Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

 

Come Tonight

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 16th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


So sorry for the late notice this week.  I've been too busy to put together a proper meeting announcement.  Mostly the new job and taxes got in the way.  And now here it is Thursday morning and I haven't sent anything out.

Join us tonight for the usual fun and conversation.  Lots to talk about as Gov Otter is supposed to announce this morning whether he intends to let the legislature fix that horrible failure on child support.  And Hillary Clinton announced she's running for president.  As did the seventh or eighth Republican.

Join us at The Bee's Knees tonight.

Cheers,
Dan

 

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Poll:  vote for the woman you want to see on the $20 bill
* Petition:  pardon Purvi Patel

 

Quotations of the Week

"When I hear some like Senator McCain recently suggest that our Secretary of State John Kerry—who served in the United States Senate, a Vietnam veteran, who's provided exemplary service to this nation—is somehow less trustworthy in the interpretation of what's in a political agreement than the Supreme Leader of Iran, that's an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries."
- President Barack Obama

 

Poem of the Week

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Poor Christians suffering discrimination from LGBTQ-friendly bakeries
* Watch this if you want to feel better
* ... and watch this if you want a little snarky humor
* President Obama crushes a Fox News stooge
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
Apr 23-25 Thu - Fri Vagina Monologues, Portneuf Valley Brewing, 7:30pm, $10
May 1 Fri IF City Club:  Legislative Leadership in Idaho: Challenges and Opportunities, with Sen Bart Davis (Senate Majority Leader) and Rep John Rusche (House Minority Leader) (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
May 2 Sat Truman Banquet Speaker:  Sen Michelle Stennett, Minority Leader of the Idaho Senate (Bennion SUB, 6-9pm)

 

Special Event -- Idaho Humanities Council Dinner

 

 

Idaho Humanities Council Dinner

   Special Event:
  Date Thursday, April 9th
Time 6 to 10pm
Place Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd
 




Author Diane McWhorter

There will be no regular Drinking Liberally meeting this week, although The Bee's Knees would certainly appreciate anyone who wanted to spontaneously gather and consume libations while discussing things liberally.

We have about a table and a half filled for the Idaho Humanities Council dinner, with guest speaker Diane McWhorter.  I'd love to fill up that second table.  Please let me know quickly if you'd like to join us.  The past IHC dinners have been really fascinating and worth your time.

Cheers,
Dan

 

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Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Characteristics of Tribalism

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 2nd
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


I thought I'd continue on the topic of tribalism in the vein of the last couple posts  This has value both for recognizing and helping to end tribal thinking, and also for watching out that we don't fall into the same bad patterns.

There seem to be several recognizable characteristics associated with tribal thought:

  • A tribal system of thought has a built-in propensity to demonize the opposition in a way that ignores the reality of their actual position.  One of the clearest example is how many evangelical and moderate churches portray nonbelievers as heathens whose future noncorporal soul is in danger.  But not only do they demonize those outside their tribe, they also invent an internally consistent reason for the existence of the nonbelievers.  It's the work of the devil.  You see conservatives doing the same thing:  liberals are out to destroy the country because we're Aulinskyite communists who hate America.  We're not just wrong on what policies America should implement.  We have subversive goals that are motivating those policies.  And our arguments are really propagandistic subterfuges that hide our insidious intentions.
  • A tribal system of thought depends upon mutual confirmation.  In a way, we all use confirmation.  But in a tribe, mutual confirmation largely replaces actual fact.  Perhaps that's how they compensate for a relative inability to defend their pinciples or beliefs with rational argument and data.  Ever listen to a conversation between climate change deniers?  Or to a right-wing call-in radio program?  They pitch falsehoods back and forth while complimenting each other on their brilliance.  This is actually a tough trap to avoid, no matter how you self-identify.  However, only one side has proven the need for and the viability of a propaganda channel to support their policies.
  • A tribal system of thought places tremendous weight on loyalty.  Many non-liberal religions demonstrate this aspect of tribalism, but it is prevalent in many kinds of tribes.  And it sometimes leads to inter-group warfare and even schisms.  In the GOP, for example, one cannot suggest that perhaps it would be wise to eliminate the Social Security wage cap without being called a RINO.  And just try suggesting that perhaps some reasonable gun controls are in order.  Again, every group need to enforce some level of loyalty or ir really wouldn't exist as a group.  The difference here is the extent to which blind loyalty in the face of contrary evidence is required.  Why else would climate denial be a nearly 100% conservative phenomenon?
  • A tribal system of thought rewrites its history, minimizing failures, inventing falsehoods, and glorifying questionable achievements.  It seems like one of the most popular myths among conservatives is that the GOP led the civil rights movement.  It was true that the south was a Democratic stronghold.  But they were not united on civil rights (or much of anything else).  The Democrats that fought against desegregation and civil rights were pro-corporate, anti-union racists.  In other words, they were the conservatives.  And after losing the civil rights battle, they basically switched parties and became Republicans.  The myth that the GOP supported civil rights comes from an interesting statistical oddity called Simpson's Paradox (which will make a good newsletter topic - remind me to cover that sometime).
  • A tribal system of thought venerates its heroes to an extent far beyond what they deserve.  Ronald Reagan.  Sarah Palin.  Ted Cruz.  Joe the Plumber.  Ron Paul.  Ben Carson.  All of these people get tons of respect from those on the right, when they are marginal at best and clowns at worst.  But the right needs their heroes.  And they need to compare their heroes to Winston Churchill, just like they need to compare the leaders on the left with Hitler.
  • A tribal system of thought invents and magnifies external threats.  This is another tactic for maintaining cohesion in a group that might otherwise collapse.  So the Sharia death panels are coming after your guns so you can be herded into vegetarian re-education camps to make you gay if you question global warming.

Granted, these characteristics are present in all groups to some extent.  What sets tribal thinking apart is the extent to which a group or philosophy employs them.  To measure the extent to which tribal thinking employs these characteristics, you need a scale that goes all the way up to eleven.

