Philocrites : Scrapbook : October 2005 Archive

Sunday, October 30, 2005

What exactly does 'the ruling class' rule anymore?

Quoted 10.30.05:

Why does [Jerome] Karabel devote so much attention to the admissions policy at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton unless he actually believes that they still offer an almost exclusive path to membership in the American elite? In fact the three schools . . . long ago lost their controlling grip on the levers of power. More senators have bachelor's degrees from Brigham Young University than from Princeton; the vast majority of senators attended fine universities in their own states.

John Silber, Boston Globe 10.30.05, reg req'd

Google becomes an ad giant

Quoted 10.30.05:

This year, Google will sell $6.1 billion in ads, nearly double what it sold last year, according to Anthony Noto, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. That is more advertising than is sold by any newspaper chain, magazine publisher or television network. By next year, Mr. Noto said, he expects Google to have advertising revenue of $9.5 billion. That would place it fourth among American media companies in total ad sales . . .

Saul Hansell, New York Times 10.30.05, reg req'd

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Boomers: Halloween isn't just for our kids

Quoted 10.29.05:

Halloween is no longer just child's play. These days, adults are spending more and more on themselves during the $3.3 billion holiday -- so much so that's its rivaling sales of children's costumes. . . .

Sal Perisano, iParty's chief executive, said it's pretty clear that the baby boomers are driving the Halloween growth. They're pining to participate in the fun their children are having and looking for an excuse to dress up.

Jenn Abelson, Boston Globe 10.29.05, reg req'd

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Catholic musicians lose jobs opposing church's gay-marriage petition

Quoted 10.27.05:

At the pulpit of St. Gabriel Church in Brighton, an official from the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston was telling parishioners how to sign a petition to ban same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

As he looked on, said Patrick Kilduff, the church's organist for 28 years, he grew angry that the archdiocese had chosen a Saturday Mass to make what he considered a political statement.

So before he was supposed to play the closing hymn of the Mass on Oct. 8 , Kilduff walked away from his organ in protest. His cantor, Colleen Bryant, stood in front of the congregation and told them that they did not have to sign the petition if they did not want to.

Moments later on that rainy Saturday afternoon, the church pastor fired Bryant, and Kilduff resigned in a fury.

Maria Cramer, Boston Globe 10.27.05, reg req'd

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Religion goes high tech

Quoted 10.23.05:

Though religious software developers have been around for a while—many Christian ones started up in the early 1980s—it is only in the last two years that they have made their way into the mainstream.

Red Herring 10.3.05

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Racism? And religion? Where?

Quoted 10.19.05:

Here’s a riddle for you: How can a neo-Nazis march, organized to draw attention to the alleged persecution of white people by black people, and a counter-demonstration of approximately 600 blacks, take place in Ohio and not spur a single news report to directly address the question of race, except to deny its role in the events?

Meera Subramanian, The Revealer 10.18.05

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

God: The Fafblog! interview

Quoted 10.18.05:

God: I could tell you the answer, but then you wouldn't need faith in the war.
Fafblog: And if I don't have faith in the war, the war can't die for my sins!
God: Yeah, something like that.

Fafnir, Fafblog! 10.14.05

How to record a podcast interview.

Quoted 10.18.05:

Glenn Fleishman, MacDevCenter.com 10.11.05

The Bell Curve's racism, yet again

Quoted 10.18.05:

Am I missing something? These are people who openly admired the people who committed the worst crime in human history. They never disavowed that admiration or denounced that crime. (Nor did they later apologize for their virulent opposition to racial integration and civil rights in America.) The organization they created in turn persists, totally unreformed and totally unembarrassed, into the new millennium, to watch as its white supremacist ideas slip into semirespectability via The Bell Curve. And yet it is we "liberals" who deserve suspicion for wondering: Could this sordid history possibly be apposite to the contemporary "race realists'" single-minded obsession with demonstrating the intellectual deficiency of blacks?

