Watering Hole: Monday, December 12, 2011 – A Creation Story

The fundamentalist Christians want creationism taught in school.  Now, I don’t have a problem teaching their story of creation as long as it is not part of a science class because creationism isn’t science.  If creationism is part of a social studies curriculum along with other stories of creation, than I feel it is perfectly fine to teach it.  Most cultures have stories about how it all began.  Here’s one that I would like to share.

The Native Americans of the Northwest give power to animals, especially to Raven.  No, this is not our Raven but Raven who brought the sun, the stars, and the moon to our dark planet.

No one knows just how the story of Raven really begins, so each starts from the point where he does know it. Here it was always begun in this way. Raven was first called Kit-ka’ositiyi-qa-yit (“Son of Kit-ka’ositiyi-qa”). When his son was born, Kit-ka’ositiyi-qa tried to instruct him and train him in every way and, after he grew up, told him he would give him strength to make a world. After trying in all sorts of ways, Raven finally succeeded. Then there was no light in this world, but it was told him that far up the Nass was a large house in which some one kept light just for himself.

Raven thought over all kinds of plans for getting this light into the world and finally he hit on a good one. The rich man living there had a daughter, and he thought, “I will make myself very small and drop into the water in the form of a small piece of dirt.” The girl swallowed this dirt and became pregnant. When her time was completed, they made a hole for her, as was customary, in which she was to bring forth, and lined it with rich furs of all sorts. But the child did not wish to be born on those fine things. Then its grandfather felt sad and said, “What do you think it would be best to put into that hole? Shall we put in moss?” So they put moss inside and the baby was born on it. Its eyes were very bright and moved around rapidly.

What I find interesting in this story is the “virgin birth” of Raven.  The story goes on to tell how Raven, the beloved grandson cons the rich man into giving him the boxes that hold the sun, the stars and the moon.  Once Raven has possession of these boxes, he opens them and releases the light into the sky and our planet is no longer in darkness.  You can read the complete story here.

Sometimes Raven sounds like a scoundrel and at other times, he does what is needed to be done.  To the Tlingit, there is no good and there is no evil.  It is just the way it is.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up and tell it like it is.

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188 thoughts on “Watering Hole: Monday, December 12, 2011 – A Creation Story

  1. “Then there was no light in this world, but it was told him that far up the Nass was a large house in which some one kept light just for himself”

    Does this sound familiar somehow?

    Great post.

      • Thanks for posting this, one of my favorites! I hope you don’t mind I took the liberty of adding a photo, not a raven, a fish crow, but she had such a winsome manner…

  2. Frum: Fox News creates an ‘alternative knowledge system’

    Conservative columnist David Frum, who was speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, blasted Fox News on Sunday for creating an “alternative knowledge system.”

    In an article published by New York Magazine in late November, Frum had argued that conservative media like Fox News and talk radio “immerse their audience in a total environment of pseudo-facts and pretend information.”

    David Frum is a conservative who seems embarrassed by the need to lie to people, to tout conservative ideas.
    Watch the video on this. Kurtz says “I’m not buying into this”, at one point. Is he keeping his options open for a shot at his dream job at Fox?

    • If the progressives that are so upset with Obama don’t vote in 2012 or cast a obstinate vote, then they could possibly be responsible for completing the ruination of our country.

      • “If the progressives that are so upset with Obama don’t vote in 2012 or cast a obstinate vote” … they will be doing the bidding of the 1%.

        • Briseadh, While I agree with your comment I still believe the democratic party also does the bidding for the 1%, just not as blatant or as often as the republican party.

          Both parties are beholden to the corporations and to Wall Street. We need total election reform. The first step would be to kill the Citizens United decision with a constitutional amendment.

          There is so much that is against us. Unfettered, monopolistic capitalism, rampant greed and corruption in politics and the financial world, a divided and distracted public, a corporate owned media who only tell the stories they want to show as not to affect their ad revenues, the death of investigative journalism in the MSM.

          I know this has all been in the works for a long time by our overlords but it just feels like the perfect storm is facing this country and possibly the entire world as the overlords seem ready to move in for the kill.

