Tuesday, August 17, 2004


“ ‘Use it or lose it’ is a motto with many applications in the animal world. For instance, the brains of domesticated animals are significantly smaller than the brains of their nearest wild kin, and this is not just a by-product of selection for large muscle mass in animals raised for food. Domesticated animals can afford to be stupid and still have lots of offspring, for they have in effect out sourced many of their cognitive tasks to another species, us [humans], on which they have become parasitic. Like the tapeworms that have ‘decided’ to trust us to handle all their locomotion and food finding tasks for them so that they can drastically simplify their nervous systems, which they no longer need, domesticated animals would be in tough shape without their human hosts to live off. They are not endoparasites, living inside us, but they are still parasites.” —Daniel Dennett in Freedom Evolves, pp. 163-164

Lo, how the humble dog has come up in the world! Parasite that he is, he makes us feed him and take care of him and some of us spend thousands of dollars to keep him alive when he grows old and feeble. The dog without elaborate language skills has indeed studied and mastered us.


A Spokesman Review story (August 9, 2004, p. A8) tells us about multiplying “al Qaeda franchises”: “The emergence of these groups is making the fight against terrorism more challenging.... It’s like McDonald’s giving out franchises..,” said Dia’a Rashman, an Egyptian expert on militant groups. These bin Laden al Qaeda franchises “pose a ‘catastrophic threat’” to the United States and its friends and allies.

Thank Bushman for brilliant planning and foresight and nuanced thinking. All kinds of groups of Islamic terrorists are arising from a common hatred of America, and they are only connected by that common hatred. You can kill all the bin Ladens you want, and these new groups will go on. Bush has loosed the hydra-headed beast.


Whereas oil supplies in Iraq keep being disrupted by Bush’s war while demand rises and whereas Bush and Republicans have always been unsupportive of increasing automobile fuel efficiency, we know who is responsible for stirring up oil prices, don’t we?


(Spokesman Review, 8/10/04, p. B1). I see that the shot down pilot, Scott O’Grady, visited Spokane, Washington recently (where he no longer lives) to support Bush for president. O’Grady claims to admire Bush because he “says what he means and means what he says” whatever Scott means when he says that Bush ‘means what he says’...? I mean... who doesn’t mean what he says—even when he means to deceive? It’s what Bush means when he says what he means that’s the trouble. I just wish bushmen could speak clearly and intelligently.


From “FreeMind”, the Humanist Magazine, (August/September 2004, p.6):

“We, the members of the American Humanist Association assembled at the organization’s sixty-third annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, wish to declare to a candid public that there is no sin. We say this because sin is a theological concept, not a moral one, and as Humanists, we have no theology.

“Therefore, while recognizing the existence of ethical wrongs, unwise personal behaviors, and socially harmful practices—all of which should be discouraged—we see nothing legitimately warranting the epithet, ‘sinful’. Nor do we judge a whole person as a ‘sinner’ for wrong acts.

“This outlook causes us to look at each so-called sinful behavior or practice in a fresh way, unbiased by traditional prejudgment, so as to independently assess whether it is or isn’t harmful to individuals or society. We then respond accordingly. Because we hold such an approach to be the most consonant with compassion and reason, and because we anticipate significant public and personal benefits if such a view were widely adopted, we further recommend it to all.

It’s why my current bumper sticker says: ATHEISTS DO NO EVIL.

Speaking of "without language": "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." — that's right, you guessed it, it's —President Bush (1750-1810)

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