Living in Hope That Deafness Is Reversible

25 09 2010

Friendly, fearless cock of the snook for this to veteran homeschool mom, military wife and NHEN board member Sue Patterson, who linked it on her FaceBook page from an indeterminable creator who doesn’t seem to be marketing it:

See also “Amplifying our differences as schlocky political theatre.” Maybe I was brilliantly prescient nearly five years ago? — or just out of step as usual. 😉

“The musical has creatively adapted to amplification. But in doing so the art form has diminished, or at least become something different.”

Education too, is more conducive to smaller theaters where words really matter. Public policy debate too, is distorted when pitched beyond human reason and scale, playing to huge faceless audiences fighting just to get inside, never mind down front.

Our civic art forms and collective wisdom have been distorted and diminished, and those of us old enough to remember a time when civil discourse fell not on deaf ears, seldom go out to the theatre any more.

I could have designed this poster myself. Remember my six-word reason to vote for hope and change last time around:

of Being

“Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer”

24 09 2010

UPDATE: See Edge dot org for its consensus document on “The New Science of Morality” complete with dissenters, all smart stuff. More on this later, I feel sure!

New today but not really news, is it?

“The Super Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer, and the Democrats Punt”:

“For example, Charles and David Koch, the energy magnates who are pouring vast sums of money into Republican coffers and sponsoring tea partiers all over America, each gained $5.5 billion of wealth over the past year. Each is now worth $21.5 billion.

Wall Street continued to dominate the list; 109 of the richest 400 are in finance or investments.

From another survey we learn that the 25 top hedge-fund managers got an average of $1 billion each, but paid an average of 17 percent in taxes (because so much of their income is considered capital gains, taxed at 15 percent thanks to the Bush tax cuts).

The rest of America got poorer, of course. . .”

Remember homeschooling math whiz dad Rolfe Schmidt?

Just imagine the good jobs that would be created, the innovation we would see, the wealth that would be created if we actually funneled all these banker giveaways into science, the arts, and education.

But no, it is more important to preserve the status quo, preserve income inequality, and do what we can to make debt slaves out of our populace.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in the Name Lucifer — Nothing Good

23 09 2010

I learned something interesting today. I don’t worship Lucifer! Whew.

Nance doesn’t either btw, however much she may enjoy pretending or however often she’s accused of same. (Wanna know how I know? Glad you asked!)

Jerome Corsi wants the President of the United States to renounce Lucifer. So I went a-reading in Google Scholar.

This Baptist reverend doctor’s pdf on Lucifer for the UK Bible Society persuades me that Nance and I and the President too, renounce Lucifer every time we manage to do good for someone else rather than merely doing well for ourselves.

The good reverend doctor describes “Lucifer” as nothing more supernaturally evil than the absence of good:

Humans are now imprisoned within a power of darkness of their own making, but beyond their control. It takes actual form in a variety of unpredictable ways: in distortions of people’s mental and spiritual health, in the fracturing of their inner selves, in their imprisonment within addictions and compulsions, in the breakdown of wholesome relations, in institutional systems of power and domination, in the inequities between nations, in dehumanising ideologies and false religion.

The symptoms don’t fit the President. Corsi and his distorted, fractured, dehumanizing and falsely religious ilk OTOH, really might need to be asked whether they’re willing to renounce “the absence of good” in their own lives . . .

I once beat around Lucifer’s bush burning on John McCain’s porch: Read the rest of this entry »

What a Difference a Year Makes in the GOP

14 09 2010

Remember conservative Christian homeschoolers this time last year, declaring war over President Obama daring to give a nationwide back-to-school speech?

(And mocking him for using a teleprompter to do it?)

Maybe it will be just as bad this year in your states, but for Nance and JJ here in Florida, shame should tamp it down — and if it doesn’t, that will prove there’s no shame left:

Greer apologizes to Obama, calls many GOPers ‘racist’

One year ago, when President Barack Obama gave his first back-to-school speech to the nation’s schoolchildren, then-chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, accused him of using “taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate America’s children to his socialist agenda.”

Now, Greer is facing fraud and money laundering charges and has been thrown under the bus by the state GOP, which has accused him of living the high life on party money. And so he’s had a change of heart.

“In the year since I issued a prepared statement regarding President Obama speaking to the nation’s schoolchildren, I have learned a great deal about the party I so deeply loved and served,” Greer said in a written statement.

“Unfortunately, I found that many within the GOP have racist views and I apologize to the President for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our party today.

My children and I look forward to the presiden’t speech.”

Which Vulnerability Do You Feel Most Keenly?

9 09 2010

“This is a battle over which vulnerability you feel more keenly,” he said.

Yikes, these words could apply to SO many aspects of current American life! Talk about Power of Story. Everything all at the same time even. Maybe challenge yourself and guess which, before you click through to see.

Have you stopped to really sort out which vulnerability YOU feel most keenly these days, and how that feeling is affecting your thinking? (I do this a lot because it keeps changing, hmmm. . .)

