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Journal Journal: Faith and Reason are not incompaibile 44

But Faith and Hedonism are incompatible. Faith and Anarchy are incompatible.

Three different Catholic blogs have pounded this into my head the last couple of days.

The first- a blog that has been invaded in the combox by an ex-Catholic New Atheist who claims that he's scared to come out to friends and family as an atheist, made the startling claim yesterday that many New Atheists are only Atheists because they can't tolerate the idea of a being telling them what to do, and thus, reject the idea of a God-given morality not as much because of the God part, but because of the morality part. The resident atheist-in-the-closet actually confirmed the theory rather than arguing against it, saying that he thinks God doesn't exist because the Church teaches against pre-marital sex and contraception.

In a second blog, this one from a Catholic convert from Atheism, I was presented with the "Good without God" crowd, to which I responded pretty much my standard way- that "Good without God" requires a definition of Good that I define as evil- particularly when it comes to the business and sexual practices of that crowd.

Finally, came a funny joke: A libertarian atheist says to his friend "I refuse to do anything anybody tells me is good for me. Look at this bottle of breath spray. It says on the side "Do not spray in eyes". So I'm going to do the opposite." As the libertarian begins to scream in pain- his friend says "They tried to warn you!"

It occurs to me that Catholic teaching, based initially on revelation but refined over the centuries by the largest, most scientific study of human behavior and culture ever attempted, is kind of like those Nanny State warnings on the sides of products. Do you really need to be told NOT to use the hair dryer in the shower? With the average lifespan of homosexuals even in committed relationships being 20 years less than heterosexuals, do you really need to be told that being homosexual is a bad idea? With the divorce level at 75% and now a new study showing that divorce creates lifelong problems for male children, is it really that hard to understand that MAYBE doing the hard work of staying faithful and working problems out is a good thing?

Apparently, some people do- and that's why the Church has a billion members.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Which of these things is not like the others

Moveon Edition:

After months of promises that, in the wake of Newtown, this time would be different, congressional Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, are on the verge of caving on the three most critical gun violence prevention proposals: universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons, and a ban on high-capacity magazines.

and later in the same letter

What's looking most likely to end up in the final bill? A provision encouraging guns in schools.

It appears to me that neither side has been listening to the other AGAIN. Only ONE of these four proposals stands any chance at all of reducing random mental-illness driven gun violence. Can you guess which one? The other three stand no chance at all of doing anything for the problem other than annoy people.
Your wing nuttiness will be based on your answer, but here is a hint: The real cause is mental illness, NOT guns.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Main Stream Media and Communism 14

I know that my handle is Marxist Hacker. That comes from an earlier time when I too was tempted by liberation theology.

Funny how now, with the election of Pope Francis, the Main Stream Media seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, to the tune of repeating government propaganda as if it was fact, thus committing the very crime that they accuse Pope Francis of- conspiracy with an Argentine Dictatorship.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Almost the wrong place to post this

As it comes close to voyueristic porn* around here, but hands down the best reason why NFP is NOT "Catholic birth control" that I've ever read .

*in that few, if any slashdoters have the biological equipment necessary to make this worthwhile, unless they are married. But information wants to be free, is the first rule of the old MIT Hacker's Ethic, and I provide that link in that context.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The slashdot equivalent of a moral earthquake 13

Pudge (yes, the pudge that many of us have had a problem with) finally engaged in an argument I can agree with him on. MORE THAN THAT, he posted what I have to say, after 3 hours of listening to it, the definitive link for our side.

The debate might have started out "Is faith reasonable"? But it quickly turned out to be a disproof of quantum randomness and a disproof of the problem of evil.

In the end, Prof. Craig utterly destroyed the idea that Uranium emitting an Alpha Particle destroys the idea of God. And he ridiculed the problem of evil so completely that from now on I'm going to laugh at atheists that bring it up.


