It won’t be your usual auction, when the military vehicle collection of the late Jacques Littlefield comes up for auction this summer. Littlefield, who died in 2009 at the age of 59, had an assortment of some 200 wheeled and tracked weapons of war at his ranch in Portola Valley, Calif.
Among the vehicles are a Russian T-72 tank used by the army of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, a couple of Sherman tanks, and a Scud missile launcher replete with an R-11M ballistic missile for those idle Saturdays when you need to act out your aggression.
The auction is scheduled to take place July 11 at the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, 499 Old Spanish Trail, Portola Valley, Calif., south of San Francisco. More here at this Autoweek piece.
You can also learn more about Jacques Littlefield and his affinity for collecting tanks here.
Right Wing Watch points out that Fundamentalist “Christian Historian” John Benefiel insists our problems all started when ancient Egyptians came here and dedicated this land to Baal.
So we are to believe that God is punishing us because someone came here in the past and dedicated this land to a false god? So why exactly would God punish people for this when they had nothing to do with it? Why would it give Satan the right to destroy the “Christian nation” of America? At least when the religious right, blames the gays, feminists, abortionists, and secularists, for America’s problems, they’re usually blaming our problems on what people are doing now.
Also the evidence he sites for the Egyptians coming here in the first place, is rather underwhelming. I have to ask, if the Egyptians came here, why didn’t they conquer the natives and build pyramids in America? At the very least, If they hadn’t intended to colonize this land, why haven’t we found any evidence that they traded with the native Americans? Also why dedicate this land to one of their Gods if they hadn’t intended to colonize it? Why is it that I ought to take their “spiritual archeology” seriously?
Also if the Egyptians were going to dedicate this land to one of their gods, why Baal? Baal was one of the many Canaanite gods. He was not from Egypt, at least not originally. He was an import. Like Benefiel, I’m not a historian, but unlike him, I don’t claim to be. However, based on what I know, I don’t think Baal was ever the most popular god overall in ancient Egyptian. If the polytheistic Egyptians actually had come to America, prior to Columbus, wouldn’t they have been more likely to have dedicated this land to one of the gods that we normally think of when we think of ancient Egypt? Say the supreme god in the traditional Egyptian pantheon, Amun-Re?
I’m guessing Benefiel only said Baal because, he’s is mentioned in the Bible and often associated with evil nowadays. Most people today don’t think of the well known ancient Egyptian gods like Amun-Re as evil.
Off course Benefiel would probably tell you that all other gods besides the god of the Bible are really demons anyway.
Updated : Meet the American Pastor Responsible for the Murder, Criminalization and Oppression of Africa’s Gays
Mother Jones has a fantastic article providing the history and consequences of his anti-gay campaigning in Uganda. To say this man is responsible for murder, oppression, hate crimes, and torture, is not a “bridge too far”.
Yes - American Christians are behind both Russia’s and Uganda’s anti-gay persecution and crimes against humanity, and here is the evidence:
In early March 2009, Lively returned to Uganda at Langa’s invitation. Uganda’s High Court had recently found that the government overstepped its authority by detaining two gay activists simply because they were gay. In response, a Langa-run group called the Family Life Network planned a three-day conference to expose what he called the “hidden and dark” gay agenda. On the last day, Lively gave a marathon five-hour presentation, which was broadcast on Ugandan television. He claimed that homosexuals were aggressively recruiting Uganda’s children and argued that human rights protections shouldn’t be extended to these “predatory” figures.
A member of parliament from the Democratic Republic of Congo is pushing for an anti-LGBT bill that mirrors Uganda’s controversial measure that was signed into law last month, All Africa reports.
According to Ynajia, reports say, “sexual moans were heard about 20 minutes after them men had checked into the room they had booked at the hotel.” The hotel attendant, who reportedly heard the men, notified police and the couple was soon arrested.
The New Civil Rights Movement points to reports that several LGBT people from Uganda have been evicted from their homes because of their sexuality. The blog Sebaspace posted two evictions by posting scans of notices. The first letter, dated March 3, reads:
“You have been a wonderful woman as well as a tenant who hasn’t given me any trouble over rent whatsoever. But due to what is going on in the country [regarding the anti-gay law] and your way you and your friends behave, I am sorry but I think you are a depraved person who I can no longer tolerate in my house. I also cannot fight against the government. For that reason, I want you out of my house by March 30, 2014, peacefully.”
