Friday Afternoon Kitty!

Maru the cat who loves cardboard is a Yootoob all-star. I've posted a couple of Maru vids before, here and here. This third one was located by Awesome Co-worker Blaine after I staggered in at 11:00 with the sniffles and staggering amounts of self-pity, and no ideas for today's kitty (hey that rhymed!).

Thanks Blaine!

Don Wren Declares in Subdivision 6

Contrary to a post (I made) from a little while ago, Don Wren declared his nomination for trustee in Subdivision 6. Not 7. I misread that. Subdivision 6. Thanks to Barb for catching me out.

Save Our Insurers

What's really funny is the article I found this in -- worth a read (Insurance News Net). Among other things, INN calls the video "witty but ineffective" and, without a trace of irony, object to the actors' lack of irony in presenting the skit, because they're all rich enough to afford healthcare.
Rich actors. That's a good one. Note the random university student sources too. That Will Ferrell's so darned mean.

Also thanks to The Current which broadcasted the audio this morning. God bless The Current.

Pick of the Day: Apocalyptic Discourse in the White House

Dr. Ira Chernus hails from the University of Colorado. He was orginally supposed to deliver today's lecture at the university (RIC 119, 3:30 p.m.) last March, but he got snowed in somewhere and couldn't make it.

The George W. Bush White House, as most Canadians know, was full of right-wing loons who either fervantly believed in all sorts of apocalyptic Christian fundamentalist claptrap, or else were ruthless enough to exploit this truly scary undercurrent in American society for political gain. Thank God they're no longer in power, right?
Well ... yeah, I guess. But the full title of Chernus's lecture is Apocalyptic Discourse in the White House: FDR to Obama. That suggests that threads of that way of thinking cross party lines and are deeply embedded in American political culture. And the impact it has, worldwide, is considerable.

Take the U.S's blinkered support for Israel. It's driven, in part, by a fanatical belief in the southern Bible Belt that before Jesus can return to Earth and the Rapture occur, in which the righteous will ascend to Heaven and the sinful will rot in Hell or whatever, Israel must be restored to its Biblical glory. Each year, the U.S. provides Israel with billions in military aid to protect itself from Arab aggression. One tactic that Israel has adopted to secure its presence in the Middle East is to establish settlements in the Palestinian-held West Bank and Gaza Strip. The irony is exquisite. Unless Jews see the light and convert when Jesus returns, they're destined, in the minds of hardcore U.S. Christians, to burn in hell along with all the other heathens. But until then, they're invaluable allies.

Because of the mythology that has built up around their country -- inspired, in no small part, by fundamentalist religion -- Americans truly believe they are divinely ordained to lead the rest of the world. In his talk, Chernus will hopefully shed some light on how this discourse infected American politics, and what can be done to eliminate its pernicious influence. Definitely worth checking out.