Stephen Metcalf, Slate 10.17.05

Monday, October 17, 2005

Did John Brown kill slavery?

Quoted 10.17.05:

John Brown, Abolitionist, by David S. ReynoldsThe interpretations fall, roughly, into two camps. They agree only about the man's unique importance. Writers hostile to Brown describe him as not merely fanatical but insane, the craziest of all the crazy abolitionists whose agitation drove the country mad and caused the catastrophic, fratricidal, and unnecessary war. Brown's admirers describe his hatred of slavery as a singular sign of sanity in a nation awash in the mental pathologies of racism and bondage.

Sean Wilentz, New Republic 10.24.05, sub req'd

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mormon movie takes a walk on the wild side?

Quoted 10.16.05:

The newly released, squeaky clean LDS film "Sons of Provo" has taken on a new moniker: "Sons of Porno."

Leigh Dethman, Deseret Morning News 10.16.05

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Relief groups strained by yet another disaster

Quoted 10.13.05:

"It is the worst year that any of us can remember in terms of the sheer number and magnitude of emergencies around the world, and it has strained all of us in terms of personal stamina and institutional capacity," said Rudy von Bernuth, vice president for humanitarian programs at Save the Children USA . . .

Complicating things now is the tepid response of donors. Images of the destruction inflicted by the earthquake would normally produce an outpouring of generosity, but organizations say fund-raising has so far been slow. Save the Children, for instance, raised $5.1 million online in the first five days after the tsunami. By midday on Tuesday, its Web site had raised just $100,000 for earthquake victims. Since it started raising money for Guatemala on Tuesday, it has raised just $1,000 online.

Stephanie Strom, New York Times 10.13.05, reg req'd; NYTimes guide to earthquake relief groups; UU Service Cmte relief fund

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Keillor: I'm at your service, Mr DeLay

Quoted 10.11.05:

Yes, you've done certain things that don't look good to grand juries and Unitarian schoolmarms and amateur bird-watchers, but so have your fellow Republicans. They have shoved old ladies down the stairs and feathered their own nests, and you know it, and they know that you know it, and now you need to demonstrate that you will not bend one iota, no mea culpas and don't weep for me Argentina.

Garrison Keillor, Salon 10.12.05, ad req'd

Saturday, October 8, 2005

Voting for a president 'just like us'

Quoted 10.08.05:

But today, average Americans are at least as much social populists as they are economic populists. They are sensitive to signs of condescension, and it is all too easy for them to experience social distance as indifference. In these circumstances, to nominate national candidates who are seen as representing the outlook and interests of the upscale professional class to the exclusion of middle and working class families is to stack the deck against victory.

Elaine Kamarck and William Galston's 'The Politics of Polarization' [pdf], quoted by Matthew Yglesias, TPMCafe 10.7.05

Catastrophic contact

Quoted 10.08.05:

1491According to some estimates, as much as 95 percent of the Indians may have died almost immediately on contact with various European diseases, particularly smallpox. That would have amounted to about one-fifth of the world's total population at the time, a level of destruction unequaled before or since. The exact numbers, like everything else, are in dispute, but it is clear that these plagues wreaked havoc on traditional Indian societies. European misreadings of America should not be attributed wholly to ethnic arrogance. The "savages" most of the colonists saw, without ever realizing it, were usually the traumatized, destitute survivors of ancient and intricate civilizations that had collapsed almost overnight. Even the superabundant "nature" the Europeans inherited had been largely put in place by these now absent gardeners, and had run wild only after they had ceased to cull and harvest it.

Kevin Baker [review of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann], New York Times Book Review 10.9.05, reg req'd

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Parenting from beyond the grave

Quoted 10.06.05:

Hoping to nurture their children from afar and assuage the dread of leaving a child too soon, a small but growing number of terminally ill parents are painstakingly leaving behind more tangible links: audiotapes, videotapes, letters, cards and gifts that children can use to bolster memories and use as a guiding hand. . . .