The second letter says:
“I am writing to inform you that you have been evicted from the house you live in because of the stories [about your gay lifestyle] that appeared on Bukedde Television and in the print media. We can no longer live with someone like you. Therefore, vacate the premises before the 5th of May 2014”
The NCRM also notes that LGBT activists Scott Long and Kasha Jacqueline posted to the Sebaspace blog as well.
The state of Tennessee has fired a veteran investigator because officials believed that he attempted to use violent stories about how his relatives participated in a lynching to intimidate African-Americans who were trying to file claims against emergency responders.
WTVF reported that William Sewell, a medical service investigator who had been with the state for more than 40 years, told the graphic story to Shun Mullins last summer.
Mullins had filed a complaint claiming that his mother had died when the Algood’s deputy fire chief refused to perform CPR because she was black. The complaint stated that the fire chief covered it up by falsifying medical reports.
Sewell had started the meeting by asking Mullins if he had ever been to prison.
by John Timmer - Feb 12 2014, 6:04pm PST
The peopling of the Americas via the Bering Sea land bridge is one of the more confusing events in recent history. Some of the earliest signs of human occupancy are actually in Chile. After that, the first distinct toolmaking culture, the Clovis people, appeared in the interior of North America and rapidly swept across the continent. There are also indications that a separate migration occurred down the Pacific Coast, possibly associated with people who had distinctive skeletal features, while the Inuit seem to be relatively recent arrivals.
The sudden appearance of the Clovis toolset has caused some people to suggest that the Clovis were a distinct migration by a passage between ice sheets directly into North America’s interior. Others have even suggested that they arrived from Europe, brought by people who crossed the ice through Greenland (an idea that’s favored by a certain Bigfoot researcher). Now, researchers have completed the genome of an individual who was buried with Clovis tools in Montana 12,500 years ago. The results suggest that the migration into North America was more unified than some thought.
Creationists and New Agers have formed a common front to undermine mainstream archaeology and its scientific view of the human past. Are they winning?
In February of 1961, three amateur gem collectors dug a mechanical gizmo encased in fossil-encrusted rock out of a mountainside in the Southern California desert. They didn’t know what it was, and began showing it to friends and associates. Within a few years this thingummy, which became known as the Coso artifact, had assumed an almost mythic importance.
It consisted of a cylinder of what seemed to be porcelain with a 2-millimeter shaft of bright metal in its center, enclosed by a hexagonal sheath composed of copper and another substance they couldn’t identify. Yet its discoverers at first believed it had been found in a geode, a hardened mineral nodule at least 500,000 years old. If the Coso artifact was real — that is, if it was really an example of unknown technology from many millennia before the accepted emergence of Homo sapiens, let alone the dawn of human history — it would turn everything scientists thought they knew about the past of our species upside down.
Critics of mainstream science from all over the ideological and theological spectrum seized on the object. Some were followers of “alternative archaeology,” especially believers in a lost Atlantis-type civilization deep in antiquity that gave birth to all the known civilizations of early human history. Others were followers of Erich von Däniken’s hypothesis that human civilization has its roots in outer space. Still others were “young-earth” biblical creationists, who thought the artifact might be a fragment of the forgotten world that existed before the great Flood described in the Book of Genesis. (Of course, they didn’t buy the idea that it might be hundreds of thousands of years old, since most creationists believe that God created the heavens and the earth somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago.)
*Note: there’s some really foul language in a quote near the end. Most likely you’re not going to read this with your children, but I just thought I should give you small warning just in case you might take issue.
An omission: The pilot was Roger Peterson, a 21 year old newlywed. CAB investigators believed that Peterson may have misread the unusual Sperry F3 attitude indicator and become spatially disoriented. Pilots who are familiar with the crash and the plane (myself included) tend to agree with this assessment: the F3 was notoriously easy to interpret backwards. He had also not been informed of adverse weather updates.
On this day in 1959, rising American rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed when their chartered Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashes in Iowa a few minutes after takeoff from Mason City on a flight headed for Moorehead, Minnesota. Investigators blamed the crash on bad weather and pilot error. Holly and his band, the Crickets, had just scored a No. 1 hit with “That’ll Be the Day.”
After mechanical difficulties with the tour bus, Holly had chartered a plane for his band to fly between stops on the Winter Dance Party Tour. However, Richardson, who had the flu, convinced Holly’s band member Waylon Jennings to give up his seat, and Ritchie Valens won a coin toss for another seat on the plane.
