Archive for September 21st, 2010

September 21, 2010

Defending Obama From Ideological Labels

by thefulllidvmg

Barack Obama was labeled the following by Charles Krauthammer:

“This is no ordinary Democratic administration. It is highly ideological and ambitious. It is determined to use whatever historical window it is granted to change the country structurally, irreversibly. It has already done so with Obamacare and has equally lofty ambitions for energy, education, immigration, taxation, industrial policy and the composition of the Supreme Court.”

Andrew Sullivan rebuts. His full rant is worth reading:

I think the notion that this administration is ideological is bizarre. Did it nationalize the banks when it could have? Nope. Did it withdraw troops immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan? Nope. It followed Bush’s timetable on Iraq and has massively – and foolishly – doubled down on counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. Did it prosecute the war criminals of the last administration? Nope; it has covered for them. Has it raised taxes on anyone? Nope. It merely wants the already-sunsetted Bush tax cuts on the wealthy to expire on schedule. Did it provide a Krugman-style stimulus? Ask Krugman. Is Obama a peacenik? I suppose we have forgotten that he used the Nobel ceremony to defend Reinhold Niebuhr, has retained extraordinary rendition, and ramped up the troop-levels in Afghanistan to far beyond anything Bush ever contemplated. Has the president publicly backed marriage equality or pot-decriminalization? Au contraire. Has he even risked an iota of political capital to end the ban on gays in the military? No. In fact, it is now more likely than not that gays will still be persecuted by their own country by the end of Obama’s first term. Compare that to Clinton’s early efforts – in a climate far more conservative on the issue. “No ordinary Democratic administration.” You mean – like LBJ’s? This is preposterous piffle.

I was amazed to find last months edition of The New Republic today. In it, I believe John B. Judis does a fine job documenting Obama’s fall as a populist favorite. Mitt Romney was recently quoted as saying that Barack Obama has united the country indeed, but only in unison to oppose him. I feel for Obama because what he is pushing with his agendas, his support lent towards others, his own morals, and his appearances to the world is past most American’s comprehension, patience level, and moral capacity. That is a hard road to walk. He is deeper than I expected and it looks as if much of the country against him is playing catch up. But I could be hopelessly wishing or too in tune to the right wing circus show. In the end, Obama approaches his policies and our countries woes in a piece by piece manner refusing to approach with a wide brush all the while fighting an uphill battle against the tidal wave of our economy and an unaccountable right of center party.

September 21, 2010

An Attempt to Document Christine O’Donnell

by thefulllidvmg

Think Progress did a decent job putting together a wide array of stories on the GOP primary winner (labeled a flake by her own side) from Delaware. Be careful to read into each claim because some of them do not treat O’Donnell fairly. Here is one:

In a lawsuit, O’Donnell falsely implied she was getting a masters at Princeton. In her suit, O’Donnell had considered not taking a job because “she had applied for admission to a Masters Degree program at Princeton University, to start in the fall of 2003, and was concerned that the ISI position would not fit with her plans.” However, as the Weekly Standard reported, “in fact, O’Donnell had not yet received her bachelor’s degree at that time and had not been accepted to a master’s program at Princeton.” [Weekly Standard, 9/12/10]

September 21, 2010

What About The Children? Malignancy Rooted in the Marriage Debate

by thefulllidvmg

Updated; added a link to DADT below (as of 9/21/10 at 8:49pm)
Andrew Sullivan continues on with the sulfuric same-sex marriage debate by reading the cover story by the National Review. He and I agree that this issue, along with DADT, are absolutely a theological issue first and a political issue second. The NRO stance echoes the Vatican doctrine of marriage: primarily for procreative purposes.

The article is a mass of non sequiturs. It assumes that if marriage is “for” something—regulating procreative sex—then using it for anything else must be “against” marriage, which is like saying that if mouths are “for” eating, we mustn’t use them for talking or breathing. It claims (conjecturally) that marriage would not have arisen if not for the fact that men and women make babies, from which it concludes that society has no stake in childless marriages.

