Religious right leader warns of the ‘darkness’ of Obama

Every day, Right Wing Watch chronicles the apocalyptic predictions of religious right spokespeople warning America of the calamity that would accompany the re-election of President Barack Obama.

On Monday, religious-right journeyman Robert Knight (formerly of the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America) said America is “right on the edge of losing our constitutional republic” and that a second Obama term “might just push us over that edge.”

Also Monday, Matt Barber of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel said this election was about “light vs. darkness; good vs. evil.” (The “evil” candidate, just to be clear, is the one who is, you know, “dark.”) This election, Barber said, “may determine whether we as a nation sink or swim, live or die.”

On Tuesday, televangelist and mega-church pastor John Hagee said:

Four more years of Obama will bring absolute socialism to America. Our children and grandchildren will never know the greatness of America that we have experienced.

These folks are on record: If X, then Y. When X happens and Y does not, these predictions need to follow them for the rest of their public lives.

Oh, and what is John Hagee doing worrying about “our children and grandchildren”?

John Hagee has, for decades, been telling us that the Rapture is going to occur any minute now. If you listened to Hagee in 1992, you would not have expected the world to see 2002. If you listened to him in 2002, you would not have expected the world to see 2012.

Now, suddenly, he’s taking a long-term, generational view?

Hagee seems like one of those “Bible prophecy” preachers who makes fistfuls of money warning that the world is about to end, then invests that money in 30-year securities.

* * * * * * * * *

A campaign mailer from Ralph Reed’s latest racket asks: “How much danger do you think liberty is in right now as a result of President Obama’s policies, actions and agenda for America’s future?”

Possible answers on Reed’s questionnaire include: A) More serious than the threat of Nazi Germany; B) More serious than the threat of the Soviet Union; C) More serious than the threat of the Civil War; D) “All of the above.”

* * * * * * * * *

Bill Graves is a judge in Oklahoma County District Court. Presumably, then, he’s been to law school. And, I’m guessing, he’s lived here in the U.S. for more than a few months.

So what in the name of James Madison is Graves doing citing the book of Genesis as precedent in his courtroom?

Bill Graves is a big jerk. He’s also a terrible judge — a lawless judge.

Yes, Graves also reveals himself to be an idiot when he pretends to understand the Bible and DNA, but we can let that slide because he’s not a theologian or a scientist. You don’t have to be an expert in either of those things to be a decent judge.

But you do have to know at least something about the Constitution and American law. And Bill Graves doesn’t.

* * * * * * * * *

Raymond Raines is pushing 30 and he was never given detention for praying in grade school. (I think it’s important to repeat this every time I hear some religious right huckster repeating this bogus legend.)

• The just-world fallacy of the right wing requires simple explanations for Bad Things, even if those simple explanations are utter lies and nonsense.

• Sandy Rios of the American Family Association and Fox News says President George W. Bush left a legacy of peace that President Obama has squandered. “He left them peace, he left them peace for 10 years. And now that’s going ragged because we have been operating under Obama’s policies for the last four years.”

I have no idea, either.

This discussion at Atheist Revolution is oddly similar to this discussion at Christianity Today. The big difference is that vjack is carefully weighing potential conflicts between political ideology and religious affinity, while CT’s Tobin Grant is defiantly reassuring anyone who doubts it that evangelicals will vote Republican no matter what.

• Note to pseudo-historian David Barton: Playbooks are a football thing, not so much a baseball thing.

• What is the opposite of “delightsome”? This is that.

• “Muslim Rage.”

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'[White] evangelicals and race -- a new chapter'?
Talking to Republican friends at the Trumpian crossroads
Regrets, I've had a few ...
White evangelicals' 'new chapter' on race (cont'd.)
  • D9000

    I often wonder what ‘the end of America’ actually means to these people. They never elaborate as to exactly what horrors are about to be (always, just about to be) unleashed.

  • Lori

     

    I often wonder what ‘the end of America’ actually means to these people.
    They never elaborate as to exactly what horrors are about to be
    (always, just about to be) unleashed.   

    Generally the “end of America” means a US no longer clearly dominated by whites, white men specifically, and/or the US no longer being at the top of the global power heap. 

    They dress it up in a lot of talk about freedom and socialism and blah, blah, blah, but what they mean is that they want white USian men to continue to rule the world and they’re terrified of the day when they no longer do.

  • Vermic

    Basically the “end of America”, to these people, means the U.S. becoming like a European country.  Socialism, colorful currency, lots of weird cheese, bicycles, and billions of Muslim immigrants.  You know, the reversal of everything we fought for in 1776.

  • Joshua

    Weird cheese? Weird cheese?

    I have been to America and seen (and even tasted) that strange plastic shit you call cheese.

    Serve that stuff up in Europe, and they’d burn your shop to the ground, and quite rightly so.

    And I can’t tell any of your notes apart without reading them. Do I have twenty in my pocket or two hundred? Well, guess I have to leaf through each one and add them all up.

  • P J Evans

     On the other hand, we do have some good cheeses that you might enjoy. Carr Valley Mobay, which is a round white cheese, with one thinner layer of sheep’s milk cheese, and a matching one of goat’s milk cheese, and a thin layer of grapevine ash in between. (It’s delicious.) Or blue cheeses from Maytag and Point Reyes.

  • Joshua

    I would love to try them. While I hassle a lot of the supermarket food in America, I will admit that I have had some fantastically creative meals the times I’ve been there. You just have to pick the right restaurant, not expensive necessarily but avoid the bottom of the market, and I’ve found it’s world class stuff.

    There was this neat Chinese fusion place in Honolulu, but I can’t remember the name. And I never turn down a cheeseburger or pizza.

    I’ve never figured out how to choose a wine that wasn’t completely cat’s piss though. I’m told California turns out some great wines, but what I’ve tasted I tend to wish I hadn’t.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You should come to Canada instead then. We have had multicolored notes since the 1970s.

  • Joshua

    Been to Vancouver. Greatly enjoyed my time there, and would love to go again if I had the opportunity.

    Actually, went there directly from Hawaii. I enjoyed the climate in both places.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     It amuses me no end how Europeans will make fun of Americans for being stupid in one breath, and then complain about it being SO HARD to READ THE LARGE NUMBERS PRINTED IN THE CORNERS OF OUR MONEY to determine what denomination it is.

  • P J Evans

    Colored money would be a little harder to counterfeit, though. (US currency is really dull stuff, compared to what other countries use.)

  • The_L1985

     It is colored now, though.  Has been since 2005 or thereabouts, except for the single.  And a $1 bill costs more to counterfeit than it’s worth.

  • Ross Thompson

    It is colored now, though.  Has been since 2005 or thereabouts, except for the single.

    OK, I just pulled a $10, a $20 and a $100 out of my wallet (all of them series 2006 or series 2009), and I honestly cannot see any difference in colour. Well, the $100 is maaaaaaaybe slightly paler, but it’s also crisper, so any difference (and I’m really not sure there is any) is equally well explained by it being cleaner.

    But, of course, I’m slightly colour-blind, so I’m not in the set of people with perfect vision that are expected to be using US bank notes.

  • Lori

     Older bills are basically 3 color—white(ish) background with green print on one
    side, white & black on the other. The newer bills have more colors
    in the background. Look at the $20 again (I use that for comparison
    because I have a  new one in my wallet).  The background shades from
    green to sort of peachy and back to green again on the side with the
    White House. On the side with Jackson’s picture there’s also blue, in
    the picture of the eagle and the written denomination, and gold on one
    of the “20”s. 

    Of
    course all this really has nothing to do with the ease of use
    discussion because the color on US bills is an anti-counterfeiting
    measure and not intended to make them look different when you glace into
    a wallet or at a stack of bills. But if you’re red-green color blind
    having some of the bills red isn’t going to help you either. Different
    size bills would solve that, but creates other problems so it’s a
    trade-off.

    We’re in the process of switching over from dollar
    bills to dollar coins. The new ones are pretty easy for me to
    distinguish at a glance (different size, color & weight than
    quarters), but they’re heavy & my wallet doesn’t have a very big
    coin compartment so they’re sort of a PITA. They apparently save a ton
    of money though because they don’t wear out the way bills do.

  • Joshua

    I’m not European, actually. But my point is that pretty much everywhere else I’ve traveled, I can get a rough idea of how much cash I have in one glance, without waving my wallet around at everyone else in the street for five minutes.

    Helpful in a tourist trap filled with interesting characters.

  • Lori

    Yes, the few seconds that I spend to put the bills in my wallet in order so that I can quickly tell how much money I’m carrying is truly a hardship.

    The counterfeiting issue is legit, and so is the pretty, but ITS SO HARD TO LOOK AT THE MONEY really isn’t. Even if the bills are different colors you still have to count them to know what you have unless you have so few that you can tell at a glance.

    As for food in the US I always think of the British guy I knew who talked about how stunned he was at what tasty food he could get cheap in LA. He maintained that high end food in England was better than high end food in the US, but that at medium to lowish price points the US had it all over what he had been able to get back home. He used to joke that the pizza place in his old neighborhood in London, which had been open for years and had plenty of customers, would have gone out of business in less than a month in the US because Americans just flat would not have eaten such crap pizza.

    Obviously his experience was influenced by the fact that he was in LA, which has a lot of really good food at good prices if you know where to look, but he was comparing it to London, not some tiny little backwater town or something.

  • Joshua


    ITS SO HARD TO LOOK AT THE MONEY really isn’t [a legit issue].

    Now, I may be going out on a limb here, but am I correct that you have lived with these notes all your life, and have never used them as a foreigner? That the subtle differences between your notes are ones you’ve practiced distinguishing at a glance for some number of decades?

    I’m telling you that I personally found it hard enough that I held up queues paying for things. When travelling overseas, quite a lot of time gets spent standing in queues paying for things.

    As for counterfeiting and aesthetics, my feeling is that they were domestic issues, and not really any of my business.

  • Lori

    I’ll take your word for it. When I traveled in Canada and dealt with colored money I used pretty much the same organization method that I use here at home and it worked about the same way. If I needed a particular bill I had no trouble grabbing it, if I needed to know exactly how much money I had on me I had to count it. I can’t tell just by looking if I’ve got 5 of the red ones or 6.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One thing I will say about greenbacks is that if you want to steal someone’s Canadian money you look for red and brown bills, but you can’t tell at a glance if some high roller’s just trolling you with a stack of ones or if he/she actually has a whack of hundreds.

  • Lori

    True. That’s a technique that’s commonly used both to inflate and cover the actual value of wads of cash.

  • Donalbain

    The counterfeiting issue is legit, and so is the pretty, but ITS SO HARD TO LOOK AT THE MONEY really isn’t.

    Actually, for a large (and growing) number of people it is.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ross, the human eye is drawn to colors of things more than to shapes on the things, at least in my experience, when objects are similar in appearance.

    Consider the gross differences between a blue block and a red block versus two blue blocks, one with an O and one with an X.

  • Ross Thompson

    It amuses me no end how Europeans will make fun of Americans for being stupid in one breath, and then complain about it being SO HARD to READ THE LARGE NUMBERS PRINTED IN THE CORNERS OF OUR MONEY to determine what denomination it is.

    Yeah, don’t those Europeans know there are no blind people in America? Everyone can clearly see the denominations written there, and making them different colours or even different sizes would benefit absolutely no-one.

  • Lori

     

    Yeah, don’t those Europeans know there are no blind people in America?
    Everyone can clearly see the denominations written there, and making
    them different colours or even different sizes would benefit absolutely
    no-one.   

    Yes, when other countries went with different colored notes they really helped out their blind folks.

  • Ross Thompson

    Yes, when other countries went with different colored notes they really helped out their blind folks.

    I know you think you’re being sarcastic, but it really did. Blindness covers more than a complete inability to see. Plenty of blind people can’t make out the numbers in the corner of a bill, but can distinguish a big block of red from blue. Or even an element being a red circle from a green triangle.

    And for those who are truly cannot-see-a-thing blind, and get no benefit from colour elements, bank notes come in different sizes, and have different textures.

    But the point remains. These are non-problems in America. Everyone has perfect vision, and the idea of making it easy for sight-impared people to use the currency is laughable, because I can use it, so how could anyone else have a problem with it?

  • Lori

    No, these are not non-problems in America and yes, it would be good for the design of the bills to take the visually impaired into consideration to a greater degree rather than focusing exclusively on anti-counterfeiting.

    That doesn’t change the fact that for folks who aren’t visually impaired the difference in ease of use has more to do with what one is used to than with some vast, inherent superiority in one design style over another. Which is what we started out discussing.

  • Ross Thompson

    That doesn’t change the fact that for folks who aren’t visually impaired the difference in ease of use has more to do with what one is used to than with some vast, inherent superiority in one design style over another. Which is what we started out discussing.

    Notes that can be easily differentiated by all people, instead of just most people is an inherent superiority.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    That doesn’t change the fact that for folks who aren’t visually impaired
    the difference in ease of use has more to do with what one is used to
    than with some vast, inherent superiority in one design style over
    another. Which is what we started out discussing.

    Actually, no. What started this was an attempt at a joke by comparing that Europeans often call Americans stupid, yet complain about how difficult it is to distinguish US banknotes despite the numbers being written LARGE in the corners.

    This joke fell flat not only because of the apples-to-pears-comparison, but because several people pointed out that sight-impaired people need both bright colours and different sizes to distinguish bills. (And given the many elderly with not 20/20 eyesight, this group is a not-small percentage).

    Moreover, if you take a group of US people (used to one-colour, one-size money) and one group from another country (used to different colours, different size – most non-US countries I would guess) and test them to distinguish at a glance / half a glance/ a double glance mocked-up paper, I bet you that it turns out that distinguishing different colours is much quicker and easier than distinguishing papers in one colour with numbers written in a corner.

    If you’ve ever played monopoly, you’ve seen this effect, too: one glance tells you that a bunch of pink is good (10 000) while a stack of orange (500) is far less, even if you don’t stop to count whether it’s 5 or 6 pinks, or 15 or 17 oranges.

    That foreign money is more difficult to handle than your own which you are used to is a completly different aspect. It doesn’t stop people from observing facts that are neutrally better or worse in one system.

    E.g. I just spent a weekend in the UK, so I had to get used to the different colours and motives on their money. (I liked several of their designs – one had Charles Darwin on it, and I was amused on how it would be impossible to honour a great scientist that way in the US…)
    But I found objectivly the coins badly designed, because they don’t increase in size with value steadily – one or two coins of very low value are much larger than those of higher one, leading easily to having a bag ful of heavy money with very little worth.
    Also, the pound coins are in my opinion too heavy in general. That’s objective observation outside the problem of getting used to different coins.

  • Ross Thompson

    But I found objectivly the [British] coins badly designed, because they don’t increase in size with value steadily

    Yeah, they’re in pairs. You have two copper coins, then two round silver coins, then two heptagonal silver coins, then two gold coins, with the larger coin in each pair worth more.

    It would be better if there was a more unified approach to them, but at least it’s not like American coins, where they’re all the same shape and (with one exception) material, but the 10¢ is inexplicably smaller than the 5¢. But, honestly, that’s probably just bias on my part. In either case, you need to know the sequence because it doesn’t really make sense.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    It would be better if there was a more unified approach to them, but at least it’s not like American coins, where they’re all the same shape and (with one exception) material, but the 10¢ is inexplicably smaller than the 5¢.

    Your 10c coin also isn’t labelled as being 10 cents. I know quite a few people who went on holiday to the US and got rather baffled as to how much a “dime” was.

  • Donalbain

     Yes, when other countries went with different colored notes they really helped out their blind folks.

    Yes, yes they did. The term “blind” legally covers a wide range of visual impairment. Someone can certainly be legally blind while still being able to differentiate between the colours of reasonably large pieces of paper.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Different colours + different shapes = helps blind people and bad-sighted.

    The touch-based value is new, though. Well new for the last decades. And it’s a security measure first.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    *sigh*

    Canadian bills (and presumably other countries’ bills too) are now printed with raised dots in a particular pattern easily detectable by the blind.

  • Lori

    How well do those hold up? When I was doing reading for the blind one of the complaints that clients had was that such things tended to wear down and become pretty well useless, but since they were supposed to be usable people just assumed that they were. (In a “Why are you having problems with this?” kind of way.)  That was in a different context, but wear is obviously  a significant issue with money. 

  • Münchner Kindl

     1. Not everybody has excellent eyesight. Banknotes that have different size and bright different colours for different values mean that children and elderly can easily tell them apart. No cheating blind black jazz players by giving them 1$ and telling them “It’s 10$”.

    2. Ease and speed of use. The question isn’t whether it’s possible to read the numbers, it’s that it takes more time and concentration during every time when you pay with cash.

    As for the counterfeiting, that’s already been addressed. North Korea, who does counterfeiting on a professional basis, gathers used 1$ bills by the attache case, bleaches them and reprints them as 50 and 100$ bills. Real paper, real ink, so impossible to discover.
    With different sizes and colours, that wouldn’t work.

  • The Lodger

    Bleaching and reprinting $1 bills hasn’t worked for at least 10, maybe 20 years. All denominations over $5 have built-in security features that are visible when you hold the bill up to a light source. The $20 bill has a plastic strip with the demonination printed on it and a miniature picture of Andrew Jackson, the $10 has something similar, and the $5 has a numeral 5 to the right of Lincoln’s picture. I don’t know what’s on the $50 or $100 because, oddly enough, I’m not carrying any of them at the moment.

  • Münchner Kindl

     You mean this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_Note#Security

    The differing sizes of other nations’ banknotes are a security feature
    that eliminates one form of counterfeiting to which U.S. currency is
    prone: Counterfeiters can simply bleach the ink off a low-denomination
    note, typically a single dollar, or a five dollar bill, which happened
    in most of the cases, and reprint it as a higher-value note, such as a
    $100 bill. To counter this, the U.S. government has included in all $5
    and higher denominated notes of 1990 series and later a vertical
    laminate strip imprinted with denomination information, which under
    ultraviolet light fluoresces a different color for each denomination ($5
    note: blue; $10 note: orange; $20 note: green; $50 note: yellow; $100
    note: red)

    So how many percent of pre-1990 bills have been removed from circulation? And how closely do people check their money – is it regularly put under UV light?

  • The_L1985

    Er…we have multicolored bills now.

  • D9000

    Has nobody sent them the memo yet? Or can they not read Mandarin?

  • Lori

    China is really, really tricky for them, assholes that they are. They’re simple-minded enough not to be able to grasp that the situation with China is not as clear cut as many people (of various ideologies) try to make it seem and they hate the idea of China being the big global power (partially racism, partially just plain old fuck yeah! ‘merica). On the other hand, white dudes are making money hand over fist by outsourcing to China and white dudes making buckets of money is good and fuck yeah! capitalism. So it’s all terribly confusing for them.

  • AnonymousSam

    Did you catch the link I posted the other night? Romney’s been caught owning stocks in various international companies, including Chinese oil and banking, as well as several foreign machinery corporations.

  • P J Evans

    Romney’s been caught owning stocks in various international companies

    His blind trust isn’t blind, either. It’s run by his own attorney, and its actions are suspiciously well-timed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

     

    Romney’s been caught owning stocks in various international companies

    His blind trust isn’t blind, either. It’s run by his own attorney, and its actions are suspiciously well-timed.

    Yeah, I’d find it easier to believe that he didn’t know anything about having any of these stocks if they hadn’t been sold the day before the first Presidential primary.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So was Romney, or whoever he pays to manage his money, expecting a stock drop after the primary? Why? Did stocks, or those stocks, drop after the primary?

    What’s a blind trust, anyway?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • AnonymousSam

    Romney was criticizing someone for using blind trusts?

    Can some deity just smite this guy, please? I’m not picky about who does it. I’d be happy if he chokes on a spaghetti strand.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

     

    Can some deity just smite this guy, please? I’m not picky about who does it. I’d be happy if he chokes on a spaghetti strand.

    Are you proposing that the great FSM choke Romney with his noodley appendage? 

  • AnonymousSam

    Let’s just say I would announce it as a tragic accident and encourage the police not to think too much about it.

  • Ross Thompson

    Yeah, I’d find it easier to believe that he didn’t know anything about having any of these stocks if they hadn’t been sold the day before the first Presidential primary.

    In 1994, when he was running against Ted Kennedy, Romney thought that blind trusts were “an age-old” ruse and that “you can always tell them what to do”. I guess they must have tightened up the rules since then?

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    Pedant moment: That should be can they not read Chinese? The different Chinese languages (or dialects) do not differ in writing style: Cantonese, Mandarin and all the others are all written the same way. (Actually, China simplified their writing system a while ago, but places outside the Republic of China (Hong Kong and Taiwan) retained the old system. So now there are two writing systems — Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese —, either of which might be used to write any of the spoken Chinese languages.)

    TRiG.

  • Fusina

     If you think about it, they apparently have read some history then, like the bits about how when the oppressed finally get their freedom, the first people against the wall are the oppressors…

  • Lori

    Oh, they’re aware. In fact, they exaggerate the threat and always have. It’s part of the reason that they cling to power so tightly. They don’t simply feat loss of relative privilege, they’re terrified of getting their comeuppance.

    That’s why the slave-holding South was basically an armed camp long before the Civil War started. Whites lived in fear of slave uprisings to the point that even men who didn’t own slaves were forced to be part of slave patrols. That’s how you know that folks are willfully lying when they say slavery wasn’t that bad. It was that bad and slave holders themselves knew it full well.

    The same dynamic was obvious during the Civil Rights era. Same thing with the notion that “gay marriage” will mean the end of straight marriage. Same thing with all this “end of men” blather we’re being inundated with these days* and Rush Limbaugh freaking out about how Feminazis have literally made men’s penises shrink**.

    *OMG, people need to STFU with that. It’s so deeply stupid and it’s really getting on my last good nerve.

    **WTH Rush? If you have an itty bitty peen I’m guessing that your drug
    abuse has more to do with it than women’s rights. Also, size really
    isn’t the be all and end all. If you’re a terrible lover (and I’d bet
    serious money that you are) it’s because you’re selfish and basically
    hate women, not because of any lack in your physical endowment.

  • Madhabmatics

     Won’t someone think of the poor innocent slaveholders :(:(

  • reynard61

    “Won’t someone think of the poor innocent slaveholders :(:(”

    Sorry, I prefer to save my fainting couch and clutching pearls for things that actually matter.

  • The Guest That Posts

    “Oh, and what is John Hagee doing worrying about ‘our children and grandchildren’?”

    Perfect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gus-Hinrich/100000151807749 Gus Hinrich

    Yah, “preachers who makes fistfuls of money warning that the world is about to end, then invests that money in 30-year securities.” is just perfect.
    P.T. Barnum was right.

  • Münchner Kindl

    So what in the name of James Madison is Graves doing citing the book of Genesis as precedent in his courtroom?
    Bill Graves is a big jerk. He’s also a terrible judge — a lawless judge.

    The linked website gives a petition to remove Graves or make him resign.

    Is there no judicial overview board, who would take action and once a judge shows a basic lack of understanding on what laws (the constitituion vs. the Bible) is based on, remove him from office?

    Is there nothing in the code that governs judges that says that once they disregard the law, they are under automatic review which can lead to firing?

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    This depends on the state, but removing a judge from office tends to be EXTREMELY difficult in the U.S. It usually requires impeachment by the legislature or an act from the state’s Supreme Court. (At the Federal level, impeachment by Congress is required.)

    In Oklahoma, there’s a “Council on Judicial Complaints” that investigates allegations of misconduct. But all they can do is make recommendations to the state Supreme Court – they have no actual ability to fire a judge.

    http://www.okbar.org/public/judges/council.htm

  • EllieMurasaki

    removing a judge from office tends to be EXTREMELY difficult in the U.S.

    Which is generally a good thing, because it means judges who make unpopular decisions can’t be booted out easily. Unfortunately, it’s just as hard to boot judges who make bad decisions.

  • Münchner Kindl

     Obviously nobody is disputing that removing a judge SHOULD be difficult, to guarantee the neutrality of the judicary.

    At the same time, disregarding the fundamental difference between a (nominally at least) secular state and a theocracy is such serious fuck-up it reminds me of how Fred says that you can’t tell people “It’s wrong to eat babies” because it requires backing up so many steps it’s not possible for a halfway normal person.

    This action should start an automatic outcry from every member of judicary on all levels and all serious media commentors across board, and an investigation/ impeachment immediatly, because the public would not tolerate any other outcome.

    How likely in reality is it that either the Oklahomo “Council on Judical Complaints” will not bother to investigate because it’s a conservate state so most people on the Council agree with the Judge more or less/ don’t understand what’s wrong about using the Bible; and that impeachment by legislature/ Act by the supreme court will not happen either, for similar reasons?

    How much weight does the internet petition carry theoretically (that is, if x citizens petition the Council/ Supreme court/ legislature, an investigation must happen) and practically (it will get thrown out/ ignored because “not enough interest”/ “not serious offense”)?

  • Ross Thompson

    How much weight does the internet petition carry theoretically

    The only thing that’s more worthless than a petition is a petition on the Internet.

  • EllieMurasaki

    They do work. They’ve got to be very popular and even the ones that are popular don’t work often, but they do work.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    How much weight does the internet petition carry theoretically (that is,
    if x citizens petition the Council/ Supreme court/ legislature, an
    investigation must happen) and practically (it will get thrown out/
    ignored because “not enough interest”/ “not serious offense”)?

    Theoretically, absolutely none. Internet petitions have no legal weight whatsoever (for pretty much anything).

    Practically, almost none. Internet petitions don’t really have much effect except on elected officials (and only if their constituents are the ones signing the petitions – politicians rarely pay attention to people who can’t vote for or against them). In this case, it’s not elected officials who will be making decisions about this matter.

    And in any case, I’m pretty sure nothing a judge says in an opinion can legally count as misconduct (just as a legislator cannot be held legally accountable for anything they say in session). If the opinion is wrong (which this one obviously is), it is up to the appellate courts to reverse it – possibly with a scathing legal opinion of their own.

    Note that I’m talking about *legal* accountability here – legislators and judges who are subject to elections (not all are) can and should of course be held accountable by their electorate.

  • Abra

    Thank you for the link… in MO, a Prayer Amendment did pass in August (we amend the MO constitution almost every election cycle). Mainly pretty innocuous, updated the language about freedom of speech and religion from “he” to “he/she” but did clarify that students have the right to pray privately on school grounds and, less innocuously, gave them the right to opt out of assignments they felt violated their religious beliefs. 

    Short story long, I heard a state rep. who sponsored it explain why he thought it was necessary  and he listed several examples of when people were not allowed to pray (as he told them, they would have all been protected under the US and MO constitutions without the Prayer Amendment) and I had a strong feeling like we weren’t getting the whole story. He said:

    – Child was told he could not pray over his lunch. This makes sense for it to be the link you provided as the 20-year old case is in St. Louis. 

    – Child told he/she could not take a Bible to study hall. My thought was it very well may be true… that the child would have been prohibited from bring anything not related to school work to study hall and, short of a comparative religion or Bible as literature class, that would include the Bible.

    – Social work student required to have a “homosexual experience” as a class assignment. First, there is the word choice, which implies a sexual encounter with a person of the same sex as opposed to going to a gay community social event. Second, the actual case was an SMSU (now MSU) student who walked in on 2 men having a sexual encounter at an event she went to under protest. She sued SMSU instead going through internal university process before or after the event and as soon as the SMSU became aware of it, her claim was investigated, grade amended, and the prof. was disciplined (I can’t remember how) for violating university policy (and I think maybe social work code of ethics).

  • Nirrti

    ” He left them peace, he left them peace for 10 years. And now that’s going ragged because we have been operating under Obama’s policies for the last four years.”

    War is peace, freedom is slav..oh they are just making this way too eff’ing easy.  Today’s dystopian fiction authors can’t even come up with original material anymore. How can you when the dystopia is already taking place? I’d imagine every time today’s writers come up with compelling scenarios, these doomsday jokers have already scooped them on it.  

    Come on Hagee, Ellenjay, and all you other doomsday peddlers. Give the poor writers a break. It’s hard enough coming up with an original plot without being accused of plagiarizing Jack Van Impe.

  • VMink

    Tell me about it.  Trying to write an unpleasant future (from which Our Protagonists can help civilization pull itself out of, natch) is becoming harder and harder because as bad as I can write it, the jackwagons of the current events are trumping me left, right, and center.  At this rate, my villain is going to have to plan to blow up the Sun for the evilz while lounging in his underwater volcano base on Europa (attempt no landings here.)  Seriously, any competent villain I write comes off as more sympathetic than John Hagee and Tim LeHaye.