      • I shudder when I think about a republican possibly being in the White House again. 8 years of Bush nearly destroyed our country and the middle class.

        A republican led house has clearly shown that these evil pricks do not care for a majority of the American people or for the future success of our country.

        While I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils and haven’t always been happy with Obama or the democratic party, I no doubt will have to hold my nose at the election booth, for I know having Newt or Mitt or Jeb as president will be the final nail in the USA coffin when it comes to the poor, the working class, the elderly, education for children, food stamps, etc, etc.

        • Obama’s biggest problem is that he either doesn’t see things as clearly as I do or else he’s just not willing to speak them with total clarity and in full detail. Still, he’s so far superior to the caged monkeys some call Republicans that to not vote for him, thereby to foul his bid for reelection, is very likely the equivalent of a cosmic and universal high crime, punishable by the total destruction and extinction of the country we call home.

          It’s really that simple.

        • Yes, it is a scary prospect — the ruination that was seeded after Nixon, blossomed under Reagan, and reached full bloom under GWBush has brought the nation to its knees — the cabal that makes up the GOP today has purged their party of any semblance of respectability or reason — they would sooner see the entire nation fall if they believe it could benefit them politically.
          Obama has not reached the heights some of us thought he might, but he was stymied by the GOP who deliberately, carefully, and collectively did all they could to see that Obama’s policies would not reach their potential. Obama continues to take the high road even when his enemies prefer to operate in the gutter.
          It is my hope that the Congress will swing Democratic in both houses, and that an experienced Obama will feel more emboldened to implement his policies, with little care about those who once said he was “too young” too inexperienced” — he has proven himself very capable in 4 years despite all the obstacles presented — and a second term will be even more effective.

  3. Polynesian myth also “explains” life and light in what is, at least to me, a far more interesting fashion than the account in Genesis. It also “explains” why sunrises and sunsets over the tropical Pacific look the way they do. Bottom line: if biblical creationism is ever mandated to be taught in public schools, then so should each and every other creation myth be taught. Not as science, of course, but on the premise that mythology, whatever the source, can be a fascinating addendum to reality.

    In ancient times, there lived The Great Octopus, Tumu-rai-fenua, who held the sky close to the earth with his tentacles, and all was in darkness. At the same time, when Tangaroa, the god of the sea, broke free from Rumia, the shell, and saw the dark and empty space, he wanted to create life. And he did. But Tumu-rai-fenua refused to let go his grip on earth and sky, and so everything remained in darkness. Eventually, the well-intentioned Rua-tupua-nui, a creation of Tangaroa, managed to kill the octopus. But still its tentacles held fast to the earth and sky, and all the people were afraid. But then one day came Maui-ti’i-ti’i and he cut off the arms of the dead octopus, releasing its grip. Then, from the highest mountain, he spoke to Tangaroa’s brother, Tane, the god of the sky. Tane agreed to free the sky from the earth, to let in the light, and then he laid reeds bearing red blossoms on the sea to forever hold up the sky.

    Those reeds bearing red blossoms are still visible almost every day, both at sunrise and at sunset. :grin:

    • I love these stories. I agree, the biblical version is dry and not very exciting when compared to other cultures’ stories. The part that makes me uncomfortable in the bible is the story of Adam and Eve and how our mortality is blamed on the female.

  4. Rick Hertzberg nails the core Gingrich appeal:

    “In 1990, when he was not yet Speaker, he pressed a memo on Republican candidates for office, instructing them to use certain words when talking about the Democratic enemy: “betray,” “bizarre,” “decay,” “anti-flag,” “anti-family,” “pathetic,” “lie,” “cheat,” “radical,” “sick,” “traitors,” and more. His own vocabulary of contempt has grown only more poisonously flowery. President Obama’s actions cannot be understood except as an expression of “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” Liberals constitute a “secular-socialist machine” that is “as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.” There is “a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us” and “is prepared to use violence.”

    Last spring, this was a kind of right-wing performance art. Now it is the language of the man leading in the Republican polls, a man who could, not inconceivably, become President of the United States. Imagine that.

