Archive for » October, 2009 «

Looking for Work…

Here, information pills I am aggregating all of the articles I have written for the Milwaukee Examiner as their Liberal Spiritual Examiner:

I am looking for part-time, tuberculosis
or short-term/contract work in the following areas:

  • Realtor – if you or someone your know is looking to
    • buy
    • sell
    • lease a property
    • or relocate
  • Web Development
    • website creation
    • usability consulting
    • accessibility consulting
    • basic computer repair
    • basic networking

I am a licensed Realtor working for First Weber in the Wisconsin Dells and am looking to work in the Baraboo/Dells area – Reedsburg will work as well.

I am available after 4:30pm each day from 5:00pm – 10;00pm Monday through Friday, as well as weekends. If you know of a position that might be suitable for me please let me know and I will follow up.

Facebook for Scientists gets Millions in Funding

In 2008 I listed some Notes to the Obama Administration and in part of that was having research between different organizations or researchers being more publicly and/or centrally located so that work is not repeated and researchers can more closely work together and share insights to allow more rapid scientific advancement. This Facebook for scientists gets millions in funding is a huge stepping stone towards that goal. Very good to hear.

Category: Links, Misc, Science, Technology  Tags:  One Comment

I want “Nokia’s Morph” NOW!!!

I just found out about Nokia’s morph concept today. Wow is it totally cool!

More Nokia Morph Info

Category: Links, Misc, Technology  Tags: ,  2 Comments

New Examiner Article – “My faith (part VII) – Conclusion”

I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “My faith (part VII) – Conclusion.

In this seven part series I have tried to cover as thoroughly as possible the primary influences to my spiritual path so that you can see where I have come from and, pill potentially, myocarditis to assist you to more easily see where I will be going with my writings. I have a wide variety of influences from civil rights and globalizisation to games and a visceral desire to takecharge of my spirituality.

In retrospect I am very thankful that my parents were not very religious. This has allowed to me have a very open mind about religion, dermatologist morality, and spirituality. I have not had the ‘benefit’ of being indoctrinated into one belief set so as to potentially blind me to learning of and from other spiritual paths. I have been very thankful for this freedom to choose my own path… more than you can probably imagine.

Associated and important labels

I think I can safely say that I am a sex positive soft agnostic deist with strong secular humanist tendencies as a member of a Unitarian Universalist and Free Thought Congregation. Below are some of these labels (and more) that I ascribe to myself in some fashion and my interpretation of them:

Deist: believing in a divine or supernatural creator of sorts, whether actively present or not.

Evolutionary Creationist: believing that if a divine or supernatural entity did create all of existence then evolution could very likely be its engine for life.

Logical: finding that having degrees in computer programming/networking and training as a reactor operator/electronics technician in the military has made logic, science, and reason a heavy part of my spiritual needs. If something does not make sense, then it does not make sense…. or I may just not understand it yet. =)

Other Religious Interests: learning of Yoga and Buddhism, which my wife teaches and knows of, is an interesting path. Paganism/Wicca have been quite interesting to read about, as well the history of Christianity and of the Bible.

Secular Humanist: believing, very strongly, in the separation of church and state, and the inherent strength and necessity for humanity to take charge of saving itself for no one or nothing else can. We are in charge of our destiny and and we alone have the choice to do good or evil in this world, which is the mixed blessing of free will. The absolute freedom to make that choice – to do good or to do evil – can be overwhelming and powerful, almost too much for some to deal with. To some the path to the dark-side can seem the easiest to follow, even though the ramifications are not pretty..

Sex Positivist: believing that our sexuality is a very natural part of our existence and there is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. Our sexuality is a beautiful thing that allows us to grow closer together and to celebrate our humanity, and possibly even our faith.

Skeptic: skeptical of the possible existence of a divine being, but the possibility of the big bang and our self-awareness gives me great pause and reason to believe otherwise.

Without evidence in the supernatural I find it hard to believe or consider it. Believe me, I love fantasy, science fiction and the supernatural. I love playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching sci-fi and fantasy movies, and nothing would give me a greater sense of awe and wonder than if any of that was just a tiny bit true.

Soft Agnostic: acknowledging that their may be a divine creator but are skeptical of the possibility barring proof, but I am still comfortable in my assumption that there is one and working forward, in some manner, from there. The creator might be on his 7th day of rest which may be several hundred million years long, so it is in our best interest to work together to make things happen instead of waiting on some deity (or his minions) to do it for us. If ‘he’ exists then ‘he’ has faith in us to do the right thing, so perhaps we should have the strength to try to prove ‘his’ faith correct.

I hope this helps to give you some perspective on my spiritual path. I am still learning and I am still growing in my path. I hope that I do not ever stop for I wish to always be a student.

