7 things for a Saturday (9.7)

1. Azie Mira Dungey used to have a strange commute, traveling back to the 18th Century every day to work as a “living history” character at Mount Vernon. She’s mined that experience to create a pointedly hilarious comedy Web series: “Ask a Slave.”

2. The NALT Christians Project now has more than 50 videos posted, including, to my delight, this one from the Rev. Susan Russell, who I hope you know from her insightful, inspiring blog, An Inch at a Time.

He’s baaa-ack.

3. Hemant Mehta and Steve Benen provide some helpful background on the Massachusetts case involving the Pledge of Allegiance. This is a First Amendment issue regarding the words “under God” in the revised pledge. I’m a Baptist, so yes, I’m opposed to state-mandated religion and think the folks bringing this case have a correct argument — whether or not the courts agree. (The courts may make Christianists happy by finding that God-talk is a vague and meaningless expression of civil religion and that concerns about the establishment of religion don’t apply to something as impotent and inconsequential as the Americanized God of Christian America. Yay!)

None of this directly involves my main reason for hating the Pledge of Allegiance: It’s the creepiest creepy thing from Creepy Town. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sentiments the Pledge expresses about “liberty and justice for all.” But those ideals are contradicted, emphatically, by the very act of requiring children to pledge allegiance. “Swear your loyalty to liberty, or else,” is not compatible with actual liberty, or justice.

Other countries don’t do this. They don’t make their children swear a daily loyalty oath. Because it’s creepy — creepy like Patrick Bergin in Sleeping With the Enemy creepy. Exactly like that. Reciting the Pledge isn’t patriotic, it’s a ritual in coercive conformity. Love and coercion can never exist in the same space.

4. A bill is moving along in California that would “allow — but not require — a local government to disapprove of the conversion of a mobile home park if a majority of park residents do not support it.” The word “conversion” there refers to the displacement of every manufactured-home owner in the park. Some of their homes may be relocated — at great expense to people who cannot afford such an expense. Others would be simply lost — leaving them without a home and without all the savings they’ve spent acquiring one.

This bill is a step in a positive direction, but an appallingly modest step. It shows that poor people don’t have rights. What they have, instead, is the potential possibility that maybe government might be allowed — but not required — to prevent them from being evicted from their own homes.

5. An evangelical Christian minister in West Virginia says his home security camera has captured an angel on video. This is, of course, ridiculous. This is West Virginia, and if you look at the video, you’ll see it’s clearly not an angel, but simply the Mothman, making the rounds, apparently, before the big festival later this month.

6. Here is one of the better responses to the awful responses to Miley at the VMAs, from the Queen of the Couch:

What I’m trying to say is that I don’t respect nor trust my sons, or men in general. For that matter, I don’t trust females either. I think that men are mindless slaves to their genitals, incapable of compassion, or reasoned decision-making. I think, and pass on to my sons, that if they falter, it is partly their fault, but mostly the fault of women (or a woman), guilty of infecting them with lust. I am teaching them to not trust their own instincts or emotions, in the way that I distrust them, because even if they think they’re thinking with their heart, they can rest assured that it is their penis, unless told otherwise. I want them to see women as objects, save their future wives, of whom I’ve set an almost impossible standard of beauty, piety, and influence over my sons’ happiness, satisfaction and overall quality of life that will only be achieved through a relationship with this one, special, specific person, that meets said criteria.

That’s via Amy Mitchell, who has collected several other sharp responses. Libby Anne also has a good round-up of these. And here’s one more from the Belle Jar.

7. Here’s a helpful video from the Urban Institute looking at the much-touted “47 percent pay no income tax” idea.

YouTube Preview Image

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Yes, the crazy obsessed person who’s named himself after Bellamy in his determination to smear the pledge-writer as a proto-nazi is clearly the clever and sober one in this discussion

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

    Are you denying that the USA effectively enforces, under threat of social oppobrium, a loyalty oath from its children?

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

    I always wondered about that. I mean, I read a LOT about Nazi Germany in the late ’80s and early ’90s and the books on the subject went back to the 1960s in some cases. NOBODY ever seriously thought Nazis inhabited the political left of the spectrum.

    Now I know who started inventing that falsehood.

  • Lori

    Jonah Goldberg didn’t invent it. He’s not that smart and he’s not a real big fan of hard work*. Inventing is beyond him. He popularized it though. Dave Neiwert talks about the actual origins of the idea in his epic take-down of Goldberg’s lies, which is still available at Orcinus.

    *Among other things, when he was writing Liberal Fascism he got his readers to act as his unpaid research assistants. Apparently being raised rich and connected, and having your mom get you a cushy job, doesn’t lead to the formation of a real vigorous work ethic. Who could have guessed?

  • Edward Bellamy

    You make it so easy to rebut you, in that you cannot respond to the facts. Yes, the crazy obsessed person who’s unable to marshal any support in his determination to smear the person telling the truth and cover-up the pledge’s putrid past is clearly the clever and sober one in this discussion.

    You know that “liberty, equality, fraternity” are three words and those words are used by socialists too, and those words were used by the socialists Stalin, Mao, and Hitler, right? So presumably you’re trying to lump everyone in with “Stalin, Mao and Hitler”, right? In fact they were using those words while they set world history records for mass slaughter.

    And thereby you’re revealing yourself to be a moron, right? Because you only get to make one outlandish evasion at a time; otherwise you look like a kook.

    anyhoo, thanks for not disputing the points made: Bellamy was a socialist and a National Socialist, and supported the Nationalism movement in the USA, along with his cousin Edward Bellamy. He wanted “liberty, equality, and fraternity” in the same way as all socialist propagandists, including Stalin, Mao and Hitler.

  • phantomreader42

    Why should anyone bother to cite an example refuting you, when you haven’t even offered a speck of evidence to back up your nonsensical ravings?

  • AnonaMiss

    Socialism and National ‘Socialism’ are diametrically opposed, so the situation you describe is not only false, but trivially, tautologically false. Come back when you have something to say that isn’t self-debunking.

  • phantomreader42

    You’re conflating socialism, nationalism, and the Nazis. These are not the same thing. The fact that you pretend they are suggests that you neither know nor care what words mean.

    You act like the raised-arm salute was what made the Nazis bad, rather than that bit with the genocide. That’s just so ridiculous and backwards that I don’t see how it’s possible to communicate with someone so stupid as to believe it.

    You also seem to think the problem with Stalin, Hitler, and Mao was that they were “socialists”, rather than that they brutally murdered massive numbers of people. Again, this is so detached from reality that explaining how wrong it is is futile, as you are clearly not capable of understanding.

    You have offered no evidence that Ballamy was a Nazi. You have not even come close. And apparently the only person who has referred to him as “America’s Leni Riefenstahl” is you.

  • phantomreader42

    Who the fuck is Rex Curry, and why should anyone believe his nonsensical babbling?

  • phantomreader42

    It’s not other people’s responsibility to dispute your feeble excuses for “points”. It’s YOUR responsibility to provide some actual evidence for your claims. You have not done so. You have not even tried. You just keep babbling about “socialists” without showing any understanding of what the word even means. Why should anyone believe you, if you can’t be bothered to offer the slightest speck of evidence to support your nonsense?

  • phantomreader42

    You DO know that chanting has been a thing for thousands of years, right? Or are you really that devoid of awareness?

  • phantomreader42

    What about Satanic lingerie?

  • Edward Bellamy

    Thanks for not disputing my points, and for not claiming that the photograph is fake (nor the videos as the site that archives Dr. Rex Curry’s work), as you know it is genuine. If you come up with some facts to dispute, then let us know. Your evasion is obvious to everyone.

  • Edward Bellamy

    Congrats for not claiming that the photograph is fake (nor the videos as the site that archives Dr. Rex Curry’s work), as you know they are genuine. If you come up with some facts to dispute, then let us know. You just keep babbling about without showing any understanding of the topic. Why should anyone believe you, if you can’t be bothered to offer the slightest speck of evidence to support your nonsense?

  • Edward Bellamy

    Socialism and National ‘Socialism’ are not diametrically opposed, so your statement is not only false, but trivially, tautologically false. Come back when you have something to say that isn’t self-debunking. and thanks for not disputing the pic and videos of the early pledge of allegiance. You know they are true.

  • Edward Bellamy

    Dr Rex Curry is the one who popularized the photo that you are not disputing is correct, though you imply that you wish you could with your nonsensical babbling. He is the person who does not go by the name “phantomreader42″ har har.

  • Edward Bellamy

    I did offer an example refuting you: the photograph that you do not dispute (just as you do not dispute the videos at the site that archives the work of Dr. Rex Curry). Go ahead, try to claim they are fake. and please provide a speck of evidence to back up your nonsensical ravings. We are waiting.

  • Edward Bellamy

    You’re trying to claim that there is no relationship between socialism, nationalism, and the Nazis. These are the same thing. The fact that you pretend they aren’t suggests that you neither know nor care what words mean.

    You act like the raised-arm salute had nothing to do with what made German national socialists bad, and that it was unrelated to that bit with the genocide. You are just so ridiculous and backwards that I don’t see how it’s possible to communicate with someone so stupid as to believe it.

    You also seem to think the problem with Stalin, Hitler, and Mao had nothing to do with the fact that they were “socialists”, and that it was unrelated to the fact that they brutally murdered massive numbers of people. Again, you are so detached from reality that explaining how wrong you are is futile, as you are clearly not capable of understanding.

    You have offered no evidence that Bellamy had no influence on mass-murdering socialists, including German socialists. You have not even come close. You do not even dispute that he was “America’s Leni Riefenstahl.”

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

    The only thing that is equivalent to a Nazi is a Nazi, and even then, it wouldn’t be wise to conflate conscripted troops with the SS. There are numerous socialistic programs in perfectly civilized countries who are not engaged in maintaining concentration camps or building a totalitarian empire.

  • dpolicar

    Is it because of not disputing my points, and for not claiming that the photograph is fake that you say your evasion is obvious to everyone?

  • Edward Bellamy

    Another person who wants to ignore the socialists Stalin and Mao, and their mass murder that exceeded that of German socialists, and who always uses the misnomer “Nazi” in his effort to cover up for socialism.

  • Edward Bellamy

    Thanks for your support and for conceding that the photo posted earlier (and the videos on the site that archives the work of Dr. Rex Curry) are not fake.

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

    I’m not ignoring them. Even if they were socialists (and I could disagree, as a totalitarian dictatorship is not intended to benefit the masses), you’re making a rductio
    ad Hitlerum
    argument. A thing is not instantly bad because it can be associated with Hitler (otherwise known as the Hitler Ate Sugar trope).

  • AnonaMiss

    You should really do some research about the Nazis before you take them at face value about whether they were socialist or not. Turns out, they liked to lie about things.

    You know that poem about all the people that Hitler targeted and had locked up, and how the writer of the poem didn’t speak up etc. etc.? Well here it is in its original form:

    When the Nazis came for the communists, I said nothing; I was, of course, no communist.
    When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; I was, of course, no Social Democrat.
    When they came for the trade unionists, I said nothing; I was, of course, no trade unionist.
    When they came for me, there was no one left who could protest.

    Source: http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/quotations/niemoller_jews_communists_socialists.html

    ‘Social Democrat’ was a more mainstream socialist party than the far-left communists.

    Now you could argue that the Nazis targeted the communists and the socialists first because they were competition, but the trade unions? Unions are the backbone of a socialist electorate. If you’re targeting unions, you need to hand in your socialism card, because you’re doing it wrong.

    As for the pictures, I find the bug you have up your ass about this baffling. No one here cares if your photos are fake or not. Contrary to what you may have heard, liberals don’t worship government or believe it can do no wrong; and a bunch of commenters here have already made clear that they think the pledge of allegiance is creepy. So what’s with the weird gloating about us not denying the veracity of your photos? Do you think that if you repeat that they’re real enough times we’ll rally around and call them fake?

    We know segregation happened, and we know that the government enforced it. We also know that it took federal intervention to stop local governments from continuing to enforce it, once broader national opinion swung around to recognize black people as equals. An elected government is a reflection of the society that chooses it; and sometimes, the society that chooses it turns out to be full of assholes.

  • dpolicar

    Is there anyone else who are not fake?

  • AnonaMiss

    Or describe Kyle while you’re looking for him.

    (He’s about this tall. Have you seen Kyle?)

  • phantomreader42

    Ah, I see, Rex Curry is one of the voices in your head. Again, you have not offered anything that even vaguely looks like a reason to believe the delusional ravings of the voices in your head. But thanks for not disputing the fact that you’re a pathological liar who rapes farm animals.

  • phantomreader42

    Gish Galloping and repeatedly screaming that you’re right doesn’t magically make you right. Thanks for not disputing the fact that you’re a pathological liar who rapes farm animals.

  • phantomreader42

    I don’t know or care if the stupid, ugly photo you posted is fake (though the letters floating in the air and the web address suggest it wasn’t taken in the 1890s). The photo doesn’t actually mean anything except that some people moved their arms. It doesn’t even come close to backing up any of your unsupported assertions. And since you’re a pathological liar who rapes farm animals (a fact you have not disputed), nothing you say can be trusted anyway.

  • phantomreader42

    Ah, I see, you have no idea what the word “evidence” means, and you think pasting some text on a photo magically makes whatever you say true. You are hopelessly delusional, in addition to being a pathological liar who rapes farm animals.

  • phantomreader42

    I see, you have no idea what the Nazis did, you have no idea what socialism is, or what nationalism is, or what the word “dispute” means. In fact, you clearly have no idea at all what most words mean. You are functionally illiterate. About what I’d expect from a pathological liar who rapes farm animals.

  • phantomreader42

    Thanks for conceding that every claim you’ve made here is a lie, but we didn’t need to hear about the sick shit you do with cows and chickens.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You act like the raised-arm salute had nothing to do with what made
    German national socialists bad, and that it was unrelated to that bit
    with the genocide.

    That’s because phantomreader is not a moron, and therefore knows that a raised arm salute has fuck-all to do with genocide or what made nazis bad, and more than a charlie chaplin moustache has anything to do with what made hitler a bad man.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You know that “liberty, equality, fraternity” are three words and those
    words are used by socialists too, and those words were used by the
    socialists Stalin, Mao, and Hitler, right?

    You know what else? I heard Hitler ate sugar!

    anyhoo, thanks for not disputing the points made: Bellamy was a
    socialist and a National Socialist, and supported the Nationalism
    movement in the USA, along with his cousin Edward Bellamy. He wanted
    “liberty, equality, and fraternity” in the same way as all socialist
    propagandists, including Stalin, Mao and Hitler.

    Edward Bellamy was a socialist. He was not a National Socialist. And National Socialism isn’t the same thing as the Nazis, despite their coopting of the term. And he did not want the french national motto in the same way as Stalin Mao or Hitler.

    Further, neither Stalin, Mao, or Hitler wanted “liberty, equality and fraternity.” Charles DeGaulle wanted those things. You know. THe guy on the opposite side as Hitler.

    There. I’ve disputed the points made. I didn’t do it before because they were stupid nonsense not worth my time to argue any more than it is worth my time to argue that the moon isn’t made of green cheese.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Wow. You’re really really stupid, aren’t you? I mean, an actrual grade-A moron. You think the Nazis were socialists. What, pray tell, does the word “Socialism” mean? You seem to think it’s just a generic word for “bad”.

  • Jamoche

    Sooo…. the Nazis didn’t raise their arms like that because they were Nazis, they were Nazis because they raised their arms like that?

    Got it.

  • phantomreader42

    Edward Bellamy babbled:

    You’re trying to claim that there is no relationship between socialism, nationalism, and the Nazis. These are the same thing.

    No, they really aren’t. You clearly have no idea what words mean, or that they even HAVE meanings. I’ve provided some explanatory links above, which I know you’d rather gouge out your own eyes than look at.

    Edward Bellamy feebly chanted:

    You act like the raised-arm salute had nothing to do with what made
    German national socialists bad, and that it was unrelated to that bit with the genocide.

    You really think that saluting with a raised arm (but somehow no other salute or gesture) magically makes people commit genocide? You’re really that delusional? Do you happen to know the verbal and somatic components for the Invisibility spell by any chance? I can never seem to get those right…

    Edward Bellamy snarled:

    You also seem to think the problem with Stalin, Hitler, and Mao had
    nothing to do with the fact that they were “socialists”, and that it was unrelated to the fact that they brutally murdered massive numbers of people.

    Yeah, call me crazy, but I think MASS MURDER is a lot bigger problem than a political ideology that you don’t actually know the meaning of, so you just act like it’s generic label for anything you don’t like. Of course, the fact that you have no idea what “socialism” means, and would rather die than learn, makes you incapable of comprehending the differences in the ideologies you label “socialist”.

    Edward Bellamy flees in abject terror from the burden of proof:

    You have offered no evidence that Bellamy had no influence on mass-murdering socialists, including German socialists.

    Okay, let me try explaining this to you again. Every word you vomit forth from your mouth does not magically become true. It is YOUR responsibility to support YOUR claims. You have not done so. You have not even tried. You have not even so much as feigned interest in whether or not what you say is true. You just keep demanding that everyone believe you without a speck of evidence. It doesn’t work that way. But I wouldn’t expect a pathological liar who rapes farm animals such as yourself to understand that.

    Edward Bellamy pretends his favorite soundbite is a magical incantation:

    You do not even dispute that he was “America’s Leni Riefenstahl.”

    As I said, YOU are the only person who calls Francis Bellamy “America’s Leni Riefenstahl.” The fact that you keep saying it doesn’t magically make it true. I know you desperately WANT your continual chanting of this bullshit soundbite to rewrite history in your image, but it’s not gonna happen. Not even if you keep repeating it every hour of every day until you die. Oh, and while I’m at it, clapping your hands won’t make fairies real either.

  • Edward Bellamy

    You guys are so pathetic that it is clear that you KNOW the photos and videos are correct, you know the info is correct, you can’t STAND it, and you will spend the rest of your lives repeating propaganda in an effort to cover up the truth, no matter what. You have just been schooled and you can’t stand it. You can’t bear to learn the truth and how you have been duped all of your lives, and you have been repeating lies that you were taught, and you do not want to stop.

  • dpolicar

    That’s flattering and all, but honestly I suspect that the overwhelming majority of us haven’t advanced far enough along the path to your particular flavor of enlightenment even to recognize the truth of your commentary long enough to want to hide from that knowledge.

    And it’s a waste to expend your efforts on a community, like this one, that just isn’t ready to find truth in what you have to say.

    It’s a big Internet; surely there’s someone else out there better suited to benefit from your time and attention.

  • phantomreader42

    The projection is STRONG with you! Have you ever seen a mirror?

  • Archer

    Donno why I’m jumping in here, but…

    If I’m following the logic here, the use of any symbolism
    that would at some point in the future become associated with Nazis makes one a
    Nazi and taints everything associated with it with Nazism. Right?

    So by that logic the fact that swastikas have been
    found on 8000-year-old Bulgarian pot shards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Archaeological_record)
    proves that Neolithic Bulgarians were in fact Nazis and that the use of
    pottery, the domestication of animals and the establishment of permanent settlements are
    part and parcel of Nazi ideology and should be shunned by all right-thinking
    people.

    That is what you’re going for, right?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino
  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    No, we’re so sure the information is wrong and the photos don’t mean anything even vaguely resembling your insane claims that there’s no point in arguing with you. You’re not even wrong.

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

    I remember that! I had no idea what the US national anthem sounded like, so I was just as confused as Ramona about the pointless dawnzer song until the big reveal.

  • AnonaMiss

    So since you haven’t denied the veracity of any of my claims, by your logic that must mean you agree with them, eh?

    Glad you’ve come around.

  • Jamoche

    “The photo doesn’t actually mean anything except that some people moved their arms.”

    But the arm position is magic!

    So every time the congregation is asked to raise our arms in blessing, and those of us in the choir can only raise one arm as the other is holding a music binder … yes, it’s true, I’m afraid I’ve been infected with the Nazi one-armed-raised meme-virus.

  • caryjamesbond

    Yeah, I wouldn’t particularly trust Wikis for, say, an unbiased look at the bush presidency. But when you’re talking about the time period and history of the bellamy salute, the history of Bellamy himself, and multiple sources agree with me, and one Florida lawyer crackpot agrees with you….well, the preponderance of evidence speaks for itself.

    SImply put, the facist salute and the bellamy salute look similar, because there are only so many salute like movements the human body can make. (seriously- hand to head, hand straght out, maybe arm across chest, beyond that, it starts to look stupid. Try it at home!)

  • caryjamesbond

    If, however, you’re looking for your friend Kyle, DO NOT try and indicate his height.

    http://p.bfram.es/has-anyone-seen-kyle-he-s-about-this-tall-seen-kyle.jpg


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