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Archive for July, 2008

Interestingly enough, John McCain might face opposition from a rather unexpected quarter, the deaf community where many of the vlogs and blogs are ringing.

There are several reasons why this might happen including his support of a highly unpopular incumbent Gallaudet University President to resign: See Here, and a highly suspicious Arizona Proposition 203 which forbad instruction in any language other than English when dealing with children who are considered “limited English proficient” which would definitely include those children who were raised signing. For a much deeper examination of the issue see visit here .

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My last post made me curious and I did some additional research. Apparently the very Constitutionality question that I asked pertaining to marijuana was brought before the United States Supreme Court on November 29, 2004 in Gonzales v. Raich. The case involved a woman using medicinal marijuana to treat chronic pain and muscle spasms around her spine. The decision was 6-3, written by Justice Stevens and issued June 6, 2005.

It upheld the validity of Controlled Substances Act as an exercise of federal power because Congress “could have rationally concluded that the aggregate impact on the national market of all the transactions exempted from federal supervision is unquestionably substantial.” The majority did not address the substantive due process claims raised by the respondents. (Wikipedia)

They used a rather strange precedent based on the third part of the Commerce Clause which states that Congress has the power to regulate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. The precedent was Wickard v. Filburn (1942), where:
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Ah, can you smell that odor making it’s way from the college dorms? Yep, today’s topic is the cannabis plant. I just found this interesting article on CNN.com reporting that Rep. Barney Frank has called for the end of federal penalties for possessing less than 100 grams of the plant. (I wonder if that’s dry weight or what they might say for actually owning a plant?)

Current laws targeting marijuana users place undue burdens on law enforcement resources, punish ill Americans whose doctors have prescribed the substance and unfairly affect African-Americans, said Frank…

I hate to resort to such puerile language; however it must be said, DUH! When there are more people in United States prisons for non-violent drug offenses than there are prisoners in Western Europe it should be painfully obvious that there is something fundamentally wrong with our legal approach to drugs.

“The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business,” Frank said during a Capitol Hill news conference. “I don’t think it is the government’s business to tell you how to spend your leisure time.”
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As much as the title might sound like one, this is not a new MMORPG. One of the world’s oldest surviving bible, the Codex Sinaiticus is going online.

First let’s delve into some of the history here. The Codex Sinaiticus was written some time between 330 and 350 CE in uncial Greek. Along with the Codex Vaticanus, it is one of the oldest examples of a christian bible that we have and is sometimes associated with the fifty copies of the bible reputedly commissioned by Constantine upon his conversion. It contains portions of the Old Testament (the rest was lost to deterioration), a complete New Testament, the Epistle of Barnabas and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas. These last two are very interesting as they normally are not considered canonical by modern churches. In fact, the canonicity of The Shepherd of Hermas was apparently a source of dispute among early christian leaders.

There are a few pieces of interest in this codex, such as the fact that the Pericope Adulterae, or the Tale of the Adulteress, is not found here or in any of the earliest examples we have of the Gospel of John. I personally always liked the story as I took it to mean, take into consideration your own faults before you judge another. But then again I’m just as guilty of interpreting this through my own lens as any christian.

What I find fascinating is the method by which they scanned these extremely fragile documents into electronic form. Obviously they could not have employed your average scanner as that would have destroyed the documents. They are employing hyperspectral imaging to accomplish this.

According to wikipedia:

Hyperspectral imaging collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Unlike the human eye, which just sees visible light, hyperspectral imaging is more like the eyes of the mantis shrimp, which can see visible light as well as from the ultraviolet to infrared. Hyperspectral capabilities enable the mantis shrimp to recognize different types of coral, prey, or predators, all which may appear as the same color to the human eye.

Using this method, it is hoped that they can retrieve text that may have faded over the centuries.

All in all this is very cool. Now I have a place to point fundies who say that the King James Version is the true word of god. “Umm… Excuse me… This one is much older and has different contents. Please review.” Or maybe I’ll just download them on cheap thumb drives and offer them to the campus preachers.

Well that’s all for this post. I’ll swing back in later.

Ya Hya Chouhada Mua’dib!!!

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Comfort Zone Camp

Well I just got confirmation on the training date to be a Big Buddy for one of the campers at Comfort Zone Camp. The camp is a place for kids age 7-17 who have lost a parent, sibling or loved one. At this point in time they use Camp Hanover just outside of Richmond, but the dream is a fully dedicated campground to run all year. They’ve already started a satellite camp in New York / New Jersey which was originally for children who had lost their parents in 9-11 but is now open to all grieving children.

Shortly after I started high school I went to my first camp almost a year after the death of my father. It helped so much being around other teens my age who understood what I had gone through and they helped me work through allot of shit that I had been going through. This is not a place to cry, although crying does happen. It is a place to heal, have fun, and most importantly, realize that we are not alone.

We need camps like this. 1 in 20 children under the age of 18 will lose one of their parents.
So here I am giving back. Take a look, volunteer, donate, trust me, it’s worth your while.

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Movie Review

WAAALL-EE!

EEEVA!

WAAALL-EE

EEEVA!

I got to see WALL-E last week when they released it open captioned. Cutest movie I’ve seen in a long time. I got many many laughs out tof this one. It’s well worth the money. Go See It Now!

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Once again the presidential candidates are meeting in a church. Since cinching the Democratic nomination Obama has not met with McCain for any kind of discussion. Now we have them meeting in a mega church that claims over 22,000 members…

First the Faith Debate that killed Science Debate ’08 and now this shit? The moderator is Rick Warren who wrote “The Purpose Driven Life,” how profound could his questions actually fraking be? I want to see McCain asked what happens when the oil from drilling in the wilderness preserves runs out if he is elected. Oh yeah, forgot, he’ll be out of office by then. Or maybe we could have asked both candidates if the money that will be going to religious organizations would be better spent by investing it into a variety of R&D projects.

Warren has been quoted as saying:

“The primaries proved that Americans care deeply about the faith, values, character and leadership convictions of candidates as much as they do about the issues. While I know both men as friends and they recognize I will be frank, but fair, they also know I will be raising questions in these four areas beyond what political reporters typically ask. This includes pressing issues that are bridging divides in our nation, such as poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights.”

I couldn’t give a shit about my president’s private faith as long as it did not directly muddle their ability to rationally think through their job decisions, a failing I have noticed in our current ‘dear leader.’ However, I find it infuriating that they would ignore a forum such as the Science Debate ’08 for shit like this in a church. Just fucking look at the image in the NYTimes article! This guy needs a screen for people to see him! That’s when you know your church is too big.

And to top it off, all of this comes on the heels of James Dobson ‘flip flopping’ and saying he might endorse McCain. Why does it matter who he endorses? Oh, I remember, because people follow him around like the flock of sheep they come to resemble.

Anyone got a consecrated host around here? I feel like taking my frustration out on something.

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