Friday, November 26

This is a Stray that a friend is taking care of.

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This is a stray that showed up at my friend Kent's house a couple of weeks before I was charged to watch his beasts for 3 week while he was out of the country at the end of the summer. That was a few months ago. When I first met the guy, he was very skinny, but seemed to have had some domestic experiance, in other words the little guy was skittish, but not feral.

A couple of days into the feeding and love providing, I managed to get my hands on the little guy, turns out he loves the petting. Anyway, I am watching Lurch, Mr. President, Taylor and Straybie (my nickname for the fella) over the break and tonight got a chance to capture the lovely boy on Kent's front porch. Mr President and Lurch are extrememly difficult subjects to get pictures of -- allways on the move, but I also have a couple of nice shots of Taylor, that I will post later.

Black Friday: "Fondling yer Breasts for Security"

So soon, yep. Another day another article on the stupid assed TSA security band-aids. As I mentioned yesterday, whoever got the contract for the machinery that should render this invasion of privacy unneccessary is "still working the bugs out". So to bring those up to speed who may be unaware, when you are flagged for the random security check, the one where they used to make you take off your shoes as they rifled through your luggage, may now include a groping of your privates, and if you are a female an examination of your breasts, so as to make sure that you aren't hidding any explosives. This reactionary tactic was inspired by a "theory" that two women "may" have smuggled the explosives that took down two Russian planes in August. I looked yesterday for a reliable source for this "thoery", but to no avail. In any event, the USA Today has taken the baton from Maureen Dowd. Thanks to Konopelli for the tip.
An Intrusive new search

Thanksgiving travelers may be in for a bit of a shock as they plod through security lines at the nation's airports. Passengers chosen for secondary screening or whose clothing appears suspicious or bulky are now subject to frisking--in a pretty intrusive way. In late September, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began allowing security checkpoint screeners to manually pat down women's breasts and the genital and derriere regions of both sexes during searches. The point is to find hidden explosives while machines that might perform the job are still being tested. "I know it's not pleasant," says Rep. John Mica, chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, "but until we get the technology, what are the options?"
Before I answer your question sir, I have to ask what your intent is. If you really believe that there is a good chance that folks will try smuggling bombs in their underwear, and you want to appear fair, then every traveler should be subject to a full strip search and cavity check. I know it sounds harsh, but if you aren't going to grope everyone, what's the point of the exercise, i mean now that this new tactic has passed the publicity threshold, and must be known by the "enemy", clever terrorists will send waves of explosive brassiere wearing bombediers, some will make it through screening and planes will fall from the skies.

But as i don't believe you were asking a serious question, and as long as alot of the cargo makes it into the plane unchecked, this reactionary tactic only serves the appearence of Security, but hey, I know the papier mache fort I just built in the Backyard will keep the hords of Vikings out of my hair (they are using cardboard swords aren't they?). So lets see how safe we really are
The new policy reflects an increasing sense of urgency about the lack of explosives-detection equipment. Today, only a small percentage of carry-on luggage and passengers is tested for bombs. In its final report, the 9/11 commission said the TSA must give "priority attention" to checking passengers for explosives. In August, two Russian airliners crashed, almost certainly because of explosives two Chechen women had concealed beneath their clothing--underscoring the danger.
I don't know about you, but it looks like we are taking the driftnet to go shrimping approach to security. It is nice that they wedged in the Chechen women into the article, using the New-Journalism standard for truth, "almost certainly".
In essance, at this state in the game, it could be agued that a terrorist has a much better than even chance of smuggling something on a plane regardless to the lip service we pay to the idea of increased security. I hope the terrorists don't find out.

Deana aka Dee-Dee

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DeeDee, is a beautiful, sweet, and theres a lot to love. She lives with Justin and Rob, a couple friends of mine. I have the pleasure of occupying a spot in her top three Human's list. Justin found her as a kitten on the streets of Chicago about ten years ago and had no Idea that she was a white cat until he gave her her first bath.

J&R have a couple of Dogs, Dolly is a Boston Terrier and cute as hell , and Daisy a Hound / Chow mix and when you roll her ears up she is a dead ringer for Pricess Leia. But in their house DeeDee is at the Top of the Animal hierarchy.

Continuing with the Star Wars characters in that house, we have Daisy as the princess, Dolly as Darth Vader, and Deana is definitly Obi-wan Kenobi.

In the dream-world of fixed feline matchmaking, we would like to think that Deana and Jack (below) would make beautiful kittens together and a beautiful couple.

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Thursday, November 25

happy T-Day, The Pilgrims Edition.

Near about 1608, a group of separatists left England due to increasing religious intolerance. The found a home in Holland settling in Lieden for the next twelve years when a number of forces motivated half the group to uproot and head for America. Originally planning to take of on two ships, the Speedwell proved unseaworthy and those still committed to the journey left Plymouth England on September 6, 1620 in the Mayflower and anchored at provincetown on the 21st of Novembver the same year.

Prior to leaving the boat the colonists signed the Mayflower Compact, a constitution of sorts that formed the basis of the early government. The first winter killed off half the colonists, but following years saw less privation and continued immagration, and the basis for what is known as the Massechusetts Commonwealth was formed.

Of course they got a little intolerant themselves and more or less forced the founding of Rhode Island and Conneticut by folks who themselves were looking to practice their religion in peace. This early colonial history, must have weighed in the minds of the founding fathers, as they contemplated the formation of a new government. I imagine that the many religious troubles in England during the 17th century also played a large role in the decision to place a wall between church and state.

For what its worth there you go. I had promised this post, I didn't promise that it would be any good. Anyway most of his material is either off the top of my head or supplemented frem the Pilgrims entry of the Wikipedia.

Thanksgiving Day, the Global Warming Edition

Saw this a couple of days ago, possibly on the BBC site IIRC, and it's a scary demonstration of the rapidity of change in the arctic due to Global Warming. One of these days the bush administration will be all over this story, likly replete with positive bromides. Imagine for a moment that you are an indiginent inhabitant of the arctic, where your culture and language has developed in a relatively static environment.
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuters) - What are the words used by indigenous peoples in the Arctic for "hornet," "robin," "elk," "barn owl" or "salmon?" If you don't know, you're not alone.
Many indigenous languages have no words for legions of new animals, insects and plants advancing north as global warming thaws the polar ice and lets forests creep over tundra.

"We can't even describe what we're seeing," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference (news - web sites) which says it represents 155,000 people in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.

In the Inuit language Inuktitut, robins are known just as the "bird with the red breast," she said. Inuit hunters in north Canada recently saw some ducks but have not figured out what species they were, in Inuktitut or any other language.
Animal migration patterns trending northward as changes in climate extend their territory, is a terrifying trend indeed, likely the most tangible evidence to dat of the accelleration of the problem.
An eight-nation report this month says the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and that the North Pole could be ice-free in northern hemisphere summer by 2100, threatening indigenous cultures and perhaps wiping out creatures like polar bears.

The report, by 250 scientists and funded by the United States, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, puts most of the blame on a build-up of heat-trapping gases from human use of fossil fuels like coal and oil.

The thaw may have some positive spin-offs for people, for instance by making chill Arctic seas more habitable for cod or herring or by shifting agricultural lands and forestry north.

But on land, more and more species will be cramming into an ever-narrowing strip bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, threatening to destroy fragile Arctic ecosystems from mosses to Arctic foxes or snowy owls.
I note the presentation of an upside (ha ha), as well as some of the negative side effects. What I don't see anything about, is the impact of a rather dramatic rise in sea level that would occur if we end up with an ice-free North Pole by the summer of 2100. Meanwhile in Lapland The Elk is a mysterious invader.
In Arctic Europe, birch trees are gaining ground and Saami reindeer herders are seeing roe deer or even elk, a forest-dwelling cousin of moose, on former lichen pastures.

"I know about 1,200 words for reindeer -- we classify them by age, sex, color, antlers," said Nils Isak Eira, who manages a herd of 2,000 reindeer in north Norway.

"I know just one word for elk -- 'sarvva'," said 50-year-old Eira. "But the animals are so unusual that many Saami use the Norwegian word 'elg.' When I was a child it was like a mythical creature."

