Monday, December 26, 2005

Freedom Fighters Liberate Their German Hostage...Huh?

Read the article here.

German archaeologist Susanne Osthoff, who was kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq in November, was released on December 18. Luckily for Ms. Osthoff, she was a Muslim woman, as the kidnappers are quoted as telling her to not be afraid. "We do not harm women or children and you are a Muslim." Ms. Osthoff reacted to this act of kindness by saying that she was "so happy to know that I had not fallen into the hands of criminals."

Don't panic. I already checked. The moon is not dripping blood. Cats and dogs still don't like each other. And the end days have not yet come upon us.

But I think we may have moved a few ticks closer to midnight. Don't stress yourself too hard, but try to wrap your head around the comments of this woman. Iraqi insurgents kidnap her and her driver. Hold her against her will. Demand money from Germany in the form of hospitals and aid. Refrain from killing her only because she is a Muslim woman. And yet, somehow, they have miraculously avoided committing any crimes.

People who would have cut her head off had she been a Hindu or a Deist or a Jew, people who kept her in captivity for almost a month, people who tried to extort money from the German people, no, they are not criminals. Apparently they are just misunderstood. In fact, maybe Ms. Osthoff thinks they are humanitarians. They could probably give Tookie some nice competition for a Nobel Peace prize.

After all, the only reason they kidnapped her, according to Ms. Osthoff, is because they could not enter the green zone to kidnap Americans, an act I assume she holds as completely justified and morally straight. They are the ones making all the trouble after all. Right? Maybe you can help explain the comments of this woman to me because frankly they don't make any logical sense in my mind.

I'd like to finish by congratulating Ms. Osthoff on being inducted into the Crazy Liberal Hall of Fame. A word to aspiring lefties though, room is quickly running out, so don't delay.

Fly higher,
Icarus Goodman

Monday, December 19, 2005

Top Ten News Stories Of 2006

With 2005 quickly coming to a close, one gets the natural impulse to sit back and reminisce over all the newsworthy, and no so newsworthy events that filled the past twelve months. But damn, I'm tired of 2005. It was a long year. So let's instead take a look into the future, at what the top ten news stories of 2006 might be.

The Top Ten News Stories of 2006!

1. Cable news networks go wild as even more rich white teenage girls go missing. Rational people continue to not care.

2. "If the beret don't fit, you must acquit." Saddam found not guilty as famous dictator hat is too small to be that of Saddam's. Saddam vows to find "the real dictator."

3. I continue to wish I was still a kid as several more beautiful full-breasted teachers are arrested for having sex with their students. School attendance for males strangely high.

4. Fire at an Outback Steakhouse kills 45. Citing a slow response by firefighters, rapper Kanye West claims "George Bush does not care about Australian people."

5. Pope Ratzinger sued by NAACP. Jesse Jackson, in a class action lawsuit, claims God is discriminating against blacks; Katrina, African Aids, slavery and the 2000 election cited among egregious divine punishments.

6. The Supreme Court overturns American's right to life, stating that "the government actually does have a right to kill you, but only as long as it is for the public good."

7. The Cadbury Bunny is murdered in a preemptive strike by angry Christians in the War against Easter.

8. Alien life finally confirmed as Cindy Sheehan is video taped showering while out of her "human suit."

9. Stemming from the discovery of alien life, Republicans scramble to pass legislation calling for a Space Fence to keep illegal aliens out of Earth.

10. Many Democrats call for premature pull out of Earth. "Things just aren't going well," says Nancy Pelosi. Most Earthlings feel Earth is worth saving. Main stream media blamed for biased reporting.

Well, that's enough prognosticating for me. What do you guys think some of the top stories of 2006 will be?

Fly Higher,
Icarus Goodman

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Crucifying Santa Claus

Why do Christians teach their children about Santa Claus?

This is a question that has pestered me for some time and has only become more boggling since my departure from the Christian ranks. For all the talk about the secularization of Christmas, or the war against Christmas as it's being called this year, Christians themselves are largely to blame for the transformation of this religious holiday into a materialistic shopping spree that pays only peripheral homage to its religious foundation.

How many of the cherished Christmas traditions are actually a byproduct of the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus? Very few. First, as most of you probably know, the date of Jesus' birth is unknown and the date of December 25th was simply taken to counteract pagan winter festivals.

Secondly, there is the Christmas tree. If one was to go fundamentalist for a second, you could see that as a form of idol worship. At the least though, it has zero connection with the birth of Christ, and if you think about it from an outsider's perspective, it's a bit silly (which makes me very fond of it.) Then there are smaller traditions like mistletoe, snowmen, and Charlie Brown, which are pure products of regional culture.

But the Grand Marshall of this secular parade is the red-velveted one himself, Santa Claus. Aside from being an even clearer example of idol worship, there are several reasons why Christians should want to turn their backs on this chubby challenger of Christmas cheer.

The most powerful reason to me, and the main reason why I won't teach my children about Santa Claus, is that *SPOILER ALERT* he simply isn't real. I cannot understand why parents continue to lie right to their children's faces when it comes to ole Saint Nick. I have no problem if you want to pretend he is real as long as the child knows he is simply a mythical figure like Harry Potter or Arthur the Aardvark. But to betray your child's trust in you by sincerely letting her believe Santa is real is a major parenting mistake.

