The Thin, Frothy Line

Let’s not kid ourselves at the kind of president that Rick Santorum would be, folks.

“The reason Bibles are no longer in the public schools is because we let them take them out,” Santorum said to amens and applause at The Awakening conference, hosted by the right-wing Liberty Counsel. “You say, ‘Well, we can’t get them back in?’ Yes we can! Yes we can!

How much are you willing to sacrifice?” the former presidential candidate continued. “One person got the Bibles out of the schools. We have more than one person here! But you’ve got to have the same passion in preserving our country as they do to transform it.”

When they say “Take our country back!” they conveniently forget the “to the Dark Ages” part.  These guys are fanatics, and as we’re reminded, there’s nothing Republicans can do that would ever get them tagged as “radicals” the way anyone to the left of Joe Manchin is today.

The rest of us just tune out the entire process and say “You have to give me a reason to vote for the Democrats.  The fact they are not the GOP isn’t good enough.”  And for tens of millions of us, that will never change.

And neither will the Santorums of the GOP.






149 replies
  1. 1
    brantl says:

    I seriously want this silly little prick, to stop

  2. 2
    The Moar You Know says:

    Nehemiah Scudder come to life.

    I’m sure he lots of other equally sane plans to restore America to greatness.

  3. 3

    I’m going to hide under a box until Election Day, come out and vote for the Dem, then crawl back under the box. Send pets. Thanks.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Absolute power faith corrupts absolutely.

  5. 5
    Davebo says:

    The rest of us just tune out the entire process and say “You have to give me a reason to vote for the Democrats. The fact they are not the GOP isn’t good enough.” And for tens of millions of us, that will never change.

    There’s always the Greens. That’s worked out swimmingly in the past.

  6. 6
    KG says:

    there’s nothing Republicans can do that would ever get them tagged as “radicals” the way anyone to the left of Joe Manchin is today.

    That’s because technically they aren’t radicals. Radicals are, by definition of the left end of the political spectrum. The right end equivalent is “reactionary”. And that is what they are: they are reactionaries. That’s what they need to be called.

    There’s the added benefit that calling them reactionaries makes them sound almost as scary as their policies are. You call them a reactionary and when they object or ask what they are reacting against you say “modern society, our daily lives.” Force them to actually defend their craziness as they’ve done for years to the left. Make it obvious that they want to go back to a preindustrial pre civil rights political system.

  7. 7

    @KG:

    pre civil rights political system

    That part’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Otherwise, though, yeah.

  8. 8

    Little Ricky is neither alone or without someone willing to throw some coin at his Sharia-like movement. Keep your eyes open for David Lane.

    Unlike political operatives such as Ralph Reed, the former executive director of the Christian Coalition who helped elect George W. Bush before becoming ensnared in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, Mr. Lane does not have an extensive organization.

    What Mr. Lane, a former public relations man, does have going for him is a decentralized landscape in which a determined believer with an extensive network of ground-level evangelical leaders and a limitless capacity for talking on the phone can exert influence on Republican presidential candidates eager to reach evangelical voters.

    But Mr. Lane’s ambitions are national — he focused on battleground states in 2014 and has built an email list of 100,000 pastors around the country.

    His goal now is to get 1,000 pastors to run for public office, and their potential support has drawn a virtual pilgrimage of conservative candidates eager to join the tours Mr. Lane organizes to Israel and to his “Pastors and Pews” events.

    “A good friend” Mr. Cruz said.

    “A great friend,” Mr. Jindal said.

    With some of the energy gone from the evangelical movement, said John C. Green, a political scientist at the University of Akron and an expert on evangelicals, “this is about keeping the pressure on for the next election.”

    “Lane has influence with pastors, and they listen to him,” Mr. Green added.

    All this activity has caught the attention of liberal opponents, who call Mr. Lane an extremist for his belief that abortion will incur divine vengeance on America and his argument that the Republican Party will be destroyed by its acceptance of same-sex marriage just as the Whig Party was destroyed by its acceptance of slavery in the 19th century.

    They have sought to cast him as the de facto travel agent for the American Family Association, a Mississippi-based conservative religious organization, which had to distance itself from a spokesman, Bryan Fischer, who called homosexuals “Nazis” and argued that Muslims should not enjoy First Amendment rights and should be converted to Christianity.

    This will get interesting.

  9. 9
    Cacti says:

    Frothy once said that rape pregnancy is a gift of life.

    Bibles in schools is pretty tame by his own standards.

  10. 10
    shelley says:

    Yes, cause God knows there’s no access to bibles anywhere else, since there’s one in every hotel room, tons in public libraries, most private homes have a copy, no surprise considering that the Bible has the most sales of any other book per annum.

  11. 11
    KG says:

    @Karen in GA: from their perspective it’s all features. The reactionaries want to turn back the political system. That’s what reactionaries alway want to do. They’ve just found a way to dress it up nicely. But the reactionaries would be totally happy with a political system that resembled what we had in 1835

  12. 12
    Cervantes says:

    @KG:

    Radicals are, by definition of the left end of the political spectrum.

    How would you describe, say, “the Gingrich revolution” circa 1995?

  13. 13
    Ejoiner says:

    What the hell is he talking about – there are Bibles in (probably) every public school library in the country and many in classrooms as well. Along with, of course, the sacred texts of dozens of other religions. No one has taken the Bibles out of public schools.

  14. 14

    @KG: I was going to say I didn’t agree with the “preindustrial” part, until I realized you didn’t say anything about economics. So you’re right — they’re all features.

  15. 15
    gogol's wife says:

    @Ejoiner:

    And when he says “one person took them out” — does he mean Obama? What goes on in their heads?

  16. 16
    KG says:

    @Cervantes: politically, they were reactionaries. I’m using political definition of radical. There is a nonpolitical definition where radical just means extreme, but the difference between radical and reactionary in politics is the difference between moonbats on the left and wingnuts on the right

  17. 17
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Ejoiner: I’m guessing he wants actual Bible study in public school.

  18. 18
    KG says:

    @Karen in GA: oh, economically, they’d love a pre industrial landscape where they could hire people to physically bust unions, eliminate the minimum wage, institute debtors prisons, and basically have a gilded age system. Again, it’s all features from their prospective

  19. 19
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Or maybe no public schools at all, just bible schools, with reading, science & math side dishes after the main course of Jonah and Adam/Eve and baby Jesus

  20. 20

    @gogol’s wife: He’s probably referring to Madalyn Murray O’Hair who sued some fifty years ago to stop public schools from making students recite the Lords Prayer after the Pledge of Allegiance. The Supreme Court upheld her suit in 1963 and the world has gone to hell ever since, amirite?

