Eye of Newt and Mitt of Romney

Finally two big-name, legitimate candidates have thrown their hats into the ring, running for the Republican presidential nomination.  They are:   Newt Gingrich.  And Mitt Romney.

Those of you whose Christianity shapes your politics, could you vote for either of these guys?  Newt has lots of creative conservative ideas, but he has a history of admitted adultery, has been divorced twice, and is on his third marriage.  Would you say that character is more important than ideology?  And if so, would you ever be able to vote for Newt?  (He has recently converted from being a Baptist to being a Roman Catholic.  Does anyone know if he would be allowed to take Holy Communion, given his multiple marriages, even though they were pre-conversion?)

As for Mitt Romney, he is not a Christian at all, but rather a Mormon.  Does that make a difference to you in your willingness to ever vote for him?  Luther’s oft-cited quotation about better to vote for a wise Turk than a foolish Christian is apparently one of those urban legends.  But even if you agree with the principle, do you think Romney is a wise-enough Turk?

This weekend Mike Huckabee, last year a social conservative favorite, announced he is not running.  Mitch Daniel is a candidate with gravitas, but he is the one who called for a “truce” on social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage.  (Even though as Indiana governor he has recently defunded Planned Parenthood in that state.)

Would Christian conservatives rally around Pawlenty?  Santorum?  Bachman?

Is there any potential GOP candidate that, if he or she were the Republican nominee, would make you vote for Obama instead?

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma finally has a professional sports team–the Oklahoma Sooner don’t count–and, within just a few years, it’s in the championship hunt!  The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 105-90, to win the seventh game playoff, putting them up against the Dallas Mavericks for the Western Division championship in the NBA.  The winner will play the Eastern champion, either the formerly always dominant Chicago Bulls or the superstar team of today the Miami Heat.   Wouldn’t it be something if the Thunder could beat either of those teams?  At any rate, the performance of the Thunder this year, with its great player Kevin Durant, is great for Oklahoma City and for all of my fellow Okies, including those of us in the post-Dust Bowl diaspora.

via Thunder top Grizzlies 105-90 to reach West finals – dailytribune.com.

Let us now praise comic books

Nice article about Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, now 88, whose comic book creations such as Spider Man and now Thor, have gone from cheap pulp paper to the silver screen, making him a rich man:

Stan Lee professes no deep and analytical insight into the human soul. “I’m not a psychiatrist,” he begs off. “All I know is, the good superhero movie has got action, suspense, colorful characters, new angles — that’s what people like.”

The rangy 88-year-old — sitting poised against the leopard-print pillows on the couch in his POW! Entertainment office, several days before “Thor’s” premiere — is a natural at delivering the dramatic angle. Asked to strike a towering pose, he springs to his feet and in a blink is balancing with feline ease atop a chair.

Seventy years to the month after the nom-de-toon “Stan Lee” first appeared in a comic book, “Thor” is similarly perched atop the box office. In one sense, the origin story of Stanley Martin Lieber resembles that of the Norse superhero he co-created, only told backward. Thor is to the godhead born until, because of his impudence, he’s sentenced to a mortal existence. Lee was a mere Manhattan comics-industry mortal for decades until, because of diligence and vision, he was elevated to Marvel Comics demigod, creating — alongside fellow legends Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko — the likes of Spider-Man and Iron Man, the Hulk, X-Men and the Fantastic Four.

All those characters have already appeared in feature films, and the latest wave of Hollywood superheroes is gathering force as it rolls in this summer. “Thor’s” domestic opening last Friday will be followed in short order by “X-Men: First Class,” DC’s “Green Lantern” and Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.” Meanwhile, casting decisions for the next Superman and Batman films — as well as the Spider-Man reboot and the cinematic assembling of the Avengers — have sparked feverish online speculation and reaction.

The superhero film is still as unstoppable and resilient and globally enduring as, well, Stan Lee himself. . . .

