Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Tribalism

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 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)
 


Bars vs grocery stores

Living together before marriage is not linked to more divorces.  Gay parents raise kids just as well as straight parents, and marriage equality will only strengthen families in America.  Of course, evolution is both true and real, and global warming is caused by human activity.  America was formed as a secular country.  Embryos are not children.  Reasonable minimum wage laws do not hurt the economy, and free markets are created by regulation.  And President Obama is a moderate centrist.

The typical conservative reaction to these truths is to doubt the reality.  To accuse people of liberal bias when they point out facts.  To create their own network of self-reinforcing institutions that create and sustain a comfortable web of lies.


The conservative devotion to their institutional support structure has all the hallmarks of a religion.  And this week's collapse of the Idaho GOP's convention sure did look like a schism.  Religious people are often devoted to their faith, and have often spent their entire lives committed to their belief.  So even if they begin to doubt, there is a lifetime of devotion to overcome.  And the ego doesn't like to admit error, or to face the thought that one has committed so much thought and effort to a cause that one might no longer support.  So there is a huge hurdle to overcome if one begins to doubt.

I sense that conservatives feel the same thing.  They have devoted some period of their lives to defending an ideology that basically has as its purpose the benefit of the 1%.  Conservatives have to rationalize and justify working for that goal.  And their egos don't like to question a lifetime of devotion.

That is why tribalism is so evident on the right.  That is why anger is a typical response when they are presented with facts about our national issues.  Further, their system only works if there are support structures to bolster their shared commitment to a cause that doesn't hold up under scrutiny.  Talk radio and Fox News are like their Sunday sermons, a comforting reinforcement of their belief system.

Is modern liberalism the same?  I feel like I commit myself to liberalism for only one reason:  to create a society that helps those in need and that removes institutional barriers to equality.  I feel like I don't have to rationalize or justify a commitment to be a decent human being and help others.  I don't have a comforting network devoted to justifying my beliefs.  But I do have a network of similarly devoted people and institutions that does comfort me.  We support each other in our struggle, and we celebrate our victories.  But that's not tribalism, of course.

Is that right?  Or are we on the left just as tribal and ego-driven as those on the right?  Come share your thoughts this Thursday night.

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
* Petition:  free Michael Whitely (details here)
* Petition:  tell Republicans to knock off their stupid war on healthy school lunches

 

Quotations of the Week

"When I was a young kid living in WW2 England, my younger sister, two years old, got whooping cough.  I'll never, ever forget it.  She coughed and gasped for weeks.  Of course what with wartime shortages and priorities there wasn't a vaccine available then so it was a question of luck whether or not you got this horrible disease.  She was unlucky.  But anyone who voluntarily puts children, and not just his own but others too, at this kind of risk deserves some serious sanction.  It's nothing but reckless child endangerment which is a crime."
- sailor1031

 

"I wish to restore America to its Judeo-Christian roots.  God acted through people on my behalf."
- David Brat, Republican nominee for the seat held by House Majority Speaker Eric Cantor

 

"Peterson told Russell he thought the convention's spectacular breakdown on Saturday - the only votes taken were on refusing to seat various delegates, and none of the scheduled business was taken up, from the chairmanship to the platform - was planned in advance.

"'By design, they intended from the very beginning by parliamentary procedure to get the whole convention to go for four hours without taking a vote, and they were successful in that,' Peterson said."
- Barry Peterson, former (and self-proclaimed current) Idaho State GOP Chairman

 

Poem of the Week

The Final Whistle Has Blown

~ and here ends the legend of Gimpy McFail,
who loved to play football, and usually failed,
through years of more injury, broken and frail,
he'd sit on the sidelines, drowning in ale ...

The wee age of five, the story begins,
the love of the football, a new game to win,
and every defeat got him back up again,
cursing and fighting and up til the end ...

the varsity team, he never quite made,
'cause failing at music was more of his game,
so off to the pub teams, he made his way,
'cause drinking and football's the best way to play ...

but years have gone by, he's now forty-three,
the aches and the pains and the wobbly knee,
just could not recover from that surgery,
missing more games than he'd score ... you see ...

now, the call of the Sirens, rides on the gale,
Retirement beckons, he has no avail,
he'll ride on the ocean of whiskey and ale,
and so ends the legend of Gimpy McFail.

Chad Malone, DL Host in Tulsa

 

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

  * Americans are dangerously ignorant of politics
* A report on the persecution complex of the religious right
* Warning:  very upsetting video of a child with whooping cough (there are new breakouts because of anti-vaxxers)
* More unity from the Idaho GOP
* The overwhelming evidence that guns endanger kids
* See all the World Cup goals
* Game of Thrones theme, done in jazz
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
June 18 Wed ACLU Fan Club - 6:30pm, Stevens-Henager College
June 27 Fri IF City Club Annual Dinner:  Barbara Morgan (astronaut and teacher), Unfasten Your Seatbelts: An Astronaut's Guide to Space (Bennion SUB, 6pm)
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Love the Sinner

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 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)
 


Mildred and Richard Loving

Loving Day

We're coming up on Loving Day!  So it's time for our annual Loving Day Banquet.  This year we will celebrate on June 14th, from 4 -6pm at the little park next to the Key Bank parkinglot (i.e., Sportsman Park).

Hamburgers/hot dogs, drinks, and place settings will be provided.  Please bring a dish to share. Also notify me if you'd like to being buns or condiments - so we don't have a surplus of those.  Plan on about 30 people.

Also, if anyone can figure out how we can play Roy's song, Summer of Loving, I'm all ears.


Special Event

This week's meeting features a special guest speaker.  Dennis Patterson will join us to talk about his new book, Department of Energy Whistleblower:  Justice over Racial Discrimination and Ethics Violations in a Right To Work State (Human Resources Ethics and Concerns).  Believe me, I've heard from a couple of people that the book is a very interesting read.  And you can purchase and read that ebook, even if you don't have a Kindle Reader.


