Friday afterthoughts.

So, one week after the death of Jeff Zaslow comes this: Anthony Shadid, dead in Syria of…an asthma attack? How ghastly. Suffocated by your own body. I interviewed a woman with severe asthma a few years back. She said, “Imagine you’re breathing through a drinking straw.” I didn’t want to. Still don’t. Shudder.

Sorry for today’s late posting. I’m doing some cramming at the other job, and haven’t been moved to write about much other than what I’m writing about there. However, comments are growing burdensome on the last post, so here’s a new one.

First, something I’m sure you are all intensely worried about: With new New York City health codes explicitly prohibiting dogs in restaurants, what will happen to the traditional day-after steak dinner at Sardi’s for the winner of the Westminster Dog Show? Not to worry: A loophole has been found. Bonus: Pix of previous winners tucking in, including this year’s dustmop.

You all know this, but Dahlia Lithwick says it so well: The vaginal-ultrasound probe law in Virginia is an abomination. Where is the outrage? she asks. Well, here, for one place.

Santorum tells an audience packed with automotive executives that they’d be better off bankrupt. They responded “politely and modestly,” which is to be expected — the Detroit Economic Club isn’t exactly a pelt-’em-with-Parkerhouse-rolls type of crowd. Best damning with faint praise quote:

Afterward, small-business owner, Charley Mancuse, 32, CEO of the Detroit-based mustard manufacturer Charley’s Foods, said Santorum “was more articulate than I expected.”

Well, at least they’re not saying it about the black guy!

OK, comment away. I’m back to the Truth Squad.

Posted at 9:33 am in Current events |
 

133 responses to “Friday afterthoughts.”

  1. Minnie said on February 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

    As I posted here on Feb. 14, our Matheresque, Republican-owned-and-operated General Assembly here in Virginia fills me with disgust and dread. Dahlia Lithwick articulated my feelings far better than I could ever express. Where is the outrage from the medical community on this issue?

  2. Jolene said on February 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I heard the news re Anthony Shadid last night. Such a fine writer; such a huge loss.

  3. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Shadid’s talents were a rare combination: fearless bulldog reporter AND a stylish and elegant writer that understood how to actually write hard news. Not a common combination these days. The antidote to in-bedded Judith Miller on Shrub’s middle east invasion and occupation.

    The VA law codifies an illegal and invasive search, without benefit of a crime having been committed. It’s clearly unConstitutional unless these pricks are abrogating the 4th Amendment*. Women facing this bodily intrusion should demand to see warrants, like warrants are ever going to happen. I doubt that even the ultra-reactionary 4th Circuit would stand for that. If I were a lawyer, I’d move to VA and do this pro bono. In fact, a lawyer could produce a kit for this, the way GOPers write “personhood” laws (and forget to delete the boilerplate) when they publish the acts for first reading. And sonogram techs should be provided with standard language for refusing to perform such procedures on the basis of moral or religious convictions. The whole thing reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s brilliant horror novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. (I now it’s generally considered science fiction, but it is scarier than most of Stephen King.)

    *Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    That’s a lot less ambiguous than the 2nd, you yayhoos.

  4. Dexter said on February 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

    My mother as well as her father suffered from asthma. Grandpa sucked in smoke from smoldering powdered belladonna plants packaged as “asthma powder”. Mom, a lifelong tobacco abstainer, smoked “asthma cigarettes”, http://drugstoremuseum.com/sections/level_info2.php?level_id=79&level=2
    which also contained stramonium. These actually gave great relief to my mom and grandpaw.
    I thought I had dodged it, until my 2003 diagnoses of asthma.
    Now I take two hits on an Advair diskus accuhaler and I use a Combivent inhalation aerosal inhaler for occasions when breathing becomes a bit labored or I start that goddamned wheezing. Since I have not had a severe attack I don’t panic-worry about having a fatal attack, but I am keenly aware it can happen, and I carry my rescue inhaler, the Combivent, at all times, as religiously as I carry my recovery token. The token/ medallion/chip is so far fool-proof…the thing is, see, if I am ever tempted to pour a hard drink, I can drink it if I insert my coin into the glass and the coin dissolves. So far I have not had to go to that extreme, and so far I have not had to frantically grope for my rescue inhaler to save my life. Also, I am grateful I have never had the “breathing through a straw” phenomenon. I have felt like my air supply has been cut off when I come into contact with certain perfumes and after shaves and especially that fucking cigarette smoke.

  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Dang, Caliban, when you’re sober, you’re quite a good writer yourself. Sincerely. (Even when we disagree.)

  6. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Bad news for GOP that is good news for every other American. Sad situation, right Scott Walker? Is Newt going to attend the groundbreaking ceremony?

    I’m hoping state and local politicians didn’t give away the store on taxation. I used to work in this school system, and it could use this infusion of cash.

    edit: I had a tension pneumothorax once in a football game, so I know what it feels like not to be able to breathe. Frightening as hell. Fascinating detail in the Shadid story. The NYT photog he was with carried him across the border from Syria into Turkey. What the hell? Sounds like a big story not being reported. Or maybe nothing. There is irony in surviving being shot bythe IDF in Ramallah and imprisoned by Gaddaffi loyalists in Libya, and succumbing to asthma in the midst of the Syrian civil uprising.

  7. Casey said on February 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I’ve followed Anthony Shahid for years. Special interest and appreciation of his work born of my years living in the Mideast and Libya. His loss will be keenly felt. He was a terrific translator of unspoken nuances of the Mideast. An asthma attack? Wonder if it was exasperated by tear-gas. More likely just difficult conditions.

  8. Jeff Borden said on February 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I will repeat what I wrote the other day: unless you are an evangelical whose entire worldview revolves around an 18th century role for women in society, I don’t see how a woman can cast a vote for a Republican these days. God Almighty, our Democratic legislature is up to its eyebrows in sleaze and corruption here in Illinois, but how can I vote for a GOPer when they may well engage in the same kind of anti-woman behavior as they’re doing in Virginia? I saw numerous photos of young, college-aged women at CPAC last week, all cheering for their super-conservo heroes. Do those young ladies support their party in Virginia? If so, I fear for their future and ours.

  9. Sherri said on February 17, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Jeff, my motto is, friends don’t let friends vote Republican.

  10. Peter said on February 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Oh Caliban, how I wish I could share your happiness at the Cat plant story, but truth be told, Georgia gave them a lot of tax breaks. Worse than that, Cat’s chairman previously stated that they didn’t want to do business in Illinois (their home state) because the state government’s so effed up. So the bottom line is that your former employer will get stiffed but the GOP will be able to use this as more proof that Barry Osama ain’t no good.

    jeff, many years ago when my son was a little tot my friend gave him this advice “Watch out for Republican women – they either want a lot of money or a lot of kids and they’ll stop at nothing to get it”. Not that he was bitter or anything.

  11. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Embarrassing truth about Santorum’s income.
    Hidden behind those sweater vests. I’m surprised no political cartoonist has drawn him with a Charlie Brown sweater vest. And seriously, isn’t “hangdog” the perfect adjective to describe Ricky’s put-upon affect?

    Perfect Santorum campaign song.

  12. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Peter, it is one hell of a lot of jobs, and there will be local tax revenue.

  13. beb said on February 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Perhaps moe or LAMary can help me out here, but didn’t the Supreme Court say that states could pass restrictions on abortions as long as they were not unduly interferring? Because it seems to me that this Virgina abortion law creates an undue burden on woman.

    The one good that’s come out of brouhaha about contraception is that its bringing out the extent that anti-abortionists are just against abortion but against birth control as well. A lot of people are squishy on abortion but pertty firm about having birth control.

    When I read that a western reporter has died in Syria I immediately doubt any report involving “natural” causes.

  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    beb, that was my first thought, but his photographer was with him and escorted the body out of the country. Now if said photog changes story upon making it onto safer soil, that will be given immediate credence, but it sounds like horrifically, ironically, that’s how he died.

