Tommy Christopher of Mediaite tells of how the guy who heard voices from a microwave and killed a dozen people could buy any firearms he wanted but would have been stopped in Virginia from obtaining Ninja throwing stars.
Mad Mike's America is there as a Republican Congressman bemoans being stuck in his low salary position in Congress. Only 172 thousand a year. There is an explanation that involves more than the headline.
The Heathen Republican proves that you can make a good point by emphasizing the words of others. He quotes Peggy Noonan on American exceptionalism. Very good as far as it goes. What it misses is the next level beyond self-congratulation. Exceptionalism is best defined as a struggle toward an ideal.
Lots of racist reaction to an American of Indian descent being chosen as Miss America. News Corpse notices a Fox personality complaining that a real American from Kansas should have been chosen instead.
- Those who have never been owned by a pet cannot know. Conservative James Wigderson and his family mourn the loss of a wonderful dog.
Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot goes briefly biblical in introduction as he examines the history of horrible weapons turned toward peaceful application.
Cory Booker once related how a victim of violence died in his arms. National Review thinks evidence shows he is lying. Tommy Christopher of Mediaite reviews that evidence. Seems Booker may only have worked to try to keep the victim alive until emergency crews got there. It's ambiguous on whether the guy was dead when they arrived. Seems like the bigger story, the one Booker didn't mention, is his all out efforts to save the victim. National Review's efforts to expose Booker continue. Good job there, National Review.
At News Corpse we learn about the noble campaign by Fox News to educate America how lazy poor folks are exploiting hard working wealthy people.
Michelle Obama wants kids to consume less soft drink and more straight water. Scientists say the case for more water is demonstrated by observation, but has not yet met the rigorous requirements of scientific study. Conservative James Wigderson, who often let's opportunities for overstatement go by, connects on this one. He begins by asserting that "science says that’s just quackery." Yeah, that's what he says. He goes on to slam bottled water because of all the plastic used to make the bottles. Don't worry. James is an excellent writer. He'll come up with something better next week.
- PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, has a few pointed remarks about a poll to decide which candidate should become an astronaut.
The Heathen Republican contemplates the conflict in Syria. He analyzes alternatives to missile launches, considers possible outcomes, applies what may be our national interest, and reaches a conclusion. As is often the case, he shows a talent for clarity as he educates us.
Kent Pittman, writing from Open Salon, seems to have mixed feelings about international application about force, but defends the process of making the decision by proxy. It is, in part, what representational democracy is about.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite has a good memory for conservative fantasy. Just a few months ago a shrinking Republican base voted for a candidate who promised to invade a Syria that does not actually exist.
It's a miserable job, but News Corpse takes on the sisyphean task of educating Fox News, this time about whether mainstream media gave President Bush a terrible time leading up to the Iraq invasion. Push that boulder up the steep hill, News Corpse! You can make it!!
Compassionate conservatism is back as Last Of The Millenniums notices the extraordinarily narrow focus one Republican has developed for just a few people in Syria.
For some reason, Obamacare related costs are amazingly high as reported exclusively by states controlled by conservative Republicans. Documented insurance bids in populous states are astonishingly low.
Two recent independent studies that got into the long grass to see what was happening at the granular level. They tend to support the success of the program, so far. They find costs lower than previous estimates.
Wisconsin, controlled by Republicans, is pessimistic and has issued comparisons reflecting that comparison. Conservative James Wigderson regards the Wisconsin verdict is conclusive proof that Obamacare is very, very bad. He wonders why stubborn proponents don't just accept that as fact. He finds other unrelated lessons equally evident. My reaction is here.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster is against voter suppression efforts. But she finds voting rights largely meaningless if those who are not party members cannot vote to decide who political parties will nominate.
I dunno. Targeting minorities, blocking legitimate voters from casting ballots, strikes me as the more primal evil.
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, is a firm advocate of atheism. he seems a bit bemused at some attitudes in older advocates toward young upstart atheists who don't share all the values of the veteran anti-theists.
