Well, I don't post here anymore. That's obvious. Thanks for all the faithful readers. I've decided to revamp the whole operation, so I'm taking up residence at theInner Cog. It's just me right now, but we'll see about some other folks. Anyhow, Bolo was fun, but I'm moving on. Come see me in the new digs.
Yahoo.com > DemoUnder
The news that brought me back. I'm on super secret undercover assignment right now, but Frist's unbelievable sense of personal entitlement drew me back into blogging. If I blog in the future, it will be quite sporadic; I don't get into port much (oops! I'm spilling the beans). But I've been watching Katrina coverage with pretty much blind outrage at the Bush Administration once again finding itself "learning the lessons" of being prepared. George, these are the Majors. If you don't already have the basics down, you screw up the pennant race bigtime.
But of course, they have the basics down. They demonstrated that during the election year in Florida. New Orleans in an off year? Fuck 'em.
I mean, seriously. Don't you know they just looked at Katrina heading for New Orleans with all its oil business and said, "Hey - great way to get gas prices up - hold off. And Rush and O'Reilly stocking up on poor (read black) degradation material is just icing on the cake."
Oo, don't get me started.
Anyway, I saw that Frist got his doctor props together and went down to do triage in New Orleans. I was giving him credit for that, but now the truth comes out: he needed a moral high ground approach to head off criticism about this blatently illegal stock trade. And the crap about his "conflict of interest" should be branded onto his corrupt backside. That rat bastard. Horsewhipping's too good for him.
I really should blog more often. Holding it in like that gets toxic.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 9/22/2005 11:47:00 AM
Here's a sceen shot of a blog article listed on Google News. It's the one titled [url=http://www.americandaily.com/article/7895]NBC, Wolf Should Apologize Without Delay[/url].
Sure, it's in Entertainment, but that's still right there on the front page, the top headline in that grouping of stories. So our news is going to be subject to Googlebombing as well? Is there anyone else that thinks that's a bad idea?
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 5/29/2005 12:29:00 PM
General Wesley Clark announced at the Figueroa Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles that he will run once agian for President of the United States. It was, for the most part, a small gathering. The only notable that I saw there was Lt. Governor of CA, Cruz Bustamante. As the General was addressing the growd he said, 'some of you have been asking whether I am going to run in 2008' (not an exact quote) and the crowd went wild and started chanting 'Go Wes Go'. Clark said 'I am'. Somewhere in between he cracked a joke about how he was drafted late '03 and blamed us. Then Clark said that he thought if he ever got drafted again he would make sure to get an early start and then followed with THIS TIME he wants to make sure that he gets enough funds, so he won't be in '04 situation. Clark 08!Very good news. I'll be backing the General again.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 4/17/2005 12:32:00 PM
A ninth-grader is protesting his school’s decision to broadcast the Pledge of Allegiance in foreign languages as part of National Foreign Language Week.Sources tell me that Townhall.com has offered this bright shining American boy his own triweekly column.
Patrick Linton said he and other students at Old Mill High School sat down rather than stand Wednesday when the pledge was read over the school’s public address system in Russian. Linton’s teacher told him if he had a problem he should leave the room.
He did, and did not plan to return this week.
“This is America, and we got soldiers at war,” the 15-year-old said. “When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language which nobody understands, that’s not OK.”
Charles Linton, Patrick’s father, said the use of other languages is disrespectful to the country. “It’s like wearing a cross upside down in a church,” he said.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 3/17/2005 04:46:00 PM
It really must be seen to be believed. Some kid brought his camera to a Men's Service at his local Baptist church, which turned out to be a military recruitment service.
The reproduced program is chilling:
Men,I'm just amazed at the cognative dissonance that these people are able to contain in their brains.
It is a privilege for Porter Memorial Baptist Church to be hosting this event. This is the fifth year that our Men's Ministry has put this on and we are excited about how we have seen God provide for us to make this night possible.
This is a night to honor the men and women who serve our God blessed nation, and for those who have served in previous conflicts and wars. Porter Memorial Baptist Church wishes to say "Thank you!!!" for making our nation free to worship God.
We hope you enjoyed the BBQ meal and will enjoy some of our most talented men singing praises to God this evening. Most of all, we hope you are challenged and inspired by the testimony that Capt. Jeff Struecker gives tonight as he shares his experience in battle and his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Our mission statement is "To worship God, globally lead people to faith in Christ, and grow together to be like Him."
Most of all, on behalf of our pastoral staff and men, we want you to know that Porter Memorial Baptist Church is a Home for your Heart.
