Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at Hotel on the Falls

 

Groupal Disfunction

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 10th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 




Letter in today's Post Register

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear that the Wild Russet has had its liquor license reinstated, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

Plan to meet there for the near future.

Also, let me know if you actually prefer meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

[The Wild Russet is being painted this week, hopefully to open sometime next week.  If it opens by Wednesday, we'll be back there on April 17th.  However, that is the night of the Idaho Humanities dinner, so it may be a slow night at DL.]


 

Reminder

The Idaho Humanities Council is holding their 7th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner on April 17th.  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.  If there is any interest, I'd like to put together a Drinking Liberally table.  Please let me know if you are interested in this event.

Again, the event is being held on Thursday, April 17, 7pm, at the Shilo Inn.

I now have at least another half-table full of DL members who will be going.  I'd like to fill that table - please consider joining us!


 

It's been brought to my attention that last week's notice was a little more religious than political.  Which is true.  I tried to bring it around to something more general, without a whole lot of success.  So I apologize in advance for starting out this week with a religious topic.  I promise that the point is more general.  And you can trust me because I'm bringing it around to the letter to the editor that is pictured above.

Last weekend was General Conference for those of the LDS faith.  And they had some very brave women protesting in Temple Square to get the church to open the priesthood to women.  The Church closed the area to the press in order to prevent coverage of the protest.

I ended up discussing the topic on a friend's Facebook page.  The standard answer given by the Church and its defenders is that women have been bestowed with the gift of being able to give birth.  Since they are so blessed, the priesthood is one of the responsibilities given to men.  Different responsibilities and authorities, but equal in the long run. Men get to run the Church, but women get to pump out babies.

What fascinated me about the discussion was that one woman came in to the discussion specifically to object to the fact that people outside the church were expressing interest.  I explained my reasoning, and then she said this about why she didn't think it necessary for her to care:

I was raised LDS and I am not what you could call a current, card carrying, church goer.  I honestly don't care if the church does or does not give women the priesthood.  I don't care because of this simple reason.  I know, as a woman, I have all I need now without somebody ( male or female) telling me what to believe or what I want.  I don't lack anything because I'm a woman.  I do believe in prayer, God, and some mythology and I try to do good.  I am just happy keeping my side of the street clean.  I resent that some women are trying to tell me how I "should" feel in the religion.  I also don't need a man to tell me I am just as important as a man.  DUH!!I know who I am, what I can do, and where I come from.

Notice the difference.  She considers herself a strong woman who doesn't need a man to grant her equality.  She basically ignores men who want to lecture her on her role.  Which is great, in my book.

But she resents women who are asking for equality.  She later suggested that resentment was too strong a word, but that she does still react to men and women differently:

I have known women who have had bad experiences and yes I am harder on women than I am men when it comes to that.  A woman cannot be made to feel inferior unless she allows it.  It's our responsibility as women to own our feelings and own our beliefs even in a patriarchal environment.  If a woman chooses to give her power away because some ego with feet and different gender tells her too, that's her problem.

So the point of all this - a point that goes way beyond religion - is that I continue to be amazed at the way that certain movements/philosophies get people to attack people very much like themselves for the purpose of defending the movement/philosophy.  Here we have a patriarchal religion that discriminates against women, and women are often the most vitriolic in their attacks on their sisters who are working to end the discrimination.  The woman commenting above just thought the male leadership was the male leadership - "What can you do?" Just ignore them.  But those women protesters?  They need to shut up.  They need to be stronger.  They are the problem.

We see that same dynamic in politics.  We all know people - some of whom are relatives - who berate those on welfare, but who don't mind the extreme 1% who are really milking the system.  Their anger is limited to those most like themselves.  And not only do they blame the poor and disadvantaged, but they blame those people who are working to fix the problems that we are all suffering from.  They hate the do-gooders, the intellectuals, the community activists, and they object to the regulations put in place to protect them.

And we have all experienced the viewpoint expressed by Beth Beazer Ryan (from the pictured letter above):  women who blame other women for the failures of men.  That's the same twisted mental state, really.  If only the members of her own group would behave better, problems would vanish.

I keep returning to the post I did about system justification theory.  And while that theory helps explain why people in disadvantaged classes often tend to defend the system that is harmful to them, and to rationalize just why they are not seeing the same success as others, I don't know if it goes the half-step further to explain why members of those disadvantaged classes turn on one another.  How do people begin to blame people within their own class - especially those working to eliminate the inequalities?

And a related mystery is why only the right seems to be good at capitalizing on this dynamic.  They mobilize and capitalize a large portion of the lower economic and social classes through lots of approaches (e.g., Teabaggers) to defend the rights and privileges of the upper classes.  Why can't the left have the same success?  Or do they?

Anti-feminist women.  Working-class haters of the poor.  Pro-Jesus conservatives.  Even Log Cabin Republicans.  Are there any similar self-hating groups on the left?

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:  equal pay for women

 

Quotations of the Week

"I was in Ohio recently and everyone there actually seemed perfectly normal.  I was left with a sense that the fundamental right wing is relatively small, though frighteningly dominant.  The problem with America is that it's always been an almost-great nation, always held back from true greatness by the strata of cretins that overlay the society.  At this stage, they've become heavily integrated into the political system and all levels of the federal government, not to mention the media.  Identity politics, like party politics and religion, is divisive and at its heart irrational.  The response of the Right is not to change its policies but to rid itself of intellectual coherence."
- Kara Vallow

 

"Humans are irrational, and their evaluation of scientific claims is just as subject to their irrationality as anything else.  Liberals are just as subject to this universal human failing as conservatives.  The aggrieved liberal parents who swear that vaccines are the reason their children developed autism, even when scientific research soundly refutes this, are every bit as pigheaded as any Republican science denier.  They get their information from the Internet, from a few non-mainstream researchers who continue to challenge the scientific consensus, and from people like Jenny McCarthy, who has made a cause of championing such misinformation.  Conservative anti-vaxxers come to it ideologically from the 'the gum'int can't tell me to vaccinate' standpoint, but Liberals seem more likely to buy into it for real, as they do with homeopathy and that mysterious 'toxins' can be 'flushed out' of our bodies.  They engage in conspiracy-mongering about metal dental fillings, or the Trilateral Commission Traded Vaccine Panic to the Freemasons for Fluoridated Water, or a conspiracy to be named later."
- Kara Vallow

 

"But while I'm happy to condemn the anti-vaccine loons who really do represent a threat to public health as just plain unscientific and wrong and SO ANNOYING, they have had nothing like the influence on the Left as the global-warming deniers have had on the Right.  Republican voters are vastly more likely than Democratic voters to poo-poo the scientific consensus that global warming is brought about by human activity, maybe because of an inexplicable and unwavering bias in favor of business and industry.  A Democratic candidate publicly supporting polio vaccines may fire up a few misinformed wackaloons, but a Republican candidate decrying manmade global warming will be primaried before the mic goes cold."
- Kara Vallow

 

Poem of the Week

Thief

I remember the hour
you stole time from me

and here in these late pages
I try to collect back

the kisses in the parking lot
that erased my history

next to that green F-150
when you became my future.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  * Idaho's Top 10 Embarrassments of the Idaho legislative session
* Watch the viral video - watch the Captain Disillusion debunking - watch the retaliatory response
* Fascinating:  study shows only the opinions of the rich matter
* Is Christie cooked?
* A damn good interview with Kara Vallow, animator for Cosmos (you should read the whole thing, given that I quoted from it three times above)
* How to fold a life-size origami elephant
* Just how deep is the transponder?
  * 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 3 Sat Truman Banquet, Bennion SUB, social hour at 6PM, dinner at 7PM
 
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

 

More Deepities

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 3rd
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 




"Nowhere in the Holy Bible have I found a word of condemnation for the operation of slavery, Old or New Testament.  If slavery was so bad, why didn't Jesus, Paul or the prophets say something?" - Arkansas state representative Loy Mauch (Republican)

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear that the Wild Russet has had its liquor license reinstated, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

Plan to meet there for the near future.

Also, let me know if you actually prefer meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

[I have now heard that Wild Russet will be open sometime next week.  If it opens by Wednesday, we'll be back there on April 10th.]


 

Reminder

The Idaho Humanities Council is holding their 7th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner on April 17th.  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.  If there is any interest, I'd like to put together a Drinking Liberally table.  Please let me know if you are interested in this event.

Again, the event is being held on Thursday, April 17, 7pm, at the Shilo Inn.

I now have at least another half-table full of DL members who will be going.  I'd like to fill that table - please consider joining us!


 

I've been watching some philosophical videos lately - relating to the abortion debate, and to apologetics, and other things.  It's a rather dangerous pastime, because you subject yourself to some really horrible arguments.  This video, for example, is about presuppositional apologetics.  That is the philosophical position that the existence of reason, knowledge, and morality implies (or presupposes) the Christian god.

If you don't see how that makes any sense, then believe me you're not alone.  It is designed to be a purely logical argument for god.  That is, it has no need for fact or observation because it relies on a simplistic (though disingenuous) logical proof.  The gist of the argument is that as conscious humans we try to understand the world around us using our reason and logic.  But how do we know that our reason and logic are trustworthy?  How do we establish the accuracy and reliability of our reasoning?  We have to evaluate those faculties using our reason and logic.  So we are trying to use reason and logic to prove reason and logic.


Proponents of presuppositional apologetics claim that is visciously circular, and that therefore we cannot actually be certain of knowing anything at all.  They insist that we can't be confident in our reason and logic - and therefore, we can't be sure that we understand anything in our world - without some outside standard for what is reasonable and logical.  Apparently, it's only the Christian god that can provide that standard.  Presuppositionalists claim that god imbues us with this gift, and without it nothing can make sense.

Technically, there is a difference between the presuppositionalist position and the related transcendentalist arguments.  That last part about how god has imbued us with the ability to have perfect logic, reasoning, and morality is what sets the two apart.  The difference is interesting, but kind of beyond the scope of a party invitation.

The video I linked to above will introduce you to Sye Ten Bruggencate - one of the prominent presuppositionalists.  He is one very slick debater.  Which is not to say that he's peddling anything other than bullshit.  [Here is an audio interview with him conducted by Alex Botten where you can marvel at Ten Bruggencate's weird philosophy and his dishonest debating style.  Botten eventually destroys Ten Bruggencate, but not after falling victim to what are essentailly semantic pitfalls.]

It's often hard to argue against positions like presuppositionalism.  The reason is that the supporter has actually abandoned all the rules of logic in formulating the argument.  He has snuck his conclusion in with his premises in a clever way that seems convincing to those who already buy the conclusion.  Since the proponent has abandoned logic from the outset, logical refutation becomes more of a he-said/she-said affair.

But I can offer an analogy.  Presuppositionalism is akin to making the argument that language must be impossible because we need words to form definitions and we need definitions in order to use words.  That is circular and therefore we can never speak (unless some gift is given to us by some outside force).  In fact, circularity like that is a normal part of consciousness.  There are many examples in human development.  How do we generate a notion of self as our brains develop?  The concept would seem to require that we understand that others exist and are separate from us.  But how can we conceive of the existence of others without having the concept of self first?  Psychology is full of boot-strapping notions that seem circular, but which most humans easily navigate as they mature.

A simple mechanical analogy is found in most vehicles sold today.  Let's say you take your car in to the shop because the check engine light is on.  The mechanic looks up the error code and informs you that you have a fault in the diagnostic computer itself.  He replaces the diagnostic computer element, and you're good to go.

But how did the car's computer diagnostic system find a fault in the diagnostic system?  Would Sye Ten Bruggencate object that if the computer diagnostic system were faulty, then we can't trust its detection of a fault in itself?  That unless it's perfect, it can't do its job at all?  Apparently he would.

Ten Bruggencate fails to recognize that we validate our reason and logic all day every day for our entire lives through our interactions with each other and the environment.  The fact that we have arrived at middle-age adulthood relatively safely (with only a few minor scrapes and bruises) - with the ability to function with our fellow society members - is a valid testament to the success of our reasoning and logical abilities.  Our internal computers must be working pretty well if we can navigate and function successfully in today's complicated world.

