04
Jun
14

6.4.14 … post ga primary venting …

I am still in shock over the 5.20 GA Republican Primary … That said, I will repeat a favorite tv quote:

“No, I call myself a Republican because I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and necessity to defend itself against a dangerous world. The problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st Century. Most of all, the biggest new requirement-–the only requirement-–is that I have to hate Democrats.”

via The Newsroom Recap – Season 2, Episode 9 – Season Finale | Mediaite.

follow up, Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights:  It is fascinating that people can interpret  the same passage and reconstruct the same history to such different ends.

… no amendment received less attention in the courts in the two centuries following the adoption of the Bill of Rights than the Second, except the Third (which dealt with billeting soldiers in private homes). It used to be known as the “lost amendment,” because hardly anyone ever wrote about it. The assertion that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to own and carry a gun for self-defense, rather than the people’s right to form militias for the common defense, first became a feature of American political and legal discourse in the wake of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and only gained prominence in the nineteen-seventies. A milestone in its development came when Orrin Hatch, serving on Strom Thurmond’s Senate Judiciary Committee, became chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Hatch commissioned a history of the Second Amendment, resulting in a 1982 report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” which concluded, “What the Subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear—and long lost—proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, American historians who disagreed with the individual and insurrectionist interpretations of the Second Amendment began to take them more seriously when it became clear that a conservative judiciary was taking them seriously, and that a test case would reach the Supreme Court. An important statement of what is generally referred to as the collective-rights interpretation—the idea that what the Second Amendment protects is the people’s collective right to keep and bear arms to form militias for the common defense—is an amicus curiae submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller, signed by fifteen eminent university professors of early American history, including Pauline Maier, Fred Anderson, and Pulitzer Prizes winners Jack Rakove and Alan Taylor. It concludes,

Historians are often asked what the Founders would think about various aspects of contemporary life. Such questions can be tricky to answer. But as historians of the Revolutionary era we are confident at least of this: that the authors of the Second Amendment would be flabbergasted to learn that in endorsing the republican principle of a well-regulated militia, they were also precluding restrictions on such potentially dangerous property as firearms, which governments had always regulated when there was “real danger of public injury from individuals.”

The different weight the Court gave to these different interpretations is suggested by its decision in Heller. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, determined that, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”

In his remarks before the N.R.A. last week, Gingrich offered a human-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. “A Gingrich presidency,” he said, “will submit to the United Nations a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right for every person on the planet.”

The United States has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, twice that of the country with the second highest rate, which is Yemen. The United States also has the highest homicide rate of any affluent democracy, nearly four times higher than France or the United Kingdom, six times higher than Germany. In the United States in 2008, guns were involved in two-thirds of all murders. Of interest to many people concerned about these matters, then, is when the debate over the Second Amendment will yield to a debate about violence.

via The Debate Over the Second Amendment : The New Yorker.

“check our white privilege”:

We’re not in an ideal world, of course; we’re in the news cycle. In the above video, when Greta Van Susteren asks Fortgang what “check your privilege” meant, he replies, “I don’t think the people who are saying ‘check your privilege’ really know what it means.”

That’s a bad way to start a dialouge, but it’s how you talk when you’re inhabiting the world of cable news—you claim your ideological opponents don’t understand the words they use, you scoff and gloat your way through two-minute segments until everyone who agrees with you is convinced you’ve won the argument. These “debates” are all empty calories, and the people who publicize them move on to the next thing as soon as they possibly can, because there’s a cycle to feed with anger and elation. Current candidates for outrage include a black teacher suing a school after being mocked for her race, a Republican senate candidate who once worked as a drag queen, and a California school that asked students to write papers about whether the Holocaust actually happened. That’s a lot of privilege to be checked!

The cycle will soon return Fortgang to Princeton, where he and his Weltanschauung will no doubt continue to irritate his peers and where he’ll continue to write things that will one day make him cringe as he looks back on them. Hopefully now that he’s no longer on television he’ll be able to learn something.

via This College Conservative Pissed off the Internet. You’ll Easily Guess What Happened Next | VICE United States.

End of an era, Davidson College, Laundry Service:  There are so many great things about Davidson, but this very quirky one will be sorely missed by its loyal  sons undaunted (and daughters).

Davidson College announced today that it will discontinue free full-service laundry for all students, beginning May 15, 2015. Students will continue to have access to free self-service laundry facilities across campus.

The decision comes at a time when Davidson is aligning its resources to meet educational priorities within the changing landscape of higher education. As a result, the college is reprioritizing the services and amenities it offers to students.

“This transition reflects our vision for Davidson now and into the future,” said Davidson College President Carol Quillen. “We are committed to sustaining what is intrinsic and distinctive to Davidson, while offering new services and programs that prepare and enable Davidson graduates to thrive in a global society.”

In the past year, the college has celebrated the opening of “Studio M,” a new makerspace that fosters technological creativity and exploration, and introduced Africana Studies, an interdisciplinary department. In the next year, the college plans to expand career development offerings to meet growing student interest in career counseling and internship placement as a well as move to a 24/7 library for students.

While the majority of first-year students utilize full laundry service, that rate drops over a student’s time at Davidson. Only about 35 percent of seniors use the free full-service laundry, opting instead to use the free self-service facilities.

The full service laundry facility opened in 1920 and has operated as a free full-service laundry for more than 90 years.

via Plans Announced to Transition to Self-Service Laundry – Davidson College.

A few comments from my fellow alums:

Mistake

Noooooooo. . . Signed, #117

Terrible idea! What’s wrong with tradition??

Nooooooo the horror of it al!!! l #76. How will the students get their flannel shirts to stand up in the corner now????

NOOOOO. After doing a 9-day college tour with my daughter, trying to decide exactly what “made the Dickinson Experience unique,” and concluding that nothing made any of the top schools unique except the Laundry at Davidson, I hate this. Get rid of “graduate-level research.” Everyone has that!

Boo!

It was one of the factors that made my daughter choose Davidson over Vassar (and the weather). She sent me a text this afternoon to let me know. The writer of the story on Davidson.edu would have received a C or worse from Charlie Lloyd, and I was disappointed in President Quillen’s comments. I agree with Anne Lupo – there’s nothing wrong with tradition, and the quirkiness of free laundry as an amenity was pretty neat. Davidson will become less distinctive, as it continues to try to climb up the greasy pole of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Am I cynical to note that the announcement comes at the end of the year, when exams are upon the students, and nobody is liable to protest?

That leaveis a great business opportunity for some enterprising students. Laundry pickup and delivery.

According to the Observer website it cost 400,000 per year to run – only 500 per student. I bet they want the building for another purpose. Did they do dry cleaning on site? Superfund site?

When we were there they added a mandatory $300 per year charge to pay for laundry. If it would only be $500 per year now, that is the best bargain around! Tuition, room and board are up by a factor of 10 since I was there. Laundry up only 67%? Yikes!

Let’s protest!!

Free laundry! What a great battle cry.

I was sorely disappointed to hear this news. I agree with ____ too! What next – self scheduled exams?

Solo in Paris – NYTimes.com.:

It was easy in Paris to surrender to the moment. But why? What alchemy transmuted ordinary activities, be it a walk across a bridge or the unwrapping of butter, into a pleasure? My default speed in New York is “hurtle,” yet in Paris I dragged the edge of a fork across an oyster with a care better suited to sliding a bow across a violin.

This was not simply because I was in Paris, though it has long held a kind of magic for many Americans. It was because I was there on my own. In a city that has been perfecting beauty since the reign of Napoleon III, there are innumerable sensual details — patterns, textures, colors, sounds — that can be diluted, even missed, when chattering with someone or collaborating on an itinerary. Alone one becomes acutely aware of the hollow clack of pétanque balls in a park; the patina of Maillol’s bronze “Baigneuse se Coiffant” that makes her look wet even on a cloudless day in the Tuileries; how each of the empty wine bottles beside sidewalk recycling bins is the embodiment of someone’s good time. There is a Paris that deeply rewards the solo traveler.