I've been thinking about the love the sinner/hate the sin formulation that many religious conservatives use to justify their opposition to civil rights for the LGBTQ community.  They claim that they don't hate gay people just because they want to enforce a male/female requirement for marriage.  Sometimes they are downright beligerent about being tarred with the perception that they are GASP bigotted.

That rationale has never sat well with me, of course, but I have never really thought too much about why.  It was just obvious to me that they were in denial.  I just chalked it up to the fact that they actually did hate LGBTQ people, but either refused to admit it or refused to acknowledge it to themselves.  It was a distinction without a difference.

The primary example that they use to illustrate their view is the baker or the photographer asked to provide services to a gay couple getting married.  The bigots-in-denial say that they just don't approve of the activity - but that they don't hate the people.  As if people could that easily be separated from what they do.  And if what they do can be that easily distinguished from who they are.

But still it bugged me that they invested so much into the concept of "approval."  That somehow some action of theirs implied approval, and that that approval would be a violation of their religious beliefs.  Do they even understand the word approval?  I have become convinced that they do not.

And the proof of that was given to me by someone on a Facebook thread.  The example involved the resignation of a Salt Lake City police officer after he refused to participate in a Pride parade.  Several people expressed admiration that he had "stood up for his beliefs," whatever that means.  And one asked if a black police officer should be required to perform duties for a Ku Klux Klan rally.

YES!  A black police officer should be required to perform duties for a Ku Klux Klan rally.  In fact, he should want to, if his goal is to make the most powerful statement against the Klan.  If someone is a police officer, he or she needs to serve in all required duties.  And guess what?  If a black police officer performs a duty for a Klan rally, it does not mean that the officer approves of the KKK!.

In other words, participation in an activity is not approval of the activity.  Riding a motorcycle in a parade as a police officer does not imply approval.  (And seriously - who really gives a shit about that one guy's approval, anyway?  How self-important do you have to be if you think that highly of your presence?)

However, declining to participate in an activity under those circumstances certainly does constitute disapproval.  One cannot simply "hate the sin" without also registering that disapproval.  As another commenter put it that Facebook thread:

The gay and lesbian population deserve to have the same protection given to all other citizens, and they need to know they can rely on their police departments to do so.  This officer realized that there is a certain segment of the population that he can not, or will not properly protect.

As a police officer, he doesn't get to pick which portions of the community that he approves of.  And that goes for bakers and photographers, too.  Those are not public, but they are public services that earn a profit from being sanctioned by our licensing bodies and beneficiaries of our public infrastructure.

So I don't really give a damn if someone "hates the sin."  You're not a good person just because you "love the sinner."  And nobody's asking whether you "approve of a lifestyle."  Just do your job without hurting others.  That's all that matters.

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
* Petition:  Tell the Washington Post to fire George Will

 

Poem of the Week

An Ode to Open Carry

I carry my gun to the toilet, and boy, let
Me tell you, it's difficult wiping my ass
But guns are important!  For freedom, you need 'em
In every location-a critical mass!
I carry while changing my baby, cos maybe
A diaper goes rogue, and I need to defend!
My AK goes with me while shopping-no stopping-
The good guy who carries is everyone's friend!

At church, while receiving my wafer, I'm safer
Cos slung on my back are my rifle and scope
In tactical gear, wearing camo, with ammo
I'm here for the sermon, a message of hope!
I'm eating left-handed at Chili's-it's silly;
I can't eat a Whopper, cos that takes two hands
The NRA finds open carry too scary-
I'm not giving in to their leftist demands!

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

  * How much does right-wing rhetoric contribute to right-wing terrorism?
* Why is the far right more violent than the far left?
* GOP scraping the barrel:  impeachment over saving Gitmo
* How to tell the difference between an open-carry patriot and a deranged killer
* The NRA suggests that using "shooting" to describe shootings is a liberal media scare tactic
* ... so here's an attempt to placate the NRA
* The GOP has replace Eric Cantor with an idiot
* 5 hilarious attempts by the religious right to disprove science
* Cool "dronie"
* Can you pass an 8th grade science quiz?
* Take an online college course for free!
* … and I recommend Coursera
* If you're giving:  there's a new humanist charity (please don't give to United Way!)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
June 14 Sat Loving Day Banquet - burgers and drinks provided, please bring a side or dessert to share, 4pm, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot
June 27 Fri IF City Club Annual Dinner:  Barbara Morgan (astronaut and teacher), Unfasten Your Seatbelts: An Astronaut's Guide to Space (Bennion SUB, 6pm)
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Avoiding Bergdahl

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 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)
 


Mildred and Richard Loving

Loving Day

We're coming up on Loving Day!  So it's time for our annual Loving Day Banquet.  This year we will celebrate on June 14th, from 4 -6pm at the little park next to the Key Bank parkinglot (i.e., Sportsman Park).

Hamburgers/hot dogs, drinks, and place settings will be provided.  Please bring a dish to share. Also notify me if you'd like to being buns or condiments - so we don't have a surplus of those.  Plan on about 30 people.

Also, if anyone can figure out how we can play Roy's song, Summer of Loving, I'm all ears.


Special Event

Next week's meeting (Thursday, June 12th) will feature a special speaker.  Dennis Patterson will join us to talk about his new book, Department of Energy Whistleblower:  Justice over Racial Discrimination and Ethics Violations in a Right To Work State (Human Resources Ethics and Concerns).  Believe me, I've heard from a couple of people that the book is a very interesting read.  And you can purchase and read that ebook, even if you don't have a Kindle Reader.


Being a racist doesn't require awareness.  Most racists are very much unaware that they are racists.  Point that out the next time you hear someone complain about the dreaded "race card" being played, or the "fact" that people are called racist just for disagreeing with President Obama.


So Dinesh D'Souza - a person whose deceptions on public policy and religion are extremely close to outright lying - has plead guilty to knowingly violating campaign finance laws.  He will no doubt get off without any jail time - since wealthy, privileged men who break the law and then claim to be "fundamentally honorable [men] who should not be imprisoned for what was an isolated instance of wrongdoing in an otherwise productive and responsible life" tend to get off without imprisonment.