Holly, born Charles Holley in Lubbock, Texas, and just 22 when he died, began singing country music with high school friends before switching to rock and roll after opening for various performers, including Elvis Presley. By the mid-1950s, Holly and his band had a regular radio show and toured internationally, playing hits like “Peggy Sue,” “Oh, Boy!,” “Maybe Baby” and “Early in the Morning.” Holly wrote all his own songs, many of which were released after his death and influenced such artists as Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney.
Another crash victim, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, 28, started out as a disk jockey in Texas and later began writing songs. Richardson’s most famous recording was the rockabilly “Chantilly Lace,” which made the Top 10. He developed a stage show based on his radio persona, “The Big Bopper.”
This tweet showed up on my timeline, and it encouraged me to do a bit of research.
In February 1944, the Navy commissioned its first African-American officers. This long-hoped-for action represented a major step forward in the status of African-Americans in the Navy and in American society. The twelve commissioned officers, and a warrant officer who received his rank at the same time, came to be known as the “Golden Thirteen”.
Photographed 17 March 1944.
They are (bottom row, left to right) Ensign James E. Hare, USNR; Ensign Samuel E. Barnes, USNR; Ensign George C. Cooper, USNR; Ensign William S. White, USNR; Ensign Dennis D. Nelson, USNR; (middle row) Ensign Graham E. Martin, USNR; Warrant Officer Charles B. Lear, USNR; Ensign Phillip G. Barnes, USNR; Ensign Reginald E. Goodwin, USNR;
(top row) Ensign John W. Reagan, USNR; Ensign Jesse W. Arbor, USNR; Ensign Dalton L. Baugh, USNR; Ensign Frank E. Sublett, USNR.
Courtesy of Surface Warfare Magazine, 1982.
U.S. NHHC Photograph.
During World War II, as military conscription brought tens of thousands of black recruits into the navy, senior white commanders and government officials became concerned at the lack of black officers to lead them. In 1943 the secretary of the navy agreed to commission black officers, and 16 candidates were chosen from the ranks to undergo accelerated officer training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois. Most, but not all, of the 16 had been to college, and some had advanced degrees; most of them also had been athletes, and all had exemplary service records. From January through March 1944, they went through officer training in segregated facilities at Great Lakes under the tutelage of white officers. All passed the course, but only 13 received commissions, 12 as ensigns and 1 as a warrant officer. (The reasons for the rejection of the final three were never given. Some have speculated that the navy, accustomed to a certain failure rate among officer candidates, did not want the black group to be seen as performing better than whites.)
More at Encylopaedia Brittanica: Golden Thirteen
Much has changed in 70 years.
Much more change, I hope, will continue.
Once again he shows us how “pro liberty” he really is!
Contrary to everything Fischer said, not owning property, doesn’t mean you don’t have a vested interest in your community. Just because I don’t own the place where I live, doesn’t mean that I don’t have to worry about issues like crime, pollution or the quality of the local schools. There are families who live in apartments in the middle of the city, that they rent, and never buy. Also not owning land or property, doesn’t mean you don’t have an interest in the outcome of national elections as well. In fact every single person who lives in the US has an interest in the outcome of our elections. For that reason along, ever single citizen, who is old enough, and isn’t a felon should be able to vote in our elections. Making it so only people who own property could vote, would pretty much mean that if you were simply poor and trying to make ends meet, most likely you couldn’t vote. That would be incredibly unfair, not to mention unjust, to say the least.
I don’t know what pathetic response Bryan would have if I were to point out these facts to him.
However, This should be no surprise coming from someone who thinks only creationists are qualified to hold public office. And by creationist, I’m certain he means only Christian creationists, since he thinks that the first amendment doesn’t and shouldn’t apply to non Christians. So it wouldn’t just be any religion’s ignorant science deniers, but only the “true” religion’s ignorant science deniers.
Tell me Bryan, in addition to opposing genuine religious liberty, how much do you oppose women’s equality and racial equality? I mean, it wasn’t just land owners who the founding fathers initially intended to be the only one’s who could vote. Originally it was only white male land owners.
Do you think that we should get rid of the 15th and 19th amendments as well?
Rebooting Carl Sagan’s seminal “Cosmos” miniseries three decades later is almost impossible — unless you happen to be renowned astrophysicist and science educator Neil deGrasse Tyson.
For those who may have missed the original back in 1980, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” was a documentary series on PBS that explored the universe as well as the history of scientific discovery. Sagan’s topics of discussionranged from Japanese folklore to debunking astrology to the ultimate fate of the stars and galaxies that surround us.