Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One More Song

A Little Basque Music



HEGOAK EBAKI BANIZKIO
NERIA IZANGO ZEN
EZ ZUEN ALDEGINGO
BAINAN, HONELA
EZ ZEN GEHIAGO TXORIA IZANGO
ETA NIK...TXORIA NUEN MAITE

Thursday, February 21, 2008

11.2 The World Without Farms









Donna Edwards & the Fear of Cuba



In a world of soundbites, I feel sorry for Donna Edwards. I imagine it's going to be frutrating, her being an intelligent, well-spoken woman in a world of nimrods who say the same talking points over and over again as though somehow that makes the scraps of sound mean something. Just remember, Ms. Edwards, just because they got breath and vocal chords doesn't mean you've gotta listen.

Read more here

Thousands of Students March 7 Miles to Vote



February 19th - Early voting starts today in Texas. In Waller County, a primarily rural county about 60 miles outside Houston, the county made the decision to offer only one early voting location: at the County Courthouse in Hempstead, TX, the county seat.

Prairie View A&M students organized to protest the decision, because they felt it hindered their ability to vote. For background, Prairie View A&M is one of Texas’ historically Black universities. It has a very different demographic feel than the rest of the county. There has been a long history of dispute over what the students feel is disenfranchisement. There was a lot of outrage in 2006, when students felt they were unfairly denied the right to vote when their registrations somehow did not get processed.

According to an article in today’s Houston Chronicle:

Waller County has faced numerous lawsuits involving voting rights in the past 30 years and remains under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office based on complaints by local black leaders. Those allegations, concerning the November 2006 general election, related to voting machine failures, inadequate staffing and long delays for voting results.

The article adds,

“I was angry after registering to vote in the 2006 election only to be turned away at the voting booth,” said sophomore Dee Dee Williams.

So what are the students doing?

1000 students, along with an additional 1000 friends and supporters, are this morning walking the 7.3 miles between Prairie View and Hempstead in order to vote today. According to the piece I saw on the news (there’s no video up, so I can’t link to it), the students plan to all vote today. There are only 2 machines available at the courthouse for early voting, so they hope to tie them up all day and into the night.

I love stories like this. In the face of an obvious ploy to suppress the vote, these young people stood up for their rights and showed that they will not be cowed. Republicans should be worried, because this is a committed electorate.

Original post here and here

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Beelzebufo the Frog


From The Times
February 19, 2008
Gargantuan prehistoric frog with the Devil’s own appetite snacked on young dinosaurs

Lewis Smith

MADAGASCAR An ancient amphibian big enough to prey on young dinosaurs has been identified as the heavyweight champion of the frog world.

Analysis of fossilised remains of Hell’s frog, reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has shown that it was the size of a beachball when it waddled the Earth 70 million years ago.

Its vast girth made it the heaviest frog ever known and researchers were so awed by its diabolical appearance that they named it after the Devil. Beelzebufo would have lain in wait to capture primitive mammals, large insects and even small dinosaurs in its capacious mouth. Its closest relatives that are alive today are horned toads, and observations of their behaviour suggest that Hell’s frog would have tried to eat virtually anything that moved. Many owners of horned toads say that their pets try to bite their hands or arms.

Hell’s frog had a 40cm-long body and short, stumpy legs. It may have crawled under leaf mould, leaving a few toes on view to act as bait, or perhaps have buried itself in sand.

The frog was closely related to amphibians found today in South America but the remains were found in Madagascar, lending weight to the idea that the island, and the Indian sub-continent, broke away from South America much later than the commonly accepted 120 million years ago, said researchers from University College London.

Castro Quits as Cuba's President

The ailing 81-year-old Fidel Castro has resigned as Cuba's president after foiling attempts to topple him for nearly half a century, leaving on his own terms by clearing the way for his brother Raul to take power.

The end of Castro's rule, the longest in the world for a head of government, frees 76-year-old Raul to implement reforms he has hinted at since taking over as acting president when Castro fell ill in July 2006.

"My wishes have always been to discharge my duties to my last breath," Castro wrote in a letter published today in the Communist Party daily Granma.

But, he wrote, "it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer."