Indeed, the city has a centuries-old tradition of solo exploration, personified by the flâneur, or stroller. Flânerie is, in its purest form, a goal-less pursuit, though for some it evolved into a purposeful art: Walking and observing became a method of understanding a city, an age. Baudelaire described the flâneur as a passionate spectator, one who was fond of “botanizing on the asphalt,” as the essayist Walter Benjamin would later put it. Typically, it was a man. No longer.

I had taken the book, by Patricia Wentworth, because I recognized the sticker on the cover: Bookcrossing.com, a website that encourages people to read, register and hide books in the world for others to find. For years I had wanted to discover one. Later, when I went on the site to register that I had the book, there was a message from its former, anonymous owner: “This book was not lost,” it said in French, “it was found for a new reader.”

via Solo in Paris – NYTimes.com.

Facts In Your Face (FactsInYourFace), Twitter:

Facts In Your Face @FactsInYourFace  ·  4h

There is a psychological condition when people can’t work, sleep or concentrate because of songs that stick their heads.

via Facts In Your Face (FactsInYourFace) on Twitter.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, The Bright Cloud of Unknowing, Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org:

Most of us are allowed at least one direct experience of God (within bounds)–something that knocks us for a loop, blows our circuits, calls all our old certainties into question.  Some churches even require you to produce one as proof of your conversion.  But even in congregations that welcome signs and wonders on a regular basis, there seems to be a general consensus that life in Christ means trading in your old certainties for new ones.

Once you emerge from the cloud, you are supposed to be surer than ever what you believe.  You are supposed to know who’s who, what’s what, where you are going in your life and why.  You are supposed to have answers to all the important questions, and when you read the Bible you are supposed to know what it means.  You have your Christian decoder ring, now use it!

But what if the point is not to decode the cloud but to enter into it?  What if the whole Bible is less a book of certainties than it is a book of encounters, in which a staggeringly long parade of people run into God, each other, life–and are never the same again?  I mean, what don’t people run into in the Bible?  Not just terrifying clouds and hair-raising voices but also crazy relatives, persistent infertility, armed enemies, and deep depression, along with life-saving strangers, miraculous children, food in the wilderness, and knee-wobbling love.

Whether such biblical encounters come disguised as “good” or “bad,” they have a way of breaking biblical people open, of rearranging what they think they know for sure so that there is room for more divine movement in their lives.  Sometimes the movement involves traveling from one place to another.  Sometimes it means changing their angle on what is true and why.  Sometimes it involves the almost invisible movement of one heart toward another.

Certainties can become casualties in these encounters, or at least those certainties that involve clinging to static notions of who’s who and what’s what, where you are going in your life and why.  Those things can shift pretty dramatically inside the cloud of unknowing, where faith has more to do with staying fully present to what is happening right in front of you than with being certain of what it all means.  The meeting–that’s the thing.

There is no way to be sure, but I think Peter sensed that.  When Jesus lit up right in front of him, Peter knew what he was seeing.  The Bible calls it “God’s glory”–the shining cloud that is the sure sign of God’s capital P Presence.  In the Book of Exodus, when Moses climbed Mount Sinai to fetch the tablets of the law, the whole top of the mountain stayed socked in divine cloud cover for six whole days.  In 1 Kings, when Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem, a dense cloud filled up that huge place so that the priests could not even see what they were supposed to be doing.  When Ezekiel had his vision of the four living creatures, he saw them in the middle of “a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually.”

That’s what God’s glory looks like, apparently: a big bright cloud–dark and dazzling at the same time–an envelope for the Divine Presence that would blow people away if they looked upon it directly–so God in God’s mercy placed a cloud buffer around it, which both protected the people and made it difficult for them to see inside.

via The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor – The Bright Cloud of Unknowing – Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org.

labyrinths:

Students at Davidson College are well acquainted with stress. Although many have already developed their own tactics to manage anxieties, a new outlet will soon become available for the Davidson community in the form of a labyrinth.