However, this bit did get me:

His right to vote, right to hold public office, right to possess a firearm and right to sit on a jury have been revoked.

I hope that whenever he gets out and/or pays his fine, that he speaks about about how horrible it is that we revoke such rights for felons.  We will see if he has that integrity.


From Nicole LeFavour (slightly reformatted for ease of reading):

To Congressman Raul Labrador and all the cake bakers of the world:

  1. It is only a cake.  You are simply baking a cake, like selling some flowers, moping the floor in a chapel, or growing salad greens for the rehearsal dinner.  You are not participating in the wedding.  You are baking a cake like you do every day, because you bake cakes.
  2. And is it REALLY a violation of your religious liberty or simply of your personal discomfort and desire to discriminate that we are talking about?  If 90% of the people raised in the very same ward or church as you do would not dream of refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple, then is this really about religion?  As Mistie Tolman would ask, do you refuse to bake cakes for those serving alcohol at their weddings?  Those who have taken the lord's name in vain?  Those who once committed adultery?
  3. That people always use the exact same single example to prove that religious liberties are being trampled by non discrimination laws shows how hard it is to find an example from your own life where being forced to serve a gay person would be a violation of your religious liberty.
  4. And why is the protection of your religious liberty guaranteed by the U.S. constitution in this case not good enough?  What about the rights and liberties of those to whom you would be cruel and deny service?  Why do you observe anti-discrimination laws on the basis of race and gender and religion but want an exception for gay people?  Do you know some people still believe religiously that women shouldn't work and that the mixing of races is a sin?  Do you want to allow exceptions for them to discriminate too?
  5. As Caleb Hansen would say, you are a business owner, in getting a business license you agreed to provide a service to your community.  It comes with a responsibility.  In operating in the public arena it is in the public interest that you abide by laws that protect those you serve.  You provide a service for a fee.  That's all.

It is a cake.  Nothing but a cake.  Society is not better if you are cruel and refuse to bake it.  America is not better.  Simply smile, turn to your kitchen and bake the cake.

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

 

Quotations of the Week

"Hypocrisy compartmentalizes the soul in fascinating ways."
- Rob Tarzwell

 

"With Jefferson's Enlightenment vision and Madison's remarkable Constitution, we see a nation intentionally designed to evolve as it moves into the future, not to be locked in some inflexible past.  This Tea Party nonsense of pretending that Americans today are supposed to behave as Americans did in 1787 is the exact opposite of what Madison intended."
- Sean Faircloth, Attack of the Theocrats!, Pitchstone Publishing, 2012

 

Poem of the Week

To Sylvia, To Wed

Let us, though late, at last, my Silvia, wed;
And loving lie in one devoted bed.
Thy watch may stand, my minutes fly post haste;
No sound calls back the year that once is past.
Then, sweetest Silvia, let's no longer stay;
True love, we know, precipitates delay.
Away with doubts, all scruples hence remove!
No man, at one time, can be wise, and love.

 

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

  * Can the GOP go any lower?  Two Republicans complain about the swap that got Sgt Bowe Bergdahl released.
* Can you think of a stupider idea?  GOP candidate suggests banning undocumented kids from schools.
* Finally:  something intelligent on the VA scandal
* Are there honest conservatives?
* Thoughts about self-driving cars
* Sen Elizabeth Warren and Thomas Piketty
* Terrible real estate photos
* I know this is sweeping Facebook, but damn!
* There's a hole on the Lochsa, and it eats rafters
* Cool animation (watch for this in a new commercial)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
June 6 Fri A Touch of Prose - 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
June 14 Sat Loving Day Banquet - burgers and drinks provided, please bring a side or dessert to share, 4pm, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot
June 27 Fri IF City Club Annual Dinner:  Barbara Morgan (astronaut and teacher), Unfasten Your Seatbelts: An Astronaut's Guide to Space (Bennion SUB, 6pm)
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Flat Earth Explanations

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 29th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Soup Kitchen this Sunday!  Join us at 11:30am if you'd like to help out.


Way back in the olden days, many people thought the earth was flat.  Most people at certain times, perhaps.  It wasn't really a binary thing.  It wasn't the case that everyone thought it was flat, then some smart people figured it out, then everyone thought it was spherical.  Different societies had different notions for a long time.  Some thought round, some flat, and some turtles all the way down.  We didn't come around completely until we got telescopes and satellites.  But the flat earth hypothesis does have some attraction (just not the gravitational type).  It makes some physical sense based on observation and it appeals to simple notions of common sense.

I'm sure that many ancient flat-earthers had an understandable reaction to being told that the Earth was round.  They probably responded that it didn't make sense.  "If it's round, then people would fall off the bottom!" Again, that seems like common sense at first blush.

What they didn't realize was that their common sense was profoundly flawed, in an obvious way.  Because what they were doing was burying their lack of knowledge of the world in an assumption that they weren't questioning.  Even if the world were flat, they were failing to consider why the universe pulled them down towards the ground, rather than up, or sideways, or at some weird angle, or in different directions at different times and places.  Whatever it was in the universe that makes "down" down and "up" up is left completely unexplained in the flat-earth universe.  Flat-earthers just buried their lack of knowledge in the ground (ha!), but never really explained the real world beyond their visual impression and their psychologically infantile need for some form of surity.

Newtonian gravitation is what actually explains both why down is down and why planets are spherical.  And sometimes that's what it takes.  You need an explanation that might be counterintuitive at first, but which actually explains more things with fewer assumptions.

Other very simple explanations are prevalent.  For example, postulating a god that starts the universe is basically a meaningless, helpless hypothesis.  (I mean "helpless" in the sense of not improving our understanding of the world; i.e., not helpful.)  It just buries what we don't know in a concept that we pretend doesn't need a deeper explanation.  Who created the universe?  God.  Who created god?  That concept doesn't need a cause.  Again, turtles all the way down.

