May 2008 Archives

McCain's Straight Talk Express Takes Every Fork In The Road? genre: Polispeak

It looks like it won't take a swiftboating to highlight John McCain's propensity to parse his words for political expediency. As a matter of fact, I suspect that the catch phrase for the 2008 presidential election may turn out to be YouTubing...and there's little doubt the following video may be the first salvo in a concerted effort to redefine John McCain as a man who is unable to choose which fork in the road best suits his presidential aspirations.

McCain's short temper and his dogged determination to claim ownership of all that can be construed as honorable and high-minded doesn't always endear him to the impartial observer. Unfortunately for the Arizona Senator, it can easily be interpreted as arrogance and insolence...especially when the video footage frequently confirms the inconsistencies he's been forced to adopt in hopes of creating a broader appeal in November.

At its worst, the McCain indignation only enhances the perception that his "grumpy old man" persona is a natural accompaniment to his advancing age. If that impression takes hold, McCain may lose any experience advantage he would have otherwise been able to espouse. If his coming exchanges with the Democratic nominee result in more YouTube moments...moments that appear to show a cranky man with a waning grasp of his prior utterances...he'll quickly pigeonhole himself as the silver-haired senior with a surly certainty that cannot be sustained.

Should his opponent astutely position himself as someone willing to give respectful deference to age while refusing to relent on those matters of import to the voter, McCain will quickly appear to be a relic worthy of respect who has also eclipsed his capacity to command the issues that concern the citizenry. If this scenario begins to unfold, I would speculate that McCain's testy temperament will work to his detriment...while also allowing a younger Barack Obama to position himself as the symbol of a changing political climate.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Economics, Flip Flop, General Petraeus, Iraq, John McCain, Straight Talk Express, Taxes

Daniel DiRito | May 31, 2008 | 1:29 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Rep. Sam Graves: Bringing San Francisco Chic To Missouri? genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek

It looks like San Francisco has become the new France (freedom fries anyone?)...at least for some members of the GOP. Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) has taken to featuring those awful "San Francisco values" to attack his Democratic opponent, Kay Barnes.

He's apparently doing this because he wants Missourians to believe that Barnes' singular goal is to take solid midwestern values and transform them into a San Francisco style Sodom & Gomorrah. Unfortunately, the music and images are a miserable melange comparable to what one might expect to find on a late night TV commercial promoting a singles hook-up phone line.

I could be wrong, but it looks to me like Rep. Graves has spent too many restless nights on the couch in front of his television. A more sinister interpretation of the image might suggest that Graves wants his constituents to ponder the slippery slope mentality one would expect to hear from Rick Santorum...you know, the one that thinks gay marriage is just the tip of the iceberg in the progression towards allowing 'man with his favorite pet marriages'.

All that's missing from this multi-racial, pansexual, menage a trois Solid Gold meets Queer as Folk dance club image to complete this ludicrous mindset is a dirty dancing German Shepherd and a pair of "in sync" silver-haired sister spinsters.

Rep. Graves (R-MO) First San Francisco Values TV Ad

Rep. Graves (R-MO) Second San Francisco Values TV Ad

Tagged as: 2008 election, Humor, Kay Barnes, Missouri, Rep. Sam Graves, Rick Santorum, Same-Sex Marriage, San Francisco

Daniel DiRito | May 31, 2008 | 8:42 AM | link | Comments (1)
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The Daily Show: Supporting The Troops Is Just A GOP Slogan genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Ever since 9/11, the GOP has made a habit of flaunting their support for our troops...while also accusing their adversaries of not doing so. Each time a Democrat criticized the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, questioned the merits of continuing the war, or voiced concerns with the huge costs to fund the war, their patriotism was questioned.

Times have apparently changed. The moment Democratic Senator Jim Webb submitted legislation to insure that support for the troops would include a much needed expansion of the educational benefits provided under the existing GI Bill, George Bush and John McCain are suddenly leading the opposition.

You see, the bottom line is political expediency. When supporting the troops can be exploited for partisan advantage, the GOP couldn't talk long enough and loud enough about their commitment to our troops. Now that support for our troops has been transformed into a tangible benefit, the president and his clone are both leading the charge to defeat the measure.

Truth be told, these current actions only reinforce the assertions of Scott McClellan, the president's former Press Secretary. McClellan, in his newly released book, tells us that this president frequently placed his focus on the partisan benefits of his actions. The fact that the troops were a pawn in his political arsenal seems to be clear at this juncture.

It's also increasingly evident that John McCain, the former straight-talking maverick, has opted to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. Our troops and the American public cannot afford four more years of supporting the political ambitions of men like George Bush...and his well-trained lap dog...John McCain.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, George Bush, GI Bill, Jim Webb, John McCain, Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Daniel DiRito | May 30, 2008 | 11:24 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Thought Theater Receives Democratic Convention Credentials genre: Indie-Script & Polispeak

DNCC.jpg

Earlier this year I submitted an application to the DNCC in the hopes of receiving credentials to cover the Democratic National Convention. Much to my surprise, yesterday I was notified that Thought Theater had been selected.

I've watched every convention since Hubert Humphrey was chosen to represent the party in 1968 following the assassination of Robert Kennedy. I must say I'm look forward to attending this one in person.

From The Notification Email:

Congratulations. The Democratic Convention staff has completed its review of blog credential applications and I'm writing to let you know that your blog will be credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

We're excited to welcome so many blogs to the Convention (about 3 times as many as 2004). And we know you're eager to make travel plans for August. We'll contact you next week with logistical information regarding housing, credential distribution, and other key details. You probably have several questions. Please be patient - as our goal is to distribute this information to all credentialed blogs at the same time.

Thank you for applying and I look forward to working with you in Denver. I'm excited to see how your blog covers the Convention and introduces the Democratic nominee to your audience.

From The DNCC Press Release:

DENVER - As part of its continuing commitment to engage a broad spectrum of audiences in new and creative ways, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) today announced that a record number of blogs have been credentialed as members of the media for the 2008 Democratic National Convention at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. These blogs will help ensure that communities across the country are connected to the Convention through the eyes and ears of a growing, diverse group of online voices.

Organizers also announced that blogs credentialed by the DNCC will have access to a dedicated "Blogger Lounge" inside the Pepsi Center, equipped with televisions, technology resources and workspace to facilitate their reporting. All bloggers will have access to the Convention floor, press briefing areas, caucus meetings, filing centers and other auxiliary events open to members of the media.

The credentialed blogs represent a large and diverse collection of voices and perspectives. The pool includes blogs covering national, state and local politics and those representing a variety of groups including the African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American and LGBT communities. Blogs focusing on youth issues, women's issues, labor issues, disability issues as well as those focusing on the environment and communities of faith will also be credentialed among many others.

The complete list of blogs credentialed to date can be found at www.DemConvention.com/credentialed-blogs.

At the moment, I don't have a specific plan for the coverage Thought Theater will provide from the convention. I encourage readers to offer any suggestions in that regard. I'll keep you posted.

Many thanks to those who read Thought Theater. None of this would be possible or purposeful without you.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Democratic National Convention, Democrats, DNCC

Daniel DiRito | May 30, 2008 | 8:38 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The Vatican Monologues: No Vagina's Allowed genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation

NoWomenAllowed.jpg

If you're ever seeking to understand the monolithic nature of misogyny, look no further than the Catholic Church. With classic institutional gobbledygook, the Vatican has made it clear that the ordination of female priests is unacceptable and grounds for immediate excommunication.

Pardon my disgust, but the utter idiocy of the Church's rationale is enough to make one hope for an afterlife...if for nothing more than the singular opportunity to kick the Grand Poobah in the keister for his part in enabling the wholly fallible interpretations of his head honcho's here on earth.

The decree was written by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and published in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, giving it immediate effect.

A Vatican spokesman said the decree made the church's existing ban on female priests more explicit by clarifying that excommunication would follow all such ordinations.

Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said he thought the decree was meant to send a warning to the growing number of Catholics who favor admitting women to the priesthood.

The church said it cannot change the rules banning women from the priesthood because Christ chose only men as his apostles. Church law states that only a baptized male can be made a priest.

Let's have some fun with the above logic. On the one hand, it seems that the Church is suggesting that God has decreed that woman have a lesser status in his holy hierarchy. In other words, when God elected to send Jesus to live amongst us...in order to redeem our sins and show us the path to salvation...he had no problem with women being relegated to subservient status.

That would have to mean that God believed that we humans had that piece of the life equation right all along. In fact, the inference is that Jesus wasn't conforming to the existing norms when he excluded women from being apostles...he was merely upholding God's belief that women were to be the equivalent of chattel.

I'm sorry, but that's a crock of crap and the fact that the Vatican is willing to cling to such an archaic argument is a testament to their intransigent ideology. It's also a demonstration of an unflinching arrogance to adapt God's intentions accordingly. Honestly, isn't this the same church that spent four decades concealing the serial molestation of underage children by the very men they seek to elevate to privileged status?

Crass as this may sound, I'm of the opinion that had there been a few vagina's in the monastery, there may have been a call for accountability and a demand for a demonstration of conscience - instead of a rallying around the rapists in order to retain an unearned reign of recalcitrant righteousness.

Then again, my experience tells me that the nuns have always done the lion's share of the heavy lifting while the priests have paraded about in their pretty gowns. Why would I expect the Vatican's vituperate monologue to change now?

Tagged as: Catholic Church, Equality, God, Infallibility, Jesus, Misogyny, Pope Benedict XVI, Priesthood, Vatican, Women

Daniel DiRito | May 29, 2008 | 4:57 PM | link | Comments (5)
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God Tube Gem: Get Thee Out Of The Club genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Oh the joys of GodTube! It really is a gold mine of God fearing goodies.

In the following video (over eight minutes long), you will hear all of the Biblical recitations that forbid us from participating in "clubbing". Yes, if you go to a club with your friends, you're almost certain to drink too much booze...and we all know that a liquored up lad or lass is the devil's playground.

On the contrary, if one follows the word of God and goes to church on Saturday night, all thoughts of debauchery will disappear from your mind. Of course there is an important caveat...you never know what might be on the mind of your minister...he may well have his sites set on tapping your mother or your sister...or God forbid...your father or brother. Worst case, he may even have you in mind...because he undoubtedly knows how effective it is to write ridiculous rules that lead young people to feel sinful, repressed, conflicted...and in need of "counseling and comforting". I hear that's their specialty...if you catch my drift.

Yes, the more I think about it, one can never be sure who is a disciple of the devil. Why I'm so concerned with the cunning nature of satan and sin that I just won't be able to force myself to attend Saturday night mass. It's just not safe enough for me. I know, I know...the Pope has forbidden gay men from the priesthood...but what's to say the devil can't turn a manly minister into a maniacal molester in a matter of moments?

