9/23/2005 10:40:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Lukery, an Australian blogger at Wot Is It Good 4 has been on a campaign to have the issue of impeaching George Bush raised again with the American people in a Zogby poll.
In this post he discusses the entire issue at length – it is a great read and really highlights a side issue of the impeachment debate, which is the question of why MSM is not touching this story.
The Rudicus Report caught up with Lukery for the Impeach Bush Coalition to get his thoughts on this poll, the foreign perception of the U.S. and the power of blogging:
Rudicus: As an Australian, what made you want to take up the charge on the issue of Bush's impeachment?
Lukery: The Bush administration is dangerous to everyone. They are dangerous when they start wars, they are dangerous when they destroy the environment, and they are dangerous because they provide cover for other governments to mimic US policies - for example, stripping civil liberties, ignoring science, or justifying torture. Rudicus: What do you think the impact of your activities will be? What would you like them to be?
Lukery: It looks as though we've already had an impact with this latest episode. Zogby wasn’t going to ask the question[about impeachment], and it appears that they've caved. Its going to cost us a few thousand dollars to get the impeachment questions asked again - but from the feedback I've received, it seems as though we should be able to raise that in $20 and $50 and $100 increments. If we can get the poll done, the next challenge will be to get the appropriate media coverage of the poll results. With luck, the coverage of the poll results will shift the narrative in the general media away from 'a president with some popularity problems' to 'a failed presidency' I want the impact of all of our activities to be that America banishes crazy right-wing notions forever and that we see a true progressive movement - and that includes the Democrats. The Bush administration has been such a failure that I hope that I hope we also destroy the so-called 'centrist' notions of the DLC. I want America to be the light on the hill again - life liberty and ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and all that. I used to live in America - but now I wouldn’t travel there for fear of being arrested. Rudicus: How do you feel Bush and his administration has impacted Australia?
Lukery: The Bush administration had been terrible for Australia (and similarly Britain where I also lived). Our Prime Minister is a Bush wanna-be - he loves the whole war thing and was one of the first to sign up for the “Coalition of the Willing”, and I think Australia has been the only country to keep increasing troop commitments in Bush's wars. Australia has also become a lot more racist, and there is a massive assault on civil liberties (much the same as Britain). We've also become a target - with the bombings in Bali which seem to have been largely directed at Australians, and an attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta, and there was a recent 'Al Qaida' video threatening both Los Angeles and Melbourne. Similarly, we've also seen the rise of the religious crazies - with the associated threats to Women’s rights and the ID movement. Rudicus: Do you think there is a conspiracy or coordinated effort in MSM to downplay or outright ignore potentially serious negatives regarding the Bush Administration? If so, do you think it is limited to U.S. based media?
Lukery: There is no doubt that there is a media 'conspiracy', although the exact mechanisms aren’t entirely clear - its a combination of both explicit and implicit elements. One of the most egregious examples (which didn’t get any attention) was when CNN printed Hans Blix's 'transcript' in his speech to the UN after Powell's disastrous pre-invasion speech. CNN purported to carry Blix's entire testimony, but they removed all of the paragraphs where Blix criticized Powell's 'evidence'. [The media conspiracy] is not restricted to the US. [Rupert] Murdoch owns something like 50% of the press in Australia, and a similar amount in the UK - I think he also has significant holdings in China, India and Pakistan. Unfortunately, he seems to be really good at what he does. One of the other main problems, that is rarely mentioned - even in the context of media consolidation - is the concentration of the wire services. I would argue that the AP is more dangerous than Murdoch. Rudicus: What do you think about the power of blogging and bloggers to force attention to be paid to issues that are ignored or swept under the rug by MSM.
Lukery: Blogging can be important - but mostly to the extent that journalists and politicians read blogs. Blogs are only useful to the extent that they can actually influence the other two - Bogs can exert a terrific influence when they don’t let journalists and politicians get away with fudging reality. Blogging is essentially about the collective mind - which means that anyone can make a difference if they get the correct 'hook'. Many of us blog and chat away in 'comments' to no avail. The thing I did with the impeachment story was to go to the source of the problem (Zogby) and keep asking till I got an answer - and then gave it to RawStory to follow up. They had the clout to get Zogby on the record and also to get the Washington Post to move the story at the same time. In the same day, the story was put out by Stephanie Miller on Air America. So blogging can be important - but its important to try to turn our ideas into actions, and secondly, every little bit helps. The important thing is to keep trying to break through the noise - if there are sufficient numbers of us trying to break through, then some of us will - and the result is the important thing, [and in this case] and might actually result in Zogby asking the impeachment question again.
Please visit the Impeach Bush Coalition for more information.|W|P|112748933348113694|W|P|Australian Blogger Questions Zogby on Poll.|W|P|9/23/2005 11:26 AM|W|P|9/23/2005 12:18 PM|W|P|Brad|W|P|It's pretty disturbing that even with all this blog coverage on the cable news programs, no one (at least not that I've seen) has covered the rapidly growing push to impeach.9/23/2005 12:20 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Eventually it has to build into something that someone will cover...I hope.9/23/2005 4:17 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Well - we just made Raw Story.9/23/2005 4:49 PM|W|P|The Lone Rangers|W|P|Do you honestly think that impeaching him, although I am NOT a huge fan of his, will stop terrorist attacks??9/23/2005 4:52 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|No in and of itself, but it might tone down the nonsense long enough to stop offering deals to corporate buddies and important jobs to Arabian horse traders and actually do something about protecting America and making peace vs. attacking or intimidating verbally or physically every country on earth.
But that's just my opinion.9/23/2005 10:36 PM|W|P|
However, a couple of points.. if we impeach Bush that makes Cheney president. Kind of like removing the puppet and making the hand boss. (insert clenching fist graphic here)
Also re: making peace.. I'm of the opinion that the occupant of the oval office has no real ability to bring peace to the Middle East/muslim-extremist situation. Most of the terrorists' 9/11 preparations took place while Clinton (arguably a much more Muslim-friendly President) was in office. If they didn't like him either, there's probably noone they would like. The problem is a religious one, not political. Don't expect a political solution.9/23/2005 11:26 PM|W|P|zeldon|W|P|The legitimacy of every act by this administration should be questioned. Daily, they commit new crimes and violate their oaths to uphold the constitution.
Calling for impeachment focuses a light onto this ongoing criminality.
Put the SOBS on the defensive.
From war crimes to torture to the looting of the treasuries of two countries to "disappearances" to
negligent crony government (eg. HSA, FEMA, FDA, Interior, EPA...) this gang does it all.
Allowing such an outfit to select judges is a very bad joke.9/23/2005 11:26 PM|W|P|zeldon|W|P|The legitimacy of every act by this administration should be questioned. Daily, they commit new crimes and violate their oaths to uphold the constitution.
Calling for impeachment focuses a light onto this ongoing criminality.
Put the SOBS on the defensive.
From war crimes to torture to the looting of the treasuries of two countries to "disappearances" to
negligent crony government (eg. HSA, FEMA, FDA, Interior, EPA...) this gang does it all.
Allowing such an outfit to select judges is a very bad joke.9/24/2005 5:58 AM|W|P|lukery|W|P|rudicus - congrats on the rawstory link!
Lone Ranger - even if we didnt stop the terrorist attacks, there are many other reasons to get rid of the president.
demosthenes - my goal is to get the impeachment ball rolling, hopefully via an accurate pulse-taking of americans. Its difficult to imagine impeachment hearings that dont include Cheney. Further, even if we don't actually get to impeach the president, the fact that impeachment is being discussed will hopefully put a brake on the bush maladministration and stop them from doing further damage (as zeldon says).9/24/2005 7:23 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Demosthenes,
You bring up a good point, but check out this article about what happens if Cheney takes over:
What Happens If We Win9/24/2005 10:15 AM|W|P|
Here is a good one for you.
President Bush and a giddy Jacques Chirac shake hands on the deal.
BATON ROUGE, LA. - The White House announced today that President Bush has successfully sold the state of Louisiana back to the French at more than double its original selling price of $11,250,000.9/24/2005 10:17 AM|W|P|9/24/2005 10:18 AM|W|P|9/25/2005 6:14 PM|W|P|peppylady|W|P|I'm counting the day that the G.o.P don't control the house and Senate. No their no time to imprech W. After Nov of 2006 he will pretty well loose his power and be lame duck to 2008. I hope I'm left.9/26/2005 6:08 AM|W|P|The Lone Rangers|W|P|Nice job, getting onto Raw Story!9/22/2005 07:55:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Today is the 200th post for The Rudicus Report.
Thanks for sticking around and reading the things I have to say.
For today's post I wanted to share a music video for a song by Ian Rhett
It pretty much sums up alot of what is going on with respect to the country as a whole.
Special thanks to our friend Deke for sending it.
Here is the Video.
Also check out http://www.sharedvoice.org/.
Happy 200th everyone!|W|P|112739402776403109|W|P|Didn't Know I Was Unamerican.|W|P|9/22/2005 12:21 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|i couldnt get it to work!9/22/2005 12:33 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Hmmm - you just click the link and then hit launch movie. What browser are you using?9/22/2005 12:34 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|You know what, if you have a pop-up blocker that might be the problem too.9/22/2005 12:39 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Congrats on your 200th post. Glad you're around.9/22/2005 2:45 PM|W|P|cath|W|P|This was awesome.
Well, I just found yr site, but I always like what I see.
Congrats!9/23/2005 12:08 AM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|congrats on the 200th post, and that vid is great.9/23/2005 5:13 AM|W|P|Mr Wang Says So|W|P|Congrats!9/21/2005 09:24:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Bush likes to declare war. Any time there is something that he thinks needs fixin', he declares a war on it. Now we can add a new war to the growing list of things we are at war with - The fabled War on Porn.
We're not talking child porn or snuff porn or some other illegal porn, nope this is just good old fashioned smut. The kind that everyone likes, well everyone except Bush apparently.
In a time when the various institutions of the Federal government are idly sitting around with nothing to do apparently, Bush has decided that now would be a good time to divert energy and resources away from less important objectives like protecting the country from terrorists, Iraq, hurricane Katrina, fixing the economy, curbing drug trafficking, decreasing global warming and pollution, addressing public corruption, poverty, healthcare, child abuse, organized crime, serial killers or just about everything else that is devastatingly wrong in this country and has chosen to focus on LEGAL pornography as the place to put the FBI's attention.
That's right, the FBI has decided to form an anti-obscenity squadron and internal communications have described the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
The new squadron will divert agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography -- not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults. WTF?
It's nice that the administration has infected every level of the federal government with it's warped and dangerous priorities and agenda. But don't take my word for it - here is some thoughts from real life FBI personnel in the field:
"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."
Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national security analyst said, "it's a running joke for us."
That's good. I can't imagine this kind of head-up-the-ass prioritization could have in any way led to similar colossal fuck-ups by this administration and it's buddies. No, thankfully they kept their collective eyes on the prize and stayed focused and successfully captured Osama Bin Laden, found a host of WMD's in Iraq, smoothed transition from the U.S. led occupation to a self sustaining government supported by the people, took care of the U.S. economy and the American people and was right on top of one of the most devastating national disasters in our history with well coordinated rescue and relief plans drawn up from the many reports warning of the disaster ahead of time. Oh wait, that happened on this week's re-run of Fantasy Island.
While the anti-obscenity squadron has the primary task of catching these super criminals who are engaged in, let me repeat this, COMPLETELY LEGAL activities - according the Attorney General Gonzales's mandate"All other field offices may investigate obscenity cases pursuant to this initiative if resources are available."
That's just fabulous. What's next? The highway department investigating to see if people are conspiring to drive the speed limit? Or perhaps we need to start an IRS investigation into people who pay their taxes in full and on time every year.
While this looks like one of the worst applications of public funds on record and smacks of a stupidity so stupid that stupid people are offended, there may be an ulterior motive at work. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is being considered as a candidate for the open Supreme Court position. Since Gonzales has been looked up with skepticism by the Christian Conservatives whose support he would need, some see this initiative as the exact kind of fascist, but ultimately insane and dangerous tactic that get Christian Conservatives toes all a-twitter.
But apparently it worked. Those previously skeptical CC's over at the Family Research Council have come out with a statement expressing "a growing sense of confidence in our new attorney general."
Isn't that special - I love the smell of political pandering in the morning...it smells like bullshit.
So while we are off on an ongoing crusade to waste taxpayer dollars and resources that we don't have on a witch hunt for people doing legal things, Rome continues to burn. Well with any luck the CC's can get a Supreme Court nominee who is willing to overturn the most important laws like Rowe v. Wade, The Establishment Clause and the First Amendment. Hopefully they'll put the rest of us in a nice gulag in San Diego. Welcome to the New America - Fascism or Bust!|W|P|112731436802154039|W|P|Bush Declares War On Porn!|W|P|9/21/2005 1:14 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|Move to Canada Rud....we need some intelligent people in New Brunswick!
The inherent stupidity in the american stance on sexuality drives me fucking nuts...there aren't enough words or room9/21/2005 2:15 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|I'm declaring a war - a war on hypocrisy! A war on intolerance! A war on people using different parts or pieces of Christ's teaching in ironic fashion! A war on dogma as political agenda!
BURN YOUR SOAPBOX!9/21/2005 2:38 PM|W|P|Churlant|W|P|You know what they say... we fear what we do not understand. :D
-JC9/21/2005 2:48 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|why...Why... WHY!!! did we have to get the puritans?
While most of the western world has come to accept the idea of sex in general, we have decided that it is proper to ignore and supress it. There fore making it into a problem where none had existed before.
If these people want religious law then let them live in the middle east for a while, and leave the rest of us alone.9/22/2005 9:47 AM|W|P|Codesuidae|W|P|smacks of a stupidity so stupid that stupid people are offended
I voted for Bush the first time around, and even I can shake my head and say 'I can't believe we have to put up with another 3 years of this moronic leadership'.
Its enough to make me want Slick Willy back.9/23/2005 10:51 PM|W|P|9/20/2005 08:29:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|(This is a photo Love In Action Director Rev. John J. Smid)
Score one for the good guys.
Remember this story about the high school student that was sent to a Christian re-education camp in Tennessee for admitting on his blog that he was gay?
Well, thanks to his story an investigation was opened by the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. And they are closing the camp down.
The department ruled that Love In Action International was violating state codes regarding the care and treatment of patients and was dispensing medication without a license. Unfortunately the state couldn't close down the camp for being brainwashing fuckheads, but we have to take what we can get.
This may or may not be the end of this camp since the group can apply for licensure with the state and re-open. But at least for now they won't be able to do any more damage.
Also it turns out that Director Rev. John J. Smid is not a reverend at all. He just pretended to be to help further dupe confused and scared gay kids and their stupid homophobic parents.
Lies, deception, manipulation and intolerance - those are the Christian values I remember from Sunday school. I think it was Jesus who said "Whatever you do to the least of my people, you do to me, unless that person is a dang queer and you should kick his ass because you think he's kind of hot and want get with him in the biblical sense, but you can't because you're scared, so by all means use my father's holy book to justify oppressing an entire culture of people and then play on the fears of others to make money for yourself and your friends, all because you were too much of a chicken-ass to admit that you found him attractive."
I may not have translated all of this correctly from Aramaic, but you get the idea.|W|P|112722349605897422|W|P|Anti-Gay Re-education Camp Shut Down!|W|P|9/20/2005 9:05 AM|W|P|Miss Cellania|W|P|Yep, sexuals sins are right up there with eating ham. Maybe someone should open a camp to convert pork-eaters?
I've been enjoying your posts!9/20/2005 11:59 AM|W|P|Tracey|W|P|It's good to have even the small victories in times like this. Thanks for spreading the "good news." :)9/20/2005 12:38 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Amen! Praise the Lord for Victories! Camps like these are autrocious and its about time we shut some of them down!9/20/2005 4:27 PM|W|P|AVA|W|P|You're making me really hate Christians Rudicus ;)
It's a good thing I don't know any...9/20/2005 5:44 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Ava, I'm a Christian. Now you know me.
In defense of Christianity: intolerance is not Christian; dogma is not Christian; judgment is not Christian; lying is not Christian; hypocrisy is not Christian; and hate is the antonym of Christ. I preach Christ as love, tolerance, kindness, and more love. Enough love to slather over everything living. That, to me, is Christianity...and where the road leads on a path of studying Christ.9/20/2005 6:18 PM|W|P|cath|W|P|Yea!
Score one against the War on Love people. They so love their wars...
:-)9/20/2005 7:40 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I agree QOB!9/20/2005 8:33 PM|W|P|The Lone Rangers|W|P|I agree wiuth QOB but since everyone else can interpret the bible to their every whim I also have to agree with Rudicuses last paragraph. Too funny.
Unfortunately this camp will be up and running again in months, if not sooner.9/21/2005 7:02 AM|W|P|thordora|W|P|I hate pork-I'm with miss cellania on this one...
Watch "Saved" for a laugh on the subject. Yes, it's been suggested before, but I'm suggesting it again as it is one of the funnier movies I've seen in awhile.9/21/2005 11:21 AM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Just to clarify, TLR, I agree with Rudicus not only in his last paragraph, but with most of the ideology I've read on this site. I think our main ideological difference would be that I believe in God and Christ, and he doesn't. At least, not in the way I do. Other than that, we agree on many issues....surprisingly.
So one thing I understand from Rudicus is he would encourage me to call other "Christians" on their bullsh*t. And one thing I would encourage him to do is extend the same non-judgment and tolerance to those labeled "Christian" as he expects from them. (Although, Rudi, I would understand the argument from you that it's the Christians who tout themselves as tolerant and non-judgmental, so all you're really asking is that they not be hypocritical.)9/21/2005 11:21 AM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Oh, and Thordora, I will watch 'Saved'...since that's the second time it's been brought up...9/21/2005 11:30 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|QOB you are 100% correct - it's hypocrisy I can't stand, not Christians. Since I do not believe in God or Jesus as real critters, it doesn't make a lick of difference to me if someone else does or if they worship God through Christianity, Islam, Judaism or follow Wicca, Buddhism, Satanism or whatever.
Where I draw the line, and you are 100% correct, is that it's the ones of any faith that try to tell me or anyone else that their faith is the only "right" and especially if they try to manipulate or legislate their dogma on me or anyone else.
For example Jews do not tend to proselytize nor get evangelical nor try to recruit, so thats why you don't see me commenting regularly on Jewish or Islamic activities - but the Christians - in the media at least - can not seem to abandon their hypocrisy or even admit that it is there, nor do they seem to wish to engage in debate unless it is a debate about how right they are.
Religion is personal and I encourage everyone to have a personal relationship with whatever diety or philosphy they see fit. Just keep it to yourself unless asked and please keep it out of government. That doesn't seem like alot to ask to me, does it?9/21/2005 12:51 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|If you're asking me, I say, "Nope. That's not a lot to ask."
However, you definitely need to set your bar lower for some others out there...9/19/2005 09:10:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
Just as Bush shocked the world by taking responsibility for Katrina, it may have just been another political parlor trick.
In an internal email obtained by the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger it turns out the Justice Department has been busy trying to find some link...any link to environmentalists, so they can shift the blame to them for the levee failure and subsequent catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.
Apparently the ignored warnings from models suggesting a category 4 or 5 hurricane would topple the levee and flood the city, were not responsible. Nor were the ignored warnings or weather specialists. Nor was the horrificly slow and inept recovery effort or the countless stories of bureaucracy hurdles, turf battles, pissing contests and possibly even racism or classism. No the blame apparently is hopefully to be laid at the feed of environmentalists.
"Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."
Well. That sure sounds like a fishing expedition to me. I guess no one should be surprised by double talk, fake assurances, secret internal memos and character assassination. I thought Bush didn't want to play the blame game - I guess just like laws, treaties, contracts and other legal issues the rules apply to everyone else and can be ignored if they are inconvenient.
People were up in arms as soon as news of this memo hit the streets causing a caustic response from Barbara Boxer of California, which she sent to our friends over at Raw Story:
"If the President is sincere when he says he accepts responsibility for the abysmal federal response to Hurricane Katrina, he should instruct his Justice Department to stop trying to smear environmentalists by blaming them for the government's failure to shore up the levee system in Louisiana," the California Democrat said.
"This smacks of a political witch hunt," Boxer added. "Instead of pathetic attempts to pass the buck by blaming groups who are looking out for the health and well-being of Americans, the Bush Administration should marshal the Justice Department to stand up for the victims against the con artists and U.S. taxpayers from unscrupulous contractors." (that would be Haliburton for you kids following along at home)
Now that this has hit the streets - be on the lookout for the cover-up that will surely ensue. Be on the lookout for someone to take the fall and have all the blame for this assigned to them and watch the Administration and all related officials absolve themselves of responsibilty and/or knowledge of this maneuver.