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/12/19/111219taco_talk_hertzberg#ixzz1gKkpYaGl

    • I think the way to destroy Romney is just to loop that bet clip and play it as an ad. Goes straight to the notion that he’s out of touch.

    • I guess Jon Huntsman does serve a purpose in the GOP primaries. :lol:

      I had never actually seen the video of Pervy smacking down Mittens, since I usually just listen while commenting here. Pervy just looks so pleased with himself after smacking Romney in the head,, doesn’t he? I mean, he should because he was on the mark, but he has such a childlike look on his face — like a toddler who just pooped on the potty for the first time.

      Everybody clap for little Ricky. Yay!!

  5. It’s next to the country of Africa:

    Sunday in Ames, Iowa, Rick Perry spoke for about 15 minutes and made a gaffe when referring to the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee to the energy company Solyndra, referring to it as a country. “No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money,” Perry said. “I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda,” he said.

  6. Great story. Much more entertaining than the dude who created everything, but took six damn days to do it!

  7. You Can Right But You Can’t Hide:

    Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, changes name to Academi.

    The next name change will be Eric’s Unicorn Dreams.

  8. Great creation stories. And I really like the idea of teaching the various creation tales from as many religions as possible, starting in 1st grade. Make it story hour and let the kids hear the myths as stories showing creativity. Then they can compare it to the creation stories in the Bible and discover that whoever wrote the things wasn’t nearly as creative.

    • That would be a great idea. There are so many stories from different cultures that are very creative and very interesting. I took my youngest daughter when she was 3 to see a puppet show, “Why the blue bird is blue and the gray fox is gray.” It was a Native American tale and it was an interesting story.

    • Even when he sloughed off the lack of prosecutions of Wall Street for the Grand Fraud?

      • I didn’t particularly care for that part, but it’s true that Obama does not run the DOJ. Nor should he.

        One the other hand, Eric Holder ought to be run out of town on a rail, but he wasn’t being interviewed.

        • Shouldn’t the question then be:

          So why haven’t you run Eric Holder out of town on a rail for his failure to hold anyone to account for jack shit?

          Or Tim Geithner for the 13B free money the banks got from the same taxpayers they are now f***ing over and foreclosing on?

          Basically Roger Clemens is Eric Holder’s sole acheviement?

          • I’m not sure that we can really know at this point what is being done about the banksters at the DOJ. It takes time to build cases like these because they are so complex.

            I’m hoping this is taking place, but we really don’t know either way.

            And no, I don’t like not knowing. No, I don’t actually like Eric Holder one bit, nor do I like Tim Geithner.

            But I like the idea of “President Gingrich” so much less.

            No, I’m not happy about feeling that way either.

  9. What is it that has Republicans so cranky and locked into panic mode? None of them seems able to present anything without air raid sirens and dire predictions of destruction.

    Chronic diaper rash? Acute hemorrhoids? Excessive PCP use? Darkyinthewhitehouseitis?

    • The correct suspicion that no matter who surfaces as their candidate, 2012 is going to be a fucking thrashing for their ‘party’.

  10. Ohhh, SNAP!!!…

    “Another audience member questioned the candidate about Santorum awarding former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky with the Angels in Adoption Award. Santorum explained that he lacked knowledge of the situation at the time and noted that the award has since been withdrawn.

    In response to his explanation, the audience member asked, “So we shouldn’t trust Obama with our kids, but we can trust you?”

    http://www.northern-iowan.org/santorum-argues-for-return-to-past-ways-1.2682292#.TuY_hErm9JC

    • From your link:

      During his speech, Santorum argued that the government does not support a full education for children.

      “The main focus in schools is tests and academic achievement,” Santorum said. “Character, virtue, morality, spirituality; all of the other things that form a well-rounded child are almost by definition and almost by law, weeded out of the public school.”

      Ricky, schools are supposed to be all about tests and academic achievement. Are you telling us you’d trust some unknown stranger in a school to teach your children character, virtue, morality, spirituality, etc?

      That’s YOUR JOB, fuckwit.

