7 things @ 9 o’clock (8.29)

1. A Christian ministry and a humanist ministry were both prevented from feeding the homeless by police in Raleigh, North Carolina. Stopping charitable groups from helping the hungry is neither serving nor protecting, but there apparently is a statute on the books outlawing food distribution without a pricey permit, and the Raleigh police are newly determined to enforce this stupid law. “You pass out that food, you will go to jail,” an officer told the Rev. Hugh Hollowell of Love Wins Ministries.

This is exactly the sort of thing civil disobedience is for. This is where it works and where it is needed. A well-planned, trained- and prepared-for violation of this law could be effective. It could also be a chance for Love Wins and Human Beans Together to demonstrate what Uncle Frank meant when he said, “We must meet one another doing good. … Do good: we will meet one another there.”

2.What do you do when you find out the theologian you respected is kind of slimy?” Carol Howard Merritt asks. Her post is thoughtful and funny, and let me just add that the doozy of an example of slimy wrong-headedness she mentions regarding St. Augustine comes, in part, from his confusing the imago dei part of the first creation story with the Adam and Eve part of the second. In a bit of providential/serendipitous timing, Morgan Guyton looks at the legacy of John Howard Yoder and finds some of the sliminess entwined in the theology.

3. Sarah Pulliam Bailey looks at a scheduled seminar for the Family Research Council’s next “Values Voter Summit” in which fundie financier Art Ally will warn Real, True Christians of what he says are Satan’s three biggest threats to godandamerica: Communism, Islam and the Emergent Church. Tony Jones and Brian McLaren both have some fun responding to this odd elevation of Emergent Christianity as one of the Big Three threats for the religious right. But while this is surprising news for those Emergent folks, it probably seems even more surprising for gay-rights supporters, feminists, atheists, Pagans, advocates of church-state separation, evolutionists and climate scientists.

4. Here’s an updated timeline on the utter lack of Satanic pony-killers in Dartmoor, England. August 21: Devon & Cornwall police announce that the pony died of natural causes and was not a victim of Satanic ritual mutilation. August 23: Benjamin Radford highlights the announcement in a Live Science post. August 26: I wrote about it here. August 28: The Sun publishes this headline, “Are mutilated corpses of Dartmoor’s animals the work of Satanists?

The article begins, “For years, Dartmoor has been dogged by macabre tales of animal slayings and rumours of Satanic rituals. Now villagers in sleepy Bridford, nestled in the beautiful Teign Valley, are convinced they have become the latest target of devil …” The rest is behind a paywall. I suppose the article may go on to debunk this panic by pointing to the actual fact that no Satanic conspiracy is at work in either Dartmoor or Bridford, but that will need to be some aggressive debunking if it has any hope of atoning for that awful, misleading and sensationalist headline.

5. Some guy has posted another list of “25 More Christian Blogs You Should Be Reading (Editor’s Picks).” It’s another pretty good list, but he leaves out Christian Piatt’s blog. What does this guy have against Christian Piatt? If you’re looking for more bloggy goodness and more suggestions, here’s a list of the 105 Best Blogs by LGBT Christians.

6. “I’m tired of single mothers being used as the poster child for the welfare state,” said Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey. That was in response to a question on a cable news panel. Lonegan later clarified: “The guy hit that funny bone of mine with his single mom s—. I hate that s—.” He says “funny bone.” Victor Hugo calls it “intoxication, a giddiness of prosperity which dulls, a fear of suffering which, in some, goes as far as an aversion for the suffering, an implacable satisfaction, the I so swollen that it bars the soul.” You know, all that “single mom s—.”

7. 350.org proposes a new, fairer, and more appropriate system for naming hurricanes:

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  • Miff

    According to Betteridge’s law of headlines, that Sun article should go on to debunk it.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Unfortunately, there’s a superseding law of the Sun sucking at responsible journalism.

  • Baby_Raptor

    As someone whose been slowly helping bring about the downfall of godandMerka for almost 28 years via various “sins,” it doesn’t really surprise me that they’ve added yet another scapegoat.

    They’ll blame anyone/anything, so long as it A) continues to line their pockets and B) continues to feed their egos.

  • Carstonio

    When I read about Art Ally’s seminar, I immediately wondered how Fred would deconstruct it. While I know almost nothing about Emergent Christianity, Ally’s description sounds like a relabeling of the old hippie movement, or the right’s caricature of it. Ideologically, this is just another version of the very ancient fear that any relaxing of rigid social controls will lead to total anarchy.

