and are brewing up now.

Learning something new is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. Applying that new knowledge is close to saint-hood.

2) Practice what you preach.

The Intertubes offer most of us anonymity. I post my name in my profile, and have suffered for it. But, unless I am willing to stand up for my (ahem) beliefs, what impact can I ever expect my words to have? We must stand up against injustices. We must learn from our mistakes. We must admit our faults (but not grovel about their occurrence). And, we must act in line with what we say we promote.

If that means that we need to organize an anti-teabagger meeting, so be it. I suggest July 4th as an appropriate date. They can choose the Ides of April to protest their lower taxes. We should, and must, stand up and demand that freedom and independence have responsibilities, as well as benefits.

3) Organized religions do great harm. One must fight the worst of their impact.

So far, the courts have done pretty well. Despite 8 yrs of W, there still is a separation of state and religion. Creationism is not a science, intelligent design is neither, and religious folks who demand that we accept their ways on all issues must be acknowledged politely, then stopped in their tracks. It is not only a 4 yr old girl being reborn, confessing her worldly sins on the 700 Club, it is not only Texass Skule Bored rewriting history, nor is it only the insane claim that only christians can understand what moral behavior is.

Every single time that anyone replaces fact with faith, society takes a hit. The more that faith intrudes, the worse things get for society. Sure, there are many imponderables, many unknowns, even many known unknowns. But to regress to “faith” in response to an unknown is what religion demands of us. We must do the opposite. When there is a hard question, we should be spurred on to do more research. Until we learn a factual answer.

4) Morals, ethics, and societal responsibility must be a necessary part of your daily life.

It is so cute how conservative christians claimed that they, and only they, could be moral and ethical. Everyone else was a sinner, and doomed to hell. Ted Haggard, Rev. Baker, Senators Vitter, Ensign, and many other family values creeps proved the opposite to be the case. Their theft of those issues caused a great deal of harm. It is time we reclaimed them from religious cretins.

Morals, Ethics, and societal responsibility are ours. Every day, in many ways, modern society expresses our current standards and beliefs about what constitutes proper behavior. Some call them laws. Legislation. Statutes. Codes. But laws alone do not constitute (and never can) the whole of what “Morals, Ethics, and social responsibility” are. Unless you are the unfortunate recipient of genes,  head injuries, or magnetic forces,  which prevent you from having an ethical internal debate, (the amazing brain) all of us have some clue of what is right and wrong. It would do all of us some good to study it even further, starting much earlier in life. Say, age 15 or so.

5) If you covet your neighbor’s spouse, be sure to pay all divorce costs.

Seriously, if you and she/he want to get it on, go for it. But be prepared to responsible for your (and his/her) actions. Despite the Papal Maltese Decree that divorce is a mortal sin (and far worse than his bishops covering up thousands of sex abuse cases around the world), life goes on. People are attracted to others. People realize they made huge mistakes in relationships. People need to act responsibly.

One very good corollary to this commandment: ALWAYS GET A PRE-NUPT! That applies to same sex marriages, too, folks. Frankly, the more you think about a permanent relationship, AHEAD OF TIME, the better your’s will be.

6) An open mind is the most cherished prize. Keep the gates to your mind well oiled.

I recently read a couple of posts this weekend, one by Black Kos, and another, by a transgendered person. It struck me that my own gateway to my brain was getting rusty. I deal with many people of color in my profession, quite often. But until I could actually stand in their shoes, how the hell could I understand the daily racism, subtle as it is, that they feel and (even worse) expect? Or as powerfully, how the hell could I ever understand the confusion, the pain, the societal abuse poured upon people who are transgendered? This weekend, I realized that I continue to be a racist, close-minded pig, on top of being a sarcastic curmudgeon. This weekend, I pledged to fix it, no matter how long it takes.

I better get a lot of WD40 for the brain.

7) Government IS by the people and for the people. Make sure it stays that way.

What a horrible time we live in. What great times these are! It is great and horrible. Somehow, that which brings us together, government, has been redefined as the enemy, something to shrink, then drown. How did we let this happen?

Well, partly it is the fault of those in government. I am not talking about the time warp that occurs within Chicago’s Central Post Office, where everything seems to move  a t   h a l f     s p e e d . . . . but rather, those who create secrets, or withhold information we citizens need in order to make decisions when we vote. NSA is a pimple that popped. Yes, having such wonderful eyes and ears all over the world is an asset we should not toss aside. Yes, having a functioning FBI is an asset. Even, to some degree, having a CIA (but without the torture squads, the Blackwater subcontracts, and the assassination squads) can be a good thing.

