Postcards from the culture wars (8.11)

“Harold Scott says he was fired as superintendent of Parkview Christian Schools because he performed in a community theater production of The Producers.”

“Whatever group is out there trying to promote the pro-life message by handing out squish alien babies, stop. You’re doing more harm than good.”

“I made one change that day. I put Mr. in front of my name on my CV. It looked a little too formal for my liking but I got an interview for the very next job I applied for.”

“Calling abstinence birth control is like calling bald a hair color.”

They actually want to stop women from using birth control.”

“We hear a lot of talk about posting the Ten Commandments in courthouses, but we really should be reading the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew 25 outside every legislature.”

“The idea that service could be denied based on religious conviction didn’t survive the civil rights revolution and should not be revived now.”

“You know what, citizens, if you don’t have a gun, I’m telling you as a Christian chaplain, sell your clothes and buy a gun.”

“A proposal to ban the sale of firearms to individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watch list was defeated by House Republicans.”

“Not long after President Obama took office — it’s interesting how the radicalization of the GOP just happened to coincide with the Democrat’s inauguration — Republican policymakers began looking at the Bush/Cheney-backed energy bill as an authoritarian scourge that sought to take away Americans’ light bulbs.”

Science keeps getting in the way of far-right Republican talking points.”

“Is outright racism really any worse than simply not giving a damn if your only route to harming Democratic Party interests happens to require making it more burdensome for blacks to vote?

“I can’t think of any point in my years of growing up and living in the American South in which I’ve ever seen the bloody banner of that battle flag waved about without race, race, and more race being the subtext of the neo-Confederate waving and the neo-Confederate blather.”

“If somebody can’t get to King of Prussia by car, they shouldn’t be coming at all.”

They don’t want African Americans going on a consistent basis to Beavercreek.”

“There’s no indication of why non-Hispanic drivers aren’t getting tickets in Atherton. Maybe they all drive perfectly, and have their papers in order. That has to be it.”

“I call this racism. What do you call it?

Stupid facts. Always trying to get in the way of people’s racism.”


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  • otrame

    Well that was frigging depressing.

  • “A proposal to ban the sale of firearms to individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watch list was defeated by House Republicans.”

    It’s amazing how gun fetishism outweighs even the hard-on-terrorism party line so beloved of the Republican Party.

    And it’s always amazing how gun fetishism can manage to trump a lot of sensible things. (-_-)

  • Lori

    Fun fact, I used to live in Atherton—sort of. I think my former living situation explains a bit more about the town’s ticketing practices.

    I lived for about a year in a rental house that had an Atherton address, but was not within the Atherton town limits. Instead it was in an unincorporated area adjacent to Atherton. It was Atherton only for purposes of mail delivery and primary policing. The unincorporated area was mostly working class and I think majority minority even then. I shared a nothing special house with 4 other people and less than a mile from my address there were houses that, I shit you not, had names like they were manor homes in the mother country or some crap. Larry Ellison’s psuedo Japanese estate was less than a 15 minute drive in bad traffic.The folks in those houses were less than thrilled with the fact that the hoi polloi were sullying their address and they weren’t particularly shy about sharing their feelings*.

    I assume that the 2 main roads where people are getting ticketed for driving while insufficiently white are El Camino Real (the main road running down the peninsula on the west side of the 101) and Woodside, which is the nearest access to the 101 freeway. You can’t get to anywhere in the unincorporated area without driving on El Camino. I suspect that in addition to folks who are just passing through a fair number of the people getting tickets are visiting friends and family who live in the unincorporated area. You know, that haven of takers that unfairly shares a zip code with the makers on the other side of the line. The Atherton cops no doubt see it as part of their job to make sure that any
    brown person not obviously a gardener or maid going to/from work is fully aware that they are not welcome. Because if they don’t they’re going to hear about it from the citizens who count.

    *In fairness, they also hated having Larry Ellison as a neighbor because
    he was a chronic scofflaw when it came to local airport noise
    regulations. The airport closed down at 10 PM so that the noise wouldn’t disturb the neighbors. Larry’s private jet landed whenever Larry wanted it to land and if it was after hours he just paid the fine out of his pocket change and rolled on. I can’t even tell you how many town meetings had Larry’s flying habits on the agenda while I lived in the area.

  • Also, everybody remember those Al Qaeda threats (ZOMG!)?

    It would seem that some elements in the US government had an interest in making sure the threat looked more real than it was.

    Obama spoke at the National Defense University. His topic was the “war
    on terror,” and the piece was stirring — bold, new, encouraging. “This
    war, like other wars, must end,” Obama said. “That is what history
    advises. That is what our democracy demands.” As to al-Qaida, he had
    decapitated it, the president said proudly, and the group was “on the

    We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  • MikeJ

    Regarding the educator fired for being in a play with “Springtime for Hitler”, did you notice he was fired by a man named Godwin?

  • LoneWolf343

    It’s almost as if they consider guns to be some sort of sacred good rather than a necessary evil.

  • Matri

    .. Wow.

  • …wow. They’re outrunning parody again! Jon Stewart, some months ago: “God help us if the terrorists ever decide to form a well-regulated militia. They’ll be unstoppable.”

    GOP: “We can’t stop terrorists from exercising their SECOND* Amendment rights!”

    (Full disclosure, though – the FBI’s terrorist watch list really is utterly out of control. Food Not Bombs is on there, still. Even though their mission is to A- hand out donated food to people, and B- talk about incredibly esoteric anarchist politics.)

    *EDIT: …I meant second. How did I do that. Good grief.

  • aunursa

    If you lived there during the late 1990’s, I lived 2 1/2 miles away from you.

  • P J Evans

    Reality can trump nearly anything you can imagine!

  • Lori

    I think I was there in 98/99.

  • aunursa

    Yup. We passed by via El Camino Real on the way to Fontana’s in Menlo Park (my favorite restaurant at the time.)

  • Lori

    So you were in Redwood City? Cool.

  • Maybe Rob Port, in his drive to stop his ideological fellows from living down to their supposed “caricature”, should reconsider his tendency to shut down discussion by resorting to “baby-killer” accusations aimed at the millions of people who disagree with him. You know, like those wild-eyed pro-life “caricatures” in the media do. Especially in the very same thread where he whines about being called an extremist just for holding an inflexible, extreme position. Gosh!

    (Sorry for venting here, but I’m not reviving a poisonous, two-week defunct thread.)

  • The_L1985

    Guns are Moloch, pure and simple.

  • general_apathy

    Yeah, that really skeeved me out. And the one where he’s super dismissive of different feelings about pregnancy and straight-up tells a woman it’s not “just her body”. And the bit about life beginning at conception “from a scientific perspective”, a “simple fact” which “often gets obscured”.

    I mean, I agree that squishy babies are creepy… but it’d be better if it weren’t wrapped in a creepier layer of telling women how their bodies work.

  • Veleda_k

    Yeah. Gets obscured? If by “gets obscured” you mean “is incessantly harped on in any debate,” then yeah, I guess so.

  • Erp

    I think the other road is Middlefield not Woodside.

  • Alix

    the one where he’s super dismissive of different feelings about pregnancy

    That one in particular really pissed me off. “This is how I feel.” “No, I don’t like how you feel, so let me tell you how you really feel.”


  • Lori

    Yeah, that would make sense too.

  • Jenny Islander

    If you get to talking about guns with a gun owner, and the topics he/she raises are things like target competition, hunting, loading, and sighting, you’ve found a sensible person. If he/she immediately starts talking about stopping power and home invasions, pass the bean dip and leave as soon as you safely can!

  • GDwarf

    I figured it was, at the very least, an exaggeration, the timing was too perfect otherwise; Right when the government is being dragged over the coals on its pervasive spying and drone strikes, suddenly it turns out that this spying is going to save us all from some nebulous threat, that might be stopped with drones? Uh-huh. Given that apparently the most specific the NSA could get was “A person somewhere in the middle east will bomb an embassy on a date in the future” it would seem that the US really ain’t getting its money’s worth out of them. Perhaps they should just call the whole thing a failure and shutter it. Please?

  • J_Enigma32

    As I’ve pointed out (and corrected on his blog; I don’t care if the post is around 20 days old), life began *before* birth. The sperm and the ovum were both alive.

    The debate is not about life. This is a little semantics game that they play to support their position, because any scientist will say, “yes, the fetus is alive.” The debate is about human life. And once you narrow it down to that, it becomes a lot easier to debate them on philosophical grounds, since that seems to preoccupy the majority of their attention.

  • J_Enigma32

    I’m so sick of that stupid little semantics game they play. Yes, you’re right. Life begins before birth. Cool. The sperm and the ovum were both alive. There was life there at conception. Any honest biologist will agree.

    But the debate was never really about life, now was it? No, the debate was about human life, and about personhood, two terms that are incredibly tricky to define since they have no definition beyond legal philosophy, and because they’re wrapped up in human egocentrism and speciesism and grounded in our perceived superiority as a species. If they want a debate about human life, that’s something entirely different, but they’re not intellectually equipped for that, and as a result, you spin yourself in circles “debating” because that’s all they can do.