After all, look what the devil was able to do to Pastor Ted Haggard and so many other god fearing Christians. If only someone would make a video on how to identify the devil at work in locations other than clubs. I'll just have to hope that this video is only the first of many more. Then again, what if the devil is the motivation behind this video?

Oh it's all too complicated...where is the Rapture when you need it? Come to think of it, I saw a few videos on God Tube that might be able to give me an exact ETA. I guess I'll put on some music, grab a beer, and head back over to "Club Christ". Care to join me? Call your friends and head on over. I hear the Jesus rave is still on for tonight.

Tagged as: Bible, Christian, Dancing, Drinking, God Tube, Humor, Morality, Rapture, Religion, Ted Haggard

Daniel DiRito | May 29, 2008 | 2:33 PM | link | Comments (2)
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NY Governor Paterson: Same-Sex Marriages To Be Recognized genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

In a move that is sure to keep same-sex marriage in the media spotlight, New York Governor David Paterson has issued a directive requiring the state of New York to recognize same-sex marriages from those states and countries where they have been allowed. The governor argues that the move is consistent with long standing New York law...law that has always required recognition of marriages from other jurisdictions.

From The New York Times:

ALBANY -- Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.

The revisions are most likely to involve as many as 1,300 statutes and regulations in New York governing everything from joint filing of income tax returns to transferring fishing licenses between spouses.

The directive cited a Feb. 1 ruling by a State Appellate Court in Rochester that Patricia Martinez, who works at Monroe Community College and who married her partner in Canada, could not be denied health benefits by the college because of New York's longstanding policy of recognizing marriages performed elsewhere, even if they are not explicitly allowed under New York law. The appeals court said that New York must recognize marriages performed in other states that allow the practice and in countries that permit it, like Canada and Spain.

Monroe County filed an appeal with the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, but it was rejected on technical grounds. The county has not decided whether to file another appeal, a county spokesman said on Wednesday. The Court of Appeals has previously ruled that the state's Constitution did not compel the recognition of same-sex marriages and that it was up to the Legislature to decide whether do so.

In the larger picture, the move may be part and parcel of a tipping point in the battle over same-sex marriage. At the very least, this action coupled with the ruling of the California Supreme Court, may lead opponents of same-sex marriage to reconsider their opposition to the granting of any of the same rights that are currently afforded to heterosexual marriages.

Until now, opponents of same-sex marriage have been able to ignore the granting of reasonable rights to same-sex couples by placing their focus on same-sex marriage as a threat to the institution and the family. The latest polling in California seems to suggest that more and more citizens are shifting their views on same-sex unions. That shift, assisted by the Supreme Court ruling, may indicate that the issue of equality is beginning to eclipse the fomenting of fear that has been the cornerstone of the religious right's efforts to deny any recognitions that might legitimize homosexuality.

I've long argued that a majority of Americans are ultimately fair minded...though they are frequently slow to shed fears that can prevent them from making objective conclusions. In the case of homosexuality, the religious right has sought to cloak their hatred and bigotry as a simple adherence to morality. Unfortunately, more and more citizens are able to recognize the true agenda of those opposed to same-sex marriage...which is actually an effort to prevent the codifying of any gay rights.

The fact that gays have sought the full array of rights has, to a degree, allowed the religious right the leeway to disguise their agenda as well as distort the agenda of the gay community. That dynamic has served to heighten fears and relegate a rational discussion of basic rights to the back burner.

While I'm concerned that the California ruling has the potential to initiate a backsliding or a backlash against gays, the ruling of the court, coupled with Governor Paterson's clearly articulated justification for granting basic rights and recognitions to same-sex couples, may be the point at which fair Americans realize that they can't allow their reservations about homosexuality to be the impetus to deny rights to their fellow citizens.

The following video is today's announcement by the Governor detailing the directive and the rationale by which it has been issued.

Tagged as: California, Civil Unions, Equality, Gay Marriage, Governor Paterson, LGBT, Massachusetts, New York, Same-Sex Marriage

Daniel DiRito | May 29, 2008 | 10:49 AM | link | Comments (3)
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John Safran: Puttin' The Missionary To The Mormon genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

In the following video, John Safran, an Australian television personality known for edgy stunts and television segments on sensitive subjects, decides to head to Salt Lake City and have some fun giving members of the Latter Day Saints a taste of their own missionary medicine.

Once Safran and his director arrive in Utah, they gather up their atheist literature and propaganda, don white shirts and dark ties, put on name tags, jump on their bicycles, and set out on an early morning mission to the homes of unsuspecting Mormons.

Unfortunately, Safran and his pal encounter some rather indignant and intolerant folks while attempting to share their beliefs on atheism and evolution. It seems that many of these Mormons believe it is better to be on the giving end of a missionary message than it is to be in the unenviable position of receiving one.

I guess their training is only about puttin' it to the non-believer. Perhaps that's why the Mormons who knock on our doors have no compunction to keep sticking their pamphlets in our faces and looking for any possible opening to inject their ideology.

Needless to say, I couldn't help but enjoy watching my Mormon friends doing their best to avoid getting "stuck". Let's hope some of them now understand why Safran and many others like him aren't interested in "taking it" anymore.

Tagged as: Humor, John Safran, LDS, Missionaries, Mormonism, Mormons, Proselytizing, Religion

Daniel DiRito | May 28, 2008 | 9:48 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Oy Vey: Donuts, Dogma, & A Damn Scarf genre: Hip-Gnosis & Just Jihad

If you haven't figured out the topic of this posting from the above title, let me be the first to tell you that the right leaning blogosphere is in an uproar over a scarf worn by Rachael Ray in a Dunkin' Donuts advertisement.

