Friday, December 07, 2007

And now, in this corner...

Annmarie Brewer of Sun prairie, Wisconsin, who presumably has a large steel plate in her skull, penned this gem:
I just got through watching Mitt Romney's speech and found myself in tears simply by his profound acknowledgment of God as part of our historical and democratic roots. I wasn't decided on Romney, and I'm certainly not a religious person, but with today being my birthday, this was the BEST birthday present I could ever receive. It feels like a weight has been lifted off of our collective shoulders to acknowledge belief in our Judea-Christian heritage as the foundation for our great country, and not feel stifled, repressed or guilty for believing in it and exclaiming it.

It's a quiet, dignified belief in goodness, life and freedom, an essential structure that keeps us forever hopeful--unlike the maniacal, pressured or forced-upon commercialized or politically inspired mandates that have been coming from our country's leaders of late. I just had to tell you that, and also that I'm quite surprised to find myself finally at a decision on who I will vote for at the Republican primary. It'll be Mitt Romney.
So many things are wrong with this. The most glaring is her statement about the "Judea (sp?)-Christian" foundation of the country. Have you ever heard references to "Judeo-Christian" made with real emphasis on the first part? Beyond that, it is just plain wrong.

As Doc pointed out below, Mitty's speech was both absurd and frightening. So, Annmarie, get comfortable in Sun Prairie and

A blast from the past

This isn't my normal fare, but it amused me. The Decatur Herald & Review is apparently publishing letters to the editor from 1982.

Old-style Christmas family traditions seem to be gone

What happened to the tradition of Christmas tree trimming and decorating?

When we were kids at home, we looked forward to the trimming of the tree and other decorations. Now the merchant has all the fun. The trees are all decorated, lights put on, strings of popcorn wrapped around the tree.

Mom made her favorite fudge and divinity, and we helped with the popcorn balls. Now, kids are off to the movies or down to an arcade playing those machines. Dad is propped up in front of the television watching his favorite football team.

I guess, those times are gone, but not forgotten.

Louis Woods


Playing those machines? Who the hell goes to the arcade anymore? When did people stop decorating trees - they seem to be in every window down here...

And what the heck does "Mom made her favorite fudge and divinity" even mean?

Maybe I missed something, but I'm not really free to comment.

Conservative Family Values at Their Best

Longtime Thinker reader jimbow8 sent me a link to a conversation that, once again, reinforces the hypocrisy of the right, although in a different way than usual. It's a post on a message board (the Conservatism community on LiveJournal), and it's about this case of a high school teacher who once again is in trouble for having an illegal sexual relationship with a minor. The conservative take on the story isn't that adults should be punished for abusing children this way, it's that the teacher is HAWT, and "If the kid is able to look back on this as the greatest triumph of his life, which is without a reasonable doubt the case, (and we all know how "reasonable doubt" is supposed to factor into matters of guilt vs. inocence (sic)), then who's the victim?"


First of all, as I say every time the Olympics come around, if something you do at 14 is the greatest triumph of your life, I feel very sorry for you.

Secondly, and I'm not sure how to say this in a way that these morons would understand, but the laws about sexual relationships with minors don't exist to prevent them from banging ugly people (one can almost envision these morons picturing childhood as an idyllic meadow surrounded by signs that say "No Fat Chicks"). Fourteen year olds simply are not capable of understanding the emotional and physical consequences of sex. Fourteen year olds are young, folks. I spend a lot of time with 18-21 year olds, and I'm startled regularly by how immature they can be (and they're considered legally old enough to make these kinds of decisions).

Thirdly, there's no way this kind of discussion happens if the genders are reversed - I don't care if the teacher is the pure embodiment of male sexuality, he'd be strung up by his toenails and beaten about the face and head by Bill O'Rielly's loofah. But these kind of people say things like "Males don't really have the capacity to regret sex with attractive partners unless it causes pregnancy, STDs, or social consequences like those of being caught "cheating"." In their mind, men clearly have no emotional response other than "I'd hit that" when it comes to attractive women, which is somewhere between ignorant and moronic.

It may be an amusing conceit that at 14, we all wanted to have that hot "older" woman come and teach us the ways of manhood. But that's all it is, and, once again, it's nice to know that all these folks seem to care about is making sure children are born - protecting them after birth is irrelevant.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just to clarify

Mitt, if you're going to be President, at some point you have to take the following oath: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

That's the same Constitution that includes the following:

Article. VI. - The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

and this pesky thing, included in the Bill of Rights:

Amendment 1 - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Ratified 12/15/1791

I don't know what he's missing, but it's profoundly wrong.

