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The Infrared Zone...Speaking Truth to Power
Thursday, 22 June 2006
Political Analysis
Mood:  bright
Topic: Political
I got this in an e-mail this morning. It's funny but but it's also true. Great stuff.




Bush Losing Core Supporters

WASHINGTON, May 11 – President Bush appears to be losing support among a key group of voters who had hitherto stood firmly with the president even as his poll numbers among other groups fell dramatically.

A new Gallup poll shows that, for the first time, Bush’s approval rating has fallen below 50% among total fucking morons, and now stands at 44%. This represents a dramatic drop compared to a poll taken just last December, when 62% of total fucking morons expressed support for the president and his policies.

The current poll, conducted by phone with 1,409 total fucking morons between May 4 and May 8, reveals that only 44% of those polled believe the president is doing a good job, while 27% believe he is doing a poor job and 29% don’t understand the question.

The December poll, conducted by phone with 1,530 total fucking morons, showed 62% approved of the president, 7% disapproved and 31% didn’t understand the question.

Faltering approval ratings for the president among a group once thought to be a reliable source of loyal support gives Republicans one more reason to be nervous about the upcoming mid-term elections. “If we can’t depend on the support of total fucking morons,” says Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), “then we’ve got a big problem. They’re a key factor in our electoral strategy, and an important part of today’s Republican coalition.”

“We’ve taken the total fucking moron vote for granted,” says Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL), “and now we’re paying for it. We’ve let the Democrats control the debate lately, and they’ve dragged discourse back into the realm of complex, nuanced issues. So your average total fucking moron turns on his TV and sees his Republican Congressman arguing about Constitutional law or the complexities of state formation in the Middle East, and he tunes out. He wants to hear comforting, pandering, flattering bromides and he doesn’t want to hear a logical argument more complex than what you’d find on a bumper sticker.”

For Feeney, the poll is a dire warning that Republicans can ignore only at their peril. “This should send a signal that we have to regain control of the debate if we want the support of our key constituencies in the coming election and beyond. We need to bring public discourse back into the realm of stupidity and vacuity. We should be talking about homosexual illegal immigrants burning flags. We should be talking about the power of pride. We should be talking about freedom fries. These are the issues that resonate with total fucking morons.”

But some total fucking morons say it’s too late. Bill Snarpel of Enid, Oklahoma is a total fucking moron who voted for Bush in both 2000 and 2004. But he says he won’t be voting for Bush in 2008. “I don’t like it that he was going to sell our ports to the Arabs. If the Arabs own the ports then that means they’ll let all the Arabs in and then we’ll all be riding camels and wearing towels on our heads. I don’t want my children singing the Star Spangled Banner in Muslim.”

Total fucking moron Kurt Meyer of Turlock, California also says his once solid support for Bush has collapsed. “He invaded Iraq and all those soldiers died, and for what? We destroyed all their WMDs, but now their new president is making fun of us and saying he’s going to build nuclear bombs and that we can’t stop him. Well, nuclear bombs are even worse than WMDs, so what did we accomplish?”

Laura McDonald, a total fucking moron from Chandler, Arizona, says she is disappointed that the president hasn’t been a more forceful advocate of Christian values. “This country was founded on Christian values,” she says, “but you’d never know it looking around and seeing all the Mexicans running around. I thought Bush was going to bring Jesus back into the government. Instead, Christians are being persecuted worse than ever before in history, because all these Mexicans come here and tell Christians that we have to respect their religious beliefs. So now it’s illegal for children to pray in school. Soon it will be illegal for them to speak English.”

Not all total fucking morons have turned their backs on the president. Jeb Larkin of Topeka, Kansas says he still fully supports Bush. "He is doing a great job. He is a great president. He is a great decider. I have a puppy. His tail sticks straight up and you can see his butthole."

And not all Republican lawmakers are concerned about the poll. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), for one, does not find it a cause for anxiety. While he agrees that his party should not take total fucking morons for granted, they “really don’t have anywhere else to go. They’re never going to be able to understand someone like Al Gore or John Kerry or anybody intelligent and articulate who wants to talk about substantive issues. Just try having a conversation with one of them about global warming. They’ll say, ‘Oh, but Rush says volcanoes consume more ozone than humans do.’ I mean, they’re morons! Total fucking morons!”