"It's profoundly beneficial for the kids," said Dr. William S. Breitbart, the chief of psychiatry service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. "But it is rare. Almost everyone thinks about it, but it will get delayed or put off. I think it's very difficult to do this because it really demands a confrontation, an admission, a real admission that you are dying, and that is very hard for most people. What is at play is this struggle in their mind between hope and despair."

Lizette Alvarez, New York Times 10.6.05, reg req'd

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Science gods

Quoted 10.04.05:

The danger in intelligent design is not just that it is bad science, but that it seeks to enlist evidence from science in the service of religious truth while denying evolutionary processes like mutation and natural selection. But the designer God of intelligent design is no more necessary to Christianity (or other monotheisms) than was the deistic God of Newtonian physics. In both cases, God ends up being made in the image of an intellectual system, much like Aristotle's unmoved mover. That is not the God of revelation.

Kenneth L. Woodward, New York Times 10.1.05, reg req'd

Monday, October 3, 2005

Religion Newswriters award winners for 2005.

Quoted 10.03.05:

Religion Newswriters Association 10.1.05; via Romanesko

Sunday, October 2, 2005

The sky is falling!

Quoted 10.02.05:

The Netherlands has already been destroyed by a falling meteor, Belgium by a shambling horde of flesh-devouring zombies, and all of Spain recently spontaneously burst into flame shortly after legalizing gay civil marriage. Canada and Massachusetts can't be far behind, with expert gayologists noting that the increased appearance in these regions of incest, man-on-turtle love, cannibalism, and Yog-Sothoth the great and terrible, key and keeper of the gate, indicates that their relative economic and social stability will soon give way to a hell-blasted nightmare world in which the living envy the divorce rates of the dead.

Medium Lobster, Fafblog! 9.23.05

Archdiocese: Oops! We won't send anti-gay petitions home with school kids

Quoted 10.02.05:

The Boston archdiocese and the Massachusetts Catholic Conference scrambled yesterday to distance themselves from a controversial effort to employ children in an anti-gay marriage petition drive.

Marie Szaniszlo, Boston Herald 10.1.05; see also "Church recruits kids in gay marriage fight" (Marie Szaniszlo, Boston Herald 9.30.05)

Roe ruling: More than its author intended

Quoted 10.02.05:

Last year, on the fifth anniversary of [Justice Harry A.] Blackmun's death, the Library of Congress opened his papers to the public. His thick files on the abortion cases tell the little-known story of how Roe vs. Wade came to be. It is the story of a rookie justice, unsure of himself and his abilities, who set out to write a narrow ruling that would reform abortion laws, not repeal them. . . .

"I fear what the headlines may be," he wrote in a memo. His statement, never issued, emphasized that the court was not giving women "an absolute right to abortion," nor was it saying that the "Constitution compels abortion on demand."

In reality, the court did just that.

David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times 9.14.05

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Tone, truth, and the Democratic Party

Quoted 10.01.05:

Sen. Barack Obama[T]o the degree that we brook no dissent within the Democratic Party, and demand fealty to the one, "true" progressive vision for the country, we risk the very thoughtfulness and openness to new ideas that are required to move this country forward. When we lash out at those who share our fundamental values because they have not met the criteria of every single item on our progressive "checklist," then we are essentially preventing them from thinking in new ways about problems. We are tying them up in a straightjacket and forcing them into a conversation only with the converted.

Sen. Barack Obama, Daily Kos 9.30.05

How pro-choice groups are hurting the Democrats -- and their own cause

Quoted 10.01.05:

Someday--perhaps as soon as the next Supreme Court nomination--there will be a serious threat to the right to choose. When that day comes, abortion rights groups are going to need all the help they can get, not just from their loyal base of abortion absolutists, but from moderates, from the Democratic Party, and from average Americans who simply don't want to see abortion rights disappear. If they're not careful, though, the next time they cry ''danger!" no one will be listening.

Amy Sullivan, Boston Globe 9.25.05, reg req'd