On Other Blogs

Monday, March 17th, 2008
  • Wow. Just wow.
  • Counterintuitive thoughts on teen suicide from Glen Whitman.
  • John Cole rounds up wingnut punditry on Pastor-gate. Do we really need to start digging up all the nutty things Christian right pastors have said in sermons over the last 20 years? I seem to remember Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell & Co. blaming 9/11, Katrina, and all sorts of other calamities on the gays, the womyns, and Grand Theft Auto. And yet GOP politicos still pilgrimage to the doorsteps of these idiots to seek their blessing. There are plenty of things for which one could criticize Obama. That his pastor says things rational people find silly only puts him on par with 90 percent of the rest of Congress. I guess it’s news because it’s just a different kind of silly.
  • Baylen Linnekin on Boston’s pending trans-fat ban.
  • “It drink purdy good, don’t it?” Thomas Pearson on the struggle for fermentation freedom in Alabama. More here.
  • Here’s a great idea: Let’s throw pregnant women who use drugs in prison. And let’s find out who we can target by talking to their doctors. You know, because what better way to show we care about the unborn than to scare pregnant drug users away from seeking medical care–and tossing them in a jail cell when they do?
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  • 33 Responses to “On Other Blogs”

    1. #1 |  Ben | 

      At the link: “Boy, 11, shot accidentally by security guard in Detroit”

      I don’t know why he was shooting at a shoplifter. But anyway, this is the kind of thing that makes me nervous about the, “Every one on campus should be armed” argument.

    2. #2 |  Chris | 

      I don’t see why Obama should be exempted from the same scrutiny McCain would get in making peace with Falwell. Or that Romney got. Or that Huckabee got. I like Obama more than those guys, but that’s neither here nor there.

      It’s either all news, or none of it is. Obama gave $20K to a guy with some pretty fringe beliefs – the USA created the AIDS virus-level fringe. I think that is newsworthy.

      I think the Dems will shortly be feeling some Obama buyer’s remorse.

    3. #3 |  buzz | 

      Right there Ben. Same thing for cops since they shoot a bunch of innocent people. Oh, what a wonderful world it would be when the only people with guns are the spree killers. And criminals.
      Obama- It’s news since he has been a member of the church for 20 years, and apparently has a close relationship with him and donated a ton of money to the church.
      “And yet GOP politicos still pilgrimage to the doorsteps of these idiots to seek their blessing. ” Fascinating that you have no issue with throwing out the slurs concerning the GOP swinging by and having face time with the ministers you dont like, but pretend to not understand why people might be curious about Obama and his crazy minister.

    4. #4 |  ThinkingMeat · Got it in one | 

      [...] Radley Balko: [...]

    5. #5 |  Michael | 

      About the pregnant addicts. We all know that the “crack babies” was a, blown out of proportion, propaganda scare, since the science proves “crack babies” to be a myth. The girls need medical and psychiatric help (since most addicts have some sort of mental problem, often relating to the risk taking behavior of drugs).

      It is, just, another part, of the collateral damage, of the drug war. And we that suffer from the collateral damage, don’t count as much as the “big shot politicians” and their families! Give a financially strapped person a break?! Can’t keep the prisons full that way!

    6. #6 |  Sara | 

      I seem to remember Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell & Co. blaming 9/11, Katrina, and all sorts of other calamities on the gays, the womyns, and Grand Theft Auto. And yet GOP politicos still pilgrimage to the doorsteps of these idiots to seek their blessing. There are plenty of things for which one could criticize Obama. That his pastor says things rational people find silly only puts him on par with 90 percent of the rest of Congress. I guess it’s news because it’s just a different kind of silly.

      As far as I know, neither Pat Robertson nor Jerry Falwell was the 20-year spiritual advisor of a past president. Obama has gone on and on about this faith, which is both going to motivate interest in who has been leading that faith, and is going to make him seem especially two-faced when he later dismisses that advisor as a crazy old uncle.

    7. #7 |  Mike Schneider | 

      Two things to keep in mind about the “Wow” piece:

      1) Bush backed it up — he flew jets during Vietnam.
      2) It’s a volunteer military — presumably the guys are there for some reason other than cheap college loans.

    8. #8 |  JJH2 | 

      Oh you have got to be kidding me. Bush flew jets _in Texas_ for the Texas Air National Guard — precisely to AVOID having to go to Vietnam. When you’re halfway around the world from the combat zone, the fact you’re doing it “during Vietnam” is irrelevant and (I suspect deliberately) misleading.

    9. #9 |  Mike Healy | 

      Spoken like a true Republican, Mike.

    10. #10 |  Mike Schneider | 

      Look, you two: Did I say he flew them OVER Vietnam?

      No.

