Notes From All Over – thru May 24

May 31, 2009 | 34 comments
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Comment here on the Notes From All Over for the past week.
We’ve numbered the comments for your convenience.

34 Responses to Notes From All Over – thru May 24

  1. Dan on May 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    #27 – that’s just getting weirder and weirder.

    #34 – Funny that. Interestingly bluer states tend to have stronger families and family values… just not the ones redder states highlight. Back in 2004, during the political debate between who to pick, I highlighted the difference between Texas and Massachusetts on a number of very important issues for families. Interestingly, there is a high number of divorces in Texas, less health care for families, and less investment in education. In Massachusetts, nearly all children are covered in health care, education in MA is quite strong, and divorce is fairly low.

    #37 – says a white male.

    #42 – Sheesh, what a liberal, commie terrorist lover that General Petraeus…who does he think he is?

  2. queuno on May 31, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    #34 – Funny that. Interestingly bluer states tend to have stronger families and family values… just not the ones redder states highlight. Back in 2004, during the political debate between who to pick, I highlighted the difference between Texas and Massachusetts on a number of very important issues for families. Interestingly, there is a high number of divorces in Texas, less health care for families, and less investment in education. In Massachusetts, nearly all children are covered in health care, education in MA is quite strong, and divorce is fairly low.

    Questionable stats or methods. Sure, if you take the entire state of MA and the entire state of TX. But none of us live in the entire state of wherever we live.

    For instance, I’m less concerned about health care, education, and divorce numbers across the entire state of Texas. I’m more concerned about the region of Texas where I live or the county itself. I’m sure that residents of Worcester are more concerned with Worcester numbers than, for example, Boston itself.

    Statewide numbers are handy generalities but often have very little basis for allowing someone to compare actual living conditions in target communities.

  3. queuno on May 31, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Re #1 – It’s funny, but I’m almost conditioned to expect that an LDS public official charged with corruption is guilty. Why is that?

  4. Justmeherenow on May 31, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    wrt #10 — the most recent write up especially featuring brother Beck is by The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/shock-jocks-voice-of-unreason-1691792 . Which touches on a recent spat between Beck and some of the women of The View:

    “Last week, Glenn rocked-up on The View, a popular daytime TV chatshow along the lines of Loose Women, and was promptly called ‘a lying sack of dog mess’, to his face, by co-host Whoopi Goldberg. His crime: telling a very minor fib about a recent meeting they’d had to listeners of the radio show he broadcasts each morning. In a somewhat grovelling manner, he admitted to having ‘mis-spoken’. But his ratings soared.”

    Breitbart-tv’s webshow “The B-Cast” covers this in more detail here http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=344053 . According to the conservative website NewsBusters: “About what was Beck accused of lying? Beck, on a recent radio program, recounted a tale of meeting Goldberg and Barbara Walters on an Amtrak train bound for Washington D.C. Finding seats was apparently difficult on that day (odd, for Amtrak), and upon finding a few open seats, Beck was told by an Amtrak official that those open seats were reserved. A few minutes later, Beck says, Goldberg and Walters walked onto the train, and sat down in the reserved seats.” And according to the nonpartisan website Politics Daily: “Whoopi Goldberg went after him for what she said were his lies about a chance meeting between Beck, Barbara Walters and Goldberg on the Amtrak train to Washington before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this month. Beck recounted the meeting on his radio program, saying Barbara and Whoopi had approached him and then dismissed him. Whoopi said Beck should have remembered that he approached them (not the other way around), introduced himself and then had a pleasant conversation. ‘Why do you lie? You’re a lying sack of dog mess,’ Whoopi said. ‘For you to make something up like that, and to say we pulled you in, it was a lie.'”

  5. Dan on May 31, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    queuno,

    Clearly trying to compare states just isn’t very scientific, but then again neither is saying that Democrats are anti-family, or being surprised (as is the case with #34) that Democrats get awarded for being “pro-family.” Let me tell you, just from personal experience, but liberal Manhattan and liberal Boston are about two of the best places to raise children. That’s not to say you can’t raise children well in, say, Dallas. But just deriding the silly argument that somehow Republicans are “pro-family” and Democrats are “anti-family.” That’s just not the case at all.

  6. makakona on May 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    did anyone else read #11? what a bizarre story!

