Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome, Children of the Winds

From this site, which is awesome. I've been flirting with atheism lately.

Q: If you don't believe in God, why do you spend so much time talking about Him? You don't spend time talking about the Toothfairy or Santa Claus.
A: The people who believe in the Toothfairy and Santa Claus don't vote, neither do they threaten to beat the shit out of people I care about. When people start beating my friends for not putting teeth under their pillow, or there's serious talk about defining marriage as between one man and eight tiny reindeer, I'll start complaining about that.

Q: Why do you use offensive language?
A: To offend a certain kind of people. I reference sexual and excretory functions; the people I'm mocking reference hellfire. Out of fucking, taking a shit and being burned alive, which is on your avoid-at-all-costs list for this weekend?

"Welcome and peace be with you beloved children of the west wind.
Welcome sons and daughters of Jehovah, followers of Moses and Jesus, keepers of the covenant.
Welcome gentle children of the west wind.

Welcome and peace be with you beloved children of the north wind.
Welcome sons and daughters of earth, followers of shamans, seekers of moon and sun.
Welcome gentle children of the north wind.

Welcome and peace be with you beloved children of the east wind.
Welcome sons and daughters of the Tao, followers of Confucius and Buddha, casters of the I-Ching.
Welcome gentle children of the east wind.

Welcome and peace be with you beloved children of the south wind.
Welcome sons and daughters of the pyramids, followers of old ways made new, catchers of dreams.
Welcome gentle children of the south wind.

Welcome and peace be with you beloved children of the other winds.
Welcome whoever's son or daughter you may be, no less the pilgrim for traveling your own path.
Welcome gentle children of the other winds.

Welcome and peace to all the children of all of the winds,
Great and small, beloved one and all.
Welcome brothers and sisters. Let the winds blow you to the truth.
Then, gentle children, heads full of air, you can blow me.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Now there's a thought

A mennonite pharmacist denied the morning-after pill to a rape victim. Link. She had to drive to the next dtown over to get it.
"People drive to Reading to buy jeans. Even if that were the case, that you had to drive to Reading to get this [prescription], to me that does not rise to a compulsion that you have to pass laws that [doctors] have to do something," Dr. Joe Kearns said.

To which I thought "Well what if the next pharmacy over isn't so close? Or what if the patient lacks transportation?"

Now, this goes against all my libertarian principles, but why not say that if a pharmacist denies a drug to a patient for religious reasons, they have to provide timely transportation to a pharmacy where she can get it? The pharmacist doesn't have to do anything unethical, and the patient still gets their drug quick.

'timely' to my mind means at worst calling (and paying for) a taxi, but I'm not sure what the taxi situation is in rural america. 'where she can get it means that they call ahead and it will be waiting there for her.

Perhaps give the company the option to call in another pharmacist, assuming they can guarantee they will be there within the hour.

I don't think I would advocate this, but it seems a fairly good compromise.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lost Words

snobographer - one who describes or writes about snobs

If you're looking for a snobby elitist blog title like mine, look no further than The Phonistery's Lost Words.

I've pulled out some of the words I'd like to work into conversation.

ebaptization - declaring that someone has not been properly baptized
eternitarian - one who believes in the eternity of the soul
hymnicide - killing of hymns through alterations
inobligality - quality of not being obligatory
interfation - act of interrupting another while speaking
inveteratist - opponent of reform; one who inveterately holds to tradition
isangelous - equal to the angels
jungible - that may be joined
sacricolist - devout worshipper
scathefire - great destructive fire; conflagration
sceptriferous - bearing a scepter
schismarch - founder of a schism
sermonolatry - excessive devotion to sermons
sigilism - act of revealing the secrets of the confessional
sodalitious - of or belonging to society or to fellowship
synallactic - reconciliatory
tecnolatry - worship or idolization of children
temerate - to break a bond or promise; to profane
theomeny - the wrath of God
I may suffer theomeny for my beliefs, but at least I will have been consistent.
thural - of or pertaining to incense
thysiastery - sacrificial altar
triclavianism - belief that only three nails were used at Christ's crucifixion
venialia - minor sins or offences
Lutherolatry - worship of Martin Luther and his teachings
magistricide - the killing or killer of a teacher or master
magophony - massacre of magi or priests
nerterology - learning relating to the dead or the underworld
omniregency - universal rulership; state of complete authority
papicolist - one who worships the pope; a papist
parepochism - error in dating or assigning time period
paterophobia - fear of the early Church fathers
poliadic - of the nature of a local or tutelary god
prescited - foreknown or predestined for damnation; condemned
redamancy - act of loving in return
rogalian - of or pertaining to a great fire
rogitate - to ask frequently
"Are we there yet?", the kids rogitated, apparently unaware of their parents' frustration.

