Ballot Measure

October 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm (By Randy)

Shall the voters for the City and County of Denver adopt an Initiated Ordinance to require the creation of an extraterrestrial affairs commission to help ensure the health, safety, and cultural awareness of Denver residents and visitors in relation to potential encounters or interactions with extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles, and fund such commission from grants, gifts and donations?

(Via Jonah Goldberg at NRO)

38 Comments

  1. amba12 said,

    Is this for real? It belongs in the “Get a Life!” department if you ask me.

    My brother lives in Denver — I’ll have to ask him how (and whether!) he’s voting on it.

  2. Randy said,

    “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” was my response. According to Goldberg, it’s for real. The link he provided didn’t work when I tried it. Looks like a ballot initiative. Is Denver the center of the Trekkie universe or something? Wonder how many valid signatures are needed to get something on the ballot there. As courts have ruled that information about petition signers is public property, I’m tempted to suggest your brother check out the list to see how many of his friends, neighbors an co-workers signed it. I’ll bet quite a few shady operators are doing so, the petitions are probably an excellent source of leads to the gullible. BWDIK?

  3. wj said,

    Wow, California doesn’t have a monopoly on nut cases after all! Even San Francisco hasn’t gone for something like this.

  4. PatHMV said,

    It appears to be real.

    Here is the website for the campaign in favor.

    Oh, and you might find this amusing, by the man who started the campaign.

    I visited Denver last year. It’s an odd place, with some very odd people. There’s a lot of cool stuff there, a lot of cool people, but also some real kooks.

  5. realpc said,

    You are making a lot of unwarranted assumptions. You are assuming, without even wondering, that there are no extra-terrestrials, and that the whole idea is ridiculous. You are believing the materialist scientists who don’t see how extraterrestrials could possibly get here — because they have not concept of higher level dimensions. You are reflexively assuming that anyone who thinks we might be visited by extraterrestrials has to be a nut.

    There is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence on this subject. Why brush it all off as ridiculous or crazy, just because the mainstream materialist scientific consensus says so? Do you have any idea at all how many people have seen UFOs, or have experienced abduction? Or how similar all their stories tend to be?

    I don’t know if Denver really needs that commission or not. It would depend on how many people might have been frightened and/or abducted.

  6. realpc said,

    And furthermore, they want to fund it with donations, not taxes. I can’t see anything outrageous or stupid or crazy about the idea. Some locations have a lot more reported
    UFOs and abductions than others, and maybe Denver has a lot.

    If you consider this ridiculous, you should feel the same way about near-death experiences. But first, please look at the evidence for both.

    Also, consider that there is nothing at all ridiculous about the idea of higher level dimensions. It fits what physicists are finding.

  7. realpc said,

    In the materialist/progressive worldview (as opposed to the new-age progressive worldview), many very common human experiences are considered ridiculous and crazy. Ghosts, spirits, UFOs — anything at all that doesn’t fit the materialist worldview, and that has not ALREADY been discovered and explained by science, is considered a delusion or hallucination or plain old craziness.

    And of course followers of this worldview assume that the leaders have somehow demonstrated that all this things are crazy, delusions, superstitions. They must have good solid scientific evidence for their certainty.

    Well no, they don’t. It’s massive quantities of observations and direct experience vs. mere opinion.

  8. Randy said,

    Hooey!

  9. realpc said,

    Why don’t you provide some evidence for your opinion Randy?

  10. Randy said,

    I’m not interested in discussing such a ridiculous subject with someone such as yourself.

  11. realpc said,

    “I’m not interested in discussing such a ridiculous subject with someone such as yourself.”

    A perfect example of unscientific close-mindedness. And what is someone “such as” myself, I wonder? A nut who believes that many people have seen UFOs?

  12. Randy said,

    #1 “There you go again!”

    #2 Indeed.

    #3 I don’t know and I don’t care.

  13. realpc said,

    Don’t try to open your mind Randy, it might hurt.

  14. Randy said,

    “There you go again!” Again.

  15. Donna B. said,

    realpc – it’s absolutely impossible for anyone to truly discuss something with you. I know you think you’re all open-minded and stuff, but you are most definitely not. You are slippery though and intellectually dishonest in some cases.

    I’m a little sick of you monopolizing and often ruining the possibility of a good discussion here.

    Yeah, yeah… I know. I’m just another big bad ole materialist picking on poor little you. You think you’re a victim and you really really seem to like being one.

    I’m outta here. I love Amba and all the rest of you, but I don’t have the time to read comment after comment after comment by real.

  16. realpc920 said,

    This post is a very good illustration of what I have been saying about the intelligent, educated, materialist progressive mythology. Certain things cannot be true, because they are believed by people who are ignorant, superstitious, and/or crazy or flaky. The ONLY evidence against these things is the fact that they have always been believed in traditional or non-western cultures, and are still believed by the less educated in modern cultures.

