‘What we’ve been learning and learning from’

“If you see me on the street, feel free for the rest of my life to call me Bunk.”

“When making a ‘brave’ stance as a public figure, the rule should be to only go after the oppressors.”

“He felt that he had been trifled with; that the preacher had deceived him.”

“Like it or not, we bring ourselves and our biases to every translation and every reading of the text. We can’t help it.”

The economy could soon run on mostly renewable power.

“The question I would like to ask pastors and counselors who work in ex-gay ministries is: How would you feel if your own heterosexual child was about to marry someone deemed ‘ex-gay’?

The biggest workforce in America can’t put food on the table except when they go to work.”

“If debt is bad, why is giving free money to banks so they will lend (put you in debt) better than giving free money to people to pay off debts?

We’re now deep into a post-New Deal economy, and the low-wage work, wage theft, unpaid overtime and job insecurity — in the technical parlance of economists, the shit jobs — that abounded before the New Deal have returned in full force.”

“I can only stop talking about racism, when it ceases to be a significant force in our politics.”

“Step 9: The story is by now a national controversy, without there ever having been a word of truth to it.”

Conservative activists and Fox News took a leap, changing planes to drones, to spread a bogus meme about the Obama administration targeting Nebraska cattle farmers with the same technology used to target al-Qaida in Pakistan.”

“It was never true. The EPA isn’t using drone aircraft — in the Midwest or anywhere else.”

“Republicans willing to talk about policy will admit that, yes, if Romney had won the 2008 election, nearly all the Republican politicians now condemning nationwide RomneyCare would be its biggest boosters.”

Government is not simply a necessary evil; so long as it acts within its proper boundaries and in a responsible fashion, it has a positive and constructive role to play in human affairs.”

The U.S. market for solar panels is likely to double in 2012.”

"Any reasonable definition of 'middle class' ends well before even the $250,000 threshold."

“Catholic Relief Services, the bishop’s international relief and development agency, receives 80 percent of its funding from the federal government.”

Robert George is too accustomed to living off of the gay-bashing bigotry cash cow; how do you think he got $785,000 to pay a podunk academic to carry out his election year anti-gay hit job?”

“Since 2006, clergy abuse survivors, and others, have been asking the Southern Baptist Convention to implement denominational safeguards against clergy child molesters.”

“The doctor and the mother of the pregnant 9-year-old got the boot for approving an abortion, but not the stepfather who had sexually assaulted the child, probably over a period of years.”

“Bishop Lori — you really don’t know if the document you have spent the better part of the last 18 months criticizing does or does not allow for an entire religious group to exempt itself from its reach?”

“So, Antonin Scalia waited until he was 76 years old, and had been a justice on the high court for more than a quarter of a century, and then he decided his perspective, rulings, and understanding of the Commerce Clause were all wrong — just in time to rule against a Democratic health care law that features a Republican idea that was assumed by everyone to be entirely constitutional.”

After Scalia, Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy repeal the Affordable Care Act, this will be the norm.

People who deny the scientific conspiracy of “climate change” also tend to deny the grammatical conspiracy of “proper spelling.”

The Liar Tony Perkins: 0; Jeremy Hooper: 10,000

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity: Vol. XXIII

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  •  If you don’t want to have an argument, fine. Don’t make the argument then. Cause then people like me will respond. And will continue to do so even if it annoys you.

  • Amaryllis

     Oh, it doesn’t annoy me. I started to type a response, looked at the clock, clicked cancel, went to do other things, and now glanced back here when I shouldn’t have because I really need to get to work. Where I don’t have access to Disqus.

    But briefly: no, they haven’t won, no matter what it looks like from the outside. From the inside, the war is still being fought.

  •  Alright then. Understood.

    If you care to later when you have some time, how exactly is the war still being fought? What are non-asshole doing that would constitute effective fighting back? And how would victory be defined in this context?

    I’m asking these questions because as you’ve said, the argument about won vs. lost has been had before. So I’m interested in hearing a different part of this.

  • we don’t have liquor stores but we do have bars. I don’t understand it either.

    That part makes a degree of sense – a bartender can cut off you when you get too drunk, a store clerk can’t come into your home and take the bottle of vodka out of your hand before you drink it all in one go.  

