When I learned about this weekend's Blog Against Theocracy, I started brainstorming some ideas for posts. This is an issue that has been important to me for some time for a number of reasons. On the most basic level, it goes against *my* understanding of what my faith (actually all major faith traditions) requires of me, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." *I* wouldn't want to be treated like a second class citizen because of my beliefs or lack thereof, so how can I, as someone who tries to follow the teachings of Jesus, condone or accept it when others are treated that way? Also, as a parent, I have learned a little bit about persuasion--or, more specifically, the types of persuasion that are most likely to backfire. I know that if you try to force something on someone, it could end up being the *last* thing they will choose.
My son is almost 14, and there was never a time in his life that he believed in God in any traditional sense. But he has fluctuated to some degree between agnostic and staunchly, almost evangelically atheistic. What makes the difference? When he has been around people who seem to have an agenda and want to push religion, he pushes back, digging in his heels and becoming more anti-religion. But when he's been in an environment, such as the local Unitarian Universalist church where his "I don't believe in God" was met with, "A lot of us don't either", then he has been more open to the "maybe" of God. So if my ultimate goal is for him to embrace Christianity, I've learned that the approach with the best chance of success would be a *really* soft sell. As in, acting like I don't really care that much. And I wonder how many people out there in the world might be more open to religion if there weren't people trying to force it on them.
Last September, Rob Boston from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State came to speak here in Columbus. You can read his whole talk here, but I've excerpted the section that addresses theocracy, and why a secular state is good for both the church and the state.
As I mentioned a moment ago, I see secularism as a sort of a platform upon which our religious liberty and our freedoms rest. Secularism as a legal principle means simply this, that the government is neutral toward religion. Neutral, not hostile. As applied in our First Amendment, the principle of secularism means that the state neither advances religion, nor inhibits religion. Now there are alternatives to secularism as a legal principle. And I would challenge those who are attacking the secular state to tell me which alternative they would like to see us adopt in the United States.
You can read the rest here, including Boston's musings about why our third president might be considered "unelectable" given the slide toward theocracy that has taken place in this country over the years.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Appearing at The Blogging Curmudgeon, My Left Wing, and the Independent Bloggers' Alliance.
The American Prospect sounds the death knell for the slogan that two Bush Administrations have used to whip an ambivalent public into line behind their oil wars. "Support the Troops." I hated the phrase during Gulf War I and I hate it now. I know when I'm being manipulated. As Bush the Elder set out to lick the "Vietnam syndrome," he tweaked a public made guilty by urban legends about returning veterans spat upon by anti-war protesters. My neighborhood, then, was a sea of flags and yellow ribbons. How can you protest the war? You have to support the troops. I support them so much I want to bring them home, I'd say, but there is no reasoning with the mindlessly jingoistic.
In our fifth year of Operation Endless Bloody Occupation, the phrase has been stripped of its utility. As our troops sustain back to back deployments. As they return with broken bodies and broken minds, to rat infested hospitals and a failing VA, any assertion from the Administration that those who want the bloodletting to stop are the one's who fail them seems like crude burlesque.
So the American Prospect informs us, as it reports that deep in red America, Democratic Senator John Tester is facing no serious resistance to his oppositional stance on the war and his vote for the supplemental bill that included a timetable for withdrawal.
Indeed, the only direct mention of the vote came from a young Army wife, who thanked Tester for "supporting the troops by voting for deadlines to bring them home." Heather Scharre is 28. She's married to 27-year-old Sergeant Paul Scharre, who served three tours in Afghanistan while on active duty, then left the Army only to find himself involuntarily recalled last September. He is now on his way to Iraq. "We've been told to expect 14 to 16 months," Heather said of her husband's deployment.
But the damage done as this idiotic meme crashes to earth is more than the loss of it's use as a rhetorical bludgeon. There is substantial damage to the troops themselves. For having been used as political cover for a corrupt agenda, they are now convenient targets for a public disgusted by this war. Why not? They're not so much human as they are human hyperbole. They ceased to be human beings when they were turned into symbols of mindless nationalism. When they became set dressing for speeches and props for photo ops. Made mute in all matters of political debate by their uniform code, they were, none the less, used as instruments of propaganda for dark political motives. Unable to pick and choose their wars by virtue of signature and oath, they went where they were sent.
