Thursday, February 23, 2012

Santorum Part II: More Choice Samplings of Culture War

Well, he survived the debate and we're all breathlessly awaiting the results from Michigan and Arizona, to see if this marvelous theater will go on.  My own fascination with Rick Santorum is partly rooted in the fell prediction that Papa Robert Heinlein made, in his future history, way back in the 1950s... that a fundamentalist preacher would win the presidency on a court decision, without a plurality (sound like 2000?) and thereupon clamp down a theocracy as "Prophet of the Lord." That character was named Nehemia Scudder and it all happens in 2012.

But in fact, I do not expect Rick to win the nomination, this time around. That is because Republicans always follow a very precise pattern in their nominations.

(1) if there is a recent or sitting Vice President available and running, they always choose him. (In fairness, the dems do that too, almost as consistently.)

(2) If there is no available veep, they then nominate the guy whose "turn it is." The fellow who came in second for the nomination last time.  Reagan in 1980, Dole in '96, McCain in 2008, etc.  Hence, following that rule, it will be Romney in 2012…

...only dig it... that means Santorum in 2016.  Was Heinlein off by only a little bit? I'll conclude this series with a comment on that. Including a prediction for how the GOP base will deal with it when -- the very second after he is nominated -- Mitt Romney instantly charges for the Center as fast as he can.

But first, let's get back to Rick Santorum, the gift that keeps on giving.

 == Rick's Roll Goes On and On... ==

What's he been saying lately?
 
State and federal governments should not have a role in operating schools

No abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Women should "make the best out of a bad situation."

Birth control is "harmful to women."

The government should ban or refuse to pay even for pre-natal testing.

When Santorum's press secretary, Alice Stewart, called Obama a "radical islamist" to an open mike, was that just an innocent slip of the tongue?  Or an inadvertent, but Freudian-honest rolling-out of what she - and many Santorum supporters - commonly say and believe in private?

And it goes on. Did Rick call Obama Hitler? See how he denies it... then weaves a draw-your-own-conclusions tapestry that inescapably says exactly that.

== "Fairness" is When YOU Want More... ==

"Just like we have certifying organizations that accredit a college, we'll have certifying organizations that will accredit conservative professors. If you are to be eligible for federal funds, you'll have to provide an equal number of conservative professors as liberal professors." See this interview with Santorum.

So, governments should not operate public schools, and big federal interference is bad... but it should hammer down on colleges to force them to hire 50% conservatives?  Wow.  What's the principle here, Rick?  Fairness and equal time?

Hm... then why do the GOP and Fox scream bloody murder over any mention of restoring the old equal time rule in broadcast news?  The notion that the viewers deserve to see and hear rebuttals to outrageously partisan declamations on partisan cable "news" channels?

Why no opposing opinions or rebuttals... at all?  That's the policy on Beck, Limbaugh, Fox&Friends, Hannity and so on.  Only the resident "adult" at Fox, Bill O'Reilly, has the guts to bring on some guests with challenging viewpoints. Rarely. You say it's the same on the Left?  Not.  Jon Stewart has more opposition guests on his one show than the entire Fox network. He treats them courteously and hawks their books. They come back often and eagerly! There's a word for what Stewart does. It is Courage.

And thus, those who do the opposite are cowards.

Heck, I'd settle for a 10% rule, because having tough, smart opposition voices just that often on Fox would demolish their hypnotic trance.  Rupert and Roger desperately fear the day their captive audience might hear alternative viewpoints. Or even -- (shudder) -- facts.

It seems that "equal time" is right and proper, depending entirely on who is getting "equalized."

Oh but I saved the best for last. It is by far the most important aspect to all of this, even though it will strike many of you as troglodytic and obscure.  Because it shows where millions of our neighbors have been wandering, in their minds and in their increasingly fury-drenched attitude towards the rest of us.

== The role of religion: Rallying the faithful... vs the majority ==

Here's the part that Rick Santorum considers paramount. And so we should take his word on that and spare the time to  pay close attention, because the moral and logical essence is astonishing.

Santorum proclaimed that mainstream Protestantism is "gone from the world of Christianity" -- thereby dismissing all of the communions who are members of the National Council of Churches  as heretical, and thus classifying - by inclusion - all Americans who abide by mainstream Protestant sects such as Lutherans, Episcopalians and Methodists. By all means. link to hear his speech laying out how Satan personally seeks to destroy America, and has so far succeeded in corrupting our colleges and our mainstream Protestant churches:

"And so what we saw was this domino effect, once the colleges fell and those who were being educated in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic. Sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it."

What a guy!  I'd be delighted... at one purely political level... if I weren't also terrified.  This, after all, being the year that Papa Heinlein forecast the election of a radical fundamentalist "prophet of the lord" named Nehemiah Scudder.

Woof.  How do you answer stuff like that? Is the intention of all this to make half of Americans view the other half as purely satanic enemies?  For it is no less than that.  Can the United States of America govern itself when we're no longer arguing over negotiated policy solutions, but over pure and essential damnation?

Before you shrug, consider what this means. These folks try not to say it before an open mike, but their pastors (e.g. of Sarah Palin's church in Wassila) make plain that they both pray for and expect all of the events described in the Book of Revelation (BoR) to befall us in the very near future, and that those who do not hold to their exact doctrines are inherently in for grotesque torment and eternal damnation. (Do, by all means, read Revelation and see what they pray for, including "fire from the sky," lavish agony for the vast majority of us, and an end to all democracy and to the United States of America.)

Many of us were already used to being consigned to that category by the BoR-fetishists. Only now Rick makes it clear -- it includes a majority of his fellow citizens.

But let's return to that bit about Satan personally having it in for the good old USA.  Consider it logically.

Let's suppose that someone, say Satan -- (or else an immensely rich foreign royal family with its eye on ending and replacing Pax Americana) -- did conspire and plot to see the U.S. ruined.  Would the devil -- or those princes -- not want exactly this volcanic fury vented by Rick Santorum and his allies?

Raging, hate-propelled civil war? Demonizing our neighbors over any disagreement? An end to all chance for Americans to negotiate with one another as free minds, willing to learn and adapt in the face of evidence? To make us incapable of negotiating with our neighbors as calm adults.

Wasn't that our strength, the eager optimism of our song?

And who'll be laughing with delight the day that music dies?

==Return to Part 1
or continue to Part 3

62 comments:

rewinn said...

1. People worship Jesus because it's a lot easier than acting like him.

2. Santorum might have succeeded before the internet made it possible for everyone to see his ravings with their own eyes, and for Evangelicals to learn of his disdain for them.

3. You know who's probably feeling stupid right now? Tim Pawlenty. Imagine being spooked out of the race by Michelle Bachman's Iowa straw poll victory.

4. Still, the Scudderites are not to be counted out; the Aristocracy of Wealth is remarkably unsentimental about which puppet they hire.

5. If I had to bet, it's that the AoW sits out the Presidential race and concentrates on winning governorship and maintaining the filibuster. That's plenty enough to get what they want, and I'm slightly disappointed that our science fiction prognosticators haven't included that in their future histories. Perhaps it's just much easier to write exciting fiction about dictators than about Mitch McConnell.

Jim Satterfield said...

I have to admit that I've been thinking about Scudder while watching Santorum. If by some miracle he gets the GOP nomination, whether it's this year or 2016 I wonder how much that casual dismissal of millions of Americans will come back to haunt him.

TwinBeam said...

I have to reluctantly, partially agree with Santorum regarding schools.

They ARE a mess, and if government hasn't fixed them by now, with practically every politician claiming to be an advocate for education, we should try something else, with less government involvement.

That doesn't mean we throw up our hands and revert to "no government plan at all" - but there are reasonable alternatives.

Carl M. said...

Before you go too far crying Scudder, ask yourself how far does Santorum deviate from mainstream politics at the time Heinlein wrote his prediction. Compare his proposals with the laws on the books in 1950. Is he more reactionary than that?

I do not know the answer myself, BTW, I leave it to those who make the accusation should shoulder the burden of proof. I am not trying to defend Santorum, only put him in perspective. Were it between Santorum and Obama, I'd hold my nose and vote Obama. That said, I expect to be voting Gary Johnson in the main election.

As for Santorum's statement about mainline Protestantism, he is right. The Episcopal Church in particular has become the church for people who want a church but don't like that Bible thingy. While many parishes remain Christian, the top hierarchy has been taken over. Some congregations have put themselves under the authority of African bishops in protest. (The Africans are the primary anchor keeping the Anglican Communion connected to Christianity.)

David Brin said...

Interesting perspectives Carl. Related to my next post on RS.

TwinBeam, our schools only "fail" by the risen standards we now have BECAUSE they succeeded so well in delivering universal literacy and other miracles. It is by this higher plateau that we (rightfully) complain that it's not good enough by far.

Tom Crowl said...

The only way this planet can survive is with secular governance... period.

That doesn't mean all the people have to be atheists... in fact none of them have to be!

In fact they could all be religious fanatics... so long as they don't demand others follow the same path.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM!!!!!

The Democrats fault here is that, like with so many other issues (economic especially)they haven't defended these essential Enlightenment ideals.

And I believe they deserve strong criticism for that... very strong.

Sadly... no, correct that, tragically... both of these parties have become 'commercialized'... employing emotion-based opinion manipulation while becoming isolated from the populations they claim to represent.

Of course that's hardly new to politics or governments... its been around as long as civilization has.

And that degradation of the civic culture has destroyed what started out as pretty good attempts at self-government too... over and over again.

Sustainable self-government requires a frequently participating population with an overt cultivation of mutual respect.

We're very much going in the wrong direction and there's an awful lot to do...

And along with the political microtransaction I'd throw in a need for a vast expansion of the use of sortition in governance (perhaps corporate governance as well!).

David Brin said...

Tom C you say some true things and mostly generalities... and that is one of today's problems -- too many blanket assertions and generalities that often just don't hold up.

Stefan Jones said...

A discouraging piece from The Guardian:

Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'
Researchers attending one of the world's major academic conferences 'are scared to death of the anti-science lobby'

'Attacks paid for by big business are 'driving science into a dark era'

Researchers attending one of the world's major academic conferences 'are scared to death of the anti-science lobby'

Share 4500
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Comments (435)

Robin McKie, science editor
The Observer, Saturday 18 February 2012
Article history

Polar Bear on ice
The vast majority of scientists on both sides of the Atlantic say rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere threaten to increase temperatures to dangerous levels. Photograph: Paul Souders/Corbis

Most scientists, on achieving high office, keep their public remarks to the bland and reassuring. Last week Nina Fedoroff, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), broke ranks in a spectacular manner.

She confessed that she was now "scared to death" by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.

"We are sliding back into a dark era," she said. "And there seems little we can do about it. I am profoundly depressed at just how difficult it has become merely to get a realistic conversation started on issues such as climate change or genetically modified organisms."

The remarks of Fedoroff, one of the world's most distinguished agricultural scientists, are all the more remarkable given their setting.

She made them at the AAAS annual meeting, an event at which scientists normally revel in their latest accomplishments: new insights into marine biology or first results from a recently launched satellite, for example.'

duncan cairncross said...

FTL Neutrinos

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/02/breaking-news-error-undoes-faster.html?ref=hp

It appears that the faster-than-light neutrino results, announced last September by the OPERA collaboration in Italy, was due to a mistake after all. A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame.

Paul451 said...

Duncan,
Re: FTL Neutrinos.

The reports talk about a "bad connection", but the grown-ups are suggesting that's not... realistic.

The best guess is that the researchers used a fibre optic link between the GPS unit and the monitors in the tunnels. They used the stated network delay, which could be 60ns short of the real figure. Not a "bad connection", but bad documentation.

(spoid icirf: Flamed out in a job interview today. This may have been the thing I shouted as they carried me out.)

Tom Crowl said...

Fair criticism... I wouldn't want to be suggesting specific remedies (and I do) to problems that don't exist, nor that would make things worse. This suggests a question then:

Are there criteria by which we can assess the capability for successful self-governance of a population? And yes, that is largely but not entirely subjective.

If the culture isn't providing sufficient food and shelter I think we can objectively say its failing... and NO, we're not in that situation and are actually doing fairly well on that front despite the recent Real Estate collapse.

But that's not all there is... here's an apt metaphor: Both the Borg and the Federation offer ample food and shelter... but I'd choose the Federation any day of the week.

