May 31, 2008

Sigh. The Frat Boy President thing is really, really, really tired

As Jon Stewart noted the other day, had Bush not screwed everything up, images like this would seem rather charming.

As it is, it seems incredibly in poor taste and juvenile. After all, he has sent some 4,000 of these young service men and women to die for what his own former press secretary admits was a mistake. I have never asked that he spend his time in sackcloth and ashes (though spending a little time acting competently would be nice), but at least a little gravitas would be appreciated. Oh, I forgot, he did give up golf.

More pictures here.

America the Stupid

Well, not everyone, but those like Michelle Malkin who think a scarf=support for terrorism. Just when you think the right wingers could not get more ridiculous, this successful campaign by an unbelievably stupid person actually forces Dunkin Donuts to pull the ad.

Over at Kos, Hunter suggests that the terrorists should take this lesson to heart:
Why stop at scarves, after all? If Islamic militants wished to truly damage America, they should make pants a symbol of their jihad. All of conservative America would immediately go patriotically pantsless, and the collective loss of American appetites would render the entire nation weak and anemic and ripe for takeover.
Given stupid people like Malkin and others, this might just work.

May 29, 2008

McSweeney's First Drafts of the Parables of Jesus.

Some very funny stuff.

We are a Christian nation, so sit down and shut up

Two-Headed Blog notices this story about a California car dealership running this ad:
"“Did you know that there are people in this country who want prayer out of schools, “Under God” out of the Pledge, and “In God We Trust” to be taken off our money?

“But did you know that 86 percent of Americans say they believe in God? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe and Sons Ford wonder why we don’t just tell the other 14 percent to sit down and shut up."

The dealership apologized for the ad written by an Oklahoma firm (yay us), but the fact that this is out there is just disturbing.

Corporate media

A rather shocking admission about how our corporate media works:

I think the press corps dropped the ball at the beginning. When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings.

And my own experience at the White House was that, the higher the president's approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives -- and I was not at this network at the time -- but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president.

I think, over time...


COOPER: You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?

YELLIN: Not in that exact -- they wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces. They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical and try to put on pieces that were more positive, yes. That was my experience."
This is what many have suggested is the problem with the so-called "liberal media." Instead of being biased ideologically, they are biased toward what they think will sell.

McClellan--the problem is the system?

Listened to McClellan on NPR this morning and that seems to be his explanation. Or perhaps he is trying to pull his punch on the President, but he seems to want it both ways.

I am sure the system is broken, but this administration made it worse, and clearly lied to all of us.
"I don't think it was intentional or deliberate," McClellan says. "What happened here was we got caught up in the very thing the president campaigned against when he was first running for president back in 2000 – the destructive, partisan tone in Washington."
Of course it was deliberate. Even according to McClellan, Bush and his people knew that the American people would not buy a war based on some vague notion of transforming the Middle East, so they emphasized WMD and just ignored any intelligence that didn't fit their argument. Of course it was deliberate.

May 28, 2008

McClellan admits "liberal media" was right

And the war was a mistake.
“If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to the most important decision facing the nation during my years in Washington, the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq.

“The collapse of the administration’s rationales for war, which became apparent months after our invasion, should never have come as such a surprise. … In this case, the ‘liberal media’ didn’t live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served.”

Sully's take:
We're not talking mistakes here; we're talking about a deliberate shading of the truth to hide the real motivation for risking the lives of thousands of soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians

If this is true, if the president intentionally ignored data refuting the existence of Saddam's WMDs, he should be impeached.

May 27, 2008

Political trends

Via Sully, news that Mitch McConnell is in a tight race. Lot of Republicans say they will vote for McCain, but not McConnell. Also, and I don't remember where I saw this, but looked like Al Franken was very close to Coleman in Minnesota--and that is surprising.


Also from Sully, this quote on the problem facing McCain.
"One of the main reasons John McCain is facing such an tough job today is that we are now in the sixth year of a war that the president of his own party started by mistake. That's a major headwind when you're running for president; an error of that magnitude will exact a political price. Would anyone be surprised if voters say that they've had enough?" - Byron York, NRO.
More and more Republicans are willing to call this war what it is--a mistake?

May 26, 2008

Memorial day

Some 4,081 gone in Iraq, plus those from Afghanistan, and those servicemen and women who will suffer from this war for the rest of their lives.

**** has an interesting take on the Hillary RFK comments (echoing what Steve said in our comments) about her thoughtless words being taken out of context.

I see their point, but really felt horrible when I heard what she said. All of the "timeline" defense from Clinton misses the point that she still raised (several times) the specter of assassination when people are scared of that in this race to begin with.

Clinton's defenders have much to be angry for in this race, or at least some. They can bitch legitimately about the sexist coverage, and the often biased coverage that Clinton received (though the bias obviously also went her way at times, and there was also substantial racism in this race). But this was her fault. She has handled this race pretty badly for the last few months, and an aside (no matter the emphasis on timeline) about political assassination in this race was over the line.


And all you need to know about how insensitive her remarks were is this unbelievable clip from Fox where two people joke about assassinating Obama
"and now we have what ... uh...some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama [after being prompted by the FNC anchor]....well both if we could [laughing]"
Truly unbelievable.


Have a good Memorial Day.

May 24, 2008

Hillary and her mouth

God knows we all say things we regret later. And I feel for those in the public eye, because they are so vulnerable to the sound-bite and the error. But when Hillary evoked the assassination of RFK in 1968 to justify staying in the race, she may have just pushed herself out of the race. It is just so damn thoughtless. From what I have read, she has mentioned this previously, so it isn't just an innocent slip. I know she is not wishing for something bad to happen to Obama, but this was over the line. And her non-apology apology, anytime someone says, "if someone was offended, I am sorry" you know they are not really very sorry.

Sullivan had this to say:
She's been waiting for Obama to implode. Instead, she just has.
Time for the super delegates to stand up and finish this.

May 23, 2008

Damn cell phone users

Yesterday, my friend Mary and I were forced to listen to an amazingly loud woman talk on her cell phone. Loud enough that it drove us outside. Loud enough that I wanted very much to say something to her. Unbelievably loud and unbelievably inconsiderate.

