Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Journalism Under Capitalism

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, October 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)
 

This is how VanderSloot's "journalism" outlet covered the story

Today's Post Register had an article about how Frank VanderSloot just lost a lawsuit that he filed against Mother Jones magazine.  The suit was dismissed on summary judgement (i.e., the judge determined that VanderSloot didn't have enough of a case to actually go to trial).

[The Post Register does not allow links into its firewall.  I believe the Idaho Statesman reprint is identical.]

He had filed suit against Mother Jones because he felt that an article that they published and tweets that the author and an editor sent out on the same day (I assume they were promoting the article), were defamatory.  The article from February 2012 said that VanderSloot had outed Peter Zuckerman in one of his Community pages in the Post Register in retaliation for Zuckerman's prize-winning reporting about child sexual abuse in the Teton Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  One of the tweets said "Romney's gay-bashing buddy runs a company that targets stay-at-home moms for misleading marketing scheme.  Charming!"

The judge found that "VanderSloot and Melaleuca failed to show that any of the statements they attacked was false.  It also holds that the statements were protected by the First Amendment, because Mother Jones laid out the facts on which readers could reach their own conclusions."


However, the judge also took some swipes at Mother Jones, and questioned the publication's journalistic integrity.

"... the Court finds Mother Jones' reporting styles, and indeed the general trend in political journalism, troubling.  The Court record and, in particular, (an email from Mother Jones reporter Stephanie Mencimer), illustrates Mother Jones' determination to present a biased article by offering a skewed view of the Plaintiffs.

"... Contrary to its perception of itself, this case illustrates the non-objective bias of Mother Jones and its approach in seeking out only the negative to support its position; resorting to sophomoric bullying and name-calling to lead the reader to adopt its particular agenda."

VanderSloot tried desperately to paint his loss as a victory.  "We were asking for it to be sent to a jury.  The judge gave us so much more than what a jury could have given us.  We were only going to ask for $1 from the jury, so it wasn't about money, it was to clear our name."

So you'd figure that the PR's article would focus on his loss and the embarrassing lack of support for his claims.  After discussing the facts, and giving VanderSloot his time to respond, of course.  With perhaps some analysis of how someone with VanderSloot's wealth is actively attempting to implement policy and influence our judicial and legislative branches.  And how he uses his wealth and influence to instill fear in anyone who thinks about publishing negative information or opinion about him or his activities.

But no.  Fully 60% of the content of the article was devoted to VanderSloot's silly attempt to spin the ruling and on his future plans to continue attacking people.  He is actually setting up a "defense fund" to promote more legal attacks against the "liberal media."  In that sense, he doesn't have to win court cases.  Victory for him is to make it expensive to cross him.  [And I got that 60% rigorously.  I counted words.  Paragraphs 5 through 8, 10 through 14, and 21 through 25, if you want to double-check me.]

So I had an email back-and-forth with Roger Plothow, the Post Register's publisher.  He defended the article, as you might expect.  I encouraged him to take very seriously the perception that the Post Register has as being deferential to VanderSloot.  He suggested that people who thought that way have not been paying enough attention to the full body of reporting that the PR does regarding VanderSloot.

He seemed to be saying that VanderSloot is just as unhappy at the PR's coverage as are people like me.  And I get the impression that Roger feels like finding a balance between those two sides is a sign of success.  Those are just impressions, and not anything that Roger explicitly said.  But as a journalist, he should have explicitly rejected that balance.

An independent press is essential to our freedoms.  That's why I will always be a subscriber.  The local press benefits me greatly, even if I don't actually read the paper.  But our journalists have to be focused on those with power - both governmental and private industry.  And they should be distrustful and aggressive of the motives of those people.

The measure of success here is not based on equally annoying both sides.  "VanderSloot thinks we're too tough on him, and some readers think we're too cozy.  We must be doing it right!"  NO!  That's the definition of failure.  The guy in power should be uncomfortable with your coverage.  Your readers should not suspect that journalists are trying to present a balance between two opposing views.  We are supposed to be happy with the coverage, and he's supposed to be pissed off.  That is success.

In a situation like this, where someone with VanderSloot's wealth is taking a very active role in shaping our public policy in ways that benefit him, his business, and his ideology, our press shouldn't be giving the impression of being overly friendly with him.  If readers conclude that the relationship with VanderSloot is anything other than aggressive distrust, then the press is not doing its job.

This is why journalism is a liberal activity.  It should not be fair, objective, and balanced according to authority figures like VanderSloot.  He is supposed to think that the press is aggressive, distrustful, and full of lies.  In that way, Mother Jones is a better journalistic outlet than is the Post Register.

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.

* Petition:  Retroactive criminal justice reform

 

Quotations of the Week

"Calling yourself color-blind is not progress - it's insulting."
- Toure

 

Poem of the Week

Abeyance

letter to my transgender daughter

I made soup tonight, with cabbage, chard
and thyme picked outside our back door.
For this moment the room is warm and light,
and I can presume you safe somewhere.
I know the night lives inside you.  I know grave,
sad errors were made, dividing you, and hiding
you from you inside.  I know a girl like you
was knifed last week, another set aflame.
I know I lack the words, or all the words I say
are wrong.  I know I'll call and you won't answer,
and still I'll call.  I want to tell you
you were loved with all I had, recklessly,
and with abandon, loved the way the cabbage
in my garden near-inverts itself, splayed
to catch each last ray of sun.  And how
the feeling furling-in only makes the heart
more dense and green.  Tonight it seems like
something one could bear.