    Now that we are modern and scientific, we KNOW there are no ghosts, spirits, demons, gods. We KNOW that mental illness is caused by brain chemicals, not possession. We KNOW all sorts of things that we actually do not know. They are the mythology of the progressive/materialist culture, the ideas that set one tribe apart from others.

    It would not matter at all how many people have seen UFOs, because you KNOW that they were hallucinating or dreaming. Anything at all that doesn’t fit into your worldview is the result of ignorance, stupidity, craziness.

    If a sane and respected scientist starts believing in these things, then he has gone over the edge, crossed to the other side, become a member of the enemy tribe.

  17. PatHMV said,

    And maybe there’s leprechauns and unicorns, too, but in a world where we’re having real fights over political, scientific, and other serious issues, it’s entirely rational to devote our time to discussing those matters rather than spend time with mythologies that are virtually certain (not 100%, but let’s say 99.99%) likely to be products of bygone millennia or mass hysteria. I acknowledge that it is conceivable that UFO sightings really are of spaceships from alien civilizations, but I think the likelihood that such is true is so minute that it’s just not worth spending time discussing it, when there are so many, many more pressing issues facing us.

    Donna… so skip reading all the comments by real. Scrolling past commenters without reading them is pretty easy.

  18. Randy said,

    Donna: “What we have here is a failure to communicate!” is a good response ;-)

    Realpc: Please ride your hobby horses on other threads. Thank you.

  19. Peter Hoh said,

    I’m not a bigot. But when I something stepping out of a UFO, I got to tell you, if I see green skin, antennae, and big, slanty eyes, I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as space aliens, I get worried. I get nervous.

  20. Theo Boehm said,

    You all realize, of course, that Amba and Jacques were friends of Whitley Strieber, and were “ambiguous witnesses” of strange noises, etc., on the night when Strieber was supposed to have first made contact with aliens.  Amba has said she has a high regard for Strieber, despite his perhaps odd beliefs, and that she is interested in these phenomena, too.  You can read more about it from Ambivablog here and here.  I recall another post where she describes in more detail the night when the aliens were supposed to have visited, but I can’t find it just now.

    Having grown up in the Mojave Desert, I was used to seeing all sorts of strange things, not the least of them zipping around in the sky.  I was always skeptical of flying saucers, even though I’ve actually seen a few.  I suspected at the time, and have subsequently confirmed to my satisfaction, that most of what I saw were manifestations of Your Federal Government’s Black Budget, and not from Planet Deneb.  Oh, the toys your tax dollars have paid for.

    That said, there are enough people like Strieber who seem to have had experiences of some sort, not to mention the numerous sightings that have been reported, for example, in World War II, long before proton beam, anti-radar decoys (a cute trick on the Stealth Bomber), or other things that might make you think Zaphod Beeblebrox sent them.  I’m fairly convinced, as a result, that there are objects flying around that are too strange for even our fairly astonishing technology.

    Now, there may be more important things to consider, such as how the State of California will pay my tax refund, and all the other political and public policy matters that serious people concern themselves with.  However, the possibility of our being visited by beings from other worlds is not exactly trivial.  In fact, it may turn out to be a whole lot more important, in the long run, than all the things you might find considered on NPR tomorow, or read about in the Times.  It could also be that space aliens are the modern equivalent of faeries, psychological manifestations of cultural conditioning and expectations—in other words, the kind of ongoing, low-level mass delusions that seem to have been part of human cultures throughout history.  I frankly don’t know.  But I don’t dismiss these phenomena out of hand, nor imagine I can assign an ontological status to them with any certainty.

    Now the people in Colorado may be silly, just as the French were sometime in the ’50’s, when they passed a similar law prohibiting any “cigar volante” from flying too close to vinyards of the best quality, lest the emanations disturb the grapes and lead to a bad year for, say, Château Pomerol. Quel catastrophe!  Of course, ’59 was one of the best years ever, so, who knows, keeping the aliens from pestering the Petrus, d’aprés le loi de 1954, may have paid off.

    There are subtle phenomena in this world, whether knowing the right moment to harvest grapes, having watched them develop over a season, or perhaps catching a sidelong glance of something not quite of this world.  I deal in subtle and elusive phenomena all the time in my work as a flute maker. Oh, do I.  And that has given me a respect for the reality of such phenomena, even when they’re pooh-poohed by others.

    So, if you have any interest in this, don’t go around with your head buried. Look up. Watch the sky. It’s good for your well-being in any event. You will probably see some strange things. Inform yourself about aerospace technology. Most of what you might see will be explained. But there almost certainly will be odd things that defy categorization. Many of the pilots I know, including my uncle, who flew B-17’s in WWII, have seen things that are not easily accounted for. The bomber crews in WWII called them “Foo fighters,” the word “Foo” coming from some comic strip of the era. My uncle saw them circling his formation on three occasions. They thought they might be Hitler’s secret weapon. Winston Churchill took pains to classify aircrew reports of such things, lest they undermine people’s belief in traditional religion. Winston Churchill understood the implications of what was being observed, but he had more immediate and pressing things to worry about.