Perhaps I need to go here and print out some of these:

John McCain repudiates Parsley too

Los Angeles Times:
"Later in the day, McCain told the Associated Press that he also repudiated the support of Rod Parsley, an Ohio preacher who has sharply criticized Islam and called the religion inherently violent. 'I believe there is no place for that kind of dialogue in America,' McCain said."
McCain must have been sitting in an awkward place for sometime. He had to know something about these wackjobs when he recruited their endorsement.
I didn't attend their church for 20 years, and I'm not a member of their church. I received their endorsement, which did not mean that I endorsed their views."
But that sounds like they just endorsed him out of the blue, and that isn't accurate. He had to know and he went after their support.

Waiting to reject them suggests that he was torn politically. He fears losing too many on the right--not that they will vote for Obama, but they might stay home--and yet also had to know he would lose people in the middle by recruiting Islamophobic crazies.

May 22, 2008

How to defend torture

You have to create an inhuman enemy, argues Daniel Larison:
"two different rhetorical tactics are employed. First, you will have the outright denial that torture is taking place (“we don’t torture,” Mr. Bush has said on more than one occasion) and then grudging acknowledgements that “extreme” measures have been used (“enhanced interrogation techniques”), and finally a justification of the actual inflicting of mental and physical duress on detainees. Mr. Bush’s cheerleaders on blogs and radio are quite explicit about this. Blogger Dean Barnett once wrote, “The torture opponents’ entire premise rests on the erroneous notion that one can successfully wage war without cruelty and savagery. I wish they were right. But they’re not.” Challenged by one of his listeners that he supported torture in recent weeks, radio host Michael Medved unflinchingly agreed that he did. What is first wrapped in euphemisms is then openly defended and even celebrated as necessary. Central to this is the denial of the rationality of the enemy, which is tantamount to a denial of their humanity."

McCain's pastor problems

First, CNN is reporting that John McCain has rejected John Hagee's endorsement. It only took, what? 4 months or so? Looks like he did so right about the same time that John Hagee took back his endorsement, citing critics who were "misrepresenting" his words. No, sorry, Mr. Hagee. You are just as batshit crazy as we think.

Now the clock is ticking on the other batshit crazy pastor--Rod Parsley. McCain's campaign says that he only met with Parsley one time before accepting his endorsement, so, naturally, we can't hold him accountable for the guy's radical views on destroying Islam, right? As Yglesias says
But of course anti-Muslim bigotry has a large constituency in the United States so it's not a political weakness to be affiliated with it. Similarly, it's true that having a president who likes to associate himself with anti-Muslim bigotry would be a disaster for American foreign policy and national security, but since the essence of McCain's foreign policy vision is that he wants to maximize the number and duration of wars this won't actually be a problem for him.

May 21, 2008


More from crazy nutjob John Hagee:
"John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a 'hunter,' sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God's will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.

Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: ''And they the hunters should hunt them,' that will be the Jews. 'From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can't see that.'"

May 20, 2008

A disturbing trend

Feministing notes that women (especially Black women) represent the fastest growing segment of the Prison population, 80% of which are in for non-violent drug offenses.

Then this:
The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Maybe we need to rethink what our prisons are for. I have long held that our education and penal system suffer from the same problem--we don't have a clear idea what we are trying to achieve with either.

I think I love the bouzouki

Saw people play it twice this week, and I think it is such a cool sound. Talked to Kieran Kane after the show Sunday evening and he said it was tuned just like the mandolin, only an octave lower.

Here are a couple of youtube videos featuring the bouzouki. Enjoy:

May 19, 2008

Nice company

One of Sully's readers noted a new low:
"Last night I was clicking back and forth between the Mets/Yankees game The Empire Strikes Back on cable. I hadn't watched Empire in a long time. There's a scene where Darth Vader tortures Han Solo (which occurs off-screen, but Han's screams are audible). Han is then dumped into the room with Lando and Pricess Leia, and the Imperial thug says contemptuously, 'Don’t worry. He won't be permanently damaged.' So include Darth Vader -- Darth fucking Vader -- among the prestigious company we're keeping with our sure-it-hurts-like-hell-but-if-it-doesn't-leave-a-mark-it -ain't-torture approach to interrogation."

Christian conservatives?

What the hell is this?:
"Columbus — Georgia Republican Party chairwoman Sue Everhart said Saturday that the party's presumed presidential nominee has a lot in common with Jesus Christ.

'John McCain is kind of like Jesus Christ on the cross,' Everhart said as she began the second day of the state GOP convention. 'He never denounced God, either.'

Everhart was praising McCain for never denouncing the United States while he was being tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

'I'm not trying to compare John McCain to Jesus Christ, I'm looking at the pain that was there,' she said."

This is what combining faith and politics has given us.


Speaking of conservative Christianity, I want to build on a subject raised in recent comments and something we have discussed peripherally on the blog for a long time. Every so often, a conservative Christian comes in here and suggests that people who believe evolution, or those who don't believe the Bible is divinely inspired, or those who aren't Christian at all--don't have any morals, or don't have the ability to form morality. That, according to many conservatives, comes alone from God.

So, how do conservative Christians learn their morality? I will concede that some of them are written down in the Bible. Not killing, not stealing, etc.

But what about those things not addressed directly in the Bible? Racism? Environmental destruction? Or even those things that are addressed? Taking care of the poor, the contrast between the wealthy and the poor, etc. How do conservative Christians understand those things?

And I am not being snide here. I really want to understand.

May 17, 2008

Birthday followup

So we went to the wedding. Turns out they played little snippets of music through the short ceremony, including Bette Midler's "The Rose" and a song by Coldplay. I didn't know anyone used the Rose any longer. But the ceremony was nice and short, and thoughtful.


But since we really only knew the parent of one of the participants, we bolted after the ceremony and had dinner at Johnny Carinos. Our waiter came up and knelt at the table (which seems to be all the rage now). He then said, "My name is Blah, and I will be taking care of us." Us? Since when did Blah join our little party and, more importantly, was he going to take some of the stuffed mushrooms or pay for part?

At first we thought it was just a slip, but Blah came back several times to ask how "we were doing," and when he brought the check, he said he would "be our cashier." At one point, he forgot to bring me a beer, and I came very close to saying to him, "we forgot to bring us our beer." But I decided not to.