As any of my regular readers knows, my husband is one who signed, who swore, who went. So, yes, it pains me when he is called a murderer, an uneducated dupe, a fool. While outrage at the troops themselves for their role in advancing American imperialism is, in my experience, still confined to a small, vocal, minority, it, none the less opens a window into the American psyche. It is only the most extreme example of the shadow projection of a cloistered public, cut off for so long from the direct experience of war.
That we have had no war fought on our soil in our memories, has enabled most Americans to view the horror only through a media aperture. But, unlike the first Gulf War, which looked like nothing so much as a fireworks display, this one "comes into our living rooms" with blood and sinew still attached. Not so easy to ooh and ahh at pictures of the dead children on whom the fireworks fall. But graphic as these images are, they still do not, cannot, capture the experience of the troops on the ground or of the Iraqis who live it daily. We still sit at safe distance, discomfited but naive.
And so we reject it, project it, displace it. Those invested in keeping war "glorious" decry that we see it at all, calling on our media to hide the "graphic" photos in the name of decency; diverting our gaze from coffins and amputees. But at the opposite extreme are those who see the horrors and disown the war itself like a bastard child. At both ends of this sharp polarity is the same disease; the utter failure to take responsibility for what our country has become and for what it has wrought.
We must support our troops. They are keeping America safe.
Fuck the troops. Look what they have done.
Our poor troops do these awful things but they were duped because they are young and poor and had no options.
And all of it, all of it, is denial. Mental tricks to keep unimaginable violence "over there." Ways of keeping a safe distance from the hard reality that war is a fact of life. That every sovereign nation prays for peace but prepares for war. That soldiers the world over are trained to kill, because sometimes killing is necessary. Wars are ugly. People die in them. Many of them horribly. That's true in "just" wars just as it is wars of aggression waged on lies.
But the greatest shame of all; the one that forces us to glorify, to distance, to displace, to rescript, to shun, is that, like it or not, this war is intrinsically linked to our way of life. If we live here, work here, shop here, pay taxes here, we are responsible. If we use petroleum, including plastics, we are most definitely responsible. This war is the dark underbelly of our civilization. It is an imperialist adventure. We are an imperialist nation. Embrace it or protest it, but for pity's sake, own it.
This war is not necessary but it was inevitable. Inevitable in a nation where roughly half the people vote, where politics is a football game, where public schools teach ignorance, and social institutions reinforce learned helplessness. In a nation where slapping magnets on our SUVs is participation in a war effort, but a fraction of the populace fights wars mostly hidden from public view. We have a military to protect our borders. And without them our borders would inevitably be breached. As our empire has grown to encompass corporate agendas that know no boundaries, they protect our "interests." But more than anything, more than anything, they protect our illusions.
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." ---George Orwell on a BBC broadcast, April 4, 1942
The Congressional Black Caucus "Club" have forgotten about black folks again.
This time it's Jesse Jackson who is joining the Congressional Black Caucus in showing his Rainbow to black folk.
AAPPundit says: Black Agenda Report is on point. Fox News has rented the Congressional Black Caucus and now Jesse Jackson.
Surprise - Surprise!
In August, 2005, George W. Bush endorsed "teaching the controversy," teaching "Intelligent Design" alongside evolution in our nation's schools. "Intelligent Design," for those who do not know, is little more than reverse-engineered creationish disguised as science, or, as one wag put it, "creationism in a cheap tuxedo."
This is disturbing in its own right. But it gets far more disturbing when you consider the willingness of this Administration to pervert science to its needs.
James E. Hanson, once NASA's director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has accused the Administration of muzzling him and censoring his findings on global warming. He was warned there would be "dire consequences" if he spoke publicly about his findings. They even had an oil lobbyist and a college dropout editing his work at the direct instruction of the White House. And then, at the end of last year, the Admnistration issued new rules requiring all scientists to submit papers and speeches for "review" before they could be presented. And it just keeps getting worse, as now scientists are forbidden from speaking at all if they disagree with Administration dogma.
