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Evolution has been happening for billions of years. The process of evolution is driven by physical changes that add up to make an organism better able to compete for resources and mates than its neighbors. An organism that can move is better able to compete with organisms that can only blindly float about and scoop up whatever happens to float by. An organism that can see and hear is better able to compete for resources than an organism that cannot. An organism that can interpret what it sees and hears can hunt for or track down resources better than those that cannot. An organism that can store experiences into long term memory and access those memories later for comparison to current events is better able to choose correctly and compete in the future than one who cannot. An organism that can communicate with its fellows is better able to compete than an organism that must act alone. It makes sense that an organism whose brain has evolved to interpret its surroundings and has a large store of memories shared with others through communication would attempt to make sense of everything it and its fellows have seen, heard, or remembered (either individually or collectively) in the same manner. This is the motivating physiology behind religion which is at its core an attempt of the brain to interpret things that it has seen and heard. The currently inexplicable must have an explanation and those organisms that get the explanation correct will be better suited to compete for the prize than those who get it wrong.
Mark B. Evans
Don’t forget the Punitive Expedition in 1916 to arrest or kill Pancho Villa in retribution for his raid on Columbus, N.M. earlier that year, which was the largest of more than three dozen incursions in the United States by Mexican rebels and bandits in 1915 and 1916. Gen. Blackjack Pershing led that fruitless search, accompanied by a feisty lieutenant, George S. Patton. It also featured one of the last rides of the storied 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers.
Later, in 1918, U.S. and Mexican forces, who were supported by German military advisors, fought in Nogales on Aug. 27, 1918. The 10th Cavalry was also involved in that engagement.
You feel optimism, you're the first person I've met that is optimistic and and this also includes the idea that the world ends in 2012 because the Mayans said so?
You don't believe that? The Mayans said 2012.
Although really, how prescient were they? They didn't see Cortez coming. You know what I'm talking about!
Jon Stewart to Fred Pearce on the Daily Show, April 21, 2010
I keep hearing from my Tea Party friends about how terrible the current tax system is for regular folks in America, but the rhetoric I'm hearing doesn't square with my own experience which have been steadily declining taxes (as a percentage of income) every single year since I've been working. I don't even have an accountant finding bullshit ways to scam the system like half the people I know. It didn't take very long to find this CBO report which shows pretty clearly that taxes (for 95% of Americans anyway) are at the lowest point they have been in 30 years!
If I do any more writing on this topic I should probably blog about it, but a couple other sources (BEA and BLS) are quoted as showing that real disposable income (adjusted for inflation) has risen 47% since 1972. This means that people have (until recently) had LOTS more money to waste on going out to eat, seeing movies, buying video games, etc... See More. When the recession hit this disposable income was reduced. Suddenly the $140 a month being spent on cable, $80 a month on cell phones, $200 a month on going out to eat, as well as a sundry other non-essential purchases a month were in jeopardy. That modern Americans might have to entertain like their parents did was unthinkable! The ranks of the Tea Party (mostly educated middle class folks) has been swelled by people upset by their shrinking disposable income (money used primarily for entertainment). The Boston Tea Party was an act of resistance protesting taxation without representation. The new Tea Party may as well be shouting "Give me Applebees or give me death!!"
About comments Chris Mathews made on MSNBC after Obama's first state of the union speech, written in response to Cathy's cousin's post on Facebook.
Why can't we even mention race without immediately causing a political correctness controversy? Although you didn't use the word, 'racist' usually denotes a dislike for the subject of the term. Rush Limbaugh has made far more obvious racist comments than this, and his listeners have defended him for making them. Mathews is an older Irish Catholic, who as a group have been accused of bias against blacks in the past (probably because they were both competing for the same jobs) so Mathews saying he forgot Obama was black sounds more like a comment on how far we've come since he was a young man in the 60s than a racist comment to me.
First, there is no uniform US fire signal code so this answer varies from place to place. Second, the siren used to be used to convey more information, but since the advent of the pager system (with tones to alert you that its your FD and a dispatcher who can transmit signal codes in English) it isn't used that way anymore. Most places will have ... Read Moreit sound 2 or 3 times whenever a call goes out over the pager system. If they send the call out more than once you might end up with as many as 6 blasts on the horn. It's annoying.
