Today’s Bonus Quote

October 26, 2007

From the great Charles Pierce:

It’s long past time for simple ridicule to become the default position on the entire Republican presidential field. Romney is deeply, profoundly, relentlessly silly; he appears to be enrolled in a course in Human Being as a Second Language. Rudy Giuliani gets crazier almost by the hour and, at any meeting of his foreign-policy advisory team, he’s the sanest lunatic in the room. Fred Thompson seems to have been unearthed a week ago in the Valley of the Kings. The second tier is populated by people like Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, neither of whom you would hire to park your car. Ron Paul — an authentic libertarian crackpot — is treated as a serious phenomenon even by people who don’t believe that the U.N. is speaking through the fillings in Katie Couric’s teeth. This past week, we had a general all-hands-on-deck attempt to inflict Huckamania! on the general populace as good ol’ Mike announced his disapproval of Charles Darwin. And then there’s John McCain, who’s spent this entire campaign doing things he’d vowed he’d never do in the last one. I swear to God, they all ought to climb into one little black car and drive into the next debate behind jugglers, high-wire acts, and a parade of circus bears. I cannot remember a presidential field in my lifetime — not even the one that coughed up Mike Dukakis in 1988 — that is as publicly hilarious as this one is. How dare a major political party hand this collection of shills, fakes, loons, and mountebanks on the American people? And one of them is going to win. Jesus wept.

Today’s Quote

October 26, 2007

While the four corners of Wingnuttia erupted in a chorus of complaints about Al Gore’s Nobel, Doris Lessing’s nod for literature didn’t raise much of a stir. This interview in the Guardian should change that in a hurry:

“I always hated Tony Blair, from the beginning. Many of us hated Tony Blair – I think he has been a disaster for Britain and we have suffered him for many years. I said it when he was elected: ‘This man is a little showman who is going to cause us problems,’ and he did. As for Bush, he’s a world calamity. Everyone is tired of this man. Either he is stupid or he is very clever, although you have to remember he is a member of a social class which has profited from wars.”

Not only that, but Lessing thinks the 9/11 attacks weren’t such a big deal when compared with the toll exacted by IRA bombings over the years. But she also says nasty things about the Iranian government. What’s a winger to do?     

Today’s Quote

October 3, 2007

Truthdig talks to Mort Sahl, iconoclastic comedian:

What they do to deter heroism in this country is they keep you on the defensive. It’s a strategy. They try to tie you up, get you defending yourself all the time, [where you’re] trying to prove you’re not crazy. People just have to remember what we’re all here for: to find our way home and to search for justice and romance along the way. Heroism is just learning how to listen to your better angels.

I was startled to see how little of Mort Sahl is available on CD, but here it is.

Today’s Quote

September 27, 2007

The Financial Times pays a visit to the great writer Louis Auchincloss, now 90 and confined to his Manhattan apartment by a bout of surgery. From the beginning, Auchincloss made his subject the great Wasp overclass of America.

The interviewer notes that the current occupant of the White House comes from same Andover-Yale-money orbit that Auchincloss has chronicled in great detail — perhaps the Bush family would make for a great society novel?

“I just think the Bushes are a big family of shits. They might have existed anywhere.”

Only the author of The Rector of Justin could have put it so succinctly.

Today’s Quote

September 22, 2007

Author John Grisham (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, A Time to Kill) says:

The war is an immoral abomination that we’ll pay for for decades to come. We’re paying for it now at the rate of 100 kids a month while Bush plays politics with it . . . I’ve always thought that they [the Bush administration] were bad people with evil intent — and all that, it’s playing out now. You can’t hardly look at any aspect of the government in the seven years so far that’s been run properly.

Read Chris Taylor’s rejoinder if you have any doubts that the conservative movement’s rhetoric is best suited to those with the minds of dim 12-year-olds.

Today’s Quote

September 21, 2007

Chris Dodd says:

It is a sad day in the Senate when we spend hours debating an ad while our young people are dying in Iraq. Now that the Senate has twice voted on this ad, it is time to move on and vote to end the war.

If you share the sentiment, pass it on.

Today’s Quote

August 18, 2007

Mike Huckabee, one of the less egregiously hateful presidential wannabes in the GOP’s Rolling Revulsion Revue, recently got some snarky applause for his response to the question of why he supports creationism. Even people as smart as Eric Alterman chuckled when Huckabee said, in effect, it doesn’t matter that he supports creatonism because that has nothing to do with how good a president he might be.

Au contraire, mon wingnut frere:

The enlightenment was a beautiful thing. People cast aside dogma and authority. They started to think for themselves. Natural science flourished. Understanding of the real world increased. The hegemony of religion slowly declined. Real universities were created and eventually democracy took hold. The modern world was born. Until recently, we were making good progress. So what went wrong?

The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable. This matters when people delude themselves into believing that we could be endangered at 45 minutes’ notice by non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

It matters when reputable accountants delude themselves into thinking that Enron-style accounting is acceptable. It matters when people are deluded into thinking that they will be rewarded in paradise for killing themselves and others. It matters when bishops attribute floods to a deity whose evident vengefulness and malevolence leaver one reeling. And it matter when science teachers start to believe that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

I know a science teacher in Kearny who ought to be asked to comment on that quotation — but only if he promises to address the points David Quolquhoun is making, instead of disgorging another “I’m a poor persecuted Christian” whine.