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Member since: Wed Oct 13, 2004, 05:42 PM
Number of posts: 8,636

Journal Archives

John Fitgerald Kennedy's Peace Speech at American University

JFK would have been 98 today; remember him and remember when a president could really talk like this?

"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask "why not?"."

The Man Behind France's New Food Waste Law Wants to Make it Global

From Addicting Info:

Last week France made headlines around the world after they passed an amendment to a larger law that makes it illegal for large supermarkets to throw away edible food. The amendment makes it so that any food that is not yet expired but would normally be thrown out now has to be given to charity, used for animal feed, or turned into biomass. The law itself wont officially be passed until Tuesday, but there isn’t any doubt that the law will be passed in full. Those who violate the law will face stiff penalties or jail time. Now the politician, who helped make that happen, is determined to expand the idea on a global scale. Arash Derambarsh is municipal councilor for the “Divers Droit” which in English translates to the “diverse right.”

M. Derambarsh described his own experiences as a literally starving law student for The Guardian:

“I have been insulted and attacked and accused of being naive and idealistic, but I became a local councillor because I wanted to help people. Perhaps it is naive to be concerned about other human beings, but I know what it is like to be hungry.

“When I was a law student living on about €400 ($437.48 U.S) a month after I’d paid my rent, I used to have one proper meal a day around 5pm. I’d eat pasta, or potatoes, but it’s hard to study or work if you are hungry and always thinking about where the next meal will come from.”

Derambarsh plans on working with ONE, to promote the removal of global food waste at the G20 economic summit held in Turkey this year, as well the COP21 Paris Climate talks.

Global food waste is a global scourge that hurts both the developed world and the developing one. A report from the United Nations released in 2013, found that globally the world wastes about 1.3 billion tons of food each year. That waste costs the global economy about $750 billion dollars every year as well. The amount of waste in the global food system also has terrible consequences for the environment. About 28% of the world’s agricultural lands are wasted on growing food that ends up being wasted. Those wasted crops also drink up an astounding amount of water. The U.N says that so much water is wasted it is the “equivalent to the annual flow of Russia’s Volga River”. The Volga River is the largest river in Europe. Global food waste is doing its part in wrecking the climate as well, causing an extra 3.8 billion tons of extra carbon pollution to be released into the atmosphere every year.

With the world facing a water crisis as well as an ongoing hunger crisis, this sounds like a damn good idea to me! Food banks, like Kansas City's Harvesters, could use some of this 'waste' food to distribute to the poor.

Oskar Pernefeldt invited to Icarus Interstellar's 2015 Starship Congress

The Icarus Interstellar Facebook page says that Mr. Pernefeldt has been invited to the 2015 Starship Congress; no word yet on whether he has accepted.

The Starship Congress is the convention for the Icarus Interstellar Foundation, a private, international organization dedicated to research on interstellar travel.

There are many articles linking the Duggars to the Quiverful, Dominionist, and patriarchy movements

From Patheos: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2009/11/christian-dominionism-part-1-the-ties-that-bind-extremist-politics-to-christian-patriarchy/

In recent years, most popular culture discussions of the Christian Quiverfull movement center on the charming Duggar family of TLC reality fame. The Duggars—parents of eighteen children with another on the way—are seen by many as a wholesome—if quirky—example of a healthy family with astoundingly polite and well-behaved children. It is nearly impossible to have a discussion with a well-meaning Quiverfull-illiterate without hearing that familiar refrain: “They just seem like such nice people!”


The overwhelming majority of Quiverfull families—who comprise a miniscule percentage of the American population—are followers of an extremist brand of right-wing politics called Christian Dominionism. Motivated by such writers as RJ Rushdoony and Francis Schaeffer, they want to establish a militant Christian theocracy in the United States. Not only that, but they have imperialistic designs on the rest of the world.

