Posts Tagged ‘gay marriage

12
May
09

Miss California – A Perfect Christian Specimen

I haven’t wanted to post about the Miss California scandal because I haven’t thought it newsworthy. There are so many issues much more deserving of the spotlight – the Congressional deal regarding credit industry legislation, rape victims across the country have to pay for their own rape kits, Sen. Vitter was holding up Obama’s FEMA appointee until some effective opposition advertising ahead of his 2010 reelection attempt, and more.

Miss Cali Pre-Boob Job

Furthermore,the vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less about beauty pageants until a topless photo of one of the contestants emerges. And now we want to have an opinion over whether this girl should keep her crown? It’s ridiculous.

Sure, she’s hypocritical. Most (ahem, all. okay, not all) Christians are. It’s okay for them to be “imperfect,” yet they want the rest of us to abide by specific biblical doctrine of their choosing. The Bible says not to alter your body, yet Miss California convinced the Miss California Pageant organization to pay for her chest “enhancement.”

And that’s what Christians have to understand. Our boisterous opposition to them has less to do with their belief system and much more with their ubiquitous hypocrisy. Show me a Christian and I’ll show you a person who does not fully abide by Biblical tenants. They pick and choose. And good for them – it’s a ridiculous book impossible to follow. But, most Christians don’t allow for the rest of us to disavow it’s tenants as well. It’s a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do.”

I love you Jeezus!!

We’re not telling Christians to stop going to church and stop praying. And there are plenty of religious inclusions in government that violate church and state doctrine that we might disagree with, but don’t hugely protest. We’re not telling them how to live their lives. We’re simply telling them to get out of ours.

Miss California has every right to speak her mind without some pageant judge acting as though his testicles were in a vice. He shouldn’t have asked the question if he wasn’t prepared to witness an answer he doesn’t like with grace. This is the Miss USA Pageant, not The Birdcage.

I support Miss Cali keeping her crown – just as I support her getting titty implants or lip injections or fake tans  and posing topless and being as false and unchristlike as she wants. She’s a great example of a typical Christian. Perfect spokesperson for the group. Let her do her thing.

But let us do ours.

And, for the record, I thought I’d let everyone know that Miss USA is Kristen Dalton from North Carolina. Uh…Congrats.

06
May
09

Way To Go Gay, Maine! I Mean, Way To Go, Gay Maine!

Congratulations to Maine, the fifth state in the Union legalizing gay marriage. Way to be adults and give the phrase “freedom and justice for all” literal actuality. It must be feel good to have a governor realistic and mature enough to admit that civil unions are not the same as marriage. I maine-gay-marriage1wouldn’t know how that feels, living in Texas – but, hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

A further benefit for Maine resulting from this landmark bill’s passage is that the state will not likely suffer visits from the likes of Samuel Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. Joe The Plumber, a.k.a. WT King of the Douchemonsters, any time soon. And that’s really the icing on the big LBGT cake. Unless they somehow helicopter him in so that his feet only touch the grounds of the Bush Kennebunkport compound. But that land already has psycho conservative cooties only reparable by ceremonial nonreligious exorcising of notable members of the political religious right. I recommend Michele Bachmann and Tom Coburn, for starters.

Really, really, though – it’s a joy to witness the spreading of goodness across the country after the recent widespread wiretapping of well-known journalists, flood of assault weapons, emiminent domain SCOTUS decision, torture of POWs in America’s custody and so, so many more atrocities becoming normalcy in this country.

And remember, Red States (such as mine), gay  marriage is coming to a law near you. Maybe not in the very near future, but the future nonetheless. Don’t like it? Move to an intolerant Islamic country. Switch religions and you’ll feel right at home. (hehe. I had to say that because they always tell us to move to Europe if we don’t like the way things are run here. booyah, biotch).

15
Apr
09

Tea Baggers – Disingenuous, Ignoramus Boobs

The blogosphere is alight today with opinion pieces denouncing these rube-magnet “Tea Parties.” Here’s another one.

cause bush told the truth!

cause bush told the truth!

First of all, much like a circus, these Tea Parties put on display for the rest of us to see, the imbecilic nature of Right Wing nutjobs. The ones who vote for their big biz Republican politicians who enact policy that directly injures their very constituents. Who is dumb enough to believe the Dick Armeys, Newt Gingriches, Limbaughs, Coulters, Hannitys, Glenn Becks, Michael Steeles, Rick Perrys, Mark Sanfords, Sarah Palins, Michelle Bachmanns, David Vitters? Who is dumb enough to be whipped into a gun-buying, revolution-shouting frenzy of inanity by this honorless Republican leadership? Go to a Tea Party tonight and find out.

DEFICIT

Here’s why these people are disingenuous: they are protesting government spending that would drive up the deficit. Well, their precious Reagan drove up the deficit, George H. W. Bush and his highly successful son drove up the deficit and nary a Tea Party was had. Where was the outrage? I remember a bunch of Right Wingers getting their panties in a bunch over the fact that Bill Clinton was sucked off by an intern, but did they ever congratulate him over balancing the budget? No. They don’t care about the deficit. They’re group-think idiots of the highest order.

They keep saying they don’t want our kids to inherit a huge deficit. Yet, they don’t give a shit if our kids inherit an environment raped by big business because we were to ignorant to switch to renewable energy when we had the chance. They don’t care if our kids inherit a country with semi-automatic weapons carpeting the countryside. They don’t care if our kids have affordable health care and access to decent medical attention. Their claims of concern for our kids is false and hollow and nauseating.

TAXES

And they’re complaining about taxes. Well, let’s see. Obama is instituting the broadest tax cut in history. And he’s only raising taxes of the wealthy to less than they were under Reagan. In fact, the GOP’s proposed budget again lowers taxes for the wealthy, increasing them for the lower and middle classes, according to this PDF put together by Citizens for Tax Justice. They also discovered that the GOP plan would cost $225 billion more than the Democratic plan.

These Right Wingers are also people calling for the U.S. to attack Iran, North Korea and launch a military operation in Somalia and off its coast – yet they don’t want to PAY for it. Funny how their buttboy Bush didn’t want to pay for his war of choice either – refusing to fund the soldiers on the battlefield appropriately and refusing to fund their care when they return home. Yet, the Bush administration sent billions of dollars to defense contractors who struck it rich while unable to account for millions, if not billions of dollars they received.

HYPOCRITES

We’re seeing calls for Revolution – for people to arm themselves as if to somehow thwart the government. How ridiculously hypocritical these white, racist conservatives are being! What if members of the left made these anti-government slogans? How unamerican we would be labeled –  how unpatriotic.

This is a lunatic fringe minority of the American demographic and they want to control the fates of the rest of us. They would rather overthrow the legally-elected government representing the views of the majority of this country. The election was a blowout – the American people spoke and were absolutely demanding a change in leadership and these crazy teabag freakos would attempt to undermine the very democracy innumerable people have shed their lives to give us. They seek to weaken the country and cheapen the government system that makes them so proud only when it serves their selfish purposes.