Thrushes have been spotted in Saami areas of the Arctic in winter, apparently too lazy to bother migrating south.
Buddy, it's time for you to fucking join the real world. Quit screwing with those reindeer, get a real freakin job and contribute something to society. Who cares if your kids will grow up appreciating your useless culture. Jeez allready, and now your telling me that Polar Bears are screwed? Hell the earth is a competitive market place, if you cant adapt you die. Get with te program Polar Bears.
n some more southerly areas of the Arctic, like Canada's Hudson Bay, receding ice means polar bears are already struggling. The bears' main trick is to pounce when seals surface to breathe through holes in the ice.

The Arctic report says polar bears "are unlikely to survive as a species if there is a complete loss of summer-ice cover." Restricted to land, polar bears would have to compete with better-adapted grizzly or brown bears.

"The outlook for polar bears is stark. My grandson will lose the culture I had as a child," said Watt-Cloutier, referring to Inuit hunting cultures based on catching seals, bears or whales.
Boo Freakin Hooo, buddy, the earth is under the Dominion of Man. Got that? White, Christian, American, Man, if you gotta be specific.

Happy Turkey Day, The Falwell gives thanks for the "Bearers of False witness"

jerry Falwells T-Day mesage to the faithful included thanks for quite a few republican pundits, all who manage to break the 9th commandment on a nearly daily basis. The ninth commandment reads:
'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
I guess if you take the definition of neighbor loosly, these guys might have an escape clause. But in general, they have an inclination to take "liberties" with the truth, and their version is unusually discordant with mine. On to Falwells thanks and praise for these pundit prevaricators.
Let me talk to you about five good things of late ... for which this week I hope you and your family around your Thanksgiving table will praise the Lord. ... No. 5: America has alternative news media and is no longer held hostage by the major print and broadcast media. I remember a day when ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and the major print media controlled all the news flow to the American people and we found ourselves getting warped and distorted news. I thank God now in the 21st century for talk radio, that three hours a day people like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and hundreds of others are telling the truth of what really is going on. I thank God for FOX News Channel [applause]. I thank God for the Internet bloggers and the news producers like,, even The Drudge Report.
Now I bet that Charley Johnson, Instapundit, the Free Republic and Friends, are patting themselves on the back, basking in the praise that includes "internet bloggers like...."

I wonder if he knows that Drudge prefers to share his bed with men. "Jerry [points at Drudge] Leviticus, Abomination, get the drift?" And I doubt he has watched CNN lately 'cause if he did he would be watching a network desparately trying to outfox "FOX" . He seems never loathe to accept their invitation to share with us his wisdom. On November 5th on Anderson Cooper show, he appeared to deny making statements that we can be reasonably certain he made. For instance, the denial:
Falwell denied his habit of comparing homosexuality to bestiality, crack addiction

During an interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, fundamentalist Baptist pastor and Moral Majority founder Reverend Jerry Falwell denied ever having equated homosexuality to "smoking crack and bestiality" -- a comparison Falwell has in fact made on several occasions.

From the November 5 edition of CNN's Anderson [rumored to be gay-ed] Cooper 360:

COOPER: I know in the past you believe homosexual behavior is immoral, a sin, you've equated it with smoking crack, bestiality. But what is the threat to you? What is -- I mean, two men saying that they love each to each other, what's the threat?

FALWELL: Well, I haven't equated it to anything, but I believe that the scripture makes it clear that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong, whether it's heterosexual promiscuity or homosexual activity.


COOPER: On homosexuality, I mean, you say you don't equate it to anything, but you do equate it to -- I mean, you have in plenty of interviews equated it to, you know, immoral behavior, smoking crack and bestiality.

FALWELL: Well, it is immoral behavior, of course. No, not bestiality, not crack -- taking crack. Those are different things, but homosexuality is sin.
Following are examples of Falwell equating homosexuality with smoking crack and bestiality:
Say it ain't so Jerr, the ninth my friend, what will we tell the children? That it's OK if you are on the side of righteousness? Moving along to the evidence of a broken covenant.
• FALWELL: Well, look, first of all, Mr. Bush did not make this a 2004 issue. The Massachusetts Supreme Court did, the San Francisco mayor, the New Mexico officials, et cetera. This was made an issue when the Supreme Court gave constitutional protection to sodomy. So here we have now same-sex marriage. What's next, polygamy? ... Why not? And why not bestiality? [CNN, Wolf Blitzer Reports, 2/24/04]

• FALWELL: I don't want anybody in my bedroom any more than you want anybody in your bedroom. But I think this privacy issue goes too far. Is this right to privacy going to legalize prostitution, or bestiality, or the use of cocaine or heroin as long as you do it in your bedroom? Privacy can be taken to a great extent. ... [I]f we're going to do that, then why don't we just legalize bestiality since it's done in the privacy of one's home, perhaps? [MSNBC, Hardball, 6/27/03]

• In the latest letter, the Baptist minister [Falwell] said more money must be received to keep the Moral Majority newspaper and broadcasts going. "Perhaps the most disturbing situation is that our lobbying effort in Washington, D.C., to keep Congress from legalizing sodomy, bestiality, fornication, homosexuality and other perversions is also in danger," the letter added. [Associated Press, 10/23/81]
Jerry, I can see where you aren't equating homosexuality to beastiality, or crack smoking, in your overt attacks on privacy (a crumbling redoubt for the causes of Gay and Women's rights), Oooops sorry, You are a lying sack of shit afterall, Mr. Falwell. Does not baby Jesus love the truth tellers? What of False witness Jerry? That friends is a real Christian man. Is lying a gateway crime? What would Jesus Do Jerry, for the love of Christ, What Would Jesus Do?

Happy Thanksgiving, The "For Security Surposes, We Have to Fondle your Breasts" edition.

I posted previously about Ava Kingsford's adventures with the Transportation Security Administration and their new breast examination protocols. Apparently on theory holds that a couple of women smuggled the explosives that took down to Russian planes in August, in their Bra's. I did not expect that this was an isolated incedent, and now it appears that New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd has had a number of run-ins with the Breast examination squad.
Hiding Breast Bombs


It always makes me feel slimy and humiliated, as though I'm in one of those cheesy women-in-prison movies, with titles like "Caged," "Slammer Girls" or "Reform School Girls."

First you have to strip, unzipping your boots, unbuckling your belt and unbuttoning your suit jacket while any guys standing around watch. Then you have to walk around in some flimsy top and stocking or bare feet. Then you have to assume the spread-eagled position. Then a beefy female security agent runs her hands all the way around your breasts, in between, underneath - again with guys standing around staring.

Flying on business, I've gone through this embarrassing tableau two dozen times in airports all over the country in the last couple of months. I've been searched more than Martha Stewart. I watched a Transportation Security Administration screener brusquely insist that my friend take off her blazer even though she had on only lingerie underneath - a see-through camisole - and the man behind her was leering.

Airport screening procedures are more reactive than imaginative. There's an attempted shoe bombing, so all passengers must shed their shoes. Two female Chechens may or may not have sneaked explosives onto Russian planes, so now some T.S.A. genius decides all women are subject to strips and body searches.
In two articles in The Times, Joe Sharkey has chronicled the plaints of women angry about new procedures in airport security that have increased both the number and intensity of the airport pat-down, or "breast exam," as one woman put it.

He described the experience of Patti LuPone, the singer and actress, at the Fort Lauderdale airport, who resisted taking off her shirt and got barred from her flight, and of 71-year-old Jenepher Field, who walks with the aid of a cane, being subjected to a breast pat-down at the airport outside Kansas City, Mo. (Do we have intelligence telling us that grandmothers are part of Al Qaeda now?)

Even a stripper complained in an e-mail message to Mr. Sharkey that she found her experiences degrading: "On one occasion a screener flat out asked if they were fake."

Somebody tell me what quantity of explosive material they have found through these strip searches, because I've got a hunch it's zero. How many billions are they wasting on this?
I know it's not just women who are uncomfortable; a guy I know said a male screener at the Miami airport recently stuck a hand down the front of his pants, making him feel "totally manhandled." And I heard the sad tale of a red-faced Washington businessman who took off his shoes, only to show the room the red painted toenails he had forgotten to wipe off.

Barry Steinhardt of the A.C.L.U. told Court TV that the new procedures are not only "an open invitation for harassment" - there are not enough female screeners, so sometimes men are doing the pat-downs of women - but they're also "not particularly effective."

