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Archive for March, 2009

darwina1If I could remember everything packed into this tight little beauty, I would be proud of my tired old brain. That didn’t happen but to my surprise for once I enjoyed reading about evolution. My normal behavior is to avoid the topic because of all those long words difficult to pronounce and spell. I just don’t botter. Then Jerry A. Coyne gets all of evolution into less than three hundred pages in Why Evolution Is True, an evolved accomplishment.

I don’t need to persuade you on the topic as that is Coyne’s task. I want to persuade you to read the book so here is a tiny nibble from the middle and the end of the book. “If the history of science teaches us anything, it is that what conquers our ignorance is research, not giving up and attributing our ignorance to the miraculous work of a creator. . . . Human beings may be only one small twig on the vast branching tree of evolution, but we’re a very special animal. . . . We are the one creature to whom natural selection has bequeathed a brain complex enough to comprehend the laws that govern the universe.” Well said my good professor. Charles Marlin

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mary1To celebrate Founders Day March 13th, the Clarion County Community Foundation placed flowers on all the memorial donor graves. Here is Mary E Shaner’s in Salem Lutheran Cemetery later on March 30th with the Founders Day flower covered with a dusting of snow. Mary created the Mary E Shaner Scholarship Fund through a bequest in her will for scholarships at Keystone High School in Knox. She was both a teacher and librarian in the district for many years. Charles Marlin

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picture-112aA number of years ago I found these paper, cotton and chenille Cigarette Smoking  Bunnies in a thrift store.   Even though they are only three inches tall,  they are my favorite Easter decoration and have a place honor on the center of the mantle.

Happy Easter.  John Hink

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William L. Iggiagruk Hensley has written a wonderful autobiographical romp through Inupiat history, Alaskan statehood, and the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act establishing Alaska Native rights to 44 million acres and a billion dollars.  Maybe chump change in retrospect but for the time a wonderful victory.  You will enjoy his life and career in Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People, and learn what we should have been shown as children in school.

His Inupiat childhood had much to tell the rest of us about family, community, living with an environment, and respecting culture, not to mention their food.  Pass a bowl of akutuq and save some utraq for latter.  Their deprivation caused by naluagmiut and Federal policy could have shown us lessons of immeasurable grace and tolerance in our national and world affairs.

This is a politician’s story that does not end in disgrace or embarrassment.  His flaws do not involve greed or incompetence.  Good story, well told.  Charles Marlin

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Book lovers immerse themselves in the look, feel, and carry of a book even before they begin to taste the content.  They often forget it was packaged to encourage impulse buying, and that the author wrote to be paid, and that not every interesting idea is worth a book.

Tom Watson created a new word CauseWired, then birthed Causewired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World around the word.  The book is about a tribe of American millennials who are so deeply involved in online social activism that they are the new tomorrow.  When they click a cause onto their page they are baptized into a philanthropy that will change America and the world into a shining city on a hill or something like that.

Most of the book is stories of people using the internet to finance and elect political candidates, finance relief efforts involving poverty and natural disaster, and stop the crime of Darfur.  Only in the last pages do we find Watson hedging his prophetic vision with caution that tomorrow may be late arriving.

Buy the book now if you want it because I don’t foresee a second edition.  There, prophesy is not so hard to do.  Charles Marlin

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Old-Fashioned Science like his sister Old-Fashioned Religion often got things wrong but they filled the gap until enlightenment found better replacements.  The same is not true of Andrea Barrett’s Servents Of The Map: Stories although she does use old-fashioned science as context for her warm, aching stories.  The stories have science and characters connecting one to the other, yet they don’t need those connections to stand on their own as novellas.

You will leave each story with a longing for one or more of the characters to find peace, love, happiness, or some sense of completeness.  You feel that each character once lived in their forgotten time and place and if you had been there you might have been of some help.  And that is what I call a rich reading experience.  Charles Marlin

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bo3mmbgkkgrhgoh-cqejlll1c88bjwvec4dew_11Al Pina is a principled man of action who chairs the Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition, and in the past has been best known as an agitator for minority banking services. He has changed course now that he is aliened with the Greenlining Institute and is going after fat white Florida foundations for a big chunk of their grant monies. Critics are writing his prior racial advocacy has become a campaign for racial supremacy.

When confronted with a messy situation I like to break it into lists and then tally a score, a little like your mother telling you to count your blessings. My four lists may not be to your total liking, but you’re free to edit them in any way you like. I know my readers are all clever and fair.

Actions Proposed

1. Large white controlled foundations should relinquish mission control of grant monies on an escalating scale to coalition rules.

2. Coalition rules shall redirect large shifts of grant monies to racially identified nonprofits.

3. To qualify nonprofits must be controlled by boards with racial minority control and administered by racial minority staff.

4. All grants shall be approved on the basis of racial minority control and administration, and on the basis of a majority of clients being a racial minority.