Of course, there is an easier solution than gagging the scientists. The government could just sign a new no-bid contract for the computers the scientists use:
Enough about science. What about theocracy? Well, that's where it gets interesting. As I noted up front, Bush is pandering to his "base" by insisting that our children get "taught the controversy," as if any time a moron disagreed with Galilleo we should start teaching the earth is the center of the universe. But will "teaching the controversy" be enough? Or will the White House start tilting the controversy, too? It certainly has no trouble doing so when it comes to global warming, so why should it not do so in a fight even more of its "base" holds dear, the inerrancy of the Bible? Gag the scientists, don't let them talk about Ardipithecus ramidus, or Australopithecus afarensis, or Paranthropus robustus, or Homo habilis, or even good old Homo neanderthalensis. After all, if human beings shared the Garden of Eden with dinosaurs, what room was there for ancestors?
Of course, presuming everything started on Day 1 (or is that Day 6?) fully made, what happens to the creatures that stay "created," particularly if they have to compete with the ones that didn't read the Book, so they go ahead and evolve all on their own? I think we know the answer to that:
The truth of the matter is (and now I'm just pumping in cartoons as part of Blogging Against Theocracy Weekend), the whole concept of religion is just one of explaining what you don't understand (and then using it to control people, but that's another story entirely):
While people insist we "respect" religion in a way we would never even consider respecting other fairy tales, does it really have that many good lessons for us? Sure, people pick and choose the parts they like, or the parts that support their own particular hatreds or prejudices, but is that any way to construct morality?
Ultimately, though, it's really pretty simple. The Bush way, the theocrats way, is one that insists we accept faithful ignorance over reason, and that is most certainly NOT the way to assure our nation's future:
Friday, April 6, 2007
Off the top of my head, here’s a short list:
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I was really impressed with the Anderson Cooper's "What Is A Christian?" series. And I am thinking you just can't make this shit up.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the beginning, an explosion rocked the cosmos, and the universe was born. Primitive life crawled from an ooze, mutating, changing. Dinosaurs lived, died, left nothing but bones. And evolution rolled on, until millions of years later.
Can you believe $27 million for this? How many people will that feed I wonder?
Then there is the hot topic of homosexuality and how they think "therapy and prayer" can solve that.
TUCHMAN: At Love Won Out, self-proclaimed ex-gays like Haley (ph) and Fryrear enthusiastically regale the crowd with their personal stories.
Offered without comment, a piece from The Nation entitled "Making Blogging Pay".
Peer-produced media like blogs and Wikipedia have become the cornerstones of new creative projects that largely depend on the coordinated work of volunteers. But can they thrive without financial backing? Moulitsas says no. "There has to be a financial incentive to stick with blogging," he says. "There will be a subset of blogs that will be OK on their own, but there is a larger group of bloggers who need to be taken care of. There are bloggers like Digby who should not have to work a day job given what they bring to the progressive movement."
Click here for the rest.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 3:51 AM
Thursday, April 5, 2007
This comment by wu ming got me thinking about something. It's not that I begrudge top bloggers their success, it's just that a bit of humility and graciousness can go a long way. The truth is, some people, in addition to whatever talent and effort they employ, really do get some lucky breaks. And I think the *right* thing to do when you get one of those lucky breaks is to use that opportunity to do some good, especially for the people who often have no voice. And I don't mean "little bloggers", but the people we often try to stand up for, even if it's not profitable, popular, or convenient.
AAPPundit: I always knew Hillary Clinton lost a lot of black support when she supported the war in Iraq. She is going to have a problem in black communities selling her support for the war on faulty CIA info.
All she had to do is walk into any African American community in America, and black folks, black women in particular would have told her, "Don't vote for that war." But that is "not" what she does, she's no Bill Clinton, and black folks know it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against Hillary I leave that up to other bloogers and haters. There are many black bloggers who openly Identify and support Hillary Clinton, I'm not one of those bloggers. I just don't like the fact that she refuses to say she made a mistake supporting the War from the beginning. At this point, Obama, Edwards nor Hillary have my vote. But if I'm going to vote the lesser of the three evils. It probably would be...
Well, only time and the specific program they lay out, will get my vote. At this point Bill Clinton may have to stand in for Hillary at more than dinners to get black folks (in mass) to vote for her.
Hillary Clinton Struggling to Win Black Voters
Even in a Harlem church where former U.S. President Bill Clinton is revered, his wife and presidential aspirant Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has some work to do with black women once expected to be firmly in her camp.
