7 things @ 9 o’clock (10.21)

1. Karoli and Bruce Wilson examine the off-the-deep-end dominionist nonsense preached by Rafael Cruz — father of teavangelical “rock star” Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz shreds, twists and purees the Bible with what seems like haphazard abandon, until you realize that all those seemingly random perversions, inversions and inventions are all pointing in one direction: the worship of power for the sake of attaining power.

The elder Cruz says Christians are anointed to be conquering kings, just like in Deuteronomy. That’s like one of those circle-all-the-things-wrong puzzles from Highlights.

2. Everybody knows that the Satanic baby-killers come out at Halloween to put razor blades in apples and to poison the candy of innocent children.


3. A bunch of good people got married in New Jersey earlier this morning. The Slacktivixen and I got married in New Jersey five years ago. Getting married in New Jersey is a Good Thing.

4. “In 1977, after her children were grown and two marriages had ended in divorce — a source of sadness that she rarely talked about — Brenner gave away her expensive clothes and belongings, left her Ventura apartment and moved to La Mesa penitentiary.”

5. Last week, we talked about how “If inerrancy worked as advertised — if it were true — then every believer in an inerrant Bible would share identical beliefs with every other believer in an inerrant Bible.” Here’s another example — this one involving at least three incompatible views defended as the clear teaching of an inerrant Bible.

6. Jon Swarz: “My Skin in the Game: How Ted Cruz and the Right Want to Help Cancer Kill Me, and Maybe You

I didn’t have to pay anything to see a doctor, and because of that it cost the healthcare system about $5,000 to treat me. If I’d delayed because I had to pay, it easily could have ended up costing the system $500,000 worth of interferon, CT scans and radioimmunotherapy, plus the additional downside of me being dead. Multiply that by millions of people and you’ll understand why the right’s crusade against health insurance is more than just evil and cruel, it’s evil, cruel and incredibly stupid.

7. The grift goes on. Jerry Falwell’s heirs have improved on some of his clumsier attempts to monetize his fright-peddling (the 900-number petition scam was a bit too transparent), but watch this video (via Christian Nightmares) and you’ll see that his favorite repertoire of lies and hobgoblins (socialists! homosexuals! Canadians!) remains the standard 20 years later.

YouTube Preview Image

Scenes from the class war (4.30)
Sunday WTF?
Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 31: 'Scream 2 morality'
This day is not imagination's child
  • AnonaMiss

    Oh definitely. That’s why I used it as an example – it’s something I find revolting but can’t see a rational basis for my revulsion. That’s why I chose it as the thing our generation would be irrationally opposed to and the younger, upcoming folks would think we were intolerant about.

  • Vermic

    The hell of it is that I didn’t find all of this article terrible. There’s plenty of inoffensive, even useful stuff about generosity and so forth.

    But I have serious problems with the idea that being Born Again ™ grants you superpowers. Or even that being Born Again ™ makes you a better person. Despite what Smothermon claims, you can be born again and remain as big an asshole as you ever were. It’s putting the cart before the horse. First become a better person; become loving and generous; and then I’ll grant that, looking back, there is a change that has taken place in you.

    But it does no good to declare yourself Born Again ™ and that suddenly all the decisions you make from now on are moral ones. At best you’re setting yourself up for bitter disillusionment (I say “best” because this scenario at least proves you’ve still got self-awareness). At worst you become an even bigger asshole than before, only now with the lovely fresh scent of sanctimony.

  • Lori

    Yeah, I file this under technically true, but totally irrelevant. They can keep Blue Cross at the same level of coverage they had before,
    the details of that are just somewhat different than they used to be. It’s apparently not the smartest idea for them to keep Blue Cross, but they can.

    More to the point, this is not the first time an insurer has ever discontinued a policy. This is not the first time an insurer has ever replaced a policy with another, much more expensive policy. About 90% of the horrors that the Right claims will be caused by the ACA are things that happen all the damn time now. They just think it’s good for your employer to yank your chain and bad for you to feel any effects of a government policy, especially one supposedly designed to help those people. They’re entitled to their opinion. I’m entitled to think their opinion makes them asshats.

  • Lori

    It’s not just HMOs. I have never had insurance that allowed me to see any doctor I wanted and have it covered. That included back when I worked for Big Name Database Company and they were rolling in money and we had very high end insurance. I’ve never known anyone who had insurance that allowed them to see any doctor and have it covered. All insurance plans have doctors that are in plan and all the rest of them are out of plan and out of plan doctors are not covered*.

