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Birther Republicans are international laughing stock

No less than the Bangkok Post in Thailand is reporting on birther nuttiness in a new article, "Bias, by any other name, still blinds you to the facts.”

In the US, some 45% of Republicans believe that Barack Obama (a Democrat) was born overseas and thus ineligible to be president. This isn’t for want of information. The press has reported extensively on the issue, pointing to contemporary birth notices in Hawaiian newspapers and to his birth certificate, now available online.

But facts don’t matter to the "birthers". It is just that they don’t like Mr Obama (as a Democrat, as an African American, as a liberal, etc) and they are not prepared to listen to any positive information.

139 Responses to Birther Republicans are international laughing stock

  1. avatar
    red-diaper baby 1942 November 30, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Europeans often find American culture bewildering. This past Sunday the leading daily ran a story on the use of pepper spray in American department stores on “Black Friday”. As an expat American who hasn’t lived in the country for many years, I have to say I don’t know what’s happening to my country. Not to mention the rest of the insanity: political deadlock over any sensible economic policy, climate denialism etc. When I first came here, I was proud to be an American, and people used to ask me a lot of questions. Now I’m embarrassed to say I’m an American. We used to lead the world … what’s happened to us?

  2. avatar
    Horus November 30, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    red-diaper baby 1942: We used to lead the world … what’s happened to us?

    Conservative rule.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 30, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    What’s new is that millions of us carry around video cameras. Mob craziness is not new, nor is junk science and political gridlock.

    red-diaper baby 1942: what’s happened to us?

  4. avatar
    Lupin November 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    red-diaper baby 1942: Europeans often find American culture bewildering. This past Sunday the leading daily ran a story on the use of pepper spray in American department stores on “Black Friday”. As an expat American who hasn’t lived in the country for many years, I have to say I don’t know what’s happening to my country. Not to mention the rest of the insanity: political deadlock over any sensible economic policy, climate denialism etc. When I first came here, I was proud to be an American, and people used to ask me a lot of questions. Now I’m embarrassed to say I’m an American. We used to lead the world … what’s happened to us?

    I could not agree more. My thoughts exactly.

  5. avatar
    misha November 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    red-diaper baby 1942: We used to lead the world … what’s happened to us?

    1 – Reagan
    2 – evangelicals/fundies
    3 – We ridicule schoolteachers, and revere clergymen. We poor-mouth science, and pay attention to peddlers of fairy tales.
    4 – General William G. Boykin: my invisible friend can beat up their invisible friend. See this: http://irregulartimes.com/holywarriorbush.html

    Any other questions?

  6. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    red-diaper baby 1942:
    Europeans often find American culture bewildering. This past Sunday the leading daily ran a story on the use of pepper spray in American department stores on “Black Friday”. As an expat American who hasn’t lived in the country for many years, I have to say I don’t know what’s happening to my country. Not to mention the rest of the insanity: political deadlock over any sensible economic policy, climate denialism etc. When I first came here, I was proud to be an American, and people used to ask me a lot of questions. Now I’m embarrassed to say I’m an American. We used to lead the world … what’s happened to us?

    It is the media, news organizations who control the content. You could run horrible stories 24/7 because the technology available today can capture every horrible event that occurs. There are many feel good stories, people pulling together, success stories, but they don’t make the headlines very often. We wouldn’t want a pollyanna view of our States either, but there is a lack of balance. People are hurting now, but that doesn’t mean that hope is gone. Kids are growing up in a much different world than I did. In my growing up years, moms were home, and we could play outside. We ate junk food, but for the most part, we weren’t obese because we were active. Now, both parents work and outside is not safe because the neighborhood parents aren’t around to help keep an eye out. Technology is so cool that kids are hooked. They text and use the various avenues of social networking because the closeness of family isn’t what it used to be.

    But I still have hope. Love your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews and spend time with them.

  7. avatar
    The Head Researcher November 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    I am beginning to think my father is right, and the reason why things are falling apart is that we lost our religious faith. He says that religion is really more about focusing on our proper place in society than focusing on God, and that when you start looking on yourself as the center of the Universe, then you will focus too much on your own selfish needs.

    He hates libertarianism and says that it is the way that societies self-destruct and that a good part of life is about doing things that are not always pleasant and fun to you. Like, for example, he said marriage and faithfulness were obligations, and that men who cheated on their wives were nothing but little kids who prefer play to work. But he said to libertarians, stuff like cheating, using drugs, and getting abortions was just “maximizing their personal potential.” And that this was the same root that caused people to misuse their positions to make money like in the Wall Street mess or to ship jobs overseas.

    He says this all comes about because people do what they want to do, rather than what they are supposed to do. And that if you take God out of life, this is where things will always end up.

    Sooo, he was in the Air Force, and this is what I listened to a lot, and I used to just think, yeah,yeah,yeah. But as I get older I am beginning to think he was probably right after all, partly because I watch most of my friends just floundering around doing whatever, where the ones who got married and settled down and still go to church seem to be a whole lot happier and more stable.

    But I am still not going to get married or anything.

    The Head Researcher

  8. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    The Head Researcher:
    I am beginning to think my father is right, and the reason why things are falling apart is that we lost our religious faith. He says that religion is really more about focusing on our proper place in society than focusing on God, and that when you start looking on yourself as the center of the Universe, then you will focus too much on your own selfish needs.

    He hates libertarianism and says that it is the way that societies self-destruct and that a good part of life is about doing things that are not always pleasant and fun to you. Like, for example, he said marriage and faithfulness were obligations, and that men who cheated on their wives were nothing but little kids who prefer play to work. But he said to libertarians, stuff like cheating, using drugs, and getting abortions was just “maximizing their personal potential.” And that this was the same root that caused people to misuse their positions to make money like in the Wall Street mess or to ship jobs overseas.

    He says this all comes about because people do what they want to do, rather than what they are supposed to do. And that if you take God out of life, this is where things will always end up.

    Sooo, he was in the Air Force, and this is what I listened to a lot, and I used to just think, yeah,yeah,yeah. But as I get older I am beginning to think he was probably right after all, partly because I watch most of my friends just floundering around doing whatever,where the ones who got married and settled down and still go to church seem to be a whole lot happier and more stable.

    But I am still not going to get married or anything.

    The Head Researcher

    Great comment Head Researcher! (I think everyone should address you as you decide.)

    Don’t give up on marriage- it just takes some people longer to find that person. Then follow the advice of your father.

  9. avatar
    Daniel November 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    The Head Researcher: And that if you take God out of life, this is where things will always end up.

    When you say “God” do you mean only the Christian version of God, or do you allow all the hundreds of other versions of God belonging to all of the otehr Americans who make up people of faith? And if you mean only the Christian God, which version of the Christian God?

    Also how do you account for the fact that Atheists are no less moral and altruistic than even the best of Christians, and there are a lot of Christians a lot more morally corrupt, and proud of it, than teh average Atheist?

  10. avatar
    The Head Researcher November 30, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I mean the Christian God, who is probably the same God who is behind most of the other gods, too. Different cultures just see him in different ways is what it seems like to me. Because most of them end up in about the same place, where people have societal obligations which come before doing their own personal thing.

    As far as Atheists, the few I know seem to be real preoccupied with God and Truth for some reason. Maybe like the Bible says:

    14-16When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+2&version=MSG

    The Head Researcher

  11. avatar
    misha November 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    charo: There are many feel good stories, people pulling together, success stories, but they don’t make the headlines very often.

    You would love the newspapers in Taiwan and China. My favorite was a full page story about a man who went to the States for his education, but returned to Taiwan because of his love for the ROC. The story went on how he is so dedicated to Taiwan, that the senators there elected him to the Senate. It’s just like the Tea Party wants to do: repeal the 17th Amendment. Yummy!

    Then the story went on, that as soon as he was a made member of the mob Senate, he hired his entire family to staff his office. That’s because nepotism he wanted to provide a livelihood for his wife and children. I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy it made me feel to know that nepotism he sooo cared about his family.

    Oh, yeah – the People’s Daily in China was filled with stories how dogs were being trained in the West to attack Chinese people. I just came back from walking Angel. As we approached a Chinese woman, she looked at Angel and literally became terrified. She then turned around, and ran away. Put track shoes on that woman, and send her to the Olympics.

  12. avatar
    misha November 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    The Head Researcher: I am beginning to think my father is right, and the reason why things are falling apart is that we lost our religious faith.

    No, Hitchens is right: religion poisons everything.

    The Head Researcher: Like, for example, he said marriage and faithfulness were obligations, and that men who cheated on their wives were nothing but little kids who prefer play to work.

    Just like Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, Randall Terry and Herman Cain. Know what Randall Terry did before starting Operation Rescue? He sold used cars for a living. Sounds about right.

    The Head Researcher: And that if you take God out of life, this is where things will always end up.

    Really? So where was this god in Auschwitz, or at slave auctions, when children were sold from their parents?

    The Head Researcher: But I am still not going to get married or anything.

    Good idea.

  13. avatar
    aarrgghh November 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    or, just maybe, morals and ethics have nothing to do with the existence of gods …

    The Head Researcher:
    I mean the Christian God, who is probably the same God who is behind most of the other gods, too. Different cultures just see him in different ways is what it seems like to me. Because most of them end up in about the same place, where people have societal obligations which come before doing their own personal thing.

    As far as Atheists, the few I know seem to be real preoccupied with God and Truth for some reason. Maybe like the Bible says:

    14-16When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+2&version=MSG

    The Head Researcher

  14. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    The most interesting interview I ever watched was with Jeffrey Dahmer and his father. Listening to him and watching his father at his side, I could not help but think how could that man sitting there have committed such heinous crimes? He never taunted police with anonymous notes, never blamed anyone for what he did (and said it even made him angry when anyone tried to imply that his parents were somehow at fault), and seemed truly troubled trying to ascertain the reason for his desire to exert absolute control over another by cannibalism, i.e., the person could never leave him but become part of him. In the interview, he stated that he was an atheist (up until some point in prison) and that as long as he wasn’t caught, he was accountable to no one. Not many could reach a lower point than Dahmer. He found some kind of faith in prison. That doesn’t mean that if one is an atheist, one is susceptible to becoming a serial killer. The reason why many people chose to reign in their anger, control their lust for money/power/sex, is because they believe they are accountable to God. The reason why Christians seek forgiveness is because they have offended God. What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing when the temptation is there to do the wrong thing, I mean for something as simple as being unkind to someone? I have never been an atheist so I am curious as to what an atheist finds as the motivation to be charitable to someone who doesn’t deserve it, when there is nothing in it for him/her? (It is not that difficult to be nice to people who are nice to us or who agree with us). A Christian who believes there is a final accountability makes choices knowing that there are consequences. Perfect contrition is to be sorry only because one has offended God and not because of the potential rewards or punishments. Is it not the law of God written in our hearts that make us want to be good people? My b-i-l is an atheist who is angry at a God whom he doesn’t believe exists.

