Archive for » May, 2009 «

How to Shave Your Groin, by Gillette?

Some surprising things you may have not known about orgasms via YouTube: Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

I really like this Wired article titled Time to Cash Out: Why Paper Money Hurts the Economy. I am very pro globalization and, prosthesis
part of that puzzle, prescription
is a unified monetary system. I have previously spoken for a world currency, sickness
but this is the real solution I want to implement it.

Right now, I carry no cash and pay everything with Credit Card and my check is Directly Deposited. I have no need for a physical currency at all. If I remember correctly, Sweden (for the last 10 years) and Japan (for the last 5 years) have had micropayments able to be made via Contactless Cell Phone Transactions. This is something is starting to be rolled out here in the US too in the last year or so. This is really going to be the wave of the future. I cannot wait. =)

I really like this Wired article titled Time to Cash Out: Why Paper Money Hurts the Economy. I am very pro globalization and, healing
part of that puzzle, medical
is a unified monetary system. I have previously spoken for a world currency, see but this is the real solution I want to implement it.

Right now, I carry no cash and pay everything with Credit Card and my check is Directly Deposited. I have no need for a physical currency at all. If I remember correctly, Sweden (for the last 10 years) and Japan (for the last 5 years) have had micropayments able to be made via Contactless Cell Phone Transactions. This is something is starting to be rolled out here in the US too in the last year or so. This is really going to be the wave of the future. I cannot wait. =)

“Oh! My! God! (OMG)” is all I can say to this. I never thought I would see a video on How To Shave Your Groin (embedded video follows) from a large company like Gillette to promote something like this, for sale
especially in this way… Wow! With our sex-negative and rather prudish society in general I find this rather refreshing. =)

The US Should Maintain Control of the Internet

This article titled “Who Controls the Internet?” from ‘The Weekly Standard” really highlights for me why the US should maintain control of the Internet’s servers. As long as they are responsible and as neutral as possible, click this is a great idea. They have done well so far. My biggest fear with losing control is that what will happen will be very similar to the UN Human Rights Council, of which having China and a few other countries is a complete mockery of. Eventually freedom of speech and censorship shall be the name of the game as oppressive regimes advance their tyrannical agendas. Eeeeek!

Physical Money Needs to Die! Long Live Digital Currency!

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I really like this Wired article titled Time to Cash Out: Why Paper Money Hurts the Economy. I am very pro globalization and, order
part of that puzzle, dosage
is a unified monetary system. I have previously spoken for a world currency, impotent
but this is the real solution I want to implement it.

Right now, I carry no cash and pay everything with Credit Card and my check is Directly Deposited. I have no need for a physical currency at all. If I remember correctly, Sweden (for the last 10 years) and Japan (for the last 5 years) have had micropayments able to be made via Contactless Cell Phone Transactions. This is something is starting to be rolled out here in the US too in the last year or so. This is really going to be the wave of the future. I cannot wait. =)

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasms

Some surprising things you may have not known about orgasms via YouTube:

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

California’s Proposition 8 Upheld by State Supreme Court

It looks like California’s Proposition 8 Upheld by State Supreme Court. I find this a sad, illness sad result, capsule and a little surprising. I guess I do understand why they did uphold it considering the scope of what was being challenged, approved but if the real issue of civil rights violation went before the US Supreme court, I think it would validate same sex marriage (California Supreme Court Summary News Release). =(

The main issue that seem to be addressed by the court were as follows:

  • Narrowness in scope of the change to the State Constitution and whether or not Proposition 8 was valid as an amendedment or was such a measure required to be run as a fundamental revision to the state constitution.

It is key to understand that they are not ruling on the Gay Rights issue itself, but in the validity of Proposition 8 as a change (in one way or another) to the California State Constitution, which is made pretty clear here:

The opinion emphasizes that it is not minimizing the significance that the official designation of “marriage” holds for both the proponents and opponents of Proposition 8, and explains that an accurate assessment of the actual effect of Proposition 8 on the constitutional rights of same-sex couples is necessary to evaluate the constitutional challenges that are advanced in this case.

I find the following quote really bothersome. This similar logic could be used to uphold a law that prevents interracial marriage from being legal, since its scope would be similarly narrow. This is a scary thought. =(

The court further unanimously held that the scope of Proposition 8 is narrow, limited solely to restricting the use of the term “marriage” to opposite-sex couples, while not otherwise affecting the fundamental constitutional rights of same-sex couples described in its earlier opinion in In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal.4th 757.

I also find it interesting that this case did not bring to front the violation of civil rights that banning same sex marriage is, and brings to front that the power of a scared majority can violate civil rights of a minority. I am frightened to think what would have happened had the internet (and the TV commercials) existed in its present form during World War II. I can only imagine a horrendous grassroots movement and a ballot item to round up and exterminate Germans or Japanese in a constitutional amendment of a state or two. Eeeeeeeek! =(

We did rounded them all up as an protective act during war time, but, I fear what would have happend had we had the communication capability then that we do now.

