Monthly Archives: April 2011

Two Chiefs of Staff Say US has Overreacted to Islamic Threat

Story found at Crooks and Liars.

The report says Americans are overreacting to Islamic extremism, underinvesting in their youth, and failing to embrace the sense of competition and opportunity that made America a world power. The United States has been increasingly consumed by seeing the world through the lens of threat, while failing to understand that influence, competitiveness, and innovation are the key to advancing American interests in the modern world.

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Filed under church and state, domestic terrorism, Islamic relations, Our glorious war on terror

Laugh of the Day

This advertisement:

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Cat Photo on a Saturday Morning

My tortoiseshell, enjoying a few moments of peace while the other cat is outside.

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Texas Gov Proclaims Three-Day Prayer for Rain

I found this over at RightWingWatch. Here’s the notice from the office of the governor, and an excerpt:

WHEREAS, throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life.

But, look! It’s inclusive. You’re allowed to pray for rain for Texas even if you’re a Muslim or an Atheist or a Catholic.

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Lion and Jackal Illustration

This could be interpreted as an early lolcats. I can’t make out the writing; either it’s Persian or it’s Arabic in the farsi script, which I always have troubles with.

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Theocracy Watch

Still thinking about what to name my occasional series of posts about living in theocracy, about how the Christian right wants to impose Christian values on the country and nobody speaks up against it, while everybody decries “sharia.” Any suggestions?

Meantime, RightWingWatch has a couple of posts on the topic of Americans who are doggedly trying to undo the Enlightenment and force every American to live under (their interpretation of) biblical law.

David Barton: Everything Should Operate According to Biblical Principles here, and New Reconstrutionist Documentary Wants Public Schools to Give Children an Explicitly Christian Education here.

David Barton is not just a Christianist loon, he’s also the former co-chair of the Texas Republican party. Also, per Wikipedia:

Barton is a collector of early American documents, and his official biography describes him as “an expert in historical and constitutional issues.” [3] Barton holds no formal credentials in history or law, and critics dispute the accuracy and integrity of his assertions about history, accusing him of practicing misleading historical revisionism and “pseudoscholarship.” [4][5][6]

The documentary filmmaker, Colin Gunn, apparently doesn’t yet rate a Wikipedia article. From RingWingWatch:

Homeschooling activist Colin Gunn is set to release a new documentary in June on the perils of the public education system. Guinn’s film, “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America,” features leading Christian Reconstructionists like Gary North, Gary DeMar, Doug Phillips, John Eidsmoe, and Joseph Morecraft along with Ken Ham, champion of the young-Earth creationist movement and the founder of Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum. According to Gunn, the education system can only be fixed if “every subject taught in school is designed to give glory to God.”

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Blast From the Past: Broccoli Kitten

I was feeling down today, so I cheered up by watching this clip of Kitten Loves Broccoli.

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Senseless Killing of Zoo Animal Becomes Broadway Play

Do you remember back in 2003 how an endangered Bengal tiger in the beleaguered Baghdad zoo was shot to death by a scared soldier with an illegal weapon because the hungry tiger was tasting another soldier? Well, they’ve made it into a Broadway play. And Robin Williams stars! As the tiger! I am not joking.

Now that this play exists, it’s difficult to internet research on the original story, even in Arabic. For instance, in the play the tiger’s name is Mamdouh. Can’t find any corroboration of that, though.

It wasn’t impossible, though. Okay what happened was some army reserve officer decided it would be a good idea to treat his soldiers to a cookout, and that a good place to roast a lamb would be in the middle of zoo full of underfed carnivores. More fantastic decision making took place that night, when a reservist decided to stand within reaching distance of a tiger. The story we heard at the time was that the soldiers had been drinking, but apparently they hadn’t drunk a significant amount. So the guy who stood a couple feet from a tiger and turned his back was sober. So anyway, as the 11-year-old tiger was munching this soldier’s arm, his buddy pulled a contraband pistol and shot the tiger dead. The snack soldier lost the use of his arm.

Sounds fishy, right? Most zoos don’t have tiger enclosures within reaching distance of the public. Neither did this one. The soldier was between the inner and outer enclosure, that is to say, in a really, really stupid place to be.

If Jurassic Park has taught us anything, it’s that we can create life and therefore we don’t need to think about wildlife conservation, because if you want more tigers, you can just whip them up in a lab.

So anyway, yeah, someone made a Broadway play out of this story.

The play, which is at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, takes place in Baghdad, shortly after “Shock and Awe.” Director Moises Kaufman says the playwright may have come up with a theatrical equivalent, as he attempts to describe Bengal Tiger: “There is a tiger that talks, there is a ghost of the son of Saddam Hussein, there is the ghost of a young girl, there are two American soldiers, one of whom dies in the middle of the play and becomes a ghost.” He concludes, “It’s part ghost story, part war play, part satire, part theater of the absurd.”

Bummer. While researching this I found out that US soldiers also killed four lions that had escaped from the zoo.

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Filed under animals, movies and shows, Our glorious war in Iraq, Stupidity, War in Iraq

Absurd Video by National Day of Prayer Task Force

I’ve never paid much attention to the National Day of Prayer, always assuming it was one of those clear violations of the Establishment Clause that we nevertheless live with because our leaders are prevaricators and panderers. So when I saw this video posted on Wonkette, with the bombastic music, apocalyptic imagery, and focus on the Christian bible to the exclusion of any other religion, I thought it had to be a hoax. Apparently it’s the real deal, though.

From the task force’s web site:

Official Policy Statement on Participation of “Non-Judeo-Christian” groups in the National Day of Prayer:

The National Day of Prayer Task Force was a creation of the National Prayer Committee for the expressed purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values. People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based.

Kind of “stand aside while we pray in the public square” kind of slap in the face to everyone but Christians (I’m assuming Jews smirk at their nonsensical pseudo-inclusion). I just wish they’d have public trials to see which Christians qualify as Christian enough to count.

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Saturday Cat Video – Cat On Ice Chases Fish Under Ice

Found this on Neatorama, but it obviously came from Cheezburger.

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