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Another top executive at utility behemoth Sempra Energy has given big money to the campaign to ban gay marriage in California. On August 1, Darcel Hulse contributed $5000 to the ProtectMarriage.com - Yes on 8 committee. He’s president and chief executive officer of Sempra LNG, a Sempra subsidiary that is building terminals to handle imported liquefied natural gas from abroad. On March 10, Poway’s Margot Kyd, vice president of supply management at SDG&E and the Southern California Gas Company, also gave $5000 in support of the measure; her husband, Tom Kyd, a media developer with Catholic Exchange, an Encinitas-based website, contributed $15,000. Up north, a lot of the utility money has been leaning the other way. San Francisco–based Pacific Gas & Electric has given $250,000 to defeat Prop 8.… Speaking of high-powered utilities, communications giant AT&T has been showing off its political largesse in a big way of late. On April 7, it spent $49 to take John Ferrera, chief of staff for Democratic state Senator Denise Ducheny, out to a Giants game. On June 22, Ducheny’s senior policy advisor Kim Craig got a $50 ticket to Petco Park. Golf was also on the menu. On June 14, Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña got two tickets worth $200 to the U.S. Open on Torrey Pines. Jamie Mori, executive assistant to GOP Senator Mark Wyland, also got a ticket, as did her husband Valado, along with Tony Strickland (a Republican candidate for state senate in the 19th District) and GOP Assemblyman Martin Garrick. Besides AT&T, the Viejas Indian tribe continued its customary generosity to those in power, giving a raft of legislative staffers each $201.86 worth of tickets, food, and beverages at Petco Park during a party there on April 17. Recipients included Wyland staffer Caroline Beason; Garrick assistants Marie Joyce, Tom Stinson, Matthew Dobler, and Michael Carrier; Valentino Separa, Kelly Smoke, and Matthew McGhee, all staffers for GOP Assemblywoman Shirley Horton; Todd Cranney, Barbara Aker, Elizabeth Saidkhanian, and Erick Dietz, staffers to Republican Assemblyman George Plescia; and Collin McGlashen, Cathie Dawson, and Christopher Marsh, staffers to GOP Assemblyman Joel Anderson. Democratic Assembly candidate Marty Block got only a small token of respect: lunch worth $15.12 at the tribe’s Grove Steakhouse.

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a2zresource Aug. 13, 2008 @ 1:38 p.m.

I wonder what the angle is between getting the Sunrise Powerlink approved and Prop. 8...

In any case, the fact that Sempra Energy and its corporate holdings are contributing to both sides of the Prop. 8 debate either means that they are extremely even-handed regarding state politics that have little or nothing to do with energy and power profits, or the left hand does not know what the right is doing.

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Fred Williams Aug. 14, 2008 @ 8:51 a.m.

Sempra executives are filled with hatred.

Like their Enron mentors, they cloak themselves in the mantle of righteousness while committing grave offenses against the community.

This is tyical of those who label themselves Christian. Using their how-to atrocity manual, the Bible, they explain away their disgusting indifference to common human decency. With God as an ever-handy excuse, they can justify any lie, cheat, theft, or slander.

Hopefully, this year will see the demise of both Proposition H8, AND the Spinrise Powerlink.

Even better, let's hope this century also sees the demise of ignorant Bible-thumping zealotry, and a new era of kindness, love, and cooperation in this world that has been so often ripped apart by religion-fueled hatred.

Best,

Fred "Proud to be Atheist" Williams

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realnews Aug. 14, 2008 @ 4:46 p.m.

Protect Marriage? Why does media seem determined to remain without a clue?

See www.FamilyLawCourts.com/kids.html

Protect marriage. . .from what?

The lawyer lobby will defeat this because unregulated, out-of-control, "Family Courts" generate massive amounts of business.

This occurs in part, because both Mainstream Media and alternative media remain wholly, completely, and worse; determinedly, clueless as to the reality of "marriage" and the income generated by it's darker half partner, divorce.

Check out www.FamilyLawCourts.com/kids.html

for starters.

There are women in San Diego married to police officers who beat them, but they cannot get restraining orders because then the police could not carry a gun...thereby limiting their ability to function.

Think anyone wants to cover this? Nah. Instead readers get cover stories about porta-potties.

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a2zresource Aug. 16, 2008 @ 11:33 a.m.

Personally, I'm not all that convinced that atheism is not a religion, as it is not based on a proof that there is no God except to assume that "God is not God" in the first place.

Empirically, there does not appear to be a strong argument that God does not exist either, or one must restrict one's empiricism in viewing the entire universe to only our small part of the local arm of the Milky Way galaxy which we are able to observe and record with reasonable accuracy, all within the observational limits of puny humans who tend to be rather oblivious to God's existence or non-existence anyways.