I really did just create that list off the top of my head.  So it's very likely that I failed to capture other significant traits.  What say you?  Can you think of other identifying characteristics?  Come discuss at Drinking Liberally this Thursday night.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Poll:  vote for the woman you want to see on the $20 bill
* Petition:  demand more government infrastructure investment

 

Quotations of the Week

"The world is starving for American leadership.  But America has an anti-war president."
- Rep John Boehner

 

"Does this mean that all those politicians declaiming about the evils of budget deficits and their determination to end the scourge of debt were never sincere?  Yes, it does."
- Paul Krugman

 

"Twenty years from now if there is some obscure trivial pursuit question, I am confident I will be the answer."
- Sen Ted Cruz

 

Poem of the Week

Swallows

They dip their wings in the sunset,
They dash against the air
As if to break themselves upon its stillness:
In every movement, too swift to count,
Is a revelry of indecision,
A furtive delight in trees they do not desire
And in grasses that shall not know their weight.

They hover and lean toward the meadow
With little edged cries;
And then,
As if frightened at the earth's nearness,
They seek the high austerity of evening sky
And swirl into its depth.

Leonora Speyer

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Yes, Indiana's new "religious freedom" law is different
* New Daily Show host:  Trevor Noah
* A good list:  what everyone would know if we had a liberal media
* Time magazine covers:  US vs the world (a condemnation of the American public, actually)
* Christian terrorist with bombs assaults the New Orleans airport
* New study shows that conservatives are smarter (check out the comments)
* God's Not Dead is a horrible movie.  But this review is great.
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
  Weds Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
Apr 5 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 9 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Diane McWhorter, Shilo Inn
Apr 23-25 Thu - Fri Vagina Monologues, Portneuf Valley Brewing, 7:30pm, $10
May 2 Sat Truman Banquet Speaker:  Sen Michelle Stennett, Minority Leader of the Idaho Senate (Bennion SUB, 6-9pm)

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Tribalism

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 19th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

How you identify America's biggest national problem depends upon how high up you happen to be observing.  From a reasonably high level, I think the biggest single problem is our reliance upon tribal thinking to an extent that allows rejection of contrary evidence.

It seems that so many people are convinced of certain things, and evidence to the contrary just reinforces their commitment.  Of course, that only applies to people we disagree with.  They're the ones that won't evaluate new information reasonably, not us.

My dad supported George Bush against John Kerry in 2004.  I had a few email exchanges with him after he forwarded the anti-Kerry propaganda that was so prevalent.  No matter how many of the falsehoods I pointed out, he would respond with, "Yeah, but if just one of the things they're saying about Kerry is true, then I can't support him."


So his thinking caused him to support an actual failure like George W Bush because of maybe one potential past failure of Kerry's that had yet to be found, buth which had to be floating in what he recognized was a festering swamp of lies being told about the candidate.  It was bafflingly illogical thinking from an otherwise intelligent man.

How do people get sucked so deeply into shaky rationalizations like that?

Lots of evangelical theologies (and even many moderate religious traditions) teach that atheism is the work of evil forces. Those theologies insulate their members from any temptation of leaving by poisoning the well against critical thinking, which might expose weaknesses.  It's an institutional self-protection mechanism.*

We see the same thing in Idaho politics.  We have an administration that has demonstrated utter failure, bordering on criminality in several cases.  Ineptitude is the norm.  Cronyism and political payoffs have been rampant.  The Idaho legislature is a national joke.  The most ludicrous notions get serious attention, while actual problems and real actions for citizens are ignored.

And yet, Republicans in the state have been inoculated against voting for any other party (unless it's to the right of the GOP).  In fact, you will often see people agreeing that Governor Otter and the GOP legislators have failed the citizens of Idaho, but they will attribute it to insufficient conservatism (as we also saw with George W Bush).

Is there any amount of failure that will shake Idahoans' allegiance to the GOP and extreme conservative principles?  Can we afford to find out where that line is?

So the problem is how to get people to recognize tribal thinking.  Pointing out failure isn't working, and just convinces many to support failed candidates and bad policies even more.

Have ideas?  What new approaches are possible?  How can we circumvent tribal thinking, when we just might be practicing it ourselves?  Come discuss this problem at Drinking Liberally.

Cheers,
Dan

*  One might point out that to some extent atheists do the same thing, generally using mockery and shame.  Spend any time in an atheist forum, and you will find numerous examples of self-reinforcing propaganda meant to support the tribe.  For example, any example of pedophilia within the ranks of religious leadership is used to demonstrate the superiority of atheism over theism.  That might look at first glance like a logical failure.  Atheists can be pedophiles, too, and that shouldn't have anything to do with the truth of the philosophical stance held.  However, evangelical theism does promise that their system is the only path to morality, and that atheists have no basis for moral behavior.  So pedophilia within theistic leadership is actually evidence that the strong theistic position is false, while the same within the atheist community is not evidence of anything except common human failure.  See?  It's always them at fault, not us.]

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Poll:  vote for the woman you want to see on the $20 bill
* Petition:  demand more government infrastructure investment

 

Quotations of the Week

"They [slave owners] weren't terrible rotten horrible people," he said — just people who made terrible decisions.  "And that's how I see gay people."
- Rep Paul Shepherd (R-Riggins)

 

Poem of the Week

Beside You on Main Street

We were stepping out of a reading
in October, the first cold night,
and we were following this couple,
were they at the reading? and because
we were lost, I called out to them,
"Are you going to the after party?"
The woman laughed and said no
and the man kept walking, and she
was holding his hand like I hold yours,
though not exactly, she did not
need him for balance.  Then what
got into me?  I said, "How long
have you been married?" and she said
"Almost 30 years" and because
we were walking in public, no secret,
tell everyone now it's official,
I said, "How's marriage?" The man
kept walking.  The woman said,
"It gets better but then it gets different."
The man kept walking.

Jillian Weise

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * 7 types of Republicans
* Conservatives have gone bonkers
* We've been brainwashed
* What conservative "activism" looks like (it's not pretty)
* Butch Otter loses another $61 million in state funds
* No ... we don't have a racially biased police brutality problem.  Why do you ask?
* An Idaho State representative gets some karmic justice (the homophobe got his site taken over by LGBTQ/allies)
* A disturbing crime, and a disturbing prosecution
* This is about near death experiences, but it's more about how memory works
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
  Weds Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
Mar 27 Fri Blood Drive - Unitarian Universalist Church, 10am-2pm
Mar 27 Fri IF City Club:  "The Future of Healthcare in Idaho," Dr Ted Epperly, President and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho; Chairman, Idaho Healthcare Coalition (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Apr 5 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 9 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Diane McWhorter, Shilo Inn
Apr 23-25 Thu - Fri Vagina Monologues, Portneuf Valley Brewing, 7:30pm, $10
May 2 Sat Truman Banquet Speaker:  Sen Michelle Stennett, Minority Leader of the Idaho Senate (Bennion SUB, 6-9pm)

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Libertarian Slavery

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 19th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 





Battling nonsense

Reminder:  Help the Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally page get more active.  I hope you all are enjoying the new contributions.  Remember, the more that people contribute - through posts, likes, comments, etc - the higher our page will rank in Facebook's inscrutable algorithm.

