...touching base, as it were. I was in the neighborhood. As I keep explaining (but you won't listen), I've not only been too busy to blog, I wouldn't know what to say if I did. I'm so (hopelessly/blessedly) out of touch with current events, I ought to have my blogging license revoked. So I've got nothing to tell you about what whoever wrote about how whoever is covering whatever. In fact, I'll fess up: I've to begun to regard avoiding the "news," especially TV "news," as vital to my health and happiness. Print and Web, not so bad. I'll check the NY Times online front page a couple of times a day to make sure nobody's, you known, nuked anybody in the past 12 hours, basically.... So if I appear to have my head too deeply buried in the sand (I am out at the beach), somebody pull me out.
These are a few of the topics/stories I would have blogged about recently, if there was such a thing as free will--and that I hope to come back to soon as I'm, you know, released:
Great little 2004 essay by E.L. Doctorow, “The Unfeeling President,” in the East Hampton Star
"Jedi 'religion' grows in Australia" (BBC, Aug. 2002] "More than 70,000 people in Australia have declared that they are followers of the Jedi faith, the religion created by the Star Wars films. A recent census found that one in 270 respondents - or 0.37% of the population - say they believe in 'the force,' an energy field that gives Jedi Knights like Luke Skywalker their power in the films."
Specially painful to me personally, and, I hope, to you: "Atheists Hated More than Gays, Muslims, All Other Groups." "Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry....'Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years,' says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor [U. of Minnesota] and the study’s lead researcher."
The percentages of people who say that torture is never justified:
31% White Protestant
31% White evangelical
32% Overall Population
...and who think that torture is often justified:
15% White Protestant
13% White evangelical
15% Overall Population
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Not sure when this Chris Matthews Hardball interview dates from--but hey, on this blog, does it matter?
Matthews: Did you choose to be heterosexual?
[Jerry] Falwell: I did.
Matthews: You thought about it and you came up with that solution, that lifestyle?
Falwell: Well, put it this way, I was taught as a child that that's the right way to be.
Matthews: But did you feel an attraction toward women?
Falwell: Oh, of course.
Matthews: But when people are born and they find themselves having an attraction to somebody from the same sex, do you think that's a choice?
Falwell: I think you can experiment with any perversity and develop an appetite for it, just like you can food. […] I don't think anybody is born a bank robber […]
Matthews: How old were you when you chose to be heterosexual?
Falwell: Oh, I don't remember that.
Matthews: Well you must, because you say it's a big decision.
Falwell: Well, I – I started dating when I was about thirteen.
Matthews: And you had to decide between boys and girls. And you chose girls.
Falwell: Well, I never had to decide, I never thought … (laughter)
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"Dogs look up to you. Cats look down on you. Pigs treat you like equals." –Winston Churchill
"The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?"--Pablo Casals
"Like other revolutionaries I can thank God for the reactionaries. They clarify the issue."--R.G. Collingwood (1889-1943), British philosopher