The worst part is that it is so much the M.O. of this administration to pull this kind of crap and I'm positive they will never ever get called on the carpet for it. I don't know what's worse, the fact that the justice department would be pursuing this action or that we'll never see anybody actually answer for the myriad of corrupt, dirty, manipulative and underhanded political nonsense that this administration engages in every day of the week.
We can only hope that someone will find the strength andfortitudee needed to take the country back from the brink and restore some semblance of honor, integrity and real responsibility by impeaching EmperorBush and sending him back to Crawford where he can't do anymore damage. Please visit the Impeach Bush Coalition for more info on saving the country.|W|P|112714147795533910|W|P|Bush Will Be Taking Full Responsibility Until He Finds Someone Else To Blame.|W|P|9/19/2005 10:48 AM|W|P|Tracey|W|P|Wow...stuffl like this makes me feel so powerless.
However, on a bright note, this pissed somebody off enough to leak it to the MSM. Good for them!!!9/19/2005 11:17 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|well Ive heard its all Ellen Degeneres fault! Shes single handedly to blame for Katrina and September 11th (after all she did host the Emmy's both those years, coincidence I think not). My good old pal Pat Robertson told me so.9/19/2005 11:21 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|I about died laughing when I read that one Dave. I thought it was true at first, because it was Pat Robertson, but then I found out it was satire - good stuff!9/19/2005 12:18 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|LOL,me satirical? no!Hey rudicus, love to hear your thought on my latest post about probation atms!9/19/2005 12:53 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|why am I not surpised...9/19/2005 2:17 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|Something I will NEVER understand is why politicians will not just stand up and say "yeah, that was me." when they fuck up. Yes, you made a mistake-that does happen. But what matters to me is how you handle the aftermath, and how you prevent the same thing from happening.
I'm waiting to hear that it's Canada's fault.9/19/2005 4:44 PM|W|P|The Lone Rangers|W|P|I fully and whole heartedly accept the blame for Katrina. EVen though I knew nothing of the levee problem I have been to NO 5 of the past 6 years and I should have known DAMMIT!
Next visit fewer begneits and more levee inspections for me.9/16/2005 09:17:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Well gay marriages have been legal in Massachusetts for a year now and for some reason society has not collapsed.
This hot button issue which many credit as leading the Republicans to victory in 2004 elections, has lost some steam since it was used to whip Christian Conservatives into a holy frenzy of frothy rabid goodness that led 11 different states to pass anti-gay legislation.
Well it looks like it may be turning around, at least in one state. The Massachusetts Legislature just voted 157-39 against the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and overturn the court ruling in the state.
How could this happen - wasn't gay marriage a threat to the very fabric of our society? Wasn't it the slap in the face of traditional marriage that would make all heterosexual marriages null and void? I guess none of that happened.
So how do you account for this seemingly 180 degree turn in the attitude toward gay marriage in Massachusetts? Let's hear from one of the co-sponsors of the proposed amendment.
"Gay marriage has begun, and life has not changed for the citizens of the commonwealth, with the exception of those who can now marry," said state Sen. Brian Lees, a Republican who had been a co-sponsor of the amendment. "This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today."
Well what do you know about that? Adam and Steve got married and nothing bad happened to anyone.
I guess I would like it if this event somehow opened people's eyes to the fact that all the gay marriage doomsayers were manipulating people and not actually threatened. Or that two people getting married regardless of their orientation is a fine thing and not in any way dangerous or confusing for society. But I suspect it will just be business as usual, combined with looks of disgust at the Massachusetts liberals and their hell-bound married gay pals.
But then it is the belief of CC's always to err on the side of dogma and stupidity, which is why Ahhnold will probably be the mook that he is and veto the same-sex marriage bill that passed the legislature in his state. Way to be progressive buddy.
However I do think the defeat of the amendment in Massachusetts WILL have an effect. Hopefully Massachussets' example, combined with the much more forward thinking Canadians support of gay marriage, will show that society is not in danger because two people love each other and might just loosen some of the fire and brimstone rhetoric being spewed by the people of very little brain.
Kudos to Massachusetts - I'm proud of all of you, now hopefully for your next trick you can chuck that poo-head governor of yours and send him on his way.|W|P|112688128946640510|W|P|Gay Marriage is OK in Massachusetts.|W|P|9/16/2005 9:41 AM|W|P| music on interest free credit; pay whenever you want.9/16/2005 11:49 AM|W|P|Sally|W|P|Yes, it is! I am once again proud to live here!!!!!!!9/16/2005 12:19 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|alright, now if we can get a few more states on board then we can maybe get some progress to spread. Go Mass!9/16/2005 1:13 PM|W|P|Chris|W|P|I'm definitely proud of the legislators in MA. I just wish Arnold would grow a pair (forgive the language) and reject the ridiculously stupid Proposition 22. I also recommend that anyone interested read the next two links. The first is an editorial that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle last week. The second is a post on my blog that I wrote on same-sex marriage. I'd love to hear feedback.
Time favors gay marriage proponents
On same-sex marriage
"I wish the world was run by love, and absolutely nothing more."9/16/2005 2:04 PM|W|P|gravitybear|W|P|The rhetoric from the CC's will become more strident as a result, not looser. At least for a time. Then, we may see more change for the better.9/16/2005 4:58 PM|W|P|On Lawn|W|P|How could this happen - wasn't gay marriage a threat to the very fabric of our society? Wasn't it the slap in the face of traditional marriage that would make all heterosexual marriages null and void? I guess none of that happened.
A review of the arguments shows that the expectation for disaster in the first years of enactment is inaccurate. As one might say, the kite when cut from the string goes higher before it sails downward without anyone being able to do anything about it at all.
"This amendment which was an appropriate measure or compromise a year ago, is no longer, I feel, a compromise today."
Well what do you know about that? Adam and Steve got married and nothing bad happened to anyone.
I'm not sure how you got that interpretation, except maybe by manipulation yourself. Another congressman put it this way,
`State Rep. James Miceli, D-Wilmington, an opponent of same-sex marriage who supported the proposed amendment in the spring 2004, said he was “quite sure” he would vote against it today.
`“I've spoken to a lot of people, and they say they want a simple vote on gay marriage, up or down,” Miceli said. “This amendment gives the public no option to vote on marriage without approving civil unions as a package.”
`Miceli said favors “equal rights” for gay and lesbian couples, such as allowing partners to have hospital visitation rights.
`“People felt the amendment was too complicated. They didn't want to link it with civil unions, and they felt they were being hamstrung,” Miceli said. '
In essence, no one liked the compromise. SS"m" advocates don't want Civil Unions, neither to marriage defenders.
You will also note that a new amendment has been circulating since last year that provides a much simpler approach.
It never ceases to amaze me the arrogant sense of entitlement that causes SS'm' advocates to throw so much of value under the bus of their cause.
The constitution in California was violated by AB 849, and Arnold will thankfully veto it. The Mass. Constitution was violated in Goodridge V Public health. In review of that decision I find...
"The more I get into this the more I see the reasoning in Goodridge is poorly thought out and contradictory. Should the people let this stand they are not only acquiescing their self-governance to an eminent tribunal, the move from rule of the people to a court like this is definitely a step downward in competency."
NYU Professor J David Velleman also finds human rights violations in the name of SS"m' equality...
`...the issues of same-sex marriage and donor conception are in principle separable. Even in heterosexual marriages, the birth certificates of donor conceived children usually list the non-biological parent as “mother” or “father”, omitting any reference to the donor. This practice of falsifying birth certificates, long considered benign, is anything but, as demonstrated by the protests of donor conceived adults. Yet reversing this practice would bear differently on heterosexual and homosexual marriages. It would affect only a small percentage of heterosexual marriages, and it would be no more prejudicial to their parental rights than openness in adoption, which is now widespread. But a requirement of openness in donor conception would affect all homosexual marriages as a class. Homosexual marriage would be, by its very nature, marriage that can lead only to qualified parenthood — qualified, that is, by the legally recognized parenthood of donors or birth parents. Maybe same-sex couples would be willing to accept a form of marriage that is second-class in this respect — but I doubt it.
`What’s more, I don’t think that guaranteeing children access to information about their parentage would fully address the problems with donor conception. Like some donor offspring, I am opposed not just to anonymity in donor conception but to the practice of donor conception itself. My reasons for this position are explained in my earlier posts and in this paper, which I have continued to revise. My worry is that a purely affectional conception of marriage will tend to favor a purely affectional conception of parenthood. And I think that denying the importance of biological parenthood leads us to violate fundamental rights of children. Every human child has a mother and a father. And every child has a right to know its mother and father, and to be reared by them, unless the child’s own interests dictate otherwise (as they often do in the case of adoption). Until I see specific proposals for protecting those rights under same-sex marriage, I can’t support it.'
Certainly you justify such violation of liberty and governance because you feel you are getting out ahead somehow? I hope you take time to re-think that position, and why you feel your hatred of others is so justified that you celebrate these egregious actions.9/16/2005 6:15 PM|W|P|
Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater...9/16/2005 8:11 PM|W|P|Chris|W|P|I never understood why those on the right insist that allowing same-sex marriage would usher in bestiality. Follow that link to read more.
Bill O'Reilly is an idiot
"I wish the world was run by love, and absolutely nothing more."9/19/2005 1:38 PM|W|P|aBitWicked|W|P|good thing!! hope more states and countries do the same.9/23/2005 11:27 AM|W|P|On Lawn|W|P|It sounds like your argument should be with those laws/policies and not with the potential loving parents who happen to be gay.
It is with people who conflate "guardian" with "parent".9/23/2005 10:26 PM|W|P|
Let them live in orphanages until the age of 18 then into the streets with the filthy urchins
Nice to see you have the children's best interest in mind9/15/2005 08:38:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|The Pledge of Allegiance with the 1954 addition of "under God" was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge yesterday.
The decision clears the way for the pledge to be barred in the schools affected by the suit, however, it also puts the case on the fast track back to the Supreme Court.
The Pledge was already ruled unconstitutional by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when it ruled in 2002. This is the same body that the appeal is going to so it seems likely that they will stand by their precedent and reaffirm their decision.