  • 1. How is any of that relevant to a discussion of the use of drones for non-military purposes?

    2. Collateral damage was hardly invented by drone attacks. Not to defend any civilian deaths AT ALL but drones are not the problem here – it’s a willingness to attack civilian areas. Manned planes can and have done that – and more than likely will do in the future.

  • Lori


    Did you really manage to miss the use to which drones have been put in foreign countries?   

    I doubt very much that he has. I know I certainly haven’t. That’s not what we’ve been discussing though. In fact the whole point of what we have been discussing is that not all uses of drones are the same and using the specter of drone warfare to gin up a fake controversy over the EPA is manipulative and wrong.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

     That’s because the debate in the United States is a Right-Very Right debate that is falsely called a Left-Right debate.

    In Europe, Canada and Australia most of your Democrats would fall comfortably on the right side of the spectrum.  Even your very own Socialist, Bernie Sanders, would be a solid Social Democrat anywhere else.

    That Alan West could claim that there are 80 Communists in Congress is laughable.  That anyone took him seriously is stupifying.

  • Tonio

     What specific positions would those Democrats have to take to qualify as a leftist in those countries? National health care? More progressive taxation? Stronger product safety protections for customers?

  • alfgifu

     What specific positions would those Democrats have to take to qualify as a leftist in those countries? National health care? More progressive taxation? Stronger product safety protections for customers?

    I can’t speak for any other country, but in the UK national health care wouldn’t qualify as leftist (suggesting that it should be provided efficiently by direct government employees rather than outsourced at huge expense to contractors would, sadly).  

    More progressive taxation would be edging towards the left, but you can be right wing and be outraged at how little tax rich people are paying (I’m not sure you can be right wing and keep a straight face as you say it, mind).

    Not believing in strong product safety protections for customers would qualify you as dangerously out of touch with reality and utterly unelectable.

    (edited to fix the Disqus paragraph break jinx)

  • Tonio

    So what’s the key philosophical difference? The Social Democrat philosophy seems not that much different from the New Deal. I wouldn’t label anyone a socialist who didn’t advocate government ownership of all business, or at least any business larger than a mom-and-pop operation. Even a government-run health care system where doctors and nurses are civil servants might not qualify as socialistic, since “market-based” health care doesn’t operate like a real market.

  • alfgifu

    Well, since New Labour (1997), our mainstream left wing party has jumped to the centre ground.  But the Conservatives have been trying to look centrist as well, particularly by talking up socially liberal points (e.g. marriage equality – I’m not saying they’re doing it particularly well, mind you).  No one really knows quite what the Lib Dems stand for at the moment, but their general schtick is to champion ideas that are slightly outside the mainstream – e.g. changing voting methods.

    Left wing used to mean unions and supporting the worker against the corporation, where right wing meant supporting the investor/corporation against the worker.  Conservatism is also associated with ‘traditional values’, though of course the meaning and emphasis is slightly different in the UK (witness Cameron citing traditional values as a reason for marriage equality).

    Conservatives tend to be economically conservative – hence austerity, desire to drive investment by lifting regulations on small businesses, irresistible urges to privatise or outsource anything they see, that sort of thing.  Labour have moved towards a similar position, unfortunately, particularly in the whole privatising-the-public-sector endeavour.  Back in the good old days Labour used to be extremely keen to nationalise industries, but that’s not a differentiator any more.

    As the parties have moved philosophically closer to one another, differences over smaller issues like fox hunting have taken on more symbolic weight.  There was far more public engagement in the fox hunting debate than in the complete restructuring of the House of Lords that is significantly changing the way the UK government works, which started at about the same time.

    Er, long story short, it’s all a bit of a mess.  As usual.

  • Er, long story short, it’s all a bit of a mess.  As usual.

    Especially today, when Ed Miliband won’t even stand up to Cameron trying to completely destroy the welfare system as he’s petrified of upsetting Britain’s own IndigNation.

  • The_L1985

     I could understand “handicapped” or “retarded.”  But…I find it hard to believe that people still don’t know “crippled” isn’t appropriate.  That word hasn’t been socially acceptable in my entire lifetime at least.

