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Senator Al Franken

5th Jan 09 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments

2 months later and 225 votes ahead… and it’s now official.  Congratulations, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota!


~Dan – np: Alice in ChainsAlice in Chains

  1. Nathan Ketchen
    8th Jan 09 (Thu) at 12:45 pm

    Man! It seems like all the guys I wanted to lose won in the elections. I’m gonna have to admit that the country wants to be progressive, and just take it. Maybe I should go make a slanderous protest video like the progressives do when they lose.

  2. 8th Jan 09 (Thu) at 5:49 pm

    You act as though “being progressive” is the bane of your existence. Wasn’t Jesus progressive? ;)

  3. 8th Jan 09 (Thu) at 8:25 pm

    I really hate those progressives like Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Susan B Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr., who refused to just accept the status quo as being the divinely sanctioned order of things.

    I say we should bring back Divine Right of Kings, remove suffrage, and put the shackles back on the niggers. That was a much better way to be.

  4. Nathan Ketchen
    9th Jan 09 (Fri) at 12:52 pm

    Yeah, “progresive” is probably not the best term to use. What am I supposed to call these guys? You seem to get offended at every term I can think of.

    Congratulations are in order for Mr. Franken, by the way! I hope he makes good decisions while he’s in office. I feel the same way about Obama. Honestly.

    • 9th Jan 09 (Fri) at 7:04 pm

      They are progressive. I just happen to think it’s a good thing.

  5. Nathan Ketchen
    13th Jan 09 (Tue) at 1:21 pm

    I REALLY think I used the wrong term, now. I should have thought about that more before I used it, because if anything they are anti-progress.

  6. 13th Jan 09 (Tue) at 9:20 pm

    Yeah, going back to biblical ways of running “civilizations” would be progress.

  7. Nathan Ketchen
    14th Jan 09 (Wed) at 8:11 am

    No, it wouldn’t. That’s not what I believe anyway, Caligula.

    • 14th Jan 09 (Wed) at 2:12 pm

      You really have an odd sense comparing “leftists” or “progressives” to “Caligula” simply due to them disagreeing with your religious viewpoint. I’m not going to get into name calling.

      Morals don’t come from a god. Or another way to put it, a god is not the only basis for moral behavior in the world. We can have the same moral outcome that both would view as “good morals” without both of us having the same basis from a god.

  8. Nathan Ketchen
    15th Jan 09 (Thu) at 8:07 am

    You make nice assertions with no evidence. I can make assertions, too. Here’s mine:

    There is no basis for morality, love, language, mathematics, physics, science, philosophy, music, art, culture, or any other concept if the triune God of the Bible does not exist.

    All I was trying to say at the beginning was that I am unhappy Franken won the election, but am not complaining that he won like anti-freedom people on his side do when they lose.

  9. 15th Jan 09 (Thu) at 8:19 am

    Make a “slanderous video” about it then. I completely disagree with your assertions, but that’s fine. I’ll never get anywhere with you on it, and I don’t really care to (never really did). Believe what you believe. That’s all fine and good. There are millions of worldviews in the world. Millions of them are wrong. Chances are that both of our worldviews are wrong. My worldview doesn’t tend to care if it’s wrong, but yours is adversely opposed to being wrong. Why should I care to debate you on any of it?

    I always want to drop responding to these, but with every post you seem to throw out ridiculous over and/or miss-generalizations / stereotypes. Liberals aren’t anti-freedom. That’s ludicrous.

  10. Nathan Ketchen
    15th Jan 09 (Thu) at 7:47 pm

    Millions? How do you know that? Would you say that is an “over misgeneralization”?

    They are for centralizing power in the federal government, and encroach wherever and whenever they can get away with it. That is anti-freedom. I’ll use the example of smoking. Smoking is an annoying habit, and not a healthy one. So smoking is now illegal in buildings, including pubs. That is not freedom. The owner of the business should be allowed to make the decision to be smoke-free or not. Instead, the government demands it. But we turn a blind eye because smoking is gross. I’m tempted to use the slippery slope fallacy, but I’ll bite my tongue.

  11. 16th Jan 09 (Fri) at 7:28 am

    Of the 6 billion or how ever many people in the world, there are bound to be at least millions of differing opinions on this subject of the afterlife or what have you. The “number” I chose has little to do with the underlying intent. I love it how you avoided that.

    Re: no smoking in pubs… well, yeah, silly. But there are a lot of people who like to go to pubs who don’t like smoke. Why should I have to intake your cancerous smoke when I want a beer in a public area?

