We’re Still Here?

Photo credit: Adam Baron

Well, thankfully, we took lawn chairs. I mean Saturday for the Rapture. We were up on the hill, standing, and then sitting. Checking the watch. We clasped hands at :30 seconds and counting. And then. . . N O T H I N G.

At first, utter terror grabbed my heart. Oh no, was there some bureaucratic snafu? Had our names been left off by some angelic error? I commenced to clacking my ruby-red shoes again and again. To no avail.

We wondered, should we run back to the house and get in the basement? But all was eerily quiet and well, you might even say serene. No shaking, no erupting cacophony of earth-splitting horrors.

Finally, dejectedly, we wandered back to the house, flipped on the TV and found everything pretty much the same.

“Damn it!” the Contrarian exclaimed.

“What?”

“We missed the Preakness. Wonder who won?” he muttered.

“I can top that,” I intoned.

“How’s that?”

“On Monday, I’m back to what is increasingly as boring as paint drying–the GOP field of candidates!” I sighed.

No doubt the poor people of Joplin, MO thought the Rapture might have been just delayed as they saw their town torn apart by a killer tornado yesterday. These monster storms are taking a toll across the country, and one has to go back to pre-1950 times to find these kind of death tolls. That means the storms are more ferocious, since warning systems and structures are certainly much better today. But there ain’t no global warming of course. No that is not possible.

Does anyone care that Mitch Daniels is out and Tim Pawlenty is in? It’s really hard to. Theories abound as to why the “better?” candidates are opting out and the idiots are taking center stage. The most likely scenario is that they figure that Obama is nearly a sure bet. Re-focus on 2016. Maybe. If so, it promises to be a yawner except for the humor factor if Bachmann and Palin, join the other loonies Cain, Santorum, and Gingrich. Even then, it’s hard to get enthused. Or maybe I’m just off my game today. **shrug**

 

Proof that I am sane and the world is crazy? One need go no further than a few weeks ago when I named the hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the William and Kate wedding as the “Bullwinkle Hat.”

Said “hat” sold on Ebay for $130,000 big ones. Need I say more?  

Truly, the more I look, the easier it is to find evidence that I am one of the few remaining sane humans on this planet.

Newt Gingrich. Need I say more?

I can go on like this all day. I deserve some kind of recognition for my ability to retain my mind in good working order when faced with this kind of insanity provoking nuttery. I do.

♦ 

I confess to not understanding all the intricacies of the Middle East peace process. But over the years, my sympathies have shifted more to the Palestinian side of things. I certainly don’t like Hamas’s tactics, but I think the Palestinians have a better claim on the land than do the Israelis. Fair reading of the Bible must leave a person with a certain amount of “well that’s a convenient way to tell the story and justify war and genocide isn’t it” feeling in the end.

Looking back, it was probably a very bad idea to create the state of Israel. And given history, Jerusalem, seems to me, to be fairly an “international” city of three religions. Saying all that, realities are what they are.

I suspect that those who really are in the know, know that Obama’s  speech on the peace process were carefully crafted and struck just the right note. They are entirely in line with European allies conclusions on the matter.

How do you feel about the situation?

What’s on the stove? Liver and Onions, carrots, salad

 

 

All Snugged UP

Okay, it wasn’t actually THAT bad. To be honest, we don’t really know how much snow we got. All the places where we measure were clean of snow. It blew THAT hard. There are places where there are a couple of inches, and then drifts that are two feet high. I’m guessing we got about 4-5 inches.

Still, we are most assuredly snowed in. Which is okay sort of. I mean we got food, and wood. We don’t have any special treats for Superbowl Sunday.

I can’t go shopping til whenever, because when we get out we have to get a new alternator first. And there is plenty of snow in the forecast, though amounts are still up in the air–”up in the air”– get it? And after about four days in the twenties, it’s going back to single digits and subzero at night.

February can go suck an egg.

***

I don’t like much I’m reading in the news so far. Just a few snippets minus the links. Rand Paul is trying to suck money from his supporters with a baseless fear about the US signing a treaty that will strip all private gun ownership. This with the UN. It’s all nonsense as even the NRA admits, yet Paul will scare a lot of folks into sending him money.  What a jerk.

A woman tried to mail a puppy in a two-day priority mail box. Puppy discovered and saved. Woman crazy and should be locked up.

Anderson Cooper assaulted in Cairo as pro-Mubarak forces are sent out to engage violently with the anti-government forces. Meanwhile of course the wackos continue to claim that the “pro-al Qaeda Muslim Brotherhood” has as its first priority to attack Israel.

Within hours of the faked up anti-planned parenthood video, websites and marches are set up and ready to go. Does anyone smell a rat here? All the usual right-wing groups are signed up.

I’m not sure I want to read any more news.

***

Steven Benen does a good analysis of Glenn Beck’s latest insanity. Turkey, a republic since 1928, is in fact a dictatorship according to Beckian land. He posits that China will take New Zealand and all kinds of other squirrelly nonsense. Beck has lost some 1/3 of his followers and seems desperate. Thus the claims get even more insane. Read the analysis and link to the embedded video to see the wacko in action. Followers are being told to “store up food.” Oh and PS: read the comments which are hilarious: “It’s like taking Jack Benny seriously as Hamlet.” Too funny.

***

El Baradei, thought by many to be a likely head of an interim government in Egypt, is well thought of by most of the moderates and liberals. Of course that means he is an enemy of the far right. Both Gingrich (who cares), and John McCain (who cares even less) have warned on Fox Crap that El Baradei is a secret radical and an enemy of the US. What a crock. El Baradei, you will remember, raised the ire of the neo-cons back in the day when he told the truth about Iraq and made their “dangerous” Iraq proofs all the harder.

***
It seems the media is more fun than ever these days. Billo the Clown, touter of “fair and balanced” made it quite clear, that when one “knows” fair and balanced, one knows “not fair and balanced.” And Al-Jazeera is not fair and balanced, and if Alan Colmes suggests they are, well Billo just screams him down. I think that Billo just felt a jab of guilt, don’t you?

***

Reagan’s Solicitor General, and now Harvard professor, Charles Fried says that the new Health Care Law is surely constitutional. This pissed off Orin Hatch to no end, but I’m guessing Fried is a bit more knowledgeable than Hatch. A video of his testimony at Truthout.

***

The call it “Fox Geezer syndrome” and more and more people are complaining about it. It seems that our elderly, left with nothing to do, are turning to Fox and Beck and well, becoming conspiracy fanatics. When they kids call or visit, they are met with endless diatribes about Obama, and the left, to the point that such conversations must be avoided. Funny, but sad it in a way too, because many reporting this are conservatives themselves, and find their parents descent into Fox madness quite disconcerting.

Also, Beck’s numbers have fallen by 1.5 million, and Fox’s median age is, get this: 65! Retirees with nothing to do, sit and watch this crap show all day and night and are the elderly zombie generation. Unreal isn’t it?

***

But another reason why fundamentalist beliefs and rational politics don’t mix. Mikey Huckabee is against the Palestinians having a homeland of their own. Forget of course that it was their homeland long before “God gave it to Israel.” No, Huck believes in the biblical history that suggests that Israel gets all of the promised land. It begs the question that if Huck runs for president, he’s gonna have to explain if he is a biblical apocalyptic believer. If so, I’m thinking he has disqualified himself from the job. Scary crap.

What’s Up? 07/19/10

Welcome to Monday! Not so hot for those poor souls who have to work for a living, but hey for me, it’s pretty much the same as any other.

It’s threatening to rain, and has been all day so far. Guess we get to live with that possibility nearly all week. The lane is crap, I nearly didn’t get in from church.

We talk about what “line” to take through the mud holes. Who would have thought I would be ruled by such nonsense at age 60?

What happened to back out of the DRIVEWAY and go?

Our choices seem, sweltering or rain. Okay, you have your own troubles, so on with news:

I have to admit that I’ve struggled with forgiveness. I guess most of us do. I’ve never been faced with it with someone I couldn’t avoid generally most of the time. I don’t know how I would do with forgiving someone who seriously harmed me or mine. That’s the test. South Africa worked on forgiveness on a massive scale with “reconciliation” courts. Here’s a take on that subject regarding the genocide of Rwanda. Pretty deep thoughts, pretty important stuff. And it is deeply painful and haunting. Tread quietly here.