However, the instant that government starts keeping too many secrets, government is no longer by the people, for the people. It becomes a separate entity, intent on its own self-preservation, “knowing more than we do” and not being able to trust us to do the right thing. BULLSHIT. An informed population is a very powerful force. A misinformed population is a very dangerous group that gets angry when it realizes that it was fooled.  Take Iraq. Please. Oh, wait, we already did. Dammit.

That’s where the “Make sure it stays that way” comes into play. We cannot afford to allow government to classify everything as secret “for our own good.” I repeat, BULLSHIT. Determining what is for our own good requires our input, and therefore it requires as much information and background we can get. Secrecy is the acid which corrodes democracy.

Take Iran. Who can really believe anything the government says about that State? We’ve been lied to so often, on so many critical issues (Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, TARP, the economy), that everything the government tells us, (be it Petreaus or any other Soviet-medalled toy soldier they put on tv), that we cannot believe anything they say. Frankly, under Bush, if we took long positions on everything they told us being false, we’d all be billionaires. Much like Wall Street.

Government is good, so long as we have a voice in it. A good way to retrieve that voice is by banning lobbyists from DC, and have federal funding of congressional elections.

8) Be liberal in all things, especially  to others, when dealing with respect, support, honor and how you pour scotch.

I am constantly amazed how “liberal” and “progressive” became profanities, while “conservative” became a path towards sainthood. We now know that the “liberal media bias” is utter crap. Conservatives, corporations, and advertising (for corporations) have way too much control over journalism, to the point that Glenn Beck and Bill and Rush and Sean actually become the sole source of misinformation for all too many people. If any liberal tried to be as fact and logic free as that gaggle of jerks, he/she would be laughed off the air. Rightly so.

Being liberal is a blessing, not a sin. It means respecting others, even including the right of a pompous Glenn faking tears on air. It means helping those in need. It means thinking not of what is most efficient, but what is the most effective for the greatest number of people.  (and then searching out and helping those we missed) Being liberal is what we all should strive towards in every step we take.

Especially as it relates to how you pour my single malt.

9) Every society is damned to repeat the mistakes of the past. The more you learn about history will help limit the damage of future mistakes.

Sigh. This one speaks for itself. Sadly. When you think back to the mid 1760s, to the start of the revolution, and realize just how lucky we were to have our founding fathers, well read, well traveled, well educated, and thinking well of humanity, and how they did their damnedest to avoid the mistakes of the past, you begin to realize how magical this country is. Except for that slavery bit.

Talk to an older person. Ask them about the 50s, (McCarthy), the 60s, (Viet Nam), and more. What we see is not unique, but simply predictable human reactions in this slice of time. If we can learn how they survived, and use that experience, all of us would be far better off.

10) Nationalism is nothing more than perverted bigotry. Patriotism is fine, if you are a patriot of the world. Be a patriot.

War. Riots. Death.

Nationalism manages to tickle something deep inside our brains. It stops logical thought. It replaces it with emotion and group think. Ask any survivor of Stalin’s purges, and how he was cheered as a savior. (even after millions of families were torn apart because some were accused of treason) Ask those who lived in and survived Hitler’s Germany.

Nationalism is evil. It leads to violence. At its best, it is as bad as organized religion. At its worst, it leads to world wars.

We now have global telecommunications. A global economy. A global understanding. And, we have a global need. It is time to start acting  and thinking globally. We are al patriots. It is simply that that for which we should feel patriotic is a tiny, water covered, hot iron rock, orbiting a rather boring star, stuck in an unfashionable arm of the galaxy.

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24 Responses to "Pastor Agnostic’s Ten Commandments"

  1. logtroll  April 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Pastor Agnostic’s 10-C’s must be righteous given the lack of trash talk following the sermon.

    Where did you find the Tablets, under a burning Bush?

  2. griff  April 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Sorry to disappoint, logtroll…

    1. Well for starters you claim one thing separates us from the animals and then you cite three – all of them true in a sense, but not the one important difference. That would be our consciousness – the awareness of one’s self and one’s mortality.

