Praise Be To the Sky Fairy and the Seven Lords and Ladies of Haute Cotoure!
Neal Pollack has returned to the Blogosphere! We might just beat these thugs and get our country back.
The Blog of an Open Source Librarian, in which there is no shushing.
Philip [A Chinese Blogger] writes: 'While the rest of the world may not yet consider blogs a relevant media source, in the People's Republic they are one way for people to make themselves heard. Since the mainstream Chinese press is heavily controlled and websites such as BBC News are blocked, blogs provide an alternative voice.'
This isn't very helpful to what Philip calls the 'new wave of commentators and diarists' who have begun to blog. He believes that the crackdown 'may well be related to the current electoral debacle in Taiwan, plus the publication of a letter regarding the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Both of these have been widely discussed by bloggers. It would appear that the government, already nervous of the internet, wishes to further suppress blogging as a medium for discussion.'
All typepad.com and blogs.com hosted sites are banned in China starting this morning, a week after China has agreed to amend its constitution to respect human rights. This is another move by the Central government to curb free speech and freedom of information on the Internet.
SHANGHAI ó China has shut down a pair of Web sites that were free-ranging user forums known as blogs, stepping up government attempts to control political discussion on the Internet, a media watchdog group reported even as one site reappeared Friday.
However, a note Friday on the page of the second site, blogbus.com, said it was still closed due to content problems. (Related story: China bans PC game)
"Because individual postings contained forbidden content, the server is temporarily down. We will seek a speedy resolution to the problem," said a message on the site's Web page.
The other site, identified by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders as blogcn.com, said its page had shut down for "server upgrading" but made no mention of any forced closure due the content. It appeared to be restored on Friday.
China has enthusiastically promoted use of the Internet for commercial applications, but battles to prevent it becoming a forum for criticism of the Communist Party. A special team of police monitors Web sites and chat rooms for sensitive content.
Monty Python's film The Life of Brian is to return to US cinemas next month following the success of The Passion of the Christ.
The Biblical satire will be re-released in Los Angeles, New York and other US cities to mark its 25th anniversary.
Adverts will challenge Mel Gibson's blockbuster with the lines "Mel or Monty?", "The Passion or the Python?"
Distributor Rainbow said it hoped the film would "serve as an antidote to all the hysteria about Mel's movie".
POMONA, N.J. (AP) - The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. called gay marriage a civil rights issue, denouncing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.
Constitutional amendments should be used to expand freedom, not restrict it, Coretta Scott King said Tuesday.
"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."
Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration's efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month.
[...I]n Pompey's theater, at the foot of Pompey's statue, where the senate happened to be meeting that day in the temple of Venus that was part of the theater complex. The foundations of the theater survive to this day, where the modern Roman restaurant Da Pamcrazio invites passersby to dine where Caesar was slain. It's in a wonderful part of the old city, near the Campo dei Fiori. The salad bar's pretty good, but avoid the Texas toast, and above all, Beware the Ides of March.
The early 1920s found social patterns in chaos. Traditionalists, the older Victorians, worried that everything valuable was ending. Younger modernists no longer asked whether society would approve of their behavior, only whether their behavior met the approval of their intellect. Intellectual experimentation flourished. Americans danced to the sound of the Jazz Age, showed their contempt for alcoholic prohibition, debated abstract art and Freudian theories. In a response to the new social patterns set in motion by modernism, a wave of revivalism developed, becoming especially strong in the American South.
~Douglas Linder , from An introduction to Tennessee Vs. John Scopes
Who would dominate American culture--the modernists or the traditionalists? Journalists were looking for a showdown, and they found one in a Dayton, Tennessee courtroom in the summer of 1925. There a jury was to decide the fate of John Scopes , a high school biology teacher charged with illegally teaching the theory of evolution. The guilt or innocence of John Scopes, and even the constitutionality of Tennessee's anti-evolution statute , mattered little. The meaning of the trial emerged through its interpretation as a conflict of social and intellectual values.
William Jennings Bryan , three-time Democratic candidate for President and a populist, led a Fundamentalist crusade to banish Darwin 's theory of evolution from American classrooms. Bryan's motivation for mounting the crusade is unclear. It is possible that Bryan, who cared deeply about equality, worried that Darwin's theories were being used by supporters of a growing eugenics movement that was advocating sterilization of "inferior stock." More likely, the Great Commoner came to his cause both out a concern that the teaching of evolution would undermine traditional values he had long supported and because he had a compelling desire to remain in the public spotlight--a spotlight he had occupied since his famous "Cross of Gold" speech at the 1896 Democratic Convention. Bryan, in the words of columnist H. L. Mencken , who covered the Scopes Trial, transformed himself into a "sort of Fundamentalist Pope." By 1925, Bryan and his followers had succeeded in getting legislation introduced in fifteen states to ban the teaching of evolution. In February, Tennessee enacted a bill introduced by John Butler making it unlawful "to teach any theory that denies the story of divine creation as taught by the Bible and to teach instead that man was descended from a lower order of animals."
"Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."
ó " Evolution as Fact and Theory ," Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History , New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994, p. 254.
"'Creation science' has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage ó good teaching ó than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?"
