Daily Archives: April 3, 2015
I have a confession to make.
I am an ex-wingnut. I voted for W twice.
I’m sorry I did that.
I’m trying to make good.
I was a big fan of Bill O’Reilly. To me, he was an acceptable substitute for Morton Downey Jr., the king of the shoutdown. Bill took on the lefties. He yelled. He cut mics off. Talking Points made all the sense in the world. Then I discovered my true self; I became a critical thinker and re-discovered the values I always had but didn’t nurture.
O’Reilly has calmed down since his heyday; he has become just another slow-witted winger who mouthpieces for the Right. But every now and then, a blind pig finds a truffle. He has come out supporting “the deal”. But he can’t go without being bombastic for very long:
(Iran is a)bad country, but we’ve negotiated with bad people in the past,” O’Reilly responded (to Gtretchen Carlson). “It’s a bad country. So the thing is, do you destroy the bad country? We could do that, but that would be a world war.
Oh, really, Bill? Such a student of realpolitik. Maroon. This is why we are a global joke. Bill is a slave to the idea that there are Good Guys and Bad Guys. But being a good jingoist, it never occurs to O’Reilly that we have been “the bad country” quite often. We invade countries whenever we want. We have our nose in just about every trouble spot in the world. What has Iran done? Saddam Hussein started the Iran-Iraq war and he invaded Kuwait. Iran has not been an aggressor in the region. Now, it is said that Iran fights proxy wars with Israel in places like Lebanon by supporting aggressive militias like Hezbollah. I have yet to see evidence of this. It is always asserted, but never proven. But back to Bill. There will be no world war over Iran. If we haven’t touched off a powder keg of ressentiment on the global stage yet, then we never will. We do what we like. Even if Iran does emerge with a nuclear weapon, the mullahs are not stupid enough to fuck with Israel because the retaliation would be the vaporization of every major city in Iran.
Perhaps I am wrong. The Middle East and Africa are fucked the fuck up. But that’s nothing new under the sun. If there is a World War 3, we would be guilty of starting it. Bill may be accidentally correct in this. NATO is spreading like MRSA in The East, and it is pissing the Big Bear off. Quelle suprise. The war with Russia is still cold in nature…Ronald Reagan didn’t end it.
But I grow tired of the “world on fire” crew. To quote O’Reilly, “Everybody should just take a deep breath, step back, and say, ‘Let’s hope it’s a decent thing.’”
Via Digby, a graphic showing how many times the death sentence is used by countries who execute. We’re 7th on the list. It shows that state-sponsored murder is a Third World problem. We are in bad company, and we can do better.
My kid plays local baseball. He is 11, and new to the sport. Like his daddy, he is all arms and legs and he is not what you would call a natural. But he is getting better every time he plays and I am proud as heck that he even goes out to try despite not always being successful.
We don’t play on Wednesdays, because it is a church night for the coach and his kids. The team prays to the “Heavenly Father” at the end of practice. My kid just stands there are and waits for them to finish praying to their invisible sky poppa. As an atheist parent, I could pitch a fit about this and probably get the coach to cut the shit and leave the worship to his sacred Wednesday night. But I leave it alone; just like I leave alone him having to say the pledge at school. Just like the dugout prayers, he stands and watches the other kids do their daily zombie affirmations. I see no reason to be one of those atheists who go on the warpath every time the Lord even comes near them and theirs. I mean, yes, I loathe superstition and religion, but I know where I live. I’m in the Bible belt and this is a Christian culture. I don’t want to force them to quit living out loud for their god. That is what they do. It is very important to them, and it is constitutionally enshrined as a right and I don’t want an establishment of atheism any more than I want a national church.
However, bullshit like this has to stop. This is where I draw the line, when you penalize my kid for not believing or excluding him from activities:
Pittsburg High School baseball coach Tommy Stewart not only conducts a Bible study with his players after practice once a week, he punishes those who don’t attend with 20 minutes ofrunning. There’s literally a consequence for not being Christian on his team.
The school is doing damage control and denying the allegations:
Pittsburg ISD superintendent, Judy Pollan said that is simply not true. “He has about 30 boys and only 10 stay behind for a couple of sessions, so that tells you right there that it’s notmandatory.” Pollan explained. “He may show a movie or do studies on different things, but the whole purpose is to develop character and a winning attitude.”Pollan also said that the study session probably began because the players approached the coach about wanting to learn more about growing up and being men.
Say what the fuck? So what we’re saying here is the kids can’t be brought up correctly without religion? That a kid can’t have the right attitude without coming to Jesus? It’s all very insulting at best and discriminatory and illegal at worst. You own the fucking culture. Can’t you all go a few minutes without injecting your stupid belief into everything you do?