  • GuestPoster

    Here’s what I don’t get about Lonegan. He ADMITS to having been a welfare recipient. He ADMITS that he needed it, and how very hard it was to get away. Now, he almost certainly KNOWS that lifetime-welfare is a myth, and doesn’t exist, but none the less… he wants to take away that help that was absolutely necessary for him? He wants nobody else to ever get public assistance when they need it?

    Does he really not realize that this makes him look not just stupid, but actively evil as well? It really is the ‘I’ve got mine, Jack’ viewpoint that seems to be the TRUE basis of libertarianism. They claim they hate government because it’s all done at the point of a gun – and that it’s just fundamentally impossible that the vast, vast majority of people are actually deciding to give up small freedoms in order to maximize quality of life for everybody involved. But it’s not force: there really isn’t any. I’ve yet to meet a libertarian who actually WAS forced at gunpoint to do something. What it really is is that they’re happy with what they’ve got right now, refuse to admit that it was all taken from somebody else, and think time should freeze RIGHT NOW, and that those who weren’t lucky enough to get ahead in time? To heck with them!

  • Monala

    Although SSDI, which is what he says he was on, can be a permanent benefit. (I think. I know it doesn’t have a 5-year cap like TANF)

  • Baby_Raptor

    The TeaBagger I live with sued to get on Social Security and complains that he’s not eligible for Medicare yet, but talks all the time about how “entitlements” are destroying America because everyone (but him) who takes them are lazy moochers. Him? He paid taxes all his life and voted for the right politicians, so he EARNED his.

  • LoneWolf343

    People like him makes me want to bring back public floggings, or the stocks.

  • GuestPoster

    Yeah, that does seem to be the conservative, as opposed to libertarian, mindset. Yet to meet a libertarian living in squalor – hard to get to that mindset if you’re not reasonably satisfied with your life. But conservatives? They ARE the takers, according to, ya know, the facts and reality and all.

    But apparently, they DESERVE all that gubmint aid, and never would have needed it in the first place if it weren’t for that durn’ gubmint takin’ their monies to feed those poor people in the blue states! …those poor people being the workers who actually pay more taxes than they get benefits, and support the red states.

    And honesly, it’s even a pretty sensible model: red states, by and large, are the rural ones. That produce food. That doesn’t pay well but which is absolutely necessary. So you subsidize the people who live there. The city folk get this. They understand that some things are worth doing which don’t pay well, or don’t pay at all.

    It constantly amazes me that the people doing these things which don’t pay well, or pay at all, don’t understand this concept, and keep demanding that everybody BUT them be cut off.

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

    Yet to meet a libertarian living in squalor

    My parents, who are taking government aid while simultaneously bitching that the government gives away money to undeserving people. I guess they would know?

    (For bonus points, they are now associated with a militia group, so some of that money is undoubtedly being funneled into a project to commit treason and domestic terrorism. Yay?)

  • AnonaMiss

    Oh man, imagine if the Democrats introduced a provision to keep domestic terrorists off of welfare. Or deny it to people who owned guns, on the basis of the same logic as the argument that if you have a cell phone, you’re not poor enough to need welfare – if you need money that badly, sell your guns!

    I would laugh so fucking hard as the Republicans climbed all over each other to support welfare.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    That would be effing hilarious.

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

    Hypothesis is intriguing. We should experiment.

  • Vermic

    Yet to meet a libertarian living in squalor – hard to get to that mindset if you’re not reasonably satisfied with your life.

    I know that poor libertarians exist (though I, too, have yet to encounter one in the wild). If I had to guess at their motivations, it would be one of two possibilities:

    1. Expect to be millionaires any day now, via bootstraps and their innate Randian superpowers. Regard Big Government as the only reason they aren’t millionaries already.

    2. Just plain misanthropes. (I.E. not so much “Fuck you, got mine” as simply “Fuck you”.)

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

    The latter in my case. It’s all about resentment, especially for the Other.

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

    Wooow. What, does he actually, honestly think welfare and food stamps materialize out of thin air?

  • JustoneK

    Mostly it’s something he’s never had to think about.

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

    It’s just incredible, though. He says “I’ve been on welfare, etc, and nobody helped me.” JUST WHAT THE COGNITIVE DISSONANCE I DON’T EVEN

  • Vermic

    The only moral welfare is my welfare.

  • Cathy W

    Exactly this. When his mom was on welfare, she worked hard – it’s just that the hard work wasn’t enough to feed the family for a little while! So they needed a helping hand, and they were grateful to have it – it got them through the rough patch! Most people on welfare nowadays, though, they’re just taking advantage.
    …wish I wasn’t quoting an actual human being.

  • J_Enigma32

    They hate the government because paying taxes means having to take care of black people, and courtesy of Lee Atwood and the southern strategy, black people are now viewed as a lesser class of human being since so many of them are poor. Colored People = Poor (excluding Asians, where Asians equals East Asians and East Asians equals Japanese/Korean/Chinese, since model minority and all that “fun stuff”.)

    That’s the thing about racism. It’s so tightly wound up with classism it’s hideous. You can’t have one without the other; and now these laws are getting to the point where they hurt poor whites, too – but that’s okay, because it’s just now hurting those poor whites, where as for the last 150+ years, they’ve been putting the real pain to blacks and Latin@s. Were at the day now when those poor whites are viewed with almost the same disgust as poor POCs. But being oblivious and dense, those poor whites will never know. It’s my privilege to remain stupid about how the world works, after all.

    Vermic nailed it. The only moral abortion is my abortion. The only moral welfare is my welfare. When you’re morally stunted, you tend to put yourself first and everyone else a very distant second.

  • Carstonio

    Both racism and classism are caste systems, and in the US there may be no practical difference between the two.

  • AnonaMiss

    Depending on what you mean by practical difference. If you mean that the effects of racism are practically indistinguishable from the effects of classism, I agree. If you mean that there is no classism in America which is not also racist, I disagree. A Cleetus is going to have just as hard a time getting a corporate job as a Tyrone.

  • Carstonio

    I’m really talking about the huge overlap between the two ideologies, where ethnicity is associated with income level. This creates resentment among many poor whites, especially those in the South. They feel cheated out of wealth and position that they feel they deserve, although from my experience, many don’t recognize this feeling. They’re derided as “white trash” which really means that they rank no higher than non-whites. Instead of turning their anger against the system, or against wealthier whites, they focus on preserving what status they have from their skin color.

  • P J Evans

    Brown people = ‘illegal immigrant’ to a lot of them. Even if they’re working, because ‘everyone knows’ that low-wage jobs are only taken by illegal immigrants or people who are too stupid or lazy to get a college degree.
    (I’m actually seeing arguments like this in connection with the fast-food workers.)

  • http://kadhsempire.yuku.com/ Matt

    Tell that to my college degree.

  • P J Evans

    I’ve pointed that out. (Also that fast-food workers would like to be able to buy the food they’re selling.)

  • That Other Jean

    Minor nitpick: that would be “courtesy of Lee Atwater and the southern strategy. . .” Let’s get the blame where it’s due.

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

    He barely needs to take it away to look actively evil. The guy tried to abuse the legal system to kick out Spanish speaking people from his town, and then complained that having people speak Spanish was divisive. That and the fact that he almost certainly misused campaign funds, has publicly stated that he’s okay with people dying and wouldn’t lift a finger to help them, and is now mocking his running opponent for possibly being gay.

  • Antigone10

    I see this happen surprisingly a lot:

    Friend X grew up with a single mom on welfare. Had state-paid scholarships, and Federal aid college grants to get through college. He now works as a pilot* and is a libertarian.

    Friend A grew up with a single dad who also utilized benefits such as HUD and food stamps from time to time. Went through school on subsidized federal loans, got a masters in Economics. Now a libertarian.

    My entire family on my dad’s side worked (and is now dead) or is working in a government job (federal law enforcement, post office, federal bureaucracy). Every single one of them bitches that we spend too much money on taxes. Double ironic- my paternal grandfather got out of the Depression by joining the military, then went on to work in federal law enforcement after getting a government-supported housing loan. My paternal great-grandfather? Farmer who was a recipient of a lot of government subsidies allowing them to make a go of it. Great-great-great grandfather? Got their land from a Homestead Act. My family doesn’t exist except for government handouts, and that’s not including the ones we all use (water, roads, schools, FDA, et cetera).

    *There are A LOT of pilots who are conservative/ libertarian. On the one hand, this makes a certain amount of sense- the field is OVERWHELMINGLY white, male, cisgendered, and straight. By definition, it pretty much has to be able-bodied. It’s pulling from a class of people that don’t have any problem plunking down thousands and thousands of dollars in start-up costs to get their licences. The best paying jobs are in corporate, which you pretty much only get from knowing someone who knows someone. But on the other hand, it makes very little sense. The government is there every mile of every flight, and it’s one of the reasons air travel is so safe in the US. Also, without the government basically giving airliners training wheels with post subsidies, it would have not ever gotten off the ground in the first place.

  • wendy

    another reason it makes sense for pilots to be libertarian — flying a plane is one of the very few things people do in life where the quality of one’s individual performance is objectively and obviously measurable. Nobody can help you look better or worse at it than you actually are, nobody can cover for you if your skills are lacking, nobody can criticize you unfairly if your skills are there.

    The laws of physics are enforced by god, there’s no special favors for the well-connected.

  • Lori

    Nobody can help you look better or worse at it than you actually are, nobody can cover for you if your skills are lacking

    Not strictly true. If you’re generally bad people are going to notice and you’re going to be out of a career, but if you make a mistake a good cockpit crew can and will correct it for you. That’s part of why they’re there. Contrary to what L&J think, not even the pilot of a fully loaded 747 is an island.

    There have been cases where the pilot really was the unquestioned lord of the cockpit and people died because of it. The gist—pilot did something wrong, one of the other people in the cockpit said something about it or suggested a different (better) course of action, the pilot blew it off or couldn’t process it, the crew member didn’t push because that’s simply not done & instead did what the pilot said and the pilot crashed the plane.

  • dpolicar

    I’m sure that’s true for those pilots who developed their skills without assistance from anyone else. Like, maybe they were stranded on a desert island and built their own plane from leaves and twigs, or something.

    For the remainder, they got a whole lot of help from a whole lot of people in order to obtain those skills in the first place, and to create and maintain the infrastructure in which they practiced those skills.

    Not that I begrudge them that help; I most certainly don’t. I think it’s great that they got that help, and that they leveraged that help into their admirable skills as pilots, and I hope someday to live in a world where everyone can get the same kind of help to develop and maintain their skills.

  • Antigone10

    Nope, completely wrong. There is no objective way to measure how good of a pilot you are, other than “does the plane crash” and even that isn’t a great metric as good pilots can still crash and bad pilots can go their entire career with nothing happening. It’s also not an individualistic endeverour at all- in a plane, there’s always two pilots; captain and copilot. On top of that, there’s the aircraft mechanic making sure it works, there’s the ground crew making sure it’s loaded correctly, the flight crew making sure the passengers are safe, scheduling making sure that you are flying to the right place at the right time, ATC making sure you’re not running into anybody, and all of the meteorologist making sure a storm’s not coming your way. And I’m sure I’m forgetting someone and something.

    And despite all that, bad pilots are still allowed all the time. PIlots who sexually harass flight attendants, genuine jerks who ignore ATC- these are traits I would qualify as being “bad’ at your job because these are people you have to work with. And because pilots are expensive to train, companies let it slide ALL of the time.

  • oliviacw

    And if you don’t have those thousands of dollars in start-up costs, the other approach to getting training is through the military. Principally as an officer, which is also home of many conservative white cis-gendered straight men.

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

    It always boggles my mind how special people like Lonegan think they are, and then have the nerve to claim “takers” think they’re special.

    Why is it that projection seems to be such a mass phenomenon among the American right, and religious right, in particular?

  • wendy

    I like the epiphanies conservatives have when “those irresponsible other people” they’ve been bitching about turn out to be themselves, and they have to change a position.

    Rush Limbaugh used to vociferously support zero-tolerance drug enforcement, lock ’em up, they’re all parasites of low character. Until he was up on drug charges, when he suddenly realized that addiction is a disease, treatment is a much more reasonable option than incarceration, it’s not a character issue at all.

    Rob Portman (R-OH) was totally opposed to gay marriage, it would be the end of civilization as we know it, how dare those wacky other people he’s never met want to redefine something so central to… oh, wait. His son is gay? And hopes to get married someday? Uh… pair-bonding is a good thing, the foundation of our society, and same-sex couples should have the same rights to protect each other as traditional couples.

    Mark Kirk (R-IL) thought medicaid/medicare patients were gaming the system and robbing the taxpayers. What kind of layabout malingerer demands more than 5 physical therapy sessions after we’ve already paid for their hospitalization fergawdsake? Until he had a stroke and… OMG I see the light! 3 sessions a week for a full year seems totally reasonable for outpatient treatment.

    I’m especially loving the op-eds from until-law-week-anti-Obamacare bloggers who just realized now they can buy their own real insurance even with pre-existing conditions, they can leave that crappy middle-management corporate job that hinders their entrepreneurial dream, the job they only stuck with for the group policy

  • banancat

    To some extent, these are the good ones. At least they can manage to see it when it affects them directly. I’m actually hoping that as people see the benefits of the ACA, most of them will come around and stop being so angry about it. My main concern is that once it becomes popular enough that it’s not beneficial to whine about it, Republicans will try to claim credit for it somehow.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I’d say it’s roughly half “Fuck you, I got mine” and half “I’m not even thinking about the shit that comes out of my mouth, just making the noises which make my followers praise me.”

  • Monala

    Number 7 is great!

  • Kirala

    Number 7 makes me sad, because there would STILL be poor innocent souls who happened to share a name with the wrong politician and would have to live with the consequences. And you KNOW that hurricanes wouldn’t be called by the full legal title – they’d still get nicknames.


    … I overthink gags, don’t I?

  • Laurent Weppe

    it probably seems even more surprising for gay-rights supporters, feminists, atheists, Pagans, advocates of church-state separation, evolutionists and climate scientists

    Why should they be surprised? Art Ally most certainly threw them in the “Communist” bag already.

  • Lunch Meat

    Or all of them are disguising themselves as emergent Christians so that they can be more sneaky in their godless agenda to erode the moral foundations of society.

  • gocart mozart

    Beware of the gaymuslimcommiefication of the church!

  • TheBrett

    1. My guess is a combination of someone with political pull complaining about “crowds” in the park, plus a more financially strapped police department cracking down in general because they now want/need the fees.

  • P J Evans

    Also, the places with ordinances like this are trying to get the homeless people to disappear, and they think that groups that feed the homeless encourage them to stay present and visible.

  • Michael Pullmann

    So they think the homeless are bears?

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

    Animals, certainly. They seem to have the same sort of mindset toward homeless people that folks do toward stray cats.

  • Jenny Islander

    Ordinances of this type commonly refer to free open-air meals served to a crowd as “feedings.” ‘Nuff said.

  • Antigone10
  • depizan

    Because dead homeless people are invisible, clearly.


  • Kubricks_Rube

    Hey Steve Lonegan, how much do you know about our nation’s history?

    “If you compromise, that means you believe in nothing. That means compromise is the abdication of your principles. Consensus is the violation of your beliefs and it’s about time in this country that we stood up on our principles like the founding fathers did!”

    Ah, so practically nothing. Great.

  • themunck

    One word, Lonegan. Slavery.

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

    It seems that beliefs in his eyes exist for the purpose of A: Identifying himself as paternally strong, stern, and certain, and B: Displaying a manful willingness to fight for one’s beliefs and avenge them of insult. Whatever actual human good or harm putting his beliefs to practice would bring about isn’t important. As for history, history is a series of tales about individual supermen standing up to evil and kicking ass for our own moral edification. All the history that’s important anyway.
    Has the GOP simply given up on actually winning in New Jersey and so chosen a ‘pure conservative’ candidate for the symbolism’s sake, or has the presence of Christie led them to overestimate the number of true believers there?

  • BaseDeltaZero

    That, I guess. Authoritarians don’t believe in results, so much as stances.

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

    There’s probably truth to this, given how often the things they stand for are proven to be ineffectual and dangerous — but “right.”

  • SKJAM!

    Possibly relevant to your interests: The new book by Claire Conner, “Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right” about her growing up as the daughter of two of the John Birch Society’s most loyal members. My review is at http://www.skjam.com/2013/08/26/book-review-wrapped-in-the-flag-a-personal-history-of-americas-radical-right/

  • LL

    RE the slimy theologians, from that article: “I know that I would have to throw out all of Christian theology and the Bible itself if I discounted everything on the basis of sexism.”

    Yes, you could. I know many people won’t, but you could (and in my opinion, you should). Just throwin’ that out there.

    I have to wonder how wise someone can be about theology or philosophy when they are so very, very wrong about something as basic as how to treat other human beings. If you can’t get that part right, you probably shouldn’t bother talking about the rest of it.

  • themunck

    5. …Still no Fred on those lists? Did he convert to islam or something while I wasn’t looking? Because otherwise, I can’t really think of an excuse to not put him on a list called “christian blogs you should be reading” -.-

    7. This! This! Oh by the love of Cthulhu, this! Why aren’t we doing this right now?

  • AnonaMiss

    Presumably Fred has too much class to link a list of blogs that he’s included on :).

  • dpolicar

    “I would never link to any list that would have me as a member”?

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Off topic, but I came across a comic-book series over at TV Tropes. It’s called Battle Pope, and it’s a rather loose parody of the Left Behind series. Here’s the link for it:


  • Michael Pullmann

    I wouldn’t describe Battle Pope as having much to do with Left Behind at all. I mean, Jesus is in it, but that’s about it.

  • MaryKaye

    In the late 1980’s I talked to a game-store owner who sold both _Dungeons and Dragons_ and _In Nomine Satanis_ (a roleplaying game where one plays angels or devils). I asked him what he was getting grief over. D&D, definitely. No grief over IN at all, despite the unabashed, explicit, pervasive Satanic imagery.


    “Nobody’s ever heard of IN. It’s useless as a fundraiser.”

    A few years later I heard from a fundamentalist Christian gamer who wrote an angry letter to the 700 Club about their expose’ on D&D. They sent back a letter which said, “We’re glad you’re one of the millions of Americans concerned about D&D. Please consider contributing to our important work.”

    The point I’m getting at is, the enemies are chosen for their money-making and power-granting potential, and nothing else. Note how Mormons went suddenly from being Not Okay to being Okay when Romney did well in the election. There’s not much actual ideology going on here. Just money and power, cloaked in whatever seems to sell this year.

    I must say, though, I kind of like seeing them go after other Christians. That’s a group well positioned to resist such attacks and even turn them back on the attackers.

  • Lori

    I must say, though, I kind of like seeing them go after other
    Christians. That’s a group well positioned to resist such attacks and
    even turn them back on the attackers.

    Not really. These particular Christians have been painted as outside the mainstream and probably not really Christians at all, plus sort of hippies. That’s why they’re targets. One thing you can count on with people like Art Ally is that to the best of their ability they will always punch below their weight.

  • Jim Roberts

    As someone who started gaming at the beginning of the second big Satanic Panic, I think it’s more about a group of people who’ve identified a specific bogeyman, and then opportunists who step in to keep them focussed on it.

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

    fundie financier Art Ally will warn Real, True Christians of what he
    says are Satan’s three biggest threats to godandamerica: Communism,
    Islam and the Emergent Church.

    Communism? Again? Still? Good lord, some folks over on the right are still doing victory laps because they think Christianity defeated the Soviet Union. It’s really too bad they have absolutely no idea what Communism means or is. I’m getting tired of hearing about it.

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

    They can’t do victory laps until they realize that it’s no longer the 1960’s. I am reasonably confident a fair number of them are ignorant of this fact.

  • Lori

    Christianity defeated the Soviet Union, but then the black guy turned America Communist. Truly a nightmare. The fight never ends.

  • Carstonio

    Ally isn’t really talking about the Soviet Union, but then, most of the old red-baiters decades ago weren’t really doing so, either. For them, Communism wasn’t evil because of its oligarchy or its hostility to individual freedom. They were more obsessed with the ideology’s hostility to religion, its bureaucratic nature, and above all its opposition to vast private fortunes.

  • HyperSpiral

    Obama wants to use the government to do a thing. Hitler and Stalin also wanted to use the government to do a thing. Therefore, Hitler, Stalin, and Obama are the same.

    I don’t see what’s so hard to understand.

  • http://kadhsempire.yuku.com/ Matt

    Really love the last one. It’s amazing what technology can do. Not sure why they’re asking for a signature on a petition though. It’ll never happen. Nor should it happen. Too much room for confusion. If we hear John Boehner is destroying cities all up and down the coast, how will we know whether they mean the person or the hurricane?

  • Benjamin Thomas

    Ah, British Journalism. You guys in the US don’t realise how easy you have it. You think “FOX News” is bad!? You aint seen nuffin. You aint seen NUFFIN.

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

    I’d take Daily Mail any day of the week over Fox News and its transparent racism, misogyny and bigotry.

  • Lori

    There’s more to UK journalism than the Daily Mail though. Rupert Murdoch owns The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times. AFAICT they’re basically Fox News with more pictures of women in bikinis.

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

    Just listing the top example that came to mind. XD

    I should have recalled the Sunday Times though, given that I looked it up just recently and discovered that Murdoch had put past issues behind the same type of paywall as the news sites in the US use.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland
  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Oof. And I thought “OBAMA
    ” was bad.