Please note that this is the fifth annual Men's Service to honor the military; i.e., every year of the Bush presidency. This combination of military worship and American jingoism is particularly stunning when you consider that these people are very likely believers in Premillienialism. These folks are signing up for Armegeddon, and making sure it's gonna happen.
The two pictures that recreate a parade of American Soldiers under the displayed image of Jesus on the cross will stupefy you - especially because one of the American soldiers is wearing a Confederate uniform. I just don't know what to say about that. I mean, you know, the Confederates were trying to do the same thing to Washington, DC that al-Qaeda tried to to. I mean, you know? They didn't have planes, of course, but if they could have gotten to Washington and burned it down, they would have. You know? Could we maybe not include them in a parade that nonors soldiers of the United States of America?
I'm just saying...
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 2/11/2005 07:16:00 PM
Nick Clooney (yes, I believe that's George's dad) recalls how Carson staged a black wig protest on his own show when Clooney and two other grey-haired newsmen were let go from the local LA NBC news program that led into Carson's show.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/27/2005 01:40:00 AM
George W. Bush: enemy of the United States of America.
What else can we believe when reading about this incredible deficit? If you had hired someone to watch over your finances, and then discovered the person had wasted your entire growing surplus and sunk you even further into debt, you would fire him.
This person is not looking out after our common interests. The best way to destroy someone is to ruin them financially, and this mass deficit is ruining this country financially. Why does George Bush hate America so much that he must spend it into oblivion?
I'm really getting serious about this. Try to think of some better way to destroy this country, outside of outright treason, than to destroy its government economically. The Bush deficit spending is holding a knife to this country's throat.
And this, my fellow Americans, is what you voted on. Enjoy.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/26/2005 12:19:00 AM
The Smirking Chimp
Paul Krugman explains why the latest push to dismantle Social Security is a scam. He's saying that if the economy grows as expected, the trust fund will last through this century, which is what I gather Bruce Webb was saying in a comment below.
Meaning that nothing needs to be done to Social Security, probably.
And then this section of the interview caught my eye:
If you really want to get scared about something that can happen between now and 2052, you should talk about Medicare and Medicaid. The entire system of private health insurance is gradually collapsing. And as the share of people getting medical insurance through their employers continues to decline, the number of people who have to rely on the government for health insurance keeps going up. At the same time, medical costs keep on rising, because doctors keep on figuring out new stuff to do -- procedures that didn't exist ten or twenty years ago.So if Medicare and Medicaid go bellyup, the people who rely on both programs will die, and end the pressure on Social Security!
It would be nice to have a reality-based president again, wouldn't it?
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/17/2005 11:27:00 AM
Couple of additions to the blogroll today. First off, an new boldfaced entry: Conceptual Guerilla's Strategy and Tactics. You should read this fellow before you come looking at my wee blog.
And also a new e-zine: Commotion.
Have fun storming the castle.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/14/2005 10:21:00 PM
A friend from Middle Earth, Ron Beasley, is posting some pictures at a new blog he started, Just Pictures. The guy's got a knack with the shutter - I particularly like the iris photo.
His news blog, Middle Earth Journal, is over in the blogroll. Go say hi.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/14/2005 03:57:00 PM
Media Matters for America
An elementary school teacher was using handouts in his class that excerpted several references to God in the Declaration of Independence, along with other statements that emphasized the singular importance of Christian faith in U.S. history. Several parents complained that the handouts were crossing the line into evangelism, and the principal began supervising the teacher's lesson plans. Here's an example of one of the handouts that the principal blocked from usage:
Looks like that violates California code to me:
The California Education Code allows “references to religion or references to or the use of religious literature…when such references or uses do not constitute instruction in religious principles…and when such references or uses are incidental to or illustrative of matters properly included in the course of study.”Teaching kids that the Christian Bible is the only right and proper way to live is kinda outside that line, wouldn't you say?
That quote, by the way, comes from a press release from the Alliance Defense Fund, a group
FOX News has been reporting that the Declaration of Independence has been banned from a classroom. Surprisingly, that's the headline of the Alliance Defense Fund's press release about the lawsuit. That is complete elephant dung, by the way - what's been kept out of the classroom are the teacher's proselytizing handouts, which selectively quote the Declaration to show how much it focused on God.
Silly me. I thought the small matter of King George was what had the colonists all worked up, but I also didn't have Stephen J. Williams as a history teacher.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/14/2005 03:48:00 PM
A forthcoming request for additional funds to continue waging war in Iraq will not begin to address the "hidden cost" of the conflict, according to Pentagon officials and other government authorities who say that tens of billions of dollars more will eventually be needed to repair or replace heavily used equipment and to compensate for the wear and tear on members of the armed services.Well, well, well. Can't you see the Carlyle Group and Halliburton lining up at the trough?
