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Comment: Re:It's True (Score 1) 857

by primordial ooze (#38932049) Attached to: How the GOP (and the Tea Party) Helped Kill SOPA

Abolition of Slavery? Abilitionism started in Christian churches.

Um, actually, the Quakers were the first truly outspoken group to call for the abolition of slavery in the Americas, and they were not considered Christians by most Europeans. In fact, Charles II had thousands of Quakers in England killed as 'heretics and heathens' after regaining the throne in 1660.

Women's Sufferage in the US? Started by Christian women (Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Susan B. Anthony joined later, but was also a prominent Christian woman.)

Again - not quite true. As an adult, Elizabeth Stanton explicitly rejected her Calvinist upbringing and the organized Protestant churches of her day. She maintained that "logic and a humane sense of ethics were the best guides to both thought and behavior".

Lucretia Mott was a Quaker. As I mentioned above, even in the 19th century, many Americans did not consider Quakers to be true Christians.

As for Susan B. Anthony - she started life as a Quaker, converted to Unitarianism (which still today is not considered a Christian faith by many, even here in its stronghold of New England), and in later years publically (and to many of her peers - scandously) distanced herself from organized religion entirely, and encouraged others to do the same.

Civil Rights? Movement led by Christian churches and one particular Baptist Minister (Dr. Martin Luther King.)

And opposed by just as many churches.

The only "bad" social movement that I can think of in US history attributed to Christians would be the Temperance movement that eventually led to Prohibition. Obviously that didn't last.

Unless you count the continuing scourge of organized crime, broadly held by historians to have gained its strength and pervasiveness in American culture as a result of the 'boon' years of prohibition.

And I note that you forgot to mention that opposition to the emancipation of blacks and women often came from the established churches, and the words of the testaments were used many times in our history to justify the mass enslavement and murder of Africans, American Indians, and even female 'witches'.

More recently, I'd point out that during the "Red Scare" years, the deeds of groups like the House Un-American Activities Committee and of individuals like Senator Joseph McCarthy were often justified by overtly Christian rhetoric.

I was raised a Christian, and the words of Jesus's New Testament have had a major and predominantly positive impact on my life and philosophy. But I would be a fool to deny that untold suffering and death has been meted out by those claiming to follow the same teachings. Our founding fathers understood just how disasterous the confluence of state and religious authority could be. And they also, more begrudgingly I think, appreciated that reasonable people could have profoundly different opinions about God's will for humanity.

Comment: Re:Well, Duh! Anything our corporate masters want. (Score 1) 364

by primordial ooze (#27243067) Attached to: FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied

Actually, pushing back is a good idea.

Very true. But informing oneself fully about the issue in question is even more fundamental - to wit:

I have contacting my senators and congress woman concerning legislation that might make it difficult to have community and personal gardens (House and Senate bills HR 875 and S 425).

Having an active interest in both community gardening and organic farming, I spent a modest amount of time reading the text of these and other bills related to the recent food-safety debacles (like HR 814 - ref http://thomas.loc.gov/), and reading analyses from respected pro-consumer food safety advocates (eg http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/foodsafety/background-on-h-r-875). It quickly became clear that there's been a bit of a rush to judgement by some people about just what's in these bills.

I understand that the last few years (heck, the last several decades) may have made many of us prone to hair trigger paranoia wrt govt/corporate quid-pro-quos. But breathless panic doesn't serve our personal or public interests any better than ignornace or willful denial.

To bring this back to the original topic, I'm glad KEI is pursuing this information and I hope that people will press the administration on it, but it does look as though this initial denial of FOIA can be laid at the feet of a longtime civil servant's overenthusiam for the rubber stamp, and not current Executive policy. I believe that the truly important part of this story will be to see how the Obama administration reacts when made explicitly aware of the issue.

Comment: Bingo! (Score 1) 884

by primordial ooze (#27023151) Attached to: Why Japan Hates the iPhone

Yeah AC, that was my (old techie) reaction as well. Along with - "What an irresponsible asshat, to drop a CRT into a regular trash bin". Around here (and I think in most of the US nowadays), that's a huge non-no - CRTs contain wicked amounts of heavy metals that are verboten in regular landfills, and the implosion risk aka a face full of glass shards to a trash collector (the professional, paid-to-do-it kind) is non-zero enough to warrant the proscription.

If you'd tried to pull that stunt at the MIT Electronics flea mkt (third Sunday every month april-oct Albany st garage - best of its kind in North America), you'd been thrown out on your ass - for good.

Comment: Re:feels silly (Score 1) 1115

by primordial ooze (#24920885) Attached to: Sarah Palin's Stance On Technology Issues

If you notice, the Harvard Law degree came after the Community Organizer phase of his life.

Well, that's only true if you consider solely his experience as director of the Developing Communities Project. But according to that same wikipedia article*, after he graduated from Harvard and returned to Chicago, he was closely involved with Project Vote, Public Allies, the Woods Fund of Chicago, the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology - all of which can quite reasonably be described as community-action organizations.

* - Please note that I haven't vetted that wikipedia article's sources, and am assuming their accuracy for purposes of this discussion. Feel free to enlighten me if the article is bogus - It looks good at first pass, but we all know that wikipedia can be less-than-reliable when the topic is controversial.

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. - Henry Spencer, University of Toronto Unix hack

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