Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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1  National / Religion and Politics / Re: Religion and Politics on: June 25, 2008, 07:59:20 AM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement's biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25343812

Which says more about Dobson than it does about Obama.

BTW, Dobson's not an ordained minister; he huckstered himself into the position he holds.  He's just the kind Carlin railed against.

BTW, why would anyone follow an individual who is named after trout bait?
2  National / Education / Re: Education on: June 25, 2008, 07:55:26 AM
Here's the thing Kid.  You are not your child's peer, you are his parent.  Peers are a dime a dozen, but a good father is priceless.


AMEN!!!
3  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: June 22, 2008, 03:23:43 PM
Must reading for Mangods ( & luee, too):

...when someone does something nasty and claims to have done it in the name of religion, our leading atheists suddenly become paragons of credulity: If Osama bin Laden claims to be carrying out his program of terrorism in the name of Allah and for the cause of Islam, then what grounds have we to doubt him? It's not like anyone would lie about something like that as a strategy for justifying the unjustifiable, is it?

And while we're at it, the thinking continues, let's not look too closely at the many other statements by Osama that link his program to ethnic rather than religious shame -- to his sense that the Arab people have declined in the world and need to have their pride and power restored. After all, surely if religious sentiment were erased from the world, ethnic prejudice would instantly evaporate as well -- wouldn't it? Mr. Dawkins certainly thinks so: He is on record as saying that if we simply ceased to teach religion to our children we would soon have "a paradise on earth."

It seems to me that skepticism about religion doesn't consort well with overtrustfulness of human motives and human honesty. I would counsel our contemporary atheists to study some of their more consistently skeptical ancestors: George Orwell, for instance, who exposed the fundamental and incorrigible dishonesty of most political speech in his great essay "Politics and the English Language." Or, better yet, Edward Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," with its ruthless exposure of the ways that the Christian emperors of Rome manipulated religious language for the foulest of ends. Surely Gibbon would help even the most optimistic modern atheists break the habit of trustfulness.

Is religion powerful? I suppose it often is. After all, if people were not religious -- or, to take a Gibbonesque view of the matter, if people did not want to be thought of as so -- no one would use religious language to promote political or social or ethnic goals. That those seeking to acquire or keep power do use such language, and regularly, indicates that religion has influence. But the idea that without religion people would stop seeking power, stop manipulating, stop deceiving, is just wishful thinking of the silliest kind.


Read the entire column:

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121271181887250603.html


Good point.  I've often argued that even if you were not a believer, you should still support religion as a cultural conveyer of long held (and tested) moral truths that serve a society well.

John Updike wrote an interesting novel about the subject... about a Presbyterian minister that had lost his faith but still come to some peace on the whole subject -- In the Beauty of the Lilies.   While I'm not a huge Updike fan, I always liked that one.  It has the cast of mortality to it, and I always love those kinds of books.


Ever read All Quiet on the Western Front?

Or Unamuno's San Manuel Bueno, Martir ?
4  National / Education / Re: Education on: June 22, 2008, 09:25:34 AM
I'd agree that daughters of good parents have a better chance at life in general.  But these days it seems that many parents have become confused about the nature of their roles.  They seem to want to view themselves as friends rather than as mothers or fathers. 

I agree with you, especially on the last score.

Saw a tribute in a 5th grade yearbook the other day from a mother to her daughter: "BFF".


Made me spit out my coffee.


Agreed.

I have 5 kids, and I was never a "Friend" to any of them; I was their FATHER, which meant that many times it was necessary to tell them things they would rather not have heard.

They are now solidly engaged in their lives, families, and careers.

They and my grandchildren are the lights of my lives, and I'm pleased to say they are being PARENTS to each of the little critters.
5  Sports / Baseball / Re: National League on: June 20, 2008, 01:54:41 PM
Coco Crisp is pretty lame...for a name.

For a ballplayer, you're quite right, but for a breakfast cereal, not bad.

Whatever happened to the names like Mudcat Grant, Goose Goslin,, Dummy Hoy, Catfish Hunter, Heinie Manush, Puddinhead Jones, Sudden SAM Jones, Vida Blue, Yogi Berra, Satchel Paige, et. al.?
6  National / Campaign Trail / Re: Campaign Trail on: June 20, 2008, 01:03:23 PM
Universal health care is a byproduct of socialism

You say that as though it were a BAD thing.

