July 2007 Archives

The Bravery - Time Won't Let Me Go genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

The Bravery is another New York band that has found recent success and in May they released their second album, The Sun And The Moon. The following video is from the album and the song title is Time Won't Let Me Go.

You can also find a remix of the song on the band's MySpace page here. The remix is worth a listen if you enjoy more of a dance beat.

Sam Endicott, the lead vocalist, has a voice very reminiscent of Robert Smith of The Cure though I view the overall sound of the band to be far less moody. The band is described as a "synthesis of disco and synth rock".

Tagged as: The Bravery, The Sun And The Moon

Daniel DiRito | July 31, 2007 | 5:13 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Is Treating The Indigent A Measure Of Morality? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Six Degrees of Speculation

Medicine And Morality

A popular topic of debate between people of faith and those who do not believe in a deity centers on moral behavior and the motivations that influence people to act appropriately. Many believers argue that in the absence of god, civility would evaporate since the fear of god serves to keep people's unsavory inclinations in check.

Non-believers of course disagree and cite numerous examples of improprieties committed under the guise of divine inspiration as well as great acts of altruism executed by those who denied the existence of god.

Every now and again a piece of research into actual human behavior is released which provides some scientific measure of relevance to the debate...as well as some intriguing insight into the complexities of human nature. Such a study, conducted by the University of Chicago, is being reported by Reuters.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. physicians who identify themselves as religious are no more likely to care for poor, underserved patients than those who have no religious affiliation, researchers have found.

The study suggests doctors in the United States who see religion as a "master motive in their lives" are not more likely to care for the poor than others.

"Religious physicians are not disproportionately caring for the underserved," Dr. Farr Curlin, of the University of Chicago, said in a telephone interview on Monday.

Curlin, who considers himself religious, said he undertook the study because many religions include a call to serve the poor.

"I was curious about whether doctors who are more formed in their religious beliefs are more likely to take care of patients who are poor," said Curlin, whose study appears in the Annals of Family Medicine.

What they found was physicians who were deemed more religious as reflected by intrinsic religiosity or frequency of attendance of religious services were not more likely to report caring for underserved patient populations -- those that tended to be poor, uninsured or on Medicaid, the federal program for the poor.

"It suggests, I think, that when doctors are making the connection between being people of faith and the practice of medicine, that connection does not seem to lead them ... to an added commitment to caring for the underserved," Curlin said.

I realize that one study is far from conclusive but it begins to confirm what non-believers have argued for many years...that morality is not the exclusive domain of those who assert a belief in god. Further, the fact that one may report to be religious may not necessarily indicate that one's actions will be altruistic or morally superior.

In my opinion, one of the key identifying traits found in many who report a belief in god is a certainty about what is and isn't moral...regardless of their ability to uphold that morality. Further, such beliefs frequently lead these individuals to feel comfortable in making judgments about others; with particular attention paid to those who do not believe.

Granted, the above statement involves a degree of generalization...and while I feel comfortable in making the anecdotal observation...by no means am I suggesting that all believers act accordingly...just as I don't believe that all atheists act with a definitive consistency.

Nonetheless, the study suggests that acts of altruism are not dependent upon religious faith and, as such, it serves to invalidate the notion that immorality would ensue in the absence of a prevailing belief in god.

As I've previously argued here at Thought Theater, morality born of a fear of god may well be a lesser morality than that which is chosen voluntarily without fear. Ultimately, what resides in the heart of the individual is the essence of the individual...and it no doubt supersedes whatever we may choose to self-report. Perhaps that simply affirms what has been stated for years, "Actions speak louder than words".

Lastly, the study reinforces an argument I've made on a number of occasions with regard to issues of morality. Morality lived is far superior to morality espoused. As such, acts of altruism need not be motivated by a belief in god or a fear thereof. A simple belief in the sanctity of our fellow human beings can and should be ample motivation.

I'll close by taking liberty with a well known saying reserved for those in the medical field...one that should arguably hold true for all of us...and one that I'm suggesting is relevant to people of faith, "Christian, heal thy self".

Tagged as: Atheism, Christianity, Healthcare, Morality, Physician, Poverty, Religion

Daniel DiRito | July 31, 2007 | 3:23 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Dems Keep Promise: House Passes Ethics Bill genre: Econ-Recon & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

What Pork?

When Nancy Pelosi stated that this Democratic Congress would be "the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history", I'll admit I was skeptical though hopeful. Not long ago, I wrote that the much touted ethics reform seemed to be missing in action but today it looks like the Democrats have delivered much of what they promised with the passage of a comprehensive Ethics Bill.

While it appears that the bill may have omitted some of the reforms that have been discussed and suggested, for the most part, the legislation should be a huge step towards limiting the practice of purse string politics. Additionally, passage of the measure should help to bolster the dismal approval ratings of Congress and provide the Democrats with another achievement to tout in their 2008 election efforts.

The bill, drafted by Democratic leaders, passed by a vote of 411 to 8. It would require House and Senate members to disclose those lobbyists who raise $15,000 or more for them within a six-month period by "bundling" donations from many people. It also would bar lobbyists and their clients from giving gifts, including meals and tickets, to lawmakers.

Senators seeking targeted spending projects or "earmarks" would have to publicize their plans 48 hours before the Senate votes on the proposals in publicly available data bases, and declare their families would not directly benefit financially. The House made similar changes to its rules governing earmarks in January.

House members approved the new legislation even though some privately grumbled that it would complicate their fundraising efforts. Senate leaders expect opposition from some conservative Republicans, but they predicted final passage of the measure by week's end.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, signaled the bill will meet resistance in the Senate. It "guts key earmark reforms that both houses of Congress approved overwhelmingly," he said.

Coburn particularly objected to a revision that would allow committee chairmen or the Senate majority leader -- not the Senate parliamentarian -- to rule on whether earmark disclosure requirements have been met.

No doubt there will be efforts to subvert the intent of the bill as politicians, driven by the need to raise campaign funds, will look for loopholes to exploit. Hopefully, the measure can be the first step towards refocusing elected officials on public service and good governance rather than the perpetual need to pander to powerful interest groups who dangle perks in exchange for pledges of financial support.

More importantly, I would hope the renewed focus on ethical behavior would begin to shift voter perceptions. Unfortunately, many voters have become so disenchanted with the state of affairs in Washington that they see little difference between the two parties and therefore even less reason to vote. That complacency has become a tacit acceptance of the bad behavior and an opportunity for politicians to further push the limits of propriety.

Lastly, while many constituents have grown to accept pork barrel politics...the practice of attaching earmarks to legislation for the funding of pet projects intended to benefit those they represent, perhaps politicians can begin to think beyond the narrow objectives that have made it more difficult to pass important measures.

For example, when efforts to require vehicles to achieve better mileage efficiencies are repeatedly defeated by politicians from those districts in which automobile manufacturing is a mainstay of the economy, the goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil is thwarted. When that happens with virtually every issue, progress on overarching national issues becomes cumbersome, if not impossible.

Hopefully, this step towards reform will reduce the influence of special interest groups and allow elected officials to address important issues that have become mired down in the minutiae of manipulative lobbying.

For this legislation to work, voters will also need to adjust their "what's in it for me" mindset. The days of overlooking the unethical actions of one's representative because he or she was able to "bring home the bacon" must cease to exist. While it is easy to blame our elected officials, isn't it also time for voters to admit our role as enablers and recommit ourselves and our country to the advancement of the greater good?

Tagged as: Corruption, Earmarks, Ethics Reform, House of Representatives, Lobbying, Nancy Pelosi

Daniel DiRito | July 31, 2007 | 11:43 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Democracy Be Damned: Rampant Corruption In Iraq genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

Payola

I understand the desire to be optimistic about the situation in Iraq but when each day brings a new scandal, a new article detailing the growing obstacles, or a call for more time to achieve our objectives, I simply cannot muster a smile. Frankly, if it weren't such a serious situation, it would be laughable.

Try as they might, the war apologists simply lack the ability to plug each emerging hole in a rationale that is long on rhetoric and sorely lacking in reality. Today's news about the rampant corruption in the fledgling Iraqi government is more of the same.

Supplies and medicine in strife-torn Baghdad's overcrowded hospitals have been siphoned off and sold elsewhere for profit because of “untouchable" corruption in the Iraqi Ministry of Health, according to a draft U.S. government report obtained by NBC News.