  15. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Jeff,

    The original reports said that the photographer carried Shadid over the border, which certainly sounds like there may be something more to the story than natural causes. He couldn’t be on safer soil in that part of the world than Turkey, so I guess the facts will out soon enough.

  16. Suzanne said on February 17, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    The conservative view on contraception has, I think, changed. I started hearing it 10 or so years ago. I used to consider myself a conservative, always voted GOP, as did many of my friends, and was on the pill when I was first married, as most of my GOP Christian friends were. A few years ago, I noticed many Christians morphing into this “women need to keep their place” mentality and I started hearing more and more non-Catholic Christians saying all contraception (except maybe condoms)is really abortion and should not be used. Previously, this seemed to be common among what we call “hair churches”–very conservative, out of the mainstream, women can’t wear pants kind of churches–but not any where else. What is scaring me is that this is entering mainstream churches more and more. I know a number of LCMS Lutherans and they are positively ecstatic today that the president of their church went to capitol hill and told those so and so’s off because they need to stop this war on Christians.

  17. coozledad said on February 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Just don’t forget that the snake flaggers were a Republican invention, and hang it around their necks every time they start with the concern trollery. Bob McDonnell and his legislative cohort couldn’t fix a bowl of cereal for breakfast, much less write laws:
    http://waldo.jaquith.org/blog/2012/02/5-personhood-effects/

    Good luck getting a motorcycle helmet on that fetus, shit for brains!

  18. jcburns said on February 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Meet Lisa Chan, Pete Hoekstra’s Asian stereotype personified.

  19. DellaDash said on February 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Been thinking of ‘The Handmaid’s Tail’ (pun intended) myself, Caliban.

    Back in the day when I was going to junior high, before it became middle school, I had a class that introduced us to debate by having everyone choose their position on the proposition that “women are smarter than men”, then come up front to a podium and give a 5-minute argument in the affirmative or negative. You can guess how that shook out, genderwise…except for me…the lone female going to the dark side. Almost 50 years later, I might buy in somewhat to the hormone-driven Mars/Venus thing; but nothing will ever convince me that chromosomes (any more than race) factor into the distribution of intelligence, no matter how loosely or narrowly you want to define it.

    Anyway, that young, unformed, but logical-with-nothing-to-prove version of myself had started sucking in entitlement with her baby’s formula. While it took her ultra-conservative, fundamentalist-Baptist-not-descended-from-monkeys mother 5 successful childbirths and as many miscarriages to get her tubes tied; SHE came of age in the golden era after the pill and before AIDS…with Susan B, et al at her back; Friedan, Steinem and Angela Davis on the frontlines; and her modesty, along with sexual repression and angst-ridden teenage foundation garments, in an ashpile.

    Maybe we, the most privileged females in the history of womankind, would be gobsmacked by how many women were anti-suffregette, anti-ERA, and are still anti-choice…even having found out the hard way the price one pays for freedom, independence, and control over our personal destinies…Virginia good ole boys, sister-wives and virgins-for-Jesus notwithstanding…we’ve got the vote, we’ve got the numbers (there hasn’t been a bailout on the man shortage while I wasn’t paying attention, has there?), we’ve got our bodies/ourselves…and we will coalesce into one gargantuan titanium-clawed earsplitting harpy before we surrender what’s ours.

  20. Jimmie Cracked Thornes said on February 17, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    “I started hearing more and more non-Catholic Christians saying all contraception (except maybe condoms)is really abortion and should not be used.”

    You never heard a single Christian say that birth control pills were equivalent to abortion. Zero. None.

    You heard Rachel Maddow say that this is what Christians believe.

  21. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Della:

    Reminds me in turn of my favorite Doors tune.

    They’ve got the guns
    But we’ve got the numbers.

    And this Calypso.

    Jimmie @20: Suzanne and Della are talking about a time before before Rachel Maddow was a twinkle in her dad’s eye. And to this day, the prolife right is overly pleased with itself when characterizing Plan B and other emergency contraception “abortifacient” (like a toddler that’s learned a four letter word and can’t refrain from spouting it), demonstrating utter ignorance of the way those chemicals work. It’s also common for people of that religious and political persuasion to insist on “personhood” and that any hormonal contraception that prevents implantation of a zygote is indeed “murder”.

  22. Dorothy said on February 17, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    And how, pray tell, do you know what Suzanne heard and did not hear? You live inside her head, do you?

  23. nancy said on February 17, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Isn’t the Catholic objection to contraception based on the fact it subverts God’s will for marriage? It might fall one small step short of abortion, but I guarantee you, orthodox Catholics consider artificial birth control (i.e., all of it) no small evil.

  24. Suzanne said on February 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Jimmie, I have heard people say that. Truly. Because the pill in some cases prevents the fertilized egg from implanting in the womb, and so that would be considered an abortion. Many people consider an IUD an abortion causing device for the same reason.

  25. Julie Robinson said on February 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Sadly I have heard that same view from some who say they are Christians.

    Will it be burkas next?

  26. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Nancy,

    What’s an Orthodox Catholic, in this context? Catholic doctrine is created by a Pope speaking n a subject ex cathedra, which has never happened on the subject of contraception (nor, I believe, regarding abortion). Considering that fact, I’m a run of the mill practicing American Catholic that has never felt any compunction about using birth control. Catholics that do are generally Opus Dei of Mel Gibson’s dad types, that also believe in self-flagellation and wearing hairshirts. These people are a very small group, hardly representatives of American Catholics. And before Christians start defending the Bishops, I want to see bona fides that they also support the Bishops’ well-publicized statements on environmental protection, social justice, and human rights, particularly the death penalty. If they aren’t comfortable doing so, they need to STFU about Catholics and contraception, and it would help if they’d admit that Catholicism of the Roman persuasion is the original Christian church.

    Bishops and GOPers.

    Real? Or Memorex?

  27. MarkH said on February 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    OT, because it’s the weekend –

    Hey, Stouder, F1 is just around the corner. This ought to whet your appetite (and anyone else’s):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cmR_KiCjz4

    Amazing how the steering wheels have evolved. That sucker is about $25K of high-tech.

  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    John XXIII was leaning towards approving contraception within marriage, while maintaining the long-standing ban on abortion; in 1963 he formed a commission within the Vatican to review this stance, with an eye to presenting a consistent sexual ethic within Catholic social teaching for such permission, coupled with an abortion ban.

    He put together 72 cardinals, bishops, & theologians (and as I recall, there might have been a nun or three, but that would be it on the female side, but hold on), and they met and drafted a majority opinion . . . tragically, mostly after John XXIII’s death.

    Paul VI received the report of this papal commission in 1966; there was a minority report arguing that contraception should be seen as a grave moral evil with negative social consequences, even if used within the context of a marriage. The minority report was from 7 (a cardinal, some bishops and a pair of theologians), leaving 65 members of senior Vatican leadership saying that the Papacy should find married contraception morally acceptable.

    Paul wrestled with it, because he knew this was a big step. And as he was about to make his decision, someone sent him the new English translation of the Archbishop of Krakow’s book he’d written in Polish in 1960, called “Love and Responsibility.” Paul sat down to read it, and got up certain he should come down against the majority recommendation. And to write a new draft from the muddled dissent, he called Karol Wojtyla down from Krakow, made him a cardinal, and had him head the team that wrote Humanae Vitae which was released as a papal encyclical in 1968.

    It’s a great “what if” in modern history — what would have happened to the Catholic church if Paul VI had sighed deeply for the old days and then signed what his predecessor’s commission had recommended? Conservatives/traditionalists would argue that the Holy Mother Church would have collapsed into schism and dissention and ended up looking like a very big version of what’s happened in mainline Protestant churches in Europe & the US; liberal/progressive voices assert that the church would have had a new breath of hope and coherence which would have made global Catholicism a major voice for good in the world while still affirming solid teaching to willing hearers.