    The Head Researcher:
    I mean the Christian God, who is probably the same God who is behind most of the other gods, too. Different cultures just see him in different ways is what it seems like to me. Because most of them end up in about the same place, where people have societal obligations which come before doing their own personal thing.

    As far as Atheists, the few I know seem to be real preoccupied with God and Truth for some reason. Maybe like the Bible says:

    14-16When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+2&version=MSG

    The Head Researcher

  15. avatar
    misha November 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    aarrgghh:
    or, just maybe, morals and ethics have nothing to do with the existence of gods

    That’s more likely.

  16. avatar
    aarrgghh November 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    all that’s require is a basic respect for one’s fellow creatures. why complicate matters with stories about invisible, petty and vindictive superbeings?

    charo:
    What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing when the temptation is there to do the wrong thing, I mean for something as simple as being unkind to someone?

  17. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    It’s ethical, moral to tell someone that it is a good idea she does not plan to get married, when she said nothing in her post to warrant the insult? Everyone who does not agree with misha receives the verbal lash.

  18. avatar
    The Head Researcher November 30, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    aargh; all that’s require is a basic respect for one’s fellow creatures. why complicate matters with stories about invisible, petty and vindictive superbeings?

    Has there ever been a society where that worked?

    Charo: It’s ok. Misha was just proving he has an innate sense of right and wrong. This kind of stuff is not something you can debate about. You either get it or you don’t.

    The Head Researcher

  19. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    The Head Researcher: This kind of stuff is not something you can debate about.

    It doesn’t work in this setting and it’s way O/T but thanks for your comments.

  20. avatar
    JoZeppy November 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    charo: The reason why many people chose to reign in their anger, control their lust for money/power/sex, is because they believe they are accountable to God.

    I have far more respect for the athiest who does the right thing because he knows it is the moral course of action, than a supposed “Christian” who is only motivated out of fear of punishment.

    charo: What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing when the temptation is there to do the wrong thing, I mean for something as simple as being unkind to someone? I have never been an atheist so I am curious as to what an atheist finds as the motivation to be charitable to someone who doesn’t deserve it, when there is nothing in it for him/her?

    Perhaps some people are just motivated by their desire to better society? Compassion for their fellow human? Is it so shocking to think that a person does not have to be motivated out of fear of God to do good….

    And considering so many Christians believe that all they need to do is “accept Jesus as their personal lord and savior” and all of their sins, past and future, are forgiven, I would argue that these puported Christians have no motivation to do good either.

  21. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    JoZeppy: I have far more respect for the athiest who does the right thing because he knows it is the moral course of action, than a supposed “Christian” who is only motivated out of fear of punishment.

    Perhaps some people are just motivated by their desire to better society?Compassion for their fellow human?Is it so shocking to think that a person does not have to be motivated out of fear of God to do good….

    And considering so many Christians believe that all they need to do is “accept Jesus as their personal lord and savior” and all of their sins, past and future, are forgiven, I would argue that these puported Christians have no motivation to do good either.

    It is a love for God that SHOULD be the prime motivator. Parents are the first example of God to a child; the child loves his parents and obeys because of that love. Yet, consequences do become part of the deal.

    I agree that one has to do more than accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. That never made sense to me even when I was Protestant.

  22. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    JoZeppy: Perhaps some people are just motivated by their desire to better society? Compassion for their fellow human?

    What I would add is that those desires come from God. I hate to talk religion because I am often a poor example of what I should be.

  23. avatar
    misha November 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    charo: Not many could reach a lower point than Dahmer.

    The entire country of Germany, 1933-1945.

    charo: He found some kind of faith in prison.

    Jailhouse conversions are commonplace. It’s the ultimate ‘get out of jail’ card.

    charo: What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing

    Both my cat and dog are from shelters. The shelter I volunteered at gets 30K unwanted animals a year. If they are not adopted within 6 weeks, they are euthanized. I knew to do the right thing, instinctively.

    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the difference between a dog and a man. – Mark Twain

    As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. – Adolf Hitler

    I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. – Adolf Hitler

    charo: The reason why Christians seek forgiveness is because they have offended God.

    The only one who can grant forgiveness, is the person who has been wronged.

    charo: I have never been an atheist so I am curious as to what an atheist finds as the motivation to be charitable to someone…when there is nothing in it for him/her?

    Before I had the stroke, I went out of my way to be kind, helpful, and teach Arab co-workers. I learned that Arabs regard us, the way we regard Germans. I was horrified, and literally said to Muslim co-workers, “Someone has to put a stop to this nonsense. It might as well be me.” What was in it for me? Zero.

  24. avatar
    The Head Researcher November 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Charo:

    About the stuff that doesn’t make sense, I think some of the problems inside the church comes from trying to interpret across 3 or 4 different languages and several hundred years of changes in the Engish Language. Which is why I like this one which is understandable and written in American. Plus, you can change versions online at this place and all the stuff makes more sense than what you hear in church.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+2&version=MSG

    Like on the faith and works stuff:

    12-13 If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.

    That is just my opinion.

    The head Researcher

  25. avatar
    Scientist November 30, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    charo: What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing when the temptation is there to do the wrong thing, I mean for something as simple as being unkind to someone? I have never been an atheist so I am curious as to what an atheist finds as the motivation to be charitable to someone who doesn’t deserve it, when there is nothing in it for him/her?

    It’s called the mirror test. Do you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror?
    As an empiricist, I have seen no data that says religious people are kinder to others than non-religious people. Nor more law abiding or chariitable.

    By the way Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers and rewards for the good.

  26. avatar
    Sef November 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    charo: What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing when the temptation is there to do the wrong thing,

    I think the prospect of sitting on a cloud for all eternity playing a harp would be enough to drive anyone to the “dark side”

  27. avatar
    Steve November 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Somehow I don’t think too many birthers care about what people from other countries think about them.
    They do seem to care, however, about other countries’ citizenship laws and seem to think they supercede ours.

  28. avatar
    charo November 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    Scientist: It’s called the mirror test.Do you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror?
    As an empiricist, I have seen no data that says religious people are kinder to others than non-religious people.Nor more law abiding or chariitable.

    By the way Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers and rewards for the good.

    I wanted to try to understand the motivation of an atheist, not being one myself, not decide who is kinder. If you purposefully say something on this blog, or elsewhere, that on its face is hurtful, what do you see in the mirror? From the comments I have read, an atheist creates his own standards. If you can face yourself in the mirror, then it doesn’t matter what the effect of your actions really are.

  29. avatar
    Arthur November 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Hey Ya’ll:

    I think the questions and topics people have raised are interesting, but should this discussion move to the open thread? I’m tempted to share my two cents, but my Bible (Idiot’s Guide to The Internet) says in Chapter 3, verse 16 in the Book of WYSIWYG,

    “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the commandment of the LORD your God, and make you a comment on a topic unrelated to the original post. For this is an abomination unto God, and the LORD shall scatter you among the Philistines, and ye shall be left few in number among the Birthers. Also, your camels shall be unpleasant and spit.”

  30. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Scientist: Do you feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror?

    As long as I delivered the right amount of snark on Gawker.

    Scientist: Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers and rewards for the good.

    When we die, whether good or bad, we go to the biggest Costco you could ever imagine for eternity, and pay for everything with angel dust.

    The Orthodox believe that when the Messiah arrives, the dead will be resurrected. If that’s true, there are going to be some awful looking people hopping around. Stick in the mud fools.

  31. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 12:26 am #

    While I suspect that Misha indeed issued that particular retort as an intended insult, the broader statement you made about “is it ethical, moral ethical, moral to tell someone that it is a good idea she does not plan to get married” can have valid situations where the answer is yes, without being an insult at all.

    In general, the issue is a matter of both opinion and personal choice. Personally, I am a big believer in the institution of marriage and hope that everyone has the chance to find the *right* person someday and enter into such a life long contract.

    However, I also recognize that not all people desire marriage and more importantly, not all people are really wired for the level of devotion and committment that the standard life-long concept of the term implies.

    Furthermore, I definitely agree that people should not marry if they don’t feel ready for it or if they aren’t sufficiently confident that they’ve found the right partner and are both openly entering into marriage for the right reasons.

    Therefore, for someone who expresses that they don’t intend to marry, one could easily take the implied message that the person saying such is simply not currently at a place in their life where marriage is the right choice for them and that their mindset is also not at this time conductive to the required committment needed for a successful marriage.

    Purely looking at it in those terms, a reply of agreement to someone’s statement of not wanting marriage is not necessarily unkind or lacking of any ethics or morals at all; but merely an acceptance that at the present time, such a step would probably not be a wise choice for them.

    charo: It’s ethical, moral to tell someone that it is a good idea she does not plan to get married, when she said nothing in her post to warrant the insult? Everyone who does not agree with misha receives the verbal lash.

  32. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Such may be a motivator for you or Head Researcher and others, but obviously, such motivation is not necessary nor required for all.

    I agree with all the points that Aarrgghh, JoZeppy and Scientist made in response to this particular issue, as any actual research and data points on the topic confirm what they have said.

    Look, we know from science that some people are simply more wired to be receptive to the concept of understanding and relating to the world through faith and others are not.

    As you two are obviously people driven by faith, you understandably have difficulty conceiving of how people can fuction without it. But look around you…obviously many of them do and do just fine and unlike the prejudicial bias in which you try to generalize and portray them, can also lead upstanding lives, can be driven by altruism and morals and can be compassionate.

    You may interpret morals through a religious lense, but religion is not required for having a sense of ethical or moral values.

    The negative aspects inherent in humankind that you glibly attribute to those that don’t share your religious views (or even political views, in the example of H.R’s father’s over-generalized view of libertarianism)- such as selfishness, crimes, “perversions”, etc. exist to different extents across various segments of the population, regardless of particular religion or the existence of faith or atheism – period.

