Saturday, March 04, 2006

Missouri: The Show Me (Little Religious Tolerance) State!

Oh, boy.

Missouri legislators in Jefferson City considered a bill that would name Christianity the state's official "majority" religion.

House Concurrent Resolution 13 has is pending in the state legislature.

Many Missouri residents had not heard about the bill until Thursday.

The resolution would recognize "a Christian god," and it would not protect minority religions, but "protect the majority's right to express their religious beliefs.

The resolution also recognizes that, "a greater power exists," and only Christianity receives what the resolution calls, "justified recognition."

State representative David Sater of Cassville in southwestern Missouri, sponsored the resolution, but he has refused to talk about it on camera or over the phone.

KMOV also contacted Gov. Matt Blunt's office to see where he stands on the resolution, but he has yet to respond.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Portraits In Rage VI: Oscar Edition!

Ann Coulter, sultry siren of rage-addicted Authoritarian Cultists everywhere, has unleashed her first annual Oscar predictions column, and like most everything else Ms. Coulter writes, it's both jaw-droppingly in(s)ane and hysterical. Being the "libtard" that I am I cannot resist showcasing some of Annie's finer, anti-psychotics-free, passages.

This is my first annual Oscar predictions column, for which I am uniquely qualified by not having seen a single one of the movies nominated in any category.

Congratulations, Ann. Your "unique" qualifications guarantee interesting reading.

I shall grant my awards based on the same criteria Hollywood studio executives now use to green-light movies: political correctness. Also, judging by most of the nominees this year, the awards committee prefers movies that are wildly unpopular with audiences.

Ann's right. Popularity and quality go hand-in-hand. Where's the Oscar nomination for Flightplan, dammit?!

I shall summarize the plots of the five movies nominated for best picture below:

-- "Brokeback Mountain" (gay)

-- "Capote" (death penalty with bonus gay lead)

-- "Crash" (racism)

-- "Good Night, and Good Luck" (McCarthyism)

-- "Munich" (Jew athletes at Munich had it coming)


That last one drips with such willfully-uninformed ignorance as to be breathtaking. Actually, all of them are pretty damn funny, but not in the way that Coulter intends. Let's play her game in reverse.

I shall summarize the point of Ann's article below:

-- "Ann's article" (batshit-crazy)

See? Easy and fun!

Movies with the same groundbreaking theme to come:

-- "Westward Homo!"

-- "The Magnificent, Fabulous Seven"

-- "Gunfight at the K-Y Corral"

AHAHAHAHA! "K-Y Corral!" So, what have we learned so far? I've learned that Ann Coulter resents/hates gay people. Damn Hollywood for recognizing a lucrative and largely-underserved audience! Damn them to HELL for their evil, capitalist ways! Err...wait...

[For best actor] I personally would have chosen the lion in the Narnia movie, but he wasn't even nominated.

And he also wasn't, y'know, real. But then, reality has never been Ann's choice for "best" anything.

The best original screenplay will be "Good Night, and Good Luck" as Hollywood's final tribute to the old Stalinists (Hollywood's version of "The Greatest Generation").

Yes, that old Stalinist, Edward R. Murrow. The way in which he treated poor, defenseless Joseph McCarthy was just mean! Mean, mean, mean!

There's more, and it's all just as entertaining. Coulter's hatred of homosexuals is so white-hot as to threaten eyeball-meltage, so be warned.

This joins codemorse's Portraits In Rage series because Ann Coulter is drunk on the blood of the dark god Kali, and must be stopped before she steals more human hearts to power her illegal child-slavery ring.*


*Ah, the comforting swaddle of baseless hyperbole.


Codemorse Collides With Bob Hoskins!



Head on over to Collider.com to read my review of Den of Lions, starring Stephen Dorff, Bob Hoskins, and the Crazy Irishman from Braveheart. A small excerpt:

Den of Lions is the cinematic equivalent of Tofu – it benefits from the flavoring provided by some talented actors and a mildly-engaging plot, but at center it’s a bland and sensually unsatisfying affair.

High Noonan

Roy Edroso at Alicublog highlighted Peggy Noonan's latest column, and I'm struck by how cranky, contradictory, and bizarre it is. Please note the two passages I've set off in italics.