The report, written by U.S. advisers to Iraq's anti-corruption agency, analyzes corruption in 12 ministries and finds devastating and grim problems. "Corruption protected by senior members of the Iraqi government remains untouchable," the report sad.

The draft report obtained by NBC said the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which oversees the country's hospitals, is in the "grip" of the Mahdi Army, the anti-American militia run by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

"Contract fraud and employee theft of medicines, food, vehicles are viewed by investigators as the greatest problems," the report said, adding that "military sources have reported that the Mehdi Army [sic] finances operations from diverted medicines."

In the Ministry of Oil — the most important agency for Iraq’s economy — the report said "corruption is a major problem" when it comes to refined oil products, such as gasoline and kerosene. The report said corruption in the oil ministry is partly to blame for lines of cars stretching for miles as Iraqis wait hours to fill up their tanks.

My recollection of the pre-war rationale was that Saddam Hussein was a corrupt tyrant who ruled the country with a strong and brutal military and an array of insider alliances...all of which led to great wealth for the chosen few and much less for the powerless masses.

As we approach five years of American occupation, I'm afraid little has changed for the Iraqi people. In reality, one can make an argument that the situation is no better than it was under the Hussein regime. Reports suggest that there is significantly less electricity, gas and oil are in short supply or rationed, unemployment is outrageous, security is at best sporadic, and a select few use their power and authority to amass wealth while depriving others of basic necessities.

Saddam may be gone but his absence seems to have provided little more than an opportunity for others to step in and fill the power vacuum...and assume the all important role of plundering the wealth that the Bush administration once suggested would not only provide for the comfort and care of the Iraqi people; but would also pay for our costs to prosecute the war.

Given the state of corruption being reported, as well as the $10 billion per month we are spending to maintain our presence in Iraq, I would suggest that we completely miscalculated the potential obstacles and underestimated the level of lawlessness that would ensue.

An entire battalion of Iraqi police "was found to be nonexistent" and corruption in the army is "widespread," with ghost employees and a shortage of supplies, according to the report.

The law allows the prime minister to exempt Cabinet ministers from prosecution and allows ministers to exempt their employees from prosecution.

"This is tantamount to a get out of jail free card," Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, told NBC.

The top Iraqi anti-corruption investigator, Judge Rahdi al Rahdi, told NBC that "in many important cases, ministers did not give us the permission to take their employees to court, the prime minister's office did not give us permission to take ministers to court."

Rahdi said the total amount of missing money involved in his investigations into government misconduct is $11 billion.

Corruption is so serious that it is difficult for the government to function, according to Ali Allawi, a former Iraqi government minister.

"The Americans who are supporting this political class, I believe really have no choice. This is a group they have been saddled with, or supported in power, and must grin and bear it," he said.

History tells us that this isn't the first time the United States hitched its wagon to a government of scofflaws with the thought that it would ultimately be to our benefit. Unfortunately, history also tells us that such regimes rarely endure as their greed and disregard for the people they govern makes them targets for overthrow...often by other groups intent on doing more of the same...all the while leaving the citizenry scrambling to survive while suffering through the excesses of each new governing body.

Delivering democracy and liberty may be a fundamental goal of George Bush, but the people of Iraq may be years away from embracing such a system. No doubt there are those who favor a fair and equitable society but as so often happens they are overwhelmed by those who have learned the art of manipulation and found their way into positions of power.

Sadly, in our efforts to achieve our objectives, we are likely supporting a number of people who could care less about the good people of Iraq and our noble goal. I may be a pessimist, but I'm at a loss to envision the process whereby the thugs and thieves that have infiltrated the Iraqi government will suddenly elect to enact an equitable democracy.

Tagged as: al Maliki, Bush Administration, Corruption, Democracy, Iraq, Muqtada al Sadr, Saddam Hussein

Daniel DiRito | July 31, 2007 | 9:01 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Out Of Focus...On The Family genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Out Of Focus

Occasionally, I like to see what the Christianists are up to and what they have to say about current topics of interest. Today I was treated to some of the best rhetoric I've heard in a long while...and I just had to share.

The folks over at Focus on the Family have two articles of interest posted on their website. Mr. Dobson runs a mean propaganda machine and these two offerings won't disappoint the flock. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.

Marriage Down, Cohabitation Up

Expert says the U.S. is near a tipping point.

Marriage is declining, according to the annual “State of our Unions" report. The study from Rutgers' National Marriage Project also shows cohabitation is sharply on the rise.

David Popenoe, the report's author, said the long-term trends do not look very optimistic.

“You’re going to see it in children being kind of aimless, shiftless, having relationship problems," he said. “They grow up into adults who don’t marry, cohabit, have instability of relationships – basically, it’s a tragedy."

Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of issue analysis at Focus on the Family Action, said the study reflects the self-centeredness of today’s culture.

OK, so children of people who live together...as opposed to children living with parents who have a document stating that they are married...are "aimless" and "shiftless" and "have instability of relationships". Wow! Who would have known?

Now you'll have to excuse my skepticism but I'm slightly confused since I've known "aimless" and "shiftless" people who were married...came from married parents...and attended church on a regular basis. If I were to use the same reasoning found in this article, couldn't I offer the exact same hypothesis for children from married parents?

On the simple basis of logic, the assertion is absurd. Drawing a correlation between marriage and the attributes mentioned by Mr. Popenoe would be akin to me arguing that marriage is bad since the vast majority of homosexuals are the product of heterosexual relationships. Hmm...I guess that should lead me to be in favor of family values, eh?

The second article may be even better.

U.S. Votes to Accept Gay UN NGOs

The United Nations has accepted two radical gay-rights groups as official non-governmental organizations, or NGO’s. The vote to include them was made against the recommendation of a UN-panel. In favor: The United States.

The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Quebec are now officially able to have input into United Nations policy. Samantha Songson of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute says the head of the Canadian group is wasting no time in spreading his message.

The U.S. was among the nations that voted for the groups’ inclusion. Thomas Jacobson of Focus on the Family says it’s been U.S. policy since last year.

“There was a decision made that the US would support non-governmental organizations that were homosexual and lesbian based as long as there were not direct connections to pedophilia."

“They can do enormous damage. The primary battles that we’ve had for years at the UN are over sexual issues and over the construct of the family."

Huh?! So the United States government decided they could support LGBT NGO's if they weren't connected to pedophilia? I guess I missed the debate and discussion of this topic within the government of the United States as well as the press release that reported on this interesting decision.

I guess that must mean that the U.S. government wouldn't support the Catholic Church or the Vatican having any influence at the United Nations. After all, they allowed rampant pedophilia to exist for decades. Perhaps I'm wrong but the Pope routinely has a voice at the UN...maybe he gets an exception because of his Christian beliefs.

I certainly hope this also means that the government will object to NGO's that are affiliated with any church whose spiritual leader has committed adultery or hired male prostitutes for clandestine sexual encounters. It just wouldn't be good practice to allow such people to have a voice on the world stage.

Frankly, this is the kind of crap that organizations like Focus on the Family like to disseminate to their followers. Much like the Bush administration, they believe that if they repeat erroneous information often enough, people will start to believe it to be true. Isn't there a commandment that condemns that type of behavior?

Perhaps god grants exceptions to those who lie and deceive in the name of promoting family values and Christian living? I'm sure it must make perfect sense to Mr. Dobson...given his affinity for divinity.

They say god works in mysterious ways...so I guess his followers are simply doing the work of the lord when they encourage the perpetuation of more shiftless Christians. Yea, that's the ticket.

Tagged as: Christianity, Family Values, Focus on the Family, James Dobson, LGBT, Religion, United Nations

Daniel DiRito | July 30, 2007 | 5:44 PM | link | Comments (0)
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A War We Just Might Win...After Summer Vacation genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Lipstick On A Pig

Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, write an upbeat assessment of the situation in Iraq in today's New York Times...with an even more optimistic headline, "A War We Just Might Win". After eight days in the war torn country, they conclude that progress is being made, troop morale is high, and sectarian groups are beginning to cooperate in order to bring security.

At the same time, the Iraqi parliament announced today that it would begin a lengthy vacation despite the lack of progress on a number of critical issues that have remained stalled in the struggling government. The vacation is scheduled to end on September 4th...just days prior to the much anticipated U.S. assessment intended to evaluate the effectiveness of the recent troop surge.

Perhaps O'Hanlon and Pollack failed to get the memo announcing the extended vacation...the same memo that suggests that even if the troop surge is able to bring improved security, the Iraqi government may well be incapable of stepping in and governing. Oh, and keep in mind that this is the same government that has refused to take control of numerous reconstruction projects that have been completed because they simply lack the ability and the expertise to do so.

From The New York Times:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

Another surprise was how well the coalition’s new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working. Wherever we found a fully staffed team, we also found local Iraqi leaders and businessmen cooperating with it to revive the local economy and build new political structures. Although much more needs to be done to create jobs, a new emphasis on microloans and small-scale projects was having some success where the previous aid programs often built white elephants.

Well that settles it...I need to call my representatives in Washington and urge them to support the President in his determination to stay in Iraq as long as he deems necessary. Look, I have no doubt the added troops have made some marked improvements but we've been here before and the problem remains the same...there are few reasons to believe that the Iraqi's are going to be able to govern once we reduce our presence.

Well over four years into the conflict and the Iraqi security forces appear no more able to maintain the security of Iraq than they were each prior time the Bush administration projected that they would be. Perhaps O'Hanlon and Pollack received a personal assurance from the President?

From Reuters:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament went into summer recess for a month on Monday despite failing to enact a series of laws that Washington sees as crucial to stabilizing the country and reconciling warring Iraqis.

"We do not have anything to discuss in the parliament, no laws or constitutional amendments, nothing from the government. Differences between the political factions have delayed the laws," Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman told Reuters.

"Bush cannot realistically go to Congress and say he has to keep U.S. troops there because the Iraqi government is doing a good job -- because the government is largely absent. It places him in a very difficult predicament," said Gareth Stansfield, an analyst at leading British think-tank Chatham House.

Washington has pressed the Iraqi government to speed up passage of laws that include measures to distribute Iraq's oil reserves and ease restrictions on former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party serving in the civil service.

It views such laws as key to reconciling disaffected members of Iraq's Sunni Arab community, once politically dominant under Saddam and now locked in a vicious sectarian conflict with majority Shi'ites that has killed tens of thousands.

Is Reuters talking about the same country? Maybe I'm dense, but what would make the impartial observer conclude that success is just over the horizon? It looks like Reuters stopped their analysis one ridge short of the magnificent Mesopotamian miracle...you know...that place behind the curtain where the wizard walked O'Hanlon and Pollack through the tangible transformation that is taking place.

Frankly, if victory is proving that 160,000 American troops can have an impact on a nation in a virtual civil war...well...maybe we're ready for a ticker tape parade. On the other hand, isn't it possible that victory would best be equated with a certainty that, upon the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Iraq can thrive as a functional nation?

Even the rose colored glasses of O'Hanlon and Pollack only warrant the following conclusion.

In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front. Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards reconciliation — or at least accommodation — are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely. Otherwise, once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines.

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

Call me a cynic but the ongoing admonitions to "give it six more months"...the many assurances that "we're beginning to see progress"...and the optimistic assertions that "the Iraqi people are happily embracing democracy" are all akin to lathering lipstick on a pig...you know, those animals that don't have lips...those cuddly creatures that no one's inclined to kiss even if they did.

I have empathy for the Iraqi people and I wish them well...but I'm struggling to understand how many U.S. soldiers should give their lives so that the Bush administration can take another shot at convincing the American public that our government is bringing home the bacon...as opposed to feeding us another batch of baloney.

Image courtesy of www.hillquest.com

Tagged as: al Qaeda, Iraq, Kenneth Pollack, Micheal O'Hanlon, Sectarian, U.S. Troops

Daniel DiRito | July 30, 2007 | 3:22 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Ingmar Bergman Dead At 89 genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Happy Remembrances & Video-Philes

Ingmar Bergman, perhaps one of the best film directors to have ever lived...a man driven to create beautiful images, has died at the age of 89.

I found the following quote at Wires and Light and, in my opinion, nothing can better capture the essence of Bergman's passion for film. The quote is from the obituary of his cinematographer, Sven Nykvist.

“Sometimes I probably do mourn the fact that I no longer make films," Bergman wrote. "Most of all I miss working with Sven Nykvist, perhaps because we are both utterly captivated by the problems of light, the gentle, dangerous, dreamlike, living, dead, clear, misty, hot, violent, bare, sudden, dark, springlike, falling, straight, slanting, sensual, subdue, limited, poisonous, calming, pale light. Light."

The following video clip is from Bergman's film, The Seventh Seal, and it also captures his commitment to light as the fundamental ingredient of film. The clip is in Italian and though I could have found other clips, few would have offered such a brilliant use of light. If I may, I would suggest that the viewer simply turn off the sound and enjoy the visual imagery that defined Mr. Bergman.

Ingmar Bergman - The Seventh Seal


Online Videos by Veoh.com

Tagged as: Film, Ingmar Bergman, Sven Nykvist, The Seventh Seal

Daniel DiRito | July 30, 2007 | 2:00 PM | link | Comments (0)
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The GOP Dilemma: "Pro-Life For Hire" Candidates? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Pro-Life Or Pro-Choice

They say it’s not nice to enjoy the misfortune of others...and while I generally support that notion...when it comes to politics, I'm willing to make some exceptions. I have to confess that a New York Times article discussing the predicament facing the Republican Party in the 2008 presidential election with regards to the issue of abortion makes me happy.

That is not to say that the issue of abortion should make anyone happy; rather it is to say that I'm pleased that GOP voters are having to confront the issue with a level of practicality that has been absent from their equation for many years. I find the potential for lessening the influence of absolutism a welcome change.

Six months before the Iowa caucuses, abortion opponents are trying to adjust to a strikingly different political landscape. For the first time in a generation, they face in Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, a front-runner for the Republican nomination who supports abortion rights.

Most of the Republican candidates are scrambling to demonstrate both their anti-abortion credentials and their ability to win. Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative stalwart, said she sensed “concerns" at the grass roots about all the candidates at the front of the pack.

What many abortion opponents say they crave these days is certainty. Analysts say the Supreme Court could now be just a vote or two away from a major rollback of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. But the next president will be crucial.

Hadley Arkes, a professor at Amherst College and a leading social conservative legal thinker, said he had recently gotten “feelers" from some in the Giuliani camp. But Mr. Arkes, an opponent of abortion, said he could not fathom a way the party could nominate Mr. Giuliani and remain the same “pro-life" party it has been for 25 years.

“You change the constituency of the party," Mr. Arkes said — either by showing that anti-abortion voters are not necessary to win, or by showing that anti-abortion voters are willing to subsume their cause to other issues.

Even so, Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said recent poll analysis suggested that some anti-abortion voters may be willing to consider that possibility.

For far too long the issue of abortion has been characterized as an all or nothing construct...one that ignores the realities of the human condition and that places an unwarranted emphasis on one narrow aspect of morality...which often disregards numerous other concerns deserving of consideration and attention.

I understand the argument made by those opposed to virtually all abortions and I realize that their beliefs are not apt to allow for some degree of flexibility. Notwithstanding, those beliefs do not comport with reality and if the 2008 election can force a meaningful dialogue that leads to the entertainment of some reconsideration, then I'm all for it.

Those opposed to abortion are frequently opposed to contraception, against comprehensive sex education, and in favor of abstinence pledges as a means to combat unwanted pregnancies...and the immorality they attach to sexuality. Portraying sex as wrong and immoral, in my opinion, contributes to the problem. Instead of giving young people a healthy perspective on sexuality, it promotes deceit and denial...both of which establish sex as a forbidden pleasure rather than as an expression of love.

If the 2008 election can serve as an impetus to change this antiquated construct and signal the beginning of the end to this virtual demonization of sex, perhaps we will have turned the corner on thirty years of the politics of regression and repression. I'm all for finding ways to reduce the number of abortions...but not by adopting the mentality of moral measurement and criminal consequence that has permeated the Republican Party.

If the current GOP candidates fall short of the ingrained standard, perhaps it will force fundamentalists to consider the views of those they routinely discount as inadequate and intolerable. Unfortunately, I'm afraid many Christian conservatives are going to have to be led to this newly emerging reality kicking and screaming.

In the meantime, pardon me for taking pleasure in the contortions that will inevitably illuminate the intransigence that has dominated the issue. My sarcastic side wants to watch the GOP candidates prostitute themselves to a constituency that seems to abhor all things remotely sexual. Indeed, before it’s over, it should make for some rather strange bedfellows. Rather tawdry, don't you think?