Umm, I'm not sure I see the connection there, Mittster.

Mitt Romney, during his "Don't worry that I'm a Mormon, but I'll really never talk about Mormonism" speech:

Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.

Can someone explain to me how religion is a prerequisite for freedom, or vice-versa? I've known for a while that the wingnuts don't think I have any basis for a moral code, since I'm not a religious person, but apparently I also can't be free now either. Huh.

Bite me, Mitt.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Don't know much about history...

I assume you've seen this from The View, but world-famous historian Sherri Shepherd, following a mention of Greek philosophy from THE FOURTH CENTURY B.C. gave us:
The Greeks, they had Christians 'cause they threw them to the lions. [Whoopi explains the Greeks came first.] I think this might predate that, I don't think anything predated Christians...Jesus came first before them.
Those who do not understand the past are condemned to daytime TV.

Video link

What straw will break the camel's back?

Sorry for my absence, between Thanksgiving, work and the flu bug!

How many more scandals can St. Rudy of 9/11 stand?

Just to make sure we're all on the same page

Either the Liar in Chief

1) knew about the latest NIE and Iran's lack of a nuclear weapons program months ago, in which case he's been lying about it since then, or

2) he was told that there was new data, but never thought to ask what we'd learned about this supposed grave threat, or

3) he was deliberately kept out of the loop.

Wow, them's three really good scenarios. Of course, there is the John Bolton approach - "I just don't believe the intelligence agencies. You know, they screwed up the Iraq WMD data..." (Well, we could ignore that they were told what conclusion they were supposed to reach on Iraq, right?) And there's the Norman Podhoretz approach (Rudy's leading national security advisor) - "The intelligence agencies are deliberately lying to make Bush look bad. We have to attack Iran today." (Do you need any more reasons to keep Rudy out of the White House?)

The mainstream media much be catching on, a little - has an article titled "Analysis: Bush won't back down on Iran." Really? Bush doesn't back down on which color he wants to be when he plays Hungry Hungry Hippo with Uncle Shooter, much less on an issue dealing with a country he wants to invade and might not get to. That always makes him cranky.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

NPR Debate

I'm listening to the Democrats debate on NPR, which is a staggering change from a CNN or network debate. The time for the candidates seems much more balanced, the moderators actually ask intelligent questions, and the candidates are actually getting into substantive answers because, in the 2 hour debate, they're only exploring three issues (Iran, China, and immigration). It's weird.

Of course, we could contrast that with the Giggling Murderer, who spent today telling Congress that it should do exactly what he says and explained that while the NIE says Iran doesn't have a nuclear program, it doesn't matter, because they still could start one up at any time, so we should treat them like they've got the finger on the button and are waiting to nuke your house right this very second. Sweet.

The GOP Primary, Part II

Will get a bunch of votes, but not enough: Mike Huckabee

Huckabee draws two kinds of voters - 1) Christians who believe that religion should be the primary factor in decision-making for politicians and 2) people who want a candidate who seems honest and not corrupt. The former group couldn't get him the nomination, the second could, but it's not likely. Huckabee has plenty of views that diverge radically from mine (not the least of which is his embracing of creationism and hence a rejection of science, which, religious matters aside, is terribly dangerous for the future of our country - we'll be getting out of 8 years of anti-science, we certainly don't need more), but political and religious views aside, he's far less worrisome to me than either Giuliani or Romney. Huckabee has more reasonable views on immigration and torture, and appears to be a decent person who wouldn't sell the country out for greed and hate. On the other hand, the US is not a Christian nation, and I don't want religion to be a driving force in our government (are there any examples where that works out well). Now, I'm not voting in the GOP primary anyway, so my opinion doesn't matter, but while Huckabee is attracting a significant amount of interest in the polls, there is a core of racist, vulgar, hateful GOP voters who don't like Huckabee much. He's too (in the words of a prominent righty blogger) "moralistic." In the end, that's going to throw votes to one of the two other major candidates, either of whom will stand up and tout their desires to kill the brown people in order to get votes.

