Happy 82nd birthday Clint Eastwood

“The next one won’t happen until December 10, 2117, so I’m guessing this will be the last time you’ll be able to see it.”

“Pastor Mack Wolford, the son of a snake-handling pastor who died from a rattler bite, lived by faith and died on Sunday, like his father before him, from a serpent bite.”

“Another way of saying this is that most Americans are actually pro-choice even if they sometimes identify as pro-life.”

“The real battle isn’t India vs. Pakistan anymore, but Each Side vs. the Unlivable Mountain, with its hundred mile an hour winds and negative-50-degree temperatures.”

“Mobile-home residents who are fighting the ballot measure have no way to match the money that Prop. E supporters have poured into the campaign.”

“He was arrested and detained with no regard for his civil rights and the due process which Americans used to hold as a sacred trust and was finally moved to the Stewart Detention Facility in Lumpkin, Georgia, owned and operated by the Corrections Corporation of America.”

“The judge’s ruling is apparently based on a fictitious ‘heightened standard’ for public notice when Muslims are involved.”

“Who are you going to side with — Allen West or George Washington?

“If it should be declared that contraception is not evil in itself, then we should have to concede frankly that the Holy Spirit had been on the side of the Protestant churches in 1930.”

“This is the equivalent of, in 1965, a claque of Baptists demanding their right not to serve black people in restaurants because of their beliefs in the Biblical basis for white supremacy.”

“Republican state legislators are cooking up their own solution to this problem of evil scientists trying to make predictions based on scientific models.”

“This contrast — Is forgiveness actual or potential? — goes to the heart of the debates of what is called the ‘New Perspective’ on Paul.”

If you have that kind of relationship with the Bible, you may need counseling.”

“Each year in May, Anabaptists commemorate the death of Dirk Willems, who was burned at the stake in 1569.”

We have a higher standard.”

30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right

“It’s a shambling, half-tossed study of an artist who epitomized the shambling, half-tossed record, executed by a musician who has made his career out of shambling, half-tossed performances.”

So I honked, and he flipped me off.”

Annie Downs is a huge, huge fan of The Waltons. Especially John-Boy.


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  • Jessica_R

    I have had to quit reading items on climate change. As they leave me the hopeless despair that my species is going to cause its own extinction rather than admit that maybe, just maybe, Al Gore mighta had a little bit of a point there.

  • There’s a weird sort of void in the “taking care of your physical surroundings” stuff, in the archaic “how to keep a home” and “how to be domestic” arenas. It tends to ignore single people, or people without kids, or students, or people with pets, or people with roommates, or people with full-time jobs, or classes, or other shit going on. 

    Or people who are physically incapable of doing housework. (That is me.) Or people who are on their feet all day in their jobs and/or in the service industry and therefore too  exhausted both physically and emotionally to do anything when they come home. (That was me.) Or people who are depressed — and therefore also incapable of doing housework. Or people who work two jobs. Or…

    If I did not live with my fiance, and if I for some reason had my own apartment anyway, it would be an utter and absolute disaster, and I would be able to do nothing about it. I’m not unique. If you see someone with a home you think is dirty and feel like judging them, stop and think for a minute. First, what are your standards for cleanliness? Maybe they’re really high. Maybe you’re using a metric to judge them that assumes they have a comfortable income and someone who can spare a couple hours a day for housework. Second, does anyone want to live in a mess? (If they do, they likely have an issue like hoarding which you shouldn’t be judging them for anyway.) Do you honestly think people who do so are just “lazy”? Do you know so much about this person that you can know for a fact they aren’t exhausted from work/kids/relationships/life, that they don’t have any mental, emotional, or physical obstacles (including allergies), that they do have plenty of time and money that can be expended on housework and cleaning supplies? And remember, the cheaper your cleaning supplies are, the more physical ability and time it takes to clean. 

    If someone has physical or emotional or mental or time challenges AND lack of money for fancy appliances and plentiful, fancy cleaning aids — here’s an idea. Instead of judging and instructing a la a late-19th century upper middle class reformer, offer to help them clean, or to clean for them.

  • Matri

    You should check the comments section on that article. More common sense in each of the commenters than all of the developers combined.

  • Alger

    IN RE: “If you have that kind of relationship with the Bible, you may need counseling.”

    Unsurprisingly, down in the comments of that post is the link to the ad campaign from which that image was stolen.

    “Unimaginative creepy X-ian art, less original than you thought” (c).

  • Jeff Weskamp

    RE: “If you have that kind of relationship with the Bible, you may need counseling.”

    The image looks like something you’d see in the TV Series, “American Horror Story.”  Seriously.

  • Tricksterson

    I vote that mountain be named Caradhras.

  • michael mcshea

    To put the General Wojtyla contraception quote into proper perspective I think a few Hollywood movies might be suggested. Tim Burton to make a movie about Pius IX and Oliver Stone to make one about Pius XII.

  • I’m aware that snake-handling isn’t a suicide cult, exactly.  Still it’s a wonder that it hasn’t yet run into the same ‘dying out due to excessive death’ problem as a suicide cult,
    if only at a somewhat slower pace. 

    I suppose that their are a handful of Shakers still out there.   Two hundred years extant in spite of the universal abstinance.  Belief is a hell of a funny thing.   