"Right now, she's my front-runner, but that may change the more I learn about Obama," said Angela Lago, a retired hospital recruiter among the ranks of black women voters looking at Sen. Barack Obama as an alternative among Democratic contenders.
Danese Smalls, who sells jewelry in the historic black neighborhood of New York, said she changed her mind after Clinton voted to support the U.S.- led war in Iraq.
"She lost me on that. Now I'm not convinced she's any different from any other politician," Smalls said. More>
You have scandals like this one:
Citibank, one of the largest providers of student loans, as well as five universities have agreed to pay $5.2 million to students and the New York State attorney general to resolve an investigation into student loan practices, Andrew M. Cuomo, the attorney general, announced yesterday.
The directors of financial aid at Columbia University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Southern California held shares in a student loan company that each of the universities recommends to student borrowers, and in at least two cases profited handsomely. [...]
Posted by Steven D at 6:28 AM
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Thank you to Maryscott O'Connor at My Left Wing for giving some front page love to this blog and my post "Tell us about your childhood, Duncan." If you're visiting this blog for the first time, I just wanted to point out that there is an "About" section if you scroll down a bit in the left sidebar. It has information about how to become a contributor--the more the merrier! But even if you don't want to post here, we always welcome the opportunity to exchange links with other bloggers. So if you're interested in reciprocal linking action, you can use the comments here to post your link.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 8:35 PM
What's up? Are black folks not buying "Uncle Ben's products like they use too?
Are the family members of the original “Uncle Ben" receiving his (long past due) Chairman's salary and royalties? Yeah I said it, money - $$$. If they (descendents) are not available, are nonprofit HBCU's, or inner city boys and girls clubs getting any $$$.
This is pure bogus to us. A fake Chairman of the Board. Soon they will be placing Kentucky Fried Chicken, Col. Sanders in Black Face"
Read more about the new Uncle Ben in the New York Times article titled:
A racially charged advertising character, who for decades has been relegated to a minor role in the marketing of the products that still carry his name, is taking center stage in a campaign that gives him a makeover — Madison Avenue style — by promoting him to chairman of the company.
Newspaper ad and image of Uncle Ben in his office, Masterfoods USA
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If BushCo refuses to participate in diplomacy, somebody should and that somebody is Speaker Pelosi. Of course, Bush is very upset that someone upstaged him in the Middle East (not hard to do) and made him look bad (he does that all by himself) by getting things done.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
President Bush is nettled that Pelosi is playing at Mideast negotiator, if, indeed, her visit to Damascus goes that far. Yet, her scheduled meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, an established troublemaker in Lebanon, Iraq and Israel, is a useful counterweight to the White House's record of diplomatic neglect and malpractice in the region.
And guess who is providing diplomatic help with Britian in an attempt to gain freedom for the captured sailors and marines? Syria.
More indications emerged today of the role Syria is playing in the diplomacy. The Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, told the newspaper Al-Anba that the situation needed "quiet diplomacy", which Syria was involved in. Syria has long been the Arab country closest to Iran, a non-Arab state.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Author of "The Feminine Mistake" Leslie Bennetts writes in The Huffington Post:
Everyone knows that authors have to be prepared for negative reviews. What I didn't anticipate was an avalanche of blistering attacks by women who hadn't read my book but couldn't wait to condemn it. Their fury says a great deal about the current debate over women's choices -- all of it alarming.
In the comment thread that follows, hcgorman asks:
Maybe it is the title?
You know hc, I had the exact same thought. And yes, I get that it's a play on "The Feminine Mystique." But maybe a lot of us are just tired of being told that no matter what we do, no matter what we choose, we're always wrong.
There is a lot to recommend this book on the substance. Women who give up gainful employment to raise a family risk a lot. I personally have known a number of women who derailed the career track to focus on childrearing, only to find that in a divorce their lack of earning power left them at a disadvantage in custody battles. Imagine devoting your life to your kids only to find that having done so means you could lose primary custody of them.
