Monday, January 16, 2012

Coffee and Provocation

What the Talmud Says About Dog Breeders:
In the Talmud it says:  "No man should breed a dog unless it is kept on a chain. He may, however, breed it in a town adjoining the frontier where he should keep it chained during the daytime and loose it only at night. It was taught: Rabbi Eliezer the Great says that he who breeds dogs is like him who breeds swine. What is the practical bearing of this comparison? — That he  be declared cursed."

Dog Breed Health Site:
Carol Fowler has launched a new Dog Breed Health website (, with information on the inherited health problems of 130 dog breeds.

Mitt Romney Is a Serial Killer:
Steve Colbert's Super PAC, now named the "Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC" has put out its first attack ad, noting that if Mitt Romney really thinks corporations are people, then for most of his life Mitt Romney has been a serial killer. Colbert has it about perfect when he mocks the insanity and inanity of the American political system, especially the way big money influences the process. Of course, the real object of attack here is the U.S. Supreme Court which not only greenlighted the notion that corporations are people, but also the entire "Super PAC" process with unlimited amounts of unaccounted for corporate cash driving the process.

Mitt Romney Does Not Have 15 Homes:
In a Newt Gingrich-sponsored attack piece on Romney, some random citizen claims Mitt Romney has 15 homes. That is simply not true. Mitt Romney does NOT have 15 homes. He has a $12 million beachside mansion in La Jolla, California, which he is in the process of quadrupling, and he had a massive ski estate on 11 acres in Park, Utah which he sold because it was looking a little too large for television and he wanted to run for President. Romney also has a $10 million home in New Hampshire and a townhouse in Belmont, Mass., and a nearby mansion, where one of Romney’s sons lives, and where Romney was registered to vote as recently as last year. There may be more, but I doubt it rises to 15 -- more likely 7 or so, though I image that if you looked at total square feet, you might find they were equal in size -- or larger -- than 15 average American homes.

Praying to Not-Extinct Turtles:
The black softshell turtle is native to South Asia but, as of 2002, it was officially considered extinct in the wild (even if there is some reason to doubt that claim).  The good news is that in Chittagong, Bangladesh, there are about 150 to 300 of these turtles living at the a shrine dedicated to to Bayazid Bastami, an influential Islamic mystic from the 9th century.  The legend of the shrine is that the forebearers of this group of turtles were once human sinners, but in the 13th Century a saint saved their souls by turning them into turtles.  Since then, the attendants of the shrine (called the Mazur Committee) have taken care of the turtles and their descendants.

More Not-Extinct Turtle News:
In the Galapagos Islands, a species of giant tortoise believed extinct for 150 years appears to be alive and well and living on the volcanic slopes of Volcano Wolf on the northern tip of Isabela Island.  A genetic analysis found that DNA footprints of the long-lost tortoise species, Chelonoidis elephantopus, in the genomes of hybrid offspring that are only 15 years old, meaning that there are almost certainly several purebred turtles roaming the island. The hybrid tortoises are a mix of C. elephantopus and another giant tortoise from the area, C. becki.

"Avoid Ghetto" Ap for Cell Phone GPS:
Microsoft has patented an ‘avoid ghetto’ feature for GPS devices.  The "ap" notes that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood" based on the latest crime statistics.

You Are the One Percent:
If you made over $34,000 last year, then you are part of the richest 1% in the world.  Of the richest 1%in the world, half live in the United States.

Twittering With Ron Paul:
There's a twitter feed that just includes direct quotes from Ron Paul's old Newsletter.  140 characters is about all you need, and just a few samples will do.  For example this morning's is: "Our country is being destroyed by a group of actual & potential terrorists -- and they can be identified by the color of their skin."  Another:  "I've urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming." And another: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be." And another:  "The criminals who terrorize our cities -- in riots & on every non-riot day -- are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are." And another:  "At least 39 white women have been stuck with used hypodermic needles -perhaps infected with AIDS- by gangs of black girls."   Just to remember:  Ron Paul finished second in the New Hampshire primary.

Immigration Policy That Rewards Failure:
David North writes:  "Many parts of U.S. immigration policy reward failure. This is usually not recognized. Whether the failure is in the labor market, the investment market, or the marriage market, bits and pieces of our immigration system are there to shore up those who cannot make the grade."


Sam Asciano said...

I come here daily. Love your work. Curious as to the fixation on judiasm of late or am I reading into this too much?

PBurns said...

I am not sure how two mentions, over nearly 5,000 posts, got labeled a "fixation."

Maybe that's your fixation, and not mine?

I have written about Muslims and Christian views about dogs on this blog, as well as about Bhuddists and pagans. For example, see
"Why There are So Few Muslim Terrierists" at >>

For the record, Christians, Jews and Muslims pretty much agree that dogs are filthy and are to be avoided, though hunting and herding and other working dogs are allowed (but never permitted in the house). The Bible (both books) has almost nothing good to say about dogs, and that holds true for the Koran as well.

This cultural rule makes complete sense when you remember that in the Ancient Era, dogs came with fleas and ticks as well as the terror of rabies.

That said, it's always funny to me how every religion feels they can damn the other, but freaks out when a mirror is held up to their own all-too-sensitive rhetoric. I wrote about that too, a while back. See "Born Again on Facebook" >>

PBurns said...

For the record, I do not believe dog breeders are cursed -- just poodle breeders ;-)

And apparently, I am not alone.

Back in 2008, I wrote a short squibb about the curse of poodles. See >>