I really wonder if it is possible to appeal this to the US Supreme court on the ground of a violation of our Constitutional and Inalienable Civil Rights, and our Pursuit of Happiness.

The court also unanimously held that the new constitutional provision applies only prospectively, and does not affect the continued validity of the estimated 18,000 marriages of same-sex couples that occurred prior to November 5, 2008, when the new constitutional provision took effect. The challenges to Proposition 8 before the court were filed by numerous same-sex couples and public entities and were based solely on the provisions of the California Constitution and did not raise any federal constitutional claim.

… and this to me seems rather arbitrary and a method to appease gay-rights activists. It is good that this was done to save the 18,000 existing marriages or so. I may be a little bitter, but in taking a more objective look at it, this may have been the right thing to do.

People are quite scared to make this a US Supreme Court case and are avoiding it out of fear of extremist violence, and fear of being involved in what will be such a polarizing and protracted case. We need someone with some balls to take it all the way to the top and stop pussy-footing around the real issue here – an unconstitional civil rights violation being perpetrated by a politically active conservative Christian majority pining for their status quo.

Secular Humanism??

What is Secular Humanism? I have often wondered that myself. I have heard the term bandied about, rheumatologist and was not sure what it meant. At church today (the Free Congregation of Sauk County) our speaker, Andrew Kerr, spoke eloquently as ever about this topic.

What I learned today resonated greatly with me. I think that this might be the most correct label for what I believe. My impression (and opinion) of a decent definition for what Secular Humanism is, is as follows:

Secular humanism is the patent rejection of “silver platter” answers to your theological/spiritual meaning or revelation. It is taking and accepting responsibility for your journey to meaning and revelation, and your understanding of you humanity and your place in existence. It is to not blindly accept what answers you are spoon fed, but to question everything and to try to understand and find the answers.

Current organized religion is a disease that too much attempts to relive the individual of responsibility for their journey and it tries to hand them the answers for which they have no foundation, experience, or perspective with which to understand or apply the teachings.

Meaning and understanding can only come from questioning and the dogged pursuit of understanding and perspective and not from just being handed the answer. Sheep are created by the dogmatic shepherds who relieve their flock of the responsibility of self-inquisition and thought by handing them an answer for which they are punished if they are questioning or are not following and believing in.

I do not believe Secular Humanism is the patent rejection of religion, but it is the patent rejection of being spoon fed the answer without taking responsibility for your belief and the ramifications of it. Many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion and that is horrible, for in these moments responsibility lays in their zealous belief of what they have been told is ‘the truth’ and they obey.

Just my humble thoughts for now.

Personal Genome Project??

I have come upon 2 interesting articles on drug decriminalization while perusing Slashdot: Portugal Decriminalizes Drug Use (Guardian, healthful Jul 2001) and The success of drug decriminalization in Portugal (Salon; Mar 2009) that covers the apparent success in dealing with drugs after decriminalizing it. Now, drug use is a consensual crime and the book Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society this topic in great depth, so I will not go into it here so much.

This has again had me to write and article on my thoughts on how to deal with the drug issue. Portugal’s method of dealing with the drug issue is very similar to mine, but my thoughts in some cases may be more draconian.

My theory on drug legalization shows a bias and goals as follows: drug use is inherently harmful, addictive and promotes crime due to addiction and desperation to get the next fix; protecting the eventual educated consent of minors, which is of vital importance so that they can decide whether drug use in their lives is right for them; as well as individucal responsibility for the direct and indirect effects of their drug use.

Dealing with Drugs

Decriminalize It

Perhaps the first stage would be to decriminalize drugs. If people choose to take drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin for non-medically prescribed usage, it is stupid and devastating to their lives and the people that love them, in my opinion, but it is really their choice. If they choose to do recreational drug use in a responsible manner, then I say go ahead. It is your choice to engage in recreational drug use as long as it does not endanger others. As I have mentioned before, drug use is a consensual crime and the book Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society covers this topic in great detail.

Regulate It

After decrimnalizing it we will want to regulate it in a manner similar to alcohol.

  • to sell a drug you will need to get a license and have appropriate protections around it.
  • to sell a drug the drug will have to fall under certain specifications and cannot contain poisonous things like Drano and so on.

Taxation

Then you will want to tax it heavily in order to provide a deterrent for those to do it too much by increasing the price and to provide funding for social, rehab, and support programs for those who abuse it. Now, this will of course end up with those who will sell or trade it illegally, but that is something that is visceral to restricting somethings availability, such as prescription pain killers.