  • Turcano

    Also, American “Fox News watchers” is pretty much the equivalent of British “Daily Mail readers.”

  • MarkTemporis

    It’s not called the Daily Heil as a Godwin’s Law sort of thing. Paper’s old enough that it seriously did stump for Adolph back in the day. FOX News could only wish for that sort of pedigree.

  • Maniraptor

    You don’t know much about the Mail, do you.

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

    Apparently I made the mistake of thinking I’d seen all it had to show me when we had a troll come by and repeatedly link Peter Hitchens articles about how evil antidepressants are. :p

    To be fair, I’m not thinking very well right now. Getting ready for a local SCA event and it’s been pretty frantic. ^^;;

  • Sereg

    Yay SCA! Hi from Atlantia. :)

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

    An Tir newbie here! This was my second event and I loved it to death.

  • Cathy W

    Am I basically right to say: Telegraph is a newspaper, conservative slant; Guardian is a newspaper, liberal slant, needs spellcheck; anything else is fishwrap, and some papers might offend the fish?

  • Launcifer

    Private Eye has some of the best investigative reporting in the British press, though it’s always buried beneath layers of in-jokes and satire. It’s almost a shame it isn’t a daily newspaper, though I can well imagine that the overall quality would quickly diminish if that was the case.
    I tend to judge the rest based on the quality of their sports sections, since it occurs to me that there are at least four British newspapers I absolutely cannot abide unless I start at the back at stop somewhere in the middle (and one of ’em not even then).
    I’m also embarrassed to admit that I read that article in The Sun a couple of days ago, though this is perhaps mitigated by the fact that I was tempted to bet my house on Fred noticing it by the weekend.

  • TomSatsuma

    The Independent can be OK.

  • christopher_y

    Pretty much, if you’re talking about “papers”, rather than magazines. Half a point goes to the Daily Mirror in the 4 word sentences league for not trying to be slimier than the Sun and the Star, but it still leaves much to be desired. The Independent isn’t too bad.

  • alfgifu

    Obligatory Yes Minister quote:

    Hacker: Don’t tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country; the Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; the Financial Times is read by people who own the country; the Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country, and the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

    Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

    Bernard: Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.

    Personally, I’m with Launcifer – Private Eye has more actual news value than all the daily newspapers put together.

  • LL

    BTW Fred (or anybody else), any interest in addressing the Megafest thing happening in Dallas right now?


    Among other participants (Oprah!) are the Osteens (both of them, apparently)

    Word is this thing (which goes through Saturday – enjoy the 100+ temps, visitors) is attracting about 50,000 people (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I think that’s what I heard someone say on the news thingie)

  • banancat

    Is the communism scare still a thing? I thought most people were over using that as a scary buzzword, instead favoring the more modern socialism.

  • Matri

    Well, it’s a good indicator of how old the scaremongers really are.

  • John Alexander Harman

    “Gay-rights supporters, feminists, atheists, Pagans, advocates of church-state separation, evolutionists and climate scientists” are probably what the inveterate liars of the Family Research Council mean when they use the word “Communism.” Even they are probably dimly aware that the actual political and economic ideology that word designates in standard English is pretty much a spent force, so they’re stuffing all those other ideas into its skin to try to keep it animate and scary enough to motivate their marks to open their wallets.

  • TomSatsuma

    The Sun is a rag. It’s owned by Fox’s own Murdoch and, despite it’s popularity, is regularly targeted in the UK as an unreliable hate-mag.

    In related news: The Star (a UK paper of similar quality) recently ‘outed’ a gay celebrity (who is almost as famous for the numerous, open articles he writes about being the parent of two children as he is for his acting) as the parent of 2 secret ‘love children’… it was all very amusing:


  • David S.

    Hurricanes are wonderfully visible things to use to complain about climate change. The problem is, if you insist on being scientific, the science isn’t in on them yet. The 1980s were well into the temperature rise, and the quietest decade storm-wise of the 20th century. The 1930s were the worst decade storm-wise of the 20th century, and 1933 nearly as bad as 2005. Putting too much emphasis on storms may be bad, since what we do know about storm variability says we might be coming up on another quiet spot, where, particularly following the 00’s, it will look very quiet.

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

    That said, do you know that the global mean temperature actually rose through the 1930s and 1940s and then fell back in the 1950s and 1960s?