Help the group grow its presence.  Remember - Drinking Liberally attracts the very best people in Idaho Falls.  There is a potential that the best friend you will ever have in your life is wondering if there is anyone in this town that understands her.  Help her find you and DL by pushing our page. Those of you who are my fiends on Facebook often post great things.  Share them with the group!


OK, I'm a little worked up.  I'll try to maintain control and keep the cursing to a minimum.

Until recently we had a private prison system in Idaho that has been tied to Republican corruption.  But even if we ignore the corruption we can probably agree that the system resulted in some very bad outcomes, even if it was less expensive.  Among other things, there were incentives for the state to fill prison beds.  And what is interesting about it is that every player in the system may have acted with the best of intentions.

Pretend we're talking about some generic state not dominated by Republicans and administered with competence (but I repeat myself).  The state has prisons to run.  Acme Prison Company offers to take over the prison system for the state:  "We're good at this, and we can build and run prisons efficiently with the advantage of economies of scale."

The state says, "Great!  That sounds good - we can save money for our taxpaying citizens.  Then we don't have to hire guards and feed prisoners.  The free market can work its magic."


Acme Prison Company includes in their contract the clause that the state will have to guarantee a minimum number of filled beds.  That makes sense, actually.  Acme's not stupid and it's not a charity.  Certainly the state does not want their contractor to be operating prisons at a loss ... that might lead to abusive conditions like inadequate feeding or not enough supervision.  The state would be liable for injuries and deaths in such conditions.

Indentured Servants, Inc., then makes another offer to the state.  "We know lots of companies that will pay you money if you put your prisoners to work in their call centers.  Our clients get below-market labor, you get money so that you can offer a tax cut to your citizens, and the prisoners learn a valuable workplace skill for when they get out."

The state says, "Great!  That sounds good - we can save money for our taxpaying citizens.  Besides, the prisoners are just sitting around and this will keep them occupied.  The free market can work its magic."

Up to this point, everyone has acted honestly and fairly.  But the situation has perverse incentives built in, and lots of bad stuff can start to happen.  The state feels pressure to sentence more people to prison - more prison sentences and longer terms.  Companies demand tax write-offs for employing prisoners.  The state slowly cuts back on the public defender system because it harms the state twice over:  first because you have to pay for the PDs, and second because for every case they win you've lost the revenue stream for that defendant and you have to either arrest someone else or just pay for the empty bed.  Taxpayers reward the politicians for implementing such a cost-effective system through reelection and campaign contributions - the politicians see that a tough-on-crime attitude and privatization pays off.  Some judges realize that there may be under-the-table money in it for them.  Acme Prisons - consciously or not - begins to cut corners.  Money spent on prisoners is money lost directly from the bottom line.  Prisoners who've already been subjected to longer, harsher sentences are now seeing cutbacks in their quality of life in prison.  And nobody in the entire system is interested in rehabilitating them or in reducing recidivism.  Programs like that cost money to implement and they reduce the other flows of income.  Why on Earth would anyone try that?

Everyone is vested in now defending the system that has been created.  Everyone but the prisoners, and who listens to them?

So a system has evolved that basically produces bad outcomes, even though almost all the players have acted with decent intentions and valid arguments.  This is not as weird as you might think.  Complex systems always have emergent phenomena that are unexpected.

We just have to recognize that not every bad situation has a bad actor to which we can pin responsibility.


We had a couple of strong libertarians visit our last atheist group meeting, and a rip-roaring discussion ensued.  By strong libertarian, I mean someone that doubts that there is any role for any non-market-based solution.  All security should be independently contracted.  No communal infrastructure should be built unless people voluntarily participate.  No need for any court system, as private arbitration would do a better job.  Bad things like pollution and slavery weren't fixed by government, because they only existed in the first place because of the state.  Etc.

As part of that discussion, one of the libertarians suggested that being forced to pay any kind of tax is the equivalent of slavery.

Hogwash.  (See!  No cursing.)

If our libertarian friend lived a solitary life, she would be free to swing her arms as much as she wanted.  But as soon as she is living with other people, she gives up that right when people are standing beside her.  In other words, because she has decided to live in a community, she agrees to limit her freedom to swing her arms at will.  That amounts to a minor inconvenience, but nobody in her right mind would say that she has lost her freedom or that she'd been enslaved.

Taxes are the same.  They are a minor inconvenience that we put up with, because they happen to be an efficient way to handle certain issues that arise when people live together.  Taxes are the membership fees that we pay in order to gain the rights and benefits of living in our society.

Comparing the requirement to pay taxes to being enslaved?  That's an insult to people who actually are enslaved, isn't it?  It seems to me that if paying taxes is enslavement, then the existence of stop signs is a violation of our freedom to travel.

It's almost like libertarians can't tell the difference between a paper cut and a decapitation.

Regarding the issue of slavery, these libertarians were convinced that it was only the existence of governments that made slavery possible.  That without governments, slavery would not have been economically feasible.  Therefore, governments were responsible for slavery, and should not be given credit for ending the practice.

Bullhogwash.

A system existed whereby private shipping companies captured and transported slaves to the Americas so that private auction companies could sell slaves to private plantation owners who would work them to death.  Granted, those powerful economic forces were also able to use our government to enact benefits for them.  Slavery was written into our Constitution in order to get buy-in from the southern states.  Escape was outlawed.  Tax breaks may have been granted.  Missouri Compromises were struck.  Etc.  In other words, they used one of the tools available to them (political power) to improve their economic success.