We should always beware of shallow solutions that appeal to our common sense, but which in reality are a way to hide our lack of knowledge or our discomfort.

For example, conservatives pretend that free markets are the answer to all our ills.  That the only reason we have any problems at all is because of government meddling and over-regulation.  Buried at the base of that really bad world-view is a pernicious assumption:  that free markets are equivalent to freedom and anything that infringes on free markets infringes on our freedom.  But why should we presume that freedom is equivalent to free markets?  Why should we accept such a shallow vision of freedom?

Freedom is a much more nuanced notion.  And there is no reason to think that if we just allowed everyone to trade goods and services without impediment that we'd magically have more freedom.  In fact, history is rife with examples that demonstrate the utter falacy of the libertarian free market fantasy world.

Another example is the 2nd Amendment - a very flawed and problematic portion of the Bill of Rights.  It really needs to be fixed.  But conservatives have created this myth that our Constitution is devinely inspired, which they'll use to prevent any such changes.  What reason do we have that the Constitution is devinely inspired?  Nothing that I can think of.  To me, it looks exactly like a document developed by a committee of very smart men (a few women would have helped, for sure).  Acknowledging the fallible nature of our founders might not be the most exceptionally American-exceptionalist interpretation.  And it's definitely a view that will get you frowned upon and tut-tutted amongst the Fox News set.

A third example is the simplistic notion that because America's debt is high, the problem must be that we're giving out too much money.  Especially to poor people who are unproductive.  Obviously, we'd be much better off if we stopped giving them so much money.  Or stopped allowing them to buy seafood.

That's just plain shallow thinking that appeals to certain people's classism.  Scapegoating the poor has a long tradition in the US.

I'm sure you can think of more.  Taxes are just redistribution of wealth.  Marriage equality will destroy traditional marriage.  Etc.


Again, I'm not advocating complexity over simplicity.  I'm arguing against simplistic explanations.  In reality, truthful positions about how the world works and how we function in society are actually simpler than the simplistic arguments used by conservatives.  Just like Newton's theory - though it seems complex - explains more about the world with fewer buried unknowns.  Hence, more simple.

So the next time you hear a conservative proclaiming American exceptionalism, perhaps it's just a flat-earther struggling to make it in a world too difficult for his or her feeble mind.

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
* Thank You:  express your thanks to Judge Candy Dale
* Petition:  Tell Amazon.com to stop supporting the BSA (until they fix their bigotry)
* Petition:  Tell AT&T to stop supporting the BSA (until they fix their bigotry)

 

Quotations of the Week

"So when you hear a false equivalence that somehow, well, Congress is just broken, it's not true.  What's broken right now is a Republican Party that repeatedly says no to proven, time-tested strategies to grow the economy, create more jobs, ensure fairness, open up opportunity to all people."
President Barack Obama

 

"However, given the vengeance-minded left and their literal lust-driven desire to redefine marriage, kill children in the womb, and the like, more and more Americans are facing, at minimum, harsh financial consequences through fines, the loss of their jobs, the loss of their businesses, the loss of television shows, and so on."
Trevor Thomas (emphasis mine)

 

Poem of the Week

Inaugural Poem

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear.  They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers-desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ...
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours-your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Maya Angelou (1928 ... 2014)

 

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

  * Some righteous anger
* Nice talk by President Obama
* Looking deeper into Elliot Rodger's motivation
* All about gluten
* Idaho's short stay order makes an interesting read ("The State has no valid stay, but we have to issue it anyway because of the SCOTUS.")
* OMG!  Shoulders!
* If you like football:  Iker Casillas making about 30 impossible saves
* Looks like an interesting documentary
* The OnionWoman a leading authority on what shouldn't be in poor people's grocery carts
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
June 1 Sun Soup Kitchen – join us from 11:30am – 2pm
June 14 Sat Loving Day Banquet - burgers and drinks provided, please bring a side or dessert to share, 4pm, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group – every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought – every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at the UU

 

A Special Event:  Roy Zimmerman

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 22nd
Time 7pm
Place Unitarian Universalist Church
 

Roy Zimmerman!  This week we will meet at the Unitarian Universalist Church for Roy's concert.  This is a great show, with new material.  How new?  Really pretty new, that's how new!  Roy takes on Cliven Bundy's cattle.

More great songs:

Even more great songs:

This will, of course, be our Drinking Liberally meeting for this Thursday night.  If you haven't yet been to one of Roy's shows, I truly envy you as you experience his humor, his wordplay, and his showmanship for the first time.


Guess I need to talk about the primary results.  But I don't really want to.  Aren't we all a little sick of that?  Oh well ...

The only important thing is that the Pocatello nondiscrimination ordinance was protected.  It only won by 80 votes, but it was still a victory.  If the margin bothers you, just remember that that is probably the best that the opponents will ever do.  They had a huge advantage in the fact that this was a primary election, which generally interests conservatives a whole lot more than the left.  And they had the advantage of time.  After more time passes and they see that nobody is detrimentally affected, they lose their primary talking point:  fear.

And speaking of the fearful, it seems that the teabaggers kind of lost, mostly.  I guess in Idaho that's what passes for a point to be proud of.  "Yay!  Not very many teabaggers won."

Lenore Barrett lost.  What the hell could she have said since the last election that got her booted?  After 22 years of solidly crazy utterances, it must have been one hell of a thing.  Perhaps it was something like, "You know ... my Medicare isn't that bad a deal."  Or maybe, "My granddaughter is gay, and she should be treated with equality."

Boss Denney won.  Our next Secretary of State is the embodiment of Republican corruption (assuming that Idahoans continue to vote blindly Republican in the next general election).  Perhaps the good news is that he will pose less danger to Idaho in that position.

My friend and Twin Falls Drinking Liberally host Deborah Silver won the Democratic primary race for State Treasurer!  It was a contested race, believe it or not.  And perhaps the corruption and incompetence of the current treasurer will help her win in November.

