Tag: politics

The New Lord’s Prayer for Republicans

August 8, 2009

[Update: well, you can tell I’m not religious. It’s the 23rd Psalm, not the Lord’s Prayer, which is being rewritten here. I won’t change the title because it will screw up the URL. If it matters to you, me being so stupid, you’ll just have to forgive me, because that’s what Jesus would do. ;-)]

From Fri Prevett via Facebook:

A HuffPo Commenter Named “JohnfromCensornati” posted this as a comment to an article I shared on my wall today written by Frank Schaeffer. It’s all kinds of awesome:

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall be a sheep.
He maketh me to shoot doctors for Life.
He leadeth me to talk about tea-bagging.
I sold him my soul.
He leadeth me down the Appalachian Trail for my soulmate’s sake.
Yea, though I face the healthcare reform bill of death, I will hear no facts for talk radio is with me.
The birthers and their lies, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a room for me in the cult house on C Street.
Thou filleth my head with paranoia.
My faux rage runneth over.
Surely self righteousness and homophobia shall follow me all the days of my life and I will wallow in the idiocy of the Hocus Pocus forever.

OK State Rep: I’ll raise your intolerance of my intolerance with some inane illogic, and a resolution in the state legislature to ship your atheist ass back to Oxford

March 5, 2009

So, Oklahoma progressive thinker, did you think you could not possibly be more embarrassed by duly elected representatives in your state, after the Sally Kerns affair of last year, and the Scott Jones/gay prayer protest last month? Oh, ye of little imagination — the authoritarian right is running rings around you, thinking of stupid things to do on the public’s dime.

On Monday, in anticipation of the public lecture of scientist and avowed atheist Richard Dawkins at OU tomorrow (which I plan to attend), Rep. Todd Thomsen filed a resolution demanding that his invitation be retracted, and in so many words, that 5000 years of collective human wisdom be shitcanned, and that all activity that could ever conceivably be considered “thinking” cease in this state immediately and permanently.

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma is a publicly funded institution which should be open to all ideas and should train students in all disciplines of study and research and to use independent thinking and free inquiry; and

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma has planned a year-long celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s theory of evolution, called the “Darwin 2009 Project”, which includes a series of lectures, public speakers, and a course on the history of evolution; and

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma, as a part of the Darwin 2009 Project, has invited as a public speaker on campus, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published opinions, as represented in his 2006 book “The God Delusion”, and public statements on the theory of evolution demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma; and

WHEREAS, the invitation for Richard Dawkins to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma on Friday, March 6, 2009, will only serve to present a biased philosophy on the theory of evolution to the exclusion of all other divergent considerations rather than teaching a scientific concept.


THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the University of Oklahoma to engage in an open, dignified, and fair discussion of the Darwinian theory of evolution and all other scientific theories which is the approach that a public institution should be engaged in and which represents the desire and interest of the citizens of Oklahoma.

THAT a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the University of Oklahoma, the Dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Oklahoma, and the Chair of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma.

Naturally, this has once again made Oklahoma the laughingstock of Western civilization. Even Utah — freaking Utah! — shuts up its crazy-ass politicians so the rest of the state doesn’t have to be associated with such ignorant fundamentalism.

Lions and lambs

February 14, 2009

Did you know that

… if Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had just asked King George over for tea, instead of those pesky radicals dumping his tea in the harbor, then the crown would totally have reduced their taxes?

… if Gandhi had just asked real nice, and burned some incense, Britain would have fallen over itself to free India immediately?

… if Rosa Parks had just moved on back when she was asked, Montgomery would have welcomed the opportunity to integrate its bus line, lunch counters and schools?

… if perpetrators of domestic violence and their victims would just hug, everything would be all better at home?

Because if the lions and the lambs would just shake hands and agree to disagree amicably about policy, or find some previously unexplored unblemished middle ground between fair and unfair, then lions could eat lambs in peace and all would be right with the world.

Why Chris Matthews is not a liberal

January 28, 2009

Recently while being interviewed by Leslie Stahl (of 60 Minutes, she wants you to know), Rachel Maddow tried to explain to her that Chris Matthews is not a liberal. Stahl was adament that he was, pushing it to Maddow like she was an idiot not to realize something so obvious.

Finally Rachel broke it down for Leslie — who has spent too many years in Washington to know up from down — and I can imagine she spoke especially slowly and clearly so that the long-time Villager (© Atrios) could understand:

LESLEY: But everybody thinks MSNBC is moving in that direction. That that’s exactly what the shift is — where you are — that people there are trying to make you into the un-Fox network, the liberal place to go.

RACHEL: Well, if you think about the way that Fox was founded, though – Fox was founded by Roger Ailes. It was created from his perspective as a political operative. His background was as a Republican activist of the highest order. There’s no equivalent on MSNBC. I think MSNBC is trying to find hit shows.

LESLEY: Everybody they hire to anchor their shows is distinctly liberal and encouraged to express themselves that way, wouldn’t you say?



