SB yesterday morning about 5 A.M. at the 2-miles-to-go sign to Pikes Peak's summit on the Barr Trail. Afterwards, I ran to the top and back to Barr Camp in time for Theresa's "best in the world" pancakes at 7 A.M. then ran back to my house at the base of the Barr Trail, showered and went to work--approximately 18 miles all together. (I stayed at Barr Camp, 6.5 miles up the Barr Trail the night before)
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Bighorn Trail 100-mile run Race Report
I failed in my attempts to enter this year’s Western States 100 and Hardrock 100 mile races—turned down flat because I had not yet completed a 100-mile race. Though three years ago I ran the 87-mile version of the Leadville 100, I was forced to drop out after my knees refused to carry me any further. Bottom line: I needed to run a hundred miles and the Bighorn 100 in the Bighorn National Forest near Sheridan Wyoming with no set criteria for entry met the bill. The race did eventually fill up, but that took a couple of months. I was in from the start.
Rebekka and I drove up from the Springs Thursday morning, the day before the race. After picking up my race packet in Sheridan we headed up Highway 14 to scout out the first crew access point (Dry Fork Headwaters Aide Station) and to find a camp site. We settled on a National Forest Campground a couple miles before Burgess Junction called Prune Creek. I had just about got the tent set up when a one-armed lady motored up in an ATV and unceremoniously told me we would have to move. “They were going to have to cut down trees due to the recent heavy rains and it would be unsafe for us to stay there.” I thought, well okay, assuming they would be working over a period of a couple of days. Just when I had dragged the tent over to a new site the workmen came up in a truck to start cleaning up the trees. One of them came over and said they would be finished in fifteen minutes and we could move back to our original site, which we did.
The race advertises itself as “Wild and Scenic” which is an understatement. The scenery is spectacular. The rock formations on the canyon walls date back to the Permian extinction with all subsequent geological eras represented. Know-nothing creationist bible thumpers eat your hearts out. The spectrum of our geological heritage is on display in the layers along these gorgeous canyons.
The race began along the Tongue River Canyon, then turned sharply uphill. My training partner Harry Harcrow and I ran together. Starting off conservatively we let a dozen or so runners take off ahead of us. On the uphill portion above Tongue River we steadily overtook 6 or 7 of them. Harry remarked, "This is a heckuva lot easier than the Incline", referring to our staple training ladder of the old Incline tracks that climb steeply for 1.06 miles above Manitou Springs. Once you have done the Incline everything else pales in comparison. I pulled in to Dry Fork, 13.4 miles, a few minutes ahead of Harry in 2 hours 28 minutes. Over the next stretch we mostly ran together all the way to Foot Bridge at 30 miles (5:30). I wasted too much time there changing shoes, losing and finding my watch, and general dilly dallying. The first woman pulled in to the aide station and left before I did. I finally left after 14 minutes, but Harry and Darcy Africa were long gone.
Along the three and a half miles to the next aide station, The Narrows, it was wet where the trail hugged the Little Bighorn River... I had little hope of catching Harry again, so I settled into a slower pace, but hopefully fast enough to reach the turn-around at 48 miles before it got too dark... After the Narrows the next aide station would be Spring Marsh. About halfway to Spring Marsh Jamie Gifford caught up and passed me. He later finished 5th overall. I kept him in sight and I think he was surprised when I caught up to him again at Spring Marsh. A lady at Spring Marsh told me I was in seventh place, but I had been keeping count and by my reckoning I would be in 11th at that point unless some people had dropped out. After the next aide station, Elk Camp, came the snow. There were about 8 or so patches of 25-50 yards of snow to plunge through over about a mile. The first and second place runners came by about this time separated by about 3 minutes. 30 minutes later and about five minutes before I reached Devil's Canyon Road (where Rebekka would meet me) Harry Harcrow was in solid third. At Devil's Canyon Road (47 miles) I dropped off everything with Rebekka, including my flashlight! It was getting dark... fortunately it was light enough that I was able to run the mile out and mile back to the turnaround at Porcupine Ranger Station. Back with Rebekka at Devil's Canyon Road again I put on jacket and gloves in anticipation of the long night ahead. It was a beautiful night--full starlit night, no moon--no wind, no rain. But it was a long night. I reached the Narrows just before 3 A.M. and Footbridge about 20 minutes to five. I forgot my flashlight at Footbridge and had to backtrack 100 yards to retrieve it. It was still too dark! The next three and a half miles to Bear Creek is the infamous "Wall", a steep uphill. Though it was hard, it was actually a resting time, because of the slower pace--I walked it.
