Friday, January 22, 2010
In the realm of some things a bit more immediate than a Constitutional Amendment there may be some ways to mitigate the effects of the Supreme corporate whores' decision. Forget trying to ban or stop the money. Try to not have it pay off.
If the attribution of political ads had to occupy,say, 1/3 of the display space it certainly wouldn't bother campaigns themselves since name recognition is most of what it is about. It might be a little less appealing to Haliburton and probably at least annoying to the veiwer. It would take clever lawyers working with ad men to make it work.
Since corporations already operate under a tax regimen that is different it shouldn't be too difficult to find a way to tax the snot out of the removal of the funds from the revenue stream. This idea is akin to the machine gun tax, it doesn't prohibit or restrict speech itself, simple makes it expensive to engage in such a pilfering of assets. That is again the bailiwick of lawyers and this time really good accountants.
I know it is tempting to run around with hair afire, but an issue like this will have some very good minds working on it. It would be very difficult to plan ahead without knowledge of the language of the decision. I think this would also be a very good time for some smart lawyer to sue on behalf of a nice liberal corporation for a vote. I don't know that there'd be much point in having a prosecutor bring charges for corporate acts that would be crimes if a human did them to another human, like murder for buying out another corporation or bigamy for mergers, but it sure would be fun to watch.
I won't go into my emotional response to this court, it would be illegal and unwise to do. But that does get me to this point, those assholes were picked by...Republicans and had some Democratic votes for approval behind a flood of GOPers. Despite current appearances it does matter who the President is and (I hate to use really rude words like this) Congress is run by. OK, mismanaged by. Just for god's sake do better than Ho LIEberman.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Republican approach was never in any doubt and the media has given a near meaningless Party a soapbox considerably larger than their representation. Senate rules do mean that a Party with 41 members can do damage, that 41% representation in the body means nothing can be done if they don't approve. If that is taken by the media to mean that they are the new ruling class the media's head is stuck in its butt. House Republicans might as well be Martians for all their real impact.
The media keeps making Brown a representation of national sentiment. This was a MA election in the first place and in the second place there was Coakley. I am quite sure that HCR has done damage, for pete's sake how could this mess not do that? The right Republicans were not going to approve of anything they didn't write and jam down Obama's throat - that gets you an automatic 27% and about the time you alienate another 20+% who are Democrats by writing a Republican bill you've achieved a real problem.
The media is hard on the scent of Obama failure and I do agree there have been some short comings. But Congress is the outfit that writes the legislation, despite other opinions. HCR is supposed to be dead. I can't think of a larger load of horse poop. People have been running around acting as though the House would fix the Senate version and LIEberman would vote for it. That is exactly laughable and since we've seen him and Nelson in operation already and there's a question?
The media is again on the scent of excessive liberalism treating the 27% party as though it had really high approval ratings and was a majority of some sort. There is no actual center in American politics, it veers all over the place depending on whose ox is getting gored at any particular moment. The fact that Republicans love to talk about a center-right nation doesn't make it so. Taking a look at the make up of the House ought to be instructive and it hasn't been. The idea that reality might be featured in the political news is apparently vain. The fact that 58%-41% (if you think I'll count Joe Ho you're crazy) representation in the Senate may mean the New Republican Dominance to FauxNews really ought to be given a miss by actual news organizations ... guess again.
Now that I've subjected myself to stupidity in excess of my tolerance level; I'll turn the news off.
Here's a newsflash for you - you're supposed to run as though winning means something to you. Little things - like not taking a vacation in the middle of a six week elections cycle. Things a novice might miss like showing up at campaign events. It might even occur to you that a political campaign involves the novel idea of giving people a reason to like you and to believe that you care they exist. Those might be something to do. Even if the seat has been held by a Democratic legend for a really long time.
While the lesson might be to behave as though you're in an election, my bet is that the losing Party is going to decide that they've completely over-played to an ungrateful left and need to shift right. Nearly 40 years ago I had the State hang a (D) after my name because my alternatives were either lunatics or no party at all. Now all these years later I find my alternative to be well to the right of the lunatics of the time. I suppose I'm the ungrateful left since I can't recognize Democratic handiwork in the health care bill.
