Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at D'railed

 

Three Trifles

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Sept 26th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place D’railed at 468 N Eastern Ave (next door to the Bonneville Humane Society Thrift Store)
 

Controversy

The right has figured out that if they object to any issue, then the media will automatically refer to that issue as a “controversy.”  Global warming is now “controversial,” merely because the right refuses to admit that it’s real.  The flat-out fact of evolution is now “controversial,” just because some fundamentalists seek to portray it that way.

They don’t need to show why it’s a controversy.  Just the fact that the right is raising a stink makes it automatically so.

What’s worse is that we seem to have a phobia about touching issues that have gained the status of controversial.  That we will avoid dealing with any topic that has been deemed so.  And it’s probably worse around here:

“There’s a common tack in Mormon communities that’s similar to this – you’re supposed to ‘avoid contention.’  How convenient this is for the people in privileged positions to make disagreeing with them a misstep without every getting their hands dirty.  Being upset simply that a controversy occurred is an implicit siding with the status quo.”
Wilson (comment at June 17, 2013, 1:54 pm)
 

I definitely noticed that problem with some of our city council members.  Public accommodations got labeled “controversial” merely because certain people raised a stink.  They could never provide an explanation as to why it was controversial.  Neither could the city council.  But the council had to drop public accommodations because it was.  And we have to wait until it’s not controversial any more before they will vote for it.

Controversy requires more than people being up-in-arms.  It requires a factual basis, too.


Too Many Laws

Another subcurrent that I noticed in the nondiscrimination discussions:  the complaint about too many laws.  Really?  How is that a problem?

Special Notes


Is there a specific number of laws that makes sense?  Is there a number above which we become overburdened?  Is there some way to number laws, or measure their volume so that we can say, “Cut it back by 10% and we’ll be OK.”  You know, if you are passing a law to correct some deficiency in society, what possible sense does it make to say “Whoa!  Too many laws!”?  Do we have to find an old, obsolete law to throw out, just to keep under quota?

If we are adding a new category of protection to a set of laws that already exist, then what is the burden?  Is it really so difficult for some yahoo to remember that it is no longer OK to discriminate against someone because she’s holding hands with her girlfriend?

If you think that laws mandating good behavior actually cause bad behavior, then maybe.  But that’s a pretty counterintuitive thing to say.  We’ll have to see some evidence for that.


Deeply Held Religious Beliefs

Finally, can we dispense with the bogus concept of “deeply held religious beliefs”?  When you examine it, that concept really has no substance whatsoever.  Really, anybody who demands respect for and consideration of his or her “deeply held religious beliefs” should be penalized 10 yards and get 3 minutes in the penalty box.

People can have deep religious beliefs.  As an atheist, I’m really not sure why, but it’s fine with me if that’s what someone wants to do.  However, if you want to have some influence over public policy – your “deeply held religious beliefs” and $4.25 should get you a vente frappucino at Starbucks.

If you want to say that your “deeply held religious beliefs” should be considered in public policy, you’d better be able to cite some concomitant public good that is served.  And that public good ought to – by itself – outweigh any potential negative consequences.  In other words, you should be able to make your argument without resorting to any religious beliefs whatsoever.

We don’t let people withhold medical treatment from their kids because of a “deeply held religious belief” in the power of prayer.  We don’t let Muslim women wear burkas for their driver’s licenses because of their beliefs, no matter how deep.  We don’t let Christian Identity members violate our racial protection laws just because their beliefs are are of the deep sort.

We are a secular country.  Religious views by themselves shouldn’t have any power in our legislative process.  Unfortunately, that was the entirety of the opposition’s case.

Perhaps our council shouldn’t quite have snorted at people using that phrase.  But the fact that they didn’t even mention their secular responsibilities is an embarrassment.

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker

 

Quotations of the Week

“When you’ve reduced your entire movement to saying ‘no’ to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, is it any surprise that whoever shouts ‘NO’ the loudest will wind up defining what counts as ‘conservative’?

“Indeed, if you happen to be a demagogue running for president on the platform that you are the only True Conservative and everyone else is a squish or a RINO or a secret liberal, then the best plan is to find the most convoluted, self-destructive, but nevertheless very loud way of saying ‘no.’  Which is basically what Ted Cruz and his allies have done with the demand that Republicans tie keeping the government open to defunding the ACA.”
Jonathan Bernstein

 

“In their cocoon, the GOP base believe they haven’t had a true leader since Reagan.  And given how apocalyptic they feel about the US, and how completely nuts they will become at the prospect of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, Paul and Cruz could go much further than most Washington pundits want to believe.

“At least, that’s my bet.  These people thought Palin could be president, remember?  Never under-estimate their recklessness or extremism.”
Andrew Sullivan

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  A great letter from our friend Keith in Rexburg
Like a little Bohemian Rhapsody with your string theory?
Very interesting – people’s math ability goes down when doing calculations with facts that are in opposition to their political leanings (and the better they are at math, the more likely they are to reach the wrong conclusion)
Check in with Jim and Rosie (and Spenser and Karen, too)
Great spoken-word poem:  an OCD-sufferer in love
The most important image captured by Hubble
How Gary Bauer gets rich by promoting hatred and bilking donors
Michelle Obama says “Drink more water;” conservatives say “We hate water!”
New beginnings
The producers of the Atlas Shrugged movies have resorted to begging for funding (I think John Galt would not approve)
The cost of saying “No” to Medicaid expansion
A neat talk about traffic
Watch
Chris Wallace show visible disdain for Tucker Carlson on Fox News
Why journalism in America is a joke
Shades of color test – I got 27, but my two youngest beat me
Another “success” for concealed carry:  two guys shoot each other in road rage incident (I thought concealed carry was supposed to make us more polite to each other, rather than more aggressive)
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Sept 25 Wed IF Mayoral Candidate Debate, 7-8:30pm, University Place
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 7pm
Oct 6 Sun Soup Kitchen – join us from 11:30am – 1:30pm
Nov 5 Tues Election Day
Feb 7,
2014
Fri ACLU Bill of Rights Dinner – in Boise at the Stueckle Sky Center; Laverne Cox of Orange Is the New Black is the guest speaker (we’re putting together a table and seats will be about $75)
 
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 D'railed

 

Pride Recap

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Sept 19th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place D’railed at 468 N Eastern Ave (next door to the Bonneville Humane Society Thrift Store)
 


Alex Henry

SPECIAL NOTE:  The deck at D’railed is done!  We’ll be headed back over there to enjoy the close of summer.  Bring a jacket if you chill easily.


If you actually missed Idaho Falls Pride 2013 – boy, do I feel sorry for you.  It was one of the most amazing things ever to happen in this town.  From the movie premier on Friday night all the way to the After Hours party on Saturday, every event was bigger and better than we could have dreamed.

Special Notes


Near the start of the parade, I counted up to 718 people walking (before being interrupted by a phone call from someone coming from out of town to find the event, and a lost child).  So I guessed 750, total.  Then people kept joining in, all the way around.  We estimated way over 1000 people at our Festival.  And every event had 2 to 3 times the number of participants that we had hoped for.


