AF&Opourri

So much good stuff, I’ve stayed up past my bedtime. Peruse, think, enjoy.

Pandagon hits it out of the park with this list of the 20 Most Annoying Conservatives of 2003. The ranking doesn’t include Dubya, but he isn’t a real conservative, just a murderous, greedy, power-mad dolt pretending to be a conservative.

Oh. My. God. Estimated Prophet points to a TomPaine.com piece that tells how Religious Wrongers showed just how wrong they are when its representatives (from Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice) went before the US Supreme Court and argued the merits of having taxpayers pay for religious training for wannabe clergy. And the Bush Administration is all for it! Can you say miserable failure??? (Google does.)

Barbara O’Brien at the Mahablog makes a great point in American Psyche: “We liberals can talk about policy and present data to support our ideas until we turn purple. Conservatives wave a flag, or a Bible, and win elections. Right-wingers make a mockery of democracy and pass laws that weaken, not strengthen, our nation, yet voters cannot see it. What is it in our collective unconscious that makes We, the People so screwed up?” (Whatchoo mean we, Barbara?) Indeed, what is wrong with the majority of Americans? Which goes back to my ever-present question: Can America be saved? I suspect not. At any rate, Barbara has written a great article — read it.

I am no fan of John Kerry. I meant my promise to never support any pol who voted in favor of invading Iraq, and that includes Kerry. But wow, credit where it is due: The man spoke plainly in a Dec. 2 interview with Rolling Stone. Asked if he was blindsided by the initial success of fellow candidate Howard Dean, Kerry answered: “Well, not blindsided. I mean, when I voted for the war, I voted for what I thought was best for the country. Did I expect Howard Dean to go off to the left and say, “I’m against everything”? Sure. Did I expect George Bush to fuck it up as badly as he did? I don’t think anybody did.”

Whoa! The Raving Atheist raves on about his love for Christmas and disses Ramadan, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa in the process, using materialism as the benchmark. Incendiary and funny as hell, but not for the ultrasensitive.

Speaking of Christmas, Lawn Greengrass of Stratford upon Avon – The Truth offers an early holiday message and offers an apt question: In a world of turmoil, “[w]hat’s there to be grateful for anyway?”

One thing for which to be grateful: the works of J.R.R. Tolkein. Yep. I am a hobbit lover, a Frodo freak, an Aragornamaniac, a Tolkein geek. If you are too, Dohiyi Mir has a pointer you’ll appreciate. Most grateful, NTodd, thanks, and for now, namarie.

Update: One more — Ms. Magazine just named its 2003 Women of the Year. Those lauded for defining excellence: Niki Caro – Writer and Director, Whale Rider; Joan Blades — Co-Founder, MoveOn.org; Carla Diane Hayden – President, American Library Association; Eileen Fisher — Fashion Entrepreneur and Clothing Designer; Dr. Sima Samar Chair – Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and Former Minister of Women’s Affairs; Jessica Neuwirth – Co-Founder and President, Equality Now; Loune Viaud – Director, Partners in Health; Martha Burk – Chair, National Council of Women’s Organizations; Pamela Thomas Graham – President and CEO, CNBC; and actor/director Salma Hayek. Read Ms. Musings for details about the honored women and the awards ceremony. Congratulations to the honorees!

Now, let’s get the bile rising within you: Pen-Elayne on the Web points to a Ms. Musings posting that tells of the stupidity of some Western women who obviously learned nothing from the long-ago torture inflicted upon Chinese women: Turns out some brain-challenged women voluntarily are having their feet mutilated so that they can wear narrow high-heeled shoes. I am so glad that horribly influential “Sex and the City” is going off the air!

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