- Vincent of A wayfarer's notes reviews a book centering around the exotic pagan rituals taking place in the psychedelic corners of Battery Park in New York City.
You may notice several prodigal writers, excellent and provocative, who have re-appeared on the web, joining those of us who have missed them.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite credits Bill O'Reilly for admitting he screwed up. But others continue to insist there were no Republicans at the I-have-a-dream anniversary because none were invited. Tommy reviews the facts and asks why Republicans themselves cannot accept responsibility for refusing their individual invitations. Seems an obvious question.
What if, what if. Max's Dad contemplates the conservative should-have-been world in which the April, 1968 assassination did not occur and Martin Luther King lived on to become a right wing Republican. For some reason, Max's Dad is skeptical.
Speaking of which - - Conservative T. Paine is back for a bit at Saving Common Sense (Yay-y-y-y!) He explains how Barack Obama is emblematic of the failure of America to measure up to Dr. King's dream, because he has so miserably disappointed conservatives. T. Paine is, as I see it, correct in a way. The reaction of conservatives does represent some failure to measure up.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster celebrates a victory for the independent voter movement, in part as a significant advance of black rights in South Carolina . I dunno. I'm thinking that conservative sponsorship of voter suppression, deliberately making it harder for targeted people to vote may have a larger impact.
Ryan at Secular Ethics examines the reasoning presented by Rush Limbaugh for his religion based disbelief in Climate Change.
Conservative James Wigderson continues his annoying habit of thoughtful commentary. Republicans are pushing for a law to make English the official language of Wisconsin. James suggests it's not a good idea to pass a law whose only apparent purpose is to annoy minorities.
Dave Dubya is back (Yay-y-y-y-y beyond Yay-y-y-y-y) with a weird theory that, despite the valuable lessons conservatives have taught to a grateful nation, there is a difference between corporations and people. Odd fellow, but we should be glad he's with us, despite being ... you know ... human.
The Heathen Republican is back (Yay-y-y-y-y). He repeats a common argument, with a new twist, against increasing minimum wage. A low wage employer offers to bet the job of any employee on whether he can't get lots of applicants at minimum wage. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the case protesting employees are making. In fact it has been the argument of collective bargaining for over a century and a half. The market for an individual job is not a good measurement of what is fair. There are intelligent arguments against minimum wage. If Heathen digs just a little, he will find them. This snide Romney-on-the-cheap bet ("How about it? Ten thousand bucks?") isn't it. My take is here.
Gwendolyn Barry with New Global Myth is back (Yay-y-y-y-y-y-y Plus!). She suggests, based on a source in the Russian government, that the chemical attack in Syria was launched from rebel held territory. That sounds slightly more plausible than her conclusion: that the Obama administration is covering up the true source. Seems to me the administration has been hoping and praying the Assad regime didn't do it.
Gwendolyn's theories are at least on this side of sanity. News Corpse brings us the musings of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who discerns a clear connection between Syria and Obamacare. This isn't tail wags the dog. This is tail wags all six degrees and shakes Kevin Bacon.
Mad Mike's America explores whether hell hath fury like a tyrant scorned, as the former girlfriend of North Korea's dictator is executed.
- Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot is entertaining and informative as usual. He explains the history and development of air crash survival techniques.
Without historical reference, conservative James Wigderson unwittingly reprises FDR's Fala accusations. It seems the Obama dog is wasting tax dollars in military travel. These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on President Obama, or his wife, or on his daughters. No, not content with that ... they now include his little dog, Bo.
Okay, the answer to James was already given on September 23, 1944:
Mad Mike's America hears about a sort of mad conspiracy hybrid. It involves a large combo of Obamacare, gun lists, and ... well ... electroshock. Well, someone has to do it.
- PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, gets some negative blowback from Christians after he publishes a piece in the Washington Post on how atheism can find true happiness. I have a hard time forgiving anyone who manages to get published in the Washington Post. But it is hard for me to relate to any Christian outrage against atheistic happiness. Atheism doesn't work for me, but that's about as far as I can take it.