There's been a lot of wailing about the loss of the 60th Democratic seat in the Senate. I'd contest that it ever existed unless you'd like to rename the Party LIEbercrats (or hell Nelsonites). I dislike purity tests, but I'd like to see legislation that is recognizably Democratic come out of a Democratic Caucus. I know all about "it's what we could do" but then I wonder about votes for the Patriot Act and other civil liberties abortions and who made them. Once I've hit that damn iceberg I start wondering about Iraq War authorization, and then - well hell - about 30 years of political history...and the ship goes down.
You probably haven't noticed that this site is stripped of all references to my involvement in the Democratic Party and that is because as an officer it wasn't in my job description to throw rocks at Democrats; and I had boulders in hand; so I resigned. Don't start thinking that anyone in the DPO mistreated me, quite the contrary the organization is full of friends and valued colleagues.
You'd think that the Congress is composed of a handful of progressives rather than very nearly half of each house being of that description. That is one of the features of holding such large majorities, but the Senate rules mean a handful of Neanderthals can make legislation into something the majority elected don't want to do. Chances of ever getting Democrats to agree on everything are always small, but the usage of procedural rules against your own Caucus ought to be political poison - nope.
After the Democratic Caucus finds out the Snowe or Collins is more reasonable and honest than Hoe LIEberman maybe they'll shit can that asshole. Don't hold your breath.
Monday, January 18, 2010
White Democrats are doing stuff for black people it’s okay to stereotype black them? Would that have been acceptable for Trent Lott, assuming he didn’t do anything for black people (whatever that is supposed to mean)? This is especially paramount since it was Reid, who in 2002, called then Senate leader Trent Lott’s controversial birthday comments to Strom Thurmond “repugnant.” Republicans have only asked for the same standard by which Lott was judged,
It is one thing for some white cracker to be this egregiously stupidly ignorant, it is another for any black person to descend to this level in search of some idiotic political talking point. If Tara would like to have the GOP do some winning on the issue of race it would be far more useful to reform the twits than ask that they be held to the same standard as Democrats. It should say something to her that this crap will only succeed with pig ignorant crackers and GOP check writers. Which do you suppose is more important in her "world?"
The larger point is that the GOP certainly does not want to be held to the same standard as Democrats, not in the least. If that were the case there would not be the occasional twit of color shilling for them - you'd have to go to Stormfront to find their constituency. I'm not sure any political party can do enough for the issue of race relations, not while it is a political football driven by cultural imperatives rather than sense, but it sure isn't someplace the GOP wants to try throwing rocks and especially not in regard to Trent Lott. If I were a GOP shill I'd do my level best to let Trent Lott be buried in the sands of American electorate short-term memory loss. That they would dredge him up only points at their desperation and stupidity in this area.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Nice to see another leftard with a double standard. Figure it out, Lott's comment wasn't about race but state's rights. Reid's words are purely racist, and most leftards think this way.
1/14/2010 06:50:00 PM
I'm gonna type real slow in hopes you can get this. Look here you knuckle dragging Rushbo buttlicking Confederate Party of Republicanism goober, back in 1865 after getting tens of thousands of you folks who they wouldn't even let on the porch killed; the aristocrats were handed an ass-kicking of historic proportions by the Yanks and this should have been sorted out. A hundred years later after you'd lynched enough people and buried enough kids in dikes; the federal troops had to show up again to make it clear to you that, yes, the niggers get to vote, the niggers get to own guns, and the niggers get to go to your schools and live in your neighborhoods.
The fact that you can be distracted by shiny objects like "states rights", "tax fairness", "gay marriage", and "illegal alien" bashing only speaks to your limitations and ability to be manipulated. You screech about tax fairness in your red state holes as you wallow in the highest rates of divorce, incest, illiteracy, and poverty and you're subsidized by the immoral blue states and you subsidize the wealthy - the same ones who wouldn't let you on their porch. They wave their theocracy at you while they do as they please and spit on the actual words of Christ. The pols you vote for to whack them illegal aliens are paid for by the people who hire illegals to squash your shit wages in your shit job and when they can't bust a union they send the jobs overseas to be done by other people of colors you don't like. They call you brave tea bagger patriots while doing the terrorists jobs for them by being whining mewling cowards and convincing you to give up what America is and support doing things that would have gotten you sent back to George III in tar and feathers.