When the case came before the Supreme Court previously, they dodged the case by saying that it could not proceed because the claimant was not an authorized representative in the suit. This time that's not the case, so it looks like the Supremes will either have to tackle the case or let the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling stand.
What's the big deal you say. Isn't this harmless, is it worth all this fuss? Complainant Michael Newdow sums it up as follows:
"All it has to do is put the pledge as it was before, and say that we are one nation, indivisible, instead of dividing us on religious basis," Newdow told The Associated Press.
"Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, 'We are one nation that denies God exists,'" Newdow said.
"I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, 'Oh, what harm is that.' They'd be furious. And that's exactly what goes on against atheists. And it shouldn't."
To me this case highlights the very reason that politics and religion do not mix. Religion is divisive and does not represent all people. This is the purpose of separation of church and state as it was devised by the founders. Because religion and belief are so polarizing, leaving it completely out of government allows the state to govern based on the needs of society, not on the agenda of a particular faith or representatives of that faith.
As a priest, a Republican, a former senator and former UN ambassador, John Danforth is in a great position to speak on this issue and he says:
"The problem is not with people or churches that are politically active. It is with a party that has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement."
If he and others in the Republican party are starting to feel a little skittish about being so bound to Christian Conservatives and their agenda, imagine how the rest of us feel?
You need no further proof of this that to watch the nightly news. The vast majority of issues dividing this nation are along religious lines. Every story you read about the Ten Commandments, activist judges, prayer in school, homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, the right to die, censorship in T.V. and movies, sex, art, you name it - those are ALL about religion. And if you go back over that list, see if you can name all the different politicians and government agencies that have some sort of association with those topics. In a place where politics and religion are supposed to be divided, it sure seems like we are up to our eyeballs in unity.
The problem is that this creates division, it creates marginalization and it creates exclusivity and corruption. Perhaps not corruption in monetary terms but in terms of fairness. How do you think a person who is staunchly religious is going to interact with someone who is not? What if your life choices go against the religious choices fed to you by a united church and state? Do you really think people are going to be operating impartially? We already have pharmacists, nurses and doctors who can choose not to treat you if they disagree with you on religious grounds. That's staggering. And you know who allowed that to happen legally? The federal government.
This is why it's so critical that we maintain a separation - laws and government must be free to make decisions based on the best thing for the society, not the best thing to promote an agenda based on beliefs. The sooner we realize that this lack of separation is tearing us apart as a country, the sooner we can get back on the road to fixing it.
It is unconstitutional to promote religion, and that's why the Pledge is unconstitutional. Freedom of religion allows us all to practice or not practice as we see fit. Religion is a private choice and a private relationship. Let's keep it private where it belongs, I promise you we will all get along much better.|W|P|112679438486583850|W|P|"Under God" is Unconstitutional.|W|P|9/15/2005 1:06 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|Wow. I talked about this yesterday, but on the other side.
I understand how the ruling could be seen, but the guy himself upsets me. If there are other people in the case then why don't they give their names. The article I saw only mentioned 2 other families and never named them.
So to me this guy still has no right to bring this foward. He was told that he didn't have the right last time and the article made no mention of his status changing.
Honestly, until those other families come foward and put their face out there. To me this will be nothing more than a publicity stunt and a drain on resources.9/15/2005 1:40 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|To me it's just the opposite - the last time this came up and the Supremes turned it down it was a technicality - that's a cop out - unconstitutional is unconstitutional regalrdless of who brings the suit. They just invoked the process to get out of having to decide it - probably because they too know it is unconstitutional.9/15/2005 1:58 PM|W|P|KristieD|W|P|Why are we so concerned with who brought the suit? Its the decision that matters. I personally never cared one way or the other if we said "under god", but I completely and totally support the decision of the courts. We are supposed to have a separation of church and state. There is no reason God should be mentioned anywhere in anything having to do with public things (schools, public office, courtrooms). I wish we werent allowed to talk about god in public period sometimes, but alas-- that is what free speech is all about right?9/15/2005 3:00 PM|W|P|
Quite possibly, there may not be people who want tolerance for all, rather just tolerance for themselves.
How depressing9/15/2005 3:03 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Well, all you have to do is look at various revolutionary social movements to see that cycle - the oppressed rise up against the people with all the money and power and then bask in the glow of their rightious indignation for about 30 seconds before the money and power start corrupting them and turning them into the people they overthrew and setting up the next batch of revolutionaries.9/15/2005 3:13 PM|W|P|Chris|W|P|I support the separation of church and state and the freedom of religion, expression, and the like. However, I believe the Supreme Court will reverse this ruling when and if this case reaches its chambers.
"I wish the world was run by love, and absolutely nothing more."9/15/2005 4:11 PM|W|P|9/15/2005 8:19 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|Just playing the other side for a VERY brief second-many of us want references to god removed from items like this, but we still like our catholic holidays...(or, we do in Canada)
What's your take on Christmas, Easter, etc.....? Rather curious on that one, since most people I know start playing "little emo boy" and run away when I bring it up....9/15/2005 9:06 PM|W|P|David|W|P|Separation of church and state also means that you cannot enact a law that would be “banning religion from public schools”.
The separation was intended to keep a power structure of statemanship based on religiosity from occurring. Such theocracies developed in some of the colonies, and we had 200 years of American history before we had the most recent 200, to learn from.
But, it was intended to encourage and provide for equal access to both politics and religion for all.
The addition of the phrase “under god” to the pledge was indeed a strike against the intention of the separation, as it was meant to smoke out who was a communist sympathizer as they were ‘all atheists’ vs. a true American. It was a witch trial test, just as the witch trial tests were; a perversion of state justice through incorporating a perverted view of religion in order to advance someone’s political career.
Regarding homosexuality, the metric system was promoted also but did we ever convert everyone over to that? Is the public school system where you want your child learning any sexuality, other than just biology and reproductive sciences? What are the qualifications of the educators? It seems defining sexual practice apart from reproduction, which we all do have in common at this point, would also be a divisible factor.
The observation of religious holidays at a national level has very little to do with this argument. Recognition of those holidays which have meaning to ethnic and cultural groups that make up the nation body is not an enforcement of a doctrine of belief.
You cannot make prayer in school illegal. But, you cannot enforce prayer either. You make take a moment of silence, or not. You’d be amazed at how diplomatic and democratic children can be about these things until they are heavily influenced by adults who should know better.9/16/2005 5:17 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|First off thordora, I don't have any issues with Xmas since that is just practical - since most americans ar Christians and that is considered a holy day, most people would be taking it off anyway. If government offices stayed open so as not observe a religions holiday I have no proble with that. At the same time there are several other faiths where celebrations occur at this time so if people had flex time they could take off for the holidays - whatever they may be. But I think David is correct that national holidays at the holidays do not necessarily promote religion - especially since it's a pagan holiday.
Also David - very good points and a great comment. I agree that teaching sex education in schools is probably better left to parents, but since most parents suck these days, society had to take action or people would be about as well prepared as if they had done abstinence only - if parents could be relied on to teach their kids, then I would be all for getting sex ed out of schools.
Also with respect to prayer or moments of silence in schools - I have no problem with that, nor do I have a problem witht he practice of religion, but if it's event where the children have no choice but to participate and failure to participate creates a hostile environement for them - then that practice has to either change or go. If you are going to make them pledge, I suppse you could make a case for that, but forcing them to recognize god in the government mandated speech is in conflict.9/16/2005 6:11 AM|W|P|thordora|W|P|I was just curious....I always wonder if I should work the holidays since I don't practice the faith, but then I realize that my jewish co worker takes the day off without question...
thanks for the pagan viewpoint-I had completely neglected that point of view9/18/2005 4:26 PM|W|P|9/14/2005 09:35:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|
I was reading about Bulldog's recent adventures with the Orlando Sentinal reporter who was picking on bloggers. In addition there has been some activity on the Impeach Bush Coalition site responding to other bloggers asking why we bother blogging about something we probably won't be able to bring about.
So it got me thinking, what is the point of blogging? Why do we all do it? If we don't do it, why do we read it?
Blogs probably started as a way for some angsty system admin or web designer to get their feelings out because they felt more comfortable with an online journal than a pen and paper one. I've seen alot of blogs about life, love & relationships. I've seen some travel journals, creative writing and niche information blogs. The big blog movement really got started during the election. The same time online fund-raising began to catch people's attention, weblogs were covering the political scene.
To this day, politics are the #1 focus of blogs that have one. The Rudicus Report went online the day after Bush got re-elected because I was flabergasted that he somehow hoodwinked the country again, and I vowed to expose the hypocrisy that was quickly taking over this country.
Today we still have all the old blogs, but more and more creative ones are entering the scene daily. The mommy, daddy, puppy, kitty, baby blogs are all the rage of the suburban set, and there are many more that tap into different ideas and different topics in the world. You all know Martian Anthropologist's site, and if you don't you should. But some others are consistently putting out high quality material like Ken Grandlund's Common Sense site.
Other's are doing highly creative work like QOB's Endings blog (a personal favorite), Phoenix's Bumpersticker Rant and blogs by Dushan and TLR.
Yet still more connect us to different countries and different worlds like Ava's Little Things of Venom(Mexico), Gilbert Koh's Commentary Singapore(now Mr. Wang Says So) from Singapore, Glod, Android and Co. from Puffer Fish in My Soup (U.K.) and our Canadian mates Zaphod and Thordora. Each of these folks provides a unique perspective on life and culture.
But what does all this mean and how does it relate to the initial question?
What are blogs? Are they the ramblings and meanderings of a million voices at random? Sometimes, but that doesn't scratch the surface of their potential. Blogs are information and information is power. And a lot of blogs means a lot of power. Power that can be harnessed and channelled for the good of people, countries and the world.
When bloggers get active, things start to happen, slowly at first, but it builds into a groundswell. We are beholden to no one and nothing but our own ideas and our own morals. We are not part of billion dollar companies, we are not in the pocket of special interests and we do not have to get re-elected. We do not have to pander to our base and we do not have to worry about advertisers or sales.
Imagine each blog is a ship. Ships vary in size and status. Some are cargo ships, some are warships, some are cruise ships. Each one on their own journey, sailing toward whatever destination they had in mind. But what if they could come together? What if all the little ships could gather to form an Armada? Imagine the power that that group could have. An army of bloggers beholden to no one, united for change and the common good. One vote may do nothing. One protest may do nothing. But with a blog you get to speak your piece - make your case - tell it like it is. You can change someone's mind or make them see another way or consider a different perspective. If each blog could get one other person to think, imagine what 100 blogs could do or a 1000 or even a million.
