"I spend a lot of time studying this stuff"

Q: What do Ed Koch, Joan Rivers, Barbara Bush, Russell Simons, Moby and Kyra Sedgwick have in common?

A: They think that the law should apply equally to everybody in New York.

And, of course, it should. Duh.

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Jason at The Wild Hunt on the “New Apostolic Reformation” group:

“If you think what this group is doing sounds like malefic magic, I’d be hard-pressed to argue with you.”

Prayer should not be spellcasting. God is not your djinni.

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That Times story on renter-owned communities was a nice, hopeful note about how some of the powerless are being empowered. But not all and not most. This sort of thing is still an almost everyday occurrence in America: “Park Closing on Mobile Home Owners, Renters.”

“A lot of people are scared,” she said.”My friend Joyce has been there 16 years, and she’s 85 years old. She has nobody here. I’m all she’s got.”

The park gave seven months notice to the park’s residents. After the park closes Oct. 1 the land will be plowed and left vacant.

Capitola settles lawsuits with Surf and Sand, amends rent control ordinance

Mobile home park residents typically own the structure, but rent the land it occupies. The residences at Surf and Sand are manufactured homes, and contrary to the “mobile” moniker, do not have wheels and are not easily moved.

Over 30 people spoke to the Council, the majority mobile home residents who said the council’s action jeopardized their homes at the four-acre, 73-space park that sits on a bluff overlooking the bay and Capitola Village.

“As citizens of Capitola I would think we have the same rights as other citizens, but because we happen to live in mobile homes I get the feeling that makes us second class citizens to some of you,” Surf and Sand resident Jack Alsman said before decision. “I may lose my home because of this.”

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Tony Jones: “Did Jesus Die on a Chocolate Cross?

I appreciate the impulse to try to rescue the Easter season from commodification and a bewildering array of chocolate bunnies and plastic grass, but this is not the way to do it. Nor is this. Or this.

Cue the Tom Waits, “This is somethin’ for the kids on, uh, Easter …”:

YouTube Preview Image

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Stumbled across:

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The title of this post comes from Cardinal Archbishop George Pell of Sydney, Australia, who apparently moonlights as a climate change denialist, because what better way to care for your flock than rejecting science and inviting calamity? I am accepting John Quiggin’s invitation to ridicule the cardinal because ridiculing the ridiculous is a moral duty. “There’s no substitute for knowing what you’re talking about.

L.B.: The denial of death
L.B.: Meet Buck Williams
Joan Didion on Left Behind
L.B.: Meet the GIRAT
  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    A local church (one town over) burned down two years ago and I don’t remember how they explained that one, either, although I think it was something like “faulty wiring”.

  • Froborr

    Well OBVIOUSLY that’s a Satan tornado.

  • Froborr

    Yeah. I mean, she’s obviously a total slut, how dare she have opinions? She needs to get her priorities straight: First, dress properly to find a husband rather than a fuckbuddy, then pump out a few babies, and THEN she’s allowed to have opinions. As long as they’re the ones her husband gives her.


  • Anonymous
    “Religious symbols designed to be broken apart and eaten: They’re sacri-licious!”

    you mean like the eucharist? :D

    Oh hey, I just got my flame-retardant Internet Argument Panic Room done. :P

  • Robyrt

    I’m not terribly surprised at the NAR people, who after all are just following in the footsteps of “gospel of wealth” and “heaven on earth” sects over the past several centuries. The idea that the Christian God can be invoked like a Pagan deity dates to Constantine, if not earlier. Frankly, given the goals of most of the people attempting this, it’s a good thing that doesn’t work.

  • Robyrt

    I’m not terribly surprised at the NAR people, who after all are just following in the footsteps of “gospel of wealth” and “heaven on earth” sects over the past several centuries. The idea that the Christian God can be invoked like a Pagan deity dates to Constantine, if not earlier. Frankly, given the goals of most of the people attempting this, it’s a good thing that doesn’t work.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    The scary thing about the NAR and the Third Wave groups is this: if someone stood up and invoked Satan to bring harm to the nation of Japan, they would bitterly condemn that person for practicing “black magic.” But somehow, invoking Jesus and Yahweh to cause harm to others if just fine!

    The Third Wave is basically practicing what was known as “maleficia” in the Middle Ages. They are calling upon a supernatural entity or force to bring harm to others.

    And yet, this idea is hardly new. The 14th would-be wizard Cornelius Agrippa claimed in his book, the Occult Philosophy, that one could indeed call upon Yahweh to harm others simply by reminding Him of how he smote the Egyptians with the Ten Plagues.

  • hf

    The Wild Hunt link has this quote: “Atop the hierarchy of demon spirits are the ‘territorial demons’, and squatting near the apex, over Mount Everest, is a purported global-level demon spirit called ‘The Queen of Heaven’ that prevents, according to Peter Wagner, prayers of Catholics, Muslims, and adherents to other supposedly illegitimate forms of religious belief, from reaching God.”

    So wait, they recognize the authority of Our Lady Babalon? They even realize that no man may approach the One except through Her? Then why do they continue to blaspheme against Her holy work?