Without deductive proof or strong inductive arguments to substantiate its major premise, atheism can only be described as merely a belief, and since it has something to do with the existence or non-existence of God, then it must be a system of religious belief... or something even less organized that that.


This preface is merely to state that there is enough greed, lust, theft, murder, and other sin around that atheists don't have to be jealous of other religious or supposedly-religious types who seem hellbent on hogging it all to themselves. There's plenty of that stuff to go around for EVERYONE.

Nobody has to waste blog space responding to this one.

Just trust me on that.

Besides: Atheism exists only because God allows us to imagine it exists.

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Fred Williams Aug. 23, 2008 @ 9:06 a.m.

A2Z,

You wrote:

"Empirically, there does not appear to be a strong argument that God does not exist either, or one must restrict one's empiricism in viewing the entire universe to only our small part of the local arm of the Milky Way galaxy...."

There is a VERY strong argument that God does not exist. It's called "Russell's teapot". Familiarize yourself with it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_teapot

There's no more likelihood that your angry sky deity of the Bible created anything than that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything. Spend a bit more time on logic, and a bit less on sunday school amateur preacher arguments that are so easy to dismiss.

Do you actually understand evolution? Atheism is not a religion. You're merely playing with words. Specifically, ANY belief in the supernatural is simply, completely, and indisputably WRONG...whether it means believing in astrology, unicorns and witches, or your ugly hatefilled deity from the Bible. At least astrology, unicorns and witches are relatively harmless, but the utter crap Christians claim to believe in is inexcusable in a grown-up.

Back to the topic at hand,

Sempra, Doug "Papa" Manchester, and other bigots cloak themselves with justifications from the "good book". Yet their actions are hateful and vile.

No more giving these creeps a pass just because they invoke an invisible friend. Belief in religion is worthy of contempt, not respect. Using mythologies like those found in the bible to restrict the ability of adults to enter into a state marriage contract is reprehensible.

Best,

Fred the "Anti-Theist"

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a2zresource Aug. 23, 2008 @ 11:35 a.m.

Unfortunately "Russell's teapot" is absolutely weak if one were to classify it as empirical science in the form of inductive argumentation, as it has no observational data in it. In fact, Russell (as cited by you above) requires that anything he claims in this argument to exist be not empirically observable, so that if this is inductive as empirical science, then Russell by definition made his argument rest on absolutely weak science that can never be observed and recorded as data.

Your classification of "Russell's teapot" as "VERY strong" is either a false statement from an otherwise-knowledgable person or a qualifier for a semester of remedial Critical Thinking 101 on the difference between inductive and deductive argumentation.

Some of us who are familiar with Russell's more in-depth works, such as his "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy" or even the briefest glimpse of his un-finished work with Alfred North Whitehead, have some undestanding of Betrand Russell as a practical joker.

I would have to classify "Russell's teapot" in that same type of "playing with words" deductive argument that you may describe when any ordinary reasonable person using the ordinary reasonable words such as "belief" in the absence of empirical proof or deductive argument, "religious" as having something to do with the existence or non-existence of God, and "atheism" as therefore being some sort of system of religious belief.

As voters, we will have our chance to play with words this November by adopting or rejecting a constitutional amendment that defines the composition of a couple for marriage.

As I understand it, evolution is merely God's act of creation-in-progress, as one of my favorite plays on words...

I would argue that your statement "Belief in religion is worthy of contempt, not respect" might some up my personal feelings I may have about the religious belief of atheism. Whether it does or not is left to the reader. In any case, one only has to view the words of your above post to see where the real logical flaws and venom are coming from.

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Fred Williams Aug. 24, 2008 @ 8:53 a.m.

There is no evidence for the existence of a supernatural deity that lives in the clouds and monitors your masturbation, marriage, and choice in football teams.

There is no evidence that your angry sky-god causes hurricanes, disease, or earthquakes.

There is no evidence that prayer affects the outcomes of physical events.

On the contrary, there is considerable evidence, independently verified, repeatable, and completely independent of any "belief" that weather events and natural disasters are caused by measurable and well-understood physical processes.

There is considerable evidence that masturbation, marriage, and outcomes of games are independent of any religious belief or supernatural intervention.

Do you believe in talking donkeys? Do you think that eating shellfish is sinful in the eyes of your vengeful god? Do you believe that god hates any manifestations of love that do not result in pregnancy?

Of course you don't.

I feel pity for the deluded, not respect. If my neighbor believes there is a hoard of pirate's gold in his backyard, and spends all his spare time with his family digging up the garden, I don't have any obligation to go along with his delusions. As long as he leaves me alone, it's his business. But when he insists that the government pass a law requiring that I dig up MY garden to support his belief in an obvious absurdity, he deserves not only opposition but ridicule for his illogic.

