Jim Wright attacks the myth of the “national moral compass.” A nugget:

Any discussion of crime or patriotism or guns or the current generation or gay rights or women’s health or voting reform or taxes or politics will eventually lead to the moral compass statement.

Our country has lost its moral compass.


Listen, as soon as you say to me “the country has lost it’s moral compass” you and I are done talking.

Because you are engaged in a logical fallacy, a fantasy of your own making, and while that may be your right, it’s my right not to participate in your delusion.

The very notion of a national morality is counter to liberty; it is tyrants and the totalitarianism of theocracies and ideologues which attempt to impose morality on the citizenry by force or threat.

Do read the rest.


Via C&L.


The party of stupid tries to legislate yet more stupid.

A North Carolina bill introduced this month would prevent state medical school departments from allowing employees to perform abortions or to “supervise the performance of an abortion”. Essentially, the bill’s sponsors and supporters wants to make teaching how to perform an abortion – a safe, legal and necessary medical procedure – illegal. As The New Republic’s Jamil Smith wrote, if passed, the bill would “produce less intelligent doctors.”

Without discussing abortion,* what these idiots don’t seem to realize that, if a woman suffers a miscarriage, she may need to undergo the same procedure that is commonly used for early-term abortions so as to heal properly and possibly to serious infection.

Next, they’ll want to return to throwing women into the river to find out whether they are witches.


*I’ve stated my position before: It’s the woman’s decision and no one else’s.


Leonard Pitts, Jr., ponders how Wayne LaPierre so creatively turned the polysyllabic latinate phrase, “demographically significant,” into a slur. A snippet:

Here’s the thing about “demographically symbolic” presidents and candidates: They tend to function like Rorschach inkblots. Meaning that what we see in them reveals more about us than them. Where Barack Obama is concerned, the right-wing panic over birth certificates and fist bumps and the left-wing tendency to idealize and canonize his every exhalation revealed the rank bigotry and messy irresolution beneath our “post-racial” happy talk. Where Clinton is concerned, these very early indications suggest her woman-ness will likewise be a minefield for friend, foe and media — even more, perhaps, than in 2008.

One side effect of Barack Obama’s presidency is this: The right no longer even tries to hide its racist, bigoted roots. Indeed, it now flaunts them.

18 April 2015 · Comments Off on Org Charts · Categories: Culture Warriors

Der Spiegel believes it has uncovered the blueprints for ISIS and reports that, far from being a band of fanatics, it is a cold and calculating outfit, as rational as it is beastly. A snippet:

Sharia, the courts, prescribed piety — all of this served a single goal: surveillance and control. Even the word that Bakr used for the conversion of true Muslims, takwin, is not a religious but a technical term that translates as “implementation,” a prosaic word otherwise used in geology or construction. Still, 1,200 years ago, the word followed a unique path to a brief moment of notoriety. Shiite alchemists used it to describe the creation of artificial life. In his ninth century “Book of Stones,” the Persian Jabir Ibn Hayyan wrote — using a secret script and codes — about the creation of a homunculus. “The goal is to deceive all, but those who love God.” That may also have been to the liking of Islamic State strategists, although the group views Shiites as apostates who shun true Islam. But for Haji Bakr, God and the 1,400-year-old faith in him was but one of many modules at his disposal to arrange as he liked for a higher purpose.

18 April 2015 · Comments Off on Antidisestablismentarians* · Categories: Culture Warriors


*Look it up.

17 April 2015 · Comments Off on Republican Jesus · Categories: Culture Warriors

Britney Cooper deconstructs the religion of right. A snippet:

Nothing about the cultural and moral regime of the religious right in this country signals any kind of freedom. In fact, this kind of legislation is rooted in a politics that gives white people the authority to police and terrorize people of color, queer people and poor women. That means these people don’t represent any kind of Christianity that looks anything like the kind that I practice.


This white, blond-haired, blue-eyed, gun-toting, Bible-quoting Jesus of the religious right is a god of their own making. I call this god, the god of white supremacy and patriarchy.

Read the rest.

Via Progressive Populist.

17 April 2015 · Comments Off on Twits on Twitter · Categories: Culture Warriors, Political Theatre

Words fail me.

12 April 2015 · Comments Off on Misdirection Play · Categories: Culture Warriors

Jeffrey Gillespie finds the response to the non-debunked Rolling Stone UVa. rape story to be dismaying. An excerpt (emphasis added):

The Rolling Stone profile, which reported on a now-discredited story about a gang rape at a University of Virginia frat house, has received much scrutiny. There is a tone to the backlash that is disturbing; much like the Bernie Madoff affair in 2008, which gave bigots nationwide the perfect anti-Semitic foil, the falsified UVA story is already being gleefully exploited by right wing elements in the press as an exemplar of the hysterical feminist agenda. In extreme cases, conservative elements in the media are attempting to conflate the issue to the point of suggesting that the rape culture is some fantastic invention, a simple effect of feminist propaganda combined with left-wing political maneuvering.

