Watering Hole – September 23, 2010 – All things being equal

Today marks the fall equinox.  The sun passes the equator and heads south for the winter. The day and night are divided equally.  In ancient times, this was celebrated as Mabon, a time to celebrate the harvest.

As an added treat this year, we will have a full moon in the constellation Aries.  This full moon occuring at or near the autumnal equinox is known as the harvest moon. It hangs low in the sky longer than in the summer months, and gave its light to farmers in days gone by, allowing them to stay in the fields longer to bring in the crops. Next month’s full moon is called “hunter’s moon” from ancient times.

Ancient cultures around the world built remarkable structures to mark the summer and winter solstices as well as the equinoxes. This, presumably, aided the early agrarian societies by identifying the optimal times for planting and harvesting, which would have been crucial to their survival and growth.

Stonehenge, British Isles, circa 3000 b.c.


This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.

(photograph copyright 2010 Briseadh na Faire, used by permission)

94 thoughts on “Watering Hole – September 23, 2010 – All things being equal

  1. Of course, optimal planting and harvesting are still crucial to our survival, it’s just that much of modern society is too far removed from food production to realize this.
    Happy Harvest friends.

  2. Great post, BnF. I hate the fact that the days are getting shorter. We like to have our dinner outside and hang out on the porch in the evening. Now that it is getting dark earlier, it sends us inside earlier.

    Outstanding, it is a shame that people are so removed from food production. I heard something on the radio the other day where a chief chef is going into public schools and teaching children how to cook fresh foods. Part of the curriculum includes planting a small garden, then harvesting the vegetables and then preparing them. Many of these children have no idea where food comes from nor have they tasted vegetables other than hot house tomatoes and iceburg lettuce. The children enjoy the “new” vegetables because they helped to grow these vegetables.

  3. Cats, good point. I was pondering the other day, what would happen if (when) our economic system collapsed, how would people fare (poorly, I surmised) with growing or gathering their food.
    Most would starve, or kill each other for the last can of corned beef hash…

  4. I’m looking forward to cooler weather. We had a beautiful Labor Day weekend, which I spent indoors with the three worst days of a sinus infection. By the time I felt better, the highs in the 90s had come back. They last until Saturday, then the first predicted high under 80 is Sunday, followed by highs near 80 and lows in the 50s. Of course, now it’s tornado season.

  5. Speaking of disconnects, a friend just posted this on facebook:

    We’re a month into the semester. My Intro. to Phil. class uses pop culture to introduce students to philosophy. So far, I have used scenes from Examined Life, South Park, The Colbert Report, and Animal House to introduce the “critical attitude” and basic concepts in logic central to philosophical inquiry. Yesterday, …after class, a student told me he didn’t understand what “pop culture” is.

  6. Breaking News!

    The Thom Hartmann Program Moves to the Capital

    The internationally syndicated Thom Hartmann Program is moving its base of operations to Washington, DC, from Portland, OR. Starting in October, Hartmann will be broadcasting his show from the nation’s capital, building out a brand new radio and TV studio in a space contiguous with Talk Radio News Service.

    “This is a great opportunity for us, broadcasting from the belly of the beast,” said Hartmann. “For a political talk show it doesn’t get any better, and we’re also very excited to have access to the extraordinary news resources of TRNS, which have been a part of our show for nearly eight years.”

    Portland’s loss will be the nation’s gain. This will help get Thom on more media, as a guest on other shows. Maybe soon he can get on MSNBC!

  7. I’ve got to admit fall is my favorite time of year. I love the quality of the light, and the feeling of preparing for winter.

  8. According to the Weather Channel, my sunrise tomorrow is 6:35am, and sunset is 6:41pm, so the Tennessee Valley hasn’t reached actual equilux yet.

    From Wikipedia

    Although the word equinox is often understood to mean “equal [day and] night,” this is not strictly true. For most locations on earth, there are two distinct identifiable days per year when the length of day and night are closest to being equal; those days are referred to as the “equiluxes” to distinguish them from the equinoxes. Equinoxes are points in time, but equiluxes are days. By convention, equiluxes are the days where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart.

    By the way, not too long ago there was a fascinating PBS Special on Stonehenge, where new discoveries nearby have shed light on what its true purpose may have been. On Google Earth, you can now virtually ‘tour’ Stonehenge, just like a camera crew was walking around it, responding to your direction.

  9. Thom did sell his floating house, I missed it earlier today. His biggest worry is getting his cats to DC, especially his famous cat, Higgins.

  10. House, thanks for asking. My house should be fine (other than a leaky roof I need to get fixed).

    However, most of the roads and bridges that cross the river will become inundated, so the one higher bridge will become hopelessly clogged with traffic. They’re predicting the crests to occur this weekend.