      And JJH2; you’re just parroting leftist cant (something it might clue you in to refrain from doing just after the recent debacle of the “600,000 pages of no evidence” that were in fact chock full of evidence; I noticed your conspicuous absent from that particular thread).

      Bush was training in the TANG explicitly for the purpose of logging qualifying hours in order to fly over Vietnam in the appropriate hardware. The war simply wound down before that could happen. (Meanwhile, “bona-fide war hero” Kerry was forging his superiors’ signatures on his Purple Heart recommendations.)

      Healy? I’m not a Republican. — You’re free to assume that from a far left vantage point wherein anything less than instant capitulation smacks of warmongering, but you’d be wrong.

    11. #11 |  Mike Schneider | 

      Addendum: Can you you imagine what various other recent Presidents might say while visiting troops?

      (Queue SNL-style skits)

      Kerry: “I just sold uranium to Iran, like I said I might during the debates; this will bring peace in our time!”

      Clinton: “I’m bombing Yugoslavia in order to take everyone’s attention off Waco, Vince, China-gate, and my selling nuclear technology to North Korea! I’ve randomly chosen the depraved Muslim side over the depraved Serbian side!”

      Carter: “I afraid you guys might frag me, so I’m going to just zip this tent-flap up right now. Interview over.”

      Ford: “Cambodia–what?” (stumbles over a foot-stool).

      Nixon: “Keep your chins up, guys! Me & Mr. Kissinger just sold the technology for making perfectly round ball-bearings to the Russians; thereby blowing our trillion-dollar investment in “silent-running” submarines!”

      LBJ: “I’ll turn the floor over the Mr. McNamara, who’ll be informing you of the latest no-fly corridors over the North where the Russians have their stock-piles. We’re not interested in winning this war, only ‘containment’.”

      JFK (to Cubans expecting support): “Twist in the wind, fellas!”

    12. #12 |  MikeT | 

      Actually, the statements about gays and pagans causing 9-11 isn’t without precedent in scripture, as there is a whole half of a chapter in Romans 1 that makes fairly similar claims.

      2 Chronicles 7 says that Jews and Christians are to do the exact opposite of what Obama’s preacher says about asking God to “damn the United States.”

      I happen to have no use for Robertson or Falwell myself, but the statement by Falwell that the rise in paganism and homosexuality lead to God allowing 9-11 to happen is not without precedent in scripture. In fact, the Old Testament speaks of God allowing national harm to happen to Israel whenever Israel allowed similar practices to become normal and accepted in ancient times.

      You may find it all insane, but what makes everyone criticized in raking Obama’s preacher over the coals is that he is speaking from a position of authority in the church, and preaching something that not only goes against what the Bible says, but that tells people to disobey a good command from God (to pray for help) in favor of an evil command (to pray that God damn the United States as a nation).

    13. #13 |  JJH2 | 

      Mike:

      If Bush had actually wanted to go to Vietnam, there were numerous ways that he could have easily done so. Instead, he joined a Champagne unit of the Texas Air National Guard which was a guarantee against being sent to Vietnam involuntarily. Your ridiculous claim that Bush was training specifically to fly over Vietnam is belied by the fact that Bush was disqualified by the TANG from flying in 1972, before even the Paris Peace Accords were signed, due to his failure to fulfill various conditions of his service (irregular attendance at training, failure to get his required physical). Less than halfway through 1972, Bush had already flown his last flight ever for the TANG, and was already at work on on the Blount Senatorial campaign.

      Your inane claims about “leftist cant” and your irrelevant attempts to somehow link me to a thread I didn’t even participate in are blatant non sequiturs.

    14. #14 |  JJH2 | 

      Mike:

      I just have to reiterate how weasely it is to claim that Bush “backed up” his cheerleading comments about how cool it is to fight in combat by noting that he “flew jets during Vietnam” — and then getting self-righteous about how you never said he flew them “over Vietnam”! The implication of the argument in the first post is so clear that your lame attempt at wiggle room is painfully obvious.

      It’s like someone claiming they backed up their support for the Iraqi war by volunteering to drive a fuel convoy during the occupation — and then finding out that their route was between Nebraska and Idaho. “Well I never SAID I drove it in Iraq!”

    15. #15 |  Mike Schneider | 

      > If Bush had actually wanted to go to Vietnam, there were
      > numerous ways that he could have easily done so…

      Not if you’re training to fly jets, you didn’t. They don’t hand those out after three weeks of basic. (You needed to log 500 hours flight-time.)

      > Instead, he joined a Champagne unit of the Texas Air National
      > Guard which was a guarantee against being sent to Vietnam
      > involuntarily.

      Why would he worry about being sent to Vietnam INvoluntarily when he was attempting to get there voluntarily as a fighter pilot in the first place?

