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June 24, 2003

Quick takes.

Liberal rabblerouser Digby with some sensible advice for everyone interested in beating Bush.

Henry Farrell (seen right) displays his eminently good taste.

Arab belief in the fraudulent Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: still a problem.

Lester Maddox is still alive? (Via War Liberal.) (UPDATE: Not any more.)

A day at the races.

The trouble with dismissing “conspiracy theories” wholesale is that, in the real world, people actually conspire.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden makes the world’s best vegetable soup. No link; you’ll have to take my word for it. [10:39 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Quick takes.:

Randy Paul ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2003, 10:54 PM:

Forget the link, just post the recipe!

Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2003, 10:58 PM:

(1) Marry Teresa Nielsen Hayden (nee9 Nielsen).

(2) Help shop for vegetables.

(3) Decant soup into bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2.

Well, it worked for me. Your soupage may vary.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 02:33 AM:

IJWTS thanks for the link to the horse race story. I laughed so hard I started coughing and nearly fell off the bed. It was the the Tongan airliner crashing into the Taco Bell in Chinatown that did it. And the Teletubby prostitutes. I haven't laughed that hard since we saw The Producers.


Alec Austin ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 05:32 AM:

And of course, the "Family" links are chilling. It's amazing to me that an organization whose doctrine of unity boils down to the idea that wealth and power justify themselves bother to veil its members' desire for control with religion-- but I suppose it started out that way, and probably wouldn't be half as effective at bringing in and keeping its recruits if it was more explicit about its priorities...

Randy Paul ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 09:19 AM:

Well, I can't accomplish number one for two reasons, but Me9rcia Maria Esteves Barbosa makes the world's best lentil soup and I'd be willing to trade recipes.

Keith ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 10:12 AM:

In response to Alec's post:

I think it's a historical concept. Power and religion have always been linked, sort of like Jesus is the chocolate coating that makes the power pill go down easier. Naked Power moves spook people but if you convince them that they aren't really naked, that it's all for God then they feel like they're dressed to the nines even if they are just strutting around in their birthday suit, spouting gibberish and shooting googly eyes at a snapshot of Hitler-- that's the part that scared me.

Kris Hasson-Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 01:55 PM:

So, is this an Atkins-friendly vegetable soup?

Lydia Nickerson ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 06:01 PM:

Alec Austin said: It's amazing to me that an organization whose doctrine of unity boils down to the idea that wealth and power justify themselves bother to veil its members' desire for control with religion...

Matthew 25:28-30

28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29a0a0a0For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

30a0a0a0And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Christianity has long linked virtue with wealth, just as it has long linked virtue with poverty. Don't ask me, I just live here. Still, the idea that the virtuous are rewarded is a very pervasive idea, often at the center of a particular denomination or congregation. I believe that Jim and Tammy Faye Baker sold that line until it was discovered that their wealth was not, in fact, coming from the Lord. I've known a well-meaning (?) Christian ask a person with terminal cancer what sin the person had commited, that God had dealt out such a harsh punishment.

There is a smugness that goes with power and money, especially inherited power and money, that suits very well a particular type of self-satisfied religious viewpoint. (My favorite example is the assertion that God is English.) It is my opinion that the most frightening thing about "The Family" is that they sound as if they are true believers. Oh, not all of them, sure. But I would venture to guess that significantly more than half do believe. After all, look at all they have been given, how can they not have been blessed by God?

They don't believe in the rest of the world. The idea that wealth is built on the backs of the poor is alien to them. Wealth is built by making deals with the wealthy. Power can't be shared. It can be traded, transferred, bought, sold, given, and stolen, but it cannot ever transfer downwards, not even a little.

"...unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance..." I've always found the parables problematic. They seem to me to be all over the map, which is one of the reasons why Christianity can claim both Jimmy Swaggart and Dorothy Day.

Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 06:39 PM:

It's the Son of Man Family, and they've planned a really cool Helter-Skelter.

LauraJMixon ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 07:59 PM:

Soup. Yum. Teresa does amazing things with food.

Steve made a fabulous fish soup yesterday. Today it was chicken curry, all from scratch. I'm so glad my husband likes to cook.

I have to admit, I love the Potter books. Her prose isn't her greatest strength -- she has adverb- and adjectivitis, and she tells us way more than she needs to about what's going on, sometimes -- but her characters, plotting, and worldbuilding all rate highly in my book -- she always knows exactly when to give readers the information they need -- and she really gets teenagers, right down to their bone marrow.