LIBERTY

How deep does these people’s inability to process logic and thought go? Consider their calls for liberty. Bush used illegal warrantless wiretapping on the American people (and most relevant journalists). Right Wingers were silent. Bush banished Habeas Corpus from the Constitution. The Right Wingers were silent.  Bush turned the Justice Department into a partisan death squad. Right Wingers were silent. The illegality of gays to marry inhibits the liberties of a vast number of Americans. Marijuana as never caused the death of a person, yet the liberty to smoke pot legally is almost non-existent. Women’s liberty to choose to end a pregnancy would be taken away if these conservos had their way.

The only liberty they want is to take away the rights and decisions of those who disagree with them. They would oppress the rest of us for their own, ignorant, baseless, uninformed reasons.

DOUCHEBAGS

This shade of political activist allows the terrorism of the rest of the country by easing the release of assault weapons onto our streets and into the hands of criminal elements both

yeah, and Bush wasnt? Jeez....

yeah, and Bush wasn't? Jeez....

domestic and outside our boarders. Their answer is that we should all arm ourselves, encouraging the possibility of gun battles in our neighborhoods.

These Tea Baggers do not understand the realities of their theories and the results of their lunacy. While their opinions on deregulation and taxation and government spending, etc. sound quite wonderful, they have unintended consequences and materialize in ways that damage this country’s economy, civil liberties and safety – as was illustrated so clearly under Bush.

The Tea Baggers had their chance. They controlled the White House and Congress for six of the last eight years and their policies tore this country asunder, taking it to the brink of collapse. This subgroup of political outliers would dictate liberties not only to the rest of Americans – but hang the rest of the world out to dry, attacking many without justification and at the same time arousing indignation that we sacrifice our “sovereignty” by abiding by U.N. Resolutions.

These people are idiots – the lowest common denominator of the uninformed. They are being used by people and leadership whose policies affect these “protestors” negatively in a significant way. Yet, time and time again, Republican “tax and deficit” lies – and the use of god, guns and gays – gets these turkeys hot to trot in an attempt to inhibit progress and improvement of this great nation.

It’s real cute, the mock revolution and display of boobery by the ‘baggers. I’m glad the rest of us can sit back and chuckle at the baffoonery without real fear their opinions will gain any traction. In my opinion, the best way to overcome this circus of ‘tards is to stay informed. Read,read,read. And remember the last eight years.

In short, take a hike, tea baggers. You don’t know what you’re talking about and the rest of us (ahem, the majority) don’t need or want you.

And I don’t want to hear any shit about the Tea Parties being Libertarian before being hijacked by the Right Wing wackos. This blog is meant for those hijackers. The tea bags are being funded by the Right Wing death squads and that’s why I’m responding so vehemently.

UPDATE 4.16.09: After looking at all the pics of these rallies, it was clear there were no minorities amongst the Tea Bag douchers. A klan-esque political movement of old, white people that is tasteless to minorities, gay people, non-believers and progressive women will go nowhere and gain bupkis. And Rove thinks this “movement is significant.” Um…right. He also referred to Democrats’ “tax and spend tendencies.” Why don’t we talk about how great the “no tax, but sill spend a lot” policies of the Republicans are? I guess it’s true. Right Wingism does rot the brain.

08
Apr
09

Gay Marriage Update

What a freaking awesome time for progress! The Vermont Legislature overrode their dipshit governor’s veto of their bill to legalize gay marriage (and, Vermont, what’s the dealyo with electing such an ignoramus in the first place? I mean, I know I’m from Texas and haven’t a positive thing to say about our governor – but you’re VERMONT). And the Iowa State Supreme Court found that legislation defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional:

A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion.

Civil libertarians around the country are as giddy as little girls  over these momentous occasions and what a bright spot they are after the resounding show of bigotry last November in California.

So, it was quite galling to watch a Mike Barnacle-hosted Hardball today on which Maggie Gallagher, of the National Organization for Marriage, issued the most ridiculous claims regarding the effects of gay marriage. First, allow me to post an ad NOM recently spent a cool 1.5 million bones to air in hopes that it would turn the tide of public sentiment against gay marriage:

Hello, McFly! Are you serious? Are you trying to dumb down the American people with this drivel?

One woman says she’s “afraid” of gay marriage. A man claims the gay marriagers want to bring the issue into their life. And another chick says her freedoms will be taken away.

And then Gallagher posited on Hardball that the bad thing about gay marriage is that our children will be taught they are wrong to hold on to their beliefs that gay marriage is wrong. And churches participating in legal adoptions will be unable to discriminate against same-sex couples. And churches in New Jersey that participate in the commercial real estate market by renting out space for marriages will have to rent them out for gay weddings.

If you are a regular reader, and even if you aren’t, you can imagine I have a few (more than, actually) choice words to answer these babblings of those…say it with me…on the WRONG side of history. It’s called progress. Look into it.

First of all, like most religioners, NOM is attacking gay marriage from the viewpoint that it will injure them somehow. They give little consideration to the feelings and rights of gay marriage. I have one question for them: WWJD, biotch? Their storied Jesus would have never allowed his opinions to dictate the lives of others. The Bible preaches FREE WILL. These people have a bastardized view of that which they hold up as their guide. Be kind. Think of others first. That’s what your Christ would do.

Secondly, NOM is trying to stir up fear and playing to the most base of human emotions to illicit a reactionary response rather than debate the issue on its merits. The Constitutions grants all Americans inalienable rights – including marriage. Negate that. Trying to scare people into a frenzy is no means to change society for the better or for the long term. It’s juvenile and, as we saw with the Bush administration, destined for failure.

Like the cute dude debating Gallagher said, if the churches want to participate in government-controlled activities, such as adoption and real estate, they should not complain when their religion-induced bigotry is called onto the mat and squashed like a fat mosquito. Gallagher kept complaining that those opposed to gay marriage are simply labeled as bigots and intimates their religious beliefs should not be labeled discriminatory.

Au contraire, ma soeur, religion has long served as the catalyst for bigoted, evil, discriminatory acts. It is the job – the duty – of those driving progress and propelling humanity forward to thwart those who would victimize others and then defend their actions with “religious ideology.” We no longer have room for such behavior in this society of free speech, widely available education and information.

I would encourage religioners to stop trying to keep everything the same. Change is inevitable. Progress will always tap you on the shoulder and show you the exit. Maybe not the nearest exit. But the eventual one.

And good riddance.

17
Feb
09

Proof God Does Support Gay Marriage

Remember when Jerry Falwell said to Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, regarding 9/11,

But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say “you helped this happen.”?

And remember when John Hagee said regarding Katrina,

All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that.?

Well, if large-scale catastrophes are the result of the God of Abraham’s wrath and California is now in an economic free-fall and nearly out of money, this must be retribution for the only recent atrocity the state has committed: approving a legal ban on gay marriage.

It’s so clear! If California wants to overcome this economic Armageddon, their voters must quickly approve the court-upheld Constitutional legality of gay-marriage. Then baby jesus will be happy.

**Might I also suggest altering the state congressional process by which a budget or increase in taxes requires a 2/3 vote? That shit is jacked up.