    Oh, and in 1971? The Southern Baptist Convention (yes, those Southern Baptists) passed a resolution calling for the social acceptance of abortion and its moral appropriateness in many family situations. You can look it up.

    And that Cardinal Wojtyla went on to write and speak a bit more, too. After 1978 he became very well known, if under the name John Paul II. That’s all from memory, so be cautious in quoting me on dates, but it’s all solid history in order, anyhow. The tale of how the SBC went from strongly pro-abortion to strongly anti-abortion probably deserves a book of its own. The year of the three popes has gotten plenty of coverage, and there’s a hatful of books on that year alone. And of course there’s Frank Schaeffer.

  29. A. Riley said on February 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    “Orthodox” Catholics are, as Caliban noted, that small minority of American Catholics have an almost evangelical-fundamentalist worldview, except with papolatry added. There’s a whole bunch of Catholic bloggers who pride themselves on being Orthodox (by which they mean, better than you and me), and I spent way too much time trying to find any pearls among those swine a few years back. (Nancy, your old neighbor is among the few reasonably sane members of that crowd.)

    Alas, that crowd seems to be centered in and around Washington, so the Village thinks theirs is the only valid Catholic viewpoint — after all, that’s what they keep telling them, and the Villagers don’t know enough to know the difference.

  30. alex said on February 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Hey Jimmie Cracker, get a load of this:

    “This controversy is not merely about ‘birth control’ and the Catholic Church’s views about it,” said the Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and my former pastor at Zion Lutheran Church. “It’s about mandating that we provide medications which kill life in the womb. Perhaps even more ominous, it is about an overzealous government forcing coercive provisions that violate the consciences and rights of its citizens.

    Emphasis mine. From the ridiculous Kevin Leininger column I linked to yesterday about Obama’s alleged assault on religious liberty.

  31. coozledad said on February 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    The only upside to this whole horror show is that the squicky little authoritarians are taking off the masks. Megan McArdle confirms once and for all that “Libertarian” isn’t just poli-sci for asshole, it’s an abbreviation for a whole catalog of sociopathic disorders. Conveniently for us, they’re proud to diagnose and label themselves as irredeemably damaged goods.
    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2012/02/17/shame-the-sluts-and-make-them-wait/

  32. A. Riley said on February 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Jeff (tmmo), I recall reading that Pat and Patty Crowley of Chicago were among the very few married couples that were called to advise the Pope on that. And I also recall that the bishops were concerned about changing the teaching lest it shake the laity’s faith in the church’s capacity for inerrancy. One said, “What about all the people who’ve gone to hell for disobedience to the church’s teaching?” And she answered, “Your eminence, do you think that God has obeyed all your orders?”

    That’s quoted in a book compiled by Julie Isherwood, “The Good News of the Body: Sexual Theology and Feminism.”

  33. Jeff Borden said on February 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    A good place to start in trying to understand why the Catholic Church is so against contraception can be found in the work of historian Garry Wills, who wrote a very cogent article about this issue for the New York Review of Books titled “Contraception Con-Men.”

    One of his points follows:

    The opposition to contraception has, as I said, no scriptural basis. Pope Pius XI once said that it did, citing in his encyclical Casti Connubii (1930) the condemnation of Onan for “spilling his seed” rather than impregnating a woman (Genesis 38.9). But later popes had to back off from this claim, since everyone agrees now that Onan’s sin was not carrying out his duty to give his brother an heir (Deuteronomy 25.5-6). Then the “natural law” was fallen back on, saying that the natural purpose of sex is procreation, and any use of it for other purposes is “unnatural.” But a primary natural purpose does not of necessity exclude ancillary advantages. The purpose of eating is to sustain life, but that does not make all eating that is not necessary to subsistence “unnatural.” One can eat, beyond the bare minimum to exist, to express fellowship, as one can have sex, beyond the begetting of a child with each act, to express love.

    The whole article is illuminating and worth reading. Here’s the link:

    http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2012/feb/15/contraception-con-men/

  34. Lex said on February 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Where’s the outrage? Well, here, for example.

    The bottom line is that after 35 years of pretending to have the country’s best interests at heart, the Religious Right has stopped pretending. As coozledad observes, that’s an upside, just like the upside to those annoying pink ribbons is that now you know what not to buy.

  35. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Cooz: You mean asshole that smokes pot, right?

    Contrary to conventional wisdom that isn’t really, statements of Popes are not considered inerrant by Catholics, or Popes or Cardinals for that matter, unless issued specifically ex cathedra. Otherwise encyclicals and such are not really doctrine (whence “orthodox”). I’ve been a Catholic 60 years, and have never known, in adulthood, a Catholic that considered using any contraceptive at all, except abortion as birth control, sinful. Actually, the doctrine of papal infallibility dates only to 1870. What John XXIII said on the subject of infallibility:

    I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible.

    As Jeff rightly points out:

    The opposition to contraception has… no scriptural basis.

    This means that any such direction from the Vatican is incapable of being promulgated ex cathedra, no matter how much fundagelicals would like to tie that millstone aroungd the necks of Catholics. So recently, did the Pope find himself comfortable with expressing a more liberal idea about condom use to interrupt the aids conflagration in Africa.

    All of these sex-is-for-procreation zealots need to be made to attempt to explain why got made sex so pleasurable. Why did she design the clitoris, or put all those nerve endings in penises? Should people incapable of procreation remain celibate as a matter of faith and morals?

  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Riley, I hadn’t heard that one. Have to hunt up the book.

  37. Rana said on February 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    beb, I’m betting they’re counting on there being a challenge to the Constitutionality of this law; that way they can get it into the appeals system, and work it up the rungs to the Supreme Court. Given the current composition of the court, I’m afraid that they have a reasonable chance of getting a ruling that will severely weaken, or even overturn, Roe v. Wade.

  38. Icarus said on February 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    and I was really worried that “Sharia Law” might come to America.

  39. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Rana. No fucking way. The illegal intrusive search when there is not even a whiff of criminal activity. These people despise the idea of sex but it excites their little stumpies. crime kinda puts these unrecalciteant morons on the defensive vis a vis the 4th amendment, Which last I re. I’d be willing to bed a bundle that GOpers and clitoral butchery come up as in your face as
    repub;ican/ No? On what planet

    /
    republicans all view
    g
    op wives as both cattle and chattel/

  40. Jakash said on February 17, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Hmmm… The salient paragraph describing the creation of “Humanae Vitae” from the esteemed Mr. Wills’ piece linked to by Jeff Borden differs somewhat from the brilliant off-the-cuff version posted by Jeff TMMO above. To wit:

    “There was broad disagreement with Pius XI’s 1930 encyclical on the matter. Pope Paul VI set up a study group of loyal and devout Catholics, lay and clerical, to make recommendations. The group overwhelmingly voted to change the teaching of Pius XI. But cardinals in the Roman Curia convinced Paul that any change would suggest that the church’s teachings are not eternal (though Casti Connubii had not been declared infallible, by the papacy’s own standards).”

    In addition to suggesting the impetus was Paul VI instead of John XXIII, this paragraph leaves out the swell “and now you know the REST of the story” chunk regarding John Paul II and his book that Jeff included. I surely have no idea which is more accurate, and am more than happy to go with the always-compelling Jeff TMMO. Regardless, his version was much more entertaining…

    Which, of course, is not to diminish the Wills article, which is also excellent.

  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    If I could ever upstage Garry Wills, I’d be amazed.

    Anyhow, on a purely personal note: this link is something that I’m interested in pushing out to as broad an audience as possible, because we’re doing a bunch of events this summer in Ohio that we hope to draw a Midwestern and beyond audience to share in. This is what I do when I’m not doing juvenile court mediation & occasional preaching –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PWRFnPQt3I

    Passing this around to your circle of friends would be greatly appreciated; thank you!

  42. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Seriously? When the fundagelicals that have called Catholicism “the whore of Babylon, I feel free to question their idea they can tie up some commection with Catholics. As a practicing Catholic, educated b Jesuits, I say Fuck you. You tried to use Augustine to excuse Shock and Awe. You are despicable.

