If we’re going to have gun debate, and if we’re going to be adults, we need to get a few facts straight. Like I’ve said before, we’re entitled to our own opinions, but we’re not entitled to our own facts. If we do this and remember to respect each other, we should be fine.
With that in mind, we need to clear up a few “facts” about gun control.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen many on the pro-gun side posting pictures of Israeli teachers armed with rifles. You can see one such picture above. These individuals point to it and say it’s a beautiful thing to see a country determined and willing to protect its youth, that it shows our cowardice when we don’t arm our own teachers.
Proud patriots! All of them. And none owned slaves*
January 23, 2012
I am not part of American history. My ancestors fought and toiled and help build this country into the superpower it is today. Two hundred years ago, slaves built this country on orders of men who claimed everyone was equal. The vast expanse of our nation was cleared of the indigenous populations to make room for a newly born democracy. The thousands who died so colonists would have free land are now remembered with shame. While America has many great qualities, its history is filled with blood and hypocrisy. It’s not that we can’t be better, but to ignore the past is to live a lie.
In Tennessee, the Tea Party is trying to remove all mentions of slavery and genocide from American history. Why? To make the Founding Fathers look good. According to the so-called patriots:
The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.
“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose website identifies him as a Vietnam War veteran of the Air Force and FedEx retiree who became a lawyer in 1995.
Let that sink in. We want to tell the truth about our country’s history. But the truth is only whatever these clowns want to tell. “Truth,” then, is a purposely distorted view of history that leaves out parts the Tea Party doesn’t even contest are false. In the same breath where they whine about distortions, they want to leave out key facts they acknowledge to be true. I have written about this before, and I’m glad Tennessee is continuing the grand tradition Texas began of dumbing down education for the sake of politics and ideology.
There is, of course, a difference between “facts” and “truth.” A fact is a universally accepted piece of evidence. Was JFK shot? Yes. Did the Founding Fathers have slaves while they wrote “all men are created equal”? Yes. Do Michael Bay movies almost universally suck? That’s a given.
“Truth” is what you make out of the facts, and the more facts you have, the better the “truth” becomes. It was once truth that the sun revolved around the Earth. We worked with the fact that sun moved through the sky and we didn’t feel we were moving. Eventually, we learned more facts and the truth become more complex, culminating with our current cosmological models.
If we cut enough facts for convenience, we can make any argument.
Jeffrey Dahmer was a great cook persecuted for his unorthodox lifestyle.
Bush developed a strategy that good troops into the Middle East and secured much-needed oil, helping American businesses.
Stephanie Meyer wrote a series of books praised by millions.
Newt Gingrich would be a great president because he is charismatic and women love him.
I wish I could stop being surprised at crap like this. I wish I could say I wasn’t shocked to hear that someone wanted to stifle actual education and replace it with a political agenda. The sheer blatant lie, the fact that the Tea Party wants to lie about history and is up-front about it because they don’t like what actually happened, shouldn’t shock me like this.
I guess that’s what I get for still having faith in my countrymen.
Let’s wash all that bad mojo with Liam Neeson fighting wolves. He truly can make anything ten times more awesome.
Fox went after the Muppets. As you know from previous posts on the site, I have a soft spot in my heart for Jim Henson’s creations. The segments in question, though, told us more about the conservative mentality than they did about the Muppets themselves. Let’s rip Fox a new one and figure out the network’s thought process.
The weirdest part, though, was his unveiling of his Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities, a manifesto that just begs a closer look. It’s 1,227 words that, well, tell us so much about this man and the people who think like him. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
I’ve taken the liberty of copying it word for word so you don’t have to go to his site and give him more page hits.
As the American Declaration of Independence clearly states, when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to band together and collectively declare their rights and responsibilities to which the laws of nature and nature’s God entitle and bind them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should disclose the causes which impel them to such.
Okay, so like any manifesto, we’re going to outline how we got here. Makes sense. After all, Beck seems to be the only one who sees the vast web of conspiracies in everything from skin cream to schools. Let us continue.
Therefore let us declare that we still hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But with those rights come responsibilities.
Nice historical allusion. Okay, I’m with him so far. We have rights. True. We also have responsibilities. We have to go to jury duty. We have to pay taxes. We have to vote. Nothing crazy so far.
