Archive for April 28, 2008

Obama, Wright, And Batson

April 28, 2008

You know the first two, the third is the Scotus case that said prosecutors can’t exclude people from juries based on race.

How would a defendant know whether a prosecutor excluded Joe Juror because Joe is black, as opposed to Joe’s criminal record? Well, one way is if white jurors with criminal records also served, or if the prosecutor only asked black people about the existence, vel non, of a criminal past. In either case, the proffered reason for excluding the black person is properly seen as a pretext. That is, if having a criminal record is such an awful thing, why did he not ask that of all the jurors? The answer, of course, is that skin color was the real issue.

Today, I heard Rev. Wright’s explanation of his controversial remarks. A sample:

Leinwand asked Wright to explain what he meant in a sermon delivered shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he said the United States had brought the terrorist attacks on itself.

“Have you heard the whole sermon?” Wright responded. “No, no, the whole sermon. That’s yes or no. No, you haven’t heard the whole sermon? That nullifies that question.”

Wright then said he would try to answer the question in a “non-bombastic way.” He said he was quoting an ambassador to Iraq in that sermon, although he did not give the ambassador’s name.

“Jesus said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'” Wright added. “You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.”


Wright said the comment captured on YouTube — in which he says, “Not God bless America, but God damn America” — was taken out of context.

“God doesn’t bless everything,” he said. “God damns some practices, and there’s no excuse for the things that the government — not the American people — have done. That doesn’t make me not like America or unpatriotic.”

So he says God might be mad at America, and that we might have deserved 9/11. Gee, that sounds kind of familiar:

Television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two of the most prominent voices of the religious right, said liberal civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters bear partial responsibility for Tuesday’s terrorist attacks because their actions have turned God’s anger against America.

“God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve,” said Falwell, appearing yesterday on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club,” hosted by Robertson.

“Jerry, that’s my feeling,” Robertson responded. “I think we’ve just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven’t even begun to see what they can do to the major population.”

Falwell said the American Civil Liberties Union has “got to take a lot of blame for this,” again winning Robertson’s agreement: “Well, yes.”

Then Falwell broadened his blast to include the federal courts and others who he said were “throwing God out of the public square.” He added: “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’ “

Robertson, of course, endorsed Rudy Giuliani this year, and though he (thank God) lost to John McCain, McCain has actually kissed Falwell’s ring. So why no slamming McCain for his active courting of the Falwell/Robertson vote?

Seems to me if the general complaint against Wright is that he is unpatriotic, then that applies with equal force to Falwell/Robertson (and Dobson, and thousands of other religious righters). So if you slam Obama for going to an anti-American church, you ought to be slamming McCain (and most of the Republican party), too. But no one is doing that.

Why the disparate treatment? The only real differences between Wright and Falwell/Robertson are: 1) skin color, and 2) the rationale for their condemnation of America. In other words, folks who are just fine with Falwell (and Dobson, etc.) but hate Wright either: 1) have a race problem, or 2) think it’s perfectly believable that God would destroy America for allowing gays to marry, but that it is preposterous to think God would destroy America for what they see as the old news of slavery. Accepting either of those distinctions, I think, makes you an idiot. With a race problem.

I guess I’m taking a really long time to say that if you condemn Obama for Wright, you ought to condemn McCain (and most of the Republican party) for their relationship to the religious right. If you are concerned about integrity and consistency, that is.

BTW, I am NOT an Obamaniac. This is pretty much my view on the POTUS race.


No more pacies

April 28, 2008

Today, the babies and I said “bye, bye” to the ever-faithful pacifier. Mommy cut the tip off, then gave what was left to the babies. They both put the pacies in their mouths, looked rather confused, then spit them out on the floor. After several more attempts in different positions – with no change in the pacifier – they listened as I told them that the pacies were broken and needed to be thrown away. We all marched stoically to the trash can and threw the nubs away. Well, Omi grabbed both nubs off the floor and ran to the trash can; Mac followed behind screaming for his. After Omi threw them both in the trash, we looked at them lying in the bottom and again said, “bye, bye.” Mac, still crying for his, stopped long enough to listen as I explained again how they were broken and that he was a big boy now and didn’t need it. He grinned and said, “big boy!” He seemed excited at this idea.

After lunch, it was nap time. I knew this would be the true test. They babies haven’t gotten a pacifier, except at nap time and bedtime, for several months now. Mac only cried for about 10 minutes. I went in and offered him a cup of water, and then he went right to sleep. Omi, the more stubborn of the two, has now been crying for 20 minutes with no sign of stopping.

We’ll see how the rest of the day goes. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to leave them!