In this era of Christian Right ascendancy, there are at least three names that those of us who remain committed to transparent democratic processes should know: RJ Rushdoony (intellectual father of Christian Dominionism), Bill Gothard (Quiverfull’s figurehead for stealth political organizing), and Erik Prince (CEO of Xe—formerly Blackwater—and the first Christian Dominionist to amass a private army capable of successfully overthrowing a government). The rest of the posts in this series will show what each of these men is about and shed light on this often dismissed—but increasingly powerful—fringe minority. It appears as though TLC will continue to romanticize the Quiverfull lifestyle for the foreseeable future, and it’s up to those of us who know better to shed a brighter light on its politics.


Born in 1916 to Armenian immigrants in the United States, Rousas John Rushdoony was a Calvinist theologian whose fundamentalist teachings would provide the intellectual foundations for Christian Dominionism—or Christian Reconstructionism—in North America. In his writings, Rushdoony laid the groundwork for the establishment of a Christian theocracy not unlike Calvin’s Geneva in the contemporary United States. Rushdoony’s multi-volume opus, The Institutes of Biblical Law, has provided much of the movement’s political framework.


Rushdoony today remains a popular figure among fundamentalist Quiverfull families. He was an early proponent of the view that Christian families should homeschool their children in order to shelter them from secular schools in the United States. Among other works, his Philosophy of the Christian Curriculum was heard as a rallying cry for parents who shared Rushdoony’s disdain for the evils of secular humanism. For Rushdoony, the Christian homeschool was seen—almost literally—as a military training ground for the children who would become the foot soldiers in this war to replace the secular government of the United States with a fundamentalist one. In defense of these goals, Rushdoony famously wrote that “Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies.”

Erik Prince? Remember him? He's the Blackwater / Xe guy:

One thing that has not been widely reported, however, is Xe’s Dominionist allegiance, up to and including the fact that its former CEO—and now chairman—Erik Prince, is the biological heir apparent to the U.S. Dominionist community.


Oh, while you're at it; read the Wikipedia pages on the Quiverfull and Dominionist movements.

Links to articles about Oskar Pernefeldt

Great artwork in this article: Oskar Pernefeldt envisions the international flag of Planet Earth.

Wired.com: The Earth now has a flag for when we reach Mars

Oskar Pernefeldt's site for the flag: The International Flag of Planet Earth


The scientific study of flags is called vexillology, and the practice of designing flags is called vexillography. Both of these are an outcome of heraldry. In these practices there are different unofficial design rules/costums, about colors, placement, proportions, typography, and aestethics in general.

This proposal is accurate according to the regulations regarding flags.


Centered in the flag, seven rings form a flower – a symbol of the life on Earth. The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked. The blue field represents water which is essential for life – also as the oceans cover most of our planet's surface. The flower's outer rings form a circle which could be seen as a symbol of Earth as a planet and the blue surface could represent the universe.


Centered on an azure field, seven circles of silver interlaced, creating a flower.

I would advise caution about accepting this too quickly!

Don't get me wrong; I'm a space geek from way back. In 2013, I sat glued to my PC watching Icarus Interstellar's Starship Congress, especially the third day when Dr. Harold 'Sonny' White and others talked about 'Black Sky' (way beyond Blue Sky) concepts like warp drives.

Dr. White and his Eagleworks Laboratories are the researchers on both his tabletop warp bubble demonstration and 'Q thrusters' like the ones described in the article.

Dr. White's presentation at the Starship Congress:

Here's where I need to advise caution; a lot of people in science remember debacles like:
  • Cold Fusion,
  • The 'discovery' that the force of gravity seemed to be lessened over superconducting magnets, and most recently,
  • The 'discovery' of 'superluminal' neutrinos at CERN
I remember a NASA researcher expressing caution about the superconducting magnet research; she made it completely clear that she wanted to avoid another 'cold fusion.'

In summary, remain skeptical, or at least tentative until this is replicated. I understand that other NASA centers and university labs are working to get independent verification.

There were rallies in support of low-wage workers in Kansas City and 200 other cities today!!!!

There was an estimate of 2000 people marching along KC's Main Street and around the University of Missouri KC Campus. I saw signs supporting fast-food workers, home care workers, adjunct faculty and janitors. The rally speakers included KC's mayor and representatives from faith communities.

There were earlier rallies and protests at fast food outlets around the city:

I'm proud to say I was at the rally and the march. My feet are sore, and I know I'll be really sore and stiff tomorrow morning; but, I'm really glad I was there.

