Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has received much ridicule (again) for a TV interview where he said, “Truth isn’t truth”.
The senate in Argentina recently voted to not allow abortions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and the Catholic church was instrumental in achieving that outcome.
The Catholic Church lobbied aggressively against the legalized abortion bill. Every year, about 500,000 illegal and unsafe abortions take place in the country, and since the abortion rights vote, at least one woman has died from an attempt to perform an abortion on herself.
Over in the UK, there have been a series of vicious attacks on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, charging that he is either an outright anti-Semite or that he coddles them, and that to allow him to continue as party leader would be to encourage a dangerous strain of anti-Semitism that is permeating British society. Norman G. Finkelstein takes a close look at these charges and the whole underlying issue of generalizations and stereotyping.
The pre-eminent leader of the Mormon church Russell Nelson announced that in future everyone should stop using the terms “Mormon Church”, “Mormons” and “Mormonism” when referring to the church or its members. Instead, the church should be called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” and the members as “members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” or “Latter-day Saints”. He said that even the abbreviation LDS should not be used. The church’s style guide has more.
I think Nelson is going to have a tough fight on this front. It would be like the Catholic Church asking to be referred to as the Roman Catholic Church and its members as Roman Catholics in future. Once people are used to calling an institution and its members something, it will be hard to change the usage.
Nelson said that his god had spoken to him and told him to tell the world all this. It would have been more likely to happen if his god had spoken directly to all of us. But he never does.
Matt Taibbi has an interesting piece about Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee for the senate seat in Virginia where he is challenging Democratic incumbent Tim Kaine who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Taibbi says that Stewart has distilled the essence of Trumpism and given us a glimpse of what that would look like without Trump.
In response to the Satanists installing a statue of Baphomet on the grounds of the state capital in Little Rock, Arkansas in response to the installation of a Ten Commandments monument, Republican state senator Jason Rapert, a minister and lead sponsor of the law allowing the Ten Commandments monument, promised to have the Satanist statue removed, saying that it will be a “very cold day in hell” before a statue of Baphomet would be installed.
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh used to be constantly in the news because of the extreme views he expressed. His radio show is still on the air daily, as far as I know, but we rarely hear about him. The same goes for other conservatives like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin who used their ability to take extreme stands and shock people to gain publicity for themselves.
I do not miss them at all but am curious as to why they have become largely marginal figures. It could be due to the operation of a media version of Gresham’s law that “bad money drives out good”. Alex Jones and Donald Trump have cranked up the outrageousness to 11 and thus hogged all the media attention and effectively muffled the voices of others in the marketplace of conservative extremism.
I am sure that there are still ‘dittoheads’ (what Limbaugh fans are called) out there who listen faithfully to his show. But he himself does not seem to be able to gain much attention from outside that world.
Netflix has abruptly cancelled the show The Break with Michelle Wolf after just 10 episodes, while it was on a brief hiatus. I had watched all of the shows and am puzzled by the cancellation. Netflix has not given its reasons for the decision and since it keeps its audience view numbers private, it is hard to know what triggered this.
Those wacky Satanists are at it again in their efforts to maintain the separation of church and state, targeting the inane practice of some legislatures to post monuments to the Ten Commandments on public grounds. Some people think that the lack of public religiosity is the cause of America’s descent into immorality and that reminding people about what their god expects of them will make their behavior better. There is so much that is obviously wrong with that view that I will not waste time dealing with it.
Most of us believe that money plays a huge negative role in American politics. Wealthy individuals, organizations, and lobbying groups give huge sums to politicians and those politicians then act in ways that benefit their donors either directly or indirectly. Of course, both parties vehemently deny that there is a quid pro quo, arguing that donors merely contribute to those elected officials and candidates who already agree with them. Some studies have seemed to provide support for this position.