I've never wanted to complain because I assume there are inconveniences that go along with greater security. But I would feel less creepy if I thought this were part of an effective overall strategy of protecting the country. I don't.
We really have Jumped the Shark as a country. Homeland security is just a bunch of appearance based crap like this and the shoe removal programs, which as Dowd states in an unquoted part of her piece "are more reactive than imaginative". I have to admit that this is the first I have heard of a "package inspection". I gotta tell you, I would be mighty upset if some guy went rooting around in my pants, looking for an improvised explosive device. I don't think anyone should have to put up with this nonsense, unless the company that got the "no-bid contract" for making bomb sniffing machines has been unable deliver the goods. Strike that, even if one of Dubby's buddies hasn't come through this level of intrusion and humiliation is simply uncalled for. I am suprised that MoDo chose to be silent for so long.

Now, I wonder if I can get a job with the TSA? hmmmmmmm...........................

Happy T-Day, George Catlin with the Mandan Indians

This painting depicts a Mandan Mid-Summer Ceremony. Possibly the last time it was captured by illustration. From the Upper Missouri 1932.

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Catlin's most significant contribution was to record in image and in print the mid-summer ceremony of the O-kee-pa based on his first hand observation. The significance of this work lies in the fact that it is first hand documentation unavailable after 1837. Catlin was one of very few Whites who ever witnessed the ceremonies. In 1837 smallpox was introduced to the Northern Plains. On June 18 of that year, the American Fur Company Steamboat St. Peters arrived at Fort Clark, carrying contaminated goods and infected individuals. The disease spread across the Northern Plains to the Northwest Coast and into Alaska, becoming a pandemic which killed perhaps as many as half a million people before fading out by 1840. The Mandan may have numbered 2,000 before the epidemic, but by January 1838, less than 100 remained.
Poof, another Heathen culture stomped out in the service of the Lord. Some more documentation regarding the Smallpox epidemic.
In 1837, the Mandan were especially hard hit by smallpox, perhaps because they remained in their fortified villages, fearing attack by hostile Sioux if they left.

The great Mandan chief Four Bears maintained friendly relations with whites throughout his life. He befriended two influential frontier artists who painted his portrait and praised his virtues, George Catlin and Karl Bodmer.

But his views of whites changed after smallpox brought agonizing death to many of his people.

A fur trader named Francis Chardon kept a journal of events at Fort Clark, a trading post along the Missouri near the villages of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara.

Symptoms usually announced themselves with a sharp headache. By the end of September, Chardon estimated that seven-eighths of the Mandan and half of the Hidatsa and Arikara were dead.

The bodies piled up so quickly, and the survivors were so distressed, that many weren’t buried. Very few survived.

One of the many who perished was Four Bears, whose bitter dying statement Chardon took down in his journal on July 28, 1837:

My friends one and all, listen to what I have to say -- Ever since I can remember, I have loved the whites.
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I have lived with them ever since I was a boy, and to the best of my knowledge, I have never wronged the white man; on the contrary, I have always protected them from the insults of others, which they cannot deny. …

I have done everything that a red skin could do for them, and how have they repaid it! With ingratitude! … I have been in many battles, and often wounded, but the wounds of my enemies I exalt in, but today I am wounded, and by whom? By those same white Dogs that I have always considered, and treated as Brothers.

I do not fear Death, my friends. You know it, but to die with my face rotten, that even the Wolves will shrink with horror at meeting me, and say to themselves, that is the Four Bears, the friend of the whites. ...

Think of your wives, children, brothers, sisters, friends, and in fact all that you hold dear, are all dead, or dying, with their faces all rotten caused by those dogs the whites, think of all that my friends, and rise up all together and not leave one of them alive. The 4 Bears will act his part.
The above is a painting of Four Bears before he succomed to the pox.. I guess you could say tht we are getting off easy, though it is not easy to swallow.

Happy Thanksgiving Founding Fathers views on Religion, The Thomas Jefferson edition.

The third president of the United States, author of the Declaration of Independence, Architect, Scientist, Farmer, Renaissance Man, Genius. The man had his own Bible.

Now as many of you are aware, a movement looms in this country, believing that the country should be ruled by "God's Law" as written in the Bible, and was founded as a "Christian Nation". Now the trouble with these folks is a ratherinteresting approach with regard to history, in other words, that which does not support their thesis gets tossed. As we saw below, these folks are not terribly interested in being above board when it comes to the advancement of their agenda. These "true believers" wish to bring salvation to america, they desire to "bring America back to God" as Falwell puts it:
“If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies that are
diametrically opposed to Christian truth ... We need to pull out all
the stops to recruit and train 25 million Americans to become informed pro-moral activists whose voices can be heard in the halls of Congress.

I am convinced that America can be turned around if we will all get serious about the Master's business. It may be late, but it is never too late to do what is right. We need an old-fashioned, God-honoring, Christ-exalting revival to turn American back to God. America can be saved!”
And What has Radical Cleric Dobson have to say about our situation.
"Fortunately, those who would rid us of our spiritual heritage have an impossible task on their hands. To sanitize our history, it would be necessary to expunge all official records, burn old textbooks, close the Library of Congress, destroy the existing diaries and letters and sandblast half the buildings in Washington, D.C. And still the evidences of our faith would exist.

An image of Moses faces the Speaker of the House of Representatives; our coins proclaim, 'In God We Trust' {on some coins since 1864, and on paper since 1954}; our Pledge of Allegiance declares that we are 'one nation, under God'; our Declaration of Independence asserts that we are 'endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights;' the oath of office for the presidency ends with the phrase, 'so help me God'; and on it goes."
which means that the troubles some of the founders had with religion and why the separation of church and state is addressed in the first ammendment, but I digress, lets see some of Jefferson's thoughts on the subject of Religion.
I have examined all the known superstitions of the Word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the world ...
The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves. [They], in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.
The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes; fools and hypocrites. To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.
Accustom a people to believe that priests and clergy can forgive sins ... and you will have sins in abundance. I would not dare to dishonor my Creator's name by [attaching] it to this filthy book [the Bible].
For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate error so long as reason is free to combat it.
It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear.
............... The following is from another source.
Christianity...(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.
Jefferson seems to have some issues with the church, though not with belief in a higher being, nor a repudiation of Christ. Representatives of the Danbury Baptist Association were concerned about the issue of the Separation of Church and state and whether there was to be established a state religions, an excerpt.
Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty -- That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals -- That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions - That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor: But Sir our constitution of government is not specific.
This is when I think of the bright young lad who looking to the future with vision would have had the temerity to suggest that the right to privacy be specifically enumerated, as he could foretell a time when the lack of such provision might lead a judicial body to conclude that privacy was not a constititutional right. (I'm looking at you Thomas, Scalia) Unfortunately we do not know if the suggestion was ever made during the Bill of Rights debate, but if indeed it was, I can imagine that it was recieved with laughter as some smarty pants replys "Should we not then enumerate, within this bill, the right to breathe?" The following is part of his reply to the Danbury Baptist Association.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
Interesting. So Jefferson is pretty clear on the issue. Religion is a matter between man and his God, and a wall of separation protects the rights of everone with respect to religion. A great site on the subject of Separation of Church and State. And it occurs to me that I spend far too much time trying to debunk or slapdown falsehood or misrepresentation. Seems like I could use my powers for more productive ends. Hmmmm maybe when they actually teach people things like history.

Happy T-Day, The propagation of Republican lies Edition.

Last night Atrios pointed to this piece at Seeing the Forest, about a little fundementalist / Republican victimization propaganda. The author suggested that we keep our eyes open for the appearence of this story in the media, suggesting that it was designed to be used as a wedge, as well as "illustrate the demonization of Christianity by heathen and secular Liberals". I thought as I read the piece, that I was sure that sometime down the road I might be confronted with this "evidence" and be forced to call it for what it is, Bullshit. So lets take a look at the source.
By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.

Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.

"It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful," said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.

"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence."

I would be interested in what constitutes "the true history" of Our country. There seem to be so many versions it is beginning to be difficult to keep track. sorry Attorney dude from some Christian protection association, but every time I hear someone spout off on how religious the Founders were, I want to hurl. Because the next words out of the mouth is usually something along the lines that the country should be a theocracy, and I'v never heard of that first ammendment you keep talking about.

