19 August 2010


TRANSCENDENT SPEECH. It isn't often that a speech or commentary is so direct, so succinct, so eloquent that it deserves to be preserved for posterity. Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address, Martin Luther King, Jr's I Have A Dream speech, all spring to mind. Yesterday I discovered a potential addition to the pantheon of great American rhetoric -- televised remarks by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in response to growing verbal attacks on the proposed Muslim community center in south Manhattan, several blocks from Ground Zero (attacks which are spreading virulently to other cities).

I have commented several times on the fundamental issues underlying this discussion -- tolerance for diversity and freedom of religion. Mr. Olbermann does so much more eloquently and persuasively. I invite you to watch and listen to his remarks, entitled There Is No Ground Zero Mosque. If you are as struck as I was by the force of his thoughts, you can access an online transcript here (scroll down and click on the "transcript" tab). As blogger "The Angry Black Woman" notes, "Bottom line, this community center everyone is trying to get you up in arms about is: A) not a mosque, and B) not at ground zero."

Further, Cordoba House (the proposed Muslim community center) is so far from the former World Trade Center site, with so many buildings in between, that neither location is visible from the other location. Here is how a "viciously anti-Muslim blogger, the New York Post and the right-wing media machine" turned a non-event into sensationalized xenophobia -- not unlike the rabid and sweeping bigotry aimed at American citizens of Asian and German descent during World War II.

Anyone who buys into such hate-mongering should be ashamed of him/herself. Think about it -- we send troops overseas to fight unjustifiable wars under the disingenuous banner of "spreading freedom", while simultaneously seeking to deny that same freedom to our own citizens? That's not only irrational, it is criminal.

SEX AND STRESS. Oh, but it's a good kind of stress. I'm gradually discovering more blog and website resources online that are grounded in science, rather than in speculation. One such website is Wired Science, and a recent post both made me both laugh and think. Check out "Sex is stressful, but good for you" and you'll see what I mean. A similarly fascinating and scientifically rigorous blog is Andrea Kuszewski's The Rogue Neuron. Kuszewski is a behavioral therapist, and recently posted a series on The Science of Pleasure, Part One: The Allure of Asymmetry and Part Two: Your Brain on Sexual Imagery. Highly recommended reading.

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