politics

Book Review: “Raised Right” by Alisa Harris


You: You know what this world needs more of?

Me: What’s that?

You: Your awesome opinions.

Me: In that case…

*****************************************

File Under: Read in part at a Taco Bell in Wyoming

Title: Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics
Author: Alisa Harris
Pages: Paperback, 219 pages
ISBN: 978-0-307-72965-1
URL: http://alisarharris.com/
Publisher: WaterBrook Press*
Release Date: September 6, 2011

“A wonderful story for political misfits of all shapes and colors.”
Shane Claiborne 

Something I’ve noticed about myself is that while I’m willing to consider new and different angles on a given issue, when it comes to using what I’ve learned in order to take a side on that issue my firstborn brain often hesitates if I don’t have a feeling of permission to make the choice I’m about to make.

Alisa Harris’s new book “Raised Right” gave me the feeling of permission I needed.

***We interrupt this review to bring you the reviewer’s Life Story for the sake of journalistic transparency in background comparison between her and the book’s author.
– Management
***

The oldest of three kids, I was raised in a warm, nurturing, politically conservative Christian home by parents who loved their kids, their families, and the world around them. To the point, even, that they sold their home in the Chicago suburbs to live in South America for three years where my mom taught grade school and my dad built schools, churches, a drug rehab facility, and whatever else came up. They loved God. They loved people. They loved each other. Luckily that love rubbed off on their kids.

While our family rejected the absurd stereotype of many culture-Christians who live to call This, That, or The Other politician either a Saint or an Anti-Christ, we were a Republican-voting family. My parents never specifically instructed me as such, preferring to keep politics out of their children’s lives, but I still knew which box I should check when I reached 18. In fact, I was in my early 20s before it occurred to me to even think about listening to- not just hearing- the whys and wherefores behind the reasoning of the American Left. Not even to agree with it, mind you, but just to listen to it.

Not my family.

I didn’t really need for there to be alternatives growing up. What I knew was working just fine. My folks weren’t crazy religious or political extremists. They didn’t demand all Christians be Republicans, yell at people who disagreed with them, crack mean jokes about people they weren’t voting for, or make me wear culottes. They simply stood behind a set of political ideals I could identify with. A set of ideals most of my friends’ families seemed to identify with, too. It was just part of our community. A community which included going to church, reading the Bible, watching “The Simpsons,” and having epic sleep-over birthday parties where mom would make crafts with us with no regard to our messes while dad told us scary adventure stories with strong female protagonists. (The parallels between mine and Harris’s upbringing are many, but clearly not universal.)

As I grew older it still made sense to me to support those ideals because I was raised seeing the heart behind those ideals, not the loud-mouthed pundits spewing them on TV. I was raised on the “best case scenario” of those ideals being put into play, not on the distorted logic behind “worst case outcomes” like blowing up abortion clinics. I was raised seeing that some people really do live out a commitment to justice from a standpoint of loving God, wanting to do right by the world, and who are willing to make real and significant sacrifices to bring peace to others. And I strongly believed that if we all did our part we could see those “best case scenarios” coming true.

(Another firstborn thing, I suppose. You know- work hard, work smart, and things will fall into place. If they don’t you probably just didn’t work hard and smart enough. There’s a lot of pressure to this whole “firstborn” thing. Thank God we’re all so awesome.)

But then I began my own life and met people and lived through situations that forced apart my faith life and my political life, all the while speckling my black-and-white understanding of the world with flecks of moderate gray. Again and again I faced people I loved in situations that caused them pain, and there I was with a political map that didn’t feature the roads they were walking, let alone viable exits or much needed rest points to serve their needs along the way. I didn’t feel like I needed to toss my map just because it lacked way points, but I did recognize that it was incomplete, and that if I didn’t start adding those missing roads to it myself no one else was going to do it for me. The world is too complicated and life too short to allow ourselves to rely on invisible routes to paper towns.