I’ve increasingly been disturbed by our Israeli policy as I’ve delved more deeply into the history of the Middle East. Contrary to the religious right who oft time support Israel as part of their belief that they are being “biblical” in doing so, I cannot find this a viable excuse. (Sen. Inhofe, I recently read suggested that politics should never play a part in our determination regarding Israel. Instead he claims, we are to ask, “Do we follow God or not?” He shall be forthwith called Crazy Inhofe on this blog). This disturbing  (word of the day) report suggests that Obama would do well to be severely questioning of the motives of Mr. Netanyahu, who seems to think that manipulating the US government by lies is the preferred plan. No doubt he is heartened by the End Timers, even though they are only trying to bring forth the final battle of Armageddon upon Israel.

If you thought that there could be nothing interesting to read about the Periodic Table, think again. But then you gotta trust me. So trust me. Follow the link.

Nobody says it better than Elizabeth Kaeton in “Refutiate” Racism. All I can say is bravo!

Most of my blogging friends are way more talented than I. Witness this fine entry by OKJimm, who has come back with a vengeance with I Gotza Song….. It is so worth your while to go visit. If there are enough like Jim, then perhaps we will not leap into the abyss.

I’m thinking maybe we ought to have an ASS of the week award. But oh God, the entrants could collapse my inbox. But this one by Mariah Carey just might make the #1 spot any week:

Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can’t help but cry. I mean I’d love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.
With thanks to Jaliya at Pushing fifty. . .gently. . .
With that, I’m off to go read some Camus. Seriously that man makes my head hurt. I have to stop every three sentences to try to digest what he is saying. Gawd, what a mind.


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Women’s Lives in Biblical Times

I seldom, in doing book reviews, venture far from biblical studies or theology. I wouldn’t normally attempt to review a professor of archaeology. But Jennie R. Ebeling, Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Evansville, has written a book that beautifully marries the two, and I feel able to assess its worth and impact on the genre at least of biblical studies.

My deepest thanks to Continuum Books, and T & T Clark Publishing for making a copy of her book available to me., Women’s Lives in Biblical Times.

Anyone who has spent any time studying the bible is surely aware that women’s lives are difficult to determine and assess when reference is only given to the bible itself. Let’s face it, the bible was written (so far as we know) by men, about men. Women play at best tangential roles, except in a very few instances. It was a world of patriarchy and thus it is men’s story that is retold.

Professor Ebeling, seeing the usual false portrayal of women in much of fiction dedicated to the time of ancient Palestine, seeks to give us a better picture of women’s lives. In doing so, she has chosen to join a number of disciplines to accomplish her goal. This is no doubt in keeping with much that is going on in science these days. Much is interdisciplinary, giving in the end a fuller and more complete picture of whatever focus is intended.

Her methodology involved the collection of evidence from several sources. First of course, she draws upon the best of biblical scholarship and linguistics to understand as best as can be done today what exactly was being said in regards women. She then adds her own speciality, archaeology to the mix, absorbing the latest conclusions deduced from dig sites throughout the biblical region. She then includes the texts of documents originating from comparative Near Eastern and Egyptian sources, insofar as they treat of women’s lives.

While she determined to speak to the Iron Age I period, (roughly 1200-1000 BCE), she found it useful to include the iconography of Iron Age II (roughly 1000-586) sites in the region. Finally, she added ethnographic studies of  the region dating from the 19th and early 20th century.

Professor Ebeling then merges all this accumulation of facts and evidence and forms charming stories about a mythical woman called Orah, who was born, raised, and died in the highlands of what is now Israel. More specifically, the area is in the vicinity of the ancient holy city of Shiloh, location of the Ark of the Covenant in the times of the Judges, before the Monarchy.

She divides the chapters into the major life events of Orah, and ties them to the seasonal changes in the village. These various harvests and plantings of course were tied to the various ancient festivals.

A warm delightful story is woven from the information now at hand for what life was like in those small villages. Following the “update” on Orah’s life, for instance, as she moves from childhood to womanhood, and then marriage and childbirth, Ebeling adds specific information to substantiate the points of the story.

References to the bible are replete throughout, as are to her other sources. In a word, each “conclusion” about the life of Orah, is well documented with evidence and reasonable inferences thereof.

One comes away with a genuine pride in the value and power of women of that time. Surely they were not accorded much formal power to be sure, but they were essential to the well being of the community and household. Patriarchy ruled, as we said, and when Orah was of marriageable age, she was betrothed and ultimately went to a new village to live in the home of her husband. If her husband’s father was still living, the father was the ultimately authority. Even if her husband’s mother was alive however, authority passed to the son upon the father’s death.