Anyone else had that experience?

Saturday stuff--and turning 43

Yep, I hit the big 4-3 today. Whatever that means. It has been a nice birthday. Played golf yesterday with some friends and then enjoyed a nice dinner last night with SOF. Today, we are attending a wedding, which is not my favorite way to spend my birthday, but sometimes that happens.


Couple of interesting stories in the news today. Chris Matthews (and I don't have the link handy) actually made a really good point this week about Bush's appeasement comparison. It has become very common for conservatives to shout "appeasement" anytime liberals advocate diplomacy or in any other way oppose Bush policy. The most recent (and shameful) example was Bush's speech in Israel comparing Democrats to those who appeased Hitler. Never mind the crap that Obama or Clinton would take for making such a speech on foreign soil (hell, the Dixie Chicks got death threats for saying Bush embarrassed them during a concert in England), but Matthews pointed out the obvious problem with the analogy. Appeasement, as he noted, was not talking to Hitler, but allowing him to keep territory. Talking to our enemies doesn't mean that we have to either trust them or give them anything. Talking is not appeasement.


In rare form, Peggy Noonan accurately describes the problems with the current Republican party:
What happens to the Republicans in 2008 will likely be dictated by what didn't happen in 2005, and '06, and '07. The moment when the party could have broken, on principle, with the administration – over the thinking behind and the carrying out of the war, over immigration, spending and the size of government – has passed. What two years ago would have been honorable and wise will now look craven. They're stuck.

Mr. Bush has squandered the hard-built paternity of 40 years. But so has the party, and so have its leaders. If they had pushed away for serious reasons, they could have separated the party's fortunes from the president's. This would have left a painfully broken party, but they wouldn't be left with a ruined "brand," as they all say, speaking the language of marketing. And they speak that language because they are marketers, not thinkers. Not serious about policy. Not serious about ideas. And not serious about leadership, only followership.
That has been my point for sometime--that the current crop of Republicans are not trustworthy. They have stood in near unison with this President as he has tortured, invaded, and mangled our constitution.


Heh. Well, Washington University went ahead and gave Phyllis Schlafly the honorary doctorate. As a sidenote, btw, as someone who worked his ass off to gain a doctorate, I resent these in most situations. Being famous is not the same thing. Nor, of course, is giving a lot of money to a University. One of the rare times when I thought an honorary doctorate made sense, was at OU when they honored Marilyn Horne for her lifetime of work as an American opera singer. That made sense to me.

Giving Schlafly a doctorate for, well, standing in the way of women's equality, imho, is not good. I have no problem allowing her to speak--if that is what you want. She has the right to air her ideas as much as the next person.

Anyway, many students and faculty agree with me, evidently, and stood with their backs turned to a speaker who has said that women consent to sex when they marry. And in a typical Schlafly graceless fashion, she called the protestors a "bunch of losers" and
As for her detractors, she said, "I’m not sure they’re mature enough to graduate."
If anything, she said she feels sorry for them because they’ve been misled by women’s studies classes. She said they do not respect the role of the full-time homemaker, a role that she has championed.
I am still not sure how someone who has spent the bulk of her adult life outside the home can really say that, but whatever.

Some photos of the protest here.


May 16, 2008

Anti-intellectualism on the right

H/t to Melissa Rogers for more on John Hagee's apology letter to Catholics Bill Donohue. Any readers here know that I have no respect for Hagee--which comes from several years where I actually listened to his sermons in a kind of fascinated--ears-bleeding kind of way. I always loved his "wives have to give sex as rent to stay the marriage bit" or the time the angry preacher bragged about hurting another football player in his youth. He is quite an example of Christianity, I tell you.

But I digress. Melissa was struck by the weirdness of the assumption that all Catholics were to follow Bill Donohue's lead. I was sturck by another line:
"Mr. Donohue said of Mr. Hagee’s letter: “Well, miracles do happen. If I wasn’t a believer before, I sure am now.

“Republican activists have been working with him over the last several weeks, giving him books and articles and getting him up to speed and away from the black legends about the Catholic Church. I have to assume he’s acting sincerely, and now understands” that he has been recycling conspiracy theories."
According to wikipedia, Hagee has several degrees and not all from bible schools. During that education, he never actually read any history? For all the buzz about Jeremiah Wright, I remember hearing Hagee say amazingly stupid and uneducated things. He actually told his church (and I can't document this, but remember it from when I watched his circus) that the government was lying about how AIDS was spread and suggested to them that it was in fact spread through casual contact and through the air.

This is what happens when you emphasize reading the Bible and a personal experience with God over tradition, and reason.

May 15, 2008

The entire, sad, disgusting interview

I commented on Bush's "I gave up Golf for the war effort" (lie, of course) the other day, but until I watched this Olbermann special comment (H/t Mary, and no, don't watch it if you hate Olbermann. This isn't about him or his take.) I realized I hadn't read or seen the entire horrible interview. I can't watch the man speak, so I read the transcript instead, and it is enough to make your eyes bleed. The questions are horrible. "Who will win American idol?" Are you fucking kidding me? Not only who cares about American freakin Idol, but who the hell cares what this guy thinks about something like that?

And his answers to the questions are just horrible. Check out his passive voice on the intelligence leading into the war.
Bush: No, no, I was told by people that they had weapons of mass destruction — as were members of Congress, who voted for the resolution to get rid of Saddam Hussein. And of course, the political heat gets on and they start to run and try to hide from their votes.
Olbermann just about had an aneurism at that answer and he was right. Unbelievably stupid and crass. And passive. Everyone made mistakes but this guy. Other people are responsible, but he didn't make any errors. And now people are running from their votes?

But then again, Bush equates his own stubbornness with "principle."

And his response to Carter was even worse than I thought:
"Bush: Yes, well, what he ought to be saying is, is that America doesn't torture. If the implication there is that we do now, then he's wrong. And you bet we're going to protect ourselves by the use of military force. What he really is implying is — or some imply — you can be popular; if you want to be popular in the Middle East just go blame Israel for every problem. That will make you popular. "
Yes, Carter has blamed Israel for every problem. And of course we don't torture. Except when this person himself authorized it. Then it isn't torture, because we don't torture.

Worst. President. Ever. And it isn't even close any longer.