It wasn't until several hours after Castro's message was posted on the internet, that official radio began spreading the news across the island. Cubans seemed to go about their business as usual, having seen Castro's resignation as inevitable, but with a certain sadness.

Cuban dissidents welcomed the news as a possible first step toward possible change.

Moderate opposition leader Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, a former commander who fought alongside Castro in the revolution, expressed hopes that whoever follows him "will have freedom to launch economic and political changes as well."

Castro temporarily ceded his powers to his brother after undergoing intestinal surgery. Since then, the elder Castro has not been seen in public, appearing only sporadically in official photographs and videotapes and publishing dense essays about mostly international themes as his younger brother has consolidated his rule.

Castro remains a member of parliament and is likely to be elected to the 31-member Council of State on Sunday, though he will no longer be its president.

Castro also retains his powerful post as first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party. The party leadership posts generally are renewed at party congresses, the last of which was held in 1997.

Monday, February 18, 2008

China Eats The World

Excerpt from The Last Empire: China's Pollution Problem Goes Global

The emergence of China as a dominant economic power is an epochal event, as significant as the United States' ascendancy after World War II. It is in many ways an astonishment, starting with the ideological about-face that enabled it, the throwing over of Maoist values for plainly capitalist ones starting in the late 1970s. So thorough is the change that the 19-foot-tall portrait of a stolid, potato-faced Mao Zedong that still looms over traffic-choked, commerce-suffused Tiananmen Square looks paradoxical, even startling, in seeming need of an update in which Mao winks—or sobs—in blinking neon. Meanwhile, inside Beijing's Forbidden City, the heart of old China, buildings with such intoxicating names as Hall of Preserved Harmony and Palace of Heavenly Purity bear signs reading, "Made Possible by the American Express Company."

The grander astonishment is the most massive and rapid redistribution of the earth's resources in human history. In a mere two and a half decades, China has awakened from Maoist stagnancy to become the world's manufacturer. Among the planet's 193 nations, it is now first in production of coal, steel, cement, and 10 kinds of metal; it produces half the world's cameras and nearly a third of its TVs, and by 2015 may produce the most cars. It boasts factories that can accommodate 200,000 workers, and towns that make 60 percent of the world's buttons, half the world's silk neckties, and half the world's fireworks, respectively.

China has also become a ravenous consumer. Its appetite for raw materials drives up international commodity prices and shipping rates while its middle class, projected to jump from fewer than 100 million people now to 700 million by 2020, is learning the gratifications of consumerism. China is by a wide margin the leading importer of a cornucopia of commodities, including iron ore, steel, copper, tin, zinc, aluminum, and nickel. It is the world's biggest consumer of coal, refrigerators, grain, cell phones, fertilizer, and television sets. It not only leads the world in coal consumption, with 2.5 billion tons in 2006, but uses more than the next three highest-ranked nations—the United States, Russia, and India—combined. China uses half the world's steel and concrete and will probably construct half the world's new buildings over the next decade. So omnivorous is the Chinese appetite for imports that when the country ran short of scrap metal in early 2004, manhole covers disappeared from cities all over the world—Chicago lost 150 in a month. And the Chinese are not just vast consumers, but conspicuous ones, as evidenced by the presence in Beijing of dealers representing every luxury-car manufacturer in the world. Sales of Porsches, Ferraris, and Maseratis have flourished, even though their owners have no opportunity to test their finely tuned cars' performance on the city's clotted roads.

The catch is that China has become not just the world's manufacturer but also its despoiler, on a scale as monumental as its economic expansion. Chinese ecosystems were already dreadfully compromised before the Communist Party took power in 1949, but Mao managed to accelerate their destruction. With one stroke he launched the "backyard furnace" campaign, in which some 90 million peasants became grassroots steel smelters; to fuel the furnaces, villagers cut down a 10th of China's trees in a few months. The steel ultimately proved unusable. With another stroke, Mao perpetrated the "Kill the Four Pests" campaign, inducing the mass slaughter of millions of sparrows and a subsequent explosion in the locust population. The destruction of forests led to erosion and the spread of deserts, and the locust resurgence prompted a collapse of the nation's grain crop. The result was history's greatest famine, in which 30 to 50 million Chinese died.

