Pugs's blog

Barack Obama On Faith And Politics

My friend Kathy forwarded on an interesting commentary that appeared in USA Today written by Barack Obama, Democratic Senator for Illinois.

I disagree with his need to include religion and faith as part of his moral rudder, as I believe that humans are capable of morality based on rational thought and their humanity rather than superstitions, but I respect that he understands the need for religion and State to remain separate. He also seems to understand that faith based politics must be open to public SECULAR debate and must stand the scrutiny of serving the greater good, not just the good of one or more religions.

Gallery2 Module Still Not Working - But E-Mail Is Fixed And So Is Searching!

Hey! I fixed the e-mail notification problem! I had to give "localhost" relay permissions on the SMTP Virtual Server within Exchange!

And I got the search indexing to work properly by lowering the number of pages that it's trying to index to 10 at a time. PATHETIC! But the site is searchable now!

I'm still having problems getting Gallery2 to work embedded in Drupal, so if you're a Drupal expert, HELP!

Website Overhaul!

So, I got sick of having the worst website EVER in the history of the world so I decided to do something about it. The problem, of course, is that I lack anything even remotely akin to Web-authoring skills and I did not want to impose on Ruth, my Web development genius friend, so I cheated.

To celebrate the Fourth Of July yesterday, I spent the day installing PHP, MYSQL, and Drupal on my Microsoft IIS server (which also happens to be my Domain Controller AND Exchange server - I'm violating Microsoft best practices at whim).

According to horor stories that I've heard, I expected it to be a Heraclean task, but it actually went really simply with the bulk of the work being transferring the content from the old Web site to the new one.

Bills Moyers On Faith & Reason

My mother sent me an article, an interview really, from the Seattle Times. The interview was with Bill Moyers and focused on his new series "Bill Moyers On Faith & Reason," which in itself is a series of interviews with writers of various faiths and beliefs, or non-faiths and non-beliefs about the issues of faith, reason, religion, and politics. In addition to reading the interviews, I'd greatly encourage everyone to watch the series. Bill Moyers is one of the outstanding intellects of our time and a premier broadcasting professional. His series "Man And Myth with Joseph Campbell" still stands as one of the benchmarks for academic journalism.

Gun Control And How We Choose To Arm Criminals

It's interesting to me that we as a society choose to go out of our way to ensure that only criminals are armed. In some sort of display of willful ignorance, we disregard common sense and logic. Somewhere along the way, we've decided that rational thought and the application of analytical processes don't belong in the gun control debate. Somehow, as a society, we've decided that fear-mongering and knee-jerk reactions should define our response to crime and criminals. What we've accomplished with this is the creation and cultivation of a victim mentality on a national scale; we've enhanced the number of repeat offender criminals; we've disarmed ourselves and made criminals bolder; we've reduced ourselves to applying ineffectual band-aids that don't even do a good job of hiding the underlying problems.

Simple Things

While we were setting up for the Irish Twins' birthday party, Jason, a family friend, and I took a little guitar break. My niece, Amanda, being her normal, extroverted, twelve year-old self, launched into a rapid-fire dissertation of "oh my god! The last time I was here! Uncle Dan let me play that guitar! And, oh my god! We like played for like five hours! And like it was so boring that I almost fell asleep! And Aunt Beth, totally did! Um, I don't mean boring, but you know! It was a REALLY LONG TIME! But it was so cool! Really!"

Imagine a single breath and five seconds for that entire little speech and you've about got the tempo for it.

"Abstinence Education" And The Christian Version Of Sharia

A friend of mine forwarded a link to an article regarding "Abstinence Education" as a form of sex education for children and the danger that this particular brand of stupidity visits upon them, especially young girls. In the ensuing thread of responses, I started to reply by tearing into religion as the vehicle of this ignorance, but refrained knowing that there was at least one devoutly religious individual on the distribution.

Instead I opined that it was sad that this group of men who can't take responsibility for themselves or their sexuality project their dysfunction on the women in their lives who are so dysfunctional in their own right that they actually accept it. I went further to say that it saddened me most that these men and women are in turn forcing this dysfunction on subsequent generations.

The Irish Twins' Party And How I Made Beth Cry

Beth and April's birthdays passed with a barely a whimper with both busy with work, school, kids, and life in general. In an effort to compensate, they decided that they would throw a small party after classes ended to mark their birthdays, the end of April's first year of college, the coming of their mother to visit, and their desire for a party. In keeping with the intended small scale of the event an e-Vite was sent out to a mere one hundred and twelve people eliciting a mere eighty positive RSVPs and twenty-one maybes.

Sarah's Graduation And A Thank You To Mom

This weekend, I attended my little sister's graduation from DePaul University in Chicago. It was held in The Allstate Arena, formerly the Rosemont Horizon. After thirteen years on and off of school, she's completed her B.A. in Mathematical Sciences.

My little sister is an interesting character. Like all of us there've been peaks and valleys in the track that she's taken to here. In spite of a few near-derails, she's made it through and now finds herself newly graduated and planning her wedding to a very good man.

Like me, Sarah was adopted from Korea. Also like me, she has had and has some identity confusion as a result. Mine manifested itself in extreme introversion, isolating myself from family, anger, fighting, substance abuse, promiscuity, etc... For me, much of this, notably the anger and isolation, started in Middle School. Sarah, on the other hand, was somewhat spoiled by all of us as a child which delayed the onset of her adoption issues and enhanced them when they did hit in her late teens.

Liberal? Conservative? What Am I?!

Last week, I was accused of being liberal. Keep in mind that the guy who called me that toes the Republican Party line without question. He's a young kid, just out of college in his first big-boy job. My lunch group is a bit caustic and we commonly throw insults at each other and this was another of his attempts to fit in since he's normally on the receiving end of our group's flame wars. Even so, calling me a liberal was a bit below the belt; calling me conservative would be the same.

I responded by telling him that if I'm a liberal, he's a fascist communist. His initial response was, "huh?!" and then quickly shifted to an indignant and defensive, "How am I a fascist communist?!"

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