While the left does its goddamedest to keep you from lying in the dirt with a foot on your neck you call them leftards in support of theocracy and racism. The only mystery about you is that you can afford access to a keyboard and manage the motor skills to operate one. You step outside your circle of stupidity to publicly repeat the idiocy that support for a segregationist's Presidential campaign by a half-stepping KKKer is some how in the same league with a politician supporting the campaign of a black man for President while noting the existence of racism in the electorate? It would take all of five minutes for you to find out that your Confederate Party of Repubicanism massas is lying to you ... again.
Put the limp noodle down and back away slowly, 'cause I'm packin' a damn hand cannon.
Friday, January 15, 2010
It is pretty plain that some behaviors are more conducive to stability and economic comfort. When behaviors become widespread enough they get called culture and if they are instituted by establishment the culture warriors will back them. Frequently blindly, as Brooks demonstrated. The Confederate Party of Republicanism touts its culture meme and whacks the rest of the nation over its immoral head with it, all the while ignoring that poverty, incest, and divorce rates are highest in its own backyard. This is the crap that Brooks is spewing under cover of the "I'm a nice reasonable guy" cloak of bullshit.
The Brooksian (CPoR) view seems to hold that culture forms in some kind of vacuum, that there are not good reasons behaviors are practiced. To them it is simply some sort of moral failing rather than failing coping mechanisms. Why certainly Mr Brooks and Rushbo and assorted asswipes - these people are in a state of horrid poverty because they ... well hell, have the wrong religion rather than no available jobs paying anything. Voodoo certainly encourages its followers to starve. If the majority of a population is poverty stricken it must be something they're doing wrong. Like what? It's a pretty good bet reducing births would help - but Catholicism hates birth control pills - remember? How about seeing that what wealth the country has whether natural resources or other got spread around a bit - managed capitalism (soshalizm per CPoR).
The cultural failure these idjits talk about is at the top, as per most paternalistic societies - just as they'd have the US go. Authoritarianism is good for the little folks - just 'cause they say so. Who the hell runs the money and power in the country? Must be the poor since it's their fault they're poor...
How about the first question is who is rich and how did they get that way?
As Lawrence E. Harrison explained in his book “The Central Liberal Truth,” Haiti, like most of the world’s poorest nations, suffers from a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized. Child-rearing practices often involve neglect in the early years and harsh retribution when kids hit 9 or 10.
Voodoo. OK, David, how about Catholicism? Did you bother to notice the correlation between Catholicism and poverty in the world? Well, no that wouldn't fit his frame that a nice religion promotes policies that damn near guarantee poverty.
Over the past few decades, the world has spent trillions of dollars to generate growth in the developing world. The countries that have not received much aid, like China, have seen tremendous growth and tremendous poverty reductions. The countries that have received aid, like Haiti, have not.
Huh? David Brooks can't tell what is different between Haiti and China? Well maybe, it isn't what you'd think.
Fourth, it’s time to promote locally led paternalism. In this country, we first tried to tackle poverty by throwing money at it, just as we did abroad. Then we tried microcommunity efforts, just as we did abroad. But the programs that really work involve intrusive paternalism.
Broken down into its basic components what we've got is the actual metric of a Brooks. Paternalism composed of his approved religions and the unregulated form of business in China. A plutocrat's wet dream.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Maybe being a Bank of America vice-chair making about $1 Million per year while being Morning Joe Scarborough's talking point pal is it. It isn't like BoA doesn't deserve a Senator from someplace with an actual population and certainly being near wingnut Joe's yes man proves cross aisle appeal. Somehow four years out of Tennessee politics has turned him into a pro-choice, pro gay marriage type of guy despite his Tennessee policies. I hear tell NYC is a tough place.
He tells the NYT and anybody else who cares that Harry Reid and other leaders won't tell him how to vote. Boy, that's something in short supply in Democratic Senators, Joe Lieberman needs some more pals. Ford is pretty proud of being a capitalist, I'm not sure what that involves at BoA considering the amount of time spent on his TV career.
I guess if New Yorkers vote him in they deserve him, but I'm not sure the rest of the nation's Democrats deserve a Senate Caucus that much more of a mess. What BoA deserves I'll leave to those with a more impolite vocabulary.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
If I'm a GOPer; trying to make problems for Democrats is a pretty good idea. The (D)s have the reins of power (sort of) and can be made to pay for that. What I don't want to do (apparently Mitch also) is engage in a gun fight armed with a wet spaghetti noodle. Nobody with two working brain cells thinks the GOP matches the Democrats in race relations. Trying to make that look illusionary involves the GOP in making Trent Lott the equivalent of Harry Reid and going there is really stupid. Take that as a measure of the level of intelligence of the GOP in general.
