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Well it is official.  Ecclesiastic powers are abdicated at Lourdes.  Its off to Cabo.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081203/ap_on_re_eu/eu_france_lourdes_miracles_2/print

Let me check my watch and see the date.

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We are about to go into a “phase” as my mother used to refer to my dependence on a specific set of terms, ideas or behavior. That phase is going to be around for awhile and it’s going to drive us nuttier than a 4 year presidential election campaign. It is a ‘racism’ phase and it will end up giving the neocons apoplexy, the centrists gout, and the make the left wingnuts tongue-tied.

No. racism doesn’t have to be black vs. white. If you think that you haven’t had to be paying attention. It can be British vs. French, Indian vs. Pakistani and a hundred other real or imagined lines of descendence that we think makes a difference. It is all the same racism.

And it is now open verbiage to be applied to uncritical street cred and maniacal approaches to everything imaginable. You are racist if you want secure boarders. You are a racist if you don’t care one way or another. You are racist if you want a strong UN. You are raciest if you want your children to go to public – private – parochial or military school (pick).

As for those that think we have a black President it must be dead, pleassssseeee! Spend some time in the south, in the north, east, west, in prison, on a cruise ship, in a space program…

Know racism is not dead. It is not even sick. It is alive and well and willing to come out with a joke, a glace, a decision to stay home from the blues concert. It is euphemism expressed openly. It is seen in almost any non- SNL skit where “nudge – nudge, wink – wink” says it all. It is at every eatery you drive thru or opulently satiate yourself at as well as every level of management seeking a vision to hide our primitivism. It is convoluted, reverse, covert, overt and illegal. It is in front of you and it is behind you. Worst of all, it will never die any more than fear that generates it will be die.

In the end, it is an abject announcement that ‘my cave is better than your cave’ and that I am more in charge of my future if and only if I can make some entity less so that I will be more. It is yours for use as long as you are willing to accept ‘Diversity training’ for your transgressions. It is yours for use as long as you can point to your involvement in affirmative action pamphleteering or some absurd “Guilt-be-gone!” behavior equivalent to two wrongs make a right.

As complex interacting humans that are endlessly pressured to define who we are, we need to call people on their use of racism, and be called on ours, in communications of all sorts. Just ask, “What do you mean?” Otherwise, its easy use will morph to an all encompassing modifier to give credence to our position or shock value to our voice.

So, now we need to turn our phasers on and be ready to shoot down, stun or punctuate any conversation or ink that rides the coattails of an Obama victory to profess their new slant on bigotry.

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One of my great friends and confidants has pointed out, in a non-chiding way, that one of my favorite authors, Ben Stein, has been doing and saying some disturbing and annoying things lately. This phase of his career started to get weird with the movie he produced and starred in called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.”

Six Things in Expelled That Ben Stein Doesn’t Want You to Know …

Apr 16, 2008 In the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, narrator Ben Stein poses as a “rebel” willing to stand up to the scientific establishment in
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=six-things-benstein-doesnt-want-you-to-know – 159k – CachedSimilar pages

The Big Picture | Farewell To Ben Stein

Let us not forget that Ben Stein thinks that Nixon could have won the Vietnam War, and defeated the Kamar Rouge, but not for the dastardly deeds of Woodward
bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/01/farewell-to-ben.html – 181k – CachedSimilar pages

Well, the movie was panned. It is not at all good or entertaining, or informative. But now his reinforcers come increasingly from Fox faculty and from those who have a lot to lose if things continue to move in several different directions…. In education, government, free speech, the courts, the reduction of the imperial presidency, science, etc.

He has some points of fairness but some of the reviews in Scientific America were scathing. He benefits by being on the shows of bull dogs ‘cause he is a known entity. But where is it going? He can’t be looking for another TV gig, can he??!! He has some agenda. Stay tuned…

The people that he, BS, pushes in academia have some good and some mediocre value to science… but, in a peer review based community they don’t do well at all so they don’t get the tenure tracks, the research $$, etc. The free speech argument is impotent if no one is listening! It’s like it was for the black panthers: People hear it but don’t listen twice… even if it was true.

Say that 5 or 15 scientist have a point…well, it is chalkboard science rather than electromicrosopy level stuff so the shock jocks are the only ones that BS gets to visit because a guest lecturer series at MIT would or U. of Kazakhstan would not be entertained. His movie assures that!

Free speech per se is not part of academic freedom any more than racial epitaphs are part of the schick in a comedy club. The guy that posed that World Trade center focus on 9/11 was retaliation for 120 years of subjugation and abuse in the Middle East by Westerners, from the U. of Colorado was bounced. Nothing to do with data… just research grants and academic respect.

It may be more about BS then the profs that question evolution. Like Darwin work churned for 150 years to get traction, these belly-ache-ers are being used by BS and will have to fight to make their point. A media blitz works against it, so… what’s his agenda? Stay tuned!…..