In any event, it is disingenuous to fail to recognize that circularity is a regular feature of reality, or to use it to rationalize the existence of some supernatural power.

The fact is that reality is actually circular at it's most fundamental nature.  We have very weird physics that come into play at the edges of time and space; those counterintuitive physical laws seem to exist precisely because reality cannot be reduced to a simplistic and intuitive laws that match our day-to-day experience.  At the furthest expanses of the universe, we have relativity theory that limits how far we can see and how much we can experience on a grand scale.  Those laws tell us that time and space and gravity conspire to limit our ability to directly experience the edges of the universe.  At the other end of the space-time scale, quantum physics and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle do much the same thing.  The Big Bang and black holes have event horizons beyond which we cannot observe.  Nature includes built-in circularities and singularities that provide natural limits to how we can experience the extreme edges of nature itself.

To a large degree, I think the process of becoming mature is the process of recognizing and coming to terms with circularity, grey areas, and the lack of absolutes.  And certain people have such a need for simple, straight-forward answers without messy unknowns that they cannot function without their presuppositions.

Do you presuppose you can join us and discuss this further tomorrow night?

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

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

* Handy email service:  Megavote

 

Quotations of the Week

"Americans are so wonderfully, sincerely down-to-earth, we have trouble believing it.  To the cynical British mind, any genuine pleasure in meeting a new person is a sign of potential mental illness.  But Americans actually want to make new friends.  They want to get along with you, stranger.  It makes one's life infinitely more interesting to have an American around, because you meet EVERYONE.  It's like permanently going through life with a puppy, or the latest iPhone."
- Tom Cowell, a British man, on the perils and pleasures of being married to an American

 

"To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."
- Antonin Scalia, in Employment Division v. Smith, where he decided that religious liberty does not exempt one from following the law

 

"Hobby Lobby pays millions of dollars to stock their shelves with cheap products made in China, a country where abortion is legal and is even provided by the government for free - when they aren't forcing it on women who want their babies.  It is impossible to accept that the company is unconditionally opposed to a voluntary form of preventive health care that obviates the need for an abortion, while supporting a system that encourages abortion outright.  If Hobby Lobby can do business with China when the profit motive compels them to, they cannot simultaneously pretend that an American woman having access to an insurance policy that includes coverage for contraception is some sort of abomination against their Lord."
- Mark

 

Poem of the Week

A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918

I have wanted other things more than lovers …
I have desired peace, intimately to know
The secret curves of deep-bosomed contentment,
To learn by heart things beautiful and slow.

Cities at night, and cloudful skies, I've wanted;
And open cottage doors, old colors and smells a part;
All dim things, layers of river-mist on river-
To capture Beauty's hands and lay them on my heart.

I have wanted clean rain to kiss my eyelids,
Sea-spray and silver foam to kiss my mouth.
I have wanted strong winds to flay me with passion;
And, to soothe me, tired winds from the south.

These things have I wanted more than lovers …
Jewels in my hands, and dew on morning grass-
Familiar things, while lovers have been strangers.
Friended thus, I have let nothing pass.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  * A shining light representing everything the Boy Scouts stand for (Dave McGrath's brother makes national news)
* How do Republicans get away with fighting early voting?
* The ACLU's take on the ACA v. Hobby Lobby hearing
* Is Hobby Lobby hypocritical?
* You're in luck!  A new True Facts video!  ("The interestingness of an animal is proportional to how hard it is to find its butthole.")
* An Idaho teabagger newsletter
* Secular Coalition of America grades our politicians (How did Idaho do?  Four Fs.)
* Really good economic video
* Take this religion quiz and see if you can beat this atheist
* The Idiot's guide to smart people (more Idiot's guides here)
* 7 hints for better sleep
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Apr 6 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
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)
 
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

 

Grammar Nazi, Part VI

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 27th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear that the Wild Russet has had its liquor license reinstated, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

Plan to meet there for the near future.

[I have heard that Wild Russet will be open on April 1st - but how can I trust that?  If true, we'll be back there on April 3rd.]


Reminder

The Idaho Humanities Council is holding their 7th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner on April 17th.  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.  If there is any interest, I'd like to put together a Drinking Liberally table.  Please let me know if you are interested in this event.

Again, the event is being held on Thursday, April 17, 7pm, at the Shilo Inn.


Bringing you up to date with the Grammar Nazi:


First, a pet peeve:  useless punctuation in lists like the one above.  There is no need for commas separating the list items if they are already separated physically.  Nor do you need a period after the last item.  The reader will understand that it's a list and where it ends.  And that's the prime directive of grammar:  do what makes sense and communicates efficiently without causing confusion.  No extraneous crap.

Which brings up my second point.  I don't understand why we abbreviate versus the way that we do.  We are supposed to use v. in legal citations and vs. in general usage.  But why?  There is no other common v-word abbreviation that would cause confusion.  Why should we have the s at all?  I'm asserting my privilege as Grammar Nazi and using v. exclusively from now on.

Here's a new one for me.  The word for a person who owns or runs a restaurant is restaurateur.  I had always used the incorrect restauranteur.

How about the difference between flyer and flier?  One's a person or thing that is flying, and the other is a handout.  Which is which?

The proper plural for octopus is octopodes, although octopuses is widely accepted.  Octopi is nonsense.

Britney Spears is a perfect anagram for Presbyterians.

Bemused does not mean amused.  It means pensive to the point of preoccupation.

Disburse means pay out money.  Disperse means to spread out.

Irreparable means "a condition or situation that can't be fixed." Stress on the second syllable [ir-REP-arable].  Irrepairable refers only to mechanical things that cannot be repaired.  Stress on the third syllable [irre-PAIR-able].  Most of the time, you want ir-REP-arable rather than irre-PAIR-able.

Go ahead and use literally figuratively.  People have been using it as an intensifier for literally a million years, and it's OK.

Finally, here's a humorous set of educational videos on grammer (even if they get literally wrong):  Glove and Boots.

