10 Questions For Pro-Choice People

October 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Musings, Politics, Religion

Cutout QuestionOne of my religious conservative friends on Facebook linked to a blog post entitled 10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate Is Never Asked by the Media. There’s a bit of redundancy, but overall, they are pretty good questions. Abortion is a very slippery topic, and, although it often detracts from arguably more important issues in politics, I think it’s a very good litmus test for how advanced a society has become, in much the same way capital punishment or gay marriage is. Personally, I quite enjoy being asked probing questions of my morality and world view because it forces me define it better and better understand my underlying philosophy and its arguments. So I thought I would have a go at these ten questions.
(more…)

Hey, Obama, My 3 Year Old Wrote You A Campaign Slogan

September 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Politics, USA, Videos

USA Flag
Dear President Obama,

No doubt you are missing that mindless chant of Yes We Can that your followers could repeat incessantly during your 2008 campaign. It was brilliantly open ended. If what “we could” do was elect the first African American president, then yes, we could. But now so many of your promises turned out to be harder to accomplish than expected, so you certainly can’t use the same slogan for re-election. Fear not, however, dear leader, for my three-year-old has written a new slogan for you.
(more…)

Open Letter To Opponents of ObamaCare

June 29, 2012 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, USA

Dear people who oppose ObamaCare,

I’m curious about your thinking about possible solutions to the messed up US healthcare system. One starting assumption that leads directly to opposing ObamaCare is that healthcare is not a right, that poor people should not be given healthcare and allowed to die simply because they are poor. If you agree that only the wealthy deserve to be healthy, then you are a cruel, inhumane person and please stop reading this letter.
(more…)

San Juan Festivities in Colindres

June 26, 2012 By: erik Category: Colindres, Complaining, Partying, Photos, Politics, Spain, Travel, Videos

San Juan SausagefestThe town where I live is celebrating its annual San Juan festival this week. Most Spanish towns have a town saint, and for many of them, that role is filled by Saint John The Baptist. There are several things that I love about this festival. It amuses me that it’s really just a thinly veiled version of the pagan bonfire solstice festivals held across Europe (the bonfire is to shoo away the witches, in case you didn’t know).

Riffing off the Valencian falles tradition of building elaborate, yet explosive, parade floats to burn, the townspeople of Colindres also make little miniature floats, usually the size of small cars, which are wheeled, by hand, around town before finding their way to the designated place to be judged, doused in gasoline, and ignited.
(more…)

A Just World: The link between conservative politics and religion

May 09, 2012 By: erik Category: Musings, Politics, Religion, USA

balance scaleFor a long time, I have been trying to figure out how conservatism and, in particular, the Republican Party in the United States, have married politically conservative and socially conservative ideals, and thereby successfully courted the vast number of religious voters. How does a biblical position like being against gay marriage and abortion correspond with reducing healthcare and welfare spending? And on the liberal side of the coin, how does being in favor of allowing gay marriage and abortion rights correlate with being in favor of universal healthcare and welfare?
(more…)

Civil Baptisms

December 19, 2011 By: erik Category: Colindres, Politics, Religion, Spain

Water Drop With BubblesI recently came across this tidbit of local news. The conservative political party in my small town is up in arms because the ruling liberal political party is allowing the practice of “civil baptism”. Of course they are not arguing the reasonable point that the term is self contradictory; they are more concerned that the practice is offensive to The Church. I don’t think it’s offensive so much as it’s a reminder of the decline The Church is suffering in Spain.
(more…)

Newt Gingrich Morphed Into A Newt

November 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Funny, Morphing, Photoshop, Politics, USA

Newt 2012I’ve been very much enjoying the puppet show that is the GOP’s attempt to find a candidate that has any chance of defeating Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign. As the media’s interest in each candidate ebbs and flows, they are each shown to not really be a contender. The most recent fad in the race is the former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. As I watch the news coverage, I can’t help but chuckle to myself about the possibility of having a president with the same name as a species of salamander. I figured it was time to dust off my morphing skills and actually turn him into a newt.
(more…)

Social Quote Sharing Rant

October 15, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Fighting Stupidity, Internet, Politics

Profound QuoteIt has become very popular lately to post photos of people with profound sounding quotations without thinking about what the words actually mean. If you use Facebook or Twitter or other social sharing sites, you will undoubtedly already know what I’m talking about. It’s sort of the visual internet’s version of a soundbite.
(more…)

When are protest demonstrations reasonable?

May 23, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, Politics, Spain

Manifestación Democracia Real Ya - Madrid 15 Mayo 2011For a long time, I have been unable to understand the point of political and social demonstrations and parades and such. I have at least two posts to this effect. What does Congress care if a bunch of rainbow-flag-waving hippies are out on the National Mall? That’s not going to change anyone’s mind!

With the combination of a number of successful political demonstrations – the most successful being that of Egypt – in the first quarter of 2011 and a video lecture I saw on YouTube, I finally had an epiphany about why demonstrations matter, and how they can be effective.
(more…)

Ugly Vengeance

May 02, 2011 By: erik Category: News, Politics, USA

Celebrations outside White HouseI woke up this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US troops in Pakistan. I turned on the news and found a bunch of non-journalism time-filling fluff with a pretty Spanish woman with a microphone going around Madrid asking passersby for their opinion on the news. I turned to the internet and learned that there were parties in front of the White House and Ground Zero with mobs of Americans shouting “USA! USA!” and waving flags. My Facebook feed was full of comments like “From now on, May 1st will be known as Vengeance Day!! Booyaah!” Later, when I went to the local grocery store, where I am known for my nationality, I was greeted with salutations of “Congratulations!”
(more…)