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Dobson on Obama

The AP has an article out on what Dr. Dobson is saying about Obama. This might seem surprising, but Dr. Dobson is is VERY influential with the religious right voting bloc, and his endorsement would bring a lot of voters with it.

Of course, we know Dobson would never support Obama because of one issue…Abortion. The love child of Franky and Francis Schaeffer, abortion has become the number one political issue among evangelicals. Starving kids in Africa and dead babies in the rubble of Iraq don’t quite overcome this issue.

This is hard for me to understand; as someone who is pro-life in principle but votes pro-choice more often than not. This is because I feel that there are more important issues, frankly, ones that affect millions of children worldwide and in the US. The divisiveness and ideological purity of the anti-choice and pro-death movements have done this country a big disservice, in my opinion.

Anyway, instead I’ll ignore the elephant in the room, and focus on two comments Obama made about the Bible that Dobson took offense with.

The first is actually from the Hebrew Torah; the irony of which all parties appear to be oblivious of. Leviticus is a rather difficult book to read, but not for the reasons you might think. Leviticus contains the laws for the Priests, and the laws of Holiness (In a deeper irony still, Judaism doesn’t expect non-Jews to keep these types of laws).. These are very ornate, elaborate rules involving all aspects of life. Most Christians do not follow about 99% of Leviticus, as they think Jesus came to do away, err, I mean, “fulfill” Jewish Law.

One of the parts they do not follow is this:

Leviticus 19:19 “…Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with another sort; thou shalt not sow thy field with seed of two sorts; and a garment woven of two materials shall not come upon thee.”

Oops, I meant this one, more pertinent to Obama’s statement:

Leviticus 19:20 “And if a man lie with a woman for copulation, and she is a bondwoman betrothed to a husband, but not at all ransomed, nor hath freedom been given to her, there shall be a chastisement: they shall not be put to death, for she was not free.”

to answer your question, yes, this is about the proper chastisement for having sex with your BETROTHED slave (he needs to give a ram to the priests to sacrifice, btw. Duh!). There is no mention of the proper chastisement of a non-betrothed slave, which is actually a very important point of ancient tribal law related to women as property; one I can’t cover here.

Actually, Obama was probably talking about this doozy:

Leviticus 25:44 ” And as for thy bondman and thy handmaid whom thou shalt have — of the nations that are round about you, of them shall ye buy bondmen and handmaids.”

As a BLACK man in a WHITE culture that used to BUY and OWN BLACK “BONDSMAN”, I could see this passage troubling Obama. While Jewish slaves were set free after 7 years or so, non-Jewish slaves were slaves for life, and their children were slaves too, and their children, and their children. And the Bible only makes an exception for Jews. not cool.

Secondly, Obama talked about Jesus’ sermon on the mount; which actually IS Christian scripture, unlike the previous verses:

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed the meek, for *they* shall inherit the earth”

Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Until the heaven and the earth pass away, one iota or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all come to pass.”

Wait a minute, if Jesus said that heaven and earth would disappear before the laws of Moses would be changed, does this include the laws about owning only foreign slaves? One gets the idea that Jesus had other things in mind:

Jesus then says this: “But *I* say unto you, that every one that is lightly angry with his brother shall be subject to the judgment; but whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be subject to [be called before] the sanhedrim; but whosoever shall say, Fool, shall be subject to the penalty of the hell of fire.”

To be angry with your brother is enough to warrant death and eternal judgment. One can argue about this all night, but I actually think Jesus was using the tactic of making a law so terribly strict that it can never be practiced against anyone without causing injury to oneself. The author of John seems to think so:

“But when they continued asking him, he lifted himself up and said to them, Let him that is without sin among you first cast the stone at her.” (John 8:7)

Actually, Obama probably meant this:

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed the peace-makers, for *they* shall be called sons of God.”

