Bill Maher pans the newly packaged Old Spice cologne...calling it the scent of that uncle who molested you as a child. He lets us know that he could care less if Dumbledore is gay...he gives some tips for Halloween and dons his Halloween headgear to put an exclamation point on his concerns about global warming.
Maher closes with a reasoned critique of the ongoing effort of the GOP to frighten the public into voting for tough guy Republicans who promise to protect us from the impending threat of Islamic radicals while we seemingly accept the many examples of incompetence that surround us.
Tagged as: Bill Maher, Dumbledore, Global Warming, GOP, Islamofascism, New Rules, Old Spice
Daniel DiRito | October 27, 2007 | 8:19 PM |
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Bill has some fun with the new double-decker airplane by AirBus, Rudy's plan for protecting children from aliens, the myth of air fresheners, and this weekends GOP Values Voters Summit. Maher makes the point out that the states identified to have the most Christian conservatives also have the highest rates of divorce and teen pregnancy.
He closes with a pithy assault on the hypocrisy of values voters who accept torture, oppose health care for poor children, support an endless war in Iraq, and deny the existence of global warming in favor of being outraged at the revealing of a breast at the Super Bowl and focused upon the perception that there is a war on Christmas.
Tagged as: Bill Maher, Christian Conservatives, GOP, Rudy Giuliani, Values Voter Summit
Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2007 | 11:26 AM |
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I've come to realize that one must avoid the inclination to be shocked or surprised by the actions of the Bush administration. Today's reported appointment of Susan Orr to head the Department of Health and Human Services family planning program is just another in a long string of head scratchers.
Susan Orr, most recently an associate commissioner in the Administration for Children and Families, was appointed Monday to be acting deputy assistant secretary for population affairs. She will oversee $283 million in annual grants to provide low-income families and others with contraceptive services, counseling and preventive screenings.
In a 2001 article in The Washington Post, Orr applauded a Bush proposal to stop requiring all health insurance plans for federal employees to cover a broad range of birth control. "We're quite pleased, because fertility is not a disease," said Orr, then an official with the Family Research Council.
"We have another appointment that just truly politicizes family planning," said Mary Jane Gallagher, president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association. "The last time I looked, both Republicans and Democrats used contraception in America."
Orr is a former employee of the Family Research Council, a right wing group founded by James Dobson of Focus on the Family and currently headed by Tony Perkins. The group has used the research of discredited psychologist Paul Cameron to promote their anti-gay agenda as well as to promote other extreme positions of the far right. Need I say more?
I think not. Instead, I decided to have some fun with the appointment so I created the following top ten reasons George W. Bush appointed a birth-control opponent to head the family planning program at the Department of Health and Human Services:
He's simply trying to be consistent with his disdain for the "politics of obstruction".
Ever since hearing the band "Rhythm Method" perform, his views on family planning were changed forever.
The President doesn't like to make the same mistake twice...therefore he accepts that Iraq didn't have...STD's (or was that WMD's?) so he's sure as hell not going to support the meme that people who use condoms won't acquire them either.
Ever since the Iran-Contra Affair, the President has been opposed to the government having any involvement with "contra-ception".
His father hated broccoli...he hates "condom-ments".
The President opposes a draft because he believes its a free country...but not when it comes to having children. We're going to need every soldier we can get to man his planned fifty year presence in Iraq.
He thinks getting your tubes tied has to do with restricting access to the "internets".
The President previously stated, "Too many OBGYN's aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." To make that happen, he has a vision in mind and Susan Orr is the best person to bring his plan to fruition.
The President is willing to expand poor children's access to health care through S-CHIP...but not unless he has some guarantee that the country is going to have a lot more of them.
In order to insure unencumbered access to the "eggs", the President believes the fox should guard the hen house.
Tagged as: Abstinence, Contraception, Department of HHS, Family Research Council, George W. Bush, Humor, James Dobson, Paul Cameron, Susan Orr
Daniel DiRito | October 17, 2007 | 1:02 PM |
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Bill Maher covers sex with robots, the prevalence of rehab as remedy, steam rolling the music CD's of anti-war artists, and the faux outrage at Barack Obama's "scandalous" decision to forego the wearing of a flag pin on his lapel. Maher appropriately calls it a "bullshit non-story" and proceeds to ridicule Fox News, Sean Hannity, and all those who jumped on the issue and turned it into the latest manufactured drama.
Tagged as: Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Fox News, New Rules, Sean Hannity
Daniel DiRito | October 13, 2007 | 12:07 PM |
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Ann Coulter is back in the news...duh! The following video clip is from the CNBC show, The Big Idea, hosted by Donny Deutsch. As Deutsch gave Ann Coulter the opportunity to describe her ideal America, she made the statement that her preferred image of America (and heaven) would be like the Republican National Convention in New York..."happy, joyful Republicans in the greatest city in the world".
Pressed to explain her idyllic world, she suggests that all Americans should be Christians...and that Jews simply need to be "perfected". Sensing Deutsch's surprise at what he obviously hears as a narrow and judgmental view, she argues that her visits to Christian megachurches leads her to conclude that they are in fact very accepting and diverse. I suspect Coulter was actually being candid and offering a glimpse of her true feelings rather than attempting to launch into a provocative screed.