Image courtesy of MSNBC

Tagged as: 2008 Presidential Election, Abortion, Giuliani, GOP, Religion, Roe v. Wade, Romney, Sexuality, Thompson

Daniel DiRito | July 30, 2007 | 11:54 AM | link | Comments (0)
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President Bush Says No To Insuring More Children genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

For The Children

Sometimes comparison proves to be the best means to understand the intentions of those who have been elected to public office…especially since the spoken word is often the tool by which politicians manipulate voters. When it comes to understanding President Bush, comparison is necessary…and the results offer a string of contradictions that defy the rhetoric of compassionate conservatism.

In a New York Times article, Paul Krugman provides readers a look into the position of the President with regard to the expansion of programs to cover uninsured children…programs that the President supported in the past…but programs that the President is opposed to expanding despite their success.

When a child is enrolled in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (Schip), the positive results can be dramatic. For example, after asthmatic children are enrolled in Schip, the frequency of their attacks declines on average by 60 percent, and their likelihood of being hospitalized for the condition declines more than 70 percent.

Regular care, in other words, makes a big difference. That’s why Congressional Democrats, with support from many Republicans, are trying to expand Schip, which already provides essential medical care to millions of children, to cover millions of additional children who would otherwise lack health insurance.

But President Bush says that access to care is no problem — “After all, you just go to an emergency room" — and, with the support of the Republican Congressional leadership, he’s declared that he’ll veto any Schip expansion on “philosophical" grounds.

The House plan, which would cover more children, is more expensive, but it offsets Schip costs by reducing subsidies to Medicare Advantage — a privatization scheme that pays insurance companies to provide coverage, and costs taxpayers 12 percent more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare.

Strange to say, however, the administration, although determined to prevent any expansion of children’s health care, is also dead set against any cut in Medicare Advantage payments.

Well, here’s what Mr. Bush said after explaining that emergency rooms provide all the health care you need: “They’re going to increase the number of folks eligible through Schip; some want to lower the age for Medicare. And then all of a sudden, you begin to see a — I wouldn’t call it a plot, just a strategy — to get more people to be a part of a federalization of health care."

Looking at this particular situation offers ample opportunities for relevant and informative comparisons. First, let me suggest that the President’s position is neither conservative nor compassionate. There has been little disagreement that George Bush’s Medicare prescription drug program was the largest expansion of entitlements in recent memory and most analysts believe it will cost far more than the original estimates.

On its surface, one might argue that adding a prescription drug benefit was an act of compassion…and to a degree that conclusion has some merit. However, this is where comparison becomes an enlightening tool.

It is well known that the President is in favor of privatizing entitlement programs and one could argue that the prescription drug benefit was a logical step in that direction and likely the only means by which he could initiate such a plan…given that is has the appearance of compassion. One can look at the high costs of the program as the essential seed money for turning the corner towards privatization.

As we know, the program has been viewed to have achieved mixed results but there is no doubt that it provided insurance companies with a subsidized entrée into the living rooms of millions of Americans. Let me attempt to explain. The prescription drug benefit allows those on Medicare to purchase the benefit from an array of private providers…a move that begins to put in place a ready made structure for further privatization.

Such a plan achieves two important goals for a President in favor of privatization. One, it begins to give insurance companies an expanding role in providing care for the millions of seniors on Medicare…a move that is good for large corporations in the business of health care…including drug manufacturers. Two, it is an important incremental step in taking the government out of the health care business and entitlement programs.

Coming back to the Schip program, one can begin to use comparisons to uncover actual motivations. The number of uninsured Americans is well documented as a politically charged issue. In approving a plan to cover a number of uninsured children, the President achieved points for compassion just as he did with the prescription drug benefit. These programs also helped to hold off calls for universal government health care…a direction which this President opposes.

When one looks at the Bush administration position on the relative costs for the Schip plan and Medicare Advantage, we see that compassion and conservatism are secondary to the ideology of privatization. Granted, one could argue that the ultimate goals of the measures endorsed by the President have conservatism at their core…meaning less government and more market determined programs and costs.

In that regard, perhaps these spending measures…which are seemingly incongruent with conservatism…and which have raised the ire of traditional conservatives…have been shrewd considerations and calculations on the part of the President intended to push the country towards more privatization.

Now, why should Mr. Bush fear that insuring uninsured children would lead to a further “federalization" of health care, even though nothing like that is actually in either the Senate plan or the House plan? It’s not because he thinks the plans wouldn’t work. It’s because he’s afraid that they would. That is, he fears that voters, having seen how the government can help children, would ask why it can’t do the same for adults.

And there you have the core of Mr. Bush’s philosophy. He wants the public to believe that government is always the problem, never the solution. But it’s hard to convince people that government is always bad when they see it doing good things. So his philosophy says that the government must be prevented from solving problems, even if it can. In fact, the more good a proposed government program would do, the more fiercely it must be opposed.

This sounds like a caricature, but it isn’t. The truth is that this good-is-bad philosophy has always been at the core of Republican opposition to health care reform. Thus back in 1994, William Kristol warned against passage of the Clinton health care plan “in any form," because “its success would signal the rebirth of centralized welfare-state policy at the very moment that such policy is being perceived as a failure in other areas."

But it has taken the fight over children’s health insurance to bring the perversity of this philosophy fully into view.

Krugman’s analysis is valid but perhaps it stops short of identifying the ultimate misconceptions that underlie such a philosophy. George Bush is no doubt a product of privilege and in that reality his ability to comprehend the struggles of those at the opposite end of the spectrum is undoubtedly insufficient.

There is an inherent risk for those who "have" to infer that those who "have not"…deserve not…that what they lack results from their lack of effort and that if they are coddled by the government, they will never demonstrate the necessary initiative to alter their situation absent the assistance of the government.

Clearly, there have been situations that have given such arguments credibility…particularly the welfare reform seen in the 1990’s (though one could argue that the strong economy played a larger role in that success than the simple act of refusing to toss people a government subsidized lifeline).

Regardless, refusing to provide care to needy children seems to be punishing the innocent amongst us for all of the wrong reasons. Ideology aside, children lack the ability or the autonomy to effect their status. Allowing them to be political pawns seems wrong by whatever comparative means one may choose to employ.

Sadly, I view this situation as one of many examples whereby George Bush has demonstrated his predisposition to implement and impose his absolute ideological views despite the detrimental impact they may inflict upon those who do not serve to advance his narrow objectives.

Tagged as: Children, Congress, George Bush, Healthcare, Medicare, Paul Krugman, Privatization, Schip

Daniel DiRito | July 30, 2007 | 10:42 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Moyers Journal: Discussing Al Qaeda And Iraq genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Video-Philes

The following two video clips are from the PBS program, Bill Moyers Journal, and they are the second part of a two part posting at Thought Theater. The first half can be found here.

The first video clip is the completion of the discussion outlined below which appeared in the first posting. The second clip is Moyers own reflections on the war in Iraq. It is a poignant segment that highlights the service of a soldier who lost his life in Iraq against the statements recorded by Max Blumenthal at the College Republican National Convention.

It is startling to see the degree to which these young Republican's have adopted the rhetoric of the Bush administration. This final segment also leaves one to wonder how many of those who endorse this war would actually be willing to make the sacrifice to serve in the U.S. military. In using the Blumnethal clip, Moyers provides an illumination of these subtle but significant distinctions.

From the prior posting:

This latest edition of the Journal had an excellent segment titled Al Qaeda And Iraq...a discussion with Fawaz Gerges, author of two books, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global and Journey Of The Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy and Brian Fishman, a Senior Associate at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

This is one of the most informative conversations on the situation in Iraq, the war on terror, and the many complex obstacles which the United States faces in dealing with the inhabitants of the Middle East.

Anyone who has listened to the Bush administration's simplistic characterization of the Iraq situation or the war on terror should watch this program. Frankly, I doubt anyone can come away from watching this discussion and feel better about the daunting task the United States undertook with the invasion of Iraq. Further, it would be very difficult to conclude that the latest strategy will succeed or that the President has faced up to the enormity of the situation.

Bill Moyers Journal - Part Three

Bill Moyers Journal - Part Four

Tagged as: al Qaeda, Bill Moyers, Brian Fishman, Fawaz Gerges, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, War On Terror

Daniel DiRito | July 29, 2007 | 5:47 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Moyers Journal: Discussing Al Qaeda And Iraq genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Video-Philes

The following two video clips are from the PBS program, Bill Moyers Journal, and they are the first part of a two part posting at Thought Theater. The second half will be posted later this evening.

