Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Ethics as the Antithesis of Evolution...

THE PHILOSOPHY OF JACK LONDON: "Practically all of Huxely's works were controversial. For example in 'Evolution and Ethics' (1893), he espoused that ethics and evolution were incompatible. He wrote 'that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process...but in combating it.' "

I just found this Huxley quote, so I have not completely absorbed it. I will come back and speak to it soon.


Brand-Name Schools May Not Be What We Think

A Fighter for Colleges That Have Everything but Status - New York Times: "He is skeptical about why students and parents pursue admission to brand-name colleges. “I think all they are thinking about is status,” he said.
He even argues that B students ask more probing questions than A students, who he thinks are too caught up in trying to curry favor."

The gentleman this NYT's article is about is someone I have never heard of. He writes books, apparently quite passionately, on the value of smaller, less selective schools. As in the above statement, he reckons status is on the minds of those that fight through ridiculous admissions processes. For some, I think status does have to be on their mind. It depends on what you want to do, and with whom you expect to be doing those things.
His second statement is something I have pondered for a very, very long time. 4.0 students make me nervous, because it would seem that they have never pushed a professor, disagreed, or laid out an argument that was clearly against what the professor was preaching (and let's face it, many of them are far more pastors than professors). With a lower A average, I am of whom he speaks. I challenge everything. It is my mental exercise, and it is how I better learn. Without discussion and writing on the topics of the class, there is no chance of those concepts sticking. I have found that many 4.0'ers are people with great memories, but not great problem-solvers. I have great respect for those with great memories, as I do not have one, but know that my brain has its advantages too.
I think this article, at the very least, sparks an interesting (and maybe vital) conversation.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Two Movies that Embody THE SPEECH

The I Have a Dream Speech - The U.S. Constitution Online - "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline."

I wrote the following a couple of days ago for another forum. I thought it appropriate to share these sentiments here with the above section of MLK's Dream speech as an introduction to my movie reviews.

-I watched an insanely good movie last night. If you have OnDemand for HBO, I think, it is called "Something the Lord Made". It was a half box of tissues movie, almost literally, but I felt like a responsible American (not overstating) for watching it. I am embarassed that people I love were alive at the time of the Civil Rights Movement and were not progressive about it. Being progressive at any time on any issue is a rarity. It cannot be expected, but it scars me that times like that existed. And that does not even cover times of slavery, which was an area that I was drawn to study as a very young girl. I lived in Kentucky (Northern) and we were the gateway to the north. There was a place my family went to dinner that was an old famhouse that had a tunnel to the river underneath it. I begged the owner once as a little girl to let me go down and see it. It was gated by then, so I could only look through the gate as the tunnel was unstable. It was one of my obsessions as a kid. I just didn't get how people like me could be that way. I try, even now, as an adult to understand that when the common beliefs are as they were that most of us are victims of common beliefs. I don't expect that I would have been any different than my ancestors were. I am glad that I do not have to deal with myself ever having those thoughts or actions. It is also the blessing of generations anew with older generations leaving us to improve society. Okay, one more quarter tissue box movie to see along the same lines...Glory Road. I am a Kentucky fan, and Rupp was an amazing basketball coach. My uncle played in the pep band for UK the year the movie is set in, and my family lived in the state at that time. Again, a feeling of embarassment rolls over me, but this is a movie that reminds us what humanity is and should be. It is not just about color. We should and you all probably do broaden these sentiments. Watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Early Bowing to the Religious Right

NKY.Com - Senator to run at White House: "Brownback supports a flat national income tax, opposes efforts and legal actions to 'remove religion from the public square,' wants abortion made illegal, opposes gay marriage, believes the way to save Social Security is through private investment accounts and says Congress and the federal government spend too much money."

Some very interesting things have been said in this early campaign season. Though rather obvious from my few recent posts, Republicans are now scaring me, where I used to agree a great deal more with their platform. McCain said recently that Roe should be overturned. What? If he has thought this way all along, I certainly didn't sense it or hear him say it. If he didn't feel this way all along, then this is merely to get the far right to see him as viable. Then there was Brownback in my old stomping grounds saying the same about abortion, but was adding anti-gay remarks, and the ridiculous desire to have 'his' religion in the public square. The article went on to say that Brownback may be a good running mate to a Rudy or McCain to lure the far right. If he is given the nomination or is added to a ticket, I will be forced to vote for whatever idiot the Democrats put up. Or I could just stay home and eat popcorn...

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Not All Ohioans are This Rude

Strickland To Bush: No Iraqi Refugees To Ohio - Commitment 2006: "Strickland, a Democrat who opposed the war as a U.S. House member, said Ohioans cannot be expected to have open arms for Iraqis displaced by the war. More than 100 Ohioans have been killed since the war began.
'I think Ohio and Ohioans have contributed a lot to Iraq in terms of blood, sweat and too many tears,' Strickland said. 'I am sympathetic to the plight of the innocent Iraqi people who have fled that country. However, I would not want to ask Ohioans to accept a greater burden than they already have borne for the Bush administration's failed policies.'
The U.S. has a responsibility to help Iraqis who face danger in their own country for helping Americans topple Saddam Hussein's government, said Abid Al-Marayati, a professor of government at the University of Toledo who left Iraq in 1958.
'It's not a question of whether we should accept them or not. These people served the U.S. forces,' Al-Marayati said. 'I think for our country, we could absorb that (number of refugees) quite easily.'"