“They’ve got nowhere else to go,” Alexander reaffirms with a smile, “and they always vote.”

Submitted by infrared41 at 9:41 AM EDT
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Saturday, 17 June 2006
The weekly baseball take...
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Observations
I am thrilled to see teams like The Tigers, Reds, and Diamondbacks having great seasons so far. They may not be there in the end but right now it's nice to have someone besides The Yankees and Red Sox to talk about.

Barry Bonds and number 715. Wow the sound of an entire nation of baseball fans yawning. The sad thing about Barry is that he didn't need the steroids and HGH to be great. The true irony is that in 1996 when I was hosting a sports talk show on the radio there was a small article in the sporting news where a reporter claimed someone had told him that over 50% of baseball players were on steroids. I don't know about the rest of the nation but in Syracuse my show was the only one that addressed the article. The irony? We used Barry Bonds as an example of a guy who didn't need steroids to be great. (we did however think Mark McGwire was on the roids at the time.) According to the book "Game of Shadows" Bonds didn't start using until 1998. Strange days indeed. Bonds was once used as an example of how to do it right and now he is the poster boy for steroid abuse. I guess he should have listened to my show.

Players I'll stop what I am doing to watch...

Ichiro
Albert Pujols
Vlad Guererro
Bernie Williams (what a class act it's sad to see him on his way out)
Derek Jeter
Jim Thome
Dontelle Willis

My favorite play-by-play guys

Vin Scully (the gold standard)
Jon Miller
Tom Hamilton (Indians Radio)
Bob Uecker

Baseball. Greatest game ever.

More later...


Submitted by infrared41 at 12:56 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 June 2006 4:14 PM EDT
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Random Thoughts
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Observations
I saw the latest X-Men movie over the weekend. Not great but not bad either. Casting Kelsey Grammer as The Beast was a nice move. He did a good job. Overall the movie was entertaining but nothing special. I give it 3 out of 5. Worth seeing but nothing special.

We live in an uncivilized age. Last night at Wal-Mart (why I was looking for anything remotely resembling civilized at Wal-Mart is anyone's guess) I was walking up to the only open check-out line with one item. There were two ladies heading for the same check-out and they had a cart filled to the top with whatever it is 43 year old great-grandmothers fill their cart with at Wal-Mart. Now you would think that in a polite society these behemoths...err...ladies would have let the person with one measly item go ahead of them to spare me the trouble of waiting for them to pay for the truckload of lard, mayo, fried cholesterol and Toby Keith CDs they had managed to stuff in one cart. Nope. Being the gentleman that I try to be (at times anyway) I decided that since we had reached the check-out in a virtual tie I would not jump in front of them. I figured they would see that I had only one item and let me go first. Not in a million years. They gave me the Jerry Springer "you ain't nothin to me" redneck glare and pushed their 3 tons of food and Dale Earnhardt Jr. signature apparel right past me and to the checkout. I thought about asking them if they'd like to just eliminate the middle man (in this case the federal government) and let me pay for their stuff but I figured they wouldn't get the insult and I'd end up stuck paying for the entire spring line of Dale Earnhardt Jr. formal wear....size 76.

I don't know much about too many things but there is one thing that I will gladly tell you I know a lot about. Baseball. Before the season started everyone in these parts was talking about the Indians winning the World Series. I said they would be lucky to finish at .500. I told anyone who would listen that The Detroit Tigers were going to be better than The Cleveland Indians. So far I'm right. The Indians are playing .500 ball and the Tigers have one of the best records in baseball. Never listen to the media when you are looking at a ballclub. Just look at their roster and in particular their middle relief. The Tigers are 20 games over the .500 mark. If they win one, lose one for the rest of the season they'll finish with 91 wins. That is usually enough to put you right in the thick of the playoff chase. The Indians on the other hand would need to play about .700 ball from here on out just to tie the Tigers. And they say April and May games don't matter in Major League Baseball? Seems to me they matter just as much as games in June or September etc.

That's all for now...well one last thing. I think that Marvel should add "Fat Redneck Wal-Mart Lady" as a new character in the X-Men. Her powers could be that she can make you think of nothing but foul smelling spandex pants and Toby Keith music.