In order to continually experience life, liberty and happiness as promised, nature’s God demands obedience to His law to protect those rights. This is where we have fallen short and therefore, in order not to lose the blessings of freedom, the people of the world must turn from the sole focus on rights, and recognize the inherent and required responsibilities that we have.
But when a long train of abuses of the people and conscience by the media and by other segments of society, pursuing the same path of reducing them to ridicule, scorn and even sub-human status, it is their right, it is their DUTY, to peacefully, but vehemently take a stand.
Men want to be king, and the more we concentrate on our rights and the more we are told not to worry about our responsibilities, the more we lose our rights.
Actually, the more we focus on our rights, the more we see when said rights are abused. As it stands, we really don’t have to do anything to keep our rights. Even Beck himself has admitted that the Civil Rights Movement is over since we in the West have all the rights we want. They cannot be taken from us unless the Amendments themselves get rewritten, so what does Beck mean by “the more we lose our rights?”
He and the Right in America have been constantly called out for the bigoted, anti-science, anti-progress, anti-poor myopic idiots that they are. They want to bolster the rich and crush the poor. They want to make it possible to once again treat people like crap just because you worship one god and they worship another. They want the right to treat employees like servants. They want the right use religion to dictate law.
But moving on…
Just as physics show, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. The time has come to declare that at least for the western world human rights are generally accepted and moving in the right direction however a new movement is required a movement of human responsibility.
The media, politicians and large institutions both academic and political have been lying to us, and we must demand the truth be told.
With that demand, comes the responsibility that we tell the truth first, in ourselves. Too many of us delegate our responsibility to the media…and too many believe there is no personal responsibility at all.
Okay, I think I’m nitpicking now, but does ANYONE working for Beck know how to use a fraking coma?!
Political correctness has polluted our language and clouds our every discussion.
What was once accepted as good and right, is now considered bad and evil, and that which was bad and evil is now presented to the world as good and decent.
I could not follow on a boat. I could not follow with a goat. I could not understand you, Glenn. I want to stab you with a pen. You cannot use a comma. Your rants are full of drama.
Doctor Seuss, I ain’t. I hate when people make a blanket statement like this. I’d like to know when evil became decent, for one. I’d like an example. What was the point in which we thought, for example, that murder was acceptable? Theft? Racism? Anything? Anyone?
Opposing thoughts or opinions are referred to as crazy, insane, non-factual and utterly without merit. Furthermore, we are told, they should not even be heard.
Who said this? Who said we should not have ideas out on the field? If he’s talking about creationism (and he has), then he’s right. It should not be taught as a science because it is a religious idea.
Of course, he could also be referring to the fact that his own attacks on progressive policies have constantly been debunked by the simple fact that Beck refuses to use simple things like research.
Now, the time has come to take a stand by exhibiting the traits – honor, courage and vigilance.
What is honor? It is being honest in all of our dealings. It is showing loyalty and fairness, and being a beacon of integrity in all our beliefs and actions. It is showing respect for others.
Ruth honored Naomi when she told her that she would not leave her. That she would go wherever Naomi went, that she would live where Naomi lived and die where Naomi died. Her God would be Naomi’s God.
To be fair, that’s not honor so much as it is loyalty.
Courage is the ability to face danger, criticism or scorn – not without fear, but while overcoming fear to deal with that which comes our way.
When no one else in the Kingdom wanted to face the mighty giant, Goliath, young David was willing. David must have felt fear at the sight of his foe, but overcame it, and courageously vanquished his enemy.
Vigilance is being watchful for all forms of treachery and tyranny, lies and deceit. The person in the watchtower, waiting all night, suddenly sounding the alarm that the enemy is coming. The careful observer of the markets and economies who proclaims to the world, all is not well, there is trouble ahead and the outspoken critic of the powerful, going against societies’ grain, warning that all is not as we’re being told. These are the vigilant.
So the people who call you and others like you out because you’ve poisoned the political discourse are vigilant? They’re not, you know… your enemies?
This is actually kind of funny. Beck is asking people to pay attention to the world around them and tell others what they are doing. At the same time, Beck has asked his own viewers to look at progressive websites and monitor them. But not conservatives, because that would be wrong. The problem is that they don’t call out Beck himself when he almost causes an international incident. They don’t call him out when he is part of an effort to keep health insurance from the hands of 98% of the population. He wasn’t called out when he said things so offensive that he galvanized the Jewish community against him.