From the Wall Street Journal, Editorial:

Here is that larger fact: America has become creepy for women who think of themselves as ladies. It has in fact become assaultive.

I would add that a lady need not be stuffy, scolding, stiff. A lady brings regard for others into the room with her; that regard is part of the dignity she carries and seeks to spread. A lady is a woman who projects the stature of life.


I experience [
some degree of violation of my dignity - as a person. An adult. A woman. A lady.] - when I see blaring television ads for birth-control devices, feminine-hygiene products, erectile-dysfunction medicines. I experience it when I'm almost strip-searched at airports. I experience it when I listen to popular music, if that's what we call it. I experience it when political figures are asked the most intimate questions about their families and pressed for personal views on sexual questions that someone somewhere decided have to be Topic A on the national agenda in America right now.

Let me tell you what I say, in my mind, after things like this--the symposium, the commercials, and so forth. I think, We are embarrassing the angels.

Imagine for a moment that angels exist, that they are pure spirits of virtue and light, that they care about us and for us and are among us, unseen, in the airport security line, in the room where we watch TV, at the symposium of great minds.... We are embarrassing the angels.

Do I think this way, in these terms, because I am exceptionally virtuous? Oh no. I'm below average in virtue, and even I know it's all gotten low and rough and disturbed.

Lent began yesterday, and I mean to give up a great deal, as you would too if you were me. One of the things I mean to give up is the habit of thinking it and not saying it. A lady has some rights, and this happens to be one I can assert.

"You are embarrassing the angels." This is what I intend to say for the next 40 days whenever I see someone who is hurting the culture, hurting human dignity, denying the stature of a human being. I mean to say it with belief, with an eye to instruction, but also pointedly, uncompromisingly. As a lady would. All invited to join in.

Now, to me, saying "You are embarrassing the angels" is kind of the definition of scolding. And stuffy. And stiff.

Ms. Noonan seems not to have realized that she's crossed over into little old ladyhood, wherein life becomes a series of offensive tableaus, populated by young whippersnappers who don't understand the meaning of the term "respecting your elders" and never had to walk to school in the snow without shoes while being chased by wolves and hunted by the Soviets (BOTH WAYS!).

Nor does she seem to understand that the sort of people she intends to scold for their relentless assaults on "the culture" are probably not going to be too distraught over having some crazy woman wag her finger at them while lecturing about beings of light. Most likely, this will amuse. And possibly inspire mocking bumper stickers.ig

And since when does lent involve "giving up" personal boundaries and your previously tenuous grip on silence in the face of things that bother you? Can we just "give up" anything, now? I'd like to give up my habit of eating broccoli for lent! And my habit of taking out the trash!

Oh, I give up.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Gale-Force Fibs

Yesterday I wrote that President Bush had appeared to have lied about his knowledge of the Katrina disaster.

Call me crazy, but this seems a little more important than whether or not Clinton got a blowjob in the Oval Office.

Here's Diane Sawyer's interview with Bush, post-Katrina (courtesy of D-Kos):

Sawyer: "But given the fact that everyone anticipated a hurricane five, a possible hurricane five hitting shore, are you satisfied with the pace at which this is arriving? And which it was planned to arrive?"

Bush: "Well, I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday. I mean, I understand the anxiety of people on the ground. I can imagine -- I just can't imagine what it is like to be waving a sign saying 'come and get me now'. So there is frustration. But I want people to know there is a lot of help coming.

"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will."

(Emphasis mine)

And here's yesterday's breaking story.

From the AP:

In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

A top hurricane expert voiced "grave concerns" about the levees and then-Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Michael Brown told the president and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that he feared there weren't enough disaster teams to help evacuees at the Superdome.

"I'm concerned about ... their ability to respond to a catastrophe within a catastrophe," Brown told his bosses the afternoon before Katrina made landfall.

Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. "I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done," National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

"I don't buy the `fog of war' defense," Brown told the AP in an interview Wednesday. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."

--Bush declared four days after the storm, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" that gushed deadly flood waters into New Orleans. But the transcripts and video show there was plenty of talk about that possibility - and Bush was worried too.


So, either Bush was lying to Sawyer, and he'd completely dismissed concerns about the levees despite clear warnings from Michael Brown and "a top hurricane expert," or he'd clean-forgotten about all those warnings.

