Thursday, August 18, 2005

When the Bull Moose Speaks, You Listen

Per a major point of discussion the other night @ the HPI, the Bull Moose weighs in:
The Bushies have clearly bungled the occupation of Iraq. They never had a coherent or an effective strategy nor sufficient troops for what has become a disastrous post-war period.

The public is rightly fed-up with the status quo. But that does not necessarily mean that they will be willing to accept defeat. If Democrats become associated with "defeatism" and "out now", this may enable the President and Rove to portray the party as the "cut and run" crowd.


To withdraw immediately as she suggests would reward al-Zarqawi and his killers with a victory for creating rivers of blood. Whatever the legion of mistakes of the Bush Administration, that is not a moral position. After all, Mrs. Sheehan believes that the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban is also wrong.

While President Bush might not talk to Cindy Sheehan again, he certainly owes the American people an explanation of our current predicament in Iraq. More than that, he should provide us with a new victory strategy there. That might be even more important than mountain biking at this critical juncture.

There are no easy solutions in Iraq. This Administration has arrogantly ignored the voices of reason ranging from General Shinseki to Senators Biden and McCain. Republicans should certainly pay a political price for their failure of oversight for this potential foreign policy disaster.

Yes, Democrats should relentlessly criticize the Administration for the mishandling of the war. But don't play into the hands of either Zarqawi or the donkey's political foes.
And this, I think, was (roughly) our thinking as well...

Ah Bull Moose, truly you are wise.

A Page? I'll Take the 12 Volume Set!

From NPR's Morning Edition: Progressives Take a Page from Conservative Networks
Worth a listen and I might be developing a wee bit of a man-crush on David Sirota...

Teach the Controversy! ID vs. FSM!!

So the "Intelligent Design" folks want to teach the Creationist mythology... but which one? See the "Intelligent Design" folks are themselves failing to recognize the alternative to their 'alternative' and this is that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster:
Some find that hard to believe, so it may be helpful to tell you a little more about our beliefs. We have evidence that a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the universe. None of us, of course, were around to see it, but we have written accounts of it. We have several lengthy volumes explaining all details of His power. Also, you may be surprised to hear that there are over 10 million of us, and growing. We tend to be very secretive, as many people claim our beliefs are not substantiated by observable evidence. What these people don’t understand is that He built the world to make us think the earth is older than it really is. For example, a scientist may perform a carbon-dating process on an artifact. He finds that approximately 75% of the Carbon-14 has decayed by electron emission to Nitrogen-14, and infers that this artifact is approximately 10,000 years old, as the half-life of Carbon-14 appears to be 5,730 years. But what our scientist does not realize is that every time he makes a measurement, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is there changing the results with His Noodly Appendage. We have numerous texts that describe in detail how this can be possible and the reasons why He does this. He is of course invisible and can pass through normal matter with ease.
Teach the Controversy and become a convert today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Intelligent Falling

I would find this funny if it wasn't almost exactly what is happening... and I didn't actually believe these folks are capable of going after gravity next:
Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.
Who can doubt the power of The Onion?


Onward Not-So Christian Nation!

Those damn commies over at Harper's think they know a thing or 2 about what it means to be 'Christian' in The Christian Paradox: How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong:
Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual or political terms. Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.
Uh oh, someone is using that brain Evolution gave them...
Asking Christians what Christ taught isn’t a trick. When we say we are a Christian nation—and, overwhelmingly, we do—it means something. People who go to church absorb lessons there and make real decisions based on those lessons; increasingly, these lessons inform their politics. (One poll found that 11 percent of U.S. churchgoers were urged by their clergy to vote in a particular way in the 2004 election, up from 6 percent in 2000.) When George Bush says that Jesus Christ is his favorite philosopher, he may or may not be sincere, but he is reflecting the sincere beliefs of the vast majority of Americans.

And therein is the paradox. America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior. That paradox—more important, perhaps, than the much touted ability of French women to stay thin on a diet of chocolate and cheese—illuminates the hollow at the core of our boastful, careening culture.
Now, if pressed, I would identify as "Irish Catholic" (currently an apostate) educated by the Jesuits which means I know 2 things: drinking & religion (not necessarily in that order) and this paradox (and I believe it is) has been driving me crazy for years.
But is it Christian? This is not a matter of angels dancing on the heads of pins. Christ was pretty specific about what he had in mind for his followers. What if we chose some simple criterion—say, giving aid to the poorest people—as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they’d fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?
Me thinks some won't like or, more importantly, accept the answer. Others? Using religion, as folks like them have for centuries, to get others to do their bidding.

History doesn't repeat, but it does have patterns...


Monday, August 15, 2005

George (hopefully) headed for breakdown?

Click on the title.

What a relief -- can't wait 'til he blows a gasket publicly. Hope it's huge and funny.