Sunday Reads: Popes, Baseballs and New Nations…Posted: July 10, 2011
Good Sunday Morning! I just watched The Social Network for the first time…and feel like I have just sat through 2 hours of the kind of fast talking you hear at the end of car commercials. (Do they even have those fast talking legalese any more?) It was excruciating…and then what made it worse was the horrible sexist attitudes that these egotistical nerds seem to exuded with such nonchalant indifference. Ugh…guess you can tell I did not like it. So as I write today’s post (late on Saturday Night) I keep on hearing that annoying voice of Jessie Eisenberg. Let’s see if I can somehow ignore it droning on in the back of my brain.
There has been another earthquake in Japan, same area…and tsunami warnings were issued.
A major earthquake struck off northeastern Japan Sunday, prompting tsunami advisories for several coastal regions, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage, according to the Japanese news agency Kyodo.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 10:57 a.m. at the epicenter, about 130 miles east of Sendai.
The earthquake was more than 20 miles deep and had a magnitude of 7.0, the USGS said.
The JMA measured the magnitude of the quake at 7.1.
Tsunami advisories were issued for the coastal regions of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, the JMA said.
I hope the damage is limited…and from what the reports say, the tsunami is estimated at 20 cm.
There is a new country in the world today, South Sudan: A Hidden Tour of Juba, the Newest World Capital – TIME
A rope suspended across the street in Gumbo Market marks the entrance to Juba. A long line of trucks, blurred by the heat and dust, waits at the makeshift border — guarded only by a handful of policemen.
Brazilian chicken, Chinese refrigerators, Kenyan cigarettes, vegetables from Uganda and medicine from India…the cargo heats in the sun. David Grassly, the head of the UN representation in Juba says that in 2005 “beer used to be brought here from Yei by bike, 90 miles south of here, near the Democratic Republic of Congo and former Republic of Zaire.” The reason: only bikes could zigzag between the mines left during the second civil war in Sudan (1983-2005). (See pictures of South Sudan celebrating its independence.)
Six years later, as it declares its independence, South Sudan still imports most basic foodstuffs. Trucks have to drive many miles to provide water to homes that do not have electricity either.
Give that article a read, it is actually from Le Monde and is a very good read.
Here is what Hillary Clinton had to say, she wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post: Independence day for South Sudan – The Washington Post
This weekend, in Juba, South Sudan, Africa’s 54th nation was born. Millions of people are celebrating a new national identity and new national promise. Like on our own July Independence Day 235 years ago, there is reason to hope for a better future — if the people and leaders of both Sudan and South Sudan commit themselves to the hard work ahead.This day was far from inevitable. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources. Just a year ago, talks between the Sudanese government in the north and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the south had stalled. Preparations for a referendum on southern independence had fallen behind. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 appeared close to collapse. A return to open conflict seemed likely.
She goes on to say:
But just as independence was not inevitable, neither is a lasting peace between Sudan and South Sudan. Decades of war have left deep distrust on both sides and significant social, political and economic challenges. Both nations will have to take decisive steps to consolidate progress.
Clinton mentions three steps that must be done to achieve that progress and states that the US will be there to support South Sudan as they “lay the foundation” for a new nation.
Boehner has rejected Obama’s Grand Scheme, as Boston Boomer wrote about last night: Boehner rejects Obama’s “Grand Plan” to exchange safety net cuts for cosmetic “revenue increases” « Sky Dancing
Is it possible that Boehner decided he didn’t want to risk tampering with Social Security and Medicare? After all, we know the Tea Party crowd doesn’t want to lose their safety net any more than the rest of us. Remember those signs at Tea Party rallies that read “Don’t mess with my Medicare?” One of the big issues for Republicans in 2010 was the claim that Obama’s health reform bill included Medicare cuts.
Just a thought. On the other hand, maybe it’s all just a kabuki dance to fool the progs into supporting Obama’s Hooveresque policies.
This next link is one I am looking forward to watching from my back yard, H/T to Susie Madrak:
Coming next – in late July and early August – the best time of year to watch meteors. The Delta Aquarid meteor shower and the Perseid meteor shower converge to put on a show. In 2011, the moon will be in a waxing phase during the first part of August. Full moon will come on August 13, a peak morning for the Perseids. You’ll want to watch in late July and the first week of August to have moonless skies from midnight to dawn, the best time of night for watching meteors.
Very cool, isn’t it. Think of these planets and stars, these celestial bodies that have been around since the beginning of time, and then wrap your mind around this: Barbara Hannah Grufferman: Will America Kill the Equal Rights Amendment?