I do not see how Dr. Dobson could be angry at using these scriptures in the context that they were supposed to be used in. Christianity was a very peaceful religion, at least up to the time it merged with Rome. Even today there are many anti-war Christian sects, like the Quakers. The message of peace and brotherly love is undeniably a part of Jesus’ message. More from the Sermon on the Mount:

Matthew 5:38-44

“Ye have heard that it has been said, Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But *I* say unto you, not to resist evil; but whoever shall strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other; and to him that would go to law with thee and take thy body coat, leave him thy cloak also. And whoever will compel thee to go one mile, go with him two. To him that asks of thee give, and from him that desires to borrow of thee turn not away. Ye have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But *I* say unto you, Love your enemies, [bless those who curse you,] do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who [insult you and] persecute you,”

Some would claim that it is ridiculous way for a nation to act; that Jesus only expected this within reason, or only for individuals, or only in heaven, not in the dramatic immediate way he presents it here. I remind these people that, if you believe the bible is infallible and perfect, that you are the ones denying the actual words of G-d through Moses and Jesus, not me or Obama. Dramatic hyperbole or not, Jesus meant to transform society. And Obama is right; this is not a goal our “defense” department is currently supporting at all.

I agree that we cannot always act like this, but I it is a good goal to have; one that makes us better even though we cannot attain it.

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Impeach Bush. Please

I’m happy to say that my senator has voted “Yeah!”, to refer the Kucinich’s articles of impeachment to the House Judiciary Committee. There is will most likely die, alas!

But maybe not; we brought impeachment charges against Clinton for having sex outside of marriage and LYING about it. Gasp! Lying about cheating on your wife; a heinous crime to be sure, but let us compare it to the charges that could be brought against GWB.
full text here:

Please do not turn off your mind while reading this brutal list. At least some of it is most certainly true, and have been commented on in this blog and in many other places. And if even some of this is true, it is certainly grounds for impeachment, if not criminal proceedings.

Article I
Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.

Article II
Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.

Article III
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.

Article IV
Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.

Article V
Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.

Article VI
Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of H. J. Res114.

Article VII
Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII
Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.

Article IX
Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.

Article X
Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.

Article XI
Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.

Article XII
Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources.

Article XIIII
Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.

Article XIV
Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Article XV
Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.

Article XVI
Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.

Article XVII
Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.

Article XVIII
Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.

Article XIX
Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.

Article XX
Imprisoning Children.

Article XXI
Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.

Article XXII
Creating Secret Laws.

Article XXIII
Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.

Article XXIV
Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.

Article XXV
Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

Article XXVI
Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.

Article XXVII
Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.

Article XXVIII
Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.

Article XXIX
Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Article XXX
Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.

Article XXXI
Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Article XXXII
Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.

Article XXXIII
Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.

Article XXXIV
Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Article XXXV
Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders.

The Internet Is NOT a Big Truck. It’s TUBES!!!

This is why the internet wins:

Cracka For Barack-a

I gotta get me one of these.  My main man Obama is now the Presidential Candidate for the Democrats.  Suck it, Hillary!  Take your freakin’ earmarks and shove em.

This is a best case scenario for me.  In a blog in 2006, triumphing the rounding defeat of the 109th Congress, I rip the Democratic Party a new one, and then state:

“So, here’s what I would like Democrats to focus on in the coming years. If they do a good job, maybe we can have a liberal president (If they do a bad job, hopefully we can have an intelligent conservative like John McCain, but that’s another blog)”

Entire blog reposted here for your convenience:

So now I’ve got to chose between a savvy conservative and an inspiring liberal.  Obama is the first presidential candidate I’ve fully supported, I’ve even sent his campaign money.  Twice.  So I’m pretty stoked.  I’m also curious to see how McCain is going to place himself, with regards to his predecessor’s policies.  So far it’s not looking good.

Mr. McCain, you are the republican candidate because you are the only electable person in that godforsaken party.  Distance yourself from Bush and everything bush stood for.  Don’t stand with the war criminals.  Take this party in the direction it needs to go; because you are one of the few men who could do it.

But of course, I am rooting for Obama.

What Obama Needs to Do

[Posted Date: November 7, 2006 – Tuesday – 1:59 PM Under title: “Woot? Early Election Results.” all edits are within brackets]

Well, the early results are in, and things are looking good for the Democrats. Not suprisingly, Bush and the war in Iraq can be thanked for this, according to exit polls.

You know, if you’d told me two years ago that Democrats would win back control of the house in the next election, I would have scoffed at you. I would not have believed that the Republicans could screw things up SO BAD that people would be forced to vote for our lackluster Democratic Party.

So while I’m happy that neo-conservatives and the Religious Right are no longer in charge of the house, I’m unhappy that the Democratic Party seems incapable of making the changes that need to happen. But again, I’m happy that I can now complain about them as well as the Republicans…someone reading my blog in the past might take me for a tried and true Democrat. I’m Liberal…yes…Democrat…not really. I’m way to fiscally conservative and critical to appreciate the “circuses and peanuts” politics so favored by our supposedly liberal party.

So, here’s what I would like Democrats to focus on in the coming years. If they do a good job, maybe we can have a liberal president (If they do a bad job, hopefully we can have an intelligent conservative like John McCain, but that’s another blog):

1) The National Debt. In 2006, $400 Billion will be paid toward INTEREST on the national debt. This is not to PAY OFF our debt, mind you, it’s merely the amount needed to keep solvent. Instead of going into even greater debt, we should tighten our belts and start paying off the 7.3 TRILLION dollars we currently owe.

  • [2006] Likelihood: less than 10%
  • [2008 Likelihood: less than 5%. We are more in debt than ever]

2) Further limiting lobbying and campaign financing by special interest groups. Lobbyist and other special interest groups are buying our politicians. Anybody who is paying attention in the last decade has seen rubber stamped laws being passed that were basically (and sometimes literally) written by lobbyist. The american people are getting screwed, and it needs to stop.

  • [2006] Likelihood: less than 40% unless people stand up for this.
  • [2008 Likelihood: higher than 60%]

3) A Return to the Constitution. Recently the Republicans have violated very basic constitutional concepts, implementing mass wire-tapping, torture, denial of habeas corpus, and greatly expanding the power of the executive branch. The Constitution is in place to protect all citizens from our government, and to make our state work for us instead of the reverse. If we don’t like something in the constitution, there are proscribed methods of changing it. Public officials who violate the constitution should be tried and sentenced as criminals.

  • [2006] Likelihood: 30% or less for strong changes, 90% for weak changes.
  • [2008 Likelihood: 40% for strong changes, weak already happening]

The top three issues are directly related to our ability to function as a nation. Now for other equally important issues that are dependent on that occuring.

4) Attention to The Environment and Global Warming. Parents are naturally protective of their children, and want what is best for them. So why are we leaving them a world destroyed by uncontrolled expansion and exploitation? This is an issue of utmost importance for our generation…we have the power to change things for the better, or not. One way or another, things are going to change…the oil will run out, resources scarcer, and the earth will get warmer. But if we are forward looking we will be able to anticipate and mitigate these changes instead of just reacting to them after the fact.

  • Likelihood: 75%
  • [2008 Likelihood: It’s happening]

5) Raising the minimum wage. While inflation goes onward and upward, minimum wage has been static since Republicans took control. Currently the federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. This works out to $824 a MONTH for a full time employee. That’s $24 more than the rent on my modest one bedroom apartment in the Seattle area. We can afford to help the poorest among us, even if it means we have to pay more for the same goods.
[2006] Likelihood: 75% or higher.

[2008 Likelihood Minimum wage now at 5.85o, a 12% increase over two years. Actual inflation went up 12% LAST year. So wage went up, but cost of living went up twice as fast. Sigh.]

6) Increased Respect for Science. Bush and the Religious Right have waged a war on science that is unequaled in recent history. Any scientific results that did not support the party line were ignored and actively squashed. They actively ignored scientific consensus on issues like global warming, creating a “controversy” where there was none. This is incredibly ignorant and arrogant.

Listen, we all have pretty little pictures we draw in our minds to describe how the world works. Why communism is bad and capitalism is good. Why conservatives are wrong and liberals are right. Why our religion is better than other religions. These ideas about the world are necessarily wrong, they are only simplified stories we tell ourselves. Science keeps us honest by requiring that we back up these stories with evidence, and maybe even tell the story BASED on the evidence. This is sorely needed in government.

  • Likelihood: 90%…it would be hard to do worse than it is right now.
  • [Likelihood: still 90%, but it’s a battle every step of the way. Those who accept their pastor words on faith ask for definitive proof of human caused climate change. Sigh.]

A Serious Case of the Mondays

This guy looses it; big time.  I’m watching in horror, but at the same time you kind of feel for him; you know?

Also, I love the esthetics of this video.  The order to chaos reminds me of a Heinlein novel, and I love the way his office mates buzz around like bees in a hive.  One fixed POV, black and white…It’s all quite mesmerizing.

This would make a great music video.