    The same is true for hospitals. I had wrist surgery while I was living in LA. Lots of hospitals around, of varying reputation, some convenient to me and some not. In addition to choosing an in-plan surgeon I had to also choose an in-plan hospital where that surgeon had privileges. It was no big deal and I got both a surgeon and a hospital that I was pleased with**. However, when all was said and done I think I only had 2 hospitals to choose from. It would be a flat lie to say that I could see any doctor I wanted or go to any hospital I chose.

    *There are exceptions for emergencies that occur when you are out of the coverage area for your insurance, but it’s a total PITA and it better turn out to actually be an emergency or they don’t pay jack.

    **Seriously, my surgeon was excellent. You can’t even see the scar. If I showed you my wrists you wouldn’t be able to tell which one had been operated on.

  • Carstonio

    The language about “princes and princesses” and “noble birth” jumped out at me. That sounds like the same tactic that Ellanjay use on their readers, promising an elite status and a last laugh at the expense of the mocking heathens.

  • themunck

    Agreed :/

  • Cathy W

    …and then there’s always the fun: “Your hospital is in-network, your surgeon is in-network, but your anesthesiologist is not. Pay up or go without.”

  • Lori

    Fortunately I didn’t have that problem. Part of the hospital being in-plan was that they had people in-plan for all those jobs you don’t normally choose yourself. I think my only contact with the anesthesiologist was when he introduced himself, said he was getting ready to start the anesthesia and I should count backwards from 100 (I made it to 99).

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

    It’s kind of odd, then, how there’s this mythology and dogma surrounding the notion of “freedom of doctor choice”. I get that medicine is an intensely personal and private thing, but even so the sheer logical fact is that unless you have a personal Learjet you’re not going to get to see ANY doctor you want within the lower 48 states.

  • Lori

    Remember that Libertarians don’t recognize any restrictions on choice as meaningful unless government is doing the restricting. Greed head pro-business types go along with that logic because it benefits them and the rubes go along with it because that’s what the noise machine drills into their heads.

    I know from experience that when you point to a Tea’s list of in-plan doctors and point out to them that they do not in fact have the freedom to choose any doctor they want they wave it off with a “That’s different.” That includes my parents who had to change insurance companies last year for their Medicare supplement insurance in order to continue using the same primary physician, to whom they are quite attached. The new company allowed them to keep Dr D, but required them to change 2 other doctors for my mom and 1 for my dad.

    Unless you are so rich that you don’t have to consider coverage at all there is no such thing as freedom of doctor choice in the US.

  • Lori

    You have no idea how many times I heard the not-so-rich version of that while I was in grad school, talking to classmates who had done various sorts of foreign travel. More than one of them acknowledged somewhat sheepishly that they went to McDonald’s pretty much every chance they had. Not because of the food but because they had US-style bathrooms and decent toilet paper.

  • Monala

    some HMO’s do have it set up where you can call your PCP and ask for the referral, rather than having to see them in person. Usually they’ll only do that if you already have seen the PCP at least once, say for your annual physical.

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



    </teenage mode>

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

    I also think I see the reason Repubs and the Fox News Machine are hammering on Obamacare not a week after the shutdown has finished.

  • http://www.angelsparrow.com valarltd

    2) Don’t forget the candy has all been prayed over by witches.This opens the door to demon possession of innocents. http://www.charismamag.com/blogs/prophetic-insight/7134-the-danger-of-celebrating-halloween

    We’ve been busy. I’ve covered Wal-Mart and Kroger, myself, despite dealing with a husband who has a broken back and mother having brain surgery. (remember dears, there is no good excuse for skipping your possession duties!) Of course most of my praying is “Lord and Lady LOOK at the prices!” I think we all skipped Dollar Tree. it isn’t even real chocolate.

  • Guest

    Animals can’t give consent to sex. That’s a pretty big rational basis against bestiality right there. (Animals can’t consent to being killed and eaten either, but food ethics aren’t based on consent, while good sex ethics are.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Yeah, but animals can’t consent because consent is a human concept. So either all sex between animals is rape (and therefore we are terrible people for letting the animal-on-animal rape pandemic go unthwarted.), or consent-as-a-sexual-ethic is not necessarily applicable to animals in so straightforward a manner.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Even the supposedly liberal MSNBC has completely forgotten about the shutdown in favor of talking about how badly the Obamacare website is going. They wouldn’t even interrupt their coverage of it for (yet another) school shooting.