Rod Taylor

I can’t find a picture that captures the magnitude of Pride.  Hollis and I both picked the ones I’ve included here, but nothing does the event justice.  One thing that every single picture of the event does do is capture the beauty and the joy.  I swear, it was impossible to take a boring picture of Idaho Falls Pride!

If you were in bed with a deadly disease and couldn’t make it, here’s a great video that captures some of the feel.  But nothing will excuse you from joining in next year (mark your calendars:  September 12, 2014).  Be there, or be a queer-hating, gay-baiting, straight-dating, conservative-in-waiting scumbag!  So there!

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker

 

Quotations of the Week

“You know things are bad for President Obama when even Warren Buffett has soured on Obamacare and says that ‘we need something else’.”
Jeffrey H. Anderson

 

“It appears that Buffett made his anti-Obamacare comments in 2010, thereby showing that he, like most of the American people, has opposed Obamacare since even before it was passed.”
Jeffrey H. Anderson, after having the timing of Buffett’s comment pointed out to him, but still failing to realize that Buffet said that while pushing for a stronger version of Obamacare

 

“I am too stupid to be writing for a national publication.”
Jeffrey H. Anderson (imaginary quote, but in a rational world with a sane conservative wing, he would have to write this in his resignation letter)

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  For all you poor saps who missed it:  Idaho Falls Pride
Thanks, Obama!
The great Miss America controversy … not
The closest thing to an Obamacare swindle:  the
Defund Obamacare racket
Why the Fed didn’t taper:  because Republicans suck
A great political ad
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Sept 19 Thurs IF City Club:  Stephen Weeg, Board Chair Idaho Health Exchange (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 25 Wed IF Mayoral Candidate Debate, 7-8:30pm, University Place
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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 Cancelled

 

Meeting Cancelled!

I expect all of you to be at the nondiscrimination hearing tomorrow night!  So I’ve told D’railed that we’re off tomorrow.

It is much more important for you to come support the cause of nondiscrimination.  Basically, several members of the city council have been cowed by the flyers and the ignorance and the Bathroom Panic exhibited by certain wealthy, straight, privileged assholes.  They think that the populace is not ready to grant a full and simple statement of equality to everyone.

In other words, full equality in all day-to-day activities will have to wait until a certain element with our community becomes “educated.”

Special Notes


The funny thing is that those people are already educated, but they’re too dim to realize it.  They’re going to the bathroom all the time with transgender people – they just don’t know it!  So they’re already perfectly comfortable.

Meet tomorrow evening at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 5:30pm.  Wear a white tshirt (turn it inside-out if it has a design).  Bring an extra if you have one.  No signs – we will be doing our signage on the shirts.  Bring folding chairs if you want – we’ll be sitting for awhile over at the City Annex Building.

If you can’t come that early, show up by 7pm at the Annex, and join us there.  Still bring a white tshirt if you have one.  We will provide one if you don’t have one.

We need a crowd.  It is important to tell the city council that civil rights don’t wait for some people to become “educated.”

Whether your schedule permits you to help the cause of freedom or not, please take some time to write or call the council members:

Jared Fuhriman (208) 612-8235 mayor@idahofallsidaho.gov
Ida Hardcastle (208) 529-5204 hardcast@srv.net
Michael Lehto (208) 569-2317 mlehto@idahofallsidaho.gov
Thomas Hally (208) 680-8886 thally@idahofallsidaho.gov
Kenneth Taylor (208) 589-0886 ktaylor@idahofallsidaho.gov
Karen Cornwell (208) 524-6647 kcornwell@unitedwayif.org
Sharon D. Parry (208) 523-6339 sdparry@cableone.net

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker
CONTACT:  Write or call the city council members (see above for phone numbers and addresses)

 

Quotations of the Week

“Courage requires us to remain steadfast in our beliefs. It asks that we stand by the convictions we express and never give an inch, no matter what the cost. However off base, wrongheaded, or patently false a position we’ve staked out may be, courage nonetheless demands that we blindly pound home our stupid fucking point, never letting up.”
The Onion

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  A fun tool:  political donations by zip code
Pat Robertson:  scummier than you thought?
Advice from a father:  seeing a woman (thanks, Hollis)
A preacher that gets it
One mind-blowing juggling act
Another great response from a mom who loves her son
Your great commercial for the week

 

Schedule

 

     
Sept 12 Thurs City Council work session – nondiscrimination ordinance to be discussed (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 8:30am)
Sept 12 Thurs City Council Meeting – nondiscrimination ordinance to receive second of three readings, hopefully (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 7:30pm)
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie! – 7pm, Colonial Theater
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride and Festival! – 10am, Unitarian Universalist Church
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours! – 8pm, Hotel on the Falls
Sept 19 Thurs IF City Club:  Stephen Weeg, Board Chair Idaho Health Exchange (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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

 


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 Wild Russet

 

Bigot Propaganda

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Sept 5th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
NEW PLACE Wild Russet at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

SPECIAL NOTE:  We’ll be meeting at the Wild Russet again this Thursday, while the back patio at D’railed is completed.  It worked out very well last week.



Today’s edition of dirty bigot tricks

This disgusting flyer was mailed out to a targeted list of Idaho Falls residents today.  It is as we expected:  the opposition is doing a last-minute, big budget disinformation campaign to try and derail the nondiscrimination ordinance.  And they are in full Bathroom Panic™ mode, too.  They’ve even got a slick website to go with their nasty campaign to derail equality for our LGBTQ friends.

Obviously, they have some bucks.  They are completely anonymous, too, and going to great pains to hide their identities.

Special Notes


[BTW – if you received one of these flyers, please, please bring it to the meeting tomorrow.  We are trying to collect as many as possible for use during the next city council meetings.  Yes … I have no problem drawing the council’s attention to the flyer.  It is a winning point for us, as far as I’m concerned.  I want to wave as many of them in the faces of the council as possible.]

Do you know that our budget for supporting the nondiscrimination ordinance is a whopping $0?  I’m not asking for money here – we really haven’t had to spend any money, since we have lots of actual supporters willing to volunteer their time and energy.  We’ve beaten them at public meetings, too, with 5 to 10 times the representation.

However, they are beating us at emails, lately.  The city council is being flooded.  And this hateful bit of Göring-worthy propaganda will likely increase that flood significantly.

Unfortunately, it will probably increase the number of low-information, easily outraged conservative types at the next city council meeting on September 12th.  So I really need all of you to come out as well.

On the plus side, we stand a better-than-even chance of hearing about more roving bands of transgender terrorists.  So that should be fun.

But please take some time to write or call the council members.  And remember:  the flyer is insane.  The council members know that the flyer is insane.  We just need to look calm, rational, and in control of the facts.  Then we win.