11
Feb
09

Gay Marriage: Can We Talk?

In this week’s edition of Newsweek’s “My Turn” column, Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, describes how sad he was at the sight of an angry confrontation between demonstrators on both sides of the Prop. 8 decision. Mouw, a supporter of Prop. 8, introduces his column by asserting that his opposition to gay marriage doesn’t make him a religious fundamentalist. He ends the column with a call for  a more gentler approach to the debate and asks Can we Talk?

As a heterosexual who strongly supports gay rights, I accept his invitation.

Firstly, yes. We can talk. In fact, the gay people have been talking gently and calmly about marriage rights for years. Where have you been? As gay people find themselves increasingly marginalized in American society, used as pawns with which politicians pander to religious fundamentalists, is it not absurd for them to finally raise their voice and say, No More!!? Gay people have exerted all efforts calm and boisterous to claim that which is theirs under the Constitution. And only now that the oppression has become palpable – reached levels measurable by dollars – you ask to talk, Mr. Mouw.

Where were you a decade or five years ago? Most likely ensconced in your theological universe, comforted in the surety of your doctrine while other Americans were fighting for the freedoms. Now that the situation has come to a head in your geographical area do you wish to calm those whose rights you actively snuff.

Calm conversation has offered no answers to the gay community. They are not some group of aberrant miscreants who can be talked out of their identity. They cannot be convinced as a people to forgo their Constitution rights simply because the majority choose to oppress them. Gentle conversation is a noble idea, but the reality is that people live and die amidst all this talking you are calling for. We can talk quietly until your jesus comes to claim you, but progress awaits and it is known to happen under mostly painful, dramatic circumstances. Gays have tried talking and reasonable interaction for decades to no avail. Years of existence under the boot of the “moral majority” have given way to anger – and demonstration and protest are some of the most American mediums of expression. That it makes you uncomfortable is inconsequential.

What I dislike about the approach you take in your column toward the discussion table is that you assume your opinion matters. “As my fellow citizens in a pluralistic society, gays and lesbians have a right to ask me what my sincerely held convictions mean for how they pursue their way of lives.” Why would they? Or, better yet, why should they?

A gay marriage should involve only the two who are engaged in the relationship. It does not involve you, your church, or your god. You should live your life the way you choose – and be glad that most of us would also fight for your right to practice your religion freely. But leave other people’s lives to them as they do yours and stop assuming that merely because you have a vote, you have a right to determine the legal boundaries of other people’s relationships. You are not in the equation. No one should even care what your convictions mean for a gay person’s pursuit of happiness.

Furthermore, your opinion is based on a book that calls for people to sacrifice quality decision-making based on evidence in order to believe in a jealous, petty god so that they might inherit some undefinable heaven. That that same god would doom all decent decision-makers to an eternal hell is an incalculably ridiculous notion. That this would be the foundation of your opinion renders your judgment irrational at best. Belief in a book of fairy tales and myths does not make for sound and reasoned decision. No matter how calmly you talk.

One of the biggest problems I have with Christians is that they assume their bible tells them to assert biblical rules to govern the rest of us. It does not. If Christians choose to use the bible as a template for their lives – and even the best cannot do so without “sinning” – that is their right. This does make them a religious fundamentalist, including you, Mr. Mouw.

The bible, however, does not dictate laws for those of us who do not adhere to belief in its divinity. Personally, I think it’s full of crack-pot, misogynist, unnatural, oppressive stories. I would never dream of attaching my “soul” to this ugly tome.

At the end of the day, Mr. Mouw, you are too late. Your chance for considerate – sympathetic? – and calm discussion has passed. I see from your picture you are old. And perhaps you will die content in your belief that a tenant of your fallible religion still holds legal dominance over a group of your fellow Americans. At 31, I will probably live to see this unconstitutional religious dominance broken – more likely sooner than later. What a party that will be!

Lastly, I would ask you what would your jesus do? I’ve read the stories and understand Christians claim to try to be christ-like. Would Jesus deny happiness to those who seek to privately better their lives – people who harm no others by establishing their own families as they freely see fit? I highly doubt it. If Christians cannot be christ-like, why should they expect the rest of us to be?

06
Jan
09

On The Blogging Road Again

I’m back, kids! My fingers must have been itching, because they readily retained the memorization of my WordPress password  – a good omen I suppose for my return to the ubiquitous blogosphere, my favorite cranny being the neighborhood of dark, naughty angry liberals. Yes, yes, I’ve been gone a while and most of those who know me personally and scanned my writings from time to time have asked, “When are you going to blog again??” Now.

For reals, yo – I was suffering from major blog fatigue. Last year’s election placed us in a historical battle to reclaim the good that The States once were. The stakes could not have been higher and we were literally at the brink of a national, knife-edged decision between a hopeless, abysmal rejection of progress and simple possibility. Every blog, every comment, every opinion and assertion felt not just like sharing my voice – but helping to wage an effort bigger than all of us to help put our country and the world right. Shut up, you cynics – you felt it, too!!

And we triumphed. We whooped some old white man, religioner, anti-intellectual ass! To me, it wasn’t sooooo much that we elected Obama (indeed there will be blogs a-plenty de moi criticizing, constructively, many of Obama’s decisions) – my savored elation had more to do with the rejection of McCain and his joke of a running mate, Palin. To have elected them would have wrought irreparable damage at home and abroad to the pursuit of an improved, tolerant and beneficial community most of us glass-half-fullers choose to foresee.

In those months and moments leading up to Obama taking Pennsylvania and claiming victory, I wrote blog after blog – read innumerable others, gorged on news sites of every persuasion and sought every uncaptured sprinkle of information in a quest to comfort my nervous inner prognosticator. Certainly, I was quite confident from 2007 the Democrats would take the election. The multiple stellar Democratic candidates had the edge on the best the Republicans had to offer – none of whom could satisfactorily unite the anti-intellectual evangelicals with the small government, fiscal conservatives.

But fear of the unknown resonated in my bones and it seemed the only way to quell my anxiety was to participate – to blog.

The blog, however, consumed me. No doubt this government major loves to produce political analysis. But I found myself bound to the blog in ways I had not imagined. Visitors to the site became like crack to me and I counstantly found myself refreshing my page to scan visitor numbers, what searched terms pointed visitors my direction and if any other bloggers linked to my site. The computer had become my pipe.

Everyday, I felt the need to blog. The call was constant and the obligation heavy – akin to laundry, if you will. If we want to change the world, we have to participate and this was my clarion call for the 2008 election. I am a creature of freedom, however, and the obligation to the blogoslavedriver made my enjoyment level wear thin. My ass was sore and my eyes stung from sitting in front of the computer for ungodly amounts of time. I looked at myself on Nov. 5 with jail pale from lack of sunlight. Oh – and finding out I had a hormone deficiency.

So, when the knockout punch was delivered Nov. 4 – the call to blog slackened and I turned to the freedom of days not being psycho, not checking every single one of my bookmarks, not commenting, not needing to find solace in reading blogs espousing views similar to my own, not having anything else to talk about but the election and painfully pretending to be interested in other topics of conversation when interacting with fans of McCain.