On Sunday evening, in a discussion themed “Life is not Linear,” College Chaplain Robert Spach ’84, Lauren Cunningham ’09 and Dr. Trisha Senterfitt, spoke in the 900 Room about Davidson’s plans to build the stress-reliever.

Guest speaker Senterfitt received her doctorate in Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur and wrote her dissertation on labyrinths.

She claimed that the 180 degree turns made when walking  a labyrinth relieve stress.

For this reason, the benefits of a labyrinth walk exceed those of a standard walk down Main Street.

She suggested that the act of walking a labyrinth engages the right side of the brain, the side that manages creativity and imagination.

In doing this, a balance is created between the right side and the left, which, on hte other hand, is utilized most frequently by the typical college student bogged down by mathematical equations and essays.

Senterfitt cited the success of labyrinths in the treatment of patients with neurological disorders due to this balance in brain function.

Furthermore, she said she believes so firmly in the importance of the labyrinth that her husband constructed one in their backyard.

She finds comfort in walking the labyrinth to reflect, to give thanks and to relax.

Senterfit has lofty goals for the Davidson labyrinth. She envisions some students taking regular meditative walks and others utilizing the structure around more stressful times such as exam period.

Both Senterfitt and Cunningham spoke of how the labyrinth could potentially enhance several disciplines at Davidson.

Math students could explore its geometry, historians could explore its significance in early history and art students could use it in their studies of spatial relations.

Cunningham’s involvement in the project began in the summer of 2007.

The idea of a Davidson labyrinth dawned on her after reading a book that conveyed the author’s moving experience with labyrinths. Cunningham, Spach and Professor Cort Savage met with President Ross to present their idea.

A Labyrinth Committee formed and the community warmly received its proposals.

The labyrinth is expected to positively effect students physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Logistically speaking, the labyrinth will be located in Hobart Park, which is situated between Faculty Drive and the Baker parking lot.

At an estimated 30 feet in diameter, it will be built of concrete.

The labyrinth in Chartes, Cathedral in France serves as the inspiration for its design.

The labyrinth will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its date of completion is unknown and dependant of funding.

The kit used to build the labyrinth and its installation will cost an estimated $30,000.

Approximately two-thirds of the cost has been pledged by the President’s Office and an anonymous donor.

Individual students can help the funding effort by purchasing labyrinth t-shirts and tickets for the Amazing Maize Maze located in Mooresville.

via Labyrinth proposal geared to relieve stress – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Jack and Trisha Senterfitt:  From the article above, I found this couple to be great fun … they remind me of some people I know.

We’re Jack and Trisha Senterfitt, aka Santa and Mrs. Claus, and on March of 2013 we  embarked on a great adventure!  While I retired in 2007 after a career as an attorney, Trisha just retired at the end of March.  She’s a Presbyterian minister who, after 14 years in parish ministry in Atlanta, became the Director of The Craddock Center in Cherry Log, Georgia–an outreach ministry to low income families, primarily focusing on children’s enrichment in north Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.  She loved doing this, but decided last year to retire, so we could travel, spend time seeing this great country and visiting friends everywhere.  So in August of 2012 we found a 2008 Winnebago View in mint condition close to our home and this was the trigger for her to go ahead and retire.

via Happy Times Two: About Us.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork, kayaking/canoeing, Louisville KY:

Comment from one of our visitors over the weekend: “Did the kayak rental today – the four hour trip – had a fabulous experience. It was so exquisite, and so filled with wildlife and nature’s beauty it was hard to believe I was in Metro Louisville. My only regret is that I’ve missed this all my life…up until now! I have a new love: Kayaking at The Parklands. Thank you for enriching our lives.” What a great testimonial for our new paddling rentals through Green Earth Outdoors! Learn how you can experience it for your self, here:

via The Parklands of Floyds Fork.

NBA, Warriors: from a friend who knows mores about sports than I will ever know …

You have got to be kidding me. The Warriors had been a joke for years. Jackson took them to the playoffs two years in a row for the first time in over 20 years. If you listen to the audio, a couple players complained he showed “favoritism” to Steph Curry. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to keep your best player happy. Unbelievable.

 


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