Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Holocaust, free speech, Galileo, and Eastwick


Jewish date:  4 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Noaḥ).

Today’s holidays:  Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Call them out: Tell Harry Reid to expose the Democrats who want to filibuster a public option”, “Take Action:  Stand with Melanie, not the insurance CEOs”, and “GOP: Stop Spewing Health Care Lies”.

Topic 1:  “Holocaust overload”:  George Orwell wrote a famous essay, “Politics and the English Language” on the misuse and abuse of the English language, often to political ends.  Words can be so misused and overused that they lose their meaning.  This article describes misuse of the word “Holocaust” which threatens to make the term almost meaningless.

Topic 2:  “Free Speech Under Foreign Assault”:  Major rule:  Suppressing free speech does not make one’s views any more true.  Those Muslims who adopt the tactic of abusing libel laws to squelch their opponents are advised to stop this dishonorable course of action and learn to make valid arguments like real men (and real women).

Topic 3:  “Galileo's Contradiction: The Astronomer Who Riled the Inquisition Fathered 2 Nuns”:  There is a common misconception that science and religion are diametrical opposites.  This does not reflect the actual religious views of serious scientists, e.g., the observant Catholic Galileo Galilei.

Topic 4:  Yesterday’s episode of Eastwick (that show I love to hate), “Mooning and Crooning”, deals with much of the town engaging in wild behavior induced by the full Moon.  I suspect that this may have been magicked inadvertently by Kat, Roxanne, and Joanna on Darryl’s suggestion.  Not really anything new theologically, though Darryl does provide the rudiments of a cover story.