    Apparently your excessive reading, writing, studying and learning has failed to uncover the existence of entirely one half of the political paradigm. I’m sure we’ll get back to that at some point.

    2. Sure, standing up to injustice looks good on paper, but that falls away rather quickly when it’s your party serving it out. The same, of course, applies to most Republicans as well.

    So what would your anti-teabagger meeting look like? A little Obama shrine to pay homage to? Maybe some one will speak on standing up for freedom and independence before rallying in support of another massive government enfringement on those very things.

    3. I can’t argue with that, but I will take a broader view.

    First of all, the religious right in this country is simply being used for its deep pockets and robotic followers. The Republicans have no intentions of really implementing any of this, as evidenced by Bush’s reluctance to do so. I see them as no better or worse than any other well-funded special interest group, of which there are many that both sides cater to. It’s just a symptom of the larger illness of the two party paradigm.

    It’s a way to keep us fighting over emotional “social” issues while the rape and pillage can continue as the power alternates periodically between the Republicans and Democrats.

    And in fact, special interest groups are anathema to the ideas of freedom and independence, as it encourages collectivism, jealousy and division. If we were all free and independent – equal under the law – there would be no need for special interest groups, because every one’s interest is best served with equality.

    Secondly, I would lump the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans in with the faith-over-fact crowd. No matter how duplicitous or destructive one’s party proves itself to be, the faithful remain loyal servants to the cause.

    4. I can’t really argue with this either, but to say that you conveniently leave out the other side of the paradigm once again. After all, they are pillars of morality and responsibility themselves. But I guess Barney Frank pimping underaged boys to his congressional colleagues was both moral and responsible.

    5. Good advice, I guess, but your obvious bias and collectivist view of religion is glaring now.

    6. We’re all human.

    7. Can’t argue with that. Can we look forward to a column soon on how the lies and misinformation have continued since Bush left office and Obama took the helm?

    8. Liberalism doesn’t exist in any true sense any more. Liberals have become synonymous with big-government Democrats and conservatives with big-government Republicans. Both are disastrous bastardizations that spew forth tasty rhetoric to keep us obedient at the polls, while doing nothing but making superficial changes to an ever-growing monstrosity of a government.

    No self-respecting classic liberal would support the vast majority of policies in place today, nor would any self-respecting classic conservative. In fact, an amolgomation of both classical ideals is what this country was founded upon. Neither party represents any thing even closely resembling our founding ideals.

    9. Funny. The Founders’ advice is all but ignored these days. Learn from history, you say?

    The Founders were opposed to fiat currency and central banks. Learned from that, have we?

    The Founders were opposed to aggressive foreign policy and meddling with other countries. Learned from that, have we?

    The Founders were opposed to centralized federal power and proponents of states rights in the affairs of the mass of people. Learned from that, have we?

    Didn’t Doug just mention some thing to the effect that all politics begin at the local level? You can’t do that without getting the federal government out of every aspect of local and state government.

    The Founders were proponents of free and fair trade, not managed trade deals that brings nothing but poverty to every one but the politically connected. Learned from that, have we?

    The Founders were civil libertarians. You think ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’ get a bum rap? They got nothin’ on Libertarians. Would the Founders pass the Patriot Act?

    10. Yep. Read, study, learn from history – and then forget it all! Global domination, under any pretense – be it nationalism or anti-nationalism, is the ages old goal of tyrants and despots. Who do you trust to run the globe, when they can’t even run a country?

    The bankers? The corporations? Who do you think runs it now?

    Now if you were to say we need to be global citizens in the sense that we should respect other nation’s sovereignty and their cultures, I could support that.

    If you were to say we should stop buying products from corporations that rape and pillage the third world, I could support that. It wouldn’t leave us much to buy, but it would stop a whole lot of slavery.

    Yes Virginia, I hate to break it to you, but we still have slavery, it’s just not under our noses any more. It’s in far away places, funded by our tax dollars and protected by our military, enslaving entire countries so we can have our cheap gizmos and gadgets.

    So I guess it would depend on what your vision of global citizenship entails. As far as world government by the banks and for the banks – no thanks.

    • Rob Kezelis  April 20, 2010 at 7:15 am

      Thanks for the input, Griff. You make some interesting points, and I even agree with several of them. Our respective definitions of “liberal” differ greatly, though. Your definition has the taint of Rush and Sean. Mine comes from a different direction.

