Last week a story in the Telegraph said the former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, “admits” that he is a Christian. This was mentioned on numerous networks and blogs, especially right-wing types who trumpeted this as a victory from the grave for Ronald Reagan and Jesus (some right-wingers have managed to not conflate the two). We are morally superior! Our religion wins! He has denounced communism and atheism!
Well, looks like a reporter bothered to ask him what he believes.
“Over the last few days some media have been disseminating fantasies I can’t use any other word about my secret Catholicism, citing my visit to the Sacro Convento friary, where the remains of St. Francis of Assisi lie,” Gorbachev said, according to an Interfax article posted Friday.
“To sum up and avoid any misunderstandings, let me say that I have been and remain an atheist, he stated.
How many right-wing blogs will note the correction?
I bring this up not because I care what Gorby’s religious beliefs are. I don’t think famous world leaders thinking like me verifies or discredits any certain belief about the world. But I think it’s a great example of how these things work.
Often we are told of a statement, statistic, et al, that confirms something many people want to believe. It might change an election or ruin a career. People who pay attention to the news see the correction and wonder why everyone else is so stupid. Often they hold onto the original belief when confronted with facts refuting it. It’s why we have 10% of white Democrats thinking Obama is a muslim.
When is it politicians will stop lying about incidents that were caught on tape and that they clearly won’t get away with? And when will someone call these utterances “lies” instead of accepting “I misspoke” or, my favorite, “I had a different memory.”
Lies like this may have worked for Marin Van Buren, but they don’t usually turn out good in the age of You Tube.
Talking Points Memo has a recap of the whole thing. You know, if you give a shit.
This anti-Hillary ad is pretty funny.
Monday: Corporate Socialism!
He makes a brief mention of Editorial Cartoons here:
While John McCain was in Iraq late last week with his two barnacles, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham, he repeatedly connected Iran and Al Qaeda. McCain claims he misspoke but repeated the claim at least three times. This is his lifetime of experience we are supposed to like. ThinkProgress.org has good coverage of the “gaffe” here and here.
Why can’t he differentiate between Iran and Al Qaeda, Sunni and Shiia? Because he views the world through a militaristic prism. All enemies are woven from the same evil cloth and must be eradicated with extreme prejudice. We’re talking about a man who’s only lament about the Vietnam war was that we didn’t stay and win. We already know he vilifies at least one entire race as enemies and sub-humans.
During the 2000 campaign McCain came under fire for saying “gooks” all the time. When asked about it he replied “I hate the gooks, I will hate them as long as I live.” He finally agreed to quit saying the racist slur in public.
I wonder: would Obama still have a viable presidential campaign if he declared an undying hatred for “honky ass crackers” let alone made the same remark about Iran and Al Qaeda?
cross posted at the ACLU Blog
Over a year go the ACLU contacted me to do a series of comic strips on Civil Liberty issues. The success of those strips led to the creation of Civil Discourse, an entirely new bi-weekly comic strip that launches today, available exclusively on the StandUp website.
In the first comic, I address the real-life ACLU case of a paranoid Principal keeping the high school yearbook safe from a dangerous photograph. You see, a 17-year-old submitted a picture of himself wearing medieval garb and holding a prop sword. Very threatening. I’d put it up there with rap music.
What’s with this whole asserting your individuality thing kids are so into? They need to sit down, shut up, and enjoy their abstinence only education!
Expect the topics covered in Civil Discourse to run the gamut from the important to the absurd. I’ll be addressing the legal limbo in Guantanamo Bay, Racial Justice, Privacy Rights, and crucial national security issues like The War on Christmas.
And of course, I’ll be checking in on our government’s endless effort to keep our shores safe from evil doers that do evil. They’ve been cracking down in two key areas: booting gays out of the military (who needs ‘em?) and keeping our skies safe from people who wear Arabic language T-shirts (foreign words hate freedom).
ACLUs StandUp Teams Up with Nationally Syndicated Cartoonist Matt Bors:
Bi-weekly Civil Discourse Uses Humor to Inspire a New Generation of Activists
MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: email@example.com (212) 549-2666
NEW YORK – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union announced the launch of Civil Discourse, a bi-weekly comic strip created for the ACLU by nationally syndicated cartoonist Matt Bors. Civil Discourse is part of the ACLUs StandUp campaign, an ongoing project that educates younger audiences about todays pressing civil liberties issues. The strip can be seen online at www.aclu.org/StandUp.
Matts cartoons are often about civil liberties violations and other injustices, said Anthony Romero, ACLU executive director. Were excited to have someone as original and talented as Matt help us inspire the next generation of civil libertarians.
The ACLUs work with Matt began more than a year ago, when the StandUp campaign enlisted him to create a short-run series of print comics about civil liberties. The success of those led to the creation of Civil Discourse, an entirely new series of comic strips that are available exclusively on the StandUp website.
Subversive cartoons, in formats ranging from the graphic novel to the online comic strip have exploded in popularity in the past two decades, and comics have a long history of educating people about injustice. In a time of unprecedented civil liberties violations, Civil Discourse is an ideal way for the ACLU to communicate with younger audiences about the issues that impact their lives.
We’ve seen a lot of our civil liberties trampled on over the last few years and the ACLU has been fighting back regardless of which way the political wind blows. I’m proud to be working with them. said Bors. With Civil Discourse, I want to make people laugh, but I also want them to think about their how important their rights are.
About Matt Bors:
Matt Bors is a nationally syndicated cartoonist with United Feature Syndicate who lives in Portland, OR. His editorial cartoons appear in papers across the country including The Village Voice, the Cleveland Free Times, and The Los Angeles Times. Hes created comics for The Nation, CampusProgress.org, Free Inquiry and The Oregonian.
StandUp is the ACLUs campaign for students and young people. Started in 2004, the ongoing project seeks to educate, inspire and activate the next generation of civil libertarians.
About the ACLU:
The American Civil Liberties Union is the nations number one defender of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and has played a major role in nearly every key civil liberties battle of the last century. Whether youre young, old, rich, poor, straight, gay, black, white, male, female, pious or atheistevery person in this country should have the same basic rights. Since 1920, the ACLU has been working hard to make sure no one takes these rights away.
I think we know what the attack line against Obama’s going to be in the general election now, no? On the bright side, most people don’t think he’s a muslim anymore.
Musician Billy Bragg had an Op-Ed in the New York Times on Saturday on the issue of artists who post their work for free on sites like myspace which makes millions from the traffic it brings:
The musicians who posted their work on Bebo.com are no different from investors in a start-up enterprise. Their investment is the content provided for free while the site has no liquid assets. Now that the business has reaped huge benefits, surely they deserve a dividend.
Whats at stake here is more than just the morality of the market. The huge social networking sites that seek to use music as free content are as much to blame for the malaise currently affecting the industry as the music lover who downloads songs for free. Both the corporations and the kids, it seems, want the use of our music without having to pay for it.
Cartoonists face a similar problem. As print publications slash content, radically downsize and ultimately cease publishing, we look for websites that want to pay for content. Sadly, they barely exist. But not due to lack of funds. Vampire capitalists like Ariana Huffington are raking it in with their highly trafficked websites that pay nothing to their contributors. The only form of compensation you get for being on the site is “exposure.” ( I should note that I’m writing this on the same day that I announce my new ACLU strip–a paying gig, so I shouldn’t be so glum. But these outlets are drying up fast for mosts artists).
When I started out freelancing I was willing to work with papers that had little to no revenue just to get illustration pieces in my portfolio and someone printing my work. The whole idea was that this would lead to better clients who could pay. And that happened.
But online even the top dogs won’t shell out a few dollars a week for a cartoon. There are 90-some staff cartoonists in America right now, with a few being laid off every year. There used to be 2,000 in the early 20th century. When the lucky ones make it to retirement, it’s a good bet most papers won’t replace them. I’d be willing to bet I live to see the day you can count the number of staffers on your hands.
From Media Matters:
America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.
Blacks. So ungrateful. It’s amazing people like Rev. Wright aren’t on their knees thanking moral pillars like Pat and praising this country for enslaving their ancestors and getting them off that African tribal malarkey and on some good god-fearing Christian stuff. I just hope they don’t complain about race relations in heaven as on Earth.
In that statement and the rest of his column you get the sense that black people should somehow be thankful to whites for ending human bondage and American apartheid. Except he doesn’t imply it–he comes right out and says it:
We hear the grievances. Where is the gratitude?
This is from a real news story, by the way. Many people believe in god, but only liars and the mentally ill claim to personally talk with it.
Monday: My respite from presidential politics is over! I’ve got a comic about that whole Rev. Wright thing (a little news story you may have heard of).
And my new strip for the ACLU, Civil Discourse, will absolutely, without a doubt, for sure be debuting Monday.