Yet the Mao era's ecological devastation pales next to that of China's current industrialization. A fourth of the country is now desert. More than three-fourths of its forests have disappeared. Acid rain falls on a third of China's landmass, tainting soil, water, and food. Excessive use of groundwater has caused land to sink in at least 96 Chinese cities, producing an estimated $12.9 billion in economic losses in Shanghai alone. Each year, uncontrollable underground fires, sometimes triggered by lightning and mining accidents, consume 200 million tons of coal, contributing massively to global warming. A miasma of lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust hovers over most Chinese cities; of the world's 20 most polluted cities, 16 are Chinese.

The government estimates that 400,000 people die prematurely from respiratory illnesses each year, and health care costs for premature death and disability related to air pollution is estimated at up to 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Four-fifths of the length of China's rivers are too polluted for fish. Half the population—600 or 700 million people—drinks water contaminated with animal and human waste. Into Asia's longest river, the Yangtze, the nation annually dumps a billion tons of untreated sewage; some scientists fear the river will die within a few years. Drained by cities and factories all over northern China, the Yellow River, whose cataclysmic floods earned it a reputation as the world's most dangerous natural feature, now flows to its mouth feebly, if at all. China generates a third of the world's garbage, most of which goes untreated. Meanwhile, roughly 70 percent of the world's discarded computers and electronic equipment ends up in China, where it is scavenged for usable parts and then abandoned, polluting soil and groundwater with toxic metals.

Though government-run and heavily censored, the English-language China Daily has reported that pollution problems caused 50,000 disputes and protests throughout China in 2005. (See "The People's Revolution".) If unchecked, the devastation will not just put an abrupt end to China's economic growth, but, in concert with other environmentally heedless nations (in particular, the United States, India, and Brazil), will cause mortal havoc in societies and ecosystems throughout the world.

11.1 The World Without Farms

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay.
Want more of everything made.
Be afraid to know you neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery any more.
Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something they will call you.
When they want you to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something that won't compute.
Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace the flag.
Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands.

Give you approval to all you cannot understand.
Praise ignorance,
for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium.
Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion--put your ear close,
and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.

Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable.
Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap for power,
please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.

Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap.
Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and politicos can predict the motions
of your mind, lose it.
Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.


Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

---Wendell Berry


Thursday, February 14, 2008

On Valentines - Only Music

José González covering The Knife's Heartbeats

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Instead of Crying, Be Strong

Letter from Nicola Sacco to his son Dante - written 9 days before execution

August 18, 1927. Charlestown State Prison

My Dear Son and Companion:

Since the day I saw you last I had always the idea to write you this letter, but the length of my hunger strike and the thought I might not be able to explain myself, made me put it off all this time.

The other day, I ended my hunger strike and just as soon as I did that I thought of you to write to you, but I find that I did not have enough strength and I cannot finish it at one time. However, I want to get it down in any way before they take us again to the death-house, because it is my conviction that just as soon as the court refuses a new trial to us they will take us there. And between Friday and Monday, if nothing happens, they will electrocute us right after midnight, on August 22nd. Therefore, here I am, right with you with love and with open heart as ever I was yesterday.

I never thought that our inseparable life could be separated, but the thought of seven dolorous years makes it seem it did come, but then it has not changed really the unrest and the heartbeat of affection. That has remained as it was. More. I say that our ineffable affection reciprocal, is today more than any other time, of course. That is not only a great deal but it is grand because you can see the real brotherly love, not only in joy but also and more in the struggle of suffering. Remember this, Dante. We have demonstrated this, and modesty apart, we are proud of it.

Much we have suffered during this long Calvary. We protest today as we protested yesterday. We protest always for our freedom.

If I stopped hunger strike the other day, it was because there was no more sign of life in me. Because I protested with my hunger strike yesterday as today I protest for life and not for death.

I sacrificed because I wanted to come back to the embrace of your dear little sister Ines and your mother and all the beloved friends and comrades of life and not death. So Son, today life begins to revive slow and calm, but yet without horizon and always with sadness and visions of death.