I'm not suggesting we're turning into Borg... nor that we're living in some oppressive slave society... but things are never static... and the direction of political discourse isn't good.

I'm not a cultural relativist. While the criteria for a healthy culture may be difficult to assess they are there whether we know how to measure them or not.

And if there are such criteria, what specific steps may maintain and/or advance that capability?

And how might we assess the success or failure of those steps?

"Culture Matters" as so aptly put by Lawrence Harrison in his book of that name.

I'd be happy to find a way to quantify what I hypothesize is a degradation in civic culture... because maybe I'll find that I'm incorrect. That's a cheering proposition... really! I'd like to not feel that we're heading in the wrong direction.

Anonymous said...

@Carl M -
(Raises hand)
Ahem... Episcopalian here. When you say that the top hierarchy has been taken over, what do you have to offer? We do "the bible thingy", as has every congregation to which I have belonged. I am a convert from Catholicism, which pushed me out the rest of the way when they told us (during mass) whom to vote for. Final straw. The masses at my local parish still follow form, keeping with the standard form, right down to the Niceen Creed.
Is it because we have tried to be more inclusive? Have we swung too far towards Bishop John Shelby Spong (who actually raises some very valid points)? Are the upper hierarchy pod people? It used to be said that the Episcopal Church was the Republican Party on its knees, and indeed a good many members of my parish still belong to the party of Lincoln.
Very broad brush, just sayin'.

- Robert L.

Naum said...

Carl M. wrote: The Episcopal Church in particular has become the church for people who want a church but don't like that Bible thingy. While many parishes remain Christian, the top hierarchy has been taken over.

No.

Interpretation of ancient scripture is always heavily laden with the culture and context of those peering in. It is not a static quality but a dynamic, moving set of edicts and propositions. Sure, there are some absolutes regarding love and justice and not annihilating other souls (or maybe not, depending upon the context), but predominant "interpretation" of biblical thought currents has indeed morphed over the centuries.

For a millenium, Christians believed usury (and defined it as charging of any interest) a sin. Early Christians took literally to heart Jesus Sermon on the Mount prescriptions against swearing oaths or brandishing violence of any sort, seriously living out the "love your enemies" verse. And for nearly two millenium, slavery was seen by a majority of Christians to be biblically sanctioned.

Which leads to another conundrum -- modern neo-fundamentalist and conservative evangelical "Bible" believing Christians that take the scripture "literally" in a historical-scientific manner that could not have happened in a pre-Enlightenment age. But even the ancient interpreters acknowledged "levels" of scripture reading -- with "literal" being the 1st rung, and symbolic, moral and at the apex, spiritual/mystical (when the soul is stirred, and the head operates together with the heart).

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

If there is no available veep, they then nominate the guy whose "turn it is." The fellow who came in second for the nomination last time. Reagan in 1980, Dole in '96, McCain in 2008, etc. Hence, following that rule, it will be Romney in 2012…

...only dig it... that means Santorum in 2016.


You're that certain that a Republican won't be the sitting president in 2016?

I mean, I hope not, but it's by no means a sure thing.

Anonymous said...

I feel the need to sign up for Ron Paul's campaign, and try to sway as many of the campaigner's to the idea that Ron needs to run as an independent in 2016.

David Brin said...

Tom Crowl fair-enough you ask about criteria to judge capability for successful self-governance. But then you must look to your own perceptions as well. For example, if you perceive us becoming federalized, then are you adaptable when I point out that the federal govt's share of our economy and expenditures is at its lowest point since 1950? CAN you adapt to the notion that your IMPRESSIONS aren't true?

Want facts? We were riding high in 1999, paying down debt. Now name ONE unambiguous metric of national health that did not plummet under GOP rule. Do those twin facts not suggest to you that you might lean away from "they are equally corrupt/incompetent"?

Larryhart says "You're that certain that a Republican won't be the sitting president in 2016?"

Hm... if it is Romney then the tea partiers may be in open revolt by then...

Anonymous and anyone else pondering Ron Paul... first look at this!!!!!

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8587336&postID=6786083304816079374&page=1&token=1330060790506

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?
blogID=8587336&postID=
6786083304816079374&page=
1&token=1330060790506

In fact... that piece is very very very disturbing.... read all of it.

Tom Crowl said...

Maybe I'm confused...

I agree!

YES! The government SHOULD be funding much more!

I don't advocate a smaller share of funds going to government or for public purposes...

(I want Ron Paul to do well for entirely different reasons... I don't expect him to win, I do expect him to help break the groupthink shared by both Parties and which I'll try to briefly explain in the following.)

My issue is with how fiat funds (and I support fiat money and Keynesianism in general)... how funds created via credit expansion are entered into the economy.

For instance... we would have been much better off subsidizing a higher minimum wage (and keeping wages in line with rises in productivity) even if abetted by fiat FED issued money...

Rather than encouraging consumption via borrowing (much of that credit expansion was fed through financial services to fund consumer debt) and greatly expanded that sector over the last several decades.

An apt parallel in the globalization context would be for Apple... instead of taking a Billion of cash on hand to give a hire wage to Foxcon workers...

Decided to become LENDERS to Foxconn workers (becoming the Company Store)...

I'm no Republican or advocate of any austerity beyond what may be demanded by actual physical limits rather than because of failures in monetary technology...

I'm very comfortable lauding the courage of Hilary Clinton standing up to Russia and China for their stand on Syria...

But I can also criticize the Party that I believe SHOULD have kept those wages up... and not become a partner in the company store.

And I do appreciate the better financial position we were in when Clinton left office... Bush was a disaster.

But I can't get past that Company Store problem...

I've got a niece graduating from a very good Law School with a debt of $180,000.

That's where the problem lies... the Democrats wanted that education for all... and housing.. and the rest... all good! But they made a deal with the devil by making that 'compromise' with the other side...

I support fiat money... but why use it to destroy the middle class with debt so as to build a bloated financial sector?

I believe that's what's happened... its a problem across the entire Western world and that much of that debt should be repudiated ASAP.

I'd like the Democratic Party... or some Party to recognize this problem in the credit creation paradigm they've accepted.

We need fiat money... but the system by which its created and issued is currently fatally flawed... and that's a global problem.