  7. Justmeherenow on May 31, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    makakona, The Phoenix New Times’s pieces go into the most detail regarding the saga of Doug Grant (recently sentenced to 5 yrs for manslaugher), his late wife Faylene and current wife Hilary: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2008-10-16/news/a-gilbert-detective-crossed-the-line-to-turn-a-mormon-wife-s-bathtub-drowning-into-a-murder-case/ (click link at top of article to read its part 1).

  8. Mark D. on May 31, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Dan (#5), Pro-abortion. Pro-promiscuity. Pro-nanny state. Anti-home schooling. Hostile to traditional morality, religion, and culture. Hostile to parents traditional prerogatives with regard to the education of their children. Pro removing children from their parents on dubious charges. Pro social engineering. Pro secularization.

    Any of those would be reason enough for some parents to conclude that the left was hostile to the family as a fundamental unit of social organization. Family and religion are traditional rivals of the collectivist ideal.

  9. Chris H. on May 31, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Wow Mark, that was a nice exercise in strawman logic.

  10. Mark D. on May 31, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Alas space prevents me from filling out the details…

  11. Kent Larsen on May 31, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Mark D., we have no space limitations. Fill out details as you will.

  12. Mark D. on June 1, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Dangerous last words. However, in the interest of expediency, I offer for example the fact that courtesy of the Democrats in Congress, Planned Parenthood receives approximately 100-150 million dollars a year in federal funding. They use that funding as part of a program that produces and promotes websites like the following:

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/teen-talk/

    Consider the following bullet points from one of their articles:

    Myth #1: Masturbation is unhealthy
    Myth #2: Only people who can’t “get any” masturbate.
    Myth #3: Girls don’t masturbate.
    Myth #4: It’s bad to masturbate every day.

    “Some people masturbate every day — or even more than once a day. That’s fine. So is there such a thing as “too much” masturbation? According to counselors, it’s only when masturbation gets in the way of daily activities — like going to school or work, or meeting friends — that it would be considered “too much.””

    Needless to say, some people don’t like being compelled to subsidize the promotions of views like this with their taxes, and consider such subsidies to be hostile to traditional religion, morality, healthy male-female relationships, lasting marriages, and stable families.

  13. Mark D. on June 1, 2009 at 1:26 am

    More Planned Parenthood advice for teenagers (apologies for the explicit nature of the quote here):

    “Masturbation can be a key to sexual health. Masturbation is touching one’s own sex organs for pleasure. There’s no right or wrong way to masturbate — it’s about discovering what kinds of touching and sensations work for you.”

    If it feels good, do it…

  14. Dan on June 1, 2009 at 6:30 am

    Mark,

    I’m just curious, but planned parenthood…uh, exactly how are they anti-family? The myths you selected don’t prove that in any way. You may find that kind of talk uncomfortable, but really, do you think that religious conservatives don’t masturbate? You think that religious conservatives know exactly what they should be doing with their bodies? Heh…I could point you to a number of articles about how religious conservative preachers are promoting that married couples in their congregations have sex everyday for a week, or two weeks or months. I mean, talk about overkill. I don’t think they know very much at all about how the human body works.

    Now as a counter, consider the tax money wasted on teaching abstinence exclusively. By relying solely on abstinence without accounting for those who have already gone past abstinence and are somewhat active sexually, places like Texas have very high teen pregnancy rates. It doesn’t seem very family oriented to have teenagers get pregnant. It would seem to put those new children in very risky and unstable family situations. In fact, I dare say those children will end up growing up most definitely without the father, and sooner or later in foster care with strangers.

    I’ll happily give planned parenthood my tax money if they can help teenagers NOT get pregnant! Talk about PRO-family!

    You may not like their morality, but that’s not what this is about. This is about pro-family vs anti-family. Having programs that stop teenagers from getting pregnant is PRO-family. Having programs that do little to nothing at all to stop teenagers from getting pregnant is ANTI-family. It is ironic, but the programs pushed by conservative religions are NOT stopping teenagers from getting pregnant because those programs are unrealistic, show a true lack of understanding teenagers. The other program (through Planned Parenthood) admits that teenagers might actually perform sex whether we want them to or not, and says, okay, if you’re not going to listen to us and do as your parents tell you, at least protect yourself, and don’t get into responsibilities for which you are in no way shape or form ready for. Frankly, that’s quite pro-family to me.

  15. Chris H. on June 1, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Maybe it it just stupid to try to paint either side of the political spectrum as either “pro-family” or “anti-family.”