After Bear Creek with the sun in the sky and 8 long miles to Cow Camp...lapsing into small hallucinations and in and out of consciousness I talked myself into allowing just stopping on the side of the trail for one second and closing my eyes for one second. I stopped, sat down, closed my eyes for one second--I am pretty sure it was only one second, got up and continued... I was not going fast... Where was everyone? Someone should surely have caught me by now. Only two runners had passed me from the turnaround until here... Then I saw three runners a couple hundred yards back...one would turn out to be a pacer, one was a woman, and the other was Paul Schoenlaub, who Harry had introduced me to very early in the race... They caught up and passed me before Cow Camp. When I reached Cow Camp they were all still there--I grabbed some food and left fast--they wouldn't catch back up to me for a couple of miles... then the long slog in the hot sun to Dry Fork and the next meeting point with Rebekka. Turns out she had not gone back to our camp site, but had driven straight to Dry Fork and slept in the car waiting for me. I think she expected me earlier, because she had run down to meet what she thought would be me 2 or 3 times already... My feet were a mess of blisters and hot spots... My ankle had started hurting the instant I had put on my second pair of shoes at Footbridge (mile 65) -- it was now red and swollen... 17.5 miles to go... I knew I would finish, but it would be hell... The sun was hot... I forgot to put on sunscreen... Rebekka ran back to get some... I was going slow enough that it was no problem... Now the 30K runners came from behind--they would run the same course to the finish... On the trail they would come behind me and say "excuse me", to which I would reply "which side",
Rebekka met me again at the trailhead to pace me the final 5.3 miles to the finish line. 5.3 miles of flat gravel road. I had to walk. My left knee was shooting pain every time I tried to run. Where was the 1 mile to go sign? Was it around that bend? No. How much farther than that bend? Long ways. Rebekka kept me going at 15 minute walking miles. I wanted to get the deed done! She kept look out for any 100 milers coming up behind, though it didn't do any good when one did pass me. Nothing I could do about it. Finally with about half a mile to go the gravel road turned paved and when I tried running the pain was gone and I was able to run in to the finish... in 27 hours 34 minutes. My first 100-mile race.
Upper Sheep Creek 1:42:35 1:42:35
Dry Fork Headwaters 46:00 2:28:35
Out 2:32 2:31:08
Cow Camp 58:14 3:29:22
Bear Creek 1:25:57 4:55
Footbridge 25:00 5:30
Out 13:52 5:43:52
The Narrows 47:09 6:31:01
Spring Marsh 1:41:33 8:12
Elk Camp 59:35 9:12:10
Devil’s Canyon Road 1:29:04
Spring Marsh 2:48:47 13:30:02
The Narrows 2:11:41 15:41:43
Footbridge 1:09:35 16:51:19
Cow Camp 3:46:18 20:37:37
Dry Fork Headwaters 1:59:40 22:37:18
Upper Sheep Creek 1:35:08 24:12:27
Lower Sheep Creek 1:18:26 25:30:53
Out 2:54 25:33:47
Trailhead 39:22 26:13:09
Finish 1:21:21 27:34:31
Monday, June 25, 2007
Lights flashing in my canyon as I relaxed in the hot tub--no thunder--just far away lightning flashing as the last vestiges of sunlight faded away...dark clouds gathering overhead...bats flitting in the twilight...
Netscape founder Marc Andreesen highlights the top ten Sci Fi writers of today.
