politics

Christians who know "all about the apocalypse but not the Beatitudes"

Tim Kreider, of The Pain - When Will it End?, gives the best description I've ever heard of the problem with most of the religious right in his artist's statement for last week's strip, in which he says of George W. Bush, "He was a mean drunk who got arrested for driving under the influence and threatened to beat up his father, and he was born again as a mean Christian who knew all about the apocalypse but not the Beatitudes."

Next time some hate-monger claims to be a Christian, quiz 'em on it; ask them to recite the Beatitudes, the heart of the teachings of Jeshua ben Joseph. (I can't, but then I don't claim to be a Christian.)

The best we can hope for in Iraq

Something I posted to a Slashdot thread today (material in italics is from the post I'm replying to), addressing a common pro-war attitude:

As a side benefit, the people of Iraq have a chance at self-rule

Well, the 100,000+ dead don't have any chance at self rule, no...and those left have more chance of falling into civil war that, at best, ends up in a theocracy, than of ending up with a stable democracy.

After the way the neocons have fucked things up over there, the very very best we can hope for over there is that in 50 years or so, after a few hundred thousand more people have been killed in the fighting, things will be as nice and stable in Iraq as they are in Northern Ireland now.

Armed dolphins let loose by Katrina?

The Guardian reports - and they don't seem to be making this up - that three dozen armed dolphins may have been set loose in the Gulf of Mexico when their compound, believed to be near Lake Pontchartrain, was breached by Hurricane Katrina.

Experts familiar with the U.S. navy's program believe that the military trained the dolphins to shoot underwater terrorists with dart guns. The Navy has refused to confirm that any of its cetacean agents are AWOL.

bizarre comics and Orwellian misconceptions

I'm just enough of a comics fan to get some laughs from the bizarre covers and outrageous outtakes at Superdickery.com. In their discussion of propaganda in comics, they linked to a contemporary bizarre right-wing comic:

It is the year 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. It is up to an underground group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North to thwart Ambassador Usama Bin Laden's plans to nuke New York City ...And wake the world from an Orwellian nightmare of United Nations-dominated ultra-liberalism.

Iraqis dare to take sovereignty seriously

Seems that folks in our newest colony thought that our talk about giving them sovereignty was serious. Now they're upset that our British allies busted two of their soldiers out of an Iraqi jail. Officials in Basra say they will not cooperate with coalition forces until Britain formally apologizes for the raid; they are also asking for the return of the arrestees to Iraqi custody, and compensation for casualties and facility damage from the jailbreak.

This comes after the recent condemnation of a UN Security Council resolution giving the US military immunity from Iraqi law by Justice Minister Abdul Hussein Shandal.

Evolution of the expletive

Ironically juxtaposed against the death of Lenny Bruce's ex-wife, Honey Bruce Friedman, comes this story from the New York Times on the "psychology of swearing":

In fact, said Guy Deutscher, a linguist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the author of "The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention," the earliest writings, which date from 5,000 years ago, include their share of off-color descriptions of the human form and its ever-colorful functions. And the written record is merely a reflection of an oral tradition that Dr. Deutscher and many other psychologists and evolutionary linguists suspect dates from the rise of the human larynx, if not before.

Don't Blame the Constitution

Letter to the Editor, Baltimore Sun:

I'm somewhat mystified by Evan P. Schultz's labeling of the Commerce Clause and the Tenth and Eleventh Amendments of the Constitution as "archaic". ("Blame the Constitution", September 15, 2005). If last part of the Bill of Rights, and an Amendment passed after it, are "archaic", what are we to make of the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments? If the Commerce Clause is "archaic", what is to be done about the rest of Article I, Section 8, which lays out the powers of Congress? Is the federal authority to issue currency "archaic"?

Reuters: Court says flag pledge violates Constitution

Reuters reports that Michael Newdow has successfully revived his case against school prayer in the form of the "under God" phrase of the "Pledge of Allegiance".

 

In June 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Californian atheist Michael Newdow could not challenge the pledge's phrase "under God" on behalf of his daughter because he did not have full legal control over her.

Newdow immediately filed a new federal case in which he offered to represent two families against the Elk Grove Unified School District, the same Sacramento-area district he had previously sued.

"Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney!" tape pulled from eBay

OpEdNews.com has more about Dr. Ben Marble, the "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Cheney!" guy.

Dr. Marble had a videotape of the encounter, shot by a friend, on auction at eBay; the bidding was over $1,900 at one time, certainly money he and his family could use at a time like this. But eBay has pulled the auction.

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