However, to conclude that government was the reason for the existence or profitability of slavery?  That's crazy.  That's like saying that if only the slave traders, auction houses, and plantations had been left to themselves, no slavery would have occurred.  Or what's equally silly ... that in Libertarian Land, evil things like slavery don't exist, but only because they are economically marginal.  And between the four entities (slave traders, auctioneers, owners, and government) who would point to the government as the most blame-worthy actor?  Libertarians with a pre-existing conclusion that the government is evil, that's who.

Or maybe we should get rid of police forces, laws, courts, and regulations.  Just maybe if we had an unregulated private security force feeding a for-profit prison system with free market companies willing to work people to death, nobody would be imprisoned or enslaved.  A libertarian paradise.

Life is complex.  Society is complex.  Unexpected emergent phenomena have to be dealt with.  And no simplistic philosophy will ever provide the optimum approach to solving problems or to solving the problems that our solutions cause.

Extremist conservatives with their smallest-government-possible approach are no help.  We need an optimized government, not a minimized government.  And the especially shallow libertarian approach - that government is the problem and just needs to be eliminated - is no help at all.

I remain convinced that liberalism - the belief that we are a society of citizens that can work together to solve problems, and that sometimes the solution is to work socialistically - is the only rational approach.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Poll:  vote for the woman you want to see on the $20 bill
* Petition:  demand more government infrastructure investment

 

Quotations of the Week

"It's been said before, but [the American Family Association] couldn't tell the difference between a paper cut and a decapitation."
- Hemant Mehta

 

"... without religious liberty there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of association, it is worse than this president is bankrupting our country financially, morally, as well as our foreign policy standing.  All of that is true but it's worse than that.  He's trying to change the idea of America. ... [W]e have never before had a president this ideologically extreme, who does not believe in American exceptionalism, does not believe in the American dream that you and I were taught, does not believe in religious liberty and has effectively, for six years, done everything he could to change our culture on all three of those areas to become a new country, a new American dream, a new conception of liberty."
- Bobby Jindal

 

Poem of the Week

Dark Matter and Dark Energy

My husband says dark matter is a reality
not just some theory invented by adolescent computers
he can prove it exists and is everywhere

forming invisible haloes around everything
and somehow because of gravity
holding everything loosely together

the way a child wants to escape its parents
and doesn't want to-what's that-
we don't know what it is but we know it is real

the way our mothers and fathers fondly
angrily followed fixed orbits around
each other like mice on a track

the way every human and every atom
rushes through space wrapped in its invisible
halo, this big shadow-that's dark dark matter

sweetheart, while the galaxies
in the wealth of their ferocious protective bubbles
stare at each other

unable to cease
proudly
receding

Alicia Ostriker

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Did the dastardly 47 break the law?
* Why do we put up with frats at all?
* Captain Disillusion talks through
the rush hour video
* Why is this guy not in jail?
* 12th Annual Smithsonian photo contest finalists
* Offbeat music video
* Cool surreal art
* Is the moon a planet or a star?
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
  Weds Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
Mar 20 Fri Death Café (Unitarian Universalist Church, 7pm)
Mar 27 Fri IF City Club:  "The Future of Healthcare in Idaho," Dr Ted Epperly, President and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho; Chairman, Idaho Healthcare Coalition (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Apr 5 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 9 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Diane McWhorter, Shilo Inn

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

47 Traitors?

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 12th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 





Michelle Obama, Rep John Lewis, President Barack Obama, and Amelia Boynton Robinson

The Center for New Directions at EITC is presenting a program of documentary films called Micro Messaging Film Series.  All movies are screened in Room 6163 of the Health Care Education Building (Number 6 on this map) beginning at 6pm.

 
Spring 2015 Micro Messaging Film Series Schedule
January 27th Stonewall Uprising
February 3rd Eyes on the Prize {Part 1)
February 10th Eyes on the Prize (Part 2)
February 17th Eyes on the Prize (Part 3)
February 24th A Class Apart
March 3rd Girls Rising
March 10th Miss Representation
March 17th The Mask You Live In

Kathy, Hollis, and I really enjoyed Miss Representation.  Next week will be the last presentation in the series:  The Mask You Live In.  It has to do with how popular culture and our other institutions affect the development of boys.

I'm interested because I'm coming from the position that the emphasis on boys is a bit of a sop.  It's as if the progressive/feminist side has decided that the only way to get men to change our behavior is to give us an "out" by saying that sexism hurts boys, too.  I'm not convinced.  Men just have to stop being assholes.


Treason.

Is it really?  Heaven knows that I don't want to sound like a contrarian.  I dislike contrarians.  But treason has a specific definition:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.

So the 47 Republican idiots, including Crapo and Risch, did something stupid, and likely illegal.  We all agree there.  But did they levy war against America?  Nope.  Did they give aid and comfort to our enemy?  Given that we're not at war with Iran, I don't see how.

We can make the argument that Bush deserved impeachment for failing to uphold the Constitution.  We can even argue that President Obama also deserves impeachment.

But damn - when we lefties scream "Treason!" when all the 47 Republican idiots did was to commit a crime, we kind of sound like the crazies on the right complaining about Benghazi.


Today on NewsTalk 97.7, an old nemesis of mine called in to play the "both sides do it" game.  Bob Ziel suggested that the Democrats do the same thing.  His example was a little-known episode where Sen. Ted Kennedy allegedly worked with Andropov to undermine Reagan.  These days, when you hear of some historical event and decide to learn a little bit about it, your first stop is Google, of course.  Then when you see nearly all right-wing sites like Breitbart, Hot Air, Washington Times, and Newsbusters, it's almost kind of a let-down.

As far as I can tell, the Kennedy example isn't even remotely the same thing, even if the right wants it to be.  We have a KGB document that claims that a person who claimed to be speaking for Sen. Kennedy suggested some mutually beneficial exchange of visits.  Sort of like what Boehner did by inviting Netanyahu, except that there would be no official address to the Congress.  In other words, even if it were true, it was not even as bad as what Boehner did, let alone what those 47 boneheads did.

I've also seen mentioned Speaker Pelosi's meeting with Syria'a President al-Assad against the wishes of President Bush.  What they fail to mention is that Speaker Pelosi was on a bipartisan trip to Syria, that she was not in opposition to the policies that President Bush was pushing (he just wanted al-Assad to be pressured by isolation, while the House members thought he could be reasoned with), and that Speaker Pelosi debriefed Bush on her return.

Kind of different than a shitty letter denying the power of our President and meant to subvert the negotiation.