Vidmar could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in San Jose and claims violations of Williams rights to free speech under the First Amendment.

Phyllis Vogel, assistant superintendent for Cupertino Unified School District, said the lawsuit had been forwarded to a staff attorney. She declined to comment further.

Williams asserts in the lawsuit that since May he has been required to submit all of his lesson plans and supplemental handouts [Christian propaganda anyone] to Vidmar for approval, and that the principal will not permit him to use any that contain references to God or Christianity.

now think about it for a moment, The Declaration of Independance banned? because it makes a reference to god? Okie Dokie lets see where and how such refference is made. Me thinks that that something smells in Denmark. From the Declaration.
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I for one am not bying the "ban", the above are the only references to God or Creator in the entire document. Of course it is here that the fundimentalists will show as an example of our Founding as a Christian Nation. Too bad there aren't any Journalists around who might smell a rat as they are viewing it's rotting corpse. This is a case of a teacher forcing christian beliefs on the students under the guise of historical education. The fact that the Declaration mentions god on one occasion allows them to play this as a ban on the Declaration itself, when in fact it is likely a ban on class time prosthelatizing, or "everyday should be sunday school". The Alliance Defence Fund is supporting this case and let's just say they have an agenda, and it is more insidious than the gay agenda. The People for the American way dossier on the ADF.
Alliance Defense Fund’s Principal Issues:
# ADF is a Christian legal firm established by more than 30 Christian ministries to help defend “family values” and work against the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
# ADF defines itself by its ability to strategize and coordinate with lawyers all over the United States. Lawyers who sign up for their “Blackstone Legal Institute” are expected to donate 450 pro bono hours over a three year period.
# ADF has coordinated over 400 lawyers, over 125 right-wing organizations, and many conservative ministries on behalf of ADF-defined Christian legal issues.
# ADF has been involved with 16 “victories” before the Supreme Court, including such high profile cases as Boy Scouts of America v. Dale and Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network. ADF has had success in anti-gay cases all over the US, from Alaska to Massachusetts.
Man they would seem to have their fingers in every slice of the right wing fundimentalist hot button issue. Digby takes it home.
That's the best case for lawsuit reform I've ever heard, right there.

STF points out that this is coordinated to come out the day before Thanksgiving so that they can pound it over the holiday week-end without anybody being able to properly respond. These precious little stories are becoming commonplace these days. I remember the one about the teacher who was allegedly discriminated against because she put a picture of Bush on the bulletin board. It turned out that she had a fucking shrine up there and was insulting 12 year old kids whose parents were voting for Kerry. All the wingnuts keened and wailed about the unfairness of it all, always being the first to claim victimhood. As each tale is debunked they just move to the next.

These little personal stories are a very effective way to spread propaganda. We need to figure out a way to deal with this stuff.
Digby also has some material I may need to swap for my planned piede on the religious beliefs of the founding fathers.

Happy Thanksgiving, Republican Aristocratic Hubris edition.

Guest poster upyernose one of the guest posters subbing for Atrios while he is away enjoying Barcelona, points us in the direction of a Texas State Race in which the incumbant lost both the original tally and a recount, and now has decided to take it to the TX lege. I guess this guy is gonn have to have his cold dead ass pryed out of his seat, as it would appear that the will of the people are of little concern if you are a Republican. As Yoda might say, " the stink of entitlement is strong in this one".
Heflin wants House seat back or a new election
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

State Rep. Talmadge Heflin asked the state House of Representatives today to overturn the results of his failed re-election bid and either order him returned to the Legislature or call for a new election.

Heflin's attorney, Andy Taylor, said the election results in state House District 149 in southwest Harris County were fraught with voting irregularities and potential fraud, most of which occurred in predominantly Democratic precincts.
Ooooh the dual boogeymen of irregularities and Fraud, where have I heard that before, and what was the response to questions? Oh, yeah that's right. "Get Over It". I'm thinking, and I might be wrong, but since the republicans are in controll in TX which included the running of the elections, and I might be going out on a limb here, but that the local board of election officials are republican, one might conclude that if there were any funny business it would benefit our multi term "Real American" Heflin, rather than his opponent a former Vietnamese boat person. Just sayin'.
"The true outcome of this election was stolen from the voters in House District 149," Taylor said Tuesday. "We will prove that Representative Talmadge Heflin was re-elected."

Heflin, a Republican member of the House since 1983 and chairman of its Appropriations Committee, lost to Democratic businessman Hubert Vo by 32 votes earlier this month. But Heflin's campaign alleges that those election results include at least 248 irregularities that could have altered the outcome.
Hell it worked in 2000, in Florida, why the fuck not re run that playbook, and call everything into question. now that he brings it up, one wonders if those 248 "irregularities" may have had any impact on the other races in the district.
Taylor said he will file notice today that the Heflin campaign intends to contest the election in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. That will require that House Speaker Tom Craddick order a House committee to investigate Heflin's allegations.

After the committee reports its findings, the full House will decide whether to seat Vo or Heflin or call for a new election. The House's decision will be binding, said a spokesman for the Texas secretary of state's office.
Although there have been several election contests in the Texas House in recent years, none has reversed an election result, and most were withdrawn after they were filed.

Officials with the Vo campaign have said they are confident that their candidate won a fair election and have called on Heflin to concede.
Heflin's decision to contest the election is part of a two-pronged effort to return him to the Legislature. On Monday, Heflin requested a manual recount of all ballots cast in the election.

His best chance for recapturing his House seat probably lies with the election contest because the recount is not allowed to go into the issues of voting irregularities but must focus exclusively on the ballots cast in the election.
Good luck with that buddy. I know mr Heflin,I know, you have been in that seat since 1983. I understand why you feel it should be yours again, if not in perpetuity and I certainly respect that you could not envision having your seat taken by a gook, probably a dirty one at that. meanwhile lets see what the elections officer has to say about the situation.
Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar, said Tuesday that he was somewhat familiar with the Heflin campaign's allegations.

Bettencourt, a Republican, agreed that many of the allegations raised by the campaign would involve illegal votes, but he said such votes are not uncommon in large elections.

Bettencourt said that in the heat of conducting an election, precinct judges often mistakenly allow ineligible voters to cast their ballots or reject ballots from eligible voters.

The number of such complaints is usually too small to affect an election's outcome, he said, although it could have an impact in an election as close as the Heflin-Vo race.
I won't be suprised if they ultimately decide in Heflins favor, cause, you know IOKIYAR. but it would be interesting if they chose to hold another election, and see how the voters of Harris county respond to these tactics. The county voter registrar is indeed a republican. I wonder how powerfull the Vietnamese Mafia is in Harris county?

Happy Turkeyday George Catlin paints Wi-jun-jon

On board the Yellow Stone were two returning members of an Indian delegation to Washington, D.C. Wi-jun-jon, an Assiniboin known as Pigeon’s Egg Head or The Light, was a distinguished member of his tribe and was considered a "good" (that is friendly and cooperative) Indian by the fur traders and authorities. Fascinated with the White Man’s culture, he returned home garbed in a mixture of the white man’s clothing. Catlin was so struck by The Light’s transformation that he painted a double portrait showing the subject going to and returning from Washington. After returning to his people, The Light persisted in relating his experiences, telling stories which his people could only conceive as lies. He was murdered by another Indian.
The destruction of thousands of years of culture and civilization begins one indian at a time.
The other delegate on board was the Plains Cree He Who Has Eyes Behind Him (also known as Broken Arm). He was not popular with the traders -- that is, he was not considered a "good" Indian, but he survived. He went to Washington, decided the White Man’s ways were not for him, and returned to maintain the old ways with his people.
One indian chooses the ways of the white man, another chooses the ways of his ancestors, one considered a "good" Indian, the other was not, In any event two cultural traditions have become for all intents and purposes extinct. Later we will take a look at the Mandan Indians, and a painting of a ceremony that might have been the last for those people who were soon to exposed to Small pox, you can guess the rest. The work you see here is from a jaunt up the upper Missouri River in 1832.

