Welcome Back (To Reality)

by matttbastard

Via Fern Hill @ Birth Pangs: we here at bastard.logic also love New York:

The Bush administration’s Abstinence Only Program is an example of a failed national health-care policy directive, based on ideology rather than on sound scientific-based evidence that must be the cornerstone of good public health-care policy.

I believe this is what is commonly known as a “moment of clarity”. Of course, the usual suspects are demonstratively calling for a waahmbulance. Hey, I’ve got the first 25 pennies covered if someone else wants to pony up the other half.

Side note: am I the only one who regularly mistakes Leslee Unrah for Leslie Uggams?

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Jena 6 Update: Exploitation Escalates; More Blog Reactions

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

No surprises here: Hatewatch reports that a well-known white supremacist has attempted to exploit Justin Barker, the white teenager who was beaten allegedly by the so-called Jena 6. According to Hatewatch, Richard Barrett of the Nationalist Movement “met with 17-year-old Barker, along with his father David Barker, the night before the rally.” Barrett also says that he obtained a statement from Justin stating “the ones who attacked me are getting money for beating me up” and “express[ing] gratitude” to Justin’s supporters.

However, as Hatewatch points out:

There is no evidence to suggest that Justin or David Barker had any inkling who Barrett was when he apparently showed up at their door. According to Barrett’s own account, he approached the Barkers to offer support for the family and to try to get more media attention for Justin’s injuries and his version of events.

The Clarion-Ledger confirms that Barker’s statement was apparently obtained by Barrett under false pretenses:

He led us to believe he was just down here to find out Justin’s part of the story,“ David Barker said of Barrett. ”He said he was going to the rally just to see what was going on.“

David Barker said Barrett never gave them the impression that he was involved in a white-supremacist organization. Barker said he specifically asked about affiliations with organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.

”He said, ’No, I’m a lawyer that goes around trying to help families that can’t help themselves,’“ Kelli Barker said.

Elsewhere: – Lambert of Corrente give a broad runs down of some blog coverage, including the belated A-lister response, noting the latter “all seem to link to each other…not to the [smaller/POC] blogs I listed first”. To his credit, Lambert also acknowledges Corrente’s participation in the circular coverage.

– Blackamazon reminds us that, contra what will likely soon become conventional wisdom, this past Thursday’s mobilization was not an exclusively ‘black’ event, nor the culmination of efforts by the mainstream civil rights establishment. Rather, the march on Jena was “a multi pronged multi racial multi front cooperative even if uncoordinated concern. By the time Jesse and Al are involved it’s been in papers and radio stations around the world.” (Case in point: BBC News broadcast a documentary on Jena back in May, long before Al and Jesse started sheddin’ tears for the cameras.)

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

Donna Darko takes Chicago Tribune reporter Howard Witt to task for giving credit to “hip-hop music blogs” and “popular black entertainers such as Mos Def” for bringing attention to Jena, rather than the female bloggers and activists–especially women of colour–who, from the beginning, did most of the heavy lifting. (h/t SassyWho)

– Via Slant Truth, Rachel has some sage advice for those wishing engage the broader white public in Jena-related discussions:

…[W]hen people try to frame the discussion around only the fight or only Jena, Louisiana, don’t let them. The case itself is much broader, and the issues of our criminal (in)justice system are way bigger than Jena, Louisiana.

– And as always, keep checkin’ the Thin Black Duke and his regularly updated Bloggers For Jena post.

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File Under: ‘Parody Is Superfluous’

by matttbastard

x-posted @ Comments From Left Field

Looks like Buddy Christ has walked off the big screen and onto the shelves of North America’s largest retailer. In These Times reports that Wal-Mart is selling a 12-inch talking Jesus doll – a 12-inch talking Jesus doll that “looks remarkably like the Brawny Paper Towel Man, has kung-fu grip and utters soothing but authoritarian Bible quotes, like, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3)””.

Again, this is why I stopped reading The Onion years ago: the absurdity of contemporary existence is already quite apparent without requiring any exaggeration.

Flashback – Related: Max Blumenthal on the insidious military outreach efforts of Stephen Baldwin (yes, that Stephen Baldwin — apparently the lamest youngest Baldwin brother has been ensnared by Christ’s brawny kung fu grip) and Operation Straight Up (OSU):

As an official arm of the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a “Military Crusade in Iraq” in the near future.

“We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region,” OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. “We’ll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq.”

Jesus wept.

Update: For Christ’s sake – you really can’t make this shit up.

Also, please do take the time to read in its entirety the Radar/Stephen Baldwin interview linked above – even the mighty Jon Swift couldn’t pen something this (unintentionally) hilarious, nor quotable.

Random snippet:

What’s your take on Tom Cruise, who’s also gotten some flak for his faith.
Let me just start a little trouble here. On the Hollywood list of people I pray for often, Tom Cruise is probably No. 1. All I have to say to Tom is, God bless ya, I hope you’re having fun. But I’d love through Radar magazine to throw a gauntlet down to Mr. Cruise. I’d love to break bread with him and pray with him, and I’d love for the Holy Spirit of God to reveal the truth to him. That would be an awesome thing. I remember Tom back in the day. I did Born on the Fourth of July with him. And he’s a very different guy now.

In what way?
That regular Joe quality seems to have been lost. When you buy enough of your own hype, then it’s not who you are anymore. It becomes about how you’re perceived. I’d rather be young little sweet little Jesus Freak Stevie B any day of the week. Seriously though, can you put us together? Can we get a little sushi together? I’d like to give him a spicy Jesus roll.

Spicy…Jesus…roll? Buh?! You know, I never thought that anyone could make a bat-shit crazy Hubbard-humper like Jumpy McCoucherson seem positively rational by comparison.

Update 2: “Why Should God Bless America?” Definitive proof that ‘IOKIYAR’ isn’t just a clever acronym.

Goddammit, after drowning in an unholy deluge of poisonous, all-American Christianism, I need an antidote (if not a towel). And, all apologies to Howie Klein, the late, great Woody Guthrie just don’t cut it. A pair of selections from the gloriously Godless Greg Graffin and Co. seem more appropriate atm:

“He’s the farmer barren fields, (In God)
The force the army wields, (We trust)
The expression in the faces of the starving millions, (Because he’s one of us)
The power of the man. (Break down)
He’s the fuel that drives the Klan, (Cave in)
He’s the motive and the conscience of the murderer (He can redeem your sins)
He’s the preacher on TV, (Strong heart)
The false sincerity, (Clear mind)
The form letter that’s written by the big computer, (And indefinitely kind)
He’s the nuclear bombs, (You lose)
And the kids with no moms (We win)
And I’m fearful that he’s inside me (He is our champion)”

There’s no justice
Just a cause and a cure
And a bounty of suffering
It seems we all endure
And what I’m frightened of
Is that they call it “God’s love”

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