Feb13, 2011 ICNA Relief, a Muslim Organization, event in Yorba Linda, CA. to raise money for women’s shelters, homelessness and hunger.

Elected officials, a local Tea Party group and ACT! for America held a protest.

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This is a minority of the American population and a perversion of the American spirit and ethos.  I understand that.

In fact that is the one thing that these protestors can’t understand about Muslims.

The vast majority of Muslims in the world are similarly losing faith in the extremist bigots that use their voices to give the appearance of numbers and power.

I’ve written a few other blog posts about Islamic and Biblical passages on war, hate and conversion; on Islam and Democracy and a few other things.

After watching this I don’t feel like writing much more and will leave it to you to check out some of my other posts on my opinion on all of that.

Please sign the Petition.

Before I discuss why inequality is both good and bad, I want to point out a new study by two researchers at Harvard and Duke that found that Americans 1) have no idea what the level of inequality is in the US and 2) want there to be less inequality than there actually is and than they believe there is.

The study found that peoples’ predictions of income distribution were widely off (and more equal) compared to the actual levels of distribution and that what they would like them to be.  If you are interested in more than the graph below, click here for a link to the study and some more charts and stuff. Read More…

Popular paster Rob Bell in his book called “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived,” made a number of controversial and debate sparking claims.  Here is the video by Bell about his book.  And here is the original blog post by Taylor that sparked the debate

Blog, Facebook and Twitter posts have already exploded, sparking a NY Times article today on it,  so I am a little behind.

But I wanted to add my own arguments to back up the basic argument Bell is making in questioning whether only a small group of Christians go to Heaven and the majority of everyone who will ever exist will go to Hell without any reprieve.  There are three points I’d like to make. Read More…

Everyone’s eyes are watching the Arab world, and rightly so.  In my opinion, this could possibly be the biggest historical event I will live through as it could change one of the most important international dynamics running through the last few thousands years.

“Freedom is a great, great adventure, but it’s not without risks,” said Fathi Ben Haj Yathia, a Tunisian author and former political prisoner.  So, if the risks are surmounted and we are seeing the birth of a truly democratic Arab world I think this will completely change the dialog about Islam not only within the Arab Muslim world, but also the Muslim world living in Western countries and the Christian world about Islam.

First, I’d like to note that democracy itself has beautiful roots in Islam, classically. Read More…

This is in response to a comment on my blog post entitled “In US, Active & Public Hate Groups Top 1000 for First Time: Why?”  The comment was in short: what can be done?

So I decided to write up a short post about how I think you can simply go about contributing towards the ever receding bastions of hate.

First, there is the need for optimism. So are these groups ‘ever receding’?  Well… Read More…

Posted by: Paul Chiariello | March 1, 2011

In US, Active & Public Hate Groups Top 1000 for First Time: Why?

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, active and public hate groups reach 1002 in the US.

A ‘hate group‘ is defined as a groups centered in part around or identified by its “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”  ‘Practices‘ include “criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”

The chart below shows the steady rise over the past decade:

2010 Hate Groups Graph

Read More…

So, I love fantasizing about the future and trying to imagine the unimaginable.

However, what I do not love is when I’m off embellishing some crazy thought about the future of society and technology and some one remarks that X or Y is impossible. Robots will never be conscious, we will never colonize other planets, art and emotions are unique to people and not synthetic life, and so on and so on.

Read More…

A while ago I had a discussion with some friends about homosexuality and morality.  Eventually I made the comment “Well it doesn’t directly affect you.  If you didn’t know it was happening, what negate effect would it have on your life?”  To this it was responded (and I’m sorry I don’t remember exactly what was said) that homosexuality degrades the values of society and has been part of the downfall/collapse of empires and nations.  I didn’t quite know what to say about that, but I knew I could easily look into this fairly empirical historical claim.

I decided to do a case study on the Greek/Hellenistic empire, the Roman Empire, Japan, and Global Trends in the past 100-200 years.

The following is a brief outline of some things I found and my own little comments.   Read More…

In Bridgewater, NJ the Muslim community has not had a Mosque or Islamic Center of their own.  The al Falah Center would be the first of its kind in the surrounding town ships.   Falah in Arabic means success self-improvementhappiness and well-being

The community says that it has been looking for a site to build for several years and, after it has finally found a suitable location and applied for building permits, is faced with having to start the search again.  The township has just fast-tracked its zoning laws to be finished ahead of another statute that would allow the al Falah to be built.

As the petition below recounts.  This violates a federal law:

“No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution.”

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Please sign the petition below if you would like to continue to show Muslims in the US and around the world that Americans really do stand by their ideals, such as freedom of religion.

Please sign it.

http://www.change.org/petitions/support-alfalah-center-protect-freedom-of-religion

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For an article on the increase of Hate Groups in the US click here.

As I was reading through the Quran earlier I noticed a beautiful trend of relationships that all three religions seem to emphasize, or at very least can be teased out, from the very first words they use in their texts.  I invite my various religious friends and everyone else who reads this to give me their own understandings (disagreeing or agreeing with me) on these key introductions.  Let me start in the order they are written.