Here's the gist of the objection - the scarf looks similar to a "keffiyeh"...which is the type of scarf "polularized by Yassir Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim Terrorists." Hence, blogs like Little Green Footballs, Atlas Shrugs, and Michelle Malkin...amongst others...decided to bring the offense to the attention of Dunkin' Donuts and ask for the advertisement to be pulled. Dunkin' obliged the request and explained that nothing malicious was intended by the inclusion of the scarf.

Look, had the scarf been utilized to make a political statement, one could argue that it was offensive and inappropriate. Clearly Dunkin' Donuts is in the business of making a profit and anything that might offend portions of their customer base isn't apt to be selected to appear in their marketing materials. Hence, inferring Dunkin' is guilty of anything more than an insensitivity to the diversity of their customer base would be, in my opinion, unreasonable.

I have no reason to doubt Dunkin's sincerity so I'll move on to the rhetoric of those who view the scarf as an opportunity to launch a veiled assault upon those who object to some of the actions of the Bush administration in the aftermath of 9/11.

Pardon my skepticism, but when I realized who was behind the protestations, the first thought that crossed my mind was that this was part of an endless effort to link every possible event with terrorism in the hopes that they will invoke the fear of a threat to our national security. No doubt much of the GOP's political success under George Bush results from efforts of this very nature.

In light of the fact that the GOP brand isn't highly regarded at the moment, my cynical side tells me that invoking terrorism and fear is evidence of some level of desperation...especially when it involves nothing more than donuts, a domestic diva, and a damn scarf.

Moving on, I decided to have some fun and highlight the hyperbole and the hysteria being broadcast on this particular topic by one of the blogosphere's biggest bloviators...Michelle Malkin. Always righteous and perpetually pedantic, Malkin is dogmatic in directing her derision towards all those who ignore her ideological incantations. As such, it only seemed appropriate to rename Dunkin' Donuts in deference to her defiant demagoguery.

With that said, I'm introducing Dogma's Donuts. They're divinely delectable, faithfully flavorful, and religiously ready at the crack of dawn. Stop by soon...Michelle is on standby to stuff you full of her Christian confections.

DunkinDonutsMalkin.jpg

Tagged as: 9/11, Atlas Shrugs, Christianity, Dogma, Dunkin' Donuts, Faith, Fear, GOP, Ideology, Intolerance, Islam, Keffiyeh, Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, Muslim, Rachael Ray, Religion, Terrorism, Yassir Arafat

Daniel DiRito | May 28, 2008 | 4:45 PM | link | Comments (3)
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Flock Of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus genre: Hip-Gnosis

The following video, Flock Of Dodos, is a documentary on the debate between those who accept evolution and those who argue in favor of an intelligent designer. I could be wrong, but it is arguably one of the best I've seen on the subject.

While the filmmaker is an avowed evolutionist, the treatment of the subject is an even handed and thoughtful exploration of the issues. Rather than add to the already large body of rhetoric and propaganda, this documentary is refreshingly unbiased.

The documentary exposes the crux of the intelligent design argument...that evolution and Darwinian Theory are not necessarily one and the same. Hence, they contend their disagreement isn't necessarily with the general notion of an evolutionary process but with the fundamentals of the origin of life as elaborated by Darwin. That provides the necessary opening for the introduction of an intelligent designer (creator).

While it is possible to understand the contentions of those supporting intelligent design, I suspect their approach is more about creating a difference without a distinction in order to find an opening for the introduction of their religious ideology...albeit repackaged and disguised to look like a simple scientific disagreement.

The problem I have with those who push the intelligent design angle is their endless energy and ability to impose an absolutist bent when confronted with the volumes of evidence for evolution. While I understand their position, I cant get around the contradictions that exist in their other applications of their absolutism.

On the one hand, they suggest that the fossil record lacks enough transitional creatures to conclusively support Darwin's contentions. On the other hand, they believe virtually every word written by numerous authors over a number of years in the Bible. This includes a belief in Jesus based primarily upon the written accounts of those followers who embraced his ideology. When Kansas school board member Kathy Martin states her disbelief in the fossil record...and argues that no one was there to see a lung fish walk out of water...the selective application of evidence becomes apparent.

Regardless, the filmmaker, Dr. Randy Olson, argues that the successes of those who favor intelligent design comes from their ability to approach the debate with a seemingly reasonable and unemotional demeanor...a demeanor that has the potential to be viewed as distinctly less dogged than the outrage that is coming from the scientific community. Olson contends the anger coming from the scientific community isn't all that advantageous to succeeding in squelching the quasi-creationists.

Olson's treatment is beneficial because he's able to think about outcome without becoming overwhelmed by his own understandings of the scientific evidence. In other words, he's kept his eye on the dynamics that may well determine the end result of the debate. Olson's awareness of voter sentiment...and the predisposition towards religious beliefs that has dominated American politics for the last thirty years...assists Olson in remembering that those supporting evolution must win the public relations discussion as well as the scientific debate.

In the end, Olson's documentary should instruct us that this battle will be about far more than a arrogant and erudite recitation of the scientific evidence. Winning hearts and minds remains a relevant endeavor...one that the scientific community and those who support it must not ignore.

Tagged as: Creationism, Darwin, Evolution, God, Intelligent Design, Politics, Randy Olson, Religion, Science

Daniel DiRito | May 28, 2008 | 10:37 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Give Way genre: Front and Center & Snapshot Thoughts

Traffic sign in London - 2004
Shouldn't You Tell Me Where You Want To Go Before I Give You The Way?

