We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they’re actually scared. They think they’re not safe in the United States and so they don’t come.
Romney and Ryan are “the most inexperienced foreign policy twosome to run for president and vice president in decades,” Senator John Kerry said in his address to the DNC.
“No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas in his acceptance speech.”
[REUTERS/Chris Keane, September 6, 2012]
Stories to Watch: 8/7/11
A couple of thoughts on the Standard & Poors downgrade. First, there was a big market sell-off just before it happened. We should be finding out exactly why that happened, who started selling first, and whether any insider trading went on there.
Second, the “US is headed for a Greece-style meltdown!” fearmongering should officially die. Nations on the brink of financial collapse don’t have AA+ ratings from one agency and AAA from all the rest.
Now here’s the news…
Finally, broad bipartisan agreement out of Washington. The issue; S&P’s downgrade is bullshit.
Steve Benen has a short history of US deficits and surpluses since Reagan. Not at all coincidentally, it’s also a timeline of Republican stupidity.
According to the Tea Party, people involved with the recalls in Wisconsin are Nazis and terrorists and embrace a philosophy that has “killed a billion people in the last century.” Seems to me that if one sixth of the world’s population were killed, someone would’ve noticed it. Why anyone ever took these clowns seriously is beyond me.
Also in the Wisconsin recalls; Republicans like to complain that they’re being attacked by out of shadowy, state groups. But a closer look shows that when they say “attacked,” they mostly mean “backed.”
Mike Huckabee is an idiot.
Rick Perry keeps threatening to run for president. I think he’s already missed his window — the media seems to be getting tired of it.
As they go home to face their constituents, dems make sure that Republicans face the music for voting to end Medicare as we know it.
Finally, Sen. John Kerry rightly names S&P’s action the “Tea Party downgrade.”
Right Redefines “Christian” to Distance Themselves from Anders Breivik
Over at Fox’s answer to the Huffington Post — Fox Nation — we’re informed of the marvelous news that Bill O’Reilly “shredded” the media for unfairly labeling terrorist Anders Behring Breivik a Christian. This is tremendously unfair, O’Reilly argues, because the man is “is not attached to any church.”
This is Stupid Argument Number One. By this argument, the President who most wore his Christian religion on his sleeve was no Christian at all.
Throughout the 2004 presidential campaign, Democratic candidate John Kerry has been more responsible than anyone for getting notoriously secular political reporters through the doors of churches on Sunday mornings. Ever since a few conservative bishops raised questions about Kerry’s Catholicism, given his pro-choice positions, journalists have trailed the Senator to church, breathlessly wondering if this will be the week he’s denied communion. Some have even snarkily commented that his Boston congregation—the Paulist Center—is insufficiently traditional, calling it “New-Agey.” What they haven’t done is take up the task of following President George W. Bush to his home church. That’s because of one small problem: He doesn’t have one.
According to O’Reilly, the “Christian angle came from a Norwegian policeman not from any fact finding.” This is Stupid Argument Number Two, by virtue of being completely wrong. Not only did Breivik list his religion as Christian on his Facebook page, but according to the Associated Press, Breivik wrote about using “violent means to purge Europe of non-Christians and those he deemed traitors to Christian Europe” — an odd self-destructive position for a non-Christian European to take.
Anyway, the whole thing is just a media conspiracy to make Christians look bad. “[T]the liberal media wants to make an equivalency between the actions of Breivik and the Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh and al Qaeda,” O’Reilly complains. “The left wants you to believe that fundamentalists Christians are a threat just like crazy jihadists are.” I guess this is unfair because so many atheists, Jews, and Buddhists have burned down abortion clinics, shot doctors, bombed federal buildings, had armed standoffs with the ATF, and have blown up so many Olympic parks.
But the core argument isn’t that the media is treating Christians unfairly, but that a self-declared Christian was really no Christian. Christians just don’t do these things, the Christian right argues, and — using the “no true Scotsman” fallacy — offer his Christian terrorism as proof that there aren’t any Christian terrorists. No “true Christian” would commit these deadly acts, therefore no Christian does.
It took some doing, but I actually found an argument dumber than O’Reilly’s. It probably won’t surprise many to learn I found it at WorldNetDaily. In this particular bit of inanity, Breivik isn’t a Christian because he believes in evolution. By this argument, there are only a handful of “real” Christians in Europe, where the superstitious notion of Creationism is overwhelmingly rejected. Again, we see a variation of the “no true scotsman” argument — no “real” Christian would believe in evolution, therefore Anders Breivik is no Christian at all.
What both of these arguments (and they’re just examples, there are plenty of others) ignore is the very basic tenet of Christian belief — the absolute core and purpose of the entire religion; that no one is beyond redemption and that the only thing it takes to get into Heaven is acceptance of Jesus as your savior.If you accept Jesus as your savior, but kill dozens of people in Norway, you’re a Christian — by definition.
Now, imagine the situation is reversed and Muslims are saying a terrorist wasn’t a “true” Muslim — because it has been, plenty of times. Have the right bought that argument and, if not, why should we?