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

"When you buy a cross at Hobby Lobby, you are helping to pay for abortions in China."
- The Rude Pundit

 

"As a matter of public policy, I'm skeptical of same-sex marriage because I think it instantiates (or ratifies, since obviously we've been headed down this road for a while) a public meaning of marriage that's too formless and open-ended to do the very specific job that the institution evolved to do:  To bind and channel heterosexual desire in ways that are specific to the nature of procreation, and that aim to offer as many children as possible the opportunity to grow up in an intimate community with their mother and their father."
- Ross Douthat

 

Poem of the Week

A Parisian Roof Garden in 1918

As I must mount to feed those doves of ours,
Perhaps you too will spend nocturnal hours
        Upon your roof
        So high aloof
That from its terraced bowers
We catch at clouds and draw a bath from showers.
Before the moon has made all pale the night,
Let's meet with flute and viol, and supper light:
A yew lamb, minted sauce, a raisined bun,
A melon riper than the melting sun-
A flask of Xeres, that we've scarce begun
We'll try the " lunar waltz " while floats afar
Upon the liquid night-night's nenuphar.
Or else, with senses tuned alike perchance,
Reclining love will make the heavens dance;
And if the enemy from aerial cars
Drops death, we'll share it vibrant with the stars!

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  * Hard-hitting piece on abortion rights:  Words have meaning
* Good idea?  How to abolish the electoral college.
* The other big Obamacare hearing (more here)
* Generic brand video
* Tell me all the bad words you know … Go!
* Very gripping fire rescue
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Mar 29 Sat IHC Bookfair at B&N - a portion of sales go to support the Idaho Humanities Council
Apr 6 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture - 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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

 

Agnotology

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 20th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear that the Wild Russet has had its liquor license reinstated, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

Plan to meet there for the near future.


Vocabulary Enhancement

Your new word for the week:  agnotology.  It is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.

One notable example of the application of agnotology is the misinformation campaign waged by the tobacco industry to oppose regulation and health warnings (and that industry - including some of the same actors - is now devoted to climate change denialism).

Other examples include the mortgage crisis of 2007, the life work of the Koch brothers, and the raison d'etre of Fox News.


Idaho Humanities Council Day at Barnes & Noble

Ed Marohn and the Idaho Humanities Council are looking for volunteers to donate two hours of their time on Saturday, March,  29th to staff a table for their annual Barnes & Noble Fundraiser, where a percentage of shoppers' proceeds benefit the Idaho Humanities Council.  If you can help, contact Ed at ecmida@cableone.net or 419-7345.


A Favor for LeFavour

Nicole LeFavour has asked us in Eastern Idaho for a little help.  You may have heard about the tragic suicide of Maddie Beard in Pocatello this past February.  Maddie's mother, Carmen Stanger, has joined another mother in a lawsuit against the state of Idaho for failing to protect their children.


If you read the comments there, you will see that Ms Stanger is getting some pushback from some members of the public.  Nicole asked that we help support Carmen in public forums where this case is discussed.  As this case plays out in the news, please look for ways to show your support for her courage and her cause.


ACLU Club of Idaho Falls

Had a great initial meeting for a new group devoted to discussing the work of and lending support to the ACLU.  It was oganized by Leilani Beard, and I think it was a first for the state.  The ACLU has a program for forming support groups at colleges - but nothing for those of us not attending school.  So Leilani took it upon herself to get this group up and running.  We discussed the importance of being an active citizen, the work of the ACLU, ideas for action, and the recent outreach and educational activities of the Idaho affiliate.

We intend this to be a monthly activity - on the third Wednesday of the month - and I will do better to let you know about the next meeting.  And btw, the title above is not official.  I just made it up.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

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

* Handy email service:  Megavote
* Petition:  Add the words, Idaho
* Petition:  Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr

 

Quotations of the Week

"I did not abandon my faith because I was hurt or angry or disillusioned.  I did not abandon my faith because I wanted to rebel, or live a life of sin, or refuse god's authority.  I left because I could no longer believe.  I left because I felt there simply was no convincing evidence for my belief.  I left because my faith insulted reason one too many times.  I left because once I applied the same level of skepticism and incredulity to Christianity that I always had to all other faiths, it likewise imploded.  Once I accepted that the Bible's account of cosmic and human origins could not possibly be true, I began to realize that it was just the first in an interminably long line of things the Bible was wrong about."
- Brandon Fibbs

 

"When the forms of an old culture are dying, the new culture is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure."
- Rudolf Bahro, East German dissident and philosopher

 

"A little while ago,
we honored the work
during the civil rights era
-an era I lived thru
As a little girl
different from the others...
I am grateful for the basic human rights
Accorded me and my mom and dad
Who spoke for
My Grandma and me
And our community
It has been a long time
others different than many of us
have asked to be heard.
It is my hope
(very fervent hope)
That these people who are different
But bleed like we all do
Be heard
And the 4 words be added
So all of God's children
Are treated as equals
Because (in America)
We all ARE"
- Rep Sue Chew

 

Poem of the Week

The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie -
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find - it's your own affair -
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone - wherever it goes - for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long -
So why in - Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

 

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

  * Big science news
* ... and watch this:  a guy receiving the news that he will win the Nobel Prize in physics in a few years
* Conservatives seeking special treatment again
* House Dems demand Issa's removal (and GOP ignores)
* Can we have a second Progressive Era?
* Laughable:  Louisiana is suing MoveOn
* Oh shit!  We missed the white man's march.
* Neat graphic:  watch 1000 years of European borders
* Mark Levin is a real ass
* Four good, short videos on humanism (narrated by Stephen Fry)
* Neat juggling
* Neil Degrasse Tyson in slow motion (hilarious!) (here's the original)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Mar 19-23   Treefort Music Festival in Boise
Mar 29 Sat IHC Bookfair at B&N - a portion of sales go to support the Idaho Humanities Council
Apr 6 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture - 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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

 

Worse Than Ted Nugent

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 13th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Hotel on the Falls at 475 River Pkwy
 




Teabaggers take a selfie at CPAC

SPECIAL LOCATION:  Until I hear that the Wild Russet has had its liquor license reinstated, we will be meeting at the Hotel on the Falls.