Submitted by infrared41 at 12:35 AM EDT
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Gay Marriage
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Observations
The Republicans are slowly going down in flames. President Bush's approval ratings are in the 30's. Key mid-term house and senate races are showing Democrats with double digit leads in early polls. So what does it all mean? It means it's time for the no fun gang to trot a tried and true favorite, gay marriage.

Apparently the only way to get the vote of a soccer mom or a gun rack in the truck nascar dad is to promise them you'll never let the homos next door get married. I realize there is a portion of society that is so busy watching bad TV and text messaging American Idol 150 times a week that it's hard to get them to pay attention to the more mundane issues facing the nation. Things like the economy or the war or the appalling number of their neighbors that can't afford healthcare don't as a rule show up on the radar screen of the linear thinking simple minded GOP base. The GOP knows this so they keep the attention of their base by using tactics that they know will get said base to react. They "Jerry Springer" them into action. Appeal to their sense of "morality." It always works. The GOP knows these yahoos won't vote unless they can make them believe a gay Arab is going to show up at their door with a bomb and a marriage license. The sad part is that it works all to well. What does it say about us as a nation when 44 million of our citizens can't afford to get sick and families are on the verge of literally going under, yet our government is most worried about whether or not a couple of gay people can get married. I'm not a magician but I think that is what you would call sleight of hand. Get them focused in one direction so you can do the trick while they're not looking.

The truth is I don't like the idea of gay marriage either. Don't get me wrong I am as socially liberal as anyone you'll ever meet. I just can't get used to the idea of gay marriage. My problem is that before I could ever vote for a law or an amendment banning gay marriage I'd need to come up with a legitimate argument for why I am against it. I can't do it. Try as I might to come up with a reason I can't come up with anything other than I just don't like it. Well "I just don't like it" isn't anywhere near good enough and that's the difference. The GOP simpletons don't seem to mind voting for the "just don't like it" card. And that my friends may be one big reason why we are where we are today.

I guess I'll end this by saying what I say to anyone who asks me about gay marriage. I don't like it but until you can show me how it will adversely affect my life in any way shape or form I can't be against it.

Laws should be based on facts. They should be put in place to protect the people. We can't ban something simply because we "just don't like it."

Gay marriage is what you run on when you don't have any ideas.

Submitted by infrared41 at 12:34 AM EDT
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"Family is Everything"
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Life
"Family is everything." I've been hearing that a lot lately. I hear it from people I respect as well as people I don't respect. Mostly I have been hearing it as a rationalization for the inexcusable behavior of a few people.

Family is everything, that's the reason I should look the other way while a member of my "family" who without morals, without ethics, and without remorse literally wreaks havoc on anyone and anything in their path. Family is everything. That's the reason I should remain silent while other members of my "family" treat people poorly simply because they either don't like them or don't agree with them. Hell, at times they treat someone poorly just for the sport of being mean. I am told that in the end family is all I have. That may or may not be true. Either way there are absolutes in this life that override the ridiculous notion of "family right or wrong."

I can't check my ethics at the door just to make other people comfortable with their rationalizations or excuses for immoral or unethical behavior. I will not sacrifice my integrity or my morals in order to "keep the peace." Asking me to do such a thing is not only selfish and wrong it's just not what my idea of a "family" does. While factions of my "family" may believe that giving a free pass to reprehensible behavior by one if it's members is what family does, I believe the exact opposite is true.

I hold my family to a higher standard. I expect more of them not less. Allowing, rationalizing, and eventually endorsing reprehensible behavior simply because you are related to someone may in the end say more about you than the person who is actually producing the behavior.

Our virtue is not measured by whether or not we turn a blind eye to something that is clearly wrong for the sole reason that a family member is involved in it. Again the exact opposite is true. The true measure of a person's virtue is when they can stand by what is right regardless of the circumstances or who is involved. There is no virtue in tailoring your ethics for the sake of comfort.

Aristotle said that virtue was something we learned. How will a misguided family member ever learn virtue when the family tailors it's ethics to fit it's rationalizations? Keeping the peace is a noble pursuit but not if it means removing all morality and ethical standards in order to achieve it. Any "peace" achieved by lowering your standards is not peace at all. It's chaos.

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.
--Confucius

"The high minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think."
-- Aristotle

Submitted by infrared41 at 12:33 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 24 August 2005
One Picture, One Thousand Words....
My girlfriend doesn't like it much when I say that the average republican isn't very bright. She thinks I am being mean. I say it's simply a matter of the facts being too overwhelming to think middle class republicans are anything but bright and intelligent. I could go into a long explanation but why bother when one simple picture makes my case for me.