Vincent of A wayfarer's notes discovers that looking for a literary agent is like seeking a second date. Except, with Vincent, a lot more entertaining. Anyone who knows an agent might want to do that agent a favor, and point out Vincent.
When I was a kid, I came upon a sermon, second hand. The preacher said he did not believe in a namby-pamby Jesus. His Jesus was a strong man with callused hands, angry, overturning tables. Our friend Why do we have to do this, Sir? goes on the parallel trail of Luke 12, talking about Jesus the divider.
A few weeks ago, my friend T. Paine, who writes at Saving Common Sense offered his own proof of God. Ryan at Secular Ethics answers. There are, he explains, dangers to arguments based on intuitive knowledge. I have learned to anticipate with some glee those invariably wise and thoughtful posts from Ryan. But I confess a certain bias in all this. I use a variation of what Ryan describes as T. Paine's logic in support of a different point.
Earlier this year, conservative James Wigderson took a look at public education and an effort to grade the graders. This week he publishes a response from an education official. All of which demonstrates facts about two personalities: James is a gentleman and the official makes a reasonable case and does it reasonably.
Like Dan Quayle, I'm no Secretary of State. Just an interested citizen. That's enough to allow me an opinion or two about Egypt. At The Moderate Voice Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes offers a bit more, an account of Egyptians she has known as friends, including a childhood playmate. She fears many are suffering now.
Max's Dad finds virtue in a two party political system, and invents a sort of reverse IQ test to determine which political party best suits you. Scientific. Matchmaker type of thing. Only ... you know ... not.
I remember the beginning of Bizarro World in the Superman universe of DC Comics. Everything was the opposite of Earth. For example, on Earth intelligence was valued, and on Bizarro htraE, lack of intelligence was honored. News Corpse brings a report of Breitbart News starting an opposite-of-Media-Matters watchdog site. If they weren't Bizarro, they would start with Breitbart. Newscorps offers a few suggestions.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite fame reacts to a new Buzzfeed scoop. It seems MSNBC has been engaged in an undercover strategy: airing as television personalities those who use twitter a lot. You may not think of the Buzzfeed scoop as much of a scoop. But wait until their story on the great color plot. Snow is white. Leaves are green. The sky is blue.
- Jack Jodell, at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, does his research. He profiles Sean Hannity. Jack seems somewhat disapproving, but refrains from rant.
A large proportion of folks my age and older have been uncomfortable with Barack Obama as President. At The Moderate Voice, Ron Beasley tells us support for Republicans among the elderly may be in decline as a party intent on destroying retirement care loses some of its quaint attractiveness. Racial identification loses its charm when the goal is to slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to finance tax loopholes for the wealthy.
Who can forget the breaking news revealed by the conservative website, the Daily Caller? A US Senator had a sexual relationship with an underage prostitute. Except the story turned out to be bogus. Now Tommy Christopher of Mediaite checks out another scoop. It seems Ebony magazine, the publication with a mostly young African-American readership, fell for a hoax, reporting it as fact. HaHaHa, silly minority owned magazine. One detail, though. The folks at the Daily Caller forgot to read Ebony before making fun of them. Ebony mocked a story about conservatives boycotting the magazine. The primary joke here seems to be the Daily Caller. Silly non-minority news site!
Racism is often experienced as a series of "misunderstandings." Mad Mike's America brings us a clerk who doesn't recognize Oprah, but seems to recognize her skin color. Couldn't possibly afford to be there. Racism is typically more frequent and more severe.
Lots of right wing hoaxes these days. Last Of The Millenniums tells us of a viral email from a very bigoted Bill Cosby. As you may expect it's a fake, made up by a conservative presumably from Massachusetts. The real Bill Cosby turns out to be a very ticked off non-bigot.