However, within the house, women ran things. They did the balance of the cooking and pottery making and textile manufacture. They cared for the family vegetable plot. They took care of all childbearing duties and probably most funeral arrangements. All this and they still assisted with the plantings and harvestings.

As many already know, Yahweh was the main God to be worshiped, and most women like Orah made pilgrimage to Shiloh at least a couple of times in their short lives. (Few reached beyond 40 years of age.) Still, however, there were many other gods who were worshiped locally and we can be sure that Orah and her family kept a sacred space within the home for fertility god worship.

What I wish to speak principally about here is how valuable Ebeling’s book is the average layperson. While she has no doubt (and it is quite clear to me she has), made a seminal contribution professionally, she offers the layperson valuable information and a “sense” of life in ancient times that proves most valuable to our worship and meditation upon scripture.

I can only relate that this very weekend, listening to the Gospel readings about Jesus and Martha and Mary, the extension of hospitality and the serving of Jesus and his disciples was deeply enriched by what I had learned of what those homes were like and what those “womanly” duties were.

Coupled with a new interpretation offered by our rector as to the story’s meaning, I saw Martha and Mary in new light. Our rector’s interpretation dovetailed simply perfectly into the world that Professor Ebeling created for me of women living in ancient Israel.

I can further sense that I have a new outlook on all that I read whether scriptural or commentary on these times. So clearly do I have this vision of these women, these homes, these relationships, these cares and these seasonal events, that I will never read the bible the same again.

Professor Ebeling is to be commended for her work. While she is modest in her claims, and always indicates when the evidence is thin and she is making extrapolations and from where, one is left with some serious assurance that she has struck near the mark of reality for that time. As she points out, only time and more evidence will clarify and expand our understanding. For now, this is a brilliant step forward.

I recommend you read this if you too desire to understand historical framework of the times in which Jesus walked.

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What’s Up? 06/02/10

It’s another gorgeous day in the meadow. Alas I remain indoors, afraid to step out and be assaulted by the bug that bites me and leaves me itching for a week.

In ten years I’ve never been able to see a bug on my skin, and thereafter find that as the site of intense itching. I assume it is a mosquito, but never feel any bite from the critter and thus have no clue. But  a full week of itching ensues.

I’ve tried every manner of itch cream and calomine lotion I can find. Nothing works but temporarily. I am fine, and then brush against it and it flares up again. I cannot locate my OFF and so am indoors until I can get to the store tomorrow. Then it’s full coverage from head to foot for all of June. By July it seems whatever it is moves on.

Feeling sorry for me? Good! That makes me feel better.

***

A good editorial from the NYTimes on Sister Margaret McBride, excommunicated for signing off on an abortion in Phoenix. All those pedophile priests of course were NEVER excommunicated.

I confess to not knowing as much as I should about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This set of essays I think help us to work our way through a complicated history. Thanks of course to 3quarksdaily. (Do you think I’m over using this site or what?)

Just me, but since BP has asked for any suggestions in plugging that leak? I’d skip the tennis balls and tires, and send down some Rethugs ( I have a whole list I could give them of unnecessary air-users up top here). All that hot air might do the trick ya know. Just sayin’. It’s the patriotic thing to do doncha think? And the GOP prides itself on being patriotic.

Scientific American has a fascinating post on Michaelangelo and the Sistene Chapel. Seems that the great artist and renaissance man was quite the anatomist, and left some fine illustrations buried in the ceiling painting. Such work is now being described by Ian Suk and Raphael Tamargo, both experts in the field of neuroanatomy from Johns Hopkins. Some interesting speculation as to what it all means.

Mystical Seeker has some valuable insights into tolerance in our world today. It never fails to thrill me to see that bloggers read one another, read other articles, and new ideas sprout. Some thoughtful ideas here.

Who doesn’t believe in the big bang? Oh, your usual suspects, southern Republicans. What is it about these people that they are so fearful of reality?

Something like 70-80% of all Americans support repeal of DODT in the military. The right has raised new arguments every day it seems. First, it would increase gay rape, then we have to worry about tainted “gay blood,” then it would destroy military chaplains “rights” but the newest one is the best–It will enrage Muslims who will try to kill more of us. Right Wing Watch has to story.

If you like your news tart and saucy, then you better try out Black Magpie Theory. Brought to us by OKJimm!

Is Sarah Palin entitled to call herself a feminist? Do words mean anything? A terrific must read post at Jezebel!

