Language Liberalism Freethought Birds
Verbing Weirds Language only if you're expecting it to work in a simple way. This is a special case of the more general truth that Language Weirds.
Only when a republic's life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time.
The church says Earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence in a shadow than the church.
If we can't find Heaven, there are always bluejays.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Pics from the Edmonds - Kingston ferry
A few shots to brighten your Tuesday (did I say "brighten"? Hahahaha this is the Pacific North-west!):
fog on the water
fog with sailboat
Monday, August 25, 2014
A provocative question
If protesters hadn’t looted and burnt down that QuikTrip on the second day of protests, would Ferguson be a point of worldwide attention? It’s impossible to know, but all the non-violent protests against police killings across the country that go unreported seem to indicate the answer is no. It was the looting of a Duane Reade after a vigil that brought widespread attention to the murder of Kimani Gray in New York City. The media’s own warped procedure instructs that riots and looting are more effective at attracting attention to a cause. (asked by Willie Osterweil at the new inquiry)
Brad Paisley did a song about race that raised a bit of a kerfuffle. He's also got one about atheism. (Or agnosticism, as he puts it.) Or he thinks he has.
As one country source puts it,
The lyrics are written from the point of view of a non-believer, but Paisley himself was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition and still attends church. (Taste of Country)And here's Paisley himself in an article on Faith Gateway:
The song is written from the point of view of someone baffled by people of faith. ... Most puzzling to the skeptic in the song is not the faith itself, but the actions that such faith produces. Things such as mission trips to dangerous regions, baptism, hospital visits to strangers, sobriety, forgiveness of atrocities, talk of heaven, etc., all must look insane to someone who is agnostic.But the lyrics really don't catch what atheists think about Christians. And frankly, his insistence that only Christians do "good works" is annoying (though not nearly as annoying as characterizing nonbelievers as "poor lost soul[s] like me" ripe for conversion). The line in the song is about sitting "by the bedside of a stranger in a cold hospital room", but the source for it? A dying cousin for whom "[t]here weren't five minutes of intensive care that there weren't at least two church members at the hospital, around the clock." Not exactly strangers.
But let's not lose track of the song's denouement: Pascal's wager, conversion of "a poor lost soul", and "If I ever really needed help, well you know who I’d call" (because of course other atheists/agnostics/skeptics wouldn't help him out).
So I doubt that the "new backlash from religious conservatives" Paisley is "expecting" (according to Charisma News, anyway) will be as strong as all that. After all, this is as pro-Christian a "skeptic" song as you could find.
Those crazy Christians, I was gonna sleep in today
But the church bells woke me up and they’re a half a mile away
Those crazy Christians, dressed up drivin’ down my street
Get their weekly dose of guilt before they head to Applebee’s
They pray before they eat and they pray before they snore
They pray before a football game and every time they score
Every untimely passing, every dear departed soul
Is just another good excuse to bake a casserole
Those crazy Christians, go and jump on some airplane
And fly to Africa or Haiti, risk their lives in Jesus’ name
No, they ain’t the late night party kind
They curse the devil’s whiskey while they drink the Savior’s wine
A famous TV preacher has a big affair and then
One tearful confession and he’s born again again
Someone yells hallelujah and they shout and clap and sing
It’s like they can’t wait to forgive someone for just about anything
Those crazy Christians
Instead of being outside on this sunny afternoon
They’re by the bedside of a stranger in a cold hospital room
And every now and then they meet a poor lost soul like me
Who’s not quite sure just who or what or how he ought to be
They march him down the aisle and then the next thing that you know
They dunk him in the water and here comes another one of those crazy Christians
They look to heaven their whole life
And I think what if they’re wrong but what if they’re right
You know it’s funny, much as I’m baffled by it all
If I ever really needed help, well you know who I’d call
Is those crazy Christians
Sunday, August 24, 2014
The Week in Entertainment
DVD: Two (of four) episodes of Shetland, a well-done series based on Ann Cleeves's "Shetland Quartet" (Red Bones, Raven Black, Dead Water and Blue Lightning). They're filming more next year, going off on their own, I guess, since they've done the books (much like the Dalziel & Pascoe series did). Interestingly, I see the program originally broadcast them as two one-hour episodes per story, but they've been consolidated on the DVD as two-hour episodes.
TV: Doctor Who - yes yes yes. I love the new theme/title sequence, I think I'm gonna love the new Doctor, and Clara might actually turn into a real character before she leaves. Also? "I'm not your boyfriend." "I never thought you were." "I didn't say it was your mistake." Yes. And was that a Matt-Smith-Doctor Ganger mask they used when Capaldi disguised himself as an android? All in all, a very nice handover episode.
Read: Finished The Magician's Land, which was an utterly satisfying end to the trilogy. Lovely, lovely writing and a helluva story. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami was delivered to my Kindle (from a pre-order) and I devoured it on the plane ride yesterday. It's one of the quiet, almost melancholy ones (unlike its predecessor, 1Q94), accessible and haunting. I also read Designated Daughters, a Deborah Knott novel; this one's almost overrun with her family, but still a nice little read.
Salmon at Sekiu
Here's some odd carvings for the By the Bay Cafe in Sekiu, and the view from the front window.
Sekiu Welcomes You
The By the Bay Cafe
Boy salmon outside the cafe
The view of the other side of the harbor
Bald eagle over the harbor
Adult and juvenile gulls in the Sekiu harbor
Birds around Neah Bay
More of Neah Bay
Or more accurately the coast between Neah Bay and a little place called Sekui (SEEK you), where we ate one evening at the Bay View Cafe.
A few shots of Neah Bay, including the carvings at the wonderful Makah Museum and Cultural Center. The town is the main one on the Makah Reservation (you have to buy a pass, but it's cheap and good for the whole year); the museum was sparked by the discovery of a village at Ozette that had been buried in mud in 1750 or so - "the Pompeii of Native America" it's been called. I'll do another post of Cape Flattery and one of the beaches around the peninsula, the north-westernmost point in the continental USA.
Neah Bay is that little indentation up at the top. The dotted lines are trails; the lighter gray is the reservation.
The road was full of these signs - because the previous mile had been so straight ... not:
View across the bay from the inn's balcony (that's Canada across the water):
Canada's up to something!:
And more view:
Tide is out in the bay:
The innkeeper recommended the Wormhouse Restaurant. You can imagine my relief when we got there!
The General Store (nice little place, with some souvenirs, and where you can buy the pass):
One of the tribal buildings:
Wood sculptures on the front lawn of the Makah Museum:
Great salmon adorn the museum's doors: