Hank Williams, Jr. said some stupid shit. Because, you know, he’s not exactly a rocket surgeon or a model of progressive, pro-human ideals. I can’t imagine that this comes as much a surprise to anyone. Now ESPN has done what they pretty much had to and kicked Hank to the curb. Read all about it.
Two quick thoughts.
First, that Monday Night Football intro sequence was getting tired. Five years ago, in fact. Read more
In September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. They flew three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The fourth was retaken by the passengers and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. These things we know. Since then, much has transpired. For example:
- The US invaded Afghanistan, the nation that had harbored the terrorists and their mastermind, Osama bin Laden. The war has not been uniformly well managed and attempts to install a stable self-government have so far failed. Many experts argue that our efforts there have been woefully counterproductive. Read more
Part 2 of 2. (Read part 1…)
It’s Time to Separate Church and State, Once and for All
If you recall, anti-Catholic prejudice was once a problem for Catholic politicians in the US. John F. Kennedy went so far as to address the issue head-on in his 1960 campaign – probably because he didn’t feel he had much choice. Here’s what he told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12 of that year:
I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me.
He went on to assert his respect for the separation of church and state and vowed that Catholic officials would not dictate policy to him. As noted in part 1, the times, they have a-changed. Read more
Part 1 of 2.
I tripped across a provocative headline in the Wall Street Journal the other day: “They Need to be Liberated from Their God.” Turns out the story was about Mosab Hassan Yousef and his spying on Hamas. Which was a little disappointing. There’s no doubt that Palestinian Muslims need to be liberated from their god, but given the recent explosion in documented attacks by US Christians on their fellow Americans (as well as on reason and basic common sense), I thought perhaps the WSJ was going to be the first mainstream “news” outlet to do a story on Jesus Gone Wild!
I keep a running tab of stories that strike my interest. Read more
America’s democratic ideal doesn’t work perfectly. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and in these cases it feeds our cynicism to the point where we’re tempted to conclude that the very possibility of true freedom is a sham. I know whereof I speak, because there are few people out there more soaked in bile than I am.
Still, this whole “marketplace of ideas” is a marvelous concept. Perhaps the most marvelous concept in history. Drawing on the Miltonian belief that if people are allowed to enter the agora and freely state their cases, then “the truth will out” (that is, an educated and informed citizenry will unerringly perceive the truth and that weaker ideas will be disregarded in favor of stronger ones), our nation’s founders crafted a Constitution that assured people the right to voice their opinions, free from government intrusion. Read more
Part one of a series
April 20, 2009: 11:19 am MDT
Ten years ago a co-worker turned to me and said something that I’ll never forget, no matter how long I live: “Hey, Sammy, there’s been a school shooting in Littleton.”
Since that day a great deal has been written and said about Columbine High School and the events of 4.20.99, and like a lot of other people I’ve tried my hardest to make sense of something that seemed (and still seems) inherently senseless. Tried and failed. Now, ten years on, the grief hasn’t fully dissipated here in the city that I have come to call home, and even if we manage to understand the whos, whats, and hows, there’s a part of us that’s doomed to wrestle forever with the whys. Read more
We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas. – Natalie Maines
I don’t even know the Dixie Chicks, but I find it an insult for all the men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching. – Merle Haggard
Last night over dinner the subject of The Dixie Chicks came up, and I got mad all over again. Which is unfortunate, because when you think about artists that talented the last thing on your mind ought to be anger. But still, it’s been six long years now since “the top of the world came crashing down,” and I can’t quite free myself of my rage at the staggering ignorance that led so many Americans to piss on the 1st Amendment by attempting to destroy the careers of Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robinson. Read more
In years to come, it seems likely that the ongoing civil suit brought against the University of Colorado by former professor Ward Churchill will provide students in many law classes with a lively case study to debate. If you aren’t already familiar with the details of the clusterfuck story, you can catch up at the NY Times and Boulder Daily Camera. If, at that point, you still haven’t slaked your thirst for data on all things Ward, you can keep on Googling here.
Buff U is pointing to all manner of irregularities in Churchill’s scholarship, asserting that he was fired for plagiarism. Ward’s attorneys have another theory: Read more
Early today hackers launched an attack against the SoapBlox network, wreaking havoc with a significant number of progressive blogs (including Pam’s House Blend, My Left Wing and several state-focused sites). At one point it looked as though the whole network may have been trashed, although at this point it seems that some sites (like our friends at Square State) were mercifully unaffected (for the time being, anyway). Some that were initially taken down are now back up and running.
It’s not yet known who was behind the attack.
Paul Preston, who runs the network, was understandably at the point of despair early today, posting a note saying that the operation was dead. Fortunately his latest missive notes that things are stabilized and moving ahead, and for this we’re grateful. Read more
If you have a pulse and an IQ of at least 70, you probably realize that our mainstream press sucks. The silly bitches at the networks (and way too many newspapers, as well) fall all over themselves address the pig/lipstick story. They treat the price of John Edwards’ latest haircut like they would news that Lower Fucktardistan just nuked Annandale (although they don’t seem nearly as concerned over John McCain’s $5K celebrity makeover). And their fair and balanced coverage can’t seem to distinguish between the truth and a bald-faced lie.
In short, we know – at an abstract level – that they aren’t telling us the important stories. But … what are those stories that they aren’t telling us? When they send a “reporter” to cover the latest Sarah Palin photo-op, what story have they decided not to cover? Read more
As noted a couple weeks ago, the S&R team hooked up with the crew from Zero Coordinate and Eccentric Production at the DNC in Denver. In addition to their invaluable help in shooting the Lee Camp interview, we also worked together in covering the Returned Soldiers/Rage Against the Machine/Tent State march on the DNC.
Natalie Ashodian and her team have now produced a powerful video from that march, and for those who only read about it (or, as is more likely the case, given how little attention the mainstream press paid to it, never even heard about it in the first place) this coverage is extremely important. Read more
CountyFair had an important and much-needed lesson in journalistic ethics for us this morning. The key points:
First: it should never, ever be considered acceptable to quote a candidate or official making a false claim without noting its falsity. Reporters do this all the time, justifying it by saying they’re just presenting both sides, or that they aren’t making the false claim, they’re just reporting it, or saying they corrected three other false claims in the article. That is not sufficient: if a journalist includes a false or misleading claim in their news report — in any form — without indicating that is false, they are actively helping to spread misinformation.
Second: the way in which news reports debunk misinformation matters a great deal. Read more
On February 23, comedian Lee Camp appeared on FOX News, where he proceeded to sound off on the hosts and their audience.
“What is Fox News?” asks comedian and activist Lee Camp on the air. “It’s just a parade of propaganda, isn’t it? It’s just a…festival of ignorance.”
Obviously Camp is a man with some political convictions. He’s also a very, very funny guy, as he demonstrated during the recent DNC festivities in Denver. Appearing with several other noteworthy names (SNL’s Fred Armisen, Sam Seder, Eugene Mirman, and the guys from BarelyPolitical.com, to name a few), Camp stole the show with a set that touched on everything from whether America is ready for a black president to whether we’re ready for Miley Cyrus.
Afterward, Camp made a few minutes to answer some questions for S&R and its readers. Read more
Our friends over at Colorado Independent have a great new analysis up on free speech zones graveyards at the upcoming DNC. As Constitutional attorney John Whitehead explains, the Dems will be the only party this summer building a fence around open expression.
Protesters at the upcoming Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver in late August will be corralled into caged “free speech zones” made of chicken wire and chain link fences which are located more than two football fields from the delegates’ entrance. Those who attempt to exercise their First Amendment rights outside this makeshift cage, which is partially obscured by trees and sculptures, will be arrested. (Ironically, protesters at this year’s Republican National Convention will not face a cage or even policemen in riot gear.) Read more