That could change the world.
That's what bloggers could accomplish. And that's why we speak our minds and take up the fight or simply say what we want to say even if we think we can do nothing or no one is listenting. That's why we do it, and that's why we must keep on doing it.
A chorus of united voices can change things - they can stop the machine.
Your thoughts, your stories, your poems, your rants, your ideas - they ALL make a difference.
Blog the revolution.|W|P|112664120541814496|W|P|The Blog Armada|W|P|9/14/2005 9:50 AM|W|P| music on interest free credit; pay whenever you want.9/14/2005 12:09 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|Interesting thought Rudicus. And thanks for mentioning me again.
It is interesting how things could go if we could unite under a common voice. Maybe we'll even see that happen one day.
And my typical comment spam response.
Oh Boy!... I soooooo want that!9/14/2005 12:14 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|Read "Earth" by David Brin. It was written in 1990 (I think) and the newsgroup idea in the book was taken in a "bloggish" direction. It's an excellent book regardless.
I liken blogging to my non-blogging friends as the new community that people once had with their neighbours. Yeah, some of it is silly, or stupid, or poorly researched, etc, etc.
But when it works-people come together. People care about people they've never met. We share opinions and advice, from politics to babies to books to gas prices. I think we blog because we search for intelligent discussion, for people who can help us understand ourselves, and to help us understand our world.
But that's just me....thanks for the nod rudi!9/14/2005 12:18 PM|W|P|Glyn (Zaphod) Evans|W|P|This is a great post that I think I must link to.
"Each of these folks provides a unique perspective on life and culture."
This is exactly why I post about US politics... Generally, my perceptions are different, and talk with friends and co-workers is most likely on a different playign field than talk with Americans. Even many of my news sources such as CTV have a slightly different perspective.
You are also right about the difference blogs can make to the general opinion of the public.
Again, great post!9/14/2005 12:44 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I love posting on my blog to give insight into my life. I post about the world of female impersonation and highlight different entertainers to give people who come across my blog a different perspective and insight into a world they may not be familiar with. I also post about my personal struggles, challenges and details as a gay college student theater design major. I also like to get political with my blog like I just did today with my new post about John Roberts. Many times post from Rudicus will spawn off ideas for me to post something on. I think blogging and the variety of blogs out there is wonderful. Blogs bring about awareness and insight that can bring about change in the minds and hearts of those that read them or fuel up the readers to go and try to be proactive towards change in their own community.9/14/2005 1:48 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|oh god...CTV...the local affiliate here is actually PHYSICALLY PAINFUL....
and I thought Mike Duffy was annoying..9/14/2005 5:25 PM|W|P|The Lone Rangers|W|P|Get your powder, get your gun, report to General Washington.
Besides your leftist leanings I also appreciate the nod comrade Rudi.
You are one sexy bastard!9/14/2005 5:51 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Always the Revolutionary! Thanks for the kind words.
You are one sexy bastard! Again...9/15/2005 12:27 AM|W|P|Ken Grandlund|W|P|I think you've identified the reasons why so many of us are blogging right now, especially those who act in the political realm.
Let's hope that we really will change some minds out there.
(And, oh yes, thanks for the compliment! But didn't you forget to add The Rudicus Report to your list?)9/15/2005 7:28 AM|W|P|Ack|W|P|I think Im going to say that the Drudge Report brought about the popular movement towards blogs. His blog might be just news feeds.. but after he broke a couple big stories.. well, it kinda took off. Plus, he makes a living at it.. so everyone else thought they could too.
I still dont know how BlogSpot makes any money at all on this deal.9/15/2005 12:16 PM|W|P|AVA|W|P|I have to admit I blog for myself, as a way to blow off some steam and to get away from rutine.
But I love blogs like The Rudicus Report who are always trying to make a difference, and they do.
This post is inspiring Rudi, and I agree with you, I love the blogosphere because it's free and uncensored, and it give us a piece of everyone's world, whether it is about politics, or art, or simply everyday life.
I read you everyday (even though I not always comment), just like I read the news, and I can see I'm not the only one, so of course, blogs can be powerful, and a million blogs could change the world.9/15/2005 12:16 PM|W|P|AVA|W|P|9/16/2005 2:41 AM|W|P|Neil|W|P|A really good and thoughtful post, and I agree totally.
I started Blogging as a way to relax and write. But more and more, I've noticed the feelings I voiced are shared.
My sentiments about my home country and its politics are the same as those of many Americans, and to share those feelings incentivises me to do more and push for action to be taken.
Sites like the Impeach Bush Coalition are a prime example of Bloggers forming communities to move towards a specific goal, and I'm hoping that it can be used as a catalyst - a call to action for UK Bloggers to fight back against Our Dear Leader, Kim-Il Blair, in a similar way.
All of us, acting together, can become the irresistible force that changes our societies for the better.
Keep up the good work
Neil the Monster9/12/2005 11:46:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|You've got to hand it to these guys. Nothing brings out the dissassociated quips of the privileged class like a natural disaster.
It's been a great week for stupid crap from the mouths of the landed gentry. I thought it would be nice to see how the out-to-lunch crowd viewed the disaster as a group:
Congressman Richard Baker (R-LA) - "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did." - courtesy of The Wall Street Journal
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) - speaking to three boys living in the Astrodome "The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, "Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?" - courtesy of The Houston Chronicle.
Vice President Dick Cheney - speaking about any reaction amongst evacuees to Michael Brown's demotion or the FEMA handling of Katrina relief - "Not one of them mentioned any of it. They're all very thankful where they find themselves right now." - courtesy of Reuters.
Department of Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff - defending the Bush Administrations handling of the disaster relief effort - "The critical thing was to get people out of [New Orleans] before the disaster. Some people chose not to obey that order. That was a mistake on their part."
And your winner:
Presidential Mother Barbara Bush - regarding Katrina Evacuees staying at the Houston Astrodome: "What IÂm hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality." "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
Holy crap. Can we get any further off base here. So our response to this colossal screw-up is a collection of "it's their own fault" and "They're better off"
This all sounds eerily similar to "Let Them Eat Cake" - and we all know how well that worked out for the people in charge there.
The good news is that Bush has assured us all that race and class played no role in the disaster response. So if that's true then I guess we can rack it up to good old fashioned incompetence. Sadly all these quips, like everything else that is going horribly wrong inthis country all lead back to the white house and the Bush Administration.
It's all about the Benjamins George - and we all know it, now go tell Brownie what a great job he's doing again.|W|P|112654525922747197|W|P|Open Mouth Insert Elephant.|W|P|9/12/2005 12:25 PM|W|P|9/12/2005 12:46 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|and to think that those are the tame comments. It's just that the really bad ones aren't being uttered by politicians. I have heard tale of some on the extreme right saying that the heathen city got what it deserved.
WTF??? To think that some would even suggest such things turns my stomach.9/12/2005 1:14 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|9/12/2005 1:16 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Brownie? That took me a minute.
I was in Starbucks last Thursday and got to hear two older, obviously well-educated, empathetic, thoughtful humanitarian men discussing the havoc in New Orleans. Something about, "...well, they were all a bunch of heathens..." and, "...the way they were in that city, it's no wonder..." and, "...it shouldn't surprise anyone..."
And I was thinking, Maybe it shouldn't surprise me, but it does. It surprises me that these people may not be the minority. And that they actually believe the vitriol they're spewing.
P.S. The part about them being well-educated humanitarians and such...yeah, that was sarcasm.9/12/2005 1:53 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|Here you go guys. I posted the link to this same article over at daily ramblings, but I thought that since it was in the realm of discussion I'd share it here as well.
article9/12/2005 2:59 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Jeez, I didn't even bother posting the stupid crap that other people are saying like it was a wrath of God or the cleansing of the Gay Pride Parade before they could have a festival.
That kind of nonsense is not only unbelievable but typical. I just thought this stuff was even worse because it shows you how the rich people think while they claim no racism or classism out the side of their neck.9/13/2005 7:06 AM|W|P|thordora|W|P|I'm not surprised in the least.
And please-Barbara married a Bush-I lost all respect for that woman a VERY long time ago.9/13/2005 8:38 PM|W|P|The Lone Rangers|W|P|It will come back, to all their dismay of course.
New Orleans, especially the French Quarter has been through famine, war pestilence and flood. Yet it always goes back to it's Bayou self.
GOD, I love that city.9/09/2005 08:52:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Abstinence Education. Like intelligent design, teaching abstinence in place of sex education is the Christian Right's way of injecting religion into our education system. They promote abstinence as the only true way to avoid pregnancy and STD's and the ultimate evil, abortion. And you know what, they're right.
But just like communism and all the other ideas that sound good on paper, reality has a funny way of proving how wrong you really are. And of course abstinence-only education is no exception.
Anyone who has ever been a teenager or currently is one, knows full well that the idea of abstinence is about as realistic as jumping from here to the moon in a single bound. Bodies are primed and ready, hormones are going crazy and the urge to merge is flying right in the face of societies man-made age of consent and social mores. We want to protect our children, so what's the best way to do that? Is it to tell them simply, just say no and that's final? I suppose this is the sexual equivalent of "because I'm your mother and I say so"
Is that simple prohibition enough to override the forces of nature, peer pressure, human curiosity and the first feelings of love and attraction? Let's take a look.
As expected, the answer is no. A study by the American Journal of Health Behavior was conducted to analyze the sexual behavior of over 2000 students in the Cleveland area.
Researchers led by Elaine A. Borawski, Ph.D., in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, found that after going through the program, teens reported significant increases in their HIV/STD knowledge, their personal beliefs about the importance of abstinence and their intentions to remain abstinent in the near future.
That sounds nice.
But the program did not affect students' confidence to avoid risky sexual situations, and sexually inexperienced and female students actually reported a decrease in their intent to use condoms in the future.
In the end, the study showed that abstinence-only education had NO effect in preventing teens from becoming sexually active.
This evaluation reveals that abstinence-only intervention can influence knowledge, beliefs and intentions..." Borawski said, adding that the intent of teens to reduce their condom use merits further study to determine long-term implications.
Well lets see what those implications may be.
Just south of Cleveland, in Canton, OH there is another school that preaches and teaches an abstinence-only sex education program. I wonder how that turned out.