Boulder High student calmly exposes Bill O'Reilly's hypocrisy.
Sci-Fi writer Charley Stross has a blog.
So does David Brin.
Charles Stross's Missile Gap novella is on online in full.
Bill Moyer's Journal covers K-Street lobbyists this week.
Video: nano-battery promises breakthrough.
The meaning of American Pie
Rock Creek aka Noname Creek
Matt Carpenter's successful attempt to influence nature and stop Rock Creek from overflowing and in winter making the Barr Trail into a skating rink-- He commissioned a bulldozer to push the earth, then planted native grasses and trees. With all the rain we have had this spring nature has taken hold.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
3 miles to go sign on Barr Trail
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Rolling Stone: The Secret Campaign of President Bush's Administration To Deny Global Warming
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
CBC Interviews two prominent Atheists
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Happy Juneteenth! Speaker Nancy Pelosi has an eloquent statement on the final culmination of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Monday, June 18, 2007
SB after completing the Bighorn Trail 100-mile race Saturday, June 16th.
Bighorn Trail 100 Mile Weekend
Harry Harcrow and I pose just before the start of the Bighorn Trail 100-mile race in the Bighorn National Forest near Sheridan, Wyoming. Harry placed 3rd overall with a time of 22:43, though I ran with him for the first five and a half hours (30 miles into the race) I flagged after that but still finishing my first 100-mile race in 27 hours 34 minutes and 16th place overall. In between us in the photo and wearing a "Montrail" T-shirt is the highly regarded Dave Horton--Dave has many remarkable ultrarunning feats under his belt, including setting the record for the fastest run of the 2700-mile Appalachian Trail.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Encouraging signs that reason still resides in high places. In this Harper's article, Lessons Learned, academics, senior military professionals, defense and intelligence analysts, and think-tankers get together to candidly discuss what has gone wrong this last six years.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Our oceans are turning into plastic...are we?
A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility...and worse.
Christianity hoax exposed; bogus belief system baffles western civilization for 2,000 years...Pope Benedict XVI made history today by unexpectedly dissolving Catholicism before a stunned crowd of thousands of believers. This startling decision can only be described as shocking, as millions of people were thrown into an acute spiritual crisis.
Dismal World: Photos from the not-so-happy world
Video: The World's Smartest Man
World without us
Mark Fiore: Amnesty Redux
Global Mind Change is necessary
Video: Solar Power Tower in the Outback -- nothing short of amazing!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Discover new music: Musicovery.com
Your Comprehensive Guide to the gods: Godchecker.com
Amazing Sandcastles at Harrison Hot Springs Resort, British Columbia
NYT: Chinese Detainees, Freed from Guantanamo, are Stuck in Albanian Limbo
UK Telegraph: Former American Abu Graib Torturer: I blame myself for our downfall in Iraq
I am running the Bighorn Trail 100 miler this coming Friday. Here are some pictures taken on the course June 9th and June 10th.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Powells.com does an excellent interview of Christopher Hitchens on his new book, "God is not Great: how Religion Poisons Everything"
I'm loving my new subscription to Robert Redford's Sundance Channel. They have a wonderful mix of environmental regular features, independent films, and progressive programming.
DailyKos: Iraq: Operation Déjà Vu
Monday, June 04, 2007
My Long Time friend, Herb Legg
Herb Legg – A Gentle Man
Communications Committee Chair
For those who are new to Thurston County or Washington State you may not know about this gem of a gentleman who has dedicated his life to making the world a better place for the poor.
I’d arranged to meet Herb at his new residence, Providence Mother Joseph’s Care facility, where he’s been since a recent stroke. He told me he didn’t allow visitors but that he’d make an exception this time…”I was different.”
I was honored.
“First off, let me tell you that my religion is Quaker-Unitarian-Democrat. About all I need for religion is the Sermon on the Mount which says ‘Be nice to poor people.’”