    Mark,

    I do not think you meant to make my morning, but you really did. When I saw Planned Parenthood, that ws not the issue that I expecting you to address.

  16. Geoff B on June 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

    The truth will out. Conservatives have more children than liberals. Those children are more likely to remain conservative, statistically (not saying all of them will, but saying that statistics show you are more likely to keep the religion and politics of your parents). Conservatives own the future.

    And hopefully none of those conservative children will follow the advice of Planned Parenthood. Personally, I’d like to see it lose all government funding, a political opinion I plan on passing down to my children.

  17. Chris H. on June 1, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Geoff,

    I keep telling my wife that the only way we can increase the number of political liberals in the church is for us to actually have them ourselves. She does not think this is funny. I am already worried that one of my three has Republican tendencies.

    BTW, Planned Parenthood primarily offers low-cost birth control (the pill) and affordable OB/GYN services. By focusing on masturbation, Mark is again focusing on an outrageous example. Stawman.

  18. Marc Bohn on June 1, 2009 at 11:01 am

    “Conservatives own the future. ”

    Not sure it’s as simple as that Geoff. In any event, conservatives, at least GOP conservatives, have a hard slog ahead of them with the anti-immigrant base they’ve got controlling their party. It’s hard to see at this point how the GOP is going to remain competitive in the years to come as the Latino population continues to boom.

  19. Chris H. on June 1, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Marc,

    That is assuming that over time the Hispanic immigrant population stays largely within the Democratic party (which I hope that it will). While the GOP almost seems bent on making that happen, it is sometimes hard to tell how these thing play out.

  20. Mark D. on June 1, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I never said that the left was “anti-family” *per se*, I said that there were any number of reasons why the left is perceived to be anti-family. Take the dripping disdain that any mention of the “religious right” gets in the mainstream media for starters.

    14: PP is controversial primarily as the leading abortion advocate in the United States – making waves for opposing any and all legislative restrictions on the practice, including parental consent laws, waiting periods, and partial birth abortion restrictions. Our president has a history of being even more radical, due to his position on Illinois abortion legislation that amounted to “any unwanted child a dead child” – i.e. if a child survives a partial birth abortion, it should be left to die to avoid burdening the mother unnecessarily.

    If you don’t see what is wrong with promoting daily masturbation (typically accompanied by pornography and the like) for better sexual health with no mention of the problems, there is not much more that I can say. Every Christian denomination I am aware of is opposed to (1) pornography and (2) high frequency masturbation. cf the controversy about similar statements of Jocelyn Elders, a Clinton era surgeon general, i.e. “masturbation should perhaps be taught” in the public schools.

    15: I mentioned a lot of issues. Which one did you want me to address? If I were to address pro-promiscuity in general, it would be a longer case addressing two things – the left-liberal orientation of Hollywood and its promotion the culture of easy sex (and family hostility – cf. *Hollywood vs. America* by Michael Medved), and the approval and promotion of widespread casual sex by public university housing officials. A case could be made against PP in that regard as well, but it relies on the secondary effects of intensive sexual education starting at an early age, with nary a mention of the moral issues involved. “Sex is great at any age – just make sure you use protection” is the sum of it.

    Generally speaking, the left’s public (esp governmental) approach to sexuality is that it is a morality free zone. Only practical considerations apply. The Hollywood approach is more subtle than that, but generally reduces to the glorification of sexual relations, esp pre-marital sex. Married people? What married people?

  21. Bookslinger on June 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Story #4. AFAIK, it’s been a long time since an Apostle was physically attacked. (It was the mission president’s wife who apparently sustained the greatest injury in the attack, a broken arm.) My guess is that the home-invasion, assault with injuries, robbery in the mission president’s home is going to have a big effect on how the church conducts security in Africa.

    Even though the church is making great strides, some (or many) African countries are still sinking in terms of lawlessness, war, economic/cultural mess. Sudan’s a mess. Somalia’s a mess. Liberia is a mess. The DR Congo is still in a process of decay/decline. Zimbabwe is on the verge of even greater collapse, and will likely experience great upheaval when President Mugabe dies (he’s 85).

  22. Dan on June 1, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Geoff,

    If conservatives really do have more children than liberals—and that is the deciding factor, then why have liberals done so well with the youth of America, you know those who were born when the conservative movement was in full boom, the early 80s and onward? ;)

  23. Dan on June 1, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Mark,

    If you don’t see what is wrong with promoting daily masturbation (typically accompanied by pornography and the like) for better sexual health with no mention of the problems, there is not much more that I can say. Every Christian denomination I am aware of is opposed to (1) pornography and (2) high frequency masturbation.

