Author Archive: grumpypilgrim
Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].
With many American Catholics outraged that Notre Dame university has invited Barack Obama to deliver its commencement address — a position the Pope himself apparently finds untroubling — one wonders if America’s Catholic conservatives are more concerned about politics than about any genuine religious doctrine. Indeed, the Vatican’s own official publication, L’Osservatore Romano has labeled Obama’s first three months in office as “One hundred days that didn’t shake the world.”
Meanwhile, the American anti-abortion-rights group, National Right to Life Committee, has moved to criticize the Vatican’s “surprisingly positive assessment” of President Obama’s approach to life issues and called on Notre Dame university to rescind the Obama invitation. According to the NRLC, Notre Dame’s invitation is “an affront to all who believe in the sanctity and dignity of human life.” Since Pope Benedict does not seem to consider the Obama invitation “an affront,” the NRLC would apparently exclude Pope Benedict from its list of those who believe in the sanctity and dignity of human life.
If extremism like that informs America’s Republican party, America’s conservatives should perhaps anticipate a much longer period of Democratic rule. And for good reason.
Archeologists in Canada have discovered the fossil of a previously unknown species that shows features of both land- and water-dwelling mammals. Though not a direct ancestor of modern seals, the fossil nevertheless gives clues to how today’s water-dwelling mammals evolved.
One begins to wonder how complete the fossil record needs to be before Creationists admit they’ve been wrong all along. Something tells me no amount of completeness will ever satisfy them.
Erich’s post about free college got me thinking: what if college and healthcare were both free? What if America’s college-bound population — the nation’s intelligentsia — could seriously consider getting married and having children at the same young age that the rest of the population tended to reproduced? What if America’s most brightest offspring didn’t [...]
Over the recent holiday I was fortunate to find several good films on DVD at my local public library. One I have just mentioned — The Ox-Bow Incident. Another is a trilogy about evolution, produced by the BBC. The films are titled, “Walking with Monsters,” “Walking with Dinosaurs,” and “Walking with Beasts,” and cover, respectively, [...]
I’ve recently seen an outstanding WWII-era movie called “The Ox-Bow Incident,” starring Henry Fonda & Harry Morgan. The movie is ostensibly a western, set in a small Nevada town in the mid-19th century. However, unlike other western movies of its day, in which you can tell the good guys from the bad guys by the [...]
I’ve always been curious about the character of Satan in Christianity. Why? Mainly because the Bible demonizes Satan (no pun intended) without ever letting Satan explain his side of the story, in his own words. The Bible claims to be The Truth, but it only gives us one side of the story: the side that [...]
Osama bin Ladin must be laughing his ass off. Not only is he still on the loose, but, for the cost of a couple of dozen box cutters and flight lessons for a half-dozen suicidal volunteers, he’s made the U.S. the laughing stock of the entire planet. Of course, he didn’t do this alone: he’s [...]
This month’s proposed bail-out of Wall Street financial institutions has gotten me thinking about socialism — in particular, the knee-jerk reaction that some conservative Americans express whenever the word is mentioned. They say, “Oh, we can’t have nationalized healthcare because that would be socialism,” as if the word alone makes the argument self-evident. But here’s [...]
Watching the speeches, interviews and television advertisements of McCain & Palin, I’ve noticed that all they ever talk about is their past achievements, most of which are carefully and heavily embellished to take credit where little or none is due. Palin’s claim to have “canceled the bridge to nowhere,” when in fact it was killed [...]