Archive for September, 2012

In Memory Of Gordon L. Ferguson

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30th, 2012 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

1 Year ago today my father passed.  Please use this post to share about those you have lost.

Ferguson, Gordon L. Age 81, of Naperville died on Friday, September 30, 2011. Gordon was born March 25, 1930 in Flora, IL. The youngest son of James W. Ferguson and Andella D. (Scott) Ferguson.

He is survived by his wife Miriam (Neher) Ferguson, with whom he was united in Marriage on April 20, 1957 at Ft. Wayne, IN, son Terry of Kankakee, IL, Son Philip (Robin) of St. Joseph, IL, Son Eric (Gill) of Harrogate, England, Grandchildren Andrew, Heather, Nathan and Aaron. Brothers, Robert T. (Shirley) Ferguson of Flora, IL and Charles W.( Barbara) Ferguson of St. Charles, MO along with numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, mother, brother James, sisters Barbara and Martha.

Upon graduating from Decatur Illinois High School, Mr. Ferguson went to work for Ford Motor Co., located in Chicago. When the Korean War started, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving with Fighter Squadron 31 at Jacksonville, FL and aboard USS Midway. Upon discharge from the Navy, he attended Indiana Institute of Technology in Ft. Wayne, Indiana where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1958.

He was employed by Chrysler Space Division in Huntsville, Alabama as a contract employee to NASA Marshall Space Century and was assigned to the Space Research working on Saturn Apollo launch vehicles. Mr. Ferguson attended the University of Alabama Graduate School studying Space Mechanics while in Huntsville.

When the Apollo Project neared completion, he left Chrysler and went to work for Western Electric Co. in Greensboro, N.C. working on insulation engineering for Army Missile Command Safeguard Project. When the Safeguard Project was cancelled, he was transferred to Naperville, IL and was assigned to a design team at AT&T Laboratory developing electronic switching systems.

He retired from AT&T in 1992. Mr. Ferguson was a member of Community United Methodist Church where he had been active in Methodist Men’s Group and volunteered for DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS) for the homeless. In past years, Mr. Ferguson has served on church board as well as financial committee. He was a life member of the VFW and held the office of District Commander, while living in Hunstville, AL. As a member of VFW Judd Kendall Post 3973 of Naperville, he served as a post officer for many years. He belonged to American Legion Post 43 of Naperville, Kiwanis Evening Club of Naperville, where he did volunteer work on many of their projects.

Job Growth September 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on September 29th, 2012 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Post by Phil Ferguson.  Follow me and the blog on Twitter @Skepticmoney.

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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 wish to have specific advice for your situation please contact Polaris Financial Planning.

via Maddow Blog.

This graph covers the last year of President Bush (red) and time that President Obama (Blue) has been in office.  See the job losses in the beginning?  They did continue after President Obama Started but there were fewer and fewer each month.

A month ago, the jobs report for July exceeded expectations are generated a new round of economic optimism. This morning, the jobs report is largely the opposite, falling short of expectations and offering another sober reminder about the long slog.

As is nearly always the case, there was a gap in the public vs. private sectors — American businesses added 103,000 jobs last month, while the government shed another 7,000 jobs. In terms of revisions, what makes today’s figures especially disappointing is that both June and July totals were revised in the wrong direction.

For context, I’d note that so far in 2012, the economy has created 1.11 million jobs — 1.2 million in the private sector — which isn’t even close to being good enough, but the total is already better than five of the eight years of the Bush/Cheney era.

The GOP has been working to shrink government which is OK but you should not cut jobs when the economy is weak.  Here is the Private sector job growth (job growth without all of the government job cuts).

You need to watch “WAKE THE FUCK UP”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28th, 2012 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Via Gawker.

In a new political ad from the Jewish Council for Research and Education — the Alexander Soros-funded super PAC behind Sarah Silverman’s successful pro-Obama spots — action movie star Samuel L. Jackson sends up his ultra-viral narration of Adam Mansbach’s adult-oriented childen’s book Go the Fuck to Sleep with a “bedtime story” similarly penned by Mansbach entitled “Wake the Fuck Up.”

