Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Descent Continues...

While attempting to watch Governor Bobby Jindal's rebuttal of Barack Obama, I was struck by the sense of ineptitude in the republican party right now.  While it's pretty standard to have a rebuttal of the presidents statements in that format, it seems that whomever wrote Mr. Jindal's speech needed to at least ACT like they were paying attention to what the president was saying.  In Obama's speech in which he specifically stated that he wasn't' for "big government", Mr. Jindal's reply ignored this and rambled on about the vague "bureaucrats" that he faced down during Katrina.  Given the colossal failure of the republicans regarding Katrina, opening this wound isn't such a good idea. But what is really embarrassing is that the whole story was made up!  So not only did it seem the rebuttal was ill-written, not only did it ignore the content of Obama's speech, the glaring failure of the young Jindal was a contrived story of him facing down "big government", a complete farce...

Right now our president is running loops around republicans, out smarting, out maneuvering and out performing them at every turn.  Jindal who was talked about as a presidential candidate in 2012, not only ruined that possibility, I'm wondering if he'll even be re-elected...

"Golly Andy, the bureaucrats won't let us save the people..."

I'd like to thank ArtMaggotHysteria for letting me use his artwork.  There is always fresh material, give the site a visit and return often, always something fun...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Left-of-Center President!

Again, President Obama captures the imagination of our country, but this time it is not as the story of the first Black President, but AS the President.  There are no more campaigns, leadership is needed now, and tonight Barack Hussein Obama set out to convince that this country is not only capable of rising from a myopic, nihilistic haze, but in fact, that by simply doing what we know we can, ("the nation that invented the car" for example), we can restore the greatness that we once held in the world.  While reminding the nation of the deficit he inherited, the wars he inherited, and the cynicism held by many citizens, he left no doubt that we are in good hands, OUR Hands. As the president helps us to realize the importance of commitment to community, he reminds us that this commitment IS the reward, it is what MAKES a community, and in fact the community cannot exist without it.  

While cutting the taxes of 95% of working people, Obama effectively neutered any argument the bloated carcass of the GOP may have had, and in doing so, may give the Democrats decades of congressional dominance.  By putting faith back into American Government, Barack is bringing back a forgotten idea; that government can be good!  Regulating Wall-Street stops multi-billion dollar Ponzi schemes, keeping an eye on money lenders makes sure the housing market doesn't tank, monitoring industrial waste keeps are environment healthy, these aren't bad things,  (but something that hasn't been said in 29 years or so).  Obama, by actively demanding an amount of government, industrial, and financial responsibility has essentially reclaimed the U.S. as a progressive country, and in doing so starts moving the country in the liberal direction it was originally designed for...


While sounding as giddy as I do when I watch Obama, I still realize there are things out there that he did not address that must be brought up, specifically, Extraordinary Renditions, (What is the story Mr. Holder?). "Truth Commissions"? (sorry Mr. President, justice must be served to Rove, Cheney, and George II).  Ensuring that "Faith Based Initiative" funds are used properly, (a pet project of mine) and the  Drug War, (not an immediate issue, but would like it to be addressed).  

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sebelius is Next HHS Secretary!?

The New York Times and CNN have reported that my, (Kansas), Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, is on the short list to be the next Health and Human Services Secretary!  A middle of the road type of politician, she has brought a dose of sanity to a state that has had it's issues with "Intelligent" design. While we are happy to see her get mentioned for such a position, I remain anxious at the question of what will happen in Kansas if she moves on...I just got a feeling that Phil Kline is out there...lurking...

Good Luck, Kathleen!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Faith Based Iniative: Can We Trust It?

With Obama re-upping Bush's "Faith Based Initiative", my initial reaction is one of concern.  Can the son of an openly secular family really be attempting to blur the line between church and state?  (There is a good quote from Obama's book at this link, describing his mothers view of religion)

Obviously this sort of action is expected from an evangelical oil executive, but not a thoughtful, intelligent, constitutional lawyer.  Is it possible to give federal dollars to any group that bases it's motives on "faith" and still preserve the separation of church from state?  Can faith based groups describe their desire to help others without invoking their mythology?  Will people that claim no faith be able to access this money?  