    I think you misunderstand my point. Obviously I side with religions and their push for people not to masturbate or get into pornography. My point is that religions offer no alternatives for those who do! Clearly sexual passions have no ideological boundaries. A group like Planned Parenthood attempts to get teenagers to really think about their decisions, particularly after those teenagers already violated their religious beliefs. Religions tend not to offer alternatives to protect their teenagers from getting pregnant should they violate their religious teachings and have sex. Instead, religions and religious conservatives push those teenagers into either giving up that newborn to adoption or get into a shotgun wedding (which rarely ends well). Modern technology has allowed us to be able to engage in sexual relations while protecting against one of the inevitable outcomes—a baby. Obviously that’s not very moral, but then that is where a person’s religion can take over. In our church, if someone has sexual relations, for the most part, they’ll get disfellowshipped and in not much time be back to full activity. If they have a child out of that, then major problems start showing up. Where do religions offer any alternative to people so that they don’t get pregnant when they are not ready to be pregnant? At this point, all they offer is “abstinence.” That’s nice and all for virgins, but it is completely useless for those already engaged in sex.

  24. Robert on June 1, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Note #11: I actually stumbled onto this on TV when it aired a month or so ago. A very bizarre story.

    Note #18: I started using this phrase facetiously on my new blog a few days before this ad ran. Funny that what once was hyperbole is now meant to be taken seriously.

  25. Vader on June 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Dan,

    There’s an old saying, variously attributed to Winston Churchill or other conservative luminaries:

    “A man who is not a liberal when he is thirty has no heart. A man who is still a liberal when he is fifty has no brain.”

    The liberalism of the youth of America, in other words, is simply a phase they will eventually outgrow.

    Every generation needs a Carter so they can learn by their own experience, if they are capable of doing so. Obama is this generation’s Carter. Every indication is that he will drive the lesson home — good and hard.

    Oh, and:

    “That’s nice and all for virgins, but it is completely useless for those already engaged in sex.”

    You mean you can’t stop having sex once you start? Who knew?

  26. Dan on June 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Vader,

    Heh, so you go by an old saying attributed to Churchill but not necessarily by Churchill…Interestingly, that phrase does not begin with Churchill but with a French dude named Francois Guizot
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Guizot

    Guizot is famous as the originator of the quote “Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head”[1]. This quote has been reworked many times, especially in reference to socialism and liberalism. It has been borrowed by or attributed to many notable figures who lived after Guizot, including Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Disraeli, Georges Clemenceau, Otto von Bismarck, Aristide Briand, Woodrow Wilson, David Lloyd George, Wendell Willkie, William J. Casey, and others.

    In any case, Obama is not Carter. Nor is he Reagan. Nor is he Johnson. Nor JFK. Nor Roosevelt. He is Obama, and will add his own style, color, and character to the history of this great nation. That all said, one can only hope to be as good of a man as Jimmy Carter was. As much as Carter could not grasp the politics of his time, he was, and always will be one of the best Americans. He also succeeded where Republicans and Democrats before him and after him (with one exception) failed in the Middle East. He got two antagonists to declare peace. Only Bill Clinton was equally successful. Every other president of the United States has failed to get peace between Israel and one or more of its neighbors. Only Carter and Clinton have succeeded at that. May all future presidents be as successful as Carter was. ;)

  27. anon on June 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    I was in a ward once where a teenage girl made some unwise decisions, and ultimately needed some health tests, and had no insurance for it. She was able to get the tests — no diseases, thank goodness — for free, at PP.

    Thank heavens for PP.

  28. Chris H. on June 1, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Mark (#20),

    I was just expecting you to go into abortion. Your direction gave me a bit of a giggle first thing in the morning. I think your intitial, though not developed, point in #8 about government/colectivist idealist being a threat to the family was an interesting one (which I would have respectfully disagreed with). Instead your went in a more sticky direction.