Well, my dear boy, after your mother had talked to me so much and I had dreamed of you day and night, how joyful it was to see you at last. To have talked with you like we used to in the days -- in those days. Much I told you on that visit and more I wanted to say, but I saw that you will remain the same affectionate boy, faithful to your mother who loves you so much, and I did not want to hurt your sensibilities any longer, because I am sure that you will continue to be the same boy and remember what I have told you. I knew that and what here I am going to tell you will touch your sensibilities, but don't cry Dante, because many tears have been wasted, as your mother's have been wasted for seven years, and never did any good. So, Son, instead of crying, be strong, so as to be able to comfort your mother, and when you want to distract your mother from the discouraging sourness, I will tell you what I used to do. To take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wild flowers here and there, resting under the shade of trees, between the harmony of the vivid stream and the gentle tranquility of the mothernature, and I am sure that she will enjoy this very much, as you surely would be happy for it. But remember always, Dante, in the play of happiness, don't you use all for yourself only, but down yourself just one step, at your side and help the weak ones that cry for help, help the prosecuted and the victim, because that are your better friends; they are the comrades that fight and fall as your father and Bartolo fought and fell yesterday for the conquest of the joy of freedom for all and the poor workers. In this struggle of life you will find more love and you will be loved.

I am sure that from what your mother told me about.what you said during these last terrible days when I was lying in the iniquitous death-house --- that description gave me happiness because it showed you will be the beloved boy I had always dreamed.

Therefore whatever should happen tomorrow, nobody knows, but if they should kill us, you must not forget to look at your friends and comrades with the smiling gaze of gratitude as you look at your beloved ones, because they love you as they love every one of the fallen persecuted comrades. I tell you, your father that is all the life to you, your father that loved you and saw them, and knows their noble faith (that is mine) their supreme sacrifice that they are still doing for our freedom, for I have fought with them, and they are the ones that still hold the last of our hope that today they can still save us from electrocution, it is the struggle and fight between the rich and the poor for safety and freedom, Son, which you will understand in the future of your years to come, of this unrest and struggle of life's death.

Much I thought of you when I was lying in the death house -- the singing, the kind tender voices of the children from the playground, where there was all the life and the joy of liberty-just one step from the wall which contains the buried agony of three buried souls. It would remind me so often of you and your sister Ines, and I wish I could see you every moment. But I feel better that you did not come to the death-house so that you could not see the horrible picture of three lying in agony waiting to be electrocuted, because I do not know what eff ect it would have on your young age. But then, in another way if you were not so sensitive it would be very useful to you tomorrow when you could use this horrible memory to hold up to the world the shame of the country in this cruel persecution and unjust death. Yes, Dante, they can crucify our bodies today as they are doing, but they cannot destroy our ideas, that will remain for the youth of the future to come.

Dante, when I said three human lives buried, I meant to say that with us there is another young man by the name of Celestino Maderios that is to be electrocuted at the same time with us. He has been twice before in that horrible death-house, that should be destroyed with the hammers of real progress -- that horrible house that will shame forever the future of the citizens of Massachusetts. They should destroy that house and put up a f actory or school, to teach many of the hundreds of the poor orphan boys of the world.

Dante, I say once more to love and be nearest to your mother and the beloved ones in these sad days, and I am sure that with your brave heart and kind goodness they will feel less discomfort. And you will also not forget to love me a little for I do -- 0, Sonny! thinking so much and so often of you.

Best fraternal greetings to all the beloved ones, love and kisses to your little Ines and mother. Most hearty affectionate embrace.

YOUR FATHER AND COMPANION

P.S. Bartolo send you the most affectionate greetings. I hope that your mother will help you to understand this letter because I could have written much better and more simple, if I was feeling good. But I am so weak.

Sacco & Vanzetti

Justice Denied In Massachusetts

Let us abandon then our gardens and go home
And sit in the sitting-room
Shall the larkspur blossom or the corn grow under this cloud?
Sour to the fruitful seed
Is the cold earth under this cloud,
Fostering quack and weed, we have marched upon but cannot
conquer;
We have bent the blades of our hoes against the stalks of them.

