The last ever voyage of a space shuttle. Time-lapse: Space shuttle Endeavour's trek across L.A. [Official]See the rest of “Last Shuttle Voyage”»
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I was writing a reply to a comment on an old post about censoring the Muppets. However my reply was getting too long and not at all related to the video, so it became a new post.
So here's the comment:
Everything about being human is temporary. Including any pleasure we seek, anyone we love, and anything we accomplish. I have absolutely no belief in any sort of spirit or soul, reincarnation, or life after death. Quite frankly, this is it. Make the best of it.
It's because people no longer believe in spiritual values that make up humanity and if you don't believe in spiritual values what choices are you going to have then to please your physical body which only brings temporary pleasure?
There really is no *Good* or *Evil* but it's more if you have a dualistic mind where you and the other person your pitted against shove each other down the throat.
People often make scapegoats in order to take responsibility away from themselves and
It really doesn't matter what your religion is as long as you believe in the fundamental values of the spirit and love your enemies as yourself or whatever your spiritual texts say that supports that kind of message.
That's the basic of that.
As far as the whole spiritual text thing, I have the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster I suppose. But I don't get my values from that. My morals and values come from how I was raised by my parents, the society I live in, and empathy. I'm not what one would call a spiritual person.
I don't see myself "pitted against" anyone. I don't have enemies. I don't view people like that. When I have a disagreement with someone I try to see their side and allow them to see mine. If we reach an impasse, then I simply accept that our points of view are different. Depending on the point argued, I may not want to spend any more time with the person, but I still don't see them as "evil" or an "enemy".
Religions are dangerous (in part) because they form this "us" vs. "them" mentality. Where "us" (we) are in the right and backed by the word of God. And "Them" are a different religion, atheists, gays, pro-choicers, evolutionists, or any other perceived group that have different values or beliefs and are simply evil/immoral/enemies/misguided.
See the rest of “Swearing Muppets Turned Philosophical”»
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
So I don't fully understand all the circuits and courts, but apparently today the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage. In 2008 California Prop 8 re-banned same-sex marriage in California, which was then contested as being unconstitutional. It's been tied up in the legal system ever since. It's going to be tied up for a while longer, too. This will get pushed on to the Supreme Court next.
My hope is that the Supreme Court makes a ruling in favor of allowing same-sex marriage that applies to all 50 states and every U.S. territory. That being said, I hope the churches will be excluded from the ruling. There's no sense in "forcing" the churches to perform a same-sex marriage that is clearly against their doctrine.
I've been trying to understand how someone else's same-sex marriage can somehow invalidate or diminish an opposite-sex marriage. Especially when celebrity marriages exist. Best I can figure it's a perceived notion that legalizing same-sex marriage will validate them "under God", and to that I say we have separation of church and state. Clearly it's not a family or parenting issue. Canada hasn't fallen apart and same-sex marriage is legal there.
So if the Catholic church (and various sects of Christianity, or others) don't want to perform same-sex marriages don't force them to. They've already established themselves as discriminatory organizations, and no-one seems to mind. So I don't see why discrimination laws should apply here and force them to perform same-sex marriage. Separation of church and state is a 2-way street. There's other ways to get married. Other religions that will. State officials such as Judges for example.
In preparation for the Supreme Court ruling maybe I should brush up on marriage ceremonies. There will be a high demand for marriage officiants and if the main-stream churches turn them down I feel it is my duty as a minister to answer the call. My church fully endorses same-sex marriages.
Friday, January 13, 2012
See the rest of “Stop SOPA and PIPA!”»
If SOPA should pass, I will be forced to take down this blog and indeed, the entire website. It will also mean free speech will have officially died in the United States, and the golden age of the internet will be over.
I wish this was just over-sensationalist doom-saying. I really do. However, these bills SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are so overreaching and broad that none will be unaffected. It shifts the burden of proof to the accused, with no penalty for false claims.
This means if any US government or corporate organization wants to censor someone on the internet, they can claim copyright on a portion of their media and get it all removed... Even if they don't actually own the copyright! The content will be taken down, and it will be the burden of the accused to go through the lengthy and expensive process of proving their innocence. It doesn't stop there, even external sites that were found to be linking to the "copyrighted" media can be issued court orders to shut down.
This extends beyond US borders, too. Any foreign sites accused of infringing will be blocked by the newly formed Great Firewall of "New China" (America). Like it or not, many of the world's largest internet companies are based in the United States.
All this to stop online "piracy" which is against the law anyway. We've already seen laws are not going to stop piracy.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I don't know what that downtime was about. Yes, this site was down for a few hours.
Something to do with the custom domain settings and it was on Google's side. All I did to fix it was set it to the default mastermarf.blogspot.com, then back to my www.mastermarf.com domain and is started working again.
EDIT: Looks like Google is still having a few issues. Might just have to wait it out.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Occupy Wall Street: Too Big to Ignore
Started in Egypt, and has spread across the globe. It's a contagious behavior. It gets to the point that people that otherwise have very little reason to protest or riot have this urge to. I'm not saying the Occupy Wall Street in the US isn't needed. However, and this is probably short-sighted, the riots in London or earlier in Canada were not warranted. With this global uprising spreading all the way to the US, China must be really concerned about it spreading to them.
My take on Occupy Wall Street? Wait and watch. It's unlikely there will be a significant showing in Idaho. The state is too red politically and the protesters are seen as new-age hippies without a cause. That's my main issue with the movement, too. They are pointing out a fundamental problem with capitalism we all already knew exists. However, there's no central solution or call to action. Everyone involved has different ideas. They need a legendary public speaker to unify their movement akin to Martin Luther King Jr. Until they get their act together I'm going to remain an outside observer.
Then there's the possibility of an event that will spark violence. Be it an overzealous protester or an aggressive police display, this is a volatile situation. Protests around the country could turn to riots around the country.