ó "Verdict on Creationism," The Skeptical Inquirer , 1988, 12 (2): 186.
The pure infophobe (represented not too badly by most "respectable" law-abiding citizens anywhere) obsessively avoids exotic foods, exotic ideas, exotic clothing, exotic people, "dern foreigners," new technology, innovative art or music, tabu subjects, originality, creativity etc. Sen. Exon, Sen. Gramm, most of Congress, Theodore Roszack and Unibomber represent various styles of compulsive infophobic imprints. The pure infophile remains a relatively rare person at this primitive stage of evolution. The infophile seeks out the new and exotic in food, ideas, clothing, technology, art -- everywhere. Picasso, Joyce, Niels Bohr, Bucky Fuller and all the murdered heretics and innovators of history represent extreme infophiliac imprints.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Republican National Committee is warning television stations across the country not to run ads from the MoveOn.org Voter Fund that criticize President Bush, charging that the left-leaning political group is paying for them with money raised in violation of the new campaign-finance law.
"As a broadcaster licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, you have a responsibility to the viewing public, and to your licensing agency, to refrain from complicity in any illegal activity," said the RNC's chief counsel, Jill Holtzman Vogel, in a letter sent to about 250 stations Friday.
"Now that you have been apprised of the law, to prevent further violations of federal law, we urge you to remove these advertisements from your station's broadcast rotation."
But MoveOn.org's lawyer, Joseph Sandler, said in a statement that the ads were funded legally, calling the RNC's letter "a complete misrepresentation of the law."
"The federal campaign laws have permitted precisely this use of money for advertising for the past 25 years," he said.
And MoveOn.org, which was planning to spend $1.9 million on an ad buy that started Thursday, said Friday that it would spend another $1 million.
the United Nations!
Most people think you're ineffective, but you are trying to
completely save the world from itself, so there's always going to be a long
way to go. You're always the one trying to get friends to talk to each
other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of
beating each other about the head and torso. Sometimes it works and sometimes
it doesn't, and you get very schizophrenic as a result. But your heart
is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.
face="Times New Roman">Take the Country
Quiz at the Blue Pyramid
Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace and justice movement, will announce its plan to bring election monitors from the international community to observe and monitor the November elections in Florida. Pax Christi USA will also issue a call inviting other state and national organizations to join them in monitoring the election, especially in Florida, in an attempt to make the democratic process transparent and free of the kind of controversy witnessed in Florida during the 2000 election.
The Smiths, VICAR IN A TUTU
I was minding my business
I was lifting some lead off
The roof of the Holy Name church
It was worthwhile living a laughable life
Just to set my eyes on the blistering sight
Of a vicar in a tutu
He's not strange
He just wants to live his life this way
A scanty bit of a thing
With a decorative ring
That wouldn't cover the head of a child
As Rose collects the money in the cannister
Who comes sliding down the bannister ?
The vicar in a tutu
He's not strange
He just wants to live his life this way...
PRESIDENT PROPOSES MARRIAGE AMENDMENT TO SATISFY AL-QAEDA
"We are not infidels," says a somber Bush. "We agree with you on so many issues."
With President Bush's embrace yesterday of a marriage amendment, the compassionate conservative of 2000 has shown he is willing, if necessary, to make common cause with Osama bin Laden and fundamentalist mullahs throughout the Middle East.
Al-Qaeda, which translates as "The Base," despite three years of not attacking the US directly, has grown restless over Bush ignoring them and focusing too much on Saddam Hussein and John Kerry. At the same time, al-Qaeda is pleased that Bush has forwarded their agenda of destroying the United States, though Bush prefers "soft" methods such as financial mismanagement and murderously reckless environmental policy.
So when gay marriages advanced in Massachusetts and San Francisco, Bush felt a need to respond to the cries of angry mullahs -- even if it meant losing some swing voters he needs in November.
"Ultimately, I don't think he had any choice," said Ayman al-Zahawiri, a religious conservative who some call "Bin Laden's Brain." "The president has never really shown an enthusiasm about the wars over the culture." Al-Zahawiri added: "It would've been inconceivable that a president so associated with traditional values would have sat idly by while marriage was being redefined. He had to act."
..."Pulling our troops out of Saudi Arabia and going after the secular Saddam Hussein has not been enough for bin Laden and his people. Yes, now Iraq is on the way to becoming an Islamic state and Bush is eager to get us the hell out of there, but still you need to prove that you're willing to take measures at home. Eliminating civil liberties was the first step, and bin Laden is quite pleased about Bush's judicial appointees, most of whom favor reducing women's rights and making America a more explicitly religious nation. But if we're really going to please al-Qaeda we have to start attacking God's enemies directly. Homosexuals are God's enemies."
Already, some imams are pushing Bush to back an amendment that outlaws civil unions, too.
"In the last couple of months, 'The Base' has been hungry for moral leadership to come out of White House and was urging him to do something strong like he did today," said Shaikh Saiid al-Masri, one of the principal financiers of bin Laden's revolutionary terrorist organization.
But al-Masri said jihadists will balk if Bush sanctions an amendment allowing civil unions. "Creating counterfeits by any name hurts the real thing," he said. "God is great and he will punish the infidels who condone sodomy."