Since this is primarily a theological issue, this all can’t be solved in political terms. Even court rulings dictate what is legal or illegal but cannot override the popular consensus amongst the church pertaining to same sex marriage. The key verses that are always thought of in mind, sometimes even recited verbatim on call, are Genesis 19 (make sure to read Ezekiel 16:49-50), Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:9-11. See chapter 7 in Love is an Orientation for a better effort than I can ever muster at unpacking those “Big 5″.

The material to dig through related to this topic is literally endless. The material I have read, in short listing, has been enlightening but in my eyes (and the eyes of a graduate from a feminist woman’s college) has fallen short of fully encompassing the subject.

I could pontificate about the annals of political movements dabbering with this subject, but that is all downstream from the ultimate priorities and beliefs that make up the foundation of the same-sex marriage polemic. A spiritual mentor of mine in college, who is happy with being a neophyte when it comes to politics, always said that politics are downstream from our hearts, our faith, and our religious beings.

September 21, 2010

Let’s Colour

by thefulllidvmg

Via TDW, “Mural painter MWM makes walls dance in Marseille, Lyon, and Paris, to the tune of “Walls Are Dancing” by Monsieur Monsieur“.

H/T: TDD

September 21, 2010

The War on Christmas

by thefulllidvmg

Tis the season…is coming. Take back (control) your country, Christianists.

At The Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit of the Day: Ted McGinley (AKA Stan Gable AKA Jefferson D’Arcy AKA Mr. Scream) and Daniel Baldwin (AKA The other, other Baldwin brother) star in Christmas with a Capital C — a straight-to-DVD holiday turkey about a godless Grinch desperately trying to steal Christmas from the good, God-fearing folks of Seward, Alaska. It’s the feel-good movie of the Rapture!

September 21, 2010

GOP Plans for Health Care

by thefulllidvmg

They may have some decent ideas.

September 21, 2010

What Are We To Believe?

by thefulllidvmg

Brett McCracken has a fine article (you should read it all here) asking what are we to believe in this dubious world of deception, lies, and tabloids that we live in:

I saw the film Catfish this weekend–a documentary about a Facebook relationship. The film observes photographer Nev Schulman during his online romance with “Megan,” who he gets to know on Facebook (along with her whole family). As the film progresses, however, Nev begins to have doubts about who Megan actually is. Is she a real person? What would happen if he tried to meet her in person?

The film (which you should see) demonstrates our contemporary longing for connection in a world that is increasingly surreal, virtual, and subject to doubt. It underscores how prone we are to trust what we feel to be real, even though experience increasingly proves our skepticism warranted. Should we believe anything anymore? What can be trusted?

We used to trust authority. Presidents, politicians, pastors…  Not so much anymore. It’s hard when the media constantly feeds us stories of the scandals, dishonesty, and hypocrisy of these formerly heroic, respectable officials.

MJ and I had a relative conversation about this yesterday. We wonder if Sarah Palin truly believes that America has nothing to apologize for, if Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly actually believe all that they preach daily at the Church of Fox News, and if all the tabloids at the grocery store check-out are true, exaggerated, based on assumptions, or plain lies?

In cases such as Casey Affleck, which is the center of McCracken’s article, we assume to know that he was lying about his life (or parts of it) over the past two years. The sad part is there seems to be little fact checking in the tabloid world and main stream media. In these realms of glitter, glam, and photographs, you are guilty before you are proven innocent. Worse, there are not court rooms for you to plead your innocence. As heretical as this may sound to the media junkie or realist, are the annals and details of our president, movie stars, or odd neighbor down the street ours to know or possess?

(Image: Lindsay Lohan after one of her drug run-ins. Her picture provoked the thought: how much of what the media (or her own self) reports is real?)

September 21, 2010

187 Non-Edible Ways to Use Pig Parts

by thefulllidvmg
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