And besides, do these 47 idiots think they will be persuasive?  "Don't make a deal with President Obama, because we think he's being too soft on you and will work to put a harsher treaty in place later."  Yeah, that'll win over the Iranians.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Poll:  vote for the woman you want to see on the $20 bill
* Petition:  demand more government infrastructure investment

 

Quotations of the Week

"... there are places and moments in America where this nation's destiny has been decided.  Many are sites of war - Concord and Lexington, Appomattox, Gettysburg.  Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America's character - Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.

Selma is such a place.  In one afternoon 50 years ago, so much of our turbulent history - the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham; and the dream of a Baptist preacher - all that history met on this bridge.

It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the true meaning of America.  And because of men and women like John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, Ralph Abernathy, C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young, Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others, the idea of a just America and a fair America, an inclusive America, and a generous America - that idea ultimately triumphed.

As is true across the landscape of American history, we cannot examine this moment in isolation.  The march on Selma was part of a broader campaign that spanned generations; the leaders that day part of a long line of heroes.

We gather here to celebrate them.  We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching towards justice.

[...]

The Americans who crossed this bridge, they were not physically imposing.  But they gave courage to millions.  They held no elected office.  But they led a nation.  They marched as Americans who had endured hundreds of years of brutal violence, countless daily indignities - but they didn't seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before.

What they did here will reverberate through the ages.  Not because the change they won was preordained; not because their victory was complete; but because they proved that nonviolent change is possible, that love and hope can conquer hate.

As we commemorate their achievement, we are well-served to remember that at the time of the marches, many in power condemned rather than praised them.  Back then, they were called Communists, or half-breeds, or outside agitators, sexual and moral degenerates, and worse - they were called everything but the name their parents gave them.  Their faith was questioned.  Their lives were threatened.  Their patriotism challenged.

And yet, what could be more American than what happened in this place?  What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people - unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition but many, coming together to shape their country's course?"
- President Barack Obama

 

Poem of the Week

A Kiss

And sometimes it is
loss

                                                  that we lose,

          and sometimes

it is just lips. When I was

                         a child, I would ask my mother
to tuck me

                            in, wrap me tight in blankets,

          make me into a burrito.

                         Sometimes I would wait in bed,

pressing my body stiff, like a board,

mind like a feather, silly— setting the scene

 

                    to be seen.

                                   So I could be wrapped.

                                      So I could be kissed.

And what

                         I miss most,

is being          made                    again.

David Tomas Martinez

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Just exactly what are the GOP's priorities?
* The economic collapse, explained
* An excellent and thoughtful column:  how America's conception of hell is driving our
* Sure, we recognize racists.  But do we recognize racism?
* Reverse racism is totally real
* Here's a good idea:  go a year without reading white male authors
* LHC:  "We want to break physics"
* Angry yoga (really funny)
* It's fascinating when two sides you respect disagree:  Patton Oswald v Salon (seriously good interview)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
  Weds Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
  Tues CND Micro Messaging Film Series (6pm, EITC Health building, Rm 6163)
Mar 27 Fri IF City Club:  "The Future of Healthcare in Idaho," Dr Ted Epperly, President and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho; Chairman, Idaho Healthcare Coalition (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Apr 5 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 9 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Diane McWhorter, Shilo Inn

 

Selma Anniversary

 

Selma Anniversary

   Special Event:
  Date Sunday, March 8th
Time 1:30 to 2:30pm
Place Broadway Bridge (park in the Sportsman Park - Key Bank parking lot)
 

 

Tomorrow is the official commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, and specifically the Bloody Sunday march itself.

I think this commemoration is important for several reasons.  First, 50 years is not that long ago.  Something I did not know is that the Bloody Sunday march was lead by Rep John Lewis, who is still serving today.  And our current struggles with Add the Words in Idaho has many parallels.


Jimmie Lee Jackson

Second, there are so many heroic stories that we are not taught in schools or during our everyday lives.  For example, the march was held in the first place because of the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson in mid-February of 1965.  He was a deacon at the St James Baptist Church in Marion, Alabama (just northwest of Selma), and had been trying to register to vote without success for 4 years.  Activists in Marion staged a half-mile march to the Perry county jail on the evening of February 18th (James Orange was being held there, having been arrested for "contributing to the delinquency of minors" by enlisting them to help in voter registration drives).  The marchers - worried about a potential lynching of James Orange - were met by a line of Marion City police officers, sheriff's deputies, and Alabama State Troopers, who shut off the street lights and launched an attack.

Jimmie Lee Jackson, his mother, and his 82-yr-old grandfather ran off and hid in Mack's Café, pursued by Alabama State Troopers.  The troopers attacked and beat Jimmie.  When his mother attempted to stop them, they struck her.  Jimmie attempted to stop them, and was shot.  He died two days later.


Rev James Reeb

His death was the inspiration for the original Selma march, which was violently stopped by Alabma authorities.  But another hero was there to participate:  The Rev James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston.

On the evening following the second march ("Turnaround Tuesday") after eating dinner, Reeb and two other Unitarian ministers, Rev Clark Olsen and Rev Orloff Miller, were set upon by a group of white men (possibly KKK members) who beat them with clubs.  Reeb was taken all the way to Birmingham, as activists feared that he would not be treated at the local hospital in Selma.  The father of 4 died two days later.

President Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act to Congress on March 17th, citing James Reeb's death.  The Voting Rights Act was passed in August of 1965.

Orange → Jackson → Reeb  → Voting Rights Act of 1965

These people and many others, deserve to be remembered.  They deserve to be honored tomorrow.  And they deserve a promise from each of us to continue the effort for freedom, justice, and equality for all.

Join us on the bridge.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Note:  ads and promotions may be appended below this note via Living Liberally's email system.  Such promotions help support the Living Liberally family, and make it possible to maintain the infrastructure necessary to keep Living Liberally healthy and growing.  However, no approval from either Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally or Living Liberally as a whole is necessarily intended or implied.

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Is Religious Freedom That Confusing?

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 5th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Big THANKS!  Bert and Theresa are chipping in to help the Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally page get more active.  I hope you all are enjoying their contributions.  And remember, the more that people contribute - through posts, likes, comments, etc - the higher our page will rank in Facebook's inscrutable algorithm.