  • joe smith

    From the Bangkok story:

    “As we were preparing to leave we noticed two older Thai women sitting with their young teenage daughters, observing the bar and talking to the mamasans. Jit told us that they were there trying to get jobs for their daughters. Our hearts sank a little, but as they walked out we prayed that no agreements were made, and that those young girls would leave jobless.”

    Seriously people?

    When you are not trying to destroy a glorious Buddhist civilization you pray for its people’s unemployment???

  • joe smith

    Tom Waits is uncategorizable. And brilliant!

  • joe smith

    She’s not ashamed because she comes from a Buddhist country. If the blog author’s suceed in Christianizing Thailand, expect her to cry herself to sleep.

  • Amaryllis

    @Joe smith: I take that to mean that they hoped those young girls would have other options than becoming sex workers. Which, without getting into the prostitution debate again, seems like a perfectly understandable feeling to me.

  • joe smith

    So they can get jobs in a factory making sneakers for rich white christians?

  • Amaryllis

    Or stay in school, or learn a trade, or run a small business…

    But yes, if it was me or my daughter, I’d prefer even a low-paying factory job to the daily risk of rapes and beatings and abuse and imprisonment that are sadly common features of girls’ lives in the “red-light” districts of Thailand or Malaysia or the Philippines.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Prayer should not be spellcasting. God is not your djinni.

    This is another corollary of what Slack has hammered on in his Left Behind analysis. RTCs and Spiritual Warriors look at the face of God and can see only Power. The Biggest Boot to stamp on everybody else’s faces. A Big-G God as Familiar Spirit (or “Your Wish is My Command” djinni) to do the stomping.

    What was described down that link with the Third Wavers and New Apostolic Whatevers IS Black Magic. Calling down curses and cancer and disasters with “Imprecatory Prayer” incantations. My writing partner described it as “Amazon Tribal Shamans with a Christian Coat of Paint”, cursing their enemies with their Mighty Magick. (Who do they think they are? “Just like Aliester Crowley, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”?)

    – some Cecil B DeMille Bible Epic, just before a (considerably-sanitized) child sacrifice to seal the deal with Baal-Chemosh

    As someone who got nailed by Spiritual Warriors during the Satanic Panic of the Eighties, all I can say is if someone had turned these wannabes on to D&D instead of Spiritual Warfare (TM), things would be a lot brighter. Then they could role-play high-level spellcasters fighting the forces of evil and demons with their Mighty (and sometimes Clerical) Magic without dragging all the rest of us in as Red Shirts.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Net Drunk Syndrome. When you’re safe behind a screen handle and Internet Link, All Hell Breaks Loose and the kicking to the nuts just for the LULZ begins — anything goes ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Think she just might have snapped?

    If you’re there to do more than party, college is a time of major stress. As someone who went to Cal Poly and got the UC Riverside flunkouts, UC system is definitely rougher and more stressful than Cal State, with higher stakes. And these days, throw in a lot of mandatory Sensitivity Training (delivered with all the Sensitivity of Kyle’s Mom in South Park) and educational/social fad of the week to add to the stress (tiptoeing on eggshells), and it becomes a matter of time until someone snaps.

    Since Affirmative Action quotas were removed in the admissions process, the UC System has been majority-Asian. A culture that puts great emphasis on learning will be heavily represented in higher education. This adds to the stress for now-minority Anglos having to compete for admissions and grades. (Plus, what makes you think only whites are racists? Ever seen Japanese and Koreans? Northern Chinese and Cantonese? Viets and Hmong? Lots of “tribal” enemies there. Add being on the receiving end of racism, and you’ve got a pretty explosive mixture. At least this explosion was a dumb, nasty, and somewhat off-color rant.)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “Stupidity is like hydrogen. It’s the basic building block of the Universe.”
    – Frank Zappa

    And Christians are no exception to that rule.

  • jackd

    Headless Unicorn Guy, are you trying to excuse Miss Bigot? Even worse, on the grounds that it’s so stressful being told not to be a bigot? Worse still, on the grounds that some immigrant groups hate on other immigrant groups?

    I do pre-emptively apologize if that’s not your intent, but that’s how I read the message.

    Look, I will concede that going to a tough school, finding your lily-white self in the minority and getting lessons in how things you’ve taken for granted are actually pretty hateful all add up to significant pressure. Under that pressure, it’s not surprising that some will break out in imitations of artists (who bigots don’t see are undermining stereotypes and attitudes) or of Rush Limbaugh. Not surprising, but not excusable.

    And haven’t you been reading Slactivist comments long enough to understand what privilege is? And how and why it determines the real force of bigotry and racism?

  • Barney

    Is a chocolate cross any worse than a hot cross bun?

  • PJ Evans

    Read what I said, and look at her when’ she’s talking to the reporter, and ask yourself if you’d want to be seen like that. Then you can complain about me expressing MY OPINIONS about her. (I think she’s rude and badly-raised.)

  • PJ Evans

    UC Berkeley was majority-Asian even before that.
    I wouldn’t recommend UC for people straight out of high school, because it’s really not set up for the amount of help most students need as freshmen, and maybe also as sophomores. (There’s a lot of looking-down-on-others when a lot of students come in from high-income areas, or with straight As in HS, and they have to live with people who aren’t like them. The stress levels are much higher than they need to be.)