I also accept her sincerity regarding her experiences at megachurches. Clearly one would expect the kinship of their Christianity to supersede their differences. It is the essence of their beliefs and it is what has defined them and made them a formidable political force. Frankly, their Christian beliefs serve to overshadow all other aspects of their lives..which helps explain their presumed need to convert all others to Christianity...a purpose I contend is an attempt to remove the dissonance which exists from the knowledge that others do not share their beliefs.
With this understanding, it isn't difficult to conclude that Coulter's remarks were the expression of an earnest, though ill-informed view...one that fails to see the arrogance that accompanies a statement that all Americans should be Christians. I have no doubt it simply reflects her core beliefs and demonstrates the danger of the angst which results from this pervasive need for uniformity. In other words, acceptance stops at the waters edge (Christianity) which compels Christians to pursue the conversion of others.
While those efforts are undertaken with sincerity, they also communicate an air of righteous disregard. I believe this explains Coulter's apparent surprise at Deutsch's recoiling. I think one can see that she quickly perceives her own blind spot...which leads her to attempt to pull back and explain her statement following the commercial break.
As she tries to elaborate, she suggests that Jews, per the constructs of Christian beliefs, need to be "perfected". She continues by telling Deutsch that the notion of "perfecting" isn't offered pejoratively...it is simply the means to explain the process and the journey by which any individual would arrive at Christianity. As she describes it, Christians have not only joined Jews in embracing the Old Testament; they simply have taken the additional step of accepting the New Testament...meaning they believe that Christ was the son of God sent to die for all of our sins.
Strange as this may seem, I found the interview to be one of the rare moments where we see the real Ann Coulter exposed. While I find her comments abrasive and insensitive, it isn't because I believe her to be anti-Semitic. She is simply the product of Christian ideology which would arguably treat all non-Christians similarly. I don't condone the mind set, but I think Coulter simply stated the obvious...that being that Christians, not unlike those who embrace Catholic doctrine, believe their faith is the only path to salvation and see nothing wrong with stating as much. In my opinion, that is why religion is so dangerous.
While many may see Coulter's remarks as the hoped for opportunity to bring her down, the significance of her remarks is beyond her as an individual. Bizarre as this may sound, I thank Coulter for speaking her truth...because it exposes a much more disquieting truth. In fact, it provides a brief glimpse of the core problem facing this country and the world...a growing degree of theological intransigence which has become the justification for an escalating clash of religions...religions which have conversion and compliance as their fundamental objectives.
Coulter's rhetoric and her rogue identity are ultimately little more than the epitome of a blind allegiance to a narrow ideology. Coulter invoked a Seinfeld episode to support her argument, so I think it only fair to close with one of my own. Ann Coulter and many others, who have forfeited their autonomy to a rigid set of religious precepts, are, in the end, no longer "masters of their own domain".
I created the graphic below to demonstrate the propensity of individuals to overlay humanity with any number of religious constructs in the belief that one is superior to the other. I cant imagine an all knowing god condoning our efforts to assert that one sect has eminence over all of the others. I see man's efforts to do so as an extreme depiction of our ever expanding arrogance. I struggle to see what would be so wrong with simply honoring the sanctity of humanity.
Tagged as: Ann Coulter, Bible, Catholicism, Donny Deutsch, Evangelism, Jewish, New Testament, Old Testament, Religion
Daniel DiRito | October 12, 2007 | 9:20 AM |
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Generally speaking, whenever we hear left vs. right we think about politics. If you're like me, there are times when you just want to escape from the back and forth which seems to be an endless battle.
Well, here's a fun left-right posting that has nothing to do with politics (and please don't comment with an argument that this, too, can be applied to politics). It's one of those brain teaser things that will tell the viewer if their left or right brain is dominant.
Here's how it works. When you look at the dancing figure, determine if you see her spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise. If you say clockwise, you're right brained. If she's turning counter-clockwise, you're left brained.
Even more fun, see if you can get her to reverse directions. The only way I found to do this was to watch her stationary foot and try to envision it turning the opposite direction. I found a blink or a quick glance away from the stationary foot and then back helped me achieve the reversal.
The traits which are associated with left and right brain individuals can be found in the table below the image.
H/T to The Herald Sun via Daily Kos
Tagged as: Brain Teaser, Left Brain, Right Brain
Daniel DiRito | October 11, 2007 | 6:01 PM |
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October 11th is National Coming Out Day. The act of coming out and allowing others to see you as the person you are...a person like all others with hopes and dreams...does more to advance gay rights than anything else you could possibly do. Each of us has the right to pursue our hopes and dreams. Yes, it can be frightening, but millions of Americans have done it and are now living happy and authentic lives. Do yourself a favor...you don't need anyone's permission to be who you are.
Image courtesy of Kaboom!
Tagged as: Equality, Gay Rights, Homophobia, Humor, LGBT, National Coming Out Day, Same-Sex Marriage
Daniel DiRito | October 11, 2007 | 11:42 AM |
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Here's another great Digital Short from SNL. Following the recent visit of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York, and his outrageous statement that there were no homosexuals in his country, Andy Samberg, Fred Armison, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5, have a little fun with "gay" Mahmoud in New York City.
Tagged as: Adam Levine, Andy Samberg, Digital Short, Fred Armison, Humor, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Maroon 5, SNL
Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2007 | 1:47 PM |
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