  • The_L1985

     I guess those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan just didn’t happen, then?

    And after all, 9/11/01 was during the Clinton presidency.  Somehow.  By the magic of bullshit.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ooh, and don’t forget how the post-1995 economic expansion (when the US economy finally picked up from sputtering along at about 2% per year to near 4% per year*) was somehow all Reagan’s magic. Even though he left office in 1989 and Bush Sr supposedly killed the Reaganesque golden goose by omgraisingtaxes in 1991.

    * In fact from 1990 – 1994, the US economy grew at only 1.8% per year; during the entire Great Depression, the US economy grew at 1.3% per year. It is not an accident that some politicians in that era called the 1990s recession a much bigger problem than was being officially recognized.

  • Matri

    And after all, 9/11/01 was during the Clinton presidency.  Somehow.  By the magic of bullshit.

    Clinton nothing. I’ve been told that it was Obama who started the pointless Afghanistan war.

  • Lori

    And Romney is responsible for the death of bin Laden. “Unemployed” former governors being our secret weapon in the war on terror I guess.

  • Tricksterson

    That camel picture gave me an idea:  Camel safety seat! [Dr. Evil imitaion] We’ll make…hundreds[/Dr. Evil imitation

    I really would like a detailed explaation of how leaving  office with two wars still ongoing consists of a “legacy of peace”

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     I really would like a detailed explaation of how leaving  office with two wars still ongoing consists of a “legacy of peace”

    Especially since it was 10 years of peace that Obama has ruined in his four years of prezintin’.  I’d say it’s Creationist math, but that would mean that Gee Dubs actually gave us about seventeen minutes of peace.

    Come to think of it, that number is probably fairly accurate.

  • Cathy W

    Also: Dubya managed to pull off 10 years of peace in 8 years of being President. So either the very idea that he might possibly be President in 2 years started to generate pre-emptive peace, or it took Obama 2 years to really make a dent in it…

  • Matri

    I’d say it’s Creationist math, but that would mean that Gee Dubs actually gave us about seventeen minutes of peace.

    That figure is forty minutes too long.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Social work student required to have a “homosexual experience” as a class assignment.

    Doesn’t anyone ever stop and just realize that shit like this is very likely exaggerated or made up for dramatic effect?

    People really need to know when some asshole is just pushing their buttons to get a reaction.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    I signed the online petition against Judge Graves.  Good grief, can you imagine the Class 5 shitstorm that would erupt if an American judge cited the Qur’an in a legal decision?  You could probably hear the screams of “Shariah law! Shariah law!” on the surface of the moon!

    As for John Hagee’s remarks, I wonder if he or any of his listeners even know what “socialism” even means.  I actually like socialism as an economic system, and feel it even has strong support in the Scriptures (read the first four chapters of the Book of Acts).  Of course, to these folks “socialism” is simply a dog whistle that really means, “The government taking money from honest, hardworking white people and giving it to lazy, ignorant black and brown people.”

  • D9000

    Socialism in the abstract is all right, but like everything else it’s a bit of a let-down in reality. English socialism (which is what I know) always had two rather nasty strains in it, one of paternalism (this is what is good for you, workers!) exemplified by the Webbs, or even worse H G Wells and his eugenicism, and the other strain of trade-union obstructionism and narrow-mindedness. Both are now gone, but then so is socialism in England.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    “I wonder if he or any of his listeners even know what “socialism” even means.”

    They do not. One of my husband’s coworkers (right-wing fundamental Christian republican) was telling him how socialism was evil because “the government forces you to take whatever job they want you to take.” 

    So not only do they confuse socialism with communism, but they don’t know that one is a form of economic system and one is a form of government.

  • Lori

    These folks are on record: If X, then Y. When X happens and Y does not,
    these predictions need to follow them for the rest of their public
    lives.  

    In a world with an effective press this would be true. In the world we actually live in this will fall down the memory hole. We now have several groups of people who are totally exempt from any negative consequences for being wrong, preachers and pundits being high on the list.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    “These folks are on record: If X, then Y. When X happens and Y does not, these predictions need to follow them for the rest of their public  lives.”

    In a world with an effective press this would be true. In the world
    we actually live in this will fall down the memory hole. We now have
    several groups of people who are totally exempt from any negative
    consequences for being wrong, preachers and pundits being high on the
    list.

    The main place you I see stuff like this done is The Daily Show.  Which is alarming.   Why doesn’t the actual news do this?

  • Attu

    Be very afraid! These apocolyptic types are sick and tired of waiting for Jesus. They are going to make something happen.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    How much danger do you think liberty is in right now [..] C) More serious than the threat of the Civil War

    Well… um… C? I mean, the Civil War threatened to end chattel slavery as a legal practice in the U.S. and thereby increase liberty. So, y’know, it put liberty in negative danger. Which sounds about right.

    (Yes, yes, I know, the intended context is that Northern aggression was a threat to the liberty of Southern states to secede from the Union and continue owning slaves. Which is the kind of liberty Reed’s people care about. “Freedom is slavery.”)

  • Will McMain

    The thing that really gets my goat when republicans talk about Obama and “liberty” is that Obama *has* actually done as much as GWB to erode civil liberties in this country, but that’s not what they’re talking about–they’re just spouting off the usual nonsense about “socialism” and thinly-veiled racist remarks. I would really like it if we could actually have a conversation about the still-effective PATRIOT act, the continued expansion of warrantless surveillance of Americans, etc. 

  • Lori

    But you don’t hear anything about it outside of the far-left radical press like Alternet.   

    The fact that Alternet is considered “the far-left radical press” is a big part of the problem.

    Or, what MaryKaye said.

  • Nequam

    I would really like it if we could actually have a conversation about the still-effective PATRIOT act, the continued expansion of warrantless surveillance of Americans, etc. and Obama’s role in that.