  • Deird- No, I have to call it the White man.

    bringthenoise=-I doubt that much thought went into it.  Anyone can get booze from anywhere outside the town.

    green eggs- the point is 50% + of our money goes to the military. All the democrats know that, all the republicans know it and that, ostensibly, reflects our values. think about that.

  • Tricksterson

    The whole basis of the “ex-gay’ ministries is that homosexuality is a choice.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Yes Reagan himself said that people who can’t take care of themselves should be cared for, but that able bodied people should work. No one thinks people with Down Syndrome or who are severaly crippled are leeches.

    Lots of people with Down Syndrome have perfectly able bodies.

    My point being, who defines what constitutes inability to work and how is the line drawn?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Should be pointed out that there are some dry Indigenous communities where the alcohol ban was instigated by the community leaders themselves–it’s not always a case of “white outsiders” treating “them” differently.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That Alan West could claim that there are 80 Communists in Congress is laughable. That anyone took him seriously is stupifying.

    I’d be impressed if there were 80 garden variety social democrats in Congress. (Social democrats FTW!)

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Tangential: Have there been any studies among the Australian Aboriginal population regarding alcohol susceptibility and correlation to unemployment?

    An increased genetic susceptibility to alcohol dependence in people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background has been demonstrated on the population level. The relationship to unemployment is far more complex, though.

    For instance, the most appalling employment differentials are observed in remote communities were there are fewer job opportunites to start with. And there’s higher incidence of other chronic diseases and disabilities that correlate with worse employment outcomes; lower participation in education and training; and a myriad of other social problems including legacy issues. Dry families and dry communities still experience significant disadvantage, but alcohol certainly doesn’t help.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    What specific positions would those Democrats have to take to qualify as a leftist in those countries? National health care? More progressive taxation? Stronger product safety protections for customers?

    In Australia, universal access to healthcare funded through general revenue is a sine qua non of the left. It’s been well entrenched for over a generation so hinting that you oppose it is political suicide for the centre and anything-less-than-extreme-right, even if the regular right don’t like it in principle.

    Other standard lefty stuff includes support for worker’s rights (decent minimum wage, the right to unionise and be represented collectively, a minimum set of core working conditions like leave* and overtime), provision of needs-based social services and welfare payments such as age and disability pensions, unemployment and student allowances, aged care, disability services, some minimum level of child care. On education, every person must have access to high quality preschool, primary and high school and, if they choose, tertiary education or post-school vocational training which will be supported by the state so that no one is prohibited by cost.

    On taxation–more progressive than what? Than America? God yes. Progressive income tax goes without saying, and among other taxes the more progressive (e.g. property) taxes are to be prefered over the more regressive (e.g. consumption-based).

    Social issues don’t really fit on the economic left/right divide, but generally speaking progressive positions are dominant among Australian lefties**. In particular, abolitionism on capital punishment is pretty much universal, and advocacy for gay rights are official policy in all left wing parties (and the left faction of the Labor Party).

    *including maternity leave, which we finally universalised last year. The left is still scoring wins, even in this post-Thatcher/Reagan reality we find ourselves.

    **Seems to be more acceptance of social progressives among right wingers than social conservatives among left wingers, which is interesting.

    tl;dr–I think the Democrats would all pretty much have to share Bernie Sanders’ positions to be qualify as a lefty. That wouldn’t make them far left, just regular left.

  • Tonio

    The ex-girlfriend’s description in that letter seems to suggest otherwise. At least it rejects the common claim that the alleged choice is driven purely by lust. You would have a point if the movement claimed that psychological disorders cause people to make the choice. But that would put it at odds with the vast number of homophobes who harp upon the “lifestyle,” as if homosexuality was no different from punk or Goth.

  • SGT- it was more of a moral statement on his part. In you were on a desert island it would be expected that you would fend for yourself, otherwise you’d die. Obviously if someone couldn’t do so they would need to be protected. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    None of us are actually on a desert island–well, I’m on an island that’s mostly desert, but none of us are on a deserted island. It’s a pretty useless metaphor and attempting to draw conclusions about how one should treat people in the actual world based on a bad metaphor is something I can make moral statements about.

  • it’s an excellent metaphor because it’s not artificial.  Theres no one magically bringing yu food or something.  It’s real.  survival is the same no matter where you are.