Help the group grow its presence.  Remember - Drinking Liberally attracts the very best people in Idaho Falls.  There is a potential that the best friend you will ever have in your life is wondering if there is anyone in this town that understands her.  Help her find you and DL by pushing our page. Those of you who are my fiends on Facebook often post great things.  Share them with the group!


The Center for New Directions at EITC is presenting a program of documentary films called Micro Messaging Film Series.  All movies are screened in Room 6163 of the Health Care Education Building (Number 6 on this map) beginning at 6pm.

Spring 2015 Micro Messaging Film Series Schedule
January 27th Stonewall Uprising
February 3rd Eyes on the Prize {Part 1)
February 10th Eyes on the Prize (Part 2)
February 17th Eyes on the Prize (Part 3)
February 24th A Class Apart
March 3rd Girls Rising
March 10th Miss Representation
March 17th The Mask You Live In

I am really looking forward to next Tuesday's movie, Miss Representation.  This is a special presentation that Eric at CND had to pay to get.  And you get to have a discussion afterwards.

It is a movie well worth watching.


So I had an email exchange with Sen Lori Den Hartog regarding her stated decision to step out of the Senate chambers while the day's opening prayer was delivered by a person that had the gall to not be Christian.  [I emailed Sens Vick and Nuxoll, too, but they did not respond to me.  So, some kudos to Sen Den Hartog for that curtesy, at least.  But keep in mind that these three were the only ones with the courage to admit what they did.  Several others, including XXX, failed to attend the prayer, but wouldn't say why.]


Wasn't I just speculating on how idiot Idaho legislators were doing such a bang-up job of staying in the national news lately?  What is it that is keeping them pegging the crazy meter?  First, they whiffed on Add the Words.  Then the Kootenai GOP considered turning Idaho into a Christian state.  Then Sen Vito Barbieri displayed his unusual recollection of the female anatomy.  Finally, Rep Christy Perry stated that parents have a right to murder their children, and that the children would be happier up in heaven anyway.  The hits just keep on coming.

So what possesses a bunch of Republicans to protest an opening prayer by a Hindu chaplain?  I'm not sure, but perhaps it is related to the Backfire Effect - where people in certain situations get more committed to their ideologies when presented with contrary data.  Perhaps the national uproar over all of these incidents serves to reinforce the idiots' commitment to idiocy.

I am sure that almost no conservatives in Idaho have the foggiest idea what religious freedom even means.  They all seem conviced that religoius freedom means that they get to do what they want, including peacefully but aggressively retaliating against anyone that does not hold their values.  And that they are free to ignore the ways that they impose their religious beliefs on others.  And that they have the freedom to whine constantly about having their freedoms curtailed.

To be bluntly honest, the only way that otherwise intelligent people can remain evangelical/fundamentalist/literalist Christians is through an impregnable compartmentalization process.  So I don't believe these folks have the capacity to recognize irony, contradiction, or shame when it comes to their religion.  They will continue legislating their religious values on everyone, and will whine about a once-per-decade nonChristian prayer.

They will remain completely oblivious to their privilege, too.  Because Christians are the only people that can walk out on a prayer not to their liking.  An atheist couldn't get away with doing that.  Neither could a Muslim politician.  Only a Christian politician in America can walk out on another prayer and announce it as a point of pride.

Yet certain right-wing Christians want to pretend that they're being picked on and persecuted.

As I said in our little atheist Facebook group:  "Damn.  When the Christians are so bug-nuts insane that they get us atheists defending a Hindu prayer, you know things are fucked up."

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Petition:  tell the IACI to fire Alex Labeau
* Poll:  vote for the woman you want to see on the $20 bill

 

Quotations of the Week

"Suckaway can eat a dick and hug a teacher.  How fucking stupid.  Let me see-make me and my committee completely irrelevant for the foreseeable future.  Jesus!  People have no fucking vision or forethought.  Doucher.  Regardless we will drop some shit in his lap-just to be dicks."
- Alex LaBeau, Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), regarding Sen Jeff Siddoway's demand for higher teacher pay

 

"I think he probably would be booed out of the crowd, if only because he gave amnesty to illegal aliens back in 1986.  Nativists like Representative Steve King routinely denounce Reagan for that.  They would have denounced him for raising taxes eleven times.  They would be have denounced him for raising the debt limit.  They would have denounced him for running budget deficits.  They would have denounced him for supporting labor unions.  [...] And we are not even getting into all the liberal things that he did as governor such as signing the most liberal abortion law in the United States.  I think this guy definitely would not be a favorite of this crowed."
- Bruce Bartlett

 

Poem of the Week

Epilogue

I took a break from writing about the dead
and drinking from writing about the dead
to walk around my childhood neighborhood.
Everything's for rent.  Or for sale, for ten
times the amount it's worth.

Palm trees are planted in front of a mural
of palm trees under the Ocean Park Bridge.
In the painting, the metal horses of a carousel are breaking
free and running down the beach.  Why didn't I leave

my initials in cement
in front of my parent's apartment in the eighties?
Nikki had the right idea in '79.

I walk by a basketball court, where men play
under the florescent butts of night's cigarette.
I could have been any of their wives,
at home, filling different rooms in different houses
with hopeful wombs.  Agreeing on paint color

samples with their mothers in mind.
I'll bet their wives let their cats go out
hunting at night like premonitions of future sons.
They will worry, stare out the front window,
pray that privilege doesn't bring home bad news
like some wilted head of a black girl in nascent jaws.

To say nothing of the owl who's been here for years.  I hear him

when I'm trying to write about the deaths I've admired.
I hear him when the clothed me no longer recognizes
the naked.  I hear him while writing and shitting and sleeping
where my mother's seven guitars sleep.
I hear him in my parent's house,
their walls covered in my many faces,
traces of decades of complacence.

My childhood neighborhood is a shrine to my success,
and I'm a car with a bomb inside, ready
to pull up in front of it and stop
pretending.