Please post pictures from marches in your city!

You might be a Republican if.........

You think "proletariat" is a type of cheese.

You've named your kids "Deduction one" and "Deduction two"

You've tried to argue that poverty could be abolished if people were just allowed to keep more of their minimum wage.

You've ever referred to someone as "my (insert racial or ethnic minority here) friend"

You've ever tried to prove Jesus was a capitalist and opposed to welfare.

You're a pro-lifer, but support the death penalty.

You think Huey Newton is a cookie.

The only union you support is the Baseball Players, because heck, they're richer than you.

You think you might remember laughing once as a kid.

You once broke loose at a party and removed your neck tie.

You call mall rent-a-cops "jack-booted thugs."

You've ever referred to the moral fiber of something.

You've ever uttered the phrase, "Why don't we just bomb the sons of bitches."

You've ever said, "I can't wait to get into business school."

You've ever called a secretary or waitress "Tootsie."

You answer to "The Man."

You don't think "The Simpsons" is all that funny, but you watch it because that Flanders fellow makes a lot of sense.

You fax the FBI a list of "Commies in my Neighborhood."

You don't let your kids watch Sesame Street because you accuse Bert and Ernie of "sexual deviance."

You scream "Dit-dit-ditto" while making love.

You've argued that art has a "moral foundation set in Western values."

When people say "Marx," you think "Groucho."

You've ever yelled, "Hey hippie, get a haircut."

You think Birkenstock was that radical rock concert in 1969.

You argue that you need 300 handguns, in case a bear ever attacks your home.

Vietnam makes a lot of sense to you.

You point to Hootie and the Blowfish as evidence of the end of racism in America.

You've ever said civil liberties, schmivil schmiberties.

You've ever said "Clean air? Looks clean to me."

You've ever called education a luxury.

Feel free to add your own.................

"If You Have Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome, You Are Not Alone"

I wonder how many people on this forum can relate to this article: Dear Katy Perry: If You Have Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome, You Are Not Alone. Apparently, some Christians are reacting to Perry's half-time performance at the Super Bowl with accusations ranging from lewdness to witchcraft. Patheos blogger Reba Riley empathizes with Katy Perry's journey from evangelical Christianity to......whatever:

Katy: I know you are a former Evangelical Poster Child who, like many of my readers, no longer claims Christianity. I know you’re a pastor’s kid, and that you’ve had to field questions about religion and faith more publically than anyone should. I know you’ve been criticized and damned to hell and felt religious whiplash; I’m pretty darn sure you’ve crashed into religion when you went looking for God, and I know you’ve been judged within an inch of your life.


I’m writing as a friend– a fellow survivor, a wayfarer on the journey, to tell you that you are not alone. There are millions of us suffering from spiritual injuries who are walking our own paths to truth.

Though our stories are different– and only one of us was riding a bad-ass lion in front of the whole world last Sunday!—we have one thing in common: the crashing into religion has left us with spiritual whiplash, broken bones, bruises, welts and lacerations.

I termed these injuries Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome (#PTCS), and I have a teensy, tiny inkling that you know exactly what that phrase means before I even define it.

...........and perhaps some of us have a good idea as well. Here's the video where Reba defines that term with both humor and insight:

Wherever you are on the path today; it is okay. It is enough. You are enough. (Not something we were told very often, right?) Faith is a journey, and the Godiverse will meet you, me—all of us—exactly where we are or aren’t.

I can relate: My grandmother handled my religious upbringing in (shudder!!!!!) the Assembly of God, the same church that Jim and Tammy Bakker belong too. I escaped in my teens, and I've long since forgiven Grandma; but the scars remain. I tell people: "I had my head fucked up by experts!" You would have to have encountered the Assembly of God or similar pentecostal / evangelical churches to understand.

The only time I've attended church in recent decades was with my late sweetheart, Jeanne, who was a devout, if liberal, child of the Catholic church. I actually felt comfortable in church when I was with her; but, I haven't been to church since she died. I really don't think my spiritual path lies with organized religion; although I may accept a friend's invitation to attend a Unitarian / Universalist church.

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