      As for 4., It was not Barney who was doing the pimping. He was just as surprised and angry as everyone else who found out.

      As for 5, I have never hid my feelings, thoughts and experiences with organized religion. They all have done more harm than good.

      • griff  April 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm

        Hey Rob, thanks for the thoughtful response.

        Since I’m not into self-immolation, I can’t speak to your Rush and Sean reference.

        As for 4, well, if you believe that…

        As for 5, I wouldn’t expect you to. My experiences have been similar, but I tend to have a tad more empathy for the good, honest Christians out there and shift more of the blame toward their leaders and cohorts in government.

  3. Thomas Bonsell  April 21, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    GRIFF:

    So much of what you write is bull tikki.

    You say:

    “Funny. The Founders’ advice is all but ignored these days. Learn from history, you say?

    “The Founders were opposed to fiat currency and central banks. Learned from that, have we?

    “The Founders were opposed to aggressive foreign policy and meddling with other countries. Learned from that, have we?

    “The Founders were opposed to centralized federal power and proponents of states rights in the affairs of the mass of people. Learned from that, have we?

    “Didn’t Doug just mention some thing to the effect that all politics begin at the local level? You can’t do that without getting the federal government out of every aspect of local and state government.

    “The Founders were proponents of free and fair trade, not managed trade deals that brings nothing but poverty to every one but the politically connected. Learned from that, have we?

    “The Founders were civil libertarians. You think ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’ get a bum rap? They got nothin’ on Libertarians. Would the Founders pass the Patriot Act?”

    …………………………………………………………………

    Opposed to central banks???? Alexander Hamilton, the only Founding Father from New York instituted the first National bank, forerunner to the present Federal Reserve Board.

    How about that foreign policy and “meddling with other countries” statement????? Didn’t James Monroe get his Monroe Doctrine through a Congress that still had some Founding Fathers in it?

    “State rights”????? First of all, states don’t have rights, they have power; people have rights. The Founders created the Constitution to replace the ineffective Articles of Confederation and the Founders’ idea was to create a strong central government.

    “Proponents of free trade”???? The Founders made certain to include the power of Congress to regulate interstate and international commerce.

    “Civil libertarians”?????? the Articles of Confederation had four major functions for the new government: National defense, foreign relations, relations with the Indian tribes, and a centralized currency. That is the pure libertarian design of government and it failed within six years which resulted in a strong central government we now have. “Patriot Act”????? The Founders passed the Alien and Sedition Act.

    The Founders never said a word about the size of government; never said it was to be big, small or somehow in the middle.

    The Founders knew what they were doing and only gave powers to government to address the problems of the nation as those problems arose. They never gave us a politcal agenda that was to last throughout eternity.

    True liberalism does exist today. Liberals always believed in equal rights, open mindedness (It is the political right that votes as a collective in all matters while the left often loses its votes because progressives and liberals who think for themseves often reject the party’s positions), addressing problems with corrective actions, and caring for others.

    On other matters: Father of the Constitution James Madison was so adamant on the separation of church and state he opposed chaplains in the military.

    If liberalism was good enough for the United States Constitution and that Jesus Christ fella, it is good enough for me.

  4. griff  April 22, 2010 at 5:03 am

    When I refer to the Founders I guess I’m actually using the Founders and the Constitution and Bill of Rights interchangeably, meaning the intent of the Founders collectively is beared out in these documents. After all, I’m not writing a book here, this is an internet forum.

    You are correct in saying that Hamilton indeed went on to form our first central bank, having a charter of twenty years and passing by a single vote. It’s charter was never renewed.

    The Second Bank of the United States was chartered five years after the First expired, and lasted seventeen years of its twenty year charter, when it was abolished by Andrew Jackson in 1833.

    We didn’t have another central bank until 1913. There are also many differences – too many to list here – in the roles those first two banks played compared to our Federal Reserve System of today. One was that they couldn’t issue more paper than they had in reserve.

    The fiat currency issue is straightforward – nothing but gold and silver.

    So the overarching theme, from our founding through two central banks is rather simple to grasp – you can’t trust the bankers with your money. Our Federal Reserve System is nowhere near what the Constitution allows or what the Founders had in mind at the time. During the 1800’s they figured this out rather quickly. We have yet to.