Having someone document what happens in war is an old tradition which harkens back to the age of the Bards in Gaelic and British culture. Bards were poets and musicians who would travel with an army to record the great deeds of their patron. A Bard was untouchable in war - and they didn't carry weapons only musical instruments. However, with that... Read More great honor came great responsibility. The satirical words of the Bard could ruin a monarch, just as the praise of one could make him more powerful. The role of the bard is partially fulfilled today by reporters (embedded or not), however with this great power (of words and images) comes great responsibility. It is unfortunate that reporters today do not have the same stature in modern society as the Bards did in ancient society, and it is because of this that they function much more like pimps and paparazzi than Bards.
The question about what images are acceptable to publish and when to do so is not a new debate. Have you ever read about Mathew Brady? He was one of several photographers who documented the Civil War. His very graphic images of 'The Dead of Antietam' were first displayed in 1862 (while the war was still raging) at his NY studio and it caused a big sensation at the time. War weary Americans soon tired of seeing these kinds of graphic images and Brady, having risked his fortune on the enterprise died penniless. His images remain an important historical archive of that war.
Stout is a simple drink that can be brewed anywhere, but people take it very seriously. Because of the Guinness Family's Loyalism and the brewery's location in the Pale, Guinness was long known as (at least outside Dublin) as "The Protestant Drink" and hence the existence of regional alternatives such as Beamish and Murphy's in cities less traditionally Loyalist than Dublin.
The Guinness company moved out of Ireland to the UK in the early 1930s and severed all connections with the new Irish Free State except for the St James' Gate site, for which it negotiated a ground rent of around €50 per year for several thousand years. In the 18th century this was apparently a good deal. The St James' Gate site was heavily developed by Guinness during the 19th century into not just a brewery but an entire urban community that was allowed during the worst years of Ireland's mid-20th century isolationism to become one of the worst slums in Dublin. It's getting better but, having lived there, it's tough to up-sell people on buying some of the new apartments when every few days Guinness disgorges some effluent and everything reeks of burning vegetable matter for hours.
The Guinness family was finally driven out of Ireland during following the Irish Civil War and the low-grade ethnic cleansing of Protestants that continued afterwards. You can walk in St Anne's Park in Dublin and see the remains of the Guinness Mansion that was burned. It's quite evocative.
The way Guinness appropriated all the symbols of the old Kingdom of Ireland (green, harp, etc) and so denied their use by its successor states, and the way it managed to lose its politically dodgy symbolism, is truly remarkable marketing. It's as big as Coke re-colouring Santa to be red and white all over.
Regarding the Fraternity of the Master Metaphysicians
William Kissam Vanderbilt called it Idle Hour: a 100-room house in Oakdale, Long Island, as sumptuous and showy as a Summer Palace of the Romanovs. Thirty years ago it cost about $7,000,000, but nowadays it is a bit run down. Last week 500 Truth Students, Adepts and Master Metaphysicians twitched on hard chairs in the big reception hall with its encrusted ceiling, ivory-colored fireplace, concealed pipe organ. Above the doors were signs reading "Peace, Discrimination, Enlightenment, Inspiration." James Bernard Schafer, Master Metaphysician, entered.
Conversation stopped. He strode to the platform. "Peace," he said. "Peace," said the 500.* Dimpled, businesslike Mr. Schafer, M.M., was dedicating Idle Hour as a sort of spiritual sanatorium for the members of one of the most elusive cults in the U. S.—The Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians. It will be called Peace Haven. Mr. Schafer acquired it some months ago for $350,000, raised by Love Gifts from his disciples. "Truth Students never lack anything," he says. It will be used as a retreat "for those Students who desire Metaphysical assistance or loving care. . . ." One of the wings will be made over into Camp Peace for children. Every night a loud speaker in the reception hall will broadcast an inspirational message by telephone from Mr. Schafer in Manhattan.
Room and board at Peace Haven: from $14 a week, up.
At the Royal Fraternity's headquarters, the Forum of Truth and the Center of Peace (a fairish-sized lecture room) in Manhattan's Steinway Hall. Mr. Schafer delivers four talks a week. Truth Students become Master Metaphysicians after studying more than a year and a half.
What they study is far from clear, but the Royal Fraternity's creed might be described as a theological goulash of Rosicrucianism, Christian Science, Christianity, Supermind Science, faith healing and How to Win Friends and Influence People. As to the number of middle-aged ladies he has attracted, "the Christian Science Church doesn't publish the number of its membership," says Mr. Schafer; "Why should we?" However: "Our organization is unorganized. You can't define a thing like that."