Submitted by infrared41 at 8:40 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 19 July 2005
Outstanding! Let's hear it for Columbus Ohio!
Topic: Political
The NRA loses another round! The compensating for a small penis crowd must be beside themselves! GOOD!

I just had to post the following quote at the top. It appears in the article but it was just too good so here it is again.

"The National Rifle Association speaks for a fringe number of extremists and not for any majority. To object to a community's value on life is one of the most arrogant actions the NRA has taken,"

Here's the actual article. I lifted it from buzzflash.com via biz.yahoo via ohioceasefire.com (I think.)

NRA Retaliates Against Columbus, Ohio for Regulating Cop-Killer Assault Weapons by Moving 2007 Annual Meeting: Statement by Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
Monday July 18, 12:46 pm ET

NRA's Bullying Tactics Fail as Gun Lobby Retreats in Defeat After Courageous Stand by Columbus City Council and Community Leaders

TOLEDO, Ohio, July 18 /PRNewswire/ -- After the Columbus City Council passed a unanimous city ordinance to regulate assault weapons to protect the safety of law enforcement officers and Columbus families, the National Rifle Association retaliated and announced today it would move its 2007 annual meeting to a new city.

The NRA threatened to move its meeting if Columbus passed the city ordinance, but courageous city lawmakers would not be swayed and chose to protect their community and save lives despite the NRA's bullying tactics.

"The National Rifle Association speaks for a fringe number of extremists and not for any majority. To object to a community's value on life is one of the most arrogant actions the NRA has taken," said Toby Hoover, Executive Director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence. "It is astonishing that this extremist organization thinks it can bully and intimidate local lawmakers and municipalities that are working to reduce gun violence and address the threat of assault weapons on our streets."

The City of Columbus has taken numerous steps to reduce deaths and injuries from gun violence on a local level, including regulating semi automatic assault weapons.

"The NRA's actions today are nothing less than an assault on the values of our community. We applaud the city of Columbus for standing up to this extremist organization and hope their courage becomes an example to other communities and lawmakers," said Hoover.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ohioceasefire.com/

Here's to the lawmakers in our state capital. Hey NRA, take your party elsewhere. We'll be just fine without you. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out of town. Fuck 'em!
GO BUCKS!

Submitted by infrared41 at 12:20 AM EDT
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Sunday, 3 July 2005
Happy July 4th
Just a little reminder of the TRUE American spirit.


The Declaration of Independence

In Congress, July 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount an payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty ;amp& Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. --And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


And let's not forget these...

Amendment I
Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
Right to bear arms

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
Quartering of soldiers

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
Search and arrest

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.

Amendment V
Rights in criminal cases

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
Right to a fair trial

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
Rights in civil cases

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Bail, Fines, Punishment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
Rights retained by the People

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
States' rights

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


Submitted by infrared41 at 9:49 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 3 July 2005 9:56 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 28 June 2005
Theses on the religious right...from a professor at Michigan
Topic: Political
This comes from a Michigan guy. I am an Ohio State alum so you know I had to think it was really good.

Philosopher Peter Ludlow (Michigan) writes:

Here's something you may not have known or suspected. When I grew up my family went to a conservative Christian church and I subsequently went to a Swedish Baptist college in Minnesota.? I recently went back to my home town and was sickened by what became of the family church over the last 20 years.? The received view is that the conservative christians have taken over the Republican Party.? I think the reverse happened.? The right wing of the Republican Party has taken over the church.? Nothing could be more clear to me.? In a fit of revulsion, and with a nod to Marty Luther, I wrote up the following 95 theses on the relighous right:?In lieu of nailing it to the door? of the Wittenburg Church I'm sending it to you instead.? Not exactly the same thing, I realize. I'm not saying I'm a believer and I'm not saying I'm not, but I am saying that what has happened to the fundamentalist church is revolting.

Professor Ludlow invites readers to redistribute it as widely as they'd like.

Here are a few of the theses:

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said "love thy neighbor", willed that believers should show *compassion* toward others.

2. This word cannot be understood to mean mere lip service ("I love them, but I hate their sin"), but genuine concern for the welfare of others.

