Thursday, October 15, 2009

Meeting in the middle

Recently I started talking to my cousins on Facebook. We haven't talked in years, and so it's been really cool catching up and rediscovering each other as adults and parents.
One of my cousins and I have found quite a bit in common, we're both mothers of children with medical problems and food allergies, we're both into organics, we're both into Christmas music in the fall (shut up, there's nothing wrong with that).
She's also a member of the Fox Nation, believes that the healthcare reform will pay for abortions and start death panels, that vaccines cause autism, etc.
I am not.
If she knew that I was a liberal pagan there is a good chance she may not talk to me again. The fact that I'm a single mom gets a pass only because I was married once. We found a middle ground, and get along pretty well,yet there it is. That strain of always trying to not say the wrong thing because that could be it. No more friendship or sharing or mom talk.
It makes me sad that our being friends on Facebook depends on me never mentioning anything I actually think about anything important. Never disagreeing, never providing an opposing view. If I did I would be teh evil and that would be it.
If this sounds familiar, it should. It happens every day, where conservative talking heads vilify people for not agreeing with them, where friendships are broken over ideologies, where families stop talking because of how someone voted. There is no middle ground anymore. And the middle ground we get to is one person refusing to talk to the other simply to save the friendship/family/news show.
If we can't find an actual middle ground where views can be presented without immediate reactionary screaming and finger pointing :cough:beck:cough: then we may find a terrible split in the country of the wingnuts from the rest of us. Who knows, it may be for the best if that all wander up to Alaska or something and form their own country, but I would rather see us actually try to work things out first.
I'd really hate to lose a family member to Alaska because of this.

Monday, October 12, 2009


So, while I was away celebrating the kiddo's birthday, some really neat stuff happened...

Nasa decided to bomb the moon. I freely admit I'm a geek, and I watched this live on TV. It was disappointing to watch, but Nasa declared it a success, which is enough for me. I like it when Nasa does cool stuff like this. Hopefully they will get more funding out of it.

Hawaii got a Saint. Saint Damien is the first saint from Hawaii, and they are quite proud of him. Good for them, he sounds like he did a lot of good work.

And the wingnuts, already freaking out about the Olympics, proceeded to lose their shit over the fact that our president won the bloody Nobel Peace Prize. Dear GOP far right talking heads, peace is a good thing. It's a good thing to be awarded the prize, and he was nominated for his plans to bring diplomacy to the world. Also a good thing. How on earth can anyone listen to them now and not realize these people would see our country burn to the ground rather than see Obama succeed. It's disgusting.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Liberal Bias strikes again

Apparently there is a movement out there to re-translate the Bible called the "Conservative Bible Project". Brought to us by the lovely and batshit crazy Phyllis Schlafly, this project is supposed to eliminate Liberal Bias out of the Bible.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my Uncle works for a very big publisher in NYC. His job, for many years, was to supervise the "updating" of the Bible. This was careful editing of the Bible to make the language more mainstream. It was a painstaking process, and he did this well before you could walk into a Christian bookstore and find roughly ten million different kinds of Bibles.
For most mainstream versions, the editing process is still pretty much the same as it was when my Uncle did it. However there are now smaller publishers who translate and update Bibles pretty much on a whim (see: LOLCat Bible. Thanks to the intertubes we can now get all kinds of translations for the Bible).
If you click on the link and read the guidelines for this new translation I'm sure you'll be just as tickled as I am. These goofs are proposing translating the KJV into modern English, and during the translation process they will edit out quite a bit of what is actually in the Bible to match their own Conservative agenda. My favorite bullet-point, after the one about not dumbing down the Bible (ha! Why don't you just read the KJV then?) is the one where they say they will:

"preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

Yeah, OK there kids. They also want to include the "logic of hell" which is really going to be interesting once they realize how rarely hell is mentioned in the KJV.
All of this makes me wonder if they have ever really read the version of the Bible they are planning on re-translating.
Now, I have spent a good bit of time translating old works, I read Latin and spent years an various classes translating quite a few texts. Translating is tricky business. It's why my Uncle would spend an entire year just updating language in a book. I would spend months translating a text, and can spend a week doing a poem or song.
What these people are proposing is insane, both because they have no idea of what they are translating apparently, and because they have no idea how to do it properly.
I can not wait to read this train wreck.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

There are days I'm scared and ashamed to be American

So, this is what it making me ashamed at the moment. The link goes to the much-discussed article written by Perry for Newsmax where he talks about a military coup to overthrow Obama. Of course Newsmax keeps screaming that Perry never actually said it should happen, and that they took it down, and yet, here I am linking to it off Media Matters, so copies still exist. It's the internet.
Perhaps Mr. Perry isn't familar with what happens in military coups. They are far from peaceful, and are not noted for ushering in fair governments. After all, someone just seized control of the government from the person that the majority of the people wanted to lead. That? Will not end well.
What scares me is the idea that somewhere out there a young man is reading that and saying to himself, "Yes, he's right." He's scared, and angry, and has been lied to by the people he trusts the most, and he believes the people who want to help him are out to destroy him. That young man is going to make a very bad decision based on articles like these.
And at that point, god help us.