Kicking ass and taking names. Literally.

Since I've seen the link posted all over the lefty blogosphere, figured I might as well find out what my Unitarian Jihad Name is, too

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sister Plasma Rifle of Compassionate Mindfulness. What's yours?

Looks like I found my new email sig.


"I believe in God, but I'm in no hurry to meet Him."

Okay, I officially Do. Not. Get it.

So the Pope died today. I'm not a Catholic, and I've got my own issues about religion, but I certainly recognize he was a major figure and his passing represents the passing of an era.


All this drama and people wailing and carrying on about it? I don't get it.

Had this happened when the guy was younger (before his time, whatever the hell that means) and maybe died unexpectedly, or if it had been violent or something, then okay, I could see it being "tragic" or whatever, and deserving (possibly) of the wailing and carrying on. But he was blessed with a full life, did some great things with it, and is finally at peace and no longer suffering. To my mind, what more could a person want, either for themselves or those they love (or even those they don't)? We've got a totally effed up relationship with death, IMO, and spend so much time and effort lamenting and/or trying to prevent what is a natural part of life.

And another thing, since I'm on a rant anyway: the reaction by Christians, especially in this particular case for the religious leader of a large portion of a worldwide religion, particularly baffles me because hello, isn't that, like the underlying tenet of the Christian faith, i.e. that death is not the end, that salvation awaits once we've left this mortal coil? Were these people not just celebrating the Easter holiday, which commemorates the resurrection of their savior who brought to them the hope of a life everlasting? Why this aversion to embracing the eventuality of death? Hell, I don't subscribe to a Christian worldview and even I know the Scripture:

"In the way of righteousness [is] life; and [in] the pathway [thereof there is] no death." -- Proverbs 12:28

"The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death." -- Proverbs 14:27

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalms 23:4
I just don't get it. Honor the guy, his memory, and his legacy. Acknowledge the passing of a man worthy of respect and admiration. Be glad he found comfort and serenity in his faith and that it may have eased the pain of his last days and that he's now in the better place he believed in.

We should all be so lucky.


2050 is the new 1850

Via Mathew Gross comes this interesting, informative, and depressing article about the coming energy crisis and its possible implications in the coming decades. Short answer: it ain't gonna be pretty. The Pacific Northwest would probably fare well in comparison to the rest of the country as the author says -- Portland, in particular, has had the foresight to restrict the city's slow gobble of outlying farmland, and we benefit from excellent growing conditions that would allow regular people like us to grow some or all of our own food.

But as a former Wyoming native, I think the speculation about the Mountain West is at least somewhat incorrect*, if only because states like Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are still largely rural and despite recent technological and economic advances, they lag far behind the rest of the country in terms of that kind of "progress". There's something to be said for being left behind (no, not in the fundie apocalypse sense) the march toward change and that advantage comes when the march toward changes comes crashing down around your ears.

During the whole Y2K extravaganza, most of the people in these states barely paused to concern themselves with what would happen if all the computers in the world suddenly went on a bender and started flinging airplanes into the ocean or turning ATMs into toaster ovens, or whatever the hell experts thought might happen. Not because they're a bunch of ignorant hicks or that they wouldn't be affected by it, but their daily life isn't tethered so tightly to technology. That can make life less convenient, sure, when you're talking about internet access or debit cards, but when internet access and debit cards suddenly go the way of the dodo, it's the people who depended on them overmuch that suffer far more than those who're still governed by a pioneer ethic of self-sufficiency.

(* the Western water crisis, on the other hand, is a very real and looming problem)