    This new liberal administration has little to do with the smoking bans, though. Try again.

  12. Nathan Ketchen
    16th Jan 09 (Fri) at 8:21 am

    I was just using smoking as an example of how leftists have done this anti-freedom thing in the past. I agree that you should be able to go into a pub to enjoy a beer without smoke in your eyes. My point is that the government has taken the right to be smoke free or not away from the pubs. It’s an example. Franken and Obama and the like may have little to do with that specific example, but they share the ideology behind it.

    The global warming hoax (I see it as a hoax) is another example of how leftists manipulate public opinion to take away freedoms. There are lots of examples like this. They are all a rouse in the guise of compassion to centralize power in the federal government, inching us closer and closer to slavery.

    Here are some more examples of issues leftists try using to control us: gun control, healthcare, abortion, gay marriage. I can easily spin out for you how each of these issues is used by leftists to take away freedom if you want me to. For the sake of brevity I chose smoking randomly.

    I don’t see how my argument is invalid.

  13. 16th Jan 09 (Fri) at 9:40 am

    The smoking thing is far from being a solely leftist push. It passed in Ohio under a republican watch. It’s good for the public at large, it’s a-political.

    Re: global warming… even if the world isn’t warming due to our presence, the wastefulness and poor use of natural resources in a consumerism culture is abysmal and greedy and wrong.

    Re: gun control… I’m pro 2nd amendment. I won’t ever own a gun, but I don’t begrudge people their 2nd amendment right.

    Re: healthcare… so trying to allow and afford healthcare for those who are needy is somehow controlling?

    Re: abortion & gay marriage… people rights to choose is a “leftist” idealogy, yes. I’m not going to touch the abortion issue, as it’s not something I have time for now, and we’re diametrically in opposition and it’s a futile fight, IMO. I don’t see how gay people being allowed to marry “controls” your life in any way… other than saying, “hey, let other people be happy.” If that’s controlling, well, I think you need to see things from the other peoples’ shoes once in a while.

    Re: tolerance… which is what a lot of this is about… I see it as “the atheist left” wants all people to be allowed the same rights and be free and have a full and happy life, whereas “the religious right” wants others to be tolerant of religion and religion’s ability to confine other people’s natural rights. it’s almost like, “you don’t have the right to tell us that we can’t take away your rights.” (“the right” speaking to “the left”)

    I see “the right” as anti-freedom and anti-democracy in many cases… just as you see the opposite.


  14. Nathan Ketchen
    16th Jan 09 (Fri) at 12:09 pm

    Come on, man. Just because Republicans go for something does not mean it isn’t leftist. The republicans wish they were Democrats, and try to be like them as much as possible, and pay lip-service to conservative people without really meaning anything by it.

    Government control over all these aspects of society never solved any problems. All you have to do is look at history to see the epic failures of cultures who gave government unilateral power to choose what’s right and wrong. You really want to go down the same path? Besides that, just look at the programs the government already runs. They are all disaters! The DMV, the VA, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Public Education… they are all disgraceful programs that are utterly inefficient and corrupt.

    Besides that, I don’t think leftists really want to take care of people. The policies are about control and staying in power. I don’t understand why you don’t see this.

    I am not part of the “religious right”. That movement is made up of delusional Dispensationalists who misunderstand the Scriptures terribly.

  15. 16th Jan 09 (Fri) at 12:40 pm

    Dems act like Repubs a lot, too. It’s called compromise. What’s your point?

    I don’t want them to go down a path of unilateral power, nor do I think they are going down that path now.

    I disagree with your opinion on “don’t think leftists really want to take care of people.”

  16. 16th Jan 09 (Fri) at 3:26 pm

    And, yeah, I know you’re not part of the religious right movement.

    However, you are quite religious and quite conservative/right-leaning/repressive (IMO). You make me look like a centrist.

  17. Nathan Ketchen
    18th Jan 09 (Sun) at 8:21 am

    My point is that being Republican is not the same as being conservative. Of course, being conservative is not the same as being Christian, as Christians are all over the political spectrum.

    To be honest, I really wrestle with how politics and religion ought to relate to one another. Paul in the book of Romans taught that Christians are to submit to the governing authorities because there is no government that God has not put in place. I have no trouble submitting, but we are in a democratic republic, where at least in some miniscule electoral way all citizens have political power. That complicates things for me.

