Monday, 3/12/12, Public Square


Filed under The Public Square

32 responses to “Monday, 3/12/12, Public Square

  1. Phoenix City Council Member Daniel Valenzuela is a fourth-generation Mexican-American. Last year, he won a seat on the Phoenix City Council in a traditionally Republican district, and he did it by increasing Latino voter turnout by 488 percent.

    “A lot of it was SB 1070 [anti-illegal immigration act] and what [Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio] was doing in our communities that really triggered it,” Guevara tells Raz. “Also, tuition increases and a lot of our Dream Act students basically got kicked out of school because of a proposition that increased tuition significantly.”

    Critics say Arizona’s new immigration law encourages profiling. Republican Sheriff Arpaio’s office was cited by the Justice Department for “pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos.” And the Dream Act, which proposes paths to citizenship for some undocumented children of immigrants, is largely opposed by Republican lawmakers.

    “The Latino voter turnout increased by nearly 500 percent in one particular district,” he says, “but over the city of Phoenix, which is the sixth-largest city in the country mind you, it actually increased by over 300 percent across the board.”

    Latinos like the ones who voted in Phoenix — people who had never voted before — could turn out across the country in such numbers this year that they might hold the power to swing the presidential election.

    • prairie pond

      I sure hope that’s true, that new voters will turn out and swing the election. It’s gonna be tough, though, with all the new repuke efforts to keep people from voting.

      I see the latest polls this morning show Obama slipping against Romney and his approval ratings dipping below 50 percent. It’s not in the bag yet. If this were a pool game we’d say there’s a lot of green on the table between now and November.

  2. Equality as a Judeo-Christian value

    Setting aside the problem of discovering exactly what “Judeo-Christian” means, I was kerflummoxed by Rick Santorum’s recent comment about equality deriving from “our culture, our tradition, from the Judeo-Christian ethic.”

    As a good and practicing Roman Catholic, Santorum should know that Roman Catholicism came very late to the party, not discovering until early in the XXth century that slavery was wrong after all. The Catholics timidly and piously occasionally decried the slave trade and “unjust slavery” starting around 1839, but didn’t formally oppose the slave trade in practice until an expansion of Canon Law in 1917. Opposition to slavery in principle (not just the trade) had to wait until Vatican II–almost exactly a century after the passage of the XIIIth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Not to mention that the whole reason we’ve had “Southern” Methodists, “Southern” Presbyterians, and “Southern” Baptists was because these groups of Christians (among others) were firmly convinced that opposition to slavery in principle was not taken from Scripture, but was a human invention, and they therefore parted company with their anti-slavery brothers and sisters in the North.

    The whole role of religion in both justifying and opposing chattel slavery is instructive. I’m currently reading Stout’s _Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War_, and he makes clear that the churches in both the Confederacy and the Union played key roles in the Civil War.

    Southerners were mostly Protestant literalists whose reading of the KJV showed them that slavery was part of God’s will for the world, and that the Bible in no way opposes slavery in principle. They further saw themselves as establishing the Confederate Nation as an explicitly Christian nation–in opposition to the Union, which they believed had lost its way to the teachings of mankind rather than the Bible. The Confederate Constitution explicitly invokes the “favor and guidance of Almighty God” in its establishment, thereby “correcting” what was seen as a key deficiency in the U.S. Constitution: the absence of God’s role in the establishing and preserving the United States.

    Jefferson Davis invoked the “God of our fathers” at the closing of his inaugural address:

    “Sanctified by justice and sustained by a virtuous people, let me reverently invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which by HIS blessing they were able to vindicate, establish and transmit to their posterity, and with the continuance of HIS favor, ever to be gratefully acknowledged, let us look hopefully forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity.”

    Northerners, proceeding from the same KJV, found that it fully supported the exact opposite position: that chattel slavery was opposed to God’s will. e.g.. John Brown, whose theological underpinnings are often lost in discussions of his tactics.

    I understand that Mark Noll has a thoughtful essay analyzing the hermeneutical grounds shaping both opposition to and support for chattel slavery. It’s on my reading list.

    But Santorum’s cry that “equality derives from Judeo-Christian values” reminds me of an old baseball joke about a batter whose mind apparently wandered after he had safely reached first base. Having strolled off the bag, he realized too late that the pick-off throw was on its way, and dived head-first back into first base, screaming “I made it! I made it!” The umpire, with his thumb pointed skyward, replied “Yes, you certainly did. But what detained you?”

    (I reprint this with persmission of the author who posted it to the mail list.)

    • Southerners were mostly Protestant literalists whose reading of the KJV showed them that slavery was part of God’s will for the world, and that the Bible in no way opposes slavery in principle.

