Why Now?
Monday, February 07, 2005
I've been extremely tied up since last Wednesday, so blogging has been light.

A few things as I scanned the Internet:

Around the World in 71 days 14 hours 18 minutes and 33 seconds

Ellen MacArthur of Britain has broken the record for sailing alone around the world. With only the wind for power and having to deal with storms and the errant whale she has arrived back in Britain. Surely she will be Dame Ellen in short order as the Queen and Prime Minister both sent her greetings.

Born in landlocked Derbyshire, she has pursued her dream of sailing and become one of the best deepwater sailors ever. I admire people who will sacrifice all comfort to push themselves to their limits in pursuit of a goal. This is what it takes to reach the Moon, climb Everest, discover cures for diseases.

Update: It's official: Dame Ellen.

Harry Potter vs. the US Army

J.K. Rowling and her solicitors are not amused by cartoons appearing in US Army training magazines that show a great similarity to her Harry Potter books. While Ms. Rowling has no problem with, and even encourages, fans expanding on her creation, she takes a dim view of anyone attempting to profit from her works, and is probably not in favor of any connection between Harry Potter and the US military.

The military is claiming there is really no similarity, not much anyway, I mean the names really are altered, sort of. . .

Former WMD hunter sees 'eerie similarities' in Iran

Australian Broadcasting's John Shovelan in Washington reports on David Kay's view of the current rhetoric about Iran being very similar to what was said about Iraq, and has warned the Bush administration not to repeat the mistakes it made with Iraq in Iran.

For the short attention span group on the right, David Kay was a "true believer" in the existence of WMDs before he wasted more than a year of his life on that snipe hunt.

Fundamentalists are All Alike

Novelist Mary Gordon during an interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air from WHYY on January 31 st made an observation that is important and should be repeated.

She stated the obvious link: all ultra conservative religions denigrate women. They all treat women as if they were tainted and deny them the right to fully participate in the religion.

The really odd part is that none of the basic documents of these religions actually take this view, and many explicitly say the opposite, but the ultra conservative interpreters of these religions are all consistent in their view that women need to be excluded.

This attitude is at definite variance with nature and the continuation of the species. The male's role is rather limited in time and scope. It has only been recent that fathers could be determined with any certainty, while there is rarely a case when there was any confusion about a child's mother. This isn't a value judgment, merely a statement of reality.


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