That's all I can think of.  And it's about twice as much as should be said.  We'll be at the UU tomorrow night for DL, so we won't get to discuss election results this week.  Please join us for the concert.

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
* Thank You:  express your thanks to Judge Candy Dale
* Petition:  Tell Amazon.com to stop supporting the BSA (until they fix their bigotry)

 

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

  * Pocatellans vote to keep their nondiscrimination ordinance (though the vote was too close)
* How to rebut the silly notion that criminals don't follow gun laws
* Watch this 3-part documentary:  Your Inner Fish
* Anti-American teabagging buffoons wonder where are their 30+ million supporters?
* The state of marriage equality in one map
* Why people persist in believing wrong things
* With what you have in the bank, what bands can you hire?
* Cool survey
* Cat rescues boy from attacking dog
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
May 22 Thurs Roy Zimmerman in concert – 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group – every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought – every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Sea Change

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 15th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 




Plan to join us on May 22nd!

Remember:  The Bee's Knees has reopened where the Wild Russet used to be.  We will be meeting there this week.

I have a play to attend at Eagle Rock Middle School, so I will be at least an hour late.  Please start the celebration without me.


Roy Zimmerman!  Thursday, May 22nd, at the Unitarian Universalist Church.  This is a great show, with new material.  How new?  Last week new!  Roy takes on Cliven Bundy's cattle.

More great songs:

This will, of course, be our Drinking Liberally meeting for that fourth Thursday in May.  If you haven't yet been to one of Roy's shows, I truly envy you as you experience his humor, his wordplay, and his showmanship for the first time.


It sure looks like we'll be attending some weddings on Friday morning!  I've been envious of other states that have achieved marriage equality – even the temporary ones, like Utah.  Watching those celebrations taking place at county courthouses across the country was so moving.

Well, now it's our opportunity!  barring some extremely fast judicial procedure, we will be watching our friends and neighbors getting marriage licenses this Friday morning.  If you can join us, then please do.


The county clerks have been ordered to start issuing licenses to everyone starting Friday morning at 9am.  So we will be gathering in the Bonneville County Courthouse at the Registar's office that morning to show our appreciation for our friends and for this development.  If you haven't been there in awhile, there have been some security changes.  You have to enter the door in the newer wing of the building.  You will have to go through security, too – empty your pockets, a metal detector, etc.  Once inside, you should head for the Recorder's Office.

Go up the stairs immediately to the right.  Head down the main hallway about halfway, past the clerk windows to where the hallway narrows, to a small door on the right side (there's a pink sign hanging from the ceiling).  Heading down the hallway will take you into the original courthouse building.  We will meet in the large, open center area of the old part of the building, outside the Recorder's office.

I'm thinking about seeing if my kids want to take off school for the morning.  It will be historic and moving.  It's the kind of thing that they should witness – the fruition of all the work that their parents and their parents' friends have been working on for so long.

So if you can take off time from work, then please join us.  There will be smiles like you've never seen.

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
* Thank You:  express your thanks to Judge Candy Dale

 

Quotations of the Week

"Rush [Limbaugh]... a quivering rage heap who is apparently desperately trying to extinguish any remaining molecule of humanity that might still reside in the Chernobyl-esque super-fund cleanup site that was his soul."
Jon Stewart

 

"You know, like everyone was petrified of [Tim Russert].  When he died, Lewis Lapham described him as the overaccommodating head waiter at some really swanky restaurant who's just really good at ass-kissing every rich person who comes into the door.  And that was Tim Russert – which is why they all loved Tim Russert, right?  Because the benefit of Tim Russert was that not only did he let them control the message, but he cast the appearance that they were subjected to really rigorous questioning.  So it was the extra bonus of propagandizing while convincing the public that they weren't being propagandized."
Glenn Greenwald

 

"Has anybody commented yet on the curious situation in Idaho where 'Butch Otter opposes gay marriage'?"
Adam Sulewski

 

Poem of the Week

I Was in the Commons Kissing, and Lucy Next to Me Kissing, Too

Both of us under one boy or another.
That's how we spent our senior year,
Beacon Hill, Harvard Square,
Coolidge Corner, anywhere
but Belmont, or Westwood Center.
Boylston Street for bongs—Reefer
Madness
, incense, Yardley's makeovers,
buffalo leather toe sandals—her baby was born
with encephalocele.  While I held her,
I hoped she'd die, though tried to love her,
four months, she didn't grow—Lucy rocking her,
cooing, passers-by smiled at the handsome mother,
then frowned—small gasps—when they looked closer—
my father paid for the funeral I don't remember.
(There may not have been one.)  Lucy had others—
a daughter, next a son, then nine years later,
she drowned in Maine, swallowed by the family pond,
at barely thirty, while I'm nearing sixty, and complain.

 

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

  * MARRIAGE EQUALITY FOR IDAHO!
* Judge Dale's decision
* Ted Cruz makes the case for religious extremism
* Family of Benghazi victim tells the GOP to knock it off
* Cool idea for the color blind
* How to talk to your kids about Michael Sim
* Spurious correlations (funny)
* Fantastic mystery art
* Balls of fire ants acting like solids and liquids
* Playing around in Google Maps and found the spot on Earth opposite my house
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
May 15 Thurs IF City Club:  Senators Michelle Stennett and Bart Davis, Minority and Majority leaders (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
May 16 Fri Let's go to a gay wedding! (at the Bonneville County Courthouse at 9am)
May 20 Tues Primary election day
May 22 Thurs Roy Zimmerman in concert – 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group – every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought – every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Changes and Nagging

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 8th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 




Plan to join us on May 22nd!

NEW LOCATION:  The Bee's Knees is now open where the Wild Russet used to be.  We will be meeting there this week.  I haven't been there in a couple weeks.  I understand that the menu is completely changed, with a lot of fresh and healthy choices in addition to a few of the burgers that they used to have.  They also have a specialty drink menu. 


Roy Zimmerman!  Thursday, May 22nd, at the Unitarian Universalist Church.  This is a great show, with new material.  How new?  Last week new!  Roy takes on Cliven Bundy's cattle.

More great songs:

This will, of course, be our Drinking Liberally meeting for that fourth Thursday in May.  If you haven't yet been to one of Roy's shows, I truly envy you as you experience his humor, his wordplay, and his showmanship for the first time.


Finally, a delicate subject to address.  At last weekend's soup kitchen, there were four of us left cleaning up at about 2pm.  Strangely enough it was the same four people who showed up early to get prepared.

Soup kitchen is a fun event - if you have not joined us there, I encourage you to join us.  And I do not want to sound ungrateful for the help that we get from everyone.  I don't want that to change.  Further, we all understand that there are commitments that people have to keep.  If you have to leave at 1pm, that's fine - we understand.  No problem.  But when everybody leaves before cleanup is done except for the cooks - then we have an issue.

Perhaps the issue is that people are not really aware of the cleaning that needs to take place afterwards.  We do have a list of things that need to be done, and any of the cooks can tell you one of items if you ask.  And perhaps there are other things that we can do to help the process go more smoothly.  Do we need a Cleanup Leader?  Please bring any ideas you have to our attention so that we can fix this problem.

And thanks to all who join us for this fun and worthwhile activity.  It means a lot to the community, and to our group.

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
* Petition:  equal pay for women

 

Quotations of the Week

"If I was in charge, they would know, waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."
- Sarah Palin

 

"These days, the House Republicans are actually giving John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means orange really is the new black."
- President Obama

 

"This Benghazi obsession has turned the entire GOP into a party of Nancy Graces."
- Lizz Winstead

 

Poem of the Week

Knot

maybe you think I do not know
maybe you think I could not be
maybe I am not where I go
maybe you are not here with me

perhaps the moon is nothing old
perhaps the sun is never new
perhaps all stories have been told
perhaps there is no being through

it could be everything is here
it could be everything is near
it could be heaven is not far
it could be now just where we are

perhaps all maybes will be done
maybe all should-bes might be too
it could be everything is one
beyond the shadow of we two

 

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

  * This is why Justice Kennedy failed in his decision last week when he said prayers before legislative sessions are merely "ceremonial:"  Christians angry about Hindu prayer in US Senate (this is a seven-yr-old event)
  * Idaho makes the Daily Show
* What do you think about this:  a woman posts a video of her abortion
* Who could have predicted it?  Bundy ranch squabbles get dangerous.
* Simplify:  a really tiny house
* Bad idea:  a white guy dismisses the concept of privilege (and a fantastic take-down of his opinion)
* Vi Hart video:  great explanation of net neutrality
* More scientific explanation of the conservative pathology
* A great spoken word poem

 

Schedule

 

     
May 22 Thurs Roy Zimmerman in concert - 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at Hotel on the Falls

 

My Precious

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 1st
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 


Plan to join us on May 22nd!

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear otherwise, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls (475 River Pkwy).

[Latest news is that we will be at the Hotel on the Falls for maybe one more week.  And the Wild Russet is being renamed the Bee's Knees.]


Idaho Gives!  May 1st is Idaho Gives day.  There's power in numbers, so join together with Idahoans to make our state a better place. Every donation can help your favorite nonprofit and earn them a chance to win cash prizes throughout the day.

There are hundreds of worthy nonprofits.  If you're open to suggestions, I might suggest the ACLU of Idaho or United Vision for Idaho.


Roy Zimmerman!  Thursday, May 22nd, at the Unitarian Universalist Church.  This is a great show, with new material.  How new?  Last week new!  Roy takes on Cliven Bundy's cattle.

This will, of course, be our Drinking Liberally meeting for that fourth Thursday in May.  If you haven't yet been to one of Roy's shows, I truly envy you as you experience his humor, his wordplay, and his showmanship for the first time.


It seems that people can be stupid.  Even liberals, sometimes.  In the laboratory, it can be shown that people will start to believe false things when those false beliefs support their existing political leanings.  It's a bipartisan failing.

Paul Krugman agrees, but wonders where are the amazingly stupid issues on the left?  What is the left's equivalent of climate change denial?  Where is the liberal equivalent of irrational Obamacare hatred?  Where is our birtherism?  Where is our teabagger faction?  Is it just a coincidence that the GOP is racist?

So in sterile laboratory settings, liberals are equally biased and just as easily misled as conservatives.  Yet out in the real world, conservatives are stark raving bonkers while liberals are basically sane and reality-based.  What explains this case of asymmetric stupidity?


Ezra Klein thinks that the answer lies in group dynamics:  that there is something different about how conservatives arrive at consensus and develop policy.  "Political reasoning doesn't take place inside our heads.  It takes place inside our parties, [...]" he says.  "Republicans and Democrats are similarly prone to partisan self-deception on the individual level, but the weakness of the Republican Party establishment has left the Democratic Party more capable of checking its worst impulses on the national level."  Read Klein's article, because it is deeper and more interesting than I'm representing here.

However, Klein's response seems a bit weak to me overall.  It seems like he's trying to point out something true and very problematic, but without offending conservatives too much.  He won't just come out and say that the Republicans are just psychologically sick.  Or that there is something fundamental going wrong with them as a group.  I think the problem is very much related to something similar to how fears of minority racial status make people more conservative.

Coming to wrong-headed conclusions about something as straight-forward as climate change is one thing.  But nearly nominating Michele Bachmann only to fall back to Herman Cain?  That's bug-nuts insane.

And pushing to repeal Obamacare - a program that Republicans wrote and supported in the past - that seems like a massive bit of political dishonesty.  But supporting Cliven Bundy's crusade to steal from Americans?  That's a clear case of mass psychopathy.

No, the problem goes beyond group dynamics and party structure.  It goes straight to the conservative id - that fearful, Gollum-like creature that dwells in Rick Perry's cranial vacuum and Sean Hannity's vacant chest cavity.  In their minds they see themselves losing on so many issues of the day, descending into the dank, musty caverns of irrelevancy.  They mutter about their Precious - free market economics.