    It may be that we do, too. But not having a war to run, it might not be the worst thing for those of us who have any curiosity to keep an open mind, and examine the evidence to form our own conclusions. We do that every day for other issues. What is different about this?

  21. realpc920 said,

    I am trying to make you aware of your tribal mythologies. Skip over anything that you find disconcerting and troubling. We hate to see our tribal mythologies questioned. If UFOs can’t be real, then what about ghosts, spirits and demons? And if those can’t be real, then what about gods? What about Jesus and Yahweh? What about God? Where are you going to draw the lines?

    It may not be important to some of you, but I consider these questions extremely important. Are we in touch with “reality,” or are we too immersed in our tribal mythologies to really see?

  22. Randy said,

    “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here”

  23. Theo Boehm said,

    That’s Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate, and it’s commonly not considered an argument.

  24. Randy said,

    It wasn’t intended to be one, Theo ;-)

  25. realpc said,

    And I don’t like disagreeing with Amba, considering all she is going through. Also, I feel like we are old friends even though we have never met. But sometimes I feel I need to remind her that she is Ambivalent, intellectually flexible and open-minded. That’s why I came here in the first place. There is always a temptation to agree with others, or refrain from disagreeing, for tribal reasons. I do that at my job and with my relatives. But not here. I am here BECAUSE I can say what I really think on some controversial subjects.

    Many people have claimed to experience some kind of contact with extraterrestrials and I refuse to call them all crazy or stupid. And that goes for all the other paranormal things that millions of people in all cultures and all eras have experienced. We have NO scientific reasons for stating that the experiences cannot be in some way real.

    Amba and i have agreed many times about the absurd lengths materialists sometimes go to in their attempts to explain away mysteries.

    As I said, if you are religious and believe in God, then you must be open to the existence of non-physical entities. And if you are not religious, but admit that the universe might be made out of information (intelligence) rather than “matter,” then you should consider the possible existence of non-physical entities.

    Only a devout tribal materialist can claim with certainty that the paranormal is total bunk.

  26. Randy said,

    “There you go again!” Yet again.

  27. realpc said,

    And there you go again, yet again, again.

  28. reader_iam said,

    Man, there’s just something about that word only.

  29. Icepick said,

    Alien abductions of all sorts occur more frequently in the Denver area. Here’s footage of one encounter, and here’s another.

  30. Icepick said,

    And maybe there’s leprechauns and unicorns, too, but in a world where we’re having real fights over political, scientific, and other serious issues, it’s entirely rational to devote our time to discussing those matters rather than spend time with mythologies that are virtually certain (not 100%, but let’s say 99.99%) likely to be products of bygone millennia or mass hysteria.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. And I certainly wouldn’t make any bets!

  31. Icepick said,

  32. realpc920 said,

    When you have no logical or scientific arguments, the next best thing is ridicule. If that doesn’t work, move on to name-calling and threats. It’s important to maintain your sense of tribal identity and superiority.

  33. Randy said,

    I asked you not ride your hobby horses here yet you continue to do so. You ruined a fun thread and drove away a valued commenter. In the future, please do not comment on any post I publish. I will avoid yours. Thank you.

  34. reader_iam said,

    I am very boring in some ways. What I want to know is what, specifically–in open, granular, useful detail–is meant by “grants, gifts and donations,” and precisely in context of relevant definitions with regard to the city of Denver, the county of Denver and the state of Colorado.

  35. amba12 said,

    Coming to this thread late . . . but Peter (#19) wins it.

  36. amba12 said,

    Theo: my dad (who will be 93 in January), an atheist (ever since his kid brother was killed as a test pilot during WWII), is convinced that before the end of the 21st century we will indeed have some kind of incontrovertible contact with some kind of extraterrestrial intelligence. My dad is a sober and reasonable person. I agree with him that according to reason alone, we cannot possibly be the only or the most intelligent beings in the universe. Even if intelligent life is rare, in such a vast universe there must be many instances of it, some of them much more technologically advanced (including nonmaterial and certainly non-Newtonian technologies) than we are.

    One of my dad’s best friends, Jim Stevens, the late brother of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, was a firm believer in the reality of UFOs.

  37. amba12 said,

    Ice: I’m sure my father would bet on that. Unfortunately, he probably won’t be here to collect.

  38. amba12 said,

    Excellent question, reader (#33). And if grants, gifts and donations, why is this proposed as a public agency? Why not a private nonprofit that wouldn’t need a ballot initiative?

    Can I spell “P-U-B-L-I-C-I-T-Y S-T-U-N-T”? I have to admit that too many spam Twitter followers make me flinch reflexively whenever someone describes him/herself as an “entrepreneur.”

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