So, if his viewers are so vigilant, why do they keep missing all this?
We implore all people to stand with these characteristics – honor, courage and vigilance.
To that end, we must restore honor in our own lives. Seek after the truth. Declare right now, that no longer will we simply accept what is told us by the media or anyone else.
The media has the responsibility to tell the truth, we have the responsibility to learn it.
Stand with courage, even if it means the end of our jobs, the end of our positions in life…or even the end of our very lives.
Here we go…
We are not at some point where we must risk life and death to tell the truth. You want truth? There are actual journalists out there covering news around the world. Anyone with an internet connection can report what is seen and heard around the world. Are there tyrannical regimes and groups that would kill to suppress the truth? Of course.
But Beck is not in danger. Neither are we. We live in a country where we can say what we want.
We must have the courage to be peaceful, while recognizing the courage to defend and respond to threats and/or attacks when necessary.
Turn the other cheek when possible.
I want someone to find me ONE instance of Beck doing this. Please.
We must be vigilant. We must think the unthinkable. The holocaust occurred because no one could imagine it, but evil never sleeps, and neither must we.
No, Beck. The holocaust occurred because Germany was looking for a scapegoat and Jews were, historically, a minority blamed for everything from economic strife to the theft of Christian babies. It occurred because we didn’t have instant media like we do today and could not know what was happening on the other side of the world. It occurred because fundamentalist radicals got power and pushed a Right-wing agenda that focused on war and the delusional belief that their patriotism made them right. They believed they were doing God’s work.
As Edmund Burke said, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We must DO something. Stand watch. Speak up. Become involved.
“Sign up! Buy gold! Follow me! Give me your money!”
4. Because I have the right to pursue happiness, I have the responsibility to show humility and express gratitude for all the blessings I enjoy and the rights I’ve been given.
Exhibit B. Beck goes on, and on, and on about he is an anointed prophet of God.
5. Because I have the right to honest and good government I will seek out honest and just representatives when possible. If I cannot find one then I accept the responsibility to take that place.
Exhibit C. Beck insists politics in this country have divided us… yet he’s never expressed a desire to seek office.
6. Because I have the God given right to liberty, I have the personal responsibility to have the courage to defend others to be secure in their persons, lives and property.
Exhibit D. Beck has attacked groups that help the poor and less fortunate.
7. Because I have the right to equal justice, I will stand for those who are wrongly accused or unjustly blamed.
Exhibit E. This is the same as an earlier link, but Beck smeared Nivea because he thought the company was siding with Palestine against Israel. When confronted with an explanation, he continued to smear them.
8. Because I have the right to knowledge, I will be accountable for myself and my children’s education…to live our lives in such a way that insures the continuation of truth.
9. Because I have the right to pursue my dreams and keep the fruits of my labor, I have the responsibility to feed, protect and shelter my family, the less fortunate, the fatherless, the old and infirm.
Exhibit G. Beck wants to defund FEMA and basically roll back every major social welfare program of the last century.
10. Because I have a right to the truth, I will not bear false witness nor will not stand idly by as others do.
Exhibits H through Z… I just don’t have the time to summarize them all. Beck is a master of the falsehood. Do you want to know how to know when he’s lying? He opens his mouth and words come out.
Unconditionally, while maintaining my responsibility to compassionately yet fiercely stand against those things that decay the natural rights of all men. And for the support of this declaration, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, fortunes and sacred honor.
Okay, I am officially exhausted. The only reason I talk about him is because, even without Fox, he still has a huge base. He’s losing sponsors and stations, but people still buy his books, go to his rallies, and he’s still a voice on the Right that can move mountains. It’s not about shutting him up. I hope he keeps talking so people have more evidence to show just how much of a manipulative bastard he is. Just reading through his declaration shows everything that’s wrong with conservatism and the Tea Party.
Actually comparing its goals to Beck’s actions?
It shows that his audience either just responds “yes” to everything he says, they can’t read, or they have a twelve-hour memory. Either way, they should go back to playing with crayons and wearing diapers.
He and his audience are so full of shit they must change undies ten times a day.
You can also poop in public and kill to acquire a mate.
