Archive for January, 2010

Former Christian Aplogizes!

Posted in religion on January 30th, 2010 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

Former Christian Apologizes for Being Such a Huge Shit Head for all Those Years

A very nice post at “My sisters Farmhouse” Blog (tip to Friendly Atheist and A Doubters Ramblings

here are a few samples….

1.  I apologize to all the homosexuals.  I am sorry that I believed in a religion that condemns you.  I am sorry that for many years I thought that the bible was right in it’s condemnation of homosexuality.

3.  I apologize to all my former Sunday school students because I taught you that the bible was the word of god.  I perpetuated a myth that the bible is a special book that should be regarded ‘much more highly than it ought’.  I encouraged you to trust this book, to think this book contained sacred ideas about life and god.

In fact, the bible helps people to justify misogyny and tyranny and slavery and the bible made church leaders fear science and so they burned scientists and doctors and smart people because what those smart people were learning was often in direct conflict with what the bible and the church taught.

4.  I apologize for giving money to the church.  I apologize for helping to support and pay for a building that stands empty six days a week.  I apologize for giving my hard earned cash to pay an enormous utility bill on a mostly empty church building.

Maybe my favorite.

7.  Finally, I apologize for allowing my faith to numb my response to the problems of the world.  So when there was injustice, or crime, or pain, or hunger, or illness, or ignorance, or war, or greed, or tyranny, or slavery or abuse, or addiction, or pollution, or natural disasters –  I believed that god was taking care of it and I didn’t really have to do anything… (except pray).  

CUFREE February 2010 Events

Posted in local events on January 29th, 2010 by Phil Ferguson – 4 Comments

Date:           Wednesday – February 3, 2010
What:            Skeptics at the Pub
Time:            7:00 PM
Location:    Esquire Lounge Inc
                       106 N Walnut St
                       Champaign, IL 61820

This is an opportunity to eat, drink, relax, and have some stimulating conversation with local skeptics and non-believers. Just look for the bright yellow shirt. Beth will also put something on the table to indicate where the group is.

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Date:           Monday – February 8, 2010
What:            Dinner and Drinks with John W. Loftus
                        “One on one” time with a famous Atheist.   1 day before the big debate.
Time:            6PM – ???
Location:    Murphy’s Pub
                        UIUC Campus
                        604 E Green St
                        Champaign, IL 61820

Parking is available in Champaign parking Lot J.  On 6th street (one way – south) between Green and Healey. (this is a pay lot)  You may also find a spot in the U of I lot just north of Murphy’s.  you can park there after 5.  It is free but space is limited.

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Date:          Tuesday – February 9, 2010
What:           The Great gOd Debate.
                       John W. Loftus and Dinesh D’sousa
TIME:          7PM –  8:30PM
Location:   Foellinger Auditorium (South end of Quad on U of I campus)

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Date:          Thursday – February 18, 2010
What:           Skeptics in the Pub / Spirits for Spirits              

This will be a very special night!  It will be the first Spirits for Spirits.  You place your hand on the bible and deny the holey spirit and I will buy you a $2 draft beer of your choice.  Offer good for the first 50 people!  Must be 21 to drink!

TIME:          7PM
Location:    Murphy’s Pub – (217) 352-0533
                    UIUC Campus
                    604 E Green St
                    Champaign, IL 61820

Parking is available in Champaign parking Lot J.  On 6th street (one way – south) between Green and Healey. (this is a pay lot)  You may also find a spot in the U of I lot just north of Murphy’s.  you can park there after 5.  It is free but space is limited.
On the third Thursday of each month we will meet at Murphy’s Pub on campus to hang and drink with skeptic students. This is an opportunity to have a few beverages, food, relax, and have some stimulating conversation. Just look for the bright yellow shirt.

Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual

Posted in Funny Video, religion on January 29th, 2010 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

Ted Haggard is in the news because his wife has come out with a new book.

It appears that Ted’s therapy worked and he is now cured.  I guess it’s like faith, if you say it enough times it becomes true.  Or not… previously Ted would tell people that homosexuality was wrong. Over, and over again – while he was sneaking away to have sex with his boyfriend.  So maybe they tried a new therapy.  One way you can get someone to stop a bad habit, like smoking it to make them smoke so many cigarettes that you would never want another one.  Do you think that’s what they had Ted do for the last year or two?

While you think about it, you can watch this video.

 

Mr. Deity And The Promised Land

Posted in Uncategorized on January 27th, 2010 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Is Another Bubble About To Burst?

Posted in Economy, Stock Market on January 26th, 2010 by Phil Ferguson – 3 Comments

NOTE:  This post is part of an ongoing education series.  This information is for educational purposes only.  This information does not constitute investment advice.  No rational person would make investment decisions based on a blog post.  Please consult with your financial advisor before taking any action.  If you think it is OK to make investment decisions based on a blog post, then for the love of the FSM – Stop reading my blog.

Fortune has an interesting story on 4 possible bubbles.  The four areas of concern, as they see them are: Gold, Oil, Treasuries and Stocks.

Gold – I have never been a fan of “investing” in gold.  It is a commodity and has very serious price fluctuations.  However, over long periods of time gold does hold its value.    You may have heard the catch phrase, “Gold is a hedge against inflation.”   That is to say, what you could buy with an ounce of gold in 1920 you can also buy with an ounce of gold in 2000.  You will not lose ground to inflation nor will you beat inflation.  As the price goes up companies can afford to get more gold out of the ground.  We could be looking at a bad combination of people chasing “what is hot” combined with new production hitting the market.  If some investors get spooked the price could fall quite a bit.  If you really, really want to put 5% of your money in gold – I could live with that, just don’t do it after the price has doubled in just a few years.  Even better, skip gold and do some real investing.

Oil – Some of the same logic applies here.  Remember,  oil was $150 a barrel about two years ago and predictions were that it will go to $200.  Well, it went to $50.  Now oil is back to $75.  Will it go up or down from here?  Who knows?  There is this old joke about oil,  “What price does OPEC want for oil each year? $100, $100, $25, $100.”  The occasional drop in prices keeps us addicted.  This is not for the faint of heart or the rational, in my opinion.

US Treasuries – This one should worry the average investor.  If you are looking for more stability and are ok with lower returns, treasuries can be a good place to go.  However, low interest rates (current FED funds rate is 0.25%) have made it easy for banks to borrow cheap money and buy treasuries.  The high demand pushes up prices and lowers the yield (current 10 year yield is around 3.6%).  Remember, bonds are a little tricky because as the price goes up the yield goes down. When the Fed starts to raise rates, treasuries will look less attractive and the bonds you already own could take a beating.  Keep an eye on how much of your portfolio is in bonds and shy away from long bonds (ten years or longer maturities).

Stock Market – While the market made a nice return in 2009 (S & P up 26.5% for 2009) it still has a long way to go to make up for the almost 40% loss in 2008.  I don’t expect any big returns in the next few years and I think the odds of a full blown double dip are very low.  The stock market is the best place to go for long term investments (10+ years).  If you planning on adding money to the market at this time, think about putting in 10% each month over the next 10 months.

James Randi Talkes About Bomb Detector

Posted in Uncategorized on January 24th, 2010 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

James Randi talks about Jim McCormick and his fake tool.  This guy made $85,000,000 by sell tools that kill soldiers.  I say they give him one of his tools and put him in the middle of a giant mine field.  If he can get out, he goes free.