  43. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Jeff, you are a more sensible version. Tell you what. The spectacular misrepresentation of Catholicism, particulatly intellectual Catholicism, by these born again Yayhoos is annoying as shit. And I did eight years with nuns that were sure I was the deveil’s spawn for being male, and bound to reality by understanding that when R. Raygun signed off on murdering Archbishop Romero while he was distributing communion. Now how dothedespicable”Christians” explain that away? Well they say, he was a

    Catholic which isn’t really a Catholic. What the hell is wrong with people?
    the
    Catholic Church is the
    christian church. Go to hell tyou political religionists. We do not want your fecal foam and the idea that whackjob turds that want to adopt Catholics is just fracking astounding. These people hate Catholics. That is a fact/

  44. Deborah said on February 17, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Reading about how these things came to be regarding the Catholics and birth control reminds me of when I was in a Lutheran College taking a required theology course about how the canon was determined, how the various books of the bible were decided to be authentic. I was astounded by how much of it was determined by prayer, or that’s how I remember it. I mean, come on, talk about a predetermined conclusion!

  45. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    I’d have to insist is that what I, as a
    catholic, educated in the ideas of liberation theology, is what it actually means to be a real

    catholic. We believe that fucking over clean air for profit is as despicab;e as anything possible. We believe that indigenous peopl deserve a right to their land. When reactionary right-wingers try to co=opt Catholicism, we believe they suck big time. Catholics, including the Bishops believe that the death penalty is entirely opposed to anything Jesus ever espoused. These two ideas are obviously mutually exclusive. Jesus s on the main line until reactionary ahoes get vindictive. And those hos that want to avoid sonagrams after Uncle Ernie impregnated them? Well Santorum says lie back and make the best of it. Seriously Rick. Up your ass you creepy shitheel.

  46. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Do thebastards that want to hide behind Catholic ideas want to embrace the

    bishops’ ideas about the environment? Climate change? Nope. They want nothing to do with facts.

    These aholes have gone out of their way over the last couple of years to act like they are some real religion and Catholicism is some sort of cult, suddenly want to make shit out ike like Catholics are the real deal and targets of government anti-religion shit. What a hokey buncha aholes.

  47. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    My opinion, if you go out of your way for years to denigrate my religion, that was the obvious source of your made-up pwn, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

  48. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    We’ve moved on to the Judge Judy magisterium. I’d rather be in the cantina of Mos Eiseley, and we all know what Old Ben has to say aboot that place.

  49. brian stouder said on February 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    1. MarkH, that was a wonderful Formula One link. Usually I just click into the BBC F1 site, and indeed, the photos there have been enthralling as the 2012 cars get rolled out. I suppose it induces within me a feeling not unlike what a baseball fan must feel, when they first see spring training photos and coverage.

    2. Jeff tmmo, your ancient Ohio link is superb. There is (it seems to me) something sublime about self-guided tours, especially after you have read something worthwhile about the subject at hand. I’ve done that at battlefields (Shiloh and Antietam are especially affecting) and other places (Lincoln’s Indiana boyhood home is an especially wonderful and quietly enthralling place, although Springfield is not to be missed).

    I can see doing a long weekend in Ohio, at some point.

    3. I’ve no real idea what is going on within the Republican party, nowadays. Seriously, I think a socio/political thesis* could be assembled that begins with Hurricane Katrina, and the actual destruction of a major American city, and continues through this (frankly, astonishing) major American political party’s “presidential” nominating contest, and which concludes that one of the (many) major things that the hurricane destroyed was the facade (or unifying myth) that the national Republican Party was actually….national.

    Speaking for myself, anyway, I’m still pondering just how absolutely and completely that party lost me.

    Even accounting for the fact that I’m an idiot, still – how could so much of what I sincerely believed about that party, in the days before that hurricane, so quickly disintegrate into nothingness?

    *Of course, such a thesis would have to be titled “Reaping the Whirlwind”

  50. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    My opinion of being Catholic has to do with being

    Catholic has to do with social justice.

    we beliebe Chtistianity means taking care of everybody, including the least of my brethren. That is what I think is christianity. If ahitheels don;t think so, they ateshitheewls like”’rick

    santorum. What Jesus meant? We take care of the least of our brethren. Amybody that doesn’t buy ubti that udea us a whited sepulcher

    christian,

  51. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    What ever. It’s OK to be a
    reaganite and shoot Romero at the communion rail because he was just a Catholic,
    //worlds worst President. P Reagan sucked. No matter whar morons claim. He was an n oltimer moron,

  52. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Raygun wa not some some nice old fart.
    that is a really sad distortion of whar a vile piece of shit that asshole really was.

  53. caliban said on February 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Sweiously, do these

    so-called Christians want to go along with the

    catholic Bishops on vlimate change and the death penalty.

    STFU. It’s dmonic cult.
    these aholes have no use for the
    ctholuc Church.

    what a major league buncha whited sepulcher.

  54. Sue said on February 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Seems to me that now would be a very good time for Dems to start pushing the idea that employers shouldn’t be in the business of providing insurance. Didn’t Obama mention something along those lines during his SOTU speech?
    I wonder what an alternative could be? Hmmmmm….

  55. basset said on February 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Caliban, what’s your tipple tonight? I remember you mentioning falling off your bike and breaking bottles of something or other, just don’t recall what.

    I’ll guess… let me think about it a second… Mepergan and absinthe with a Stella Artois chaser.

  56. moe99 said on February 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    my news is not good:

    http://moesmisadventures.blogspot.com/2012/02/good-newsbad-news.html

  57. Bob (Not Greene) said on February 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Jeez Moe, I wish you nothing but the best.

  58. Sherri said on February 18, 2012 at 12:39 am

    So sorry, Moe.

  59. Dexter said on February 18, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Best wishes, moe.

  60. MarkH said on February 18, 2012 at 1:19 am

    So sorry to hear this, moe. Stay strong. Thoughts and prayers going your way.

  61. Deborah said on February 18, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Moe, Stay strong, we’re with you in spirit. Hoping for the very best.

  62. ROGirl said on February 18, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Good thoughts to you, Moe.

  63. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 18, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Hoping with you that it goes well, and all the prayers you can tolerate with or without sedation.

  64. Suzanne said on February 18, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Sorry to hear it Moe. Pulling for you.

  65. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Joe Kobiela, a comment please.>

    Moe, maintenant. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oday_Fc-Gc You’ve got a presidential election to vote in and strong statements to make.

  66. Dexter said on February 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

    basset: I never had even heard of absinthe until HBO’s Carnivale series. Professor Lodz (Patrick Bauchau) was addicted to it and the show even went to the extremes of showing
    how to set up the sugar cube filtering the ice water through the sugar cube and screen, and into the absinthe shot in the glass. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-k0e4FawyQ&feature=related

    I kind of wish I had tried it before I quit. I quit before ice beer was unleashed to the public also, but no interest there. Who remember “Bud Dry”? Yep, about the time I quit the big gimmick beer was dry beer.

  67. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

    In the history of Catholic (and Episcopal, according to Robertson Davies) hagiography, Peregrine is the patron of people afflicted with cancer. Contrary to popular belief, Catholics pray to neither saints nor Jesus’ mother Mary. We ask for intercession. I’ve never believed in this much, though if something is lost, I think of St. Anthony impulsively. And when something seems hopeless, Jude’s your man. I know none of that is rational, but neither is selling your soul to the devil at the crossroads on Highway 61, and that sure as shit worked for Robert Johnson, and Bob Dylan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvNUTqDJJaI&feature=related.

    Anyway, Good luck Moe, mon vieux. I’ve spoken to Peregrine, and will continue to importune on your behalf.

