Ireland moves toward legalizing abortion

Republic votes to remove constitutional ban on abortion by resounding two-thirds majority — 66% of the vote.

These people repealed the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution, a part of it that forbade abortion. But abortion is still not legal yet. The Irish legislature will have to pass a law legalizing it. But it is a step forward, and a sign of the weakening power of the Catholic Church in that nation.

As I mentioned earlier, early in 1879, a certain Anne Purcell decides that having five children is enough. So she gets an abortion. Here is who she would have aborted:

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Look Who Would Be Aborted: Who’s Who

In “Look Who Would Be Aborted”, I posted a list of women who could have have gotten abortions at some time. In this post, I will list who would have gotten aborted. I selected people that many anti-abortionists would consider great villains, so as to pose a very awkward dilemma for them. But before that, one more:

Early in 1879, Anne Purcell decides that having five children is enough. So she gets an abortion.

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Look Who Would Be Aborted!

Jim Bakker: God Gave Us Scientists to Cure Cancer, But They “Were Aborted” – Friendly Atheist

“I believe America is cursed if we keep murdering our babies,” Bakker said. “I believe we are doomed as a nation — whatever you think, I don’t care, because I believe God says, ‘Thou shall not kill.’ And to murder our unborn babies, I don’t believe God can look [the other way].”

“This program could be an important cog to stop abortion in this country,” he added. “The thing we have done in America, we have killed our babies. We have killed the future of America. I told you the other day about a story, someone said they asked God, ‘Why haven’t we had a cure for cancer?’ And He said back, ‘I gave you two scientists that had the cure and both of them were aborted.’”

That is a version of the Great Beethoven fallacy – RationalWiki, referring to the possible abortion of classical-music composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

However, if a good person can be aborted, then a bad person can also be aborted. After the fold is some examples of that.

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Happy Yule, everybody!

Happy Yule! Or Christmas or Hanukkah or Saturnalia or Hanukkah or HumanLight or Kwanzaa or Festivus or whatever you might to celebrate around this time.

Yule is from the old-time Germanic name for celebrations at this time of year, a name that Scandinavians still use. I don’t have a Yule log to burn, but with the help of wiktionary.org, I’ve composed some proto-Germanic, spoken some 2000 – 2500 years ago in what is now northern Germany and southern Scandinavia:

Gôdan Yehulan! Gôdô sunnôn-standingô! Hampan allaimaz mannumaz — allaimaz gumammaz andi kwenômaz.

Good Yule! Good sun-standing (solstice). Happiness to all people — to all men and women.

Solstice: the word is a borrowing from Old French solstice, in turn from Latin solstitium, “sun-standing”

Why celebrate at this time of year? Because in the northern hemisphere, the Sun seems like it is returning from having gone southward. Why lights? Because light is what the northern hemisphere is short of. Why evergreen trees? Because they seem like they are still alive. The traditional song “O Tannenbaum” / “O Christmas Tree” celebrates how that tree does not seem to die, as many other trees seem to.

As I’d noted in <a href=”https://nexuszine.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/the-reason-for-the-season-7000-years-ago/&#8221; title=”The Reason for the Season 7000 Years Ago”>The Reason for the Season 7000 Years Ago</a>, people have been marking out the solstices for centuries before Jesus Christ was born, and centuries before the first record of his ethnicity.

Sixty Years after Sputnik

On 4 October 1957, the Russians launched Sputnik 1 (“Satellite 1”) into orbit. Its full name was Prosteyshiy Sputnik 1, “Elementary Satellite 1”.

It was 58 cm / 23 in across, about the size of a beach ball, and it weighed 83.6 kg / 184 lb. It had four antennas sticking out of it, and a battery-powered radio transmitter with power 1 watt.

It went into orbit atop a modified R-7 ICBM, going into low Earth orbit: 215 km / 134 mi by 939 km / 583 mi with a period of 96.2 minutes.

It transmitted for 21 days, until 26 October 1957, and it stayed in orbit until it burned up in the atmosphere on 4 January 1958.

Its broadcasts, an endlessly repeated beep, were picked up all over the world by amateur radio operators, though the satellite itself was only borderline visible without a telescope.

It wasn’t much, but it was startling. Large numbers of people watched this first artificial satellite and also listened to it. Many Americans came to believe that their nation was getting behind in the Cold War, since the Russians could now send their nuclear bombs to anywhere in the world in less than an hour.