Plan to meet there for the near future.


A couple of musical events coming up.  First, the Idaho Falls Yoga Co-op is hosting an exciting event next Tuesday night:

Boise's Sun Blood Stories (psychedelic, blues, garage rock) are headed on a mini-tour and Idaho Falls is stoked to have them back!  Joining them are none other than Portland's Sad Horse (funpunk duo).  If you missed their show here last September, time to join the party!  Local rapper and pop star extraordinaire Leaf Raker will be joining us as well and potentially more to be announced!

Second, Boise's music festival – Treefort – is being held at the end of next week (March 19-23).  More than 17 venues hosting over 350 bands from around the country, a film festival, a storytelling festival, a comedy festival, and a beer festival, all rolled into one 5-day event in the capital city.


There are a few people I strongly disagree with.  Conservatives, especially.  But for the most part, the ones I interact with are decent people who I get along fine with, otherwise.  We can be friendly.  There are some that I even respect and enjoy.  In general, though quite a few conservatives have gotten extreme, I don't feel a huge animosity towards them as a group.  Conservatives are probably necessary, in some sense.

My other philosophical endeavor, atheism, is similar.  I tend to disagree strongly with theists, but I really enjoy most of the theists in my life.  And the ones that are more challenging are still kind of fun.

Even the combination of the two – conservative theists – aren't so bad.  They are wrong about practically everything and I want to see every idea of theirs defeated.  But they are nice people for the most part, in spite of being deluded.

Libertarians are annoying, but kind of fun to talk with, too.  You have to admire their consistency, if not their simplicity.

It is possible to have a decent conversation with any of these people.

Racists are in a different class.  It is a little more difficult to deal with them.  There is a measure of disgust.  Still, unless one is a direct threat to someone, I can carry on a discussion with them.

There is one group that comes at or near the bottom of the list.  People that I cannot bear the thought of trying to interact with.  Any member of the Men's Rights Activist movement.  Honestly, you will never meet a scummier group of people in the world than MRAs.  Hatred is not too strong a word for what I feel for the entire group and all its members.

As an example, consider the recent court case in Massachusetts.  The state Supreme Court had ruled that existing laws against peeping did not cover a situation in which some perv had been arrested for taking up-skirt photos of unsuspecting women.  Most normal people were outraged.  So the state acted quickly and made such actions explicitly illegal.

The MRAs responded like so:

Who thinks like that?  Who thinks that a rule saying you can't take upskirt photos is such a burden?  An assault on personal liberty – or at least a burden worse than the burden of fear that women feel because of the mere existence of such cretins?  Not only do they think that way, but they say it out loud, too.


I suggest that such people are even more unhinged, more morally untethered, than someone like Ted Nugent.  Sure – he's a simplistic moron who hurts his cause every time he opens his mouth.  But the MRAs?  They seem like serial-killer creepy to me.

Their attitude reminds me very much of the concept of selfish freedom.  They think their individual right to act in creepy, stalkerish ways is more important than the personal safety of an entire class of people.  In fact, they twist the argument into one where a law protecting women is actually taking away womens' agency.

In my homily on atheism last year, I discussed the problem that atheism/skepticism has with libertarians and anti-feminists.  And the worst of the worst of the intersection of those two groups is populated by MRAs.

Fair warning.  MRAs are the scummiest cretins and the most cretinous scumbags that you will ever come across.  I just wanted to get that off my chest.

See you Thursday!

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:  Add the words, Idaho
Petition:  Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr

 

Quotations of the Week

"You know, I'm getting really tired of the schtick of so many people that they are 'socially liberal, but fiscally conservative'  In a country where the primary social challenge of our time is the obscene wealth of the privileged few and the growing economic inequity, you don't get to separate those two so neatly anymore:  you are not socially liberal, you are not in favor of equality and opportunity, if you're associating yourself with the poisonous economic policies of the rabid right."
PZ Myers

 

Poem of the Week

Glutton

Ropes of my dead
Grandmother's unreproducible

sausage, curing for weeks

on the front porch.  My mother,
thoroughly

Americanized, found them

vaguely shameful.
Now though I

taste and taste

I can't find that
taste I so loved as a kid.

Each thing generates the Idea

of itself, the perfect thing that it
is, of course, not–

once, a pear so breathtakingly

succulent I couldn't
breathe.  I take back that

"of course."

It's got to be out there again,–
… I have tasted it.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  President Obama on Between Two Ferns
Fukushima, 3 years later
The economics of prostitution
Are the millenials leaning right?
Neat graphic
How's your stomach?
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Mar 14 Fri IF City Club:  Education – Our Economic Foundation, by Rod Gramer, President & CEO of Idaho Business for Education (IBE) (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Mar 18 Tues Sun Blood Stories / Sad Horse at the Idaho Falls Yoga Co-op, 8pm
Mar 19-23   Treefort Music Festival in Boise
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture – 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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

 

Add the Words

 

Add the Words in Idaho Falls!

SPECIAL EVENT:
  Date Monday, March 10th
Time 7:30pm
Place Veterans Memorial on Memorial Drive (intersection of Memorial & D St)
Bring Candles, signs, bodies, kids, cameras, songs, warm clothes, & good cheer!
 

Idaho statewide vigils are being held tomorrow night after work (Monday, March 10th) to end lawmakers' silence.

The Idaho Falls vigil is on the Greenbelt next to the river on Memorial drive at 7:30 pm and participants are being asked to bring candles.

This is our chance to help our friends in Boise.  Bring signs if you can, but your body is the most important thing.  WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!

Cheers,
Dan

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Thursday Night DL at Wild Russet

 

Making Excuses by Blaming Everyone

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 6th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Wild Russet at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

My Facebook post of the week:

In case you're not familiar with all of the references in that paragraph, it covers the following insane GOP legislative positions recently in the news:

  • the new "ag gag" bill that makes illegal the filming of animal abuses without the permission of the animal's owner
  • the Luker bill that would have permitted forms of discrimination based on "sincerely held religious beliefs,"
  • the new law that would allow concealed-carry weaponry on university campuses in Idaho
  • and the failure of a bill that would have removed the existing religious exemption that allows people to kill their kids if they refuse to seek medical attention for religious reasons

[Forgive me for not looking up and providing links to each of those – I just don't have the stomach for it tonight.]


For some strange reason, the ag gag bill has not gotten the insane defense that the other legislative farces have.  Almost no conservatives have mounted spirited defenses of that law, as far as I've seen.  However, I did get one spirited defense of the bill on my Facebook post.

To be clear, my commenter did not defend the law itself.  She merely objected to the law in a way that allowed her to blame all legislators rather than just the immoral ones.  And that pisses me off.

I've noticed this behavior quite often on the right.  Democrats do bad things and they blame liberals. Republicans do bad things, and they blame politicians.

In the case of the post above, my friend kept claiming that the bill was a problem only because it was redundant rather than because it was an immoral and blatant pandering to industry.  She actually claimed that we didn't need the bill because we already had whistleblower protections in place.  As if the ag gag bill were protecting whistleblowers by providing them safe lodging in prison cells.

The back-and-forth led me to the following analogy:

Imagine that you have one neighbor that cuts across your property to help an old woman on the other side, and the other neighbor walks across your property to throw his garbage in your back yard. It seems like your position is to object that too many people are crossing your property rather than to object to the one that is doing harm.

It seemed obvious to me that she was scrambling to find some reason to reject the obviously immoral law without objecting to the GOP.  So her objection took the form of all legislators do stupid things because we have too many laws (which is a silly thing to say, anyway).

Ah well.  Just another bad habit on the part of conservatives, I guess.  Unless we do it to.  Can anyone think of any examples on our side of the spectrum?

Join us this week at Drinking Liberally and share!

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:  Tell Otter, Crapo, and Risch to help remove the religious sheild law that protects parents who kill their kids with prayer
Petition:  Add the words, Idaho
Petition:  Keep guns off Idaho campuses
Petition:  Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr

 

Quotations of the Week

"It started with Benghazi.  When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression."
Sen Lindsey Graham (R – Lying Idiot

 

"We are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we're not having a negotiation.  Instead, all that's left is the timing of the final victory – and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose."
Ross Douthat (conservative columnist)

 

"The gay movement has really brought this on themselves.  These African countries have only been concerned about passing these laws after the global homosexual movement started pushing their agenda in these very morally conservative countries.  What looks like offensive action by these governments is really defensive … We were invited by these African countries when they were confronted with the problem.  And frankly, a lot of this comes down to male – you know, white male homosexuals from the United States and Europe going into these African countries because the age of consent laws are low and able to take these, you know, young, teenage boys and turn them into rent boys for the price of a bicycle.  And that just outraged the people in these countries."
Scott Lively

 

Poem of the Week

Postcards

When was the last time you mailed a postcard?

My mother kept the ones I sent her.  My sister mailed them back

to me after my mother died.  I had forgotten I had written

so many small notes to my mother.  The price of stamps

kept changing.  I was always mentioning on the back of cards

I was having a good time.  I can remember the first time

I lied to my mother.  It was something small maybe the size

of a postcard.  I went somewhere I was not supposed to go.

I told my mother I was at the library but I was with Judy

that afternoon.  Her small hand inside my hand.

I was beginning to feel something I knew I would never write

home about.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  A great video about the real welfare recipients
Good news from Texas
… and more good news from Texas
When may I shoot a student? (a BSU professor in the NY Times
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Mar 14 Fri IF City Club:  Education – Our Economic Foundation, by Rod Gramer, President & CEO of Idaho Business for Education (IBE) (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture – 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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 Wild Russet

 

Is Religious Freedom Dead?

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 27th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Wild Russet at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


Texas state senator makes a typo
(or perhaps it was Freudian)

More good news this week!  First, a federal judge in Texas has ruled that Texas's Constitutional marriage ban is, in fact, unconstitutional.  No gay wedding bells in the near future, though, as the decision was stayed while appeals progress, but still … Texas!

And over in Arizona, Jan Brewer does the right thing!  She vetoed the right-to-discriminate bill.  I have to believe that she lied about her reasons – which were likely 100% economic.  But still … Arizona!

Watch this interview of Arizona Republican State Senator (and gubernatorial candidate) Al Melvin by Anderson Cooper.  The guy cannot be more dishonest and shameless.  It's actually kind of embarrassing.  Kodos to Cooper for keeping up the questioning.


It's been fascinating to watch the right as they rolled out the concept of "religious liberty" as a method to hide their bigotry (although the term has a long history of similar service).  It reminds me of the invention of the "intelligent design" term to cover up their previous failure (creation science).  Some are saying that the religious liberty approach has been an obvious failure, but I'm not that optimistic.

That's because the religious freedom argument is being used in so many different ways.  It's being invoked to fight the corporate mandate in Obamacare (to allow Hobby Lobby to impose the religious views of its owner onto its employees).  It's also being used to try and institute the idea that pharmacists can refuse to dispense medicine that they think might be used to murder little embryo babies.  I doubt that we've seen the end of this tactic.

But meanwhile, Albert Mohler, leader of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was recently speaking at BYU and explaining that evangelicals and Mormons will be sent to jail together while defending religious freedom.

The good news is that Albert Mohler is trying to build a relationship with the Mormons at all.  He's the guy who said this:

"Here is the bottom line.  As an Evangelical Christian – a Christian who holds to the 'traditional Christian orthodoxy' of the Church – I do not believe that Mormonism leads to salvation.  To the contrary, I believe that it is a false gospel that, however sincere and kind its adherents may be, leads to eternal death rather than to eternal life.

"Indeed, I believe that Mormonism is a prime example of what the Apostle Paul warned the Church to reject – 'a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you.'"

So you know that the bigoted haters are getting desperate when they are forging bonds even when they can't stand one another.

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:  Tell Otter, Crapo, and Risch to help remove the religious sheild law that protects parents who kill their kids with prayer
Petition:  Add the words, Idaho
Petition:  Keep guns off Idaho campuses
Petition:  Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr

 

Quotations of the Week

"The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what?  A warrior.  A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies 'cause he's coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.

And I believe now – I've checked this out – I believe that sword he'll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15."
Gen Jerry Boykin (former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under President Shrub, current executive vice president at the Family Research Council)

 

"… the 'religious liberty' campaign represents a sort of Waterloo for right-wing nutbaggery."
Ed Kilgore

 

"Those in control of this state need to stop fighting the future.  They must stop governing by fear.  They must stop pretending there's some security blanket in laws that treat others unfairly."
Kirk Watson (Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman)

 

Poem of the Week

At the Touch of You

At the touch of you,
As if you were an archer with your swift hand at the bow,

The arrows of delight shot through my body.

You were spring,
And I the edge of a cliff,
And a shining waterfall rushed over me.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  Guess what?  Boise police say that their nondiscrimination ordinance is working.
7 – 0
Idaho corruption, ctd
How to think better
Five disturbing facts about Stand Your Ground implementation
Heart-warming video of the day:  best buddies (for Hollis)
Shroud of Turin
Read how a bug-nuts insane woman describes Frozen
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
… and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

     
Mar 2 Sun Soup Kitchen – join us from 11:30am – 2pm
Mar 14 Fri IF City Club:  Education – Our Economic Foundation, by Rod Gramer, President & CEO of Idaho Business for Education (IBE) (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture – 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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 Wild Russet

 

Is Religious Freedom Dead?

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 27th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Wild Russet at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


Texas state senator makes a typo
(or perhaps it was Freudian)

More good news this week!  First, a federal judge in Texas has ruled that Texas's Constitutional marriage ban is, in fact, unconstitutional.  No gay wedding bells in the near future, though, as the decision was stayed while appeals progress, but still … Texas!

And over in Arizona, Jan Brewer does the right thing!  She vetoed the right-to-discriminate bill.  I have to believe that she lied about her reasons – which were likely 100% economic.  But still … Arizona!

Watch this interview of Arizona Republican State Senator (and gubernatorial candidate) Al Melvin by Anderson Cooper.  The guy cannot be more dishonest and shameless.  It's actually kind of embarrassing.  Kodos to Cooper for keeping up the questioning.


It's been fascinating to watch the right as they rolled out the concept of "religious liberty" as a method to hide their bigotry (although the term has a long history of similar service).  It reminds me of the invention of the "intelligent design" term to cover up their previous failure (creation science).  Some are saying that the religious liberty approach has been an obvious failure, but I'm not that optimistic.

That's because the religious freedom argument is being used in so many different ways.  It's being invoked to fight the corporate mandate in Obamacare (to allow Hobby Lobby to impose the religious views of its owner onto its employees).  It's also being used to try and institute the idea that pharmacists can refuse to dispense medicine that they think might be used to murder little embryo babies.  I doubt that we've seen the end of this tactic.

But meanwhile, Albert Mohler, leader of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was recently speaking at BYU and explaining that evangelicals and Mormons will be sent to jail together while defending religious freedom.

The good news is that Albert Mohler is trying to build a relationship with the Mormons at all.  He's the guy who said this:

"Here is the bottom line.  As an Evangelical Christian – a Christian who holds to the 'traditional Christian orthodoxy' of the Church – I do not believe that Mormonism leads to salvation.  To the contrary, I believe that it is a false gospel that, however sincere and kind its adherents may be, leads to eternal death rather than to eternal life.

"Indeed, I believe that Mormonism is a prime example of what the Apostle Paul warned the Church to reject – 'a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you.'"

So you know that the bigoted haters are getting desperate when they are forging bonds even when they can't stand one another.

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:  Tell Otter, Crapo, and Risch to help remove the religious sheild law that protects parents who kill their kids with prayer
Petition:  Add the words, Idaho
Petition:  Keep guns off Idaho campuses
Petition:  Raise the minimum wage to $15/hr

 

Quotations of the Week

"The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he's coming back as what?  A warrior.  A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies 'cause he's coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.

And I believe now – I've checked this out – I believe that sword he'll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15."
Gen Jerry Boykin (former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under President Shrub, current executive vice president at the Family Research Council)

 

"… the 'religious liberty' campaign represents a sort of Waterloo for right-wing nutbaggery."
Ed Kilgore

 

"Those in control of this state need to stop fighting the future.  They must stop governing by fear.  They must stop pretending there's some security blanket in laws that treat others unfairly."
Kirk Watson (Texas Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman)

 

Poem of the Week

At the Touch of You

At the touch of you,
As if you were an archer with your swift hand at the bow,

The arrows of delight shot through my body.

You were spring,
And I the edge of a cliff,
And a shining waterfall rushed over me.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  Guess what?  Boise police say that their nondiscrimination ordinance is working.
7 – 0
Idaho corruption, ctd
How to think better
Five disturbing facts about Stand Your Ground implementation
Heart-warming video of the day:  best buddies (for Hollis)
Shroud of Turin
Read how a bug-nuts insane woman describes Frozen
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
… and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

     
Mar 2 Sun Soup Kitchen – join us from 11:30am – 2pm
Mar 14 Fri IF City Club:  Education – Our Economic Foundation, by Rod Gramer, President & CEO of Idaho Business for Education (IBE) (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture – 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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 Wild Russet

 

Tone Trolls

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, February 20th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Wild Russet at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

I'm passionate about a couple things.  And I tire quickly of people who are either deliberately deceptive, or unconsciously obtuse.  So sometimes I'm less than polite.  And sometimes people complain about that.

Now, courtesy is a good thing.  Under most circumstances, the lubricant of civility is beneficial.  However, those of us who are objectively right, when faced by those who insist on being wrong – well … sometimes we lose our cool.  And that's OK.

In those circumstances, any person who issues a "Tut, Tut!" – meant to shame you, meant to say "You're hurting your cause with your rudeness!" – is a tone troll.  I have no use for tone trolls.  Especially when the tone troll is part of the opposition.


Like when I used to battle with bigots on the online comment section of the Post Register.  They'd argue that LGBT people deserved to be treated with disdain.  Or that the torture regime instituted by Bush was moral.  Or that Obama was a Kenyan bent on destroying America.  Or that Obamacare was for the purpose of killing old people.  In the face of such (probably willful) ignorance – one can maintain reasonable civility for only so long.  Sometimes a loss of gentility is warranted … even required.

And then the opposition would often sigh, "How rude!" – as if advocating torture weren't already a gross violation of civility.  Or what's worse, they will observe that the liberal is being so intolerant!  You can just picture them waving their hankies and gesturing for the smelling salts. The people who have no problem spreading propaganda and lying about everything they could think of would suddenly turn all Little Lord Fontleroy on you.

But here's the important thing:  the issue is more important than the tone.  I wrote this bit about California's Proposition 8 about three and a half years ago:

In this particular situation, if someone were to see kids committing suicide because of a hateful and poisonous atmosphere that Proposition H8 help to perpetuate, but object to my angry response, accusing me of creating an equivalent hateful environment, and urge me to be more civil, well … I say fuck civility.  Certain people are telling kids that they are immoral for being gay, unnatural for wanting to have a life-partner, perverted for wanting to love the person that they love – I don't care how goddamn polite they are while saying those things – they are part the problem.

I will not pretend that Prop H8 supporters have a valid viewpoint that should be treated with respect.  I'm not going to look for a way to compromise on other people's civil rights.  And I'm not going to hold my tongue so that people opposed to equal rights can feel more comfortable.  I don't want them to be comfortable.  I want them to know that their views are not welcome everywhere.  I want them to think about whether the archaic and arbitrary theism which underpins anti-gay-rights arguments is the same as morality.

I'm going to stand up for the weak party here … those gay kids who are getting hazed and shamed and ostracized, and who are desperate and crying and investigating suicide methods on the internet in their rooms at night.  My words may be uncivil, but my goal is to promote freedom and equality, and to prevent death.  Prop H8 supporters are largely civil in their use of language.  But are they civil in their goals?

I'm proud of that bit.  Of course, I can't do righteous vitriol like Dan Savage.  Needless to say, I don't take complaints about tone from conservatives very seriously.

But it's worse when the tone troll is from your own side of the issue.  You can be in the middle of unleashing a righteous and well-deserved verbal smack-down on a deceitful opponent, and some well-meaning, otherwise supportive ally will grind things to a halt just to educate you on the overriding importance of civility.

Don't do that.  There's no reason for that.  First of all, you will be derailing an ally.  Second, the thing that has that ally pissed off is much more important that what has you pissed off (i.e., their tone).

But thirdly, tone is not all that important.  There is a surprising number of people out there who are confused by issues like equality, torture, and adequate health care.  Not all of them are reachable by calm expressions of facts and reason.  Sometimes people need a different approach.  Mockery can work.  Anger can work.  And sometimes it's not the people who are being directly addressed that are the targets.  Sometimes it's the people witnessing the interaction.

So if you are tempted to tell an ally to be more civil, remember that you are not the Jackass Whisperer.  You don't know the only approach to take, or even the best approach to take in all circumstances.  Let different people do their thing.  And keep in mind that we are all working on the side of righteousness.


Some mellow Tiny Desk Concerts I've listened to recently:

Cheers,
Dan

 

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Action for the Week

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Handy email service:  Megavote
Petition:  Tell Otter, Crapo, and Risch to help remove the religious sheild law that protects parents who kill their kids with prayer
Petition:  Add the words, Idaho

 

Quotations of the Week

"The Tom Perkins system is:  You don't get the vote if you don't pay a dollar in taxes.  But what I really think is it should be like a corporation.  You pay a million dollars, you get a million votes.  How's that?"
Tom Perkins, America's wealthiest asshole (or most assholish wealthy person)

 

"Note to Tom Perkins – how about if we give poor people only three-fifths of a vote?  Would that work for you?"
Bruce Bartlett

 

"Obama vs. Alan Keyes.  Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy.  Batshit crazy.  Head-trauma crazy.  But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him.  They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement.  Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him.  That's crazy behaviour.  I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population."
Kung Fu Monkey

 

Poem of the Week

Onomatomania

the word for the inability to find the right word,
leads me to self-diagnose:  onomatomaniac.  It's not
the 20 volume OED, I need,
nor Dr. Roget's book, which offers
equals only, never discovery.
I accept the fallibility of language,
its spastic elasticity,
its jake-leg, as well as prima ballerina, dances.
I accept that language
can be manipulated towards deceit
(ex.:  The Mahatmapropaganda, i.e., Goebbels);
I accept, and mourn, though not a lot,
the loss of the dash/semi-colon pair.
It's the sound of a pause unlike no other pause.
And when the words are tedious
and tedious also their order–sew me up
in a rug and toss me in the sea!
Language is dying, the novel is dying, poetry
is a corpse colder than the Ice Man,
they've all been dying for thousands of years,
yet people still write, people still read,
and everyone knows that nothing is really real
until it is written.
Until it is written!
Even those who cannot read
know that.

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  Please read this:  A common thread among young-Earth creationists, gun enthusiasts, marriage exclusivists, and the 1%
Right-wing solutions:  mass-murder drills in public schools
A crazy idea that just might be sensible (and which just got an endorsement from Sen Warren)
What the hell just happened in Kansas?
An optimistic view:  gay marriage can't lose in court
27% crazification factor
Poor, misunderstood guy:  Joe the Plumber gets a union job
Tim Wise on the Jordan Davis murder case
The good news:  four anti-nondiscrimination bills failed on the same day
The bad news:  four anti-nondiscrimination bills existed
Who supports the political aims of the Koch Brothers?
An interesting newsletter
The Christianist florist
One of the very coolest XKCDs ever
Good news for a change:  way to go, Idaho!
If you like dogs and kids
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!
… and some from Oakland DL, too

 

Schedule

 

     
Feb 22 Sat Touch of Prose, 7pm – a fun reading event for writers of all kinds – at the Unitarian Universalist Church
Apr 17 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Distinguished Humanities Dinner & Lecture – 7pm at the Shilo Inn
 
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