Friday, April 24, 2009

Obama and Miss California

Lots of furor over Miss California's answer to Perez Hilton's question about gay marriage. It's interesting that Ms. Hilton confines his most vile comments to Miss California, completely overlooking the fact (as do many others) that Obama and VP Joe "What's that website number?" Biden have exactly the same opinion about the issue that Ms. Prejean does.

This article summed it up nicely. Here's Obama speaking with Rick Warren:

Rev. Warren: "Define marriage."

Sen. Obama: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it's also a sacred union. You know, God's in the mix."

Rev. Warren: "Would you support a constitutional amendment with that definition?"

Sen. Obama: "No, I would not."

Rev. Warren: "Why not?"

Sen. Obama: "Because historically, we have not defined marriage in our Constitution. ... I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage, but I do believe in civil unions."

As the article says, there is very little difference between Obama's statement and what Miss California had to say.

I think Ms. Prejean was by far the bravest of the two. "She was being questioned by a gay judge and a gay-friendly jury, after all. She surely knew that the response of her heart was not the answer this audience was looking for. Obama, on the other hand, was speaking before a largely conservative audience in an evangelical church when he endorsed the traditional view of marriage. How hard was that?"

I don't have a problem with gay marriage. Gay marriage doesn't threaten my marriage or my relationship. I think the best way to resolve this controversy is to get the government out of the marriage business altogether. Have everyone register their civil unions, and have these unions form the basis of any societal rights that marriage confers now. And if a church wants to "marry" someone officially, then that's great. I don't think any church should be forced to perform a marriage ceremony if it is against their own doctrine. That way, everyone is on an equal footing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One year anniversary

I just realized that this blog had just turned one. I began blogging last spring--April 13th to be exact. Whoo-hoo!

I'm not sure it has turned out exactly how I thought it would. The banner reads "Science, skepticism, some balanced woo-woo, a little politics, and hopefully, something to make people smile."


There wasn't a "little politics," now was there? I guess that was sort of impossible, given the fact that it was an election year. It gave me a place to rant, and a chance to believe that I can be cleverly snarky and witty and wise, so forgive my illusions of being the next Jonathan Swift. I also got to debate and "crush" in the comments section my favorite Anonymous brother and his radical agenda. Yeah, right.

I didn't post as much science as I thought, and I didn't go out and crusade against the woo. Crusade against the woo? I participated in a HOME DELIVERY, baby! That almost brands me as a tofu-chewing, mantra chanting member of the Deepak Chopra, brigade!

Actually, I've become a little disillusioned of the skeptical community. When I found out that the intertoobs had skeptic stuff on them, I was quite pleased. I quickly became disillusioned with Skeptico, and others, and in particular, BadAstronomy. The condescending tone, as well as the anti-religious attitude along with the vile political venom has been a complete turnoff for me. I came to those sites looking for some calm discussion about science topics and some debunking. I am now (thanks to those sites) more willing to examine different issues with an open mind.

That doesn't mean I believe that the Earth was created 6000 years ago, or that vaccines are BigPharma's attempt to hijack our immune system, or that crystal energy will heal the planet. I do believe that you can confront anti-science ideas and beliefs in a respectable way without implying that someone has a case of "teh stoopid," as some skeptical sites seem to think. You can win more respect for your side by not stooping to a lower level. Also, science is supposed to be essentially apolitical; I certainly don't need a dose of someone's "Bushitler" opinions on a chemistry blog or an astronomy site.

Being in recovery, I'm a bit more spiritual about things in my life, more so than I have ever been. Of course, my wife is the most spiritual person I have ever met in my whole life, so I often find myself standing back in amazement and just watching how she does things. I will spend the rest of my life learning from her.

Anyway---happy birthday, blog!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CNN "reporter"

I saw mention of a CNN reporter who was apparently critical of a tea party rally in Chicago, but I skipped over the story, thinking so what. As I was passing the TV though, Fox was running the clip in question.

I looked closely, realizing that I recognized the "reporter." It's Susan Roesgen, who used to be an anchor in New Orleans in the '90's.

I actually had an interview with her when I worked in Metairie. She was doing a report on Norplant, a contraceptive device that had just been released. The personal injury lawyers had decided to take it down, so there was some controversy (not well-founded) about it's safety. If I remember correctly, Roesgen's channel ran a few pitiful stories about women claiming they had been injured. The station was looking for a GYN's perspective on the product, and somehow ended up calling on me.

Roesgen and a cameraman showed up in my office, and spent about 15-20 minutes asking me questions. I was honest and open, but could tell by her line of questioning that she was convinced that Norplant was a terrible product; at the end she seemed less than pleased with my answers. When the segment aired, those 15-20 minutes had been distilled down to less than 8 seconds. Much of what I thought was cogent and reasoned discussion was gone. When I last heard of her, she was leaving New Orleans for something on the National Geographic channel, a venture which didn't work out to well, I guess.

But there she is, "reporting" for CNN. You don't often see a "reporter" wagging her fingers in someone's face.

A few quick questions about the tea parties:
Were any cop cars turned over?
Any store front windows smashed?
Any garbage cans set afire?
Any gas canisters set off?
Any attacks on law enforcement?
Any Bush or Obama mannequins burned in effigy?

Whether you agree or disagree with the tea parties, as a "reporter" your personal feelings should not enter into your job. But now knowing who it is, I'm not surprised.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Well, my little Katya is 8 weeks old now. Emma and I went over to the clinic a few nights ago and weighed her--she's about 10 1/2 lbs now; it's an estimate since I think the Huggie was a bit, um, weighty.

Each day, she's a little different, a little more of an individual. She is still emitting all of the strange noises that I previously mentioned, perhaps with a few new ones thrown in. She is quite attached to her mother, especially now that she is completely aware of the fact that the large loud figure looming in her life does NOT know how to breast feed.

I love watching her. I love watching her curled up next to her mom when she sleeps--I could watch that for hours. When she gazes up at Anya while she is feeding, it is the perfect picture of adoration and awe. Of course, as soon as she detaches from the nipple, she gets this crazy, drunken, goofy grin on her face, which is actually quite appealing in its own way.

And she is smiling much more now, on a daily basis. She smiles at everyone--mom, sisters, even me. Of course, some of her smiles seem directed at random things in the room, like the wall, or the fan, or the corner of the door jamb. She smiles in her sleep, which is really amusing. What is she dreaming of? Milk? A lot of milk?

My mother was in town last weekend, and she really enjoys Katya. I think she could have held her for 72 hours. Some good grandma time--every kid needs that.