Sample of the text…

Sorry, my friend, but there’s no time to snore.
And out-of-touch millionaires just declared war.
On schools, the environment, unions, fair pay.
We’re all on our own if Romney has his way.
And he’s against safety nets, if you fall, tough luck.

Here is the take by The Young Turks.

Blasphemy! I Got Your Blasphemy

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27th, 2012 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

There has been a lot of talk about blasphemy in the anti-islam movie “Innocence of Muslims”.  It is not actually a movie but a 14 minute piece of crap.

Here it is!  Watch it if you dare!  It is tragically bad.  I am offended and I am an Atheist.  The average middle school student could do a better job.  The overdubs are so bad that I could not help but laugh out loud.

However, this is America and Blasphemy is not a crime.  I can say what I want about islam, christianity, or the FSM (SBUH – Sauce Be Upon Him).

David Silverman is on target.

“We have seen recently that most of the Islamic world is demanding that all people avoid defaming their prophet, and suddenly across America our citizens are obeying out of fear or political correctness.  We are losing our right to criticize, via our own submission,”

If you think it is wrong to make an image of Allah – then don’t!  However, I will not bow down to the rules of your religion.  I don’t care if it is about making images or not pushing button one day each week.  Follow silly rules if you want but leave me out of it.

I think Thomas Paine had it right!

My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

The best future for humanity is to throw off the chains of religion.  Religion does not lead us to truth.  It hides it.

The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there’s no place for it in the endeavor of science. – Carl Sagan

The idea that you would rise up, burn down shops and kill people because someone made a 14 minute crappy video is not acceptable.  This is not a value I hold.

I worry about the reaction of our government.  If we pull down  ”Innocence of Muslims” we all lose.  Recently the GOP has raised concerns that we will be weak when responding to this issue.

I am very happy and proud to hear the speech below by President Obama!

You can see the full text here… or watch the video below.  Some key points….

If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an Embassy; or to put out statements of regret, and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of this crisis. Because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes we hold in common.

Today, we must affirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.

Yes!  There is no place for violence.  He then talks about freedom and self governance.  (a little of the topic of this post – but it was so good)

We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values – they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges that come with a transition to democracy,  I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.

Back to the freedom of speech.

Nelson Mandela once said: “to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear; on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.

I started to worry a little when President Obama got to this part…

That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well…

But, It was a great way to frame what follows…

I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. Moreover, as President of our country, and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views – even views that we disagree with.

WOW!  I am starting to tear up….

We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our Founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

You had me 100% until the blasphemy thing.  I do not rally against blasphemy!  I encourage it!

All people deserve respect, all ideas do not!  We must critique bad ideas to make the world a better place for those around us and for those that follow us.  - Phil Ferguson

Obama gets back on track with this….

There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.

RAmen!

Please share your thoughts about ”Innocence of Muslims”, David Silverman’s words, or The President’s talk in the comments below.

Hug An Atheist

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27th, 2012 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

The students at the U of I are changing the world!

Today, we at ISSA kicked off what will be a month-long fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society here at the University of Illinois. The idea is simple: pay a dollar, get a hug, and help cure cancer. I can proudly say that we raised over $110 just this afternoon, and we hope to repeat that performance next week, and the next week, and the week after that. We’re going to hug until we can’t hug any more, and then we’ll hug a little more.

 The Mayor of Champaign even stopped by to show his support. He donated, got a hug, and told us all that he “appreciates what we’re doing” and is “glad to see us out there.” Talk about a class act!

If you can’t make it to U of I, you can contact Daniel Hay!  He will will read whatever you want with his cool accent!

Starting today, if you donate money towards this wonderful cause I will, whether in person or via Youtube, say whatever phrase, sentence, paragraph, poem, song lyrics, bedtime stories, or sweet nothings in your ear that you request. My base rate is 1 dollar per sentence you would like spoken, no limits on donation size or submission length. All you have to do is donate to LtN team IlliniSSA-FBB under my name, Daniel Hay (look on the right, under the donate to the team sidebar), and list the phrase you want said and a way to contact you (email preferably) in the comments. Alternatively you can contact me ataccentuatedatheism@gmail.com. I made a video… Check it out!