Either way, how is this a good thing? Isn't this quasi-criminally-negligant behavior? And not simply by Bush - though it's clear he's partially to blame - but by multiple layers of government?



Bush, on August 30th, 2005


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Codemorse Collides With Christian Horror!



Head on over to Collider.com to check out my review of The Visitation, a "Supernatural thriller" from the mind of Frank Peretti, Christianity's answer to Stephen King.

Here's a brief excerpt, to get ya salivatin':

What The Visitation ultimately ends up being, interestingly, is a pseudo-condemnation of God (and also just generally kind of lame). I have no idea if this condemnation is intentional, as I’ve never read Peretti’s original book, and the movie makes no real effort to explain itself. I suspect - given Peretti’s fervent and decidedly-religious fan base - that it is not. The movie spends most of its running time giving the audience reasons to believe that if God exists, “He” is either a capricious, perverse entity, or “He” is pretty much totally-uncaring about humanity.

That’s not exactly the message I was expecting from this supernatural thriller.

Wrandom Musings On God


UPDATED! Scroll to the bottom of the post for more Godly Goodness.


Original post:

Capt. eucalyptus is a frequent commenter here at Codemorse, and we’ve decided to try doing a few cross-postings on whatever happens to interest us. In talking about homosexuality, I argued that since it exists in the animal kingdom, it’s not limited to human beings. Existing outside the realm of the "Original Sin" carried by Adam, Eve, and all their children (including you! And me!), wouldn't that then prove homosexuality to be a natural, and Original-Sin-free part of God's creation?

Cap’s response was as follows:

In the Christian worldview man wasn't the only thing corrupted by the Fall. All of creation suffers as intimated in Romans 8:21.

"because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God"

So disease, death, suffering, sin, was in fact not in God's original design (with a literal or even figurative reading of the Bible). The logic that homosexuality is in nature so therefore okay is a flawed argument. Consider how many other things that exist in nature are not emulated by man, in a perfect world. Animals kill each other with impunity even engaging in cannibalism. It is a dog eat dog world, but in human society in it's best form we look out for one another and not just because it suits or betters us personally.

This seems inherently un-just to me. God’s all-powerful, right? And he’s Good? Then why would God intentionally allow a flawed creation (asking this with full awareness that these sorts of questions have been batted about for millenia by philosophers and college philosophy majors)?

You can read Cap’s response to that question HERE.

What it comes down to for me, it seems, is that the idea of a loving God is powerfully difficult to reconcile with the idea of a God who would take away free-will from the human race, or who would extend the stain of the original sin to Adam and Eve’s ancestors.

Why is this necessary? If, in a flawed and sinful world, people are still trying to do the right thing, then doesn’t that show an innate and willful desire to rise above our anger, our sin, our base humanity, and be better than?

What purpose does it serve, to stain a person at birth? Why tie weights to a runner’s legs before he begins the race?

Is it because God is training us? Forging us into better people through suffering?

Or is it because God is whimsical, and capricious?

UPDATE BEGINS HERE!

Cap responds to my sub-Philosophy 101 musings HERE.

Well the way I see it, God didn't take away free will (by enslaving man to sin) or extend that sin to his offspring. It was a natural consequence of Adam's (and Eve's) actions. They opened the floodgates of sin. As a result of their sins, we all now live in a tainted world.

But there's nothing "natural" about that to me. God created Eden, and placed Adam, Eve, The Tree of Knowledge, and the snake in it.

Without the prodding of a third, serpentine, party, would Eve have eaten from the tree? Maybe, but it seems doubtful. So, either God created the snake with full knowledge that it would tempt the first humans (and with awareness that he'd built into both people a curiousity and an innate disobediance that would cause them to go against his wishes), or he didn't foresee the snake, and didn't realize he'd made those naked people so darn curious.

Either way, how were Adam or Eve's actions in any real sense their own? If creation was perfect before Eve got all uppity, then why would she have the urge to disobey God in the first place? It seems to me that she'd have to have been imperfectly made to begin with.

God didn't put the sin on people. It's like being born in a post apocolyptic world full of harmful radiation. It's a natural consequence of being born into the world. God has given us the cure for it though.

