Friday, November 12, 2004

An Excellent New Blog

Most blogs are fast-and-furious linkers to mainstream media articles and Big Blog posts. Interspersed with links, there may be some boring personal stuff about the substance of the owner's breakfast, or the current content of his/her CD player. When there is commentary, it is usually the same from one blog to the next. I do not have enough time to go around so many blogs, so I try to find and stick with blogs that give me a different perspective, a deep look, or an expert opinion. For fast news, and wealth of info I go to (the nicest, smartest political forum ever). For science, I go to blogs listed in my previous post. I have several other favourites, probably a total of about two doezen blogs I visit daily. Every now and then I get tired of one, but discover another one in its place. My first-thing-in-the-morning must-read is Publius at Legal Fiction (, followed by Eric at Total Information Awareness (, Jon at Not A Pipe (, etc. all characterized by long thoughtfull posts.

A couple of weeks ago, my blog crashed and I had to reconstruct the template piece by piece. I lost many links, including the one to the Blog Ecosystem (PZMyers is not responding to my e-mails). In a couple of weeks I will perform a big do-over of my Links - some blogs have not been active for a while, others are not interesting post-election.

On the top of the blogroll, I will also include a very new, but very good blog, with very good ideas. Go visit, post comments. You all remember how lonely it was when you just started...

Here are short snippets of some of his longish, thoughful posts:

Post Mortem
Kerry lost this election because Karl Rove fucking stole it.
Make Rove the Story.
The bullshit semantics of it all are ultimately in our favor, because, while we can lie, we don't have to, and Rove does. Our positions fucking work, and his don't. Truth doesn't win the fight, but it can act as a tiebreaker...........................
They stole this election, they cheated, they did not win on the merits, so stop blaming the losing party when the game was rigged........................
We don't need to angelicize tolerance, we need to make fundamentalism the whipping-boy that the Republicans have made the various racial and orientational minorities.
Our politicos need to be pointing out at every level just how dangerous these people are to other Christians.

Speaking of Frames
What we need to do is revive the warrior poet, the aesthete soldier. This is something that existed for time out of mind, and still exists in some areas, but has been lost by modern American culture.

Ballot Initiative Tactic
Atrios is correct here that we need to use the ballot initiative tactic to get voters out to the polls, much like the Republicans do. We should obviously use it to target the demographics that are having awful turnout numbers each election simply because they don't feel there's anything in it for them, but which do vote Democratic when they show up.So, going along with that, here are a few proposals:

Pink Jim Crow
As I've said before (if agitatedly), we need to drive a spike between the moderate Christians and Christian fundamentalism--not Evangelicalism but fundamentalism. We need to demonstrate to them that Christian terrorists are much more dangerous, even to other Christians, than Muslim terrorists, much like a rabid dog in your house is more dangerous than a pack of "wolves" outside.

Meme of the Week
The sound bite here is "art is education", and in addition to helping with arguments on things like the NEA, it would help the advocates of art in our schools quite a bit if we used this bite more.

Religious Atheist
It is this extreme version of atheism which Christians feel persecuted by, and of which they are to some extent afraid. They are not mistaken to be worried by this sort of thing, any more than atheists, agnostics and other non-Christians are mistaken to be worried about the rise of extremist, fundamentalist Christianity. The difference is that, while there are many prominent, moderate Christians, there are no prominent, moderate atheists. Anyone in the current media who professes atheism is simultaneously attacking another religion. There are certainly more extremist Christians who are intolerant of others' religions in this country than there are extremist atheists who are similar, but atheists are generally incapable of speaking about their religion in moderate tones, or even acknowledging that it is indeed a religion and not some kind of fundamental truth.
This is not to say that the big non-establishment fights in this country are not good fights. Evolution is not a religious belief, it is a scientific theory, and a secular educational system should not espouse nonscientific challenges to science. Science itself is not somehow a belief system; science is the scrupulous rejection of belief and embracing of empiricism. Prayer should not be forced in our schools, although it should be allowed on a strictly noninstitutional basis. No child should be forced to memorize and repeat the Pledge of Allegiance every day unless the words "under god" are removed; the Pledge is a reasonable subject for historical study, but any such study should cover how the Pledge has changed over time, including the very late addition of the words "under god". There needs to be a perspective, however, and we should err on the side of caution, assuming it's no big deal if kids hear about one or more gods from time to time. Secular does not mean atheist; it means agnostic. Government should neither deny nor affirm the existence of god.

What do the Democrats Stand For?
These should be our watchwords. Transparency. Accountability. Comprehensible government. Until every American knows what our government is doing, none of us can make an informed decision as to who we want governing. The era of murky government should be over. The Republicans are doing their best to obscure their actions, casting shadows everywhere they go. The Democrats need to shine a light on everything they do. Better than that, every time we say "accountability", we're calling Bush to the mat. Every time we say "transparent government", people will think of four years of refused investigations, refused testimony, lies, and belligerence when questioned. If we want a contrast, there is no greater contrast available.

The Voting Fraud Issue
Regardless of whether shady machines turned things around, there were huge amounts of voter suppression all over the country, and this amounts to fraud. We know that this happened, so insisting on an investigation into the elections is entirely justified. Do the reports of counting errors popping up all over the web also indicate another sort of fraud? Probably, but it doesn't matter. We have enough to move forward regardless, and we should be doing it.

Levering away the Moderates
Moderate Christians don't even know that these things are happening, because the extremist fundamentalists know how tenuous their hold on power is. If more of this stuff can be exposed, then we can either make the political junta in charge of the Republicans disavow their base or publicly support these activities, either of which is political suicide. However, at the same time, we need to be certain to be welcoming to those of faith, and not to ridicule their beliefs; that's both unfair and unhelpful.

posted by Bora Zivkovic @ 10:36 PM | permalink | (1 comments) | Post a Comment | permalink