I understand I am not alone. Television news ratings are down, talk radio has lost listeners, blog readership has slackened. We all needed to take a collective sigh and wallow in the release of tension built by a two-year presidential election season and the possibility of Sarah “You Betcha” Palin being a heartbeat away from the 3 am phone call. We needed to lick the wounds inflicted by the hypocritical masses of religioners oppressing homosexuals and tarnishing the good name of our country.

While away, I have enjoyed my respite – full of Festivus poles, delicious holiday meals, ungodly amounts of alcohol consumption and a crazy-ass college bowl game series (wtf, Texas Tech and Alabama?!! At least my Longhorns squeezed out a victory against Ohio State. I almost had a MFing heart attack!! We seriously need a college football playoff system).

It’s time to get back on the horse. Riiiide the pony. We only have two weeks left of mistake-of-the-century Bush II – which is amazing and unbelievable and fanfuckingtastic. It’s going to be hard for Obama – he has a monumental task ahead of him and choices to make for which there are no right answers. He will make mistakes, already has actually, and we must respond by voicing our opinion. This is our country, too (remember that, gay-haters).

Bush and Cheney thought the presidency belonged to them and they were wrong and now leave their posts in shame. The presidency belongs to us and we must remind Obama of this as the bubble engulfs him and his position on the pedestal skews his perspective.

Needless to say, I’ve never been afraid to say what I think. Bottom line: I’m back, baby!

And now I’m going to log out so I don’t constantly check viewership numbers. What the hell was wrong with me??

02
Dec
08

Conscientious Consumerism

I am a huge believer in voting with dollars. Huge! Whether it’s buying environmentally safe products or not eating veal or going to doctors who belong to minority groups, I try to put my money where my loud mouth is. No, I’m not religious about it – I don’t always buy locally-grown produce or independently-brewed beer and I wouldn’t go to a doctor who left a scalpel in me just because she was Hispanic and female (though, all the Hispanic female doctors I have visited have been phenomenal).

It’s called conscientious consumerism – as opposed to the American phenomenon of conspicuous consumerism which feeds on the souls of impoverished children.

One of my main responsible spending projects is the support of non-religious free thinkers (atheists, agnostics,

hee hee

hee hee

spiritual boycotters of organized religion, etc.). Of course, there are only so many directions this moral compass points. Hell, I live in Fort Worth and there aren’t too many openly atheist businesses in town, despite all the roofers who have Christian fish on their yard signs. It was much easier to practice when I lived in Austin.

But every cent counts, right? So, I look for books written by non-believers, buy Simpsons dvds, am not unfamiliar with adult toy shops, try to see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt movies despite my inability to take them seriously as actors anymore. I avoid businesses who use the Christian fish as their selling method, refuse to go within 15 feet of a Christian book store unless it’s to flash my boobs in their windows (kidding!), etc., etc. Twilight was written by a Mormon chick and while I salute her entrepreneurial spirit, I will not read her books or see the movie. And I’m making a much more concerted effort to keep funds from Scientology followers (you know who I’m talking about).

But, it’s hard, people! And I’m weak. I can’t help but find myself in the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A now and again. And despite the fact that burger chain Fudruckers plays god-awful christian worship music on Sunday mornings (by request), I manage to chomp down on their wondrous meat and buns, wedge fries and heavenly processed jalapeno cheese sauce once a month (or more?) on a day that is not designated for rest for the majority of Americans. And, shhh, but I love the Chronicles of Narnia series.

The response to Propoboycott-oppressionsition 8, however, is making my life a lot easier. The publication of donor lists have helped galvanize a boycott against the business leaders who helped ensure the success of a religious political movement aimed at oppressing the rights of a specific group of Americans. I am more than happy to joint the effort to hand prejudiced business leaders some whoopass with each dollar I don’t spend supporting them. Cinemark Theaters, this means you.

What is surprising is that MANY of those that end up on the boycott lists are Mormon – not just any ole Christian felt called to donate in support of Prop. 8. It is mind-boggling how many of the donors supporting Prop. 8 live in Utah. It seems there was a concerted effort within the church walls to push parishioners to spread hate. Sure, their church leaders have routinely practiced pedophilia and suppression of women, but how dare gays have the right to marry! What imbeciles. Needless to say, I’m not planning any trips to Utah any time soon.

Though I don’t live in California, I do pay attention to the movements supporting gay marriage – many of which lists monetary supporters of Proposition 8. For instance, Californians Against Hate has a great website, giving me many more businesses upon which to focus my responsible consumerism: A-1 Self Storage, Washington Mutual, Templeton Funds, Marriott, like I said – Cinemark Theaters. Mormonsstoleourrights.com lists the ways in which the Mormon Church has worked to oppress gays and also posts a petition viewers can sign advocating the loss of tax-exempt status for churches who are politically involved.

Boycotting is not a “bullying” tactic as many of the named donors are claiming. Religioners have their fun with boycotts all the time. And I fully support any American’s right to donate to causes they support. However, I have the right to refuse to patronize those with whom I disagree. Voting by the dollar is one of the most fundamentally democratic expressions we Americans have and a major producer of progress. I will never purchase anything produced by Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh or anyone else that spews hatred and vitriol. That’s my right.

And while I will suffer for my views (no more Franklin Covey planners…) it is important for me to practice what I preach and support efforts to expand good will to all people and oppose those who would oppress.

By the way – what an abismal shame that a dishonorable person like Saxby Chambliss could reach one of the highest offices in the land. What the hell, Georgia?! This man inhabits the bottom of the moral barrel and you would re-elect him?! What a disgrace.

28
Nov
08

Prohibition Against Gay Adoption Unconstitutional in Florida

Earlier this week, a judge in Miami deemed the law a violation of equal rights for children and their prospective homosexual parents, saying, “There is no rational basis to prohibit gay parents from adopting. It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person’s ability to parent. A child in need of love, safety and stability does not first consider the sexual orientation of his parent. The exclusion causes some children to be deprived of a permanent placement with a family that is best suited to their needs.” The fight for gay adoption will undoubtedly continue to be waged in Florida courts before freedom is fully granted to gay couples – especially as the state just voted for a ban against gay marriage.heteros-for-homs

Wooohoooo! I’ve known many well-adjusted adults who were raised by gay parents and find it quite unAmerican and immoral that people would be the target of prejudice simply for their gay-orientation. Remember, if you choose to stomp on the rights of others, there will be no one to protect you when your rights are attacked. Gays are no different than anyone else (perhaps with the exception of heightened fashion sense) – an enlightenment continuing to spread across our progressive country.

Arkansas and Utah ban gay and single people from adopting/fostering and Mississippi bans gay couples, not gay singles, from adopting. Obviously, the majority of voters in these states fear change, are not Christlike in their intolerance and finding themselves the bassackward armpit of our wondrous land of the free (except for gays, cough, cough.)

