2003 Anil Dash sings the hits

This blog post by Anil Dash from back in January of 2003 on the influence and increase of progressivism is a good read. It’s called, “Changing the Channel.”

Here’s a snippet:

The future is what America’s about. This is not a country about Traditions. Slavery was a tradition. Servitude to patrilineal monarchs was a tradition. The closest thing America has to a tradition is the phrase, the philosophy, “Fuck You”. And who do we say it to? To our parents. To the cops. To our teachers. To all the voices of conservativism. And don’t misunderstand, conservativism isn’t just Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly, who want to make money pushing their agenda. It’s John Ashcroft and Jack Valenti, who truly want to take away your freedoms. Valenti’s a Democrat, by the way. Conservative evil pops up everywhere.

The only loss of freedom that conservative people complain about while looking backwards is that they pretend their speech is limited by “political correctness”. I’d say we’re all a lot freer if it’s considered rude or impolite to call a person by an ethnic slur, or to use a demeaning term to refer to a handicapped person. Those who feel restricted by societal demands to be considerate are poor arbiters of what exactly constitutes liberty.

Apropos: 

NPR had this report from GOP analyst Mark McKinnon that will be available tonight after 7 p.m. (Link) He said that if Jon Huntsman were their candidate, Republicans would have won the election. He said that the reason they lost is because the only increase in demographic group came in the old white dude category.

Women, latinos, takers and African Americans were all on the rise.

Also:

Barbara Bradley Hagerty did a report called, “For religious conservatives, election was “disaster“.

Part of the story is (emphasis mine):

Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association bought full-page ads in newspapers; that made no difference,” [Albert Mohler president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary] says. “Ralph Reed spent tens of millions of dollars getting out the vote in battleground states; that didn’t make the difference. And you add all of that up, and it was not enough because of the changing demographics of our country.”

“The power of this group to shape elections,” says Greg Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, “is limited by its size.”

“They do turn out,” he says. “A quarter of the electorate described themselves as white evangelicals. It’s just that that’s not enough to overcome the strong Democratic support of other religious groups.”

Smith says Obama won 95 percent of black Protestants, three-quarters of Hispanic Catholics, 7 out of 10 Jewish voters and 70 percent of religiously unaffiliated voters, which is the fastest-growing segment of “religion.”

Woot! I am in the “fastest-growing segment of “religion.”

Anil Dash post Via Kottke

Tickle my tickle spots … trickle down economies don’t work

I saw this graphic posted on Facebook. It reads:

The next time someone tells you that Obama is destroying the economy, remind them that the stock market is close to an all-time high and that corporate profits are as well… When they tell you that that hasn’t helped them any, remind them they’ve just admitted trickle-down economics doesn’t work.”

~ Whiskey and the Morning After Blog

My main economy information usually comes from NPR’s Marketplace. Although I don’t listen every day, Kai Ryssdal is often not as thrilled about the direction of the markets. That’s certainly not to say I’m right.

I’m admitting ignorance.

I have heard record corporate profits on several occasions, which pisses me off. I’ve heard that corporations are hoarding cash while continuing with hiring freezes.

Regardless, I’d love to know if anyone here — you know who you are you quiet bunch of quiet-heads — if this information can be backed up, since I’m a lameass who can’t seem to do it quickly.

And secondly, I strongly recommend taking a look at this blog: Whiskey and the Morning After.

Holy shit, the thing is a train wreck. When referring to republicans, they write “we” and they use “they” when referring to liberals.

Yet like my conservative friends, he appears liberal but clings to a conservative label.

They, him or her or they, post things that you shouldn’t miss like:

And those are just the front page of today’s version of the blog.

In a post called, “Confessions of a Recovering Catholic” he writes (emphasis mine):

For me, they don’t have all of the answers, no religion does. I’ve learned that in life, asking someone to give you the answers is intellectually lazy and a recipe for disaster. Even somehow through the course of my experiences, I were to find that the “true faith” was Catholicism, I could never go back to a church that allowed a priest to rail against “sins” that he was committing before or after the very service in which he condemned others for the same offense. I could never forgive a church that allowed the leader of their Knights of Columbus group, someone who was considered a pillar of the community, to molest kids in his basement office while his wife chatted with the victim’s parents upstairs and never try to stop him.

I’ll never stop having respect for those who consider themselves to be Christians, Catholics, or whatever and actually concentrate on what the religion was originally supposed to be about. However, until the day comes when the message goes back to taking care of the poor and outcast instead of the pathological obsession with people’s sexual habits and controlling their lives, count me out.

I super heart this blog!

The markets could be rocking for all anyone cares.

All I know is: Whiskey and the Morning after just got added to my watch list for cool blogs.

Yesterday’s driveway moment with David Barton

Yesterday I picked up our car from the mechanic and stopped at the grocery store to pickup a few groceries.

When I pulled up to the grocery store, a story about my favorite guy David Barton was on.

David Barton is the guy I would have become if I continued on the trajectory that I was on as a senior in high school. He’s an activist posing as a “historian” and he uses botched and misleading information and rhetoric to steer otherwise good people into thinking the history of the world and especially the United States is quite different than what most everyone learns in classrooms.

David Barton says things that I was taught at Wesleyan Christian Academy in a class called “Understanding the Times,” which was a curriculum based on biblical revisionism.

When I left Wesleyan, I was gung-ho for the LORD. And I repeated stuff teachers taught me in so many situations. I was the cat’s pajamas. I thought I was smarter than everyone, because I was armed with logic laced in Jesus’s own awesome word.

I was a warrior for Christ, and, frankly, I felt welcome, inspired and confident as that person.