RACHEL: Well, I wouldn’t call David Shuster a liberal. I would barely call Chris Matthews a liberal. He voted for Bush. And I certainly wouldn’t call Joe Scarborough a liberal.

LESLEY: Chris Matthews is a liberal.

RACHEL: Well, Chris Matthews is a Democrat.

LESLEY: He’s a liberal.

RACHEL: Chris Matthews – well, you could interview him about it and find out. If Chris Matthews had an Air America radio show, he’d get torn apart by our listeners.

LESLEY: So he doesn’t go that far. I see. OK.

RACHEL: No. I wouldn’t put Chris and my politics in the same canoe.

While Matthews once in a blue moon talks sense about some policy and is at times on the right side of an issue (while still unable to discuss it sanely), he’s erratic, emotionally immature, in love with power of any kind, and thinks politics is just a game rather than about real people who can suffer as the result of bad policy, not to mention bad punditry.

Here is a prime example of how his very obvious sexual hangups destroy whatever shred of reason he wanders across in his cavernous brain, and why he most definitely is NOT a “liberal” and why real liberals and progressives loathe and distrust him more than almost any other TV news personality. (He has a special page on Media Matters dedicated to his wankery and has been named by the watchdog group as Misinformer of the Year in 2005. He also has prompted the creation of several blogs by netroots activists for the sole purpose of exposing and decrying his special brand of nonsense.)

Frankly, I was hoping that Chris Matthews was going to run for the Senate to replace Arlen Spector, something he was seriously exploring last year. That possibility got dashed when his MSNBC contract was renewed recently. Pity — I really think he would do less damage to the country there.

Oklahoma progressives, are you ready to lobby?

January 26, 2009

Several upcoming events are designed to help citizens do their civic duty of participation during the 2009 session of the Oklahoma Legislature. These are some that focus on progressive issues (content copied from emails and online sources). If you can, please participate in one of these activities to hone your knowledge or skills, or make your advocacy for peace and justice on your own during this legislative session (Feb. 2 – May 29).

I hope to do a compendium of bills proposed in this session that concern progressives. Stay tuned.

ACLU of Oklahoma Legislative Workshop

The ACLU of Oklahoma will be hosting the 3rd annual Keith Smith Legislative Workshop on January 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event location is at the First Unitarian Church, 600 NW 13th St., Oklahoma City. The workshop will be free, with an optional lunch available for $5. Come learn how you, as a regular citizen, can approach your representatives.

For more information or to RSVP, please call (405) 524-8511 or email katyj @ acluok . org.

Oklahoma Conference of Churches Day at the Legislature

Tue Feb 10, 7:45am – 3:15pm – Oklahoma State Capitol

I’m trying to get more info on this, and I’ll update this if and when I do. The group’s web site does not include this event as of this writing. But I did hear that this year they are focusing on addressing poverty, thus the inclusion here.

State Capitol “Teach In” on Equal Rights for LGBT

On February 14th, 2009 there will be an “Equal Rights In Every State” Teach In from noon to 6 p.m. on the South steps of the State House in Oklahoma City. This event will focus on creating a better understanding of the struggle for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens, with a goal of enlightening each other and non-LGBT members of society on the importance of providing civil protections and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.

In the State of Oklahoma, and 31 other states, it is currently legal to discriminate in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. While race, age, gender, and disability are all covered under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens of Oklahoma remain at risk. It wasn’t until 1964 that race was included under protection and as recent as 1991 that disability was added. It’s time to work for our inclusion.

Speakers from the Faith oriented community, Political community, Science community and Social Services community will speak about the importance of acceptance and the justice of inclusion in equality for all at the event on February 14, 2009.

Some of the speakers scheduled to attend:

Mary Lou Wallner, Teach Ministries
Featured in the movie “For the bible tells me so”

President Barack Obama recently invited us, the citizens of the United States, to bring about change in our communities in order to bring change to America. Those citizens in the LGBT community want change and deserve protection. Now is the time to make it happen. But, as we’ve seen in other states that have had ballots or laws that effect the LGBT community, we have to be READY when those laws and ballots come up to the voters on election day. We must first bring about a clear understanding to the citizens that vote. We need to teach every man, woman, and child in Oklahoma that we are their friends, neighbors, sisters, brothers, church members, caregivers, co-workers, doctors, and teachers. Most importantly, we have to teach them to accept that we are their equal.

We’re not going to get our rights without asking for them and we’re not going to get our rights without teaching….

Be a part of the pledge “…with liberty and justice for all.”

For further information, contact Peter Myers at 405-815-4059

I got the above from a email forward. If you have more info about who is sponsoring the event, please let me know.

Women’s Coalition Advocacy Day at the Capitol, February 18

Did you know Oklahoma has been ranked the 3rd worst state for women?? We rank #1 in Incarcerated Women, #1 in Child Abuse, #1 in the Divorce Rate, #7 in Teen Births, #42 in overall women’s health, #45 in women in professional jobs. The list goes on and on.

The newly formed, non-partisan Oklahoma Women’s Coalition is out to change these statistics. Please join us for Oklahoma Women: Advocate! on February 18 at the State Capitol as we make history for Oklahoma women and girls.