Religion has no quarter in U.S. political or legal foundations. Ask any non-believer, atheist, agnostic or free-thinker if they would ban gay marriage or gay adoption and you would be hard-pressed to find an answer in the affirmative. Gay prejudice is of religious origin and without credibility and should be removed from government entirely. It is inappropriate to even have a proposition to decide the legality of gay marriage. Duh.

08
Nov
08

Obama Critics Need Back The Hell Up – For Now

With the election over, hapless McCain supporters are coming through the woodwork with their preconceived fears of an Obama administration. Already, they’re criticizing his future administrative decisions, claiming they’re “terrified” of the coming president.

I have four words for you imbeciles: Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

Let me spell it out as clearly as I can: your president has utterly ravaged this country during his tenure. Oh, you don’t think it’s all his fault? Let me give you a small reminder of his activities over the last eight years:

  • Convincing our country and neighbors to support the invasion of a sovereign country with lies and false intelligence. Severely mishandling the war for years, lying to the American people about the progress of the war and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and handing more power to Iran than the country has enjoyed in centuries.
  • Appointing unqualified loyalists to positions that would result in the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina and subsequent deaths of a multitude of people.
  • After claiming to be called to spread democracy, attacking liberty and freedom in the U.S. by, among other things, erasing one of the foundations of democracy: habeas corpus.
  • Establishing a Justice Department that sought to subvert the law rather than uphold the Constitution, leading to the illegal politicization of the department and illegal warrantless surveillance of Americans at home and abroad.
  • Allowing the SEC to enact deregulations that would contribute to the destruction of the economy.
  • Giving tax cuts to the wealthy while the country was at war.
  • Compromising the war on terror by abandoning the military situation in Afghanistan.
  • Failing to enact necessary and obvious energy policies that would benefit future generations, refusing to abide by the Kyoto Protocol, and coddling energy companies that would discourage the development of alternative energy sources and tools, such as electric cars.
  • Supporting unConstitutional bans against gay marriage.
  • Operating with a lack of intellectual curiosity, a certitude and an isolationist arrogance that has grossly reduced U.S. credibility abroad.
  • Attempting to privatize social security – which would have decimated the program had it succeeded

George W. Bush has relentlessly damaged this country politically, economically and militarily year after year after year. He has been the most incompetent president the country has ever experienced. Ever.

And you Republicans feel you have any right to open your fat mouths and issue criticisms of a man who has yet to take the oath of office?! The gall, the stupidity, the ignorance!

I am absolutely unopposed to critiquing Obama’s efforts as president. We must certainly pay attention to the developments and decisions of our government. It is our responsibility and duty as American citizens to ensure our government operates with accountability and proficiency at all levels at all times. Feel free to raise your voices – when it is time.

But give Obama a chance to lead. Take a step back, take a breath, take responsibility for your vote for Bush and Cheney in 2004. Shut your mouths and study the actions of Obama before you unleash your predetermined accusations of a man who will undoubtedly make mistakes, but will undoubtedly perform better than the leader you delivered to us.

I don’t like to dispense with advice, but allow me – just this once, Republicans – to issue a few words you’d be well-served to heed: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

07
Oct
08

Go Negative, McCain! And Then Go Home!

With only 28 days left in the election, I’m hearing a lot of people saying they can’t wait until this is all over. Granted, these people are all anti-Obama. But, all politics all the time can be hard on people who are not political junkies. Unlike me.

I’m reveling in this constant political news stream. Even all the mud-slinging can’t rain on my parade. I suppose this is because the person I do not want to win will have to pull a rainbow with a pot of gold out of his ass to take home first place. After constant analysis of the men before us, I have to admit that I’m more ANTI-MCCAIN than PRO-OBAMA and really wish the left wouldn’t romanticize Obama because he’s going to have such a cesspool of crap leftover from Bush to be an extremely transcendent president – at least in his first term. Obama does have less experience than other viable Democratic candidates, his FISA vote pissed me off, he’s against gay marriage, he supports faith-based initiatives and has other “issues” which have garnered my disappointment. But as we say every four years about our respective candidates, “He’s a helluva lot better than the other guy.”

Also, this is the first time it looks like I’ll be on the winning side of a presidential election. I’ll admit it – I voted Dole in ’96, would have voted Bush in 2000 (was out of the country and didn’t get my shit together for an absentee ballot), and voted Kerry in ’04. After growing up in Texas, I was originally a Republican, but naturally moved to the left as I grew more informed – first as a social liberal/fiscal conservative, then even more to the left as I realized the lack of financial regulation results in the United Corporatocracy of America.

I’m not a straight-ticket voter by any means and support the multi-party system more than the Democratic Party, which is why I still may vote Nader in the general election as Texas is almost guaranteed to fall into McCain’s pocket despite the switch of Hispanic voters to the Democratic side. If Texas were a toss-up, I would by all means vote for Obama. Either way, I support a McCain loss above all.

Which is why I love his negative attacks. And Palin’s for that matter.

If they want to load their stump speeches with tales of domestic unrest during the turbulent 60’s – ahem, FORDEE years ago – while the U.S. is embroiled in two wars and the major financial crisis of our times, that is peachy with me. It only ensures a greater loss for them come November. There are legitimate economic policy disputes between McCain and Obama. McCain has every opportunity to present to voters a forward-looking, encouraging picture of where he wants to take the country.

Instead, he calls Obama a liar and dishonestly claims Obama wants to avoid answering questions about his record.

It’s not working. And it won’t work.

The ridiculous charade of McCain’s campaign has found their credibility on a downward slope that has paid little attention to the poll numbers. Instead of a plausible campaign on policies, McCain has given us infamous cannon fodder of stunts: the ads linking Obama to Paris and Britney, naming Palin his running mate, one dishonest ad after another – including an ad that claimed Obama wanted to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners, repeating the lie that the surge was responsible for the decrease in violence in Iraq, once again trying to win an election on his POW experience, the fake suspension of his campaign and attempt to take credit for a bailout legislation that failed to materialize according to McCain’s timetable, and – most recently – linking Obama to William Ayers’ activities decades ago. His campaign isn’t legitimate, it’s a joke.

The problem for McCain? The internet has provided voters quick and easy access to fact-based information, allowing people to call bullshit much earlier on lies for the sake of political expediency. Stunts are far more transparent than they were just four years ago. Would the Swiftboaters have succeeded under the current umbrella of the proliferation of information? I don’t want to give American voters too much credit, but I don’t think so.

McCain never gave his policies a chance to shine. He never gave his stance on the issues an opportunity to appeal to voters. He went Hillary on Obama way too early and the stubborn refusal of his campaign to see the error in this tactic is their death knell. Regardless of my disagreement with their policy proposals, they don’t deserve to win it. They tried generalities about his experience and his “maverick” record, but they forgot the specifics about what they are promising the American people. Basic chants about “cleaning up Washington” and “rooting out ineffeciencies” (though Palin forgot the “in” in “inefficiency” a bit too many times in interviews) and “Obama’s the most liberal Senator” don’t work. People want to know what you are GOING TO DO. Future tense, McFly.

From a politically scientific level, it’s been suicide again and again. From a leftie level, it’s been glorious.

