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Prup (aka Jim Benton)
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I am curious -- and don't really know -- if the Egyptian military is simply doing a corrupt power grab, or if there is any touch of "Kemalism" in their actions. Kemal Ataturk, who built modern Turkey from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, and who was one of the most fascinating characters of the last century, created a system where the military was charged to step in if there was a threat to Turkey's secularism. (Ataturk may or may not have been a believer, despite his exulting in Islamic 'sins' like drinking and fucking, but he hated the idea of 'political Islam' and did his best to make sure the Imams could never get a hold on his country.) It may be wishful thinking,. but does anyone know if this attitude is part of the mindset of the Egyptian military?
Toggle Commented Aug 20, 2013 on Egypt - No Good Answers at Cogitamus
[sticks head up and waves] Yep, still here, and I will have some stories about the move that has kept me silent -- either too busy or too much pain to even keep up with things for a couple of months, I think this may be the first week since February I've even had a chance to read Benen every day, not to mention write anything. (And the redesign of my room, and the fact that I now use the laptop -- that I have to get down and open instead of waking up to the desktop blinking and calling me has also been a factor.) The move, btw, was merely from the ground floor to the second floor, we sold the house but used part of the profits to pay for ten years rent on the second floor -- the new landlords are the couple next door who want our old floor for their parents and are gutting it and remodeling it beneath us before the parents move in. There'll be plenty of stories about that in the future, if I can manage to keep commenting -- the move has increased my pain level and lowered my mobility quite a bit. (The irony is now that I have a share in more money than I had earned in my life, I don't have that many things left to spend it on.) But politics has been its usual mad, bemusing self. Didanyone catch the story Benen tells about Rand Paul being asked who he wanted as fed Chairman. He said his choice would be Milton Hayek, if he weren't dead, so the interviewer asked him who his 'non-dead' choice would be. His answer? Milton Friedman. (His daddy might be a lunatic, but he's neither stupid -- given his insane premises -- nor ignorant. Sonny boy is both.) Speaking of lunatics, does anyone have any comment other than open-mouthed mumbling and 'this isn't a joke, you're sure this isn't a joke' about the Diana West book, AMERICAN BETRAYAL? West -- who has received praise in both the DAILY CALLER and THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR, and whose book is being serialized by Breitbart, claims that America -- from FDR through Eisenhower -- was, in effect a Soviet satellite being controlled by Stalin in the same way east Germany would later be, that the Soviets made the Americans deliberately provoke Pearl Harbor, that they deliberately prolonged WWII -- instead of dealing with anti-Hitler Nazis and winning peace -- to give the Soviets a chance to take over Eastern Europe. I love watching the Conservatives building up paranoids like this, and trying to keep pumping up the TPers. They forget such a simple rule, that a radical group always has to attack its own side first, clearing away the 'compromisers' and 'sell-outs' and 'INOs' so they have a clear shot at the group that is, supposedly, the 'real enemy.' And, almost invariably, they have so much work -- and so much fun -- attacking their own side that they don't get around to 'stage 2.' The question is how much damage they do before they get slapped down, and how difficult it will be to defuse them and it looks like we are going to be lucky because the answer to both will be 'a lot.' (They've already kept the Senate in democratic hands through two elections we should have lost, and we've hardly seen the last of the O'Donnells and Mourdocks, and I expect more than a few primary attacks on House members as well, this time.) What may make things more interesting is the shift in the main opposition from the Religious right to the TPers. I think the RR has 'shot its bolt' and will begin returning to the political quiescence of the 30s through the 60s. They have lost their last battle with LGBT rights -- the abortion/war on women battle will still be there, but it will be for the right what it's been, sadly, for the left for years, 'important, but not a vote-puller.' (And it may very well be a vote loser, since women vote too, and not always the way their husbands tell them to -- and, ot, one thing I hate about the new-style voting booths is that is is far too easy for a husband to observe his wife's votes. And the fiercely crazy ones, the 7 Mountainers and the IHOP crowd and the Cindy Jacobs will continue their insanity, but I think will not consider that 'ordinary politics' is the way to accomplish 'God's Plan.' (And is risky too. If a person claims to be a 'miracle-working prophet and apostle' -- as many of these people do in all seriousness -- sooner or later they are going to be asked why they were unable to perform the miracle of getting their chosen candidates actually elected.) Oh, and if we get into that further, I am definitely on BBW's side on the paywall question. We DO need professional journalists, we need local