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28 May 2006

Reflections on Faith and Reason

"Faith is nothing but a firm assent of the mind: which, if it be regulated, as is our duty, cannot be afforded to anything but upon good reason; and so cannot be opposite to it. He that believes without having any reason for believing, may be in love with his own fancies; but neither seeks truth as he ought, nor pays the obedience due to his maker...." (Bk. 4:27:24) =John Locke (from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

"Faith is an island in the setting sun. Truth is the bottom line for everyone."

=Paul Simon

What do I have faith in? Good judgement informs faith. Judgement is proven good or bad based on outcome. Superior results come from superior reason. I have faith in good judgement.

Faith, that which is not knowable, must obey reason. Faith is inferior, by any measure of certainty, to any knowable fact. Faith cannot be known, it can only be cultivated. Faith should avoid flights of fancy. Faith and Fantasy are dangerous bedfellows. Faith in desire is a recipe for disaster.

Om namah shivaya swadharma namahah

(O Lord, please alter my ways to follow a path of righteousness)

Om namah shivaya swashraddha namahah

(O Lord, please re-create my personal faith along the path of righteousness)

=Dr. G. Love

03 May 2006

The truthiness hurts

Kudos to Stevie C. for his dead-on parody of the spin merchants, during Colbert's naked truthathon, at the white house correspondents' dinner. The lack of initial mainstreamedia comment, followed by their predictably wounded response, "it's not funny when you make fun of us", shows only the petulance of those who control the message.

What Bush and the media were fed after dinner, was a lethal dose of their own toxic pap. The true potency of this rhetorical poison, is that it cannot be spit out. The Lords of the Flies have seen their reflections in Colbert's satirical mirror, and they can't get it out of their minds.

Now that their evil scheme is surfacing, with the help of Monsieur Colbert, the struggling neocons will have no defense, but to continue to insist that our collective eyes are being deceived.

Ignore the man behind the curtain, Dorothy!

What has become clear is that George W. Bush does not give a rat's a** about you or me. W cares about W, and people who can help W get more money. George W. Bush is as un-Godly as a human avatar can become. His front of kind sincerity belies a heart that is motivated by pure selfishness, and indifference to others.

Tolerance of a president's shameless self-promotion, at the expense of the good citizens of this nation, is never acceptable. It would be too simple to say that George W. Bush is evil. He is pathologically selfish.

Selfishness is the opposite of consciousness. Selfishness is motivated by fear and capitulation to human desire. Selfishness is the easy choice.

Why does George W. Bush think that he can get away with this selfish and criminal usurpation of authority?

Because he is too self-absorbed to think otherwise.

02 May 2006

A letter to my governor.

The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
225 Main Capitol BuildingHarrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
May 1, 2006

RE: Voting machines

Dear Governor,


Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to visit us, courtesy of the Northampton County Latino Democratic Caucus. We thoroughly enjoyed your talk. Personally speaking, I have always been a big fan of both your political career and sports commentary career. I am also a fellow-Penn alumnus (C ’82)... Let’s Go Quak-ers!

You speak with greater candor than most politicians. While I recognize that politics may have seasoned you in some ways, I have always had a sense that you have held on to your core values. Where I feel that you have lost touch with those core values, is on this issue of computerized voting. You and I both know that these systems are easily hacked. The evidence is out there, and was presented at a forum 2 weeks ago at Lehigh University. Countless computer experts and our own federal GAO have said that these computerized voting machines are not trustworthy. It seems as if every week, there surfaces a new and more outrageous news story about voting-computer failure. The subjects of these reports are the very same companies who are selling to us!

There is solid, scientific evidence that the 2004 election was stolen-- stolen in part by way of these computerized voting machines. My only solace, up to this point, was that my Northampton County vote was more likely to be counted, on my good old lever machine. That is to say, it was my solace until my county announced that it had purchased new computerized voting machines. What’s the point in voting if my vote won’t be counted?

As you suggested, I am putting together a law suit. My attorneys tell me that I have a strong case based on a clear violation of existing statute. Do I have to sue? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to have the computerized voting machines examined by a reliable outside expert? You could save me thousands of dollars and a good deal of marital strife by saying yes!

You said that you were worried about the US Department of Justice. I now read that the US Justice Department has backed off from its litigation threat against the State of New York. Instead, New York will be given ample time to examine its options. Perhaps they will choose optical scanning of handwritten paper ballots? Optical scanning of handwritten paper ballots is both cheaper and more trustworthy than any computer option.

Here’s a suggestion: Let’s take a close look at HAVA, and find the most trustworthy and least expensive way of implementing the HELP that the Help America Vote Act promises. Let’s not use this law as an excuse to strip the people of their voting rights. Governor, I try to avoid hyperbole, but inattention to this critical problem will result in social catastrophe. Once politicians are free to act without fear of their voting constituents, our social order will devolve.

I conclude with this question:

How would you feel if you voted, and your vote was thrown out?


With sincere thanks and warmest regards,