Every time another speech by Palin or McCain is carried live on television and they are talking Ayers and calling Obama a liar, I giggle – then press the mute button. Each day they waste with these failed distractions is just another nail in the coffin of their campaign.

So, go negative, McCain! Go negative all the way! Because that road leads to second place. And when you’re looking for bozos to blame, don’t just hurl your spittle towards all the former Bushies you hired, remember that you sold your soul and with it any chance you had to win. I’m looking forward to see you do well, but not good enough, in tonight’s debate. We’ll finally get to see that Town Hall you’ve been clamoring for. Enjoy it. Maybe Bush will meet you afterward by your jet with a cake.

04
Sep
08

Reaction to Night 3 of the Repub Convention

So much to say! This is a long blog, so I bolded the main topics of each paragraph in case you just want to scan quickly.

It all kicked off well-enough with NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell having to give an update during the CONVOCATION. She was smack in the middle of the Alaska delegation and the people right behind her kept shooting her dirty looks over her shoulder. It was a hoot!

The main theme of the night was that the Republican ticket is offering Washington Outsiders to “shake things up!” Now, if I remember correctly – and I do – George Walker Bush ran as an outsider in 2000. The Republican “outsider” claim is nothing new, nothing original and their record of “outsiders” wrecked this country, but the people in those seats lapped it up like it was mother’s milk.

Meg Whitman

The first speaker I watched was Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay, and she was pretty good. We’ll have to expect more from her as a major contender for the California governorship. One of her lines that didn’t pass the smell test was that the Republicans are going to lower taxes on businesses. I have no doubt that they will – my objection lies in the fact that the Government Accountability Office released a report August 12 that said that two-thirds of U.S. Corporations paid NO federal taxes from 1998 to 2005.

See, Meg is talking about this Republican myth of trickle-down wealth. If you give all the rich people and big corporations tax breaks and cuts and benefits and loopholes and subsidies, they’ll create jobs and spread the wealth. They won’t horde it and use their power to keep minimum wage low or prey on those habitating the lower economic echelons. Well, we’ve had one of these trickle-down Republicans in office for eight years now and what has happened? The wealth gap has grown. The Developed-nation benefits like wages that rise with inflation, housing prices, health care and necessary prescription drugs are beyond a large percentage of Americans’ means. In my humble opinion, they can take their trickle-down bullshit and shove it.

Carly Fiorina then spoke and kept chanting, “I know John McCain,” in a way that made me think, “Eeeewww.”

Mitt Romney

Romney lit into a stream of hypocrisy (no surprise considering the 180 he did from when he was running as governor in Mass. to when he ran as pres.) about the east coast elites.” That probably made everyone in the audience do a double-take. He’s banking on Americans having short memories (and McCain losing so he can run in 2012). Then he spoke about how offering Guantanamo detainees Constitutional rights and siding with teachers’ unions was “liberal.” Isn’t it funny when doing the right, moral, ethical thing is LIBERAL? The Right have really sold their souls to Beelzebub. Maybe Romney can be his VP.

Mitt Romney almost made me vomit when he said, “Let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground.” And, what? Romney flies commercial? Yeah, and I don’t have dirty mouth. Whatever.

Rudy Giuliani

Now, Giuliani tried to appeal to those voters who still feel torn. Who are these people?? We have two extremely different candidates and I just want to meet one of these swing voters and ask what it takes to put them over the edge.. I also want to meet these people the media keeps saying “are just tuning in.” WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? I really want to know. Anyway…

Attacking the media was a large chunk of Giuliani’s speech, which is a typical tactic of the Right when they can’t win on actual campaign and election issues. The media attacks play well on talk radio and in the netherworlds in which the likes of Ann Coulter dwells. Doesn’t win elections.

But the screen behind Giuliani that was playing slide shows for the audience in the center kept changing colors and during the close-ups, it started to make me feel like I was on a bad acid trip. He laughed at Obama’s credential as a “community organizer” which stunned me a little bit (but prepped me for Palin’s speech) but urban voters aren’t Repubs anyway. All the rich Repubs just guffawed, as you’d expect.

He did have a pretty good zinger about Obama voting 100 (out of over 4,000 votes) “present” while an Illinois state senator. The line went something like: I didn’t know about this vote “present.” You don’t get that vote when you’re mayor. He delivered it flawlessly.

Then came one of the best moments of the night when I saw some guy sporting a shirt that said: More Cowbell, Less Obama. If you’re any kind of “Saturday Night Live” or Will Farrell fan, that’s some funny shite. However, Cindy McCain was sporting some god-awful green shower curtain as a dress. Whoever is her stylist needs to be waterboarded!

Sarah Palin

Now, Sarah Palin was somethin’ else. I give it to her, I really do. If this race was to be decided on speech delivery, she’d take the whole cake, hands down. She made Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina and Joe Lieberman look like wilting flowers. Biden himself couldn’t hold a candle to her. If they don’t win the election and the Repubs make her a scapegoat (which I don’t think they will and, if they do, the Religious Right will protect her) she could easily make a living as comedian. It took her a second to get her timing in relation to crowd cheers down, but once that was set she was off and running. She couldn’t have done a better job. If I wasn’t an informed voter and thinker, I’d say, Sign me Up! I’m buying what you’re selling!

Now let’s talk about what she actually SAID. While there was no policy in her speech, she did open with the fact that a special-needs child provokes special love and special-needs parents will have an advocate in the White House. I just wonder how she will advocate for them. She’s against stem-cell research. Her policy stances will make it harder for special-needs parents to find insurance and funding for their child. She wouldn’t advocate raising the minimum wage and the vast majority of special-needs parents are not well-off. LOTS of questions there for those special-needs parents she’s courting.

She also said that when they get into office, they want to “leave this world (or country or something) better than when they found it.” Which is really funny because the Repubs do not allot any subsidies for alternative energy developers the way they do for oil & gas and coal companies. Their policies are not green. They fight relentlessly to keep many animals off the endangered-species list. Their polices lead innumerable middle-class families to fall below the poverty line. So, how, in what way would they leave this country better? Especially because their predecessor Bush is leaving not only this country, but the world much, much worse than how he found it. So, that line really made my bullshit detector go off, as it did when she spoke about integrity and good convictions. Apparently, she hasn’t been paying attention the last eight years.

Sarcasm, Condescension

Sure, the speech was sarcastic and condescending and smug and petty and divisive with no mention of policy promises or real issues. But it was a damn good speech. She came out swinging and landed plenty of well-placed blows; she eclipsed Biden – who is the king of sarcasm. And I love sarcasm – I think it’s a wonderful tool to make a point – it’s the language I speak. Sure, my reaction to her community organizer put downs was “Back the fuck up, bitch!” But otherwise, I thought the speech and her delivery were stellar.

The problem is that she could run into the Ann Richards Factor. Remember the whole “Poor George. It’s not his fault. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth” line. As a Texan, I have it tatooed on my hippocampus. But Ann Richards lost. Sarcasm without substance is short-lived and the debates are coming up. So, good job Sarah – when you’re coming down off this high remember to learn how your ticket actually stands on the issues. Because, as any reasonable person knows (aside from Rick Davis), this election is about the issues.

