Steve's No Direction Home Page

If he needs a third eye, he just grows it.


Subscribe to "Steve's No Direction Home Page" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.



  Saturday, April 23, 2005

Yahoo! News - Germans Describe Calm in Hitler's Bunker

6:34:27 PM    comment []

Is this not a form of child abuse? Are these chil...

Is this not a form of child abuse? Are these children receiving proper parenting?

(Via The Liberal Reality-Based Avenger.)

9:53:28 AM    comment []

On Fundamentalism

This posting from Democratic Underground hass an awesome explanation of the differences between fundamentalism and religion :

It seems to me like the thing that really *is* in opposition to the Democratic/liberal/progressive philosophy is not religion, but fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is what happens when you pick one particular set of beliefs and decide that a) they are the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything and b) anyone who doesn't share buy into this belief system is the adversary and must be either converted or destroyed. Fundamentalism is a problem in a heterogeneous community because it's intolerant of difference, and it's a problem in general because it discourages independent thought, enforces ideological rigidity, and leaves its adherents not only unwilling to compromise in the face of necessity but unable to learn and adapt to new information if it contradicts part of their world view.

OK, nothing earthshattering there. Now. Here is the thing.

*Fundamentalism does not necessarily have anything to do with religion.*

You can be a fundamentalist about anything. My brother is a capitalist fundamentalist. He's got no use whatsoever for God, but imply that the ideal of free market competition is a myth that is never realized because capitalists always try to rig the game to their own advantage, and watch the missionary zeal emerge. White supremacists are fundamentalist when it comes to their theories about racial superiority. Not only will they refuse to be swayed by anything other people would consider evidence or logic, but--and this is true for other fundamentalists too--they use their pet theory to explain EVERYTHING. Global warming, Celine Dion, doesn't matter, it's all somehow the fault of people who don't recognize the natural superiority of the white man. Same thing with people who are America supremacists. America is always better than everyone else. No, I don't care how many poor people we have or how bad our economy sucks or how corrupt our political system is or that we're torturing people and everyone's OK with that. America is supreme, it deserves to be supreme, and if you try to tell me otherwise, you must be a traitor, which means that all that shit you were talking about is your fault anyway.

And, and this is my main point, there are fundamentalists on the left too. And folks, you don't want to become fundamentalists, because it will make it impossible for you to know when you're wrong about something or to figure out new strategies for new problems. It's one thing to stick by your principles, and it's another thing to refuse to admit the legitimacy of any other point of view.

One of the big problems with the way things are right now is that because the right wing has been taken over by fundamentalists of all kinds, their extremism is pushing us into a kind of mirror fundamentalism, where we feel we have to be extra-rigid about our own beliefs because they're constantly under attack. While I absolutely believe that it is crucial to present a united front in public, and I also believe that our party leadership has screwed itself and us by NOT being willing to stand up when attacked, I also think it's a mistake to refuse to change just because you don't want to look weak. Cause we know where "stay the course" ends up, don't we. A giant fucking quagmire that's on fire, that's where.

We've got plenty of fundamentalists on our side as well who have their own pet "single-cause theory" about why things are so screwed up. Every time somebody tries to tie everything back to corporations or "the media" I get bored. Not that those aren't big areas for concern or anything, it's just that we'd all be better off if we stopped pretending that we're a single battle away from fixing the messes we've foudn ourselves in.

(Via The Talent Show.)

9:42:38 AM    comment []

The Right Attacks America's Judges

In an unprecedented effort, the right has decided to attack judges in America, even going so far as to threaten violence.

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX): "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior" ("DeLay: Judges will answer for Schiavo actions", New York Times, 4/01/05)

Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) Chief of Staff: "I'm a radical! I'm
a real extremist. I don't want to impeach judges. I want to impale them"
("In Contempt of Courts", The Nation, 4/11/05)

Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network: God "will remove judges from the Supreme Court quickly" (Media Matters, 1/04/05)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) Said Judge Killings Might Be Understandable.
"And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the
perception in some quarters, on some occasions, where judges are making
political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds
up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage
in, engage in violence." ("Senator Links Violence to 'Political'
Decisions", Washington Post, 4/01/05)

DeLay: "We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse" ("2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds", LA Times, 4/22/05)

James Dobson, Focus On The Family: "They don't have to fire
anybody or impeach them or go through that battle. All they have to do
is say the 9th Circuit doesn't exist anymore, and it's gone."
("2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds", LA Times, 4/22/05)

Dobson Compared America's Judges to the Klan: "I heard a
minister the other day talking about the great injustice and evil of
the men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan, that roamed the country in
the South, and they did great wrong to civil rights and to morality.
And now we have black-robed men, and that's what you're talking about."
(Media Matters, 4/11/05)

Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: "There's more than one
way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to take a black robe
off the bench"
("2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds", LA Times, 4/22/05)

Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) will appear on 'Justice Sunday' with Dobson and Perkins:
""Justice Sunday" at Highview Baptist Church, organized by the
conservative Family Research Council, will feature a videotaped speech
by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist" ("'Justice Sunday' Event Sparking
Protests", AP, 4/22/05)

This is creating a climate of fear for America's judges.

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor: "I think it
energizes people who are a little off base to take actions that maybe
they wouldn't otherwise take." ("The War On Judges", Newsweek, 4/25/05)

New Requests for Protection: "The U.S. Supreme Court asked
for more police on Tuesday, citing recent attacks on judges and the
need for more visible patrols to thwart terrorists."
("US top court seeks more money for police security", Reuters, 4/12/05)

(Via Oliver Willis - Like Kryptonite To Stupid.)

How does this not add up to an attack on the American Republic itself?

9:31:40 AM    comment []

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2005 Steve Michel.
Last update: 6/28/2005; 9:06:45 AM.

April 2005
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Mar   May