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    Santorum is a fanatic, and it would be truly frightening to have such a deranged god-botherer in the White House. But Rick Santorum will never be president. Dangerous lunatics can get elected, but they have to hide their insanity under a likable exterior. Santorum does not have that talent.

  22. 22
    piratedan says:

    ahh yes, the good old days when Religion is pure and we don’t have to worry about any situation or issue because someone has read the Bible and they totally get all of the messages therein, never mind that it’s gone from Hebrew to Latin to German to English… you gotta have faith that nary a mistake was made in translation. That these good people, who emulate those life lessons within that tome, would never succumb to the pleasures of the flesh or corruption of spirit, will govern with the best interests of all, faithful or not.

    There are a good many people of faith out there that are kind, charitable and tolerant of others… this fucker is not one of them.

  23. 23
    chopper says:

    @Cacti:

    i’m sure rih’s R&D department is right this minute working on tiny, waterproof bibles that can be inserted into vaginas IUD-style.

  24. 24
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Mustang Bobby: And he literally believes that O’Hair is literally being tormented by the fires of hell (as we speak) with a horned dude poking her with a pitchfork.

    He literally believes this, and he aims to be my president.

  25. 25

    @KG: I thought the gilded age system came with the Industrial Revolution, though?

  26. 26
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    A God botherer once told me something that he thought I hadn’t heard a million times before: “The bible says Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” The way he said this, he thought it was the wittiest, rarest thing, and that I’d be bowled over.

    I couldn’t help but imitate him. I told him “The bible says Adam and Eve, not Steve and Eydie!”

    I was rewarded with a blank stare.

    It really didn’t make any sense, but it made me feel better.

  27. 27
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: There are certain lines that are so hackneyed, offensive and stupid that they should result in spontaneous combustion of the speaker’s tongue. The “Adam and Steve” line is one of them. If I had a nickel for every time some homophobic asshole brayed that in my presence, I’d have enough to make a hefty donation to a marriage equality group.

  28. 28
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Betty Cracker: Santorum doesn’t speak dogwhistle like some of the others. He’s far too honest about his intentions. That’s a lot of Huckabee’s handicap. Cruz, Walker, and some of the others are sufficiently fluent in both that they can rant in dogwhistle all day long and still mostly sound like they’re speaking English: b#tsh!t-crazy English, but English nonetheless.

  29. 29
    Tractarian says:

    Meh. No way this guy comes close to the nomination.

    When Jeb! or Scott Walker start their inevitable Bible-thumping, let me know.

  30. 30
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Betty Cracker: My favorite response has always been “He made David and Jonathan…”

  31. 31
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Purely from a practical standpoint if you had to choose the genders of the first people, you’d want to go opposite. But what does that have to do with anything? It’s like insisting you have to ride a really small bicycle for the rest of your life because that’s what you started with.

  32. 32
    Calouste says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I would answer with something along the lines of “Why would I care what your bible says?”. Never acknowledge that their religion applies to anyone but them.

  33. 33
    boatboy_srq says:

    @piratedan: The trouble with that is that a) that world hasn’t existed since the rise of Catharism and the Albigensian heresies, and b) the people they revere – Luther, Knox, et al – would all have been righteously executed for their beliefs if the modern godbotherers’ views were enforced. But of course in a world (such as theirs) where Earth is 6000 years old, and history jumps from Rome to Columbus to Plymouth to the Declaration of Independence to now, there’s not a lot of room for that kind of thinking.

  34. 34
    Sherparick says:

    It is also a completely imaginary past. Bibles and religious education in public schools before 1962 was not likely to produce religious indoctrination, probably the opposite result. It has to be very anodyne so as not offend one Protestant sect or another in the community, or get the Roman Catholics in the public schools fired-up. By the way, all the statistics on social disorder, as Noah Smith notes, are down, way down under the rule of the Kenyan Muslim Usurper Dictatorial Wimp, although neither Ross Douthat or David Brooks have not got the memo, along with Mr. Santorum (who is, as Charles Pierce says, a might huge “dick.”)

  35. 35
    Chyron HR says:

    “We’ll send scouting parties to collect books and stuff, and men like you’ll teach the kids. Not science and rubbish–THE BIBLE!”

  36. 36
    coin operated says:

    @Ejoiner: The religious right see public schools as liberal indoctrination centers, and will not be happy until a Sunday-school style class is mandatory from kindergarten on through 12th grade and accounts for over 50% of the classroom time. Take notes, class…there will be a test on converting water to wine next Friday.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    149 years, 11 months ago, the country they want back was crushed by Union armies.

    We can do this again, if necessary.

  38. 38

    @boatboy_srq:
    Giving people the benefit of the doubt is normally a virtue. Racists have exploited that virtue for decades by cultivating the excuses that sound most reasonable and spreading them around. At this point, giving people the benefit of the doubt on bigotry is half the problem.

    EDIT – @boatboy_srq:
    I like this, because they’ve dedicated themselves to an appeal to authority. Hitting them back with the same authority is a good tactic.

  39. 39
    Zinsky says:

    The great American writer Sinclair Lewis once wrote, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” He was undoubtedly thinking of moronic twits like Santorum.

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    And when he says “one person took them out” — does he mean Obama? What goes on in their heads?

    That one person they refer to is the one person who brought a suit that the SC ruled in favor of. Never mind that there were millions of others, plus the entire apparatus of government behind that decision.

    As far as what goes on in their heads? I got nothin.

  41. 41
    Cervantes says:

    @KG:

    politically, they were reactionaries.

    Would you agree that in 1995, what Gingrich and company wanted was radical change? Are you familiar with the argument that in their goals and methods they resembled nothing so much as Bolsheviks?

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: And not “The Bible as Literature” either, which I recall being a class offered in my high school in the early 70’s.

  43. 43
    Gex says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I always ask those people about intersex people. I mean, we’ve SEEN genetically and anatomically that there is more than just male and female.

    One guy I asked about intersex folks told me they “just need lots of therapy” because he thought I was talking about transgendered people. He bailed on the conversation when I explained the term to him and asked him how talk therapy would change the genes or the genitalia.

    I do not doubt, however, that he went on believing what he wanted to believe and thinking he totally got the best of me in that argument. For these folks what’s natural is what’s in this book, not what you find in nature. If there is a conflict, nature is wrong.

  44. 44
    Origuy says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Actually, according to the Wikipedia article, O’Hair brought the suit that prohibited official Bible-reading in public schools. The school prayer case was decided a year earlier.

    I started first grade at Unionville Elementary, outside of Bloomington, Indiana, in September 1962. I remember having a class prayer before lunch, even though Engle v. Vitale had been decided in July. Of course, I had no knowledge about that. I just remember that by the next year, we didn’t have a prayer in class. Unionville is still a small town, but I bet they have more than just the Methodists and the Baptists now.

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @Mustang Bobby:

    The Supreme Court upheld her suit in 1963 and the world has gone to hell ever since, amirite?

    Reagan’s election probably coincided with peak lead poisoning. Ask Kevin Drum.

    Murder and violent crime rates are now at 50 year lows ( except in New Orleans).

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Actually the United States started going downhill in January of 1981.

  47. 47
    KG says:

    @Karen in GA: there really wasn’t much of a difference economically between the two eras. The federal government had extremely limited say in economic matters because of a restrictive reading of the commerce clause and state and local pols were easily bought off or otherwise corrupt. It’s also why they want to do away with popular election of senators (in law school while I did the federalist society thing, that was my first real red flag).

  48. 48
    VincentN says:

    We can complain all we want that “not being the GOP” should be good enough but the reality is that it’s not good enough. History shows that our side won’t come out in overwhelming numbers unless it feels excited. It’s a short-sighted attitude that has lost us state legislatures and Congress and has left Democrats hoping against hope that we’ll manage to hold onto the Presidency in the next election but it’s the truth.

    We don’t seem to be motivated by fear as much as conservatives are which is odd because our fears have a greater chance of coming through with a Republican administration. We snark about Democrats wanting to be promised a unicorn before they’ll vote but yeah that seems to be the case.

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: If they have the Bible* along with The Devil’s Dictionary, I would take that trade.

    *whose Bible, of course. How about original (ha ha) texts – translations are for weaklings.

  50. 50
    KG says:

    @Cervantes: ok, again, in the sense that they were extreme, yes, they were “radical”. But in terms of their objectives and political philosophy, they were reactionaries, not radicals. Maybe I’m not being clear because I’m using what is essentially political science jargon.

  51. 51
    Cervantes says:

    @Origuy:

    Actually, according to the Wikipedia article, O’Hair brought the suit that prohibited official Bible-reading in public schools. The school prayer case was decided a year earlier.

    Yes — and when we say “school prayer case,” we’re really talking about government-sponsored prayer (Engel v. Vitale, 1962).

    Nor was O’Hair the primary plaintiff in the subsequent case banning the use of the Bible; it was Ed Schempp, a Unitarian from Pennsylvania.

    As for what Santorum means: someone should ask him.

  52. 52
    MattF says:

    I think Repubs are generally aware that Santorum is not and will never be a popular politician. But it’s the template he’s conforming to that matters– when Ted Cruz tells audiences the ‘world is on fire’ he’s following that template of mixing politics with apocalyptic religion. Of course, Cruz is the would-be arsonist, and he knows that… just doesn’t care to mention it.

  53. 53
    SatanicPanic says:

    @VincentN:

    Democrats hoping against hope that we’ll manage to hold onto the Presidency in the next election

    Sorry, I stopped reading right here. This is so wildly wrong I had to give up.

  54. 54
    Calouste says:

    @Zinsky: Not a particularly deep insight, because it came to most countries that way. Germany was the exception because the country was roughly evenly split between Protestants and Catholics. But in Catholic countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland etc.) there was a strong connection between the fascist regime and the Catholic church.

  55. 55
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @boatboy_srq: Yup. “Surpassing the love of women.”

    The problem with Bible thumpers is that they never crack the damn thing open.

  56. 56
    Ryan says:

    I want to tie this to Obama, Benghazi, the statistics coverup at the Department of Labor, and the FEMA camps on Long Island, but I just can’t do it. It’s too exhausting to deal with all the stupid.

  57. 57
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Sherparick: Well, that was the thing, in the 1800s in Massachusetts the WASPs were completely open about using Protestant prayers to set the hordes of Papist children to rights, which resulted in the Irish Catholic community building their own private schools.

    Even in more recent times, a good number of school prayer lawsuits have been filed by adherents of whatever the minority view is–Catholic, Mormon–who objected to the doctrinal claims. In fact SCOTUS said it was okay to engage in “ceremonial deism” because I guess being a Jew or a Buddhist or an adherent of a Native American religion makes you chopped liver.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Calouste:
    The German leader who came to power in 1933 was himself raised Catholic, although he wasn’t particularly devout.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @piratedan:
    Not just the translations, the re-writes of the basic text as well.

    There have always been religious extremists among us. Probably always will be. The problem is that they once again have a loud enough voice to be heard. Which is also a problem for them. What has to happen is that their voices have to be shadowed by the voice of reason. Right now there aren’t enough voices of reason, primarily because the voice of fear is very loud.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid: He was very big on leaning on the Big Guy In The Sky as a justification for everything he did, to include his antisemitism.

  61. 61
    Joel Hanes says:

    @JPL:

    the United States started going downhill in January of 1981

    Amen, brother.

  62. 62
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gex:

    I always ask those people about intersex people. I mean, we’ve SEEN genetically and anatomically that there is more than just male and female.

    Fucking over intersex people into order to attack GLBT people is all part of the plan. Besides, intersex people and their doctors are probably just lying or hoaxing to get attention, amirite?

    We’re talking about people who have major comprehension problems when it comes to the basics of human reproduction. Expecting them to understand conjoined twins, chimeras, or mutations is a bridge too far.

    The amount of DERP in the wire articles, never mind the comments, when we’re talking about intersexed athletes, is enough to make me despair.

    I just hope that fixing laws for transgender folks will help the intersex maintain their civil rights as well.

  63. 63
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @MattF: Brilliant comment.

    I have watched people throw their humanity out the door at the ballot box to “prove” their faith. It’s a powerful impulse with a rooting deep in childhood beatings and shame.

    That’s why these folks are always fighting laws that would curtail child abuse, btw. Shame, alienation, and fear are their oxygen.

  64. 64
    Woodrowfan says:

    @JPL: I’d argue January 1969… It accelerated in January 1981

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    @catclub:
    As far as what goes on in their heads? I got nothin.

    The simplest answer is almost always best. Nothin is what goes on in their heads. It’s a jukebox that skips, playing the same one note over and over and over. And over.

  66. 66
    Calouste says:

    I learn from a poster at Wonkette that, due to un unfortunate error at his publisher, Mike Huckabe’s latest book was released under title Gods, Guns, Grits and Gravy, instead of its intended title, Gods, Guns, Grift and the Gravy Train

  67. 67
    shelley says:

    @Betty Cracker: Well, at least it inspired Paul Rudnick to write the play ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.’

  68. 68
    Chris says:

    When they say “Take our country back!” they conveniently forget the “to the Dark Ages” part.

    They don’t forget, they intentionally leave it vague so that various people fill in the blanks with whatever “to what” they in particular consider best. Ordinary voters fill it in with “to the 1950s,” the last age when there was lots of prosperity without any question that white Anglo-Protestants would be the ones in control of society and women, gays, nonwhites and non-Christians would know their place. Corporate types and ideologues will fill it in with “to the 1920s” or “to the 1890s,” e.g. before big government started interfering with their ability to rule everything (because the 1950s to them were already a socialist dystopia). Real nerds will talk about going back to the days before the Civil War or before universal (white male) suffrage… etc.

    The one thing everyone can agree on is that screw the Socialist Liberal Politically Correct Pointyheads, for destroying whatever they consider their utopia and bringing us forward to Now.

  69. 69
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @catclub:

    Murder and violent crime rates are now at 50 year lows ( except in New Orleans).

    My working theory is that lead drove crime rates up, but shitty policing (and adjudication) can keep them from dropping. If you look at where high crime rates have lingered, you have:

    major underinvestment in police
    lousy police community relations
    poor commitment to civil rights

    You’re probably thinking–more police? Well, it’s like this. Racists like to hire a lot of poorly trained police cheap and toss them into neighborhoods on patrol to hassle people because of some idiotic 90’s era police mythology that this somehow prevents crime. But the truth is that police don’t really prevent crime, they only interrupt it, so they prevent re-offense by catching the offenders. If you don’t want offenders in the first place you need to invest in stuff like Head Start and IDK living wages and shit. Bad policing cities, like Chicago, have few detectives and fewer resources for those detectives to actual catch criminals after they commit crimes. So the same criminals keep committing crimes. New Orleans is trying out the model of having a whole department of 3 year veterans and seeing how peace officers who perpetually fell off the turnip truck will work out for them. It’s kind of like term limited state legislators versus lobbyists. We all know who gets the best of that encounter.

    If you look nationwide it’s the smaller cities that have the highest violent crime rates today. They lack the resources and training. Their police are poorly paid, high turnover, low training (since police rely on a lot of continuing education), not enough officers to work major crimes really hard when they happen, no money to do expensive forensics, etc, etc. The whole small municipality with its own police force model is an abject failure and needs to go away.

    France has gendarmes. I always thought they were silly and that France was no great model of policing and criminal justice but I will give you this, their rural crime rates look a lot better than ours right about now.

    And how do the best police in the world (by reputation, anyway) do it? They’ve institutionalized veteran cops mentoring the rookies. Which you can’t do if everybody gigs it out of there in 3 years once they’ve got “3 years experience” on their resume.

  70. 70
    karen marie says:

    Interestingly, all the comments on that video are against Santorum, that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter, not a single one in support. But, yeah, it would be nice if he just crawled off into a corner somewhere.

  71. 71
    piratedan says:

    @Ruckus:agreed, and it’s especially tough these days since the media is in constant baitclick mode and fear is a major inducement to generating those clicks and thus revenue. These fuckers are profiting on fear and prejudice, which (for me) is even more heinous than the fuckers that are simply hateful and ignorant and intolerant. Sorry for the profane rant but as you can see, this is one of those hot button topics for me

    While Santorum is emblematic of the issues with the religious right, the aiding and abetting by our media to make him a viable candidate; in the environment media that they’ve created for him, just makes me sick. We’ve already had these discussions, like in the mid to late 1700’s and the founding fathers said NO to all of this bullshit back then and the fact that these asshats are co-opting and twisting that for their own purposes to spin their own take on this and subvert it for their own makes me nauseated,

  72. 72

    @VincentN:
    From what I’ve seen, Republican voter turnout is motivated by fear and hate. Democratic voter turnout is motivated by whether they think anything will get done. Apocalyptic news emboldens Republicans and dispirits Democrats. Declarations of being strongly liberal have only the faintest effect on Democratic turnout, but are big movers of Republican turnout. Add to that the number of people who look at the biggest liberal legislative achievement in my lifetime and try to tell me the man who fostered it is basically a Republican, and… well, whatever will help, I don’t think making a stronger contrast is it.

    @Another Holocene Human:

    That’s why these folks are always fighting laws that would curtail child abuse, btw. Shame, alienation, and fear are their oxygen.

    Oh, yeah. Control over their children is a big deal for these folks. In the 80s they hit on a great way to extend it. By whipping up a scare blaming child abuse on predatory strangers, they actually got the social consensus to be that parents should police their teenage children night and day! As if that isn’t, itself, serious abuse. Along with misogyny, that’s one of the issues I’ve seen turned on its head and get much worse in my lifetime.

  73. 73
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris: There’s a guy here in tracktown who says it all went wrong when agriculture was invented.

  74. 74
    Another Holocene Human says:

    The woes of Crescent City’s police forces are on the internet for all to see, but I will say this in their defense: that they have the bad fortune of being smack dab in Louisiana, the state with the highest homicide rate in the United States. The United State of Oil Rigs has something deeply, deeply wrong going on. More serial killers than ISIS. Baton Rouge alone had not one, not two, but three serial killers active during the Bush administration.

    LA’s legal system is a joke. They make Texas look like a model of professionalism, yes, false convictions Texas. I’ve heard there’s a culture of bribery that would make your hair stand on end. If Florida’s a 3rd world country, Louisiana is a failed state.

  75. 75

    @Woodrowfan: September 8, 1974, when Ford pardoned Nixon. It wasn’t the start, and it wasn’t Reagan getting elected, but it sure as hell didn’t help.

  76. 76
    Davebo says:

    OK, so if anyone has a moment I’ve done a blog proposal to my girl today. She hasn’t seen it yet because she doesn’t blog even though I created the blog for her.

    http://unapologeticallybrilliant.com

  77. 77
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: That’s interesting. I was too young to follow any of that. In fact, it was the era of latchkey kids, and some of us got up to some pretty severe trouble. (I, personally, did not engage in any applied chemistry experiments, but I knew the kids who did.)

    I do remember the calls to charge the parents when the kids got in trouble. That seemed to raise some ethical issues to me.

    What’s happened is this exaggerated fear of injury and complete insensitivity to harm. Children have lost their freedom to roam. Parents are being prosecuted for tragic, but sadly normal, kinds of childhood accidents. (With a good dose of punishing the poor for being poor.) It’s considered perfectly okay to homeschool kids and have them lag in math and science and more crucially, social skills, including those skills important to be being an independent adult in our heartless capitalistic society, a sense of self, identity, purpose, and the ability to help yourself, but it’s totally wrong to let elementary age children run off on their bikes and traipse through the woods and come back with scrapes and ticks.

    Are you teaching your kids boundaries? Stranger abductions of children are really fucking rare, but relatives and trusted adults molesting children is depressingly common. And so is domestic abuse. It’s heart-rending to read the accounts of adult survivors of fundamentalist home church home schooling who were sent off as lambs amongst the wolves by parents who–some abusers themselves to be fair–often wanted nothing more than to protect their children.

    We’re protecting kids to death and prosecuting parents who disagree with the helicoptering regime. Just in 2014 a (Black, of course she was Black) mother was arrested because her kid was a the park. Imagine CPS being called for being at the park without mom. My mother let us run off to the park by ourselves and THANK GOD FOR THAT. Damn.

  78. 78
    Chris says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    But the truth is that police don’t really prevent crime, they only interrupt it, so they prevent re-offense by catching the offenders. If you don’t want offenders in the first place you need to invest in stuff like Head Start and IDK living wages and shit.

    And the problem there is that our government’s been all stick and no carrot, at least since 1981.

    I mean, if you look at the old New Deal days, there’s stuff there that would warm any Patriot Act supporter’s heart. Fiorello LaGuardia in New York ran a freaking scorched earth campaign against the mob, actually ordering Lucky Luciano arrested on “whatever charges could be found,” and he was about as outspoken and theatrical about it as you’d expect any right winger to be. However, he was also a tireless campaigner on behalf of the poor, the working class and the immigrants, in favor of welfare and public health programs, ran on the American Labor Party ticket (as well as the Republican one) and supported all of FDR’s reforms – New York was basically a microcosm of the entire New Deal mindset. And while he was loudly and proudly anti-gangster, he was also an early opponent of Prohibition.

    In other words, a guy who was “tough on crime” while understanding that if you’re actually trying to clean up a city, you’re going to have to do a lot more than crack skulls – you also need to provide the economic opportunities and economic security that make people less tempted by crime, and, it’s probably better if you don’t hand the mob the kind of golden opportunities that you do when you allow your vice laws to go completely nuts.

    Give me that kind of government again, and… ah, who am I kidding. We don’t want to clean up our cities. We just want to watch and fantasize about cops cracking the skulls of the people we don’t like.

  79. 79
    Another Holocene Human says:

    My childhood was pretty hellish at times. I can’t imagine us all surviving if us kids hadn’t been allowed to roam the neighborhood and the woods. Without adults. God. Damn.

    I think kids get killed by overstressed parents more than people think. “Go outside and play,” is a safety valve.

  80. 80
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I have deep connections to Louisiana. I flat out love the state. But it has many problems. The legal system is unique to our 50 states, being the only state that doesn’t use legal precedent to decide cases. And bribes and grift is just kind of a standard in the state.

  81. 81
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Declarations of being strongly liberal have only the faintest effect on Democratic turnout, but are big movers of Republican turnout. Add to that the number of people who look at the biggest liberal legislative achievement in my lifetime and try to tell me the man who fostered it is basically a Republican, and… well, whatever will help, I don’t think making a stronger contrast is it.

    I’m not sure that’s the case, but if you have any data to support it, I’d be interested in seeing it. From what I’ve read and polling I’ve seen, self-declared “strong liberals” are about as politically engaged as “strong conservatives” — there are just a lot fewer of us.

    The problem isn’t apathy from self-identified liberals or purity ponies: It’s the “reality show” Democrats who don’t turn up unless it’s a presidential election year and the mushier middle who can be distracted by dumb media narratives and fear-mongering.

  82. 82
    bemused says:

    The first big fight with “bringing back the bible into schools” would be over which bible version would win. Even if the different sects of Christians would ever agree on that, then they would want a religious class and it would be bedlam among all the churches in the district, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, and so on wanting their particular sect to be represented.

  83. 83
    geg6 says:

    @KG:

    Hmmmmm, I have a degree in political science and I have never, in that context, seen the term radical used to denote the left. It simply always meant extreme or favoring drastic policy in every discussion I ever had in college in which it was discussed. Reactionary, OTOH, definitely had conservative implications. But radical? No.

  84. 84
    Chris says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I can see that, actually. The hunter-gatherer mindset goes perfectly well with right wing fantasies of Real Men doing stuff and killing things. I can totally see sedentary, agricultural communities being looked down on as boring, unmanly people doing boring, unmanly work and leading boring, unmanly lives, kind of like the way rural right wingers see the urbanites.

  85. 85
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @karen marie: Santorum is a big fat crook on top of being a panty-sniffer. His record as a senator would be a very rich vein if he became the GOP nominee, which he won’t.

  86. 86
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @geg6: Maybe you should hang around more lefties. Many of them wear that label with pride. They also talk about “radical politics” which is definitely left and not right politics.

    GLBT activists also have a history of referring to themselves as radicals (not HRC, lol). Lot of overlap between these two groups.

    UF has a “radical rush” every year where groups like the gay straight alliance and SDS do tabling.

  87. 87
    geg6 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    Well, they are welcome to use the term but the term itself does not carry “leftist” implications, especially among political scientists, as KG says above. There are plenty of right groups that have called themselves or been called “radical” throughout history, let alone contemporary politics, that prove the claim is transparently false or, more politely, overstated.

  88. 88
    Violet says:

    @Davebo: Awww…that’s very sweet. Are you going to show it to her? Do you have something planned out once she’s read it? Ring? Champagne? Flowers? Congratulations on a big step!

  89. 89
    Tommy says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I live in a town with almost zero crime. About as safe of a town as you can find. Parents, I kid you not, drive one or two blocks to pick their children up from the bus stop.

    I feel like I am getting old but I was always told to go outside and play. I walked to school a mile each way. We’d field entire baseball teams. Go fishing. Walk in the woods. Most days in the summer or the weekend I was outside for most of the day. It was an enjoyable childhood. Very enjoyable.

    I so love my brother and his wife, but my niece is 6. They micromanage her into the ground. Every single minute of her day seems planned. I am she is a flipping kid, let her be a kid. But I only think it to myself and don’t say it to them because I don’t want to be judgemental.

  90. 90
    Dee Loralei says:

    @Davebo: I hope she says yes. What a lovely proposal. Do let us know when she reads it and responds.

  91. 91
    Davebo says:

    @Violet:

    She’ll see it soon. I did a lousy job proposing to my late wife 25 years ago and fear this isn’t much better but hopefully she will say yes.

    As for rings, champagne etc, she already has a bigger diamond than I could ever give, we don’t drink (I gave it up for her) and she hate’s watching flowers die in a vase so I’m going with an orchid and a smile.

    But if you think it’s a nice proposal leave a comment to help me convince her! Thanks!

  92. 92
    Zinsky says:

    @ Calouste: Thank you very little. Pedant.

  93. 93
    The Moar You Know says:

    By whipping up a scare blaming child abuse on predatory strangers, they actually got the social consensus to be that parents should police their teenage children night and day! As if that isn’t, itself, serious abuse. Along with misogyny, that’s one of the issues I’ve seen turned on its head and get much worse in my lifetime.

    @Frankensteinbeck: And like with any other abuse, the practice is turning out some seriously crippled adults. I now know a couple of people in their thirties who will not move out of their parents homes because they are too scared. They could, economically. But they can’t.

  94. 94
    sacrablue says:

    @Cervantes: As a child, I attended the same U-U fellowship as the Schempps.

  95. 95
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @geg6: Or it’s a colloquialism? That could be it, right?

    How many times have we seen totally different meanings between vernacular speech and a technical context?

  96. 96
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Davebo: I hope she says yes and that you two live happily ever after. What a nice proposal!

  97. 97
    KG says:

    @geg6: yeah, it’s lazy to just point to Wikipedia, but I’m having one of those days where I’m trying not to throat punch strangers. So for what it’s worth: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki.....radicalism

  98. 98
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: I feel that we are harming these kids big time. The body needs that time outside and playing in the dirt and nature for health. The mind needs that unscripted problem solving, plus any sort of green/trees/nature is very psychologically soothing to humans. That’s why NYC used to (maybe still does?) send disadvantaged urban kids upstate for the summer and out of the concrete jungle. All of that screen time fucks with the kids mentally, socially, and of course physically. Your brain waves are totally different climbing a tree or playing a pick up game in the park versus playing virtual skateboarding on the Wii.

    Peer interactions are a really important part of learning for children. How many parents have despaired of toilet training a toddler only to have the kid visit a cousin and pick it up in days? There’s a reason for this, even very small children imitate other children very readily. It’s very important for language acquisition. Is it our egos as adults to discount this or just ignorance? Quality time with your age grade is so important.

    Kids today are so beset by anxiety and depression. Even kids from good homes. But probably especially kids from bad homes because we’ve normalized trapping kids in the home with a parent who may be:

    mentally ill
    physically ill
    emotionally overwhelmed or unstable
    cruel and sadistic
    self-absorbed and manipulative
    ignorant
    stressed out

    Kids need to be around other kids and away from parents all the time. They need air and sunshine too but let’s not get radical here, lol.

  99. 99
    Another Holocene Human says:

    OTOH and just to be fair, all that screen time seems to correlate with less juvenile delinquent behavior which may be why we don’t want to scrutinize too closely. Violence by teens is down. Sure they take all that violence thought online where they act out unimaginable cruelty without consequences because the cops don’t give a fuck if it’s not law enforcement being threatened, we need to fix that too. But there’s something to be said for this outlet for idle hands. Hmm.

  100. 100

    @Davebo: That is sweet! I am rooting for you. Keep us posted.

  101. 101

    @Another Holocene Human: I don’t get the rationale behind home-schooling at all. I am glad that my parents did not treat me like a hot house flower, though I was pretty sickly as a young kid.

  102. 102
    Cervantes says:

    @sacrablue:

    Interesting!

    Are you in still touch with the family?

  103. 103
    Tommy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Humans are pretty resilient IMHO. I have the scars on my body from my youth falling down and doing stupid stuff, but I healed. Parents never said don’t do that anymore, they said, just be a little more careful.

    I had never heard the term helicoptering before I reconnected with a college roommate that is the Principial at a high school. He said that there are two types of parents. Those that don’t seem to care about their kids and those that helicopter around him 24/7. He spends most of his time with the second group of parents when he really needs to spend time with the kids whose parents don’t seem to care.

    I’d never thought of it in those terms, because I don’t have kids, but seemed about the most logical thing I had heard in a long, long time.

  104. 104
    geg6 says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I think it’s a media/lazy person construct, created and perpetuated by them as what those awful dirty hippies from the 1960s were. They are the only people I know of who think “radical” only refers to lefties. I have honestly never met anyone in real life who thinks only lefties are radicals, regardless of their college major or if they even went to college at all. Who, after all, would deny that al Qaeda or ISIS/ISIL or Boko Haram are radical?

  105. 105
    geg6 says:

    @KG:

    Well, if Wikipedia says it, it must be true. That is why Wikipedia is the most accepted citation in all of academia.

    Not.

  106. 106
    cokane says:

    Your 2016 Republican presidential nominee folks. Just my opinion, but aint none of the other contenders really yet run a national campaign.

  107. 107
    KG says:

    @geg6: look, I’m trying really hard to not be a complete asshole today. I fucking admitted that it was lazy but was at least giving some context. I’ve got a degree in political science too, radical vs reactionary is something I’ve studied in the context of historical political theory. It’s not something that is particularly difficult to understand. But like I said, I’m in a piss poor mood and would rather not waste much more energy on this issue.

  108. 108
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    I was very sickly as a child and watched over by mom to make sure nothing happened. Fortunately I figured out how to get her to let me out with other kids, being pretty independent minded and all. Once that breach had been made she saw that trying to protect too much wasn’t as good as she had thought. But with all the fear mongering going on in the news and in everyday life, that protective cocoon can get woven pretty quickly. I had a “step daughter” for a while and the hoops her mother and I had to go through with her daycare school so that I could drop her off or pick her up were amazing. Not a bad thing per se but the whole idea that everyone is a bad person, you can’t trust anyone, build a wall or moat around you so that nothing bad can happen, send others to war so that nothing bad can happen, what sort of world do people envision?

  109. 109
    Tommy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I will never understand the homeschooling thing. School was not always fun for me. I can recall the exact route I ran home from school in Leavenworth KS to get away from being bullied and/or beat up after school.

    Teachers often said I was little “off” or “strange.”

    But most of my experience with school was positive. I made friends. I learned to socialize. And when I had some speech issues they worked 24/7 to correct it. I found the teacher that helped me there years ago and send her a video of me speaking to 5,000 people. Said it was because of you I can do this.

  110. 110
    PurpleGirl says:

    Another person of whom I want to ask “Give a specific example of a civilization that has been in a situation comparable to where the US is today.” They say things they can never give an example of what they are complaining about. Santorum needs to shut up and keep his forked tongue behind his teeth. (Yes, I know its from LOTR but it fits so well.)

  111. 111

    @Ruckus: I used to regularly take the train to go home from my weekend activities when I was a teen between 13 to 15 years of age. There were usually two of us, but my friend used to get down one station before my stop.

  112. 112
    Tommy says:

    @Ruckus:

    Not a bad thing per se but the whole idea that everyone is a bad person, you can’t trust anyone, build a wall or moat around you so that nothing bad can happen ….

    Most people are not bad.

  113. 113
    Tommy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: My father and I have exchanged a ton of emails the last year or so with links to news stories where parents are actually arrested for letting their child walk home from school. Take the subway. You name it.

    We are always like WTF is going on here?

    I don’t think I am that old, 45, but I joke with my father that if he raised me today like he did in the 70s he’d be in jail. My mom and dad were rock stars. Every kid should have parents like I had.

  114. 114

    @Tommy: I think there is something between complete neglect and being a helicopter parent.
    My parents knew all my friends, they have traveled with me when I went to a new place/activity etc., but have also then left me to my own devices after I got comfortable going to a certain place or doing a certain thing. I grew up in a big city and I would walk everywhere alone or with other friends of the same age, to school, to my friends’ houses from the time I was about 12 years old.

  115. 115
    PurpleGirl says:

    @piratedan: One correction: The Old Testament came from Hebrew (more properly Aramaic) and was put into Greek before it went into Latin. The New Testament books was written in Greek or Aramaic before going in Latin. The some authors of those books spoke Greek as their main language.Other authors spoke the contemporary Aramaic, they didn’t speak Hebrew, which was really the language of the High Priests, scribes and the upper classes.

    The books of the Bible are FULL of bad translation and mistranslations. G_d is not three persons in one; rather the Greek work used was personae. It refers to aspects of a person, functions, roles, but not a personas we know ourselves as living entities.

    Sorry if this sounds like a rant but it’s one of things I learned in a Lay Deacons program I was in at the Lutheran church I attended.

  116. 116
    VincentN says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Okay, I admit that was a bit overwrought. Hillary Clinton will probably win the election. It’ll be much closer than it should be but that was always going to be the case when the Republican nominee automatically gets at least 40 percent of the vote just for not being the Democratic nominee. But I still wonder if people are going to be as excited about voting for Hillary Clinton as they were about voting for Barack Obama. I hope so but it seems like so many people around here always seem to qualify their support for her with a reluctant “I’ll vote for her if she becomes the nominee BUT…”

  117. 117
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dee Loralei: What are you guys seeing? When I click that link, I get a blog page and a photo no blog and nothing related to a marriage proposal.

  118. 118
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cokane: I would bet $20 to John’s animal charity that you are wrong.

  119. 119
    piratedan says:

    @PurpleGirl: no offense taken, was simply attempting to prove the folly of taking the Bible as some unimpeachable template that is the answer to any and all questions. As such, these hypocritical bastards cherrypick and misrepresent a great number of it’s teachings and apparently haven’t even reached the New Testament yet in regards to drawing out such subject matter as tolerance, kindness and charity. They surf these murky waters safe in the knowledge that many folks don’t bother to question their interpretations of the lessons within and take that as tacit acceptance of their “truth”.

  120. 120
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Sherparick:

    or get the Roman Catholics in the public schools fired-up

    The Roman Catholic churches began their own schools so that they could teach their children with RC standards and not Protestant one. In the 1800s RC faced a lot discrimination and in schools their children face being taught prayers and history from a Protestant POV.

    The earliest Baptists who fled discrimination in Europe were actually very pro separation of church and state. They had experienced state churches in Europe and were fleeing that.

  121. 121
    Botsplainer says:

    @VincentN:

    I hope so but it seems like so many people around here always seem to qualify their support for her with a reluctant “I’ll vote for her if she becomes the nominee BUT…”

    By the time her Austerian opponent inevitably gets done talking about raising SS and Medicare eligibility to 70 for all those 55 and under, turning Medicare into a Val-Pak discount coupon for anybody not already receiving it and means testing Social Security Disability (along with targeting major tax cuts at the 0.5 percenters to “spur investment”), people here, even the lukewarm, will crawl over broken glass to support her.

  122. 122
    muddy says:

    @WaterGirl: I didn’t click until I read your comment, I only get the pic like you do. Maybe he took it down because having the internet talk about your marriage before you know about it is kind of weird.

  123. 123
    Pogonip says:

    @The Moar You Know: Did they say what, specifically, they are afraid of?

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @muddy: Glad to know I’m not crazy, and if I am crazy, at least I’m in good company!

    Edit: read the article you linked. I’m sure he’s thinking “it seemed like a good idea at the time”

  125. 125
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Amir Khalid: You mean that Schicklgruber guy? I believe I read/heard somewhere that H did have some Jewish ancestors but they were were on the Schicklgruber side of the family.

  126. 126
    Bigby says:

    Being as my family was in Pennsyltucky literally centuries before the Santorums frothed up upon her rocky shores (work with me here), I half hope the the lil shitheel gets what he wants; a return to 1835; where I and my Lyman Beecher-following ancestors can get all Plea For The West on his Papist ass.

    Humorous anecdote: I went to a Penn State football game in the 1990’s. Walking to the game a guy who reminded me of an animated Norman Bates jumped out and shook my hand (and everyone else’s). No clue who he was as I hadn’t lived in PA for about 6 years…”vote Santorum!” sez he. “I can’t!” sez I. “Why not?” sez he, smiling. “Not a PA resident anymore!” sez I. “Well, tell all your PA friends!” sez he. “Uh, okey dokey!” sez I as I keep walking. And then PSU beat OSU 63-14. True story.

  127. 127
    muddy says:

    @Bigby: I hope you washed your hands.

  128. 128
    sacrablue says:

    @Cervantes: Unfortunately, no. That was back in the sixties. I seem to remember Sunday school classes with the daughter (Kendra, I think). I haven’t lived in the area since the mid-seventies.

  129. 129
    Amir Khalid says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    I figure nearly all European families of a century ago, however proudly Gentile they claimed to be, must have had some Jewish ancestry.

  130. 130
    Cervantes says:

    @KG:

    look, I’m trying really hard to not be a complete asshole today. I fucking admitted that it was lazy but was at least giving some context. I’ve got a degree in political science too, radical vs reactionary is something I’ve studied in the context of historical political theory. It’s not something that is particularly difficult to understand. But like I said, I’m in a piss poor mood and would rather not waste much more energy on this issue.

    Well, you might want to take a look at this:

    Especially historically in United States politics, the radical right is a political preference that leans toward extreme conservatism and anti-socialism. The term was first used by social scientists in the 1950s regarding small groups such as the John Birch Society in the United States, and since has been used for similar groups worldwide.

    I took that particular passage from Wikipedia, a source you clearly recognize.

    But given your training in political science and your extensive knowledge of historical political theory, I assume you’ve heard of Richard Hofstadter. He discusses “the Radical Right” in (among other place) “Pseudo-Conservatism Revisited” (1965).

    Then there’s Seymour Lipset. You must have heard of him. Have you read his piece, Three Decades of the Radical Right?

    In case you need to look at it again, you can find it in The Radical Right, a volume edited by Daniel Bell, an admired colleague — and perhaps one of your heroes as well?

  131. 131
    Dee Loralei says:

    @WaterGirl: looks like he took it down. It was a very sweet ans heartfelt marriage proposal. Hopefully she didn’t say no.

  132. 132
    boatboy_srq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I get some of the rationale for home schooling. You’re educated, and your kids are bright too, but they’re not learning at school at the rate they could if you worked with them, and they’re not learning the things you did when you were their age; so there’s a presumption that the school isn’t teaching them right, and you’re comfortable you can do a better job educating them than the school can. The problem is that home schooling often falls into one of two traps: the religious one and the elitist one. In the one, you’re convinced that schools are Godless Soshulism Indoctrination Camps and your curriculum becomes prey to vendors of textbooks and curricula that cater to that conviction; in the other, you’re in a household able to afford a stay-at-home parent which makes you not just a better educator than the schoolteachers but a better person than your kids’ classmates’ parents. There are plenty of folks out there who aren’t either of those, and who aren’t being helped by all the whinging about public education.

    I read, wrote and did maths and sciences above my grade level until undergraduate – but I had parents who spent time with me and taught me at a rate I could handle. That kind of attention is what home-school advocates dream of. What the home-schoolers forget is that parents aren’t as able to give kids that much attention without a sacrifice elsewhere, and that single-income households have become something for the very rich or the very devout. Multi-income households are both a virtual necessity and a status symbol, so “what does your spouse do” questions quickly become awkward even after you say “Oh, s/he’s staying home with the kids to teach them”.

    Once in, though, it’s very easy to fall into the “Big Gubmint = Bad” camp, because on top of all the other concerns you have DCF/CFS/CPS/whatever-the-local-acronym knocking on your door at regular intervals, checking on the kids and making sure you’re not keeping them home to make pornos, work in the family sweatshop, marry their uncles or whatever. In the public’s zeal to Protect Children some inevitably get caught up in the machinery, and otherwise-normal folks can get alienated very quickly by that. Homeschool wingnuts prey on that alienation.

  133. 133
    WaterGirl says:

    @Dee Loralei: Thanks for letting me know.

    We’ll just hope that his mom or his sister told him that his sweetheart might prefer a more private proposal. And that she answered with a resounding YES!

  134. 134
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: And sometimes it’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they work two jobs and their own parents were neglectful so they lack the time in the day and the passed down knowledge to get involved in their child’s education in a basic way. They’re RELYING on the school and often as not (with the crazy homework regime) the school lets them down.

    Homework is a joke to screw poor kids. I watched upper middle class parents dictate their kids’ homework to them in the DC area. Poor kids gotta work after school or do childcare. Yes it would be good to do those readings and extend the learning hours, but how much are you just leaning on middle class parents’ resources and thereby completely screwing poor kids or kids with evil parents.

  135. 135
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Ruckus: I can’t really argue with the school thing, the school has a duty of care and that involves handing the kid over the right person. A lot of familial abductions (which are by far the most common form of child abduction) happen when school lets out so, yeah, they’re going to be sticklers on that score. That’s okay to me.

  136. 136
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tommy: I totally relate. The school social worker identified that I had a social learning disorder but it was the 80s and none of the half-assed interventions they tried worked. But I did learn some rudimentary social skills (I was extremely shy), I caught up academically (I started way behind), and despite also being bullied at school I wouldn’t have given it up for anything.

  137. 137
    Pogonip says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Well, pretty soon there won’t be a middle class, so that problem will go away!

  138. 138
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Bigby: Santorum wasn’t a PA resident by the end either! *rimshot*

  139. 139
    Cervantes says:

    @Zinsky:

    The great American writer Sinclair Lewis once wrote, “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

    You know, it’s not clear that Lewis ever wrote those words.

    @Calouste:

    Not a particularly deep insight, because it came to most countries that way.

    Here’s a way of putting it that makes the insight clearer:

    When and if fascism comes to America it will not be labeled “made in Germany”; it will not be marked with a swastika; it will not even be called fascism; it will be called, of course, “Americanism.”

    From a 1938 sermon by Yale professor Hal Luccock.

  140. 140
    Fred says:

    Does Rick’s butt look like it’s getting wide? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    Maybe he’s going for that Jeb look. Or maybe it’s that dumb sunday go ta meetin’ jacket.

  141. 141
    Cervantes says:

    @KG:

    I’m having one of those days where I’m trying not to throat punch strangers.

    Glad you’re succeeding!

    In any event, and somewhat related to the point I was trying to raise with you: in Grover Norquist’s home there is on the wall a portrait of … Lenin.

  142. 142
    cokane says:

    @Betty Cracker: taking even odds on one particular guy winning wouldn’t really be fair to me. But I do think he has the best shot of the current contenders.

    Ppl said the same thing when I guaranteed Romney back in 2011… just sayin

  143. 143
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Another Holocene Human: You’re referring to the Fresh Air Fund. Yes, it still exists and children are still sends low-income children to the country during the summer. It was started in 1877. See http://www.freshair.org

    Funny thing you mentioning it; my mother was sent to a farm for several weeks one summer when she was child. She remembered that trip well into her 70s.

  144. 144
    eyelessgame says:

    You want to know the really scary thing about Old Frothy?

    Since 1976, the second-place finisher of every contested Republican primary has gone on to become a party nominee for President in the next election.

    Reagan placed second in 1976, and got the nomination in 1980.
    Bush placed second in 1980, got the nomination in 1988. (No contested primary in 1984.)
    Dole placed second in 1988, got the nomination in 1996. (No contested primary in 1992.)
    Buchanan placed second in 1996, and took the Reform Party nomination in 2000 (to kill it).
    McCain placed second in 2000, got the nomination in 2008. (No contested primary in 2004.)
    Romney placed second in 2008, got the nomination in 2012.
    Santorum placed second in 2012.

    Think about that one for a bit.

    (No, it won’t actually be Old Frothy. It’ll be Jeb! because that’s where the money is. But there’s a reason to worry a bit about the froth.)

  145. 145
    Calouste says:

    @Cervantes: Yep, that last one makes it a lot clearer.

  146. 146
    Calouste says:

    @eyelessgame: We can only hope that Old Frothy does the same thing as Nazi-apologist Pat Buchanan when he is up against a son-of-a-Bush, and runs on a third party ticket.

  147. 147
    redshirt says:

    Another clean sweep!

  148. 148
    jimmiraybob says:

    On a warm spring day more than 150 years ago George Schiffler died on a street in Philadelphia. Though history didn’t record much about the 18-year-old, except that he was a “leather worker,” it does tell a great deal about the circumstances surrounding his death. Young Schiffler was the first to die as rampaging mobs of Roman Catholics and Protestants shot, clubbed, and otherwise attacked one another in what was known as the “Philadelphia Bible Riots.”

    @ http://candst.tripod.com/boston3.htm

    The “them,” at least in the golden age of religious freedom in America, was the Catholics that won in court to get Bibles out of the public schools.

  149. 149
    fuckwit says:

    MAN ON DOG! MAN ON DOG!

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