Bennetts goes on:
My goal in writing The Feminine Mistake was to provide women with what I saw as one-stop-shopping that would help close this information gap. My goal was to gather into a single neat package all the financial, legal, sociological, psychological, medical, labor-force, child-rearing and other information necessary for them to protect themselves. My reporting revealed that the bad news is just as ominous as I'd feared; so many women are unaware of practical realities that range from crucial changes in the divorce laws to the difficulties of reentering the work force and the penalties they pay for taking a time-out. I devoted two chapters to financial information alone.
What I find unfortunate in Bennetts's approach is not the pragmatism, but the hectoring tone and the conflation of financial remuneration with empowerment. Like many who have reacted to her book, I should disclose that I have not read it as yet. Perhaps having done so, I might feel differently, but nothing I've read so far, including her own words on Huffington Post, makes me optimistic. Nor does it make me want to read it. I can be insulted anywhere and I don't need to shell out $24.95 for the privilege.
Bennetts seems highly focused on women who left their careers because of rescue fantasies.
And yet millions of women continue to be misled by the fairy-tale version of life, in which Prince Charming comes along and takes care of you forever. Our culture programs women to believe that they can depend on a man to support them -- the classic feminine mistake -- and fails to explain how often that alluring promise is betrayed, whether by a change of heart or a heartless fate.
I'm sure those modern-day Cindarellas are out there. I haven't met them.
There are many reasons that women choose to return to homemaking and childrearing. One is the continuing perception that it is better for their children. And in case it slips our minds, there seems no end to the reminders; like this one from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The government-funded, ongoing study of more than 1,000 children found that very young children who spent long hours in day care were more likely to become aggressive and defiant in school, beginning in kindergarten and continuing through sixth grade.
I heard that sound-bite today. It made me feel like I had deja vu. As did reading the more complete coverage, which points out that kids who have quality daycare have better verbal skills and no increase in behavioral problems. (So if you're going to put your kids in daycare, be sure and be wealthy). But here's the kicker:
While that fact is continually highlighted, it is important to note that 83 percent of the children in the study did not display these behaviors. In addition, this is not a scientific study, and there was no evaluation of how many stay-at-home children displayed the same tendencies. [emphasis added]
So why was this even released to the press? This ongoing study has been marred by controversy from the beginning. From a Los Angeles Times story of 2001:
A week after a high-profile study cast a negative light on child care, researchers--including the study's lead statistician--are sharply questioning whether their controversial work has been misrepresented.
The pattern at that time was the same as we are seeing play out now. An alarm about daycare increasing aggression and the caveats ignored by most news venues. Because, lets face it, the idea that working mothers are bad for kids is part of an established narrative. And when facts and narrative conflict, narrative wins. So many working mothers feel like the trade-offs may be a necessary evil, but an evil none-the-less.
A number of women have embraced the return to "traditional roles." Along comes Bennetts to tell those women, that -- guess what -- wrong again.
Stay-at-home mom Nello had the same reaction that the aforementioned hcgorman and I did. Bad title.
Interesting title, no?
So, yes, women tend to be a little sensitive to the whole, "you're wrong" thing. But, more importantly, Nello raises what I think is a crucial point. The idea that stay-at-home mothers just want to be taken care of is a canard. Families, whether single or double-income are interdependent units. The "traditional" family structure is at bottom a division of labor. The men worked outside the home. The women worked in it. But, particularly in a highly developed society like ours, work is not considered, well, work, unless it earns a wage and contributes to the GDP. One of the casualties of early feminism -- with its focus on freeing women from codified gender roles -- is an idea that NOW has embraced in more recent years: "Every Mother is a Working Mother."
This is not to say that the idea that money equals value is a trap only for women. I would love to take at face value Bennetts's assertion that working for a living imbues us with a sense of personal empowerment, but that's not been my experience. Too many women and men are living lives of quiet desperation as "wage slaves." I've personally known a number of women who ran back to home and hearth, because the promise of work as freeing and esteem building didn't pan out. What they found, when they snatched that brass ring, was that it turned their fingers green. They had babies and went home because it turned out to be the more fulfilling choice, after all. And wasn't personal fulfillment one of the major goals of the feminist movement?
To hear Bennetts tell it, stay-at-home mothers are not making proactive choices at all. They are passive and indolent.
Thus buffered from harsh realities, stay-at-home mothers can often preserve their illusions for quite a while. But over the long run, neither willful obliviousness nor a double standard that treats them like second-class citizens will save these women from the all-too-real problems I have documented in my book. The facts don't change just because you refuse to look at them.