And then he compared Obama to Nazi appeasers.

Matthew Yglesias
(May 15, 2008) - Bush: Munich, Munich Munich
(Foreign Policy)
"The standard point to make in response to this is still a true one -- we refer to this day to the 'lessons of Munich' and make a big deal out of Adolf Hitler because that was really unusual whereas to hawks it's always 1939, every foreigner we don't like is a new Hitler, and preventive war is always the only solution. Bush and McCain truly are the ideological descendants of the folks who urged Eisenhower to go for 'rollback' and who insisted that Ronald Reagan betrayed the true path when he sat down with Gorbachev for arms control talks.
Meanwhile, Bush continues to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose and nature of diplomacy. The idea of talks isn't that you marshall convincing arguments and beat your enemies back with force of words. The idea is that it's sometimes possible to achieve a reconciliation of partially divergent interests"
Truly a horrible leader.

LIve music

Last night, SOF, myself, and three good friends went to hear The Greencards play at the Blue Door in OKC. We hadn't been for a while. And we have been meaning to catch this group sometime but never did. They are some of the best musicians I have ever seen. The mandolin player is unbelievable, and last night they had a 17 hear old kid playing guitar so well, it would make you cry. If you have a chance to see them, I recommend it.

May 14, 2008

Embarrassed by my own country

Italian’s Detention Illustrates Dangers Foreign Visitors Face - New York Times

Golf update--updated

Anglican reminds us of a previous Bush golf moment:

Additionally, Blue Girl, Red State calls "bullshit" on the whole "gave up golf for the war effort" story:
Actually, it is far more likely that Bush quit playing golf because he was suffering from knee problems throughout the latter half of 2003.Bush, 57, will have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test on Thursday, Dec. 18. The body-scanning device enables doctors to see internal organs in 3D. The MRI is being performed on the advice of the President's regular White House physician. Last summer, Bush suffered a minor muscle tear in his right calf and that injury, along with aching knees, forced him to abandon his running routine. The calf strain healed by August when he had his annual physical, but the president said in September that he suspected he had a meniscus tear.
Who knows? I do know that the President certainly didn't give up vacations for the war effort, and he certainly never asked the American people to actually pay for his war.

And Leighton had this great comment about Bush's stronger faith:
"Pretending for a moment that he's sincere (which I don't believe), the language he uses it is consistent with the faith community I left years ago, where the grammar of 'relationship with God' was actually an institutionalization of narcissism--it gave everyone an excuse to relate the suffering of others back to my (my, my, MY, MY) inner life, rather than letting them take center stage.

People past middle school and outside certain Christian groups rarely need to hear this, but when someone is killed in combat, the central point is not his personal remorse. It's not about him."
Well said.


More on Golf-gate from Froomkin
Not only is it a hollow, trivial sacrifice at best, Bush's story doesn't hold water. While he dates his decision to abjure golf to Aug. 19, 2003 -- the day a truck bomb in Baghdad killed U.N. special representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and more than a dozen others -- the Associated Press reported on Oct. 13, 2003, that he'd spent a "cool, breezy Columbus Day" playing "a round of golf with three long-time buddies.

Dan Eggen writes in The Washington Post: "Democrats have criticized Bush for allegedly not requiring Americans to sacrifice enough while waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for urging people to keep shopping as a way to fight terrorism after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Bush was also widely criticized in August 2002 when he decried terrorist bombings in Israel while golfing and then told reporters: 'Now watch this drive.'

"Although Bush says he has given up golf, he is a mountain-biking enthusiast who has been photographed taking part in rides. He took up biking after an injury sidelined him from running.

"Presidential historian Robert Dallek. . . said Bush's remarks about Iraq 'speak to his shallowness.' Dallek added: 'That's his idea of sacrifice, to give up golf?'"

This President shallow? Unpossible.

May 13, 2008

Uh oh.--Updated

I mean, for the GOP.

Update: From a House district where Bush won by 62 percent in '04:
"Not only is Childers, the Democrat, winning that Mississippi House seat. It's really not even that close. With 94% of the votes in, he's winning by a 6 point margin.

Late Update: Scratch that. With 99% in, it's an 8 point spread. Not even close."

Bush gives up golf to honor war sacrifice

I am sorry, but this just doesn't cut it for me:
"For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families.

“I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”"

He goes on to parrot Doug Feith and say that he was simply wrong, not a liar about the war; then decides to bad mouth Jimmy Carter while suggesting (again) that he (Bush) operates out of principle and values.
“That will make you popular,” he said. “Popularity is fleeting. … Principles are forever.”

And then this:
His Christian faith has increased in office, since “part of the faith walk is to understand your weaknesses and is to constantly try to embetter yourself and get closer to the Lord, and that's a daily occurrence.”

“Obviously, there's been some tough moments in here,” he said. “When you know that somebody lost their loved one as a result of a decision that I made, that's a tough moment. If you're a faithful person, you try to empathize with the suffering that that person is going through. On the other hand, there is a knowledge that the good Lord can comfort during these moments of grief. And that's what I ask for in my prayer.”
HIs faith is stronger, even as he authorized torture.


Argh--I have been tagged

By both Natalie and Tony.

The rules are:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago, I was . . .

Struggling to write my dissertation. I floundered around for a long time before I really started producing pages.

5 Things on Today’s “To Do” List

1. Turn in grades.
2. Walk crazy dogs.
3. Avoid student emails asking for grade changes.
4. Have beers with Doug.
5. Practice guitar.

3 Bad Habits:

1. Procrastination
2. Reading political blogs and raging about Republicans.
3. Watching TV I don't really like instead of reading or listening to music or playing music.

5 Places I’ve Lived:

Spokane, WA

Norwood, CO

Fort Collins, CO

Houston, TX

Norman, OK

5 Jobs I’ve Held:

1. cowboy

2. cook/busboy

3. microfiche processor

4. IT specialist

5. history instructor

Tag, you're it

Steve at Marin County Jesus
Kevin Powell
Sarah and/or Dwight

Yeah, I tagged more than the rules call for. But then again, I have never been that good at following rules.

May 12, 2008


Former Streak's Blog commenter Les Puryear to run for SBC president. Perhaps that explains why he is a "former" commenter.

