27 September 2005
Sept. 27, 2005
Another insightful article by Borowitz. One can only hope that the rest of American can see as well as Borowitz that Dubya is more concerned with illusion than reality.
14 September 2005
13 September 2005
Did you watch the Agassi-Blake match tonight? I was like totally in to it, Blake wins first two sets, looks hopeless for Agassi. But NO, Agassi keeps playing and Blake fades a bit. AGASSI wins next two sets! Fifth set. Tied. The tension is incredible.
Then, the damned coverage on USA is over and they start showing Law and Order! Go to your CBS affiliate station, they say. I go. CBS here is showing David Letterman. I freaked.
I couldn't stand it and I called J even though it was midnight CDT (and he usually goes to bed before 10), but he was still up watching the tennis. I made him stay on the phone for twenty minutes, telling me what was happening, until it was over.
Agassi won in a tie-break in the 5th. Marvelous. Amazing. Incredible. My feel-good moment for the whole US Open. And I MISSED IT. Damn. Shit. Hell.
PS: An hour later CBS showed the rest of the match from the point of interruption. It was beyond words -- Blake was serving for the match and Agassi broke him. Then Blake almost broke him back. But he couldn't.
It was like two heavyweight boxers in a championship match. Amazing tennis.
Then Agassi was down in the tie-break, 0/3. But still, Agassi won. Blake was awesome -- power, grace, and agility. Agassi was Agassi -- calm determination and gasp-inducing shot-making. The most beautiful kind of tennis from start to finish.
I can't for the life of me figure out why the press refers to James Blake as African American. He more than 50% white. His mother is as blonde and fair as they come. All his friends are white. His girlfriend is the blondest of the blonde. And yet, he's still, apparently, black. I wonder what it takes to make a person white in our society?
05 September 2005
"It's been a tough week, and there's not much I can say about the unfolding tragedy that hasn't already been said -- and felt.
"My column from yesterday's paper is now on the Reason Gone Mad site, and it's a non-comedic take on why I believe we need leaders who are not anti-government, particularly at times when effective administration of
the tools of government could save thousands of lives.
"I also tried to funnel some of my anger and frustration into a humor piece, "White House is Declared a Federal Disaster Area," which I posted in the blog at http://www.reasongonemad.com/blog"
04 September 2005
03 September 2005
Another article from Newsweek illuminates how Bush is more about image than substance. He was sitting at his ranch with his thumb up his butt when one of his advisors must've decided he needed to look like he was actually doing something about Katrina.
02 September 2005
Ms. Willis is a writer, researcher, and genealogist, and author of the forthcoming book, Notes and Documents of Free Persons of Color: Colonial Virginia, 1650-1850 (March 2003).
Willis's article is thought-provoking and if her book poses similar arguments, I think it would make worthwhile reading. Here's a quote from "The Roots of Racial Profiling".
"Although racial profiling is not backed by written statutes, its roots are in the laws enacted during colonial times. Racial profiling, for want of a better term, is a Gateway Act -- an excuse used to approach citizens assumed to be criminals."
Wilis describes what happened to Mary, a seven-year-old girl in 17th-century Virginia, who was taken to court, judged to be mulatto, and then sentenced to a thirty-year indenture with the Washington family. Willis writes: "Because of her mixed race status, Mary had no rights in her community. Today , because of their appearance and ethnicity, citizens are being stopped, searched, and arrested. Were Mary to return to modern-day America she might pause to wonder if she was in the 18th century, not the 21st."
I think the foregoing is a bit of hyperbole and grossly overstated--does she really see but little difference between the plight of 17th- and 21st-century blacks or mixed race/non-white people in the US? -- yet I think her assertions provide some interesting grist for the mill in our study of the history of race relations in the South.
[Be sure to read the very polemical comments(arguments) asccessible through the link at the bottom of the article page.]
[See also "ANNOUNCEMENT OF BOOK RELEASE - NOTES AND DOCUMENTS OF FREE PERSONS OF COLOR: COLONIAL VIRGINIA 1650-1850 (#5499) by Anita Wills on December 7, 2002". Note that Ms. Willis's book is published by a genealogical publisher, rather than an academic press.]
The Sin of Blasphemy
Pat Robertson’s latest remarks have our columnist wondering: What does it really mean to be Christian?
By Patti Davis
Newsweek; Updated: 3:27 p.m. ET Aug. 23, 2005
Aug. 23, 2005 - Pat Robertson considers himself a man of God, a Christian, a preacher of the Gospel. To all of these aspects of his self-delusion, the only appropriate response is: Huh? His latest suggestion, as this self-proclaimed man of God, is that Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, should be assassinated. On his “700 Club” TV show, Robertson said Chavez could turn Venezuela into a safe haven for Communist and Muslim extremists. "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," said Robertson, who founded the Christian Coalition. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
True men of God, of course, do not entertain such notions. They certainly don’t preach them. Men of blasphemy do.
Did Robertson lose his Bible? Or has he simply rewritten it in his own language? What happened to “Thou Shalt Not Kill?” This is not the first time Robertson has expressed a fondness for assassination. In October 2003 he suggested that nuclear weapons be dropped on the State Department.
Have any authorities checked his basement?
Here’s what I’m curious about. How does someone who has wrapped himself in the cloak of Christianity for decades come up with such ideas and express them with such ease? Does he pray first? Does he get on his knees, close his eyes and say, “God, I really want to take a few people out here. I know we’re all supposed to be your children, but there are some bad ones in the bunch and I’m figuring they probably got through by mistake. So how about culling the herd?” And then does he actually imagine God answering him and saying, “Go forth, my child with whatever weapons you can find. If you can’t scrounge up any yourself, spread the word. Preach to the masses. Someone will pick up the sword, pull the trigger or drop the bomb.”
At the risk of sounding quaint, this is just not the God I was raised with, and it certainly isn’t the God who answers me. I close my eyes sometimes and say, “God, I gave someone the finger today when I was driving. I know I shouldn’t have.” And what I hear back is something like, “I saw that. And I’ve told you before, that was a child of mine too. A tailgating one, but my child nonetheless.”
I’m actually feeling a lot better now about my temper flares in traffic. At least I’ve never considered using weaponry.
I’m sure the members of the Christian Coalition won’t take my suggestions, but they might want to consider making a rule that anyone who calls himself a Christian has to have some passing acquaintance with the teachings of Jesus. I’m no Biblical scholar but I am absolutely sure that Jesus never suggested assassinating anyone.
When I lived in New York City, I used to give money to a homeless man who stood on the same corner of Columbus Avenue every day, rain or shine. He was never pushy, he was always polite, and I just felt like giving him money. One day, I saw a man in a business suit getting right in this man’s face, waving a Bible at him and telling him he was a sinner and he had to accept Jesus and ask forgiveness for his sins. I walked up, gave the homeless man a five and said to the sidewalk preacher, “You know, Jesus would never do what you’re doing.” I walked away quickly before he could hit me with his Bible. And I walked away feeling very sorry for Jesus. People keep doing things in his name that are so un-Christianlike.
Well, if I felt sorry for Jesus then, I feel like weeping for him now. Shouldn’t people like Pat Robertson just go start their own religion and leave Jesus out of it?
I found another quote of Robertson’s from several years ago. He said that feminism encourages women “to kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
I would respond to this but I have to go boil some eye of newt, lizard tails and pig blood. And I am so behind on my schedule to bring down the bastions of capitalism. I got delayed because I was flirting with this cute girl down the street.
Davis, the daughter of Nancy and Ronald Reagan, is a writer based in Los Angeles.
© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.
© 2005 MSNBC.com