Would it kill Circuit City to just come out and say what the countdown is for? It’s kind of silly that we can’t find one mention of the word “CHRISTMAS” on Circuit City’s website but we’re politely reminded by the “Holiday Countdown” that there are only seven days left to get free shipping.
I’m told there’s no war on Christmas but the very word is being avoided like the plague.
Al Gore, you’re In great company:
MADRID, Spain (AP) – Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States were “not that terrible” when compared to attacks by the IRA in Britain.
“September 11 was terrible, but if one goes back over the history of the IRA, what happened to the Americans wasn’t that terrible,” the Nobel Literature Prize winner told the leading Spanish daily El Pais.
“Some Americans will think I’m crazy. Many people died, two prominent buildings fell, but it was neither as terrible nor as extraordinary as they think. They’re a very naive people, or they pretend to be,” she said in an interview published Sunday.
Not extraordinary? Muslim extremism that marked true evil and ignited a treacherous war isn’t extraordinary? They sure know how to pick Nobel Prize winners.
In an incredibly asinine decision by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to censor the part of comedian Kathy Griffin’s acceptance speech last Saturday dissing Jesus is giving her exactly what she wants: publicity:
Griffin made the provocative comment on Saturday night as she took the stage of the Shrine Auditorium to collect her Emmy for best reality program for her Bravo channel show “My Life on the D-List.”
“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus,” an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. “Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.”
Asked about her speech backstage a short time later, an unrepentant Griffin added, “I hope I offended some people. I didn’t want to win the Emmy for nothing.”
Comedians by nature are supposed to say something funny upon receiving the meaningless statue at whatever awards show they’re being honored at on that particular evening. Sometimes it can be construed as offensive, but for me that’s a lot better than some routine boring oration about how “hard” they worked to achieve this moment.
And yes, even the props-to-Jesus gets old. This time Griffin does something a little different and all of sudden the Academy pretends to be sensitive about a religion routinely defiled by the industry it celebrates.
But as ridiculous as it was to censor Griffin for saying something negative about Jesus, it doesn’t come close to the audacity of the schools that do the same to valedictorians who praise the lord during their graduation speeches.
I’ve been following this case for awhile and am pleased that the court didn’t give in to the ACLU’s ridiculous demand that a portrait of Jesus be taken off a wall inside a Louisiana courthouse:
A disputed portrait of Jesus Christ will remain at the Slidell city courthouse in Louisiana after a federal judge refused to grant a demand by the American Civil Liberties Union to have the painting removed.
The Jesus portrait, which had been on display in the courthouse for more than a decade, had spurred the ACLU to file a lawsuit claiming that the display violated the separation of church and state.
An interesting fact you won’t hear from others covering this story, especially those who sided with the ACLU, is that the judge who dismissed the case, Ivan Lemelle, is a President Clinton appointee.
Yet expect many to blame the ruling on President Bush’s efforts to Christianize the nation and drive the courts in a fundamentally conservative direction.
He says he’s not gay. I couldn’t care less. The police report is highly uneventful and hardly worth the media fanfare covering the minor charges of “interference with privacy” and “disorderly conduct,” but he pleaded guilty anyway, and now regrets admitting guilt. With good reason too, as the available evidence would probably not have held up in court had Craig fought the charges.
But is he a hypocrite, as many have suggested, for being a conservative Republican while living a liberal social life? Hardly. Gays don’t have to support the legislation pushed by the homosexual lobby. You can be gay and oppose same-sex marriage at the same time. Blacks don’t have to support affirmative action. Women don’t have to support abortion. Christians don’t have to support prayer in schools.
Let’s not be so quick to accuse everyone of being a self-hater because they live a life that supposedly doesn’t fit their voting record. Let’s especially not use this incident to encourage Senator Craig to shed his conservative ideology and come out as the next gay-rights crusader.
At least one Texas couple believes the state has gone too far by requiring students to observe a moment of silence before the commencement of classes. Governor Rick Perry and a school district have been sued over the alleged child abuse:
David Wallace Croft and his wife, Shannon, of Carrollton, Texas, have three children at Rosemeade Elementary and argue that the moment of silence is unconstitutional and amounts to state-sanctioned school prayer.
The couple has a history of complaints against religious-affiliated words and images in schools, having previously complained about Boy Scout rallies held during school, fliers sent home about Good News Bible Club meetings and the inclusion of “Silent Night” and a Hanukkah song in holiday concerts, according to report.
Krista Moody, a spokeswoman for Perry, said the moment of silence law that the Crofts filed a suit against on March 1, 2006, was passed in 2003 and calls for students to observe a moment of silence after reciting pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags each day.
Not much to say on this one. I guess if you tried…really hard, you could somehow almost see how standing in a moment of silence is tantamount to forcing prayer into a young impressionable mind. Leave that crap to the Boy Scouts.
It’s a significant discovery, especially since the so-called people of science who look down on the religious as retarded flat-earthers are so damn sure about the origins of life:
WASHINGTON – Surprising research based on two African fossils suggests our family tree is more like a wayward bush with stubby branches, challenging what had been common thinking on how early humans evolved.
The discovery by Meave Leakey, a member of a famous family of paleontologists, shows that two species of early human ancestors lived at the same time in Kenya. That pokes holes in the chief theory of man’s early evolution — that one of those species evolved from the other.
And it further discredits that iconic illustration of human evolution that begins with a knuckle-dragging ape and ends with a briefcase-carrying man.
It was once believed for the longest time that Homo sapiens evolved from Neanderthals. Now it’s apparently the case that we’re completely unrelated. Some scientists and researchers are downplaying this minor revision:
Susan Anton, a New York University anthropologist and co-author of the Leakey work, said she expects anti-evolution proponents to seize on the new research, but said it would be a mistake to try to use the new work to show flaws in evolution theory.
“This is not questioning the idea at all of evolution; it is refining some of the specific points,” Anton said. “This is a great example of what science does and religion doesn’t do. It’s a continous (sic) self-testing process.”
So the defense here is that it’s okay for science to keep disproving itself because whenever one theory is discredited a new one takes its place! If finding out that we in fact don’t come from Neanderthals isn’t a “flaw in evolution theory” then neither was discovering the link between cigarettes and cancer a flaw in the earliest research of tobacco that saw so no health risks.
And of course Susan Anton had to exploit religion in her defense of this “new evolution” despite the fact that religion has nothing to do with this debate. Even if it’s absolutely the case that man evolved from an earlier species you can’t rule out the possibility that it was started by a higher being. But don’t tell Susan Anton. She’s too busy being smarter and more enlightened than the rest of us.
And one that hardly rises to the level of emotion one should express when apologizing for the prolific rapes that were wrought by an unfathomable number of trusted priests in the Catholic Church:
LOS ANGELES – Cardinal Roger Mahony, leader of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, apologized Sunday to the hundreds of people who will get a share of a $660 million settlement over allegations of clergy sex abuse.
“There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them…The one thing I wish I could give the victims, I cannot,” he said.
“Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused…It should not have happened and should not ever happen again.”
It should not have happened. Those were the exact same words spoken by Oliver O’Grady in Amy Berg’s documentary, Deliver Us From Evil, when talking about the children he raped for more than 30 years as a priest in the diocese run by Mahony.
But saying “it should not have happened” is hardly a showing of remorse, and the evidence suggesting that Cardinal Mahoney knew all about O’Grady’s activities leaves little to be optimistic about concerning the supposedly new direction of the Catholic Church.
What a timely bit of news coming on the same day I decide to watch Deliver Us From Evil, the horrifying documentary by Amy Berg about Oliver O’Grady, the priest who molested children for more than 30 years as he was being shuffled around from parish to parish by the unrepentant archdioceses of Los Angeles. Now they’re paying, literally:
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will settle its clergy abuse cases for at least $600 million, by far the largest payout in the church’s sexual abuse scandal, The Associated Press learned Saturday.
The archdiocese and its insurers will pay between $600 million and $650 million to about 500 plaintiffs—an average of $1.2 to $1.3 million per person. The settlement also calls for the release of confidential priest personnel files after review by a judge assigned to oversee the litigation, the sources said.
I’m usually quite vocal on this blog about unnecessarily large payouts to the victims in often frivolous lawsuits, but to me even $1.3 million hardly compensates (can there be a magic amount?) the countless victims of sexual abuse by pedophile priests who were protected by the Catholic Church.
Andrew Cohen at Washington Post’s Bench Conference laments the ass-kicking we were handed today by a conservative Supreme Court majority in four of five rulings (the fifth was near unanimity):
The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school.
Indeed, so strong is the conservative bent to the court right now that even when its right-facing Justices did not agree on the legal reasons or rationale for their rulings– which was the case in the religion case noted above– they are able to agree to promote government sponsorship of religion and to block taxpayer efforts to prevent it. In other words, there is room for dissent even among the Court’s working majority– a bad sign for liberal judges, lawyers and litigants in the months and years to come.
Contrary to the forthcoming hysteria, today’s rulings were hardly earth-shattering developments. Yes, the conservatives weakened McCain-Feingold; good news for people who appreciate free speech. McCain-Feingold is a crappy law that tells us when we can and cannot promote a candidate of our choosing with our own money during election season. Even a majority of liberals are satisfied with today’s outcome in this case. Nevertheless the justices restrained themselves from striking it down completely. So don’t worry, Congress can and will still tell us how we we’re allowed to participate in political campaigns.
The supposed “wall” that separates the evil church and state is still intact; the Supreme Court simply reminded us that charities vying for federal funds ought not to be punished because they have a religious affiliation. Instead, charities should be judged by their effectiveness.
The kid whose “silly” sign got him into trouble was reminded that you can be punished for celebrating illegal activity (in this case drug use) if done on school time. To be sure, Cohen is right in his analysis that there was dissent amongst the majority – Clarence Thomas would have given schools the power to regulate all forms of speech because, “in the earliest public schools, teachers taught, and students listened,” and that’s how it should be today. He was alone in concurrence.
Cohen is also right that any doubts there may have been that President Bush moved the court to the Right have been surely extinguished. Expect more of today on Thursday when the court is expected to finish this year’s term.