The first Doonesbury cartoon, from October 26,...
The first Doonesbury cartoon, from October 26, 1970. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)







Gary Trudeau‘s “Doonesbury” almost always speaks clearly to some societal problem or condition. Here’s one that helps me understand how so many so-called evangelical Christians were able to vote for Trump.

The Book of Exposition

A decade or so after the famed Orientalist Richard Burton translated Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Nafzawi’s The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight (1886), an anonymous translator became the first to critically assess and introduce for Anglophone audiences another of the Middle East’s more controversial and enigmatic texts — Kitab al-Izah Fi’ilm al-Nikah b-it-Tamam w-al-Kamal, or The Book of Exposition — a collection of fifteenth-century erotica. Despite there being much dispute over the authorship of the work, from both Western and Middle Eastern scholars over the centuries, The Book of Exposition is nowadays credited to a fifteenth-century Egyptian polymath called Jalal ad’Din al-Suyuti (1445-1505). Although perhaps best known for his co-authorship of Tafsir al-Jalalayn (Tafsir of the Two Jalals), a classical Sunni exegesis of the Quran, al-Suyuti was also a prolific erotologist, writing at least twenty-three treatises on various aspects of the sexual arts.


SS: Ongoing debate – 13 years ago

Editorial gets a failing grade on science, religion: [Final Edition]

Lane, Bob. Nanaimo Daily News; Nanaimo, B.C. [Nanaimo, B.C]24 Dec 2005: A8.

1. Factual content: F. The judge did not rule that “ID” should not be taught. In fact, he recommended that it be taught in socials or comparative religion. He ruled that “ID” is not science and so should not be taught in a biology class. Testimony from the “ID” experts showed that under their definition of science, astrology would be considered science and should be taught.

Full Text

(Copyright The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2005)

The remora

Empire State Building
Empire State Building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My step-father was a small farmer. He worked with his hands all of his life. He worked with mules, horses, and later tractors.

Otto was primarily a wheat farmer. He took pride in his farming. Straight rows, sowing at the right time, cultivating, knowing when to harvest. There was a German Lutheran toughness to him and a real pride in growing crops and beasts to feed the people.

It was a real shock to him when he made his first trip to the US east coast. He went up to the top of the Empire State Building and looked out over the city. He noticed barges in the Hudson River that were dumping their loads into the river. He asked what they were dumping. He was told they were dumping excess wheat and also milk. He could not believe it.

“Why would they do that?” he asked.

For the futures market he was told. Too much wheat brings the prices down now and in the future.

When he came back to the farm he was changed. Those barges had stolen his life’s purpose.

At about the same time Camus was writing his Notebooks 1951 – 1959. He writes (35) :

According to Melville, the remora, a fish of the South Seas, swims poorly. That is why their only chance to move forward consists of attaching themselves to the back of a big fish. They then plunge a kind of tube into the stomach of a shark, where they suck up their nourishment, and propagate without doing anything, living off the hunting and efforts of the beast.

The remora reminds me of the market speculators. They do not produce any wheat or corn – they merely bet on its price in the future. And they don’t manufacture anything to use for anything – they specialize in gambling.

Oh, yeah, and Otto paid his fair share of taxes.


Surely 700 scientists named Steve can’t be wrong

The National Centre for Science Education in the U.S. has recently announced that there are now 700 scientists named [Steve Jones] who have publicly agreed: Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry.

Full Text

(Copyright The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2006)

Some things never change

Council can rein in city spending and have fun

Lane, Bob. Nanaimo Daily News [Nanaimo, B.C]13 Dec 2013: A.6.
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