February 2005

photocreditMichaelProbstAPbis.jpeg On a recent trip to France, someone remarked over lunch that a friend, a French journalist, had asked Condoleezza Rice how religious President George W. Bush was.

She reportedly scoffed at the query. It’s all about getting the votes, she said. Bush not only won the hearts and minds of the evangelicals of the country by donning the religious cloak of propaganda, but he also won a second term. How Americans can be so gullible I will never know…
President Bush’s successful reelection effort owed much to the support he received from highly religious voters, especially white evangelical Protestants.Religion and the Presidential Vote

Manipulating the Godly Factor
Educating America’s Christian Right


People believe in God because the world is very complicated and they think it is very unlikely that anything as complicated as a flying squirrel or the human eye or a brain could happen by chance. But they should think logically and if they thought logically, they would see that they can only ask this question because it has already happened and they exist.

For example, some people say how can an eye happen by accident? Because an eye has to evolve from something else very like an eye and it doesn’t just happen because of a genetic mistake. And what is the use of half an eye? But half an eye is very useful because half an eye means that an animal can see half an animal that wants to eat it and get out of the way, and it will eat the animal that only has a third of an eye or 49% of an eye instead because it hasn’t got out of the way quick enough, and so the animal that is eaten won’t have babies because it is dead. And 1% of an eye is better than no eye.

And people who believe in God think God has put human beings on the earth because they think human beings are the best animal. But human beings are just an animal and they will evolve into another animal, and that animal will be cleverer and it will put human beings into a zoo, like we put chimpanzees and gorillas into a zoo. Or humans will all catch a disease and die out, or they will make too much pollution and kill themselves. Then there will only be insects in the world and they will be the best animal.

Narrated by an autistic boy in: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

via: Coconut Studio

committee to protect bloggers.jpeg    Global blogger action day called: The global web blog community is being called into action to lend support to two imprisoned Iranian bloggers.

The month-old Committee to Protect Bloggers’ is asking those with blogs to dedicate their sites on 22 February to the “Free Mojtaba and Arash Day”.

Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad are both in prison in Iran.

Blogs are free sites through which people publish thoughts and opinions. Iranian authorities have been clamping down on prominent sites for some time.
Committee to Protect Bloggers

Free Mojtaba

I have great respect for teachers. It is their responsibility to pass on knowledge to children who one day will become leaders of the nation or of an enterprise.

But that respect has turned to derision. In France, teachers humiliate children, telling them that they are “null” and stupid, in order, according to their twisted way of thinking, that they submit to authority.

Thinking that they are “null,” they become aggressive, to prove that they are not. They don’t go with the tide, but against it — the Tide being submission and respect for the rules of society. Syndicates, demonstrations, labour parties, all express this rebellion against authority. I think this is just one of many of its manifestations.

Education must be strict and rigid, especially when school education has to make up for the absence of parental education. This is especially true in France where many parents both work and where many mothers have a pathetic sense of maternal education. But children are not born aggressive — they are taught to be.

There was a mixed response amongst the group when asked in which system/method they felt that they performed to the best of their abilities. The English students placed great weight on what they termed the humiliation factor in the French system. When asked whether this was a culturally specific method rather than one based on the particular personality of the tutor (as clearly they acknowledged that this method is adopted by some tutors in Sheffield) the students were unanimous in their conclusion that this rigour in seminar method was particular to the French system and all pervasive.  Legal Education in France and England: A Comparative Study