  • Well hell, sperm and ovae are genetically human, aren’t they? And cancer cells are also alive, human, and genetically distinct from their host. It really is about what does and does not constitute a person. And, well, unless that blogger plans to call every person with chimerical DNA a murderer, he can’t argue that a blastocyst is a person.

  • Brad Ellison

    The Homosexualist Juggernaut and Ultimate Colossus would make a cute couple.

  • Heck, teratoma are apparently the body’s way of making little tumor babies. Seriously, don’t google for pictures. Let’s just say they’re tumors which borrow material from the rest of the body to generate their own teeth, hair, organs… sometimes leading to some downright horrific side-effects in addition to the whole nastiness that is foreign growth within the body. Monsters Inside Me had an episode where a woman was growing a teratoma with brain cells inside it, which caused her immune system, unable to distinguish between her body and the teratoma, to begin attacking her brain. I can’t remember many of the details aside from the fact that her doctors recommended having her committed to a full time psychiatric facility because they thought she had completely broken from reality.

  • J_Enigma32

    Chimeraism is one of my favorite tools to bring up when “debating” these people. in fact, chimeraism is a quick way to defuse their arguments. Most have never heard of chimeraism, and, just like intersex conditions, won’t bother learning, since it violates their neatly little categorized world. Of the handful I’ve used it on, none of them have been very happy and it’s resulted in clumsy transitions.

  • Depressing as hell. Here – this is the best remedy I know to classism-wrought depression.

  • For bonus points: Chimera organs can give birth to their own children with no direct genetic relation to the pregnant person. That’s an argument in favor of recognizing the individuality of select tissues right there! … Except it’s hopefully a ludicrous enough idea that someone will have to stop and give thought to their definitions of humanity in relation to tissues.

  • Now *here’s* how you do a Homosexualist Juggernaut… (with a little GIMP-work).

  • Amtep

    “sell your clothes and buy a gun” — I happen to have a fetish for naked people with guns, so I’m ok with that one.

  • Maniraptor

    I dunno, you don’t want to make Black Tom jealous.

  • Maniraptor

    Wow. Surely sysadmins are the kind of thing they need *more* of with that kind of huge data storage?

    This XKCD seems appropriate:

  • VMtheCoyote

    Yeah – that, and pissing off 90% of the people with the greatest potential to screw the organization over in their revenge is a pretty terrible idea.

  • Eric Boersma

    That newspaper missed a chance at a golden headline. Something like Man With Two First Names Fired By Guy Named Godwin After Making Jokes About Nazis

    I’m still working on it.

  • LouisDoench

    I want my local community theatre to put on The Producers!

  • LouisDoench

    The Beavercreek article is PRECIOUS! When I was doing stand-up 20 years ago, at Jokers just outside the Dayton area (Centerville), Beavercreek was the go to “white trash” neighborhood for local comics to get lazy cheap heat, like Hamilton is for Cincinnati comics, or Kentucky. I thought it was distasteful then. But I guess twenty years of exurb flight has turned the place “respectable”.

    No surprise though, Ohio Republicans are deep in the thrall of Tea Party primary voters. Gov. Kasich is their standard bearer, he’s already cost Cincinnati millions in Federal dollars for our street car project. A Republican who tries to take Federal money for infrastructure is guaranteed to be primaried by some American’s for Prosperity funded right wing scumbag in the next election.

    Cincy is looking up because we’ve successfully gone Blue for the last decade. Too bad Dayton can’t follow our example.

  • Eric Boersma

    If you’re going to make a Homosexualist Juggernaut, I would assume that doing a little GIMP work would just go without saying. ;)

  • I guess the run-government-like-a-business disease infected all the apparatus, not just the welfare-state part. (-_-) This is exactly the kind of shortsighted bonehead move some corporate exec would pull to boost profits in the short term just before his options vest and he can haul what he wants out of the company and take off in the golden parachute.

    There is zero reason to do this in a government agency.

  • LoneWolf343

    People who talk about “stopping power” have never been shot.

  • Apocalypse Review

    The only legitimate need to discuss “stopping power” is when you want to find out how charged ions interact with matter. :)

  • Man, ‘trash’ is a pretty awful way to refer to a group of human beings.

  • LouisDoench

    I apologize if I wasn’t clear, you are absolutely correct.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Not naked. Red speedos, red bandoliers, and black hooker boots. If you’re going to preach that, you should be required to dress the part.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    No, the Gift of ZARDOZ.

  • stardreamer42

    I just hope every one of the Republicans who voted against that proposal gets slammed with “SOFT ON TERRORISM” attack ads in the next election. Hey, they’ve stuffed the barrel with fish and handed us the gun…