This latest edition of the Journal had an excellent segment titled Al Qaeda And Iraq...a discussion with Fawaz Gerges, author of two books, The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global and Journey Of The Jihadist: Inside Muslim Militancy and Brian Fishman, a Senior Associate at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.

This is one of the most informative conversations on the situation in Iraq, the war on terror, and the many complex obstacles which the United States faces in dealing with the inhabitants of the Middle East.

Anyone who has listened to the Bush administration's simplistic characterization of the Iraq situation or the war on terror should watch this program. Frankly, I doubt anyone can come away from watching this discussion and feel better about the daunting task the United States undertook with the invasion of Iraq. Further, it would be very difficult to conclude that the latest strategy will succeed or that the President has faced up to the enormity of the situation.

Bill Moyers Journal - Part One

Bill Moyers Journal - Part Two

Tagged as: al Qaeda, Bill Moyers, Brian Fishman, Fawaz Gerges, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, War On Terror

Daniel DiRito | July 29, 2007 | 5:09 PM | link | Comments (0)
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The Daily Show: Making Sense Of Our Iraq Policy? genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

The Daily Show attempts to make sense of the latest rhetoric coming from the Bush administration with regards to staying in Iraq. Before the segment is over, Stewart points to the many contradictions and finally concludes that the task of understanding why we remain in Iraq may be unachievable. I'm right there with him.

Tagged as: al Qaeda, George Bush, Iraq, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Daniel DiRito | July 29, 2007 | 1:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Iraq's Maliki Government On Life Support? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Nouri al-Maliki

While many observers are debating the effectiveness of the latest troop surge in Iraq, an even more disturbing issue may be developing…one that could lead to the complete unraveling of what is already a relatively dysfunctional government. Conflict is nothing new to the fledgling government, but current events could be the final impetus in toppling the already weakened Maliki led coalition.

BAGHDAD - Iraq is in the throes of its worst political crisis since the fall of Saddam Hussein with the new democratic system, based on national consensus among its ethnic and sectarian groups, appearing dangerously close to collapsing, say several politicians and analysts.

This has brought paralysis to governmental institutions and has left parliament unable to make headway on 18 benchmarks Washington is using to measure progress in Iraq, including legislation on oil revenue sharing and reforming security forces.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi Accordance Front said it pulled out of Mr. Maliki's coalition government, but would return its six cabinet members if the prime minister met a list of demands. The Sunni bloc says it wants, among other things, pardons for detainees not facing specific criminal charges and for all militias to be disbanded.

If they pull out, it would bring to 12 the number of vacancies in Maliki's 39-member cabinet.

Simple math tells us that if nearly a full third of the government is on the verge of withdrawal, the Maliki government is perilously close to failure. Numerous critics of the war, including many within the Democratic Party and a few Republican defectors, have been arguing that the situation in Iraq cannot be solved militarily and that it must be addressed primarily through political diplomacy and reconciliation.

However, the truth of the matter is that the Bush administration continues to sell the continuing U.S. occupation, as well as the recent troop surge, on the grounds that Iraq has become the central front in the war on terror. Unfortunately, that argument continues to ignore the fundamental issue that will ultimately need to be resolved in order to establish an Iraqi national identity...sectarian differences.

The apparent shortsightedness of the President is either a grave flaw or he has elected to string the American public along with a military rationale knowing full well that the task at hand is much larger and will require many more years of U.S. involvement and oversight…a position he likely realizes would not be palatable to an already reluctant citizenry. Either way, the goal of a democratic Iraq is more likely a function of fiction than a calculation of fact.

And since Saturday, US Ambassador Ryan Crocker has been shuttling between Iraq's top leaders, but an embassy spokesperson said this was not necessarily indicative of a crisis.

"The surge has done well in making a difference in security conditions. But it isn't a light switch for reconciliation; there are no quick fixes to years of bitterness and violence," he said.

Robert Springborg, director of the Middle East Institute at the University of London, says the heart of the problem was that no one is truly committed to a strong and unified government.

"The actors involved have their own agendas, the central government and its resources are a tool for their own aspirations ... none are committed to a government for all Iraqis," he says.

Pointing to the growing disconnect between Washington and Baghdad, Askari, Maliki's adviser, says, "Washington believes that passing the oil law will impact on reconciliation and the security situation. We beg to differ. This matters little to the armed groups that kill Iraqis every day. Their sole agenda is to reverse what we have achieved so far."

Despite my intense criticism of the Bush administration, I do realize that the United States faces a difficult predicament now that we have toppled the Hussein regime. Nonetheless, the initial miscalculations, coupled with a seemingly persistent and unyielding stubbornness, have simply served to compound the ongoing dilemmas we have faced and will therefore continue to face.

When that basic reality is added to the intransigent and arrogant nature of the neocon mindset…a mindset that has been allowed to influence each decision…it is difficult to predict the point at which an honest evaluation can be completed…let alone when such an evaluation can be used as the backdrop for real discussions and meaningful solutions.

Whether the Bush administration will ever acquiesce to such an approach remains the critical factor. All signs suggest that moment remains a very distant and doubtful dream. In the meantime, the American public will no doubt have to endure more of the Bush administration’s ongoing nightmare…an American administration in denial and a dysfunctional and divided Iraq.

Tagged as: George Bush, Iraq, Neocon, Nouri al-Maliki, Sectarian, Shiite, Sunni

Daniel DiRito | July 27, 2007 | 3:32 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Bohemian Rhapsody is probably my favorite Queen song...perhaps because it reminds me of my senior year in high school. When I think back on those times, it was a period of great change and expanding social awakening. Each day was filled with new experiences and the world was immense.

I have fond memories of that time in my life and it's always heartening to reconnect with them. Music has always been my means of keeping track of the years and when I hear a song that brings me back in time, it is both rewarding and inspiring.

Bohemian Rhapsody is from A Night At The Opera which was released by Queen in 1975. That year and the following year likely marked the high point in the bands popularity and it certainly marked a memorable time in my life.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

Tagged as: 1976, Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen

Daniel DiRito | July 27, 2007 | 12:40 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Richard Dawkins Interviewed On The Hour genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The following video is from an appearance by Richard Dawkins on The Hour. The program begins with host George Stroumboulopoulos providing a biographical look at Dawkins and his views on religion.

In the interview Dawkins discusses his book, The God Delusion, and what motivated him to write the book. Dawkins posits that religion leads people astray with myths and stories that have little basis in truth.

Dawkins also discusses the benefits that people believe they receive from religion and though he understands the dynamic, he feels religion often leads people to ignore the discernable truths that exist in the modern world.

Part One

Part Two

Tagged as: God, Religion, Richard Dawkins, Science, The Hour

Daniel DiRito | July 27, 2007 | 12:15 PM | link | Comments (1)
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New Poll: Voters Bent Over Broken Bureaucracy genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

A new George Washington University Battleground Poll ought to be a warning to both political parties that they need to clean up their acts and get about the work they were elected to achieve. Judging from the bleak numbers,...

Tagged as: Congress, Democrat, George Washington Battleground Poll, Republican, Voter Opinion

Daniel DiRito | July 26, 2007 | 4:39 PM | link | Comments (0)
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We Chased Them To Pakistan...Yea, That Worked genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

While the decider in chief runs about the country spouting the dangers of al Qaeda “IN" Iraq, virtually all other experts on the subject are pointing to Pakistan and just how difficult and daunting it will be for anyone...

Tagged as: al Qaeda, George Bush, Musharraf, Pakistan, Pentagon, War On Terror

Daniel DiRito | July 26, 2007 | 1:56 PM | link | Comments (1)
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George W. Bush: Two Tall Fables & A Twilight Zone genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

On Tuesday, the President sought to portray al Qaeda in Iraq as the central threat in the war on terror. His actions were apparently meant to shore up waning support for his war in Iraq and to respond to...

Tagged as: al Qaeda, Edward Gistaro, George W. Bush, Iraq, Iraq Study Group, NIE, Pakistan

Daniel DiRito | July 26, 2007 | 11:15 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The National Performs Fake Empire On Letterman genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

The National appeared on David Letterman last night and if I were a betting person, I would wager that they are going to be big. The song in the video clip is called Fake Empire and it is from...