Gosh, Leslie, I can't imagine why you're getting such a negative reaction. You'd expect to be embraced when you tell a bunch who've women who thought their lives were very full and rewarding, that they're really being feckless.
There's quite an industry in criticizing women. Many of its voices are female and sound like the mothers and grandmothers who always seemed to be harder on female children than male ones. We're not accomplishing enough. We try to do too much. We're too sexual. We're not attractive enough. We should make our own choices. Our choices are wrong. On and on it goes.
From what I've read so far of Bennetts's work the warnings themselves are sound, like telling women not to walk the streets at night. The world is a far less safe place for women than for men on every level; physically, sexually, economically, emotionally. I guess I've just gotten a little tired of being treated like I'm a fool because no matter what I do I can't adequately protect myself from it.
Crossposted from The Blogging Curmudgeon.
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The hand-wringing at the White House must be fierce this morning because the Brits appear to be on the brink of freeing the hostages, peacefully... you know, WITHOUT WAR.
From the Times Online:
For the first time since Britain’s crisis with Iran began 11 days ago, there now seems a determination by both sides to seek a peaceful and rapid end to the plight of the 15 British Marines and sailors held by Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
If the Brits can pull this off, it may chill BushCo's upcoming war with Iran for two reasons. First, Bush can't claim they are going in to rescue hostages and secondly, it shows the International community Iran isn't the big boogie man Bush makes them out to be. They are seen as willing to talk and negotiate. Remember, these are the same folks that made tremendous progress towards representative democracy before Bush called them members of the Axis Of Evil. Then it all went to Hell.
From the Union Leader:
You can read the rest of the article here.
Bryan at Buckeye State Blog has weighed in here and here about the way some of the big names in the Democratic blogosphere were piling on Barack Obama yesterday.
P.S. How could I forget this? Sorry, Maryscott--I plead sleepy. I saw the article just as I was getting ready to go to bed, and wanted to get it posted. It was only after I'd posted the thing, as I was brushing my teeth, that I thought to myself, "Wait a minute--did that say "the liberal blog Daily Kos?"
It's NOT A LIBERAL BLOG! Everybody who's paying attention knows that by now.
Monday, April 2, 2007
I'm confused. Atrios, aka Duncan, is *far* too important to even acknowledge the existence of the mere mortals of the blogging world. Yet he does. He saw fit to write about my "I can't believe it's not a meritocracy" post, although I didn't know it until Maryscott posted about what he'd said. And today I find out from skippy that he popped off a one liner about Terrance's thoughtful post which delved into the psychology/sociology of the linking issue, blogger caste system, etc.
Duncan Black? Sorry--name doesn't ring a bell for me....
Alfred Adler thought the behavior was evidence of an inferiority complex.
John Watson said that was a load of poppycock. But he wasn't surprised that one of Freud's followers would come up with such nonsense. He said that Duncan's anger was clearly a conditioned emotional reaction. And while we were on that subject, Watson wanted me to remind everyone really *did* have every intention of curing the experimentally induced phobia of that little Albert kid. And he would have, too, if Albert's mom hadn't freaked out and disappeared with the boy.
Albert Bandura thought it had something to do with observational learning. Typical Bandura. But you never know--could be some backstory to the classic study that I'd never heard of before. Maybe Bobo made the June Cleaver-looking lady angry when he dissed her ideas about "blogroll amnesty". So naturally she felt compelled to beat the crap out of him. And when the little kids saw her do that, well, "monkey see, monkey do".
Albert Maslow didn't know for sure, but he was pretty clear on the fact that people who are truly self actualized don't engage in such dickish behavior on a regular basis.
And speaking of dicks, I thought I should round out this imaginary discussion by checking in with someone who always seemed to be thinking about them.
Hey! Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!
Sorry, Sig. I probably have some aggressive feelings towards you because of all that misogynistic crap you subjected us to over the years and I'm sublimating, or something.
Oh, you don't mind if I call you Sig, do you? 'Course not. You're dead. And I'm making all of this up.
