I Present To You….

January 20, 2009

Penelope Rose Shook!

Me holding my beautiful little girl.

Me holding my beautiful little girl.

She was born on January 12th, 2009 at 7:42 PM PST.  Did you notice that she was born at 7:42?  She’s already well-acquainted with the Answer to the Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. She was 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 19 1/2 inches.  The reason it’s taken me a full week to get this posted is because just a day or so after we brought her home she got jaundice pretty bad and had to be taken to the hospital for a couple days.  She is doing much better now.  One thing I have noticed with her is that she actually cries very little.  Our first son, Sebastian, had colic and was inconsolable at times, so this is a welcome change.  Oh, she does make an interesting noise, though.  Sometimes she’ll just let out a little squeak like a dog toy.  It’s absolutely adorable!  I am, of course, an impartial observer and so am qualified to make such objective statements.  Oh, here’s another picture of her with her mommy.

The two most beautiful women in my life.

The two most beautiful women in my life.

I am so proud right now.  I’m especially proud of my wife who managed to make it through a full 24-hour labor (her water broke around 7:45 PM PST on the night before) and gave birth completely naturally as the epidural had worn off completely.  She has proven time after time that the term “The Weaker Sex” is complete BS!  Penelope’s future is especially bright having her as a role model.  Ok, you may all commence with the Ooohing and Aaahing as appropriate.

Starbix

“DON’T PANIC.” – Douglas Adams

P.S.

BTW: Apparently someone was inaugurated as president of something or other today.  I’m sure it’s not important.

It’s A GIRL!!!

October 8, 2008

That’s right!  I’m gonna have a little girl!  Well, my wife is gonna have a girl… but I helped!  There will be ultrasound pictures posted soon.  She even mooned the camera.  That’s my girl!  Of course the rest of the time she was crossing her legs.  She’s classy!

The GOP Wasn’t Completely Honest? No Way!

September 5, 2008

(Via Yahoo News)

I’m shocked!  Shocked, I tells ya!

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer Wed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate.”

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: “She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply … She’s responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. I’m entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain’s phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she’s no more “responsible” for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: “She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. … She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under “federal status,” which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska’s national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin “got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.”

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor’s election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: “We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

___

Associated Press Writer Jim Drinkard in Washington contributed to this report.

If you can’t trust the Republicans, who can you trust?

Sarah Palin Apparently Flunked American History 101…

September 1, 2008

(Via Eagle Forum Alaska)

It looks like just when you thought the McCain/Palin campaign couldn’t find enough feet to shoot itself in, this comes out:

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
Sarah Palin: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

How about a quick history lesson?  The Pledge was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy.  “Under God” was not added until 1954 when America was in the grip of McCarthyism.  The last Founding Father to die was James Madison in 1836.  That’s 56 years before the Pledge itself was written and a full 118 years before “Under God” was added in.  Shouldn’t a candidate for VP at least have a passing knowledge of American history?

First Ultrasound Picture!

August 10, 2008

No, it doesn’t reveal the gender yet.  Too early for that.  Anyway, here’s my newest offspring!

Feel free to commence with the oohing and aahing.

Starbix

“Don’t Panic.” -Douglas Adams

We Have Lost a Shining Beacon of Freethought…

June 24, 2008

Goodbye Mr. Carlin, your work will continue to inspire many generations of freethinkers to come. I love the fact that my kids can still experience you on Thomas the Train. You will be sorely missed.

I got to stretch my debating muscles…

June 20, 2008

I opened the door today to find several young guys with backpacks on my porch.  The oldest looked to be in his late 20′s while the youngest could have been 14 or 15 years old.  They asked me if I knew Jesus.  Heh.  I said “I know him very well.”  They seemed pretty happy about that.  Then they asked if he was my lord and savior.  “Nope, not at all.”  I don’t think they realized what they had gotten themselves into.  I don’t think they expected me to know just as much, if not more, about the Bible than they did.  They tried many of the tired old arguments for the existence of God.  Like the good old argument from design, the moral argument, the argument from personal revelation, the argument from goodness, the cosmological argument and even the classic appeal to emotion.  It was pretty fun.  They even had pamphlets from Way of the Master (including the million dollar bill), the Lee Strobel “Evidence of God” pamphlet and even a Chick tract en espanol!  All in all it was a pretty good time.  I gave them the links to my MySpace page, this blog and the Biblical Errancy page.  So if you guys are reading this, welcome!  Stay a while and feel free to comment.  I’d love to keep our conversation going!

Starbix

“Don’t Panic.” -Douglas Adams

My heart is both warmed and broken…

June 11, 2008

As my family and I were leaving our local Wal-Mart (Don’t hate me, I shop where my wife says to shop) we stopped at a canopy-covered table where two women were getting people registered to vote.  I had been meaning to reregister as I didn’t want to keep voting at the place near my parents’ house.  As we were talking I noticed that they were both wearing buttons proclaiming that they were proud democrats.  This was a bit of a relief for me as the Central Valley is one of the most conservative parts of California and especially because most of the people who hang out in front of our Wal-Mart are extreme right-wing crackpots.  I felt freer to talk since they obviously weren’t the typical Tulare County resident.  In the course of the conversation I made mention of being an atheist.  The woman I was talking to questioned me further about it to make sure she understood me correctly and I confirmed that I don’t believe in any gods.  What she did next caught me off guard.  She asked me to stop talking about it.  She did it not because I was offending her, but rather because she was going to cry.  She was so worried about me, a total stranger, going to Hell that it caused her real emotional distress.  She didn’t condemn me for my lack of belief or say that I was a bad or immoral person.  She didn’t pass any judgment on me.  She was simply worried for my well-being.  This was a person who genuinely cared for the welfare of her fellow man.  This encounter left me with mixed feelings.  I was happy that she accepted who I was and didn’t judge me for it, but I was also moved by her concern for me.  I only wish more Christians would follow her example and truly love their fellow man for who they are: black, white, man, woman, young, old, believer or atheist.  I hope she took comfort in the fact that she showed a committed atheist that some Christians really do care about others no matter what.

Here is one reason why I’m voting for Obama…

June 11, 2008

And this is why I will definitely not be voting for McCain.

He blatantly ignores the fact that Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, which was approved unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams, states that “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion

Tulare County Courthouse To Become A Bit More Queer…

June 10, 2008

Via Queer Visalia‘s blog:

As you already know, on June 17, gay and lesbian couples around California will be obtaining legal marriage licenses for the first time in history! You too can participate in this historic event by joining your fellow Tulare County couples at the County Courthouse to get YOUR marriage license!
When:     June 17, 2008
7:30am – 3:30pm
Where:     Tulare County Clerk’s Office, in Courthouse
First floor Rm. 105
221 S Mooney Blvd
Visalia, CA 93291
What:     Bring yourself and your sweetheart, photo ID and your check book to apply for your official marriage license. Also, if you’ve ever been divorced or dissolved a Domestic Partnership, bring proof of that, too.
Cost:     $92 for the license

You can also make an appointment for the clerk to do your civil ceremony by calling 559-730-5000. They do ceremonies only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

We do need to locate people who are licensed to do weddings in California, who would be willing to be available at or near the courthouse on the 17th. It would be good if they would volunteer their services for this special day. If you are, or know of, such a person, please call me at 559-756-0725. I have limited access to the web right now, so please call and not email.

Even if you are not getting married on that day, please join us at the courthouse for the celebration! We’d love to see a huge crowd of supportive people cheering local couples as they get their licenses!

See you there!

Jamie

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend as I will be working.  I would, however, be pleased to offer my services to anyone needing someone to officiate at their marriage.


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