    Dex, absinthe is just about as foul as ferne branca. Gross disgusting shit. Absinthe is also called “The Green Fairy” and has a psychotropic effect that is comparable to acid. I’ll admit to having tried just about every alcohol and chemical drug other than Oxy and meth and crack, not a hillbilly after all. Acid is the best, by a mile, but heroine is seductive, while leaving your mind empty.

  68. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 10:22 am

    And the Patrick Bauchau shout reminds me of The Pretender. A spectacularly great TV show that required intelligence. But, you know, people would rather watch Survivor or The Voice. So mow them down mercilessly, the LCD scum. Everybody’s stupid:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUZ2xtNm1L8

  69. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK4t4k1ZG2g&feature=related

    The Dead can chug and make it up as they go along? Ray and Dave have that nailed.

  70. brian stouder said on February 18, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Moe, your essay is both scarey, and scrappy.

    I genuinely admire the intellectual courage you always display, as this fight that you’ve been pulled into continues to unfold. It is obvious that you’ve asked many questions and done lots of reading, and that you’ve therefore equipped yourself to make key decisions intelligently, and take command of the circumstances.

    It truly is “Moe’s misadventures” – as opposed to simply some sad saga, wherein the heroine awaits rescue from some stranger.

    Truly, I do not believe that I’d be anywhere nearly as informed and empowered, if I were in your shoes

  71. nancy said on February 18, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Oh, Moe. I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope you are getting lots of help and support.

  72. Dexter said on February 18, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The Johnny Winter mention take me back to my one year on the coast. One of the venues that was constantly being talked up was Winterland in San Francisco. http://www.chickenonaunicycle.com/Winterland%20Shows.htm
    Of all the shows listed, I only had a chance to see one, and this was before I had my car out there, and I had my Greyhound info messed up and I missed the bus and never did go. This was to be the show I was going to see:
    27 February 1970
    Winterland, San Francisco, CA–Jack Bruce Friends, Johnny Winter, Mountain Lights: Dry Paint

    But it was Buddy Miles who owned the heart of the Bay Area rock fans in those days. Incredibly popular…sold out a lot of Fillmore West shows.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaAfJgSVn4A

  73. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Johnny Winter is an insanely great rocker, Dex. I love guitar playing, and I love playing guitars, and nobody ever played faster than this whacko albino drug addict. And doing Bob Dylan, he’s the best he can be.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9j25V4iw94

    How to play the slide. Better thn Duane. And this song captures America better than just about anything. Thanks Bob Dylan. I just jeard Santorum blame the crash on a spike in gas prices:

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/08/421494/santorum-gas-prices-financial-crisis/

    Santorum? is a dangerous looney toon. Gas prices caused the recession? Most clueless asshat ever to run for President. It’s difficult to parse how moronic this is. Fact is on the Klown Kar, Santorum is an idiot:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yueYopuEPM&feature=related

    Sorry about the multiple links, but Bob Dulan transcends bloggers, and you’ve got the controls. This is a perfect example of how Dylan critics are full of shinola with all of this “unrecognisable” bullshit. Fans know the words from the getgo.

  74. beb said on February 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    moe, I am so sorry to hear this.

  75. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Seriously Rick, it was gas prices and not arbetrageurs fucking with othe peoples” money? How dumb is this mofo?

  76. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    How stupid is this PoS? http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/08/421494/santorum-gas-prices-financial-crisis/

    What an ignoranimus.

  77. brian stouder said on February 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I think the price-per-gallon of gasoline meme is the Fox/Flying Monkeys of the Right Wing Airwaves longer-term hope.

    They’ve been hitting it and hitting it and hitting it for the past two weeks or so, clearly placing their bets (and betting against the good guys, as always)

    Two problems are, first, here in Fort Wayne the price is currently falling (it was around to $3.36/gallon a week ago here in Fort Wayne, and is now about $3.18); and second, there exists tape of all of these same chuckleheads going on and on and on in DEFENSE of high gasoline prices; ‘All hail the “free market”‘ and ‘the president has nothing to do with the price of gas’, etc etc)

    And indeed, in the summer of 2008, when the president was not Obama, we paid $4.30/gallon on vacation in the Wisconsin Dells.

    And do you know what the circle-jerk rightwing strategists were saying then?

    http://hotair.com/archives/2008/06/11/obama-id-like-higher-gas-prices-just-not-so-quickly/

    According to Barack Obama, high gas prices don’t really constitute a problem for Americans. He stated yesterday that the reason for our anger is the rapid increase in prices, not the prices themselves. Obama claimed that Americans would have accepted a “gradual adjustment” to the current cost.

    Obama wants higher gas prices? Do the rest of the Democrats feel the same way? It certainly would explain why they continue to block domestic energy production in oil. It would also explain the bloated Lieberman-Warner bill, which would have imposed a heavy regulatory bureaucracy on the energy industry, along with rationing that would have both driven up prices and held down supply.

    Yup – it was all his fault THEN, too!!

    Because, of course, we all KNOW that government regulation is totally unneeded in the energy-producing part of the economy. Just ask the widows and orphans of the people killed in the massive explosions and fires, at the outset of the BP oil spill in the gulf, right?

    And pipelines like the proposed one in the heart of America can’t possibly leak or spill their contents into the fresh water aquifers, right? We don’t need any pesky studies AHEAD of building such a thing, right? Just let “them” build whatever they want, and it will all work out in the end, right?

    Life is all just a roll of the dice, so why argue? Is that it?

  78. moe99 said on February 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Dexter, Interesing video about absinthe drinking. However, it’s my understanding that absinthe is legal in the US. I get this information from a friend of mine who manufactures and sells distilling equipment for the growing designer hard liquor manufacturers here in the PNW.

  79. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Oh my, I just came home from a funeral to read Moe’s news. Moe, I am so, so sorry. You have shown the same indomitable spirit that my friend Helen had, and I wish for you the full measure of your days, as Helen did get to have. She was 90, and had the energy of someone half her age. Please know that caring thoughts and prayers are going out on your behalf.

  80. Joe K. said on February 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Moe,
    Sending good thoughts your way.
    Pilot Joe

  81. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Gasoline prices? That is what Rickster thinks caused the US economic crash. This ahole isn’t just an idiot, he’s monstrously clueless. What is wrong with this idiot?

  82. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I mean, it wSN’T BANKERS AND DERIVATIVES, that fucked everybody over. Let’s chomp down on how those vultures did not get rich.

  83. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    That’s when I reach for my revolver.

  84. MichaelG said on February 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    I’m very sorry, Moe. All the best. I’m thinking of you.

  85. Dexter said on February 18, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    You are right, moe. Absinthe had restrictions removed several years ago. As for my ignorance of it when I was boozing it up, that’s OK…I loved Wild Turkey 101 too, so much so it was banned from my house by Mrs. Dexter. I’ll not forget the sight of her opening up a brand new jug of Wild Turkey and dumping it down the sink , while uttering stern warnings about never bringing that stuff into her house again. Christ knows what would have happened had I been hooked on absinthe! :)

    Moe, I can’t help thinking about your early years in Defiance.
    My good friend George grew up in a home right on the river in Napoleon, Ohio, and he told me that on that street there were five houses in a row that had cancer clusters. His home had “only” one cancer patient. I know Defiance pumps drinking water of the same river. Any studies ever done on that topic that you know of?

  86. caliban said on February 18, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Wild Turkey is seriously poor compared with Jack. It burns thay throat and tastess like Kentucky. Whatever I’ve ever thought, it was probably fueled by Mr. Jack, the real deal.

  87. Kirk said on February 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Never tasted absinthe but have read interesting stuff about it. But did not know of Mepergan until Basset’s speculation @55. So I looked it up. Sounds like parful stuff. Thanks for the continuing education. I found a website wherein people who have used it rate it. Seemed like the younger patients all raved about it; the people in their 80s and 90s, not so much.

    Moe, I don’t know what the true power of the Internets is, but if there’s anything to it, you know that there’s some major vibrations burning the wires in your behalf.