Jared Fuhriman (208) 612-8235 mayor@idahofallsidaho.gov
Ida Hardcastle (208) 529-5204 hardcast@srv.net
Michael Lehto (208) 569-2317 mlehto@idahofallsidaho.gov
Thomas Hally (208) 680-8886 thally@idahofallsidaho.gov
Kenneth Taylor (208) 589-0886 ktaylor@idahofallsidaho.gov
Karen Cornwell (208) 524-6647 kcornwell@unitedwayif.org
Sharon D. Parry (208) 523-6339 sdparry@cableone.net

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker
CONTACT:  Write or call the city council members (see above for phone numbers and addresses)

 

Quotations of the Week

“Girls’ sexuality is so much the focus of our ire.  Women who have sex are dirty.  Men who have sex are men.  Girls who dress to be ogled are hoes.  Men who ogle are just doing what comes naturally.  This is the kind of reinforced behavior that makes it perfectly acceptable to legislate a woman’s access to birth control and reproductive health care without engaging in balanced conversations about covering Viagra and vasectomies.  Our girls cannot win in this environment, not when they are tots in tiaras, not in their teens or when they are coming into adulthood.”
Shelli Latham

 

“With the president’s red line, why was there no call for military response in April?  Was it delayed to divert attention today from the Benghazi, IRS, NSA scandals, the failure of Obamacare enforcement, the tragedy of the White House-drafted sequestration or the upcoming debt limit vote?  Again, why was there no call for a military response four months ago when the president’s red line was crossed?”
Rep. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson (R-SC)

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  Karma is a bitch
On the “Miley Cyrus” brouhaha:  what about the guy?
Conservative confusion (deception?) over death panels
Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd,
answers a minister on marriage equality
Potentially great news from Canada on the HIV vaccine front
This guy is good
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours!
Sept 19 Thurs IF City Club:  Stephen Weeg, Board Chair Idaho Health Exchange (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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

 

Special Labor Day Notice

 

Special Labor Day Notice

First, happy Labor Day weekend!  Hug a union member!

Two items to mention:

Tomorrow is Soup Kitchen day.  I got it wrong in my last meeting notice, and nobody pointed it out.  Way to pay attention, people!  But regardless – we will need a crew tomorrow, and since it’s the Labor Day weekend, we may find ourselves short-handed.

For those of you who have never participated, tomorrow might be a great chance for you.  We love having new people join us.  You can show up at 11:30am, and whistle while you work until about 2pm.

Please email me if you can make it.


Second, it appears that the Idaho Falls City Council is being flooded with emails and notes from people who are very concerned about where trans people pee.  This is forcing the council to consider ways in which they should compromise on the public accomodations section of the nondiscrimination ordinance.

One compromise involves exempting all bathrooms, changing rooms, and locker rooms from the ordinance.  In other words, a business would not be able to discriminate against any LGBTQ customers, but would be able to tell people which bathroom they were allowed to use.  This “compromise” is being pushed by the Meikle faction, apparently.

Another compromise would involve limiting the definition of public accommodations to those businesses included in the original 1964 Civil Rights Act (restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and entertainment venues).  Our ordinance currently uses the much broader definition that is in Idaho’s criminal Civil Rights code that protects people against discrimination based on race, religion, age, etc. (check part e under Definitions).

Neither of these compromises is acceptable.  Please take a little time and send a comment to your council members.  Emphasize that we want public accommodations fully protected, as in the draft written by Randy Fife before amended on August 8th.  And tell them WHY.  Bathroom fears are a stupid way to make public policy.

Jared Fuhriman (208) 612-8235 mayor@idahofallsidaho.gov
Ida Hardcastle (208) 529-5204 hardcast@srv.net
Michael Lehto (208) 569-2317 mlehto@idahofallsidaho.gov
Thomas Hally (208) 680-8886 thally@idahofallsidaho.gov
Kenneth Taylor (208) 589-0886 ktaylor@idahofallsidaho.gov
Karen Cornwell (208) 524-6647 kcornwell@unitedwayif.org
Sharon D. Parry (208) 523-6339 sdparry@cableone.net

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Thursday Night DL at Wild Russet

 

The Size of Your Weapon

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Aug 29th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
NEW PLACE Wild Russet at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


The Guesthouse Inn, our meeting location this week

SPECIAL NOTE:  We’ll be meeting at the Wild Russet this Thursday, to try it out while the back patio at D’railed is completed.  The indoor space at the Wild Russet is larger, which will be good for us because winter is coming.  I’ll try to be there a little early to find a good space for us to gather.

My problem is that I often can’t remember the name of the Wild Russet.  I keep thinking it’s called the “Rustic Spud” for some reason.


So Antonin Scalia spoke at a Federalist Society meeting in Bozeman this month.  The guy is obviously intelligent, but twisted in a way similar to the Westboro Baptist leaders.  Most of us would lose a debate with any of those folks.  They know facts, history, and logic, and they are masters of rhetoric.  Yet they say insane things.  It’s hard to put a finger on what kind of mental disorder or skewed morality allows them to think the way that they do.

Special Notes


Scalia, for example, is a supporter of the death penalty.  But he goes farther than your average death penalty supporter.  He actually supports it in spite of the fact that he knows and admits we will kill innocent people.

In Bozeman he seemed to say that it is an open question whether there are any limits to the 2nd Amendment:

What remains to be determined … appears to be the scope of the armament that people can keep and bear.  Can they bear shoulder-fired rocket launchers?

Really?  Is it true that shoulder-fired rocket launchers are in that fuzzy area between illegal armaments and valid home defense?  I wonder if he thinks that the line between a Suburban and an Abrams M-1 tank is equally fuzzy.

The right has successfully thrown into question what types of guns fall under the definition of assault rifle.  They are redefining lots of things.  A Republican healthcare plan is socialism.  A fetus is a human being.  And mental midgets like George Bush, Rick Perry, and Sarah Palin are leaders.

What is sad is that half of American voters fall for such crap.  Is that half going to wake up anytime soon?  Can the conservative wing of American politics go too far?

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker
Petition:  help a kid in jail for a joking Facebook comment

 

Quotations of the Week

“Why is ‘gay conversion therapy’ so terrible that it must be banned but physical sex-change operations not?  Seems a bizarre double-standard.”
Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke), National Review

 

“In a speech in Montana on Monday, the jurist [Antonin Scalia] was asked about the Second Amendment and what arms were protected by that provision of the Constitution.  That ‘remains to be determined,’ he replied.  As one example, he asked if people have a right to ‘bear shoulder-fired rocket launchers?’  Perhaps they do, Scalia suggested.  The answer would turn on the historical understanding of the Framers, who Scalia said included the Second Amendment in part to preserve the right of people to revolt against a tyrannical leader.”
Adam Winkler

 

“They’re precisely the same people who are unwilling to cut the spending, and their ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme – give me all my Sandy money now.’  Those are the people who are bankrupting the government and not letting enough money be left over for national defense.”
Sen Rand Paul, regarding Hurricane Sandy survivors [average disaster relief spending over the last three years:  $45 billion (source); national defense budget:  $840.7 billion (source)]

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  A fantastic idea
Amazing statistic for the week:  more Louisiana Republicans blame Obama for the botched response to the 2005 Katrina hurricane response than blame Bush
8 reasons young Americans don’t fight back
Scalia:  do we have a right to rocket launchers?
It seems so hard to raise money for good causes, yet idiots have money to spend on this
It’s a tidal wave
It’s our turn now:  Ted Cruz is a foreign-born communist!
Fascinating:  delusions affect perception
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Sept 8 Sun Soup Kitchen – join us from 11:30am – 1:30pm
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours!
Sept 19 Thurs IF City Club:  Stephen Weeg, Board Chair Idaho Health Exchange (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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 D'railed

 

Proper Roles

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Aug 22nd
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place D’railed at 468 N Eastern Ave (next door to the Bonneville Humane Society Thrift Store)
 

Note:  On Thursday after work, Hollis and I are heading down to SLC for the Saturday’s Voyeur show – which is this Friday night.  I’ve asked Gerald to sub for me.