Jon Stewart and Doug Feith

I found this interview very interesting. Bottom line? My uncharitable take? Feith says that the administration wasn't lying, they were just incompetent. (Oh, and this is the longer version than shown on air. Especially the second half. )

Far religious right considers an Obama Presidency "a plague"

Oddly enough, they don't see 8 years of Bush as bad. I guess.

(Apologies for linking to Bob Novak) I have never trusted Mike Huckabee or homeschool advocate Michael Farris, and here is why:
"Huckabee in personal conversation with him embraced the concept that an Obama presidency might be what the American people deserve. That fits what has largely been a fringe position among evangelicals, that the pain of an Obama presidency is in keeping with the Bible's prophecy.

According to this activist, at the heart of the let-Obama-win movement is longtime Virginia conservative leader Michael Farris -- the nation's leading home-school advocate, who is now chancellor of Patrick Henry College (in Purcellville, Va.) for home-schooled students. Farris is regarded as one of the hardest-edged Christian politicians. He is reported in evangelical circles to promote the biblical justification for an Obama plague-like presidency."

Phyllis Schlafly on marital rape

Here is a hint. she doesn't think it even exists.
Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?
I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That's what marriage is all about, I don't know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn't mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn't rape, it's a he said-she said where it's just too easy to lie about it.

Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?

Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.

So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-

Yes, I certainly do."

Another American nightmare

Careless Detention | System of Neglect details how in the recent war on immigration, people die. In this case, some 83 have died in crowded and poorly managed camps.
"The investigation found a hidden world of flawed medical judgments, faulty administrative practices, neglectful guards, ill-trained technicians, sloppy record-keeping, lost medical files and dangerous staff shortages. It is also a world increasingly run by high-priced private contractors. There is evidence that infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and chicken pox, are spreading inside the centers.

Federal officials who oversee immigration detention said last week that they are 'committed to ensuring the safety and well-being' of everyone in their custody.

Some 83 detainees have died in, or soon after, custody during the past five years. The deaths are the loudest alarms about a system teetering on collapse. Actions taken -- or not taken -- by medical staff members may have contributed to 30 of those deaths, according to confidential internal reviews and the opinions of medical experts who reviewed some death files for The Post."
What is it with Republicans and contractors? Don't they cost more money? Is it a way to simply move the cost around?

Either way, this is just another story that makes me hang my head as an American. We need a good conversation on immigration--I don't deny that. But what the Republicans have given us is not that. They have given us a knee jerk fear based approach with the typical Bush style of administering the problem. Ten bucks says the person running this system is friends of someone--not someone with experience.


May 11, 2008

Amazing Grace

We watched the film Amazing Grace tonight (yeah, we are always about 6-8 months behind the rest of the world). We both loved the film for a lot of reasons. I think we both appreciated that this 18th century man loved animals and established one of the first groups for the protection of animals. And we both loved that the film presented a person like Wilberforce who was dedicated to making the world a better place.

It is hard to watch a film like this and not see the world around us. A political environment where fear is pitted against morality and right. Or where dissent is suggested to be unpatriotic. Or where profit is leveraged against humanity. (And something missed by those who saw this in the theatre, I suspect, was a clip connecting the colonial slave trade to the contemporary and ongoing slave trade.)

I remember a wise friend of mine warning about the film Amistad. She noted that it was very easy for us to project ourselves backwards and ignore that many of the people we admire, or perhaps the ones most like us, would have been on the wrong side of the equation. Or at least, would have held views that today we find abominable. Kind of the historical version of Crash Davis asking Annie Savoy why people in past lives were always famous, and never, as he put it, "Joe Schmo."

Very easy to look at this slave trade and project ourselves onto the Wilberforce character or John Newton. Newton is a good example. Credited with the hymn "Amazing Grace" he became a Christian during his work in the slave trade. That part is often cited. But we often forget that he continued to work in the slave trade for the next decade and didn't really denounce slavery until later.

Perhaps I have an axe here, I don't know. I remember a very recent conversation with a very conservative Christian. I challenged him about the world had conservatives had their way. Would we have abolished slavery, segregation, women's inequality, child labor? He chided me that, "liberals didn't end slavery, Christians did."

I think he is right. Or perhaps at least partly right. Christians did play a strong role in abolishing slavery, and this film makes that point very well. That should be remembered and appreciated. But they also played a strong role in the perpetuation of slavery and racism in this country. And perhaps that is the sticking point for me. This film is a great reminder of people fighting injustice, and doing so often because of and informed by their religious faith. But it is easy to ignore that people of faith can defend injustice too. The past and the present collide. People of faith rally for civil rights, but also defend torture. People of faith weep for a world in poverty, but also rally around the rich and the powerful.

Young evangelicals leaving the GOP

Not necessarily for the Dems, but they are leaving. This one will go against his family:
"He's a born-again Christian with two family members in the military. He grew up in the Bible Belt, where almost everyone he knew was Republican. But this fall, he's breaking a handful of stereotypes: He plans to vote for Democrat Barack Obama.

'I think a lot of Christians are having trouble getting behind everything the Republicans stand for,' said Dudley, 20, a sophomore at Seattle Pacific University."
Others are choosing independence or unaffiliated. But from my perspective, the fact that they are turning on the false religion of the GOP is the best news. As I have said repeatedly, I don't think the Democratic party is necessarily the answer to the evil that the Republicans have become. Hillary and Bill are showing us all just one reason that is true. But the GOP has been taken over by government-hating, pro-war, pro-torture people. The fact that evangelicals have aligned themselves with the GOP is just disturbing.
"This could turn out to be the election where both parties realize that the evangelical vote is so hopelessly split down the middle that it's not worth courting them at all because what parties need are blocs that can be appealed to en masse," Crouch said. "Paradoxically, evangelicals would become less relevant than ever before."

Braun, the seminary student, said he's not totally committed to any candidate yet.

"I just keep thinking, if Jesus were alive now, he wouldn't necessarily be voting Republican," he said.

May 10, 2008

John McCain is a maverick

Just ask him. And his poor wife. She hates the political attacks on her children. You know, like the ones done by her hubby's new BFF George Bush? And she is not just a stickler for principle in campaign tactics, but also ethics even though she refuses to release her tax returns as she uses her wealth to fund his campaign. But he is a maverick. Dammit.

