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Chuck U. Farlie

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  1. Considering the topic of this thread, Atheism is Dead, it seems that PZ Meyers just recently had a blog entry regarding that very notion: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/atheism_is_doooooomed.php Quoting a few of the usual suspects does not mean you've got a "growing consensus". I don't even know what "atheism as a theoretical position" means — it could imply that atheism is so dominant that it is taken for granted. As for McGrath…sorry, vacuous, mealy-mouthed, and boring are not sufficient qualities to make one an authority. Again, though, I have no idea what he is talking about — of course atheism is a private or personal belief, and what the heck does it mean for atheism to have inhabited the public domain without being part of individual beliefs? These guys are just stringing words together and pretending to be authoritative. One: atheism is retaining its scientific basis. I think the authors comment is a veiled and credulous reference to the common claim by intelligent design creationists that they have scientific evidence of a creator. They do not. Atheism has never claimed to hold the moral high ground; that's religion's schtick. What we have going on right now is growing evidence that religion does not confer morality, either. This article started stupid, but it just gets worse and worse. Guess who they cite to back up the above claims? When did Harun Yahya/Adnan Oktar get promoted to philosopher? More appropriate descriptors would be convicted con artist and former mental patient. We also get senile philosophers pontificating on biology. But we can account for all that data: accumulated variation for a few billion years will do the job. What is so hard to understand about this? Other tropes in this amazingly dumb article include the imminent demise of atheism. I think Darwinism and atheism must be in a race to be first to collapse, contradicted only by the fact that both seem to be growing stronger day by day. Oh, and of course we have to have science backing theistic claims, with citations of a science journal. Wait…the studies that showed no statistically significant effect are now being used to endorse prayer? O Topsy Turvy world! I was amused by the citation to that prestigious medical journal, "Psychologie Heute". That's German for Psychology Today, by the way, and the German edition is just like the American one: mass market pop psychology sold at your local supermarket checkout line. It's just sad that theists are reduced to this kind of feeble justification for their goofy beliefs.
  2. I still wonder why criminals in the GTA haven't caught onto the use of the full burka to aid their crimes... Imagine... in some areas of Toronto you would be entirely inconspicuous unlike in a ski mask (dead of winter excepted), and you have a baggy garment to hide your shotgun underneath to boot. After the armed robbery simply find a relatively secure location, rip off the burka and you are good to go... escape the area as casually as you can - witness and video cameras be damned.
  3. I am in the process of trying to decide if I should get the H1N1 vaccination or not, and it is a hard decision to make with so much misinformation and conspiracy theories floating around. The main reason I am considering not getting it is because I generally do not talk to or am in close contact with very many people in a day... I drive truck, so my contact with other people is at a minimum. On-the-other-hand, I do not currently have the luxury of having paid sick days... so if I did get sick, I am not sure if I could afford an extensive leave of absence without pay. From this forum and others I communicate on, it seems that a lot of Canadians are anti-vaccine. I hear a lot about mercury and traces of other negative trace elements all the way to far-out conspiracy theories such as vaccines are created for government mind control, etc... Does anyone here have any credible links that are for or against the H1N1 vaccine? I saw the one posted about from 2004, and I counter that with this from the New England Journal of Medicine: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0907413
  4. Forgive my political ignorance, but why would he need to call an election? Wouldn't all he need to do is introduce something the other parties wouldn't possibly support - like scrapping the $1.95 per head for the parties, for example, and let the resulting non-confidence vote spring an election?
  5. The income tax reduction we are getting in Ontario is a small amount... maximum of $300 or so. I also don't like how much I pay in income taxes, but I realize that our social services need to be paid for somehow. If income taxes were greatly reduced while gst and pst were increased, I wouldn't care - but that is not the case. I am not complaining about piddly increases - like hair cuts or mc d's meals... I am in Ontario and my condo fees are going to get hit drastically due to heating fuel and related services taking a hit. I will have no choice but to sell my condo before this tax comes in - unfortunately lots of other people will likely think the same way so the market will be flooded with condos for sale - so the valuation of my condo will likely take a hit too. It is not change I don't like - it is a significant increase in costs that I don't like. Every way I look at this HST indicates I am going to be paying significantly more for the same level of service I now receive, meanwhile my income won't be increasing... so that means a reduction in disposable income/lifestyle which I won't take without at least bitching about. I, like many others, will likely turn more towards the black/grey market which won't help cover the government's debt at all. If you don't like it, well too bloody bad for you.