I don't hate Larry Summers... but I think he, and that school of thought missed some important implications.

David Brin said...

Very interesting stuff, Larry! When you finally got down to details... ;-)

Tom Crowl said...

On Ron Paul:

Yeah, he's wrong on some real important things and doesn't understand money and credit creation... but he does vaguely recognize something...

you have to understand what he's tapping into is a very real recognition by the general population that something's wrong with the paradigm being pushed by the "Establishment's" of BOTH Parties...

And so long as we Keynesian's won't cop to the problem in financial services... we're going to keep shooting ourselves in the foot.

(and the Establishment's of both Parties are Keynesian in practice as they should be... its a practical necessity... that's why Ron Paul freaks them out... they don't want to deal with the real issue either)

So I'd like to think I'm actually supporting Keynes in the long run...

And I don't like what "credit creation via financial services" has done to an essential concept.

And if Ron Paul can help Democrats wake up to the problem in their own house we'll all be better-off.

Tom Crowl said...

Nothing against Larry.. but I hope that "Very Interesting stuff" was actually meant for my comment?

David Brin said...

Oops yes you Tom.

Paul451 said...

David,
"Anonymous and anyone else pondering Ron Paul... first look at this!!!!!

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=8587336&postID=6786083304816079374&page=1&token=1330060790506
"


That links back to this thread.

rewinn said...

@Carl M. said...
"... how far does Santorum deviate from mainstream politics at the time Heinlein wrote his prediction...."

Very far.

Mainstream politics at that time completely rejected the introduction of Catholic doctrine into political decisions. While Santorum's advocacy of recriminalizing birth control would in many states be a reversion to the status quo ante, his reason for doing so is not the general-pupose misogyny of pre-Sexual Revolution time, but a heartfelt (on the evidence) religious conviction that makes Scudderism a real consideration

Misogyny can be cured by evidence. Women have proven they are able to make reproductive decisions without interference from government, and there is substantial evidence that (contrary to Santorum's belief) sex can have socially useful purposes other than making babies. For some, there is given the Lysistra treatment. In contrast, Santorum's position is based on a proudly unthinking doctrine based on infalliable reasoning from divine revelation (... demonstrably heretical or at least schismatic in my view, but that's another matter ...) that canNOT be altered by any number of mere facts.

That's dangerous.

As for other positions of Santorum (and, for that matter, of the other GOP leaders), are you familiar with the Republican Party platform of 1952?
It's quite entertaining reading; although it leads with the ritual denunciation of Democrats as Communists, it includes such gems as demands for:

"...The right to establish "union shop" contracts by agreement with management.

The right to strike.

The right to free collective bargaining.

...The right to assurance from employers that they will bargain only with certified unions as a protection against unfair labor practices.

...The Federal Government and State and local governments should continuously plan programs of economically justifiable public works.

... We favor amendment of the Old Age and Survivors Insurance system to provide coverage for those justly entitled to it but who are now excluded.

...We favor support of scientific research. We pledge our continuous encouragement of improved methods of assuring health protection.

..The tradition of popular education, tax-supported and free to all, is strong with our people.

[W]e believe that the Federal Government should take supplemental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or national origin.

We recommend to Congress the submission of a Constitutional Amendment providing equal rights for men and women.

We favor legislation assuring equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.

We favor eventual statehood for Puerto Rico.

We pledge a more efficient and frequent mail delivery service."


Republican Party Platform of 1952.

The Republican Party of 1952 was, in many respects, far to the left of today's Democrats!

David Brin said...

Sorry! Here's the article about a likely alliance between Romney and Paul...

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-ron-paul-mitt-romney-alliance-20120224,0,2836457.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fpolitics+%28L.A.+Times+-+Politics%29

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn
-ron-paul-mitt-romney-alliance-
20120224,0,2836457.story?
track=rss&utm_source=feedburner
&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign
=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Fpolitics
+%28L.A.+Times+-+Politics%29

Or else google Paul-Mitt Alliance

Digital Learning Trend said...

I have to confess that I've been considering Scudder while viewing Santorum. If by some magic he gets the GOP nomination, whether it's this season or 2016 I wonder how much that informal termination of an incredible number of People in america will come again to pester him.

Tom Crowl said...

Thanks! While naturally ego is involved... its important to me that you understand that my thoughts on this are very much related to my advocacy of the political micro-transaction... and especially the design of the network through which it should be implemented.

It is not a casual whim that it might be great to throw quarters at politicians but is part of a larger vision regarding what I believe is a critically needed institution.

Frankly, if it had been in place thirty years ago... we'd have had a higher minimum wage, healthier parties and maybe a wiser electorate. But I'm a pragmatist and open to arguments on the other side.

ell said...

Very good, rewinn. Your excerpts from the Republican platform and the link need to be disseminated across the blogosphere. Those Republicans who long for the 1950s don't remember their history very well -- or didn't live through it.

TheMadLibrarian said...

Rewinn: that's a Republican party line I can get behind! Too bad it's apparently been left behind as well. Double entendre reference to fundie rapturist series intentional.

TheMadLibrarian

ntioll eserald: South Seas lagoon reef color

Tony Fisk said...

It sounds like today's GOP are refugees from a parallel universe

David Brin said...

WE live in the artificial world in which dim-witted George W. Bush parked his shopping cart outside a public holodeck (in the year 2040) and plopped in enough quarters -- the last of Prince Bandar's trust fund -- and got to spend 30 subjective years getting all of his fantasy jobs.

Jet pilot, rancher, oil baron, owner of a baseball team, president... I do wonder why the astronaut thing never happened. He can't have run out of quarters! We're still playi..... (click!)

RandyB said...

FWIW: Fox doesn't have any worries about the equal time rule. The old "fairness doctrine" was an FCC rule that claimed to justify itself by a limited broadcast spectrum. Fox News is a cable channel, not a broadcast network subject to the FCC. Speechwise, its only legal limitation is the nation's ever-shrinking tolerance for the first amendment.

It is the radio stations that had equal time restrictions. The FCC got rid of it when people realized that broadcast spectrum was indeed big enough. If liberals can't make it on talk radio, it's not because there isn't enough room for it on the AM band.

David Brin said...