3. Yet the Religious Right has forsaken compassion for a doctrine of institutionalized hatred and violence.

4. Specifically, the Religious Right has taken the Word of God and wrapped it in the flag of Right Wing Politics, replacing God's message of redemption for the entire world with a narrow message endorsing right wing American politics.

5. Item: the Religious Right has neglected the teachings of Jesus in the gospel of Luke, where He instructs that we are to show compassion for the poor.

6. In place of God's words, the Religious Right has substituted a right wing political doctrine in which the poor have only themselves and their alleged laziness and moral weakness to blame.

7. For example, the Religious Right has rejected the needs of poor children of unwed mothers.

8. The Religious Right has rejected the cries for help from the children of impoverished families in the inner cities.

9. The Religious Right, has advocated fewer resources for the elderly poor and for the millions of children now living in poverty.

10. In place of giving to the poor, the Religious Right has advocated political doctrines specifically designed so that individuals may acquire vast sums of money.

11. The Religious Right has thus seized on a contemporary economic ideology as an excuse to ignore the teachings of Jesus.

18. Item: the Religious Right has neglected the teachings of Jesus that "he who is without sin should cast the first stone."

19. In place of God's words, the Religious Right has substituted a doctrine in which perceived sinners are to be persecuted.

20. Gays, for example, are persecuted because of their alleged sins. In some cases, leaders of the Religious Right have encouraged acts of physical violence against gays.

21. While the Religious Right has been eager to persecute others for their alleged sins, they have been blind to their own.

22. While the Bible counsels that a rich man can no more enter the of Heaven than a camel can pass through the eye of a needle, many in the Religious Right have celebrated the acquisition of wealth.

23. While the Bible enjoins us against pride, the Religious Right appears to be flush with pride in it's holier than thou stance.

24. While the Bible asks that we be slow to anger, the Religious Right is quick to anger -- indeed it appears to revel in anger and in fanning the flames of anger in others.

25. While the Bible counsels that we are not to be "revilers," key members of the religious right have consistently and aggressively reviled their political enemies as well as those who are perceived to be sinners.

26. It seems then, that the Religious Right picks its sins selectively, ignoring the clear Biblical message against avarice, pride, and anger, and emphasizing selected “sins” that have little to no Biblical basis.

31. Item: Religious Right has failed to see that God's call to help our neighbors also extends to our international neighbors.

32. International aggression is not a Christian doctrine.

33. Where the Bible calls us to be peacemakers, the Religious Right claims that we have no business trying to bring peace to troubled areas but rather counsels that we should use military might to secure our business interests.

34. Where the Bible, through the story of the good Samaritan, instructs that we are to help our international neighbors -- indeed, even our enemies -- the Religious Right counsels "America First".

35. But "America First" cannot be a true Christian Doctrine.

36. The Bible gives no special status to political entities like the United States of America, and any suggestion to the contrary is to simply lie about the content of the Bible.

37. God does not bless nation states, and if He did, He surely would not bless them for practicing international internal intolerance, and propping up corrupt kingdoms and military juntas that traffic in institutionalized poverty and violence.

65. Item: The Religious Right has paid lipservice to the moral development of children, yet their doctrines are antithetical to the interests of children.

66. They appear to believe that moral development can be accomplished solely through discipline and censorship -- censorship of thought-provoking? materials and censorship of the findings of science.

67. Yet, as a group, the members of the Religious Right have failed miserably as parents.

68. Jesus said, "suffer the children come unto me," yet members of the Religious Right have physically and psychologically abused their children.

69. They have advocated corporeal punishment, and have carried out acts of indoctrination on their children which, truth be known, are as severe as those of any fringe religious cult.

70. They have made children to be ashamed of and hate their bodies, when they should be proud that those bodies are the temples of God.

71. They have lied to children about the nature of God's creation, teaching them to ignore the great beauty God has revealed through the biological sciences.

72. In place of that beauty, they have taught their children a theory in which God's revelation through nature is ignored, and an ugly doctrine of fiat creation is espoused.

73. They have taught their children to be intolerant of others, to be hateful of gays and persons of color.

74. They have failed to instruct their children in God's message of love and redemption and have substituted for it a message of exclusion, suspicion, and contempt.

