Category Archives: politics

Time to Cry Tuesday – Separation of Church and State

Is this bothering anyone else? All this concentration on religion in government? Not because I am a Jew, for I don’t believe my Synagogue has any place in politics either. Or because I am a Democrat, because quite frankly I am none to comfortable with our President speaking about his faith or those who doubt it. It is completely irrelevant to running a government. Period.

Hey, land of the free and brave… Wassup?

The absolutely most horrifying comments of the week come right off the front page of the NYT Sunday paper:

Rick Santorum warned of the “dangers of contraceptives” and rejected JFK’s call for strict separation of church and state. He went so far as to tell George Stephanopoulus that Kennedy’s ideas are so terrible that they make him want to throw up. (lovely)

On the first point, let’s do one of those pros and cons lists for contraceptives and show me exactly how the dangers of using them compare to all those unwanted pregnancies. I get if you choose not to use contraceptives due to your religious leanings, I expect the same respect in return. Lose the fear mongering on dangers.

On point two… seriously? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that he gets to reject the concept. Since we, as Americans, have been kicking the idea of separation of church and state since around SINCE 18-friggin-02, why is this up for discussion now?

For those that might want a refresher on JFK’s speech in question from 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote. … I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish … where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Yeh, I can see why he found that offensive, can’t you?!

Plainly put. YOUR religion, is YOUR religion. Not mine. Not my neighbors. Not the Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist… Atheist for that matter.

Ok, admit you are glad I did not get started on that slut Rush Limbaugh…

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Filed under politics, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Why Politics are Akin to Sports

I know what you are thinking, what the heck does she know about politics and sports. Not a whole lot, but my dear friend David C. Haas does and this is a guest post on demand from my college friends.  We have a thread going for years now, and if you missed my post about them it is worth a read; they are a lively group. Dave wrote this on the thread today and we voted to give it an airing in the blogosphere. So give this a tweet, a share, a stumble or just read it to a friend; he has great insight. In respect to my friends in the media who do not fit this description, my opinion on this is that it is a generalization about mass media and not an attack on those of you who still take great pride in your craft. 

Enjoy, and feel free to comment.

I know the problem, but not the solution. Politics has become too akin to sports. People are diehard fans of their “team” (Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Green Party, etc.) and anyone who is on the other teams is a jerk only because they are on the other team. People don’t discuss anymore, they defend their team without listening to the other side. The networks have taken advantage of this by recognizing that they can make more money by not being impartial and instead being a booster of one of the teams.

The politicians use the networks to post trash talk on the locker room bulletin boards to psyche up the players (rally the base). The networks are only too happy to oblige and add their own inflammatory commentary which often times omits key facts, exaggerates the truth, or is an outright lie. Media exaggeration and lying have become so commonplace that apparently the politicians seem to think it’s okay and have stepped up their offense to include a new page in the playbook, the Super Spin, otherwise know as an outright lie.

Sen. John Kyl’s commentary that 90% of Planned Parenthood services were devoted to abortion were proven to be false (in 2009 approximately 3% were) and when he was confronted about this he replied that his speech “wasn’t intended to be factual”.

You have got to be kidding me! In any other profession this would not be tolerated. “Well doctor, what do the test results show?”, “I’m afraid you’ll need a heart transplant John”, “Huh, my specialist said it was acid reflux” “Well, ah… I wasn’t talking literally.”

The media used to be the umpires. They would call a foul, then show the instant replay for the fans to see, and the offending player would be penalized. But now the umpires have taken sides and can no longer agree on the fouls. And the fans are left confused and just assume that their team is in the right. But without umpires the game has gotten out of control. Teams are playing to win at all costs. They don’t care if the game suffers while they break all the rules.

Maybe someday the fans will realize that the game stinks, and stop going to the stadiums. And the empty seats will be votes against the teams and for the game.

My only hope is that after a few election cycles were each time the party in power loses, politicians will realize that the people are not voting for Republicans or for Democrats. They are voting against the corruption of the game, and until the players, owners, and league officials, can be trusted to act in the interest of the game, they will be off the team.

– David C. Haas

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Friends with Benefits


For my family, the only upside of the protests in Madison is the living classroom it provides for my kids. Jana went up to the Capitol to document the event and this is one of my favorite shots.

When teachers are the protestors the slogans are surely one notch up on the clever scale.

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4th Amendment Wear

This could be the most brilliant product of the decade. Designed by Tim Geoghegan and Matthew Ryan, these products show that bitching and moaning are not nearly as effective as making an intelligent statement.

A silent protest to the absurd lengths the TSA has taken security screening, this clothing proudly displays the 4th amendment. There are socks with it plainly written on top. Some funny kids’ stuff telling the ‘pervs’ to read the 4th amendment. But my favorites are these Ts and underwear printed in metallic ink that can be picked up by the scanners.

Peaceful protest.

Intelligent.

Non-threatening.

Makes the point without being disruptive.

File under ‘why did I not think of this’.

For those who are unfamiliar with the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Probable cause… indeed!

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Naked Cowboy Runs for President

Yes, kiddies, our old friend the Naked Cowboy is in the news again. This time he is not suing anyone for using his (not so) intellectual property in their advertising. He has actually announced his candidacy for president.

He held his press conference dressed in a suit. We are supposed to recognize him with his clothes on why?

And for what party would our old friend be running… you guessed it, the Tea(bag) Party. Oh the countless Sarah Palin jokes we could spin from this one!

So let’s see, “Sir, what are your qualifications?” “Well, I am able to withstand extreme temperatures in my skivvies”. Yup, that’s all I need in a national leader, how about you? I have to admit I sort of like his logo and the Blues Bros. pose in this picture.

He will be keeping company with the likes of a Delaware candidate who assured us – in a damn TV commercial – that she is not a witch. And the raving lunatic thug from Buffalo who has built almost his entire candidacy on anger and threats and thinks that sending racist and sexist emails to his friends is ok, as long as they are not public. Huh?

Although I do find this all amusing on some level, does it concern anyone else that political campaigns have reached a new level of circus?

Or should I say rodeo.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Trickledown Homophobia

No, I did not come up with that gem of a title, I borrowed it from Kathy Griffith. I urge you all to view the video at the bottom of this post and hear more about what she has to say on the topic. She is calm, reasonable, compassionate and using her fame to help reach out and fix a big piece of what is broken.

In light of the tragic suicide of a young man at Rutgers University, it has become glaringly obvious how crushingly hurtful homophobic acts can be. What some may try to explain away as a ‘college prank’ has turned into the end of a beautiful life. The life of someone’s son.

This is not remotely acceptable on any level. It cannot be justified, defended or explained away. It is simply wrong.

Gay is not an insult. It is not something to be ashamed of or tormented for. It is not a political stance, although many have been forced to defend it in political arenas. It is not to be whispered or snickered about. Being gay is simply a sexual orientation. That’s it!

Please watch this video.

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Filed under current events, politics, Time to Cry Tuesdays

9/11: From Horror Comes Hope

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

This year instead of looking back on the horror that was, let’s look forward to the thriving neighborhood that will be. Don’t read that wrong. I am a firm believer in never forgetting. This is a solemn day that deserves respect and reverence. But I believe there is always a place for hope.

In case you missed this NYT article, here are the plans for what will be a completely new piece of New York. One that will both remember what we have lost and give hope for what we will gain.

In this time of insanity surrounding the protest of the building of religious institutions and the burning of sacred texts, is it not time for us to be the America we have worked so desperately to defend and preserve?

Enough hatred.

Please feel free to remember anyone you have lost or hope you may have for the future, but do not feel free to preach hatred in these comments.

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Filed under communities, current events, New York, New York City, politics, religion