Every time I thought about those new roads, I worried. Was it okay to look at the same facts and draw different conclusions? Would I still be welcome in that warm community I grew up in? I really needed to know. I still need to know, actually, if I’m gonna put that “Hillary 4 Prez” sticker on my car. And while intellectually I know it’s okay, it still hurts a little to wonder, to differ, to change without permission.

“I see both sides telling us that to be uncertain, to dialogue instead of rail, is to betray the cause.” (p. 174)

***We now return you to the Book Review you’re actually here to read and apologize for the reviewer’s interruptions, though we cannot guarantee she will not make another such attempt.
– Management
***

Totally my family- some of us, anyway ("smoking" FDR-style at mom's suggestion).

“Raised Right” is about growing up in a home where Christianity and the Republican Party are considered to be two sides of the same shiny, home schooling coin. Where Ronald Reagan is practically neck and neck with the prophets. Where a gal could find herself believing “…Jesus was not Someone who gave victory over the sin in [one]self but a shadowy figure who had left us to work for the salvation of the world through politics.” (p. 39) Where the gospels of preachers and politicians often get crossed. (p.72) It’s about changing without permission. Boldly. And in spite of the “shell-shocked” exhaustion that can follow such changes. (p. 144)

In it, Alisa Harris shares an intimately detailed look into her younger years, spent picketing abortion clinics, stuffing ballot boxes for the Republican candidate du jour, and arguing for Reagan’s supremacy as an American president in exchange for a calendar bearing the great man’s likeness. Her narrative goes on to cover her careful, tenuous shift toward becoming Alisa Harris, “Teetotaling Theologically Ambivalent Christian Feminist Honors Program Enrollee” (p. 127) and “liberal feminist.” (p. 145) It’s a bumpy ride- it’s a bumpy road- but it is delivered in such an approachable and well-penned way that readers should be hard pressed to find her conclusions unexpected or unreasonable.

One of the things I appreciated in particular about her book is that in spite of the quirky conservatism- and sometimes outright extremism- of the people who shaped her life and values, she never speaks with anything resembling mockery or disdain toward those individuals. Quite the opposite. In writing about their strengths as well as their struggles, she traces her journey’s history back to how their love of and commitment to God, justice, and humanity taught her to value those things as well. This applies to her parents in particular. “What did my parents teach me that I will pass on to my children? To care… To love… To take heart.” (p.218) We the readers are given the gift of seeing the sacrifices they made for her and her sister, the time and love and effort they put into building their relationships with each other. It’s a peek behind the Christian Curtain, and I liked what I saw.

“Raised Right” gives an insider’s look into a religious group many in this country look at with fear, and many others with folly. It’s broad, it’s deep, it’s touching, and somehow it still doesn’t pull any punches. For these reasons I would strongly recommend this book not only to fellow Christians raised in conservative homes who have found themselves wandering left of Square 1, but also to people for whom this subculture and lifestyle are totally foreign. People who’ve ever asked themselves why so many Christians believe they “must” be Republicans, and why they then do what they do, support what they support, and picket what they picket. It’s an eye opener without being a raging political alarm clock. It’s more of an unexpectedly early sunbeam through your bedroom window on a trip back home for Christmas.

Harris has produced a real gem in “Raised Right.” It’s part memoir, part apology, and part field guide to modern Christianity in the American Right. Regardless of where you stand in regard to religion or politics, there is something to take away from this book. Be it permission to admit to yourself as a Christian that you, too, have explored these ideological territories and that “people can hold blends of belief that seem incongruous to someone else,” (p. 144), or permission to view conservative Christians in a more accepting light and not to “[define them] only by [their] political characteristics and which special-interest group claims to represent [them].” (p. 126)

I struggled to find an appropriate excerpt from the book with which to conclude this review. The struggle was not for a lack of quotable material, but for an almost overwhelming abundance of poignant thoughts begging to be shared. So I will end with the following in the hope that it will prompt your spirit as it did mine:

