Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The dumbest thing Hillary has said, ever.


Hillary Clinton said,
"Anybody who committed a crime in this country or in the country they came from has to be deported immediately, with no legal process. They are immediately gone."
This is not a position, it's a sound byte. Even the pure America-For-America anti-immigration wahoos should be able to see through this.

Without a legal process, we won't know for sure that someone actually did commit a crime. Heck, without a legal process, we won't know for sure that someone is actually an illegal immigrant.

And people who committed crimes in their country of origin, say, the crime of opposing a dictator and fighting for democracy? Those anti-Saddam folks a few years ago? Or the Burmese poet Saw Wai for instance, who was arrested last week for writing a love poem with the hidden message "Power crazy Senior General Than Shwe." (military dictator of Myanmar)

Or identity crimes like the crime of driving while female in Saudi Arabia? Or the 77 countries in the world where it is a crime to be Gay?

I guess there's really only one thing to say,

Oh for God's Sake!

(I'd missed this until now. Thanks to Debitage, for not writing on environmentalism quite yet)

Monday, January 28, 2008

GW vs. the Pats vs. Crystal Meth Throwdown

Tonight at 9 pm EST, I can either watch the worst president in American History* share more bullsh, um, er, misperceptions, or a show about the Patriots and the Business of Winning on CNBC; or Tressa the Olympic athlete crystal meth addict on Intervention and watch an hour long train wreck followed by a 2 minute celebration of sobriety (we hope).

Boy oh boy, how ever will I decide. The pressure is intense.

I may have to read a book.

Oh no, wait, the Karate Kid is on VS. Phew, it'll be ok, I won't have to remember how to read.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wendy Wright, Pres CWA, Proud of being Olbermann's World's Worst Person

on Jan 2, 2008. She earned the moniker by stating, (on FOX, quelle surprise,) that advocates for comprehensive sex education benefit when teens contract sexually transmitted infections or become pregnant and have an abortion. Though called out for this morally reprehensible accusation, she repeated it.
Wright told CitizenLink her newest title is actually a positive thing.

“The overwhelming response I am getting from Olbermann’s award is hearty ‘Congratulations!’ ” she said. “More importantly, it has provided a wonderful platform to spotlight the common-sense point that earned me the title, that comprehensive sex ed promoters profit from the ill effects of their products.”

He's had better last words tho'.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Cruise in his own words

about Scientology on Gawker, which, unlike other media outlets, claims they won't be pressured into taking it down.

But I'd suggest you watch it now before you lose the chance.

When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help. We are the authorities on getting people off drugs. We are the authorities on the mind.... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures. Now is the time. Being a Scientologist. People are turning to you. If you are a Scientologist, you see things the way they are, in all their glory, in all their complexity... It's rough and tumble. It's wild and woolly. It's a blast. It really is. It is fun. Because damn it, there is nothing better than going out there and fighting the fight, and suddenly you see -- boom! -- things are better. I want to know that I've done everything I can do, every day... I do what I can. And I do it the way I do everything.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I don't know which disturbs me more

The idea of Al Mohler as President of the SBC, or Will Smith as a Scientologist.

According to the New York Daily News (I know, I may as well cite Santa) he gave wrap presents to his crew, consisting of personality tests at their local Scientology center.

Ever wonder that those personality tests consist of, these insightful tools to determine how Scientology can help you?

Operation Clambake has posted it here. It's worth a look.

Albert Mohler - the Southern Baptists - and what ever happened to Molly Marshall?

Albert Mohler is running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention. It would be another step deeper into fundamentalism (and yes, that is possible) for the Convention if they elect him.

My favorite comment about this thus far is a blogger Kyle McDaniel, a youth pastor and owner of the blog Southern Baptist Convention.

Lousivlle, Ky's "Courier Journal," has weighed in on the news that Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been nominated and is running to be the next President of the SBC.

This is a pretty good article that includes some great quotes from Dr. Mohler and Dr. Hershael York. Though they include people who oppose his candidacy, it is a pretty good article.
The typos and links are his, the emphasis is mine. We certainly wouldn't want our press to show differing opinions now, would we?


You can delve into the ucky-land of Al Mohler directly at his blog and radio show at http://www.albertmohler.com/ or by association by clicking the link in my side bar to the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. (he sits on their governing board).

Or find and watch the documentary Battle for the Minds, which is an incredibly well told story about the earlier days of the political/theological battles within the Southern Baptist Convention, and Al Mohler who was then President of Southern Baptist Seminary, who ousted Dr. Molly Marshall, a woman who was arguably their most brilliant theologian at the time.

Dr. Marshall, after being Professor of Theology, Worship and Spiritual Transformation, is now the President of Central Baptist Seminary affiliated with the American Baptists, and "in full support of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship."

Who are the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship? (golly, seems like there are more kinds of Baptists than there are individual Baptists) The CBF are the moderates who came out of the Southern Baptist Convention after the fundamentalist takeover. They believed that the fundamentalists running the SBC had departed from their Baptist roots and joined with a religio-political fundamentalist authority structure that was in direct opposition to Baptist polity (autonomy of the local church).

Another of Kyle the Youth Pastor's blogs, Theology, addresses Dr. Marshall's "lurch leftward" into the theology supported by Christians for Biblical Equality. Apparently his wife's church, years ago, hadn't noticed her "liberalism and her gender as head of the church."

Maybe more than you wanted to know.

