Fascist. We are too steeped in personal freedom to contemplate it. Naomi Wolf argues in the Guardian that there are 10 essential ingredients to a fascist state - and Dubya seems to be using them as a "to do" list. That's old news.
Most days I believe that the American process is will circle back to sanity again. I have a lot of faith that it will. Some days, like today, it's harder than others.
There are so many prominent characters out there who espouse beliefs that are nothing but distilled hatred, nothing but marching orders disguised as thoughtful analysis.
Rush Limbaugh: Limbaugh: Cho was a liberal -- Liberal as bogeyman. In another complete mystery, Limbaugh comes up with a song called, "Barack The Magic Negro" and played it live on air. I would love to be a fly on the wall when Limbaugh discusses this "content" with his editors. I would like to record his editors approving this stuff.
Pharyngula is absolutely right, Dinesh D'Souza is a contemptible ghoul. He seems to imply that, because the Richard Dawkins wasn't invited to speak at the Memorial Service for the Virginia Tech students, all atheism is discredited. He writes
o no one's surprise, Dawkins has not been invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community. What this tells me is that if it's difficult to know where God is when bad things happen, it is even more difficult for atheism to deal with the problem of evil. The reason is that in a purely materialist universe, immaterial things like good and evil and souls simply do not exist. For scientific atheists like Dawkins, Cho's shooting of all those people can be understood in this way--molecules acting upon molecules.
If this is the best that modern science has to offer us, I think we need something more than modern science.
May I add, to no one's surprise, D'Souza has not been invited to speak to the grieving Virginia Tech community, either. What this tells me is that they have no interest in hearing from lunk heads who twist an incomprehensible tragedy into a bigoted, senseless diatribe. Hey hotshot, did you stop to think for a second that one of the people that was killed may have been an atheist?
Well, it's official. The Supreme Court doesn't care about women's health: "High Court Upholds Curb on Abortion." Thank you, Roberts. Thank you, Alito. You've confirmed what we all knew when you were appointed.
I know the decision's pure crap, but for an expert legal opinion on why it's crap, read the dissent.
The Nation recently reported a poll that indicates 59% of Republicans want to get out of Iraq. We will be in Iraq for a long time yet, but at least it looks likely that bi-partisan progress on withdrawl can be made.
In 2004, the Independent ran a story on Patrick Henry University, a right-wing-fundamentalist Christian college that managed to place over 100 interns in the Bush White House.
Now it seems that a college founded by the radical cleric, Pat Robertson, has supplied over 150 graduates to the Bush Administration. In particular, one Monica Goodling, who is currently taking the fifth regarding her role in engineering the firing of seven DOJ attorneys.
It will take a long time and a lot of work to dethrone the Christian Taliban. But it's gotta be done. These folks don't believe in the same secular constitution and Jeffersonian Democracy that has basically defined freedom in the world for the last 220 years.
Good. It's about time everybody stopped pretending it's a real news outlet instead of a venomous spigot of propaganda. Presidential candidates shouldn't attend debates sponsored by the Weekly World News, either.
Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating any particular news outlet. CNN, MSNBC and most of the network biggies are just as complicit in the metastasis of the objective beat reporter into the cancer of bullying, shouting, jingoistic "infotainment." It used to be that you had to scrounge for the agenda in the news. Now you have to scrounge for the truth.
Rock on John Edwards and Obama. Now, if ALL the candidates could just tell ALL the news outlets to take a hike, maybe set it up so that the debates could be mediated by a jr. high school speech teacher or something. We could let the media just show up and turn on the recorders and cameras and get the hell out of the way.
What especially caught my eye was the downward trend in iparty identification:
Even more striking than the changes in some core political and social values is the dramatic shift in party identification that has occurred during the past five years. In 2002, the country was equally divided along partisan lines: 43% identified with the Republican Party or leaned to the GOP, while an identical proportion said they were Democrats. Today, half of the public (50%) either identifies as a Democrat or says they lean to the Democratic Party, compared with 35% who align with the GOP.
No they aren't. They are going attempt to take some baby steps back to our basic American Values and the values of free people everywhere. Habeas Corpus? Yes, please. Close the stain on the legacy of American Democracy known as Guantanomo Bay Prison, which is where our country toss suspicious looking people that haven't been charged? Yes, please. An end to illegal government spying? Definitely. A return to government transparency? Please, thank you, can I have some more?
A couple of days ago, I read Glenn Greenwald's excellent, but depressing, commentary on the state of the American Media. Watching Chris Mathews, Richard Stengel, Norah O'Donnell and Gloria Borger yuck it up about whether or not getting Rove to tell the truth about his role in the DOJ attorney firings scandal is good or bad politically is a little like watching them chuckle about whether the child-diddling priests from Boston should be charged... HA! HA! Those kooky parishoners! I think they are just a little full of themselves, don't you Nora? HA!
You see, in a case like that, they would be talking about the facts of the case, not the political ramifications of action or inaction. Nobody is widening a conflict with Bush. He is an after thought compared to the real stakes - preserving some shred of liberty and decency for our country in the face of a set of values that does not hold them dear at all.
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