Thursday Early Evening Open Thread

I'll be watching the basketball. So here's an Open Thread.

Let's Go Gators!

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    Gators! 83 - 74 in OT (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by themomcat on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 08:45:10 PM EST
    Uconn 72 - 67

    Ben Mazel, a Talkleft and Dkos poster (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jes on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:31:42 PM EST
    is ill with lung cancer. Dkos commuity quilt diary and hope messages at the dkos Quilt diary

    Really stung... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 08:46:38 AM EST
    to see that sad news...Ben is a god damn American hero.

    Beat that sh*t Ben...beat that sh*t.  We love ya.


    Masel, jeeze (none / 0) (#10)
    by jes on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:33:14 PM EST
    What is up with (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:47:12 AM EST
    Egypt's ruling council passing a law punishing protest?  Also, its military forces, seen as an ally to protesters in February, now appear to be brutally cracking down on them, particularly women who allege they were mistreated and given "virginity tests" in the Egyptian Museum.

    Disgusting story about a revolution not yet completed and not being given enough attention over here because of Libya and Japan and all the rest domestically. (h/t Peter Daou)

    Can't remember where I read it, (none / 0) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:26:54 PM EST
    but, the article said the military authorities were holding "high level" talks with one of the so-called terrorist groups, Hezbollah, Hamas, or one of them.

    Anyone hear this also?


    Sorry to hear that (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:37:38 PM EST
    Of course, I was one of the skeptics around here who said to be suspicious when the military was going to be one of the groups in charge, so I can't say I would be surprised if this is going on.

    Me too (none / 0) (#77)
    by NYShooter on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:24:37 PM EST
    I remember talking with my father, a psychiatrist, when Richard Nixon was going through the Watergate thing. He said, "be careful, we are in very dangerous time now." What he meant was that Power is an aphrodisiac like no other. Once one has it it's a rare person, indeed, who would give it up voluntarily.

    Which is not to say that the Military Leaders didn't fully intend on moving towards a representative form of government asap. Its just that people change when something so profound is thrust upon them suddenly. And not just Power. Looks what happens so often when Rock/Movie stars gain fame "overnight," or regular people inherit large sums of money.

    People may honestly believe they'd be "just the same," but history, and experience, tell quite a different story.


    Lord Acton (none / 0) (#78)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:29:56 PM EST
    writing to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887:
    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

    Bukowski... (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 06:06:11 PM EST
    was onto it too.  

    "I am ashamed to be a member of the human race but I don't want to add any more to that shame, I want to scrape a little of it off."

    Just say no (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:13:20 PM EST
    to the Obama Administration negotiated mortgage fraud settlement. Both Dem and Rep state attorneys general resisting signing off on it. David Dayen and Yves Smith do a great breakdown at the link.

    Had enough of this type of negotiation yet?

    Another indication of disarray are efforts to add more bells and whistles to the proposal. This looks like part of a desperate effort to get to some kind of a deal rather than part of a coherent negotiating strategy.

    It is just another effort to get a deal to be able to say they got an 'accomplishment' even if it does nothing to solve a problem or hold anyone accountable. Soooo tired of it, especially regarding the most important economic issues.

    Would you (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:23:52 PM EST
    want Obama to be your lawyer?

    LOL. Not at all. (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:46:30 PM EST
    Although he would not use up a lit of billable hours caving in at the first meeting.

    I'll tell you something (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:00:00 PM EST
    If I had been one of Obama's students back when he was teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, I'd ask the school for my tuition money back for that course.

    Shady... (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by kdog on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:57:54 PM EST
    a "cash for keys" blood money scheme?  Really?  Thats the bone?

    Though does it matter what vig the state gets outta this at the end of the day?  It all gets funneled back anyway.


    The money is only part of it though (none / 0) (#80)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:40:30 PM EST
    I'm not sure some fine paid to the government is going to do anyone much good. I want to see more fraud investigations, and if they settle quickly now, fewer enterprising state AGs are going to take that on.

    Truly excellent coverage (none / 0) (#81)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:50:53 PM EST
    of the efforts by the Admin and parallel efforts by the OCC

    Second Wager (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 06:44:32 PM EST
    In the first round I really thought Wofford would take out BYU, but still cashed getting the points. Took those winnings and dropped them on the Gators giving 3. If I liked Wofford against Jimmer I have to love Florida tonight.

    I was watching a silent (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 08:01:21 PM EST
    movie on YouTube that was made in 1920.

    Men's clothing has changed very little in 90 years.

    So if it's cool to bomb Libya... (none / 0) (#3)
    by redwolf on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 08:01:27 PM EST
    Why are we not bombing Iran?  They oppress their people through murder, rape, torture and they're building atomic weapons.  So why are we not bombing them?

    Why Greenwald Annoys Me (none / 0) (#4)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 08:09:29 PM EST
    Even though I think he makes good points at times.


    So I am reading this and the following strikes me:

    1. A governing body, NBA commissioner, heck, even a parent, reserves the right to enforce punishment in a way that keeps in mind the greater good. If your kid lies to you about what he/she is doing with the door closed in their bedroom and you find out that they are teaching themselves French, but are too embarrassed to admit to it, I think that deserves different treatment than the kid sneaking off to do drugs. To some degree, being a parent, political leader, etc. means making these value judgments. In the ideology of Greenwald, such real world distinctions do not exist.  It's not at all reflective of the day to day world or even the odd world that and administration official would inhabit.

    2. But aside from the point in #1, the fact that Greenwald doesn't seem to acknowledge the idea that #1 could be an issue is the bigger problem.  It is an ideology based on rigid application of idealism that works perfectly fine as a commenter or critic of actions but is completely unworkable as a real world concept.  OF COURSE the president of the united states makes value judgments on who or what to prosecute. If we prosecuted every possible perjurer, for example, most of the people who testify at a trial would be in trouble.

    Greenwald assumes that uneven treatment is evidence of an issue.

    Uneven treatment, no matter what we tell ourselves, is practical life.  We only rebel against it when we disagree with its impact.

    He's snarking first of all (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 08:49:03 PM EST
    Second of all, you miss his entire point.  A DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL is who leaked this, and obviously for rah-rah sort of reasons.  So leaks that make us look bad and immoral are outrageous and torture-worthy; leaks that make us look good, true or not, go without notice.  If it's not about the act of leaking, then it's about opinion.  You cannot prosecute on the basis of opinion, which is why flag burning laws aren't about the act of burning, but the political statement behind it (since the proper and legal way to dispose of a flag is...to burn it.)

    It isn't uneven, it's selective. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:06:32 PM EST
    Is there some reason the government should not have to hold itself to the same standards it holds everyone else to?

    Why WE, the people whom the government purports to serve, should not hold the government to the same standards it holds us to?

    Why the government should be the only one that gets to decide what the greater good is?

    The truth of the matter is that the government leaks classified information all the time to its preferred media outlets, and it does so to position itself in the most favorable light - and it doesn't punish or fire or prosecute or confine to solitary or strip naked any of those who are leaking this "favorable" and classified information.

    That's not a "value judgment," that's the exercise of power.

    Who checks that power if not us?


    try to follow this.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by NYShooter on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:56:03 PM EST
    I know its a little convoluted but I think the Governments position is this:

    When someone, let's say you, "leaks" a secret that the Govt. determines should remain a secret you are the perpetrator, and the Govt. is the victim, consequently it has suffered damages. Therefore, you have committed a crime and must suffer the penalties prescribed.

    On the other hand, the Govt. can "leak" all it wants, and its no crime. Just like, if you punch me in the face, you've committed a crime. But, if I punch myself in the face, what am I gonna do, arrest myself?; its not a crime.

    Ipso facto: The law only goes one way, the govt. cannot be held liable for divulging its own secrets.


    What a surprise that someone (none / 0) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 06:54:03 AM EST
    who is critical of Obama's policies annoys you. Maybe you should go and read back issues of Sully's work instead since even his racist comments meet with your approval.

    To agree with Dadler.. (none / 0) (#17)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:35:10 AM EST
    GG is being snarky here.  I agree with his point though - giving the government (or any judicial authority, formal or informal) a pass for unevenly applying the rules is not a good thing.  The government should always be in a position where it has to justify the actions it takes to the people.  And they certainly have not justified their punishment of Bradley Manning, who has not been convicted of a crime, and has in no way warranted his treatment.  Solitary confinement - for months! - in his circumstance is torture.

    It is interesting that you bring that post up though.  Its a basic ideological issue.   We are members of the same political coalition but we do not agree.  When people argue about whether or not they are disappointed or pleased with Obama, it is important to bring up why - it should be about policy.


    If one only looks at these various policies, (none / 0) (#22)
    by Anne on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:07:37 AM EST
    and not where or who they're coming from, I don't see how it's possible to find a way to excuse, accept or support either the policies or, ultimately, the person responsible for them.

    If one would be angry or outraged or royally ticked off if these were Republican actions/policies, those feeling should not change when they originate with Democrats.