The GOP is...well hell, the Confederate Party of Republicanism, but on some issues they can make appeal across a bit wider range than that. Whatever reality is regarding Democrats in general on guns, the GOPers own it for most concerned with it. Despite overall reality the GOPers are perceived as stronger on national security. While it is entirely ludicrous, the GOP is fairer on taxes. The list is longer than Democrats would like to admit, and whether that list is full of nonsense or not does not matter. It does not matter because experts and political addicts aren't most of the voters, people with everyday concerns are and they don't dig deeply into issues. If you're not clearly superior you've got problems overcoming this list and "not as bad," has nothing to do with clearly superior.
I can't do shit to educate most people about narrow differences between Democratic outcomes and GOP outcomes, it is hard enough when it is very clear. Here's the deal, I don't care to that either. Calling what has come out of the Senate health care reform is a goddam joke, expansion might be accurate and I'd even give elimination of pre-existing conditions as some sort of reform but to label the thing as reform - nah. Now you're going to go to voters with this mess and expect them to swallow it? What kind of Republican mess will come out as financial reform with no (R) votes and a Democratic label? In the face of Republican legislation of 15 years ago with a (D) label how is one to persuade voters how far over a cliff the GOP has gone?
Evidently there are enough Senate Democrats who don't get this to put all of the Democrats under the gun. We're all Liebercrats now won't fly - well, good luck with that one.
While I understand the need for people who are whistle blowing misbehavior in government or business to keep their identities covered, I am generally not a fan of anonymous sources. Frankly I don't care if the person suffering is Harry Reid or Sarah Palin or...particularly when what is brought forward is little more than gossip or immaterial awkwardness. Some things matter and some are just not relevant.
What Harry Reid said is not material and the McCain campaign's difficulties prepping Sarah Palin aren't material. That Harry Reid uses "inartful language" from time to time isn't news nor are his political policy positions. That Sarah Palin was not a well informed VP candidate is not news. The little gossipy details of either or the other released information regarding others simply aren't worthy of the title journalism. What is truly telling is that the media unrelated to this exercise in gossip has made this crap a part of journalism as they practice it. It makes plenty of sense for the publishers to whang the publicity drum, but not for the media to be played.
I don't give a damn about this book and I certainly won't buy it. Anyone can be made to look stupid by taking their quotes out of context and using them with that agenda. I'd also like to note that the people who talked to these "authors" under their ground rules apparently didn't give much thought to what they were participating in - or did and should be considered in that light. The uses some put this steaming pile to should also tell you something about them, whoever the target is.
(you will note that as fiercely as this site mocks Sarah Palin, nothing appears from this thing)
Monday, January 11, 2010
"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
If that were the extent of it, you could probably write some of it off to excessive niceness to a Centarian Republican. If that were it and as The Nation noted, scarcely:
In 1978, after his election to the US House, Lott led a successful campaign to have the US citizenship of Jefferson Davis restored.
During the 1980 campaign, after Thurmond spoke at a Mississippi rally for Ronald Reagan, Lott said of the old Dixiecrat: "You know, if we had elected that man 30 years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we are today."
preserve the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University -- the notorious South Carolina college that was under fire for prohibiting interracial dating -- Lott insisted that, "Racial discrimination does not always violate public policy."
Lott gave the keynote address at a 1992 national executive board meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a successor organization to the old white Citizens Councils, segregation-era groups the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as "the white-collar Ku Klux Klan. The C of CC may have changed its name, but it remains a passionate "white racialist" group that condemns intermarriage, integration and immigration by non-whites.
Oh hell, go read the article and be ready to puke - Reid for crying-out-loud...
The Confederate Party of Republicanism will rise again. The deal is, it isn't just about making Democrats uncomfortable - these pricks just have no clue what ails them.
The GOP will drop the politics of fear.
Congressional Democratic Majorities will result in liberal/progressive laws.
Somebody/anybody will do something about the increasing disparity of wealth in the US.
Labor will regain respectability as a vocation.
The US won't be at war with some third-rate nation.
Religion will cease to divide this country and stop trying to control it.
Race and gender will cease to be political footballs.
The GOP will take on responsible governance as its actual policy.