If you need an attitude adjustment, and we all do from time to time, Atticus at StatesofMindz, has 21 “If’s” you might want to think about.

Hope you find a thing or two that strikes your fancy here.

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Let Us Not Forget

Mahmoud Darwish died August 9, 2008. Unaware of who he was? I’m not surprised. I had no idea who he was either. But his importance cannot be denied, although he is mostly unknown in the West. Mr. Darwish was a Palestinian and certainly the most revered poet of his time. He was the poet laureate of Palestine. His poetry is without question beautiful, poignant and compelling.

He was born in 1941 in al-Birwa, then a British protectorate, and now Western Galilee. His father was a Muslim landowner, his mother illiterate. His grandfather taught him to read. With the establishment of the state of Israel, his family fled to Lebanon, but later returned and he eventually moved to Haifa. He first published at the age of 19. He went to the USSR to study, and was stripped of his Israeli citizenship. He returned eventually to Lebanon and joined the PLO in 1973. He was banned from Israel after that, but was allowed to return for a funeral and eventually allowed to live in Ramallah.

His literary career encompassed thirty volumes of poetry and eight books of prose. One of his most famous was called “Identity Card” and was written in 1964:

Record! I am an Arab/ And my identity card is number fifty thousand/ I have eight children/ And the ninth is coming after a summer/ Will you be angry?/ Record!/ I am an Arab/ I have a name without a title/ Patient in a country/ Where people are enraged . . . I do not hate people/ Nor do I encroach/ But if I become hungry/ The usurper’s flesh will be my food/ Beware../ Beware../ Of my hunger/ And my anger!

He acclaimed Rimbaud and Ginsberg as influences on his work, and had a competitive admiration for the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai, who he claimed competed over the same landscape. Attempts have been made to include his work in Israeli school curriculum, to no avail so far.

Some of his more famous quotes:

Why are we always told that we cannot solve our problem without solving the existential anxiety of the Israelis and their supporters who have ignored our very existence for decades in our own homeland?

“I thought poetry could change everything, could change history and could humanize, and I think that the illusion is very necessary to push poets to be involved and to believe, but now I think that poetry changes only the poet.”

“I will continue to humanise even the enemy… The first teacher who taught me Hebrew was a Jew. The first love affair in my life was with a Jewish girl. The first judge who sent me to prison was a Jewish woman. So from the beginning, I didn’t see Jews as devils or angels but as human beings.” Several poems are to Jewish lovers. “These poems take the side of love not war,”

The following is a well known poem. I did not have the title, hopefully someone will read it and supply it for me. I think it most beautiful.

The Earth is closing on us
pushing us through the last passage
and we tear off our limbs to pass through.
The Earth is squeezing us.
I wish we were its wheat
so we could die and live again.
I wish the Earth was our mother
so she’d be kind to us.

I wish we were pictures on the rocks
for our dreams to carry as mirrors.
We saw the faces of those who will throw
our children out of the window of this last space.
Our star will hang up mirrors.
Where should we go after the last frontiers?
Where should the birds fly after the last sky?
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air?
We will write our names with scarlet steam.
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh.
We will die here, here in the last passage.
Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.

- Mahmoud Darwish

It saddens me deeply that such a great talent has passed and I never knew of his existence. This is a crime, living as we are on this small pale blue orb with such instant communication. I have no fault to lay on anyone, but myself for not being aware. The world has lost a great voice it seems to me. I can do but this small thing to bring attention to his work and share it with those who, perhaps like me, have not had the benefit of awareness. Clearly, his value is not just in his exquisite poetry, but in the message he conveyed and the life he lived.

Mr. Darwish will be buried somewhere within the Israeli state, but the exact location I don’t think has yet been decided. It is after all his homeland. Blessings and peace Mr. Darwish, and to all people on Earth.

_____________

I am indebted to the following:

Raising Yousuf and Noor for the poetry. 

Wikipedia for the historical data.

Lil Bits of Rancor or Not 7/25

Ladies, this is for you. Sorry gents, unless you are feeling particularly girlie, you might want to skip this one. What Greek Goddess are you? N.S. Gill’s Ancient History Blog brings you this fun little quiz to determine which one you most resemble. I’m Athena by the way, a pleasant surprise. Have fun, and guys, go ahead and try it for your favorite significant other.

An extraordinarily good post by Media Matters, reprinted at Alternet. While the media wastes our time telling us about Jesse Jackson’s gaffe, McCain’s unbelieveable statement about Social Security being a “disgrace” goes almost unreported.The selacious wins out over serious issues once again, but not if you follow the link.

