According to recent polls, a growing number of Americans believe that the Second Amendment was put in the Bill of Rights in order to guarantee that our government will not impose any kind of tyranny upon us. That an armed populace is a bulwark against government oppression. [More . . . ]
Here are a few photos I took at the St. Louis Zoo over the past few weeks. All of these involve physical grooming by primates, three of them featuring two orangutans and one of them involving a larger group of chimpanzees. This is one of the ways these animals know who is their friend or foe.
We human animals groom for this same purpose, but we generally engage in verbal grooming: gossip. Using words rather than physical grooming we can connect with many more fellow humans at one time than any of those animals limited to physical grooming. I make this claim based on the work of Robin Dunbar.
Recently, I finished reading Lawrence Wright’s new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollwood, & the Prison of Belief, about Scientology. It’s a lucid history and examination of the movement. [More . . . ]
Shall we vote for our phone companies’ profit margins or for Internet access for all, resulting in true growth? The answer should be obvious to anyone who is not a phone company. The Washington Post reports:
The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month. The proposal from the Federal Communications Commission has rattled the $178 billion wireless industry, which has launched a fierce lobbying effort to persuade policymakers to reconsider the idea, analysts say. That has been countered by an equally intense campaign from Google, Microsoft and other tech giants who say a free-for-all WiFi service would spark an explosion of innovations and devices that would benefit most Americans, especially the poor. . . . . “We want our policy to be more end-user-centric and not carrier-centric. That’s where there is a difference in opinion” with carriers and their partners, said a senior FCC official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal is still being considered by the five-member panel.
My relationship with the Boy Scouts of America was not the most pleasant. I was an oddity, to be sure. I think I was at one time the only—only—second class scout to be a patrol leader. Second class. For those who may not have been through the quasi-military organization, the way it was structured in [...]
I know many thinking Catholics, and 98% of these people what I would term “conflicted Catholics.” When I’m together with more than one of them, they often spontaneously express their frustration, embarrassment and even rage regarding the Church. What drives this frustration? Many things, including more than a few of these questions raises by Adam Lee at Alternet in “50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church.”
Despite these immense intractable problems with the Roman Catholic Church, most Catholics I know continue to associate themselves with the church. They are not willing to give up their religious community, in spite of these hurdles. This willingness to stick with the church is hard to understand for an outsider like me. I would think that 1/10 of this misconduct would have me running from any organization.