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July, 2012:

LOL! There not spellin it write!

And the fact that this moron is a Yankee fan makes it even funnier!

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More Americans than ever claim no religious affiliation!

This is an encouraging sign coming from the USA.

Unbelief is on the uptick. People who check “None” for their religious affiliation are now nearly one in five Americans (19%), the highest ever documented, according to the Pew Center for the People and the Press.

The rapid rise of Nones — including atheists, agnostics and those who say they believe “nothing in particular” — defies the usually glacial rate of change in spiritual identity.

How high the Nones numbers might go depends on demographics, says Mark Chaves, professor of Sociology, Religion and Divinity at Duke University, an expert on the General Social Survey.

Two forces could hold Nones’ numbers down. First, they are disproportionately young, often single, and highly educated — all groups with a low birth rate. Second, the number of believers who immigrate to the USA from particularly religious nations, such as Catholics from Mexico, fluctuates with government policies and economic issues, Chaves says.

But the chief way the category grows is by “switchers.” A 2009 Pew Forum look at “switching” found more than 10% of American adults became Nones after growing up within a religious group.

Chaves says there’s another dimension to the unbelief trend worth watching.

“Americans famously say they believe in some variation of God. Over 90% do,” Chaves says. “But it used to be 99% decades ago. The change is slow, but we can see it coming.”

The last paragraph is of particular interest. It is one thing to declare no religious affiliation. It is quite another to say that you don’t believe in a God.

Oh, and in Canada, the proportion saying that they had no religious affiliation – 23%.

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Missing Ottawa girl

See story and description here

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As the likes of Jason Kenney and Rob Ford…

… are wont to kick foreign gangsters out of Canada, I thought it would fun to see who they might be talking about (and this bus ride from work is taking FOREVER so I need something to do!).

So…

Name Birthplace Crime
Peter Kent Sussex, UK Dismantling Canada’s environmental laws
Vic Toews Paraguay Invasion of privacy
Tony Clement Manchester, UK Construction of unneeded gazebos and wasting tax dollars
Julian Fantino Vendoglio, Italy Bungling a multi-billion dollar jet purchase. And being so damned ugly!
Diane Ablonczy Peoria, Illinois, U.S. None. Yet.
Steven Fletcher Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Same as above. Just give him time. He’s gangsta fer sur.
Alice Wong Hong Kong Linked to anti-gay fundamentalist organisation
Bal Gosal Ratainda, India He won his riding by under 600 votes – so is on a tight leash

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Stormage…

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Yeah. Gotta love the purple.

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This is logic – and THIS is…

…the logic of religion!

LOL!

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Drought…

Most of North America has seen a remarkable paucity of precipitation this summer. While this has been heaven for sun bathers, it has been a disaster for crops across the continent. Expect food prices to sky rocket this fall!

Another effect of dry weather are increased numbers and the intensity of forest fires. I found this awesome map of the USA that grimly and dramatically illustrates the extent of the fires between 2001 and 2010.

Extreme weather, llike the present drought, is a direct consequence of climate change. And the extremes will become more frequent and more “extreme” over the coming decades.

I don’t think our species is ready for this.

Of course, if you believe this continent’s conservative politicians, there is absolutely nothing to worry about; the notion that the climate is changing as a result of human activity is just a liberal conspiracy, right?

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Rob Ford – he needs the power to…

…deport Canadian citizens.

Really.

He does.

Really.

Even Kason Jenney, that bastion of intellectualism and its assorted institutions, does not agree.

When Kason is quoting Charter rights, ummmmm…..

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Friday miscellany…

… summer doldrums edition…

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I hate guns. I really do. And I did long before all of this tragic shit that has gone down in Scarborough and now in Colorado. Don’t give me that crap about gun ownership being a right or not having to worry about lawful owners of guns. I don’t want to hear it.

The fact is that there would be a whole lot of people alive today who are not – because of guns.

The devil is what do we do about it? I don’t have an answer.

But I do know that there are many parents, wifes, husbands, sons and daughters who wish that someone who come up with an answer. And soon.

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I received an email today that I will be getting a certificate and a lapel pin (what a WASTE of tax payers’ money eh? How extravagant!) in recognition of my 15 years in the Canadian PS!

A lapel pin!!!!

And between now and when I actually receive the pin and paper, I will have to come up with a creative thing to do with a certificate signed by Stephen Harper…ideas?

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It is REALLY dry here in this part of the world. Really dry!

Food prices will undoubtedly be a little higher later on… glad my garden is thriving!

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The abdication by Russia and China of their responsibility to punish Syria’s leadership for the mass murder of its own citizens? Well, that is just plain dumb.

There has to come a time very soon when the Russians and Chinese have to cut bait and realise they backed the wrong side? No?

I’m worried about all of the recent conflicts and uprisings in the region and the way the support is shifting. Everything is very unstable and fluid. And can’t help but think that this is all going to lead to something very, very bad…

Possibly ending in Iran.

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I’m a Blue Jays fan and have  been shaking my head over the number of injuries that have damaged what was shaping up to be a very successful season. But they are still in the  chase for a wild card spot so I am happy to see that they have traded for some pitching staff! I hope this stems the tide of losses that they have been piling up lately!

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I like it!

I do have mixed feelings about the Olympics… which I might explore next week as they get underway in the UK… but this shiney new coin is pretty awesome!

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Last, thanks again to all of the folks to put on a great reunion party back in my old home town last weekend! Your efforts were appreciated.

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Growing up as a teen in the 1970’s…

… I knew the first few chords of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water”.

Every teenage boy did. It was the law.

Jon Lord was one of the best a his craft.

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