  29. Marc Bohn on June 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Chris H. – At this point, it’s hard to imagine the GOP equaling Bush’s 44% among Hispanics anytime in even the distant future. McCain, who should be among the GOPs most marketable candidates to Hispanics, pulled in a paltry 31% (or there abouts). And no one who is not willing to buck the GOP’s fanatical base on the issue is going to pull more. With Hispanic populations continuing to grow and become more and more crucial in traditional swing states like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado, losing the remarkable ground the Bush made among Hispanics in ’04 is a bombshell to the electoral college map.

  30. Chris H. on June 1, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Marc,

    I agree. I was more trying to temper my over enthusiasm for the demise of the GOP. I also think that Obama has found a way for the Democrats to appeal to both the liberal base (me) and those who are a bit more traditional on family issues (my wife) but who are not caught up in the culture wars of the 80s and 90s (see Mark D. above).

    The political scientist in me thinks that the GOP will pop back eventually. But that will painful process for them. The Democrats took three decades.

  31. Geoff B on June 1, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    Marc, as you may know, I agree with you on the GOP’s suicidal behavior with Hispanics. Reagan, all three Bushes, Rove and McCain had it right regarding immigration — most other conservatives these days (including Mitt, unfortunately), have it WAY wrong. The GOP has a huge short-term problem on this issue.

    I’m really looking more long-term at societal trends. Nixon gave us Carter and then Carter gave us Reagan. Bush gave us Obama. After Obama’s very likely eight years, things will inevitably turn a different direction. That is the nature of American politics.

    If it makes the liberals feel any better, I would like to point out that the huge increase in the size of government appears very difficult to turn around. Reagan wanted to get rid of the DOE and couldn’t — once a new bureaucracy gets entrenched it’s pretty much impossible to destroy. So your new health care and cap-and-trade bureaucracies will be very difficult to overcome no matter what direction politics take — unless we can get somebody like Ron Paul in charge, and then all bets are off.

  32. Dan on June 1, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Geoff,

    If we’re looking at past is prologue, then I look forward to a situation just like when FDR came to office. That Republican party was in shambles too, blamed for the Great Depression, and sinking further and further into mediocrity whilst the Democrats gave us some of the best government services we have today. I tell you, the only reason there was a Republican president between FDR and Johnson was because Eisenhower was the victorious general of World War II. I look forward to a similar situation for the next forty plus years. The Republicans today don’t have their act together and keep shooting themselves in the foot.

    My only worry is that the Democrats currently in office are, by and large, a bunch of weak easily-cowed appeasers who don’t seem to get it—their freaking in charge! They keep letting Republicans guide the talking points instead of simply dismissing them. This of course is a symptom of a news media that is tied very closely to Republican operatives. For example, the other day Matt Lauer had Laura Inghram on the Today Show to talk about Sotomayor. Seriously Matt? Laura? You mean you couldn’t find ANYONE better than a Fox News liberal-hater to talk about Sotomayor? And what did Laura Inghram do with that precious valuable time at 7:15 in the morning? Rant off her talking points. Matt did not have any “liberal” commentator to counter Inghram’s hateful speech. This is the media today. This is how it has been since News Corp scared the daylights out of General Electric, Viacom and Disney. Now those corporate titans follow Murdoch’s lead into salacious hateful fearmongering. It worked well in 2002 to swell anger at Iraq among Americans. And knowing that Americans really do have a short attention span, they continue this. It is now a normal part of our culture. We come to expect such hateful, untrue rants, unchallenged.

    This new phenomenon is the wild card in predicting the future. George Bush should never have won in either 2000 or 2004 but the media worked in his favor. I am actually pleasantly surprised that enough Americans were not fooled by this nasty media in 2008. But I think that our short attention spans might make us forget how easily these masters of the craft can bamboozle us as a whole.

  33. Mark D. on June 2, 2009 at 1:17 am

    “hate speech” whine whine whine….a typical conservative commentator’s “hate speech” is milk and cookies compared to what the left has been putting out lately. I have yet to hear a principled argument for who it is that conservatives are supposed to hate.

    With regard to Lauer/Ingraham I am sure Lauer could pick only left-liberals to come on his show. And then half of the country would tune him out. Networks like MSNBC are great for preaching to the choir, but why would the unpersuaded ever want to watch them? The real strength of a political channel is one of two things, preferably both (1) Strict factual content with an unbiased selection policy (2) Policy analysis that actually persuades (or softens the position of) the unpersuaded.

    “nasty media in 2008″? Most of the media has been acting like Obama’s press department for more than a year now.

  34. Dan on June 2, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Mark,

    Uh…less than half the country… ;)