Daniel DiRito | May 28, 2008 | 9:26 AM | link | Comments (1)
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The Colbert Report: On Gay Marriage With Tony Perkins genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions & Video-Philes

In the following video segment, Stephen discusses the Bible and the recent ruling of the California Supreme Court on gay marriage with Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. Perkins and his organization are rabidly anti-gay and it's obvious that he's uncomfortable throughout his conversation with Colbert (unfortunately many of these right wingers have no sense of humor).

I always enjoy watching the holier than thou squirm when confronted with some of the inconsistencies found in their dogma...and Colbert is one of the best at exposing them. I'm sure Perkins couldn't wait for the segment to end.

Tagged as: Bible, Colbert Report, Faith, Family Research Council, Gay marriage, LGBT, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Stephen Colbert, Tony Perkins

Daniel DiRito | May 28, 2008 | 9:04 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Science vs. Faith - Going With The Flow genre: Hip-Gnosis & Snapshot Thoughts

In many ways, people of faith begin with a conclusion they derive from their interpretation of the Bible and then their subsequent observations are tailored to support their established beliefs. Science, on the other hand, attempts to look at the evidence as it is revealed in order to determine if it can be utilized to support a plausible hypothesis.

All too often, people of faith reject evidence that contradicts their beliefs while scientists hope the evidence will refine the prevailing theory in order to more closely approximate a fact based finding. The former seeks to support a singular truth while the latter accepts the probability of a progression towards more truth.

One can offer lengthy explanations to describe the differences in the practice of science and faith...or one can rely upon a very basic flow chart. Since I'm having a tough time getting wound up today, I decided to keep it simple. This is one of those times when I'm happy to allow a visual to effectively communicate an important distinction.

ScienceVsFaith.jpg

Tagged as: Creationism, Evolution, Faith, God, Religion, Science, Scientific Method

Daniel DiRito | May 27, 2008 | 12:28 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Making The Argument For Gay Rights By Opposing Them genre: Gaylingual & Uncivil Unions & Video-Philes

Sometimes the best way to point out the absurdity of an opinion is to offer one that is even more absurd. The following video does just that.

In taking on the issue of banning homosexuality and offering seven reasons in favor of doing so, the video succeeds in making a credible argument in support of granting gays equal status.

No doubt many of the arguments against granting gays the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts lack rationality. This video helps to highlight the irrationality that is so often a part of prejudice.

Tagged as: Equal Rights, Equality, Gay, Gay Marriage, LGBT, Same-Sex Marriage, Satire

Daniel DiRito | May 25, 2008 | 11:51 AM | link | Comments (0)
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A Primer On Evolution - Part One & Two genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

In light of the ongoing efforts of creationists (now packaged as Intelligent Design) to discredit the theory of evolution, it seems appropriate for us to first have a clear understanding of what evolution is and what it isn't. The following two videos are the first offerings in a series designed to give us the basics on the theory of evolution.

Those who are insistent upon nothing less than divine creation have a seemingly limitless energy to craft clever (though contrived) rationales to explain away evolution or to distort its meaning in order to appeal to those of faith. Time and again, they ignore the basic premise of the scientific method...and therefore seek to establish this as an all or nothing debate.

The truth is that many scientists concede that they cannot disprove the existence of God. At the same time, they point out that the scientific method is compelling in its ability to support the theory of evolution. On the other hand, for many creationists, there can be no overlap or compatibility. They can only find comfort if God created everything in its final form at the moment of its origin. Anything short of a literal understanding of the Biblical version of creation will suffice...and that means that each and every component of evolutionary evidence must be undermined and rejected.

Hence, those who support Intelligent Design are engaged in a propaganda war designed to pit science against religion in order to suggest that it is impossible to believe in both. They do this because they want to force people of faith to fall on the side of religion and their arguments are designed to assist in characterizing science as the antithesis of religion. Sadly, this is simply the nature of literalism and the intransigence that it facilitates.

How Evolution Works - Part One

How Evolution Works - Part Two

Tagged as: Bible, Creationism, Evolution, Faith, Intelligent Design, Religion, Science, Theory Of Evolution

Daniel DiRito | May 25, 2008 | 10:02 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Are Those Opposed To GI Bill In Favor Of Stealth Conscription? genre: Econ-Recon & Just Jihad & Polispeak

The passage of Senator Jim Webb's expansion of the GI Bill to provide expanded educational benefits highlights a topic most don't want to discuss. Since abolishing the draft and making service in the military voluntary, critics have argued that...

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Charlie Rangel, Conscription, Economics, Education, George Bush, GI Bill, Iraq, James Webb, John McCain, Military Draft, Patriotism, Socioeconomic, Underprivileged, Veto, Volunteer Military, War

Daniel DiRito | May 23, 2008 | 10:35 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Bad Day To Be A Climate Change Denying Christian Creationist? genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Hip-Gnosis

Try as they might to undermine science, those who reject evolution and downplay the impact of man-made climate change will have to work overtime to deny newly revealed evidence of both. Time and again, creationist's contend that the fossil...

Tagged as: Bible, Climate Change, Creationism, Evolution, Fossil, Frogmander, Global Warming, God, Intelligent Design, Rapture, Religion, Transitional

Daniel DiRito | May 22, 2008 | 6:35 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Court Ruling Puts Don't Ask, Don't Tell On Notice? genre: Gaylingual

Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been the standard used by the military to determine if a gay service person should be discharged from the military ever since the first Clinton administration attempted to completely remove the long standing ban....