Happy thanksgiving, the Falling Dollar Edition

It's Theme blogging at the codpiece today, and as a challenge to myself I think that we'll take a look at Native Americans through the eyes of George Catlin, a flight from religious persecution that led to the founding of Massachusetts colony, an examination of the religion of the Founding Fathers, Jeffersons letters to th Baptists, and why I am thankfull that for a short while at least, we enjoy the separation of Church and State.

But to begin with lets take a look at the Falling Dollar. Atrios laments not being able to pay for his accomodations in Barcelona in advance. The Euro is at 1.30 and climbing. The Yen is approaching the penny in value. Russia may be looking to unload dollars in the near term, which will serve to only exascerbate the decline.
LONDON (AFP) - The dollar trawled record depths against the euro, hit by signs that central banks in Russia and elsewhere could step up sales of the ailing US currency to buy euros.
The single European currency soared to a new record against the dollar, reaching 1.3178 dollars in late European trading.

It was the third record high of the day, and the second straight day of record highs for the euro, which has been boosted by concerns about the US budget and current account deficits.

The euro then eased back, changing hands at 1.3174 dollars, against 1.3084 late on Tuesday in New York.

The dollar fell to 102.89 yen from 103.30 on Tuesday.

The dollar sell-off has gathered pace over the week as concerns over the US's twin deficits combined with talk the Russian Central Bank is reviewing the structure of its currency reserves away from the US currency.
Can you blame them? The almighty dollar is not what she used to be, and is falling in the face of budgetary and trade deficits, that until now has been buoyed by the reputation of the United States as a fiscally responsible Nation. First world economies are always given the benifit of the doubt, but given the "re-election" of the Manichean Candidate, the doubts begin to mount.
Coming from our side of the pond from Stephen Roach, his suggestion that there is a 90% chance of economic Amegeddon can't be soothing the ruffled feathers of economists and bond traders here and abroad.
Economic `Armageddon' predicted
By Brett Arends/ On State Street
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish. But you should hear what he's saying in private. Roach met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity.

His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic ``armageddon.''

Press were not allowed into the meetings. But the Herald has obtained a copy of Roach's presentation. A stunned source who was at one meeting said, ``it struck me how extreme he was - much more, it seemed to me, than in public.''

Roach sees a 30 percent chance of a slump soon and a 60 percent chance that ``we'll muddle through for a while and delay the eventual armageddon.'' The chance we'll get through OK: one in 10.

Can you understand why Russia's central bank may be leery about the dollar and might want to avail itself of the always good advice for any investor and diversify it's currency portfolio.
Whether or not Russia reduces the weight of the dollar in its foreign exchange reserves, analysts said the US currency will stay on the backfoot so long as the US continues to record massive deficits on both the current account and the fiscal front.

"The dollar is friendless and in danger of freefall," said Neil Mackinnon, chief economist at ECU Group.

As long as the market believes the US administration is following a policy of benign neglect, then the dollar will continue to fall whatever the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan does to counter-act it, he added.

In that scenario, not even strong US data can provide the dollar respite, with analysts now widely predicting the euro hitting 1.45 dollars and a two dollar pound is just around the corner. Meanwhile, there is even talk that the dollar could drop to 85 yen.
Does not seem to be a whole lot to be thankfull for in the short term, short being relative (let's hope we aren't looking at the geological time frame).
Despite this brighter US economic picture, the dollar continues to slide in the currency markets against all its major rivals in the wake of last weekend's G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers.

That meeting eliminated any expectation that there would be concerted action to help stabilise the dollar.
"The market believes intervention will be ineffective, and there is now a strong view the ECB will not intervene, while the market waits for the BoJ [bank of Japan] to follow words with actions," said ECU Group's Mackinnon.
The renewed bout of selling this week was sparked by comments from the Russian authorities hinting at plans to continue to switch their currency reserves into euros, to the detriment of the dollar.

The euro was changing hands at 1.3174 dollars against 1.3084 late on Tuesday in New York, 135.52 yen (135.16), 0.7001 pounds (0.7000) and 1.5105 Swiss francs (1.5152).

The dollar stood at 102.89 yen (103.30) and 1.1463 Swiss francs (1.1582).

The pound was at 1.8824 dollars (1.8685), 193.65 yen (192.99) and 2.1578 Swiss francs (2.1645).

On the London Bullion Market, the price of an ounce of gold stood at 448.60 dollars against 448.15 late on Tuesday.
I wonder if Dubby took a look into Putin's soul while in Chile, and if the soul told him "Mars Bitch, we are switching to Euros".

Now back in '98 Mr. Andrea Mitchell, saw clouds looming over Asia, has Greenspan been replaced by a pod person?
WASHINGTON, February, 24 1998 (AP) - Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan hailed the remarkable performance of the U.S. economy today, but warned that "storm clouds coming out of Asia carried unusually high uncertainty about the future."

Delivering his semi-annual economic report to Congress, Greenspan may be forecasting the same grim scenario seen and reported here by John Kutyn.
It would seem that Asia knows some kind of economic Kung Fu, and flipped said crisis back at us. Now that pollyanna Greenspan keeps telling us how great things are I can only semise that he is a replicant. The rest of the article paints an interesting picture of threats not yet materialized.

Well there you go friends, the immenent collapse of the US economy awaits. Before the fall, i would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving day.

Wednesday, November 24

Oswald Killed on this day in 1963

The prime suspect in the Assasination of President Kennedy was gunned down in the Dallas Police station by Jack Ruby on this day 41 years ago. From the BBC.

1963: Kennedy 'assassin' murdered
The man accused of assassinating the US President, John F Kennedy, has himself been shot dead in a Dallas police station.

Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old former Marine, was being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, at the centre of a large crowd of police officers, reporters and camera crews.

The event was being covered live on television, and Americans across the country watched in astonishment as a man - later identified as Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner - stepped forward, drew a gun and shot Mr Oswald at point-blank range.

"I didn't want to be a hero - I did it for Jacqueline Kennedy"
Jack Ruby

Mr Oswald fell to the floor, grasping his stomach, as a confused scuffle broke out between police, reporters and the gunman.

An ambulance rushed Mr Oswald to the Parkland Hospital - the same hospital which had fought to save President Kennedy's life two days earlier - but he died within minutes of his arrival.
Never allowed to speak in his own defence, Oswald took whatever he may have know about the case to the grave with him. A couple of years later the young Arlen Specter would find himself diagramming the "magic bullet theory" and the Warren commision would find Oswald responsible, for a crime that still confounds people to this day. I am willing to accept some of the questions that have been raised, but many still find themselves unable to believe that the assasination could be bigger than one man and a magic bullet. I doubt that we will ever really know what happened on that November 22nd, but I am inclined to believe that If involved at all, Oswald was not acting alone. But then I am just an extremely open minded guy.

Problems, Ideas, and Solutions, a work in progress

Started by a comment from eschatonian Jennifer, joined by Wiley E Oddyseus and myself, a discussion of message, tactics, the roadblocks, and possible solutions to some of our problems with the media and the message.
Well, it looks as though at least one Dem knows how the game is played.

The Dem senators had a prime opportunity with this bill - they should have simply refused to vote for it until the offending section was stripped. Then, when the pukes started howling about it, which is the only time the media looks up from contemplating its own navel, the Dems would have been assured of airtime, and could have put out this message: that they were not about to ok puke invasion of people's privacy, and puke promises to go back and "fix it" were meaningless after the way the pukes have abused the Patriot Act and the dept. of Homeland Security. They could have gotten in three swipes for the price of one.

But no, they're more concerned about what the pukes might say about us.

Bravo for Pelosi. She may be the only Dem in Congress who really gets it.
the Dems would have been assured of airtime, and could have put out this message

I like the idea, but there is little guarentee that "this message" would have servived intact and coherent, after they ran it through the media obfuscation machine.

In other words, one could expect them to go from navel gazing to an instant of perked ears and straight through to
glazed eyes while reaching for the faxes streaming in to give them their talking points.

"Democratic message is too hard to reduce to pithy soundbites"

"Republican message easy to propagate, and when are they gonna permanently cut my taxes, cause that's all I am really concerned about"
kent - well, what's the alternative? Doing as they've been doing and just rolling over and begging to have their bellies scratched? That's worked out really well for us.


I am trying to work that out. I don't propose rolling over and playing dead. Hell I have nothing to propose at this time.

