Damn you, Stephen Birkland!

Read this about a certain Baha’i leader:

http://bahaikipedia.org/Stephen_Birkland

Mr. Stephen Birkland is currently serving as a member of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá’í Faith. Before his election to the House of Justice, he was a member of the International Teaching Center.[1] Prior to his service at the World Center, Mr. Birkland served as an Auxiliary Board member beginning in 1976 and a Counsellor from 1993. He also served on the board of Trustees for Huqúqu’lláh in the United States for 10 years.[2]
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The downfall of Eric Cantor

A lot of ink (and pixels) has been used in reference to the stunning upset of a Tea Party challenger defeating House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor. Some thoughts of my own about that:

1. No politician should ever take his position in office for granted. You should be willing to fight tirelessly for your office against any challengers.

2. It really does not matter how much money is spent on your campaign. If your constituents have lost faith in you, then you should go down to defeat. So maybe there is hope for us after the Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, even though it is still one of the worst such decisions in its history.

3. David Brat, the professor who defeated Cantor, is a Tea Party activist who is a hard-liner against immigration reform, and claimed that Cantor was too willing to compromise on it. Of course, that only means Brat is a bigoted @$$hole who does not deserve to be in Congress. Damn him!

4. Remember this I wrote years ago? I love being proven right!

5. Primaries of political parties tend to be dominated by hard-line supporters of that party, but then the winner of those primaries must then appeal to the general population, perhaps resulting in flip-flopping on certain issues.  All Democrat Jack Trammell, who will face Brat in the general election, has to do is present a moderate stance on the issues he supports from start to finish and thus come across as the candidate who will represent the most people in his district, as well as someone who is NOT A HYPOCRITE!

Adam Buckley

This is a Canadian DJ and radio personality who I have gotten to know from his YouTube videos rather than from his radio programs, which I have never heard. I happen to agree with almost everything he says, for he presents a well-balanced and enlightened view of almost everything. The only drawback is his tendency to use a lot of profanity, which has caused me to label him, “Sir Swear-a-Lot”. But if that is the worst thing about him, I will gladly overlook it, for he deals with a lot of the subjects I have covered on this blog for years.
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Four Ways to Create a Religion of Hypocrites

1. State that religion no longer needs clergy……and replace them with leaders that are as authoritarian as the clergy ever was.
2. Claim that men and women should be equal……but then deny women membership in the all-powerful leadership council of the religion.
3. Condemn as heretics those who believe in your religion but dare to challenge the claims of your religion’s current leadership, while at the same time claiming to welcome as friends the followers of other religions.
4. Claim there is harmony between science and religion, but also claim that anything your leaders say is absolutely true, even if on topics science is expected to address.
Any one of these makes a religion not worth following, but what do you do if you find a religion that has all four such contradictions?

The Possible Role of Nondisjunction in Evolution

A common objection to natural selection as the mechanism for evolution is that while it may act as an editor, it cannot be an author. That is, it may change genetic information through mutation, but it cannot cause genetic information to increase. And they are right, but genetic information can still increase across the generations of organisms through a process called nondisjunction. This occurs when an unequal amount of genetic material is passed on to two daughter cells after the process of a cell dividing. One cell will have slightly less genetic material, and the other will have slightly more. The most famous example of nondisjunction is the kind that causes Down’s Syndrome, when a human embryo receives three 21st chromosomes from its parents rather than the normal number of two. But nondisjunction can occur regarding any chromosome in any organism and may not even involve chromosomes at all, such as in the case of bacteria.

Let us imagine that three billion years ago, a bacterial cell was dividing, but because of a chemical malfunction, slightly less genetic material ended up in one daughter cell, and slightly more in the other. The cell with less material will probably end up smaller, while the cell with more material may end up larger, because a greater amount of genetic material can produce a greater amount of proteins, the molecules that provide the structural basis for all organisms. Larger cells (assuming the reproductive potential of the different cells was the same) would have an advantage over smaller cells in the race to gain food, thus natural selection would favor larger cells.

If this process was repeated many times, then it is possible that over a billion years a bacterial cell would have emerged that had hundreds of times more genetic material than the first primitive organisms that arose on Earth about four billion years ago. And that would have enabled the evolution of more complex organisms than bacteria…including us!

Wayne Christian and Todd Staples, libeled!

Texas politicians are overwhelmingly Conservative and Republican, which as a liberal often makes me feel like an alien in my own state, despite being born and raised here. In looking at the candidates running for office in Texas, I stumbled upon some propaganda against them. Specifically, Wayne Christian and Todd Staples. Continue reading