Saturday, May 2, 2009

Garden of Eden Needs Watering

The Times of India reports:

A new genetic survey of people in Africa, the largest of its kind, suggests that the region in southwest Africa seems, on the present evidence, to be the origin of modern humans. The authors have also identified some 14 ancestral populations.

The origin of a species is generally taken to be the place where its individuals show the greatest genetic diversity. For humans, when the new African data is combined with DNA information from the rest of the world, this spot lies on the coast of southwest Africa near the Kalahari desert, the research team, led by Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania, said in journal Science.


That Garden of Eden myth sure has moved around quite a bit from the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, to the Rift Valley of Ethiopia, and now to the edges of today's Kalahari Desert. Ethiopia, however, may still not be out of the question as the report above identifies 'people' with these genetic markers as the Bushmen or San people, whose language is distinguished by many click sounds. The San have been as far north as Ethiopia in their range of movement and, perhaps, they dropped off their Eden Myth there as well.  Of course the Mormons think it was in Jackson County, Missouri, but then...

The remaining question, now that a possible people and location have been identified is which of the two 'creation myths' of the Bible is more closely tied to the San: the rib version or the dust. If the rib version indicates male dominance, then it cannot be connected with the San because women have equal rights as men in this culture.

 In 2006 a group of archaeologists claimed they had discovered evidence of rituals practiced by the San around 70,000 years ago—the oldest indications of human rituals ever found. The ancient artwork and artifacts were discovered in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana in a cave that the San have traditionally used for rites associated with the python, an animal that plays a major role in their creation stories.

So the snake of Eden Mythology was probably the python.  It would be interesting to find out if any of the San named their children, Monty.  All seriousness aside, as the Bible myth indicates that the serpent fooled 'the woman' that story may have been fabricated even more by misogynistic men as San women are coequal with men in their society. 

Here is a side note regarding the San language:

In 1997, the =Khomani San community was busy with their land claim. They were sad that their ancestral language had died out and asked people if any elders remembered the language. Mrs Elsie Vaalbooi [pictured above] was living in Rietfontein, and said she spoke "die Boesmantaal". In February 1997, Professor Anthony Traill interviewed Mrs Vaalbooi and confirmed she was able to speak the extinct language of the Kalahari which had been recorded in 1936 at Twee Rivieren. Later, the South African San Institute worked with Mrs Vaalbooi to find another 25 people who could speak N|u or understand the language. Today there are 8 living fluent N|u speakers in the province.

In 1998, Elsie provided the Northern Cape with its new motto: Sa ||'a !ainsi uinsi (We are going to a better life). In March 1999, Elsie watched at Deputy President Thabo Mbeki signed over 40 000 hectares of land to the =Khomani community. The news was broadcast across the world. Mrs Vaalbooi conducted a number of radio and film interviews including with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and National Geographic.

N|u, Elsie's language, is the last language of the !Ui language family, that was once spoken across South Africa by hunter-gatherer peoples. The most famous example of a !Ui language was |Xam, the language of the Karoo San people. The |Xam language went extinct in the early 20th century. The National motto is now in |Xam: !Ke e: |xarra ||ke (Diverse peoples united)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Swines in Senate Defeat Bankruptcy Legislation

During the Bush Administration, the Senate and House were successful in limiting homeowners' bankruptcy filings, a move that helped bankers earn more money at the expense of the citizens- no surprise there.

Yesterday, a Senate bill that would ameliorate that tough bankruptcy ruling was defeated in a not-even close vote, 51-54. Lots of Democrats voted with the bankers in defeating this bill. Here is the list of these scoundrels:

Baucus (D-MT)
Bennet (D-CO)
Byrd (D-WV)
Carper (D-DE)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Johnson (D-SD)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Nelson (D-NE)
Specter (D-PA)
Tester (D-MT)
Pryor (D-AR)

Banks before people- quite the Republican agenda. I'll bet that the banking institutions and other mortgage dealers have donated lots of money to these Democratic senators over the years and, clearly, checks to their re-election campaign are being written today.

This sucks!