In a similar vein to the above argument, and using Cap's radiation example, isn't this like saying "Well, those people brought radiation sickness on themselves, because they were born into the world," while ignoring the fact that, no, they probably got radiation sickness because of the people who set the bombs off?

Imagine putting a child in a room, unsupervised, with a big vat of boiling water. If some candy-bearing stranger manages to slip in and persuade the child that, in fact, the big vat of boiling water is being purposefully kept from them, would it be a surprise to come home and find your child scalded?

And having discovered their misbehavior, would it lead you to decide that your child, their children, their children's children, and on into infinity, were inherently sinful people?

Or would you decide not to leave children unsupervised, and to check for strangers before you leave the house?

(note: we aren't all God's children)

We aren't? Why not?

Breaking News

MSNBC is reporting right now that video has surfaced of President Bush being briefed on Katrina, four to five days before he was quoted as saying he'd never been briefed.

The top story on Fox News? Why "The Shield" is such a great show!

Wheel! Of! Freedoms!

From MSNBC:

Only one in four Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

But more than half can name at least two members of the cartoon family, according to a survey.

The survey found more people could name the three “American Idol” judges than identify three First Amendment rights. They were also more likely to remember popular advertising slogans.

It also showed that people misidentified First Amendment rights. About one in five people thought the right to own a pet was protected, and 38 percent said they believed the right against self-incrimination contained in the Fifth Amendment was a First Amendment right, the survey found.

I think this says less about our overall intelligence than it does about what we're exposed to, in terms of culture. I've been to law school, and I have an interest in history, politics, and government (this does not mean I know much about any of them), so I was able to name the five freedoms. But I'd be willing to bet that most Americans spend their free-time relaxing with American Idol, not reading about the history of Lincoln's Cabinet (good book! dryyyyy book, but good!). If the five freedoms were promoted with 1/3 of the vigor that American Idol is promoted with, every American would know them.

So, what this tells me is that we need a reality game show revolving around U.S. politics. To attract attention, it would be hosted by Carmen Electra, feature "Dunk the partisan" as a reward, and give out lucrative lobbyist positions to each seasons winners.

Lookinfor A Hot Young Hootersgurl To Go Ham Shootin Wit




Part of me says that this can't possibly be genuine, but it's right there on Sean Hannity's "Hannidate" site.

Either way it's a mean-but-enjoyable momentary diversion, courtesy of Jesus' General.

If you're an 18 year-old Hooters gurl from dixi, give "RichnSmooth" a shout. He'd like to take you ham shootin, and maybe buy you some nice stuffs.

Cameron Crows

Over at AICN they've got the skinny on what James Cameron is up to these days. I recommend ignoring Harry Knowles' slavering fan-boy thoughts and concentrating on all the new info on Cameron, his projects, and the future of cinema.

A few years back, I managed to get my hands on a copy of Cameron's scriptment for Project 880, and it's amazing.

Privacy, Shmivacy

From Think Progress:

A story by Minnesota Public Radio reveals a disturbing new way that a political party is secretly grabbing sensitive personal information about voters.

This week the Minnesota Republican Party is distributing a new CD about a proposed state marriage amendment. Along with flashy graphics, the CD asks people their views on controversial issues such as abortion, gun control, illegal immigration, and so on.

The problem – the CD sends your answers back to headquarters, filed by name, address, and political views. No mention of that in the terms of use. No privacy policy at all. The story concludes: “So if you run the CD in your personal computer, by the end of it, the Minnesota GOP will not only know what you think on particular issues, but also who you are.”

These practices fall way below the standard for today’s polling firms and web sites. The norm for polling firms is to anonymize the data and report only statistical totals. The norm for commercial web sites is to have a privacy policy, with Federal Trade Commission enforcement if the web site breaks its privacy promise.

But it shouldn't matter if we have nothing to hide, right?

More "Fun" With Abortion

Over at Oliver Willis' site (whom I read pretty regularly, but disagree with about 50% of the time), he's posted more information on South Dakota's push to ban abortion.

Should any doctor assist in any way to help a woman terminate a pregnancy, they would recieve 5 years imprisonment. Even John McCain believes that exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother should be permitted.

