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Definition of Rogue

rogue //  (rg) n. 1. An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal. 2. One who is playfully mischievous; a scamp. 3. A wandering beggar; a vagrant. 4. A vicious and solitary animal, especially an elephant that has separated itself from its herd. 5. An organism, especially a plant, that shows an undesirable variation from a standard. adj. 1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant. 2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado. 3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: “How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?” (Saul Hansell).

As I’m sure you’ve all heard from your favorite dead trees, idiot boxes and rabid bloggers; Sarah Palin’s new memoirs are causing quite the controversy.  AP got an advanced copy and immediately started ripping it to shreds.  Some call it fact checking, others call it opposition research; I think it’s more like shooting fish in a barrel; or maybe slaughtering turkeys.

Never mind that Sarah Palin is the anti-Christ, (literally*), but the AP is pond scum and I feel a little sorry for her.  Since when did the press decide a memoir should be fact checked?  Memoir’s aren’t about what ACTUALLY happened, memoirs are about showing the author in the best possible light!  That’s their function; that’s all they’re good for!   Yes, even the one OJ wrote; which made that book all the more ironic and tragic.

Seriously, does anybody pick up a memoir thinking, “Finally!  Now I’m going to get an objective picture of this person.”?    No, we pick it up because peeping in bedroom windows is wrong, and this way we can be voyeurs without spending time in lockdown trading our sweet tush for smokes.

All that doesn’t bother me.  And the claims about liberal bias in the media don’t bother me either.  I’ve read Manufacturing Consent; I understand the reason the mainstream media needs to appear liberal while instead supporting the oligarchy.  Because if they didn’t, we’d all wake up to what’s actually running this country.  (Hint: It’s NOT the Jews, sheeple!)

What really bothers me is that Palin used her facebook status to suggest more objective fact checking on her book could be found over at http://www.conservatives4palin.com/, right next to Russia.  As an interwebs OG, I find it pretty meta to be commenting on what a politician said on a social networking site while on a social networking site (that auto-posts my blog over to the first social networking site…and by doing births ouroboros.)   But as hard as it is; never mind that, either!

The problem is, conservatives4palin.com is blatant partisan propaganda.  Seriously, that is an OBJECTIVE statement about the site; Obama’s got one too!  Even the 75% of politicians who don’t know the net from a series of pneumatic tubes have one!

Unlike in the AP article, there is no modicum of bipartisanship.  They don’t even have to pretend!  This site wears its loyalty on its sleave; making any bipartisan claim impossible.  Say I said Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 (I’m not saying he did, but has he denied it?) and that Obama was actually the second coming of Jesus.  Then let’s say I assured you my motivations were completely nonpartisan, and that you could rely on me to be objective.  Would you believe me?

You might believe I believe it, and you might even believe what I’m saying is right; but you wouldn’t think me unbiased on the matter.  I’ve already made my decision on whether or not Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.  (Actually, I haven’t, I just think BOTH SIDES need to be evaluated in an open and fair manner.  That’s all I’m saying.)

Look, the AP article is straight up blazing its guns at Sarah Palin.  And frankly, it’s not because she’s conservative, although that doesn’t help.  And it’s not even that she’s a strong women; although that doesn’t help either. 

The reason she is so easy a target is the same reason she might get elected in 2012. 

She is proudly anti-intellectual, and is openly governed by her emotions and her faith.  She’s like the kid in the back of the room who gets really mad when you pick on her.  The media does it because it’s easy, and they make money off the hits.  I’m not saying it’s fair, but it is how the world works.

The Mayans might be onto something after all.**  I am deeply troubled that the grand ol’ party has been taken over by hooligans, rogues, and possibly even rapists. (possibly…I said “possibly”!  Both sides deserve equal say, right?***)

*don’t believe me?  Here’s a Gematria of Sarah’s name in Hebrew:

Shin= 300
Reysh= 200
Hey= 5
Nun= 50
Lamedh= 30
Aleph= 1
Pey= 80
TOTAL= 666

** Never mind that it’s superstitious pattern matching, like gematria and the Kabbalah.

***wrong.

Why Christians Can Cut Their Hair

There was an interesting discussion on reddit today, sparked by the following protest sign:

Leviticus_Hair_cuts

 

Some atheists on the board thought this was a real zinger, while the more religiously oriented members tried to explain why Christians are against gay union but don’t have a problem with barbers.  The believers try hard to explain why it’s not hypocritical, but unfortunately did a rather poor job.  Which isn’t surprising; it’s a difficult subject and most believers don’t really know that much about it.

