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Showing posts from 2014

Of Oaks and Snow

After an unorthodox storm hits the Inland Empire, on New Year's Eve, Dec 31st, 2014; snow blankets the hills from Elsinore to Temecula, and my wife and I take a frosty hike up Horsethief Canyon.

Percy Bysshe Shelley - A Refutation of Deism

"The bigot of the woods can form no conception of beings possessed of properties differing from his own: it requires, indeed, a mind considerably tinctured with science, and enlarged by cultivation to contemplate itself, not as the center and model of the Universe, but as one of the infinitely various multitude of beings of which it is actually composed."

Percy Bysshe Shelley,
"A Refutation of Deism"
(1814)

TTA Podcast 198: The Question of Christ

Is there any evidence for a real Jesus? Was Jesus' story borrowed from earlier religions and cultures? Is Jesus really the reason for the Christmas season, which is being celebrated globally this week?

In this podcast, Seth Andrews speaks to three historians who have dedicated much of their lives and writings to the subject of Christ and Christianity: Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald and Dr. Robert M. Price. RICHARD CARRIER: http://www.richardcarrier.info

DAVID FITZGERALD: http://www.amazon.com/David-Fitzgerald/e/B004ASD9M4

ROBERT M. PRICE: http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com

Carl Sagan - The Baloney Detection Kit

"...if you don’t want to buy baloney even when it’s reassuring to do so, there are precautions that can be taken; there’s a tried-and-true, consumer-tested method."
1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”

2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simpl…

JFK: A President Betrayed (2013)

"Narrated by Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, "JFK: A President Betrayed" uncovers new evidence that reveals how JFK embarked on secret back channel peace efforts with Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro and was determined to get out of Vietnam despite intense opposition inside his own government." - Written by Agora Productions (IMDb)

This got me thinking, "what would life had been like had he not been assassinated?" No Vietnam war... negotiations with Russia... negotiations with Cuba... 

James Randi - Secrets of the Psychics Documentary…: http://youtu.be/2MFAvH8m8aI

Patchwork Show - Nov 30th in Santa Ana

My band is playing @ Patchwork Show...
Where it all started… Patchwork Show Santa Ana is our first location and our biggest event drawing thousands of customers for over seven years. In 2012, we moved our event to downtown in the heart of the Artists Village next to our friends The Gypsy Den, Lola’s, Little Sparrow, Grand Central Arts Center and El Centro Cultural de Mexico. This urban and historical setting encompasses three different streets and incorporates local galleries, museums and a handful of restaurants and bars.

Patchwork Show features 160+ local vendors selling diverse handmade goods (see our gallery for a closer look), curated food trucks, DIY stations to get your craft on,food artisan area, live music and rotating services like photo booths, bike valet and gift-wrapping depending on the location and season.

11am-5pm
All Patchwork Show events are FREE to the public.

All Ages

My band, The Autumn Band will be performing @2pm, along with several other fantastic gro…

Point of Inquiry - Surviving Saddam and Confronting Islam

Surviving Saddam and Confronting Islam, with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar November 19, 2014 Host: Josh Zepps As the threat posed by radical Islamists like those of ISIS grows in popular awareness, Islam itself becomes more of a target for criticism; some of it fair, and some of it based in ignorance or bigotry. Can efforts to defend Islam and Muslims from discrimination and racism go too far, and keep us from having an honest discussion about something of such critical importance?

This week, Point of Inquiry welcomes Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, an Iraqi refugee turned activist, and founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement. Al Mutar talks about growing up in Iraq under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, and his belief that Islam needs to be more vigorously criticized, and that its adherents must be held to a higher moral standard.

Legalize Assisted Suicide

Science and Justice: Free Will and Moral Responsibility in a Secular Soc...

Reminiscing in an Old Room

With my old house cleaned up, and on the market; I decide to visit my old quarters and photograph some old show flyers from Corona's Showcase Theater (circa 2005-06), and a painting from Big Bird (really from my aunt, Sue), as well as an old painting of the sea that once hung at my grandparents' house.

The Trolley Problem

I love this thought experiment. What would you do?

Waking Up: Dan Harris + Sam Harris

"Sugar" - John Oliver

Perhaps the darkest, most evil, most ghoulish  thing about Halloween; SUGAR!

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - "Sugar" (26 Oct. 2014)

Halloween is almost here

The Autumn Band - Live @ Eureka 10/23

Portrait by Adam Rasheed

Oregon Trail - August 2014

Photographs from an epic trip my wife and I took this past summer.

Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

Is God real, or is he imaginary?
Is God real, or is he imaginary? It is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself. 