Guess what, Dad and I finally figured out Pandora,
and after all those years of silence, our old music
fills the air.  It fills the air, and somehow, here,
at this instant and for this instant only
-perhaps three bars-what I recall
equals all I feel, and I remember all the words.

Rebecca Foust
 

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

  * A really scary article on the GOP
* I may have to admit I was wrong:  Jeb Bush may be finished
* Combat vets shoot down the myth of "good guys with guns"
* Thomas Merton on sanity
* White people explain why they feel oppressed
* The Post Register has been sold
* 6 audio clips from the Planned Parenthood hearings
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
* ... and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

       
Oct 8 Thurs IF City Club - Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Prosperity, Priorities and Promises:  The Path to INL's Future is Linked to the Decisions We Make Today (noon - 1:30pm, Bennion SUB)
Oct 14 Wed The Constitution in Our Time:  Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler:  Freedom of Religion, a Kentucky Clerk and the Right to Refuse Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples, Trinity United Methodist (237 North Water Avenue), 7-8:30pm, $10 (and very cheap at that price)
Oct 21 Wed The Constitution in Our Time:  Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler:  The Exercise of Presidential Power:  Uses and Abuses, Trinity United Methodist (237 North Water Avenue), 7-8:30pm, $10 (and very cheap at that price)
Oct 28 Wed The Constitution in Our Time:  Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler:  The 14th Amendment, Equal Protection and Birthright Citizenship, Trinity United Methodist (237 North Water Avenue), 7-8:30pm, $10 (and very cheap at that price)

 


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

 

Special Guest Host!

I'm out of town - again.  But I didn't want you all to go without your fix of sanity again.  So this week we have a special guest host:  Hollie.  Please join her at the usual time and location.

And remember:  The Bee's Knees has procured a new liquor license.  For those of you who enjoy a nice cocktail or some straight-up liquor, those drinks are once again available.

And also remember that Dr Adler's series on the Constitution continues on Wednesdays.  This week's topic is the wisdom of term limits.  Do yourself a favor and go to this event.  It is very worthwthile.

Enjoy your week, and we'll catch up next on October 8th.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Poem of the Week

Ghosts and Fashion

Although it no longer has a body
to cover out of a sense of decorum,

the ghost must still consider fashion-

must clothe its invisibility in something
if it is to "appear" in public.

Some traditional specters favor
the simple shroud-

a toga of ectoplasm
worn Isadora-Duncan-style
swirling around them.

While others opt for lightweight versions
of once familiar tee shirts and jeans.

Perhaps being thought-forms,
they can change their outfits instantly-

or if they were loved ones,
it is we who clothe them
like dolls from memory.

Elaine Equi
 

No DL Meeting This Thursday

 

No Meeting This Week

I'm out of town - attending the national Living Liberally conference in Cincinnati.  And you could gather informally, if you were so inclinded.  However, there is a better thing to do this Thursday:

One other bit of news for you:  The Bee's Knees has a new liquor license.  For those of you who enjoy a nice cocktail or some straight-up liquor, those drinks are once again available.

Enjoy your weekend!

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 


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.

 

Special Event: Dr Adler on the Constitution

 

The Constitution in Our Time:  Conversations with Dr. David Adler

   Special Event:
  Date Thursday, September 24th
Time 7 to 8:30pm
Place Museum of Idaho at 200 N Eastern Ave
 

 

You do not want to miss this event.  Hollis and I attended a series given by Dr Adler on the notorious Supreme Court decisions.  He could speak for two hours without notes on Plessy v Ferguson, and make it sound like a movie.  This will be fascinating.

Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the first two events, but I won't miss the last three.  The third event looks especially good.

The following is the official blurb from the Sun Valley Institute.


Constitutional scholar Dr David Adler will deliver five public lectures on constitutional issues confronting the American people.  Adler's Constitutional Conversations are co-sponsored by the Museum of Idaho and The Sun Valley Institute.  The 90-minute sessions will be held at the Museum of Idaho, from 7-8:30pm, on the following days.  Each session costs $10 per person.  Seating is limited.

Sept 24 Thurs The Constitutional Ideals and Principles of the Founding Fathers.
Sept 30 Wed Shall We Amend the Constitution to Impose Term Limits on the Supreme Court?
Oct 14 Wed Freedom of Religion, a Kentucky Clerk and the Right to Refuse Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples
Oct 21 Wed The Exercise of Presidential Power: Uses and Abuses
Oct 28 Wed The 14th Amendment, Equal Protection and Birthright Citizenship
 

Dr Adler has lectured nationally and internationally on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and presidential powers. His non-partisan, scholarly writings have been widely cited and quoted by the U.S. Supreme Court, federal court judges, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the U.S. Attorney General, the White House Counsel, Legal Adviser to the State Department, law professors, historians and political scientists. He is the author of more than 100 scholarly articles in the leading journals of his field, and several books, including: The Constitution and the Termination of Treaties; the two-volume study, American Constitutional Law; The President and the Law: The Clinton Legacy; The Constitution and the Conduct of American Foreign Policy, and the forthcoming work, Debating the War Powers.