Finally, Dr. Marshall's statement about theological education is one I really like and will reprint here.

I view my vocation as an “equipper of ministers,” a midwife of grace who helps deliver what I discern is struggling to be born in the lives of students. Theological education is a process of discovering and refining calling and gifts—learning where one’s “great gladness meets the world’s deep need,” in the words of Frederick Buechner.
Molly Marshall

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Megachurch Vision Statements (You're Not Likely To See)

The very funny people at the Wittenburg Door have come up with these very funny Vision Statements. (external link, totally worth the click through) See also My Messiah-Matic while you're there.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Fox News - Frank Luntz - unbiased polling NOT!


Fox News broadcasts an undecided voter in a Frank Luntz focus group.
Curiously enough, he was also an undecided voter last Sept 5 for Frank Luntz and Fox.

oopsy daisy.

This video shows these two "interviews" and a clip from a Penn & Teller piece on how to make data work for you, starring, yes, Frank Luntz.

look out mom, the cursing is still there, but somehow it seems to fit.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A great line-by-line exegesis of a Concerned Women for America Article

Judge Declares the Declaration of Independence Unconstitutional .
I am delighted someone (else) will take the time to pull apart the ramblings of anti-American theocrats. Particularly those theocrats who have their knickers all bunched up right now for Rev. Huckabee for President.

Concerned Women For America is a right wing organization (and not so many women at all actually) which claims to promote biblical values and family traditions. Their newsletter circulation is 200,000, their membership estimates ('cause they won't say) are between 250,000 and 750,000, and the numerically specific "lots and lots" read their material on the internet.

The LeHayes, founders of CWA, distributed endorsements of Huckabee all over Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, at least in part via the CWA email lists of pastors, saying
“America and our Judeo-Christian heritage are under attack by a force that is more destructive than any America has faced” [since Hitler] “Defeating the radical jihadists will require renewed resolve and spiritual rearmament by the evangelical pastors in America.”
In case you forget how seriously Mike Huckabee takes his theocracy, watch this.

Values Voter Summit comments are from the Family Research Council's 2007 event.

But I digress. Bay of Fundie has done a wonderful line-by-line exegesis Concerned Women Declare Independance from Brain, of the recent CWA commentary: Judge Declares the Declaration of Independence Unconstitutional.

It is important to know how they think, for "they" are often people in our families and at our jobs (tho' usually not my job,) and seem to be a tremendous percentage of Iowan voters. It's not enough to oppose them and think they're wrong and vote for our favorite progressive alternative, we need to know how to logically dismantle the falsehoods, implications, and just plain bad reasoning in most of their arguments in our day to day lives.

And even if you don't read it, the photo at the top of Fundie's article is worth the link click all by itself.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Best coverage of the Iowa Caucus

At 8 pm. I will be listening to Air America Radio while reading the MSNBC crawl and watching their graphics.

Air America's coverage will include Rachel Maddow, David Bender, Thom Hartmann, Arianna Huffington, Sam Seder, Ron Reagan, with special guests including Howard Dean and George Stephanopoulos.

But wait, there's more!

My friend Rachel Maddow will simultaneously participate in the Air America live team coverage, and guest spot on MSNBC. How? It's a miracle of technology. When not on MSNBC, which she says want her "on deck" in case they want to use her, she'll be on the phone from the green room, or backstage closet, wherever they put her (probably not a closet, wink wink nudge nudge)

Well, ok, she's not my friend, but she lives just over the hill from me and we drink coffee in the same places and have incredibly similar politics and sensibilities. So if I were, like, a stalker or something, we'd be best friends.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

White people are prescribed narcotics for pain more than others racial/ethnic groups

AP via Yahoo News.
"The irony is that blacks are the least likely group to abuse prescription drugs."

Emergency room doctors are prescribing strong narcotics more often to patients who complain of pain, but minorities are less likely to get them than whites, a new study finds. Even for the severe pain of kidney stones, minorities were prescribed narcotics such as oxycodone and morphine less frequently than whites.

The analysis of more than 150,000 emergency room visits over 13 years found differences in prescribing by race in both urban and rural hospitals, in all U.S. regions and for every type of pain.

"The gaps between whites and nonwhites have not appeared to close at all," said study co-author Dr. Mark Pletcher of the University of California, San Francisco.

The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. Prescribing narcotics for pain in emergency rooms rose during the study, from 23 percent of those complaining of pain in 1993 to 37 percent in 2005.

Even with the increase, the racial gap endured. Linda Simoni-Wastila of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Pharmacy said the race gap finding may reveal some doctors' suspicions that minority patients could be drug abusers lying about pain to get narcotics.

The irony, she said, is that blacks are the least likely group to abuse prescription drugs. Hispanics are becoming as likely as whites to abuse prescription opioids and stimulants, according to her research.

In the study,
opioid narcotics were prescribed in

31 percent of the pain-related visits involving whites,

percent for Asians,
24 percent for Hispanics
23 percent for blacks.

Minorities were slightly more likely than whites to get aspirin, ibuprofen and similar drugs for pain.

In more than 2,000 visits for kidney stones,

whites got narcotics 72 percent of the time,
Hispanics 68 percent,
Asians 67 percent
and blacks 56 percent.

The rest of the AP article on this, sans cranky formatting, but with theories as to the WHY of this, is here.
This is the original.

White people. Can't hardly see 'em half of the time, but they seem to get all the good stuff.