The day will begin with a press conference to officially launch the Coalition, followed by sessions where state leaders will provide updates on key issues and legislation affecting women and girls. We will also learn effective advocacy techniques to have our voices heard.

To download a registration form for Oklahoma Women: Advocate! just click HERE. Seating is limited, so send in your registration as soon as possible.

Whether or not you are able attend the Advocacy Day in February, I urge you to become a member of the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition now. Together, we can create significant change for Oklahoma women and girls! To download the Membership Application Form, just click HERE.

Other resources:

I’ll add more here as I find them.

My introduction to Pete Seeger

January 20, 2009

Seeing the (banned on YouTube) video of Pete Seeger singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial Sunday made me think about how I first heard about him. It’s a pretty weird way, I think.

I was a typical 60s teenybopper — I loved the Monkees and read Tiger Beat and 16. My favorite Monkee was Peter, and in Tiger Beat, I learned how intellectual and politically passionate he was — so different than his character on the show. In one TB article, he talked about liking folk music, and how much he admired Pete Seeger. Although at the time I probably lived within 100 miles of Pete Seeger, I’d never heard of him.

In other seemingly forgettable TB articles about Peter I remember him saying he drove a beat up foreign car, Saab I think, because it was safer and more environmental or something, which made me think he was just so cool — which in retrospect he was, since this was before the first Earth Day even.

Anyway, I wish I could say I immediately went and listened to Seeger, discovered Dylan, Patti Smith and Lou Reed and left the Monkees to the other sheltered suburban girls, but that was not the case. I didn’t go in that direction until several years later in college. But don’t knock the Monkees, I can’t be the only one whom they eventually led into subversive activity. (Or maybe it was just those of us who chose Peter as “our” Monkee! And, yes, we divvied them up; it’s not like you could have two girls in the same clique liking Micky!)

If you haven’t seen the brilliant and moving documentary about Pete Seeger, The Power of Song, I urge you to do so. I wrote about it previously and just can’t recommend it enough. Here’s a preview:

Back in 2002, I met the three still-touring Monkees (Peter, Davy and Micky for those who don’t follow these things) after a concert in Clearwater, FL. I have a photo somewhere. It would really be perfect for this post, but I have no idea where it is.

By the way, when Peter Tork was imprisoned in the 70s (for marijuana possession), he served his time at the penitentiary in El Reno, Oklahoma.

2008 Peace Arena Progressive Person of the Year award goes to…

January 1, 2009

The award is presented to Rachel Maddow.

I think Rachel is eclipsed only by Obama in meteoric rise from relative obscurity during 2008. She first got national attention in 2004 on Air America Radio. In 2005, she started providing occasional commentary on Tucker Carlson’s old show (the only good thing that ever came from that), and last January (which seems like ages ago!) began doing political analysis for various MSNBC shows, and subbing for Keith Olbermann during the summer. Her appearances were so popular (the blogosphere followed her every word) that by August the brass were persuaded to give her her own hour, making history as the first openly gay/lesbian anchor to host a prime-time news program. The show was immediately a huge hit, surprising only the suits.

Getting her that hosting spot was apparently Keith Olbermann’s mission in life this year. Hey, good work, Mr. O. He’s seen as a genius for pushing it now, but can you imagine the first meeting at NBC on the subject? To have been a fly on that wall! No, it wasn’t so obvious it would fly, certainly not that it would revolutionize the channel’s stagnant lineup and sent its ratings souring.

Here are a few of the many profiles done on Rach in the past few months when it became apparent that she was on to something with her charming wonkery and progressive intellect.

New York Magazine
The Nation
Washington Post

In addition to promoting progressive ideas with a wider audience, she’s become an unlikely sex symbol, a butch lesbian that makes men and women alike into groupies. By being herself — disarmingly kind and funny — she’s advancing civil rights by huge bounds without breaking a sweat.

She’s taken issues that are otherwise archaic or complex, and broken them into digestable chunks. She keeps up with mainstream news, the blogosphere, the think tanks, and backroom politics, and digests it for the rest of us. It’s almost like she’s a Rhodes Scholar or something. She does need a little help with pop culture, which we all like to help her discover and exclaim over.

So, there was really no other choice for 2008 Progressive Person of the Year. Rachel has been our favorite pundit, our proud representative, our champion.

What’s most heartening to me is that Rachel will be questioning and challenging Obama and other Democrats from the left as his administration works with Congress to begin to set this country right. She’ll do so without all the mean-spirited dramatics that is the typical cable news fare, but rather with deep knowledge of history, keen insight and careful research. And she’ll demonstrate how an oppositional press is supposed to work.

All in all, Rachel Maddow is the most exciting and unexpected gift to the progressive movement in years. She’s made smart sexy and fun again.

And she’s just getting started!

Rachel Maddow links:
Rachel Maddow official site
MSNBC show web page
Air American show web page
Rachel’s Twitter (she hasn’t posted for a few weeks)
Facebook page for The Rachel Maddow Show
Fan site