Adler has taught courses on the Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court at all three of Idaho's universities. At Idaho State University, he taught in the Department of Political Science and served as Director of the Center for the Study of the Constitution. At the University of Idaho, he held the James and Louise McClure Professorship, held a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and the College of Law, and was Director of the James and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research. At Boise State University, he held appointment as the Cecil D. Andrus Professor of Public Affairs and served as Director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy. Adler is the President of the Sun Valley Institute, a non-partisan, 501 3 (c ) organization dedicated to advancing civic education, civic engagement and civil dialogue.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 


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

 

Profitable Discrimination

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, September 17th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

A fun and worthwhile activity

Thanks to all who showed up at the first ever Idaho Falls Laughing Liberally last week.  Quite a success  - apart from a certain set that was abruptly cut short.  Turns out that we were lucky that I did that - the Shilo shut us down just as our headliner was wrapping up.

Also, thanks to all who made it to the Roy Zimmerman concert last Saturday.  That was awesome as usual.

Please let me know what you thought about all of the Pride events.  We want it to keep growing and getting better.  What would you change?  What went well?  Perhaps next year, the members of Drinking Liberally can play a bigger role.


So with Pride weekend finally over, I came up for air.  Some things had happened that I was unaware of.  Google changed their logo (and formed a new corporate entity).  Rick Perry was the first casualty of the GOP primary season.  And I found out that there's this person named Kylie Jenner, who seems to have no discernable reason for being talked about.


When will Elizabeth Warren run for president?  Is she young enough to consider a bid in 2024?  I certainly hope so.  Another 8 years of doing wonderful things ... she'll be like a female Bernie Sanders.  Unstoppable.

Her latest issue is credit checks by employers on their potential employees.  That is a great issue to crack down on.  Kind of minor in the grand scheme, but one of the hundreds of tiny issues that are collectively weighing us down.


The thing is, there probably is a correlation between people with bad credit history and negative characteristics - from an employer's perspective - like on-the-job theft and longevity.  A shallow, nonthinking employer can look at the statistics and decide that it will pay to run credit checks.  And in a sense, the employer is right.

There is no doubt a similar correlation between minority status and those negative characteristics.  The same logic that justifies running credit checks will justify discriminating against blacks.

Neither of those should be allowed just because they are true.  The existence of a correlation is not enough reason to justify acting on that correlation.  Except in a one-way exchange in which one party has all the power (e.g., employers over employees).  When one party has all the power, then blindly discriminating is an easy (if shallow) way to make decisions that do pay off.

But that is not valid thinking in a fair and just society.  First correlation is not causation.  It seems more likely that the negative qualities exist due to a long history of discrimination than that the discrimination should exist because of the negative qualities.  Capitalism is happy to bank on existing disparities and differences without taking any responsibility for correcting those disparities (even those disparities that it created).  That's why socialism is important.

Second, the companies should look for better ways to screen candidates than such simplistic environmental factors.  At least in a society that seeks to bring out the best in people rather than to assign people to permanent categories of achievement.  Economies that are forced to abandon shallow measures like race and economic factors will actually improve in the long run.

It just takes a little long-term thinking, and a little self-reflection - two things that are hard to come by in modern America.  Capitalism does not promote much long-term thinking.  And conservatism lacks all self-reflection.

Elizabeth Warren keeps hitting all the right notes.  We just need to unlock the fear and emotionalism of the modern conservative.  No small task, that.


If you're up for it, you can do some good for SPAN Idaho, the suicide prevention organization.  They're holding a fun run.  Click on the picture above for more info.

It's being held on Saturday, Sept 19th, at 9am in Freeman Park (at the bandshell).  5k run or walk.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Quotations of the Week

"We can protect the Second Amendment and legitimate gun owners, but we also need to protect people. How many young, innocent people have to die before this nation comes to its senses?"
- Gov Andrew Coumo

 

"Look at that face!  Would anyone vote for that?  Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?"
- Donald Trump, about Carly Fiorina

 

Poem of the Week

Enough

Enough seen ... Enough had ... Enough ...
-Arthur Rimbaud

No.  It will never be enough.  Never
enough wind clamoring in the trees,
sun and shadow handling each leaf, never enough clang
of my neighbor hammering,
the iron nails, relenting wood, sound waves
lapping over roofs, never enough
bees purposeful at the throats
of lilies.  How could we be replete
with the flesh of ripe tomatoes, the unique
scent of their crushed leaves.  It would take many
births to be done with the thatness of that.

Oh blame life.  That we just want more.
Summer rain.  Mud.  A cup of tea.
Our teeth, our eyes.  A baby in a stroller.
Another spoonful of crème brûlée, sweet burnt crust crackling.
And hot showers, oh lovely, lovely hot showers.

