Looks like I survived the Blogathon no worse for wear as I’m feeling pretty good this morning other than a little residual sleepiness. Had a hell of a migraine when I first woke up yesterday afternoon, but that’s just a faded memory now. I’d like to take a moment to thank the folks who sponsored me and my effort: ***Dave, LuckyJohn19, GeekMom, my Mother, Devin Iacono, Jeffercine, Brock, Amanda Helstrom, Brendoman, OB, Marion Ovies, Decrepit Old Fool, PZ Myers, Joshua Jamison, and three folks who wished to remain Anonymous. We managed to raise $474.00 for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In the next few days you’ll receive an email from the Blogathon folks with the link to go to make your donation. The link will point to AU’s membership page which will include a spot for you to specify how much you wish to donate to the organization. Those of you donating $25 or more will become members of Americans United and will receive 11 issues of their award-winning journal Church & State. If you don’t wish to become a member there is an alternative donation method you can use. American’s United allows for donations in honor or memory of a person or event which allows you to donate without becoming a member. You can access that page by clicking here. I thought I should mention this alternative in case anyone was uncomfortable with becoming a member of AU, though I encourage you to join as it’s a very worthwhile organization.
I owe special thanks to ***Dave, for being my Blogathon Buddy (never blog without one) via Google Talk during the ‘thon, and PZ Myers, who drove up my traffic numbers considerably by mentioning my effort on his wildly popular website. I hope everyone who stopped by enjoyed the entries I managed to cobble together as much as I enjoyed… well… cobbling them together for you. We now return you to our normal schedule of sporadic blogging.
Oh yeah, one more thing of note: I went to return the webcam I borrowed from my boss to him this morning and was told I could keep it. So it appears I have a new toy to play with when blogging from here on out. I’ll probably just use it for more stupid chair dancing videos, but what the hell.
And I managed to survive it a second time. Which is pretty good considering that it’s been three years since I did my last one. I think I managed to keep the content pretty high this time out. I am definitely one tired puppy right now, though. Here’s the last pic I managed to snap off the webcam just before I typed this up.
Yep, as soon as the Blogathon was done I fell asleep and I’m now typing this while sitting in my chair unconscious. That’s how dedicated I am to you people and this event! You’ll note that I managed to lose my shirt at some point during the night, but I’ve tastefully kept my naked boobies out of the picture lest I offend some lady’s 13-year-old son or something.
Now I’m going to sleep walk my ass to bed and get some serious shut eye. G’Nite!
Separation of church and state is the only principle that can ensure religious and philosophical freedom for all Americans. Church-state separation does not mean hostility toward religion. Rather, it means that the government will remain neutral on religious questions, leaving decisions about God, faith and house of worship attendance in the hands of its citizens.
The results of America’s policy of church-state separation can be seen all around us: thanks to separation of church and state, Americans enjoy an unparalleled amount of religious freedom. In some nations, churches remain dependent upon government for support and aid. Religious life in these nations is often devitalized, and many churches are near empty on Sundays. Other countries merge religion and government into theocracies. Religious liberty cannot flourish under that system either; attempts by the government to enforce a version of religious orthodoxy foster only repression. By contrast, religious liberty has flourished in America and separation of church and state can take the credit.
Our Founding Fathers understood that efforts by government to “help” religion usually end up hurting it in the long run. Thanks to their vision, America has struck the right balance. Religious groups are supported with voluntary contributions, not tax dollars. Houses of worship are free to seek new members and spread their religious messages but they must use their own resources to do so. Institutions that serve Americans of many religious faiths and none, such as public schools, are free from sectarian control. The government cannot force or coerce anyone to take part in religious worship or prayer services. Americans have the right to join whatever religious group they like or refrain from taking part in religion at all. No one can be forced to support, aid or fund religious groups.
This grand tradition of religious liberty has made America the envy of the world. In countries where religion is mandated or supported by the state, people look to the American model of church-state separation with longing. Church-state separation, a policy forged by great leaders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, is the expression of a mature and confident republic. It represents a promise of freedom that few countries have had the courage to fully embrace.