    You have got to read this... (none / 0) (#85)
    by NYShooter on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 03:30:07 PM EST
    if ever there was a question as to the inmates running the institution this should quell that:


    Your taxes at work....


    If expletives were permissible here, (none / 0) (#86)
    by Anne on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 10:16:55 PM EST
    I'd be able to sum up my reaction to that story in a way that would convey just how enormously disgusted and angered I am by it.

    So, since that option isn't available, I will just type this: #$#%)^#($^$(&)$_@!!#%%@#^^$&^%#%&(()%^#%$@^%*&((!!!

    and trust that you get it.

    It isn't that the inmates are running the asylum, it's that unless you are enormously wealthy and/or moving among the highest levels of corporate or political America, your chances of being involuntarily committed are higher than they have ever been.


    Agreed and to correct (none / 0) (#82)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 01:58:23 PM EST
    statement above and support your post, I understand it is the conduct that is the crime -- the leaking -- not the damages; this is why criminal behavior is punishable regardless of who commits it.  Damages is primarily an issue of civil wrongs -- I sue you for breaching a contract with me, e.g., and I ask for damages you caused.  

    and I think the fact (none / 0) (#83)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:00:22 PM EST
    that the conduct itself defines the crime is related to Anne's point about selective prosecution -- criminal conduct is a crime whoever engages in it and should not be prosecuted selectively; when we have selective prosecution, we don't have rule of law, but arbitrary government.

    Grumble, grumble, b!tch, moan (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:03:24 AM EST
    70 plus degrees on Wed., tulip trees were in full bloom, dogwoods etc. starting to blossom and snow today. Snow - boo - hiss

    Not a fan of winter and totally tired of snow. Lets get back to spring, please.

    its the same here (none / 0) (#15)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:11:37 AM EST
    a couple of weeks of 70s and now back to the 30 with snow predicted.

    Chilled to the bone today (none / 0) (#25)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 12:05:49 PM EST
    Can't seem to get warm. This old body doesn't adapt well to sudden drops in temperature especially when it is cold and wet.

    the only thing (none / 0) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:24:25 AM EST
    on the planet more clueless and pathetic while at the same time having an absurdly overblown sense of their own importance than political pundits is film pundits.

    it is wonderful reading the spectacularly idiotic reviews of Sucker Punch. on rotten tomatoes it is at 23% with reviewers and 77% with audiences.

    I cant wait to see this movie.  even more so now that the petty hysterical "critics" have had their say.  no doubt much of the pettiness is because Snyder did not screen the movie for them.


    actually (none / 0) (#18)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:36:58 AM EST
    I think TV critics are even weirder.  The fact that there is a cottage industry for "recaps," for people spelling out how they watched TV last night, still kind of blows my mind.  They get paid for this sh*t!  And I read it!  I'm looking forward to watching the movie though.

    "And I read it!" Funny. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:41:18 AM EST
    I read them too (none / 0) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:25:42 AM EST
    for entertainment.  not information.

    Me too (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 12:52:19 PM EST
    the Television without Pity recaps are many times more entertaining than some of the shows.

    I love TWOP. (none / 0) (#56)
    by lilburro on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:22:35 PM EST
    And you are so right.  Richard Lawson's American Idol recaps are also hilarious.

    I like the Survivor and Amazing Race recaps (none / 0) (#62)
    by ruffian on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:45:30 PM EST
    They are really funny. I used to read more shows, but it does take up a lot of time to read a good recap!

    the new Captain America trailer (none / 0) (#24)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 10:27:52 AM EST
    Sho Nuff... (none / 0) (#27)
    by StephenAG on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:06:57 PM EST
    Great trailer! I'm looking forward to this as well as the "Thor" movie. "Green Lantern" is looking interesting too.

    ya (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:31:59 PM EST
    Thor is looking better than I expected

    That's why (none / 0) (#84)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Mar 26, 2011 at 02:04:13 PM EST
    I long since stopped reading movie reviews; I read plot summary, look at who is directing and acting in the film, and then decide; usually works out well for me.  I also take the recommendations of friends whose opinions I respect.  

    Do the recent (none / 0) (#19)
    by brodie on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 09:41:13 AM EST
    major quakes along the Ring of Fire since 2005 signal that a major event is likely for the west coast and Pacific NW?  Author Simon Winchester believes there is a connection, that a huge earthquake for this area is now much more likely and that most urban areas in that region are not prepared.  

    Interesting overview article about the clash between the few predictor-scientists arguing for a connection at great distance and the geophysical establishment largely hostile to the idea.

