C. Diane's blog

Musing on faith

I mentioned in a comment recently that I'd just finished reading Richard Dawkins' book The God Delusion. Religion and faith and lack of faith have been hot topics recently, and I've, naturally, been thinking about religion.

Conscience clauses coming to Carolina?

Robert P pointed me to a proposed bit of legislation that would permit not only physicians, but also pharmacists to refuse to participate in any medical procedure or dispensing medicine relating to abortion. This is what's known as a "conscience clause," because the refusal is on moral or religious grounds, rather than scientific.

What started this all was a pair of pharmacists in Illinois who were suspended by Walgreens for refusing to dispense Plan B because they believe (note that word) it is abortion.

The Omnivore's Dilemma, and sustainable agriculture

The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.  1st ed 2006. 411 pp + references.

The subtitle of this text is "A natural history of four meals."  Pollan is a journalism professor at UC Berkeley who decided to trace the lineage of his dinner.  The short: Fast Food Nation meets the supermarket.  Very interesting and highly readable book.

First, he answers the question of what the omnivore's dilemma is.  As he explains it, it's what an omnivorous animal has to overcome in order to decide what to eat.  A psychologist named Paul Rozin put that name to it in 1976, although Pollan notes that writers like Rousseau and Brill

Edwards homecoming rally

(Promoted by SD)

I volunteered at the rally. When I got there, I was given sign duty (markers + posterboard + bubble letters), and my husband was drafted into filling balloons. I escaped briefly to run down to meet y'all and get my name tag and some photos taken and say hi to folks before running back up to be split out into teams. (I helped with the ADA seating.)

It was great. When John came onstage, around 530, the energy was great. Like someone else said in the open thread, he hit all the points, and people cheered and applauded. His speech was very similar to the one from Iowa the other night, but to speechify at 5 sites in 4 days, getting one speech down is easier than 5!

I like his message. I like the idea of a level playing field. I like getting people up and doing things now, as opposed to waiting. Getting people out into the community. Most people look at the huge mess we're in and say "eh, what can I do?" and they answer that they can't do anything, but they don't know where to start. And by starting at home, Taking Action Now, we can get people who don't think they can make a difference to see that they can effect change, albeit a small one, at home. Like so many others, though, I need to know where to start, where to take the experiences and skills that I have and put them to good use.

NC-13: Vermin's attack ad is international news

The ad someone linked to here recently, wherein Vermin calls Miller a pervert who voted against body armor, etc, was discussed in this article in the Economist. (requires viewing ad to get free day pass.)

Here's the relevant part:

With only a month to go before the mid-term elections, the slurs are splatting like tomatoes at a Spanish tomato-throwing fiesta. An early contender for the lowest-blow award is Vernon Robinson, the Republican challenger for a House seat in North Carolina, who produced a video alleging that his opponent, Brad Miller, “pays for sex, but not for body armour for our troops.” Mr Miller “voted to spend your money to study the sex lives of Vietnamese prostitutes in San Francisco,” not to mention “the masturbation habits of old men” and “something called the Bisexual, Transgendered and Two-Spirited Aleutian Eskimos, whoever they are.”

Where's the outrage?

In his excellent post, HillWilliam describes the betrayal of the American people perpetrated by Congress yesterday.

There are various posts in the liberal blogosphere condemning this action (some linked here). Personally, I'm undecided whether to put the rest of my beer in the fridge and drown my melancholy, or just to throw up.

The United States of America, long considered a bastion of the rule of law, has descended into fascism. Not "is descending," but "has descended." We are now living in a police state. The government can detain you without charge as an enemy combatant -- for any reason the president sees fit. Without oversight.

A man who lived in Yugoslavia in the late 80s and early 90s, when thugs like Milosevic were taking power, had this to say:

within three years, I predict that Americans will be fighting Americans on American soil. Just a hunch. An eerie feeling of deja vu from someone who has seen the same signs fifteen years ago.

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