I could see this was going to be a fascinating conversation. I’d not considered the Democrats to be a “religion” but I was willing to go along with it to see where it all would lead. Very quickly I realized I would be unsuccessful in leading the conversation in any orderly direction so I resolved to let it unfold naturally. What follows are bits and pieces of an hour-long conversation, an encounter really, with Herb Legg, a self professed “liberal Liberal.”
Herb was born in Tennessee and is the eldest of 10 siblings…plus one. One died at 3 months old after what was then considered a summer flu. His parents didn’t have the $3.00 per day to pay the doctor to treat his infant sister. After she was sick for several days they decided if she was alive the next morning they’d find the money somehow and take her to the doctor. Sadly, she didn’t survive the night. Herb recalls it affected the whole family deeply. “She was very, very young. It is why I believe in government paid health care for every person – repeat – every person.”
During the Depression, his family moved to Kittitas Valley around Ellensburg, WA. He graduated from Central Washington University, eventually taught there and was on the school board. A very brief and incomplete list of his many jobs and accomplishments includes working for the Washington State Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office. He served as a naval officer during WWII, was a lobbyist, a teacher, a city councilman, several-term state committeeman, two-term Thurston County Democrats Chair, and the State Democrats Party Chair in 1961. Herb Legg was and is an organizer.
“The three most significant events in my life were the Depression, WWII, and the Democrats.” I asked why he included the Democrats in the list. “It was a vehicle for doing something about my concern about helping poor people.”
“I practiced law in Olympia for 16 years, but decided I didn’t like it because, in order to represent my client well, I had to sometimes be mean to people. I didn’t like doing that so I quit and went into teaching.” Herb taught at several colleges including a “black” college in Dallas, TX, Central in Ellensburg and a community college in Seattle.
In a slightly more playful tone, he continues, “When I was teaching in Seattle, which was pretty laid back in those days, one of my students broke out a marijuana cigarette. He passed it around and we all, including myself, took a puff…I didn’t inhale.” -- I couldn’t help but recall another significant figure in recent history that professed similarly -- “But to show you how strict I was, my student started to light another one and I said that’s enough! Marijuana use was pretty casual, then. Nowadays they throw you in jail!”
Seeing an opportunity to talk about the local party, I asked him how the Thurston County Democrats have changed since he was Chair. He recalls the biggest dispute he had to deal with was the decision to move the Central Committee meeting from Saturday afternoon to Monday evening. This decision was made to accommodate those who lived in more rural areas and for whom coming to town for a meeting on Saturdays was a hardship.
“There were a lot of ‘Roosevelt Democrats—older people’ then and they would hold lunches and invite speakers to talk about important issues. Those older ones have stayed involved in one way or another.” In a serious tone he adds, “You have to get young people involved because these older people won’t be around much longer,” a concern we share and are looking for ways to address.
Turning to current issues, I asked what he thought Democrats should be concerned about today. “We need to change the national policy and work with the U.N. to do something about poor countries and we need to stop trying to be a policeman for the planet,” he said candidly. “WWII was the last time we were all united but I think we are united enough now and will stay together to make the necessary changes in our current political situation.”
Herb’s wife, Shirley, arrived just as our time together came to a close and he was eager to share with me the story of how they met. “I was teaching back East in a graduate program in North Carolina and one day I met someone named Shirley. We talked for 15 minutes and I said, ‘How’d you like to move out West with me?’ She said Yes! That was 30 years ago.” With a twinkle in his eye he continues, “Next to teaching and peanut butter I like Shirley best.”
I don’t know whether I found my answer to what a Quaker-Unitarian-Democrat religion really is but I suspect it has something to do with helping poor people. A worthy goal, indeed.
I run a lot. I get outdoors as much as I can. I read and I think. I love intellectual confrontation. I'm a liberal secular humanist atheist who speaks French (and German). I am the opposite of the "Christian Right".