RandyB your snark is typical. While correct within its weirdly narrow focus, it misses the point in every possible way.

1) The goppers DO screech to high heaven as the slightest sign that a fairness rule might allow rebuttal in dogmatically pure media. I wonder why?

2) No I do not wonder. The lie-festivals know they cannot stand up to scrutiny. You know this. You know it because Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and etc never have guests on to challenge them. Jon Stewart has more opposing guests on his one show than all of Fox combined.

They are cowards and liars and what's more, you know that is the heart of the matter. They are fomenting civil war in America and that treason is on your doorstep.

Rob said...

David, I've met plenty of individually militant "liberals", who froth like angry middle schoolers at the mention of Mormons and marriage in the same paragraph. I fell "victim" to that kind of abuse just this week, in a public forum with real names in use and everything.

("Victim" is in quotes, because, y'know, sticks and stones and words, and all that. Even so, I'm signing the referendum petition, if I see it. (I won't seek it out and they don't permit circulation at church) If after that there are no stones, then I can bear witness to "librul" civility.)

Even so, I think you're correct when you point out that the media imbalance of influence over the airwaves is rightward. Today. And, that it's being artificially sustained by a few. Today. When the wheel turns that will serve as a second data point for "librul" stability.

David Brin said...

I frequently anger folks at Kos when, in my cross-postings there, I routinely aim a sudden swerve jab at the left.

Indeed, I blame campus loony -flake leftie intellectual thugs for so abusing freedom of speech by deriding and heckling and blood-splattering guys like Worlfowitz that they fled real universities for the succor of faux-"academe" "campuses like Heritage and AEI... there to become full time whores to oligarchy.

Thos campus imbeciles accomplished nothing except to make the Bushite neocons even crazier and totally detached from the give and take and crit their notions might have received on a real campus.

Moreover, those crypto marxist ditzoids who used every nefarious means to only hire like-minded dopes now infest and dominate many soft-studies departments. And - incidentally - they loathe science fiction!

So? A few thousand joiks. Big deal. Nothing like it has happened to the science or engineering or medical departments. And there has lately been real push-back. To even try to compare that phenomenon to the utter drooling madness being inflicted on us from the other side is just ... well... the orders of magnitude are ant vs a genuine rampaging were-elephant.

rewinn said...

@Rob wrote:
"...I'm signing the referendum petition, if I see it..."

Respectfully: What *principle* would impel you sign a petition to deny the name of marriage to anyone?

Since it's not a question of extending or increasing substantive legal rights (which are already covered under "civil unions"), then is there any harm under law accruing to you in the name?

Reasonable minds may differ as to whether the name *should* matter to gays. However, the observed fact is that it *does*. So, what is the principle at stake here - as the saying goes, "What's it to you?"

rewinn said...

@Rob - to relate my question to OP and, hopefully, avoid the air that I'm picking on you for your religion - let me make an observation.

I am a Roman Catholic, as is Santorum. Ours is a very old organization, and it is well known that our leadership is barking mad.

Both our individual leaders, carefully winnowed for madness by the organization, and the organization itself, viewed as a person, would in many of their efforts (e.g. the pederasty coverups, the banking scandals, the banning of condoms for disease prevention) show difficulty passing the M'Naghten's Test ("[T]o establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of mind, and not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.")

The Santorums and Gingrich and Scalias proclaim in public what they know to be madness and ignore in private; to do otherwise has consequences, as John Kerry and Hans Kung have learned. Those of us not in public life have the luxury of speaking plainly and acting wisely; the hierarchy cannot harm or help us. Therefore most Catholics feel quite comfortable ignoring in practice the mad directives of our leaders.

All this is by way of confessing that my religon's hierarchy no less immoral on the issue of gay equality as is your religion's hierarchy. I speculate and inquire whether using reason and faith to overrule the hierarchy (privately if not publicly) may be more difficult among Mormons because religious structures and communities independent of the official hierarchy haven't yet had time or opportunity to develop?

Paul451 said...

Four London friends have been ordered not to communicate with each other for ten years.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/feb/24/london-underground-explorers-security-services

Four urban explorers (people who explore tunnels and abandoned/closed-off areas) in London were arrested for visiting an abandoned subway station in April last year, it was just before the Royal Wedding, so security was... paranoid. They were detained, their gear was searched, and once police decided they weren't terrorists, they were let off with a warning.

Last month, 8 months later, the Transport police suddenly decided to apply for an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) which meant the four explorers were banned from exploring, banned from blogging about exploring, banned from carrying any equipment that could be used exploring (cameras and lights?), and banned from speaking to each other for the duration of the order, 10 years.

Tacitus2 said...

I grow weary of politics. Here is some fascinating Uplift news. Scientists teach Capuchin monkeys to use money. (acutally fake metal discs, but monkey money is fiat coinage just like ours).
Various amusing things occur including the evolution of prostitution for pay.
Jesus was right, the love of money IS the root of all evil. Well, monkeys are fairly immoral in an unpaid state too!

http://www.zmescience.com/research/how-scientists-tught-monkeys-the-concept-of-money-not-long-after-the-first-prostitute-monkey-appeared/

Tacitus

Tom Crowl said...

@Tacitus2

Thanks for that link... absolutely fascinating! Really cool!

I've always felt that Wall Street was run by monkeys anyway and I'm pretty sure a lot of that money is ending up subsidizing the oldest profession as well...

Want peace on earth? Forget politics... forget campaign finance reform...

WE NEED THE PUBLIC FINANCE OF PROSTITUTION!

Giving equal time.... gigolos included!

Tim H. said...

Public finance of prostitution? Consider the Wall $treet bailout, and the recreational proclivities the younger denizens are reputed to practice, already got it.

Tacitus2 said...

Satire is getting to be damn near impossible these days. How much you want to bet that somewhere in Nevada, where prostitution is legal, there has been some sort of government subsidy already?

Infrastructure for roads and such...or given that I once read that a major issue for such dens of iniquity is all the laundry....at a minimum rebates for energy efficient washers and driers!

I am not going to put this stuff into my search engine to find out.
Better to just assume.

Tacitus

Paul451 said...

Courts ruled that GPS trackers on cars require a warrant. FBI turned off 3000 GPS trackers currently in use, and now has to apply for permission to turn them back on, in order to find them, in order to remove them.