    On top of that, I am of the opinion that our political philosophy is off. I am referring to the “political spectrum” I mentioned earlier. I don’t think a spectrum is the right way to think of politics. I say that principally because the two points which are supposubbly at the opposite ends are really the same thing. In other words, Communism and Fascism are both totalitarian. I think we need a different way to think of politics.

    I am indeed religious (I think you are, too). If by being repressive you mean I want people to honor the Lord, I am guilty as charged.

  18. 18th Jan 09 (Sun) at 9:45 am

    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    And as far as me being religious… well, yes, guilty as charged. Music is my religion.

  19. 18th Jan 09 (Sun) at 2:02 pm

    Oh, but PS on the “millions” comment of mine a few comments up… if you think about how many splinter denominations there are just in Christianity, I think it’s something like 30,000+… and it’s doubtful that any single church can be solidified into one worldview (remember PPC… were we all the same?)…

    I dunno… this Rush video is rad and surprisingly on-topic…


  20. Nathan Ketchen
    20th Jan 09 (Tue) at 1:07 pm

    Cool video. I watched it, and then went out to shovel snow. Only then did it occurr to me who the guy with the axe is. The name “Chuck D” didn’t register for some reason.

    I honestly only think there are two worldviews possible. Either you have a Biblical worldview or you have a man-centered world view. The man-centered worldviews have different emphases, but all end up in the same place: man is the measure of all things. The reason there are so many divisions in the church is because no one is consistently biblical in his Biblical worldview. Another way to look at it is by the concept of creator and creature. Either we acknowledge a distinction between creator and creature, or we do not. A deist, a pantheist, and an atheist all fail to see the distinction between creator and creatue. That’s why even carichatures atheists make of Christianity miss the mark. That whole “flying spaghetti monster” joke atheists throw around to make fun of Christians assumes we think of God as just another creature (well, okay, many Christians do think of God that way, but it is a false god they imagine). It misunderstands completely what we are saying. The smart-alec question, “well, if God created everything, then who created him?” suffers from the same problem. We’re not talking about another creature here.

  21. 20th Jan 09 (Tue) at 6:10 pm

    Two worldviews? um… not so much. That’s like saying there are only two drink options… Tropicana OJ with a cherry added -or- not Tropicana OJ with a cherry added.

  22. Nathan Ketchen
    21st Jan 09 (Wed) at 7:51 am

    I don’t expect you to agree with me, nor do I expect you to even understand the concepts I’m talking about. Your analogy of flavors of drink misses the point. It’s not God or NOT God, it’s God or man. Your analogy would be acurate if there were some other base besides water to make drinks with. Paint would be a better analogy. You either have water based paint or oil based paint. There could be varieties in either one, but at the root there are only two options. That’s more like what I’m saying.

  23. 21st Jan 09 (Wed) at 9:44 am

    My point is that there are many worldviews that might include a god, but not a limited “Biblical worldview.” And those worldviews are as varied as the hairs on my head.

  24. 2nd Feb 09 (Mon) at 6:51 pm

    Wow, I wasn’t able to find this thread after I threw out the n-bomb so I never came back to chime in.

    A couple of things:
    0. I’m going to completely sidestep the whole Dems vs Repubs because it is a pointless debate. They’re are two hands of the same puppet master power structure which is interested in maintaining the status quo – which is why truly progressive candidates (ron paul, kucinich, or any libertarian, green, socialist or communist) never get a fair shake.

    1. FSM isn’t a parody of Christianity. It is the one true religion. Haven’t you read the literature?

    2. Dan’s point about morals is right on, but he failed to press the point sufficiently far, in my opinion. Not only is it “possible” to construct a good moral code without a god it is the only way possible for humans to construct moral codes. Nathan, you’re using the same underlying process to decide what is good as I use. The difference is that you need to claim divine inspiration for your moral decisions, and not surprisingly, most of our moral differences are probably superficial.

  25. 2nd Feb 09 (Mon) at 7:07 pm

    >The reason there are so many divisions in the church is
    >because no one is consistently biblical in his Biblical

    What does this tell us about the endeavor of having a Biblical worldview? Since the Bible routinely contradicts itself it is not possible to construct a consistent worldview based on the entire Bible – you are required to get in there and pick and choose which parts apply. Consequently, the Bible acts as a kind of Rorschach test.

    >The smart-alec question, “well, if God created everything,
    >then who created him?” suffers from the same problem.
    >We’re not talking about another creature here.