I've heard of the Shakers, but:
jumperism - principles of a jumping Methodist sect
While snake-handling is ridiculous, it is no worse than jumperism or the stylites.
I need to look that up sometime.

dicaearchy - just government
graocracy - government by an old woman or women
fallaciloquence - deceitful speech
vampirarchy - set of rulers comparable to vampires

citharize - to play the harp
fabrefaction - act of fashioning or making a work of art
sagittiferous - bearing arrows
sagittipotent - having great ability in archery
speustic - made or baked in haste
stiricide - falling of icicles from a house
supellectile - of the nature of furniture
uglyography - bad handwriting; poor spelling
zygostatical - pertaining to a market official in charge of weights
mariturient - eager to marry
namelings - persons bearing the same name
orgiophant - one who presides over orgies
palintocy - repayment of interest paid on a loan
pamphagous - eating everything; all-consuming
piladex - game where an inflated bag is hit with hand to keep aloft across a table
portmantologist - one who studies or coins portmanteau words
pregnatress - female power that generates or gives birth to something
quibbleism - practice of quibbling
radicarian - pertaining to the roots of words
ruricolous - living in the country or in fields

cosmogyral - whirling round the universe
hercotectonic - of or pertaining to the construction of fortifications or walls
dodrantal - of nine inches in length
brephophagist - one who eats babies

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Two things.

God Angrily Clarifies 'Don't Kill' Rule

And from the Colbert report:

Things I did not know

A while ago, I visited my local Church of Scientology.
I took a self-guided tour of the displays they had set up, then my guide tried to sell me some stuff, then I saw the film Orientation. After that I got a tour of some of the rest of the building.

There is serious money here. For every set of 8 foot high color panels, there was an inset flat panel display playing a relevant video loop. I'd say at least 7 just in the downstairs area.
They had coffee, I'm guessing it was decaf. Later, I grabbed a chocolate wafer from a plate that hadn't been there when I came in.

In the film:
They made no apologies that the best place to go next was to the bookstore, where it would be best to buy the entire starter set, plus Dianetics.
There were a series of 'testimonials' that were so dry I can only assume they were actors, of the three celebrity actors I picked out, Kirstie Alley and Anne Archer each said that scientology saved their life. John Travolta just said it had helped every area of his life. No one else said it saved their life, and I wonder how differently they treat their celebrities.
I think everyone in the film was an actor, the credits seemed to indicate this as well.
I learned that they have a chapel and sunday services, and a library with all of Hubbard's works available for free. Also aparently the Minister (Minister? not sure that was the word) will try to set you up with free scientology services if you can't afford to pay.
Every 'Org' (note the use of in-group jargon.) has an Ofice for L. Ron Hubbard. This is a holdover from when he was alive and would travel and work in many different places, it is retained as a symbol that the given church should remain 'on source'. I don't know if it's my christian upbringing, or southpark talking here, but I think they think he's coming back.
At the end they let everything drop: You can leave and never think about scientology again and spend your next trillion years writhing in agony. It would be stupid, but it's your choice.
The host talked about something happening to the planet, but it wasn't clear what it would be.

Later I got a tour of some of the upper floors. I saw the library, the chapel, L. Ron's office, and this other, thing...
The library was nice, in the advanced section they had scraps of clay for molding things, I'm not sure what was up with that.
The chapel had the history of L Ron's life in panels all around the room, almost like the stations of the cross in a catholic church
adjacent to the chapel was a room with a 'canteen', an area for refreshments, and 5 more video displays high lighting the humanitarian efforts of scientology.
In one of the training rooms, I saw a large glass panel with a lion's head etched into it. My first thought was of Aslan, but that wouldn't fit, I'm not sure what it is.
Hubbard's office was small.

The 'other thing' was a standalone video Kiosk that seemed to be on a floor that was otherwise just administrative. It was an interactive unit about 10 feet wide that let you preview and order audio tapes of speeches of L. Ron.

Overall my feel for the building was 'weird but churchy', but then I'm a Unitarian, so weird but churchy is normal for me. Somebody coming straight from a traditional background might be very impressed or very freaked out.

I was only a little freaked out.