I'm gonna get rich and have lots of readers....
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
58. In principle, there is an obligation to provide patients with food and water, including medically assisted nutrition and hydration for those who cannot take food orally. This obligation extends to patients in chronic and presumably irreversible conditions (e.g., the “persistent vegetative state”) who can reasonably be expected to live indefinitely if given such care.40
If you're bothered by this and particularly if your only hospital is a Catholic one then you might want to check Compassion and Choice. Those of you in urban areas might be surprised by being told that sometimes the only hospital is Catholic, well guess what.
Since I don't care what Faux News gets up to, other than claiming to be news, what I find to be gold is the comments. A large portion of them are of the liberals laughing variety (me too), but the gold is the Sarah fans. The most common thread is how right on she is for regular Americans but the best is how afraid of her libruls are. I've noticed that some libruls have expressed a fear of a government run by someone like Palin, or her, but the most common fear is that level of incompetence getting anywhere politically. The more nuanced view liberals seem to have is fear that Palin reflects a large minority and are offended that it exists. Palin herself seems to be considered laughable by liberals, which is quite different from fear. It's kind of like seeing someone in clown garb and make-up and being scared by it becoming a fashion statement...
One thing I find appealing is that somebody at Faux has to be her boss ... Karmic justice.
There are such things as realities and politicians ignore them at their peril. Making note of a candidate's skin tone as a black man and his manner of speech during a conversation about a candidate's chances in an election would be suicidally stupid to do from a stage and yet be an accurate assessment. Who the hell is it that thinks American politics is about polite conventions? It might be infuriating that such metrics exist in this country, but it is scarcely racism to note them in a private conversation.
What I find particularly funny is GOPers practicing dog whistle racism and even less subtle forms and losing their minds in service to political correctness - that PC they laugh at and castigate the media for. The media being stupid is simply a feature of that enterprise. I look for no improvements in either.
Friday, January 08, 2010
***Click for full size***
Gus is eight years in February and Brayden is nine months. Gus at 150 pounds and Brayden at 20 pounds. Gus lies around a lot, Brayden crawls a lot and walks if he can hang onto something.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I understand stars and I even understand them thanking their god for the opportunity to compete. What I don't understand is a so-called news network shilling for a religion - any religion. Fox News claims to be a serious news organization and other non-Murdochian media have jumped to their defense when they've been challenged on their shit. You can tell this bunch from the Iranians exactly how?
If you watch something like CBN you know what you're doing and mean to do it and I could care less about them - they're right up front with their stuff. They make no pretense to be something other than what they are. There is the dishonesty of Fox being a wing of the RNC without disclosing it and then there is this. This ought to clue you in as to what Republicanism stands for - another theocracy to plague the world.
I could waste hours of your time quoting Brit Hume and counter-posing those quotes to those of Jesus Christ to make him look ridiculous. Whatever good there is in Christianity is not what these profiteers of looniness spread. What flat evades me is how the behavior of their heroes doesn't clue their viewers in. Family values my ass...
No kidding, now the dumbass has doubled down-with.
Sure Billo, Colson's conversion was real - as opposed to...WJC? Or maybe the Sanford, Vitter, or Ensign family values you so espouse - or maybe your loofah? Did it convert? It's got one of them furrin names...surely it's staying away from telephones? You've got to be brain dead or a practicing hypocrite to take these people seriously. I'm sorry - but if you engage in this level of stupidity you are an asshole and should take up watching film of waves rolling on the beach for information. No, nobody was picking on any religion...
Is Hume on drugs, have a stroke, or just got a mouth full of baby Jesus dolls?
Poke me in the eye with a dull stick if I ever act this asinine.
This guy is number four:
Utter stupidity like this will rank you #2.
If they can’t keep the uninvited out of state dinners, they probably aren’t serious about keeping terrorists from entering Detroit!
Actual lying will get you into the #1 slot.
Then, of course, we had the Christmas crotch-bomber, who rudely disrupted the GA's sunny vacation. As he was vacationing, Janet Napalitono went live with the reassurance that "the system worked", though she quickly backpedalled after that was hooted down; her subsequent claim was that the remark had been "taken out of context".
There's some pretty good stuff above and below "Chuck for ..." and I suppose some slack should be cut the GOPers considering what they've got to work with but holy shit... For cry-yie-outloud, if you can think, write a bit, and have some time; start a blog because Oregon sure deserves better than this in a Most Influential Blogs Ratings.