  88. coozledad said on February 18, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Sometimes I think it’s time we tried this here:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vatican-told-to-pay-taxes-as-italy-tackles-budget-crisis-6988938.html

    And where the fuck is Pinal County AZ going to find a better mascot/Sheriff?

  89. Linda said on February 18, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Moe, I’m so sorry about your news. This seems like a bad week for everybody. We’re thinking of you.

  90. Rana said on February 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Oh, Moe, what crappy news. I wish you the strength to deal with it. *hug*

  91. Deborah said on February 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Coozledad, there’s an idea, tax the churches. They seem to want to get involved with government. Why not?

  92. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 3:01 am

    Brian, It’s a pretty well established fact that the pipeline would raise fuel prices for farmers in the American middle west, which would seem obviously to raise food prices for everybody in the USA. The entire point of the oil sands pipeline is to get the really filthy stuff to China cheaper. When moron liar GOPer politicians talk about hundreds of thousands of jobs, the actually mean a few temporary thousand, and they are only saying that because the shitheel Orange Boner made that Jobs, jobs, jobs comment a few years ago which remains his chief dyspeptic these days since Jobs, jobs, jobs is about as far from the GOP Congressional performance as it’s subhumanly possible to get. (I believe they are orcs bred by Saruman to flood the 2010 Congressional elections like Helms Deep.) Actually, the most fascinating aspect of the MightyFine XL pipeline is how it would involve seizing right-of-ways in the USA for use by foreign corporations. But they are people too my friend. Now, eminent domain is supposed to be one of those sure signs of creepping collectivism that gets GOPer blood to boiling, but apparently when those that benefit are Canadian and Brit corporatists, like probably Conrad Black, it’s all good.

    Basset, bud, the incident to which you refer involved getting struck with an errant golfball on the way home from the market. The beverage in question was stout of the Guinness brand, and no bottles were broken, I have drunk absinthe and don’t like it, but its hallucinatory characteristics are also common to Golden Grain, which only tastes like what you mix it with like Faygo RedPop, or Silver Satin and Thunderbird from a bong, Breakfast of Thunderheads, instead of like a compost heap, which is what absinthe and ferne branca taste like.

    Taxing the churches is an intereting idea. The Catholic Church in the USA is largely broke, badly, and has been propping up the public schhol system with quality education for a long time. Babdiss and LDS on the other hand are filthy rich. Just property taxes on those two institutions would float a lot of school systems, but they would have to teach that Jesus walked with the dinos shit. Which might be acceptable if they employed the Roky version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcGb24n9hvM

    Not likely from one of those Watergate crooks suckling on the public teat they so deride. Like Ayn Rand getting hers back after she smoked up a lung cancer storm. And these superior assholes want drug testing for the unfortunate few that get some sort of government assistance? Voyeuristic pigs and transvaginal sonagrammists.

  93. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 19, 2012 at 7:45 am

    If y’all are thinking taxing churches will close the ones you dislike, and the ones that are doing public good will stay open, you might get a rude shock. Be careful what you wish for.

    And don’t worry, the various local, county, watershed, state, & federal entities have been working at ways to levy “their fair share” of non-profit income, pushing further each year to increase revenue from colleges & universities, hospitals, Red Crosses, yes, even homeless shelters. The logic of not taxing those entities has always been that they are supported by community members who already are paying taxes for the roads, fire & police, utility infrastructure — so taxing them means those public minded citizens get to pay twice. Me having to raise new money just to pay new “user fees,” “squad billings,” & “watershed assessments” for our housing coalition: yes, we own some forty properties, but we house almost 100 in transitional housing & 44 developmentally disabled adults. Why are we getting hit with this?

    Ah, because someone in the state legislature thought they could raise some tax revenue creatively without making the public think they’re raising taxes, by getting their hands in the endowments of Ohio’s many small liberal arts colleges. But it turns out (see “bills of attainder”) you can’t target these laws just on certain institutions you’re annoyed at because they have lots of money and don’t pay into the treasury each year. But they couldn’t take it back, oh no. And already one of the unintended consequences? Rural community sports associations, with large holdings (baseball & soccer fields) have closed in a number of small towns around the state, because between insurance costs and these new “watershed assessments,” they just couldn’t find a way to keep the leagues going and not charge so much they lose the kids they’re trying to serve. And I know of at least three church camps that are on the sale block for the same reason.

    You want to tax churches? Sure, go ahead. And the pole barn, gravel lot, preacher with a high school education, loud, LOUD churches out on the edge of town? Where they rail against the assault on God’s word by denying the book of Genesis with the evil theory of evolution? They’ll do fine. And the mainline Protestant congregations trying to hold onto a seminary trained pastor, with a food pantry that doesn’t ask people to sit through a Bible study before you get your one bag? That helped start the housing coalition and runs the CROP Walk for world hunger? You’ll see a big slew of them close their doors; but I guess they’d better just do it, and reduce the surplus population of parasitical churches.

    Well, off to church while it’s still there. Monday night is church council, where we’ll try to figure out how to hide our millions in tax shelters. Won’t be hard, it’s so well hidden we don’t know where it is. We’re lucky to carry three months operating expenses, with about $100,000 in memorial funds whose revenue is used to buy bell choir music, pay for the Terrific Tuesday kids’ afterschool program, and for property upkeep. We can’t touch the principal, but I’m sure someone will figure out how to write a law that overrides the last wishes of Myrtle Haskins when she died in ’88, et alia.

    Someone remind me again why I can’t vote for Ron Paul? Y’all are making me rethink that.

  94. coozledad said on February 19, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Prop 8 originated in a pole barn? News to me.
    This country is so full of suckers it’s been vomiting up churches like hairballs in every city. In Danville, VA, the last capitol and one of the incubators of the first American Nazi movement, there’s one street where the layout is Episcopal Church, mansion, Methodist church, mansion, Baptist church, mansion,Presbyterian church, mansion, etc.
    I’m sure the collection plates and bequests passed to these churches didn’t result in a single one of the mass graves just a few streets over, where the feds reinterred the Union prisoners who died of starvation or typhus.
    I’m also certain it was the little frame churches out in the woods who funded the publication and printing of proslavery texts by the thousands, replete with sermons on God’s plan for his favored white children. Some of those fuckers must have been the equivalent of a family bible in terms of cost, and they were definitely more readily absorbed into the cracker conscience.
    There are already good laws against churches crossing the line into statecraft. It’s just that any time anyone brings them up there’s a pants shitting hysteria from the medieval contingent.

    I was just checking to see if the smoke alarms were working.

  95. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

    NNcy’s four minute pop songs as perfect short stories idea reall got my mind athinkin’. I remember Ode to Billy Joe about a million times riding in my mom’s 63 TBird convertible riding on the oil=drenched expanse of Squirrel (Eighteen Mile) Rd. (imagine it’s paved now) heading in to Lamplighter Lane and our home in the Pultyverse. All of my favorite bands and rockers have written and performed story songs, n I think, except, perhaps, the Stones. Ray Davies tosses off lit effotrtlessly as his likely hero, Oscar, did. The Boss, Steve Earl ((who’s actually got a novel and a story collection published and available for sale on the Kickback lounge, and both of which I recommend, or don’t if that makes their purchase more attractive), Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams.

    This song is a Springsteenian version of Rabbit, Run in a 4:49 song.

    Amazing musical version of the Terrence Malick masterpiece Badlands.

    And Coozledad, LDS is as much confidence game as Amway is, and founded by a recognizable version of Richard De Vos. But those Amway folks never hit on the idea of dragging you in after you croaked.

  96. Deborah said on February 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

    It’s that “crossing the line into statecraft” that bugs me about some churches. I realize Jeff (tmmo) that many churches will suffer if taxed, good ones too. It will never happen in this country, so you don’t have a thing to worry about. It’s really irritating what some of them get away with though. It’s sad, I used to be about as tied up in the church as a person can be, those days are long gone. I got soured of it, the pettiness, the smugness, the hatred and hypocrisy did me in.