Tagged as: DADT, Discrimination, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay, Gays In The Military, LGBT

Daniel DiRito | May 21, 2008 | 10:20 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Papal Infallibility: No More Homosexuals, No More Pedophiles? genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis

The Vatican, through its Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, has confirmed that homosexuals must not be granted admission into a seminary. The letter restates the instruction previously offered in 2005. I suspect the inference is that a ban...

Tagged as: Cardinal Bertone, Catholic Church, Celibacy, Child Molestation, Gay, Homosexuality, LGBT, Papal Infallibility, Pedophilia, Pope Benedict XVI, Priesthood, Sexual Orientation, Vatican

Daniel DiRito | May 20, 2008 | 10:13 AM | link | Comments (5)
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Earth To Pastor Hagee: Closets Are For Clothes genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

In the following video, Pastor Hagee seems to lament that times have changed. In that recognition, it appears that he yearns to return to the world as he used to know it...a world before television and a world where...

Tagged as: Bible, Constitutional Amendment, Gay, God, John Hagee, LGBT, Morality, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Values

Daniel DiRito | May 19, 2008 | 5:36 PM | link | Comments (1)
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Richard Dawkins: TV Ontario Interview genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

In the following video clips, Richard Dawkins shares his views on a wide range of topics surrounding his agnostic beliefs. He offers his opinions on the source of morality for non-believers and dispels the commonly held view that religion...

Tagged as: Atheism, God, God Delusion, Morality, Religion, Richard Dawkins, Values

Daniel DiRito | May 19, 2008 | 11:27 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Gas Prices, Gas Bags, & The Gas Chamber genre: Econ-Recon & Six Degrees of Speculation

No doubt the current energy crunch is a complex equation. A number of factors likely contribute to the rising price of gasoline in the United States. As I understand it, they include the rapidly expanding consumer demand (including China...

Tagged as: Capitalism, China, Corporate Profits, Energy Shortage, Environment, Environmental Regulation, Free Market, Gas Chamber, Gas Prices, Global Warming, India, Lobbying, Oil Exploration, OPEC, Refineries

Daniel DiRito | May 18, 2008 | 1:55 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Family Research Council: Black & White Is As Clear As Mud genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The Family Research Council has followed in the footsteps of Focus on the Family with the introduction a new video segment on their web site. FRC calls their program The Truth in Black & White, and it features Tony...

Tagged as: Al Gore, Bible, California Supreme Court, Family Research Council, Gay Marriage, Global Warming, God, Harry Jackson, LGBT, Religion, Religious Right, Same-Sex Marriage, The Truth in Black & White, Tony Perkins

Daniel DiRito | May 18, 2008 | 10:00 AM | link | Comments (1)
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The Bush-McCain Challenge: Are They Birds Of A Feather? genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

Now that the Democrats are approaching the point at which they have a nominee, they can begin to focus their attentions on John McCain and his kinship with none other than George W. Bush. In one of the best...

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Bush-McCain Challenge, George W. Bush, John McCain, MoveOn.org

Daniel DiRito | May 16, 2008 | 11:15 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Beyond The Mainstream Media: Understanding The Food Crisis genre: Econ-Recon & Video-Philes

When I traveled around the world, one of the most notable differences was the character and content of television news. The primary distinction seems to be a matter of depth...meaning the news in other regions isn't just presented in...

Tagged as: al Jazeera, Cable News, China, Corn, Ethanol, Food Crisis, Food Prices, Food Shortage, Globalization, India, Inflation, Media, Middle Class, Multi-National Corporations, Poverty, Rice, Trade Agreements

Daniel DiRito | May 16, 2008 | 8:55 AM | link | Comments (0)
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California Supreme Court Overturns Ban On Same-Sex Marriage genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak

I realize I should be excited about the California Supreme Court's decision to remove the ban on same-sex marriage ...but the pragmatist in me simply won't allow it. I'll explain my thinking after the following excerpt on today's ruling. SAN...

Tagged as: California, DOMA, Equality, Gay, LGBT, Marriage, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Supreme Court

Daniel DiRito | May 15, 2008 | 11:53 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Keith Olbermann Special Comment - 05/14/07 genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation & Video-Philes

On the one hand, I can't wait for George Bush to be out of office...and on the other, I'll miss watching Keith Olbermann literally eviscerate the president on a regular basis with eagerly anticipated Special Comments. Lest there be...

Tagged as: Civil Liberties, George W. Bush, Golf, Iraq, Keith Olbermann, Special Comment, Terrorism, WMD's

Daniel DiRito | May 14, 2008 | 7:27 PM | link | Comments (0)
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California To Rule On Gay Marriage: Good News, Bad News? genre: Gaylingual & Uncivil Unions

Most of us are familiar with the expression, "Be careful what you wish for", though I suspect it rarely keeps us from spending our time hoping to achieve or attain the things we seek. The fact that the California...

Tagged as: Amendment, California, DOMA, Gay, Gay Marriage, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, Supreme Court

Daniel DiRito | May 14, 2008 | 1:43 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Focus On The Family - Married To The Money genre: Econ-Recon & Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis

Focus on the Family, the empire of demagogue James Dobson, has launched a new video feature that gives outsiders an insight into the values they embrace...and they undoubtedly place a lot of value on the acquisition of cash...especially if...

