"What is all this talk about clams, and why is the site called Operation Clambake?"
The short version of this is that the creator of Dianetics and Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, claimed humans evolved from clams in his book "A History of Man". Since the claim itself and the "proof" Hubbard provided is utterly silly, it serves as a good example of the general validity of his teachings. CoS has copy protected the word "Scientologist" and claim that a Scientologist is anybody who (since 1950) ever bought a Scientology book or a course. "Clam" is also slang for money, referencing in this context the high cost for Scientology. "Clam" is therefore used by many critics as an alternative or better term to identify an actual follower of Hubbard and Scientology teachings today.
A clambake is originally an outdoor party; especially a seashore outing where food is usually cooked on heated rocks covered by seaweed. It can also mean a gathering characterized by noisy sociability. "Operation" derives from the many criminal operations run by CoS, like Operation Freak Out, Operation Snow White, etc.
A more thorough explanation of the term clam and why the site is called Operation Clambake is available on the Clam FAQ."
And if you haven't read the hilarious, but somehow true, "The Barefaced Messiah" it is available for free on 'Operation Clambake'. Anyone who takes the time to read The Barefaced Messiah could not possibly join or believe in the Scientology cult.
According to several of his fellow science fiction writers, Hubbard had on several occasions stated that "the way to get rich was to start a religion".
"In 1959 paleontologist Mary Leakey pulled a bone fragment from a gully in Tanzania. The find turned out to be one small piece of Paranthropus boisei, an evolutionary cousin who went extinct some 1.5 million years ago. His strong jaw, flat molars, and bony spine on top of the skull led paleontologists to believe he ate nuts and seeds, earning him the nickname Nutcracker Man.
But last May, University of Utah geochemist Thure Cerling revealed that P. boisei had unexpected dining habits. Analyzing carbon isotopes from the tooth enamel of 22 P. boisei individuals, Cerling found traces not of nuts but mostly grasses and grasslike plants. About 80 percent of their food came from the fields, where they grazed alongside gazelles, horses, and elephants.
That diet is markedly different from those of other primates. Chimps and gorillas find their food in forests. Direct human ancestors ate plants and meat. “It’s long been thought that primate digestive physiology was not that adaptable, but clearly grass was an available resource and P. boisei took advantage of it,” Cerling says. “Even though it’s no longer around, P. boisei’s line lasted half a million years—twice as long as modern humans so far.”
This year, over 18 million people on YouTube saw Zach Wahls defend marriage equality on behalf of his family in front of the Iowa Legislature.
This month, thousands of families submitted photos, joining Zach and his family in sending out this simple holiday greeting.....and creating this video and online campaign called "Love Makes a Family."
And in case you missed the first Zach Wahls video, here it is [well worth watching a second time] :
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book and film by journalist Michael Pollan. This work explores the nature of domesticated plants from the dual perspective of humans and the plants themselves. An excellent book, and exceptionally beautiful film.
Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. The apple reflects the desire of sweetness, the tulip beauty, marijuana pleasure and the potato sustenance.
"PRINCETON, NJ -- A new record-low 11% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest single rating in Gallup's history of asking this question since 1974. This earns Congress a 17% yearly average for 2011, the lowest annual congressional approval rating in Gallup history."
The members of congress appear to be completely incompetent. Simple solution, they should be voted out and/or impeached.
"The last convoy of U.S. soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending nearly nine years of war that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives and left a country still grappling with political uncertainty.
The war launched in March 2003 with missiles striking Baghdad to oust dictator Saddam Hussein closes with a fragile democracy still facing insurgents, sectarian tensions and the challenge of defining its place in the Arab region.
The final column of around 100 mostly U.S. military MRAP armored vehicles carrying 500 U.S. troops trundled across the southern Iraq desert through the night along an empty highway and across the Kuwaiti border.
Honking their horns, the last batch of around 25 American military trucks and tractor trailers carrying Bradley fighting vehicles crossed the border early on Sunday, their crews waving at fellow troops along the route.
"I just can't wait to call my wife and kids and let them know I am safe," Rodolfo Ruiz said as the border came into sight. Soon afterwards, he told his men the mission was over, "Hey guys, you made it."
For President Barack Obama, the military pullout is the fulfillment of an election promise to bring troops home from a conflict inherited from his predecessor, the most unpopular war since Vietnam and one that tainted America's standing worldwide."
..."the most unpopular war since Vietnam and one that tainted America's standing worldwide."
As Americans mark the end of the Iraq war, they should acknowledge the loss of countless innocent Iraqi lives — losses for which the United States bears responsibility.
"One by one, the Marines sat down, swore to tell the truth and began to give secret interviews discussing one of the most horrific episodes of America’s time in Iraq: the 2005 massacre by Marines of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha.
...The 400 pages of interrogations, once closely guarded as secrets of war, were supposed to have been destroyed as the last American troops prepare to leave Iraq. Instead, they were discovered along with reams of other classified documents, including military maps showing helicopter routes and radar capabilities, by a reporter for The New York Times at a junkyard outside Baghdad. An attendant was burning them as fuel to cook a dinner of smoked carp.
The documents — many marked secret — form part of the military’s internal investigation, and confirm much of what happened at Haditha, a Euphrates River town where Marines killed 24 Iraqis, including a 76-year-old man in a wheelchair, women and children, some just toddlers. . . . "