Poignant poesy posted @PANDA'S THUMB
A million million spermatozoa
All of them alive;
Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah
Dare hope to survive.
And among that billion minus one
Might have chanced to be
Shakespeare, another Newton, a new Donne—
But the One was Me. [Aldous Huxley]
NEW SECULARISM IN ARAB WORLD
by Ghassan F. Abdullah
No opinion polls concerning religious beliefs are usually allowed in Arab countries, to judge the real spread of secular ideas. An exception is the survey of living conditions of the Palestinian society under Israeli occupation in Gaza, West Bank and Arab Jerusalem, which challenges some widely held notions about religious attitudes. It shows that the percentage of 'secular' men is 20%, going up to an unexpected 30% among women, and that it is on average higher than the percentage of Islamic 'activists' on the other end of the spectrum even in the Gaza refugee camps. Secular is defined in the study as someone who's life is not dictated by religion. The larger middle ground is being held by simply 'observant' moslems. Partial surveys by some university students elsewhere seem to confirm this distribution of the degree of belief. More: NEW SECULARISM IN THE ARAB WORLD
ART DECADENT (Click image to enlarge)
STREET CYNIC says liberals should quit beating themselves up and/or letting conservatives bitch-slap them over blocking Robert Bork's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice 18 years ago. Bork WAS unfit then - and he's evolved into a real nutjob as time has passed. (Bork's been slouching toward theo-fascism all along).
Liberals still aren't off the hook for defending Alger Hiss, though. He WAS a Soviet spy . . .
IS THIS A SURPRISE?
ALL CONSERVATIVES DON'T BUY "INTELLIGENT DESIGN" ...
Over @ STREET CYNICCharles Krauthammer dismiss ID from science classes . . .
conservative pundits such as
WONKETTE SAYS ROCKER DENIES CRUISIN' FOR CRUISE
Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas has hit back at those remarkably widespread rumors that he was caught in bed with Tom Cruise, saying, "If I were gay, Tom wouldn't be on the top of my list ... It would be Brad Pitt. I'm more offended by the rumors saying I'm a Scientologist." (WENN via IMDB)
PICK ME! PICK ME! WONKETTE
Bob Woodward wants to spend time in a women's prison; who wouldn't? "If the judge would permit it, I would go serve some of [Miller's] jail time." [E&P]
REMEMBER POTUS CANDIDATE DENNIS KUCINICH?
He was the smallest; also the hardest working.
WAPO sez: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), age 58, has been engaged for two weeks. Bride-to-be Elizabeth Harper, no age given, is a Brit who works for a monetary policy think tank in Chicago. The wedding, Kucinich's THIRD, is expected to take place in late summer in the Cleveland area, natch.
DANIEL PIPES HAS IMECCABLE CREDENTIALS
AS A HAWK IN THE WAR ON TERROR
LGF WATCH "Mon Dieu! On Tuesday, Daniel Pipes, whose credentials as an implacable foe of Jihad Inc. are absolutely impeccable, made a startling observation:
Thanks to the war in Iraq, much of the world sees the British government as resolute and tough and the French one as appeasing and weak. But in another war, the one against terrorism and radical Islam, the reverse is true: France is the most stalwart nation in the West, even more so than America, while Britain is the most hapless.
In the immortal words of Jon Stewart, "whuuuh??" Not only is Pipes committing the ultimate act of Patriotically Incorrect™ blasphemy -- i.e. praising the French -- but he's also saying that the WOT™ and the war in Iraq are two different wars. Why, it's almost as if he's admitting that attacking Iraq had nothing to do with fighting terror. Thanks for noticing, guys. And a very happy Quatorze Juillet to you all!"
I'D RATHER EAT IN A SALOON
THAN DRINK IN A RESTAURANT -
especially a "family" restaurant with "free" live gospel music.
I got a call from a gospel group recently that was playing in a "family" restaurant. The caller was an old drummer friend from my days of pickin' and grinnin' in biker bars in Downtown Stony Holler (Vance Road) and Drexel. He and I used to participate in group recreational activities and naked olympic events with members of the Dayton Satans along with some of their sleazey hill-jill camp followers all those years ago.
He said, "It's a good time, Art. You know most of us."
I replied, "But Ray, you know I'm an atheist. It just wouldn't do for me to be singin' gospel songs."
And Ray, who was livin' with a woman who was not one of his several former wives, said, "It don't mean nothin'. It's just a chance to get together with a lot of the old players."
I asked him, "Do you remember when I used to sing, 'Baby let me bang your box' at the 6305? I can still do that!"
Ray convulsed and almost lost his North Carolina dentures before catchin' himself and sayin' he'd heard me sing, "There's No Hidin' Place Down Here" lots of times. And I reminded him that whenever I had sung gospel music in his presence I was drunk!
3 - Piece
for the Show
More . . .
Photos of Rev. Art
as The Saloon Singer
BISHOP JOHN SHELBY SPONG
on Biblical Errancy . . .
- It is not easy to be human. Anxiety and mortality have to be embraced by self-conscious creatures and that is what makes our humanity so unique among the creatures of this earth.
- Religion is primarily a search for security and not a search for truth. Religion is what we so often use to bank the fires of our anxiety. That is why religion tends toward becoming excessive, neurotic, controlling and even evil. That is why a religious government is always a cruel government.
RANT, REV. - RANT
It's one thing to follow a strict theology, accepting the literal truth of one's so-called holy texts - it's quite another to condemn everyone else in a democratic society who interprets the texts differently or reads from another set of books. "TOLERANCE" isn't superfluous in a diverse society such as ours. It's a requirement or we'll all be at each other's throats shouting the favored names of deities as we contend and kill.
A "feel-good" society, as fundies & wing-nuts refer to it, seems to me to be a "Live and let live" society, as Jefferson intended. The libertarian ideal presented to us by our founding brothers assumes less gummint is better and personal autonomy is sacrosanct - yet so many religious conservatives today seek to incorporate their personal mores derived from narrow religious interpretations into the gummint, thereby restricting everyone to their narrow sectarian codes.TOLERANCE is part and parcel with a democratic society incorporating many origins, cultures and religions. Tolerance doesn't connote approval; it doesn't even negate disdain; it merely recognizes each part within the whole as integral.E Pluribus Unum,
Rev. Art, Freethought Evangelist