Old Man McCain

Did you see when McCain came out after Palin’s speech and her whole family was on stage and he said, “Don’t you think we made the right choice?!” meaning Palin and he had to actually turn 360 degrees because he forgot on which of his sides she was standing? That was friggin’ hysterical. We rewound it and watched it a few times.

Also, when McCain was standing with the Palin family, he hugged Sarah once or twice but he only really talked to her husband. You can tell he’s not that comfortable with Sarah – perhaps women in general – and relates to her husband more. Very telling. And now he has a VP that outshines him and makes him look like a doddering old fool. Good luck reading that teleprompter tonight!

Overall

They milked McCain’s POW experience for all it was worth again last night, but the main theme was borrowed from every Republican convention in recent memory. The Repubs are the party of outsiders and they’re going to go in and shake up Washington. Now the ridonkulousness of this is obvious. The Repubs control the White House and have controlled the White House 20 of the last 28 years. The Republicans controlled congress from 1994 to 2006 and rubber-stamped Bush’s destruction of this country. This “do-nothing” Democratic congress has only done “nothing” because the Republicans have launched an all-out assault on the legislative process, led by Tom Coburn, by obstructing any effort by the Democrats to accomplish anything. Because if the Republicans aren’t in charge, ruining everything – they’re going to at least make sure the Democrats can’t fix things.

So, the “Republicans are outsiders” argument is crap and everyone knows it. Why are most congresspeople under investigation or in prison Republicans?! And, let me say that after all this time, if you can’t figure that out – you deserve a world where McCain and Palin lead the executive branch. I just kept looking at that small sea of Republicans and thought, you gave us George W. Bush, you delivered the most freedom-limiting, corrupt administration in history and you think you deserve to win this election? You have brought this country to its knees and you still think you have the best candidate when he agrees with everything Bush has done, yet acknowledges we are worse off than we were four years ago? It’s like the Republicans are just one big club of crack smokers!

While the Republicans kept using the same old, false lie “Democrats just want to tax you and control you” over and over again, they forgot to mention that Obama’s economic policy lowers taxes for over 85 percent of Americans. The Repubs want to wage wars, lower taxes for the rich, and cede power to the corporations. That’s the one word they kept forgetting to mention: Corporatocracy. They wail about Democrats wanting to tell people what to do (while saying You Can’t Have an Abortion, You Can’t Get Married, I’m Going to Tap Your Conversations Without a Warrant, You Can’t Do Embryonic Stem Cell Research), they forgot to say how they’ll trade our right to privacy for corporate donations, they’ll help corporations collude and create monopolies and continue to rape the American people through their nontransparent predatory practices.

The Religious Right wants to run our lives and cage us and bring the Constitution in line with the Bible – yet claim it’s the Democrats that want to tell Americans what to do. Empty rhetoric that clearly has no bearing on reality. It makes me ill.

And, lastly (promise), the Religious Right Wing Republican Cult was in tip-top form for Sarah, with many state delegations even wearing the same outfit. It was cute. It reminded me of North Korea – you know, those big music programs with 100,000 dancers and gymnasts perfectly in step. Republicans fall in line. They do what they’re told. Their church leaders say: look the other way while I molest your children and spend your hard-earned money extravagantly. Go vote Republican, so I can continue to illegally receive tax breaks while endorsing candidates and supporting political parties. Go change government so I can control the rest of the country like I do you. Go out and spread the abomination that is this religion.

I tell you what, Sarah Palin heralded the re-introduction of the Culture Wars and made it clear that the Republican Party is no longer just about Lower Taxes and the Entrepreneurial spirit (false). They’re about theocracy and control and unConstitutional endeavors. Democrats, Independents, freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and everybody else better start paying attention. We could lose the Supreme Court. You think Eminent Domain is bad? Just wait. The new Gestapo will make George Bush look like a freedom-fighter.

If you appreciate your civil liberties and the Bill of Rights – you had better start actively protecting them because we have a strong ticket that wants to take them all away. And they will if we give them an inch. And I’m not being sarcastic.

click here to read a good blog by jane smiley on huffpo

gloria steinem reacts to palin’s speech

Huffpo: …an Obama aide told the Huffington Post that the campaign has raised $8 million since her (Sarah Palin’s) speech last night “from over 130,000 donors – on pace to hit $10 million by the time John McCain hits the stage tonight…McCain campaign says it has raised $1 million.

02
Jul
08

Anti-Intellectualism Half a Century Ago

History repeats itself – an oft-repeated proverb warning us that the the lessons of the past are once again the sins of today. Certainly, I found myself mentally saying a church-worthy Amen! to this proverb as I began reading the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter, published in 1962, 1963.

anti-intellectualism in american life

Let me just say that if this weren’t a library book, I’d be highlighting the hell out of it. Instead, I’m reduced to tearing post-it after post-it to mark all the points of interest. And I haven’t started Chapter 2. My consumption of this work is a result of research I’m conducting for my own respective book, butrichard hofstadter phots Hofstadter’s observations have already shocked me into open-mouth disbelief as his descriptions of the anti-intellectualism of the 1950’s readily apply to today’s culture clash between the learned and the petrified. The author does assert that anti-intellectualism suffers cyclical fluctuations and will never fully abate to the netherworlds of silly history, with other theories such as “the sun revolves around the Earth” and “the 2008 election will be between Giuliani and Hillary” (yeah, that was my own Nostradamus endeavors into electoral predictions).

So, please forgive the length of this blog as I indulge myself by providing a few (a bunch?) unusually relevant excerpts from Chapter 1, with my intensely insightful commentary to follow.

…the launching of Sputnik by the Soviets precipitated one of those periodic surges of self-conscious national reappraisal to which the American public is prone. The Sputnik was more than a shock to American national vanity: it brought an immense amount of attention to bear on the consequences of anti-intellectualism in the school sysytem and in American life at large. Suddenly, the national distaste for intellect appeared to be not just a disgrace but a hazard to survival. Pg 4-5.

Perhaps I’m overreaching in my cocoon of progressive political theory, but I view global warming and the rise in fuel prices as the space race of our day. Before you emit a Moe-esqe, “Whaaaa?”, allow me to explain. While there are untold quantities of hydrocarbon beneath the surface of the Earth in not only the U.S., but also Iran, Russia, the South China Sea and other areas, global energy demands – especially of India and China – are helping fuel the rise petrol prices and will continue to do so.

The U.S. must focus on a transcendent energy policy today in the same manner we did with the space race in the ’60’s. Scientific ambitions aiming at a forward-thinking fuel-efficiency and alternative-energy development will help the U.S. maintain a technological and, thus, economic advantage in global markets. If we can me be a maverick in this area, we just might hold on to our hegemony a bit longer – though that need not be the main goal. We need to ride the wave of motivation high gas prices are providing toward cleaner energy and end our reign as Pollution Bastards of the World (especially as China will pick up the slack and more).

