“The genius of a composer is found in the notes of his music; but analyzing the notes will not reveal his genius. The poet’s greatness is contained in his words; yet the study of his words will not disclose his inspiration. God reveals himself in creation; but scrutinize creation as minutely as you wish, you will not find God, any more than you will find the soul through careful examination of your body.”—Anthony de Mello (via lazyyogi)
Keynes had eagerly collected Newton’s occult manuscripts all his life and he stated the situation in a very stark way. He said that Newton “was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians.”
This is important because scientists and magicians seem to tell very different stories about the world. The stories that science tells are meant to interlock with each other, like Legos. Every scientific story has certain features in common with every other scientific story. These features, like the use of mathematics or logic or the conceit that matter is atomic, allow explicit connections to be made between them, even if their subjects are widely separated. This availability for interconnection is one of the things that makes science a powerful force in our world.
The stories that magicians tell would seem to be very different. The word occult means “hidden;” this tends to describe the types of stories whose logic is not readily apparent. However, the important thing to remember is not that magical stories “don’t make sense” or that alchemy “doesn’t work,” but that Newton thought they did. This primordial connection between science and magic in a person like Newton allows us to tell a more interesting story about science than we otherwise might.
“If you can approach the world’s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.”—Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (via sagansense)
“I have noticed that if you look carefully at people’s eyes the first five seconds they look at you, the truth of their feelings will shine through for just an instant before it flickers away.”—Sue Monk Kidd (via onlinecounsellingcollege)
This was how the myth of Black criminality started, for the record. After the abolition of slavery, a lot of states made laws targeting Black people specifically, and then put them on chain gangs to get free labor from them.
Oh, and the US is still disproportionately incarcerating Black people and private prisons are making huge amounts off them.
“DAILY DRUM BEAT TO WAR UPDATE: “The first casualty of war is truth.” In today’s news, we have lies. So many many lies. Too many lies. John Kerry lied that he opposed the Iraq invasion in 2003. The United States has lied that “100,000 rebels” have died in the Civil War. The United States has also lied that 1,400 people died in the horrific chemical gas attack. [Note the President’s last speech where he subtly switched the language from saying “1,400 died” to “1,400 gassed.”] The United States isn’t lying but is guilty of a ghoulish level of hypocrisy in decrying the use of cluster bombs and land mines in Syria when the US won’t sign cluster bomb or land mine treaties. This is not to minimize at all even the loss of one Syrian life in the carnage, but we have to ask the question: if the case for war is so crystal clear, why all the lies? All of this lying is taking a toll. Unless AIPAC rides to the rescue with their announced full-blitz lobbying effort, this will not pass congress. [And really, AIPAC crying tears for the children of Syria is like Dick Cheney lecturing us about veganism.] The US Congress will vote this down and then the question will arise: does President Obama actually still go ahead with the bombing? One thing is certain, however he answers that question, no one should believe a word he says until the battleships are back in port. Too many lies.”—Dave Zirin (via socialismartnature)
Geopolitical reasons have been cited repeatedly to explain why the United States continues to provide more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt since the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi and the subsequent crackdown on his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood. But there are also many American domestic reasons—at least six—that clarify why the Obama administration is reluctant to cut off Egypt’s military support.
About $1.3 billion is authorized each year to bolster Egypt’s military, one of the most powerful in the Middle East. That aid covers 80% of all of Egypt’s military purchases, according to a recent congressional assessment (pdf). This assistance has totaled nearly $42 billion since 1948, and nearly all of it has gone to buy American weaponry and hardware.
In fact, the appropriated funds never make their way directly to Egypt. “It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt,”wrote Julia Simon of National Public Radio (NPR).
Presently, six U.S. defense contractors benefit from the billion-dollar assistance given to Cairo.
“It’s clearly a major subsidy program for these companies,” Shana Marshall, an expert on military aid to Egypt and associate director and research instructor at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, told AlterNet. “It’s kept open their production line when they would have otherwise been closed down and it’s a source of really reliable profits for them.”
One of the companies is Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of fighter jets like the F-16. Under the terms of a 2010 arms deal worth $2.5 billion, Lockheed Martin was supposed to provide 20 F-16s to the Egyptian military. So far, 14 aircraft have been delivered, with the remaining six scheduled for delivery by December 2014. For now, the last shipment of planes has been delayed, while the Obama administration decides how to handle the ongoing crisis in Egypt.
Lockheed Martin also has benefited from a $46 million contract given to one of its Florida subsidiaries to supply night vision sensor systems for Apache helicopters in Egypt.
The Apache helicopter is made by another U.S. arms merchant:Boeing. The second largest military contractor in the world has made nearly a billion dollars since 2000 selling the attack helicopter as well as related equipment to Egypt.
Then, there is General Dynamics, manufacturer of the M1A1 tank. Egypt has purchased more than 1,000 of them at a cost of $3.9 billion over the years.
A fourth company benefiting from Egypt’s assistance isL-3 Communications, which produces communications, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. In 2010, the company made $24 million to assemble a sonar system for the Egyptian navy, and this year, L-3 Communications was awarded a $10.5 million contract to provide high-frequency transceivers for Egypt’s military.
Two more contractors making out from the Washington-Cairo relationship are General Electric, which signed a $13.6 million deal to provide “service life extension kits” for engines used in the Lockheed F-16s owned by Egypt, and Exelis, a Virginia-based company specializing in electronics, communications, cybersecurity and intelligence that has made at least $30 million over the past two years in deals with Egypt.
Although U.S. law mandates that aid to Egypt be ended in the event of a coup, which is what recently occurred, the profits realized by these corporations may continue to make that an unlikely prospect.
“Every time someone mentions a suspension of aid or rethinking the aid program, they send a team of defense industry lobbyists to Capitol Hill to knock on doors to make sure that there’s no suspension of the aid program,” Marshall told AlterNet.
Perhaps most telling is the fact that much of the military hardware that the U.S. provides to Egypt is neither used nor needed. Speaking of the 1,000 M1A1 tanks, Marshall told NPR, “There’s no conceivable scenario in which they’d need all those tanks short of an alien invasion.”
Indeed, more than 20% of the tanks have never been used, according to Robert Springborg, an Egyptian military expert at the Naval Postgraduate School. “They are crated up and then they sit in deep storage, and that’s where they remain,” he told NPR.
“cruel mothers are still mothers.
they make us wars.
they make us revolution.
they teach us the truth, early.
mothers are humans. who
sometimes give birth to their pain. instead of children.”—nayyirah waheed, “birth lessons” (via nayyirahwaheed)