  97. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Jeff, Ron Paul is an unreconstructed racist ahole, that’s why you wouldn’t vote for him with a gun to your head, and he believes poor people are poor because of their own faults, and starving children in the midst of plenty deserve to starve because Ayn Rand told him so, even though she graciosly accepted the dole when she was struck down by lung cancer.

  98. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I decided not to consider the Catholic original version when the Vatican dumped on Drinan who actually personified everything I’d ever admired about Catholic prelates. Nixon was a good indicator, but when Papa Raygun and his goons murdered Archbishop Romero, at the Communion rail, I knew the American government was capable of unspeakable evil, and liberation theology was for me. Consider the impressive properties owned by LDS and Christian Science and SBC. Those are some seriously rich bastards, that toy with the American political system.

  99. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I do believe wholeheartedly that the murder of Archbishop Romero was easy for Raygun era thugs because Romero was a member of a “sect”, some Bohemian Grove logic from an Oldtimers victim.

  100. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Sometimes, they are New Yorker short stories, without plot, ending or any discernable point.

  101. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 19, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Re: #97, Caliban, I knew there was a reason! Just needed a reminder.

    And Deborah, I fully expect to see it, in stages, in the next ten to twenty years. Because my point is: it’s already happening. So Cooze can stop puffing smoke out of his ears and calm down. But it never hurts to check the 9 volts in the detectors, just to be on the safe side.

    Seriously though, Cooze, do you actually see all faith communities as being equally & comparably odious? Not “do you want to join one,” I get that you don’t, so sleep in Sundays and Baby Jesus still loves you; but to see all religious congregations as a hairy ball of puke — that seems a wonderfully myopic view of the world.

  102. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Deborah, just pulled up the budget and checked: the Licking County Coalition for Housing, a non-profit that does transitional & supportive housing and is still “tax exempt,” started last year paying $1,200 a year in “watershed assessment” as a new box on a property tax form we never used to get, but is identical to my own home’s property tax ticket . . . the other boxes are just blank. (you can donate through http://www.lcchousing.org!)

    We’re told it will be $1,200 again this year for all our properties in aggregate, but it will likely go up to $1,800 next year. Every church in Ohio now gets them as well, and pays based on lot size and permeability. It’s on the same property tax ticket everyone else gets. But we’re not paying property taxes . . . yet. Except I’d argue we now are, just under a creative legal fiction that gets around the since-1787 bar against levying property taxes on churches, schools, and other not-for-profit entities.

  103. coozledad said on February 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    The division of the earth into the saved and the damned is an asshole’s game, always was, always will be.
    There isn’t a church that can’t get a bug up its ass to burn people if its desire for property becomes too strong to resist. Just because they like kissing babies on Thursday doesn’t mean they won’t be smashing someone’s young against a wall next week, or decide Savoranola there in the back pew needs a quarter sized chunk of meat blown out of his ass because he’s quite not with the program.

    It took a remarkably short time for Israel to absorb the lessons of persecution and begin a rigorous ethnic cleansing program of its own, so I wouldn’t go with the lamb of god horseshit either.

    I can’t even be arsed about your faith. It’s yours, isn’t it? Just be happy and try and keep your fingers out of other people’s orifices, and no one will revisit the whole sorry catalog of offences of Christendom against you.

  104. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Jeff, There really ought to be a tax for living someplace called Licking County. Sounds like something Prince made up. Taxing obviously charitable institutions is clearly bullshit. In the case of LDS and Willard Windsock writing off his tithe, that is not remotely close to charity, by any stretch of magic u-trou or union suit. They spend that cash babdizing Jews after they’ve been gassed by Hitler 70 years ago. An immense crock of shite, but what would anybody expect from a religion founded by a conman that claimed his name was Joe Smith. And Jeff, I sent along a double sawbuck to put against that watershed assessment.

  105. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Cooze, say all of that’s true. Have unbelievers performed better as human beings. Simple answer: not by a fucking longshot. Inhumane behavior doesn’t result from people being religious, it results from people being people. I imagine you agree.

  106. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Virginia is for lovers, unless the condom breaks, then it’s for medical rapists.

  107. beb said on February 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Coozledad @103: says it all.

  108. coozledad said on February 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Caliban: The day my kind starts stockpiling weapons and publishing tracts, the world’s in a shitheap of trouble.

  109. Connie said on February 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), municipal buildings where I lived in Indiana were paying a similar assessment, though I seem to recall it was based on amount of pavement.

  110. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Blaming human lack of humanity on religion is tres lame bullshit.

  111. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    And seems like all talk, Cooz. And if my thought dreams could be seen, they’d probably put my head in a guillotine.

  112. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Connie, that’s the permeability factor; I was able to get a number of churches & rec associations’ fees lowered because the initial assessment last year was based on sat photos, so they were calculating painted soccer fields, gravel parking, and even cemeteries as paved — gravel is a second figure, grass the lowest (building roof sq feet the same as paved). It was a quickly done, poorly thought through ram-it-past deal, with the burden of catching errors entirely on landowners, who in most cases had thrown out the original bill thinking it was a clerical error (“that’s a property tax bill, we don’t pay those, never have”). But it certainly helped fuel a bit more libertarianism when the response was essentially “we dare you to prove us wrong.”

    And I still think taxing non-profits is stupid, faith, orifices, or endowments aside. Stupid as in public policy that eats the seed corn and kicks the problem you created to solve your revenue needs today down the road . . . which is the whole reason people are still listening to the fairly underwhelming array of GOP candidates.

  113. Sherri said on February 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Jeff(tmmo), I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time buying the notion that the idea of taxing non-profits is the reason people are still listening to GOP candidates. Or at least, I have a hard time having any respect for that idea. The GOP has all but declared open war on women in the last few weeks, and I’m supposed to continue to listen to them because they won’t tax non-profits?

  114. moe99 said on February 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Well, Jeff, tmmm, Ron Paul is claiming that we are slipping towards fascism and he is the only person who can save us from it. That’s way out there paranoid in my book, although we have a number of Bush era laws and conventions we still need to rid ourselves of. If he’s blaming Obama, then Paul is definitely smoking crack.

    Also, in response to something further up, a better look at absinthe:

    http://curiousexpeditions.org/?s=Absinthe

    And as an ordained elder in the Presbyterian church, I despair of what foks now commonly believe Christianity is, based on the actions of the 27% of our country who obviously have never read the bible (did you know aside from not spilling seed on the ground, there is no reference to abortion whatsover in there?) and are so full of hate for their fellow ‘men’ who are different from them, that they blindly follow stupid pricks like Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Bachmann (let alone Palin who you used to defend). If a church is doing political work, it should lose its tax exemption period. When I was on the Board of the NW Women’s Law Center, we had to be very careful of our actions so we would not lose our 501(c)(3) status. Churches should be held to the same standard, n’est ce pas?

    When you say things to C’dad like that Baby Jesus still loves him, it makes me cringe. The concept of God and Incarnation was brilliantly explained in The Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen http://www.amazon.com/Chess-Garden-Brooks-Hansen/dp/1573225630/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329678576&sr=8-1-spell and after that I hate to see it demeaned in adult conversation.

  115. Jakash said on February 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Jeff TMMO,
    You’re usually a master of understatement, but “fairly underwhelming array of GOP candidates” is the understatement of the year, at least. I’d guess that if you took away the issues of abortion, gun-mania, making sure the rich keep getting richer, and a not-insubstantial component of racism, the number of people still listening to this pathetic crop of wannabes could all gather for a tea party in the Licking County Courthouse. The fact that the “religious right” sees Obama, the president who has spoken and written more eloquently about his Christianity than almost any of them, as a Muslim fascist is truly remarkable.

  116. moe99 said on February 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Sorry, Caliban, about MC5 member Micheal Davis dying at 69.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GECCOwZsMOU&feature=share

  117. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    A great bass player, Moe.

