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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Eyeless in Gaza?

There are real horrors happening in Gaza. Look at this one (Warning: disturbing)

My friend, Mustafa Akyol also points me to Jeremy Ben-Ami's statement here.

*"Eyeless in Gaza" - Samson's cry, after he was blinded by his enemies - whom he killed by bringing the roof of their stadium down on them, after they had made the mistake of chaining him to the twin pillars.

Mustafa also points me to this sensible seeming discussion of the difficulties of modern Jewish identity.

Not to take away from the seriousness of what Palestinians are currently suffering: In Canada, well-intentioned Jews have been sponsors of some of the most illiberal legislation ever written here - in an effort to prevent a repeat of what will probably never be repeated anyway.

And the legislation they wrote is being used, scattergun, against Christian pastors advising their flock, comedians shouting into the audience, people who don't vote the way some official thinks they should, a person who doesn't think Little Mosque on the Prairie is as funny as the director had hoped ...

This is all completely ridiculous. These should not be cases in any kind of a court.

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A high school biology textbook in use in 1917 said this: ...

Read it and try to guess which one:

Promise you won't cheat by Googling this quote. Or if you do, fine, but don't post an answer that makes it sound like you had figured out the origin using brain power or historical knowledge or such. I'll find you out eventually, because you won't be anywhere near that smart later, when Google can't help you:
Improvement of Man. - If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of future generations of men and women on th earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection.

Eugenics. - When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, that dread white plague which is still responsible for almost one seventh of all deaths, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science is of being well born is called eugenics.
As an old woman who lived my life in the latter, not the former, half of the twentieth century, I must say this sounds plenty weird, and it has about as much to do with science as evolutionary psychology does = not at all.

There isn't a science of being well born. Your parents either got rocks or they don't. Nice if they do. Apart from that, absolutely nothing beats just being alive, plain and simple. So go live your life and be happy!

Later tonight, I will put up the answer to the question: What book is this quotation from?

(Okay, here we are: Yes, it was indeed Hunter's Civic Biology, the text at the centre of the Scopes Trial. Never mind "Inherit the Wind." How about "NOT Inherit the Racism and Class Prejudice?" )


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