A Wild Week for Obama

Nobel Prize

Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize (Obama: Nobel Peace Prize is ‘call to action’ [CNN], help  I was really, really shocked when I read this, especially as I read over the time-frame that this had to have happened – the first 12 days of his taking office. I think that this might have been a little bit premature of them, but I also find it a powerful and telling message of how much the change that Obama is the impetus for, and how much it is really, really needed not only for the United States as a country, but for the world to have faith in us as a a beacon of freedom and progress again.

Obama is powerful speaker and he is bringing that change to us that is sorely needed. He is moving in wonderful directions correcting problems that our country has had for a very long time, and just putting out a mandate of ‘solve it’ where congress and the senate are working together to make it happen. This is such a wonderful thing. Hopefully, they will not screw it up too much. =)

Obama Speaks at the Human Rights Campaign

His message was powerful and affirming. For a while gay rights activists (such as me) have been not quite so sure where Obama has stood on the gay rights issue, but as of October 10th we shall no longer have any doubts. Our President is against discrimination and hate crimes and shall work tirelessly towards the passing of the Matthew Shepard Act, and the repealing of the the Defense of Marriage Act and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell act too. This is a wonderful day that can have us looking forward to the end of discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry in the laws of our great country.

Now that is change I can believe in.

HRC Speech – Part 1

HRC Speech – Part 2

HRC Speech – Part 3

New Examiner Article – “My faith (part VI) – The influence of Unitarian Universalism, Free Thought, and the ULC”

I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “My faith (part VI) – The influence of Unitarian Universalism, denture Free Thought, cheap and the ULC.

Unitarian Universalism (UU)

Assuming you believe in a creator at all, cost we Unitarian Universalists believe that there is only one creator regardless of your polytheistic or monotheistic leanings. We are all praying to the same entity called by different names.

Unitarian Universalism is a non-dogmatic faith that has but one small set of principles with which to pursue your spiritual or aspiritual journey. Outside of that, where you go and what you believe is up to you. We gather together reveling in the different paths that we walk and look forward to learning something from each other. My congregation at the Free Congregation has those of the Buddhist, Zen, humanist, secularist, atheist, Christian, deist, naturalist, and others as well as a token Republican about.

An important tradition in the UU churches is lay led “worship” or discussion within congregations led by the lay person, and this is powerful and empowering tradition that invites congregational wide discourse and participation on topics via our individual (a)spiritual journeys.

Many UU’s are active in the various civil rights movements from gay rights to opposing war actions. A UU minister was the first to hold a legally recognized same-sex marriage. These are all reasons why Unitarian Universalism is important to me and my faith.

Free Thought (German)

In coming to the Free Congregation I knew they were a Unitarian Universalist congregation, but I did not know that they were a German Free Thought congregation as well. I had never even heard of the movement until I started to go there.

The German Free Thought movement, which was crushed in the mid 1800’s in Germany by the Catholic church, promoted critical thought and analysis of spiritual matters as well as relishing its debate and discussion. They value introspection and the individual journey that each person travels while basing individual beliefs on reason, evidence, and logic – dismissing the supernatural for there is no evidence or proof of its existence. Free Thought is a non-dogmatic and more secular and humanist approach to religion or spirituality. The Secular and Humanist movements do find some of their roots in the Free Thought movements.

The key points for me about the Free Thought movement requires evidence based reasoning verses the deciding issues on dogmatic religious stances that are counter to facts and the interests of humanity. The logic and the separation of secular and religious matters are exactly what the doctor ordered.

Universal Life Church (ULC)

Being ordained as minister of the non-denominational Universal Life Church is more of an affirmation of me taking charge of my faith and spirituality. No one can tell me what to believe, because I am responsible for my journey and beliefs. I am more than happy discuss and consider other view points and ideas. I am minister of my own faith and some may choose to listen, and perhaps there might be something to learn from each other. The ULC’s motto ‘Do only that which is right.’ is very appropriate, though highly subjective,  for making a difference in this world.

New Examiner Article – “My Faith (part V) – The Influence of Micronationalism and Esperanto”

I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “My faith (part V) – The Influence of Micronationalism and Esperanto.

Micronationalism and Esperanto are both apart of the civil activism facet of my faith. Micronationalism reinforced my political needs as well as fostering thoughts of globalization. Esperanto had a similar effect as well providing a mechanism for bringing the world together and breaking down borders.

Micronationalism

In seeing flaws in our current system of government, troche especially in light of our gay rights (as well as other civil rights) failings at the hands of conservative religion, I wanted to see if I can be a part of making changes and practice politics myself. Years ago while I was working in a call center I remember a web article the mentioning of something called a micronation.

I started to research micronations and in the end I choose the Republic of Talossa to be my safe vehicle of political practice. I found most micronations were very small and unestablished, and either a monarchy or had a state assumed/sponsored religion, neither of which were at all appealing to me or my sense of justice and equality. The Republic of Talossa had none of these failings and even has its own constructed language to boot. The Republic  was a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening experience with a lot of great people there. I learned a lot about the political process and debating from my experience with them.