Having lived in Ohio and nearby for much of my young life, I am comfortable saying that this is not a commonly shared belief. Strickland's stance against helping the very Iraqi's who have risked their lives to help our war succeed is disgraceful. Shame.

Monday, February 05, 2007


I Was Wrong, and Congrats to Manning - NFL/PLAYOFFS06 - Clayton: Manning picks apart Bears and answers questions: "Manning was a master surgeon on Sunday. For now, Manning is off to the Pro Bowl, but his plan is to return to Indianapolis in March to start working on next season.
'We're going to work in March, and we're going to be better because of this,' Manning said.
The Blue Reign started in Miami on Sunday night, and it might be just the beginning."

I was wrong. This year and last year, I was rooting for the losing team. This year, I believed that Rex could perform and would show those awful sports writers just how good he could be. He proved them right. Last year, I was just rooting for Shaun.
Interestingly, both years, I felt the emotion for and with the winning teams. It is hard not to enjoy seeing Manning win one. One has to truly respect Dungy, because not only did he get the Colts to the Super Bowl, but many would argue that he set up the Bucs for theirs. Last year, I thought about all of the working class folks of Pittsburgh feeling triumph over the yuppy Seattle elite. David, Goliath, I suppose.
What it really does is allows the viewers to feel close to history. I know it is just a game, but it is also talent, grit, and heart. These are things that nearly everyone can understand and believe in. We like to see people like Peyton, the ultimate perfectionist, who never felt he could plan or study enough get his big gratifying win. We know how people describe the Dan Marino's who go without it. He is a model of leadership, football intellect, and steafast faith in his and his team's ability to win the Championship. The viewer got to watch him put another huge accomplishment into the Peyton legacy. We will be able to, years from now, talk about how we watched him in this game as if it were lore. I suppose it becomes lore at some point. What is clear is that Peyton is not lucky. He is talented, prepared, and one of the game's greats.


Proof That Some Catholics Still Don't Get It

SNAP Protests Planned Visit Of Accused Priest: "Members of SNAP, or Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests, withstood the cold and passed out fliers outside Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Reading today.
They were trying to put a halt to the church's plans to have a priest, accused of sexual misconduct, say mass there next weekend.
'This is a church that is literally surrounded by a school,' said Christy Miller, of SNAP.
'It's in the same building and we feel that if Father James Kiffmeyer were here, he would be open to abusing a whole lot more kids,' said Miller, 'and we don't want that to happen.'
No reason was given, but a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati tell 9News that Father Kiffmeyer will not be coming after all."

Inviting an accused priest is bad form, I would think. While it is true that accusations are different from criminal verdicts, the mere accusation should give Catholics pause. It worries me that it still doesn't. If we were only a few months into this scandal, I can understand making this kind of error in judgement. It has been years, many priests, and innumerable victims. We know that the current Pope was the closest advisor to the last Pope through the worst of the scandal. I see him as part of the problem. Now it seems we see folks at the parish level following in Ratzinger's unconcerned footsteps.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The Very Fickle Experts National Football League Coverage: "Manning went out of his way Tuesday to defend his counterpart.
'If you're a quarterback who's taken a team to a Super Bowl, you've done a good job,' he said.
But that won't change the opinion of critics who've already made up their mind about Grossman and agree with the tabloid headline that called him 'Da Worst' quarterback to take a team to the Super Bowl.
Sorry, but that distinction probably belongs to David Woodley, who started for the 1983 Miami Dolphins against Washington and gave way the next season to Dan Marino. Or to journeyman Trent Dilfer, who actually won a Super Bowl in 2001 for Baltimore. Or even to Jeff Hostetler, who took over for the Giants in 1990 when Phil Simms was hurt and led the team to a win over Buffalo.
Grossman possesses the most important thing - the confidence of a coach who has declined to bench him even after horrible games.
So when Smith was asked why he has stayed with his quarterback, he shot back at the questioner:
'Probably the same reason your boss has stuck with you when you've made mistakes. He has faith in you. I have faith in Rex.' "

I realize that Rex has had bad games and this Super Bowl could be one of them. I don't think it will be. I had Rex in some of his best and worst games on my fantasy teams. He came back from those games. He has performed well. Not great, no, but well. I think he will be just fine on Sunday. In fact, I pick them to win, and by four or more.
Remember what the same experts were saying after his streak of four or five 100+ passer rating games? He was a genius! A few bad games? Bench him. This was the first year I picked on Inside the NFL's Beat the Hosts. I think I was only beat by one host one time. I did some tying, but I wasn't beat but once in week four to the end of the regular season. I performed poorly during the play-offs, but the experts shouldn't have been that bad during the regular season. And considering that they were, I do not intend to assume the ending without seeing how Rex, Urlacher, and Berrian, among others, perform. I won't be disappointed to see Manning win, but he hasn't won yet.

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