I wrote an article last week — “From Hope to History: It’s Time to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment” — that generated hundreds of comments and thousands of shares. Why? Many readers were dismayed and confused to learn that this simply worded sentence is still not in the U.S. Constitution, even after 88 years:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Readers who believed the Equal Rights Amendment had already passed through Congress to become the 28th Amendment to the Constitution years ago were shocked. The amendment, first written in 1923 by Alice Paul, was, in fact, approved by Congress and sent to the states in 1972 with a ten-year deadline for ratification, but by 1982, supporters had managed to sign on only 35 of the 38 states needed to add the amendment to the Constitution.
Some who are not in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment claim it is redundant and unnecessary, often citing the 14th Amendment, which they say already protects the rights of women. It does not. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia publicly stated that the 14th Amendment was never intended to protect women. It was only intended to protect race. Federal and state law cannot protect citizens who are not protected under the Constitution. He made this remark in January 2011:
Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.
Sensing that people are as confused about the issue as I am, but just as eager to turn the promise of the Equal Rights Amendment into a reality, I interviewed key thought leaders who are directly involved in efforts to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed.
Why do we need the Equal Rights Amendment?
Read the rest of Barbara’s article and see…
From Minx’s Missing Link File: Jeter, Relentlessly Consistent, Reaches 3,000 Hits With a Home Run – NYTimes.com This is exciting for me, I am a Yankee Fan…one of my childhood friends, Tino Martinez played for the Yankees during the 90’s and since I used to go see Tino play over at West Tampa Little League when we were kids, I had to continue watching him throughout his career. Since then, the Yankees have been a favorite of mine. This 3,000 hit comes at a game played against my Hometown, Tampa Bay Devil Rays…so it makes me smile.
Suzy Allman for The New York Times
The pursuit of a sports milestone can seem like a march to the inevitable. Fans have known for years that barring a catastrophic injury, Derek Jeter would reach 3,000 career hits. The only question was how.Jeter, the Yankees’ captain, answered it Saturday with a performance that ranks among the greatest of his decorated career. He slammed a home run in the third inning for his 3,000th hit, and capped a five-hit day with the go-ahead single in the eighth inning of a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium.
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: When I was in college getting my Medieval History degree (cough) I took a course about the Papacy, and it was fascinating. This latest book from John Julius Norwich looks like something I will have to add to my collection. Book Review – Absolute Monarchs – A History of the Papacy – By John Julius Norwich – NYTimes.com
“Absolute Monarchs” sprawls across Europe and the Levant, over two millenniums, and with an impossibly immense cast: 265 popes (plus various usurpers and antipopes), feral hordes of Vandals, Huns and Visigoths, expansionist emperors, Byzantine intriguers, Borgias and Medicis, heretic zealots, conspiring clerics, bestial inquisitors and more. Norwich manages to organize this crowded stage and produce a rollicking narrative. He keeps things moving at nearly beach-read pace by being selective about where he lingers and by adopting the tone of an enthusiastic tour guide, expert but less than reverent.
A scholar or devout Roman Catholic would probably not have had so much fun, for example, with the tale of Pope Joan, the mid-ninth-century Englishwoman who, according to lore, disguised herself as a man, became pope and was caught out only when she gave birth. Although Norwich regards this as “one of the hoariest canards in papal history,” he cannot resist giving her a chapter of her own. It is a guilty pleasure, especially his deadpan pursuit of the story that the church, determined not to be fooled again, required subsequent papal candidates to sit on a chaise percée (pierced chair) and be groped from below by a junior cleric, who would shout to the multitude, “He has testicles!” Norwich tracks down just such a piece of furniture in the Vatican Museum, dutifully reports that it may have been an obstetric chair intended to symbolize Mother Church, but adds, “It cannot be gainsaid, on the other hand, that it is admirably designed for a diaconal grope; and it is only with considerable reluctance that one turns the idea aside.”
Oh yes, get me to the bookstore…or at least Amazon. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?
So what are you reading about today, post some links please! It has been so wonderful to read your comments lately. I will link to this post from yesterday, great comments: We’ve not come Far Enough when it comes to asserting Sexual Assault Claims « Sky Dancing
Many of you seem to be on a roll…turning to humor to get through the day. We appreciate that, and we appreciate you too!
Oh, and if you missed Wonk’s post, take a look…it will make you feel good. Have a pleasant Sunday, catch y’all in the comments.