November 24, 2009 archive

The Day Religion Clashed With Science

Crossposted from Daily Kos

On July 21, 1925, a court in Dayton, Tennessee found the defendant, John Scopes, guilty of teaching the theory of evolution in high school.  Writing in the Baltimore Evening Sun, journalist H.L. Mencken had some harsh words for anti-intellectuals opposing Scopes’ viewpoint

What its people ask for — many of them in plain terms — is suspended judgment, sympathy, Christian charity, and I believe that they deserve all these things… The civilized minority in the State is probably as large as in any other Southern State.  What ails it is simply the fact it has been, in the past, too cautious and politic — that it has been too reluctant to offend the Fundamentalist majority.  To that reluctance something else has been added: an uncritical and somewhat childish local patriotism. The Tennesseeans have tolerated their imbeciles for fear that attacking them would bring down the derision of the rest of the country.  

[F]undamentalism, after all, made men happy — that a Tennesseean gained something valuable by being an ignoramus — in other words, that a hog in a barnyard was to be envied by an Aristotle.

Obama: ‘Finish the Job’


The Pentagon and the White House are in disagreement if it will cost the U.S. $20 billion or $40 billion in 2010 to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The LA Times reports that pricing an Afghanistan troop buildup is no simple calculation.

The Pentagon publicly estimates it will cost $500,000 a year for every additional service member sent to the war zone. Obama’s budget experts size it up at twice that much…

The Office of Management and Budget says adding 40,000 troops would cost about $40 billion a year, or $1 million each. White House officials included in their estimate everything they consider necessary to wage war, including troop housing and equipment.

And today the president said he will ‘finish the job‘ in Afghanistan.

How about some Holiday-week OUTRAGE?!

My things seem chill here.   Everybody seems to be in a groovy frame of mind, maybe it’s the holidays, maybe we’re all just high on cold medicines (I know I am, I’ve got a nasty one), maybe it’s just longer nights and the shorter days ….

But too bad.  I’m gonna hit you over the head with an article that will PISS YOU THE HELL OFF.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  54 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Philippines declares emergency as massacre toll hits 46


1 hr 18 mins ago

SANIAG, Philippines (AFP) – The Philippines declared a state of emergency in parts of the volatile south on Tuesday as anger spiralled over a savage political massacre that left at least 46 people dead.

Police on Mindanao island pulled bullet-riddled bodies from shallow graves after gunmen allegedly hired by a local political chief abducted then shot dead a group of politicians from a rival clan and accompanying journalists.

As thousands of troops fanned out across the ultra-tense Maguindanao province on Mindanao, President Gloria Arroyo declared a state of emergency for the area that would allow curfews and road checkpoints to be imposed.

Laugh and cry at the same time

Or at least, that’s what I did.

Watch this movie from Rosie (O’Donnell’s) blog — with her unerring taste.…

On Gratitude

A Thanksgiving offering (maybe this is becoming a traditional post)

A ritual and a practice.

At our house, when we have Thanksgiving dinner, we like to stop eating and talking to go around the table clockwise so that each person present can say what s/he is thankful for.  When we first decided to do this, some of our guests felt this was awkward, perhaps embarrassing.  But we don’t start with the guests, so they can get an impression of what expressing gratitude and hearing others express it feels like.  Those in our immediate family understood this and were comfortable enough with it.  After all, at birthdays, we like to go around the table to tell the person celebrating the birthday our many appreciations of him/her.  So on Thanksgiving, it’s a natural enough question, “What are you thankful for this year?”  The answers aren’t always surprising.  We’re thankful for being here another year, for our health however it might then be, for family and friends, for the lives of those now departed, for whatever abundance we may have received, for creativity, for our pets, for our relationships, for our businesses, for our politics, for our dreams and aspirations and hopes, and so on.  We’re thankful for all kinds of things.  You get it, you can probably feel it even reading about doing this.  It’s a Thanksgiving ritual we love.  Feel free to try it out.