Last week some 100 Fraternity members moved out to Peace Haven to stay. Mr. Schafer (called by his disciples the Messenger) went back to Manhattan to continue his lectures. Said he comfortably to the press, "People think we're a lot of nuts."
*"Peace!" is also the greeting of little Father Divine's darky sect in Harlem.
Venison from deer would also be on the menu. It has also given us a famous saying !! The poor would not be allowed to eat the best parts of a deer. However, in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, a decent lord might let the poor have what was left of the deer. These parts were known as the deer's umbles. These were the heart, liver, tongue, feet, ears and brains. Mixed with whatever else a cook could get, they were made into a pie. Therefore, the poor would eat umble pie. Nowadays, if you have taken a tumble in life and have to live a standard of life you would not usually be used to, it is said that you are having to eat humble pie.
According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy . This practice survived in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization and can be still seen in the modern practice of the hanging of stockings at the chimney in some homes.
This practice in turn came to the United States through the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam prior to the British seizure in the 17th century, and evolved into the hanging of socks or stockings at the fireplace. In many regions of Austria and former Austro-Hungarian Italy (Friuli, city of Trieste) children are given sweets and gifts on Saint Nicholas's Day (San Niccol� in Italian), in accordance with the Catholic calendar, December the 6th.
Numerous other influences from the pre-Christian Germanic winter celebrations have continued into modern Christmas celebrations such as the Christmas ham, Yule Goat, Yule logs and the Christmas tree.
Our collective digital library (the internet) is far more extensive and certainly more accessible than Alexandria could have possibly been, however the internet depends on the maintenance of a network of complex technological machines as well as a stable worldwide power grid. The standards for the technology are changing rapidly as well. I worry that our new Alexandria is a lot more vulnerable than the old one was in the following sense: If you find a book a thousand years after it was written, it's still obvious it's a book with information in it, and depending on the quality of the preservation, it might still be readable. If you find a hard drive a thousand years after it was written on, not only might you not be able to read it (I would say it's almost a certainty that you won't be able to), or have the technological ability to figure out how to go about trying, you might have no clue what it is, or that it previously held information at all. The internet may very well help usher in a time, after a particularly bad nuclear war, or an asteroid hit, or a similar natural disaster that will be much darker than any dark ages we've ever known.
One interesting thing that this post led me to discover was that the legendary fire that destroyed the library, and all its amazing contents is not much more than that - legend. I had always thought the great fire that destroyed the library was a known fact, but apparently not - the library's destruction has been blamed on several different folks over time.http://www.bede.org.uk/library.htm
I'm not a secular humanist - and my many Gods can beat up your one God any day. Personally I really dig the (admittedly controversial) idea that Moses got the monotheism bug from the Egyptian Pharoh Akanaten (who was written out of history for attempting to impose monotheism on Egypt in the form of one supreme God - the Aten. Some hold up the similarity of Akhenaten's Great Hymn to the Aten and the Biblical Psalm 104 as proof of this theory.
Posted on Toddslater.com:
"As the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Brewster, a 1971 case involving the bribery of U.S. Sen. Daniel Brewster, D-Md., 'The only reasonable reading of the Clause, consistent with its history and purpose, is that it does not prohibit inquiry into activities that are casually or incidentally related to legislative affairs but not a part of the legislative process itself.' Brewster was convicted."
The article was discussing DeLay, and how investigations into his activities in the Smith case were not prohibited by the 'Speech and Debate Clause' of the Constitution.
The understanding is that the Clause protects members 'acting in the sphere of legitimate legislative activity' from unreasonable intimidation by other branches of government. I'm not sure that accepting monetary bribes for political action is 'legitimate'.
I respect McCain for his service to this country, but I couldn't ever support him for any public office. He was one of the Keating Five, if you remember that debacle. Although he has done his best to stand up for causes he believes in, despite the Republican party line, he also tows that line way too often - he agrees with the president on the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools (a personal peeve of mine), and continues to support the invasion of Iraq. A recent comment on the topic: "If we lose in Iraq, they're coming after us. We will fight them somewhere else - like here". Oh, OK John. How long can we maintain a war in Iraq to keep them 'over there', I assume - forever.
His all too common off-color jokes may go down well in Arizona, but they don't fly too well in more sophisticated parts of the country. For instance, his infamous 'Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.' comment while President Clinton was in office shows the man's true character.
