It was late February, the week between when the Arizona state legislature passed S. 1062, allowing a “religious exception” to provide service to people, presumably gay people, and when Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill. I was watching JEOPARDY!, in real time. A clue popped up about the Greensboro Four, the young black men who, in February 1960, sat in at a Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter.
Suddenly, the Daughter started singing this song, about it, Rosa Parks, and the Little Rock Nine like events, which I had never heard before:
“Some young men in Carolina sat down at a counter and asked for something to eat
Cause they had a dream, yes they had a dream
And when no one served them, they just kept sitting, they never missed a beat
Cause they had a dream, yes they had a dream
They had a dream that all our children could live in harmony
And go to school together and work in the land of liberty”
Continue reading The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Monsanto, a large agricultural entity in the US, apparently needs protection, for the US Congress has passed, back in the spring of 2013, what has been dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act, which, critics claim, “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future”. The bill has been recently reauthorized in the House, but not the Senate. (Meanwhile, while supporting corporate welfare, the House GOP axes food assistance for millions of Americans.)
So what’s the issue with GMOs? It is believed that GMOs are not safe. “They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.” Continue reading M is for Monsanto, modified foods and mischief
It’s Constitution Day!
Earlier in the year, I was inclined to agree with Jon Stewart of The Daily Show that most of the Constitution seems to be under attack, except that the Second Amendment right to bear arms seemed to be sacrosanct. For instance, the Supreme Court has chipped away at the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Worse, it felt that only a relative handful of people were concerned. That has visibly changed, and the opposition to governmental overreach is bipartisan.
Item from Newsmax:
“The American Civil Liberties Union is joining tea party activists in opposing the use of armed drones and other counterterrorism operations to kill suspected terrorists, even American citizens.
Continue reading Constitutional allies
If you’re not from the United States, you may not be aware of the fact that the US is having its national election on Tuesday, November 6.
Approximately 1/3 of the US Senate is up for election. Senators are elected on a statewide basis for six-year terms.
All 435 members of the House of Representatives are up for election. The number of districts in each state is dependent on its population. The breakdown changes every 10 years, after the decennial Census. The results of the 2010 Census will alter the makeup of the House for the 2012 election. Continue reading N is for National Elections on November 6
Cognitive Deficit: How Budget Cuts Could Prevent Scientific Breakthroughs
“The Higgs boson isn’t just one missed opportunity – it represents how much the U.S. stands to lose if we don’t give our scientists the support they need. The Congress of the early ’90s might have pulled the plug on a $10 billion particle accelerator, but it’s hard to imagine today’s Congress even contemplating such a project when attempts to fund basics like unemployment insurance and infrastructure repair result in partisan gridlock.”
We’re ALL Immigrants, Higgs is Our Common Ancestor.
Why the boson is like Justin Bieber.
Remembering when Francis Scott Key, the man who penned “The Star-Spangled Banner,” defended slavery in court. Continue reading July Rambling: the God particle, and Key's defense of slavery
I was on Facebook recently, and someone, who I believe considers herself a bit of a fashionista, wrote: “Did you have ANY idea Vidal Sassoon was a real person? I did not.” She must be even younger than I thought, because that means she never saw this commercial, and others like it. This made me feel rather old Continue reading Yes, there was a real Vidal Sassoon
One of the e-mail items I receive regularly comes from the Citizens Against Government Waste, who are vigilant against roads to nowhere and $16 muffins. CAGW regularly names a Porker of the Month, “a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.”
For September 2011, the designee was Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) “for suggesting that the United States Postal Service (USPS) can solve its financial problems by embarking on a new advertising campaign. During a September 6, 2011 Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing at which Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe speculated that USPS could be out of business by the end of the year, Sen. McCaskill stated, ‘I really believe that if somebody would begin to market the value of sending a written letter to someone you love, you might be surprised [by] how you could stabilize first-class mail.’ Continue reading Hardly Kosher Bacon
As a friend noted, “If this occurred randomly and naturally, it’s amazing. If it was done with Photoshop, it was inspired.”
‘Cheap flights’ song (and dance)
Rivers of Babylon a capella by Amy Barlow, joined by Kathy Smith and Corrine Crook, at Amy’s gig in my hometown of Binghamton, NY, July 2009.
Star Wars, the complete musical?
Many people use the terms science fiction and fantasy as if they are interchangeable or identical, when they are actually related, not the same. Author David Brin illuminates the differences.
Superman: citizen of the world
Re: World Intellectual Property Day and Jack Kirby
As a Presbyterian minister, I believed it was a sin. Then I met people who really understood the stakes: Continue reading April Rambling
I see that Arthur is cranky; maybe it’s the summertime blues for him.
I’m cranky too, and it’s not just the cold and snow.
*The shooting of nearly two dozen people, including a Congresswoman, with six deaths, including a guy who shielded his wife from gunfire, and the nine-year-old granddaughter of a former MLB pitcher who was the only girl on her Little League team, made me more than just cranky; I found it emotionally devastating.
What made me extremely cranky, though, is the attempt by that so-called church from Kansas to picket the girl’s funeral today.
Earlier, I was also appaled by the insistence of several news organizations to pronounce the Congresswoman dead, when, in fact, she was not. Somehow, in the throes of the chaotic situation, the need to be first trumped the need to be accurate. It’s an error for which “oops” just doesn’t cut it.
I wrote a little something for our local newspaper’s blog, more as a way for me to cope than anything else. I used the now-infamous graphic targeting members of Congress, including Gabrielle Giffords, but the text, I thought, was rather restrained. In any case, all I needed to do was post and (mostly) get out of the way. Continue reading Cranky
I can’t believe I missed it. OK, until I read about it in TIME magazine, I’d never even heard of it, though it’s been going on for a half dozen years. There’s a group that has called for Loving Day Celebrations around June 12th each year “to fight racial prejudice through education and to build multicultural community.”
The celebration is named for Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, who had the audacity to fall in love with each other. Unable to get married legally in their native Virginia – he was white, she was black – they got hitched in Washington, DC and “established their marital abode in Caroline County”, Virginia.
Ultimately, on “January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge” stemming from their interracial marriage, “and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:
“‘Almighty God Continue reading L is for Loving Day