Tagged as: Alligator, Boxer, David Letterman, Fake Empire, The National

Daniel DiRito | July 25, 2007 | 8:51 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Contempt Citations: House Tells Bush To Bring It On genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

In response to President Bush's refusal to allow the testimony of Josh Bolten and Harriet Miers in the U.S. Attorney firing investigation, the House Judiciary Committee has voted to issue contempt of Congress citations. The committee vote in favor...

Tagged as: Balance of Power, Contempt of Congress, Executive Power, George Bush, Harriet Miers, John Conyers, Josh Bolten

Daniel DiRito | July 25, 2007 | 11:05 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Housing Sector Continues To Threaten Economy genre: Econ-Recon

Despite Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke's efforts to soothe concerns about the housing industry and the sub-prime lending crisis, the latest home sales figures paint a picture that may signal a much broader economic downturn. Recent indicators suggest that the...

Tagged as: Ben Bernanke, Economy, Federal Reserve, Foreclosures, Housing, Interest Rates, Real Estate, Sub-prime

Daniel DiRito | July 25, 2007 | 9:42 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Maher HBO Special: The Decider (Adult Content) genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

The following four video clips are the second part of a two part posting of Bill Maher's HBO special, The Decider, which aired this past weekend. The first part can be found here. As you may be able to...

Tagged as: Bill Maher, George Bush, HBO, The Decider

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 9:56 PM | link | Comments (6)
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Bill Maher HBO Special: The Decider (Adult Content) genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Bill Maher's HBO special, The Decider, aired this past weekend. As you may be able to tell from the title of the special, Maher's focus is on President Bush...and he wastes no time dissecting and eviscerating George Bush and...

Tagged as: Bill Maher, George Bush, HBO, The Decider

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 9:22 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Ward Churchill Update: Regents Terminate Professor genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

UPDATE: The Regents of the University of Colorado have voted 8-1 to fire controversial professor Ward Churchill. I am updating a prior posting on Churchill now that he has been fired. Anyone interested in listening to an excellent conversation...

Tagged as: 9/11, Boulder, University of Colorado, Ward Churchill

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 7:45 PM | link | Comments (4)
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George Bush Rolls The Dice On "Al Qaeda In Iraq" genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

If one listens to the President, we are fighting the war in Iraq so we don’t have to fight al Qaeda here in the homeland. Unfortunately, it appears that a number of high level officials in the United States...

Tagged as: 9/11, al Qaeda, Bush Administration, General Renuart, Homeland Security, Iraq, US Embassy

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 6:45 PM | link | Comments (0)
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James Dobson: Harry Potter Dangerous To Children genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

Thank goodness James Dobson of Focus on the Family is looking out for the interests of the world's children. In a statement posted on the organizations web site, Dobson corrects a report by the Washington Post that suggested he...

Tagged as: Bible, Evangelical, Focus on the Family, Harry Potter, James Dobson, Witchcraft

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 2:07 PM | link | Comments (2)
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George W. Bush's Top Ten Reasons To Stay In Iraq genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Tongue-In-Cheek

As I read today’s New York Times article on the most recent Bush administration plan for a do-over in Iraq, I found myself wondering if I could think of other events in history that had an equivalent “You’ve got...

Tagged as: Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Iraq, John McCain, Top Ten

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 12:29 PM | link | Comments (0)
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George Bush: Divorce From Reality Finalized genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

You've got to be kidding! George Bush just completed his latest dissertation on the situation in Iraq and his message is that al Qaeda has an organization in Iraq and the United States must defeat al Qaeda in Iraq....

Tagged as: al Qaeda, George Bush, Iraq, National Intelligence Estimate, War On Terror

Daniel DiRito | July 24, 2007 | 10:19 AM | link | Comments (2)
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Poll: Dems Must Drive The Car Or Lose Their License genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The notion of a squandered opportunity is a well known concept and if one looks at the latest Washington Post – ABC News poll, one may well see one about to materialize. In 2006, voters voiced a clear message...

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Democrats, Filibuster, GOP, Harry Reid, Iraq, Washington Post-ABC News Poll

Daniel DiRito | July 23, 2007 | 9:07 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Justice Served: Mr. President, Tear Down This Wall genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

There is something terribly frightening about an Attorney General who makes the argument that he needs to stay on in his position in order to fix the Justice Department’s image. Isn’t he the same man who sat at the...

Tagged as: Alberto Gonzales, George Bush, John Conyers, Kyle Sampson, Monica Goodling, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Attorney

Daniel DiRito | July 23, 2007 | 3:42 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bouquets & Bullets - The Iraq Miscalculation genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation

Every now and then, an obscure little fact provides a huge amount of perspective into an otherwise complex situation with seemingly few answers. Such an event occurred in Iraq over the weekend. Let me offer a little background information....

Tagged as: Asian Cup, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iraq, Soccer

Daniel DiRito | July 23, 2007 | 10:29 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Richard Dawkins Explains His Views On God & Truth genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

In the following video clip, Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion, speaks about his views on god and truth and his lofty goal of persuading people to understand that there is nothing wrong with disbelief...that it is...

Tagged as: Atheism, Religion, Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Daniel DiRito | July 22, 2007 | 4:08 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Tammy Faye Messner - 03/07/42 to 07/20/07 genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Happy Remembrances & Video-Philes

Tammy Faye Messner was a living caricature for many years. On Friday, the controversial woman with the trademark mascara tears succumbed to cancer. As I watched her final interview on Larry King, I found myself looking at her to...

Tagged as: Damien Rice, Larry King, Tammy Faye Messner, televangelists

Daniel DiRito | July 22, 2007 | 8:15 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Mute Math Performs Typical On The Late Show genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Mute Math, a band originally from New Orleans, performed their song Typical on Letterman the other night and anyone that likes to watch a great drummer will love this video. You can tell this guy loves what he is...

Tagged as: David Letterman, Mute Math, The Late Show

Daniel DiRito | July 21, 2007 | 9:28 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Take Pride genre: Front and Center & Snapshot Thoughts

But You Have To Pay For It Because Nothing Is Free....

Daniel DiRito | July 21, 2007 | 9:05 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Hitchens Offers An Explanation Of Anti-Theism genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

Christopher Hitchens has appeared on numerous programs and forums following the release of his latest book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. The following video clips are the second half of a two part Thought Theater posting...

Tagged as: Atheism, Christopher Hitchens, God, Religion

Daniel DiRito | July 21, 2007 | 8:37 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Can An Atheist Be Elected President Of The USA? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Conventional wisdom suggests that an atheist could not be elected president of the United States despite the fact that our constitution grants no fewer rights to those who do not believe in a higher being. I find that improbability rather...

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Atheism, BBC News, John Green, President

Daniel DiRito | July 20, 2007 | 1:36 PM | link | Comments (0)
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George W. Bush: Knock Yourself Out genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

I have a new theory on the impact of the George W. Bush presidency. I must also confess that my theory results from my utter amazement and frustration with the latest assertion by the Bush administration. The Washington Post...

Daniel DiRito | July 20, 2007 | 10:45 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Keith Olbermann: Iraq Is George Bush's War genre: Just Jihad & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

Keith Olbermann offers another Special Comment...this time on the war in Iraq and the outrageous Pentagon statement that Senator Hillary Clinton and all those who dissent to the war in Iraq are aiding the enemy. The remarks were offered...

Daniel DiRito | July 20, 2007 | 8:39 AM | link | Comments (0)
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S&L Deja Vu: Sub-Prime Loan Market Set To Implode? genre: Econ-Recon & Six Degrees of Speculation

If you were around during the late 80’s you have an appreciation for the magnitude of the Savings & Loan Scandal. If you weren’t around, you may get an opportunity to see it firsthand as a result of the...

Daniel DiRito | July 19, 2007 | 5:43 PM | link | Comments (3)
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The Colbert Report: The Word On Senator Vitter genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

In Stephen Colbert's most recent segment of The Word, he discusses the sex scandal surrounding Louisiana Senator David Vitter and his links to a Washington DC prostitution service. Colbert coins the term "victimcrite" to describe the Democrats willingness to...

Daniel DiRito | July 19, 2007 | 1:47 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Tony Snow: GWB's Shaman, Sorcerer, & Salesman genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Anyone that doubts that the White House Press Secretary is a partisan hack need only read Tony Snow’s tortured screed in Thursday’s USA Today, titled Victory In Iraq Is Vital. I understand his role but I still find the...

