Archive for March 14th, 2007

Losing Our Religion

Digby posts a CNN transcript about how lots of Americans don’t even know who wrote the four Gospels of the New Testament, despite this being a Christian nation and all:

CHETRY: …Now, I thought that one was pretty easy. For the record, tell us.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN FAITH AND VALUES CORRESPONDENT: I thought it was pretty easy, too.

For the record, they’re Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but surprisingly it was the question that most people had difficulty with, Kiran.

CHETRY: All right. So what were some of the other findings, Delia, about — because the vast majority of people asked say they are religious, and many Christians don’t necessarily know the specifics of the bible.

GALLAGHER: Yes. Well, you know, a lot of people will say they believe, and they are Christian, and they are practicing, but when it comes to really knowing your bible or even knowing about other religions, we found that a lot of people don’t have a great breadth of knowledge about their history and their religious history.

This is terrible! How on earth can CNN salvage this embarrassing state of affairs?

CHETRY: Hey, does this sort of reopen the debate about whether we should be teaching religion in schools?

GALLAGHER: Well, this is part of the point that the author makes in his book. He blames the fact that were are religiously illiterate on the fact that in our schools we do not teach the bible either as history or as literature in any way.

The problem, of course, with that, as he points out, is that people are afraid to do this, because you will find yourself in court if you try to teach it, but not preach it. You know, there’s a fine line between those two. And in our public school system, that is something that the schools are really afraid to get into, and one of the reasons why kids today and adults aren’t getting any kind of bible history.

As Digby points out, um, isn’t this what the churches are supposed to? Shouldn’t this be, like, their whole raison d’etre? Or is there supposed to be some sort of trade, where the church charities do the work that the government’s supposed to be doing, and the government does the work the churches are supposed to be doing?

My own personal theory is that the lack of religious teaching in churches is deliberate, at least in right-wing churches. Because if their parishioners really knew that Jesus stood for love, peace, compassion, and tolerance, it would undermine every single one of the religious right’s political goals.

4 comments March 14th, 2007 at 11:37pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Religion,Republicans

Eli’s Obsession With The Google

#2 search result for jihad + space potatoes, #4 search result for CLOGED VEINS ERECTILE DISFUNCTION.

Huzzah!

March 14th, 2007 at 07:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google

Where Are They Now?

For the Atriots:

ballardst2008145770314.gif

March 14th, 2007 at 04:26pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics,Wankers

Pay No Attention To The Hookers Escorts Behind The Curtain

Well. Isn’t this an interesting development…

Deborah Jeane Palfrey… is being prosecuted in connection with what the authorities say was a pricey prostitution ring in the Washington, D.C., area that serviced as many as 15,000 clients between 1993 and 2006. A federal indictment was handed up in the district on March 1.

(…)

Ms. Palfrey, evidently short of money for legal defense since prosecutors froze her $400,000 in cash and stocks last fall, attracted a good deal of attention over the last few weeks, some of it perhaps of a panicky nature, by threatening to sell her business’s phone records, showing the telephone numbers of thousands of customers, to the highest bidder….

On Tuesday, Ms. Palfrey changed course. Her lawyer told WTOP radio in Washington that she had decided not to sell the records. Instead they will be handed over to a news organization, free of charge. Which one? Nobody is saying yet.

What, if not money, does Ms. Palfrey get out of that? The news organization’s help in combing the records and identifying customers, who can then become witnesses for the defense, the lawyer, Montgomery B. Silbey, told WTOP. And what does the news organization get? The opportunity to break the news if it finds anyone prominent in the list. About everybody else, we are told, the news organization has promised to be discreet.

Mr. Silbey said Ms. Palfrey shied away from a sale, and the presumable mass revelation of names to follow, because “she doesn’t want to do the average customer any harm, unless that customer would be critical to her defense.”

Seems like an awful lot depends on which news organization Palfrey chooses. If she picks Fox News or the Washington Times or *shudder* Matt Drudge (maybe not technically a news organization, but he does rule our world, after all), the definition of “prominent” is going to track pretty closely to the definition of “Democrat.” And if there are any insufficiently deferential reporters, pundits, or disgruntled ex-government employees in there, look for them to get an instant promotion to Prominent status.

Hopefully Palfrey has the good judgment to give the list to someone with a more conventional definition of “prominent”, someone who would mention if Newt or McCain or oh-please-God-please Lieberman are on it.

March 14th, 2007 at 11:53am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Gonzo’s Head Not Worth Much

Well, pretty much everyone is calling for AG-Squared’s resignation at this point. I’m not sure if it’ll actually happen, since he accepted responsibility for the US Attorney firings and the National Security Letter abuses, while at the same time insisting that he had nothing to do with them. And in the case of the Attorney firings, Gonzo and everyone in the administration have made it very clear that no crime was committed.

If Gonzo retires or is fired for the Attorney massacre (currently a much hotter topic than the NSLs, which may be more Mueller’s problem), that would be an admission that the mass firings were improper, which is not a road the White House wants to travel.

That being said, there are two reasons Gonzo’s exit wouldn’t excite me much:

1) He’s not the problem. Gonzo was just doing his job as defined by his boss (see Rumsfeld, Donald). In Dubya’s eyes, his only crime was getting caught. If he resigns or is fired, he’ll just be a scapegoat for the real culprits (Bush/Rove/Miers), and to give Dubya the appearance of taking Bold Decisive Action to rid his administration of corruption and cronyism. Which is a sham, because:

2) With the exception of Rumsfeld, Bush never gets rid of anyone unless he has lined up a replacement who’s even worse. My money’s on John Yoo or Glenn Reynolds. Or maybe Harriet Miers…

Hopefully the Democratic majority will be able to prove me wrong on both counts. If they pull the thread of “If the firings were indeed improper, then who gave Gonzo his marching orders?”, then his demise does not let BushCo. off the hook. And if they’re aggressive about the confirmation process (and can somehow keep Lieberman in line), they can prevent Bush from naming Hinderaker or Althouse the next AG.

Schumer’s been talking a very good game on this; if he backs it up like he says he will, this could get much, much worse for Dubya.

5 comments March 14th, 2007 at 11:15am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Oh my:

A victory in the war against mental disease may have been won with the discovery of the real cause of multiple personalities.

“New imaging systems have detected unusual activity in the cerebellums of people with more than one personality,” said Dr. Samuel Grant. “These areas are similar to the familiar gray matter of the rest of the brain with one major difference. Due to oxygen deprivation, they’re blue.”

Dr. Grant believes that mental disease arises from a conflict between the blue and the gray parts of the brain.

“It seems that cells in the left side of a split mind horde [sic] oxygen in a section called the ‘antebellum,’ forcing the right side to work without sufficient energy. That causes the blue cells to attack in an effort to free the withheld oxygen.”

The result, said Dr. Grant is a brain ravaged by civil war.

“We’re working on a drug that should coax the cerebellum [antebellum?] to release the oxygen from captivity,” said Dr. Grant. “It’s imperative that we end these struggles. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, ‘A brain divided against itself cannot stand.'”

I might be a bit confused from oxygen deprivation, but I suspect this one could have used a little more proofreading. Other than that, it’s great stuff, though. Antebellum? A war to free the oxygen? Dr. Grant?

3 comments March 14th, 2007 at 07:06am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News


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