    The Monroe Doctrine was introduced in 1823, thirty-two years after the founding. I won’t bother to look it up, but it’s reasonable to think there were some Founders in the Congress at that time. Does that some how change the Constution?

    Was our C.I.A. over in Europe at the time overthrowing governments? Were we invading countries for their resources? You can’t even compare that to our foreign policy of today. It was a defensive posture, not an aggressive, offensive one. A tad paranoid perhaps, but after fighting two wars already with England, understandable.

    States rights????? States rights?????? Symantics games not even worth addressing. You either know damned well what I mean or you’re trying too hard. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments shoots down the rest of that argument.

    By the way, what is up with all the question marks?????? Do you think it makes you appear smarter or some thing?????? Or do you think that it shows that you’re so confused by my idiocy that one question mark simply does not accurately reflect the astonishment you feel, and others should dismiss this madness at once?

    That’s right the Constitution does allow the Congress to regulate trade. Free trade doesn’t necessarily mean unregulated trade, and the spirit of the Founders was that of free and fair trade, not regulated for the benefits of special interests or the politically connected, like we have today.

    I didn’t say that the Constitution was of a libertarian construct, I clearly said the the Founders were civil libertarians, meaning they believed strongly in personal liberty. Perhaps not the best combination of words for such a label-conscious individual as yourself. My bad.

    The Alien and Sedition Act was passed in 1798. Again, passed seven years after the founding and certainly not in line with the spirit of it. Comparing this to the Patriot Act is silly. Of course, beyond just the literal interpretation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are also the thousands upon thousands of writings, speeches and correspondence from which I draw my conclusions.

    I never said the Founders suggested any particular size for our government, but only what is necessary. Much of today’s government is unnecessary.

    My saying that true liberalism doesn’t exist today was an observation (indictment?) on the lack of its representation by the supposed liberals in the Democrat party.

    I never suggested that an alliance between church and state was the will of the Founders or some thing that I believe in. Don’t know where that came from.

    There were many factions and varied interests and philosophies that spent twenty years crafting our Constitution. Some of these Founders went on to try and implement some unconstutional things. There are many reasons for these happenings, but future events hade no bearing on the finished product as ratified in 1789.

    Reading your last line, I’m actually surprised you didn’t understand my posting. Again, this is an internet forum. I use terms that are easily interpreted and relevant in comparison to today’s situation in trying to convey the philosophy of our original government and the Founder’s intentions.

    Central banking has a different meaning today than it did back then, although the Founders made no bones about not trusting bankers.

    I just think you’re one of the many people here that hate my guts and you thought word games and straw man arguments would some how discredit me.

  5. Thomas Bonsell  April 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I don’t hate anyone’s guts. I have studied the Constitution and American history in the graduate school of one of America’s top universities under some of the finest minds in academia and am upset that so many Americans know nothing about our governmental philosophy, but are willing to substitute their biases as constitutional principles. I don’t need anyone to tell me the original philosophy of the Constitution or of the Founders, however you might define who they were.

    And as an intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency back when I was young and adorable I also protected your right to remain ignorant. And I also have been critical longer than you of this government overthrowing other governments and setting up puppet regimes for many reason, the most noticeable is the Constitution doesn’t give power to the US government to do that.

    The Ninth and Tenth Amendments have nothing to do with “state’s rights.” John Jay said Americans surrender some rights in order that government have necessary powers, but those they haven’t surrendered they keep; that’s the Ninth. The Tenth Amendment is totally misunderstood. It says the federal government gets its powers from the people just as states do in their constitutions. And those powers the people haven’t given to either the fed or state governments they keep for themselves. That makes “the people” the fourth branch of government as in the legislature, the executive, the judicial and the people. The people are also the fourth layer of government as in the federal, state, local governments and the people. The Tenth is a “peoples’ power” amendment, not a states’ rights amendment.

    The gold-and-silver statement in the Constitution refers only to states. It never says that the federal currency has to be gold or silver. That was because after the Revolutionary War the economy was in tatters and state legislators, who were also the merchants, made commodities a form of currency because that was all they had. No bank could continue in business if a plantation owner paid off his loan with bales of cotton.

    Where does the Constitution forbid the Federal Reserve System? Article I, Section 8, paragraph 16 says Congress can make laws that are necessary and proper to carry out its stated powers. Obvious it was necessary to have a bank to carry out many financial functions such as coining money and regulating its value that are specifically stated.

