Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Why not ring in the new year with an endless flow of Frank Zappa music? Go to Zappa Radio at FZ's home page.


Saturday, December 28, 2002


Forgive me for not getting this right on the CIA. The story is that in addition to farming out Al-Queda (or is it Al-Qaida? You say Gaddifi, I say Khadaffi...let's call the whole...ah, never mind...) suspects to torturous nations for the iron maiden, the CIA has been using kinder, gentler torture techniques on some of the suspects they keep. I think that's reported on in the NPR story, too.


Friday, December 27, 2002

Want to know more about the Raelians from a seemingly objective source?

Check here.



Pravda Means Truth

The FCC has for some years now been little more than a lobbying agency on the government payroll for gigantic mega-media corporations. It seems to be getting worse:

"This country's airwaves belong to the American people, and the FCC is supposed to manage them in the public interest. Unfortunately, the current FCC leadership seems hostile to this very concept. Asked to explain his understanding of the public interest, Chairman Powell once replied that he had "no idea" what it meant."

Read about it at the FAIR website.


That Damned Constitution Is Ruining All Our Fun...

Did you know that the CIA is farming out interrogations of its less cooperative Al-Queda suspects to countries that have no legal prohibitions against torture? I guess I should be happy that the CIA seems to no longer be in the torture business itself (or is it?), but this is still pretty creepy. Listen to the streaming audio at the NPR website.


Touched By an Angel...no, wait, I mean Touched By Madness

My first thoughts about the weirdo UFO cult that claims to have cloned a human being is that UFO cultists are crazy. Then I remembered Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.

News of the Raelians and their bizarro cloning experiments.


Thursday, December 26, 2002

By the way, I'm experimenting with the hypertext feature on blogger if you haven't already figured that out. The link to the Buckley essay is the underlined word "here" in the post below...

My favorite conservative is William F. Buckley. If I want right-wing bullshit to fire me up, I listen to Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly. When I want an intellectual challenge to my progressivism with the potential to make me think and actually reconsider some of my ideas I read Buckley. (Another feather in Buckley's cap: after Gore Vidal had repeatedly called him a "crypto-nazi" while the two were gigging as talking head pundit types for one of the major networks during one of the party conventions for the 1960 presidential election, Buckley told Vidal, "if you don't stop calling me a crypto-nazi I'm going to sock you in the goddamned mouth." This was on national television during prime time. I know I'd like to sock Gore Vidal in the goddamned mouth myself.) Today, Buckley seems to be just as confused about the cloud of dust left in the wake of the Lott purge as everyone else is. When Buckley is confused, rest assured, conservatism is in intellectual disarray. I think that if Buckley had understood the ouster of Lott to be the power play that it was, he would have supported it and been ruthlessly honest about it, perhaps assembling a great argument justifying it. But no. Here, Buckley gets a bit sour about the politics of race and the politically correct imperative. I suppose that I could shrug off Buckley's essay as diversionary pro-Bush propaganda, but generally WFB is pretty straightforward (in other words, he would never say, "We're not fucking the poor at all;" rather, he would say, "here's why it is very important that we fuck the poor...").

Looks like Bush and his band of rogues, brigands, and scoundrels are gonna get away with it without much consequence.


Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Happy Middlemoose

Even though I no longer think of myself as a Christian, I still love Christmas and the whole peace on Earth theme. I think that Linus Van Pelt put it best when he quoted the Gospel of Luke (verses 8-14) to Charle Brown:

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

John Lennon also put it well:

"Happy Christmas (war is over)."

That is, if we want it...


The Strange Case of the Racist Senate Majority Leader Revisited


The Urge to Purge

In a move that was virtually no surprise to anyone, Trent Lott resigned his leadership position in the Senate last Friday.

I can almost hear him saying to himself, "but I'm not a racist; I like black people just fine," which makes sense given that most white people think that it's an absolutely awful thing to be thought of as a racist. In fact, over the weekend, Lott implied that such speculation might be true: he blamed his ouster on his political "enemies," whoever they are, but not on some Republican urge to purge racist elements of the party in order to clear the way for recruiting of people of color. There may be some truth to his accusations.