    Therefore, there is NO direct correlation between one or the other and such aspects of the human condition do NOT necessarily have any individual, specific connection to a belief or lack of belief in deities.

    charo: It is a love for God that SHOULD be the prime motivator.

  33. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Actually, a lot of moral standards are merely the byproduct of both living in a society and having awareness and the ability to reflect upon the world around oneself. For many, such reflection is defined and interpreted through their concept of God (or gods). Yet there are many others that simply have no belief in deities and are able to still arrive at similar awareness, reflection and conclusions on behavior without that requirement.

    I look at it more as an issue of the old addage “Do Unto Others As You Would Like them To Do Unto You”. The statement in and of itself is a sensible truism that can be viewed and make sense as a guide for behavior through both a religious prism (regardless of which particular faith) and more importantly, without the need of any religious belief whatsoever! The addage makes sense and rings true either way.

    Personally, I think such qualities as empathy and compassion are more important indicators of someone’s character than whether they have faith or not. Different people seem to have different degrees of qualities such as those, and that holds true for both believers and non-believers alike.

    charo: I wanted to try to understand the motivation of an atheist, not being one myself, not decide who is kinder. If you purposefully say something on this blog, or elsewhere, that on its face is hurtful, what do you see in the mirror? From the comments I have read, an atheist creates his own standards. If you can face yourself in the mirror, then it doesn’t matter what the effect of your actions really are.

  34. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Steve: They do seem to care, however, about other countries’ citizenship laws and seem to think they supercede ours.

    They don’t? Uh, oh.

  35. avatar
    red-diaper baby 1942 December 1, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    I agree absolutely with G and the other secular ethicists who have posted here. The “do unto others” precept is expressed both in Jesus’s “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and in Kant’s categorical imperative:
    Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always as an end and never merely as a means to an end.

    In other words, other people are subjects, not objects. This might today be expanded to include not just ‘humanity’ but also the non-human world.

    A child does right out of fear of punishment; an adult does right because it IS right. That (in my eyes) is the differences between behavior based on religion and on ethics.

    Oh, and the altruistic principles built into us that some posters here have referred to — as far as I know they’re a bit controversial among sociobiologists, but they certainly seem to work sometimes.

  36. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Wow, Charo…

    I find this to be one of the most irresponsible and frankly, reprehensible cause/effect correlations that one can make!

    There are many pedophiles and horrible serial killer stories out there comparible to Jeffrey Dahmer in history. Some of those folks were very religious, some were not at all.

    Trying to link Dahmer’s actions to having a lack of faith is simply cherry-picking a data point of his life to make an inflammatory accusation of correlation that just does not hold water in the broader picture of such situations.

    Case in point – take a similarly gruesome case, where outwardly the person seemed “normal” but was really a sick and twisted killer: Harry Albert Fish.

    Albert Fish may have been America’s most vile pedophile, serial killer, and cannibal. He is known by many names — Gray Man, Brooklyn Vampire, The Boogeyman, and the Werewolf of Wysteria. He was a gentle-looking and benevolent grandfather, a total contrast to the monster within him. His wife considered him a wonderful husband and his children believed he was a model father. Some of his crimes seem unbelievable.

    He believed God ordered him to castrate young boys. This was diagnosed as religious psychosis and is what led to the several mutilations and murders he committed.

    Although he was a suspect in five killings, he stated that he “had” around 100 children in all states. Nobody knew whether he was talking about cannibalization or molestation. He was executed on an electric chair.

    http://www.dirjournal.com/info/americas-famous-serial-killers/

    Now, it would be equally irresponsible for anyone to point to his particular situation and make an accusation linking faith to such heinous acts.

    Bottom line: The people who commit such atrocities are DAMAGED – period. In all the cases, the only common threads beckon back to the basic aspects of nature (how they are “wired”) and nurture (many, but not all have some pretty messed up childhoods).

    Basically, we’re simply dealing with psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies. Those inherent conditions are the common thread and NOT any particular faith or lack of faith, which varies greatly from particular case to case.

    charo: The most interesting interview I ever watched was with Jeffrey Dahmer and his father. Listening to him and watching his father at his side, I could not help but think how could that man sitting there have committed such heinous crimes? He never taunted police with anonymous notes, never blamed anyone for what he did (and said it even made him angry when anyone tried to imply that his parents were somehow at fault), and seemed truly troubled trying to ascertain the reason for his desire to exert absolute control over another by cannibalism, i.e., the person could never leave him but become part of him. In the interview, he stated that he was an atheist (up until some point in prison) and that as long as he wasn’t caught, he was accountable to no one. Not many could reach a lower point than Dahmer. He found some kind of faith in prison. That doesn’t mean that if one is an atheist, one is susceptible to becoming a serial killer. The reason why many people chose to reign in their anger, control their lust for money/power/sex, is because they believe they are accountable to God. The reason why Christians seek forgiveness is because they have offended God. What motivation does an atheist have to do the right thing when the temptation is there to do the wrong thing, I mean for something as simple as being unkind to someone? I have never been an atheist so I am curious as to what an atheist finds as the motivation to be charitable to someone who doesn’t deserve it, when there is nothing in it for him/her? (It is not that difficult to be nice to people who are nice to us or who agree with us). A Christian who believes there is a final accountability makes choices knowing that there are consequences. Perfect contrition is to be sorry only because one has offended God and not because of the potential rewards or punishments. Is it not the law of God written in our hearts that make us want to be good people? My b-i-l is an atheist who is angry at a God whom he doesn’t believe exists.

  37. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    charo: Everyone who does not agree with misha receives the verbal lash.

    No, it’s five lashes with a wet noodle. Anyone who disagrees with me gets finely honed Yiddish sarcasm.

    An actual conversation with my mother, aleha hashalom:

    Me: I put it where the cat can’t get at it.
    My mother: Where? On the ceiling?

    or this:

    Me: What’s wrong with your car?
    My step-father: Do I look like a mechanic?

  38. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    Excellent points and I agree with those aspects you’ve expanded upon as well.

    To expand further, in addition to the example of Kant, I would also add two more cases in point:

    1. Take a look at atheist, Penn Jillette’s recent “atheist 10 commandments”:

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2011-10-28/penn-jillette-ten-commandments/50978982/1

    Many religious people can look at his list and reasons and find agreement in such values, as they are pretty much similar to the common concepts across various faiths throughout the world.

    2. The very principals behind Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also support such a conclusion in the development and outlook of human kind in respect to one another and the environment around them. These principals make sense and apply, regardless of whether one is faith-based in their worldview or not. They simply require the abilities of self-awareness, reflection and yes, empathy, in increasing degrees as one moves up the pyramid.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

    Finally, I would like to simply emphasize your very important point that these values are “expanded to include not just ‘humanity’ but also the non-human world” and liken that to how Maslow’s hierarchy works. For those who truly care about the world beyond just themselves (or their immediate “tribe”), that often extends to consideration of not just their fellow humans, but also the other types of life on this planet and indeed, the very environment we must all share.

    There are many religious folks who can draw from words in their sacred books and their faith to justify this broader concern for life and the world, just as there are many who have the same broader cares, without any need of a faith-based connection to justify it.

    It simply can be viewed as a rational and pragmatic conclusion towards humanities long-term benefit and survival as a species to care about each other as well as the health and well-being of the rest of the planet and the other species which share it.

    Being good stewards of our world and one another is simply good sense and a good long-term survival strategy – period.

    red-diaper baby 1942: I agree absolutely with G and the other secular ethicists who have posted here. The “do unto others” precept is expressed both in Jesus’s “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and in Kant’s categorical imperative:Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always as an end and never merely as a means to an end.In other words, other people are subjects, not objects. This might today be expanded to include not just ‘humanity’ but also the non-human world.A child does right out of fear of punishment; an adult does right because it IS right. That (in my eyes) is the differences between behavior based on religion and on ethics.Oh, and the altruistic principles built into us that some posters here have referred to — as far as I know they’re a bit controversial among sociobiologists, but they certainly seem to work sometimes.

  39. avatar
    Sally HIll December 1, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Wishful thinking that 45% believe that. I’m sure they WISHED the percentage were that high. I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue, but I don’t even think there are 45% that believe that issue either.

    And if we don’t want to give credence to another country exerting citizenship over US Citizens, we care what Thailand thinks, why?

  40. avatar
    Lupin December 1, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Sally HIll: I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue

    There is no “2 citizen parent issue”, no more than there is a “2 citizen parent plus a potted hibiscus” issue — a new birther precondition I just made up, just as you guys made up the other one.

  41. avatar
    Arthur December 1, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Sally HIll: Wishful thinking that 45% believe that.

    Sally:

    You’re right to question the accuracy of the polling data to which the Bangkok Times refers. That poll was conducted before before President Obama’s so-called long-form birth certificate was released on April 27. According to New York Times, their poll “was conducted among a random sample of 1,224 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone April 15-20.” I understand that the percentage of Republicans who believe Obama was born abroad went down after the April 27 release.

  42. avatar
    Thrifty December 1, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    red-diaper baby 1942: We used to lead the world … what’s happened to us?

    Nothing’s happened. Information is just so much more abundant that you have greater access to cranks, bigots, conspiracy theorists and the like. I remember just 13 years ago I would have to open the newspaper editorial section and see if there was some hateful screed one of the readers had written in. Now you can go to the comments section of one news story and see hundreds of them.

  43. avatar
    Scientist December 1, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Sally HIll: And if we don’t want to give credence to another country exerting citizenship over US Citizens, we care what Thailand thinks, why?

    As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. It ought to matter to Americans if the entire world thinks that a substantial proportion of the American population are idiots. Any American (or even Thais) have every right to criticize the policies of this President or any other President, but when you insist on questioning the legitimacy of an election that happened 3 years ago, that is not just nuts, but harms the standing of the US in the world. And it’s pointless because no one is going to overturn a 3 year old election no matter what arguments you could possibly come up with.

  44. avatar
    Lupin December 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    There’s two issues here:

    1) World Opinion. Obviously we’re dealing with over-generalizations, but one might argue that had the US Government be more mindful of some opinions in the Middle East (to the detriment of other interests, clearly), then 9/11 might not have happened. So I’d say that, yes, opinions do matter. You guys are 5% of the World Population. To paraphrase a slogan: we’re the 95%.

    2) Is the US still a World Leader: In many fields, the answers is still yes, but less and less. The reasons why are no doubt complex and historical trends are hard to fathom and untractable.

  45. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    charo: Is it not the law of God written in our hearts that make us want to be good people? My b-i-l is an atheist who is angry at a God whom he doesn’t believe exists.

    You want to know what kind of Jew I am? Watch this from Curb Your Enthusiasm:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8XNrAjh7eo

  46. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    misha: Watch this from Curb Your Enthusiasm:

    Also, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_OA_TU_XD0

  47. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Funny clips, although they don’t quite tell me enough about how you see yourself. Am I correct to assume you see yourself as Larry’s character in these clips? …Or one of the other jewish characters?

    Also, the 2nd clip doesn’t answer which choice Larry makes…and I assume that is intentional and he doesn’t make any choice? Can you expand on where you see yourself coming down in that particular fictional scenario…and if your point is the choice is to not choose, then please expand on that.

    misha: You want to know what kind of Jew I am? Watch this from Curb Your Enthusiasm:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8XNrAjh7eo

    misha: Also, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_OA_TU_XD0

  48. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Not sure I understand what you are saying here. In part, because I’m not sure what b-i-l is a stand in for. Although the rest of your statement seems like a funny irony on its surface, it woldn’t really hold up by strict definition of the term.

    Agnostic, as one who has doubts, perhaps might fit such a description… but an actual atheist by strict definition wouldn’t actually believe in a deity, and therefore wouldn’t be projecting anger onto something they don’t believe exists. They might express anger towards actual people, but not towards something they don’t believe in. So, while the statement gave me an entertaining chuckle on the surface, it really is nothing more than an illogical characture that doesn’t hold up.

    There are certainly folks out there I’ve run into who’ve become atheists, with explanations that they were religious at an earlier point in their life and then felt angry or betrayed by God and that led them towards the path to athesim…. but by the actual definition of the term, they only became agnostic or denialist in that period of transition in their faith structure. Some may be actual athiests and no longer believe in a God now… if others are just angry at God and lashing out, then they really just angry and not actually an atheist, regardless of if they or others misuse terminology to classify themselves.

    Not trying to nitpick, but to understand your points. In order to do so on such a topic, I think we have to stick to examining things under a more strict definition of terms on all sides, because otherwise, such loose applications lead to nothing but meaningless generalizations and weak straw-man arguments that render what could otherwise be an actual serious discussion about human nature and real differences in belief structures into nothing more than than worthless and maleable fluff, where people are only dog-whistling past each other and not having any actual serious engagement in thought.

    charo: My b-i-l is an atheist who is angry at a God whom he doesn’t believe exists.

  49. avatar
    Joey December 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    There have always been rulers of nations whose legitimacy was challenged during their reigns/terms in office and for centuries afterwards. Anyone ever heard of “antipopes?”
    I have no problem at all with folks challenging Barack Obama’s eligibility and legitmacy.
    They have every right to “petition the government for redress of grievances.”

    In America we have the First Amendment right to be wrong, biased, ignorant, racist, sexist,
    and in denial. as long as we act peacefully

  50. avatar
    Majority Will December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Sally HIll: but I don’t even think

    FIFY.

  51. avatar
    Majority Will December 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    G: In part, because I’m not sure what b-i-l is a stand in for.

    Probably brother-in-law. Or beautiful imitation leather.

  52. avatar
    Majority Will December 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    To anyone who claims there is no such thing as a stupid question, please introduce them to a birther bigot.

  53. avatar
    Jamese777 December 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    From the good folks over at freerepublic’s Maskell Memo thread:
    “I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years. It took a long time, but we finally got people to focus on Minor and the affirmation of Minor in the Wong Kim Ark decision. If this stuff in the Maskell memo was as represented, some Obot like Dr. Stupidity would have found it a long time ago.”

  54. avatar
    Majority Will December 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Jamese777:
    From the good folks over at freerepublic’s Maskell Memo thread:
    “I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years. It took a long time, but we finally got people to focus on Minor and the affirmation of Minor in the Wong Kim Ark decision. If this stuff in the Maskell memo was as represented, some Obot like Dr. Stupidity would have found it a long time ago.”

    Lord love a duck.

  55. avatar
    aarrgghh December 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    if atheists are “angry” at anything, it is not gods, for gods are only imaginary. rather, it is the evil done in the name of imaginary superbeings, as well as the apologetics used to justify that evil, that pisses them off.

    often the faithful paint atheists as “angry at god” in order to deflect discussion away from their own violent history, which is piled high with the bones of the innocent.

  56. avatar
    Sef December 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    aarrgghh:
    if atheists are “angry” at anything, it is not gods, for gods are only imaginary. rather, it is the evil done in the name of imaginary superbeings, as well as the apologetics used to justify that evil, that pisses them off.

    often the faithful paint atheists as “angry at god” in order to deflect discussion away from their own violent history, which is piled high with the bones of the innocent.

    +10

  57. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    aarrgghh: often the faithful paint atheists as “angry at god” in order to deflect discussion away from their own violent history, which is piled high with the bones of the innocent.

    More blood has been shed for the kingdom of Christ, than for any other kingdom. – Montesquieu

  58. avatar
    Rickey December 1, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Sally HIll:
    I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue

    You mean the people who are experiencing recovered memory that they were taught the two-citizen parent requirement in civics class?

  59. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Rickey: civics class

    I like Civics. They’re made by Honda.

  60. avatar
    misha December 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    G: Am I correct to assume you see yourself as Larry’s character in these clips?

    Curb is broadcast on HBO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curb_Your_Enthusiasm
    Highly recommended.

    I see myself as Larry. Larry does become a regular patron of the Pal/Arab restaurant, and finds an Arab girlfriend.

    NSFW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmui1Jo-FaE

  61. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

    The first amendment refers to the government respecting your right to free speech, etc.

    In terms of individual citizens addressing each other – well sure, one can mouth off and spew forth whateever they so choose….

    However, the corrollary also holds true and others are just as free to disagree or ridicule them for their words.

    Put bluntly and simply – you are responsible and accountable for what you say and do. If you want to be treated with respect – act and talk in a matter that engenders such. If you end up saying or doing something foolish, don’t be surprised when others point it out and treat you as such.

    Official disclaimer: the “you” in the above was not directed at anyone in particular and is intended as just a general pronoun, applicable to all individuals.

    Joey: In America we have the First Amendment right to be wrong, biased, ignorant, racist, sexist,
    and in denial. as long as we act peacefully

  62. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Those delusional fools just prove they only live within their own little fantasy bubble.

    Just about every point in that report has been discussed here previously. Many of the reasons and citations found in that report are the same that have been presented here. Of course, that doesn’t make any of us “special” or significant in having already said that. If anything, what it just goes to show is how simple rational research on these topics quickly leads to the same conclusions, because they are both quite evident and quite correct.

    Jamese777: From the good folks over at freerepublic’s Maskell Memo thread:“I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years. It took a long time, but we finally got people to focus on Minor and the affirmation of Minor in the Wong Kim Ark decision. If this stuff in the Maskell memo was as represented, some Obot like Dr. Stupidity would have found it a long time ago.”

  63. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    LMAO! Actually, that clever quip aptly describes my dad. He’s been a loyal Honda Civic fan since…the 70’s I think. Every car he has had since then has been a Honda Civic and he puts several hundred thousand miles on each before being able to part with it and buy the latest model…

    misha: I like Civics. They’re made by Honda.

  64. avatar
    G December 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    LOL! Thanks for clarifying and adding that latest clip….which was my favorite. (yes, I found all three entertaining. twisted, but entertaining).

    I am aware of the show and its many, many accolades and was a huge Seinfeld fan. I refuse to pay for individual premium channels, such as HBO on my cable plan, so I simply don’t have the opportunity to watch it. At some point when I have time, I’ll simply get some Season DVD sets and watch a compliation of episodes back to back.

    misha: Curb is broadcast on HBO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curb_Your_EnthusiasmHighly recommended.I see myself as Larry. Larry does become a regular patron of the Pal/Arab restaurant, and finds an Arab girlfriend.NSFW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmui1Jo-FaE

  65. avatar
    AnotherBird December 2, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Sally HIll:
    … I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue, but I don’t even think there are 45% that believe that issue either.

    I think that you mean most birthers are coming around to the 2 US citizen parent issue. I know that birthers just don’t care either way.

  66. avatar
    The Magic M December 2, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    [birther quote]
    > If this stuff in the Maskell memo was as represented, some Obot like Dr. Stupidity would have found it a long time ago.

    Another Catch-22, I suppose. They might just as well have said “The stuff in the Maskell memo is precisely what Obot sites have been saying for years, that proves it’s nothing but Obot propaganda.”

  67. avatar
    Northland10 December 2, 2011 at 7:09 am #

    Sally HIll: I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue,

    The most recent birthright citizenship bills and constitutional amendments all tend tend to use the phrasing when referring the the parents’ citizenship status:

    … shall be considered `subject to the jurisdiction’ of the United States for purposes of subsection (a)(1) if the person is born in the United States of parents, one of whom is–
    `(1) a citizen or national of the United States;
    `(2) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States whose residence is in the United States; or
    `(3) an alien performing active service in the armed forces (as defined in section 101 of title 10, United States Code).’.

    Some earlier ones went so far as to state the citizenship of the mother determined the status of the child.

    Of course, one of the bills would pass constitutional muster and never appear to go any further than introduction and referral to a committee. However, it is interesting that the authors of these (the quote above is from Nathan Deal’s in 2007), never mention 2 citizens but only one citizen/permanent alien.

    (source: thomas.loc.gov)

  68. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) December 2, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Sally HIll: Wishful thinking that 45% believe that. I’m sure they WISHED the percentage were that high. I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue, but I don’t even think there are 45% that believe that issue either.And if we don’t want to give credence to another country exerting citizenship over US Citizens, we care what Thailand thinks, why?

    Of course most birthers are coming around to the 2 us citizen parent claim as all their other claims about the BCs have been proven false. Its just another way of moving the goal posts.

  69. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) December 2, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Majority Will: To anyone who claims there is no such thing as a stupid question, please introduce them to a birther bigot.

    No Will there are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

  70. avatar
    G December 2, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    Exactly!

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Of course most birthers are coming around to the 2 us citizen parent claim as all their other claims about the BCs have been proven false. Its just another way of moving the goal posts.

  71. avatar
    JD Reed December 2, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    There are stupid questions. Some years ago I read a column by an assistant editorial page editor who noted that she had a twin brother. But people would still ask, from time to time, if they were identical twins.
    THAT is a stupid question, the columnist wrote, adding that she was making a note to herself to never hire anyone who asked it.

  72. avatar
    Daniel December 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Sally HIll: I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue

    I think you are confusing the word “issue” with “fallacy”

  73. avatar
    US Citizen December 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Will you guys please quit talking about my parents?

    😉

  74. avatar
    John Woodman December 3, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): Of course most birthers are coming around to the 2 us citizen parent claim as all their other claims about the BCs have been proven false.Its just another way of moving the goal posts.

    They’ve not given up on the claims of forgery. Corsi has a new ebook out emphasizing the forgery claims.

    I have challenged Jerome Corsi, Mara Zebest, Karl Denninger, Doug Vogt, Paul Irey, and Tom Harrison to publicly debate the evidence regarding the birth certificate.

  75. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    Scientist: By the way Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers…

    And as a Jew, neither did Jesus.

    When he said that evil doers would go to hell, he was referring to the Jerusalem city dump, where fires burned the rubbish, including bodies of people considered unclean and unworthy of proper burial.

    That was the ultimate, ‘eternal’ end of the evil doer – physical and spiritual destruction in the fires of the city dump.

  76. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    Lupin:
    There’s two issues here:

    1) World Opinion. Obviously we’re dealing with over-generalizations, but one might argue that had the US Government be more mindful of some opinions in the Middle East (to the detriment of other interests, clearly), then 9/11 might not have happened. So I’d say that, yes, opinions do matter. You guys are 5% of the World Population. To paraphrase a slogan: we’re the 95%.

    2) Is the US still a World Leader: In many fields, the answers is still yes, but less and less. The reasons why are no doubt complex and historical trends are hard to fathom and untractable.

    Australians recently had the pleasure of President Obama’s presence, and the opportunity to discuss this issue and more.

    Here is the Murdoch press take on the important issues raised by his visit and the initiatives taken on a number of fronts:

    Governor-General dresses (twice) to impress President

    This article is not a one off, unfair characterization. New Corp papers went out of their way to present the visit as negative in every possible way, from major articles on Obama pronouncing Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s name wrong (as do half of Australian’s, and probably me half the time) to claiming that Obama’s praise for Australia’s Carbon Tax (which is an interim measure until a Cap and Trade system is set up) getting through Parliament was a back handed way of telling her that because the USA doesn’t have the political will to do it, Australia is foolish to do so (that was NOT his point, he was regretting that America is not leading the world on this).

    The Murdoch press did have to support the announcement that the US would establish a ‘virtual’ Marine Base at Darwin, basically, as I understand it anyway, setting up a forward supply base but not really a permanent boots on the ground base (though personnel would obviously be moving in and out regularly).

    This is a big thing, and the first major upgrade to the ANZUS treaty in decades, but Murdoch played it down as much as they possibly could. In fairness to News, this was to reduce Gilliard’s visibility, not Obama’s, but it demonstrates the extent that Murdoch is willing to use the US reputation and officials as a catspaw in furtherance of his personal local goals.

  77. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    misha: I like Civics. They’re made by Honda.

    That’s a direct steal from Max Gillies from about 1985.

    Gillies is an Australian comedian. He had a TV show in the early 80’s, and then a stage show when that finished. The stage show took on the form of a trial, where Australian political figures were raked over the coals.

    Trial ‘testamony’ kept coming back to the Labour Party / Union Industrial Relations ‘Accord’ (“I object, m’Lord! What does a Japanese car have to do with Unions in Australia?”), how it was just a ‘Prelude’ (“Again with the car?”) to disaster. What this country needs is a good dose of ‘Civic’ pride (“What this country needs is pride in its own cars, the Ford!”) and to remember the “Legends” (“Bloody Oath, will you stop talking about Japanese cars?!?”) of the great Australians like Don Bradman and Dame Edna Everidge.

  78. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Oh, Lord!

    What could go wrong?

  79. avatar
    charo December 3, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Keith: And as a Jew, neither did Jesus.

    When he said that evil doers would go to hell, he was referring to the Jerusalem city dump, where fires burned the rubbish, including bodies of people considered unclean and unworthy of proper burial.

    That was the ultimate, eternal’ end of the evil doer – physical and spiritual destruction in the fires of the city dump.

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Sadducees-Pharisees.html

    Jesus was not a Pharisee or a Sadducee. The Sadducees did not believe in an afterlife. This is a very well known passage from the Gospel of Mark (here is one version, but no matter which one you read, the point is the same)

    18 Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. 19 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children. 21 The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third. 22 In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too. 23 At the resurrection[c] whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

    24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? 25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[d]? 27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”

    There is much more support against your statement.

  80. avatar
    Arthur December 3, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    Keith: Oh, Lord!What could go wrong?

    I don’t understand it . . . what is it about Donald Trump that the Republican base and it’s primary contenders find so attractive?

  81. avatar
    Arthur December 3, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Misha:

    I really enjoyed those clips from “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I’m embarrassed to say that I had never seen the show before (well, I don’t have a t.v.) but since your post, I’ve been enjoying clips of it on YouTube. Watching Larry David make comedy out of the conflict between Arabs and Jews, I was reminded of that memorable scene from “Annie Hall,” in which Alvy Singer visit’s Annie’s WASP family:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8TSvMx2wPI&feature=related

  82. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    charo: There is much more support against your statement.

    What does the word ‘more’ mean in this context? Twice zero? Three times zero? Or are you saying that actual ‘support against my statement’?

    I only ask because I can’t detect where you have raised any argument against my statement with either your assertion or your bible quotes.

  83. avatar
    charo December 3, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    There were two sects of Jews: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife. The Pharisees did. Your assumption is that all Jews at that time did not believe in an afterlife.

  84. avatar
    Keith December 3, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    charo:
    There were two sects of Jews:the Sadducees and the Pharisees.The Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife.The Pharisees did.Your assumption is that all Jews at that time did not believe in an afterlife.

    I am making no such assumption. I am saying that “Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers…” and that as a Jew of his time, Jesus didn’t have such a view either.

    On the other hand, you are saying that Jesus was neither Sadducee or Pharisee, and those are the only two choices. Are you now claiming that Jesus was not a Jew? Really?

    According to Matthew 10:28 Gehenna (the Jerusalem town dump, and supposed center of human sacrifice to Moloch, and one of the words mistranslated by the KJV as ‘hell’) is where the body and soul is destroyed – not eternally punished – destroyed.

    The KJV actually mistranslated 3 different concepts as ‘hell’ so confusion reigns as to what was meant when using that translation.

    “rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”

  85. avatar
    Scientist December 3, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    The Pharisees believed the dead would be resurrected and walk the earth with the coming of the Messiah. They did not believe in the Christian “Heaven for the good, hell for the bad.” Nor did Jesus. That is a Christian concept that arose a few centuries later, and was likely derived from various Roman and Greek pagan concepts. Christianity adopted many pagan practices and beliefs to appeal to the Romans and Hellenistic peoples in the Middle East and later to various pagan tribes in Europe. Judaism never did, which is a large reason why there are a billion Christians and only 15 million Jews in the world. It’s all about the marketing…

  86. avatar
    misha December 3, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    misha: I like Civics. They’re made by Honda.

    Keith: That’s a direct steal from Max Gillies from about 1985.

    The only thing from Oz I have watched is Children of the Revolution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_the_Revolution_(1996_film)

  87. avatar
    misha December 3, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Scientist: The Pharisees believed the dead would be resurrected and walk the earth with the coming of the Messiah. They did not believe in the Christian “Heaven for the good, hell for the bad.”

    The Orthodox still believe that. That’s why Jews do not embalm, nor cremate, nor permit autopsies. Note to everyone: if you murder your spouse by poisoning, all you have to say is ‘we’re Jewish and do not allow autopsies.’ An instant ‘get out of jail’ card.

    I belong to the Costco afterlife theory. That would be great to spend eternity there.

    Not to sermonize, but when I had the aneurysm I was told when I woke from a month long coma, that my heart had stopped, and was shocked. I’ve been there and back – there isn’t anything. Life begins at birth, and ends at death. The end.

    How does anyone know there is Heaven? Anyone ever get a postcard, ‘having a great time. Wish you were here.’ No? Just like I thought.

  88. avatar
    charo December 3, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Keith: I am making no such assumption. I am saying that “Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers…” and that as a Jew of his time, Jesus didn’t have such a view either.

    On the other hand, you are saying that Jesus was neither Sadducee or Pharisee, and those are the only two choices. Are you now claiming that Jesus was not a Jew? Really?

    According to Matthew 10:28 Gehenna (the Jerusalem town dump, and supposed center of human sacrifice to Moloch, and one of the words mistranslated by the KJV as ‘hell’) is where the body and soul is destroyed – not eternally punished – destroyed.

    The KJV actually mistranslated 3 different concepts as ‘hell’ so confusion reigns as to what was meant when using that translation.

    “rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”

    Keith,

    I am not going to argue with you about your view about what Jesus taught about punishment. He was not a Sadducee. He still was a Jew. He did not teach as the Sadducees taught. He criticized the Pharisees, telling his disciples “[t]he teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

    Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish law. You believe as you choose, as I will.

    “According to Matthew 10:28 Gehenna (the Jerusalem town dump, and supposed center of human sacrifice to Moloch, and one of the words mistranslated by the KJV as ‘hell’) is where the body and soul is destroyed – not eternally punished – destroyed.”

    The bodies of the crucified (common occurrence) were taken to the dump, some of them not even dead yet. I am not denying the dumping of the bodies.

  89. avatar
    Lupin December 3, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Scientist: The Pharisees believed the dead would be resurrected and walk the earth with the coming of the Messiah.

    Walking Dead – the prequel. Cool.

  90. avatar
    Lupin December 3, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Keith: I am saying that “Judaism doesn’t have a firm concept of an afterlife of punishment for evil-doers…”

    I don’t know about afterlife, but God was keen on giving hemorrhoids to people who pissed him off:

    “The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.” (Deuteronomy 28:27)

    “And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.” (Ouch! I bet it did.) (1 Samuel 5:12)

    Good times!

  91. avatar
    misha December 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Scientist: Christianity adopted many pagan practices and beliefs to appeal to the Romans and Hellenistic peoples in the Middle East and later to various pagan tribes in Europe.

    Easter was originally a Roman spring fertility rite, hence rabbits, a symbol of fertility. Easter and estrogen have the same Latin root. Hercules is the son of Zeus and a human woman.

    Scientist: It’s all about the marketing…

    Christianity promises eternal life; Judaism does not. It’s a tough sell. Islam promises 72 virgins. What do we promise – ‘I can get it for you wholesale.’ We deck the halls with Schweddy balls matzo balls.

    From the San Diego Jewish World: Sol Price, the founder of Price Club and the acknowledged father of warehouse superstores who was a life-long advocate of liberal politics and quietly gave millions to charity, died at his home in La Jolla, California, on Monday at the age of 93.

    Read on: http://sdjewishworld.wordpress.com/2009/12/14/sol-price-philanthropist-and-entrepreneur-dies-at-93/

  92. avatar
    misha December 3, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    charo: The bodies of the crucified (common occurrence) were taken to the dump, some of them not even dead yet.

    “Bring out your dead.”
    “I’m not dead yet.”
    “Oh shut up. You will be in a few hours.”

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grbSQ6O6kbs

  93. avatar
    charo December 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I wonder what would happen if a practicing Muslim came on board and tried to have a respectful discussion?

    What kinds of jokes would be acceptable? What kind of tone would be employed?

    Have a nice day.

  94. avatar
    Scientist December 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    charo: I wonder what would happen if a practicing Muslim came on board and tried to have a respectful discussion?
    What kinds of jokes would be acceptable? What kind of tone would be employed?

    Last week’s Economist had a piece on that very topic- Muslim humor. Muhammad himself told jokes- “Why are there no old women in heaven? Because they become young girls when they get there.” You had to be there,

    In fact, we have been very respectful. The fact that you refuse to accept that some of your beliefs were incorporated into Christianity well after the time of Christ is your probllem, not ours. Certainly most Christian scholars recognize that.

  95. avatar
    misha December 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    charo: What kinds of jokes would be acceptable?

    A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, “why such a long face?” The horse replies, “if you were a horse, you’d have a long face too.”

    Scientist: “Why are there no old women in heaven? Because they become young girls when they get there.”

    [bada-bing]

  96. avatar
    Arthur December 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    charo: I wonder what would happen if a practicing Muslim came on board and tried to have a respectful discussion?What kinds of jokes would be acceptable? What kind of tone would be employed?Have a nice day.

    Well, if he was still “practicing,” I’d bet there would a lot to laugh at. “Now let’s see, which way is Mecca? This way? No, that’s Bed, Bath and Beyond. Let’s see here . . . “

  97. avatar
    Tarrant December 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Sally HIll:
    Wishful thinking that 45% believe that.I’m sure they WISHED the percentage were that high.I think most people are coming around to the 2 US Citizen Parent issue

    If more and more people were coming around to the 2 Citizen Parent issue, then there’d be no need to “keep Obama off the ballot.” If tens of millions of people believed that someone with only one citizen parent was not eligible for the office, then Obama would lose the election.

    It is the fact that people don’t believe it that makes birthers so desperate to get him off the ballot. They don’t want him there because no one believes their blather and thus he might actually get elected to a second term.

  98. avatar
    G December 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Murdoch regularly pulls the same gutter-politicking and manipulative bias propaganda here in the US all the time. A good portion of the US media, both in print and on screen is controlled by the Murdoch empire. (Fox News is the most blatent and impactful example).

    Therefore, he’s been involved with intentionally manipulating and crapping on our country for many years. Great Britian and other areas could also say the same.

    For all the conspiracy paranoids out there who fall for their over-inflated fantasy NWO-type cabals of manipulators and spend all their time worrying and railing about them…

    …it always blows my mind that when faced with actual, clear and evident individuals and organizations actively trying to influence, brainwash, manipulate and control behind the scene (such as Murdoch’s empire, the Koch brothers, etc.), these paranoids seem to completey ignore and gloss over them.

    It is as if their craven psychosis is so detatched from the real world that they can only rail against imaginary dragons and don’t have the courage or tether to address any actual real world manipulation that is happening all around them all the time.

    I personally find that to be the biggest blatent point of irony and hypocricy with these paranoid conspiracy types. They truly render themselves impotent and irrelevant right off the bat by ducking such obvious and documented real world examples of the very types of activities they spend so much time and energy trying to “warn” about…

    Keith: but it demonstrates the extent that Murdoch is willing to use the US reputation and officials as a catspaw in furtherance of his personal local goals.

  99. avatar
    G December 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    LMAO! Awesome quip!

    Lupin: Walking Dead – the prequel. Cool.

  100. avatar
    G December 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Charo,

    From a purely historical, archeological and scholarly stand point, everything that Keith & Scientist have pointed out on this particular issue is true.

    Further, your references to what Jesus said are in a book of words that attribute claims of what he said, but were not written by Jesus himself. The authors of the books may have been his followers, but all we have to go on is what they claimed he said or believed and that our earliest evidence of even their claims of his statements are from decades after his passing.

    No one is attacking your beliefs and I respect your right to belief as you do and to state the references as the basis of why you feel that way. You do fine when you are simply honest and characterize that as something you believe and support in.

    Where you get yourself in trouble is where you try to make claims or proclamations as if they are definitive and clear facts, when there is simply no actual historical evidence that can definitively say what Jesus’ personal views of an afterlife was during his actual lifetime, one way or another.

    You are simply being defensive for the sake of gut-level feeling defensive, when in fact, no one has attacked your or your faith. You do not need to live in denial of simple historical facts and reality of the origins of words or Biblical texts in order to retain your principals and your faith.

    You should reflect on being simply more honest and humble in not trying to present matters of faith as if they are matters of actual fact. There is a clear difference between the two. Nor should you get angry or defiant when others engage you in simply and open and honest discussion of what we actually know about the past.

    charo: There is much more support against your statement.

    charo: Jesus was the fulfillment of the Jewish law. You believe as you choose, as I will.

  101. avatar
    G December 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Really Charo??? REALLY??? What called for this kind of false straw-man ad-hominem and baseless attack ???

    You are the one being a flame-thrower at this moment and dropping reactionary and baseless accusations without support, instead on engaging in a respectful discussion. If you are going to wrap yourself in some false sense of “Christian persecution complex” and make such bold accusations, then you better be specific in your allegations and have valid reason to back them up.

    A reasonable adult would be able to do that with discussion, not a finger-wagging tantrum. I know you are capable of doing so, so when you get off your over-reactionary high-horse of built up bad-habit defensiveness and can think cleary again, I hope you will return to being a more honest broker here.

    Point one – In direct answer to your question, I would suspect a person of ANY faith or no faith at all to be engaged in the same lines of questioning, discussion and humor here in regards to their beliefs; whether Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, Wiccan, Buddhist, etc, etc, etc.

    Point two – if you are reacting specifically to Misha’s particular sense of humor or viewpoints, no one is saying that everyone has to appreciate it. Fair enough, some I chuckle at, some of it I don’t necessarily care for…and that is true that we all have a different sense of what we find amusing and what we don’t.

    However, at least I know I can dialog with Misha and express my feelings or probe further for explanation to find out what he meant and where he’s coming from. To his credit, Misha is very good at providing those responses and examples, so I can at least grasp his POV. I don’t have to agree or share that POV, but it is only fair of me to understand where he’s coming from and why. I respect and appreciate that from him and I’m sure he too is fully aware and fine with the reality that not everyone is going to appreciate or see the same humor in a situation the way he does. That is simply part of us all being different individuals, colored by different backgrounds.

    Further, the examples he’s given, on this very thread (and prior to your little snotty and unfounded attack here) include clear examples of him applying that very same brand of humor to other religions, including Muslims. The video clips he provided from the Larry David show to explain himself were specifically addressing issues between Jews and Muslims. As was his prior quip, less than an hour before you posted this baseless accusation, where his joke was:

    Christianity promises eternal life; Judaism does not. It’s a tough sell. Islam promises 72 virgins. What do we promise – I can get it for you wholesale.’ We deck the halls with Schweddy balls matzo balls

    So the only one who comes across badly at the moment is you; as instead of demonstrating respectful discussion yourself, you throw out a bold, broad, undeserved and clearly false attack against the character and actions of the rest of the community posting here and then stomp off in a huff.

    That is not the behavior of someone acting or trying to carry on a discussion in good faith.

    charo: I wonder what would happen if a practicing Muslim came on board and tried to have a respectful discussion?What kinds of jokes would be acceptable? What kind of tone would be employed?Have a nice day.

  102. avatar
    Arthur December 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Plus props to the G man. Got nothing against charo, now; you know how she be all up in your grill, but that how she roll, ya’ll.

  103. avatar
    misha December 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    G: if you are reacting specifically to Misha’s particular sense of humor or viewpoints, no one is saying that everyone has to appreciate it. Fair enough, some I chuckle at, some of it I don’t necessarily care for

    Of course. I’m a sarcastic New York Jew. I actually had a shrink order me out of his office. We were having marital discord, so we went to a marriage counselor . The shrink, a gentile from the South asked me a question, and it went like this:

    Shrink: “What was the worst thing your wife ever said?”
    Me: “She called me a failure.”
    Shrink: “Anything else?”
    Me: “Isn’t that enough?”
    Shrink: “Do you always anwer a question, with another question?”
    Me: “You got a better idea?”
    Shrink: “I’m ending this session. Please leave.”

    Go to the Borscht Belt, or NYC. You’ll find that is commonplace.

    The other standard activity in NY is watching the news and advertisements, and making running sarcastic statements. I was at someone’s home with a group watching the news. There had been a fire at a homeless shelter, and some died.

    The director said to the reporter, “I just wanted to take care of these people.” The fellow next to me said, “yeah, he took care of them alright.” Another time we were watching the news, and there was a commercial for Comet cleanser. The voice over said, “Cometize your home.” My step-father said, “comatose your home.”

    A man living in Moscow is invited to a wedding in a shtetl. He got off the train, took out his pocket watch, and saw it had stopped. He walked down the main street, and saw a window filled with clocks and watches. He walked into the store, and said to the man behind the counter, “my watch has stopped working. Could you take a look at it?”

    The man behind the counter said, “I’m not a watchmaker. I’m the village mohel.” The visitor then said, “if you’re not a watchmaker, why is your window filled with clocks and watches?” The man behind the counter replied, “if you were in my line of work, what would you display?”

  104. avatar
    G December 3, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Thanks for the follow-up response Misha and the examples of illustrative humor. Much appreciated!

    misha: Of course. I’m a sarcastic New York Jew. I actually had a shrink order me out of his office. We were having marital discord, so we went to a marriage counselor . The shrink, a gentile from the South asked me a question, and it went like this:

  105. avatar
    jayhg December 3, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    Arthur: I don’t understand it . . . what is it about Donald Trump that the Republican base and it’s primary contenders find so attractive?

    He signed on to (actually was snookered by) that birther crap and seems to hate President Obama. That good enough for the base (who are fine with whatever works to get ride of President Obama – if it’s birtherism, so be it).

    I personally think that Trump wants to be friends with the cool kid in school (Obama), seems to feel rejected by the cool kid, and is now pretending that he (Trump) did the rejecting. So now his life’s goal is to get that cool kid once and for all!!! The cool kid embarassed him in front of everyone (Correspondent’s Dinner) including his (Trump’s) girlfriend/head cheerleader, and now it’s payback time.

    The birthers made a fool of him by stroking his ego, he had not read up on how most folks think they are bunch of loons, he signed on with them, THEN found about they were a bunch of loons, but now he’s stuck……..so that’s the whole thing about Trumpf and the republican base/birthers.

  106. avatar
    Lupin December 4, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    For Misha:

    Rachel was a bit of kleptomaniac and stole a can of peaches from the local grocery. She was arrested and taken before the Magistrate.
    “This isn’t your offense, Rachel,” admonished the Judge. “I’m afraid this time I have no choice but to send you to jail.”
    “Oy vey,” complained Rachel.
    “How many peaches were in that can?” the judge asked the grocer.
    “Six, your honor,” answered the grocer.
    “Very well,” said the Judge. “Rachel, I sentence you to six weeks’ jail time.”
    “Your Honor, she also stole a can of peas,” said Rachel’s husband.

  107. avatar
    Scientist December 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Also for Misha

    Mr and Mrs Goldberg were in marriage counselling . Mrs Goldberg was expounding at length about the many grievous ways that her husband had mistreated her during their marriage. After about 20 minutes, the counsellor grew tired of her litany of complaints and he cut her short:
    “Mrs. Goldberg, I understand you are unhappy. Please, what do you want from Mr. Goldberg?”
    “I want him to leave me the way he found me,” she replied.
    “Mrs. Goldberg, I’m afraid that’s impossible,” the counsellor replied.
    “What’s impossible?” Mrs. Goldberg retorted. “He found me a widow, let him leave me a widow.”

  108. avatar
    Keith December 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Another for Misha:

    Mr. Cohen and Mr. FitzPatrick were close friends and were accustomed to meet each Friday for lunch at their favorite restaurant.

    On the walk to the restaurant, they traded jokes. This week it was Mr. FitzPatrick’s turn.

    Fitzpatrick: “So there were these two Rabbi’s, see? They were on their way to a Barmitzvah when…”

    Cohen interrupts: “Wait a minute, Fitzy!, enough with the Rabbi jokes! Every week its your turn and you tell me another Rabbi joke! Don’t you have any imagination at all? Every joke could be a Priest, or a Banker, or an Irishman or just about anything. If I didn’t know you and love you like my own brother, I could almost think you were a racist! Why don’t you tell a Priest joke for once?”

    FItzpatrick: Whoa! I didn’t know you were so sensitive! You’ve told Rabbi jokes before, I didn’t think I was out of line. Sorry, I’ll try to do better. So OK, I’ll tell a Priest joke.

    “So there were these two Priests, see? They were on their way to a Barmitzvah when…”

  109. avatar
    misha December 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    The best there ever was, Myron Cohen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPhUlmZSIB0

  110. avatar
    Keith December 4, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    And yet another:

    Cohen and FitzPatrick were meeting for their customary Friday lunch. Every Friday, Cohen would order a steak, and FitzPatrick, being an old fashioned Catholic, would order fish.

    FitzPatrick was only a little irritated that Cohen could eat steak and he had to eat fish, but it did niggle at him. Over the years he gently tried to convert Cohen without success. Then one day Cohen suprised him with the remark that he’d had a crisis of faith and was finally after all these years he’d like to give Catholicism a try.

    An overjoyed FitzPatrick took him to see his Priest, who did all the due diligence to ascertain that Cohen was serious and knew what he was doing. Cohen learned the Catechism, and all about his new religion. Finally the day came when the conversion ritual was to take place, the Priest made the sign of the Cross and spoke the magic words: “Born a Jew. Raised a Jew. Now a Catholic”. The deed was done.

    The next Friday, Cohen and FitzPatrick met for lunch again, as usual. Fitzpatrick ordered his usual fish, and Cohen ordered his usual steak.

    “Wait a minute”, FItzPatrick exclaimed, “you are a Catholic now, we Catholic’s don’t eat meat on Friday as a sacrifice; a small symbol of respect to the sacrifice the Lord made on our behalf. You should order fish like me”.

    “No, no”, replied Cohen, “It will be alright, you’ll see”.

    “But… but… but…” FitzPatrick stammered. “Just wait”, said Cohen. It’s your turn for a joke, but please, no Rabbi jokes today.

    When the steak arrived, FitzPatrick was scandalized, but they said grace together. Then just before starting to eat, Cohen made the sign of the cross and spoke the magic words: “Born a cow, raised a cow, now a fish”.

  111. avatar
    Jim F December 5, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    I have a confession to make! When I turn on my computer the first thing I do is go to Orly’s site. I have become obsessed with her latest findings and speculations. She seems to have taken great solace in the judges ruling that she could have cameras in the courtroom, after all what is the point if she doen’t get herself on u-tube. At least one judge out of a hundred agreed with something she said, even if it had nothing to do with the case. But, back to my problem. Are there any others out there who are experiencing the same symptoms and is there any help for it? My difficulty is that I am even more addicted to the comments that follow each new post. If they don’t stop soon I will be carted off with an acute case of Laughter Caused By Nuts. This is a new disease and I just hope that they find a cure for it soon.

  112. avatar
    Majority Will December 5, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Jim F:
    I have a confession to make! When I turn on my computer the first thing I do is go to Orly’s site. I have become obsessed with her latest findings and speculations. She seems to have taken great solace in the judges ruling that she could have cameras in the courtroom, after all what is the point if she doen’t get herself on u-tube. At least one judge out of a hundred agreed with something she said, even if it had nothing to do with the case.But, back to my problem. Are there any others out there who are experiencing the same symptoms and is there any help for it?My difficulty is that I am even more addicted to the comments that follow each new post.If they don’t stop soon I will be carted off with an acute case of Laughter Caused By Nuts. This is a new disease and I just hope that they find a cure for it soon.

    It is like watching a long, slow motion train wreck. I have no sympathy for her and karma will eventually catch up fully and conclusively.

  113. avatar
    The Magic M December 5, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Jim F: When I turn on my computer the first thing I do is go to Orly’s site.

    I usually start the birtherism day with “Post and Email” (usually I catch the latest crappy idea over there, though they have gone down significantly in originality), then this site (to see what fun has already been made of it), then Patrick’s “badfiction” (for the best overview of what I might have missed), then Orly’s site for best amusement.
    Sometimes I also check what WND and Dr Kate have thrown up, or look for Scribd links over at “nativeborncitizen”.
    Once a week I check out ORYR and Mario’s site, just for completeness.
    I tend to ignore YouTube as it really gets me sidetracked every time.

    (Birther sites aren’t the first I visit, though, I usually check my email and Facebook before on my phone.)

  114. avatar
    jayhg December 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    Jim F: I have a confession to make! When I turn on my computer the first thing I do is go to Orly’s site. I have become obsessed with her latest findings and speculations. She seems to have taken great solace in the judges ruling that she could have cameras in the courtroom, after all what is the point if she doen’t get herself on u-tube. At least one judge out of a hundred agreed with something she said, even if it had nothing to do with the case. But, back to my problem. Are there any others out there who are experiencing the same symptoms and is there any help for it? My difficulty is that I am even more addicted to the comments that follow each new post. If they don’t stop soon I will be carted off with an acute case of Laughter Caused By Nuts. This is a new disease and I just hope that they find a cure for it soon.

    My guilty “pleasure” is Free Republic. I love to read the comments on anything birther and watch them twist themselves into knots trying to force the law to say that two parent citizenship rule is the law. Any pushback from the two or three sane posters is met with high pitched screams of YOU LOVE OBAMA!!!

    I’m too scared to go to Orly’s site…….i went once and some virus on there destroyed my computer…..thankfully I was at work cause if I had been at home, I would have had to either pay huge sums of money or throw it out altogether. The IT guy at my job just took the computer and gave me a new one!!! I told him I didn’t remember the website I had tried to access. He said it was a really bad bug. So I don’t go to Orly’s website any more. Bummer, cause reading those nut comments was wildly entertaining.

  115. avatar
    Arthur December 5, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    jayhg: I’m too scared to go to Orly’s site…….i went once and some virus on there destroyed my computer…..thankfully I was at work cause if I had been at home, I would have had to either pay huge sums of money or throw it out altogether. The IT guy at my job just took the computer and gave me a new one!!! I told him I didn’t remember the website I had tried to access. He said it was a really bad bug. So I don’t go to Orly’s website any more. Bummer, cause reading those nut comments was wildly entertaining.

    The last time I was on Orly’s site, maybe nine months ago, the computer I was using became infected and no malware fixes would work. This was on my college computer, one that’s protected by a very roboust security system. The IT department had a difficult time trying to rid my computer of Orly’s stench.

  116. avatar
    G December 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks for the link. That story also provides a link to another interesting story – Donald Trump is still talking Birtherism… which in light of his Dec 27th scheduled debate “moderator” stunt, is newsworthy:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/updates/2420

    Trump also brought up the Birther topic, defending that he still has “questions” in talking with Chuck Todd this morning:

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2011/12/05/trump_yells_at_todd.html

    And there is this:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/284917/trump-questions-obamas-birth-certificate-katrina-trinko

    So yeah, just today, we’ve got Donald Trump crapping Birther talking points on at least 3 different documented occasions. Worthy of its own article by Doc C when he returns.

    Phil Cave: From Salon today.http://www.salon.com/2011/12/05/nine_nh_republicans_help_birther_cause/

  117. avatar
    ellen December 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    None of the Republican candidates for president has shown her or his birth certificate yet, and all of them are claimed to have been born at places in the USA that are a LOT closer to foreign countries than Hawaii is to the nearest foreign country, and some of them had parents who could easily afford trips abroad. Yet, the birthers do not even ask to see the Republican candidates’ birth certificates. Wonder why???

  118. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    I concur.

    G: So yeah, just today, we’ve got Donald Trump crapping Birther talking points on at least 3 different documented occasions. Worthy of its own article by Doc C when he returns.

  119. avatar
    That Other Mike December 6, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    Keith:
    And yet another:

    Two Jews are walking along the street when they see a Catholic church. There’s a sign by the door that says “Convert to Catholicism! We’ll pay you $200!”

    One says to the other, “Maybe I’ll give it a try.” And so he goes into the church, and his friend waits outside. After about 15 mins, out he comes.

    “How was it?” says his friend. “Did you get the $200?”

    “Feh!” says the convert. “Don’t you people think of anything but money?”

  120. avatar
    Majority Will December 6, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Speaking of Birther Republicans being a laughing stock, why aren’t (more) sane Republicans thoroughly embarrassed and outraged at Hedgehog Head Trump as scary clown host and Newt’s backing of the birther friendly Newsmax’s upcoming, faux Presidential debate debacle?

  121. avatar
    Daniel December 6, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Majority Will:
    Speaking of Birther Republicans being a laughing stock, why aren’t (more) sane Republicans thoroughly embarrassed and outraged at Hedgehog Head Trump as scary clown host and Newt’s backing of the birther friendly Newsmax’s upcoming, faux Presidential debate debacle?

    We’re hiding our faces in shame.

    Seriously though, for most of us “sane” Republicans, we realize that the GOP has determined it’s chances at winning the next election are slim at best. In that atmosphere, there’s simply no reason for decent, intelligent, conservative candidates to bother going for the nomination, when defeat in the Presidential race is practically a career ender, if you plan on going anywhere but back to the senate.

    Thus you have the nutbags and the shysters, who wouldn’t stand a chance of getting the nomination otherwise, vying for the chance to run a campaign they cannot win.

  122. avatar
    Whatever4 December 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Majority Will:
    Speaking of Birther Republicans being a laughing stock, why aren’t (more) sane Republicans thoroughly embarrassed and outraged at Hedgehog Head Trump as scary clown host and Newt’s backing of the birther friendly Newsmax’s upcoming, faux Presidential debate debacle?

    Some of us sane ones have already left the party. Others, like my mother, are pretending that the national races don’t matter and bringing sanity to local races is what’s important. (She’s stopped mentioning her party affiliation, though.)

  123. avatar
    misha December 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Daniel: for most of us “sane” Republicans

    The sane GOP died along with Nelson Rockefeller, who served four consecutive NY governor terms. I voted for him, I would like to note. In his fifteenth year, he was confirmed as US vice president, and acquitted himself well along with Gerald Ford.

    Ford put John Paul Stevens on the Court, a superb justice. Bush Sr. put Clarence Thomas on the Court, the worst justice since Taney. Quite a distinction. It’s not all Bush Sr.’s fault. Biden voted to confirm him.

    Daniel: defeat in the Presidential race is practically a career ender

    Nixon lost to Kennedy, came back, and defeated Humphrey. Nixon had the most corrupt administration in US history, especially Spiro ‘show me the money’ Agnew.

    I would like to note, the Cold War started to end with Nixon. Not only China, but détente, which was Kissinger’s idea.

    Note to Charo: See? I’m not dogmatic.

    I still like Charo better when she was hanging with Xavier Cugat. Cue the rotten tomatoes in 3, 2, 1…

  124. avatar
    misha December 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Daniel: Thus you have the nutbags

    Did you know, the actual model for Newt Gingrich is the Pillsbury Doughboy? If you want an Aipac puppet, vote for Newt. Gingrich is an anti-Semite. He hates Arabs. That’s an anti-Semite, too.

    “Newt Gingrich said he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem on his first day in office as president.”

    Yeah, they all say that. Once in office, they say ‘the State Department says I can’t.”

    “We first need to acknowledge that 20 years of trying to negotiate peace with evil regimes and organizations dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and in many cases our own destruction, has been a failure…”

    Try the Council of Conservative Citizens, which is the KKK in business suits, and is his base.

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/06/13/3088104/gingrich-would-move-embassy-on-first-day

  125. avatar
    misha December 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Whatever4: Some of us sane ones have already left the party.

    Like Ron Reagan Jr, who got fed up and left. Also, Christoper Buckley.

    Reagan was a B list actor. Nonsense. He successfully played president for 8 years. He should have been given 8 Oscars for Best Screenplay, and 8 Oscars for Best Male Lead.

  126. avatar
    G December 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    You do realize that your only true hope is to abandon support for the diseased GOP institution, so it can completely crash and burn on its own, right?

    If you continue to enable it, the crazies will just continue to drive it further into a body of dangerous madness. They must be allowed to flame out on their own in order for any chance of sanity to arise from its ashes.

    Daniel: We’re hiding our faces in shame.Seriously though, for most of us “sane” Republicans, we realize that the GOP has determined it’s chances at winning the next election are slim at best. In that atmosphere, there’s simply no reason for decent, intelligent, conservative candidates to bother going for the nomination, when defeat in the Presidential race is practically a career ender, if you plan on going anywhere but back to the senate.Thus you have the nutbags and the shysters, who wouldn’t stand a chance of getting the nomination otherwise, vying for the chance to run a campaign they cannot win.

  127. avatar
    Arthur December 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Misha!

    Take the quiz that’s linked in the Open Thread. It’s a few comments back from the current comments. I predicted you’d receive a score under a “2” and be classified as a “Whining Rotter.”

    Don’t let me down!

  128. avatar
    Rickey December 6, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    misha:
    Nixon lost to Kennedy, came back, and defeated Humphrey.

    That’s true, but an anomaly. Every losing candidate since 1968 failed to be nominated again.

    Humphrey
    McGovern
    Ford
    Carter
    Mondale
    Dukakis
    George H.W. Bush
    Dole
    Gore
    Kerry
    McCain

    I believe that Daniel is probably correct and that some Republicans have calculated that it will be easier to win in 2016.

  129. avatar
    G December 6, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    I want to hear Daniel’s & everyone else’s results too!

    It really is a neat test, particularly since it was designed with the sensibilities of another time in mind…so take it folks & report back, please!

    Arthur: Misha! Take the quiz that’s linked in the Open Thread. It’s a few comments back from the current comments. I predicted you’d receive a score under a “2‘ and be classified as a “Whining Rotter.”Don’t let me down!

  130. avatar
    misha December 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Arthur: Misha! Take the quiz that’s linked in the Open Thread. It’s a few comments back from the current comments. I predicted you’d receive a score under a “2‘ and be classified as a “Whining Rotter.” Don’t let me down!

    G: I want to hear Daniel’s & everyone else’s results too!

    I scored 1.53: “You are a whining rotter.”
    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/11/the-occasional-open-thread-share-your-two-bits/#comment-139428

  131. avatar
    Arthur December 6, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    misha: I scored 1.53: “You are a whining rotter.”http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2011/11/the-occasional-open-thread-share-your-two-bits/#comment-139428

    VICTORY!

  132. avatar
    misha December 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    Rickey: some Republicans have calculated that it will be easier to win in 2016.

    It won’t. The ’16 candidate will be Cory Booker.

    “After Stanford, Booker earned a Rhodes Scholarship and studied at The Queen’s College, Oxford, where he was awarded an honours degree in modern history in 1994. While at Oxford, he became friends with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and became President of the L’Chaim Society, the local chapter of Chabad, and brought together a diverse community there.”

    He has the Jewish vote locked up, from day One. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cory_Booker

  133. avatar
    Keith December 7, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    Rickey: That’s true, but an anomaly. Every losing candidate since 1968 failed to be nominated again.

    Humphrey
    McGovern
    Ford
    Carter
    Mondale
    Dukakis
    George H.W. Bush
    Dole
    Gore
    Kerry
    McCain

    I believe that Daniel is probably correct and that some Republicans have calculated that it will be easier to win in 2016.

    You can add 1964 Goldwater to your list.

  134. avatar
    Keith December 7, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Mine was around 2.2 or something like that. I forgot already.

    G:
    I want to hear Daniel’s & everyone else’s results too!

    It really is a neat test, particularly since it was designed with the sensibilities of another time in mind…so take it folks & report back, please!

  135. avatar
    Keith December 7, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    I think the reason it was so high (around 2.2) is that I think that sex crimes like rape and pedophilia should be punished severely.

    Like the perp should have his (assumption) balls cut off and fed to a Tasmanian Tiger in a public ceremony. Some imaginative soul can come up with an equivalent punishment for female rapists, I’m sure.

  136. avatar
    The Magic M December 7, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Just did the test, 2.6.

  137. avatar
    G December 7, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    I’m with you mostly on that. Although I’m not for public ceremonies of bloodlust. Purely for the seriousness & heinousness of the crimes as well as to deter future crimes, I think castration is a justified and pragmatic part of the punishment required in such crimes, provided that the evidence is clear enough to prevent cases of mistaken identify or false accusation.

    Keith: I think the reason it was so high (around 2.2) is that I think that sex crimes like rape and pedophilia should be punished severely.Like the perp should have his (assumption) balls cut off and fed to a Tasmanian Tiger in a public ceremony. Some imaginative soul can come up with an equivalent punishment for female rapists, I’m sure.

  138. avatar
    Majority Will December 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Keith:
    I think the reason it was so high (around 2.2) is that I think that sex crimes like rape and pedophilia should be punished severely.

    Like the perp should have his (assumption) balls cut off and fed to a Tasmanian Tiger in a public ceremony. Some imaginative soul can come up with an equivalent punishment for female rapists, I’m sure.

    Unless you’re Joe Arpaio who evidently finds that hundreds of sex crimes are an unwelcome nuisance and get in the way of more important missions like appeasing bigots.