Tagged as: Abortion, Bible, Economic Stimulus Checks, Evangelicals, Focus On The Family, God, Government, James Dobson, Jesus, LGBT, Marriage, Religion, Religious Right, Same-Sex Marriage, Stuart Shepard, Taxes

Daniel DiRito | May 14, 2008 | 11:50 AM | link | Comments (0)
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An Experiment In Critical Thinking: Is Religion Battered Woman's Syndrome? genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

The following video asks an interesting question - Is religion battered woman's syndrome? While provocative on its surface, the creator of the video makes a number of thoughtful observations. More than an effort to connect religion with battered woman's...

Tagged as: Battered Women, Critical Thinking, Death, Domestic Abuse, Faith, Fear, God, Religion

Daniel DiRito | May 14, 2008 | 10:53 AM | link | Comments (3)
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Maybe This Is What's Wrong With The GOP? genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

No doubt there is a fine line between fact and fantasy. What we know for sure today is that the GOP is in trouble following losses in three congressional districts that by any measure should have been safe Republican...

Tagged as: Abortion, Alan Keyes, Choice, Democrats, Gay, God, GOP, LGBT, Religion, Right To Life

Daniel DiRito | May 14, 2008 | 9:02 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Red-Faced GOP Turns Blue Over Mississippi Loss genre: Polispeak

I don't believe in crystal balls or tarot cards...but the fact that the Democrats have now won three congressional special elections in stronghold Republican districts doesn't bode well for the GOP in November. The most recent loss took place...

Tagged as: 1st. District, 2008 Election, DCCC, Democrats, DNC, GOP, Greg Davis, Mississippi Special Election, NRCC, RNC, Travis Childers

Daniel DiRito | May 13, 2008 | 10:30 PM | link | Comments (0)
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George Bush Brings Out The Bogeyman One More Time genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak

It was bound to happen. Despite the president's numerous statements that he doesn't want to wade into the 2008 election, his remarks today not only signal that he's reneged; they reflect his intention to employ the same tactic that...

Tagged as: 2004 Election, 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Fear Mongering, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, John McCain, Mission Accomplished, Terrorism

Daniel DiRito | May 13, 2008 | 6:37 PM | link | Comments (3)
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Hagee, Whores, Homos, & Holy Unions genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

While John McCain has chosen to avoid a repudiation of Pastor Hagee's endorsement of the presumed GOP nominee, it appears that the damage control has commenced. Today, Hagee issued a written apology to Catholics and the apology was accepted by...

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Bill Donahue, Catholic League, Catholicism, Confession, Evangelicals, Gay Marriage, Gays, God, Jeremiah Wright, John Hagee, John McCain, Katrina, LGBT, New Orleans, Pat Robertson, Prostitution, Religion, Same-Sex Marriage

Daniel DiRito | May 13, 2008 | 11:35 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Gnarls Barkley - Going On (Music Video) genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

I don't really know that much about Gnarls Barkley outside of their hit song Crazy from a couple years back. Going On is from their new album The Odd Couple. I came across the music video for the song...

Tagged as: Cee-Lo Green, Crazy, Crucifixion, Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley, Going On, Jamaica, Jesus, Music, St. Elsewhere, Symbolism, The Odd Couple

Daniel DiRito | May 13, 2008 | 9:27 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Jonny McGovern - Don't Fall In Love With A Homo genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Jonny McGovern is one of the cast members of Logo's The Big Gay Sketch. The show features a number of comedy skits that focus on all things LGBT. McGovern is a stand-up comic who often plays a character called...

Tagged as: Comedy, Homo, Humor, Jonny McGovern, Music, The Big Gay Sketch, The Gay Pimp

Daniel DiRito | May 13, 2008 | 8:24 AM | link | Comments (1)
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The Onion: It's All About The Gap...Between The Have's & The Have Nots genre: Econ-Recon & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

In this episode of The Onion News, the network takes a look at the Gap's new clothing line...the one that is made by kids for kids. Nothing like American children being able to wear the right tags...even if those...

Tagged as: Baby Gap, Child Labor, Child Rearing, Corporate Profits, Fashion, Gap, Globalization, Humor, Outsourcing, Sarcasm, Satire, Sweat Shops, The Onion

Daniel DiRito | May 12, 2008 | 11:09 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Tax Exemption Without Limitation - Now That's Christianity genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Uncivil Unions

The gall of the religious right never ceases to amaze. Time and again, they demonstrate that hypocrisy is an essential element of their ideology. While many of these zealots frequently demonstrate their willingness to preach one thing and do...

Tagged as: Abortion, Alliance Defense Fund, Amendment, Christ, Christianity, Church & State, Constitution, Embryonic Stem Cell, Gay, George W. Bush, IRS, Jesus, LGBT, Marriage, Religion, Religious Right, Same_Sex Marriage, Secularism, Supreme Court, Tax Exemption

Daniel DiRito | May 11, 2008 | 9:45 AM | link | Comments (0)
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Lewis Black On The Economic Stimulus Package genre: Econ-Recon & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

In the following video clip from The Daily Show, Lewis Black shares his skepticism regarding the recently authorized stimulus checks that are intended to jump start our stalled economy. Needless to say, Black has some choice words for a...

Tagged as: Economic Stimulus Package, George W. Bush, Lewis Black, Miley Cyrus, Recession, The Daily Show

Daniel DiRito | May 9, 2008 | 10:00 PM | link | Comments (2)
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Having More Babies Makes You A Better Mommy? genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions

OK, forgive my disdain for the content of the video below, but how does the story of a 41 year old woman whose pregnant with her eighteenth child merit being a Mother's Day story on The Today Show? When...