Oh yeah, come to think of it, he was one of those who voted to Impeach Clinton. That whole thing still pisses me off. To think that the Republicans were too busy pursuing Clinton into trial for his marital indiscretions that Clinton could take no action against a real threat to America after the Cole was attacked. In a real way, I blame the Republicans for 9/11 because had they been gentlemen about that issue, and shown some respect for the office, Clinton might have been able to rally and follow up on his attacks on Osama's Afganistan bases. McCain and as many other Republicans as possible need to be KICKED OUT of office in November, so we can start taking our country back. If you want a country run by a religion - move to Iran.
Although you would never learn this if your political compass is spun by Rush Limbaugh, the United States was founded by Political Liberals (those who believe in individual freedoms and liberty) who believed that citizens should make the laws and agree, through social compact to live by them. The trouble is, those calling themselves 'Conservative' rail against 'Social Liberals' (opposing government intervention on the freedoms of lifestyle) and fail to recognize that they may actually be themselves politically liberal. To be Conservative is quite meaningless, really unless you attach it to something like: Fiscally conservative, religiously conservative, etc. To favor 'little or no change', or to maintain the status quo when time does change anyway, is really very silly. After all, the only constant is change, and to not face it is sticking your head in the sand.
It seems that if Ahmadi-Najad believes that 'Cultural' Liberalism has failed the promise of humanity, that he is saying we should give hard-line religious conservatism a try. After all, it's working very well in his country, right? Perhaps we can start by rolling back all the freedoms granted to women and minorities over the last century. He kindly mentions that there is poverty in some US states? Let's compare that poverty to 10 percent of all Iranians subsisting on less than $2 a day, and that's in the world's 4th biggest producer of oil. Oh, did I mention they're running a budget deficit too?
Iran is the poster child for why religious conservatives should not be running nations. Please don't take his advice: the world is not flocking to his Almighty God just yet, but they may be flocking to Democrats in November...
March 4, 2006
I've lived here for almost 40 years and I have been using the same voting machines all that time. I have no idea how the machines work - they've got the big red handle you throw one way or another to close the curtains, but I've been very concerned ever since the elections of 2000 and 2004 that they may be easily falsified. I was always under the impression they had some kind of paper trail associated with them. I had some fanciful idea that the big handle was 'punching a card' or something that was stored inside, untouchable unless legitamately retrieved. I'm starting to think that I dreamed this. Can you investigate how they work, do they have a physical paper trail or not (other than the election helper's notes), do we need to upgrade them so that there is some accountability? Everyone has read the Newsday story placing New York last in compliance with the 'Help America Vote Act', but I'm concerned with facts. How do they work, and are they adequate?
What concerns me more is that most of the founding fathers of this nation were opposed to the evangelist churches (at the time a New England phenomenon) playing any role in government. Today's movement is RE-WRITING history by attempting to cast the founders in a different light, calling them god-fearing Christian men. They were anything but - with the exception of some of the New Englanders like John Adams, who himself was by today's standards quite moderate. The men who framed our nation (for the most part) were wealthy, landed, church-fearing intellectuals and lawyers who were products of the Enlightenment. Many believed in God, though like Thomas Jefferson, were very sceptical of the bible stories since they were written by man. They didn't believe that God played a hand in the daily course of human events (a Deist philosophy), and would be shocked to learn that an evangelist has become president. Luckily, the founders of this nation wrote in English, most of what they penned is still in print and you can read what they wrote. I have no doubt that the evangelists are capable of ignoring all evidence that they are being misled by their corrupt (and, I daresay EVIL) ministers and will likely claim that the manuscripts of Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Paine and others were placed there by the devil to decive us.
Subj: Re:intolerable acts
The Boston Port Bill, prohibiting loading or unloading of ships in Boston harbor (until damages had been paid for the tea dumped into the harbor), and was put into effect on June 1, 1774.
The Justice Act, was first administered on May 20, 1774, and protected royal officials by providing that those accused of a capital crime committed in aiding the government would not be tried by the provincial court where the official court was located, but would be tried in another colony -- or England.
The Massachusetts Government Act first went into effect on May 20, 1774, virtually annulled the colony's charter, and geve the governor control over the town meeting.
The extension of the Quartering Act and the Quebec Act were not an integral part of the coercive program which encompassed the first three acts mentioned above, but were so considered by the colonists.
In the name of God Amen. I, Henry Purcell, of the City of Westminster, gentleman, being dangerously ill as to the constitution of my body, but in good and perfect mind and memory (thanks be to God) do by these presents publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament. And I do hereby give and bequeath unto my loving wife, Frances Purcell, all my estate both real and personal of what nature and kind soever...