Voices From The Past

Over the past month my former high school has
sent me two letters asking for monetary donations.
It has been 50 years since my attendance at this
private school. One letter states that the
yearly tuition is now $8200. There is a shocking
"sticker price" for one year of high school.
Moreover, over 90% of the teachers are lay teachers
and not members of the founding religious order.
In addition, one letter emphasized the fine traditions
in athletics. Academics was mentioned only in passing.

$8200...Pardon me for choking! Who, in their right
mind, will spend that much money for a 15-18 age boy
to go to school? While my parents were middle-class,
what middle-class parent has that huge amount of money
for a high school education? Obviously, the school
now exists for the elites. Education is valued in my
family, but if $8200 plus is required to send a middle
class boy to high school that system no longer is
supported. How rude of them to send letters after 50
years requesting money for the elites of Toledo.

god is not great

I'm reading Christopher Hitchen's latest work, god is not great, and find it fascinatingly informative.  Just today, coincidentally, the local newspaper ran a story,  Catholic Bishop Bans Gay Ministry Talks.  One of the missions of the Sisters of St. Francis, Tiffin, is a mission to gays and lesbians, but the long arm of the church closed their door.

Hitchens begins his book with the thousands of documented stories of 'religious' people and the hierarchy messing up [torture and murder] the lives of ordinary people throughout the centuries.  He spares no religious movement, but is especially harsh on Islam and Christianity for their countless misdeeds and their continuing fouling of the waters of life. His subtitle states his theme:  How religion poisons everything.

His book is apropos for  American readership in that recent nationwide polling suggests that Americans are trending much farther away from religion, the church,  faith and beliefs.  The old 'fire and brimstone' embers nonsense has gone out for many Americans who find god/God less relevant in their lives.

One has to wonder if some of this falling-away can be attributed to the goofy evangelical ministers like Falwell, Robertson, Haggart and Bakker.  Their hypocrisy, especially on the homosexual agenda, no doubt helped many Americans to realize just what charlatans these 'men of god' were. One recalls on the day of the 9-11 attacks, Robertson and Falwell blaming homosexuality and God's wrath for the attacks.

The old sing-song children's ditty, 'my god's better than your god' comes to mind. The Islamic terrorists on that day were, according to the holy imams, going to 'Paradise for their murders. Hitchens relates that a few days later, in a memorial to the victims of the Twin Towers, evangelist Billy Graham told those gathered that the 3000 victims were also in 'Paradise.' Odd place, Paradise.

Today's Republican Party finds itself in quite a bind as it flounders about trying to figure out exactly what they are all about. When they welcomed in the evangelicals to their tent, and flaunted their party as 'god's party,' their demise was already being written. Prayer in schools, public display of the 10 commandments, teaching of creationism in schools, blurring the line between church and state all have contributed to the swamp that the GOP finds itself adrift in. They ought to read James Madison to help them move to fresher waters.

Religious fanatics are always so righteous, as if they alone have the kernel of 'truth.' It's the snake oil product. Trouble is, that kernel has sprouted and fizzled thousands of times over the millennia, most often accompanied by great human suffering.

Yes, but.

Sorry, no more yes butts.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nattering Naybobs Alert

Just for the naueous nattering by the nabobs of no-idea visitors  to this blog,  I have created a brand new place for all of you to natter your no-idea nonsense to each other.  Visit this new blog, 
>Oddball Alley and post your rants, raves, whining, beefs, bellyaches, and back-biting natterings to your small heart's  content.

Positive, intelligent, on-topic coments will be posted by those who wish to move the topic forward.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The GOP's Club For Growth

Lots of pundits have been bashing the far-right PAC affiliated with the Republican Porty, the Club for Growth, accusing it of seeking out the most radical right-wing ideologues for positions in the party.  Those members have curdled the party, causing it to be loaded with  nasty Limbaugh-loving louts.

When Specter announced his defection from the GOP, the Club for Growth issued this acrid statement:

"Senator Specter has confirmed what we already knew - he's a liberal devoted to more spending, more bailouts, and less economic freedom. Thanks to him, Democrats will now be able to steamroll their big government agenda through the Senate.
"This also shows how unprincipled he is. Just a few weeks ago, he stated quite clearly that he was remaining a Republican because he thought he had 'a more important role to play there.' And he said 'the United States very desperately needs a two-party system.'