    The only intent of the Founders is that the federal government have powers to address problems as they arose (with some limitations or prohibitions thrown in such as bills of attainders, ex post facto laws). They had no intent on a political agenda to be followed forever.

  6. Thomas Bonsell  April 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    PS:

    It gets tiresome to see someone who has never seriously studied constitutional law pontificate on the Founders’ intents then issue his or her own political biases as that intent. Let’s look at some Founders’ intents.

    Article I says Congress has power to maintain a Navy, and to make rules for land and naval forces. Article II makes the President the commander in chief of the Army and Navy. Those are the Founders’ intentions. They said nothing about an Air Force. Do you suggest that we dismantle the Air Force because it wasn’t the intent of the Founders? Also unmentioned were the Coast Guard and the Marines. The Army consisted of the militias of the states when in service to the nation. The Founders didn’t want a professional standing Army. So the Navy is the only military force that can be “maintained.” That was their intent; is it yours?

    The only clues we have to the Founders’ intent on military weaponry are the Second Amendment (arms) and Article I, Section 10 (ships of war) and that only says states may not keep ships of war during peacetime unless approved by Congress. Never says the Federal government can keep ships of war at anytime. The arms of the Second Amendment only referred to the muskets that members of the militias had to supply themselves. Is that the national defense you want now; the one that was the Founders’ intent?

    The only intent for a highway system was the mention of post roads; or dirt paths carved out through the forests for horse-drawn wagons to carry the mail. Do we now tear up the Interstate Highway system on which our economy depends?

    Of course, the Founders had no intent on air-traffic controllers (for obvious reasons), had no intent on regulation of television and radio, had no intent on a space program.

    And, if you think much of government isn’t necessary (without giving specifics) you only have to go to court and cite Article I, Section 8, paragraph 18 (“power that are necessary and proper”) to have the unnecessary thrown out. (Oops, typo said paragraph 16 above, not 18.)

    So let’s stick to the only true intent that matters; that the Constitution gives government powers to address problems as they arise and stop trying to read the minds of long-dead Founders you have never studied.

    • Rob Kezelis  April 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

      dammit, yes! We MUST go back to original, (nay, it was spelled, orgnial intet on one Tea Bagger sign), intent, just to prevent a socialist, fascist, communist, Kenyan Muslin cloth bearing, 3/5’s of a real kristian, natrul Amerikkkan person, from giving us nashunal anti-amerikkan healthing care. Which we don’t want. And better keep your effing hands off our Medicare. Or else!

      The constitution is truly a brilliant document. Pity that no one in the Tea Bagger cult carries one around with them, (I do, religiously) and worse, they did not just never study its impact or intent, they never read the mere piece of paper.

      I recall a poll during Reagan’s time. They took a portion of the Declaration of Independence, and added, as a second paragraph, the intro to our constitution. 80% of those polled on the streets within the shadows of Congress, Senate, and even the Supreme Court, thought that those words were written by Lenin or Stalin, and not by our own revolutionaries.

      Sad to say, Texass Skule Bored’s efforts to wash the brains of America’s yutes is well underway. Pity they won’t have a chance to think for themselves, as a result.

  7. Carl Nemo  April 22, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Griff and Tom,

    “I just think you’re one of the many people here that hate my guts and you thought word games and straw man arguments would some how discredit me.” …reply post from Griff

    ***

    “I don’t hate anyone’s guts. I have studied the Constitution and American history in the graduate school of one of America’s top universities under some of the finest minds in academia and am upset that so many Americans know nothing about our governmental philosophy, but are willing to substitute their biases as constitutional principles. I don’t need anyone to tell me the original philosophy of the Constitution or of the Founders, however you might define who they were.”

    So let’s stick to the only true intent that matters; that the Constitution gives government powers to address problems as they arise and stop trying to read the minds of long-dead Founders you have never studied. …replies from T. Bonsell

    ***

    First of all , I wish to compliment you both as to how you express yourselves and the sharing of your knowledge base to the site, but …?!

    I’m not a self-appointed moderator, but have witnessed all too many times a fine thread degenerate into pissing match as to whom is the most correct on an issue.

