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Posts Made By: Lee Spain

December 14, 2006 07:08 AM Forum: Politics

Darfur anyone?

Posted By Lee Spain

I think it's time to take a break from the self-flagellation over Iraq and inquire about a few other world situations. My question: Why hasn't the international community (and particularly Europe) done something about the situation in Darfur? It seems to me that any European country could easily add some manpower and teeth to the undermanned and woefully equipped African Union peacekeeping force.

December 22, 2006 02:26 PM Forum: Politics

Religious Visas?

Posted By Lee Spain

Here is a visa program to write your congressman about-

This Visa program provides Visas for religious workers to come to the United States and do religious work. In the interest of spreading religious freedom, it might be worth restricting the issuances of these visas to people from countries that do not extend similar courtesies to religious workers from our country who might want to spread word of their own faiths.
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1324.html

December 24, 2006 11:18 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Meade DS-2102: Failure to Align

Posted By Lee Spain

I spent a couple more hours with my new Meade DS-2102 and I could not get it to align properly. I started with the scope facing North according to the compass, the bubble level "level", the azimuth at 0,0 and the altitude adjustment at 0,0. It would select a star and then point somewhere that was way off. It was about 30 degrees off when it tried to find Sirius. Any ideas about where I'm going wrong? 8O

December 27, 2006 10:14 AM Forum: Religion

Can God hear everybody?

Posted By Lee Spain

The windchime thing on the other forum got me thinking: 8O

According to the Census Bureau, there are about 6.5 billion people in the world:
( http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html ) By my limited math, there are only about 31 million seconds in a year. So, if God heard a 1-second individual prayer sequentially from each person, it would take over 200 years for him to hear each prayer in turn. Obviously, most people would die without their prayer ever being heard. God could be benevolent, but just really busy.

Now I'm thinking more prayers could be heard, if we'd all cooperate to speed things up a bit and weed out some of the extraneous communications. Do we really need to say grace and all that "hallowed be thy name" stuff? How about 'Amen'? That's a lot of bandwidth, too. Funerals could be shortened to 'Lord, coming up!' We could also not pray during peak call times like wars, commuter rush hours, and holiday travel time. Also, does every prayer need to go to the big man or can some of these prayers be handled by saints? 8O Is there some system for prioritizing the prayers? Can we adopt one? Emergency prayers could all go something like, "God, 911, help stop that big rig!" 8O

Ever notice that in polytheistic societies, the Gods were much more active and in monotheism they don't seem to be as active. Could it be that one God is just a lot busier handling the same to do list that was formerly handled by many Gods? Can we help by including a book like "Time Management for a Busy God" on the next space probe destined to leave our solar system? 8O

Wow, I've given myself a headache now... wink


December 28, 2006 10:46 AM Forum: Politics

Is Ethiopia for Hire?

Posted By Lee Spain

Maybe we should hire these guys to fight the war on terror? That lost ark of the covenent that they are storing must have some powerful stuff . . . 8)

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/12/28/somalia.reut/index.html

December 28, 2006 11:21 AM Forum: Equipment Talk

Mounting a 70mm and a 102mm Refractor

Posted By Lee Spain

I'm thinking about stepping up to a better Alt-Az mount for my refractors. I've got a Meade DS-2102 and an Orion Observer 70. I think the Meade Goto mount might be a tad loud in the springtime when people in the densely packed neighborhood where I observe with it might have their windows down.

I'm looking to minimize cost and setup time. I'd appreciate any recommendations for an economical mount (sub-$300) and needed accessories?

December 28, 2006 12:16 PM Forum: Politics

Send in the Clones

Posted By Lee Spain

Is anybody really comfortable with this? shocked

http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/12/28/cloned.food.ap/index.html

Note to Vegetarians: Don't even start. wink

December 29, 2006 07:43 AM Forum: Sports

Ohio State Scandal Averted

Posted By Lee Spain

Alright, I guess this fundraiser is technically o.k., but Ohio State needs to let us know if it wants Florida to bring a cheatin' team. wink If needed, we can go back to the days of Charlie Pell and a free Corvette from the boosters for each star player . . . 8)

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/football/ncaa/specials/bowls/2006/12/28/bc.fbc.ohiost.fundraise.ap/index.html

December 29, 2006 11:18 AM Forum: Religion

What's in a Fuzzy Wuzzy God?

Posted By Lee Spain

Reading through portions of the stone thread got me thinking about religion again (darnit!) and I was wondering about the tendency to dismiss the traditional depictions of God as unrealistic and favor more mysterious and new age constructs. It got me thinking that ----

If God is not an all powerful human-like being traditionally depicted in the Old Testament and New Testament and is a more new age sort of construct and...

If God is not inclined or is not in a position to intervene on the behalf of an individual or cause when needed and ...

If God is not positioned to maintain social order through conventional morality rooted in the idea of an afterlife and a heaven and a hell and ...

If God is neither benevolent or capricious and ...

If God doesn't control the weather, natural disasters, birth defects, and the like and . . .

If God is beyond human comprehension anyway ...

What's the point of keeping him around? What's his function? Is he providing value to the organization? Can his job be handled less expensively by some other being? wink

January 3, 2007 07:41 AM Forum: Politics

How Democrats can win the presidency...

Posted By Lee Spain

The Dems might win the presidency this time just because GW's administration has executed very poorly. But, if they wanted to win by a landslide, they could do the following:

1) Practicing being mean everyday. ( Look in the mirror, say, "My administration will hunt Bin Laden down wherever he hides, have him killed, and display his head in a glass box in the oval office." Repeat as necessary.) Consult with Virgnia's Chuck Robb. He always looks mean without even trying.

2) Come up with a coherent foreign policy. (A. Contain the spread of radical Islam by strengthening relations with Russia, China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa. B. Prevent the spread of nuclear weapons by specifically doing 1, 2, and 3. C. Fight smarter in Iraq and leave without selling out our allies, inviting a bazillion refugees into our country, and creating an arc of Iranian influence through Iran, Iraq, Syria,and Lebanon)

3) Unite all working Americans by defocusing on race and focusing on the fact that the business community is trying to replace all working Americans with illegal Mexican labor on the low end, skilled Indian H1B labor on the high end, and cheap far eastern labor for manufactured goods).

4) Change the focus of the Democrats from race-based handouts to a class-based, poverty fighting, program based on ideals of fairness and maximizing everyone's ability to contribute.

5) Engage minority communities without pandering. It's not always what the country can do for them, but what they can do for themselves. At this point, we should be moving onto judging people by the "content of their character." So, it would help if certain characters would stop shooting each other.