Today was a good day.
My mother-in-law sat on the porch, eating crackers and cheese
with a watered-down margarita
and though her nails are no longer stop-light red
and she can't remember who's alive and dead,
still, this was a day
with no weeping, no unstoppable weeping.

Last night, through the small window of my laptop,
I watched a dying man kill himself in Switzerland.
He wore a blue shirt and snow was falling
onto a small blue house, onto dark needles of pine and fir.
He didn't step outside to feel the snow on his face.
He sat at a table with his wife and drank poison.

Online I found a plastic bag complete with Velcro
and a hole for a tube to a propane tank.  I wouldn't have to
move our Weber.  I could just slide
down the stucco to the flagstones, where the healthy
weeds are sprouting through the cracks.
Maybe it wouldn't be half-bad
to go out looking at the yellowing leaves of the old camellia.
And from there I could see the chickens scratching-
if we still have chickens then.  And yet...

this little hat of life, how will I bear
to take it off while I can still reach up?  Snug woolen watch cap,
lacy bonnet, yellow cloche with the yellow veil
I wore the Easter I turned thirteen when my mother let me promenade
with Tommy Spagnola on the boardwalk in Atlantic City.

Oxygen, oxygen, the cry of the body-and you always want to give it
what it wants.  But I must say no-
enough, enough

with more tenderness
than I have ever given to a lover, the gift
of the nipple hardening under my fingertip, more
tenderness than to my newborn,
when I held her still flecked
with my blood.  I'll say the most gentle refusal
to this dear dumb animal and tighten
the clasp around my throat that once was kissed and kissed
until the blood couldn't rest in its channel, but rose
to the surface like a fish that couldn't wait to be caught.

Ellen Bass
 

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

  * "I was one of those people who thought he had a lot of rights":  Ben Carson on his violent temper
* 10 ways white liberals perpetuate racism (sorry for the click-bait headline, but it's a good read)
* Economic showdown:  Obama vs Reagan
* Why Scott Walker should give up
* A scary development in the Kim Davis saga
* Who said it:  Donald Trump or Lucille Bluth?  (I love Arrested Development, so I got 100%; I'd be interested in scores for people who never watched that show)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
* ... and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

       
Sept 19 Sat SPAN Idaho Awareness Run Freeman Park shelter, 9am
Sept 24 Thurs IF City Club - John Grossenbacher, Lab Director at INL, A Bold Approach:  The Future of INL (noon - 1:30pm, Bennion SUB)

 

Laughing Liberally This Thursday!

 

 

Laughing Liberally!

   Special Event:
  Date Thursday, September 10th
Time 8 to 10pm (don't be late!)
Place Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd (in the Riverwest Room)
 

No real notice this week - too busy with Pride preparations.  But here are the Pride activities to consider.

Please, please, please come to the Laughing Liberally event this Thursday.  I have no idea what to expect for attendence, and am very nervious.  This event is costing some bucks, and you all will make my day if you turn out in large numbers.  Let's make sure that we can do this again next year.

Also, for the same reason, please come out to hear Roy Zimmerman's concert on Saturday.  You will not regret it - he is hilarious.

And remember - the best deal is to buy a wristband to get access to all the events.  They're on sale now at Healing Hands and the Colonial box office.  Or buy them at any of the venues (like when you show up at Laughing Liberally!).

******************** Thursday, Sept 10th ********************

Laughing Liberally
Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd
8pm
$10 at the door ($5 with student ID) or wristband *

Stand-up comedy from Boise, Pocatello, and Idaho Falls - an informal kick-off event for the Pride weekend, co-hosted by Idaho Falls Drinking Liberally.  Not necessarily kid-friendly.

********************* Friday, Sept 11th *********************

Swag Party
Healing Hands (429 B St)
4pm - 7pm

Come grab some Pride swag!  You don't want to show up for the IF Pride Parade looking all unfabulous, do you?  Stop by on your way to the Opening Night show at the Colonial Theater, since it's right around the corner!

Opening Night Concert
Colonial Theater (498 A St)
6:30pm social hour, 7:30pm show
$10 at the door ($5 with student ID) or wristband *

Spectacular tribute performance by Erika Gaga and her crew.  Erika prides herself on not only giving her most intricately genuine 100% live impersonation of Gaga, but focuses on spreading her Born This Way message of love, freedom, & acceptance.

******************** Saturday, Sept 12th ********************

Idaho Falls Pride Parade
Unitarian Universalist Church (555 E St) to the Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd
10:30am gather, 11am start

New route will take us from the UU Church along the greenbelt and across the Broadway bridge and up the river to the back patio of the Shilo Inn.  There will be free transportation back to the UU starting at 1pm.

Idaho Falls Pride Festival
Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd
11:30am - 3pm

Join us for a party on the back patio of the Shilo Inn!  Vendors, kid's games, and music by Hot Flash.  Drinks and food available from Keefer's Island.  Free shuttle service available to transport you back to the start of the parade route starting at 1pm.

Roy Zimmerman in Concert
Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd
7pm - 8:30pm
$10 at the door ($5 with student ID) or wristband *

Come enjoy Roy Zimmerman's amazing comedic songs in his first Idaho Falls Pride performance!  CDs available.

Idaho Falls Pride After Hours
Shilo Inn at 780 Lindsay Blvd
9pm - midnight
$10 at the door ($5 with student ID) or wristband *

Dance the night away in Idaho Falls's only LGBTQ-friendly venue.  Don't miss the drag show starting at 9:30pm!

* Wristband option:  get into all events for one discounted price - $30 ($15 with student ID)

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 


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

 

 

Opinions Are Worthless

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, September 3rd
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Next Thursday, September 10th - we will not have a regular DL meeting.  Instead, join us at the Shilo Inn for the first ever Idaho Falls Laughing Liberally!  This is the unofficial opening event of Idaho Falls Pride.  We have some semi-professionals coming over from Boise (including Matt Bragg from last year's Idaho Pride Tour).

The show starts at 8pm, and will cost $10 (a bargain!).  But wait!  If you buy a Pride Wristband for $30, you get in to all the events - Laughing Liberally, the official opening event on Friday night at the Colonial Theater, the Roy Zimmerman concert on Saturday, and the Pride After Hours dance party that follows.

Please join us for the first event of the best damn Pride event ever held in Idaho Falls.


Sunday, Sept 6th, is Soup Kitchen day.  Join us if you can.


Thursday night there will be a public hearing regarding the city budget.  I won't be upset if you go.  (It's at the Idaho Falls City Hall Annex at 7:30pm.)  From the latest happenings on the city council (Sharon Perry announcing her retirement) and from the back and forth on the opinion page of the Post Register, there may be some fireworks.  It could be interesting.


Let's get two things clear.  I don't care what your opinion is.  Second, your opinion is not every bit as good as mine.  Not necessarily, anyway.

One reason that I can tell that the conservatives are feeling demoralized and desperate - besides the obvious things like losing elections, Obamacare, marriage equality, being outed for racism over flags and police violence, general population trends, etc - is that I am hearing a lot more comments like these:

"Well, that's just my opinion."

"Can't a person have an opinion?"

"Just because you disagree with someone's opinion doesn't make them wrong!"

Comments like these are the death-spasms of mortally wounded arguments.  And I feel like I'm hearing them a lot more lately. Subjective, I know. But back to the point ...


First, I really don't care what someone's opinion is.  I care mostly about what that person does with that opinion.  Is that opinion forced on others in the form of laws or policies?  Does that opinion reflect badly on my community, or harm individuals within my community?  Does that opinion fool fool people into voting Republican?

You can hold any opinion you want, and I don't care.  But if you try to do anything bad with your opinion, then it matters.

Second, opinions can be shitty, and can be held for shitty reasons.  I do care about that, because I want to know who I can trust to behave decently and fairly.

Unless the matter is one purely related to personal taste, opinions should be based on reason and evidence.  You should be able to back up your opinions with facts and logical argument when challenged.  If you can't and you resort to "it's just my opinion," then your opinion sucks.

Not all opinions are equal.  There are opinions based on reality, and opinions based on emotion and wishes.  The former are much better than the latter.


Kristin Gazaway is completing her move to Boise this weekend, and needs some help packing up the larger items in her house.  If you've got a chance, please lend her a hand.  Ten in the AM on Saturday, at 100 E 16th St.


If you're up for it, you can do some good for SPAN Idaho, the suicide prevention organization.  They're holding a fun run.  Click on the picture for more info.

It's being held on Saturday, Sept 19th, at 9am in Freeman Park (at the bandshell).  5k run or walk.


This coming Labor Day weekend, there will be a celebration to honor Joe Hill down in Salt Lake City.  Joe was the famous Wobblie song writer, executed in Utah in 1915 on charges of murder.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Quotations of the Week

"They tell you that there's a war on women.  There is no war on women.  There may be a war on what's inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country."
- Ben Carson

 

"... regardless of what anyone says or thinks, the real world is at least partially knowable, and ... it's therefore possible (and undesirable) to have a false belief. ...

"But that simple commitment to not talking nonsense is a minority taste, outside working hours.  Yes, the minority that has that taste is in some ways dominant; since you can't build either arguments or dams that hold water without observing it, both our lawyers and our civil engineers observe noncontradiction in their professional lives.  That applies to anyone who actually has to reason accurately - either to make stuff work or to convince sensible decision-makers - with respect to the things he or she has to reason accurately about. ... even a young-earth creationist has to suspend his Sunday beliefs while working as a petroleum geologist.

"Most of the time, though, people aren't at work, and much of what they think and talk about has little if any relevance to practical decisions in their own non-working lives.  Freed of the need to think rationally, most people seem to prefer the alternative. - And lots of them don't mind if their politicians act the same way, especially when reciting some self-evident falsehood can be depicted as showing 'loyalty' or some other virtue.

"The deepest mistake is to regard someone who acts as if he doesn't give a damn whether anything he says is true, or consistent with what he said yesterday, as stupid.  That's the mistake many liberals made (and some still make) about George W.

"As far as I can tell, Donald Trump simply isn't bothered by holding and expressing utterly inconsistent beliefs about immigration, or for that matter denying obvious facts in the face of the crowd that witnessed them.  Of course Trump is going to say the Bible is the most important book to him, and of course his voters are going to expect him to say it:  doing so demonstrates piety.  The fact that he can't cite a single verse doesn't bother him; that's in a different mental compartment.  And it doesn't much bother most of his voters, either."
- Mark Kleiman

 

Poem of the Week

Tell Me Something Good

You are standing in the minefield again.
Someone who is dead now

told you it is where you will learn
to dance.  Snow on your lips like a salted

cut, you leap between your deaths, black as god's
periods.  Your arms cleaving little wounds

in the wind.  You are something made.  Then made
to survive, which means you are somebody's

son.  Which means if you open your eyes, you'll be back
in that house, beneath a blanket printed with yellow sailboats.

Your mother's boyfriend, his bald head ringed with red
hair, like a planet on fire, kneeling

by your bed again.  Air of whiskey & crushed
Oreos.  Snow falling through the window:  ash returned

from a failed fable.  His spilled-ink hand
on your chest.  & you keep dancing inside the minefield-

motionless.  The curtains fluttering.  Honeyed light
beneath the door.  His breath.  His wet blue face:  earth

spinning in no one's orbit.  & you want someone to say Hey ... Hey
I think your dancing is gorgeous.  A little waltz to die for,

darling. You want someone to say all this
is long ago.  That one night, very soon, you'll pack a bag

with your favorite paperback & your mother's .45,
that the surest shelter was always the thoughts

above your head.  That it's fair-it has to be-
how our hands hurt us, then give us

the world.  How you can love the world
until there's nothing left to love

but yourself.  Then you can stop.
Then you can walk away-back into the fog

-walled minefield, where the vein in your neck adores you
to zero.  You can walk away.  You can be nothing

& still breathing.  Believe me.

Ocean Vuong
 

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

  * Trump is setting the agenda
* Trump supporters aren't the brightest voters in the polling booth
* Meet the chumps donating to Trump
* Climate change, up close and personal
* We are irrational beings
* Anne Thériault's The Feminist in the Wild
* This is a little old, but new to me:  Special Olympian shames Ann Coulter
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
Sept 5 Sat Joe Hill Centennial Celebration - SLC
June 6 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Sept 10-12 Thu-Sat Idaho Falls Pride
Sept 19 Sat SPAN Idaho Awareness Run Freeman Park shelter, 9am
Sept 24 Thurs IF City Club - John Grossenbacher, Lab Director at INL, A Bold Approach:  The Future of INL (noon - 1:30pm, Bennion SUB)

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Defending a Teabagger

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, August 27th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 



Click to embiggenate

Dammit, I hate putting on my contrarian hat.

If you know me, or if you've read my meeting notices, you know that I don't have much respect for libertarian philosophy.  But I have to defend the guy in this graphic that's being spread on Facebook.  [Assume for argument that the guy really is a teabilly libertarian type who normally bad-mouths government services and socialism in general.]

Since when does being a libertarian mean that someone is required to be an asshole towards public servants?  The guy's house was apparently threatened, and he responded to the firefighters with grace and decency.  What's wrong with that?

Is he being hypocritical?  Of course not.  To think that, you'd have to believe that he doesn't think that forest fires should be put out.  But I doubt that's his position (the only people who seriously think that are some extremist environmentalists).  He likely believes two things:

  1. That if lands were in private hands, the owners would take better care of it and prevent such catastrophic fires
  2. That a private fire suppression system would be better and more cost effective

Neither of those ideas is serious in my book.  Very silly things to believe.


But neither belief precludes him from thanking fire fighters.  Libertarians don't necessarily think that the services currently performed by government are not worth doing (though they probably can name lots of services that they do think are unnecessary.)  For lots of services, they just think that private enterprise will do a much better job.  Things like fire suppression fall in that category.

It's like one of the standard arguments that I hear about libertarian conservatives - that they shouldn't use the roads if they hope to be consistent with their beliefs.  Nonsense.  They paid for those roads just like everybody else, and have as much right to use them.  They just think that our transportation system could be developed/maintained in a better way.

I also hear a similar bogus argument from Christians regarding atheism.  If I'm an atheist, then I shouldn't be using our paper money because it has "In God We Trust" written on it.  That's just ludicrous.  I'm supposed to harm my own wellbeing by refusing to use currency because of something written on it that I don't think should be there legally?

So anyway - don't mock that guy.  He's doing something decent and gracious.  And don't use bad arguments against libertarians or conservatives.


If you're up for it, you can do some good for SPAN Idaho, the suicide prevention organization.  They're holding a fun run.  Click on the picture for more info.

It's being held on Saturday, Sept 19th, at 9am in Freeman Park (at the bandshell).  5k run or walk.