January 28, 2011
Did you ever wonder when it was acceptable to eat your own young?
It’s pretty much a given that Tea Partiers are going to say some really, really, really, stupid things. I just expect it by now. Republicans have been denying global warming and human-influenced climate change for years, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone try to use science like a cheap two-dollar whore like this.
If you’re unfamiliar with Michele Bachmann, she’s a Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota. She’s also a Tea Party darling and is the Founder of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress. And guess what? She thinks global warming is a hoax! Shock and awe!
If you don’t know the difference between climate change and global warming or why there is no reason to believe either is false, I’d like to point you to this page that explains it in detail. Basically, humans have been pumping greenhouse gases for almost a hundred and fifty years and have caused the earth to significantly warm. This warming then led to overall climate change.
And what is Bachmann’s silver bullet? What is the key piece of information she’s using to debunk the fields of geology, meteorology, and biology?
The kind of common sense typically reserved for mentally challenged poodles. Behold the best the Tea Party can throw at us.
Bachmann’s entire argument is that carbon dioxide is natural and so pumping it into the atmosphere cannot be harmful. Since plants use it, it’s found in our bodies, and it’s a part of the circle of life, it’s a harmless part of the world and doesn’t hurt anyone.
…I think my IQ dropped 50 points while listening to that.
Okay, so “natural” equals “harmless”? That’s the logic used here. Let’s go over a few more natural things and see if this applies.
Hey, are you hungry? Do you have a newborn around? Just eat it! Seriously! This kind of thing happens in nature all the time. A mother gets hungry and, lo and behold, the newborn young are just made of tasty, tasty, meat. It’s a modest proposal, sure, but hey, if it works for the animals and it’s natural, it must be good, right?
What about nuclear fusion? That’s the process that keeps the sun hot and makes it possible for life to exist on this spinning rock of ours. It’s the most natural, abundant source of energy in the universe. And, for some reason, we keep using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are unnatural! Fusion is where it’s at! Not trying to attain thermonuclear fusion is immoral!
You know, no creature besides humans has a written language and art. Language and art are unnatural! That’s right. Art and the written worked are the creation of a mind so far removed from natural impulse that the only explanation is the devil’s hand. Repent! Repent!
Smallpox was a perfectly natural organism. Sure, it killed hundreds of millions of people and caused untold suffering, but it was natural. Nature made it and it ravaged the globe. And we killed it. We are destroyers of God’s creation!
Arsenic! That’s another natural thing, right? It’s even touted as a newfound building block in certain types of bacteria. That means it’s safe, correct? According to Bachmann logic, it should be as safe as drinking a bottle of Evian. Since it’s natural, it should be as good for you as a Tony Horton-approved trip to Whole Foods, right?
No creature on Earth makes art or has a written language. It’s an abomination. deviantART is an affront to God and Man! All literature and poetry are the blaspehmous ramblings of mad devils living in your brain!
If Bachmann’s numbers are right, if the percentage of carbon dioxide is a fraction of a percent… maybe she’d like to tweek her DNA just a fraction of a percent. Then she’d look like a monkey. And her physical form would match her reasoning skills. You know, if a rock massing just a million thousand tons (a tenth of a millionth of a trillionth of Earth’s mass) struck our planet, even if just dropped and allowed to hit at terminal velocity, it would equal 360 tons of high explosive. That’s a pretty big bang. It would be even bigger if it was moving at your average doomsday-asteroid speed.
Okay, now I’m being snippy, but I think I deserve snippiness. Bachmann is using an argument so utterly stupid that an eight-grader could destroy it. Just because something is “natural” or “unnatural” does not make it good. What and how it contributes to our world make it moral or immoral.
In short, The Tea Party’s stupid, climate change is real, and nuclear fusion rocks.
Roni River, an Israeli photographer, shunned turning the camera on herself for a long time. When she finally did, she shot some erotic, personal, and very beautiful images. She took one image per day for a year. The results are some of the most gorgeous images of the human body I think I’ve seen a modern photographer capture. Is she supermodel-gorgeous? I think so, but she’s no waif.
And finally, it looks like God gave a press conference to answer some burning questions. Find out the meaning of life by checking out the video, and I’ll see you all on Monday. Also, don’t forget to keep spreading the word about this site and Charcoal Streets. Laters!