I always loved Thanksgiving because, however it was intended or begun, it seemed to be about gratitude.  For years I’ve had a practice I’ve done.  Sometimes I do it every day.  Sometimes I do it once a month.  Sometimes I don’t do it for a long time.  It depends.  What do I do? I make a list of the things I am thankful for.  I number them as I write them down, and I feel my gratitude for each item as I write it before going on to the next.  So, I write, “1. my good health, 2. the life of Dr. King, 3. compassion for my seeming enemies, 4. the novels of Cesar Aira.”  And so on.  Until I reach 50.  I do this, writing and feeling, until I have a list of 50 items or more that I have enjoyed and felt my thanks for.  When I am feeling pinched, stressed, exhausted, depressed, or any other “negative” emotion, it seems to take me a very long time to find items, to write them down and really to feel them.  When I am feeling expansive, relaxed, rested, optimistic, or any other “positive” emotion, it takes me virtually no time to write and enjoy the list.  Why do this exercise?  Because it’s almost magical.  And it lights me up.  Feel free to try it out.

Was it Meister Eckhart who wrote, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice?”  I agree.

May all of you have a happy Thanksgiving.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles

British Inquiry Into Iraq War

This is what this Country, the United States, should be doing now or had already done during the previous administration, investigating towards Impeachment and possible Indictments, depending on what evidence of crimes and lies surfaced. Especially if we really are what we like to think and demand others to believe we are and if our Constitution still exist as the leading Representative Democracy on this planet. But leave it up to ‘Old Europe’, hopefully, to seek answers that should be in the light of day and a part of the physical history added to the already known.

But it’s never to late for us to try and minimize the blowback from our extremely destructive policies, or is it!

Open Heart


Now What The Flu To Do

Reports are coming out of the Ukraine about mutant swine flu black melted lung disease.  Does the shot cover this one?  Anybody see anything about the Ukraine flu on CNN?  ABC? Fox? New York Times?

If you don’t know it can’t hurt you?…

Dreams Interrupted

It doesn’t take much….. one of my former Florida friends posted a FB link to his flickr batch of Vizcaya photos.  sigh. I’ve got work to do!! If I had time, I’d write some dreamy wandering rambles, but… oh well.

Dream on. Open Thread.

This wonderful image is from a promotional website not my friend’s pic … but I love this photo of the Stone Barge at Vizcaya. I could sit there all day. You have to imagine the heat and the sea salt smells and sounds of seagulls. Drift away.

Vizcya Stone ship detail

On a practical level, Vizcaya’s Stone Barge acts as a breakwater against tidal surges.

On an artistic level, the limestone sculpture extends the art and architecture of the main house and gardens beyond the shoreline and into the waters of Biscayne Bay.

Docudharma Times Tuesday November 24

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Iran Expanding Effort to Stifle the Opposition

A Warehouse Holds Families’ New Memories in Afghanistan

Blacks hit hard by economy’s punch

U.S. youths recruited to fight in Somali militia, authorities say

The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui

Guilty: China’s verdict on the man who helped quake victims

Yemeni refugees caught up in Middle East’s forgotten war

Gulf: A choice between liberalisation or recovery?

Yes I remember holding you hostage – come and stay

‘Cruel’ Zulu bull-killing ritual challenged in court

France aims for key Commission job as Brown criticised for Ashton appointment

Simpsons episode lampooning Sarkozy and Bruni becomes internet hit in France

The rise of Mexico’s La Familia, a narco-evangelist cartel

not again

I was hoping this would get better. I was hoping for some kind of help or improvement.

This went on for years.

Tonight, I gave up for the last time.

This isn’t some kind of prima donna histrionics.

This is just a final failure of trust.

This is a kind of death. I can’t trust him any more. It’s gone on too long.

And here’s the poem. It’s just history now.

But it’s a good poem. I like this poem. I can find some love in it. But, oh, god. Why do people have to give up on each other? Why is love so often considered irrelevant?

I HATE having to do this, but it’s on the plate.  

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