I just think that it is important to understand the fact that as long as the media remains a bought and paid propaganda arm for the GOP, that getting the message out is not gonna be easy under the best of circumstances, and that the best of messages can be destroyed through manipulation and distortion.

It would help greatly if we had spokespersons who did not drink of the conventional wisdom or parrot GOP talking points, but then again these folks tend not to get re-invited, the talking heads don't like to leave the sets carrying their asses.

Jen, by no means was I attempting to jump on you, believe me I share your frustration.

I guess for a start, continue to hold our guys' feet to the fire and start a working the ref Program. if we cn find 10% of our numbers willing to channel fundy outrage-mode, and give them directed targets making sure that CNN et al recieve 5,000 emails a day would help.

kent - yes, it would help. That's how the right did it - they mobilized all the aggrieved fundies, played into their martyr complexes and got them going. They've been writing letters and sending complaints and generally hogging the attention of the media and politicians for over 2 decades.

NYMary is right - I blame this latest outbreak on the 70's charismatic movement myself. That started a lot of the splintering of mainline protestant congregations into regular and charismatic groups. Some smart religious conmen saw the potential and grabbed it.

I didn't even know it was happening until the fundie revolution was already well underway.

my parents were sucked into the born-again movement for a couple of years in the late '70's (maybe a last ditch attempt to save the marriage) so I was fortunate to get a good biblical edumication (though I hated it at the time). I guess that if my parents, well educated and intelligent and liberal could get sucked in for a spell...{shudders}

During the rise of the Falwell and the MM during the early '80 the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.

The religious right conmen, and Big Pharma Limbaugh fueling the fires of hatred, probvided the corps with new tools (revamped old ones actually) for the hard work of keeping the lower classes divided.

This game may have been over when the dems in the '80's did not have an answer for the "tax and spend" label, nor challenged reagans use of the term Welfare Queens, for the racist code that it was.

...My big bitch is the capital class shifting the tax burden to the little guys. You know push the risk on us and reap the profits for themselves.

"Privatized profits and socialized risk."

It's the mantra of corporate America.

"Privatized profits and socialized risk."

ding ding ding, we have a winner.

It's short, pithy, true as the day is long, in short a perfect soundbite. This might not play with the rubes, but the reality based fiscal conservatives might go for it.

Fold this one into a broader theme, Fairness is a fundimental American Value.

This game may have been over when the dems in the '80's did not have an answer for the "tax and spend" label, nor challenged reagans use of the term Welfare Queens, for the racist code that it was.

I agree with the gist of this, though not entirely with it's apocalyptic pessimism. I don't think the game is over, or, if it is, it is going to be followed by a new one centering on the '06 and '08 election cycles.

The Rethugs did start demonizing liberals over a generation ago. It will take a while to undo that, and meanwhile we are playing catch up ball.

As for Dems being too polite, I think it comes from having become the party of government during the New Deal era. Dems are susceptible to calls to come together for the common good, and Rethugs exploit this.

I'd also look at the preface to Krugman's last book, The Great Unravelling, where he likens the difficulty of the reality-based community in dealing with these guys to the difficulties the establishment had in dealing with French revolutionaries who ceded it no legitimacy whatsoever.

Wile E. Odysseus,

Game over was not necessarily meant to be appocalyptic, just a demonstration of a starting point of having rediculous charges thrown in our faces and an inability to deal with them as we go "what the fuck? Thats just Bullshit" and of course the lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on.

Game over was not necessarily meant to be appocalyptic, just a demonstration of a starting point of having rediculous charges thrown in our faces and an inability to deal with them as we go "what the fuck? Thats just Bullshit" and of course the lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth gets its pants on.

Fair enough. I certainly agree with you on that. I hear some crazy ass sh*t like, "liberals eat babies," and before I can even finish thinking, "Nah, no one's going to be so dumb as to believe that," everybody in the media is parroting the new talking point, and the journos are saying, "Some say liberals eat babies," and writing "analysis" pieces on whether Kerry (or whatever Dem you care to name) can overcome the strong "liberals eat babies" perception on the part of the American people and quoting anonymous Dems spouting defeatist stuff and wrining their hands about the strong attacks on Dems for eating babies.
Wile EO-new poll on MSNBC: Is it true liberals eat babies?
bebe rebozo

And Wolf Blitzer nodding approvingly while Enron Eddie Gillespie or some other Rethug shill is spouting off about liberals eating babies.

W.E.O, great handle btw,

You have done a perfect job describing how the media would respond to changes of dems drinking the blood of xtian babies, and slow roasting their flesh for a fantastic bar-b-cue. I'd laugh if it was not so true.

Uhm, I need another napkin to wipe the blood, oops barbecue sauce off my face.

I'd laugh if it was not so true.

Well, kent, I owe the inspiration to you.

Sadly, it's going to take a while to counteract this, because, as you said upthread, the Rethugs have been playing this game for a while now.

BTW, kent (or anybody else), any thoughts on how Dems can counter this sort of thing and even do some of it on the Rethugs?


Good question. I think the first thing we should remember that even if it wasn't stolen, the results are pretty close to a dead heat, in spite of everything going against us. So I am not thinking that we have to retool the whole situation.

As I suggested earlier, working the refs, by targeting progressive rage might actually bear fruit, something like the sinclair operation, except daily, using Fair, Media matters and the Daily Howler for direction.

next crafting nice soundbites, which is much more difficult for us reality/rational based folk. but Jennifer had a good one above.
"Privatized profits and socialized risk."

While working on reframing some of our message, we have to figure out ways to give our message a visceral emotional appeal, as many seem resistant to reason. Not that walking a mile in a fundie's shoes something I want to do or look forward to doing, but we have to understand the lizard brain in order to understand how to effectivly communicate with it.

implementation is for another day, but thats what I have for now.


I like, I like.

Also the Rethugs have perfected the schtick of having the crazies like Coulter and Rush spouting off, "liberals eat babies," and the more presentable, button down types like Bobo Brooks and Bill Kristol furrowing their brows and saying, "Well, I don't KNOW if liberals eat babies, but there are a lot of troubling questions that need to be answered." That's another way of keeping the pot boiling, so to speak, and of getting the less ideological talkingheads and pundits to take up the theme.

I think we need to do something similar, so we get the benefits of demagoging the issue when we need it, but we don't have all our talking heads and talking points smeared as extremist, so they can be dismissed by ordinary folks who don't follow poitics that closely. (That's what happened inthe run up to the war, IMHO: only actors and other easily scapegoated and easily marginalized talking heads were put on the news networks to make the anti-war case, whereas there were a lot of people, including Republicans like Scowcroft, voicing their dissent who would have been less easy to dismiss.)

IMHO: only actors and other easily scapegoated and easily marginalized talking heads were put on the news networks to make the anti-war case,

Oddly enough when I woke up this morning, I had visions of Sarandon and Robbins in my misty head. In fact I wake up most mornings with some or another vision regarding the failure to deliver our message.

My SO was watching Real world last night and I caught a small bit where one of the kids was lecturing someone in a restaurant about the evils of beef and replaying the X gallons of water for each hamburger line. While this may be true, this message does not work at all. Preaching to the choir to rile up the base is one thing, but using the same arguments on those we wish to see the light is another entirely, it just don't work.
Not as long as mother culture is continually buzzing in their ears.

But is has become clear that we can't rely completely on reason and must figure out a way to add appeals to emotion to our arsenal. I can not expect to shove reasonable arguments down the throats of people who distrust reason, as the fundies should
not expect me to be sold on their articles of faith, but there has to be a middle ground. It is however necessary for those of us that want to change minds to understand the minds we wish to change.

Anyhoo, I am gonna lift this discussion and post it on the blog for the purpose of being able to keep track of the ideas. Feel free to drop me an email and we can continue this conversation.

Thats all I got for now


Kent is right. Appeals to Reason? Conservatives are unreasonable. Appeals to ethics? Conservatives are unethical. All we have left is appeals to emotions.

cosmosis, another great nik btw.

Thanks, I hope that emotional appeals are just part of the quiver, and serve to make the rational arguments more easy to embrace, but I do believe that emotion is the battle ground where we are being beaten like red headed step children.

Damn shame really.

