Flushing Remonstrance (1657)

“We desire therefore in this case not to judge least we be judged, neither to condemn least we be condemned, but rather let every man stand and fall to his own Master. Wee are bounde by the Law to Doe good unto all men, especially to those of the household of faith. And though for the present we seem to be unsensible of the law and the Law giver, yet when death and the Law assault us, if we have our advocate to seeke, who shall plead for us in this case of conscience betwixt God and our own souls; the powers of this world can neither attack us, neither excuse us, for if God justifye who can condemn and if God condemn there is none can justify.” ~ Flushing Remonstrance, 1657 (full text)

Religious tolerance in America is 350 years old this week. Let’s do all that we can to make sure that it manages to survive another 350 years, shall we?

Related NY Times Article: “A Colony With A Conscience”

Lost Hero

James Kim was found dead today in a ravine in the Oregon wilderness. Though I didn’t know him personally, I am deeply saddened by this news.

First, because he was a father and husband who made the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to save his family. He failed, I know, but hindsight is 20/20. After almost a week without sign of rescue, how was he to know that help was just a day or so away?

Second, because I was something of a fan. Duane and I used to watch James on TechTV back in the day, before that lovely network was purchased and shut down. More recently we’ve been watching him on CNet’s Tech News which downloads automatically to our TiVo once a week. His reviews were always fair and thorough, and he was an engaging personality.

Mrs. Kim, my heart goes out to you and your daughters. I am so glad that you are safe, and so sad that you’ve lost your husband, father, and hero. My thoughts are with you.


Civic Duty

Originally uploaded by Mac Girl.

As heard this evening on NPR’s “All Things Considered” news program. And I quote:

…Here is the real problem. It has been known for many years that Congressman Foley was a homosexual. Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex. The idea that he should have been continued, or should have continued as Chairman of the House Committe for Missing and Exploited Children given their knowledge of that, is just outrageous…” ~Paul Weyrich, author of the Arlington Group letter calling for the immediate resignation of Dennis Hastert

Ok, first off, fine, I’ll admit that it looks a bit weird to have a gay man in that (pardon the pun) position. Fine. You discover that he’s gay, you get him a different job. Case closed. The fact that they didn’t do this is their problem… well, one of many, many problems…

Second – and nothing personal, gentlemen – show me a man who is NOT preoccupied with sex and I’ll show you either a corpse or a eunuch.

Third – granted my search was necessarily brief – I can find no objective (read: not paid for by a conservative or religious group) study showing that gay men are more or less preoccupied with sex than the average heterosexual male. Anyone got something more for me there?

And finally, the thing that really gets me about this is that people don’t make the leap of logic. They hear “Homosexuals tend to be preoccupied with sex.” and they don’t think for themselves and realize that sexuality is a HUGE part of being human, particularly for men, and that a GREAT NUMBER of people both homo- and heterosexual are preoccupied with sex.

You know, I listen to NPR a lot, and I hear a lot, and most of it doesn’t get a reaction from me, but for some reason hearing Weyrich say this tonight really, really set me off.

end rant

Oh, if you’re interested, here’s the page with the audio stream of the interview.

Brave Soul, Rest In Peace

Among other things this week we, the wards of this blue planet, lost a fearless and indefatigable conservationist. I didn’t watch Steve Irwin’s shows on a regular basis, but when I did catch his show or one of his many guest appearances he was always infectiously enthusiastic about whatever animal he happened to have locked in his arms at the time – be it cuddly or scaly, infant, or toothy, muscular, thrashing adult.

The world is a little darker and scarier without him. He will be – no, he is – sorely missed.

There’s an excellent tribute to The Crocodile Hunter here at News.com.au.

Also, believe it or not, an old article from American Photo about Steve Irwin’s passion for photography, reposted in it’s entirety at PopPhoto.com.

Do You Like It Dark?

AdAge.com is reporting that sales of dark chocolate products are up 40% in 2006 on news that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that combat high blood pressure and heart disease. Awesome news indeed for those of us who already loved dark chocolate!

NOTE: Don’t wash that lovely dark sweetness down with milk! Milk actually prevents the beneficial antioxidant compounds from being absorbed by the body.

Lobster And A Veg

When I was a girl I spent every summer and a few Christmas breaks at my Nana’s house in Maine. I vividly remember the lobster stand on the second floor in the Bangor airport. You could pick your own lobster out of the tank and they would pack it in ice in a carry on transport box for you to take home to New York City, Podunk, Idaho, Pago Pago, or wherever you were going. You could have a fresh Maine Lobster for dinner when you got home and fondly remember your time in Maine.

New airline security rules instituted in the wake of the London terrorist arrests last month state that no liquid other than baby food and prescription medicine can be taken into the cabin of the airplane. This presents a huge problem for duty-free shops whose most popular products are alcoholic beverages and perfume, and for the airport lobster people. Ice is considered liquid, and therefore banned. But they’ve come up with a unique and I think a perfect solution to the problem…

Listen to the full NPR report here.