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The Torah – Bereshit, בראשית, is the first book of the Torah and called Genesis in English.  The very name comes from the first concept expressed in the book: “In The Beginning.”  However, the first few words I’d like to look at now are “In the beginning God created.”  This is the full meaning of the English term ‘genesis,’ which implies Read More…

Posted by: Paul Chiariello | February 16, 2011

Kenya ’06 – Camping with the Koobi Fora Field School, Part 1

I absolutely love to travel.  Personally, I try to engage life in general as a constant traveler, nomad, peripatetic, or/atau pengembara (for my Indonesian friends) and to always remember…

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. (Lao Tzu)

I believe when you apply that to all of life, you pretty much can’t fail.   And it has served me quite well already.

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Below I decided to put up some photos of my first trip to Kenya and my first real adventure outside of the US.  I spent about 7 weeks in Northern Kenya on an archeological field school camping in tents and digging for bones.

This is our first camp ground. The green one was my home for over 6 weeks.

Read More…

This is a post from my other blog, chesseduabroad.wordpress.com, about the non-profit Chess for Education Abroad (CEA) that I work with.  The website documents my work in Uganda and Kenya (and a lil in Indonesia too) with setting up chess programs in disadvantaged and rural schools through the the CEA.

CEA chess program in Gulu, Uganda, June 2009. Photo courtesy of Siobhan Riordan

Below is some research about how chess helps improve certain cognitive skills for students as well as grades in math and other school subjects.  Read More…

Throughout my freshmen year of college, only a handful of years ago, I used to argue fairly passionately for pro-life policies.  Since then I’ve moved more to the fence, especially after taking a unit on the issue in one of my philosophy of normative ethics classes.  However, after writing a post on the Planned Parenthood and the Pimp Controversy I have thought a little more about the issue.  Not only have I come to identify more solidly with the pro-choice side of the debate, but I believe there is a strong argument for why Christians should also throw down their weapons, if only for the moment, and reassess their views on the matter.  It runs through a few very simple points on Christian doctrine. Read More…

Posted by: Paul Chiariello | February 8, 2011

Growth

the grey moon waning

howls with me

when it waxes

we sing

we are the trees

teasing out a song of growth Read More…

I have no idea how many times I have heard that the motivation for Hitler’s genocide lay in Darwin and the Theory of Evolution.  Ben Stein’s Expelled focused for a while on this issue and the Introduction to Ray Comfort’s abridged version of the Origin of Species argues for it as well.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection and the ‘theory of evolution’ more broadly does not and cannot make any comment on moral matters what so ever.  If Darwin never existed Hitler would have still committed his genocide.  This post is to set the record clear (not saying everything below is original, just that it apparently isn’t explained as well or as often as it should be).  Below are six very simple arguments Read More…

Recently the group Live Action, an organization whose mission, at least in part, is to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood, surprised several of the health care facilities with a visit.  In the visit two actors posed as a pimp and his underage prostitute.  In one of the 12 clinics a health care worker consulting the couple made a number of wrong decisions in consulting and discussing options the ‘couple’ could take.  A lot of the things she did I agree were wrong and she was fired by Planned Parenthood according.  You can read more about it here.

I don’t want to discuss all the aspects of the meeting because a lot of them were wrong and should of been handled differently.  However there is one aspect that is being discussed that I need to comment on because it has much wider implications that I feel are immoral and detrimental to the physical health of our society.  That is the use of health care workers as police informants. Read More…

This is an article my friend Matt Korostoff and I wrote a two years ago.  It is in response to an article in a right-wing magazine that purports that the climate change debate is over and there is consensus that climate change doesn’t exist.  The article sites a petition of 32,000 scientists.  Below I want to just re-post our my friend and my article about the proposed “overwhelming evidence” of the anti-global warming consensus because this petition still seems to be popping up among right-wing this and thats.

He is a portion (the bulk really) of the article we printed earlier.

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In his article, Barry attempts to expose “myths” about climate change, criticizes liberal political agendas, and urges people to reevaluate the situation honestly.  So let’s evaluate it honestly.

Barry’s central thesis is that there is no consensus in the scientific community with respect to the cause or degree of climate change.  As evidence, Barry cites a petition purportedly signed by 32,000 scientists. Read More…

Posted by: Paul Chiariello | February 2, 2011

Be with Me the Music

Be with me the music

while the music lasts.

Hand in hand

we’ll match the silhouettes

of winter’s trees.

We’ll twist and shake

to water’s own sky body.

Brush off fate

and wash clean in cold air’s current.

Come with me

to climb the wet backs

of our finger tips.

For I want to rise with you

closer to God’s own music.

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Paul Chiariello

Posted by: Paul Chiariello | January 31, 2011

The ‘Improbability’ of Life? The Actual Science Behind Abiogenesis

This post is for those that believe abiogenesis – life evolving from non-life – is a matter of probability.

I have taken a number of evolutionary anthropology and biology classes, but  I am not a physical scientist at all, my training is in social science.  So I have put together some really great videos and papers to make some points for me that I feel people in general are completely unaware of concerning the subject. Read More…

Posted by: Paul Chiariello | January 27, 2011

A Brief Intro to the Macro Economics of Public Health Care

In the conversations I’ve had with people over the past few months about the Health Care debate in the US, I’ve found that people on both sides don’t really understand all of the issues at stake.  They pick one thing to talk about and then simply repeat it as if all that is needed in an argument is a single good point.  Make your point and if they can prove it wrong, you win!  Unfortunately this is a complicated subject and many different points both for and against need to be weighed.

In adding to the debate, I’d like to go through some of the background to Universal health care in the US and internationally and then give a list of 8 reasons why Universal Public Health care is necessary, especially in a global market economy. Read More…

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