What kind of emotional appeals? In the lexicon of Dr Suess, should we focus on Mad, Sad or Glad? Cons have cornered the market on Mad--rage really. Sad is for losers, as the last few elections show. So, liberals need to be the party of happiness, joy, feeling good. It doesn't matter if being "glad" is illogical, since people aren't logical. What they'll respond to is confidence and happiness.
Well, it's a nice thought anyway.
Well, it's a nice thought anyway.

You know you might have stumbled into something there. Why not glad? The other guys are happy to push mad and sad. Glad can be couched in language of a happy future for the kids (of course)
and we would not neccissarily have to sell ourselves out.

I imagine that people will grow weary of the mad and sad.

Not sure quite how to manipulate glad, but I think it worthy of serious concideration.
Will update as necessary.

Left Behind. Jesus could you just take them already?

There is a series of very popular books that describe the return of Jesus the retrieval of the faithful, and hellfire and brimstone for all who are not true believers. It might not be a stretch to consider that upwards of 30 percent of the population may be inclined to believe that we now live in the end-times. Given the amount of shit flying through the air with respect to the interpretation of the intent of Jesus and the Founders, I dream that Jesus, and Jefferson night return and explain themselves. I am not sure that either would agree with what has been done in their names. I guess it is just a downside of historical immortality. Nick Kristoff wrote a piece during the summer about the left behind series, that I may have covered here, and he got some letters from the authors of the series and writes about it in todays NYT.
Apocalypse (Almost) Now

If America's secular liberals think they have it rough now, just wait till the Second Coming.

The "Left Behind" series, the best-selling novels for adults in the U.S., enthusiastically depict Jesus returning to slaughter everyone who is not a born-again Christian. The world's Hindus, Muslims, Jews and agnostics, along with many Catholics and Unitarians, are heaved into everlasting fire: "Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and . . . they tumbled in, howling and screeching."

Gosh, what an uplifting scene!

If Saudi Arabians wrote an Islamic version of this series, we would furiously demand that sensible Muslims repudiate such hatemongering. We should hold ourselves to the same standard.
Sounds about right. You can only imagine the hissy fit throughdown (or should that be hoe-down). I can head on over to LGF and find a multitude of commentary that suggests, if Muslims don't repudiate the terrorist activities in the strongest voice possible and turn around and sign loyalty oaths demonstrating to their satisfaction, that they are loyal to the country first religion second, they should be rounded up and shot. so indeed if an Islamic Cleric wrote a book stating that Christians would be cast into a pit of fire, certain elements of the population would be screaming for a Nuclear solution. You can find lots of this going on at LGF already.
Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the co-authors of the series, have both e-mailed me (after I wrote about the "Left Behind" series in July) to protest that their books do not "celebrate" the slaughter of non-Christians but simply present the painful reality of Scripture.

"We can't read it some other way just because it sounds exclusivistic and not currently politically correct," Mr. Jenkins said in an e-mail. "That's our crucible, an offensive and divisive message in an age of plurality and tolerance."

Silly me. I'd forgotten the passage in the Bible about how Jesus intends to roast everyone from the good Samaritan to Gandhi in everlasting fire, simply because they weren't born-again Christians.

I accept that Mr. Jenkins and Mr. LaHaye are sincere. (They base their conclusions on John 3.) But I've sat down in Pakistani and Iraqi mosques with Muslim fundamentalists, and they offered the same defense: they're just applying God's word.
Well I have my starting point, bust out the good book and turn to John. You can talk to any fundimentalist and you are talking to a true believer, Muslim or Christian, or Zionist Jew. These guys are gonna be "right" no matter the evidence to the contrary.
Now, I've often written that blue staters should be less snooty toward fundamentalist Christians, and I realize that this column will seem pretty snooty. But if I praise the good work of evangelicals - like their superb relief efforts in Darfur - I'll also condemn what I perceive as bigotry. A dialogue about faith must move past taboos and discuss differences bluntly. That's what blue staters and red staters need to do about religion and the "Left Behind" books.

For starters, it's worth pointing out that those predicting an apocalypse have a long and lousy record. In America, tens of thousands of followers of William Miller waited eagerly for Jesus to reappear on Oct. 22, 1844. Some of these Millerites had given away all their belongings, and the no-show was called the Great Disappointment.

In more recent times, the best-selling nonfiction book of the 1970's was Hal Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth," selling 18 million copies worldwide with its predictions of a Second Coming. Then, one of the hottest best sellers in 1988 was a booklet called "88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988." Oops.

Being wrong has rarely been so lucrative.

Now we have the hugely profitable "Left Behind" financial empire, whose Web site flatly says that the authors "think this generation will witness the end of history." The site sells every "Left Behind" spinoff imaginable, including screen savers, regular prophecies sent to your mobile phone, children's versions of the books, audiobooks, graphic novels, videos, calendars, music and a $6.50-a-month prophesy club. This isn't religion, this is brand management.
Bingo, it is all about the marketing of certain religious doctrine in the service of power and increased hegemony, with the fundimentalist christians willing tools in this exercise. Welcome to the new time religion, where christianity has about as much to do with the teaching of christ, as a fish has to do with a bicycle.

Tuesday, November 23

Pssssst. XYZPDQ Mr. President.

I have to admit that I missed the
open area in dubya's pantal area
when I first saw this at the Eschaton

NBA Brawl video search. Found Bigotry instead.

While searching for a vid of the Brawl at the end of the Pacers Pistons game, I found this site through a google search. It's a good thing that racism is dead. From the comments.
Whats with the "come to my city, and say that?" Do you mean My city, My Country, My English language--that My people gave you the right to participate in. Gave--you did not earn. You were brought from a third world, backwoods, uneducated slave race--to a modern society, and after four hundred years you are still unable to adapt without using your only commodity--your ability to jump. Way to go. I suggest we have a cotton picking contest, what better way is there to make white people happy--and make money for the white owners and management. Your people are still owned by whites
Submitted by: Toddy on 11/23/2004
What do you expect when you let the gorillas out of their cages? Dont act so surprized you dolts. Another incident to prove that the NBA (N--iggers B--eing A--ssholes)is living up to its acronym. Screw the NBA....and most professional-level sports for that matter. Save your money and get the best seats in front of your big-screen. Professional sports owners and atheletes will all fall to the demise of their own monster-creating, money-hoarding ways. Can anyone say NHL?
Submitted by: Jack Meoff on 11/22/2004
Yes it is typical black behavior. Artest didnt want any of Wallace who put his hands on him, but will go after a smaller white person. What can you say about animals. And as far as hating, any body 65" can play this game unless your just a big lazy ****, which most are anyway and just get by thats why the game sucks.
Submitted by: Hardtime on 11/22/2004
What do you expect when youve got players with the "Gansta" type mentality... Artest and Jackson should have been suspended FOR LIFE!!!
Submitted by: Rexxx on 11/22/2004
I wonder if this last dude got his Talking points from Rush "Big Pharma" Limbaugh, who used similar language yesterday.
LIMBAUGH: There is something about this hip-hop culture business. I'm not going to mention the name because there's thousands of them, but I've been watching interviews with ex-NBA players and current NBA players. You know what the common theme that I'm hearing is? "Well, I'm not going to be dissed. I'm simply not going to be disrespected. Somebody disrespects me, they're going to pay for it." Meaning, "A fan disrespects me, that fan's going to pay for it," not just another player.

And that comes right out of the hip-hop culture, and it's not just that. You look at NBA players and the uniforms, you don't have to go back very far. The uniforms have changed totally. They're now in gang colors. They are in gang styles.
CALLER: This is not a new thing with the Piston fans.

LIMBAUGH: I know. That's why I say call it "New Fallujah, Michigan."
Tell it like it is FatBoy™. Interestingly I was discussing the possible racist component among the fans as a possible exascerbant to the hostilities. He did not find it terribly plausible. From a comment on the thread over at the Eschaton on the Limbaugh biz.
by the way, i have a very good friend who has many season tix right behind the laker bench.

the shit you hear wafting down from the stands to the players is just downright atrocious.