We seek in one another the assurance that there is just one correct interpretation of the world, that everything is so simple anybody can see it unless they’re malicious or stupid or willfully ignorant; and we punish one another for proving with our differing conclusions that truth is not that easy. We think we must suppress dissension to present the unified front we need to gain power over our enemies. But there are pro-life Democrats, pro-choice Christians, feminists who love their families, and conservatives who care about poor people. Not all of them are right, but neither are they heretics.
(p. 146-7)

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I don’t owe it to them to like, or not like, this book. The opinions in this blog are mine and mine alone. All it really means that I was given this book for free is that I’ll have paid less for my copy than you’ll pay for yours. And you should really consider paying for a copy.

“Simplicity does not precede complexity…”


“Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.”
-Alan Perlis

If you know the original source, please let me know so I can credit them. Thanks!

I never quite know how to respond when people say things like “The U.S. should adopt XYZ country’s policy to solve their problem with such-and-such,” when the person making such a statement doesn’t allow sufficiently for the major, highly relevant differences between any two countries, and therefore also between the approaches they must take to solving their respective problems. Circumstantial differences are not the only determining factors, of course. I just feel like until they are addressed adequately, any arguments for why the U.S. should consider similar policies can’t really move forward, no matter how effective the policy may have been elsewhere.

I believe that while these differences may not make it impossible for the U.S. to follow the other nation’s lead, they are certainly sufficient to at least supply some complications which the other nation may not have had to deal with in achieving its success in the area in question. And if the cons attached to those complications outweigh the benefits of the pros to enacting a similar approach here, then obviously the approach must be modified or dismissed.

I’m not sure why it bugs me when people argue for these sorts of demands. I get what they’re trying to say. “We do ___ poorly and they do ___ well. We should do it their way instead.” I mean, heck: I use the same reasoning in my own every day life when I fail at something others have done well. Maybe it’s just that I take the U.S.’s successes and failures too much to heart?

No. No, I think what really does it for me isn’t when people simply recommend following an approach that was successful elsewhere. I think what really does it are the occasions on which that recommendation is followed up with the implication that if you don’t agree that the method the U.S. attempted was not only stupid but morally wrong, then you’re an ignorant, totalitarian imbecile. And probably a Nazi, racist homophobe. Who hates art. And the children, who are our future. It’s like there’s no room for the U.S.’s errors (of which there are admittedly many) to be anything but moral evils.

The most basic examples that spring to mind on why a Swedish cure-all, for example, may not necessarily work the same way in the U.S. is that the U.S. is a lot bigger, has a lot more people, and has a more geographically diverse landscape than Sweden. We’re not comparing like with like when we compare how things operate there with how they operate here. Yes we’re all human beings, plodding along with our good ol’ “human nature” fully intact. But we’re also human beings tightly integrated into very complex systems in which things work in widely differing ways for a number of reasons, many of which are almost 100% unlikely to ever become the same between the two countries. (Ex. Barring major shifts in the tectonic plates, the U.S. and Germany will likely never have the same square miles of available farmland.)

“Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.”
-Herbert Simon

US States Renamed For Countries With Similar GDPs (Links to source. Click for larger view and to read more about the comparisons.)

As such I believe it is worth noting in any such discussion the fact that another nation’s solutions, however well reasoned and well executed, will not provide identical results for all nations which attempt to repeat them. We should therefore proceed with all due research and caution before employing said solutions for ourselves, fully aware of the fact that the solutions still may not work for everyone.

Ex. Declaring that everyone has a right to internet access doesn’t change the fact that supplying universal, dependable access for a small country with a small population in which everyone lives relatively close together is going to be a lot easier and cheaper than supplying it for an enormous country with a huge population spread out across hard-to-reach areas in which everyone lives far apart. (Please note I am not making a statement on whether or not I think this is a right, or on whether or not access should be supplied. I am simply pointing out that the necessary methods of delivery will vary from country to country.)

