. . . Friday November 3, 2006

Devangelical and Sleeping with the Fishes Alone

The big headlines of the day include:

- Employee Drives to Work in the Morning

- Syrup on Pancakes?

- Some in the American Electorate not Well Informed

- Television Sort of Popular

These headlines are about as shocking as the news that Ted Haggard, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, has stepped down due to a gay sex and meth buying scandal. Haggard is one of more powerful religious-political figures in the country who participates in a weekly conference call with White House staffers. Whether this story is true or not (there’s already been an admission that some of what a male prostitute has accused Haggard of is accurate – he says he bought meth but never actually used it), it should hardly come as a shock. Is there anything more predictable than wanton hypocrisy from politically motivated moralists? (Yes, of course speaking against gay marriage was one of his favorite diatribes.)

And don’t get caught up in the hype. The “sin” in question here has nothing to do with Haggard’s sex life (which is none of our business) and everything to do with hypocrisy and manipulation in the name of political power. Haggard’s power is the scandal, not his personal preferences. The intersection of religion and political power could use a really big stoplight.

They Think You’re Stupid

Tom Friedman echoes some of my takes here earlier in the week as he examines the Kerry non-issue. A few outtakes:

“Every time you hear Mr. Bush or Mr. Cheney lash out against Mr. Kerry, I hope you will say to yourself, “They must think I’m stupid.” Because they surely do. They think that they can get you to overlook all of the Bush team’s real and deadly insults to the U.S. military over the past six years by hyping and exaggerating Mr. Kerry’s mangled gibe at the president. What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to the U.S. military than to send it into combat in Iraq without enough men … What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to our men and women in uniform than sending them off to war without the proper equipment … What could possibly be more injurious and insulting to our men and women in uniform than to send them off to war in Iraq without any coherent postwar plan for political reconstruction there?” Read on …

Steak and All You Can’t Eat Shrimp

Anyone see a trend developing when you read stories about the environment and our abuse of it? If not, see if this jars something. According to a recent study, overfishing and pollution are leading to a collapse of the populations of just about all seafood (some call it fish). According to one of the study’s authors: “At this point 29 percent of fish and seafood species have collapsed – that is, their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating. If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood species are projected to collapse within my lifetime – by 2048.”


Hips Hips Hooray

The NYT coverage of the Latin Grammy Awards begins with the following: “Shakira, the Colombian singer and songwriter who is both an ambitious artist and a hip-swiveling sex symbol…” That’s got to be as close to total self-actualization as anyone has ever come, no?

The British are Bumming, The British are Bumming

According to a recent poll taken by several international newspapers, a significant majority of folks in England feel U.S. policy has made the world less safe since 2001. Oh, Canadians and Mexicans feel the same.

Borat scores with critics (also challenged to a duel) … And a slightly different take on Borat and Anti-Semitism.

Since it’s Friday, let’s take a few moments to sit back and enjoy a blast from the past: The Rocket Lincoln Jump (link via kottke.org).

Sleeping with the Enemy

Now that Google is the owner of You Tube, they are of course trying to take the Tube legit by striking deals with all the major television content providers. These content providers smell an opportunity to score some big licensing dough. But do they really want to empower the company that is not so gradually eating away at their ad dollars? Do they have a choice?


Michael J. Fox is already an early winner in this campaign season because everyone is talking about stem cells. See his latest interview with Anderson Cooper (warning, Fox is up to his old shenanigans again with all the shaking at whatnot) … One of the dudes implicated in the Abu Ghraib scandal is being redeployed to Iraq (since Time broke the story, the Pentagon is reconsidering that idea) … L Ron Studio? Tom Cruise takes over United Artists … Will Wright’s next big game (his last one was The Sims) … Al Qaeda vs Brangelina? … Unemployment drops to a five year low … The end of cafeterias … Outsourcing healthcare … And the hitman and the internet

Concentration is important!