Showing posts from January, 2007

Serious Political Commentary for Serious Times

Many liberal political commentators have noted the ability of the conservative movement to raise questions of authenticity about liberal candidates. No one is more hip to this than Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler, which is repetitive and tiresome and absolutely correct. Grounded in his experience in the 2000 Gore campaign, Somerby details how political coverage is converted into a simple narrative (he calls it novelized), in which candidates are reduced to a few personality traits which are repeated ad infinitum. Invariably, the personal traits of liberal candidates that are identified with liberals are inauthenticity, dishonesty, hypocrisy, shrill moralism and overbearingness. Republicans are given the personality attributes of authenticity, manliness, honesty, directness, and sincerity. By the end of the campaign, Democrats are seen as icky. It explains why Democratic candidates who lose, even those who win like Al Gore, as seen as contemptible and ridiculous, and an embarassm…

Soulless exurbs and Evangelical Megachurches

Check out this story by Chris Hedges which makes some interesting connections between social conditions and their consequences in terms of church.

Antiwar Demonstration

OK, so I go to the Antiwar demonstration at the Boston Common, as I said I would in a previous post.

You have to understand that I have very mixed feelings about the Left, and am generally allergic to it, even though my opinions are quite liberal by anyone's standards.

Fausto has a good report on it, complete with pictures of our prophetic witness.

He asks the questions of why antiwar demonstration are so small and feeble when so many people are opposed to the escalation of the war.

Why should they be big?

The antiwar demonstrations are the political tactics of the extra-parliamentary left, or the non-electoral or third party left. The reason why the antiwar demonstrations of the Vietnam were so strong was because there were active and organized Socialist and communist organizations that were instrumental in organizing the demonstrations and were being fed by those demonstrations. The roles of the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party were crucial during the Vietnam era.…

Boston Common 4 PM

I hear that it is where one can register one's disagreement with the President regarding Iraq. I think that I will drop by.

A World Trade Tower Toll per Week

Estimates are now that approximately, conservatively, 3000 Iraqis are dying per week in the Iraqi Civil War, a sectarian conflict unleashed when the United States overthrew Saddam Hussien. While only a small proportion of those deaths are caused directly by American forces, it appears that the vast majority of Iraqis hold the US to be ultimately responsible for those deaths.
Two questions:

Could we be so naive as to think that this violence will not come back to this country?If a terrorist attack on US soil killed a large number of people, would it be believable, in the world that we now live in, to say that it was an "unprovoked attack on innocent people." I cannot imagine that another attack on US soil would be seen as the 9.11 attacks were seen.

The Great DemoCRAT Party

John Boehner in his oh-so-gracious comments before he handed over the gavel to Nancy Pelosi could not resist referring to the "Democrat Party."

Nicknaming is an attempt to assert dominance over the other, and so this is why the minions of the Hoover-Nixon-Bush party prefer this name for Democrats. It is done simply because it is irritating.

It is "dog whistle" politics. The ordinary person does not hear it, but for activists on both sides of the aisle, the petty dominance game is clearly audible. It invites an indignant response, which only serves to confirm their dominant position. "How can anyone be upset about such a minor matter?" And in that exchange, which they invite, they remind everyone of how "some people are just too sensitive" -- which is code for racial politics, and political correctness.

Let them clown. After all, he was giving up the gavel.

I don't think that they realize how wide and how broad the repudiation of the Hoov…

A Provocative Statement for 2007

A friend of mine notes the following statement as passing before her eyes:

"Liberal religion is dying. Kids either secular or interested in orthodoxy"

She wonders if it is true. It's a good enough question to drag me out of my cave and write something here, so thanks.

On the one hand, the question doesn't make any sense. It imagines that "liberal religion", secularity and orthodoxy are all equivalent and mutually exclusive choices. What is the orthodoxy against which "liberal religion" stands? Greek Orthodoxy, Christian orthodoxy, Muslim orthodoxy, Buddhist orthodoxy? Is our commentator saying that there is no one will occupy a space between secularism and orthodox christianity? Or is he saying that globally, there is no choice between secularity and fundamentalism of all types?

People who make statements like this are usually trying to force a choice. The Communists said all through the 30's and 40's that there was no middle ground betw…