For right now I’m going to ignore the factor of the differences in geographies (and the resulting differences in industry, agriculture, climate, art, educational/vocational training needs, etc.) between the U.S. and countries it is accused of emulating insufficiently. I’m mostly ignoring that factor because including examples would make my list below harder to read and I’m too lazy to learn how to insert a table into this post, but I’m also ignoring that factor because I figure most folks reading this are aware enough of those differences on their own without my having to Google it all to prove it.

(Basically: The U.S. has mountains, prairies, and oceans white with foam.)

(Actually: So do a lot of countries… But look at the figures below. I mean– you follow what I’m trying to get across about geographical diversity and each country’s relative quantities of various types of it, right? Some have a lot of mountains, some have none? Some have lots of deserts, some have none? Some have lots of fishing, some have none? Good.)

On to the other two major differing figures between the U.S. and the nations it should supposedly be mirroring: Population Size and Land Size.

Approximate Population | Square Miles

USA:              312 million  |  3,537,455 sq mi
Brazil:           192 million  |  3,287,597 sq mi
Germany:      82 million  |      138,000 sq mi
France:           66 million  |      247,126 sq mi
England:         52 million  |        94,525 sq mi
(California:   39 million  |      163,696 sq mi)
Canada:           34 million  |  3,511,023 sq mi
(Texas:             25 million |      268,820 sq mi)
Australia:        23 million |  2,941,299 sq mi
(New York:    19 million |        54,556 sq mi)
Sweden:             9 million  |      158,663 sq mi
Costa Rica:       5 million  |        19,700 sq mi
Iceland:             318,000  |         39,770 sq mi

I believe there is stuff the U.S. handles poorly which other countries have handled well. You name it, we’ve had trouble with it, in everything from education to health care, taxation, defense, etc. These are complicated issues for any country, and the U.S. has done its fair share of fumbling in its dealings with them. I think we should ABSOLUTELY look at examples from nations which have been successful where we have not, as well as historical examples of successes and failures from around the world, to learn new ways to go about trying to fix our existing problems.

A short primer on cultural differences

I just think it’s also important to be aware of, and realistic about, the fact that what works in one country may not necessarily work the same way in another, and that the sheer size of the U.S. and the enormous number of people living in it are HUGE determining factors. The idea may still be good (or even vastly better) than what we’re doing here, we just need to acknowledge that another nation’s solutions are not lay-over-the-top templates any other country can dive right into as a cure-all, and implying they are effectively ignores the complexities of reality.

No country can do things the exact same way as another and expect the exact same results– no matter how ideal the method, no matter how carefully it is applied, and no matter how much everyone wants it to work– because no country is identical to another in its physical, social, and cultural make-up, or in its ability or desire to maintain another country’s system on its own home turf.

“…if the universe is computationally capable, maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised that things are so entirely out of control.”
-Seth Lloyd

I think what I’m really trying to say is: Please acknowledge that it’s complicated, and please allow that arguing as much does not make one an imbecile.

(Though an argument could be made for one‘s being overly dependent on justifications for hesitancy…)

You are collectively my “It’s Complicated”


Shot a… um… a “thing” today for a health show on Lifetime, but I’m sleepy and it’s not a terribly exciting story so I’ll save it for later. In fact- I’m saving everything for later. Screw story, screw format, screw points of interest. Bah! Bah, I say! I’m here, it’s late, I’m exhausted but still up. Time to traverse the web and bring back links for my readers and friends.

Will the links be awesome?

Naturally.

Should you like them just because I did?

Of course.

Is our friendship effectively over if you don’t visit at least two of the links provided?

Undoubtedly.

And so it begins…

College Humor

The first few links are from CollegeHumor.com, an exceptionally funny site. But no fair following these links and getting distracted by other links on their page. You’ll leave the rest of the links here feeling all left behind and lonely… and unwanted… and unloved… and a little fat…

Viral Video Politician: “A Presidential candidate does his best to get views for his video.”

If The Other Party Wins: “One thing’s for sure: the person you disagree with is going to ruin the country.”