      I graduated from a Fundamental Baptist College in the mid-70’s and I was constantly told by Southerners (majority from North Carolina) that the Bible told us that blacks were the ‘beasts in the field’.
      They further saw themselves as establishing the Confederate Nation as an explicitly Christian nation–in opposition to the Union, which they believed had lost its way to the teachings of mankind rather than the Bible.

      Isn’t this EXACTLY what Santorum is saying today? Santorum accused Obama of not having a Bible-based agenda. Santorum wants religion to rule our government – no separation of church and state.

      I truly believe that if Santorum gets into office – that revolution the Tea Party folks were always yammering about will happen – but they will be the target.

  3. R.D. Liebst

    “” I am vowing to “endeavor to persevere then declaring war on the white man!” ( Chief Dan George, “Outlaw Jose Wales“).

    And so far, I and not the “White man” is winning I believe but Oh My God
    if what I am seeing is the normal thought processes. I wonder if it would not be better to be the insane? “”

    A quote from the story I am working on.

  4. I’m just starting to watch Game Change. Although I love to watch Ed Harris, I’m not and never will be a Woody Harrelson or Julianne Moore fan, but according to Huffington Post, a top McCain campaign adviser said it was “true enough to make me squirm.” So I’ll give it a try and let you know. 🙂

    • Even after all is said and done – John McCain still says that Sarah Palin was the best qualified?

      BTW – McCain also did not like the way Ed Harris used so much profanity in his portrayal because he did not do that.

      Yeah, sure Johnny, and you also STILL think Sarah Palin was the best qualified for V.P.

      Enough said..

      Me thinks Both McCain and Palin protest too much?

      • Nicole Wallace – a McCain 2008 campaign aide that worked with Sarah Palin was on The Lawrence O’Donnell show last week and she said that she chose not to vote rather than to vote for Sarah Palin as V.P.

        Again – enough said…

      • Recently McCain has been warmongering in the public square and I’ve had the opportunity to compare the strong, measured President Obama to him. America made the right choice in the fall of 2008! McCain saying Palin was qualified is just another glimpse into why he wasn’t elected. His denying his own profanity reminds me of all that came out back then about his lack of respect of women, how he spoke to his wife, how he dropped the first wife…

      • I remember reading how the Reagans did not like John McCain because of the way he dumped his first wife.

        But, then, in 2012 here comes Newt with is just as colorful marital history and he has so-called Religious Right Republicans applauding him.

        Is it just me – or has someone turned on the button for Do Whatever You Want because you’re a Republican and have a bunch of Far Right Wing Christians passing out those Free Pass cards from their version of God?

      • NIcole Wallace is a major player in the movie. Funny though, because she’s played by Sarah Paulson, who played Harry (Harriet Hayes), a very strong Christian on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (TV show). That show ran one season on NBC and was cancelled by the new CEO because it was too liberal. Too bad, because it was a terrific show.

      • Are there plans to bring the movie ‘Game Change’ to video? I don’t get HBO because it is a higher-priced package. Even when he had it free for 3 months when we first signed up for DirectTV – we watched it a few times and is not worth the extra money – at least for us.

  5. Republicans chose Sarah Palin as V.P. because Hillary Clinton was not going to be the Democratic nominee and these mere mortal fools thought that women would vote for ANY woman on the ticket.

    Republicans vastly underestimated women in 2008 and they are STILL underestimating women in 2012.

    Wouldn’t you think at some point along the way – these Republicans buffoons would get a clue?

    • I don’t know, indy. The Republicans–blind as they were–loved her. And that was in spite of her not knowing the different between fact and her own fiction. She wasn’t in it to help John McCain, no matter what she may have said or still says. She saw it as her campaign and far overstepped the normal bounds of politics.

      Yeah, I’m done watching. She’s just one more scary R to add to the list of scary Rs.

      • Even scarier is listening to her talking to that CNN reporter mentioned in this article. I suspect Palin is just throwing out a wide net to keep her name in the media spotlight and to bring in a few more millions for herself while she’s at it.

        But on some level – I also suspect that Palin would love to see a brokered GOP convention and she would be the Messiah they would all coming running for her to save their party and – thereby – save America.

        Hey – if you’re going to live in Fantasy Land – make it a good one.

      • Especially if she has the chance of being the party savior without all that troublesome campaigning — talking to the lame-stream media who are out to get you, trip you up, show people how little you know…

      • IIRC – the Republican males are still love her because she is so ‘hot’. Again – thinking with their little brains…

        But I never found Sarah Palin to be attractive once she started talking. But, then again, my measurement of true beauty is what my grandpa used to say – Pretty is, as pretty does. In other words, once I saw Palin in action demonzing anyone and everyone that disagreed with her. And especially when she was the one that started that – Obama is not one of us – nonsense.

