Friday, August 14, 2009

Les Paul Dies at Age 94

He was old when I started playing guitar 35 years ago. I remember seeing the distinct body style of a Les Paul guitar in a music store and seeing his signature on the head stock. That was my first introduction to the man and I remember at the time wondering who the heck is he.

Not only was he an amazing jazz and rockabilly guitar player, he has been credited with developing the first solid body electric guitar. He also was a pioneer in multitrack recording and amplification.

No matter what style of music you play, if you're a guitarist you owe the state of your craft to this great man. I can't say the same for his acting. He and his wife Mary Ford had a television program in the early 50s.

NY Times Last Word: Les Paul

Friday, August 07, 2009

What Did Maher Just Say?

I don't think it is in good form to blog about blogging or about a blog, but blog dammit! This guy is funny!

Sorry, I'll come up with something to add when I quit laughing.

"Now, the hate mail all seemed to have a running theme: that I may live in a stupid country, but they lived in the greatest country on earth, and that perhaps I should move to another country, like Somalia. Well, the joke's on them because I happen to have a summer home in Somalia... and no I can't show you an original copy of my birth certificate because Woody Harrelson spilled bong water on it."

Basically he said...
Smart President ≠ Smart Country

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

They Call Themselves Crusaders

Now it comes out that the private security firm "Blackwater", hired by the US Government to help police IRAQ, claims to be "Christian crusaders tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe."

Read Article

No one expects the "American Inquisition"! Now that is some scary stuff. It's no wonder the terrorists hate us.

We have to stop these religious wars now. Enough of the my-imaginary-friend-is-better-than-your-imaginary-friend mentality. Please. For the survival of our species. Quit killing each other.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

State Preambles - Which god do they mean?

This post is in response to this email.

The original email makes the point that each state constitution has 'God' in the preamble. But the quote from Obama was, "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

So I would ask the email's author which 'God' is in the constitutions. Is it the Christian, Muslim, or Jewish god? If it’s the Christian god, then is it Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, catholic, or any of thousands of variations of protestant? Why couldn't the 'God' in those state constitutions be Hindu or Hopi? Why not the 'Flying Spaghetti Monster'?

Also in the State of Oklahoma's constitution, the very first line after the preamble is, "Section I-1: Supreme law of land. The State of Oklahoma is an inseparable part of the Federal Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land." And the United States Constitution doesn't use any form of God.

The framers were very careful not to mix religion with politics. They knew what could happen in a government that had state sponsored religion. They remembered the Spanish Inquisition. I guess by 1907 when Oklahoma wrote their preamble, all the suffering from previous theocracies had been forgotten.

People that pass around emails like that are just trying to justify their 'Holier-than-thou' attitude. They want to pass laws that are based on their religion however unfair it may be to those who don't share that same religion. They are like the witch burners of Salem looking to root out anyone that may be different than them.

The problem is that many people around here have been too afraid to question their upbringing. They don't seem to have any doubt that the religion they were born into is the correct one. They have been preached at all their lives to believe what the preacher tells them. They believe the bible was written by god, because it says so in the bible. And they don't see any problem in that logic.

On this same topic, there was an interesting misconception that revealed itself the other day on FOX news. (Imagine that!). It seems that there are people who quote from the Declaration of Independence and claim it came from the US Constitution. Watch this video. Read this Open Letter to Fox News.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” - The United States Declaration of Independence. (NOT THE CONSTITUTION)

The Declaration of Independence is NOT legally binding whereas the Constitution is.

And just to clear up one more misconception. Atheists are not trying to take god out of government. They are trying to keep god out of government. It was never intended for religion to have anything to do with the way we run our city, state and local affairs. When they added ‘In God We Trust’ to the money, there was much controversy, but evidently the secular politicians were outnumbered at the time. Now that god has crept into all aspects of our government, any attempt to restore the secular nature of our system is perceived as a threat. It should be the other way around.