Friday salmagundi

• It’s not a good sign if your church has a high-priced corporate fixer PR guy on staff. It’s also not a good sign if that high-priced corporate fixer PR guy is pretentious enough to quote Shakespeare without understanding that maybe Polonius isn’t meant to be a trustworthy source of wisdom.

• Speaking of over-rated PR spinmeisters, I’m sure that former Bush White House spokesman Ari Fleischer doesn’t really believe that Nazi Germany “followed the law of war.” I’m sure that if you were talking to him in some abstract, contextless setting far-removed from the partisan spin that has been his career, he would likely agree that the Nazis were war criminals and that Nuremberg wasn’t wrong to find them guilty of war crimes.

It’s just that once you have — like Fleischer — committed yourself to contradicting President Obama about absolutely everything, then you’re bound to wind up uttering some wildly monstrous, foolish lies, like saying that Nazi Germany “followed the law of war.”

Let’s put a better, more deserving war hero on the $20.

• The first Roger Ebert Film Festival since the beloved critic’s passing was a solemn, somber affair — with Ebert’s wife, Chaz, joined by Academy-Award winner Tilda Swinton for a moving musical tribute. I would like for this to happen at my funeral too. (via)

• Televangelist Matthew Hagee finally comes out publicly … against gay people coming out publicly. I’d always suspected that the younger Hagee was secretly pro-closet. It was brave of him to say so on television.

• I think Stephen Fry would be very pleased with this comparison. And now I’d kind of like to see him cast in a revival of 1776.

• And while we’re at John Fea’s blog … he asks, “Should the Democratic Party Dump Andrew Jackson?

Yes. Yes they should. They should have a long time ago. Let the Republicans have him — make him the player to be named later in the same deal in which they claimed Andrew Johnson off of waivers.

And while we’re at it, let’s get him off the $20 bill, too. Replace him with Harriet Tubman. (Because can you come up with someone more deserving or more all-around awesome than Harriet Tubman? No. No you cannot.)

• The government is over-paying its government football coaches. After all, more than half the football coaches on the government payroll are losing more than half of their games. And half of all coaches are below average.

• Lying to school administrators about illegally bringing guns to school property? This kid sounds like Liberty University material! Give him a scholarship!

• Republicans are hoping that lying about Planned Parenthood won’t backfire disastrously like it did in the last election cycle.

• White evangelicals are hoping that lying about Planned Parenthood won’t continue to erode their souls and shrivel their hearts the way this habitual bearing of false witness has for the past three decades. (I’m very serious about the soul-eroding, heart-shriveling effect of this. Lying about “bad people” is really, really dangerous for one’s spiritual health.)

• If you don’t believe in democracy and voting, then the Benton County, Arkansas, Republican Party may be for you: “The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives.”

Don’t vote, shoot. Bullets, not ballots. You’ve gotta love it when the GOP and the NRA are quoting Chairman Mao.

• Arizona AG Tom Horne should resign, then run for mayor of Toronto.

Why is a minor traffic accident interesting? As it turns out, when Arizona’s attorney general hit another car and drove away without leaving a note, he very likely would have gotten away with it, except, unbeknownst to him, Horne was being followed by FBI agents who saw the incident and reported what happened.

And why were FBI agents following the state attorney general? Because federal law enforcement suspects [Tom] Horne may be guilty of breaking federal campaign finance laws, illegally coordinating with an outside political group.

What’s more, making this just a little more entertaining, the Arizona Republican drove away after hitting that other car in part because his passenger is one of his subordinates, with whom Horne has had an extra-marital affair.

Incidentally, Horne, ostensibly Arizona’s top law-enforcement official, initially lied about hitting the other car and declined to cooperate in the police investigation.

On the bright side for Horne: It seems he was sober at the time of the accident.

 

  • Hexep

    I think Chairman Mao should be on one of our bills, but not on all of them. We should put Sun Zhongshan and Deng Xiaoping on them, too, but the rest would all have to be emperors. I don’t know which one, though.

    I wish we could put some women on our money, but we’re left with the really sad position that the two most famous women in Chinese history were both, by most regards, really awful people.

  • histrogeek

    Ari should go on a tour of Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, and Ukraine to explain about how the Nazis followed the “law of war.” If he’s still alive afterward, he can rest up in Italy and France.

  • SkyknightXi

    Chasing a further link on the bit about the second amendment, it’s interesting that the reason for the phrasing using “state” is because of Southern pressure. They were worried the nation as a whole might decide slave patrol militias were unwarranted…

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Am I the only one for whom Slacktivist just DISAPPEARED? I have this page still open in my browser, and any page I try to open redirects to the Patheos homepage.

  • j_bird

    It’s happening for me with other patheos blogs, but not slacktivist

  • cyllan

    The PR guy for a church is pointing what looks to be a gun at the camera. I just want to revel in this horror for a few minutes. PR person. Church. Gun. What the fuck?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I was going to link to it, but since the rest of the blog is coming up 404 for me…

    Less than 24 hours ago, someone on this blog compared Canada to Nazi Germany. When pressed with a specific comparison, this was his response:

    I can see a difference of ‘degree’, not a difference of ‘kind’. Are you aware what these mean? I mean that they are only different inasmuch as burning people in ovens is ‘more’ socialist than a state health system. They are not different beasts, they are only different degrees of the same beast and that is socialism.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Wow, and now Patheos itself just went 404, giving me a “could not contact the origin” error.

  • cyllan

    What, what?

    WORDS HAVE MEANING!

  • P J Evans

    They seem to be unclear on what ‘socialism’ is. At a minimum.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    You are not, but it has since come back for me, at least for the moment.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    And disappeared again. Putting this in via disqus dashboard because I can’t get to the actual page.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Even though this is Patheos and not Disqus, I feel like it’s the latter having found a way to ruin their service even more.

  • Vermic

    I look at Swicegood’s profile and all I can think of is that sleazy Futurama dude with boneitis.

  • general_apathy

    At the first sentence, I thought they were discussing the internment of Japanese-Canadians. Second sentence was just… “What? Wait… did they just… whaaat?”

  • JustoneK

    it happened to me with all of patheos for a minute or so. weird.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You typed “Ookrayeena” twice.

  • Becca Stareyes

    That affirms my belief that to some people ‘socialism’ means ‘things I dislike’. The quote makes much more sense:

    “I mean that they are only different inasmuch as burning people in ovens is ‘more’ [dislikable] than a state health system. They are not different beasts, they are only different degrees of the same beast and that is [things I dislike].”

    Still raises the question about why state health systems are disliked, but that’s an old one.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic
  • Jamoche

    I play a D&D variant where each round’s player order is determined by drawing cards. We swap between two decks our GM picked up in China – one with emperors, the other with Mao. The Mao deck warns us that playing with the cards is disrespectful, it’s only meant as a reminder of our time in China.

  • John

    Nickelback is his favorite band. Nuff said.

  • cyllan

    Troll? Uneducated Idiot? Why not have both at once!

  • Persia

    It might be a tape recorder but it’s still an extremely…aggressive pose.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    It happened to me too.

    Btw: this downvoting of completely innocuous comments = exactly what Scientologists at Tony Ortega’s blog do. “I don’t like this person so I will blindly downvote them every chance I get no matter what!” is not a terribly logical decision.

  • Susan Paxton

    Yes, because “National Socialism” wasn’t Socialism.

  • Susan Paxton

    Greece too. Part of Greece’s problem even now is that the Nazis absolutely stripped them during the war, and if I were Greek I’d be inclined to kick Angela Merkel’s testicles up between her shoulderblades.

  • jimmyfromchicago

    Thank God Horne was sober. The Republican Party base would never forgive him otherwise. I assume they’ll cut him the usual slack on financial improprieties and sexual hypocrisy

  • jimmyfromchicago

    Communists with sacred images. Hilarious.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Say we grant the premise. Insisting on a socialism spectrum that includes both state health systems and genocide doesn’t alter my opinion of either state health systems or genocide. The only takeaway available from insisting on this definition is that some degree of socialism is a very good thing and some much larger degree of socialism is a terrible thing. And since modern history shows us that these two concepts- state health systems and genocide- are eminently severable, we need not sacrifice the former in fear of spurring the latter any more than we need to go bottomless because Hitler wore pants.

  • Tortorro

    Maybe Disqus is actively infecting other software now. Pretty soon your Web browsers will start cycling through random pages of ads while you’re trying to surf, your email client will start secretly inserting typos and obscenities into your correspondence… If it doesn’t stop, pretty soon nothing will work.

  • Tortorro

    To be fair, Ukraine really got it hard.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    The reason “socialist” is in the party name is precisely because Hitler didn’t want that word to have meaning. From a speech in 1928:

    “We have to strip the terms ‘Nationalism’ and ‘Socialism’ of their previous meaning. Only that man is a nationalist who stands by his people, and only that man is a socialist who stands up for the rights of his people both internally and externally.”

    I thought about replying to the guy yesterday, but he was not worth arguing with.

  • Jamoche

    Time Magazine spelled it National “Socialism” back in the 30s.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    “I was led to the Lord in 1972 by my 5th grade teacher.”

    -Lawrence Swicegood
    Executive Director, Media

  • SisterCoyote

    Seriously though, why is Andrew Jackson on any of our bills?

  • P J Evans

    Ewww.

  • ReverendRef

    And while we’re at it, let’s get him off the $20 bill, too. Replace him with Harriet Tubman.

    If I got a vote, I’d vote for Sojourner Truth.

    And for you non-Episcopalian types out there, July 20 is the feast day for Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman. That’s a pretty impressive group of women.

    The Collect of the Day reads in part: Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    He’s being a Big Macho Action Hero.
    Just like Cameron “Buck” Jenkins.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Yes. Yes they should.
    They should have a long time ago. Let the Republicans have him — make
    him the player to be named later in the same deal in which they claimed
    Andrew Johnson off of waivers.

    -I concur. Jackson is one of my favorite presidents, and I find it difficult to imagine him, an opponent of the Second Bank of the U.S. and a Tennessee plantation owner, a modern Democrat.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    For the sake of irony.

  • LoneWolf343

    Nah. He could be drunker than a moonshiner with the ATF knocking on his door, and the GOP wouldn’t have said a peep.

    Now, if another man was blowing him at the time…

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    If you don’t believe in democracy and voting, then the Benton County, Arkansas, Republican Party may be for you: “The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives.”

    Reminds me of Fritz Leiber more than Chairman Mao.
    Specifically, the scene early in A Spectre is Haunting Texas where some conspirators are trying to recruit “Skully” (the offworld visitor and main character) for a coup against the current head of state, and they give him this long high-sounding spiel about “the cowardly ballot vs the noble bullet”. (This comes shortly before or after a scene where they introduce Skully to pot, and the pace of Leiber’s writing goes from “bla bla bla” to “bla bla bla — BLAAA BLAAAAAAA BLAAAAAAAAAAAA BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAA BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA….”)
    A Spectre is Haunting Texas is one WEIRD novel.

  • otrame

    My absolute mostest hero ever, Harriet Tubman. She was an absolutely amazing women, especially considering that she was brain damaged and had grande mal seizures on a regular basis. The person I most look up to.

  • Maniraptor

    Yes. Yes, I suppose he would be. What an unpleasant person you must be.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Is there any way Republicans could exchange Lincoln, protectionist and suppressor of free speech extraordinaire, to the Democrats for Grover Cleveland? Or will Lincoln always be with the GOP?

  • AnonaMiss

    Also blindingly white.

    (I am also white and there’s nothing wrong with being white; just you have to be able to overlook the humanity of non-white people to find AJ remotely appealing.)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I keep telling so many “HITLER WAS A SOCIALIST SOCIALIST SOCIALIST!” types about how the Nazis picked their name, but always to no avail.
    1) In European politics of the time, “Socialism” was linked to labor-union movements. With their social tradition of Absolute Power of Hereditary Aristocracy, European bosses tended to be a LOT more pointy-haired than American bosses, and the resulting labor unions more radical.
    2) Hence “Socialist” in that time and place meant a politician or party who was on the side of the blue-collar workers against the pointy-haired bosses.
    3) Yet most Socialist movements were Internationalist — “Workers of the World” and all that. And the most extreme socialist movement — Communism/Bolshevism — was firmly under the thumb of Russia.
    4) So “National Socialist” not only meant they were on the side of the blue-collar working stiffs, but of specifically GERMAN blue-collar working stiffs. Not some amorphous “Workers of the World” or (even worse) the Russians.

  • AnonaMiss

    You do know that in actual Ukrainian it does have a ‘j’ sound at the front, right?

    Or was that something other than a hilariously bad attempt at a Russian-ish accent?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I know Russian, but not Ukrainian.
    For some reason, AnonaMiss showed up as Maniraptor.
    Darn D*sq*s.


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