Let us go home, and sit in the sitting room.
Not in our day
Shall the cloud go over and the sun rise as before,
Beneficent upon us
Out of the glittering bay,
And the warm winds be blown inward from the sea
Moving the blades of corn
With a peaceful sound.

Forlorn, forlorn,
Stands the blue hay-rack by the empty mow.
And the petals drop to the ground,
Leaving the tree unfruited.
The sun that warmed our stooping backs and withered the weed
uprooted—
We shall not feel it again.
We shall die in darkness, and be buried in the rain.

What from the splendid dead
We have inherited —
Furrows sweet to the grain, and the weed subdued —
See now the slug and the mildew plunder.
Evil does overwhelm
The larkspur and the corn;
We have seen them go under.

Let us sit here, sit still,
Here in the sitting-room until we die;
At the step of Death on the walk, rise and go;
Leaving to our children's children the beautiful doorway,
And this elm,
And a blighted earth to till
With a broken hoe.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

10.3 The Petro Patch

The Brazos De Dios River







10.2 The Petro Patch

Attwater's Prairie Chickens



10.1 The Petro Patch

"The industrial megaplex that begins on the east side of Houston and continues uninterrupted to the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles away…"





Fractionating Towers


Used for storing gases






Whapwhapwhapwhapwhapwhap

Darwin, Social Darwinism, and Hitler

(…or Stalin or Mao)

Hitler as a Christian

Hitler commonly and throughout life referred to himself as a Christian. He peppered his personal and public communications with biblical references and affirmations of his faith. Hitler believed in Jesus, he believed in Christianity and he believed - much like Abraham willing to sacrifice his own son - that he was doing the Lord's work. He stated so verbatim in Mein Kampf:

"Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord."

What else is there to make one a Christian than personal affirmation in belief? As follows below, Hitler often referred to his beliefs, but his belief was also confirmed by clergymen of his time. The Catholic Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich visited Hitler at his mountain retreat at Obersalzburg in November 1936 and confirmed:

"Without doubt the chancellor [Hitler] lives in faith in God. He recognizes Christianity as the foundation of Western culture." Cardinal Faulhaber [quoted from Helmreich, p.279]

A list of Hitler's words in his personal journals, speeches, etc, as well as those of people around him including other Nazi officers, clergy and so on:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

An extensive article on the use and twisting of Hitler for Christian pretenses:

http://ffrf.org/fttoday/2002/nov02/carrier.php

Darwinism and its influence on Hitler and/or Nazism, etc

Social Darwinism owes its beginning (before Darwin) to a clergymen named Thomas Malthus, as well as Francis Galton, Spencer and others as Eugenics. Evolution does not teach that one race will dominate over another. Hitler abused science to justify his abuse of religion and thereby people. His views were not based on Darwinism, but rather his religious beliefs. Darwinism appeared to support his case, so he twisted it to fit his purposes; which is what many Christians try to do with Nazism and Darwin. Darwin's theory of evolution having been misapplied via the biological principles of natural selection to the social, political, and economic realms led to people trying to place themselves above others. Elitist mindsets seek to support their confidence and elite status (as they perceive it) whenever they can and to whatever distortion is available.

"In the interest of reducing the proportion of the "less fit" in society, eugenicists in the United States helped restrict immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe. They promoted the passage of eugenic sterilization laws that disproportionately threatened lower-income groups. The laws and programs they fostered supplied a model for the Nazis, who sterilized several hundred thousand people and, brandishing their research into the genetics of individual and racial differences, claimed scientific justifications for the Holocaust." - In the Name of Eugenics, Daniel Kevles

Hitler never mentioned Darwin nor did his view of nature reflect any substantive understanding of evolution. In fact, Hitler's racism was based on the view that "races were created distinct by God" and he frequently cited works such as Martin Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies" as guides to his policies. Contrast that with what Darwin said:

"As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races." - The Descent of Man, 1871.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/darwin/nameof/index.html

Darwin was a racist

Ad hominem arguments abound in Darwinian slander, a rather extensive article on the issue:

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/darwin_nazism.htm

http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Darwin_himself_was_racist

Darwin recanted later in life - or near his death

False.