"This cynical play for political survival calls into question whether Pennsylvania taxpayers can believe anything Arlen Specter says. If his only principle is personal ambition, can he really be trusted with the serious issues that face our country?"

"The Club for Growth PAC enthusiastically endorsed Pat Toomey for Senate in Pennsylvania when Specter was pretending to be a Republican. Club members will be even more committed to Toomey's candidacy now that Specter has revealed his true identity."

Charming people. Their words drip icicles, their hearts stone. Welcome to today's Republican Party.

How Do Maine's Snowe and Collins Stomach Their GOP Senate Colleagues?

How do the two Republican senators from Maine, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins put up with their GOP Senate Colleagues? Note that neither of these women were on the 31 'nay' list of GOP senators voting against HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. They also did not vote against the Stimulus Package, again standing nearly alone in their party.

Thirty-one of their GOP colleagues, 29 of them men, voted 'Nay' on 'religious' grounds, not unlike the Muslim fundamentalists, to block the governor of Kansas from her position on HHS. One wonders if these 29 men also suffer from misogyny and believe that a woman's place in in the kitchen. Clearly Louisiana's David Vitter has issues with women, just ask his embarrassed wife about call-girls.

During the past 24 hours, there has been much political banter swirling round Arlen Specter's bolt from the GOP. Many pundits look at today's GOP and shake their heads in disbelief that it has become a party of malcontents who are driven by ideology and power.

Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe represent a moderate political position on the spectrum and seem to be philosophically in a category of their own, far to the left of this group of Republican senators. Luckily they have each other to hug and cry with.

Surely they are intelligent women and understand that their continuing affiliation with the party will have zero impact in attempting to ameliorate the party, moving the GOP to a more center-right ideology. They are what the artless Donald Rumsfled termed, 'dead-enders.' Do they go down with the ship or do they stay, hoping to open the door to let light and fresh air into the dungeon?

It's their call, but the handwriting is on the cave walls.

Another Angry Man With a Gun; Another Hostage Standoff

Has anybody been keeping track of the number of angry men in our society who grab a gun and cause mayhem? Toledo was the latest scene yesterday. Michael Swiergosz, 46, took his wife hostage in the nursing facility where she worked and kept the police at bay for 6 hours, threatening to shoot her and himself.

Thankfully, members of the Toledo Police SWAT hostage crisis unit were able to talk him into putting his gun down and releasing his terrified wife.

Ironically, Mrs. Swiergosz was under a court protection order, granted after her husband allegedly threatened her and barricaded himself for hours in his Springfield Township home last month. Last month, Lucas County sheriff’s deputies went to Mr. Swiergosz’s home, 111 Hidden Meadow Drive, on a domestic-violence call. They said he fired two shots and then barricaded himself with a gun for three hours on March 10.

Of course, a deranged man with a gun knows no boundaries. How did he get that 2nd gun? Did he walk into a gun shop and buy it, legally, even though he has a DV record? One wonders how many other guns he may have, stashed away, when he 'needs it' the next time?

American Taliban Senators Vote Against HHS Secretary

Thirty-one 'Nay' votes in the Senate yesterday against HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the former two-term governor of Kansas.  She is the daughter of former Ohio governor John J. Gilligan. Sebelius has a MA degree in, of all things, Public Administration. Prior to that she served 8 years in the Kansas legislature and prior to that, 8 years as state insurance commissioner.

One may recall that Obama's predecessor filled his cabinet mostly with political hacks such as Michael [heckova job] Brown. Yet GOP senators held up this last cabinet position until just yesterday on their fundamentalist principles. Abortion rights, you know.

Thirty-one U.S. Senators thought her pro-choice beliefs disqualified her for the HHS secretariat based on their fundamentalist religious beliefs. The Taliban in Afghanistan.

Read the list of the 31 American Taliban serving in the United States Senate:

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Risch (R-ID)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The GOP and the Confederacy

UPDATE:  Tuesday 8 PM

Read Rick Hertzberg's OP Ed in The New Yorker for a suggestion that perhaps it is time to dissolve the union into them and us.