Tagged as: Afghanistan, al Qaeda, George Bush, Iraq, Osama bin Laden, Tony Snow, War On Terror

Daniel DiRito | July 19, 2007 | 11:53 AM | link | Comments (1)
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The Daily Show On Recent Headline Topics genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee cover the latest headlines with The Daily Show's typical irreverence. In the first clip, Stewart gives the viewer a primer on the appointment of James Holsinger as Surgeon General...including some insight into the plumbing...

Daniel DiRito | July 19, 2007 | 9:31 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Did You Know 2.0 & Did You Know - Shift Happens genre: Video-Philes

The following video, Did You Know 2.0, is an official update to the original Did You Know - Shift Happens video from Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod. It is a fascinating look at the future based upon numerous relevant...

Daniel DiRito | July 18, 2007 | 9:15 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Brooks, Douthat, & Ponnuru On Bush's Big Ideas genre: Hip-Gnosis & Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The other day David Brooks wrote about the President’s belief that freedom is a god given right and that our efforts to democratize Iraq and advance the spread of freedom around the world is a principled position. Brooks suggests...

Daniel DiRito | July 18, 2007 | 4:08 PM | link | Comments (0)
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George W. Bush: Is His Legacy On Life Support? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

George W. Bush must believe the average American is ignorant. While he and members of his administration go out of their way to characterize the war in Iraq as a focal point in the battle against al Qaeda, every...

Daniel DiRito | July 18, 2007 | 7:55 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Elizabeth Edwards At San Francisco HRC Dinner genre: Gaylingual & Video-Philes

The following video is of Elizabeth Edwards speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in San Francisco on July 14, 2007. Edwards offers an informed and impassioned talk on the need for equality for the LGBT community and rightly...

Daniel DiRito | July 17, 2007 | 8:25 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Vatican On LA Sex Scandal: Misery Loves Company genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

The day after the Los Angeles Archdiocese agreed to a settlement of $660 million dollars in the lawsuit alleging a pattern of sexual abuse on children by members of the clergy, the Vatican spoke out on the issue. Some...

Daniel DiRito | July 17, 2007 | 12:26 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Evangelical Extremists Rail Against Hate Crimes Bill genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

If one reads the propaganda of evangelical extremists, one might think that a hate crimes bill to punish crimes committed upon gay individuals is intended to silence all statements of religious opposition to homosexuality. The right wing rhetoric machine...

Daniel DiRito | July 17, 2007 | 9:29 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Hitchens Offers An Explanation Of Anti-Theism genre: Hip-Gnosis

Christopher Hitchens has appeared on numerous programs and forums following the release of his latest book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. The following video clips are the first half of a two part Thought Theater posting...

Tagged as: Atheism, Christopher Hitchens, God, Religion

Daniel DiRito | July 16, 2007 | 6:46 PM | link | Comments (0)
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George Bush: The Accidental President? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

For a man who enjoys calling himself "The Decider", George W. Bush, seems more like a hapless dog chasing his tail. Even worse, his most recent spate of initiatives to address growing hot spots in the world appears to...

Daniel DiRito | July 16, 2007 | 5:18 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Silver Ring Thing Student Loses Appeal genre: Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Lydia Playfoot, the sixteen year old student in the UK who sought to wear her purity ring to school, has lost her appeal to the High Court. Thought Theater previously wrote about the case here. The Court ruled that...

Daniel DiRito | July 16, 2007 | 8:23 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill Moyers & His Panel Discuss Impeachment genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

The following video clips are of a Bill Moyers Journal in which he discusses impeachment with John Nichols of The Nation and Bruce Fein, a scholar in constitutional law. I think it is noteworthy to point to the argument...

Tagged as: Bill Moyers, Bruce Fein, Constitution, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Impeachment, John Nichols

Daniel DiRito | July 15, 2007 | 3:10 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Who Took The Training Wheels Off The Iraqi Forces? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

The Bush administration is shuffling the cards again. This time we're being told that the focus on training Iraqi security forces has been de-emphasized due to the latest surge effort. This is about the third time that we have...

Daniel DiRito | July 14, 2007 | 9:41 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Starveillance: Madonna Prepares For Her Tour genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

The following video clip is from E!'s Starveillance series and it is of Madonna preparing for her Confessions tour. Even though it is meant to poke fun at Madonna, I think it's pretty funny. From Wikipedia: Starveillance is a...

Daniel DiRito | July 14, 2007 | 9:23 AM | link | Comments (0)
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BBC: The Most Hated Family In America - The Phelps' genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The following three video clips represent the second half of a two part posting at Thought Theater of a BBC documentary by Louis Theroux of the Fred Phepls family and his Westboro Baptist Church titled The Most Hated Family...

Daniel DiRito | July 14, 2007 | 9:02 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Is Fear Of God Evidence Of Morality? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

Many of those who believe in god labor endlessly to refute those who do not...and in that effort lie the answers to the questions they often pose to atheists. The latest attempt comes from Michael Gerson of the Washington...

Tagged as: Atheism, God, Hitchens, Morality, Religion

Daniel DiRito | July 13, 2007 | 9:03 AM | link | Comments (3)
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Olbermann Special Comment On Michael Chertoff genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

Keith Olbermann offers another Special Comment...this time on the announcement by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that his gut tells him that an al Qaeda attack is coming soon...perhaps this summer. I think the key thing to think about...

Tagged as: al Qaeda, George Bush, Homeland Security, Keith Olbermann, Michael Chertoff, Terrorism

Daniel DiRito | July 12, 2007 | 8:15 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Christian Intolerance Erupts In Senate Chamber genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

The following video is another demonstration of religious intolerance and the scourge of absolutist beliefs. Three protesters with the Christian organization Operation Save America traveled from North Carolina to disrupt the opening prayer in the Senate because it was...

Daniel DiRito | July 12, 2007 | 5:37 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Bill O'Reilly Blathers On About Gays At Ball Park genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

If you haven't heard about the latest Bill O'Reilly pontification, you're in for a treat. The San Diego Padres sponsored a night celebrating gay pride in San Diego which included the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus singing the National...

Daniel DiRito | July 12, 2007 | 3:04 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Sari Nusseibeh: Thoughts On Arab-Israeli Conflict genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Sari Nusseibeh has been an advocate for a two state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict which has dominated the Middle East for many years. Nusseibeh, a long time advocate for a peaceful solution to the conflict between the Israeli's...

Tagged as: Christianity, Islam, Israel, Palestine, Religion, Sari Nusseibeh

Daniel DiRito | July 12, 2007 | 1:00 PM | link | Comments (0)
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George W. Bush: The Decider On Scooter Libby & More genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

The following is a video from www.OpenLeft.com, a new web site that just recently launched. Perhaps the words spoken in this video are what George Bush actually says in private or thinks in his head. If one can judge...

Daniel DiRito | July 12, 2007 | 12:24 PM | link | Comments (0)
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The Iraq Dilemma: Tossing Rocks In The River? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Over the course of more than four years, the American public has been treated to countless explanations of the situation in Iraq. At each juncture, the event of focus is reported to be the fundamental item that will allow...

Daniel DiRito | July 12, 2007 | 9:41 AM | link | Comments (0)
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BBC: The Most Hated Family In America - The Phelps' genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The three video clips below represent the first half of a Thought Theater presentation of a BBC documentary by Louis Theroux on the Fred Phelps family and his Westboro Baptist Church titled The Most Hated Family In America. Theroux's...

Daniel DiRito | July 11, 2007 | 9:59 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Al Qaeda Rebuilt While GWB Fiddled With Iraq genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

What a difference over four years of war in Iraq have made in the war on terror. In the slow blink of a blind eye, we are now being told that al Qaeda has fully reconstituted itself to a...

Daniel DiRito | July 11, 2007 | 5:35 PM | link | Comments (1)
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APA Reviewing Gay Counseling & Reparative Therapy genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

In a move that may signal the repudiation of gay reparative therapy...an effort to convert one from homosexual to heterosexual...a task force of the American Psychological Association will conduct a review of its policies with regard to the counseling...

Daniel DiRito | July 11, 2007 | 11:31 AM | link | Comments (0)
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A Window Of Opportunity: Democrats Must Jump Now genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Two items in today’s news offer important instruction to the Democrats as they approach the 2008 presidential election. Both require a shift in the rhetoric and the strategy of the party, the candidates, and those who support them…including those...