I’ve been thinking about this group of fine, old people for two weeks now.  They are the Freedom First Society, and they had a booth at the Arts Festival on the greenbelt, sandwiched between kids making hand-print turkeys and other kids making colorful lanyards.  I didn’t stop to talk to them but I wish I had.  The sign on their shelter listed these goals:

  • Emphasize the proper role of Government
  • Expose Conspiracy in World Events
  • Act as Patriots to defend our Country
  • Encourage healthy distrust of governmental over-reach
  • Influence like minded people to take action
  • Stand up and Be Counted!!

OK … so that’s a little unfair.  The underlining wasn’t quite that sporatic in the actual sign.  The writer left gaps intentionally.

If you ask typical conservatives like the ones pictured above what the purpose of our Constitution is, you’ll likely hear something like, “The purpose of the Constitution is to limit the power of the federal government.”

But that is completely wrong.  Not just because I disagree with them about just how limited the federal government should be.  It’s wrong in a very obvious way:  it confuses one objective for the overall purpose.

Imagine you asked me what was the purpose of a chocolate chip cookie recipe.  If I answered, “To limit the number of chocolate chips consumed,” you’d rightly think me an idiot.  I’d be guilty of confusing one goal of the recipe – to control the amount of chocolate in the cookies – with the purpose of the recipe – to give instructions on how to produce delicious cookies.

Additionally, they are imbuing that one goal – to delineate the powers of the federal government and to limit certain powers – with a desire of their own not shared by all:  the government must be minimized in size and have its power curtailed to the extreme.

As Ron Paul said in 2008:  “The Constitution was written explicitly for one purpose – to restrain the federal government.”  Such a statement is ludicrously out of touch with actual history.  The Philadelphia Convention in 1787 gathered because the federal government under the Articles of Confederation was too weak.  To hold that the founding fathers were primarily concerned with limiting the power of the federal government is insane.

I highlighted a great column from my friend and fellow DL host and ACLU board member, Donna Yule – a few weeks ago.  It remains pertinent.  We should desire smart, efficient government rather than minimized government.

Where do these people get the notion that the government is the enemy of freedom and that minimal government is the goal?

Special Notes


Saturday’s Voyeur

We’ve gotten the following invitation from the SLC Drinking Liberally group:

On Aug 23rd we’ll do our annual outing to see Saturday’s Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company.  Call the box office by August 9th at 801-363-7522 and tell them you are with Drinking Liberally to reserve your discounted tickets.

A suggestion on where to stay is the Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown located at 425 S 300 W.  It is close to the theater, has free coffee and breakfast.  It is a 3-star hotel.  It is across the street from Pioneer Park which has a lovely Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.  They have a late check out at 2PM allowing time to browse the market.

Please note, the theater allows you to bring in food and drinks.  People bring in picnic baskets and coolers.  Alcohol is allowed.  Last year, we had a late lunch so we stopped at a local restaurant and picked up some dinner to go and took it with us to eat at the show.

Let’s get a big crowd together and share the night with SLC DL!

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker
Petition:  tell TV stations not to air Citizen United’s “documentary”

 

Quotations of the Week

“With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs. The Obamas do not have any white dogs.”
Patrick Howley

 

“I just don’t think there’s any way to make the facts of climate change congenial to the contemporary U.S.  conservative perspective.  Once they accept the facts, the severity and urgency of the climate crisis, they are committed to either a) supporting vigorous government policy meant to diminish the power of some of their wealthiest constituents, or b) passively accepting widespread suffering.

Cognitively speaking, that’s an untenable position for them.  That’s why they avoid it by rejecting the science.  There’s no way to package the science in a way that avoids this dilemma.  It is today’s hyper-conservatism, not climate communications, that is ultimately going to have to change.”
Dave Roberts

 

“At some point, if an actual party keeps supporting ever-more-extreme policies and ever-more-harsh rhetoric, it will pay a price in popularity and elections.  It’s the kind of price that is not paid in one news cycle – in fact, the news cycle mentality can even keep the show on the road for a while.  Every juicy shock-horror Newsmax-style scandal, every breathless call to repeal Obamacare for the umpteenth time, every Obama’s-Worse-Than-Nixon column can gin up page-views and ratings and provide fanatics with a short-term high.  But as these incidents accumulate and feed off each other, general impressions are formed by the intermittently interested general public.  And they are not good.”
Andrew Sullivan

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  Another legacy of the Bush Recession:  good jobs converted to bad
On immigration reform:  Robert Reich is a treasure
Another raving idiot in the House (GOP, of course)
Things Rep Steve King thinks are more important than immigration reform:  Benghazi, IRS, removing regulation
Hilarious commercial
Insanely good yo-yo artist
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Aug 23 Fri IF City Club:  Sen James Risch (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Aug 23 Fri Saturday’s Voyeur with the SLC DL chapter
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours!
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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 D'railed

 

Atheism and Liberalism

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Aug 15th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place D’railed at 468 N Eastern Ave (next door to the Bonneville Humane Society Thrift Store)
 

[This is the homily I gave a few weeks ago at the Unitarian Universalist Church.  I didn’t read it, but tried to follow pretty closely.  Sorry it’s so long.]

Introduction

Hi.  I’m Dan Henry, and I’m happy to be here to address you this morning.  I am an atheist, and my goal is to make sure that none of you ever comes back here again.

Actually, after Debu’s talk last week, I might be a Buddhist.  But it was too late to get out of this commitment.  My subject is An Atheist in Idaho Falls, which for me is not really complex enough to fill 20 minutes.  I’ve never really felt any repercussions from my lack of faith.  I have no really interesting stories.  I never really left a church – my family sort of fell away from Catholicism together when I was young.  I never really had to come out to anyone.  Never felt a threat to my well-being because of my atheism.

But I can give you an idea of what it’s like being an atheist in Idaho Falls.  About 4 weeks ago a couple of LDS missionaries came by the house.  I’m always very nice, and will sometimes spend time talking with them.  If they want to debate, I’ll grant their wish.  I’ll even let them talk to my kids if my kids agree.  But I didn’t have the time to chat that day, unfortunately, and just told them I was an atheist.  I got a quizzical “Oh!?,” so I reinforced my statement by saying that I’d founded the local atheist organization.