In working and thinking in micronational terms I also considered things that we could institute micronationally, or even within the United States (or globally), that would make our lives so much simpler if they were applied. Possibilities such as the International Fixed Calenderthe 24 hour clockdecimal time, and the metric system were things I thought about and proposed. With all of this, what was important to me is making our lives and or world a better place; not just for us Americans, but on a global scale.

Esperanto

The WSA brought me to Esperanto, since their Passport and other documents are also in Esperanto. I had never heard of the language before that point, but in having researched it quite a bit, its goals are very compatible with my faith and desires in wanting to bring down borders and set people free.  I have even written extensively about Esperanto on my BLog. Esperanto is comparatively a simple language to learn and it is a wonderful thing to help bring the world together and to easily break-down the language barrier. It is a constructed language made to be easy to learn and speak, lacking almost all of the failings of natural languages. It can be learned in a few hard months of dedicated learning.

The Baha’i Faith has taken Esperanto up in earnest to help to spread its word, and there is a growing community within the Unitarian Universalists to work with it as well. The Roman Catholic Church publishes and speaks in Esperanto and has for quite a while.

New Examiner Article – “My faith (part IV) – The influence of civil rights and globalization”

I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “My faith (part IV) – The influence of civil rights and globalization.

The issue that was the formative impetus for my exploration into my spiritual and, cure by extension, try my political beliefs was the gay rights movement, and which I have supported for a long time, although not always vocally or even through my BLog. Researching this issue has shown me how intertwined religion and politics are and what a detriment conservative or fundamentalist religions can be to civil rights and social progress.

What does civil rights and globalization have to do with my spirituality you might be asking? Well, in seeing the tie between religion and politics I have civil activism as an inherent part of my spiritual beliefs, which tend to be more secular in nature. I want to keep the veil of separation of church and state in tact so as to protect those who have different spiritual or aspiritual beliefs than mainstream society, and I also want to protect our inalienable civil rights – which I also see as a spiritual issue, because it is a matter of caring for man-kind’s free will and well being. For me, serving others by setting them free from religious and political oppression can be the most rewarding and spiritual of actions.

Civil Rights

This gay rights issue had me look into and be interested in civil rights and then the effects that conservative religion has upon them. I have written at length about gay rights on my BLog. This also brought me to Thomas Jefferson, who was the primary hand of the Declaration of Independence, and strong believer in the separation of church and state. Jefferson, a self-proclaimed deist, created, what is deemed the Jefferson Bible, which is the the life and morality of Jesus Christ with all of the supernatural stuff taken out. I found this an intriguing action for one of our most influential founding fathers.

This research also brought me to the issues of polygamy and polyamory too, which are fascinating issues to research. They are also directly relevant to gay rights movement in that they are fundamentally the same issue with different casing. All three of these topics of gay rights, polygamy, polyamory, and even prostitution fall under the category of adult consensual crimes. I have also written at length about prostitution on my BLog. The book “Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity Of Consensual Crimes In Free Society covers the consensual crime topic with zeal and thoroughness.

What is the limiting factor to all of these civil rights movements? The conservative religions that have a stranglehold on the moral compass of our socio-cultural values. Yes, they do think that they are doing what is right, but they are causing severe damage to our civil and inalienable rights by holding us to antiquated dogma without regard to the damage caused to our humanity.

Globalization

In thinking about making the world a better place for all I have come to appreciate and support globalization. The world is getting smaller day by day, especially with the Internet pulling borders down and allowing people to communicate across international and cultural borders.  The European Union and the United Nations are two active national and political aggregating organizations, which, to me, are the stepping stones to a world government. With these possibilities in mind it is even more important to think globally and work towards freedom for all so that none are oppressed or live in fear. We Americans can take for granted the incredible amount of freedom and safety we have here that many in the world do not have, but duly deserve.

With increasing levels of globalization there is the responsibility to protect the civil and religious rights of all humans on the planet and in light of the still remaining communist, fundamentally religious, and tyrannical states out there crushing civil and religious freedoms, this is even more important to work for. Countries such as Iran, Cuba, China, and Belarus are great examples of countries who trample the civil and/or religious rights of their citizens. Control of their people and maintaining power is what is important to them and not the welfare of their citizens.

My research on globalization had me happen upon an non-governmental organization (NGO) called the World Service Authority (WSA), which lobbies for a freedom loving world government based off of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (UDHR @ Wikipedia). The WSA  was started by an America soldier named Garry Davis in 1954 following World War II. He renounced his US citizenship in 1948 and became a stateless human, taking charge of his personal sovereignty. The WSA, based in the District of Columbia, is the fruits of his effort for global freedom.

Think globally. Act locally.