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An appeal to the Golden Rule increases opposition to torture among every subgroup of white evangelicals. For example, only about one third (34%) of white evangelicals who attend worship services more than once a week say torture is never or rarely justified, but a majority (50%) of this group was persuaded by the Golden Rule argument against torture. This represents a 16-point shift in opinion among the most frequent attending white evangelicals in the South. –“Poll – Southern White Evangelicals on Torture,” Public Religion Research
Imagine we are children. Mother has a bad temper, and occasionally makes mistakes. Sometimes she curses you, and occasionally beats you. But she bore and raised you through childhood, and worked hard her whole life for your happiness. When you run across one of her mistakes, would you complain, oppose, and betray her? I think that one should look at ones country with the same principle! –“A Little Reflection on Patriotism,” Fenqing Net (trans. chinageeks)
Misfortune often begins with visions, and Josephine Baker had her own vision. She did something that many celebrities would later emulate: She adopted children from poor countries to give them the opportunity of a better life… Child number 10, a small indigenous boy from Venezuela, came in 1959. The global mother needed to complete her collection. –“Josephine Baker’s Rainbow Tribe,” Merlind Theile, Spiegel Online
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”