Now the maverick shows just how big a maverick by appointing a lobbyist to run his convention. Don't worry, the lobbyist in question only represented the military junta that runs Burma.

But Jeremiah Wright is a problem because he makes us question what Obama really believes?



Update. Just saw that the former Myanmar lobbyist resigned from McCain's convention.

Saturday is the day for music

Well, at least to note a few forthcoming albums that have me a little interested.

First up is the first album in 4 years (or something) from the Old 97's which is coming out next Tuesday. You can watch a little video there at Amazon which gives you a little insight on the appeal of the band. I remember seeing them at a club in Austin and they just simply blew me away. Their last album, however, really didn't impress me, so I am excited about this one.

Second, and I just learned of this in my new issue of Paste magazine, is the new album from Alejandro Escovedo which will be out late June. Readers here know that Alejandro is one of my favorite artists and perhaps one of the best rocker's that you have never heard of. Unlike the Old 97s, his last album was great and we were able to catch him on tour. Great stuff.

Any albums you are looking at this summer?


Here in Norman, btw, we had a weird google outage that kept me from posting comments or blog posts all morning. Was that just in OK?

May 9, 2008

Sigh. Why Republicans make me sad

Michael Gerson still on the patriotism kick:
The problem here is not that Obama is unpatriotic -- a foolish, unfair, destructive charge -- but that Obama has declared himself superior to an almost universal form of popular patriotism. And this sense of superiority, revealed in case after case, has political consequences, because the Obama narrative reinforces the Democratic narrative. It is now possible to imagine Obama at a cocktail party with Kerry, Al Gore and Michael Dukakis, sharing a laugh about gun-toting, Bible-thumping, flag-pin-wearing, small-town Americans."
As one blogger (I forget where I read this) noted, David Kuo's book showed that, in fact, the Bush White House was filled with people mocking the religious voters behind their back.

And God help me, but I am damn tired of "lapel pin" patriotism. And bumper sticker patriotism. And t-shirt patriotism.

The VEEP betting pool begins

Obama Vice President Picks: Who Are The Frontrunners? - Politics on The Huffington Post

Put me down for Webb or Wesley Clark.

Yeah, we all know that now...

Al Meyerhoff had dinner with the McCain's and learned this
And as McCain flipped burgers, I could not help but ask his views about then candidate George W. Bush.

"He's as dumb as a stump" McCain offered.

Words kind of fail me

And I thought the Precious Moment's chapel was bizarre. But this?


This isn't good news for Clinton

Political Radar: Obama Now Takes The Lead in Superdelegates Too

May 8, 2008

The issue of Race redux

Frank Rich notes The All-White Elephant in the Room and reminds us that the double standard is not just between Jeremiah Wright and John Hagee, but throughout the coverage of our campaigns:
"When Rudy Giuliani, still a viable candidate, successfully courted Pat Robertson for an endorsement last year, few replayed Mr. Robertson’s greatest past insanities. Among them is his best-selling 1991 tome, “The New World Order,” which peddled some of the same old dark conspiracy theories about “European bankers” (who just happened to be named Warburg, Schiff and Rothschild) that Mr. Farrakhan has trafficked in. Nor was Mr. Giuliani ever seriously pressed to explain why his cronies on the payroll at Giuliani Partners included a priest barred from the ministry by his Long Island diocese in 2002 following allegations of sexual abuse. Much as Mr. Wright officiated at the Obamas’ wedding, so this priest officiated at (one of) Mr. Giuliani’s. Did you even hear about it?"

Quote of the Day (er, from yesterday)

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"The representative of working class white America is now using her own multi-million dollar fortune to ensure that the little people's voices are heard. It's a nice contrast with the elitist, commie egghead who has revolutionized campaign finance with 1.5 million small donors."

Status anxiety

Sullivan links to an interesting study that suggests that the desire for hierarchy is hardwired into our brains:
"The study 'confirms that our brains are exquisitely sensitive to position in the hierarchy,' says epidemiologist Michael Marmot of University College London. 'If the hierarchy is stable, we seem to ignore those below us but focus on those higher up. If unstable, and we are in danger of losing status, areas of the brain linked to emotions are aroused.'"
That last line is key to my own thinking right now. I am increasingly convinced that many people are motivated so much by status that they often seek jobs or promotions that they really don't want or need, and unintentionally put themselves into positions where they aren't happy. All because of the need for status. If you have ever watched someone completely inflate their accomplishments in front of your eyes, you know exactly what I am talking about.

In academia, I see it all the time (or more accurately for me, on the fringes of academia). And it messes with your head. When you get a Ph.D. you think that it will impress people. And it does some. For about 5 minutes. After that, it is really up to whether you have anything else to offer. If not, the Ph.D. doesn't carry very far, trust me. And it is even worse within the academic cult (h/t M) because there everyone is either already a Ph.D. or seeking one. Those who have it don't see it as having status because, well, they already have it. They often look down on you if you aren't tenure track, or not published, or blah blah blah.

But, obviously, status is a problem well outside this little area. I imagine if you look around at the conflicts you observe, many are about status, or perceived status, or perceived attacks on perceived status. I have worked really hard on this--perhaps because of my own grad school experience. I have worked really hard to understand what my degree means and what it doesn't. I am not always successful, mind you, but I try. I hate it when people use their status as a club, and I see that all the time around me. I am proud of what I accomplished, mostly because I know how hard I worked to finish the degree. But I also know how little I know....

May 7, 2008

Research: Conservatives better at rationalization?

I didn't read the whole story yet, but this is interesting:
"Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.

Regardless of marital status, income or church attendance, right-wing individuals reported greater life satisfaction and well-being than left-wingers, the new study found. Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person's tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities."

Post-primary stuff

Perusing the news this morning, I saw more and more signs that the primary may be coming to an end. Rumors are flying that Wesley Clark called Hillary last night to urge her to drop out, and another said that she will be firmly out by June 15.

One of Sully's readers had the funniest take on the fact that Hillary seems to be the only one at the party who doesn't realize it is over:
Hillz is now that person at the party who's had 6 too many jello shots, is talking abnormally loudly and is incapable of understanding the fact that she has overstayed her welcome. And she's starting to hiccup.