With the news of Arlen Specter switching to the Democratic Party because it has 'moved too far to the right,' it is interesting to note that the GOP has its stronghold in the  old Confederacy.  Not only there, but in the states 'claimed' by the confederacy- Kentucky, Oklahoma and Missouri.  The color red below indicates that the state has 2 GOP senators. Purple indicates one of two.

South Carolina,  Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri

In that there are only 40 GOP senators, the states above have 22 of them, suggesting that the Old Confederacy is the base of the Republican Party these days.  God, guns and gays and whites pretty much sums up today's GOP.

America is changing, moving away from those old canards that used to dupe the public.  Today that nonsense is only effective on the less-educated sector of the population, the rest of America has moved on.  Today's Republican Party fits well with the spirit and values of the  southern plantation owner of yesteryear.  Those plantations are gone and the mansions stand empty, but the 'dream' lingers on.

Pennsylvania Sen. Specter now a Democrat

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Veteran Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party on Tuesday, saying he has found himself increasingly "at odds with the Republican philosophy."

Sen. Arlen Specter was expected to face a tough re-election battle in 2010.

Sen. Arlen Specter was expected to face a tough re-election battle in 2010.

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"This is a painful decision. I know I'm disappointing many of my colleagues," he said at a news conference announcing the move. "The disappointment runs in both directions.

"I'm putting principle at the top of the list," he added.


Or re-election.  Specter might have faced a popular  right-wing Republican in a primary for the 2010 election, but now he will not be forced to do that.

As usual, he took heat from the dopey GOP: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele ripped Specter, calling him a Republican in name only who was out of step with the rest of the party because of his "left-wing voting record."

One wonders why Maine's two GOP senators, Collins and Snowe don't jump the sinking GOP ship as well.  They have similar voting records as Specter and, as such, would be 'Republican in name only'  just like Specter.  Were that to happen, the GOP could kiss good bye any bills or obstructionist-ideas it had for this Congress.

One might ask:  Where is Ohio's Voinovich in all of this?  He must be feeling very lonely these days sitting in the swamp with his GOP buddies.

The 'T' Word Americans Don't Want to Use

Torture.  That's the word, TORTURE.  It seems that many Americans want to forget about that ugly period in America's recent history. We TORTURED several prisoners in our obsession-driven fear in the post 9-11 era. Waterboarding. Waterbording as in that Geneva Convention ruling. The Japanese waterboarded American prisoners. Agents of the Spanish Inquisition waterboarded suspected agnostics. Waterboarding was used in New York's Sing Sing prison in the 1800's. Waterboarding was used by American soldiers after the Spanish-American War in the late 1800's. During WWII officers of the Gestapo, the German secret police, used waterboarding as a method of torture. It was used by American soldiers on the VietCong in the Vietnam War. The Khmer Rouge at the Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, used waterboarding.

And now, we citizens of the United States, have to deal with the fact that just a few years ago, our government ordered the waterboarding of prisoners in American detention centers.

We Americans are in the category of the Nazi Gestapo, the Khner Rouge, and the Spanish Inquisitors. What terribly sordid company to keep.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney permitted that awful and ancient torture method to be used in American prisons. That black page will forever be written in U.S. and World History books.

"Early in the 21st century, during the administration of President George W. Bush, agents of the government of the United States, on the direction of members of the White House, used waterboarding as a method of torture in its prisons."

Forever written in history books.

Atheists Unite in the Deep South

Thanks to a posting by Yellow Dog [Blue in the Bluegrass]  for the heads-up on the NYT article, More Atheists Shout It From the Rooftops,  which says, 

More than ever, America’s atheists are linking up and speaking out — even here in South Carolina, home to Bob Jones University, blue laws and a legislature that last year unanimously approved a Christian license plate embossed with a cross, a stained glass window and the words “I Believe” (a move blocked by a judge and now headed for trial).They are connecting on the Internet, holding meet-ups in bars, advertising on billboards and buses, volunteering at food pantries and picking up roadside trash, earning atheist groups recognition on adopt-a-highway signs.

Even in South Carolina. Yes, even in that holy-ground of the Confederacy, South Carolina, there are closet-atheists who, until now, were afraid of being shot by their christian neighbor had they stumbled-upon their non-belief. Do they still do inquisitions in South Carolina? Solid red, you know, indicating that the folks there know Jesus. Well, maybe not Jesus, but surely Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Do they still hang niggers on Saturday night and sing in the choir on Sunday morning?

Odd place, South Carolina. Of all places that ought to consider secession [tea party nonsense] South Carolina ought to be first, carrying on its secessionist tradition. Texas will have to wait for position #2.

No doubt the oh-so righteous christians there were in a flutter when they saw those atheist billboards; I wonder if some reached for their chainsaws to cut them down. After all, God reigns supreme there.

Funny stuff- always a hoot watching the fundy-follies.

The NYT article continues:

Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Identification Survey, a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years.

Nationally, the “nones” in the population nearly doubled, to 15 percent in 2008 from 8 percent in 1990. In South Carolina, they more than tripled, to 10 percent from 3 percent.


Ten percent in South Carolina! Whoa. One out of 10 people walking the streets are 'no one' people. Perhaps they ought to wear some sign, some insignia on their clothing to identify them as non-believers. How about a large red "A"? Then, the good believers could avoid walking and talking with 'them.' After all, their 'disease' may be contagious!

FoxNews Says NO Just Like GOP

The FoxNews network has joined the party of "No!" and is refusing to televise President Obama's speech to the nation on Wednesday evening.  The GOP Network apparently needs the money it will make by airing commercials during that otherwise 'free' air time.  Economic downturn, I suppose, but perhaps an indication of the state of the GOP at this time.

As FoxNews is essentially the mouthpiece of the GOP, and the ranks of the GOP are falling sharply, Fox has seen its share of the audience drop in the past several months.  Further, it is clear that no one who watches FoxNews regularly cares to listen to the 'socialist' president anyway.  They'd rather just hunker down to a good mindless show on the network.  Did I say, 'mindless?'  OK, I'll stop here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

George Bush's First 100 Days

Who remembers?  Who cares?

Walnuts for the Aging Brain

I never cared for walnuts as a child, but I ought to toss down a handful from time to time here in my 'advanced' age.  Actually, I've grown to like them and seem to crave them lately.  Must be my aging brain sending signals to my stomach.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2009) — Adding a moderate, but not high, amount of walnuts to an otherwise healthy diet may help older individuals improve performance on tasks that require motor and behavioral skills, according to an animal model study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists. Walnuts contain polyphenols and other antioxidants and essential fatty acids.

The study found that in aged rats, the diets containing 2 percent or 6 percent walnuts were able to improve age-related motor and cognitive shortfalls, while the 9 percent walnut diet impaired reference memory. Walnuts, eaten in moderation, appear to be among other foods containing polyphenols and bioactive substances that exhibit multiple effects on neural tissue, according to the researchers.

The Party of No-longer?

Why should the Republican Party continue to exist?  It is already labeled "the  party of 'No!' " because it says 'No!' to the all of the ideas of Obama while having no ideas of its own for moving this nation forward. The Democratic National Committee announced a new website this weekend detailing what a DNC spokesman calls "the just-say-no approach of the Republican Party over the last 100 days" and comparing it to "the president's efforts to jump-start the economy, create jobs, and make important reforms to and investments in energy, healthcare, and education."

I'd like to go a step further. It is clear to me that the junta that has kidnapped the once-Grand Old Party has no intention of governing. It was clear that George Bush had no intention of governing and he proved that point with each passing day of his administration, from 9-11 through Katrina to the banking collapse. He appointed partisan gooks to fill important department heads and let them twiddle their thumbs rather than directing affairs. Even the 'war' effort was a farce until he and Cheney woke up and realized that this department needed real management. Bush's use of 'private contractors' rather than regular army personnel ought to have raised red flags among the citizenry, but then, the propaganda was so intense that the citizens were blinded by Patriotism during much of the affair.