Well, I laughed.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/02/25/fbi-turns-off-thousands-of-gps-devices-after-supreme-court-ruling/

--

Tacitus2,
Re: Monkey money, furry whores.

I suspect that the "prostitution" already existing in the monkey culture. Exchanging food, grooming, protection for sex. All the researchers did was abstract one of the payments (food) into money (washers).

Rob said...

@rewinn: Social Libertarianism, and the preservation of the commons.

If the referendum fails, marriage advocates on both sides will have to *try something else*, perhaps something that gets the government out of marriage licensure altogether.

Then my viewpoints ascend. Duh.

I view the "What's it to *you*" line of argument as particularly prejudicial. Y'all know I'm Mormon, and you know I attempt political thoughtfulness and try to recognize complexity.

But for reasons I'm all too familiar with elsewhere and to a lesser extent, here, "Mormon" means, apparently, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

And here I wasn't even thinking about that referendum in those terms.

So, y'know, if your inclination was to decide that I hate gays because I'll sign the referendum, then, it'll only encourage me to seek the referendum out to sign it. After all, if damned either way, might as well make the activists work for it a bit more. It's not like they'll stop frothing.

Don't *you* froth. I'm trying to help you win without triggering a massive conservative backlash. Yeah: bigger than the one you've got now. Think!

TwinBeam said...

David - I would like to know by what metric "the federal govt's share of our economy and expenditures is at its lowest point since 1950"

According to white house statistical charts that's simply not true:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist15z3.xls

Federal expenditures vs GDP hovered around 19 to 22% over most of that period but have increased to over 24% by 2011.

TwinBeam said...

RE: Monkeys:

Finally, proof that prostitution is NOT the world's oldest profession - its BANKING.

Oh, wait. On second thought...

Robert said...

Like Tacitus, I need occasional breaks from the Silly Season of Politics (ie, most of 2011-2012 - I swear, they should extend the term in office for Reps to three years, Senators to eight years, and Presidents to six years, just to give us a break from constant politicking). I found one that was... most interesting.

I give you a Lego International Space Station built on the International Space Station. It's unlikely this model could be built on Earth as it couldn't support its own structural weight and how it was put together.

The fascinating thing? It's a fire hazard. They assembled it in a box to keep parts from floating around, and could only keep the completed version out for two hours before disassembly lest the parts become a fire hazard on the station.

Still, it's pretty cool, yes?

Rob H.

RandyB said...

David,

I was merely correcting you about Fox and the Fairness Doctine.

Yes, we oppose it being applied to talk radio. You're acting as though radio stations would then be adding a slice of liberal talk to every conservative utterance. But that's not how it would happen, and that's not the intent.

Remember, fewer people want to listen to liberal talk radio. Most liberals don't even want to listen to liberal talk radio. Radio stations would then be forced to put up an unprofitable hour of broadcast time for every hour of conservative talk. Most can't afford that. The numbers just don't add up.

That's beside the fact that the radio stations would also have to put up with legal challenges from liberal groups counting the minutes devoted to each ideology. It would be impossible to satisfy them. The purpose isn't fairness. It's to shut down conservative talk. Talk radio would go back to the way it was before. As much as I like Frasier Crane, I'd prefer the way it is now.

I do know how you feel, though. The three broadcast news networks are to the left, and their anchors are all liberals. Conservatives had to put up with it. Just imagine if Rathergate happened before the internet, and before FoxNews.

sociotard said...

A disturbing news item:
Muslim Judge throws out charges against muslim man who assaulted an athiest for mocking Mohamed

read a blog on the story here:
link
or watch the assault on youtube
link (it wasn't a big assault)

oddly, the judge was a white Republican who converted after a tour of duty in an Arab nation.

Rob said...

I speculate and inquire whether using reason and faith to overrule the hierarchy (privately if not publicly) may be more difficult among Mormons because religious structures and communities independent of the official hierarchy haven't yet had time or opportunity to develop?

You may speculate, but I don't stipulate. I am in my religion's hierarchy. It is not immoral. Nor do I stipulate that Catholicism's hierarchy is immoral. I don't agree with the premise that leads you there.

That fact coupled with the strident insistence that that still doesn't mean we hate gays ought to tease out other narratives than the one that concludes that we do.

David Brin said...

Tacitus said: "I grow weary of politics." Hm... not your year, Doc! But after my next and final Santorum posting I'll relent a bit.

Prostitute monkeys, wow.

RandyB you keep on doing it. You declare "It's all balanced because the major networks are liberal!" And you do this in order to use the excuse "I know my side is crazy but so's the opposition!"

Not. I repeat, not.

Rather was caught in a put-up job sting. He was stupid not to check. Nd too eager. And maybe a little biased, because all intelligent people wcould see that W was a slime. But the story was newsworthy in its own right and his fault was being dumb.

All of which is beside the point. I claim that nearly all the "liberal bias" in mainstream professional journalism is just smart people seeing how insane your side has become. Think. Fox is waging war not just against scientists and journalists but economists, teachers, skilled labor professors civil servants, doctors.... and on and on. Santorum's anti-college rant is DOCTRINE! Hate all smartypants.

cBS, NGC, ABC are all owned by major mega corporations who have no lefty agenda. You are parroting nonsense... and here's the test.

$100 on the table... right now. You have a week. Scan all major "liberal " big networks. Those three. For blatantly partisan statements by main anchors, made without counterweight.

I get to do Fox. You get ten per network I get ten from Fox. Present all to neutral sages. I will pay you $100 if 9 out of ten of the top WORST partisan polemics aren't from Fox. (In fact it will be ten out of ten.)

It is called a falsifiable check, fellah. Got guts?

RandyB said...

No, I don't have those kinds of guts. I don't have the time to scan the broadcast networks, and we probably wouldn't agree on the details anyway. I get my news from the internet nowadays.

I did check the Media Research Center. They used to do a great job of critiquing the evening news. It would have made that an easy bet to win. Not anymore, apparently.

How would we compare bias, anyway? MRC is currently running a comparison of 2008 and 2012 for stories on gas prices. I wouldn't catch that by watching for only one week.

And note what you're defending. Broadcast news networks, which are supposed to be non-biased, compared to Limbaugh and Hannity bias, who admit upfront that they're conservatives.