C'mon Hillz, let's get your coat and we'll walk with you to the door..."


Evidently there is a bit of infighting within the conservative wing of the SBC. Shocking, I know. Evidently, President Frank Page suggested that the SBC is in decline because some perceive the SBC as "mean-spirited, hurtful, and angry." You had me at "mean-spirited," Frank.

Well, Paige "Shootem if you got 'em" Patterson is not happy, and goes out of his way to prove that his mean-spirit is exactly what God likes.
The present state cannot please our Lord, but it is a safe bet that He is more pleased about what we are attempting globally than about the social and environmentally based programs of moderate and liberal churches.
Yes, of course. Every social justice program makes the Baby Jesus cry. Oh, and people who criticize Paige are not "real" Christians:
But I cannot help but suspect that an incipient post-modern influence is the womb from which part of this criticism arises. The world and much of "Christianity" is irritated that Southern Baptists on one hand continue to oppose abortion, the practicing of homosexuality, gender confusion, the alcoholic beverage industry that annually kills, harms, and creates so much sorrow in the social order, and on the other hand support biblical role assignments in the home and church.
I am sure glad Paige is there for us.

In an almost related note (something about flaming self-righteousness), Tony calls our attention to a proposed National Ten Commandments Day. That will show them. No word if the proposed "beautiful stone artwork tablets" are small enough to actually pummel sinners with. But we can only hope.


Let's call this the "even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then" category. Chris Matthews chastizes Rush Limbaugh for "project chaos" (or whatever Rushbo is calling it--where the drug addict calls for Republicans to corrupt the Democratic primaries--oh, and he also said that it was his dream that the Democratic Convention end in massive riots).
“I have to offer a ‘Keith-style’ Special Comment on that. Anyone who voted to screw up the political system of this country with the purpose of mischief should carry that with them the rest of their lives. What a ridiculous way to use the vote for which people fought and died — to use that vote to make mischief. I hope you’re proud of yourself.”

May 6, 2008

"Holiday from reality"

But "elite" opinion was almost uniformly contemptuous about the proposal. Examples from left and right:

• Tom Friedman of The New York Times: "So takes your breath away"
• Jonathan Alter of Newsweek: "Hillary Clinton has now joined John McCain in proposing the most irresponsible policy idea of the year"
• Jerry Taylor, a fellow for the Cato Institute: It's a "holiday from reality"
• Robert Shapiro, former undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration: "Stated as clearly as I can, it's utterly misguided both environmentally and economically"
• Max Schulz, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute: "I think it is close to political pandering. It is bad policy and political gimmickry"
• Harvard Professor and former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bush, Greg Mankiw: "What you learn in Economics 101 is that if producers can't produce much more, when you cut the tax on that good the tax is kept ... by the suppliers and is not passed on to consumers"
And maybe proof that the American people are not as dumb as Hillary and McCain believe:
So said the experts. But what about drivers, taxpayers, and voters? What did they think of the idea?

Last Sunday, watching ABC's This Week, Americans saw what might have been one of the most incisive teaching moments in the 2008 presidential campaign thus far. Kara Glennan, an Indiana voter, asked Sen. Clinton this question:

"I have -- Sen. Clinton, I actually make less than $25,000 a year, so talking about gas prices is not academic for me. I really do feel pain at the pump. However, I do feel pandered to when you talk about suspending the gas tax. I don't think that it's really a reasonable plan, and call me crazy, but I actually listen to economists, because I think that they know what they studied."

To which Sen. Clinton replied:

"Well, I'll tell you what, I'm not going to put my lot in with economists, because I know if we get it right, if we actually did it right, if we had a president who used all the tools of the presidency, we would design it in such a way that it would be implemented effectively."

It is not clear if anyone immediately appreciated the teaching moment that had just passed. The following day, The New York Times published a poll on the gas tax holiday proposal in which "an overwhelming majority of voters said candidates calling for the suspension of the federal gasoline tax this summer were acting to help themselves politically, rather than to help ordinary Americans."

May 5, 2008

Quote of the Day--Part 2

The history of jingoistic patriotism:
From Kauffman’s Ain’t My America:
American flag lapel pins had been distributed to members before the president spoke to Congress on April 2, 1917, requesting a declaration of war. It took a certain obdurate courage to refuse to wear the colors; Senator La Follette was among the refusers, as was the Mississippi senator Vardaman."

"A Prison of Shame, and It’s Ours"

Kristoff on Gitmo:
"The new material suggests two essential truths about Guantanamo:

First, most of the inmates were probably innocent all along, but Pakistanis or Afghans turned them over to America in exchange for large cash rewards. The moment we offered $25,000 rewards for Al Qaeda supporters, any Arab in the region risked being kidnapped and turned over as a terrorism suspect.

Second, torture was routine, especially early on. That’s why more than 100 prisoners have died in American custody in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo."
The legacy of Bush and Cheney.

Quote of the day?

Courtesy of you know who:
"'You know, obviously, there's some good days and some bad days. I feel so strongly about my principles and my values and I'm an optimistic guy; that what may appear to be really difficult to deal with -- like my buddies from Midland, Texas -- that for me it's just part of the job. Interestingly enough, it is a lot harder to have been the son of the President than to be the President."
Yes, "principled values" will be exactly how I remember his Presidency.

Former commander speaks out

And I am not sure what to make of this excerpt from his forthcoming memoir. It doesn't make Donald Rumsfeld look very good, that is for sure.

Evidently, the former commander also has few good things to say about former NYC Police Commissioner and disgraced HS nominee Bernie Kerik, alleging that when he worked in Iraq, Kerik was more interested in busting Baghdad prostitutes than addressing security issues.
Sanchez also told The News that he was "flabbergasted" when he heard that Kerik was nominated secretary of Homeland Security.

Hagee continued

Sarah Posner has more on the theology foreign policy of Hagee:
"In Jerusalem Countdown, Hagee explains how the Book of Ezekiel prophesies that an army of Arabs (including Iran, although Hagee doesn't explain that Iran is not an Arab country), led by Russia, will invade Israel, but that God will exterminate all but one-sixth of the 'Russian axis of evil.' Hagee actually describes God's murderous judgment as 'His strategy of war.'