75. They have failed to raise their children according to the teachings of the Bible.

76. They have utterly failed as parents, yet they presume to dictate how we should raise our own children.

83. Item: the Religious Right pays lip service to the authority of the Word of God, yet that Word plays little role in the treating of the Religious Right.

84. In place of the message of God's Grace and our redemption, they have substituted a purely political doctrine with no grounding in the Scriptures.

85. Rare are the references to passages of the Bible in the sermons of the Religious Right.

86. Those references that survive, are taken out of context and are merely used to justify preestablished political doctrines.

87. For example, there is no Biblical support for their views on abortion.

88. There is no Biblical support for their right wing economic theories.

89. There is no Biblical support for their campaign of abuse against their own children.

90. There is no Biblical support for their "America First" doctrines.

91. There is no Biblical support for their treatment of persons of color.

92. There is no Biblical support for their treatment of homosexuals.

93. In conclusion: the Religious Right has desecrated the house of God, taking a place of worship and treating it as a soap box in the service or the Right Wing of the Republican Party.

94. The Religious Right has likewise desecrated the Word of God, attributing to the Bible doctrines that are hateful, cruel, and entirely antithetical to the actual contents of the Bible.

95. Christians are to be exhorted to speak out against the Religious Right, as it is a vile heretical movement, wholly outside the teachings of the Word of God.


Well said...for a Michigan guy ;)

Submitted by infrared41 at 4:00 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 25 May 2005
Solving the recruiting problem...
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: Political
I recently heard that recruiting numbers for the military were down over 40%. It seems we can't find people who are silly enough to go fight Dubya's war for him. I can't imagine why. The drop in enlistment led the miltary to stop recruiting for an entire day to "reassess" their methods. What? Promising recruits a million dollars, a condo, 3 day work weeks, a new car, and their choice of assignment isn't getting it done any more?
According to news reports there have been cases of military recruiters lieing to potential recruits. You know I was beginning to wonder why the entire Army wasn't based in Hawaii.

Anyway, the miltary is all in a bunch because no one wants to fight Dubya's war in Iraq so they figure it's time explore some new ideas. Well rest easy gang I have the solution to your problem.

It's simple. Do away with the age limit. Let anyone join. If you do that then all these patriots with "These colors don't run" bumper stickers on their pick-up trucks can join up. Based on all the "I support our troops" magnets I see on cars, I really believe that most of the people in said cars would join the army and head to Iraq in a heartbeat if they were simply allowed to enlist. See? Problem solved. I can't believe I am the only one who has thought of this.

You know that the age limit is all that is keeping every jingo spouting, war loving, gay hating, liberal bashing, gun toting member of the NRA out of the Army. Hell, you raise the age limit on enlistment and these guys and gals can solve two problems at once. They'll join up tomorrow and they'll bring their own guns. It's a win-win situation. The military gets their recruits, the taxpayers save money on weapon production.

Since they wanted the war so badly we should at least be decent enough to let them go fight it. We can let all the flag wavers and sticker bearers lead the charge into wherever it is we are attacking this week. All the military needs to do is raise that age limit and they'll have lines out the door tomorrow. I am assuming my Mom's husband and my in-laws would certainly join up. They were practically foaming at the mouth when this whole Iraq thing got under way. In fact one of them even said "Don't you just love times like this? It's so patriotic." Yes she actually said that.

Anyway, my point is simple. All these folks with the magnets and stickers want to make sure we know how much they support Dubya, our freedom, and the war. So let's make it easy for them. Loosen up the restrictions and let them sign up. They wanted this thing let them fight it.

Submitted by infrared41 at 10:53 AM EDT
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Monday, 16 May 2005
You heard it here first...
Topic: Political
Wasn't it about a year or so ago that this very blog was telling you that those so-called "terror alerts" were nothing but Dubya's way of deflecting attention from himself and in the process scaring the hell out of the brain dead republican base? As usual the actual media shows up a day late and a dollar short. Anyone with enough sense to write their name knew those alerts were nothing but propaganda and scare tactics. For those of you who still don't realize they were fakes...read on.


(USA Today) The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

His comments at a Washington forum describe spirited debates over terrorist intelligence and provide rare insight into the inner workings of the nation's homeland security apparatus.

Ridge said he wanted to "debunk the myth" that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002.