      • Considering the recent displays of character, virtue, morality and spirituality coming from the fundy Right I think a bit of secular intervention is a pretty good idea. This fundy god is sort of nasty.

    • “Santorum said. “Pretty soon, (the government will) be lifting (children) out of the nursery and putting them into school because the government needs to get in as soon as they can to influence the educational lives of your children.”

      Shudder. Sounds like a religion to me.

    • So if Wisconsin leads the nation in lost jobs and the Wanker is laying a foundation for Wisconsin success I’m thinking it is Inigo Montoya time. I wonder, does Scotty have six fingers?

    • As I mentioned above.
      Rick wants to take Citizens United to a new level by granting corporations the status of being their own country.

    • The utterly blank look he gets when he forgets his script has convinced me that he actually is that stupid. I’m also guessing that he has some advisers who are just smart enough to realize that the only way he’ll even flirt with double digits in the primaries is by appealing to the stupidest, fundiest, fundies in the land. He only appeals to those who can’t tie their shoes, even with an instruction manual, and think that the lyrics to “Jingle Bells” is high literature.

      • Yeah, at least Bush could memorize his script when it was given to him. It was when Bush went off message that he got in trouble.

  11. Oh jesus, I just heard the squealing of brakes and a huge crash out on Highway 101. I don’t want to look.

    There are the sirens. Yikes.

  12. QOTD:

    “I would just say that if Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him. I’ll bet you $10, not $10,000, that he won’t take the offer.” – Newt Gingrich, in response to Romney’s criticism of Newt’s $1.6 million in “consulting fees” from Freddie Mac.

    Ummm, Newt? You’ve basically adopted the language of the anti-corporate left with this line of attack.

  13. As election season draws closer and America is shown more and more that there is one party in the US that so totally supports the rich and war, we see a clearer stand taken by the Right, both their politicians and their propagandists. In these troubled times when the economy is staggering, our Congress grinds to a halt and America is in need of all the help she can get we hear the clear refrain from the Right in the media…”Won’t somebody pay attention to me?”

    • I suppose that is one way of getting around the whole one man-one woman marriage thing. Just stand to stud so the Badger Breeder guy can do his long rubber glove thing for you.

        • Unlike the Appalachian Trail, you will not pass any nuclear power plants.
          Though you could probably knit a sweater along the way, just by pulling wool off the trail side foliage.

    • Wow, wow wow… so many questions:

      The article didn’t say, but what “injection system” did he use to impregnate the women? And if as he said his wife would want him to have children, why not discuss this with her? And Being Anti-gay and donating to lesbians? And….

      Did he use the pickup line: “You can call me Bill, or you can call me William, but you don’t have to call me “Johnson.”

      • [One of the pregnant women, who is in a same-sex relationship, is quoted as saying of Johnson: “We found Bill to be really nice. He’s a really supportive guy.”]
        This would imply that he was meeting his recipients in person…

      • He’s an egotistical “man is head of the household” fundie faux xtian.

        His wife, Kathy Johnson, said the revelations were “the utmost of betrayal.”

      • Never having read any of the stuff, or watched the movies, I was unprepared this fall when I happened to pass through Forks, Washington, where the stories are set.
        It’s total Twilight there, every store has t-shirts, businesses are named after it, etc, etc, etc.
        Going through the checkout lane at the local grocery, I finally asked the clerk “What’s all this Twilight stuff? She said: “What? you’ve never read them?”
        “No”, I replied ‘They seemed to be a cheap commercialism of Ann Rice’s writings, plus there is a Russian author of vampire stories that coined the name Twilight to begin with.”
        “Oh” she said, then looking around, she offered “They’re not very good you know, it’s not worth the bother.”

        • My family camped at Forks many years ago and loved the Hoh Rainforest. I can’t imagine how it would look like commercialized with Twilight stuff these days.

          • It was very weird. A definite clash with the older lumberjack theme. What was really strange was the young people who had this quasi goth/grunge fashion theme going.
            “Leave it in the movie” kiddos.

          • Pretty much the same, but with “Twilight” this and that on reader boards, and pink and black crap, er Twilight gear, at the front of every store.

