The Daily Dump

Andrew decides to revisit his remarks regarding the President and faith that we discussed in detail yesterday, and given extra time to think (drink?), he gets it wrong again:

Did I over-react? It’s worth looking at the full quote as produced by the Washington Times:

“I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit. That’s what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit. On the other hand, I don’t see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord.”

Now notice that Bush is explicitly qualifying his defense of religious freedom (or the freedom to have no religion at all) by saying that the presidency, in his view, should nevertheless be reserved for people with a relationship of a personal nature with “the Lord.” He isn’t simply saying that he doesn’t see how he could have endured the presidency without faith; he is asserting that he cannot see how anyone could be president without a “relationship with the Lord.” Now I can see how this might be simply a slip of the tongue: just a projection of his own experience with nothing more to be inferred from it. But given how this administration has consciously eroded the distinction between church and state – fusing the two with federal funds, using religious groups as its political base, incorporating religious leaders into policy-making, and defending public policy decisions on purely religious grounds (calling civil marriage licenses “sacred,” for example) – this is worrying. To put it bluntly, on the separation of church and state, I don’t trust these guys.

The President stated three things in that remark:

1.) He has a very strong relationship with his Lord.
2.) He believes a chief responsibility of the President is to protect the right to worship freely
3.) He does not understand how someone can be president without a deep faith.

He did not, as the jackass Sullivan asserts:

1.) Explicitly qualify his defense of religious freedom. He made it clear that the role of the President is to defend all those who wish to worship, and in whatever manner. Just a blatant lie on your part, Sullivan.
2.) He did not make a slip of the tongue, he meant what he said- from his perspective, he does not understand how anyone could be President without having a similar deep faith. He did not say they couldn’t or shouldn’t be allowed to, he said “I don’t see how you can be president.” Words mean thing, you silly Brit.

It all boils down to this, the only honest thing Sullivan has stated in several weeks regarding the President and this administration:

To put it bluntly, on the separation of church and state, I don’t trust these guys.

Which is why you are willfully misinterpreting this quote. Goodness, you have fallen.

Friedman’s Rules

These make sense:

Rule 1-Never lead your story out of Lebanon, Gaza or Iraq with a cease-fire; it will always be over by the time the next morning’s paper is out.

Rule 2- Never take a concession, except out of the mouth of the person who is supposed to be doing the conceding. If I had a dime for every time someone agreed to recognize Israel on behalf of Yasir Arafat, I would be a wealthy man today.

Rule 3- The Israelis will always win, and the Palestinians will always make sure that they never enjoy it. Everything else is just commentary.

Rule 4- In the Middle East, if you can’t explain something with a conspiracy theory, then don’t try to explain it at all – people there won’t believe it.

Rule 5- In the Middle East, the extremists go all the way, and the moderates tend to just go away – unless the coast is completely clear.

Rule 6- The most oft-used phrase of Mideast moderates is: “We were just about to stand up to the bad guys when you stupid Americans did that stupid thing. Had you stupid Americans not done that stupid thing, we would have stood up, but now it’s too late. It’s all your fault for being so stupid.”

Rule 7- In Middle East politics there is rarely a happy medium. When one side is weak, it will tell you, “How can I compromise?” And the minute it becomes strong, it will tell you, “Why should I compromise?”

Rule 8- What people tell you in private in the Middle East is irrelevant. All that matters is what they will defend in public in Arabic, in Hebrew or in any other local language. Anything said in English doesn’t count.

This does not:

For all these reasons, the least bad option right now for the U.S. is to forge ahead with the elections…

Otherwise known as the best option…

Food for Thought

As part of a series of lifestyle changes that I am undertaking to add to assist my healthy and longevity, I am finally breaking down and visiting a dietician/nutritionist. At any rate, whenever I discuss diets/dieting with my mother, she invariably mentions her favorite diet of all times, one that one of her co-workers always uses.

The diet? To eat only foods he doesn’t like. Works like a charm for him, and the lbs shed off. My problem is that other than Stuffed Peppers and Liver and ONions, there are no foods I dislike. I like everything.

At any rate, point ofthis post- What foods can you not tolerate?


In the comments of this post, Rick Lee asks:

Dude… what’s up with your spelling these days? Are you on pain killers or something?

A couple lame defenses:

1.) It ain’t my spelling, it is my typing.

I rarely make spelling errors (other than the occassional homonym mix-up, which appears to happen more often as I age) when I write with pen and paper. However, I have a confession to make- I type with my feet. Well, not really, but I use only my thumb and two fingers on each hand. I have taken typing classes, I have practiced for hours, and I have spent hundreds of hours with Mavis Beacon, but it all comes back to the same four fingers and two thumbs.

2.) Diet Rite + Keyboard = Mess

I dumped a can of Diet Rite in the keyboard about three weeks ago, and even though there is no sugar, caffeine, or flavor in the damned soda, it sure does work well as an adhesive. Actually, if memory serves correctly, this keyboard has also had a Newcastle Brown and a glass of cranberry juice dumped into it at some point, so maybe the Diet Rite just mixed with the others to create some toxic sludge. Shrug.

3.) I type angry and shiny objects distract me.

I am usually pissed off about something when I am blogging, and add to that I have ten open windows, each with something I want to read, so I forget to proof-read. Usually I come back two days later and wonder how the hell anyone understood what I meant, many times the comments section affirms that indeed they did not, in fact, understand what I meant. But I bet they could sense the hostility.

4.) Sometimes when I edit posts in mid stream, or add to them later on, I forget to go back and make sure the edit makes sense with what was originally written.

That leads to unfinished thoughts abruptly truncated in

I hope that explains my crappy spelling, comma splices, misplaced and dangling modifiers, and over-all crappy grammar.

Something to Mock

I am posting this Robert Scheer piece from the LA Times only because it has not received the level of derision and mockery that it richly deserves:

Is it conceivable that Al Qaeda, as defined by President Bush as the center of a vast and well-organized international terrorist conspiracy, does not exist?

To even raise the question amid all the officially inspired hysteria is heretical, especially in the context of the U.S. media’s supine acceptance of administration claims relating to national security. Yet a brilliant new BBC film produced by one of Britain’s leading documentary filmmakers systematically challenges this and many other accepted articles of faith in the so-called war on terror.

My head hurts already.