  6. I take no issue with canning the PST, but I do take issue with being charged significantly more for things that weren't charged for before, some of the things being necessities. If things like heating fuel, automotive fuel, and used cars were exempt, for example, then I wouldn't bitch. Alternatively if the HST were to be somewhat lowered - say 10% but all inclusive, I also wouldn't complain. The idea itself is fine... simplify things... good idea. The amount extra I will have to pay is not fine... I am poor enough as it is.
  7. You may like it, but I think it is quite obvious that this additional tax is really going to hurt the lower-middle class and under... which consumption taxes often do. My personal reaction will be: In the spring I will sell my condo. I will move into an unregistered apartment in someone's house, and I will buy as little as possible that has tax on it - any goods that are not food will be from flea markets, Chinese shops (the sort of black market ones that don't charge tax), ebay, and kijiji. I will use the company that I have registered, but has no income, to setup a HST number and will claim as much HST back that I possibly can. I am extremely pissed off at this new tax grab and will do every thing I can to avoid paying any more tax to these crooks. McGuinty is going to succeed in driving Ontario back into a recession while ripping off the thousands of people who have lost their jobs or had their hours cut back.
  8. Just found this letter to the editor in an online newspaper... apparently not all businesses think making administration somewhat easier is enough to justify the extra cost. This is from the president of a realty company in Stratford, Ontario, found at: http://stratfordbeaconherald.com/ArticleDi....aspx?e=1767951
  9. I don't find Flaherty's position confusing. It seems to me that he is offering a carrot to two Liberal provincial governments knowing full well that the voting public will blame the Liberal governments who took the carrot, not the Federal Government which offered it. Doing so will only serve to help his provincial conservative counterparts come next election, like his wife, for example. msj... yeah, I am not sure how the typical renter will get hit (other than heating costs) unless they are renting within a condo type building which would also have maintenance fees (directly or indirectly). I know the biggest hit I will take will likely be my maintenance fees which will likely increase by $30 a month. Next will be the extra 8% on gasoline, which at current prices would cost me another $16 a month or so. Finally, the added 5% GST on currently exempted privately owned used cars will effect me somewhere down the road... unless I buy a decent car before that change happens. Is automobile insurance HST taxable? If so, that will be another hit. Overall, the rebate and reduction in provincial income taxes should cover my increased costs for the first year, after that it will be an expenditure. My biggest personal concern is how much value my condo might lose when/if a significant increase in maintenance fees happens - in which case I might just try to sell beforehand.
  10. I own a condo in Ontario. My maintenance fees are not directly taxed, however, many of the services that previously were not charged PST (like snow removal, lawyer fees, heating fuel, etc) will be. These costs, no doubt will be passed on to me as higher maintenance fees. I am expecting an increase of 7% to 8% next year. In the same way, if the owner of a rental unit has higher costs for services, who do you think is going to end up paying for it?
  11. That is very strange, because it has always acted like this for me... no matter if I use my windows system or linux system, or even if I am starting over with a fresh install. Every time my password is saved - both Firefox and Google Chrome as if I want to save the password, but if I close my browser or don't visit MLW for a few days when I return I always have to enter my username again. No other forum I visit forgets, and there is nothing I have changed.... hmmmm... very strange.
  12. What is with MLW's forum software - can't it remember my damn log in information? Every other forum I belong to has no problem remembering my credentials and logs me in automatically. With MLW my password is remembered if I use firefox or chrome, but no matter what neither browser remembers my username or to log me in automatically. Does anyone else have this problem?
  13. This election will be a pointless exercise. The way the polls are looking it will be another conservative minority with fewer seats... so pretty much the same as we have now. The other option is a Liberal minority that will be taken down within another year from the election. A doubt there is any chance of a majority in either direction this time around.
  14. Seeing as Ignatief plans to take down the government at the earliest opportunity, and supposing that the NDP and/or the Bloc might help him with his plans, which party will you support?
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