As the heart of the apparent contradiction is the theology of supersessionism.

Supersessionism and replacement theology are uniquely Christian interpretations of New Testament claims, viewing God’s relationship with Christians as being either the “replacement” or “completion” of the promise made to the Jews (or Israelites) and Jewish Proselytes. Biblical expressions of God’s relationships with people are known as covenants,[1] so the contentious element of supersessionism is the idea that the New Covenant with the Christians and the Christian Church somehow “replaces” or “completes” the Mosaic Covenant (or Torah) with the Israelites and B’nei Noah. (wikipedia)

In a nutshell, Christians do not believe they need to follow Jewish scripture in order to be in a covenant with the god of the Jews.  It’s difficult to make generalities, because this doctrine is highly contentious among the different Christian sects.  And regardless of the version proscribed, the doctrine is usually attributed to Jesus.  At least the more theologically naive believe this; as it is demonstrably not true.

Both Jesus and the early Christians were devout Jews; and followed the Torah.  Minus some pastorals, any time a New Testament book mentions scripture, it is referring to the Torah and the Torah only.  In accounts both secular and religious, James the Just, brother of Jesus and first leader of the Church in Jerusalem, is hailed for his incredible purity and devotion to scripture.  Jewish Scripture.  The Bible also makes this clear in Acts chapter 21, in which Paul is required by the church to purify himself at the temple.  You cannot get much more observant to the law than purifying yourself for temple worship.

While this chapter so strongly affirms the Jewishness of Christianity, oddly enough it also gives us the first glimpse of supersessionism.  This is where certain believers are exempted from the full requirements of the law.  What most people miss here, but what is clearly stated, is that these exceptions apply to GENTILE believers only.  Gentiles could be god-fearers within the Christian Jewish community; they would no longer be required to convert to Judaism to be Christians.

Note that Jewish Christians were NOT exempted from the law, in this verse or in any other.

Ask any believer you know if God would punish a Jewish Christian for cutting their beard, and you’ll be met with a blank stare.  But as far as the biblical account is concerned; that IS the case.  Interestingly, this is not a departure from the Judaism of the time.  There were many god-fearing gentiles in mainstream judaism, and they were not required to be circumcised.   Only if they wished to become adopted Jews were they required to go through this painful process.   James simply applies these same standards to gentile Christians; they could become Christian god-fearers without being adopted into Judaism.

Many are surprised to discover that Christian scripture does not directly advocate supersessionism.  It’s true that there are many verses that are explicitly anti-Jewish; where Jesus or his followers stand up against the temple or other religious and secular authorities.  But none of them speak against the Torah, against the law of God for the Jews!  And all Jewish Christians are portrayed as following the Torah.  Jesus might interpret things differently than the priests do (healing on sabbath, eating with impure Jews), but he never denies the authority of the law; and is even said to have kept ALL of the Jewish law to perfection.   His own interpretation, of course, but even that is fundamentally Jewish!

This is a deep topic, but I have at least gotten far enough to tell you why Christians can cut their hair.  Because THEY AREN’T JEWISH, that’s why. They are Gentiles, so they don’t violate Leviticus by cutting their hair and beards.  I would also point out that by this same logic, eating blood sausage is still an abomination!

Of course, these days, gentile Christians can eat all the blood they want, and Jewish Christians can cut their hair and wear linens with their wool. And at least if you’re protestant, you can get divorced for reasons other than infidelity.  In a nutshell, the reason for that is supersessionism.

Actually; not the last one.  Divorce and remarriage is sexual immorality; this is affirmed by Jesus in all acocunts.  It also falls under James’ “sexual immorality” requirement for Gentile believers (as does homosexuality, by the way…sorry).  I’m actually not sure how Protestants justify that issue; I know Catholics don’t allow it.

Polygamy in the Bible

I’ve been watching this amazing HBO television show called “Big Love”.   The main theme is Mormonism, particularly those who still practice polygamy (technically polygyny).   Bill Paxton (Nehhh) plays a polygamist raised on a fundamentalist Mormon, who leaves to compound to live in Salt Lake City with his three wives.  They are well assimilated into the 1950s culture of SLC, yet they are still deeply committed to “the principle”.

 The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, claimed to simply be following the literal word of scripture.

These days I tend to go to the Jewish sources for insights into the Old Testament.  Their page on polygamy is very informative.  The Bible regulates polygamy, but never forbids it.  A man was free to marry multiple wives, as long as he could support them, did not divorce  them, favor children from the 2nd wife over those of the 1st, etc. etc.   This is actually similar to how the Bible treats slavery, as something to be regulated instead of outright banned.

Polygamy and slavery regulated, shellfish and intercourse during menstruation banned.  Check.

Fast forward to the New Testament, which is strangely silent on the matter.   Like the Old Testament, the NT naturally expects a marriage to be between a man and a women.  But even in Jesus’ time many devout Jews had multiple wives, and Jesus never speaks against it.  Divorce, yes…Jesus forbids divorce.  But not polygamy.  Which is odd, considering how often Jesus is recorded speaking against the rich and powerful, the men most likely to be polygamists (Herod the Great had ten wives, for example…)

Paul is also silent on the matter.  One gets the idea he thought marriage was a necessary evil, only useful if the urges of the flesh become too stronge.  Paul is a Roman, though; and the Romans and the Greeks weren’t big on polygamy.  So perhaps he simply expected Christian men to marry zero to one wives.  

So these Mormons do have a valid point; nowhere does polygamy violate the letter of the law.  It certainly doesn’t laud it the way modern day polygamists do, but it is never explicitely forbidden.  The good Christians in black face who murdered Joseph Smith certainly felt it violated the SPIRIT of the law, though one could question just how pure their own spirits were.

Mormons didn’t give up polygamy until it was made a requirement for Utah to join union as the 45th state.  But they had a very timely and convenient change of heart, and polygamy was banned.  A pragmatic and necessary decision, though humilating.  Today, Mormons stand firmly against states being able to decide whether a marriage is between one man and one women or not.   I can’t help but feel this is ironic, and wonder if it is lost on them.

When asked why they supported Proposition 8 in California, invariably they would cite the Holy Bible.  The very same Bible that allows polygamy.  Check.

I do love “Big Love”, it is a well done show about a fascinating religious subculture.  The script is typical high quality HBO ( Six Feet Under, Sopranos, Deadwood).  The cast is great, and Bill Paxton doesn’t screw it up too bad.  I’m sympathetic to the characters, but in the end their ideals are unworkable.  Mainly because women aren’t allowed multiple husbands, and that’s just sexist.  Without that to balance things out the numbers just don’t add up, there wouldn’t be enough women to go around.

Too Beautiful To Live – The New Face of Radio

tail-recursion

 

Over the past year or so I’ve been fascinated with AM radio.   I’m addicted to the potent blend of right wing demagogy, pious preachers and conspiracy theorists.   (Or my favorite, all of the above.)  I think it’s the earnest insanity that gets me. 

And then I found tbtl, the show that’s probably too beautiful to live.   In a sea of insanity lies one small pocket of…more insanity.  But it’s our insanity, and I love them.  It’s difficult to describe the show, you simply have to listen.  It’s kind of like the Benny Hillifier.  Or like “Gardening with Marty Chang“.   They would be down with Cuil Theory.  

They love anything meta; recursion and self reference are almost daily themes.  They like fractals.  I would not be surprised if some of them have read G.E.B.  If they haven’t, they should.  If you haven’t you should.

In order to understand recursion, one must first understand recursion

 They have a podcast, and in Seattle you can listen to them at 97.3 KIRO FM between 7 and 10 PM Monday through Saturday.  AM’s being deprecated…sigh.

Listen to tbtl, so that they do live.   And now, here’s a funny animal video, brought to you by the Benny Hillifier.

Marilyn Monroe

marilynmonroe

AiG VII – What about Intelligent Design is Religious?