  • pharoute

    Low level judge rules “public notice” isn’t really a public notice, Mosque appeals, next level up rules it is so a public notice, low level judge seen as tough on Islam, gets re-elected.

    What a farce we’ve become.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    I agree, Pharoute.  The old French playwrights couldn’t produce *anything* more farcical than our legal and political system.

    It reminds me of something Matt Taibbi discussed in one of his columns.  In Congress, some bills are referred to as “showboats.”  These are bills that literally have no chance whatsoever of passing into law and are only floated to “impress” the voters back home.  One prominent example was a bill proposed by a congressman from Alabama (or was it Mississippi?) to ban all books written by gay people from government-funded libraries.  The bill lasted about 10 minutes before being torpedoed, but that congressman could go back home during the next election and point to his “showboat” as proof of how hard he was working to combat the Great Gay Menace.

  • Geri Corvus

     And the image was created for an ad campaign by the Australian Post Office, to get people to write more personal letters; in other words to communicate, to reach out to another person.  Quite a lot different from shutting yourself away and reading the Bible.

  • TheFaithfulStone

    On the topic of farcical politics, I have a (potentially) stupid question.  

    Michael Bloomberg has proposed banning the sale of all sugary soft drinks larger than 16oz in the City. (Which if you’ve been to a fast food restaurant recently is like 3.21 oz of actual sugary soft drink and 13 oz of half melted ice.)

    Which mysteriously, all of my liberal friends seem to be in favor of.   I don’t get it  – this isn’t like transfats, where it sneaks into things that you wouldn’t expect it.  As a citizen I’m to be trusted with my body, my own life and the running of the country – but not a soda? I can by a 40oz beer but not 20oz Coke?

    Right, right, right, it’s bad for me, I get it – so is smoking and drinking, and watching Fox news or E!, and yet we’re not going to ban ANY of those things.

    So, is this just a left wing version of a moral panic or what?  Somebody explain to me how “you can’t buy a large Coke” is compatible with the progressive agenda except in some sort of conservative fever dream.

  • hapax

     Well, the sugary soda isn’t just bad for YOU, it’s bad for everybody, because subsidizing the corn syrup industry is destructive to the economy (and our health) in many many ways.

    But that’s pretty abstract, and banning 20 oz Cokes in New York City is going to do squat to fix it.

    I don’t know ANYONE — liberal or conservative — who doesn’t think that Bloomberg’s proposal is ridiculous.  I could maaaaayyyybee get behind banning the sale of large size sodas to minors, same as we do alcohol and cigarettes and R movies.  (Well, movie ratings are a whole different issue.) 

  • michael mcshea

    Giuliani started all this Puritanical holier than thou War on Vice “el patron” attitude toward us peons in NYC. Bloomy is too rich to be told anything by anybody.  Moral – Fish like Plutocrats begins to stink after three terms. 

  • Will Hennessy

    Funny thing is, because of my friend’s recent rants and raves (and conspiratorial theories) regarding the Zodiac Killer, I have decided to watch Dirty Harry tonight. Happy 82nd Clint indeed, from one San-Fran native to another.

  • Guest


  • Guest

    Trying again: Considering Eastwood’s stance against the ADA, I don’t see what your point is.

  • That post about contraception and infallibility has me tearing my hair out.

    It’s not that I disagree with the poster that the hierachy has such a death clamp on contraception because it’s afraid of losing face and undermining the authority of the church. It’s that their argument is an ineffectual strawman that any Catholic will roll their eyes at. (And I have this irrational need to demolish strawman arguments even when I’m on the same side as the proposer).

    To understand why you first need to understand that the article wanders off base right at the start by asking why the Church is so obsessed when the Bible says nothing about it. When someone makes this point in an argument against a Catholic belief Catholics will generally frown and go “So?”

    Because Catholics don’t believe in Sola Scriptura there’s an elephant in the room called Sacred Tradition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_tradition#Holy_tradition_in_the_Catholic_and_Orthodox_Churches and Sacred Tradition ain’t too hot on contraception (poisons of sterility the medieval penitentials call them) either. Pius didn’t pull the position fully formed from his ass – it already existed.

    So the problem of Contraception isn’t just the problem of Infallibility it’s the problem of Sacred Tradition. Humanae Vitae wasn’t ex cathedra and if Casti Connubi fits is disputed, if that was the only problem it would be easy enough to resolve by saying the latter didn’t.

    This is a huge problem, so much of Catholic Teaching is a matter of Sacred Tradition – the homeostatic union, the Trinity, the sacraments, the canonicity of scripture itself (“But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me” – St Augustine) that taking an ax to it would be a serious matter (potentially of the ‘the surgery was a success but the patient died’ kind) that it’s no wonder to me that some Catholics have kittens at the thought. From the outside it looks like sheer stubborness from the inside looks more like panicked plate spinning.

    They really need to calm down and stop digging (because currently they’re spinning those plates at the bottom of a really deep hole while simultaneously continuing to dig). Because while this is a knotty theological problem that needs resolving this sort of behaviour isn’t helping it’s just making them look worse at a time when looking worse is really an achievement.

  • Kaleberg

    “The next one won’t happen until December 10, 2117, so I’m guessing this will be the last time you’ll be able to see it.”

    Surely Clint Eastwood will be having another birthday before 2117. That’s a long time to wait for a birthday.