Banned Books Week

We're halfway through Banned Books Week (September 26-October 3)

I found this list of commonly banned classics. I'm proud to say that I've read many off that list and found them to be enlightening and inspirational (and seriously? Most of the books I've read off that list I read in early highschool!)

To celebrate banned books week, I'm going to finish Beloved by Toni Morrison this week. I started it a few months ago, but other books got in the way of me finishing. And I think I'll request 1984 from the library. Sadly I haven't read that one yet even though many of my classes at CU referred to it.

And this is pretty nifty too: Map of Book Censorship


A Better Place

"To this day I believe we are here on earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom." --Rosa Parks


Pikes Peak EcoFestival

Guess what's happening tomorrow? Colorado Springs' first eco-festival! The festival will have exhibitors, free yoga, music, workshops and food. It is tomorrow (Saturday) from 10-3 at Rock Ledge Ranch in Garden of the Gods. I plan on attending the Composting workshop at 10:30 (I'm trying to start composting at my house) and maybe some pilates or yoga in the afternoon.
I hope to see you tomorrow!!


Personal Use of Marijuana

This old news, but I just heard about it. A few months ago Representative Barney Frank (remember dude from video about talking with a dining room table?) introduced HR 2943, The Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act which would decriminalize possessing pot. Currently this bill has bipartisan support with 9 co-sponsors (and yes, Libertarian Ron Paul is one of them) The full bill is concise and clear and I hope it passes!

I learned about this in the Our View column of the Gazette. The Gazette calls the prohibition of marijuana a freedom issue.

"Here's a news flash, folks: is you need permission from government to do something that harms no one but yourself, you're not really free. True freedom is the right to choose from any actions that don't harm the right of others, even if the majority opinion is that such action is harmful to the individual taking it. HR 2943 acknowledges that by getting the feds out of least a small part of the drub prohibition business."

Fun fact! There are at least 12 medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado Springs!

(Another related bill was introduced around the same time: HR 2835)


Iraq for Sale

I just watched "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers" last night. I was astounded to learn of even more money being wasted on the Iraq war. This documentary featured 4 major contractors (Blackwater, K.B.R.-Halliburton, CACI and Titan) who are getting contracts without even bidding first. The CEOs of the featured contractors all have significant ties with Washington to help them get the contracts. These contracts are privatizing war and lack government oversight.

Here's a few of the things that stood out to me:

The quote below is from a soldier working in Iraq that realized that he could make more money if he was honorably discharged.
"There was a little phrase that we threw around, 'Food for Freedom.' That if you wanted to get paid more you should start eating more so you'd get booted out for being overweight. And it's an honorable discharge and it would boost your pay, your net worth by about 5 times if you were to do such a thing. And it worked." -- Joshua Casteel
Enlisted soldiers have little incentive to reenlist when they could be earning 6 times as much by working for a civilian contractor.

One soldier started washing his laundry in the sink because every time his clothes came back from the laundry (that charged $99/bag) they still felt dirty. He was told the he must put his clothes through the laundry.

Check out the current Cost of War. And watch this movie to ask "Who's getting killed and who's making a killing?"

Hubby Hubby

"Combining the two, the Vermont-based company is celebrating the legalization of same-gender marriage in Vermont by renaming their "Chubby Hubby" flavor "Hubby Hubby."

The move is both subtle and direct. Subtle insofar as nobody's yelling about anything. Direct in that when a kid reaches for a container of it, or a parent pays for it, "Hubby Hubby" is what it is. Two grooms, right there on the label.

That's partly how this social justice issue is going to be resolved, once and for all. By people having everyday contact with gay doctors, gay swim coaches, gay neighbors. Gay relatives who are as boring as most relatives. And yes, gay-themed ice cream."

[via Humanist Network News]



Mary is the only person I know that can make such an awesome garment, and Joe is the only person I know that can pull it off. (except for me of course...)(kilt made for the Long's Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival)


Bible Literalists

I've always wondered how people who take the Bible literally decide which parts to take literally. It seems like they pick and choose: yes the earth was created in 7 days, yes homosexuality is an abomination, but what about the whole rest of the books of Leviticus and Numbers? Most Christians that I know that claim to be Bible literalists still largely ignore the 613 laws in those two old testament books. This is why I really enjoyed these ads posted in Texas:

Should we take these versus literally too? (btw--I'm very far from being any sort of biblical scholar and don't even know what versions of the bible these are taken from)

Would Jesus Discriminate? appears to play a play off "What Would Jesus Do?". WWJD is something my sister commonly asks when questioning her family and friends about their views on various issues. I think I like this knew WJD (would Jesus Discriminate) even better!

Here are a couple more that they put out. (Click on the pics to get an explanation of the Bible Stories)

[via Friendly Atheist]


Bloggity Blog...what's next?

So, I've been thinking for awhile about what I want to do with this blog. (and mostly thinking that I will just let it die...) But as I have met new people in Colorado Springs and joined new groups, I have lots of issues that I want to write about and groups I can help promote and, and...and! I'm excited. Don't worry, I will mostly still be reposting crap (it's what I do best) but hopefully someone, somewhere might find something inspiring, useful or thought-provoking.