Ezekiel also predicts, according to Hagee, that 'judgment is coming not only to the invading Russian force but also on the headquarters of that power and upon all who support it or allowed this attack on Israel.' Focusing on Ezekiel 39:6, which reads 'I will send fire on ... those who live in security in the coastlands,' Hagee argues that God could, in the form of hurricanes, tsunamis, or nuclear war, bring judgment on the East and West coasts of the United States if it does not protect Israel from said attack. Why would God allow this? Hagee asks. He explains by quoting Genesis 12:3: 'I will bless those who bless you [Israel] and will curse him who curses you.'

Keep in mind that McCain says his association with Hagee is different from Obama's association with Wright because he doesn't go to Hagee's church -- he just likes Hagee's politics on Israel. Doesn't that make you feel better?"
When you add Hagee telling his millions of watchers that the US is under Satan's rule and that public schools promote abortion, the crazy Wright we saw last week is still saner than this guy.

Our troops and our politics

And contractors. Someone in the army told me that the days of KP are over since they have contractors to do all that work. I don't know if that is good or not, but at least the contractors should do the right thing. I am not convinced that all of them do, and am even less convinced that Bush cares. This story about KBR wiring killing our own soldiers just makes me ill. And worse, the report suggests that KBR mocked one critic for raising safety concerns.

But those of us on the left don't value the troops, right?


The most troubling thing about Hillary's campaign has been her willingness to use the very same right wing tactics used against her husband, Al Gore and John Kerry. We are Democrats, dammit. We should not model after Karl Freaking Rove. The mildest example is her gas tax holiday pander that she took from John McCain. Every economist says this is a horrible idea. It will increase demand for gas (which will raise prices, not lower them), will provide more funding for extremists, and do nothing to fundamentally examine the problem. (Sam Stein finds absolutely no experts who think this idea is a good one.) But Hillary here models after the religious right's response to critics of, well, any of their programs or approaches to science (cough, evolution, cough), and says:
"STEPHANOPOULOS: 'But can you name an economist who thinks this makes sense?'
CLINTON: 'Well, I'll tell you what, I'm not going to put my lot in with economists.'"

Sigh. That is the Republican response to experts showing that abstinence only doesn't work. That is the right wing response to climate change, and evolution and the death penalty. This is not the rational response of someone who certainly knows better.


H/t to Oklahoma Lefty for this list of TV's 50 Best Comedies of All Time. OL has some reservations about the list, but I have some serious ones. Glad to see Get Smart so well respected, but Roseanne in the top 10? And Arrested Development at 37? No NewsRadio at all? And while Family Guy makes the list, no King of the Hill?

Boo, I say. Boo.

May 3, 2008

Camera advice?

We are shopping for a new camera and wondering if anyone has some suggestions. We want a compact model that we can easily carry in a pocket; has at least 8 megapixels (7 would probably do) and good reliable features. At this point, we are leaning toward Canon since we have had such good luck with them in the past.

Any suggestions out there?

May 2, 2008

Family Research Council says nuts to law

Urges Pastors to "cross the line" and tell people who to vote for.

Friday morning

Saw that Tony had his own Friday Morning Stuff that includes a suggestion that an Obama presidency could actually resurrect actual and genuine conservatism by removing the hold that neo-cons have over the movement through the Iraq war. Interesting idea. I would welcome a return of real conservatives. Watching McCain pander to the neo-cons and religious right doesn't make me hopeful, but...


I took some grief offline for my comments on race and Jeremiah Wright. I still believe that the disparity in response to Wright v. Hagee and Parsley reflects some racial issues. But I also believe that there is much legitimate criticism of Wright.
The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan: "Even the pastor's defenders think he's lost it in the last week. For Marty's previous assessment of Wright, see here. Wright is doubtless a complex figure: you cannot deny his theological depth, his intellectual gifts, his service in the Marines, his contribution to his community. But he is also clearly an ego-maniac, as some preachers often are. And he has succumbed to bitterness, envy, paranoia and racial polarization. One thing cable news cannot convey: human beings can contain a great deal of good and bad at the same time."


Obsidian Wings notes that Antonin Scalia seems to think that torture during interrogations is not prohibited by the "cruel and unusual punishment" portion of the Constitution because it isn't punishment.


Daily Show noted the other night, that many American ministers have a history of saying radical and stupid stuff. That includes Billy Graham who was caught on tape telling Nixon that he resented the stranglehold the Jews had on our country. Graham first denied those allegations, but when the tapes came out, he apologized profusely, to his credit.


Speaking of religious idiocy (religion isn't always idiotic, mind you), Boing Boing notes Ben Stein going on Trinity Broadcasting Network and speaking to one of the Crouch family.
Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Crouch: That’s right.

Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Crouch: Good word, good word.
Not only does this ignore the vast amount of atrocities that occurred well before Darwin's writings, but it also nicely ignores all the benefits from science that I am positive Stein's family has benefited from. Unless they have sworn off doctors because of the doctors used by the Nazis?


And Bush is finally back into the 70s. Unfortunately for him, that is not an approval rating:
'No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark,' said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Nixon wasn't even this unpopular after impeachment.


Ok, a little music diversion. Earlier this week, Feist dropped by the Colbert Report. I first disliked her album until I gave it a few listens. Here, she performs "I feel it all" and I am so impressed with her voice and how good that guitar sounds. Very nice.


May 1, 2008

But Wright is dangerous?

Let's count the ways that John Hagee is more dangerous than Jeremiah Wright
In a sermon given at his San Antonio, Texas Cornerstone megachurch that was telecast and available in up to ninety million homes worldwide, controversial pastor John Hagee, who has endorsed the presidential bid of Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, Jr., claimed that American public schools provide abortion services. Hagee stated, "Your daughter can get an abortion in public school without telling you but she can't get an aspirin without your approval." The pastor also claimed that public school teachers can force their students to study a "precursor to witchcraft" and suggests that America has invited "satan" and demonic spirits into its public school systems by failing to display the Ten Commandments on classroom walls. Presidential hopeful John McCain, Jr. has said he is "glad to have" Hagee's support and "admires" the leadership of the Texas pastor - who has declared God has cursed and doomed America.
If the bold doesn't come through on your screen, just focus on how many households can listen to the idiot, and what the idiot is saying about our public schools.