      See here: “….Air National Guard members could volunteer for active duty service with the Air Force in a program called Palace Alert, which deployed F-102 pilots to Europe and Southeast Asia, including Vietnam and Thailand. According to three pilots from Bush’s squadron, Bush inquired about this program but was advised by the base commander that he did not have the necessary experience (500 hours) at the time and that the F-102 was outdated….”

      ==//==

      Mary Mapes and Dan Rather got fired for vomiting up the same bullcrap you’re hinting toward here. You might have heard about — it was on all the news channels.

      Do yourself a big, fat favor and avoid getting into arguments over who has a better track-record of getting his facts correct, because you’re already 0:1 this week.

    16. #16 |  Mike Schneider | 

      > Do we really need to start digging up all the nutty things Christian
      > right pastors have said in sermons over the last 20 years? I seem
      > to remember Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell & Co. blaming 9/11,
      > Katrina, and all sorts of other calamities on the gays, the womyns,
      > and Grand Theft Auto….

      If any particular conservative candidate were attending Robertson’s of Falwell’s church regularly while running on a pro-gay, pro-womyn and pro-violent video-game platform — then yeah.

      …because that’s essentially what Obama is doing while preaching diversity (etc) while attending a church with clearly racist sermons of the sort that even Jesse Jackson has sense enough to avoid making.

    17. #17 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

      Keep in mind that in most states health care workers are required to report instances of child abuse. Therefore the doctors are not the ones to cast blame on in this instance.

    18. #18 |  Tokin42 | 

      1. No one should be shocked that men who join the military to be rangers and spec. ops types would find it a rush to be on the frontlines in afghanistan. To actually put to use the skills you’ve spent years honing is a lot more fun than sitting around and training the same scenarios over, and over, and over, etc…. [i]“Bush heard tales of all-night tea drinking sessions to coax local residents into cooperating, and of tribesmen crossing mountains to attend government meetings seen as building blocks for the country’s democracy-in-the-making.” [/i] Tom Clancy has made millions writing fictional tales of what a lot of these guys are living on a daily basis.

      2. Radley didn’t give Ron Paul a pass for statements written in newsletters bearing his name and he shouldn’t give one to Obama either. There is a big difference between getting the endorsement of a minster with obnoxious views and having one as your spiritual guidance counselor for 20 years. Why is it acceptable to preach hate about whites and jews but not blacks? Just because a certain segment of our population believes the CIA sells crack to black kids and invented AIDS to kill africans doesn’t mean that holding those views is above reproach. Anyone who sat in a pulpit for 20 years while knowing Wrights views and didn’t take everything he said with a massive dose of salt is an idiot. You may have to be nice and put up with the crazy-conspiracy-nut uncle at thanksgiving, but you don’t go around seeking his wisdom and telling people how he and his guidance is what has made you such a swell guy.

    19. #19 |  JJH2 | 

      Mike:

      For someone who is so critical of other peoples’ sources, that you are citing to a Wikipedia article — and worse, a wikipedia article whose specific footnote for the sentence you’re citing to is broken — well, the irony almost kills.

      But in any case, your original claim was that Bush joined the TANG specifically for the purpose of obtaining the qualifications necessary to fly over Vietnam. Your wikipedia source, however, merely says that Bush asked about the program some during during his tenure in the TANG. Please note — huge difference.

      By itself, your source doesn’t really corroborate your claim, and in addition, there are additional facts which strongly mitigate AGAINST your claim. Not the least of which is Bush’s comments on why he went into the TANG in the first place: “I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.” (What a champ!)

      Other factors that strongly mitigate against your reading: If Bush had really joined the TANG for the purposes of training to fly in combat, he would have _checked what kind of planes he would be able to train in to get over there_. He wouldn’t have waited until after he had trained with the wrong airplane to find out that, whoopise, no go. Additionally, if he had really joined for that purpose, he would have logged the hours he needed, and wouldn’t have skipped his physical, gotten himself disqualified from flying, and then skipped town to work on a Senatorial campaign.

      As for your other claims about Dan Rather and my supposed “track record” — irrelevant, even if they weren’t false.

    20. #20 |  Mike Schneider | 

      > > According to three pilots from Bush’s squadron, Bush inquired about this program…
      >
      > For someone who is so critical of other peoples’ sources, that you are citing to a Wikipedia article — and worse, a wikipedia article whose specific footnote for the sentence you’re citing to is broken — well, the irony almost kills.

      Yes; I do notice that the link is broken — and I also notice that you have utterly interest in tossing the broken link into http://web.archive.org/ to run it down to http://web.archive.org/web/20060614180758/http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4271922/
      ….like I did.

      Now why do you suppose that is?

      I’ll tell you why: It’s because you’re lazy, you have your mind made up, and you’ll be damned it you’ll let the facts interfere with that.

    21. #21 |  Thomas Paine's Goiter | 

      Enormous surprise that the window-licking mouth breathers from Alabama don’t want decent beer. What a backwards place – Lincoln was an idiot.

    22. #22 |  Alex | 

      Mike, you’re absolutely wrong here. I was in the Army and I’m not particularly anti-Bush, but come on man, every person who wanted to fight in Vietnam fought in Vietnam. George Bush wanted to go to Vietnam but ended up flying planes with the Cowboys once a month? WTF, man, you can do better than that.

    23. #23 |  Alex | 

      “It drink purdy good, don’t it?”

      http://blog.al.com/breaking/2007/11/legislator_threatens_to_sue_au.html

      Same guy. If I mention that he’s one of the most well-respected black leaders in central Alabama, I’ll be called a racist. So I won’t.

    24. #24 |  JJH2 | 

      Mike:

      My entire post actually ASSUMED the veracity of those statements, that is, my response was written as if I did not doubt that the statements were made (and I don’t doubt that they were – I was just snarking about your double-standard for sourcing). You completely ignored the substance of my post (as usual) to move the goalpost and complain about irrelevant things.

      There’s a painful irony in you accusing ME of having my mind made up and ignoring the “facts.” I’m not the one trying to portray a guy who freely stated that he considered TANF (where he could be assured of never being involuntarily sent to Vietnam) to be a better option than _blowing his eardrums out_ or _moving to Canada_ as if he were eager to put his life on the line.

    25. #25 |  JJH2 | 

      Oops — by TANF I meant TANG. Must have been a welfare state-inspired Freudian slip.

    26. #26 |  anonymous | 

      Fascinating that you have no issue with throwing out the slurs concerning the GOP swinging by and having face time with the ministers you dont like, but pretend to not understand why people might be curious about Obama and his crazy minister.

      It’s too bad that Radley’s been getting more partisan lately; he’s probably going to alienate a lot of his readership.

    27. #27 |  Alex | 

      I agree. A lot of the stuff on this blog in the last couple months has been boilerplate lefty-blog rhetoric. It’s already harder for me to take his serious work at face-value. He should probably take some cues from other Reason editors/alumni.

    28. #28 |  nom de guerre | 

      also agree. hardcore right-wingers are now “wingnuts”; anyone who doesn’t agree that america has to allow *everyone* who wants in the country to immigrate, just as if doing so was somehow their sacred right and our sacred obligation, is ‘racist scum’; and holding obama accountable for his tacit acceptance/endorsement of his church’s overt racism and anti-americanism is now somehow klanlike.

      what is it about (any kind of) media and leftward drift?

    29. #29 |  anonymous | 

      I should clarify that I don’t care about Balko’s political affiliations, per se (disclosure: I’m a registered Democrat, but only because I was planning on voting for a guy who dropped out of the race).

      But for the first two or three years I was reading this blog, I had no idea of his leanings. Given the great quality of his work, it doesn’t really matter. But there has been a noticeable drift (or coming out) lately — and recent converts to any belief tend to be the most dogmatic.

      There were plenty of reasons to hate Bill Clinton and the Democrats in the 1990s (I did), and there are plenty of reasons to hate George Bush and the Republicans now (I do).

      There are plenty of other outlets we can get our Two Minutes Hate toward Bush/wing-nuts/Iraq war/anti-immigration racists from, but only one site that has been investigation and documenting the abuses of the so-called “justice system.” It will be a great loss if he chooses the easier path and becomes just another pundit doing what 90% of them do, rather than doing what has made him stand out from the crowd.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if he really feels it’s important to let the world know how much he hates the wing-nuts while being apologetic for the moon-bats.

    30. #30 |  anonymous | 

      PS – Has anyone else noticed the irony that while Radley insults his readers who disagree with him about illegal immigration, his position is similar to George Bush’s?

      “Either you agree with me, or you’re with the racists” could be Radley’s new motto.

    31. #31 |  Alex | 

      anon, You said everything I would have.

    32. #32 |  The Unrepentant Individual » Alabama One Step Closer To Beer Liberty | 

      [...] Tips: Punditry by the Pint (by way of The Agitator) Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:23 am || Permalink || || Trackback URL || Categories: Beer, [...]

    33. #33 |  Mike Schneider | 

      Alex | March 17th, 2008 at 8:04 pm
      > Mike, you’re absolutely wrong here. I was in the Army and….

      ….you don’t know a damn thing about training to fly jets?

      I shall charitably assume you really didn’t mean to imply that pilots choose to be pilots in order to avoid ground-pounder assignments.

      (Oh, wait: That means you can slam McCain too! Oh, double-wait, he made it over and spent time in the Hanoi Hilton….scratch that.)

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