Your belief that a made-up story, traditional though it may be, should form the basis of laws enforced at the point of a gun, is absurd...no matter how popular or widespread.

Unfortunately, your position is supported by a majority of today's electorate, and they have the same vote as those of us who actually know how to think and reason for ourselves. It's a strange inversion when you accuse those of us who don't indulge in childish magical thinking of lacking in logic.

Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. That's what Russell's teapot illustrates. While such an imaginary orbiting teapot is possible, it's likelihood is so remote that we don't take it seriously. Just like your traditional belief in a god who kills children who make fun of bald guys.

Such thinking deserves as much respect as the folks who dress up like Wookies at a sci-fi convention...you don't have the right to force me to dress like a Wookie, or express public respect for your sincere belief in Wookism.

Unfortunately, those believers in talking donkeys, the evils of shellfish, and an angry sky-god who condemns masturbation, are prominent and powerful in our society. We've got one as President, and look where it's gotten us.

Best,

Fred

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Fred Williams Aug. 25, 2008 @ 6:41 a.m.

Hi Fumber,

I've missed you. Your latest comment above is pure poetry.

Thank you for your continued love and support.

Best,

Your Friend Fred

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Fred Williams Aug. 27, 2008 @ 7:28 a.m.

Looks like Doug "Papa" Manchester is reaping what he has sown:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20080827-9999-1n27boycott.html

I'm very glad to see that his bigotry, which he naturally justifies through his so-called "faith", is causing him financial pain.

With the shenanigans at CCDC now bringing into doubt the legality of his Navy Broadway Complex shenanigans, I look forward to the day when "Papa" no longer has a stranglehold on San Diego's politicians.

Looks like Proposition Hate is going down to defeat.

Of course, all you deluded religious types have to do is pray to your angry sky-god for divine intervention. Perhaps a well-timed hurricane like Katrina, (clearly His punishment for the sinful people of New Orleans) or a tsunami, (God hates Buddhists and Muslems, you know) or even a good-ole fashioned earthquake (tectonic plate theory is just a THEORY...we all know it's really that nasty Jehovah who makes the earth tremble) could show all us godless types the error of our ways.

If He doesn't intervene to help you pass Proposition Hate, then all you religious types must finally admit that gay marriage is clearly God's will.

Come on...show the power of your faith. Pray for death and destruction. You know it's what your nasty little God wants.

Fred Williams

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a2zresource Sept. 1, 2008 @ 10:48 p.m.

Regarding #19:

I believe we may have met a few times, once in the presence of Augie Gallego before he was the community college district chancellor.

I've been using a2zresource as a handle for ages, since the late 1990s when I was tutoring in courses I'd never taken myself (it was a miracle that all of my organic chemistry clients passed with at least a B). It was the email address from where I'd send my stuff to the City Times back then. About the only place I haven't used a2zresource is in writing and editing mathematical logic articles at wikipedia, where I use another old handle that dates back to my netrek days at USD's math/computer science department.

For password security, that's enough I'll say about that...

I'll pass on the Bible study. When God wants you to hear what I have to say, you'll find me.

On the other hand, I'd be happy to school you on Mendleson's Introduction to Mathematical Logic without charging you what a private university charged me... but that might be a big oops because God resides in the multi-dimensional land of large numbers, a place few puny humans can even imagine without going totally bonkers.

This may be why the true Bible-thumpers insist that Jesus must be the intermediary... although I allow that the one way is not necessarily the only way... the only way to explain THAT is to say it's kind of a left-handed tantric thing, and I doubt any self-respecting church is going to allow me to stay in the pews if I open my mouth to speak about it.

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a2zresource Sept. 1, 2008 @ 9:48 a.m.

I am amused by the self-proclaimed atheist urging people to pray!

This does make some sort of sense in the context of the recent Pew poll that showed as many as 1 out of 5 atheists also professed believing in God or some other deity.

One wonders what category the self-proclaimed reverend-without-religious-belief fits into...

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/23/new-pew-survey-21-of-atheists-believe-in-god/

As for Prop. 8, I still think there's enough corporate political contributions yet to be made for or against that it's too early to tell if it'll pass or fail. It's all a matter of advertising, and after studying the public reaction to the recent problems-getting-married commercials, the opposition either needs to spend a whole lot more or hopes a lot of us simply won't bother to vote.

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 1, 2008 @ 10:34 a.m.

FYI, a2zresource, Mr. Williams is employing Satire, n. -- the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity, particularly in the context of contemporary politics.

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a2zresource Sept. 1, 2008 @ 10:52 a.m.

Stupid is as stupid does.