        That was totally uncalled for – IMHO

  6. Rick Santorum does not seem to be all that hot of a ticket in his own home state – and their primary is coming up very soon….

  7. Remember the group No Labels? I signed up to be on their email list and the one I just received is the last straw for me.

    It was an email requesting me to RSVP for a teleconference call where Mitch Daniels (Gov of Indiana and George W. Bush’s Budget Director) was going to be the featured speaker as to how this country’s financial crisis did not happen overnight and has been unsustainable for years but due to partisan political point scoring – nothing has been resolved.

    No S__t Sherlock? But if Mitch Daniels is so worried about the financial crisis now – then why was he helping the little cowboy putting two wars on the Chinese credit card?

    I replied to that email and told them what I thought of Mitch Daniels and asked them to immediately take my name off their list.

    Damn……this country is in trouble but why would I want to listen to a man who helped cause the mess?

    BTW – Frankly, I’m surprised Daniels is even willing to say the financial crisis did not happen overnight – because I thought all ‘good’ Republicans blame Obama for everything?

    • Bush?

      Who was he?


      Indy, you keep forgetting time began on January 20, 2009. And even if there was a president before Obama and no matter how long it took to get things as messed up as they were, the day time began is when President Obama should have fixed it all!

      • The 8 years of Dubya’s reign never happened. For Republicans, Clinton was president before Obama, and it’s all his fault.

      • I’ve often told Republican friends that Obama was given a plate full of Bullshit and then he is demonized by the Bull that made the shit because it is not a gourmet meal.

  8. I’m listening to all the news about the U. S. Army Staff Sergeant who massacred at least 16 civilians, 9 of them children, in southern Afghanistan. I’m listening to why repeated tours of duty in war-torn countries contributes to insanity.

    I agree!

    But I also am struck by how often we don’t refer to those who fight for these war-torn countries as troops or soldiers. We call them terrorists. They’ve been fighting for their country most, if not all, of their lives. America wasn’t the first country to invade. I’d say that counts as ‘repeated tours of duty.’

    Perhaps there are honorable, courageous men and women among the ‘troops’ of every country? Perhaps each country also has some who may not be honorable.

    We can agree that shooting civilians isn’t an act of sanity.

    Is it honorable to urinate on the corpses of your enemy while filming it?

    Burning the Holy Book of your enemy might be seen as less than honorable.

    The best foreign policy, domestic policy, rule to live by: Treat others as you would like to be treated. And maybe acknowledge that humans are human, deserving of dignity no matter their culture, their race, religion…

  9. I read that 141 advertisers — including the U.S. Army — have ditched not just Limbaugh, but right-wing radio talkers altogether.

    We’ll wait and see how this shakes out, but I hope these aren’t rumors!

    • Well, all national advertising has been suspended for two weeks.

      It’s a start!

      Like someone (can’t remember who) said: If Rush is brought down by ‘slut,’ it’s comparable to Al Capone being brought down for tax evasion.

    • He hasn’t been brought down yet, and even if it happens, he’ll find another outlet for his hate. Too many people agree with his brand of “politics.”

      • This 2-week suspension thing is just for a ‘cooling off period’. I seriously think Rush’s ego will not allow him to go silenced for too long. He will be back at it – somewhere – I agree with you wicked – there is an audience for his brand of politics.

        I also heard a Talk Radio Consultant last night say that these radio stations that have carried Rush for years are looking at how much it is costing them to carry Rush – seems Rush’s fees have been rising steadily for years and it is now cheaper to go find a local program host and get out of Rush’s grip.

        And if WOMEN will not forget – even after this 2-week cooling off period – and WOMEN keep up the pressure on these advertisers – those local program hosts might just be cheaper to run and BYE..BYE …Rush??

        But then, I heard another Talk Radio Consultant say that Rush’s show can be replaced by Mike Huckabee’s show – so, really, the same brand of politics will be spewed – but Huckabee tries to cover his under a cloak of Christianity – his version of Christianity, of course.

      • Instead of slut, Huckabee could use the Biblical term of ‘harlot’.

        But one thing Republican males seem to never say – in order for a woman to be a slut, doesn’t it take MEN to make her one?

  10. I am of the opinion that republican men have absolutely no idea what they’re up against. They really chose the wrong opponent. We aren’t just strong, we have long memories, numbers, and patience. 🙂