SUNDAY REVELATIONS: When logic undermines belief

Sir Isaac Newton, the single best candidate for the first true scientist, was a devout Christian. It is fascinating to wonder how Sir Isaac would have responded to the demystification of much of what he bereaved as a result of the application of science to the understanding of nature.
Sir Isaac Newton, the single best candidate for the first true scientist, was a devout Christian. It is fascinating to wonder how Sir Isaac would have responded to the demystification of much of what he bereaved as a result of the application of science to the understanding of nature.

Major Threat to Religion? Clergy People Coming Out as Atheists

by Greta Christina  on AlterNet 

 

What happens when a clergy person — a minister, a priest, a rabbi, an imam — realizes he doesn’t believe in God?

And what happens when he says it out loud? What happens when they find each other; when they support each other in coping with their crises, when they help each other with resources and job counseling and other practical assistance? What happens when they encourage each other to come out?

Could this affect more than just these clergy people and their followers? Could it change how society as a whole thinks and feels about religion?

That’s what the Clergy Project is finding out. In recent months and years, atheists have been all over the news. But more recently, a burst of media attention has been focused on atheists of an unexpected stripe: clergy members. In particular, attention is going to the Clergy Project, an online meeting place and support group that exists specifically for these unexpected additions to the ranks of the godless.

The project was inspired by the 2010 pilot study by Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola, “Preachers Who Are Not Believers” (PDF), which exposed and explored the surprisingly common phenomenon of non-believing clergy. The need to give these people support — and if possible, an exit strategy — was immediately recognized in the atheist community, and starter funding for the Clergy Project was quickly provided by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Founded in March of 2011 with 52 members, the Clergy Project currently has over 270 members — and since recent news stories about it began appearing, in outlets from MSNBC to NPR to the Religious News Service to CNN, applications to join have been going up at an even more dramatic rate.

The cascade of news stories began when Methodist minister Teresa MacBain came to the American Atheists convention following last March’s Reason Rally — and made a dramatic unscheduled appearance at the podium, to announce that she was an atheist. “Being in a group of people with whom I could share openly without fear of persecution gave me the courage to come out,” she told me. “The opportunity to stand before the crowd, come out as an atheist and share about the Clergy Project was too good to pass up. I was at the end of my rope and I knew it. It was now or never for me. As I walked up on that stage, I felt fear like no other.”

MacBain had been questioning her faith since her early teens, when she came across contradictions in the Bible. “I went to my dad for answers,” she said. “He simply shared that God’s ways are so much higher than our ways that we can not understand everything in the Bible. Our response should be faith, not doubting. He then told me that doubting was a sin. I left that day and suppressed those questions. This practice followed me for decades.”

But eventually, the questions became too much. She let go of her Biblical literalism, which at first helped resolve her doubts about Biblical contradictions — but this soon made room for other questions to press on her. “Things such as theodicy [the problem of suffering and evil], the question of hell, God’s omnipotence yet lack of intervention in heinous events, the historicity of Jesus… all these bubbled to the surface and demanded to be answered,” she said. “My work to answer these questions began with the thought that as I discovered the truth, it would create a stronger faith and give me comforting answers to those in my church who were dealing with the same issues. Instead, the truth I found led me away from faith.”

“The heat in Charleston, SC, is like sex with a stranger: If you don’t have a clear exit strategy, you’d best not get into it.”

Paul Allen  FACEBOOK

The heat in Charleston, SC, is like sex with a stranger: If you don’t have a clear exit strategy, you’d best not get into it.

Heat in Charleston is horrible. Day before yesterday, I was visiting a friend in the hospital. I know that place.