Aside from the negative impacts of lying to your children, teaching your child about the Santa myth and the subsequent focus on wish lists and gift receiving creates a terrible diversion from the true meaning of the holiday. While most parents do take time out to teach their kids the real meaning of the Christmas, to a child, the real meaning is determined by their priorities. When 90% of the Christmas activities revolve around Santa and his reindeer, the 10% spent talking about Jesus is going to seem completely secondary. I don't see any Jewish families teaching their kids about Chanukah Harry, because doing so would do nothing but distract and cheapen the meaning of their holiday.

Another unintended consequence of Santa is the possible confusion that your child may feel. If Santa can see them when they are sleeping and see them when they are awake and he is making a list of who is naughty and who is nice, then what exactly is the difference between Santa and God? Getting your head around one invisible, omniscient divinity is hard enough, throwing in another that will surely be renounced before the age of ten can only lead to bafflement.

This does not only pertain to Christmas either...are you listening Easter Bunny? I know many feel these childish myths and rituals are harmless and only add to the fun of the holidays, and I agree, they are fun. But if you are religious, you should think twice about diluting your religious holiday's meaning by infusing doses of unrelated secular marketing into your holiday festivities.

Fly higher,
Icarus Goodman

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Woman's Right To Choose... Prostitution.

I'm at a bit of a loss here. Why is it that the government, and most of the people of this nation, believe they have the right to tell people what they can and cannot do with their own bodies? Now, you might think I am reffering to abortion, but don't jump the gun. Contrary to popular view, an individual's right to their body isn't really the big issue with abortion.

Most abortion opponents concede that a woman should be able to do with her body what she wants. What they disagree on is the status of the fetus. They believe it is a living being, fully recognizable as a human being and therfore possessing full human rights. It is not a part of the monther's body but a seperate independent body that is temporarily connected to that of the woman. Abortion proponents, on the other hand, feel the fetus has not acieved the status of a full human being with its own rights, but is simply a part of the woman's body and therefore she should be able o do with it as she pleases.

Givin this, one would think that both abortion opponents and porponents, who hold to the arguments above, would support a woman's (or a man's for that matter) right to sell her body if she so pleases. If she has a right to her body then shouldn't she be able to sell it, to perform sexual favors for money or any other object of value? If not, then she really doesn't have a right to her body at all, she's simply been granted permission to do a particular act, that of abortion.

So let's quickly go over the act of prostitution shall we? Two adult individuals freely consent to partake in a mutually beneficial sexual act. The John gets his rocks off and the prostitute gets her money. Now, honestly it is not the most respectable profession, but should it be outlawed? Should those caught in the act be put into prison?

Here's where I need your help. I'm at a loss. Not only can I not think of any good reason why such an act should be outlawed, I'm quite certain that a legitimate government has no right to enact such a law even if it wanted to. So I ask you, oh magnificient blogosphere, show me the light, show me the reasons, the arguments, show me the legitimacy of enacting such laws as we have today in these United States of America that turn non-violent individuals into criminals. I especially would like to hear from any liberal minded soul, who supports a woman's right to choose abortion but not a woman's right to choose prostitution. Explain yourself and humble me.

Fly Higher,
Icarus Goodman

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish everyone a Thanksgiving filled with good family, good food, and good football.

Fly Higher,
Icarus Goodman

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Separation Of School And State

I encourage everyone to go check out this site The separation of School and State. Even if you have a soft spot for public education or just think that eradicating public schools would simply cause too much unfairness and hardships for lower income students, check it out, read some articles and get a little more informed about the issue.

One of the most impressive facts was that about the cost of subsidizing the poor. Our government today spends $316 billion, yes, that's billion, on public education. The average private school costs around $2,750 per year (amazingly lower than I ever thought.) 16 million children, roughly one third, would need financial aid to attend. As most scholarships today pay for about half of tuition, if we take those numbers we need only $24 billion to ensure every student can attend.

Given that private donors already supply $37.3 billion in scholarships for higher education, is it really far fetched to believe we could raise the $24 billion? Especially when the American people will have just received $316 billion in taxes back into their pockets, it doesn't seem far-fetched at all.

It's the hall mark of the market, better products at cheaper prices. Why, for all this time, have people believed that, while the market is the far better option for pretty much everything, from toothpaste to automobiles, the government was somehow the better option when it came to indoctrinating our children.

Some corollary benefits of an all private education system:

- No problems arising from teaching religion.
- No problems regarding segregation.
- No more one-size-fits-all education policy.
- Schools no longer political battle ground.
- No more unaccountable teachers.

If I can urge you to do anything, it would be to not be so attached to tradition. Just because public education is what we have all grown up with, what we are all so used to, doesn't mean it has to continue to be that way. Public education is a sad legacy from a prior generation. I don't want it to be a legacy of mine. Let's shape our world, not in the molds of the past, but in our own image of what we think good.

Fly Higher,
Icarus Goodman

Thursday, November 10, 2005


$22.4 Million... $23.8 million... disgusting.