Glenn Greenwald reports in a well documented post that Johnny Mac is doing the same thing as Bush did as candidate. And what would that be? Well, stacking the deck as they say. People who seem to be against the old codger are being forcibly evicted from his “open” town meetings. Furthermore, he’s hired the same snake that Bush used for these very events. Bushiness as usual it seems for McBush, and its all negative ain’t it?

A good recipe can still be found here. Nothing is better in the late fall and winter than chili, and nothing sounds better to me with chili than cornmeal biscuits. I loved this recipe from A Mingling of Tastes. If you are inclined pop over and make a copy for yourself.

If you haven’t had a chance, drop by Dancing with Fire run by a dude name Kurt, with a fine sense of anger/humor. We think alike which is why I like him. His post on why you should vote for McCain is worth the trip!

Linda at Essential Estrogen has a wonderful piece with some nice links about the media and how it continues to fail Americafor the most part. She has the amazing opportunity to interview Helen Thomas, so well known to those who follow the White House journalists. She also has remarks from Bill Moyers. Both are worth reading. We bloggers are about the only thing going these days in trying to ask the tough questions and point out the truth as we see it. I as always know I’m on the bottom of this long ladder by I do feel the need to alert people to all the missed questions and missed research that is lacking in the major news media these days. This article is worthwhile.

The Republicans tout “free-market” economies as the only sensible way to go. Let business alone, and all will be fine. But is that true? No, not the fine part, we know that isn’t true, just look around. But have we ever had “free-markets?” Professor Steven Conn takes us on a historical trip to the so-called Gilded Age when free markets were alleged to have held the day. It wasn’t true then, and it’s not true now. It’s really about government supporting business, giving them what they want. Learn as I did that it ain’t really so, this laissez-faire they keep talking about.

Sr. Joan Chittister weighs in on the latest disciplinary action taken against Sr. Louise Lear. She cautions that the Catholic Church is punishing questioning Catholics instead of those who actually do evil things. Moreover, many who are excommunicated historically have a nasty habit of ending up being sainted in later years. Does this suggest we ought to temper our use of punishment in the Church? She sees some evidence of that in Pope Benedict’s fine warning to the Anglicans to not divide over their issues of homosexuality and women. Perhaps he is also speaking to the ultra right wing wingnuts in his own Church. I hope so.

There are things that the internet is perfectly adapted to. This is one of them. Live Science reports that biblical scholars are intent on putting together an entire online copy of the oldest copy of the New Testament. Bit and pieces are scattered around the globe, but the internet can bring them all together. I for one will be excited to see it. Look for Codex Sinaiticus to be available next July. The Codex shows a different ending for Mark that we are accustomed to, and books that were not admitted to the official canon, such as the Epistle of Barnabus.

I find that one of the things I do most here is clear up stuff the media fails to clear up. Of course, I’m reporting mostly what others are doing, and simply picking it up for you. Passing it along as it were. I think it might be worthwhile if you subscribe to Media Matters. They try to pick up and research virtually every statement and claim made by the candidates and where they are wrong. I can’t of course begin to do them all, so if you want to be updated on the truth instead of the lazy person’s version which is passed off to you by mainstream media, the hop over to http://mediamatters.org and pick up a subscription to their feed or get their newsletter. You will be glad you did so you can cut through the crap.

Raising Yousuf and Noor takes reports a story sent to her by a Palestinian man and his Gaza born wife. Their trials and tribulations living in West Bank Ramallah, occupied by the Israelis. Sounds a bit like living in Baghdad these days under the US occupation. These vignettes of life that others are forced to lead, remind us in the states, just how very lucky we are by comparison.

What many of us fail to realize is that history is seldom over. What? Well I mean that we keep finding new stuff that helps us understand what happened, and then somebody writes a revision of what we thought we knew. The advent of technology busting out all over has indeed helped this process immeasurably. Techniques for extracting text from what fifty years ago might have been unthinkable rags offer insights into history never before dreamed of. History is written by not only the winners but also the rich. Now efforts are being made to uncover a bit more of real life in Egypt in the vicinity of 300-30 BCE. Read about the fascinating methods used and what is being uncovered at rogueclassicism.

Well these are the bits and pieces I’ve collected over the week. Hope you find a link or two that tickles your fancy.