November 13, 2004

Take a Moment... reflect that it's a luxurious privilege to have the time to read and learn about the important issues of the day. They say time is money, but presuming necessities and some financial breathing room are taken care of, excess time seems to be the more valuable good.

That said, I think the following links go to pages that it's worth spending some time to read.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden on the horrors of war.

Burnt Orange shares the results of a Texas election that should be proof positive that Democrats should reject any strategy that writes off big swathes of the country.

Arundhati Roy speaks of human rights, peace, and justice. Her remarks are as thought provoking as usual, describing the "anthem of neo-liberalism" as "Free the markets. Screw the people." (Link thanks to the Black Commentator)

AmericaBlog points to an Arianna Huffington column that articulates well what I've been feeling since the election. If the Democrats want to ever again be successful national campaigners, first fire all the consultants. Republicans recycle bad policy makers, Democrats recycle bad campaign managers, with the practical result that the country ends up with very bad policy makers indeed.

You may find it hard to believe, but Tony Blair wasn't thrilled to be asked if he was Bush's poodle at the press conference held during his visit.

The Stranger's editors write about the urban archipelago nation of blue cities in terms that may be a little harsh on the opposition but put forward some interesting ideas. Sandeep Kaushik says that Democrats have won but don't know it yet. A comforting thought, but more useful to work towards winning than wait for the opposition to lose.

Chris Bowers at MyDD talks about conservatives and freedom, how the agenda of the corporate right is destroying both liberty and the fabric of society. Also, a really interesting article by Oklahoma Senate candidate Brad Carson, who talks about the day he realized his campaign was pushing boulders up a hill. The comments are worth a read.

The Poorman finds a preachy wingnut who can't tell Shakespeare from the Bible, courtesy Atrios. You must, must read the comments, which range from wicked to wise, and are sure to wring at least a giggle out of you. However, in a word to everyone out there who thinks the highest possible avocation is lambasting the heathen, and that the worst crime in the world is being a liberal, a commentor left this:

Proverbs 6:16-19 reveals:
These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

I'm sure such a passage would leave the Bush administration quaking in their boots. That is, if they viewed religion as anything other than a convenient cloak for pride, lying, sowing discord, and spreading death and mayhem.

OTOH, in my own days as a rabid fundie, I was always puzzled by the seven deadly sins. It took many long years of recovery before I came around to understanding why they made the top of the list. They had nothing obvious to do with sex, which years of reinforcement suggested was the source of the Worst Big Sins. That is, the ones that were most likely to get a person kicked out of church. People didn't often mutter in hushed tones about so-and-so getting disciplined for proud looks, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

As to the rest, murder and lying are pretty obvious sins, but murder is relatively rare and few people lie about big enough things for anyone else to even notice. Sowing discord is, let's face it, the second most popular kind of entertainment to be had in a fundamentalist church. Provided the offender wasn't actually guilty of heresy or causing someone else to leave the church, discord was likely to be punished with no more than putting the congregation through a stern sermon on gossip.

In that light, I can sort of forgive other fundies for missing the importance of the seven deadly sins. They aren't very sexy at all, and therefore no fun to talk about. It's well known that speculating about sexual acts the speaker is likely never to engage in, really really wanting to aside, is always the very most popular form of entertainment in any fundamentalist church.

Posted by natasha at November 13, 2004 01:04 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

Thanks for plugging The Stranger's article on the "archipelago of cities." Also, please see my response at !

Peace, Jarrett

Posted by: Jarrett at November 13, 2004 05:35 PM

I always believed that the deadliest of all sins was pride because it subsumed and underlay all the other.

I like that Stranger manifesto myself. I think it's a little too extreme, but manifestos often are. It's got me thinking and talking though.


Posted by: Mary Kay at November 14, 2004 01:19 PM

The Stranger article is right along the lines progressives should be thinking about. One reason right-wingers have succeeded is because they were not afraid to develop a distinct identity and cater their politics to it.

However, the manifesto should just be seen as a tool for rallying the base, other tools will be needed to get rural and suburban swing voters to embrace progressive candidates enough to give them the electoral edge.

Posted by: Jay at November 14, 2004 04:00 PM