    More proof (none / 0) (#28)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:23:31 PM EST
    That Sarah Palin will never be the Republican nominee in 2012.

    Mike Huckabee tops a large list of potential GOP presidential candidates in current support for the party's 2012 nomination, with 19% of Republicans saying they are most likely to back him. This gives Huckabee a slight edge over Mitt Romney (15%). Sarah Palin is now at 12% after receiving 16% support in three prior Gallup polls. Newt Gingrich is the only other potential candidate who registers double-digit support. Sixteen percent of Republicans currently have no preference.

    her successor is doing her proud (none / 0) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:31:32 PM EST
    JUNEAU -- Gov. Sean Parnell's appointee for the panel that nominates state judges testified Wednesday that he would like to see Alaskans prosecuted for having sex outside of marriage.

    Think of the trials! (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:34:35 PM EST
    also (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:37:30 PM EST
    he will be caught snorting meth off a boys a$$ in 3,2,1 . . .

    Ew (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:38:08 PM EST
    But yet, I'm oddly fascinated.

    are threesomes (none / 0) (#33)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:36:42 PM EST
    with the spousal unit allowed?

    Probably (none / 0) (#37)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:38:35 PM EST
    only if it involves 2 women and a dude.  

    But not 2 men (none / 0) (#40)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:09:24 PM EST
    and a moose.  Alaskans have some standards.

    Elk are okay, though.


    Why do you hate the elk? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:38:21 PM EST
    Donald the fox (none / 0) (#38)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:39:28 PM EST
    Donald Trump has been thinking a lot about birth certificates lately. Indeed, he has made questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate a pivotal part of his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
    "There's a very clear niche in the Republican primary," said longtime political consultant Roger Stone. "It's a brilliant base-building move. There's a very active, fervent subset of voters interested in this."
    Republican pollster John McLaughlin agrees that Trump's remarks may be part of a larger, and potentially effective, campaign strategy. "Just like Obama won the nomination as the most anti-Bush candidate, the Republican nomination is going to be won by the most anti-Obama candidate,"

    Ha! (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 01:42:57 PM EST
    The funny thing about this is, I'm 98% sure he doesn't actually believe it, he's just that big of an opportunist.

    I'm starting to think he may have the number 1. seed in my republican primary comedic relief bracket.


    And that's some fierce competition (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Towanda on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:10:46 PM EST

    I know (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:53:21 PM EST
    but he's apparently following Obama's strategy in 2008.

    I wouldn't write the Donald off. He is a master at marketing himself after all.


    I agree (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:55:06 PM EST
    Im talking (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:55:47 PM EST
    nomination here.  not oval office.

    really? (none / 0) (#48)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:58:48 PM EST
    you see him connecting to the Republican base?  Relating in any way?

    I mean at least Mitt Romney can pretend to be from Michigan.  Donald Trump screams fake America.


    well (none / 0) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:07:33 PM EST
    Romney - Trump
    Newt - Trump

    I could see it.  they all have their problems.  he probably has been married fewer times than Newt and at least he can pass as a christian.

    plus.  these people are idiots.  important detail.


    oh (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:08:30 PM EST
    and unlimited available funds is not a small thing.

    He connects (none / 0) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:08:54 PM EST
    with the money people in the GOP, the Wall Streeters but probably not the evangelicals IMO but he's already finding away to get the birthers going so I wouldn't write him off completely.

    There are so many running I wonder how many are going to drop out in the next six months?


    I think there will be a lot of dropouts (none / 0) (#53)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:11:06 PM EST
    Bachman is running because she knows what it can do for her national standing.  she has a point.

    At this (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:01:53 PM EST
    point, I wouldn't write him off for the oval office either. After all, marketing himself was Obama's forte and look where it got him?

    And the fact that people on the other side know that he's 98% not in the tank for the evangelicals won't hurt either.

    All that being said, I would put his prospects of winning the GOP nomination pretty low on the rung but certainly better than Newt's.


    this would not hurt his reelection chances (none / 0) (#43)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:49:09 PM EST
    ISLAMABAD - After a prolonged lull, the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has launched a series of covert operations in the rugged Hindu Kush mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan following strong tip-offs that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been criss-crossing the area in the past few weeks for high-profile meetings in militant redoubts.

    If he (none / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 02:54:14 PM EST
    caught Osama then that would guarantee his reelection but I'm not sure it would happen but I sure would be happy if it did happen.

    Parise the Lard (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:18:58 PM EST
    We don't recall any of the commandments saying "thou shall eat chocolate cake," but an unusual new study has found that people who regularly attend religious activities are 50 percent more likely to battle obesity by middle age.