But I parked where I’m used to. Inside, I got turned around. Came out the wrong exit and couldn’t find my car or the parking lot. (I’m glad I use a cane now. People are more merciful.) Cop comes to get in his car, we exchange pleasantries. I knew where my car was but it was all the way around a large complex of hospital. He suggested I ride with him. He announces on the police radio that he was “taking an elderly man to help him find his car.” Dispatcher said that was nice. We went around the building and it was where I thought. Policeman had as white a hair as mine, “elderly gentleman,” but I had the cane and he was in his car.
We got there. Then:

Yesterday, I was picking Ryan up at a Roper Hospital facility in the Medical University Hospital maze. GPS lady was getting very pissed, so many blocked streets for construction, so many small streets that only she knew the names of (the people who make street signs must have given up years ago). Finally she told me I wasn’t far from the address. I just pulled into the parking lot of the VA and decided to walk. Even walking (and GPS set on walking) I couldn’t find it. Afternoon heat was horrible. If it were a bath, you’d pull your foot out and add cold water. I walked, asking directions for 40 or so minutes. My cane was starting to hurt my palm. I still have the bruise. Too much pressure, heat and time. Found Ryan. Continue reading “The heat in Charleston, SC, is like sex with a stranger: If you don’t have a clear exit strategy, you’d best not get into it.”

When Does a Jew Lose His or Her Identity as a Jew?

“On August 12, 1952, Bergelson’s sixty-eighth birthday, he was executed.2 For decades, before the transcripts of the trial became accessible to the public following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the date was known, and observed in many Jewish communities the world over, as the Night of the Murdered Poets.”

― from “Where the Jews Aren’t: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region (Jewish Encounters Series)”
Bergelson went before a firing squad because he has written about his belief that a Russian Jew could be a Jew.  This was described as “nationalistic” heresy.
Now under Trump, this is happening to Muslims.

TRUMP TWEETS: The Battle That Never Was

“How would they know,”  “Were they there?”

Back before becoming President, Donald Trump’s fantasy world was already there. In 2015 The  New York Times reported that Donald Trump’s Northern Virginia Trump National Golf Club features a plaque between the 14th and 15th holes honoring a Civil War battle at that precise spot. The inscription, signed by Trump, reads:

Trump-Golf-Course-Plaque.jpg
Credit: New York Times

“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’ It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!”

Troubles is the battle never happened.  The Times reported that various historians in the area who had trouble tying the site of Trump’s course to any such event.

“No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,” Richard Gillespie, the executive director of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, told the Times.

Gillespie went on to say the closest thing to what Trump was describing was a battle 11 miles up the river in 1861. “The River of Blood?” he said. “Nope, not there.”

Trump,  questioned how historians could dispute the battle. “How would they know,”  “Were they there?”

Anniversary of Nixon’s Resignation: Nixon planned violent attacks against anti-war protesters

“Watergate prosecutors had evidence that operatives for then-President Richard Nixon planned an assault on anti-war demonstrators in 1972, including potentially physically attacking Vietnam whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, according to a never-before-published memo obtained by NBC News. The document, an 18-page 1973 investigative memorandum from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, sheds new light on how prosecutors were investigating attempts at domestic political violence by Nixon aides, an extremely serious charge.” Ellsberg was the whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers, fully declassified in 2011, which revealed the secret bombings of Laos and Cambodia, and showed the Johnson administration had systematically lied to Congress and the public about the war in Vietnam. Read story here.

Photo:  Nixon, the criminal in the White House 

 

 

 

 

What a lovely boat!

imageI love wooden boats. I have books on how to build them, and yes, once daydreamed of building my own wooden sailboat and sailing away in it.

The passing of time and getting older have a way of tempering such daydreams. Wood sailboats are fun to gaze at, but expensive to own, and a hassle to maintain. And it takes a plenty of patience to travel by a conveyance whose top speed is 6 mph on a good day.

Even in my younger days, tall ships were beyond my ambitions. There’s the money, for one thing: This replica of a Revolutionary War-era French frigate cost $27 million to build, and sailing it requires a professional crew of 72 (the original had a crew of 255, including the cannoneers and marines, but sailor wages were cheaper then).

But, oh so lovely to look at! Launched in 2014, she just completed her first transatlantic sail, arriving in New York in time for America’s Independence Day celebrations. CBS News reports,

“Fireworks announced the arrival of the French frigate Hermione into New York Harbor this week, just in time for the Fourth of July. … The original Hermione was part of the blockade … that led to the British surrender, ending the American Revolution. … Lafayette said of Hermione that she sails like a bird. And as such, she will sail past the Statue of Liberty before leaving New York. Lady Liberty was France’s second gift to America. Hermione and Lafayette were the first.”

SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Where did the Phoenicians originate?

The researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand claimed that the DNA sequencing of the Phoenician boy known in the scientific community as ‘Young man of Byrsa’ or ‘Archie’; resembles to a modern day Portuguese. A study was carried out in Lebanese region to find the resembling sequence, however, no confirmed match was reported hence the European origins of Phoenicians became a plausible theory.
The researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand claimed that the DNA sequencing of the Phoenician boy known in the scientific community as ‘Young man of Byrsa’ or ‘Archie’; resembles to a modern day Portuguese. A study was carried out in Lebanese region to find the resembling sequence, however, no confirmed match was reported hence the European origins of Phoenicians became a plausible theory.

Researchers have successfully sequenced the first complete genome of 2500 years old remains of a young man discovered in Carthage. The aequencing revealed that the ancient boy’s genome contains a rare European hunter gatherer genes; the finding has the potential to trigger the rewrite of the migration pattern of ancient Europeans into the North African region.

The young man whose remains were discovered in cartage belonged to a civilization known as Phoenicians. Major contributors to the rise of mankind to the glory it enjoys today; Phoenicians were the genius civilization who created the first organized system of alphabets (Ed. actua’ly no.  The Phoenicians spread the Hebrew and later Greek alphabets) , effectively paving the way for the rise of knowledge and science in the coming millennium. Phoenicians lived in a chain of coastal city states of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos and Arad; constituting modern day regions of Lebanon and southern Syria.

According to historians the very first Phoenician city started forming sometime in 3200 BCE; and by 2750 BCE Phoenicians had developed into a thriving civilization comprised of many city states. Mainly peaceful folks, Phoenicians pride(d) themselves in maritime trading and manufacturing all kinds of everyday items. With the trade stretching as far as Britain and Greece, Phoenicians were able to invest in the business of making ships, glass items, and a variety of other luxury goods such as dye, used for dying clothes and sometimes human hair?

The demise of the Phoenicians started in the year 334 BCE, when Alexander the Great swept through the region conquering Sidon and Byblos and then arriving in Tyre. After witnessing the obliteration of other city states, the elders of Tyre decided to peacefully surrender to Alexander; however this did not stop the carnage that devastated once thriving and peaceful civilization. Historical figures differ but it is safe to say that Alexander’s Army brutally massacred some 30,000 Phoenicians including skilled designers and a number of great Phoenicians; those who somehow survived the ordeal were enslaved, soon after that Phoenician civilization slowly died out.

 

SINGLE PAYER, MEET ALL PAYER:

 

Maryland, the  one state is where a combination of fewer institutional barriers and existing health care structures could make health-care-for-all an achievable reality.   This opportunity us built on unique idea, called “all payer.”

Maryland is the only state to already hold a Medicare waiver incorporate programs like Medicare into a state-run program,.  Maryland is also the only state in America where all hospitals must charge the same rate for services to patients, regardless of what insurance they carry. There’s some variance between hospitals, but every patient in a particular hospital pays the same. Other states experience huge, seemingly random differences in hospital costs, depending on the insurer (or lack thereof).  Maryland has a Health Services Cost Review Commission that sets hospital reimbursement rates. The all-payer system has  worked, creating the lowest rate of growth in hospital costs in America.

Under all payer, a hospital’s global budget doesn’t change based on the number of admissions.  This creates hospital incentives toward better outcomes. “It makes the health system focused on keeping people healthy rather than just treating illnesses,” said Vincent DeMarco, president of the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative, a state advocacy group. That includes increased preventive treatment, using case managers to connect patients to primary care, eliminating unnecessary tests, and encouraging good health outside the hospital walls.  Three years into global budgeting, hospital revenue growth is well below counterparts nationwide, or the growth of Maryland’s economy. Plus, state hospitals have saved $429 million for Medicare, more in three years than it targeted for five. Most important, every state hospital (all of which are nonprofit) and every insurer in Maryland are on board with the system.

Maryland’s model follows the precedent of France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.   These states use all-payer rate setting as the basis for their universal health care systems. and control costs far better than America’s fragmented system even when the payer is private and, presumably profitable.  Even here in the USA, Vermont moved to an all-payer accountable care organization after the state’s effort at single payer failed.  