Thirteen percent of the female students at Timken Senior High School in Ohio are pregnant.
Wow. I guess they could have used those condoms over there.
The statistic at the school in the heart of this old steel city contrasts with a decade of declining teen pregnancy rates nationwide.
I wonder what could have happened.
"Joanne Hinton, whose 16-year-old daughter, Raechel Hinton, is eight months pregnant, said she believes the school's abstinence-based sex education program isn't enough."
"It's time to take the blinders off and realize that these kids are having sex," she said. "Obviously, abstinence is not working. If we have to, just give them condoms."
Last school year, both high schools in the city's district reported 55 pregnancies. Ninety-nine pregnancies are expected in the district this year, most of them at Timken, where expecting students get six weeks of maternity leave.
WOW! What the heck could be going on over there? Hmmm. Maybe this has something to do with it:
Abstinence-based programs have been growing nationwide at schools over the past few years. In Ohio, the Bush's administration and the state's health department have awarded $32 million in grants to Ohio agencies for abstinence education since 2001.
Well, nice work George, I guess that settles it.
Let's tell our kids not to have sex, even though we know they are going to. Then lets compound our mistake by not giving them the knowledge, tools or support for making smart healthy choices about the sex we already know they are going to have. Then lets add funding for already cash strapped schools thanks to no child left behind so that we keep promoting the non-reality based ignorance of abstinence-only education.
What's the result? A total and complete mess. More kids born to single teenage mothers who can now add to the growing roles of people on public assistance programs that are being cut by the same stupid government that helped put those kids there in the first place.
As you may have guessed, I think George Bush is a moron. But I'm starting to reconsider this opinion. All this time I've been thinking about things from the perspective of someone who wants to help make this country great. But what if you take a different viewpoint? How would things change if President Bush woke up one morning in 1999 and said, "What can I do to fuck up this country, not just for 4 or 8 years, but for an entire generation?" If you look at his and his administration's actions from that perspective, suddenly he looks like a genius. There is no way he could be this successful in that plan through sheer luck and incompetence. It had to be part of a grand scheme. No, I think that George W. Bush is one of the most brilliant tacticians of our age. Bravo!
additional reporting courtesy of CONNIE MABIN, Associated Press Writer|W|P|112627622600350142|W|P|Abstaining from Reality.|W|P|9/09/2005 10:52 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I guess to George Bush ignorance is bliss. Children should have their eyes opened to the truth of sexuality and be equipped with the proper tools to make their own wise decisions.It also really pisses me off that these same people who do not want to teach their child preventive measures from getting pregnant and stds that on the occasion that the child does get pregnant, they insist that the girl has the baby. A dear friend of mine who now works as an child advocate in the courts told me of a story of a catholic girl who parents forced her to have the baby against her will and then 2 weeks later, she boiled it in hot water or oil(not sure) on the stove.(fortunately the baby did survive) I was eating when I was told this horrific story and threw up.Another freind of mine recently had an abortion and Im glad. She was not prepared for the duty of motherhood. Why have unwanted children brough into this world only to be neglected, abused and emotionally,psychologically scared from unloving homes? Dont get me wrong,Im not saying every teenager who gets pregnant should have an abortion but it should be their choice if they want to raise the child or not.9/09/2005 11:05 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Well, unfortunately choice is something these folks DON'T want you to have. It's hard to control every move you make if you have the option of doing something different.
And this is why absolutism is so bad.
I have no trouble with them advocating abstinence as part of a complete education strategy, since it is a viable option, but since it isn;t a realistic option for most, they need to make sure everyone has enough information to make the right decision.
Once we get there then we can add in the part where homosexuals aren't spawn of the devil, so maybe a few less kids would feel ostracized or sent to gay cure camps, but I suspect I'll be very old or dead before that happens.9/09/2005 1:01 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Reading and 'digesting' this post and its comments led to some very unsettling fear inside me.
I'm afraid I won't know when to have this discussion, that I may enter into this discussion too early.
I'm afraid, especially with my daughter because she's so manipulative and cunning, that she'll 'use' my education to support early sexual exploration for which she may not be ready.
Even as I'm writing, I have thoughts that my fears are ridiculous, but I'm sharing openly and honestly, in the hopes that you all will have comments back to 'ground' me and my fears. I want the best for my children - that's the bottom line. And in my opinion, the best means that I want them to grow up exactly as they would have wanted to grow up. That in retrospect, they can look back with as few regrets as is humanly possible. That they can say, "I'm ok with the way you raised me. You did a good job and I like who I've become."
So please, tell me your thoughts. Don't hold back - be respectful and tactful, but lay it all out. This is free education for ME!9/09/2005 1:43 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|QOB-
My parents taught me early about sex. And I do mean early. Boom first monthly, and it was a we need to talk situation.
I think I was about 10.
I was handed books about the subject, allowed to ask questions. And most importantly, warned that my decisions could have serious consequences.
But at the same time they acknowledged that it is my body, and therefore my choice. They were not going to force their ideals on me.
I think that such an open approach was good. Taking it early on esablished a means of discussing it later when it became more of a possibility. The lines of communication were open, and there wasn't any of that what do you know stuff.
It may not work with all kids, but it is one way.9/09/2005 1:50 PM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|*whispers*
It's all a secret plot to build up military forces. These kids will, for the most part, be poor, and will see the military as a viable source of income. Thereby building the military forces for when one of the Bush twins takes us into another bad war.9/09/2005 2:43 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Personally my mother gave me a sex education book series with the teacher manual when I was about 11 or 12. She said you like books, read this and if you have any questions I'll do the best I can.
I can't say this would be ideal, but for an academic type kid it was pretty good. So between this and Playboy Channel I was able to get most of my information. I think it also taught me to seek out information for anything I didn;t understand and it would be there.
My advice is this - don't keep it a secret. Secrets lead to curiosity - just like drinking you want your kids to know what is out there and what could happen but also by extending your trust to them, hopefully it creates a bond that they will cometo you when they are troubled if you don't judge them.
I also wonder if you share your own fears and doubts about when you were that age, I wounder if that would build rapport and trust as well, but then I don't have any kids, so what do I know?9/09/2005 3:19 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Phoenix, thank you.
Rudicus, your last statement was silly.
I've considered that approach, at least as part of a bigger picture. I do think it's important for children to understand that you are a human being, that the reason they should heed your advice - and warnings - is because you truly have been through some of the same things through which they are going. I think some parents hold themselves out as perfect, and then point out all the imperfections of their child, and then that child will not relate because they know - and have been told - they are not like the perfect parent, so they head the direction an imperfect person would head - whatever the perfect person told them was the imperfect direction.
I've already started talking to them about some of my mistakes as a child. I talk to them about smoking, since I started smoking in ninth grade. I explain why I started, what I thought at the time, how I just *knew* I wouldn't be a smoker as an adult, and how that ended up being false. And they live with me, and can see the effects. They've seen my struggle to quit.
Another thing I try and say often is, "...and although I'm telling you all of this now, and I know you're saying what choice you want to make, just know that in those moments it may be much harder to make the choice you're deciding on now, but in the end, it is your choice." And along with that, something they've heard over and over from me is that they get to make choices, and every choice has a consequence: they will either consider it a good consequence or a bad consequence.
OK, so that's what I do now. But when we start discussing sex (here on TRR), I get a sense of fear welling up inside. I don't know from where that comes, and with such an important discussion, I think it's important for me to figure out where it comes from and what to do about it.9/09/2005 7:09 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|I got nuthin. Aside from a short, rather pink book called "A child is born" or something like that when I asked my mother if babies came out of mouths after watching a soap opera where the woman screamed and BOOM! a baby showed up.
I was sexually abused as a young child, and told no one. My parents never talked to me (other than that book) about sex. Ever. Everything I learned about my body and sex came from my school, or my own good sense to get my hiney to the library. I think my mother was preparing for the "speech" around when she died, as we were getting into bras and such nonsense around then.
Now that I have two daughters who are WAY smarter and more cunning than I ever was, I know that the dialogue starts now. I started "messing" around at 14 or so, which is average despite the horror stories you hear. I wasn't stupid about it, but I did make some stupid decisions. And guess what-CATHOLIC school girl, abstainance only training (although I could describe the picture perfectly!)
I know I can't decide to talk about it when they get their periods-our society is just WAAAYYY too hyper sexualized. It's part of the vernacular, and as much as I would like it to not be, I can't block out the world, nor do I want to.
Be open, and be there. Be prepared for some scary, candid statements. Listen openly and honestly, because I know damn well that's what I wanted, and I had no one. I made bad decisions because I had no parent like you scared for me.
ANd most importantly, sex is normal, and developmentally, their interest in it is normal. 100 years ago, teenagers had babies. Now, you can't legally have sex under 16 in most places. Our bodies don't change as fast as our moral codes.
Good luck QOB! I still have at least 8 years before I have to really worry, and I'm already terrified!
Sorry for the rant! Sex ed is a personal cause so to speak.
(loved your whisper phoenix!)9/09/2005 7:10 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|And Dave, you are absolutely right. Sounds like that poor girl had PPD, and since her parents made her keep it, I can't imagine they were on the look out for that. Terrible for everyone...9/12/2005 12:15 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|this is not really related to abstinence at all but rudicus I saw this little quote that reminded me of u and thought ud like so here it is
" Only the law is above the law. Just ask George W"9/12/2005 1:07 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|Thordora, thank you for your thoughtful words.9/12/2005 7:38 PM|W|P|Codesuidae|W|P|I know of nowhere, at least in the USA, where you are legally prohibited from having sex. Most places have a prohibition on legal adults having sex with legal minors, but that is a different matter entirely (IIRC, some places even have sane laws in this respect, but not many).
Abstainance is the easiest thing in the world, as long as you've just had sex. :)9/13/2005 7:12 AM|W|P|thordora|W|P|Might be a Canadian thing then, because I have vivid memories of say 15 year olds having sex, a parent getting mad, and the guy getting charged (since obviously, no girl could possibly have wanted to have sex).
You do have age of consent laws...
That's mostly to what I'm referring to-however, I believe it depends on the state how rigidly it's enforced. The usually don't use it against minors, but I know it's been done.9/08/2005 08:20:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|This post has nothing to do with Hurricane Katrina.
You pal Rudicus spent the day in traffic court yesterday getting butt raped by the mafia that is parading as our municipal government here in Atlanta.