Tacitus2 said...

For a while I was making the minimal effort of watching the headlines on Yahoo politics. Mostly based on AP so a possible shorthand version of media watching. There did seem to be something of a trend, counterposed the same day would be things like:

Obama takes firm stand on gas prices

and

Republican state legislator proposes (fill in dumb ass idea) bill.

But it is a tedious project with much fluff.

Really now, we all have lives to live.

Tacitus

regards the monkeys, the punch lines just write themselves

"Dr Dart! Why I never!"

Ian said...

"oddly, the judge was a white Republican who converted after a tour of duty in an Arab nation. "

No the judge is a white Republican Lutheran who misspoke and said "I'm a Mulsim" rather than "If I were a Muslim".

It's also a stretch to descibe him as a judge since "administrative judges" are popularly elected officials who don't have to have any formal legal training (and this case he doesn't) who get a brief course in the law and court procedure after they're elected.

Meanwhile, Rick Santorum says the separation of Chruch and state is not absolute.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57385430-503544/santorum-church-state-separation-not-absolute/

"Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum continued to make controversial statements Sunday. The latest is about the separation of church and state, which Santorum says prohibits people of faith from the "public square."

"I don't believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute," Santorum said Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

He was referring to a 1960 speech by then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on religion and governance, which Santorum said "makes me throw up."

"Because the first line, first substantive line in the speech says, 'I believe in America where the separation of church and state is absolute," the former Pennsylvania senator said. "You bet that makes you throw up."

Santorum said Kennedy "was trying to tell people of faith that you will do what the government says, we are going to impose our values on you.""

LarryHart said...

RandyB:

Remember, fewer people want to listen to liberal talk radio. Most liberals don't even want to listen to liberal talk radio.


Not at all true. I was so hungry for liberal talk radio that I listened to Air America as often as possible, even though some of it was insipid. Here in Chicago, WCPT (Chicago's Progressive Talk) has grown enough to expand to three FM stations which are allowed to broadcast longer in the day than the original AM station.

The proliferation of Limbaugh and company is not because of demand, but because of forced supply. The station OWNERS are oligarchs, and they don't want people to listen to progressive talk. So they convert profitable talk stations to all-sports talk or Spanish language music stations, not because the progressive talk stations weren't in demand, but because they WERE.

David Brin said...

RandyB: "And note what you're defending. Broadcast news networks, which are supposed to be non-biased, compared to Limbaugh and Hannity bias, who admit upfront that they're conservatives."

Sorry, but .... BULL!!!!! The Fox guys claim that their raging, screeching, howling one-sided Goebbels-level one-sided propaganda machine is simply providing "balance" and the liberals started it by utterly swamping the "lamestream" with lefty propaganda. (Financed by GE, Disney etc... riiiiiiiight.)

You cannot have it both ways. Either they HAVE TO be that way because they are forced to by relentless lefty bias in the other channels... in which case you should easily be able to find ONE outrageous lefty slant for NINE on Fox...

... or else they are what we all know them to be. Goebbels-level screaming snit-artist liars shoveling the line ordered up by Rupert Murdoch and his Saudi prince partners.

CHOOSE!

There is one reason only, that you won't simply do this and take my money. And that reason is that you know, for a fact that I would instead take your money.

===========

Rick S despises JFK for promising to keep religion out of politics... something JFK had to do to get past lingering anti-catholicism. Santorum decries and hates it.

Okay, then let's as Rick the same question JFK was ask. If you get political "guidance" from the infallible pontiff, what do you do?

David Brin said...

onward. Randy... if you answer please do so in the NEXT comments section....

rewinn said...

@Rob wrote
"...if your inclination was to decide that I hate gays because I'll sign the referendum..."

My intent was, as stated, to find out the *principle* behind your proposed action.

I had assumed that the principle was fidelity to your religion, since it was in accord with your religion (at least as it is ordained by your Hierarchy).
However, you have identified that the principle is Libertarianism (Social) and in particular a political strategy leading to the elimination of the State role in marriage.

Well, ok. I take you at your word, although it would have helped if you had been more clear about this from the outset. I don't think this is a strategy likely to effect the specified outcome, because if straights don't vote in support of gay marriage, can you really imagine them voting to abolish straight marriage?


"...It is not immoral. Nor do I stipulate that Catholicism's hierarchy is immoral..."

If morality has any meaning, it is very difficult to conclude that any organization (such as the Vatican) that systematically protects rapists is moral. Are you familiar with the Maciel case? Today's Roman Catholic hierarchy would make Martin Luther ill.

I don't know much about the Mormon hierarchy, although every Mormon individual I have met is personally pleasant; I've done some helpful projects with them. However, systematic attacks on sexual minorities is as immoral as systematic attacks on racial minorities; in either case, they are attacks based upon immutable characteristics of the person - characteristics that in each case were established by God Himself, and not open to question by mere mortals.

"That fact coupled with the strident insistence that that still doesn't mean we hate gays ought to tease out other narratives than the one that concludes that we do."

What would be such a narrative?

The obvious narrative is that many people don't want to be thought of as a "hater"; they wish to think that they are attacking minorities for reasons other than being squicked out by them. This wish is called having a conscience that knows that the squicked-out person is doing wrong when converting their feelings into action (...one cannot be blamed for involuntary feelings, but one must take moral responsibility for actions.) The more that an organization has to engage in gold medal gymnastics of denial ("we don't hate you - we just don't want you to have equal rights"), the more the color commentary from the conscience desk should be listened to.

But this is religion, not politics nor SF. So if you want to drop it, ok.

Rob said...

every Mormon individual I have met is personally pleasant

At least there's that. Do you sense that such people are predisposed to hatred?

If morality has any meaning, it is very difficult to conclude that any organization (such as the Vatican) that systematically protects rapists is moral.

As systematically as a college football team? "The organization is immoral" implies morality in a structure. That doesn't make sense to me; it's like claiming that a scaffolding is moral.

In any case, I reject the equivocation between LDS leadership and the Vatican with its Dioceses. LDS positions on child abuse are very clear, and have been for almost 20 years: no tolerance, no cover-up, report to secular authorities immediately. Such approaches were always implied by 150 years of deference to settled law, but it's now unmistakably implicit.