coverage, we need spaces big enough to pull all the threads of a story together, and we need less relying on reprinting of AP articles and the like and reprinting canned commentary. And that means money, and money comes from advertising that is determined by readership -- or it comes from the readers themselves paying a higher price for the paper, or paying for entrance through a paywall. (Or it involves cutting an awful lot of jobs in other areas like truck drivers, typesetters, clerks, and other support staff that was more needed for the print work than the on-line production. And there are an awful lot of contracts that were drawn up in the print era that are hard to get out of -- how long were linotype operators still being hired to reset type that was already ready to go from the computer.) Anyway, I'm back, not sure how often, but it feels damn good to see you guys again.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2013 on Sunday Open Thread at Cogitamus
(Finally getting back into writing political comments after a six months 'vacation.' Moving, dusting 2500 books, dealing with the final end of Kittenz' struggle with diabetes, arthritis and blindness, and getting used to my knees on stairs -- some vacation. Not to mention the distraction the classic mysteries I have been able to buy with the additional money from the move.) Anyway, this whole argument shows the usual ridiculousness of Republicans in stark contrast to reality. (Sadly, I have, much less frequently, seen equivalent arguments from progressive Democrats.) The flaw is so obvious it can be invisible. People have more than one identity. It is as simple as that. I am, for example, White Male Bisexual (and the child of a lesbian parent) an Atheist a Baseball fan a Classic Mystery fan a lifelong New Yorker a lifelong Progressive Democrat an anti-racist since I first discovered it (in the letter columns of an early SI, of all places, so my baseball fan status proved relevant) someone who has, until quite recently, only survived through the help of government assistance -- to the point of having lived in a men's shelter for six months 30 years ago an amateur historian and 'legal junkie' who has followed politics since age 10 generally anti-war but not a total pacifist (I approved of Gulf War 1 and Afghanistan, for example) a rationalist and -- in the SKEPTICAL INQUIRER sense -- a skeptic with a particular hatred of medical quackery etc., etc. for at least another hundred factors that make up 'Prup' (including knowing the Gilbert and Sullivan line that is the acronym that makes Prup -- and the radio experience that caused me to discover it). Each of you have 'identities' at least as complex, and it is only reasonably certain you can even tell which will be the relevant piece towards a given decision. Ooookay, now, Mr. Republican, try to get my vote by seeing only, and appealing only to, my 'whiteness.' Let's take another example. A woman, married, three kids and knows they are all she can afford, with a gay sister, and parents who are suffering badly because a) they lost money in the Bush Crash; b) they spent many years tithing to a pastor who proved to be both a con man and a hypocrite -- who had turned them against their gay daughter until they realized what they were doing to her; and c) have serious medial expenses and live in a state where the governor won't implement Obamacare or even provide Medicaid to couples without young children. How likely is she to put an appeal to 'racial solidarity' above these life experiences and go for the local "Christianist," homophobic, Paulista Republican candidate? So go ahead, republicans, take a 'turn to the white' and you'll be left -- behind, that is, and not in the LeHayian sense.
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Cheri: I'm curious as to where this comes from. It seems wonderful and devastating, but I've not seen any other reference to it, and am wondering who turned this up -- in general if the source is anonymous. I just want to make sure it is what it says it is before I start quoting from it all over the blogosphere.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2012 on That Pesky Oppo Book at Blog For Arizona
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Brilliant, yes, but you are forgetting one other thing that will get Romney's numbers falling, and that wil be the Convention (buy TINS of popcorm). Between the platform, the number of TeaPartier delegates running wild (am I the only person who remembers the movie THE GREAT RACE and wants to start calling Boehner the "Mayor of Boracho"?), the Paulistas with their own special mischief, and the definite possibility that the convention could turn down the suggested nominee for VP, this will insure a Goldwater/McGovern-level defeat for Romney, as I have been predicting since February. But that's why I tend to be worried to see the blogosphere focusing too much attention on the Presidential race and not enough on Congress, and particularly the Senate. We've got great candidates, the ones everybody knows, like Warren, and also Carmona, Heitkamp, Berkeley, Baldwin. Missouri will be close -- Missouri is always close, and Kerrey may be simply too far behind, but we should hold on to every other seat we have, and add quite a few, if we only get the blogosphere working together the way it did on 2006 and 2008 -- when we also swept the board. We were responsible for several of the close races, just by building the stories and focusing attention on them.