    But you see, they LIKE that stuff– as long as the “right” (ie, white Republican) people are in charge of it.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    But you see, they LIKE that stuff– as long as the “right” (ie, white Republican) people are in charge of it.

    Which runs into a pretty clear problem when compared to their idea about fear of the oppressed rising up against them.  

    One would think that if a governmental power could potentially used to oppress people in the “wrong” hands, then they would be more careful about investing that power when the wheel will turn and they will eventually be out of power again.  Or do they just disbelieve that public opinion might shift against them (I mean more so) at some point?  Did they just believe that somehow Republican control of the government would be enshrined as unending?  Because that would require actual reduction of liberties to implement.   

    It seems like the easiest way to avoid future oppression is to not oppress in the present.  Like an extension of the social compact where we agree not to hit other people in the face in return for the same courtesy.  If you break the precedent, then others can turn that against you.  Reciprocity can be harsh if you do not respect it.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     One of my favorite aspects of this is hearing right-wingers rail against that sort of thing now. Well, “favorite” isn’t the right word for it. It’s actually pretty painful, watching their minds slow-w-wly stretch to understand that warrantless surveillance and extrajudicial killings are a bad thing. We spend eight years trying to explain to these idiots that rolling back civil liberties and suspending due process to buy a little bit of safety is a bad trade. Interesting, though, that it turns out that all we needed to do is tell them to imagine George Bush as a black man for them to figure out what’s wrong with all of these things.

  • P J Evans

    But you don’t hear anything about it outside of the far-left radical press like Alternet.

    Emptywheel.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Here’s an interesting term I learned yesterday: the Friedman Unit, a period of upcoming time that is going to be the most critical period in an event, no matter how long said event has been ongoing or how many times the pundit has made such a claim in the past. 

    Wikipedia uses “the next six months” since Friedman “had been making such six-month predictions for a period of two and a half years, on at least fourteen different occasions”, but I think it should be extended to any prediction of gloom that gets repeated without ever actually happening or any acknowledgment that such a prediction is a repeat. “The upcoming presidential term” more than qualifies.

  • MaryKaye

    A Guantanamo prisoner, never charged with any crimes, who local groups had been trying to get out of Guantanamo has just died in prison.  Obama does have much to answer for on the civil rights front.  But it’s difficult to exert much force on this issue when the opposition party seems to have abandoned civil rights completely.

    I am praying for a sufficient swing to the left that we can actually start distinguishing between people who would previously have been moderate Republicans (which is where I place Obama) and actual liberals.  Where we can start having real conversations about the Patriot Act and about Afghanistan.  But we don’t seem to be there now.

  • Steve Morrison

    Meanwhile, Colombia just forbade judges to use religious precepts in deciding on sentences. (Unfortunately, I can’t seem to post links with Disqus).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Colombia high court says religion out in rulings

    BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s Constitutional Court has told a lower court judge that religious precepts cannot be used as the basis for a ruling or other decisions, issuing a directive that applies to all judicial officers in the country.

    The high court said quotations from religious texts cannot be used in legal arguments or judgments to directly support the reasoning for a decision. It did say religious quotations can be used to explain a point of view.

    In a directive issued in June but only made public Wednesday, the justices made a point of saying the directive was issued for a labor court judge in the southwestern city of Cali, but legal experts said Wednesday that the Constitutional Court’s findings apply to all judges and prosecutors in similar cases.

    Judicial authorities “are obliged to respect the principle of secularism that characterizes the Colombian state,” said the Constitutional Court, which is the guardian of Colombia’s constitution. Decisions “must be devoid of any expression suggesting a bias based on religious beliefs or personal convictions of the judicial officer,” it added.

    The court’s statement was aimed at a labor court ruling in a pension case. The lower court judge’s decision included a quotation from the Bible: “In the case of justice, it shouldn’t even favor the poor.”

    Associated Press

    That it?

  • Steve Morrison

     Yes, thanks!

  • LL

    I’m Oklahoma facepalming here. It looks pretty much like regular facepalming, only maybe with some shame thrown in. I haven’t lived there for over a decade, but every time somebody from Oklahoma embarrasses the state (which is with unfortunate frequency), I feel I have to say everybody in Oklahoma isn’t that dumb. Just most of them. 

  • P J Evans

     You have my sympathy (relatives in and from OK, and also KS).

    It’s not too different from the crap California gets from conservatives, who will blame liberals for everything that wrong, including policies and laws that the conservatives put forward and backed in the first place. We’re a good example of thirty-plus years of cutting taxes for the rich and corporations, and not doing anything to replace them (except raising or adding ‘fees’ for things like state parks and colleges).

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Barton; Hagee; et al…

    My gods, you can make a fistful of money spouting straight-up word salad for as long as you say it with an air of righteous “masculine” certainty, bonus points for wearing a suit, having White Skin, or being physically masculine. 

    I remember being very small and falling especially hard into the toddler habit of asking my mother why this or that was the way it was.  Sometimes she would tell me that she didn’t know.  Usually she would give me an answer that I accepted as true based on the authoritative tone of her voice.  As I grew up I came to learn that some of her answers were not quite right and that a few were completely wrong. 

    Which is to say, I suppose, that to view yourself as holding paternal authority over your entire society is necessarily to condemn yourself to being epically full of shit.   Not to hate on my Ma, she’s always been wonderful and I love her.

  • AnonaMiss

    I should really have stopped being shocked at this a long time ago, but it still hits me like a slap in the face when a religionist rails on… well, anyone, for endangering individual liberties. Maybe this one hit me harder because Barber spent the first 3/4 of his article saying that it is the duty of Christians to crush non-Christians like vipers under their heels, and then tacked the line about individual liberties on at the end to sound constitutional or something.

    I swear, sometimes it almost makes me want to have kids.

