"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, August 25, 2008

Keith Olbermann on Michelle Obama's Convention Speech

"I'm sounding borderline sycophantic on this, I know..."---K. Olbermann, MSNBC newsanchor

Not at all, Keith. Truth is your game, and Truth is your middle name. This is why you're such a respected journalist. Ed R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite or Rachel Maddow couldn't have done it any better. Go for it, dude.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Oracle Blinded

Oh well, I'm oh-for-three (0-3) on the prez-veepstakes: it wasn't Rudy or Hillary and now it ain't Evan Bayh either.

(Although I'm really delighted it's the One Democrat Who I Always Wanted To Say I Like, Except He Just Keeps Saying Incredibly Stupid Stuff. Go Get 'em, Joe, speak your mind! Let 'er rip!)

So, I'm going quadruple or nothing on Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, although Mitt the Twit wouldn't be the pits by current standards. We're looking at an all-twit final four after all, so what the hell.

But I've caught Pawlenty here & there, and adjudge him to be a non-twit. He's actually kinda cool.

I have a wife who genuinely loves to fish. I mean, she will take the lead and ask me to go out fishing, and joyfully comes here...She loves football, she'll go to hockey games and, I jokingly say, 'Now, if I could only get her to have sex with me.'"

The governor quickly clarified, "It's a joke, it's a joke."

I mean, Pawlenty even knows that whenever he tells a joke, politics dictates that you tell everybody it's a joke, just in case. And it was funny to boot.

Dude's OK. He gets this 21st century thing.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Hello, Good Bayh

HuffPo has an educated guess that Barack Obama will name Evan Bayh his VP pick as soon as Wednesday.

I got the rest of the races wrong, counting out McCain early and picking Hillary, of course. But I've been a Bayh man all the way.

It makes sense for Obama to do it now. The GOP narrative of Obama-as-leftist is sinking in, and Obama's poll numbers are flattening.

Evan Bayh, a Democratic ex-governor and now senator of a red state, might not be able to swing Indiana to the Obama column, but he would certainly help arrest what appears to be a spiraling distrust of Obama's centrist impulses.

[A distrust, which in my opinion, is well-founded...]

Monday, July 28, 2008


Oooops, I should have used scare quotes in the title. "Scare quotes." "Judeo-Christianity."

Because "Judeo-Christianity" doesn't exist of course. The term is a neologism, more specifically a retronym, where the old term loses its meaning and needs a qualifier to make any sense. Like "acoustic guitar." Once upon a time, all guitars were acoustic, like before electricity and before Les Paul invented the electric guitar.

Acoustic Guitar.


Note how guitars are now pointed upwards, but in the olden days, they were always horizontal. That's just the least of the differences, but this illustration do for now.

Anywayz, way back when, there were yr Jews and there were yr Christians, and never the twain should meet, least of all in a hyphenated word. Might as well call Thomas Jefferson a "Democrat-Republican"! But today, necessity dictates the miscegenation of "Judeo-Christian" in trying to make some sense out of the religious landscape at the founding of this here US of A.

You see, our first four or five presidents believed in the Bible more or less, but didn't believe Jesus was God or died for our sins or is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, whatever that is. But they believed that the Bible wasn't total bunk and that man was created in God's image like it says in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 9:6.

That meant that man was endowed by his Creator with certain unalienable rights, blah, blah blah. But it was still a statement that the human race, for all its intellectual fortitude, hasn't managed to get around yet. Whether truth, myth, or illusion, the idea founded the greatest nation in history [IMO], and is imitated around the world through the present day.

I was struck by something the atheist Jürgen Habermas [who was one of the philosophical founders of post-WWII Europe] wrote recently:

Christianity has functioned for the normative self-understanding of modernity as more than a mere precursor or a catalyst. Egalitarian universalism, from which sprang the ideas of freedom and social solidarity, of an autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, of the individual morality of conscience, human rights, and democracy, is the direct heir to the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in the light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.---Jürgen Habermas, “Conversation About God and the World,” Time of Transitions, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006): pp. 150-151.

Ah. Judeo-Christianity. At last.

Now, intellectual honesty would oblige Jürgen Habermas to deny that Jesus is God or even that the Old Testament [another retronym, eh?] is revelation from God. Or that God even exists. Still, Habermas, a manifestly good man, can't get around that ol' Bible, which had certain unique ideas. "Judeo-Christianity" sums up those ideas, justice, and then on to love [which I read as mercy].

I think the Founders, even the first four presidents, were cool with that. Were they "Christians?" Nah. Were they Jews? Hah! "Judeo-Christians?" Mebbe.

[Oh, BTW, Jefferson always seemed quite in accord with rabbinical Judaism to me. No Jesus-is-God, emphasis on good works. Turns out he WAS Jewish!]

Cross-posted @ American Creation.