(parenthetically, heh, I suppose these half wits will be unhappy and can probably manage to snag a couple words out of a sentence to make me look stupid -as is their wont)
((note that I did no such thing - teh stupid is all theirs))
***comments on this post ought to be chock full of win***
If nothing else should demonstrate it, this should - it doesn't matter if the terrorists succeed in knocking a plane down or not - we'll go berserko nuts. The GOPers tell the world the President is a pussy and we're too lame to deal with pouring water out of a boot - while looking at the sole. Grown men who were elected to represent the interests of America act like little girls spooked by a spider.
Goddam, somebody is going to try to do this sort of thing. Period. No ellipses. They may or may not be Muslims or foreigners, as Eric Rudolph shows there is a white 'Christian' terrorist bloc in this country. Fifty dollars or so of junk in a guy's pants will cost this nation umpteen millions of dollars and inconveniences. I scarcely think we should throw our hands up and give up on trying to keep bad things from happening, but this squealing is stupid.
The President's speech seemed to me to hit the right keys without smacking hell out of the FEAR drum. Don't expect a lower volume level from the screechers. Assholes.
"I really do think the bottom line is toughing it out -- you have to absolutely have the thickest skin there ever was -- and you just have to say, 'Sorry, I'm not leaving,' " she said.
"You can try to win back the people if you want, but the only way you can do that is to keep your mouth shut and work really hard to do your job."
The was some crap about her speculating that Cheney would resign in favor of Fred (Droopy) Thompson or at least that some GOPers wanted him to. There were some forced resignations in the BushCo but finding her calling for them is fruitless. In the BushCo you really had to have your dick in a vice to have to resign, none of this PartyCrasher shit would do without a dead boy in some guy's bed to go along with it.
There was a male prostitute posing as a White House press correspondent tossing softballs to THE PRESIDENT with White House logs showing him entering and not leaving and for Sally Quinn ... crickets. This kind of crap is why I dropped my subscription to the WaPo. This link wouldn't even be here if she weren't all over the media screeching.
Now, I'll admit that I do think there are a pretty fair number of BushCos that belong in orange jumpsuits and manacles for provable crimes ... but I write a no-rate (not even third-rate) blog as a nail banger...
It isn't just the theology that is similar, the abuses are congruent. When an Iranian claims to belong to a Muslim country is he different than the Christian calling this a Christian nation? Does he mean something different? Spain was a Christian nation as it persecuted the heretics and the Crusaders were all of Christian nations. The obliteration of the American Indian was justified by Christianity versus the heathens. If you take Christian nation seriously as an appellation for governments then Christ was a murderous torturing rapist bastard. I'm not the least sorry if you find that blasphemous, I never seriously made such a reference as to the Christianity of a government. Oddly enough the Christ of his own words was personally about as anti-establishment as it gets. He got hung up on that cross for a reason.
There are no politics in Christ's words, there is a whole lot about personal ethics and personal morality. He did not oppose the Jewish establishment as a matter of politics, he opposed it as a religious practice. The religious right and much of the Republican Party would stand that on its head, they would replace politics with religion and in so doing grant that religion the kind of power that Christ himself opposed. They would take the spirituality and personal morality of the religion and turn it into the brute force of government.
There abides in this nation the delusion that the law is moral. The most tangled and obscure arguments are brought forth to uphold this idea. Somehow the idea that social order and morality are the same thing has taken hold. The most simplistic argument devolves into equating the badness or immorality of murder and theft with laws against such behavior. It is as though Biblical morality having a congruence with public order and not being the same thing is beyond such people. They cannot wrap their heads around the idea that laws against theft make it unnecessary for me to track you down and blow your head off for taking my stuff - the government will take care of the issue for me in a much more controlled fashion. There are behaviors that make it impossible for us to live with each other and those behaviors need to be controlled.
If the Christian right ruled this country in the manner they call for the only way you could tell this place from Iran would be the call to prayer. That includes the current upheaval in that nation. There seems to be some idea floating around that what is going on there is something other than a religious dispute. It isn't something else. These protests aren't about doing away with the Islamic State, they're about the version of it that will run the place. It isn't a hell of a lot different than the Presbyterians going up against the Evangelicals - and yes it is about the same book in each case.