Hardly Working: The New Girl: “Facebook changes everything.”

YouTube

Moving right along to my second love (after Barraco’s), is YouTube. Ah YouTube. Eternal fount of all things embeddable and mind-numbing.

Tiny Tim singing Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”

Shuga Lee Lewis singing Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire”

I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I laughed at and enjoyed that second one. And I didn’t even forward through it. Heck no. Watched the whole thing. Twice.

“A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound”

Our Tax System Explained: Bar Stool Economics: “Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…”

Milton Friedman discussing the concept of Greed on Donahue in ’79

The American Recession as Explained By a Canadian: “Much like breasts, economies can never be too large, which is why it’s important that they’re always slowly growing, and one of a few reasons why we’re so disappointed that breasts don’t.”

And so we can end this blog entry joining together in a few moments of “Holy. Freaking. Crap.”: Smart People Stuff…

Science and Technology

The Ghost In Your Genes: Basically says that stuff you do may find a way into your genes and get passed on to the kiddies. Wowza.

Children’s Faces As They Play Video Games: Minus any commentary from me one way or the other, or advocating or denouncing anything from the article itself, I’m including this link for the sole purpose of linking you to this kinda crazy video footage.

What Color Eyes Would Your Children Have?: I think this is how I’m going to determine who I have kids with- you know, in the event that I should decide I’m a sadist- so I’m guaranteed to have green eyed offspring. Because let’s be honest here: Don’t green eyes rock harder than any other eye color?

That’s it. I’m all learned/laughed out. You’re on your own from here.

Ketchup


I fell behind on my video blogging, and then I got tagged by Tia D and made three videos. See, Tia D? You’re all it takes to get me on a(n obnoxious) vlogging roll!

Video #1: My response to Tia D.

The deal is you have to make a video response sharing 5 things about yourself. I s’ppose ideally you’ll also tag other people to make response videos of their own, but I don’t really know that many folks on YouTube likely to make a response video to one of mine so I guess you can consider this me tagging you if you like.

Video #2: WordPress Search Terms

If you have a WordPress blog you’re probably familiar with the Blog Stats tracking features. If you’re not yet familiar with them then you should be because they’re awesome. One of the things WP allows you to track are what search terms people plug into Google that bring them to your blog.

I decided I wanted to make a Wordle image of the search terms that bring people to my blog so I’ve been pasting them into an Excel document so I can more easily alphabetize them and see just how frequently some of them come up because some of them reappear a LOT.

The following is a video listing of some of the more common, or more unusual, things people have looked up that have brought them here. Among them: bloody ducks, the first sin was intercourse, Megan Fox unclothed, skinny naked lesbians, high cost of asphalt shingles, nude photos Karen Kay third shift, tea can do many things Jane but it can’t bring back the dead,  and Dunlap Syndrome.

ETA: It just gets worse and worse and worse…

See: “Could Megan Fox Be Any More Perfect?” My favorite user comment on the article comes from someone who goes by “The Truth” who says: “All the females hate her! Why? Simple * it’s because they all want to look like her, but can’t Instead, they are plain, ugly, unattractive, fat, stupid losers. All the guys want their girlfriends to look half as good as her.”

Don’t bother telling me you love me if you just wish I was somebody else. Especially somebody else who’s just so… so impossible to mimic.

Video #3: “The Philadelphia Story”

I’m in a show that opens in November at a theatre here in town. Good times. The last time I was in a show I made a video I could post in different places to give people info on it. Figured I’d just keep that tradition alive…

********************************

In other news: The job search continues and I’m still painfully under or over qualified for every job I’m finding. People keep saying how there aren’t that many job openings out there, but that doesn’t seem to be the case where I’m looking. The problem for me so far is just that the jobs are all a poor match for my skill set. Not that I’d particularly mind being overqualified for a position if it was something I could just relax and enjoy, but 1) I know I’d go bonkers after two days of bagging groceries, and 2) those jobs don’t pay enough to cover my bills. :S

Where’s a good sugar daddy when you need one?

