Is This Your Hat?
2 years ago
For ideologues who value biblical morality and believe in the efficacy of punishment, modern conservatives are as tolerant of their famous sinners as the jaded libertines of the left. Even after confessing to the most flagrant and colorful fornication, the worst that a conservative must anticipate is a stern scolding, followed by warm assurances of God's forgiveness and a swift return to business as usual....and...
By the way, while Vitter, Ensign, Gingrich and perhaps Sanford have been able to retain their positions and political viability, the same cannot be said for the most recent offenders on the progressive side. Neither Eliot Spitzer nor John Edwards, each among the most promising figures in the Democratic Party, will ever be a candidate for public office again, although their misbehavior was no worse than what their Republican counterparts did.This phenomenon has baffled me for years... at least since the Clinton scandal: how can the right- or more accurately, the social conservatives- expect to be taken seriously when their own behaviors are so demonstrably out of line with the behaviors they demand of others? But other discussions have finally clarified this issue for me.
Yes, conservatives sin just as much as liberals. But they aren’t “socially permissive and casually tolerant” — at least not in the same way that liberals are. First of all, there’s a difference in what bothers them. When a liberal politician engages in sexual betrayal, what bothers his erstwhile supporters is the betrayal. When a conservative politician does it, what bothers the supporters is the sex.(...)
From their point of view the cause, the need to police what people do in bed, is, by definition, right, because it’s literally God-given. So the fact that some of those trying to police what other people do in bed are themselves doing nasty things does not reflect on the cause itself — on the contrary, it shows just how necessary more bed-snooping is.Now, honestly, I read this intially as snark, not as a serious analysis of the conservative mindset. But I've been mulling it over, and it seems more and more plausible. It's been clear since at least the mid-eighties that conservative howling over abortion and pre-marital sex has little to do with the actual behaviors, and everything to do with repugnance toward the idea of sex itself, shame that they recognize- and are compelled to respond to- the sex drive within themselves, and with maintaining traditional gender roles. So Krugman's argument is esentially that (at least some) redemption from perceived sin is to recognize that everyone, including one's self, is likely to stray from a "righteous" lifestyle, engaging in a persistant campaign of "bed-snooping" to catch offenders, and outing them in the public square; the resulting shame is redemptive to both the catcher and the caught.
When a Republican affair is exposed, the left seems to assume that the religious right, with the exacting moral standards it tends to laud, will have one less general leading its "pro family" brigade. But practice shows us otherwise. While for Democrats, adultery often leads to ruined or constrained careers – think Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards – Republican adulterers from Newt Gingrich to David Vitter have lived to see another political day, still championing their hard-line conservative positions.(...)
What we are witnessing is the culmination of "the personal is political," a philosophy pioneered by the left and perfected by the right. The stumbling block for liberals is their unfamiliarity with the "personal" of the Christian right. Where the left sees hypocrisy, the evangelical right sees a millenniums-old story of fallen humanity and healing redemption. With a politically active religious right, that story matters not just in terms of theology but of practical politics.In other words, the religious right recognizes the importance of forgiveness of perceived infractions. But it does beg the question, "Then why does an affair destroy the careers of politicians such as 'Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards?'" Here's my conjecture: from the perspective of the religious right, if you're a liberal, you are by definition worshipping the wrong god (lowercase intentional). Likewise anyone else who is not clearly a Christian Social Conservative (CSC), as evidenced by vociferously spouting all of the soundbites, taglines and coded signals that we have all come to know so well.
The young von Braun was enthralled by explosives and fireworks, to the great chagrin of his father, who considered his son a juvenile delinquent. As a teenager, he strapped six skyrockets to a red toy wagon and set them off. The wagon traveled five blocks, streaming flames, before the rockets exploded, destroying the wagon, and von Braun was arrested.For those who don't recognize the name, von Braun was a leading US rocket scientist during the early years of NASA; it's reasonable to suppose the moon shot wouldn't have happened until many years later if he had been working in another country- such as Russia. And where did he train?
Despite this inauspicious beginning, he went on to earn a PhD in physics in the late 1930s. Within two years he found himself heading Nazi Germany’s military rocket development program. He invented the V-2 ballistic missile, first launched on October 3, 1942. This would be the ancestor of practically every missile used today.It was only in early high school that I began to understand enough history to more fully understand the humor in Tom Leher's take on the man. But from an early age, I loved the line in the song below, "'Once zee rrrockets are up, who cares where zey come down? Zat's not my department,' says Wernher von Braun."I'm not able to get to the post I took the above quotes from at the moment (Google tells me the site appears to be down), so I'll stick in a link later. Followup: I just realized that the site may be down, but the URL ought to be valid when it comes back up...After Germany's defeat in 1945, von Braun and his entire team of rocket experts came to the US with all their plans and prototypes.
At 12:34.56pm today it will be 123456789. Not gonna happen again for another century so happy 123456789 day!I propose a boisterous one-second-long party at that moment.
Some people believe that Buzz Lightyear, the fictional cartoon character from the film Toy Story, was the first man on the moon.In a survey, which reveals "deeply worrying" levels of ignorance about the Apollo space programme, which sent three men to the moon forty years ago this month, 11 out of 1009 people surveyed thought Buzz Lightyear was the first person to step onto the moon. A further 8 people thought it was Louis Armstrong, with less than three-quarters correctly answering that it was Neil Armstrong.The survey, undertaken on behalf of E&T magazine, published by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, also revealed that over a quarter of all people do not believe the astronauts actually landed on the moon.
The Worthingtons, an Oregon City couple who believe in faith healing rather than secular medicine, are charged in Clackamas County Circuit Court with second-degree manslaughter and criminal mistreatment for failing to seek medical care for their daughter.(...)
The child died on March 2, 2008 after being sick for several days. "She struggled so long she couldn't struggle any more," Leonhardt said. Ava could have been saved, right up to her last hour, with medical treatment, he said.Ignorance not supposed to be used as an excuse for breaking the law. Yet apparently the Worthington's ignorance, that medicine works better than prayers, is being used as an excuse to try them for manslaughter and mistreatment rather than murder.
EAST HANOVER, NJ—A new report released by the Food and Drug Administration Monday suggests that regular consumption of Oreo's Double Stuf cookies could lead to an increased tolerance to stuf.http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/report_double_stuf_oreos
Asked if he has plans to run for public office, he replied, “I hope not. You know, I talked to God about that and he was like, ‘No.’”http://thinkprogress.org/2009/07/01/plumber-god/
He continued, “I believe he’s gotten me on this grassroots movement. If I can encourage leaders to step up, that’s what I would like to do. That’s a heavy role. That’s something I don’t know if I am prepared to do yet.”
But Wurzelbacher said he will keep that door open if God ever calls him to be that leader.
And here’s the sense in which Malthus was right: he had a fundamentally valid model of the pre-Industrial Revolution economy, which was one in which technological progress translated into more people, not higher living standards. This homeostasis only broke down when very rapid technological change finally outstripped population pressure for an extended period.Of course, Malthus’s predictive failure wasn’t accidental. Technological takeoff was the product of a newly inquisitive, empirically-minded, scientific culture — the kind of culture that could produce people like Malthus.