You think Steve King says stupid things about Hispanic valedictorians? Max's Dad explains the latest entry by the Representative from Iowa for idiot of the year. Climate change is okay because Steve King likes to be warm.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, is upbeat. It's contagious as he provides inspirational wisdom from historical personalities.
- Vincent of A wayfarer's notes listens to a BBC program on the writing experience and describes the only way he knows how to write. He describes it as a limitation. If he gives up that handicap, I just hope he knows what he's doing. He's astonishing now, probably because of "limitations."
Brandi Martindale guests at The Hankster to explain why voters are rejecting the political party system and embracing independent life. I have expressed my skepticism concerning the popular pox on all houses approach.
Republicans in a House committee ganged up on Sister Simone Campbell about food stamps for hungry kids and the working poor. Speaking softly, she gently made mince meat of each of them in turn. Max's Dad takes a close look at one of the attackers and conducts his own analysis.
Republican Congressional representative Steve King has been making headlines with bigoted comments about Hispanic immigrants. Rumproast reminds us that his is not a lone Republican voice, crying in an ignorant wilderness.
News Corpse watches so we don't have to as Fox follows up on their cringe-worthy interview with a Muslim scholar who dared to commit research on Jesus. The Fox interviewer was shocked at the nerve of this follower of Islam. Now, Fox accuses the scholar of being a Muslim, and accuses mainstream media of bias against Fox over the resulting coverage. It's not just doubling down. It's doubling downward.
A cautionary story comes via Mad Mike's America. Christians are protesting about atheists as military chaplains. The story isn't just about intolerance. The hidden part, not easily seen, is about the often too successful effort by conservative Christians to hijack the message of Jesus, and the acceptance of a false picture by some outside the clique. The point is unintentionally made in the first sentence: "There are few words you can say to a Christian that cause as much anger as 'atheist.'" We need to learn from the picture others have of us. That is our feedback.
Jack Jodell, friend of the working blogger at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST, looks at unfettered capitalism and primary historical alternatives. He finds a workable third way in nineteenth century teachings of the Catholic Church.
James Wigderson suggests that civil disobedience in the form of an illegal demonstration is pointless if it is crazy easy to get a permit. He covers a conservative sing-along to ... uh ... demonstrate the point.
- Vincent of A wayfarer's notes introduces us to the long time, close personal friend he just now met for the first time, and his friend's short story about important family relationships in Calcutta.
Dave Dubya of Freedom Rants considers the candidacy of Senator Mike Enzi's very good friend, Liz Cheney as she encourages conservative voters to throw her very good conservative friend under a conservative bus. With friends like Liz, who needs Enzi?
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite vivisects the conservative untruth that in 2004 an Illinois State Senator named Barack Obama supported Stand Your Ground. He watches as a mainstream media figure mindlessly repeats the lie.
Rumproast watches as a public utility hosts a public meeting to rile residents about gays, prayer, and Muslims, while they quietly move charge rip-off rates for ... you know ... electricity. Great deal. Bundle utilities in with bigotry and get charged more.
Mad Mike's America finds out why the Cardinals here in St. Louis, leading the division, are not doing even better. It seems God is not on their side. You know, there are some Creators of Heaven and Earth you just shouldn't mess with.
Ryan returns (Yay-y-y-y) to Secular Ethics, examining how an atheist can be good without God. Being a gentleman, Ryan suggests that "reasonable theists do not ask this question in the first place..." I remember engaging a similar question a couple of years ago with my friend John Myste. Christians have something to learn from writers like Ryan.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, objects to the characterization of all religion as an appeal to superstition. He seems to agree that most religion is superstition, but maintains that Catholicism is the exception Actually, a few of our congregation will think he meant Methodism.
Vincent has been gone for weeks. Now he is back at A wayfarer's notes with a newly written book a story behind the story. We are excited at reading, not just what he has written, but how he has written. How does he do that?
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, gets into the lengths that he and fellow researchers go through to avoid alienating the most important people in his department: custodians.