I’ve got until mid-December to find work, at which point my unemployment insurance runs out and I’m up a particularly dense creek without adequate means of propulsion.

And now, a message to my politically minded friends (of which I have many) who keep sending me emails (by the terabyte) about the November elections:

Don’t assume we’re voting the same way when sending me politically themed emails, or that the praise you’re forwarding for your candidate of choice sounds any less like the brainwashed silliness you complain about from “the other side.” For every “My Party’s Candidate Is A God Among Men!” link you send me that glows over your candidate of choice I have one that glows in an equally flashy and abrasive manner over mine while debunking everything your videos and links just plugged. Let’s just leave it at “we’re even” and assume nothing we say to each other will change the other’s mind. Because let’s face it: It won’t.

I could really use some Easy Mac…

“Very different, very diverse…”


Item #1

How “very different, very diverse” can an album be that’s the work of an 18 year old pop tart? Especially when it premieres on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show…

Do the music world a favor and stick to whale songs, Panettiere.

Item #2

Biggest oil price drop in 17 years

Crude falls $6.45 a barrel – 2nd largest price drop in dollar terms – as Fed chief indicates inflation and high fuel prices will cut into U.S. demand for oil.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Oil prices plummeted by the second-largest margin on record Tuesday as investors feared a further decline in U.S. demand after hearing comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Light, sweet crude fell $6.44 to settle at $138.74 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. …

On Tuesday morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned that high energy prices have helped to limit the purchasing power of U.S. households. High energy costs will remain a drag on the U.S. economy for the rest of the year, Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday. That could result in businesses pushing a greater percentage of their high fuel and commodity costs through to consumers, he warned.

Every week my dad’s roofing company gets another letter in the mail from yet another vendor saying that due to the rising price of petroleum they have to charge more to ship everything, and the cost of making a lot of the materials has increased as well, ex. asphalt shingles.

So if a year ago he charged you $20 for your roof– $11 of which went to materials, $2 to labor, $3 to taxes, $3 to insurance, and $1 to profit– you sure as heck had better believe he’s going to raise his prices when materials go up to $15, or else what does he not get to pay for anymore? His workers? His taxes? His insurance?

Oh wait, that’s right. He’s supposed to not make his profit any more so that we can force the country to become less oil dependent… and he can still be $3 short on the bills… or pay his laborers less… and still be short on the bills…

Immediately following Bernanke’s speech, prices dropped more than $9, sinking below $136 a barrel, before recovering some. … Gasoline prices in the U.S. maintained record highs at $4.109 a gallon Tuesday, according to a daily survey from motorist group AAA.

It was $4.11/gal at the Speedway by my folks’ place yesterday morning, then some time between 11 and 1 it jumped to $4.23. Then first thing this morning the area pumps were back down to between $4.11 and $4.19/gal. Let’s keep up that trend, folks…

Item #3

Pricey gas: Fewer cops, more potholes

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com)  — In what seems to be a perverse reaction to high gas prices, some cities are cutting back on public transit – at a time when their citizens need it most.

… The Montana Highway Patrol, after failing to find enough police recruits, is using $300,000 that had been set aside for more officers to pay the gas bill instead. Sheriff’s departments in Maryland and Florida have also reportedly cut patrol routes or officers.

“It’ll mean more speeding, more drunk drivers, and more fatal crashes,” [said Ronald Reucker, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.] Less lucky are city bus departments. …

“We’re planning on laying off some staff and cutting some routes that are poor performers,” said Jerry Masek, a spokesman for the Greater Cleveland Regions Transit Authority. “People will still have service, but not as much.”

…Cleveland has seen its bus fuel bill go from $5 million a year in 2003 to a projected $21 million in 2008. Out of a total budget of $230 million, that’s a lot of cash.

