Friday, June 15, 2007

There, there. Shut up boy.

In honor of Father's Day and because I'll be golfing with a buddy rather than posting come Sunday here are a few quotes from my favorite fictional dad-

Homer: Son, when a woman says nothing's wrong, it means everything's wrong. When a woman says everything's wrong, it means everything's wrong. And when a woman says that something *isn't* funny, you'd better not laugh your ass off!

Bart: I want to be emancipated.

Homer: Emancipated? Don't you like being a dude?


Homer: Hey boy. Wanna play catch?

Bart: No thanks dad.

Homer: When a son doesn't want to play catch with his father something is definitely wrong.

Grampa: I'll play catch with you.

Homer: Go home.


Homer: Kids, just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Homer: Books are useless! I only ever read one book, "To Kill A Mockingbird" and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the colour of his skin... but what good does *that* do me?


Homer: Please don't eat me. I have a wife and kids. Eat them.


Homer: Oh, they have the Internet on computers now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So vote once, vote tuh-wice, for Bill McKay... you middle-class honkies.

Dean's thoughts on what's taken as conventional wisdom on the candidates for President-

"Oh noes, not the brier patch!" This one is my favorite. The CW happens to be that Hillary Clinton can't win in the general because conservatives hate her and will turn out in droves to vote against her.

This is just stupid on so many levels. Conservatives will hate whomever the Democratic nominee is, whether it's Hillary or not. Are we supposed to believe that people who spent the 90's watching Jerry Fallwell's "Clinton Chronicles" and the last Presidential election shouting down John Kerry as a cowardly traitor are going to approach the next Democratic candidate for President with an open mind? Who cares what those loonies think?

"My life's an open book." The inverse of the above. The CW is that the thousands of faux scandals during the Clinton presidency some how inoculates Hillary from the revelation of any more skeletons in her closet. Really? Look up "swiftboating." Republicans have learned they can just make shit up about the Democratic candidate and the lazy media won't call them on it.

"Bygones by bygones." Apparently Barack Obama candidacy is about some sort of kinder, gentler liberalism. Or something. How this translates into governance is increasingly to appear to be more attempts to reach out to the 28%ers and try and compromise. Not gonna happen. If the last twenty years have shown us anything they've shown us those people could care less about what the rest of the country thinks.

"The Gipper redux." The only thing Fred Thompson and Ronald Reagan seem to share in common is their chosen profession. The thing that helped Reagan paint-the-pig of some truly horrible, regressive policies was his sense of humor and sunny disposition. Thompson, on the other hand, is dour and grouchy. I knew the Gipper and you, sir, are no Gipper.

"Nyah, nyah - pubs keep the White House." As usual the CW is that the uber-man the Republicans nominate will take the White House as they've done in the last four out of five elections. Whatever. Put aside the dubious nature to a couple of those "wins," the biggest problem that the Republican candidate will face is that they have to run so hard right to win the nomination there's absolutely no way they can get all the way back to the center by the general election. I have a hard time seeing how they can overcome the disadvantage inherent to the fact the base of their party are insane.

"The Road to the White House runs Center/ Right." Nope. The road to the White House runs through America.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Salvation is a last-minute business, boy.

I'm hoping that Talk To Action is simply being alarmist about pending PBS documentary as PBS has declined to provide a screener but the history of the last six years doesn't give me much cause.

Promotional material for the program at the Boulevard Web site suggests that it promotes a radically revisionist view of church and state.

The Wall of Separation is a metaphor deeply embedded in the American consciousness," the company observes. "Most of us take for granted the idea that politics and religion should not be intermixed because of the heritage of The First Amendment in our understanding of freedom of religion. The No Establishment Clause has protected us from the entanglement of religion with government, and the Free Exercise Clause has secured the right for all faiths to engage in their religious practices without interference from the state. America is a religiously pluralistic culture guided by a secular government."

That sounds pretty good. But then the Boulevard promo takes a troubling turn.

"...[W]hat would surprise most Americans," it asserts, "is the discovery that this is not what the Founding Fathers of our country intended when they established our nation and wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They in fact had a radically different definition of establishment and the role of religion in state and federal governments than we do today. So radical, in fact, that some say the modern understanding of the role of religion in the public square is exactly the opposite of what the Founders intended."

So Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others among the nation's founders didn't intend a "religiously pluralistic culture guided by a secular government"? That's totally wrong and very much in keeping with the Religious Right's spin on America's founding.We at Americans United did a little research on Boulevard Pictures, and here's what we found. Although the Web site for the film company mentions no religious or political agenda, its president is Jack Hafer, an evangelical Christian who told one interviewer that Christians have an obligation to "shape the culture" and "spread the faith." He urged Christian young people to go into the arts as "kingdom-spreaders" and as "a form of missionary service."

There's a whole heck of a lot of room for the role of religion in our society and it's appropriate that such a discussion would take place on the public channel on the public airwaves. But this isn't about that sort of discussion. This is about proselytising of a warped Evangelical view of how and why this country was founded. It has no business on my PBS.

Monday, June 11, 2007