But if we were able to ask Sigmund Freud about why Duncan gets so upset when he learns that the peasants are speaking his name in tones other than awe and reverence, what might he say? Maybe he'd explain it as an overactive id. Or maybe he'd say Duncan is identifying with his father--a healthy outcome of the phallic stage. Or that the behavior is some form of defense mechanism.
Maybe some people are just schmucks and you shouldn't spend too much time worrying about them.
Huh? Who said that? Was that you, Sig?
No wait--that was me!
But that makes a lot of sense. I really should listen to me more often...
The phone is ringing and it's 1:00 AM in the f*****g morning. I swear some people just don't sleep......rrrrring,rrrrring,rrring, off the f*****g hook! Ahhh what the f**k. "Hello""Yo field did you hear about the latest controversy in New York." "Mother f****r do you know what time it is?"" I know dog but I just can't sleep right now, too much sh** going on". "Yeah I heard about it, Rudy in drag right? I spoofed it on my blog". "Naw dog not Rudy, didn't you hear about the chocolate Jesus?" "Who is chocolate Jesus some hot shot point guard out of Brooklyn or something?" "Naw field, seems there is this artist, I think his name is Caravallor or some sh**. Anyway, turns out he makes art out of food, and he had an exhibit to celebrate Holy Week up in New York." "So what's wrong with that?" "Nothing, unless you are a catholic, and the sculpture is of Jesus made from chocolate." "He made Jesus from chocolate?' "Yep, and Jesus is naked and his genitalia is out.""Well did he use caramel at least?" "Nope, dude used dark chocolate. " "Well then yep, I would say he f****d up. If it's one thing good Christian white folks (and some black folks) can't stand is a very dark son of God. "
Yes, and a bunch of Catholics are really pissed off, because they think this guy has really insulted their religion." "Yeah like who." "Well, Bill Donahoe,the leader of the Catholic League said it was the 'worse assault on Catholics sensibilities ever'. "No shit!" Yep; and even Cardinal Edward Egan said the sculpture has got to come down."So did they take it down?""They sure did, the guy that runs the gallery, Matt Sempier, quit in protest, but the people who run the hotel the gallery was in said they feared for their lives." "Yeah, the last thing you want to do is piss off a bunch of Christians by having one of their icons look like dark chocolate. That guy Donahoe actually said that it was the worse assault on Christian sensibilities ever?" "Yep he sure did." "Well what about all those Madonna videos, and touch down Jesus at Notre Dame, and that Jim and Tammy Faye theme park, that was some pretty disgusting sh**"
"The guy had to have known that this would piss off good Christians everywhere, having the son of God in dark chocolate. Couldn't he have thrown in a little strawberry or something?" "Yeah and the sh** with the genitalia really pissed them off too." Holy sh**, did they show the dark chocolate genitalia or the white chocolate genitalia?""I think they showed the dark one""Damn! That's allot of chocolate. Can you imagine the poor imagery that many of these poor Christians will now have to try and repress. That of a dark chocolate covered son of God with a large genitalia. It's enough to push out those child hood memories of all those priests with the white genitalia." Anyway, I don't feel comfortable having a genitalia discussion with another man at 1:00 AM in the morning so I am going to call it a night." "Yeah you are right field, but I just wanted to holla at you about that." "Well good looking out, I will probably blog about it tomorrow."
"Before I go; did you catch the final four games last night?" "Yeah they were alright. Sure was allot of chocolate running up and down the court. I wonder why Jesus let the Christian school, Georgetown, lose?""I guess he didn't like his people talking down that sculpture of him." " You might be right, maybe the big guy actually likes chocolate."
that's sad. especially because, apparently, the blogger that atrios wants to shoot in the face wasn't really whining about blogrolls, but was simply commenting on the whole blogroll amnesty day phenomenon, albeit in a wide-ranging and thoughtful manner; that is to say, inspecting the issue from all sides.
The Thicket at State Legislatures is an excellent blog if you want to keep a canvas on what's happening around the country, both on an individual state level but also at a more holistic level: what new issues are being raised, where, which issues are dying out, and which ones won't go away.
Posted by Jill at 2:02 PM
Sunday, April 1, 2007
The topic below was originally posted in my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.
