Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Solvitur Scripto

For those visitors and contributors to Triskelos, I have started a new blog on WordPress where I'll be focusing my blogging and other writing efforts.  I may, from time to time, mirror-post articles here when it seems appropriate or fruitful.  You can follow it at Solvitur Scripto should you wish, and I welcome visitors, readers, and followers. 

The tone will likely be of a different sort than my writing history here on Triskelos, though I will from time to time still discuss (read: rant) about the same things.  It seems that Triskelos may have run its course, as these things sometimes do, but my desire to articulate my thoughts in a medium outside of my head hasn't changed.  Solvitur Scripto is the outcome of that decision.  I supposed, at the end of the day, sometimes things are best 'solved by writing'.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Good Ole Fashioned Godly Butt Whoopin

I apologize for going MIA. Becoming a new dad and getting a new job have taken up a huge amount of my time.

I have heard enough! There are some people out there who so poorly represent who they say they are that you can't stand it. I'm not talking about your casual hypocrite, uninformed opinions, etc. What I am talking about are the ghastly actions of those who call themselves Christians and "in the name of Jesus" protest funerals of fallen soldiers and others who have met an unfortunate end.

Yes, I am talking about the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS who notoriously picket funerals. No joke, funerals!!! This pastor, Fred Phelps, an 80 year old man and his church deserve a Good Ole Fashioned Godly butt kicking. For the record, as hopefully many who know me can testify, I am an evangelical, born again Christian. Not only this, I am a member of a Southern Baptist Church but this goes well beyond simple titles.

They recently have announced the intention of picketing the victims of the recent Arizona shooting including the 9 year old girl who was tragically taken from this world.

I am appalled that these churches call themselves Christians. I am appalled that they so misrepresent and malign the precious Name of Jesus Christ. I know 99.9999% if not the full 100% of our readers would agree with me when I say this:

I would like nothing more than handing this pastor and the members of his church a nice big punch in the face, in the name of Jesus of course. ;)

*Disclaimer: I realize that Jesus does not promote such behavior, but it makes me feel better to say it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gravity-A Foolish Notion?



For those of us interested in theoretical physics a movement of thought has re-emerged. It is a school of thought that began in the 1970's with Hawking and Bekenstein with their studies involving thermodynamics and black holes. In the mid- nineties Ted Jacobsen took this a step further by demonstrating that the equations of general relativity could be derived using thermodynamics. Today this movement is re-visted by Erik Verlinde who describes gravity as an entropic force. The implication would be a re-definition of the fundamental interactions of the universe-strong force, weak force, electromagnetism, and gravitation. That's kind of a big deal.

Here is a copy of an article from the New York Times:

It’s hard to imagine a more fundamental and ubiquitous aspect of life on the Earth than gravity, from the moment you first took a step and fell on your diapered bottom to the slow terminal sagging of flesh and dreams.

But what if it’s all an illusion, a sort of cosmic frill, or a side effect of something else going on at deeper levels of reality?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

501(c)(3)

The purpose of this post is to provide supplemental information to Aiden's most recent article. Any comments should be made to his post in order to keep this discussion organized.


According to Wikipedia:

501(c)(3) exemptions apply to corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, educational purposes, to foster national or international amateur sports competition, promote the arts, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

The following is found on the IRS website under a heading, Exemption Requirements 501(c)(3) Organizations:

Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Greater Wall

In my considered opinion, there is one monument in human history--one singular edifice--that outstrips all others. It is greater than the pyramids, or the now crumbled six other wonders of the ancient world.  It is a wall greater than that of China, or that lesser cousin that attempts to run the length of America's southern border.

However, despite its strength, there are those who continue to assault it.  There are those who wish to tear it apart, brick by brick, until it lies in a ruin much more final than that of Berlin.

That wall is the Separation of Church and State.  And when considered carefully, it can be seen for what it is: the only serious protection you have against me, and that I have against you.  "Why?" you ask.  Because without it, any slim majority can tell you who you are, when no one has the right to dictate that to any of us. 

But this wall is not made of hands, much like that described in Mark 14, but instead is composed of words and ideas.  Fortunately, you cannot kill an idea, but there are still many who wish to erase the words.  The words framed in First Amendment, and the 11th Article of the Treaty of Tripoli, and the incorporating properties of the Fourteenth Amendment--they being the bricks and mortar that forbid the government of the United States of America from establishing any religion, or from showing favor to any therein.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Social Determinants of Health and Unequal Access to Care

I realize there is already a recent article surrounding the recently passed health care legislation, but I want to post this article for multiple reasons. Like all the articles here at Triskelos, this one is interactive in that every member can participate in the discussion. But this article is different in that it is a quiz that tests your knowledge and understanding of multiple concepts the legislation attempts to address. Another reason for the post is that I'm currently rotating with the Dean for External and Governmental Affairs at the University of Florida. Her office is tasked with developing outreach projects in concert with local community leaders and activists, obtaining grant money from both private sector donors as well as state and federal grants. And finally, I thought it would be enlightening and entertaining.

Some questions are drawn from texts on social determinants of health, but the vast majority of the questions come from a PBS series called Unnatural Causes and deal with issues such as race relations, poverty, infant and childhood mortality, and the United States Health Care System. Some questions are fairly straight forward and are there for you to cringe at what you already know to be true. Some questions are to make us realize that in spite of our status as "Leader of the Free World" there is much we can learn other countries and systems in the world.

Friday, March 26, 2010

“Tax the Man Behind the Tree:” The Folly of the U.S. National Debt and Income Tax Policies

I was recently inspired to write this article by two efforts. The first was enduring that yearly chore of ‘doing’ my taxes. The other was picking up J.S. Gordon’s Hamilton’s Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt. His writing for American Heritage and being a commentator for NPR’s “Marketplace” program recommended him as someone who might know a little more than I do—which was virtually nil—of the history and rationale behind those forms or internet questionnaires that all of us—well, at least the law-abiding ones—complete each February to April.

What I discovered was a reasoned and relatively centrist discussion of the history of the national debt, evolution of the corporate and personal income tax structure, and the debilitating effects of how both have been mismanaged in recent generations. Whether or not you paid out or are still waiting for that deposit into your account from Uncle Sam, this directly concerns each one of us in our vocational, economic, and personal decisions. As things currently stand, this influence seems to be increasingly negative.

The following are Gordon’s central points; my comments follow. Feel free to respond to all or specific points.