    It’s not a smart-alec question. The creationist-style theist claims that the Universe must have had a creator – with no reason* to assume that is the case, and posits a solution to the problem of his own making in the form of the creator god of his particular brand of religion (notice that Christians never conclude that Allah is the creator?). Through magical handwaving, however, we skeptics are disallowed from asking why the creator did not require a creator, lest we be labeled smart-alec. :(

    *Just FYI, in case you’re interested in continuing the discussion, before I’m going to waste time debating the beginning of the universe, you need to read up on non-causal events (such as radioactive decay) and virtual particles, and demonstrate you’ve thought about the material by explaining why similar phenomena cannot provide plausible scenarios for the Big Bang singularity.

  26. 2nd Feb 09 (Mon) at 8:01 pm

    0. A Ron Paul & Dennis Kucinich ticket would pwn. I wish Dennis didn’t spout off about UFOs though. That gives him negative points. I like Ron’s economic viewpoint and Dennis’ social well-being viewpoint.

    1. Global warming is correlated with reduction in pirates. RAmen!

    2. Yeah.

    G. The whole divinely revealed thing is pretty damning for any religion. “Oh, I know this because I was told this by (blank) or I feel so strongly about it because of (blank).” Well, all religions have those same warm and fuzzies. They all “know” that they’re right.

    *. I don’t think he’ll dig into radioactive decay and virtual particles. He didn’t like my answer to his “why math is right” question via personal emails.

    I’d love to have a beer with y’all… trouble is that Lovettsville, Long Island, and Eugene are many miles apart. Maybe if we’re all back on Snowhio sometime… :)

  27. Nathan Ketchen
    2nd Feb 09 (Mon) at 8:28 pm

    The whole scientific enterprise is something I need to be better informed in. You mention radioactive decay, for example. There is certainly a lot of evidence Christians ignore. I can’t answer many questions in that field. My field is philosophy rather than science, and theology more than philosophy.

    You don’t seem to understand what I mean when I talk about a distinction between creature and creator, re the smart alec question. Not sure it’s worth going into in this venue.

    I would totally vote for Ron Paul. Don’t know much about Kucinich.

    • 2nd Feb 09 (Mon) at 8:51 pm

      Kucinich is a progressive democrat who would really fit well within a Green Party platform. He’s a U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 10th District (from Cleveland), and I think he was mayor for Cleveland at some point. He’s short, married to a super model, a vegan, has actually read the constitution, and once said he saw a UFO. I don’t think he meant “UFO” in the technical sense (i.e.- the acronym), but in the popular sense (i.e.- aliens) – – which is really my only gripe with him. Somehow I don’t think you’d vote for him, but he’d be a really good politician. He actually seems honest (similarly to Ron Paul… and Barack Obama to a lesser extent). :)

  28. 3rd Feb 09 (Tue) at 7:10 pm

    Is the”distinction between creature and creator” anything more than the assertion that your god doesn’t require a creator coupled with the assertion that everything else does?

  29. Nathan Ketchen
    4th Feb 09 (Wed) at 8:03 am

    It is. When I talk about the distinction between creature and Creator, I am talking about two seperate spheres of being. “Being in general” is a philosophical concept into which God does not fit. This isn’t an assertion, it’s a presupposition.

    I have to say sadly that most Christians don’t even get this right, seeing God as just another link in the chain of being (even if He is the first link). That is the only reason any atheistic criticisms of Christianity have any weight; we get it wrong at this fundamental level so often. You can poke fun at the charicature of Christianity, but if that is what you focus on, you aren’t winning the debate, and you still stand condemned.

    The Muslims have the same problem. Mohhamed never met any Christians. The closest he got was to interact with some involved in the Arian heresy. So the Koran is attacking Arianism, all along thinking that is what Christianity is.

  30. Nathan Ketchen
    4th Feb 09 (Wed) at 8:14 am

    I wish I could stop commenting on this, but I’m addicted.

    I am admittedly woefully ignorant of the scientific evidence for evolutionary theory. Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum don’t seem to me to really touch the real scholarship out there. It gives simplistic answers to very complex questions and serious challenges from researchers. I’d love to dig deeper into the field, but am not qualified.

    I say that to make an appeal to you fellas. To the extent that I am ignorant of scientific research, you have both demonstrated your ignorance with regard to the Bible and Biblical teaching. Your pot-shots at Christians (saying we pick and choose, etc) are as simplistic and ignorant as the AIG pot-shots at evolutionary theory.

    Please keep this in mind.

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