Daniel DiRito | July 11, 2007 | 9:27 AM | link | Comments (0)
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George W. Bush: Get Your Religion Out Of Our Science genre: Hip-Gnosis & Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Six Degrees of Speculation

It looks to be one of those days...a day that one might argue is filled with moments of hyper-reality...a day where the news is a constant reminder of all the things one finds wrong with the state of one's...

Daniel DiRito | July 10, 2007 | 3:53 PM | link | Comments (1)
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GWB: Promoting HIV One Missing Condom At A Time genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Six Degrees of Speculation

I've written about the Bush administration's HIV/AIDS efforts in Africa a number of times...here, here, here, and here...and while I applaud the expanded funding that have been committed to that effort, one cannot ignore the fact that a significant...

Daniel DiRito | July 10, 2007 | 12:45 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Tim Russert: Hitchens & Meacham Discuss God genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

This is the second half of a two part posting. The following video clips are of a discussion on god and religion. The dialogue is moderated by Tim Russert and the participants are Christopher Hitchens and Jon Meacham. The...

Daniel DiRito | July 10, 2007 | 11:55 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Pope Asserts Catholicism Is The Only True Church genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

Many Thought Theater readers have been following the dialogue in the comment thread of my open letter to Michael Glatze. In that comment thread, there has been ample debate about the notion of truth and where one might actually...

Daniel DiRito | July 10, 2007 | 9:53 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Call For Iraqi Civilians To Take Up Arms: A New Surge? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

While the White House scrambles to maintain GOP support for the surge of U.S. troops in Iraq, Iraqi politicians have apparently begun to draw their own doubtful conclusions about the latest Bush administration effort. Following the bloody weekend in...

Daniel DiRito | July 9, 2007 | 12:13 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Some Wise Words For Democratic Candidates? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Given my own love of words, I found an article discussing the need for Democratic candidates to change the language by which they deliver their messages to be a fascinating explanation of recent GOP successes and seeming underperformance on...

Daniel DiRito | July 9, 2007 | 8:59 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Madonna At Live Earth: La Isla Bonita & Hung Up genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

I didn't get to watch that much of Live Earth but I did find these two video clips of Madonna's performance in London. The first one is a new version of La Isla Bonita. I think its a great...

Daniel DiRito | July 8, 2007 | 8:21 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Tim Russert: Hitchens & Meacham Discuss God genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

Christopher Hitchens has been featured on a number of programs discussing his new book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. This posting is the first of a multiple part series at Thought Theater which will include the...

Daniel DiRito | July 8, 2007 | 11:15 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Creation Museum Is Built Upon Proof Of Evolution genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

For those who may not know, The Creation Museum was recently opened in Petersburg, Kentucky. The primary goal of the museum is to defend the Biblical version of the origin of life and to refute the science of evolution....

Daniel DiRito | July 8, 2007 | 10:33 AM | link | Comments (1)
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2008: A Turning Point In The Politics Of Absolutism? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

I have no problem with other people’s marriages. In fact, I’m in favor of expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. All too often, those who venture into the topic, do so with a religious construct and...

Daniel DiRito | July 7, 2007 | 6:04 PM | link | Comments (12)
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Colbert Report: Elaine Pagels On The Bible genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The following video clip is from an interview of Elaine Pagels conducted by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. While we know that the program is primarily about comedy, the clip does offer some worthwhile dialogue. Elaine Pagels has...

Daniel DiRito | July 7, 2007 | 9:22 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Biebl Bible genre: Front and Center & Snapshot Thoughts

This Bible Seems To Endorse Two Men Together....

Daniel DiRito | July 6, 2007 | 4:49 PM | link | Comments (1)
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This & That: News In Brief genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church: Shirley Phelps-Roper has been charged with a number of violations related to a recent protest by the group at a funeral for a soldier killed in the war in Iraq. The charges include flag mutilation,...

Daniel DiRito | July 6, 2007 | 3:17 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Silver Spoon? Nah, I Prefer Platinum genre: Nouveau Thoughts & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

Not long ago I wrote about what I call our "Chain Letter Society"...the construct that we have become a society obsessed with being number one, being the best, being the person at the top of the pyramid. Parents seem...

Daniel DiRito | July 5, 2007 | 7:33 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Mr. President - Commute Genarlow Wilson's Sentence genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

I've previously commented on the Genarlow Wilson case in Georgia. Wilson, when 17, was convicted of child molestation for having consensual oral sex with a fifteen year old. He was sentenced to ten years and remains in prison at...

Daniel DiRito | July 5, 2007 | 5:32 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Beverly Sills: 05/25/29 - 07/02/07 - Her Final Song genre: Happy Remembrances & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

I've never been a huge opera fan but one can't fail to acknowledge the passing of Beverly Sills. The following video is from her farewell performance and it seems a fitting tribute. Beverly Sills - Tell Me Why...

Daniel DiRito | July 5, 2007 | 2:14 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Keith Allen On Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The following video clips are the second half of a two part posting here at Thought Theater presenting a documentary called Keith Allen Will Burn In Hell, a look at Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church. You can...

Daniel DiRito | July 5, 2007 | 10:27 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Are You Ready For Your Close-Up, Fred Thompson? genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Fred Thompson and his supporters have done a remarkable job of marketing his wares and positioning him to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination. His followers like to portray him as a strong former prosecutor, a Washington...

Daniel DiRito | July 4, 2007 | 1:33 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Perspective On The Libby Commutation genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

President Bush's commutation of the Scooter Libby prison term has drawn more than its share of attention. I think its safe to say that the move raised suspicion and doubt about the equity of the Bush administration in helping...

Daniel DiRito | July 4, 2007 | 9:22 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Keith Olbermann: George Bush Should Resign genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

Keith Olbermann offers another of his thoughtful Special Comments...this one on the President's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison term. Olbermann goes on to tackle far more than his views on the Libby matter as he eloquently delivers a laundry...

Daniel DiRito | July 3, 2007 | 8:17 PM | link | Comments (0)
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An Open Letter To Michael Glatze genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

Today, Michael Glatze, a well known figure in the gay world and a former proponent of gay rights, wrote of his rejection of homosexuality in an essay posted at World Net Daily. I have posted Michael's essay below and...

Daniel DiRito | July 3, 2007 | 2:56 PM | link | Comments (129)
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Keith Allen On Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The following video clips are the first half of a two part posting here at Thought Theater presenting a documentary called Keith Allen Will Burn In Hell, a look at Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church. Keith Allen...

Daniel DiRito | July 3, 2007 | 9:48 AM | link | Comments (0)
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GWB's Commutation: It's Bigger Than Scooter Libby genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

By now most Americans know that President Bush has commuted the sentence of convicted felon Scooter Libby...a move that has drawn criticism from Democrats and praise from conservative Bush-Cheney loyalists. A number of pundits and analysts suggest that the...

Daniel DiRito | July 2, 2007 | 5:57 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Deciphering Homeland Security: How Thin Is The Line? genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

In the aftermath of 9/11, the President made the remark that the effort to prevent terrorism was a daunting task. I believe his characterization concluded that we had to be successful every time while the terrorists simply have to...

Daniel DiRito | July 2, 2007 | 1:15 PM | link | Comments (0)
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iPhone Premiere: Is It Real Life Or Is It Mad TV? genre: Econ-Recon & Indie-Script & Nouveau Thoughts

I'll admit that I like new technology...but I had to laugh at the iPhone hysteria over the weekend. As much as I like innovation, you would never find me standing in line at the launching of a new product....

Daniel DiRito | July 2, 2007 | 9:56 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Floods In UK God's Punishment For Yadda Yadda... genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

If I had a nickel for every time a religious leader said that natural disasters were god's punishment for some behavior they didn't condone, I'd give religion a run for its ill-gotten coffers. The latest pontification comes in response...

Daniel DiRito | July 1, 2007 | 6:24 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Christopher Hitchens & Al Sharpton On Hardball genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

The following video clips are of the appearance by Christopher Hitchens and Al Sharpton on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Anyone interested in a discussion of religion and how it relates to politics should enjoy this exchange. The topic is...

Daniel DiRito | July 1, 2007 | 1:41 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Love, Marriage...And A Baby Carriage? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

James Dobson must be scratching his head. While opponents of gay unions tout the argument that marriage should be reserved for the joining of a man and a woman in order to procreate, the average American seems to see...

Daniel DiRito | July 1, 2007 | 8:33 AM | link | Comments (0)
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