    Very unusual for this to happen in the fall, but we’ve been hit with an unusual amount of rain this year.

  11. That would be Hoodathunk’s state, IIRC.

    Back in the early 70’s, we had a major rain event which backed up into town a long way. The city fathers neglected to keep clear the major tributary to the Tennessee River, Pinhook Creek, so debris washed down until it snagged and created a natural dam. The water flooded the basement of the Huntsville Times newspaper, contaminating all the black ink. The afternoon edition was printed with blue ink, and it is a collectors item.

  12. He’s still on everywhere just the same, Zooey. He’ll be on at the same time, but for him in DC, it will seem later, because of being in the eastern time zone.

  13. I’ve had to start listening to his show on his website, instead of KPOJ, because the stream would keep dropping out, and I’d have to refresh, and listen to the fifteen second ad before I could get him back on.

  14. What an angle on Angle. ‘I’ve had my kids, so why should I be required to pay for coverage for someone else’s kids’ autism!’

    Well, why should 20 somethings have to pay for coverage for dementia, alzheimers or viagra?

    But this all begs the true point: Why the hell don’t we have Universal Health Care, it this, the self-avowedly greatest country on earth?

  15. Those poor deprived folks that don’t know what a sweet bippy is! Even Chrome’s spellcheck doesn’t know!

    I was thinking the other day about Joanne Worley ragging on anyone she could accuse of making a chicken joke! 😀

  16. Angle’s comment supports the fact that Republicans and especially their tea party members are selfish. They got theirs and to hell with everyone else.

    I heard something today regarding religion. Previously, Christianity was passive, forgiving, tolerant etc… all feminine attributes. Recently, in order to attract more men, Christianity became more hostile, intolerant, aggressive, etc… attributes that are considered masculine. This was a comment by a guest on a talk show. It makes some sense. I always said that religion was created so that men could control women.

    • As many of you know, my 28 year old son lives with high functioning autism (I’d say he has Asperger’s, but that’s not his diagnosis). To see such a horrendous bitch use her claws to form air quotes when saying the word autism, just infuriates me. She (and Michael Savage) are saying that somehow autism isn’t real or these children have found a totally awesome way to fake out their parents — even at the cost of severe emotional and/or social disability. I guess that’s just how very bad these kids are, right?

      Well, fuck her and her shitty attitude.

      Angle, and the people buy into her bullshit, are the truly disabled in this country. They were apparently born with everything going for them — innocence, compassion, wonder, love, acceptance, and an eagerness for learning — but they’ve willfully thrown it all away because of some serious character defect they willingly acquired.

      My son, and other children like him, were born with all the same things, but for some reason either couldn’t access or connect with their emotions and other parts of their humanity — they have to actively learn the things we take for granted, and let me tell you, it’s staggeringly difficult to learn (and teach). To this day, I can see that people just baffle the shit out of my eldest — but he wanted to learn to live in this world, and he did.

      Angle-huggers can kiss my lily white ass, because at some point they had everything they needed to be decent human beings — and they threw it away.

  17. Apparently many Americans feel there should be more income parity, but actually have no idea how bad the gap really is. And the righties want to make sure that people never figure that out.

    Read at HuffPo.

  18. Took me awhile to get here b/c I had a horrible fight w/Wordpress, who wouldn’t let me use my T.H.E.Cat login here. But, happy equinox from a REAL Witch! <|;-)

  19. Yeah, zxbe, we have flash flood warnings. 6″ of rain or better. All is cool in the center of the state as long as you avoid the creeks and bottoms.

  20. I have a question:

    The photograph on the post shows ‘Stonehenge…. circa 3000 BC’.

    How did you get that photograph from 3000 BC?

  21. can kiss my lily white ass, because at some point they had everything they needed to be decent human beings — and they threw it away

    Zooey, you can really turn a phrase, that you can.

  22. I always said that religion was created so that men could control women.

    Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.

    A subject my daughter and I will get into soon as she would like to discuss religion with me. She knows I am an atheist, she is keeping her thoughts to herself.

    I say to her whenever I can: “There’s only one thing a man can do that a woman can’t, and I bet if you practiced, *you* could one day get it all in without splashing some on the seat anyway”

  23. Zooey: To see such a horrendous bitch use her claws to form air quotes when saying the word autism, just infuriates me.

    Amen and yea verily. My nephew’s son is mildly autistic, but he’s well on his way to becoming a fine human being. As opposed to Angle.