News Corpse times the Fox News reaction to the President's discussion of race and the Trayvon Martin case. It involves a bit of time travel. Obama is criticized before his remarks are complete.
Tommy Christopher of Mediaite reviews President Obama's discussion of the Trayvon Martin killing and the larger issue of racism, and notes what seems to be the major conservative objection: There was little sympathy expressed for angry, resentful white conservatives.
Kent Pittman, writing from Open Salon, analyzes the evidence and concludes the courtroom actually housed two trials, the verdicts of both being outrageous. I am sympathetic to the opinion that the killer committed a crime. I think it was worse than most critics believe.
Rumproast looks to largely fictional conservative coverage of protests surrounding the Trayvon killing and the strange accusations about President Obama's first statement a while back, intended to comfort a grieving family.
Michael J. Scott of Mad Mike's America gives sympathetic review to comments by Geraldo Rivera implying that shooting Trayvon Martin was justified, in part, by the hoodie he was wearing and his presence at night in a gated community. An unusually ill-conceived piece from a remarkable writer.
Conservative James Wigderson greets the coming visit to Wisconsin of Ann Coulter as a featured speaker with a lack of enthusiasm. My own opinion was expressed a few years ago in recalling a childhood incident.
Max's Dad reacts to those who react to a Magazine cover that reacts to the surviving Boston bomber. Seems Max's Dad subscribes to the Rolling Stone, not for the pictures, but for the articles. The article in this case, examining the origins of pure evil, is quite good.
Max's Dad is so-o-o-o tired of the Zimmerman trial in a state where it is legal for a guy with a gun to go after a kid armed with skittles as long as he later says he was losing the resulting fight when he shot and killed the kid.
A John Wilkes Booth sympathizer who really dislikes Abraham Lincoln and advocates for the angry and oppressed white people of America is on the payroll of Senator Rand Paul. Tommy Christopher of Mediaite seems unsympathetic as the Senator explains that the big tent of the GOP must include those in the camp of armed rebellion and assassination. The party of inclusion.
Last Of The Millenniums brings us the savage Senate debate on the filibuster, including personal attacks, as today's Mitch McConnell argues with McConnell of 2005. It's a bloody conflict.
- Our developing spiritual leader at Why do we have to do this, Sir? is inspired by class registration and a baptism to contemplate Jesus sending 70 followers to prepare towns and villages along his journey.
Every year the presidents of Sears Holdings’ (SHLD) many business units trudge across the company’s sprawling headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., to a conference room in Building B, where they ask Eddie Lampert for money. The leaders have made these solitary treks since 2008, when Lampert, a reclusive hedge fund billionaire, splintered the company into more than 30 units.
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Infidel 753 analyzes the coup in Egypt as part of a struggle between Islamists and secularists. There is a passing reference to pressing problems. Those pressing problems may actually have been more decisive than religious authoritarianism. At any rate, we can hope for eventual freedom and democracy. All things considered, a thoughtful analysis, especially considering the cloud of immediacy as events sort themselves out.
Sometimes the human experience goes to irony. News Corpse explain how uber hacker Rupert Murdoch was himself secretly recorded admitting to US legal violations and British perjury.
Conservative James Wigderson provides a lesson about how the nature of public specuation provides clues to reality. He takes us to a case study, contrasting the likely good fortunes of Wisconsin Governor with the dimming prospects of the Mayor of Waukesha.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster celebrates Independence Day and a perfect record, so far, in getting enough names on petitions to put politically Independent candidates on the ballot.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, brings forth summary and praise for freedom and founding principles. I am especially struck by one small part, his endorsement of immigration. "America though was different. To become an American one only needed to pledge allegiance to our free republic and the principles of liberty enshrined in its founding." Contrary as this thought is to contemporary conservative orthodoxy, it serves as a reminder that not all conservatives hold to identical ways.