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/14/2005 01:48:00 PM
I've been a one-trick hobbit here recently. The only thing that works me up enough to post is this outlandish Social Security debate we're having in this country, thanks to Our Georgy Boy. He wants us to imagine a Social Security "flat broke", the same way we imagined that international terrorism could never pull off an attack on America. The same way we imagined that Saddam helped plan 9/11 and had weapons of mass destruction.
Think about that "busted" Social Security. Think about it hard.
I was just watching Green Acres the other day, and Our Everbeloved Leader reminds me more and more of Mr. Haney. Why the hell would Jeb ever buy anything from that greasy salesman? Because Jeb is a simplehearted knucklehead, that's why.
And that's what Bush is after - the knuckleheads. He's already got the mainstream media clucking around, looking for cracks in the Social Security sky. Get enough knuckleheads in the fold and maybe we can put Reagan on the dime in the same bill that fatally wounds Social Security. Who'd vote against Reagan? Who'd want to run against that headline next election?
The truth is: Social Security is like a car with a slow leak in the tire. We've taken it to the shop and Bush the mechanic is telling us that we need to replace the transmission. "You see," Bush says, wiping his greasy hands on a red rag, "if you drive this car for an infinite number of miles, that transmission's gonna grind itself into tooth fillin's. Think about that transmission snarling around your axle at eighty miles a hour while you got the baby in the car. Let's go 'head and pop you a new one in there, 'kay?"
There's a simple fix to the minor problem in funding Social Security: eliminate the ceiling on payroll taxes. Currently, Social Security taxes are only paid on the first $90,000 you make in a year. Most Americans don't know this, because most Americans don't make $90,000 a year as individuals.
But I started wondering: How many Americans would be affected by eliminating the payroll tax ceiling?
According to these latest figures from the IRS (Excel file), there were 110 million individual tax returns filed in the year 2002.
101 million of these returns had an adjusted gross income of under $100,000.
That means that over 90% of all Americans will see no increase in payroll taxes if we lift the payroll tax ceiling.
Some will ask: "How do you figure that, Bolo? The payroll tax ceiling isn't $100,000; it's lower. And adjusted gross income is after a lot of deductions have been made, so that number's inaccurate."
I understand that. I also know that we should be hauling in the next higher bracket to account for double income returns (married) whose combined income exceeds $90,000, but whose individual incomes would never have hit the ceiling. So I think the number of "over 90%" is fair and accurate.
We can fix the slow leak in Social Security with one simple proposal that will not burden the vast majority of individual Americans with one single cent more in tax. But this common sense solution isn't being discussed by anyone in Washington or on our public airwaves because they'd be seeing an increase in the tax they're currently paying.
If anyone's got a more charitable motive for why this solution is off the public table, I'd be happy to hear it.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/13/2005 06:59:00 PM
Scene: Talking heads at a roundtable discussion of Social Security
How many people at this table make over $90,000 in a year? All of us do, right?Hey, a hobbit can dream, can't he?
Well, we know something that a lot of Americans watching us don't: after the first $90,000 in a year, we stop paying Social Security tax.
That means the payroll tax is regressive. Poor people pay a greater percentage of their income than we do. If this ceiling were eliminated, there would be no problem with Social Security. It would be fully funded.
Now why do you suppose we aren't talking about that?
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/07/2005 09:45:00 PM
Imagine the following scenario.This isn't law yet, it's the latest attack on women coming from the prolific pen of John A. Cosgrove, a Virginia state legislator.
You are at home alone at 8:00 on a Friday night. You are 8 weeks pregnant. You are excited about the pregnancy, but being cautious, you haven’t told anyone about it yet except your partner, your best friend, your parents, and your doctor.
All of a sudden, you begin to experience heavy cramping. Bleeding ensues. You realize with shock and sadness that you are probably experiencing a miscarriage. You leave a message with your doctor’s service. The on-call doctor calls back, offers sympathies, and advises taking pain medication or going to the hospital if the bleeding gets worse. She offers you the next available appointment for a follow-up exam - Monday at 3PM. You accept. You are overwhelmed with grief and surprised by the intensity of physical pain involved. You call your partner and ask him to come home from his “boys night out”, sparing him the reason over the phone. You call your best friend. She offers to come over immediately and make you cocoa. You cry.
You decide not to tell your parents yet; let them sleep through the night before delivering the terrible news. Your partner comes home and you break the sad news to him. He holds you on the couch and you both cry together. Your best friend comes over with cocoa. You cry some more. Over the next few hours, you suffer pain, cramping, and intermittent bleeding. Exhausted, you finally fall asleep in your partner’s arms around 4 AM. You sleep until noon, and then gird yourself for the difficult call to your parents, who were so eagerly anticipating their first grandchild.
Guess what? You just earned yourself up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Why? Because you failed to call the cops and report your miscarriage within 12 hours.
Born in Montgomery, AL, John's a Southern Baptist. Here's the text of this proposed law (still in committee for the moment):
Report of fetal death by mother; penalty. Provides that when a fetal death occurs without medical attendance, it shall be the woman's responsibility to report the death to the proper law-enforcement agency within 12 hours of the delivery. Violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.Cosgrove really gets off on these types of laws - he formerly sponsored an amendment to make the failure to report a birth without doctor's care a Class 1 misdemeanor as well.
Any woman who, without the assistance of a health care professional, gives birth after more than 24 weeks have elapsed since the beginning of her last menstrual period and who, though she is reasonably able to do so, fails to report the birth, whether a live birth or stillbirth, within 12 hours of the event, to the local sheriff, police department or fire department is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.I don't know if this is law or not - it doesn't seem to have passed.
He got a feticide bill passed last year:
Feticide. Provides that any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation kills the fetus of another is guilty of a Class 2 felony. The bill also provides that any person who unlawfully, willfully, deliberately and maliciously kills the fetus of another is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than 40 years. This bill is identical to SB 319."Del. John A. Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake, the sponsor of the feticide measure, said the bill has nothing to do with abortion; he called the proposal 'a murder bill, pure and simple.'"
Isn't there something about lying in the Ten Commandments? Because once Roe v. Wade is buried at a crossroads with a stake in its heart, laws like these will be all about abortion.
The feticide bill became popular after the death of Laci Peterson and her unborn child. Can't you just see it? The Scott Peterson trial kicks off and all around the country, Republican eyes light up - "Say, we could use all this free publicity to make it harder to have abortions!"
How else do you get a rating of 100% from the Virginia Society for Human Life?
America, this is your future. You voted for it.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/07/2005 03:03:00 PM
Just before his helicopter lifted off, Frist and aides took snapshots of each other near a pile of tsunami debris.I've got your back, Senator.
"Get some devastation in the back,'' Frist told a photographer.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/07/2005 12:26:00 PM
The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit wisely counsels us to sic Reagan on George Bush's Social Security PR campaign.
So as we gear up for the battle over Social Security, the greatest tool in the toolbox of the Democratic Party is actually Ronald Reagan. Because, you know, history is a series of repetitions: "As you know, the Social Security System is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Over the next five years, the Social Security trust fund could encounter deficits of up to $111 billion, and in the decades ahead its unfunded obligations could run well into the trillions. Unless we in government are willing to act, a sword of Damocles will soon hang over the welfare of millions of our citizens." That's from Reagan's 1981 Letter to Congress, setting up a bipartisan commission to look into solutions for Social Security. Reagan said there were three goals in preserving Social Security: "First, this nation must preserve the integrity of the Social Security trust fund and the basic benefit structure that protects older Americans. Second, we must hold down the tax burden on the workers who support Social Security. Finally, we must eliminate all abuses in the system that can rob the elderly of their rightful legacy."Very nicely done, RP.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/06/2005 09:19:00 PM
The Smirking Chimp
Senator Boxer became the single Senator needed to force debate over voting irregularities in Ohio before the Electoral College votes can be counted.
There will be lots of Repuke-olicious rhetoric decrying this move during the debate. But Senator Boxer just ensured that the asterisk remains next to Bush's name for his second term.
This is still America.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/06/2005 10:35:00 AM
Dear Editor (of the Tennessean):
Bill Frist opened up the new session of Congress seething about the Democratic filibusters of President Bush's extremist judicial nominees. The Senate, he said, failed to give their Constitutional "advice and consent" to the President's nominees.
Senator Frist, let me set you straight on a couple of things. Consent to a president's nominees is not a constitutional mandate. The various senators should give their consent only when they feel such consent is warranted. And in the cases of the very few judicial nominees that were filibustered, such consent was not worth giving.
Still, somehow, the Senate was able to confirm 204 of President Bush's nominees. At this rate of confirmation, President Bush is poised to have appointed more judges than any other President in our history. And yet you hector the Democrats for obstructing his agenda?
You yourself voted on March 8, 2000 to filibuster one of President Clinton's judicial nominees, for the express purpose of blocking that nominee from consideration by the Senate as a whole. In other words, you voted to do exactly what you condemn the Democratic Senators for doing. Your hypocrisy on this issue is astonishing and a black eye on Tennessee.