    Also, these last few days I’ve been visited by a longtime friend, a fellow I met in college 48 years ago right about now. He, too, is mildly autistic; he’s very focused and passionate about the natural world, has become a great wildlife photographer. He’s also a kind and generous, genuinely caring person, and has been through all the years I’ve known him.

    And for Sharron Angle to blatantly insult and dismiss those who are autistic, also and implicitly those who find the means to function with and overwhelm their autism — not to mention those of us who see autism NOT as a disability but as a potentially contributive virtue — well, she instantly tells me all I need to know about what a simpering bitch she is.

    As if I didn’t already know, but you get what I mean.

  24. The ‘bagger candiates exemplify the qualities of the corporate entities that purchased and promoted them: they are, in a word, sociopaths.

    If you’ve not followed this argument in detail, when the overwhelming majority of corporations have their behaviors evaluated as persons according to the DSM-IV, they qualify as sociopaths.

    The Corporation — DVD Documentary,
    Starring: Jane Akre, Ray Anderson Director: Jennifer Abbott, Mark Achbar

    The Corporation — Book, Joel Bakan

    This movie can be streamed from Hulu, with only minimal commercial breaks:

  25. TtT: If it had been a comment on Downs…??

    Same thing. In 1983, my then wife was pregnant with our first child. She was, at the time, 40 yrs of age so we did the prenatal testing via amniocintesis. The fetus was Down Syndrome. We chose the termination option.

    Afterwards, we adopted two children but the ‘event’ in early January, 1984, left severe scars from which she could never fully recover, having been raised in a strict Catholic environment. We went our separate ways in 1997. We remain friends, but lovers no more.

    Religion and crass non-caring attitudes (when linked as they often are) bother the shit out of me, for probably obvious reasons.

  26. Frugal, maybe the Thrilla from Wasilla would have had to eat her Teabagger ‘young’ if she’d dissed the royal baby.

    Waiting for Sarah to tweet that her Teabagger pal is a heartless b8tch in her denial of medical conditions …. in 3,2,1…

  27. Frugal, that’s a tough tale. We had a similar situation in 2004…. the pregnancy ended naturally before the decision would have been necessary. We just don’t know which way we would have gone (I knew myself).

  28. TtT, yeah, I agree. I’m not sure if Sarah has the brains to ponder the witch from Nevada’s positions and attitudes, also not sure that she’d be able to understand the rest of the world even if she could.

    But what makes already nasty medical conditions far worse is when politicians get involved in regulating the solution, the treatment, whichever. Suffice to say there was no politician in the room that night in January 1984, no preacher, only us and a doctor, a nurse. Lucky for politicians and preachers that they stayed away. I’m not at all a mean or violent person, but there are some things that could easily turn me into an ass kicker, and that sort of interference is high on the list.

    Angle’s “autism” crap today was really nothing more than yet one more exposure of her idiocy. But that sort of shit gains allies quickly, esp. amongst the greedy and the “it’s god’s will” horseshit. When I encounter it, I leave Mr. Nice Guy over there and let it fly. Cain’t hep meseff.

  29. “I always said that religion was created so that men could control women.”

    The early pagan religions had balance between the God and the Goddess. It wasn’t until Judeaism came along with it’s masculine God, God the Father of Abraham, that eliminated the female half of God’s existence. Christianity extended that to God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Goddess was then relegated to the role of the Virgin Mary.

  30. Terry, in our case the decision was made the moment we (and yes, it was WE) decided it was wise to do the amniocintesis bit. WE were confident that all was well, but also were well aware of the consequences if something serious was wrong. And to her credit, she understood the reality and dealt with it on the front end; it was later that her subliminal religious came back to haunt her. That was one burden I didn’t have, but man, there is little worse than to observe the unfolding horror as old indoctrinations resurface and destroy even that which is good.

  31. “How did you get that photograph from 3000 BC?”

    It has to do with quantum physics, and temporal charmed quarks, combined with metaphysical transmutation and teleportation of the corporeal/spiritual essences through the ether.

    Either that, or the ommission of the word, “built” before the word “circa.” Take your pick.

  32. BnF: The Goddess was then relegated to the role of the Virgin Mary.

    And even then, god the father sneaked back and nailed her whilst she was still a virgin.

    He should be ashamed, but probably isn’t.

  33. “And even then, god the father sneaked back and nailed her whilst she was still a virgin.”

    And they weren’t even married! The horror!

  34. Biblical Scenes that are hard to believe #586:

    Mary: Well Joe, I’m knocked up, sorry.

    Joe: What? Well we know it wasn’t me, you told me I had to go and beat off until we go married – no kissing either. So who was it? That Roman legion that came through here the other week? You’ve always like a uniform?

    Mary: No, I was in my room and the Lord came in through the window and…. well I tried to be strong, but… you know.