A story that was fabricated by a devout person named Lady Hope. Those Creationists who propagate this claim are apparently unaware of, or unconcerned with, the fact that Darwin's children (who were uniquely in a position to know) have affirmed that Lady Hope's story is false in all particulars.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i1/darwin_recant.asp

[NB: Ken Ham is president of Answers In Genesis.]

from http://groups.google.com/group/Atheism-vs-Christianity/
web/darwin-and-nazism-hitler-racism-and-other-slander

Darwin blamed for Racism...again

According to an article in the Louisville Courier Journal, Ken Ham and Charles Ware have written a book linking Darwin to Racism.

The founder of a Kentucky Christian museum that rejects evolution says in a new book that Darwin's theory fuels racism and genocide.

Ken Ham, who opened the Creation Museum last year, and co-author Charles Ware, president of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, have written "Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots," arguing that the theory inspired the Nazi belief in racial superiority and the murderous policies of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

"What Darwinian evolution did, I would say, is provide what people thought was a scientific justification for separation of races," Ham said in an interview.

Yes, Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum here in Kentucky, has decided to play woofer and tweet with facts again: this is, according to the late Molly Ivins, where a person, in this case Mr. Ham, throws a bunch of facts up like confetti and puts them together however they happen to land.

In response to the claim, the TalkOrigins Archive has the following:

  1. When properly understood, evolution refutes racism. Before Darwin, people used typological thinking for living things, considering different plants and animals to be their distinct "kinds." This gave rise to a misleading conception of human races, in which different races are thought of as separate and distinct. Darwinism helps eliminate typological thinking and with it the basis for racism.

  2. Genetic studies show that humans are remarkably homogeneous genetically, so all humans are only one biological race. Evolution does not teach racism; it teaches the very opposite.

  3. Racism is thousands of years older than the theory of evolution, and its prevalence has probably decreased since Darwin's day; certainly slavery is much less now. That is the opposite of what we would expect if evolution promotes racism.

  4. Darwin himself was far less racist than most of his contemporaries.

  5. Although creationism is not inherently racist, it is based upon and inseparable from religious bigotry, and religious bigotry is no less hateful and harmful than racism.

  6. Racism historically has been closely associated with creationism (Moore 2004), as is evident in the following examples:

    • George McCready Price, who is to young-earth creationism what Darwin is to evolution, was much more racist than Darwin. He wrote,
      The poor little fellow who went to the south
      Got lost in the forests dank;
      His skin grew black, as the fierce sun beat
      And scorched his hair with its tropic heat,
      And his mind became a blank.
      In The Phantom of Organic Evolution, he referred to Negroes and Mongolians as degenerate humans (Numbers 1992, 85).

    • During much of the long history of apartheid in South Africa, evolution was not allowed to be taught. The Christian National Education system, formalized in 1948 and accepted as national policy from 1967 to 1993, stated, among other things,
      that white children should 'receive a separate education from black children to prepare them for their respective superior and inferior positions in South African social and economic life, and all education should be based on Christian National principles' (Esterhuysen and Smith 1998).
      The policy excluded the concept of evolution, taught a version of history that negatively characterized non-whites, and made Bible education, including the teaching of creationism, and religious assemblies compulsory (Esterhuysen and Smith 1998).

    • The Bible Belt in the southern United States fought hardest to maintain slavery.

    • Henry Morris, of the Institute for Creation Research, has in the past read racism into his interpretation of the Bible:
      Sometimes the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have even become actual slaves to the others. Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane, practical matters, they have often eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites (Morris 1976, 241).

Two Birthdays

Happy 199th Birthday!

Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.
~
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.

On the way to the Petro Patch

Paradise, Kentucky

When I was a child my family would travel
Down to Western Kentucky where my parents were born
Where there's a backwards old town that's often remembered
So many times that the memories are worn.

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train done hauled it away

Well, sometimes we'd travel right down the Green River
To the abandoned old prison down by Airdrie Hill
Where the air smelled like snakes and we'd shoot with our pistols
But empty pop bottles was all we would kill.

Old Airdrie Ironworks

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

Then the coal company came with the world's largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.

And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam
I'll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin'
Just five miles away from wherever I am.


And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away

Paradise 1898

Paradise 1965
~Paradise by John Prine