And that's what is driving them to become more conservative than any sane person would become on his or her own.  It's desperation.  It's lashing out in anger and fear.  It's not calm, rational thought.

I wish our pundits would point that out directly instead of seeking comity.

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
* Petition:  equal pay for women

 

Quotations of the Week

"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro, when I go through Las Vegas ... North Las Vegas ... and I would see these little government houses and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids - and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch - they didn't have nothing to do.  They didn't have nothing for their kids to do.  They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.

"And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?  They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.  And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?  They didn't get no more freedom.  They got less freedom.

"They had less family life and their happiness you could see in their faces they wasn't happy sittin on the concrete sidewalk.  Down there they'd be probably growing their turnips.  So that's all government, that's not freedom."
- Cliven Bundy

 

"Where is our colored brother?  Where is our Mexican brother?  Where is our Chinese - where are they?  They're just as much American as we are, and they're not with us.  If they're not with us, they're going to be against us."
- Cliven Bundy

 

"If I say 'negro' or 'black boy' or 'slave,' I'm not - if those people cannot take those kind of words and not be offensive [sic] then Martin Luther King didn't do his job."
- Cliven Bundy

 

Poem of the Week

Ode to Sean Hannity

Aping urbanity
Oozing with vanity
Plump as a manatee
Faking humanity
Journalistic calamity
Intellectual inanity
Fox Noise insanity
You're a profanity
Hannity

 

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

  * A great interview with Kathrine Switzer (I covered her story here)
* Stewart:  on Bundy's negro studies
* A great overview of Camp Bundy
* In Idaho:  primary employers by county
* Really interesting:  Radiolab discusses the US-Canadian border (it's more interesting than you think)
* A printer that prints houses
* 90 days in solitary for buying 5 souls
* OMG:  some dunderhead in Meridian called the police on a free book distribution
* Great advice for interacting with adoptive families
* After awhile, you find yourself rooting for the bull
* Republicans and racism:  all just a big coincidence
* How to drink and not get drunk (serious article - I will be testing it at this week's meeting)
* Don't indict this guy while standing near a precipice

 

Schedule

 

     
May 2 Fri IF City ClubClimate Change, presented by Russ Brown (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
May 3 Sat Truman Banquet, Bennion SUB, social hour at 6PM, dinner at 7PM
May 4 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
May 22 Thurs Roy Zimmerman in concert - 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at Hotel on the Falls

 

Free Food

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 24th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 


SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear otherwise, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls (475 River Pkwy).

[Latest news is that we will be at the Hotel on the Falls for maybe two more weeks.  And the Wild Russet is being renamed the Bee's Knees.]


SPECIAL GUEST!  Please join us this week for a special guest from Pocatello.  Carmen Stanger will join us to talk about bullying of LGBTQ youth, and her efforts with the Add the Words campaign since the death of her daughter Maddie.


So London's Mail on Sunday (aka MOS - a conservative weekly, and a sister paper to London's Daily Mail) published the following hard-hitting piece of journimalism on Easter Sunday:

Yes, they are actually complaining that someone who lied about needing food was given it by a food bank.  I think that means that this coming Soup Kitchen Sunday we will have need of bouncers and bureaucrats to verify that our clients are actually as hungry as they claim to be.

The response has been interesting.  The foodbank has received a surge in contributions.  And there were satirical responses as well:

 

It all reminds me of this great bit by Jon Stewart about how Fox News mocked people who bought seafood with food stamps.

We liberals need to push back on this stupidity when we see it.  It is absolutely insane to oppose social welfare programs just because you find a few examples of people gaming the system (whether intentionally or not).

Our social safety nets have to be healthy and robust enough to help the people who need them, while withstanding a little fraud and abuse.  They should not be required to be free from all fraud and abuse.  And those who demand that our safety nets be cut back until there are no examples of fraud and abuse must be called out for exactly who they are:  greedy, self-centered asses who don't want to help anyone at all.

Unless it's a millionaire rancher who has been stealing from the public for 20 years.  That guy deserves sympathy.

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
* Petition:  equal pay for women
* Petition:  ask Congress to revoke the Boy Scouts of America charter
* Petition:  tell the BLM to enforce the law against Bundy
* Petition:  and another petition

 

Quotations of the Week

"This is the story of our political journalism.  It's like Hollywood journalism now.  A lot can be traced back to when the press decided that its job was to find out who these people are as characters.  And essentially that means catching them in lapses, contradictions, ignoring what fills the Theodore White presidential campaign books, which is issues and places.  It didn't seem like a genius idea to write about rural Virginia in doing a piece for The New Yorker on Obama's first year.  It seemed like, of course that's what we'll do.  We'll go to southern Virginia and see how it's playing out in terms of works projects and people's attitudes.  But hardly anyone else did that.  It shows that our political journalism has become kind of a hot house world.  It's a very powerful world.  TV magnifies it in a big way, distorts it.  But I think most political journalists have forgotten what politics is."
- George Packer

 

Poem of the Week

When They Die We Change Our Minds About Them

When they die we change our minds
about them.  While they live we see
the plenty hard they're trying,
to be a star, or nice, or wise,
and so we do not quite believe them.

When they die, suddenly they are
what they claimed.  Turns out,
that's what one of those looks like.

The cold war over manner of manly
or mission is over.  Same person,
same facts and acts, just now
a quiet brain stem.  We no longer
begrudge his or her stupid luck.

When they die we change our minds
about them.  I will try to believe
while you yet breathe.

 

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

  * Prop 8 lawyer now supports gay marriage (amazing things happen when you have a gay daughter - just ask Dick Cheney)
* A better Family Circus
* It's scientific, we're an oligarchy
* The BSA dumps Geoff McGrath's troop
* Americans and science:  drifting apart
* Badger Houdini
* Coloring book corruptions
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
May 2 Fri IF City ClubClimate Change, presented by Russ Brown (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
May 3 Sat Truman Banquet, Bennion SUB, social hour at 6PM, dinner at 7PM
May 4 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
May 22 Thurs Roy Zimmerman in concert - 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493

 

Thursday Night DL at Hotel on the Falls

 

Using Their Tools

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 17th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 


Plan to join us on May 22nd!

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear otherwise, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls (475 River Pkwy).

[Latest news is that we will be at the Hotel on the Falls for at least two more weeks.  And the Wild Russet is being renamed the Bee's Knees.]


Reminder

This Thursday is the Idaho Humanities Council's 7th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner.  The guest speaker is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns:  The Epic Story of America's Great Migration.  Several of us are attending the dinner, and will miss our Drinking Liberally meeting.  Please carry on, and welcome any new people that might show up.

It may not be too late for you to participate.  Let me know by phone or email if you'd like to join us there.


Here's a great story.  At the public hearing about the removal of Sherman Alexie's book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, from the Meridian school district curriculum, someone presented a petition signed by 350 students in favor of keeping the book.  So two women, Jennifer Lott and Sara Baker, decided to buy 350 copies for those kids.  Go to that link to help out if you like.

It sort of reminded me of the response to the death of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, pictured here.  Both of these are great examples of turning weapons around on people, with a twist that makes it good.

Unfortunately, there are bad examples, too.  We just saw 1,000 teabaggers show up at the Bundy Anti-American Canteloupe Ranch to defend that millionaire's right to feed his cows on public land for free.  Many were armed and belligerent, so the BLM did the smart thing and backed off before innocent people were killed.

And the Second Amendment Absolutists celebrated.  They had used weapons and threats to force the BLM to back down, thus preserving the traditional right of wealthy, white people to steal things without consequences.


But there were two other good examples recently.  Mozilla hired a new CEO, Brendan Eich, who turned out to have been a supporter of California's Proposition 8, and a donor to its defense.  There was an uproar, which resulted in Eich's resignation.

Sure, Eich has a 1st Amendment right to speak his mind on whether people other than him should be allowed to get married (although why he thinks he should do such an immoral thing is beyond me).  But millions of Mozilla users and stockholders also have a right to speak their minds on whether they like the idea of a bigot heading the company.

The free market sure tends to annoy privileged people when it works against them.

But perhaps the best example of using someone's tools against them is also close to home.  The Methodist church that hired Geoff McGrath as its Scoutmaster is using the religious freedom argument against the Boy Scouts of America!  That's right.  They are arguing that the Boy Scouts of America are violating the religious rights of the church by trying to discredit a person that they hired.

I've often raved about how the religious rights argument is being misused and misapplied.  And this case is no different, really.  But by using the the argument against the BSA, perhaps it will bring to light just how lousy that argument is.

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
* Petition:  equal pay for women
* Petition:  ask Congress to revoke the Boy Scouts of America charter

 

Quotations of the Week

"CBS has just declared war on the heartland of America.  No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values [and] conservatives.  Now, it's just wide out in the open.  What this hire means is a redefinition of what is funny and a redefinition of what is comedy."
- Rush Limbaugh, on Colbert taking over the Late Show

 

"Call it 'individualism' or 'libertarianism' or whatever you want, but those who declare themselves a Republic of One and raise their own flags are in a very literal sense being unpatriotic.

That's why I'm alarmed by the support in many conservative precincts for the Nevada scofflaws who have been exploiting public lands for private purposes and refuse to pay for the privilege because they choose not to 'recognize' the authority of the United States.  Totally aside from the double standards involved in expecting kid-glove treatment of one set of lawbreakers as opposed to poorer and perhaps darker criminal suspects, fans of the Bundys are encouraging those who claim a right to wage armed revolutionary war towards their obligations as Americans.  It makes me really crazy when such people are described as 'superpatriots.'  Nothing could be more contrary to the truth."
- Ed Kilgore

 

Poem of the Week

Nails

How did people trim their toenails in ancient times?
The Virgin Mary's toenails look fine
in the paintings of the Italian Renaissance,
and it's a good thing, too, for it would be hard
to worship a figure with very long toenails.
Perugino scoffed at a religion aimed
toward God but whose real attention
was on Mary, but he gave her nice toenails.
I've never looked at Jesus' toenails, even
though they're near the holes
in his feet, where the other nails were.
Cruelty is so graphic and hard to understand,
whereas beauty, even the beauty of a toe,
makes perfect sense.  To me, anyway.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  * John Kerry schools Jim Risch
* The nutjobs are gearing up for war (here's an early confrontation)
* Justice John Paul Stevens says something very reasonable about gun control
* OMG:  a fetal stand-your-ground law!  What next?
* Your Inner Fish (I think it's better than Cosmos)
* An overview of ALEC (thanks, Hollis)
* Romney reappears in Idaho
* Anonymous person updates subway signs
* Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's Home
* … and a cute cover with a great message (the reason for these three links)
* … and there's always the version from Tiny Desk Concerts
* Game of Thrones attack ads
* Unique classical music play
* Yirk it up, mufflesucks.  Jabberwocky astrology - just as accurate as regular astrology, but more interesting to read.
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture - 7pm at the Shilo Inn
Apr 19 Sat 2014-15 "Miss, Ms. & Mr" Southeastern Idaho Pride Pageant (Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Event Center, 777 Bannock Trail, Fort Hall)
May 2 Fri IF City ClubClimate Change, presented by Russ Brown (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
May 3 Sat Truman Banquet, Bennion SUB, social hour at 6PM, dinner at 7PM
May 4 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
May 22 Thurs Roy Zimmerman in concert - 7pm, Unitarian Universalist Church
 
Mon The Nation Discussion Group - every 2nd and 4th Monday, 7:00pm, at Sandy and Merrick Brow's home, 2269 Calkins Avenue, 524‑6230
 
Mon Film for Thought - every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday, 7:00pm, at Marsha and David Nipper's home, 3031 S. Boulevard, 523‑8493