On the message boards, I have been discussing the merits of Intelligent Design with advocates of various stripes.  I am amazed at how many supporters ID has, and how they will debate even the most basic of facts.  Fact numero uno being the religious nature of Intelligent Design theory.  I have yet to find an ID advocate out there that admits to the religious content of Intelligent Design.  Here’s what I say:

1) ID is Exclusively Supported by Religious Institutions. 

Where is the money?  While we cannot judge the scientific merits of Intelligent Design based on the quality of those who support it, it’s a perfectly human thing to do, and it still directly applies to the intelligent design MOVEMENT, if not the theory.

The earliest example of the modern Intelligent Design movement came after the case Edwards v. Aguillard, which rules that Creationism could not be required in public schools because it advances a particular religion.  So the term “Creationism” was out, and they needed a new term.  

The group Foundation for Thought and Ethics had a creationist book all prepped for the public schools.  In between versions of this book, “creationism” and “creationist” were changed to refer to “intelligent design” instead, leading to this amusing cut and paste error:

The basic metabolic pathways (reaction chains) of nearly all organisms are the same. Is this because of descent from a common ancestor, or because only these pathways (and their variations) can sustain life? Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.

This proved to be rather damaging in a later court case,  Kitzmiller Vs Dover, whose judge clearly and eloquently categorized intelligent design as creationism.  

The Discovery Institute is the other major think-tank devoted to spreading intelligent design.  Like the FTE, the Discovery Institute likes to keep its religious foundation on the down-low, but their leaked manifesto made it very clear what their agenda is:

“To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies”

“To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God”

If you dig, this is where you end up.  Every ID supporter I have talked to or read feels that it is wrong to disallow non-materialistic (IE: “supernatural”) scientific explanations.   They all believe we were created by God.  They feel this as a direct result of their religious convictions, or might even say this conviction LED them to religion in the first place.   Religion is the very foundation of the Intelligent Design movement, which would not exist without it.

2) ID is the teleological argument.

The actual philosophy of intelligent design can be reduced to the teleological argument for the existence of a Creator.  The philosophy of intelligent design is religious in nature, because the teleological argument is religious in nature; it makes specific claims about God.  The intelligent design form is subtly different than the standard formulation, though:

  1. Complexity implies a designer.
  2. The universe is highly complex.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a designer

“So one elephant having a trunk was odd; but all elephants having trunks looked like a plot.” 

G. K. Chesterton

I’m no philosophy major, but even I can see that this formulation has some serious problems, even more problems than the original argument!  It’s because of this:

  1. Complexity implies a designer.
  2. The designer is highly complex.
  3. Therefore, the designer has a designer.

The fault lies with the implication that complexity requires design, design, of course.  IE: the assumption is; something complex requires something even more complex to create it.  For this reason, “complexity implies a designer”.  Conversely, if it is assumed that complex systems can come from SIMPLER systems, then complexity no longer implies a designer…there would be other possibilities. 

So it’s inescapable; the designer must be more complex than the designed in order for complexity to imply a designer.  But the problem is, this means the existence of a designer implies that the DESIGNER has a DESIGNER, which needs a DESIGNER, which doesn’t actually answer the fundamental question…where did the complexity of life come from?  

PS: evolution doesn’t answer the origin of life issue either, so ID shouldn’t feel to bad.  Stuart Kauffman’s into something, though…and it’s DEEP.  Engravings on the Stone Table deep.  

3) Obfuscation of language.

One of the traits of any movement is the modification of language that happens among it’s followers.  Religious movements are no exception to this rule, and neither is Intelligent Design.  But in order to see the stamp of religion on ID, it’s important to look at how two words are being redefined:

Creationism: 1) the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed. 2) (sometimes initial capital letterthe doctrine that the true story of the creation of the universe is as it is recounted in the Bible, esp. in the first chapter of Genesis.

Go onto any Intelligent Design website and search for the word “Creationism“.  You will find tons of comments about how ID is NOT creationism.  It’s important to realize, though; what they mean is that ID is not Young Earth Creationism.  Nevertheless, ID IS A FORM OF CREATIONISM.  It very specifically states that the creator designed life MUCH AS IT IS NOW, that the present day universe did not come about randomly.  