I was in a fender bender a couple months ago, nothing serious. But according to the new rules - EVERYONE involved in a traffic accident of any kind is REQUIRED to go to traffic court. That seemed odd to me at the time since it was a no brainer, I got cited for failure to yield and it was totally my fault. BTW, the accident occured because some cockmonkey waved me through the intersection and I was stupid enough to believe him.
So I along with the other driver involved had to take a day off to sit in court all day. We were the first ones to register upon arrival and were iterally the last ones called, so we had to sit through the entire case load of the day along with a recess.
Finally we got our turn and it was over in literally less than 30 seconds. Again I asked what could possibly be the point of both of us having to take a day off and come all the way down here, get mugged for 10 dollars for parking for 30 seconds in an uncontested fender bender.
Then I went to the cashier to pay my ticket and then I found out - this wasn't traffic court, it was a shakedown. They now REQUIRE you to got to traffic court so they can charge you $100 in court fees. On top of all that the ticket for failure to yield, which should be $50 or $75 dollars tops, was $150 dollars.
And all this is on top of the insurance costs.
I have no problem with taking responsibility, but when they force you to give them money for no reason other than to line thier pockets, I have to call bullshit on that. But I guess this is what happens when Republicans run your state. I'm not surprised though, this is the same that passed a smoking ban that the Republicans had shoved so many loopholes into that it is basically useless and changed nothing.
The good news is that The Rudicus Report is moving! We're heading up to liberal land in Massachussetts where we will bask in the effervescent glow of intelligence and liberalism. Beforehand we will be taking a scouting tour of Montreal to get the lay of the land in case we need to leave the country in 2008.|W|P|112618657840663341|W|P|Highway Robbery.|W|P|9/08/2005 11:10 AM|W|P|Phoenix|W|P|Damn, that sucks.9/08/2005 2:31 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|And in the immortalized words of the great Jim Carey, "Rant on, oh mighty ranter!"
On a serious tip, I'm sorry you had to spend all day PLUS $150 on a traffic ticket you weren't disputing. All day? Maybe. All day to find out you owe $150 on a $10 ticket? OUTRAGEOUS.
Oh, and I'd buy your land in Montreal now. Those Canadians is smart and I don't think they'll be leavin' their borders open for much longer.9/08/2005 2:34 PM|W|P|thordora|W|P|ew. Montreal is full of smelly mean french smokers.
We can find you a nice little town somewhere...9/08/2005 5:36 PM|W|P|AVA|W|P|That is unbelievable!!
Congratulations on the moving, though. That is, if you're serious :)9/10/2005 10:17 PM|W|P|Martian Anthropologist|W|P|I am actually VERY seriously considering moving to Canada. I'm not kidding.9/11/2005 7:48 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|I'll let you know how it looks in Montreal.9/12/2005 7:53 PM|W|P|Codesuidae|W|P|I would not be surprised if there were a way to do it without going in and paying the money, and they just keep it secret.
Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach get elected.
Seriously, government is one of those things that requires truely exceptional leaders to make it work properly, and those kinds of people usually aren't interested in government, and when they are, they usually don't have the contacts it takes to get into positions where they can really make a difference. Plus, the govenrnment is so big that nobody really understands it, so lots of really stupid things go unnoticed except by those who have to endure them.
The thing is, in the US our government is much too large to even dream of it being run well on the usual paper filing systems. There's just too much to do and know, noone can keep track of what others are doing, so we get lots of duplication of effort and lots of room for porkbarreling and the other kinds of crap that makes government a political system instead of a merit-based resource planning and management system, as it should be.
Someday some genious is going to come along and write a computer system that will take all the information and organize and cross-reference all the data, so that normal people can see how stupid it all is.9/06/2005 09:34:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Never a day goes by when a person facing the most emotionally vulnerable time in their life; drug addiction, depression, divorce, death of themselves or a loved one, financial hardship, illness, trauma or disaster when the church comes out and takes advantage.
Nothing brings out the Used Car Salesmen of the Church like a disaster or life challenge. They come out in the streets looking for converts like a white looter "finding" some groceries in a flood.
One of the first groups to hit the shore in Ache Province right after the tsunami was a pack of missionaries and their box of bibles. The same goes for the streets of refugee camps in Palestine, inner city streets in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Now we have the same folks coming out in the New Orleans flood tragedy.
I find it particularly interesting that they come out to preach God to people who were maimed, killed or left homeless and destitute by the same God that they are selling if you listen to the Soddom and Gammohra speeches.
Regardless of your opinion about God or Jesus or Allah, I can't believe the continual preying on the weak, downtrodden and vulnerable. It's like selling drugs to grade school kids.
And that's the thing that kills me - the sell.
It's not any different than sales of any other product, yet people somehow elevate it to some great heights. The church is a business.
Well here we have a doozy:
Price of Gas Got You Down?
Then how about FREE GAS!
Clearview Community Church is giving away vouchers good for $10 of free gas to every family that visits for the first time during the month of September.
We are so confident that our worship service will be the best hour of your week that we are willing to pay for your gas to get here and back. Rising gas prices in Siouxland and around the country are causing many people to drive less and pay more for goods and services.
During hard times church is the first place we need to be Clearview wants people to know that the economy may rise and fall, but Gods love remains the same.
The 10:30am service at Clearview is casual (no ties allowed) and is a blend between an Eagles concert and the freedom speech in Braveheart.
No matter what type of week youÂve had, youÂre going to leave here inspired and ready to face another week!
Vouchers, redeemable for $10 of gas only at the Select Mart on 14th street, along with a free bible and music CD are given to first time visitors (one per family) after the service.
Now, take out the word church and substitute the name of any used car dealership, appliance store or furniture warehouse. This ad is no different. A blend between an Eagles concert and the freedom speech from Braveheart? Damn!
Is this the guy were supposed to pray to? Is this the way that God would market his philosophy? It seems innocuous, but it's one of the mosunbelievablele things I've ever seen. Pure unadulterated sales for God, just like any other business. If God is so great, why do you have to resort to hard sales and baiting tactics.
In the business world, you don't really resort to these kinds of tactics unless sales are down or traffic is low. It's a sign of trouble, not prosperity. Seems like a tough sell to me if they can't even get people in the door without giving them free gifts.
Snake oil is still snake oil, no matter what kind of packaging its in. But we all know the truth - the money you give to church goes to the church, not to help the downtrodden or the helpless, it goes to make rich churches richer. Why do you think the Catholic Church was one of the biggest landholders on earth? Why do all these preachers seem to be wealthy? God is good business and there's a sucker born every minute. Somebody needs to be smited big time.|W|P|112601876464247069|W|P|Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses...And I'll Sell Them God.|W|P|9/06/2005 1:09 PM|W|P|QOB|W|P|I suppose it's a good exercise for a Christian like me to see this example from the viewpoint of a non-believer such as yourself. I see how this looks like sales to you. However, when it's coming from a good heart and good intentions, I don't see the "bad" in it. Here's the thing: I can take ANYTHING, and using words and logic, twist it to be taken the opposite as it was intended. This is the purpose of a 'spin doctor'. I think it's important to go to the source and take something for what it is, not for how you perceive it.
Here's something - another thing - my father taught me: Do you know the golden rule? 'Do unto others...?' Well I don't agree. Here's what I believe, do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you; instead, do unto others as THEY would have you do unto them.
I give that example for this reason: it is a reminder that the center is not always YOU. It's not all about what YOU think, what YOU perceive. When you stop trying to define everything based on your own self, and begin to look at others as if they, too, have a value at their center, then you'll find greater good and meaning in life. Or at least, that's what I believe.
And to take this one step further, there ARE plenty of churches out there who absolutely know they are 'selling'. The core of their intentions may well be coming from a not-so-good source. I'm not arguing that ALL churches or ALL believers (of whatever) have good intentions. I'm arguing that it doesn't hurt to look for the source and examine if the intentions are good. (OK, and so good intentions refute - in my opinion - the notion that these believers are preying on the weak, etc. I guess that's the point I'm trying to make.)9/06/2005 1:17 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|I don't disagree with any of that. And as always, I'm not trying to beat up believers vs. the corrupt people that sell in their name.
There are no independent boards or ethicals standards groups or other folks calling for regulation of the religion industry, however this same industry has no qualms about serving as the independent board, ethical standards group and regulator for the rest of the world.
As always, it's about the hypocrisy and corruption of it - not the genuine faithful and their legitimate desire to make the world a better place.9/06/2005 2:18 PM|W|P|Matt|W|P|Religion has always been about bringing more believers into the fold. And if in the end people who get free gas give their lives to Christ or what have you the Church will have done its job. There are very few unique methods of persuasion, the Church more or less has to use the same forms as anyone else trying to persuade. I agree that it is a bit odd looking at the similarities, but I guess all in all the end justifies the means.9/06/2005 3:38 PM|W|P|gravitybear|W|P|qob: I'm not arguing that ALL churches or ALL believers (of whatever) have good intentions.
This sounds like the "no true Scotsman" fallacy (look it up).
Also, my guess is that one of the church leaders or 'elders' or whatever they call them in this particular church, has a large financial stake in that gas station.9/06/2005 4:03 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Good call gravitybear. They get the coupon then fill up - they do the 10 dollars and then make all the profit from the gas sales, plus they get people who want to go to a Christian gas station - bloody brilliant!9/06/2005 4:55 PM|W|P|
did jesus say, "Drive thou car in rembrance of me."? hmmmm....i missed that one. must be in the book of haliburton.9/06/2005 6:41 PM|W|P|Codesuidae|W|P|I guess I'm not quite so cynical a non-believer as our host. I see most believers as well-intentioned people who genuinely believe that they have the answer. And, in fact, they do have the answer, depending on what question one is answering.
They have a popular philosophy that can give people hope and purpose, while at the same time encouraging peaceful, cooperative behaviour and compassion for others.
Certainly there are believers that make a annoyance of themselves, but frankly I think that's due more to their innately abrasive, busy-body personalities than their religious preferences. They'd probably be just as annoying with any other belief system.
Everybody has faith in something. I have faith that I can make rational, logical decisions and inferances based on accurate sense information. Based on my faith I have decided that methods such as prayer that are often employed by popular religious philosophies cannot be rationally validated, cannot be trusted, and therefore make a poor basis for gaining knowledge.
It seems to me that the biggest difference between believers and nonbelievers is in what they believe is credible evidence. Believers are more likely to accept things that cannot be replicated (in the sense of a controlled experiment).