It also did not help that the Russians successfully launched a second satellite a month later, on 3 November 1957. It carried a passenger, the dog Laika, though that dog soon died. It certainly did not help that the US’s attempt to launch a satellite into orbit on 6 December 1957 was a spectacular failure. But the US succeeded in doing so on 31 January 1958.

However, President Eisenhower and his aides stayed cool. They were following the Russians’ rocketry developments with pictures taken from U-2 spyplanes that flew high above the Soviet Union. So they were not very surprised when the Soviet Union got a satellite into orbit.

I’ve even seen the theory that Eisenhower had a reason for liking the Russians going first. He wanted to establish a principle of international law, that outer space is like international waters rather than sovereign territory, like airspace. He was concerned that if the US went first, the Russians would consider a US satellite flying over their territory to be a violation of their sovereignty, just like a US spyplane doing so. So when Sputnik 1 traveled over US territory, he decided to accept it.

The US increased funding for scientific research, adding to the National Science Foundation’s funding and starting the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA, now DARPA with Defense in front), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The US also made efforts to improve education, with its National Defense Education Act.

The “New Math” also came out of that period, but it was an abysmal flop. It introduced a lot of abstraction far too early, IMO. Though mathematicians love abstraction, non-mathematicians often find it difficult, and math curricula should be designed with that in mind.

The US has faced challenges that some people have compared to Sputnik, like Japan in the 1980’s, but those challenges did not present the visceral level of threat that Sputnik did. Sputnik was a demonstration that the Soviet Union could send nuclear bombs to anywhere in the US in half an hour. Japan did not pose nearly that level of threat. It was at most “We will dig your graves” rather than “we will destroy you”, those two interpretations of Nikita Khrushchev’s “We will bury you”.

 

Go back to where you came from?

Some years ago, someone posted a video in YouTube showing a woman in a tram in Britain yelling at some immigrants to go back to where they came from. (Tram = light-rail vehicle) That video is now gone, but it gave me some ideas. Based on it, I have come up with a summary of the history of Great Britain:

  • 1066 CE: Those Normans should go back to where they came from!
  • 800 CE: Those Danes should go back to where they came from!
  • 450 CE: Those Angles and Saxons and Jutes should go back to where they came from!
  • 43 CE: Those Romans should go back to where they came from!
  • 500 BCE: Those Celts should go back to where they came from!
  • 2700 BCE: Those Beaker people should go back to where they came from!
  • 4000 BCE: Those farmers should go back to where they came from!

 

Hymn to Donald Trump

What some of Donald Trump’s supporters seem like to me:

Thank you, Trump. Thank you because I am joyful. Thank you because I am well. No matter how old I become, I shall never forget how we received Trump two days ago. Centuries will pass, and the generations still to come will regard us as the happiest of mortals, as the most fortunate of men, because we lived in the century of centuries, because we were privileged to see Trump, our inspired leader. Yes, and we regard ourselves as the happiest of mortals because we are the contemporaries of a man who never had an equal in world history.

The men of all ages will call on thy name, which is strong, beautiful, wise and marvelous. Thy name is engraven on every factory, every machine, every place on the earth, and in the hearts of all men.

Every time I have found myself in his presence I have been subjugated by his strength, his charm, his grandeur. I have experienced a great desire to sing, to cry out, to shout with joy and happiness. And now see me–me!–on the same platform where the Great Trump stood a year ago. In what country, in what part of the world could such a thing happen.

I write books. I am an author. All thanks to thee, O great educator, Trump. I love a young woman with a renewed love and shall perpetuate myself in my children–all thanks to thee, great educator, Trump. I shall be eternally happy and joyous, all thanks to thee, great educator, Trump. Everything belongs to thee, chief of our great country. And when the woman I love presents me with a child the first word it shall utter will be : Trump.

O great Trump, O leader of the peoples,
Thou who broughtest man to birth.
Thou who fructifies the earth,
Thou who restorest to centuries,
Thou who makest bloom the spring,
Thou who makest vibrate the musical chords…
Thou, splendour of my spring, O thou,
Sun reflected by millions of hearts.

Edited from a translation of the original by A. O. Avidenko, a translation reproduced in Hymn to Stalin: Internet History Sourcebooks