READ MORE ON THE INTERCEPT

What is a TRUMPY?

Trumpy YachtFor over half a century ending in 1974 Trumpy & Sons built exquisitely crafted motoryachts.  Custom designed for “Captains of Industry” like DuPont, Chrysler, Firestone, Guggenheim and Dodge, these luxurious and spacious yachts were considered the “Rolls-Royce of American motoryachts”.  The Presidential Yacht Sequoia, built by Trumpy, served eight United States Presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt to JFK and hosted countless celebrities and heads of state.  Of the 400 Trumpy yachts built, very few remain today.

 

 

NYPD repudiates Trump’s police speech

“The New York Police Department released a statement on Saturday reiterating their use of force policies after President Donald Trump suggested police officers be more rough with their suspects during a Friday speech to invited law enforcement officers. …

“‘The NYPD’s training and policies relating to the use of force only allow for measures that are reasonable and necessary under any circumstances, including the arrest and transportation of prisoners,’ a spokesman for NYPD said.

“‘To suggest that police officers apply any standard in the use of force other than what is reasonable and necessary is irresponsible, unprofessional and sends the wrong message to law enforcement as well as the public.'” Read story here.

SUNDAY REVELATIONS: Pope Francis Attacks Trumpism

Allies of Pope Francis attack pro-Trump Christian fundamentalists in explosive article on ‘spiritual war’

An article being described as “explosive,” written by two allies of Pope Francis in a Vatican-reviewed publication, is taking on the “spurious alliance between politics and religious fundamentalism” in the United States.

TRUMP’S MINI TRUMP SPREADS RUMORS ABOUT PRIEBUS’ “MISTRESS”

Scaramucci ‘rep.’ smears Reince Priebus and his ‘mistress’ for revealing China paid for Trump access

A friend and would-be publicist for White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci accused former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of having a “mistress” over the weekend.

BREAKING NEWS: 7/30

Swedish government in crisis after almost everyone’s data leaked

Could Trump TWEET a nuclear launch?

Could Trump TWEET a nuclear lauch? U.S. admiral stands ready to obey a Trump nuclear-strike order

Putin adviser: Russia risks decades of low growth under U.S.  Congress’ sanctions opposed by Trump

Trump gets  an earful from those considered friendly to him: Change your behavior

Turkey says Jews should ‘appreciate’ Ottoman Empire, Israel says its ‘days have passed’

White House caught further exaggerating Scaramucci’s boast about Trump’s PGA-like putting skills

Netanyahu Threatens To Shut Al-Jazeera Jerusalem Office

BREAKING NEWS: 7/29

Pakistan’s High Court Ousts Prime Minister Sharif In Panama Papers Fallout

Busted: How police brought down a tech-savvy prostitution network in Bellevue

Thomas Wheeler, Top Lawyer For Civil Rights At Justice Department Leaving After Roughly 6 Months and Trump Actions on Civil Rights

Putin Aide Dies Mysteriously Just Before Planned Meeting with FBI

Cartoon mashed to add the WH background

Vladimir Putin’s former media czar was murdered in Washington, DC on the eve of a planned meeting with the U.S. Justice Department, according to two FBI agents whose assertions cast new doubts on the US government’s official explanation of his death.

What comes after Game of Thrones: THE CONFEDERACY!

POWERLINE, A RIGHT WING BLOG REPORTS THAT :
HBO has announced that the team that produces Game of Thrones will, when that series concludes next year, take on a new project: a series called Confederate. 

Featured imageThe premise of Confederate is that the South prevailed in the Civil War, and now, in the 21st century, slavery still exists there.

Failed GOP governor to serve as Trump’s ambassador for international religious freedom

Sam Brownback, the beleaguered governor who led Kansas into shutting down schools as his popularity plummeted .  Brownback’s signature tax-cutting led Kansas to  slash services.  Finally the GOP led legislature overruled Sam and raised taxes when his party suffered losses in last year’s legislative elections.

Mr. Brownback tweeted: “Religious Freedom is the first freedom. The choice of what you do with your own soul. I am honored to serve such an important cause.”

