Daily Archive: July 10, 2012

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On This Day In History July 10

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

July 10 is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 174 days remaining until the end of the year.

1925, Scopes Monkey Trial begins,

In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

On July 10, the Monkey Trial got underway, and within a few days hordes of spectators and reporters had descended on Dayton as preachers set up revival tents along the city’s main street to keep the faithful stirred up. Inside the Rhea County Courthouse, the defense suffered early setbacks when Judge John Raulston ruled against their attempt to prove the law unconstitutional and then refused to end his practice of opening each day’s proceeding with prayer.

Trial

The ACLU had originally intended to oppose the Butler Act on the grounds that it violated the teacher’s individual rights and academic freedom, and was therefore unconstitutional. Mainly because of Clarence Darrow, this strategy changed as the trial progressed, and the earliest argument proposed by the defense once the trial had begun was that there was actually no conflict between evolution and the creation account in the Bible (a viewpoint later called theistic evolution). In support of this claim, they brought in eight experts on evolution. Other than Dr. Maynard Metcalf, a zoologist from Johns Hopkins University, the judge would not allow these experts to testify in person. Instead, they were allowed to submit written statements so that their evidence could be used at the appeal. In response to this decision, Darrow made a sarcastic comment to Judge Raulston (as he often did throughout the trial) on how he had been agreeable only on the prosecution’s suggestions, for which he apologized the next day, keeping himself from being found in contempt of court.

The presiding judge John T. Raulston was accused of being biased towards the prosecution and frequently clashed with Darrow. At the outset of the trial Raulston quoted Genesis and the Butler Act. He also warned the jury not to judge the merit of the law (which would become the focus of the trial) but on the violation of the act, which he called a ‘high misdemeanor’. The jury foreman himself wasn’t convinced of the merit of the Act but acted, as did most of the jury, on the instructions of the judge.

By the later stages of the trial, Clarence Darrow had largely abandoned the ACLU’s original strategy and attacked the literal interpretation of the Bible as well as Bryan’s limited knowledge of other religions and science.

Only when the case went to appeal did the defense return to the original claim that the prosecution was invalid because the law was essentially designed to benefit a particular religious group, which would be unconstitutional.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


Diamond Palette

Late Night Karaoke

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

History is always written by the winners.  Native Americans know it, African Americans know it, Latinos know it, working class people in every country in this world know it, every union member who has ever lived knows it.  Everyone who has ever been beaten into submission by the power of armies, by the power of economic might, by the power of entrenched conservatism, entrenched conformity, and entrenched bigotry knows it.

When two cultures or belief systems clash, the loser is slandered and condemned by the winner, who writes the history books, books which glorify their culture or belief system and sanctify it as inherently superior.  The truth is ignored.  As Napoleon once said, “What is history, but a fable agreed upon?”

Rep. Barney Frank Marries Jim Ready

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Rep. Barney Frank married his partner Jim Ready Saturday in Newton, MA. Mr. Frank met his husband at a fund raiser in 2005 and they started dating in 2007 after Mr. Ready’s longtime partner, Robert Palmer, passed away after a long illness. The modest ceremony took place in the Marriott hotel in Newton and was preformed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Guests included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator John Kerry and Representatives Dennis J. Kucinich and Steny H. Hoyer and other close friends and family of the grooms.

Mr. Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, became, in 1987, the first sitting member of Congress to volunteer that he was gay. He is now the first to be married to a partner of the same sex. Both bridegrooms said they recognized the historical significance of the ceremony, which lasted less than five minutes. Gov. Patrick told the guests that Mr. Frank had requested that the service “be short and to the point.”

And in vows written by the couple, Mr. Frank and Mr. Ready pledged to love each other “on MSNBC or on Fox” and “in Congress or in retirement,” a reference to Mr. Frank’s decision not to seek another term. [..]

They had long discussions about marriage; Mr. Frank wanted to be married while still serving in Washington. Mr. Ready was worried about the public scrutiny. But he remembered how he felt in high school in Tewksbury, Mass., when Mr. Frank came out publicly.

“The kids that are going to see us, and feel strong enough to be able to come out and be who they are. That gives me more encouragement that I’m doing the right thing,” he said.

Their wedding bands were made of black diamonds set in tungsten, a metal used in welding. Mr. Ready picked the material. “It helps keep me grounded, after going to lunch with the president,” he said.

The wedding took place at a no-frills Marriott hotel in Newton. (Mr. Frank said he chose the location for ease of access.) The bridegrooms planned to wear tuxedos by Joseph Abboud, which Mr. Frank noted is a union shop.

Ms. Pelosi said at the reception on Saturday that it was appropriate that a landmark same-sex wedding take place around the Fourth of July. “It’s about expanding freedom,” she said. “This opportunity was a long time coming.”

We extend our best wishes and congratulations to Barney and Jim. Mazel Tov

In some other positive news for the LGBT community, the Episcopal Church has moved closer to allowing transgender men and women to be ordained as ministers:

INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) – The U.S. Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on Saturday approved a proposal that, if it survives a final vote, would give transgender men and women the right to become ministers in the church.

The House of Bishops voted at the church’s General Convention to include “gender identity and expression” in its “non-discrimination canons,” meaning sexual orientation, including that of people who have undergone sex-change operations, cannot be used to exclude candidates to ministry. [..]

The Episcopal Church, which has about 2 million members mostly in the United States, now allows gay men and lesbians to join the ordained ministry.

The resolutions on gender would allow transgender individuals access to enter the Episcopal lay or ordained ministries, and extend the overall non-discrimination policy to church members.

The resolutions must now be approved by the church’s House of Deputies.