  • ReverendRef

    Every day, Right Wing Watch chronicles the apocalyptic predictions

    I first read that as apoplectic.

    In this case, I think the terms are interchangeable.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Meanwhile, an archbishop in New Jersey  has declared that Even if you’re a straight person who just believes that folks ought to have the right to marry someone they love you’re probably too sinful to receive communion

  • EllieMurasaki

    Meanwhile, an archbishop in New Jersey has declared that Even if you’re a straight person who just believes that folks ought to have the right to marry someone they love you’re probably too sinful to receive communion
    I could put all that aside on the grounds that people who don’t follow Catholic rules (however stupid and hurtful the rules) don’t get the benefits of being Catholic, if anyone had ever been denied the Eucharist for supporting an unjust war, for exploiting the poor, or for raping a child or covering up for someone who did.

    But that would require the Catholic hierarchy to be composed of people devoted to following the Catholic rules rather than to preserving the religious and political power of the Catholic hierarchy.

  • Tricksterson

    I would like to thank this archbishop for giving me a convenient reference point in case i should ever question my decision to leave the Catholic Church the day of my Confirmation.

  • Steph

    “Meanwhile, an archbishop in New Jersey has declared that Even if you’re a straight person who just believes that folks ought to have the right to marry someone they love you’re probably too sinful to receive communion”

    The Catholic bishops are really just a branch of the Republican Party.  This is a large part of the reason why I left their church.

  • friendly reader

    The threat to our liberty is “More serious than the threats we faced in World War II (…) because the attack on our liberty today is from our own government”?

    And I guess there weren’t any attacks on liberty during WWII from our own government back then, right?

  • mattepntr

    Well, it was no different for me (an American) when I traveled a few times to London. Sure, their paper money is prettier than ours, and comes in different colors for ease of use. But after a day of wandering around town paying for things, my paper money disappeared (nice and light to carry) and I wound up with a pocket filled with big heavy coins, mostly one and two pound denomination. The only times I was given paper money was at an ATM. Everywhere else gave change in coins. And I never was sure how much I had, and had to drag those coins with me everywhere.

    Conclusion: money abroad is a PITA, no matter where you hail from. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    First of all, I ditto everything Joshua said about money (aside from the not-being-European part), and would add that I dislike the texture of the american notes. No good argument why, just personal preference.

    I also admit, I find it astonishing to hear some of the doom arguments against  Obama. What, exactly, could he do to kill liberty in this 2nd term that he couldn’t do in his first?

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    First of all, I ditto everything Joshua said about money (aside from the not-being-European part), and would add that I dislike the texture of the american notes.

    *nods*

    It’s so much easier when your money is colour-coded.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Of course, colour-coded money is obviously discriminatory against the colour-blind….

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also?

    On a more serious note I would like to take up something I think that’s been passed over-

    When people warn of the “darkness” of Obama, they’re implicitly tapping into racist modes of thought that tend to associate darker colors with eviller things, and in days past it was sometimes thought that black skin meant less of a soul, or the like.

    So there is more than just religious fearmongering at work here I think.

  • AnonymousSam

    More money does need vision-impaired qualities. I don’t know about bills and coins being of different shapes being enough though. — I can tell how much money I have in my pocket by touch, but I have to take out the coins and sort them individually in order to tally it all, and while I can do this with bills, can you imagine a worse mugging waiting to happen like a blind person leafing through their notes in public?

    (Incidentally, this is why I dislike colored bills — it’s harder for the guy standing behind you to notice a “100” than it is to notice a color that only $100 bills have.)

    My spur-of-the-moment-minimal-thought-input solution to it all? A debit card which reads off your available funds when you push the button, and does it softly enough that you can only hear it if you hold it up to your ear. For those without vision issues or who have hearing impairment, perhaps an LCD screen to read out your total when a button is squeezed.

  • Münchner Kindl

     

    More money does need vision-impaired qualities. I don’t know about bills
    and coins being of different shapes being enough though. — I can tell
    how much money I have in my pocket by touch, but I have to take out the
    coins and sort them individually in order to tally it all, and while I
    can do this with bills, can you imagine a worse mugging waiting to
    happen like a blind person leafing through their notes in public?

    Are you blind yourself, or just working things out by touch for convience? I would have to ask a blind organisation or similar on how things are practically done, but generally the stance is that people used to it can quite easily distinguish the Euro coins and notes by touch. (The coins all have different edges http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_coins#Features_for_persons_with_impaired_sight ). Here is the description for the bills http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro_banknotes#Features_for_people_with_impaired_sight Note that it was designed in cooperation with blinds organisation, therefore I assume practical solutions were implemented.

    It may also be a cultural difference: people in europe don’t usually carry loose money in their pockets for several reasons, nor billfolds, but rather use a wallet for both coins and bills. So you have to take out the wallet anyway, and quickly riffle through the bills stacked in the back.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Proof that any kind of deity exists would be lighting striking down on a clear day and smiting Mitt Romney on national television followed by a large booming voice claiming responsibility. 

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Fun with sidebar ads: the one that asks who you’d vote for wants your email address first, and “Casting your vote entitles you to receive conservative alerts” from the advertiser.

    Gosh, wonder how skewed that “poll” is?

  • Ross Thompson

    Your 10c coin also isn’t labelled as being 10 cents. I know quite a few people who went on holiday to the US and got rather baffled as to how much a “dime” was.

    Even those coins that have the denomination on them, have it in words rather than numbers, which can’t be easy for people who don’t speak English.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    My main complaint is that Canadian coins – some of them have printing in a size too small for easy reading. I used to be able to read Canadian dimes without my glasses in my teens, but now even with my glasses I find them hard to read for the dates printed on them, and I now have to go on the apparent age of the Queen on the other side of the Bluenose.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Don’t know about you, Slack, but every time I see the a group offically-named “Concerned Fill-in-the-Blanks” or a variant on same, my alarm bells go off. 


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