Tagged as: Chain Letter Society, Children, God, Jesus, Mother's Day, Motherhood, Parenting, Religion, Sacrifice, The Today Show

Daniel DiRito | May 9, 2008 | 2:49 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Pam Ann Airlines - Like No Other In The World genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

If you've never seen Pam Ann perform, you don't know what you're missing. I first saw her on a cruise a few years back and thought she was hysterical. The following videos give the viewer a sense of her...

Tagged as: Airlines, Comedy, Flight Attendant, Flight Safety Instructions, Humor, Pam Ann, Satire

Daniel DiRito | May 9, 2008 | 1:54 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Former Surgeon General Carmona On Health Care In The U.S. genre: Little Red Ribbon-Hood & Video-Philes

I remember when Richard Carmona was appointed as the U.S. Surgeon General by George W. Bush. At the time, it was uncertain as to his actual ideological leanings though he seemed to be a thoughtful individual. As it turned...

Tagged as: Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Fora TV, Health Care, Richard Carmona, Surgeon General

Daniel DiRito | May 9, 2008 | 11:15 AM | link | Comments (1)
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What Will America Look Like If Oil Is 200 Dollars Per Barrel? genre: Econ-Recon & Polispeak

I don't generally watch Glenn Beck nor do I usually find his observations to be palatable. The following video is a notable exception. In this clip, Beck discusses the impact of $200 a barrel oil with Byron King, an...

Tagged as: Byron King, Economy, Food Prices, Fuel Efficiency, Gas Prices, George Bush, Glenn Beck, Katrina, New Orleans, Oil Prices, Recession

Daniel DiRito | May 8, 2008 | 9:43 PM | link | Comments (3)
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Patriot Act's National Security Letters: We Ask, Don't Tell genre: Polispeak

With the passage of the Patriot Act, the potential for the government to abuse its newfound authority to snoop on its citizens was expanded. Unfortunately, along with that expansion came the ability to prevent those who contest such inquiries...and...

Tagged as: 9/11, Brewster Kahle, Civil Liberties, Electronic Frontier Foundation, FBI, George Bush, Internet Archive, National Security Letters, NSA, Patriot Act, Richard Nixon

Daniel DiRito | May 7, 2008 | 2:42 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Oops, That Ban On Gay Marriage Took Away Other Rights genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

Don't be fooled by the religious right's assertion that they simply want to protect marriage and the family. Implicit in their efforts to pass legislation and constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage is an intention to slam the door...

Tagged as: Amendment 2, Bible, Bigotry, Christian, Colorado, Discrimination, Evangelical, Gay, God, LGBT, Marriage Amendment, Michigan, Morals, Religious Right, Same-Sex Marriage, Supreme Court, Values

Daniel DiRito | May 7, 2008 | 11:19 AM | link | Comments (0)
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The WorkOUT: Using Homoeroticism To "Repair" Gays? genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

This is priceless. The following video is apparently a legitimate advertisement for men seeking to overcome their homosexuality. The fact that it is filled with homoeroticism only reinforces my belief that many of these men are tortured Christians with...

Tagged as: Christian, David Pickup, Gay, Homoeroticism, Homosexuality, Humor, LGBT, Religion, Reparative Therapy, Values, WorkOUT

Daniel DiRito | May 6, 2008 | 3:10 PM | link | Comments (1)
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48 Hours: The Lord's Boot Camp genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

The following series of videos comprise the 48 Hours special title The Lord's Boot Camp. Much like the previous documentary, Jesus Camp, the piece chronicles a group of teen aged children; including their attendance at a Christian boot camp...

Tagged as: 48 Hours, Bible, Creationism, Evangelism, Evolution, Faith, God, Jesus, Jesus Camp, Religion

Daniel DiRito | May 6, 2008 | 10:07 AM | link | Comments (3)
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Why Yes, God Put That Banana In My Pocket genre: Hip-Gnosis & Snapshot Thoughts & Video-Philes

We've all heard about the images of Jesus, Mary, or some other godly persons face being found in the strangest of places...whether it be on a pancake, a potato chip, a section of tree bark, or the reflection on...

Tagged as: Bible, Creationism, Darwin, Evolution, Faith, God, God Tube, Humor, Intelligent Design, Miracles, Religion, Science

Daniel DiRito | May 3, 2008 | 9:38 AM | link | Comments (1)
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Musings On Prudes, Perverts, Photographs, & Polygamists genre: Hip-Gnosis & Six Degrees of Speculation & Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Two recent news items led me to today's musing. The first is the Texas polygamists and the second is the Vanity Fair photo of Miley Cyrus. Both serve to demonstrate the fact that numerous American's have yet to resolve...

Tagged as: Annie Leibvitz, Culture, Disney, Fashion, Hannah Montana, Humor, Miley Cyrus, Mo Rocca, Morals, Polygamist Sect, Polygamy, Psychology, Religion, Sexuality, Texas, Tim Gunn, Values, Vanity Fair

Daniel DiRito | May 2, 2008 | 1:22 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Radical Religious Right: As If It Were Only About Marriage genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis

The religious right likes to be seen as the moral compass of the country...though they rarely want the country to fully understand that their focus on denying any rights to gays is their primary objective. Yes, they talk incessantly...

Tagged as: Bible, Civil Rights, Discrimination, ENDA, Equality, God, LGBT, Pro Vita Advisors, Religion, Religious Right, Wells Fargo

Daniel DiRito | May 1, 2008 | 8:46 AM | link | Comments (0)
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