Monday, July 19, 2010

On The Internets 07.19.2010

  • Very exciting news from Australia. The nation's newest Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is an atheist. A person's religion (or lack thereof) is not supposed to be a factor in politics in the supposedly enlightened Western world, yet we all know that it is. Religious freedom to most Americans seems to be the right to pick a faith of their choosing, but not to choose none at all. In the US, atheists make up an estimated 15% of the population (a number which I believe is much higher, but the stigma that religious zealots place on atheists makes many keep their beliefs to themselves), yet have zero political representation. None. Australia's Ms. Gillard is a fine example of showing respect for the faith of others, without pretending to share those views. "For people of faith, I think the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine." Exactly.
  • Kudos to the National Tea Party Federation for cutting off all ties with racist Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express. There is no place for racism in politics, and I am happy to see the tea party movement finally policing its own. “We, in the last 24 hours, have expelled Tea Party Express and Mark Williams from the National Tea Party Federation because of the letter that he wrote which he, I guess, may have considered satire but which was clearly offensive,” said federation spokesman David Webb Sunday on the CBS program 'Face the Nation.' "And that is what we do. Self-policing is the right and the responsibility of any movement or organization,” he added. Mr. Williams, for his part, is not going quietly. He claims to still be a major player in the movement, despite his recent demotion. The Tea Party Express, however, has not cut ties with Mr. Williams, and says he has done nothing wrong. Tea Party Express was created largely by Republican operatives.
  • The whackjobs from the Westboro Baptist Church were in Omaha last weekend to protest the funeral of deceased serviceman, Edwin Wood, who died recently in Afghanistan. These disgusting and twisted zealots protest military funerals with signs that read, "God Hates Fags" and "Thank God For Dead Soldiers." Somehow, they believe, their bigotry and hatred makes sense. Thankfully, there were hundreds of counter-protesters. Among them were the Patriot Guard, a group of bikers that formed in reaction to the Westboro Church, and seeks to shield the families from having to see or interact with the WBC lunatics.
  • This was a bit of a surprise to read. Syria has banned the wearing of the niqab (aka the veil that some Muslim women wear that covers everything but their eyes) at its universities and colleges. "The order affects both public and private universities and aims to protect Syria's secular identity, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue. Hundreds of primary school teachers who were wearing the niqab at government-run schools were transferred last month to administrative jobs, he added." Interesting.
  • According to a new poll of Florida voters by Public Policy Polling, 55% of those planning to vote for Gov. Charlie Christ think he should caucus with Democrats if he gets elected. Only 22% think he should join the Republicans. The very popular governor used to be a Republican, but was forced out over his support of the Recovery Act of 2009.
  • KISS will be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight. Set those DVRs.
  • Heavy.com has assembled what it calls the "20 hottest pictures of Olivia Munn." I've seen lots of hot pics of Ms. Munn, but I'll let you decide if these are, in fact, the hottest.
  • The July 31st Concert For Equality in Omaha is sold out. You're S.O.L. if you didn't already snag a ticket. The concert is a benefit for the Nebraska ACLU to fight Fremont, Nebraska's new anti-immigrant law, and features Bright Eyes, Cursive, Gillian Welch, and reunions from seminal Nebraska bands Lullaby For the Working Class and Desaparacidos.
  • If you're not too busy tonight, check out the new Fox show, The Good Guys. The new cop show/comedy stars Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks, as partners in the Dallas Police Department. It follows something of a traditional cop show path - one guy is straight laced and by-the-book, while the other is hard drinking, rule breaking, and lazy - but it is mixed throughout with comedy. Whitford is the lazy one who provides most of the humor, and he plays it brilliantly. The Good Guys does not re-invent the wheel, it just makes a decent wheel. And I crack up every time Whitford shouts out his catch phrase, "Let's go bust some punks!"

7 comments:

T. Paine said...

Wow Dave! Vacation did you some good. I don't even have any serious disagreements on this posting to gripe about, sir. :)

Welcome back!

Dave Splash said...

Huh. I don't know what to make of that...

Dogmeat said...

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Tea Party for electing Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown since he voted for the Financial Reform Bill and help the President of the United States with another legislative victory, thank you Tea Party. Have you heard of “Unintended Consequences” or “Blowback”? Was he working for the Tea Party, himself or our Country, hmmm only you can answer this one?

The problem is this. Tea Party candidates will win a number of these congressional races because local districts are often safely partisan in nature. They can make their wild, unfounded claims, crazy accusations, etc., and win. That means not only are we likely to see an increase in Republican seats in both houses, we're likely to see more antics, more insanity, more stupidity. At the same time they're going to do everything they can to derail Obama's policies which will likely mean high unemployment, a moribund economy, and more compromises on policy positions that make no one happy.

That could literally mean that if the Republicans put up a legitimate candidate in 2012, they could win. Such a result is bad enough, but the likely response for the Democrats is to move further to the "middle" to placate voters. As we've seen over the last decade, the "middle" in American politics is basically on the verge of being an 80s Republican. Increasingly that means we'll have a political landscape of a conservative party and ratfuck insane parties. The former, given it's track record, slowly moving to the right, the latter, given it's track record, loudly screaming "socialism, communism, fascism!!!"

If we continue on this course, privatization will be socialism.

Dave Splash said...

Fortunately, Dogmeat, the teabaggers have lost pretty much every race they have entered. Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, California, etc have all been lost. Hell, a bagger even lost the Republican primary in Alabama of all places! Scott Brown was a victory claimed by the bag, but he denied he was one, and now they all hate him anyway for putting the country ahead of his party.

A few did win Republican primaries, but the results are still not in on those. The teabagger candidate has all but assured a victory for Harry Reid in Nevada, and thanks to Rand Paul, the Dems have their best chance in a long time of winning a Senate seat from Kentucky. In Florida, Rubio is costing the GOP a seat because of his bagginess.

The entire tea party "movement" is overhyped. These folks are disgruntled, far right Republicans. They are also known as the GOP base.

To quote Chuck D, "Don't believe the hype."

But, your concerns about the Dems being so far to the "center" (aka the right wing of just a few decades ago) are valid. There is no liberal party anymore. There is a center-right party and a batshit insane, extreme right party. That is troubling.

T. Paine said...

Considering the fact that the seizing of huge corporations by the federal government, the un-Constitutional mandating that all citizens must purchase health insurance simply because they are alive, and the gargantuan increase in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government has all occured in the last few years, I find your worries that the country has shifted too far right to be out of touch with reality!

Dogmeat said, "they're going to do everything they can to derail Obama's policies which will likely mean high unemployment, a moribund economy, and more compromises on policy positions that make no one happy." Excuse me, sir, but what the heck do you think we have currently due to the annointed one's policies?

I'd quit with the Kool Aid and start sharing the Jack Daniels if I were you two... :) Cheers!

Dave Splash said...

If the country were as liberal as you claim, we would have national health insurance. Instead, "Obamacare" did what the right wanted: extended the life of a completely unnecessary industry, the health insurance industry.

The fact that the health care bill assured the continuation of private insurance, yet is still bashed as "government health care" shows the country is so extremely to the right, that the actual left cannot even be seen or heard from any more.

W.C. Varones said...

Dogmeat,

I'm quite happy with Scott Brown.

He voted for the fake financial reform bill, which is fine. While there's no financial reform in it, it's generally harmless. So Scotty gets to look like a bipartisan compromiser to his leftist Massachusetts electorate by voting for a meaningless bill.

As for "helping the President," go ask your friends and neighbors, "Hey, what do think about that awesome financial reform? What a win, huh?" As if a complete farce of a bill written by the corrupt Dodd and Frank is going to swing any moderates or turn out any base.

Go Scotty B!!!

As for the overall Tea Party, sure there are some nuts. But mainstream Republicans (Boehner et. al.) are the ones who drove this country into a ditch along with Bush and the Democrats. We need reform so desperately that I'll take a few kooks along with the wave of reformers.