Amber Tamblyn

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Awesome:  happy skeletons
* The arrests start again in Boise
* Seems that Jon Stewart is going out with both guns blazing
* Jimmy Kimmel does a vaccine PSA
* Bad news in Alabama
* The weaselpecker (sometimes the internet is just awesome)
* Perhaps the House used Netanyahu's visit to hide the fact that they just caved, bigtime
* Gen Petreaus will skate (and I constantly hear morons claiming that Obama heads the most corrupt administration)
* Did climate change cause ISIL?  (Sounds like a bit of a stretch to me - but oh! the irony.)
* It might seem like liberalism is losing sometimes, but that may not be true at all
* Well, I thought it was funny
* The Divorced Dad Cooking Show
* Zepplin on Xylophones
* Great texts from a marriage (thanks, Hollis)
* Literally unbelievable.  Dot org.
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
  Weds Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
  Tues CND Micro Messaging Film Series (6pm, EITC Health building, Rm 6163)
Mar 27 Fri IF City Club:  "The Future of Healthcare in Idaho," Dr Ted Epperly, President and CEO of the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho; Chairman, Idaho Healthcare Coalition (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Apr 5 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 9 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Diane McWhorter, Shilo Inn

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Idaho Is "Special"

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 26th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

I'm begging you:  help the Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally page get more active.  Please post fun stuff.

Still waiting, people!  Those of you who are my fiends on Facebook often post great things.  Share them with the group!


The Center for New Directions at EITC is presenting a program of documentary films called Micro Messaging Film Series.  All movies are screened in Room 6163 of the Health Care Education Building (Number 6 on this map) beginning at 6pm.

Spring 2015 Micro Messaging Film Series Schedule
January 27th Stonewall Uprising
February 3rd Eyes on the Prize {Part 1)
February 10th Eyes on the Prize (Part 2)
February 17th Eyes on the Prize (Part 3)
February 24th A Class Apart
March 3rd Girls Rising
March 10th Miss Representation
March 17th The Mask You Live In

I attended A Class Apart last night - it was fantastic.  It was the story of Hernandez v Texas, a landmark Supreme Court case similar to Brown v Board of Education (and even occurred in the same year).

The case was about a clear-cut case of murder.  Pedro Hernandez was absolutely guilty, and everyone knew it.  But the courts in Texas wouldn't put Mexican-Americans on juries.  The lawyers for Hernandez appealed on the fact that he didn't get a jury of his peers, based on the 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection.  The state of Texas objected that because Hispanics were considered to be "white," the 14th Amendment did not apply.

It is a movie well worth watching.


What the fuck is wrong with Idaho?  We tend to make national news occassionally, and almost never for good reasons (although last November's court case striking down our Marriage Amendment was a welcome exception).  Usually, though, we go a long time between getting noticed.  I expected that following our State Affairs decision (where a few of our citizens and legislators got national attention) it would be awhile before we popped up on the national stage.

But no.  We were denied any respite.  Thanks, Republicans.


First, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee has apparently voted on a nonbinding resolution to propose that Idaho is a Christian state.  Are those people Americans?  Do they think that "religious freedom" includes naming your religion the official state religion?  These are the people that we vote for exclusively?

Unfortunately, the sentiment is not limited to Idaho conservatives.

Then Rep Vito Barbieri of the same House State Affairs committee launched himself clumsily onto the national stage.  During debate on how to limit individual freedom and privacy ... oops, I mean prevent a nonexistent medical practice ... damn! I mean ... doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine, Barbieri asked in apparent seriousness:

"Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy?  Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?" Barbieri asked.

Dr Julie Madsen, testifying in opposition to the proposed bill, replied that would be impossible because "when you swallow a pill it would not end up in the vagina."  I imagine that she immediately left the chambers to be treated for an internal rupture caused by a truly heroic suppression of laughter.

Barbieri has now made the claim that his question was rhetorical.  Which is a word that describes when you ask a question for which you don't expect an answer, or when the answer is obvious and need not be said.  So when attempting to explain how he stepped in the shit, he got down and demonstrated by rolling around in it.

Finally, another shining light in the Idaho GOP decided to step up for her 15 minutes in the Idiot's Hall of Fame.  Rep Christy Perry tried to justify her opposition to protecting children from the insane beliefs of their parents.  Yes, she was justifying the fact that some of her constituents murder their kids.  And the Republicans think she's sane.

Coincidentally, a letter to the editor that I submitted a week ago was published today, and started with that very issue:

Idaho law allows parents to kill their kids by withholding life-saving medical treatment, as long as those parents believe that prayer will work instead.  How's that for a "special right?"

Given that, is it surprising that "Add the Words" failed?  If Idaho legislators are willing to let people murder their own kids in the name of religious freedom, just how seriously will they take simple discrimination?

Our legislators (the Republican ones) believe that providing equal treatment to LGBTQ citizens infringes on religious freedoms.  Yet the same equality that we grant to everyone based on their religious beliefs somehow does not.  Requiring a business to serve a gay person violates religious freedom, yet requiring that business to serve a Hindu does not.  It's baffling logic.

Apparently our legislators haven't got the foggiest idea what "religious freedom" means.

Speaking of foggy, Doyle Beck and Barb Ehardt traveled to Boise to testify that the very law that protects them from discrimination based on their race, sex, religion and four other categories would somehow violate religious freedom if extended to an eighth category.

Frank VanderSloot, to his credit, reached a halfway correct position opposing them just a few days later.  Perhaps there is hope that Beck, Ehardt and the Republican legislators will realize how wrong-headed and immoral they've been.

The Civil Rights battle in the 1960s faced arguments identical to Beck's and Ehardt's, though humanity won out eventually.  It just depends upon how ugly our leaders are willing to look in the meantime.

DAN HENRY
Idaho Falls

If this week's batshittery doesn't make you want to drink, nothing will.  Join us for some much-needed sanity.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Activation:  tell Idaho legislators to quit harming women

 

Quotations of the Week

"I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.  He doesn't love you.  And he doesn't love me.  He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."
- Rudy Giuliani

 

"Obama loves America.  Just not as much as Giuliani loves 9/11."
- Larry Wilmore

 

"I mean, you had representatives on the floor with ash on their foreheads commemorating the day.  And so then you're going to force them to listen to a prayer that they don't agree with?  It wasn't very well thought out, I don't think."
- Rep. Dwight Kiefert (North Dakota state legislator, on having a Muslim give the opening invocation)

 

"What the question [about evolution] means, and why it matters, is plain:  Do you have the courage to embrace an inarguable and obvious truth when it might cost you something to do so?  A politician who fails this test is not high-minded or neutral; he or she is just craven, and shouldn't be trusted with power.  This catechism's purpose - perhaps unfair in its form, but essential in its signal - is to ask, Do you stand with reason and evidence sufficiently to anger people among your allies who don't?"
- Adam Gopnik, on why polititians should be asked whether they accept evolution

 

Poem of the Week

Invitation to Love

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene'er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.