    Incredibly good bassline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REic-1TcRz4&feature=related

    One of the finest American bands of all time. Mike was the most revolutionary rhetorician of the band members, sounded most like Sinclair when he talked politics. The guitar players were just in it for snatch and partying, but goddam tose boys could play. The singer was sort of above it all. And the drummer, he’s so shattered
    Trying to keep on time

    I personally think the Klown Kar Kandidates are more over than under in the whelming category. I mean, these dickheads are funny as Tater Salad and decidedly dumber than grunt.

  118. brian stouder said on February 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Jackash said that

    The fact that the “religious right” sees Obama, the president who has spoken and written more eloquently about his Christianity than almost any of them, as a Muslim fascist is truly remarkable.

    and indeed, earlier today I only just stopped myself from blurting out an (altogether fitting and accurate, if utterly crude) epithet when I caught a news update. This was where I learned that candidate Santorum declared that President Obama’s agenda is based on a ‘phony theology’.

    I’ll give Santorum this much credit; he himself is NOT a phony, mean-spirited, sociopathic bastard, but instead – he’s a full-fledged, genuine and certifiable mean-spirited, sociopath bastard.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/santorum-says-presidents-agenda-is-based-on-a-phony-theology/

    The “president’s agenda” is “not about you,” he said. “It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your job.“It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said to applause from the crowd. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology.”

  119. Suzanne said on February 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    I have had two people in the past month tell me that they still do not believe that POTUS Obama is an American citizen. When people completely stop believing in anything remotely connected with reality, well, Houston, we have a problem.

  120. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    The “president’s agenda” is “not about you,” he said. “It’s not about you. It’s not about your quality of life. It’s not about your job.“It’s about some phony ideal, some phony theology,” Santorum said to applause from the crowd. “Oh, not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology, but no less a theology.”

    It’s all about keeping brain-dead, broth for brains Terry Schiavo “alive”, and bringing that fetus home to scare the beJeezus out of the live kids, right Rick?

  121. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Why didn’t somebody ask Mr. Froth if he was talking about Vodun. But Syrianly, what the hell was he talking about. Dietrich Bonhoeffer? Paul Tillich? Teilhard? Could Rick actually name a theologian? NFW, he’d probably say Bill Frist. Or Father Coughlin. This guy fits the designation Mental Midget so well, it would appear to have been coined with him in mind.

  122. brian stouder said on February 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    And not to pick nits – although when discussing things that spurt from the brain of Santorum, we are necessarily reduced to the picking of nits – but how the hell can a “phony theology” be a “theology none the less”?

    If a thing is self-evidently “phony”, then how can it be just as good as (and not less than) another theology which is not phony?

    Or is the guy saying all theology is phony?

    edit – and by the way, what in the hell is wrong with Fox News? Anyone who thinks they’ve ‘toned it down’ over there is just wrong. They refocused, a little, but as last week ended they were having a noon-day discussion about Whitney Houston’s passing, wherein they were condemning Governor Christie for the flags-at-half-staff thing, and saying “C’mon! She was a drug addict!”

    This doesn’t stop any number of white-haired cracker (target deomographic Fox viewers) from loving Elvis Presley or Roger Miller or Johnny Cash or…hell – most of the Grand Ol’ Opry.

    We had Ms Houston’s funeral on for about two hours, and it was moving and life affirming and forgiving and altogether about this human experience we’re all in.

    I credit Governor Christie 100%, for having the courage to disqualify himself from future presidential consideration by the premium cracker base of the GOP, for treating an American cultural icon who was not white with respect

  123. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I’ve never understood why people are so keen on dumping on Kevin Costner. Guy has made some great movies (Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, Tin Cup, Waterworld, No Way Out, A Perfect World, Silverfuckingrado). Seems like a pretty good guy, and his comments on his friend Whitney’s death were eloquent and heartfelt: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/celebritology/post/kevin-costner-on-whitney-houston-you-werent-just-good-enough–you-were-great/2012/02/18/gIQAl4Y4LR_blog.html

    Yeah, and Waterworld is a great movie, with the best Dennis Hopper role since River’s Edge.

    Is it the vocal or the guitar playing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyUErnnQoOc&feature=related

    Oh, and for love of the game is as good a baseball movie as has ever been made.

  124. moe99 said on February 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    http://www.seattlepi.com/news/gallery/20-Butt-Ugly-Rock-Stars-37163/photo-2395968.php

  125. Deborah said on February 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Tomorrow is a holiday for me, Presidents day. Ever since I have decided to retire this fall I look so forward to my weekends and my days off. Even more so than usual.

  126. coozledad said on February 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Moe: I wish that picture of Shane could be unseen. Keef, on the other hand looks like he’s angling for the lead in Little Big Man II: Gnarlier.

  127. brian stouder said on February 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Deborah, I envy you!

    Moe – those photos are like the polar opposite of (Steve and Lorenzo?) – that fashion site that Nancy occasionally links to.

    The Steven Tyler with man-boobs one got me laughing; and Marilyn Manson looks like he’s about to rob a bank (and Batman will no doubt be in hot pursuit).

    Meatloaf looks like that Breitbart rat-bastard.

    It actually looks painful enough to make me cringe – the Richie Sambora/Denise Richards in-the-ocean-shot – wherein Sambora is sans-suncreen, and looks cooked.

    Tommy Lee – the Motley Crue drummer – is he spitting his drink out??

  128. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Steven Tyler’s a pretty homely fellow, but nobody needs a picture of him in grape-smugglers with his moobs uncovered. My daughter used to babysit for Steve’s kids. She says he was a good guy. How is it possible that guy donated half the genes to make Liv, one of the most beautiful women on the face of the earth? Shane McGowan has teefes like Leon Spinks. And he sho’ ain’t got no driver license. And how loaded did Richie Sambora have to be at the beach to get burned that badly. John Lydon looks better these days than he did back in the day. And it’s strange to see a picture of the Glimmer Twin without birdsnests in his hair. Surprising Mustaine wasn’t included now that he’s twice the size of Mr. Loaf (as they say in the NYT). Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova have been married a really long time. He may be the only person in the world with a more prominent Adam’s apple than Anne Coulter.

  129. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    On the occasion of his getting his ass canned from MSNBC, Pat Buchanan”s greatest hits. Make room in that Klown Kar.

  130. Suzanne said on February 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    And on the subject of the contraception mandate fracas….
    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/15/nation/la-na-gop-contraceptives-20120216

  131. caliban said on February 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Great Lord Grantham line: “So we’ve got ourselves a Fenian grandchild.”

    The contraception mandate supporters in the last decade is a list of who’s who in the GOPer party, if Cheney and Rummy signed on, it would practically be the PNAC.. But none of these assholes stands for anything long enough to back what they said yesterday, much less a few years ago. Fracking liars.

  132. Dexter said on February 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Sunday morning I drove to Columbus for my granddaughter’s dedication in a mega-church.
    Everything went well until we left my daughter’s house for the drive to the church. My wife let my dog out accidentally. I missed the dedication ,chasing my dog through neighborhoods and down streets and roadways. Eight people helped me, and one very cool dude, a wiry-athletic man of 35 or so finally cornered my dog, safe and sound. People can be so horrible and then….by the kindness and helpfulness of total strangers in a big city, I got my dog back.
    We went to the big church late and we heard the sermon on confession. I think I may have simply said a prayer of gratitude for the man in the SUV who saved my dog from certain death on a busy highway.
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2917143759999&set=at.1646872884021.2081523.1002897088.1387383649&type=1
    That’s me in the Red Wings cap and Grandpa T holding our grandbaby girl.

  133. Jakash said on February 20, 2012 at 12:32 am

    No spoiler here. Just a funny moment. After Downton Abbey tonight, they had a short backstage-type video featuring some of the actors talking about the show. The woman who plays Mrs. Patmore (the cook) said something to the effect that she was so excited when she told people she was going to be on the show. They’d ask “Will you be an upstairs character, or downstairs?” And she’d reply “What do you think?”