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Everything posted by older

  1. Anushka: Me too at times. It can seem completely overwhelming. When I moved into my university office there was a sign pasted on the inside of the door by the previous occupant; you could only see it when the door was closed. I left the sign there for the 28 years I was there, and looked at it often, particularly on those days when you're feeling like you're caught in some sort of sticky quicksand that's pulling you under. It was the Serenity Prayer. And while most of us here have left gods and prayer behind, I found the main lines of it to be quite helpful: Grant me the serenity to
  2. Well done. You made a good decision not to provide details. Doing so would have just provided places for rebuttal. As written, you have stated your position and worded it in such a way that it's not open for debate. And you have concluded with an excellent statement on the problems of a Christian god and how that is different from what a true loving god should be. Let us know what happens.
  3. HI Austere: Me too. Two degrees in the field. In my experience there was a healthy antagonism between the business side and the news side of newspapers. I sat in on daily news meetings at a number of newspapers across America and I never saw any interference by the business side. Business offices were always in a physically separate part of the building. The journalists I knew all wanted their stories to be accurate. The better newspapers see their role as a check on government and try to do the right thing. Of course, critics say decisions are made to sell
  4. Unfortunately, it is about the money. My congressional district has a candidate that is challenging the status quo. He's a good guy, clean, with the right goals. But he recently complained that he has to spend 75 percent of his time raising money rather than working with the issues. So even though he wants to do the right thing, he has to kiss up to the money. There was a movie I saw years ago — can't remember the name — and there was a line of dialog by the villain who said, "This is a nation of the money, by the money, and for the money."
  5. And two thumbs up to Sdelsolray for an excellent bit of advice. Read it three times.
  6. I might add that the West Virginia school teachers' strike shows what can happen when folks decide to put an end to the nonsense. Wouldn't it be great if the entire working citizenry of this country instituted a general strike until all ballots included a checkbox for "none of the above." And to require the so called "Commission on Presidential Debates" to include ALL candidates in the debates. If you;re old enough to remember, the debates used to be sponsored by the League of Women Voters and included third-party candidates. But the Dems and Reps made demands that the League could
  7. Well, as far as physical symbols go, I think that's out there in the conspiracy theory domain. But, as with all human endeavors, there are people who are decent and people who aren't. I worked in cinema for a time on the technical side and know that some actors get roles on merit, some for marketing reasons, some because of who they know, and many other reasons. And some producers are decent people and some are bullies or general scum. It's a competitive business just like most others and I don't see that as any different from any other arena.
  8. I agree with the notion that politics has become too extreme. But your vote does matter. Elections have been won by one vote. And not voting is a concession to those would continue the extremism. There are good people out there who really do want to do the right thing. What we have to do is get involved and make our voices heard. There are 437,000 registered voters in my county but 85,000 of them didn't vote in the last election. Think what could happen if every single citizen who was as frustrated as you and I are got together and joined our local party committees and demanded change.
  9. Yeah. Some people will believe anything. Like the Earth is flat, and like there was some guy named Jesus who walked on water and turned it into wine. Go figure.
  10. The Daily Mail is the British equivalent of the National Enquirer here in America. It's a tabloid that is known to publish inaccurate scare stories about science and medical research. I think most Americans know the National Enquirer to be just a bag of gags, celebrity stories, and made-up stuff, sold at the market checkout stands. There used to be one called the Weekly World News, which put forth a weekly menu of UFO and space alien stories, Bigfoot stories and goofball satire. (They're now on line only. Current headlines: "A UFO from Planet Zeeba crashed into Chelyabinsk, Russia last night!"
  11. And go to the grocery market after you've eaten; never when hungry.
  12. I remember a colleague of mine once saying to someone, "While we disagree, I hope we can still be friends." I've often reminded myself of that.
  13. Two upvotes for that one. A beautiful day ruined? YES!! Main reason I quit. I suffered from narcolepsy, at any time during the service but particularly during the sermon.
  14. Well my hero, Hopalong Cassidy, wore a black hat. Although his horse, Topper, was white.
  15. You have it backwards, my friend. Go to NZ and take the side trip to Australia. If I was under 40, I'd emigrate to NZ and not look back.
  16. So who drops the gun first, the good guy or the bad guy? If you are the good guy, will you drop your gun before the bad guy does? Remember, in this scenario, both are actively shooting.
  17. I was just talking with my sister about this minutes ago. What happens when the good guy confronts the bad guy, and then a cop shows up. The cop sees two guys with guns shooting at each other. How does the cop know which one is the good guy? My sister says that if they arm teachers that means that those teachers will have to wear orange vests labelled "designated shooter" so the cops that show up will know those teachers are not the bad guys. But then anyone will be able to buy such a vest off Ebay before invading the school, so there we are.
  18. I'm not hesitant to tell them that I don't believe in gods or spirits of any kind. If they persist, I might just say I don't care to discuss it. But I'm waiting for the opportunity to ask them: "So you believe in this all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent deity who knows what everyone is thinking, has planned everything, created everything including bone cancer in children, and who loves everyone except those who don't love him back, in which case he will send them to an eternity of unspeakable torture, and who sent himself to earth and then made himself a human sacrifice to himse
  19. Yeah, but what about the gear you haven't yet purchased? Somehow the closet keeps filling up. And no matter what you buy, you will lust for more. Someone just gave me 8 Tele Vues from an estate which ups my inventory to 18 eyepieces. Unfortunately, I can only look through one eyepiece at a time and I have to decide how to thin out the collection. Lo-Fall: You might want to check out the astronomy forum at http://www.astronomyforum.net/forum.php . This is a decent site with lots of good info and no flame wars. The most common scope in our club is the 8-inch SCT, but th
  20. Rub-a-dub dub. Thanks for the grub. Yay God!
  21. That's a great one. But don't despair on the 8-inch. Folks have done some good work with those too. Whatcha putting in: dob or SCT? BTW, I was at the Griffith Observatory in LA a couple of weeks ago looking at M42 through the 12-inch Zeiss refractor. The view through the 11-inch SCT that was set up nearby was better. I was told that the refractor doesn't cool down fast enough, which is perfectly logical. But the refractor is one hell of a piece of hardware.
  22. On that 25-year guarantee: Find out who guarantees it. What if the company goes out of business after 10 years and at year 11 the work goes bad? Is there some sort of bonding company beyond that who will back up the warranty?
  23. Yup. Here's a classic one from the old movie Shenandoah: Charlie Anderson: Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn't be here and we wouldn't be eating it if we hadn't done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we're about to eat, amen. Here's a clip of it:
  24. ^ ^ My cousin does foundation repair and I can tell you that it's a job for the experts. Pay the price and do it right and you won't have to do it again. (I am reminded of someone I know who says, "I can't afford to buy cheap tools." Same thing here.)
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