Monthly Archives: February 2010

Lies and Truth

Blogger Joel Johnson excavates the lies that destroyed his family in a searing essay:

But Timmy’s death has made me realize I’ve kept one last lie inside, one that makes me culpable in all of Glen’s sins against others, his cruelties, his deceit, his sociopathic falsehoods that may very well end up in more pain, more abuse, not to me but to my brother, to his friends and cousins, to someone I don’t even know. It’s the lie that I can destroy this family by simply talking about the truth, when this family was already destroyed. Despite the stately house, the gleaming Ford truck under the tall tree, the kids laughing in the yard, there is no home, only wreckage.

via Why I’m Funny – Joel Johnson.

2012 Preview: Republicans v Secular America

Dan Kennedy previews the role of religion in the next presidential race:

If you’re part of secular America – that is, if you’re an atheist, an agnostic, a religious liberal or even a mainstream believer who thinks religion should be kept out of politics and vice-versa – then you should be very afraid of what the Republican party has in store for you in 2012. No news there, you might say. The Republicans, as we all know, have been in thrall to the Christian right since the Reagan era. But there’s something new, something more intolerant, something truly ugly in the works. Read the rest…

Democrats and Villain Rotation

Glenn Greenwald breaks it down:

This is what the Democratic Party does; it’s who they are.  They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it. They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do?  We just don’t have 60 votes”). The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation.  They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it.

via Salon.com.

How the US Government Poisoned 10,000 During Prohibition

Hey man, remember when the US government killed over 10,00 people?

Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people… As one of its most outspoken opponents, Charles Norris, the chief medical examiner of New York City during the 1920s, liked to say, it was “our national experiment in extermination.”

via The little-told story of how the U.S. government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition.