Morning Must Reads: June 28

In the news: immigration reform, student loan rates, South Africa, Aaron Hernadez, Jon Corzine, and congressional facial hair

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • Senate passes historic immigration reform bill
  • Obama has an ‘ugly American‘ problem
  • Student loans rates are set to double to 6.8 percent Monday, since Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening
  • USIS, the contractor that screened Edward Snowden for his top-secret clearance, repeatedly misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks
  • Obama visits South Africa
  • Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine charged with overseeing the misuse of almost $1 billion in customer funds from his time as chief executive of MF Global Holdings
  • Aaron Hernadez and violence in the NFL
  • Nearly one in five members of Congress gets paid twice
  • Chief Justice Roberts plays a long game
  • Syria won’t be Iran’s quagmire
  • The essential guide to congressional facial hair
529 comments
forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Happy Canada Day, particularly to my fellow Canucks.

retiredvet
retiredvet

You Are Worthless, Alec Baldwin

 "So he’s now going to do the GLAAD Stations of the Cross and they will milk him for more and more money to account for his raw bigotry. They’d rather get his money than call him out for what he actually said."

retiredvet
retiredvet

Why We Allow the Destruction of Our Planet

"You see, the problem with theism is not that some of its spin-off beliefs succeed in an undemocratic system. The problem is that theism is anti-democratic at its core. It moves us away from relying on ourselves. It teaches us to rely on someone supposedly better than us."

sacredh
sacredh

OT, but I was mowing the lawn and came in to take a cigarette break. The sun was finally peeking out. 30 minutes later...RAIN again. I got the mowing finished but not the trimming or the cleanup. Grrr...

retiredvet
retiredvet

What I find particularly amusing is the right's reaction to the two Supreme Court's cases: VRA and DOMA. If you look at these issues broadly they're basically the same thing. Congress writing laws that are contrary to Constitutional principles.  Striking down VRA is a victory by the good justices of the Court. Striking down part of DOMA is judicial activism.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Kooks work on the weekends I see.....

sacredh
sacredh

Satan walks among us. His minions are the liberal socialists that work their dirty tricks and seek to confuse us with blatant attempts to portray God fearing white Christians as somehow wrong. America was founded by our white Christian forefathers as a refuge from the European socialists and demon worshippers of the 17th century.



ahandout
ahandout

@retiredvet  I agree with you on that.  Will we see the Alec Baldwin apology tour?

ahandout
ahandout

@retiredvet http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/2818/Crichton-Environmentalism-is-a-religion.aspx

I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@JesusHatesLiberals I'd like to see the knuckle draggers transported back to the stone age where the men can club them some women and drag them back to caves for some "procreation." 

But, I can't help but think that even back then there were some small number of them off in the bushes for a good game of "find the bone." 

sacredh
sacredh

From the article:

“Don’t give in. If you have to go down for Christ, what better person to go down for?”

She will go down for our Savior and Jesus will smile.

sacredh
sacredh

Idle hands are the Devil's workshop.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Jesus hated bigots and money worshipers. Guess what he would have thought of today's GOP?

paulejb
paulejb

@JesusHatesLiberals 

Liberals may well be hateful but Jesus hated no one. He suffered and died for all sinners including liberals.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@ahandout

Actually that's got little to do with the question of whether environmentalism is a theism or not.  There is an argument, but I'll get there in a second.

The problem is that there's only a handful of actual stories - one person told me that you can boil the number down to as little as 7 fundamental stories but depending on what you weigh and don't weigh to define unique stories, you can end up with a considerably more variations.

The bible, whether you believe those are fables, fictionalized accounts or straight up truth, are still fundamentally stories and when you boil them down to their base version, you'll be able to find parallels between those stories and nearly every other story in existence - nearly every root story exists in some form within the bible.  Considering that, it's not surprise you were able to find a story within the bible that has parallels to another story you see within reality.

You are right that religion is something that comes back again and again.  It boils down to one of the strangest questions in philosophy: what is the meaning of life?  Why is it strange?  Because it presumes that there must be meaning - that we are more than just, as biologists would put it, beings that eat, sleep and reproduce.  Humans seek meaning in life, they seek purpose.  This is spiritual fulfillment - the thing that some atheists recognize is missing and why there are those who recognize the stupidity of taking religious texts at face value but choose to follow a religion nonetheless.  There is power within spirituality that humanity craves.

To that extent, you can make a reasonable argument that most environmentalists are following the religion of environmentalism.  They don't know they science, they haven't studied the root information, they couldn't explain to you the intricate system that pieces together climate science, but rather they take the word of others and presume that this is fact just like you take the words from the bible and presume it's the word of God.  We put faith in it because it is from those who study religion.