Sibling Web sites
- Andrew Sullivan
- Raw Story
- Juan Cole -- Informed Comment
- Huffington Post
- One Good Move
- Brad Blog: on the Voting Fraud front
- The Belgravia Dispatch
- Think Progress
- Colorado Pols
Running in Colorado
- Steve Bremner's North American Outdoors
- Incline Club
- C.R.U.D. -- Coloradans Running Ultra-Distances
- Pikes Peak Marathon and more
- Barr Trail Race
- Grist Mag: Environmental News and Humour
- Waterkeepers: RFK, Jr battles corporate polluters
- National Audubon Society
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project
- The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
- The Canary Coalition
- Leonardo di Caprio has a damn good environmental web site
- Next Billion.net -- Development Through Enterprise -- Focusing on the 4B people at the bottom of the pyramid
- Save the Springs -- To preserve and enhance quality of life in the Pikes Peak region
- Kleercut: Wiping away ancient Forests
- COLORS: a most extraordinary magazine
- Scientific American's Blog
- Election Fraud 2004 (quick page of facts)
- Sudan: the passion of the present
- December 2004
- January 2005
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- June 2005
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- January 2007
- February 2007
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- April 2007
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“There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.”
Robert F. Kennedy (stated in 1968, when Robert was Attorney General, and his brother John had been the President)
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” - Philip K. Dick
“The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists — that is why they invented hell.” Bertrand Russell
"Just as nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight... and it is in such a twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air--however slight--lest we become unwilling victims of the darkness."
-- William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1939 to 1975
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
-- James Madison
"You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy."
-- Charles Manson, serial killer and one-time cult leader
"A very popular error-having the courage of one's convictions: Rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack upon one's convictions."
-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"There are no sects in geometry. One does not speak of a Euclidean, an Archimedean. When the truth is evident, it is impossible for parties and factions to arise.... Well, to what dogma do all minds agree? To the worship of a God, and to honesty. All the philosophers of the world who have had a religion have said in all ages: "There is a God, and one must be just." There, then, is the universal religion established in all ages and throughout mankind. The point in which they all agree is therefore true, and the systems through which they differ are therefore false."
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
-- Albert Einstein
You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
-- Bob Dylan, 'Masters of War'
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war . . . and in the degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
James Madison, April 20, 1795
"In the end the party would announce that 2 plus 2 made 5, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim, sooner or later, the logic of their position demanded it."
-- George Orwell, in 1984
"God was invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now, when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you're taking away from God; you don't need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven't figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don't believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time -- life and death -- stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don't think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out. " --€”Richard Feynman
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
"I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise. They have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving: it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe."
--Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
--John Kenneth Galbraith
"We're all in this alone."
Long-haired preachers come out every night,
Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right;
But when asked how 'bout something to eat
They will answer with voices so sweet:
You will eat, bye and bye,
In that glorious land above the sky;
Work and pray, live on hay,
You'll get pie in the sky when you die.
-Joe Hill, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), 1911
â€œThe more compelling our journalism, the angrier became the radical right of the Republican Party. Thatâ€™s because the one thing they loathe more than liberals is the truth. And the quickest way to be damned by them as liberal is to tell the truth.â€�
Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
"Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasure, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing." --Jerome K. Jerome
"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -Benjamin Franklin
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." --Aldo Leopold
"Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do." --Jose Ortega y Gasset
"The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity...."
"Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism."
-- The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831
"Undoubtedly, all men are not equally fit subjects for civilization; and because the majority, like dogs and sheep, are tame by inherited disposition, this is no reason why the others should have their natures broken that they may be reduced to the same level." --Henry David Thoreau
"There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too. Where's evil? It's that large part of every man that wants to hate without limit, that wants to hate with God on its side. It's that part of every man that finds all kinds of ugliness so attractive. It's that part of an imbecile that punishes and vilifies and makes war gladly." --Kurt Vonnegut in his novel Mother Night
"I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels."
--Diogenes of Sinope (c. 408-323 B.C.)
"Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
They toil not, neither do they spin;
And yet I say unto you,
that even Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these."
"Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." - Thomas Jefferson