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The phony "war on Christmas"

T. Jeremy Gunn, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, sets the record straight about the phony "War on Christmas and the ACLU's role in protecting religious liberty.

Osaka notes

Well, been back from Japan a few weeks now, hustling to make up lost
time at work. So again no updates for a while.

Japan was...wonderful. Again, I didn't want to leave; and I'm now
tentatively planning and plotting to go back for a longer stay, maybe six
months or a year.

It wouldn't be until next fall at the earliest, what with the big Seido Karate 30th Anniversary Saiten in June, and the AOBTA conference in July.

I don't know if I'll go through with it or not, but I am signed up for a
Japanese language class in the spring at Anne Arundel Community College.
(Have to go all the way to Arnold - I'm minutes from UMBC and Catonsville
campus of BCCC, but they don't offer the introductory Nihongo class next
semister...) And I'm looking at turning part of my house into an apartment
I can rent out to help cover the mortgage while I'm away. I figure these
are useful things to do regardless of whether I follow through on a longer

Found an interesting site, just poly personal ads, but some interesting discussion forums. I've already seen some folks I know posting there. If you're poly or "poly-curious", check it out.

Get Smart's Discordian connection

Recently I was talking with our good friend Carl Schwartzman when the recent death of Don Adams, who of course played Maxwell "Agent 86" Smart in Get Smart, came up. Carl mentioned that since Adams's death, the number 86 kept popping up for him.

Of course any numerological topic brings to my mind the the Law Of Fives. And I quickly realized that 8 + 6 = 14, and 1 + 4 = 5. Law of Fives, front and center. What else would you expect from a show where the heroes are trying to fight "KAOS", but often end up making more trouble than their opponents? No question, Max was a Knight Of The Five-Sided Temple.

Christians who know "all about the apocalypse but not the Beatitudes"

Tim Kreider, of The Pain - When Will it End?, gives the best description I've ever heard of the problem with most of the religious right in his artist's statement for last week's strip, in which he says of George W. Bush, "He was a mean drunk who got arrested for driving under the influence and threatened to beat up his father, and he was born again as a mean Christian who knew all about the apocalypse but not the Beatitudes."

Next time some hate-monger claims to be a Christian, quiz 'em on it; ask them to recite the Beatitudes, the heart of the teachings of Jeshua ben Joseph. (I can't, but then I don't claim to be a Christian.)

Reuters: Court says flag pledge violates Constitution

Reuters reports that Michael Newdow has successfully revived his case against school prayer in the form of the "under God" phrase of the "Pledge of Allegiance".


In June 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Californian atheist Michael Newdow could not challenge the pledge's phrase "under God" on behalf of his daughter because he did not have full legal control over her.

Newdow immediately filed a new federal case in which he offered to represent two families against the Elk Grove Unified School District, the same Sacramento-area district he had previously sued.

Personal rememberance of 9/11

Fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks today. I thought I'd post some things I've previously written. First, a little previously unpublished piece I wrote on the first anniversary:

Sept 11 2002

The Bards of 9/11

The show must go on.

Here it is, one year later. I'm back at the bar where I spent most of the day on that fateful famous Tuesday. I had a gig that day, my regular Tuesday evening gig at Leadbetter's. After spending the morning and early afternoon glued, like much of the nation, to CNN, I realized that I had an appointment to play music.

To play! Music! What a trivial activity at such a time. I wondered if I should bother, if anyone cared. But I also wanted to go somewhere, be around other people - a common impulse that day. So I threw my gear into the Toyota and drove down to Fells Point.

Gilligan meets Timothy Leary

Polyamory article in Baltimore Sun

I came across this suprisingly objective, perhaps even positive, article on polyamory from the Baltimore Sun. (Pointless registration required - try Very nice to see.

Are faeries playing with my car keys?

For some time I've harbored a sneaking suspicion that, on occasion, some of my possessions will go off and have adventures without me.

I first began to consider this possibility at festivals like FSG and Starwood, when lost items would suddenly re-appear in places I was sure had already been searched.

Ok, fine. Between the consciousness-altering effects of staying up all night at the bonfire, and the generally magickal atmosphere at these events, perhaps one should be willing to let one's perception of reality warp a bit around the edges without complaint.


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