Can it be harmful?  Absolutely.  There are those who have misinterpreted the science and do things that are more harmful rather than helpful (example: Alberta is fueled 95% by coal which is more pollutant than oil.  However, the energy efficiency of large plants over internal combustion engines means that a coal power plant is still more efficient and less pollutant than a gas-powered engine and you're still better off with an electric car).  There are those that simply get their reading of the facts wrong.  There are those that take us down a completely blind path of thought only to realize they made a mistake.

This is not to say that environmentalism is wrong.  The Scientific Method exists and has one power that religion lacks - the power of repeatable reality.  If we can approach the question from multiple angles and come to the same answer, than chances are that the answer is probably correct.  And if you have a single instance of coming to a different answer when so many other approaches come to the same answer, then it is more likely that your approach was incorrect rather than the conclusions the all came to (not always, but the vast majority of time).  That's why I choose to follow the Church of Science.  It's why I believe in Global Warming and Climate Change.  I do not, interestingly enough, consider myself an Environmentalist, but I am a believer in Science.

And of course, there's this: http://xkcd.com/836/

roknsteve
roknsteve

@ahandout @retiredvet I don't have a problem with the idea of god.  My problem is the old testament Hebrew/Christian idea of a creator/god.  And environmentalists are a bunch of kooks who don't even believe in fishing.

Whoever wrote Genesis copied it from the 7 Tablets of Creation.  And they left out all the science.  And they added that snake and tree story etc.   

roknsteve
roknsteve

@retiredvet @sacredh They want all the comforts of modern life and also want to make everybody else live by rules written in a near stone age.  Women a property and all non-white non-strait non-christians are treated like animals by them. 

sacredh
sacredh

They're the ones that jump out of bed and peek through the curtains to see who's visiting the neighbor at 11 pm.

sacredh
sacredh

"Guess what he would have thought of today's GOP?"

There is only one party that God smiles upon and it isn't the party run by a socialist.


ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 Mantis, your brilliance always shines through...show us the hate.  Not from you, from Jesus.

sacredh
sacredh

roknsteve, I won't complain about it being 80 here. The sun finally came out and I just came in to get my ballcap. Back to the tractor.

sacredh
sacredh

I apologize roknsteve. I was just having some troll fun.

sacredh
sacredh

They just like to complain. I took a pair of old jeans in yesterday and put them on before the midnight shift came in. They're threadbare and too tight. He was sitting in the the chair and I stood so close to him that my crotch was almost in his face. He started ranting abiout them being obscene and went outside.

sacredh
sacredh

"It's easier to just go along and agree."

That's it in a nutshell. I do see her point because of me working shifts and us living in the country.

sacredh
sacredh

Because they're so upset at the SC ruling and I can't resist.

sacredh
sacredh

My better half gets her way. I'm whipped.

sacredh
sacredh

I've been close to unbearable at work. I had one of my conservative friends so mad the other night that he told me "I love you like a brother, but I swear to God, I'd like to shoot you".

sacredh
sacredh

She's getting a .38.

sacredh
sacredh

My wife is taking her second gun class today. She's getting a concealed carry permit.

sacredh
sacredh

Lol. Yeah. I have to mow the lawn once the grass dries out.

sacredh
sacredh

Once you've seen the light, it burns. Goodmorning retirevet.

retiredvet
retiredvet

@deconstructiva @roknsteve I saw the "transformation" happen yesterday. One minute it was "normal" and like "poof" it was all fire and brimstone. Quite extraordinary.

sacredh
sacredh

"Sorry but I don't believe in the devil or satan or heaven or hell. Now go play in the freeway.
"

But Jesus believes in you. The only freeway I will play in is the Highway to Heaven.
 You are on the Highway to Hell. I would guess that you are AC/DC too my son.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@roknsteve

psst... ...read through JHL's profile. Can you think of anyone who might choose to make fun of "sacred" scriptures and religious icons?

sacredh
sacredh

"You are really a hateful piece of trash."

I am NOT hateful. ;  )

ahandout
ahandout

@mantisdragon91 @ahandout  Are you a follower of Jesus?  If so, you wouldn't be advocating for government programs.  Jesus was teaching his church.

I asked you to show where you came up with the idea that Jesus hates.  Answer the question.

sacredh
sacredh

The Lord helps those who help themselves.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout @mantisdragon91 So you are claiming that Jesus would be fine with people who place their wealth ahead of others well being. Care to provide one of his scriptures to support that claim?

ahandout
ahandout

@Paul,nnto @ahandout @mantisdragon91  So then, you agree with Jesus' answer:  Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Your quote is from Matthew a tax collector; at the time the lowest of the low (still is by the way.) 

sacredh
sacredh

I'm almost a monk now.