Criminalize Abuse of Drugs

Ok, so this is where my method of dealing with things may be a little more draconian than others that support the legalization of drugs. I break down drugs into 2 groups:

Primary Effect Drugs:
drugs that only directly affect the user such as any internally administered drug like cocaine or alcohol
Secondary Effect Drugs:
drugs whose use directly effects more than the immediate user, which primarily constitutes such drugs as cigarettes and marijuana which are primarily smoked and whose smoke may be taken in by others

Primary Effect Drugs (PED)

It should be illegal for the usage of any PED while pregnant  (as determined by doctors/Surgeon General, etc), as well as giving them to children at all due to the fact that if you get children hooked on them when they are young and influential (especially by parents and elder relatives), and do not have real understanding of the ramifications, then you are effectively removing from them the ability to make an educated choice once they are an adult. From a more legal standpoint they are unable to give consent and parents are not allowing them to decide if they shall start their adult alives addicted to a drugs.

Of course, this method does conflict with hte parents inherent right to raise their children how they like, but does protect their eventual ability to make their own educated decision before addicting themselves to something and potentially ruining their lives.

Secondary Effect Drugs (SED)

It should be illegal for the usage of any SED in public spaces or in the presence of minors or those they have guardianship over, or while pregnant.

Parents have the right to raise their children however they want, but this right should not include unnecessarily harming their children’s health or preaddicting them to drugs without them ever having a choice to it. An addiction and health damage being forced upon them without their consent is much to their detriment and removes much chance that they have of not having these substances in their lives. Children cannot give consent until they are of age and parents have a conflicting interest, especially when prevailing studies and knowldge shows that such drugs are inherently harmful on a plethora of levels.

 

I really, advice really, information pills
really want to sign up for the Personal Genome Project. This makes me want to squeal with delight….. I need help. I know. =)

Biochar? A method of solving carbon emissions?

Ravenstone Reflections (BLog) UU Poly Minister

I will list links to my Social Activist writings here:

I am sure you will notice that most of these are of the same genre. =O
I came upon a link on CNN about Biochar and it looks quite promising as an efficient method of recycling biological waste into a hyper-efficient natural fertilizer, and
as well as sequestering carbon, and generating electricity in the process.

“Star Trek” (2009) (Review – A)

I am a Star Trek fan and I watched the original series as well as the “Next Generation”, prescription which I also liked. I have seen most all of the movies as well. 

The script for the current movie, buy more about which is simply titled “Star Trek“, ampoule takes our familiar characters in a new direction breathing new life and familiarity into them. They attempt to coalesce some distributed Trek cannon about the characters into something tangible with much action-packed verve as they could, and they succeeded.

There was a lot in this movie for Trekkies to appreciate, but since this is a movie that goes to establish all of the main characters’ backgrounds and relationships you do not really need to have seen or know about Star Trek or its lore before you see this, although it will most certainly help amplify your appreciation.

I loved the movie and I hope that they are seriously considering a series with these characters. My wife thought it was OK, but she also knows nothing about Star Trek. I even think they pulled a Russian in to play Checkov. Very Cool! I have heard they they are seriously considering a sequel to this movie.Yea!

Prostitution Should Be Legalized….

I have written a huge page in support of the the Legalization of Prostitution and I thought would announce it to everyone so that they may rant or rave about it.

Baby Shower, Refinancing, and more…

Baby Shower

We had a baby shower on Sunday with great turnout. Laura was of tremendous help in organizing this with Tanya. The party was at her house in Baraboo. I would like to send a special thank you to her! =)

The attendees were mostly those of the Yoga persuasion. Many were able to make it and it was a lot of fun. There was plenty of food, more about especially Tanya’s favorite Russian dishes which are always a hit. There was also the painting of Tanya’s belly which had a lot of neat designs. My contribution was a red outline of a heart with a Mountain Dew/Irish green center.

The Hunt for Gollum

A Tolkien Estate sanctioned 40 minute fan film called “The Hunt for Gollum” went live Sunday. I cannot wait to find the time to watch this.

Refinancing our Home

The best option I have (and that we are pursuing) is what is called a Veteran’s Streamline of my existing Veteran backed mortgage. We are planning on paying for all of the expenses to make this happen, in the area of $2,500 so we do not loose what little equity we have accrued so far, and this will reduce our mortgage payment by a little over $100 a month. Yea! More money!

I am currently with GMAC Mortgage and through them they will charge and additional $2,000 in lenders fees on top of the other standard fees to originate this. I am going with Wells Fargo which has a branch in Baraboo here due to the low base cost of the refinance, and they also have the Equity Rewards credit card that helps to buy down your mortgage principle. All-in-all, a good deal. =)

This will be especially important due to Tanya giving birth to our first child in July. We are going to need to extra money. =)