(C'mon, like the Republicans are really trying to fight racism!)

When the news of Lott's resignation broke, I was kind of surprised to see that Bill Frist was the odds on favorite to become the Senate leader. Bill who? I thought that Don Nickels had been positioning himself for a week to move into Lott's position. Frist, the pundits all say, is a major Bush ally. Ah-ha. I asked a Republican friend what she thought was going on: Lott was seen by the Bush faction as being somewhat difficult to work with and too independent. (Within hours of my hearing about this political hardball angle, the corporate pundits were all over it.)

The President and his Rasputins know an opportunity when they see it. It now seems that Bush very cynically used Lott's political weakness to install what could very well turn out to be a White House puppet as Senate majority leader (while also trying to appear to be fighting racism at the same time). This has got to be true. Firstly, this was clearly a coup that was fueled by certain Republicans (complete with strategic White House leaks says Lott); the Democrats (you know, the pro-civil rights party...) were hardly involved except for members of the politically weak Congressional Black Caucus in the House and a few white liberal legislators here and there. Secondly, Bush doesn't really seem to have a problem with Republican racism and the southern strategy. After all, he refused to condemn Bob Jones University for its racist policies and he called the Confederate state flag issue a "states' rights" issue--"states' rights" is widely understood at this point to be one of those southern strategy code words that appeal to southern white racist voters. Thirdly, the one thing that gets under the skin of the priests of the Bush cult is disobedience. Lott, it seems, just wasn’t being a good boy.

You know, I think I will buy that some Republicans were outraged by Lott's pro-segregationist remarks, but it now seems clear that the entire scandal was far more about Bush consolidating his power in a Stalinesque way than it was about the Republicans purging their party of racism. There was a purge, all right, a purge of one of Bush's more powerful political opponents, Trent Lott. I haven't seen such political opportunism since...since...well...well, since Bush declared war on the world and American civil rights shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The more I think about this, the more my stomach hurts. This is pretty disgusting.

It will, of course, be business as usual for the Republicans on the issue of racism. There will be more tokens. More gospel choirs. More words of inclusion and "compassionate conservatism." More code words like "law and order" and "crime" and “drugs" and "welfare queen." More winks and nods to southern racist groups like the Council of Conservative Citizens. More defending of the Confederate battle flag. The Republicans really had an opportunity to do the right thing and potentially outflank the do-nothing Democrats on the issue of race, to once again truly be the party of Abraham Lincoln. But no.

They are, after all, Republicans, aren't they? It seems that they must be true to their nature. That is to say, evil.



Check out Attorney General John Ashcroft's racist associations. He's no better than Trent Lott, but he is in the Cult of Bush. The Nation website is a good place to start (www.thenation.com).


Farewell, Joe Strummer.

Washington Bullets
by the Clash

Oh! Mama, Mama look there!
Your children are playing in that street again
Don't you know what happened down there?
A youth of fourteen got shot down there
The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town
The killing clowns, the blood money men
Are shooting those Washington bullets again

As every cell in Chile will tell
The cries of the tortured men
Remember Allende, and the days before,
Before the army came
Please remember Victor Jara,
In the Santiago Stadium,
Es verdad - those Washington Bullets again

And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961,
Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun,
For Castro is a colour,
Is a redder than red,
Those Washington bullets want Castro dead
For Castro is the colour...
...That will earn you a spray of lead

For the very first time ever,
When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
There was no interference from America
Human rights in America

Well the people fought the leader,
And up he flew...
With no Washington bullets what else could he do?

'N' if you can find a Afghan rebel
That the Moscow bullets missed
Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist...
...Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet,
How many monks did the Chinese get?
In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary,
'N' check the British bullets in his armoury


Thursday, December 19, 2002

Fundamentalist quotes and info (mostly for Texas, but the quotes section deals with national figures as well):


Have fun with the creepy weirdos!


