• The individual legislator does not constitute the state.  He found out by individual initiative, not coercive power.

    You still miss the point.

  • that the legal question is HOW someone's identity is revealed, not that it is?

    If I ask around the community and find someone who knows the identity of an anonymous blogger and then reveal it--does campaign monitor really believe that this is an illegal act?  ot is it an expression protected by the first amendment?

  • Why would you assume Jerome doesn't understand the law?

    Do you think it's against the law to "out" a blogger?  And you say Jerome can't grasp logic?

    What a nitwit.

  • I also completely agree with Jerome.  I think it's bs to trash people behind the shield of anonymity--bloggers don't fear arrest for criticizing state reps and this isn't the Soviet Union.  If I could figure out how to change my screen name on this site, I would.

    Jim Hannon

  • comment on a post PA-Sen: Specter Flailing Among PA Republicans over 5 years ago

    If Richard Shelby and Ben Campbell can do it, you can do it--CHANGE PARTIES

  • for so many reasons.  

    1. Science is capable of producing theories and practices that are simply inaccurate and/or tremendously dangerous.  Consider medicine--and the number of physician-caused eaths in the U.S> in one year.  Consider the sceintific breakthrough of thalidomide, wonderful medication for preventing miscarriages BUT unfortunately gneerative of horrendous birth defects.  Now consider the Christian Science family that wants to avoid surgical internvention for a sick child--the courts can take their parental rights away; the familt that opts for elective surgery for tonsilitis?  Fine, because science says it's good.  Too bad a certain number of surgeries result in death, to say nothing of childhood trauma.

    2. Invisible demons.  Do you consider depression an illness?  Do you think science really understands the etiology of depression?  I can assure you--we don't even know how anti-depressants work.  Shock therapy?  Science.  And today, often very effective.  How and why does it work?  We don't know.

    3. Intelligent design is not the minority opinion  of a few right-wing Americans.  There are many natural scientists who consider the implicate order of the universe to be evidence of an inconceivable intelligence--as counter to the idea of a series of unintended mutations that just happen to produce conscious beings who can study the origins of life.  

    I think it is sloppy and arrogant to laugh at the ideas of a previous time and to think that your very incomplete knowledge of a universe of knowledge is the final flowering of human knowledge and that hundreds of years from now people will look back on this time and place and on antiHyde as full possession of understanding of the nature of the universe.  

  • comment on a post Texas Board of Education to Vote on Evolution over 5 years ago

    We are not hurting economically because of creationism in some school systems.  We've had a lack of any consistent planning in the national economy, the trans-national corporations have acted as nation-states, and we've had too much of our resources directed to defense spending that is like building a hole and pouring money in it.  And we could go on and on.  Russia got behind the 8-ball economically too (and much of the rest of the world) and I don't think it's because of creationism!

    This is the kind of straw man argument that rightly leads some of the sincere members of the Christian Right to dismiss critics as insincere culture warriors of the left--the anti-religion crowd.  If this is the best you can do, I don't blame them.  The secular Left likes to pride itself on being smarter and views religious people as naive and foolish.  But the quality of their analysis is often so weak and loose with the facts that they undermine their own arrogance.

    The content of educational programs is often contested terrain, and probably should be more often.  I reviewed my kids' social studies texts to see whether they were being presented a nationalistic view of American history.  I would check coverage of the Vietnam War for starters, to see if the text addressed the wholesale slaughter of SE Asians and the lies on which the U.S.invasion was based.  In my liberal town in Massachusetts, the books were pretty "good," from  my standpoint.  And I was glad that Conservatives weren't monitoring too closely.

    The problem that many religious folks have with science education could be called Saganism.  Carl Sagan is a hero among the secularists but he really made a lot of faith statements in the guise of science.  To say that the material world is all there is and that there is no reason to posit a creator is beyond science.  To say that current theories of evolution explain everything in the fossil record is also not true.  I believe in evolution, of course, and do not find it incompatible with theism, but many people do  use evolution to imply a completely materialistic  explanation for life.  That is beyond science.


  • Good to know your girlfriend worked for a related NGO.  Even so, I hope you'll permit me to respond.

    In addition to teaching at a Jesuit college, I was also the director of a Planned Parenthood Center-in Rutland, Vermont.  A strange combination of careers, but true.  And I was also an active member of the Catholic Left that you remember with nostalgia.  And I am also the father of two post-teen daughters.  Neither has been pregnant.

    Hysterical condemnations of idiots and me (you might consider that an overlap) doesn't address the sloppiness of your post.  It's a result of preaching to the choir-you don't think you need to make a good argument.  But it's clear to most observers that teen pregnancy is a complicated societal problem that is not reducible to an "enlightened" school system.  And it's not just a matter of predatory boys.  Many teenage girls who can't envision a different life path think of pregnancy and motherhood as a desirable achievement--it confers adult status, is likely to get them out of their parents' home, and assures them of someone who will need and love them.

    I believe in full sex education programs in schools--with opt out for students who object, or whose parents object.  I think abstinence only sex eduation is a form of educational malpractice.  But I agree that is not primarily a matter of education about contraception.  It is about owning one's life and a set of values, gender roles, and  life aspirations that is not congruent with early pregnancy.    

    To say "it" tracks income doesn't really address this point--or any, really.  Arguing that sex education is the clearest determinant of reduced pregnancy rates actually ignores income, and other factors.  Sex education is more comprehensive in states that are culturally more "progressive" in regard to gender roles than states that are more conservative in regard sex ed.  So there's a problem of colinearity in tracing the effects of sex education on pregnancy rates.

    As to how I spend my time (relevance unclear), I am no longer a Catholic and I don't support any of their anti-gay campaigns.  I was involved in social justice and sanctuary work with the Church in the '70s and early '80s and I was disgusted then, and now, with the clericalism and the CYA politics of the hierarchy.  But to describe the Church as anti-poor seems a big stretch given their work in some of the poorest communities in the nation (and world).  It's a sign of your sloppiness that you can roll anti-gay and CYA into anti-poor.  As in I don't like the Church and I don't like x, y, and z, so the Church must be pro x, pro-y and pro-z.  Bad syllogism.

  • comment on a post Texas Board of Education to Vote on Evolution over 5 years ago

    No wonder proponents of evolution have a hard time sealing the deal--you folks are sloppy and arrogant.

    McLeroy says it's naive to think that giving students a lot of information is going to solve the high rate of teen pregnancy, and that it's more of a societal problem than school problem.

    And you laugh at that?  He's right, and his position would be endorsed by most of those who work to reduce unwanted pregnancies among teens.  Unemployment, lack of available jobs, single parent families, lack of access to contraceptive care, media, etc. all play a part in producing high rates of teen pregnancy.

    The comments reflect an ongoing refusal, or inability, to see the difference between intelligent design and creationism.   As an alumnus of a Jesuit university and a former professor of sociology at a Jesuit college, I can tell you that Jesuits don't cringe at the Vatican's position on intelligent design--birth control and celibacy, yes, but not ID.  It would be hard to find any theist who doesn't believe in intelligent design.

    Evolution?  Of course.  Obvious.  And despite WashStateBlue's misinformation, the Vatican still supports evolution and plays an important role in trying to explain how evolution is consistent with theism, as Dracomicron suggests.

    One of the things I like about Obama is his refusal to view religious conservatives with contempt.  Laughing at people for deeply held beliefs just makes them dig in further and view the mockers as true enemies.

  • comment on a post The Silliness at The Washington Post over 5 years ago

    because the Dems choose (sometimes too easily) to cooperate.  AS we know from watching Repubs over the past twenty years, there is no desire to cooperate, even for the clear good of the nation.  It is all Hobbesian politics, a la Gingrich and Rove.

  • comment on a post PA-Sen: Toomey May Still Challenge Specter over 5 years ago

    Of course, Arlen could try to win the Rep primary first and then say F.U. to the Party, like his dear friend and esteemed colleague.

  • This is outrageous.  There is no excuse for this level of failure regarding taxes.  I object on other grounds to his getting big bucks for "speaking" to audiences of industry lobbyists, but the tax failure is freakin' criminal.  How can we expect people to trust government if the leaders figure they can get away with tax fraud?

  • comment on a post Labor Has An Ally In The White House Again over 5 years ago

    I guess it's official--the U.S. is the only nation without a working class.

  • on a comment on delete over 5 years ago

  • on a comment on delete over 5 years ago

    It's a sign of how unconscious these guys really are and how they have made a life out of pandering to male sexism?  And I hold Bush way more out of line than Clinton, who in some ways might have been trying to smoothe things out.


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