Last week our friend T Paine lamented the tolerance of so many Catholics for gay relationships. This week Michael John Scott at Mad Mike's America begins his piece on about an anti-gay radio show rant with Oh those intolerant Catholics!. It's an entertaining piece, because it centers on gay food, but the first sentence struck me as funny.
Max's Dad seems amazed at the inability of Ohio's Governor John Kasich to see anything wrong with surrounding himself with a bunch of old male legislators at the signing of yet another law restricting the ability of women to make their own abortion choices.
Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot looks at this time 150 years ago, and concludes that financial end of the Confederacy happened in early July, and with it went the prospects of perpetual, formalized slavery.
News Corpse reacts to the DOMA demolition by hosting an angry debate as Justice Antonin Scalia rages against Justice Antonin Scalia.
Our friend T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, is disturbed at members of the Catholic Church for insufficient anger at gay marriage. Seems not everyone lives up to his high standards. Some even consider such principled stands as that of my friend as some sort of ... how does he put it ... bigotry. Click to share the pain.
When I was a little kid, Howdy Doody and Buffalo Bob were the big thing on Saturday. My mom caught me climbing on the piano to push the time ahead in the belief it would make my program come on early. At Mad Mike's America, we discover that the Texas state legislature made time stand still, turning back the electronic time stamp, pretending midnight hadn't come, to pass their women-can't-have-abortions bill. Sadly, Howdy Doody will still arrive in a special session.
James Wigderson is really upset at the intention of President Obama to address climate change. So far, the President wants to stop public funding of any coal production that happens without retrofitting for cleaner air. The cost of details that are as yet unformulated by the administration are calculated with precision by the prescient James. You can tell he is upset when he refers to Wisconsin as the "diary state." No criticism intended. I was once referred to in print as Butt Deming by a later embarrassed friend.
Jack Jodell at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST takes a slightly different approach to Presidential history. Rather than a highly condensed, largely useless, rote summary of each White House occupant, Jack provides one or two direct, representative quotes illustrating the philosophy of each.
Tired of Zimmerman trial commentary focused on an involuntary teenager's language, attitude, and appearance? Tommy Christopher of Mediaite does something unusual in the world of journalism. He analyzes actual testimony. You know. As in what happened?
Ryan at Secular Ethics walks us through his journey, part emotion, part observation, part reasoning, arriving at a status of atheism. It is as hard to tell where this ends for him as it is for any of us. But right now, this minute, Ryan has something to teach those of us who may have grown too comfortable in our beliefs and accompanying rituals. Worth a read, then some sober contemplation.
- Infidel 753 brings us back to author of I Am Legend Richard Matheson. Infidel provides some of the subtle insights Matheson combined with his adventuresome stories.
Jack Jodell at THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST transitions from a lament about our willingness to sacrifice freedom for security to a case study in the value of faith in a crisis. I don't see the security/freedom choice as entirely binary. My apprehension comes from another direction. Jack's case of faith is stronger but probably not compelling to those not already committed. Should we believe what comforts or what we really see as truth?
Max's Dad, scourge of conservatives, is less than impressed with NSA leaker Ed Snowden. Why bother with national debates, elections, weighing security and privacy to find common ground, special judicial proceedings, when the slacker who came in from the cold is willing to appoint himself to decide?
"...because, you know, the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." That was Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ). Mad Mike's America brings us a variety of reaction, some of it surprisingly understanding.
News Corpse has the details of the great bicycle conspiracy, from its resurrection at the Wall Street Journal to its reburial with Colbert. Being of a certain age, I remember the long ago beginnings that others have forgotten.
PZ Myers, writing for Pharyngula, gets to the hard, hard core of the controversy around a descendant of Mexican immigrants singing the national anthem. Oddly, my grandparents, on one side, immigrated from the Ukraine. If I led the Star Spangled Banner at a national event, I'd be thrown out for non-racial reasons.
At Why do we have to do this, Sir? the erstwhile spiritual teacher ventures, with an aging colleague, into the traumatic universe of sex education in a classroom of kids. No mention of later therapy for the teachers.