Sunday, March 30, 2003

Hirsute peace demonstrator and Mensa member Jody Mason determinedly strode into downtown Olympia and chained himself to what he thought was a Federal building to protest the U.S. war in Iraq. Several hours later employees of the Washington State Grange asked what he was doing and informed him that he'd chained himself to the wrong building.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Quote of the day:

"Of all the disputations and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness--These finest props of duties of men and citizens...And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on the minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience, both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." - George Washington's farewell address

Sunday, March 16, 2003

From 1787, in reference to the Athenian republic, Scots historian Alexander Tyler presents a theory prescient to the American experiment:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years."
He saw this pattern emerge: "These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage."
Some fifty years after Hollywood stalwarts like James Stewart, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, William Wyler, Kirk Douglas and Mel Brooks donned the service uniform of the U.S. military, current trouper's denigrate their honor with simple-minded shibboleths.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Quote of the day:

"Neither of the two fundamental axioms of Darwin's macroevolutionary theory - the concept of the continuity of nature, that is the functional continuum of all life forms linking all species together and ultimately leading back to a primeval cell, and the belief that all the adaptive design of life has resulted from a blind random process - have been validated by one single empirical discovery or scientific advance since 1859. Despite more than a century of intensive effort on the part of evolutionary biologists, the major objections raised by Darwin's critics such as Agassiz, Pictet, Bronn and Richard Owen have not been met. The mind must still fill up the 'large blanks' that Darwin acknowledged in his letter to Asa Gray." - Michael Denton