Believer or Not, You Won’t Believe This

5 09 2010

UPDATE Friday 3:42 pm: This is How the Media Embarrass Themselves

UPDATE Thursday early am: President Obama himself “as commander in chief” says the pastor needs to understand that this “stunt” could “greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform” and “it’s a recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda.”

UPDATE Wednesday 8 pm:

Deputy Chief Tim Hayes of the Gainesville Fire Dept., however, said that his department’s denial was not related to the content of the books but on a city ordinance which prohibits the burning of “newspaper, corrugated cardboard, container board or office paper, which are akin to books.”

No doubt, attendees from the Sarah Palin/Dr. Laura School of Law would regard it as an infringement of the Dove Outreach Center’s First Amendment rights, should a group of concerned citizens peacefully surround these book burners, whom Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe describes as a “tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community,” holding up signs which quote [Heinrich] Heine’s “Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people.”

UPDATE Wednesday 2:07 pm: He’s going forward. City of Gainesville says all yard book-burning is banned because the ink is toxic when burning and releases into the atmosphere. How poetic!

UPDATE Wednesday at 1:58 pm: TV news conference coming up, in which Pastor Jones reportedly “might” announce God has told him to back off the holy book-burning, waiting to see now, which is no doubt what he wants . . .

UPDATE Wednesday: Mrs C. has some thoughts on hate speech cloaked with religion Christian or Muslim, American or not: Burning the Koran


My hometown in Gainesville FL — one religious tax-dodging nut-job
there, to be more accurate — has ignited a state department-level
international incident! Seriously, thousands rioting in the streets
against America, or at least against what’s wrong with our right and its
abuse of our rights.

See full news below. Read it and weep.

But first a little background: last year at back-to-school time, Snook was blogging about school dress codes and uniforms, etc. I compared it all to my unschooled children’s freedom to dress as they pleased, thinking about and discussing the god-and-government control memes behind such clothing issues.

One of the stories I riffed about was from my hometown, in the school
system where I worked as an administrator and literally wrote the policy manual for everything, including dress as speech and conduct. Remember those t-shirts that screamed, “ISLAM IS OF THE DEVIL” in the first discussion? Read the rest of this entry »

Christopher Hitchens and the Big C (Cancer, not Christianity)

10 08 2010

That’s applause you hear . . .

A Message to Those Praying for Christopher Hitchens
by Jeffrey Goldberg
Aug 9 2010, 10:05 AM ET

On behalf of Christopher Hitchens, who thinks all of this skydaddy talk is ridiculous, thanks to all of you who wrote in to Goldblog to report that they would be praying for him as he undergoes treatment for esophageal cancer (you can hear him talk about his current predicament here).
[see also video of him discussing sickness and theology]

I would like to reiterate, of course, that Hitchens is still solidly atheist (strike that “still,” actually, because it implies his mind will change, which I don’t think will happen, at least, as he says, in reference to the mind we know today as Hitchens’s mind—what medicine does to his mind is a different story), but nevertheless I can report that he does not mock those who say they are praying on his behalf. What you could really, do, of course, if you’re interested in making Hitch happy, is buy this book.

As for the few of you who wrote to Goldblog to say they were praying for Hitch’s death, I can say that he does not care one way or another what you do or think or pray, but on behalf of myself and the entire team here at The Atlantic, let me just say, Read the rest of this entry »

No Rich White Guy Privilege Here!

9 08 2010

The undeservedly wealthy, white Glenn Beck calls President Obama’s America in which workers have dignity and good jobs, “the damn Planet of the Apes” but Tokyo Rush is even richer and whiter and more mindlessly privileged, with even more tough guy bully spewing forth: the beautiful, brilliant and astonishingly popular First Lady and her beautiful little black daughter in bright summer cotton, could never deserve a few days traveling with old friends and luncheon in a Spanish palace on their own merits, nope, nope,it must be white liberal guilt for SLAVERY
and why don’t they slink back to it before they and all the other black apes who support health care and a non-white president, ruin America?

Well, so much for the rich white gal’s Mama Grizzly “leave the families alone!” refrain (will she tweet her fierce defense of little Sasha and threaten to shoot Rush in the face from a helicopter or waterboard him or at least demand an apology as she did from David Letterman, any minute now? Ri-iight.)

The increasingly pissy and disturbingly disproportionate Maureen Dowd was bad enough, implying that even in the third millennium with a law degree and impressive accomplishments of her own, the President’s wife should stay home and do nothing but make him toast (?!) , not have her own life even as a strong mom.

This was btw a mother-daughter trip, the likes of which any First Lady is entitled by the People (of America) to make as she chooses — unlike all those ritzy daughters-in-tow trips Palin herself was making on the public dime from Alaska to NYC and Rodeo Drive WITHOUT the People (of Alaska’s) approval.

But I was ranting about Rush today, not the lipsticked pit-bully bear. Didn’t the childless (there’s one bit of good news!) Tokyo Rush himself vacation in Hawaii last winter, playing golf and then paying out of pocket for his luxury hotel getting him to a world-class hospital, for his non-heart attack heart-attack?

Limbaugh: “I got no special treatment whatsoever.”

And then didn’t he throw a lavish million-dollar-plus wedding with Elton John as bought-and-paid-for slave for a day, compared to the wedding of another First Daughter whose mother and father could have matched him for flash and trash but brought family values to the party instead? Chelsea’s was a real traditional first wedding too, not fourth or fifth or Read the rest of this entry »

This Would Explain Greg LadenBlather and his LadenHosen

2 08 2010

Science writers play rough. They like hoaxes, humiliations and Oxbridge-style showdowns that let them use words like “claptrap” and “gibberish.” There’s a reason people don’t call themselves deconstructionists and pick fights with science anymore.

. . .“The ship is sinking,” mused PZ Myers, the writer of the [ScienceBlogs] site’s top blog, Pharyngula . .

[W]hile I found interesting stuff here and there, I also discovered that ScienceBlogs has become preoccupied with trivia, name-calling and saber rattling. Maybe that’s why the ScienceBlogs ship started to sink.

Greg Laden Blog Full of Unscientific Crap [even PZ Myers Calls It Out]

School Sock Puppets “Laden” with Logic Disorders

Evidence Mounts for Greg Ladenblather as Flame War Flashpoint

Unboxing Our Lizard Brains

Bipartisan Anger: Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

12 07 2010

(Comparing Britain’s fall from supremacy on the world stage, to America’s now)

“. . .America in 2010 hasn’t reached the self-deprecating Monty Python stage yet, but it’s not much of a stretch to see in Glenn Beck’s tirades, Lou Dobbs’s anti-immigrant screeds, and Sarah Palin’s faux nostalgia for the sunshine days, the nastiness and anger. . .
The offsets that used to restrict rage’s reach have started to break down; the walls sealing the anger off to a specific community or locale, or around a specific issue, have started to crumble. As a result, rage is becoming an ideology unto itself.”

July 11, 2010
Look Ahead in Anger:
Hyperbolic rhetoric threatens to swamp our politics

By Sasha Abramsky

Celebrate 50 Years Full of Learning From “To Kill a Mockingbird”

7 07 2010

“It’s about race, it’s about prejudice, it’s about childhood, it’s about parenting, it’s about love, it’s about loneliness — there’s something for everyone,” Murphy says.

To Kill a Mockingbird didn’t change everyone’s mind, but it did open some. And it made an impression on many young people who, like Scout, were trying to get a grip on right and wrong in a world that is not always fair.

Harper Lee’s powerful power of story has been blogged at Snook through the years:

Happy Birthday Harper Lee

Choose Nine Books for Your Gift Box

Hey Mr. Cunningham a Must_Read at Meming of Life

JJ Makes Another Book Meme Her Own

Number Six : “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, because that was Favorite Daughter’s first love affair with a book as above, AND because Harper Lee supports homeschoolers, and she explicitly wrote Scout as almost accidentally learning to read well at home, which pissed off her officious second-grade teacher, AND also because it’s at least one impeccable cultural choice Read the rest of this entry »

Why Educate Our Kids? For Fourth of July Fireworks

28 06 2010

In the movie Pretty Woman, high-school dropout Julia Roberts pulls out a veritable bouquet of multi-colored condoms from her high boot, to display for her over-educated, condescending customer Richard Gere:

“I’m a safety girl!”

The humor comes from her juxtaposing with no apparent irony, the high risk of her illegal business activity selling pretend fun, with her high protection provisions against its very real danger. (And later she sneaks away from her high-risk deal to floss her beautiful teeth.)

I am in contrast no hooker, less looker, low risk and high safety — a fireworks wimp, also a wimp about breaking any law, come to think of it. A REAL safety girl.
Though I admit my flossing is sometimes spotty . . .

“[I]llegal explosives devices are not fireworks. Illegal or improperly used fireworks can cause severe injuries or even death.”

Favorite Daughter though not yet 21, is all grown up in her thinking and feeling. She got home very late last night from road-tripping with her boyfriend and his best friend, through the Deep South up to a family lakeplace in Indiana. She showed me snapshots and talked for half an hour about the amazing Chicago Museum of Science & Industry where they spent a whole precious day (rather than canoeing and canoodling.)

She showed me the cryptic crossword puzzles she had tackled during the long drive days and chortled over the most maddening clues. Then we came to what they had bought:

1) a (need I say tacky?) pistol-packing deer dressed in rebel cap and Confederate battle flag, with a big jug of moonshine between its folded front feet, planned for a gag party gift. I can’t figure out why its antlers are detachable because it doesn’t turn into a flask or anything; maybe it’s just to cap off this dim-witted derogation of a beautiful animal not known for brains yet certainly smarter than its derogators, to underline the demented, hairy, spitting, smelling, self-loathing, belly-scratching stupidity of this entire ill-conceived creation.

2) roadside fireworks illegal to sell here, from one of the Carolinas or maybe Tennessee. For a fun family Fourth of July.

I don’t know much about fireworks legal or otherwise, any more than I do about firearms legal or otherwise, except that they sure seem related in how they work and what they’re used for, why they appeal Read the rest of this entry »