A political tactic is not a “value.”
I’m with John Cole. I hope they call her bluff and find out that it’s not a bluff.
Werner Herzog’s Bear sees parallels between today and the 1830s. A snippet:
Of course, just as Jackson and modern day conservatives champion “small government” out of one side of their mouth, they just love using the military to expand territory and reward the vested interests backing them. Jackson moved to remove Native Americans against the will of the Supreme Court, just as the “War on Terror” has relied on illegal and extralegal means. Jackson’s closest imitator, James K Polk, sparked war with Mexico with terms just as illegitimate as those formulated by George W Bush for his invasion of Iraq. Jacksonians of all era scorn the notion that government can improve people’s lives, but have little restraint when using it to further the goals of nationalist expansion.
. . . He and his supporters denigrated the educated, much as conservatives today scorn climate scientists, academics, and teachers. All three have committed the cardinal sin of having expertise and thinking that means they know more than the average yahoo. One of Jackson’s most toxic legacies has been the extremely anti-intellectual tenor of American public life, something routinely exploited by conservatives.
. . . and this one demands that the government require that others hate right along with him.
The reasoning is as twisted (“If you don’t hate along with me, you are discriminating against me”) as the chutzpah is impressive.
Bankruptcy of the pocketbook, meet bankruptcy of the spirit.
Often, the filings have come on the eve of a trial. In Portland, the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy before jury selection for a negligence trial. In San Diego, the filing came hours before the start of the first of more than 40 sexual abuse lawsuits.
Here, the bankruptcy filing freezes more than 20 lawsuits against the church, as well as three abuse trials scheduled to begin Jan. 26. And with more than a year before the window closes on the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which lifted the civil statute of limitations for child abuse cases, more cases could emerge.
I’m so old that I can remember when Christians, Jews, and Muslims were all “People of the Book.”
I’m so old that I can remember when the central tenets of Christianity were love, charity, and forgiveness, not hate, persecution, and nastiness.
“Christians” who loudly proclaim their “Christianity” while wallowing in hate make atheism look ever so reasonable.
Via Raw Story.
The Sweater-Vest of Sanctimonious Self-Righteousness shall not be denied.
Gary Younge reminds us that events are not that simple, however much some may want them to be.
The Republican Party, party of dirty old men and young men who are just waiting to become dirty old men:
Words fail me.
Hunter Smith wonders at the culture of fear that has turned playgrounds into padded paddocks and at the frequent fear fads. I can’t say I agree with everything he says, but I do think it’s worth a read. A snippet:
No one wants to unnecessarily put children in harm’s way, but in our rush to protect them we sometimes gloss over what constitutes real risk. Seat belt and helmet laws are enacted because evidence suggests they decrease the likelihood of injury or death in an accident. However, similar evidence is seldom provided when playgrounds and schools are made ostensibly safer. In fact — unless there is a corn chopper* involved — these changes address unfounded fears more than actual dangers. The result is school administrators and parents patting themselves on the back for solving a problem that wasn’t there. Now they’ve created a new problem: a sterilized environment where children passively learn to fear everything.
This mindset extends well beyond the playground. Our country is plagued by a culture of fear. Politicians, talking heads, religious leaders, and bloggers all agree we are doomed, they only disagree on the means of our demise.
I know that the playground at my elementary school would not pass muster today, as no shredded tires were within miles of it and the swings had seats, not slings.
*We had one of those. I think my brother may still have it. You drop the ears of corn in the top, turn the crank, and the corn kernels come out one shoot and the stripped cob out another.
Jared Diamond thinks we are looking for bogeymen in all the wrong places.
We Americans today are focused on the wrong threats to American democracy. We are obsessed with threats from overseas: from terrorists and Islamist extremists, and from other countries. But realistically, while terrorists and Islamists and other countries will continue to cause trouble for us, the chance of their ending American democracy is nil. The only real threat to American democracy comes from Americans themselves.
Read the rest. It is not comforting.