    • It’s just the Cinderella story with teeth. ;-)

      Aren’t strong women much more appealing these days?

  14. Ebb, a bird question: I have a towhee that regularly comes into the tent, a male, it looks like a spotted towhee, but has a totally russet/red breast, no white at all. Is this unusual?

    • I’m more familiar with our ‘drab’ looking California Towhee.
      (one of my favorite birds – they travel in pairs and are the first heard in the morning and nearly the last at sunset)

      That solid color breast – hmm interesting – I’ve never seen a photo without white.

      • I thought about the Eastern, as well as ‘accidental strays from Asia”. I even cleaned my glasses. It’s definitely a spotted, other than no white on the breast.

        • I saw that, at least in their description. So is a Spotted Towhee the bird I knew as a rufous-sided Towhee? Ah, no. It says that the eastern and spotted were considered one species (rufous-sided) but have now been split. It also says that in the Plains they can exist in the same habitat and even inter-breed.

          I thought the very definition of “species”…

          • Peterson’s says there are 5 different races that can be identified in the field.
            But perhaps we shouldn’t go there…

        • Could it be an immature bird? The fledglings are well under a year old, and many bird species change colors at the 1-year mark.

          (I know so little of the subject that it is a bit silly of me to contribute here.)

  15. Email received from Bank of America:

    As we approach the new year, we want to thank you for being one of our valued clients. We realize that you have a choice for your financial needs, and we greatly appreciate your ongoing relationship with us.

    Please know that we are committed to assisting you in any way we can — right now and as your needs evolve. We look forward to offering you high-quality banking services from Bank of America and access to investment guidance from Merrill Edge® Financial Solutions Advisors in 2012 and beyond.

    As always, if you’d like to find out more about how we can support your financial needs, call us at 1.800.432.1000 or visit us online, or connect with a Merrill Edge® Financial Solutions Advisor at many banking centers.

    We hope you’ve had a good year, and we wish you the best for 2012.

    Sincerely,

    Dean Athanasia
    President
    Preferred Client Banking

    Think that they are feeling some heat from “move your money” day? We kept this account but opened one at our local credit union that we will be moving it to when we get a chance.

    • As I am. I’ve refinanced the mortgage through Boeing Employees credit union, re-fied the car loan, opened a savings/checking, and just waiting for the mortgage refi to close to dump the chumps, way past overdue…
      When they asked me why, I replied, when your CEO makes 3 times what you make, I’ll come back.

      • Mr. LL does a bit of traveling and need the convenience of the ATM, but we have reduced our account to minimum travel expenses. The credit union is much homier.

    • “Dean Athanasia”
      Where do they get these names? Do they make them up?
      I’ve found Bank of America falling over themselves to be “nice and helpful and concerned”
      However, they are parroting a spiel. Again, I had to interrupt the heavily accented representative who called, and tell her to slow down and enunciate clearly..

    • I haven’t patronized a national bank sine one of them stuck me with overdraft charges when my pay check bounced even though said check was drawn on the same branch and was made good before I ever received the notice. My boss made it good but I was giving my business to a local bank within a week. I did open a savings account with a chain because they were giving away $75.00 to new account holders but i just stuck $50.00 in there and closed the account after the mandatory 6 months.

    • The veteran summed up the beady eyed rat Romney:

      He is not going to make it,” he said. “Because you can’t trust him. I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes.

    • I do kinda wonder why anyone, much less a gay man, would so much as consider voting for any GOoPer.

      I also wonder if Mitten’s handlers got reamed out for not discovering that “one of them” was in the cafe. Crazy Shelly probably would have run, screaming, from the room.

      • I think Bob Garon was just there for breakfast when some goon sat down next to him. He probably never had any intention of voting for Mittens.

  16. Seems these previous following commenters have entered their own Twilight Zone…
    doo doo doo do doo doo doo do :)

  17. Frontline: How the Drone War Plays Out in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

    Off limits to most journalists, evidence of America’s covert operations here is scant, but today WIRED published 13 rare and arresting photos of what appears to be the aftermath of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. Warning: The images are graphic and some of them show dead children.