Toggle Commented Jul 5, 2012 on That Pesky Oppo Book at Blog For Arizona
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There are lots of things to do. Make sure everyone you know is registered -- and volunteer to help them with any ID problems. (Even set up something that will help the general public with this.) Talk up the Congressional Candidates like Carmona, Barber, Morgan, and take people to their meetings. Attend meetings for both parties' candidates and ask questions, ones for our candidates that will give them openings to discuss our issues, ones for theirs that will challenge them. There's no reason why private citizens can't buy small ads in local papers -- even a 16th page that just reads "Hey, Jeff Flake, why did you lie about lobbying for South Africa?" or whatever the story of the week is. (If you own a small business, would it be too risky to include politcal commentary -- ideally short and humorous -- in your ads?) For that matter, get your friends reading Blog for Arizona every day. And if that's too much, and there's a good story -- as there is most days -- print out a few copies and hand them around. Most of all -- and this is a general suggestion, not aimed specifically at BfAZ readers -- remember, Politics is NOT a spectator sport. Blogging is not 'sports talk radio' for political junkies. You can talk all you want, and the Diamondbacks won't make that player move you want. But in politics you can actually DO something.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2012 on How Obama (maybe) wins Arizona at Blog For Arizona
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Oh, BTW, are you sure that using Silverlight for your videos is the right choice? I'd never even heard of it, and am not sure I want to download it until I know more, and it is so new I doubt if many have.
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I am already writing a mention of Morgan to the blog I comment most on, COGITAMUS, and will be mentioning him in Benen's Campaign RoundUp once it is up this afternoon. (And I'm doing a much longer piece on Richard Carmona that I will be putting up in both places and maybe a couple of others. Unlike the Disaster of 2010, where we put up mostly earnestly dull candidates and expected the idiots would beat themselves, this year we have a remarkably strong list of candidates in races we might have -- last time -- ignored or considered not worth supporting, and in races in general. Carmona, Heidi Heitkamp in ND (not a sure loss by any means), Tammy Baldwin, Shelley Berkeley, Elizabeth Warren all are people to vote FOR, not just to vote to keep the Republicans away. So is Morgan, despite his probable loss. But there are a few 'dead hookers' out there that makes me think the races everywhere will be a few percentage points more favorable to Democrats than we think. First is Romney. The results that Steve Benen trumpets this morning are another piece of evidence that Romney has peaked, and that, from here on he can only lose votes. He's put himself in a position where he can't even move to the center without losing more from the base, and that if he tries the 'center pivot' he can't move far enough back to be credible after his earlier comments. (This is true most strongly on immigration, but right down the line as well.) And, by now, even if he could attract the 'uncommitted' there aren't enough of them to replace the voters that he, Bain Capital, Joe Arpaio, the Republican War on Women, the Ryan budget, etc. will cost him from the sane end of the Republicans. And he has no new issues to bring up, and the old ones have made all the converts they could already. And he sure as h**l won't win people over on personal likability grounds. Then there's the convention, and buy your popcorn in laaaarge tins. Usually the candidate and the party leaders are in charge of keeping the delegates in line. But Boehner keeps getting ignored even by the people who have to work with him every day, his own caucus in the House. (Any other fans of THE GREAT RACE out there who get the reference "Mayor of Borracho"?) And Romney keeps getting undercut by his own surrogates -- see numerous Benen posts. And they are going to try and control several thousand political newcomers, ideologues -- and some who have decided, in their first trip away from home, to 'investigate the reality of sins' so they can speak against them -- of course. Then there are at least a half dozen states where Paulistas have grabbed the party away from the organization. (They were smart. In caucus states, they knew they wouldn;t get delegates pledged to Paul. But they knew the actual delegates would be named after most of the caucus goers went home, and they stayed put. They may be pledged to Romney, but not to the party line, his ideas, or to anything but stirring things up. Okay, now imagine what sort of a platform the Paulistas and TPers will come up with, and how Romney will respond when challenged about it. Remember, in the two classic electoral disasters of the last fifty years, Goldwater and McGovern, both landslides started out with out-of-control conventions. There was a time when they even looked winnable, too. (I was 18 when Goldwater ran, but the voting age wasn't, so I was unable to vote for LBJ, but I watched politics then as much as I do now.) In fact, the people who are arguing "Romney's weak, but there are so many Republicans who hate Obama that he's bound to be close" should replace "Romney" with "McGovern" and "Obama" with "Nixon" and change "Republicans" to "Democrats" and you'll read the pundit's take on 1972 about in June of that year. So maybe, if we stay awake and start remembering the 50-state strategy, we might find a lot of sure losses turning out closer than we think. Including the young Mr. Morgan.
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Sorry for the awful typing. My cats were reminding me I was late for their dinner and I was distracted.
Toggle Commented May 27, 2012 on Spooky politico-cultural analysis at The Gleaner
Have to disagree. I hope you are wrong, but I also think you are. The one reaction Romney is least likely to inspire is "He's 'one of us.'" I expect the reverse is much more likely, in fact, it's a large reason why i expect that, by November, Romney's numbers are going to be down in the Goldwater/McGovern area. (Another reason is the convention, which, this year, may increase the country's popcorn consumption, between the Paulista mischief and a platform that will be as horrific as the recent Iowa State Republican Party Platform.) The thing about Romney is that almost everyone has had an experience, an unpleasant one, with someone like him. If you were bullied in High School or College, the odds were it was by someone like Romney -- even if you and the bully were both female. The stupid Boss' son that git the job you tried for, reminded you a bot of Romney, didn't he? The loan officer at the bank who looked at you with such contenpt that you pretended you just wanted to borrow a pen and got back on the regular line, the perfect image of Mittens. If you are female, and you immediately cover your drink and protect it if a guy walks into the same party or bar, that guy could be the pal of the young Willard Romney. The corrupt villain on last night's tv show, the evil businessman, dressed with Romney's perfection. (And SUPERNATURAL fans will see similarities between Mitt Romney and Dick Roman -- who is seen giving a large contribution to 'The Conservative Party.') The guy in the Beamer who grabbed the parking lot you'd been trying to get for fiteen minutes, sorta seems familiar as well, when you watch a political ad this year. There are a lot of political reasons why Romney will lose badly -- basically any position he takes will cost him more votes than it can win him, and there just isn't a large enough pool of undecided (male, white, straight -- his party has already cost him available women voters) voters to make up for the losses. But i think that, contrary to your Gibbons example, he will stir up the sort of primoridial empotions that will keep people wanting to vote for him from actually pulling the lever.
Toggle Commented May 27, 2012 on Spooky politico-cultural analysis at The Gleaner
My sound card is busted -- and my wife is asleep so I can't borrow the laptop -- but the ad looks good, and powerful. But I have one complaint with it -- and warning, I expect to be saying the same thing about twenty times, because I don't expect it to change. I am (insert half-page of profanity here) tired of Democratic Presidential Candidates refusing to admit they are members of a pretty damn good party, the Democratic Party. I'm not voting for some individual named Obama who happens to be running for President, I'm voting for the supposed leader of the Party whose policies and ideals have, for many years, been close to how I wanted to see America change. (I wonder if I would be voting for him without the Party. I'm not an FDL-type idiot who sees him as an evil monster, but I don't consider him as having done that great a job. He reminds me of the center foielder who always gets a bad jump on the ball, takes a dubious route to it, but whose speed and sure hands let him make spectacular plays on balls that should have been easy outs.) Anyway, can we start possibly hinting to the White House that we are proud to be Demcrats, and wish he'd show the same pride -- and that it might just help, not hurt, the down-ballot candidates?
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Let me echo Bruce J, with details and a bit of perspective. As I've said too often, but maybe not here, I am a 66-year old lifelong Democrat. (The last Republican I supported was Thatcher Longstreth running for Mayor of Philly -- and he was running against the 'Democratic' Frank Rizzo.) I will support and vote for Obama this time -- against any member of the current Republican Party, even a ticket of Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln would be an unquestionable improvement. But, from my perspective -- okay, I wasn't as aware of the Fifties when i lived through them as I became when I went back shortly afterwards to understand what I'd witnessed -- a President who was: 'disappointed' when the Republican party turned down an offer of $4 Trillion in spending cuts and no real revenue increase, who has consistently spoken of debt reduction as being as important as spending increases in stimulating the economy -- and much more important than protecting the safety net -- and who has never, afaik, made the case for Keynesianism, who has never even said "To get people working there has to be demand, and it is the government's right and duty to stimulate demand when the private sector fails" and who has never once even spoken of those people -- a prominent part of his constituency, who happen to be living below the 'middle class' or paid the slightest attention to them (and who even repeated the myth that 'poor people can use Emergency Rooms as Primary Care Physicians') and who continues to ask 'why are the Republicans complaining about my programs when i took them mostly from Republican sources?' is somewhere to the right of Dwight Eisenhower and barely to the left of Robert Taft. Nor is this the only problematic area, for President Obama and for the Democrats in general. At a time when most corporations treat their gay employees in stable relationships as being married -- even in states where this creates legal difficulties -- Obama has, at best, fought for them being given the 'rights of married people' but has never once stated that he accepts that a same-sex marriage is as valid as an opposite-sex one. (Imagine a Northern Democratic politician in the 60s and 70s making the same distibction about interracial marriage. That would have been a short career.) Or Education. That was a prime priority for both all Northern Democrats and most "Eisenhower Republicans." Both groups -- besides whatever compassionate impulses they had -- saw a strong public school system, a strong support system for college-bound students, and an educated workforce in general as vital to the economic progress we were making. Today we see an assault on public schools and public school teachers' unions from every Republican -- but where are the Democratic candidates making supporting public education an issue? One last point in a rant that is already too long -- but which could go on twice as long. On abortion, i think of the women -- yes, and men for the marching, but only women could do the testifying -- who fought, marched, and testified to their own pre-legal abortions all to make sure that all women had the RIGHT to choose an abortion. (And rights are something people have inherently and retain whether they use them wisely enough to satisfy others -- see Phelps, Fred) Now, at least before the Republican "War on Women" became too blatant to duck, Democrats defend abortion with 'pity parties' for the poor, innocent girl who got pregnant out of rape, incest, or ignorance -- and has there been a Democratic candidate in decades who has simply stated "Roe was a good decision, rightly decided, and women -- all women -- have the right to choose an abortion for whatever reason satiosfies them and their doctors. Even if it is for a reason that disturbs us, we have a right to question the woman, to try and convince her to reconsider, but, in the end it is her right and it must be defended whatever we think of how it is used. 25-yard line? We're almost scoring an 'own goal,' or would be if the Republicans weren't playing in a different field across town, leaving us to run anywhere we want on the field of reality.
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Thane, le me ask you a question I've been trying to get an answer from from some conservative who is a hawk on immigration restriction. How are you going to deal with non-Hispanic 'illegals.' There are people in this country illegally from all cultures and countries, but somehow the conservatives have gotten us to think of the terms "Hispanic" and 'illegal' as synonymous. (Ironically, a higher percentage of some of these groups are here as part of criminal enterprises, either as 'foot-soldiers' in ethnic gangs -- e.g., Irish and Chinese and some Russians and Eastern Europeans -- or as workers in anything from sweatshops and brothels. Yet it is the Hispanics -- and in some cases Midde Easterners and South Asians, y'know, Muslim, so maybe terrorist -- who ae targeted, and they are here mostly to just work.) But 'anti-immigrant' laws are never used against the other groups. They could, of course, and anyone a policeman hears speaking with an accent could be stopped and 'may I zee your papers, pleeze.' But somehow I think any business that depends on tourism would protest a bit. So, will you explain how an 'ani-illegal' policy that you would frame would be enforced equally, instead of merely against 'illegals whose names end in z"?
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And following up on that, and your earlier comment to Thane, what if a person was a member of the Armed Forces before he ran, and had been stationed abroad. Again, it is a nasty can of worms -- and totally unnecessary since one of the strongest political weapons against a long-time incumbent has always been that he has 'lost touch with his district.' It belongs there, not in the legal arena.
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Sorry, but still disagree -- its rare enough that I disagree with you, let me savor the moment. I think it would be unfair in that it would require candidates to prove how much time they spent in and out of the state -- and you can bet your blog that the Republicans would be the ones that used this most heavily against Democrats, not the other way around. But -- wish Id thought of this before -- its also an impossible legal case to make. The Constitution holds that the Congress shall be the sole judge of a members qualification, so any Federal Court would throw the case out. In State Courts, if they took the case, would you really want a Mississippi Republican State Judge ruling on the residency of any Democratic Congressmen they didnt like very much. Besides, in this case, Lugar is one of the few Republicans who -- only occasionally -- will choose honesty and honor over his Partys positions. If the Republicans are ever going to regain the point of view of a Loyal Opposition rather than the insane obstructionist position they are currently in, maybe we need a few more decent ones -- though Ill admit that if I were his constituent Id be voting against him as I have against every Republican since I voted for Thatcher Longstreth over Frank Rizzo for Mayor of Philly. Prup Politics is NOT a Spectator Sport. Do it, live it, dont just talk about it.
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I'll go with Lugar on this, even though he's 'pushing it.' Congress works full-time, and it would be unfair to force a Member to legally prove his residency every election. But it's a great political weapon, which may help his TP Primary opponent -- and will defintely help our candidate against either one.
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Then there was the Congressional Candidate (actually in Massachusetts) in 2010 -- a cop who had been fired for covering up his partner's penchant for arresting (and strip-searching) teenage girls for the crime of 'driving while nubile.' Something he *ahem* failed to stress when he made his police career the center of his campaign. (Fortunately, he was too much for the voters to stand even in 2010.)
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Oh, dear, you still need the reading comprehension class -- and not just because you called me 'Purp.' (It's a common mistake, but my name is a Gilbertian Acronym I've used for 6 years and am proud of.) Much more importantly, I specifically stated I'd be the first to protest such a governmental mandate -- not behind the delis -- supermarkets, in fact -- but in front of them. But that is precisely what the Obama position is. It is the bishops who want to go beyond that. (And, btw, I doubt if they'd want to stand too heavily on the Declaration. One of the 'usurpations' mentioned refers to the Quebec Act and its provision allowing Catholics to freely practice Catholicism -- something the American colonists -- by then mostly Protestant -- did not like.) To continue my analogy -- ignoring that, for Jews, 'Kashruth' applies only to believers and that, as a sacrifice, only 'counts' when done voluntarily -- imagine the city mandated all supermarkets must provide $10 lunch vouchers for their employees. The kosher owners protested that they would be responsible for paying for 'treff' food -- even if bought by non-Jewish workers. So the first suggestion is simply to prevent the vouchers from being used for pork, cheeseburgers, shrimps scampi, etc. That's not good enough. "What if they use the vouchers to buy dessert, and use the money saved to buy pork chops for an entree." So the next suggestion is that, if a person buys any non-kosher food, the restaurant won't charge them for it or accept vouchers but will eat the cost -- hoping to make it up from other purchases. (An exact analogy to the Obama position.) No, the owners said, the vouchers for other stuff go into the restaurants' profits. We insist that you make all vouchers for any employee of ours, whatever his or her religion or lack of religion, invalid in any store that serves any non-Kosher meals. That is not only absurd, it's theologically unsupportable in Catholic terms. (I have been an atheist for almost 50 years, but I was raised Catholic and went to a Jesuit High School, and have, obviously, remained fascinated by the details of various religions.) Contraception is (for Catholics) 'against the Moral Law' but unlike abortion is not intrinsically evil to the point where any Catholic who takes part in one -- even on a non-Catholic -- is theoretically excommunicated. (I am unaware if a similar rule applies to becoming involved in a state-run execution -- since Catholicism considers the death penalty also immoral.) But contraception does not rise to that level. Catholic druggists may sell or dispense contraception and still go to Communion -- I believe. (Even if they sell it to someone they know is Catholic? Less sure.) I am not sure that even the strictest Catholics consider the use of contraception by a non-Catholic as inherently sinful, any more than a non-Catholic eating meat on Friday. The level of sin is higher, but the principle is the same. Therefore, the Bishops are simply wrong -- even from a Catholic point of view -- in their position if it impinges on non-Catholic employees.
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Yes, Nidan, and you are the one. The Kennedy quote was, a 'best' an expression of a personal belief, not a statement of policy. More likely it was mere political boilerplate, needed especially to be heard by people still dubious about having elected the first Catholic President. (Even if it was a statement of personal belief -- and I disagree with AzBM that this is necessarily a revival of "Divine Right" since I have heard similar statements from believers who were firmly on the left -- basically 'so, what?' Unless this statement did have policy implications, it is meaningless. As an atheist, I may have all sorts of disagreements with believers, and consider them as -- in this area -- fools who can't 'weigh evidence' but I accept their 'right to be wrong' even if they are a candidate seeking my vote.) The Madison statement seems -- given the number of dubious quotes floating around I'd like to confirm its accuracy -- to come firmly down on AzBM's side of the argument, if you think about the title. Madison was speaking out against citizens' being taxed by government to support a Church -- allowable because the Bill of Rights did not apply to the states and the last 'established' religion in a state wasn't disestablished until, I believe, after Madison's Presidency had ended. His argument was either -- I don't have the complete piece at hand -- 'citizens may not be taxed to support a religion that is not theirs' which was true of religious assessments at the time -- or even that 'people may not be compelled by government even to folow the tenets of their own religion.' In either reading this is what the Bishops are attempting. To use a comparison, I happen to live in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood here in Brooklyn, with a substantial number of Observant Orthodox, which means that most of the local supermarkets are Kosher, don't sell pork or cheeseburgers, and close for Shabbos. Now I would be the first person on line fighting some mad bill that would force all supermarkets to sell pork, or to be open seven days a week. They have every right to observe their own rules -- and the quality of one of them is high enough that I'll rush out -- as I just did -- to get there before it closes. But I'd be first on-line as well protesting some demonstration by local rabbis -- maybe joined in by imams from the adjoining Pakistani neighborhood -- trying to prevent the secular stores from selling pork products - and that, basically is what the Bishops are trying to do.
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Thanx for this. I have already recommended it to several people, including at least one who can reach the ears of a certain union leader to whom it should be relevant. (But you might consider posting his wife's "History of My Body" as a response to the anti-immigrant voices. (Not sure why the YouTube link doesn't show up, her name is Marie Elizabeth Mali.)
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Just saw this and called my Congresswoman's office, and would expect Yvette Clarke to be on the final list.
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I should have added that it is probably more likely that the looting itself was not from an "Islamic motive" but was just a typical example of 'angry poor people attacking" - what they see as - "rich people's toys.' I do blame the Islamists in Egypt -- including members of the Mubarak Administration -- for failing to stress the importance of Egypt to world history, and for the 'before Mohammed all was irrelevant darkness' attitude towards ancient cultures that is a frequent component in Islamist -- and yes, in Christianist -- culture.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2011 on A crime against Humanities at Blog For Arizona
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I would like to agree with 'mbryanaz' but -- while the Egyptian revolution is not an "Islamist" one despite the ravings of the bigoted half of the right wing -- there is a tendency in Islamic thinking to dismiss antyhing 'pre-Mohammed' as, basically, irrelevant -- and, among the more rigid of the Selafists -- 'idolatrous.' So while I am in general agreement with the positin that 'this is up to the Egyptians to decide and we should just shut up and stay out of it,' protection of the antiquities, along with no retreat on what little has been gained in the fields of women's and gay rights and the rights of Non-Muslims, strike me as demands we have every right to make of any new government that arises.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2011 on A crime against Humanities at Blog For Arizona
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You missed another part, I'd guess. 'The Executive also recognizes additional charters may not be eligible.' These are not 'for profit' according to the previous. Now what type of school could possibly 'not be eligible' for federal funds? Anybody else answer 'religious-based schools' or 'Christian Academies'?
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Sorry guys, while I would -- if I traveled at all -- join the 'human shield,' the proposed law has been ruled unconstitutional so many times it is a shame to see it again. The Phelps clan may be -- no, are among the most despicable humans on the planet, but as Americans they have free speech. And they aren't violent themselves. (There is a persistent story, possibly apocryphal, that their goal is to stir up violence against themselves and sue their attackers - that that is one way they support themselves.) And Fred Phelps has literally no following outside his own family, not even among the growing (or getting ever more loud) group of current homophobes. (In fact, he serves as a shield for them, who can condemn him, or simply argue that 'well we aren't as bad as the Phelpses.' Much the way as the White Citizens' Councils could use the KKK.) And I hope no one will argue that 'oh, that's okay, the law will be ruled unconstitutional, but before that happens the funeral will be over.' Not from someone who has been so strong a defender of the Constitution against the hideous SB1070.
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