Continue reading the story in The NY Times

 “He leaves behind a legacy of failed leadership,” said Melissa Rooker, a Kansas House Republican who has been in the moderate wing and a frequent opponent of Mr. Brownback’s policies

State Representative Jim Ward, the Democratic leader in the Kansas House, said he was “not surprised” to hear of the appointment, which has been rumored in Topeka for months.  “I’m not going to miss him,” Mr. Ward said. “He has left a state in carnage and destruction.”  Ward also said that Brownback “h hasn’t embraced diversity”but “Hopefully, this job that he’ll step into, he’ll realize that Americans are of all kinds of faith.” h

In announcing the intended nomination, the White House noted that Mr. Brownback, a former United State senator and representative, “worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.” That act restricted the freedom of people by allowing merchants to sue religious tests in deciding who to serve.

Mr.

Listen to Rep. Joe Kennedy’s priceless response to Trump’s hamfisted attack on transgender soldiers

(Transcript below)

“Mr. Speaker,

When our bravest men and women raise their hand and volunteers to defend our nation, they defend all of her people: rich and poor, young and old, Democrat and Republican, gay straight— Americans of all races, religions, ethnicities, beliefs, gender identities…

Our soldiers do not discriminate.They do not offer to pay the ultimate sacrifice for some Americans and not for others.

Their government owes them that same courtesy, that same decency in return. Instead, this morning, our president told thousands of American soldiers that they will fight for us, but we will not fight for them — that their deeply personal medical decisions are somehow the public’s business—that although they are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect our freedom, we will not offer them the most basic freedom in return.

Today, the president of the United States looked American soldiers in the eye, and dared to question their patriotism, their courage. He doubted their commitment to their brothers and sisters in uniform. He said that our military couldn’t or wouldn’t stand for all of us.

To the thousands of brave transgender men and woman serving today in uniform, please know the great nation does not take your service, your patriotism for granted. You deserve better from the president, you deserve better from your government, you deserve better from your country.

Thank you. I yield back. “

WHY I OPPOSE PROP 1

If Prop. 1 were a character in a novel, the genre would be picaresque, like “Don Quixote” — lurching from one misadventure to another toward its fate. .. Seattle Times

Proposition 1 is on our ballot.  It would add a .1% sales tax and use that money to “support the arts.”  That sounds OK except my problem is not the use of the tax to support art, it is the political machine that has created a pork barrel.

As I see i, Prop 1  is a regressive tax being used largely to support institutions that serve the most affluent of our citizens.  Prop. 1 money can be as much as 15 percent of these big organizations’ annual revenue.

  • In an effort to address the imbalance the Proposition is being sold to the voters based on a part of the money going to induce expensive venues, like Seattle Art Museum, to offer free tickets to poor kids.  The measure does not compel SAM to do this and only requires that 20% of the finds that go to the orgnaization be used in this way.
  • To sweeten the measure politically, money also goes to 300 smaller local arts organizations to subsidize their activities.  These organizations would be free to spend the money on most needs.
  • No funds go to support artists themselves.

A particular example is the $340,000 directed at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.    Langston Hughes’ annual county funding would rise from $42,000 per year to $340,000 per year.I love Langston Hughes.   It sits in a magnificent old synagogue and was created to  serve the needs of the once vibrant Central Area African American community.  I say “once vibrant” because the largest problem facing African American culture in the Central Area is not money for Langston Hughes, it is black flight.  The Central Area is no longer African American.  We are now down to less than 20% and the change to a white millennial world is now likely irreversible.

The story of Langston Hughes is not an exception. King County Proposition 1 — known as “Access for All” that, , would raise an estimated $67.4 million per year for about 350 organizations, chosen to provide balance and support from across King County’s various stake holders.  I looked at the list and, to be blunt, it is a collection of pork, art pork.

primer:

(1) Because of a state law passed in 2015, any county in the state can tax itself to create a “cultural access program.”

(2) That program can be funded by up to 0.1 percent sales and property tax, except in King County, which can only use sales tax.

(3) The tax would last seven years before counties would need to ask voters to re-approve it.

(4) The money breakdown: The funds get spent in a specified order, with the pots of money getting smaller at each step: First, 1.25 percent goes to creating an agency to oversee the funds, then 10 percent of the remainder goes to public-school access programs (including transportation to them).  After those funds have been allocated, 70 percent of what remains goes to big cultural organizations with budgets of over $1.25 million and programs for public-school students.

