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Links With Your Coffee - Friday

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Today the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will have a final vote on adopting a biology textbook that includes a reasonable treatment of evolution, but does not include a disclaimer that evolution is "only a theory." A preliminary vote to accept this carried 6-1 two days ago. The final vote is expected to uphold the preliminary vote.

I knew "Heather had two mommies," but now . . .

As far as morality goes, disgust has received a lot of attention, and there has been a lot of work on it. The flip side of it is cleanliness, or being tidy, proper, clean, pure, which has been considered the absence of disgust, or contamination. But there is actually more to being clean, and having things in order. On some level even cleanliness, or the desire to feel clean and pure has a social origin in the sense that primates show social grooming: Monkeys tend to get really close to each other, they pick insects off each other's fur, and it's not just useful in terms of keeping themselves clean, but it has an important social function in terms of bonding them together.



The filibuster today clinches it for me: Bernie Sanders for President, 2012!

live streaming:

(heh - I originally typed "live steaming")

OmegaVader - I've been watching Bernie off and on all day - I saw Norm's link and came here to say the same thing Bernie in 2012

He'll be 72 during the next election - could be an issue. And 9 hours is up and not an official filibuster, but it would be nice it it had good effect.

Check out this Israeli blog which has a link to this ad:

Visiting Israel? Learn to shoot with top Israeli anti-terror experts.

So a real Jew is fully armed with an M16?

So a real Jew is fully armed with an M16?

or, perhaps, a big sign reading "zionists are not settlers" in downtown jerusalem- where a jew with an m-16 won't even be given a second glance.

if you'll allow me for now to use the semi-humorous definition of "real jew" as someone who draws "fire" merely for what he thinks or believes, for what he IS, for some reason or other, no matter where he is- even, and especially, if that fire comes from fellow jews (which is the hidden subtext of the cohen article norm linked to, so maybe not so humorous), allow me to direct your attention to a post a few clicks down on the blog you linked to, about a jew being detained as a terrorist in new zealand a few days ago, because his phylacteries (a positive, time bound commandment involving little black boxes and leather straps, very bdsm :)) resembled a bomb to the clueless passengers and captain of a boat. see, it isn't hard to draw "fire" just for being jewish in the wrong place.

which brings me to the ad on the blog you linked to: i admit it must seem pretty freaky to people who are used to being unmolested for their religion/nationality (like american atheists, for instance) and i too feel a little uncomfortable about it being "out there" on the webz. why should i care?

because that particular blog is run by a pretty good friend of mine (a very nice guy yada yada), and the people behind the ad are also, shall we say, not entirely unknown to me on a personal level.

i happen to think the blog itself is pretty great- he's very good about bringing backup links, is very good about getting things right, and isn't afraid to apologize if he screws up. i used to comment there all the time, but his commenters aren't as smart as he is and i get tired of being called a shameless leftie. :)

but, and i guess this is a free plug: he's the best israeli "warblogger" out there in english, which is how i originally found out about him (jameel), during the last gaza war. "warblogging", if you don't know (or you'll probably look it up and find out im wrong :)) is realtime commentary on a particular conflict. naturally, it's only israel that this applies to (you won't find this relating to most other global conflicts, hmph, etc.) but the bottom line is: you don't have to like the blog (he has a guest blogger who is pretty wingnuttish, for instance, although i like him) but: when the shit really hits the fan in terms of israel/war, and you're looking for (why?) accurate realtime commentary, the is the place to go.

(you can thank me later jameel, for the huge influx of traffic from a bunch of atheists i'm surely bringing you. :))

btw, joann, you are really behind the times. being "fully armed" does not consist of having an m-16. this is being "lightly armed", as indeed the terrorist/freedom fighters which are so "annoying" out here are described in the international press, if at all, firing at us as we drive merrily along on our way to work or whatever "merely" with ak-47's.

you wouldn't want to know what "fully armed" really means in the context of where i live. and many other places. just not where YOU, say, live. :)

ah, what the hell, who cares anyway: here's my response to my best friend from college, a hardcore leftie who sent me the cohen article before norm posted it. he's got over 50000 people on his mailing list and rarely mentions israel (mostly american politics) but sometimes he sends out an israel-based zinger that i feel the need to respond to, and here's my response to him about the article in question here. :

"this is just sad. i never heard about this particular incident, but i have no doubt it really happened. i hope it goes without saying that i'm completely against this sort of behavior and if i had been there the outcome may have been very different. my "credentials" as a settler and an ostensibly orthodox jew, combined with a relative fearlessness about ideological debate (and even, to a certain extent, physical confrontation) may have been able to stop the horrible incident described here before it got started. also, ben yehuda street is totally "my turf"- it's the pedestrian mall where i "busked" for years to make extra money, and still do sometimes. i am "known" there, and liked, generally, and i could have gathered a "crew" to back me up in about 30 seconds..

the key is knowledge- something that the thugs actually have (twisted as it may be) and their "opponents" don't. knowledge of jewish religion, tradition, and israeli politics. i could have put them in their place, or at least turned their ire in my direction and away from the poor guy who didn't even understand what was happening, or why.

jews are not theologically divided in the way christians are- there are only 3 or 4 "versions" of the religion worth mentioning, so in this sense it's simple, and doesn't take a lot of study to understand the differences and how they may be overcome- unlike the zillion christian sects that all hate each other based on tiny points of scriptural interpretation.

unfortunately, the very existance of the state of israel, it's policies, and how they are percieved in the world (and affect the jews who live in that larger world) has created a multitude of "schisms" among jews that are not essentially religious, but political. add to this the haredi influence on israeli politics, and the complete shut-out of more reasonable (but almost exclusively american) forms of judaism, like reform and conservative, from the israeli political system makes for a tinderbox that young, ignorant ostensibly "orthodox" israeli jews just love to throw gasoline on. it's an embarrasment and for what it's worth i do all i can, from here, to fight this sort of thing.

very few american jews (most of whom are completely secular, anyway, like israeli jews) understand the fine points of these issues and often come here and are completely surprised and offended by things like this. also non-jews, like your friend rachel (may her memory be for a blessing).

you say reason is the key. i say knowledge is the key. i don't think wer're disagreeing, rather coming at the problem from different angles. but we both certainly agree that this incident never should have happened, and it is an embarrasment to those in israel who consider themselves "orthodox zionists"- my own chosen community, for better or worse, and i am ashamed on their behalf.

thanks for the article. hope you liked the rudolf/roxanne mashup i sent you. :)

be well,


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