If God is real and if God inspired the Bible, then we should worship God as the Bible demands. We should certainly post the Ten Commandments in our courthouses and shopping centers, put "In God We Trust" on the money and pray in our schools. We should focus our society on God and his infallible Word because our everlasting souls hang in the balance. . .

Hornet cooked by bees

"Scottish Independence" - John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - "Scottish Independence" (14 Sept. 2014)

Examined Life (2008)

Examined Life pulls philosophy out of academic journals and classrooms, and puts it back on the streets. In Examined Life, filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today's most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas. Peter Singer's thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue's posh boutiques. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. Judith Butler and a friend stroll through San Francisco's Mission District questioning our culture's fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West - perhaps America's best-known public intellectual - compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosoph…

John Oliver - Civil Forfeiture

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - Civil Forfeiture (5 Oct. 2014)

Fed Up (2014)

Fed Up: An examination of America's obesity epidemic and the food industry's role in aggravating it.

John Oliver - Drone Strikes

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - Drone Strikes (28 Sept. 2014)

Welcome to this World - TheThinkingAtheist

This a version of the video originally released in 2011, with slightly updated content. It's a unique perspective on what Christianity teaches to our youngest and most impressionable.


-TheThinkingAtheist

"Trade Embargo with Cuba" - John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - "Trade Embargo with Cuba" (21 Sept. 2014)

"Student Loan Debt" - John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - "Scottish Independence" (07 Sept. 2014)

"Police Militarization in Ferguson" - John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Former Daily Show Correspondent Jon Oliver brings his persona to this new weekly news satire program. 

Watch John Oliver - "Police Militarization in Ferguson" (17 Aug. 2014)

FRONTLINE - Losing Iraq

Losing Iraq – FRONTLINE WWW.PBS.ORG FRONTLINE examines the unfolding chaos in Iraq: What went wrong? How did we get here? And what happens now? Watch Full-Episode Online for FREE.

Watch Last Week Tonight with John Oliver online (TV Show) - on PrimeWire | LetMeWatchThis | Formerly 1Channel - Season 1 and Episode 14

PHANTASMAGORIA - "Futility"

I’ve tasted the salt of gore upon my lips.
I’ve harbored bitterness within my breast.
I’ve wished the sting of death upon a man.
I’ve toiled endless nights without rest.

Oh futility,
Oh what a waste.
Oh humility,
This is my fate.

What war can change that which words cannot?
What sword can stop the swell of ignorance?
What blood can quench where wisdom lacks?
What death could craft any happiness?

Oh futility,
Oh what a waste.
Oh humility,
This is my fate.

PHANTASMAGORIA - "ENTROPY"

The only thing I know is entropy,
And all that I hold dear falls away from me.
From a well-ordered state to catastrophe;
Bright birth to dim decay, is my destiny.

Oh, Entropy...
Oh, Entropy...

I find it so tempting to dwell in the past
Rather than to cling to that which will not last.
Every fleeting flash is flying by so fast.
An infinitesimal soul into the dark is cast.

Oh, Entropy...
Oh, Entropy...

The Ten Key Values of the Green Party

1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY
Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
Human societies must operate with the understa…

SAM HARRIS: The Myth of Secular Moral Chaos

One cannot criticize religious dogmatism for long without encountering the following claim, advanced as though it were a self-evident fact of nature: there is no secular basis for morality. Raping and killing children can only really be wrong, the thinking goes, if there is a God who says it is. Otherwise, right and wrong would be mere matters of social construction, and any society would be at liberty to decide that raping and killing children is actually a wholesome form of family fun. In the absence of God, John Wayne Gacy could be a better person than Albert Schweitzer, if only more people agreed with him.It is simply amazing how widespread this fear of secular moral chaos is, given how many misconceptions about morality and human nature are required to set it whirling in a person’s brain. There is undoubtedly much to be said against the spurious linkage between faith and morality, but the following three points should suffice.
If a book like the Bible were the only re…

FRONTLINE: United States of Secrets (Part Two)

FRONTLINE: United States of Secrets

How did the government come to spy on millions of Americans? In United States of Secrets, FRONTLINE goes behind the headlines to reveal the dramatic inside story of the U.S. government's massive and controversial secret surveillance program -- and the lengths it went to try to keep it hidden from the public.

FRONTLINE continues the dramatic inside story of mass surveillance in America with Part Two of United States of Secrets, an investigation into the hidden relationship between Silicon Valley and the National Security Agency.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey - "World Set Free"

Watch The Latest Episode: "World Set Free"
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is an American science documentary television series. It is presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson and is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by Carl Sagan