Monthly Archives: March 2005


Jimmy listened as the distinguished
professor, wisdom silver as her hair,
explained how no human has ever seen

his/her own back
his/her own eyes.

Later, Jimmy was found
oddly twisted
near a mirror
neck broken as a heart.

Pharisee Nation

[Thanks to beast_o_bourbon for passing this on.]

American Nation Brainwashed
by John Dear

We have become a culture of Pharisees. Instead of practicing an authentic spirituality of compassion, nonviolence, love and peace, we as a collective people have become self-righteous, arrogant, powerful, murderous hypocrites who dominate and kill others in the name of God. The Pharisees supported the brutal Roman rulers and soldiers, and lived off the comforts of the empire by running an elaborate banking system which charged an exorbitant fee for ordinary people just to worship God in the Temple. Since they taught that God was present only in the Temple, they were able to control the entire population. If anyone opposed their power or violated their law, the Pharisees could kill them on the spot, even in the holy sanctuary.

Most North American Christians are now becoming more and more like these hypocritical Pharisees. We side with the rulers, the bankers, and the corporate millionaires and billionaires. We run the Pentagon, bless the bombing raids, support executions, make nuclear weapons and seek global domination for America as if that was what the nonviolent Jesus wants. And we dismiss anyone who disagrees with us.

We have become a mean, vicious people, what the bible calls “stiff-necked people.” And we do it all with the mistaken belief that we have the blessing of God.

Reagrdless of the eventual outcome in America’s war for the soul of Jesus, I’m ecstatic to see more informed, moderate, mainstream voices finally speaking out in an attempt to reclaim their faith.

Jeb acted to defy judicial order

[Credit: Thanks to Cody Barstow of Mojo City News for the link.]

Fla. officials’ attempt, fail to seize Schiavo
Fri Mar 25, 9:32 PM ET

MIAMI – Hours after a judge ordered that Terri Schiavo wasn’t to be removed from her hospice, a team of Florida law enforcement agents were en route to seize her and have her feeding tube reinserted – but they stopped short when local police told them they would enforce the judge’s order, The Miami Herald has learned.

This answers a question I’ve had, I think. It’s been an obvious question for a couple of days now as to whether Jeb Bush would act to ignore the rule of law and ride in six-guns a’blazin’ to “save” Terri Schiavo. My sense was that it would only happen if Jeb in fact planned a run at the White House – laying the groundwork so that they could campaign on the fact that Hillary Clinton personally murdered Schiavo in the middle of a remarkable – nay, miraculous – recovery, etc.

So this indicates that Jeb is thinking that way, right? Well, all of a sudden maybe not, because Terri’s father has been raising hell the last couple of days blaming Jeb for not doing anything. Which all of a sudden turns him into a bad guy – ironic as hell, that twist, huh? Jeb was trying to play an innocent PR game, and damned Daddy had to go and take it all seriously.

So maybe this was an attempt by Gov. Jeb to clear his name, purge the record of any possible accusation that he’s not morally pure, whatever.

Stay tuned for more Dog & Pony Show!

“Coverage” of the Schiavo case

biasedreporter asked the community what it thought about coverage of the Schiavo story. I posted a comment, but then I got to expanding on it and thought I’d xpost the revised comment here for the benefit of those who don’t read that community.

The “coverage” of the story has been appalling. Again we have a case where the institutional press has allowed itself to be gamed by cynical politicians interested primarily in exploiting the Schiavo case for political gain.

The story here, if the press were doing its job, is about political grandstanding and what the GOP is doing away from the light of press scrutiny. A number of editorial types and lots of bloggers are getting it right, but so far the nation’s “reporters” keep dry humping along just like they did on WMDs, the “link” between 9/11 and Iraq, and gay marriage.

I keep coming back to this observation from a story late last year. Geneva Overholser isn’t some kind of hellraising outsider intent on tearing down the industry – she’s one of the more respected members of the journalism community (a former managing editor at the Des Moines Register, ed board member at the NY Times, ombudsman at the Washington Post, a chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, etc. – see more on her credentials here) so this quote is something of an A-bomb:

Geneva Overholser, the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in public affairs reporting, Missouri School of Journalism, Washington bureau
“This was the year when it finally became unmistakably clear that objectivity has outlived its usefulness as an ethical touchstone for journalism. The way it is currently construed, “objectivity” makes the media easily manipulable by an executive branch intent on and adept at controlling the message. It produces a rigid orthodoxy, excluding voices beyond the narrowly conventional.

“And it leads to a false balance of `on the one hand, on the other hand’ stories that make the two `hands’ appear equal even when factual weight lies 98 percent on one side. Objectivity’s most effective use today is as a cudgel in the hands of those who wish to beat up on the media” (Hartford Courant).

Meanwhile, Frank Rich, one of those aforementioned editorial types, nails the “God Racket” in yesterday’s column (thx to Frank Venturo and BellaRagazza for the link). The Times is like a lot of American newspapers in that it will be a lot better off – as will its readers – when it realizes that it needs to get its analysis and interpretation functions off the ed page and onto the front page. We already know the who/what/when/where of news by the time the paper comes out. What we need is a more up-front approach to why and how….