Great news, indeed!

Le Tour de France 2012: Stage 9

The Tour de France 2012, the world’s premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the race will take its course briefly along the Northwestern coast of France through  Boulogne-sur-Mer, Abbeville and into Rouen then into the mountains of the Jura, Swiss Alps and the Pyrenees.

We will be Live Blogging Le Tour 2012 every morning at The Stars Hollow Gazette starting at 7:30 AM EDT. Come join us for a morning chat, cheer the riders and watch some of the most beautiful and historic countryside in Europe.

Stage 9 – Arc-et-Senans – Besançon 41.5 km

Stage 9 was the Individual Time Trials. No teams to protect the riders, no peloton, just the rider, 41.5 km and the clock. The race started in two lovely French cities, Arc-et-Senans and ended in Besançon.

Arc-et-Senans

• Stage town on 1 previous occasion

• 1,500 inhabitants

• commune of Doubs

Arc-et-Senans was chosen by Louis XV to house the Royal Saltworks in 1771, but it waited until 1996 to see the Tour’s peloton. It was during a stage which set off from there, in Doubs, which finished in Aix-les-Bains. A novice called Michael Boogerd was the winner and this was the first of two victories in the Tour de France for the Dutch rider.

The [Saline Royale (Royal Saltworks) is a historical building at Arc-et-Senans in the department of Doubs, eastern France. It is next to the Forest of Chaux and about 35 kilometers from Besançon. The architect was Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806), a prominent Parisian architect of the time. The work is an important example of an early Enlightenment project in which the architect based his design on a philosophy that favored arranging buildings according to a rational geometry and a hierarchical relation between the parts of the project.

The Institut Claude-Nicolas Ledoux has taken on the task of conservator and is managing the site as a monument. UNESCO added the “Salines Royales” to its List of World Heritage Sites in 1982.

Today, the site is mostly open to the public. It includes, in the building the coopers used, displays by the Ledoux Museum of other futuristic projects that were never built. Also, the salt production buildings house temporary exhibitions.

The train line from Besançon to Bourg-en-Bresse passes just next to the salt works. The station for Arc-et-Senans is only a few dozen meters from the site.

Besançon

• Stage town on 18 previous occasions

• 123,000 inhabitants

• Prefecture of Doubs

The prefecture city of Doubs was already on the 1905 Tour map, which makes it the oldest city associated with the race, after Paris, on the 2012 route. The first finish in Besançon is one of the race’s historical stages as the riders, who had set off from Nancy, went over the Ballon of Alsace, a difficulty which symbolized the future ascents in the mountains, for the first time. In 2009, Russia’s Sergei Ivanov was the winner there, by shaking off the other breakaway riders not long before the citadel came into sight. And on the subject of time-trials, Lance Armstrong won the last one organised in Besançon in 2004.

Besançon is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. Once proclaimed first green city of France, it has been labeled a ‘Town of Art and History’ since 1986, and has been on the UNESCO world heritage list since 2008. [..]

The city is first recorded in 58 BC as Vesontio in the Book I of Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. The etymology of Vesontio is uncertain. The most common explanation is that the name is of Celtic origin, derivated from wes, meaning ‘mountain’. During the 4th century, the letter B took the place of the V, and the city name changed to Besontio or Bisontion and then underwent several transformation to become Besançon in 1243.  [..]

The city has one of the most beautiful historic centers of any major town in France. A broad horse-shoe of the river Doubs, “la Boucle”, encircles the old town, while Vauban’s imposing Citadelle blocks off the neck. The historic center presents a remarkable ensemble of classic stone buildings, some dating back to the Middle Ages and others to the Spanish Renaissance. Among the most visited historic monuments are:

    * several Roman remains,

    * the 16th century Palais Granvelle,

    * Vauban’s citadel (Citadel of Besançon)

    * the Cathedral of St. Jean,

    * several Spanish Renaissance-style buildings

    * the Église de la Madeleine, and

    * the river frontage.

The Roman remains consist primarily of the Porte Noire, a 2nd century CE triumphal arch at the foot of the hill on which the citadel stands, and the Square Castan, a semi-circular amphitheater. The Porte Noire may commemorate the victories of Marcus Aurelius over the Germans in 167 CE. It was partly rebuilt in 1820.

From 1534 to 1540, Cardinal Granvelle, chancellor to the Habsburg emperor Charles V, built the Palais Granvelle, in the heart of the town. It consists of arcades that surround an interior court, and is the most interesting of the secular buildings. The Palais contains a set of seven wool and silk blend tapestries from Bruges that were woven circa 1635 and that celebrate seven milestones in Charles V’s life. These tapestries remained in Spain until 1888, when they were transferred to France. In 1950 they were transferred to the Palais .

UNESCO added the citadel, the city walls and Fort Griffon to its list of World Heritage Sites in 2008, as part of the “Fortifications of Vauban” group. Some older military architecture has also survived. There is a cylindrical, 15th century tower near the Porte Notre-Dame, the southern gate of the city. The Porte Rivotte, a 16th century gate, has two round towers. The citadel houses the Museum of the French Resistance and Deportation.

The Cathedral, which dates largely from the 12th century though construction continued into the 14th century, contains the most remarkable of the city’s masterpieces, a massive Virgin and saints altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Fra Bartolomeo. It also houses a noteworthy 19th century astronomical clock. The Cathedral has two apses, with the eastern apse and the tower dating from the reign of Louis XV.

Attractive quays border the old city, and in places there are shady promenades. On the right bank there is a bathing establishment in the Mouillere quarter that draws its water from the saline springs of Miserey-Salines.