While looking for answers to these questions, I stumbled upon the website for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  At this site I found a FAQ page regarding the use of "Faith Based" funds, and how exactly these funds are to be used.  Admittedly, these guidelines were written under the previous presidents regime, and surprisingly are quite secular in their design. A Christian soup kitchen can identify itself as "Christian", but cannot make judgements upon those who may eat at the kitchen.  For example, if the soup kitchen refused to serve a customer because they were wearing a Burqa, this would violate the guidelines, as denying the food, (bought with federal funds), would be based on mythology/religious differences.  

It seems that there are guidelines in place to ensure that this federal money is not used in proselytizing, and this is the main worry of the agnostic/atheist movement.  But how do we moniter this?  Is there a regulatory watchdog keeping an eye on the money and the institutions? How can Barack give me the confidence that my taxes aren't going to the "christianization" of the homeless and those under state care, (ex. the incarcerated, those in adoption homes)?  As we know the history of religion's ability to infiltrate the minds of the destitute and undereducated, how do we ensure that our nations core beliefs are heeded and respected?  As previously written, (see my Feb. 8th post, "The fight continues..."), Obama has opened his arms to non-believers, now, can he continue with the systematic secularization of the country?

Trusting churches to spend government funds properly?..."Faith-Based" indeed... 

An article I found direclty pertaining to this...Faith Based Fudging


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin Day

We, (meaning me), here at "Relief from Belief" hope you have a wonderful Darwin Day. Contemplate the beauty of the Scientific Method today, with it, all things are possible.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Fight Continues...

Before we get into this too much, I'd like you to read this article by Jake Jones, the "Evangelical Examiner" for Wichita, Kansas...

As you see, the push for equality regarding non-believers is still being fought for.  The good news is our president is acknowledging and meeting with leaders from the agnostic/atheist movement to get some ideas on how to move forward in these tough times.  The bad news is the radical-right refuses to accept non-believers as equals under the constitution, and are acting to marginalize this movement.  This isn't a big surprise, no one expects the religious/radical right to roll over when placed on equal standing with non-believers, (they are born in, reside, thrive, and spread the fear of a "non-christian"nation).  Of course we've had nothing but christian presidents, (including Obama), since the founding of our nation, Obama is simply acknowledging that not all people believe in Bronze age mythology.  And since there is evidence to show that "Higher levels of belief among people with no college education and lower levels of belief among those with postgraduate education.", (think scientists, professors, lawyers, doctors...), Obama may be indeed acknowledging that we need non-believers to assert their expertise to help with our current issues. This isn't in fact a knock against Christianity, (as the religious right would like to think), but a reach out the best and brightest that may have felt ignored, neglected, and at times demonized by our previous presidential administration.  If Obama can bring a sense of real compassion, of real change to the Oval Office, acknowledging the millions of us who refuse to adhere to ancient dogmatic beliefs, is a good start.

If the movement to stop Obama from talking to non-believers makes you a little anxious, go here, and tell "In God We Trust", what you think of their un-patriotic ways.  I did.  

And as with my pastime of including pictures, here is one I find particularly funny that symbolizes the irrational fear and hatred of those that claim Jesus as their shepherd...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama's Team: Part III

In what may currently be the toughest position in America, (outside the presidency), the Treasury Secretary.  

Timothy Geithner - Treasury Secretary

While the onus is on the president to get the economy back on it's feet, it is Geithner who will help design and implement the strategies to do so.  While it is difficult to discern whether Mr. Geithner adheres to any one religion, it has been rumored he is Jewish, but there are no facts to back this up, and according to Tvzee's Talmudic Blog, he was raised Episcopalian.  But even better than that, (for us non-believers anyway), is that Mr. Geithner is described as "hardly religious" by his father-in-law.  Do we have an agnostic in the house?  While I can't say that I support the American pastime of MoneyWorship, I will stand by a man that knows his dinero, especially in this time of dire need for comprehensive economic reform.  

With economic times unjust,
A review of our policies a must.
A good change indeed, 
our money should read, 
"In Barack H. Obama we trust"

Sunday, February 1, 2009


While waiting for some information verification to come in regarding Mr. Timothy Geithner, (Treasury Secretary), I got a video to pass the time...