In which case, the sooner it happens the better off we will all be for it.
7  National / Education / Re: Education on: June 20, 2008, 01:01:26 PM
Hope no one is blaming the education system for those girls getting pregnant.

One assumes they have parents.

I have teen daughters, and neither one would consider the idea of getting pregnant at this time to be in their best interests.

They didn't learn that in school.

So girls born to GOOD parents never get pregnant?

So boys born to GOOD parents never gt girls pregnant?

I, for one, hope that every sperm donor in these cases is required to pay 18 or 21 years of child support, whichever the laws of MA provide for.
8  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: June 19, 2008, 09:10:40 AM

Everyone who does not conform to the radical liberal concept and drink the Ayatollah kool-aid must be nuts? Mangods and their army of martyr wannabes living in harmony and understanding with the snake devils, barking dogs, and painted women eating sausage and eggs and drinking brewskis;what a wonderful world!


I try to argue ideas and concepts and personally not attack posters and their names. Your so  crazy is not an acceptable argument. Respect the humanity of the ayatollahs, rofl.


I have never in my long life encountered an individual as consumed by his hatreds as much as you appear to be.

You are truly to be pitied.
9  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: June 19, 2008, 08:08:42 AM
It's about ayatollahs dammit!

How dare they, or anyone else for that matter, have OUR oil?!
10  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: June 19, 2008, 07:30:26 AM
The Shrubbies finally unmasked:

www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/world/middleeast/19iraq.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Is there anyone left who still does not believe that the war in the desert was, is, and will continue to be about oil?
11  Home and Garden / Garden / Re: Gardening on: June 18, 2008, 10:20:36 PM
So these compost drums are available at garden centers?

What kind of heirloom tomatoes did you plant, cap0?

Greenstripies, Brandywines,  and Russian purples.  They might have different names in different parts of the country.

Those sound yummy - can we have a review at the end of the season?   


desdemona, my beans are getting eaten alive!  We're thinking slugs, so I've tried something.  Sage is reputed to deter slugs, and I can't find anything saying sage and beans are incompatible; so I've interplanted some sage and will see if the beans recover and/or improve.   If this works, I'll be sure to report back.  Meanwhile, we have a ton of seeds and luckily, beans sprout up pretty quickly.

I never did find any replacement Cherokee Purples, so guess I'll have to fess up to the friend who gave me the starts.  (Shopping at White Flower Farm was a heady experience, but I surely do not belong in a place like that.)

The best treatment I have found for slugs is a shallow saucer of beer near the plants they are attacking.  Apparently there is something in the beer, perhaps the hops, that attracts the little slimy critters.  They crawl right into the saucer and die quite happy.

Also, see if you nave any old lumber, shingles, or even downed limbs lying on the ground.  They love hiding under it during the heat of the day, as it provides darkness and moisture.
12  Home and Garden / Garden / Re: Gardening on: June 17, 2008, 11:20:46 PM
So these compost drums are available at garden centers?

What kind of heirloom tomatoes did you plant, cap0?

Greenstripies, Brandywines,  and Russian purples.  They might have different names in different parts of the country.

I ordered my composter from an outfit in Pennsylvania which sent me a brochure.  I have yet to see one in any garden center near me.

Once one would sell composters, they would no longer sell as many bags of compost.
13  National / Campaign Trail / Re: Campaign Trail on: June 17, 2008, 04:20:18 PM
And here in red-turning-bright-blue Colorado.
14  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: June 17, 2008, 04:18:05 PM
While a draft for "purely community service" might sound nice, it would face huge constitutional hurdles. 

such as??

Peace Corps, VISTA, Teach for America.

For the record, my school had 5 young Teach for America folks on our staff in my inner-city Denver high school faculty this past school year.

Each and every one was a magnificent addition to the learning culture.
15  National / Immigration / Re: Immigration on: June 17, 2008, 12:58:15 PM
chak,

The fact is that with unlimited numbers of desperately poor people in Mexico and countries south of there, there is a serious potential for swamping our country with untold millions of uneducated, unskilled poor people who will be a severe strain and burden on our society.

Why don't you take your little hammer and your little chisel and hack Emma Lazarus's words right of the Lady in the Harbor.

Seems to me that the people you denigrate are precisely the ones she welcomes.

Then again, we all know that Chakman knows more than the Lady.
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