This rant isn't about religion, it is about theocracy. It is about organizations like the C Street creepy sex club and the rest of the Christian nation crowd. It is about the fundamental misunderstanding of the role of religion in America and its absolutely personal role. Every time one of these cretins sticks his head up it is time to ask them exactly why they want us to live in Iran.
Oh, yeah,Iran today.
Monday, January 04, 2010
"As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.
“He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency — social transformation — the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war."
There are a couple accurate pieces in this mess, we do have a President named Obama who is a Democrat, some terrorists will be tried in criminal court, and the Christmas failure is being criminally charged. From there we are apparently stuck with what Dick wants to be true.
Politico has taken some heat over this and other of their stenographering of GOP talking points and while the entire first page is either a prelude to the Cheneyism or quotes of other GOPers like Rep King the second page does a bit of debunking. I don't think much of Politico despite the MSM's fascination with it but trashing them for what the NYT and WaPo do on a regular basis and leaving them off the hook is silly. Playing stenographer for any political party is horse shit for anyone who makes a pretense at being a news organization. It also is the order of the day.
Politicians have campaign publications where they can spout whatever nonsense crosses their minds and their allies in the blogs, etc. If this is the function of news organizations we could entirely do away with all the associated reporters, copy editors, etc and just hand the pols tape recorders.
if you'd like to know what complete Dick-heads the GOP is, play back the run up to the Iraq War and any critic of BushCo...
Sunday, January 03, 2010
I understand the difference between faith and reason and I have no problem with the practice of either or their melding. What I do have a problem with is the application of faith to others not concerned with it. I will not pretend to tell you anything about your faith or lack of it. I am quite willing to state that the words that are written down may contradict your version if you make it an issue with me. Since some sort of Christianity is the most common religion in this country its practice gets the lion's share of my criticism - that and it is the one I'm most familiar with.
Despite the radicalism and theocratic impulses of some people, religion has benefited a whole lot of people; they live better lives for it. One can take the excesses of any religion and the warfare and destruction waged under its cloak as definitive of that religion. That's scarcely honest. The fact that Catholicism participated in the Inquisition doesn't speak to Catholicism, it speaks to the misuse of religious power as it does with Islam or any other. The very fact of faith makes religion an extremely potent force and any time there is power available someone will go for it. That is about some people not the thing itself.
I don't find myself the least constrained in criticizing the spreaders of hate and the advocates of theocracy - whatever their religion or lack there of. If you do that I will cut you wide and deep. Brit Hume would be an asshole and jerk if he were an agnostic but when he tries to cover his jerk-itude with something as respectable as religion he's given me a huge green light to mock him unmercifully - right along with his employers.
My respect for you doesn't depend on your religious views, it depends on your behavior.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
History has some rather general lessons regarding theocracies and the one that stares at Iran regards fundamentalism. Theocracies that liberalize tend to be overwhelmed and degenerated into secularism by the forces of secular concerns of the populace and the political concerns of the rulers. The spiritual tends to be overwhelmed by pocketbook and social issues and the maneuvering of rulers to address those concerns which fly in the face of concern with a distant Paradise. In the distant past such a progression was gradual with communication being the limiter. Things have changed.
Fundamentalism offers a stop gap. The concerns of daily living can be submerged by the hardcore adherence to a dedication to achieving Paradise and the rules that determine its achievement. There is a tricky balance required here, people will exist who are independent thinkers that will not adhere blindly and will act as a voice for those frustrated by economic and social failures or weaknesses. Adherents will shake loose if their own particular foible gets stepped on. Fundamentalism depends on strict rules and nasty consequences and this presents several opportunities for perceived over interference in people's lives. Fundamentalism only seems that way if it addresses social issues as they emerge and keeps a lid on existing ones which means more and more rules - nastily enforced. The flip side is that as the populace is exposed to the outside norms the intolerance begins to seem dated or capricious.
Iran's government has bet on fundamentalism. This means they are being pushed in the direction of violent reaction. This isn't to downplay the violence already occurring, it is to point out that the levels will increase. Once fundamentalism is chosen as a route there is no backing down, the opposition must be demonized and persecuted - there can be no deals with demons. What is left is to smash them and people don't like being smashed and push back. There is your cycle.
Friday, January 01, 2010
Like I've said, the common theme of winter here is that you can complain about it...
My pal Gus:
My fun machine: