Romantic comedy.

The one-year promotion for Comcast’s digital phone service includes two premium cable channels thrown in, so we now get HBO, Showtime and Starz and you know what that means — we now get eleventy-jillion channels with nothing to watch, but with all their on-demand crap, there’s usually something worth spending 112 minutes with on a Saturday night when you’re already tired.

So it was that I found myself watching “Black Snake Moan” by myself. Alan didn’t even make it to the opening credits, which come at about the five-minute mark. At every five-minute point afterward I considered joining him, but there was something compelling about this Southern Gothic train wreck. Writer/director Craig Brewer is the luckiest man in Memphis. First “Hustle and Flow” and the Oscars, and now Samuel L. Jackson playing the lead in his tale of a broke-down southron bluesman who chains Christina Ricci to a radiator?

Why does he do this, you ask? Well, Christian Ricci has “the sickness,” which in medical terms is known as Dick Deprivation Syndrome. Not five minutes after French-kissing her soldier man goodbye as he heads off to Iraq, this after a full-tilt horizontal farewell worthy of such a transition, her eyes roll back in her head and she falls to the ground and runs her hands all over herself and the next shot is of her getting rogered from behind by a big black drug dealer. You find yourself thinking, why doesn’t someone give this girl a vibrator, which would save her a lot of trouble, but thinking is not what this movie encourages. It’s supposed to be a fable, but keeps popping into realism when it suits it, and about the only thing that keeps you watching is the fact Ricci plays two-thirds of the movie in a teensy T-shirt and a pair of white panties. (It was good to see white panties acknowledged as the true pinnacle of sexy underwear. Thongs and lace have nothing on tighty whities, IMO.)

Oh, and the chain, too, which is what Jackson wraps around her waist and secures with a padlock so he can cure her of her sickness, but not in the way you’d think, but with…something. There are some heart-to-heart talks and a lot of blues and a certain amount of Bible-reading, but mainly it’s the standard script about two wounded souls who cure one another by really listening, and also by dancing in a hot Saturday-night juke joint while Jackson plays the guitar.

The nymphomania device kept misleading me, as it seems to beset Ricci at random, like epilepsy. One minute she’s fine, and the next her eyes are fluttering and she’s grabbing 13-year-old boys and all you can think is, well, this is a guy who made a movie about a misunderstood pimp, after all, and maybe that’s the way women are in Tennessee. Who knows? I’ve known a few sluts in my life, and they all made a man buy them a drink or two first, but maybe things are different in the south. I would have liked it better if he’d had the courage to take it all the way, rather than throwing in an explanation for everyone’s affliction and a ridiculous redemption ending, but oh well.

Jackson runs a small vegetable farm, as does our NN.C community member Coozledad. I kept thinking what a better movie it would have been if he’d been the one who found a half-naked woman lying in the road, and the imaginative ways he might have tried to cure her of her sickness. If nothing else, the dialogue would have been better.

Quick bloggage today:

Laura Lippman’s serial started this week in the NYT magazine. It’s a Tess Monaghan story, and it’s off on the right foot. Chapter one, here.

Quick tech question for someone who knows: There was a guy at the Dirtbombs concert Friday night with something I’ve never seen before. It looked like a horizontal mount for seven count ’em seven identical digital cameras — Canon PowerShots, I b’lieve. He’d hold it up, they’d all twinkle their autofocus lights and fire as one. What the heck was it? And please don’t say “a horizontal mount for seven cameras.”

UPDATE: J.C. Burns and kind commenter DanG appear to have the answer: It’s how you get the ‘bullet-time’ effect…dollying dimensionally around a frozen or slo-mo image. The rig was similar to this, only wider and with an antenna-like thing above it that could have been a microphone. Think of an old-timey photographer’s flash bar; it was like that, only with cameras instead of flash powder. But I think they’re right — it’s for capturing that Matrix-y effect.

Off to bed, and I’m sleeping in tomorrow, so don’t call.

Posted at 1:19 am in Movies |

107 responses to “Romantic comedy.”

  1. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Did you know that Obama showed up at the RNC?

    (it’s humor, guys)

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  2. Rana said on September 8, 2008 at 2:08 am

    I too would be interested to know the answer to the camera thing. I’ve just spent the last half hour Googling every combination I can think of to throw up an answer. The most I can tell you is that the main reason for firing multiple cameras at once is to get a variety of angles (which wouldn’t fit with the horizontal mounting you describe, unless they were all slightly askew from each other), and that the mount you describe was probably a custom job, or at least one too obscure to show up on Google.

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  3. Gasman said on September 8, 2008 at 2:35 am

    Could it be some sort of panorama device using multiple cameras? Software could easily stitch the images together.

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  4. Dexter said on September 8, 2008 at 2:37 am

    I turned here after watching a few clips from Pulp Fiction (my fave is the “Brad scene” , Jules Winnfield (Samuel Jackson)speaking to Brad,”DOES MARCELLUS WALLACE LOOK LIKE A BITCH?”, just before Jules and his partner ( Travolta) waste Brad.
    It’s nice to see Jackson still has (had) work. I thought “Snakes on a (this motherfuckin’) Plane might finish him.
    Roger Ebert can’t speak but he’s still working…check out today’s Sun Times for photostory.

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  5. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Here’s another Hiatt video that I particularly enjoy:

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 7:34 am

    I’ve got it! They’re going to make View-Master reels of the Dirtbombs.

    Other shots on the reel — “2. The Dirtbombs Enjoy the Hotel Buffet.” “3. The Dirtbombs Board Their Motor Coach.” “4. Looking Out Over the Grand Canyon with the Dirtbombs.”

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  7. coozledad said on September 8, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Nancy: I don’t know about Christina Ricci, but I’ve certainly worked the cure on some women in my day. At least to the extent that they gave slap up on heterosexuality.
    I was talking about it with a lesbian friend of mine who has a string of former boyfriends who are gay. She said she used to dwell on it, but it’s useless to overthink these things-that’s for science, and science appears to absolve us.
    I’m going with that.
    We don’t have radiators here (I wish we did. Best form of heating). You could chain someone to a woodstove, but they’d probably just drag it until they got free, and fuck up the floor in the process. I was a singer/lyricist in a band for several years, and I guess I could try and sing to someone while they churned my floor into splinters with a 275 pound 1/4 inch sheet metal stove.
    Here’s one for Christina. Hope you get that thang worked out, honey.
    I want to read the love letter you drilled in the last man
    stretched out to dry on his Malibu with a PallMall and a guitar.
    A bullet in his spine, and a song in his heart
    A bullet in his spine, and a song in his heart

    (Chorus) I can’t kill myself. I’ve tried everything…
    but you


    You could give me something that I want
    I can see it in the headlights when I’m frozen in the road
    I can see it through the flesh of my hand
    I can see it in the bones of my hand

    (More damn Guitars)

    There’s more, but it’s not Robert Johnson by any means.

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  8. basset said on September 8, 2008 at 8:01 am

    never seen a black Southron… usually those are whites who think the South should secede again. – the “avatars & posters” page on there is particularly… let’s just say interesting.

    and that ViewMaster thing… looks like that’s it but why seven cameras if it’s only a stereo image?

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  9. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 8:26 am

    “6. On a carousel with the Dirtbombs.”

    Surely i can’t be correct about the View-Master thing, can i? Naaahh . . .

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  10. nancy said on September 8, 2008 at 8:42 am

    J.C. and DanG have an explanation for the camera rig; I added it to the main entry, rather than leaving it in comments.

    As for “southron,” I first found it in an Elmore Leonard book and figured it was a phonetic pronunciation of “southern” in a deep southern accent. Online dictionaries say I’m right, but basset’s also right — it has been co-opted by the white-supremacist faction of our noble southland, but I’m sticking with my usage.

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  11. basset said on September 8, 2008 at 8:53 am

    you can usually pick one out by the name they use for the 1861-65 war… most of us call it the “Civil War,” some the “War Between the States,” if you’re really out there it’s the “War of Northern Aggression.”

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Or, “The Second American Revolution.”

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  13. Gasman said on September 8, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Having just seen “The Matrix” – finally – I originally thought that it might be a bullet cam rig, but it didn’t sound big enough. Those used in “The Matrix” comprised a 360 degree ring of cameras. Would seven cameras mounted on a bar have enough parallax shift to make any difference?

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  14. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 10:18 am

    A note from behind the times: we had a free HBO weekend, and I finally caught “Departed”.

    Aside from being a depressing movie, what caught my attention was the centrality of cell phones and texting to that picture. And despite that they are so critical to several plot twists, the cell phones struck me as a fairly inconsistent element of the story.

    These smart, sneaky guys would have their phones set with such loud, annoying ringtones that, if they ring at the wrong time (such as in a dark alley) you might get yourself (or an uninvolved stooge) killed??!

    Or, at other times in the picture, when a character is home alone and there is no danger, THEN the things are just set on “vibrate”?


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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 10:40 am

    7. Boarding their bus, the Dirtballs wave good-bye!

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  16. alex said on September 8, 2008 at 11:07 am

    Slightly OT–

    I see over at Eric Zorn’s blog that Sarah Palin’s church is launching a campaing to “pray away the gay.”

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  17. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 11:36 am

    At the risk of drawing a growl from bassett, here’s a hearty second to Alex’s referrel to the Zorn piece. In the comments, he asks for questions Charlie Gibson should ask Governor Palin later this week….good stuff!

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  18. alex said on September 8, 2008 at 11:51 am

    If they’re anything like the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos asked at the Obama/Clinton debates, Ms. Palin’s going to be fielding some softballs that don’t have jack to do with shit. Maybe that’s why she agreed to go on ABC.

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  19. nancy said on September 8, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Josh Marshall points out that the format — the i’views will be conducted in a series, over a few days — preclude anything but softballs. Gibson will only keep his access if he plays nice. So yeah, my expectation is for lots of “how did that make you feel” fat ones over the middle.

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  20. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I had a Showtime and Starz promotion for a few months, and yes, there is nothing to watch. Same five movies over and over and crap movies at that.

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  21. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Maybe that’s why she agreed to go on ABC.

    True enough; and indeed, the campaign mananger for Pallid & Palin says that they are working to make the election turn upon “composite impressions” of the candidates, and not “issues”. This strategy could bite the hell out of them, if the “bulldog with lipstick” yelps or whines too much

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  22. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    If we’re going on impressions and not issues, this makes it simply a high school popularity contest. Is this how we want our leaders selected?

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  23. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Isn’t that the same thing as “who you’d want to have a beer with?”

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  24. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Marc Ambinder has posted a video (in three parts) of Sarah Palin being interviewed on C-SPAN when she was in DC for the National Governors’ Association meeting.

    She’s pretty damn good. Not entirely honest, but a stong and, apparently, knowledgeable speaker.

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  25. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I was going to post this — — but apparently the site crashed from demand; C-Span has it in one big chunk, the 2006 Governor debate for GOP candidates on Alaska TV — 1 hr. 25 min., so i hope the other site recovers. Maybe it will come back?

    Jolene, what were you thinking she was not honest on? Just curious . . .

    Trying to figure out if the fact that Jim Cramer is so high on the Fannie/Freddie bailout is a good sign, or not. My retirement is in TIAA-CREF, which is no excuse for being as ignernt on stock market issues as i am.

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  26. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Jeff, now I’m going to have to listen to that interview again, which I will do. For now, though, will just say if I hear her claim about saying no to the Bridge to Nowhere one more time, I may be forced to reach through my TV screen and strangle her. Just caught a clip of her on CNN earlier today, and she said it again.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    The problem is that the point is “I stood up to Murkowski and Stevens,” which says a great deal to us political geeks, but to most Americans is Greek, or at least Yup’ik. The bridge to nowhere line is a shorthand for “I’m not a party tool,” which i think does stand up to closer analysis.

    But i’m done hearing it, myself. Move on . . . whoops, that line’s taken.

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  28. Suzi said on September 8, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    From the NYT:
    Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage

    Published: September 6, 2008

    SARAH PALIN makes John McCain look even older than he is. And he seemed more than willing to play that part on Thursday night. By the time he slogged through his nearly 50-minute acceptance speech — longer even than Barack Obama’s — you half-expected some brazen younger Republican (Mitt Romney, perhaps?) to dash onstage to give him a gold watch and the bum’s rush.

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  29. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Did she really say no to Stevens? I think that happened only when Stevens started stinking up the joint.

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  30. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    That’s right, Ms. Mary. She was for the bridge when she ran for governor in 2006 and only later announced she was agin it but took the money to use anyway she wanted. She also headed up a 527 for Stevens, so they were buds once.

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  31. Suzi said on September 8, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Palin said yes to Stevens before she said no to Stevens.
    And she’d be prayin’ away the gay if she were back in Wasilla.

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  32. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    The Anchorage Daily News, as you might expect, is publishing a lot of stories about Palin, both about the campaign and about her record.

    Re earmarks, it’s abundantly clear that she was an aggressive seeker of federal funds for local projects. She continued to seek earmarks after becoming governor, although at a gradually decreasing level. One of the motivations for the decrease, it seems, is outside skepticism about the need for federal funds, given Alaska’s budget surplus. This article describes her evolving stance on earmarks, as mayor and as governor. Note that, to the right of this article, there are lots of links to other stories re Palin and her record.

    Re the bridge, she says that she told the feds “thanks, but not thanks.” To me, that means she said, “No, keep the money.” But, as moe99 says, she campaigned for it and kept the money to use for other purposes.

    Re drilling in ANWR, she says that drilling would only take up 2000 acres or the 1.5 million acres that make up the refuge, but the Natural Resources Defense Council argues that this is misleading and that drilling would, in fact, disturb the whole area. I am, by no means, an expert in this domain, so I’m just reporting her claim and the response of a presumably knowledgeable set of critics.

    Her story about launching the construction of a natural gas pipeline is something of an exaggeration. What she did was make a deal w/ a Canadian company to build the pipeline at some unspecified point in the future for $500 million in seed money from the state. This is a very complex story, in which she seems to have played a positive role. But U.S. energy companies own the natural gas, and they want to build a separate pipeline. Whether any fuel for the Lower 48 will ever be produced is unclear. (I saw a story that explained all this better than the one I’ve included here, but can’t find it again. Will post the link if I find it again.)

    And here’s a story about problems associated with the indoor sports complexthat she had built in Wasilla. The issues in this situation don’t seem to have to do w/ honesty, but do raise questions about competence.

    Taken together, I’d say these examples provide a good foundation for a probing interview, so I hope Charlie Gibson has eaten his Wheaties when he meets w/ her.

    Palin might not be much more or less dishonest than plenty of other politicians, but she is clearly at the high end of the scale on self-righteousness. I find that not only very unpleasant, but actually dangerous. As someone pointed out here a few days ago, that’s W. Being sure that you’re on a mission from God, pressing ahead, and telling the story in your own terms.

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  33. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Other news: The remainder of Barack’s interview w/ O’Rielly is on tonight, as is an interview w/ Kieth Olbermann.

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  34. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Darn. Here’s the the other article re the pipeline. Title: Some of Palin’s remarks stretch the truth.

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  35. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Taken together, I’d say these examples provide a good foundation for a probing interview, so I hope Charlie Gibson has eaten his Wheaties when he meets w/ her.

    Agreed, Jolene.

    OK Bassett – we’re to hell and gone now anyway, right? –

    so my question for Governor Palin would be:

    Given her stated belief that the war in Iraq is a “task from God”, does she believe that disagreeing with her about the wisdom of the war is the same as disagreeing with (or disavowing)the wisdom of God? (in other words, if you question the war, are you an infidel?)

    Given Governor Palin’s stated belief that John McCain is the only one in the race who has ever “truly” fought for us, does she think that this sort of “American fatwa” was what he was fighting for, back in the day?

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  36. Julie Robinson said on September 8, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    The war in Iraq being a “task from God” doesn’t sound very different than “holy war”, AKA jihad. That’s the term the radical mullahs are constantly trotting out. Because, of course, if you die in a holy war, you skip all the other steps and go straight to heaven and those famous 70 virgins. It’s a pretty convenient way to motivate your soldiers. This is a very dangerous term for an American politician to use.

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  37. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    ‘Scuse — this is what she said:

    “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right also for this country,” Gov. Palin said, in a video of the talk posted on the church’s Web site. Pray “that our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure we’re praying for: that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.”

    There are lots of mainline, anti-war churches where that kind of statement gets said, too; let’s not get all Andrew Sullivan.

    I hope Palin gets a tough interview, and i look forward to any interview of Biden at all that is half as probing and specific about record and consistency and intentions.

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  38. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    I hope Palin gets a tough interview, and i look forward to any interview of Biden at all that is half as probing and specific about record and consistency and intentions.

    ‘scuse me Jeff, but if this was a card game, I’d hafta call “Bullshit” on that one!! How can Biden’s interview (for example on Meet the Press yesterday) be anything less than INFINITELY “more probing” than Governor Palin’s – given that she (and her handlers) haven’t seen the point of subjecting her to ANY questions, at all!!

    Governor Palin has gone into hiding when she’s not reading a set-piece speech.

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  39. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Agreed, Jeff. Although I have many criticisms of Palin and doubt that I would be at home in her church, this prayer seems unobjectionable. She is, I think, essentially saying, “Let us pray that the decisions of our national leaders are inspired by the word of God.” In the totally apolitical whitebread Methodist church where I grew up, praying for wisdom for political leaders was routine.

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  40. Danny said on September 8, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Ummm…I wouldn’t say that she has gone into hiding just yet, Brian. I think you need to give it another week or so before we start saying that is the case.

    We’ll see…

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  41. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Well Danny – I never heard of her before she was picked, 10 days ago.

    It is now 56 days until election day…so 15% of the time that we have before we vote has elapsed, and I haven’t seen her answer any questions, at all.

    Beyond her good looks and interesting Great White North accent, we haven’t seen much that we can hang our hat on

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  42. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Last week, Danny, some blogger was collecting info re how many days after being picked previous VP candidates had held their first interviews or press conferences, and Palin is now well outside the range. And, of course, most candidates are much better known to begin with.

    But, again, I was impressed w/ her sharpness in those video clips. Assuming that McCain won and lives for a couple of years, I think she’d have learned enough to be president–not that I’d want her to.

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Harl and i were talking about her hereabouts in April. She was on most lists of 10 GOP veep candidates from May forward, it’s just that most of the party cognoscenti and media poobahs didn’t actually take her seriously.

    My wife has an email where i said on April 18 “if they had any guts, they’d tap Gov. Palin of Alaska, but they’re not gonna do that.”

    So i was half right! Brian, i meant after Palin gets interviewed i hope Biden gets a fair grilling as well. Brokaw spent most of MTP with his tongue in Biden’s ear.

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  44. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Brokaw spent most of MTP with his tongue in Biden’s ear.

    Well, forget abstinence training; I think Charlie Gibson will have to be pried off of the bulldog-with-lipstick’s leg, before his visits with her are over!!

    Here’s what Steve Benen at CBS News said

    Palin will sit down for multiple interviews with Gibson in Alaska over two days, most likely Thursday and Friday, said McCain adviser Mark Salter. […]Salter said the offer was made the day after the Republican convention and that there were no ground rules on what could be asked.

    It just so happens that only one network journalist got an exclusive sit-down interview with John McCain during the Republican convention, and that too was ABC’s John Gibson. McCain appeared to enjoy the discussion — he claimed that Palin opposed earmarks, Palin’s physical proximity to Russia amounts to foreign-policy experience, Obama believes Iran is a “tiny problem,” and one of Palin’s “primary responsibilities” as governor is “national security.” All of these claims are demonstrably false, but Gibson didn’t challenge McCain on any of them.

    It’s not too big a surprise, then, that Gibson will be rewarded for his deference.

    That word “deference” caught my ear yesterday; the hack who runs the McCain campaign was on Chris Wallace’s Fox Sunday talk show, and he said that any interviewer would have to show the proper “deference” to their nominee.

    “Deference”. Both of these campaigns are spending hundreds of millions of dollars from coast to coast, in order to get US to cast a vote for them….and they demand “deference” from the national press?

    Good God!! And the hacks think Obama has a “messiah” complex!!

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    What i want to hear from BOTH campaigns — why is your health care plan superior to single payer, and use specific examples. For instance, Sen. Obama, you won’t require participation, but 100s of 1000s choose not to accept affordable plans now, adding to the ER care burden; Sen. McCain, you tweak the tax incentives and put some enforcement in your plan, but leave many different insurors with varying protocols complicating the delivery of medical care & prevention.

    Ten minutes to each, Sen. Obama won the coin toss, so Sen. McCain, you’re first!

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  46. harrison said on September 8, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    nancy, you said: It was good to see white panties acknowledged as the true pinnacle of sexy underwear.

    please correct that to white cotton panties.

    and it was interesting that you used the word rogering for sexual intercourse. the first time i heard it used for that was from a friend of my uncle, who was somewhat of a smartass. he once told my friends and me that he couldn’t get any sleep one night because a couple of cats were outside his window “rogering royally seven ways to sunday.”

    and you just can’t pray the gay away. you might roger it away; it’s worth a try.

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  47. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    The in house Brit uses the term rogering, as in, that bint needs a good rogering. Bint is a really good word too.
    We were in Ikea once and saw a chair called Roger (they also have Billy the bookcase, but you know how Ikea is) and the Brit was wondering just what Roger the Chair would do.

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  48. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Tales of the time of foreclosure:,0,2286826.story

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    The Koi Justice League should appear on the scene shortly.

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  50. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    We spent an evening at a pet emergency clinic a few years back, and there were brochures for the ferret search and rescue team. Since ferrets are illegal as pets here, I have to wonder how much searching and rescuing they do. As a family, we all would love to join this team if we got a siren for the car and special hats.

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  51. alex said on September 8, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    I first saw the term in Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer, and I believe it was spelled “roguering.” In a discussion of the colonial south, he reproduces passages from the diaries of a wealthy Virginiam who was screwing his own harem of slaves, the wives of his neighbors and just about any female he could get his hands on, then asking God’s forgiveness each time.

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  52. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Jeff, you would have to begin by explaining to McCain what a single payer system is! One of my complaints about him is that he doesn’t seem to know or care about any area of policy other than the military and national security. (Well, maybe now he knows a little about energy and climate change.) When he talks about education or health care, he has one or two standard Republican sentences and then he’s done. Obama, on the other hand, is a wonk. His problem is that he can’t give concise answers because he knows too much, but, with ten minutes to talk about health care, I think he’d do well.

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  53. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Re the vocabulary in Nancy’s piece for today: “Full-tilt horizontal farewell” is also very impressive. Loved it. Also liked the name of “the sickness.”

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  54. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    “By every economic measure known to man, Democratic Presidents have out-performed Republican Presidents. And by the way if you believe the economy was better under George W Bush than Bill Clinton you’ve got a real clear choice here.

    “If you think what America needs is a tax cut for people making over half-a-million dollars a year then vote for McCain. If you think middle-class people are struggling – that their incomes are going down and they need help – vote for Obama. It’s a very simple choice”.

    – CNN’s Late Edition, James Carville

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  55. Gasman said on September 8, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Why do you so blithely dismiss outright lies of Palin? She was an absolute stooge for Stevens. She was co-chair of a PAC that raised money for Stevens. Stevens essentially handed her the gubernatorial election by appearing in eleventh hour ads for her. He openly bragged that he made her governor. She chose to run like hell from him when it was politically expedient to do so.

    She lied about Stevens, she lied about the Bridge, she lied about earmarks, what else is she lying about? If she’s so damn competent, why has she assiduously avoided the press? She refused all local press while here in New Mexico. Nothing but canned photo-ops. When Obama, Biden, or even McCain go somewhere, they actually talk to the local press. If the McCain camp thought that she was all that and a bag of chips they’d be making her available to everyone. People are starting to notice.

    Peggy Noonan’s uncharacteristic moment of candor has revealed the foolishness of McCain’s “maverick” pick. Don’t get me wrong, as a liberal, I am actually delighted with the choice. I think that she has driven more people to the Obama camp than she has drawn to McCain’s. I hope she keeps it up.

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  56. Suzi said on September 8, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    “Given Governor Palin’s stated belief that John McCain is the only one in the race who has ever “truly” fought for us, does she think that this sort of “American fatwa” was what he was fighting for, back in the day?”

    I’m confused, does that mean McCain will get 70 virgins if he dies in office?

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  57. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Prince George’s PD exonerates their own in the shooting deaths of the mayor of Berwyn Heights two black labs in a botched drug raid.

    Kwame should be on his knees thanking his creator that he’s from Detroit.

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  58. alex said on September 8, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    No, Suzi, he’ll probably get 70 opportunistic sluts if he gets into office. He sure had no trouble recruiting one to his ticket.

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  59. LAMary said on September 8, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Wow, Alex. Even I didn’t call her a slut. I really find her positions on pretty much everything beyond wrongheaded, into truly offensive, and her hypocrisy is stunning. But slut? Nah. No way was she easy.

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  60. alex said on September 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Yeah, I realize that may seem over the top to some, Mary, but the gloves are off. Bitch is trying to pray me away.

    ABC can pay her all the deference it likes, but she gets none from me. Anyone who’s crass enough to gin up anti-gay hatred to win an election deserves a special place in hell.

    I’m sure her defenders will say things like but prayer’s such a benign thing and how can you object to people praying? Fuck them too.

    This is precisely the sort of thing that creates a climate where people feel justified in doing harm to others. There aren’t any innocent souls who swoon with altruism trying to pray the gay away. She’s playing to the kind that would take this as a sign that it’s open season. How dare she dress it up in sanctimony. Praying for me? It’s called singling me out as a sinner and inciting the mob.

    I ain’t takin’ it. For the record, as far as I’m concerned, the least retarded thing to ever come out of that two-bit skank was her son Trig. There, I’ve been tasteless and nasty. Just like anyone who’d vote R because she’s on the ticket.

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  61. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Alex, it’s William Byrd of Westover you’re thinking of — his diaries are an absolute treasure of unintentional ethnology, and his behavior towards women is beyond inhuman, so his approach to slavery even less so. The secret diaries (i seem to recall he used a code or somesuch that wasn’t figured out until well into the 1900s) are priceless yet appalling reading.

    Gasman, i’ll just say this much. I think Bush was moronic in a number of areas, not the least being the stupid rebate check manure for “economic stimulus.” Both the Lovely Wife and i would have voted against sending the damn things if we’d been asked; having received one last week, am i a double-damned hypocrite and liar for cashing it and putting it in my son’s college fund? Perhaps, but sending it back doesn’t make any sense to either of us, so in the bank it went. You can make the case that for consistency’s sake we should have sent it, endorsed, to the Feddle Govmint for debt reduction. I’d listen to that argument, but to say i cashed it purely out of bad faith seems to me an argument from, well, bad faith.

    So i guess i’m saying if Palin’s a liar, i’m a scurrilous deceptive vile tempered venal wretch myself. May well be. Christ have mercy. But if i had servants (other than the lady at Tim Horton’s who hands me coffee most days), i wouldn’t treat them as Wm Byrd of Westover did.

    On the other hand, the yard signs finally arrived, and i put them up on our two public corners: one McCain sign, one Women for McCain sign. They said wearily that everyone asks for McCain-Palin signs, but they won’t be in for another week or so. By then my right thinking left leaning neighbors will have disappeared our current signage, so we’ll be ready to put new McCain-Palin signs out every three days or so.

    I’m not voting for them because she’s an R — durn near the opposite, in fact. But it doesn’t sound like Alaska’s the right place to go looking for 70 virgins either way.

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  62. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Jeff, seriously, doesn’t it bother you when a Christian pastor says that suicide bombings in Israel are a consequence of the failure of the Jews to see the light and accept Jesus as their savior? No candidate is perfect, but associating oneself w/ an idea like that is really beyond the pale.

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  63. moe99 said on September 8, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    So why exactly ARE you voting for them Jeff? What policies are they proposing that are so much better than those adduced by Obama?

    I really would like to know.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    I may be a lying liar, but is pretty solid bipartisanly —

    Jolene, point taken, but i deal all the time with clergy who say silly stuff. If i only work with clergy who are, in my opinion, perfectly consistent and coherent in their theology, not only would i have few to work with, i’d best not read my own sermon transcripts too closely. News flash — there are lots of Christians who believe a loving personal God takes a direct interest in what goes on in everyday life, and that all of creation is predordained from before creation began. I don’t even begin to understand how that works, and some very nice, deeply caring people believe both without even catching their breath. Am i associating myself with them? If they’ll host an AmeriCorps site for our financial literacy outreach, you betcha. But i listened to what the goober said, and while i wouldn’t (intentionally) say what he said, it wasn’t quite how you describe, just like Palin’s so-called creationism, which isn’t.

    And good friends of mine believe in growing the economy while supporting aggressively progressive taxation. That strikes me as mildly problematic as well, but hey, it’s above my pay grade. [ducks]

    Moe, just saw your query. I’m not quite a single issue voter, but the abortion stands of the two tickets put me in quite a bind — Obama has an assertively expansionist view of abortion “rights” which i think are deeply corrosive of all kinds of social ties. Many friends of mine are practical pacifists, and feel the same way about the war-tolerant stands of Bush and McCain. If you can concede that they don’t actually like war, but feel they are too willing to accept war as a cost without looking honestly at the bill, i think that’s a fair discussion, but i don’t have it often.

    I think more people, more souls, would have died 2003 to 2013 in the world, if there had been no invasion. I dislike war, and don’t believe it answers much. But situational pacifism in the face of regimes like you have around the Persian Gulf can kill more innocents than even aerial drones, and oil going to $300 a gallon actually has a cost in innocent lives, too. I’m arguing a hypothetical against lots of folks who are certain fewer deaths would have ensued if we’d maintained the no-fly zone and kept up pressure ecnomically while waiting for Saddam’s infarction. My math says no, but it’s a hypothetical: you may disagree.

    Just don’t call me or any other soldier a war loving tool of the GOP establishment, and we can keep talking about this. But i think Obama, like Johnson, would kill lots more by wishful thinking and muddled action than Bush and Rumsfeld killed by not having enough troops on the ground in Baghdad.

    ‘Night all. Too many late nights these last four weeks! Oh, and Obama worked like crazy to stop welfare reform, and has never admitted he was wrong, wrong, wrong. That was a liberating, empowering act, that puts even more pressure on the caring community (faith-based, ideology-driven, political, whatever) to keep working hard for that remaining 15% that can’t cope and you can’t lock up, but welfare reform was a net good for everyone. I was there, so was Obama, and he knows he’s wrong and still wants to go back to that kind of entitlement approach.

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  65. Danny said on September 8, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Jeff, you’re doing some heavy lifting here. Thanks.

    Funny aside, we went to a 80th birthday party on Saturday for a Bible scholar who is a hard-core, double-predestination 5-pointer. So were most of the folks there. I like tweaking them, good-naturedly. I know I have a choice, but too bad they don’t! LOL!

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  66. Jolene said on September 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Jeff, I accept your “nobody’s perfect” explanation of why you deal w/ people whose views you don’t support, but that pastor did, indeed, say the following:

    “Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It’s very real. When [Brickner’s son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”

    I don’t know what to do w/ a person who believes that, but I wanted to say that my characterization of him was accurate. Also, the Factcheck link didn’t address most of the lies I described in my long post earlier today. No response is required, but, again, I wanted to be clear that my claims stand.

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  67. Linda said on September 8, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Obama had serious problems with the federal welfare reform legislation that came out in the late 90s, on the grounds that it was punitive. However, in 1997, he was a co-sponsor of state legislation in Illinois that defined the Illinois welfare reform law.

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  68. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    With a thousand apologies to Bassett (please forgive me; I cannot help answering this) – but when good ol Jeff says
    I may be a lying liar, but is pretty solid bipartisanly

    I really gotta sing out “BULSHIT!” again!!

    That Annenberg site is disingenuous AT BEST.

    They have a “bullet point” that unambiguously states:

    She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a “What if?” question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term.

    But their “analysis” isn’t nearly as sanguine:

    Palin characterized the exchange differently, initially volunteering the episode as an example of discussions with city employees about following her administration’s agenda. Palin described her questions to Emmons as “rhetorical,” noting that her questions “were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city.” Actually, true rhetorical questions have implied answers (e.g., “Who do you think you are?”), so Palin probably meant to describe her questions as hypothetical or theoretical. We can’t read minds, so it is impossible for us to know whether or not Palin may actually have wanted to ban books from the library or whether she simply wanted to know how her new employees would respond to an instruction from their boss. It is worth noting that, in an update, the Frontiersman points out that no book was ever banned from the library’s shelves.

    Didja cath that? We went from “She did not demand that books be banned”, to “We can’t read minds, so it is impossible for us to know whether or not Palin may actually have wanted to ban books from the library”

    Another bullet point flatly asserts that

    Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools. She has said that students should be allowed to “debate both sides” of the evolution question, but she also said creationism “doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

    and yet, we read yet another troubling “analysis”, which not only does NOT support the bullet point, but instead directly contradicts it.

    On Aug. 29, the Boston Globe reported that Palin was open to teaching creationism in public schools. That’s true. She supports teaching creationism alongside evolution, though she has not actively pursued such a policy as governor. In an Oct. 25, 2006, debate, when asked about teaching alternatives to evolution, Palin replied:

    Palin, Oct. 25, 2006: Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject – creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides. A couple of days later, Palin amended that statement in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, saying: Palin, Oct. 2006: I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.
    Jeff, if you tell me you actually read the whole web page you linked to, I won’t call you a liar. But I will say that the page did not advance your “defense” of the pit bull who wears lipstick!

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  69. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Linda, that is new info for me, and i thank you. It adds to my regular assertion that i don’t think the world will come to an end if Sen. Obama is elected, i’m just not gonna help. But i hadn’t encountered that he had co-sponsored the final leg, and good on him.

    Brian, i read stuff. Really. And yet, as Linda just showed me, you can’t always read it all. For those having cows over Palin’s multiple pastors and their statements, i’d love to suggest reading all three volumes out to date of N.T. Wright’s projected six volume “Christian Origins and the Question of God” series, but they have no pictures other than the covers, so it’s asking an awful lot.

    And i’ve only participated in two non-hetero marriage ceremonies, so i know i’m unredeemably fundamentalist to some, but i do enjoy keeping people aware that evangelicals just don’t pigeonhole well. What i worry about is that one of our more au courant progressive commenters here will point out what pigeonholing means in some context i haven’t even imagined, and i’ll have to come up with a new metaphor.

    Anyhow, goodnight, and sleep well everyone — even you, Roger.

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  70. joodyb said on September 8, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    don’t trouble your conscience about that check, Jeff. consider it your first installment on the freddie/fannie bailout. you’re paying for that now, too.

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  71. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 8, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Ah, i’ve gotta add this (it’s Danny’s fault). Hard core Calvinists think it’s all judgement, and i’ve never understood how that works. Part of me thinks they don’t mean it, but they do, mostly. Everything is either grace, or judgement. Seems like a Procrustean bed to me, but not everyone is Theseus. (See, we can do other faith perspectives here at NN.C!)

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  72. Suzi said on September 8, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    “No, Suzi, he’ll probably get 70 opportunistic sluts if he gets into office. He sure had no trouble recruiting one to his ticket.”

    Maybe she’ll get 70 hockey boys if she succeeds in her Christian warrior mission to turn this country into an evangelical theocracy.

    I agree with you – the pray away gay crap just makes bullying, badgering and brutalizing more acceptable. It has to stop.
    Why don’t so-called pro-lifers do more to protect gay kids? Why do pro-lifers do so little to realistically prevent unwanted pregnancies? Why don’t they call themselves something more appropriate like Pro-Morality-My-Wayers? Jesus would vote for Obama.

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  73. brian stouder said on September 8, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Many more apologies to Bassett, but –

    we are ASSURED that Governor Palin has loads of useful executive experience, owing to her terms as mayor of Wassilla, and governor of Alaska.

    Therefore, it will be interesting to see if the Annenberg FactCrunchers…errr…checkers…can find a ringing statement from Mayor Palin when THIS outrage came down the pike (datelined May of 2000)

    Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed legislation protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for tests to collect evidence of the crime, but one local police chief said the new law will further burden taxpayers.

    Note that Governor Knowles was a Democrat….and deeper into the article, we learn that :

    While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests. Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.

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  74. Dexter said on September 8, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Sherpas call rogering “making sauce”. I got that from Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air”. It’s just sickening, isn’t it? I think of sauce as something made by a saucier, not hosing your climbing expedition partner in a freezing tent while Sherpas gather outside laughing and making the old finger-in-the-hole gestures.
    Rachel Maddow had T.D. Jakes on as her first guest on her new msnbc show. The bishop is the only TV preacher I will listen to…he’s great. Once I heard Mike Tyson say “I’m a Muslim and I watch T.D. Jakes.” I know why: Jakes is a dynamic television force.

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  75. mark said on September 9, 2008 at 1:01 am


    Consider yourself officially accused of and condemed for your constant shilling for crass consumerism and never-ending promotion of mega-retailing. Supply your own vulgarities and accusations of immoral conduct and assume they are diected at you from me with heartfelt enthusiasm.

    You first posted that Palin’s church is “launching a campaign to “pray away the gay'”. You attributed this to Zorn’s blog.

    When I visit Zorn’s blog I find that his text says nothing about “launching a campaign” but says her church “promotes prayer to make gays straight.”

    And when I follow Zorn’s link to the article that he is paraphrasing, I find that Palin’s church is “promoting a conference” by Focus on the Family, in Anchorage, by including an advertising insert for the conference in a Sunday Bulletin.

    This is a long, long, long way from your conclusion that Palin is “ginning up hatred against gays.” I think your seeing things that aren’t there.

    What does this have to do with your shameless huckstering for Big Retail? Well, its clear that you frequent this blog. Indeed, you have been spotted here far more often than Palin is found in her church.

    And I’ll admit I’m exaggerating just a little. Its this blog that has launched a campaign on behalf of Big Retail. You are a part of the campaign by your presence here (a lot).

    OK. I stretched things just a little. This blog hasn’t actually “launched a campaign” on behalf of Big Retail, but it sure does promote Big Retail- and not just on Sundays!

    Now technically, you could say that Google is promoting Big Retail through its insert ads on this Blog, rather than saying this blog is promoting Big Retail. But I’m sure we can all agree that that is a distinction without a difference, right?

    And what makes you so much more culpable than Palin is your willingness to use fun, cute search terms like “rollercoaster” (which you know is a youth targeting advertising ploy) to direct the unwary to the ungodly tempations of a suburban mall. How dare you use the promise of a country carnival to hook our children on Big Retail’s poison!

    Ahh, nothing feels quite so good as righteous indignation, three or four times misdirected.

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  76. basset said on September 9, 2008 at 1:53 am

    >>With a thousand apologies to Bassett

    >>Many more apologies to Bassett, but –

    appreciate that, folks.

    just a random thought:

    I was in the Nashville airport last Sunday, walking from the terminal to the parking garage, and just as I got outside about half a dozen middle-aged, greasy-looking guys on Harleys rolled slowly through the crosswalk in a pack, blowing off the stop sign and glaring balefully all round.

    several of them had big flags on their bikes identifying them as the “Patriot Guard.” dunno why they were out there, maybe picking their gauleiter up from Southwest or something.

    way too much subtext for one image, though.

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  77. alex said on September 9, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Mark, what the hell difference does it make whether Palin’s leading the charge against gays or her church is doing it? The GOP holds Obama to the same standard with regard to his pastor. Hell, they manage to make him beholden to both Jeremiah Wright and Islam.

    That aside, we’re never going to hear Miss Cousinfuck disown her pastor or call his statements stupid. The liberal media will give her a pass on this one too.

    A lot can happen yet. I’m optimistic that the debates will give Obama/Biden the opportunity to wipe the floor with these sorry excuses for candidates foisted on us by the GOP this year.

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 9, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Alex, how is it that the liberal media can only find people who dislike and resent Sarah Palin in a state where she has an 80+ approval rating? Are her friends all that shy? Or is it that they live outside of the one mile radius of the Anchorage airport where all the defeated office holders and embittered U-AK profs are doing endless stand-ups with eighteen different media outlets? Do supporters all live too far down piney roads where the big dogs and antlers on the porch make the “reporters” unwilling to get out of the rental Impala and squish up the front steps?

    Liberal media? I respect your right to be disturbed by this year’s GOP ticket, but it’s a bad week to make that claim. Wimp, whiner media we might both agree on. It’s been an embarrassing week all around.

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  79. Suzi said on September 9, 2008 at 8:23 am

    Curing gays — “a gross and narrow oversimplification”
    From the NewsBusters “Media Research Center”

    “A visit to the Love Won Out Web site finds the only promise it offers is that people struggling to overcome homosexual or lesbian desire through faith will face “a difficult path,” albeit one that need not be a lonely one (emphasis mine):

    [frequently asked question:] But your goal is still to make gays straight, right?

    [Answer:] That is a gross and narrow oversimplification. We aren’t here to “make” anybody do or become anything; we are here to offer a scientific and experiential perspective on the issue of homosexuality that is, sadly, underreported in the mainstream media. Our goals include aiding parents who want to learn how to better love their sons or daughters without compromising their faith; helping people who want to better understand the many factors that can lead to someone adopting a homosexual identity; and assisting those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions and want to discover how they might also start upon the path – a difficult path, as noted above – to overcoming those desires.

    As far as the notion that Palin’s church aims to “convert” homosexuals to heterosexuals grossly misrepresents the tenets of faith of the governor’s congregation. If the AP reviewed Wasilla Bible’s Statement of Faith, they’d get that (emphases mine) Wasilla Bible believes in reaching everyone with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that it’s the work of God’s Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian that enables him/her to overcome sexual and other sins.”

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  80. Suzi said on September 9, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Here’s the link for the entry above:

    Anybody catch Anderson Cooper last night? There was a segment on the Liar from Alaska’s churches and interviews with her former pastors, seems like they’re all trying to soften up her image and rewrite her history.

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  81. Suzi said on September 9, 2008 at 9:03 am

    More from NewsBusters – PUMAs & “ugly, angry, smelly leftists”

    Palin Punditry and Prose You Won’t See in the Papers or on the TV News

    By Tom Blumer
    September 6, 2008 – 10:46 ET

    If they indeed reflect what is happening on the ground, you won’t hear about it from the Associated Press, or read it in the New York Times, or see it on the Big Three Networks news or cable shows — which is why it’s so necessary to post items like this here. In fact, it’s fair to say that if you were going to see commentary and commenting such as that which follows, it would have occurred already.

    Here’s just a taste (HT NixGuy) of what Whittle, whose columns are always read-the-whole thingers, had to say:

    I’ve seen post after post on Hillary forums about how much they love Sarah, how they are energized and lifted out of depression by her (and the sight of an actual Roll Call made some of them weep). They gush about how she reminds them of their hero, how tough and savvy and unafraid she is. And I have seen these women, hard-core, feminist Democrats for 30 years and more, sit in slack-jawed amazement at Palin and at how fiercely Republicans — Republicans! — are defending her, backing her, and cheering her to the rafters. These Clinton supporters say they don’t know what to think any more: The Republicans are behaving like Democrats and the Democrats are behaving like Republicans!

    If you think that’s an insult, you’ve got it exactly backwards. That is not only a huge compliment from these abandoned, centrist Democrats who bemoan the loss of their party to the radicals, it is an early rumbling of a tectonic shift in American politics which we are only dimly beginning to grasp. Who are the real feminists? A significant portion of our former hard-core opposition is now rethinking in a fundamental way who it is that actually does what their former allies only talk about.

    Expect the PC Police and their media allies to exert maximum effort in the coming eight weeks to put a lid on this. Good luck.

    Now, here’s Tom W’s comment (fourth one down at Michael Weiss’s Pajamas Media post):

    The PUMAs are starting to love Palin because every single adult woman has stories of being patronized, passed over, etc., by men, and Palin has already shown that she will gut anybody who tries that on her.

    Get this: I’ve now heard dozens of times that when Palin was trashing Obama, PUMA members say they were jumping up and down in their homes, screaming at the TV, in absolute flabbergasted wonder at this woman’s power, ease, style, grace, brains, and ability to speak and connect with the audience. Mostly, though, they love her mad assassin’s skillz.

    American women will not let this candidate go. They love her deeply, not as a goddess, but as a sister, and they are slowly absorbing the fact that it took the REPUBLICANS to put a woman on the ticket. We may see many radical feminists become Republicans, I kid you not. One PUMA went to McCain’s speech last night, and she started sobbing because McCain was so humble and emotional, and the people around her were so nice, patriotic, and happy. She’s used to ugly, angry, smelly leftists.

    And this is a vital point to remember: McCain honored all women by choosing an exceptional woman who outshines him. He is so much of a man, so comfortable and secure with his masculinity, that he is entirely unthreatened by the fact that he has chosen the person who will eventually eclipse him. If he had chosen a nonentity, they’d be enraged at the pandering, but by choosing someone more impressive than he is and making clear that she will be an activist veep, he showed all women that he’s sincere.

    From what I hear from the PUMAs, they’re going to fight to the death to elect McCain, in gratitude for him choosing such a formidable, accomplished, skilled predator with a record of leaving sexist men huddled on the floor in tears. Nobody’s ever seen anything like Palin. She makes Hillary and Boxer and all the other Beltway insiders look like bizarre life-sized wind-up toys that say and do the same thing over and over for years, without actually accomplishing anything.

    Several feminists are now predicting a McCain-Palin landslide.

    Here’s hoping.

    Wow. No wonder, as noted yesterday by NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard, Obama supporter Oprah Winfrey won’t book Palin.

    Cross-posted at

    —Tom Blumer is president of a training and development company in Mason, Ohio, and is a contributing editor to NewsBusters

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  82. alex said on September 9, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Jeff, I said liberal media sarcastically. Lazy media is what I’d call them, and not because they’re unwilling to trudge around in the wilderness. btw, Palin’s 80+ approval rating may have been true for one fleeting moment but it’s fiction.

    EDIT: Just took a glance at NewsBusters and one headline caught my eye: “O-Busted: Selective service requirement did not exist when Obama says he registered.”

    O-yes it did. I’m 47 years old, the same as Mr. Obama, and my dad dragged me there and made me sign up. There was a threat of federal punishment at the time if you didn’t.

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  83. brian stouder said on September 9, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Alex – yes; I’m the same age, and a friend of mine and I went down to the post office during lunchbreak from the supermarket where we worked, so we could register.

    Amongst other things, if you didn’t register then you would be ineligible for student loans or grants (nevermind risking arrest!)

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  84. moe99 said on September 9, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Oprah won’t book Palin b/c she won’t book presidential candidates period. She had Obama on her show before he declared, not after. This Newsbusters sounds suspiciously like a right wing trash machine.

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  85. brian stouder said on September 9, 2008 at 10:23 am

    This Newsbusters sounds suspiciously like a right wing trash machine.

    That, moe, is because that’s PRECISELY what it is!

    After the last link to it, I read their ‘about us’ link, where they proudly proclaim their mission as busting the lamentable “liberal news media”

    EDIT: In August of 2005, with the guidance of Matthew Sheffield and Greg Sheffield, the creators of, the MRC launched the NewsBusters blog to provide immediate exposure of liberal media bias, insightful analysis, constructive criticism and timely corrections to news media reporting.

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  86. Suzi said on September 9, 2008 at 10:30 am

    I couldn’t resist posting the crappy rah-rah piece, it’s such nasty, twisted tripe.

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  87. John said on September 9, 2008 at 10:37 am

    They love her deeply, not as a goddess, but as a sister, and they are slowly absorbing the fact that it took the REPUBLICANS to put a woman on the ticket.

    Excuse me but did Geraldine grow a penis when I wasn’t paying attention?

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  88. brian stouder said on September 9, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Shaddap, John; They wuz ON A ROLL!!

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  89. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 9, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Newsbusters is swill, even from my side of the pond. Our sergeant in the R&S* platoon in the summer of 1980 startled us all as the tickets home were handed out, saying “Awright ladies, and don’t ferget to register fer the frickin’ draft as soon as you get home at the purty little post office in your miserable town. Don’t go thinking that volunteering to serve in Mother Corps gets you off that obligation, ‘cuz it’s gotten many a poor boy in trouble on that ay-sumption. Once yer discharged, you gotta register.”

    Which we all, of course, did.


    *Retention and Separation, aka the Underfoot Patrol, those of us “out” but awaiting paperwork to prove that we were out.

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  90. Gasman said on September 9, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Once again, you truly disappoint me. You trot out the threadbare “liberal media.” Didn’t that hackneyed phrase lose any vestigial meaning sometime in the 80’s? Are there some examples of liberalism in media? Sure. However, if you tally up the media sources which are politically biased, the conservatives win hands down. Furthermore, most of those sources have been spewing nothing but right wing partisan rhetoric for more than a decade.

    The right wing evangelicals and their allies seem to more than willing to excuse, cheerily explain away, or even ignore faults which drive them into screaming rages when committed by democrats – extra marital affairs, lying, teen pregnancy, etc., etc., etc. They have consistently displayed a rather profound sense of moral relativism, a charge regularly hurled at the left.

    My truck with the evangelicals is that they have consistently revised and amended the Bible to conform to their narrow minded social views. They are constantly demeaning and castigating those whom they deem unholy. On issues such as abortion and homosexuality, they take absolutist dogmatic positions of life beginning at the moment of conception and that homosexuality is a sin. There is no consensus among Christian or Jewish denominations as to when life begins, but evangelicals just KNOW that God told them that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Likewise on homosexuality as a sin. For it to be sinful behavior, it must be a choice. I dare say that I know and work with more gays and lesbians than maybe anyone else who posts on this site – I work for an opera company and maybe as many as 30-50% of the men are gay – and not one of them has ever indicated that their sexuality was a matter of choice.

    I have far too many gay and lesbian friends and colleagues to accept some of the characterizations of gay people that I have heard from the evangelicals, and here on this blog from the more conservative posters. To deny people rights or benefits simply because it offends your narrow mined religious beliefs cannot be supported by the constitution. The constitution does not allow for any kind of religious litmus test as a qualification for rights extended to others. I have a term for gays lesbians, and transgendered people: children of God. I will have a measure of respect for evangelicals when they treat ALL of God’s people like I believe Jesus Christ would.

    The problem is, on the issues that occupy the tiny evangelical minds, the Bible is essentially silent.

    However, my most profound sense of disappoint comes from how cheaply you seem value the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are to accept Gov. Palin and her pastor’s image of Jesus Christ, we must believe in an invading, occupying, torturing Christ in full “war mode” who fully endorses evangelism at the point of a sword – or tank. Which Gospel presents Jesus in this fashion? Whom would Jesus bomb? Would Jesus lie to start a war? You cannot square that circle. This is behavior that is at total odds with the life of Jesus Christ as revealed to us in the Gospels. This is the very summit of theological liberalism, so please do not attempt to defend these heretical assertions. This view of Jesus is also incredibly ineffective as an evangelical tool.

    Support any candidate for any reason, but do not try to explain away notions such as a “war mode” Jesus, an Iraq war that is “God’s plan”, or praying away gays. These are houses surely built upon shifting sand.

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  91. mark said on September 9, 2008 at 12:54 pm


    “For it to be sinful behavior, it must be a choice.”

    Really? I hadn’t heard that one before, at least not in Christian theology. So if I just choose correctly, I get my pass to heaven and Christ and I can sit down and discuss what it is like to be without sin? Or if I make the right choices I get a ticket to cast the first stone.

    I’ve understood mainline (including evangelical) Christianity as teaching that Man is fallen, and sinful by nature. I find lust, greed, pride and gluttony come to me naturally. We are to try to emulate Christ and condemn the sin while loving the sinner. While the world is full of hypocrisy (perhaps due to our sinful nature), some of what you find may be your own distortion of the two concepts.

    And where do I go to hear about “war mode” Jesus? That’s a new one for me. Governor Palin has made no such assertion that I have heard of.

    The most doctrinaire church concerning life beginning at conception has also been an ardent opponent of the Iraq war. What is the name of this big movement that claims God loves war and hates homosexuals and pregnant teenagers?

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  92. brian stouder said on September 9, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    The most doctrinaire church concerning life beginning at conception has also been an ardent opponent of the Iraq war

    John McCain ain’t a member of THAT church then, given his snap-answer that life and human rights begin at conception, and his ardent support of US prosecution of the war in Iraq

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  93. mark said on September 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm


    No but Biden claims to be. In fairness, Biden has been sort of consistent in his rejection of the tenets he claims to follow: he was for the war and pro=choice.

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  94. Danny said on September 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Well said, Mark.

    To deny people rights or benefits simply because it offends your narrow mined religious beliefs cannot be supported by the constitution….

    Gasman, for the record, this is NOT why I am against same-sex “marriage.” In fact, it has nothing to do with denying rights. Civil unions are legal and provide all rights that are afforded to married couples.

    What I am against is the redefinition of marriage and then, the inevitable demand that it be taught to elementary school level children. This will result in the sexualization of children. We’ve already seen a little of that in isolated areas.

    And though it may start off with innocent stories about two princes or two penguins, before long, young kids will be made to think of how all of this works and start asking questions of parents or teachers of a sexual nature when they should be thinking about the three R’s and tee-ball. Then undoubtedly, either by state mandate or personal decision, a few teachers will begin to lecture the 2nd-graders on the mechanics of sex. All, of course, in the name of diversity and tolerance, right?

    Umm…No. It will be bringing sex into the mix WAY too early for kids who are just trying to be kids. Leave them alone.

    EDIT: Also for the record, I think that it IS appropriate to start middle school with such education. Middle school is where a lot of bullying really gets nasty. Tolerance and diversity needs to be taught from that age onward and I think it is important for adolescents who are discovering their sexuality to feel comfortable with it. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a gay teenager. Adolescence is bad enough if you are hetero.

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  95. Jolene said on September 9, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Danny, I’m not an expert on the legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage and civil unions, but I do know that advocates of same-sex marriage argue that even, in the most detailed contracts, it’s difficult to capture all the rights available to married couples. Apparently, the California Supreme Court agrees with that perspective.

    But even if that weren’t the case, it seems like a stretch to limit the rights of adults because of what the expansion of rights might mean for the teaching of elementary school children. Except in a few communities, gay marriage is likely to be very rare. Given that infrequency, it just doesn’t seem reasonable to me that gay marriage is going to dramatically change the kinds of observations children can make or the kind of questions they are likely to ask.

    And, really, is there any observation or question that might not arise in relation to an unwed same-sex couple?

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  96. Gasman said on September 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    The “war mode” quote is from Pastor Ed Kalnins, the senior pastor at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church, Palin’s home church prior to moving to Juneau. It is from one of his sermons. Here is the quote that is widely available on the web:

    “What you see in a terrorist — that’s called the invisible enemy. There has always been an invisible enemy. What you see in Iraq, basically, is a manifestation of what’s going on in this unseen world called the spirit world. … We need to think like Jesus thinks. We are in a time and a season of war, and we need to think like that. We need to develop that instinct. We need to develop as believers the instinct that we are at war, and that war is contending for your faith. … Jesus called us to die. You’re worried about getting hurt? He’s called us to die. Listen, you know we can’t even follow him unless you are willing to give up your life. … I believe that Jesus himself operated from that position of war mode. Everyone say “war mode.” Now you say, wait a minute Ed, he’s like the good shepherd, he’s loving all the time and he’s kind all the time. Oh yes he is — but I also believe that he had a part of his thoughts that knew that he was in a war.”

    Here are some more gems from Pastor Kalnins’:

    Kalnins hinted that supporters of John Kerry would be condemned. In 2004, during the elections, Kalnins was quoted as saying, “I’m not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person, I question your salvation. I’m sorry….If every Christian will vote righteously, it would be a landslide every time.”

    Additionally, Kalnins was reported to have told his congregation that criticizing George W. Bush over his response to Hurricane Katrina was comparable to criticizing one’s pastor, by saying, “I hate criticisms towards the President, because it’s like criticisms towards the pastor, it’s almost like, it’s not going to get you anywhere, you know, except for hell. That’s what it’ll get you.”

    Please find the Gospel citations for these remarks and attitudes. Kalnins is clearly equating Christianity with Republicanism. That is a gross distortion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you can, please square that circle.

    As a devout servant of Jesus Christ, I am strongly offended by the assertion that any political party or ideology are the sole recipients of Christ’s grace on earth. I am offended that these self appointed guardians of heaven would deny my Christianity and my right to claim myself American simply because I do not agree with their politics. This doctrine is unsupportable by either the constitution or the Bible.

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  97. alex said on September 9, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Danny, when you talk to young schoolchildren about married opposite-sex couples you don’t sexualize it. That’s why I find that argument absurd. Always have.

    For those of us who want to commit to each other, it’s about love. I think a lot of evangelicals just don’t understand this because the only way they’ve ever enjoyed their own homosexuality is on the downlow.

    In fact, I’m pretty fucking sick of the double standard that heteros can talk about their relationships and it’s perfectly acceptable, but if I talk about mine I’m accused of throwing my sex life in everyone’s face. When my co-workers lose a spouse, everyone’s understanding and gives them a shoulder to cry on and bereavement time off. Will I get the same consideration if I’m widowed? I’m pretty damned sure I won’t. But my heart will be just as broken as any of theirs.

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  98. Jolene said on September 9, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Your statement, Alex, makes clear why only marriage will suffice–because marriage is honored as no other kind of relationship is.

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  99. Gasman said on September 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    As for my comment about sin being a matter choice, you seem to be conflating two different topics: sin and original sin. The stance toward homosexuality that evangelicals have consistently taken is that homosexuality is willful sin. Dr. James Dobson’s Focus On The Family, the host organization of the Love Won Out program that seeks to “pray away the gay” has this to say about the conference:

    “We want people to know that individuals don’t have to be gay and that a homosexual identity is something that can be overcome.”

    Clearly, they view homosexuality as a choice, and a sinful one at that.

    And notice, nowhere in my post did I say anything about attaining salvation through your choices. Those are your words, not mine.

    Original sin is a doctrine that is not universal in its acceptance by Christian denominations. It is not contained in the Bible and actually dates from the second century and Bishop of Lyon Irenaeus’s struggle against Gnosticism. Don’t confuse what is actually contained in the Bible with what we think should be contained in it.

    Again, I object to you or anyone else defining Christianity as anything other than faith in Christ.

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  100. Suzi said on September 9, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I immediately got what you meant by “For it to be sinful behavior, it must be a choice. ” I’ve tried to explain til blue in the face that it’s not a choice! But conservative Catholics, Muslims and fundamentalists of every sort. seem to want to believe that gayness doesn’t exist, it’s just a lot of very naughty behavior that can be prayed, trained or conditioned away. The explanation that God made them that way sails over their heads and asking what will they do if one of their kids is gay/lesbian is met with a blank look or a smug, “it’ll never happen in MY family.” It did happen in my family and thank God, my sister’s “choice” was accepted with love and empathy.

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  101. Gasman said on September 9, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    As a gay colleague of my said, “Who would choose to be gay?”
    What advantages accrue to you for declaring yourself homosexual? You risk beatings, social ostracism, and loss of employment (yes, it’s actually still legal to fire someone because they’re gay). Given all that, why would anyone choose to be gay?

    As to the violence issue, a young man who I know was beaten nearly to death here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, generally a very gay friendly city. It was because he was gay as indicated by the homophobic slurs he used during the attack. Big recruiting tool to convince people to become gay.

    My sexuality is not subject to coercion, I cannot be “recruited” into being gay. Why is it so absurd to think that our gay/lesbian brothers and sisters would be any different?

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  102. alex said on September 9, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    As I’ve been trying to explain to people, the only “choice” in the matter is whether to deceive the innocent people around you into believing you’re something you’re not.

    Which, when you live in a red state, is necessary for self-preservation on multiple levels, I’ve found. Your heritage, your religion and, yes, even the part of you that’s nobody else’s business is subject to rigorous inspection by the self-righteous.

    When I was young I ran away to the big city to try to find a community where I’d be welcome. My motivations? Not necessarily in the order of priority were 1) To spare my family and associates shame; 2) To find equality of opportunity; 3) To protect myself from imminent harm. In midlife I came back to my hometown to stand my ground. This is my rightful place. Even if there were equality of opportunity, there isn’t much opportunity, but I don’t care.

    I had a rude awakening. I thought over the last few decades things had changed. And they have. As a beleaguered teen, I once sought the counsel of a pastor at an Episcopalian church. He was incredibly uncomfortable and of no help whatsoever. These days, the new pastor of the same church writes me a personal letter trying to schmooze me and my partner and telling us what a wonderful, tolerant congregation I’ll find there.

    And yet I feel so burned by the former that it makes it difficult for me to trust the current one. I know I’d find fellowship there and not judgment, and frankly I wish all denominations competed for membership on that basis.

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  103. Gasman said on September 9, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    I would certainly understand your rejection of Christianity based on our rather checkered past toward the gay community as a whole. I know here in Santa Fe we have at least two very open churches who welcome GLBT members at all levels – absolutely full acceptance in the congregation. First Presbyterian, of which I am a member, and St. Bede’s Episcopal Church have consistently been advocates for the GLBT community in Santa Fe. St. Bede’s rainbow flag has been removed by vandals countless times and they’ve had their windows smashed. At First Pres. we were picketed by Fred Phelps and his inbred “church.” I say that with more than a hint of pride; if Fred Phelps is against it, it must be a reasonable position.

    Please don’t tar and feather all Christians because of the ignorance and intolerance of a few. Some of us actually believe the words of Christ.

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  104. alex said on September 9, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Fred Phelps came to Fort Wayne and did his little superiority dance in front of “soddomite whorehouse” churches of several denominations. And then the News-Sentinel, Nance’s alma mater, actually had the temerity to print a story that said nothing of his notorious schtick as the godhatesfagsdotcom guy, or much of anything else about his scurrilous past. Only after Phelps began interfering with the funerals of fallen soldiers did the paper declare him public enemy number one.

    Please be assured that I don’t tar and feather all because of a few, although in all honesty I must say nothing has weakened my inclination toward faith in a benevolent God more than these very people.

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  105. Gasman said on September 9, 2008 at 10:41 pm


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  106. brain stouder said on September 9, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Fred Phelps came to Fort Wayne and did his little superiority dance in front of “soddomite whorehouse” churches of several denominations.

    Yes – and that travelling band of charlatans and hate mongers also picketed the Fort Wayne Lincoln Museum, because of the play about the murder of Matthew Shepard

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  107. mark said on September 10, 2008 at 11:29 am


    Thanks for the quotes. As for the latter two, I can’t defend them. I don’t condone ministers, preachers, etc. getting political in the pulpit, regardless of their politics. Christ could have gone after politics but he seemed to do the opposite. I don’t know how any minister could ever think “Well, everything around here is in A-1 shape spiritually, so I guess I better use my time to get the flock right politically.

    I’ve got to run so I’ll address the rest later.

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