Today's Republican Party leaders are a group of anarchists plain and simple. Their form of anarchism is anarcho-capitalism where free-markets rule and not much else. Thus I have to question the continuing existence of the GOP as a political party. After all, in an anarcho-capitalistic state, political parties do not exist. What does the current disarray of the GOP suggest? It is looking for a model to present to the public. I fear the shape of that new model; I think that many would support anarcho-capitalism even if they didn't understand the full implications of such a structure. But then, that has never stopped the duping of citizens.

Anarcho-capitalism requires no political parties and, in fact, no real government structure whatsoever. The anarcho-capitalists would like to dismantle government and allow complete laissez-faire in the economy. Its adherents propose that all public services be turned over to private entrepreneurs, even public spaces like town halls, streets and parks. Free market capitalism, they insist, is hindered not enhanced by the State.

That's pretty much their 'beliefs' in a NUT shell. Those goofy tea parties last week were the proverbial tip of the iceberg, yet it remains unclear if most of those 'protesting' even know what the core organizers of the event had in mind. Most, no doubt, thought they were protesting too much tax when, in reality, they were pawns in the game of anarcho-capitalism. The knights, rooks, bishops, queen and king had the inside information.

These anarcho-capitalists share Adam Smith's confidence that somehow private interest will translate itself into public good rather than public squalor. They are convinced that the 'natural laws' of economics can do without the support of positive man-made laws. The 'invisible hand' of the market will be enough to bring social order.

Well, round one of the Great Anarcho-Capitalist Experiment nearly brought on the collapse of our nation, banks leading the downward slide. Ronald Reagan wanted to be remembered for cutting taxation and for getting 'the government off peoples' backs' but I doubt if he ever thought of moving so far to the right as to dissolve government altogether. I also wonder if those who claim to be libertarians understand that there is a movement so radical as to work for the total elimination of 'public welfare?' I doubt it.

Paul Birch, British author, engineer and scientist wrote an article in 1997 which he called, A FATAL INSTABILITY IN ANARCHO-CAPITALISM? . Birch says:

"In an anarcho-capitalist society there is no state, and all the courts are private courts. There is no final court of appeal that all are obliged to recognise, and no uniform code of justice can be enforced. Laws are determined on the market. Everyone may choose which of the competing courts he will look to for protection; and he may alter his choice at will.

In a just anarcho-capitalist society the courts enforce the common law; but there is no guarantee that an anarcho-capitalist society will be just. It will be just only if the "hidden hand" of the market makes it so. Since a just society is economically efficient, there is reason to hope that the hidden hand will lead to justice, even (or especially) in the absence of the state. This is the hope of anarcho-capitalism.

Even if a just anarcho-capitalist society should exist, there is no guarantee that it would be stable. There are many conceivable sources of instability (and many possible ways in which the threat of such instabilities might be averted) but in this essay I am concerned with only one. That one may prove fatal."

And in an article in 1998, referencing this earlier piece, Birch says:

"..a common-law regime underlies the free market. It defends voluntary trade: it punishes coercion. It is economically efficient. Without its justice the villain will plunder the weak, the scoundrel will prey on the simple, and the wastrel will live off the industrious."

Villains, scoundrels and wastrels, he said. As in the mortgage-banking meltdown that nearly collapsed our economic structure 6 months ago.

Were the voices of the tea party folks not raised at that time, shouting, "Villains, scoundrels, wastrels!" Surely they were. However, were this nation an anarcho-capitalistic society, they could go to hell as far as any retribution would be concerned. Dog-eat-dog. Drink your tea and shut-up!

By the way, that new essay of Birch was entitled, ANARCHO-CAPITALISM DISSOLVES INTO CITY STATES. Is this why there is a movement in Texas by the tea-drinkers to secede? After all, Texas has been known for its frontier attitude from its inception.

I'd like to propose that we experiment with the anarcho-capitalistic system and incorporate Birch's city-state ideal. Give it a go, shall we, in some portion of that Lone Star State, say the scarlet red, rugged panhandle. The first 'job' would be to build a wall clear around it to keep 'them' out. Entrepreneurs would flock to the place, just hoping to make a fast buck [or whatever the currency]. Endless opportunities, a veritable 21-st century gold-rush.

If it works out well, solid-red Oklahoma would be next and on to Kansas. I wonder if they will shoot every 'villain, scoundrel and wastrel' dead on the spot because, of course, there will be no gun laws whatsoever. Every man for himself. But, will they drink tea or Kool-Aid?