For example, believers will accept knowledge that comes from religious texts, even though they cannot necessarily rediscover that knowledge on their own. Nonbelievers like myself tend to be skeptical of information that cannot, at least in principle, be verified.9/06/2005 7:24 PM|W|P|cath|W|P|Don't have time right now to read all of the comments, but here's my $o.o2.
Religions are centered around power and are a business. The 'leader' gets off on how many people they can convert/preach to and the church thrives by making money. Good things can come out of that for the community, but they are more of a secular, social nature. There really is nothing holy about it.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is actually about having 'holy' experiences.
It reminds me of a joke I just heard:
An ad exec from Budweiser goes to the Vatacan to see if he can borrow the rights to the Lord's Prayer for the slogan, "Give us this day our daily Bud." When they realize how much money this could bring the church, they go to the Pope to get permission. He thinks about it and says: "Well, that depends. When does our contract with Pilsbury expire?"
Pope as Catholic CEO. That pretty much sums it up!9/07/2005 10:10 AM|W|P|gravitybear|W|P|anonymous: The Church of the Holy Hydrocarbon.
Hey, don't kid yourself. We all worship there, they just don't make us sing hymns.9/07/2005 12:33 PM|W|P|Brad|W|P|Maybe they can use those Bibles for something useful like soaking up all that water.9/07/2005 6:23 PM|W|P|Martian Anthropologist|W|P|Funny, I'll be posting my thoughts on this as well. I was watching CNN this morning and I noticed how like politicians the clergy are. When one reporter kept asking point-blank how could God allow this to happen, they just kept dodging the question.9/07/2005 10:36 PM|W|P|Gilbert Koh|W|P|Ruddy,
You must detest me. My visits are infrequent but when I do drop by, I clutter up your comments section with my long, winding thoughts. Well, here I go again.
Spirituality is when we connect directly to the divine. Religion is when we rely on middlemen, middlemen and more middlemen to make that connection.
Umfortunately, middlemen are imperfect. No doubt a part of their overall motivation is to help you make the connection. However, they also have their own little motivations which do not necessarily operate in your best interest (assuming that it is in your best interest is to make the connection to the divine).
Now when a church ties up with oil suppliers to offer petrol discount vouchers if only you'd stop by to worship at their premises and presumbly pay some tithes -
that smacks to me of middlemen, middlemen and more middlemen at work.
My own personal belief is that each of us is on a spiritual journey of our own. Some of us are more conscious of it than others. Nevertheless all of us are on our journeys. Yes, you too. As we are all unique, even the ultimate perceptions of the divine by the most spiritually gifted people in human history (Muhammad, Jesus, Buddha, assorted prophets etc) will differ.
As we travel along our individual spiritual journeys, there are many interesting sights to see. There could be useful landmarks. There could be useless distractions. Oh, look! A Christian petrol station. Shall we make a small detour and pump up the tank there?
There is security in numbers, yes? Human beings are a social animal. Whatever we do, we like to form a group to do it. Religion is no exception. That's why churches like numbers. The more the merrier. Alas, the more there are, the more likely we are to get waylaid by middlemen, well-intentioned or otherwise.
These middlemen are human, after all. They need to make money; feel important; be part of a group; wield influence over others; express their own thoughts and views; pass their time, etc. Their motivations are diverse. Some of their acts may indeed help you make the connection to the divine. The rest are just distractions.
And the more highly organised a religion becomes, the more distractions there will be. Because in the end, the connection has to be direct. It's all between you and your own god in the end, whatever name you call him or her. It's not between you and your cellgroup; church friends; pastor; priest; Bible study classmates; or Christian petrol station businessman.9/02/2005 11:05:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Wow.
This is 10 year old Joshua Heldreth (nice Star Wars Jesus shirt Joshy). Joshua was arrested and convicted for trespassing on hospice property when he attempted to bring Terri Schaivo a glass of water earlier this year.
As a condition of his sentence he had to perform 25 hours of community service and apologize. Here's the apology:
"I was arrested on Good Friday for trespassing on the hospice center's property. I am not a lawbreaker, I keep God's law. In the Bible it says thou shalt not murder...It says love your neighbor as yourself. In Matthew 25 it says "when I was hungry and thirsty you gave me food and water." Doing it for others was like doing it for God and he called the people that did that righteous and let them into heaven. So I wanted to do the same thing. Not giving Mrs. Shiavo food or water was wrong. The reason I had to go on your property was because Jesus would do the same thing. It made me sad that she was so thirsty and it made Jesus sad too. I knew she would die without water and I am called by Jesus to be a defender of the defenseless. So I had to go on your property to try to bring her a drink."
"I am sorry that you didn't like that and wouldn't allow me to help her. I am also sorry you didn't help save her life and one day you will have to tell God why. I won't be able to help you then like I tried to help her. I will pray for you every day that you will someday have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and serve him wholeheartedly no matter what.
As Phil Rizzuto would say "Holy Cow!"
Not only is this exercise in pedantic dogma not an apology at all, but it shows a scary person in the making. If this is where this kid is at 10 years old, imagine who he'll be at 30. Pat Robertson?
What kind of bullshit apology is this anyway - if I were the judge I'd kick this one right back and say try again propaganda boy. "I'm sorry that you are cruel heartless bastards" and "I'm sorry that you are not emotionally intimate enough with Jesus to know when he's sad" and "I'm sorry that you will burn in hell like the slimy demons that you are" are not really apologies.
THIS is a perfect example of why David Bowie and I are afraid of Americans. If we have ten year old kids running around thinking and talking like this - what hope do we have at rational thought as a nation?
I don't have much more to say other than WTF?!! But I also realize that I may be being a little harsh on the kid, so I'd like to apologize too:
Joshua, I'm sorry that you are a brainwashed, self righteous, evangelical freak. I'm also sorry that you have given up your childhood and probably your adult life to be an insufferable, condescending prick. I'm also sorry that you will probably get married and have 12 kids of your own and ruin all their lives too. And finally I'm sorry that you and your 12 kids will donate 10% of what little money you have to make some preacher even richer than he already is and then spend the rest of your money going to a museum that will tell you that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark and that you'll all be too stupid to not believe them.
How was that?|W|P|112567714953408925|W|P|Great Moments in Brainwashing.|W|P|9/02/2005 12:13 PM|W|P|
Don't despair....he may wake up and change...I use to be the sameway when I was that age....but I grew up and started thinking for myself....people can grow and change. He'll be a teenager soon...what do teenagers do? The rebel...lets hope he gets into punk rock and freethought! There's hope....9/02/2005 12:24 PM|W|P|9/02/2005 12:26 PM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|Of course not, haven't you heard, the Hurricane took out New Orleans because it was a haven for homosexuals - it was the wrath of God.9/02/2005 1:49 PM|W|P|
He should go back to raining fire on cities. It's more impressive.9/02/2005 4:53 PM|W|P|Glyn (Zaphod) Evans|W|P|Nice... Yeah I think that is amazing. The kid had good intentions, but come off it.9/02/2005 8:14 PM|W|P|Codesuidae|W|P|While its possible the kid came up with this on his own, it seems more likely that someone put him up to it. Most kids his age, deeply religious or not, wouldn't do that without adult guidence.
Certainly its possible that he could have, but it just doesn't seem likely.
And I agree with anoni-mouse up there, this kid will start thinking for himself in about 4 or 5 years, and he may completely reject all that bull. Maybe not, but there's a chance.9/05/2005 4:52 PM|W|P|The Bulldog Manifesto|W|P|Wow.
You never know Rudicus. The boy could change. If he does, he will have a great understanding of life.
Good post, thanks!9/01/2005 09:02:00 AM|W|P|Rudicus|W|P|I've been exploring different ideas lately.
I've already told you about The Community Book Project.
Now i'm going to try my hand at some satire.
If you have time, please visit my new satire site Baloney Sauce.
It's brand new, but please let me know what you think.
The Minister of Cool is on hiatus for now.
That is all.|W|P|112558354388727037|W|P|Trying Something Different|W|P|9/01/2005 11:48 AM|W|P|AVA|W|P|The community book project sounds great :)9/01/2005 10:24 PM|W|P|Me|W|P|thanx for sharing the links.....
The Community Book Project is really a good one....
|W|P|Hey, I thought he (God--cuz we all know God is a male--and white) said he wasn't going to destroy things with water anymore---you know the whole rainbow thing? That's it! I'm pissed. not only is he an insensitive prick--he's a liar to boot! |W|P|Do you think he's on his way to New Orleans right now to bring some water to the folks down there? 'Cause they're dying without it too. |W|P|Rudy, |W|P|a christian gas station. Do you think they bless the gas? maybe drink as a scarament? The Church of the Holy Hydrocarbon. |W|P|Unreal. Yet, few of these comments make the mainstream media. Because you know...it's biased towards the left. Please. - Deke |W|P|A real enlightening blog. Don't stop now. Here's the resolve a lot of people are searching for; how to buy & sell everything, like |W|P|GOD DAMN IT - how could they call GOD f'ing unconstitutional. Thats downright disrepectful of the massess of that GOD forsaken GOD damn GOD |W|P|So what happens to the idealists who overthrew the government? What happens to their grand view of the new world they want to create? |W|P|If we truly want to have separation of church and state we have to be willing to make the decisions that support that ideal. Unfortunately, I dont think our culture wants that separation. It seems to me that this country is turning more and more into a place that is opposite of the founding ideals. I wonder if the philosophy of tolerance, and acceptance is truly able to last and if it is realistic. Maybe people who are under persecution move and say they want tolerance, but once they are settled they turn around and persecute others. They want acceptance, but just for themselves. Once they are the ones on top they turn around and no longer spew philosophies of acceptance. |W|P|Then your opinion is that those without parents should never be adopted.. by anyone |W|P|So your argument is that Single Sex Marriage is unconscionable because adoption/donation/surrogate laws don't provide the necessary rights/protections/information for the children? It sounds like your argument should be with those laws/policies and not with the potential loving parents who happen to be gay. |W|P|Blog is informative . Dont't stop. This may be of interest to you; how to buy & sell everything, like |W|P|sounds like a Slick Willy is precisely what they're trying to prevent |W|P|I agree with Zeldon. |W|P|I agree with Zeldon. |W|P|I agree with Zeldon. |W|P|I'm with you on most of the points you make, I feel we would be much better off with a different president. |W|P|