5. Uncooperative foundations will be punished by legislative and street action.

Actions Avoided

1. The coalition does not propose to increase philanthropic giving by racial minorities.

2. The coalition does not propose to increase or strengthen racial minority foundations.

3. The coalition does not propose to increase accountability and efficiency of racial minority nonprofits.

4. Issues beyond the insular minority community are not of interest to the coalition.

5. The coalition does not propose any self-evaluation of actions vs mission statement.

Principles Assumed

1. Coalition goals take precedent over donor intent.

2. Coalition goals may abridge foundation trustee stewardship.

3. The coalition world view is the accepted standard.

4. The poor are racial minority poor.

5. Racial minority nonprofits hold a superior claim to grant monies.

6. Racial minority community development is insular.

7. Any objections to coalition actions are a rebuke of Al Pina’s relationship with God.

Side Effects

1. Nonprofits previously supported by affected foundations will suffer significant reductions in support.

2. Nonprofits in order to qualify and remain so by coalition rules must cleanse their boards and staff of whites if such exceed fifty percent.

3. Nonprofits must structure and locate their services so they avoid attracting a white majority of clients.

4. Philanthropic support of foundations does not respond to coercion. Charles Marlin

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When the Boston radicals were stirring the rebellion pot they set up a media campaign that would impress any latter-day presidential candidate.  They invented the campaign song.  It was The Liberty Song, written by John Dickinson in Pennsylvania to the British air Heart of Oak by William Boyce.  They took the liberty of publishing lyrics and music together in the Boston Evening-Post of August 22, 1768, so Boston may still owe fees to the Boyce estate.

It’s a great song that they rewrote and adapted as fit their needs, a quality we could use in a popular patriotic song.  There were eight verses and chorus to Dickinson’s version, but I have selected verses 1, 2, and 6 for your pleasure.

        1     Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all,

                And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty’s call;

                No Tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim,

                Or stain with dishonor America’s name.

                In Freedom we’re born and in Freedom we’ll live.

                Our purses are ready. Steady, friends, steady;

                Not as slaves, but as Freemen our money we’ll give.

       2       Our worthy forefathers, let’s give them a cheer,

                 To climates unknown did courageously steer;

                  Thro’ oceans to deserts for Freedom they came,

                  And dying, bequeath’d us their freedom and fame.

       6        Then join hand in hand brave American all

                  By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall

                  In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed

                  For Heaven approves of each generous Deed–

You can get Heart of Oak scored for vocal and piano at www.freehandmusic.com for $3.95  The only CD I found was Music Of The American Revolution: The Birth Of Liberty (New World Records 80276-2) with Sherrill Milnes singing, but he turns the song into a military exercise.  I am sure you can do better.  Charles Marlin      

                 

 

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A mission comes to a close and a landmark of 82 years will disappear from the East Brady community.  Every citizen, whether they attended, knew neighbors who attended, or simply drove by, will miss the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church on Kelly’s Way.  The Progress News of March 24th reports that the church was founded by Miss Belle Elliott and was first known as The Union Gospel Mission.  Rev. Peter E. Sears, the 16th and last pastor, will conduct a final service at 3pm on March 29, 2009.  To have served a community well for 82 years is worthy of commendation.  Charles Marlin

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When I say sexy I hope you understand I am speaking of the appeal of Clarion County Community Foundation.  At my age and shape it is the better part of good taste to be personally inconspicuous.  At present CCCF does not have athletic swains text messaging her, she twitters to no one, and is home on a Friday night.  Like any parent, I worry about her social life.

I know a small, underfunded community foundation does not take a good photograph or make a strong first impression.  We cannot show hungry children being fed or held in an aid worker’s loving arms.  We cannot show you the ewe you purchased for a little girl in some far mountains.  We don’t have a red ribbon, pink ribbon, or lapel pen of any kind.  So you see, help has to come from outside.

I thought of writing Michelle Obama to ask her to put us on her to-do list, but at the time she was busy getting the girls ready for their new school, and then it seemed to take the family forever to select a puppy.  They decide on the puppy, and she starts turning over a vegetable garden outback of the White House, so I know my idea of getting her to help is dead.

So here is my current question.  Is there a movie star or professional sports star out there who still needs a cause to sponsor?  We are nice folks, cooperative, and in no way need to appear in the publicity shots if the star doesn’t want us there.  Details will be easy to work out.  Your star experience and skills are sorely needed.

Another idea I thought of is to increase the CCCF’s presence on the internet with video and social networking, and also texting and twittering.  To do all this I need someone who is tech savy, who knows more about blogging and causewired things than I.  You can see how basic we are so you know you could help.  Why waste your knowledge and skills when there is so much you could do for Clarion Friends?

What about joining Clarion Friends?  If you have interesting ideas and enjoy writing about them, you could contribute to this blog.  Add a comment or write a post and email it to me.  I would be happy to put it on Clarion Friends for you.  If you check through the Archives on the right of your screen, you will see that photographs are also welcome.  Come on, be a Clarion Friend.

Don’t let Michelle Obama intimidate you from stepping up to help CCCF.  If you are a movie star or professional sports star without a philanthropic cause, call us at (814) 797-2233.  If you know how to get us causewired, or how to improve Clarion Friends, you can use the same telephone number.  If you want to be active as a member of the Board of Directors, see me at Michelle’s, I mean the one in Clarion.  I go there for lunch often, so just ask for me.  Help add sex appeal to CCCF.  Charles Marlin

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