One responded with complete bafflement:  “But what do you talk about?”  Obviously, the thought of such a gathering had never occurred to her.  Perhaps the thought that there could be more than one of us to gather was astonishing.  And she probably thought that there can be nothing to talk about without god.

Special Notes


Two weeks ago, on NPR’s This American Life, they did stories about people who tried to beat Vegas by card-counting at blackjack.  Now in order to win big at blackjack, you need to run a team of players, and there has to be trust – you trust your team members with large sums of money when there is no real way to track each other.  The first story was about a group from the heartland – where the leader had decided that the most trustworthy team of people he could gather would be faithful churchgoers.  It was a fascinating story, but I was insulted.  I mean, come on!  Why can’t atheists be just as moral when cheating at cards?  I’m tempted to form a team and head to Vegas just to prove that point.

That’s really what it’s been like being an atheist in Idaho Falls for me.  You’re met with bafflement and mistaken impressions.  The end.

So instead of discussing just my atheist experience here in Idaho Falls, I’d like to discuss two important facets of my life that are in some ways very much linked.

First, as I just mentioned, along with my friend Scott I started the Atheist Society of Idaho Falls – or as we affectionately call it:  AS IF.  [By the way – at a conference last month I met David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, and a frequent guest on Bill O’Reilly’s show.  He’s the one who got O’Reilly to say, “Tide goes in, tide goes out.  Never a miscommunication.  You can’t explain that!”  Anyway, I told David the name of our atheist group and mentioned the AS IF nickname.  That cracked him up.  After that discussion, I saw him a couple more times over the weekend, and each time he chuckled and shook his head and said “AS IF!”  So, kudos to Scott for coming up with that memorable name.]

AS IF is a support group for atheists:  a place where atheists can be themselves and feel comfortable after spending most of their week immersed in a society that privileges those who believe in certain deities.

Back in 2006, I also started the local chapter of Drinking Liberally.  It’s a support group for liberals:  a place where liberals can be themselves and feel comfortable after spending most of their week immersed in a society that privileges those who are on the conservative end of the political spectrum.

I’m sure you can spot the superficial similarity.  But the two groups have more in common than just being despised minority viewpoints here in southeastern Idaho.  I think there is a deeper level of connection, and the connection between them is the subject of this talk.

Definition

First, let’s discuss what the word atheism means.

There are various definitions and different categories of atheists.  Some think strong atheists say there is no god, while weak atheists just say that the evidence indicates that there most likely is no god.  There’s the difference between atheism and agnosticism – some think atheists say no gods exist, while agnostics say that they just don’t know.  Some say atheism is a statement about belief in god, while agnosticism is a statement about knowledge of god.  Others think that agnostics are just atheists lacking confidence.  There are atheists – perhaps regulars here – who enjoy the ritual of Sunday services and the communal aspects of belonging to a wonderful congregation like this.  Other atheists are made uncomfortable by the similarity to more traditional religious practices, and tend to avoid Sunday services as often as we can (even if we love Rev. Lyn and appreciate all the wonderful things that the Unitarian Universalist Church does in our community).  Some atheists want to see religions fade away in favor of sectarian institutions, while others are fine with respecting the beliefs of theists and don’t mind living in a world where many are religious.

I think all of those types of atheists are pretty much the same thing – differing mainly in semantics, but not much at all in practice.  So I tend to use a practical, working definition of atheism.  One is an atheist if one lives as if there is no god.  That’s a very broad definition, so it’s a bit self-serving.  But I think it’s useful, and it covers all the different categories of atheists I just discussed, plus those who are atheists but afraid to call themselves that.  It incorporates all the “nones” in the public polling done on faith in the US.  When I use the word, that’s what I mean.

Atheism in Society

In society, though, atheism has a bit of a bad reputation.  Most of that is unfair and unearned.  For example, you will hear about militant atheists, when people are just referring to atheists who are vocal and proud.  We never refer to outspoken Christians as “militant.”  On the that side, you have to blow something up in order to be labeled a militant.  Militant atheists just have to ask uncomfortable questions.  Verbal bomb-throwers.

Of course, most of the negative public attitude towards atheists in general is based on a hefty dose of propaganda designed to protect certain theologies.  Religions try to inoculate themselves against the threat of losing membership by creating the atheist boogeyman and demonizing the word.

But there is a ugly side of atheism, I have to admit.  There are atheist asses – a fraction of atheists that won’t let a reference to a deity go by without an objection.  But that is true of any subset of humans – a certain small fraction of every group is made up of asses.  Even here.  When we greeted each other earlier … I hate to tell you … there’s a good chance that you shook hands with at least one ass.  You all know who you are.  Don’t make me name names.

Worse, though:  there is a libertarian strain of atheism that I personally find repellant.  The Ayn Rand side, that brings along a certain worship of individualism and a fetishism of freedom.  And you can see perhaps why many libertarians are attracted to atheism.  They tend to oppose the imposition of values by the state or by any other authorities – they are wannabe John Galts who refuse to have a being above themselves.  So they are drawn to atheism for that reason, along with its devotion to rationality.

There is an overlapping sect of men’s rights activists, as well, and you will be hard-pressed to find a more distasteful and morally icky group of people.  The men’s rights activists and the libertarians are often the same people.  The atheism/skepticism movement is currently experiencing an ongoing, 2-yr-old battle known as Elevatorgate – a fascinating story too long to tell here.  It has at its heart the role of feminism within the movement.  Some atheist/skeptics believe that the concepts of atheism and feminism are orthogonal and disjoint.  Others rightly see them as integral and correlated, as I hope my talk will help illustrate.

What right do I have to claim that certain atheists are wrong, or morally icky?  Doesn’t being an atheist mean accepting that morality is really subjective and up for individual interpretation?  That my idea of what is moral has no more authority than that of the libertarian men’s rights activist?  What is morality when one is an atheist, and how do we judge people’s actions and opinions when there is no ‘standardized’ morality?

Atheism and Morality

Atheists are often asked by theists how we can know right from wrong, given that we don’t accept god (actually, we’re told that we can’t be moral without a god, often as not).  Given that we’ve rejected an objective standard of morality – at least on based on revealed truth – it’s an interesting question.  But not a particularly hard one – I’ve answered it many times.  This is not the place to get deeply into the philosophy of morality, values, ethics, etc (which is funny, because this is a church – that’s what they’re for, right?).  But I’m trying to link atheism and liberalism, so I need a quick basis.  Morality is what we use to differentiate good intentions, decisions, and actions from bad intentions, decisions, and actions.  Values are related, but broader:  value denotes something’s degree of importance in our lives.  So we value many things, like honesty, hugs, and Oreos.  Our moral values are an important subset of our values as a whole.  They are the most important of our values.

Our moral code is the set of rules that we accept to help us attain our important values – our moral values.

As individuals, we each select our moral codes independently.  Mostly, we accept them from our parents and our community.  We are indoctrinated with a moral code, although we can adjust it or change it with thought and some effort.  A fundamentalist religious person accepts a moral code that comes from a particular religious tradition, largely intact and verbatim.  Most religious Americans take a cafeteria-plan approach to their moral codes.  They think of them as coming from god or tradition, but they ignore the parts that they find inappropriate or unsatisfying.  However, they don’t realize the deeper implication of that approach:’ that either there is no objective moral code provided by any deity, or if there is a deity-approved moral code, we don’t really have any access to it.  We’re left to patch together a code for ourselves with relatively little help from on high – actually, with a lot of contradictory help.

Thoughtful atheists understand that we all select our moral codes.  We build them up inside our minds, using evidence, rationality, and history.  We are free to pick and choose, to do research and to experiment.  We realize that we should optimize our moral code to increase our chances at happiness and fulfillment.

And that is the key.  Morality is really a measure of how much an action increases happiness and wellbeing (or decreases unhappiness or discontent).  And that is our goal – as atheists, as Unitarians, … and as liberals.

Atheism and Liberal Values

One thing I find fascinating about our AS IF group is the very high percentage of liberals who belong.  Among the attendees, there is a much, much higher percentage of liberals than you find in the general population.  Alternately, one thing I find fascinating about my Drinking Liberally group is the very high percentage of atheists who belong.  It’s also way out of proportion to the general population.

Imagine that.  I start a group for one relatively small minority in town, and it attracts a very much larger proportion of another minority view.  Then I start a second club for that second group, and it attracts a much higher proportion of the first minority.  And these are not the same people.  Except for Scott – the cofounder of AS IF, and my wife, Hollis, and a few others – Jeff and Kathy, for example – there really isn’t a whole lot of overlap of membership.

It shouldn’t surprise you by this point that I don’t think that overlap is entirely coincidental.  But some of you are probably thinking that the overlap in my groups could be due to the social circles that I am connected with – a case of selectivity on my part.  Or perhaps you’re thinking that people bold enough to declare themselves as proud liberals are also more comfortable proclaiming their atheism, and vice versa – a case of self-selection on their part.  And I know that some of you are thinking that because I invited a lot of my atheist/skeptical friends, and they are not the type to believe stuff – even if it makes them feel good – without coming up with possible objections.  I know that they’re sitting there pouncing on my logical errors in their minds.

But honestly, I don’t find those objections very compelling.  I often find opportunities to invite people to Drinking Liberally – it can come up in normal conversation.  Atheism is not like that.  So the AS IF group has grown organically and more slowly, by word of mouth.  And the second objection – about people being prone to admitting unpopular positions – just doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.  It might explain why I know about the connection – because people admit it – but why those two characteristics?  Why aren’t other unpopular viewpoints more prominent in the two groups?  Why don’t we have more Muslims at Drinking Liberally?  Shouldn’t we have more Beliebers, too?  And more dog fighting enthusiasts?  And now that marriage equality is the majority viewpoint in America, will AS IF and Drinking Liberally now start having more advocates against equality?  No … that objection doesn’t make a lot of sense when you look at it more deeply.

There is something about the combination of atheism and liberalism that is more compelling.  I was just discussing where an atheist derives morality, and what the ultimate measure of morality is:  happiness and wellbeing.  Perhaps we can see the same thing from the liberal perspective.

As a liberal, I stand in opposition to conservative ideology:  the ideology that defends authority and advocates subservience to tradition.  So in many ways, liberalism (which means “pertaining to freedom”) also stands for the belief that our purpose in this world is to decide our values and to act to achieve them.  To be bound not by what our forefathers did and said – or by what a particular deity tells us – but by what we decide is in our best interest.

Liberals want to upset the status quo and change course – when it is necessary to achieve a more happy and fulfilled populace.  Conservatism doesn’t do that.  Conservatism represents the interests of those classes of society that already have power and influence.  It caters to their interests first and foremost and represents maintaining the existing class structure.  Conservatism is all about deference to authority – including the typically held belief that morality is imposed from outside ourselves.  That there is an objective moral code that we should follow.

[As a side note:  one result of that conservative worldview is that they constantly worry about the things we see and hear.  Think about it … their moral code is derived from sources outside themselves:  it comes to them through the Bible, through sermons, passed down from their leaders.  In other words, their morality enters them through their eyes and ears.  So they always have to be concerned about what they and what everybody else in society sees and hears.  Listening to deviant song lyrics can influence one’s moral code.  Seeing sex portrayed on TV during family hours can cause one to become less moral.  Women’s bodies have to be covered up, because of the immorality generated within men as a result.  Therefore, conservatives try to control all those external influences.]

Liberal philosophy, on the other hand, actually celebrates the power that we have as a society to create our own political morality.  We can say that it’s time to redefine marriage.  We can say that it is now wrong to treat minorities differently.  We can say that healthcare is a fundamental human right.  In fact, we are often accused by conservatives of having just “invented” rights.  You’re damn right we did that.  We thought about it, and it’s the right thing to do.  So liberals are creating moral codes, and using the happiness and wellbeing of society as our measurement.

Conclusion

So to wrap all of this up … In a lot of ways, adherence to traditional religious values and philosophies is inimical to the liberal philosophy.  So when people reject religion and become atheists, they tend to generate a liberal morality as opposed to a conservative one.  Again, with the goal of achieving happiness and wellbeing.

And similarly, when people find themselves tending towards liberal political positions and rejecting conservative values as they become politically aware, they often find themselves at odds with traditional religious institutions that dictate moral codes that seem self-contradictory as well as contrary to liberal philosophy.  Therefore, they often end up questioning the very basis of theism.

I know that many liberals hate it when we are accused of being anti-religious.  People in this community most of all.  We want to believe that it is possible, logical, rational, to be a liberal, tolerant theist with a respect for a loving, generous deity.  And many of you prove that in your lives every day.

But as for me, I take the overlap of my two groups as evidence that BOTH viewpoints have the weight of truth behind them.  In some ways, it’s like how science works.  Let’s say you devote your life to archeology and figure out that hominids first walked the earth about 14 million years ago, based on the fossil record.  Then you meet an evolutionary biologist who’s concluded from DNA analysis that the hominid family tree first split about 14 million years ago.  That kind of independent confirmation tends to validate both sciences.

So I feel good about being both an atheist and a liberal, and I think that there is something about the two philosophies that allows them to work together hand-in-glove in a way that reaffirms their central validity.  There is a natural and organic connection.  But I hope I’m not so confident about that conclusion that I’m obnoxious about it.  I hope I’m not one of those asses I mentioned earlier.  There’s plenty of room for error, and I certainly haven’t made a rigorous study of the subject.

Furthermore, I think that there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about our society.  I don’t believe that we’re as polarized as it sometimes seems.  We tend to look at many issues as if they are linear and as if we are all squished up at either end.  Liberal versus conservative; atheist versus theist.

In fact, I find it fascinating that there are philosophical loops.  We all know very strong conservatives – those people who are such strong conservatives that they decry the existence of any governmental institution at all.  They are true libertarians, dependent only upon themselves.  When you talk to such people long enough, you will find that they don’t actually think that each of us needs to do everything for ourselves.  They do believe in working with their neighbors on a voluntary basis, when needed.  They appreciate that people can help one another raise a barn.  Or that one neighbor particularly adept at homeschooling could barter the teaching of the neighborhood’s children.  In exchange, that neighbor might be granted a share of the neighborhood’s produce.  Pretty soon, our extremist libertarian friend is living in a hippy commune, just come from the opposite direction.

Spirituality has the same sort of philosophical loop.  Some people get very deep into theism – so deep that they become disgusted with the institutional trappings of religion.  They may at first be uncomfortably devoted to some specific deity – giving the impression that only they have the path to truth.  But those people often end up boiling down their faith into its bare bones minimum – often a natural deity very similar to the ineffable and gentle deity celebrated by many of the most liberal of churches.  And then they find that belonging to such a tolerant and accepting community as this is a nice thing to do, and so much less stressful.

Doesn’t it seem wonderful to you that both the extreme conservative turned libertarian turned commune dweller and the extreme theist turned spiritualist turned Unitarian end up in the same place with all of us?  In a community just like this?

A corollary to that is that perhaps some of those asses that we find very challenging might just be people coming into our own community from the opposite direction that we took.  And that’s a comforting thought.

If there is one common idea that ties together atheism, liberalism, and Unitarianism, I think it is this:  we know that society works better when we devote ourselves to each others’ wellbeing than it does when we devote ourselves to a concept.

Saturday’s Voyeur

We’ve gotten the following invitation from the SLC Drinking Liberally group:

On Aug 23rd we’ll do our annual outing to see Saturday’s Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company.  Call the box office by August 9th at 801-363-7522 and tell them you are with Drinking Liberally to reserve your discounted tickets.

A suggestion on where to stay is the Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown located at 425 S 300 W.  It is close to the theater, has free coffee and breakfast.  It is a 3-star hotel.  It is across the street from Pioneer Park which has a lovely Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.  They have a late check out at 2PM allowing time to browse the market.

Please note, the theater allows you to bring in food and drinks.  People bring in picnic baskets and coolers.  Alcohol is allowed.  Last year, we had a late lunch so we stopped at a local restaurant and picked up some dinner to go and took it with us to eat at the show.

Let’s get a big crowd together and share the night with SLC DL!

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker

 

Quotations of the Week

“I understand that congressmen say stupid things from time to time.  And I understand that Mr. Farenthold is an obscure back-bencher who doesn’t speak for most of his colleagues.  Still, the fact that a member of the House of Representatives would treat lunatic theories as serious is a problem.  It does reflect poorly not only on Farenthold but the party he represents.  And what he said is damaging, since it will confirm in the minds of rational people that at least among some of its elected representatives, the Republican Party is comprised of conspiratorial nuts.”
Pete Wehner, on recent birther statements by Rep Blake Farenthold (R-TX. where else?)

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  The easy response to “bathroom panic
WebMD explains Obamacare
Just stupid:  Tennessee judge tells mother that she can’t name her kid Messiah
Was the 2nd Amendment supposed to preserve slavery?
Here’s a great clip from Colbert:  People destroying America
I want this map
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

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Aug 23 Fri IF City Club:  Sen James Risch (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Aug 23 Fri Saturday’s Voyeur with the SLC DL chapter
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours!
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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 D'railed

 

Consequences

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Aug 8th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place D’railed at 468 N Eastern Ave (next door to the Bonneville Humane Society Thrift Store)
 


One consequence of LGBT activism

Hollis and I got one of the very first Tivos (I actually won it, including lifetime service, for submitting a commercial idea in a contest).  Back then, the DVR was new, and probably not very advanced – though it did suggest things that you might like, based on your viewing and recording habits.  And sometimes the things that Tivo thought you’d like were hilariously offbase.  One meme that got passed around at the time was “Help!  My Tivo thinks I’m gay!”

I’ve been thinking about that lately as I work on LGBTQ issues on Facebook.  I’m starting to get a lot of suggestions like the one pictured here.  Oh … the struggles of a straight-, white-, male-, and cis-privileged person in our society these days!  I just remind myself that in a very small way I am experiencing what every LGBTQ person has to experience daily in our straight- and cis-normative society.

But I’m sure that the opponents of LGBT equality are very upset to be seeing such suggestions and ads on their pages, and in life (and they probably aren’t seeing anything like the targeted number that I am).  It probably angers them to no end – both that people unlike themselves actually exist in the world, and the reminder that they’re losing the battle to shame LGBTQ people and their allies.  Perhaps a few are angered because they are being reminded of what they are trying desperately to suppress.

I ran across the post about anti-suffragette cartoons from the turn of the 20th century (one of which is pictured here).  You really should go see them.  They will remind you of our current struggle for LGBTQ equality – at least in the tactics employed.  The shaming.  The mocking.  The paternalism.  As the article says:

One of the most notable things about the arguments put forth by the anti-suffragette movement was how weak its position was. Anti-suffragette arguments relied heavily on emotional manipulation and downright hateful nastiness. Humor was a much-used weapon against suffragettes. They were easy to depict as embittered old maids, brutal scolds, and cigar-smoking transvestites.

Each of us who is SHCN (straight/heterosexual/cis/normal) owes a debt of gratitude to the LGBTQ communities for teaching us something important:  that we are very often blind to our privileges and that we need to be sensitive to that.  Maybe I’m being optimistic.  We never really learned that lesson from the civil rights movement or from the suffragette movement, either.  It’s one of those lessons that humans are perpetually learning and forgetting.


Special Notes


  • » Nondiscrimination Ordinance to be discussed at the City Council work session on Thursday, Aug 8th (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 8:30am)
  • » Second reading of the Nondiscrimination Ordinance at the City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug 8th, 7:30pm (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 7:30pm)
  • » Saturday’s Voyeur, a joint activity of our group and the SLC chapter of Drinking Liberally – Friday, Aug 23rd
  • » Idaho Falls Pride! – Sept 14th, Unitarian Universalist Church, 10am
  • » Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ – Sept 21st, 6pm, 234 Railroad Ave in Old Town Pocatello

Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Tomorrow – Thursday, August 8th – is a big day.  In the morning, the ordinance will be discussed at the Idaho Falls City Council work session.  And that evening, at the regular City Council meeting, they will have the second of three readings of the ordinance.  So far, our support is clear.  However, the council seems to be satisfied that they’ve reached a solid compromise based on our testimony and a number of opposition emails.

There are still problems.  The draft ordinance leaves out 46.7% of businesses.  Almost half of all businesses in Idaho Falls would be exempt from the ordinance.

The meetings are in the City Council Chambers at 680 Park Ave.  The work session officially starts at 8:30am.  The official council meeting starts at 7:30pm.  Official agendas have been released:  morning work session here, and evening city council meeting here.


Saturday’s Voyeur

ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO BUY TICKETS AT DISCOUNT PRICES!

We’ve gotten the following invitation from the SLC Drinking Liberally group:

On Aug 23rd we'll do our annual outing to see Saturday's Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company.  Call the box office by August 9th at 801-363-7522 and tell them you are with Drinking Liberally to reserve your discounted tickets.

A suggestion on where to stay is the Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown located at 425 S 300 W.  It is close to the theater, has free coffee and breakfast.  It is a 3-star hotel.  It is across the street from Pioneer Park which has a lovely Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  They have a late check out at 2PM allowing time to browse the market.

Please note, the theater allows you to bring in food and drinks.  People bring in picnic baskets and coolers.  Alcohol is allowed.  Last year, we had a late lunch so we stopped at a local restaurant and picked up some dinner to go and took it with us to eat at the show.

Let’s get a big crowd together and share the night with SLC DL!

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker
Petition:  tell the Hilary-haters that it’s not OK to slap women

 

Quotations of the Week

“Regressives have said ‘no’ to every idea for boosting jobs over the last five years because they like high unemployment.  (1) It keeps wages down, because workers who are worried about losing their jobs settle for whatever they can get – which is why the median wage is 4% lower than it was at the start of the recovery.  This in turn helps boost corporate profits, thereby keeping regressives’ corporate patrons happy.  (2) It keeps stock prices up, because the Fed is committed to buying long-term bonds as long as unemployment remains high – which pushes investors into equities rather than bonds.  This in turn helps boosts executive pay and Wall Street commissions, thereby keeping regressives’ financial patrons happy.  (3) It keeps most average people economically fearful and financially insecure – which sets them up to believe regressive lies that their biggest enemy is ‘big government’ that will tax away the little they have and give it to ‘undeserving’ minorities; that they should support low taxes on corporations and wealthy ‘job creators;’ and that new immigrants threaten their jobs.

Progressives need to hammer home that (1) the real job creators are consumers, and that if average people don’t have jobs or good wages this economy can’t have a vigorous recovery; (2) the rich would do better with a smaller share of a rapidly-growing economy than their current big share of an economy that’s hardly moving; and therefore everyone would benefit from (3) higher taxes on the wealthy to finance public investments in roads, bridges, public transit, better schools, affordable higher education, and healthcare – all of which will help the middle class and the poor, and generate more and better jobs.  (We also need a living wage, a small military, and less casino-capitalism on Wall Street.)”
Robert Reich

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  One of my favorite songs from the Magnetic Fields:  Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
Texas is running out of killer drugs
“Colorblind” ideology is a form of racism
What is Idaho’s congressional delegation afraid of?
Lots of things that the real Mary Poppins hated about the movie
I’d push the button.  Maybe.
Don’t be a douche
True facts about the owl
25 ridiculous conservative ideas
Colbert nails the anti-Obamacare movement
Hilarious and scary at the same time:  race relations in the US
Hilarious comments posted on this Monet piece at Amazon
Amazing anti-suffragette cartoons
Why I like long-distance running
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Aug 8 Thurs City Council work session – nondiscrimination ordinance to be discussed (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 8:30am)
Aug 8 Thurs City Council Meeting – nondiscrimination ordinance to receive second of three readings (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 7:30pm)
Aug 23 Fri IF City Club:  Sen James Risch (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Aug 23 Fri Saturday’s Voyeur with the SLC DL chapter
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours!
Sept 21 Sat Pocatello Pride Picnic and BBQ
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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 D'railed

 

Tonight!

Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, Aug 1th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place D’railed at 468 N Eastern Ave (next door to the Bonneville Humane Society Thrift Store)
 

I just got back from an interview trip, and I’m very late with this notice.  I don’t think I’ve ever been thiss late.  Let’s get together tonight at D’railed and catch up.  There’s lots to report on Idaho Falls Pride, and on the nondiscrimination ordinance.


Special Notes


  • » Second reading of the Nondiscrimination Ordinance at the City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug 8th, 7:30pm (Council Chambers, 680 Park Ave, 7:30pm)
  • » Saturday’s Voyeur, a joint activity of our group and the SLC chapter of Drinking Liberally – Friday, Aug 23rd
  • » Idaho Falls Pride! – Sept 14th, Unitarian Universalist Church, 10am

Soup Kitchen

Join us this Sunday at the Soup Kitchen around 11:30am!


Pay-it-Forward Fundraiser -- NOW POSTPONED

Unfortunately, there was a disagreement on the planning, and the planners now have lost their momentum.  Plus, with all the other stuff going on this year (Pride, nondiscrimination, work commitments, etc), they’ve decided to put off the Pay-it-Forward fundraiser until this winter.  I’ll let you know.


Saturday’s Voyeur

We’ve gotten the following invitation from the SLC Drinking Liberally group:

On Aug 23rd we’ll do our annual outing to see Saturday’s Voyeur at Salt Lake Acting Company.  Call the box office by August 9th at 801-363-7522 and tell them you are with Drinking Liberally to reserve your discounted tickets.

A suggestion on where to stay is the Hampton Inn Salt Lake City Downtown located at 425 S 300 W.  It is close to the theater, has free coffee and breakfast.  It is a 3-star hotel.  It is across the street from Pioneer Park which has a lovely Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  They have a late check out at 2PM allowing time to browse the market.

Please note, the theater allows you to bring in food and drinks.  People bring in picnic baskets and coolers.  Alcohol is allowed.  Last year, we had a late lunch so we stopped at a local restaurant and picked up some dinner to go and took it with us to eat at the show.

Let’s get a big crowd together and share the night with SLC DL!

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 (thanks Dawn)
… and don’t forget to sign up for Idaho Bill Tracker

 

Quotations of the Week

“In an alternative universe, the United States might re-intervene in Iraq, redeploying tens of thousands of soldiers to restore everyone’s sense of safety and allowing the political process to heal again.  In this universe, the United States is never going to intervene in Iraq again, nor will the Maliki government ever request that we do so.”
Kenneth Pollack, architect of the Iraq catastrophe, who apparently thinks anyone who’s hesitant to invade Iraq a second time is unreasonable

 

“I’d be leading the charge [for defunding Obamacare] if I thought this would work.  But it will not work … You’re going to set an expectation among the conservatives in our party that we can achieve something that we’re not able to achieve.  It’s not an achievable strategy.  It’s creating the false impression that you can do something when you can’t.  And it’s dishonest … You’re not going to stop the funding, but what you will do is shut down the government.  Among that group of senators that has been considering this, I was the only one who was here for that.  The president is never going to sign a bill defunding Obamacare.  Do you think he’s going to cave?  The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House”
Sen. Tom Coburn

 

links … links … Links … LINKS … LINKS!

  Idaho Falls Pride website is live!
Pocatello’s great Fourth of July parade 2great4hate/MBB/Standing on the Side of Love/All Under One Roof joint entry
Bill Nye:  something you really should know
Bill Nye:  could we stop an asteroid?
Cool ad for an interesting service
Really cool computer artist
  If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

 

     
Aug 4 Sun Soup Kitchen – join us from 11:30am – 1:30pm
Aug 23 Fri IF City Club:  Q&A with Sen. James Risch (Bennion SUB, noon – 1:30pm)
Aug 23 Fri Saturday’s Voyeur with the SLC DL chapter
Sept 13 Fri Idaho Falls Pride Opening Movie!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride!
Sept 14 Sat Idaho Falls Pride After Hours!
Sept 28 Sat CommUNITY Fest, Tautphaus Park Hockey Shelter, 11am to 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