Pro-life advocates often complain that activist judges have taken away their ability to have a say in the abortion debate. They aren't wrong in their complaints, but these actions are the same activism, in reverse. The people didn't vote on these measures, polling indicates that they don't believe in the utter-severity of these measures, and having a Governor decide what's best for women's health/rights/life is just as unacceptable as having a Supreme Court Justice decide it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Block Rockin' Beats

Over at AICN they've got a review of Dave Chappelle's Block Party, which I encourage all of you to give a read.

Chappelle's effortlessly entertaining to me, and the fact that Michael Gondry (of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame) directed it automatically makes me excited to see the film.

Any film highlighting Talib Kweli, Mos Def, The Roots, Common, and Chappelle's laid-back comedy should be on your list of things to see.

Show Me The Sunny

So, let's play a little game.

Instead of me posting up the latest in heartbreaking political developments, or a semi-coherent rant on some aspect of society, why don't you all point me toward a happy story or two today?

Even the great and curmudgeonly Codemorse needs some sunshine in his life.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stop It, You Homos! Don't Make Me Come In There!

Guy Adams decides to redefine "common sense" for the new millenium:

Logic and common sense has all but disappeared in America in some circles. For example, homosexuality is not "gay." There's nothing 'gay' about it. It is a lifestyle of misery, loneliness and extraordinarily high medical risk. All of nature tells us it is wrong. God is not schizophrenic. If you believe in God, you'd agree that it's impossible to believe that God made a mistake. Otherwise He's imperfect, and at the worst, a liar. How can God call homosexuality an abomination and order us not to engage in it and then turn around and create a small group of people who can do nothing but engage in it? If you're an evolutionist, the continuation of the species doctrine proves that Bruce cannot, and should not, mate with Steve. Consider that over thirty years ago America was able to get two spacecraft, each going approximately 17,000 miles per hour, to dock perfectly in space using technologically male and female engineering, yet we can't seem to see that God did not intend male-to-male docking, so to speak. If it doesn't fit, you must quit.


From what I understand, Mr. Adams, it "fits" just fine (CYMBAL CRASH!). The moral high-ground that Adams takes here is awe-inspiring in its hubris. It's breathtaking, this certainty. What pushes it over the line from "just plain offensive" into "bigoted hilarity" is Adams' seeming-solution to the "problem" of homosexuality: "JUST STOP IT!"

Well, gee, thanks Mr. Adams.

But seriously, folks. What worries me about Guy Adams (and the numerous people Guy Adams represents in terms of general thought), is that they've made up their minds about homosexuality without actually considering whether its "natural" or not. They know that its wrong. And no amount of high-falutin', namby-pamby, liberal hoo-ha is gonna convince them otherwise. To wit:

Make no mistake about it; homosexuality and the homosexual agenda goes against all that is decent and moral. It also goes against all that nature teaches us. When is the last time you saw two male songbirds having sex? How about two male grizzly bears? Get the picture?


Well, no, actually. I mean, I get that you're a bigot, but I don't get "the picture."

I suspect this has something to do with the fact that you're wholly, completely wrong?

From National Geographic:

[A]ctually, some same-sex birds do do it. So do beetles, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins, and orangutans. Zoologists are discovering that homosexual and bisexual activity is not unknown within the animal kingdom.

Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York's Central Park Zoo have been inseparable for six years now. They display classic pair-bonding behavior—entwining of necks, mutual preening, flipper flapping, and the rest. They also have sex, while ignoring potential female mates.

Wild birds exhibit similar behavior. There are male ostriches that only court their own gender, and pairs of male flamingos that mate, build nests, and even raise foster chicks.


According to Mr. Adams, these animals are willfully choosing to go against their hard-wired instincts and defying their Creator all at once.

The Old Man Takes His Leave


Every year, during the holidays, I pop in my battered video cassette of "A Christmas Story."

Once a year, I remember just how incredibly funny, and moving, and sweet Darren McGavin is as "The Old Man," Ralphie's beleagured and bemused father.

McGavin never achieved a high-profile in Hollywood and, from a glance at his website, that appears to be because he was a passionate fan of theatre. The simplicity of his homepage, and its touching emphasis on his 34 year marriage to his wife, makes me think that McGavin was the kind of man I would have loved to have had a beer with.

He appears in "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" with Don Knotts. Rent it this weekend and pay your respects to two blue-collar actors who represent a dying breed.