"nigger" and much worse are very, very common. and it ain't used in the "yo my N" phrase used between blacks. it's white namecalling.

just so you know. the racism that rush evokes using his code words and republican treehouse secret dictionary isn't even that required out in "polite" society anymore.

i hear it all the time. you'd think this was 1954, not 2004, for fuck's sake.
Jim in LA
My friend might find this suprising but I certainly don't. One thing that has become clear to me after this election is the realization that bigotry is simply a much bigger problem than I previously thought. It really has been flying under the radar, but has increasingly reared it's ugly head. The barely veiled contempt for wealth black athletes, on a basketball fan board is enlightening and distressing.
Simply a bunch of monkeys who can throw a ball around, a little bit of money doesnt really change who they really are. This here is a prime example of why blacks are looked down upon. Simply disgusting!!!!
Submitted by: DeeznYa on 11/20/2004

To bad they didnt all "bust out their 9s" and kill themselves off! Overpaid crybaby bitches. If they couldnt bounce a ball and through it into a basket theyd all be out stealing cars.
Submitted by: TWISTED on 11/20/2004
dude, their black... what else would u expect?!?
Submitted by: Arsenist on 11/20/2004
Dudes, It's that simple.

Rather is leaving the evening News

Dan Rather is stepping down as anchor of the CBS Nightly News program in March, just 24 years after taking over from Walter Conkrite.
By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK - Dan Rather, embattled anchor of the "CBS Evening News," announced Tuesday that he will step down in March, on the 24th anniversary of taking over the job from Walter Cronkite.

The veteran anchor has been under fire in recent months for his role in a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story that questioned President Bush (news - web sites)'s service in the National Guard, which turned out to based on allegedly forged documents.

Rather, 73, said he will continue to work for CBS, as a correspondent for both editions of "60 Minutes."

He made no mention of the National Guard story in announcing the change, saying he had agreed with CBS executives last summer that after the Nov. 2 election would be the right time to leave.

"I have always been and remain a `hard news' investigative reporter at heart," he said. "I now look forward to pouring my heart into that kind of reporting full time."

CBS did not mention a potential successor.

"He has been an eyewitness to the most important events for more than 40 years and played a crucial role in keeping the American public informed about those events and their larger significance," CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves said.
All I have to add, besides a possible update to follow the wingnut response, is this:
The media has fallen a very long way in such a short time. Jeez.

[....update it did not take long....]

7 huckfunn 11/23/2004 09:23AM PST

I'm located just west of Austin, and its been raining constanly for the past week. At the very moment FOX reported that Dan Rather is leaving, the sun came out briefly for the first time in at least 10 days. I kid you not. Is this a sign from God? I'm gonna go look for the rainbow.

#14 Ghost 11/23/2004 09:24AM PST

Yee hah!
Congrats to Charles and all the others who had part in exposing the blatant partisanship of this man.

Who wants to bet that if Kerry had won the election, this wouldn't have happened?

#49 zulubaby 11/23/2004 09:34AM PST

November is the Best Week Ever!

He should have been thrown out but I'll take what I can get. Now we need to start working on getting rid of Ashrawi's boyfriend.

Now which pill was I supposed to take, the red one or the green one, or was it a blue pill?

Update on the Deer Stand Murders

While I might find myself in trouble with Wollcott, I feel compelled to refer to something I previously wrote: Yesterday, I wrote the following about the case of the deer-stand inspired shooting spree.
It might also be the case that Mr. Vang's asian heritage, may have inflamed passions on both sides, but alas this is just speculation.
Well it would seem, according to Mr. Vang, that race was involved. He also claims that he was shot at first.
By ROBERT IMRIE, Associated Press Writer

HAYWARD, Wis. - A man suspected in the killings of six hunters told investigators he began firing after he was shot at first and some of the victims called him racially derogatory names, according to documents filed Tuesday.

A judge set bail at $2.5 million for Chai Vang, 36, of St. Paul, Minn., who is suspected in the killings Sunday of six deer hunters and the wounding of two others.

Bail was set after investigators filed documents arguing there was probable cause to hold Vang in the shootings. No charges have been filed.

Vang was arrested Sunday about four hours after the shootings as he emerged from the woods with his empty SKS 7.62-mm semiautomatic rifle. No charges had been filed as of Tuesday morning.

Sawyer County Sheriff Jim Meier said a dispute over Vang's use of a hunting stand on private property preceded the gunfire.
Whether or not it occured in this instance or not, there is little doubt in my mind that Mr. Vang has dealt with more than his share of racism.

The Brits Stop Terrorist (9/11 style) Plot

This might be what happens when you have a real intelligence infrastructure...Check that, when you allow your intelligence community to do the job they were paid to do, which is to protect the security of the contry and not a party's consolidation of power. From Yahoo.
Mon Nov 22, 6:39 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - British security services have foiled an Al-Qaeda plot to fly planes into targets in London in a September 11-style attack, Britain's independent ITV News network reported.

"This is the story of what could have been a nightmare averted," said ITV's political editor Nick Robinson. "A story not of failure, but of success."

"That, at least, is what I am told by a senior authoritative source who says that the security services managed to avert a plot to fly planes into Canary Wharf here, and also into Heathrow Airport," he said.

"I simply do not know the details of how they found out, how they stopped it, how close the plot got, but I am in no doubt that this was a genuine feeling on the behalf of those in the security services that they had managed to foil a plot and make us safer," he added.

ITV News confirmed to AFP that their journalist's "non-attributable source" was in "the arena" of the security services or government, but would not be specific.

Britain's Home Office and London's Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the report.
Well thats some damn fine news, hopefully it was not a feint. Now of course the cynic needs to step up and suggest that there is a whole lot of detail missing from this picture, and so It could all be one big fat lie. I imagine that the average british citizen does not need a window installed in their abdomen, as they do not have their heads so far up their asses.

Now as I orignally caught this over at Chuck Johnsons place LGF, lets take a look at what some of the window watchers have to say about the situation.
Tanker J.D. 11/22/2004 04:15PM PST

plot to fly planes into Canary Wharf here, and also into Heathrow Airport

Are those really the most high value targets in London? What about "Look kids, Big Ben;" or maybe #10 Downing Street - I mean with a 747 at your disposal, you wouldn't need to be that accurate to rid of #10; you could just kinda aim for Downing Street, generally.

Maybe that's why this plan failed: they couldn't even assess their targets correctly...

I think we should view this as a sign of Al Quaeda's reduced capabilities . . . [i guess thats one way of looking at it.]
Typical Texan 11/22/2004 04:15PM PST

Thank the Lord! (and the security forces)

Does England get Fox News? [Typical fucktard, uhm, why do you ask?]
Megan 11/22/2004 04:17PM PST

It's good that they prevented this, but I bet they used racial profiling! That only hurts people's feelings and makes them jsut as bad as the terrorists!!!/LLL
(keep up the good work, Britain) [Thats white, I mean right megan racial profiling will save the world, and torture too.]
Buckaroo 11/22/2004 04:20PM PST

# 17 M D

IIRC, Murdoch owns Sky News so it's close ...
:-) [Typical Tardblossom gets his answer, as long as the speakers are pumping from a Murdoch joint, then its all good]
Max Power 11/22/2004 04:21PM PST

Apparently the attackers were foiled by when a well dressed Hard Hitting Fox news reporter wrestled them to the ground.

PS-did you hear about their new hard hitting segment....

(I kidd, Fox rules, its just so...omnipresent lately) [Okaaaaaaaaay. Fealty to leader, to leaders propaganda, party before country]
lazytart 11/22/2004 04:40PM PST

My parents just returned from 10 days in London. They have nearly every 5 years or so for the past twenty years.

They said:

A) The trip was so expensive that they almost couldn't relax enough to enjoy themselves.. $60 to see Bridget Jones movie.. oy... transportation, food, everything nearly doubled since two years ago

B) "Old" Britain is dead.. My parents are anglophiles, and they are in a grief state.

C) London has no londoners... just "islamics", as my mother says. She was shocked.

D) They were practically cavity searched a gazillion times... security tons tighter in Heathrow than airport here.

E) She and my dad finally got a wake up call that it's just safer here for now. [The dramatically falling dollar had nothing to do I am sure with the outrageous costs that caused your anglophone parents much grief now would it. As to the rest of it....]

Well there you go. might have to make this a feature, winger eyes on the news of the day, or somesuch. Or maybe I will try to find the three places on my head, that if hit just so with a ball-peen hammer render me droolingly stupid, then they would start making sense. The red text above are my responses to the comments.