Darren "Handsome" Madigan ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 08:28 PM:

Wow. I seem to be the first commenter on the Digby stuff.

Which is scary and brutal and probably correct.

Nonetheless, I will continue to live on dream time and cast my vote for whoever I personally think will make the best President. Just like I did in Florida in 2000 for Ralph Nader.

No, I will not tell you where I live.

Keith ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2003, 09:59 PM:

Don't apologise for voting Nader! I don't buy this argumant that if the Nader voters had cast their ballot for Gore he would have won. Gore did win. The Supreme Court canceled the election results. We had no idea then what the people backing Bush were capable of or willing to resort to.

Yeah, I voted Nader, too what of it?

And I'll vote Dem this time around because I want my government back. I want to have th eoption of voting for the wacky, rumpled seat belt freak of my choice without having to worry that someone will blame me for Shrub a Dub's coup.

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2003, 01:15 AM:

Lydy: I belive it's the Puritans who enshrined that meme "God rewards the elect with material prosperity. As I recall one of my English profs gave us the mnemonic TULIP for the Puritans. Standing for the Total depravity of man, I forget what U is, Limited numbers to be chosen, the Impossibility of earning salvation -- it is granted by God's grace, and Prosperity.


Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2003, 07:33 AM:

Nader was a right-wing puppet. His organization deliberately targeted the most liberal candidate in each race to split the vote on the left, thus electing candidates further to the right than would otherwise have happened.

And if Gore had taken more other states, the Republican electoral manipulation in Florida would not have mattered. And if Gore had taken Florida by a wider margin, again their manipulation would not have mattered, and the inJustices of the Supreme Court would not have been able to appoint Resident Bush.

I cannot understand how any intelligent person could possibly believe Nader was sincere in wanting to shift the country to the left. His actions had the opposite effect, and he's a smart enough man to know what effect they would have.

Yeah, he wanted to "send a message" to the Democratic Party. But the message was "we on the right have this country sewn up, so you might as well fold your tent and head for the hills, because we're going to slide into pseudo-Christian fascism no matter what you do."

He was lying to you. Wake up.

Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2003, 12:04 PM:

The truth of the matter, Xopher, is that they c3a2e282ace2809d Nader, Bush, Gore, Lieberman, Dean, Kucinich, Kerry, Edwards, et al. c3a2e282ace2809d are all the tools of the [fnord]Bavarian Illuminati.[/fnord] Everything that has happened since 1776 has been in accordance with their diabolically clever schemes.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2003, 12:37 PM:

Damnit, Bostick, you damn well you're not supposed to spill Level III information in . . . well, what's done is done.

Everyone, please stare at the asterisk below until you forget what Alan wrote:


Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2003, 12:53 PM:

I knew itfnord!

Darren Madigan ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2003, 01:09 PM:

Hey, I saw the fnords. Doesn't that mean I'm supposed to be enlightened now?

anyway, while I'll believe in secret conspiracies to control the economy and police our very thoughts, I simply cannot bring myself to the point where I'm willing to accept that some secret power group is responsible for Carrot Head.

Humanity cannot be that evil.

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2003, 07:45 AM:

1. I didn't mean that Nader was really part of a conspiracy as such (and I'm sure his supporters include some true believers); I meant that he personally had the goal of helping defeat Gore, and thus elect Bush (didn't quite achieve that last, but Dubya got into office anyway). If you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action, especially the foreseeable consequences.

2. Humanity cannot be that evil. In a way, it's kind of sweet that you believe that in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There are no limits to the human capacity for evil. Individual evil (e.g. Hitler) or group evil (e.g. Nazi Germany). In fact, I'm even more pessimistic than that: while the Nazis are the most extreme example of human evil so far, there's no guarantee that the bottom has been reached.

Jeff Youngstrom ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2003, 05:25 PM:

I would invoke Godwin's Law, but it occurs to me that here in Electrolite's comment space it should be revised to refer to Nader instead of that other guy which would push the occurrence back by over 24 hours for this thread.

As far as Democratic candidates go, there's interesting things going on on the fundraising front in the Dean camp. I'm with Digby that whoever gets the nomination will get my enthusiastic support.