Wedding Bells in Iowa

Thousands of Iowa couples will now be eligible to marry thanks to a new state law permitting same-sex marriage.  Today is the first day same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license in Iowa following the Iowa Supreme Court's unanimous ruling April 3 that barring same-sex marriage violated the state constitution, gay and lesbian couples can . It made Iowa the third state, after Massachusetts and Vermont, to allow gay marriage.

No doubt the righteous fundamentalists have their panties all tied in knots about this legal decision. After all, the Bible says... As if we live in Afghanistan or Iran.

As the number of states continue to grow, I'm wondering which will be the last state to permit same-sex marriage? Where do fundamentalists hold the most power? Where is the strongest outpost of Taliban control in Afghanistan?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain

"If you take a copy of the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind and the rain."

Interesting statement from an unknown Native American. Most Native American cultures worship both the male and female God/Goddess. The Christians apparently killed the Goddess.

“In the beginning there was no land, no light, only darkness and the vast waters of Outer Ocean where Earth-Maker and Great-Grandfather were afloat in their canoe... Earth-Maker took soft clay and formed the figure of a man and of a woman, then many men and women, which he dried in the sun and into which he breathed life: they were the First People."

At least Eve had an equal inception as Adam. Odd isn't it that nearly all of the ancient 'religions' had goddesses but the major religions today have killed her off.

Many who hold the female God in high esteem tend to use the term 'Mother God' because many believe that Mother God came first in many of the ancient myths and beliefs. The Celts preferred the term, Deae Matres, divine mother goddess. Frau Holle is known from a famous Grimm's fairy tale. In English translation it is usually called Mother Hulda. In Germanic Pre-Christian folklore, Hulda, Holda, Holle and Holla were all names to denote a single Goddess. One who rules the weather: sun, snow and rain.

The Romans, Greeks and Egyptians all worshiped goddesses by not todays Christians, Muslims and Jews. What did a Goddess bring to a religion and, conversely, what is lacking in those three religions because the Goddess is dead?

Do the people today beg for the return of the feminine? and if she did return, how would than enrich the beliefs?

Old Joe Lieberman Still a Closet Republican

Surely the citizens of Connecticut will have enough sense to toss Joe Lieberman out on his ear in the next election. If not, we ought to pull the plug on that state and let it sink into the Atlantic.

Joe was on CNN's State of the Union with John king today along with his McCain-supporting pal, Lindsay Graham. Diane Feinstein held up the Democratic side of the panel. Joking Joe still feels that McCain would have made a better president than Obama; gosh, that's why he appeared at the GOP Convention. He also doesn't want any further investigation of the Bush torture memos- just like the GOP. He and Graham-still close buds- both shook their heads 'No' on any investigation of the Bush years.

Why is that, Joe? Afraid that the GOP might suffer even more embarrassment than they now must endure? Sticking up for 'your' party?

What a turncoat milquetoast he has proven to be. I'll bet he even thinks Sarah Palin would have made a great VP, too!

Goofy Letter to Editor by Right-winger

I suppose the adjective, 'goofy' is redundant when referencing the right-wing.  Many comments were made about those silly 'tea parties' that FoxNews promoted, mostly asking where were these 'protesters'  during the bush-Cheney Administration.  One of 'them' answered this morning in a letter to the editor of The Blade.

He said:

We were there in Bush years too

Some things need to be clarified about the tea parties and the dismissive editorials that have followed.

Some questioned where we were the last eight years, and the answer was that we were writing our representatives, calling on them to stop spending our future. The people who showed up on April 15 were the same ones who took an active role in stopping President Bush and Congress from passing an ill-conceived and insufficient "immigration reform" bill two years ago, in part because of the enormous burden it would mean for American taxpayers. We are the same ones who spoke out against President Bush's massive prescription drug entitlement program, again because of the enormous burden to the American taxpayer.

This notion that we are all suddenly active and vocal because there is a Democrat in the White House is at best ignorant wishful thinking and at worst an underhanded attempt to dismiss the significance of the event by gross and willful distortion of facts.

