"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
- Mark Twain
"Anyone who combines politics and baseball is an idiot, because everyone knows that ping-pong is the greatest sport. Oh, and I'm really a Communist who hates NASCAR and listens to Joan Baez in the dark.
-- Glenn Reynolds
About the author
Andre Vladimir Sebastian is a figment of your imagination. Honestly, you really could have done better than him, now couldn't you? Next time, put a little effort into it.
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Max Cleland Is Pissed
And he's not going to take it anymore! Well, OK, he is going to take it. I mean, what choice does he have, really? Move to France?
posted by AVS @
A Few Thoughts On Slavery And Liberty
The Christian Science Monitor has a pretty interesting and quite long story about the effort to include more discussion of slavery in the stories, exhibits, and scholarship regarding the Founding Fathers and the early years of the republic. I think the premise of the story is a bit off.
While popular history often relegates slavery to the shadows when celebrating the Founding Fathers, now its inextricable links to the economic and political beginnings of the United States are being brought to light, write the two reporters who did the story.
On the contrary, I think slavery has been the central topic of debate about the Founding Fathers among both popular and academic historians for the past 30 years or so. It's nearly the first thing mentioned in all American history textbooks when the Founding Fathers come up. Far from being neglected, it's so common you can't escape it.
Rather than forcing white Americans to overcome their hero worship of the Founding Fathers so they can be seen for the flawed humans they are, which everyone already acknowledges, I think the challenge today is to get non-white Americans to see the Founding Fathers as anything other than slaveholders.
We must move beyond the notion that Washington and Jefferson somehow can't be revered for their historically astonishing accomplishments in the name of liberty because they paradoxically owned slaves.
There is a middle ground between the idea that the Founding Fathers' lives were "all cloudless glory," to use the title of one biography of Washington, and the idea that the achievements and ideals of America and its founders are unworthy of admiration or praise because of the blight of slavery. The truth lies in that middle ground, and anyone pulling away from that center is doing the republic an injustice.
posted by AVS @
Future Playground Insult: Your Mamma Was An Abortion
Scientists from Israel and the Netherlands have found a way to pluck egg tissue from the ovaries of aborted babies and develop it into fertile egg follicles, which means that in the future children could be created from mothers who were never born, The Times of London has reported.
Scientists, The Times reported: found that immature egg follicles, which would not normally become active until puberty, started to develop when bathed in a cocktail of female hormones. This raises the possibility of producing eggs from the foetuses’ ovaries, which could be fertilised with sperm.
Once implanted into a womb, the embryo, whose mother had never been born, could develop into a baby. The process has been successfully carried out in mice.
The study suggests that eggs could be harvested from an unborn child and matured in culture for eventual donation to infertile women or for use in medical experiments.
Kinda throws a wrench into the whole fetus-isn't-a-life argument, doesn't it? It's pretty astonishing to think that scientists may one day soon be able to purposefully create a new life from one that was purposefully extinguished.
posted by AVS @