    North Waziristan resident Noor Behram, who shot the photos, says he has spent the last three years rushing to the scenes of drone strikes — at great personal risk — to document their impacts on the ground. His aim, he says, is to “show taxpayers in the Western world what their tax money is doing to people in another part of the world: killing civilians, innocent victims, children.”

    • I find this “drone warfare” to be the most appalling and inhuman business of all. It is terrorism, and nothing but.

    • And a nice cheery Holiday thought, they are authorizing the use of drones in the US to assist law enforcement agencies. Makes the old black helicopters seem pretty silly.

      • And Americans will sit there on their hands and take it, until the first golden retriever in an SUV gets blown up.

            • From the jist of the article, the girl who was taken down was a shitting and a gitting and very lucky the dog was well trained. Much better trained than the morons who left it locked in the car.

          • What’s the purpose taking the K-9 unit to school (for a gun safety demonstration) ?
            Law enforcement is taking themselves way to seriously. I have noticed that they seem to noticeably strut, flaunting their weaponry. They seem to have been trained, much as their dogs, to pounce at the least little anomaly. Do not look at them, do not wave, pretend they are not there.

  18. First we had telegraph. Then telephone. Then television. And now we are refining teledestruction. Just thinks, all those years playing video games will finally pay off. Just sit in a nice air conditioned bunker outside of Las Vegas and you too can obliterate halfway around the globe! No muss, no fuss, no bother. Microwave Mayhem. Push a few buttons and a couple minutes later…PING…death and destruction from the skies you will never even have to see!

    • Not a single person in the whole operation actually sees what it is they are destroying. Someone watches the video feed, identifies what they think is a terrorist, refers it to someone who double checks to see if it looks like it could be a terrorist, and gives the command to someone else who pushes the button.

      • Just a minor refinement of the napalm strikes in Nam. Now they can do it from Vegas without having to send anyone in to get all sweaty and shot at.

    • Americans have been the premiere international terrorists since Korea. Ask anyone from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Chile, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, …. the list goes on, and on, and on, and on, endlessly. And for the most part we’re not even ashamed of ourselves.

    • The few tailgaters in the parking lot can’t hear above the din of their gas powered margarita mixers, and why look up when the TV is right in front of you?

    • This is proof that the 20% crowd has to have someone behind them. Telling them which drawer their underwear are in and why the opening goes to the front.

      • Reminds me of the old retired farmer back in my hometown. Got new glasses. Bifocals. Said they made him see double. Said that just the other day when he went to the can he unbuttoned his fly, looked down, saw two of them, pulled out the wrong one and wet his pants.

        Speaking of today’s twenty percent.

    • And still, due to the fact that Reichwhiners never fact-check anything, they have further buried the truth about Israel. Israel is a European.American colony. Nothing more or less. The Palestinians are the rightful owners of a country where they are kept in slums and camps.

      • A rough equivalent of how Israel came to be is if the US decided to ship all blacks in America to Somalia because there wasn’t a government to tell them they couldn’t. No other country in the world wanted to take in the Jews from Europe during and after WWII and the Brits were tired of the Palestinians constantly revolting so they dumped the Jews off there telling them they had to learn how to play together nice. Lasted until 67, sort of.

  19. Sometimes I wonder if the current crop of Republican candidates are harkening back to a bit of Americana. Many of the things they say remind me of the tall tales of Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill. Wild flights of fancy and braggadocio. Either that or they are greedy, lying sunsabitches. Being the progressive sort I am, willing to give folks the benefit of the doubt, I’m going with the 2nd choice.

    • As a kind and gentle progressive who goes out of his way to understand and sympathize with every aspect of the human predicament, I completely agree with you and your assessment: “greedy, lying sunsabitches” nails it.

  20. Once a stray, Italian kitty inherits $13 million

    A cat in Rome, Italy is officially part of the 1 percent after inheriting $13.3 million.

    Four-year-old Tommaso may have once been a stray, but he’s now the third-richest pet in the world. His 94-year-old owner was a childless widow who left the money to the kitty because no animal welfare association could care for Tommaso in the manner he was accustomed to, according to the Telegraph.

    :D

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