I did not realize Mr. William's claim that Proposition 8 would not pass on election day was satirical. I guess he's entitled to express his admiration for the ballot initiative in his own special way...

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Barbarella Fokos Sept. 1, 2008 @ 10:59 a.m.

I'm surprised you are unable to determine which bits of Fred's messages are satirical and which are not. I had taken you for one of the more discerning and intelligent commenters.

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a2zresource Sept. 1, 2008 @ 11:36 a.m.

Apparently, any of my comments that gave the illusion of discernment and intelligence were just futile attempts to mask my obvious stupidity... at least it was obvious to All-Discerning Fred.

The problem with continuously trying to determine when one means what one says is that others are never sure one says what one means.

In any case, I do believe that I may have had some dealings with a Mr. Fred Williams in a previous life, where this Fred Williams was a representative on a local California legislative body. I couldn't figure out then when that person was talking straight or not, either... not a good trait for a people's representative to have when aspiring to higher office at the state level.

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MsGrant Sept. 1, 2008 @ 1:04 p.m.

God is Santa Claus for adults, and politics is show business for ugly people.

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a2zresource Sept. 1, 2008 @ 1:13 p.m.

Regarding #17:

I thought Reality TV was show business for the not-so-beautiful, as well as the minor deity of choice for conspicuous consumers two decades or more away from AARP membership...

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Fred Williams Sept. 1, 2008 @ 8:36 p.m.

A2Z, I agree with Barbarella that you are one of the more discerning and intelligent commenters.

If you're unable to tell whether I am deploying satire to attack ridiculous policies like Proposition Hate, feel free let me know. Otherwise, I suppose I'll have to resort to emoticons.

I've not ever served in the legislature, though I have been involved in campaigns for a long time here in San Diego, and when I was 28 I ran city-wide for the Community College Board of Trustees.

At the time, I was still a Republican, and I was wrongly but effectively labeled a "stealth candidate" of the religious right.

And at every republican function I attended, I was badgered again and again about abortion...and never once questioned on eductional policies, showing how religious fanaticism poisons society and education. I'm no longer a Republican, and now work to undo the damage done to our world in the name of idiotic religious certainty.

So far as I know, since you're not using your "True Name" (a prescient story by local author Vernor Vinge), we've never met A2Z, but I know a lot of folks and have a lot of friends...some of whom virulent disagree with me.

If I have labeled you personally as stupid, please accept my apologies.

It's religion and superstition of any flavor I find not just dumb, but reprehensible.

Basing any public policy on "faith" is close to treason.

Ignoring science and reason is suicidal. If you can't accept the plain facts that we evolved, there's no "creator", you won't go to "heaven" or "hell", and America is NOT "God's Country" but rather OUR Country, then I'd really prefer that you didn't even vote.

You're far too smart to go around believing in Angry Anthropomorphic Sky Gods, so anytime you want to get together for a REAL bible study, let me know...I'll be happy to show you how ridiculous and contradictory that book is.

Best,

Fred

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Fred Williams Sept. 3, 2008 @ 10:24 a.m.

I met with Augie a number of times when he was Dean of Student Services. At the time, I was serving as the student representative on the Community College Board of Trustees (89-90). The students pushed for synchronizing semester schedules with other schools, but the administrators refused to make any change.

Augie was hand picked by former Trustee (and disgraced Mayor Hedgecock aide) Evonne Shultze to become Chancellor, the same as with Constance Carroll. I don't believe the district has been best-served by either of them.

In 1994, when I ran for a full seat on the board, I advocated arming campus police. This angered Gallego and the teachers union, who claimed I was alarmist and that campus police should never be armed when classes were in session.

Then came Columbine.

I also advocated for a district-wide transfer credit database that would be used by students who wanted to see if their courses would count at another college in the state. This was vehemently opposed by the teacher's union.

Today, just like a decade ago, SDCCD students still expend their time, effort and hard-earned money taking classes that will never transfer. The district administrators and union flunkies don't care because they get paid regardless.

The recent scandal over the insider profits for well-connected land developers at the expense of the Community Colleges remains as a blemish on the reputation of the District. It's surprising that this important public institution is so far below the radar in San Diego.

Even in 1989, we were fending off the religious extremists who wanted to ban the selling of condoms on campus. Even installing the first ATM at Mesa College proved controversial, when City College students complained they didn't get one first and that this was somehow elitist.

I learned the hard way that if you dare stand up in San Diego, you'd better be prepared for a few slaps along the way. I got to know a lot of the elected officials around this town, and found them to be an awfully mediocre and timid bunch. This is why they'll only go out on a limb when they know they'll be personally rewarded.

Observing some of these insiders up-close has led to the evolution of my own views on what goes on in San Diego.

Best,

Fred

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