суббота, 27 августа 2005 г.

August 27, 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005
ID continued
Another good op-ed on "Intelligent" Design from the North Adams Transcript.

Why couldn't I have had a paper like this growing up, instead of the fishwrap that shills for fundamentalist slackjaws and the crypto-racists of the John Birch Society?


// posted by Wes @ 9:22 AM |||Comments (8) | Trackback (0)
Friday, August 26, 2005
An anniversary of note
This week, of course, marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, enshrining in our most important document the right of women to vote.

Of course, we're perfectly willing to take that right AWAY from Iraqi women, but hey, last throes and all that.

So, to my female readers - go out and vote! Run for office! You had to fight the forces of reaction HARD to get this right - use it!


// posted by Wes @ 9:48 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
The Walk In Brain Book Club
I just finished a remarkable book - American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley - His Battle for Chicago and the Nation by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor.

Has anyone else read this book? If so, your thoughts?


// posted by Wes @ 9:27 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
Thursday, August 25, 2005
And the winner is...

It was closer, and I'd already blown a good chunk of the day.

I'll get Montpelier soon.


// posted by Wes @ 8:31 PM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Today is the birthday of Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990), arguably the most important American "classical" musician of the 20th century.


// posted by Wes @ 10:26 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
This is too good.
Check out David Horsey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on Pat Robertson.

I don't think it can be said any better, though I firmly expect the "Bush Can Do No Wrong" Brigade to get on my case for inviting a comparison between Chavez and Christ.


// posted by Wes @ 10:10 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Open Thread
Nothing is jumping out at me today, so go nuts.


// posted by Wes @ 9:41 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Decisions, decisions
Hartford or Montpelier?

I'm gonna hit one state capital today. I haven't visited the state of Connecticut yet, so I'm leaning towards Hartford, but I also hear that Montpelier is just stunningly beautiful and rustic.



// posted by Wes @ 9:34 AM |||Comments (6) | Trackback (0)
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Another mother
While Cindy Sheehan has been doing her thing in Texas (and may HER mother recover from the stroke), a mother here in North Adams is honoring her son who was killed in the September 11 attacks by building a school in Afghanistan.

Two mothers, two activities, and both of them better PR for America (one shows how dissent works in an open society; one helps educate) than Bush's misadventure in Iraq.


// posted by Wes @ 9:30 AM |||Comment (1) | Trackback (0)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I don't agree with Brendan of Spacetropic on foreign policy issues much, but he's absolutely right on with his indictment of NIMBYism and our disposable consumer culture in this entry.

I've never completely understood the exurban impulse. Brendan suggests it's for wide-open spaces, yet too often the large houses are built on small lots. Plus, the exurbs are merciless if you choose not to drive (and mass transit is often completely nonexistent or geared to the senior community). The designs (cul-de-sacs and collector roads, with ample fencing and treelines) make it virtually impossible to walk to any shopping.


// posted by Wes @ 10:42 AM |||Comments (3) | Trackback (0)
RIP Robert Moog, 1934 - 2005
This desk has received word of the passing of Robert Moog, the creator of the Moog and Minimoog synthesizers.

Bob Moog did two things to revolutionize electronic music - he increased the palette of sounds and he made it accessible to the average composer and listener. He (and those ideas) will be missed.


// posted by Wes @ 10:29 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Miscellaneous, Etc.
Just a couple of random thoughts on a cool (low 50s) morning in North Adams.

(1) Don't walk up Beacon Hill in Boston with church shoes on. My right foot still feels like a cloven hoof.

(2) Some people give me grief over terms like "JEEEEEzus!" Let me set one thing straight for the record: I don't believe for a second that fundamentalists actually believe in or worship Jesus, the one called Christ, or (for The Axinar, who I know will appreciate the effort) Yeshua bar Yosef. That Jesus is all about humbling yourself, helping the less fortunate, doing good works, and loving your fellow man. Since I get very little of that in the rhetoric of fundamentalist leaders, I can only assume that they're worshipping someone else with a similar name, who apparently teaches that salvation requires you to be rich, white, and Republican, and that the only two deadly sins are abortion and homosexuality. Hence, "JEEEEEzus!" is the term I use.

Why do I wander into this minefield on an otherwise beautiful morning?

Well, as many of you know, I have a lot of ministers in my family, and we all attend a church that is very conservative theologically. I've read the Bible. Quite a lot, actually. And not once in the New Testament do I see Christ, Paul, Peter, or any of the other leaders of early Christianity calling for the assassination of a leader.

You cannot call Pat Robertson a fringe element in modern American fundamentalist "Christianity." It was his media empire that helped launch the modern fundamentalist movement. When Ward Churchill, a minor-league academic at one college, made some utterly wrong remarks about the attacks of September 11, immediately the David Horowitzes and Rush Limbaughs of the world tied his words to not only the entire academic community, but anyone to the left of Zell Miller. Now Robertson, one of three main people responsible for the upsurge in fundamentalism, a man who won several million votes in the 1988 Republican presidential primary, and a man who is seen on TV daily by millions more, is calling for some very un-Christ like behavior.

I'm waiting for the condemnations by the Right. There may be a lot of JEEEEEzus! in Robertson's message, but there's very little Jesus.


// posted by Wes @ 9:43 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
Monday, August 22, 2005
Back Home
Had a great time in Beantown - walked across the Longfellow Bridge from MIT to downtown, and went exploring in the State House.

The picture of the State House of Representatives chamber shown here doesn't begin to do it justice. It really is a stunning chapel of democracy. And perhaps this is a portend of things to come - on display was the seating chart from the House in 1923. Right down front, in the fourth seat from the furthest right edge (as you look from the galleries) was the seat for Representative Flinn. Spelled with an "i" and everything.

Thanks also to Kellie who made a great tour guide.

Did I miss anything?


// posted by Wes @ 8:45 PM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
On the road again
Driving over to Boston.

This is an open thread.


// posted by Wes @ 7:30 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Acquire some. Put them on SUVs.
A man from Bennington, VT (about 20 miles from here) is making peace magnets.

The point of it is to provoke discussion, Sperber said.

"Peace is patriotic," he said. "The idea that I resist and reject is that if you're not for the war you're unpatriotic. I support the troops — I want them to come home alive."

Mr. Sperber, I salute you.


// posted by Wes @ 9:44 AM |||Comments (4) | Trackback (0)
That's gold, Jerry!
Bill Shein, a local columnist, gives us Little-known Roberts memos, in honor of Chimpy McStagger's nominee for SCOTUS.


// posted by Wes @ 9:41 AM |||Comments (2) | Trackback (0)
I'm not sure someone gets postmodernism here. While the author is quick to castigate someone for "lazily appropriated" materials, he misses the point. Perhaps I'm in the minority of postmodernists here, but I've never viewed postmodernism as ahistorical. I view it more as panhistorical, in which everything that has happened before is given the potentiality for use as something new.

Of course, I tend to side with Ferré on such matters, with his ecosystematic model.

Your thoughts, fellow philosophizin' types?

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