You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it to rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.

Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd'ning cherry.
Come when the year's first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter's drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.

Paul Laurence Dunbar

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * What letter would you wear?
* Hilarious:  The Katering Show
* Doctor refuses to treat 6-month-old of gay couple
* 12 great responses to sexist questions
* I know what's best for the health of my family:  magical thinking
* Ripping Rudi a new one
* Oliver Sacks discusses his upcoming death from cancer
* Anderson Cooper blasts ignorant Rep. Dan Burton
* A map of honor from the AFA
* John Green of the SciShow looks into the science behind anti-vaxxers
* How about a constitutional right to vote?
* Should you let your kids swear?
* This is a thing:  Japanese gay wrestling
* Jesus's marketing team
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
  Weds Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
  Tues CND Micro Messaging Film Series (6pm, EITC Health building, Rm 6163)
Mar 1 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 9 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Diane McWhorter, Shilo Inn

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Evidence

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 19th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 





Oh shit

Remember:  help the Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally page get more active.  Please post fun stuff.

Still waiting, people!  Those of you who are my fiends on Facebook often post great things.  Share them with the group!


The Center for New Directions at EITC is presenting a program of documentary films called Micro Messaging Film Series.  All movies are screened in Room 6163 of the Health Care Education Building (Number 6 on this map) beginning at 6pm.

Spring 2015 Micro Messaging Film Series Schedule
January 27th Stonewall Uprising
February 3rd Eyes on the Prize {Part 1)
February 10th Eyes on the Prize (Part 2)
February 17th Eyes on the Prize (Part 3)
February 24th A Class Apart
March 3rd Girls Rising
March 10th Miss Representation
March 17th The Mask You Live In

Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin who is considering a shot at the presidency (which is farcical twice over), recently appeared on a London news program.  The host ended by asking him whether he could accept the Theory of Evolution.  Walker punted.  Which is a dishonest dodge.  An honest and qualified politician would answer this question easily:

"I'm no scientist, but I do defer to their expertise, and the scientific consensus is that evolution is well-proven and well-accepted."

But Walker is not just being evasive.  He's being dishonest.  Because politicians like him are very willing to jump on all kinds of scientific evidence - even insubstantial and poorly supported quack science - when it suits them.  Particularly conservative politicians.  They will leap on falsified and exaggerated reports of abortions causing cancer or temperatures remaining flat over the last decade (both false, of course).


It all comes down to what we allow as evidence.  Conservatives these days seem to be very selective.  I would hope that liberals have more intellectual honesty.  For example, when conservatives that we have viewed as our opposition on many issues end up doing something decent, we should acknowledge it.  As when Frank Vandersloot came out in (limited) support of Add the Words, then we should thank him.  Or when a liberal news network does something bad, we object.

Talk of evidence reminds me of this anecdote presented by Arthur Stanley Eddington in The Philosophy of Physical Science (1938).  It's only tangential to the topic above, other than the fact that it relates to how we understand evidence in science.  And it's cool.

A man is walking along a shore and comes upon an ichthyologist who is busy studying water life.  She has a large net, which she repeatedly hurls into the surf and drags back out.  She sorts out the sealife that she captures, carefully categorizing and classifying them, and noting her results in a log book.

After hours of work, she sits back and says, "I've come to two conclusions.  First, all sea creatures have gills.  Second, all sea creatures are more than 2 inches long."

The man replies, "Well, of course!  I could have told you that!  You are catching creatures with a net, so they will be swimming fish with gills.  And they are all more than 2 inches, because that's the size of the holes in your net!"

You might first be scoffing at the scientist.  Kind of a dipshit, huh?  She could have saved all that time!  But then you think about the analogy.  The net represents our information-gathering senses, and the captured sea creatures represent our accumulated knowledge of the world.  In the analogy, the scientist is absolutely right to answer, "Anything uncatchable by my net is ipso facto outside the scope of icthyological knowledge." And she'd be right.  The things that the man imagines are out in the ocean, but not observable, should not be admitted as knowledge.

And that is true.  However, the analogy serves a deeper purpose in Eddington's book.  He is actually very interested in how we can determine some of the facts about our universe by understanding the tools that we have for gathering information (i.e., our senses and our minds).  So both the observer and the ichthyologist.

Come observe liberals in the wild, this Thursday at the Bee's Knees.

Cheers,
Dan

 

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Action for the Week

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* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Homework:  study up on Citizen's Climate Lobby
* Activation:  tell Idaho legislators to quit harming women

 

Quotations of the Week

"As we look at these symptoms in our culture - abortion, homosexual behavior, euthanasia, suicide, school violence - there's a connection between them and the influence of Darwinian evolution throughout the culture."
- Ken Ham

 

Poem of the Week

Old Houses

Old loveliness, set in the country wind,
Or down some vain town road the careless tread,
Like hush of candles lighted for the dead,
That look of yours, half seeing and half blind.
Still do you strain at door, but we come not,
The little maids, the lads, bone of your bone;
In some sad wise, you keep the dusk alone,
Old loveliness, a many a day forgot.
But no; behind each weather do you pass,
The garnered poignancies of all the springs:
At some girl's belt in Lent the jonquils start;-
But, oh, their like in your old windy grass!
Then are we quick with tears, rememberings;
Once more, once more, are gathered to your heart!

Lizette Woodworth Reese

 

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Schedule

 

       
Jan 28 Wed Add the Words Rally - every Wednesday, noon, Broadway Bridge (only 15 minutes)
  Tuesdays CND Micro Messaging Film Series (6pm, EITC Health building, Rm 6163)
Feb 20 Fri IF City Club:  Jonathan Weisgall - Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Berkshire Hathaway Energy - Changes, Challenges, and Uncertainties in the Energy Industry (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
Feb 20 Fri TEDxIdahoFalls
Feb 20 Fri Death Cafe - discussion of opinions, concerns, ideas, and insights related to death (Unitarian Universalist Church, 7pm)
Feb 24 Tues Citizen Koch - 6:30pm, movie and discussion group at the Unitarian Universalist Church (sponsored by OIF/MoveOn)