What would be such a narrative?

The narrative is nothing more complex than a deep concern about the difficulty of raising children to be taught a parent's set of beliefs, in a society which supports most of it.

Impart rights, to be sure (We did that! R-71!), but structure the rights imparted so that other rights aren't trammeled in the process. Work the deliberative process. Reach consensus. And if called for, hold referenda and continue to try.

Ian said...

Okay lt's see:

Proposition 1. People listen to rght wing talk radio because they support the poltical positions of the hosts.

Proposition 2: American broadcast TV news has a definite left-wign bias.

Observation: The Big 3 TV news programs attract approximately 20 million viewers per night.

That's appproximately 20 times as many as the audience for Fox News most popular program.

It's also significantly more than the claimed WEEKLY audience of the rush Limbaugh Show.

From all this it would appear to be logical to assume that far more Americans support the political views espoused by the broadcast news programs than tose espused by Fox or talk radio hosts.

rewinn said...

@Rob

"... I reject the equivocation between LDS leadership and the Vatican ..."

If I implied that those two groups were the same, then I was unclear and I apologize for that. They aren't the same.


"Do you sense that such people are predisposed to hatred?"

The bad news is that, yes, people who are personally very pleasant can also be predisposed to hatred of "The Other". Some of the nicest people in the world have rained bombs down upon "gooks".
Hatred need not be spittle-laced ravings and in fact the most pernicious form of hatred may be the sort coated in kindness - the kind that says, "I love you but I don't think you should have the same rights as I do."


"...As systematically as a college football team?"
If you're suggesting that college football's systematic protection of criminal-atheletes or criminal-staff is immoral, then I must agree. IIRC the Seattle paper did a series a year or two back on exactly this problem.


"... "The organization is immoral" implies morality in a structure. That doesn't make sense to me; it's like claiming that a scaffolding is moral..."

Organizations of humans are different than organizations of inanimate matter. The latter are indeed amoral because morality requires, at the least, volition.
However, organizations of humans (orgs) do have a form of volition and are capable of making moral choices. Just as some individuals may be predisposed by personality or whatever to make immoral choices, so too orgs may be predisposed to make immoral choices.
The canonical examples (...and I am *NOT* stating or implying any equivalence to your or any other church ...) are the Nazis and the Soviet Communist party; in them, we see organizations optimized for the making of immoral choices.

Now, the Vatican is well-organized to promote certain immoral choices. Its heretical insistence upon priestly celebacy (...in defiance of Peter's well-known status as a married man...) serves to winnow out the vast majority of priest-candidates who have normal human needs for affection. Systematically the organization promotes only those either lacking that need or willing to subvert it for ambition - with results we have all seen. This structure has resulted in many immoral actions and therefore can fairly be called immoral.

I suppose if Mormons ever gave any thought to the matter, they would be grateful that *that* chalice, at least, has not passed to them.
However, whatever fundamental tenent of that Faith impels its hierarchy to intervene in legal affairs to deny equal treatment to any "other" then, yes, I feel it is quite appropriate to reprove my brethern and sistern on this matter of morality.

"The narrative is nothing more complex than a deep concern about the difficulty of raising children to be taught a parent's set of beliefs..."

Are you saying that in order to teach children that something is contrary to belief, that thing must be made illegal?

That can't be right; there is a large catalog of things that are wrong that are not illegal. But if not, then why single out marriage equality for legal banning? Would it not be better to criminalize something like extramarital sex?

"... structure the rights imparted so that other rights aren't trammeled in the process..."

What "right" is trammeled by marriage equality? Seriously, it is not going to affect your kids. They will be good kids or bad ones, regardless of whether Alex and Pat can marry.

BTW I do appreciate the polite conversation. I do think that libertarians would have a chance in some Eastern WA counties if they could get their act together. I think it would be worthwhile putting their ideas to a small-scale test, no?

Rob said...

However, whatever fundamental tenent of that Faith impels its hierarchy to intervene in legal affairs to deny equal treatment to any "other" then, yes, I feel it is quite appropriate to reprove my brethern and sistern on this matter of morality.

Sorry, that's so full of assumptions-in-controversy that it's just unacceptable to me. It's actually a study in examining assumptions. "tenet of faith?" "intervene in legal affairs". I don't agree with the conclusions implicit there, and I think you're depicting a received narrative which is not properly true.

Are you saying that in order to teach children that something is contrary to belief, that thing must be made illegal?

No, in part because what is under discussion is not going from a legal to illegal state; it is on the opposite trajectory, from illegal to enactment. It's that the further mainstream society moves away from a place a large minority won't go, the scarcer the commonwealth, because there is less "in common". Very fundamental.

There have always been a minority willing to withdraw, but the push against *redefining* marriage from a century of consensus is itself also very fundamental. Which percentage of the populace is large enough to comprise a rebellious minority? In Washington, we're at 47% opposed over this. That's a large minority. It will take a long time to move that needle below 40% opposed.

What "right" is trammeled by marriage equality? Seriously, it is not going to affect your kids

I'm thinking more along the lines of great-grandkids, generational, not so near term. By then, that minority will have withered, or there will be an enclave of families more comfortable with home-schooling than with public schooling.

Extend that generationally, and you lose commonwealth; those kids won't have enough of the same outlooks or dispositions to come together on anything worthwhile at all.

Denying the effect is optimistic activism at best, dis-ingenuity at worst. One can't look at the efforts of GLAAD or other activist groups, or the efforts of television writers to depict their truth, without acknowledging that their central mission is to affect the kids.

I've seen the curriculum kits; they're just as impressive as the kits offered by Toyota or other corporations seeking to advertise points of view in schools. (Many parents around here don't want the GSA in middle schools (unless the kids self-organize) in numbers similar to those who don't want various religious groups meeting as clubs there.)

BTW I do appreciate the polite conversation.

As do I. It's refreshing to be able to talk about it.

Lee said...

@rewinn, please note that 1952 was prior to the Great Ideological Swap. Today's Republican Party is, literally, Republican In Name Only -- they were hijacked when the Dixiecrats decamped en masse from the Democratic Party, taking their corruption, racism, and religious intolerance along. And the GOP welcomed them with open arms because doing so would give them the Southern states.