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Some Things Said… (Jan 05) (2)

Apparently so did Oliver Stone…

“All the followers of Alexander preferred to accept the marvelous rather than the true.” –Strabo

A failure to instruct

“What might explain the differences in behavior today versus yesteryear? A significant part of the explanation is seen by recognizing that societys first line of defense is not the law but customs, traditions and moral values.

Customs, traditions and moral values are those important thou-shalt-nots such as: thou shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and cheat. They also include respect for parents, teachers and others in authority plus those courtesies one might read in Emily Posts rules of etiquette. The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobodys watching. … Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. These behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth, and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works and what doesnt.

Customs, traditions and moral values have been discarded without an appreciation for the role they played in creating a civilized society, and now, were paying the price. Whats worse is that instead of a return to what worked, many of us fail to make the connection and insist “there ought to be a law. As such, it points to another failure of the so-called “great generation — the failure to transmit to their children what their parents transmitted to them.” –Walter Williams from www.townhall.com

Tsunami must be fault of the US

“INEVITABLY, confronted with a tragedy of unimaginable scale, the human mind looks for someone to blame. In the Dark Ages, disasters were ascribed to the wrath of God. Now, in an odd inversion that we like to think of as progress, they are adduced as evidence of no God.

“In the absence of a deity to decry or appease when the earth moves in such devastating fashion, humankind reaches for the next best thing – worldly authority. Authority should have known it was coming. Authority didn’t do enough to prevent it. Authority was too preoccupied with its own nefarious priorities to care.

“In the past three days I have been impressed by the originality of the latest critiques of the evil Americans. The earthquake and tsunami apparently had something to do with global warming, environmentalists say, caused of course by greedy American motorists. Then there was the rumor that the US military base at Diego Garcia was forewarned of the impending disaster and presumably because of some CIA-approved plot to undermine Islamic movements in Indonesia and Thailand did nothing about it.

“To be fair, even the most animated America-hater, though, baulks at the idea of blaming George W. Bush for the destruction and death in southern Asia . But the US is blamed for not responding generously as stingy.

“It is a label that fits the general image abroad of greedy, self-absorbed Americans. They neither know nor care much about the woes of the rest of the world, do they? Did the tsunami even get a look-in on US TV news between the holiday schmaltz and the football games, I have been sneeringly asked once or twice this week by contemptuous British friends.

“The answer is yes, it did. News coverage of the event has been extensive and for the most part intelligent and mercifully free of the sort of parochialism about holidaymakers that characterizes so much of the European press accounts. There have been some lapses — the New York newspaper that carried on its front page the Manhattan supermodel’s harrowing tale of survival as her boyfriend was swept away by a tidal wave. There has perhaps been a little too much “what if it happened here?” alarmist self-absorption.

“…But for the most part Americans have watched a sobering, heartbreaking tale of unimagined calamity unfold halfway across the world.” — Gerard Baker, The Australian , December 31, 2004

Like my wifes friends acquaintance that has both a husband and a wife – What mankind puts together is often unwieldy, sinful, illegitimate and (thankfully) short lived

“‘Less than seven months after same-sex couples began tying the knot in Massachusetts, the state is seeing its first gay divorces, the Associated Press reports from Boston: The first gay divorce case in Suffolk County, which includes Boston, was filed…by a male couple who exchanged vows on May 22, five days after same-sex marriage was legalized. One partner was a 33-year-old religious educator from Boston, the other a 39-year-old professor based in Washington. Since then, the couple said in their divorce filing, “our interests have grown in different directions. Each man signed a settlement attesting that the marriage had “irretrievably broken down. …One wonders why two men would have rushed into an ill-advised marriage. After all, its not as though it could have been a shotgun wedding.” –James Taranto as published at www.federalist.com

China to outlaw gender selective abortions

“China is planning to make selective abortions of female fetuses illegal as a way to close the widening gap between the number of boys and girls in the country, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

“The government takes it as an urgent task to correct the gender imbalance of newborns, Zhang Weiqing, minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission, was quoted as saying Thursday by Xinhua.” — www.foxnews.com January 07, 2005

I feel your pain

“A post-election group therapy session for those suffering from Post Election Selection Trauma (PEST) met for the first time Thursday to lament their distress over the conservative victory Nov. 2, BocaNews.com reported.

“The American Health Association (AHA) in Boca Raton , Fla. , has designated PEST a real condition. “Its no joke, said Robert Gordon of AHA. “People with PEST were traumatized by the election. If you even mention religion, their faces turn blister-red as they shout at Bush.”

For those mentioned in the previous bit

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” –Galileo Galilei

Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson