Traitors in our midst


I tend to be suspicious of theories that explain everything all at once, but this discussion of the Civil War really flicked on a light bulb for me. Once this model is in your head, it puts a lot of things into a new configuration that makes sense: modern racial oppression, the Tea Party, the Birther movement, and why I’ve never been able to sit through Gone With The Wind without stomping out in a rage. We lost the Civil War. The Confederacy is still pulling strings.

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Amy Goodman hosted a discussion between four progressives on the Hillary Clinton candidacy. It’s interesting reading, and I think is actually somewhat representative of the conversations I hear. Two of the four were lukewarm about Clinton — two detested her. I’d put myself in the cool to lukewarm camp myself, but the the other side rather discredited itself with all the enthusiastically goony praise for Rand Paul, highlighted by Charles Pierce. I’m sorry? Really? You want a more progressive candidate than Hillary Clinton, so you’re raving about a bizarrely theocratic racist Libertarian? That makes no sense.

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Searching for love in all the wrong places


Greta Christina does a marvelous job of rebuking American Atheists for their presence at CPAC. I agree completely with it. Go read it.

Nick Fish of American Atheists does a very good job of replying. In particular, he tries to put their efforts in a different light.

I want to clarify one thing right out of the gates: American Atheists did not attend CPAC with the purpose of “recruiting” conservatives into the broader atheist community. This is a misconception that I have seen repeated on Twitter, in the blogs, and in person. That this needed be clarified is likely a failure to clearly articulate it on our side. So, we’ll take our licks there.

It is much more accurate to say that we were there to empower atheists who already exist within the conservative community to be more vocal about their opposition to the theocratic elements of Republican Party orthodoxy.

Good try. Falls apart with a moment’s thought.

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I figured I might as well comply with Radford’s lawyers’ demands, since there wasn’t much effort required. I throw out a lot of my redundant correspondence, so when I went looking for bits of any conversations with Karen Stollznow, I only have one left, and it’s a doozy. It included several files documenting her claims. Here’s her letter, and you’ll immediately see a major problem.

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I’ve been served!


I just got handed a subpoena from Ben Radford’s lawyers, and I am ordered to produce:

  1. All communications, including email and voicemail communications, letters or memoranda, to or from Karen Stollznow from January 1, 2013 through the present including, without limitation, communications relating to Ben Radford by name or by implication.

  2. All email and voicemail communications to or from any person, persons, groups or organizations relating to Ben Radford or Karen Stollznow or both of them.

  3. Copies of all blog posts or comments authored by you that relate to Karen Stollznow and/or Ben Radford.

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“demographically symbolic” and rich, that’s how we pick our rulers


I am not happy about the idea of Hillary Clinton becoming president. She’s too conservative for me, too deeply in the pocket of Wall Street, was far too hawkish, and it is simply disturbing that the US, nominally a republic, has the same families running for the presidency over and over again. That tells me we’re actually living in a plutocracy, where money and connections define leadership.

When the Minnesota caucuses roll around next February, I’ll vote for anybody-but-Hillary. I would hope that at least some more progressive alternatives arise before the primaries, but right now she’s the anointed one, and her nomination is depressingly inevitable.

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Wrong interpretation, but the real thing is just as bad

I have to point out that Crooks and Liars got something wrong. They point out that an Alaska Republican said something incredibly stupid (surprise!), but they got what Charlie Huggins said wrong.

Huggins hails from Wasilla, and he wants middle schoolers subjected to DNA testing to see if they’re going to grow up to be criminals.

No. We can’t do that, obviously, because there is no genetic signature for criminality, so it would be stupid to suggest that. But Huggins wasn’t stupid, he was mainly wicked. Here’s what he actually said:

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