Wednesday, December 18, 2002


When I was studying theater in college, we were required to study a 1960s black radical play called "Dutchman" by playwright Leroi Jones. The play was powerful, angry, and just about the most meaningful writing dealing with race that I had ever encountered. I later found out that Jones (who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka and embraced some intense Marxism in the 1970's) was more of a poet than a playwright. In fact, I understand that he was either the only or one of the very few black beat poets--perhaps I was attracted to his work because I somehow sensed the beat/jazz connection without really realizing it. During the mid 1990's I was lucky enough to hear an hour long interview with him on Pacifica radio: his voice is powerful and rhythmic (kind of like a really pissed off Kerouac); he is uncompromising in his radical views--if he doesn't make you hate him, you're bound to love him (because he's kind of an asshole, but in a good way...).

He's recently caused some controversy with his poem "Somebody Blew Up America."

Here's a sample:

"Who do Tom Ass Clarence Work for
Who doo doo come out the Colon's mouth
Who know what kind of Skeeza is a Condoleeza
Who pay Connelly to be a wooden negro
Who give Genius Awards to Homo Locus

Of course, there's lots more to the poem besides putting Bush's African-Americans in their place; there's something to make everybody cringe a bit, so I highly recommend it. Check it out on his site:



Saturday, December 14, 2002


Here is the address for a Nation essay that makes Trent Lott out to be much closer to David Duke than I had really realized:


It's pretty short.


As a quick note, I just wanted to say that last Sunday’s post was not only to remember John Lennon on the anniversary of his murder but also to remind everybody of exactly what we are dabbling with when listening to the Beatles and their solo work. Like Jesus, John was most decidedly a leftist progressive. His work reflected that.


and now:


I’m starting to get a handle on this story and I think that studying how some of this is playing out can be very enlightening. For starters, I suggest that you check out www.thismodernworld.com for some cool observations and links (if you’re not checking out Tom Tomorrow’s extremely funny, extremely political weekly cartoon, you’re missing out…follow the link on his page in the upper left corner to check some of his stuff out). Second, here are some of my impressions:

Of Mullet-Heads and David Duke

I remember when I was in my early twenties back in the early 1990’s. I had boomeranged my way back to my parents’ house in disgusting suburbia for a short time; I found myself hanging out with an old friend from high school (actually when I say friend, I mean nemesis, kind of like Newman is to Seinfeld, but that’s another story). Mostly, we’d just drink in bars to while away our time in purgatory. One evening at a random Bennigan’s (which was a bit of a drive away; we thought another Bennigan’s might be a nice change of pace from the Bennigan’s we usually went to…ugh, suburbs!), we somehow got stuck in a pick-up lecture being delivered by a mullet-headed, mustachioed bartender from Louisiana. He was telling us why former KKK leader turned Republican politician David Duke was not racist. “No, he’s just for fairness. White people are being discriminated against and David Duke is the only politician out there telling the truth; he’s not really a racist at all, you see, and furthermore blaha blather blah bah….”

What do you say to a guy like that?

Of course, David Duke is a racist. He simply softened his cross-burning rhetoric and shifted his battle to save our precious white way of life to a more legitimate, subtler field. He no longer calls for a race war or anything so obviously stupid. Instead, he suggests and supports policy that quietly but clearly screws people of color in the keister.

Jack Kemp’s Hail Mary

This thought recently occurred to me: if we can solve social problems using the private sector solutions favored by many conservatives, we should do it as soon as possible. I may consider myself to be a progressive, but I’m no ideologue. To me, economic theory doesn’t really matter so much as the underlying principles and overall goals that direct the use of such theories. So if the right and the left can both fight poverty, sexism, racism and the usual host of social ills within a framework that won’t push the emotional buttons of the influential free market fundamentalist shamen, great things will be accomplished, right? Right?

This thought occurred to me right after that other thought: no, great things won’t be accomplished. The truth is that most conservatives don’t really care if social problems are solved (unless, of course, such social problems hurt business). Besides being the greatest oxymoron since “military intelligence” the phrase “compassionate conservatism” is quite clearly a simple rhetorical device used to deflect political criticism. Conservative rhetoric has placed the blame for poverty squarely on the shoulders of the impoverished for over twenty years now. King George II’s new sweet talk has barely dented the dominant discourse. The right wing’s real attitudes toward the poor are best represented by the popular 1980’s wall poster depicting a formally dressed wealthy couple raising a toast over the caption, “Poverty Sucks.”

Indeed, it does.

This is not to say, however, that all conservatives are Monty Burns (on the other hand, all men are Socrates…ah, never mind). Jack Kemp, for one, seems to be the real deal. He has spent much of his political career seriously looking at poverty issues from a conservative perspective—if I understand correctly, his time with HUD during the Reagan administration gave him a close look at poverty and it permanently altered his world view if not his politics. Kemp really does seem to be a near impossibility: a compassionate conservative. I think he really would like the Republican Party to pay more attention to these issues.

Kemp was a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills before he became a congressman. So I’ll put the situation in those terms. It’s fourth quarter. The Bills are on their own forty-yard line and down by a touchdown. Three seconds are all that’s left on the clock. Four wide receivers line up. He’s back in the shotgun. The center snaps the ball; Jack throws into a crowd of safeties and…

Jack’s actually got a chance in hell on the football field (especially against the Oilers). But the game is rigged on the field of politics. The Republican Party will never take social issues seriously because that’s not what they’re about. (Of course, when I say “social issues” I’m not talking about the bones thrown to the right-wing fundamentalists.) When Jack Kemp tries to push poverty issues in the GOP, he’s throwing a Hail Mary, but his arm just ain’t what it used to be.

Ed Norton Loses His Cherry

I really like the movie “American History X.” It’s way over the top in terms of just about everything, one of those “extreme” cultural artifacts that get so much hype these days. Ed Norton is utterly charismatic; it’s really hard to not watch him—actually, the acting is pretty great all the way around. And, of course, I totally agree with the film’s anti-racist sentiment.

The film’s one great drawback, however, is that pretty much everybody already hates neo-nazis. (I remember protesting a KKK rally at the state capitol in Austin some years back and observing that there were about twenty Klansmen and about five thousand anti-racist protesters…I held up a sign that said “I hate Illinois Nazis.”) The racist as constructed by mainstream white American culture is a monstrous boogeyman on the fringes of society: the face of racism to many, perhaps most whites is of Simon Legree, but most real racism has become subtle and abstract. Sadly, it seems that the most lasting and significant changes wrought by the civil rights era are that most white Americans don’t want to think of themselves as racist and that if you don’t use the n-word, you’re not a racist--such a simple understanding of the issue has resulted in a lot of white people believing that the problems of the past have been solved for the most part. It’s pretty damned easy under these circumstances to manipulate a general audience’s emotions with a film portraying evil in such a removed, cut and dried way. “American History X” is an anti-racist film, yes, but it is a melodrama without any real ideological relevance in this day and age. Maybe if it had been released in the 1960’s…

Racism is very real and damaging in 2002. It’s just not as obvious as were separate drinking fountains. Try this: go to an upscale department store and make note of the racial composition of the customers. Observe how the store’s staff reacts to the entrance of white people; observe how they react to the entrance of black people. I bet there’s a pretty good chance that you see no reaction to the white people. Sometimes you will see no reaction to the black people; sometimes you will see a slight increase in tension—store employee eyes will shift to the black intruder and watch him or her just to make sure nothing is stolen. When this experiment was first suggested to me in the mid 1990’s, I was skeptical; then I noticed myself doing it on my job as a waiter.

But I’m not a racist. Am I?

Well, no I’m not. But I did learn that even my own liberal self has deeply ingrained and socialized negative attitudes about race that went unquestioned, unnoticed. I learned to be on the lookout within myself for flare-ups of stupid impulses. The story doesn’t end with subconscious, individualized racism, either. Numerous pieces of legislation are passed every year that serve to whack people of color. This may very well be an inadvertent result, but the net effect is the same: racist government policy.

A Judicial Department study started during the Clinton administration and finished during the Bush administration found some great disparities in how African-Americans and whites are treated in American courts. Ashcroft’s take was that it was okay because the discrimination was unintentional.

So…I guess that means that racism is okay if you didn’t really mean it that way.

That’s just bullshit.

I changed my ways because, as a progressive, I was somewhat open to the idea to begin with. Ed Norton’s skinhead character changed his ways because his white racist prison buddies raped him in the shower. Is that what it’s going to take to get rank and file whites in America to reexamine the issue of race?

I sure hope not.

"And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either."

So is Trent Lott a racist or what? Sure, yeah, of course he is, but not in the Simon Legree way. I really think that he was not intentionally advocating a return to Jim Crow and segregation. After all, to say such a thing is political suicide, as is becoming all too apparent. I think he was just sucking up to Strom (which is suspect in and of itself, but that’s another story). He really did misspeak and the Democrats are closing in for the kill.

The really sad thing is that racism is seen so completely in superficial terms that absolutely no one is criticizing Lott for his real racism, that is to say, his consistent, career long support of policies that have a racist net result. In his apologetic press conference on December 13th, he repeated the conservative cliché, “human dignity can be found not in a hand out but a hand up.” That’s great and all, but where’s the hand up? Job creation? I don’t really think that ten thousand more fast food jobs really constitute a hand up. If Lott is keen on helping impoverished African-Americans by creating jobs, he’d better concentrate on creating jobs that can actually offer some of hope of advancement. But, of course, he won’t and he never has. Lott has always favored capital at the expense of labor. Non-whites are hit the hardest by his policies.

By this standard, most of the Republican Party is racist despite the black gospel choirs paraded on the convention stage in 2000, despite Clarence Thomas, despite Ward Connerly, despite Alan Keyes, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Rod Paige. But do the Democrats say this? No, of course not. The Democrats back most of these racist policies as well, while at the same time enjoying the lion’s share of African-American political support. Only in America.

So for the time being, it seems that we are doomed to see the politics of race played out in terms of word games. That is, one can only raise the cry of racism if somebody says the wrong thing, not if people of color continue to get the shaft.

You know what? I think that right now maybe America needs people that are less concerned with saying the right thing and more concerned with doing the right thing.


Sunday, December 08, 2002

Working Class Hero
By John Lennon

As soon as you're born they make you feel small,
By giving you no time instead of it all,
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
When they've tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can't really function you're so full of fear,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,
And you think you're so clever and classless and free,
But you're still fucking peasants as far as I can see,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
There's room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill,
A working class hero is something to be.
A working class hero is something to be.
If you want to be a hero well just follow me,
If you want to be a hero well just follow me.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Jesus Was a Capricorn. No, wait, that's not it...

Ronald Reagan was able to beat Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election because the newly organized, newly political Christian right allied itself with business interests and the so-called neo-liberals. The alliance was an extremely profitable one for both groups. Within a few years, the word “liberal” had become almost synonymous in the public discourse with the word “idiot.” Remember Michael Dukakis adamantly denying that he was a liberal when debating King George I in 1988? Remember Rush Limbaugh’s vicious attacks on the “feminazis?” Abortion rights have been weakened. The “War on Drugs” has made for a convenient excuse to roll back numerous Constitutional protections. Evolution as a scientific concept is once again controversial and on the verge of being taught in public schools right alongside “creationism.” The neo-libs have even offered a sort of fundamentalism of their own: the mysterious, but powerful hand of “free market” forces.

Of course, this list of fundamentalist/neo-lib victories goes on and on.

But the weird thing is that the grand coalition that has kept Republicans powerful, kept conservatives in control of the American marketplace of ideas for nearly twenty years makes absolutely no sense.


The simple answer is that basic, fundamental principles of Christianity (virtually any variety of it) are utterly at odds with cutthroat capitalism, utterly at odds with consumerism, utterly at odds with conservative concepts of “individual responsibility.” Jesus was a progressive leftist. I don’t really mean this in the “eleven long-haired Friends a' Jesus in a chartreuse micro-bus,” smoking the holy marijuana way that C. W. McCall might have meant in his classic song “Convoy.” I really mean quite literally that Jesus was a leftist.

Jesus told a rich man that the way for him to go to Heaven was to "sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor.” When the rich man would not do this and left, Jesus told his followers that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven. To me this means what it says: the wealthy are too enamored of their things to be able to focus on the spiritual and, therefore, doomed. For some reason, however, I’ve always heard fundamentalist preachers squirm through these verses—they say that what the passage actually refers to is an idiomatic expression that means some sort of small door into a walled city; that is, a camel can, in fact, go through “the eye of a needle,” but it’s very difficult to do so. Whatever. Even with the fundamentalist interpretation (hmm, I always thought that fundamentalists didn’t need to interpret…), it’s clear that in order to get through the door, the camel has to be unloaded and on it’s knees. A rich man cannot go to Heaven with his riches; he must unload them and bow down before God! It is undeniable: according to Christ, individual wealth is so immoral that it will send a wealthy individual to the eternal torment of Hell.

Hmmm…wealth is immoral. Kinda sounds a bit Marxist to me.

And, of course, there is the incident in the temple with the moneychangers. This Biblical passage is often cited in fundamentalist circles to demonstrate that Jesus could get angry and therefore anger is not necessarily sinful. But I don’t seem to remember any of my Sunday school teachers or ministers that referenced the passage ever go into much detail about why Jesus was so outraged by the encroachment of the realm of finance into the realm of the spiritual. Perhaps fundamentalist theologians see some tidy line of reasoning that keeps this important moment in the life of Christ from casting a bad light on the world of banking, but I certainly can’t see it. A plain, literal understanding of the moment clearly illustrates some kind of Godly animosity toward the finance industry—that is to say, Jesus seemed to have some sort of problem with the concept of making a profit without actually producing anything, so much of a problem, in fact, that he angrily ordered that the money changers be kept away from the temple. (Is that like the city councils of today restricting strip bars and porno shops to a certain distance away from schools and churches? I wonder...)

Again, I’m not trying to make Jesus out to be a Communist or anything, but…

You know, it’s interesting to note that while Jesus seemed to be uncomfortable with the moneychangers, he seemingly had no discomfort with the tax man. It’s almost a conservative joke now, “tax and spend liberals.” But when you think about the concept of “render unto Caesar,” Jesus clearly shows that he believed that the state has an obligation to levy taxes in order to conduct the people’s business; this concept is mentioned in the same breath that he speaks of humanity’s obligation “to render unto God.” That is to say, he seems to give equal importance to both ideas.

(Okay, I know it’s a stretch to call the business of the Roman Empire “the people’s business,” but they did build damned fine roads. Also, it’s hardly radical to declare that the state needs to be able to levy taxes, but in this day and age where Bill Clinton is the liberal poster child…)

Jesus owned nothing. Jesus slept in the homes of friends and followers. Jesus recruited his Apostles from the ranks of the working class. Jesus was loudly critical of his era’s institutions of power. Jesus championed the poor. Jesus healed the sick. Jesus fed the hungry. Jesus was imprisoned and executed because he challenged the powerful elite.

“What Would Jesus Do?” says the trendy Christian commercial phrase plastered on tee shirts, key chains, and bumper stickers.

To be honest, I think that if he were around today, he would do exactly the same thing. He would be killed for it, of course, and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell would testify against him at his trial, and stadiums full of Promise Keepers would be screaming righteously for his blood.

This is kind of a no-brainer argument, actually, and many others have made such observations before me—the Catholic liberation theologists of Central and South America, for instance, have, in fact, embraced the concept to some extent and I am now beginning to hear about fundamentalist movements against consumerism and SUVs. But I believe that this point of view really needs to be repeated again and again very, very loudly. Ronald Reagan’s grand coalition is not only extremely dangerous to the future of the United States and, it seems increasingly, the world, it is also founded upon weird lies about and distortions of Christianity’s holy scriptures. The aims of the neo-liberals and the aims of Jesus are fundamentally at odds with one another.

If only we could get the fundamentalists to do what they say they do and interpret the Gospels more literally!

I no longer really believe the Bible to be the word of God, although I do still value the Bible for various reasons. That doesn’t really matter. Jesus was a leftist. This really ought to be the wedge that drives the conservative movement into obsolescence.

Dare I hope?