Schadenfreude embarrasses me a little. I never want to wish death on anyone. But sometimes, someone dies who spent his life in opposition to everything one holds dear, and one cannot help to feel just the tiniest bit pleased at his passing. Of course I mean Jerry Falwell, one of the most reprehensible characters in American politics this century. In conversations with friends since yesterday, a couple of things came out: First, it's too bad there's no "him" left to contemplate the fact that he's not actually where he thought he'd be; and second, it's always sad when a clown—even a delusional, evil, paranoid clown—dies.
I wonder which fundie will step into the vacuum Falwell's passing leaves?
Oh. My. God. Via Talking Points Memo:
Staff members of an elementary school [in Murfeesboro, Tenn.,] staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables.
During the last night of the trip, staff members convinced the 69 students that there was a gunman on the loose. They were told to lie on the floor or hide underneath tables and stay quiet. A teacher, disguised in a hooded sweat shirt, even pulled on a locked door.
I don't know whether this is sad or funny:
The new frontrunner for "worst idea in modern journalism" has to go James Macpherson, editor and publisher of the two-year-old site pasadenanow.com, who recently ran this job posting: "We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA."
Check out this short (3-minute) video from Talking Points Memo.
Indiana University's Journalism School has released a paper demonstrating that Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly uses significantly more propaganda than the infamous 1930s radio commentator Fr. Charles Coughlin:
O’Reilly is a heavier and less nuanced user of the seven devices developed by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis in the late 1930s than the notorious radio commentator of that time, Father Charles Coughlin. O’Reilly also employs other propaganda techniques, identified by Lasswell, Berelson and Janowitz. This includes ample use of fear appeals and the construction of the battle between good and evil. The most evil villains in O’Reilly’s world are illegal aliens, terrorists, and foreigners because they are apparently a physical and moral threat to the United States. Slightly less evil—but unambiguously bad—are groups (media, organizations, politicians) who share a political leaning to the left. On the other side, the virtuous flank emerged as an all-American crew made up of the military, criminal justice system, Bush administration, and ordinary US citizens.
In other words, as all patriotic Americans know, O'Reilly is a reactionary, imbicilic blowhard, who beats up on the innocent in his ongoing campaign to take away your freedoms. Of course, we on the left are usually too polite to point this out.
(Via Talking Points Memo.) The Senate Judiciary Committee would like Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to return within a week:
We believe the Committee would benefit from you searching and refreshing your recollection and your supplementing your testimony by next Friday to provide the answers to the questions you could not recall last Thursday.
Sterling has reached $2. Last time I was in the UK, a Pound cost $1.52. Our economic policies have paid off, I see. (Only 642 days and 23 hours, at most, remain for those policies.)
Share and enjoy:
And also from reader MB, some bumper stickers we'd like to see:
- Even Nixon Resigned
- We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language
- The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
The U.S. Olympic Committee has announced that Chicago will represent the U.S. in the competition to host the Olympic Games in 2016. Since the entire world universally loves the U.S. right now, I am certain today's announcement means Chicago is hosting the Olympics. Just not in 2016.
John Lennon once remarked that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus," explaining later that more people had bought Beatles albums than went to church.
It turns out, we atheists are less popular than the GEICO Cave Man. At least, more people would vote for the GEICO Cave Man, than would vote for an atheist.
The sad fact is, most of the first U.S. presidents—including Jefferson and Washington—were, famously, as close to atheists as the 18th Century allowed.
Who said voters were irrational?