They know what they are doing in academia. BS knows what he is doing in media mud. Both are faced with an uphill climb and a) getting someone in science in some country that doesn’t recognize voodoo to bridge their work to what we know about that is basic to chemistry, anatomy, paleontology, etc. that is more powerful than man and money having 99.997% of the same DNA… and b) getting BS to account for his loopiness or give him a show on conspiracy theories in the vein of John Stossel on 20/20 on ABC.

I can just see it now… he gets on TV with a hard-hitting conspiracy angle… and starts in on ‘morality of stem cell research’, intelligent design, elder care and extension of life and then ‘Self termination criteria you can live with’ and the ratings go over the top…. New reality based TV… a series: CSI – Geriatrics, or “Make a Wish in Area 51” and… oh, the horror…..Oh, Ben… Don’t be that way…

Don’t ask… No, I didn’t see the movie. I also didn’t see “Ol Yeller.” I am as good at ‘suspending disbelief’ as the next guy but I didn’t need the practice that bad.

However, I was heavy into what was going on with him and the scientists.

http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/hitler-eugenics

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There are many writings in science, law and politics these days that amount to a plea to use the laws that exist in the natural environment to better accomplish common objectives. The argument goes that in order to extend our life on earth and boost the quality of the 28,500 days* we have, we need to play to our strengths. Right now, our strength and the strength of many industrialized nations is the strengths that comes from science and technology.

In a world view and in a regional view, it would be irresponsible if we didn’t use technology and science. That technology includes and an empirical approach to behavior that rubs the status quo proponents the wrong way. Use of what is known about the how we learn and how we behave can help prevent some of the ills and dilemmas that we’ve put ourselves in. It can also prevent others from occurring. Just as assuredly, changes are sure to cause new forms of discomfort. The individual and the society will have to work to deal individually, culturally, politically and environmentally with an empirical behavior analysis that takes a less emotional approach to behavior. Compared to the slaughter of people and cultures, this discomfort is actually a reprieve from what we can expect without change in the voodoo logic and the mumbo-jumbo of 3000 year old superstitions and traditions.

This isn’t a new idea, just a new appeal to the world inhabited by users of science and technology. Someone said in the early 70’s:

“2500 years ago it might have been said that man understood himself as well as any other part of his world. Today, he understands himself least.”

Look at what has happened since that statement…! That makes it a particularly poignant when amplified repeatedly by the disturbing events each of us has had to endure in that period. Things that could have been prevented, avoided or better managed if there had been a different view of “man”.

Due to technology society gets to see war real time; gets to see live video cam death in hospital wards, in police stations, on the campuses and via natural disasters. We get instant access and feedback in almost every media channel available to man. Thus, those that posit that a scientific approach to behavior is a threat to our way of life, look around. For those that claim a sectarian approach to behavior is not possible are reminded that the same things were said about chemistry, biology and physics as some brave explores went about figuring out how those parts of the world work. Anyone frightened by science that keeps him/her alive to protest is in a vulnerable state and is dangerous.

Without a comfort zone we almost all are scared. With a comfort zone we may be still using leaches to clean blood, sage to protect us from evil spirits or apricot pits to cure cancer. [Yes, some reading this may still be favoring one or more of these remedies, but…]

To prevent some of the things that we don’t like happening we’ll have to give up something. Nothing in life or Nature is free. Chemistry, biology and physics gave up ‘stuff.’ Now it is our turn. And, as frightening as it is, we need to find others that can help us make the adjustments over time. Others will help us learn to attend to the natural rules that have always been there but were ignored. Others can help dissolve conflicts over competing beliefs and traditions. We humans are great at adjustments and adaptations so it is clean this can work. It an adjustment how you came to read blogs on the Internet? However, if you like the state of the world, the relationships you have with the institutions, agencies and forces that inhabit your world, then you don’t need to do anything. You get to take the cultural Quaalude and pull over. Ok.

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I have just received for the 12th time this week a virus wannabe email that purports to say that the writer has grave concerns for this country….etc.

In response to the person of known evangelical everything [non-religious meaning] to pass on emails, I gave the following challenge: 

Nice to see your name in my inbox.

 

This has an interesting kind of evangelistic sway to it.  Softer than most but a humble chain email… in a way that reeks of “don’t blame me for the last 71/2 years!”

 

So, what do you think ______?  What are your thoughts on these statements?   How do you assess that a person who was a prisoner of war contributes to that person’s international expertise?

 

I think that writing these pieces is the best thing in the world for those that write them.  Very cathartic, don’t you agree?! 

 

They are the ones who make the effort, take a position, and expose themselves to critique.  Ultimately, they are the one’s who know what they believe, what they value and so on.

 

In comparison, what are the people doing that pass these on?  Kind of like in scene in “When Harry Met Sally” where the on-looker in the restaurant says drolly, “I’ll have whatever she’s having…”

 

I’ll make a deal with you…  If you write one, I’ll write one.  I’ll pass on mine no matter what and you can decide if you want to pass on yours.

 

Now THAT is involvement rather than being part of the ‘silent majority’!   Is it a deal?

I’ll make the same deal with anyone who cares to send less than one page on how they feel about this country and this election. 

 

 

Looking for takers, not fakers. 

 

 

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