But when you live in a country where 20 percent of women have been the victims of sexual violence, there’s really no possibility for overreaction. There’s only the need for a moment of silence, a moment to let that shameful statistic sink in, and then there’s work to be done.

The irony is that, except for some details, such as names, dates, and places, the Rolling Stone story was true. What it described does indeed happen all too frequently and authorities and society regularly wink at it until forced into action.

12 April 2015 · Comments Off on “Discrimination Then, Discrimination Now, Discrimination Forever” · Categories: Culture Warriors

In the Charlotte Observer, Taylor Batten sums up South Carolina’s amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court gay marriage case. The crux:

(South Carolina Attorney-General–ed.) Wilson’s argument in a sentence: The framers of the Fourteenth Amendment were OK with the states discriminating against women, so surely they’d be OK with us discriminating against gays.

Looks as if South Carolina called Saul.

12 April 2015 · Comments Off on “Better Call Saul” · Categories: Culture Warriors

It seems that the anti-gay folks are having trouble getting good lawyers to advocate for bigotry and homophobia.


Types of Marriage sanctioned in the Bible:  One man, one or more women.

I find it noteworthy how many persons who love to thump the Bible seem unable to comprehend the frightful implications of taking it literally.

Via Job’s Anger.

09 April 2015 · Comments Off on “Special Snowflakes” · Categories: Culture Warriors

I don’t follow Daily Kos very closely, but I must say, this post is a gem.

08 April 2015 · Comments Off on In Wingnut World, Equal Treatment Is Special Treatment · Categories: Culture Warriors, Republican Hypocrisy

08 April 2015 · Comments Off on Just Let Them Eat That Cake · Categories: Culture Warriors

Leonard Pitts, Jr., suggests that one skirmish in the culture wars is all but over. A snippet:

And here, a little context might be instructive. Twenty years ago, you recall, we were essentially arguing over the right of gay people to exist. The debate then was over whether they could serve in the military, adopt children, be fired or denied housing because of their sexuality. Ten years ago, public opinion on most of those issues having swung decisively, we were fighting over whether or not they could get married. Ten years later, that point pretty much conceded, we are arguing over who should bake the cake.

The very parameters of the debate have shifted dramatically to the dreaded left. Positions the GOP took proudly just 20 years ago now seem prehistoric and its motivations for doing so, threadbare. This is not about morality, the Constitution or faith. It never was.

In a related item, a letter-writer to the Miami Herald suggests, “Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.”

07 April 2015 · Comments Off on “Lost Tribe from Nostalgiastan” · Categories: Culture Warriors

Jon Stewart on Indiana, below the fold in case it autoplays.

More »

07 April 2015 · Comments Off on Greek Myths · Categories: Culture Warriors

I predict that this will not work out as the plaintiffs hope. Once you open Pandora’s box, you cannot close it again; when discovery starts, all bets are off.

In related news, Rutgers (when I was in college, we knew it as “Rotgut,” but that was a long time ago–misty water-colored memories and all that) bans frat and sorority parties, because of frats and sororities.


Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount:  Love thy neighbor as thyself.  Onlooker:  Sorry, that unfairly burdens the religious freedom of us Indiana residents.

In related news, Little Ricky Derides again.

Via Job’s Anger.

05 April 2015 · Comments Off on “Pity the Poor, Misunderstood Bigot” · Categories: Culture Warriors

A James Doblin points out, you don’t know how bad it feels to be a hater (emphasis added).

The news from Indiana keeps changing. State legislators have come up with a fix for a law that was supposedly about restoring religious freedom. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed off on the law last week, claiming it had nothing to do with discriminating against gays and lesbians. He even went further, saying tolerance was a two-way street.

Minorities understand that completely – it means you can get run over in both directions by intolerant people. Pence wanted America to believe people who protest being the objects of discrimination do not understand what it feels like being the bigot hurling the insults.

Follow the link for the rest of his article, which bends in interesting directions.

05 April 2015 · Comments Off on Branding Together · Categories: Culture Warriors

E. J. Dionne, in a much longer column about the attempt to remake freedom from discrimination into freedom to discriminate, observes that appearances have become a new imperative.

As controversy engulfed Indiana over its religious liberty law that would give legal recourse to those who discriminate against gays and lesbians, leaders of North Carolina, which has one of the most conservative state governments in the country, were getting cold feet about passing a comparable statute.

“I think we need to show that if we approve this bill, that it will improve North Carolina’s brand,” said Tim Moore, the Republican Speaker of the state House of Representatives. “Anything we do, we have to make sure we don’t harm our brand.”

A new commandment now trumps some of the others: Thou shalt not spoil the brand.

North Carolina has a brand? If so, I suspect it’s not what Mr. Moore thinks it is.

I do think an argument can be made that the decline and fall began when “branding” replaced “quality” as management consultants’ favorite con. Too many folks concluded that, if you have “brand,” to hell with “quality.”