    The study tracked nearly 2,500 men and women over 18 years. They filtered for age, race, sex, education, income and baseline body mass index. The last one's important, because it shows that the religious were getting fatter, not that fat people were getting religious.

    This should (5.00 / 0) (#58)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:25:45 PM EST
    come as no surprise to anybody who's ever visited a southern baptist church.

    If you can't drink, can't smoke, can't dance, can't do a lot of things but eating is permissible, what do you think people are going to overindulge in? Food, of course.


    Interesting part though (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:27:39 PM EST
    There have been a number of studies over the years that show more religious people tend to live longer, are less likely to smoke and have better mental health," Feinstein told CBS News. "Religious people are doing a lot right, but this is one special area where there is room for improvement."

    I imagine it helps with stress relief (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:39:51 PM EST
    I'll say that's the biggest thing I've noticed about my sister when she converted.

    She is much much calmer now, because whenever she's going to freak out about something she looks to God.  <- She used to be highly emotional/full of mood swings.

    My personal opinion about all that is that humans invented God because it makes us feel better.  So the feeling better is real, but that doesn't mean God is.


    Maybe / maybe not (none / 0) (#61)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:45:25 PM EST
    That's the whole concept of "faith".

    And it's much cheaper than therapy or using drugs.


    cheaper (none / 0) (#65)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:47:13 PM EST
    is SUCH a relative assessment.  personally it cost far far more than I am willing to pay.

    Most people (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:10:54 PM EST
    who attend church, are not like the crazies who crave camera time or protest military funerals, or whatever. There are some who want to evangelize you, but for the most part, they go to work, religious people pay their taxes, and they have a wide variety of opinions on social issues. Many of them do volunteer work, raise kids, attend soccer games and do yard work. They are your neighbors, your co-workers, your friends, the man who serves you at your favorite bar, the butcher who gets you the best piece of meat, the UPS delivery person, and the clerk who smiles at you at the grocery store.

    If praying gives someone comfort, peace of mind, and the strength to get out of bed in the morning, well, personally, I think that is infinitely healthier (both short term and long term) than paying a stranger to have to sit and listen to your problems, or to have to turn to artificial means of coping by chemically altering your brain (and heart, and lungs, and mouth, and throat, and blood, etc.)

    Some people take their religious beliefs to extreme, whether they are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, or Wiccan.  But that's a very small minority of people.  

    It may not work for you. I'm sorry if it doesn't, but that's ok too. But something like 90% of the entire planet identifies with some type of religion, so who's to say it doesn't work?


    You know what? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:14:49 PM EST
    I wish the crazies were a minority and they probably are in certain parts of the country but not in the south. The south is full of religious crazies.

    indeed (none / 0) (#69)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:28:01 PM EST
    its not just the south.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:41:37 PM EST
    but I think they are a very vocal minority in other parts of the country. Here they ARE the majority.

    I think it all depends (none / 0) (#72)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:47:03 PM EST
    on where you live for how religion has influenced you.

    I grew up surrounded by Catholics.  Religion was a very strong community builder, but at times it was most definitely oppressive in that community as well.  It brought a lot of people closer together, but it also severely ostracized those who strayed.  And again, faith is not something you can force, but within the community there can be a lot of pressure to stay in line.


    I understand (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:21:23 PM EST
    and mostly agree with what you are saying but my experience is that while Catholics have some of the same characteristics they are nothing like the southern baptists. The pressure to stay in that particular denomination though whether Catholic or baptist is something that i have seen in both be very strong. Catholics largely don't believe in the prosperity gospel that the southern baptists do either. I do hands on Atlanta volunteer work once a year when all the churches in the area do it and I have never once seen a Baptist church participate. Mostly it's Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians and some black evangelical churches who are also big on helping in the community.

    only if it works (none / 0) (#71)
    by CST on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 04:42:08 PM EST
    another thing about faith is - it can't be forced.

    I've had moments in my life where I thought religion would make things a lot easier.  But faith is not something you can manufacture.

    Eventually I came to find great comfort in the fact that I'm capable of handling my emotional well-being.  This might come off sounding really arrogant, but in a way faith in myself became my replacement.


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#75)
    by Zorba on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 05:02:26 PM EST
    Not if you belong to a church where everyone tithes.  Ten percent of your gross income isn't exactly chump change.  ;-)

    honestly (none / 0) (#63)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:46:26 PM EST
    there have been times in my life that I truly wished I could be like them.

    fortunately, it passed.


    bad news? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 at 03:49:28 PM EST