    Joe: How’d you know it was the Lord?

    Mary: He said so.

    Joe: Oh that’s all right then. Well the weddings still on and I’ll raise the bastard as my own. NO problemo.

  35. TtT: And the whole Virgin concept designed by a bunch of scared mysogynist bastards over centuries to keep women in check…

    As was Eve, but I don’t think anyone ever claimed she was a virgin. At least not for long. But all the world’s darknesses are still her fault. She did eat that fucking apple, you know, and didn’t hate the snake.

    Wimmin. Pffft.

    (snark, that last one)

  36. Well she must have bonked Cain, how else did we get a bunch of people after Cain offed Abel. Don’t recall God making anyone else but Adam and Eve…..

  37. Incest, a game for all the family. These days she’d get on Larry King Live after she came out of prison, just like Mary Kay Le Tourneau.

  38. Actually I think the whole virgin birth crapola was about coopting the whole ‘Zeus was a player’ stuff that the Greeks could dig. ‘Well Jesus’ Dad’s a player too – bite me Nikos!’

  39. If it was all about “capturing” the Greek contingent, then it would have been Joseph that got knocked up.

    OK I’m wrong, I know it …

    (But surely I’m not the only one here who has read the Symposium?)

  40. Hahaha – Gary, I was thinking about that….. but I held my fire….. I thought the Oedipus complex was enough for tonight….

  41. Stupid bagger woman Angle is short-sighted, as well as selfish, like all her ilk. Sure, she doesn’t need healthcare for pregnancy, or autism, but tomorrow it could be her grandchild in need. Fate distributes trials at random, without regard for ideology, wealth, or status.

  42. Movie’s over, ZZZZZ’s coming soon, but one more thought.

    The right wing is pulling this country toward its grave. Notice how the teabaggers, the essence of the ‘movement’ as it stands today, care NOTHING about anything other than profit and the power thereby implied. Individuals, little people, count for zero. That which should be an American birthright — healthcare — is ‘unaffordable’ even as massive death aka “defense” is worth nearly a trillion per year.

    What is money, really? Seriously. Anyone really know?

    And don’t forget god — the motivational concept that drives hatred everywhere, inspires anti-masturba drivel, insists on birth following rape and/or incest, and generally inspires the wrong path in nearly every endeavor. My god is better’n yer god. That crap.

    I’m no longer young. Thank all gods, my days are numbered to the point where America still has a chance to outlive me. But that’s only if we the people can manage the courage to forgo the nutcases, to retire them once and for all. Now. To replace them with those who have retained the facility of conscious thought, of principle born on compassion and reality instead of on the words and fears of faded men, on dreams of money and power.

    Aeschylus once wrote, “The race is welded to its ruin.” That was 2500 years ago, give or take a few; what a pity he’s not around today to meet Sharron Angle and the rest of her wingnut contingent. Wonder what he’d write today?

    I could rant on. Write a book, maybe. Hmmm.

  43. I’d disagree a tad, Frugal. The ‘baggers themselves are far too flat out butt-stoopid to have anything even marginally similar to a coherent or intelligible idea of what they want or stand for. They are nothing but useful idiots, bought and paid for by sociopaths like the Koch brothers.

    And I do not use the term “sociopath” casually here. People like the Kochs, the Madoffs, are logically indistinguishable from people like Ted Bundy. Their methods and mediate goals are different; as far as I know neither Bernie Madoff nor either of the Koch brothers have personally tortured anyone to death. But the psychological frame in which they place themselves and their wants, as opposed to the entire rest of the universe, are altogether identical. These people are all text-book sociopaths.

  44. “What is money, really? Seriously. Anyone really know?”

    Money equates to power in human relations. There is a commonality between the Kochs and Murdochs of the world and the teabaggers. All wish to have power over others. And, more ominously, the power of life and death over others.

    The rich and powerful do it by influencing the masses, inciting them to wars.

    Others speak of their “Second Amendment Rights.” Brute force triumphs over intellect, but cunning beguiles brute force.

    In the long run, those who amass wealth will lose it. In the grand scheme of things, millions of people die horribly, but mankind learns tolerance, and, ultimately, acceptance. Intellect triumphs over brute force.

    At the present time, a small minority is given a great voice, because they serve the interests of the rich and powerful. They are like the disease-ridden mosquito buzzing in the room after the lights are turned off. We ignore them at our peril. Like the mosquito, they must be eliminated.

    But how? Short of revolution or mass murder? Reason will not alter their course, nor will appeals to compassion.

    No. But even mosquitoes are drawn towards the Light. They have been following a Christ who works in the shadows. They must be shown the Light.

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