Journal Journal: 5 other ideas to replace gun control 21

In light of the recent tragedies, gun control is in the news again. Classic gun control is about controlling either weapon or ammo. But here are 5 potential laws that could prevent gun violence by controlling people rather than guns:
1. Metal detectors in every public building, set high enough to prevent false positives but low enough to catch an AR-15, tied into the fire alarm system. Evacuate if it goes off, depriving the shooter his victims.
2. Tie mental health records into police records, and create a no-sell database that can be accessed by smartphone using bar code reading of official ID and merely returns a sell or don't sell return. Make it mandatory for all gun sellers and gun shows, including private sales.
3. Divorce is a danger sign that somebody's life is becoming unstable. 8 murder suicides in Oregon since 2008 were linked to divorce. Filing for divorce should trigger a temporary gun confiscation for both spouses, and should be grounds for a search warrant. Likewise, while often less violent, widowers are in danger of suicide and should be watched closer.
4. Better depression support. As our society becomes more secular, we are losing the emotional support that religion provides. There should be support for those who fall into despair, and there is not. The fact that most incidents lately end with the suicide of the shooter is an indication of the real problem.
5. RFID tags on all weapons and any other valuable property. If stolen, these tags should be the type that can be read at a distance. They should be waterproof, very hard to remove, and be handed out for free by law enforcement; scanners should be able to be purchased by the public as well as used by law enforcement.

There is some cost to this. As there is for everything. But the benefits of these 5 laws is important. And solves other problems than the original, so should be done anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Anybody else go through a job change recently? 3

The only people I specifically told about my contract ending were here, where I'm relatively anonymous, my consulting company, my family, and a posting on (where I didn't even list when the contract is ending, and my profile is still "Submitted for Approval"). Despite this, word must have leaked: I have had 8 recruitment calls in the past 30 hours, plus a smattering of e-mails from people who apparently either don't understand no relocation or can't read a map and think that Ohio is within commuting distance of Oregon.

Is this the new normal or did I cross a line with 17 years in the industry?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Well, Obama has killed my contract 8

As I wondered if it would happen. The uncertainty created means the telecom I've been hired out to has decided to cut contractor dollars out of the budget- I wonder how long they'll be able to continue taking orders on this ancient VB6/SQL ordering system that is already giving me a full time job trying to keep it running. They've got about 60% of the functionality already replaced with web apps though, so I think they'll do ok, releasing new web apps as needed when functionality breaks.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt rule the end of the American Empire, and out of the ruins I see distributism growing.

So in the comments section, I would appreciate recommendations for cheap-to-free development tools and cheap training for the following:
1. Android and iOS platforms- because I think Windows 8 is going to turn into the stinking turd that finally kills Microsoft
2. SQL Lite - I think, but I'm not sure, that is the database that links those two platforms
3. Recommendations between Azure, Amazon, and Google cloud development; because I've got a drop dead easy two database table non-relational cloud project ready to go that would make an excellent training project (and eventually maybe even some recurring license fees).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pope Leo XIII had it right 12

More than 126 years ago, he did Libertarianism right, long before the Randroids and the Von Mises Institute got it wrong:


10. From this it is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. Likewise, the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects, which would equally be criminal and would lead to the ruin of the commonwealth; but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law. Thus, St. Augustine most wisely says: "I think that you can see, at the same time, that there is nothing just and lawful in that temporal law, unless what men have gathered from this eternal law."(5) If, then, by anyone in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law, as being no rule of justice, but certain to lead men away from that good which is the very end of civil society.

  Libertas-- Pope Leo XIII

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sandy and Corporate Greed 14

Millions of houses on the East Coast of the United States have been destroyed.

Millions of houses in the rest of the country sit in banks' foreclosure inventories.

Isn't there even ONE bank out there willing to find a solution that lets displaced families move into houses in areas where the hurricane didn't touch?

User Journal

Journal Journal: For Troll Tuesday 1

I got a first post in and without even mentioning Christianity or God (but I did mention atheism and moral relativity, well, sexual immorality at least) I got several hundred replies and spawned a HUGE discussion on sexual morality.

I call that a troll win even if it sends my Karma into the negatives. No, given the fact that after several years of wanting moderator points and getting them every other 'freakin day, it's a troll win ESPECIALLY if it sends my Karma into the negatives.

User Journal

Journal Journal: 21st Century survivalism 12

Given the current use of drones by the American government, and the strong possibility that no matter who wins in November, sometime in the next 20 years we WILL face a situation where the American President feels the need to use drones to defend the rich against the poor (which group of poor, of course, depends on the political party in power at the time, we were never at war with Eurasia, we are now at war with Eastasia), it's time to start thinking about an adequate defense mechanism that everybody can afford.

And I think I know what it is, taking a play out of the book of Winston Churchill, scaled down to the modern drone/rc toy:
Mylar balloons, filled with hydrogen cracked out of water with solar power, tethered to the ground with 30,000 foot reels of 2-lb test monofiliment line.
Create a wide enough perimeter around your town/commune/church/union hall (once again, the target depends upon who is in power at the time) and you won't have to worry about the Drone Wars. Or those pesky passenger jets either.

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A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on. -- Samuel Goldwyn