"More often than not we were the least inclined to raise it," Ridge told reporters. "Sometimes we disagreed with the intelligence assessment. Sometimes we thought even if the intelligence was good, you don't necessarily put the country on (alert). ... There were times when some people were really aggressive about raising it, and we said, 'For that?'

Submitted by infrared41 at 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 16 May 2005 1:12 AM EDT
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Saturday, 14 May 2005
A Must Read From Buzzflash.com
Mood:  not sure
Topic: Political
Click here for a great take on the religious right

Submitted by infrared41 at 9:03 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Could you be a Democrat?
Topic: Political
From Buzzflash.com

Could You Be A Democrat?

A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
by Mary Schumacher



Although Democrats have been taking a beating at election time, polls keep indicating broad public support for Democratic ideas and ideals, and dissatisfaction with the direction and aims of Bush and his party. There seem to be a lot of people out there who, for one reason or another, don't know they're Democrats. If you have any of these people among your friends and acquaintances, you might want to pass along this statement of Democratic beliefs and values to help them realize who they really are:

COULD YOU BE A DEMOCRAT?

Democrats believe in self government -- based in the widest possible participation of all citizens from all walks of life, as opposed to government controlled mostly or exclusively by elite and powerful, but limited, interests.

Democrats believe that government must be useful and responsive. They disdain empty grandiosity and dishonest pomp -- a staged landing on an aircraft carrier or a fake townhall, for instance -- designed to glorify officials and promote awe of government authority rather than respect for democracy and democratic power.

Democrats abhor (and will rebel against) government that is narrow, self-interested and authoritarian (the kind of government today's Republicans, or at least the limited, powerful interests who now control the party, seek).

Democrats believe that democratic government is the best tool ever devised to bring the diverse people, interests and resources of a complex society together to effectively solve common, society-wide problems or to achieve important society-wide goals.

Democrats don't "believe" in "big" government, but they do understand that solutions to big problems, or the achievement of big goals -– protecting the elderly, meeting our moral obligations to the vulnerable, disabled and ill, protecting natural resources, defending our homeland, exploring space, recovering from economic or natural disaster, finding solutions to our energy and other kinds of crisis, etc. -- require big resources that often can be most efficiently, or only, marshaled and distributed through government actions in which the people broadly participate and that they broadly support. Democrats believe in government big enough -- but no bigger than necessary -- to accomplish the job at hand.

Democrats believe the people have the right to, and, in the cause of protecting their liberty must, limit and protect themselves from ALL abuses of POWER -- whether it is the abuse of government power or private power.

Democrats differ from today's conservative Republicans in that they are idealists rather than ideologues. They believe in the inherent potential for good in people, and in the ability of people to create good by working together. They do not, like the Republicans, believe in their own moral superiority or in the absolute, infallible truth of their own ideas.

Democrats believe that there are sacred principles, but that there are no sacred ideas.

Democrats believe in individual rights, personal liberty and personal responsibility. But they believe equally in social responsibility, community service and public obligation. They understand that finding the right balance between these competing values –- between the rights of the private man and the obligations of the public citizen -- is one of the most important, and difficult, jobs of citizenship and politics.

Democrats are guided by undying moral and humanitarian principles rather than constantly changing social "values." These principles are honesty, fair play, social justice, economic morality, political equality, freedom of conscience, individual integrity, respect for others regardless of station in life, gender, race, religion or inherited resources and privilege, and, an undying commitment to self-government free of the authoritarian coercion of church, monarch or, in this modern age, corporate or other elite and unaccountable power.

Democrats are the inheritors of this nation's Enlightenment and revolutionary tradition. We represent the democratic passion of Tom Payne, the pragmatic problem solving of Ben Franklin, the self-confidence and faith in and respect for humanity expressed in the Declaration of Independence.

The Republicans, as they now are constituted, on the other hand, have chosen to align themselves with the Tory tradition of church, crown and military coercion. As well as with the Southern planter tradition of brutality and empty, self congratulatory "aristocracy."

Considering all this, on which side do you think you really belong?

A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION

Submitted by infrared41 at 9:51 AM EDT
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Thursday, 14 April 2005
How screwed up is the religious right?
How fucked up are the religious right? This fucked up. Click here.

Submitted by infrared41 at 10:40 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 6 April 2005
Great article about the religious right wing wackos
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Political
Click here for a great take on the religious right. It's excellent.

Submitted by infrared41 at 11:11 AM EDT
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