“You just can’t absorb that without doing something,” said Masek. He… said a combination of fare hikes could spare some neighborhoods. “[Riders] would rather pay more than lose service,” he said. “No matter how much we raise fares, it’s still cheaper than driving.”

And undoubtedly easier on your car, especially if the road repair crew is in a situation like New Jersey’s. It’s not the cost of driving those big dump trucks that’s straining the budget at the New Jersey Department of Transportation. It’s the price of paving.

What many people don’t know is that asphalt is made largely from oil. It’s the heavy oil at the bottom of a barrel that can’t be refined into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel or other lighter products. And it’s risen in price right along with gasoline. The price for the main component in asphalt has jumped nearly 90 percent since last year. …

*guh*

Red State Update


“Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.”
Ambrose Bierce

*************************************

Do I find these guys funnier when I view their videos as political satire or as the real deal?

Hmmmm….

I don’t think of myself as a cracker so much as a– as a wheat thin. As such, redneck comedy is just not generally my bag. But I have literally laughed out loud at every one of these guys’ videos that I’ve watched today.

I think I understood about 3 and a half words of Jackie’s “Hannah Montana” monologue in this one:

I don’t know whose pics are actually creepier. The pics of these fellas or the pics of Miley in her pop’s lap.

Saint Brigid?


“Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.”
John Kenneth Galbraith

******************************************

Why isn’t she allowed to say “the Muslim community was “destroying our country and imposing its acts”.” Why must she pay thousands of euros for that?

I don’t care what religion you’re referring to; if you think its presence in your country is an entirely negative one, or perhaps only encourages certain negative things, you MUST say so, because few things in this world- organizations, ideologies, etc.- have such deeply seated, far reaching influence on mankind as his religious beliefs.

I mean– look at this country. Look at all the awful nonsense that’s been pulled since people first landed here, all in the name of the Christian church. I’m a Christian and I have a problem with people doing that, and with the particular things they’re doing. And I expect people who aren’t to have an even bigger problem with that.

They should speak up, and so should I.

And so should Brigitte Bardot.

“Plant some f*cking corn.”


“A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.”
Doug Larson

This article is about these dirt cakes the people eat in Haiti because they have so little food. The point of the article is: “Stop complaining. At least you’re not eating dirt.”

“Paul’s” reply:

As millions of Haitians starve, tons of food is rotting in the nation’s ports.

The government is trying to rid its ports of corruption and is bickering over a series of reforms. New requirements are overwhelming poorly trained workers and the country’s handwritten customs system. Further adding to the backlog, Haitian cargo handlers are trying to empty and inspect every container. Cargo shipments as far away as Miami are feeling the slowdown.

One U.S. aid worker says a lot of the time food rots before it passes through customs and authorities are forced to burn it. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Haiti imports 75 percent of its food.

In a country where some are forced to literally eat dirt to stave off hunger, tons of beans and rice are spoiling in the sun or being devoured by vermin.

“Anonymous’s” reply:

Dude, honestly…I’m sorry I can’t feel sorry for idiots. I grew up in shit poor Mexico and we’ll eat some nasty shit, but not dirt. Christ people, plant some fucking corn.

I have today and tomorrow off work to get some stuff done with my taxes, to do laundry, to get some cleaning out of the way… and so far I’ve spent most of it in bed sick. I need to pop my back so badly that there’s pain  creeping into my leg over it.  I mean– what the heck, man?

* An AP article about suicide bombers. From the beginning of the article:

The suicide bombers who have killed 10,000 people in Iraq, including hundreds of American troops, usually are alienated young men from large families who are desperate to stand out from the crowd and make their mark, according to a U.S. military study.

As long suspected, most come from outside Iraq. Saudi Arabia, home of most of the 9/11 hijackers, is the single largest source.

Why can’t they just get all emo and write crappy poetry and go into an IT job in a back office at the mall like a normal person?

* Her husband committed suicide after seven years of marriage. But what could she have done? :(

* I’m watching The Lion in Winter with Patrick Stewart and Glen Close. But not for much longer. I can live without this one…