    Griff is quite knowledgeable and your claimed bonafides concerning your education seems to hold up in your refutation to griff’s comments to some extent, but, it’s the mutual assumption that griff thinks other posters hate him and posters as yourself Tom accuse others of not knowing their subject linked to their lack of education. Griff doesn’t know you personally and had no prior knowledge concerning your education and for him to assume you and others “hate” him is over the top too in my not so humble opinion relative to his posts to this site.

    I’ve read your material in the past Mr. Bonsell and always enjoy your input to the site. I knew some time back that you were a formally educated man, so am I, but the demonstration of such education is best demonstrated through the way one handles simply a “difference of opinion” and that’s all we have on this forum, nothing more, nothing less. As to anyone hating you Griff, all I can say is a better choice of words might be that they find your posts distasteful to their challenged intellects and if they can muster up hate over your posts, then obviously it’s their problem, not yours.

    It really upsets me when I see two high order intellects break down in discord and ruin a great subject thread.

    Peace gentlemen…no? : )

    Best regards,

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. b mcclellan  April 22, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    May I take exception with #10.
    Have you seen the latest images of our unfashionably boring star?
    Now, there is chaos perfected, along with the burps that make it all too human/hydrogen.
    You know, that fire thing and headlong into entropy/war.
    Beware to let ones sovereignty lie dormant, worse than Klingon’s with smiles lie and await, the final division.

    • Rob Kezelis  April 23, 2010 at 7:32 am

      Amazing shots, aren’t they? Instead of a steady, constant yellowish bright blob, orbiting our flat earth on a huge crystal ball (or was it being pulled by a giant turtle?) it is a bubbling, boiling, spewing cauldron. Those flares are just amazing.

      I have reason to suspect that the surface of the sun may be unlivable.

  9. bmclellan  April 23, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I’ve a solar filter for my Celestron but have never captured anything as awe inspiring. Tis good we live near the water so to speak.

    Where have I seen the turtle depicted as a pillar of the universe ? Does it come from one of the American Indian tribes or an eastern religion ?

    I’m quite in agreement with #7, give it to us straight, we’re big girls and boys.

    • Carl Nemo  April 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      You might consider purchasing a Day-Star solar filter for your scope Bryan. You need to view the solar orb in hydrogen alpha light which is a very narrow slot in the spectrum to see prominences, granulation, and other solar surface details. They are quite expensive, but no doubt one could find a used one on the web.

      I own a 90mm apo triplet refractor made by Astrotech. What design and aperture size is your Celestron?

      http://www.daystarfilters.com/product.shtml

      Carl Nemo **==

  10. b mcclellan  April 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Carl nice to hear you are a fellow sky watcher. Thanks for the link, I’ll be requesting a catalog to drool over if nothing else.
    I have an 8 inch, go-to Cassegrain and an Orion solar filter, lots of bells, lenses and attachments except for an equatorial wedge. No time lapse photos yet, but soon I hope.
    My camera is an old trusty K -1000 Pentax but it’s a little heavy for the motors on my scope so I have to make corrections about every ten to fifteen minutes. All that said I have had lots of enjoyment and reasonable success with solar and lunar pics.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to get to play with the big toys like Mt. Palomar or even the Hubble for a week or so ?
    Maybe we could pinpoint those hinges needing oil that Rob mentioned in #6.
    You’ve made my day, so as the late Mr. Horkhiemer used to say,
    Keep looking up.

    • Carl Nemo  April 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm

      I’d say an accurate distillate of your article Rob is that you are a globalist at heart.

      It would work if there were more good men and women working to such ends at leadership levels, but generally speaking it seems leadership on a worldwide basis attracts the likes of grifters, scamsters and those that wish to make an easy buck, euro, or shekel off their fellow citizen’s labors.

      To me there’s a difference between rabid, dangerous nationalism and a sense of nation. Our leadership has with purpose worked feverishly to destroy our sense of such. With rampant legislatively approved outsourcing and the systematic destruction of our manufacturing infrastructure they are reducing American’s to the level of the have nots found in third world nations while those nations are being handed technology and access to markets to which they did not pay their dues to participate with us being excluded via obtuse trade agreements intentionally engineered to do such.

      This is all part and parcel to the great global leveling process which is slowly but surely turning planet earth into simply one large plantation owned by a relatively few shadowy oligarchs with the U.S. declining to that of a “banana republic” at least relative to China, India, Japan, and Malaysia.

      Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo  April 23, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Bryan,

      Here’s a link to Analytical Scientific, Ltd. a Texas based firm. Click on Accessories > then photo accessories > then scroll down to counterweights.

      http://www.analyticalsci.com/default2.htm

      Disclaimer: I have no vested interest in the linked firm.

      You can mount a rod that’s runs parallel to the tube length. It has a small sliding counterweight to tare/counterbalance out accessories so your tracking motor won’t labor concerning the camera weight etc. at it moves across the heavens during a photo shoot.

      Palomar’s 200″ scope can be moved with simply small motors. The bearing surface between the mount axes are separated by a film of oil under pressure that reduces friction to negligible levels.

      I hope this helps concerning your tracking issues. : )

      Carl Nemo **==

      • bmclellan  April 24, 2010 at 10:06 am

        Thanks again for the link Carl, I had fabricated a counterbalance but it seemed almost too much for the mechanics of my scope. I’m looking at a new lightweight digital camera that will match my spade connector and accessories. I’ve seen the special about Palomar and what a truly remarkable mechanical marvel it is. Too bad the mechanics of design and engineering are ignored by those who wish to alter the machinations of our country.

        In hopes of greater awareness and a retaking of our country lets hope CHB as #1 calls for, continues to be akin to a counterbalance offsetting the tired rhetoric and rampant hyperbole inundating the information highway.

      • b mcclellan  April 25, 2010 at 6:46 pm

        Carl, have you seen the images of the Carina nebula yet ?
        Compliments of 20 yrs of Hubble. Fantastic…..

        • Carl Nemo  April 26, 2010 at 12:14 am

          Yes I have Bryan. Truly stunning images. I’ll supply a Wiki link concerning Eta Carinae which is visible in the southern constellation Carinae. Canopus the second brightest star in the heavens after Sirius is found within its boundaries. It’s also a major navigation star.

          The second link is to demonstrate what a simple 400mm telephoto lens can produce when piggy-backed on your 8″ SCT. Use the main scope to guide wide field camera shots on clear nights with appropriate filters predicated on your light pollution situation and you’ll have poster grade photo’s. The power of the 8″ scope is best utilized for extended images of planets, the sun etc., but it’s simply low power, wide field, fast f-ratio shots that make for stunning images of star fields. So put your camera to work with an appropriate lens and have some fun. : )

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eta_Carinae

          http://www.licha.de/astro_photo_253.php

          Carl Nemo **==

  11. woody188  April 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    10) Nationalism is nothing more than perverted bigotry. Patriotism is fine, if you are a patriot of the world. Be a patriot.

    I wonder where NASA’s moon program would have been without strong nationalism in the form of the “Space Race?”

    My real beef though it that as government grows larger, those it’s supposed to represent have less say in that government, with world government being the least representative we could have on this planet, unless there is some Galactic Counsel we have yet to encounter. Therefore, world governance is inherently tyrannical at least to some of the people all the time leaving nation-states as our best alternative.

    • b mcclellan  April 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      I agree Woody, our sovereignty must be guarded at all cost and that should not prevent us from our defense, or standing back while the little guys duke it out to settle it amongst themselves.

      All that nation building, intervention and refereeing on the global scale has ever given us is a deeper grave and a soiled and corrupt national image.

      Yes, we should be peacekeepers, but foisting our way of life on others is kind of like #5. Look before you leap..

    • Rob Kezelis  April 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      woody, without nationalism, we’d have had an INTERNATIONAL Space Station earlier. There would not have been so many wasted startups and re-startups, with several nations trying to redesign the wheel. Every nation would and could contribute, benefiting everyone.

      The ISS now relies on Russia, US, France, UK, Japan, and others, making it less expensive, and far more practical for all concerned. Frankly, if Russia and France are cooperating on the ISS, do you really think one might aim missiles at the other and blow it up?

      • Almandine  April 24, 2010 at 10:17 pm

        Every nation could and would contribute? What makes you believe that?

        Back when space exploration started and for many years thereafter, even including today, very few nations could even afford to play that game. You just have to look at how may different nationalities are represented, independently, in space exploration to figure it out… not that space is particularly meaningful as a construct for international cooperation.

        Heck, if finding something meaningful to work on cooperatively is such a big deal, why don’t the whales get a break? Cooperative oil exploration? Clean water? Hunger? Pestilence? Disease?

        All that kumbaya stuff is overblown… and not just because the US is nationalistic.

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