So while they pedantically argue that they’ve updated their science to avoid such embarassments as talking animals, a literal flood and a viable genetic population of two, it’s important to realize that the general definition of creationism certainly applies to intelligent design. 

Darwinism: “the Darwinian theory that species originate by descent, with variation, from parent forms, through the natural selection of those individuals best adapted for the reproductive success of their kind.”

Your average ID proponent will NEVER use the term “the modern synthesis”.  They will OCCASIONALLY call it “evolutionism” (NOT “evolution”), but will virtually always refer to the modern synthesis as “Darwinism”.  Furthermore, they will vigorously attack fundamentals of darwin’s theory like descent with modification and natural selection.  

However, they will pretty much ignore the advances in evolution since the time of Darwin.  This serves a very important purpose; to make evolution an “ism” instead of a science.  Into a personality cult, if you will.

This completely ignores that evolution is THE foundational cornerstone of modern genetics and biology.  It it is easy to compare Darwin to Newton and Einstein; his theory was revolutionary and helped create entire fields of science.  Make no mistake; evolution IS science, NOT “The cult of Darwinism”.  It is so widely accepted because it explains so much.

Here’s what is being done with the language: Creation theory is scientific, Darwinism is a personality cult that doesn’t deserve the title of science.  But if you look under the hood at both intelligent design and evolution you’ll find the exact opposite of this.  The advocates of intelligent design ARE Creationists.  Evolutionary theory IS science, just as much as physics, geology, and astronomy are science!  

The very nature of the vocabulary points back to the religious aspects of Intelligent Design.  The only explanation for the world is that an intelligent designer made complex life MUCH AS IT NOW IS.  OR…the best explanation is that simpler processes developed into more complex processes through descent with modification and survival of the more optimal genes.   Decide what you wish, but do no buy into the obfuscation, the former option is basically rebranded creationism and the later option is a wonderfully fecund scientific theory.

Blakeslee Family Genealogy

Original Posted Date: January 23, 2007 – Tuesday – 10:52 AM


Attention Blakeslee family members! Here is the genealogyof the blakeslee family, all the way back to Sidney S. Ford Sr., who was born May 10, 1801, over 200 years ago!

I’m a little confused as to why this geneology follows Annie Laura Ford (b. app 1880) instead of Nathan Blakeslee, as he was our earliest ancestor with the Blakeslee name. His son, Benjamin Blakeslee, married Annie Laura Ford on Jan 10, 1900, in Aberdeen WA!

welcome-to-aberdeen

 

Aberdeen, the same city I grew up in! The most amazing thing to me is how long our family has been in the Pacific Northwest. Sidney S. Ford Sr. settled in Centralia, WA in 1845, over 150 years ago. My ancestors were some of the first white people in the area. We also have indian ancestors, most notably Tuweequshun (mother of Annie Laura Ford), a member of the Chehalis tribe. So technically me ancestors go back to before the white man even showed up! I had no idea my roots ran so deep in the area…it’s truly amazing. They were indians, pioneers, soldiers, and trappers. Maybe they were “trash”, but I’m proud to come from such sturdy stock. [Edit: I was remonstrated for referring to my ancestors as “trash”, but I assure you I do so with the utmost respect for them and who they were.  They were NOT trash, they were the stuff that made this country great].

I’ll post more about this later, as I do more research. But to my family members, print this document out and give it to your parents/children; they will love you for it.

A very BIG thanks to my brother Corey for getting this from our aunt and uncle, scanning it in, and posting it on his website!

Comments for Feb 2009:

“The next spring Joseph Borst (b. 1801) settled on the north bank of the Chehalis River, just downstream of the confluence, and Sidney (1801-1866) and Nancy (1806-1898) Ford settled north of Borst on what is now Fords Prairie with their children. Both Borst and the Fords had recently arrived in Oregon Territory (which until 1853 included what is now Western Washington) from the Midwest.     ”

Source

fort-borst

Fort Borst Blockhouse in Fort Borst Park, Centralia, WA

“The first postoffice ws secured by sidney ford at Ford’s Prairie in 1856, and called Skookumchuch.”

Source: The Coast, by Honor L. Wilhelm

 “Located in southwest Washington, the town of Centralia was founded by George Washington, an African American who came west in 1850 to escape discrimination.”

Source