This coming Labor Day weekend, there will be a celebration to honor Joe Hill down in Salt Lake City.  Joe was the famous Wobblie song writer, executed in Utah in 1915 on charges of murder.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Quotations of the Week

"What I was talking about was the specific case of fraud being committed where there's organized efforts, and frankly, it's more related to Asian people coming into our country and having children in that organized effort."
- Jeb Bush, on his earlier comments regarding "anchor babies"

 

"As I have long stated, we are so tied in with China and Asia that their markets are now taking the U.S. market down.  Get smart U.S.A.! ... Markets are crashing - all caused by poor planning and allowing China and Asia to dictate the agenda.  This could get very messy!  Vote Trump."
- Tweets from Donald Trump

 

Poem of the Week

Mercy Beach

Stony trails of jagged beauty rise
like stretch marks streaking sand-hips.
All the Earth has borne beguiles us
& battered bodies build our acres.

Babes that sleep in hewn rock cradles
learn to bear the hardness coming.
Tough grace forged in tender bones-
may this serve & bless them well.

They grow & break grief into islands
of sun-baked stone submerged in salt
kisses, worn down by the ocean's ardor
relentless as any strong loving.

May they find caresses that abolish pain.
Like Earth, they brandish wounds of gold!

Kamilah Aisha Moon
 

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

  * Clinton email faux-controversy
* Why fiscally conservative, but socially liberal is bullshit
* Debt is Good (Krugman)
* George Will has championed the modern, classless GOP for decades; now he's whining about Trump
* Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for Katrina response
* The guy that Trump is hurting the most
* "Religious freedom," taken too far
* Sad Puppies lose big at the Hugo Awards (thanks, Andy)
* Overheard at the Muslim-free shooting range:  "Dayum, Jed, I just shot myself!"
* Project Sunroof (not available yet in our area, but you can sign up for notification)
* Bad Lip Reading the GOP debate
* Jeb is part black
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
Sept 5 Sat Joe Hill Centennial Celebration - SLC
Sept 10-12 Thu-Sat Idaho Falls Pride
Sept 19 Sat SPAN Idaho Awareness Run Freeman Park shelter, 9am

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Miscellany

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, August 20th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

If you're up for it, you can do some good for SPAN Idaho, the suicide prevention organization.  They're holding a fun run.  Click on the picture for more info.

It's being held on Saturday, Sept 19th, at 9am in Freeman Park (at the bandshell).  5k run or walk.


This coming Labor Day weekend, there will be a celebration to honor Joe Hill down in Salt Lake City.  Joe was the famous Wobblie song writer, executed in Utah in 1915 on charges of murder.


I cannot recommend a recent This American Life program highly enough.  Episode #562, "The Problem We All Live With," is about an unintentional instance of integration that happened in Ferguson, Missouri just two years ago.  It's horrible story about how we educate our kids, and how we really try hard not to educate black kids.

The follow-up story in Episode #563 is worthwhile, too.  It tells the story of a successful school integration program in Hartford, Connecticut.




The late Renae Stallings, with Richard

I only met Ranae Stallings (1943-2015) a couple times, and never had a long conversation.  But she seemed like the nicest person you'd ever meet.  This is from the Post Register's obituary:

Ranae Stallings passed away unexpectedly and peacefully due to complications from diabetes in her Island Park home on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015 at the age of 72.

Ranae is survived by her husband, Richard Stallings of Island Park, Idaho and Mesquite, Nev.; children, Rik (DeAnna) Stallings of Logan, Utah, Sallianne (Clark) Duncan of Bountiful, Utah, and Daniel (Ethel) Stallings, of Pocatello, Idaho; siblings, Leann Gustin and Ray Garner; and seven grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents Lester and Wilma Garner of North Ogden, Utah.


Ranae was born on March 11, 1943 in Ogden, Utah to Lester and Wilma Garner while her father was serving overseas in World War II. She met her father for the first time at age two when he returned home from war.

[...]

While living in the Rexburg area, Ranae worked as a legal secretary and served in various LDS Church callings. She particularly loved her time as Primary president. In 1984, Richard was elected to the United States Congress, and in 1985, Ranae accompanied Richard to Washington D.C. where she volunteered in his office, scheduling meetings and assisting constituents.

Following Richard's tenure in Congress, they moved back to Idaho where Ranae worked for the Bannock County Sheriff's Office. After retiring, Rich and Ranae divided their time between Island Park and Mesquite.

[...]

Rest in peace, Mrs Renae Stallings.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Quotations of the Week

"It will go down someday as the greatest reality show ever conceived.  The concept is ingenious.  Take a combustible mix of the most depraved and filterless half-wits, scam artists and asylum Napoleons America has to offer, give them all piles of money and tell them to run for president.  Add Donald Trump.  And to give the whole thing a perverse gravitas, make the presidency really at stake."
- Matt Taibbi

 

"Imagine that you're sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don't get any.  So you say "I should get my fair share."  And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, "Everyone should get their fair share."  Now, that's a wonderful sentiment - indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place:  that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also.  However, dad's smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn't solve the problem that you still haven't gotten any!"
- GeekAesthete

 

Poem of the Week

Postal

Amy, I was almost run down by a car
after buying my lunch today.
It was the postal police.
I was almost hit by the postal police.
This is not a joke.
There is a police force dedicated to the postal service
(the US Postal Service, mind you).
They race around in cars,
they chase down postal villains,
investigate postal crimes
unearth hidden postal agendas.
Conspiracies that they bring to their postal lieutenants
who summarily tell them to let it go, to stop obsessing,
take a vacation, some time off, you're too close to it,
it happens to the best postal policeman, that's what the
        lieutenants say.
(Potato soup and a chicken sandwich, if you're curious).
I think you should apply, Amy.
I think you would do well.
I think they would give you a hat.
Something jaunty that can handle your hair expertly.
You'd cover the hat with stamps from every country in the world
They would give you a pea coat, I think.
Like the one that you've already got, but more policey.
You would look fucking great in that coat.
Not every country, mind you.
Just the ones that sound like they have decent views
of the country side
and a healthy attitude towards outgoing, independent women.

B. C. Edwards
 

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

  * The GOP clown car, as only Taibbi can describe it
* Trump the moderate
* #AllLivesMatter:  the rebuttal
* A great idea for handling drunk drivers
* Identity politics, explained
* Death of a man, death of a bear
* What was the main cause of the Civil War? (sorry that this is from Dennis Prager's Prager "University")
* Anti-gay baker loses again
*  ... and that Kentucky clerk is still being belligerent
* Hilarious:  funny guy poses as Target customer support
* Mathematics:  a new tiling of the plane
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
Sept 10-12 Thu-Sat Idaho Falls Pride
Sept 19 Sat SPAN Idaho Awareness Run Freeman Park shelter, 9am

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Bernie and #BLM

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, August 13th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 



This is how y'all look saying #AllLivesMatter

Hmmmm ... what to talk about this week?  Trump vs Megyn Kelly, or Bernie Sanders and #BlackLivesMatter?  Since the former doesn't matter in the least, let's go with Bernie and #BLM.

So the #BlackLivesMatter supporters (or a few people who say that they are #BLM supporters) have been disrupting rallies for Bernie Sanders.  They have jumped up on stage and demanded to speak - which Sanders has allowed.  They've apparently gotten a little belligerent at times, calling one audience racist for a booing reaction.

It's been a delicate situation for Sanders, but he seems to be handling it well, releasing a new platform on the issue of racial equality in the past couple of days.

It has bothered me a bit that people are wringing their hands in worry about this, suggesting that this is hurting Sanders's campaign, or hurting the Democratic chances in general.  Specifically that the #BLM movement has come under criticism from some on the left for some perceived harm.  I don't think there's any evidence of this.


In fact, these disruptions have brought Sanders more press than he'd gotten by holding these massive rallies in the first place.  Secondly, it's a great opportunity for him to show leadership (which he seems to be doing) and to earn the support of a lot of fired-up, motivated people.  I can see this helping him greatly.

But to see liberals questioning the whole #BlackLivesMatter movement - that is the painful thing.  To see one set of good people objecting to the behavior of another set of good people working to correct some very serious and longstanding problems in our country - that is what poses a danger to continued progress and to the moral of the Democrats.

One question that I see asked is "why Bernie?"  As if it's baffling to see people pressing their case in front of a person that stands a pretty good chance of pulling off a surprise victory in the Dem primaries and then becoming President.  These people are focusing on Sanders for very good reasons.

First, trying to do this at a GOP candidate's event would be a complete waste of time.  Imagine the response of the GOP and its base to blacks disrupting one of their rallies:  "See!  Black thugs taking over!  Rude, malicious, and seeking handouts!  Just like blacks to expect us to fix their problems!"  When hateful ignoramuses like Trump are making threats, there's no reason to protest there.

Second, Bernie is drawing the crowds.  Hillary Clinton is maintaining her stealth-leader role.  You go where the people are.

Anyway, Sander's is benefitting from these protests.  And the issue being raised by #BLM is damn important.  Let's stop fighting against ourselves.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Quotations of the Week

"The thing is, income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things.  If people voluntarily buy more of your stuff, you'll have more money."
- Rand Paul

 

Poem of the Week

The Dark Hills

Dark hills at evening in the west,
Where sunset hovers like a sound
Of golden horns that sang to rest
Old bones of warriors under ground,
Far now from all the bannered ways
Where flash the legions of the sun,
You fade—as if the last of days
Were fading, and all wars were done.

Edwin Arlington Robinson
 

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

  * Thoughtful comments on the Bernie/#BlackLivesMatter issue
* I'm late posting this, but here's a compare/contrast on Caitlyn & Rachel
* Watch this:  How to Race Bait
* Cartoon:  If global warming is real, explain that!
* Bristol Palin attacks Erick Erickson for attacking Donald Trump for attacking women
* ALEC's man in Washington (they hope)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

       
Aug 14 Fri Birthday Party for Social Security - Laborers Training Center (580 W 19th St) 7pm
Aug 15 Sat Pizza and Politics (Bonneville Democrats), Papa Tom's Pizza, noon
Aug 16 Sun Annual PFLAG Potluck Dinner, 4pm, Kate Curley Park
Sept 10-12 Thu-Sat Idaho Falls Pride
Sept 19 Sat SPAN Idaho Awareness Run Freeman Park shelter, 9am