Saturday, April 9, 2011

Better Late Than Never (That's Only My Opinion)

I've been out of the house for most of the day, walking around and getting some air, so I apologize for not getting to this sooner, but some things can't be helped:

The £1m annual Templeton prize has been handed out to Sir Martin Rees, the astronomer royal and former president of the Royal Society, in another effort by the Templeton Foundation to confuse the science/religion debate:
Lord Rees, a churchgoer who neither believes in God nor subscribes to any religious dogma, said he attends chapel on a regular basis as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, as part of a "traditional ritual". He also cites the choir – rated fifth in the world by Gramophone magazine – as a reason for his attendance.

"Doing science made me realise that even the simplest things are hard to understand and that makes me suspicious of people who believe they've got anything more than an incomplete and metaphorical understanding of any deep aspect of reality," he told the Guardian. "I participate in occasional religious services which are the customs of the society I grew up in. I'm not allergic to religion."
Good enough for me - an atheist "God Father" to several boys - but some are up in arms he'd take the money at all. My only criticism is he looks like a smug bastard in the photo.

Click the tag, below, for more on the Templeton Prize.

This piece made the Euro sound like Barack Obama to me:
The European debt crisis -- which saw its latest iteration inaugurated on Wednesday, April 6, when Portugal indicated it would request an EU bailout -- has exposed every single lie, every fudge, and every political, legal, and economic loophole that went into making the continent's common currency. One reason Europeans have yet to set the euro right is that they still haven't reckoned with the extent of bad faith that went into its creation.

To sell the euro to a diverse populace back in the 1990s, its advocates made a series of mostly inconstant promises. The Germans were promised that monetary union would not give rise to fiscal transfers, and would create a currency at least as stable as the Deutschmark. The French understood the euro as a vehicle for improved domestic competitiveness and global reach. For the Italians and the Spanish, it offered an opportunity for monetary stability and permanently low interest rates. And in countries with highly deregulated banking systems, such as Spain and Ireland, it brought the prospect of sudden wealth.

The various promises culminated in a lowest-common-denominator governance regime. Monetary discipline would be enforced by an independent central bank tasked with ensuring price stability. Fiscal discipline was supposed to be covered by the stability and growth pact, which set the famous 3 percent rule -- the ceiling of permitted annual deficits in relation to gross domestic product. And that was it.

Given this wishful thinking, the eurozone was always vulnerable to a financial crisis.
When are we going to catch on to wishful thinking, magical thinking, and delusional thinking? There's a story about the guy who predicted the Japanese tsunami and how, of course, nobody listened to him - just as nobody listened to the guy who said Bernie Madoff was a fraud, and the guy who predicted the world-wide economic crisis, and on and on and on. What is up with that?

My fervent desire is that, as we keep moving closer to reality in this new conservative period, we start listening to people who actually know things and away from those who step forward promising "Hope & Change".

Our old pal, James Arthur Ray (and Oprah's, and Larry King's, and that group of freaks, above, from The Secret) has had his NewAge murder trial take a very un-Law of Attraction-like turn for the worse - the judge is allowing testimony about his past sweatlodges to be entered into evidence - and that's opening the floodgates:
That final round, Mercer said, was uncharacteristically quiet. When it was over, Ray was the first one out.

"He crawled out the entrance, took a few deep breaths, said something and then he walked by the guy who thought he was dying," she said. "Then he went and sat down in a chair in the shade."

It took several minutes for everyone else to get out of the lodge, and Mercer said she dragged out at least four people who had passed out as well as others whose legs weren't working right. Then she made a gruesome discovery.

"I looked inside," she said. "Something made me look inside. I saw three people in the back of the sweat lodge just laying there. I was kneeling down and I looked for someone to help me. Everyone I saw was helping someone else."

She saw Ray and told him she needed to open up the back of the lodge to get those people out. She said Ray told her not to unless it was absolutely necessary.

Deciding it was, Mercer said she went to the back and began to untangle the interwoven blankets and tarps that covered the structure, screaming for help all the while. The only help nearby was her daughter, Sarah, 18 at the time.

"We lifted up the back of the tarp," she said. "We saw these people laying there. Their lips were blue and their faces were white and my daughter said, 'Mom, they're holding hands.'"

The two were Kirby Brown and Shore, who never exhibited vital signs from that point on in spite of efforts to perform CPR. A third person, Liz Neuman, died nine days after also being pulled from the lodge.

After others arrived to help, Mercer went to her nearby house and called 911.

Mercer's earlier testimony was much like her husband Ted's, who preceded her on the witness stand. She compared Ray's sweat lodges in 2007 and 2008 to others she'd witnessed, noting that no one ever got sick unless Ray was the leader.
Oopsie! Looks like the "Spiritual Warrior" is fighting for his (own) life now.

Let me put some food in my stomach and I'll be right back,...