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

    Jesus, priorities much, media outlets? :O

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I’m sure they’d be fine with it if there were protections to ensure that “everyone” meant “only our sort of people.”

  • AnonaMiss

    What are food ethics based on, then? Could I ethically kill and eat another person without their consent, if I chloroformed them in their sleep so that they felt no pain?

    And what about IVF, which is used very commonly for breeding livestock? That’s committing a sex act upon an animal without its consent, but with an object, and few people seem to have a problem with it.

    Last time this came up someone suggested that sex acts for the purpose of reproduction are governed by different rules from sex acts for the purpose of gratification, which squicks me out like fuck. If anything I’d consider sex acts without consent for the purpose of reproduction to be a double consent violation – not asking consent for sex, and not asking consent for pregnancy.


    The ethical structure I’d propose for dealing with ethics across species are as follows:

    1. Communication tier. For species which are able to communicate with each other, the ethics of all or nearly-all situations are consent-based. There may be occasional utilitarian overrides of consent on this tier when life is at stake – e.g. I’m not sure if it’s ethical to stand by and allow someone to commit suicide, even though they clearly consent to it.

    2. Assume-no-consent tier. For creatures that we are unable to communicate with, but which appear to be intelligent/thoughtful/have a sense of self – I’d personally use the mirror test of self-awareness as a rough guideline, s.t. if a reasonable fraction of a species passed it, that species would belong on this tier – use consent-based ethics and assume you do not have consent for anything. Leave them alone as much as possible.

    3. Dependent tier. Creatures which demonstrate self-awareness, but would cause themselves or others harm without our intervention. Ethics here are utilitarian. Spaying & neutering pets, as well as animal rescue, goes in this category.

    4. Automaton tier. For creatures which don’t appear to have self-awareness, consent isn’t just impossible, it’s meaningless. What would even do the consenting? On this level, ethics default to weighted-utilitarian, where the weighting is such that creatures on higher tiers’ good has priority. So it’s OK to slaughter a chicken to feed a human, or even a dog; and it’s OK to intravenously fertilize a cow to breed more cows to feed humans; and, potentially, it’s OK to give a sheep to a (insert sheep-loving nationality of choice here).

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

    I’ve read worse. Enemy Mine tropes usually have homoerotic overtones anyway. XD

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

    The manga and anime Chobits touched on that concept, especially in regards to when said product becomes so outdated that it stops working properly…

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

    However, can it be said that the animal’s consent is meaningful? There’s no way of knowing whether they can truly comprehend their own actions or their significance…

    (One could draw parallels between sex with animals and sex with people whose mental development is inadequate or hindered, but brain doesn’t want to tease out the connection in any detail.)

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

    I would say food ethics are based on necessity, and there is a movement dedicated to treating livestock raised for food purposes in a respectful manner which allows for the contentment of the animals in question. In theory, we could get on without using animals for food, but I think it would necessitate scaling back our population in order to make alternate food resources viable for the entire population…

  • dpolicar

    My usual approach to trying to think about meaningful consent is to think about cases that I don’t have strong emotional responses to, and try to work out a model of consent that works in those cases, and then try to apply that model consistently to other cases even when my brain wants to hide under the bed.

    What I mostly conclude from doing that is that it’s relatively easy to tell when an animal is unhappy about doing something, and when doing something is causing the animal significant suffering, and when an animal is tolerating something unpleasant in the hopes of a subsequent reward, and when an animal is genuinely enthusiastic about doing something. By contrast it is not easy to tell when an animal has consented to something, over and above those categories.

    So I try to construct my ethical strictures around how to treat animals in terms of those categories, rather than in terms of consent. When my cultural context insists on talking about ethics in terms of consent (as it often does), I roughly treat enthusiasm as sufficient-but-not-necessary proof of consent, unhappiness and suffering as compelling but not definitive evidence of the lack of consent, and tolerance-in-hope-of-reward as compelling but not definitive evidence of consent where there is no fraud.

    Also, when the animals in question are human, the words they say often provide additional evidence one way or another.

  • dpolicar

    In regards to getting married in New Jersey: much joy to you and the Slacktivixen.

    For my own part, my parents were married in New Jersey for almost 30 years, although their wedding was elsewhere. My husband and I have never been married in New Jersey, and it’s quite possible we never will be, but it was nice when New Jersey decided to recognize that we were in fact married.

    It sort of bewilders me how many other states can’t tell.