“My theory about why people like superheroes is that when we were kids, we all loved to read fairy tales,” says Lee, beaming behind his trademark tinted glasses. “Fairy tales are all about things bigger than life: giants, witches, trolls, dinosaurs and dragons and all sorts of imaginative things. Then you get a little bit older and you stop reading fairy tales, but you don’t ever outgrow your love of them.

“Superhero movies are like fairy tales for older people,” continues Lee, whose voice envelops the listener with a raspy, lilting warmth. “All those things you imagined — if only I could fly or be the strongest — are about wish fulfillment. . . . And because of that, I don’t think they’ll ever go out of vogue.”

via In a superhero-heavy summer at the movies, Stan Lee talks about genre’s appeal – The Washington Post.

When I was a kid, I was a comic book fan.  Comic books taught me to love reading and sent my imagination soaring.  I liked D.C. comics–Superman, Batman, also Flash and the Atom–better than Marvel, whose heroes were too angst-ridden for my taste, but Dell had some good titles too:  TarzanTurok, Son of Stone.  (Somebody should make a Turok movie!  Indians and dinosaurs!)  I liked Classics Illustrated too.  They really did lead me into great literature.   In fact, I see a direct line from my comic book phase to my literary scholarship!  Comics are an interesting combination of visual art and writing.

Does anyone else have any comic book testimonials?

Top ten signs you’re too afraid of your government

My brother Jimmy is always a little behind, which means that when he comments on this blog he usually does so after everyone else is tired of the topic and has stopped following the discussion.  But he posted a top 10 list on that presidential cell phone thread that is worthy of David Letterman.  And even though it is arguably wrong-headed, it is very humorous.  So I wanted all of you to see it:

Top ten signs that you too may be a victim of anti-government fear mongering:

10. When the government census worker came to your door, you hid in the closet.

9. You can’t find your long form birth certificate and question your own citizenship.

8. You have already contacted your local hospital administrator to see what you have to do to get appointed to serve on a “death panel”.

7. You watch “King of the Hill”, and think that Dale Gribble is the smart one.

6. While waiting on a table at a restaurant, you refuse to give the host your real name.

5. You think that FBI agents are living in your attic. (Personal note to my big brother, “Dr. Veith”. This one runs in our family. Don’t tell anyone.)

4. You refuse to set your clocks to daylight savings time.

3. You have nightmares where a team of Navy SEALS descend upon your compound in black stealth helicopters and shoot you in the head. (Wait a minute. . . . that could actually happen!)

2. When you watch Fox news you think you are watching the news.

1.. Headdress of choice: Tin Foil

Reactionary liberalism

Today’s liberals, George Will argues, are strangely oblivious to history and resistant to change.   After giving some examples and examining the apocalyptic objections to Paul Ryan’s plan to cut the deficit, Will says this:

The hysteria and hyperbole about Ryan’s plan arise, in part, from a poverty of today’s liberal imagination, an inability to think beyond the straight-line continuation of programs from the second and third quarters of the last century. It is odd that “progressives,” as liberals now wish to be called, have such a constricted notion of the possibilities of progress.

Liberals think Medicare and Social Security as they exist are “fundamental” to the nation’s identity. But liberals think the Constitution — which the Framers meant to be fundamental, meaning constituting, law — should be construed as a “living” document, continually evolving to take different meanings under whatever liberals consider new social imperatives.

The lesson of all this is that one’s sense of possibilities — and proprieties — is shaped by what we know, and often do not know, about history. The regnant ideology within the Obama administration and among congressional Democrats is reactionary liberalism, the conviction that whatever government programs exist should forever exist because they always have existed. That is, as baby boomers, in their narcissism — or perhaps solipsism; or both — understand “always.”

via History lessons for Obama and other liberals – The Washington Post.

Military chaplains will NOT do gay weddings after all

We blogged a few days ago about the Navy authorizing chaplains to perform gay marriages in military chapels in states where that is legal.  The resulting outcry has led to a cancellation of that policy, at least for now: Navy revokes guidance on same-sex marriages – The Washington Post.


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