But America had that courage, and the results of that embrace have been nothing short of remarkable. Today we are an open and free society of nearly 300 million Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Atheists and others. All live side by side in harmony. All have the freedom to proclaim their views. All enjoy the right to worship or not worship unmolested by government officials or state-appointed religious leaders. All are equal in the eyes of the government.
That is the legacy of our Founders’ grand experiment with separation of church and state. That is the result of keeping an official distance between religion and government. That is the principle Americans United for Separation of Church and State upholds every day boldly, proudly and without apology.
WASHINGTON—An obscure law approved by a Republican-controlled Congress a decade ago has made the Bush administration nervous that officials and troops involved in handling detainee matters might be accused of committing war crimes and prosecuted in US courts.
Senior officials have responded by drafting legislation that would grant US personnel involved in the terrorism fight new protections against prosecution for past violations of the War Crimes Act of 1996. That law criminalizes violations of the Geneva Conventions governing conduct in war and threatens the death penalty if US-held detainees die in custody from abusive treatment.
In light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that said international conventions apply to the treatment of such detainees, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has spoken privately with Republican lawmakers about the need for such protections, according to someone who heard his remarks last week.
Ain’t having morons in control of the government just grand?
It’s just one of several old board games brought to you by the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, but “The Freddy Game” is by far the most interesting of the lot. I know this because it comes in a bigger box. I’ve been hoarding this like some misguided squirrel for years, and only now do I realize why the box was originally wrapped in so much impossibly taped-up cellophane: “The Freddy Game” is something best left to your imagination. It’s part “Clue,” part “Life,” two parts “Really Sucky.” I can’t say that I had a good time playing this, but thanks to a little vodka, I’m having a blast writing about it. Ooooh oooh ha ha.
The game promises to let you enter Freddy’s house, which technically was Freddy’s house at some point, but is now more accurately classified as “the house Freddy finger-fucks-up victims du jour. As you can tell from the description above, this was one of those games where a player was charged with being the villain. It’s up to the other players to identify Freddy and kill him. That makes this a ridiculously pointless game to bother with if you only have two players, and good god damned luck finding more than a single other person on this planet willing to play “The Freddy Game.”
I don’t know how I missed ever seeing this game back when it came out. Don’t know if I would’ve bothered playing it, though. I’m not much for board games and this one looks like it’s pretty involved.
Well I had a second wind, but it blew away. Or something. Cause now I’m yawning up a friggin’ storm. I had a brief oasis of lowest common dominator entertainment in the form of World’s Wildest Police Videos, which allows you to gawk at traffic accidents without having to be stuck in the traffic jam they cause.
Now it’s about 80% infomercials on the channels with the local channels showing local church services and two or three channels actually showing something in the way of programming. Who the hell gets up this early to watch infomercials?
Melvin has come in from the outside to rejoin me at my side. Sitting on the arm of the couch like a good little hench cat should. I’ve got a bit of a second wind going because I’ve put entirely too much effort into trying to figure out this stupid horror movie.
Taking a look at the Blogathon page for SEB I see we’ve had a few last minute pledges come in bring us up to $474 total. Again I’d like to offer a great big thanks to everyone who’s made a pledge. It’s made all of this very worthwhile.
The stupid scarecrow horror movie is done. I’d complain about it wasting the past two hours of my life, but the truth is that it’s badness kept me awake so I can’t really complain. It was that or watch the half-hour infomercial for “Girls Gone Wild” videotapes.
Unless I’m keen on watching infomercials my choices for late night TV are somewhat limited. Right now I’m trying to choose between the lesser of two evils:
Option One: A really cheesy looking horror movie on FLIXe called Scarecrow about a bunch of thieves that end up being killed by evil scarecrows that have somehow come to life. It was made in 1988 and has absolutely no one of any name recognition in it.
Option Two: An even worse sci-fi movie called Galaxy Hunter made in 2004, but which looks like it was made in 1978. The only name I recognize is Stacy Keach and it’s clear this was a move of desperation for him. The hero is clad in a really bad spandex jumpsuit and there’s nothing even resembling a high tech looking device in it.
I think I’ve already managed to figure out the plot to both of them so there’s no point in watching them, but it’s not like there’s anything else on at the moment.