The sad truth is that the actual substance of our complaints and our solutions are being avoided in favor of using crude jokes, tired "right-wing conspiracy" theories, and manufactured accusations of hypocrisy and racism.

It is indeed unfortunate that some individuals chose to take advantage of this event as an opportunity to bash President Obama in an unnecessary manner, but strangely the same type of bashing of President Bush was never used to this extent to dismiss the message of liberal protesters during his administration.

There most certainly was a unifying message in the tea party movement, and it was that our tax dollars are being used in a reckless, irresponsible, and unsustainable manner, and anyone who missed that message was clearly not interested in listening.

Phil Schwan

Lyons, Ohio

So Mr. Schwan was 'active' during the preemptive war on Iraq, the propaganda leading to the invasion of Iraq, the torture years, Abu Ghraib, the warrantless wire tapping, and other erosion of our laws and image in the world.

Mr. Schwan was writing letters to Congress about immigration and the prescription drug benefit.  Wow!  What important issues.  It's a good thing that we have responsible and vocal citizens like Phil Schwan to keep the miscreant leaders of our nation in check.

The Angry Men Keep on Shooting

Here are just 3 of the top ten articles listed on this morning:

Shooter enters men's dorm in Virginia

Professor sought in death of wife, 2 others

Deputies, suspect dead after shootouts

The details vary slightly but the meat of each story is that some angry man, who never learned how to cope with life's ups and downs, grabbed a gun to equalize the situation. It's one of those fill-in-the-blanks story of which I wrote earlier.

In the 'professor' story, "It appeared he and his wife were having problems," police Capt. Clarence Holeman said.

The shootout story says, "Joshua Cartwright, 28, had been involved in a domestic violence incident earlier in the day in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It wasn't his first run-in with the law."

Details on the dorm shooting are sketchy: Spokeswoman Yuri Rodgers Milligan says police believe the shooter is a former student who was one of the three injured early Sunday.

Three men gone nuts who, rather than using normal problem-solving techniques, reached for their gun to 'solve' their dilemma.

Why did they have a gun in the first place?

Now, there's a great question.

I've never owned a gun, as I have said many times on this blog. Some of the comments from the pro-gun people who visit my blog probably think I'm nuts for NOT owning one. They think I'm "lucky' to have lasted all of these years living in an urban environment without gun-protection. Imagine my "luck" having survived the streets of Detroit and Toledo unarmed. My guardian angel must pack heat.

Here's what I wonder: if I had packed a gun all my life, would I have been more or less 'safe' all those years?

Of course, the answer is obvious.

The fact that I did not have a gun all of those years to 'equalize' the situation most probably forced me to 'behave' differently than if I did. It is obvious that the three shooters above didn't know how to 'behave' properly as a man and/or they were mentally ill.

Because I have had to 'solve' my own problems without resorting to deadly force [there is no 'alternative' solution for me] I have devised my own 'survival' techniques. I am forced to think like a fully-functioning adult male.

The fully-functioning adult male must rely on thinking, intuition, and accrued wisdom to solve HIS problems; reaching for a gun places him in the adolescent phase of male development.

I've often used the phrase, 'stuck in adolescence' to describe males who, despite their age, act much like the adolescent- as if they never moved beyond that into fully-functioning manhood. In fact, many never do.

Those of us who have managed, thankfully, to set that ugly phase of our growing-up years way behind us, can easily spot those 'men' who never managed to escape that lunacy.

Helping our sons move through those terrible times is not easy, but necessary, 'tough love' and all. Joseph Campbell, author, lecturer and comparative mythologist,often points out in his musings the power of the myth throughout history. These myths encompass the essence of manhood and are passed down the generations to the young boys so that they learn what 'manhood' is all about.

The tale of Iron John, collected in the Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is a well-told myth that millions of Europeans have told their sons [and daughters]. The challenge of the tale is that the prince builds up the courage to sneak into his mother’s room and steal 'the key.' The key unlocks the cage of the wild man, Iron John. Marvelously helpful stories which guide the young adolescent male into manhood.

Too bad that fathers these days have no interest in helping their sons to carefully unlock the cage. The gun is easier.

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