When I took the “facts” learned from these courses into the classrooms at a private Presbyterian college, it was made clear that stuff I was repeating was not factual. It was frustrating when I would raise my hand in class and the teachers looked at me like I had three heads and penises for eyelids.

These were Christians. How could they disagree with me? 

Researched further, the smallest bits of information I learned in those high school classes were lies, which lead me to wonder if everything I was taught were lies.

When I was growing up, my mom put a spank-load of influence on telling the truth. And I mean telling the truth to the T. If the slightest bit of information was off, my mom — or the end of a .5″ thick paddle let me and my deceitful ass know.

So when further research lead me to uncover the truths of those classes, I became more and more angry.

David Barton and the classes that are still being taught at my old high school make people stupider.

And they don’t care.

Barton doesn’t care.

And his audiences eat it up, because it makes them feel all horny about Jesus.

Barton, I believe, is a version of the old me, but no one helped him see that he’s just a cocky asshole with a shitload of bad information.

And who would do that now? He’s making a killing off his direction in life.

And that’s all that matter.

Yank my suckling mouth from a teat of flowing cash, and I would grow corrupt to get my mouth back on it, too.

Well, the story on NPR is here. I listened to the damn thing twice, just in case I missed something.

I highly recommend listening to it.

And I imagine because some of my readers are anti-NPR, they won’t. But there is for and against in this liberal story. I felt it was a bit balanced as I don’t like the writer much ( ) because she kowtow to woo on her segments.

The good news is Barton’s publishers listened to the report and they have done their own research and they’re pulling the book off the shelves.

Mind you. This is not a book with low sales.

This is a book that has made many high sales lists.

So if a greedy old book publisher — in this piss-poor economy — is pulling Barton’s books … you know something smells shit-ass rotten in Denmark.

Here’s that story.

I say it’s too late. Barton isn’t to be stopped. And if I were a praying man, I’d pray that Barton would become enlightened to his deceitful bullshit.

But we know that doesn’t work.

Zondervon will get behind that rag of crap and private school teachers without a shred of respect for erudition will put that in the hands of their stupid little students.

And we’ll all suffer for it later.

Listening recommendation: “When God Talks Back” to the Evangelical Community on Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Yesterday, Fresh Air’s Terry Gross interviewed anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann, who wrote a book called, When God Talks BackThe book explores how people claim to have a personal

Terry Gross WikiWorld
Terry Gross WikiWorld (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

relationship with God.

Listen to the interview here.

The interview is fascinating, and Luhrmann’s perspective is valuable.

One thing that stuck out was Luhrmann’s apparent disbelief, but fear of admitting it. I think she needs to keep a certain distance from her subjects, while maintaining a closeness.

Tina and I sat listening to the interview while editing yesterday, and we both wanted to listen closer.

Luhrmann discussed how people devote time and even “dates” with God. They go on walks together. Have coffee or tea time. Time spent with God is like having an affair.

The first time I ran into Julie Ferwerda, I found a editorial in which she talked about dating Jesus and posted it here. She wrote (don’t kill me, Julie):

So how do you date Jesus? Here are some ways that work for me, but the sky is the limit for creativity—just like any true dating relationship. The key is to make it spontaneous, personal and a major priority. And then you’ll find that he begins showing up for dates—sometimes with flowers, love notes, and rainbows!

This is the stuff of Luhrmann’s book.

At one point, Terry Gross asked Luhrmann whether the language should be “imagined” God’s voice or “heard it.”

Luhrmann’s answer was surprising. She didn’t say “imagined” was wrong, because there is some evidence that old church leadership agreed that imagining God’s voice is okay. But the negative connotation that surrounds the word makes it hard for Christians to use.

Another interesting part was when Luhrmann told Terry Gross that parents telling kids to give up their invisible friends is not sound advice.

I grew up in an evangelical community, aka The Yeshua Fog. Like many, I thought I heard God’s voice. And when the voice in my head was negative, or sinful, namely with sexual sins, I decided that was Satan’s voice.

Looking back, I know I was sure about it. It was so crystal clear to me. But the more I looked into it, the more I hammered down that there’s NOOO way that God was talking to me. And if he were, how come he didn’t use a powerful voice and how come Satan didn’t use a voice conversion machine that made his sound evil?

I mean, why did the voice always resemble my own? Why did the voice always want what I secretly wanted?

The conversations I had with God, Jesus and Satan were incessant. We’d banter back and forth for hours. My imagination was — and still is — a difficult, fast-paced world of non-stop banter.

All that’s to say, go listen to real people talk about whether God’s voice is real or not. It’s amazing that this is even a valid conversation to have. But it’s worth getting into the mind of your friends to figure out what makes them tick.

Pulling our troops out of Iraq

The Internets are abuzz with news of the American military finally leaving Iraq.

How awesome is that.

What a great Christmas present for our military’s friends and families.

I loved this line from an article at NPR from the Associated Press:

The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border to neighboring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief.

But the writer couldn’t leave well enough alone. The very next line reads:

Their exit marked the end of a bitterly divisive war that raged for nearly nine years and left Iraq shattered, with troubling questions lingering over whether the Arab nation will remain a steadfast U.S. ally.

The article explains that we lost 4,500 troops during the war and over 100,000 Iraqis. Not to mention the over 500 private military contractors.

It also says America spent over $800 billion from the US treasury. $800 billion?

Between dead and injured troops, dead and injured Iraqis, a price tag of $800 billion, and the toll the war took on American (and international) morale, goodness gracious alive I hope we made the right “investment”.

I’m having trouble, because my immediate reaction to this story was to post a big old shot of President Bush with the “Mission Accomplished” banner hanging behind him.

But I refrain. Our military deserves and demands our support. We should give them that respect.