Get off your high horse, sir, and get to the real problems facing this nation.
UPDATE (Jan. 6, 2004): They didn't dood it today...
UPDATE (Jan. 7, 2004): They didn't dood it today, either...
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/04/2005 11:58:00 PM
Instead of continuing with the text, I think it's fair to stop and take a reflective moment of what this all means to me.
Because at this point, it may seem that I'm agreeing with Paul and his religion. Explaining clearly what he means doesn't mean I agree wholesale with it, though.
Here's the mechanism that I see Paul advocating: All are sinners, Christ provides a safe haven from God's just wrath, and humans take advantage of it by believing that the haven is actually available. It's all a bit ontological, isn't it? Much like Dorothy and her ruby slippers, or better, how Harry Potter gets the Philosopher's Stone from the Mirror of Esired. You see it happening, and it happens.
Paul's very apparent rejection of the flesh is going to appear soon here in Romans. It's a constant theme of his: he advocates no marriage if possible, and derides his theological opponents for their preoccupation with circumcision (in one of his cattiest remarks, he wishes that if his opponents like cutting down there so much, they should just cut the whole thing off and be done with it!).
It's a symptom of Paul's ultimate orientation to the Greek mindset, where body and soul were so seperated. His writings reveal to me someone who had rejected this background to become a passionate student of the Law, and then just as violently rejected this for his new purpose, synthesizing both viewpoints.
Such a mindset couldn't have thought much of the daily animal sacrifices at the Temple. How much neater the one sacrifice of Jesus, once for all, so that the effluvia and slaughter could cease! It was a modern take on the old religion - by separating the fleshly bias of the Torah from its spiritual underpinnings, Paul hit upon a system to convince the world of the value of the Jewish revelations, one much easier to understand than the writings of his contemporary Philo.
Because all things Jewish are Paul's true concern - how to preserve the specialness of the Jewish covenant in the modern Greek world. For Paul, the answer was the gospel he was called to preach, the reason for his existence and opportunities: the story of Christ crucified and exalted. Jesus becomes as vivid a turning point in Paul's history of the Jews as the Exodus, and it is this history that gives the life and death of Jesus any significance at all. It is the context. You would think it impossible to honor the Messiah and dishonor the people who produced him, wouldn't you?
We know the unfortunate falsity of that sentence, though.
And isn't reuniting the two viewpoints of my past what I'm up to here, in a way? Convinced of the value of my youthful religion, yet stuck smack dab in the middle of this modern world, here I type, working out a way to understand both while respecting both. The respect for both may not always be perceived, just as Paul, and God forbid I kick off a new religion. Mormonism and Scientology are enough modern religion for anybody. The world doesn't need any more religion - we're all eaten up with it as it is.
No, I'll be content with understanding where Paul's coming from, and if there's any value to that message today, and how to apply it. Joseph Campbell had no affection for Christianity - he labeled it a sick religion, and did give his reasons for doing so. Yet his ultimate summary of the spiritual core of mythology is this: Follow your bliss. No one can deny that Paul did just that. Paul had the temerity to suggest that a particular bliss might be worth more than the others, and gave his reasons as well. Romans is one of his greatest statements on the matter.
Where Paul is going is this statement: "Welcome one another, as Christ has welcomed you, to the glory of God." It's the Pauline version of John's "Love one another." The greatest bliss is finding a way to live among each other in peace, and sharing that way with others. Seeing how this message worked its way through the life and writings of Paul can only help us as we labor to bring that message out into our world today.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/04/2005 01:47:00 AM
Awww. All the really fun stuff happens while I'm at work. I was all set to come home and get C-Span hooked up to the VCR - I was even going to have my roommate change a tape for me.
To think of the sheer unadulterated fun that the American public has missed now that the Republicans saw the error of their ethics-loosening ways...is it going to be enough that the Republicans are still pressing ahead with one of the controversial measures?
Republicans voted to go ahead with another of their controversial ethics proposals and will ask the full House to approve a change that could curtail ethics committee investigations. Under the change, a Republican vote would be required before an inquiry can begin. The committee is evenly divided between the two parties, and under current rules a deadlock means an investigation begins automatically.That's a little too obtuse to understand - the "Republican vote" required is a single Republican member of the ethics committee. In other words, ties no longer trigger an automatic investigation. A majority of the panel must agree.
So if the Republicans ban together against strong Democratic opposition to the latest ethics outrage, no investigation of said outrage will occur. How special.
Posted by Joseph Nobles at 1/03/2005 11:32:00 PM