(5) More money breakdown: An estimated 28 percent of the total funds are supposed to go to smaller, “community-based organizations.”

 (6) And another footnote: Prop. 1 money can’t be more than 15 percent of the big organizations’ annual revenue; smaller organizations would have more freedom on how they spend the money.

This list reflects politics that have been well done.  So far, the Access for All campaign has raised $1.6 million and spent around $800,000.  Most of tis has gone to TV ads that tout the entire program as giving free access for students to the big arts institutions.  The same institutions are the biggest donors to he Access for All campaign includigng the Seattle Art Museum, the Woodland Park Zoo, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.  At the same time Prop. 1 doesn’t have an organized, funded opposition campaign even though King County Councilmember Larry Gossett (a Democrat and long term leader in the African American community) and  Sen. Dino Rossi (former Gubernatorial candidate under the GOP banner) authored an opposition statement.

“This is horrifically disproportionate,” Gossett said. “This is asking a huge amount of money from taxpayers for big entities for white, middle-class people.”

“It is a regressive tax, that’s true,” said Jim Kelly, executive director of 4Culture. “But I think the County Council did a pretty good job of amending the bill to alleviate any of the problems.”

While The Seattle Public Schools Drive High Achievers Out, Lakeside Comes to Seattle

» Lakeside School opening The Downtown School on Lower Queen Anne

This while the SPS is threatening to cut back on Garfield’s gifted programs and has already cut back on the highly successful IPP program!

race to the bottom

This is a race to the bottom.

 

WASTATE NEW GROUND ZERO FOR SPECIAL ELECTION

“We’ll have California, we’ll have Oregon, and we’ll have both houses and the gubernatorial seat here in Washington state. That big blue wall is what’s going to eventually stop Donald Trump and make its way eastward.”

In OHSO Blue WASTATE, Democratic control of the state’s government hangs in the balance  because narrow Republican control of the Senate has  kept Gov. Jay Inslee from enacting major legislative priorities on carbon emissions, voting rights and birth control. 

Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingra have each raised about $500,000 . By the November election, observers estimated that the total price tag will exceed $10 million.

The highly affluent  district on the eastern shore of Lake Washington  leans Democratic. Hillary Clinton won 65 percent of the vote there in 2016, and former President Barack Obama won 58 percent in 2012.  However, the district is also corporatist, supporting establishment issues.

 

f “With Trump and everything else, I don’t see how the Republicans win this. They’re going to try though; they’re going to bus volunteers in from all over the state.” Chris Vance

Counting Independent expenditures, $2,046,544 has been raised so far for the Special State Senate race in the 45th Leg. District.

Seattle’s Red/Black City Council Election

The candidates in Seattle City Council Position 8 are tackling police reform, testing out Seattle’s first-in-the-nation “democracy vouchers,” giving life to a battle…
SEATTLETIMES.COM

THE Ave Challenge: How did horses’ asses affect design of the space shuttle?

Ancient horses’ asses control almost everything.. 

Ben Barton FACEBOOK

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.
Why was that gauge used ?
Because that’s the way they built them in Scotland, and Scottish expatriates designed the US railroads.
Why did the Scottish build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.
Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then ? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
[]
Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing ?
Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the long distance roads in Scotland, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.
[]
So who built those old rutted roads ? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe(including Scotland)for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.
And the ruts in the roads ?
Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.
[]
Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome , they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever….
So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with this ?’ , you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses’ asses.)
[]
Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank.
These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah .
[]
The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.
The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.
[]
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of two horses’ asses. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important ? Ancient horses’ asses control almost everything.. and current Horses’ Asses in government are controlling everything else !
AND HERE ENDETH THE LESSON!

****************************************************************************************************

SUNDAY REVELATIONS: 41 percent of Americans say people and dinosaurs co-existed

An online poll (PDF) of 1,000 adults was conducted between June 15 and 17 in 2015 and has a 4.4 percent plus-or-minus margin of error. Here’s the full breakdown of the results on the question of whether or not dudes and dinosaurs ever had a historical chance to bro down, Chris Pratt-style.

poll.jpg