"Let us have the courage to stop borrowing to meet continuing deficits. Revenues must cover expenditures by one means or another. Any government, like any family, can, for a year, spend a little more than it earns. But you know and I know that a continuation of that habit means the poorhouse."Ultimately, FDR governed with a very different vision and responded to the Great Depression with heavy deficit spending. The New Deal combined with FDR’s leadership in World War Two elevated this deal-making pragmatist into a transformational agent of change. Through an activist government, FDR presided over a vision of economic fairness and helped liberate millions from Hitler’s tyranny.
In 2004, activists such as myself were inspired by a single vision: deposing Bush. Bush/Cheney had set the American house aflame and I wanted him out of power before it burned down completely. I didn’t sense much of a vision from Kerry and I didn’t care. He wasn’t Bush and that was enough.
Now I’m looking for a candidate who can “force the spring” as Bill Clinton put it in his 1993 inaugural speech. I want to support a candidate that is an agent of transformational change and renewal. Admittedly, I am setting the bar high. There is no perfect formula for determining which if any candidate meets such a criteria. In most campaigns for public office I ask myself three questions about prospective candidates:
1) What do they know?
2) What have they done?
3) What are they going to do?
At this point, there is only one candidate among the announced field in the Democratic Party that intrigues me: John Edwards. His record on Iraq troubles me but I’m starting to believe Edwards is sincere about learning from his mistake. Edwards has also demonstrated life perseverance following the loss of a teenage son. His wife is an inspiring model of perseverance as she supports the campaign in spite of cancer.
Several years ago my Dad and I were talking about a particular individual who seemed to lack empathy. My Dad observed this was someone who would benefit from life, “knocking him on his ass.” Edwards has the knowledge of someone who has been “knocked on his ass” through emotional trauma. I’m impressed with how both he and his wife responded to tragedy.
This is also a self-made man. His critics or as Katie Couric would put it, “some people” might say you can’t trust a man who made his fortune as a trial lawyer. I see a man who rose from humble beginnings and became a champion advocate for aggrieved individuals against concentrated corporate power. That is what Edwards has done with his life. Indeed, Edwards life is far more impressive to me than a garden-variety insider’s resume. When conservatives speak of tort reform they’re talking about stopping effective advocates such as John Edwards from helping the common person stand up to entrenched power.
To this point Edwards has been admirably specific about what he intends to do. His healthcare plan is serious and substantial. On issues ranging from global warming to taxes, John Edwards has not shied away from articulating an activist progressive agenda. Listening to John Edwards makes me think of FDR when he spoke of the “forgotten man” in 1932:
"He works, he votes, generally he prays - but he always pays - yes, above all, he pays. He does not want a political office. He is the one who keeps production going. He is strongly patriotic. He is wanted whenever, in his little circle, there is work to be done or counsel to be given. He gives no trouble. He is not in any way a problem (unlike tramps and outcasts); or notorious (unlike criminals); or an object of sentiment (unlike the poor and the weak); or a burden (unlike paupers and loafers). Therefore, he is forgotten. All the burdens fall on him - or on her, for it is time to remember that the Forgotten Man is not seldom a woman."I’ll wait a bit longer. I want to observe how the candidates conduct themselves through the fishbowl of presidential politics for a few more months. Perhaps Al Gore will surprise me and join the fray. Maybe Barack Obama can demonstrate he’s more than a platitude machine. Ironically, Obama today reminds me of John Edwards in 2004. Perhaps Bill Richardson can convince me he’s not simply an agent of the establishment. For damn I won’t support Hillary Clinton. At this time, John Edwards appears to be the one with the “vision thing.” And that means, I’ll likely be phone banking, canvassing and stuffing envelopes on his behalf in a few months.
I'm not a big fan of the whole "April Fool" tradition, but this classic still makes me giggle.
From the Museum of Hoaxes site:
Huge numbers of viewers were taken in, and many called up wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti trees. To this question, the BBC diplomatically replied that they should "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 12:52 PM
Last night I saw an interview Al Gore did on tv in Sweden--apparently the show is called Stina, but nothing on this page is in English. The woman hosting the program did the introduction in Swedish, but then interviewed Al in English. She wished him a happy birthday, and Al smiled, responding, "You've done your research!"
I can't say that I blame him for feeling that way, but, dang, he'd be a great president. And he already won, so how about we just let him take that turn now, and not go through another messy election?