That whistling sound you hear is a former New York mayor's chances plummeting to Bolivia: Rudy Giuliani

Of all the candidates running this year, Rudy scares me the most. He's got the same arrogance that the Chimp does, and combines that with an attitude that says "Look out world - if you thought Bush was a single-minded hateful fucker, you ain't seen nothin' yet!" Man, that's desirable in a President. Giuliani is corrupt, brash, and willing to lie through his teeth about his record (more liberal than the Republican base would like because he had to be a mayor of a city like New York) to get elected. A former federal prosecutor who looks at the rest of the world like criminals who, thankfully, aren't protected by something as trivial as the Constitution. Rudy's poll numbers are beginning to look quite ugly because, while the GOP voters seem quite willing to brush aside any number of "youthful indiscretions," they're not as comfortable with a man using the police and the city budget to allow him to cheat on his wife, regardless of what the pundits say.

Will somehow sneak out of the fray with the nomination: Mitt Romney

Can you believe that millions of people are willing to cast votes for a guy named Mitt? Me neither. But it's going to happen, and not because Mitt is a particularly good candidate, but because he's rich, "looks presidential," and because of the flaws of the other candidates. There's been a lot of talk about Mitt being a Mormon, but that's not going to get play in the end, as voters watch Rudy self-immolate and don't find enough in Huckabee's candidacy to vote for. Romney will say anything to anyone in order to get votes, and enough of the people who consistently vote against their own self-interest to reelect Republicans who will ruin their lives will ignore the contradictions and vote Mitt.

Coming soon, the Democrats.



"Bush to Congress: Fund the wars now"

Ummm, no.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Well, we've arrived at the two-thousandth post here at The Thinker (well, technically that includes some drafts that may or not be published, but by the time anyone goes back and reads all 1989 actually published posts, we'll be well ahead anyway, so I don't care). At least six or eight of them have had substantive content, and thanks to those of you who've stuck with us through the rest of the tripe that we've posted.

On that note, and since the Iowa caucus is only one month away, I'll dip my toe into the acidic froth that is the primary season. Try to ignore the screams.

This has been a particularly long and complex primary season, in part because this is the first presidential election since 1952 that neither a sitting president nor vice-president is running, giving two completely open primaries, and in part because I think it started back in 1952, before some of the candidates were even born. I'll deal with the Democrats in another post, but here let me skewer, err, discuss the GOP.

For some reason, there are still nine people running for the GOP nomination. Well, technically there's 9, because Alan Keyes is once again pretending to run. Since we established in 2004 that Keyes represents the lowest percentage of voters that will vote entirely on party identification, rather than on any qualifications of any sort, we'll just ignore him and discuss people who have a chance to finish above the Keyes line.

Part I - people who won't get the nomination

Not a freakin' chance in hell: Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter

No one even knows who these guys are. Tancredo is the biggest isolationist this side of Pat Buchanan, and wants to nuke Mecca, which will sell well with some rednecks, but no one outside that core GOP base cares at all about him. Duncan Hunter is from California. That's about all I've managed to learn about him, except that we need to fight everyone around the world who doesn't love us all the time.

There's a buzz, but still no chance: Ron Paul

Every good Republican primary should have a token Libertarian, if only to remind us of the dangers of the Grover Norquists of the world. Paul is against the Iraq war, which is a plus, but he's also against a useful government, which is not. He's probably getting more play from independents than the GOP base, who still loves the Chimp and how much we're kicking the world's ass.

Should have stayed out of the race: Fred Thompson

The oldest phenom ever, Thompson combines the hip, with-it attitude of Bob Dole with the drawing power of Spinal Tap after Nigel Tufnel left (temporarily). His polling numbers are falling, and with the writer's strike, he won't even have Law and Order to go back to.

Shouldn't have sold his soul: John McCain

Does anyone remember the McCain of 2000, playing the rational counterpart to the Chimp, before Karl Rove's underhanded campaigning techniques and the GOP machine run by the Bush Emprie and their Nazi dollars destroyed him? That McCain probably would be the front-runner with ease now, what with his unquestionable bravery in Vietnam and his centrism that appealed to many independents (and some Democrats). Of course, that McCain is gone, replaced by a man so desperate for the presidency that he gave up any pretense of independence and tried to suck up to the most extreme interest groups on the right (Bob Jones University, anybody?). Not surprisingly, voters have seen through this, although McCain does still earn points (from me, anyway) for his opposition to torture (given his obvious knowledge of the subject, it's funny to watch some of the other candidates act like he's just weak and foolish and that they're really the tough guys) and his somewhat balanced stand on immigration (which also pisses off the base, since it's not loaded with racism).

Part II: The actual candidates: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee (coming soon)