The labels of Intellectuals and Anti-Intellectuals were thrown around in the 1950’s in much the same way Liberal and Conservative are today. They were used as bad words by those who hurled them against their opponents and worn as badges of honor by those they described. Obviously, Hofstadter was an intellectual and the examples of anti-intellectual rhetoric he presents are laughable in this day and age – hopefully in the same manner Creationism and Intelligent Design will be laughable in another half century. If you haven’t chuckled today, allow me to send some historical fodder from Anti-Intellectualim your way that will surely entertain:

Novelist “of the right-wing persuasion,” Louis Broomfield, pg 9:

Egghead (euphemism for intellectual): A person of spurious intellectual pretensions…Fundamentally superficial. Over emotional and feminine in reactions to any problem. Supercilious and surfeited with conceit and contempt for the experience of more sound and able men. Essentially confused in thought and immersed in mixture of sentimentality and violent evangelism…

President Eisenhower’s definition of an intellectual, pg. 10:

…a man who takes more words than are necessary to tell more than he knows.

The disdain for intellectualism opened education and the education system itself up for the attacks from the more conservative commentators of the day as well.

Billy Graham, pg 15:

billy grahamYou can stick a public school and a university in the middle of every block of every city in America and you will never keep America from rotting morally by mere intellectual education.

[In place of the Bible] we substituted reason, rationalism, mind culture, science worship, the working power of government, Freudianism, humanism, behaviorism, positivism, materialism, and idealism. [This work of ] so-called intellectuals. Thousands of these ‘intellectuals’ have publicly stated that morality is relative–that there is no norm or absolute standard…

Arthur Bestor, junior-high school principal in Illinois, pg. 17:

When we come to the realization that not every child has to read, figure, write and spell . . . that many of them either cannot or will not master these chores . . . then we shall be on the road to improving the junior high curriculum.

(This is the best part) Between this day and that a lot of selling must take place. But it’s coming. We shall some day accept the thought that it is just as illogical to assume that every boy must be able to read as it is that each one must be able to perform on a violin, that it is no more reasonable to require that each girl shall spell well than it is that each one shall bake a good cherry pie.

I’ve never made a cherry pie, but I can make a mean cherry cobbler. Does that count?

Jack Schwartzman, of the Freeman, pg. 13:

Our universities are the training grounds for the barbarians of the future, those who, in the guise of learning , shall come forth loaded with pitchforks of ignorance and cynicism, and stab and destroy the remnants of human civilization…

If you send your son to the college of today, you will create the Executioner of tomorrow. The rebirth of idealism must come from the scattered monasteries of non-collegiate thought.

Does it get any better than that?! This quotation thoroughly tickles my funny bone because I have a close family member, who recently turned 70, who continually blames my political viewpoints on the fact that I attended “one of those liberal universities.” I had no idea the University of Texas was a cesspool of left-wing larva ready infiltrate governmental policy-making (don’t tell the frat boys!). In fact, he repeats that these “liberal colleges” are why young people tack liberal and why this world is going to hell in a handbag. I continually try to remind him that I retained nothing from college classes. Especially French.

And perhaps to close, this final quotation from Hofstadter himself that proves yet another proverb: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Pg 12 – and keep in mind, he wrote this in 1962:

Far more acute and sweeping was the hostility to intellectuals expressed on the far-right wing, a categorical folkish dislike of the educated classes and of anything respectable, established, pedigreed, or cultivated. The right-wing crusade of the 1950’s was full of heated rhetoric about ‘Harvard professors, twisted-thinking intellectuals . . . in the State Department.’

Am I the only one who feels like they’re in the Twilight Zone? George Bush thinks the jury is still out on global warming AND evolution. Hillary Clinton somehow warped into the working man’s candidate (talk about shape-shifting) and decried “experts” who opposed her gas tax holiday. Schools across the country are peppered with teachers who want to assert Intelligent Design as a scientific principle when it’s the absolute antithesis to the definition of science itself.

When will these perverted objectors realize that science, math, literature – EDUCATION – is what provided them their military weaponry, their computers, their energy capabilities, every day conveniences, “free market” dreams, and overall U.S. success and domination. It is a shame that people have to suffer when factories close and the jobs that require less education go overseas. As it is natural for species to go extinct in biological evolution and so is the case with jobs during economic evolution. Would the laid-off factor worker rather keep his job, yet amputate the very tools with which the U.S. retains its global position and military domination? Well, that would be unpatriotic.

Anti-Intellectualism is an embarrassment that has enjoyed many a decade hindering the development of humanity. For some inexplicable reason, Americans tend to wallow in more than their fair share. I suppose fear of change and development is at the heart of the matter, though it is hard for me to reconcile the “Great American Dream” with this entrenched detestation of progress and reason.

I do, however, think we’ve come a long way since Hofstadter penned his academic opinions. College education is ever more the norm and I’m sure 50 years from now we’ll laugh at the crazy old people who didn’t want the gays to marry and thought someone having a college education was a clear indication of anbush bumpersticker like a rock only dumber elitist in their midst. And I appreciated a sentiment by James Carville (who has stoked some of my ire during the current primary season) who said on AC 360 the other evening, “Competence is patriotic.” Well, halle-freaking-lujah.

I can tell I’m really going to enjoy the rest of this book. In the meantime, let’s get-to on those alternative energy sources!!

06
Jun
08

Hall of Shame: S.C. Approves “I Believe” License Plates

I make no bones about my disappointment with the rise in religious fundamentalism in this country and how detrimental such developments are, mostly having to do with failed abortion-only policies, the rise of anti-intellectualism, the accepting of intolerant and unconstitutional bans on gay marriage, and the promotion of power of men like George W. Bush, Pat Robertson, John Hagee and the late Jerry Falwell. Though, the rise in fundamentalism likely portends its downfall as progress is an unstoppable force, a law in South Carolina took effect yesterday that expresses the deep inability for many Americans to reconcile the brainwashing of their childhood with the reason and common sense their adulthoods.

South Carolina now offers “I Believe” license plates at $4 to $6.

i believe license plates

Such a license plate is an example of a governmental endorsement of a religion and a shameful illustration of the domination of unfounded mythology on our society.

Ask yourself whether the South Carolina state legislature would support a license plate expressing support of Islam, Judaism, Atheism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Scientology or Wicca. Right.

The ACLU and American Jewish Congress are considering action over this huge legal disappointment in South Carolina (which, by the way, failed in Florida in April). Here at politicalmpressions (which is just me), we wholemindedly support their efforts to have this state-sponsored endorsement of Christianity revoked.

Had this happened in Texas, I myself would raise my voice to its greatest heights to help preserve the separation of church and state.

Silver Lining: Marcus Aurelius points out in his comment on Think Progress, “It’s nice to know who the morons are when you’re out driving.”

Here We Go: June 19, Americans United for Separation of Church and Stateasks a judge to stop the state from making the plates and rule that the law allowing them violates the First Amendment.” For more, read here. Aaaahh, I love the smell of progress and common sense.




Scarlet Letter of Atheism

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